new (17)

Best home features to draw the highest sale price.

photo credit: Jeremy Levine Design via photopin cc

photo credit: Jeremy Levine Design via photopin cc

Investing money in a rental property or a flip can yield great dividends.  However, not all improvements are equal.  It is important to put your money in the right places in order to have the greatest impact on the home's value.  Here are the top features you can add to a home that will likely draw the highest price.

New Deck

The addition of a deck is one of the best improvements that can be made to a home.  In fact, Remodeling Magazine published a report that stated over 85% of the money spent on a deck will likely be recovered when the home is sold.  This compares favorably to 78% of the money spent on remodeling a bathroom.

Decks add another usable area for families to entertain or relax.  It is wise to plan out the deck properly in order to maximize space, function and appearance.


One of the hottest trends over the past few years has been the addition of sunrooms.  These areas allow homeowners to feel close to the outdoors while staying comfortable inside.  Skylights and tile floors are common in sunrooms.  Owners can choose to have the room heated or not, depending on climate and budget.

A sunroom will add to the total square footage of the home but at a cheaper price than adding other types of rooms such as bathrooms or bedrooms. The best place to put a sunroom is just off a major area like a living room or kitchen.


More companies are offering employees the option to telecommute and freelancers are growing in numbers every year.  For this reason it is quite common for people to need a specific work area in their home.  Having an office in the home makes it easier for people to get their jobs done and the area can be a deduction on taxes.  Popular features are multiple electrical outlets, internet line outlet, open space and storage cabinets.

Light and Space

Tight, dimly lit spots are a real turn off for potential buyers.  If there are areas in a home that do not have access to sunlight then it is a good idea to add electrical lighting.  Recessed lights, adjustable lights and modern light switches add a contemporary feel.

Besides adding light you can opt to add more space.  This can be accomplished by removing walls that block off areas from each other.  Many homes now have a wide open spot comprised of the kitchen, living room and dining room.  This allows a number of people to socialize with each other without the need for everyone fitting in to one small room.

This is not to suggest that all the above features need to be added to a home in order to increase its value.  These are simply some of the best ways to recover costs and attract buyers to a home.

Related posts:

  1. Changes in Popularity of Features in New Homes (14.1) Changes in Popularity of Features in New Homes The national...
  2. Unique Features of WHEDA Loans (8.6) Unique Features of WHEDA Loans In an effort to help...
  3. What’s Just as Important As Location when Choosing a home? (8) There is no denying that the location of a home...
  4. Outdoor Lighting for Curb Appeal and Safety (7.5) This is part 4 of a 4 part series on...
Read more…

Property Management, Rentals and Short Sale: The New Niche

From the time we sign up for real estate school, to the most experienced agents with 30+ years under their belt, we have all heard that to be successful in real estate, we need to find our niche. Well, I am here to say that’s a bunch of hog wash. I would go as far to say that by “finding your niche” you’re a signing, your own business’s death certificate. Many of our colleagues found out in 2007 – 2008, when the real estate bubble burst, having a niche meant you didn’t know how to work in a shifting market place. I understand that for most all of us, real estate was steady and predictable so, this niche thinking was rampant, accepted and promoted amongst our ranks however, now we have learned that being a niche Realtor means certain death as real estate become more and more volatile each day.

Now, I say all this but, let’s be honest, REO is definitely a niche, I like to think of it as being the undertaker of the real estate world. Yes, by extension, that means I am a housing mortician. As such, we see highs and lows and we are extremely sensitive to fluctuations in the market place. For some, that’s just fine, we have learned to work with these convulsions and have shielded our lives and business from times of drought however, a vast majority of us ended up in the foreclosure lines ourselves when the real estate market heard those fateful sounds, snap, crackle and finally….POP!

As a Realtor and full time Broker, I have found that taking a more diversified approach to my business offers me and my family a more stable outlook to my career. This means, I have done away with the niche and expanded my income streams to include things like; Property Management, Rentals and yes, Short Sales. I do have some other things I do in real estate like, investing however, that is another conversation for another time. Let’s stay focused on the whole “niche” thing.

