Tuesday August 23rd, 2011
Joseph Lai
Branch Manager
Primary Residential Mortgage Inc.
5980 S. Durango Drive #114
Las Vegas, NV 89113
Office: 702-526-1407
Fax: 8668858792
NMLS: NMLS # 361987
Contact Me
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August 16, 2011
Anyone Know How To Control a Yoyo?
There are rumors that half of Wall Street had to visit emergency rooms this past week. They were all suffering from motion sickness. And what a wild ride it was. From a budget deal to a credit downgrade to a Federal Reserve Meeting all in one motion. Really, no one knows how this will all play out, but we do know this — Stocks have undergone a significant correction and the bottom line is that we finally have a reaction to the slowdown in the economy. The pieces are falling into place with extraordinarily low rates and oil prices down 20% from their recent peak. We also know that everyone is afraid to blink because all of these numbers could reverse themselves in a few hours due to extreme volatility. The Fed statement regarding rates and the economy was also extraordinary. Typically the Fed does not give a hint with regard to the future direction of rates, at least beyond a month or two. Now they are all but guaranteeing low rates for two years and will consider future actions to bolster the economy.
The Fed definitely acknowledged that the economy was growing too slowly and that there is more risk to the downside at the present time. One factor after another has affected the economy’s performance, from earthquakes to floods to the European debt crisis. Now budget cuts stand to take some more air out of the recovery. Many are asking, are we heading for another financial meltdown? "Not likely" say most analysts. This is not 2008. The economy is growing, albeit slowly. We added just 100,000 jobs last month, but it was better than the hundreds of thousands we were losing monthly a few years ago. Retail sales grew by 0.5% in July which means that consumers are spending. Companies, including many banks, are flush with cash and have the ability to hire as soon as it is evident that the economy will not fall back into recession. Finally, it should also be noted that the Fed controls short-term rates directly and long-term rates indirectly. Even with the Fed holding short-term rates low, if the economy does start to heat up, long-term borrowing costs will go up regardless of the Fed’s efforts. This is a great time to refinance, purchase a house or a car and help get the economy rolling.
High inventories of homes for sale have plagued many markets, but in a recent analysis of metro areas, inventories were found to be shrinking sharply during the second quarter, The Wall Street Journal reports. About 2.34 million homes were listed for sale on the multiple-listing service by the end of June, the lowest level for that time of year since at least 2007, according to Realtor.com. What’s more, some inventory levels even reached their lowest levels since the housing crisis began five years ago, which has prompted some markets to even say their facing a shortage of homes on the market. While a drop in inventories can often signal more demand — and ultimately a boost to home prices — some analysts aren’t so sure this signals a complete turnaround for the real estate market quite yet. "While sales are picking up in some cities, analysts say the sharp decline in inventory also reflects the slow pace at which banks are processing foreclosures," The Wall Street Journal reports. In its analysis, The Wall Street Journal found that of the 28 major metro areas evaluated inventory levels had dropped in all 28 — except for three. What’s more, they found that inventories had dropped by double digits in 16 of those markets during the second quarter when compared to a year ago. For example, inventories dropped in Miami by 43 percent from a year ago; 30 percent in Washington, D.C.; and more than 20 percent in cities like Charlotte, N.C., Seattle, and San Francisco. "We’re in a shortage situation," Brett Barry, a real estate professional in Phoenix, told The Wall Street Journal. Phoenix has a four-month supply of homes listed for sale at its current pace." Source: The Wall Street Journal Foreign home buyers have their eye on U.S. vacation areas - especially in southern Florida - and are helping to give a lift to some of these battered housing markets. More than 30 percent of Florida’s home sales in the 12 months ending in March were to foreign buyers (compared to 10 percent in 2007), according to National Association of REALTORS housing data. In Miami alone, about 40 percent of buyers are international, says Ronald Shuffield, president of Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell REALTORS in Coral Gables, Fla. "International buyers have been the fuel for the Miami recovery," Shuffield told the USA Today. Three of the most popular areas foreigners are searching for real estate: Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Phoenix, and Los Angeles, according to Trulia’s Web site. And where are these foreign buyers most coming from? Canadians are mostly dominating the market share, with 23 percent of the foreign buyers coming from that country, followed by 9 percent from China, according to NAR data. Source: USA Today Short sales and foreclosures have flooded the housing market in recent years, and buyers are often drawn to the bargain prices but may be hesitant to jump into what usually is a difficult transaction and a long process. BankRate.com recently tackled the question of "Which to Buy: Short Sale or Foreclosure?" in an article that helps buyers weigh the pros and cons of a distressed property. Experts note that the question largely depends on buyers’ situations, how quickly they need a home, and their tolerance for fixer-uppers.
  • Foreclosure Pros and Cons. Buying a foreclosure is often faster than purchasing a short sale. Plus, buyers often can negotiate closing costs and price in foreclosure sales, Elaine Zimmermann, a real estate investor in Memphis, Tenn., told Bankrate.com. However, abandoned homes in foreclosure can deteriorate very quickly so the buyer may need to weigh the condition of the home and whether they want a fixer upper. Scarred walls and carpets and appliances that were damaged by the former owner are not uncommon in a foreclosure, says David Richardson, an inspector in the Detroit area who’s certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors.
  • Short Sales Pros and Cons. A short-sale home is still owned by the occupant, so it tends to be in better condition than a foreclosure, experts say. "The short sale is, in my opinion, far better than buying a foreclosure because the home is generally in better condition because it’s been occupied," says Gwen Daubenmeyer, a certified distressed property expert with RE/MAX in Detroit. "The utilities have been maintained, usually the lawn is maintained, those kinds of things." But short sales often can take a longer time than a foreclosure to close. However, the federal Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program, may be able to help speed up the short-sale process since it has created a timeline to hold lenders accountable, but still "it’s not perfect by any means," Daubenmeyer says. Source: Bankrate.com

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Real Estate Pro Articles | Foreclosure King Toppled

Monday June 20th 2011
Real Estate Pro Articles | How To Work With A Hard Money Lender

How To Work With A Hard Money Lender

By: Veronika Hudson

One mistake a lot of real estate investors make is to run around asking every hard money lender out there if they'd be willing to finance a possible scenario. If you are doing this, you are wasting your time and the other guy's time. Instead, focus your time on finding a good deal.

Even if you have the best plan for your particular neighborhood, none of the hard money lenders are really going to be interested in them until you have a concrete deal to show them. When you present an imaginary scenario to hard money lender, he will say that he isn't interested and will ask you to show a contract.

Well... that's how every lender works. I'm sorry to disappoint you. But doing that will not make you a successful real estate investor. So stop sitting and analyzing whether the lender would finance the deal. Go out there and find really hot properties that they want to finance. Spend time finding deals. Once you find deals, hard money lenders naturally know when a deal is good and would willingly finance it for you.

It's always frustrating when the hard money lenders make no promises whatsover. They won't tell you if they'd be willing to finance a deal at a particular county or neighborhood or prices. There's a chance that they won't supply you with any information at all. They might directly ask you if you have a deal in writing. There are some kinds of information that every hard money lender should present you with. They should tell you their charges, the areas they service and all other guidelines.

Will they allow rehab loans, commercial loans? Will they allow multi-unit properties? What price range they approve of? Do they allow family dwellings? You'll have to know this information at all costs. Every good hard money lender will have a website where they'll have put all the necessary information that a typical real estate investor will require.

That information will be more than enough for you to go and find hot property deals. With a website, you can find all the information that you need at just one go. However if the hard money lender you're working with isn't good enough, they won't have an updated website with the information you need.

My suggestion to you is to find single-family houses in major metropolitan areas for under $250,000. With these kinds of homes, you will be able to effortlessly attract the funds you require from your hard money lender. So if you find the hot real estate deal, you will find the money.

Author Resource:-> A hard money lender will always finance you if you find the right real estate deal for them. If you want more guidance on finding really hot property deals, visit the following page - Hot property deals.

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Real Estate Pro Articles

Posted by Golden Real Estate

Friday June 10th 2011

Owning a Home -- What’s Deductible?

Realtors are quick to point out that home ownership allows a lot of tax advantages not available to someone who merely pays rent. A homeowner can deduct points used to obtain a mortgage when buying a home, mortgage interest paid during the year, and property taxes.

To find out what is deductible when buying a home, click here. This article is about deductions during home ownership.

Your Biggest Deduction – Interest

If you have a mortgage on your home, the loan is probably "fully amortized." This means a portion of your monthly payment actually repays the debt and another portion pays the interest. After a scheduled period of time your mortgage is paid off.

If you itemize deductions using a Schedule A, the interest portion of your mortgage payment is usually tax deductible.

There are conditions.

The first condition is that your primary residence or a second home must be collateral for the loan.

Defining "Home"

Your home can be a house, co-op, condominium, mobile home, trailer, or even a houseboat. For trailers and houseboats, one requirement is that the home must have sleeping, cooking, and toilet facilities.

Even a rental can be considered a second home, provided you live in it either fourteen days out of the year or at least ten percent of the number of days you rent it for, whichever is greater.

Interest as a Tax Deduction

At the end of each year, your lender should send you a form 1098. This form tells you how much you paid in interest and points during the year. This is your deductible interest, provided you meet certain conditions.

If you obtained the loan prior to October 13, 1987, the loan is considered "grandfathered." All interest paid on grandfathered loans in a given year is fully tax deductible. After that, there are conditions, but most conditions won’t apply to most homeowners.

Home Acquisition Debt (an IRS Term)

An important IRS term is "home acquisition debt." Any first or second mortgage used to buy, build, or improve your home is considered to be home acquisition debt.

Acquisition debt can be a first or second mortgage used to buy your home. If you get a second mortgage and use it all for home improvement, that is also considered acquisition debt. If you do a "rate and term" refinance and don’t get any "cash out" – since you are just refinancing your acquisition debt – that also can be considered acquisition debt.

For any of the above types of loans that aren’t "grandfathered" -- you can still deduct all the interest -- but only if your total mortgage debt does not exceed one million dollars. For married couples filing separately, the limit is $500,000 each.

It gets more complicated with refinances and second mortgages.

Home Equity Debt (another IRS Term)

The IRS has another term called "home equity debt." Basically, this is any loan amount in excess of what was spent to purchase, build, or improve your home.

If you get "cash out" when refinancing your home, the amount in excess of your original loan amount is considered "home equity debt" – unless some of it was used for home improvement. Anything in excess of the home improvement cost is considered "home equity debt."

For second mortgages, it works the same way – anything not used to improve the home is considered "home equity debt."

For the interest to be fully deductible, home equity debt cannot exceed $100,000 and the total mortgage debt on the home must not exceed its value. This can create a problem for those using 125% loan-to-value second mortgages to consolidate debt. That portion of the loan amount that exceeds the value of your home is not tax deductible (unless you used it for home improvement).

Deducting Points When Refinancing

Points paid during refinancing must be deducted over the life of the loan. For a thirty-year loan, you divide the points by thirty and get to deduct that amount each year.

However, there is an exception.

If you did a "cash out" refinance and used some of the funds to improve your primary residence, a portion of the points are deductible in the year you paid them. That portion is related to how much of the loan was used for home improvement. If you obtained a $200,000 loan and $50,000 was used for home improvement, then one-fourth of the points are deductible in the year you obtained the loan.

Save your receipts.

Deducting Property Taxes

Most homeowners pay property taxes to a local, state or foreign government. In most cases, property taxes are deductible. They must be charged uniformly against all property in the jurisdiction and must be based on the assessed value.

Many states and counties also impose property taxes for local improvements to property, such as assessments for streets, sidewalks, and sewer lines. These taxes cannot be deducted. Local property taxes are deductible only if they are for maintenance or repair, or interest charges related to those benefits.

Impound Accounts

Many mortgages have impound or escrow accounts. The borrower’s payment exceeds the amount necessary to pay the principal and interest. The excess goes into an account used to pay property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and mortgage insurance.

When calculating your property tax deduction, don’t deduct what you pay into that account. Only deduct what is paid from the account to the taxing authority.

Limits on Deductions

You may be subject to a limit on some of your itemized deductions. For 2000, this limit applies if your adjusted gross income is more than $128,950, or $64,475 if you are married filing separately.

Certified Public Accountants

Whenever you reach a point where you begin itemizing deductions, it is best to have your tax returns prepared by a Certified Public Accountant. Internal Revenue Service rules and regulations can quickly become…confusing.

Posted by Golden Real Estate

Thursday May 19th 2011

Nation of renters and hoarders

REIT, storage, housing By Paul R. La Monica, assistant managing editor

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- If you need any more proof of how sorry a state the housing market is in, look no further than how well real estate investment trusts that own apartments and storage facilities are doing.

Shares of leading apartment REITs Equity Residential (EQR), Apartment Investment & Management (AIV) and UDR (UDR) are near 52-week highs. Ditto for Public Storage (PSA), the leading owner of self-storage facilities, and smaller rivals Sovran Self Storage (SSS) and U-Store-It Trust (YSI).

The fact that these somewhat stodgy companies are now Wall Street studs is a clear sign that more people are renting instead of buying. And that trend isn't likely to end anytime soon.

"Apartment owners have been on a tear for a couple of years, and should continue to do well," said David Harris, a REIT analyst with Gleacher & Co. in New York. "Some people refer to it as a propensity to rent but in reality, it's an aversion to buy."

Harris raises a good point. Even when economic times are good, many younger consumers who are just out of college or grad school are more likely to rent than buy. But following the epic housing collapse of the past few years, renting seems even more attractive.

For some, the decision to rent instead of buy is predicated on the belief that housing prices haven't yet hit bottom. For others, it's simply harder to save for a down payment and get a mortgage.

According to the most recent figures about housing ownership and vacancies released by the U.S. Census Department Wednesday, rental vacancies fell to 9.7% in the first quarter of this year from 10.6% a year ago.

Meanwhile, the home vacancy rate was unchanged. What's more, homeownership declined from a year ago. And the homeownership rate for those under the age of 35 is at a 16-year low.

That's good news for the apartment REITs. It may, strangely enough, also be a good sign for the overall economy.

Apartment and storage companies typically offer leases on a month-by-month (or at most year-by-year) basis. Bob Gadsden, manager of the Alpine Realty Income & Growth Fund (AIGYX) in Purchase, N.Y., said that for this reason, they can move more quickly to raise rates.

During the recession, these companies couldn't afford to raise rates. But with the job market steadily improving, that's no longer the case.

"A few years ago, apartment and storage companies were more worried about holding onto existing tenants," he said. "But because these companies offer shorter-term leases, they have more pricing power now."

That's helping companies like Public Storage too.

Steve Sakwa, a REIT analyst with ISI Group in New York, said that there is a strong historical correlation between revenue growth at Public Storage and revenue growth at the apartment REITs.

And that makes sense. If you're moving out of your parents' house or from a college dorm to a small urban (or even suburban) apartment, you likely need a place to store a lot of your stuff.

Demand for storage and apartments is increasing even as rental rates go up.

That's telling at a time when so many consumers are worried about the price of food and gas going up. After all, people who are struggling to pay their bills are not likely to be willing to also pony up for monthly storage fees.

The cost to rent is still much cheaper than buying in many big markets, such as California and New York, said Andrew DiZio, a REIT analyst with Janney Capital Markets in Philadelphia.

And that may remain the case for years to come -- even if rental rates continue to rise. DiZio noted that as long as there remains a glut of houses due to overbuilding and foreclosures, it makes more economic sense for people to rent instead of buy in many markets.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul R. La Monica. Other than Time Warner, the parent of CNNMoney, and Abbott Laboratories, La Monica does not own positions in any individual stocks.  To top of page


Posted by Golden Real Estate

Thursday May 12th 2011

What Do Home Buyers Want?

The 10 must-have amenities in a new home
What do home buyers want in a new home?
According to AVID Ratings Co., some of the must-have amenities in a new house are home offices and green features.
Home buyers are willing to give up devoted space to home theaters and other specialized media rooms in order to have a home office. In fact, they’d be willing to forego a formal dining room altogether in order to have a home office or study.
And they want energy-efficiency in their appliances, windows and insulation.
Other desirable features are large kitchens with an island, though granite countertops aren’t necessarily important to all buyers.
Must features also include a main-floor master suite;  an outdoor living room – considered more popular than an outdoor cooking area; ceiling fans; master suite soaker tubs and oversize showers with seating areas; stone and brick exteriors; community landscaping with walking paths and playgrounds; and two-car garages.
Copyright © by Move, Inc.


Posted by Golden Real Estate

Monday May 9th, 2011

Your Home: How to sell in tough times

May 9, 2011: 2:12 AM ET
Peter and Lauren Meyer of Montclair, N.J., had to make dramatic price cuts to nab a buyer.

Peter and Lauren Meyer of Montclair, N.J., had to make dramatic price cuts to nab a buyer. Their starting price in February 2010 was $1.149 million. After 5 price cuts, the home sold in November 2010 for $808,000.

(MONEY Magazine) -- If you're in the market to sell your home, you probably feel you can't catch a break. Nearly five years into the housing bust, when many experts thought the real estate market would at least have stabilized, sales and prices are still dropping in most of the country.

In February existing-home sales tumbled 9.6% from the previous month, and the median price of a single-family home dropped to $157,000 from $163,900 the previous year, according to the National Association of Realtors. (Latest home prices)

You can't count on things turning around soon, either. At the current sales pace, it would take 8.6 months to clear out the 3.5 million existing homes listed today.

With the boost from the recent homebuyer tax credit gone, anyone who decides or is forced to put a house up for sale enters a market where houses often linger a full six months -- even a year -- without any bites.

Put part of the blame on stiff competition: Foreclosures and short sales, which accounted for 39% of sales in February, sell for about 15% less than conventional homes.

"It's dreadful out there for sellers," says Patrick Newport, a U.S. economist at forecasting firm IHS Global Insight.

Fortunately, there is one glimmer of good news. Bargain hunters, too, know that home prices are down some 32% from their peak. In a recent CNNMoney survey, three-quarters said that it was a good time to buy a home. But translating that interest into an actual sale can require some extreme measures.

It's not enough to show buyers your house is a deal: You have to convince them it's a total steal. That means slashing your price, bringing in a pro to pretty it up, and creating a killer website for your home. Here's how to do it right.

