Failure to Double-Check Your Work Could End in a Lawsuit

A lending institution engaged a real estate broker to list and sell residential property that went through the foreclosure process after its owners defaulted on the mortgage.

Situation: A lending institution engaged a real estate broker to list and sell residential property that went through the foreclosure process after its owners defaulted on the mortgage. As instructed, the broker arranged to have an asset management company “trash out” and dispose of the contents by sale or destruction. A for sale sign was then placed in the yard and the lock on the front door was changed. Problem: It was the wrong property.

Source: https://eo.pearlinsurance.com/acton/attachment/21966/f-aec890d4-7bae-423d-84f8-f2966c1ab983/1/-/-/-/-/Pearl-Insurance-Realtors-EO-Risk-Manager-March-2019.pdf?utm_term=192151-XL-EO-INT-E-MAR&utm_campaign=192151&utm_content=192151-XL-EO-INT-E-MAR&utm_source=Act-On&utm_medium=Email&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software–email–James,%20Your%20E%26O%20Risk%20Manager-_-READ%20NOW&sourceCode=182028-XL-EO-INT-E-NOV&refer=Act-On&sid=TV2:BYulMqhAq

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Mortgage Calculators


I found these on the web through different source and I am not sure how much use they will be or the simplest or you to use, but don’t feel obligated to use any services advertised on this website. I will also continue to post any others I encounter.

Simple mortgage calculator from Kim Komando – http://amortizationloancalculator.net/index.php

Realtor.com offers a mortgage calculator – https://www.realtor.com/mortgage/tools/mortgage-calculator/

Various mortgage calculators –  http://www.calculators4mortgages.com/

Determination to refinance an existing mortgage – http://www.bills.com/calculator-mortgage/

Zillow.com offers a mortgage calculator – http://www.domania.com/Calculator/default.aspx

Helpful tips and mortgage calculator – http://www.mtgprofessor.com/home.aspx

Lending tree (careful – you may get alot of ads) – http://www.lendingtree.com/mortgage-loans/calculators/loan-payment-calculator/

References to products and services are not a specific endorsement, but the user must perform their due diligence and investigate whether the product or service is right for them. I welcome any or all comments that would help others.



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Georgia Landlord-Tenant Handbook (Georgia laws regarding residential rentals)

Do you know your rights as a landlord? As a tenant?

The Georgia Landlord-Tenant Handbook addresses each parties rights for residential rental properties.

For example:

Please see one of my related blog posts: Are tenants liable for HOA fees?

References to articles, sources, products, or services are not a specific endorsement and not guaranteed to be true or accurate. You should perform your own “due diligence and investigate” whether the information provided is valid, or the product or service is right for you. I welcome any or all comments that would help others.


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Are You at Fault? Developing Procedures Could Save You from Litigation

Source: From Pearl Insurance E&O Risk Manager

When an agent and broker partner together for a transaction, it’s extremely important for both parties to do their own due diligence. Because even if you don’t directly make the mistake, you could still be at fault. This actual scenario teaches us two lessons. First, don’t falsely advertise your expertise or claim you know an area of real estate that you don’t. And second, when working with another party, make sure you develop procedures and ask questions to prevent a lawsuit from occurring.

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Sex Offenders in Georgia

21 men arrested in football-themed child sex sting

Cobb DA Reynolds to Head GBI… It’s true that Reynolds has focused on gang prosecutions. He targeted sex trafficking, as well, pulling together different branches of law enforcement to carry out arrests and rescue victims.

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1-13-2015: According to the GBI (http://gbi.georgia.gov/documents/quarterly-report-0) there are about 400 more sex offenders in Georgia as of 10-1-2014 than 7-1-2014.

10-7-2014: According to the GBI (as of 7-1-2014), there were approximately 25,000 registered sex offenders in Georgia (more or less – those who aren’t yet registered and those who have moved within the state and have not yet reported change of address).

3-6-2014: As of the date of this post, there are over 24,000 Georgia registered sex offenders, but the good new is only 19,000 have Georgia residences. The bad news is 5,000 an’t be accounted for….ooops!

Update 4-7-2012:    Georgia Governor Nathan Deal is asking (and planning to sign into law effective 7-1-2012) the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (who now maintains the state’s official database of registered sex offenders in Georgia) to assume duties of the current state board (under the Department of Behavioral Health and Development Disabilities) of determining the threat level of each of the sex offenders.  Apparently, there is a 4,000 case backlog of reviews.  Reviews determine the relative level of possibility that the sex offender will repeat the crime.  A lower level is less likely to repeat an offense a a higher level.

Broker’s Comment:  What a heavy burden it is for the state to determine the threat levels of these criminals.  Can anyone know the thought in each person’s mind, especially at least 4,000 minds?

Source:  Marietta Daily Journal, Saturday 4-7-2012, Page B1

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There are a few websites that were designed to help locate sex offender living in Georgia.

As of 1/1/2011, Georgia had about 19,269 registered sex offenders.  But I understand that there may be many other unregistered sex offenders.

This is the Official Georgia website (10-7-2014) to search:  http://services.georgia.gov/gbi/gbisor/SORSearch.jsp

Another possible, but unofficial website:  http://www.familywatchdog.us/ShowMap.asp?frm=0

Here is the national sex offender website:  http://www.nsopw.gov/Core/PublicRegistrySites.aspx

As a potential resident in certain areas, you are obligated to perform due diligence to discover information about the areas you plan to live.  I hope his information answers some questions.

References to products and services are not a specific endorsement, but the user must perform their due diligence and investigate whether the product or service is right for them. I welcome any or all comments that would help others.

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2019 Real Estate News from Access Brokerage

References to articles, sources, products, or services are not a specific endorsement and not guaranteed to be true or accurate. You should perform your own “due diligence and investigate” whether the information provided is valid, or the product or service is right for you. I welcome any or all comments that would help others.

The real estate transaction is broken. Tech companies want to fix it… Has tech-world “disruption” finally come for the cumbersome process of buying and selling a home? Algorithm-driven home-flipping companies like Opendoor, along with strategic shifts by major companies like Zillow and consolidations across the industry, seem to say yes.

The ultimate guide to selling your home without a real estate agentAdvice for selling without a realtor…Even if you’re selling without a realtor, you’ll still need to hire a lawyer to seal the deal. You’ll also need a lot of know how.

Housing market trends are stifling the jumbo mortgage market…But now, recent trends taken a toll on the jumbo market, causing volume to fall 12% in the last year, according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. This outpaces the decline of the overall mortgage market by 5%.

There are too many big houses on the market, and it’s a problem…“These days, buyers of all ages eschew the large, ornate houses built in those years in favor of smaller, more-modern looking alternatives, and prefer walkable areas to living miles from retail,” the WSJ noted.

