Bob Johnson The Mortgage Report

Interest rates rose like zombies from the grave last week, so it’s a topic that’s definitely buzzing in real estate circles. In this week’s installment of The Mortgage Report with BobMortgage we find out why rates went up. 

You may know him as Bob Johnson, the senior mortgage advisor at Wallick & Volk, the nation’s oldest privately-held mortgage company. Bob Johnson has helped more than 25,000 families get into the homes of their dreams, in 20 plus years of lending service.

Now with five offices across the DFW metroplex, the nation’s oldest mortgage firm is helping thousands of consumers get into homes with the most up-to-date financial information possible. Wallick & Volk brings experience and integrity into every single loan, but they also deliver a highly personalized touch that conforms to each client’s need. Is it speed of delivery, unique products, total transaction transparency, or great pricing you need? Wallick & Volk has it all in a broker-friendly banking platform that can do the impossible when it comes to home financing.

THIS WEEK: Why did interest rates increase last week? Plus, Bob Johnson shares his interest rate lock or float recommendation and three reasons why it is cheaper to buy than rent.

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By Matthew Templeton
Managing Principal
KW Urban Dallas

Why is there so much movement in the iBuyer world?

First: What is an iBuyer?

An iBuyer is an institutional or business-based investor that uses automated valuation models (using data and algorithms to estimate value and trends over time) to make offers on properties in the market without actually having to have a huge workforce on the ground.

Who are these guys? Opendoor may be the one you’ve heard about the most. But also, Knock (a version of iBuying that gives you cash to buy the home you want before helping you sell yours), Offerpad, Coldwell Banker, Zillow Instant Offers (opened in Dallas on April 15), and coming in May to Texas, Keller Williams, according to Inman News this week.

How is this different than a traditional investor? In some ways, it’s not — individuals with bandit signs that say things like “we buy houses for cash” and companies like HomeVestors (“We Buy Ugly Houses”) with billboards have been models for decades.  

What’s different is that these institutional investors can buy properties at scale and their hope is to make money on the volume acquisition.  They claim to be purchasing at higher prices than a traditional investor (seemingly providing convenience for a slightly lesser price than retail).  The marketing pitch is slick. The idea behind it seems amazing — except that homes are not just data points. The fallout is yet to be determined.

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Matt Templeton of Keller Williams Urban Dallas regularly educates Realtors on how to make the most of the current market. (Courtesy Photo)

By Matthew Templeton
Managing Principal
KW Urban Dallas

It feels like there have been fundamental shifts in the real estate industry within the last few months. Technology is the buzz word, money is being thrown around, and CEOs of just about every top real estate-related company are out. The last few weeks’ news sums up that feeling.

September 2018: Compass closes another funding round for $400 million — money used to build more software and buy more agents.

And then …

February: Rich Barton (billionaire co-founder of Expedia and Zillow) takes the reins from Spencer Rascoff, who was CEO at Zillow for nine years.

February: Keller Williams rolls out the first artificial intelligence and data-driven platform in the real estate industry — others have been clamoring to follow

February: RE/MAX says [sic] “Our amazing technology is coming, and it will be best in class,” and makes a technology acquisition, Booj.

Last Week: Data-driven Opendoor will now show listings from rival brokerages and offer Redfin-like rebates.

Last Week: NTREIS Board holds a vote on whether to sell greater data access to Zillow. April will be a reckoning month for North Texas Realtors and their data.

We’ve moved into a new real estate era that is faster paced and increasingly powered by technology and data — more than ever before. But there’s something else afoot. It’s eerily similar to what happened with the dot-com bust. Real estate technology companies are flush with capital — in fact, 2018 was a banner year for real estate technology investment.

And yet many of the top “technology” or “platform” companies in the industry are not profitable.

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Our Splurge: Sylvia Scott has listed 3401 Lee Parkway Apt 803 for $665,000.

Dallas real estate may be cooling down, but these high-rise condos are hot, hot, hot! For this week’s Splurge vs. Steal we take you downtown to the best that money can buy … on a budget. Which would you choose The Mayfair splurge or The Metropolitan steal? Be sure to let us know in the comments.

Splurge: High-Rise With Views Of Lee Park And Turtle Creek For $665K

This condo caught our eye, not only for the price but for the virtual staging. As it turns out, listing agent Sylvia Scott of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty showcased those images for good reason.

“I used the virtual images provided by a company who works exclusively for Sotheby’s International Realty and available only to Briggs Freeman locally, to show buyers how a little paint and different furnishings can completely transform the look of the unit, which had been more traditionally furnished by the previous tenant,” Sylvia explains. “I specifically had a client who could not figure out what to do with the alcove in the living room and I was able to show her these photos to give her an idea of what to do with that space. Providing tools like this can help buyers see the potential in an otherwise great opportunity!”

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[Editor’s note: Merry Christmas! This week, we’re taking time off to focus on our loved ones, so we are sharing some of our favorite stories from this year. Keep an eye out for our top features from the archives as we rest and get ready for a brilliant 2019! Cheers, from Candy and the entire staff at CandysDirt.com!]

Amy: There is something so fun about comparing Dallas properties in our weekly Splurge vs. Steal. For some it’s an easy choice, for others it’s a bit more challenging. But any way you slice it, our Splurge vs. Steal is just a cool way to see how far your money will go in Dallas’ hottest hoods. Today, we feature a couple of our favorites as we look back on 2018. Here’s wishing you and yours a joyful and prosperous New Year. Cheers!

Splurge vs. Steal: Two Brookshire Park Beauties on Large Lots

Our writer Leah Shafer nailed it when comparing these two Brookshire Park beauties. Back in May she wrote: Near Royal Lane and Hillcrest Road is the wonderful North Dallas neighborhood of Brookshire Park. Beautiful houses on larger, heavily treed lots line the streets, with most of the original properties built late 1960s and early 1970s. This week’s Splurge vs. Steal takes us there to two Brookshire Park beauties just 0.4 miles apart. Both are over 5,000 feet and offer high-end amenities. Which is your favorite? (more…)

rentHow did Dallas’s rent growth stack up to the rest of the major metros in the state? Are we in a bubble? We look at this and more in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

RENTS PREDICTED TO GROW IN DALLAS IN 2019

Most of the apartments in Dallas are occupied, and rent growth continues according to the Yardi Matrix Multifamily National Report for 2018.

Nearly 95 percent of Dallas apartments were occupied in October, with yearly rent growth hitting 2.1 percent last month. It is expected to grow 4.4 percent next year. (more…)

Our Splurge: 5323 Swiss Avenue is listed by Kay Weeks of Ebby Halliday for $3.7 million.

Don’t let Halloween get you spooked! Tour these Swiss Avenue stunners instead. Two properties. One neighborhood. Drastically different price points. If it weren’t for all the Halloween hub-bub, we’d still think they’re a great buy.

Didn’t you hear? They’re located smack dab in a treasured Dallas enclave that’s known for getting its trick-or-treat on! That’s right. Enter the Swiss Avenue Historic District. The neighborhood with the good candy. The houses that spring for the big bars. Whether you’re all chocolaty goodness or pure vanilla smoothie, these two beauties will take a bite out of your Dallas home search and are the creme de la creme in the neighborhood for the price. Don’t believe us? Enter if you dare. Mwahahahahaha…

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splurge vs. stealHomes in the Highland Park ISD attendance zone are often sought after by families buying homes. But those homes can come with a hefty price tag, too.

Our Splurge vs Steal this week looks at two homes in the district’s attendance zone. Both have at least three bedrooms and are at least 2,200 square feet. Which one is your favorite?

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