Slash Your Price, Bigtime

Sellers are still loath to accept the extent of the toll the bust took on their homes' value, says Tara-Nicholle Nelson, consumer educator for the housing website Trulia.com.

Many also give in to the temptation to list the property above fair market value to see what happens. Big mistake. About a quarter of sellers in the past year initially listed too high and were forced to knock the price lower, according to Trulia.com. Even in cities that have held up well, such as Charlotte, 25% of sellers resort to at least one price cut, and often two.

6 cities slashing prices

Think you can always drop the price if your home doesn't sell? Bigger mistake.

"The first 30 days on the market are the most important," says Norwalk, Conn., realtor Elizabeth Kamar. That's when your place attracts the most attention and gets the most showings. The result: You often end up with less than you would have if you priced it right to begin with, says Kamar. So get aggressive right out of the gate.

Undercut your competition. In normal times listings of similar properties in your area would give you a good sense of what your home might sell for. Today there's a big gap between what sellers want and what buyers are willing to pay.

Instead, figure out what you can realistically expect to get by asking your realtor to show you what houses similar to yours have sold for in the past three to six months. If more than a couple of the comparable properties were foreclosures or short sales, look closely at the photos and descriptions of those former listings. Distressed homes should be included in your comps if they are in move-in condition, says Las Vegas realtor Paul Bell.

Once you have a handle on your likely sale price, list your home a bit beneath that, says Rockaway, N.J., agent Ellen Klein. You don't have to undercut by much to attract attention, because that price will probably still be about 10% or 15% below what other homes are listed for. Even if you're competing with lots of foreclosures and short sales, your price should generate enough interest to attract more than one bidder, pushing up the final price to where it should be.

When Dorchester, Mass., realtor Julie Simmons wanted to sell her own home in January, she listed it at $460,000, about $5,000 to $10,000 below what she thought she'd sell for.

"I knew I had to attract attention," she says. Even in a harsh winter, she received four offers in less than two weeks -- and sold for $465,000.

Take out the ax. No bites within 30 days? Make a big move.

"When a property sits, people start thinking it must be listed too high," says Klein. To stimulate interest, make a giant cut -- as much as 10% of the asking price, and even more in an area where prices are still falling. That should be enough to warrant a second look from buyers who passed the first time, and to bring in a new pool of potentials who are hunting in the lower price range.

Last year Montclair, N.J., empty nesters Peter and Lauren Meyer decided to downsize from their seven-bedroom home to an apartment in the same town. They put their home on the market for $1.1 million, more than their realtor suggested. Six months and four price cuts later they pulled it off the market at $889,000.

"At that point we wrestled with lowering the price further, but we were ready to move on," says Peter. The couple relisted their home for $799,000 and it sold for $808,000.

Play hardball. It's okay to reject low-ball offers if a buyer won't budge. But if a buyer is willing to negotiate, push aside feelings of anger or insult and start counteroffering, says Mabel Guzman, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors.

Ideally you'll be able to negotiate within $10,000 to $20,000 of an acceptable offer. Then, "using incentives as carrots and sticks can make it easier to reach an agreement," says Guzman. For example, if your buyer refuses to dicker, you might offer to leave behind the appliances. Or maybe you'd rather take the reduced price but have the buyer agree that you take 60 days, not 30, to move out.

Hire a Stager

There are people who want to sell, and there are people who have to sell. Kathy and Rex Roberts are among the latter. Based in West Hartford, Conn., the couple, who have two children, have been living in different cities since early December, when Rex, an IT auditor, started a new job in Silver Spring, Md., after a layoff.

Before and after: Manhattan loft makeover

Listed that same month, their solidly built three-bedroom 1956 colonial has had no offers, despite two price cuts (it's currently at $389,500). Between rent on Rex's new place and their carrying costs on the house, they're paying a budget-straining $4,000 a month. "We need to sell," says Rex, "but we're not willing to drop the price again."

So in March they tried something new: professional home staging. Staging, increasingly popular with homeowners trying to sell mid-range houses, can extend from simply rearranging existing furniture to repainting, replacing fixtures, and bringing in new furnishings. The goal: to highlight the house's best features while making it as easy as possible for buyers to imagine themselves living there. Veteran real estate brokers interviewed by MONEY say that proper staging can speed the sale and often increase the price too. The key is to get it done right.

Start with an open mind. Staging demands a psychological shift that many homeowners find challenging: thinking of your house not as your home but as a set. That means scrubbing away evidence that you actually live there. Your goal: the homey yet impersonal look of a Pottery Barn catalogue.

Find the right stager. The ASP (accredited staging professional) designation is a plus -- it indicates the stager has gone through some basic training -- but it isn't essential. Get names from realtors or at realestatestagingassociation.com, then review the stager's online portfolio of before-and-after photos. Next, call homeowner references and ask how fast their homes sold after staging and whether they think the work helped.

Establish a budget and ask the stager to work within it. Stagers typically charge $150 to $400 to walk through your home and give recommendations for each room. You can then execute the plan yourself or hire the stager to do it for an hourly fee, usually $100 or so, plus the cost of any new paint or furnishings.

If you make big changes, costs can add up -- but "I can often make a huge difference using what homeowners already have," says Mary D. Brooks, a stager and realtor from Breckenridge, Colo.

See whether your realtor will pay. If you're on the hook for a full 6% commission, you have significant negotiating power. "I'm happy to pay for staging because I know it works," says realtor Paul Aspelin of Victoria, Minn.

As for the Robertses, after getting advice from stager Kara Woods, owner of Stage to Move in Danbury, Conn., they painted their lavender dining room a soft gray and removed excess furniture, among other things; a professional stylist redid the living room (see above). "It's incredible how much bigger and more modern it looks," says Kathy.

Find the Right Hook

These days it's going to take far more than a FOR SALE sign in the front yard and a spot on the multiple-listing service to get potential buyers in the door. That means getting the word out in a creative fashion -- and finding a realtor who is willing to do the same.

"The more eyeballs that get on the listing, the better," says Katie Curnutte of the real estate information website Zillow.com. To do that, you need a multipronged marketing plan of attack.

Create a great site. About 90% of buyers begin their search on the Internet, according to the National Association of Realtors. Make sure your home's online presence has a dozen or two photos: Having 20 instead of five photos will almost double the number of hits you'll get, according to Zillow.com. See the sidebar at right for more ways to keep potential buyers clicking on your site.

Vulture investors flipping their way to real estate profits

Throw money at them. Incentives can perk buyers' interest just as much as price cuts, says Matt Brown, director of business development at ForSaleByOwner.com. In fact, many buyers will agree to a higher price if their upfront costs are lowered, since they often run short on cash.

If you can afford it, offer to cover the buyer's closing costs or pay the first year's property taxes or condo or homeowner association dues. However, those freebies may be practically standard, particularly in areas rife with distressed properties.

In that case, says realtor Guzman, you might be able to bring buyers to the door by tossing in an unusual bonus, such as a $1,000 gift card (throw in one for the buyer's agent as well); a belonging they mentioned loving, such as the pool table or plasma TV; or a $5,000 credit to use in the home as they wish. (You can even pay upfront points so that they can get a lower mortgage rate, if you can swing it.)

Be aware, though, that you must disclose any such gifts or payments when the offer is agreed on, and some lenders will not approve them. If so, you might have to find another incentive that the bank doesn't object to.

Showcase super condition. Yes, some buyers are hunting for foreclosures in rough shape that they can nab for a song. Yet just as many shoppers don't want -- or don't know how -- to put in that sweat equity. So hire an inspector to identify every problem with the home, even seemingly minor issues such as dripping faucets, and fix them.

"If an outlet doesn't work, why get the buyer wondering what else is broken?" asks Beth Foley, an associate broker in Holland, Mich. Tell your realtor to give anyone who tours your home a copy of the inspection report and your list of fixes.

Spread the word online. Having your home listed on a major website like Realtor.com isn't enough. Ask your realtor if you'll get an "enhanced" listing on the site, where your home gets top promotional billing. Many realtors will create a website just for your home. You also want to get your listing on alternative sites like Craigslist or even Facebook.

In 2009, when Karen Mauro put her small, historic two-bedroom Orange County, Calif., home on the market she thought it would be a tough sale. Realtor Lisa Blanc listed the property at $467,500 and spread the word not only through the MLS listing but also with an update on her Facebook page. A Facebook friend of Blanc's passed the info to someone she knew was looking for that kind of house. Within a week, Mauro had an offer for $460,000.

Stay away -- far away. In better times you may not feel obliged to drop everything to accommodate prospective buyers' schedules. Today, if buyers can't get in on their time, they'll skip it, says Summer Greene, who manages realtors in the Fort Lauderdale area. So be prepared to show a perfectly clean home at a moment's notice. And disappear (along with your dog, if possible) for all showings and open houses so that prospects can imagine themselves in your house -- an impossible task when your family is vegging on the couch.

When Betty McCoy began showing her Prairie Village, Kans., three-bedroom Cape Cod - style house, for example, she kept a list of must-do chores -- including emptying wastebaskets, filling the dishwasher, and making the bed and walked out every morning with the place spotless. On the weekend she holed up at a local mall.

"Every time I thought I could go home, a new person wanted to see the house," recalls McCoy. But a few extra hours at the mall paid off in spades. In just a few days McCoy had an offer for her home -- for the full listing price. To top of page

Posted by Golden Real Estate

Thursday May 5th 2011

Beach Front Vacation Homes

The current real estate market is an extreme win-lose proposition. If you have money set aside, you can win big with one investment – beach front vacation homes.

When it comes to real estate, the old cliché is location, location and location. If you don’t know this, step back from any thought of buying a home. In conjunction with this cliché is the idea of buying the worst home on the block and then fixing it up to get the most equity gain.

There is one type of real estate that breaks all the rules. Beach front vacation homes are a commodity. The population in nearly every country moves towards the coast because of what is typically a milder climate than interior areas.

More importantly, people that don’t move to the coast tend to vacation there. This fact has created an entire industry known as beach front vacation homes. Simply put, these homes are cash cows.

You can spend a few weeks or longer each year residing at them yourself. When you are gone, you can hire a property manager to rent the beach home out. It is common to charge a month’s rent for each week of use. Yes, you make up to four times or more of the usually monthly rent for other homes in the area.

The current real estate market is an undeniable mess. How bad? The Federal Reserve Bank is taking the kind of action we haven’t seen since the Great Depression. Bailing out investment banks like Bear Stearns is simply unheard of. In short, it is bad unless you have money.

If you have cash on hand and can get financing, you may have the rare opportunity to buy beach front vacation homes at a song. They are still expensive, but many owners are feeling the pain of the financial market disaster. If you have the opportunity to buy one of these homes and can squeeze into them, it is something you should pay very close attention to.

Think about it. You can dig your feet in the sand for a few months each year and make a bundle at the same time


Posted by Golden Real Estate

Wednesday May 4th, 2011

Tips for Selling a House

As the real estate market returns to a normal pattern of buying and selling, some sellers are easily frustrated. If your house is not selling, here some tips for selling a house.

Tips for Selling a House

Selling a house is similar to a job interview or a first date. Presentation tends to go a long way in determining the outcome. That might sound a bit shallow, but it is simply a fact of life in many endeavors including real estate. To this end, sellers have developed bad habits when it comes to selling their house because of the recent hot seller's market. A few basic tips for selling a house can get you back on track. 

Most real estate comes with a garage. If you have lived in the property for any amount of time, you have undoubtedly stored numerous things in your garage. I have! When the time comes to sell your property, however, you need to give your garage the once over. Items you consider priceless heirlooms might be considered junk by buyers. A messy garage is also a negative. Remember, buyers expect you to have the house in pristine condition. Anything that does not reflect that will hurt you in the eyes of these individuals.

Undoubtedly, your house has some amazing interior features. Instead of just assuming the potential buyer understands the value of them, you should highlight the features. The best method for doing this is lighting. Make sure you have sufficient lighting in the relevant area by opening drapes or going with more powerful light bulbs. If you have beautiful marble flooring and counters in your kitchen, make sure there is sufficient lighting to make them stand out.

Your lawn is the first thing a potential buyer is going to see when they pull up to the property. Keep it trimmed and cut back any jungles. Give some thought to the walkway to the front door. Planting flowers and such can go a long way.

Make sure the entrance is a positive aspect of your house, not a negative. Make sure the front door is in perfect shape. The entry area should also be focused on. Add plants, rugs and what have you to make a good impression. Next, walk in through the front door and take in the view. Is there anything that gives you pause and can be improved? If so, do it! 

Declutter, clean, and organize all storage areas.

The real estate market has cooled to the extent that houses are not selling in three days anymore. Three months is more nearly the norm in many areas. Returning to the basic fundamentals of selling a house is the key to getting the offer you need. These tips for selling a house should help.


Posted by Golden Real Estate

Thursday April 28th 2011

A dream shared by home-seekers and home-builders

By: Admin

While Sofia is quickly becoming the favorite place of apartment seekers, home-hunting worries are also becoming more and more numerous, due the large number of unsuccessful real estate projects or buildings which fail to meet buyers? expectations. The people who wish to live or invest in a Sofia apartment are most of all concerned about the location of the real estate, the amenities available in the area, the quality of construction materials and maintenance, as well as about the overall atmosphere. Investors in the sector need to take these demands in mind if the property they build is to be successful. Imagine a real estate complex with many apartments, retail and office areas, surrounded by a spacious park recreation area, close to a cool mountain. Imagine this comfortable and pretty place perfectly located, with excellent transport connections and near big supermarkets, restaurants, and Sofia?s biggest office complex. Finally, add to this image the sound of fountains located throughout the complex grounds. This might seem an unbelievable picture; yet, it summarizes the needs and wants of most successful people looking for a real estate investment in Sofia. However unbelievable it may seem, this is also the picture on which one of the most ambitious Sofia real estate projects, City of Fountains, has built its vision. City of Fountains is a complex whose aim is to build a 'fresh new face to real estate in Sofia', which would fully meet the expectations and demands of modern people looking for a place to make their own. City of Fountains is conveniently located in Mladost 4 Residential Area in the South of Sofia, close to the Vitosha Mountain, which is a favourite weekend recreation destination for most residents of the capital. It is only 400 m away from Business Park Sofia, the biggest office and business complex in the city, hosting many prominent companies, numerous restaurants and hypermarkets. The complex has excellent transport connections to the city-centre, including a conveniently located Metro Station planned to start operation over the next couple of years. What contributes most to this ?fresh new face? of the complex, however, is its unique atmosphere, combining remarkable amenities (sports facilities, a large Spa and fitness centre, swimming pool, on-site kindergarten, a large retail centre), recreation spaces with lots of greenery and fountains, and an outstanding quality of building materials and construction. In order to guarantee that the original atmosphere and high quality is preserved, after its completion the complex will be maintained by a specifically set up company responsible for this comfortable and pleasant environment. This remarkable project is developed by the property investment company Karrat Group Ltd., in cooperation with some of the leaders in construction, design, and consulting, including Colliers International and many prominent local companies.

By John Adam


Posted by Golden Real Estate

Tuesday April 26th 2011

Home Value: Will It Rebound

By : Roby Pagong    
Submitted 2011-04-25 07:25:29
Many are hoping that property values would rebound. However, no one can tell for sure. This is because the trend is not the same for the different areas of the country. Some may show signs of recovery, while others continue to see a drop in their property values. So how are you going to know if your property value will rebound or not?

Although it is difficult to predict, you can refer to signs. Here are some of the things you can check to help you determine whether your property value will rebound or not.

Employment rate

One of the things you need to check to know if an economy is starting to improve is the rate of employment. This is why checking the employment rate in your locality is a great start. However, you should not only focus on this, you should also check the kind of employment people are getting. If there are better jobs available with better pay, then expect the real estate industry to bounce back.

Foreclosure rate

Another sign of a better future for the real estate industry is the decrease in the number of foreclosed homes. If your community does not have a lot of foreclosed homes and the number of properties foreclosing has declined then it is on the way to recovery and your home value may increase in a few months. However, you still have to check the values of the properties that were recently sold in your area to see the trend.

Credit Issues

Many are unable to apply for a mortgage loan because of credit issues. If this is resolved, then more people are able to purchase properties. More buyers would help bring back the balance in the real estate market. This would also entail improved activities in the market. More will be able to check the properties sold and the number of people who will likely make a better offer will also increase.

Consumer behavior

Even if not all people in your area are out to purchase a property, their behavior can tell a lot about the economy in your area. If they are more conservative with their purchases, then they do not feel confident about the economy to be getting better. However, if they start to let loose a little and you start to spot consumers who are making big purchases again, then there is a greater chance that everything will start to get better. You can start by talking to friends, neighbors and relatives. But be careful with your judgment for this. It may not be true for everyone in that area.

It would greatly help if you read the business section of the local newspaper regularly. This way, you will be able to know if the economy in your area is starting to get better. An improving economy would mean improving property values as well.

It is difficult to tell for sure if property values will recover. However, you can check the employment rate in your area to help you predict how much your value will be in a few months. Other factors that can help you with this are the number of foreclosed homes in your area. Check the credit concerns as well. And you have to be familiar with how consumers behave and the current state of the businesses in your area.
Author Resource:- check out the Gated Homes for Sale in Anthem. Visit the Anthem AZ Waterfront Houses and the Anthem AZ Green Real Estate as well.

Posted by Golden Real Estate

Monday April 25 2011
Enough with the doom and gloom about home ownership.

