Buying a Short Sale

Many buyers in today’s market are looking at short sales due to the value for the $. Some key points for buyers to know when looking at offering on a short sale:
1) Closing the transaction could take up to 6 months.
2) If the short sale has a ‘bank approved’ price, it should close more easily and quickly depending on how close the buyer’s offer is to that listed price.
3) If you have to sell your home first, a short sale or bank owned home will not be an option. Banks will not allow contingencies for selling the buyer’s home typically.
4) Keep in mind that just because the list price is low or your low offer was accepted by the seller, that does not mean the bank will accept even near that amount. Typically, the banks’ approved price will depend on how much the home appraises for and what is owed.
For more information and assistance in finding a short sale or good deal for you, please contact Danielle Groeneweg (360.483.6490) or Julie Carter (360.296.6092) anytime!

Top 6 worst reno’s for the $

According to Bankrate.com, Remodeling Magazine takes note of the newest updates/renovations and calculates the rate of return when home owner’s sell. Below are the top 6 WORST ways to spend money on a renovation or update.
#1) Custom Home Office Addition/Remodel
“Nationally, homeowners spent an average of $28,888 and can expect to recoup about 45.8 percent at resale, according to the report. (Bankrate.com)
#2) Back up generator
“On average, when homeowners have a heavy-duty backup power generator installed, they spend about $14,718, according to the report. Average amount of the price recovered at resale time: 48.5 percent.” (Bankrate.com)
#3) Sunroom Addition
“The national average for a sunroom addition is $75,224, according to the report. Homeowners can expect to recoup about 48.6 percent when they sell.” (Bankrate.com)
#4) Upscale Master Suite Addition
“The average cost is about $232,062, according to the report. Sellers can expect to recover about 52.7 percent at resale.” (Bankrate.com)
#5) Bathroom Addition
“For a moderately outfitted addition with synthetic stone or plastic laminate surfaces, figure parting with about $21,695, according to the Remodeling report. Go upscale, with finishes like premium marble or fine tile, and you can easily spend in the neighborhood of $40,710. Either way, you get about the same return: 53 cents on the dollar.” (Bankrate.com)
#6) Upscale Garage Addition
“The price tag for a top-of-the-line detached two-car with all the trimmings is about $90,053, according to the report. You can expect to recover about 53.6 percent of that when you sell.” (Bankrate.com

Pending Homes Activity Increases in West

Washington, DC, July 28, 2011

Pending home sales increased in June following a wide swing down in April and then up in May, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Activity increased in the West and South but declined in the Midwest and Northeast; all regions show strong double-digit gains from a year ago.

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 2.4 percent to 90.9 in June from 88.8 in May and is 19.8 percent above the 75.9 reading in June 2010, which was the low point immediately following expiration of the home buyer tax credit. The data reflects contracts but not closings.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said there may be some increase in closed existing-home sales. “For the majority of transactions, the lag time between pending contacts to actual closings is one to two months. Therefore, the two consecutive months of rising activity should lead to overall improvement in closed sales in upcoming months,” he said. “Though a higher than normal cancellation rate can hold back final closing figures, it could well be that some past cancellations are nothing more than delayed buying decisions rather than outright cancellations.”

Yun said tight credit and economic uncertainty have been constricting the market. “The best way to ensure a more solid recovery in housing is to simply return to normal, sound credit standards so more creditworthy home buyers can get a mortgage,” he said.

“Washington also should not rock the boat with policy changes that would negatively impact affordable credit or otherwise increase the cost of buying or owning a home,” Yun added.

The PHSI in the Northeast slipped 0.4 percent to 68.9 in June but is 19.4 percent higher than June 2010. In the Midwest the index fell 3.7 percent to 79.7 in June but is 26.4 percent above a year ago. Pending home sales in the South increased 4.4 percent to an index of 99.2 and are 19.1 percent higher than June 2010. In the West the index rose 6.4 percent to 107.0 in June and is 16.4 percent above a year ago.

Existing-home sales this year are expected to total 5.0 million, slightly higher than 2010. Similarly, little change is forecast for aggregate home prices with several indicators, including NAR’s median prices, showing recent signs of stabilization.

Copyright National Association of REALTORS®. Reprinted with permission.

