The Worst of Best | Urban Living

The Worst of Best

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I love the annual Best of issue, don't you? Imagine having a Best and Worst issue. In my business of real estate, there are so many good and bad stories. You might know the good ones—getting people their dream homes, helping first-time buyers purchase their very first home, assisting the elderly in downsizing to smaller homes. But there are plenty of bad things, and these three are the worst I've witnessed in real estate this past year:

A loan officer who really screwed up a first-time buyer's mortgage by not "locking in" their interest rate and almost lost the home they had under contract. Once you make an offer on a home and get a signed contract with a seller, the lender can then guarantee in writing an interest rate that they will give you at the closing of escrow. Interest rates fluctuate daily, and at this particular time, rates were hovering around 3 percent. The buyer thought she was getting the 3 percent but discovered about six weeks later when she was ready to sign her closing papers that the lender had not locked her rate. Sadly, the loan officer had been having her varicose veins lasered for those six weeks and her job and clients weren't a priority. The lender was fired and the big bank didn't even throw in a dollar to compensate the buyer. She had to re-sign loan documents, and by then, rates had gone up to almost 3.5 percent. Unfortunately, switching banks would have not made a difference because all rates were that high at that later date, and she almost lost her dream home.

Hoarder houses. Oy vey. I am often called to sell estates of folks that have gone into senior living or have passed because, well, I'm old and my friend's parents are really old and their grandparents are really, really old, dying or dead. Past generations have gone through hell, and surviving economic depressions has been common with our elders. I've seen that hoarding is an outcome of fear, and hoarder homes inside—owned by absolutely "normal looking" people on the outside—have always astounded me.

A seller's market continues. That means more and more people need housing, yet inventory in houses, condos and even rental units is at a low. It's as if you were trying to buy an air-conditioner in the middle of July and 90 percent of the stores are closed, or waiting in line for the new fruitPhone 8 to come out.

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