Archive for the 'Just “My” Opinion' Category

Learn How to Talk Like a Chicagoan…

In Chicago we teach our young how to say ” Chicago”                                       







Follow the link and you too can learn how to talk like a Chicagoan




Written by Jack Lewitz | Discussion: No Comments »

A New Way to Pay Forward in 2016

I would like to share something about myself. I have been a supporting small businesses by giving money to Kiva Loans.  For those of you who do not know Kiva, they are a micro lenders that change lives. They lend small business loans . Businesses pay back the loans through sales of products they sell. Once the loan is paid off they can borrow more money and you can lend the money to others. This year I wanted to support local business seeking Kiva loans and found three companies to support.   GoldStar Greeting Cards: Provide unique affordable greeting cards and other paper products.   Mindful Indulgences: Is a confectioner that makes healthy veegan chocolate trufffles.   The C.A.N Art Studio: Is a community based art studio where you can take classes, rent studio space, or have parties.

Written by Jack Lewitz | Discussion: No Comments »

Is it Time to Talk to Mom and Dad?


aging parents









I know many people are confronted with a decision on what to do with their aging parents. Its not an easy decision to talk to a parent about their own safty and care as they age. I know from personal experience that my mom whose age I will not disclose should not be driving a car but she insists on still driving herself and being independent.

But what happens to most parents and children is their will be a day when a discussion about Taking Care of them and making sure they are compfortable with this decision.

Part of the discussion will be what to do about their current living condition. Do they stay at home? Do they get live in help? Do they move in with their children? Do they need assisted living or nursing care?

Are the forgetful or have you noticed any early onset of dementia, altzheimers? How about physical decline and safety issues like does the house they are living in have to many steps.

Moving a parent may be the best thing but it takes planning.

If you have aging parent and want to discuss what to do with their home.



Written by Jack Lewitz | Discussion: No Comments »

Another Bonehead Ideas from Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae has a new bonehead idea of how to help 74 million US home owners who are upside down with their Mortgage.

According to Realty Track the majority of these homeowners are still making payments on their loan and now would qualify to purchase a new home while renting the home that is still upside down.

So think about it folks. You have someone who has never missed a house payment but is struggling to keep the home. Is it wise to rent this home to someone else and buy a new home.

It seems to me you are compounding the problem, Sure you can rent the house and use the income to help qualify you for new house but what happens when your tenant stops paying you rent.

What happens when you need to make repairs on both houses at the same time.

What happens when you owe Real Estate Taxes or Insurance and you have a deficient amount escrowed to cover these expenses.

What happens when you run out of reserves





Written by Jack Lewitz | Discussion: No Comments »

Thinking Outside the Box

Some people  in Real Estate work for Big Box Companies while others like to work in Little Boutique offices. In doesn’t matter which kind of office you work in but it does matter how you think.

Sometimes office policies are restrictive and want people to conform and in the end this restricts people from being creative.

Real Estate as a profession needs more creative thinkers who think outside the box.

Written by Jack Lewitz | Discussion: No Comments »

What Is Your Opinion About the News Of Zillow Buying Trulia

I am reposting this question which I asked Realtors across the Country in Active Rain.  While this is a small group who responded so far it is interesting to know that Realtors feel we are of value when it comes to representing both Buyers and Sellers in a real estate transaction primarily because Real Estate is still a relationship business and local business. You need a realtor to hold your hand and navigate the process of buying and selling. You need a realtor who you can TRUST and one who has the knowledge and expertise to help you.

With all of the analytics disposable to the public it does not replace a Relationship that you develop with a Realtor.



Answers 15 New Answer Subscribe to Answers

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David Baker Realtor – Laveen Homes for sale
HomeSmart – Laveen, AZ
Your local Expert

Cindy Davis I think that human touch is what will keep up going.  Real estate is a local and relation based transaction.  While the big powers that be will have a big control over the industry on-line, it is realtors and relations that are still needed.

Feb 18, 2015 01:29 PM

Kathleen Luiten
Princeville, HI

I don’t see it impacting the future of real estate at all, but possible the culture of Ar and maybe real estate brokerages. I think agents will remain vital but maybe the advantage of large national/international brokerages will be diminished over time.

