Diana's Neighborhood

Real Estate in New York & Connecticut – Won't you be my neighbor?

Century 21 and The Super Bowl

Super Bowl XLVI is right around the corner, and so is the CENTURY 21® Super Bowl Commercial!

For the first time in the 40-year history of our brand, we will air a commercial during the most watched television event of the year.
The Super Bowl has a unique place in American television: when the commercials air, viewers actually start paying more attention to the broadcast. Did you know that over 111 million people are expected to watch this year’s Super Bowl, and I hope you will be watching and see CENTURY 21 Agents right in the middle of it!
On February 5th, tune in to your local NBC station to watch as CENTURY 21 Real Estate takes a new place in history! We are sponsoring a full half-hour segment in pre-game, and we air 11 pre-game commercials during that day. And of course, as our finale, our special :30 Super Bowl commercial will air in the 3rd quarter of the game itself.
Don’t forget to watch and vote for us! You’ll see exactly how to cast your vote for your favorite commercial on Super Bowl Sunday at century21.com.
CENTURY 21 Agents: Smarter. Bolder. Faster.SM
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January 16, 2012 Posted by | Century 21 V.J.F. Realty, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Rate Update…. Very Low!

 

Carey Lance Hollander
Retail Sales Manager
Guaranteed Home Mortgage Company
Phone: 914.424.5962
License: NMLS # 74044
chollander@ghmc.com
www.ghmc.com/chollander

 

 

 

 DOES PAYING POINTS MAKE SENSE?
Points are up-front fees paid to obtain a better interest rate on a loan. One point equals one percent of the loan amount. A lower interest rate may result in a lower monthly payment, but it is important to consider how long you intend to be in the loan, and to compare current rates to historical market trends.

If you take out a $300,000 mortgage and decide to pay one point, this translates into an up-front closing cost of $3,000. Paying a point up front saves $100 a month but it will take 30 months to recuperate the cost of that point. If you decide to refinance or sell the home before the 30-month mark, your money is lost. In this case, you would benefit financially by remaining in the home longer than the 30 months.

Rates run in cycles. When rates are at historical lows, it is sensible to pay points if you plan to live in the home for an extended period of time. It is unlikely that rates will go down; hence, there will be no need to refinance.

When rates are up, there is a strong likelihood that they will come down. This is no time to pay points. The chances of refinancing in the future are extremely high, and you will likely not be in the loan long enough to recuperate the cost of the points.

Mortgage Interest Rates*  CRAZY LOW!!!
Rates as of Saturday, 3rd December, 2011:

 

Term

Conforming

APR

Payment per
$1,000

Jumbo

APR

Payment per
$1,000

Arm Reset Term

30 Year Fixed Conventional

360

3.875%

3.909%

$4.70

4.375%

4.397%

$4.99

10/1 ARM

360

4.0%

3.782%

$4.77

4.0%

3.782%

$4.77

360

7/1 ARM

360

3.25%

3.338%

$4.35

3.25%

3.338%

$4.35

360

5/1 ARM

360

2.875%

3.222%

$4.15

2.875%

3.222%

$4.15

360

 


*Rates are subject to change due to market fluctuations and borrower’s eligibility. Payment amounts do not include amounts for taxes and insurance. Actual payments will be higher.

For professional use only. Not intended for consumer distribution.

Regarding the ARMs: Rates are up to $1,000,000 loan amounts. 20% down is the minimum downpayment required. Rates chance daily, not all borrowers will qualify. Equal Housing Lender/Direct Lender

December 5, 2011 Posted by | Mortgage, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Holiday Lights

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2011 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

December 1, 2011 Posted by | Christmas, Home, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Estimate Your Expenses Before Buying a Home

Estimate Your Expenses Before Buying a Home….

CLICK Here to Read Article in the New York Times

November 9, 2011 Posted by | Home, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Personal Letter Lands a Home Sale

Personal Letter Lands a Home Sale ~ www.RealEstate.AOL.com

                         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  CLICK Here to View  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                        Delwin Steven Campbell – Flickr.com

October 23, 2011 Posted by | Home, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

64 Cunningham Lane Pawling NY

Beautiful Colonial For Sale in Pawling NY

                                                64 Cunningham Lane ~ Pawling NY

                                    Click Here to View Listing Sheet with Additional Photos!

October 11, 2011 Posted by | Home, Pawling, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Buying a Short Sale

Another great video from http://www.AOLRealEstate.com 

                               ““““““““CLICK Here to View  “““““““““ 

October 11, 2011 Posted by | Home, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Details Home Staging

Looking for someone to help you organize your home or office? To stage you sell your home – or staging for youself – contact Details Home Staging!

