Posted on 8. February 2014 11:42 by qmiskini

HOUSING NEWS WATCH - February

The Love Doctor is in… (For those who remember this message from last year – we thought it was well worth repeating again!)

If Ira was writing this by himself, this is what he’d probably say: “Not that I am the Dr. of Love or anything like that… But then again most men like to believe they are.  After all – ‘Love is a many splendored thing’… or so they say!”

Here’s what we both say.  When we were planning our wedding way back in 1974, we wanted to reveal to all who attended words that would convey our LOVE for each other.  Those thoughts are best summed up in a wonderful bible verse from 1 Corinthians 13 which says: “Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. It is not proud. It is not rude. It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered.  It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.”

Of Course we are talking LOVE because February is the love month, rightly celebrated with Valentine’s Day.

We could go on with all kinds of examples like – LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF, and even go all business on you with accolades about how much we love doing business with you, or how much we love your referrals and more – but the bottom line is we do love helping people buy and sell real estate.

In fact, if it’s ok with you, we’ll focus just a bit on the REFERRAL request.  Please know that our Team and we, are eager to help you or anyone you know really wanting to make a move, so much so, that for your friends, neighbors associates or relatives considering it, we are willing to make an offer that they will love.

For the month of February, anyone considering making a move that you refer to us, we will guarantee them in writing that their home will sell or we’ll buy it at a price acceptable to them.

 We just need to agree on price and possession date with the seller.

AND remember, YOUR referrals help the kids…

Any one you know considering making a move, wanting to buy or sell their home, please refer them to us without hesitation or delay!  It’s very easy for you to do that and on top of the great services outlined above; your referrals will help the kids at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta!!!

We are on a mission this year to raise $25,000 for Children’s Health care of Atlanta!

They do such great work in helping kids struggle to recover from debilitating diseases.  It’s gut wrenching to see these young people whose lives hang by a thread, struggling for survival.  BUT at Children’s they have a chance, a GREAT chance.

And like many children’s hospitals, they depend on donations and givers to fund worthwhile projects.  These kids who are suffering are made better quicker thanks to Children’s Recovery Center complete with electronics and other fun stuff kids LOVE. But that recovery center requires money to operate and continue.  So we are donating a portion of our income on every home we sell this year to Children’s Health Care of Atlanta, so the kids in their care can continue to recover from these horrible diseases and grow up to experience and LOVE life.

It’s easy to refer your friends, neighbors, associates or family members considering making a move and we hope you will take a few minutes to consider who you know who will benefit from the Exclusive Guarantee we are offering: Your home sold or we’ll buy it*. 

Simply go to www.Friends-And-Family-Referrals.com to pass along your referral.  Or of course you can always call us direct as well at 770-672-7832.

 As we move forward in a brand new year, please know that we and our Team love thanking you for being a special part of our business.

 


With much appreciation,

Stephanie and Ira Miskin

 This month donations to CHOA were made thanks to Team members Amy Johnson, Nitya Grenham and Stephanie Miskin and their Clients Denise & Robert Kinnebrew, Eric Coleman, Colleen Lanning, Kevin Miller and Thomas Mitchell.                   …….The Kids thank you all!

P.S. We love honoring past clients like you. Read all about that at www.Friends-And-Family-Referrals.com. You can read more about Children’s at www.CHOA.org. 

 

P.P.S. We have enclosed an article that discusses the issues many area home owners are facing in today’s market.  As you read it, you will see that our unique offer to guarantee the sale of a home or we’ll buy their home for cash gives home sellers great peace of mind when selling in today’s market.

Market News

Pending Home Sales Drop 8.7% in December, is Housing in Trouble? 

by Peter Ricci      January 31, 2014  See more at: http://atlantaagentmagazine.com/pending-home-sales-drop-8-7-december-housing-trouble/#sthash.s59LhvwR.dpuf

Last year closed out on a sour note for pending home sales, according to NAR’s final tally.  Dec. 2013 was a rough month for pending home sales, with the Pending Home Sales Index dropping 8.7 percent from November to a reading of 92.4, according to the latest report by the National Association of Realtors. That’s the lowest level for the Pending Home Sales Index since Oct. 2011, and in addition to its monthly declines, pending sales were down 8.8 percent from Dec. 2012. 

Weak Pending Home Sales – What’s to Blame?

So, what’s to blame for the sizable drop in pending home sales? Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said that several factors went into the lower numbers. “Unusually disruptive weather across large stretches of the country in December forced people indoors and prevented some buyers from looking at homes or making offers,” he said. “Home prices rising faster than income is also giving pause to some potential buyers, while at the same time a lack of inventory means insufficient choice.”

 

Indeed, the weather/inventory impediments seem to account for the lion’s share of the declines. As the Wall Street Journal‘s Nick Timiraos pointed out, pending sales declined the country over, including in housing markets not affected by weather. The numbers are quite striking: pending sales were down 10.3 percent in the Northeast, 6.8 percent in the Midwest, 8.8 percent in the South and 9.8 percent in the West, where sales were down a whopping 16.0 percent from last year (they were also down by yearly measures in the other three regions).

