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The real estate downturn of the mid-2000s is mostly over and the market is heating up, with prices rising in all over the U.S. In Wisconsin, the real estate market might be even healthier than in other locales, with new and existing home prices expected to rise 2.4 percent by early 2016. It might just be the perfect time to buy, but before you make any offers, you need to do a little planning to make sure you can pay out over the long run, especially if it's your first home.

Get Your Financial Ducks in a Row

Get All Your Rubber Ducks In A RowDo you have good credit? Do you know what good credit is or the factors that affect your credit? Have you had late payments, bankruptcies, judgments or other liens? If the answer is yes, the first step is to work on your credit score and report. Up until just recently, access to your credit score and full report was granted after putting down credit card info for a "free trial." that you would have to cancel right away to avoid a costly fee. Now, you can access your score and report for free, so there's no excuse for not knowing what's happening with your finances. Your FICO scores are ordered separately, usually for a nominal fee. Check it for discrepancies or old information. Much of the time you can contact the lender directly to resolve these issues. Or, contact the bureau and use their dispute resolution process. Most mortgage loan programs require a 640 score or higher, so fixing errors or having old information removed can make a big difference.

Do You Have Funds?

Do you have money for a down payment or closing costs? If not, how long will it take you to save? Start now. Make a commitment to stash funds away each month to help you meet your goal. Some loan programs are still available for 0% down but watch out for those; if the market should falter again you don’t want to owe more on the home than it’s worth. It also goes without saying that you want to refrain from big purchases that require credit, such as buying a new car, until after the home purchase process is over.

Are You Homeowner Material?

Owning a home is touted as a big factor in achieving the American dream, but it's not for everyone. Ask yourself:

Am I prepared for expenses like home repairs and landscape maintenance? Am I at risk for job relocation? Am I able to stay in one place for three to five years?

Talk to a Lender First, Not a Realtor

Resist the urge to call your realtor first. Instead, speak with a lender or two to find the best program. There are many loan products and even more lending institutions so it's worth shopping around for the lowest rate. A good lender will also advise you on the best ways to protect your credit while you a preparing to buy a house, which might include ID monitoring and credit report monitoring to ensure that someone else isn't using your good credit or your identity while you working on purchasing your home.

Use a mortgage worksheet to keep track of the information you receive from various lenders. It can be a dizzying amount of numbers and differences so keeping them in one place is important. When you are within 60 days of purchasing, your lender will issue a pre-approval letter for the amount you qualify for. Now you can call your Realtor and look for your dream home.

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It's true, when you think about getting a mortgage for that condo or getting an offer put together for that speed boat on credit, we are upset when the credit company or the mortgage lender turns us down. This is all despite the fact that we have a good salary, a steady job and always pay off our credit card bills on time.


It's a fact that millions of Americans have absolutely no idea how their credit score is calculated. There have been at least four surveys that have taken place in America that ask us what it is we think affects our credit score. In some of the surveys, well over 20 questions have been posed. But while the majority of us know that mortgage lenders and those dishing out credit cards definitely use them to check on us if we submit an application – there are huge gaps in the knowledge surrounding the other factors that could directly help or hinder our credit score.


Generic Scoring


Less than half of all Americans are aware of the three key points where lenders and banks use generic scores. This is where you find your score start to go down just for applying for another credit card, making an application for a mortgage or applying to buy that Harley Davidson Fat Bob on credit. It does not matter if your creditors approved those mortgages, credit card applications or a chance for you to cruise down Route 66 on credit or not – your credit score will be affected by the application process alone.


If there is a risk that you may not be able to pay off that loan, then your credit score will be affected; not a lot of Americans knew that. This could be due to something as simple as being in a job that has some form of instability associated to its industry. But Americans can do something to improve their credit rating and paying all your bills, loans and credit cards on time does go a long way to help.


Many young Americans seem to be less savvy when it comes to understanding what pushes our credit score up or down, particularly the age group between 18 and 32. There are however several online websites that mimic the factors that determine our credit score and it would be prudent to those of us that do not know how our credit score is defined, to pay attentions to it.


Keep your eyes on that credit score and do your research before applying for a loan, credit card or mortgage.

