Blogs tagged with "Author:Chris White"

Keys to Help Buyers Compete in a Seller's Market
Sep
17

Keys to Help Buyers Compete in a Seller's Market

In May, the median sale price of homes in the U.S. was up 15.4 percent year-over-year and sales were up 4.2 percent from April. Meanwhile, nationwide inventory remains tight, and the average time a home spent on the market dropped from 46 days to 41

Translation: The market is hot, and sellers have the upper hand. For my clients interested in purchasing a home, knowing how to position yourself as highly qualified buyers can mean the difference in your offer being accepted or passed up for another. As your trusted agent, what can I do to help make sure you successfully bid on the house you want? Here's my advice:

In May, the median sale price of homes in the U.S. was up 15.4 percent year-over-year and sales were up 4.2 percent from April. Meanwhile, nationwide inventory remains tight, and the average time a home spent on the market dropped from 46 days to 41.

Translation: The market is hot, and sellers have the upper hand. For my clients interested in purchasing a home, knowing how to position yourself as highly qualified buyers can mean the difference in your offer being accepted or passed up for another. As your trusted agent, what can I do to help make sure you successfully bid on the house you want? Here's my 3 pieces of advice:

Encourage Pre-approval

A loan pre-approval offers numerous benefits to you throughout the sales process. For one, it lets you know how much house you can afford, saving you the time you might otherwise spend searching for homes out of your price range.


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10 Things Buyers Need to Know
May
23

10 Things Buyers Need to Know

Buyers spend a lot of time looking at properties online, touring homes, and talking to me, their real estate agent. They’re laser-focused on finding the best home that meets their needs. The problem is, buyers sometimes don’t take the long view of a property. They’re only looking at a home as a potential buyer — and not as someone who, years down the road, may also have to sell the property. Given that homes are such a big investment, there should be a little inside your head, picking away at your options and decisions. I want you to make the right decision so take a look at these 10 suggestions....



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Women Consider Owning a Home to be a Vital Component of the American Dream
Apr
14

Women Consider Owning a Home to be a Vital Component of the American Dream

A Home Buyer Poll released by TD Bank, has revealed that 64% of women believe homeownership is essential in defining the American Dream. In comparison, only 52% of men felt owning a home was important.  Furthermore, aspirations of homeownership are more prominent with women, with 66% of current female renters stating they intend to own a home in the future as opposed to 57% of men.

As the home buying market continues to stabilize our survey tells us that Americans, and women in particular, are looking to buy homes. Chris White says, "Among my home buying clients, women are often the ones to first step in and begin a home search. When I help them narrow the list down the men in their lives step in with great excitement."
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The 8 Top Home-Selling Mistakes You Should Avoid
Mar
19

The 8 Top Home-Selling Mistakes You Should Avoid

It’s a challenging market for home sellers right now. Buyers have a lot of options—and they don’t have to buy what you’re selling. Your house is likely just one located in a sea of for-sale signs, so you can’t be sloppy about putting it on the market. Luckily, we’ve rounded up the dos and don’ts that will help you collect thousands (if not hundreds of thousands!) for your place. Don’t … ask for too much money.

Yes, you know what you paid for the house. But that doesn’t mean that it’s still worth that amount—or that it’s appreciated in value since you bought it. “Your house is only worth what the market is willing to pay you,” says Chris White of the White and Weeks Team.


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Fiscal Cliff Bill a Benefit for Homeowners
Jan
10

Fiscal Cliff Bill a Benefit for Homeowners

The tax law passed by Congress this week to avert the "fiscal cliff" turned out pretty well for the real estate industry.First, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, which was scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2012, has been extended through the end of 2013.This means that homeowners who experience a debt reduction through mortgage principal forgiveness or a short sale of their principal residence during 2013 may exclude up to $2 million of forgiven debt from their taxable income.Had this law not been extended, income tax would have had to be paid on such forgiven debt -- making short sales and loan modifications less attractive to some distressed homeowners than foreclosure and bankruptcy.
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Economists Bullish on Housing Recovery
Oct
29

Economists Bullish on Housing Recovery

Home prices will see steady increases through 2016 starting this year, according to a quarterly survey of more than 100 economists, real estate experts and investment strategists. Chris White of RE/MAX Eastside and Metro agrees, "My clients have seen their homes sell quickly and often with multiple offers when priced correctly. The housing market has made a terrific turn-around."

