Friday, November 21, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Is there a Silver Lining in all the latest Foreclosures and Doom and gloom in the Real Estate Market? Maybe...Have you heard about the most recent possible help you, as a delinquent homeowner, may have? Here is a synopsis, taken from Bloomberg News, highlighting the general conditions needed to qualify.
Under the proposal, mortgage servicers will work with borrowers to reduce monthly payments to 38 percent of their gross income, a threshold of affordability, by lowering the principal, reducing interest rates and extending the length of the loan term. The plan doesn't include money from the Treasury's $700 billion bank rescue and isn't mandatory for companies that received federal aid.
Conditions and Fees
Homeowners that qualify will receive notices about the program. Their loan modifications won't become final until they have made three consecutive payments, and there is no limit to the number of times a loan can be modified. The new payment will include all of the borrower's monthly housing costs, such as taxes and condominium payments.
Fannie and Freddie are paying mortgage servicers $800 to process each modification, which isn't available for investment or vacation properties. Fannie and Freddie will absorb the losses on loans or mortgage securities they own while investors in mortgage bonds guaranteed by the government-run corporations will bear a brunt of the losses on that debt.
So, if you qualify, you will receive a notice. Refinancing your home to 38% of your income will help you make those monthly payments, stay in your home and breathe a little easier! Basically, this percentage is what it "should" have been in the first place.
Maybe the Holidays won't be so bad, after all!
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Today is November 4, 2008 and it is Election Day here in the United States of America. As many have said, it is historical for many reasons, no matter who is the President elect by tomorrow.
I voted this morning at Saint Mary's School in Warwick Neck and the turn out was not as large as I had anticipated. One of the volunteers did say that there was a large turn out approximately an hour before I arrived. I am not one for counting Electoral votes as I do not think they accurately represent the Vote of the People! To me, the Vote of the People should be the ONLY vote there is in any election. However, this is the way it is and we need to get out their and make our voices heard in sheer numbers.
My opinion is that many Americans have forgotten what our forefathers had originally intended when they wrote the Constitution. Especially the first amendment to the Constitution which is the Bill of Rights.
1 -freedom of worship, speech, press, right of peaceful assembly, right to petition the government
I would like my readers to take a moment and read each one, then stop and think about each one. How many of these are still the same in our current lives?Today is an important date in our history, not just because we have our first female vice president candidate and our first black candidate, but because our freedoms (Rights) have been usurped. The economy both in Federal and State governments has been grossly mishandled. We have been outright lied to and nothing can be done about it. Our rights to privacy are gone. The World hates us! The list is enormous and I do not have the time to list all the current problems we as a country are facing.
We should all be rioting in the streets, yet we are not.
Today is the day to be heard. If you do not vote today, you will have no recourse. Make this the day, we as Americans, stand up and be counted.
Take back our country. Our freedoms. Our Rights!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I took this photo about 6 months ago. It is a new home being built on a property that my Dad sold awhile ago in the Green Hill Section of South Kingstown. The original house was an older L-shaped ranch/beach house which we all miss! Apparently Green Hill is no longer a "beach" community of cottages. All the homes there are upscale. We do miss the old "neighborhood".
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
As with anything else, there is a price to be paid. Read the entire article.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- President Bush signed a $300 billion housing rescue bill Wednesday aimed at helping troubled homeowners avoid foreclosure and supporting mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
After the law kicks in on Oct. 1, thousands of at-risk borrowers will be able to refinance their unaffordable old mortgages into new low-cost fixed-rate loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 400,000 borrowers with $68 billion in loans may benefit from the program - but the bill allows for as many as 1 million or 2 million borrowers to participate in the program.
Here's what homeowners need to know.
Qualified borrowers must live in their homes and have loans that were issued between January 2005 and June 2007. Additionally, they must be spending at least 31% of their gross monthly income on mortgage debt to be eligible for the program.
