Top 10 Hidden Costs When You Can’t Sell Your Home

Filed under: ,

The U.S. housing recession is so deep that an average home takes nearly a year to sell. In the hardest hit areas, it can take several years. Just ask residents of Detroit, Nevada and parts of Florida, Arizona and southern California. As if that were not enough, there are hidden costs associated with an unsold home in which the owner still lives, including upkeep and repair costs incurred while the house is on the market. 24/7 Wall St. looked at the ten most expensive repairs and what they cost. Some frequently needed repairs can cost over $10,000 to fix.

The costs of the ownership of an unsold home are already at historic highs. Research firms that track home trends say that over 11 million U.S. homes have underwater mortgages. Owners have no equity in these homes to tap to pay for upkeep, so damage to a home has to be paid out of pocket unless the event that caused the damage is covered by insurance. Homes on the market for several years obviously have an increased risk of eventually incurring some repair problem.

%Gallery-130657%

Owners of unsold homes face two financial problems. The first is that many of the repairs are essential to simply have a livable home. These cannot be put off. The second is that a home with substantial problems that are not repaired becomes more difficult to sell. Buyers have enough alternatives as it is in this over-supplied housing market.

In order to identify the most expensive costs homeowners have to incur, 24/7 Wall St. consulted a number of contractors, contracting associations, the National Homeowners Association and several other organizations to come up with repairs and replacements that generally cost the most. Because these costs can vary widely depending on the region of the country, the extent of the damage and the size of the home, we provided approximate estimates on the range of these costs. –Michael B. Sauter, Charles B. Stockdale, Douglas A. McIntyre

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/08/17/top-10-hidden-costs-when-you-cant-sell-your-home/

revolving debt cooperative (co-op) title search collection contingency first mortgage assessor

Loan Thaw? Average Mortgage Up by $20,000, Study Says

Filed under: ,

By Kerri Panchuk

The average loan size that lenders issued to borrowers in the past three months grew by $20,000, suggesting a thawing in mortgage lending, Capital Economics said Wednesday.

While the report, which was released by Capital Economics analysts Paul Dales, Paul Diggle and Amna Asaf, stopped short of calling the good news a full lending recovery, Dales said, “it may be an early sign that buyer confidence is improving.”

In 2012, the average amount of a mortgage went from around $215,000 to $235,000. The higher loan amounts are not the only positive economic indicator highlighted by the research firm.

Capital Economics reported a 20 percent drop in visible home inventory over the past 18 months, resulting in a situation where a months’ supply of unsold homes is now at a level where existing home sales can support current prices. At the same time, Capital Economics believes there are currently 3.9 million homes in the nation’s shadow inventory.

%Gallery-146461% Even though employment numbers fell below the average analyst’s expectation of 200,000 new jobs in March, Capital Economics is more optimistic with the current three-month new jobs average sitting at 212,000 positions.

“We are not too alarmed by the 120,000 rise in payroll employment in March, which was exactly half the 240,000 gain in February,” Dales wrote. “Just as the unusually mild weather meant that employment grew at a faster rate than the underlying trend in the previous few months, it may now be growing at a slower rate than the underlying trend.”

Even though mortgage rates grew slightly in March, Capital Economics said the uptick will have little effect on housing activity since prices still remain affordable and undervalued.

The researchers believes there are signs in the market of a price bottom, but said significant home price gains are not expected in the near term since tighter lending restrictions are prohibiting a boom in real estate activity.

Read more on HousingWire: Fannie, Freddie and the FHA Lead Surge in Multifamily Lending Mortgage Applications Fall 2.4% as Purchases, Refinances Decline RealtyTrac: Foreclosure Filings Fall to 4Q 2007 Level

More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. See celebrity real estate.

#fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-295073{display:none;} .cke_show_borders #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-295073, #postcontentcontainer #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-295073{width:570px;height:411px;display:block;}

How to Shop for a Home Loantry{document.getElementById("fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-295073").style.display="none";}catch(e){}

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2012/04/12/home-loan-thaw-average-mortgage-up-by-20-000-study-says/

loan origination hazard insurance construction loan PUD (Planned Unit Development) recording prepayment penalty multidwelling units

Mortgage Mod Hell: Trapped Between Lenders, Collectors

Filed under: , , ,

Kate Hanni is no stranger to public advocacy. After she was trapped in a plane on the tarmac for more than nine hours, she formed Flyers Rights, the largest nonprofit advocacy group for airline passengers’ rights. The result was the passage of the Airline Passengers Bill of Rights and the three-hour tarmac-delay limit for the flying public.

Now Hanni — who blogged about her experience for The Huffington Post – is standing up for another cause that affects her personally: the housing crisis. This time, instead of an airplane, she’s trapped in mortgage modification hell. Her complaint? Lenders won’t talk to you unless you are behind in your payments, and then once you are, their debt collectors start harassing you with calls asking when you expect to pay up.

Hanni, a real estate agent for 23 years, and her husband, who worked in the wine industry, were doing just fine until the recession dried up both their businesses. Their incomes shrank, along with the value of their Napa Valley, Calif., home. They turned to their savings to stay afloat, running through about 75 percent of their retirement fund and the money they had set aside for their son’s college education. And then — despite all she had read about the frustrations and failures of the loan modification process — Hanni decided to try for one.

The first thing her lender, Bank of America, told her was that loan modifications were only for those who were behind in their mortgage payments, and since buying the house in 1997, Hanni had always paid on time. So in order to qualify, it became necessary to stop paying her mortgage and start ruining her credit.

The collection calls started coming about three weeks after she was late with her first payment. “These calls just won’t stop,” Hanni says, despite her attempts to explain that she’s only doing what the bank advised her to do. “Bank of America is spending a zillion dollars having people make these calls, and it just makes no sense. Why not have a loan modifier call instead?”

While Hanni’s story certainly can’t top that of Deborah Crabtree — the woman in Hawaii who claims in a lawsuit that Bank of America’s debt collectors called her up to 48 times a day, including at her husband’s wake — it does represent what a lot of homeowners are experiencing.

Trashing Your Credit to Save Your House

With President Obama about to announce mortgage reforms, we are a nation with crossed fingers, hoping that one of the practices he ends is the one in which lenders refuse to give you the time of day unless you first miss a couple of payments.

Hanni, 51, and her husband, 59, “don’t have a whole lot of time to recoup” their spent savings, she says, adding, “every issue facing America is facing my family . . . unemployment, low resources, and being forced to destroy our excellent credit” to apply for a loan modification.

“Forcing Americans out of their homes, removing their real estate residential interest tax credits, and crippling their ability to own again or even to get a decent rental due to a forced, reduced creditworthiness is insane,” Hanni says. “The outcome is that the home will still be devalued, drag down values in the neighborhood and create a worse situation for the former homeowner. Depending on their age, they may never recover from this disaster.”

Judging from what happened the last time Hanni got passionate about a consumer issue, the banking industry had better watch out.

Also see: HAMP Mortgage Modification Program Still No Help The Mortgage Fix That Can Save the Economy

More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. Find homes for rent in your area.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/09/08/mortgage-mod-hell-trapped-between-lenders-collectors/

judgment maturity margin tenancy in common sale-leaseback judicial foreclosure two-step mortgage

As Refinancing Declines, Cash-In Refi’s Rise

Filed under:

Think it’s tough to qualify for refinancing your existing mortgage? So does Richard Shin, a Queens attorney with good credit and great income who was turned down by his original lender when he wanted to refinance his 30-year-fixed rate mortgage on his single family brick home to a 15-year-mortgage with a lower interest rate. Due to tighter lender restrictions, he didn’t qualify until he found a lender who let him bring cash to the table

Think it’s tough to qualify for refinancing your existing mortgage? So does Richard Shin, a Queens attorney with good credit and great income who was turned down by his original lender when he wanted to refinance his 30-year-fixed rate mortgage on his single family brick home to a 15-year-mortgage with a lower interest rate. Due to tighter lender restrictions, he didn’t qualify until he found a lender who let him bring cash to the table to pay down his mortgage.

The number of homeowners taking out a refinance is on the decline and may further dip in 2011, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, but of those who do refinance lenders are seeing a higher percentage come as cash-in borrowers – those refinancers who bring cash to the table in order to seal the deal.

“We used to have maybe one borrower a year bring cash to the table, but now we’re seeing three or four a month,” said Matthew Hackett, an underwriting manager with New York City lender Equity Now, which refinanced Shin’s home.

Hackett says cash-to-the-table options are being utilized more often because borrowers are needing to lower their loan-to-value ratio if they hope to lower their existing interest rate from somewhere in the upper 5 percent or 6 percent range down to a rate in the 4 percent or lower 5 percent range. This is not just because of tighter lender restrictions, but also because so many homeowners are underwater and owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

Shin, whose home appraised at $1,150,000, brought $60,100 to closing as a down payment to cover the difference between his old $560,000 mortgage and his new $499,900 loan, which featured a reduced interest rate from 6.25 percent to 4.75 percent.

For others looking to refinance, a cash-in refinance may be their only option, and it’s not as bad as an option as you may think. Although not every one has $60,000 to bring to the table, the amount you do bring will not likely be as high, depending on your goals.

Here are two main reasons to do a cash-in refi:

1. Savings accounts aren’t paying anyway. The interest rate on many savings accounts these days hover around 1 percent, whereas your mortgage rate is far higher. Putting a few thousand toward your refinance if it will help you reduce your interest rate a percentage point or more, might be money well spent, especially if you plan on staying in your home awhile. There’s no reason ti put in more than you need to, however, to reduce that rate, says Hackett.

2. Avoid PMI. If you had less than 20 percent equity in your home when you purchased it, there’s a good chance you’re paying private mortgage insurance. When one refinances, this fee typically goes away if the value of your house has increased enough to lower the loan to value ratio. However, in this economy more people are finding that their value has declined. Even those who were not paying PMI might discover upon a refinance that now they need to due to fallen values. Eliminate this fee by bringing cash to the table to cover the difference so that your refi loan is for 80 percent or less than the value of your home.

Although refinances are declining, they still make up nearly two-thirds of all mortgage applications. As of the end of November, however, they decreased 21.6 percent from the previous week to 74.9 percent of total applications, their lowest level since June 2010, reports the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The pool of eligible borrowers who can refinance is small, and those for whom a refinance is beneficial, have already refinanced or mostly likely will in the near future. This downward trend in refinances will cause a decline in total originations next year, but a greater percentage of refinances will likely come from these cash-in borrowers.

Is a cash-in refi right for you?

What’s your break-even point? If you opt to do a cash-in refi, Hackett says, determine your break-even point to decide how much will make it worth it. For example, if you bring $15,000 to the table to get an interest rate that saves you $250 per month on your mortgage payment, it would take you 60 months, or 5 years before you’ve reached $15,000 worth of perceived savings. If you think you might sell your home in less than five years, you’re better off keeping your money in the bank rather than pursuing that lower interest rate. However, if you plan on staying longer, your savings will be even greater because of what you’re saving in interest payments by having the lower interest rate.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2010/12/09/as-refinancing-declines-cash-in-refis-rise/

assumption HUD median income homeowners association escrow analysis encumbrance vested call option

Baby Boomers Launch Remodeling Boom

Filed under: , ,

baby boomersThe first wave of Baby Boomers turned 65 last year, which will have a significant impact on real estate and the nation’s housing market. Not only should home sales increase, but hammers and nails will be flying as homes change hands from older to younger owners, while the home remodeling industry strikes it rich.

In fact, home remodels could be in for their best years ever. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, home owners over age 55 comprised a third of all home sellers between 1997 and 2007. That is a trend that experts say will only increase over the next 20 years as more Boomers retire.

And home remodelers have it made in the shade because if the Boomers sell their homes and move, younger buyers are extremely likely to remodel. If Boomers decide prices are too soft to sell and stay put, they are likely to adapt their home for old age, adding in more lighting, elevators, and principles of universal design. So the home remodelers win either way.

Looking at recent housing turnover data between the years 1997 and 2007, buyers of existing homes tend to be younger, the sellers, older. Of the 24.5 million owner-occupied sellers between 1997 and 2007, about 7.6 million, or almost one-third, were over age 55 when they sold their #mini_module {width:265px;height:220px;border:none;float:left;margin:10px;font-size:12px;} #mini_module img {border:none;width:265px;height:131px;border:none;margin:0px;} #mini_module .mini_title {margin:0px;padding:0px;width:265px;height:131px;} #mini_module .mini_main {margin:0px;padding:0px;width:265px;height:85px;background: transparent url(http://www.aolcdn.com/travel/bg-short)} #mini_module .mini_item {padding:12px 0px;margin:0px 20px;border-bottom:1px dotted #CCCCCC;} #mini_module a {color:#49A3CA;text-decoration:none;} #mini_module a:hover {color:#F98419;text-decoration:underline;} Search Homes for Sale See photos of homes for sale in your area and across the country on AOL Real Estate

home.

And who buys these homes? People under age 45, who purchased 57 percent of the homes the old folks sold off. In fact, the median age buyer was about 33. With the median age seller almost 68 years old, we see that buyers tend to be about 35 years younger than the owners of the homes they purchase. And old people tend not to buy other old people’s homes: Fewer than 25 percent of homes sold between 1997 and 2007 by sellers who were age 55 or older were swooped up by contemporaries.

Which means, of course, that the housing stock these Boomers are shedding is at least as old as they are.

In fact, the age of owner-occupied housing stock has been trending upwards over the last ten years. In 1997, the median age of the average American home was 29 years, but crept to 32 by 2007.

You know what we Boomers used to say: Never trust anyone over age 30.

With housing stock that old, the likelihood for a buyer coming in and remodeling is huge. The age and condition of these units makes them more affordable to younger buyers, and they tend to be located in the suburbs. On average, 80 to 90 percent of homes sold by older sellers to spring chicken buyers are single family detached units.

“The new owners of baby boomer suburban housing,” the report said, “will likely be concentrated in the 35-44 and 45-54 age groups and higher income categories that have historically spent the most on remodeling.”

But here’s a new headache for buyers: Thanks to the financial crisis, many seniors who planned to downsize and free up some home inventory are staying put, because the financial melt down took a toll on both the equity in their homes and their retirement accounts. Mobility rates among older homeowners posted sharp drops between 2005 and 2009. But fewer “senior” seniors have had home equity wiped out, because most of these folks have owned their home for years and paid down mortgages. Still, many Boomers may postpone moving out of their homes because they simply cannot afford to move.

Which means that when they do finally vacate those homes, the places are going to need a lot of work. The study also showed something we real estate reporters have always known: recent home buyers spend buckets of money when they first buy a home. There’s a reason why Lowe’s caters to the 45 to 54 year old age group: home buyer expenditures peak in the 45-54 age group because these are the wonder years when families, home equity and incomes grow and flourish. And goodbye Formica: what rooms do buyers who buy from older sellers focus on? Kitchens and baths. Which is why Lowe’s very best customer is the new homeowner. Home buyers age 35 to 44 spend more on average for home improvements than any other age group.

But then, the Boomers are the generation who did things “their way.” Don’t expect them to follow their parents’ retirement patterns. As this study notes, they have made different housing decisions the whole way. Boomers are more likely to live in newer, suburban homes, and continue to spend a lot on home improvements once the housing market stabilizes and mortgage lending loosens. Remodeling, says Dallas architect Gary Gene Olp, is in their DNA.

“I see more Boomers moving back into the city from the suburbs, to older homes they are remodeling because they love urban social fabric and cultural amenities,” says Olp, who specializes in LEED certified green architecture and building. “They are re-populating the inner city, ditching cars and walking, even in Dallas and Houston.”

San Antonio developer Leobardo Trevino of Ricchi Dallas Investments, LLC, who is undergoing three ambitious Dallas commercial projects, has begun building what he calls “Smart Mansions” outside of San Antonio, TX. His buyer: downsizing baby boomers who want it all but in 2500 square feet or less.

“These people want all the bells and whistles, ” he says, ” but not necessarily all the space.”

Trevino’s Smart Mansions have a main living room, dining room and Euro-kitchens, decked out marbled masters and secondary bedrooms. They have high ceilings and top energy efficiency but less lawn to tend, and zero wasted space.

