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Showing posts with label bank. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bank. Show all posts

February 20, 2012

The Fed Pushes Rent To Own For REO Foreclosures

Hi Everyone,
   I hope you had a great President's Day, especially if you were fortunate enough to have the day off.

   In some previous posts here over the past few months, we have discussed the connection that is music to the ears of Real Estate Investors, which is using Rent to Own for the immense amount of homes that are on the balance sheets of the banks, which are called REOs (basically, Real Estate Owned by the banks). Initially, we discussed this in "Feds Finally Keen on Rent to Own Housing", and then in the post titled, "From A Sad Foreclosure To A Happy Home". This is such a promising topic for everyone, not just Real Estate Investors, that it's important to revisit it here today, with some details and info from Joe Mont in his story titled, "Need a Foreclosure Cure? Try Rent-To-Own", and which appeared on TheStreet website.

   First, some info for those unaware of Rent to Own

   In a Rent to Own Deal, a Seller rents out their home to a Potential Buyer (a Tenant-Buyer), with a set price at which they will sell the home for during or at the end of a specified period of time. There is also an Option Fee, or an option-to-buy fee, which can run 3-5% of the value of the home.

   In the article by Mont, Brett Furniss, president and owner of BDF Realty, a Charlotte, N.C.-based firm that specializes in rent-to-own properties, says that there has been steady interest in these arrangements for the past few years, and says that "sellers realize that they can't sell their house for market value, so they are willing to entertain rent-to-own tenants, whereas in the past they just wanted to get the property sold"

   There are benefits for both sides on these deals.

   For the buyer, they have a vested interest in a property that they would like to ultimately purchase, and the time period of the agreement allows them to check out the area, the schools, and to build up their credit and/or their down-payment before making the purchase.

   For the seller, the mortgage is getting paid, and thus, the bleeding stops. They also have people in the home that they hope will take care of it as if it were their own, as well as taking care of the utilities, taxes, and as Furniss adds, "the risk of vandalism".

   "Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke shared his views on ways to escape the nation's foreclosure crisis", writes Mont. "Among the ideas in that speech" to the National Association of Homebuilders, was the topic of "rent-to-own properties". Additionally, says the Fed, Rent-to-own provisions could help renters and owners. "Bernanke supports the idea that a share of these creditor-owned properties be offered as "rent-to-own" properties rather than linger on the open market", adds Mont.

   Will the banks take this advice from Bernanke?

   We will see, however, as Mont writes, "the concept of rent-to-own and lease-to-own housing may be gaining traction among individual buyers and sellers". However, it is important to also look at the risks and the precautions.

   One risk that is important to understand is that of a financial nature, For example, if the buyer was unable to purchase the home by the end of the lease, or, if the price of the home is higher than the agreed upon purchase price (i.e, the seller could have sold it for more). Another such risk is the option money, and how it is credited towards a purchase or if any or all of it is refundable if they don't, says Mont.

   Some more good tips revolve around potential scams. A recently growing scam involves sellers who "pocketed their money even though the house was well on its way to foreclosure", writes Mont, so it is imperative to confirm ownership of the home. As always, involve your attorney and have them review all terms of the agreement. To learn more about Rent to Own, please see the E-book, "Secrets of Rent to Own", by clicking this link.

   So, after that mouthful, do you think the Fed will continue to push the Rent to Own path? If not, what would the reason(s) be?

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Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog: http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Websites: http://www.lease2buy.com and http://www.homerunhomes.com

TAGS: #REO #foreclosure #RealEstateInvestor #bank #housing #optiontobuy #properties #tenant #mortgage #leasetoown

October 23, 2011

Costly Mistakes When Mortgage Shopping

Welcome Back, Folks,
   Fall has fallen, but it's not the only thing that has fallen.

