Posts Tagged ‘Foreclosures’

Real Estate in 2013: Year in Review

December 30, 2013

2013_year_in_reviewAs a member of the real estate industry for more than 30 years, I’ve never seen the market bounce back as well as it did in 2013. It was a great year for the real estate industry including agents, sellers and buyers. (more…)

Renovations May Impact Your Home Insurance

July 15, 2013

home_renovationsAs home sales continue to pick up, many sellers are thinking about putting their homes on the market. A lot of homeowners feel that they should make those last minute renovations before listing the home, so it can have a better chance at selling and even give them a higher price.

If you’re planning a renovation to your home and don’t take the time to speak to your insurance broker, you could be making a big mistake. During and after a renovation, your current policy may not cover your home and contents if something bad happens. (more…)

The Power of Craigslist

March 4, 2013

craigslist_blogDid you know that Craigslist generates more than 20 billion page views per month, making it the 7th overall most trafficked website in the world? Many sales associates take advantage of Craigslist as a listing resource, but they aren’t using it effectively.

Craigslist isn’t like eBay or other auction sites that charge you to post an item and takes a percentage of the selling price. It’s free to have an account, and you aren’t charged for posting or selling a home, so it’s no wonder that agents across the country use this tool to augment their selling power.

Here are some tips for using Craigslist successfully: (more…)

Entertaining Home Inspection Photos!

February 4, 2013

Over my many years of experience in both relocation and foreclosure assistance, I’ve come into contact with a long list of home inspectors and have seen my fair share of home inspection photos. I recently came across an entertaining article about home inspection photos on the Zillow Blog, and I just had to share!

Bent Outlet Cover


Well, I guess this is an interesting solution for when the cover plate just won’t fit in the allotted space! (more…)

Top 10 Contract Mistakes for 2012!

January 14, 2013

contract_mistakesIt’s that time of year again! Time to recap 2012 and highlight the TOP 10 of pretty much anything you can think of. Here, we’ll reveal the “BHGRE Metro Brokers / Billboard Top 10 Contract Mistakes of 2012” and what you can do to prevent making those mistakes in 2013. Oh, and before you say, “But the seller’s a bank and they don’t do that!”, we removed all the REO deals from consideration before tabulating the final results. (more…)

Good News: Mortgage Debt Tax Relief Extended!

January 7, 2013

fiscal_cliffWhen lawmakers dodged the “fiscal cliff” last week, they also decided to extend the tax break for forgiven mortgage debt that was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2012. The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 has been especially important with the current glut of short sales and foreclosures, and it’s truly a “relief” that it has been extended until the end of 2013.

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 was enacted on Dec. 20, 2007. The Act protects homeowners from paying income taxes on the deficiency difference between what they sell their home for and what they owe. Whether the home is sold in a short sale or foreclosed upon by their lender, these distressed homeowners are protected by the Debt Relief Act of 2007. (more…)

Why Are There Multiple Offers?

June 4, 2012

Today’s real estate market continues to provide agents and their clients with new challenges. One hurdle that we’re facing is the prevalence of multiple offers on well priced properties.

If what we have been seeing and hearing on the news about our real estate market is true, why would this be happening?

Statistics show that the Atlanta area listing inventory is quite low compared to the previous 4 years. In the under $100,000 range citywide, we are seeing a 3 month inventory at best. The total number of days on market for all properties has dropped to a citywide average of 13 days during the month of April 2012. The average sales price on the other hand continues to creep upward. (more…)

Buying Land as an Investment

April 30, 2012

In today’s foreclosure-heavy market, it’s not uncommon to find land properties for sale in your area. Land has always been a great investment, due to its limited supply and historic rise in value. In fact, banks are now putting land on the market at prices that are pennies on the dollar compared with the original cost.

Many investors are purchasing land across Georgia. Depending on what you plan to do with the land, there are two different courses of action you can take: (more…)

Navigating the Purchase of a Foreclosure

February 13, 2012

Typically foreclosures – or real estate owned (REO) properties – are a very good buy. They’re priced to sell, and buyers are likely to get a great deal IF you and your real estate agent are knowledgeable about the procedures and pitfalls you’re likely to face.

It happens all too often. Buyers aren’t aware of how different REO’s are from typical homeowner re-sales. Here are some things to keep in mind: (more…)

Help is Here for Jobless Homeowners Nearing Foreclosure

July 25, 2011

There have been rumors and various news reports circulating that FHA will soon be allowing unemployed Americans who have an FHA insured mortgage to miss up to 1 year of mortgage payments without being foreclosed on.

