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4 Keys To Successfully Buying A Phoenix Short Sale

The real estate market in Phoenix, Arizona has become very competitive over the last year. Home buyers and investors are taking advantage of the historically low real estate prices (50% discount in most situations). With the complexity of the short sale transaction, increasing demand and tight mortgage lending standards can make purchasing a property difficult in Phoenix.

There is no way around the tight mortgage lending requirements (he who has the gold makes the rules) but there are different strategies for purchasing short sales and beating the competition. When there is an offer on a short sale where the listing agent is currently negotiating the offer with the banks, the MLS listing will show “Active With Contingency”. Due to the increased competition in the market a lot of buyers are submitting multiple offer and wait to see which short sale is approved first. These buyers are only planning to purchase one property and will have to cancel the other offers.

This means “opportunity” for you to get your offer in as a back-up offer and if the first buyer cancels their transaction, then you will be first in line to purchase the property, without any competition. This is a great strategy since about 50% of all short sales with go through several buyers before it actually closes.

I have purchased a few investment properties this way and I have help a lot of my buyer clients purchase properties using the same strategy. If you are having difficulty getting your offers accepts or under contract, then give us a call and we can help you get your dream home!!

Furthermore, you could be the buyer that is submitting multiple offer (as long as the seller’s are aware) and wait until the first offer is accepted. The short sale contract give a buyer the option to cancel their offer at any time; therefore, your earnest money deposit is fully protected. You should also add additional language to your offer to make sure the seller fully understands this concept.

Also, try making your offer the “Purple Cow” that stands out over and above all the other buyers. You necessarily don’t have to pay more than fair market value but you could offer terms like a larger earnest money deposit, a 5 day inspection period, no seller concessions or a 20 to 15 days closing (you will want to check with your lender). These terms will make your offer stand out over and above the other buyers.

We can guarantee we can help you purchase a great property! Give us a call TODAY!! 480-213-5251

Top 10 U.S. Cities Where People Are Moving To

More people are flocking to the South, according to a list from Penske Truck Rental on the top moving destinations from last year.

Atlanta once again tops the list, which was compiled through online consumer truck rental reservations by Penske from 2011.

“As this list indicates, U.S. residents continue migrating primarily toward warm weather areas,” says Don Mikes, Penske’s vice president of rental.

Here are the top places the company says people are moving to:

1. Atlanta

2. Phoenix

3. Orlando, Fla.

4. Dallas/Fort Worth

5. Chicago

6. Houston

7. Denver

8. Seattle

9. Sarasota, Fla.

10. Charlotte, N.C.

In comparison to last year’s listing, the Atlanta market is again the destination of choice. There are no new market entries.

No region moved up or down more than two positions, with Dallas/Fort Worth dropping two places, from second to fourth. Half the list (Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Sarasota, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C.,) remained in identical positions.

“As this list indicates, U.S. residents continue migrating primarily toward warm weather areas,” noted Don Mikes, Penske’s vice president of rental. “The list is compiled through online consumer truck rental reservations and through our call centers.”

Housing Affordability Reaches New Records

Housing affordability rose to a record high during the fourth quarter of 2011, which means a home buyer’s purchasing power is greater than it ever has been before, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.

The index showed that 75.9 percent of all new and existing homes sold in the fourth quarter were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,200, according to the index. That marks the highest percentage recorded in the index’s 20-year history.

“While today’s report indicates that home ownership is within reach of more households than it has been for more than two decades, overly restrictive lending conditions confronting home buyers and builders remain significant obstacles to many potential homes sales, even with interest rates at historically low levels,” says Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders.

Most Affordable Cities

According to the index, the most affordable major housing market was Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio, in which 95 percent of all homes sold during the fourth quarter were affordable to households earning the median family income of $54,900, according to the index.

Other top affordable housing markets include: Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.; Phoenix, Arizona; Modesto, Calif.; Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pa.; and Toledo, Ohio.

Least Affordable Cities

However, some metro areas still remain too pricey for buyers. The least affordable major housing market during the fourth quarter was New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J., in which 29 percent of all homes sold were affordable to those earning the area’s media income of $67,400.

Other high-priced metro areas at the bottom of the affordability index include: Honolulu; San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.; Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif.; and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.