The real estate transaction is broken. Tech companies want to fix it

Real Estate Advice: More tips for first-time home buyers

5 Reasons Millennial Real Estate Investors are on the Rise

As the Housing Market Shifts to Favor Buyers, This Remains the Biggest Hurdle

Dallas ranks as the hottest spot for millennial homebuying

7 Smart Real Estate Investing Tips, Tricks & Traps You Should Know

Real estate firms accused of ‘conspiring’ to overcharge home sellers in class-action suit

Once Considered Inferior, Automated Appraisals Are Helping Stem Default Risk
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (the GSEs) have adopted automated valuation models (AVMs) which use mathematical modeling, drawing on a huge database of recent transactions complete with property characteristics, to generate an estimated sales price.

Builder Confidence Holds Steady After Recovering From 2018 Lows… NAHB says affordability still remains a key concern for builders. The skilled worker shortage, lack of buildable lots and stiff zoning restrictions in many major metro markets are among the challenges builders face as they strive to construct homes that can sell at affordable price points.

Federal budget (in Canada) offers first-time home buyers a break with $1.25 billion in mortgage relief…The real estate industry has been pleading with the government to do something to help younger buyers shut out of markets in cities such as Toronto and Vancouver

Part 3: Renting Vs. Buying. How Important Is Owning A Home?

Are You Ready to Buy Your First Home?

Here are five important things to consider and questions this generation can ask themselves to figure it out:

  • Money matters.
  • How long you plan to live there.
  • Timing.
  • The online marketplace.
  • Expert advice.

The lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are aiming at Realtors and their 6% fee
The suit was filed in Chicago on behalf of anyone who sold a home through one of 20 of the largest listing services in the country over the past five years. It charges that the mighty Washington-based lobby National Association of Realtors, as well as the four largest national real estate brokerages, and the Multiple Listing Services they use, have conspired to require anyone selling a home to pay the commission of the broker representing their buyer “at an inflated amount,” in violation of federal antitrust law.

The first time most homebuyers ever see a real estate purchase contract is at the time of submission to make an offer. The standard contract Georgia realtors use is about 6-8 pages. If you can review a form before you make an offer, be sure to know what you are and are not obligated to do. Also, be sure to understand the dates and deadlines for each contingency and milestone in the contract and record those dates in your calendar. Ask a real estate professional

Why Property Tech Might Be the Next Frontier For Legal

Is Now the Time To Buy? Homebuyer’s Mortgage Watch – March 17, 2019

2 Agents Hold Threatening Intruder at Gunpoint in Listing

Real estate information provider sues over alleged data theft…CoStar sues over secretly selling CoStar login details.

Does this title reflect the actual story?….”How to Avoid the Next Real Estate Downturn”

Are these 7 tax tips and changes for property investors valid?

Real Estate Advice: Tips for first-time home buyers…save for a down payment…maybe get a Buyer Agent?

USGS report says half a million Californians, billions in coastal real estate at risk of flooding…maybe they built to close to the water to start with?

Next frontier in real estate technology

New home sales drop 7% in January as housing market gets off to slow start in 2019…New-home sales declined to a 607,000 annual rate in January, according to government report delayed by the partial 35-day federal shutdown earlier this year. That’s how many new homes would be sold for the full year if sales were the same each month.

Diana Olick: Don’t feel like you need marriage, kids before you buy a homeOlick: “I would say to young women, ‘Don’t feel you have to be married, kids, house in that order. It can be house, marriage, kids, or whatever combination you want it to be.’”

4 Tips for Real Estate Agents: How to use Nextdoor Polls

Besides www.abuyeragent.com…15 Best Real Estate Websites of 2019 For Buying And Investing In Properties

The housing market has a growing affordability problem, and here’s why? Due to lack of resale inventory and insufficient construction of new housing, housing price growth outpaced income growth in recent years.

SmarterAgent sues HomeAway over patent infringement

Water damage is a growing problem in older homes…Flooding is becoming a major problem in older homes, but not because of inclement weather conditions. Instead, faulty pipes and valves, worn out hoses in washing machines, and poorly maintained connections to appliances that use water are to blame.

Mortgage Rates Drop to New 14-Month Lows …Finally, the 10yr Treasury auction is a good gauge of demand for bonds.  Higher demand for bonds means lower rates.  The results of the auction were strong, which led to bond market improvement in the afternoon.  After a certain amount of bond gains, mortgage lenders will typically reissue their rates for the day (with better terms, as was the case this afternoon).

7 Things to Consider When Choosing a Neighborhood
Important establishments-Amenities-Outdoor activities-Public transportation-Entertainment options-Crime rate-Family friendly options

Buyers Finally Get the Upper Hand in Hottest U.S. Housing Markets

NAR Slams Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, Defends REALTOR® Value agents are no longer worth their present commission fees because “most buyers do the work themselves, spending months on the internet identifying attractive neighborhoods and homes before calling a real estate agent simply to open the door.

NAR and Real Estate Brokerages face Class Action Lawsuit-National Association of Realtors (NAR) and four prominent real estate brokerage firms—Warren Buffett’s HomeServices of America, Keller Williams, Realogy and RE/MAX. The lawsuit charges NAR and the companies with violating the Sherman Act by only allowing listing brokers to list a property on an MLS if the listing broker makes a unilateral, non-negotiable offer of compensation on the MLS to buyer brokers. Real estate brokers cannot disclose from disclosing commissions offered on MLS, the lawsuit adds, and also allows brokers to take both buyer and seller commissions, if the buyer is not represented by a broker.

Three Important Pieces Of News You May Have Missed About Real Estate InvestingA cap in the mortgage interest deduction; sole proprietor, partnership, LLC or S-corp, you should be able to deduct up to 20% of your qualified business income; and Real estate depreciation rules are more favorable than ever

Millennial homebuyers shop for homes in South Florida

REAL ESTATE MATTERS: Should family member charge for selling mother’s house?…It all depends on alot of factors…and you can reach an agreement between the agent, broker, and homeowner that would be fitting.

Federal Home Loan Mortgage : Private Investors Encroach on Fannie and Freddie’s Domain…another bubble brewing? About 45% of mortgages originated in the January-to-September period last year went into Fannie and Freddie securities, according to the Urban Institute, a think tank. At its most recent peak in 2008, that proportion was 65%. Amherst Pierpont estimated that about 10% of Fannie- and Freddie-eligible loans issued in September 2018 could be more cheaply pooled into private-label deals.

13 Things Real Estate Agents Don’t Want You to Know

Appraiser of famous murder sites

House Bill 346 is sponsored by Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta) would prevent landlord retaliation in Georgia

Top 10 Questions to Ask a Mortgage Lender: Do You Know Them All?

Real estate investing: How much do you need to get started?
Cash needs for real estate investing
Seller contributions
Gifts
Co-buyers and co-borrowers
Private lenders
Assume financing
Secondary financing

The No. 1 Thing Millennials Hate About Their Home Is Not What You’d Expect…no landlord they can call to “fix things.”