   The mortgage market is in a baffling state, which has been referred to as "Irony", in comments from Lawrence Yun of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), a which we discussed in last Friday's Blog Post ("Snapshot of September New Construction and Existing Home Sales"). Yun points to the paradox of historical affordability conditions with more creditworthy borrowers, but contract failures that are at elevated levels, regardless of the favorable conditions.

   Could it be partial accountability on mistakes that the borrowers are making? It's quite possible, and in a recent article on the Inman.com new website, titled, "3 mortgage mistakes you can avoid", Tara-Nicholle Nelson (of rethinkrealestate.com) lists these mistakes along with some suggestions to overcome these personally-set obstacles.

   If your mortgage amount that you owe outstanding is greater than the value of your home, you are considered "upside-down", and if you fail to try refinancing because of that, it's a mistake, says Nelson. She writes that approx 23 percent of all American homes are upside-down, and that you should not feel "trapped" with high interest rates. As a matter of fact, Nelson writes, "multiple options abound for lowering your interest rate and monthly payment if you're upside down on your home loan", and says that banks are increasingly "amenable to simply modify existing mortgages to render them less prone to default and foreclosure", especially if the homeowner is trying to recover from financial hardship. as long as you have not missed any payments, she says that "many banks offer refis on mortgages as much as 25 percent underwater", and also mentions HAMP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) as options. Seek out help from Mortgage professionals to review your options.

   Nelson points to the potential for low satisfaction, low speed, and low assertiveness from just walking into a bank to get a mortgage, however, if you go with a mortgage broker or a private mortgage banker through referrals of your close friends and relatives, says Nelson, "chances are good you'll get someone who understands that the long-term health of their business depends on you and clients like you getting a deal closed in a timely manner".

   The third mistake that Nelson points out is when you think that you are stuck with your mortgage for 30 years, and says that she has head people say they didn't want to buy a home "because they were depressed by the thought of a debt that would last 30 years". She adds the following piece of wisdom: "you control when you pay your mortgage off, and it doesn't take a lottery or inheritance windfall to pay yours off sooner than later", and says that paying a little extra towards the principal can go a long way in shrinking the time it takes to pay off your mortgage.

   To summarize; You do have control and power to make changes to your mortgage, which can have a positive outcome on your entire financial bottom-line. What other mistakes have you seen borrowers make, and what can they do to avoid those pitfalls?

   On a personal note...a very special shout-out to a very special lady. Danielle, Happy Birthday. Love you, honey !

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Have a Great Weekend, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog: http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Websites: http://www.lease2buy.com and http://www.homerunhomes.com

TAGS: #mortgage #realestate #upsidedown #refinance #interestrate #mortgagepayment #mortgagebroker #bank

September 1, 2011

Is the HAFA Short Sale Program Working?

Hi All,

   The days of summer, heat, humidity, bugs, etc, are dwindling down. Prepare your parkas and get ready to pick some pumpkins!

   "Foreclosure Crisis"

   Just reading those words will make many folks shudder, thinking about the possibility that they can potentially lose their home. For those folks that can and want to stay put during the process vs give the deed back to the bank in lieu of foreclosure ("Deed in lieu of foreclosure"), the would probably be considering a Short Sale, or selling the house "short" of what is owed on the home.

   The long-running issue with Short Sales is that they can drag on and take months or even longer to complete, and they can be quite painful for both buyer and seller. As a matter of fact, back in July, we did a post titled, "Lengthy Short Sale Process a Painful Reality" (BLOG POST HERE or PODCAST MP3 HERE), and in sum, the Short Sale Process is like a modern day "Wild West".

   Then comes HAFA...

   "HAFA is an acronym for Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives" writes Elizabeth Weintraub for About.com in her story titled, "Is the HAFA Short Sale Program Right for You?". Weintraub says that the HAFA short sale program, which is part of President Obama's Making Home Affordable Program. is designed to "help underwater sellers either modify their loans or sell their homes as a short sale to avoid foreclosure". The program was created with a limited lifespan (effective from April 5, 2010, through December 31, 2012), but the goodies are in what the program promises, and as Weintraub writes, "HAFA promises short sale approval within 10 days and gives the seller up to $3,000 in cash at closing". Whimsically, Weintraub says that the program "has been touted as the answer to every short sale agent's nightmare." Let's take a closer look at the program and some of the benefits.