The Secret Ingredient to a Housing Slowdown

Though Yun’s analysis is sound, there is one dimension to    the housing slowdown that he neglected to mention – rising mortgage rates. Take a look at this graph, which charts the Pending Home Sales Index through 2013: Notice when the index began to falter? In May, when mortgage rates initially spiked. Pending home sale hit a six-year high that month, but as soon as rates increased, the effects on the housing market were immediate. Does this mean the wild and crazy days of early 2013 are history? It’s still too early to say, but we’ll have to watch these numbers closely the next couple of months for any emerging trends. For 2013, though, the data is quite clear – higher mortgage rates slowed the market.

  

CHILDREN’S HEALTH CARE OF ATLANTA NEWS

Teamwork Helps Adopted Daughter Make Important Progress

David and Laura Kelly knew adopting a pair of daughters, Nikki and Karah, from Russia would produce a unique set of challenges. Those challenges were compounded by an injury to the youngest of the pair, Karah. She would require specialized treatment to help her develop into a capable, independent young woman.

While in the Siberian hospital, a nurse left a tourniquet on Karah's left arm after placing an I.V. in the top of her hand when she was 10 months old. It cut off blood supply long enough that doctors had to amputate her middle finger and parts of her wrist, including the growth plates. The injury and resulting surgeries left Karah's forearm scarred and thin and her hand curled and bent toward her forearm.

Early Steps

Laura and David waited to pursue further surgical treatment for Karah's hand after bringing her daughter home when she was 2 in August of 2000. When she finally asked Karah what she wanted, Laura received a definite response.  "I drew a picture of her hand how it is curled up and another of her hand flat," Laura said. "I asked her which hand she wanted, and she said 'flat' enthusiastically."  

When the family lived near Philadelphia, Karah had surgery to remove most of the scar tissue in her hand and to graft on new skin. After they moved to Atlanta nine years ago, they started searching for other options. "Children's came up because Karah went online and did one of her own searches," Laura said. "She sent me an email out of the blue to check this website out and that she wanted to talk about getting her hand improved."

Coming to Children's

The family met with Allan E. Peljovich, M.D., M.P.H., a pediatric orthopaedic hand surgeon and the Medical Director of the Hand and Upper Extremity Program at Children's.  Rather than opt for more surgery, however, Dr. Peljovich recommended Karah receive a consultation with the limb deficiency team to explore non-surgical options. "We were thrilled," Laura said. "We weren't leaping into surgery. We are doing a progressive treatment, and then Karah can make that informed decision about having another surgery."

After a comprehensive evaluation of her limitations and abilities, Karah began occupational therapy with Amy Bohn, C.P.A.M., O.T.R./L., at Children's at Meridian Mark in July 2013. In the first month of therapy, Amy completed scar management techniques, splinting, and range of motion and strength exercises. She also designed an exercise program to help Karah develop strength and function in her left hand.

Moving Forward

Karah, who is now 15, will continue to receive hand and upper extremity therapy for another six months to a year before making a decision about more surgical treatments. They are thrilled with the progress their daughter has made. While the future is still uncertain, Laura said one thing is for sure: Karah will be returning to Children's for the next step in her treatment, whatever that step might be. "Children's has made her feel really comfortable," Laura said. "They work so well as a team and you can see that. They were so compatible."

 

 


Posted on 15. July 2013 09:02 by qmiskini

 

                In this still shaky economy, practically no one, it seems is sheltered from the still swirling economic storm.   Even as housing prices inch up which is good news for home sellers, rising interest rates on home loans are beginning to make it tougher for home Buyers to purchase the homes they want. CAUTION: Buying and selling a home in this complicated market can be hazardous to your pocket book unless you know the facts and have the right Team in place to shepherd you through the storm.

                To set the stage, you must be aware of how mortgage interest rates affect Buyers working to qualify for a home mortgage and how, in many price categories, rising and higher interest rates can limit sales and profitability for home sellers.  According to tracking reports provided publically by Freddie Mac, the giant secondary market mortgage buyer, in just the past year, interest rates have been volatile and, in many respects mirrored the volatility of key aspects of the marketplace.   For example, in January of 2012, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of 30 year fixed rate mortgages, the average interest rate was 3.92%.  By December 2012 it had declined – great news for both Buyers and Sellers – to an average of 3.35%.  But by July of 2013, rates had risen to an average of 4.07%.  Now that might not seem like much but consider the impact of these rising rates for a home buyer trying to get mortgage loan approval to buy a home, for example, in Kennesaw or Acworth for $225,000.

                Many home buyers in this price category are first-time home buyers with enough good credit to qualify for a loan, but not always enough cash to make the down payment and pay the lender fees (called closing costs) required to purchase a home mortgage loan.  Many of these buyers turn to FHA to acquire their home loan.  Most lenders servicing Buyers in Cobb County will initiate the FHA loan process of loan approval for Buyers whose credit scores are above 640 and whose other credit-worthy checkpoints like their debt-to-income-ratio, employment record, loan and credit card payment records etc. meet the lender’s requirements.  FHA will insure a buyer’s loan and allow the Buyer to purchase that loan with only a 3.5% down payment.  In addition to the down payment, the lender’s service fees, the cost of an appraisal, home inspection, 1 year’s home-owners insurance premium, 1 year’s mortgage insurance paid up front to FHA, and advances (called “pre-paids”) on interest, property taxes and other closing expenses can total as much as another 3% (or more) of the loan amount – a cash requirement needed for the Buyer to close their loan to buy your home.

