Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Real Estate Update Jacksonville

Is it just me, or is this Christmas here to soon? I'm just not ready for it yet. It could have something to do with the fact that it's going to be 83 degrees tomorrow. Somehow, 83 degrees and Christmas just don't seem like a good match! How can we get past this heat?!?!?

The real estate market remains hot too. I got another short sale listing today. Another investor owned property that would be a really good buy for someone. There still seems to be a lot of activity out in the market. Lots of buyers trying to take advantage of the First Time Buyer tax credit. Lots of buyers trying to take advantage of the foreclosures on the market as well as the short sales.

Interest rates dropped so low last week that they are the LOWEST THEY'VE EVER BEEN!! Wow! At one point they were just above 4%. That's amazing!

What are you waiting for? If you've been thinking about buying a house...NOW is the time to act!

In the meantime, I hope the weather cools off, but not the market! :)


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dear Santa-Please bring me a house

If you've been thinking about buying a house, let's do it now and get you moved in before Santa gets here! The First Time Buyer Tax Credit is alive and well! There's even a new $6500 Tax Credit for people that sell their house and buy another one! Wow! It doesn't get any better than this! Call me today and let's get busy and find your dream home.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tax Credit for First Time Buyers Extended!

Congress Passes Homebuyer Tax Credit

Posted By Steve Cook On November 5, 2009 @ 3:31 pm In Beyond Today's News, Crisis Programs | No Comments

After the Senate gave final approval last night without a dissenting vote, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly this afternoon to pass legislation containing an extension and expansion of the homebuyer tax credit, completing Congressional action and sending the tax credit to President Obama for his signature, possibly as early as tomorrow.

The $8,000 homebuyer tax credit for first-time buyers, due to expire in 25 days, will be extended through April 30 of next year and buyers will have an additional two months, until the end of June, to close. First-time buyers who are in process of making a purchase will no longer need to worry about qualifying for the $8,000 credit if they close after the November 30 deadline. The new legislation increases the income limit for couples with income up to $225,000, a nearly $55,000 increase above the level in existing law.

For the first time, the new legislation makes buyers who already own a home eligible for a credit. A $6,500 maximum credit will be available to existing homeowners who have lived in their current residence for five of the prior eight years. The legislation limits eligibility for the existing homeowner credit to homes worth $800,000 or less.

The legislation takes effect December 1 and is not retroactive. Both credits are available only for primary residences, not second homes or investment properties.

In the House debate, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) took the floor to say the homebuyer tax credit was helping a new generation of Americans live our their dream og homeownership and financial independence. Debate on the homebuyer credit was overwhelmingly positive and the legisltion passed 403 to 12.

However, several leading economists have voiced concern about the $16.7 billion.cost of the credit and the wisdom of spending up to $400,000 per homebuyer to stimulate real estate sales and White House support for extending the credit has been lukewarm at best. However, it is virtually certain that the President will sign the legislative package, which contains an expansion of unemployment benefits as well as the tax changes.

In the Senate, the homebuyer tax credit was amended to a bill expanding unemployment benefits by 20 weeks for those who have exhausted their benefits, a vital issue for Democrats. The latest unemployment numbers are due out tomorrow and Congressional leaders are rushing the unemployment bill to the White House so that he can show compassion by signing on the same day more job losses are announced.

The legislation included provisions added to address complaints of fraud. The Internal Revenue Service is given greater authority to oversee the process to root out fraud, and provisions are added in response to past abuses of false sales or underage buyers. An investigation by the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration found that more than 580 children, some as young as four years old, had received $627,000 in first-time homebuyer credits. The IRS has identified 167 suspected criminal schemes and opened nearly 107,000 examinations of potential civil violations of the first-time homebuyer tax credit.

A number of economists have voiced concern about the $16.7 billion.cost of the credit and the wisdom of spending up to $400,000 per homebuyer to stimulate real estate sales, however their views had little impact on the outcome. The White House has been lukewarm at best. A survey released yesterday by Campbell Communications/Inside Mortgage Finance found that the credit gives existing homeowners only half as much incentive to buy a home as first-time buyers. Because of the lesser value of the credit and the higher median price of move-up homes, the credit only accounts for two percent of the cost of an average move-up home as opposed to four percent of a first-time buyer’s starter home, according to the study.