   Some of the key benefits provided by the plan are as follows, per Weintraub; Lenders must agree not to foreclose during the short sale process, Second lenders can no longer try to force a seller to commit short sale mortgage fraud by demanding payments outside of escrow, and Sellers will receive a government payment of $3,000 at close of escrow to cover relocation expenses. One of the most interesting benefits is that the Lenders that participate in HAFA waive the right to a deficiency judgment, and for someone selling a home for $100,000 below the mortgage amount, that is huge ! At interest to Real Estate Investors, all parties involved in HAFA would need to sign an "arm's length affidavit" (Seller cannot sell a friend or relative and buyer cannot sell the property for 90 days).

   Before a borrower can apply for HAFA, they first need to apply to HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program), which requires all 5 rules be met in order to be eligible (only personal residences with a pre 1/1/2009 mortgage of below $729,750, with monthly mortgage payments of greater than 31% of the borrower's gross monthly income, coupled with some form of borrower hardship). Each of the 5 rules must apply. As Weintraub says, "If any one of the 5 rules do not apply, then the borrower is not eligible for HAMP."

   Now, this is where things get tricky. Weintraub says that "Eligibility and qualification for HAMP are two different animals", and that "If you are eligible for HAMP, it does not mean that you will qualify for HAMP". She adds a valuable insight; "Your goal, if you want to do a short sale, is to hope that HAMP will turn you down"..."Then you will be eligible for HAFA". If you are accepted into HAMP, she adds, and you stop making your loan modification payments, you can also apply to HAFA. "HAFA is a government-sponsored program, it's a lot more complicated than that", Weintraub says.

   To check eligibility, find out if your Lender participates in HAMP, since as Weintraub says, "lenders that participate in HAMP also participate in HAFA.". Who does participate? As of this post, Fannie Mae lenders, Freddie Mac lenders, and quite a large amount of other lenders (Bank of America, NA, CitiMortgage, Inc, etc.)

   If you are rejected for HAMP, then you can apply for the HAFA short sale program or Deed in-Lieu-of Foreclosure, but as Weintraub writes, "I don't know why anybody in their right minds would do a deed in-lieu". Basically, for HAFA, they pre-approve the price and permit 4-months to sell the home short via a Realtor. Similar to the HAMP, this is also only for personal residences with a pre 1/1/2009 mortgage of below $729,750, and in addition, the seller must be behind in payments or close to it, and previously rejected by HAMP.for HAMP.

   Is it Working? Is it Functional?

   According to a story by Jon Prior on HousingWire.com, the "Servicers completed 10,438 short sales through the government's Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program since it launched in April 2010, according to the Treasury Department". The big loan services handling the majority of these deals were JPMorgan Chase (approximately 3600 completed), Wells Fargo, and Bank of America, to round out the top 3. It definitely looks like it's working...there is a story behind each deal, for sure.

   In terms of on-the-ground and in-the-trenches reality, Weintraub says it's "interesting to point out that very few borrowers tend to qualify for a loan modification", and says that, in fact, "almost every single short sale that I do in Sacramento is for a seller who was rejected for a loan modification."

   In the article from HousingWire.com, Prior added some comments from Pam Marron, a senior loan officer with Gold Start Mortgage Financial Group in Tampa Bay, Fla.". Marron said that "more and more homeowners in negative equity view a short sale as their only way out. Many, she said, are defaulting because banks require them to do so in order to qualify for a short sale". Marron also says that the growing problem in Florida is the "alarming increase in the number of short sale listings that are coming onto the market", with people that are "still employed but severely underwater and are having to short sale because they are not able to pay the vast difference owed between the mortgage amount and the value of these homes".