                The interest rate plus a portion of the pay-down of the principle loan amount plus one 12th of that year’s property taxes, plus one 12th of next year’s home-owners insurance premium, plus one 12th of next year’s mortgage insurance premium charged to the buyer monthly for the life of the loan by FHA, makes the monthly payment on that $225,000 home purchase look like this:

Example: Est. Monthly Payments on a $225,000 Home Purchase in Cobb County

Mo. / Year

Int. Rate %

Principle

Interest

Prop Taxes

H.O. Insurance

FHA Mtge. Insurance

Monthly Payment

Jan. 2012

3.92%

$317.32

$709.28

$208.33

$108.33

$244.26

$1,587.52

Dec. 2012

3.35%

$350.76

$606.14

$208.33

$108.33

$244.26

$1,517.82

July 2013

4.07%

$308.95

$736.42

$208.33

$108.33

$244.26

$1,606.29

               

                For the Buyer to purchase your home using an FHA home mortgage loan these are the approximate primary cash requirements for a home loan:

Example: Est. Cash Requirements on a $225,000 Home Purchase in Cobb County

Down Payment

3½%

Inspection & Appraisal

1st YR      H. O. Ins. & 1st Year Mtge. Ins. (1.75%)

1st Month Loan Interest

2 Mos. Property Tax

2 Mos. for 2nd Year’s H.O. Ins.

Lender Fees (est.) 2% of Loan Amt.

Other Closing fees & Taxes-Est.

Est. Total $ Required

 

$7,875

$750

$1300 + $3,799

$736.42

$416.66

$216.66

$4242

$1600

$20,935.74

 

                Although the amounts in both charts are estimates and can vary from loan to loan and from home sale to home sale, it’s pretty easy to see how the amount of cash required for a typical home sale, and the impact on monthly mortgage payments the fluctuating interest rates have, can directly affect the sale of your home.  For a home buyer there’s an $89 dollar per month difference in payments.  That’s an extra $1068 per year paid on the higher interest rate.  The amount of interest paid to your lender is $130 per month higher which is $1560 per year more paid in interest on the loan.  The amount paid toward principle loan is $41.81 per month lower meaning the principle reduction will be nearly $502 less in the first year of the home loan.  If all these numbers start to blend in together – and for many buyers and sellers these details can be somewhat daunting – know these simple but critical factors when it comes to interest rates, home loans and selling your home in a time of rising interest rates:

  •     As prices continue to rise so will the cost of purchasing a home loan

 

  •     As costs rise fewer Buyers in many home pricing categories can afford a loan
  •   Seller contributions to the Buyer’s closing costs will rise to keep pace with loan cost

 

  •   The balance between sale price and Seller’s Net (what’s left for you after all expenses) becomes an even more critical calculation in the sale

Selling and buying homes in any market can be complicated.  Don’t let a fluctuating market scare you from taking advantage of rising prices despite rising interest rates.  With the right Team in place, one that brings Agents with top negotiating skills, backed up with top marketing experts, and a support team of qualified lenders, inspectors, appraisers, researchers, and more, much of the uncertainty can be anticipated, and profitably factored into both a Sell and a Buy.

For the readers seeking more information you can call me direct at 770-672-8732 and ask for a free and confidential market analysis and in-home evaluation to help you understand more fully what your home is worth and how you may be able to get top dollar in today’s market to leverage your purchase of a new home while prices still hover below the market highs despite rising interest rates.  And also ask about how to determine the best strategy for finding the still available “great deals” that may be hidden from the average home shopper.  To prepare for your in-home evaluation you should also ask for a Special Report titled:  27 Valuable Tips You Should Know To Get Your Home Sold Fast and For Top Dollar. 

About the author: Ira Miskin is Market Area President for Optimus Real Estate Brokers.  Ira is available for private consultation by appointment by calling 770-672-7832.


Posted on 3. July 2013 03:47 by qmiskini

As I am writing this  there are 5579 Buyers in our data base who have contacted us over the past 12 months – each who are interested in purchasing a home sometime within the next one to twelve months.  According to the latest statistics for the average value of home prices in Metro Atlanta, all home sale prices for single family homes area-wide have increased by 27%.   But the number of single family homes for sale city-wide has declined 30.4% from 23,000 to 16,000.

 How this trend impacts local communities is instructive. Let’s drill down a bit and see how these changes in the home-selling marketplace have affected Buyers and Sellers in Cobb County as an example.  Here are five well regarded communities that show of how many Cobb County neighborhoods are affected by the market’s recovery.

