Seattle Real Estate

Place for real estate news and area events

TARP funds to be tapped? December 8, 2009

Filed under: Economy,Mortgage Information — Rolland @ 10:31 pm

Couple of our leaders are thinking creative financing is not dead.  They are wanting to tap into the TARP funds to help distressed homeowners.

The idea is to take 3 billion to help those homeowners, while tapping another 1 billion for local and state governments to use to purchase foreclosed and troubled properties.  Additionally, giving bankruptcy judges the ability to make changes to interest rates and principal owed to creditors.  Needless to say, this has met with some resistance from the financial community.  "The combination of unemployment and foreclosures may be the greatest threat to our economic recovery," Waters said.

This week on the Hill, this is but one of more then 100 other proposed amendments to financial reform being introduced.  Some believe that this sudden move by members of congress, is coming from the Congressional Black Caucus, who have been putting the administrations feet to the fire on how unemployment and foreclosures are effecting minorities.  With only 6% of homeowners enlisted in the administrations foreclosure prevention programs, concerns that help is just not reaching people.  Fighting over the low numbers reported are circling around homeowners that have submitted paperwork to get on the program and that they are waiting approval to benefit from the program.  While the Treasury Department claims people are not submitting the paperwork and supporting documents correctly.  Seems like the dogs are chasing their tails.

In a nut shell, the financial sector is not happy, the government is in the middle (or so they are trying to) and the American homeowner is hanging on looking for help wherever it comes from.

 

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Why is buying a home a good idea? November 11, 2009

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The E-Reader Explosion: A Cheat Sheet October 28, 2009

Filed under: Making a Difference,Technology — Rolland @ 2:24 am
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The explosion of e-readers in the past 12-18 months has been exciting to watch. E-readers impact in the field of education is really something and I for one love what is possible in the future with these devices.

Think about the impact on the environment just in the field of education these devices will have. Not to mention the financial overall savings it can bring to school districts and higher education. Last year alone, Princeton University spent more then 5 million dollars for paper, totaling more then 15 million pages. This fall, Princeton and five other colleges are testing out the new Kindle DX. The hope being to reduce the impact of paper while still maintaining the highest level of education to its students.

Throw in the ability that you can annotate, highlight, and take notes is really awesome. Granted, my experience has taught me that while I love these features, they are still in their infancy and there is a lot of room for improvement. While the search feature and built-in dictionary are very powerful. All these extras need refinement, but that will come. Have you seen a kid walking to a bus stop in the last couple of years? Maybe not, they are those little people trapped under those monster loaded backpacks. E-readers can carry 1500-17,000 books now, weighing in under 12 ounces! Wonder what the health impact that will be alone.

Barnes & Noble are launching their new reader called the Nook by the end of November. It has all the same features as the Kindle, with a few new ones (which I am sure Amazon will bring on with the Kindle.) The two biggies being the ability to lend a ebook to others and the ability to read your ebooks on both your reader as well as your computer. Both of these functions are awesome and positive forward moves.

For those of us that want to buy a book and just read it no matter what our eye sight is, you have to love the readers ability to increase the text size to what works for you. Overall, you can not go wrong with a e-reader and it is having the biggest (positive) impact on reading in our generation. Check out the link below for more in-depth information on the readers I have mentioned and others. If you have a moment, leave a comment and tell me what you think!

The E-Reader Explosion: A Cheat Sheet | Technologizer:
The E-Reader Explosion: A Cheat Sheet
By Harry McCracken  |  Posted at 12:14 am on Monday, October 26, 2009See all: News
By almost any imaginable definition, last week was the newsiest ever in the still-new world of e-book readers. We witnessed the unveiling of Barnes & Noble’s ambitious Nook. We got more details about Plastic Logic’s long-awaited device. We learned of an underdog known as the Spring Design Alex. We were informed that Amazon was killing the original Kindle 2 and lowering the price of the model with international roaming, and”

 

Improving Your Credit October 25, 2009

credit-score-chartIf you are thinking of purchasing a new home or refinancing soon, your credit score will play a large role in not only whether or not you qualify but also how high your payments will be. Credit awareness is your first step.

To review your credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com. If you find any errors, work to fix them as soon as you can.

Your credit score is determined by several factors: Do you pay on time? Do you owe money on your credit cards? Have you used credit recently? Are you applying for numerous new cards? What kinds of credit have you used?

Essentially, lenders are looking for a consistent pattern of on-time payments. If you don’t already pay all your bills on time, now is the time to start.

Your score is also affected by your debt to income ratio. So you can work to raise your income or you can work to decrease your debt. Whichever path you choose, paying down maxed out cards is a good place to start.

Overall stability helps boost your credit score as well. Changing residences or jobs frequently can put a ding in your score.

If you are planning to apply for a home loan in the near future, avoid other big purchases like cars or boats.

If you’d like more tips on improving your credit, please let me know. I can put you in touch with a consultant who can work with you to help improve your credit score.

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The Move-up effect!

