Don’t Forget to Attend Our FREE Short Sale Workshop! 6/30

This free workshop will break down the short sale process and review all possible options for people who are upside down and struggling.  Be at my office, 7801 Laguna Blvd. Ste. 100 in Elk Grove, CA 95758 at 6pm June 30th- THIS THURSDAY evening!  Even if you decide not work with me right now, you WILL benefit from the information, so please mark your calendars and be there!

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Short Sale Workshop!!!

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan. If you stop paying your mortgage, you could lose your home and damage your credit. 2. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know…?

As of July 1st 2011 all homes in the state of California are required to have carbon monoxide detectors in them!  I highly doubt that the government will be sending any inspectors to your homes to confirm that you’ve complied.  I mean, how often to you hear about men in black suits knocking on random doors to verify a property has smoke detectors or that their water heater is properly braced to the wall? BUT, if you are selling your home and you will record after July 1st, you will need make sure that you have these detectors before you record to ensure that your property is up to code.  If you’re not selling your home any time in the near future, you may want to consider picking up a few of these detectors anyways… You never can be too safe, right?  As always, From the first time home buyer to the savvy investor – from the seller with equity to the seller underwater and needing options – I am here for you.

  

Think you can’t afford the home of your dreams?

You might be able to get closer than you think!  Obviously, the cat is out of the bag on the whole “astonishingly low home prices” thing.  BUT, many buyers in the market today are still finding that it’s difficult to find a home that is both move-in ready and affordable.  This is an especially difficult hurtle to cross if the buyer needs to utilize FHA financing as FHA has several guidelines in place that limit the maximum amount of repairs a potential property can need in order to be eligible for FHA financing which essentially require the property to be “move-in ready” as-is.

THERE MAY BE A SOLUTION!  203K Financing is an FHA program which allows you to finance repairs and improvements on a property at time of purchase.  For example, if you fall in love with a property that is $15,000 in necessary repairs short of being eligible for FHA financing that is listed for $100,000, you may be able to purchase that home via a 203K financed loan in the amount of $115,000.  The bank will require you to obtain at least two bids for all of the repairs/improvements you want completed and then order an appraisal “subject-to” those repairs.  As long as the projected value of the home after the repairs are completed is equal-to or greater-than the loan amount, and the buyers qualify for the loan, you should be in a pretty good spot.

If you have questions, feel free to call me directly or go online to HUD.gov and research the program on your own.

From the first time home buyer to the savvy investor – from the seller with equity to the seller underwater and needing options – I am here for you.

Short Sale Frequently Asked Questions

What is a short sale?
A short sale occurs when a mortgage lender allows a financially distressed homeowner to sell his home for less than what he owes on the mortgage. The short sale process varies by state, so it’s very important that financially distressed homeowners who are considering a short sale contact a qualified real estate agent in their area.

Who qualifies for a short sale?
Typically the homeowner must suffer a financial hardship that has prevented him from making his mortgage payments and lacks the financial means to correct the situation; the homeowner is in or facing foreclosure; and the homeowner has little equity, no equity or negative equity in the property. Investment property owners may also qualify for a short sale as long as an acceptable financial hardship is involved. Ultimately the lender will decide whether a homeowner or investor qualifies for a short sale and each lender has their own method for determining whether a property owner qualifies for this type of sale.

What are the benefits of a short sale?
The homeowner is able avoid foreclosure, which is a stressful process that can have a significant negative effect on one’s credit score. Depending on the terms of the short sale, the home seller may also be able to mitigate his financial obligations if the lender “forgives” the difference between the property sale price and amount owed on the mortgage. This would allow the home seller to walk away from the transaction free of debt related to the mortgage. Lenders also benefit from short sales because often times they are less costly and less work than the foreclosure process. The buyer also may benefit because a short sale is a distress sale and he may be able to purchase a property at a discount.

How much does a short sale cost the home seller?
The closing costs and real estate commissions are typically paid by the lender; however these details are finalized in the short sale contract between the home seller and the lender. In some cases, the lender may require that the home seller pay the difference between the property’s sale price and the amount owed on the mortgage. Usually, if the home seller can afford to pay the difference, the lender will require that they do pay the difference.

