Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bank Owned Properties/Sales

It has happened more than once that nice families who are trying to get "the best deal they can" opt to buy bank owned properties, only to be surprised at the length of time it takes to get a response from the bank and end up being dislocated and in limbo at the banks mercy. Even when they have been counseled on the process and how long it may take. I hate seeing that! There is only so much a helpful real estate salesperson can do against a face-less entity that holds all the cards. If you are considering purchasing bank owned properties (also known as REO's) please heed this warning: Plan for the buying process to take 3 - 6 months, really. Have a plan for where you will live in the mean time from the time you sell your current home to the time you can close on the REO and move in. [You will probably have to close on your current home before closing on the REO to satisfy the bank]. Figure out where you will store all your belongings. Budget carefully, there will be repairs that the bank will not fund but your new lender will require and unless you do you those repairs (at your expense) you will lose the house and most likely all the earnest money you paid up front, which sometimes can be a substantial amount of money! There are no shortcuts. There is no easy way around an REO, contrary to some of the ads you see out there today. Granted the "deals" are great, but assess carefully if you have the time, money and grace under pressure to stand the test of time. Celebrating your thanksgiving, eating MacDonald's, in a tiny hotel room is not a memory your kids will cherish. The best I can do is prepare my clients and walk them through it. If you still think buying REO's (bank owned properties) may be for you, contact me, let's talk then get shopping! Now is a great time to aquire these unique properties, if you are prepared.

Friday, November 13, 2009

HomeBuyers Credit Extended/Expanded

It looks as if the homebuyers credit extension and expansion has been approved by the government and is only awaiting the presidents signature to be final. The newly extended tax credit is expected to remain up to $8,000. for 1st time homebuyers and be good for current home owners (who have lived in the home for at least 5 of the last 8 years as the primary residence) to get as much as $6,500. in tax credit. Of course there will be guidelines and rules and regulations and income limits, it is the US government. Any "free" tax money is good money and if you or someone you know has been considering buying or selling real estate now may be the time, this may be your second chance. Call a Realtor today, PS. I AM 1.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Great News Coming for Military/Vets !

The House of Representatives has unanimously voted to extend the $8000. tax credit for first time home buyers to active duty or returning vets that have been deployed. This now goes before the Senate where it is expected too also pass, then it will become law. The actual guidelines will be announced once the Senate has passed but
it looks like it will be extended until November 2010, for qualifying members.
If you are thinking about making the move to home ownership, contact me today. For more information use the link:

Friday, October 9, 2009

Been a While ...

Ok, so it's been a while since I've blogged here, it's because I have been busy trying to get homes sold and first time homebuyers into homes before the FREE $8,000 tax credit expires! Now that we have reached the end of what appears to have been a very successful attempt at getting buyers back into the real estate market, there is talk of the credit being extended and expanded. Until I see something "official" in writing from the the government, I am keeping my fingers crossed. Would you like to see a bigger tax credit available to more people for a longer time period? For instance: if the credit were $10,000 for any home buyer (not just first time or those with limited incomes) and it did not have to be paid back and the offer was good through 2010, would you then consider moving or buying a home? I still believe that the real estate market runs in cycles, it will eventually come back, on it's own, if given enough time. So, is it wise to spend more tax money to just speed up the time table while prolonging the deficit? Wow, deep thoughts?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Think About It ... Time Flies.

So here we are in another Hampton Roads summer, the kids are out of school and there are lots of activities going on all over the region. Soon it will be September and you will be saying, where did summer go? The same thing is happening to that $8,000 tax money you have been hearing about ... the offer to get it (FREE) expires on November 30th, 2009, and you have to be "closed" on a home by then to get it. Since it can take 3 to 6 months to get qualified, find a home, get an offer accepted, do the neccessary steps required to "close" on it, the time clock is ticking away on this too. Ideally, first time homebuyers (or those who have not owned a home in the past 3 years) need to be already under contract by September to assure they can get that $8,000. If you have even thought about buying a home, please consider doing it while the government is giving away FREE money! Call a REALTOR* today. Sure you can buy a house anytime, but right now you can get $8,000 just for doing it now!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Ok, so if you live in or around Hampton Roads Virginia, you are aware of the massive problems this past week at the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. The Virgininan-Pilot dubbed it "Carmageddon". Here's an idea toward the solution: (from a REALTORS* perspective) If people lived in homes closer to their jobs, there might not be so many cars on the road in the first place. Imagine how much gas and time those folks could save, not to mention impact on the environment. Are you one of the thousands who got caught up in all that mess? Think now might be a good time to consider buying a home closer to your work? Was that your sign? Eliminate that awful daily commute altogether! Why not? Home loan interest rates are low ... If your a first time home buyer, you could get back up to $8000. in tax credit ... the selection of homes is incredible and there are bargains to be had. Now may be the perfect time to get that larger home you've been wanting or downsize to save money or because the kids are all grown up. Contact me and let's at least explore your possibilities. (757) 237-4081 Call or text.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Reaping the Tax Credit Rewards

