Welcome To The Alba Group's Blog
On a weekly basis we bring up to date current information about the real estate market in Medford, Eagle Point, Pheonix and the surrounding areas of Jackson County and Josephine County Oregon.!
Tag Archives: foreclosure
When it comes to remodeling or taking care of a house, some homeowners make some unrealistic choices. Do not go overboard on the remodeling of your house. It is so easy to get caught up in the emotional attachment or the designing that you can throw the budget out the window. Be realistic about pet odor. Animals can be wonderful and bring us great joy. But along with that they bring odors and hair. Big or small they all smell and they likely shed as well. You should have your carpets and furniture cleaned at least every six months and open the windows frequently to help get rid of any pet odors. Do not remove walls unless you verify they are not load bearing. It can be disastrous if you do not get the help of a professional contractor. Curb appeal separates one neighborhood from another. Unkempt yards can reduce property values. Do not be “that” neighbor who does not mow their lawn or trim the shrubs. Related articles Remove Those Pet Odors With These Quick Tips
A Short Sale For First Time Home Buyers When first time home buyers purchase a short sale it can be very challenging. There is nothing I enjoy more than helping a client find a home. Buying a home for the first time can be scary and challenging. Making a final decision is not easy. Recently we had an opportunity to help these buyers find their first home in Medford Oregon. Our first home buying experience was a wild ride; luckily we had the right help to get us through this new experience and made it as memorable and fun as we were hoping for. We ended up putting an offer in on a short sale house shortly after we began looking at homes in the Medford area. Vic started by showing us houses that were in our price range with the features that we were looking for without pressure to jump on any one. Of course once we found the one we wanted it became a little nerve racking making that big decision to buy it. We decided on a two bedroom, one bath house that was built in the 1950’s. It was our perfect starter house. Overall the process was as smooth as we could have hoped for with a short sale and with Vic on our side we ended up coming in under budget and closing earlier than we expected. Now we are loving everyday in our new home and are very excited to begin adding our own little touches. If you are looking for a home or know someone who is searching for a home in the Medford Oregon tell them about the Alba Group or better yet give us a call and we promise we will follow up and treat your referrals like royalty. Related articles Do you know What exactly is a short sale in real estate? Need to know how to Handle a Short Sale of your home? Want to Buy after Short Sale or Foreclosure?
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal provides some great tips to keep in mind when buying a home. This advice is especially important for first-time buyers, who easily fall into the trap of making an emotional decision when buying that first home. Snubbing the real estate agent – Realtors are paid by the Seller (in most cases), so why not use an expert when buying your home? Guesstimating how much you can afford – Get pre-approved before looking at houses. You may learn that you can afford more than you think. Or less than you think. And in today’s market, most sellers (especially bank-owned properties) require that you submit a pre-approval letter with your offer. Letting charm cloud your judgment – An older home can be charming, but can come with many hidden problems. Pay for a home inspection, and realize that you’re going to need more money for maintenance than you would if you purchased a newer home. Focusing on the house, not the ‘hood – Make sure you spend plenty of time in the neighborhood. You can paint a room or change the carpet, but you can’t change your neighbors (well, at least not very easily!). You’re probably going to be there a while, so make sure you LOVE it! Make arbitrary offers – It may be a “Buyer’s Market,” but most sellers, even banks, won’t accept a low-ball offer far below market value. Find the house you love, in a neighborhood you love, and make a fair offer. There’s never a right price for the wrong house.
This week Fannie Mae announced a new policy that will cause “underwater” borrowers to think again before “walking away” from their mortgages. Borrowers who do not attempt to remediate their default, or who can show no legitimate reason for default (loss of job, unforeseen medical problems, etc.) will be subject to deficiency judgment for the unpaid balance on the mortgage, not to mention having the foreclosure appear on their credit history for seven years. Oh, and there are tax implications, too. We’ve talked about the morals and ethics about strategic defaults here before, and we’re not the only ones who have thoughts about whether walking away is the right decision.
There’s been a lot of talk recently about investors beginning to “walk away” from their real estate investments that are underwater. Aside from the moral issue that I discuss here, there can also be tax implications of turning the property back over to the bank. According this to article, the amount of debt (mortgage) that is “written off,” actually becomes income to you, and must be reported on form 1040 just like any other income. It’s definitely a good idea to think twice before walking away – whether it’s Uncle Sam, or a higher power – who makes you think twice.
Do you have good credit, low debt-to-income ratio, but no money to put down on a house? You can buy one of these homes with just $100, plus get money back to make repairs/improvements! AND there’s still time to qualify for the First-time Home Buyer Tax Credit (deadline April 30, 2010). If you’d like more information on this program, give us a call – we’d love to help you buy your first home!
Last week the Federal Housing Administration announced new rules that will make it easier for FHA-qualified buyers to purchase distressed properties that have been rehabilitated by investors. Current FHA rules require that a person selling a home must own the home for a minimum of 90 days before entering into an agreement to re-sell the home. In today’s market, many bank-owned properties are sold in “as-is” condition; properties bought at the foreclosure auction are often in need of major repairs or remodeling to make them desirable to less-than handy or cash-strapped first-time buyers. These properties then sit on the market for an extended period of time: investors aren’t willing to wait-out the 90-day rule, and many FHA buyers aren’t interested in properties in poor or “as-is” condition. this leads to further neighborhood blight, vacant properties that get vandalized, and a further decline in market value. The new FHA rules allow “HUD-owned properties, bank-owned properties, or properties resold through private sales” to be re-sold to qualified FHA borrowers within 90 days provided the following criteria are met: All transactions must be arms-length (the buyer and seller-and other parties participating in the transaction-cannot have a common interest in the transaction) If the sales price of the property is more than 20% of the seller’s acquisition cost, the FHA-lender must be able to justify the high sales price (prove that extensive remodeling/rehabilitation/repairs has/have occurred, for example). Does not apply to “reverse” mortgages and the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for purchase program. All in all, this is good news for both home buyers as well as real estate investors, and should help speed neighborhood stabilization. Investors now have an incentive to purchase foreclosed and bank-owned property, rehabilitate it quickly, and place it on the market for resale quickly. This minimizes the time distressed properties are vacant, minimizes the time (= risk) an investor has to hold a property, and helps home buyers get into their new homes more quickly.
Realty Trac has just released foreclosure statistics for 2009, and Oregon shows an 89% increase in foreclosure notices over 2008. One in every 47 homes received a foreclosure notice in 2009. We definitely feel the impact of that in Jackson County, where the unemployment rate hovers at 13% and where REOs and Short Sales make up 50% of the real estate market. This isn’t good news for homeowners who purchased homes from 2003 – 2006. They have seen their “equity” be eroded by the flood of distressed properties on the market. In 2009, prices reflected housing prices of 2003. We anticipate a further decline in 2010 back down to 2002 pricing. Market forces now in place to help stabilize the market and stop the rising tide of foreclosures should bring the extended decline in prices to a halt sometime in 4Q2010 (at least we can all hope for that!). Factors contributing to the stabilization include: More favorable loan modification programs for borrowers whose loans are still in good standing Loan modification information now being sent to homeowners whose mortgages are in default Improved REALTOR education on managing and marketing short sales, as well as improved procedures and systems at banks and lending institutions Low interest rates and tax incentives to drive market activity and make homes more affordable Stricter underwriting guidelines to ensure that more qualified borrowers purchase homes, leading to more long-term market stability There is opportunity all over the place, and there is good news in the real estate market for those who are looking to buy now, whether to live in their first home or to invest in a property for the long-term. We just need to find those clients and share the good news that there is in this market with them!