October 9, 2011 Posted by | Home, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , | 3 Comments

PMI Insurance is Tax Deductable

As you probably know, “piggy back” loans to avoid mortgage insurance are non existent and therefore homebuyers have no choice but to pay mortgage insurance when the down payment is less than 20%.  What you may not know is that PMI IS tax deductable (see article below) which makes it more palatable.  

 

   

  Carey Lance Hollander
Retail Sales Manager
Guaranteed Home Mortgage Company
Phone: 914.424.5962
License: 74044
chollander@ghmc.com
www.ghmc.com
 

 

     
 
       

 

 

Congress Makes PMI Tax Deductible
Millions of Borrowers Will Benefit

The federal government’s Private Mortgage Insurance legislation is great news for the real estate industry! Enacted on January 1st, 2007, the bill makes Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) tax deductible for borrowers whose personal adjusted gross income is $100,000 or less. For millions of home buyers, the bill creates an amazing opportunity to finance a more expensive home or potentially obtain a lower payment for the same-priced home, while reducing annual income taxes by hundreds of dollars.

What is PMI?
Designed to protect lenders from defaults and foreclosures, Private Mortgage Insurance is required for loans exceeding 80% of the property’s value or sale price. Prior to the legislation, PMI was generally viewed with contempt by home buyers because of its perceived high cost and the fact that it was not tax deductible. For many borrowers, PMI was the only means available for financing their mortgage.

It wasn’t until the 1990s, when lenders began allowing “piggyback” financing, that homeowners and home buyers had an opportunity to finance a home without PMI. Under this scenario, buyers would take out two loans to cover the total amount borrowed. The first mortgage accounted for 80% or less of the purchase price or appraised value of the home; and the second mortgage, or “piggyback”, covered the remaining amount required to fund the transaction.

Reconsidering PMI
Now, thanks to Congress, potential borrowers may want to reconsider their aversion to PMI. After all, PMI makes it easier for some borrowers to qualify for a loan. Consumers should be aware that when the primary loan is accompanied by a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), the approval of the first loan is contingent upon the approval of the second. In most cases, the approval requirements for the second loan are more stringent than those for the first. Alleviating this obstacle may enable buyers to consider a more expensive home or the purchase of preferred upgrades today rather than years from now.

It’s also important to remember that PMI doesn’t last forever. If a home appreciates at a rate of 4% annually, borrowers will be in a position to remove PMI within four years, resulting in an automatic reduction in the mortgage payment.

What to Do Now
Whether consumers are considering purchasing a new home or restructuring their finances, the first thing they should do is call a mortgage professional. There is a wide variety of options to consider, beyond those that have been presented here, and a mortgage professional will help them to determine which scenario best fits their needs.

If you would like to discuss how your clients can take advantage of the benefits of PMI, please call me! I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

October 9, 2011 Posted by | Mortgage, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Century 21 VJF Realty October Newsletter

C21 Agents rock
logo

Happy Halloween!

 

October 2011

Newsletter

 

In This Issue
Our YouTube Channel
NEW LISTINGS
Take The Stress Out
Top Priorities for First Time Buyers
Importance of a Checklist
Century 21 Quick Links
HUGE PRICE REDUCTION!
 
989 Peekskill Hollow Rd, Putnam Valley
989 Peekskill Hollow Rd, Putnam Valley $299,999
NEW LISTINGS  
  

 

20 Deans Corner
20 Deans Corner Rd Brewster $1,150,000
18 The Terrace
18 The Terrace Katonah $575,000

   

5 Ivy
5 Ivy Ln, Wappingers Falls $240,000
19 Elizabeth
19 Elizabeth Ct Brewster $599,999
20 Saratoga
20 Saratoga, Carmel $339,000
1025 N Horsepound
1025 N. Horsepound Rd Carmel $325,999
24 Allen
24 Allen Dr, Brewster $249,999
5 Freemont
5 Freemont Rd, Brewster $169,999
Kent Rd
Kent Rd, Wappingers Falls $379,000

 

Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
 TAKE THE STRESS OUT OF HOME BUYING   Couple peeking into a homeBuying a home should be fun, not stressful. As you peek into windows looking for your dream home, keep in mind these tips for making the process as peaceful as possible.1. Find a real estate agent who you connect with.Home buying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It’s critical that the REALTOR® you chose is both highly skilled and a good fit with your personality.2. Remember, there’s no “right” time to buy, just as there’s no perfect time to sell. If you find a home now, don’t try to second-guess interest rates or the housing market by waiting longer – you risk losing out on the home of your dreams. The housing market usually doesn’t change fast enough to make that much difference in price, and a good home won’t stay on the market long.

