Today's Headlines - Realty Times
Posted On Thursday, 10 February 2022 00:00 Written by
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"It's impossible said pride. It's risky said experience. It's pointless said reason. Give it a try said the heart." Unknown

Victor and Vera Vossen leaned into each other as they sat together on the swing on their front porch. It was a rare moment to relax and enjoy watching the sunset from their farmhouse in the country.   The Vossens admittedly were city folks. But their dream of being self-sustaining and making a profit living on their rural homestead took shape shortly after the pandemic. 

Victor's employer allowed him to start working from home. Vera was already running her business from home, even when they lived in the big city.  

As they sat on the porch swing, Victor and Vera reflected on the lessons learned when they left the city for life in the country. Within the first month of living in the rural farmhouse, their dream seemed to be turning into a nightmare. The Vossens were unprepared to continually evict the family of mice who kept munching on food in the pantry and other valuable items the mice chewed to shreds. They did not realize how many Do-It-Yourself skills they would need to learn when Murphy's Law moved in. They didn't want to move back to the city and admit to their friends that they had failed.   

The Vossen family didn't fail. Today Victor and Vera sipped their tea on the porch swing and reveled in the satisfaction that they conquered many trials and mistakes. They were living their dream of fresh air and living well in the country. 

Here are some of the areas of research and preparation the Vossens did before selling their condo in town and moving to the woods:

Victor and Vera used a team of professionals who were knowledgeable about rural properties. They asked about a water source, land that would perk for septic purposes. They wanted some woods and space for gardening. Vera wanted a protected area for her egg-laying chickens. Other considerations were the distance to work (when Victor had to drive to a job occasionally,) schools, grocery, church, and other services they would need.   

The realtor was familiar with values and classification, zoning, covenants, and restrictions . The Vossens wanted to know what commercial enterprises they could operate on some of the acreage to help them pay for their home. 

The Vossens chose a  lender who knew how to structure the financing on a rural property. Then, they chose a home inspector, and well and septic inspector too. 

They used a  surveyor because they had to survey several acres and separate the few acres around the house from the rest of the acreage to meet the lender guidelines. The Vossens hired a home repair contractor for to make some changes to the house. 

Victor and Vera had been researching rural living for a couple of years before moving out of the city. Mother Earth News Almanac and the Farmer's Almanac were stacked around their home and a few Foxfire books too. Even though the Vossens were living within a 30- minute drive to the city, they still wanted to learn how to be independent of modern gadgets and conveniences as much as possible. Vera watched the movie Big Little Farm, which inspired her to help her through the obstacles.

They celebrated each time they learned a new skill—like fixing the tractor, keeping the mice out of the house, and keeping the internet working in the house. 

They remembered the pros of living the rural life, and they learned to compensate for some of the cons of living outside the city. 


  • You get to enjoy the quietness and peacefulness of living outside the noisy city. You get to hear the birds sing and smell the fresh air. 
  • You get to treat yourself and your family to outdoor entertainment like bonfires and gardening, hiking, and riding three-wheelers on the trails.
  • Saving money is an advantage to living outside the city if you plan it right. You don't eat out so often and aren't in town every day to spend money. Also, property taxes are lower in the country. 


  • You need to plan for trips to town to do business errands and get supplies. 
  • Power outages take longer to fix.
  • It takes longer to get services from contractors and other professionals. When something breaks, you need to know how to fix it.   
  • It is a longer drive to hospitals, stores, and work if you don't work from home. 
  • The internet can be slow, which usually happens when you need it most. 

Some of the financing programs to check out:

  • USDA Rural Housing 
  • Bank loans 
  • Private loans

You can find more of these mortgage products in the book Choosing the Best Mortgage-The Quickest Way to the Life You Want by Jo Garner on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Posted On Monday, 07 February 2022 00:00 Written by

The big moves in rates last week also created a large move in mortgage applications. With purchase applications going up by 4% and refinances rising by 18%, people are looking to fix their costs NOW! 

