Posts Tagged ‘tracy reo’

Title Insurance and You: Do You Need to Pay for It?

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Many people who don’t completely understand the what title insurance actually is might question this item when the closing costs are added up. It is, however, a very important thing to have. As the name implies, the function of this kind of insurance is to ensure the integrity of the title to your home at the time its title legally passes to you as the buyer. Title insurance is designed to protect you in case there are problems or unknown legal complications tied to the title on the property which were caused by the actions or failures of previous owners.

In other words, title insurance ensures that that your ownership rights to your home are protected from any kind of liability arising time before you bought. This is an insurance policy which insures the “before” period of home ownership, unlike ordinary homeowner policies, which cover the “after” period.

After you complete the purchase of your home, if it were to come to light that there had been a tax or mechanic’s lien on it, title insurance would keep you from a disastrous financial loss from the circumstance.

It is all too common that someone will purchase a property and then discover that it has an encumbrance against it because of something that happened with a previous owner. You surely do not want to find yourself coping with such a situation without having the security of a good title insurance policy. Uninsured, you would have been exposed to a financial liability, which could amount to anything from a petty annoyance up to a big debt leading to loss of the property.

Title insurance covers homeowners against any disputes that come up from situations related to the title of your home before you purchased it. For example, if you buy a home that was sold to you in as part of a scam or swindle with illegal documents, the title insurance policy would cover you against any loss you might incur as a result. If any disputes were to arise regarding the chain of ownership of the property you have just bought, your title insurance policy would give you the coverage you need in that situation.

What Title Insurance Is Not

It is not protection against things you might do to jeopardize your ownership. It is strictly limited to ensuring that you have a clear title to the home at the time that title transfers. If you fail to pay the property taxes and a lien is filed, you will still have to take settle the debt yourself. Title insurance will not give you any protection that.

As one last reminder, title insurance does not cover anything related to the belongings or the structure of the property. You also need to take positive steps to insure your home against perils such as fire, theft, and natural disasters with a good homeowners policy. When you purchase your home, both title insurance and homeowners insurance provide different kinds of coverage, and you most certainly must have both of them.

If you have a need to look into Broomfield CO real estate for sale, it’s easy to Search for Colorado Homes at AutomatedHomefinder.com.

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U.S. Foreclosure Filings Down Slightly In First Half Of 2010

Monday, July 19th, 2010

According to a new report by RealtyTrac, property foreclosures filings in the United States dropped 5% during the first half of 2010; this is due to lenders continuing to delay foreclosure proceedings so they can focus on short sales and load modification efforts.

The same report states that over the past six months, more than 1.6 million homes have received at least one filing, such as default notices, auction sale notices, and bank repossessions. So while foreclosures filings were down slightly during the first half of the year, there is still an abundant amount.

There is growing concern that a backlog of homes in line for foreclosure could build up, which may result in a double dip in the market when said homes are dumped at some future date.

The chief executive of RealtyTrac, James Saccacio, contends that at the current pace, more than 3 million properties will receive foreclosure filings by the end of this year; leaving lenders to repossess more than 1 million of them.

“The roller coaster pattern of foreclosure activity over the past 12 months demonstrates that while the foreclosure problem is being managed on the surface, a massive number of distressed properties and underwater loans continues to sit just below the surface, threatening the fragile stability of the housing market,” Saccacio said.

Saccacio continued, “The second quarter was a tale of two trends. The pace of properties entering foreclosure slowed as lenders pre-empted or delayed foreclosure proceedings on delinquent properties with more aggressive short sale and loan modification initiatives. Meanwhile the pace of properties completing the foreclosure process through bank repossession quickened as lenders cleared out a backlog of distressed inventory delayed by foreclosure prevention efforts in 2009.”

For all the numbers and figures of the RealtyTrac report, visit PropertyWire.com: Property foreclosure filings in US down slightly in the first half of 2010.

U.S. Foreclosure Filings Down Slightly In First Half Of 2010
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Traps To Watch Out For When You Sell A Home

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Putting a home up for sale can turn out to be a wrenching experience. Although it matter how ready you might be to move on, it still means giving up a part of your history. Selling is even harder if it is prompted by difficult or even tragic circumstances, such as the death of a spouse, the loss of a job, or any kind of shift in financial circumstances.