Follow our Blog at PamsVAS for the latest Real Estate Industry news

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Many people have no clue what happens or if anything happens to their credit when they complete a short sale. Truth is, many people just don’t know however, some really great articles are out there about this very topic and yet, so many questions still exist.

The first article I want to draw your attention to is notably an older article however, based on all the chatter I hear on a daily basis about how a deed in lieu or short sale will impact your credit, I really think this article should be revisited.

As published in the Washington Post 8/30/2011 by Michelle Singletary she stresses the fact the actual credit score it’s self, also known as the FICO score may be impacted differently by a short sale or deed in lieu however, that impact is so marginally different that, claims a short sale is less negatively impactful than a deed in lieu seem a bit farfetched, when strictly referring to impact of the FICO score. If you want to read her article yourself, click here.

A 2nd article I think you should read is by Linda Ferrari on 6/9/2009 on her blog, Linda Ferrari Your Credit Score Expert. She wrote an article titled The Mortgage Crisis and Your Credit Part Three: Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure. This article is really good from the stand point about how your credit score is impacted by how the deed in lieu is reported. Many people don’t realize that the bank can report your deed in lieu three different ways and of those three different ways, the negative impact will vary from most negative impact to lest negative impact. I would strongly suggest you read her article to learn more about how it’s reported. It was a huge eye opener for me.

Finally, I found a great article, maybe the best one on what the future may hold for those of you who have completed a short sale vs a deed in lieu. Now this article is very recent, in comparison to the other two, it was written back on 7/8/2013 by Alanna McCargo and even better, it’s posted on the Equifax forums giving it credibility. It’s titled “Can I buy a Home After a Short Sale or Foreclosure” and, the best part is her approach to credit fundamentals and how important it is to do all you can to protect your credit.

All in all, after these I read these articles and did some further investigation on my own, here is what I learned.

  1. Your credit will be negatively impacted by a Short Sale, Foreclosure or Deed in Lieu.
  2. The negative impact to your FICO score will be marginal at best between the Short Sale, Foreclosure or Deed in Lieu.
  3. When you agree to participate in any of these default disposition options, CONSUMERS MUST READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THEIR PARTICIPATION and watch out for how their action is being reported to the credit reporting bureaus. The truth is, some reporting options are much more negatively impactful than others. Consumers need to know they have options they can negotiate here for a less negative impact to their credit.
  4. Finally, benefits like, relocation assistance, no risk of future deficiency judgments are not guaranteed and once again, CONSUMERS MUST READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THEIR PARTICIPATION as these additional benefits are NOT guaranteed. Consumers have options here to negotiate a better deal and should be aware they have options.

If you are considering a short sale, contact me, Jesus “Jesse” D. Gonzalez Jr. Realtor / Principal Broker of Liberty House Realty LLC. I would be happy to discuss your options with you and how we can help. 615-424-0961

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Higher-Credit-Score-266x300.jpg?width=239Golden Rules on Achieving High Credit Scores

“We are glad you chose us as your lender.  As you know, your credit score is _______.”  For some people, filling in that blank might be nerve-racking.  For others, it might be a source of pride and personal accomplishment.  If you are working on your credit score, or simply want to know more about putting together a score that will make friends jealous and bankers swoon, read on.

Keep Your Available Limits Manageable

One of the top factors that affect a credit score is a person’s available credit.  This is simple to understand with some numbers.

  • A person has one credit card to their name.  The available balance is $1,000.  At present, the person has charged a total of $200 on the card, leaving them with $800 available.  As a percentage, the person has 80% available credit.
  • A different person has only one credit card, but their available limit is $300.  At present, the person has charged $100 on the card.  Their available limit is $200 or 67%.

Even though the second person in our example has a smaller outstanding balance, their available percentage is lower and their credit score will be lower.  The closer your available limit is to 100% the higher your score will be.

Pay On Time, Every Time

Without a doubt, the single biggest factor of a person’s credit score is whether or not they pay their obligations on time.  Paying all debts, regardless of the size, on time will do more to improve a person’s credit score than other tactics.

Keep Paid Off Credit Lines Open

Review the earlier example about available credit for a moment.  Suppose you have three credit cards but you only owe money on two of them.  Most people would be tempted to close out the one card in order to reduce temptation of charging too much.  However, closing down the account hurts in two ways.  First, it reduces your available credit limit.  Second, it wipes out the history you had with that account.  Both of these items will lower your score.