   One of the most interesting, yet disturbing, quotes from Marron was as follows"; "Banks are requiring homeowners to default in order to qualify for the short sale". It's crazy!

   Apparently, I think the program is working, but it should be extended, and Realtors and Real Estate Attorneys should be letting more homeowners know about the program. It's not news that is spread around as much as it should be. Hopefully, this post can help towards notifying more struggling families, friends, and neighbors that there are options for them.

   Can you help spread the word?

Would You Like Our Blog Posts Directly to your E-mail? Here's How:
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Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog: http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Websites: http://www.lease2buy.com and http://www.homerunhomes.com

TAGS: #HAFA #HAMP #Foreclosure #ShortSales #DeedinLieu #loanmodification #bank #mortgage #realestateinvestor

February 4, 2011

Real Estate Market Forecast For 2011

Hi Folks,

   Happy Friday. How was your week? Did you meet all of your goals?

   The question for today is: "Where Do You See The Real Estate Market Headed in 2011 ?" In order for us to gain the proper perspective, we spoke with professionals from 3 pieces of the Real Estate "Pie": A Real Estate Advisor, A Real Estate Investor, and A Real Estate Attorney.

   The Real Estate Advisor that we spoke with is John Rymer, of Rymer Strategies in Tampa. Rymer discusses the continuous, "downward pressure in the form of added supply from foreclosures and banks finally disposing of long-distressed condominiums in many sunbelt locations", as well as the, "tightening of credit standards" from the, "GSE's (Freddie and Fannie) and overly zealous overlays from the major mortgage banks that have made mortgage approval the most difficult in generations."

   Rymer tells us that, "As any renter will tell you, patience has been well rewarded in this downturn and strategic buyers who jumped in during 2008 - 2009 have been penalized are now gun shy about putting more money, or recommending to other to put money into real estate.". In addition, Rymer reminds us that the, "affordability of homeownership is at a 50 year record.", and warns that, "Sooner or later greed always overcomes fear". "Will 2011 be the year that we see a significant uptick in housing?", questions Rymer, rhetorically, "and replies, "Perhaps not until late in the year, but headlines seem to focus on the negative, so look for any good news to be buried on page 6."

   For the perspective from a Real Estate Investor, we spoke with Marc Sherby, the "Sheriff Sale Guru", who believes that foreclosures will continue to be one of the, "hottest segments of the market in 2011, in spite of the robo-signing incident." Sherby has seen a drop-off in foreclosures at the end of Q4 in 2010 due to banks, "checking and rechecking their paperwork.", but says that, "as the lenders get their paperwork houses in order and as the continued sales are carried out, and as new properties are coming up for sale there will most likely be a deluge of housing on the market. That is why I see the market headed to another record year in foreclosures, as do most experts."

   Sherby says that for those who are educated in purchasing foreclosures, "the buys will be extremely good to great as banks chop prices even further to move product from their non-performing assets inventory.", and says that while retail prices are still dropping in some markets, some others are stabilizing.

   Troy Doucet a Real Estate Attorney, provides our Real Estate Attorney perspective, and says that he sees the Real Estate market, "continuing to stagnate this year into next.", and states that, "as the pressure of debt continues to grow on state and local governments, we will begin to see interest rates rise. As interest rates rise in the bond markets, rates will rise for homebuyers, meaning buying a home will become more expensive and will discourage buyers." Just as our other commentators have said in this article, Doucet also points to the number of foreclosures and the, "lender's shadow inventories of homes" as major contributors to the, "market's stagnation."

   How about your point of view? What do you think about the 2011 Real Estate Market? We'd love to hear your comments.

Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Website http://www.lease2buy.com

TAGS: #realestate #foreclosure # shortsale

December 29, 2010

Two Points: Selling An REO Property and Home Prices Dropping

Hi Folks,

   Hope you're having a peaceful week. 2011 is just a few days away. Doesn't 2011 sound like such a futuristic year?