This article covers common mistakes that that are made by people who want to sell and, more importantly, how to avoid being trapped by them.

Asking Too High a Price

Often it seems that sellers think that they should start out asking for the highest price in the realm of possibility. If it doesn’t sell right away, after all, they can always lower the price by a little, right? Not right. Although it’s true that opening prices can always be lowered, by the time that happens, the house has gotten “old.” People who dismissed your home as being too expensive or above their range as they studied the new listings won’t easily find out so they can come back and give your property a second look now that the listed price has been reduced. Start off by asking a fair price, and you’re likely to sell much faster and without a lot of bother. Considering the value of your time and the monetary and personal expense of holding the home on the market, most likely the right price differential could make months of difference in the time on the market before the transaction is successfully concluded.

Not Being Thorough With Disclosures

Laws in every state require you to disclose any material facts and flaws that pertain to your home. Most Realtors agree that it is safer to disclose too much about flaws and material facts than too little. It can be a problem if the buyer becomes aware of flaws or facts that you knew about, they could cancel the transaction or even take you to court.

Not Keeping the Home “Visitor Ready”

It is essential when you want to sell a home that it has to always look clean, comfortable, and welcoming. You can never tell when a Realtor will call and say they’re around the corner with a client who is ready to view the home. The home has to highlight the prospective buyers’ highest self-image, the way they like to think of themselves living a simple, carefree life. It could ruin your chances if a prospective buyer should walk in on two weeks’ worth of dirty laundry, a dirty bathroom sink, or a messy, cluttered house that looks more appropriate for a garage sale than for the relaxed, uncomplicated everyday life that needs to be the ideal.

Not Completing Your Agreements

When you enter into the contract, you may agree as part of the contract to do a few things, such as do something to fix up the outside of the home or make needed repairs. Be sure to complete whatever you agreed to do before the closing date, or the buyer could walk away from the deal.

Having Restricted Hours

When it finally happens that a prospective buyer wants to view the home, they want to be there now, or very quickly. Making a buyer wait even 24 hours may well keep them from wanting to see your place at all, or lead to them finding another one that they like better. Since the real estate agent will not want you present while the home is being shown, it’s a good idea to have your own list of places you can go or things you can do on short notice. This could be a neighbor’s home, the library, a movie theater, grocery store, etc.

Avoiding these home seller mistakes will increase the chances that your home will sell successfully and easily.

This information was provided by Automated Homefinder, Colorado’s Longmont real estate specialists.

traps when selling

Planning The Landscaping Of Your Garden

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Author: Owen Jones

Landscaping techniques allow the gardener to transform a simple backyard into a lovely garden. There are many paths to having a beautiful garden, because there are many types to choose from and there are different tastes too. Chacun a son gout. Some types of garden need a great deal of maintenance and others less so, but even a slabbed or concrete backyard requires some maintenance.

The best way of going about making something beautiful out of your backyard is planning and perhaps the easiest way of planning is to create a plan or a drawing of your garden.

If you decide on this route, the first thing you will have to do is obtain some graph paper and plot the exact size and shape of your garden onto it, using as large a scale as will fit on the sheet of graph paper.

When you have done that, put in in unmovable objects like a brick shed, a drain or septic tank, a fish pond and doorways et cetera. Then you should photocopy it, maybe five or ten times. This is so that you can make mistakes, change your mind or even allow everybody in the household to make their own design from their own investigations and imagination.

If you consider that this is beyond your abilities, you are probably wrong. It really is not difficult, kids draw on graph paper all the time in maths lessons. Nevertheless, if you do not want to do it this way, then you will have to rely on plans cut out of magazines.

So, collect all your ideas from magazines and place them in a file. Similarly, if you are making a diagram on paper, save your ideas in a folder, but also draw them on your graph paper.

Set yourself or your team a deadline of say, a fortnighy or a month, but you do want to do the majority of your work in the spring or the summer, when the weather is warm. On the appointed day, get together and combine all your plans into one.