 

 

Sub Division

# Homes Sold in Past 12 Months

Avg. Sale Price 2012

Avg. Sale Price 2013

%

/ -

Legacy Park

93

$185,120

$188,436

1.8%

Brookstone

109

$262,969

$282,737

9.3%

Heritage Club

19

$178,439

$197,375

10.6%

Cobblestone Ridge

9

$226,050

$230,475

1.95%

Echo Mill

20

$241,923

$257,195

9.4%

 

Both Legacy Park and Brookstone are large and diverse communities.   In Legacy Park diversity in both size and style make the community a strong magnet for buyers as different as first time home buyers and downsizers seeking homes that are comfortable yet manageable in under $200,000 pricing in communities like Lullwater or Annadale vs. move-up buyers seeking more space for growing families and executive style homes with pricing that can exceed $400,000 in Winterhur or Palisades.   

Brookstone offers as wide a selection of homes, sizes and styles as Legacy Park.  There are homes on the golf course with prices exceeding $500,000 and over 5,000 square feet of living space in Brookstone Country Club; there are pleasing and comfortable first-time-buyer homes in the 2,000 square foot size for under $175,000, with many styles and sizes and prices in between.

A mid-sized community like Heritage Club – a swim-tennis community – offers a variety of sizes and styles in a well-cared-for setting with pleasing architectural designs.  Cobblestone Ridge, primarily offering new home construction in single story cottage style – craftsman style homes is a very different type of community and home design, yet sees a significant amount of home-buying traffic.  And pleasing and established communities like Echo Mill provide homes in 4 to 6 bedroom sizes with a variety of Cobb-County Traditional façades and styles that are both attractive and timeless.

 It is in these settings that buyers seek homes – “great deals” in a shrinking housing market where interest rates are beginning their slow but inevitable upward creep.  For the last several years, as equity was forced out of homes in most Cobb County communities, homeowners who didn’t need to sell have held onto their homes, waiting for the residential home market to rebound – and rightly so.  However, there were some who used leverage to shelter their lost equity on the sell side by making smart purchases at the market’s bottom, knowing eventually, their way under-market purchase would surpass any equity loss they suffered in the sale of their home.  Those that were less brave hung on and are being rewarded by their patience too.

But there is a cloud on the horizon and that cloud is rising interest rates, which will make it tougher for many buyers to qualify for loans on homes they could have purchased when home loan interest rates languished below – and at times well below 4% annually for 30-year fixed-rate home mortgages.  Still, though prices are rising, many buyers are in the hunt for non-distress sale homes in good repair in highly regarded Cobb County communities before prices and interest rates box them out of the market. Underwriting criteria for Buyers will not soften as the pricing of homes rises and along with it interest rates.  And the number of Buyers – we get over 600 new buyers inquiring about homes for sale every month – will begin to diminish.

So what should home-owners in Cobb County be thinking about now?  If you were hesitant about selling because of values languishing at the bottom, that time seems to be past.  If you are considering making a move now because you want to use the sell-buy leverage still available to get that bigger home at smaller home pricing, that time is now and in the near future – but won’t be there perhaps even a year from now. 

 In a recent article published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it stated that although “job growth in Metro Atlanta may not be going gangbusters,” it is “still outdoing national job growth.”  As evidence, this month alone agents on our Team are working with more relocating out-of town buyers than they have in recent years.  These are job relocating Buyers from Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington State, and California to name a few.  For those who have been sitting out the market downturn but feel the time is now right to make a move, getting a private consultation with both a market analysis of your home and a market analysis of homes you would buy if you sold your home, could get you set on the right path for using leverage to both sell and buy before we return to “normal supply and demand levels” with “normal interest rates.”

 For the readers of this blog you can call me direct at 770-672-7832 and ask for a free and confidential market analysis and in-home evaluation to help you understand more fully what your home is worth and how you may be able to get top dollar in today’s market to leverage your purchase of a new home while prices still hover at well below the market highs.  And also ask about how to determine the best strategy for finding the still available “great deals” that may be hidden from the average home shopper.  To prepare for your in-home evaluation you should also ask for a Special Report titled:  27 Valuable Tips You Should Know To Get Your Home Sold Fast and For Top Dollar

About the author: Ira Miskin is Market Area President for Optimus Real Estate Brokers.  Ira is available for private consultation by appointment by calling 770-672-7832.


Posted on 18. January 2012 03:46 by qmiskini

 

The New Year has brought with it a number of new negotiation points to work through for Realty Teams representing Buyers making offers on REO (foreclosed) properties.  The most myopic negotiation point to date came up the other day in a multiple offer and highest and best negotiation situation one of our Team’s Buyer Specialists is negotiating.

The property is a foreclosure in a pleasant sub division in Kennesaw, GA.  The Investor (the actual owner of the property’s note that is serviced by a Lender) invested the money to clean up and update the property.  It is a great move-in condition home and perfect for the young first-time buyer hoping to close the deal on their first new home.  A realistic Comparative Market Analysis was completed prior to presenting an offer to the REO listing agent for presentation to the asset manager directing the sale of the property on behalf of the Investor.  The asset manager had smartly instructed the REO Agent to list the property at around 10% below fair market value.  So, here is a great property at a very good price.  Not an unfair tactic on the part of the asset manager, but one our Buyer Specialist was aware of when the offer was written.  A multiple offer situation and a highest and best competition were expected, and the Buyers were told that the property would likely sell for around 10% above initial list price.  Within days there were multiple offers. 