The legislation also contains a provision supported by the National Association of Home Builders. It helps larger companies strapped for cash with net operating losses (NOL) this year or in 2008.

Ordinarily these companies can carry back these losses for only two years to qualify for a tax refund. The provision would make this process extends the carry-back to five years for either 2008 or 2009. The tax break will now apply to losses in either 2008 or 2009, and the income cap will come off.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Horror Story for a REALTOR

Once again it's time for me to repost the scariest real estate story ever! It's become an annual tradition to repost this article. I call it my "List Em and Leave Em" post. Don't let this happen to you!

The names have been changed to protect the slackers and the victims...

I continually hear people say that their realtor bugged them for weeks to get them to list their house with them. They finally agreed to list it and they never saw the REALTOR again!! I'm not exaggerating! Check out this story....

New example of a "list em and leave em" real estate company

Wednesday, May 02, 2007JANESVILLE, Wis. - A couple checking out a house for sale were shocked to discover the 55-year-old homeowner dead in her bed. Authorities said foul play was not suspected. Real estate agent Linda stood in the dining room while Justin and Colleen walked through a house Monday night. Before long, she heard Colleen scream."I thought, 'What's wrong?' Maybe it was a dead mouse or something," agent Linda said. But then she peered into the bedroom and saw the body of the owner.

An autopsy determined the owner had been dead for two to three weeks, Rock County Coroner Jenifer K said Wednesday. The cause of death remained under investigation, but the woman appeared to have died of natural causes and no foul play was suspected, the coroner said.

The agent who listed the house, said it was for sale "for a while." Agent Linda said she had noticed a faint odor but thought it was from the mess in the house or the countertop full of dishes. After seeing the body, she said she told the couple: "We need to leave. This is not right. We need to get out of here."

I rest my case! If you want to list your house with someone that will communicate with you---give me a call! I look forward to hearing from you. I promise not to list your house and forget about you!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Jacksonville Short Sale and REO Market Keeps on Growing

The number of short sales in the Jacksonville market continue to increase while the number of REO homes seems to be decreasing. There are a lot of foreclosed homes (REO) that are being sold for MORE THAN ASKING PRICE with multiple offers! There are often more than a dozen offers on a foreclosed home that is in good condition. The short sale market is absolutely dead at the moment. In order for a First Time Buyer to purchase a short sale, they should have placed their offer MONTHS ago! Short sales are taking 5-6 months to get to closing so they're not a good option for a First Timer trying to meet the November 30th deadline for closing.

As the homes that have been on the market continue to sit there, more and more of them are becoming short sales as the price has to be reduced. The price drops and the status of the home becomes a short sale. It's brutal out there right now for SELLERS and it's GREAT out there for buyers!

Interest rates are approaching historic lows and the inventory of homes remains high. Now is the time to buy.

Call if I can help.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Jacksonville Market Update

This is a quick overview of the Jacksonville Market. Call me today and let's see if we can get you into a home before the Tax Credit expires.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jacksonville Short Sale Answers

This is a post written by a REALTOR in South Florida that explains the way a short sale and loan modification works. It's easy to understand and makes it all a little clearer. Worth the read!

Is Your Short Sale or Loan Modification Being Turned Down?
Has your short sale or loan modification been turned down and you have no idea why? Let's examine some of the reasons. These reasons may not make you feel any better or maybe they are just excuses by your lender, however there are a few things you may not even know about your loan.

Let's say that you make your mortgage payment to Wells Fargo. You can no longer handle your payments so you ask Wells Fargo to modify your loan- to do a loan modification for you. You are behind in your payments. You are in fact, in foreclosure but you are still living in your home and the judge in your case has not ordered the sale of your home at auction yet. You are scared. You see your neighbors losing their homes all around you. You are hopeful because you see on the news and in the newspapers that the Federal Making Homes Affordable Program has been helping some folks keep their home and get a loan modification.

You are no longer making your mortgage payment because your adjustable rate has been applied and your mortgage payment has gone from $1600 a month to $2300 per month. You just can not make these payments. You have been trying for almost 2 years now to get Wells Fargo to approve your loan modification. You even hired an attorney to help you with your foreclosure defense.

