Aug 19 2010

Selling a House: 4 Tips to Get More Buyers through Your Door

Sell a home tips

If you’re trying to sell a house this year, you’ve got a rough road ahead of you.

Since the end of the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit and the $6,500 long-term homeowner tax credit on April 30, the number of people interested in buying a house has plummeted by as much as 40 percent.

With more foreclosures coming onto the market, home sellers are in a tough spot: the number of homes for sale is increasing just as the number of home buyers is decreasing.

That means you might have to drop your price to catch a home buyer’s interest.

But before you go that route, you’ll want to do everything you can to get the attention of the maximum number of home buyers. Make sure you do everything on this list:

Selling a House Tip #1: Make your house look good enough to be on TV.

Today’s home buyers have watched tons of real estate programming on HGTV, Bravo, and other satellite networks that shows how to transform ugly homes into polished gems…

via Finance Blog – Real Estate: Selling a House: 4 Tips to Get More Buyers through Your Door.

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Aug 19 2010

Batting Averages for Listing Agents

Batting averages for real estate agents

By: Glenn Kelman

Posted: Monday, August 16th, 2010, 4:58 pm

Redfin just published MLS data from seven counties across the U.S. on the likelihood that a listing activated in 2009 sold by August of 2010. It turns out that the listing agent got a sale 47% of the time, a number that seemed surprisingly low to us, particularly since staging, photographing and marketing costs can add up…

via BloodhoundBlog.com | Batting Averages for Listing Agents | National real estate marketing and technology blog | Realtors and real estate, mortgage and investment news.


Aug 12 2010

Unemployed? The New HAMP Loan Modification Program Might Help You Keep Your House

HAMP

If you’re unemployed and can no longer afford your mortgage, a new Making Home Affordable loan modification program might offer some relief.

The new Unemployed Program (UP) starts August 1, 2010, and it requires lenders to reduce or suspend payments for at least three months for eligible borrowers. It is at the lender’s discretion to extend the forbearance, and the program ends once the borrower gets a new job.

According to Supplemental Directive 10-04, mortgage servicers are required to offer an Unemployment Program forbearance plan to a borrower who meets the following criteria:

1. The mortgage loan is secured by a one- to four-unit property, one unit of which is the borrower’s principal residence.

2. The mortgage loan is a first-lien mortgage originated on or before January 1, 2009.

3. The current unpaid principal balance of the mortgage loan is equal to or less than $729,750 for a single-family property. Higher loan amounts apply to two- to four-unit dwellings.

4. The mortgage is delinquent or default is reasonably foreseeable.

5. The mortgage loan has not been previously modified under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and the borrower has not previously received an UP forbearance period.

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Aug 5 2010

Field Guide to Buying vs. Renting

Is it better to Buy or Rent? Whether renting is better than buying depends on many factors.  The information listed here will assist you in helping answer this question. Included are statistics and studies on homeowners and renters as well as financing options and tips. (M. Glick, Senior Information Specialist)

Rent-to-Own Deals: Smart Questions to Ask…

For Sellers:

Who will tend to the property and pay for routine maintenance?

Who pays for major repairs?

What are the costs of setting up and managing an escrow account for the portion of rent allotted to the down payment?

Will you manage the property yourself, or hire an agent?

What if the renters change their minds? Who keeps the money in the escrow account?

If the buyers change their minds, what will be required to put the property back on the market?

For Buyers:

How much of the rent is going to the down payment?

How locked in are you if you change your mind?

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Aug 5 2010

Top 10 Home Selling Mistakes That Can Cost You : HGTV FrontDoor Real Estate

The logo used from December 1, 1994 to March 1...
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Avoid these common slipups to sell your home fast and for top dollar

By Shannon Petrie, FrontDoor.com

Don’t think spring is the only time you’ll be able to make a sale — people buy homes during every season.

Mistake #10: Waiting until spring to sell

Sure, spring is traditionally the busiest time for real estate sales, but people buy homes 365 days a year. Plus, off-peak season buyers tend to be more serious, and fewer homes on the market means less competition for sellers.

Don’t be daunted by the thought of selling during the summer, winter or fall. Instead, draw in buyers by playing up your home’s seasonal amenities.

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Aug 5 2010

Top 10 Home Buying Mistakes That Can Cost You : HGTV FrontDoor Real Estate

The logo used from December 1, 1994 to March 1...

Avoid these blunders that homebuyers commonly make

By Shannon Petrie, FrontDoor.com

Pre-approval lets you know how much you can afford before you start shopping for a home.

Mistake #10: Not getting pre-approved before house hunting

Why get your hopes up looking at $500,000 homes, when you can really only afford a $300,000 home? Before you start house hunting, narrow down your price range by getting pre-approved. Shop for a lender or mortgage broker you can trust. The mortgage pro will review your credit, income, assets and debts, and recommend a mortgage with monthly payments that fit your budget. The result is a good faith estimate, a document that spells out the likely terms of your loan, including the interest rate and closing costs. Not only does this let you know how much house you can afford, it also lets sellers know that you’re serious about buying.

via Top 10 Home Buying Mistakes That Can Cost You : HGTV FrontDoor Real Estate.

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Aug 3 2010

Associations Can No Longer Ignore FHA Approval

By Christopher L. Gardner, J.D. Print Article

July 16, 2010

The screaming and cursing you hear in unit 404 isn’t coming from Mr. Armbrister’s television—Armbrister has just learned that another potential sale of his condominium unit fell through due to the buyer’s inability to obtain financing. In this case, the buyer wanted to purchase Armbrister’s condo unit with an FHA loan—Armbrister’s homeowners association, however, had neglected to obtain FHA approval.

FHA loans, which are mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, accounted for a mere 1.7% of new mortgages as recently as 2006. Today, almost half of all new mortgages are FHA—yet there are still many misconceptions associated with their use and their benefits.

Due to the elimination of ‘spot approval’ in February 2010, an entire condominium development must now apply to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and be granted FHA approval before someone can purchase or refinance a unit using an FHA loan. Before its elimination, spot approval allowed an FHA buyer or refinancer to conduct a transaction in a specific condominium unit located in an unapproved complex.

Management companies and homeowners associations constantly ask why their condominium developments should seek FHA approval. A recent survey of more than 12,000 home buyers conducted by the Home Buying Institute indicated that the vast majority of respondents (87%) planned to use an FHA loan for their purchase. Given the prevalence of FHA loans in today’s housing market, the simple answer is that unit sellers in an association without FHA approval are severely limiting the pool of potential buyers. Thanks to the law of supply and demand, fewer possible buyers mean units will often sit on the market for longer periods and sell for lower prices. Even non-sellers are affected as lower sales prices for neighboring units often result in lower appraised values for all units.

Why have we seen such a surge in FHA borrowing? First, the general unwillingness of today’s lenders to extend credit and an almost complete withdrawal of private capital from the home mortgage sector forced HUD and FHA to take action. They ultimately crafted policies to increase FHA availability in order to help stabilize the housing market. FHA loans encourage lenders to lend, assuring them that they will be paid back by the federal government in case of default.

Second, as many residential real estate agents know all too well, the sudden and inevitable collapse of the high-risk subprime mortgage industry left a tremendous void in the marketplace for those buyers that did not have the 20% downpayment typically required when obtaining a conventional loan. This void is nicely filled by FHA loans, which require as low as a 3.5% down payment.

Finally, the significant increase in the maximum FHA loan limits from $362,790 to $793,750, means that an FHA loan is now relevant and appropriate for a much greater percentage of home purchases and refinances than ever before.

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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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