   Well, today, I would like to share a post that was written by Bob Corcoran, titled, "Five Tips to Sell REO Properties Faster", and the reason that I am sharing this with you is that this post goes hand-in-hand with my post of November 26th, which is titled, "Post-Foreclosure REO Property Maintenance". Corcoran's post looks at how to prepare an REO for sale from a Realtors point of view, but is also applicable to investors or any other parties.

   Corcoran says that, "The house needs to look just like any other house on the market in the neighborhood.", and he points out his 5 tips as follows:

1. Be a cleaner: Corcoran emphasizes that you, "have to be willing to do what it takes to get the house sold."

2. Think colors: Corcoran states that, "Red says to stop and yellow adds a warmth and coziness."

3. Add smells: "If it smells like bad, it doesn’t matter what it looks like.", says Corcoran, who suggests using air fresheners and a fresh pot of coffee. He says that, "The smell of coffee imparts the best of emotions. It tells people this is a good place to raise kids, it gives a warm and a comforting feeling."

4. Put up signs: Corcoran says that when you're marketing an REO property, "you need to make sure that it’s depersonalized and use cue cards – white piece of paper on the wall – that explain to prospective buyers the positives on what’s been done to the property."

5. Communicate often and regularly: This tip refers to the relationship between the bank and the Realtor, and Corcoran advises that, "When banks assign the Realtor to a property, it expects them to become the eyes and ears for everything that has to do with that property."

   These are some fantastic tips, and are of great use to the entire Real Estate community.

   Now, on to Part 2 of this post: The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices were released yesterday, and as per the report, "Six markets – Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Portland (OR), Seattle and Tampa – hit their lowest levels since home prices started to fall in 2006 and 2007". Bright Side? It looks like the major cities in California bounced back. Do you live in California? If so, this might make you happy?

   Thanks for hearing me out! Comments? Questions? Suggestions? You have tons of options for feedback here.

Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Website http://www.lease2buy.com

TAGS: #reo #foreclosure #realtor #realestate

November 26, 2010

UPDATED: Post-Foreclosure REO Property Maintenance

Hi All,

   I hope you had a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving dinner, and we are glad to have you back here with us today, from wherever you may be reading this.

   We have had a tremendous amount of requests to cover the topic of REO properties and the manner in which they are kept from becoming eyesores and danger zones. In order to garner the best information, we spoke with a few people who deal with REO properties on a daily basis, and we have received some valuable information from them that we would like to share with you today.

   How are Foreclosure/REO Properties being Maintained in while they are Unoccupied?

   Edward Harris, Owner of REO Clean Up, tells us that the REO maintenance process for his company starts once the, "HUD/Bank receives a foreclosed property into their inventory and that property is turned over to their integration contractor/Broker.". Once they receive the property they send his company a "work order to go out and perform an, 'initial inspection'." Harris say that this report provides detailed information of anything left behind by the previous owners and also any visual problems with the home. The next step after this report is sent back to the IC/Broker is that a, "a work order is generated from the 'initial inspection report' regarding any issues. This work order is referred to as. 'Initial Services'."

   Another professional we spoke with, Mia Melle, President of West Coast Property Specialists, says that, "How these properties are managed during times of vacancy differs from company to company and also depends on what the owner intends to do with the home - rent or sell or sometimes nothing at all.". Melle provides an example of Fannie Mae, which, "uses the agents who are going to list the home as interim property managers and usually they are unpaid!", so basically it is the listing agent's responsibility to, "coordinate lock changes, landscaping, board ups, etc.", and surmises that the fact that they are unpaid for this service, "speaks to the fact that so many homes go uncared for and turn into neighborhood eyesores."

   Adam Roberts, a Community Development Loan Specialist in the St. Louis/Midwest Region, concurs, and says that, "many of the REO properties are not being maintained to a "neighborhood friendly" level. Lenders are neglecting to manage these properties because there is an overwhelming(ly) large number."

