Weekend Linklube: RE Stories You May Have Missed

by Alex Stenback on October 29, 2007

Quick sampling of the weekend real estate related stories from selected local publications.  Easy to miss if you are an onlineatworkonly type of newspaper reader.

Thanks a Million, Priciest Homes Still Sell [Strib]
"While sales of existing homes in the Twin Cities metro area dropped a whopping 14 percent over the past 12 months, sales of homes priced at $1 million-plus jumped 4 percent…Life isn’t all peaches and cream in the upper-bracket market, though. Currently, there’s a 23-month supply of listings…"

A ray of sunshine, sort of for our local RE market, though we’d like to see the original list price vs. final sales price data.  Maybe the upper bracket sellers have gotten real on pricing?  Will the rest of the market follow?

Parish Collapse Leaves Subcontractors with Upaid Bills [Strib]
"Although contractors are scrambling to place liens on Parish homes, their hope of recovering even modest sums is slim, real estate attorneys say. Lenders usually have first priority, and in cases of fraud, where the loans often exceed the home values, there’s often nothing left after banks get paid, attorneys said."

So lets get this straight.  The Parish cabal claims that they were not committing fraud to live a lavish lifestyle or line their pockets, but only to keep the business going?  If that’s the case, why all the unpaid contractors?  With 50 Million in estimated fraud, these should have been the best paid contractors in the business.

Struggling to Escape the Sub-Prime Swamp [Strib]
Like millions of homeowners across the country, the Christophersons were stuck in a subprime mortgage. The interest rate was about to soar, hitting them with a new payment that would eat up more than Paul’s monthly take-home pay.

Just a heartbreaking story of one family’s struggle to make ends meet when faced with mounting medical bills for their children.  A cursory read of the headline might lead one to assume the sub-prime market was what got this family in trouble.  To the contrary.  Faced with an extreme financial setback, the subprime market is what kept them afloat for several years, and gave them access to capital they may not have otherwise had.  Things may not end well for them financially, but in this case it is hard to place the blame entirely on Subprime.

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