How “Amazon HQ2” Might Impact Real Estate… Property database curator ATTOM Data Solutions looked at a potential addition of 25,000 high-wage jobs in New York’s Long Island City neighborhood, and concluded that the move would have indeed provided real estate investors with new opportunities.

Find out the real value of your house, for free… Realtor.com is very easy to use. Select Sell, enter your complete address, and then, Get Estimate. This site offers a cool feature. You can see potential profit or losses by breaking down several factors, such as the sale price minus real estate agent commission, or the balance owed on your mortgage.

Housing and The Economy: Are we already in a recession?Escalating Home Prices: A recipe for disaster for some and a spending frenzy for others?According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales were down about 10% in December from a year earlier

63% of millennial homeowners regret buying home: survey—-unexpected costs aren’t the only reasons for regret. Homeowners also say that bad location, high mortgage payments, and buying the wrong size home can cause them to think differently about their purchase.

Do Real Estate Lawyers Go To Court?… They should know how to go to court, they should not be going to court for the first time, and they should be comfortable at the courthouse.

The Importance Of Nurturing Essential Relationships For Real Estate Professionals… Networking is essential for business and personal growth.

You can now sell your Sacramento home with the click of a mouse. Who needs (listing) realtors anymore?

2019’s Property Taxes by State… The average American household spends $2,279 on property taxes for their homes each year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and residents of the 27 states with vehicle property taxes shell out another $440.

US housing market off to shaky start in 2019 amid price dip, sluggish construction… average home prices in cities across the country, rose 4.7% by the end of December, down from 6% the previous year—for 2018, new single-family home constructions grew 2.8% in 2018, down from 8.5% the prior year.

Number of homes being built drops to lowest level in over 2 years

Zillow as mortgage lender: Real estate giant going ‘further down the funnel’ of buying a house…Thousands of would-be home buyers looking for a mortgage will soon have a new option: Zillow Group.

Georgia Landlord-Tenant Handook…a guide to Georgi’a State Residential Rental laws.

Home Depot sales cool along with real estate market in the final quarter of the year, Home Depot fell short on profit, revenue and same-stores sales as rising real estate prices cast a chill over U.S. home sales.

What is a market appraisal? It is important to note that any market appraisal is not a proper valuation. They can’t be used with any prospective lenders to establish the market value of your property.

Real Estate Advice: Don’t go for interest-only mortgage… After the first few, say five, years the interest on the loan, which is higher to start with, rises and your payments soar because you now have to cover not only the interest, but also the principal, at a rate that will retire the loan over the remainder of the 30-year term.

Energy Efficient Mortgage Program…careful how simple this spunds…FHA’s Energy Efficient Mortgage program (EEM) helps families save money on their utility bills by enabling them to finance energy efficient improvements with  their FHA-insured mortgage.

Let FHA Loans Help You…straight from the HUD.GOV website…FHA loans have been helping people become homeowners since 1934. How do we do it? The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) – which is part of HUD – insures the loan, so your lender can offer you a better deal.

5 Big Reasons to Sell Your Home This Year (Because It Could Get Tougher)

REAL ESTATE MATTERS: Should you fix up a home or sell ‘as is’?…Answer: Depends on the market and costs to fix up…

Mortgage Rates Only Slightly Lower Despite Strong Bond Market

View a Current Brochure/Application for Old Republic Home Warranty

It may be a few years old, but this still applies today…Insurance company cancels policies for Atlas Chalet roofs

I Just Became A Self-Employed Real Estate Agent — What Does This Mean for My Taxes?…Instead, you receive commission income, and at the end of the year, your broker provides a Form 1099-Misc, rather than a W-2. From a tax standpoint, that changes everything.

Two more real estate investors, nine total, sentenced to prison for bid-rigging conspiracy…the two were each sentenced Thursday to serve four months in prison, with Vaughan receiving a fine of $20,000. Both defendants were ordered to pay restitution by U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr.

Moving To A 55 and Older Community: Is It Right For You?…Some benefits…Social club, Security, No one under 55 allowed, and HOA null

What ‘PITI’ means for a home buyer…Hint (Principal, Interest, Tames, Insurance…don’t forget sometimes there’s Private Mortgage Insurance.)

Low Rates and Strong Jobs Numbers Bolster Builder Confidence

Real Estate Agent Fees: Who Pays the Bill?

How Do I Find My Property Lines?…Even if your property doesn’t have visible corner markers, you may be able to go hunting for those buried markers with a metal detector. The metal poles, often made of rebar, can be buried up to 10 inches below the surface. Use a metal detector until it indicates metal is there, then dig to be sure what you’ve found is the marker.

Slowest home sales in over three years could help buyers this spring

Mortgage Rates Near Long-Term Lows After Fed Minutes

Despite interest rate approach, real estate ticking onward….mortgage rates are about where we were at a year ago

How to Invest in Real Estate Without Buying Property… Well, you can do it with real estate investment trusts. (REITs)

Adelaide school zone changes have parents worried about real estate prices (Hint: Most people bu homes for two major reasons – close to good schools and close to work)

Millennial Trends Re-defining Real Estate… How do you think the aspirations and dreams of millennials will shape the future of real estate?

U.S. Housing Inventory Trends Now Favor Buyers in 2019… According to a new report by Zillow, after falling for nearly four consecutive years, housing inventory has turned a corner, growing on an annual basis in four of the past five months. U.S. for-sale home inventory grew 1.2% year-over-year. There were 19,455 more homes for sale nationwide in January compared to a year earlier.

Fed Shift and Postponed Data

The housing market data released in January indicated that sales activity tapered off near the end of 2018. In December, sales of previously owned (existing) homes unexpectedly fell 6% from November and were 10% lower than a year ago. Overall, 2018 was the weakest year for home sales since 2015, as the effects of rising mortgage rates, high home prices, stock market volatility, and the government shutdown were felt late in the year.

What to do if your house doesn’t sell

  • Does it Make the Best First Impression?
  • Does it Appeal to The Target Market?
  • Can Buyers Visualize Living in This Home?
  • Are Key Features Highlighted?
  • Are Key Features Highlighted?

Homebuyer Assistance Programs Under Review — HUD says it’s time to investigate down payment assistance programs.

Put these discounts on your calendar and treat a veteran!
2019 Veterans Day Free Meals, Discounts, Sales and Deals
Veterans Day 2019 will be on Monday, November 11th, 2019.

Local real estate agent fined over lead paint charge – (yeah, 2018 article but still applicable).

What Is My Home Worth? The Number Every Homeowner and Seller Should Know

Working with a professional real estate agent and some real estate terms and definitions

Estate Planning and Tax Evaluations… Tara Cuffney from Costner Law Firm joins Paul to discuss law and real estate.