As with all offers our Buyer Specialists present, an Appraisal Contingency exhibit was included.  This is an important protection for the Buyer.  It states that an appraisal will be completed within a specific number of days following binding agreement, and that if the property appraises for less than the initially agreed selling price, the Buyer has the right to ask the Seller to lower the sale price to the appraisal price.  Without this exhibit, the Buyer must pay the previously agreed selling price, even if their lender will only finance a loan for the lower appraisal price.  The Buyer would have to come up with the difference in order to complete the sale.  The use of the Appraisal Contingency Exhibit is a commonly used, fair and necessary protection for the Buyer.

In this offer, however, the Investor steadfastly refused to accept the Appraisal Contingency stating: “The seller rejected your client's last counter.  Seller will not take an appraisal contingency.  Seller indicated he will not agree to appraisal/sale price adjustment. 

Seller staying firm in his belief if the property is on a multiple offer situation, the buyer is willing to pay the difference.

Please note property is available to any potential buyer.  We are getting too many inquiries at the present time, to include buyers that previously submitted an offer. “

 With the seller (Investor) refusing to accept an Appraisal Contingency, the Buyer is being placed in double jeopardy.  First, if the property does appraise for less than the selling price, the Buyer will have to still pay the difference to close the sale.  They will have to pay more than the property is worth and start out under water. But if they refuse to pay the difference and back out of the sale, under the terms of the agreement they will be in default and lose their earnest money deposit.

Perhaps there are some Buyer Agents that will let their Buyer take that risk.  Not us though.   

Buyers… purchasing a home is an emotional experience; but it is also an important, and often, your biggest investment.  In real estate you make your money when you purchase your home, not when you sell it.  Buying your home for the right price at the start helps significantly in managing the home’s equity value when you sell it.

As for this Investor and asset manager:  Are they coy, wise, greedy, myopic?  How tough is too tough before Buyers and experienced Buyer Specialists simply must move on and reject an otherwise great property?

Don’t forget…selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 


Posted on 14. November 2011 03:41 by qmiskini

 

HUD homes come in all shapes and sizes.  They are for sale in most segments of the Atlanta Metro Area and sell at a wide range of prices.  For Buyers they serve a variety of needs.

Earlier this year one of our Team’s Realtors purchased a forlorn and somewhat neglected foreclosed town home in a pleasant town home community in Kennesaw, just a few minutes from Kennesaw State University.  She purchased it for cash at a low enough price so that the cost of renovation still kept the overall cost of the property below market value.  Right next door was another not yet, but soon to be foreclosed townhome.  Like many residential single family and townhome communities in Kennesaw, this quiet neighborhood has weathered its share of foreclosures and short sales causing property values to plummet.

The great deal she got on a now lovely home for this young first-time home buying couple is typical of the kinds of great deals to be had if Buyers and their Realtors spend the time doing their homework and having the patience to wait for the right property to come along.  But what of the townhome next door? 

A few weeks ago it returned to the market as a HUD-owned property.  Many Buyers’ Realtors shy away from showing their Clients HUD-owned properties because they are not very easy to buy, and take extra work and effort to get a HUD transaction completed.  The purchasing process is actually a bidding process which demands all information is provided initially through the HUD transactional website… not always an easy site to navigate with a process of bidding and waiting that is unresponsive and somewhat arcane.  The HUD listing agent representing the property on behalf of HUD has little to do with the transaction at the outset and since there is no human being to interact with as in most other residential real estate transactions, reporting progress to your Clients and helping them through the wait and often disappointment of not winning the property is can be daunting.  However, once a Realtor understands the HUD system – which is actually not all that difficult to learn – helping clients benefit from the advantages of buying a HUD property can be rewarding for our Clients. 

A huge plus for the Buyer is HUD’s $100 down payment purchase plan.  Buyers can purchase a new home needing good credit but very little up-front cash.  HUD will allow up to 3% of the purchase price to be credited to the Buyer to apply toward paying the Buyer’s customary closing costs.  If the HUD property appraises for more than the selling price, the FHA upfront insurance fee which pays for the first year of FHA loan insurance, can be rolled into the home loan, again conserving the Buyer’s cash.  When purchasing a HUD property using the 203K renovation loan program, most if not all the cost of bringing the property back to life can also be incorporated into the Buyer’s home loan.

Investors buy HUD properties for use as income producing rental properties or to renovate and resell at a profit.  But Buyers of all types and needs, from singles to families, and first-time buyers to empty-nester down-sizers can all take advantage of a good program that can and often does help communities ravaged by the sub-prime mortgage debacle regain its footing, standing and value. 

Whether you’re buying a home for twenty thousand dollars or two hundred thousand dollars, your Realtor and their Team – one who is not afraid of helping Buyers navigate through the HUD maze can help you find a good property at a great price.

Remember, HUD homes come in all shapes and sizes.