Wells Fargo turns down your loan modification request. You wonder, how could this be? After all, Wells Fargo is one of the large lenders and is participating in the government's Federal Making Homes Affordable program.

But Wells Fargo tells you that the investor is the one that will not allow you to get a loan modification. What in the world is an investor doing making decisions on your loan you wonder. Well, you are not alone in your confusion. Every day we are explaining the whole mortgage note owner thing to buyers agents, real estate agents and homeowners.

Just because you make your house payments to Wells Fargo does not mean they own that note that you are paying on. They are the servicer. Other words you will hear them called are asset management companies.

The very first thing you need to do before you ask for a loan modification is to find out who actually owns your note. You can do this by calling who you make your mortgage payments to and asking them.

If it is Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae that own your note- you have a much better chance at getting your loan modification approved if you qualify. If it is a private group of investors, your chances go way down. Why would this happen?

One in eight homeowners' loans were sold to investors on Wall Street. What happens is that a bunch of loans are packaged together. These are called mortgage-backed securities. They are then sold off to investors. Homeowners who have mortgage-backed securitized loan are five times more likely to be late on their house payments. Many of these borrowers were given loans they were not qualified for from the beginning. Many of the homeowners getting these loans did not read the fine print and did not realize how high their mortgage payments might go when adjusted.

The rules to allow modifications, short sales and terms of foreclosures and deficiencies are ambiguous at best. Homeowners who are told no by the investor have little recourse.
The federal Making Homes Affordable program lenders who participate in the program must modify all homeowners that qualify. The exception is when the investor has a rule that they do not allow modifications.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported to Congress on June 3rd that these securitized mortgages are a "hurdle" to the success of the Making Homes Affordable program. The treasury department has not disclosed why the modifications are denied so there are little to no facts to go on.

Why would the investors say no to your loan modification? Well, Wells Fargo's response is that the investors need their money. Wells Fargo has one situation where the borrowers ( the homeowners) are trying to get their loan modified but Goldman Sachs is the issuer and Deutsche Bank is the trustee. But when you go and talk to these investors and we have on several occasions when doing short sale negotiations for our sellers; the investor passes the buck back to the servicer. For instance, Deutsche Bank says that Wells Fargo is solely responsible for the decision to modify a loan or not.

Some people say that the investors are the scapegoats. Everything can easily be blamed on them. Since you rarely get to speak to anyone at the investors' group it is hard to tell who is telling the truth. In this particular situation Wells Fargo is saying that the investor is not forgiving the past due debt and that makes the payment go up on a loan modification because then Wells Fargo would have to put that past due balance along with all the penalties and fees into the loan modification which then may cause the homeowner to not qualify financially for the loan modification.

Servicers have agreements, contracts that they sign with investors. These agreements contain the rules for modifications. These agreements are called Pooling and Servicing Agreements which is known as PSA's. The PSA is most often what the servicer says is the reason for them not being able to do the loan modification or release the deficiency on a short sale.
But when you talk to other people in the management areas or to the investors they claim that there is nothing in the PSA's that would prevent the servicer from approving loan modifications, short sales and releases. There is a new study coming out from a law school wherein they state that only 8% of these mortgage-backed securities agreements contain any language that says the servicer is not allowed to do a loan modification for these notes. That means that about 92% of all the NO's; could actually be YES's. So why would that even happen?

Fear of law suits! The language in the PSA in question here, Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank- it says that Wells Fargo can "waive, modify or vary any term" as long as Wells Fargo as the servicer makes a "reasonable and prudent determination" that the modification is in the investor's best interest. Attorneys examining these agreements say there is quite a bit of room for servicers to make these decisions. But the language itself in this agreement is enough for the servicers legal counsel to be concerned with the investor suing them for not acting in the best interest of the investor. They can not, no matter how inhumane this sounds, put the homeowner ahead of the investor. This is about business and if they want business from investors they need to make sure they are looking out for the interests of the investors.

The treasury department has stated that the fear of law suits is the biggest deterrent to getting the servicers to approve loan modifications and short sales. So doing little or simply turning down the loan modifications are the answer many servicers choose. This is not personal and this is not against you, the homeowner. The position of the servicers is to watch their own backs and to protect the assets to which they have been entrusted with, your mortgage-backed security. The Treasury Department says they can relieve some of the pressure of the fear of lawsuits by standardizing requirements for loan modifications and also provide some type of calculation to figure out if the investor will make more money by the loan modification or by the foreclosure.

