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Seaport Real Estate Group Blog

Written by Robert H. Ruth 

 A buyer has 3 options in this situation: re-negotiate the price with seller, fight the appraisal, or walk away from the transaction. That’s about it. Let’s look at each option in a bit more detail. 


If the appraisal done by the bank giving you the mortgage comes in below the selling price, you can try to negotiate the price down to the appraised value. That is easier if the value is only off by a few thousand dollars, but very difficult if the price is off by $10,000 or more. You have to remember that the seller has lived in the property and they have a deep connection with the house. Selling it is not always just a business decision for a seller; often it is an emotional one. And when it is emotional

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Written by Robert H. Ruth 

I’m going to share a scenario that happens frequently on purchase loans, and the impact of the wrong decision can be painful, particularly for first time home buyers.

Frequently a house goes under contract, and in the course of the buyer’s inspections, deficiencies are found with the property. In many instances these deficiencies turn out to be small issues, cosmetic in nature, like replacing some roof shingles that are missing, or replacing a switch plate in the hallway, or fixing the bannister on a stairway. These issues are generally taken care of without much hesitation, and the sale is consummated in a routine fashion.

Sometimes the property has issues that are more serious in nature that should to be addressed

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Written by Robert H. Ruth

“OK, Mr. Peabody…but what happened in 2007, and why is it important that we go back there now?”

“Well Sherman, 2007 was a pivotal year for the United States Housing Economy, a year in which all hell broke loose due to the impact of grossly overvalued Real Estate which had been driven to unsustainable levels by Subprime Mortgage Loans.”

“What are Subprime Mortgage Loans Mr. Peabody?”

“Not so fast Sherman…first let’s talk about how values in Real Estate have changed on a historical basis.

You see, historically, US home values have increased by an average of 2 ½-3 % yearly, but during the period from 2003-2006 values went up by 20-30% per year.”

“That sounds like a lot of appreciation, Mr. Peabody.”


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Written by Robert H. Ruth

Over the past 2 weeks I have reported on the current state of the housing market in the United States, and compared today’s market in 2017 to the market in 2007. My comparison showed some striking similarities between the 2 time periods, and in the media there is concern about the possibility that another housing bubble might be in the works. Whether the market is overheated and may experience a correction is not my concern right now.  My objective in this space is to report on what is happening in the market, and what is driving the current housing economy.


In order to do that I thought it might be a good exercise to develop a picture of the market based upon 5 pillars that are holding up the current marketplace.

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Written by Robert H. Ruth

Last week I reported on 4 of the 5 components that I believe are key drivers of  the Housing Economy in the United States, and I compared these components from 2007-2010. My analysis determined that there have been some interesting developments in these components over 10 years.  Specifically,

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average has increased dramatically, which has restored the wealth effect for our economy, a phenomenon that makes more Americans believe they are financially more secure and willing to invest, either in the stock market, or in Real Estate.
  • The Employment Rate in the US has improved to pre-financial crisis levels, and our country is once again near what is statistically known as full employment.
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Written by Robert H. Ruth

The last 10 years has seen a profound swing in our economy and the Housing Market.  Recently, ( last week of June, 2017) I looked at 5 components of the Housing Market and the US Economy to see what changes have occurred in the last 10 years.  Specifically, I looked at

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average,
  • the U.S.  Unemployment Rate,
  • the Median Sales Price of Single Family Homes in the US,
  • the Average Rate on a 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage,
  • the Income needed to qualify for  a home at the Median Sales Price

Here are the changes in each category, and my comments on each.  I think you’ll agree that the numbers are very interesting.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

-DJIA on 6/21/2007: 13,545
-DJIA on

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Written by Robert H. Ruth


Second home season is officially here!  While buying a primary residence is a substantial commitment financially, with long ranging impacts, purchasing a second / vacation home is an even larger commitment, so careful deliberate planning is paramount if you are in the market to purchase a second home this year.   Here are five important issues to consider when contemplating a second home purchase:


How familiar are you with the area?

  • Buying a home as an annual vacation destination or to use on weekends or Holidays is a very serious commitment. You better make sure you like the area you are purchasing in because you’ll be spending a huge amount of your free time there. Many buyers I work with have

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Written by Robert H. Ruth

What is the State of the Market?

The market is experiencing increasing sales volume fueled by a shortage of inventory. 

  • Current inventory is less than 4 months, 2 months in some metro areas
  • Home price appreciation is up over 6% YTD, and could increase by 10% this year
  • Demand is at the strongest levels since 2012

Factors Influencing Growth

Interest rates are not dramatically increasing as had been expected, but rather, have moderated as has the 10 Yr. Treasury Yield: 


30 Yr. Fixed Rate

10 Yr. Treasury Yield

11/8 election








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Written by Robert H. Ruth

Here we are at the height of the Spring home buying season and the media is abuzz with news about the Real Estate market surging.  In many locations across the country, a shortage of inventory has fueled a seller’s market with the presence of bidding wars for properties and pricing rising rapidly.  

Much of the focus in the media has been on trying to decipher the intentions of the millennial generation and whether they will buy homes or continue to rent. And quite frankly, the idea of figuring out what an entire generation will do is complete nonsense. Millennials will buy when it makes sense for them to do so, not before.  

Regardless of whether they buy now, or in the future, there are 5 things about home

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Written by Robert H. Ruth

This is a BIG Deal for Homebuyers in General, Millennial Buyers in Particular

Last week I provided an overview of the scope of the student loan debt situation in America and nowhere is the situation as impactful as when someone with student debt tries to purchase a home. This issue alone has held the housing market back from a truly significant rebound, and is putting the millennial generation behind their parent’s generation in creating wealth for their futures.  

In a recent announcement, Fannie Mae has publicly stated that they intend to be part of the solution by “implementing new policies to help borrowers qualify for a home loan and reduce student debt.”

Here is a link to the official press release by

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