Real Estate Tips: Essential Cybersecurity for Your Brokerage

  • Monitor your environment
  • Implement effective policies for the destruction and maintenance of data
  • Prevent account takeover and phishing
  • Review and update important financial processes
  • Never enter your login details on websites that don’t start with “https:”
  • Pay your attention to the language used in emails
  • Don’t click hyperlinks

Young homebuyers turn to parents for down payment…A recent study found that about 65% of people aged 18 to 34 expect to seek financial assistance from Mom and Dad in the purchase of their first home. What’s even more interesting is that a significant portion of these young home-buyers are not settling for starter homes, but are instead opting for larger homes they will “grow into.”

Massachusetts real estate company to build group homes across state… Group homes are small, residential facilities within a neighborhood that are designed to look like a home and serve people with developmental disabilities.

Home investor finds staircase booby-trapped with a knife…yet some scoff at real estate investors as scumbags…how about this previous homeowner…doesn’t he/she count as a scumbag?

Google to invest $13B in real estate across the US…The tech giant announced on Wednesday that it plans to spend more than $13 billion in data centers and offices across the U.S., including major expansions in 14 states.

One in five young homeowners delay retirement savings to buy real estate: survey

NAHB Takes a Detailed Look at First-Time and Trade-up Buyers

Who’s your real estate agent really working for? It’s important to know.

Modeling the Future: Restructuring the Secondary Mortgage Market…a better link here…https://themreport.com/daily-dose/02-08-2019/modeling-future-restructuring-secondary-mortgage-market…here is a link to Mike Crapo’s 5 suggestions: https://dsnews.com/daily-dose/02-01-2019/crapos-5-point-plan-for-housing-finance-reform

  • Private companies as guarantors for the timely repayment of principal and interest to investors of eligible mortgages that are securitized through a platform operated by Ginnie Mae.
  • Changing the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA’s) structure to run it as a bipartisan board of directors instead of a single Director to charter, regulate, and supervise the guarantors
  • Utilizing Ginnie Mae to guarantee timely repayment of principal and interest on securities that receive credit enhancement from guarantors that are approved and regulated by the FHFA
  • Putting a cap on the percentage of all outstanding guaranteed eligible mortgages that a guarantor is permitted within a stipulated timeline as well as ensuring a timeline within which all guarantors are required to be fully capitalized after the enactment of the legislation
  • Replacing the current affordable housing goals and duty-to-serve requirements with a new Market Access Fund which will provide grants, loans, and credit enhancements to address the homeownership and rental housing needs of the underserved and low-income communities

Family calls out Zillow over real estate mistake…Zillow corrected it once they became aware of issue.

County Treasurer’s Family Bought Tax-Foreclosed Real Estate…conflict of interest?

Florida housing market tanking?

NAR’s Proposal to Restructure Fannie/Freddie

Real Estate Agents are now taking measures to protect themselves from armed criminals

Concierge Auctions facing accusations of fraudulent bids

Should seniors take the rap for the gap in homeownership by millennials?

How to Report Fraud in Georgia…mortgage, banking, health, etc…

How to Avoid Taxes on Canceled Mortgage Debt… There are, however, exceptions and exclusions that may save you from the requirement to report canceled debt as part of your income.

This startup just raised $5 million to automate the clunky real estate appraisal process… Cushman & Wakefield is now using the startup’s technology to automate and optimize the entire appraisal process, allowing its appraisers to provide multi-family valuation services (meaning for apartment complexes) at a much larger scale for the first time.

Seniors Seeking Roommates: ‘Golden Girls,’ Please Apply

What’s old is new and borrowed isn’t blue hair ladies…it’s the golden girls…even though this is a 2+ year old story doesn’t mean it has stopped working… Senior housing organizations across the nation are reporting a surge in demand from the young and old alike to move into the spare rooms of lonely and often lower-income elderly homeowners.

Here’s why the housing market, while still risky, won’t be all bad for buyers in 2019…because the economy relies on people buying houses and you want to continue to hype it for home buyers???

Local real estate agent fined over lead paint charge…A local real estate broker who failed to tell a client about lead paint in a home was sentenced to time served, a $1,000 fine and restitution of $53,326.

Rising tides, falling property values?

Sample Home Electrical Safety Checklist…includes outlets, chords, fixtures, appliances, etc.

Homebuyer Assistance Programs Under Review…maybe…HUD IG is not investigating these programs…which means they are ignoring fraud.

What do you do if your house doesn’t sell?

Does this still apply about a year later???MBA Tech: Here are the biggest cybersecurity threats to mortgage companies right now… Among the worst things that could happen? A ransomware attack.

Shrinking down payments, millennial demand transforming real estate

Don’t buy into the hype over a pending real estate crash

Everything You Need to Know About a Pending Home Sale

Choosing a real estate agent

Opinion: How to invest in real estate and pay nothing in capital gains because of this new tax break

Could Amazon break into real estate by buying Redfin?

These are the worst cities to live in America. Is yours one of them?…and is this offensive to you if you live in one of them?

Real estate Q&A: I have a reverse mortgage — can I still sell my house… However, if your home is worth more than the mortgage balance, that extra amount, known as your equity, belongs to you or your heirs. If the balance tips the other way and the loan is more than your home’s value, you or your heirs will have to turn over the house, but will not be responsible for any extra.

Real-estate websites want to buy straight from homeowners. But is it really a good deal?… Opendoor and Offerpad bought more than 500 homes in Orange County, Fla., alone last year, according to an Orlando Sentinel analysis of transactions. Opendoor said it now represents about 3% of all sales in the Orlando market and is the largest seller making payments to real estate agents.

Real Estate Advice: Think about the ‘five-year rule’ when buying a home… closing costs and real estate commissions required to buy and sell real estate will consume an estimated 7-15% of a home’s value.

Unconventional Mortgages Predicting Housing Crisis? Unlikely, Experts Say… [Unconventional mortgages] allow for lower income ratios, higher debt-to-income ratios and alternative ways to come up with income for a loan (e.g., 12-month bank statements or even using assets to derive more income via formulas)…you know, otherwise risky borrowers leading to more defaults!

Troubleshooters; Real Estate Deal Goes Bad, Buyer Still Waiting for Refund…here’s where a contract or a real estate agetn or attorney could have helped initially.

To sell a home fast, here’s what to focus on, real estate experts agree

Aging-in-Place Trend Contributing to Tight Inventories…Freddie Mac’ research finds that today’s seniors (persons born after 1931) are staying in their homes longer, and aging in place.  While Millennials have historically low rates of homeownership the rates among seniors are high relative to previous generations.

Former tenants share horror stories of renting from real estate investment firm Invitation Homes

Women in real estate still facing challenges… ‘female-dominated’ in that they make up most of the workforce – 63% of Realtors …

Real Estate Tip of the Week: Wire Fraud — Internet Crime Compliant Center saw a 480% increase in the number of complaints filed last year in the real estate industry.

