Thinking of selling your property?

Every property owner have choices to make when it comes to improving the property. Unfortunately, most of the improvements are done prior to selling the home.  When making plans to sell your home, you want to get the best price, right?  Well, there are a few things you can do to increase the value of the property and there are things that won’t. However, if you’re planning to keep the property until you die, then it really doesn’t matter what you do to the home as long as it makes you happy.

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What do the buyers say?

HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYBODY!!!  It’s that time of the year when real estate sales starts to slow down and everybody is shopping for gifts instead of homes.  However, there are still buyers out there looking to purchase a home before the year is over.  If you’re thinking of selling, find out what buyers want and don’t want.  This could help you get your home sold faster.  If you live in areas that have increased in value, you may want to cash in now.   If you’re having problems keeping your home, at least you will not be responsible for paying taxes on the loan you didn’t pay off.

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Fair Practices?

Here we are again.  It seems like every governmental agency has it’s favorites.  Remember the huge governmental bail outs, well here’s another example of government unfairness.  RESPA  seems to also have favorites too.  Is this really going to help consumers?

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Keep Your Home California

The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) is administering $2 billion in federal funds for borrowers who are at risk of losing their homes.  Borrowers who took out loans after January 1, 2009 are eligible for 4 different programs as long as the property is a primary resident, meet income requirements, and face a documented financial hardship.      

The four programs are the following:

  • The Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program (UMA) which will help homeowners with their mortgage payments.  
  • The Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program (MRAP) which provides funds for  homeowners who have fallen behind in their payments
  • The Transition Assistance Program which provides relocation assistance
  • The Principal Reduction Program (PRP) which provides funds to reduce the outstanding principal balance.

GMAC, Guild Mortgage, CalHFA, and California Dept. of Veterans Affairs are the organization that offers all 4 programs.

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Tax benefits for homeowners

Home prices declined 3.8% in February compared to last year, however they are up 4.2% from two years ago.  Could this be a sign of our recovery or maybe the double dip is about to happen?   It’s hard to say but it is a great time to purchase a property.  Interest rates are still at all time lows, prices have gone down, there are a lot of properties to choose from, and you still  have some  tax benefits.  When you’re ready, there are a lot of things to consider

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Foreclosures are up

Lenders have foreclosed on 78,133 properties in January, which is up by 12% from the previous month but it is 11% less then a year ago.  Although there has been an increase in default notices, auctions, and bank repossessions in January, it is encouraging to know that the increase is 17% less then a year ago. 

5 states are responsible for more then 50% of the nation’s total foreclosure activity; California, Florida, Michigan, Arizona and Illinois.  Nevada was the hardest hit state with the highest foreclosure rate in the nation.  Bank repossessions increased 16% from December which is more then  5 times the national average.  Even though we are seeing more foreclosures, they are less then what it was a year ago.  Let’s hope that this is a good sign that we might be on the right track to recovery.   

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What’s ahead for 2011???

Wow!!  It’s almost the end of January and boy did it fly by.  Since the beginning of the year, the rates have been going up.  In November of 2010, the 30 year fixed loans were at a 40 year low of 4.17% the 15 year rate was 3.57%.  Now it’s at 4.8% and the 15 year rate is 4.09%.  I don’t think we will ever see the November rates ever again.  There will probably be less borrowing, in 2011, due to the economic conditions.

So what do you think prices of homes will do?  Well, most of the country will continue to see declines or stablize in prices except for 10 cities.   Unfortunately, Florida and parts of the Western parts of the US will see the largest drops in home values. 

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Calm before the storm?

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!  Foreclosures are down 21% of the previous month and 14% below November of last year.  This is great news but I think we will see another wave of foreclosures and  short sales in 2011. It could be as early as January 2011. We probably will see another wave of distressed properties on the market in the coming year.

If you remember in 2008-2009, the market was flooded with the first wave of  distress properties for sale.  There are still a lot of people having problems with their loan payments and the banks will have to follow through with their right to foreclose to recuperate the losses.  

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HUD’s One Stop Website for Economic & Housing Data

HUD has created a website for the public to be able to research a wide variety of economic and housing market data at the regional, state, metropolitan area and county levels.  This information is being provided by the Census Bureau, Labor Dept., state and local government, housing industry sources, as well as HUD’s own economist.  You’ll be able to look at “Market at a glance” reports, Regional Housing Market profiles, regional Narratives, and a Comprehensive housing market analysis.

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