Study Shows 25 Percent of Americans Would Delay Home Purchase until after Election


Study Shows 25 Percent of Americans Would Delay Home Purchase until after Election   RISMEDIA, Tuesday, September 25, 2012— When it comes to buying a home, 25 percent of Americans would like to know who the next president will be before they would feel totally comfortable putting their money down, according to a recent poll conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Another 53 percent said the election would have no effect on the timing of their decision.

The online survey was conducted in early September among 2,570 U.S. adults age 18 and over and 13 percent said that if they were considering purchasing a home, they would delay their purchase until after the election because of the uncertainty it creates. Another 12 percent said they would take the election into consideration, and it might cause them to delay buying a home.

“It’s understandable that a considerable number of people say the upcoming election would give them pause for thought,” says Rick Allen, chief operating officer of Mortgage Marvel. “There has been speculation that tax policies could change depending upon who wins. Some have even indicated that the longstanding deduction for mortgage interest could be eliminated. It appears that mortgage interest rates will remain low for the foreseeable future, so there’s no pressure on people to act before rates rise. In such an environment, I can see that cautious people would take a wait-and-see attitude before making a home purchase.”

In the survey, U.S. adults were asked this question: “Assuming you were considering purchasing a home, would the upcoming presidential election cause you to delay your purchase?”

Their answers were as follows:
• 53 percent – “No, it would not affect my decision at all.”
• 4 percent – “No, it would prompt me to purchase a home before the election.”
• 13 percent – “I would delay buying a home because there is too much uncertainty due to the upcoming election.”
• 12 percent – “I would take the presidential election into consideration, and it might cause me to delay buying a home.”
• 17 percent – “Not sure.”

Overall, men’s and women’s answers tracked closely across all age groups. Interestingly, as men’s ages increased, they became less concerned about the possible effects of the election. In the male 18-34 age group, 42 percent said the upcoming election would have no effect on the timing of their purchase. At age 55+, 57 percent gave the same response. Fifty-two percent of women age 18-34 said the election would have no effect on their decision, and that increased only to 59 percent at age 55+.

Regional Differences throughout the Country
Regionally, the South had the highest percentage of people — 17 percent — who said they would delay buying a home because of uncertainty attributable to the election. Another 12 percent in the South said the upcoming election might cause them to delay buying a home. The West had the greatest number of people — 61 percent — who said the upcoming election would have no effect for them on the timing of a home purchase.

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of PR Unlimited from September 5-7, 2012 among 2,570 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Ana Tackett at 480.318.1238.

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The Gas South Broadway Series New Season Starts

The Gas South Broadway Series has announced the 2012–2013 season at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and it includes three of the hottest Broadway hits: Chicago, West Side Story and Sammy Hackett’s The Rat Pack Show.

In this day and age, when everyone wants more bang for their buck, it’s good to know there’s a “sure thing” with Chicago, which launches the series October 4–7. The Bernstein and Sondheim score of West Side Story, December 13–16, is considered to be one of Broadway’s finest. Celebrating 50 years of The Rat Pack, Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Show, March 14–17, has been hailed as the next best thing to seeing the Rat Pack themselves.

Enjoy the best shows at the best prices and the best of Broadway. For prices and more information, call 770-916-2852 or visit

Tasty & Fun Community Event for a Good Cause: Whole Hawg Happenin’

Mark your calendars for the Whole Hawg Happenin’ BBQ and Music Fest on the Marietta Square on September 30 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Taste the best BBQ of the South while enjoying the live music that will entertain throughout the day. For more information about the event, visit

The Whole Hawg Happenin’ BBQ and Music Fest is an annual food and music festival focusing on the great BBQ of the South. This family-friendly event is now being held on the Marietta Square and will have:

  • Tasty BBQ and a variety of other foods. Tastes of BBQ will range from $.50 – $5.00 from the best of metro Atlanta’s restaurants
  • Food demonstrations
  • Live entertainment on two stages
  • Beer Garden
  • Large Kids Corner featuring fun activities
  • Classic Car Show – free registration and cruise in
  • Plus, more fun and excitement!

Schedule of Events:
11 am – 12:30 pm – Hoosier Daddy
1 pm – 3 pm – Hurricane Wilson
4 pm – 6 pm – Banks & Shane (main stage)

When and Where is the Festival Held?
The Whole Hawg Happenin’ BBQ and Music Fest will be held at the Marietta Square on September 30, 2012. Hours of the festival are from 11 AM to 6 PM.

Join Us in Supporting These Local Organizations!
All proceeds of the Whole Hawg Happenin’ BBQ and Music Fest benefit the The Earl Smith Strand Theatre, The Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, The Gone with the Wind Museum and The Marietta Museum of History.