True, you can say that each of those three I just wrote about are niches amongst themselves and, you would get no argument out of me here however, all together as a part of your service portfolio, they become more, much more. All together they become an inoculation of sorts, from the market place unpredictability. By adding more services you can offer, you are riding out the waves of instability in the market place by being able to quickly and effectively shift your business to more profitable ventures. Ok…yes, you are still working the “distressed property” niche so…..yeah, it’s still a niche but, it’s a niche with diversification.

Right now, many markets are seeing short sales take over and even outpace REOs however, we don’t see a flood of agents clamoring to do short sales like we did with agents clamoring to get REO assignments and, why is that? Have you thought about that? If not, why not? My argument is, the skills you learned to be a kick ass REO agent are really the same skills you need to be a kick ass Short Sale Professional. I would go as far to say, no real difference exist between the two required skill set that would stop any outstanding short sale agent from being a outstanding REO agent and vice versa.

Granted, short sales are much more time consuming and require much more paperwork but, these things shouldn’t scare you away but, should entice you to add short sales to your service portfolio. Let’s face it, if you can close a complicated short sale, you can close any REO. My bigger point is, due to the complex nature of a short sale, becoming a Short Sale Professional will build on skills you already have or at least, develop skills you don’t have and therefore, making you better in the long run.

Don’t be afraid of short sales, they are fast becoming the new REO. As REO agents, you already have the basic and even advanced skills to be a great Short Sale Professional so, grow a pair and get to work. Your area has hundreds or even thousands of homeowners who need the help of an experienced distressed property agent who knows the front and back of the foreclosure process so that they can avoid the foreclosure if at all possible.

As an idol of mine says, “You beda weeerk!”

Read more…

Changes in Popularity of Features in New Homes

The national economy runs through cycles similar to the fashion industry. Things that seem irresistible and trendy this year may be old news by the time next year rolls around. As a result of the economic down turn from the past few years most home builders are turning their attention to items that are practical instead of luxurious.


Sunroom-300x225.jpg?width=300As a whole, sunrooms are declining in popularity. According to Rose Quint, a representative of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) “Builders are focusing on features that add immediate value and make a home more practical.” For example, most builders are choosing to add linen closets and walk-in closets in place of a sunroom.

Separate Living Room

Most builders feel that a formal living room will not be very prevalent in new construction for the upcoming year. Families would prefer to have one giant open area that encompasses the living room, dining room and kitchen.

Media Room

Along with the living room, the media room will also likely disappear. The extra cost of the equipment, along with heating and cooling another room that is used sparingly, is just not appealing at this time. What is more likely to appear in new homes is a hidden away station that holds all of the DVD players, cable controls and charging stations for cell phones, tablets, and other media devices.

Two Story Family Room and Foyer

Since builders are approaching new homes with more practicality, it makes sense to cut down on unused space. While a family room may be bigger in new homes to include the dining and kitchen areas, it is unlikely to be two stories tall. The same goes for the elegant foyers that stretch toward the sky with large windows. Both of these features of a home may be lovely in appearance, but they each have a lot of space that is not used by a family of four or more.

Whirlpool Bathtubs

A large tub designed for relaxation and luxury is less likely to part of a new construction in the upcoming year. A separate tub laid out in a classic style is more useful and can be used to make a fashion statement while also having an everyday use.

Luxury Bathroom

Large bathrooms that include walk-in showers and multiple shower heads, as well as lots of floor space, will be harder to find in a new house. Instead, the shower will be smaller, with a single head, and the kitchen will likely include a double sink.

Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor-Kitchen-300x199.jpg?width=300The outdoor kitchen will probably disappear from lots of new homes. While it can be a nice place to gather with friends or family for a birthday party or to watch a football game, it also requires having an extra appliance or two. Most families would rather prepare the food inside and simply transport it to the patio and save on the cost of the additional appliances.

Read more…

Call Carl SanFilippo (888) 445-8880 for a FREE AND CONFIDENTIAL phone consultation.

Short Sale Versus Foreclosure – which should I do?

New Jersey Short Sale RealtorGetting fired from your job usually means the power source of income is cut off, and being of the first things to get sidelined when this occurs are mortgage payments. Paying for a house to live in might come off to be a little costly especially if you can just opt to rent an apartment. While it is easier to just walk away from your monthly mortgage payments and let the bank take your home, you might want to consider the route of a short sale. So, what is the dissimilarity in the advantages of a short sale VS a foreclosure?