We need to keep in mind one big thing in all of this and that is that these investors end up being regular people because most of these mortgage-backed securities were bought by pension funds and retirement plans of folks like your parents or even yourselves. You may well be one of the shareholders of the very loan you can not pay.

Written by:
Nestor & Katerina Gasset Realtors® Wellington Florida Luxury Homes

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Times Up For First Time Buyers

If they don't extend the November 30th deadline for first time buyers to get the tax credit---you're too late!!! Short sales are consistently taking 3-6 months to close so you've waited too long.

I predict they will extend the deadline, but you just can't count on that for one minute. If you're looking for a really good bargain in todays market, stick with foreclosed homes. They can close in 30 days or less. You can USUALLY get a response from the lender on your offer in 24-36 hours. Please note that there are multiple offers now on the nicer houses. I've heard that some homes have as many as 2 dozen offers!! In today's market, it's probably better to start out with your highest and best offer right from the "get-go". That way, if you really love the house, you'll know if you're in the game. With the number of offers being thrown on the table, you need to try to make yours the best!

Call or email me today for a list of foreclosures in the neighborhoods you like.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Short Sales in Jacksonville

The $8000 Tax Credit, as currently written, expires on November 30th. If you've been considering buying a short sale, you might be too late! They have consistently taken 90-120 to close and with that in mind, you need to write a contract TODAY! Of course, there are a few weird exceptions that have closed in 60 days, but for the most part, a 90 day minimum is the norm.

Please don't wait! There is a chance they may extend the credit and I hope they do! It's keeping the real estate market alive right now. BUT. There's just no guarantee that they will.

If you have a short sale in mind; if you like it, you'd better make an offer right away in order to beat the deadline.

Call me today for more information about buying a short sale and about how you might qualify for up to $35,000 of bond money!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Jacksonville First Time Buyers

Okay people. If you're a first time buyer you need to WAKE UP and call me. TODAY! For a very limited time in addition to the FEDERAL TAX CREDIT being offered -- you can get an ADDITIONAL $8000 from the City of Jacksonville by way of the City of Jacksonville Dept of Housing and Neighborhoods. Did you hear that? An ADDITIONAL $8,000 to use as a down paymnent OR closing costs or both. In addition to this money ($16,000), you might be able to get up to $25,000 in bond money and first time buyer assistance!!

What are you waiting for?? Call me today! The money available to Duval county residents is being given out on a first come, first served basis. Call me today to get the process started before it's too late!


Friday, July 3, 2009

Jacksonville REO Market

I just had to share this story. My buyers and I found a fabulous house on Monday afternoon. We wrote up an offer for the lender and sent it to the listing agent. This is a bank owned, foreclosed home that has only been on the market for 10 days.

Would you believe that we got a counter offer from the lender THE VERY NEXT MORNING? We couldn't believe it! We immediately countered and sure enough, before noon the next day--we had a counter to our counter!! And then, phooeey. The weekend got here so they gave us until noon Monday to sign the counter to our counter offer! Guess what? We're going to counter again! We are so close! I think we may wrap it up by Tuesday at lunch.

I still can't believe the fast response. We still have a few "issues" we have to work out with them, but I'm confident they'll see the value of the offer we're presenting to them.

FORGET SHORT SALES. They can take (literally) 4-6 months to even get a response to your offer! I've decided that foreclosed properties are the way to go.

Call me today and I'll find you a foreclosed home to look at too! We can probably close in 30 days or less!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Jacksonville Open House Blues

Here I sit in a vacant house...waiting for prospects to stop by. I have iced down some bottled waters, I have a wonderful platter of cookies from the Publix bakery, Diet Cokes, Sprite and even the proverbial hard candy bowl!! Only one thing is missing: visitors! I will have to admit that it's about 99 degrees outside and the humidity is around 110%; but still! WHERE ARE THE "LOOKERS". I thought surely I'd at least have a nosy neighbor or always get a few of those. Nope. I guess it's even too hot for them!

This is a cream puff!If you know of anyone looking for a pool home in Arlington in the low 120's--please send them my way.