Land Prices – 2019 January- FHFA information

7 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home to Start Now…like tackle the little projects.

Real estate expert explains furniture free living.  Question: Is it true that there are some people who advocate living in a “furniture free” environment?  Source:  http://www.fox5atlanta.com/good-day/real-estate-expert-explains-furniture-free-living

Home Buyers Can Rejoice While Sellers Sweat for This Important Reason…sellers need to be prepared to lower their prices.

Alleged real estate fraud targeted elderly LA-area victims… Prosecutors have now filed 162 felony counts against a Los Angeles woman who allegedly bilked millions of dollars from elderly property owners and others through real estate and financial fraud.

Here’s How Much Real Estate Agents Earn In Every State…As of January 2019, the average annual earnings for real estate sales agents was $41,289, according to salary.com. How much money real estate agents make per year, however, depends on several of factors, such as number of real estate transactions, and commission fees.

Real estate pro, victim of hackers, warns public after losing $25k in online theft… She thought she had been talking with a title loan representative until she noticed a one-letter difference in the emails she’d been sending and receiving.

Appraisal Threshold for Residential Real Estate Loans. The Appraisal NPR (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) proposes to increase the threshold for residential real estate transactions requiring an appraisal from $250,000 to $400,000. Evaluations would be required for transactions exempted as a result of the proposed threshold.

Agents and Brokers: Here’s What You Need to Know Ahead of Tax Season.

Home office expenses, such as printer paper and ink, and internet costs
Costs relating to commuting and driving clients around, including auto insurance, maintenance and repairs, as well as gas mileage, parking and new car or leased car costs
Business travel-related costs, such as airfare, meals and lodging
Expenses related to marketing, such as signs and flyers for open houses and mailings, as well as website development and maintenance
Real estate education-related expenses such as coaching and training

Home-Price Growth Continues to Slow…The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which measures average home prices in major metropolitan areas across the nation, rose 5.2% in the year ending in November, down from a 5.3% increase reported in October.

New real estate technology allows closings to occur in 3 days or less…The entire process from when you release the property until the closing can all be done on one platform.

MBA Tech: Here are the biggest cybersecurity threats to mortgage companies right now

Ransomware and wire fraud are low-hanging fruit for criminals

Mortgage Applications Down Slightly, are Rates to Blame?… mortgage loan application volume decreased 3.0%

Realtors Expect Pending Sales to Improve in 2019… Yun says despite the low home sales in December, he is confident that the housing market will see improvement in 2019. “The longer-term growth potential is high.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Report

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, also the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director, testified before the House Financial Services Committee … on C-Span 4-11-2018

4 Real Estate Investing Strategies: Which One is Right for You?  

  • Fix and Flipping
  • Wholesaling
  • Creative real estate investing
  • Buy and hold

Who controls the data that fuels real estate deals?…One of the elements of the arrangement was increased access to data from local and regional multiple listing services for nontraditional real estate brokerages, which has helped propel the growth of online portals like Redfin, Zillow and Trulia.

Zillow branching out from real estate data, providing home estimates, to flipping property in Denver…The real estate data giant is now purchasing home in six cities: Phoenix, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Denver, Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham.

Treasury, IRS Give Big Win to Real Estate Professionals in Qualified Business Income Rule

WASHINGTON (January 22, 2019) – Late last week, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations regarding the new 20 percent deduction on qualified business income. As Americans begin preparations for the 2018 tax filing season, real estate professionals have been uncertain about the true impact of the 2017 Tax Cuts and … Continue reading Treasury, IRS Give Big Win to Real Estate Professionals in Qualified Business Income Rule

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How to Seal or Repair Cracks in Concrete Floors & Walls…different methods and materials.

Real Estate Round-Up: Sellers can succeed in a buyers’ market… The current trend California is experiencing is not the jubilant sellers’ market it enjoyed the first half of 2018

NAR: Real Estate Pros Get Big Win in Tax Qualified Business Income Rule

Real Estate Radio Hour weekly real estate radio program on air.

More Buyers Turning to ARMs to Achieve Ownership …the share of ARMs reached 9.2%

Real Estate Settlement Services Industry Needs Technology-Driven Efficiencies.

House-flipping is down, Wall Street Journal frets. If the speculative bubbles deflate naturally and gradually, there is much less risk of a recession or worse. The more speculators who get into the market for anything, the worse it is for the public who would like to buy a house without chasing the market.

An Eye on Real Estate Closings

The Supreme Court of Georgia found that “when a closing lawyer purports to act merely as a witness” they are in violation of Georgia’s ethical rules governing attorneys.

O.C.G.A 15-19-53 states:  …nothing contained in this Code section shall  authorize any person, corporation, or voluntary association other than an attorney at law to express, render, or issue any legal opinion as to the status of the title to real or personal property.

5 Steps to Take When You’re Ready to Sell Your House

Pricey Real Estate Prompts Scammers To Target Senior Homeowners

Why the Best Real Estate Deals are not in the MLS

Anyways, the off-market real estate is where the game is played and if you want to be taken as a serious investor, then you need to have a conduit to these deals.

Six Real Estate Social Media Marketing Tips Every REALTOR® Should Know

  • Discover the Many Faces of Facebook
  • Master the Minimalist Approach on Twitter
  • Get Visual on Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube
  • Connect with Professionals on LinkedIn
  • Keep Up with the New Kids on the Block
  • Check Your Social Media Metrics

New Home Sales Pull Back Amid Global Uncertainty – Conventional loans accounted for 69.5%; FHA loans 17.3% ; and VA loans made up 12.5% share in December

EXCLUSIVE: Shady real estate clan at center of New York City’s plan to convert homeless apartments into affordable housing

So, Democratic Mayor DeBlasio was ready to give the go ahead to slum landlords until someone more intelligent started asking questions.

Zillow Begins Buying and Selling Homes in Denver

Denver is the fourth market where Zillow now directly buys homes, prepares them for showings and quickly lists them for resale. Zillow Offers is currently available in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Atlanta, and will launch in two North Carolina markets – Charlotte and Raleigh – this winter.

How to protect yourself in a real estate transaction

Investors Are Now Building Houses Rather Than Buying Them

5 Steps to Take When You’re Ready to Sell Your House

Post #1: Feds significantly expand investigation into all-cash real estate deals .

Post #2: San Diego leads the nation with the most home price reductions this year.

How Will Increasing Adoption of Cryptocurrency Affect Real Estate?

Post #: How To Capture The Millennial Market As A Real Estate Agent.

MBA Revives Income Verification During Govt Shutdown


Text messages become common management tool

Millennials Are About to Get Locked Out of the Real Estate Market—Again

Where Opportunity Zones stand, heading into 2019

Opportunity Zones allow investors to obtain massive tax advantages if they invest capital gains—money made on the sale of assets like a home, a business, or a piece of art—into “distressed” areas of the country where the post-financial crisis recovery passed by.