Strive to Have a Good Mix of Debt

In order to reach the magical number of 700 or more it is necessary to have a mix of debt that you are paying timely.  A modest automobile loan, one or two credit cards and a small unsecured loan are usually enough to provide someone with enough diversity to get a high score.  Having only one type of debt, regardless of the type of debt or how it is paid, will keep your scores in the 600 to 680 range.

Above all else, it is important to understand that building a strong credit score takes time.  It will not happen in a day, a week or even a month.  You will need to focus on the tips outlined above for a few months, maybe a year, in order to reach the pinnacle of credit scores.

Original Post - Tips for Higher Credit Scores

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My client just bought a new home two years after we did a successful short sale on his previous home. He now has a mortgage at half the interest rate he was paying previously.  His new home is  approximately half the purchase price of his old home that he purchased in 2004, and his new payments are a third of the old payments. Icing on the cake is that the new home is larger, move in ready, with a two year warranty. More icing? His new payments are $315 a month lower that his small rental.  Yes, it really is less expensive to buy than rent.

How did we do this?  Of course timing is everything.  Prices in this area are 50-60% lower than they were in 2004. There is a good inventory of homes that are reduced accordingly.  When we completed the short sale on his first home, I told him to keep the rest of his credit clean, pay the rent on time, and he would be able to buy again.  It didn't hurt that he was a V.A. buyer.  V.A. buyers can buy a home again two years after a short sale. 

Unfortunately, many figure their credit is shot anyway, so they drown their sorrow in their credit card debt.  After going through the trauma of losing their home, they may think they will never buy again.  But after living in a rental house or worse yet - an apartment, they change their mind.  The desire for home ownership is very strong and everyday I am amazed at the lengths buyers will go to in order to have their very own home.

Every situation is different.  Did you sale your home or walk away?  What is your credit and employment like? What kind of loan are you looking for FHA, VA, or conventional?  See a good loan officer who can assess your situation and give you advise on how to find your way back to home ownership again. Don't wait too long; it may take time and who knows where interest rates will be this time next year.

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Some direction for your short sales

Today I got a call from an agent about a short sale I have listed. In talking I mentioned the current owner is not in default to which he countered "but he must be." I am here to tell you from experience, from closings, from approvals in my hand your client does not have to be in default to obtain an approval for a short sale. If the mortgage co tells you they must be ask them to show you in writing where this is their policy so you can show your client 9 out of 10 can't and this will get you past this hurrdle..
Myth #2, I get all the time, "once I short sale I can't get a mortgage to buy for some time." INCORRECT!! In July of 2011 I executed and closed a short sale on my listing and the same client was approved to purchase a new home and closed 3 weeks later. There is no rule that says you can't, if you keep your current mortgage current and the person negotiating your short sale gets an approval that say lender is going to except short sale as mortgage paid in full. We supplied the payoff (actually both it was a first and second) and credit showed always paid on time client upgraded to bigger and better house for same payment and maintained good credit.
This point brings me to myth #3 "it doesn't save me any to short sale I should let my house go and save my money."  NO NO NO! See above scenario if you bide your time and pay payments till your agent can negotiate a short sale for you, you can save your credit by paying your payments and getting that payoff showing paid zero balance! Just because a bank didn't go after your friend for his foreclosed home doesn't mean they won't come after you and garnish your wages, freeze your bank accounts, or harass you till you can't stand it any more. Problems don't just go away a short sale is a proactive solution to an economy induced problem.
Myth#4 I make to much money I will not get granted a short can make 500k a year and still be granted a short sale on your house and here is why. You bought 123 Apple St for 700k 4 years ago now it's worth 200k as it stands with you in it, looking nice and clean and put together. HOWEVER if 123 Apple street is foreclosed and then has chance to be stripped down or vandalized the bank knows it will then only be worth 100k so they are better off letting you short sale then risking another foreclosure on their books which will be supported when appraiser goes out and does BPO. This also disproves myth#5 that "I owe way to much compared to what home will sell for bank will never do it." I closed a home that had a $750k loan on it but appraised only for $295 so bank allowed the short sale after they did their bpo and we sent copy of FHA appraisal.
Myth 6 my agent is a "short sale expert" I'm here to say I have been doing short sales since 2006, I was taught by a bank how to structure and execute them and still I am not an expert and I'll tell you why. You can not be an expert at something that changes with every file, every day. You can be very good, you can be excellent but not an expert. There is no such animal for short sales.. I give the example that a short sale is like a snow flake, every single one is different! I have closed one in two weeks YES TWO WEEKS but in the same token I have had one take eight months. The eight monther was a first and second for a divorced couple with a husband that claimed bk on the second but none the less it took eight months to get to closing. I am great at them and many others are too but be wary of the self proclaimed expert as often they over promise and underperform.
These are all just my experiences as stated earlier there are many others out there and every file differs but I think education is important as many agents are telling people they can't when in fact they just don't know yet that they can! :-)