The survey, conducted by research and consulting firm Pulsenomics LLC on behalf of real estate search and valuation portal Zillow between Aug. 30-Sept. 14, 2012, asked 113 participants to project the path of the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index over the next five years.


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It's a great time to be a seller
Aug
2

It's a great time to be a seller

"We've been seeing steep declines in housing inventory", according to Chris White. "Multiple offers are back on the board and well priced homes sell quickly. Obviously it's a great time to be a seller."

Though many home shoppers who assume they are still in a buyer's market find it hard to believe, one of the sobering fundamentals shaping real estate this summer is shrinking inventory: The supply of houses for sale is down significantly in most areas compared with a year ago, sometimes dramatically so.

And that is having important side impacts — raising prices and homeowners' equity stakes, and reducing total sales. In major metropolitan markets across the nation, the stock of homes listed for purchase is down by sometimes extraordinary amounts — 50 percent or more below year-ago levels.


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Is Now the Time to Invest in Rentals?
Jun
6

Is Now the Time to Invest in Rentals?

Is now a good time to consider investing in rental houses, condos and duplexes? These stats indicate rents are rising and there are fewer available on the market. We've hit the bottom of the real estate market and values are beginning to rise. So yes, it's a good time to consider an investment.

In recent years, builders pulled back on apartment construction, unsure how much demand they’d see from young adults, relocation cases, and downsizing boomers. But that’s all slowly changing. As more jobs emerge in tech and other sectors, renters are filling the market. Low rental inventory means that asking rents are rising. Asking rents rising makes for rising cranes: A new wave of apartment construction is expected to add more than 20,000 units of housing to the region in the next two years in downtown, Belltown, the Eastside, and West Seattle.

Take a look at these individual statistics for all of King county cities. Contact me for more detailed info and and I will email you sample listings so you can decide if this is right for your investment plans.



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New Rules to Speed-up Short Sales
Apr
24

New Rules to Speed-up Short Sales

The Federal Housing Finance Agency laid out new rules aimed at speeding up the short sale process, a move that could keep many homes from falling into foreclosure. In a short sale, the bank that holds the mortgage must agree to accept a price for the home that is less than what is owed.

Even though short sales are considered a better alternative to foreclosure, banks often take so long to review and approve short sales that the deal falls apart and homes get repossessed. "Delays in approving short sale requests remain a significant challenge for realtors and consumers and often results in canceled contracts and the property going into foreclosure," said the president of the National Association of Realtors.

The organization attributed much of the closing problems to extended lender response times. Some agents said that lenders even foreclosed on the homes before a short sale could close.


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Home Prices to Rise in 2013
Apr
5

Home Prices to Rise in 2013

The Urban Land Institute released its Real Estate Consensus Forecast Wednesday morning, and overall, the 38 real estate economists and analysts surveyed projected broad improvements for the economy.

With signs of improvement in the housing sector already emerging, participants expect to see housing starts nearly double by 2014 and project home prices will begin to rise in 2013.

The average home price, which has declined somewhere between 1.8 percent and 4.1 percent over each of the past three years, according to FHFA data, is expected to stabilize in 2012, followed by a 2 percent increase in 2013, and a 3.5 percent increase in 2014.

Single-family housing starts are expected to rise from 428,600 starts in 2011 to 500,000 in 2012, and jump to 800,000 in 2014.


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Housing Crisis to End in 2012 as Banks Loosen Credit Standards
Feb
16

Housing Crisis to End in 2012 as Banks Loosen Credit Standards

Capital Economics expects the housing crisis to end this year, according to a report released Tuesday. One of the reasons: loosening credit.

The analytics firm notes the average credit score required to attain a mortgage loan is 700. While this is higher than scores required prior to the crisis, it is constant with requirements one year ago.

Additionally, a Fed Senior Loan Officer Survey found credit requirements in the fourth quarter were consistent with the past three quarters.However, other market indicators point not just to a stabilization of mortgage lending standards, but also a loosening of credit availability.Banks are now lending amounts up to 3.5 times borrower earnings.


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Top 5 Reasons to Buy a Home in 2012
Jan
15

Top 5 Reasons to Buy a Home in 2012

Appreciation

Buying a home now (at the current rates) can almost ensure your home’s appreciation in the future.  Mortgage rates are near historic lows and home prices in many parts of the country are down.  This is the perfect recipe for home appreciation.  Additionally, many foreclosed homes are available for a fraction of the original cost.  This can translate to a higher profit if you decide to sell once the market rebounds.