Real estate bounces back amid economic turmoil

Contracts every agent should know about…

2019 a buyer’s market for real estate as millennials buckle down: Trulia

Contracts Every Real Estate Agent Should Know

Real-estate agents say government shutdown is impacting the housing market

But there are other factors at work as well: some 17%, for instance, reported a closing delay due to a USDA loan, 13% reporting a delay due to IRS income verification and 9% reported a closing delay due to a hang up for their FHA loan, all showing the outsized role the federal government plays in the housing market.

U.S. Real Estate: A Bearish Take

Georgia Family Says They Returned From Vacation to Find Stranger Living in Home


Three Things Real Estate Agents Can Do To Compete With iBuyers


Falling Mortgage Rates Raise Hopes for Battered Housing Market

Opinion: Why the housing and mortgage crisis is far from over

National Radon Action Month: Increase Awareness in Real Estate to Save Lives

As housing costs remain high, parents buy homes to give their kids a leg up

Parents who can afford to help their children are not standing idly by as housing costs have increased. Around 8% of millennials who are no longer in school get help from their parents on the monthly rent, according to a March report from Apartment List.

Mortgage Strategies for Today’s Competitive Real Estate Market

“One option clients have taken advantage of is the J.P. Morgan Pledged Asset Mortgage” This mortgage strategy allows clients to pledge assets in their J.P. Morgan portfolios in lieu of a cash down payment. With the securities and home as collateral, borrowers may qualify for up to 100% financing. “We’re seeing a number of clients turn to the Pledged Asset Mortgage as part of their estate planning strategy,” adds Mr. Stewart.

Real Estate Radio Hour

Our hosts use this weekend before the holiday to slow things down and take your questions on the real estate industry.

Bitcoin vs. Real Estate: Who Will Win In 2019?

It looks like this year could be a buyer’s market for real estate as higher rates weigh on prices

Mortgage company mergers and acquisitions in 2018

Kansas City couple loses $130K in down payment scam

A couple from Kansas City, Missouri, recently lost a massive $130,000 down payment in a money wire scam that’s becoming increasingly prevalent in real estate transactions.

First-time homebuyers will continue to struggle in 2019, Redfin CEO predicts

The housing market is slowing as would-be buyers struggle with rising borrowing costs and a persistently low number of properties on the market.

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Some 2019 Real Estate Predictions

Sierra Nevada Realtors: 5 real estate trends to expect in 2019 (opinion)

1-3-2019:

2019 Housing Outlook for Real Estate Investors

1-2-2019:

No Crystal Ball For 2019 Real Estate 

Forecasts for the housing market in 2019

Real estate tech companies will be tested in 2019

the housing market is seemingly entering a new chapter. Home sales are lagging, the pace of home price appreciation is slowing, and inventory that’s been stubbornly low across the country has seen spikes in certain markets, particularly on the West Coast. Can these companies still thrive if the housing market goes from a seller’s market to a neutral or buyer’s market?


Zillow Makes Its 2019 Real Estate Predictions

Real estate database company Zillow Group expects mortgage rates will rise significantly in the new year, predicting the 30-year fixed mortgage rate will reach 5.8% by the end of 2019. The rate currently stands at 4.55%, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.


U.S. Real Estate Market: Is The Bubble About To Burst, Or Just Getting Started?

The U.S. consumer is seeing their incomes increase at steady rates and consumption is moving along with that. One of the items that consumers will continue to buy is real estate.

Why home buyers could be forced to shrink their budgets in 2019

Rising interest rates are seriously reducing Americans’ home buying power…

Mortgage Industry Preparing Itself for More Real Estate Doldrums in 2019

“We’re still seeing above-trend GDP growth that is likely to slow as the impact of last year’s tax cuts wears off with higher interest rates,” said Calvin Schnure, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts’ senior vice president of research and economic analysis.

Five real-estate developments we’re watching in 2019


Industrial real estate: Bubble warning, or buy-the-dip?

“Demand for industrial in the U.S. is off the charts,” says a number-cruncher for Cushman & Wakefield. “That market is completely on steroids.”

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Real Estate Blockchain News

Bitcoin and Binance in Real-Estate: Australia to Hold World’s First Live Property Auction Using Crypto
The auction will commence on Apr. 8th and buyers will be able to use Bitcoin (BTC) and Binance Coin (BNB) to purchase a beach-front modern mansion in the town of Casuarina in East Australia.

Blockchain Adoption Is Still At Its Early Stages According To Wall Street Journal CIO Network… Blockchain technology was invented about ten years ago as the technology underpinning Bitcoin

Ohio Eyes Potential Blockchain Benefits in Real Estate Transactions…The County Auditors’ Association of Ohio (CAAO) announced Wednesday that it has formed a working group to determine how blockchain tech can be implemented at the county level to “more effectively” transfer real-estate deeds between parties.

Wills, real estate, escrow top areas to be disrupted by blockchain…In real estate, for example, blockchain could be used for subdividing a piece of real estate into micro-ownership through a token.

Another source: Ontario Bar Association Institute event “Operationalizing Blockchain: Legal Issues and Challenges to Consider” held on Feb. 5.

How Blockchain Will be a Game Changer for Real-estate Industry… blockchain is an encrypted record of digital ledger where information is stored over the entire network. The data in a blockchain can be viewed and stored simultaneously, allowing the real estate sector to streamline their business processes. The information in a blockchain network cannot be meddled with, as data stored in the digital ledger is immutable.

How Will Increasing Adoption of Cryptocurrency Affect Real Estate?

But the main feature that makes cryptocurrency essential is its robust decentralized economic model. Instead of an online system controlled by credit ledgers, blockchain technology and cryptocurrency use an immutable ledger that you can use to complete transactions.

1-2-2019:

Reducing Title Fraud: Real Estate Looks Toward Blockchain-Based Transactions

Promissing efficiency, accuracy, and security.

12-19-2018:

Blockchains, it is said, stand to revolutionize enterprise technology by addressing the problems with authentication and identity at the heart of the internet itself, eliminating middle layers in transactions and making it faster and easier to establish provenance.  Source: https://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2018/12/17/the-morning-download-beyond-bitcoin-the-future-of-blockchains-in-the-enterprise/

CIO Explainer: What Is Blockchain?  A blockchain is a data structure that makes it possible to create a digital ledger of transactions and share it among a distributed network of computers. It uses cryptography to allow each participant on the network to manipulate the ledger in a secure way without the need for a central authority.  https://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2016/02/02/cio-explainer-what-is-blockchain/?mod=djemCIO_h

12-14-2018:

Real estate blockchain set to go live in early ’19. New York-based ShelterZoom plans to launch a real estate application that will lets buyers and sellers transact deals over a blockchain-based network, which could make purchasing a house as easy as pressing a button on a smartphone or tablet.