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Open House: 506 South 222nd St., #10 Des Moines, WA 98198 October 24, 2009

Filed under: open house — Rolland @ 7:34 pm
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506 S. 222nd St Des Moines, WA  98198

 

Hire the agent that best suits your needs

Frequently Asked Questions

Buying and/or Selling a Home

When you work as our agent, how do you get paid?

Typically in Residential Real Estate, the brokerage fee is paid by the Seller. A seller agrees to pay a commission at the time they list their home for sale. Part of that commission is paid to the broker/agent who helps the buyer purchase the seller’s home.

Can I only buy homes with John L. Scott signs on them?

No, to some this may sound like a funny question, bit it’s not.  Almost every real estate sign from every real estate broker has the word “Exclusive” on it.  That merely means the seller has agreed to pay a commission to the broker who has listed it, regardless of who brings the buyer who purchases it.

I can show and help you buy any home listed by any real estate company.

Likewise, when I list your home for sale or another seller’s home for sale, I welcome the agents from all the other companies to show those listed homes to their buyers and hope that they will present us with winning offers.

Sometimes there may be an occasion when the home that is just right for you is not listed, but is “FOR SALE BY OWNER”.  In most cases I can help you preview and purchase such a home as well.  It will require that I contact the seller and reach an agreement that they agree to pay a real estate commission.

Earnest Money

What is Earnest Money?

Earnest Money is a deposit you make to provide evidence to the seller of your good faith intent to complete the transaction.  You provide this deposit when your offer to purchase (Purchase and Sale Agreement) is prepared for presentation to the seller.

The Earnest Money check must be deposited within 3 days of Mutual Acceptance or if agreed after completion of the home inspection and everything has been accepted.

What is needed for Earnest Money?

Earnest Money should ordinarily be between 1 and 2% of the purchase price.  The larger your earnest money, the greater confidence the seller will have in your offer. If your loan program is one providing for a lower down payment, a smaller earnest money deposit is sometimes acceptable.

It should be in the form of a check made payable to the Escrow Company doing the closing.

What happens to my Earnest Money?

It will be deposited and put in the setup Escrow Account.  The amount will be applied to the total amount of money you will need at closing towards the purchase price and closing costs of your new home.

If your agreement is contingent on you getting financing for a home purchase loan, and through no fault on your part, you are unable to acquire a home purchase loan; your earnest money would be returned in full to you.

*** If the Buyer elects not to purchase after waiving a satisfactory inspection and after being approved for a loan for the home, then the earnest money is forfeited to the seller as compensation for their loss of opportunity to sell to another buyer.***

Home Inspections

What is a Home Inspection and should I plan to have one?

With very few exceptions, a buyer will always want to have the home they are buying inspected by a professional inspector who is independent of any other contractors and who is fully trained and qualified to identify the condition of the structure and systems in a home.

The buyer pays for the inspection and needs to be present during at least part of the inspection period so that the general condition and common maintenance issues and questions can be pointed out and explained by the inspector.  If there are items needing correction, those will be addressed as well.   A thorough home inspection will result in the buyer knowing that much more about their next home.

What will an inspection cost and when do I pay it?

Typically an inspection will cost between $400 – $500 depending on the square footage and the year it was built.  If the home is 40 years old they will add an additional $50 and if it is 41+ years old they will add another $50.

The fee is paid directly to the inspector at the time of the inspection.

How do I find and schedule an inspector?

As your agent, I will provide to you a list of inspectors who have reliably done work for my clients in the past.  You may call any of them and schedule an inspection appointment that will fit both of our schedules.  I say both of our schedules, because it is a mandatory NWMLS rule that the buyers agent be at the inspection the entire time.

Escrow

What is Escrow?

Escrow is a service provided to buyers and sellers of real estate.  Escrow is done by escrow companies. Some escrow businesses are associated with title insurance companies, others are independent.

Some attorneys specialize in real estate and do escrow.

The terms “Escrow” and “Closing” are often used interchangeable although there are differences.  An Escrow Officer or service is sometimes called a “Closing Agent”.

Closing

What happens at Closing?

Closing costs are the expenses incurred in the transfer of real estate in addition to the purchase price of the property.  The closing agent (Escrow Company) will provide you with a complete list of costs, prior to the signing appointment.

The Buyer and Seller share some costs, such as the fee for Escrow services and Title Insurance.

The Buyer pays:

  • Fee for appraising the property.
  • Reimburses the seller for any prepaid taxes, prorated to the date of closing.
  • Lender for discount points, if any.
  • May be required to deposit reserve funds for taxes and insurance on the property.
  • Recording the property transfer

What is Title Insurance?

There are two title policies involved in the purchase of a home.  The seller provides one to you as the buyer.  The buyer provides the second one, with a much smaller premium to their lender as (security for their loan).

Title insurance is a means for the seller to provide the buyer, assurance that they have full ownership of the home.  In the event that another party makes a claim to the rights of the property, the title insurance company will provide legal measures to protect your rights or if necessary, provide financial compensation for rights you might lose.

This seldom happens, but the insurance provides the buyer a peace of mind.

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