Property Tax Deductions

For income tax purposes, real estate property taxes for a vacation home and first home are fully deductible.  The IRS (Publication 530) provides detailed tax information for first-time buyers that may answer many questions about what deductions homeowners are eligible for.


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Puget Sound will have Japan-like density by 2040
Dec
7

Puget Sound will have Japan-like density by 2040

Seattle is the center of one of 10 "megapolitan clusters" that will drive the U.S. economy over the next 30 years, according to a new book.

This growth will drive the Puget Sound area's density from less than that of Germany to about what Japan has now, according to "Megapolitan America: A New Vision for Understanding America's Metropolitan Geography,"

The 10 clusters consist of 23 "megapolitan areas" that have common economic, physical, social and cultural traits, according to the book, which the American Planning Association just published. "The sooner the United States recognizes it has evolved into a nation of 20-some very densely settled economic engines, the better able it will be to sustain long-term economic development to mid-century and beyond.

"Megapolitan areas have accounted for 70 percent of the growth in the contiguous 48 states since 1970 and will continue to gain people in coming decades, the book says. "The U.S. is the only developed country that is on track to add substantial population" and is "the fastest-growing industrialized nation in the world."


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Foreclosure Starts Rise as Servicers Process Backlog of Delinquent Loans
Nov
26

Foreclosure Starts Rise as Servicers Process Backlog of Delinquent Loans

Foreclosure starts among private-label residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) have been rising toward historic averages over the past six months, which will lead to an influx of distressed properties bringing downward pressure to the housing market, according to recent RMBS Performance Metrics from Fitch Ratings.

According to Fitch, foreclosure start rates for severely delinquent RMBS loans have stayed above 10 percent since September — a rate they have not reached since November 2009 — and have been working their way toward their 14 percent average between 2000 and 2010.“Rising foreclosure start rates are likely a sign that servicers are playing catch-up on actions that have been delayed over the past year,” states Diane Pendley, managing director of Fitch Ratings.


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Freddy Mac Adds Washington to Winter Sale Locations
Nov
25

Freddy Mac Adds Washington to Winter Sale Locations

Freddie Mac has expanded its winter REO sales incentive program to the states of Alaska, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Oregon, and Washington. That makes the promotional offer now active in 33 states and the District of Columbia.

“We’re expanding our winter promotion to focus additional incentives to encourage strong sales activity in our ‘cold weather’ states over the next several months,” said Chris Bowden, VP of HomeSteps.

Offers must be received by HomeSteps between November 15, 2011 and January 31, 2012, with escrow closed on or before March 15, 2012. This offer is valid only on HomeSteps homes sold to owner-occupant buyers.

The program also extends additional incentives to these owner-occupant buyers. Freddie Mac will pay up to 3 percent of the final sales price towards the borrower’s closing costs. Some homes are also eligible for a two-year Home Protect limited warranty that covers electrical, plumbing, air conditioning, heating, and other major systems and appliances.


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Quicker Approvals
Nov
3

Quicker Approvals

Banks are not only approving more short sales, they’re doing it in less time. In the second quarter, short-sale homes, also known as pre-foreclosures, sold an average 245 days after default, down from 256 days in the previous period, according to Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac. That reversed three straight quarters of increases.

"I use an attorney practice specializing in convincing the banks that a short sale benefits them as well as the seller. Our ratio of closed short sales outbeats other local agents", say Chris White, RE/MAX Metro and Eastside.


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Is a Smaller Home Right for You?
Oct
20

Is a Smaller Home Right for You?

So, this question is posed. How much space does your family really need? This isn't a simple cut and dry question. Every family has different needs and dynamics.

Let's put things into perspective, though. Having a large, show-stopper home doesn't equate with family happiness. Many families in centuries past lived happily in one room cabins and small-scale homes.There are social benefits to sharing tighter quarters. Some families feel that smaller homes forces more together time, which means more time for bonding and strengthening relationships.

