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Bad Wachovia Executive Taints Whole Bank

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Even in one of the best businesses in America, Wachovia apparently has a bad apple or two.  It is possible that a Wachovia executive, responsible for the foreclosure division, abused the position by allegedly partying in a Malibu home that was foreclosed due to the Madoff scandal.

Check this link to see the story, as reported by ABC News

First time home buyer tax credit

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Just in case you didn't see our newsletter, this is being posted to bring you up to date.  It is really important.

Home buyers can claim a special tax credit worth up to $8,000. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act offers qualifying home buyers a tax credit equal to 10 percent of a home's purchase price, up to a maximum of $8,000. The tax credit is offered to first time buyers, and those who have not owned a principle residence in the past three years. To be eligible for the tax credit, buyers must meet general income requirements and close on their purchase before December 1, 2009.

Under new rules introduced recently by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, qualifying buyers can apply the $8,000 tax credit toward the purchase of a home. To facilitate the process, the Federal Housing Administration is permitting its lenders to extend short term bridge loans, which will enable qualifying buyers to apply their tax credit toward closing costs, buying down their interest rate, or increasing their down payment above the FHA required 3.5 percent.

Please contact us today for more details on this once-in-a-lifetime program.

Short Sale vs. Foreclosure and the CDPE

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Several months ago I talked with a for sale by owner who "needed" to get XX dollars from the sale of a house she owned.  Her price, in today's market was not realistic so she rented it out instead of trying a short sale and avoiding foreclosure.  That was before I became a Certified Distressed Property Expert, or CDPE.  Had I known then what I know now, I could have helped her and possibly gotten her through a short sale with a minimum of heartache.

To shorten a long, sad story, the renter never paid his rent, the house in now in foreclosure, the house has lost another $30,000 to $40,000 value in today's market, she has been advised by her attorney to go into bankruptcy and it may be too late to even try a short sale.  With the knowledge gained from the CDPE training, it is very possible that we could have found a resolution to her issues and sold the house before it got to this point.  I will be following up with her in a couple days to see if we can still help, but she has been pretty well discouraged by the turn of events and the distressed market of today.  In today's market the house is worth about half of what she paid just a few years ago.

If you know anyone who is falling behind on their mortgage, or even before they fall behind and are just upside down or underwater with the mortgage, have them contact a Certified Distressed Property Expert.  I work in the greater Tampa Bay area and can help here.  I also can recommend a CDPE to help someone in any area.  There is no need to suffer the stress of a foreclosure.  A CDPE can provide expert guidance, from loan modification to short sale.  Sometimes a foreclosure is the best option, but a short sale is far better for many reason.  In almost all situations, a short sale is the correct answer when the question is "should I just go into foreclosure or abandon the house?"

Unemployment Rises - Real Estate Market Stabilized??

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Figures from the US Department of Labor are out on unemployment, and they could be worse. 

In a story on the BBC, Nigel Gault, chief US economist at IHS Global Insight, said that the rise in the jobless rate was not too discouraging.

"The decline last month was too good to be true, really. It's too early for the unemployment rate to be coming down, of course we're still losing jobs," he said.

"What I would take encouragement from is the fact is the trend in the rate of decline in jobs is still improving, that private sector jobs were down 198,000, that's 50,000 better than the previous month and it's almost 200,000 better than the month before that."

The construction industry took the biggest it, losing 65,000 jobs.  Construction and housing sales seem to be linked as new homes can't be built while workers still are getting laid off.

Here in the Tampa Bay area, in Pinellas County, Florida, home sales have not recovered.  The number of homes sold year to date is down about 23% and the average price per home is off almost 8% from last year.  The good news is that the number of homes sold in July 2009 vs July 2008 is up.  The counterbalance to the good news is the sales price for the same period is down by about $10,000.  The numbers below reflect year to date home sales in Pinellas County, FL.  And the silver lining in this dark cloud is that there are lots of bargains for home buyers in the Tampa Bay area.

2009 YTD 5,865 $155,000 
2008 7,622 $167,000 

Short Sale, Pre-Foreclosure - It's the Market Reality

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

What is up with this so-called stabilized market in real estate?  The number of houses sold has been increasing recently, although the gross dollars has decreased.  That says very clearly that prices are still moving downwards.  A large component of this in the marketplace is the short sale, or pre-foreclosure.  Many people believe that when a property is in a short sale situation that it is a firesale.  Not true.  The banks are looking to get as close to fair market value as possible.  The better the price a house sells for at short sale, the less money the bank loses when they "forgive" the debt to the homeowner.

Real estate agents who have earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation have received rigorous training in the short sale process to come to as good a conclusion as possible for all parties involved.  The homeowner is out from under what is often a crushing debt obligation, the bank can take the non-performing asset off the books and lend money again, and the new buyer is getting a home at a good bargain, often at a price at or just below market value.  Certainly they are buying a home that a couple years ago may have sold for a much as 40% more.

If you are in a short sale or pre-foreclosure situation, or know anyone who may be, find a realtor who has earned the CDPE.  This level of expertise will guide you through the short sale process.  According to the Distressed Property Institute, CDPE agents close 85-90% of the short sales they take.

 

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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