Don’t forget…selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 


Posted on 2. November 2011 02:28 by qmiskini

 

Last week we spent a full day with nearly 200 of the top REO sales and marketing teams from across the USA listening to the collective thinking of eight of the top asset managers from six asset management companies representing billions of dollars of foreclosed properties for both large and small banks and investors.  The information they shared was a stark commentary on the state of the housing market today and their best prognostication of the market to come.

They described the huge backlog of “grey or shadow inventory,” perhaps as many as 6 million mortgages in default or eminent default still to come to the market.  That number in itself is more than 10% of all mortgages nationally.  If the market is depressed today, imagine what would happen to the housing market and home prices if all these defaulting mortgages were foreclosed at once.  A huge quandary for banks and investors holding these defaulting mortgages: How to clear the inventory from their balance sheets, which hurts their financial health, without crashing the housing market.

Although it seems like a large portion of the resale housing available for sale today are foreclosed homes, a rising percentage of the distressed properties for sale in the Metro Atlanta market and across the country are short sales. These are properties whose mortgages are in default and whose owners are attempting to sell and also work out a settlement with their mortgage holder to repay less than what is owed and have the balance (called the deficiency) forgiven.

For sellers of short sale properties this is still, although a good alternative to foreclosure, a tough row to hoe.  Banks, investors and the asset management companies hired to manage the short sale negotiations are still woefully understaffed.  Processing and procedures vary widely from bank to bank, and federal and local regulations and restrictions on how Realtors can represent sellers in short sale transactions are restrictive and inhibiting.  Not a pretty picture out there.

The bright side of this gloomy picture is that industry professionals recognize what a mess the market and the process to clear out the glut of defaulting mortgages is.  But there is much work to be done to stabilize home prices and allow the housing market to help lead the nation out of economic distress.

As Realtors, the more we know about how to navigate the unclear and turbulent waters of marketing and selling short sale and foreclosed properties, and the sharper our understanding of the internal systems of lenders and asset managers when negotiating sales for our distress sale sellers and buyers, the clearer the housing picture will become.  Taking many months to unsuccessfully negotiate a short sale transaction only to see the property go to foreclosure helps no one.  Learning how to successfully bring a short sale offer to a defaulting seller’s lender and thread the eye of the needle in order to get the sale approved, clearing one by one the backlog of distressed homes from the market, can only speed up change in this otherwise dismal residential housing environment.

At the end of the day, it may well be educated and adept Realtors and their Teams, who have become expert at guiding defaulting sellers and bargain hunting buyers through the process, who will clear out the defaulting inventory and bring the market back to health.  We can help distressed home owners find financial relief, and help buyers anxious to find a good opportunity at the bottom of the market to find the “perfect home,”  stabilize neighborhoods, and do our part in forging a path toward economic recovery.

Until then, there’s is no telling how long this tough market will continue.

Remember… selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 


Posted on 31. October 2011 03:40 by qmiskini

 

 

The phone call began with this ominous statement:  “You’re going to die when you hear this… I know I almost did!”  WOW!  A pretty strong opening to a business conversation; but it says a lot about the kind of frustration Realtors as well as their clients feel when transactions fail.  However, sometimes changes that impact a hoped for sale are outside of our control and then we must remember that we cannot control everything in real estate (or in life for that matter,) so do not fret or obsess about things that are out of our control.  With that said, it takes both empathy and a clear plan for getting a disappointed Buyer back into the car to re-start the search after a hoped-for-sale fails.

Here’s the circumstances.  One of our Team’s most experienced Buyer’s Realtors helped her Client find a home that fit nearly all her wishes, wants and needs.  The home was a large, well maintained Georgian Traditional in the sought-after Chatsworth community.  It was within the Buyer’s budget, located in Roswell, but on the Cobb County side of town so that it was in the Lassiter High School district.  Property taxes would be paid in Cobb County vs. Fulton County – which offered a considerable savings in yearly costs.  The Seller was relocating to another state because of a job transfer.  The Seller’s relo company had already completed nearly all the repairs that would be asked for after the Buyer’s inspection.  The Buyer’s offer was on target and acceptable to the Seller and the relo company.  So what could go wrong?

This home had been on the market for several weeks.  It was somewhat overpriced at the start, but after a series of price reductions it reached a price that was within 1% - 3% of fair market value.  The offer to purchase was a 97% offer which was right on target.  The Buyer was pre-approved for an amount exceeding the selling price and was putting down 50%.  And the Buyer was prepared to close within 30 days of binding agreement.  All parties expected the home to correctly appraise at or above the sale price.  All parties expected there to be few or no issues to be negotiated following the home inspection.  So what could go wrong?

After weeks of marketing, price reductions and strategizing the Buyer’s very fair and workable offer was a welcome event.  The Listing Realtor was pleased; the Seller was agreeable; the relo company was agreeable.  All that was now required was for the relo company to sign off on the offer and relo addendums and the transaction was on its way to close.  But not so fast.  On the day the Buyer expected to receive the bound agreement the Listing Realtor called to say the Seller was withdrawing the home from the market.  He was only 6 months away from early retirement and if he took the transfer he’d have to re-up for another two years.  So he decided to work out the last 6 months, move to Florida and rent out the house until after he retires.  Yikes!  Listing Realtor crushed… Buyer frustrated and disappointed… Buyer’s Realtor back on the hunt for the next “perfect home.”