Working the higher end rental markets has been going exceptionally well. All of the people I am working with are seeing a great deal of positive feedback and with rents rising rapidly, those in the luxury rental market are now seeking ownership to solve their housing issues. These borrowers often have assets, great credit, and enter the housing arena in the mid to upper range of the market, so higher loan sizes and more predictable transactions.

As this is being posted we will shortly get the unemployment numbers for this week, followed shortly thereafter by the factory orders report. Keep an eye open as these could cause some reaction.

Most importantly, Friday morning we have the January Jobs Report which always has the attention of the markets. So PLEASE keep yourself aware of the market movers and when news breaks that can impact the rate markets. With the 10yr sitting on top of resistance at 1.77, a break below that number and managing to stay there, could be very helpful to mortgage rates. However, a bounce higher and that could push mortgage rates.

The 30yr UMBS 30 is fighting to get back above 102.19, but bad news could push that coupon down toward the next level of support of 101.57. I know a 60bps move doesn’t seem like a lot given recent history, but that history tells us that that move could happen lightning fast! So just keep track of market movers, as always, if you like it, LOCK IT!

 Questions or comments: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted On Monday, 07 February 2022 00:00 Written by
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Posted On Friday, 04 February 2022 20:31
Posted On Friday, 04 February 2022 20:24
Posted On Friday, 04 February 2022 20:16
Posted On Friday, 04 February 2022 00:00 Written by
Posted On Friday, 04 February 2022 00:00 Written by

The PGA tour is underway now with the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am scheduled for Feb 3-6 and the PGA Championship taking place MAY 19 – 22, 2022 at Southern Hills CC,  Tulsa, OK. Eager golf fans are ready to be a part of the game be it live on the course or watching via streaming apps.

I have long been a Pebble Beach resident and have spent many enjoyable days on the course with friends and well-known sports names. My dear friend the late actor James Garner and I were regular players there and he really wasn’t someone you wanted to make much noise around when he was concentrating! As you know, Pebble Beach isn’t just the No. 1 public course in America. Pebble Beach is the No. 1 Golf Resort in America. Reminiscing about old friends and neighbors and a stunningly beautiful course led me to revisit the change in months for the PGA Championship.

Not all that long ago, the PGA Championship was always in August. Why is it now in May?

The PGA Championship is one of the PGA Tour’s 4 annual major championships. Each major is put on by a different entity. This major is put on by the PGA of America, the teaching arm of professional golf. It had traditionally been put on in the fall for many years, but now has moved to May to help with the Tour’s wraparound scheduling and to get it out of the way of the Olympics, the FedEx Cup run to the Tour Championship. And let’s not forget that by August, MLB is in full swing and the NFL is playing preseason games which takes away some interest in golf.

Back to the original question… why was the tournament moved to May?

In August of 2017 Pete Bevacqua, CEO of the PGA of America announced that the PGA Championship would be moving from August to May and that they had been discussing it for four years at that point.

From Golf Digest:

Our analysis quickly proved to us that with a late May date:

  • We would be able to continue to conduct the PGA Championship at many of the great historic courses in the Northeast with the likelihood of more temperate weather and certainly healthier turf conditions.
  • Some of our more Southern venues would be even more appealing with less heat and more challenging playing conditions.
  • Other great areas and sites around the country suddenly become far more attractive in May as opposed to August.
  • Television and media consumption are as healthy or healthier during that time of year.
  • We would welcome the opportunity to be the second of the four majors in the annual major golf chronology.
  • It makes sense for an organization whose members serve as the tangible connection between the game and just about all of us who play it here in the United States, to have our major championship occur earlier in the golf season so we can more effectively promote along with our broadcast partners our grow-the-game initiatives that our members bring to life.


I believe we can all agree that golf is a recreational force of nature, played in some of the most beautiful locations in the world no matter what season.

Will you login with your favorite course and your favorite professional golf tournaments?

Posted On Friday, 04 February 2022 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 03 February 2022 20:06

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