3. Don’t ask for too many opinions. It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision. Focus on the wants and needs of your immediate family – the people who will be living in the home.

4. Accept that no house is ever perfect. If it’s in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the roof needs repair. Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go.

5. Don’t try to be a killer negotiator. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price or by refusing to budge on your offer may cost you the home you love. Negotiation is give and take.

6. Remember your home doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Don’t get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself – room size, kitchen, etc. – that you forget about important issues as noise level, location to amenities, and other aspects that also have a big impact on your quality of life.

7. Plan ahead. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate home insurance, and consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers.

8. Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be costs. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.

9. Accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will probably pass. Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a big financial commitment. But it also yields big benefits. Don’t lose sight of why you wanted to buy a home and what made you fall in love with the property you purchased.

10. Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation. While U.S. homes have appreciated an average of 5.4 percent annually over from 1998 to 2002, a home’s most important role is to serve as a comfortable, safe place to live.

~ courtesy Realtor.org

TOP PRIORITIES FOR FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS   Buying a homeIt’s easyfor first-time homebuyers to become overwhelmed as they begin their home search. Often, buyers get distracted by a newly renovated kitchen or finished basement, and lose sight the big picture when choosing a home. See below for three factors that should be a priority as you navigate the home buying process.

1.  Pricey proposition – Set a price point BEFORE you start looking for homes. It is important to talk with your REALTOR® about your budget so he/she can focus on homes within your price range. It’s helpful to leave yourself a financial cushion when deciding on what to spend. Factor in closing costs, repairs, down payment and even unexpected expenses to help you find a price you feel comfortable with.

2.  Location, location, location – This is one of the few things you absolutely cannot change about your property. If you need to be in close proximity to mass transit or within a specific school district, only view homes that fall within this area. Is it really your dream home if you are out of your desired commuting distance? Also, be aware of the condition of the neighborhood. Is it safe for you to live or desirable should you decide to sell down the line?

3.  Room to grow – Remember to ask yourself how long you plan on staying in your new home. Will the one-bedroom loft or two-bedroom cottage work for you in five years?

THE IMPORTANCE OF A CHECKLIST   ChecklistWhen looking for a property, the price is far from the only prerequisite. Simplify the home buying process with a checklist of necessary criteria that your new property must fulfill. When you focus on what you absolutely need in your home, you save yourself (and your real estate agent) both time and money. Share your list of priorities with your Realtor, so if needed, she can narrow down the search and eliminate any properties that are out of proximity to your work, public transportation, or desired school district.

When viewing potential properties, bring your checklist, so you can easily compare and rank different homes according to how each meets your needs. Remember there is a difference between your wants and your needs. You may need three bedrooms and although you would prefer hardwood floors, they are not essential. You can always do upgrades later, such as finishing off the basement or attic space or pulling up those carpets…what you can’t change is your property’s location and the size of your lot.

We suggest the following should be included on your list: number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, number of stories, presence/size of a backyard, style of kitchen, presence of a formal dining room, basement, attic and living room, amount of storage and living space, type of heat, presence of central air, and type of siding.

If you plan to enlarge a home, check with your Realtor to make sure construction is a possibility. For added assistance, century21vjf.com has a buyer’s checklist that you can download here.

 
 
 
 

October 4, 2011 Posted by | Century 21 V.J.F. Realty, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Delaying In Getting A Mortgage Could Cost You More

C21 Agents rock
logo

ATTENTION

 

HOME BUYERS

  IT COULD COST YOU MORE TO DELAY HOME BUYING
Mortgage Rates vs. Price Reduction

piggy bank

Everyone wants to get the best deal when buying a home. However, for buyers who are waiting to see if prices will come down a little more, the wait may cost them.

Here’s why:

Let’s say a homebuyer wants to buy a home that is listed for $300,000, and let’s say mortgage rates are at 5.25%.  But the buyer doesn’t want to pay $300,000, so he delays making an offer until the home is reduced by $10,000. 

Let’s now say that, while the buyer was waiting for the price to come down, mortgage rates rose by only .75%.  And let’s say he finances 90% of the $290,000 purchase price.  Instead of saving $10,000, he will end up paying over $35,000 MORE in total payments over a 30-year term than if he had paid $300,000 at a 5.25% interest rate.

