New House under Construction

A shortage of skilled workers is putting the construction industry in a bind, says Dallas Builders Association executive director Phil Crone.

By Phil Crone
Executive Officer, Dallas Builders Association

These days, any article about President Trump, especially one that is an opinion piece, is bound to be read with a certain level of trepidation. That being said, how he addresses the labor shortage will be the barometer by which the construction industry evaluates his presidency.

Certainly, actions to peel back costly regulations are welcome and applauded, but — in the Dallas area at least — the lack of boots on the ground is currently a much larger concern than any amount of red tape.


Mortgage Report Bob Mortgage New

Just this past week, President Donald Trump issued an executive order that loosened lending restrictions instituted by Dodd-Frank. How will this, combined with the Fed’s recent uptick in interest rates, affect mortgages? Bob Johnson (AKA BobMortgage) shares his opinion in today’s Mortgage Report.

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: Loosening lending restrictions and increasing interest rates make for an interesting mix in the mortgage market.



On Friday afternoon, just hours after swearing in, President Donald Trump suspended a Federal Housing Authority (FHA) mortgage premium rate cut issued by former President Barack Obama earlier in the month. The quarter-point cut would have taken effect on January 27.

An FHA loan, with its low down payment and less stringent credit score requirements, offers first-time and low-income homebuyers the opportunity to get a foot in the proverbial door. Aimed at countering rising interest rates following the November elections, the Obama administration’s mortgage insurance premium (MIP) cut would have made it possible for a greater number of buyers to be eligible for credit based on their debt-to-income ratios. For even more buyers, it may have made a monthly mortgage payment more affordable.


John Stephens AT&T

John Stephens CFO AT&T

Let’s face it: this week was kind of an emotional mess.

If you were supporting Hillary Clinton and expecting her to win, like most of the media did, nearly all the pollsters, and of course the pundits, you were devastated, cried, and probably feel a bit wrung out by now.

If you were a Trump supporter, you had to have been a LITTLE worried that he could pull this off. But pull it off he did, making unprecedented history, and you are now one happy, albeit maybe hungover, camper.

If you were undecided or didn’t like either candidate, you probably just watched the events unfold in disbelief but are now wondering, what does this all mean? We need business to thrive so people can buy and build homes. At first the markets tanked (because the expected did not happen), but then they soared. Most business tycoons are overjoyed at the prospect of fewer federal regulations and maybe we can let Dodd-Frank take a hike (don’t let the door hit you in the fanny). Could a lower corporate income tax be on the horizon? Middle class tax relief? Rebuilding our country?  Here’s what two Dallas-based CEOs told Bloomberg News:

John Stephens, chief financial officer, AT&T Inc.:
“From a company perspective, we really look forward to working with President-elect Trump and his transition team. His policies, his discussions about infrastructure investment, economic development and American innovation, all fit right in with AT&T’s goals.” (Nov. 9)

Kelcy Warren, billionaire founder, chairman and CEO, Energy Transfer Partners LP:
“Having a government that actually backs up what they say, that actually says, ‘we’re going to support infrastructure, we’re going to support job creation, we’re going to support growth in America,’ — and then actually does it. My God, this is going to be refreshing. So, I think, overall, I’m very, very enthusiastic about what’s going to happen with our country, very enthusiastic and as it supports our industry.” (Nov. 10)



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We know that president-elect Donald Trump, as a businessman, probably detests regulations as much as any other business owner. While protective, some go too far and tack on extra costs to consumers. You really need a balance — enough law to protect the consumer and punish morons who prey upon the unsuspecting, but not enough to make the burden unbearable. I have seen this happen first hand in healthcare — in fact, mountains of regulations are one reason why health care costs are so bloated.

Well, according to HousingWire,  Donald Trump’s transition team and their website say the incoming president plans to dump Dodd-Frank completely. This could be very good for the housing market. Or would it? (more…)