Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.
Copyright 2011 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
A recent article by The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors outlined a new program being rolled out by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Offered through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), This will allow some homeowners to refi their homes even though they may owe more than the market value. The program will allow for lenders to to write off at least 10 percent of the unpaid principal balance of the first mortgage.
Click on the link below to read the article, courtesy of the Pennsylvania Association or Realtors.
Please leave any comments or questions.
Straub and Associates Real EState Group
5 Simple Steps to Buying a Home – It’s not rocket science , but you could end up taking one giant leap if you don’t read this blog! ..especially first time homebuyers.
Step 1: Find a Realtor to represent you. So many consumers spend hours and hours searching the internet for properties and driving around neighborhoods wasting time. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again..’A good Realtor is worth his weight in gold’. Spend your time searching the internet for a Realtor, find one and call him for a consultation. You can still search for homes yourself, but your Realtor can save you countless hours searching the wrong sites and looking at properties that are already sold.
Your Realtor will have access to an MLS service ( Multiple Listing Service) in the area you are interested in. Most websites on the internet that allow users to search for homes have outdated properties. Homes are sold and it takes time for the information to be distributed to the internet sites. In contrast, the MLS has the information immediately. The catch is only Realtors have access to the MLS.
So find a Realtor, call him or her, meet with him or her, and hire him or her. The beauty of the whole thing is your Realtor, who works for you, is only compensated when he finds you the home you want….And the compensation comes from the Sellers of the house you buy!!! Not the Buyer!.
For information on how to find a good Realtor and what a good Realtor should do for you, see my blog post : Why Do I need A Realtor® or Real Estate Agent at all?
Step 2: Find your DREAM HOME. After you hired your agent, search the market. Your agent will provide you with time-saving tips, links to search for homes and information that will help you save time and money. By listening to your needs, a good Real Estate agent will be able to set up filters and perform accurate property searches for you. Compile a list of your 5 top homes and have your agent set up tours of your 5 favorites. When you find the home that fits your needs its time to really put your agent to work!
STEP 3: Make an offer. This is where a good agent will earn his commission and then some. Putting together an offer involves a lot of paperwork along with a fair amount of skill. Many factors need to be considered and disclosures need to be made by both parties. Your agent will help you navigate these waters. Put your offer together with the help of your agent, taking into consideration the temperature of the current market. Once your get your property under contract….Step 4 , here we come!
Step 4: Secure Financing. Actually, if your agent knows what he is doing, you will already be pre-qualified at this point. Now its time to lock in a rate, and get your loan approved. Again, this is not difficult but you should have the advice of a Realtor. You will need some advice by someone who knows how to look at a lenders GFE(Good Faith Estimate). The GFE is where all your fees and expenses to get you in that home should be disclosed. There are rules about what a lender can and cannot change once he gives you a GFE. Your agent can help you decipher the GFE and make sure you are getting a good deal on financing.
Step 5: Settlement on your new home. After you have secured financing and crossed all the t’s and dotted all the i’s, its time to go to settlement. At settlement you will again cross all your t’s and dot all your i’s. Signing all the paperwork at a real estate settlement can be very stressful and intimidating… if you don’t have someone on your side to answer questions……..YOUR REALTOR!. You should understand everything you sign at settlement, and the settlement attorney is not representing you, so you may or may not get detailed explanations. 90% of the time settlements go smoothly, if not its in your best interest to have your Realtor there.
So that’s it!, 5 simple steps. Of course there are many small items that need addressed throughout the entire process, and thats why you want to find a good Realtor, and hire him to be your buyer representative.
Welcome to 2010. The Vancouver Olympics are in full swing, the economy has shown signs of life and the average American still can’t get a loan to buy a home!
The factors contributing to our current economic ‘situation’ have produced a climate where….LENDERS WONT LEND MONEY!
As we all know, the Real Estate Market is a huge part of our national economy. Until the credit crunch loosens and banks begin to lend money, the Real Estate Market will remain tight and it will remain a BUYERS MARKET. But,it’s a buyers market only in the sense that SELLERS are not getting the prices they were getting a few years ago and there are not enough qualified BUYERS to put upward pressure on home prices.
What can SELLER’S do to combat these evil forces? What can home sellers do to get the 20% appreciation they are entitled to?
Well there are some things homeowners can do to increase the value of their home and help them to get a fair price on their home when it is time to sell. Firstly, the days of 20% appreciation are gone, so we might as well get used to that now. Despite the gloom and doom seen all over the news, there still are many qualified buyers searching for a home. Not all buyers are looking for distressed and bank owned properties.
With a few simple home improvements, sellers can as least know they are putting their best foot forward when getting their home on the market. ( I’ll just mention here that every homeowner owes it to themselves to consult with a Realtor before putting their property on the market…See my other blogs….and its financially prudent.)
What improvements bring the most value for resale? Typically, bathrooms and kitchens are the most secure in getting your investment back out when you sell. These items are also the most prominent for new homebuyers and can increase your sale price as well as set you apart from other homes. Finished basements are also popular but do not raise the market value of the home much.
But what about exterior improvements?
A December report released by The National Realtors Association shines the light on this very subject.
The article state “the smartest home improvement investments may also be some of the least expensive. Results from the 2009 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report show that small-scale exterior projects are the most profitable at resale, according to estimates by Realtors® who completed a recent survey.”
In todays Real Estate market, Sellers need to keep on top of the trends and what buyers are looking for. The competition can be fierce, many sellers trying to attract fewer buyers….supply and demand..ecomonics 101..thanks Professor Bellinger…Dickinson College.
– Cal Williams
Due to current economic conditions, the number of short sale properties on the market is rising. The increasing number of short sales on the market presents challenges for REALTORS®. Below you’ll find more information on: short sales and their challenges, the government’s efforts to address these challenges, and tools to help you navigate the short sale process.
On November 30, 2009, the Treasury Department released guidelines and forms for its new Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA), part of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
What is a short sale?A short sale is a transaction in which the lender, or lenders, agree to accept less than the mortgage amount owed by the current homeowner. In some cases, the difference is forgiven by the lender, and in others the homeowner must make arrangements with the lender to settle the remainder of the debt.
Why is the number of short sales rising?
Due to the recent economic crisis, including rising unemployment, and drops in home prices in communities across the nation, the number of short sales is increasing. Since a short sale generally costs the lender less than a foreclosure, it can be a viable way for a lender to minimize its losses.
A short sale can also be the best option for a homeowners who are “upside down” on mortgages because a short sale may not hurt their credit history as much as a foreclosure. As a result, homeowners may qualify for another mortgage sooner once they get back on their feet financially.
What challenges have short sales presented for REALTORS®?
The rapid increase in the number of short sales, and the short sales process itself present a number of challenges for REALTORS®. Major challenges include:
As a result of these challenges our members have reported difficulties with: unresponsive lenders; lost documents that require multiple submissions, inaccurate or unrealistic home value assessments, and long processing delays, which cause buyers to walk away.
What is being done to address or eliminate these challenges?
On May 14, 2009, the Obama Administration announced its upcoming Foreclosure Alternatives Program. Among other things, the new program:
More Information on Short Sales
This article was reprinted from the NAR ( national Association of Realtors) Website .
For More information please visit my website at www.CalWilliams.com