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Credit reports frequently have mistakes. Very often consumers are not aware of these mistakes until they are trying to obtain credit for a large purchase like a home or car.  There is a process for rectifying credit mistakes, but it can take some time.

As more and more short sales are being processed it is only natural that some mistakes are showing up on credit reports, especially since there is no standard way for a credit report to reflect a short sale. The bank may report loan paid as agreed, or loan paid for less than the full amount. Which ever way it is reported it should not say foreclosure. Unfortunately occasionally this will happen, but the fix is easy.  When you sell a home as a short sale you will receive a HUD1 statement. this is a statement that spells out what money came in from the sale and how it was distributed. If a home is foreclosed there is no HUD1 given to the owner.  So, if you have a HUD1 your home was not foreclosed.  You should send the HUD1 to the credit reporting agency along with the statement that since you have a HUD1 you were not foreclosed on. They can then remove the foreclosure from your credit report. 

It is probably a good idea to check your credit report 6 and 12 months after a short sale just to make sure this has not happened.

If you have nay questions about short sales please feel free to contact me.

Marcy Moyer CDPE

Keller Williams Realty


D.R.E.  01191194


Federal Government Disclaimer (MARS): 1. You may stop doing business with us at any time. You may accept or reject the offer of mortgage assistance we obtain from your lender [or servicer]. If you reject the offer, you do not have to pay us. If you accept the offer, you will have to pay us commission as agreed to in listing contract for our services.
2. Marcy Moyer of Keller Williams Realty is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender; and 
3. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan.

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We have seen what happened to many American families when year-after-year they had income of say only $40,000 and borrowed $20,000, so as to spend $60,000 each year. After just 5 years the families were each in debt well over $100,000. In one way or another, the banks bought their debt, allowing the families to continue their poor financial management habits; but it was not long before families could not maintain, the banks foreclosed, and the families lost their homes and filed for bankruptcy.

It will not be long before the United States of America will face something similar… a form of foreclosure and bankruptcy, as China forecloses on the debt America owes China. In other words, US citizens (you and me) are in debt to China (the bank), and China may someday have no choice but to take our “house” (the entire country.)

What will the USA be like when China takes possession of our country? Showing a high level of moral integrity, will American leaders do the right thing and simply “give up the keys” and turn over control of our “house”, the country? Or, will U.S. leaders choose instead to fight China in a war to avoid America’s responsibility, and ultimately destroy the “house” (our country)? Sounds like what many homeowners did before the bank took possession of their houses.

Can we avoid the loss of our country to China? Yes! We Can!

By cutting every local, State, and Federal budget by 50%, and fixing the annual budgets at that level for at least ten years; then simultaneously, beginning a 30-year fully-amortizing monthly payment to China so as to eliminate the debt. Also, at the same time, by raising the Federal personal income tax rate to 50% of gross income over $25.000 for each and every adult U.S. resident, retired or actively working. For non-living entities, the 50% tax rate would be applied to their net operating incomes. The Federal government would then provide population-based revenue-sharing to each State, offset by what the Feds provides directly to each local government. All State and local income taxes would then be eliminated. Finally, Federal revenue surpluses would, likewise, be allocated to the States.

What about tax write-offs? Other than non-living entity operational expenses, there would be none. In fact, what good is a tax write-off when you have no income? Under this plan, every government expenditure gets cut in half; but the Federal government, through the States and local governments, could create more jobs and a little fairer personal income distribution throughout the nation.