“Boomers no longer want to overspend or overbuild,” says Trevino, “Been there, done that. But at the same time, there is absolutely no lowering of their standards.”

Candy is an award-winning, Dallas-based real estate reporter, blogger, and consultant. She’s the gal who brought House Porn to the Bible Belt! Read more at SecondShelters.com. and send story ideas and tips to CandyEvans@secondshelters.com.

Thinking about adding value with home improvements? Here are some AOL Real Estate guides to help you, whether you’re selling or staying.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/04/18/baby-boomers-begin-remodeling-boom/

quitclaim deed rate lock fair market value common law cap right of first refusal loan-to-value (LTV)

BarterQuest How-to: Trade Smart at the Best Bartering Site

If you’re into bartering, chances are you’ve discovered BarterQuest a relatively new site that helps folks trade one product or service for another — like eBay but without cash. BarterQuest also makes multi-party trades easy, so you don’t have to find that one person looking for the exact thing you have, you can do three way (or more) swaps.

Read more…

The post BarterQuest How-to: Trade Smart at the Best Bartering Site appeared first on DailyPerk.

Source: http://dailyperk.perkstreet.com/barterquest/

grantee Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) closing Fair Credit Reporting Act Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) mortgage jumbo loan

Foolish Mistakes That Destroyed Their Homes

Filed under: ,

mistakes destroyed houses

There’s a reason parents tell their children: “Don’t play with fire.” So why have so many of us not gotten the point by the time we’re adults? Allow us to give you the news flash: Fire is dangerous — and if you’re using it around your house, it is even more so.

A man in California recently tried to remove some cobwebs from his backyard using a blowtorch. The photos you see above were the result. Oh, but the genius doesn’t stop there. Click through our gallery to see the bright ideas homeowners and others had that ended in their dwellings being burned to the ground.

%Gallery-160191% See also: Listing Fails: The Best of the Worst in Real Estate This Week 10 Home Improvements That Are a Waste of Money Home Improvement: Do’s and Don’ts From a Pro

More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. Find homes for rent in your area.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2012/07/13/homeowners-mistakes-that-destroyed-their-houses/

security sweat equity estate survey debt loan officer appreciation

5 Foreclosure Flip Tips From the ‘Flip Men’

Filed under: , , , ,

AOL Real Estate asked Utah-based real estate investors Doug Clark and Mike Bard, whose show “Flip Men” premieres this week on Spike TV, for tips on how to flip a foreclosed home. Here’s what they had to say to novice investors:

1. Pick a property that is well within your means.

Don’t allow yourself to get too overextended on the property. Way too often, we have seen people show up at a foreclosure auction and then after one bad deal, their own house is in foreclosure. Everything will take more time and money then you anticipate, so don’t bite off more then you can chew.

2. Prepare to break in.

Foreclosed homes don’t come with keys or contracts. It is up to you to find a way in. Our favorite methods are: Slip the lock with a credit card, lift a window, lift the garage, put your hand through a doggy door and unlock the door from within, climb on the roof and look for an open window.

Get creative and have fun with this step! If you want a set of keys to your new property you need to make your own or call a locksmith and pay $150 to get the job done. Make sure you research the local laws regarding abandoned property. You may have to store any items you find in the house for a period of time before they are yours. Former owners almost never come back for their items, so it’s not out of the question to find cash, furniture, collectibles, firearms and even vehicles.

3. Check everything.

Most foreclosures were abandoned. These homes have many issues, so check all the systems thoroughly. The last thing you want is to find out that the roof is bad or the furnace needs to be replaced the day before closing.

A great tip: Speak to the neighbors. You would not believe how much they know about the houses around them. Don’t avoid disclosing bad news with the house, because the people you sell to will notice everything. Budget for contingency items because they are always there, especially in foreclosures.

4. Tour other houses for sale.

Take an afternoon and tour two or three homes similar to the one you hope to flip. This is your direct competition, so view it that way. How is the curb appeal, paint colors, smell, clutter, layout, backyard, etc. This is especially important if you are new to the business and don’t have the same reference points that a professional flipper does.

5. Price aggressively.

It’s easy to overprice a listing, it’s difficult to under-price one. If you under-price the property, you will get a lot of attention and showings fast, and people will compete for the house. Set the price to move. If you are not getting showings and no one is calling to see the house, then it is priced too high. If you are getting a lot of attention and people are walking through but no offers are being made, then the price is right, but there is something wrong with the house. Call the agent for details and don’t be afraid to ask why the buyers are passing on your house.

SPIKE Sneak Peek – Meth House www.spike.com Spike Full Episodes Spike Video Clips Spike on Facebook

Also see: Mansion or Meth House? Flip Men Want to Know Viewpoint: Feeling Guilty About Buying a Foreclosure? ‘Mortgage Prof’: 5 Reasons Banks Would Rather Foreclose Tempted to Invest in Real Estate? Read This First

%Gallery-131160% More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/10/25/5-foreclosure-flip-tips-from-the-flip-men/

escrow account grantee Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) closing Fair Credit Reporting Act Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) mortgage

Moving Day Horror Stories

Filed under: ,

moving day horror storiesBy Mary Boone

Moving from one residence to another is widely acknowledged as a stress-inducing activity. In fact, “moving” often scores among the Top 10 when people are asked to identify stressful life events.

Consult AOL Real Estate‘s Moving Guides

Sure, some household moves go smoothly. Others? Let’s just say if you’ve survived a cross-country move with little more than a chipped teacup to complain about, you’re in good shape. These folks, on the other hand, have experienced Murphy’s Law-type moves.

Little Can Add Up to Big Troubles

When Greg and Sally Slack moved from Colorado to Missouri in 2004, they took along two very excited golden retrievers and towed a boat.

The night before they left, one of the dogs jumped up and broke Sally’s nose. The day of the move, a boat trailer tire went flat near the Colorado/Kansas border; fortunately they had a spare. They weren’t as lucky when a second trailer tire blew about 150 miles from the Missouri border, in a fairly desolate portion of Kansas.

“We spent several hours locating a tire dealer and replacing the second tire at twice the price it would have cost us anywhere else,” recalls Sally. “Let me assure you: Sitting on the side of a freeway in blistering heat waiting for that replacement tire was not the picnic some might think.”

Once the couple finally got to Missouri, they unloaded mattresses from their truck and fell asleep at around midnight. At 2 a.m., Greg woke up with chest pains — fearful he was having a heart attack. The couple called 911 and an ambulance carried the couple to a hospital in a completely unfamiliar city. It took two days for doctors to determine Greg had not had a heart attack; he’d taken too much NoDoz in an attempt to keep himself awake, thus the heart palpitations.

Downhill from There

Moving from one Seattle neighborhood to another sounded simple enough, thought David Tobey. Not so.

Tobey suggested that his professional movers park their truck in front of his apartment for loading. Fearing a ticket, the movers chose instead to park on a steep hill perpendicular to the building.

The truck was half full when Tobey went upstairs to check on things in the apartment.

“Suddenly I heard a terrible noise, like metal being dragged across a street, and saw a large object flying down the hill, followed by assorted debris and people running,” he says. Then he heard the crash.

moving day horror storiesTobey ran downstairs to find the truck’s brakes had failed, and it had careened down the hill, demolishing two parked cars (one belonging to a friend who had bussed to work that day) and ramming through the guardrail. It stopped just shy of Interstate 5.

Police and news crews arrived and were able to surmise that the driver did not have a commercial driver’s license and did not use “blocks” — those big triangular stops that go in front of the tires of large automobiles when parked on a hill. Police were unable to discern whether the driver had used the truck’s hand brake.

After waiting four hours for the truck to be pulled off the guardrail and a new moving truck to come, the old truck was offloaded and the move was completed.

Naturally, some items were lost: broken bed, stereo, glasses and plates. There were no casualties (except for the family’s beloved potted ficus).

The moving company charged Tobey for the full cost of the move (minus the four-hour crash-induced delay). He’s still finding damaged items, so he hasn’t completed the paperwork that company representatives say they need to reimburse him for damage.

Keys to Disaster

Kellie Williams’ move from Washington to Oregon went off without a hitch — with one very grand exception.

“After uncrating the pieces of the grand piano, the movers scooped up all of the hardware, presented it to me in outstretched hands and asked, ‘Do you know how this goes together?’ ” she recalls.

Williams plays the piano but was not exactly versed in its assembly — until that day.

“I ended up studying the parts and putting it back together myself, with the movers hoisting it upright once the legs were attached,” she says. “My piano is pretty special to me, and I wasn’t sure I even wanted them to touch it anymore.”

Don’t Go It Alone

Caitlin Burke was moving into her first solo apartment in Washington, D.C., and was determined to manage the move on her own. She packed up her belongings and contracted with a moving company she found online.

The truck and its two-man crew showed up pretty much on time and got right to work. The driver handled paperwork while the second man wrapped and moved items; Burke recalls being awed as he single-handedly carried her sofa to the truck.

Within 20 minutes, everything was packed, and Burke was headed to her new place — just two miles away — where she waited. After 45 minutes, she called the movers; there was no answer and no voice mail. Every five minutes or so, she’d call again.

Finally, four hours after leaving her old apartment, the truck pulled up to her building.

The young journalist was about to give the movers a piece of her mind when the passenger-side door of the truck opened and one of the men tumbled out.

“He fell straight to the pavement,” she says. “He had a gash above his eye and was bleeding. His eye was swollen, and he had dried blood on his shirt. This guy had clearly been knocked out.”

Burke called a friend to come to her aid. By the time he arrived, she was in tears. Meanwhile, the driver had left to charge his phone, and the bleeding man was stumbling around the back of her apartment building.

Burke’s pal called police. When officers arrived, the driver explained that the truck had broken down, his partner was hungover, and a new mover was on his way. Burke was hysterical because she was afraid she’d be charged for exceeding the two-hour move time for which she’d paid.

Burke called the man a liar and began pointing out holes in his story. That’s when her friend stepped in and encouraged her to hush up if she ever wanted her stuff unloaded.

“The police left thinking I was a crazy woman that was stressed about moving,” she says. In the end, Burke was charged for a two-hour move and — mostly out of fear — she tipped both the driver and the new mover. She didn’t see the bleeding man again and isn’t sure what really happened to him that day.

“I will say, the biggest lesson I learned was to never be alone with movers. No matter how high my ‘independent woman’ mantra is running, it’s never a good idea to try and pull something like that off by yourself.”

Read the original story on Zillow.

See More on Zillow: How to Avoid Unscrupulous Moving Companies Moving? Top 5 Tips for Packing How to Prepare for the Big Move This Summer

%Gallery-160482% More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. Find homes for rent in your area.

Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2012/07/18/moving-day-horror-stories/

eviction fee simple estate Certificate of Reasonable Value (CRV) homeowners insurance common areas HUD-1 settlement statement mortgage broker

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Refinances Mortgage Loan Down to 1%

Filed under: , ,

Mortgage rates have fallen to record lows. But if you’re in the market for a home loan, you’re going to have a tough time matching the deal that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg got on his mortgage.

Like millions of Americans have done in recent years, Zuckerberg decided to refinance his mortgage. But according to Bloomberg, the rate he got was amazing low: just 1.05 percent.

How did he do it? And can non-moguls get a similar deal?

Taking a Monthly Gamble

The key to understanding why Zuckerberg got such a great deal on his mortgage is that he didn’t get a conventional fixed mortgage. Rather, he decided to refinance his $5.95 million loan on his Palo Alto, Calif., home with an adjustable-rate mortgage.

Adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, got a lot of notoriety during the housing boom. With lower interest rates, ARMs helped many homebuyers afford high-priced homes, because they often offered low teaser rates for an initial period of time. But after that teaser rate went away, borrowers were stuck making higher monthly payments, which many blame for what eventually cracked the housing bubble.

Even so, the average ARM, which locks in rates for one year at a time, carries a rate of 2.7 percent. What helped Zuckerberg get an even lower rate was his willingness to accept monthly resets of his interest rate. That means his monthly payments could rise as soon as August.

Despite that theoretical risk, few people expect interest rates to rise anytime soon. The Federal Reserve has said that it plans to keep rates low at least for the next couple of years, and many analysts expect an even longer period of low rates.

That said, there’s not much downside to the Facebook founder even if the Fed raises rates. That’s because Zuckerberg has a huge reserve of wealth behind his loan. Unlike most homeowners, he can simply sell assets and pay off his mortgage loan if the interest rate on his loan suddenly skyrockets.

How the Rest of Us Should Play the ARMs Race

The trend that most homeowners have followed recently is to get rid of adjustable-rate mortgages in favor of fixed loans. With average rates on 15-year mortgages at 2.86 percent and 30-year mortgages fetching 3.56 percent, ordinary homeowners don’t get much benefit from taking on the risk of an adjustable-rate mortgage.

Despite Zuckerberg’s cheap rate, trying to follow in his footsteps isn’t a smart idea for most homeowners. Refinancing to a fixed-rate mortgage will help you lock in affordable, predictable payments no matter what happens to interest rates in the future.

You can follow Motley Fool contributor Dan Caplinger on Twitter here. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook.

See also: Anderson Cooper’s Manhattan Pad Sells for $3.8 Million Listing Fails: The Best of the Worst in Real Estate This Week Countrywide ‘VIP Loans’: Few Pols Resisted Mortgage ‘Gifts’

%Gallery-160348% More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. Find homes for rent in your area.

Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2012/07/16/facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-refinances-mortgage-loan-down-to-1/

first mortgage assessor exclusive listing negative amortization condominium conversion 401(k)/403(b) loan remaining balance

Quitting Caffeine: Save Money and Your Health

A little over a month ago, I pulled the plug on my coffee addiction, quitting caffeine. I had been a moderate coffee drinker, mostly just consuming it in the mornings, though I’d regularly have two or more cups. That said, I love the taste of coffee and can drink it any time of the day or night. I don’t drink much soda pop, so avoiding that has been pretty easy.

Read more…

The post Quitting Caffeine: Save Money and Your Health appeared first on DailyPerk.

Source: http://dailyperk.perkstreet.com/quitting-caffeine/

acceleration clause cash-out refinance depreciation merged credit report second mortgage qualifying ratios easement

Mortgage Rates Drop to Record Lows for 6th Straight Week

Filed under: , ,

By Marcy Gordon

WASHINGTON — Average U.S. rates on 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgages this week fell to fresh record lows for the sixth straight week. Cheap mortgages continue to help boost prospects for home sales this year.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year loan dropped to 3.67 percent. That’s down sharply from 3.75 percent last week and the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The 15-year mortgage, a popular refinancing option, declined to 2.94 percent. That’s down from 2.97 percent last week.

Rates on the 30-year loan have been below 4 percent since early December. The low rates are a key reason the housing industry is showing modest signs of a recovery this year. #mini_module_blank { width: 269px; height:206px; border: none; float:left; margin:10px; font-size:12px;} #mini_module_blank img {border:none; width: 265px; height:131px; border: none; margin:0px; } #mini_module_blank .mini_main { margin: 0px; padding:0px; width:269px; height:206px; background: transparent url(http://www.aolcdn.com/travel/zing-background-no-photo)} #mini_module_blank .mini_item_header {padding:12px 0px; margin: 0px 20px; font-size:16px;} #mini_module_blank .mini_item {padding:8px 0px; margin: 0px 20px; border-bottom:1px dotted #CCCCCC;} #mini_module_blank a { color: #49A3CA; text-decoration:none; } #mini_module_blank a:hover { color: #F98419; text-decoration:underline;}

A drop in rates could also provide some help to the economy if more people refinance. When people refinance at lower rates, they pay less interest on their loans and have more money to spend.

A Federal Reserve survey issued Wednesday showed the economy growing moderately in most regions of the country this spring as companies continued hiring. Manufacturing and home sales improved in most of the Fed’s 12 regional districts, as did residential and commercial construction.

In April, sales of both previously occupied homes and new homes rose near two-year highs. Builders are gaining more confidence in the market, breaking ground on more homes and requesting more permits to build single-family homes later this year.

Mortgage applications rose by 1.3 percent during the week ended June 1, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday, mainly because more people applied to refinance their homes. Applications to buy a home actually fell for the fourth straight week.