Of course, this is just an example.  But the point is, mortgage rates are just as important as home prices… and right now they are BOTH incredibly low.  This is a rare situation, and one that is not likely to last, so if you are in a position to buy, the time is now. 

About the author:  Carey Hollander is a Retail Sales Manager at Guaranteed Home Mortgage Company Inc, a preferred lender of Century 21 V.J.F. Realty Inc.  Visit their website for more information or for a loan application.  Or, if you have any mortgage questions, call Carey directly at (914) 424-5962 for fast answers!

Carey Lance Hollander

Retail Sales Manager

GHMC

Cell:  (914) 424-5962

Office: (914) 696-3400 x301

Email: chollander@ghmc.com

Web: www.ghmc.com/chollander

September 23, 2011 Posted by | Buyers, Mortgage, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Century 21 VJF Realty Newsletter ~ August 2011

 
C21 Agents rock
logo

 August 2011

Newsletter

In This Issue
NEW LISTINGS
What NOT to do When Buying
Featured Listing
What Affects Credit Scores?
***RATE ALERT!***
How Are We Doing?
Century 21 Quick Links
NEW LISTINGS  
  

 

1 Meadowlark
1 Meadowlark Dr, Carmel $480,000
The Arch Restaurant
Restaurant for sale! 1292 Route 22, Brewster $1,150,000

  

136 Towners
136 Towners Rd, Carmel $310,000
14 Lake Ellis
14 Lake Ellis Rd, Wingdale $199,900
16 Phillard
16 Phillard Rd, Patterson $449,900
17 Oakwood
17 Oakwood Dr, Brewster $419,000
224 Cricket Hill
224 Cricket Hill Rd, Dover Plains $445,000 ALSO FOR RENT MLS #3124747
2404 Village
2404 Village Dr, Brewster $234,900
459 Barrett Hill
459 Barrett Hill Rd, Mahopac $399,999
509 E Branch
509 E. Branch Rd, Patterson $569,000
82 Livingston
82 Livingston, Carmel $229,900
Martling
537 Martling Ave, Tarrytown $499,900
Union
13 Union Rd, Carmel $309,000

  

1801 Village Dr, $224,900
1801 Village Drive, Brewster $224,900

 


What NOT to do Before Buying a Home
   A lender will examine your debt-to-income ratio to qualify you for a mortgage. Debt-to-income ratio is the percentage of your gross monthly income, before taxes, that is reserved to pay down debt. If you’re serious about buying a home, avoid these common mistakes that will compromise the amount of your approved loan:No new debt!Delay large purchases. This includes jewelry, vacations, appliances and especially vehicles. Hold off on buying a new vehicle, as a sizable monthly car payment can push the debt-to-income percentage over what lenders feel is a safe limit, and you may be denied the loan or have to settle for a smaller loan.Do not co-sign on a loanfor anyone else. Although you will not be making the payment, the lender still views this as your debt.Don’t move money around. A lender will require you to supply bank statements for all your accounts during recent months. Any large deposits or withdrawals will be red flags to the lender, and may slow or inhibit the escrow. Changing banks is also unadvisable. Remember, the simpler your finances are, the better.

Avoid changing jobs. When you change jobs, it can be difficult for lenders to predict future earnings. Any major career changes, such as corporate employee to self-employed, should also be delayed. Remember, the lender will look two years back and average your income. Anything that will make that process difficult is a bad idea.

For more tips on the home buying process, please contact one of our Century 21 V.J.F. Realty professionals  today.

FEATURED LISTING

 
16 Phillard Rd - Patterson, NY 12563
16 Phillard Rd – Patterson, NY 12563

DEPART FROM THE ORDINARY.  Contemporary colonial in lovely area on private cul-de-sac.  3 bdrms, 2.5 baths, 2,268 square feet. Enjoy 2-story entry, Pergo floors thruout, large gourmet EIK with cherry cabinets, granite counters & island. Large deck is perfect for entertaining. $449,900

What Affects Credit Scores?   7 Misconceptions about what affects your score If you’re trying to raise your credit score to get a good rate for a refinance or HELOC, you might be surprised by what affects–or doesn’t affect–your score.You have to keep your credit score up in case you want to take out a second mortgage or home equity line of credit (HELOC), or get the lowest premiums on your home owners insurance. Here’s the 411 on how various money management tactics goose up or ding your credit score.More money improves your credit scoreFalse. Your level or sources of income don’t affect your credit score, although lenders may look at it when making loan decisions, according to the Fair Isaac Corp., the company that issues the commonly used FICO credit scores.

