Byron Lazine and Nicole White discuss mortgage fraud, rising home prices in the Sunshine State, and news from Left, Right and Center. Find out what they have to say about these hot topics, and watch this week’s The Real Word.

Byron Lazine and Nicole White are two agents in Connecticut who give us their thoughts on the week’s news every Friday in “The Real Word,” a weekly video column on Inman.

Byron Lazine and Nicole White began this week’s episode by discussing a recent study by CoreLogic that examined the increased fraud risk faced by mortgage lenders. They then looked at the impact remote work is having on the Florida housing market. Finally, they covered the political spectrum in their regular feature Left, Middle, Right.

Racket No. 1: Mortgage lenders face heightened risk of fraud

According to a CoreLogic study, mortgage lenders face increased risk of fraud from schemes that artificially inflate a homebuyer’s income and assets or misrepresent the value of a property that’s being sold.

Some of the tactics range from low-tech doctored pay stubs and W2s to falsification of bank statements that show a pattern of false deposits over several months. In one case, a federal grand jury indicted two real estate agents and a loan officer who were allegedly involved in one such scheme.

Lazine and White said that it is hard to believe that real estate agents are getting involved and risking their licenses, not to mention criminal charges. According to the heat map, areas in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California as well as Miami and New Orleans were among the top ten markets where fraud was most prevalent.

Racket No. 2: Remote work is killing Florida as a retirement paradise

Florida may be becoming less desirable as a retirement destination due to higher home prices. The spike in prices is reportedly being driven by remote workers who, able to work from anywhere, are being drawn there by relatively low costs, no state income tax and year-round mild weather.

According to Lazine, there are a lot of factors driving price increases in Florida, but for those moving from the Northeast, it’s still going to feel affordable. While South Florida prices are becoming more expensive, Florida is a big state. White said that this is a great opportunity for some of those smaller markets to figure out how to attract new investments and new incoming buyers.

Left, middle, right

Biden touts Logan upgrade

As part of his infrastructure program, President Biden recently announced huge, much-needed improvements to Boston’s Logan Airport. For anyone selling real estate in Boston, or anywhere else with a major airport, go and review the airport in your area. Review the food, the bar scene, the parking and the car rental. It’s a great way to get on the radar of people looking up information about your area.

How broke and biased venture capital is

Adam Neumann failed at WeWork, yet he is getting a huge VC investment just three years later for Flow, his real estate-related startup. According to Lazine, we’ve seen so many people come into the real estate world from outside and not make it because it’s so difficult.

This is another reason that working with an experienced local property manager is to your benefit. According to White, women always have to work harder for whatever they get.

Burger King has a plan (that’s doomed to fail)

Burger King is putting $400 million into technology and running ads to try to make up lost ground and renew their brand. Lazine and White said that if you’re going to invest in old-school advertising instead of content, you’re not going to succeed in today’s market.

Want to be part of the conversation? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below, or shoot us an email.

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