Real Estate Market Heating up for the Summer

Looks like the real estate market in Whatcom County, WA is heating up right on schedule with the summer season. With an increase in total properties sold in Whatcom County from April to June by aproximately 15% and pendings by aproximately 32%, we are definitely moving in a positive direction here in our neck of the woods. Also, the average price per square foot has shown a slight increase by aproximately 3% from April to June. For a look at Current market trend graphs demonstrating the above statistics, Click Here.

Bank Owned & Short Sales in Whatcom Co

Currently in Whatcom County, aproximately 12% of active property listings (including commercial, vacant land, and residential) are either Bank Owned or Short Sales. What does this mean for buyers? If a buyer is looking for a ‘good deal’ and is willing to either wait on a short sale or repair a bank owned home, this means 12% of the inventory for the buyer to search may fit their needs. ~If you are a buyer and would like assistance finding the right buy in the 12% market, please contact either Julie (360.296.6092) or Danielle (360.483.6490) for assistance in your search.

What does this mean for the current or potential Seller? If your home is or will be in direct competition with any of that 12%, then you will need to make sure your property is in the best condition possible to justify asking actual market value for your home. Put yourself in the buyers’ shoes and ask, ‘why would I pay more for a home in the very same condition, when I can get a short sale or bank owned for less?’ If your home is pristinely clean and well staged however, you will set your property above those short sale and bank owned homes you are in competition with. For assistance with listing, staging, or tips on how to best present your home please contact either Julie (who has a degree in interior design – 360.296.6092) or Danielle (who is borderline OCD with her organizational skills and cleanliness – 360.483.6490). As a team, we provide the best of both.
~Note: If your property is currently listed with another agent, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.

Short Sale Tidbit #3 | Credit Score Consequences

i) Short Sale Credit consequences

(a) Can reduce score by 75-125 points

(i) Vs Foreclosure (300+ point reduction)

(b) Cannot get FNMA loan for 2 years

(i) Vs Foreclosure – 5 years

(ii) Vs Deed in Lieu – 4 years

(iii) Vs Bankruptcy – 2-5 years (depending on Chapters)

(c) FHA – UK

(i) Vs Foreclosure – 3 years

(ii) Vs Deed in Lieu – 3 years

(d) VA – UK

(i) Vs Foreclosure – 2 years

(ii) Vs Deed in Lieu – 2 years
If you would like more all-inclusive detailed information about Short Sale processes, please call or email Danielle anytime 360.483.6490 or dgroeneweg@muljatgroupnorth.com for a complete short sale information packet.

Nationwide Open House Weekend Giveaway

Don’t miss out this weekend June 4th and 5th Nationwide Open House Weekend
Anyone who visits 7 or more open houses during this entire weekend will be entered into a drawing to win a brand new Flat Screen TV or a $150 gas card. All you have to do is have the hosting Realtor at each open house you visit sign the Event Giveaway form and turn it in to the last open house you visit. These forms are available at each open house, by clicking this link, or at the www.whatcomopens.com website.

$2,500 Giveaway!

Our office is celebrating our 1 year anniversary of merging with the Muljat Group. In doing so, we are having 2 ‘Thank You’ Giveaways. For more information and to enter to win this drawing, simply click this link to access the entry form. Fill it out and return to me or my office!

Click Here for Giveaway Form & Details

April New Home Sales Rise 7.3%!

Things are looking good for 2011:

Sales of new single-family homes rose 7.3% in April from a month earlier, easily topping most analyst estimates.

The Commerce Department said the seasonally adjusted rate of 323,000 units last month was up from 301,000 for March, which was revised upward slightly. April new home sales were down 23.1% from 420,000 a year earlier.

The median sales price of new homes sold in April was $217,900, up 4.6% from March.

Jerry Howard, chief executive officer of the National Association of Home Builders, believes the housing market is still “bouncing along the bottom.”

He said on Fox News Tuesday morning that prices, as well as home sales, can only go up from here.
~Courtesy of JASON PHILYAW via Housing Wire

Gorgeous Golf Course Home!

Priced To Sell! This Dream townhome has loads of upgrades that you don’t want to pass up. Cherry cabinets, granite counters, high-end stainless appliances, extra large custom island, great room features fireplace and access to patio with amazing golf course and mountain views!!! Luxurious master suite with sitting area, fireplace, deck, large jetted tub with double vanity and 5ft steam shower! Right by the first tee, this home is steps from the clubhouse and a must see!For your private showing, call Julie today at 360-296-6092

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