There was about 15 minutes of frustrated venting by the Buyer.  And about 15 minutes of empathetic listening by their Realtor.  “I’m so frustrated.  Maybe we’ll just stay where we are.  But I have to move!  I HATE THIS PROCESS!!!” 

“Yes, I know how you feel.  If I were in your shoes I’d probably feel just the same way.  But guess what… I searched out eight more homes that are very similar to the one we just lost… and spoke with a Realtor who is about to list a home in Chatsworth that may be even nicer than the one you were about to buy.  I know this process can be tough… but we make a good team!  You know what you want, and I’ll help you find it.  Let’s look again on Sunday.”  So they did.  And they found two great choices.  So often the job of a Realtor and their Team is all about managing expectations.

Remember… selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 

 


Posted on 21. October 2011 03:47 by qmiskini

 

Every time one of the Buyer Realtors on our Team presents an offer on behalf of the Buyer to a Seller’s Realtor representing a short sale, the Buyer is given a document that explains in full detail what a short sale is, how a short sale transaction works, and what they can expect to occur during the contract negotiation process.  It begins with the following:

Dear Short Sale Buyer,

 

CONGRATULATIONS! You have just made an offer to purchase a short sale property as your next home.  You’ve chosen to buy a home that is well worth owning, but you will need to have patience and persistence in order for this sale to be completed. Fortunately, when it is completed, you will have been able to buy a great home at a great price, one which most other buyers who do not understand the process and do not have your patience, will miss out on.

The two key words in that paragraph are understanding and patience.

 

Let’s start with understanding.  Understanding means understanding the process you are entering into.  If your Realtor is an experienced Buyer’s Realtor with many successful short sale closings in his or her experience in the Marietta, Roswell, Alpharetta, Woodstock or Canton communities, they will make you aware of the length of the short sale process, the inconsistencies in the level of experience of Realtors representing Sellers in the transaction and the reality that the Seller has little or no control over the sale process.  That is not to say the Seller does not have all the rights accorded to Sellers in every residential re-sale transaction. They do.  But the final decisions about how, when, for how much and under what terms and conditions the sale of the property can occur, lie with the Seller’s Lender or in some transactions, multiple lenders.  These lenders must agree to the terms and conditions of the offer as well as approve the modification of the terms of the mortgage agreement between the Seller and their Lender(s).  Then, if the Seller agrees to the short sale loan modification terms and the Buyer agrees to the purchase and sale terms, the sale can successfully conclude.

 

What this means is a short sale is actually at least two separate transactions which are also linked to each other.  Right at the start, things get confusing.  The first thing a Buyer must understand is that the Seller is selling their home under duress.  The Seller is being forced to sell their home because of a myriad of personal and financial difficulties.  They are often extremely stressed.  Under these circumstances the Seller must make an appeal to their lender to work with them to sell the home, usually at a price that is less than the Seller owes to their lender, and accept terms that allow the Seller to be relieved of most or all of the unpaid balance of the mortgage debt at the conclusion of the sale.  That is not what lenders want to hear.  However, as a practical matter, when all parties are realistic about the value of the property and financial circumstances of the seller, accepting a negotiated short sale can be the least financially unrewarding of several unwanted choices the lender now must make, including exercising the due on sale clause present in most mortgage documents allowing the lender to foreclose on the property.  In Georgia which is a non-judicial foreclosure state, foreclosure is a relatively simple and quick process for the lender.

 

Lenders were, and in some cases remain unprepared for the huge number of loan modification and short sale applications they receive daily.  Unlike assisting a Buyer in purchasing a foreclosed property where the sale procedures are established and, though not always easy, relatively consistent, every lender has its own sometimes clear, but often unclear or shifting short sale rules and procedures that over-complicate and muddle the process.  Many lenders use third party processors to manage the transaction, some who have experienced processors and negotiators, others who do not.  Many of the Seller’s loans are not actually owned by the lender.  These loans may have been sold to investors in a package of loans, or to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the quasi-government controlled mortgage purchasers who themselves are in management and financial turmoil.  FHA or the VA may be involved as well.  So there are often many approvals required for the Seller to get short sale approval, and for your offer – which is only one part of the short sale transaction – to be accepted and approved by all these third parties.  The process can take weeks in the hands of a Realtor and Team experienced in the management of the short sale process on behalf of sellers.  But it can also take many months, only to end in failure.

 

All this is why the second key word – PATIENCE – is so important.

 

Remember… selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 

 


Posted on 14. October 2011 02:05 by qmiskini

 

Why do Realtors and their Teams sell houses?  The reasons are as varied as the real estate professionals working in the field.  But here is the number one reason I hear from Realtors I have worked with over the years, and from members of our Team.

Most often I hear it is the “joy of helping people.”  Sounds corny, but it is a prevailing attitude.  Whether a Realtor does a poor job or brilliant job in assisting a Client in purchasing a home, when the transaction closes they get paid.  Then everyone goes their own way.  The difference between doing a poor job and a great job can be the attitude we bring to the work each day.

