Those of you who subscribe to HousingWire Magazine have hopefully received our second issue of the publication -- if not, it's likely on the mail truck as I write this. And as good as our first issue was, I think the second issue is even better. We're hearing just that, too, as readers send in their comments, so thanks for letting us know what you think -- one reader said the second issue was a "can't put it down" kind of read. And that's exactly what we're shooting for with each issue. For those of you considering a subscription, here's a look at what's in just this month's issue alone:
  • The cover story looks at the future of housing finance in America, and in particular at what lie ahead for the twin mortgage finance giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  • An exclusive feature looks at a stalled agreement to reform appraisals, known as the Home Valuation Code of Conduct; the agreement is set to go into effect in January, yet nobody is talking about how the code is to be implemented. We look at what lies ahead for property valuations, as a result of the federal takeover of the GSEs.
  • Another exclusive looks at seller-funded downpayment assistance, and its effect on the nation's mortgage market, while wondering what the future of the controversial program really is. You didn't think such a politically-charged program was going to go quietly into that good night, did you?
  • An exclusive study by researchers at First American CoreLogic uses some pretty cool data to look at the proverbial "chicken versus egg" problem in housing: whether home price declines cause defaults, or the other way around. The answer here is telling for policymakers.
  • An in-depth timeline of the events that have made the past 24 months of financial crisis unlike any other time in our nation's history.
  • We tackle some issues in mark-to-market accounting, including a look at how the controversial accounting standard is actually helping keep some REITs afloat in an adverse credit environment.
  • Linda Lowell looks at the confidence drain, and how the government's actions have had serious unintended consequences for market participants.
  • Rick Grant looks at the difficulties in managing a transition to FHA lending for most loan officers and brokers.
  • Rolfe Winkler from Option Armageddon takes a prescient look at the difficult future ahead for Florida's Bank United.
There's much, much more, too, including a look at pending bankruptcy reform, and a look at how rent-skimming is affecting investors. Think about the magazines you read for business intelligence in the mortgage and housing sector, and then go back and look at the list above. I know it sounds like an advertisement (and maybe it is), but there really isn't any other magazine out there that covers the ins and outs of the mortgage and housing market to the level that HousingWire Magazine does. Nothing else provides the level of analysis and in-depth coverage -- and thousands of subscribers so far can't be wrong. If you don't already subscribe, I think you're going to want to. And soon. Our January/February issue, getting ready to hit the presses right now, is chock-full of interviews with some of the nation's top economists and bank analysts, weighing in on what 2009 will look like for lenders and servicers, as well as investors. We're also taking a hard-hitting look at foreclosure moratoria, and their effect on the market. And we're including a special report that looks at the challenges involved in managing vacant properties after foreclosure, a growing problem for many cities. Just $149 gets you an entire year of our exclusive coverage, and content you won't find even on our own website -- try finding this level of content for that price at any other publication in the mortgage or investment space. It's stuff you simply can't read anywhere else. At any rate, if you can't tell, I'm passionate about the magazine and seeing it succeed. As I think about next year, I'm so incredibly grateful to the millions upon millions of people that have supported the growth of the first independent source of market analysis for the mortgage market -- whether you read us in print or online, or both.