Date Added : September 28, 2010 

Sure, maybe there's more pain to come in the housing market. But when Time magazine starts running covers that declare "Owning a home may no longer make economic sense," it's time to say: Enough is enough. This is what "capitulation" looks like. Everyone has given up. After all, at the peak of the bubble five years ago, Time had a different take. "Home Sweet Home," declared its cover then, as it celebrated the boom and asked: "Will your house make you rich?" But it's not enough just to be contrarian. So here are 10 reasons why it's good to buy a home. 1. You can get a good deal. Especially if you play hardball. This is a buyer's market. Most of the other buyers have now vanished, as the tax credits on purchases have just expired. We're four to five years into the biggest housing bust in modern history. And prices have come down a long way- about 30% from their peak, according to Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Index, which tracks home prices in 20 big cities. Yes, it's mixed. New York is only down 20%. Arizona has halved. Will prices fall further? Sure, they could. You'll never catch the bottom. It doesn't really matter so much in the long haul. Where is fair value? Fund manager Jeremy Grantham at GMO, who predicted the bust with remarkable accuracy, said two years ago that home prices needed to fall another 17% to reach fair value in relation to household incomes. Case-Shiller since then: Down 18%. 2. Mortgages are cheap. You can get a 30-year loan for around 4.3%. What's not to like? These are the lowest rates on record. As recently as two years ago they were about 6.3%. That drop slashes your monthly repayment by a fifth. If inflation picks up, you won't see these mortgage rates again in your lifetime. And if we get deflation, and rates fall further, you can refi. 3. You'll save on taxes. You can deduct the mortgage interest from your income taxes. You can deduct your real estate taxes. And you'll get a tax break on capital gains-if any-when you sell. Sure, you'll need to do your math. You'll only get the income tax break if you itemize your deductions, and many people may be better off taking the standard deduction instead. The breaks are more valuable the more you earn, and the bigger your mortgage. But many people will find that these tax breaks mean owning costs them less, often a lot less, than renting. 4. It'll be yours. You can have the kitchen and bathrooms you want. You can move the walls, build an extension-zoning permitted-or paint everything bright orange. Few landlords are so indulgent; for renters, these types of changes are often impossible. You'll feel better about your own place if you own it than if you rent. Many years ago, when I was working for a political campaign in England, I toured a working-class northern town. Mrs. Thatcher had just begun selling off public housing to the tenants. "You can tell the ones that have been bought," said my local guide. "They've painted the front door. It's the first thing people do when they buy." It was a small sign that said something big. Buying a Home, Good Idea? With Little to Do, Home Builders Focus on Quality In Monaco, the 'Most Expensive' Home House of the Day: Private Maine Island 5. You'll get a better home. In many parts of the country it can be really hard to find a good rental. All the best places are sold as condos. Money talks. Once again, this is a case by case issue: In Miami right now there are so many vacant luxury condos that owners will rent them out for a fraction of the cost of owning. But few places are so favored. Generally speaking, if you want the best home in the best neighborhood, you're better off buying. 6. It offers some inflation protection. No, it's not perfect. But studies by Professor Karl "Chip" Case (of Case-Shiller), and others, suggest that over the long-term housing has tended to beat inflation by a couple of percentage points a year. That's valuable inflation insurance, especially if you're young and raising a family and thinking about the next 30 or 40 years. In the recent past, inflation-protected government bonds, or TIPS, offered an easier form of inflation insurance. But yields there have plummeted of late. That also makes homeownership look a little better by contrast. 7. It's risk capital. No, your home isn't the stock market and you shouldn't view it as the way to get rich. But if the economy does surprise us all and start booming, sooner or later real estate prices will head up again, too. One lesson from the last few years is that stocks are incredibly hard for most normal people to own in large quantities-for practical as well as psychological reasons. Equity in a home is another way of linking part of your portfolio to the long-term growth of the economy-if it happens-and still managing to sleep at night. 8. It's forced savings. If you can rent an apartment for $2,000 month instead of buying one for $2,400 a month, renting may make sense. But will you save that $400 for your future? A lot of people won't. Most, I dare say. Once again, you have to do your math, but the part of your mortgage payment that goes to principal repayment isn't a cost. You're just paying yourself by building equity. As a forced monthly saving, it's a good discipline. 9. There is a lot to choose from. There is a glut of homes in most of the country. The National Association of Realtors puts the current inventory at around 4 million homes. That's below last year's peak, but well above typical levels, and enough for about a year's worth of sales. More keeping coming onto the market, too, as the banks slowly unload their inventory of unsold properties. That means great choice, as well as great prices. 10. Sooner or later, the market will clear. Demand and supply will meet. The population is forecast to grow by more than 100 million people over the next 40 years. That means maybe 40 million new households looking for homes. Meanwhile, this housing glut will work itself out. Many of the homes will be bought. But many more will simply be destroyed-either deliberately, or by inaction. This is already happening. Even two years ago, when I toured the housing slump in western Florida, I saw bankrupt condo developments that were fast becoming derelict. And, finally, a lot of the "glut" simply won't matter: It's concentrated in a few areas, like Florida and Nevada. Unless you live there, the glut won't have any long-term impact on housing supply in your town.

Arizona Realtors, providing service in the Metro Phoenix area including Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, Mesa, Maricopa and Queen Creek. Whether buying or selling your home we provide the service that you deserve with cutting edge technology. We are Certified Short Sale and Bank Owned specialists. We provide free Arizona MLS search and free relocation information. Whether you are a first time buyer, investor, relocating to Arizona or a seasoned home buyer we are your top choice for Phoenix Realtors. ww

Posted by Golden Real Estate

Friday April 22nd 2011

Basics of Lease Option

Lease option strategy is used for selling properties in a hard market where there are very few qualified buyers. If the property is easy to sell then it will be more convenient for you to sell the property in the conventional way wherein the buyer will pay you cash for the purchase.


Benefits of Lease Homes with Option to Buy

• It is a good way for you to sell a vacant property at market value on which you are paying a mortgage.

• It helps a buyer with a poor/ no credit history or down payment to buy a home. Such buyers will not qualify for a home loan from a bank. These buyers get the benefits of home ownership.

• Although the buyer will be making higher lease payments that may exceed market rent they will be making payments towards their down payment.

• The buyer gets the benefit of capital appreciation on the property during the period of home lease to buy.

• For the buyers who lack self discipline will have the benefit a forced savings plan because part of the rent is credited toward the purchase price of the house which is adjusted at the end of the lease option agreement.

• As opposed to a normal tenant a home lease to buy renter pays will not only look after the property as his own but will often make improvements to the house.

• A lease with option to buy tenant will also pay all the outgoings on the property which will lighten your financial burden and risk considerably.

• If the lease option purchaser defaults, you as a seller are not obliged do not refund any portion of the lease payments or the option money unless and otherwise it is specified in the contract. You may also retain the right to sue purchaser for breach of the agreement.

Fundamentals of a Lease Option Contract

• The buyer will pay you (vendor) option money for the right to buy the property at a specified date normally two to three years. It is advisable to keep this amount as high as possible.

• You and the lease option purchaser will need to agree on a purchase price that either reflects the current valuation or future market value when the option is exercised. This is something you will need to negotiate. It will be beneficial for you to lock in the future purchase price at the time of signing the agreement.

• The purchaser agrees to lease the house from you at a specified rental amount for the duration of the lease term.

• The term of the lease option contract is negotiable, it is generally two to three years.

• The option money paid by the purchaser is generally not counted toward the down payment.

• It is common to have a part of the monthly rental payment to apply toward the purchase price of the property.

• Option money is generally not refundable in case of a default.

• You as a seller can not sell the property to another buyer during the home lease to buy period.

• Purchaser cannot assign the lease option to a third party without your approval.

• The home lease to buy option will expire and the purchaser will lose his deposit and other monies paid if he fails to settle on the property at the end of the lease term.

• The purchaser may or may not be obligated to buy the property depending upon the terms of the agreement.

Final Thoughts on Homes Lease Options

It is advisable for you to obtain the services of a real estate lawyer to draw out an agreement. Do not rely on the agreements provided by real estate agents as they are not lawyers. Lease option contracts are specialized and very different from normal sale and Purchase agreements. These documents specify your rights and including the consequences in case of a default by either the buyer or the seller. It is also possible that the property is encumbered by underlying loans that contain alienation clauses.

As a purchaser you must do your due diligence and obtain all the disclosures just like you would do in case of a regular sale. You must carry out a full home inspection, check the title of the property, get a builders inspection report and try and ascertain the market value of the property.

As a seller it your duty to assist the purchaser in every possible way with the information you have. You are entering into long term business deal and its success depends upon how well you establish a relationship of honesty and integrity.

Lease Option deals can be very beneficial to both the investor and the first home buyer if it is structured properly from the outset.


Posted by Golden Real Estate

Tuesday April 19th 2011

Cleaning up Your Credit

Mistakes on Your Credit Report

Almost every item on your credit report will have some mistake, even if only slight. Do not acknowledge any of the accuracies, but be sure to note all inaccuracies.  Write next to each item something like, "not mine, not accurate, mistaken item, complete error," or whatever is most appropriate. Request a copy of the corrected report within thirty days. If they do not respond within 30 days, send another letter. In this letter you will include a copy of your dated original letter and a new letter firmly requesting they remove the disputed information. Include a cc: to the Federal Trade Commission.

Do Not Call the Credit Bureaus - Write Letters

The credit bureau may write a letter asking you to call. Do not call under any circumstances. Your phone call will be recorded and a log will be made of the conversation. Simply write back with copies of your original letters, telling them of the original date you submitted your request. Keep a file of all correspondence to and from the credit bureau and follow through continually. Do not get discouraged, as this will be worth your while.

What happens is that the credit bureaus forward your dispute to the individual creditors. who have forty-five days to respond. If they do not respond within the allotted time the item must be removed. However, if they do respond at a later date with information that documents the credit report is correct, the item will be placed back on your credit report.


For those of you who have filed bankruptcy in the past, the items that were discharged will normally show up as a charge-off or uncollected debt. You will want to write to the credit bureaus, providing a copy of your complete bankruptcy papers and request that they show the debt as "discharged in bankruptcy." This looks better and raises your FICO score. FICO sores above 680 make it easier to obtain mortgage loans.


You may not be able to clean up every item on your credit report using these methods, but you will certainly be able to improve the way it looks to potential creditors.

Posted by Golden Real Estate

Friday April 15th 2011

Foreclosure King Toppled

By: M Shane

Florida has seen its share of foreclosures and financial hardship among homeowners in recent years, but there's one person in the Florida real estate market that seemed to prosper, even as thousands of people lost their homes. Foreclosure attorney, David J. Stern is someone who has gained quite a bit of notoriety in the state--both for his lavish lifestyle, and for allegations of fraud that were recently lobbed against his company.

"Foreclosure mills" are law firms that plow through a high number of foreclosures on behalf of the bank, for less than what they'd normally cost. Stern ran the largest foreclosure mill in the state, which at its peak, handled roughly 75,000 cases a year.

Banks would commission Stern's company and pay them nearly $1,500 to successfully complete a foreclosure within a set period of time. If the foreclosure became stalled in any way, the banks would pay less, so the faster Stern's people could handle their caseload, the more money the company would make.

Working at such a feverish pace made Stern an extremely wealthy man, with multimillion-dollar houses, private jets, and a collection of high-end vehicles. This breakneck speed however, put an inordinate amount of pressure on staff to keep up with the harried pace. To maintain productivity levels, it's alleged that Stern's staff engaged in the shady practice of robo-signing, which involves signing a multitude of documents without verifying the information.

Legally, those processing foreclosures are required to review the documents, make sure that the foreclosure is just, and to sign the papers in front of a Notary Public, whose stamp validates the report. With so many foreclosure cases coming before them, it's alleged that Stern's chief operating officer, Cheryl Samons signed off on thousands of documents without ever looking at them to make sure that the details of each case were correct, and that the foreclosures were warranted.

According to court testimony, not only did Samons engage in robo-signing, but she also had staff members forge her signature, and use a fake notary stamp in order to clear more cases. There are also allegations that documents were improperly handled, lost, and hidden from auditors.

Due to these acts, there are potentially a large number of homeowners in Florida who were wrongly foreclosed upon. A class action lawsuit and an investigation from the Florida Attorney General's office have commenced to determine the nature and extent of abuses that may have occurred at Stern's law firm. Unfortunately, many people have already endured the emotional and financial trauma of losing their homes, and face a long road of trying to right this grievous wrong.

Author Resource:-> View listings for Palm Beach properties at Waterfront-Properties.com. Our market specialists will show you the many North Palm Beach waterfront homes for sale and answer any questions you may have about this popular oceanfront community.

Article From Real Estate Pro Articles

Posted by Golden Real Estate

Thursday April 14th 2011

Are You Ready to Buy Your First Home?

by Alden Smith

Owning your own home is probably the one biggest thing couples work for today. Although renting has advantages, the thoughts of "one man's ceiling is another man's floor" do not appeal to many people. In the final analysis people want the stability of owning their own home. When careers are stable, children are coming along, and you want security in knowing you own your own property, then home ownership becomes very desirable. The focus of this article will discuss the considerations you need to make in order to own your own home.

First, Your Credit History

In today's unstable market, lenders are getting very choosy about who they lend money too. They consider credit card debt, timeliness of payment, and other factors that affect your credit. The current average annual percentage rate on most credit cards is 13.8%, according to Bankrate.com. With the current rate of home loan interest on the average of 6.26%, it is easy to see that credit card holders are paying twice as much in interest on credit card debt than on a home mortgage. Paying off credit card debt instead of putting extra money away for a down payment makes more sense in this case.

Down Payment and Closing Costs

First and foremost is the ability to pay. A down payment of at least 10% is essential, and bankers prefer that you pay 20% or more. Some lending institutions may not make the loan for you if you cannot come up with a certain percentage, based on your current financial situation. Paying more than the required 10% is not only to your advantage in keeping mortgage payments at an acceptable level, but helps you avoid the necessity for private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI is nothing more than insurance for the lending institution to protect itself if you face foreclosure.

Closing costs are the fees you pay for the processing of the loan. They include banker fees, cost of appraisals and inspections, payment to escrow to be used towards taxes and insurance, and title searches. An ethical lender will give you the costs of these fees in what is called a Good Faith Estimate, which should be accurate with no surprises when you go to the closing table. The lender will also notify you in the off chance that changes need to be made to the GFE. Plan to pay around 6% of the initial loan for the cost of closing.

Consider the Costs

Owning a home versus renting means that there are additional expenses involved. Utilities need to be paid, and services that are generally covered when you rent now must be taken care of by you. The most obvious are gas and electric, but plan on paying telephone, cable, internet access and other amenities. Trash removal and snow removal are now your responsibility. When ever you are planning a budget for a new home and consider these expenses, always be aware that these are not fixed prices. Plan on them increasing in upcoming years.

Housing experts agree that for a home owner to be secure, they should bank 5% of gross income to cover expenses such as wind and flood damage, and routine maintenance on the home. If you are buying an older home, there is no guarantee that the roof won't start to leak 2 years after you move in. Expect to pay at least $5,000.00 for a new roof. Wind damage can destroy siding and landscaping. Borrowing money for these expenses is not always the best option. It's better to plan and to save.

What Does the Lender See?

Today's lenders look at debt to income ratio. The current ratio is 28/36. Always calculate what this ratio will be before considering a home loan. Many calculators are available today on the internet that will help you to get a realistic overview of your current financial situation. Use these to advantage before approaching a lender.

If after considering these facts and determining your financial outlook is not what you expected it to be, don't despair. Fannie Mae has a program called "expanded approval" that allows people with less than perfect credit to own their own home. Their rates are competitive, and can even be as much as 2 percentage points lower than national average.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) assists people that wish to buy their own home. HUD helps buyers raise $3,000 to $5,000 for the initial down payment. The Federal Housing Authority (FHA), a branch of HUD, also works with people with blemished credit.

Buying a home should not be a daunting task. Although there are a lot of things that need to be taken into account when purchasing a home, following these simple guidelines will help you go a long way in making home buying an easy task. There is no lack of information available today on the internet. Use these resources to your own advantage.


Posted by Golden Real Estate

Wednesday April 13th 2011

Writing FSBO Marketing Material

When selling your home for sale by owner, you will be handling your own marketing. This leads us to writing FSBO marketing material for your home and how far you should go.

Writing FSBO Marketing Material

The real estate industry is somewhat like the used car industry when it comes to certain areas. Each is known for using terminology that could be considered to perhaps stretch the boundaries a bit. "New paint job" in a car add can often be translated to "new paint job because the car was damaged in an accident." When it comes to real estate, a unique set of terminology also applies. "Cozy" is often a term interpreted as meaning small. "Very cozy", of course, means a home that is basically two closets hammered together!

As a FSBO seller, you need to give some thought to writing FSBO marketing material for your home. I am not so much referring to legalities as I am to common sense truth in advertising. It is tempting to list the possibilities of a home despite the fact the property offers no such basis for doing so. Such phrases I often see are things like "potential for view" without mentioning the buyer will need to add two stories to the property to get a sliver of a view! In my opinion, such advertising is a bad approach.

When marketing your property for sale, it is important that you be accurate. Yes, you can use terms that promote the strengths of the property. You should not use terms that are not based on how you use the home. If you have a two bedroom property in which you sleep in one bedroom and your child in the other, language regarding a home office, game room and such is probably misleading unless you have other rooms that specifically are being used for that purpose.

The problem with stretching the boundaries with your marketing has to do with expectations. If a potential buyer reads your ad and thinks it matches what they are after, they expect to see the attributes when they arrive. If they do not, they certainly will not be making an offer. This will lead to negative commentary among buyers regarding you and your home. You should never require a buyer to have a vision of the far reaching possibilities of a home.

As a FSBO seller, being accurate in your marketing materials is critical. Yes, you may get fewer buyers visiting your property, but you will get a better quality of buyer, to wit, a buyer more like to make an offer. At the end of the day, that is the point after all

Posted by Golden Real Estate

Tuesday April 11th, 2011

South Yarra Apartments

By: Bruno Torres

South Yarra Apartments provide corporate accommodation for short term and long terms stays in South Yarra which is one of Melbourne's most affluent inner-city suburbs, bordered by the Yarra River and Prahran in the south and Toorak to the east.

South Yarra has a large selection of open spaces and parklands for visitors and residents. Fawkner Park consists of several sporting ovals, tennis courts and a network of shady pathways all within walking distance to any one of our South Yarra Apartments. The Yarra River features walking and bicycle paths running through parkland along the riverbank with panoramic views of the city and riverfront available from the several bridges which cross the river.

Looking for weekend activities and a break from work all close to your South Yarra Apartment, then visit Herring Island, situated right in the middle of the Yarra River and accessible only by boat, Herring Island is a reserve featuring BBQ and picnic areas and a sculpture park.