Find Local Homes for Sale Browse through photos of millions of home listings on AOL Real Estate See Homes for Sale Search Foreclosures for Sale

A better job market also has made more people open to buying a home. But a dismal jobs report for May from the government last Friday fanned fears that the economy is sputtering.

U.S. employers created only 69,000 jobs in May, the fewest in a year, and the unemployment rate ticked up.

The Labor Department also said the economy created far fewer jobs in the previous two months than first thought. It revised those figures downward to show 49,000 fewer jobs created. The unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent in May from 8.1 percent in April, the first increase in 11 months.

The pace of home sales remains well below healthy levels. Economists say it could be years before the market is fully healed.

Many people are having difficulty qualifying for home loans or can’t afford larger down payments required by banks. Some would-be home buyers are holding off because they fear that home prices could keep falling.

Mortgage rates have been dropping because they tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which fell last week to a 66-year low. Uncertainty about how Europe will resolve its debt crisis has led investors to buy more Treasury securities, which are considered safe investments. As demand for Treasurys increase, the yield falls.

To calculate average rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday of each week.

The average does not include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for 30-year loans was 0.7 point, down from 0.8 last week. The fee for 15-year loans also was unchanged at 0.7 point.

The average rate on one-year adjustable rate mortgages rose to 2.79 percent from 2.75 percent last week. The fee for one-year adjustable rate loans was steady at 0.4.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

%Gallery-156341% See also: Housing Prices and Existing-Home Sales Rise in April Senator’s Mortgage Trouble Highlights Positive Housing Trend

Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2012/06/07/mortgage-rates-drop-to-record-lows-for-6th-straight-week/

HUD median income homeowners association escrow analysis encumbrance vested call option acceleration clause

How Refinancing a Mortgage Can Affect Your Credit

Filed under: ,

refinancing mortgage can affect creditBy Gerri Detweiler

It hardly seems possible that mortgage rates can get much lower, but they have. Homeowners are taking notice and refinancing their mortgages. Freddie Mac reports that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have reached an all-time record low at 3.4 percent for the week ending Sept. 27, down from last week’s 3.49 percent.

So if you’re on the fence because you are afraid that refinancing (again) will hurt your credit, relax.

“It will neither help nor hurt your score in the short-term,” insists Anthony Sprauve, director of public relations for myFICO.com. “Any impact will be minimal and brief. The true impact will be how you manage the new mortgage over time.”

While that makes refinancing sound like a no-brainer, there are a couple of potential traps you’ll want to watch out for.

Why the Calendar Is Critical

The first is the impact of shopping for a new loan on your credit scores. Each time you apply for credit, that sparks an “inquiry” into your credit history. “The typical additional inquiry can be expected to lower a credit score by five points or less,” says Barry Paperno, a credit scoring industry veteran and manager of the Credit.com forums.

But in the case of mortgage loan inquiries, “you can incur any number over a focused period of time, such as 14 or 45 days, and they will only count as one inquiry,” Paperno explains. “Also, while on your credit report for two years, inquiries are counted for only the first year by the credit scoring models.”

Steve Ely, CEO of eCredable.com agrees, adding: “Like most things in the science of credit scoring, the thicker your credit file, the smaller the impact on your credit score.”

The take-away? If you are going to shop for a new lower-rate home loan, it’s a good idea to do so in a relatively short period of time.

The other risk when you refinance? A missed mortgage payment. This trap isn’t common, but if you’re affected, you can see a significant drop on your scores.

It works like this: You are approved for a new loan to pay off the current loan. Your loan officer tells you that you can skip this month’s payment on your current loan because the new loan will take care of it. That’s true — provided the loan closes and funds on time. But if the payment from the new lender arrives more than 30 days after your current payment to your “old” lender is due, that lender may consider that last payment late. And one late payment can really hurt your scores.

So keep an eye on the calendar, and if it looks like you might be cutting it close, talk with your lender and loan officer about making that mortgage payment to keep your good credit intact.

If all goes smoothly, though, your credit report should list the old loan as paid in full with a zero balance. Pay the new loan on time and your credit will be just fine. Not to mention your budget.

See more on Credit.com: How Much Will One Late Payment Hurt Your Credit Score? When is Debt Consolidation Legitimate? The Ultimate Credit Report Cheat Sheet

More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. Find homes for rent in your area.

Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2012/09/27/how-refinancing-a-mortgage-can-affect-your-credit/

encroachment certificate of deposit index appraiser title transfer of ownership remaining term promissory note

Viewpoint: Why No New Houses May Be a Good Thing

Filed under: , , , ,

The news that 2011 may go down as the worst year in the past 50 for construction of new homes brought out many a weeping violin. Sorry, the strings on mine must have popped.

Yes, I understand that construction jobs — the ones that are created when builders build new homes — are a good thing for the economy. But the dark cloud of no new houses being built may have a silver lining: No new homes means less competition for existing homeowners trying to sell. #mini_module { width: 265px; height:220px; border: none; float:left; margin:10px; font-size:12px;} #mini_module img {border:none; width: 265px; height:131px; border: none; margin:0px; } #mini_module .mini_title { margin: 0px; padding:0px; width:265px; height:131px;} #mini_module .mini_main { margin: 0px; padding:0px; width:265px; height:85px; background: transparent url(http://www.aolcdn.com/travel/bg-short)} #mini_module .mini_item {padding:12px 0px; margin: 0px 20px; border-bottom:1px dotted #CCCCCC;} #mini_module a { color: #49A3CA; text-decoration:none; } #mini_module a:hover { color: #F98419; text-decoration:underline;}

Have we forgotten the economic rule of supply and demand? When the supply is smaller (no more new houses), the demand increases (for existing houses). When the demand increases — especially coupled with record-low interest loans — home values increase. Equity builds in existing homes, fewer people are upside down on their loans. People feel like they can spend again. Remember the old adage about land, how they aren’t making any more of it? Now apply it to houses.

Search Homes for Sale Browse through photos of millions of home listings or search foreclosure listings

Without the option of shiny new faucets and developers promising low-interest adjustable rate loans that got so many people in financial trouble in the first place, what exists of the homebuying public will be forced to focus its attention on the resale market. Surely with so many short sales and foreclosures out there — not to mention desperate sellers who just need to move — people can find something to their liking.

And stimulating sales of the comatose existing-home market also is a job stimulant, albeit different jobs. It creates work for home inspectors, termite-treaters, appraisers, real estate agents and others in the home transaction pipeline.

And what do new homeowners do if not immediately rush out to call contractors and remodelers? They visit Home Depot, shop for new couches and carpets, put in a swimming pool or refinish the kitchen cabinets. The first impulse of a new homeowner is to put their stamp on the house, making it theirs. Whether it’s as simple as slapping up a new color of paint or putting up a ceiling fan, they spend money on their new baby. And that stimulates the economy.

Don’t believe me? In 2009, new homeowners (those who have owned for two years or less) spent an average of $10,465 on home improvements, compared to $8,532 spent by those who have owned longer, says a Joint Center for Housing Studies report.

Inventory levels are flush in the resale market. Homes stay on the market for ages. Maybe the key to leaving the recession in our rear-view mirror has been in moving the excess housing market all along instead of worrying about how to create more of it.

Your thoughts, readers?

(The photo at top shows a housing development in Rio Vista, Calif., where work was halted in 2008.)

Also see: Viewpoint: What’s Behind Banks’ Big Foreclosure Push? Viewpoint: Hey Mr. President, How About Housing? Million-Dollar Foreclosures, Just Bring Your Checkbook

More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. Find rentals in your area.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/09/21/viewpoint-why-no-new-houses-may-be-a-good-thing/

lender bill of sale Truth-in-Lending line of credit assessed value note rate loan

House of the Day: Living Large at the Jersey Shore

Filed under: ,

Thought Snooki and her partners cornered the market on conspicuous consumption? Then you haven’t seen this Jersey Shore mansion. With 22 rooms, a 15-car-garage and 650 feet of beachfront (provided Hurricane Irene didn’t do any re-landscaping), the place gives the reality-TV cast a run for their booze-soaked bills.

Located in Mantoloking, an uber-ritzy community “down the shore,” the home, listed at $16 million, has eight bedrooms, five bathrooms, and stunning views from multiple porches and decks, as well as a brick patio, pool and 200-foot dock.

%Gallery-131930%

Robert Schwartz of Van Sciver Realtors has the listing.

Click on the pictures below to see some other mouth-watering residences in Mantoloking, N.J.:

See more Houses of the Day and other homes for sale in Mantoloking, N.J. on AOL Real Estate.

Got a tip for House of the Day? Know of an exceptional or unusual property currently listed for sale? Please email ann.brenoff@huffingtonpost.com with your suggestions and be sure to include links to listing details and photos. (Due to the volume of response, we unfortunately are unable to respond to each submission.)

More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. See more celebrity real estate

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/09/02/house-of-the-day-jersey-shore-mansion-gives-reality-show-a-run/

HUD median income homeowners association escrow analysis encumbrance vested call option acceleration clause

10 Home Improvements That Are a Waste of Money

Filed under:

By Jason Notte

Want a summer home improvement project? Dig a big hole on your property, throw a bunch of money in it, throw a match in and bury it once the flames subside.

This is basically what a select, wrongheaded number of Americans do every year when they see the sun peek out in June and head to Home Depot, Lowe’s or Sears without much of a plan. That yard may seem like it’s begging for a pool and your front porch may look inferior to a sunroom, but that doesn’t necessarily make them good ideas.

In some cases, it’s never a good year to make those ideas happen. We asked those in the know which projects homeowners should stay away from this summer. The following is a list of home “improvements” in which the return on the investment is at best subjective and, at worst, a money- and time-draining waste of warm weather:

A pool

An in-ground pool is a $25,000 to $50,000 gamble before a homeowner even considers tucking into their first cannonball.

That same pool costs about $2,000 more a year to maintain, hundreds more to heat and insure and hundreds more in filter and pump repairs within less than a decade. When cracks inevitably appear, resurfacing can cost upward of $10,000 shortly after that first decade.

Sure, the National Association of Realtors’ National Center for Real Estate Research says an in-ground pool can add about 8 percent to a home’s resale price, but that value swings from 6 percent in the frosty Midwest to 11 percent in the most toasty Sun Belt. An above-ground pool with have cheaper upfront costs, but the Center for Real Estate Research says it adds no value to a house and can actually subtract 1.9 percent of a house’s value if the buyer decides the eyesore needs to come down.

An outdoor kitchen

Installing steel grills and gourmet pizza ovens outside in a fenced-in area in Arizona or California adds to your square footage and optimizes great year-round weather. In Traverse City, Mich., it does neither. If your outdoor kitchen is considered an actual kitchen, the return on a major remodel — in this case, 65.7 percent — would be roughly the same. While such things as range hoods and portable heaters make outdoor kitchens year-round propositions in markets as seasonally chilly as Nantucket and Northern Michigan, it’s never quite as comfortable and can cut your returns in half if residents start to shiver during a February pig roast.

Read more of this story at TheStreet.com.

Also see these AOL Real Estate guides: o. Xeriscaping: 6 steps to Natural, Low Maintenance Lawn o. Best Landscape Design Options o. Home Staging for Every Season

More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. See celebrity real estate.

Planning Unique Outdoor Spacestry{document.getElementById("fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-983068").style.display="none";}catch(e){}

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2012/06/29/10-home-improvements-that-are-a-waste-of-money/

note rate loan executor mortgage life and disability insurance prepayment mortgage insurance premium (MIP) credit history

How to buy a home on a retiree’s budget

Q: How do retired people with a mortgage-free home and a limited budget (Social Security and retirement) sell and buy a home? Would they qualify for a mortgage or have to sell the home before buying a new home? Are there creative ways to do this? –Sue

A: I suspect this question will be coming up more and more often in the future, as baby boomers continue to retire. It’s important to note that many do continue to work on some level after retirement, and many don’t own their homes free and clear. It seems like congratulations might be in order for being able to completely retire and pay your house off (or keep it mortgage-free)!

1. Income is as income does. Most lenders will use retirement income, including a pension or monthly Social Security stipend, to qualify a borrower for a home mortgage.

They view it and treat it just like they treat salary or wages — and they require you to document it in a similar way. The lender will want to run your credit; see your most recent tax returns, as well as statements from all your accounts (including any retirement accounts); and see your Social Security and pension or other retirement system award letters.

Foreclosure Victims Plan Protests Across U.S.

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Victims of the foreclosure mess and housing crisis are taking to the streets — literally. Street demonstrations are being planned in 10 cities, and in the crowd at the first one you are going to see Dixie Mitchell, a 74-year-old cancer survivor who refinanced her paid-off home to help one of the foster kids in her care — and is now losing it in a foreclosure.

Mitchell (pictured at left), who along with her 76-year-old husband raised eight biological children and 50 foster children in this house, says that she intends to make her voice heard loud and clear as she marches in front of bank offices in Seattle on Sept. 21. The march is the first in a 10-city rollout of protests organized by The New Bottom Line, a coalition of community groups that challenges big banks’ role in the housing crisis.

Mitchell’s story is particularly heart-wrenching: She and her husband were doing just fine living in the house they’ve owned for 44 years until he suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed and cost him his job. The house was fully paid off in the mid-1980s, but they borrowed against it to make roof and kitchen repairs. The straw that broke the camel’s back came in 2005, when Mitchell needed to hire a lawyer, at a cost of $20,000, in an effort to keep a 3-year-old boy who had been in her care since he was an infant.

She was advised by the bank to refinance her house to get the cash. She took out an adjustable rate loan that would reset in two years, at which point, Mitchell says, the lender told her that she would be able to refinance into another 30-year-fixed rate loan. But the original loan was bundled and sold multiple times to different lenders. It reset to a higher rate right around the time her husband suffered a massive stroke, and she quickly fell behind in her payments. Without his earnings, her monthly income is just $2,200 in Social Security and her monthly mortgage is $2,568.

Mitchell filed for bankruptcy, tried getting assistance from every social service agency she could think of, spent two years trying to get a loan modification and even offered to rent out rooms to boarders if the bank would just let her keep her house.

“My husband wants to die at home, at our home,” she says. Her home is set to be auctioned on Oct. 28 and she has no place to go.

Why is she going to participate in the demonstration?

“I need them [the bank] to look me in the eye and tell me why they think it’s better to put people out in the street,” she said. “They haven’t done their share to help. They don’t even give you a chance … all they do is lose your paperwork and make you send it over and over again. Each time you talk to somebody, you get a different answer.”

Those are sentiments shared by many.

LeeAnn Hall, executive director of Alliance for a Just Society and one of the organizational members of The New Bottom Line, said the Seattle area protests will be staged both in downtown Seattle and at the annual policy summit meeting of the Association of Washington Business, a statewide chamber of commerce. The meeting is being held in Suncadia, a mountain resort near Cle Elum, Wash. The governor is expected to attend the meeting and Hall said that the group hopes to engage her.

Subsequent demonstrations are planned across the country in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and other locations.

The New Bottom Line said that it is targeting “big banks that bankrupted the country and drained wealth from American families.” The direct actions primarily target JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, and include taking over bank buildings, meetings of corporate officials, civil disobedience, prayer vigils and mass mobilizations.

“We are struggling with less and less, while the big banks profit more and more,” said George Goehl, executive director of National People’s Action, another organizational member of The New Bottom Line. “The big banks have done nothing but dodge taxes, throw people out of their homes and choke small business, all the while draining our wealth to pad their bottom line. It’s time for JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo to pay us back.”

According to a press statement, the group’s goals are that banks:

o. Pay their fair share of taxes — their statutorily required 35 percent corporate income tax and not “game” the system through off-shore tax shelters and loopholes.

o. Stabilize the housing market and revitalize the economy by reducing principal for all underwater homeowners to current-market value. “This would end the foreclosure crisis, reset the housing market, pump billions of dollars back into the economy and create one million jobs a year,” the group says.

o. Invest in American jobs by using their trillions of dollars in cash reserves to invest in small businesses — the main source of jobs in the U.S. — and other job-generating investments.

