June, 2012
Feature
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Editor's Note: Looking for the Positive

SANDY BOURSEAU

Can we trust those who predict a real estate market recovery is only months away? Are they as astute as those who warned long before 2006 that the real estate bubble would burst?

There are positive signs. It’s true: Today’s historically low home prices and mortgage rates are enticing investors and first-time buyers into the market.

Would clearing the backlog of foreclosures help the market? If so, the recent directive from the Federal Housing Financial Agency may help: Servicers of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae must review and respond to borrower requests for short sales within 30 days.

The National Association of Realtors® sees making short sales more attractive to borrowers and lenders as key to a housing market recovery.

It’s possible the $26 billion foreclosure settlement with five of the largest home lenders may have a positive influence on the market if it helps underwater or delinquent homeowners. The settlement includes the Justice Department and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as 49 state attorneys general — all but Oklahoma.

My crystal ball is a little cloudy. It continually searches for positive signs, while welcoming news that business has picked up for many members. In spite of the positive signs, it seems too soon to take a deep breath and look back with relief at surviving the real estate market crash and accompanying financial crisis — but we can hope that day is soon to come.