   Melle says, however, that she has seen other types of financial institutions use property management companies to handle their vacant inventories but she reiterates that, "the companies are often doing this for the opportunity to either list or manage the property in the future and are offered next to nothing (in) compensation to oversee the homes."

   Who is Keeping these Properties from Becoming Overgrown?

   Harris says that once his company receives an "Initial Services work order", they perform the following; "trash out services, Janitorial, grass cut and any safety issues are given immediate attention. Once we receive a work order the property is in our inventory for routine services until the property is sold." He says that "Routine Services includes bi-weekly visual inspections, grass cuts, picking up any trash, re-fresh janitorial cleaning, re-fresh of winterization during the winter seasons, snow removal", and, "If a roof problem for example, is found during a routine inspection I would have someone rectify the problem ASAP."

   Roberts says that "fortunately" through local law enforcement and code enforcement the properties have some maintenance such as, "occasional lawn mowing and boarding up windows and doors." Still, however, Melle says that, "Landscaping is one of the issues that lack thereof is the most noticeable to the neighborhood and it's one of the harder services to obtain for anyone whether you are a bank, property manager, or listing agent.", and says that, "The reason for this is that gardeners are a very local type businesses and you cannot find them on the Internet, the yellow pages or elsewhere. Normally, if you live in the neighborhood they will drop a flyer off at your door periodically but other than that.they are extremely hard to locate and hire from off site. So, as a result the landscaping may or may not get done regularly or at all.", and says that, "It's definitely an issue that we've had in our company with these types of portfolios."

   Who is Protecting these Properties from being Burglarized (for Copper Tubing, etc)?

   Harris says that during the "initial inspection", the property is secured, locks changed, hasp/pad locks if needed.", but he says that, "Obviously we can’t have someone at the properties 24/7, the visits of the routine inspectors and neighbors aware of the home can be/hopefully a deterrent for any theft. But if there is a burglary we notify the authorities, find out how the burglar got into the home and re-secure the property."

   Roberts concurs and says that Local law and code enforcement, "report the break-ins and then requires the lender to board up windows and doors.", and that, "Unfortunately after this happens the home becomes unmarketable to "real people" and the best chance of the home moving on the market is now in the hands of an investor, which means another short sale."

   Who is Keeping Squatters from Living in the Property?

   "There have been cases of squatters but not many with our company.", says Harris, who continues to say that, "If our routine inspector doesn’t find evidence of a squatter then we are called by a neighbor. Keeping the squatters out can sometimes be a task." Harris says that, "At one property, the squatter broke the door three different times. The first two we re-hung the door and put two padlocks and hasp on the door. The third time our inspector arrived for his routine inspections and found the person in the house and was able to call the police. They were able to apprehend the squatters." On a positive and hopeful note, Harris says that, "Our continuous presence at the properties we hope prevents illegal activity."

   Roberts says that, "Unfortunately these homes are sitting unoccupied for extended periods of time which makes them highly susceptible to burglary and squatters." He says that, "After initial vacancy the home has windows and doors, (and) in a few months, squatters and burglars target the home. They begin by stealing the air conditioner. Then when they realize neighbors are too scared to come out and confront them, they break in doors and windows and start cutting out the copper and other valuable items in the home." he says that in the end, at best, "local law and code enforcement are mandating maintenance to the best of their ability", but, "unfortunately these dismal efforts are only making the public aware that these properties are foreclosed, unsafe and jeopardizing the stability of the neighborhood."

   How many vacant or unoccupied properties have you been seeing popping up lately? Have they been maintained fairly well or do they have the "REO 5'O'clock shadow". Let us know so we can all share some information and new ideas and strategies to help our neighbors.