Also see: Viewpoint: What’s Behind Banks’ Big Foreclosure Push? 101-Year-Old Foreclosure Victim to Get Home Back Woman Faces Foreclosure on Home She Bought for $1

More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. Find rentals in your area.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/09/19/foreclosure-victims-plan-protests-across-u-s/

subdivision community property eminent domain collateral quitclaim deed rate lock fair market value

Bank of America Branch in San Diego Gets ‘Trash Deposit’ in Protest Over Blighted Vacant Home

Filed under: ,

bank of american trash deposit blighted home protest

What do you do when the bank-owned house next door is a vacant and blighted mess? If you’re these San Diego residents, you remove the garbage piled out front and take it to its rightful owner: the bank itself.

The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, a homeowner advocacy group, gathered dirty rugs, furniture and other items that had been piling up in the backyard of a vacant home in San Diego, and “deposited” them at the storefront of a local Bank of America branch, the reported owner of the home. The protest was organized to raise awareness for the proposed Property Value Protection Ordinance, which would force banks to enter all of their foreclosures in a registry. The measure would hold banks accountable for maintaining their homes or face $1,000-a-day fines.

“People are cleaning out their yards and throwing stuff in there,” Clara Lorrabaquio, who lives near the vacant home, told U-T San Diego. “The windows on the side of the house are broken. I’ve seen people just going in and out of the house. We don’t know who these people are.”

%Gallery-156057% The BofA branch was closed in anticipation of the protest, so the protesters dumped a couch, desk, and other garbage out front with signs reading: “This garbage property of Bank of America.”

“We’ve left the trash here and are notifying the bank of the address and asking them to clean it up,” protest organizer David Lagstein told KPBS in San Diego. “And [we're] continuing to ask the City Council to prevent this from happening and pass the Property Value Protection Ordinance.”

The ordinance is scheduled for a full City Council vote this fall.

“When people call and report [unmaintained properties],” Lagstein told NBC San Diego, “somebody actually goes out and responds. What a concept: City government responds to citizens’ complaints. That’s all we’re asking, and I think it’s really doable.”

Some other recent “trash deposit” protests of unmaintained Bank of America properties have included: one in September 2011, when protesters in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood collected trash bags from an abandon home and dumped them at the home of Bank of America’s president; and the next month in Chicago, as five women, including an 80-year-old, were arrested for dumping garbage in front of Bank of America offices, protesting the buildup of trash at vacant buildings.

Last July, Bank of America dodged a bullet when protesters in San Jose, Calif., mistakenly dumped garbage from a foreclosed home in the lobby of a Wells Fargo branch — even though the foreclosure was owned by BofA.

View more videos at: http://nbcsandiego.com. See also: REO-to-Rental Program Takes Next Step: FHFA Squatters in Littleton, Colo., Couple’s Home Refuse to Vacate Homeless Man Allegedly Rents Out Vacant Home to Tenants

More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. Find homes for rent in your area. Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2012/08/08/bank-of-america-branch-in-san-diego-gets-trash-deposit-in-prot/

repayment plan credit report fixture bridge loan origination fee rent loss insurance real estate agent

Hurricane Isaac: Tips for Protecting Your Home Against Damage

Filed under: ,

As Tropical Storm Isaac threatens to accelerate into a Category 2 hurricane targeting the Gulf Coast, it’s a reminder to homeowners in areas exposed to such destructive storms that they should always have measures in place to protect their homes from such severe weather.

Analytics firm CoreLogic said Isaac alone threatens nearly 270,000 homes worth a total of $36 billion, most of them in already storm-battered New Orleans.

Batten Down The Hatches

In the event that a hurricane does hit, make sure your property is ready to weather the storm by following these tips from ACE Private Risk Services.

o. Wash out all your rain gutters and exterior drains to avoid water backups. Water in gutters may not just spill over onto the ground — it could back up and cause water to seep into a home’s walls.

o. Install a battery backup system for your water pump to guard against flooding and interior damage. “When these storms come through, power lines are knocked down,” said Dale Tomlinson of ACE. “So it’s important that you do have a battery backup to keep that [pump] going while there’s water coming.” Having a backup generator is also a way to ensure that necessary equipment can continue to function in the event of a blackout.

o. Reinforce your windows with shutters, add heavy-duty hinges and deadbolts to doors, and make sure that roof sheathing can withstand strong winds. If wind bursts into your home, the risk of structural damage to the home’s roof and doors increases substantially. “The internal partitions of your home are not built to withstand positive and negative pressures from the exterior,” Tomlinson said.

o. Trim trees whose branches could fall and cause damage, and be sure to clear all items that could become projectiles during a storm. “Move any outdoor furniture that could become debris that would either float or cause damage,” Tomlinson said.

Make Sure You’re Covered

In order to safeguard your home’s value, you should make sure that you have homeowners insurance, flood insurance, and, in some cases, wind insurance.

Homeowners insurance usually covers wind damage and other hurricane-related losses. However, in some coastal areas especially prone to hurricanes, wind coverage may not be part of a policy, and you may have to purchase wind insurance from a different carrier. There is usually a deductible amount for named-storm wind damage, such as 2 percent of the value of the home, Tomlinson said. #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-796134{display:none;} .cke_show_borders #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-796134, #postcontentcontainer #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-796134{width:570px;height:411px;display:block;}

Isaac Threatens Gulf Landfall on Katrina Anniversarytry{document.getElementById("fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-796134").style.display="none";}catch(e){}

Flood insurance covers water damage and can be obtained through the government’s National Flood Insurance Program. The government insurance, which has a $2,000 deductible for high-risk areas, may cover up to $250,000 in property damage and $100,000 in damage to personal belongings, depending on the premium you choose to pay. To receive coverage for damage beyond those two amounts, you can sign up for a supplementary policy with a private insurance company like ACE.

To make sure that you get the most protection out of your policy, you should be sure to take inventory of and document your belongings and property before the onset of a storm.

Use Know Your Stuff, a free insurance software provided by the Insurance Information Institute, to help efficiently take inventory and store records of your belongings. Doing so will enable you to speed the claims process and maximize your settlement if some of your possessions are damaged.

Filing a Claim

If your home sustains damage and you have insurance to cover it, you may contact your service provider to file a claim. To do this, you must provide evidence of the damage to your home and possessions by taking photographs of the property damage and making a list of damaged items with their date of purchase, value and, ideally, receipts.

When you and your insurer agree on the amount of damages, you should receive payment.

See also: Underground Real Estate Boom: Bomb Shelter Sales on the Rise Earthquake Preparedness: Are You Ready?

%Gallery-159323% More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. See celebrity real estate.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2012/08/27/hurricane-isaac-tips-for-protecting-your-home-against-dama/

first mortgage assessor exclusive listing negative amortization condominium conversion 401(k)/403(b) loan remaining balance

Viewpoint: Where’s Housing in the ‘Occupy’ Protests?

Filed under: , , ,

Did the voices of the housing crisis just get swallowed up by the anti-Wall Street protests? Marches, sit-ins and confrontations with police – all part of the Occupy Wall St. movement that organizers say was birthed organically and fed through social media outlets — are happening in major cities across the country. Without question, windows across America have opened and, just like in the movie “Network,” people are shouting “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

The only problem is that homeowners caught in the foreclosure crisis also stuck their heads out those windows and save for a fleeting few seconds, the take-to-the-streets protests have ignored them in favor of taking corporate greed to task. Nowhere on the main Occupy Wall St. website is housing even mentioned. (Pictured above are protesters in Los Angeles.)

Before you accuse us of wearing blinders, it’s worth noting that just a few weeks ago, a coalition of community groups called The New Bottom Line organized a nationwide 10-city protest aimed at stopping foreclosures, demanding that banks reduce principal loan amounts of all underwater mortgages and that Wall Street stop hoarding the trillions of dollars it got in stimulus money and start funding small business’ efforts to create jobs. Hallelujah to that, we say.

Seeing commonality with the Occupy Wall St. troops, The New Bottom Line demonstrators have joined forces with the faster-spreading Occupiers. The New Bottom Line co-director Tracy Van Slyke says that the excitement generated by the larger protests taking place will transfer energy — over time — to relief for housing. Let’s hope so. The millions of displaced families who lost their homes to foreclosures deserve a voice shouting on their behalf.

Where The New Bottom Line had been focused on the housing struggles facing the lower and middle class, Occupy appeals to a younger demographic — those hard hit by rising unemployment and emotionally about as far away from losing a family home to foreclosure as you can likely be.

About all they have in common is anger, which ultimately may be enough.

Also see: Foreclosed Homeowner ‘Booby-Traps’ Home Realtors’ Latest Challenge: A Surge of Squatters Foreclosure Rescue Scammers Busier — and Trickier — Than Ever

More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. See celebrity real estate.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/10/05/viewpoint-wheres-housing-in-the-occupy-protests/

no-cost loan mortgage banker bond market servicer appraisal owner financing due-on-sale provision

How Much House You Can Get for $163,000

Filed under: , ,

From a massive 3,000-square-foot Dallas home (with an indoor fountain) to a tiny fixer-upper east of L.A., here’s what you can buy for the nationwide median home price of $163,000 in eight major metro areas.

%Gallery-157114%

More articles from CNNMoney: In Kansas, trailers rent for $2,000 a month Inside the Junk Castle home Most affordable cities to buy a home

More on AOL Real Estate: How much home can I afford?

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2012/06/05/how-much-house-you-can-get-for-163-000/

recording prepayment penalty multidwelling units Treasury index Realtor® late charge grantor

Housing Recovery Taking Hold, Government Survey Says

Filed under:

There have been a number of positive developments in the housing market over the last several months, and that trend continued into September, as many areas continued to improve.

The housing market has strengthened considerably since the end of last year, and as a result, there is now an additional $860 billion in home equity nationwide, according to the latest Housing Scorecard released monthly by the Obama administration. As a consequence, sales of existing homes in the month of August reached the highest level seen in more than two years.

“As the September housing scorecard indicates, our housing market is showing important signs of recovery — with homeowner equity at a four-year high and summer sales of existing homes at the strongest pace in two years,” said Erika Poethig, acting assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “The Administration’s efforts to keep housing affordable and refinances strong are critical with so many households still struggling to make ends meet. That is why we continue to ask Congress to approve the President’s refinancing proposal so that more homeowners can secure the help they need.”

As a result of all the rising equity nationwide, which is now at the highest level since the third quarter of 2008, some 1.3 million homeowners are now back above water on their mortgages, the report said. In all, the number of underwater homeowners nationwide has dropped 11 percent since the end of 2011, falling to 10.8 million through the end of the second quarter from 12.1 million.

Meanwhile, efforts on the part of the federal government to aid those who are still underwater with their mortgages have been successful as well, the report said. The Making Home Affordable Program has had nearly 1.3 million homeowner assistance actions take place since its inception, and the Federal Housing Administration has extended some for loss mitigation or early delinquency interventions to another 1.4 million.

Similarly, the Home Affordable Modification Program has been helpful to more than a million consumers nationwide, reducing their mortgage payments by an average of $539 per month, allowing for a total of more than $15 billion in savings to date, the report said.

Experts say improving home prices and continued low rates on mortgages could encourage many consumers to enter the housing market for the first time in years within the next several months.

See more on Credit.com: How Refinancing Can Affect Your Credit Can You Really Get Your Credit Score for Free? How a Mortgage Can Help (or Hurt) Your Credit

%Gallery-162172% More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. See celebrity real estate.

Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate, or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook and Pinterest.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2012/10/09/housing-recovery-taking-hold-government-survey-says/

condominium hotel commission private mortgage insurance (MI) leasehold estate no-cost loan mortgage banker bond market

‘Housing’ Swings Don’t Matter as Much as What’s Happening in Your Own Neighborhood

Filed under: , ,

By Jeff Brown, BankingMyWay

NEW YORK — New data from Zillow.com shows that the housing market really has hit bottom. Cue the applause. Signal the all clear. Get Warren Buffett to pile on and say something encouraging about the U.S. economy. Then head back to reality, and eye the headlines about the housing market’s inevitable recovery with caution, especially if you are a prospective homebuyer. Conditions can vary widely from one neighborhood to the next.

The question isn’t ever whether the market has bottomed when it comes to housing — that’s good for journalists and economists and TV pundits, but near-useless, or at least dubious, for those involved in or contemplating real estate transactions. The relevant question is whether the market has bottomed in your neighborhood.

All politics are local — all real estate, too. So local, in fact, that the outlook for your metro area can matter less than the outlook for your five-digit ZIP Code (and vice versa: improving home values in a specific ZIP Code don’t imply that an overall metro area is on the mend, too). And sometimes, improvement within a ZIP Code doesn’t mean the home in that ZIP Code you are interested in — or looking to sell — is in the improving part of the “code.”

As Zillow puts it in the details of calling a bottom in the housing market, “The recovery is a highly local process.” Still the headlines won’t ever say, “(Highly Local) Housing Market Hits Bottom.”

This isn’t to say the news on housing isn’t good, especially for some of the most underwater markets:

“The United States has hit a bottom in housing values, and a majority of metros that the Zillow Real Estate Market Reports cover have also experienced their bottom,” Zillow’s recent report states. “Some metros showed signs of a healthy pick-up in appreciation, such as Phoenix and Miami with a V-shaped recovery. Others are undergoing more of a soft landing and are currently coasting in positive value growth territory.”

Zillow compares home prices from June 2011 to June 2012 in 167 metropolitan areas, with breakdowns by ZIP Code. While the results are encouraging overall, some ZIP Code and metro areas continue to fare poorly. Zillow uses red to show where prices have fallen and green for where they’ve gone up. In addition to the year-over-year maps, there are maps showing price trends in the most recent quarter and month. Using these visual aids, one can see, for example, that a positive trend over the past year has not been reversed in recent months.

So how can one make use of the data? By zeroing in on individual ZIP Code, prospective buyers can assess the risk that a home bought today might be worth less in a year or two — a good reason to postpone a purchase. There’s no way of knowing for sure, but if prices have been holding steady or begun to rise, the area is a better bet than if they are continuing to fall.

Similarly, signs of an upturn might encourage sellers to get off the sidelines and list their properties. If the market warms, there are likely to be more buyers willing to move quickly before prices rise even more. Of course, a prospective seller who’s not in a hurry might be wise to wait for prices to go even higher.

Still, it’s important to keep data in perspective. Like most surveys of this type, Zillow calculates average prices of homes sold in a given area during a given period. If only a small number of homes sell, the results can be skewed by just a few sales with especially high or low prices. Don’t put too much stock into a trend that’s only evident for the past month or quarter, as there may not have been enough sales to guarantee a statistically significant result.

The ideal survey would look at prices of individual homes that have changed hands more than once, but not many homes sell more than once in a 12-month period, so average prices for the area are generally the best data available.

People using the data should also keep in mind that a ZIP Code-level look is really not detailed enough, as a given ZIP Code will have many neighborhoods quite different from one another. Before making a final decision to buy or sell, look carefully at comparable homes that have sold, or are on the market, in the same neighborhood.

So when you read the next headline calling a bottom in the U.S. housing market, it would be best to ignore it as anything other than a way to re-frame the debate and begin the real detailed work of answering the more important question: Does that call apply to your neighborhood?

See more at TheStreet.com: Kids Off to College? Time to Sell Your Home 10 DIY Projects for Your New Home 10 Home Improvements You’re Wasting Time and Money On

More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. Find homes for rent in your area.

Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2012/08/01/housing-swings-dont-matter-as-much-as-whats-happening-in-you/

vested call option acceleration clause cash-out refinance depreciation merged credit report second mortgage

How to Rebound from Bad Credit

The recent recession and housing bubble has left plenty of people in foreclosure or otherwise struggling to stay afloat financially.  Anything from a missed credit card payment to a mortgage modification to losing your home altogether can be disastrous to your credit score, and it will take time to bounce back, but it can be [...]

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TruthfulLendingDotCom/~3/nDE4ks32z_A/

lease purchase money transaction closing costs public auction servicing FHA mortgage Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)

Credit Score Catch-22: Mortgage Shopping Can Raise Your Rate

Filed under: , , ,

mortgage closing costsIt’s a Catch-22 if ever there was one. The very process of shopping around for a low interest rate on a mortgage can adversely impact your credit score and cost you your eligibility for the cheaper loan you’re seeking.