U.S. Needs Jobs First And Home Sales Will Follow

The healthier job market that’s lifted the U.S. economy in recent months shows no signs of slowing.

Applications for unemployment benefits are near a four-year low, raising expectations of further hiring gains. The news Thursday helped lift the Dow Jones industrial average to its highest close since May 2008.

More jobs and tame inflation are giving consumers more buying power. Their higher spending could further boost growth and lower the unemployment rate for February for a sixth-consecutive month.

Even the troubled housing market is benefiting. Builders expect improved sales in the near future. In response, they’re planning to break ground on more homes.

“The housing starts and unemployment claims numbers add to the belief that the economy is shifting gears,” said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisers. “The decline in the unemployment rate is real, and it should continue.”

A series of positive economic reports Thursday reinforced that message:

Weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 348,000, the Labor Department said. That’s the lowest since March 2008. Unemployment applications have dropped 11 percent in four months.

Builders broke ground in January at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 699,000 homes, the Commerce Department said. That nearly matches November’s three-year high. Single-family home construction cooled off slightly after a big jump in December.

Factory activity in the Philadelphia region grew in February at the fastest pace in five months, a survey by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank found. That followed a report that showed a third-consecutive month of factory growth in the New York region.

Wholesale prices were largely unchanged in January, Commerce said. While gasoline prices are rising, they’ve been offset by falling costs for electricity, home heating oil and natural gas. Most economists see inflation as little threat.

Many analysts expect more good news in next month’s jobs report for February. Some say the net job gains could match or top January’s 243,000. For the past three months, the economy has gained an average of about 200,000 jobs.

The 10 Most Popular Housing Markets

Chicago continues to hold on to the top-spot in January as the most widely searched housing market at Realtor.com. The following are the top searched housing markets from last month, according to Realtor.com data of 146 metro areas.

1. Chicago
Median list price: $186,000

2. Detroit
Median list price: $81,700

3. Los Angeles-Long Beach, Calif.
Median list price: $320,444

4. Philadelphia, Pa.-N.J.
Median list price: $221,995

5. Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz.
Median list price: $169,500

6. Atlanta
Median list price: $150,000

7. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.
Median list price: $142,500

8. Dallas
Median list price: $189,900

9. Orlando, Fla.
Median list price: $155,000

10. Las Vegas, Nev.-Ariz.
Median list price: $121,500

What To Look Out For When Purchasing Trustee Sale Properties

Each state has their own laws that pertain to the process of purchasing trustee sales but the due diligence is pretty much the same for each state. Before you bid on any property, you will want to make sure you are not bidding on a lien in second position. If you purchase a property that was foreclosed in second lien position, then you will be responsible for paying the full balance owed on the first lien. This is not a good situation since the first lien holder could foreclose their lien and you will lose your whole investment into the property. This is very important that you either research public records to make sure the lien being foreclose is in first position or you hire a title company to do a title search.

Also, you will want to make sure their are no government liens or any other liens that would not be wiped out in the case of a trustee sale. The most common government liens are property taxes, IRS liens, maintenance violation liens, etc. If you find a lien on the property, then make sure the owed amount is no more than what you are willing to spend if you purchase the property.

Furthermore, when you purchase a trustee sale property you are purchasing the legal description so its very important that you identify the property based on the legal description instead of the property address or Assessor’s Parcel Number. An address might be incorrect or the trustee might have entered the wrong Assessor’s Parcel Number for the property. If you bid on a property with the wrong address or parcel number, then you have no recourse since you were bidding on the legal description for the property.

If you are not comfortable with researching public records or with reading a legal description, then it is advised that you seek the help from a licensed real estate brokerage company. Beware of companies offering bidding services that are not licensed with the “Arizona Department of Real Estate” since if something should go wrong you will not have any recourse. These non-licensed companies have no fiduciary duty to protect your best interest and might take advantage of you. The Arizona Department of Real Estate has a general fund where you can seek damages and get reimbursed for your losses if you work with a licensed real estate broker.

We are a licensed real estate brokerage company that offers a trustee sale bidding service. Our fees are very reasonable and we can assist you with the due diligence process before you bid on a property. Give us a call TODAY!!

