The Three Percent Solution

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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8 | Th e M Rep o RT FROM THE SOURCE Share This Top 29 Real Estate Experts to Follow on Twitter in 2015 Here's a real serendipity that resulted from a random Google search. Last month, Jake Durtschi, the 37-year-old founder and president of Jacob Grant Property Management in Idaho Falls, Idaho, published a blog on his company's website that lists, profiles, and links to savvy real estate investors, agents, brokers, mortgage advisors, and strategists toiling on Twitter and blogging online. And you know what? It's a pretty fun list. There are few big names or well-known industry analysts. But if you follow these boots-on-the-ground picks, you'll get some fresh perspectives on the real estate market both regionally and nationally. Watch This Treehouse Masters Animal Planet What sort of down payment would you need for a mortgage on one of the elaborate treehouses that host Pete Nelson, who designs and builds them for a living, features on his Friday night reality show (though reality may be relative in this case)? Some of the creations highlighted on the program—now in its second season—can easily cost well into the six figures. Some reports have put high-end estimates at least $360,000. Try to catch the episode showcasing what Nelson described as "the biggest treehouse on earth," a 15,500-square-foot arboreal abode in Crossville, Tennessee, that qualifies as a 10-story building. Among its more fascinating amenities: a depiction of the Last Supper using life-sized wood carvings. Heaven help you if you miss this installment Read This Hidden in Plain Sight: What Really Caused the World's Worst Financial Crisis and Why It Could Happen Again By Peter J. Wallison This timely, hot-off-the-presses book by the co-director of the American Enterprise Institute's Financial Policy Studies program offers a counter-history of the 2008 financial collapse. Wallison, a former Reagan adviser, posits that the crisis was rooted in the growth of nontraditional mortgages, which eschewed at least one of the three Cs once inherent in more conventional loans: collateral, capacity, and credit history. From the late '90s up until the burst of the housing bubble, these nontraditional loans, says Wallison, gradually dominated the U.S. housing market, encouraged—if not actively promoted—by Washington policymakers. He then connects the dots that ultimately link the dominance of these loans with the collapse of the mortgage securities market, the government's inconsistent bailout strategy, and the adoption of what he views as ill-conceived regulations.

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