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Counselor Realty is on the MOVE! by Steve Westmark

by Steve Westmark


Hi.  This is Steve Westmark, Counselor Realty.  Thanks so much for watching my video blog this week.  I thought I’d announce the moving of our office that’s going to happen around February 1, 2013.  We’ve been at our offices over on Highway 101 since 1986, and on February 1, 2013, we’re moving to 17601 Highway 7.  If you’re wondering where that is, it’s right at the corner of Highway 7 and County Road 101. 

We’re going from a 25,000 traffic count to 125,000 traffic count.  We’re really excited as an office and partners to be going and getting in this new office, having everything redone for us, bringing new technology—all kinds of wonderful things to it.  we look forward to you coming to our open house that we plan on having in March sometime. 

Plus, we’re going to have a shred it day and all kinds of stuff for you to come and enjoy.  But just thought I’d let you know.  We’re really excited, and it’ll be kind of our new year present to our whole partners of Counselor Realty.  Well, make it a great day and Happy New Year.  Thanks!  Bye.


Real Estate Predictions for 2013, by Steve Westmark

by Steve Westmark

STEVE:  Hi, this is Steve Westmark, Counselor Realty.  Thanks so much for watching my video blog this week.  I just got back from the National Association of Realtors Conference that was in Orlando, FL.  Got to hear the national economist for the Realtor Association, Dr. Yun.  And he gave an hour and a half talk on some of the things that are going on and the economics of the country and what’s going to be going on in 2013.

And so I’m just going to share with you a few ideas of what you can see going on in 2013.  The first thing that Dr. Yun pointed out is we’re at an all-time low for interest rates in our marketplace, and he predicts that in fact in the next six months that the rates are going to continue to be low.  But at some point in the 2013 year we’re going to begin to increase.  But he doesn’t seen interest rates going up significantly until about 2015.  So that is really good for the homebuyers that are out there who can purchase with lower interest rates.

The second thing that he pointed out is in fact to get back to a stronger economy, our economy needs to build about 250,000 net jobs over the next eight years to get back to where we’re at.  So we need to in fact have a Congress and a president that will roll their sleeves up and go out and figure out how are we going to get our people back to work in the United States.  So it’s really important for the strength of the economics of the country for us to be creating a quarter of a million jobs each year.

The third trend that he saw going in the marketplace is that the lender-mediated sales over the country have been decreasing.  Now a lender-mediated sale is either a foreclosure where it’s bank owned or where I’ve talked in the past about short sales where people are upside down in their properties.  Well, if you go back to 2011, this past year, 33% of our sales in the United States were a lender-mediated sale.

In 2012, he’s predicting with most of the data that’s in that we’ll be around 25%.  And he predicts in 2013 we’re going to be dropping to 20%.  Now going back to national norms going back to the early 2000s, those numbers were around 2 to 3%.  So we still have a long way to go, but that is a very, very positive thing in our economic indicators.  And the last thing that he talked about in the area of forecasting was dealing with the fiscal cliff that has been talked about in the national press.

What he tells us as consumers to do is we need to spend wisely.  We have to know what do I have to have before you decide what you’re going to go buy.  You need to as a person have a strategic plan as you move into things.  So strategically deciding what are the right things because we’re still in a very, very difficult thing.  And then third, he talked about your partnerships, the partnerships that you have with relationships into your banks, with different people that you work with in your own tax planning, whether it be your tax advisors, both in attorneys and CPAs. 

That as you move on into the future and the changes that are more than likely going to be happening in the next Congress, that this is very important to your economic stability in 2013 and beyond.  Well, thanks so much for watching.  Make it a great day.  Bye.

2013 Election Legislative Political Review, by Steve Westmark

by Steve Westmark




Hi, this is Steve Westmark, Counselor Realty.  Thanks so much for watching my video blog this week.  I got back recently from the national convention of the National Association of Realtors and I got to hear two columnists from the National Journal.  One’s name was Charlie Cook and the other one was Major Garrett.  Very interesting gentlemen, and they talked on the 2012 Election, which obviously is an amazing thing that all of us caught.


But I found them to be nonpolitical in just giving of information.  So I thought I’d just hit a few highlights as we look into the 2013 year and what is going to happen.  The first thing that they mention is that some people thought that Obama was a fluke.  Some people thought that the Tea Party was a fluke.  This election proved that neither are flukes and the big question for 2013 with the Congress and Obama is will they learn to act together.


They felt that that is a big thing, that the answers that have come back to our country from that election as you can see were a different country with some very interesting ideas that are going on.  The next thing that they pointed out was the makeup of our vote.  And of course, there’s all kinds of things that I know you’re watching on political shows, and this video does not hit anywhere near the amount of data, but there were a few things that I thought were really interesting.


That was the makeup of the vote and where it came from.  And they talked about that people over 45, and I happen to be over 45, that are white went 60% for Romney and 40% for Obama.  The other side that they talked about is the under 45 vote went the reverse, that in fact it was 60% for Obama and 40% for Romney.  What they also pointed out in that is the over 45 has a tendency to be much more white, like 90%, where now we have such a multiracial, multicultural nation that the 45 and under is closer to 30% minority or multi-cultural people that are going on.


They also pointed out that 38% of the people in the United States call themselves democrat; 32% call themselves republican.  So that means that 70% are in one camp and 30% are out there just looking and listening to the ideas.  I found that to be really, really interesting in the election.  The last thing that they said from the election that was interesting was that Romney underperformed McCain, but also Obama underperformed what he did the past year.  So our voting public did not vote as much as they did in the prior election.


Now we’re going to have all kinds of political pundits looking into the future, but I think our biggest thing that we need to encourage to our politicians and wherever you stand is please roll up your sleeves, listen to the problems that we have, try to come up with some solutions, learn how to compromise, and let’s make it a better United States in 2013 and beyond.  Thanks for listening.  Make it a great day.  Bye.


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The Steve Westmark Team
RE/MAX Advantage Plus
14451 Highway 7 Suite 100
Minnetonka MN 55345
Fax: 952-241-1600