What do buyers need to know about purchasing a short sale property?
Buyers interested in a short sale property must be patient. One way to expedite a short sale purchase is to be a cash buyer, but this isn’t always possible. Being well-qualified with a substantial down payment and preapproved are second best. Buyers should also know that banks don’t like to negotiate repairs or other contingencies. It’s important that buyers considering the purchase of a short sale property hire a real estate agent who is very experienced at closing these types of transactions. Experienced agents can help alleviate much of the stress related to the short sale transaction by knowing what to look out for and how to best communicate with the lender.

How long does it take to complete a short sale?
It depends on the complexity of the sale. Short sales can take several months to process – sometimes up to 120 days or longer. Banks aren’t structured to efficiently sell properties. Financial institutions have many regulatory procedures that must be completed before a short sale can be closed. Oftentimes it’s just a matter of cutting through a lot of red tape following the lender’s various short sale policies, which usually include many people reviewing and approving specific aspects of the sale. If more than one lender is involved, the short sale can become more complicated and time consuming.

From the first time home buyer to the savvy investor – from the seller with equity to the seller underwater and needing options – I am here for you.

You Deserve A Fresh Start!

The real estate market has seen better days.  You know that, because there’s a good chance you purchased your home during one of those better days.  And now you’re drastically underwater, stressed, maybe embarrassed, maybe waiting for your mortgage rate to adjust, and probably wishing for a way out of a bad situation.  Unfortunately, wishing upon a star is probably not going to work for you this time around.  Every day good people have their homes foreclosed on because they didn’t ask for help.  Why? Who knows!  Maybe because of all the negative feelings already mentioned.

Let me the first to tell you your feelings are legitimate.  Facing foreclosure is scary, and feeling financially inadequate in comparison to your peers can be embarrassing.  But the truth of the matter is foreclosure is often avoidable, and many of those people who seem like they have it all together are struggling just as much as you are.  The economic climate in which we’re living has created dire straits for thousands of individuals and families across the country.  Unemployment and underemployment are both at an all time high, while prices of basic necessities like groceries and gas are skyrocketing.

If you’re upside down in your home, and your mortgage payments are getting to be too much to handle, you have options.  Don’t let your home end up in foreclosure as a result of your not asking for help.  Below you’ll see a brief comparison of the effects a foreclosure could have on you personally, versus those of a successful short sale.

If this scenario sounds familiar, let me be the one to help you.  Not all agents are created equal.  I have been Short Sale Certified by the Five Star Institute- one of the industry’s leading education organizations.  I am also Lyon Certified Short Sale Specialist.  Additionally, I am a Certified CHS HAFA Specialist by Asset Plan USA and the California Association of Realtors.

Call me today to discuss your unique situation.  Even if we don’t do business together now, you will benefit from my experience.  From the first time home buyer to the savvy investor – from the seller with equity to the seller underwater and needing options – I am here for you.


Community Garage Sale Coming Up!!! 5/22

Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate is proud to announce a series of 1st Annual Community Garage Sale Events throughout Elk Grove – Sponsored by Jessica Hays, Diana Martinez, and Courtney Ellison.  These events will be the largest block sales Elk Grove has ever seen!  We will do all the advertising and organizing, and with the combined efforts of our neighbors, it will be a great opportunity for buyers and sellers alike!

  • Are you ready for some Spring Cleaning?
  • Do you have just a little too much stuff in your garage?
  • Could you use a little extra cash?
  • Looking for great deals?
  • Do you enjoy having fun with your neighbors?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, we need you!  We are looking for people that would like to sell or donate items around their house.  This is not just an invitation for you to shop, but an opportunity to clean up, clear out, and make some cash!  Best of all, the morning after each event all unsold and unwanted items that are left on the curb will be picked up by the Salvation Army at no cost to you!

Jessica Hays will be hosting a Community Garage Sale Event in the Rancho Laguna Community of Elk Grove near Kloss Park on Sunday 5/22/11.  Register Here

Diana Martinez will be hosting a Community Garage Sale Event in the Laguna Creek South community on Bellaterra and the surrounding streets in Elk Grove on Sunday 6/5/11. Register Here

Courtney Ellison will be hosting a Community Garage Sale Event in the Arcadian Village community of Elk Grove on Sunday 6/12/11. Register Here

About Us:

Happy Easter!

Hello All,

Spring is here with full force and I’m seeing the buyers finally starting to come back into the market.  Obviously, this isn’t a great market to sell if you’re looking to take a profit.  However, if you’re in a position where you need to sell it’s definitely better to put your property on the market while buyers are looking.