Smaller homes mean reduced costs across the board. Let's examine these for a moment. Property taxes are based on the value of your land and home. While more prestigious neighborhoods and homes within city limits typically pay higher taxes, remember that a smaller home in that same prestigious neighborhood will pay a smaller dollar amount in taxes each year. Maintenance costs are also lower. It costs much less to replace a roof on a 1,000 square foot house than it does on a 6,000 square foot one.
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Drawbacks to Home Equity Loans
Sep
17

Drawbacks to Home Equity Loans

When you need a quick source of funds, a home equity loan can be tempting. Done wisely, you can use the lower-interest debt secured by your house to pay off debts with high interest rates, like credit cards. It’s also a good choice if you know exactly how much you need to borrow for a big expenditure like a new kitchen.Home equity loans aren’t always the best choice for accessing cash. The best use for home equity is to buy things that will contribute to your home’s value, like a needed remodel, or your family’s future income, like a college education. Consider carefully before you cash in home equity to spend on consumer goods like clothing, furniture, or vacations.The fact that you’re staking your home against your ability to pay off the debt is just the beginning of the potential drawbacks.


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Short Sales Surge
Aug
28

Short Sales Surge

Bank assisted short sales of homes surged in the second quarter of the year as buyers snapped up discount priced properties at some of the lowest mortgage rates in decades. The surge in home purchases from pre-foreclosures account for an eighth of all residential sales, but represent less than a quarter of all U.S. home sales.

Short sales, in which banks cooperate with mortgage holders to sell at a price for less than what is owed on the mortgage had an average sales price of $192,129, according to RealtyTrac. The figure represents a discount of about 21% under homes that are not foreclosures or short sale properties.
The surge in sales may be a major step for the housing market, troubled by record foreclosures and declining home values in most areas of the country. High unemployment and underemployment levels make it nearly impossible for more than a third of all U.S. households to qualify to purchase a home.


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10 Ways to Skip the Stress When You Sell
Aug
18

10 Ways to Skip the Stress When You Sell

We've learned over the years that helping our sellers remain stress free is important. Here are 10 tips to help you stay calm during negotiations.

Trust your Agent: You hired your agent for a reason. He has experience handling negotiations and contracts. Feel free to ask him any questions you have, but don't let the pressure of every minute detail overwhelm you.

Eat and Sleep: Our body needs to refuel in two ways: food and rest. Be sure to get plenty of both so that your brain is well-prepared for any big decisions you may need to make. Pack a bag lunch or some snacks if you think you may be too busy to stop for lunch or dinner on the way to your agent's office.


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Are Short Sales Still a Good Option?
Jul
29

Are Short Sales Still a Good Option?

I get asked all the time about the short sale process. Is it a good idea? How bad does it damage your credit? Why does it take so long? While the process can be extremely lengthy at times, overall it is still a good idea for those in a specific situation.

We all know that market values on the majority of homes has dropped and in some cases quite significantly. If you are willing to take a loss on your home and want out of your current situation then a short sale is a great idea.
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Home Sales on Uptick in Greater Seattle Area
Jul
5

Home Sales on Uptick in Greater Seattle Area

Pending home sales rose strongly in May with all regions experiencing gains from a year ago, pointing to higher housing activity in the second half of the year, according to the National Association of REALTORS.

The Pending Home Index rose 8.2 percent to 88.8 in May from an upwardly revised 82.1 in April and is 13.4 percent higher than the 78.3 reading in May 2010. The data reflects contracts but not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.

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Housing Affordability Hits All Time High
Jun
3

Housing Affordability Hits All Time High

Housing affordability hit a new record high in the first quarter, surpassing the previous high set in fourth-quarter 2010, according to an index released by the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo today.

The Housing Opportunity Index found that 74.6 percent of new and existing homes sold in the first quarter were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,400. That's up from 73.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, and it's the highest level recorded in the more than 20 years the index has been measured.
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Congressional Bill to Speed Up Short Sales
May
9

Congressional Bill to Speed Up Short Sales

A new bill to improve the process for approving short sales may soon bring relief to distressed homeowners who are unable to keep their homes and hope to avoid foreclosure. The bill, recently introduced in the U.S. House and strongly supported by the National Association of REALTORS®, would impose a deadline of 45 days on lenders to respond to short sale requests.The legislation, the “Prompt Decision for Qualification for Short Sale Act of 2011,” was offered in Congress by U.S. Reps. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) and Robert Andrews (D-N.J.).

“The current short sale process can be time-consuming and inefficient, and many would-be buyers end up walking away from a sale that could have saved a homeowner from foreclosure."