If you are a shopaholic, then South Yarra is the place for you. Shopping, fashion and entertainment are features of South Yarra, with busy Chapel Street right next to our serviced apartments. Chapel Street is lined with exclusive retail outlets, cafes and the popular Jam Factory shopping and entertainment complex. Around the corner in Commercial Road is Prahran Market - one of Melbourne's oldest, and boasting a large selection of gourmet foods and fresh produce.

Exclusive residences are a feature of South Yarra's network of tree-lined streets, with the historic Como House set on 5 acres and dating back to 1847, open to the public daily. South Yarra is famous also for many of Australia?s artists. A gallery not to be missed is The Gould Gallery situated on Toorak Road South Yarra, is a leisurely walk from our apartments. It is open Tuesday to Saturday and houses paintings from world acclaimed painter John Olsen, who has been commissioned to produce art work for our boutique apartment complex of the same name: The Olsen residences complex in South Yarra. The next in the Art Series to open is Blackman on St Kilda Road this boutique hotel and residences is named after John Blackman.

Corporate Keys are one of the most reputable apartment providers. They offer cost-effective and well appointed South Yarra Apartments. Please visit their website http://www.corporatekeys.com.au/art-series-south-yarra-furnished-studio-apartments.

Posted by Golden Real Estate

Monday April 11th, 2011

Tips For Real Results From Your Social Media Marketing

1. Have A Plan
Far too many of those new to real estate investing are trying to use social media marketing just because they have been told they need it, yet have no plan. If you don’t have a plan you are planning to fail. The top real estate investing companies have their marketing planned out months or even years in advance. If you aren’t sure how to really use social media marketing for flipping real estate, what type of investment it takes or what you can really expect in terms of returns then talk to a pro who has been using it successfully or get your hands on a real estate education course that incorporates marketing advice.

2. Build Up Followers & Fans
It really doesn’t matter whether you are creating the most stunning content in the world or are offering the most amazing real estate investing opportunities through your social media channels if you have no fans and followers to receive the info. Part of your SMM plan should focus on directly building up your fan and follower base in order to maximize your visibility. This should include taking a proactive approach by following others, investing in a few inexpensive but powerful tools that will automate this process and coming up with creative promotions to attract more online friends.

3. Keywords
Keywords are crucial for your success online and maximizing the marketing ROI of your real estate investing business. You must use keywords throughout your website, blogs and articles for search engine optimization. However they are also equally important for seeking out your ideal prospects. Try using long tail keywords that are more often used by those who are actually ready to buy and are not just aimlessly surfing the web.

4. Make It Flow
Crafting incredibly catchy Tweets, attracting masses of fans on Facebook or even drawing in record breaking traffic numbers for your blog doesn’t mean much unless you have these social media outlets set up to effectively and quickly funnel these prospects through to your website and to where they can buy or contact you directly.

Posted by Golden Real Estate

Thursday April 7th, 2011

How Can I Protect Myself While Selling My Home?

By: Admin
Date Added : October 3, 2010 Views : 200
Rate Author : Current : 2.70 /5
Rate this Article : Current : 2.39 /5

Here are a few guidelines for protecting yourself when you sell your home. This article covers who you will interact with while selling your home and a checklist for overlooked issues. First, pick the right agent. Your listing agent will represent you in interactions with (A) other real estate agents, (B) prospective buyers, (C) lenders, (D) inspectors, and (E) various professionals associated with the real estate business. Be sure to select a trustworthy and agent with fine-tuned social skills and with whom you are compatible. Try picking a real estate agent who will represent you honestly and fairly in your dealings with others during the sale. Next, be fastidious about preparing your property for sale. This will not only facilitate the sale and bring you a higher price, it could prevent after closing disputes with the buyers. Make a list of all the elements of your home that need repair or replacement. Your agent can help you with this. If you're uncertain about the condition of a major system, like the roof or furnace, you might want to hire a professional to inspect and issue a report. Determine how much it will cost to repair or replace problem items. If you can't afford to repair everything on the list, ask your agent to help you prioritize. Disclose any defects that you're aware of that you don't fix before selling. HOME SELLER TIP: Sellers often fear that if they disclose defects to buyers it will impede the sale of the property. This rarely happens. In fact, buyers appreciate knowing about property defects before they buy. Problems can develop when buyers discover hidden defects after closing that they know the sellers were aware of, but chose not to disclose. A California home seller answered no when he was asked if he had any drainage or flooding problems. He had remodeled his home to create a family room in the lower level that had previously been a basement. During the first heavy rain after the buyers moved in, the family room was flooded with water. The buyers sued the sellers in court and won. It's natural to feel proud of your home. But, avoid over-selling your home to prospective buyers. Be particularly careful about rooms that were added without required building permits. Let's say your home has four bedrooms, plus a room that was added without permits that could also be used as a bedroom. From a marketing and legal standpoint, you'd be better off marketing your home as a four bedroom, not a five bedroom, home. Interested buyers will discover when they look at your home that it has an extra room that could be used for a bedroom. They'll be pleasantly surprised to find more than they anticipated. If you market the home as having five bedrooms, buyers will be disappointed to find that the fifth bedroom isn't a legal bedroom. If this information isn't discovered until after closing, you could have a legal problem. Many after-closing claims involve misrepresentation of square footage. When a property is passed from one owner to the next, the square footage is often rounded up to a higher number. For instance, a 2900 square foot home might be represented as approximately 3000 square feet. The next owner might say the house has about 3000 square feet, perhaps a little more. Never guess about square footage. Square footage claims can involve substantial monetary damages. THE CLOSING: Ask your agent or real estate attorney if you have any questions about your disclosure obligations.

By Richard Brazil

Posted by Golden Real Estate

Tuesday April 5th, 2011

Door Knocking 301
by Jason Hanson

If someone put a gun to my head and told me that I had 30 days to do a deal or I would die, I would spend the next month door knocking. This is the quickest, cheapest and easiest way to find deals. It is also the method investors use least. Before I tell you how to properly door knock, let me dispel any fears you may have.

In all the times I have been door knocking, I have never had a gun pulled on me, been screamed at, or been threatened in any manner. The worst thing that has ever happened to me was that people were rude to me. They told me to leave, or not come by again and that's it. So right now, get rid of any notion that something bad may happen. Actually, because of the method I use when knocking on doors, the opposite happens. Most people are very friendly. People love to talk and will tell you all types of information about their neighbors such as who has a house to sell, who's going through a divorce and who is facing foreclosure. Many times the problem becomes spending too much time at one house and having the person talk your ear off.

Here is How to Properly Door Knock:

  • Pick your target market. Make sure you are knocking on bread and butter houses, typically 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.

  • Dress business casual. Do not overdress and look like some slick salesperson.

  • Go knocking during the week between the hours of 5-7pm.

  • If you are a male, try and take a female with you. People are less intimidated by women than men. If a man shows up at the door they immediately put up their guard. If a woman is with you, however, they are more relaxed and friendly.

  • Knock on the door and then take a step back, so that you are not crowding the person when they answer the door.

  • Say this magic phrase, every time "Hi, we are looking to buy some houses in this area and are wondering if you know of anybody in your neighborhood that was looking to sell their house"

  • Use good judgment when people invite you into the house. If you feel uncomfortable at all, don't go in the house.

  • Be consistent. Make sure that you speak to at least 15 people every time that you set out door knocking. You will most likely have to knock on between 30-50 doors. Do not go home until you have hit the 15 people mark.

  • Don't get offended if people are rude to you. Never argue, just leave. Kill them with kindness and always be polite.

  • Be prepared for when people invite you in, or want to sell the house. Carry a notepad and a pen with you and that's it. I prefer carrying a yellow legal pad.

    I know that most of you are going to read this and do nothing. Ninety-nine percent of investors do not go door knocking and that is why there is so little competition for deals.

    Most people are not willing to do the hard work that it takes to become successful in this business.

    Since people feel more comfortable in pairs, I recommend finding a door knocking partner. At one of your local real estate investor monthly meetings start networking and find a partner with whom to go knocking. There are plenty of people who are afraid to go alone and would love to have a partner.

    If you have not done your first deal, or if you have not closed a deal in a while, then go door knocking consistently and get a deal in the next 30 days.

  • Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Tuesday March 29th 2011

    Things Not to Do Before Purchasing a Home

    No Major Purchase of Any Kind

    Review the article titled, "Don’t Buy a Car," and apply it to any major purchase that would createdebt of any kind. This includes furniture, appliances, electronic equipment, jewelry, vacations, expensive weddings…

    …and automobiles, of course.

    Don’t Move Money Around

    When a lender reviews your loan package for approval, one of the things they are concerned about is the source of funds for your down payment and closing costs. Most likely, you will be asked to provide statements for the last two or three months on any of your liquid assets. This includes checking accounts, savings accounts, money market funds, certificates of deposit, stock statements, mutual funds, and even your company 401K and retirement accounts.

    If you have been moving money between accounts during that time, there may be large deposits and withdrawals in some of them.

    The mortgage underwriter (the person who actually approves your loan) will probably require a complete paper trail of all the withdrawals and deposits. You may be required to produce cancelled checks, deposit receipts, and other seemingly inconsequential data, which could get quite tedious.

    Perhaps you become exasperated at your lender, but they are only doing their job correctly. To ensure quality control and eliminate potential fraud, it is a requirement on most loans to completely document the source of all funds. Moving your money around, even if you are consolidating your funds to make it "easier," could make it more difficult for the lender to properly document.

    So leave your money where it is until you talk to a loan officer.

    Oh…don’t change banks, either.

    Tuesday February 8th 2011

    Getting the House Ready to Sell

    Costs of Repairs

    Do not do anything expensive, such as remodeling. If possible, use savings to pay for any repairs and improvements – do not go charging up credit cards or obtaining new loans. Remember that part of selling a house is also preparing to buy your next home. You do not want to do anything that will affect your credit scores or hurt your ability to qualify for your next mortgage.

    Plumbing and Fixtures

    When looking at a house, prospective home buyers often do not really know what to do. So they play with things. They flick light switches. They open everything with a handle. They turn on all the faucets and flush all the toilets. Having nice shiny fixtures makes an impression.

    All your sink fixtures should look shiny and new. If this cannot be accomplished by cleaning, buy new ones. If you don’t buy something fancy, this can be accomplished inexpensively. Make sure all the hot and cold water knobs are easy to turn and that the faucets do not leak. If they do, replace the washers.

    It sounds like hard work, but it's pretty easy even for the inexperienced.

    Check to make sure you have good water pressure and that there are no stains on any of the porcelain. If you have a difficult stain to remove, one trick is to hire a cleaning crew to go through and clean your home on a one-time basis. They seem to be wonderful at making stains go away.

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Tuesday January 25th 2011

    How Much House Can You Afford?

    Debt-to-Income Ratios

    To determine your maximum mortgage amount, lenders use guidelines called debt-to-income ratios. This is simply the percentage of your monthly gross income (before taxes) that is used to pay your monthly debts. Because there are two calculations, there is a "front" ratio and a "back" ratio and they are generally written in the following format: 33/38.

    The front ratio is the percentage of your monthly gross income (before taxes) that is used to pay your housing costs, including principal, interest, taxes, insurance, mortgage insurance (when applicable) and homeowners association fees (when applicable). The back ratio is the same thing, only it also includes your monthly consumer debt. Consumer debt can be car payments, credit card debt, installment loans, and similar related expenses. Auto or life insurance is not considered a debt.

    A common guideline for debt-to-income ratios is 33/38. A borrower's housing costs consume thirty-three percent of their monthly income. Add their monthly consumer debt to the housing costs, and it should take no more than thirty-eight percent of their monthly income to meet those obligations.

    The guidelines are just guidelines and they are flexible. If you make a small down payment, the guidelines are more rigid. If you have marginal credit, the guidelines are more rigid. If you make a larger down payment or have sterling credit, the guidelines are less rigid. The guidelines also vary according to loan program. FHA guidelines state that a 29/41 qualifying ratio is acceptable. VA guidelines do not have a front ratio at all, but the guideline for the back ratio is 41.

    Example: If you make $5000 a month, with 33/38 qualifying ratio guidelines, your maximum monthly housing cost should be around $1650. Including your consumer debt, your monthly housing and credit expenditures should be around $1900 as a maximum.

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Monday January 24th, 2011

    National Foreclosed Homes Rate Felt Heavily in Nevada

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    By : James Foxx    99 or more times read
    Submitted 2011-01-24 03:19:22

    No other state in the U.S. has felt the impact of the national foreclosed homes rate more than Nevada. Despite reports that the region's population has risen by 35.1% during the 2000-2010 decade, Nevada remains mired in economic troubles. What the census figure does not show is the thousands of people who have moved out of the state since 2007.

    According to economists, when North Las Vegas foreclosures and foreclosed property numbers in various local areas started hitting record levels, the population in Nevada has also started to decline. They stated that one of the reasons for people's decision to move out is the high foreclosure rate which has depressed property values and decimated the area's housing market.

    Aside from foreclosures, lack of jobs also forced residents to move elsewhere and look for employment. Nevada's unemployment rate currently stands at 14.3% which is the highest in the whole United States. According to economists, most people have moved to Nevada to get good jobs and to enjoy the good life. However, once these perks started disappearing in 2007 and things got worse in the succeeding years, they decided to escape the difficult economic condition in the region.

    Demographers have reported that ever since the national foreclosed homes rate started climbing to its highest level in decades, residents started moving out of the state. Over 90,000 residents have reportedly left Nevada since July of 2008. The decline in population is expected to get worse in 2011 and demographers have stated that it is as bad as it appears given that the state is the top growing region in the U.S. for the past two decades prior to the housing industry bust in 2007.

    In addition to the thousands who have left, Nevada also reportedly suffers from a considerable decline in birthrate, a scenario that is common during economic downturns. Nevada foreclosures also continue to top the whole country in terms of total numbers.

    According to local housing observers, most of the abandoned housing units in the state were constructed during the housing boom when speculators consider Nevada as a place with endless potential for growth. When the national foreclosed homes rate started surging, these speculators walked away and created a hole in the state's housing market.
    Author Resource:- Original Post: National Foreclosed Homes Rate Felt Heavily in Nevada on ForeclosureDeals.com.
    Article From Real Estate Pro Articles

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Friday January 21, 2011

    Should An Investor Use Own Money Or Borrow For Fix And Flip?

    By: Tom Bukacek
    Submitted: 02:38PM on Tuesday 08 June 2010

    One of the beautiful truisms about real estate is that it is a highly acceptable form of collateral for lenders. The question many fix and flippers have is this: should I fund the project myself or borrow funding? The answer is determined by your level of risk tolerance and your return on investment (ROI) requirements.

    We’ll analyze two examples to illustrate. Example one has the investor funding the entire project with his own financing. He has $125k in savings and wants to invest. Example two has the investor leveraging a private money lender. He too has $125k in savings and wants to invest. The basics of the deal are simple: Purchase price is $75k. Repair / holding / closing costs are $25k. ARV is $125k. Profit margin is $25k. This transaction should be profitable. Is it better for the investor to use his own funds or borrow?

    Example 1- Investor uses $100k of his own funds to fund the project. What is the risk level? If during the project, an unexpected expense, such as foundation problems, electrical problems, HVAC, vandalism, or plumbing arises, where do the additional funds come from? If the holding costs go over expected timeframe, where do the funds come from? What if the investor loses his job during the fix and flip and needs to rely on his savings for survival? The point is that the money is tied up in the deal. If anything goes wrong with the deal, the investor is out $100k plus. This type of risk is the worst kind of risk.

    The second part of this question is the Return on Investment (ROI) and for the sake of this example, let’s assume that the simplified transaction goes as planned. The investor, 4 months later, closes on the property for $125k and receives a check for $125k, and deposits the profit of $25k in his bank account, netting him a 25% ROI ($25k return / $100 investment=25%). By most measures, this ROI is a success. But was the risk of $100k worth only a 25% return?

    Example 2- investor invests only $10k of his money and leverages a $90k loan at a 12% rate, adding an additional $3600 to his holding costs. The total investment from the investor in this example is only $13,600 rather than $100,000. What is the risk level? If more money is needed, the investor still has $115k in savings from which to draw. And if the deal goes south, the investor is out only the initial $10k plus holding costs rather than all $100k as in the first example. Plus, he has significant savings to live off of should any of life’s little emergencies occur. Leveraging others significantly reduces risk for the investor.

    But let’s assume the simplified transaction goes as planned. The investor, 4 months later, closes on the property for $125k. After paying the lender back $90k, the investor deposits a profit of $35k. Subtract the initial investment of $10k and the additional holding costs of $3600, and the investor netted $21,400. What is the Return on Investment? The investor invested a total of $13,600 to net a return of $21,400, which is an ROI of 157%!

    As if the risk reduction and 600% improvement on ROI weren’t already enough justification for leveraging funds of others, let’s visit the concept of opportunity cost. Opportunity costs, in economic terms, is the opportunities forgone in the choice of one expenditure over others. In example 1, an investor used the majority of their life savings and risked $100,000 for a 25% return. What if another fix and flip opportunity came to this investor? Due to all funds being tied up, he would have had to pass on the opportunity. However, the investor in example two had only utilized $13,600 from his savings. He could perform 8 more fix and flips before using $100k of his own money. That could be the difference in over $160k of profit!

    In summary, the benefits of using other people’s money when performing fix and flips is that you greatly minimize your financial risk, you increase your ROI, and minimize your opportunity costs to perform multiple transactions at one time. Given that you know what you are doing it is generally optimal to borrow money to minimize the amount of cash you have in the project to increase your returns using whatever set of metrics that you deem as appropriate.

