Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

Monday Morning Coffee - July 26

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates
Monday Morning Coffee


"You were born an original. Don't die a copy."
- John Mason


Watch young children on the playground and you will notice them trying to duplicate each other. One hangs upside down on the monkey bars, and soon everyone is doing the same. Check out a pre-teen with a punky new hair-do, or a new style of "radical" footwear, and soon their friends are following suit.

It continues in high school too, with "tricked out" hot cars and cell phones. So . . . is it any wonder that we attempt to duplicate each other as adults as well? We look at our desk mate's approach to getting new business, then we do the same - regardless of the fact that said desk mate is getting no results.

Is there an alternative to this senseless copy-cat approach to life? Yes - but making the change may not be so easy. You begin by looking inside rather than outside. With all the distractions competing for your attention, this may be the most difficult step. Nevertheless, take a look inside to determine your best talents and skills. Ask yourself, "What do I do well? What are my strengths? What do I enjoy doing most?"

Next, write yourself a plan that incorporates your answers into a personal action plan. Remember, you were born an original, so put that originality to work. To help the plan work, avoid distractions from those who question your new direction, and learn to "duplicate yourself".

To avoid distractions, consider moving your desk, working from a home office, or avoiding the social scene at your office. Focus your time and attention on achieving your new-found objectives. To duplicate yourself, hire assistants to prepare direct mail or update your website. Avoid all tasks that you can hire someone else to do.

In short, live and act the part of the original you really are!

Negative Amortization Loans and Recasting

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

The Florida mortgage crisis is maybe not as close to over as people want to believe.  The boom days of the real estate bubble, 2005, 2006 and 2007, were when the negative amortization loan was "king".  Now the 5 year clock is ticking for these loans to "recast".  Let's go through an example to see how this all works.

Why someone would want a negative amortization loan is a story for another time.

Take a typical loan in Florida in 2005.  Sale value of the house is $250,000.  The appraisal is $300,000 - of course high appraisals didn't really happen.  The loan is 80% loan to value, or LTV.  The interest rate is 7.5%.  Principal and Interest on a 30 year loan at 7.5% is $1678.11.  The interest only payment is $1500.  The total PITI is $2344.11.

Now this is where it gets really interesting.  Wamu, Countrywide, IndyMac, World Savings, etc. all of which no longer exist, allowed you to pay back at a 1.5% rate for 5 years or until you got to 125% or the original loan.  The loan then would "recast" and now you would have to pay principal and interest to pay back the balance in 25 years, not 30.

Here are the scary details of how this worked.  The interest only payment on the original loan would have been $1500.  At 1.5% payment rate, NOT the loan rate, you are only paying $828.29.  This is $671.71 less than the interest only payment so you are adding that amount ($671.71) to the back end of the loan each month.  In effect you are borrowing $671.71 every month so that at the end of 5 years you have added $40,302.60 to your original loan.  Now you will be at 125% of the first loan and then the loan will get recast. 

Fast forward to 2010.  Now the market value of your home is $150,000 and the appraised value is $140,000.  80% LTV is now $120,000.  You now owe $300,000 at 7.5% on a $150,000 property AND you only have 25 years to pay it off.  The 25 year loan of $300,000 at 7.5% brings a new payment of $2216.97, plus the esccrow, for a new total of $2882.97.  This increases your payment by $1388.68.

Here is another problem, you owe $300,000 on a $150,000 home and are shopping around for refinance loan.  And, in 2005, you got a stated income or no documentation loan.  Today you have to verify the income that you claimed with no hard paperwork. 

This is one outline of why there are so many short sales and bank foreclosures, especially in Florida.  Even the homeowners with the very best intentions are now in very difficult situations because of the precipitous drop in housing prices that they had no control over.  Now the banks have really tightened their lending requirements, making it very difficult for even qualified borrowers to get financing.

Let's wait and see how this plays out, however, don't expect Florida housing prices to suddenly rebound to 2005 levels.  We are years away from that, or even decades.

Monday Morning Coffee July 12

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates
Monday Morning Coffee


"Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it will elude you.
But if you turn your attention to other things, it comes softly and sits on your shoulder."
~ Anonymous


Imagine you've planned the trip of your dreams - say from North Carolina to Colorado. You've charted all the roads, have a fist full of maps just in case, and have your priorities straight in your mind. You get started on a beautiful sunny day, and begin enjoying the ride.