They can be up to date on their existing mortgage or in default, but either way borrowers must prove that they will not be able to keep paying their existing mortgage - and attest that they are not deliberately defaulting just to obtain lower payments.
Before homeowners can get FHA-backed mortgages, they must first retire any other debt on the home, such as a home equity loan or line of credit. Borrowers are not permitted to take out another home equity loan for at least five years, unless it's to pay for necessary upkeep on the home.
To get a new home equity loan, borrowers will need approval from the FHA, and total debt cannot exceed 95% of the home's appraised value at the time.
How can I apply?
Borrowers can contact their current mortgage servicer or go directly to an FHA-approved lender for help. These lenders can be found on the Web site of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
How does the refinancing process work?
This is a voluntary program, so lenders holding the original mortgage have to agree to rework a given loan before things can get started. The bill requires lenders to make major concessions, writing down the value of the loan to 90% of the home's current value. In areas where prices have plummeted by as much as 20%, that will mean a substantial loss for the lender.
But lenders won't sign off on a workout unless they think that they'll lose less money on that than they would by allowing a home to go through the costly foreclosure process.
Each loan will have to be underwritten by an FHA lender on a case-by-case basis. That means the banks will do a new appraisal to determine the home's current value, as well as examine and verify income statements, bank accounts, job histories and credit scores.
Based on that new appraised home value, the FHA lender must determine how much the original lender has to reduce the original mortgage, so that it will reflect 90% of the home's market value.
If the original lender agrees to the writedown, the new lender buys the old loan and takes over the reworked mortgage.
As part of the deal, the old lender writes off any fees and penalties on the original mortgage, including prepayment penalties, and accepts the proceeds from the new loan on a paid-in-full basis. Additionally, it pays the FHA an up-front premium equal to 3% of the mortgage principal.
What does it cost?
There should be little up-front costs for borrowers to bear. Loan origination fees will vary by lender, but these can usually be paid by the borrower over the life of the loan in the form of a slightly higher interest rate.
However, the refinanced loans do come with many strings. For one thing, borrowers are responsible for paying an insurance premium to the FHA guaranteeing the loan, which will be 1.5% of the principal annually.
Borrowers also agree to share any profits from future home-price appreciation with the FHA. To do that, they'll pay a "3% exit fee" of the mortgage principal to the FHA when they resell or refinance.
Plus, they'll agree to pay the FHA 100% of any profits they realize from higher home prices if they sell or refinance within a year. So if the original loan principal is $200,000 and the home sells for $250,000, the borrower will owe the FHA $50,000, minus costs.
After a year, borrowers will share 90% of the profits with the FHA. The percentage keeps dropping in 10% increments to 50% after the fifth year, where it stays.
What will I save?
Savings depend on what borrowers are paying for their present loan and where they live, but for most people it will be substantial, even after factoring in the FHA fees.
In areas that have sustained huge price drops, such as Sacramento, Calif., where prices have fallen by about 30% over the past year, some loans might be reduced by more than 40%.
Additionally, the FHA loans carry reasonable interest rates, which are fixed for the life of the loan, as opposed to a subprime adjustable-rate mortgage that can jump higher every six months.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
THIS HOUSE IS SOLD. EMAIL ME FOR OTHERS
Looking for a large home for a large family? Or are you looking to rent out rooms to help with mortgage payments? Don't let this one slip by. Priced at a very low $115,000, you can click Here to see the virtual tour.
Four beds, full partially finished basement, vinyl sided, newer roof.
This is a bank owned home and will be sold as is. The kitchen needs updating and home requires minor tlc.
Call your Realtor or email Karenhurst@rihome.net
Thursday, July 03, 2008
To all my friends, family and clients.
Happy Fourth of July!
Hope you are celebrating this important day of Freedom in the United States of America!
*clipart courtesy of Ace Clipart: http://www.ace-clipart.com/american-flag-clipart-01.html
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
THIS HOUSE IS SOLD, EMAIL ME FOR OTHERS
Cozy little cottage by the Lake in Warwick. This home has loads of potential for someone who is handy and has a little vision.
