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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Homes: About to get much cheaper // Why Obama's Housing Rescue Hasn't Prevented Record Foreclosures

Homes: About to get much cheaper

  • On 11:07 am EDT, Tuesday October 20, 2009

If you thought home prices were bottoming out, you may be wrong. They're expected to head a lot lower.
Home values are predicted to drop in 342 out of 381 markets during the next year, according to a new forecast of real estate prices.

 U.S. News & World Report 

After taking withering criticism for the Department-of-Motor-Vehicles pace of its initial efforts to keep struggling borrowers out of foreclosure, the Obama administration proudly announced last week that it had hit its goal of 500,000 trial loan modifications almost a month ahead of schedule. But with the foreclosure rate hitting a new record in the third quarter, the government's ability to put a meaningful dent in the tally of housing-crisis victims faces renewed skepticism.
Foreclosure filings were reported on 937,840 homes in the three-month period, a 23 percent jump from a year earlier, according to a report real estate firm RealtyTrac released Thursday. Home foreclosures in September, meanwhile, decreased 4 percent from August but remained 29 percent higher than a year earlier.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Answering the 25 Biggest Real Estate Questions -Business Week

What you need to know

........everyone has questions about the real estate market. When will housing come back? How can I stay in my home? What is the government doing? Will I ever be able to sell my house? Despite some positive signs, many people remain scared and uncertain about what is really going on. To help answer some of the biggest questions, BusinessWeek reached out to readers, experts and our own editors........

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Reluctant Landlords

"With housing prices still in the dumps, many Americans are finding themselves in the uncomfortable position of landlord.........Experts generally advise against becoming a landlord in hopes of recouping lost home value......................The calculation isn't the same for all homeowners. Those who have paid off their home or have a small mortgage balance may be able to wait out the market. And there are pockets of the country—Houston is one—where home prices haven't fallen as hard. Some homeowners may want rental income to supplement retirement savings...............a landlord policy covers the loss of rental income if a fire makes the house uninhabitable. It costs about 25% more than a standard homeowners policy, according to the Insurance Information Institute.................Renting for an extended period can eliminate or diminish the value of capital-gains tax exclusions. Federal tax law requires you to live in the house at least two years of the previous five in order to qualify for the full capital-gains tax exclusion upon sale of $250,000 for a single person or $500,000 for a couple, with some exceptions." ( Realty note: I recommend reading the "Comments" tab on any of these WSJ articles of interest - the round table like discussions will help you digest the jest of the column )

Saturday, October 03, 2009

10 Hard-Hit Housing Markets That Are Ready to Rebound

Luke Mullins, Oct 1st, 2009

As the historic housing crash continues to hammer real estate prices from coast to coast, many homeowners probably can't remember the last time their property's value actually increased. But even with home prices still falling at the national level, a number of hard-hit housing markets are gearing up for a rebound. ...including 2 markets in Michigan.

Friday, October 02, 2009

SHORT SALE tips for your Buyer Agent

Help your buyers agent help the sellers agent.

After your agent has submitted your short sale package for the seller's lien holder, here's what the sellers agent needs to do next?
call the bank. You have to follow up regularly.

Here are a few questions that you help you get started:

  1. Have you received the short sale package? (Hopefully, the answer is yes. If the answer is no, sellers agent should refax the package.)
  2. Are you missing any items that you need to process the short sale? (You'll want to send those a.s.a.p.)
  3. Has a Notice of Default been filed? Is there currently a foreclosure dated scheduled? (Important questions, because if the foreclosure is set for tomorrow, your job is going to be tough.)
  4. Can you tell me about the process and time frames at your bank? (Good learning opportunity. Listen and take notes.)
  5. How soon will a negotiator be assigned? (Write down the answer.)
  6. When will be the BPO (Broker Price Opinion) be ordered? (Write down the answer.)
  7. When would you recommend that I call back to check on the status of the short sale? (Call back the date that is recommended or sooner, if necessary.)

Agent followup comments:

Having done many short sales, the most important step is the BPO. First you have to push to have the BPO ordered. Often times the bank will tell you that it is not necessary to do an interior BPO because they already did an exterior BPO. You must insist on an interior BPO. Secondly, it is absolutely important to be present when the appraiser/realtor performs the BPO. You must come with comps that support the price you are looking for. Also bring the sales contract and a repair list. You must also explain the seller's situation and the hardship he is going through. Talk to the appraiser while going through the house. Engage in conversation so you can figure out what is important to the BPO agent. I have used these techniques and on many occasions have turned the appraiser to my side. Even though they are not supposed to tell me, often times I have found out what the BPO came in at. If you can get the appraiser/realtor who is performing the to be on your side, the rest is down hill.

Paul Warkow


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