3 Big Predictions for Real Estate

A few interesting predictions came out of a panel discussion that kicked off Inman’s Real Estate Connect event in San Francisco in August. The session, moderated by Inman News founder Brad Inman, featured experts from the worlds of real estate and finance. Here were some of the most important forecasts for the real estate industry:

1. Rates will remain low for at least another year.

Amy Brandt, CEO of Vantium Capital, offered the most conservative prediction: that rates would probably start to rise significantly by the summer of next year. Bill Emmons, assistant vice president and economist of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, said he expects the Fed to do whatever it can to hold rates down until the end of 2014.

2. No matter what happens, the government will continue to play a major role in mortgage financing.

Brandt pointed out that more than 90 percent of mortgages are somehow supported today by the federal government. It will probably stay that way for a couple of reasons, the first being that investors want it that way, said Joel Singer, CEO of the California Association of REALTORS®. But another issue is that no private entity or group is big enough to fill that role right now. However, it’s unclear whether the FHA or a reconstituted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would take the lead.

3. Hard assets such as oil, gold, and real estate will probably be on the rise for some time to come.

All of the panelists agreed, with some minor exceptions, that real estate is a good investment right now. And like other tangible assets, it will likely grow in value over the next few years.

They also all agreed that it will take some time before the economy returns to stable, long-lasting growth. The reason? The downturn was driven by major problems in the financial sector, and the broken system will have to be retooled before the economy can truly flourish, said Patrick Stone, president and CEO of the Williston Financial Group.

That rebuilding could take some time, Singer added. “This transition is going to take a while,” he said. “The failure of institutions to grasp the problem and come up with solutions is what’s caused this to last so long.”

Emmons said the extreme aversion to risk among business right now — causing capital to flow into low-risk, low-return assets — should improve soon, but added that unprecedented levels of public and private debt could hold back growth. “There’s still a lot of debt to work through,” he explained. “In some respects, we look like Japan. Rather than take the 18 months of hell to get through that, we’re just kicking it down the road.”

However, the panel was generally optimistic about the long-term prospects of the economy.

“We train and educate the innovators of tomorrow,” Stone said. “And no country is better at connecting capital and innovation.”

Brandt also expressed confidence in the ability of most real estate professionals to adapt to any major economic shifts, just as they did with the advent of the Internet. “I think this is an innovative group that can come up with solutions,” she said, but added that practitioners should raise their awareness of and involvement in the mortgage financing part of the transaction.

“If I were running a real estate company, I would try to be more tightly integrated with the financial side,” she said.


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Home prices up 4% in 2012

Home prices increased 4% from the start of the year but remained little changed from one year ago, according to Lender Processing Services ($28.22 -0.325%) data.

The average national home value was $203,000 in June, up 0.7% from the previous month and less than a percentage point from the same month one year prior.

Prices remain 23.5% below the peak of the housing market in 2006, but are nearly level with pre-bubble values measured in 2003, according to past LPS data.

The largest monthly gain in June came in Alaska, where home prices increased 2.4%, followed by more than a full percentage point increase in the hardest hit areas such as New York, Nevada, Arizona and Florida.

The highest increase for metros was a 2.4% gain in Alaska’s largest city Anchorage. Prices also increased 2% in Miami; 1.8% in Reno, Nev.; and 1.4% in Las Vegas.

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FHFA Streamlines Short Sale Standards

The Federal Housing Finance Agency is restructuring the short sale process and that could be good news for thousands of struggling homeowners.

The program attempts to remove barriers created by some subordinate-lien holders by limiting related payments to $6,000, cutting off attempts to negotiate for larger payoffs. And there are other changes, too.

New short sale requirements for servicers proposed by the FHFA are giving financial firms a battle strategy for dealing with reluctant subordinate-lien holders who attempt to delay short sales on points of negotiation.

Some parties in short sales are able to delay the process by objecting to certain conditions and attempting to negotiate higher prices.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac launched new short-sale guidelines for servicers to speed up and streamline the process of moving distressed borrowers through a short sale. The guidelines take effect Nov. 1.

The program, which is part of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Servicing Alignment Initiative, allows servicers to approve a short sale for borrowers who have certain types of hardships even if they have yet to default.

The program also removes barriers created by some subordinate lien holders by limiting subordinate-lien payments to $6,000. This maneuver essentially cuts off any attempts by the second-lien holders to negotiate for larger payoff amounts.

“By setting a standard payout amount and a limit for every transaction, Fannie Mae is removing the guess work and standardizing the transaction to help accelerate the short sale process,” Fannie Mae said in a statement.