Wait! Here come some lookers!! Better close up the old lap top and get to work! I have a contract sitting on the counter top...just in case!

Open Houses just don't work anymore I guess. REALTORS have always said that, but sellers don't believe us. Oh well. Jus doin my job...right? Maybe those nay sayers are all wrong! I'll know soon...

First Time Buyers: call me for info on getting $35,000 in down payment assistance!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Jacksonville Real Estate Market Update

Florida: Like California, home sales are up, and so are foreclosures and defaults. For the eighth month in a row, existing home sales rose--18%--in April, with existing condo sales up too--21%, according to Florida Association of Realtors’ numbers. The state, along with California, Arizona, and Nevada, powers the nation’s foreclosure abyss--10.6% of the mortgages in Florida are “somewhere in the process of foreclosure,” according to the Mortgage Bankers’ newest Delinquency Survey. This info from Florida Assoc of Realtors site.

This just means that we're nearing "the bottom". These new and improved, lower prices will be around for a while and once the "distressed homes" are sold-- prices will begin to increase again.

Buy now while the prices are low and interest rates are low. With all of the bailouts and now the proposed National Healthcare System looming...inflation will hit us next. The days of very high interest rates aren't too far off. How else can we pay for all of the government spending?

Don't delay. Buy today.

Give me a call or send me an email and put me to work for YOU!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

What do you mean the house is sold?

Oh my gosh. I think I'm making believers out of my buyers these days! I'm NOT using car salesmen tricks by saying "you better buy it now or it'll be gone". Read my lips: you better put an offer on it or it will be gone!! I kid you not. That's how hot the Jacksonville market is right now. First time buyers are gobbling up the houses in the 100-185,000 price range like I can't even believe. This is a hot, hot price range and the inventory is there to give everyone lots of choices.

The $8000 credit towards closing costs is really going to help a LOT.

Call me today and let's go find one of these bargains for YOU!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jacksonville Market Is On Fire!

Wow! Things have gone crazy in this market! The investors are fighting with the "normal buyers" and the "normal buyers" are coming out of the wood work! I guess it's the $8000 carrot that the Feds are dangling in front of the buyers noses! I am working with 4 different buyers. Let me say that again...I am working with FOUR buyers! These are preapproved, bonafide, ready to buy buyers! And just to add a little icing on the cake, they are the sweetest, nicest, funnest buyers I've ever worked with! Dare I say it? Oh what the heck: we are having fun! There are so many "bargains" out there right now it's amazing. The prices are HOT HOT HOT!

Someone call the fire department! The Jacksonville real estate market is on fi-ya!

Call me today and I'll find you a sweet deal too!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Short Sales Are The Name of The Game!

Hurry! If you've been watching the market, waiting for just the right time to jump in---now is the time!! Short sales are the name of the game. There are a bazillion of them on the market right now and lenders seem to be getting their act together. I have partnered with one of Jacksonville's finest real estate attorneys, David Heekin, to ensure that my buyers AND my sellers are protected and under the watchful eye of an attorney. There are so many legal ramifications of a short sale that I just felt like it would be a good investment for my clients to have peace of mind throughout the entire process. David is involved from day one. Put us to work for you today before all of the bargains are snatched up.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Jacksonville Short Sales

The number of houses that are now pending in MLS is AMAZING! I am blown away by the increase in business in our market. The number of REO's (bank owned--foreclosed homes) on the market is increasing too. I was shocked to revisit a search I did the first week in April on the Westside of town. Out of 11 homes that had been "active" at the time, 9 are now "pending". Wow! Now keep in mind, these are low priced homes ($100,000 or less) but they are an indication of the increase in sales. A lot of these homes are being purchased by investors. That's okay! We HAVE to get these homes off the market so the rebuilding process can begin. As long as these properties continue to bring the entire market value down, we're destined to stay in this declining market.

I celebrate every single sell of a short sale or REO property in the Jacksonville market! That's one less low priced home that's keeping the price of every home nearby low.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

FL Market Out of Control!

