Archive for July, 2010
Today, thousands of homeowners are finding themselves with properties they can no longer afford.
Some are behind in their payments, or soon to be late. Some have tried to work out a loan modification with their lender and were declined, and some homeowners simply want to get from under the property, but don’t want a foreclosure or possibly face bankruptcy.
Avoid a foreclosure on your record. If you have received a notice of default, or your home is in foreclosure status, it is not too late to take the necessary steps that will help you in making the best decision out of a difficult situation.
Did you know that mortgage lenders encourage Short Sales? Homeowners have the need and the right to “recover” and move on. A short sale allows you to do this, and to remain in control. As the homeowner, you make the decision to sell. You take charge of when you move, not the bank forcing it. You can sell your home and owe nothing to the bank.
As a Real Estate Agent and Certified Pre-Foreclosure Specialist, I focus on how I can help you and homeowners like yourself to make informative decisions based on the options available to you.
You deserve to know your options that have been made available to you prior to facing foreclosure. You can avoid having a foreclosure on your record, and look forward to a new beginning.
There are many questions you will want answers to. If you would like more information on short sales and other resolutions, I would love to meet with you. Please call or email to schedule a free confidential appointment.
If you are ready to move on, and start a new chapter in your life, please call or email. There is no cost, no fee, and no obligation. Call now for your free confidential consultation.
11 Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Appraisal
If you’re looking to sell or refinance your home, you know that a home appraisal is a necessary step in the process. While the value of your home may not be what it once was, it is important for homeowners to be realistic when it comes to getting their home appraised.
As a member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I know how vital it is to list your home at the right price. Price is, after all, only a part of marketing…but it is crucial, and having an appraisal done is the first step toward making the right pricing decision.
Here are 11 ways to prepare for a home appraisal:
1. The appraiser will need approximately 30 minutes to one hour to complete the inspection phase of the appraisal process, which includes: exterior photos of the front and rear of the home and a photo of the street in front of the property; measurements of the exterior of the home, garage and any outbuildings; a walk-through inspection of all rooms and levels of the interior of the home, including the basement.
2. Get organized. Put together a checklist that will help you get ready for your appraisal.
3. Be flexible when scheduling the appointment.
4. Have a copy of your home’s blueprint to help verify measurements and lot size.
5. Provide a list of improvements made to the property since the purchase. Improvements that should be noted include adding a pool, patio, updating your kitchen or bathroom, and any room additions, etc.
6. Allow your appraiser access to the entire property, including access to any crawl space or attic areas.
7. Keep in mind that a clean home makes a good impression. Be sure to trim the lawn, clean the pool and garage, repair cracked windows or torn screens, check for leaky faucets and secure gutters and down spouts before your appraisal.
8. Point out any amenities that may not be obvious to the appraiser: sprinkler systems, patios, pools, security systems, built-in pool vacuum, etc.
9. Provide a copy of last year’s tax assessment information.
10. Know what year the house was built and when improvements were made.
11. The first thing appraisers look for is comparables, so be prepared and have a list of recent sales of similar properties in the immediate neighborhood.
Following these steps will go a long way toward making the home appraisal process a bit easier.
For more information on home appraisals and preparing your home for sale, please e-mail me at [email protected] —and please feel free to forward these tips to any family and friends with a home sale in their future.
First-time Home Buyers:
What You Need to Know Before Starting Your Home Search
With historically low interest rates persevering and prices starting to creep back up, more and more renters are grappling with the question of whether to buy now or keep renting.
Based on the countless clients I have helped buy their first home, I can confidently tell you, yes! Now is a very opportune time to purchase your first home.
According to my colleagues in the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, a national network of leading real estate agents, first-time home buyers across the country have taken advantage of today’s market conditions to go from renter to homeowner. That said, the ability to move into homeownership is very dependent upon the overall health of your finances. Buying a home not only takes having the necessary cash on hand for the deposit and closing costs, but also the financial wherewithal to convince a bank to lend you 80% or more of the purchase price in the form of a long-term mortgage.
Here are some other important points to be aware of before embarking on a home purchase:
1. Having good credit is all important, so put out the bucks to Fair Isaacs’ myFICO.com to get your current scores (about $16 each for reports from Equifax and TransUnion, another $15 at Experian.com). Don’t be surprised if the scores differ somewhat, and check them carefully for errors. Remember that errors must be reported to and corrected by the agencies themselves, which could take weeks or months.
2. Know what you can afford. Aim for a home that costs about two-and-a-half times your gross income – less if you have significant financial debt. In all, your monthly home payments should not exceed 36% of your gross monthly income. Getting pre-approved by a lender should be your signal to start home shopping.
3. Check your cash situation. Whether you are aiming to amass 20% of the home’s price for a conventional loan, or 3% or more for a loan from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA or the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, you will also need to cover fees and closing costs, which can run up to 5% of the mortgage amount. First-time buyers may augment their cash by borrowing from an IRA or getting a cash gift from parents, but check with a financial advisor for amounts and tax consequences.
4. And speaking of tax consequences, remember that homeowners, unlike renters, must pay property taxes each year – and pay for any needed repairs or upgrades. Be sure to leave yourself a little financial wiggle room in order to meet these expected – and sometimes unexpected – expenses.
If you would like more information about preparing to buy a home, please e-mail me. I also invite you to forward this email to anyone else who might soon be joining the ranks of homeowner!
Top 5: First-Time Home Buyers