Priced at $79,900!! Can't get much lower than this. Ride by 285 Lakeshore Drive, then email me.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
THIS HOUSE IS SOLD. EMAIL ME FOR OTHERS
38 Largo Road in the
Monday, April 28, 2008
Are you looking to buy a home in Rhode Island? Are you a first time home buyer without any savings?
It used to be that you could go to RIHMFC (Rhode Island Home Mortgage and Finance Company) and if you had decent credit, be able to borrow 100% of your mortgage and get help with closing costs. In the past couple of weeks, RIHMFC's criteria has changed. This is due to all the mortgage mess we have been hearing about in the news and all the foreclosures going down.
There are two schools of thought on buying a home with a 100% mortgage. One is that people should be "saving" for their own down payment and their own closing costs. The other is that many, many people will not be able to own their own home without this help.
I am one of those people who has an obsession for putting people into homes of their own. This is the reason I went into Real Estate! Nothing makes me happier than searching for a home, uniting someone with a good Mortgage broker and a great loan and then seeing them in their own home. In my opinion there is a psycological feeling of pride when someone actually buys a house. It changes their whole perspective on things. It is called "nesting". Both men and women have the nesting instinct.
The point of this post is simply to remind people that even though there are many changes going on in the mortgage industry, there are still many programs out there to get you into your first home. Don't give up! Call a Realtor, preferably me:) and I will advise you on what you need to do.
Most importantly in these turbulent Real Estate days, you need to have good credit, so make sure you pay your payments on time and try to clean up any charge cards or loans you may have.
If you are looking for a home in Warwick, Cranston, or East Greenwich, and need some help, I am here for you. Happy Hunting!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
THIS HOME IS SOLD! EMAIL ME FOR OTHERS.
Incredible opportunity for a prequalified first time homebuyer! This is a bank owned home which needs very little. (mostly paint and cleaning). It has two beds and there are three finished rooms in the basement that could be used as bedrooms. There is a fenced yard and it is close to the Marinas in Warwick in a wonderful looking neighborhood! This house must be sold AS IS, but you will be amazed at this much house for the price which is at an affordable $178900. This will not last. Call me now for a showing. 401-301-6887
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
THIS HOUSE IS SOLD. Email me for others.
Private lot next to Pawtuxet River located at end of cul de sac. Newer windows, vinyl siding, roof and cement driveway.
Interior needs much work. Carpets, walls, floors, etc and basement also needs work.
This is a bank owned home selling AS IS with all offers to be accompanied by a prequalification letter.
Priced accordingly at $80,900! Ride by and email or call me! Home is located in Warwick, Rhode Island at 3 Byron Boulevard.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Have you ever wondered what are some of the best places to live in Rhode Island?
Choosing the right city or town is very important. You may have small children and need to know about the schools. You may be concerned about paying higher/or lower taxes.
You may want to know if most of the people there are in your own age group and if their incomes are compatible with your own.
There are many ways to find out if you are choosing the right city for you! With the Internet we can read blogs, search out homes from foreclosures to waterfront homes. We can look through virtual tours and send an email right from our desk.
One of the sites I have found to be helpful for data in choosing your home in Rhode Island, is located on Rhode Island Monthy. This is a magazine dedicated solely to Rhode Island and is well worth your while to check it out.
Here is the link to the data that Rhode Island Monthly has compiled regarding places to live in Rhode Island. If you are considering a move, then check it out.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
I am interupting my usual Real Estate blog to address a situation brewing across the nation.
Apparently, not everyone realizes what the Patriots can and will do in this season of complete wins!
I guess they just have to win them all to PROVE to the doubting Thomas's, that they are UNBEATABLE. (Even on a bad day!!)
Here is a link to a doubting Thomas....I am not debating the Cats prediction, but the Chargers???
UPDATE!!! On to the Super Bowl!!!
If you want to pay your respects to the Patriots click here!
