Tuesday, February 14, 2012
It’s a sign of the times!
Most of us grew up thinking that if we planned well and played by the rules, we’d never have to stand by as our financial lives unraveled.
But upheaval on Wall Street, unacceptable rates of unemployment and plummeting real estate values have taken their toll. Since 2007, 7.9 million homeowners have lost their homes to foreclosure. Current estimates are that one in four homeowners owe more on their mortgages than they could get from the sale of their home. Millions more homes will be lost to foreclosure before this real estate crisis runs its course.
The sad fact is that foreclosure is not an isolated event. For months leading up to the loss of a home, financially strapped homeowners live under a cloud of uncertainty. And then for many years afterwards, the blow to credit gets in the way of buying another home or buying anything on credit. Foreclosure even complicates employment prospects.
The impact of foreclosure is huge and the sad fact is that it’s often avoidable.
As a real estate professional who has earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, my mission is to provide financially strapped homeowners with options to foreclosure, ensure that they steer clear of scams, and help navigate them through the solution that best meets their needs.
Among the most important facts to keep in mind: the sooner help is sought, the better the options.
These are tough times, but more help is available than ever before. If you or someone you care about is ready to navigate away from the dark cloud of an unmanageable mortgage and realize that hope and blue skies are within reach, contact me today and let’s get started.
Julie Boyd-Elrod, Realtor and CDPE
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
The latest NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers showed a growing trend among recent buyers.
The latest figures show that 89 percent of buyers purchased their home with the help of a real estate agent or broker. This is a sharp increase from a decade ago in 2001, when only 69 percent of buyers enlisted the help of an agent or broker.
Why do today's buyers buyers choose to work with an agent? Let's look at just a few of the many reasons an agent can be your biggest ally.
First, agents are licensed professionals, which means they had to complete coursework and pass an exam in order to become and agent. They have the education and experience to help you navigate what will be one of the biggest purchases of your life.
They also have access to a wide range of properties and can guide you to those that are the best fit for you, which can save you time and energy. If you are unsure what type of property you're interest in, an agent can help explain the pros and cons of things such as condo life versus single-family detached living.
Where are the up and coming neighborhoods? Which areas are more walkable or have access to better schools? These are all issues an agent deals with daily.
They can also ease the burden of buying by simplifying the process. They set up showings, drive you to appointments if needed, and help you handle the intricacies of negotiations.
Today's market also presents challenges that simply weren't present or didn't dominate the market a decade ago. Buyers are faced with some great deals, but through some complicated channels, such as short sale or foreclosure. How does one handle these sort of contracts? Your agent or broker will know.
According to the NAR, "More than ever home buyers are relying on real estate agents and brokers to help them with their home purchase regardless of whether the home they are buying is a foreclosure, short sale, or even a FSBO sale because they need a real estate agent to help them through the process."
Finally, buyers are unsure if now is really a good time to buy. They need to rely on someone with local market knowledge. Is this a good neighbor to invest in? Are prices still dropping in this community? How long do homes take to sell? What is the median selling price? Buyers want the best deal out there.
The 2011 Profile found that more buyers are opting against dual agency, where the agent represents both the buyer and seller. This could signal that today's buyers are very cautious about getting into the market. While a dual agent isn't supposed to harbor any bias, buyers now want to be extra sure they are getting the best deal possible. In fact, "60 percent of recent buyers had an oral or written arrangement with the real estate agent or broker so that the buyer's agent only represented the buyer and not the seller."
If you are considering entering buying a home this year, be sure to strongly consider using a real estate agent. They could be your biggest ally.
If you or someone you know needs Real Estate help, please contact me 407-257-3433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published: January 17, 2012
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Thursday, January 12, 2012
Resolve to Face the Facts!
Since 2007, 8.9 million homes have been lost to foreclosure and millions more are headed in that direction.
As a real estate professional who has earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, my mission is to ensure that you or anyone you care about does not add to that statistic.
The unfortunate fact is that so many homeowners who have played by the rules and never imagined that they could be facing foreclosure are now in a very tough situation.
More than one in four homeowners owes more on their mortgage than their home is worth. On top of that staggering statistic is the fact that millions of homeowners are unemployed, or underemployed and falling further behind every month.
Sound familiar? Rest assured you are not alone.
If you feel that you are headed toward foreclosure, or if you are avoiding facing that fact, the sooner you reach out for help, the better your options.
As a CDPE agent, I help distressed homeowners to work through every aspect of the denial and discouragement that accompanies a mortgage which is no longer manageable, and in the process, to move toward financial solvency.
If you or someone you care about is ready to tip the scales back toward financial solvency, contact me today and let’s get started.
Julie Boyd-Elrod, Realtor
Charles Rutenberg Realty,
Visit me at www.Expertatshortsales.com.
Friday, January 6, 2012
Start your year off on a positive note by taking advantage of the low, low 15 or 30 year fixed rate mortgages!
WASHINGTON (AP) - 2012 looks to be another year of opportunity for the few who can afford to buy or refinance a home.
The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.91 percent this week, Freddie Mac said Thursday. That matches the record low reached two weeks ago.
The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage ticked down to 3.23 percent from 3.24 percent. That's up from 3.21 percent two weeks, also a record low.
Mortgage rates are lower because they tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which fell below 2 percent this week. They could fall even lower this year if the Fed launches another round of bond purchases, as some economists expect.
Still, cheap mortgage rates have done little too boost the depressed housing market. For eight straight weeks at the end of 2011, the average fixed mortgage rates hovered around 4 percent. Yet many Americans either can't take advantage of the rates or have already done so.
High unemployment and scant wage gains have made it harder for many people to qualify for loans. Many don't want to sink money into a home that they fear could lose value over the next few years.
Previously occupied homes are selling just slightly ahead of 2010's dismal pace. New-home sales in 2011 will likely be the worst year on records going back half a century.
Builders are hopeful that the low rates could boost sales next year. Low mortgage rates were cited as a key reason the National Association of Home Builders survey of builder sentiment rose in December to its highest level in more than a year.
But so far, rates are having no major impact. Mortgage applications have fallen slightly in recent weeks, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
To calculate the average rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country Monday through Wednesday of each week. The average rates don't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.
The average fee for the 30-year loan rose to 0.8 from 0.7; the average on the 15-year fixed mortgage was unchanged at 0.8.
For the five-year adjustable loan, the average rate declined to 2.86 percent from 2.88 percent. The average on the one-year adjustable loan rose to 2.80 percent from 2.78 percent.
The average fee on the five-year adjustable loan rose to 0.7 from 0.6; the average on the one-year adjustable-rate loan was unchanged at 0.6.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
If you or someone you know is thinking of buying a home, please give me a call at 407-257-3433. I would be honored to represent you in getting a great deal!