By the end of each 10 year period, a census and other economic studies would be performed by the Federal government and effective adjustments made to the plan accordingly.

Submitted by a member of the “Coffee & Tea Club”

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Federal HomeBuyers Tax Credit Extensions

The U.S. House has passed a bill giving home buyers an extra three months to complete their purchases and still qualify for a generous tax credit.The Senate is working to reach an agreement with Republicans to pass the House-passed homebuyer tax credit closing date extension early as today.

Although the case shiller index came in suggesting a fragile recovery is waning, it didnt include the sales figures representing market behavior after the end of the homebuyers tax credit. It got worse. Home sales fell more than 30% since the expectation of the end of the homebuyers tax credit. No doubt this didnt go unnoticed in Congress.

Its clear that the Case Shiller numbers indicated a real estate market that was having trouble holding ground in the face of the end Govt support of real estate markets, that the stimulus was necessary and effective.

The 20-city index

15 out of 20 cities showed month over month declines, though the overall index increased 0.3, showing a 5% comeback in April 09. When the Obama Administration said it would pull support on housing markets, it did caution us that if necessary, they would return.

Real estate markets suffer from serious supply and demand problems. The foreclosure and the shadow market present a huge inventory overhang. And 30% decline screams loudly that we still need support. If the stimulus program gave us a market that moved and soaked up inventory, then its pretty clear that that normal market forces are still not able to float this boat.The pending stimulus extension wont cure the markets ills, but it created sales and that will go a long way towards preventing a double dip.

There are those who are opposed to market supports. That are afraid we are moving more and more towards a managed economy and want the chips to fall where they may. Thats the American way. Others argue that the markets or Capitalism was not the issue, its just that financial engineering and technology got ahead of the regulators and that all we need to do is regulate better. Personally, all that matters is that we dont look that rabbit hole in the face again. Let the chips fall where they may smacks of chaos and regulation may be necessary, but its slow and we all know its the regulators that influence and create the rules anyway. And so to my mind. if all it takes is $8000 a pop, to soak up supply and get out of this morass, one house at a time...then so be it. Pass that bill!

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New proposal would extend the CLOSING time until September 30th, 2010.

This is for those ALREADY under contract. The current tax credit has to close on the home by the end of this month - June 30th.

We all know what a mad dash it was to get the homes under contract for the buyers now getting them all closed by the end of this month is a monumental task and there are a lot of buyers that are going to miss the deadline. Lenders and title companies are swamped.

There are so many buyers here tied up with Las Vegas Short Sales, (as I'm sure it is across the country) that are waiting for the banks to approve these short sales that it just isn't going to happen by the end of the month for so many.

This in turn could lead to a lot of homes being dumped back on the market because if you had a buyer only buying a home to get the tax credit, they may walk away from the deal now.

I know for several of my buyers that are hanging in there, they now are crossing their fingers even more!

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Case Shiller in Context

Prices are now up almost 4 percent from the bottom in May 2009, but off 30 percent from May 2006, largely considered the peak of the housing boom. The 20-city index was off just 0.7 percent from this time last year. The smallest decline in almost three years.

Case Shiller index tells us we are in a bottoming process, where prices will continue to stabilize and attract buyers. However the paper economy chart, comparing the 1990s housing bust to the present makes two points vividly. First, the size of this decline and second, the 1990s bust took eight years to return to normalcy, measured from peak to peak

Fed says goodby to MBS
Interest Rates Going Up
The Fed has been the lender of last resort, buying up paper nobody wanted, providing liquidity to mortgage-backed securities and keeping the whole thing afloat. However, the Fed declares this a self sustaining recovery and financial markets stable and profitable. Private investors, willing to purchase government backed mortgages will requrie higher rates. Its not clear to anyone how much of this mortgage backed debt is viable. Investors will require higher rates for mortgage backed securities to look attractive. Mortgage Bankers association predicts 6% rate years and NAR looks to 6.5% in 2011

Fed says Goodby To Tax Credit
Sales Driver

The homebuyer tax credit that gives first time home buyers up to an $8000 tax credit and repeat buyers up to $6500 is set to expire the end of April. You must be under contract by April 30th and close by June 30th to qualify. In the short term the homebuyer tax credit and spring markets are bringing buyers to the table. MBA Purchase Applications index rose 6.8% for the week, confirming solid activity.