For many Buyers, whether it is their first time or the tenth, purchasing a home is a big financial undertaking and an emotional roller coaster ride.  Spouses must find agreement; childrens’ excitement and fears about moving to a new school, neighborhood and making friends, sadness about leaving old friends behind and anticipation of meeting new neighbors, packing, unpacking and more all can resonate throughout the home search and purchase.  Helping Buyers focus on their wants, needs and wishes in order to find their “perfect home” also means getting to know our Buyers, making a new friend, empathizing with their concerns and worries and providing an easy to talk to safe haven for working through those concerns.

When a Buyer tells you three months after they have moved into their new home that they “love their home,” that’s usually code for their having made the right choices for everyone in the family.  Schools are good, neighbors are friendly, they feel comfortable and safe in the community and the home itself really did live up to their hopes and expectations.  I love my new home means to our Buyers that what may have seemed like climbing a mountain when they started the buying process, now feels like a walk in the park!

A month or so after a Buyer moves into their new home we often drive by to see how they have adjusted to their new home and surroundings.  It is a lot of fun for us to see and hear how easily and well their lives have “returned to normal.”

I love my new home means we have accomplished our number one objective when working with Buyers:  We’ve made a new friend… hopefully for life!  That’s why Realtors sell houses!

Remember… selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 

 


Posted on 13. October 2011 01:35 by qmiskini

 

In the Atlanta Metro Market, the high water pricing mark for all residential real estate was reached in 2007.  The Peak month was June 2007 when the average sale price climbed to just under $270,000.  By August 2007 the price had decreased seasonally to around $265,000.  At the end of August 2011, the average sale price for all residential properties in Metro Atlanta was a seasonally adjusted $173,000.  That’s 63.37% of the August 2007 sale price or… a decrease in value of 36.63%.   

Other markets like Las Vegas, for example have seen much worse declines.  But in Atlanta, those numbers are pretty stunning – especially for Sellers not selling distressed properties such as short sales and foreclosures.  The good news in all this is that sales have accelerated from an Atlanta Metro Market monthly low of 3,500 sold/closed properties in November 2010, and just over 4,000 sold/closed properties at the end of August 2010, to about 5,300 sold/closed properties in August 2011.  Lower prices fostered higher numbers of sales. Tough news for many Sellers.  Good news for many Buyers.

But here are some less evident statistics that add additional perspective to just how different the residential real estate market is in Atlanta…how much it has changed since the heady days of 2007.

In 2007 the number of sold/closed single family residential transactions with no “special circumstances” in Metro Atlanta, completed between January 2007 and December 2007 was just over 37,000 or 85.2% of the total sales.  The number of sold/closed single family residential transactions with “special circumstances” like foreclosures and the rare short sale was just over 6,400 or 14.8% of the total sales.  In 2011 between January and October the number of sold/closed single family residential transactions with no “special circumstances” in Metro Atlanta was 13,360 or 45.1% of the total sales year to date.  The number of sold/closed single family transactions with “special circumstances” like foreclosures and the now prevalent short sale was 16,250 or 54.9% of the total sales year to date.  It is a complete market reversal where in the residential single family market segment, distressed properties have become the dominant sale outstripping non-distressed single family residential home sales.  That’s a 60.6% rise is the number of distressed sales and a decline of 63.9% in non-distressed sales.  Those kinds of swings are dizzying.

In Cherokee County where our Realtors and Team assist many Buyers and Sellers the numbers are rougher still.  From January 2007 through December 2007 for single family residential properties with no special circumstances there were 2,418 closed transactions or 92.9% of the total sales in Cherokee County.  Distressed single family residential properties – foreclosures and a few short sales totaled 185 properties or 7.1% of the sales that year.  In 2011 from January to date non-distressed single family residential properties accounted for 701 sold/closed transactions or 47.6% of total sales while distressed single family residential properties – foreclosures and short sales climbed to 772 completed transactions or 52.4% of the total sales to date. That’s a more than 400% increase in distressed property sales and a 71% decline in the sale of non-distressed properties if sales continue along the same trend lines through the end of 2011.

Wading through these numbers can be mind-numbing.  But they are critically important when trying to both understand what has happened to our local residential market, and even more important to understand when faced with the potential for millions more short sale and foreclosed properties still waiting to enter the market across the USA over the next several years.  How we as real estate professionals parse these numbers, apply these vast market swings to our home pricing, and to our short to medium term market evaluations, can mean a great deal to our Buyers and Sellers.  Knowing how much the market has changed can mean all the difference between a Buyer choosing to take advantage of a glut of distressed inventory and low interest rates now, or waiting it out thinking the market may still drift even lower.  For non-distressed sale Sellers knowing the weight of the competition in distressed sale properties will help them to realistically price their homes for sale and not get slammed by the neighborhood price damaging short sale and foreclosed home sales that will certainly hit the market in 2012 and beyond.

These are challenging and interesting times.  Knowing how things have changed in our local markets can only help our Clients.

Remember… selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net