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How to Stop a Foreclosure
Apr
21

How to Stop a Foreclosure

HOW TO STOP FORECLOSURE
Facing Foreclosure...Consider a Short Sale
If you are one of the many homeowners who have fallen behind on your mortgage payments and you don't see any way to avoid foreclosure, a short sale may offer you the least painful way to resolve the situation.
Obviously, the ideal scenario would be that you magically catch up on your mortgage payments and keep your home. But for an increasing number of Americans, that is not a realistic possibility, so it's to your advantage to take an active role. This is what a short sale is all about -- resolving the problem, as opposed to simply hiding from your lender and hoping the issue will go away or, worse, walking away from the property.
WHAT IS A SHORT SALE?
A short sale is when the proceeds from the sale do not cover the balance owed.  The bank(s) recognizes the borrower's economic hardship and agrees to accept a discounted payoff on the loan.  The homeowner then sells the property for less than the outstanding balance of the loan, turning over the proceeds to the lender.  In most cases, the lender will recognize this as full satisfaction of the debt.  Upon listing your home for sale, I will begin working with the bank's loss mitigation department to negotiate a successful short sale.
WHY IS IT CRITICAL TO CHOOSE AN EXPERIENCE AND CERTIFIED SHORT SALE SPECIALIST?
In a word: success.  The mls is littered with failed short sales.  To avoid that experience, an agent much have the specialized training, tenacity, and above all, skill.  Lenders are not required to accept short sale payoffs.  It takes a skilled, persuasive professional to show them why a short sale makes sense - and then navigate the complex process to completion.
WHY WOULD A HOMEOWNER CHOOSE A SHORT SALE?
A short sale will typically postpone the foreclosure process and give you several additional months (with no payments) in the home.  The homeowner also benefits by avoiding the stigma of a foreclosure on his credit history.  Satisfying the debt via a short sale allows the borrower to get reestablished financially and avoid future hardship.  While a short sale does adversely affect a person's credit history, the impact is far less than that of a foreclosure.  In most cases, the seller incurs no out-of-pocket expenses.  According to recent Fannie mae guidelines, homeowners can be eligible to buy again with certain loans just two years after a short sale is complete.  By contrast, after foreclosure they must wait 5-7 years.
Facing Foreclosure...Consider a Short Sale If you are one of the many homeowners who have fallen behind on your mortgage payments and you don't see any way to avoid foreclosure, a short sale may offer you the least painful way to resolve the situation. Obviously, the ideal scenario would be that you magically catch up on your mortgage payments and keep your home.

But for an increasing number of Americans, that is not a realistic possibility, so it's to your advantage to take an active role. This is what a short sale is all about -- resolving the problem, as opposed to simply hiding from your lender and hoping the issue will go away or, worse, walking away from the property.

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Are Taxes Owed on Short Sale Forgiven Debt?
Mar
20

Are Taxes Owed on Short Sale Forgiven Debt?

One can only imagine all the high-fives and fist-bumps that erupt once a can't-make-ends-meet borrower finally, finally talks a lender into forgiving $3,000 in credit-card debt.
Now picture that person months later handing over a little piece of paper called a 1099-C to a tax preparer. The tax preparer must break the bad news: Most times, canceled debt is treated like income. And $3,000 of forgiven credit-card debt must be reported as income on the state and federal income-tax returns.

One can only imagine all the high-fives and fist-bumps that erupt once a can't-make-ends-meet borrower finally, finally talks a lender into forgiving $3,000 in credit-card debt.

Now picture that person months later handing over a little piece of paper called a 1099-C to a tax preparer. The tax preparer must break the bad news: Most times, canceled debt is treated like income. And $3,000 of forgiven credit-card debt must be reported as income on the state and federal income-tax returns.


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Are Homeowners or Renters Happier?
Feb
9

Are Homeowners or Renters Happier?

A substantial majority of both homeowners and current renters agree that owning a home is a smart decision over the long term. That’s according to the results of a National Association of REALTORS® survey of 3,793 adults conducted online by Harris Interactive.
The American Attitudes About Homeownership survey found that in today’s challenging economy, 95% of owners and 72% of renters believe that over a period of several years, it makes more sense to own a home. In addition, an overwhelming majority of homeowners are happy with their decision to own a home—93% of owners surveyed would buy again.

A substantial majority of both homeowners and current renters agree that owning a home is a smart decision over the long term. That’s according to the results of a National Association of REALTORS® survey of 3,793 adults conducted online by Harris Interactive.

