Aug 3 2010

Top Seven Reasons Banks are Denying Home Loan Requests

August 2, 2010

The lending landscape has changed quite drastically over the past several years. Practices, approvals and standards that were once widely accepted have either vanished or transformed beyond the point of recognition. Many banks, which were once extremely careless with their loan underwriting techniques and approvals, have dug themselves into a significant hole that will take many years to climb out of. Promotions such as “100% Financing” and “No Doc Loans” were both major contributors to the financial crisis banks and consumers are facing today.Today, banks are making sure they don’t make the same mistakes again, so loan underwriting standards have become more stringent than ever before.According to a recent Federal Reserve survey, it was found that about 75% of the banks surveyed indicated they had tightened their lending standards for prime, subprime and commercial mortgages. That was up from about 60% in the previous survey. With this sharp increase in lending standards, borrowers are being turned down for real estate loans at an alarming rate.

via Top Seven Reasons Banks are Denying Home Loan Requests | RISMedia.

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Aug 3 2010

5 Smart Reasons to Buy a Home Now

August 2, 2010

The economy is stabilizing and home prices are holding. It’s not just as good a time as ever to buy a house—it’s one of the best times ever.

  1. Low mortgage rates serve as an equity shock absorber. When buyers borrow at today’s record-low rates, they start building equity as soon as they close. That means they have a little give to absorb a few ups and downs as the still-recovering housing market gains traction.
  2. Houses are in move-in condition. Homeowners have continued to spend on maintenance and repair, according to the Harvard Joint Center on Housing. Homeowners who have been holding back, kept their houses in good shape while they waited. As those houses enter the market, they are in marked contrast to tattered foreclosures.
  3. Terrific houses are coming on the market. Foreclosures are finally starting to clear the system—and this is just the opportunity that owners of many desirable properties have been waiting for.
  4. Appraisal regulations are finally aligned with market realities. Fannie Mae has adjusted its appraisal guidelines, giving appraisers more flexibility to set values that reflect the current market. This ensures that today’s deals will make it over the finish line.
  5. Plenty of programs. Homes are more affordable than they have been for years, but communities have stuck by “workforce housing” programs that encourage middle-class families to buy houses. Buyers who qualify can get a big boost by combining one of these programs with today’s low mortgage rates.

via 5 Smart Reasons to Buy a Home Now | RISMedia.

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Jul 24 2010

Texas A&M Condo – Sold

Texas A&M Condo for Sale Sold

2116 Kazmeier
Bryan, Texas 77802

Price: $93,000
New carpet 7/10 as well as fresh paint. A/C was replaced 6/07, Washer, dryer and refrigerator. will convey.
MLS#: 63456
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Square Ft: 1430

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May 28 2010

Preparing for Homeownership

Before you begin your home search at REALTOR.com, prepare yourself by reading Ten Steps to Homeownership.

Even before you begin looking for a home, the homebuying process requires diligent preparation. Buyers who have been preapproved for a home loan often have their offers taken more seriously by sellers. With advance preparation, you can tackle the process of acquiring the financing you need with more confidence. To help you on the path to homeownership, NeighborWorks® offers* step-by-step guides, developed by the Fannie Mae Foundation, that can help you get closer to achieving your dream:

via Preparing for Homeownership.

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May 26 2010

Home Buyer Tax Credit Extension for Some Military Members…

As the existing home buyer tax credit winds down (purchases must be under contract by April 30th and closed by June 30, 2010), many are wondering if there will be another extension.

As of now, the only extension has been granted to certain members of the military, the foreign service and the intelligence community.

For qualified service members who are ordered on a period of official extended duty, the tax credit dates are extended for one year. The purchase contract must be dated by April 30, 2011 and closed by June 30, 2011.

Also, this extension applies to a service member who is forced to return to the U.S. for medical reasons before completing an assignment of at least 90 days of official extended duty outside the U.S.

A “Qualified Service Member” is a member of the Armed Forces of the U.S. military, a member of the U.S. Foreign Service or a member of the intelligence community.

via Home Buyer Tax Credit Extension for Some Military Members, Foreign Service Members and Intelligence Community – The Trump Blog.

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May 26 2010

The National Association of REALTORS Code of Ethics: What Does it Mean for Consumers?

How does the Code of Ethics affect everyday real estate practices?

If a REALTOR® represents you, whether you are buying or selling a home, you can count on that REALTOR® to:

1. Be honest with all parties in the transaction – not just with you, as his or her client, but also with the other real estate practitioner and his or her clients.

For example, if REALTORS® represent a buyer with a spotty credit history, they can’t be dishonest with sellers about this fact. At the same time, REALTORS® can help their buyer clients collect and assemble information, such as credit reports and audited tax returns, to demonstrate that the buyer has addressed the problem and improved their situation.

2. Put your interests ahead of his or her own, at all times.

A REALTOR® makes every effort to understand the housing needs of his or her client, thoroughly researches available inventory, and shares all relevant information with the buyer so that he or she can make an informed decision. This service is provided regardless of the compensation available.