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Thursday January 19, 2011

    Finding the Right Home
    By: kaleb j Word Doc


    Date Added : October 6, 2010 Views : 266

    www.realestatelistingsgreensboro.com Finding the right home Thinking of buying your dream home? Looking through the real estate listings in Greensboro will be a big help in your searching. Even though the real-estate market now days offer a variety of options to choose from, finding the right home that suits your needs and budget can be quite a tedious task. When out looking for a home there are a lot of things that you need to keep in mind for getting a favorable deal. It also depends on your finances regarding the afford ability of the house. Purchasing a home is a major decision and it is always beneficial to go about the whole process in an organized manner. Before finding the right home get yourself pre-qualified by a lending organization as to how much do you qualify for a mortgage. Adding the down payment to the loan amount you will be able ascertain the exact amount of money you will have to buy the house. A key point to remember in all of this is to always staying below your maximum price range as it will allow you to take care of any unexpected expenditures later on. Once you have sorted your finances and figured out your price limit, you can start searching in the area of your choice. Try doing a survey with the help of the Internet. Information about local schools, hospitals and the level of crime rate can come in handy while determining your decision for finding the right home in the right area. Also figure out the proximity to your work, shopping center and other useful places. After you have done your research and figured out your spending amount, look for a reliable Realtor. Real estate agents would be able to assist you in a much better way for finding the right home. They are familiar with the area and would be able to provide you with any background information regarding the property of your choice. You will be astonished to see the number of listings that the real tors have with them which would be quite helpful in your search. After narrowing your property search to 2 or 3 houses in the area of your choice, inspect the houses thoroughly. Make sure the structure is sound and the layout is unto your expectations. You can also include the paint work and woodwork as part of your negotiations. When fully satisfied, only then get to the necessary paperwork part. Remember finding the right home can be an exhaustive task but it is also one of the major decisions of your life. Make it a good one. Real estate listings in Greensboro can help you make this decision. Let a real estate professional assist you. www.realestatelistingsgreensboro.com


    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Wednesday January 19, 2011

    Mortgage Rates Have Decline Slightly

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    By : Paul Escobedo    99 or more times read
    Submitted 2011-01-18 16:07:02

    According to the weekly survey on mortgage rates conducted by Freddie Mac for the week ending Thursday, December 23rd, home mortgage rates on both the 30-year and the 15-year fixed-rate have declined slightly over the last week. This is not likely to become a trend. Mortgage rates are expected to reach over 5% within the next few months.

    The predictions on where mortgage rates are headed over the next year are uniform throughout the industry. Rates are going to go up. Over the last month we have seen a gradual increase in both the 30-year and the 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. There have been some minor exceptions, such as the declines posted this last week. However, everyone that decides to track mortgages rates should expect the rates to rise over the next year and eventually level out somewhere between 5% and 6%.

    Currently the rates are still under 5%, yet they are much significantly higher than the 4.17% record low posted just a month ago. According to the weekly survey of home mortgage rates conducted by Freddie Mac, rates declined by 0.02% on the 30-year and the 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. The average on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.81% a decrease from the 4.83% the previous week. The average on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.15% a decrease from the 4.17% the prior week.

    To obtain rates at the posted figures, borrowers had to pay an average of a 0.7 point on the mortgages, a point is universally 1% of the mortgage amount charged as prepaid interest. To put this in a better perspective, an individual with good credit history trying to qualify for the current rate of 4.81% on their home mortgage loan for a $300,000 home would need to pay an average of $2,100 as prepaid interest.

    There are chances that interest rates could dip slightly below the current rate for a brief time. Overall, rates will most likely continue their gradual climb over the next year. Higher mortgage sounds like a bad thing. For those who are trying to qualify for a home loan or are looking to refinance at the historic low rates posted recently and cannot, sure higher rates seem like a bad thing. When the rates go higher and eventually level out, we'll be that much closer to a healthy housing market nationwide.
    Author Resource:- Find new homes for sale from various builders around the country. Take a look at some of our Frisco new homes section for home builders in your area.
    Article From Real Estate Pro Articles

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Tuesday January 11, 2011

    Investing with Suntrust Foreclosure Homes

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    By : John Cutts    29 or more times read
    Submitted 2011-01-11 10:55:12
    Suntrust foreclosure homes are really bank owned foreclosures whose owners have failed to fulfill their loan obligations. Because there are a large variety of homeowners who default, there is also a wide variety of properties that go into the inventory. You can find apartments, condos, single-unit and multi-unit homes and many others. If you are a beginning investor, buying these foreclosures will allow you to invest your money wisely and grow them to their maximum potential.

    Why Buy Suntrust Foreclosures

    The first and primary reason why you should buy Suntrust foreclosure homes is because their rates are currently low and you may lose the chance of gaining these unbelievable prices in the coming months or years if you postpone your purchase. If you are renting now and dishing out hundreds or even thousands of dollars in rental money, you may want to consider buying a Suntrust foreclosed property and put that money in your mortgage to earn equity for yourself.

    Also, it is definitely a good time to take advantage of the large tax breaks available to homeowners. If you compute these tax breaks into your monthly earnings, you will see that buying a house rather than renting one is the wiser choice. A few thousand dollars in tax breaks a year is like earning the same amount with no work entailed from you.

    Of course, another reason why you should buy Suntrust foreclosures is because the property prices now are too good to resist and they will definitely increase over time. If you do not start building your equity now, you may never get the opportunity to build your retirement nest by the time you are ready to quit working. Suntrust foreclosure homes will allow you to at least start saving your money and investing in a property that will surely appreciate over time.

    With all these reasons, it is not difficult to see why buying cheap foreclosed properties can ultimately be a good investment move. All you need to do is to find a good and reliable source of foreclosure information and you can already start building up your knowledge for a successful foreclosure investing.
    Author Resource:- John Cutts has been educating buyers on the finer points of Suntrust foreclosure homes at BankForeclosuresSale.com for over ten years. Contact John Cutts through BankForeclosuresSale.com if you need help finding information about Suntrust foreclosure homes.
    Article From Real Estate Pro Articles

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Friday January 7, 2011

    3 Ways to Build Your Buyers/Sellers List
    by Emily Hay


    As real estate investors, we buy and sell property. I focus on residential real estate in southeast Michigan and one thing that is consistent no matter where you are based is that as real estate investors, we all need to build our buyers list and sellers list in order to do our work. When I first started getting active in this business, people asked me, “Emily, how is your buyers list going?”

    So, by hearing over and over how important it is to have a pool of buyers ready to go for when I want to sell a property, I began networking and asking each investor I met what kind of property they invest in. I made a spreadsheet with all of their contact information, what they were looking to buy and their price range (when I was starting out I didn’t want to invest in a software system to manage this information, so a nicely organized spreadsheet did the trick). My buyers list began to build.

    I had someone else ask me, “Emily, if you only have a buyers list, what inventory are you going to have to offer them?” This was also an important wake-up call that I also need to be looking for prospective sellers all the time to build up my sellers listwhich is where leads can primarily come in from. Since I am not a licensed real estate professional, the MLS wasn’t high on my list of initial resources to search for deals.

    When I sold copiers we had to make cold calls, a lot of them, we often called it “dialing for dollars” and it wasn’t always fun…or ever fun really! As a sales rep, I was also lucky enough to have a base of customer accounts that I had to look after and sell to when it came time for their business to purchase new copiers. As a real estate investor, I had nothing…no names to work with, no account base whatsoever…I had to build from the ground up and this process certainly doesn’t stop.

    While calling people out of the blue asking them if they want to sell or buy a house doesn't seem to make sense, there ARE ways to successfully prospect for leads.

    Here are 3 Methods to Build your Buyers and Sellers List:

    1) Bandit Signs: Good ol' fashion "We Buy Houses" signs. In this day and age of online marketing, it was a marketing method that I had to remind myself “Don’t knock it til you try it!”

    The keys to a successful bandit sign campaign are the following factors:

  • Phone Number: Get an easy to remember phone number

  • Color: I like white background and bright blue font (professionally printed)

  • Sign Size: I like 18’ x 24’. You can expect the signs to cost $2-3 per sign if professionally printed with the specs I suggested. Here's a good resource for ordering: http://www.supercheapsigns.com/

  • Location: I put the signs up myself. People thought I was crazy for not "outsourcing" this but I wanted to learn how to do it myself because how else would I be able to explain to someone the most effective ways to do it? There is certainly a method to putting these up and it includes putting them in places where traffic stops for a while, not where cars are whizzing by more than 30 MPH. I feel its effective to target the zip codes you like to do business in as well as consistently posting signs at the same locations.

    Something to be aware of when you are putting these up – they are called bandit signs for a reason –they are generally “not allowed” by most city ordinances. So, just keep that in mind or you may get a call from the city. If you do, I recommend you be very apologetic. Be sure to ask them where the sign was located and make sure not to put the sign back in that spot!

    2) Squeeze Pages (or landing pages): People talk about these a lot today. The term squeeze page has come from the goal to “squeeze” information (namely an email address) out of your prospects. It is worthwhile for a person to provide their name and email address as they will get a free report for example. Greg Clement, a real estate investing authority & mentor I have counted on, defines the squeeze page as “a web page designed to compel the visitor to take one specific action upon the moment of landing on the page. The sole purpose of the squeeze page is to convert the page visitor into a lead.”

    3) Direct Mail: This is another method that I swore shouldn’t be needed in 2010 when so much is done online and through email. While direct mail is certainly more expensive and more work than sending emails, it is a method that generates a mild to moderate amount of leads. I have mailed physical letters to prospective sellers in order to grow my sellers lists. I focus on targeting only a few different audiences (foreclosures and probate) as I want to be sure my efforts are not spread across too many areas at first.

    One thing to keep in mind with direct mail, you have to have very low conversion expectations. I send out hundreds of letters and get 3-6 responses…I keep track of the cost to understand how much these leads are costing me and for now, it is worth continuing.

    I am confident that if you use these methods, the leads will come and your buyers/sellers lists will build over time. As I use these methods to slowly build up my contacts, I keep in mind that real estate investing is a long-term business…a marathon, not a sprint!
  • Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Tuesday January 4, 2011

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Wednesday December 28th, 2010


    Recession Can\'t Stop Entrepreneurship: Layoffs and Cutbacks Push Many to Start Businesses

    By: Cassandra Black

    Corporate Layoffs & Cutbacks Push Many to Entrepreneurship  


    It's no surprise new businesses are still cropping up in the midst of one of the toughest economies and real estate markets in the nation's history.  With corporate downsizing and continuing layoffs, entrepreneurs are still opening their doors at a maddening pace. 


    Over Half of Companies Launched During a Recession


    According to a report entitled, "The Economic Future Just Happened," profiled by the Kauffman Foundation (the world's largest foundation devoted to entrepreneurship), more than half of the companies on the 2009 Fortune 500 list were launched during a recession or bear market.


    Further, according to the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), an independent voice for small business within the federal government, an estimated 27.5 million small businesses operated in the United States in 2009; and they created 65 percent of "net" new jobs.


    Entrepreneurship is a vital part of the United State's make-up, both historically and today.  Almost half of the companies on the 2008 Inc. list of America?s fastest-growing companies were entrepreneurs.   


    Business-owning Households Have More Wealth


    Research by an arm of the SBA indicates that households propelled by entrepreneur endeavors (business-owning households) are more likely than others to have higher income and wealth than non business-owning households. 


    Worldwide Fostering of Small Business Start-up


    Entrepreneurship is promoted and fostered the world over.  The upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Week, a worldwide phenomenon, is proof in itself. Global Entrepreneurship Week, taking place November 15th through November 21st of this year, is an event that will celebrate and promote entrepreneurship in over 100 countries. Over 20,000 organizations, almost 58,000 events (slated to be held in individual countries), and millions of people, are expected to celebrate, inspire and promote new ideas, enterprise and entrepreneurship.


    Finding a Ripe Business Opportunity in a Down Market


    For those considering entrepreneurship, the task lies in finding a solid business opportunity that fills a void, or fits a need, in a struggling economy.  The foreclosure crisis has created one such opportunity in the United States and can be credited with the now burgeoning "foreclosure cleanup industry" (also referred to as the "mortgage field services industry" or "property preservation industry").


    According to recent Amherst Securities research, highlighted via an MSNBC editorial, approximately 11 million borrowers are at risk of losing their homes. With figures like these, starting a foreclosure cleanup business is an example of a ripe business in a market suited for services under the foreclosure cleanup and foreclosure cleaning umbrellas.


    With the increasing number of foreclosures on the market today, and with those expected to materialize in the future, the foreclosure cleaning industry is continuing to climb as a viable business opportunity for eager entrepreneurs seeking business opportunities in the midst of corporate cutbacks and layoffs.  


    No End in Sight for Entrepreneurship


    Entrepreneurship is growing by leaps and bounds in the U.S. and abroad, no matter the state of the economy, with no end in sight, for eager professionals ready to strike out and open new businesses.


    For more information on starting a foreclosure cleanup business, click here.


    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Tuesday December 21st, 2010

    Zero In On Motivated Sellers
    by William Bronchick, Esq.

    When investing in real estate, you want to focus your efforts on motivated sellers. This is true especially if you are just starting out. and dealing with motivated sellers makes the process go even faster, which means cash in your pocket sooner rather than later.
    Motivated sellers are people who MUST sell their homes. So…what motivates a seller to have to sell his home? Financial distress for one. Maybe he is behind on payments. Maybe he is facing foreclosure. Maybe even bankruptcy. Maybe he is facing a huge medical bill. Or a divorce settlement is looming on the horizon.

    Positive reasons can force the need for a quick sale. A job relocation and not wanting to deal with a vacant house, let alone rent it out and have the value plunge. Getting married and having no need for two houses.
    You may think you are taking advantage of these homeowners. Actually, you are doing them a favor. Think what happens if the homeowner does not make the sale. He could be foreclosed upon, or worse, forced into bankruptcy. Or an empty house could be destroyed by vandals. Renters could wreak havoc on the value of the house.

    It’s easy to see, then, that these sellers need you. You are, in fact, a savior of sorts.

    O.K., now how do you find these motivated sellers? Some tips:

    1. Build a website, or have one built for you, announcing that you buy houses. Not a techie? Trywww.turnkeyinvestorsites.com

    2. Run classified ads in your local newspaper. Place your classifieds in dailies, weeklies, even free newspapers. Hint: advertorials(looks like editorial copy; reads like an ad; purports to educate but is really an ad)

    3. Set up bandit signs, those little signs on stakes and phone poles, announcing that you buy houses for cash, fast. Warning: Don’t get carried away creating these until you find out they are legal in your area. If they are not, you can always place them after 5P.M. Friday evening through Sunday evening, because the sign police are not out and about then.

    4. Put signs on your car. You are now a rolling billboard. You’d be surprised how many people will approach you when you are parked somewhere.

    5. A bit more expensive, but take out a Yellow Pages ad. Hint: Use the advertorial approach to stand out from competitors.

    6. On line, go to classified ad sites, especially free ones, like www.Craigslist.org

    7. Once you get going, and can afford it, going the direct mail route can be quite profitable. Mail to people within a zip code (shotgun marketing) or get a list of particular people, such as those in foreclosure (targeted marketing).

    The bottom line is you can’t sit around waiting for deals to come to you, you must go out and find them and/or do things to get people to call you. 90% of sellers are not motivated, so be patient and be willing to weed through a lot of unmotivated sellers before you get that one that is dying to sell his home for cheap.

    Learn More at Our Upcoming 

    Post by Golden Real Estate

    Wednesday December 15th, 2010

    The Obama Plan? Banks Help More Homeowners Than the President

    It was easy to jump on the bandwagon two years ago and accuse the banks of being cold, cruel, callous, and indifferent to homeowners' plights. Millions of homeowners were struggling to make ends meet, to pay their mortgage, and to stay in their homes and yet millions more were facing foreclosure. The mantra during President Obama's election campaign and early months of his presidency was that banks weren't doing enough to help these struggling homeowners.

    The numbers are in

    Well, the news can be sometimes deceiving, but the truth is that banks have helped more homeowners stay in their homes than all of Obama's policies put together. The basic principle for banks is that it is poor business sense to continue to foreclose on one home after another after another. The bank is responsible for property taxes, repairs, upkeep, maintenance, and reselling of the home and these numbers begin to add up significantly in short order.

    As a result, banks are doing more than twice the number of loan modifications than the Obama Administration's signature Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). While this should certainly be good news for homeowners across the country, consumer advocate groups warn that the terms of the modification process may not be as good as what some homeowners have received through the HAMP program.

    Looking at the fine print numbers

    HAMP originated home loan modifications are generally engineered to keep monthly payments down to 31% of the homeowner's pre-tax income. Some of the bank initiated modifications may not be enough for the homeowner to be able to afford and sustain the payments throughout the term of the loan. It's important to evaluate these terms before deciding whether to pull the trigger and move forward with the modification or possibly move onto the government program, if they can even qualify.

    Reducing interest and principal

    Many banks were in the business to simply tack on any missed monthly payments to the end of the loan period. This helped some homeowners recover, but for the most part, all this did was delay the inevitable. After all, if the homeowner couldn't afford the monthly payment before, then odds are they weren't going to be able to afford it later on, either. The idea in a loan modification is to lower the interest and the principal so that the monthly payments are more manageable.

    With the decrease in home values throughout the country during the past three years, many homeowners have found themselves upside-down in their mortgages, meaning they owed far more than the home was even worth anymore. Banks finally took notice of this and began to work with some homeowners to modify the loans.

    Crediting the President

    While more banks are taking the initiative in modifying loans, they also acknowledge that the President's HAMP program laid the groundwork for them to follow. Before HAMP, there was no industry standard on loan modifications and each bank was left to fend for itself in the rough waters, trying to navigate for profit while at the same time balancing the desire to keep as many homeowners in their homes.

    As a result, more than 78% of the bank in-house loan modifications were found to involve adjusting interest rates or principal reductions. This information was formulate by the Hope Now foundation. Still, there are more consumer advocate groups that are calling on banks to do more and to help more homeowners.

    It's clear that the housing industry is struggling severely and foreclosures continue to mount every month. With the Federal government in serious debt trouble, it will be incumbent upon the banks to step up and make the sacrifice, not only for themselves, but also for the homeowners, and the housing industry as a whole.


    David Reinholtz is a professional Mortgage expert in Real Estate Industry. David is also a sales and marketing expert and trains professionals in every career field. David has personally trained tens of thousands of loan officers, mortgage brokers, real estate agents and individuals through The Close More University Seminar Series, LoanOfficerSchool.com Classes, Correspondence and On Line Learning, and countless private engagements and training events throughout the country.

    David is the Founder and CEO of LoanOfficerSchool.com, an approved education provider for The Conference of State Bank Supervisors and The National Mortgage Licensing Systems' (NMLS) required pre-licensing education and continuing education.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_Reinholtz

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Monday December 13, 2010

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    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Monday December 13, 2010

    How Much Do Holiday Lights Cost to Run?