Fed Says Hello Sustainable Recovery

The economy remains in a transitional phase from a period that depended on support of public sector programs to a period of resumed growth based on private spending, aqccording to Dennis Lockhart President of the Atlanta Fed President. Read we are off the lifeline and looking to the markets to gradually act more normally.

We created jobs! First time in two years, True a total of 160,000 jobs (including temp jobs) is a far cry from the 8 million we have lost, but its solid proof that we are on the right road.

Rising home prices also could boost consumer optimism. with the tax credit program ending we will likley see lower home prices and higher sales volumn. Prices are reaching equilibrium in some parts of the country, according to Looking at the 1990s-era comparison, even after prices stabilized, housing had a long slog ahead. Our economy is driven by consumer spending, so high unemployment means less consumer spending.

Home prices and sales volume will be held hostage to the economic recovery and will begin in earnest when job creation does so. On a positive note, with big headwinds in front, we are at the beginning of a long term healing process.

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California Stimulates Homebuyers

The Honorable Governor Arnold Schwareneggar has come to the homebuyer's rescue. He signed a bill that will give a 5% measured credit up to $10,000 payable in three annual payments. Of course you have to repay it if you sell your home prematurely. On a $250,000 home that means a warrant from the state of California at $3,333 /year for three years. Not quite as sexy as the $8000 version but it helps pay for that furniture you will need.


The eligible taxpayer who closes escrow on a qualified principal residence between May 1, 2010 and December, 31, 2010, or who closes escrow on a qualified principal residence on and after December 31, 2010 and before August 1, 2011, pursuant to an enforceable contract executed on or before December 31, 2010, will be able to take the allowed tax credit.

There has been talk too of re -renewing the federal version. Although nothing is carved in stone,I have heard that it is caught up in the Senate right now...and its reicarnation will probably be a lesser credit. Maybe Obama can sneak that into his health care bill like he did the abortion thing! Kinda like burying in your short sale agreement that the lender will consider the seller's debt paid in full.

I always said real estate was stimulating and I am sure it will be even more so after April 1 when HAMP kicks in and lenders really have to start working with realtors and not be so mysterious. I already am seeing a surge in BPO orders from clearinghouses that would indicate a storm is coming. They even send stuff at 3 am or 9 pm at night...they are still hard to get however. Realtors need to remember too that although we like dollar signs, the needs of our CLIENT COME FIRST! If they can manage to keep their home, then it is a good thing!

Be a servant quote Cory Boatwright.

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Obama Extends the Home Buyers Tax Credit

The home buyers' tax credit has been extended to April 30, 2010. Obama approved the extension as part of a $24 billion economic stimulus bill.The housing tax creditQualifiersThe measure limits the purchase price of the home to $800,000.It also imposes income caps so that people who make more than $125,000 annually and couples who make more than $225,000 would not be eligible for a refund.Anyone who collects the tax credit but sells their home within three years of buying it must return the refund.Current homeowners who are buying a new primary residence would be eligible for a $6,500 tax credit starting Dec. 1 if they owned their home for five consecutive years in the previous eight.Military families who have been deployed overseas for 90 days or more in 2008 or 2009, would have until April 30, 2011 to sign a contract.The program is estimated at $11 billionDouble Bubble TroubleDr Shiller, co-developer of the Case Shiller home price index and Yale economist points out that the price recovery of the last few months is the sharpest snap back he has ever seen. he is concerned that that in supporting a real estate recovery we may again be fueling a bubble.NAR reports that total state existing-home sales of single-family and condos, increased 11.4 percent and are now 5.9 percent higher than the third quarter of 2008. Sales increased in 45 states and 28 states saw double-digit gains. Year over year sales were higher in 32 states and D.C. Buyers are coming back and in some parts of California we are seeing multiple bids and homes selling for more than list.Thanks for Readingwww.yourpropertypath.comRelated ArticlesFannie and Freddie: And How We Got to Own it AllEnergy Efficient MortgagesRelocation Tips
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First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit & Fraud

