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Did you miss our radio show that aired live last Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 10:30 AM? No worries, if you missed it or want to listen again you can watch the podcast available now on ITunes and coming soon to www.charlottemarketradio.com.
Our last episode discussed one common dilemma most homeowners face and this is renting versus buying, which is better? According to Mecktimes and Trulia’s statistics, buying a house is better than renting one; specifically if you live within Charlotte, North Carolina. During the summer of 2013, buying a home was actually cheaper by 44 percent than renting. The difference between both narrowed since summer of 2012, where it was 54 percent cheaper to buy than to rent.
Furthermore, by Trulia’s estimate, the mortgage rate tipping point, when renting becomes cheaper than buying, is at 13.3 percent for Charlotte. And according to Bankrate.com, the current mortgage rates are 4.12 to 4.62.
The benefits of owning a home were also presented, here are a few:
On the other hand, the downside of renting was also discussed.
For first time homebuyers, there are special lending programs you can rely on like HUD homes. If you live in Charlotte, be sure to get a certificate first from attending an 8-hour Home Buyer workshop and get up to $7,500 which you can use as down payment and closing costs.
For those who have been hurt by the economic downturn by a short sale or foreclosure; good news because you can now purchase a house in much less time because of a recent change in the rules. FHA has loosened their guidelines allowing borrowers to get a home loan in as little as 12 months after a foreclosure or short sale.
Last but not the least, the 3 most common myths of buying versus renting were also discussed, which are as follows:
Myth #1 A bigger down payment is always better
You don’t need to put 20% as down payment..
Myth # 2 You get more for your money in the suburbs
Savings from lower-cost housing often are wiped out by unexpectedly high transportation costs.
Myth #3: Renters escape property taxes
Renters don’t pay property taxes directly; any business minded landlord factors in all of their carrying costs into their rental rates so it’s like they’re paying the taxes of the landlord.
For more information and elaboration on the topics discussed, listen to our podcast.
On the next episode of our radio show, we will discuss how to get your home ready for the market. If you have any questions or clarifications, please don’t hesitate to call us at 704-440-0007. We’re always happy to answer your queries.
Just like other holidays and important events, Halloween has evolved a lot since it started thousands of years ago. As one of the world’s oldest holidays, it has been celebrated today by more individuals from different parts of the world than ever before.
The term Halloween was originally spelled as “Hallowe’en,” which is contraction of All Hallows Eve, a term for the day before All Hallows Day, otherwise known as All Saints Day. The latter is a Catholic holiday celebrated on November 1 since the early Middle Ages where Christian saints along with martyrs are commemorated.
The history of Halloween originates in the ancient Celtic festival regarded as Samhain, a celebration of the end of the harvest season in the Gaelic culture. The ancient Gaels believed that, on October 31, there is an overlapping of the boundaries between the world of the living and the dead. At the same time, the deceased would come back to life and will cause havoc like sickness. Based on the prehistoric observance, Halloween used to mark the end of summer and the onset of winter where people celebrated it with sacrificial offerings, homage to the dead, feasts, and bonfires.
Like the Celts, the European people during that time also believed the same thing; that the spirits of the dead would came to visit the earth during Halloween. However, they feared that the spirits would hurt them or cause problems, which is why during the night they wore costumes to look like ghost and other evil creatures. They believed that by doing such, the spirits would think they’re also dead and they would remain unharmed. As the Europeans migrated to the United States, they brought such tradition with them.
“Trick or treat” entered the picture when there was an increasing number of Halloween pranks and mischief during the 1920s and 1930s. Schools and communities want to curb the increasing number of vandalism that’s why they encouraged the “trick or treat” concept. But the practice we do and see today where children wear costumes doing “trick or treat” started only during the mid-1940s.
Today, Halloween is the second most commercially successful holiday next to Christmas and is the third biggest party being celebrated yearly behind New Year as well as Super Bowl Sunday. Men and women of every age now celebrates Halloween in different ways like decorating their homes, wearing odd costumes, joining parades, and more. But we all have to remember, as long as we celebrate Halloween in a safe and happy way, then there’s no problem with celebrating it in different ways.
Short sales, which many people are still unfamiliar with, are becoming more and more popular throughout the country with a noticeable increase in many states. Large banks including Bank of America and Wells Fargo have also had an increase in the amount of short sales they have seen in the last year, expecting more than double of what they had in 2009.
