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Flamethrower; Mortgages Slow; Vaccine Won’t Cure Economy 🤷‍♂️

By December 27, 2020 No Comments

Man flamethrows driveway; Mortgages take longer to close

It has felt like every single day of 2020 brought a surprise. Just like when Cousin Eddie shows up at Clark Griswalds’ house unannounced to stay through the New Year. He finally got the lights to turn on and BAM! Cousin Eddie is here.

And perhaps the most fitting end to 2020 is Kentucky man, Timothy Browning, posting a video of himself standing in his driveway wearing nothing but a white bathrobe, socks, slippers and a hat, recreating Cousin Eddie from the iconic holiday movie “National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.”

While his attire alone would turn heads, it was Browning's unique method of removing snow from his driveway with a flamethrower that won the Internet.

Do you know what takes longer than de-icing the driveway? Closing a mortgage.

In fact, it’s taking longer and longer, it feels like, despite advances that often promised the opposite. The main culprit is volume, but lenders are also requiring more documentation. Lenders should push their customers to be more responsive early and often.

“Your lender may, for example, decide it needs additional verification that you're gainfully employed even if you provided a few months of paystubs along with your application,” states article coverage in The Motley Fool. “The sooner you submit that information, the sooner your loan can be completed.”

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Dave Berry feels the pain of 2020 but the vaccine won’t cure it

Comic writer Dave Berry wrote an opinion piece on the closing of 2020 and didn’t have many nice things to say, as you can imagine. He is only basically saying what we are all thinking: 2020 was the pits. Even though we had it pretty good in mortgage, we can all sympathize with those who suffered.

Writing in this paywalled WaPo piece, Berry said: “In the past, writing these annual reviews, we have said harsh things about previous years. We owe those years an apology. Compared to 2020, all previous years, even the Disco Era, were the golden age of human existence.

This was a year of nonstop awfulness, a year when we kept saying it couldn’t possibly get worse, and it always did. This was a year in which our only moments of genuine, unadulterated happiness were when we were able to buy toilet paper.

Berry tackles the nation’s woes month-by-month in the piece, but we’ll cut to that chase. He closes with what is not a congratulation but a prayer for all of us: “Happy New Year.” We shall see.

Hopes of economic recovery are pinned largely to the availability of the COVID-19 vaccines. Well, it’s here! But some analysts warn that it will take time before the vaccine will also cure the economy.

“This view might well be largely shared by the U.S. Federal Reserve. The Fed Chair, Jerome Powell, emphasized in the December Federal Open Market Committee meeting that the outlook remains highly uncertain,” writes Tom Lydon, editor and publisher of ETF Trends, in Seeking Alpha.

“While welcoming the emergence of vaccines, he downplayed their likely impact in the very short term. He expects that vaccines should enable the economy to perform strongly only in the second half of 2021,” Lydon concludes.

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Remote work won’t kill California real estate

Are tattoos free speech that should override coronavirus restrictions? California artists say yes, in an effort to continue doing business. As California funeral homes began to turn away grieving families, what if someone wants to get “Grandma RIP” inked on their body in Memorium, as is the case in the above link?

Meanwhile, erstwhile in the other Los Angeles, celebrity real estate deals are closing ahead of the New Year. Sylvester Stallone, Blake Griffin and 98 Degrees singer Nick Lachey and his wife, model-actress Vanessa Lachey are all getting into some high-end LA real estate.

Check out this article to read about the cozy spaces they are buying and selling, as California continues to dominate lists of top 10 places to buy.

Will remote work change the real estate landscape of California in 2021? This report says probably not.

“But while more and more California companies will compete for talent by offering work-from-home perks, it’s unlikely a huge chunk of the workforce will be completely untethered from the office,” writes Matt Levin of CAL Matters. “Google just bought more office space in several cities, and many firms believe some employee to employee interaction to be essential. Plus, many office tenants are locked into long-term commercial leases.”

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