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Tag Archives: real estate news

Banks are forcing values down by using Short Sales What are the banks thinking today? Banks are more conservative than ever and are forcing property values down in stable neighborhoods.

I understand banks trying keep their equity position high and prevent further losses, but allowing appraiser to use “Short Sales” as comps in a an arms length transaction is crazy.

Buyer’s who buy short sale homes are looking for a deal and they often get one, discounts as much as 10-30% or more in some cases, I’ve seen banks sell homes to investors who then flip the home and make a profit so I know what is going on. Freddie Mac has a policy that they will accept an offer on a short sale if it’s within 77% of the BPO or appraisal value, which is great for the buyer who has waited 4-9 months to get an answer from the seller’s bank.

Where this breaks down is the poor homeowner next door, who has been paying his mortgage on time for years, and now, his property value just got flushed because appraisers are told to uses these short sales and not make adjustments.

Banks are missing the big picture, right now homeowners who maybe upside down with their property values, but are making payments are thinking and being advised to stop making payments, take a hit on their credit and get out why so many others are doing the something!

Appraisers need to not use short sale or make an adjustment anywhere from 10-30% so they don’t bring down values of non short sale homes anymore!

December 2009 MLS Stats for Pinellas County FL

Lot’s of great info here! Take a look at the number of active homes on the market today compared to the past couple of years. The median home price is also on the rise. If we see the unemployment rate go down we could see a much faster recovery in Pinellas County. The number of bank owned homes is also on the way down! Does this mean the end of the great deals? I don’t think so. I’ve seen some great deals in the past few weeks! Like mutiple 3 & 4 bed, pool homes in Clearwater for under $130,000!

Click on the links below and view the pdf. files.

Pinellas December 2009 All Reports: “Condo’s & Single Family”

November 09 monthly foreclosure &short sales report

You still have time to negotiate and buy a “Short Sale” property before the $8,000 first time home buyer tax credit and the $6,500 move up credit runs out! But don’t delay because what I experienced last year was at about 60 days before the end of the tax credit sellers of non “short sale” homes got a higher sold price to list price percentage because they negotiated harder with buyers because they knew that they had the only homes buyers could close on and still get the credit! The morale of the story here is if you want negotiating power, start early.

Have questions? Call or Email me

Deficiency Judgments: The Real Risk

There are numerous websites showing the legal and theoretical possibilities of being sued after foreclosure. Many so-called “foreclosure experts” threaten homeowners with the possibility of being sued after foreclosure, and having their wages garnished, cars repossessed, or given enormous tax bills from the IRS. Since so many state foreclosure laws do allow deficiency judgments, there is always the danger of being sued after foreclosure. However, most of the foreclosure advice being given to homeowners is wildly inaccurate. In almost every single case, what usually “actually” happens is…

The bank, after the foreclosure, would have to sue the former foreclosure victims for the deficiency judgment if one even exists. This means the bank would have to hire lawyers, pay attorney fees and court costs, and would simply have a judgment against them. There is no expectation that they would ever be able to collect on that judgment, and banks are aware that homeowners go into foreclosure because they run out of money. So, if they know homeowners have experienced a financial hardship and do not have any money, and the mortgage company has already lost money on the loan due to the foreclosure, there is little reason for them to sue again. They just move on with attempting to sell the property on the open market and recoup some of their losses.

When a homeowner sells the property before the foreclosure and sells it at a lower amount than what is owed on the loan, this is called a short sale, and is one of the most common ways that homeowners can stop foreclosure on their homes. In this case, the homeowners would get a 1099 at the end of the year, since the bank is forgiving the difference in the loan amount. Forgiven debt is counted as income. But this is only a possibility when a homeowner has worked out a short sale with the bank and a buyer, and the home has actually transferred ownership through the short sale.

When the house is sold at sheriff sale for a loss, this is not forgiven debt. It is merely a sale of the house, and homeowners do not get a 1099 if they do not receive any profit from the sheriff sale and if no debt is forgiven. The house is just taken from them to pay the bank and the bank gets the property back because that was pledged as collateral on the original loan. The legal mechanism of foreclosure allows for the sale of the property at a public auction, but has nothing to do with forgiving any portion of the actual debt represented by the foreclosure judgment.