Each time a lender does what is known as a “hard pull” on your credit report, their action actually shaves a few points off your score. A lower credit score means a higher mortgage rate. (You can check your own score 500 times a day and it won’t matter. A hard pull is when a third party checks your score with the intent of extending you credit.)

With lenders tightening the noose, credit scores have become a matter of great concern for home buyers struggling to qualify for loans. Getting a favorable loan rate can mean saving hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of the loan, so the idea that just in the course of loan-shopping you are doing yourself financial damage is logic-defying. But it’s true.

The one break you can get is to do all your loan shopping within a two-week window. All checks done within this period will count as one — and drop your credit score by just two to five points. But step outside that window, and each hard pull of your credit will cost you two to five points. Shop among eight lenders and you could see your scores drop by 40 points — a drop that takes at least six months to recover from.

Tracy Becker, a national credit-score specialist located in New York’s Hudson Valley and founder of the 20-year-old North Shore Advisory, offers these tips:

1. Don’t open or close any credit accounts for three months prior to applying for a loan.

Yes, you read that right: Closing a credit account hurts just as much as opening a new one. Even the act of ending your car lease will cost you up to 60 points on your credit score.

Somewhere, some place, some analyst determined that one of the symptoms of a person about to go into default was that they began to close credit accounts. Well, duh. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do when you find yourself overextended? Apparently the credit scorekeepers lump the financially solvent in with the defaulters’ profile. So if your car lease is about to expire, extend it for three months while you loan shop, says Becker. And don’t apply to increase your credit limits on any cards or take out any new ones.

2. Don’t apply for a loan until you have a signed contract to buy a house and then do an intense day of loan-shopping.

The idea is to have all your hard pulls done within the 14-day window. One obvious problem is that not all home deals come to fruition. Estimates are that about 35 percent of open escrows fall apart. That means that those 35 percent of buyers will likely be back out there looking for another home and another home loan. And when they find it, their earlier efforts could work against them. The one glimmer of reasonableness here is that if you return within 90 days to the initial lender you approached, they will consider the credit score they pulled on that first go-round.

Becker had a client about a year ago who wanted to refinance his Long Island home. Not knowing the rules, he shopped for a loan about 30 times over a five-month period. He also went shopping for a car loan, got a credit card limit increase and was looking for a student loan for his daughter. The result: His credit score dropped 40 points and he couldn’t get the mortgage loan he wanted, at a cost to him of an extra $600 a month.

Another of her clients had a credit score of 722 when he started looking to refinance his home. But he went out and bought a car, dropping his score by four points. Once under the credit threshold of 720, the refi application was denied. “Ultimately he paid down some balances and got back the extra points, but it was a lot of stress, a lot of paperwork and two-and-a-half months to get the loan he wanted,” says Becker.

3. Don’t let your balances exceed more than 10 percent of your available credit for at least three months, and pay your bills on time.

Getting a home loan these days is hard for everyone, and near impossible for those who have bad credit. Becker says to keep your balances below 10 percent of your available credit for at least three months prior to applying. That means if you have a credit card with a ceiling of $10,000, don’t let the balance exceed $1,000. And since the credit reporting bureaus don’t update their sites daily, you need to allow for a three-month delay.

FICO last month released information about how easily even a single unpaid bill can wreak havoc with your credit score. If you have a score of 780 and are 30 days late on your mortgage, your score will drop to 670 and it will take you three years to recover it. (Obviously, the F in FICO doesn’t stand for Forgiveness.)

Credit consultant and head of New Start Financial Corp. Wayne Sanford — a.k.a. “Wayne the Credit Guy” — says that credit scores are just part of the equation.

He recently worked with a Texas family trying to buy a $330,000 home in Plano. The couple was ready to put $150,000 on the purchase and had scores of 690 and 740 between them. Yet the loan was flagged because a well-known national furniture store had marked their account as having a “consumer dispute.” It was a computer error; the account had never been disputed and had in fact been paid in full on time and was closed. Nevertheless, it held up their loan and they almost lost their house deal.

Sanford advises running regular checks on your credit–which, by the way, won’t impact your scores.

For more on credit scores and related topics, see these AOL Real Estate guides:

More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. Get property tax help from our experts.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/05/19/credit-score-catch-22-shopping-for-a-mortgage-can-raise-your-ra/

rate lock fair market value common law cap right of first refusal loan-to-value (LTV) appraised value

More Late Mortgages Catching Up to Speed

Filed under: ,

While the housing market has been somewhat rocky in the last several months, there have generally been improvements, and that trend continued into the second quarter of the year.

The number of first-lien home loans nationwide that were current and performing through the end of the second quarter climbed to 88.7 percent, up from 88.1 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to the latest Mortgage Metrics Report issued quarterly by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. However, that rate was also down, though slightly, from the first quarter of 2012, when current and performing home loans made up 88.9 percent of the total number nationwide.

Of the number of late mortgages, just 2.8 percent were between 30 and 59 days late, a drop of 7.5 percent from the same period last year, but an increase of 12.1 percent from the first quarter, the report said. On the other hand, the number of home loans 60 days or more behind on payments slipped to the lowest levels observed in three years. In all, these mortgages made up 4.4 percent of late payments, down both 0.8 percent from the first quarter, and 9.2 percent on an annual basis.

While there were a number of factors that contributed to these improvements in the mortgage market on a year-over-year basis, if not a quarterly one, perhaps the largest was the fact that greater efforts to issue home loan modifications continued to pay off, the report said. In all, lenders, servicers and the federal government were able to successfully work in concert to begin 416,036 new retention actions between April and June, designed to keep consumers in their homes. That’s compared with just 302,636 new foreclosure proceedings.

There have been considerable efforts to improve the housing market in the past several months, and many of them involve broadening of qualifications for government initiatives. This includes the Home Affordable Modification Program, which is designed to help homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth. Specifically, HAMP modifications will allow them to alter the terms of their mortgages so that their monthly payments are more affordable. The initiative has been in place for some time now, but earlier versions of its programs were criticized for being too restrictive.

See more on Credit.com: How Refinancing Can Affect Your Credit When Bad Credit Keeps You From Homeownership What Makes Your Mortgage Credit Score Different

What Works Now - Affordability try{document.getElementById("fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-719803").style.display="none";}catch(e){}

More on AOL Real Estate: Find homes for rent in your area. Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area.

Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2012/10/02/more-late-mortgages-catching-up-to-speed/

assessor exclusive listing negative amortization condominium conversion 401(k)/403(b) loan remaining balance condominium hotel

Who Walks Away From a Mortgage? Not Whom You’d Expect

Filed under: , , ,

walk away mortgagePeter Safronoff drives a Hyundai and lives in a rental bungalow in Encinitas, Calif., a beach community north of San Diego. At 63, it’s not the golden-years lifestyle the financial consultant planned on, but it’s the one he has.

“I live in a beautiful place, in more modest circumstances,” he says, “but at least I know I won’t go bankrupt now.”

That’s because last November, Safronoff walked away from his 1,600-square-foot home near San Diego, which he bought for $400,000 in 2005 with a 10% down payment. Like so many American homeowners, he lost his job in the financial crisis and watched the value of his house plunge. Unable to modify his loan — and unwilling to push himself into complete financial ruin to keep his condo — he made a strategic decision to pack his bags and leave the keys for the bank.

Homeowners like Safronoff keep the lending industry awake at night.

A report released in April by FICO, a credit-scoring and analytics company, offered tools to mortgage lenders to spot potential defaulters. They weren’t who you might think: FICO’s red flags included people with high credit ratings who were up to date on credit card and auto payments. As a financially savvy businessman with a credit score above 800 until very recently, Safronoff fits the profile.

His story follows a familiar trajectory. He bought his home in a boom market. When the economy turned, he lost his six-figure income, the value of his home plunged and his homeowner fees doubled. Relying on his $1,500 social security income and savings, Safronoff (pictured) found himself struggling to keep up with his monthly payments, which had ballooned to more than $3,700. Still, he never missed a payment. As he dug further into his savings, he was unable to qualify for refinancing, and his attempts to get a loan modification failed. Hundreds of faxes and many loan servicers later, he was at the end of his rope.

Safronoff says that while his attempts to find a solution met a dead end, he doesn’t besmirch his lender, a national company. Still frustrated, however, he looked for other options and found YouWalkAway.com, an agency specializing in foreclosure planning or strategic defaults.

He is not alone. A study from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business reported that 35% of mortgage defaults in September 2010 were strategic, compared with 26% in March 2009.

Jon Maddux, CEO of YouWalkAway.com, says his business mirrors that growth. Business is up 10% this year — and had 40% annual growth in 2010 — as more and more homeowners view walking away as a financially prudent decision.

Maddux says that his first wave of customers, in 2008, were much different than the ones he sees today. “In 2008 people were very saddened and in distress. They felt they had to save the house at all costs,” he says. “But now people who were holding on really can’t hold on any longer. We’re seeing people who called three years ago call back.”

Home Prices Expected to Keep Falling

The news for homeowners continues to get worse. A Zillow study this week reported that home prices have experienced the biggest quarterly drop since 2008 and may not hit bottom until 2012. Today, prices are down nearly 30% from the peak in 2006, and the number of negative-equity, or underwater, homes has hit a new high. Two million homes are in foreclosure, Zillow reported, with another 1.5 million seriously delinquent.

Ellen Harnick, a senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending, suggests that part of the reason that strategic defaults are occurring is that continued unemployment and the lengthy process for loan modification are leaving more people with fewer options.

“Studies have shown that negative equity is necessary but insufficient. People who walk away have had some other event, so that it’s not a choice but a lack of options,” she says. “For primary residents, you have to live somewhere. Most people will continue to pay mortgages as long as they can.”

Some help could come for homeowners in proposed legislation for the Housing Opportunity and Mortgage Equity Act, which would allow any homeowner with a loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to refinance at the current rate, regardless of home value, income or credit rating.

What Is the Real Cost of Walking Away?

Public debate has centered on two issues: the ethical or moral question of walking away from a contract and the systemic risk to the housing market. Vocal critics of strategic defaults, such as economist Luigi Zingales at the University of Chicago, argue that walking away hurts market efficiency, increases mortgage prices, damages the community, and depresses the overall housing market. Add to that the damage of a broken promise.

But others, including University of Arizona law professor Brent White, say the question of whether to default strategically comes down to contract law. In White’s view, the lender-lendee contract “explicitly sets out the consequences of breach.” He argues that the agreement allows for a walk-away, provided the goods in question are returned. In other words, sending the keys back to the bank is part of the contract.

The possibility of walking away is a flashpoint for homeowners and lenders alike. Until recently, the only time planned foreclosures occurred were after major life-altering events: divorce, medical emergency, or business failure. In the last two years, the term “strategic default” has gained traction to describe walking away from a loan–also “jingle mail,” from the sound of metal house keys clanking in an envelope.

For underwater homeowners, strategic default is one way to preserve remaining wealth, says Augustine Diji, a former real estate broker and founder of the website The Strategic Default Monitor.

Safronoff says that his decision to walk away was painful financially and emotionally. But it came down to economics and the relief he stood to gain as opposed to “sit in the house and freak out.” He didn’t see the process as ethically questionable because he says that he had tried all other options and saw this as a business decision.

The major penalty for strategically defaulting is the substantial hit of 150 or more points to a credit score. That means higher interest rates, more restrictive terms on credit and other difficulties obtaining financing. It could be hard to qualify for rental properties as well. In some states, lenders who sell a foreclosed property for less than the amount owed on the mortgage can pursue the defaulter for the difference, according to the FICO report.

The trend toward defaults underscores that credit may not be the king it once was.

“People’s perceptions of credit are changing as we speak,” Diji says. “There was a time when credit meant so much, and your score gave you so many benefits. Today, defaults throw that upside down.”

Nicholas Carroll, blogger and author of “Walk Away From Your Debt,” says the dot-com crash in the Silicon Valley in 2000-2001 foreshadowed the current wave of strategic defaulters. Looking back, he says, “people who walked away were back on their feet much sooner than people who tried to hang on.” He adds that cash — rather than a home — is increasingly the new nest egg.

With peace of mind today, Safronoff is focused on rebuilding his financial life and reconstructing his credit. He doesn’t regret walking away from his house but does not endorse it for other homeowners either.

“It was the right decision for me,” he says, “but for others it may not be right. There is no simple answer.”

Catherine New is a reporter with the Huffington Post Media Group.

For more on foreclosure and related topics see these AOL Real Estate guides:

More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. Get property tax help from our experts.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/05/11/who-walks-away-from-a-mortgage-not-who-youd-expect/

credit encroachment certificate of deposit index appraiser title transfer of ownership remaining term

30-Year Mortgage Rate Falls to Another Record Low: 3.66%

Filed under: ,

By Marcy Gordon

WASHINGTON — The average U.S. rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell this week to a record low for the seventh time in eight weeks. Cheap mortgages have helped drive a modest recovery in the weak housing market this year.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average on the 30-year loan dropped to 3.66 percent. That’s down from 3.71 percent last week and the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The average rate on the 15-year mortgage, a popular refinancing option, declined to 2.95 percent. That’s down from 2.98 percent last week and just above the record 2.94 percent reached two weeks ago.

The rate on the 30-year loan has been below 4 percent since December.

#fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-118145{display:none;} .cke_show_borders #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-118145, #postcontentcontainer #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-118145{width:570px;height:411px;display:block;}

30 Year Vs. 15 Year Mortgagetry{document.getElementById("fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-118145").style.display="none";}catch(e){}

Low rates could provide some help to the economy if more people refinance. When people refinance at lower rates, they pay less interest on their loans and have more money to spend.

Still, the pace of home sales remains well below healthy levels. Sales of previously occupied homes dipped in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.55 million, although they are up from the same month last year.

Many people are still having difficulty qualifying for home loans or can’t afford larger down payments required by banks. Some would-be home buyers are holding off because they fear that home prices could keep falling.

The U.S. economy is growing only modestly and job creation slowed sharply in April and May. U.S. employers created only 69,000 jobs in May, the fewest in a year.

Mortgage rates have been dropping because they tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. Uncertainty about how Europe will resolve its debt crisis has led investors to buy more Treasury securities, which are considered safe investments. As demand for Treasurys increase, the yield falls.

And the yield will likely fall even lower now that the Federal Reserve has said it will continue selling short-term Treasurys and using the proceeds to buy longer-term Treasurys. That goal of the program is to drive long-term interest rates lower to encourage more borrowing and spending.

To calculate average rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday of each week.

The average does not include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for 30-year loans was 0.7 point, unchanged from last week. The fee for 15-year loans was 0.6 point, down from 0.7.

The average rate on one-year adjustable rate mortgages fell to 2.74 percent from 2.78 percent last week. The fee for one-year adjustable rate loans was unchanged at 0.5 point.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

See also: 5 Things That Can Derail Your Home Sale Home Affordability: How Much House (or Apartment) Can I Handle? Home Costs: 4 Crucial Questions Reveal Hidden Expenses

%Gallery-158199% More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. Find homes for rent in your area.

Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2012/06/21/30-year-mortgage-rate-falls-to-record-low/

certificate of deposit lease purchase money transaction closing costs public auction servicing FHA mortgage

The New Homeless: Living Behind the Wheel

Filed under: , , , ,

During the Great Depression, people who were forced to live in their cars were known as “Ford families.” Today, they go by the far more impersonal name of the “vehicular homeless,” and you can count 45-year-old Carey Fuller and her two daughters, 8 and 17, among them.

The Fullers (pictured above) became homeless in April 2004 when Carey lost her job in the financial services sector in Seattle. With the job loss came a move from a three-bedroom apartment into a two-bedroom — but that wasn’t enough to cut expenses. Seeing what was waiting for her around the corner, Fuller took her final bit of income, a tax refund, and used it to buy an RV that she and her girls could live in. After a while, even gas and maintenance on the Winnebago became more than she could afford, so she traded down for a minivan. Fuller takes whatever work she can find, often landing part-time jobs. She also blogs about her life as a homeless mother living in a van.

As the economy continues to circle the drain and the number of foreclosures rises, more and more people are following in Fuller’s tracks. Some cities, like Venice and Palo Alto in California, have even created parking areas for people who live in their vehicles.