Benefits of a Short-sale – doing something about it

A short sale home specialist describes a short-sale as the lesser of the two evils. If you are concerned on how to Short Sale a home, then the first thing you need to be informed of is that it enables you tons of options that foreclosure doesn’t provide you, such as

• Leave when you want to leave – opting a short sale grants you the ability to stay in your home longer, as the bank will give you notice when the short sale deal is approved for close. A short sale waiting period can go on for up to 2 to 3 months.

• A clean slate –generally while your personal credit and bank records are your own responsibility, a short sale does not impact your credit in the same way as a foreclosure. That means you can do a lot of things that you wouldn’t have the ability to do if you had a foreclosure showing up on your credit. Not only mentioning a clean slate, but on top of this and upon a successful completion of your short sale you may qualify for the HAFA Program. A program that could offer up to $ 3,000.00 CASH BACK towards your relocation! A borrower can be worthy of purchasing a property in only two years after a foreclosure.

• Control over the price – in opposition to foreclosures, short-sales give you the ability to control the price of the sale due to the fact that you still altogether own your home as the bank has not seized ownership of it yet. Granted, short-sale prices are still a lot lower at market value than the property value, but you’d much rather be selling at a loss than letting the bank do all the selling for you. Even though the bank must have the final say so in a short sale offer, prices generally are higher than foreclosed homes. This will do your neighbors a favor by helping to preserve community property values.

Benefits of a Foreclosure – the art of walking away

Foreclosure is the easy way out. Basically, foreclosure is simply turning your back on your property until the bank decides to foreclose on it. This is a little known fact, but foreclosure potentially could be the worst thing that you can do. Contemplate it – after the bank forces you to turn over your property, they get to clean it up, put it on sale for a reduced price and whoever gets the property will either: (a) renovate it and try to sell it at a very high premium; (b) sell it as being and the seller can still get a respectable profit out of it or; (c) whomever gets the property can just live in it, still getting the better end of the deal because of the bargain price that he or she bought it for.

New Jersey Short Sale RealtorForeclosed properties can sell pretty rapidly as compared to a short sale. While this sounds pretty good on paper, remember that it is the bank that already owns the foreclosed property, they are the ones who profit the most from a fast transaction, so please, take this time to read further into abstaining or preventing foreclosure.

Also, while it may seem really easy to just walk away from your property and let the bank acquire it, you may want to acknowledge the following consequences:

• Waiting period before you can buy – records of foreclosure can affect even the period when you can purchase your next home. Generally speaking, banks select more responsible and trustworthy people without any sort of negative records to approve a home loan application. The current waiting timeframe for anybody to be granted by a bank or an institution to mortgage a home again is 5 years most likely. In addition, do you think a bank will let you purchase a home if records show that you already failed in maintaining a previous mortgage?

• A foreclosure record can leave a lasting impression – records of a previously foreclosed property may appear on your personal credit for up to 7 years. That is a lot of time to consider especially if you want to apply for something that is bank or credit related in the upcoming seven years. While most people will believe that they wouldn’t mind this kind of record because they are not planning on doing anything bank related, consider this: any type of foreclosed property records can severely affect your job applications. Why? Some employers look at your credit background to see if you are responsible in your credit, and a foreclosure blemish may cause them to conclude that you are delinquent if you have a foreclosure on your record.

• It shows up on your credit records – managing your credit rating and record should by far be more critical than anything else you should contemplate before taking the easy way out. It is noted that your credit rating can plunge as low as 160 to 105 points depending on the manner of foreclosure or on your credit history. This is especially important to consider if you have an active business or you are looking into bank loans for business or other concerns. A foreclosure can at times be read as a severe negligence on the part of the person. It is important to note that banks do not consider any type of personal issues that is on your plate during the time of foreclosure: it’s either your payments are made on time or they are not.

• It affects your loan applications – similar to most of the reasons above: why would you think any bank will give you a loan if your records reveal that you had trouble paying for one before? Even if the intention might be very different from that of a home purchase, like a school loan, car loan or business loan, it is still the same thing.