$26 Billion Deal Could Offer Relief to Home Owners

After months of tense negotiations, the nation’s five largest banks and state and government officials have agreed to a $26 billion settlement aimed at holding banks accountable for the mishandling of some foreclosures.

The settlement is expected to help 1 million home owners, by having lenders reduce their mortgage debt or refinance into lower mortgage rates to reduce costs of their monthly payments. Also, about 750,000 people who lost their homes to foreclosure from September 2008 to the end of 2011 are expected to receive checks for about $2,000. The aid from the settlement will be distributed over the next three years, The New York Times reports.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a panacea for the housing industry but it is good for the banks to get this behind them,” Jason Goldberg, an analyst with Barclays, told The New York Times about the settlement.
Details of the settlement still need to be finalized, including how many states will participate. Also, federal officials say the final figure could move upwards to $39 billion. Mortgages owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will not be part of the deal.

The banks involved in the settlement are Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Ally Financial.

Divorce-Caused Sales Have Unique Concerns

A home sale can be difficult in the best of times, but troubles are compounded when the transaction involves divorcing sellers.

Some Realtors have made a niche for themselves by obtaining professional certification as a divorce real estate expert. As part of their training these agents know how to diffuse emotional tensions that can lead to bad decision-making, though problems can still arise if the agent has personal ties to the couple.

Often, the biggest problems stem from lack of communication between the sellers. In some cases, one spouse wants to sell but the other does not.

When a couple entering or undergoing a divorce decides to put their house on the market, the first step is to have the residence appraised, and the second is to give one spouse power of attorney to determine what happens to the property. A separation agreement can help, as it will detail which spouse has what responsibilities – including upkeep and repairs on the property.

Most importantly, agents say it is critical not to let potential buyers know that a house is on the market because of a divorce: Doing so can lead to low-ball offers.

Banks Offer More Cash Incentives for Short Sales

More banks are offering home owners incentives to sell their houses in a short sale to prevent a costly foreclosure to the bank. In fact, some banks are offering struggling home owners as much as $35,000 to do a short sale, according to an article at CNNMoney.

Many home owners have been surprised at banks’ recent willingness to approve short sales.
“Initially, the home owners are skeptical,”. “The bank may have already turned down their request for a modification. Then, one day, they call and say, ‘Let us give you some cash.’”

For banks, the incentives have proven to be a smarter move than letting a property fall into foreclosure.
“The first choice is a modification, but if that’s impossible then a short sale is a faster, more efficient solution,”.

With a foreclosure, home owners stop making their mortgage payments and usually property taxes as well. They also often put off maintenance issues, which can cause the home to lose value even more. Foreclosed homes sold, on average, for 22 percent less than homes not in foreclosure in December, according to National Association of REALTORS®’ data. For comparison, discounts for short sales were about 14 percent.

“I’ve seen a lot of foreclosures for sale where it would cost a lot more than $20,000 to get them into condition to sell again,”.

Will the Real Estate Market Heat Up This Spring?

The spring season usually brings an increase in buying and selling to the real estate market, and housing experts are mostly optimistic that this spring will be even better than recent years.

Some signs are already there: Housing inventories are declining, housing affordability is at record highs, mortgage rates are at all-time lows, and the job market is improving.

Existing-home sales have been edging up in recent months, and for-sale housing inventories were at nearly 2.4 million units in December, reaching its lowest point since 2005, according to National Association of REALTORS® data.

NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says home prices are beginning to stabilize in many markets.
Also, NAR’s Housing Affordability Index is at its highest level since the 1970s, which indicates that for the average family housing is very affordable.

The National Association of Home Builders is also predicting an improvement this spring among the new-home sector. NAHB is predicting that home sales will increase 18 percent this year, that’s after facing their lowest on record in 2011.

However, threats to a housing recovery still loom this spring. Strict mortgage lending is keeping some buyers on the sidelines, and foreclosures continue to put downward pressure on overall home prices in many markets.

“The signals are a little hard to extrapolate, but ultimately by the end of this year we should see the housing market on more solid footing,” says Celia Chen, senior housing economist with Moody’s Analytics. “So an improvement but off of very, very weak activity.”

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