    On average, holiday lighting costs just pennies a day. However, elaborate displays that use large incandescent bulbs can add as much as $80 to a monthly power bill, depending on the number of bulbs and how long they are lit each day.

    "That's a huge difference, especially if you're not expecting it," said Gianna Manes, a senior vice president with Duke Energy, Charlotte, N.C. "There are so many energy efficient options available today that even the most elaborate display can fit into anyone's budget."

    Six sets of 100 large incandescent bulbs plugged in six hours a day can add up to $80 to an energy bill. The same style bulb that uses a light-emitting diode (LED) rated at 65 watts would increase the electric bill by only about $7 a month. Using mini lights will reduce the cost increase even further—to about $1 a month.

    To help customers estimate their holiday lighting cost, Duke Energy has added a calculator to its website. Residential customers can visit www.duke-energy.com and select their state to access the calculator.

    For customers who prefer to run manual calculations, the formula is:

    Wattage divided by 1000 = kilowatts

    Kilowatts X total hours of use per day = kilowatt-hours (kWh)

    KWh X $0.10 (average residential costs per kWh) = total cost per day per string of lights

    Total light sets X daily cost per set X 31 (days in December) = Average Cost

    Example: Using one set of the large, 100 count mini LED bulbs = 40.8 watts:

    40.8 watts divided by 1000 = 0.04 kilowatts

    0.04 X 6 hours = 0.24 kilowatt hours

    0.24 kWh X $.10 = $0.02448 cost per set per day

    $0.02448 X 31 = $0.75888 per set for the month

    $0.75888 X 6 = $4.55 for six sets used six hours a day every day in December

    Source: Duke Energy

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Friday December 10, 2010

    How To Sell A House In A Down Market

    By: Scott Michael
    Submitted: 06:19AM on Wednesday 10 December 2008

    The author has permitted the reprinting and redistribution of this article.
    See our Terms of Use for more information on reproducing it.

    In today’s market I see allot of frustrated real estate agents. You can always tell the good agents from the opportunist.

    Opportunist seem to be there when the going is good. As soon as it goes south, they either go broke or move on.

    Today’s market conditions make the good agents tend to look at niche marketing. One way that we have seen a increase in, is owners carrying back all or most of the paper or mortgage on the home.

    With this said, have you asked your customer if they are willing to finance the property that they are trying to sell. Most owners will say no. They tend to say, I don’t want to carry back a mortgage, I am not a bank, I just want to cash out and move on.

    What if you had a investor that would buy that mortgage from your client at the time of closing, what would the answer be then?

    This type of closing is called a simultaneous closing. So, it is possible as long as the credit check comes back ok and the title is clean you could sell a home.

    Take a look at your clients, see what ones that this will benefit from.

    Hope this helps, and happy selling.


    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Thursday December 9, 2010

    7 Common Options For Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

    By: Tom Bukacek
    Submitted: 12:53AM on Thursday 30 July 2009

    The author has permitted the reprinting and redistribution of this article.
    See our Terms of Use for more information on reproducing it.

    According to RealtyTrac.com, 1 out of 84 homeowners received at least 1 foreclosure filing during the first half of 2009, and for the 4th straight month, more than 300,000 foreclosure filings were reported nationwide. The FDIC reports that the 2 most common reasons for foreclosures are job loss and health crisis. Despite the media seemingly blaming a subprime loan program that affected 3-5% of the population for our foreclosure woes, the reality is that the combination of job loss and dropping home values have created a perfect storm of financial disasters for many normal families. Now with a slower real estate market translating into falling home values, more homeowners who opted for adjustable rate mortgages are finding that their mortgage rate is rising as their home value is lowering. Therefore, unfortunately, the foreclosure crisis in America is likely to continue.

    In years past, if you lost your job, couldn’t pay medical bills, or moved out of state, you had a decent chance of selling your home for a profit, or at least breaking even. Now, many people are tens of thousands of dollars upside down on their loan and are unable to downsize to a smaller dwelling without suffering a foreclosure. According to homebuying.com, a foreclosure will damage a consumer’s credit score, lowering it on average 200-300 points and making it difficult to get another home for 5-7 years. Bad things happen to good people, and the purpose of this article is to provide people with options available to them during the foreclosure process:

    • Option 1- Bring loan current. According to the FDIC, most homeowners in foreclosure have no savings and no available credit. And since the number one reason for foreclosure is due to job loss, there may be no way for the homeowner to catch up the loan. However, if you as a homeowner struggling with a foreclosure have the reasonable expectation of income coming in sometime in the near future, it may benefit you to talk to an extended family member or friend about a short term loan.
    • Option 2- Loan modifications. According to a Freddie Mac / Roper Poll, most homeowners fail to contact their lender because they are embarrassed, don’t believe the lender can help, and/or believe it would cause them to lose their home more quickly. However, this option may be a viable. Loan modifications occur when the bank agrees to reduce principal, interest, and/or payments. Unless you have experience with the Loss Mitigation Dept. at banks, I would recommend working with a legitimate, experienced loan modification company who can prepare an effective argument for the banks because loan modifications do not have a high success rate. According to the Office of Comptroller Mortgage Metrics report of April 2009, “…In 2008, only 41.85 percent of all modifications reduced monthly principal and interest payments for homeowners. For delinquent borrowers - - a loan modification resulted in an INCREASED or EQUAL payment amount 58.15% of the time!!” As stated earlier, the number one reason for people going into foreclosure is due to job loss. If no income is coming in from a traditional job, then there is little chance that a mortgage company will reduce your loan principle, interest rates, or payment.
    • Option 3 – Forbearance. Forbearances are when a mortgage company allows you to delay your payments or spread your missed payments over the next specified number of months until you are caught up. Again, if you have a reasonable expectation of revenue coming into your household within a certain number of months, then this may be a solution for you. However, keep in mind that until your past amounts are brought current, you will have a negative mark against your credit, even during months when you are paying more than your requirement! Also, some programs may allow the banks to immediately foreclose on you if you fall behind on payments again. Read the agreement you receive from the bank diligently and weigh the pros and cons carefully.
    • Option 4- Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure. According to Nolo.com, “with a deed in lieu of foreclosure, you give your home to the lender (the “deed”) in exchange for the lender canceling the loan. The lender promises not to initiate foreclosure proceedings, and to terminate any existing foreclosure proceedings.” This option, if accepted by the bank, is a quick and easy way to walk away from the house, doesn’t require a sale, and may look better on a credit report than other options. Also, some banks may accept this option as it is less expensive than the foreclosure process. This process will not work if you have multiple liens on the house. Also, banks are in the business of collecting cash, not property. And the banks are holding onto more property than they would like so this options very seldom works. Plus, in many mortgage agreements, it is stated that if the buyer goes into default, the bank will only take the property back through foreclosure.
    • Option 5 – Bankruptcy. This option is widely misunderstood and possibly the worst option for homeowners. Bankruptcy will only pause a foreclosure, not eliminate it. As stated earlier, most mortgage agreements state that if the property goes into default, the bank will take back the property through foreclosure. Then, you will have both a bankruptcy and foreclosure on your credit history for the next 10 years! Plus, you may still be required to work out a repayment plan for the house. Seek legal counseling prior to deciding on a bankruptcy.
    • Option 6 – Foreclosure. Do nothing and let the bank take the house back. The foreclosure process will negatively impact your credit by dropping your score 200-300 points and preventing you from purchasing a house again for another 5-7 months. Plus, you may be sued for deficiencies by the bank for the difference between what the house sold for at auction and what you owed. Or you may receive a 1099 from the bank, stating that the difference is income and you can be taxed upon it.
    • Option 7- Short Sale. A short sale occurs when a third party negotiates with the mortgage company to accept a discount on what is owned and release their interest in a property in exchange for a cash payment. The seller is not allowed to financially benefit from the transaction. For a short sale scenario, it is better to utilize the services of a Real Estate Investor rather than a Realtor. First, an investor has more experience with these types of creative transactions than a Realtor. Second, the investor will agree to purchase the house, providing the bank with a signed Purchase Agreement. This Purchase Agreement increases the likelihood of a bank accepting a discount. Most Realtors try to negotiate with the bank and then find a buyer after the negotiations. This strategy leads to a very low success rate. Some of the drawbacks of a short sale are similar to a foreclosure, as your credit score will be negatively impacted but you may be able to purchase a house again after 24 months. Also, you may be sued and taxed as well, although if you have a knowledgeable investor working your short sale, he or she can negotiate with the bank a ‘satisfaction of the loan’ result, meaning that the accepted short sale would satisfy the loan and no remedies would be needed.

    Doing nothing or declaring bankruptcy is probably your worst option. Homeowners facing foreclosure today are going through enough misery and stress and deserve options other than these.

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Tuesday December 7, 2010

    Apple Inc Becomes the Biggest Landowner in Cupertino

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    Rudson Tren    99 or more times read
    Submitted 2010-12-07 08:09:35

    By :

    Author Resource:- For cheap foreclosure in Queens Village, NY, visit foreclosureconnections.com, your source of foreclosures.
    Real Estate Pro Articles
    Computer and mobile music player maker Apple Inc has acquired a huge tract of land from technology competitor Hewlett-Packard. The 98-acre Real Estate piece used to be part of HP’s Cupertino headquarters in California. The property transaction made Apple Inc the biggest landowner to date in the suburban city. Exact purchase figures were not disclosed, but property experts came out with a rough estimate of about $300 million based on current Real Estate prices in the vicinity.

    The acquisition is believed to enable Apple Inc to provide more working space for its staff in time for perceived and targeted growth. The company now owns and occupies up to 57 buildings in the area. Market observers noted that the technology firm hired additional 12,300 employees last year. Total global workforce of the firm now stands at about 46,600.

    Thus, Apple Inc’s growth is often described as ‘spectacular.’ According to reports, the company is one of the only remaining businesses in the valley that continues to hire people. It is logical that the company needs more space in the area.

    It should be noted that Apple Inc is focused at expanding its Real Estate. It remains unclear what the company would exactly do in its latest property purchase. The company is yet to reveal plans as to how it would use the additional piece of land it bought from HP, which in turn is focusing on its Palo Alto facilities, still in California.

    Apple Inc has just doubled the size of its Cupertino home base. The company issued a statement saying that its ‘campus is currently bursting at its seams.’ It is also not clear by this time how the property transaction would pose impact to Real Estate prices and demand in the area.

    The Real Estate purchase comes as Apple Inc sets to roll out huge discount sales for the so-called Black Friday weekend. The company is offering hefty post-Thanksgiving markdowns on prices of some of its popular consumer electronic products. It has made the discount scheme an annual event in time for the holiday.

    Apple Inc has announced that it would slash prices of its MacBook Pro, Air notebooks, and iMac by $101. It would also reduce by $41 price tags of its popular iPod Touch and iPad. It would offer huge discounts on prices of select accessories including headphones, iPad cases, docks, Magic Mouse, and Time Capsule.

    Article From

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Monday December 6, 2010

    Buying a Puerto Vallarta Home – Communities to Consider

    Edit Article | Posted: Dec 06, 2010 |Comments: 0 | Share
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    If you are going to buy Puerto Vallarta real estate, you have a large variety of community and neighborhood options before you, ranging from the classic expat neighborhoods next to downtown, to the gentrifying neighborhoods up on the surrounding hillsides, to the very modern suburban areas out along the beachfront. When it comes to buying a Puerto Vallarta home, many of these options present good possibilities; the following are a few that stand out.


    Hillside Communities surrounding the Old Town. A number of these communities are just beginning to have new condo complexes appear, and are in the process of gentrification. In some, homes are harder to come by, and a little pricier, but sometimes very good deals can be found, including fixer-upper projects, offering life in a very convenient community for a much more accessible price. These communities are usually within walking distance to the dining and nightlife of downtown and the boardwalk area, but a taxi ride might be preferable to get back home.


    Nuevo Vallarta and the surrounding communities. Nuevo Vallarta is a newer area, but has already become an established favorite for many American and Canadian buyers. This area offers all the conveniences of a modern lifestyle with close proximity to shopping malls as well as the beach. There are also golf course communities with great options for Puerto Vallarta homes in upscale communities.


    Marina Vallarta. This exclusive marina community offers not only boating access to the bay, but also some of the best shopping and dining areas of Puerto Vallarta. In addition to the marina development itself, there are also nearby communities which offer good options for lower-priced homes, which can even be within walking distance to many of the conveniences.


    Nearby Villages. While most of the options are located in town, or the areas out along the bay, now and then a very beautiful home for an accessible price will turn up a short drive up the road, into the hills. These are beautiful and charming areas; a car would definitely be necessary, but for some people this may be their thing.


    TOPMexicoRealEstate.com; Mexico's Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely

    (ArticlesBase SC #3796864)

    Posted by Golden Real Estate
    Friday December 3, 2010

    Is your GPS Set for 2011?

    Written by: Carla Cross
    - Nov 24, 2010 5:00:00 AM

    Recently, I was in beautiful, historic South Carolina to do a three-day management symposium. Having gotten lost in the past more times than I’d like to admit, I ordered a GPS included in my rental car. But, being somewhat of a control freak, I don’t want to rely JUST on a GPS to tell me where to go. I want to know the why, and I want to know the general layout of the land.

    How about you? Do you have your “business” GPS set for 2011? Do you know where you’re going? Or, are you relying on your company, some guru, the market, or just dumb luck to get you a great 2011? (that’s like relying on a GPS to be your brain….)

    Here are three best tips to get that business GPS set so you have the kind of 2011 you want to have.


    1. Decide on your Best Vehicles for YOU


    Unfortunately, too many of us rely on someone else’s business plan. Then, when it doesn’t work, we don’t have the knowledge, the background, and the information to make adjustments. Same thing with the GPS. To get that GPS to work for you, you have to set your destination. Unfortunately, as I was traveling last week, I put my destination into the GPS—and the GPS didn’t recognize it! That meant I had to go back to the old brain and think things out. Knowing the why behind your choices is key to get on track and make adjustments as needed.


    What are your best vehicles? So many agents are running toward short sales and foreclosures. Yet, a recent survey of California buyers showed that buyers didn’t think agents knew enough about those types of properties. Why? I think it was because agents try to chase someone else’s business plan. Instead, figure out


    • what were your best sources of business in the past
    • do you have enough of them to support your next year’s business


    If not, you’ll have to work another source of business, too. One of the major mistakes agents make is to depend on a source of business that doesn’t have a large enough client base to sustain them. How many potential clients do you need to reach your goals? Find out.


    2. Work those vehicles like you were going to become that next mega-agent


    My husband just showed me a new GPS that has lots of bells and whistles, and is very reasonably priced. Have you noticed that products have to be getting better all the time, or they fall by the wayside? It’s the same with real estate agents.  In truth, most of us give up way before we should. Statistics show that clients take 9-16 months now to make a ‘buying’ decision. Yet, 50% of agents are out of the business in their first year, and 75% are out by the end of two years. In other words, the majority of agents gave up prior to getting the pay-offs they worked for.


    What does ‘work’ mean?  That means you have to work this market—not the one from 2007! Lead generate 2 hours a day 5 days a week. It’s not a ‘mediocre agent succeeds’ kind of business anymore. The consumer is tired of it, managers should not tolerate it, and you deserve more than just surviving!


    3. Build in goals and measurement tools—and use them


    A GPS is no good if we don’t follow it! The same is true of your business plan. If you don’t build in measureable goals—along with ways to measure progress, that business plan is worse than useless. 


    For more information on business planning systems for agents and leadership, see www.carlacross.com.


    Carla Cross, CRB, MA, is an international speaker, writer, and coach, specializing in real estate management. A National Realtor Educator of the Year, Carla was recently named one of the 50 most influential women in real estate. Join her newsletter community, and receive Carla’s new eBook, Getting to Yes: Ten Tools to Remove Barriers to a Decision. Click here.  Contact Carla at 425-392-6914 or http://www.carlacross.com.

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Thursday December 2, 2010

    Building Your Real Estate Investing Team

    By: Bill Cook
    Submitted: 02:24PM on Thursday 25 March 2010

    The author has permitted the reprinting and redistribution of this article.
    See our Terms of Use for more information on reproducing it.

    Building Your Real Estate Investing Team

    Real estate investing IS NOT a go-it-alone undertaking. To be successful, you need a team – a great team – behind you, helping you every step of the way.

    Many new investors make the mistake of NOT putting a team together BEFORE making their first offer. This causes many investors – because no one is watching their back – to fail even before they begin.

    Think about it: You are a new investor with no team behind you. You meet with a homeowner who needed to sell his house yesterday. The seller offers to sell you his $100,000 house for $40,000. An incredible deal, right? One problem: The seller needs you to close in ten days. Now what do you do, hombre?

    Many people wrongly think the scariest part of real estate investing is when you knock on a seller’s door. Other people think the scariest part is when you sit at a seller’s kitchen table and present your written offer – and they’re wrong, too. The most terrifying part of real estate investing is when you present your written offer and the seller says, “YES!” Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

    The fear of a seller accepting the offer is what prevents most new investors from ever making an offer in the first place. After all, if a seller accepts, what do you do then? Where do you get the money to buy the property? Who will do the closing? What about insurance? How do you know whether the house is really worth $100,000? Who will do the repairs? Once you own the property, what will you do with it?

    By having an experienced, knowledgeable, wise real estate investing team in place before you make an offer, you will be able to quickly get the answers to your most important will-this-be-okay questions.

    Our real estate investing team is actually two teams: Our primary team and our secondary team.

    Our primary real estate investing team consists of four professionals who’s job it is to keep our business running straight and/or protect our assets. They are our real estate attorney, CPA, insurance agent, and banker.

    Our secondary team is made up of all the other people we work with on a regular basis: Realtors, mortgage brokers, a home inspector, contractors, landscapers, painters, appraisers, a bookkeeper, etc.

    You are probably wondering where to find the best, most experienced professionals and contractors to be on your team. Easy answer: Ask experienced investors in your area who they use. You’ll discover that most investors use the same attorney, CPA, etc.

    Remember, one of the reasons these investors are successful is because they work with great people who know what they are doing!

    Now, get started building your real estate investing team!