• You get evicted immediately – unlike if you put your home up for a short sale; eviction usually is very quick if your property is being foreclosed on. Generally, a notice period of 30 days is given to the person with a foreclosed property, but any other extensions might not be considered by the lending institution, person with a foreclosed property, but any other extensions might not be considered by the lending institution.

So, which is the better option? A short sale or a foreclosure?

Deciding a short sale over foreclosure may be the best option by far. The mere fact that you have control over the price and the time when you can sell your home is a better alternative than being forced to hand over your house and being ordered to leave the premises as soon as possible.

While it is ultimately up to the person to choose either a short sale or a foreclosure, what is substantial is that options are weighed first and think of how it may affect your ability to buy a home in the future and affect your credit rating. Researching is a job well done. Now, your next step is to contact one of our highly trained Short Sale Specialists, so they can get your short sale on started and successfully completed!

Carl SanFilippo

Nj Short Sale Agent

Read more…

New Jersey Short Sale Agent

Call Carl SanFiliipo toll FREE (888) 445-8880 for a FREE phone consultation!!!



New Jersey Short Sale Specialist

New Jersey has been facing one of the most challenging economies in its history. The housing market has been decreasing at such a rapid pace that one out of three homeowners owe more on their mortgage then their home is worth. Some parts of the country one out of every five homeowners are behind on their mortgage payments. You might be in a similar position that you need to sell but owe more on your home then its worth. You might have a ARM mortgage which is due to change and change your payment making it unaffordable. You do have options to avoid foreclosure in New Jersey.

I have been in real estate with Century21 Worden and Green since 2006. As i came into the business the market started to change. Home values started to decrease slowly while by 2008 prices began rapidly dropping. I have been dealing with foreclosure homes since 2006 and have closed hundreds of foreclosure properties and have educated homeowners regarding their options. As a New Jersey Short Sale Specialist I strive to help as many homeowners who need my service as possible.

Why Should I Short Sale My Home in New Jersey?

Doing a short sale in New Jersey could save your credit long term. A short sale is better for your credit then a foreclosure and has numerous other benefits. See the comparison of a SHORT SALE VS FORECLOSURE. and check out the Wall Street Journalarticle explaining why a short sale in New Jersey can be the right answer for you.

Why do I need a New Jersey Realtor to Short Sale My Home?

Most lenders will not consider a short sale in New Jersey unless your home has been on the MLS and is being marketed through a Realtor. A New Jersey short sale specialist can also help navigate the short sale process, letting you know what forms the lender will require for the sale. If you are eligible for the HAFA program in New Jersey, CLICK HEREto see if you might be eligible, you will be required to work with a Realtor.

How much does it cost to Short Sale my Home in New Jersey?

Absolutely NOTHING! My services are 100% completely FREE!!! I can refer you attorneys who will also provide service to you for FREE!!! Sound to good to be true? The lender will pay all commissions as well as legal fee. Contact mefor more details and for a FREE phone consultation.

The New Jersey Short Sale Process!

Step 1: Call me toll free (888) 445-8880 we will discuss your current situation and all your options. If it appears you have all the qualifications needed for a short sale in New Jersey there will be forms you need to fill out and documents you must provide before we begin marketing your home.

Step 2: Marketing, I will come to your home take pictures and begin aggressively marketing your home in order to get offers.

Step 3: Get an offer to be submitted to the lender. This part can be the most lengthy part of the transactionwaiting for an answer from the lender. However, recently this process has sped up.

Step 4: Approval and closing! We obtain approval from the lender and have all the legal fees and commissions paid by the lender. We also fight hard with the lender to to ensure you are forgiven of all past debt, and you have avoided foreclosure in NJ and can move on with the rest of your life.

Read more…

Jumbo loan guidelinesUnderstanding the New Rules for Jumbo Mortgages

It is true that mortgage rules have become stricter in the last few years.  However, getting a jumbo mortgage in Wisconsin is still a very real possibility.  Borrowers need to understand up front the basic requirements and also how to compare loans to make sure they are getting the best deal.