Ownership of several credit cards can hurt your credit scorecredit

Mostly false. Having many credit lines isn’t necessarily a bad thing, says credit expert Liz Weston, author of Your Credit Score. Multiple lines give you a favorable debt-to-available-credit ratio. But use them correctly: It’s best to keep any balances below 10% or 20% of the total credit line, she says. Anything more will affect the ratio of debt-to-available-credit, which can decrease your credit score.

Opening and closing credit lines can hurt your credit score

True. New credit applications can decrease your credit score, so be careful about applying for new credit cards or personal loans before applying for a HELOC, second mortgage, automobile loan, or other large line of credit.

Surprise: Closing existing credit lines may also hurt your credit score, since it’ll damage your debt-to-available-credit ratio. A good rule is not to make any credit changes in the months leading up to a major credit request, such as for a HELOC.

Consolidating credit lines will help your credit score

Mostly false. Although it may seem like a good idea to move all your balances to one card, that can actually hurt your credit score, since your debt-to-available-credit ratio will spike on that card, says Weston.

However, credit expert Harrine Freeman says such a slight decline isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker for a loan, especially if the card has a lower interest rate and will allow you to pay off the balance sooner. Your score will increase as soon as that ratio goes down.

Changing jobs can hurt your credit score

Partly true. Taking a new job or losing your job doesn’t affect your credit score. However, if you have a spotty employment history, lenders may hold that against you in making a loan. Dips in income may signal that it could be difficult to pay bills in a timely manner.

Co-signing for others can hurt your credit score

Partly true. Simply co-signing on a loan for someone else may not affect your score, but if that person is late on paying the loan, it’s likely to show up on your report, says Freeman. And that’s a nasty surprise if you didn’t know the person was late.

Judgments and liens aren’t considered in your credit score

False. If you’ve had a judgment or lien filed against you, it’s considered in your payment history, which represents 35% of your score.

Similarly, while most utility companies don’t report payment history to credit bureaus, your account will likely be reported if it is seriously delinquent and referred to a collection agency.

Additional details on how to manage your FICO score are available on the FICO site.

Article From HouseLogic.com 

By: Gwen Moran

***RATE ALERT!***RATE ALERT!***RATE ALERT!***  

RATES ARE AT 60-YEAR LOWS!

 

Debt Ceiling Fears and Economy Fears createGHMC UNBELIEVABLE borrowing benefit.

Rates have plummeted to 1950’s levels

(Happy Days are here again?)

30 Year Fixed Rate: 4.375%, No Points, 4.43% APR

30 Year Jumbo Fixed: 4.375%, 1 point, 4.403% APR

  

I’m often asked: What makes rates go up or down?

Here’s a simplified answer: YOU and the economy.

Are you spending more or saving more?  If you are spending more that means companies may do better; hence, rates will probably go up.  If you save money, companies may show less profit, and this usually translates to lower rates. 

The same is usually true with the state of the economy: When the economy does well, the rates typically go up. When the economy is not doing well the rates typically go down.

If you are looking for a home, there could be a silver lining in the state of the economy for you, and that silver lining is unbelievably low mortgage rates.  So don’t wait…call me today to see what you qualify for!  

Carey Lance Hollander

(914) 424-5962 Cell

NMLS # 94044

chollander@ghmc.com

 

Not available on all programs. Rates are for informational purposes only. Not all applicants will qualify. Certain restrictions apply.  

HOW ARE WE DOING?  
How are we doingThis is our 3rd year of providing you with real estate news and we want to thank you for reading and being such loyal supporters. 
In our continuing effort towards excellence, we want to know what you, Reader, are looking for in real estate news. We would be pleased to hear suggestions about what topics are relevant to you today. 
Better yet, if you have a specific question, feel free to email that question to us at info@century21.com and we can highlight that topic in next month’s newsletter.
If you enjoy reading this newsletter each month, please put yourself on our official mailing list by pressing the
Join Our Mailing List button below.   Thank you!

 

Join Our List
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Century 21 V.J.F. Realty Inc. | 973 Route 22 | Brewster | NY | 10509

August 5, 2011 Posted by | Century 21 V.J.F. Realty, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

How to Pack Household Goods

How to Pack Household Goods from MarthaStewart.com

             ~~~~~~~~~~~  CLICK Here to View Check List  ~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                                       bfhoyt – Flickr.com  

June 30, 2011 Posted by | Moving, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Spring Breathes Life Into Prices

Spring Breathes Life Into Prices – a Video from RISMedia.com

                                   ~~~~~~~~~~~  CLICK Here to View VIDEO  ~~~~~~~~~~~

June 9, 2011 Posted by | Home, Real Estate, Spring | , , , | Leave a comment

Ways to Make Your Home More Appealing

Ways to Make Your Home More Appealing from RIS Media Real Estate….

