Collins & Demac Real Estate



Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 11/27/2014

Many buyers today think buying a foreclosure means big savings and this can be true but buyers also need to be aware of potential pitfalls. A foreclosure takes place when a homeowner or property owner cannot pay the mortgage fees on the property and is forced to give up the property to the bank. First, potential buyers should know there are different stages of foreclosure.
  • Pre-Foreclosure
Pre-foreclosure stage is the earliest stage of foreclosure. Reaching pre-foreclosure status begins when the lender files a default notice on the property, which informs the property owner that the lender will proceed with pursuing legal action if the debt is not taken care of. At this point, the property owner has the opportunity to pay off the outstanding debt or sell the property before it is foreclosed. In this stage, many homeowners may opt for what is called a short sale. Many of these homes will sell for near their appraised values. Banks may be willing to negotiate on these properties but the process can be lengthy. Properties that sell at a 20 to 40 percent discount usually need repair or are in unstable communities.
  • Foreclosure Stage
If a property doesn't sell in pre-foreclosure, and the home owner actually defaults on his mortgage, the home goes to public auction. During this stage you can find the best bargains but it can be filled with unexpected changes and last minute details. Preparation, patience and knowledge are key here and remember if a property does go to auction it will go to the highest bidder which is often the bank.
  • Many auctions are canceled at the last moment as the property has been sold or payments reworked.
  • Court-appointed trustees only accept cash or cashiers' checks.
  • There's little time to arrange inspections, so bidders may have no clear idea of what they're buying.
  • Properties are sold "as is," without warranties. Sellers needn't disclose problems. Buyers may find themselves with unexpected and expensive repairs.
  • Post-Foreclosure
  • In the post-foreclosure stage, the lender has already taken control of the property. The home is then in the possession of the lender's REO (Real Estate Owned) department, or in the hands of a new owner or investor who purchased the property at auction. Lenders are typically extremely willing sellers, because an REO on the books is an obvious sign of having made a poor lending decision. Both the overhead and losses involved with an REO -- reflected in both the added reserves a lender must maintain as well as any potential property management fees incurred -- means the bank is likely a willing negotiator.
    • Bank will not agree to do any repairs; as-is sale.
    • Bank will usually require additional paperwork.
    • Bank cannot provide disclosures as to property history/condition issues.
    Bank foreclosure properties can definitely help you make a good buy in real estate properties and still have lots of savings. Doing your homework on the neighborhood, comparable sales and property condition are essential in making a good buying decision.





    Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 11/20/2014

    Many homes in our area have stories to tell. If you live in an older home, you may want to know its hidden secrets. You may have wondered who slept in your bedroom or when the home was actually built. Your home holds many clues to its history and its prior owners. With some detective work you will be well on your way to uncovering your home's hidden past. Here are some hints to get you started. Gather Information In order to get started you will need to uncover all of the information you have, you will want to gather your deed and title paperwork. Make note of the first owner, year built, and the year the original owner sold it. You will also want to know the names of all the owners, as well as the years they bought and sold the property. All of this information may not be available on your deed but you will be able to find it at town hall or the registry of deeds. You may find clues in the names of owners and years owned. Pay attention to details and look for clues. Some clues to the history of the home may be: a family that owned the home for a long time, multiple property turnovers and inconsistencies in property or land descriptions. Tackling the Records Wading through the mountains of information may be difficult but don't get discouraged. Information about your home’s owners will most likely be contradictory. Census records dating back to the year your house was built are likely available at your public library, a nearby university or your local historical society or museum. Review census rosters from the year closest to the one your house was built. Census records from the 1800s and early 1900s have lots of fun and interesting information and often include the names of all those living in a household at the time, their ages, occupations, places of birth, and sometimes more. You may also want to search for census data on the U.S. Census website. Getting Help Some of the language on deeds and title paperwork can be hard to understand put older language in the mix and it can be even more confusing. Ask friends who are lawyers, title-company employees or experts in historical documents for help. You can also turn to the internet for help. Use the internet to dig up any information you can find about the families who lived in your home, as well as the surrounding streets, neighborhoods, and landmarks. If prior owners of your home are relatives you can use genealogy web sites for research. Getting a Feel for the Times Read through newspapers from the year your house was built. You will start to get a sense of the historical times. Keep notes on everything you find that mentions your house and its occupants. In those times local papers covered social news of all kinds—dinner parties, haying trips, visits from out-of-town relatives—in addition to chronicling everything from world events to weather. They often covered construction of new homes, and may offer you information on where the builders got the materials used to build your house, why they made certain design decisions, and more. More Information For more information regarding researching homes you may want to try some of the books listed. American Shelter: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Home, by Lester Walker, Overlook Press, 1981 How Old is This House? by Hugh Howard, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1989 House Styles in America, by James C. Massey and Shirley Maxwell, Penguin Studio, 1996 Old American House, by Henry Lionel Williams and Ottalie K. Williams, Bonanza Books, 1957 A Field Guide to American Houses, by Virginia and Lee McAlester, Random House, 1984





    Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 9/11/2014

    Getting a mortgage these days can be tough and it is even tougher for small-business owners. Potential self-employed borrowers usually have variability in their income streams. Today, banks are requiring more financial documentation from all buyers, and self-employed borrowers tend to face more scrutiny. Small-business owners may have a smaller income because they are typically knowledgeable about tax deductions and credits. This often reduces the amount of taxable income they have. Reducing the amount of taxable income on your tax returns means to the lender there is less income to qualify for a loan. There are ways self-employed borrowers can increase their chances of getting a home loan, however. Here are a few tips: What is the lenders history? Find out if the lender has a history of working with self-employed borrowers. Self-employed borrowers should focus more on finding a lender that will understand their situation rather than shop the loan rate. There are individual loan officers who will be able to think out of the box or come up with solutions. The lender you choose is key. Consider portfolio lenders. Portfolio lenders have more flexibility in originating loans because they don't have to sell the loan to Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. Portfolio lenders hold their own loans. That makes a big difference in their ability to loan. Another option may to consider credit unions. Many credit unions also keep a good portion of loans on their books. Boost your income. Show you make as much money as possible on your tax return. You might need to amend your tax returns. Some lenders will look at a loan application again if they have sent in amended returns to the government. Sometimes by rethinking deductions and credits on income taxes, a borrower can increase his qualifying income. Of course, with this strategy, the borrower would also face a new tax bill.





    Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 7/17/2014

    Have you noticed the number of new construction homes going up lately? A recent report by The U.S. Census Bureau and US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) showed single-family home building permits up almost 5%. The process of building a new home can be stressful; there are lots of decisions to be made and obstacles to overcome. Here are some useful tips to keep stress at bay when building a new home. 1. Get pre-approved for a loan. Make sure that you do all the steps necessary to put the proper loan in place. You will need to fill out a mortgage application and provide the necessary documentation to check your financial background and credit rating. This process will let you know exactly how much you can afford to spend. You will also need to make sure your lender knows you are planning on purchasing new construction. 2. Do your homework. Check the reputation of your builder. You can search for information online, contact the better business bureau or ask your friends for recommendations. If you are building in a subdivision you may want to ask some neighbors who have already moved in about their experience. 3. Watch you budget. The advertised price of a new home is rarely the final price. The price can escalate quickly when you start upgrading the standard flooring, cabinetry or lighting. Plan on how much you can afford to spend before you start upgrading and budget accordingly. 4. Don't forget about resale. You may love the upgraded plumbing and light fixtures but know that those things rarely bring in a good return. You will not be the last owner of your home. Be mindful not to add so many upgrades that you overprice your home for the neighborhood. 5. Keep the lines of communication open. Communicate with your builder, ask questions and make sure you know where your money is going. You may want to keep a running list of quotes for extras and upgrades. Be comfortable asking even the simplest questions. 6. Be prepared for delays. Building a home can be a long process. Depending on the size of your home it can take anywhere from three months to a year or more. Get an estimate of when the building of your new home will be completed and plan accordingly.





    Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 5/15/2014

    If foreclosure is looming you may feel helpless. It is possible to still sell your home and avoid foreclosure. You must sell it quickly and that is not always easy. Here are some tips to get aggressive, and get your home sold fast. Price it right! Don't try to squeak out the extra dollar price the home aggressively among the competition. This often means pricing the house low. You are trying to sell the home as fast as possible so every last dollar isn't worth it at this point. Make sure to get real about what your home is worth. A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) will outline properties similar to yours that have that recently sold, are pending and are currently on the market. Some experts suggest going 10% below that last sold price in your neighborhood. Communicate with your lender. You will need to get the go ahead from your lender on how low you can go. If you owe more than your home is worth complete a short sale application with your lender. Ask your lender to give you some indication of how low a sale price they will accept. Selling your home quickly and avoiding the black mark of foreclosure on your credit report is the goal. It may be hard to accept thousands less than what you paid for your home but you will be better off in the long run.







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