Friday, October 30, 2009

Understanding Short Sales

Here is a short video explaining the short sale process. Hope this helps some of you understand the process a little better.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Good News for OH Grads

From BusinessFirst:

Ohio is seeking to keep more natives in the Buckeye State after college with a new program that lightens the load for home-buying graduates.

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency on Monday opened up the Grants for Grads program, an initiative that gives any graduate of an Ohio high school a 2.5 percent break on the purchase price of a home within 18 months of graduating from college. Grads don’t receive the full benefit of the break, which helps with down-payment and closing costs, unless they stay in the house for at least five years.

The program got a final legislative OK as a part of the two-year budget Gov. Ted Strickland signed in July. Erin Biehl, a spokeswoman for the agency, said $1 million initially has been set aside for the program but officials hope it will eventually become self-sustaining.

The agency, which provides tax credits for housing developments, mortgages and down-payment assistance to buyers, will issue the grants in the form of zero-percent second mortgage loans to homebuyers who get a first mortgage through a lender affiliated with the agency within 18 months of receiving an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral or other postgraduate degree.

The aid comes in the form of a mortgage loan that’s forgivable after five years, Biehl said, because the agency is then able to track if borrowers move out of state. Those who leave Ohio before the five-year window is up are required to pay back part of the grant.

Strickland said in a release that the program is a way to “better position the state to meet the needs of future graduates as they make plans to build their personal and professional lives in Ohio after college.”

“Retaining educated and qualified graduates will also help to attract new jobs and prevent others from leaving the state,” Strickland said.

While the grant applies to Ohioans regardless of where they attended college, research indicates the risk of “brain drain” is high even for students who attend college in-state. A survey released this summer by the Washington, D.C.-based Thomas B. Fordham Institute think tank found that 51 percent of in-state students say they’ll look elsewhere for jobs after graduation. Of those surveyed, 60 percent said down-payment help would be an attractive incentive for staying in Ohio.

The agency has put income and purchase price restrictions on the program that vary from county to county. In Franklin County, for example, a one- or two-person family can’t participate if annual income is higher than $82,320, while the maximum purchase price for a new or existing home is $298,180. That would value the state’s incentive at up to $7,455.
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Miltary Buyers: House extends tax credit for for military families

The House has passed bill HR 3590 which extends the $8,000 tax credit for military families until November 2010.  This is designed to allow those in active service overseas to still enjoy the first-time buyer tax credit.  The bill is expected to pass easily in the Senate as well.  Although the political climate has changed in Washington, the ease of the bill's passage is a large "thank you" to our troops from the Capitol.

Still no word on extending it for civilian buyers.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Why I love to tour on rainy days...

A rainy day is probably the last day any reasonable person wants to tour real estate. Unless you're me. On my way to a foreclosure listing I was retelling one of my memories about real estate and the rain. My mom and stepdad were moving back to Muncie, and their home search was going fairly well. They ran across a great deal on a two-story traditional home. The first tour, a beautiful sunny day, went quite well. "What a deal," they thought. About a week later I had a dream...

In this dream I went to see the home with them and went to the basement. I walked in to a pool of water up to my chest. I woke up and called my mom first thing in the morning. "Hey Mom, check the basement for water the next time you tour the house." What did they find in the basement after a week of rain showers? Standing water. Ahhh... now the low price makes more sense.

I may not get a prophetic dream to help each of my clients, but that dream taught me a valuable lesson in real estate. I had always heard my dad say, “Buy high and dry.” I can’t help but agree. If during your home search you have a heavy rainfall, consider it a blessing and not an inconvenience. Consider these useful tips:

Take a look at the yard.
• Does it seem more like a swamp than a place for the kids to play?
• If it isn’t a wet season and the yard is wet… the septic system might be an issue.

Look at the driveway.
• Does water run down back toward the house? This will only intensify in the winter as snow falls and melts.

Check the basement or crawlspace.
• Anything below ground level must be built and sealed properly or some dollar signs could pour more than any spring shower.

• Does the home have a sump pump to keep water out if needed?

Look up.
• The gutters and roof are your best friends. Do the gutters flow properly? Are the downspouts sufficient to direct water away from the home.

Look out.
• Look around the neighborhood. Does the street have a lot of standing water? Do the storm drains drain properly? All these factors can help keep your roads in better condition and keep your property value high.

Take on a little rain outside to stay dry on the inside!

(Picture Courtesy of Austin History Center, PICA 008484-A) 

Monday, October 5, 2009

Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC

Check out this short article from

The art of buying a home in today's "buyer's" market:

Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC

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