Short sales are not new and nothing drastic has happened with the process recently, people are just finally starting to understand what it is! Showcase Realty specializes in short sales and encourages sellers to use this process, rather than go through the devastation of a foreclosure. CLICK HERE for more information on short sales, along with the contact information of someone on our team who can help you go through this process quickly and efficiently.
According to an article published on February 1, 2011 in DSNews, a study done by Movoto.com, a real estate site based in California, more than half of American families can afford to buy a new home based on income levels and listing prices. The following is an excerpt from the article which gives insight on the reasoning behind this statistic:
“While the site’s user search statistics show high interest in affordable price ranges, the company says buyers find it difficult to purchase short sales and foreclosures and banks are still reluctant to lend.
With 2010’s median family income at $64,400, at least 50 percent of families could afford to buy a home priced at $150,000 or higher, according to Movoto.com.
A person with an annual salary of $64,400 could reasonably afford a $215,000 home with a 5 percent down payment, an interest rate of 5 percent on a 30 year mortgage, and property taxes at 1.25 percent, assuming a monthly mortgage payment to monthly income ratio rate of 25 percent, the company explained in a statement.
However, these numbers do not add up to more home sales.
‘According to the numbers, buyer interest, affordability, and home price inventory have aligned,’ said Henry Shao, CEO of Movoto. ‘Median income levels can support mortgages at the most readily available housing prices, but we have yet to see a corresponding jump in sales.'”
Homes sold without the help of a real estate professional dropped to a record low over the past year. According to the 2010 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, unrepresented sellers made up only 11 percent of the market, down from 13 percent in
Owners who sell their home without the help of an agent usually sell to someone they already know. Factoring out those private sales, the actual number of homes sold on the
open market without professional assistance was a record low 5 percent, compared to 10 percent in 2004.
With the higher rate of foreclosed and short sale properties on the market currently, buyers need to use a certified Realtor to help navigate through a sale or purchase. It is not out of the ordinary for many Realtors to be unfamiliar with the process, and this can make the real estate journey a lot harder for the buyer.
Finding a Realtor that can assist you and your needs is the best way to find a home or have your property sold in a timely manner.
For help with this process you can contact Showcase Realty by clicking here to get started on your way to selling or purchasing a property.
According to Fannie Mae, they are lifting some of the holds on eviction actions and REO closings that were put in place in September 2010. The holds were placed in response to the issues of possible defects with affidavits submitted in foreclosure actions. This means the homes that were removed from the market will be placed back on the market and closings will be able to proceed over the next week as Fannie Mae works through lifting the holds.
The following are instructions for brokerages Fannie Mae has issued to inform them of the current situation and how to proceed.
“Effective November 24, 2010, Fannie Mae is issuing the following instructions for REO properties relating to all loans which were formerly serviced by GMAC, Bank of America, PNC Mortgage Corporation, JP Morgan Chase, One West Bank and Sovereign Bank in all states previously on hold:
1. Our prior guidance with respect to evictions and lockouts for each of the affected servicers remains in effect at this time.
2. Proceed with scheduling and holding the closings of Fannie Mae REO property as agreed between the parties. If a title issue arises with respect to the potential defect of an affidavit used in the underlying foreclosure, the Closing entity will identify the issue in AMN as they would any other title issue and will work with their title representative for further instructions.
3. Please reach out to all buyers that have been awaiting closing to ensure that they can now move forward. They may reschedule to an earlier date if needed. It is possible that their loan and/or closing files will need to be updated before their closing can be scheduled.
4. Please reach out to those buyers that elected to terminate their contracts to determine if still interested in purchasing the property. All details of the contact and response must be noted in AMN. We require response/update in comments within 72 hours of this notice if the buyer associated with the terminated contract wishes to re-engage.
Over the next week, impacted properties will be removed from their current “Unable to Market” status in AMN and will again be available to market.”
For more information regarding the foreclosure freeze or for help buying a home that was taken off the market due to a title defect, please click here.
Charlotte is the 18th-largest city in the United States, according to a projections based on the latest U.S. Census data.
The Charlotte area has 729,781 residents as of Monday, up from 569,858 in 2000, according to projections compiled by Business First of Buffalo, N.Y. Business First is a sister publication of the Charlotte Business Journal.