See you tomorrow night!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Today I was chatting with a nice young lady about purchasing her first home.
After the intial focusing on what she was looking for, where she would like to live, what her finances were and was she actively looking into finding a mortgage that was right for her, it occurred to me that she was waiting for me to tell her what my fee was.
Now this does not always occur to me because "I do not charge a fee"
Here is what goes on. First let me say that besides being a Broker, I am an Acredited Buyers Rep. This means that if you are looking for a house, I can assist you in not only finding it, but advise you of best places to go for a mortgage, give you helpful ideas about which mortgages are right for you, why you need the house inspected and places that you can call, how to make an offer that will be accepted or at least countered. I can give you loads of options, because this is my profession. If you have a question I will give you the answer. Now, why would I not charge for all this? Some Buyer Agents do charge in different areas of the U.S., and some right here in the Ocean State, but I do not. The reason is, most of the buyers' I work with are first time home buyers and they do not always have the finances to come up with a separate fee for a Buyer Agent.
Of course I need to make a living just like everyone else. Upon closing, I receive a fee for my services from the seller of the house. So there is no need to worry about paying a Buyer Agent! I actually thought, until my conversation today, that people simply knew this, but apparently it is not common knowledge. What I do is have a buyer sign a contract saying they will work exclusively with me for a prearranged amount of time. This way I know a buyer is committed to finding a house. If, after the prearranged amount of time, I have not found the right home, then we go our separate ways. There is no charge for my time for this either. The reason for this is I am pretty confident in my abilities to find what a Buyer is looking for! I feel that if I can't find it, it's not out there!
I hope this clears up any concerns for Buyers that would like to work with a Realtor, but do not think they can afford it.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Sigh! This picture is a definite portrayal of how I feel after the Holidays! Now its January 2008 and as a Realtor, I am expected to start the new year with a rush! The stats for 2007, especially in Rhode Island, were not good, as you all know. Rhode Island was second to Michigan in losing population. We were 8th in foreclosures. The mortgage industry has realigned and unless you have impeccable credit and a good work history, you can plan on paying much more in interest rates for a home. We are reading doom and gloom everywhere about the Real Estate Industry. I have been working with REO's, which is Real Estate Owned property. This means that the bank has bought back their interest in a foreclosed home. These homes are actually still selling due to the fact that they are cheaper then the regular market. However, there are so many of them, that the prices are actually driving down prices of what we call market value homes! This is a tough pill for Sellers to swallow. Many sellers viewed the equity in their homes as actual money! Real estate is very much like the Stock market. It is not actual money until it is in your pocket!
I was interviewed for a piece in Rhode Island Monthly last month. The advice I gave and still give is: If you do not have to sell your home now, don't! If you do have to sell it, make it pretty and price it well. There is a lot of competition out there, but this does not mean you have to give it away. Check with a Realtor and find out just what prices are doing right now and then price yours accordingly. Do not try to price it by what you paid for it, or what you refinanced it for. Picture yourself as the buyer and view your home with a keen eye. Would you be impressed when you first walked in? Is there any odor from animals? Is it clean? Why would someone want your house as opposed to the 4000 others out there? Remember, location is important, but price rules!!! If your home stays on the market for more than three months, even after you have lowered your price, it starts becoming stigmatized and even a good buyer will pass on it, thinking there is something wrong with it.
Now on the other side. If you are a Buyer looking for a deal and are qualified for a good loan, then I would suggest you also contact a Realtor and get your ducks in a row. The market will go down within this next year, but no so much that you can afford to wait forever. It will also start rising again, my guess, around mid 2009! Take a look around and figure out where you can get the most for your money. History dictates that prices will rise again, so do not miss out by trying to play the market!
Research is key to making qualified decisions. I spend many hours researching the housing market and while I do not have a Crystal Ball (actually I do have one:), my predictions are based on everyday knowledge. This is my career! Be careful who you listen to when you are anticipating one of the largest deals in your life!