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Wednesday December 1, 2010

    10 Tips for a Mold-Free House

    By Tom Kraeutler, AOL Home Improvement Editor
    January 14, 2008

    TEXT: A A A

    October is the time of the year when most of us start thinking about sealing the hatches in our homes for the season. But before you do that, it’s healthy to think about exactly what you might be trapping inside to keep you company all winter long.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mold growth can exist practically anywhere. Whether you are inside or outside, mold spores are there. They can enter your home through openings as large as doors or windows, or as small as the tiniest gap you ever chased with a caulk gun. Once in your home, the spores can grow on clothes, shoes, toys or even pets. Worse yet, mold is almost certain to release clouds of potentially harmful spores that, once airborne, can take the shortest path to your lungs.

    Some molds are harmful, others are benign. And, how mold affects you can depend on your own personal sensitivity. Mold expert Jeff May learned this first hand. The Johns Hopkins University Press author of three books ('My House is Killing Me,' 'My Office is Killing Me' and the 'Mold Survival Guide'), wasn’t always such an accomplished expert on how mold can make you really sick.

    “For years, I had an office air conditioner that was probably too big for the space. As a result, my office was always damp and I’d cough whenever the AC came on. Then one day I opened it up and found that everything inside had turned black with Cladosporium mold. That was the defining moment when I put two and two together,” he said.

    According to May, the first step to avoiding mold is to understand what makes it tick. Mold needs three things to grow: moisture, air and food, and this combination can be found just about anywhere in your home. “Mold grows where it can find food: the dust on a bathroom ceiling, the starch paste on the back of wallpaper, or the plant fibers that make up the jute pad under a carpet. Add moisture, and mold growth begins,” said May.

    Here’s what you need to know to keep your home mold-free:

  • Mind the Moisture Keep humidity below 50 percent in basements. Improve outside grading and drainage by keeping gutters clean and soil always sloping away from your home. Cover dirt crawlspace floors with plastic to reduce moisture.
  • Store Safely Keep all storage at least several inches up off concrete floors and away from foundations where dampness can easily seep in. This is especially important with organic material like cardboard boxes. Avoid using wooden shelves; metal or plastic shelves are preferable.
  • Heat Finished Basements Below grade spaces like finished basements are more likely to become infested and should always be heated to at least 60 degrees, even when not being used. The warmer the space, the less the chance that condensation will form and feed a mold problem.
  • Build Mold Resistant When choosing building materials, use materials that don’t feed the mold. Tom Combs took this option when remodeling the bathroom in his family’s 1990 lake house outside of Atlanta, Georgia. “The ceiling was covered with mold and I wanted to take immediate action before the situation worsened.” Combs’ solution was Dens Armor Plus, a wallboard made by Georgia Pacific that is specifically designed to prevent mold growth. Unlike regular drywall that has a paper face, Dens Armor Plus has a fiberglass face that cannot feed a mold problem.
  • Ventilate Vigorously Poor or missing ventilation fans in damp spaces like baths and kitchens can leave enough moisture behind to sustain a mold problem. Make sure all baths and kitchens are vented by properly sized fans that take moisture outside and NOT into attics. Keep the bathroom door open after bathing to speed drying of surfaces.
  • Avoid Basement Carpets More than almost any other material in a house, carpets can be incredibly effective havens for mold. Even non-organic carpets can collect dirt, dust and moisture that combine to provide mold a fertile ground in which to grow, especially in below-grade spaces where relative humidity tends to be higher. Hard surface products like laminate flooring or engineered hardwoods are always a better choice for basement spaces.
  • Filter the Air If your home has a forced-air heating and cooling system, using a top quality air filter is a must. May recommends pleated filters with a MERV rating of at least six to eight, or 11 if the family is prone to allergies. Another option is a whole house electronic air cleaner. Mounted permanently to the home’s HVAC system, a whole house air cleaner uses ionization technology to charge particles making them stick to filters like a magnet. According to Consumer Reports, the most effective unit is the Aprilaire Model 5000, which can trap virus-sized particles as small as one micron (one millionth of a meter) and needs just yearly filter replacement.
  • Insulate Ducts Duct systems that carry heated or cooled air throughout your house must be insulated whenever they pass through unheated or uncooled spaces like attics or basements. If not, condensation can form inside the ducts and, when combined with dust in the air, can allow mold to grow in the ducts, and then spores can easily circulate throughout your entire house.
  • Clean Carefully Use mold-inhibiting cleaners in bathrooms and kitchens. Portable air conditioning units should be taken apart and cleaned at the start of every season. When painting damp spaces like kitchens and bathrooms, use paint with a mold inhibitor EPA-approved for indoor use.
  • Fix Floods Fast If you do have a major leak or flood, quick action can stop mold before it starts. Thoroughly dry soaked carpets and padding, and remove any wet upholstery. Then wash and disinfect all surfaces before the carpet and pad are replaced.

    Mold may be a part of Mother Nature’s plans, but following these tips will make sure recovering from the sickness it can cause doesn’t ever have to become part of your plans. For more information, visit the Web site for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or review the Mold Resource Guide on the Web site for the national radio show, 'The Money Pit.'

    Note: Tom Kraeutler is the Home Improvement Editor for AOL and host of The Money Pit, a nationally syndicated home improvement radio program. To find a local radio station, download the show’s podcast or sign-up for Tom’s free weekly e-newsletter, visit the program’s Web site at http://www.moneypit.com.

  • Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Tuesday November 30, 2010

    Alternatives To Foreclosures And Bankruptcies For Distressed Homeowners

    By: Tom Bukacek
    Submitted: 01:28PM on Saturday 17 July 2010

    The author has permitted the reprinting and redistribution of this article.
    See our Terms of Use for more information on reproducing it.

    Many homeowners are facing painfully unprecedented tough economic times. The unemployment rate has been at or near double digits since 2009, and those lost jobs aren’t projected to come back any time soon. Higher medical, food, & energy costs, along with tax increases have created more unwanted expenses for homeowners. Property values have been dropping dramatically, in many cases putting the home value well below the mortgage amount, making selling the house nearly impossible. The combination of less income, greater expenses, and dropping home values has created a perfect storm for many homeowners, leading to record numbers of foreclosures as families are unable to pay their bills. After all, if you are in this situation, what are your options? Sadly, most distressed homeowners think their only options are bankruptcy or foreclosure. Are bankruptcies and foreclosures the best alternative for the homeowner?

    Bankruptcy: Bankruptcy, in most cases, is the worst option for the homeowner. A bankruptcy will only delay the foreclosure process, not prevent it. Once the bankruptcy is performed, then the bank will continue with the foreclosure process. Thus the homeowner will end up with both a bankruptcy and foreclosure on the credit record for the next decade! Plus, the struggling homeowner may have to pay the bank deficiencies for the difference of the foreclosed price of your home and the mortgage balance.

    For example, if you owed $150,000 on the house and the house sold at auction for only $100,000, the bank could sue you for the 50,000 difference between the note and the sale, known as a deficiency. If you have declared prior to the bankruptcy, then the bank will know that you will have to pay the loan as bankruptcy cannot be performed again, and are much more likely to sue for deficiencies.

    Therefore, due to the credit damage, the eventual foreclosure, and the high probability of a deficiency lawsuit stemming thereafter, declaring bankruptcy to avoid foreclosure is generally a horrible option.

    Foreclosure: Do nothing and let the bank take back the property. There are several downsides to having a foreclosure on a credit report. First, the credit score will take a drastic hit and drop as much as 200 points. But to make matters worse, it takes a long time to rebuild a credit score with a foreclosure on its record. This just doesn’t affect the homeowner regarding the house. Credit cards rates can increase as will insurance rates. Also, it will be difficult for homeowners with a foreclosure on their record to finance other items, such as a car. Second, as discussed in the bankruptcy section, the homeowner can be sued by the bank for deficiencies. Third, anytime a bank forgives a loan amount greater than $600, it must report this debt forgiveness to the IRS and send the homeowner a 1098 Tax form. This means that the debt forgiveness amount will be considered by the IRS as taxable income.

    For example, if you owed $150,000 on the house and the house sold at auction for only $100,000, since you would not be paying the $50,000, the IRS would consider this absence of expense as ‘income’, and you would be taxed accordingly. Imagine losing your house, being unemployed, and having to pay taxes on $50,000. Not only is your credit in bad shape, but now the IRS is going after you for payments.

    Therefore, due to the long term credit damage, the high probability of a deficiency lawsuit, and the Tax consequences, doing nothing and allowing the banks to foreclose is a terrible option.

    What can a homeowner who owes more than the house is worth, can’t afford to fix the property, and is behind on payment do to avoid bank lawsuits, tax problems, and credit damage?

    Many distressed sellers in this situation looking to avoid these negative consequences will work with an experienced real estate professional who can perform a short sale. A short sale is when the bank ‘shorts’ or discounts the original mortgage note for the real estate professional in exchange for a quick, cash sale. By discounting the note, the bank will create equity in an otherwise unattractive property and the investor will then be able to purchase, improve the property, and lease or resell. This short sale process takes a great deal of time and effort from the bank as they have to negotiate with other companies to get the discounted note approved.

    A successfully negotiated short sale is a win for all three parties involved. The real estate professional will be able to create a profitable transaction. The bank will be able to write off the bad debt, accept a cash payment in return for the non performing asset, and release their interest in the property. The homeowner is able to relieve themselves of the burden without having to face deficiency judgments or tax consequences. While the credit impact will be just a damaging as a foreclosure initially, the homeowner will be able to improve their credit much quicker. In fact, according to FHA guidelines, a homeowner who has had a short sale on their credit report is eligible for consideration for an FHA home loan in as little as 2 years, provided they have steady income and have a history of paying their debt since the short sale occurred.

    Homeowners who are behind in payments, have a house in need of repairs, and owe more than the house is worth have better alternatives than declaring bankruptcy and having their homes foreclosed. The consequences of these two options can lead to lawsuits and IRS problems. Working with a real estate professional can alleviate a great deal of stress and pressure, eliminate lawsuits, and reduce your tax consequences.

    When searching for a real estate professional, the key is to find experienced professionals that have handled several transactions of this nature. Short sales are tricky in nature, and you will want to use a real estate professional that has experience. Remember, not every Realtor understands the short sales process. More times than not, you will have success working with investors who are going to negotiate and purchase the property directly from the banks rather than Realtors who will just list the property. Consider the banks’ perspective. Would a bank rather spend 3 months time researching and negotiating for a price to give to a Realtor and ‘hope’ to sell or spend this time with an investor who is going to purchase? Finally, when selecting a real estate professional or company, you should always use the services of a company that is run by licensed professionals on its staff and is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau. If the company you choose makes a mistake, you’re your home could wind up in foreclosure, so make sure you use the right group.

    In conclusion, many distressed homeowners who are behind in payments, suffer from decreased income or increased expenses, and owe more on their properties than they are actually worth file for bankruptcy or allow the bank to foreclose. There are grave consequences to these actions that include lawsuits from the bank, tax consequences with the IRS, and credit damages. Having a short sale performed on your house by an experienced, qualified real estate professional can prevent many of these negative consequences from occurring and allow the homeowner to rebuild their credit quicker and move on with their life.

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Monday November 29, 2010

    What Is Section 8 And How It Affects You As A U.S. Landlord

    By: Teo Zhenjie
    Submitted: 06:53PM on Monday 01 June 2009

    The author has permitted the reprinting and redistribution of this article.
    See our Terms of Use for more information on reproducing it.

    Knowing what Section 8 is can open your rental properties to a larger pool of potential tenants, slash your turnover rates by introducing longer term tenants and allow you to enjoy earning stable rent checks straight from the government. We will explain what is Section 8 and what you need to do to qualify for this program as a landlord.

    What Exactly is the Section 8 Housing Program?

    Section 8 is a federal housing voucher program in the United States. It was started in 1974 as a way to help people with modest means afford their housing needs. Unlike most types of subsidized housing, Section 8 provides its members with more choices when it comes to their rental home.

    As long as a rental property meets certain basic requirements and the landlord is willing to accept a Section 8 voucher, a tenant is free to choose his own place to stay.

    The way the program works is that a tenant will receive a voucher to pay for a portion of his rent. In general the occupant must pay 30 to 40% of the rent amount. The rest is paid by the government in the form of a voucher, hence the term Housing Choice Voucher. The tenants' eligibility for the program is reviewed every year.

    How to Screen and Handle Your Section 8 Tenants

    When asking the question, "What is Section 8?" many property owners are concerned with what type of tenants they will meet from this program. While Section 8 tenants do have a lower income, this does not mean that they will make poor tenants.

    You will encounter a wide variety of people, just as you would when screening conventional tenants. The bottom line is that you should screen all your tenants carefully whether they are from Section 8 or not. It's important not to make assumptions about a potential tenant based on their Section 8 status; treat them as you would any other potential tenant.

    How You Can Become a Section 8 Landlord Today

    It's easy to become a Section 8 landlord. There are no formal steps required. Once you screen your tenant, you will need to have your rental property inspected by the housing authority to ensure that it passes Section 8 housing standards.

    The certifying agency will also verify that the rent you are asking is reasonable when compared with similar units in the area. Once the inspection is complete, you'll finalize the paperwork and agree to a few simple terms set by the housing authority in your area.

    Some landlords only realise what is Section 8 when they are approached unexpectedly by a prospective tenant who is from the Section 8 program.

    However, you don't have to wait for Section 8 tenants to find you. Simply get in touch with the public housing authority in your area and tell them to you wish to make your rental property available to Section 8 tenants. You can also indicate in your advertisements that you are willing to accept Section 8 vouchers.

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Wednesday November 24, 2010

    5 Steps for Getting Ready to Buy

    Lisa Escue (CDPE), with RE/MAX Masters II in Grapevine, Texas, outlines these steps you should take before buying a home:

    Step 1. Find a Local Lender You Can Talk To in Person
    Local lenders understand your market and know of loan programs that might be beneficial to you.

    Check with your lender on any local programs that might help with closing costs or in other ways. Even though the media have pronounced the 100-percent-financing option dead, this is not always the case. Check it out for yourself and then get preapproved for a loan so you know how much house you're able to buy.

    Step 2. Be Specific in the Area You Want To Live
    Educate yourself. Familiarize yourself with the neighborhoods you're interested in, the taxes and school districts. This not only helps you narrow down your search when you need to move fast, but also helps you figure out potential mortgage payments. Find a home in your desired neighborhoods.

    Step 3. Find an Agent Specializing in the Area You Want to Live
    This will save you time and effort. Once you've identified a real estate agent, trust him or her to do the job. Agents who are thriving in this challenging market have proven their worth. They have the resources and skills to help you find your next home.

    Step 4. Don't Shy Away From Houses That Need Some Work
    Just because a house needs some paint or cosmetic fixes doesn't mean it's not a good buy. Most real estate agents have an address book full of trusted businesses they work with to help you fix up your new home. There’s an HUD program known as 203(k) that enables you to fold repair money into a primary mortgage; ask a RE/MAX agent in your market about the program.

    Read more about the 203(k) program.

    Step 5. Be Prepared To Act
    Sometimes the first home you see is the right one for you. Don't discount it. Remember, good deals still go fast. Take advantage of the electronic tools your real estate agent has to offer. In many instances, real estate agents have access to better information than what you can find in a standard Internet search.


    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Tuesday November 23, 2010

    Who Enforces Deed Restrictions?

    By: Jaceson Maughan

    Property owners may wonder who enforces deed restrictions when there are limits on how a property can be used. In real estate, deeds are the documents that outline the rights of ownership of a property. Some deeds include restrictions that specify what the owners can do with the property.

    Who is bound by deed restrictions?
    When someone purchases a property, they are bound by the deed restrictions that govern that piece of property. A prospective home buyer should carefully read the deed and review the restrictions before purchase to ensure familiarity with the regulations. The property's title company should provide a copy to the home buyer.

    What are examples of deed restrictions?
    Many kinds of deed restrictions can be included in the wording of a real estate deed. One common example is a deed restriction about constructing any other buildings on a property except for one single-family home. Other restrictions might include a ban on ham radio towers, density of buildings per acre, the price range of buildings in a subdivision, rules against political signs being displayed or a restriction on types of businesses allowed in that area. It can even be something as simple as the style of homes in a subdivision or types of trees that can or can't be planted.

    Who enforces restrictions?
    Initially, a developer would have the enforcement power for deed restrictions. As a subdivision is being developed, there is a strong interest in keeping houses at a certain standard for appearances and building material, for example.

    Once all houses in a subdivision have passed into individual private ownership, the enforcement of deeds would pass on to the homeowner's association for the neighborhood. Some areas have a formal structured association while other associations are more loosely drawn up. The homeowner's association is responsible for monitoring properties and sending notices when a property is in violation. Even if there is no formal governing body, the restrictions in real estate property deeds still stand. Homeowners bound by the same restrictions can work to enforce the deed restrictions on others, generally via a lawsuit.


    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Monday November 22, 2010

    Zillow.com Advertising. Is it worth it?

    As you all know, Zillow.com has become a very popular tool for real estate agents, buyers, sellers, and everyone else!

    Zillow did a great job by putting together all the information everyone would need about the community, property, agents, etc. It is all in one place and that is what attracts buyers.

    The question is, can you convert buyers from Zillow into actual revenue? How long will it take?
    Zillow states that the conversion ratio for leads is about 30% in any specific market. So that means if you get an email saying you received a lead, you have a 30% chance that they are an interested buyer. It DOES NOT mean that you have a 30% chance of closing a real estate transaction. You need to watch out for any company who quotes ratios, and check to see where the ratios are coming from.

    Zillow.com is actually a good tool. Their main advertising method is showing your picture to the right of the screen when someone is looking at a home, so they think your the listing agent. You have to pay about $500+ a month just for this. We use zillow for Houses in Temecula.They have other advertising that cost $1,000+ a month, but you can start off with the smaller package, if you have that kind of money.

    We feel Zillow is a good advertising method if you have the money to pay into it. It will take about 3 months to get your campaign going, but after that you should be getting leads every week.

    We have worked with Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, Realtor, and many other Real Estate advertising websites. Zillow is probably one of the most dominant sites, but it costs an arm and a leg.

    Skylar Lewis, Realtor
    Murrieta Homes
    Temecula Houses

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Friday November 19, 2010

    Most (and least) affordable cities to buy a home

    The U.S. housing markets stayed very affordable this past summer: 72.1% of all homes sold during the three months ended Sept. 30 were priced so reasonably that people earning the median household income could afford to buy them, according to an industry report.

