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.

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

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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Spray foam insulation or crawl space encapsulation may void your termite insurance in Georgia

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black recently stated that spray foam insulation in the crawl space of your home or business may void your current (or prevent future) termite protection coverage. But let me add this caveat….many homeowners are adding spray foam to their attics under their roofs and some are encapsulating their crawl spaces and conditioning that space to prevent mold, but are they covering up hidden active termite infestation?

If you currently (or are planning to) have termite protection from a Georgia licensed pest control company, be sure to:

(a) determine if and where you have any spray foam insulation,
(b) read your termite protection policy for its effect on coverage, and
(c) contact the pest control company to discuss effect on termite protection coverage of those areas covered (or to be covered) by the spray foam insulation.

It may result in termination or voiding your termite protection in its entirety.

Spray Foam Insulation Could Impact Ability to Protect from Termites.

SPRAY FOAM INSULATION WARNING.

If you need more information, you may contact your local county extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1, or the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Structural Pest Control Division at 404-656-3641.

Source: Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin, September 26, 2018, Page 1.

References to articles, sources, products, or services are not a specific endorsement and not guaranteed to be true or accurate, but the user must perform their due diligence and investigate whether the information provided is valid, or the product or service is right for them. I welcome any or all comments that would help others……Be careful – if it sounds too good, it probably is!

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Are you being duped into replacing your HVAC system instead of just changing refrigerant?

Do you have a choice of replacement for the R-22 Refrigerant in your HVAC system?

Yes…and here is a chart of alternatives:

First, I am not an HVAC expert and I didn’t sleep at a Holiday Inn last night, but are we being duped into replacing out HVAC systems in our homes instead of simply replacing the existing R-22 in our systems?

Second, aren’t HVAC systems supposed to be “closed systems”? This means that there “SHOULD NOT BE ANY LEAKS” in the refrigerant lines….so why are there…
LEAKS IN HVAC REFRIGERANT lines? They are normally copper lines which really shouldn’t leak…

I was told by an HVAC technician years ago that HVAC systems use different metals to connect the circulation system and over time, those metals interact to develop leaks. I can’t verify that statement, but several older systems, designed as “closed systems”, mysteriously develop leaks in copper tubing or at connection points within the system.

Watch this video: What is RS-44b ( R453a ) Refrigerant and Should You Use It?

RS-44b Refrigerant is an R22 Replacement.

Also, After many years of testing and investigation, R407C is recognized as a suitable alternative refrigerant for R22 in medium and high temperature applications such as residential and light commercial air conditioning.

RS-44b Refrigerant: RS-44b is a non-flammable HFC blend. It is compatible with both traditional mineral and synthetic lubricants so that a retrofit to a different refrigerant oil is not required. The small amount of hydrocarbons in RS-44b improve the oil return to the compressor to extend the life of the compressor. (Source: rs-44b-refrigerant-r22-replacement)

407C Refrigerant: R-407c is a mixture of hydrofluorocarbons used as a refrigerant. It is a zeotropic blend of difluoromethane, pentafluoroethane, and 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane. Difluoromethane serves to provide the heat capacity, pentafluoroethane decreases flammability, tetrafluoroethane reduces pressure. R-407c cylinders are colored burnt orange. (Source: Wikipedia)

R422D, Another R22 Replacement.

So, are there alternatives to HVAC companies “scaring you” into selecting new HVAC systems and changing out your older system to a newer one? It appears so, but if you want a more efficient HVAC system in the future, you may need to replace your current system to achieve those benefits.

References to articles, sources, products, or services are not a specific endorsement and not guaranteed to be true or accurate, but the user must perform their due diligence and investigate whether the information provided is valid, or the product or service is right for them. I welcome any or all comments that would help others……Be careful – if it sounds too good, it probably is!

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What is a bedroom?

Does a bedroom consist of a room of any size upstairs? On main level? In basement?

Does a bedroom need a door, window, and closet only?

What “DOES qualify as a bedroom?

I think this description from the April 2018 Georgia Real Estate Commission – The Appraisers Page of their monthly newsletter will BLOW REALTORS’ or REAL ESTATE AGENTS’ (yes, they are different…but not what you think) MINDS and property descriptions:

Confused? I bet most real estate agents are as well….

Let me repeat that…

Let’s define a bedroom before we go any further. A bedroom is a room of “adequate size” – which is defined as no less than 100 square feet. It must have a closet, a window, and a door; it must be heat/cooled and finished to the same quality as the rest of the house. It must be ABOVE GRADE to be counted as a bedroom. And the most forgotten or unknown factor in defining a bedroom is that it must have ready access to a FULL bathroom. A full bathroom is one that has a shower or a tub as well as sink and toilet. Think about it: if you have a bonus room finished up over a garage, it may have a closet, window, door, heating/cooling, and is finished to the same quality as the rest of the house. If you have to go down the stairs and across the house to use the bathroom, though, the room cannot function on a long-term basis as a bedroom. Another common scenario is that you might have four “bedrooms” on the second floor of a house. Three of the bedrooms have private baths. How is someone in the fourth bedroom supposed to get to the bathroom? If you answered “by going through one of the other bedrooms”, you are incorrect. You aren’t incorrect. It just doesn’t count as a bedroom. That does not function on a long -term basis as a bedroom. We would instead call it a den or office. Probably the most common scenario is as follows: let’s take a traditional two-story house. On the first floor, you have a living room, dining room, kitchen, one half bathroom, laundry and a “bedroom”. The problem here is that the “bedroom” is only serviced by a half bath. Again, this does not function on a long-term basis as a bedroom. Here is where it is valuable to have an appraiser as a consultant during or prior to the construction process of a new house.

References to articles, sources, products, or services are not a specific endorsement and not guaranteed to be true or accurate, but the user must perform their due diligence and investigate whether the information provided is valid, or the product or service is right for them. I welcome any or all comments that would help others……Be careful – if it sounds too good, it probably is!

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Home Equity Loan Tax Deductions Under 2017 Tax Law

Major question: How will “when the proceeds are used to substantially improve their residence” is defined in IRS guidelines?

One of the most misunderstood provisions in the new tax law expires in 2026 and prohibits the deduction of interest paid on home equity lines of credit and home equity loans except when the funds are used to substantially improve the taxpayer’s home. The IRS recently issued a statement clarifying that the deduction has not been removed, but is instead available under new home improvement restrictions:

“…despite newly-enacted restrictions on home mortgages, taxpayers can often still deduct interest on a home equity loan, home equity line of credit (HELOC) or second mortgage, regardless of how the loan is labelled,” according to an IRS release.

Source: IRS Clarifies Home Equity Loan Tax Deductions Under New Law

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