In Episode 111 of the Wandering But Not Lost Podcast, co-hosts Matt Emerson and Jan O’Brien bring you the latest info since we have moved into ‘shelter in place’ mode.  Business is still happening and we’ll give you the most up-to-date policies and precautions so that you can stay calm and carry on amid the COVID-19 outbreak.  In the Zen, we continue the discussion on how you can stay in and get out.






Stay Informed & Be the Trusted Advisor


Real Estate and Housing Market

MORTGAGE PAYMENTS: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced they will allow forbearance plans for some who have experienced hardship in making their mortgage payment as a result of the virus challenges.  For example: unemployment, reduction in regular work hours, or illness of a borrower/co-borrower or dependent family member.  They may defer up to 12 months with no negative credit reporting.  Go through your current mortgage company for details.


FHA is enacting an immediate foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single-family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgagees for the next 60 days

Question: I hear US Treasury Bonds are at Record low yields, shouldn’t my mortgage rate be lower?

Answer: Mortgage rates are determined by the price of Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS). MBSs have their own market where prices are determined by supply and demand. Over the past week, the supply of MBSs have overwhelmed demand, causing the value of MBS’s to drop. When the value of MBS drops, mortgage interest rates move higher.


Question: Is the Government doing anything to bring rates back down?

Answer: The Federal Reserve Bank has pledged to buy US Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) to stabilize the MBS market. While rates may fall back to early March lows, it is unclear whether supply will overwhelm demand again as it did last week.


From Keeping Current Matters – Five Simple Graphs Proving This is Not Like the Last Time

1.  Mortgage standards are nothing like they were back then.
During the housing bubble, it was difficult NOT to get a mortgage. Today, it is tough to qualify.  

2.  Prices are not soaring out of control.

3.  We don’t have a surplus of homes on the market. We have a shortage

4.  Houses became too expensive to buy.
The affordability formula has three components: the price of the home, the wages earned by the purchaser, and the mortgage rate available at the time. Fourteen years ago, prices were high, wages were low, and mortgage rates were over 6%. Today, prices are still high. Wages, however, have increased and the mortgage rate is about 3.5%. That means the average family pays less of their monthly income toward their mortgage payment than they did back then. 

5.  People are equity rich, not tapped out.
In the run-up to the housing bubble, homeowners were using their homes as a personal ATM machine. Many immediately withdrew their equity once it built up, and they learned their lesson in the process. Prices have risen nicely over the last few years, leading to over fifty percent of homes in the country having greater than 50% equity. But owners have not been tapping into it like the last time. 


A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis


CONNECTING with Your Clients and Prospects

Keep them updated on the market. 

Be of service.  Be empathetic.

Calls, texts, video texts or emails

Sendout Cards

Keeping Current Matters has Free Resources (including special and a personalized option to share their market trends & insights for website/blog content and on social media.


VIRTUAL MEETINGS NOW!  – Free (40 min limit for a group meeting of 3 or more) – $15/mth for 100

  • Buyer Consultations
  • Virtual Showings
  • Virtual Listing Presentation
  • Virtual Happy Hour – Social
  • Market Updates – Town Halls 


Do the Right Thing – Be a Leader

  • Be a good Neighbor – Offer to help someone in need
  • Do you have elderly friends/neighbors – offer to do the grocery/supply run for them
  • What local charities or organizations can you support?
  • What other ways can you be of service to others in need?





Read this article:

As news of coronavirus abounds, real estate agents can act as beacons of hope



Take a break for obsessively watching the news and checking twitter and social media!

It may be a while before we can get out and do some wandering, so today we pulled together a collection of videos from the National Park Service that will allow you to do a little exploring from the comfort of your own home.  If you are an NPS fan, it’s a good time to learn more about your favorite park or discover a new park and start planning for a future trip.  It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole on the NPS website.  We’ve also added links to a few of our past blog posts that will whisk you away to some other adventures.  Take some time and Find Your Park!




The Smell of Cedars Steeped in Rain is a wordless love letter to Olympic National Park created by student filmmaker Eliza Goode. The film was shot over a period of a couple of months during the fall of 2014 and January 2015. Goode made the film for her final thesis project for her MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking at Montana State University. Original music for the film was scored and performed by Washington-based band Kuinka (formerly Rabbit Wilde).

Grand Canyon In Depth is a video podcast series that explores the natural and human history of Grand Canyon National Park. Join park rangers, scientists, and historians as they take us beyond the rim of the canyon to discover the diversity of life and the extraordinary beauty of Grand Canyon National Park.

Produced by the National Park Service in association with Bristlecone Media and Grand Canyon Association, the official nonprofit partner of Grand Canyon National Park.

You can find additional Episodes – HERE

What have we discovered about Yellowstone’s wildlife, geysers, and other natural features? How can we learn from the park’s history to help us protect its future? In this video series, explore Yellowstone’s most popular questions and important issues with park rangers, scientists, historians, and park visitors. Discover more about the world’s first national park: experience Yellowstone In-Depth.

You can find additional Episodes – HERE

In 2018, a new eruption of Kīlauea volcano changed the island of Hawai‘i forever. From May through August, large lava flows covered land southeast of the park destroying over 700 homes and devastating residential areas in the Puna District. At the same time, the summit area of the park was dramatically changed by tens of thousands of earthquakes, towering ash plumes, and a massive collapse of Kīlauea caldera.

I found a website that has a link to every webcam from the NPS – Click HERE to go live!

Stay In & Get Out - Part 1

From Episode 57 of the podcast – it might not be the best time to head on out for a road trip.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t still do some great wandering, especially in the National Parks.  The list of movies set in or filmed at the National Parks is a long one, but we pulled out 15 that we think you will enjoy. So, pop the popcorn, grab a beverage, and get ready to live vicariously as you binge-watch a few wandering adventures…

Stay In & Get Out - Part 2

From Episode 58 of the podcast – if you’re housebound, we’ve put together our list of the 10 best road trip movies so that you can get out while staying in! 

Open a Book and Wander Within

From Episode 59 of the podcast – if you are looking for an adventure but aren’t able to get up and out you really don’t need to look much further than the pages of a good book.  There are so many great reads out there, both fiction and non-fiction that can whisk you away and take you to the ends of the earth from where ever you are.  Here are a few of our favorites…

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