In the not so distant past homebuyers could get approved for a jumbo mortgage with only a 5% down payment.  In addition, there were no strict requirements for proof of income.  As long as the credit score was 700+, the loan was as good as done.  Things have changed a lot in the past 4 years, not just in Wisconsin but all over the country.  Here are the basic requirements for anyone that wishes to borrow more than the standard $417,000 amount:

  • Borrower must pay 20% of the home’s purchase price as a down payment.  The money must come from their own funds, meaning it cannot be a gift.  Borrowers should be prepared to provide copies of bank statements and investment account reports to document where the down payment came from.
  • Borrowers will need to provide adequate documentation that reflects their income.  This may come in the form of paystubs and W-2 forms.  For self-employed individuals, the most recent two years tax returns will be required.
  • Borrowers should be prepared to look at loans with adjustable rates.  Long term fixed Jumbo loans are possible but the rates are usually significantly higher than the adjustable loan.

Current Property Values

Before buying a home it is a good idea to talk to a Realtor® to find out about trends in property values in the area.  Many places have seen declines in the past 5 years. However, recent reports show that the overall sales in Wisconsin are keeping pace with last year’s numbers.  And the drop in values seems to have hit a low point.  This means that most places like Madison should see at least stable values for the upcoming year and hopefully a rise in values in coming years.

Limits on Intended Purpose

People can only get a jumbo mortgage on a home that they intend to occupy as their primary residence.  This means that for people looking to buy a vacation home or a rental property will not be able to use a Jumbo mortgage for their purchase.

Focus on Other Debt

One of the biggest changes for approving jumbo mortgage applications is the attention given to debt-to-income ratios.  The current guideline is 38%. This number is calculated using the borrower’s gross, monthly income before taxes are deducted.  Lenders want to make certain that borrowers can comfortably afford the large house payment and still have discretionary income left over.

For those borrowers that are considering a jumbo mortgage in Wisconsin the current mortgage rate climate seems like a good fit for buyers.  Low rates along with lenders who are still pushing these loans make it a good investment for a savvy buyer who has a good handle on their finances.

This communication is provided to you for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon by you. Rock Realty is not a mortgage lender and so you should contact a lender directly to learn more about its mortgage products and your eligibility for such products.

Original Post - Understanding the Rules for Jumbo Mortgages

Read more…

New group LinkedIn on REO PRO

I have been on linkedin for sometime, I believe the network can help your business I have been contacted from my profile and have received listings from connections on Linkedin. Feel free to send me an invite today I am always looking to add connections. You can share your email within the group on the wall post for others to be able to invite you as an added connection on Linkedin you will have a chance to be added by all those that are members of this group. I hope this expands to all members on the REO PRO to be conncected on LinkedIn this will give us all an advantage. 
Read more…

Hi there everybody,

As a certified real estate instructor that specializes strictly in broker price opinion education, I try to stay on top of industry trends. As such, I have been following a company for the last few months called, StreetLinks. They are a major AMC provider and soon to be provider of BPO orders nationwidear130704277945359.jpg.

I have had the great fortune of connecting with a fantastic representative from their company and have gain a lot of valuable information to help you guys save time and to assist you in being able to make an informed about if you should sign up with this company.

I would HIGHLY recommend taking the 15-20 minutes it takes to register to be a BPO agent or broker for them right away! And no I am not affiliated with them or getting paid by them to endorse their organization! It isn't every day that a new company pops up that is not only credible, but I think will quickly be a force to be reckoned with when compared to the top major BPO mills. From my research, Streetlinks should be able to offer decent volume across the U.S. right out of the gate, and if everything goes well I foresee that they will see huge growth in order volume because of having an already solid client base.

So, as BPO order volume is down across the nation, smart BPO agents and brokers branch out and sign up with more quality companies to increase their likelihood of receiving more work. Do yourself a favor and click on the link below to sign up with them, I strongly believe that you will thank me in a few months!

Today I spent about 15 minutes signing myself up at their website, here's a link for you to do the same:

Also, feel free to pass along this info to others in the business that you think will benefit from it!