The American Attitudes About Homeownership survey found that in today’s challenging economy, 95% of owners and 72% of renters believe that over a period of several years, it makes more sense to own a home. In addition, an overwhelming majority of homeowners are happy with their decision to own a home—93% of owners surveyed would buy again.


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Selling Your House and Super Bowl
Jan
24

Selling Your House and Super Bowl

There is a smart way and a not-so-smart way to get the best price for your home in the new year. Selling is both a price war and a beauty contest, and to win both you should check these eight tips. Time it right Wait a few more weeks to put that "for sale" sign in front of your home. Few houses sell until after Super Bowl Sunday. But now is the time to get prepared and come out on the offense rather than needing to defend your house.

Price it at exactly what it’s worth. The most influential factor in selling a home is always price. Don't build "wiggle room" into the asking price. There's a price war out there and you have to win it from the get-go. Shop the competition to see what similar homes are selling for and price your home 10 to 15 percent lower so it's the first house shown.

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Home Upgrades That Don’t Pay Off
Jan
3

Home Upgrades That Don’t Pay Off

Five renovation projects that experts say just aren’t worth your time or money.

Home office: “If you convert a bedroom into an office, your home will be listed as having one less bedroom―big mistake,” says CNN’s Gerry Willis. Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group, a Manhattan real estate firm, agrees: “People try to envision a room for little Jenny but can’t make the leap past your piles of messy papers.”

Concrete patio: “It’s almost guaranteed to crack,” says Corcoran. “And there’s no good way to repair it. Plus, it reflects light, causing a harsh glare.”
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Is the Time Right to Refinance Your Home Loan?
Dec
13

Is the Time Right to Refinance Your Home Loan?

Mortgage rates spent much of the year setting record lows. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was still as low as 4.5% in mid-November.

With rates this low, if your bank or mortgage lender hasn't called you to tell you to check into refinancing, you may want to give them a call. Swapping your old mortgage for a new one can result in big savings, totaling thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Refinancing makes sense if you:


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What Happened to the Government’s Short Sales Program?
Dec
6

What Happened to the Government’s Short Sales Program?

In April, the Obama administration formally rolled out a new program, called Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives, that was designed to spur more short sales, where banks allow homeowners to sell their homes for less than the mortgage debt outstanding.

Like other foreclosure-prevention initiatives, this one appears to be off to a slow start — just 342 sales have been completed through September.HAFA was designed as a cousin to the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program, HAMP, whose woes have been well documented.
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America's Foreclosure Crisis: What It Means for Your Mortgage
Nov
17

America's Foreclosure Crisis: What It Means for Your Mortgage

Bank of America announced last month it would freeze foreclosures in all 50 states, as concerns mounted over the legal basis for home repossessions. JP Morgan Chase and Ally Financial also halted foreclosures in 23 states, and other banks are considering following suit. Some congressional Democrats want a nationwide freeze on repossessions — a move the White House opposes.  Here's an instant guide to America's mortgage mess:


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Top 10 Housing Markets To Strengthen by 2014
Oct
1

Top 10 Housing Markets To Strengthen by 2014

1. Washington
Biggest home price increase projected in 2014: Bremerton-Silverdale metro
Forecast 4-year price increase: 44.7 percent
Current median price: $245,000
Prices to reach trough in: 2010 Q1
Median family income: $69,900
Population: 240,860
The Bremerton-Silverdale area, on Puget Sound's Kitsap Peninsula, has the highest growth forecast of all MSAs in the country, with prices expected to jump 44.7 percent by 2014, according to Fiserv. Cathy Doney, general manger for Reid Real Estate in Silverdale, says the waterfront community has benefited from government employment, which has helped sustain the job market, and attracted buyers looking to live close to Seattle at a lower cost. Washington’s second-strongest market is Tacoma, with a growth rate expected to be 33.1 percent. Prices in the Seattle area are expected to grow 25.5 percent by 2014.

1. Washington


The Bremerton-Silverdale area, on Puget Sound's Kitsap Peninsula, has the highest growth forecast of all MSAs in the country, with prices expected to jump 44.7% by 2014, according to Fiserv. Cathy Doney, general manger for Reid Real Estate in Silverdale, says the waterfront community has benefited from government employment, which has helped sustain the job market, and attracted buyers looking to live close to Seattle at a lower cost. Washington’s second-strongest market is Tacoma, with a growth rate expected to be 33.1%. Prices in the Seattle area are expected to grow 25.5% by 2014.