So that is what actually happens in the vast, vast majority of foreclosure situations. Banks rarely pursue deficiency judgments unless they know the homeowners have a lot of cash and other assets that would make it worth suing them. This is not the case in most foreclosures, though. While literally hundreds of online resources and charlatans will threaten homeowners with the possibility of a deficiency judgment and all of its ill effects after foreclosure, the banks themselves are wise enough to recognize that suing their former clients is not in their best interests in all but the most extreme cases. In fact, most lenders would gladly give former foreclosure victims another loan, if they met the qualifications; so there is no reason to turn away future business due to an unfortunate financial hardship that led to the foreclosure.

Builders Urge Congress to Renew Home Buyer Tax Credit to Create Jobs, Boost Economy

October 26, 2009—In order to create hundreds of thousands of badly needed jobs and move the economy to higher ground, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) called on Congress to extend and expand the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit set to expire at the end of next month.

Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee, NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe warned that builders are reporting that business generated by entry-level buyers is already declining because it is now too late to complete a new home sale in time to take advantage of the tax credit.

“Not only will builders soon be losing one of their most effective selling tools when the $8,000 federal housing tax credit expires on Nov. 30, they are also facing significant challenges that threaten to derail the fragile housing recovery before it even has time to take root,” said Crowe. “Strict mortgage underwriting and low appraisals are making it difficult for a willing buyer to complete the sale and terms and credit availability for builder acquisition, development and construction (AD&C) loans are extremely tight. The bottom line is that housing and the economy are at a critical crossroads.”

To spur job growth, help reduce foreclosures and excess housing inventories and stabilize home values, NAHB is calling on Congress to extend the home buyer tax credit for an additional year through Nov. 30, 2010 and make it available to all purchasers of a principal residence. “We estimate this would increase home purchases by 383,000 and create nearly 350,000 jobs in the coming year,” said Crowe, adding that it would also generate $16.1 billion in wages and salaries; $12.1 billion in business income and tax income of $11.6 billion for federal, state and local governments.

Congress can also help put the housing market back to work by encouraging regulators and the banking industry to restore lending for viable home building projects and to take meaningful steps to avoid unnecessary foreclosures on outstanding AD&C loans by accommodating loan modifications and workouts.

“This would provide relief for a major sector of the economy that has suffered because of regulatory excess and the inability of banks to provide the necessary funding and flexibility that would otherwise keep loans performing as scheduled,” said Crowe.

To further contribute to a housing and economic recovery, Crowe urged Congress to call on the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to adopt new regulatory guidelines for conducting appraisals under distressed market conditions.

Citing a recent survey by NAHB that found that 25% of builders are losing sales because their appraisals are coming in below the contract price, Crowe said: “You just cannot compare a well-constructed new home with a foreclosed home that has been vacant for months and was probably neglected for a long time before it was vacated. They simply are not comparable and the standards need to be adjusted to reflect that reality.”

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Federal program to help first-time buyers use tax credit for downpayment

WASHINGTON – May 13, 2009 – First-time homebuyers will soon have another option if they want to use their $8,000 tax credit toward a downpayment. On the tails of a Florida-created program that Gov. Charlie Crist is expected to sign into law, the federal government announced its own downpayment assistance program at the National Association of Realtors® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo taking place this week in Washington, D.C.

While the tax credit applies to “first-time homebuyers,” the term is misleading. In general, anyone who hasn’t owned a home for the past three years is considered a first-timer under the program. Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), hopes to have additional details available within a few days, though it’s still unclear how soon homebuyers can apply for the credit.

Donovan said that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) would allow its lenders to credit homeowners up to $8,000. He made the announcement to several thousand Realtors yesterday at a special daylong session called, The Real Estate Summit: Advancing the U.S. Economy.

“We all want to enable FHA consumers to access the homebuyer tax credit funds when they close on their home loans, so that the cash can be used as a downpayment,” Donovan said. According to Donovan, FHA approved lenders will be permitted to “monetize” the tax credit by using short-term bridge loans. Donovan also said that more will be done, and the Obama administration plans to further stabilize the housing market.

“I do think we have some early signs that the market overall is stabilizing,” said Donovan. “Since January, we’ve seen both home sales moving up and down around a relatively stable number, and we are seeing the first signs that the rapid decline in home prices is starting to abate.”