The population projections are generated by a computer formula the publication developed in 2000 and recalibrates annually. The formula uses a decade of U.S. Census Bureau data to extrapolate growth trends.
Thinking about relocating to Charlotte, NC? Click here for information regarding affordable homes in the area!
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According to the Charlotte Business Journal, Charlotte-area home prices drop 3.4% and existing US home sales jump 10%.
The following are two excerpts from articles about each of these subjects:
Charlotte-area home prices drop 3.4%
“Homes prices in the Charlotte market fell 3.4 percent in August from a year earlier, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. And August’s local prices dipped 0.4 percent from the July level, the report says.
The year-over-year price drop was the third-largest among the 10 U.S. cities that posted declines. The local downward trend runs counter to S&P/Case-Shiller’s overall national index of 20 cities, which saw a 1.7 percent price increase in August from a year ago.”
Read more: Charlotte-area home prices drop 3.4%
Existing-home sales jump 10%
“Sales of existing homes in the United States jumped in September, though they remained lower than year-ago levels.
The National Association of Realtors says sales of existing single-family houses, townhomes, condos and co-ops rose 10 percent from August to September — the biggest monthly gain in nearly 28 years.
But compared with a year ago, existing-home sales nationwide were down 19.1 percent in September.
Still, the Realtors’ group says the housing market is in the early stages of recovery.
“A housing recovery is taking place but will be choppy at times depending on the duration and impact of a foreclosure moratorium,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “But the overall direction should be a gradual rising trend in home sales with buyers responding to historically low mortgage interest rates and very favorable affordability conditions.”
Distressed-home sales accounted for 35 percent of all sales in September, up from 34 percent in August.
Sales in the South rose 10.6 percent in September. That region includes the Carolinas but also stretches from Delaware to Florida, under the association’s reporting system.”
Read more: Existing-home sales jump 10%
For more information regarding buying or selling homes in Charlotte Metro and surrounding areas, click here.
Showcase Realty has recently acquired the honor of being one of the few brokerages able to list HUD Homes in the Charlotte, NC Metro and surrounding areas. The following is a quick helpful explanation of HUD Homes from the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development:
What is a HUD Home?
A HUD Home may be a single-family house, a townhome, condominium or other type of residence. The properties were deeded to HUD/FHA by mortgage companies who had foreclosed on FHA-insured mortgage loans. Now HUD must sell these homes – as quickly as possible at market value – in order to obtain the maximum financial return on its mortgage insurance funds.
Who can buy a HUD Home?
Anyone who has the money or can qualify for the necessary amount of mortgage financing can purchase a HUD Home. You do not have to be low-incomeor meet any other auch limitations.
Can I get a HUD Home for free, or for one dollar?
No. HUD acquires its properties through the foreclosure of FHA insured mortgages. One of HUD’s many missions is to maximize return to the FHA insurance fund, which it does by selling the properties at fair market value.
How do I buy a HUD Home?
HUD’s policy is to market acquired properties on a competitive basis with offers being submitted through any participating licensed real estate broker. Local brokers will assist you in the transaction. They can show the property to prospective buyers, as well as answer questions and provide information on the location of parks, schools, shopping and employment centers.
Are HUD Homes meant for low income people?
HUD Homes come in a variety of price ranges, though most are affordably priced, making them accessible to low and moderate income Americans.
What are the income requirements?
If you make a cash purchase, there are no income requirements. Otherwise, you must be able to qualify for a particular type of mortgage financing based on established mortgage lending criteria.
How does HUD decide how much to charge for a HUD Home?
THe listing price of a HUD property is a price based on the appraised value.
Can investors purchase HUD Homes?
Yes. However, HUD offers its properties to owner/occupants for a period before making them available to investors.
What happens if I can’t close the sale within the time permitted by HUD?
You’ll probably have to pay fees for an extension of time, usually in increments of 15 days.
Is there any way for me to get advanced notice about homes that will be coming up for sale?
No. HUD Homes are listed for sale in the local multilple listing service (MLS), the Internet at www.hud.gov or ask your broker.
Since the partnership is still very new, Showcase Realty’s HUD Homes have not become available on MLS yet – but will be very soon. Keep checking back to see when they will be listed or keep an eye on our website.