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  • After a training class with Janice Strong of Strong Appraisals and the changes that we are now facing with Conventional financing and FHA starting in January, my best advice would be for sellers to get a home inspection BEFORE they list. Because of the new "grading" practices it is in the sellers best interest to make sure thatALL Health & Life Safety issues are addressed prior to listing, or at the latest before the appraisal is ordered to avoid delays in closing or possibly not closing at all. Something to think about might be that the seller addresses/pays forthe home inspection and the buyer addresses/pays for the appraisal.....hmmmm, just a thought!

  • Are you wondering what to do to increase the value of your home? Thinking of putting your home on the market but not quite sure where to put your money? Well the answer is....save your money and clean up your house! Break out the storage boxes and put unnecessary items away, clean your baseboards, dust the lighting, get the marks off the walls, wipe down cabinets, clean your front door, organize closets and muck the garage! Of course if your paint is dingy and your floors are in disarray and you can afford it - take care of it and it will make a world of difference. Lighting can be replaced at minimal cost and can really update your home but the biggest factor and the least expensive way to make your home more salable is clean, clean, clean! Don't forget the outside, pick up toys and yard supplies, make sure your entry is attractive and clutter free - 1st impressions are key. Always clean up pet mess and make sure any unnecessary vehicles are removed form the property. It might seem simple but it will make the biggest difference of all and cost the least amount of money!

  • Reading Realtor.org magazine, I came across this little tidbit...Right now is a great time to buy but it is difficult to bring buyers off of the fence and into a contract! Call me and lets talk about the market. Let me show you the great buys in your price range and provide you with some comfort in knowing that you are getting an excellent value at incredible interest rates!

    Three Reasons to Buy a Home Now Stocks are up 50 percent from the March 2009 bottom. Some commodities have risen dramatically. The only asset class left in the cellar is real estate, says Michael Murphy, editor of the New World Investor stock newsletter.As a result, Murphy is advising investors to buy now for these three reasons: Desperate sellers: Both home owners and lenders are eager to unload a flood of foreclosed and underwater properties. Buyers with the patience to push through these complex deals can save a bundle. Little competition. Because most people dont have what it takes to negotiate their way through short sales and REOs, patient investors are winners. Low rates. Mortgage rates are at their lowest level in 40 years. If you believe inflation is inevitable, lock in now.Source: MarketWatch, Michael Murphy (08/19/2010)

  • 6 Reasons to Reduce Your Home Price

    While youd like to get the best price for your home, consider our six reasons to reduce your home price.

    If you don't receive any offers for a few weeks, check out other comparable houses on the market and what they're going for. Image: Liz Foreman

    Home not selling? That could happen for a number of reasons you cant control, like a unique home layout or having one of the few homes in the neighborhood without a garage. There is one factor you can control: your home price.

    These sixsigns may be telling you its time to lower your price.

    1. YOURE DRAWING FEW LOOKERS

    You get the most interest in your home right after you put it on the market because buyers want to catch a great new home before anybody else takes it. If your real estate agent reports there have been fewer buyers calling about and asking to tour your home than there have been for other homes in your area, that may be a sign buyers think its overpriced and are waiting for the price to fall before viewing it.

    2. YOURE DRAWING LOTS OF LOOKERS BUT HAVE NO OFFERS

    If youve had 30 sets of potential buyers come through your home and not a single one has made an offer, something is off. What are other agents telling your agent about your home? An overly high price may be discouraging buyers from making an offer.

    3. YOUR HOMES BEEN ON THE MARKET LONGER THAN SIMILAR HOMES

    Ask your real estate agent about the average number of days it takes to sell a home in your market. If the answer is 30 and youre pushing 45, your price may be affecting buyer interest. When a home sits on the market, buyers can begin to wonder if theres something wrong with it, which can delay a sale even further. At least consider lowering your asking price.

    4. YOU HAVE A DEADLINE

    If youve got to sell soon because of a job transfer or youve already purchased another home, it may be necessary to generate buyer interest by dropping your price so your home is a little lower priced than comparable homes in your area. Remember: Its not how much money you need that determines the sale price of your home, its how much money a buyer is willing to spend.

