Lew Sichelman

Lew Sichelman

Special to Banker & Tradesman

Lew Sichelman can be reached at lsichelman@twg.com

As Resort Towns Flourish, Lending Tightens

As the market for vacation homes continues to forge ahead at an almost unprecedented pace, the two major suppliers of financing funds have put a lid on the number of mortgages for such properties they will buy from primary lenders.

Some Would-Be Buyers Have Given Up

In today’s high-pressure market, where being first with an offer isn’t necessarily the key to getting it accepted, the entire process can sap the energy out of even the most prepared wannabes.

Inland Surfing: The Latest Amenity

First came Crystal Lagoons – human-created bodies of water that can transform landlocked real estate into waterfront housing developments. Now comes Wavegarden: a water park that turns inland housing developments into surfing destinations.

Realtors Grapple with New Hate Speech Rules

In an unusual, if not unprecedented, move for a major trade organization, the National Association of Realtors has taken full ownership for any and all discriminatory actions taken over the years by the 1.4 million agents and brokers for which it speaks.

We’re Getting More Neighborly

More than two-thirds of those surveyed have gotten to know their neighbors better during the pandemic. Almost that many have made an effort to be more friendly than usual.

Test Your Knowledge of Credit Scores

When it comes to credit scores, low-income folks have far less knowledge, according to the results of a recent quiz developed by the Consumer Federation of America and VantageScore. But even high-income respondents didn’t have all the answers.

Many Still Not Aware of Forbearance Options

Despite lifelines thrown their way by Congress, the Urban Institute counts roughly 400,000 homeowners who are delinquent on their mortgages, but who have failed to take advantage of any payment forbearance programs.

Two Housing Subsectors Set to Strengthen 

Two relatively small housing submarkets are starting to show signs of strengthening. One of those markets: renters looking for more space, both inside and out. The other: people looking to get away from it all, if only for a few weeks.

High Prices Offset Gains from Low Rates

Housing prices are rising so fast around the country – “too fast,” as the chief economist at the National Association of Realtors said recently – that they are all but obliterating any gains buyers are seeing from record-low interest rates.