                                       ~~~~~~~~~~~  CLICK to View VIDEO  ~~~~~~~~~~~

May 27, 2011 Posted by | Home, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Real Estate Forecast for 2011

                                   Real Estate Forecast for 2011 from www.RealEstate.aol.com

 

 
                                                   “““““““  CLICK Here to View VIDEO  “““““““`

Image from Google

April 27, 2011 Posted by | Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Home Selling on a Budget

                                                  Home Selling on a Budget from About.com

                                           ~~~~~~~~~~  CLICK Here to View  ~~~~~~~~~~

April 6, 2011 Posted by | Home, Real Estate, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Before You Look to Buy a Short Sale House

6 Things to Know Before You Buy That Short Sale House

The Wrong Short Sale House Might Not Ever Close

By ,  About.com Guide

Houses that form a question mark

Qualify the listing agent and the seller before writing an offer on that short sale house.

© Big Stock Photo

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Sponsored Links

FHA Mortgage Preapproval Do you qualify for an FHA Loan? Find out now! Bad credit welcome. FHA-Prequal.BestRatesfrom.US

AAA Mortgage Finance your home with a name that you can trust. Apply online! AAA.com/Mortgage

When you spot a short sale house that interests you, take your hand off the mouse and step away from the computer. Before you get all excited over the prospect of buying that short sale house, pick up the phone and call your real estate agent. Your agent needs to research that short sale listing first.In some real estate markets, fewer than one in 10 short sales close. Just because that home is listed as a short sale doesn’t mean it’s really for sale (because it’s subject to lender approval), nor does it mean it will sell at the advertised price. Here are 6 things you need to know before trying to buy that short sale.

Comparable Sales For That Short Sale House

The short sales I list in Sacramento are all priced below comparable sales, yet they are priced in line with pending sales. Why? Because short sales take anywhere from 2 to 4 months, on average, to close, and pending sales will become the comparable sales at closing.

Some short sales are priced ridiculously low. So low that the sellers’ bank will never accept them. These types of listings receive multiple offers. But all is not lost. To get your offer accepted, it will need to be priced near market value. If you’re not prepared to pay above a superficial price on a lowball short-sale listing, then pass.

Mortgage Amounts, Number of Loans and Lenders

Ask your agent to research how much is owed against the home and find out the number of loans that are recorded. A second or third mortgage lender will receive peanuts as compared to the amount a senior lender in first position will get.

Moreover, some lenders, deserving or not, get a reputation for being difficult to work with. If your agent is an experienced short sale agent, he or she will know who these lenders are and can advise you of the difficulty you may encounter.

If your offer is 20% or 30% of the mortgaged amount, it is unlikely that your offer will see the light of day on the negotiator’s desk.

Short Sale Listing Agent’s Track Record

A listing agent who is advertising a short sale but has never closed a short sale is a risky proposition for you. That’s because it’s up to the listing agent to submit the short sale package to the lender and negotiate. Your buyer’s agent can’t talk to the bank.

Some listing agents hire outside companies to do their job, and the results of those negotiations are sketchy at best. Ask yourself, do you want to risk rejection of your short sale purchase because the listing agent has no experience?

Short Sale Seller Qualifications

Find out if the listing agent has received a completed short sale package from the seller, and ask about the contents of that package. A complete short sale package consists, at minimum, of the following:

  • Sellers’ hardship letter
  • Tax returns
  • W-2s
  • Payroll stubs
  • Financial statement
  • Bank statements

Some sellers do not want to cooperate and are slow to return these documents. Others have never been told by their agent that these documents are mandatory. You don’t want your short sale purchase delayed because the listing agent doesn’t have the required documents.

Number of Short Sale Offers Received

Homes priced under market value will receive multiple offers. An agent is not required to disclose the terms of those offers, but you do want to know how many offers you are up against.

Here’s how it generally works:

  • When a short sale home first comes on the market, the first offer will most likely be a tad below list price.
  • The second, at list price.
  • The third offer will be slightly higher, maybe by a $1,000 or $2,000.
  • The fourth offer will be significantly more.

You want to make an offer that will beat the competition yet still be below market, or don’t waste your time.