Feb 18, 2015 01:19 PM

Ron & Alexandra Seigel – Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Marketing


I wish I had a crystal ball for this one.  Perhaps they joined forces so that they could outwit what I think is a formidable opponent,, with the power of Rupert Murdoch publishing empire behind it.  A

Feb 18, 2015 10:23 AM

Inna Ivchenko
Mannis Real Estate Group – Calabasas, CA
Los Angeles / Valley Homes

As far as I know, we are not in control on this one. They will keep on pushing their profits probably even harder.


Feb 19, 2015 01:06 AM

Praful Thakkar
Keller Williams Realty – Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Jack Lewitz people were afraid when Internet came – and then Web 2.0, even when Zillow started giving Zestimates, we thought we were going to lose our jobs!

In fact, it strengthened the relationship between the agent and the client!

Feb 18, 2015 08:57 PM

Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company – Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

Purchasing a home is a big deal for most people and a decision that I think many buyers will want a hands on real estate professional for. Although with the changes I’ve seen in the last few years…who knows what might happen.

Like other people here have commented, I’m hoping it doesn’t affect AR.

Feb 18, 2015 08:47 PM

Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC – Elkhart, IN
Real Estate Broker

I just hope tha Active Rain doesn’t become a thing of the past because of all their changes.

Feb 18, 2015 07:27 PM

Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate – Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I am taking a wait and see attitude.  There have been many many changes since I joined in 2008 and we have weathered the storm.  No need to speculate and drive yourself into an ulcer.

Feb 18, 2015 06:43 PM

Marla Yost
Marla Yost Team- Keller Williams Realty – Arlington, TX
The Marla Yost Team

We will continue to sell real estate and corporations will keep buying each other out.


Feb 18, 2015 04:00 PM

Debbie Reynolds
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty, Your Clarksville Real Estate Professional, 931-920-6730 – Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I don’t think Zillow acquiring Trulia has affected the future of real estate from the course it was already on. We all know that technology is rampantly changing the course that buyers and sellers will follow. Real estate is still local and carving a niche into the local market will assure you have business for a long time to come. It is a relationship business.

Feb 18, 2015 03:46 PM

Dennis Swartz
Rickert Property Management – Columbus, OH
ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI…experience counts!

There is a lot of money in this, someone new will step up soon and fill the void.

Feb 18, 2015 02:28 PM

William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I think it will impact our site more than anything.    They are already laying off many workers from TRulia.  I could see the same here.  For them it is all about money first and everything else 2nd.    As long as they are way out of line on their information…the public will get the idea.

Feb 18, 2015 01:07 PM

Gabe Sanders
the BlueWater Realty team specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales – Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I don’t think it will change the nature of real Estate at all.  Just minor adjustments in the on-line landscape.

Feb 18, 2015 12:33 PM

Cindy Davis
SD Home Source Realty – San Diego, CA

If I think about it I feel discouraged. Instead I focus on the human aspects of what I do, those qualities that make me unique, and reach out to touch people one on one. This is where a wealthy corporation can never replace me!

Feb 18, 2015 10:32 AM

Annette Lawrence
ReMax Realtec Group – Palm Harbor, FL

We will see demonstrated, for all to see, which franchise, which brokerage, which real estate agent possesses real courage.

Those lacking courage will be assimilated.

The remaining few will carefully select the master they will serve.

Feb 18, 2015 10:26 AM

Written by Jack Lewitz | Discussion: No Comments »

Illinois Association of Realtors Predictions for 2015





The Illinois Association of Realtors is predicting modest growth in home sales and home prices in 2015. They are predicting a better economic outlook for 2015 with more jobs.

While it is true the real estate market is the last to recover during a bad economy. The fact that the economy is finally recovering does not mean the housing market will recover quickly

Keeping an eye on the number of jobs created this year and what happens downstate with a new Governor is critical to the housing market


housing market

Written by Jack Lewitz | Discussion: No Comments »

Fannie and BOA: Playing the Game of Hearts….

hearts game




I just finished reading an article about the recent agreement between Fannie Mae and BOA. BOA has agreed to pay FAnnie MAe $3 Billion in Compenatory Fee obligations, will repurchas 30,000 loans from Fannie and sell their servicing rights of 2 Million Mortgages.