Have a Great Weekend, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
HomeRun Homes Blog http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Website http://www.lease2buy.com

TAGS: #foreclosure #shortsales #reo #realestateinvestors #realestate #propertymanagement #hud #property

UPDATED: Top 5 Blog post for 2010 (For more information, CLICK HERE)

November 24, 2010

Do the Housing Numbers Make You Dizzy?

Hi Folks,

   Hope you've had a great short week, and you're ready for the Feast !

   As we discussed on Monday, there were quite a bit of pivotal numbers coming out, and I wanted to take a look at them together with you. Whether this will aid in your digestion tomorrow will remain to be seen.

   New Residential Sales: October came in at 8.1% below September and 28.5% below October 2009, and compared to the same numbers released last month, which showed a 6.6 percent short term increase, but was also substantially below the previous year (21.5 percent decrease). What happened to another short-term increase? Where did that go?

   Existing-Home Sales: The figures for October came in 2.2% below September, and 25.9% below October 2009, reflecting, of course, the tax credit frenzy during that period of time.

   FHFA Quarterly Index: This purchase-only FHFA house price index showed a 1.6% drop from the 2nd Quarter to the 3rd Quarter, and a 3.2% drop from the same period in 2009. The biggest movers were the Mountain Division of the US, which was down 4%, while the New England Division rose 0.9%

   We still have a long way to go until we start seeing rock-solid numbers coming out with every new release, and it certainly will, as we cannot create more land, just more houses!

   As a final note, we will be doing a very informative piece on Friday, which will cover the topic of Bank REOs and Foreclosures, so be sure to tune-in (and digest).

Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving
...and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
HomeRun Homes Blog http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Website http://www.lease2buy.com

August 18, 2010

Short Sales - What Do You Need to Know?

Hi All,

   Happy Wednesday to you. In keeping with our promise to tackle every topic you threw at us a few weeks back in that now "famous" Blog Post, today we are going to discuss some tips and strategies when pursuing Short Sales.

   A conversation about Short Sales would be incomplete without looking at it from two viewpoints: that of the Buyer (Broker or Investor), and that of the Seller (The Homeowner), and we have spoken with a few experts in the field who will discuss both viewpoints.

   First, we will examine things from the vantage point of the homeowner (the Seller). Geena Becker, of Geena & Company/William Raveis Real Estate & Home Services reminds us that the credit score is bruised on a short sale vs a foreclosure - "whereas foreclosure your credit score is driven down 200 points and banks will loan money to a bankruptcy victim before they loan to a foreclosed victim.". Becker also states that the banks pay for the attorney, realtor commissions, and back taxes, but will, "not pay any liens on the property. Those liens have to be negotiated OFF before the approval."

   In addition, Allan S. Glass, President of ASG Real Estate Inc. adds that, "The bank is settling a bad debt. Anything and everything they can extract from you regarding financial information will be used to that end, there are no casual off the record conversations with the banks while they are collecting your debt". Glass warns that you need to make sure you are working with an expert in the field of short sales, and that, "not every agent/broker is created equal and there is a learned skill to negotiating a debt settlement."

   Glass also provides additional pointers, such as to never pay any fee under any circumstance up front ! ("Professional agents will not charge until they are successful in completing your short sale or modification"). Further, he says that you should never sign over title to an investor who will then negotiate with the banks, as you do not need to sign over title to your home to be helped with a short sale. Finally, Glass reminds us that investors who help you with short sales are attempting to buy your home for a discount in order to make a profit, and that, "Not that anything is wrong with that when reasonable, however make sure you ask what happens if they cannot negotiate a purchase price low enough for them to invest."

   From the Buyers point of view (broker or investor), Becker provides some important pointers:
   1. You Will be buying "as is"
   2. You may be subject to more than one banks approval
   3. The Buyer won't know if the seller's loan was an FNMA (takes longer).
   4. If seller has it in their contract to make it subject to not receiving a deficiency judgment tied with short sale appraisal - there is a 50/50 shot of getting that wish.