3. Disclose all pertinent facts regarding the property and the transaction to both buyer and seller.

If a REALTOR® believes information provided by a seller is questionable, the REALTOR® is obligated to investigate. REALTORS® should recommend that buyers consult their own experts, such as home inspectors, to address concerns. For example, if a home seller asks his or her REALTOR® to conceal the fact that the roof leaks, the REALTOR® cannot comply; if the seller insists, the REALTOR® should end the business relationship with that seller.

4. Be truthful in all communications with the public.

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May 25 2010

Custom Golf Course Home w/ RV Hangar

204 Golfview Dr. North – MLS ID 60983

Quality-built custom home with beautiful golfcourse vistas. Floors are hickory and/or tile, granite countertops in the kitchen. Includes 30×60 metal RV garage and shop and greenhouse.

Basic Features

City Name: Hilltop Lakes

County Name: Leon

Schools: Normangee ISD

State: TEXAS

Subdivision:

Type: Single Family

Zip: 77871

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May 23 2010

Broker Terminology

Broker Terminology

Logo of the National Association of Realtors.

Image via Wikipedia

As you begin your house hunting, it helps to keep straight the various terms for real estate licensees.

Agent is a general term for anyone empowered to act for another. Many agents you meet have been hired by the seller and have special fiduciary duties to the seller (more on that important point later.)

Broker is a legal term for someone licensed by the state to negotiate real estate transactions and to charge for services.

Salesperson is the term for the holder of an entry-level license; a salesperson is allowed to assist a broker who is legally responsible for a salesperson’s activities. In some areas the word agent may be used for a salesperson, as opposed to a broker. A salesperson may not operate without supervision and may collect fees only from the sponsoring broker as a share of commissions earned by the salesperson’s efforts. In a new home purchase, the salesperson or builder sales consultant is generally employed by the builder to sell new home neighborhoods, with a license usually overseen by a “broker of record” within the building organization.

REALTOR® is a trademark designation (properly capitalized, like Xerox, Kleenex or Coke) for a broker (in some areas a salesperson) who belongs to a private organization called the local Association, or Board, of REALTORS®, a state board of REALTORS®, and the National Association of REALTORS®. REALTORS® subscribe to a code of ethics that goes beyond state license law, and usually sponsor a local Multiple Listing System, which offers access to houses listed for sale by many different firms.

REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® is the term used by some boards of REALTORS® for salespersons associated with member brokers.

So as you start your search for the best agent, should you prefer a salesperson or a broker? There’s something to be said for each. In general, you can expect a broker to have more education and experience. On the other hand, some long-time salespersons remain at that status simply because they prefer not to go into business for themselves. And you could run into a well-trained, highly motivated newcomer with the time and enthusiasm to do a first-class job for you.

via Home Buying: Chapter 2 Introduction. Continue reading


May 23 2010

10 Things to Know About Real Estate in 2010 – US News and World Report

Larry House - Front Yard Patio View

Image by Lagravier Real Estate via Flickr

Prices bottom, mortgage rates increase, and foreclosures move upstream

By LUKE MULLINS

Posted: December 21, 2009

Is 2010 the year to buy a house? It certainly looks that way: After a steep run-up in prices during the first half of the decade, home values have plummeted back to 2003 levels. Fixed mortgage rates are sitting near record lows. And the foreclosure epidemic

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May 23 2010

Choosing an Agent: Tests to Apply

Here are a few tests to apply when judging a broker:

Does the broker explain your state’s law of agency at your first meeting and make it clear for whom he or she is working?

Does the agent return phone calls promptly? This simple question is a good screening device, whether you’re looking for a broker, lawyer, or plumber. In these days of cell phones, pagers, voicemail, and e-mail, there is no excuse to be out of touch. Does the agent explain things so you can understand them? This attribute is especially important for first-time buyers. If you can find an agent who is a born teacher, you are in luck. (The fact is, many brokers are former teachers.)

Does the agent seem ready to invest time in you? Where the broker is holding an open house that’s on the market, does he or she just wave you through, asking as you leave whether you’re interested in that house and letting it go at that? You want someone who, if not busy with other prospects, shows you the house in a professional manner, asks questions about your needs and wants, and offers to sit down and discuss other places on the market if you’re not interested in the house you’re touring.

Does the agent seem to have knowledge of the Internet? Some agents carry a laptop computer with them wherever they go and are able to pull up pertinent information and new listings on the spot. A computer has become a valuable hi-tech sales tool and a convenient and ready resource for savvy brokers these days. If Internet communication is important to you, ask agents if they e-mail their clients with information on new listings as they appear.

Does the broker suggest an initial session in the office, rather than simply meeting you at the house you called about? To get good service, you need a sit-down financial analysis and discussion of your whole situation in a confidential and professional setting.

Does the agent ask questions about your finances soon after meeting you? This may not be proper etiquette in ordinary society, but it’s the mark of an efficient broker who aims to give you good service. Suggesting a prequalification or a full loan preapproval is better yet, so that you have placed yourself in a position of strength and credibility as a buyer. If you haven’t already spoken to a loan agent, the agent may suggest someone with whom he or she has a track record of success.

Does the broker explain up front if he or she is acting as a seller’s agent? In most states, this information must be given to you in writing upon first contact.

When suggesting potential houses for the first time, did the agent show you listings that convince you that he or she has been listening and understands what you are looking for? If you’re shown houses with the wrong number of bedrooms or ones clearly out of your price range, this may not be the agent for you.

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