    One big factor enhancing affordability is the continued rock-bottom interest rates, which were at 4.32% by the end of September.

    "With interest rates remaining at historically low levels, and house prices starting to stabilize, homeownership is within reach of more households than it has been for almost 20 years," said NAHB Chairman Bob Jones, a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

    http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2010/real_estate/1011/gallery.housing_market_affordability/index.html for the rest of the story

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Thursday November 18, 2010

    Personal Loan Modification – How To Avoid Foreclosure

    Nov. 12th, 2010
    in Real Estate
    by Paul Amos

    Well it looks like the foreclosure freeze has thawed as banks announce plans to begin moving delinquent loans through the default process again. In fact, there is a new urgency to clear up all the bad loans that have been sitting on the books for many months with no payments being paid by the borrower.

    The first thing you need to do is be aware of the properties on auction. Glean all the possible information about the property that has caught your eye. You can try and visit the property and also casually meet up with the owner to get a clue about the condition of the property.

    Mortgage modification is a sensible option for borrowers who have a non permanent lapse in earnings or employment, which has been resolved. Personal loan modification will not help individuals with house loan arrears (who will not be eligible) who have lost their revenue or jobs (unresolved) or have significant negative equity (a personal loan greater than the value of the property).

    However, if you intend bidding at a foreclosure auction you need to have ready cash. This is because in case you win you’ll have to put down a cash deposit equivalent to around 5 to 20% of your total bid. Moreover, you have to make sure that you have the rest of the cash handy because once you win the property you’ll have to supply the rest of the money within the week.

    Bidding at a foreclosure auction is simple but you have to refrain from getting carried away especially if you are a first timer. Generally the opening bid is fixed based on the amount owed on the property and the legal and other fees associated with the foreclosure.

    The difference in an application that is acceptable and one that is not is simple-one fits into the approval guidelines and proves the homeowner qualifies. The unacceptable application will be denied-that’s is just the reality.

    Advantages of Bidding at a Foreclosure Auction * You don’t have to deal with homeowners on a very personal level. So this way you can avoid dealing with stressful emotional situations. * Most of the liens are done away with before the property reaches the auction stage. * All you have to do is bid for the property, win it and walk away with the deed. So the process is simple and hassle free.

    Catch-up payments are much better than direct losses from foreclosure There is also an indirect loss (to the lender) which the house owner can use to their advantage as they figure out the greatest methods to avoid foreclosing on their home. If the lender has too many non-performing loans this can and does have an effect on their financial rating, reserve requirements, and will increase their cost of securing lend-able funds for their company. As a consequence, several creditors are willing to talk about a forbearance plan with the house owner as an alternative to foreclosure.

    Paul Amos His latest website is about You can Refinance instead and keep a very low rate live transfer hotkey Mortgage leads, and internet finance


    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Wednesday November 17, 2010

    How to Get More Foreclosure Cleanup Business via Free Chamber Meetings

    Written by: Cassandra Black
    - Nov 17, 2010 5:00:00 AM

    Chamber of Commerce meetings are fertile ground for foreclosure cleanup businesses. A foreclosure cleanup business is responsible for primarily the cleaning, clearing out and maintenance of properties that have been foreclosed upon. Services offered by these enterprises involve interior and exterior repair and maintenance ranging from debris removal, boarding of windows and doors, changing locks, inspections, painting and more. 

    Local and International Chambers 

    As new foreclosure cleanup businesses open their doors, they are looking for low-cost, effective ways to get the word out about their businesses.  The Chamber of Commerce ("Chamber") is a solid starting point for new foreclosure cleaning entrepreneurs.  Most cities and towns across the United States and throughout the world have Chambers.  It is a membership organization comprised of mostly local businesses whose goal is to network, promote and further the interests of enterprises within the community.  

    When most think of these entities, they think local; however, there are several national and international Chambers in existence. These bodies are governed in part by a Board of Directors whose primary task is to assist in establishing and governing the policies of the Chamber.  

    Membership Size

    Some organizations have less than 50 members, while others have well over 300,000 members (i.e., the Paris Chamber of Commerce). The oldest English-speaking Chamber in the world is right here in the United States; the New York City Chamber of Commerce. It was founded in 1768. On a national scale, the United States Chamber of Commerce is, according to its website, "the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses ... " Wow, networking opportunities galore lie in Chambers of this size.

    Membership Fees

    Membership fees to join a Chamber can range from a low of less than $100 dollars annually, to upwards of well over a few thousand dollars.  Fees often depend on the size of your organization, the number of employees, and other factors. 

    Free Meetings

    While most organizations charge a membership fee to join, a great many have initial FREE meetings.  At these free gatherings, new business owners can attend to learn about a particular group and ultimately meet other members and potential members.

    Small business owners seeking to grow their businesses should plan to attend a free meeting in their town and in neighboring communities.  When attending these free meetings, foreclosure cleanup business owners will often have a chance to introduce themselves and their business to the room.  

    During the introduction portion of the free meeting, it is imperative to voice your business' unique selling proposition ("USP"). A USP is simply what makes your business different from other ones within your industry.  If you haven't devised your USP, now's the time to think about setting your business apart from the masses.

    One-on-One Networking

    After the formal free meeting, there will often be a one-on-one networking opportunity. Bingo! This is what you want to grow your business.  As a foreclosure cleanup business executive, plan to carry your business cards, company brochures, or postcards for the networking part of the meeting. 

    Meet as Many Business Owners as Possible

    When networking in a Chamber environment, entrepreneurs should try to meet as many business owners as possible. While it's imperative to be a good listener as others are explaining their businesses to you, it's equally important NOT to  get cornered by one business owner. 

    WARNING:  It's easy to tuck away in a comfortable corner of the room and shy away from making contact with new people, especially for those who don't network often.  But while you may feel most comfortable in a cozy nook, you will likely wind up leaving with only one or two business cards. 

    The goal is to "touch" as many people as possible and exchange banter about your respective businesses.  The more business cards you leave with, the more successful the event will be from a marketing standpoint.

    Your Elevator Speech

    TIP:  Prepare an elevator speech about your business. In one or two sentences, sum up who you are, the name of your business, what your business does, and how you're different. 

    Following Up after a Chamber Meeting

    After the meeting, plan to follow up with those you've met at the meeting within the next week. (Ideally, within the next few days.) This can be a phone call, a quick email, a formal mailer or an informal note.

    The intent of the follow-up is to establish a rapport with the business owners you've met. Invite them to learn more about your business, and, remember, be equally open to learning more about their business as well.  Even if you don't need their particular business service, you may be able to refer someone to them who does. In turn, they can do the same for you. That's the benefit of successful networking.

    Gold Mine in Contacts

    Any successful entrepreneur will tell you business is about contacts, contacts, contacts. Their database, contacts' list, is their greatest asset.  A proven way to grow your business and build your contacts list is to network at Chamber of Commerce meetings.

    Many wishes of success networking and growing your foreclosure cleanup business through your local chamber.

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Tuesday November 16, 2010

    Probate Properties Boost Housing Market

    As probate properties are usually sold for less than their expected market value after the death of their original owner and beneficiaries are often keen to offload them quickly, this type of house sale is having a positive effect on the UK housing market which is only now struggling to recover.

    The probate sale of a property after the death of the owner, with proceeds to be divided among the heirs, usually proceeds relatively quickly if the probate process has been straightforward, as beneficiaries are keen to tie up all loose ends and recover the capital tied up in the house.

    As there is often an emotional connection to the house, those selling the property may often not have the sale price at the top of their agenda but simply want to move on and make a quick sale.

    Valuing a property for probate differs from the typical estate agent valuation, in that it does not rely upon the current property market. Inheritance tax will then be calculated on this valuation total.

    With property, it is possible to spread Inheritance Tax payments over 10 years, but it is still necessary to pay interest on the unpaid tax in the meantime. So, many Executors, rather than holding out to achieve the best purchase price possible, try to encourage fast sales of probate property. This of course attracts investors and property developers, which, it appears, may be helping to drive the property market during a time when 'normal' house sales are stalling.

    Tony Crocker

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tony_Crocker

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Monday November 15, 2010

    Fitch Foreclosure Forecast Casts a Pall on Recovery Hopes

    Written by: Steve Cook
    - Nov 3, 2010 5:00:00 AM

    Not until March 1 2014 will the last of the seven million properties that are currently delinquent, in foreclosure, or bank-owned finally return to life as homes or investments.

     To put things in perspective, the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia will have just ended, the next Presidential Administration will in office, Avatar 2 will be in release, the NFL’s top teams will be getting ready to play the Super Bowl at the Meadowlands, and freshmen in college today will be getting ready to graduate.

     Forty months until today’s glut of distressed properties, known as the “shadow inventory,” are finally past us. .. That’s the latest prediction from Fitch Ratings, the expert source on the mortgage backed securities market.

     As a result of the extended large inventories,  prices will fall again, probably by ten percent late by next year depending on how long the current ForeclosureGate moratoria imposed by several large lenders lasts.

     Though the rate of delinquencies has improved in 2010, Fitch says the liquidation rates of existing distressed properties have been held back by weak demand and expanded initiatives to modify loans for troubled borrowers. As a result, liquidation timelines continue to increase and are at historical highs. The recent discovery of defects in the residential mortgage foreclosure process. known as “ForeclosureGate,” will further extend liquidation timelines, slowing the resolution of distressed properties in the shadow inventory and preventing home prices from finding a floor.

     “Considering recent monthly liquidation trends, it would take more than 40 months to clear the existing distressed inventory in the non-agency sector,” the agency said in a report yesterday.  Fitch believes that the extension in foreclosure and liquidation timelines is simply prolonging the housing correction underway.

     The high shadow inventory and growing foreclosure and liquidation timelines are also expected to hurt U.S. residential mortgage backed securities’ performance. Longer timelines in arrears and foreclosure result in higher servicing advance expenses and other carrying costs that generally result in a higher loss severity.

     For judicial foreclosure states, like Florida, it is expected to take longer than the national average to resolve the distressed loans, while for nonjudicial foreclosure states, like Nevada, it will be resolved  faster.

    New figures released by Fitch yesterday put the industry’s shadow inventory at 7 million homes. The agency defines the shadow supply of properties as loans that are delinquent, in foreclosure, or real-estate-owned (REO) by the servicer, and Fitch says based on recent liquidation trends, it will take more than 40 months to clear this existing distressed inventory.

     The number of months between the date of the borrower’s last payment and the date of liquidation has steadily increased over the past several years. For loans liquidated in the most recent month, more than 18 months had passed since the borrower’s last payment on average. That is the highest figure on record, Fitch said.

     While interest rates are near historical lows and affordability has improved, fewer potential buyers can qualify for new loans due to the heightened credit standards, Fitch says. Additionally, high unemployment, weak consumer confidence, and uncertainty about the future of home prices have prevented some potential buyers from entering the market.  

    From Real Estate Economy Watch

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Friday November 12, 2010

    Throwing Some Light on the Subject of Home Illumination

    By: Alec Cartelli

    How much is there to be said about lighting? It is in the end a practical thing, for the purpose of brightening up a room, or an open space. Whether we are referring to indoors or outdoors, when all is said and done surely lights is lights?

    And yet there are so many situations in which illumination not simply fulfills a necessary function but also contributes to the visual ambience of a room or a garden. From ceiling lights to desktop lamps, majestic chandeliers to bathroom walls, each plays a role in defining the home environment.

    There are so many ideas and available options. In the home having good light to read by is so essential to efficient working and making the right choice could determine just how effectively you perform. Choosing something sympathetic and comforting for children is really important if they are to rest, read and learn in an environment in which they feel safe and content.

    Throwing some light on energy conservation

    Today the LED options help us to safeguard the environment as well as save on energy costs. Low energy bathroom downlights in particular are increasingly available. Unlike in the past, eco-friendly options these days will often save you money in addition to reduce your energy consumption.

    In the family room the options are a lot more. Imaginatively spaced picture and wall lights helps to reduce the intensity of the glare and distribute the impact, whilst the inclusion of contemporary or traditional floor lights play such an important part in defining the character of the room and of the home itself. At the same time in the dining room the inclusion of some attractive rise and fall or other pendant lights can bring about quite a transformation. Eglo Lighting has some very original and unique products to offer on both fronts.

    In the bathroom the emphasis is less on adornment more or functionality, but even in here mirror and ceiling lights can be helpful in creating a sense of comfort and cleanliness. For a few ideas and inspiration the Astro Lighting range might come in particularly useful.

    So much for inside the house. But it is worth remembering of course that the first impression the visitor will gain of your home is on the approach to your front door. If it's dark then your porches and posts when lit up will illuminate your garden and your door, so it is essential that they themselves add to the visual impact of the scene. If you have particular features such as a pond or decorative paving that you wish to draw attention to then some strategically positioned solar lamps will help do the trick.

    All in all illumination comes in such a surprising array of forms and has every bit as much a role to play in defining your identity as it does in allowing you to find your way around in the dark.

    Author Resource:-> To discover a fabulous variety of ceiling lights and other lighting accessories, take a look at All Up and On, the UK homestores specialist.

    Article From Real Estate Pro Articles

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Wednesday November 10, 2010

    America's Fastest Growing Cities

    Check out this link that was posted on the MSN website.


    It explains how N. Las Vegas had the highest foreclosure in the county, but is now making a comeback. Its growth rate is tremendous with job opportunities at Nellis Air force Base and distribution centers like Amazon.com. Hit the link for the full article and to see other fast growing cities in the country.

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Tuesday November 9, 2010

    Cut Your Closing Costs by Getting Rid of Junk Fees

    By: Lee Cameron

    Many first-time home buyers are dismayed at the sudden appearance of closing costs that seem to come from every conceivable avenue. They also can be beset by fees that seem to have no real explanation and cost them hundreds of dollars. Many people accept this as part of closing a real estate deal, but if you want to save as much money as possible, you will want to carefully evaluate each fee and find out which ones can be waived or eliminated.

    Attitude and knowledge are your biggest weapons when dealing with lenders. Be polite at all times, but pretend that this is the 50th home you're going to buy and you're just doing it because you're bored. You don't need this home or this lender. You bought 10 homes last week. You just sold a dozen. Let the lender know by your attitude that you're not so heavily invested in this home that you can't walk away if your questions aren't answered or your needs not met. Be prepared to do just that; many lenders have been used to buyers who will spend several thousand dollars more than they have to in order to buy a home. If you can find one lender, you can find another and it's better to wait than to go with a lender who is not going to treat you properly.

    There are a number of fees that can be reduced or completely waived for the savvy home buyer. Among them can hide "junk" or "garbage" fees, which are tacked on to the overall costs merely to make money for the lender. Things like "settlement fees" "underwriting fees" "messenger fees" are examples of fees that are solely there to provide profit for the lender. Learn the more common terms and ask for these fees to be waived.

    Third party fees, such as appraisal, attorney fees, credit report, title insurance and title search are generally non-negotiable, as the lender has nothing to do with how much the third party charges. However, when searching for a lender, keep a record of how much is charged for each service and ask why if there is a drastic difference between one lender's charge for a service and another's.

    Remember that you can walk away from your mortgage at any time. Even if it would cost you to do so, take this attitude in your dealings with your lender. If a fee is unexplained or too high, call them on it. You don't have to be rude or hold it over their head like a guillotine, just don't be so desperate to buy that you end up giving more money than you need to.

    Author Resource:-> Work with an experienced agent for your next Orlando real estate purchase. Use a Windermere MLS search to view some of the gorgeous luxury homes available.

    Article From Real Estate Pro Articles

    Posted by Golden Real Estate

    Monday November 8, 2010

    Run Your Tenant Credit Check Easily and Cheaply Right Now

    By: Teo Zhenjie

    Running a tenant credit check is perhaps the most important step when screening tenants for your rental property. Your applicant's credit report can give you a wealth of information to help you decide if he is able or willing to pay his rent on time, every time.

    Getting a tenant credit check is probably easier and cheaper than you think. You can always recover the cost of the check by asking for a small rental screening fee for your applicants. You can also save money and time by choosing to run credit checks only on your short-listed applicants.

    How to Get Your Hands on Your Tenant's Credit Report

    To check on someone's credit and rental history, you'll need have him complete a tenant application form with his full name, employment history, residential address history and social security number.

    Once you obtain written permission from the prospective tenant, you can contact the major credit reporting agencies Experian, Equifax or TransUnion. If you are new to this, It's probably easier to go through a service that specializes in assisting landlords with this process.

    If you have multiple rental properties and need to run a tenant credit check often, you can even subscribe to such a service at a discount. You'll need to evaluate your specific needs to decide if the time saved is worth the extra cost.

    Major Things to Watch Out for in Your Renter's Credit Report

    While it's common for renters to have less-than-perfect credit, what you really want to look out for is prior evictions, or serious delinquencies or default on rent payments. Even though people might be behind on credit cards and other types of bills, the good news is that most people pay their rent first since everyone needs a roof over their head.

    Does the person have a clean criminal background? Are they gainfully employed in a stable job? Does their rental history indicate any past evictions or other serious rental delinquencies? If the answer is no, then they'll probably make a decent tenant even if they have a few late bills.

    Also, consider how old any negative rental history is. If they had problems seven years ago but their record is spotless during the last two years, you can still consider renting out to them.

    Go Beyond Your Credit Reports for a Complete Check

    A credit report alone may not show a potential tenant's current employment and rental history. This is why it's vital to run a complete check. Things to watch out for include their criminal background, credit history, employment, and rental history.

    Digging up these details by yourself can be quite time consuming. In addition to running credit and background checks, you will also have to contact employers, former landlords and financial institutions. This is why it's helpful to use a tenant screening service if you are strapped for time.

    The bottom line is that running a tenant credit check can help you have a clear picture of whether your potential tenant is someone that will take care of your rental property, be a considerate neighbour and most importantly pay the rent on time each month.

    Author Resource:-> Teo Zhenjie has been showing landlords how to manage their tenants and rental property effectively on Propertydo http://www.propertydo.com/ - To learn more important tips on tenant credit check, visit his website today for step-by-step real estate guides, free resources and forms.

    Posted by Golden Real Estate
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