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7 Biggest Mistakes Buyers Make Before Qualifying for a Loan
Sep
15

7 Biggest Mistakes Buyers Make Before Qualifying for a Loan

If you are thinking of buying a home within the next two years, the following are the six most common mistakes buyers make before qualifying for a loan. If you can avoid these mistakes qualifying for a house loan easily for little cost can be a slam dunk.
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Buyer Beware of Under Funded HOA
Sep
8

Buyer Beware of Under Funded HOA

If I purchase a condo with a 97 percent occupancy in its complex with a monthly maintenance fee per owner of $500 per month, and three years later, due to the economy, the occupancy rate drops to 70 percent, do the remaining owners absorb the maintenance fees that are not being paid by the missing occupants? Probably the single most underreported effect of the foreclosure crisis is the tailspin into which it has sent many homeowners associations (HOAs) across the country. When HOA members stop paying their dues or, worse, stop paying their mortgages and lose their homes to foreclosure, it has an immediate and intensely negative trickle-down effect on their fellow HOA members.


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Why short sales make sense even if you have to file a bankruptcy.
May
21

Why short sales make sense even if you have to file a bankruptcy.

The way to determine if you should do a short sale while in bankruptcy is to ask yourself this one simple question; Even though my creditis going to be damaged now, do I want to own a home again sometime in the future? If the answer is yes, then you should seriously consider the idea of doing a short sale regardless of a bankruptcy filing.
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Homeowners, A Shortcut To Short Sales Is Coming
Apr
13

Homeowners, A Shortcut To Short Sales Is Coming

The Obama administration last week introduced a program to encourage lenders to forgive some of the mortgage debt owed by homeowners. The purpose is to help people remain in their homes and reduce foreclosures. But the housing crisis is so huge that no one initiative can solve it all. So another kind of help is on the way. It's aimed at homeowners who can't afford to remain in their homes and instead want to sell them.
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Walk Away from Your Home? But Who’s Chasing You?
Mar
29

Walk Away from Your Home? But Who’s Chasing You?

Is walking away really an option when facing foreclosure? A recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal; When It’s Ok to Walk Away From Your Home, gives advise that could lead down a scary alley. If you walk away, who might be chasing you? Unless the deficiency is released in writing by the lender, it can haunt you.
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Bank of America to Offer Principal Reduction to Underwater Borrowers
Mar
25

Bank of America to Offer Principal Reduction to Underwater Borrowers

This morning the mortgage news outlets ran this announcement that may be the start of banks passing on some relief to upside down home owners. Bank of America has announced it will make principal forgiveness– ahead of an interest rate reduction – the initial consideration toward modifying certain subprime, Pay-Option and prime two-year hybrid mortgages qualifying for its National Homeownership Retention Program (NHRP).


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The basics you need to know about a short sale.
Mar
1

The basics you need to know about a short sale.

A real estate short sale is a form of agreement between the seller of a home in the beginning stages of foreclosure and their lender, allowing the home to be sold for less than the existing loan balance outstanding. The mortgagee would accept less than the loan amount in order to avoid a foreclosure proceeding. This short sale would result in a substantially discounted purchase price for the buyer of the home. The buyer would then proceed with the purchase of the home much the same as in any conventional realty transaction.
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Exterior Remodel Projects Offer Highest Return
Jan
2

Exterior Remodel Projects Offer Highest Return

Despite a slow market and a slight decrease in the resale value of most remodeling projects, Realtors report that 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.
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RE/MAX Leads the Way on Short Sale Reform
Dec
18

RE/MAX Leads the Way on Short Sale Reform

The U.S. Treasury Department recently announced new guidelines to the short sale process that could speed the housing market recovery, a move RE/MAX Executives have been promoting in Washington D.C. for the past year. Short sales, transactions that can occur when a lender accepts the sale of a home at a price below the actual amount owed on the home, have become an increasing part of the real estate business as besieged homeowners look for alternatives to foreclosure. RE/MAX Chairman Dave Liniger has promoted a streamlined short sale process since foreclosures began flooding the market and has presented specific proposals to government officials.
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How do appraiser’s determine a homes value?
Oct
6

How do appraiser’s determine a homes value?

This question comes up more frequently with buyers now especially with the many changes to the way banks are doing business these days. In answer to this, a detailed description of appraiser’s approaches to determining a home’s value are below. Each comparable sale that is utilized must be analyzed for differences and similarities between it and the property being appraised. The appraiser must make appropriate adjustments for location, terms, and conditions of the sale, date of sale, and physical characteristics.