How Real Estate Is Breaking The Blockchain Mold… its primary purpose was to act as a digital time stamp.

10-19-2018: (Word for today is…BLOCKCHAIN)

Post #1: Is it safe to buy and sell real estate on the blockchain? The most important value of the blockchain is that it gives traders the opportunity to directly share the database. With blockchain, power is decentralized and there is no central administrator or set of administrators.

Post #2: Is Blockchain In The Future Of Real Estate? .

Post #3: Real Estate and the Blockchain: A Transactional Perspective.

Post #4: PayPal Alum: How Blockchain Will Change Investing and Why Real Estate Will Be First.

Post #5: Nine Things To Keep In Mind About Blockchain In Real Estate.

1. Technology Will Enhance Security And Transparency
2. Blockchain Will Disrupt The Real Estate Title Industry
3. Relevant Information Is Available On Specific Sites
4. Education And State Approval Will Help Adoption
5. Blockchain Will Form A Secondary Market
6. Blockchain Should Be Integrated Into Entire Value Chain
7. Adoption Starts With Learning, Adaptability And Application
8. Blockchain Will Reshape How Data Is Exchanged
9. Blockchain Is Not Cryptocurrency

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Reverse Mortgage News

12-13-2018: Reverse Mortgage Market Sees Sharp Uptick in Jumbo Interest… interest is strong and rising, with some seeing volume increase from single digits to as much as almost 20 percent this year. In lieu of federal regulations concerning counseling requirements on proprietary reverse mortgages, the firms offering them as an option often have their own rules concerning a prospective borrower undergoing counseling before they can proceed to close a proprietary reverse mortgage loan.

11-23-2018: Real estate trouble: Reverse mortgages deplete FHA insurance reserves. The Federal Housing Administration’s 2018 audits revealed that losses from real estate reverse mortgages destroyed about a third of the taxpayer-guaranteed insurance reserves…FHA offers reverse mortgage program for seniors, called Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) that represents only 6 percent of FHA guarantees, disclosed its economic net worth plunged to a negative -$13.6 billion

4-15-2016: More than 60% of borrowers used their reverse mortgage proceeds to pay off a mortgage…About 12% of federally insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program were in default of paying property taxes or homeowner’s insurance…Also, income from a reverse mortgage isn’t taxed unlike a withdrawal from an IRA and avoids higher income levels that increase Medicare Part B & D Premiums…There has to be at least 40% equity in the home to approve a Reverse Mortgage…The Reverse Mortgage Stabilization Act of 2013 prohibited the withdrawal of about 40% of the remaining eligible equity in the first 12 months…Most reverse mortgages today are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), as part of its HECM program…Single-purpose reverse mortgages are also offered by some state and local governments and non-profit organizations. Source: CFPB & WSJ, 3-321-2016, R4.

3-23-2016: Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) are being used to open lines of credit under reverse mortgages instead of lump sum withdrawals (about 60% of reverse mortgages are created using lump sum payments on 2nd homes) of a home’s equity. One benefit of a line of credit is that during stock market down cycles, withdrawals against the home’s equity can be less damaging over time than withdrawing income producing assets after dropping in value. Also, unused portion of a line of credit tends to grow over time and income from a reverse mortgage isn’t taxed (like a withdrawal from a IRA or other investment vehicle, there’s no income tax. And this fact could help some avoid jumping into a higher tax bracket increasing their Medicare Part B and Part D premiums. WSJ, 3-21-2016, R4.

6-5-2015: Beware those Celebrity Studded Reverse Mortgage Ads – CFPB

3-16-2015: California Senior homeowners at risk of losing home to foreclosure could qualify for as much as $25,000 in assistance. The Reverse Mortgage Assistance Pilot Program is intended to help financially distressed California homeowners 62 years or older who have a FHA Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM).

2-11-2015: Some complaints (about 1,200 complaints out of about 630,000 loans) filed about reverse mortgages include the misunderstanding that:

  • Borrower has the responsibility to pay property taxes and homeowners insurance – if they go unpaid, it triggers loan defaults;
  • If only one borrower, then upon death – surviving spouse gets booted from house – loan must be repaid upon the borrower’s death or else bank takes the home under foreclosure;
  • Loan terms may prohibit adding additional borrowers to the loan in order to extend its term or allowing children to assume the loan for an aging or deceased parent; or
  • Either loan servicers or lenders do not provide an understandable and streamlined process for paying off the loan

Source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/02102015_cfpb_hecm_complaints.asp

Reverse mortgages are FHA insured lines of credit (i.e., loans) available to those homeowners age 62 or older allowing them to borrow a portion of the current equity in their own personal residence. It is primarily used to help supplement their retirement income. The loan is due upon the death of the homeowner (borrower). If the proceeds from the property sale (normally required to pay the reverse loan) is less than the loan balance, the heirs/estate isn’t liable for the difference since the FHA insures the excess amount. Note: A recent poll indicated almost 2/3 of US citizens between 50-65 are worried they won’t have enough money in retirement.

10-7-2014: First half of 2014, about 28,000 reverse mortgages were issued worth >$7 billion, according to FHA data….Reverse Market Insight (analyzed the data) expected total 2014 value to exceed $12.7 billion.

9-16-2014: FHA insured reverse mortgages are on the rise and expected to continue to help the approximately 80 million baby boomers approaching the age of 70 (typically the age where most reverse mortgages are generated).

2-26-2014: Reverse mortgage foreclosures: Reverse mortgages are loans against the equity in a home which are eligible by and allow elderly homeowners to convert the equity in their homes to income, or a line of credit (see definition of reverse mortgages). Since these mortgages can involve lines of credit, they can become delinquent and result in a loss of the home through foreclosure. So please take care to advise your loved ones appropriately.

10-24-2013: New Home Equity Conversion Reverse Mortgage (HECM) rules are more complicated and prohibit borrower from drawing out cash too fast and must wait 12 months before drawing the majority of funds. Source: http://www.bnd.com/2013/10/24/2866005/the-mortgage-professor-reverse.html

9-14-2013: Watch out for possible scams increasing with the release of the revised reverse mortgage guidelines and choose a revere mortgage lender carefully. Source: http://realestatemarbles.com/emortgagesnews/2013/09/10/read-this-before-signing-your-reverse-mortgage/

9-9-2013: A new Financial Assessment and Property Charge Guide – see Mortgagee Letter 13-28 was released by FHA that outlines guidelines for a borrower’s credit history, cash flow, credit and income analysis, and other factors. It also outlines requirements to determine limits of loan proceeds withdrawn and/or dedicate to pay escrow property taxes and homeowners insurance. The guidelines become effective for loans assigned an FHA case number starting on January 13, 2014. Source: Mortgage News Daily article “New Restrictions on Reverse Mortgages Aimed at Sustainability” on 9-4-2013.

