Short Sale Help

I know. I said I would NEVER do another short sale in my life after the last 15month mess. But after having a few good smooth sales close using the new systems banks have put in place, I’m hopeful and looking for the next owner to help.

So, what IS a Short Sale?  Here is a link I’ve found helpful:

Bank Of America Short Sale Program

Here is a YouTube Video (it’s made in Houston but the information is relevant for all)

If you are a home owner under water or experiencing hardships in paying your mortgage, let’s talk. There are options- and all do not include selling your home.

10 States with Pricey Closing Costs

Closing costs have risen an average of 36.6 percent compared to 2009, according to Bankrate.com’s annual survey.

The big increased was caused by the U.S. government requiring lenders to provide accurate good faith estimates of closing costs. Previously, lenders weren’t penalized for a bad estimate.

On average, the origination and third party fees on a $200,000 purchase mortgage added up to $3,741.

Here are the 10 highest states:

1. New York, $5,623
2. Texas, $4,708
3. Utah, $4,605
4. California-San Francisco, $4,566; California-Los Angeles, $4,406
5. Alaska, $4,327
6. Oklahoma, $4,254
7. Pennsylvania, $4,236
8. New Jersey, $4,110
9. Idaho, $4,077
10. Massachusetts, $4,025

Source: Bankrate.com (08/16/2010)

Housing Inventory Decreases

The number of homes for sale declined 2.4 percent in November in the metropolitan areas covered by ZipRealty Inc. In the last 25 years, the decline in November has averaged 1.8 percent.

The data doesn’t include New York, but Miller Samuel Inc., an appraisal firm, reports that inventory was down 7.1 percent from the end of October and down 18 percent compared to November 2008.

October was the first month since January to show a rise in bank-owned homes. The number of bank-owned properties declined over the summer because of efforts to prevent foreclosures. As time runs out for many families, the number of foreclosures is increasing.

As of the end of October, banks and mortgage investors had 639,000 foreclosed homes for sale across the U.S., Barclays Capital estimates. “We expect a rebound in distressed inventory in the coming months,” says Glenn Boyd, a senior analyst at Barclays.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, James R. Hagerty (12/09/2009)

Tax Credit Extended Info

Changes to Homebuyer Tax Credit

Frequently Asked Questions Homebuyer Tax Credit Changes 

A message from the Atlanta Board of REALTORS:

Last week, REALTORS® scored a major public policy victory when the U.S. Congress voted to extend and expand the homebuyer tax credit in order to continue stimulating the housing sector of the economy.

The Senate voted 98-0 and the House voted 403-12 on legislation that includes the extension and expansion of the credit. President Obama signed the legislation into law on Friday.

Thank you for making this victory happen. 30% of Georgia REALTORS® responded to NAR’s Call for Action. This grassroots action made a big difference in getting this legislation passed. This is a great victory for the economy, for homebuyers, and for all of us in real estate. Your commitment and involvement on this issue is greatly appreciated

Private Investors Dominate Foreclosure Market

Cities and municipalities are having trouble spending the money allotted by the controversial Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which was passed by Congress last year to acquire houses in blighted neighborhoods.

The goal was to buy vacant properties at 1 percent less than appraised value, rehab them, and either sell or rent the homes to low-income residents.

The stumbling block is that the houses are being purchased by private investors and more affluent home buyers at cheap prices.

Some people don’t see that as a problem. “If the private market is coming back and buying houses and crowding the government out, that’s not a bad thing,” said Joseph Pigg, senior counsel at the American Bankers Association.

In some areas, the nonprofit National Community Stabilization Trust is working with banks to give government access to foreclosed homes before they are put on the market. But that may be too little, too late. “It’s very unclear when the dust settles how much real change in neighborhood stability and quality of life we’ll see,” said housing expert Alan Mallach of the Brookings Institution.

Source: CNNMoney.com, Tami Luhby 

How can the ARRA benefit for you?

What is the ARRA’ 09?

On Tuesday, February 17, 2009 P.L. 111-5(H.R.I) the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was signed into law by the President.  ARRA includes key provision that impact individuals and families.

The “Making Work Pay”Tax Credit will cut taxes for working families in 2009 and 2010 by providing a refundable credit of up to $400 for working individuals and $800 for those who are married filing jointly. The credit is phased out once your income exceeds a certain limit. It is being paid to employees through a reduction in their federal income tax withholding starting in April 2009. The IRS has a “Withholding Calculator” available at WWW.IRS.gov, check it out and make sure you are having the proper amount withheld to avoid owing the IRS.

The “Economic Recovery Payment”is provided for individuals who no longer work and are receiving SS,  SSI, RR benefits or Veterans Disability payments. This $250 payment will come directly through the same channels in which you’re now receiving benefits and will reduce the amount of “Making Work Pay” credit you may receive.

Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credits will increase, allowing for a larger credit for 3 or more children and a higher threshold of income eligible to receive the credits

The American Opportunity Education Credit is now expanding from and replacing the former “Hope” credit, to cover the first 4 years of qualifying post secondary education expense. A 40% credit up to $2,500 per year.

First-Time Home-Buyer credit has increased to $8000, from homes purchased from 01/01/2009- 11/30/2009. If you live in the home for at least three years, you wont have to pay it back!!

Energy Conservation Incentives for a variety of energy saving upgrades or additions to your home, including : Windows, doors, insulation,roofing, HVAC,water-heaters,bio-mass stoves and more. This credit of up to $1500, could also help you save on your electric bill.

Unemployment Benefits, a temporary suspension of federal income tax is now available on the first $2400 of unemployment benefits received in 2009. Voluntary with-holdings be requested on form W-4V.

New Car Sales Tax Deduction for sales taxes paid on the first $49,500 of the cost of a vehicle purchased after 02/16/2009. (For individuals with income limits under $125,000/$250,000 if jointly) And you don’t have to itemize to get it!

For more information on the ARRA ’09 provisions see the website: WWW.IRS.GOV

All information above is from the IRS website

Putting Mortgages into ‘Plain Language’

Bank of America has debuted www.BankOfAmerica.com/HomeLoans, a new Web site for borrowers that includes a calculator that determines not just what size loan people can qualify for, but how much they can spend without being stretched too thin.

“We wanted to change the conversation to ‘How much house can I comfortably afford?’ rather than ‘What’s the maximum I can buy?’ ” said Aditya Bhasin, the product, pricing and strategy executive for Bank of America Home Loans.

The site was designed to be easy to read, spelling out a variety of contingencies, including the maximum payment that an adjustable rate mortgage could potentially cost.

The new site also offers what BofA calls Flat Fee Mortgage Plus, which has no application fee and a single closing fee that includes processing costs and fees for third-party services like appraisals.

It doesn’t include other standard costs like property taxes, homeowners’ insurance and prepaid interest.

Craig Focardi, a senior research director at the Tower Group, a financial consulting firm, said the idea for the plan is nothing new – it’s been tried by others. But the prominence of the programs could persuade competitors to adopt the features.

Source: The New York Times, Bob Tedeschi (05/08/2009)