My hope in writing this article is to provide more details on this topic that is sure to prompt more and more discussions and questions.

IMPORTANT: Please note that only the customer’s current lender can give them a final answer on if they qualify under this program. The number to call is on their mortgage payment coupons or monthly statements from their current lender. (more…)

How Much of the Seller’s Financial Situation Do We Disclose?

November 8, 2010

I saw an article published by RISMedia (Real Estate Information Systems) last week which made me pause.  It concerned the necessity and advisability of disclosing the dollar amounts of all liens filed on a listed property if those liens “may make it difficult to close escrow on a property or impede the transfer of free and clear title”. 

The “necessity and advisability” comes as a result of a lawsuit in California (where else?), Holmes v. Summers (October, 2010) in which a court ruled that the Listing Broker could be liable and responsible for costs and damages incurred by a buyer in a failed deal when the existing liens on the property exceeded  the sales price.  The logic seems to be that buyers who spend money on inspections, appraisal and any other due diligence activity are damaged if the Listing Brokers fail to disclose that the property seller is “upside down”, “underwater” or other euphemisms for in a bad financial position and the sale fails to close because of the seller’s bad financial position. That makes sense to me. (more…)

Foreclosure Moratorium – Does it Affect Me?

October 18, 2010

Phones are ringing and emails loaded with links are flying!  What does the latest foreclosure debacle, the fact that errors or omissions have been/are being discovered in previous residential foreclosures mean to homeowners being threatened with foreclosure, to bank sellers who have already foreclosed, to potential buyers, to mortgage lenders and to real estate professionals? 

Many, many residential mortgages have not been retained and serviced by the lender who initially made the loan.  Over the years, most mortgage debt instruments (mortgages, for short) have been sold, resold and resold again on the secondary financial market.  Homeowners routinely received notices that their mortgage had been sold and that “the new mortgage servicing company is (insert name of new mortgage company here).”  Payments were dutifully sent to the new company until the next notice arrived. (more…)

DeKalb County Approves Foreclosure Registry – Agents Be Prepared!

August 9, 2010

Connie Stokes, a DeKalb County Commissioner AND a Georgia real estate licensee has proposed and gotten passed an ordinance called the “Foreclosed Registry Program” requiring that all VACANT FORECLOSED properties in DeKalb County be registered with the county at an annual fee of $155 (in the written copy of the ordinance I obtained) or $175 (as reported in the Atlanta Journal Constitution) beginning in 90 days (exact date not published, but the ordinance was passed on July 27, 2010).

Supposedly, this is to stress to owners of foreclosed properties (typically banks) the requirement to maintain and secure these vacant properties in order to “prevent blight, decreased property values and crime”. As desirable as these outcomes appear, this effort is extremely burdensome on Ms. Stokes’ fellow real estate agents, and will place real estate agents squarely in the line of fire from the public and code enforcement when banks won’t or don’t attend to their properties and will “stigmatize” otherwise normal properties.  (more…)

Military Homeowner’s Assistance Program (HAP)

August 2, 2010

Military Home Owner Assistance ProgramMilitary personnel and federal employees who are “under water” with their mortgage can benefit from a program by the Department of Defense that is administered by the US Army Corps of Engineers under the Base Closure Act known as HAP (Homeowner’s Assistance Program). This program was extended under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. For full information, go to

This program was originally designed to apply to members of the military or federal employees who owned a principal residence in an area where a base closure or realignment caused the values of the homes to decline. (more…)

Avoiding Foreclosure

June 28, 2010

House in Hands, avoiding foreclosure, foreclosure tips, short sale, deed in lieuIf you are having difficulty making your mortgage payments because you have lost a job, had a reduction in income or had an increase in your payments, foreclosure may be avoided. Here are some steps to take:

1. Don’t ignore the problem. The further behind you become, the harder it will be to reinstate your loan and the more likely that you will lose your house.

2. Contact your lender as soon as you realize that you have a problem. Lenders do not want your house. They have options to help borrowers through difficult financial times.

3. Open and respond to all mail from your lender. The first notices you receive will offer good information about foreclosure prevention options that can help you weather financial problems. Later mail may include important notices of pending legal action.  Your failure to open the mail will not be an excuse in foreclosure court.

4. Avoid foreclosure prevention companies. You don’t need to pay fees for foreclosure prevention help–use that money to pay the mortgage instead. Many for-profit companies will contact you promising to negotiate with your lender. While these may be legitimate businesses, they will charge you a hefty fee (often two or three month’s mortgage payment) for information and services your lender and a trained real estate professional will provide free.