Late in the day, as you approach the Mississippi River, you drive straight into a bank of heavy fog. You turn on your lights, but still cannot see 10 feet ahead. Just because the highway is out of sight doesn't mean you've lost your way. Continuing on the path you've set for yourself, you soon break out into the sunshine again - still headed in the direction of your dreams.

In perspective, consider that the trip represents your life's goal - your first priority. Steering your vehicle down the highway hour by hour represents your efforts to reach your goal. The fog bank illustrates the momentary interruptions and obstacles encountered on your journey.

As day #2 begins, you find that you've come to an unexpected intersection - one that's not on your map. Confused, you pull over and examine the map closely. Stay to the right and you'll end up in Colorado. Take a left and you may arrive at an unanticipated, yet equally wonderful destination.

OK, let's cut to the chase! Sometimes your priorities change, don't they? Just as you think your goal is in sight, a new opportunity arises. Remember the saying that "life is a journey - not a destination"? What's exciting is that YOU are in control of the steering wheel, and whatever destination you choose is OK - so long as it's YOU who has made the choice.

Happy motoring!

Foreclosure is Avoidable with HAFA

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

The latest government initiative to combat the millions of foreclosures across the country is called the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program, or HAFA.

HAFA is the program put in place to benefit homeowners who do not qualify for HAMP, or Home Affordable Mortgage Program.  HAFA was released in April of 2010 and is designed to expedite the foreclosure avoidance options for homeowners in need. HAFA, using the short sale process, can potentially save millions of homeowners the financial devastation of a foreclosure.  Since the statistics tell us that 1 in 7 homes are in default, right in your neighborhood there are people who need help with avoiding foreclosure.  A short sale process is simply selling a property for less than the mortgage amount due in order to avoid foreclosure.

Here is how someone can qualify for the HAFA Program.

They must:

1. Be delinquent on the mortgage or face imminent risk of default

2. Occupy the property as the primary residence

3. Have a mortgage that  originated on or before January 1, 2009

4. Have an unpaid principle balance no greater than $729,750 for a one unit property; AND

5. Have total monthly mortgage payments exceeding 31 percent of the gross income.

The HAFA short sale process is the primary solution to avoid foreclosure, salvage one’s credit score and move on with dignity through the process.  The following link shows lenders currently participating in HAFA:

If you know anyone who is in need of expert guidance to navigate the short sale process, be sure they contact someone who is an expert, such as a Certified Distressed Property Expert, or CDPE.


Morning Coffee 4th of July

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates
Monday Morning Coffee


"You can either complain that rosebushes have thorns - or rejoice that thorn bushes have roses!"
~ Anonymous


Whether or not you have a green thumb, you probably know that gardens may contain either annual or perennial flower varieties. Annuals are fun to grow for several reasons: 1) they sprout quickly from seeds, 2) they flower the first year, and 3) their colors can be brilliant and most pleasing. They are also less hardy and die out at the first sign of frost. Each spring, new seeds must be planted.

Perennials are another story. Growing from seeds, they take longer to sprout and rarely flower the first year. Their colors are more subtle hues, and they require more attention in the early stages. They must be cut back in the winter and covered with mulch, and may require fertilizer in the spring. They also come back year after year, returning with stronger roots, greater beauty and abundant growth. With time, they require less and less attention, yet continue to prosper. No matter how cold the winter, they always return with renewed vigor.

Friendships and business relationships are a lot like flowers, and may also be either annual or perennial in nature. They may be quick to bloom and most enjoyable to experience, yet fade quickly at the first hint of trouble.

Others grow more gradually through trust-building and respect. They may not dazzle the senses or leave us breathless, yet they are consistent, trusting, and produce a warm glow that hardly fades when tested by adversity. These relationships grow over time, and produce an abundance of lasting beauty.

In business, as in personal relationships, the best things in life come with time and caring. When planning your life's garden this spring, why not devote your attention to the perennials? With an added touch of patience, you can look forward to the sweet fragrances to come

Foreclosure Mediation Program-Pinellas and Pasco

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Court Ordered Foreclosure Mediation Program-Good for Everyone


The 6th Judicial Circuit Court for Pinellas and Pasco Counties recently announced the launching of a foreclosure mediation program that is hopefully going to reduce the more than 33,000 foreclosure cases currently pending on the Court’s docket, as reported by the St. Petersburg Times.  Starting this week, the first week of July, homeowners entering the foreclosure mediation program can deal directly with their lender that can lead to a solution allowing them to keep their home.  The program requires that the lenders meet with the homeowner and a certified mediator to work out a payment plan.  Options might include a loan modification, extended loan terms or a short sale.  All of these are more desirable than an outright foreclosure.  The bank does not really want to foreclose and take possession of a home any more than a homeowner wants to be foreclosed.