Lastly, to wrap up this blog post I want to point out some important points of how this company operates, what you can expect from them and what requirements they have of their new BPO agents and brokers. Please take a few minutes to read through the short list below:

StreetLinks Price Opinion Panel members benefit from:

  • Rapid Payment - Payment direct deposited to your account with 72 hours of report completion
  • No Cost to You- No fees for signup, membership or marketing!
  • Fast Order Submission - Get a free and easy to use online account to complete and submit orders
  • Fair Order Assignment - Assignment based on proximity and your historical performance
  • Exemplary Support- Full support services and training from our BPO support team
  • NABPOP Membership Discount- Join NABPOP at a special discounted rate! StreetLinks offers preferred assignment status to NABPOP certified members.

(The above paragraph was taken from StreetLinks website. All Rights Reserved © 2011 StreetLinks LLC.)

Let me know if you have any questions too! Email me at:


Nicole Ocean

Certified R.E. Instructor (WA State)


Read more…

Anyone else given up yet?

I am just curious! Has anyone else given up yet on becoming an REO Agent for any new banks, servicing companies or third-party asset managers?  I have been selling REO for about 3 years now and was fortunate enough to get approved by a few good and long-lasting companies in my initial stages before the storm of other agents realized what a good decision it would be to sell REO Assets.  I spent the first few years signing up and selling, signing up and selling, going to REO Events, signing up and selling, going to REO Events. I kept hearing the promises that I would see assets. I kept hearing the experts say, keeping applying, keep showing up to the REO Events and it will happen. Well, it's been about 2 years since I have been approved by any new asset management companies.  I have stopped attending the REO Events. I don't want this to be a "Debbie-Downer" blog post, but I'm tired.  And, to be honest, it feels like the tide is turning.  We are now seeing values beginning to stabilize. We are now seeing Short Sales dominate the market and recently we have also begun to see delinquencies and pending foreclosure actions begin to decline. While I know the flow of REO Inventory will continue for a few more years, in my mind, I feel like the parties over...or at least beginning of "last call".  


So, what now? On one hand, I don't want to give up, because that's not in my nature. But on the other hand, I don't want to be short-sighted about my business.  I have begun to focus more time and energy on my "normal" (whatever that is) retail business.  If the economy continues to push forward, real estate values and the "normal" retail real estate business should push forward as well.  I will continue to market for Short Sales in the area's that I farm, but what do I do about the REO business.  Has anyone been approved recently by any new companies...AND received new REO Assets? 


My message today is to continue to push forward. Continue to find the markets that work for you. Continue to find the products that work for you (REO, Short Sales, "normal" retail). But I have to tell you that this is my own "self-help" blog. Really...I'm not kidding...I needed my own self-motivation today and this is it.  Thanks for listening and if anyone has any feedback...I can't wait to hear it.  

Read more…
Congratulations! Your profile and application has been reviewed and approved by our Vendor Management Team. You are now an APPROVED VRM VENDOR.

Please be aware that this approval does not guarantee immediate asset assignments. Assets are assigned based upon a specific client need in a specific geographic zip code.

We look forward to working with you in the near future.
Thank you,
Vendor Resource Management
A PCV/MURCOR Real Estate Services Unit



I have been added to their database back in June of last year. Has anyone been receiving listing from them before doing certification. I am getting ready to do the certification just wondering how many have recevied listings from them.

 I found an old email below that offered courses live for 349. I noticed on the site it is now 449.


REO Specialists

> Become a certied REO specialist
for bank-owned properties

> Learn the latest process for
effectively soliciting, managing
and selling REO properties

> This class is for the Certification of
new and existing REO brokers

> Hear directly from Asset Managers
who assign business

BPOs for REOs

> Learn to accurately complete BPOs

> Hear from Wells Fargo on financing REO
properties needing repairs


For more information or
to register online, log on to



Find everything Fannie Mae on the REOPRO group

Read more…

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!

