Recently one of the local newspapers ran an article on the risks associated with short sales. Many agents are not familiar with the drawbacks of short sales and thus, do not explain them they adequately prepare their sellers. Though Arizona is an anti-deficiency state – meaning that if a seller loses his/her home through foreclosure, the lender cannot collect the remaining dollars that the seller contracted to pay. Some of the lenders also honor that system with the short sales; HOWEVER, not all of them do. “I know that there is a great deal of confusion and uncertainty about this issue,” said Michelle Lind, general counsel for the Arizona Association of Realtors. She noted that real-estate lawyers differ on which situations are subject to the anti-deficiency statutes but that, depending on the kind of loan and the terms of the short-sale contract, the seller can be liable. “The law is unclear,” she said, “and many variables factor in.” It appears as though the second mortgages or home equity seem to be the biggest culprits. Often, the seller is required to agree to pay specific amounts for the lender to approve the short sale in the form of promissory notes. If you, as a seller, wish to short sell your home, be sure to consult with an attorney and a CPA.
Recently I’ve been traveling along the 202 Freeway in Mesa, South to Gilbert for appointments in that part of the valley. I’ve always been aware of the dairy sitting just north of the freeway as it loops down to the southern part of Mesa and on into Gilbert and Chandler, but for some reason was unaware of the smell during specific periods of time. The rain and then the sun only makes it worse. It permeates the inside of my car and my nose. There are several dairies scattered throughout the outlying areas (many of which are now located close enough to homes) that it bears paying attention. Buyers purchasing a home in those areas (unless they come from dairy farms and are accustomed to the smells) need to assess the community in which they choose to settle carefully. I heartily recommend driving the neighborhood with their windows open – not only checking for unsightly communities but smelling the air! Do you want to end up in a home or city that has that stench? Become educated buyers – not only ask the neighbors but be very watchful and careful when purchasing a home in an area close to a dairy farm. Eventually, I suppose, they will move even further out, but until then???
Where to Live in St. Louis Where to Live A community with a remarkably low cost of living for all the comforts and attractions it affords, St. Louis is a big city with the convenience and sense of connectedness of a smaller one. Much of Greater St. Louis’ character and charm arises from its neighborhoods, which foster a connectedness among people that is rare today among large metropolitan areas. Whether it is to their immediate communities, to their parishes, or to their particular municipalities within the 16-county region, St. Louisans tend to develop strong ties to their close surroundings. There are hundreds of distinct neighborhoods and mini-communities in the area, far too many to list individually. Here’s a snapshot: Within the City, a few of the more prominent include the rapidly emerging downtown loft district centered on Washington Avenue; Lafayette Square, with its gorgeous Victorian townhouses and mansions; Soulard, with its historic farmers’ market and 19th century French-inspired architecture; the Hill, an historic Italian neighborhood that spawned baseball’s Yogi Berra; the Central West End, with its eclectic combination of mansions, townhouses, restaurants and shops; and The Ville, a cradle of African-American culture that produced Chuck Berry, among others. St. Louis County, meanwhile features some of the most beautiful suburbs to be found anywhere in the United States, and University City, home of the Delmar Loop shopping and entertainment area and, at one time, two Poet Laureates of the United States. Further out in the Missouri portion of the region, St. Charles County provides a more exurban and offer small-town feel. The Illinois part of the region offers its charms, from beautiful, small-town communities like Edwardsville, which features a campus of Southern Illinois University, to larger cities like Belleville, Collinsville, and Alton, all within easy reach of the downtown St. Louis area. For all that Greater St. Louis has to offer, the cost of living here is considerably low. The community is the fourth lowest cost of living among the nation’s 20 largest metropolitan areas in the fourth quarter of 2006, according to the American Chamber of Commerce Researchers Association.
Buying a home in St. Louis is simple if you prepare well. The St. Louis Home for Sale Team makes sure you come well equipped. The best news for buyers is that there is no cost for our services. Do you want to get started? The first step is to become pre-qualified for a mortgage. This is the “show me the money” step that all sellers will want to see included in offers to purchase. Next, fill out our Home Buyers Scouting Report questionnaire to help you find your ideal new home. The Home Buyer Scouting Report does require some personal information and is for buyers that are in the home stretch of their home buying mission. If you’re just curious about the market and are information adverse, click on the “Home Search” tab above and you can play around all day looking at inventory without the fear of being contacted. However, when you move forward and are serious about a purchase, move over to the “Scouting Report.” Before running off to see homes, we’ll need to get together to discuss a few things. One of three things will happen at the end of our meeting. One, you will understand all of the benefits our team can provide to you, and you will choose to hire us. If you decide to engage us, we’ll ask you to sign a Buyers Exclusive Limited Agency Employment Contract, a document that describes how we will work together and the responsibility we have towards each other. Two, you may not understand all the benefits our team can provide to you, and you may choose not to hire us. Three, we may feel that we cannot achieve your goals and exceed your expectations and we turn you down now rather than let you down later. Eureka, I’ve found my dream home, now what. . . Call us quick, and bring your checkbook because it could be another’s dream home too. You can almost count on it if the days on the market (DOM) is under 10, and the house is well maintained, well priced and in a premium area. That kind of a home can receive a contract within days. We’ll help you determine a fair market value for the house, but it’s up to you to take your best shot if this is indeed your dream home. Some legal stuff… Download Adobe Acrobat Reader if you don’t already have it. Take a deep breath, ready, set, and go! Please spend time reading the following information before we go out looking at houses. Remember, our mission is to move fast when you find your dream home and becoming familiar with the terms and conditions puts you one step ahead on the information curve. The Missouri Broker Disclosure Form describes the type of fiduciary relationships that clients and brokers can enter into in the State of Missouri. The members of the St. Louis Home For Sale Team are appointed by Keller Williams Realty Southwest (the Broker)…
HELP! I CAN’T PAY MY MORTGAGE! Another guest author comes on board with the St. Louis Real Estate Voice. Rick is currently working with Real Estate Investors. The bank does NOT want your house. I repeat; the bank does NOT want your home! One common misconception I run into as an investor time and time again is that banks want to foreclose on people’s homes. Quite the opposite is true. Imagine for a moment you’re the bank: The average home price in the US in April 2007 is $299,100. You just loaned a happy buyer $290,000, at 6.5% interest, because they brought 3% to the table. You’re collecting roughly $1570/mo in interest, the Buyer’s happy, you the bank, is happy. Then they stop making payments. You the bank send letters to let them know you care, and to please call to fix it. They don’t! You call them and offer to help. They won’t talk to you. After a few months of this, you have no choice but to get them out so you can sell and recoup some of your lost money, but you realize it’ll cost you as much as 20% of the value of the home (when factoring in labor, man-hours, eviction, repairs, etc.) just to unload it. Logically, you’re the bank remember, which would you instead do; work with the homeowner, or foreclose? Hopefully, it’s evident to you that the bank will almost always work with you in some form or another to get you back to current on your loan. The key though is communication. You have to let the lender know you care about your credit and want to repay it, but are having a hard time. They’ve been known to forgive penalties, waive fees, and even settle back debt if you can get (and stay) current. With the current mortgage situation in the US, lenders are practically bending over backward to help you, the homeowner, stay a homeowner. They don’t want your house. Don’t give it to them (and trash your credit at the same time) without at least trying to work out a solution you’re both happy with. If you’re past that point though and foreclosure is imminent, contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org. But not until you’ve talked to your lender first. What do you think? Have any of you had to deal with this situation? Let us know if you have any other tips to pass on to others.