Missed Out on the Homebuyer Tax Credit? So What…

If you are wondering if you can still buy a house, here's how to find out... Whether we like it or not, the days of the First TIme Home Buyer Tax Credit and the Move-up Homebuyer Tax Credit are over. From now on, when you buy a house, there won't be a litte something in it for you from Uncle Sam.  There are probably plenty of folks out there who are really disappointed and think there is no reason for them to buy a house. Well, that's kind of silly... There is no denying that $8,000 is a lot of money. Especially after you buy a house and are now heading to Home Depot every weekend. But the $8,000 tax credit, a one-time event, should have … [Read more...]

How Do I Select The Right Real Estate Agent?

How can I pick the best real estate agent when buying or selling my home? Dean Ouellette and I offer some tips to help you choose the right real estate agent to help you when buying or selling a home. Choosing the right agent can make the whole transaction process go a lot smoother. The best agent is typically the agent who knows what they are doing and who you can develop a good workign relationship with. Buying or selling your home is a very personal process and you need to find an agent whom you trust. Interview several agents...check out their websites...ask for referrals...do whatever it takes to make you feel comfortable with your … [Read more...]

Lease Purchases & Lease Options: Are They A Good Idea?

Is a lease option or lease purchase a good option after a foreclosure or short sale? Lease purchases - where the buyer leases with a purchase contract in place - and lease options - where the buyer leases with an option to buy in the future - have most often worked much better for the seller than the buyer.  In both the lease option and lease purchase, the buyer pays upfront money - usually 1% of the purchase price or more - as an earnest money deposit or an option fee - and a higher amount in rent, a portion of which is credited at the time of purchase. If you want to buy a house, but can't currently qualify for a mortgage, this alternative … [Read more...]

What is the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS)

What is the SPDS and who fills it out? Dean Ouellette and I discuss the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement that Sellers must complete when listing their home for sale here in Arizona. Although it is a required document, some sellers opt out of completing the disclosure because as investors, or banks taking a house back in foreclosure, they claim they cannot fill out the document because they never lived in the house. Much of the information in the SPDS is very generic information, such as utility companies that service the property, HOA information, etc that should be know by any owner whether they live there or not. Our apologies to … [Read more...]

How Much Should My Earnest Money Deposit Be?

Earnest Money Shows the Seller You Mean Business The earnest money deposit on the purchase of a house shows good faith on the part of the buyer to perform. Kristin LaVanway and Dean Ouellette discuss how much is an appropriate and effective amount to put down as a deposit. We also uncover the secret to pronouncing Dean's last name. … [Read more...]

How Long After A Short Sale Or Foreclosure Before I Can Buy A House?

Fannie Mae publishes new guidelines for home purchases after short sale or foreclosure The new Fannie Mae guidelines defining the waiting period required for a home buyer after a short sale or foreclosure are probably just the first of many tweaks to the guidelines that govern the mortgage industry. The new guidelines clearly define how long a homebuyer must wait, and how much they must provide as a down payment after one of these events has occurred. The new guidelines give a clear indication that policies will be shifted to support the re-entry of homebuyers into the real estate market after losing their him. This is an important step in … [Read more...]

Can My Dad Buy My House In A Short Sale?

Asking someone to buy your house for you at short sale may seem like a good idea...but it's not. Sure, you figure the bank is going to lose the money anyway, why not just have Mom and Dad buy that house in a short sale, then sell it back to you later at the reduced price. Dean Ouellette and I discuss why short sales must be arm's length transactions so the Seller does not benefit from the sale, not at the time of the sale or in the future. … [Read more...]

If I am already qualified, why do I need to talk to the Seller’s lender?

Seller's requirement for prequalification can be a double-edged sword Today's question addresses the common practice of the Seller to require that the Buyer pre-qualify for the mortgage with the Seller's lender or their offer will not be considered. Dean Ouellette and I discuss the reason - to make sure the Buyer can perform - and the reality - the Seller is trying to drum up business for their lender. As always, Sasha (Tall Shoes) Lopez keeps us on track! … [Read more...]

Hey Listing Agents…Help Us Help You!

Have your people call my people Distressed property sales are a real pain in the backside. We all know the challenges associated with short sales, but REO property sales are often just as frustrating. Those of us out here in the trenches are constantly lamenting about the less than stellar services provided by REO listing agents. Some teams do an excellent job of liquidating REO properties. They provide fair consideration of our offers and consistent communication when servicing their listings. But other listers are not returning calls and emails, ignoring offers and raising some eyebrows in the management of their listings. The nature of … [Read more...]

Loan Modifications: Is It Time for Another Shot at One?

With the changing climate of short sales, are banks more open to loan modifications? Perhaps...here are some tips if you are out of options and are thinking about taking another shot at a loan modification. Here's a great online tool to help you decide:  http://www.counselordirect.com It should go without saying that you should NEVER pay for a loan modification! If you are working with an attorney, sure, you will pay for that legal advice, but do not be a victim of a loan modification scam.  They are still out there... … [Read more...]