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Real Estate

Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Trump's anger can fix housing?

Reddit debate gets overly complicated, too

March 21, 2016

Monday Morning Cup of Coffee takes a look at news coming across HousingWire’s weekend desk, with more coverage to come on bigger issues.

Do you want to know who can really fix housing?

Donald Trump.

Or at least his anger can fix housing.

Dan McSwain of the San Diego Union-Tribune offers the presidential front runner’s raw emotion as a potential solution to the nation’s housing problems.

McSwain offers two supporting points, in his article “Trump-like anger required to fix housing crisis.”

One is exploiting the outrage of renters in California.

Second is Trump’s track record of being a real estate developer.

Most of the article is nothing more than clickbait, but here is the crux for those who are less than inclined to read the article itself:

“To be clear, nothing suggests that Trump could fix California’s housing crisis. We’re not even sure he makes much money, given his reluctance to disclose tax returns. Instead, his power resides in Trumpkinism itself.

For better or worse, Trump has reminded people that, by getting fed up and voting, they really can grab power from the incumbents who ordinarily pull the levers of government.”

Of course, Donald Trump doesn’t actually put any skin in the game when it comes to real estate; instead allowing others to fail while he cashes in on licensing. But maybe it’s his anger that can help, as McSwain opines.

And let’s face it, Californians are pretty angry about the lack of affordable housing.

Simply take this well-meaning Gawker author calling homebuilders a-holes in order to get more homes built, as an example (Warning: NSFW language).

Only time will tell how far anger in the Golden State will go toward fixing the affordable housing crises there.

However, Trump-style anger can cut both ways. A landlord in Grand Junction, Colorado, Mark Holmes, advertised his two bedroom apartment for rent, but specifically said anyone voting for Trump need not apply. From the CBS affiliate in Denver:

“He’s preaching hate and he’s preaching … a lot of venom, spit and vinegar. And I live in the top part of the house,” Holmes said. “I don’t want anybody that even thinks that Donald Trump can be a good president to live in my home.”

Holmes said he’s already got several applicants.

Is it legal for landlords to apply a political test for who they will rent to? The surprising answer is yes, at least according to the article:

Some thought Holmes was violating federal housing rules by discriminating against political affiliations, but that’s not the case, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“That has nothing to do with the Fair Housing Act,” HUD spokesman Jerry Brown told The Daily Sentinel. “But that seems to be a first, and it’s original.”

Quick question: If you back out of buying a home, can the seller sue you to make whole the offer contract?

Seems like a simple “yes” or “no” would do, but this question was recently posted on Reddit, and the answer is far from clear for a few reasons.

It’s a $55k home at stake, but it gets better: the home has termites and the buyer probably can afford the mortgage. Best part is the dodgy real estate agent.

User deadflower93 asks:

“The real estate agent informed me that we would lose the [sic] earnist money ( $250.00 ) that doesn't bother me.

She then told me the owners can sue me for backing out of the deal if they sell it for less than our offer ( $55,000 ) that we can be sued for the difference.

The sellers have 10 days to make the repairs or we can back out of the deal, we were also given 10 business days to back out of the deal, but it's past that point now.

How common is it for people to actually sue for backing out of a deal?”

Head to Reddit to read the 100+ answers. Hint: none are “yes” or “no,” but all are amusing. Trust me.

Want to know how to score the best interest rate on a mortgage?

Nerdwallet’s Emily Starbuck Crone has a few ideas.

Here’s the wrap:

1. Tidy up your personal finances

Getting your financial house in order before applying for a mortgage will help you get a lower interest rate.

2. Make the right choice on rate type

One crucial decision is whether to choose a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate loan.

3. Choose your loan term wisely

Another major mortgage decision is the loan term. The two most common options for fixed-rate mortgages are 15-year and 30-year loans. 

Good advice? Vote at the bottom of the article on whether you found the article helpful or not. (I voted “no”)

The FDIC reported no banks closed for the week ending March 18.

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