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!