Put all the superfluous material aside and forget about it. Do not overcomplicate the situation by having all the designs in the active file. Now you are ready to go to work and instigate the ideas.

The choice is now whether you do the work yourself or whether you get a contractor in. A builder will have experience, and so will be able to get the work done quickly. They will also be able to offer practical suggestions, if what you want to accomplish is tricky. The other side of the coin is that it is a great deal more expensive.

If you decide to do it yourself, you might find it a good idea to divide your plan into segments. It could be done in quarters of the garden at a time, if that is feasible, or you could do all the groundwork first, followed by the brick and blockwork, then the pond etc. Depending on your plan. The only thing that should to be done last is the planting of the plants

Owen Jones, the writer of this article writes on quite a few topics, but is at present concerned with outdoor accent lighting. If you would like to know more or check out some great offers, please go to our website at Outdoor Wall Lamps.

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About the Author: [Owen Jones has traveled extensively for many years and has various websites]

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Do Housing Prices Have Further to Fall?

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Author: Ryan Moeller

In many areas market stability has not been restored. High inventory, high unemployment and high home prices will lead to further declines in home values. However, we are very close to hitting bottom and in many markets we already have. Remember, real estate is regional and you have to research not the entire country but down to the zip code, neighborhood, street and specific property. The article below sheds some light on Obama’s efforts and home values, a very interesting read. For more information, check out our Market Stability Report for info on your market and our Guide on Where to Invest.

Despite Obama’s Best Efforts, Housing Prices Have Further to Fall, Says Glenn Tongue

Posted Mar 10, 2010 01:23pm EST by Peter Gorenstein

What a difference a year makes. This times last year, the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department and White House were scrambling to do whatever they could to prevent home prices from falling off a cliff and thereby dragging the banking system down with it.

Now the Obama administration is set to launch a program on April 5 to encourage short sales. The plan will give homeowners and banks money if they sell the house for less than the mortgage is worth. The homeowner gets $1,500 to leave the house quickly and the bank gets $1,000 for going through with the transaction.

Time will tell whether or not it will be more successful than the struggling $75 billion mortgage modification program. Regardless there are still fundamentals in the marketplace the government can’t solve. “The inventory is too high, prices are slightly too high and unemployment is really quite high,” say Glenn Tongue, Managing Partner of T2 Partners and co-author of More Mortgage Meltdown.

Tongue tells Aaron, in the accompanying clip, home prices still have another 5-10% to drop before hitting bottom. And, though he admits “a year ago the situation was a lot worse” he’s still wary of investing in housing and financial stocks related to housing. In fact, his hedge fund is still shorting several companies in that business, though he would not name names, citing compliance rules.

Unlike last year, Tongue no longer finds the big banks attractive and instead focused on only a few specialty financial companies including Fairfax Financial and Resource America.

Real Return Real Estate™ for years has bought property at extreme discounts, sells and rents with tremendous cash flow. We also provide FREE tips, articles, guides and Educational Webinars. Visit our site http://www.realreturnrealestate.com for all the helpful resources.

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Have Homebuilders Lost Confidence In The Recovery?

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

According to the National Association of Home Builders, its housing market index fell to 17 in the month of June, dropping five points after two straight months of increases; the lowest level since March.

From The Associated Press:

Builders had been more optimistic earlier in the year when buyers could take advantage of tax credits of up to $8,000. Those incentives expired on April 30, although buyers with signed contracts have until June 30 to complete their purchases.

Experts anticipate home sales will slow in the second half of this year. In addition, high unemployment and tight mortgage lending continue to keep many buyers on the sidelines.

The drop in activity is “a wake-up call to the fact that the market will struggle to stand on its own two feet without the tax credit,” wrote Paul Dales, an economist with Capital Economics. “The double-dip in both activity and prices that we have been expecting for some time appears to have begun.”

New homes sales made up about 7 percent of the housing market last year. That’s down from about 15 percent before the bust.

It’s also bad news for the economy. Each new home built creates the equivalent of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in taxes paid to local and federal authorities, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The impact is felt across multiple industries, from makers of faucets and dishwashers to lumber yards.

Full Article : Homebuilders less confident in recovery

homebuilders lose confidence in recovery

Appraised Value: The Ups & Downs Of How Much A House Is Worth

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Appraised Value: The Ups & Downs Of How Much A House Is Worth

Author: Trent

Determining Fair Market Value is an eternal struggle and major balancing act. That’s because buyers want a house to appraise on the low side—to keep the purchase price down. While sellers want the same house to appraise on the high side—to make the sale price higher. And then you’ve got the owners of the house—who also want the appraisal to be on the low side, in order to keep the property taxes down.

So with all these different agendas and points of view, how is the fair market value of a real estate property actually determined?

Once a year, your county sends all area homeowners official notices that put a dollar value on their property. And property taxes are based on those dollar values. But before those notices get sent out, a long, detailed process usually takes place. First, the land is valued as if it’s vacant—an empty lot, in other words. Then any improvements are described and measured. Improvements consist of the house and any other structures, pools, sheds, garages, and so forth. Next, most counties check the Marshall Valuation Service Cost Guide. It’s a standardized nationwide guide for determining the value of the cost per square foot to build a building that fits the description of the improved property. Next, if the house isn’t brand new, the replacement cost is considered, as well as depreciation; the year the house was constructed and the condition of the property are factors here. Appraisers then must take the critical step of comparing the value of the house with recent selling prices of similar homes in the neighborhood. At this point, the appraisal might stand “as is”—or it might be adjusted upward or downward.

Market Value is a theory, in other words—not an unchanging fact.

In a perfect world, you have to have willing buyer and a willing seller. Neither is under duress. Both are in a position to maximize gain and are trying to do this. But in the real world, things are rarely that simple and equally balanced. Which is why people feel differently about the appraisal value of a house. It really depends how strong their position is as a buyer or seller.

Does the local economy come into it at all? You bet it does.

Ask a successful Realtor about that! He or she will tell you they’ve noticed that the fast-growing economird are attracting people from other areas who consider real estate here a bargain. That helps fuel increases in property values.

How about your schoold district, the look of other houses near you, and walkability? Yes to all. Understand you houses pluses to different buyers and make sure you let everyone know about them.

So—now you know where that Grand Total comes from.

You’re armed with the information you need to make a better house-buying decision. For instance, you can understand how two virtually identical houses that are in two different neighborhoods could be very far apart in price and appraised value. And why your choice of the right house in the right neighborhood could be worth a not-so-small fortune to you right now—and years down the road.

If You’re Buying a Home in Foreclosure, Watch out for These Situations

Monday, April 12th, 2010

With so many homes in foreclosure, people with some money available are jumping at the chance to get a great house at an unbelievable bargain. In many cases, this is the perfect way to buy that perfect home. Surprisingly, though, it may not always be the best financial decision. Following is a list of five pitfalls you may run into when considering the decision to buy a home that is being foreclosed.

Different Contract Procedure

If you buy a home that has been foreclosed, you’re dealing with a risk situation. Foreclosed homes are typically sold in “as is” condition. If you’ve ever bought a car with that stipulation, you have experienced how careful you need to be. With a property that has been foreclosed, you don’t get the advantage of the customary safeguards and buyer protective contract provisions that provide you with something to rely on if anything goes wrong.

Tenants Staying in the Property

Although it does not happen very frequently, there is a possibility that the previous owners of the house could return and claim the house. Sometimes, they may even refuse to vacate the home in the first place. The law will be your ally, but it can be a distasteful experience for you.

Condition of the Property

A foreclosed home can be a home in poor condition. If the prior owner had financial difficulties and was unable to make repairs, some serious repair work could end up being your responsibility. Defects can be hidden until too late to do anything about them, and they can be serious. It’s a good recommendation to get a home inspection carried out by a professional home inspector before you buy, so there aren’t any undue surprises later.

Lien Problems

You have to consider that although you may be seeing what seems to be a great deal on the property, unpaid tax bills and other problem situations such as old unpaid debts for things such as association fees or repairs or remodeling done a long time ago on the property, could push that price up and make it equivalent to a non-foreclosure home. You may be required to pay any taxes or liens that the previous owners left behind. In that case, your risk is greater without even getting the peace of mind that is associated with a traditional home purchase.

The Home Could Be up for Auction

Often, a foreclosed property is auctioned off to the highest bidder. It can disappear after you have set your sights on it. In order to buy at an auction you must have proof of financing along with 10 percent down on the spot. This can be disheartening for someone who isn’t prepared to shell out the amount of cash that is needed all at one time.

Buying a home in foreclosure, as a reminder in closing, can still be a good deal despite the problems. You can eliminate some of these traps by simply doing some investigating before jumping into the purchase of a foreclosure. A licensed Realtor can also help you make the best decision.

When you want to find real estate in Louisville, use the premier Colorado real estate specialists, AutomatedHomefinder.com.

Bank of America Corp. Cutting More Loan Balances

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

In an attempt to avoid more foreclosures, the Bank of America Corporation said it will be offering more borrowers reductions in their mortgage-loan balances.

This move enhances an agreement Bank of America reached 18 months ago with state attorney generals and is the mortgage industry’s boldest move yet in addressing the dilemma facing millions of homeowners across the country who owe more on their house than it’s currently worth.

The relief is available only to those Bank of America customers who are at least 60 days overdue on payments, whose loan balance is at least 120% of the estimated home value, can prove a financial hardship is preventing them from affording payments. The bank is estimating that 45,000 customers will qualify for the program.

Reductions of as much as 30% in loan principal will be offered to struggling borrowers who have subprime or so-called option adjustable-rate mortgages, known as option ARMs. (Option ARMs, no longer available, allow borrowers to start with minimal monthly payments and face steep increases later.) Also included will be certain loans that have a fixed interest rate for the first two years before starting to adjust annually.

…banks are finding that many deeply underwater borrowers aren’t willing to keep making even reduced payments because they believe they have little hope of ever having equity in their homes and would be better off renting and perhaps buying a cheaper home later. The Bank of America program is aimed to give such borrowers more hope by reducing their loan balances to current estimated home values.

Full Article Bank of America to Cut More Loan Balances By James R. Hagerty, Wall Street Journal


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Forensic Loan Audits – A Cautionary Tale

Friday, March 19th, 2010

In desperate times, people take desperate measures – and often times it’s the kind hearted and well intentioned people who get burned.

Please read the story below as a cautionary tale. It’s yet another reminder of the creeps out there chomping at the bit to take advantage of those in most need of honest help.

Keith Tinney, along with 15 other Stockton, CA residents just wanted a little help modifying their home loans. They met with Paul Killmar who said he would conduct a “forensic loan audit” and find where the banks violated mortgage agreements, thus providing the borrower with ammunition when trying to obtain a loan modification.

There are good people out there who can actually help, but there are so many bad people sometimes it’s hard to tell them apart. Just remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

The 66-year-old Tinney took Killmar on his word, and was ultimately milked out of $2,900.

… Tinney leads a list of 15 Stockton residents who allege a Southern California man named Paul Killmar bilked them for more than a combined $50,000 by charging upfront fees for forensic loan audits on their mortgages. There could be others, too.

So-called forensic loan audits promise to find where banks have violated their end of mortgage agreements, with providers saying they scour the fine print on the loan documents. Struggling homeowners are told they can use that information to pressure their lender into some type of loan modification.

In late February, state Attorney General Jerry Brown called forensic loan audits “phony mortgage relief services,” and warned against the scam.

Upfront fees for mortgage relief help have also been outlawed.

Those warnings came too late for Tinney and at least 14 other Stockton residents who were referred to Killmar through Stockton businessman Claes Carlsson, who runs the financial services company Asset Invest.

Carlsson says he was as shocked by the scam as his clients and cut off his referrals after receiving complaints. But he did convince some of his clients they could find help through Killmar.

Finish Reading SCAM WARNING TOO LATE FOR MANY by Keith Reid -Record Staff Writer; March 18, 2010 12:00 AM

Contact reporter Keith Reid at (209) 546-8257 or kreid@recordnet.com.