“Cars are the new homeless shelters,” says Joel John Roberts, CEO of PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) Partners, the largest services provider for the homeless in Los Angeles County. Car and van dwellers don’t show up in U.S. Census Bureau data because census workers don’t knock on car windows, Roberts says.

How They Got There

How did so many families wind up sleeping in cars, vans and RVs? In most cases, they were hit with a job loss or health crisis that cost them their home. The move from roof to backseat is often swifter than expected, and in the case of those whose homes have been foreclosed, there is often a sense of disbelief that the actual day of eviction will come. Departures are often fast and furious, with things thrown into a van. Often, the newly evicted don’t travel far; they camp out in the neighborhood where they lived. They quickly learn which public parks leave their restrooms unlocked and that joining the local YMCA provides access to a shower.

In some cases, it’s divorce, not unemployment, that puts people in their cars at night. Rudy Salinas, director of outreach for PATH, recalls finding a man living in his car in a supermarket parking lot a few months ago. The man had a stack of neatly dry-cleaned uniforms next to him, which he wore to work each day. But at night, separated from his wife and unable to support two households, he slept in the market’s parking lot.

Salinas said that PATH did its own census of the homeless population in Hollywood, Calif. They counted 748 people without homes; 151 of them were car dwellers.

“In my 19 years of doing outreach, I have never seen such a spike in numbers like the one in the past 18 months,” he says.

Carey Fuller, the single mother in Seattle, advocates for the homeless while being homeless herself. She says that she parks “anywhere I can” at night, picking spots near foreclosed homes to avoid police detection. Her daughters do their homework in the school library and they do laundry in public laundromats. Meals are taken at church soup kitchens or purchased in convenience marts that have microwaves to heat things up. She lives on an inconsistent child support payment of $150 a month and $500 a month in food stamps for the three of them. Showers are taken at the community pool; on weekends, they hang out at the library where there are many free events.

She gave up trying to use the overtaxed housing assistance system, because of the long waiting lists for apartments.

Is she just a job away from being able to rent an apartment? Fuller says it isn’t as simple as that. Landlords discriminate against the vehicular homeless, she says, and demand to see a current rental history. After sleeping in the car for nearly eight years, she doesn’t have one.

She’s been doing this for so long that it’s become a way of life.

“My life feels normal to me,” she said, “We live just like every other family except we sleep in the minivan.”

A New Community

Car and van dwellers have formed a community of their own, often exchanging survival tips online. Fuller has taught people how to make a “coffee can cooker” on Facebook.

For a long while, the Wal-Mart Stores chain was known for its tacit willingness to let RV-ers use its parking lots overnight. In the evening, the campers served as a de facto security force, making sure that no one did anything to give the police reason to come calling. In the morning, the campers frequented the store, often buying their day’s food and supplies there. Gradually, more and more Walmarts became less hospitable to the community. Word quickly spread among the van dwellers about which ones you could park safely in without getting in trouble.

Warm climates tend to draw those living in their vehicles, for the obvious reasons. Southern California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada are popular among the displaced, although many people initially try to stay close to the spot where they fell. They want to keep their kids in the same school, stay close to family and friends. And they lack the money for gas to crisscross the country without direction or purpose.

Salinas tells of the single mother who works at a minimum-wage job and has her 5-year-old son sleep in her sister’s Section 8 apartment. She herself sleeps in the car out in front of the apartment each night, fearing that her presence inside would violate her sister’s HUD-landlord agreement, which limits the number of adults allowed. She doesn’t want to cause her sister to become homeless too, Salinas said. It’s not illegal to sleep in your car, by the way, unless a municipality makes it so.

As for today’s “Ford families,” it’s not without some irony to give them the moniker. Although Henry Ford did help a small number of distressed families by giving them loans and some land to work, he also laid off thousands more. And he deeply angered many with public comments about how the unemployed should do more to find work for themselves.

Also see: Detroit Mom Offers to Trade Her House for a Car Protesters ‘Liberate’ Foreclosed Homes Squatting: Social Menace or Economic Necessity?

%Gallery-138078% More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. Find rentals in your area.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/11/23/the-new-homeless-living-behind-the-wheel/

principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI) earnest money deposit flood insurance liabilities liquid asset right of survivorship periodic payment cap

Tips for Choosing Home Builders

If you have decided to build your next home, congratulations! You will have plenty of crucial decisions to make within the upcoming months from where to build your home to what colour to paint the master bedroom walls.  The first decision to make, of course, is what builder to hire. There are dozens of different home builders [...]

Source: http://www.brothernwla.org/tips-for-choosing-home-builders/

judgment maturity margin tenancy in common sale-leaseback judicial foreclosure two-step mortgage

Thinking About Investing in Real Estate? Take 5 Tips From a Pro

Filed under: , , ,

With home prices and mortgage rates surfing the bottom of the real estate trough, it’s no surprise that folks with money to spend are jumping into the investment market. According to a recent study by Move.com, real estate investors are buying three houses for every one house bought by someone for their personal use. And it’s a trend that’s likely to continue for the foreseeable future. So AOL Real Estate invited the experts from BiggerPockets blog to help our readers understand the opportunities–and pitfalls–around real estate investing. In this column, veteran investor Michael Zuber explains what he would do if he were starting out today.

The very first thing I would do is get down on my knees and thank my lucky stars to be beginning my investment career at absolutely the best time of our lifetime. Remember, fortunes are made by investing at depressed levels and at the bottom or near bottom of cycles. Step One: Analyze Your Market & Learn What Deals Really Are The next thing I would do is get off my butt and start doing my basic homework. I would go out and see no less than 50 and probably 100 properties in my investment area of choice. I am not kidding! I would immediately build a spreadsheet with data on no less than 100 properties. Things like Prices, Expected Rents, Repair Budgets, etc. This would give me the basis or foundation to understand what is a good deal, what is a bad deal and what is a great deal.

Step Two: Establish Your Deal Selection Criteria After I have built my basic understanding of the market I would decide on what criteria I want to use to decide on what is and isn’t a good deal. I recommend every investor pick one metric that is easily transferable between property types. For me that metric is “yield,” or my expected return on all cash outlaid to secure and rehab a property. Today I personally look for expected yields in excess of 20% in my market.

Step Three: Start to Make Offers After understanding my market and deciding on my criteria for identifying a great deal I would start making offers on properties that met my criteria. I would hold fast to my criteria and not let bidding wars drive up prices. In fact, you should only expect to get 1 out of every 10 properties you make an offer on. If your success rate is higher than that I believe you are offering too much on your properties.

By following this strategy I am convinced I could secure four investment properties with government-backed loans inside of 90 days and secure 10 properties inside my first year. Every property I bought would have a 30-year fixed interest rate and I would be a very happy man.

As an Alternative: Find Passive Real Estate Investment Opportunities Now if my market didn’t offer these types of returns or I didn’t have the time to devote to learning a new market I would still find away to participate. I would find an investor with a proven track record, a simple-to-understand process and become a passive investor. This would insure a decent return with a lot less headaches, reduced risks and still give me the upside I want.

In the end if I were starting today I would not let this investment cycle pass me by. I would become a very active investor in my market and if my market didn’t offer returns I would find a way to be a passive investor in another market that offered great returns.

Michael Zuber is an active buy-and-hold real estate investor who still has a full-time job. Michael is not an agent or broker, and simply uses the internet and agent relationships to drive his business. He currently averages at least one deal a month and has developed laser focus on his 5-step process. You can learn more about the process and past deals at www.wealthbuildingpro.com. This post originally appeared at BiggerPockets.com.

See also: Tempted to Invest in Real Estate? Read This First College Town Real Estate Investments Score High Marks Young Real Estate Investor: Where to Stash That Extra Cash?

More from BiggerPockets: Deciding When to Sell Your Rental Property Are Home Inspections Necessary for Real Estate Investors?

More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. Get property tax help from our experts.

Photo: Images of Money, flickr

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/09/22/thinking-about-investing-in-real-estate-take-5-tips-from-a-pro/

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) note bankruptcy third-party origination revolving debt cooperative (co-op) title search

Case-Shiller Index: 3 Reasons to Blow It Off

Filed under: , , , , , , , ,

case-shillerWe like to panic as much as the next homeowner, but reading the proclamations each month uttered by the Great Gods of Real Estate — Case and Shiller — is simply growing wearisome.

Nobody really knows what to make of all the contradictory statistics and reports about home sales and prices that are released every few nanoseconds, but the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index — like the one this week that said home prices saw a puny 1 percent uptick from April 2011 — is the one that always grabs the public’s solemn attention and causes that kick-in-the-gut feeling.

Here are three reasons why the report is pretty meaningless to a homeowner:

1. Case-Shiller pretends to be a national index.

Yet nationally, there are more than 3,100 municipalities, of which Case-Shiller tracks just 20. And they aren’t even the biggest cities. Real estate is highly localized. Prices in those 20 cities might have ticked up just 1 percent, but in your neighborhood, it could have been more — or less. You won’t know until you check your very specific neighborhood comparable sales.

2. Case-Shiller only considers single-family, detached homes.

Uh, what about those of us who live in condos? In multi-family homes? What about new construction? Nope, all invisible to Messrs. Case and Shiller.

Dan Green, who blogs for The Mortgage Reports, notes that in a market like Chicago, these excluded homes actually outnumber the included ones. So if you live in Chicago, you can presumably ignore the market-chilling results of this latest release.

For the rest of us, the numbers are equally meaningless. As a buyer or seller in the new-homes market, you need to know what’s happening with new homes; ditto for condo shoppers.

3. Timing is everything.

The Case-Shiller index takes 60 days to release its data, so it essentially is reporting on where the housing market was two months ago. Frankly, in this rapidly changing market, two-month-old information is worthless to buyers and sellers.

The sale of a home on your street last week, which is what the bank’s appraiser will be looking at, holds far more importance than the price someone else got two months ago.

The only value we glean from the Gospel of Case-Shiller is that their reports have consistently studied the same markets since 1987, which allows them to provide an interesting comparative analysis over time. Their methodology is unimpeachable in this regard. But current homebuyers and sellers shouldn’t get their britches tied in knots over reports based on narrow, incomplete and out-of-date information.

Also see: Short Sales: What You Need to Know Tweet Your Way to a Home Sale

More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/07/28/case-shiller-index-3-reasons-to-blow-it-off/

leasehold estate no-cost loan mortgage banker bond market servicer appraisal owner financing

4 Secrets to Scoring a Bank-Owned Property Deal

Filed under: , ,

Bank owned propertiesScanning the foreclosure listings to snap up your dream home on the cheap?

It’s tempting indeed to take the bottom-fisher route, especially when bank-owned deals are so plentiful and annual housing prices in 20 major cities combined declined 3.8 percent in January, according to the closely watched S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index released Tuesday.

But veteran real estate agents offer up some sound advice for would-be buyers homing in on bank-owned properties, short-sale deals, and foreclosures. Here’s how to keep the frustration level low when shopping for your bargain-basement dream home.

1. Get your terms straight.

“Foreclosures” is a loose term that buyers bandy about when telling their real estate agent to seek them out. In most cases, homebuyers aren’t really looking for foreclosures in the technical sense. #mini_module_blank { width: 269px; height:206px; border: none; float:left; margin:10px; font-size:12px;} #mini_module_blank img {border:none; width: 265px; height:131px; border: none; margin:0px; } #mini_module_blank .mini_main { margin: 0px; padding:0px; width:269px; height:206px; background: transparent url(http://www.aolcdn.com/travel/zing-background-no-photo)} #mini_module_blank .mini_item_header {padding:12px 0px; margin: 0px 20px; font-size:16px;} #mini_module_blank .mini_item {padding:8px 0px; margin: 0px 20px; border-bottom:1px dotted #CCCCCC;} #mini_module_blank a { color: #49A3CA; text-decoration:none; } #mini_module_blank a:hover { color: #F98419; text-decoration:underline;} Find Local Homes for Sale Browse through photos of millions of home listings on AOL Real Estate See Homes for Sale Search Foreclosures for Sale

“A real foreclosure is when the owner is losing their house and it’s being auctioned off on the steps of the courtyard. You need to have cash to buy these houses, so it’s usually only investors who buy foreclosures and get amazing deals,” says Kristi Roberts, a real estate agent with McGuire Real Estate’s Berkeley, Calif., office. “If the house doesn’t sell on the courtyard steps, then it becomes a bank-owned house.”

Nonetheless, when clients ask to be shown foreclosures, most real estate agents know they are likely asking to see bank-owned properties. Chris Dasaro, a Coldwell Banker real estate agent in the Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., office that also serves the Detroit market, estimates that upward of 80 percent of his clients want to be shown bank-owned properties.

2. Don’t get too excited about lowball listings.

In the greater Detroit area, where January housing prices were actually up 1.7 percent over last year, according to Case-Shiller, Dasaro has seen a couple of instances in which bank-owned properties were listed as much as 50 percent below the market rate. That, of course, generates a feeding frenzy where bidders in some cases end up paying above the market rate for a particular house.

Dasaro estimates that he encounters lowball situations like these in about 5 percent to 10 percent of the houses he sees, and notes that buyers would be wise not to get overly excited with anticipation that they could snap up the house at that listed price.

The lowballing is not a sales technique, but rather the likely result of the banks relying on broker price opinions rather than appraisals for the properties, says Roberts. She notes that she has also seen situations in which the banks have overpriced properties by a large margin, but often in those cases potential buyers are not disappointed if they don’t get the house.

3. Prepare for big differences in bank-owned property sales.

Compared to purchasing a house from a private owner, there are more hoops to jump through when buying a bank-owned property, real estate agents say. Buyers should brace for:

o. Far fewer disclosures from the seller regarding the condition of the property, because the banks rarely, if ever, visit the property they are selling, say real estate agents.

o. Being pressured to buy “as is.” Mary Ann Griffin, an associate Realtor with RE/MAX in Atlanta, says buyers should always make a contract contingent upon the buyer’s home inspection, even if the contract notes that the sale will be done in “as is” condition. Griffin notes that securing a VA or FHA loan requires banks or other sellers to make appraiser-recommended repairs.

o. “Gotcha” addenda in the contract. Roberts notes that banks will often include an addendum to the contract that may contradict something called for in the beginning of the document. Other addendum provisions may include clauses such as a $100-per-day penalty fee for every day the buyer is late in closing the deal or fulfilling a contingency.

o. Lots of fine print. “Buying bank-owned property is like the Wild West of real estate. Sometimes you just have to put on your cowboy hat,” Roberts says. “I’m a real cautious person and address these things by reading the document carefully and having a good team, where we stay on top of it and pay attention to the timelines and deadlines.”

%Gallery-145816% 4. Know what you’re in for in short-sale situations.

Bargain hunters are also keen to take a gander at homes listed as a short-sale. But venturing down this path can often lead to long delays in home ownership, and can sometimes fail in the end.

Under a short sale, the owner puts together a hardship packet that’s sent to the bank and will sometimes include a sales contract with a prospective buyer, Roberts says. But it can take as long as six months before a bank responds as to whether they will accept the seller’s plans for a short sale.

Roberts knows of one particular case in which an investor bid on a Berkeley, Calif., foreclosure on the courthouse steps. Although this investor lost the bid, he was curious nonetheless about the house that sold for $365,000 at auction. In making an inquiry, Roberts learned that the same house was in the final stages of approval for a short-sale for $425,000.

Not only was it a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was up to at the bank that was overseeing the transactions, but it ended up costing four months of time for the prospective short-sale buyer, Roberts says.

Another tactic short-sellers use is the illusion of a tight deadline. Recently, Roberts has seen a couple of short-sale auctions in which the listing price is set extremely low but the bids end up closer to the market rate — but surprisingly, the window of opportunity doesn’t close after the auction is over. The short-sale real estate agent continues to accept offers on the house for several more days in order to land the absolute highest price.

Says Roberts: “I have clients who want to go to these fake auctions, and we’ll go, but I see how frustrating it can be for them.”

Griffin offers these tips to short-sale buyers:

o. Try to avoid “potential short sales” and seek out “approved short sales” instead. In some cases, banks will approve a homeowner conducting a short sale, even if no prospective buyers are listed.

o. Work with an experienced agent who has a track record with short sales.

o. Document all correspondence (for example, by using email).

#fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-58739{display:none;} .cke_show_borders #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-58739, #postcontentcontainer #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-58739{width:570px;height:411px;display:block;}

All About Home Short Salestry{document.getElementById("fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-58739").style.display="none";}catch(e){}

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2012/03/29/4-secrets-to-scoring-a-bank-owned-property-deal/

lease option chain of title mortgage insurance (MI) secondary market home inspection lock-in period trustee

‘Mortgage Prof’: 5 Reasons Banks Would Rather Foreclose

Filed under: , , , , , ,

“Why won’t the bank just reduce the amount of my loan instead of taking my home and then selling it to someone else for way less than I would have been happy to pay?” It’s a question that gets asked repeatedly these days, especially by people who are facing foreclosure or are upside down on their mortgages.

For the answer, we turned to Jack Guttentag, the Mortgage Professor and Inman columnist.

Guttentag believes that lenders have been too stingy when it comes to reducing loan balances. Private lenders have offered loan reductions only sparingly, he says, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac not at all.

Here’s the professor’s take on why homeowners can’t catch a break on loan reductions.

1. The buck stops there.

The decisions to reduce principal loan amounts are made by the firms that service mortgages — the same folks who brought the country the robo-signing scandal. As servicing firms, anything they decide must be in the financial interest of their client — that’s your lender, not you. If they depart from customary practice — and writing down loan balances is a departure from customary practice — the buck stops with them, Guttentag says. In other words, who’s going to take the risk of reducing Joe Homeowner’s loan amount and then have to explain it to the boss? To take Nancy Reagan out of context: They just say no.

2. Banks are in the business of making money.

No lender is going to write down the balance of a loan in default just because you owe more than the home is worth. Truth is, there is no benefit to the lender to helping Joe Homeowner keep his house instead of selling it to the next guy. Plus, to help Joe would eliminate the possibility that the bank could also get a deficiency judgment against him. Banks are in this for the squeeze and think of Joe as just the orange. Nothing personal, of course.

3. In this economy, you will likely default anyway.

Sure, you want to believe that the economy is going to turn around and the value of your home will again rise to what you paid for it. After all, hasn’t listening to a fairy tale been a surefire way to fall asleep?

From the lender’s standpoint, the only reason to write down a loan balance is that it will reduce the chance that you will default. And evidence has shown that people who are heavily underwater — that’s deep in negative equity territory — are more likely to default than those who aren’t. Truth is, negative equity discourages people from making their mortgage payments. They figure: Why keep throwing good money after bad?

4. Banks are short-staffed and the staff they do have is untrained.

Most interactions between mortgage borrowers and servicers are handled by computers or relatively unskilled employees, says Guttentag. Borrowers in serious trouble are referred to a smaller number of more skilled and specialized employees, but until you enter the red zone, you are likely to encounter frustration.

Guttentag says that at the onset of the mortgage crisis, servicers were caught short-handed and the sheer volume of foreclosures in the pipeline hasn’t allowed them to catch their breath.

5. Mortgage insurance works against you.

When mortgages carrying mortgage insurance go to foreclosure, banks are protected up to the maximum coverage of the policy, which generally is enough to cover all or most of the loss. This discourages modifications, says Guttentag. Why would a bank do a modification for $15,000 if the $40,000 foreclosure cost is going to be paid by the mortgage insurer? Even if the insurance coverage falls short of the foreclosure cost, the shortfall has to exceed the modification cost before modification becomes financially more attractive.

So there you have it. A five-point plan for keeping homeowners on the hook for that hefty loan balance.

Also see: Viewpoint: Where’s Housing in the ‘Occupy’ Protests? Mortgage Mod Hell: Trapped Between Lenders, Collectors The Mortgage Fix That Can Save the Economy

%Gallery-135214% More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. Find homes for rent in your area.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/10/18/mortgage-prof-why-banks-foreclose-instead-of-settling-for-les/

merged credit report second mortgage qualifying ratios easement PITI adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) replacement reserve fund

Is a 15-Year Mortgage Right For You?

Filed under: ,

By Jeff Brown

Although the 15-year mortgage is invariably cheaper than the 30-year variety, it often gets little respect because of its larger monthly payments. Not so today. The 15-year deal is, in fact, quite appealing, offering substantial savings through rock-bottom rates.

Among the ideal candidates are homeowners who have plenty of equity and want to refinance at a lower rate. For them, the higher-principal payment on the 15-year deal may be easy to bear, allowing the borrower to focus on the low, low interest rate.

A BankingMyWay.com survey shows the average 15-year mortgage charging a scant 3.164 percent, versus 3.788 percent on the average 30-year loan.

The 15-year loan generally charges half to three-quarters of a percentage point less than the longer-term loan. But when the rates are this low, that margin is especially beneficial because it is bigger in relation to the overall rate.

At 3.164 percent, the 15-year loan charges 16.5 percent less than the 30-year deal. In June 2007, before the financial crisis, the 15-year charged 6.4 percent and the 30-year 6.73 percent. The 15-year, therefore, charged only about 5 percent less.

When the difference is very small, as in 2007, the 15-year loan does not provide enough savings to offset the big disadvantage: the larger monthly payment required to pay off the debt, or principal, in 15 years instead of 30. But today’s large margin relative to the overall loan rate can tip the balance in favor of the 15-year deal, so long as the payment is affordable.

At 3.164 percent, you would pay just under $700 a month for every $100,000 borrowed. While that is significantly more than the $465 you would pay to borrow for 30 years at 3.788 percent, the 15-year deal would dramatically cut interest charges over the life of the loan — to $25,729 versus $67,500 for the 30-year deal.

This makes 15-year loans especially attractive as a refinancing option for homeowners whose debt is not terribly large — people who have owned their homes for a number of years, for example. #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-118145{display:none;} .cke_show_borders #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-118145, #postcontentcontainer #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-118145{width:570px;height:411px;display:block;}

30 Year Vs. 15 Year Mortgagetry{document.getElementById("fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-118145").style.display="none";}catch(e){}

In fact, financial experts generally recommend that in a refinancing, the borrower keep the term on the new loan to no longer than the time remaining on the old one. Otherwise, the savings from a lower rate will be offset by additional years of interest payments.

Is there a downside to the 15-year deal? As mentioned above, you’d pay about $235 more a month for every $100,000 borrowed. That’s not really money out of your pocket because it is a principal payment that reduces your debt. In other words, you would build equity in your home faster.

That $235 could go to other purposes, though. If you found an investment that could return more than the interest rate on the loan, it might make sense to invest instead. Payments toward mortgage principal can be thought of as a fixed-income investment with a yield equal to the mortgage rate. These days, earning more than 3 percent on a guaranteed investment is not bad, but someday it could look stingy.

More from TheStreet: New Peer-To-Peer Trend: Direct Home Loans 10 Most Convenient Cities in America 10 Cities Poised for Greatness In 2012

%Gallery-156341% More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. Find homes for rent in your area.

Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2012/06/19/is-a-15-year-mortgage-right-for-you/

notice of default eviction fee simple estate Certificate of Reasonable Value (CRV) homeowners insurance common areas HUD-1 settlement statement

International Buyers Eyeing Miami

We were in Key West for a few days earlier this summer, and I was struck by the number of  different languages we overheard,  just strolling the length of  Duval Street …  Most were international visitors/ tourists but some were ’International Locals’  who lived elsewhere in Florida and were vacationing in Key West.  Florida is home to increasing numbers of international residents  -  from almost every corner of the globe.  [...]

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MiamiRealEstateCafe/~3/g9CXGeSFoV0/

subdivision community property eminent domain collateral quitclaim deed rate lock fair market value

Miami-Dade Condo Market: Sales Increase as Inventory Drops

Condos sales declined 9% over the past year  in Miami-Dade …  Inventory is down by  30%. That said though, interestingly enough, condos selling between $300,000 and $999,999 have shown a 32% increase  … (Spring 2011 through  Spring 2012).  And in the $1 million plus range  there was an 11% increase in sales. As far as distressed property is concerned,  4% of the condos currently on the [...]

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MiamiRealEstateCafe/~3/iOAXr-lntfc/

down payment subdivision community property eminent domain collateral quitclaim deed rate lock

Billboard House Advertises a Way Out of the Housing Crisis

Filed under: ,

Scott Hostetler didn’t bother to tell his family that he’d applied online to have their house in Buena Park, Calif., turned into an advertising billboard for the price of their monthly mortgage payment. He figured that it was like taking a chance on the lottery — and who ever expects to win the lottery? Then, about three weeks ago, he got the call from Romeo Mendoza, head of the advertising company that made the offer, Brainiacs From Mars.

Mendoza delivered the shocking news: The Hostetlers’ home had been selected out of some 38,000 applications to be the first to be branded with a very special custom paint job, a deal that would cover the monthly mortgage payment of $2,000 for at least three months and perhaps up to a year — depending on when either the homeowners or the ad company wants to end the contract. At the end of that time, the company promised to restore the home’s exterior to its original appearance.

%Gallery-147246% Until then, though, it would display the bright orange and green colors of Brainiacs From Mars (formerly known as Adzookie). The company signage in the photo above is just temporary; while Buena Park is OK with the paint job, city zoning laws prohibit permanent advertising signs on residences.

Hostetler and his wife, both of whom are deaf, have lived in the home for about 18 years. They both work for Goodwill Industries — he’s an information technology manager and she’s a rehabilitation counselor. Their 17-year-old daughter (pictured with her parents) lives at home; they also have a son who is a freshman at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.

The Hostetlers say that they plan to use the extra money sent directly to them monthly from Brainiacs to pay down some bills, replace Scott’s old Chevrolet Suburban, and maybe go on vacation.

Getting Help Into the Hands of the People Who Need It Most

The idea for the Billboard House came to Mendoza, the company’s chief executive, as he picked up his 7-year-old from school. Every day they would pass a sign that advertised a bank-owned property. And when he visited his mother in Las Vegas, there were areas so hard hit by the housing crisis that, he says, they seemed to him like ghost towns. Government can only do so much, he says, while corporations have the money, and this seemed to him like a promising way to get some of that into the hands of people who needed it the most.

While Mendoza figures that about 10 percent of those who applied to have homes turned into billboards “wanted to have a good time” with it and were attracted to the novelty, he insists that “we’re here to help the homeowners.” Applications “have come from literally everywhere,” he says, though he has noticed a higher amount from the “foreclosure states” — Florida, Nevada, and California. Applications have also come from Japan, Spain, Russia, the Czech Republic and many other countries. One city councilman reportedly invited Brainiacs From Mars to paint an entire row of homes in his town.

The advertising company has plans for 100 such homes, Mendoza says, but a goal of 1,000 if they can attract the advertisers. In areas like Buena Park that prohibit advertising signage, they’ll stick to the brand’s colors, but where community zoning allows more, signs would go on the homes.

What Will the Neighbors Think?

While there is no set of particular qualities that Brainiacs is looking for in a homeowner, Mendoza says the Hostetlers are the kind of close-knit family that “felt right” to help debut the promotion. As for official requirements, the applicants must own the home, and local zoning laws must allow the paint job. Selected homeowners also have to be prepared for neighbors’ reactions.

You might think the company would be looking for homes in high-traffic areas, but the Hostetlers’ 1960s house is inside a quiet development of tract houses, at least a block away from main streets and within view of a neighborhood park. You might get a glimpse of the back of the home from nearby Knott’s Berry Farm, though, as you prepare to plunge from the top of its Xcelerator or another towering thrill ride. The house is practically in the shadow of the amusement park, one of Southern California’s top tourist attractions, whose roller coasters serve as a backdrop for the neighborhood.

After its official unveiling today, the house could become its own neighborhood attraction — along the lines of a elaborate Christmas display, the Hostetlers say. While AOL Real Estate was there on Sunday, members of a motorcycle club that was gathered at a house across the street were taking pictures, and a quartet of teens on skateboards stopped to take a look.

As for the neighbors, they found out last week, on the first day of painting, when Brainiacs From Mars went door-to-door to the closest houses to explain why the olive green and chocolate brown color scheme that the Hostetlers say had earned them compliments and admiring inquiries was dramatically changing. The neighbors were shocked at first, the Hostetlers say, but “that went away, and now they understand.” One neighbor even wanted to have his house turned into a billboard, too. Though another walked by and said, “Your house was so pretty before. What did you do to it?”

Vivian Largent, who lives across the street and a few doors down, says that she thinks the new paint is fine as long as it’s temporary. She would have some concerns about property values if it stayed up for the long term, though.

Largent said that she knows people who could really use some help on their mortgage right now, and had asked Brainiacs how those she knows could apply. (You can find the application on the Brainiacs website.)

She also wondered why the advertising sign that the roofers has posted in her front yard, as they’d worked on her home, was allowed, while the signage that Brainiacs From Mars attached to the Hostetlers house for media photographs had to be taken down.

Before:

After:

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the college that Scott and Elizabeth Hotstetlers’ son attends.

Also see: How the Foreclosure Settlement Could Affect You Home Swap: Exchange More Than Affection on Valentine’s Day

%Gallery-128242% More on AOL Real Estate: Find vacation homes for rent. Find vacation homes for sale. Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2012/02/13/billboard-house-advertises-a-way-out-of-the-housing-crisis/

replacement reserve fund deed certificate of deposit lease purchase money transaction closing costs public auction

Boost Your Home’s Value on Your Day Off

Filed under: ,

Have some time on your hands this Memorial Day? Consider tackling a few home improvements. Your goal may simply be to freshen your home’s appearance, but you also want your hard work to increase your home’s value. Kiplinger offers these eight easy home improvements that will pay you back. Each costs less than $500 and should require less than a day’s work. Take a look.

%Gallery-124469% Check out more great galleries from Kiplinger:

Thinking about adding value with home improvements? Here are some AOL Real Estate guides to help you, whether you’re selling or staying.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/05/27/boost-your-homes-value-on-your-day-off/

recorder subordinate financing fee simple payment change date title insurance mortgagor secured loan

Fed Report: Housing Meltdown Hit Middle Class Hardest

Filed under: ,

housing meltdown personal wealthA report recently released by the Federal Reserve offers new figures that capture the full scope of the housing bust’s devastating impact on household wealth.

Median family net worth plunged by close to 40 percent during the economic crisis, the report found. The study shows that the real estate market’s collapse was largely responsible for the decrease: Family median income before taxes fell 7.7 percent and non-housing assets also depreciated in value. But the Fed said plummeting home prices issued the largest blow to families’ net worth.

“Although declines in the values of financial assets or business were important factors for some families, the decreases in median net worth appear to have been driven most strongly by a broad collapse in house prices,” the report said.

The report also said that the recession hit the U.S. middle class hardest, since much of their wealth was concentrated in their homes.

National Association of Home Builders CEO Jerry Howard says its findings suggest that the housing slump remains one of the largest roadblocks to an economic recovery. In fact, the report is a call to action for the U.S. government, he says, which should do more to revive the real estate market.

“In [government] conservatorship [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] are as close to being dead in the water as you can possibly be,” he said. “In these current climates, the access to mortgage credit is so restricted that it is an impediment to the recovery, not just because people can’t get it, but people are afraid to apply for it because it is such a burdensome and intimidating process right now.

Howard believes that lenders, many of whom service mortgages that conform to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-dictated requirements, should perform more “holistic” evaluations of mortgage applicants. But other experts see current mortgage requirements as appropriate, given the lax standards of the housing boom, which Howard admits made it “much, much too easy for people.”

The government’s failure to do more to jumpstart the housing market betrays its 50-year history of championing homeownership, Howard says.

“For most baby boomers, from the time that they entered the job market, they were encouraged to build your … nest egg around housing.”

See also: How to Get Your Mortgage Above Water Underwater Mortgages Keeping Housing Market Afloat? Should Underwater Homeowners Just Walk Away?

%Gallery-158199% More on AOL Real Estate: Find homes for rent in your area. Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area.

Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

Fed Reports How Much Recession Shrank US Wealthtry{document.getElementById("fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-576195").style.display="none";}catch(e){}

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2012/06/14/fed-report-captures-housing-meltdowns-massive-blow-to-wealth/

maturity margin tenancy in common sale-leaseback judicial foreclosure two-step mortgage original principal balance

May 2012 San Diego Events

May 4 28th Annual Old Town Cinco de MayoOld Town comes alive with a celebration of art, culture, and history of the 1800’s.  Ride in a horse drawn stagecoach, enjoy music, carnival rides and games, car show, chalk art, riding and roping show, Mexican wrestling, and other activities.  Visit museums and specialty shops, and dine on delicious food and drink. Free. Time:  Fri.  5:00 pm – 10:00 pm / Sat. 11:00 am – 10:00 pm / Sun. 11:00 am – 5:00 pmLocation:  Old Town State Historical Park, San Diego Ave. For more information visit www.fiestaoldtown.com

May 5 The Salvation Army 3rd Annual Spring Fling FestivalThis festival will feature dozens of local crafters in indoor and outdoor booths.  There will also be live musical entertainment and a fun carnival zone for the kids.  A special feature will be the Silent Auction featuring donations from many San Diego businesses.  Time:  9:00 am – 3:00 pmLocation:  The Salvation Army, 4170 Balboa Ave., Clairemont For more information visit www.sandiegocitadel.com

May 5-6 Escondido Renaissance FaireTravel back to the 16th century and the glories of the reign of Elizabeth the First.  Activities include several of Will Shakespeare’s new plays, battle pageants, music in the streets, jugglers and hundreds of costumed re-enactors performing in this giant outdoor play.  There is an admission fee, which covers all entertainment. Time:  10:00 am – 6:00 pmLocation:  Felicita County Park, 742 Clarence Lane, Escondido

For more information visit www.goldcoastfestivals.com/Escondido.html

May 6 16th Annual Festival Cinco de Mayo – Chula VistaFestival guests will receive a true cultural experience as they sway with Mexican dancers, peruse the work of local artisans and taste authentic south of the border cuisine.  Tune in for a Mariachi Band Battle at one of the two festival stages in addition to the popular Kids Fun Zone.  Come join the 30,000 community members who enjoy this celebration of Hispanic culture. Time:  11:00 am – 7:00 pmLocation:  Downtown Chula Vista, Third Avenue For more information visit http://www.thirdavenuevillage.com

May 6 Carlsbad Spring Village FaireThe largest one day fair in California.  Features hundreds of exhibitors with a little of everything such as arts and crafts, antiques, clothing, a large variety of food stands serving International foods, and children’s rides.  Time:  8:00 am – 5:00 pmLocation:  Carlsbad Village For more information visit www.kennedyfaires.com/carlsbad

May 11-13 11th Annual Gator by the Bay A family event featuring Zydeco and Cajun bands, Blues bands and community musical groups performing on multiple stages.  Enjoy Cajun and Creole food, cooking demonstrations, strolling entertainers, dance lessons, and more.

Time:  Refer to website for scheduleLocation:  Spanish Landing Park at Harbor Island – Harbor Drive – San Diego Bay For more information visit www.gatorbythebay.com

May 12 Asian Cultural Festival of San DiegoEnjoy musical performances, costumed dancing, martial arts, craft-making, merchandise booths, cultural exhibits and cooking demonstration. There will be a food court, picnic area, and a kid’s area. Time:  10:00 am – 6:00 pmLocation:  Liberty Station – NTC Park, near Cushing & Roosevelt Rds, Point Loma

For more information visit www.asianculturalfestivalsd.com

May 13 4th Annual Mother’s Day Fancy Dress SwimFundraiser for World Swims Against Malaria.  Mothers will “dip” in the ocean wearing their Mother’s Day finest.  A five dollar donation is all that is needed for this World Swim Against Malaria.

Time:  10:00 am – 11:00 amLocation:  Oceanside Pier, Oceanside For more information visit www.onesandiego.org/

May 16-20 Ocean Beach: Beach Ball FestivalAn outdoor live music, action sports, and microbrew festival.  Lots of food, merchandise, beach volleyball games, a big ferris wheel, a waterslide, mechanical bull rides and a human hauler contest.

Time:  Wed.-Fri. 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm / Sat. 10:00 am – 10:00 pm / Sun. 10:00 am – 5:00 pmLocation:  Ocean Beach: Saratoga Park, Veterans Plaza, Lifeguard & Municipal Pier Parking Lots

For more information visit www.oceanbeachsandiego.com

May 19 24th Annual Tierrasanta Patriot’s DayCelebrate Armed Forces Day with a delicious BBQ dinner under a shaded canopy while listening to pleasant music.  There will be  a beer & wine garden, game area for kids, raffles, dancing, plus a fireworks show.

Time:  4:00 pm – 9:00 pmLocation:  Tierrasanta Recreation Center, 11220 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Tierrasanta

For more information call 858-268-0044

May 19-20 7th Annual Encinitas Sports FestivalJoin 300 of your closest friends and family for two days of sports and fun in Encinitas. The City becomes a sports destination the weekend before Memorial Day and you don’t want to miss it.  Triathlons, Duathlon, Bike Tours, 5K Run, Kids and Family 1K Walk/Run, Moonlight Beach Paddle & Swim, and a 2-day sports expo. Time:  Refer to website for scheduleLocation:  Encinitas – various locations, refer to website For more information visit www.encinitasrace.com/esff.html

May 20 Annual North Park Festival of the ArtsAn explosion of arts, culture and entertainment with live entertainment, specialty booths, food court, beer garden, Kid’s Art Beat, and tons more! 

Time:  10:00 am – 6:00 pmLocation:  North Park – University Ave. & 30th St. For more information visit www.northparkfestivalofarts.com

May 20 26th Annual Navy’s Original Bay Bridge Run/WalkA running and walking event across the Coronado Bay Bridge is a rare opportunity, and now is the time to do it!  The route begins downtown and proceeds across the bridge to the Coronado Island to Tidelands Park, concluding with fun festivities. Time:  7:00 am – 12:00 pmLocation:  Bayfront Hilton Parking Lot, One Park Blvd., San Diego For more information visit www.mwrtoday.com

May 20 19th Annual Sicilian FestivalCelebrate Sicilian-Italian American heritage and enjoy delicious cuisine from local restaurants in a festive setting in Little Italy.  Music, beer, wine, dancing, ethnic art & craft items to browse.  Free.

Time:  10:00 am – 6:00 pmLocation:  Little Italy, Downtown San Diego For more information visit www.sicilianfesta.com

May 20 Escondido Street FaireThis faire will feature live entertainment as well as over 600 booths showcasing arts & crafts, unique clothing, and international foods.  Children’s rides, rock climbing wall, and more!

Time:  10:00 am – 6:00 pmLocation:  Downtown Escondido, Grand Ave. between Center City Pkwy and lvy. For more information visit www.kennedyfaires.com/escondido

May 26 Santee Street FairLive bands, entertainment, food, arts & crafts, vendor booths, beer garden.  In just three years the Santee Street Fair has become one of the best events in town.  Over 300 food and vendor booths, 3 stages of live music and entertainment, and fun rides. Time:  10:00 am – 7:00 pmLocation:  Santee Town Center – behind Santee Trolley Square, Mission Gorge Rd., SanteeFor more information visit www.santeestreetfair.com

May 27 Annual Ethnic Food Fair A cultural food festival at Balboa Park will be offering a delicious assortment of ethnic foods along with entertaining costumed performances.  Free.

Time:  10:00 am – 5:00 pmLocation:  Balboa Park, House of Pacific Relations International Cottages For more information visit www.sdhpr.org

May 27 Vista Strawberry FestivalStrawberries will be the main event along with a 5K Fun Run and Kids Runs, as well as 200+ vendors at our street fair, carnival rides, a Strawberry Pie Eating contest, Strawberry Idol, Ms. Strawberry Shortcake, and much more!  Free admission. Time:  7:00 am – 4:00 pmLocation:  Downtown Vista, 127 Main St., Downtown Vista For more information visit www.vvba.org

Permalink | Leave a comment  »

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SanDiegoRealEstateInformationInsightsByDrewAukerRealtor/~3/9SlrEmSu6lk/may-2012-san-diego-events

liquid asset right of survivorship periodic payment cap liability insurance equity notice of default eviction

When It Comes to Mortgages, Women Don’t Shop Enough

Filed under: , , ,

There’s a surprising new finding that says women get lousier mortgage rates than men, but not because of gender discrimination. It’s because instead of shopping around for cheaper loans, they rely on the recommendations of friends.

To recap: When it comes to mortgages, women don’t shop enough.

The report published in the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics set out to explain why women were 32 percent more likely to get a subprime mortgage than men in a 2006 study. According to a team of researchers led by Florida Atlantic University’s Ping Cheng, the answer wasn’t discrimination because of gender or even income disparities.

Women pay higher rates because they are more likely to listen to friends’ recommendations, whereas men are more likely to shop around for the best deal.

“Our empirical test confirms that search effort is rewarded in marketplace, and suggests that gender disparity in mortgage rates may be addressed by policies aimed at improving women’s financial literacy and search skills,” the report summarizes.

It makes sense to Daily Finance columnist Laura Rowley. “It’s not surprising, because mortgage shopping can be incredibly complex, so we look to people we can trust to help make the decision,” says Rowley. “But this is one area where you don’t want to get by with a little help from your friends.”

Instead, she advises, call two mortgage brokers and a direct lender, preferably a local small or mid-size bank, and try the following script: “Hi, my name is ____ and I’m in the market to buy a $____ house, and I’m going to put down ____ percent. I’m getting three written estimates, and then I’m going to choose. Can you email me a cost-estimate worksheet stating all the fees and the interest rate?”

Be sure to get the estimates on the same day, as rates can change quickly. Also, don’t ask for rates and fees by phone; unscrupulous brokers will simply low-ball their estimate to get you in the door, says Rowley.

For more tips on shopping for a mortgage, see these AOL Real Estate guides:

How Much Can You Afford [Video] How to Get a Low Mortgage Rate Mortgage Jargon in Simple Terms

More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. See celebrity real estate.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/11/18/when-it-comes-to-mortgages-women-dont-shop-enough/

flood insurance liabilities liquid asset right of survivorship periodic payment cap liability insurance equity

As Refinancing Declines, Cash-In Refi’s Rise

Filed under:

Think it’s tough to qualify for refinancing your existing mortgage? So does Richard Shin, a Queens attorney with good credit and great income who was turned down by his original lender when he wanted to refinance his 30-year-fixed rate mortgage on his single family brick home to a 15-year-mortgage with a lower interest rate. Due to tighter lender restrictions, he didn’t qualify until he found a lender who let him bring cash to the table

Think it’s tough to qualify for refinancing your existing mortgage? So does Richard Shin, a Queens attorney with good credit and great income who was turned down by his original lender when he wanted to refinance his 30-year-fixed rate mortgage on his single family brick home to a 15-year-mortgage with a lower interest rate. Due to tighter lender restrictions, he didn’t qualify until he found a lender who let him bring cash to the table to pay down his mortgage.

The number of homeowners taking out a refinance is on the decline and may further dip in 2011, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, but of those who do refinance lenders are seeing a higher percentage come as cash-in borrowers – those refinancers who bring cash to the table in order to seal the deal.

“We used to have maybe one borrower a year bring cash to the table, but now we’re seeing three or four a month,” said Matthew Hackett, an underwriting manager with New York City lender Equity Now, which refinanced Shin’s home.

Hackett says cash-to-the-table options are being utilized more often because borrowers are needing to lower their loan-to-value ratio if they hope to lower their existing interest rate from somewhere in the upper 5 percent or 6 percent range down to a rate in the 4 percent or lower 5 percent range. This is not just because of tighter lender restrictions, but also because so many homeowners are underwater and owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

Shin, whose home appraised at $1,150,000, brought $60,100 to closing as a down payment to cover the difference between his old $560,000 mortgage and his new $499,900 loan, which featured a reduced interest rate from 6.25 percent to 4.75 percent.

For others looking to refinance, a cash-in refinance may be their only option, and it’s not as bad as an option as you may think. Although not every one has $60,000 to bring to the table, the amount you do bring will not likely be as high, depending on your goals.

Here are two main reasons to do a cash-in refi:

1. Savings accounts aren’t paying anyway. The interest rate on many savings accounts these days hover around 1 percent, whereas your mortgage rate is far higher. Putting a few thousand toward your refinance if it will help you reduce your interest rate a percentage point or more, might be money well spent, especially if you plan on staying in your home awhile. There’s no reason ti put in more than you need to, however, to reduce that rate, says Hackett.

2. Avoid PMI. If you had less than 20 percent equity in your home when you purchased it, there’s a good chance you’re paying private mortgage insurance. When one refinances, this fee typically goes away if the value of your house has increased enough to lower the loan to value ratio. However, in this economy more people are finding that their value has declined. Even those who were not paying PMI might discover upon a refinance that now they need to due to fallen values. Eliminate this fee by bringing cash to the table to cover the difference so that your refi loan is for 80 percent or less than the value of your home.

Although refinances are declining, they still make up nearly two-thirds of all mortgage applications. As of the end of November, however, they decreased 21.6 percent from the previous week to 74.9 percent of total applications, their lowest level since June 2010, reports the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The pool of eligible borrowers who can refinance is small, and those for whom a refinance is beneficial, have already refinanced or mostly likely will in the near future. This downward trend in refinances will cause a decline in total originations next year, but a greater percentage of refinances will likely come from these cash-in borrowers.

Is a cash-in refi right for you?

What’s your break-even point? If you opt to do a cash-in refi, Hackett says, determine your break-even point to decide how much will make it worth it. For example, if you bring $15,000 to the table to get an interest rate that saves you $250 per month on your mortgage payment, it would take you 60 months, or 5 years before you’ve reached $15,000 worth of perceived savings. If you think you might sell your home in less than five years, you’re better off keeping your money in the bank rather than pursuing that lower interest rate. However, if you plan on staying longer, your savings will be even greater because of what you’re saving in interest payments by having the lower interest rate.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2010/12/09/as-refinancing-declines-cash-in-refis-rise/

PUD (Planned Unit Development) recording prepayment penalty multidwelling units Treasury index Realtor® late charge

Viewpoint: Where’s Housing in the ‘Occupy’ Protests?

Filed under: , , ,

Did the voices of the housing crisis just get swallowed up by the anti-Wall Street protests? Marches, sit-ins and confrontations with police – all part of the Occupy Wall St. movement that organizers say was birthed organically and fed through social media outlets — are happening in major cities across the country. Without question, windows across America have opened and, just like in the movie “Network,” people are shouting “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

The only problem is that homeowners caught in the foreclosure crisis also stuck their heads out those windows and save for a fleeting few seconds, the take-to-the-streets protests have ignored them in favor of taking corporate greed to task. Nowhere on the main Occupy Wall St. website is housing even mentioned. (Pictured above are protesters in Los Angeles.)

Before you accuse us of wearing blinders, it’s worth noting that just a few weeks ago, a coalition of community groups called The New Bottom Line organized a nationwide 10-city protest aimed at stopping foreclosures, demanding that banks reduce principal loan amounts of all underwater mortgages and that Wall Street stop hoarding the trillions of dollars it got in stimulus money and start funding small business’ efforts to create jobs. Hallelujah to that, we say.

Seeing commonality with the Occupy Wall St. troops, The New Bottom Line demonstrators have joined forces with the faster-spreading Occupiers. The New Bottom Line co-director Tracy Van Slyke says that the excitement generated by the larger protests taking place will transfer energy — over time — to relief for housing. Let’s hope so. The millions of displaced families who lost their homes to foreclosures deserve a voice shouting on their behalf.

Where The New Bottom Line had been focused on the housing struggles facing the lower and middle class, Occupy appeals to a younger demographic — those hard hit by rising unemployment and emotionally about as far away from losing a family home to foreclosure as you can likely be.

About all they have in common is anger, which ultimately may be enough.

Also see: Foreclosed Homeowner ‘Booby-Traps’ Home Realtors’ Latest Challenge: A Surge of Squatters Foreclosure Rescue Scammers Busier — and Trickier — Than Ever

More on AOL Real Estate: Find out how to calculate mortgage payments. Find homes for sale in your area. Find foreclosures in your area. See celebrity real estate.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Source: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/10/05/viewpoint-wheres-housing-in-the-occupy-protests/

amortization schedule pre-approval lender bill of sale Truth-in-Lending line of credit assessed value