9-4-2013: Almost 600,000 reverse mortgages exist and may rise. Some retirees use it as a back-up line of credit in case their existing home equity line gets cancelled (which is possible) or as a cash flow strategy to pay off their traditional mortgage and not withdraw their 401K or other retirement funds that may be taxed. Source: WSJ, 8-17-18, 2013 B8

8-15-2013: Question of whether HECMs should be supported by the US Government? http://www.macon.com/2013/08/15/2609214/the-mortgage-professor-should.html

5-13-2013: Reverse mortgages for people with home equity up to $625,000 might use an FHA reverse home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) to get up to 50% of their equity and those over that amount may use a jumbo revere mortgage to pull out up to 25% of the equity. Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324266904578459170357590616.html

2-4-2013: Does your lender suggest to leave your spouse off the reverse mortgage? Think again – It may mean the surviving spouse will lose the house! Think about having both names on mortgage. Source: http://www.pantagraph.com/business/real-estate-q-a-don-t-leave-spouse-off-reverse/article_4c4f7fbe-6780-11e2-9581-001a4bcf887a.html?comment_form=true

12-26-2012: FHA said it would tighten mortgage standards for some reverse mortgage borrowers (including the elimination of Reverse Mortgage and replace with the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Saver which restricts the total amount borrowers an borrow) by January 31, 2013. Source: WSJ, 12-19-12, Page A2

12-21-2012: Be careful to include your spouse on reverse mortgages or else they may be squeezed out since mot require payment of loan after borrower dies. Source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/realestate/house-keys-blog/sfl-singer-housing-questions-link-20121221,0,5719342.story

Update 11-5-2012: Traditional v. Reverse mortgages – is there a comparison or are they different animals? It all depends, but here’s some info to chew on regarding pros and cons: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/03092011_reverse_mortgages.asp

Recently, Bank of America has stated their intent to get out of reverse mortgage loans because they are not profitable. (Especially under the current market of declining real estate values.)

Some advocates recommend reverse mortgages as a final option since it would make the individual’s government assistance (including Medicare and harder time funding long term medical care.

References to products and services are not a specific endorsement, but the user must perform their due diligence and investigate whether the product or service is right for them. I welcome any or all comments that would help others.

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A Creative Loan Option Best For First-Time Buyers?

If you’re in the market to buy a home and, especially, if it’s your first home, you’ve probably heard about conventional and FHA loans. But there may other options out there to meet your needs to discuss with your mortgage lender. This may be especially true if you’re having a hard time coming up with a down payment, have a lower credit score, still paying off student loans, or are continually getting priced out of your desired neighborhoods.

Employer loan assistance

This program could spell the difference between perma-renting and being able to buy your own place, and all it takes is a forward-thinking employer. “A new program allows employers to help workers’ down payment on a home, similar to how companies contribute to a 401(k),” said REALTOR Mag. “HomeFundMe, a Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-approved down payment crowdfunding platform, allows borrowers to crowdfund their down payment from several sources, including their employer. CMG Financial, a mortgage banking firm, created the HomeFundMe program.”

FHA 203(k) loan

This loan allows you to buy a home and fix it up. This is a loan for a renovation project with their first home or are willing to do so because they can’t find a move-in ready home in their budget and/or area. The minimum credit score is 580 to qualify for a down payment as low as 3.5%, but can go as low as 500 for a down payment of 10%.

The standard 203(k) covers most types of improvements or repairs, and the amount of money borrowed for the loan can exceed its current value; you can borrow up to 110% of what an appraiser estimates will be the “after” value of the home.

Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation mortgage

The Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation mortgage is similar to the 203(k) and requires only a 5% down payment. It has one big advantage over the 203(k): It is also open to investors or homeowners in the process of flipping the property with little funds. “With a down payment of less than 25%, you’ll need a credit score of at least 680,” said Interest.com. “If your debt-to-income ratio is higher than 36% but less than or equal to 45%, your credit score needs to be 700 or higher.”

The funds can be used for repairs, renovations or energy improvements. “The only restriction is that the changes must be permanently affixed to the property and add value.”

Energy-efficient mortgage (EEM)

This is another loan geared toward making home improvements and focused on energy efficiency. These loans are guaranteed by the FHA, or the VA for military buyers.

“One of the best tools for making your dream home more affordable while saving on the cost of power, heating and cooling is the energy-efficient, or ‘green,’ mortgage,” said Bankrate. “Most energy-efficient mortgage, or EEM, programs let you qualify for bigger loans than you would otherwise by folding in the additional cost of making improvements for energy efficiency or of purchasing an already energy-efficient home. Another version of the green mortgage provides discounts on loan fees or interest rates for homes that are certified as energy-efficient.”

USDA loan

Zero down payment loans are “issued through the USDA loan program, also known as the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Program, by the United States Department of Agriculture,” said Nerdwallet. Eligible homes are generally in rural areas, but may also cover suburban locales. You can use their map to look up individual addresses.

The USDA also “guarantees a mortgage issued by a participating local lender – similar to an FHA loan and VA-backed loans – allowing you to get low mortgage interest rates, even without a down payment” and offers home improvement loans and grants, as well.

Good Neighbor Next Door

If you’re a police officer, firefighter, EMT, or teacher (K–12), you may be able to take advantage of the Good Neighbor Next Door program. Sponsored by HUD, this program slashes the price of eligible homes in “revitalization areas” by 50%. “Buying a home through HUD’s Good Neighbor Next Door initiative is designed to encourage renewal of revitalization areas by providing an opportunity for law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and teachers to purchase homes in these communities,” said HUD. You can search eligible homes by state on the HUD website.

Eagle Home Mortgage

A loan intended to help millennials become homebuyers, this mortgage option from Eagle Home Mortgage, a subsidiary of Lennar, helps homebuyers pay off their student loan debt.

“Eagle Home Mortgage’s Student Loan Debt Mortgage Program offers borrowers as much as $13,000 that can be used to pay off student loan debt,” said Housingwire. “But the program isn’t without its conditions. Borrowers who used Eagle Home Mortgage’s Student Loan Debt Mortgage Program can direct up to 3% of the purchase price to pay their student loans, but only if they buy a new home from Lennar. Lennar contributes the 3%, which, according to the company, does not increase the price of the home or add to the mortgage balance. The program’s maximum loan amount is $424,100, but Lennar said that in addition to the 3% contribution to student loan balances, buyers may also be eligible for other incentives — such as credits toward closing costs.”

National Homebuyers Fund

The National Homebuyers Fund is not a loan – it’s a grant for up to 5% of your loan amount that provides down payment assistance with no need to ever pay it back. “You read that right—you don’t have to pay back anything,” said Realtor.com. “The NHF offers two down payment assistance programs with different sets of requirements, but both are meant for low- to moderate-income earners. The NHF Sapphire program is available in multiple states and has generous FICO score requirements (which is a good thing if you have a subpar credit score).”

Source: Creative loan options for first time homebuyers.

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