The Foreclosure Mediation Program is a court ordered , official and COST-FREE program. The court ordered the mediation program so that using a professionally mediated process, foreclosures may be settled before going through the full foreclosure process.  This saves the courts time and resources that are in short supply.  The court's goal is to reduce the load on the system so that foreclosures are handled in mediation and other actions can get more of the courts focus.

To qualify, a foreclosure of a homesteaded property that is filed on or after July 1 will be subject to court ordered mediation unless the homeowner declines.  For foreclosures filed prior to July, mediation is voluntary.  Lenders do not need to participate in the voluntary process.

Under the new program from the 6th Circuit Court, lenders must cover the $750 mediation fee that can be added to a foreclosure action if resolution isn’t reached. 

Florida has the nation's third highest rate of foreclosure filings, with 1 in every 174 properties.

There are more than 33,000 current foreclosure cases in Pinellas-Pasco at the moment at various stages of progress.  Just this year there have been 3,100 new residential filings for foreclosure.  There will be many more foreclosures filed in the coming months, since the housing crisis is not anywhere near over.  Under this court ordered foreclosure mediation program, homeowners in Pinellas and Pasco counties have the opportunity to get professional mediation assistance and actually deal directly with their lenders, which has been very frustrating because until this program, banks have very often ignored their  borrowers.

4th of July weekend FIREWORKS!!

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Looking for a place to see fireworks over the 4th of July weekend?  Below is a list of some of the best places to view them, with family fun at most of them.  Fireworks mostly free, some of the family fun events have nominal admission.  Remember to have a very safe and happy 4th of July weekend.

Have a BLAST!!!!!  Smile

Fireworks for the 4th of July holiday weekend.

July 3

Clearwater.  Catch a minor league baseball game, watch the Threshers win.  Game admission $5-$9.  Fireworks right after the game.  Bright House Networks Field
601 N Old Coachman Road, Clearwater, 33765

Dunedin.  Catch minor league baseball and watch the Dunedin Blue Jays win.  Game admission $3.  After 6 pm, FREE admission.  Concert after the game followed by FIREWORKS.  Bright House Networks Field
601 N Old Coachman Road, Clearwater, 33765

July 4

Madeira Beach.  FREE admission.  Madeira Beach Recreation Center and Ball Fields
Fireworks start at 9 p.m.  200 Rex Place, Madeira Beach, 33708

St. Petersburg.  Museum of Fine Arts, Jazz concert starts at 6 pm.  Fireworks follow.  $15 admission. $10 for museum members.   
255 Beach Drive, St. Petersburg, 33707

Dade City, Pasco County.  Price: $3, 10 and younger free. Pasco County Fairgrounds Fun-filled events start at 4 pm.  36722 SR 52, Dade City, 33525

Redington Shores Fireworks at 9 pm.  County Park (Redington Shores)
18120 Park Blvd., Redington Shores, 33776

Largo.  Largo Central Park.  Attempt to set world record for most people doing the Twist at one time.  Dance fee - $3, FIREWORKS FREE.
101 Central Park Drive, Largo, 33771

Safety Harbor.  Safety Harbor City Marina.  Festivities start at 5 pm.  Nominal fees for some activities, FIREWORKS FREE!!
110 Veterans Memorial Lane, Safety Harbor, 34695

Treasure Island.  Treasure Island Beach Trail Park.  View fireworks from the beach.
10400 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island, 33706

Clearwater.  Mostly Pops concert.  ALL FREE.  Spectacular fireworks display. Coachman Park
301 Drew St., Clearwater, 33756

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7




Contact Information

Photo of Gwen and  Doug Campbell - Sun Bay Realty Group Real Estate
Gwen and Doug Campbell - Sun Bay Realty Group
at Keller Williams Realty
30522 US Hwy 19N, Suite 107
Palm Harbor FL 34684
Doug's Cell 727-741-4189
Gwen's Cell 727-741-7260
Fax: 888-447-7908