Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Three Valuable Words When Facing Foreclosure: "Produce the Note"

I saw a video on Yahoo today about three important words that can help stall the foreclosure process, "Produce the Note." In light of the crisis faced by many homeowners who have fallen victim to in the mortgage crisis, I thought it was important information to know. Below is a video produced by the Consumer Warning Network.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

In the News: President Signs Economic Stimulus Measure

Today, we received news that President Obama signed the new $787 Million dollar stimulus package to "breathe new life into our economy," as stated by Ed Andrieski, a reporter for the Associated Press.

Here is something Realtors received today from the desk of Gary Wright, the 2009 President of the National Association of Realtors regarding the new Stimulus Package signed today by President Obama:

The $790 billion stimulus package signed by President Obama today increases the home buyer tax credit to $8,000, drops the repayment feature, reinstates last year's 2008 loan limits for FHA, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae loans, and provides $2 billion in additional funding for states and localities to be used to purchase, manage, repair and resell foreclosed and abandoned properties. Many elements (listed below) included in HR 1 "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009," were supported by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) as well as the many REALTORS® who sent call to action messages to Congress urging their support! Homebuyer Tax Credit.

The bill provides for a $8,000 tax credit that would be available to first-time home buyers (those who haven't owned in at least three years) for the purchase of a principal residence on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009. The credit does not require repayment for buyers who hold onto their property for at least three years. Most of the mechanics of the credit will be the same as under the 2008 rules: the credit will be claimed on a tax return to reduce the purchaser's income tax liability. If any credit amount remains unused, then the unused amount will be refunded as a check to the purchaser.

NAR has sought removal of the repayment requirement because it discourages buyers from taking advantage of the tax credit. The three-year minimum holding period is a safeguard against speculators' use of the credit. The legislation also extends the effective date of the credit to December 1 from June 30, and extends eligibility to borrowers who buy their home with the help of state or local financial assistance that comes from the proceeds of tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds.

The start date for the first time homebuyer credit is January 1, 2009 through and before December 1, 2009.

FHA and conforming loan limits. Specifics have not been released but reports indicate that the 2008 limits have been reinstated for 2009 except in those communities where the 2009 limits are higher. Additional increases in individual communities may also be available at the discretion of the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Foreclosure mitigation and neighborhood stabilization. Funding for states and localities to be used for neighborhood stabilization activities for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes are authorized. Some news reports put the funding level at $2 billion.
Rental assistance. Up to $1.5 billion to provide short-term rental assistance and other aid for families during the economic crisis.

Transportation infrastructure. Up to $29 billion for highway construction projects, $8 billion for rail projects.

Rural housing development. Increased funding for the Rural Housing Service direct and guaranteed loan programs.

Low-income housing grants. Allow states to trade in a portion of their 2009 low-income housing tax credits for Treasury grants to finance the construction or acquisition and rehabilitation of low-income housing, including those with or without tax credit allocations.
Tax-exempt housing bonds. Tax-exempt interest earned on specified state and local bonds issued during 2009 and 2010 will not be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). In addition, financial institutions will have greater capacity to purchase tax-exempt state and local bonds.

Energy efficient housing. Grants for energy retrofits for federally assisted housing (Section 8), funding for energy efficiency and conservation block grants to states, increases in the residential tax credit through 2010 for certain energy efficient upgrades and $5 billion to weatherize low-income homes.

Greg Wright2009 PresidentWashington REALTORS®

Friday, February 13, 2009

An Announcement and a Word About Buyer Agency

real estate investors edge, commercial exclusive buyer agent seattle, commercial exclusive buyers agent seattle, commercial exclusive buyer's agent seattle, exclusive buyer agent seattle, exclusive buyers agent seattle, exclusive buyer's agent seattle

On February 6th, 2009 I was awarded the Accredited Buyer's Representative designation (ABR) through the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council. Although, this designation does not represent a committment to exclusive buyer agency. For me, earning this designation is a part of my personal committment to the exclusive representation of the buy-side of real estate transactions and to the advancement of exclusive buyer agency.

I should clarify that the practice of exclusive buyer agency is not the same as an agent who professes to be working exclusively for buyers, but who works for a real estate company that takes listings as well. A true exclusive buyers agent works for a broker and company that never takes listings because it has dedicated its entire business to representing the interests of buyers.

Exclusive buyer agency is an option that gives real estate buyers a way to completely avoid conflicts of interest in their real estate purchases, aka. "Dual Agency," and "Designated Agency," which is just another form of dual agency. Avoiding dual agency is especially valuable to investors because they rely on their real estate representatives to level with them and tell them when a listing is overpriced, as well as negotiate assertively on their behalf for a price that meets their investment objectives.

However, when a listing belongs to their agents' company or, worse, to their agent, the lines of loyalty can blur. In a dual or designated agency situation, a buyer cannot be 100% sure that their agent will tell them whether a listing is overpriced and by how much exactly. To do this would put them in direct conflict with their (or their brokers') duty to the seller.

With exclusive buyer agency, buyers can rest assured that the agent, broker, and company are representing their interests exclusively no matter what property they go to see. Buying real estate right is the first step to building a profitable portfolio of income properties. The peace of mind and degree of loyalty given by exclusive buyer agency is the value it brings to buyers whether buying a home or income property.

I believe the future will continue to be bright for exclusive buyer agency, and I will be working towards earning the Certified Exclusive Buyer's Agent (CEBA) designation through the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA), as well as the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation to better serve the acquisitions of my commercial and investment real estate clients. I strive for such excellence because I have a vested interest in the success of my clients. Their success is mine as well.

Real Estate Investing: Increase Your Financial Education

Whenever I talk to real estate investors who are just starting out on their journey to financial independence, I encourage them to build their knowledge through the many educational resources available that teach people how to build financial security in their lives.

My specialty is being an advocate for the buy-side of investment property purchase transactions for investor-clients. This has been a mission for me since 2003 when I became truly independent of the buyer/seller representation model of traditional real estate companies. Income property does not serve its intended purpose if it does not produce positive cash flow. The same can be said if the income produced does not meet an investors financial goals. Education is the key.

No matter who we are or where we come from, the road to creating financial security begins with obtaining good information, informing ourselves through the pursuit of financial education, and expanding our financial literacy. As a lifelong student of personal growth and development, I am always seeking out good educational resources to increase and expand my professional expertise and financial intelligence, as well as teach and share my experiences with the people I serve best...my valued clients, family, and friends.

Here is a video from the Rich Dad company with co-founder Robert T. Kiyosaki talking about three types of education. Enjoy!