The Listing Agent’s Short Sale Procedures

Although REALTORS are required by the REALTOR Code of Ethics to treat everybody fairly, not every agent is a REALTOR. This means the short sale listing agent may decide to submit only the first offer to the bank and withhold all other offers.

Withholding other offers could be considered to be a violation of the fiduciary relationship formed between the listing agent and the seller. The seller is entitled to receive the highest and best price. Realize that even if your offer is submitted to the bank, as time marches by while waiting for short sale approval, another buyer could outbid you.

At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

March 18, 2011 Posted by | Buyers, Home, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Home Inspection Checklist

Home Inspection Checklist from About.com

                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  CLICK Here to View  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                                   S. Diddy ~ Flickr.com

March 15, 2011 Posted by | Buyers, Home, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

First-Time Homebuyer’s Guide

First-Time Homebuyer’s Guide from FrontDoor.com

                                   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~  CLICK Here to View  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                              ~Brenda-Starr~ – Flickr.com

March 12, 2011 Posted by | Buyers, Front Door, Home, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Improve Your Credit

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2011 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

February 24, 2011 Posted by | Buyers, Credit, Home, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Home For Sale ~ Mahopac NY

Home For Sale ~ Mahopac NY

Click to view home tour:   http://tour.circlepix.com/tour.htm?id=800720

***CLICK ***to view listing sheet

February 21, 2011 Posted by | Home, Mahopac, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Home Buying Guide

Home Buying Guide from About.com

                                           ~~~~~~~~~  CLICK Here to View  ~~~~~~~~~~

                                                                 Chefranden – Flickr.com

February 15, 2011 Posted by | Buyers, Home, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Homeownership Still The American Dream

                                                               Ken ratcliff ~ FLICKR.COM

                                                   Homeownership… Still The American Dream

 70 Percent of Americans View Homeownership as Part of Personal American Dream, According to Trulia | RISMedia

February 14, 2011 Posted by | Buyers, Home, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Condo For Sale ~ Brewster NY

View Listing Sheet for more info!

                                                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~  CLICK HERE  ~~~~~~~~~~~~

February 12, 2011 Posted by | Brewster, Condo/Townhomes, NY, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Better Home Showings

Simple Tips for Better Home Showings

Realtor.org – Realtor Magazine

                                                            Flickr.com – granite-charlotte

1. Remove clutter and clear off counters. Throw out stacks of newspapers and magazines and stow away most of your small decorative items. Put excess furniture in storage, and remove out-of-season clothing items that are cramping closet space. Don’t forget to clean out the garage, too.

2. Wash your windows and screens. This will help get more light into the interior of the home.

3. Keep everything extra clean. A clean house will make a strong first impression and send a message to buyers that the home has been well-cared for. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates, mop and wax floors, and clean the stove and refrigerator. Polish your doorknobs and address numbers. It’s worth hiring a cleaning service if you can afford it.

4. Get rid of smells. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Open the windows to air out the house. Potpourri or scented candles will help.

5. Brighten your rooms. Put higher wattage bulbs in light fixtures to brighten up rooms and basements. Replace any burned-out bulbs in closets. Clean the walls, or better yet, brush on a fresh coat of neutral color paint.

6. Don’t disregard minor repairs. Small problems such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well-maintained.

7. Tidy your yard. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, add new mulch, trim the bushes, edge the walkways, and clean the gutters. For added curb appeal, place a pot of bright flowers near the entryway.

8. Patch holes. Repair any holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable.

9. Add a touch of color in the living room. A colored afghan or throw on the couch will jazz up a dull room. Buy new accent pillows for the sofa.

10. Buy a flowering plant and put it near a window you pass by frequently.

11. Make centerpieces for your tables. Use brightly colored fruit or flowers.

12. Set the scene. Set the table with fancy dishes and candles, and create other vignettes throughout the home to help buyers picture living there. For example, in the basement you might display a chess game in progress.

13. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let in more light. Show off the view if you have one.

14. Accentuate the fireplace. Lay fresh logs in the fireplace or put a basket of flowers there if it’s not in use.

15. Make the bathrooms feel luxurious. Put away those old towels and toothbrushes. When buyers enter your bathroom, they should feel pampered. Add a new shower curtain, new towels, and fancy guest soaps. Make sure your personal toiletry items are out of sight.

16. Send your pets to a neighbor or take them outside. If that’s not possible, crate them or confine them to one room (ideally in the basement), and let the real estate practitioner know where they’ll be to eliminate surprises.

17. Lock up valuables, jewelry, and money. While a real estate salesperson will be on site during the showing or open house, it’s impossible to watch everyone all the time.

