Notes From Readers: Family Ties Provide a Leg Up

Readers write in about nepotism, housing trends, and proposals to reform the GSEs.

September 18, 2013

Please stop including in 30 Under 30 (“On the Rise,” May/June 2013, page 28) agents and brokers who were basically born into a real estate career. Just take a look at how many of them have parents or grandparents in the business. When you include people who have been handed the keys to the kingdom by family members, you are not giving those who did it all on their own a fair look. There have got to be successful, self-made young agents who didn’t inherit their business. There is simply no comparison between people who start from scratch and those with such a huge leg up from the beginning. —Jenny Durling, e-PRO, SRES, L.A. Property Solutions, Los Angeles

Poll Results for "Would You Stage a Seller’s Fridge?"

(as of August 28, 2013)

  • 49%  Absolutely.  No detail is too small for some buyers.
  • 26%  Only if the fridge is staying with the house.
  • 15%  Maybe, but it’s overkill. Anyone who cares what’s in the fridge is too picky.
  • 10%  Yuck! I’m a real estate professional, not a maid.

Take the poll and join the discussion our Styled, Staged, & Sold blog.

Upsized Homes on Downsized Lots

The recession-fueled interest in smaller homes has given way to a renewed enthusiasm for bigger residences. According to the American Institute of Architects’ Home Design Trends first-quarter survey, home buyers are investing in larger homes on smaller lots. Buyers are also investing more in outdoor amenities, such as decks, patios, porches, and outdoor living spaces. —Posted on July 29 by Melissa Dittmann Tracey, contributing editor

Cowles Mountain Realty-Del Cerro responded: I think this is a trend in bigger, more expensive cities. Downtown San Diego is a great example. The outdoor amenities are plentiful for everyone to use. Larger living spaces and indoor amenities are what people desire and are willing to pay for. Great article.

Jim F. responded: I’ve seen this trend before. I live in an area of 2,300–3,000 sq. ft. homes, mostly on half-acre lots. I think a bigger, yet unseen trend may be multigenerational groups within these larger homes.

Join the discussion our Styled, Staged, & Sold blog.

A Troubled ‘PATH’

The House passed a bill called the PATH Act that would phase out the two secondary mortgage market companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Senate has also introduced legislation that would phase out Fannie and Freddie, but, unlike in the House bill, the federal government would remain as an insurer of last resort. NAR has long called for replacing Fannie and Freddie while ensuring continued mortgage market liquidity through the maintenance of an explicit federal presence in the market. On that basis, the Senate approach is better. In both approaches, questions remain about how households would fare should either become law. —Posted on July 29 by Robert Freedman, Manager, ­Multimedia Communications

Bruce Cathcart responded: Am I the only one who remembers “too big to fail”? If the past is any indication of future government action and intervention, it does not matter what laws are enacted by Congress “to protect America’s taxpayers and home owners.”

Rafael Perez responded: So Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been extremely profitable through the majority of their existence. Last I heard, they are profitable again. As a taxpayer, wouldn’t I want the government to hold on to something actually providing revenue? The GSEs play an important role in the global economy, but you don’t hear much talk about that impact.

Join this discussion at our Speaking of Real Estate blog.

We want your feedback

Send e-mail to or join a conversation at one of our blogs: 

Note: Letters and blog posts are edited for space and clarity. Publication of a letter doesn’t constitute an endorsement of the writer's views by the National Association of REALTORS® or REALTOR® Magazine. Submission of a letter constitutes permission to publish it in any form or medium.