Read more…
Those of that know this company have all been waiting for this news and now it official!Titanium Launches New REO company Excellen REOFor another company to launch into the REO market indicates to me that the "shadow inventory" we have all been hearing about, is real and it is just a matter of time as to when it will hit the market and if it will be in drips or not. How and when this release of inventory comes to market is a heated topic I'm sure.I know here in Las Vegas we could use a some more under $300,000 homes to come on the market as I am working with several buyers now and the competition to win a bid can be difficult for some right now.Titanium Solutions- Titanium Holdings Enters the REO market with its Launch of Excellen REOIt is all over the news here is one place at the DSNEWS to read about itIt is on too and/or just Google Excellen REO.Titanium Holdings, Inc., the parent company of loss mitigation specialist Titanium Solutions, Inc., is jumping into the property disposition arena with the official launch of a new business unit, Excellen REO.Excellen REO is headquartered in Fort Mills, South Carolina, along with its sister company Titanium Solutions and parent Titanium Holdings.Cary Sternberg is the president of Excellen REO a few of his former titles were, he was formerly with American Home Loan Servicing, VP of Loan services for Indy Mac and REO manager for Ocwen.
Read more…

Buyers Need To Be Truely Qualified

The FHA is catching up to the where the market place currently is. YOU NEED TO BE QUALIFIED TO BUY A HOME.It still surprises me when I get a new prospect and give him an initial assesment and they say that they either don't have a job right now or they have a minium wage job or no money in the bank.Right now, although you can get a loan with 3.5% down, your offer is seldom accepted anyway because there are better qualified buyers with more money to put down and therefore present less risk that they will lose their home. Agenys have a rsponsibility too to be sure their buyers can afford a particular home...recently I had a client that wanted to know what the payments would be on a particular home, after I told her , the mom which is helping her started to question how they could pay that type of payment on her daughter's income (daughter's husband does not work), after discussion, we agreed we would look at a lower price point of home. Makes me wonder how Wells Fargo preapproved her for that higher amount in the begining!The FHA will soon require a 5% minimum down. Yes, it will eliminate some buyers from the marketplace, but those buyers will have a hard time getting anything at the minimum level anyway. Buyers will also have to have a better credit score from a minimum of 580 all the way to 620. The thing we are missing though is that most banks want at least a 680 anyway, so again, the marketplace has thinned the weak out already. You need to see also that many listings specify already that they want credit reports and financial proofs. Yes, too they look at the size of the downpayment as well. THE MARKET IS ALREADY THERE!The downside to this that credit repair will start to flourish and people will once again get sucked into a scheme that produces little or nor results. We saw what happened with loan mod business in California. That business has now tanked. They are now barred by the California Department of Real Estate from taking upfront fees. Most credit repair and loan mods can actually be done individually as the techniques are fairly simple...just time consuming!The extension of the homebuyer credit for first time buyers ($8000) and buyer/sellers ($6500) will help to have a decent real estate market into the spring but again like others have said, this is just a band-aid and will cost future generations somehow. These credits in my opinion have caused price inflation that actually discourages buyers, not to mention potential appraisal issues. Imagine going to the store on black friday to get a $99 patio heater only to be disappointed and dismayed when you get to the check out that it now costs $199 because everyone wants one. I even get feedback on a Broker Price Opinion (BPO) that they don't believe me when I say the market is still is and the financial powers are just manipulating the market to keep things from "sinking" too fast. Yes, we have price apprieciation, but it is artificial, until the economy is healthy once again.Let's all be responsible players in the real estate arena.
Read more…

$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.
Read more…

My top 8 New REO Agent Blogs

I get asked a lot about what advice I can give a new REO agent. Many times those conversations revolve around how I can help them get into the business. When this comes up I always stop and ask myself, “Do you think they read your blogs?” and typically the answer is no, they just simply asked me before even trying to get to know who or what I am all about. Well, that brings me to my top 8 blogs for new REO Agents (See Below). If you are a new REO agent and looking to get in this business, instead of just asking straight out, “can you help me get a REO listing”, which…by the way…is a bit presumptive and rude, first read my top 8 Beginner REO Agent blogs below. Once you have read over them and, you still have a question, I would be more than happy to help you. Chances are however, after reading over them, you may find the caliber of your questions will change from a “help me” style question to a “how to” style question and those I am much more comfortable with. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Read more…

2009 - A New Year

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! 2009 is right around the corner!! We should all hit the ground running - get in the game. As it has been said before, we can't control the market, but we can control our participation in the market that is there.Have a Great New Year!!
Read more…