I suppose this is the new definition of a "hot" real estate market.
It feels as if Playboy's Playmate of the Month for May is speaking for the entire country.Real estate driving the grapevine at the grocery store these days is one thing, but when escrow becomes sexy, one can be certain that the country has gone completely stark-raving mad.
Fort Lauderdale native Jamie Westenhiser, 23, told the magazine recently that she is ditching her modeling career to take up real estate investing.
In the magazine's May issue, Westenhiser poses in her lacy lavender baby doll, wearing nothing else except furry boots, leaning on a computer desk next to a stack of books with titles including "All About Escrow" and "Real Estate Principles." In her "playmate data sheet," she writes that her ambition in life is to have a "successful career in real estate."
And it's not just the borrowers. Lenders are equally caught up in the madness.
Banks have noticed the increase in investment buying and some have stepped up efforts to bring in investor borrowers, which takes the risk to a new level.With all this reckless lending going on, passage of the big bank-friendly bankruptcy reform bill a few years ago takes on greater and greater importance.
"Some banks have just recently come up with interest-only loans and new adjustable-rate programs for investors to help them manage the increases in home prices," said Steve Calem, a mortgage broker in Bethesda. "They're giving better interest rates on investment properties than they used to. I can even do 100 percent financing on an investment property now, something that was just not possible not that long ago." . . .
Mortgage broker Calem said if an investor has good credit, banks will do "no-document" loans, where a borrower's ability to repay the loan is judged solely by his credit history rather than on income and assets.