I saw on the news the other night the estimated $ amount of fraud committed on the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit. Amazing numbers. There were so many that claimed the credit that were going to buy a home, so many that were under age, the youngest was 4 years old. They always find a loop hole don't they.I sold my first daughter a home in January, she filed for the tax credit and received within 2 weeks. No proof required.I sold my second daughter a home in June, she has not received hers. She had to submit the HUD with seller and buyer signatures. (Like that couldn't be fraudulantly produced). They have been reviewing her file, she received a letter the other day not to expect a decision until November 22.It just amazes me what people will do to ruin it for someone else. Although they should have known the bad would find a way to take advantage of it.
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The race is on to get FTHBs in contract....Negotiations continue for extension. What do you think? Will they extend this successful program?Any thoughts on why the Gov would end this type of insentive just as real estate is heading into the winter months which are slower for most areas outside the Southern states?Anticipated home sales have increased for seven straight months, the longest upward run since the National Association of Realtors (NAR) began its pending sales index series back in 2001, and now at its highest level since March 2007.NAR said Thursday that its forward-looking measurement of closed sales on existing-homes, which is based on contracts signed in August, rose 6.4 percent from July’s reading and is 12.4 percent above this time last year.Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, cautioned though, that not all contracts are turning into closed sales within the expected timeframe. “The rise in pending home sales shows buyers are returning to the market and signing contracts, but deals are not necessarily closing because of long delays related to short sales, and issues regarding complex new appraisal rules,” Yun said.Yun agrees with many other market observers that first-time buyers are rushing to put pen to paper to beat the deadline for the $8,000 tax credit, which expires at the end of next month. This run could very easily result in inflated pending sales numbers that don’t make it to the closing desk in time.Prospective homeowners in the western region of the country are the most eager to sign the dotted line, where distressed assets and plummeting property values make for extremely attractive deals. The pending sales index for the West surged 16.0 percent in NAR’s latest study.In the northeastern states, anticipated sales jumped 8.2 percent. In the Midwest the index rose 3.1 percent, and in the southern part of the country, pending home sales increased 0.8 percent.“Perhaps the real question,” Yun said, “is how many transactions are being delayed in the pipeline, and how many are being cancelled?”Yun also noted that the data sample coverage for pending sales is smaller than the measurement for closed existing-home sales, so the two series will never match one for one.Yun said the forecast for home sales and prices depends very much on whether a tax credit is extended. “All we can say for certain is sales will decline when the tax credit expires because we are not yet on a self-sustaining recovery path. It also raises a risk of a double-dip recession,” he said. “Extending and expanding the tax credit is the best tool in our arsenal to encourage financially qualified buyers to stimulate the economy.”
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The government's First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit program expires November 30, 2009 -- a scant 60 days from today (10/1/2009).Considering it can take up to 60 days to close on a home, first-time buyers have 2 weeks at most to find a home.Buyers not under contract by October 15 have little chance of meeting the November 30 deadline and, therefore, little chance of claiming the tax credit.This is especially true for purchases involving short sales and foreclosures.Congress passed the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit program as part of the 2009 economic stimulus plan. IRS Form 5405 outlines the program criteria and includes the following stipulations:* Buyer may not have owned a "main home" in the past 36 months* The home may not be purchased from a parent, spouse, or child* Adjusted gross income for the household must be below $95,000 for single tax filers and $170,000 for joint tax filersThe credit is capped at $8,000 or 10% of the purchase price, whichever is less. And don't forget -- the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit is a true tax credit. It's not a deduction.This means that a tax filer who claims the full $8,000 and whose "normal" tax liability is $5,000 would receive $3,000 cash from the US Treasury when their tax return is processed by the IRS.If you can't close by November 30, 2009, though, you can't claim the credit.The clock is ticking. If you're planning to use the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit, the time to act is now.