   Further, she says that she will, "always find out if the mortgage they are late on was their mortgage that they first had when they bought the house. If so, nationally the bank CAN NOT go after the sellers with a deficiency note or promissory note on the difference. With the bank knowing it can come into play in a short sale negotiation since they know they can't come after the seller or borrower for the deficiency. If they have re-fi'd meaning it was not the "original" mortgage they will not have that slam dunk protection."

   Glass also provides some pointers in reminding us that, "the banks are motivated by values. They will do a short sale if they make more money by doing so compared to completing the foreclosure process", and that, "the bank and the seller are NOT working together to get the highest price from the buyer." Glass tells us that the best strategy is, "for the seller and buyer to work as a team to deliver the best value to the bank.". He warns that you must, "understand the numbers (as a broker or investor) and have a strong understanding of market value. Compare what the bank will net as a short sale vs. foreclosure / REO sale".

   As for timing, Glass says that it is key to, "follow up, follow up, follow up. If you are not following up the bank is not working on your file!", and Becker suggests that you make sure the buyer is very clear that this will not be a normal closing time frame, and that the buyer has to be able to, "wait without having to move in." and tells us, "I have had a lot of short sales last year especially where the buyers walk 1/2 way through my negotiating process and I have to start all over again. The buyer's agent must get it through to their clients that they can not be in a hurry. Good deals come to those who wait..."

   This is good sound advice from some seasoned Short Sales Professionals. Do you have any additional tips to share with our readers? We welcome your comments below.

Have a Great Day, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !

May 21, 2010

Confusing Housing Market, Residential Sales, Prices, Mobile Devices...

Hi Everyone,

We have all made it through another exciting week, with traffic to our website up another 10% from last week, and Ad-responses have been gaining further momentum. This is great news for anyone who has an Ad on our website.

Well, if you've kept an eye on the news this week, you know that there have been several mixed signals from the market and the housing sector. We have heard that mortgage delinquencies were still happening at a rapid clip through the end of March, loan demands/requests from people looking to buy homes are at a 13-Year Low, and for the people who did seek Obama's Loan Modification HAMP program, an astonishing amount of them had their trial mortgages canceled...yes, you heard me right...canceled. True, there is a lot of uncertainty now, due to the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit (which expired on 4/30). This past week, an article on CNN was aptly named, "Housing market diagnosis: Bipolar".

OK, so doom and gloom. Is there a bright side? Of course there is. There are still options for homeowners who cannot find a loan the conventional way. The possibility always exists for you to negotiate a Rent to Own with a homeowner. Ask them. Inform them of how it works, and get your attorneys involved. Homeowners, please take note as well. If you're trying to sell your home, you might be going through potential buyers faster than a termite goes through wood. One after the other drops off since they cannot get a bank loan. Be creative and look into Rent to Own.

A few changes to the site this week, outside of what we mentioned earlier in the week. We have spruced up our "Top Spot" Featured Ad pages with some images of what an actual Top Spot promoted Ad will look like.

You can check out the page for upgrading a "Home Wanted" Ad here: http://www.lease2buy.com/top_homeswanted.php

You can check out the page for upgrading a "Home Available" Ad here: https://www.lease2buy.com/top_homesavailable.php

A look ahead to the economic news for next week shows us some very important numbers coming out: Existing-Home Sales. S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, FHFA Quarterly House Price Index, and New Residential Sales. These numbers should set the tone for the summer months, and they are worth watching.

Looking ahead for our website, we will be working on "mobile-enabling" our site for the most popular mobile devices now, like the IPhone, Android, etc, and we'll keep you posted on how this is going. We have seen a significant increase in traffic to our site from Mobile Devices, and we want to capitalize on every potential buyer and seller...any one of them can be "the one" who can Rent to Own your home !!

We value your feedback; Please tell us what creative options you have been considering to buy or sell a home? Let us know

Have a Great Weekend, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !