Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Amour - A house of LOVE

"Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays. I go Fridays." Henny Youngman

Perhaps your idea of romance is a candlelight dinner at home. All is well until you discover that the breeze from an open window, a fan, or a draft has caused a candle to drip wax all over your tablecloth. Do you know the secret for removing candle wax drippings? Here it is. Place a towel or a brown paper bag over the spot and put a hot iron over the blotter. After a few minutes, the wax will be absorbed! Repeat if necessary.

If you want to look at homes for sale, or have a question about buying or selling real estate, please visit my web site at lisabear.remax.com. You can study the market, request an appointment to see a home, or send me an email. I'll get back to you right away!

If you want to know the secrets of how to remove the sticking points in a real estate transactions or how to get settled in your new home without hassles, let's talk.

Lisa Bear


(262) 893-5555

Friday, September 3, 2010

Its not about the JOBS if you want to SELL - House selling facts

The short term fixes used to bolster the real estate market (the purchase of mortgage-backed-securities and homebuyer tax credits) proved to be just that: short term fixes. Everyone now seems to feel that the only true solutions to the challenges in housing are

the creation of jobs and

the increase in consumer confidence jobs will create.

I totally concur. However, if tomorrow the administration was to announce the greatest jobs program ever attempted and promised to implement that program immediately, it would take 12-18 months for it to have any noticeable impact on housing demand. That begs the question:

What if you want (or need) to sell in the next 6 months?

A new jobs program cannot help you. A dramatic increase in consumer confidence won’t occur in time. The only way for you to guarantee your home will sell and you and your family will get to move on with your lives is to price your home at a number at which it will sell. We know that is difficult to accept.

Back in 2006, you might have been able to sell it for perhaps 20-30% more than you can sell it for today. In five-to-ten years from now, you may be able to sell it for substantially more. This is not 2006 however. This is not some undetermined time in the future when the housing market has fully recovered. This is 2010 and this year we must list our property at a compelling price if we want it sold.

This may seem like too strong a dose of ‘tough love’. I just want to make sure that if you truly want/need to sell your home in the near future you realize that the best time is now. You may be losing money compared to the 2006 price. But, by waiting, you only continue to lose value.

Every major credible source is saying that prices will fall in most parts of the country over the next six months. Estimates range anywhere from 5-20%. If you own a $200,000 home and prices drop an additional 10%, you will lose $384.62 every week!!

($200,000 x 10% = $20,000. If you divide the $20,000 by 52 weeks it equals $384.62).

Bottom Line

Sit with your family and a local real estate professional. Determine the actual value of your home. Price it at that number, sell it and move on to where you and your family really want to be.
by Steve Harvey

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Problem With RE/MAX

To Refi Or Not To Refi….THAT Is the Question

To Refi Or Not To Refi….THAT Is the Question

by Dean Hartman

ShareHoly Cow! Have you taken a look at where interest rates are these days??? There are Ten Year Mortgages in the 3.75% range for heaven’s sake! Yes, 3.75%!!!

What are some of the issues to consider as you (and all of America) contemplates a refinance?

1. Does it make financial sense?

If you are considering a “rate/payment reduction” refinance, I typically recommend that people do one simple calculation. Divide your monthly savings into the costs (out-of-pocket expenses AND any increase in your principal balance). That number will tell you how many months’ payments it will take to “break even”. Depending on how long you anticipate staying in the home, and comparing that to your “break even” month, will give some clarity to what is the right decision.

2. What about a refinance to shorten the term of a mortgage?

When examining the possibility of cutting years off your mortgage, you should take a good hard look at how such a move can affect your monthly cash flow. If your payment stays the same and you save a few years of payments, many people will choose that option (rather than the monthly savings of a “rate/payment reduction” refinance). However, if your payment is going up (in order to save years), take time to analyze the impact on your monthly activities. Will you be sacrificing too much to save payments 20 year from now?

3. What will my home appraise for?

This is the biggest challenge facing most people. With so many homes underwater, there are many people who won’t be able to refinance. If you have an FHA loan, there is some hope if you qualify for their “Streamline Refinance Program” because there is an option to close the loan without an appraisal. (For a 15 minute video explaining the program, go to www.Facebook.com/FHAStreamlineRefinances) For others, loan-to-value issues can create the need for Mortgage Insurance when it didn’t before (making “savings” harder to achieve). Understand that most lenders require you to pay for an appraisal (and maybe an application fee too) when you submit your loan request, so do your best to have a real sense of what your home will appraise for.

4. Should I lock in?

Even though conventional wisdom is that rates are likely to stay low for a while, history has shown that when they do go up, they go up quickly and dramatically; therefore, my advice is that if you like the rate you are quoted, lock it and sleep well.

5. How will my income and credit be looked at?

Your refinance creates a new loan that will likely be bundled and sold in a new mortgage-backed security; therefore, this new loan will be underwritten to today’s guidelines (which are tighter than they were a few years back). What I am saying is, you may have gotten a loan in 2006, made every payment on time, and still not get approved today. Maybe because, you have a “no income check” loan and your tax returns won’t support your stated income. Or maybe because you bought a car and your ratios are a bit higher. Or your FICO score is different. Or your appraisal is insufficient.

The most important thing is to speak with a solid mortgage professional and try to address any hurdles BEFORE you spend your money. Compare the proposed savings; honestly assess your home’s value; review your income, assets and credit; all ahead of time to improve the likelihood of a desired outcome.