    5. YOU CANT MAKE UPGRADES

    Maybe youre plum out of cash and dont have the funds to put fresh paint on the walls, clean the carpets, and add curb appeal. But the feedback your agent is reporting from buyers is that your home isnt aswell-appointed as similarly priced homes. When your home has been on the market longer than comparable homes in better condition, its time to accept that buyers expect to pay less for a home that doesnt show as well as others.

    6. THE COMPETITION HAS CHANGED

    If weeks go by with no offers, continue to check out the competition. What have comparable homes sold for and whats still on the market? What new listings have been added since you listed your home for sale? If comparable home sales or new listings show your price is too steep, consider a price reduction.

  • Are you recently unemployd? Are you struggeling to make your mortgate payment? Please read the below arcticle posted by the National Association of Realtors!

    By August 1, all mortgage servicers participating in the Making Home Affordable Program will offer extra help for homeowners struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments because of unemployment. The Unemployment Program will offer homeowners a forbearance period to temporarily reduce or suspend their monthly mortgage payments while they seek re-employment.

    The minimum forbearance period is three months, although a mortgage servicer may extend it depending on the investor and regulator guidelines. If a homeowner becomes re-employed in that time, the forbearance period will end and the homeowner will be evaluated for a mortgage modification under the Making Home Affordable Program. Unemployment benefits will no longer qualify as income for the mortgage modification program.

    During the forbearance period, a homeowners monthly mortgage payment must be reduced to no more than 31 percent (or less) of their gross monthly income. The servicer can decide to temporarily suspend payments in full. The payment amount and due dates will be decided by the servicer depending on investor and regulator guidelines.

    To qualify, a homeowner must meet the following eligibility criteria:

    The mortgage must be a first lien mortgage, originated on or before January 1, 2009, and the unpaid principal balance must be equal to or less than $729,750 for a one-unit property.The property must be the homeowners principal residence.The mortgage has not been previously modified through a Home Affordable Modification.The homeowner was ineligible for a Home Affordable Modification.The homeowner is either behind on payments (but not by more than three consecutive months) or it is reasonably forseeable that the homeowner will fall behind.The total monthly mortgage payment is greater than 31 percent of the homeowners gross monthly income. If the payment is less, it is up to the servicers discretion if they will offer the program to the homeowner.The homeowner will be unemployed at the start of the forbearance period, and is able to document this because they will be receiving unemployment benefits in the month the forbearance period begins (even if the benefits expire before the forbearance period ends).

    A mortgage servicer may require that, based on investor and regulator guidelines, homeowners have received at least three months of unemployment benefits before they begin a forbearance period.

    There is no cost to apply to the Unemployment Program, although late charges may accrue while the homeowner is being evaluated for the program or in the program. A mortgage servicer may not collect late charges from the homeowner while they are still in the forbearance period.

    Servicers may not initiate foreclosure proceedings or conduct a foreclosure sale while a homeowner is being evaluated for the Unemployment Program or in the forbearance period.To determine if you qualify for the Unemployment Program, contact your mortgage servicer. You should learn your eligibility within ten days of submitting complete documentation to your servicer.If you have any questions after speaking with your servicer, or need assistance applying to the program, call 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) to speak with a HUD-approved housing counselor for free.To read the guidelines for the Unemployment Program for all mortgages not held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, click here.

  • Buying And Selling Tips?Are You Looking For Infomation And Tools To Help You Protect, Maintain, And Enhance The Value Of Your Home? Visit HouseLogic And How Not To Only Enhance The Value Of Your Home But Also Tips On Buying And Selling!Resources For Home Owners >Resources For Home Buyers And Sellers >

    As always, please call me or e-mail mefor a free market analysis, buyers consultation or relocation packet!

  • I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall further than they have already. They are assuming that the best course of action is to wait for the bottom in the market and then buy. The problem with this approach is that you don't know where the bottom is until you see it in the rear view mirror, meaning until you've missed it!

    Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have gone up in the last six months, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, if home prices come down a little further but interest rates up, it could cost you even more to service a mortgage on an identical home!

    While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates and low home prices, rather than to hope for a further break in prices in the future.

    Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.