I have been so busy with first time homebuyers, and they all want to capitalize on that $8000 tax credit (rebate) offered. They know they have to find homes and close on them before November 30, 2009, to claim that money. So the rush is on! There are so may available homes and choices and so many sellers willing to help buyers by paying closing costs that buyers are really reaping the rewards of buying a home in this day and age. If you have given any thought to buying ahome or wonder even if you could buy a home call me, let me help get you connected to the people who can help get you there. If you can buy a house, now may be the best time in your lifetime to buy one. Low interest rates on loans, great selection, bargain prices and sellers paying closing costs for buyers ... it doesn't get much better than that! Really. Contact me to get started.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Changes to the $8000. Tax Credit

Ok, so I am already hearing and reading that there may be some changes coming to the new $8k tax credit now being offered by the US government ... they are considering allowing that credit to be used as a downpayment instead of being collected at tax filing time. As much as I would love to see more people be able to have $8k to put down on homes, isn't this part of what got us in trouble in the real estate market in the first place? People buying homes they really can't afford and putting nothing down so feeling like they have nothing to lose? I hope they find a solution that can work for everybodies benefit. Stay tuned ... I'll let you know what I hear next.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Across the country ...

Having been out to Salt Lake City, Utah recently, I have discovered firsthand how the failing economy has effected homeowners and housing markets. The housing market there is very depressed. It has reinforced my belief that we are very fortunate here in Hampton Roads to have so many military facilities and members that support our own local economy, no matter what. They keep moving in and out of the area and buying and selling real estate because they know, real estate is still one of the safest places to put your money and hopes for the future. When you buy a home you are not only investing your money on your own family rather than a landlords, but you are doing your part to support your local and national economy. You are setting money aside for a day when you will need to get it back, like when your kids go to college or when you are ready to retire ... what then? You could sell the home and pocket the profit or keep it and live payment free when your mortgage is paid off. Need money before then? As a homeowner you can borrow against the value of that home and pay bills or invest in other financial plans. Renters will never have any of those options. If you are here in Hampton Roads, VA, now may be the perfect time to invest in your own home. Contact a Realtor*, oh yeah, I'm a Realtor*!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Business is Booming!

Maybe it's just me, or Family Realty GMAC, but we have seen a real pick up in action over the last 2 weeks. Listings are being shown more frequently, offers are coming in on homes for sale and buyers are putting in contracts on homes to purchase! Lots of activity. I am a realist, so by no means am I saying the worst is over, we have a long way to go but if people keep buying we will pull ourselves out of this recession the gradual, natural way. Real estae, like most things, runs in cycles ... highs and lows ... we have been in the low for a while now, it's time for things to start heading up again. If you have been thinking about making a move into your first home, a larger home or even downsizing, now may be the perfect time. Interest rates are still low, choices are still plenty and bargains can still be had. Don't wait until the rates go up or buyer incentives (like closing cost assistance) go away. Contact a REALTOR* today, oh yeah, I am a REALTOR*.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Upside Down Perspective ...

Recent front page headlines in our local newspaper read "33,000 homeowners in Hampton Roads are upside down in their mortgages" ... Pretty dramatic words, first of all, define "upside down", it usually means a homeowner who owes more on a house than it could sell for, but why are they upside down? Did they get in over their heads in the first place? Anyone getting a VA loan right now starts out upside down because they are allowed to finance in all sorts of closing costs and fees above and beyond the mortgage, you know, no money down. Are they upside down because they have refinanced all the equity out of their homes and now wonder where all the money went? (Was it spent on bills, new vehicles, remodels, education or vacations?) Let's talk numbers, how many homeowners do you think there are in Hampton Roads? (All 7 cities) I can only guess it is more than 750,000 ... that would make 33,000 approximately 4.5%. In comparison to other communities in the United States, we are doing pretty good. If the media keeps pushing the manipulated figures and trying to sell a newspaper with sensationalism, it will only take us longer to pull ourselves out of this housing slump we are in. Bottom line: it is a great time to buy a house! Interest rates are historically low, there are so many homes to choose from at deeply discounted prices, and buying will always make more sense than renting. When you rent you are only paying someone elses mortgage, pay your own and have something of value to sell later. Even if you take a loss it will be far less than if you had not owned and only rented. Renters have nothing of value to sell later. Do your part to help restore the economy, buy a home now and enjoy the benefits for years to come. Call a REALTOR* (an actual REALTOR*, not just a real estate sales person) today.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

2009 Real Estate Stimulus News

It's official, president Obama has approved a new stimulus package for first time homebuyers that will result in up to $8000 in tax credits for buying a home in 2009. Of course, there are rules and regulations to qualify for this benefit but if you have been thinking about buying your first home, check out his website for more information:,,id=204672,00.html
Then, contact me to get started on the search for your new home! Think about it ...
what would you do with an extra $8000 this year?