Too many stories in the news to cover all, at length.

But, before I get to that, I want to say that I think it will be a great year for real estate.  For sellers, for buyers, for agents …

Mortgage loan rates are going up, so that’s bad.  Maybe people’s incomes will go up, too.  Or, home prices will come down.

No matter what, I believe that 2006 will be another strong year, as strong as the past couple of years.

Stories in the news:

Watch Your Step, Novice Home Buyers… – by June Fletcher, The Wall Street Journal

Cheap money is the enabler of what has become an addiction to borrowing. Even though interest rates are at near-historic lows, home prices have risen so fast, they’re still not affordable for many people. So, creative financing deals from past decades are reappearing: siren-song loans that offer zero interest, interest only, no down payment, no closing costs and many other variations.

My take: Cheap mortgages save you money.  Until you declare bankruptcy, destroying your credit, that is.

Owners’ Web Site Gives Realtors Run For Money – by Jeff Bailey, The New York Times

Across the country, the National Association of Realtors and the 6 percent commission that most of its members charge to sell a house are under assault by government officials, consumer advocates, lawyers and ambitious entrepreneurs. But the most effective challenge so far emanates from a spare bedroom in the modest home here of Christie Miller.


Ms. Miller, 38, a former social worker who favors fuzzy slippers, and her cousin, Mary Clare Murphy, 51, operate what real estate professionals believe to be the largest for-sale-by-owner Web site in the country …

… Their site, FsboMadison.com (pronounced FIZZ-boh) holds a nearly 20 percent share of the Dane County market for residential real estate listings.

My take:  All the real estate world was abuzz with this story.  Sellers’ agents were freaking out.  Is this the wave of the future?  Probably not.  How many sellers have the time or energy to handle a sale?

NY Law School gets big break for new building – by Mary Sissons, Crain’s Business Daily

The city (of New York) has approved nearly $150 million in aid to help New York Law School expand its campus in Lower Manhattan.


The law school will build a new 337,000-square-foot facility on Leonard Street between West Broadway and Worth Street, where it is currently located, using a $145 million bond issue approved by the city

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