As I read this article it reminded me of a Game of Hearts. In a game of hearts you pass 3 cards to the person next to you. Usually these are the worst cards in your hand because the objective of the game is to end up with “no hearts” or all of the “hearts” which is called “Shooting the Moon”. Shooting the Moon includes getting all hearts plus the Queen of Spades which is called ” the Bich” in the game.

Now back to Fannie and BOA. Fannie has just passed BOA its worst cards the “ACE” and “King” of Hearts and the “Queen” of Spades (Bitch) cards to BOA. Now it is up to BOA to decide how to play the game. Do they try to win by not getting any Hearts or do they get them all by “Shooting the Moon”.

Written by Jack Lewitz | Discussion: No Comments »

Most Feared Name in Real Estate today Is “Strategic Default”



Decisions  or plans designed  to impact  favorably the key factors on  which the desired outcome of an organization, game, system, venture, or war, depends. See also tactical.


Why do people in the Real Estate Industry today hate the word “Strategic”?  We all make decisions and sometimes we make bad decisions and have to re plan and make new decisons. Our decisons have impact on others. Sometime these decisions have negative impact on others and this is what is feared the most.

I have come to realize working in the distressed Real Estate Market that Organizations all strategize. Its a game and it all depends on which strategy you use depends on whether you win the game or loose.

To say some are allowed to strategize and others are not allowed is not fair. It gives an unfair advantage to some and is almost like cheating in a game.

I have had many discussions with Banks about the word “Strategic Defaults” and everytime I use this word I get a negative response. Why do they not like this word, well for one reason, they see a Strategic Default favors the seller and not the Bank.  I am not sure this is always the case but lets say “Strategic Defaults” do favor the Seller. Are there not Strategic Foreclosures being made that favor the Banks over the Seller? The answer is Yes. So if both Seller and Lender are both doing it then I say lets get this word out in the open and discuss “Strategies” together that benefit both Seller and Bank.

All of the Major Banks today favor Short Sales over Foreclosure. Why because this Strategy in the end is better for them. In most instances the Lender will net more money in a Short Sale than if it goes to Foreclosure. Yet inorder to do a Short Sale the Seller must show a Hardship. A “Strategic Default” is not viewed as a “Hardship”. Thus the dilemma.

I ask: Why is  Donald Trump allowed to do a “Strategic Default” and others are not?  I think the answer is because Donald Trump has money and it is better for the bank to default on one of his projects than loose the his business. In other words “Strategic Defaults” with Donald Trump actually is a “Strategy” that benefits both Donald Trump and The Banks who lend him money.

I say this concept of “Strategic Default” needs to be re-examined and allowed to happen because it really can benefit all parties in the transaction.



Written by Jack Lewitz | Discussion: No Comments »

Short Sale Gone Wrong…You Can’t Win them All… But

I am writing about a short sale that went wrong. Now I know you can’t win them all…but this should never have ended up they way it dit. I appologize up front to all reading this blog post but I have to vent my frustration somewhere so why not a better place than this forum here.

We all know how difficult short sales are but this was difficult from the beginning. I had a HOA who was un- cooperative and refused to talk to me and said I should talk to the association attorney. I had a first and 2nd lien who were not very flexible and required my seller to sign promisorry notes in order to get the short sale approved. I had a seller who in the very end of our negotiating the approval decide to talk to a family attorney who told them that it would be better to let their home go to foreclosure.. so guess what .. the short sale did not happen and the sheriff sale has happened and everyone looses..

I want all to know that a Foreclosure is not Better than a Short Sale. With a foreclosure everyone looses. My seller will now have a foreclosure on their record and a potential Bankruptcy if the bank pursues their judgement against them. The First Lien while it has the property back after the sherriff sale still has to wait to put the property back on the market and sell it at a potentially lower price. The 2nd Lien gets nothing and has to spend legal costs to get a judgement against the seller… and agin the seller will more than likely file for Bankruptcy inorder to avoid paying them anything. The HOA looses several ways.. For one thing they do not have an owner occupant living in the unit. The amount of money owed will have to wait until the unit is re-sold as an REO.

There is not much I can do now but… help someone else who can be helped…


Written by Jack Lewitz | Discussion: No Comments »

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