News from Florida Assoc of Realtors is a mixed bag, to say the least! Sales are way up--with prices WAY down. At least some of the inventory is "going away". There have been lots of sales because of all of the foreclosed properties and short sales. That's okay if you're a buyer....not so good if you're trying to sell your home right now. It's all about PRICE in this market. If you're a seller, you're competing with dirt cheap houses all around you. Now, more than ever, if your home isn't priced right, it's not going to sell. Pure and simple. Here's a little bit of what the experts have to say about this crazy market...

...“Many people are looking at today’s market and seeing opportunities to find the home or business they’ve always wanted,” said 2009 FAR President Cynthia Shelton. “With a range of available housing options, historically low mortgage interest rates and affordable prices, buyers who may have been hesitant before should take a closer look at the current opportunities for homeownership. As real estate professionals who know all aspects of their local market conditions, Florida Realtors are here to help counsel consumers making sound long-term decisions for their homes and their businesses.”

..."NAR’s latest housing outlook shows that home prices continue to fall, but also notes a trend of increasing sales activity in the Florida, California, Arizona and Nevada markets. “It appears some buyers are taking advantage of much lower home prices,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “The higher monthly sales gain and falling inventory are steps in the right direction, but buyers will continue to have an edge over sellers for the foreseeable future.”

TRANSLATION: Buyers market! Are you thinking of buying a home? Do you know you can get up to $35,000 in firt time buyer assistance? Do you know that you get a $8000 Tax Credit if you buy in 2009? Good grief! What are you waiting for???

Call me today and let's get out there and find YOU a bargain!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Jacksonville Home Prices Decline

Overall home values in Northeast Florida fell 11.6 percent in 2008, according to the latest data from

Median home sale values fell to $163,800, compared to the market peak of more than $210,000 in mid-2006, with nearly 30 percent of all homes selling at a loss.

Single-family home values fell 11.2 percent, while condo values fell 17.3 percent.

Nationwide, home values fell for the eighth consecutive quarter, declining 11.6 percent to $192,119. That means homeowners lost a cumulative $3.3 trillion in home values during 2008, with $1.4 trillion of it coming in the fourth quarter.

It could be worse! We could be in South Florida where the value dropped 23.5% in 2008. Condo prices dropped 23.9%. It's been reported that more than 34.5% of those homes sold at a loss.

Obama had better do SOMETHING to stimulate the building industry, free up mortgage money and make credit available to buyers or we are going to be in VERY SERIOUS condition in a very short time! Let's not spend Federal dollars on a "wish list" of things that won't do a thing for the Real Estate/Construction industry. Until these industries are back up and running, not much can be done about this economy.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Foreclosure Rates Continue to Rise

The number of foreclosures continue to increase in the Jacksonville area. Several different auctions are held at least once a month and these tend to clear out large numbers of homes in one afternoon.You can even buy foreclosures online! Lots of empty, foreclosed homes continue to sit in many neighborhoods creating eyesores and in some cases, a safety hazzard.

The upcoming bail out package has GOT to include some relief from this foreclosure nightmare! I think if they would lower the interest rates down to around 3.5%---we'd have buyers coming out of the woodwork! And why not? There are lots of good deals out there.

I've decided NOT to work with short sales for a while. The time involved and the disaster that often befalls the poor buyer, has made me rethink this market entirely. As my short sale listings expire, I refer them to another agent. I just don't think they're fair to the buyers OR the sellers. They often take so long, the house ends up in foreclosure before the buyer can get to closing. All because the lender took forever! When the lenders get their act together, I'm jumping right back in! Until then, I think I'll pass on short sales.

I like selling REO properties. These are homes that have already been foreclosed on and are bank owned. REO stands for "Real Estate Owned" by the bank. A buyer can make an offer, submit it to the listing agent, get an answer in 12 hours and you can close in 30 days or less!! The buyer can get a FANTASTIC deal on these foreclosures! The bank does NOT want to be in the real estate business! They just want the property and the headaches to GO AWAY. The low prices being accepted are amazing!

Call me today and I'll send you info on foreclosures in the Jacksonville area.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Help For Renters Living in Foreclosed Homes

Great news concerning renters of foreclosed properties! I have been complaining and worrying about these tenants for months! I am so relieved that SOMETHING is finally being done. I hope they follow through with all of this and really protect these families caught in the foreclosure mess. This is not fair to the tenants that have been paying their rent and playing by the rules. Please see the article below from the Florida Association of Realtors site today:

Fannie Mae bans evictions of renters

WASHINGTON – Jan. 14, 2009 – Mortgage finance company Fannie Mae said Tuesday it has adopted a policy allowing renters to remain in their homes even if their landlord enters foreclosure.