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Short Sales Are About to Increase
Oct
2

Short Sales Are About to Increase

Get ready for the short sales. According to a Treasury spokeswoman, Treasury officials will soon announce a $2,500 subsidy ($1,000 to the servicer and $1,500 to the seller) to encourage short sales as a way to clear the excess inventory. The fees are designed to help compensate the servicer for the extra effort, and to incent the seller to be cooperative and leave the home in good condition. Presumably, the Treasury is trying to help facilitate a transaction that will result in less loss to the lender than in the case of a foreclosure.


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New Foreclosure Rules In Washington Assist Homeowners
Sep
3

New Foreclosure Rules In Washington Assist Homeowners

The predominant method to foreclose a residential property in Washington is through a non-judicial foreclosure proceeding. The law has been in effect for many years with relatively few major changes overall.  However, in its last session, the Legislature in Washington added a whole new section to the statute that changes the method of foreclosure dramatically for certain homeowners. Lenders are now required to provide credit counseling to certain homeowners


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Six Critical Things You Need to Know to Get the $8000 Buyer Credit
Jul
23

Six Critical Things You Need to Know to Get the $8000 Buyer Credit

Here's the critical info you need to know in order to receive an $8000 government issued check for purchasing a home. See if you meet these six criteria now. 1. The first time home buyers credit is 10% of purchase price or a maximum of $8000, according to U.S. News and World Report. 2. A first time home buyer is defined as someone who hasn't owned a principal residence in the past three years. If you own a vacation home, but not principal residence you still qualify.

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Sunday, April 14, 2013
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Monday, September 10, 2012
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Thursday, August 2, 2012
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Saturday, June 23, 2012
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012
4 Guidelines for Successful Negotiations

Thursday, May 24, 2012
5 Reasons Now is the Time to Buy

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
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Thursday, May 3, 2012
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012
New Rules to Speed-up Short Sales

Thursday, April 5, 2012
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Thursday, March 22, 2012
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Sunday, March 11, 2012
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Thursday, March 8, 2012
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Thursday, February 16, 2012
Housing Crisis to End in 2012 as Banks Loosen Credit Standards

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
When Freddie Mac Wins, Homeowners Lose

Wednesday, January 25, 2012
First-Time Buyers and Short Sales

Sunday, January 15, 2012
Top 5 Reasons to Buy a Home in 2012

Estella said
"That is a beautiful shot with very good lighting ." about Women Consider Owning a Home to be a Vital Component of the American Dream
on Sunday, May 12, 2013 @ 9:57 AM

Chris White - Team Leader said
"Unfortunately you are not alone. It's more than an outcry. The powers that be really need to come down harder on Bofa than they already are. Working on these short sale for over 2 years now I've uncovered down right fraud happening on the lenders parts. If they cared more about moving this country forward than protecting their own wallets then they would cut the red tape and approve these short sales in a timely manner. Our team made the wise decision to get BofA loans which were FHA or Freddie Mac backed, approved prior to listing on the market. Then we can list the home as "Price Approved" and close in 30 days. In this instance BofA does a full appraisal, rather than an incompetent "Broker Price Opinion" (nothing against agents but they have no idea how to make adjustments on comparable homes) and then the bank issues an "Approval To Participate" letter which dictates what price we can go on the market and take anything north of 88%. I really do hope your situation improves. " about Congressional Bill to Speed Up Short Sales
on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 @ 9:15 AM

Lisa Zeiner said
"We made an offer 4 months ago to BofA, and have heard nothing. It was a cash offer which is better than the zero money they are collecting now. And since the people don't care they are trashing the place, by the time BofA gets around to it our offer will be gone as the place is a mess!! Septic issues now, garbage being dumnped. All of this could have been avoided if BofA really wanted to correct their cash flow problem and sell these properties in a timely manner. They cry about cash but then do nothing intelligent to fix the problem" about Congressional Bill to Speed Up Short Sales
on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 @ 9:06 AM

Jones Ramirez said
"Thank you for the work you have done into this post, it helps clear up a few questions I had." about How do appraiser’s determine a homes value?
on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 10:07 PM

HollyRobsonf said
"Hey - I am certainly happy to find this. great job!" about Bank of America to Offer Principal Reduction to Underwater Borrowers
on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 @ 6:45 PM