Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview
Overview of Fayetteville, AR

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fayetteville HS options

I have been somewhat remiss on reporting on some of the issues that I used to write about. One reason is that the two NW Arkansas newspapers merged and now one must pay to read the newspaper on line. I personally think this is a bad idea and even if I would pay to read the newspaper, I don't want readers of my blog to have to pay to get more information than what I am providing in my blog.

Thus some local issues have fallen by the wayside in my blog and the Fayetteville HS is one of them. However, the Fayetteville Flyer is a great source as well and has a good article on what's happening.

It seems that money is limited for the Fayetteville HS renovation so there are 2 options as to what gets done first. Click on the link below for more information.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Does Your Mortgage Guy (or Lady) Know What He’s Doing?

I was reading the NY Times recently and came across an interesting article. It has to do with the professionalism and knowledge of mortgage loan originators. As you might imagine, this affects my business so it piqued my attention. The ability of a loan originator to get transactions closed cuts down on headaches and frustration for buyers--and their realtors.

It seems that something called the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (SAFE Act) was passed by Congress in July 2008 and required states to pass legislation requiring the licensure of mortgage loan originators. The SAFE Act mandated that state agencies participate in the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS) and that mortgage brokers meet national standards in order to obtain a license.

Testing began in summer 2009. Now that results are starting to trickle in it appears a substantial of mortgage brokers have a lot more work to do to meet standards. Some 10,000 people have taken the tests and more than 30% failed the federal portion. The number of failures on the applicable state portions was slightly less – 27%. All in all, that’s a pretty sad state of affairs.

I would like to think Arkansas’ brokers are a cut above those dismal test results. At least our area did not suffer the horrendous housing collapse that occurred in many states where many unqualified borrowers were given loans they had little ability to repay.

Nineteen states have offered the tests to date, including Arkansas where tests began November 1, 2009. So far I haven’t been able to find results specific to Arkansas.

When a buyer asks me for recommendations about the best place to obtain a mortgage, I usually refer them to few trusted people at local companies who have done a good job in the past for my clients. I don’t necessarily trust some of the on-line lenders that advertise frequently on TV. Sometimes you get a good loan originator, sometimes not.

The other thing to look for is whether you are dealing with a mortgage broker or a bank. A bank will process the loan according to its guidelines. Sometimes they keep the loan and sometimes they will sell it to another lending institution. A mortgage broker has a lot of “investors” (usually banks) to whom they will sell the loan. Some have better relationships with their investors than others and are better able to exert pressure to get problems solved and the transaction closed. Banks who regularly sell their loans also need to have such relationships, but even the experience (or lack thereof) of loan originators within their own institutions can sometimes make or break a transaction.

A proven track record speaks volumes. A good, experienced, and knowledgeable loan originator is important, and the same is true for the realtor you select.

For more information:





Friday, January 08, 2010

Bitter Cold Strikes NW Arkansas

I’m writing this Friday at lunchtime. The outside temperature is 7 degrees F. The wind chill is approaching 15 degrees below zero. There are light snowflakes hitting the ground and it is all highly unusual for NW Arkansas.

Our region had snow Sunday followed by cold, which created hazardous driving conditions. Then it got colder. In fact, it’s been brutally cold since late Wednesday night and the forecast calls for more of the same. On Sunday, if all goes as expected, the daytime temperature should warm up to 34 degrees F. and then get a little warmer each day next week.

I realize NW Arkansas is not alone in the cold. Much of the northern and eastern parts of the country are at least as cold and some are even colder. Right now northern Minnesota where I grew up is slightly warmer than Fayetteville, Arkansas. (The kind of cold that northern Minnesota experiences every winter is a major reason why I no longer live there.)

It has been more than 20 years since NW Arkansas had a deep freeze like this one (and I hope it will be another 20 years before it happens again.)

Unusual cold is more dangerous in places where homes and buildings were not designed to handle it. Buildings in places like Minneapolis, Detroit, New York state, and northern New England have more insulation and larger furnaces for heat. Northern states also have more equipment to remove snow and sand roads. Residents in those climates normally have more warm clothes.

This time of year NW Arkansas would expect temps in the 30s and 40s. A cold night might be 20 degrees.

The result of the Arctic air is many faceted. It’s been too dangerous for school buses to navigate icy rural roads, thus schools are closed. In fact, many schools have not reopened since the holiday break. People are cold, pipes are freezing, and cars won’t start. Some older homes don’t even have central heating. It takes a lot of wood to try to heat a home that isn’t properly insulated.

There is good news, however. Several agencies in NW Arkansas have opened warming centers where people can go to avoid frostbite and worse. Many are offering hot food and some have cots for sleeping. At least one agency I heard of is allowing people to bring their pets – because many folks simply will not leave their pet behind to freeze.

So stay inside if at all possible – this too shall pass. I can't wait...