The new policy will allow residents of about 4,000 properties to sign new leases with Fannie while the property is up for sale. Michael Williams, Fannie Mae’s chief operating officer, said in a statement that the change should “help bring a measure of stability to communities impacted by high foreclosure rates.”

Fannie Mae had indicated last month that it was planning to do so. Sibling mortgage financier Freddie Mac is working on a similar policy, company spokesman Brad German said.

But Amy Marx, an attorney with New Haven Legal Assistance in Connecticut, said Freddie Mac has not been responsive to requests that it do the same, and has continued with evictions of renters in recent weeks.

“We are thrilled that Fannie Mae has done the right thing,” she said. “Our hope that Freddie Mac will follow their lead.”

New Haven Legal Assistance and two other legal aid organizations in Connecticut represent seven tenants facing eviction on properties whose loans are held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The legal groups argue that financial bailout legislation passed in October requires the companies allow tenants to remain in their homes.

Some households, Marx said, haven’t been notified of Fannie Mae’s policy change by the real estate agents charged with selling the properties.

Fannie and Freddie said last week they will extend a suspension of foreclosure sales and evictions from single-family homes through the end of January. The companies had suspended foreclosures through the holidays.

The government-controlled home loan giants say the extension will allow borrowers facing foreclosure to keep their homes as they work to modify more loans.

Washington-based Fannie Mae and McLean, Va.-based Freddie Mac own or guarantee around half of the $10.6 trillion in U.S. outstanding home loan debt.

The pair were taken over by the government in September and placed in a conservatorship after mounting mortgage losses put them in distress that was a prelude to the broader financial crisis that hit Wall Street last year.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jacksonville Homes For Sale

Great Article on Selling Your Home
by Anonymous (I read it online and loved it! Started following other links and never got back to the article!) Enjoy the read. IT IS SO TRUE!

Selling a home in a declining market starts with a proper attitude and finding the right Realtor® who is optimistic and knows the right sales techniques in this tough market. Even though most people and economists are down on the housing market (feel it is depressed, that the economic recovery isn't going to happen in the next few months, and consumer confidence is down), it doesn't mean that you can't sell your home.

The truth of the matter is many people will sell their homes between now and this summer. While many sellers and real estate agents take a reactive approach to market conditions, those sellers who take a more proactive and realistic approach to the market will be the ones who sell their homes. These are the sellers who take advantage of this market and move up to their dream home! First, be honest about appraising the condition of your home.

The key to successful selling in a 'declining market' is pricing your home at today's market value, having your home in tip-top condition and being able to work with a prospective buyer on financing needs and terms. Don't let your ego or pride get in the way when determining a price for your home. Put yourself in the buyer's shoes and walk across the street. Curb appeal to a new buyer is a very important and is many-times overlooked.

Secondly, take a leisurely walk through your home jotting down the little things you might do to spruce it up. New carpeting, a fresh coat of paint, new light fixtures, mirrors, etc., are items that will give your home more emotional appeal and does not cost too much. Put away the clutter throughout the home. Rooms free of clutter will appear bigger and the new buyer can visually 'move into' your home much easier. Remember, new buyers are not buying your furniture.

Finally, be patient. The real estate market has changed considerably since the last run-up where homes sold in hours or days. We are now experiencing a more "normal market" where homes take 90-120 days to sell. Remember, inventories are at an all-time high right now. Bank foreclosures are all around you and many buyers will have difficulty qualifying for a new loan. Lenders also have very strict guidelines now and consumer confidence is very low. Allowing for a normal marketing period will do a lot to alleviate your impatience when you have few showings of your home or a lack of offers to review.

A good Realtor® will keep you abreast of market changes, activity on your home and others in the neighborhood, while maintaining a "teamwork" concept that is paramount for a successful sale. Properties need ample time to be exposed to the public and finding the right buyer requires a good understanding of the market as well as sales values. In all honesty, there are no easy answers but one thing is for certain, even in the worst markets, there are people selling homes and taking their equity!