The FHFA’s new guidelines waive deficiencies for borrowers who complete a short sale and gives servicers the authority to approve and complete short sales that conform to the new standards without individual approval from the GSEs.

Borrowers dealing with the loss of a co-borrower, divorce, legal separation, illness, disability or a distant employment transfer will have the option of getting a short sale approved by the servicer before they actually default on a payment. Fannie also is culling down on the amount of documentation required to complete a short sale under hardship circumstances and eliminating certain documentation requirements for borrowers who are 90 days or more delinquent or living with a credit score below 620.

“Short sales have become an increasingly important tool in preventing foreclosures and stabilizing communities,” said Leslie Peeler, senior vice president, National Servicing Organization, Fannie Mae. “We want to help as many homeowners avoid foreclosure as possible.  It is vital that servicers, junior lien holders and mortgage insurers step up to the plate with us.  These new guidelines will open doors to help more homeowners qualify for short sales, remove barriers to completing short sales, and make the process more efficient for homeowners and servicers.”

Outdoor Fireplace Ideas

Believe it or not, cooler weather is just around the corner. Although it’s easy to forget in the still sweltering stickiness of September, here in Georgia, we have it pretty good weather wise. We are lucky to enjoy some amazing fall days. January and February can be a bit dreary, but winter is still often warm enough that, with the right set up, outdoor living can actually be a year round enjoyment. Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy cool winter nights by the crackle of a toasty fire, right in your own backyard? Right now is the perfect time of year to tackle an outdoor project. Consider creating a dramatic focal point for your deck, patio, or outdoor room with an outdoor fireplace. These beautiful outdoor fireplaces from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine offer some great inspiration.

Check it out here:


September Gardening Tips for the South

Cooler weather is ahead: Now is the perfect time to rejuvenate your landscape and repair the toll summer took on your lawn.

Need suggestions for what to plant this weekend, how to harvest your veggies, and renovate your turf?

Check out these helpful links from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine:

What to Do Now in Your Garden

Plant These Now for Fabulous Color this Fall

Lawn Care Calendar for the South

Mableton ROCKS Y’all!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 29th from 3pm to 10pm! Make plans now to attend the 2nd Annual Mableton Rocks music festival planned for the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre in Mableton.

Mableton Rocks will offer concert-goers a diverse collection of music and entertainment throughout the day!

Coolers Welcome! This is a BYOB event!

Come out for a relaxing day of music, community and to “Party with a Purpose!” Rain or Shine, this event will includes various vendors, food, music and fun for the whole family!

Concert attendees will have the opportunity to designate a portion of their ticket price to the charitable organization of their choice, one of which will be MIC! Proceeds from the concert will benefit local food pantries, youth groups, and community programs in association with the 501(c)(3) non-profit, the Amateur Advocate Association. The Amateur Advocate Association creates partnerships between local organizations which further the development of our local communities, and supports programs encouraging civic involvement.

Check out the Mableton Rocks website for more information about the bands and more!

Volunteers Needed for Tour of Homes

It’s back!  The Vinings Tour of Homes is returning this year and will be held on Sunday afternoon, October 14th, 12:30-5:00 pm.
The ever popular Preview Party will be held on Saturday evening, October 13th, 6:00-9:30 pm at the exquisite home of Anita Shippen on Paces Lake Court.

Your help is needed! The Vinings Historic Preservation Society is looking for some energetic and enthusiastic volunteers to help plan and execute this highly anticipated event!  Listed below are the committees they need to staff and they’d love to have your help.

Sponsor Committee
Public Relations and Website Committee
Auction Committee (A live and silent auction will be held at the Preview Party, need help with displays and set up, procuring auction items)
House Chairs and Docents on Tour day
Logistics (Placing signs around the neighborhood before the Tour and collecting afterwards, checking the homes for supplies on Tour day, placing directional signs, placing balloons and general errand runners)
Photography (Photograph the homes for our website, photograph the Preview Party in action! Provide photos on a disc for VHPS)
Preview Party volunteers – (work the check in table and assist with auction check out, decorating, possible need for wine and soft drink servers)

They will need volunteers to help with things like stamping and labeling invitations and general clerical work.  If you have great computer skills and can help with things like fliers and brochures they would love to have your help!  If you have writing skills they can sure use your talents!  In fact, if you have a mature student (of driving age) in your family who needs community service hours for school and he/she has computer skills, graphic skills, social media skills they would be pleased to talk with them as well.

Please contact the VHPS office if you are able to volunteer and let them know what you are interested in doing. You will be contacted by one of their chairs so please provide your phone number and email information.

Contact:  Gillian Greer, VHPS Executive Director