Real Estate Information Archive


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Best rates - At 60 year lows!

by Bruce Ailion

Mortgage rates declined slightly enough to officially hit new all-time lows. Some perspective is in order though. Certain lenders' rates are unchanged on the day, and some are even slightly higher, but the average moved lower. The improvements from yesterday were seen in the form of lower borrowing costs for those same rates. Bottom line: Best-Execution remained at 3.625%, but just got a bit more affordable.

I am often asked is this the best time to lock in a mortgage interest rate?  I am reminded of the limbo and the question “how low can you go?”. Rates simply just can’t drop much more from here.  For more than 60 years there has not been a better time than now.

The possibility of a sharp upward spike in response to unpredicted or unscheduled events remains a risk.  The risk/reward matrix for floating a historic bottom is generally negative.


  • 30YR FIXED - 3.625%
  • FHA/VA -3.5% - 3.75%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.00%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS - 2.625-3. 25% depending on the lender


Warren Buffett Bets Big on US Housing Market

by Bruce Ailion
Warren Buffett, arguably the world’s most famous investor, is looking to take a $3.85 billion bet on a US housing market recovery.

His firm Berkshire Hathaway Inc has submitted a $3.85 billion bid for the mortgage and loan business of bankrupt Residential Capital LLC.
Buffett is taking a “picks and shovels” approach to his investment in a US housing recovery by buying firms he believes will benefit strongly from an upturn without purchasing real estate directly. He recently bought shares in a large US brick making company.
Encouragingly for agents and developers selling US property internationally, the world’s third richest man told CNBC earlier this year that his preference would be to invest directly in residential US real estate if the administration costs were not prohibitive.
“If I had a way of buying a couple hundred thousand single-family homes and had a way of managing—the management is enormous—is really the problem because they’re one by one. They’re not like apartment houses. So—but I would load up on them and I would—I would take mortgages out at very, very low rates,” he said.


The news on the US real estate market is not consistently positive but foreclosure have fallen on an annual basis for 20 straight months, according to RealtyTrac Inc. 

Inventory is shrinking.  A voice mail replay from a listing agent where a full price offer was made on day one, states, "Thank you for your offer, we received 29 offers on the property and the seller selected a higher offer"

REALTOR vs Real Estate Agent

by Bruce Ailion

John Reilly recently offered this interesting analysis.

Consumers often use the term real estate agent
and Bruce Ailion is an experienced Realtor®
interchangeably. Actually there are differences, even though both are licensed to sell real estate in their respective jurisdictions. REALTORS® must be licensed and belong to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) as well as their state and local associations. In addition, they must subscribe to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics

Are the majority of licensed real estate brokers and salespersons REALTORS®?

John reviewed The statistical reports generated by NAR and the ARELLO Digest (Association of Real Estate License Law Officials) and came up with these numbers:

ARELLO Digest: 2,128,709 Active real estate licensed brokers and salespersons In the US

Brokers: 710,216 (brokers and associate brokers) Salespersons: 1,334,589

Unclassified: 83,904 (included in some state totals but not identified as sales or brokers)

NAR Membership (5/31/12): 981,892 (down 3.49% from 5/31/2011 but increase over last month)

The NAR statistics give a clear breakdown of membership state by state along with increases/decreases over the prior month/year. The ARELLO Digest also reports jurisdiction by jurisdiction although the numbers were somewhat hard to work with because the numbers for inactive licensees and firms had to be removed. Also, some of the state counts were prior to 2011.

So, I ask, are the majority of licensed real estate brokers and salespersons REALTORS®? It is close, but the answer is No.

Based on John's unofficial count he estimates 46% of the licensed real estate brokers and salespersons in the U.S. are also REALTORS®.

The cost to be a member of the Local State and National association of REALTORS and voluntary agree to abide by a Code of Ethics and higher standard of conduct costs about $300 to $500 per year.

As an educated consumer, check to see if your representative is a REALTOR or not. If not ask yourself if you should be doing business with someone unwilling to accept a higher standard of ethics and spend a couple of hundred dollars to belong to a trade association that among other important activities supports and protects the rights or real property ownership and polices the industry.

Bruce Ailion,  

RE/MAX Greater Atlanta

An Atlanta Real Estate Expert Serving Clients Since 1979

RE/MAX Hall of Fame – REALTOR Phoenix Award


2050 Roswell Road

Marietta GA 30062

404-978-2281  Direct

404-386-3682  Assistant Robin

678-760-6266  Buyer’s Agent Adam

770-973-9700  Office

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Contact Information

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The Ailion Team
RE/MAX Town and Country
2623 Sandy Plains Rd #202
Marietta GA 30066
Fax: 404-480-8448

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