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A nationwide rise in homeowners’ “negative equity” is convincing more people to walk out on their mortgages, even if they have favorable credit ratings and can afford to pay their loan, according to recent studies.Two reports – one by researchers at Northwestern University and two other colleges, the other by the national credit bureau Experian and the consulting firm Oliver Wyman – are offering a clearer picture of “strategic defaultees” than has been previously available.According to Experian and Wyman, numbers of strategic defaults are far greater than you might expect. Nearly 600,000 borrowers nationwide fell into this category in 2008, more than double the number in the previous year. That number also represents 18 percent of all serious delinquencies from last year.So what kind of people turn in the keys and walk out on their homes, even when they can pay the mortgage? It’s not who you think – not entirely, anyway.The Experian report looked at 24 million U.S. credit records and found that borrowers with the highest credit ratings are 50 percent likelier to strategically default than lower-rated homeowners. The defaultees often have no adverse credit history, going from a record of perfect payments to no mortgage payments at all.It’s not longtime homeowners; the Northwestern report said borrowers who bought more than five years ago were less likely to default. Surprisingly, though, “young people” don’t account for that many walkouts, either. “The young are more dependent on the loans market and thus face higher reputation costs from defaulting,” the report says.Above all, though, the studies agree that negative equity – being severely “underwater” in a mortgage – is the biggest factor in strategic defaults. “The homeowners who walk away know full well they are damaging their credit records, but are making a calculated decision that sticking it out over the long-term would be worse,” writes Boston Globe real estate reporter Scott Van Voorhis.Not all underwater borrowers are equal, however. The Northwestern study says homeowners never walk out if their negative equity totals less than 10 percent of the home’s value. Once that shortfall reaches 50 percent, though, a significant number of borrowers will default strategically.The Experian report agrees. Strategic defaults are much higher in boom-and-bust markets with jumbo loans, like California – where walkouts have risen 6800 percent since 2005 – and Florida, where they’re up 4500 percent. (By contrast, walkouts nationwide rose 9 times since 2005.)There is one upside in the statistics: According to the Northwestern report, moral sensibilities keep the walkout numbers lower than they might be otherwise. Eighty percent of borrowers “think it is morally wrong to do a strategic default,” and even “amoral people can choose not to default when it is in their narrow economic interests to do so because of the social costs this decision entails.”But as unemployment and foreclosure inventories continue to rise, it remains to be seen just how much of a deterrent the “social costs” of strategic default will remain.
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As we approach the end of the federal tax credit incentive for the housing market, discussions are starting to whether or not extend the tax credit. I recent read two contradicted articles. According to a survey from CAR (California Association of Realtors), 40% of first time would not have purchased a house if it were not for the tax credit. In addition to that 70% of all buyers, first or second home, say that is was "very important" or "most important" in their decision process.On the other hand, a survey from Zillow shows that the tax credit was not a fact for most first time buyer when making a decision to purchase a home. Only 18% would be swayed to purchase a house in 2010 if the tax credit is extended. The discrepancies in the surveys is like water and wine. Who is right?
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The $8000 tax credit is a nice perk for first-time homebuyers. In my opinion, new Buyers should look at it as a perk, not as an incentive:1) Qualify for a home based on solid income, a certain level of confidence in job security, and ability to repay for years to come.2) Find a nice property that you don’t have to sell for at least 5 years, better if you can keep it for 10 years or more, possibly as a rental later on.3) Don’t let the pending deadline for free money lure you into a dump! First of all, market swings can wipe out that $8000 in a flash, even if you are buying a $150,000 property. Second of all, a dump doesn’t need the market to help wipe out that $8000 of free money. A dump can do it all by itself. See my blog “Top 10 Ways to Know Your Buying A Dump.”In certain locations there is a shortage of inventory and a feeding frenzy among first-time Buyers trying to beat the clock. Meanwhile cash investors are snatching up the best properties causing first-timers to battle for scraps.Yes, the $8000 tax credit is a nice perk. If you buy for all the right reasons, the credit is gravy. But buying a dog pile to get $8000 today and risk your future just makes no sense. Some times renting makes more sense. (OK now you can officially declare me the worst real estate salesperson ever.)For all its encouragement and stimulus, the government doesn’t even want you to buy a dump. Last I heard, they have not announced Cash-for-Clunkers Homes, and you don’t want to be calling Marilyn Mock of the Foreclosure Angel Foundation in 2011.Let the professional investors deal with risk. You too can be a pro some day if you make the right moves today.
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$8000 Homebuyer Tax Credit

National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said existing home sales will rise through the fourth quarter, but that the end of a federal tax credit that gives first-time homebuyers $8,000 will affect that pace if it expires in November. As per [FAR and Palm Beach Post]. I agree what is your opinion on the first-time homebuyers tax credit? I think they should leave it into play for another 6 - 12 months.
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