18. Leave the home. It’s usually best if the sellers are not at home. It’s awkward for prospective buyers to look in your closets and express their opinions of your home with you there.

January 31, 2011 Posted by | Home, Real Estate, Sellers | , , , | 2 Comments

Tips for Selling Your Home from RISMEDIA

5 Tips for Selling Your Home Quickly in Today’s Market

By Dan StewardPrint Article Print Article

RISMEDIA, November 22, 2010—It’s one thing when someone says “Things are looking up,” but quite another when the numbers actually bear that out. Happily, the latter is the case, evidenced by the latest statistics that show that home prices may be stabilizing. Namely, national home prices jumped an impressive 3.6% in the past year, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index released in late August. Prices also climbed 4.4% in the second quarter, which contrasts with a 2.8% decrease in the first quarter.

This uptick in prices leads to a simple conclusion: Sell now if you can. And you certainly can. A fast sale, taking advantage of these numbers, is entirely possible, and can result in a lot of profit and a very happy client. But telling your client to “sell quickly,” without backing it up, can inspire fear and even ire. Instead, give them these methodical, easy tips to selling fast and successfully, taking advantage of a market uptick, without inducing panic or stomach aches.

1. Don’t raise the price. The uptick in home prices doesn’t mean that you should get all excited and raise the price. The trick is to leave your price the same as it was—that will encourage a bidding war. Hearing news about home prices going up, and raising your price immediately as a response to that, is typically not the way to go; the home will likely sell for more as a result of two buyers fighting over your reasonable price, rather than walking away due to a price that’s too high. Remember, the goal is ultimately to get more money, not to have a higher list price.

2. Remain flexible. Selling quickly means making some concessions—and we’re not talking price. It’s those little extras that may inspire a buyer to sign on the dotted line. Obviously, no one has the right to get your vintage grand piano in the deal. But if a buyer wants your stainless-steel fridge with ice-maker, give it up. There’s more ice waiting in your new home.

3. De-clutter. For a quick sale, you may not have time to fully “stage” your home down to the accent pillows and entirely new living room furniture. But you do have time to clear out the clutter. If we saw a home we’d like, we’d look past the clutter, but most buyers won’t. So, before you worry about making your home pretty, focus on making it neat. In a better market, neat is often all you need.

4. Schedule more open houses—and don’t attend your own. When you have a longer time frame for selling, you can schedule open houses at your leisure, but if you want to sell fast, try for as many open houses as you can—and do not attend them, as a homeowner at their own open house often makes a potential buyer too nervous to comfortably look around.

5. Go big—and go local. If you haven’t listed in MLS (multiple-listing service), it’s a good idea, especially if you want to sell fast. The math is simple—more eyes on your listing equals more potential bites. But a lot of people who use the MLS forget that local advertising is important as well. Advertising in local and regional publications—as well as simply putting the word out with friends and family—are often skipped, expecting that the Internet will get the job done on its own.

Dan Steward is president of Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspections.

For more information, visit www.pillartopost.com.

RISMedia welcomes your questions and comments. Send your e-mail to: realestatemagazinefeedback@rismedia.com.

Have you heard about RISMedia’s Real Estate Information Network® (RREIN)? RREIN is an elite network of leading real estate companies dedicated to providing consumers and their agents with leading real estate information, and committed to the belief that Information Share Equals Market Share. Having only launched this past June 2010, the RREIN network is already comprised of 40 leading brokerages, which make up 575 offices, 30,000 agents, 167,000 closings and represents over $41 billion in transactions. How can RREIN help your recruiting efforts and differentiate your company today? For more information, email rrein@rismedia.com.

Copyright© 2010 RISMedia, The Leader in Real Estate Information Systems and Real Estate News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be republished without permission from RISMedia.

January 11, 2011 Posted by | Home, Real Estate, Sellers | , , , | Leave a comment

Short Sale Info

Short Sale Info from About.com

                                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~  CLICK Here to View  ~~~~~~~~~~~~

November 4, 2010 Posted by | Buyers, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

How Long Does it Take to Sell a House?

How Long Does it Take to Sell a House?  Information from About.com

                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~  CLICK Here to View  ~~~~~~~~~~~~

November 1, 2010 Posted by | Home, Real Estate, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent

Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent

Here is a great video from RealEstate.aol.com

                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~  CLICK Here to View VIDEO  ~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                                 sskennel – Flickr.com

October 27, 2010 Posted by | Real Estate, Realtor | , , , | Leave a comment