If you’re curious to know how much your property is worth in the current market, feel free to give me a call.  I’m more than happy to work up a comparative market analysis on your home free of charge.

Regardless of whether or not you’re looking to buy or sell, I hope you have a fantastic Easter Weekend filled with great food, lots of love, and the company of family and friends.

From the first time home buyer to the savvy investor – from the seller with equity to the seller underwater and needing options – I am here for you.

Remodeling ROI: Low Price, High Return Renovations

Putting some sweat equity into your home can do wonders when it comes time to sell. But before dropping big dollars on a major home makeover, consider a few smaller changes that may just give you a bigger dollar-for-dollar return.

man with level

A few cosmetic changes go a long way

Tearing apart your old kitchen may be the cause of countless daydreams; however, first consider a cost-effective facelift. Things like changing fixtures, fresh paint, updating cabinetry handles or adding a decorative backsplash are simple and relatively inexpensive ways to modernize your kitchen and give buyers a better sense of the room’s true potential.

Getting that stain out

Before ripping out every square inch of carpet, consider a steam clean. Find the least toxic method and get rid of all the splotches and stains and see what can be salvaged. Oftentimes, cleaning a carpet using a professional cleaner or a rented steam machine can give it a new lease on life and help save a few dollars that can be better invested in other parts of the home.

Bold may not always be beautiful

Start with the basics: kitchens and bathrooms. According to Remodeling Online / Hanley-Wood, renovating your kitchen can generate an approximate 71 – 88 percent return on investment, as most buyers like these areas to be in move-in condition. Avoid custom cabinetry in favor of something contemporary and neutral. The idea is to generate maximum appeal and increase the value of your property for the broadest possible audience.

All things relative

Keep in mind that no matter how beautiful, a $35,000 bathroom does not belong in a $100,000 home. While bathrooms generate the same return as a new kitchen, a renovation will only get you what buyers can afford. Consider re-glazing the tub for a few hundred dollars before spending thousands on a complete remodeling. Changing the vanity can also give you the updated look buyers are searching for. Adding new faucets or a new mirror can be a dramatic improvement and can be relatively inexpensive.

Consistency is key

One of the questions few renovators ask themselves is whether or not their changes match. Keeping the look and feel consistent will add continuity to the home and allow buyers to see where your improvements could lead them long term. Don’t neglect the outside of the home in favor of fixing the interior. Ensuring things stay consistent throughout the property gives buyers a sense that your property is worth top dollar.

Ask your agent

A Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate sales associate can provide you with some quick and easy advice that is often overlooked when preparing your house for sale. An experienced sales associate can supply you with the latest trends and local supplier knowledge that you may not be familiar with.

8 Ways to Cool Your Home Naturally

The warm weather is fast approaching, and with energy costs climbing annually, keeping your house cool in summer can be a wallet-emptying exercise. Finding natural ways to keep cool can save you hundreds of dollars in a single season.woman with fan 400x317

  1. Plant deciduous trees on the south and west sides of your house where you receive the most sunlight. Their leaves will provide cooling shade in the summer, and, when they shed in the winter, allow the sun to help warm your home. According to the USDA Forest Service, trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and can save 20 to 50 percent of the energy used for heating.
  2. Use trees or shrubs to shade your air conditioning unit, windows or the sides of the house receiving direct sunlight.
  3. Open your windows at night when it’s coolest and shut them during the day to keep the cool air in and the hot air out.
  4. Place a fan at the open basement door to bring cool basement air onto your main living level. Likewise, ceiling fans set to blow down provide exceptional cooling. Oscillating fans will also mimic tropical breezes, and, combined with some Hawaiian music and a cool fruit drink help remind you of why you waited all winter for summer heat.
  5. Install white (reflective) window shades, blinds, or curtains and keep them closed during the days to keep the heat out.
  6. Check out the latest green “air cooler,” such as mini eco-ice coolers and ice air coolers. They use up to 75 percent less energy than air conditioners and can cool up to 150 square feet.
  7. Realize that up to 60 percent of the heat entering your home comes through the ceiling and walls. If your attic insulation isn’t up to snuff, upgrade it. Moving from three inches of insulation to 12 inches can cut cooling costs by 10 percent.
  8. Finally, check into the feasibility of outdoor awnings over windows, and window tinting such as 3M Scotchtint™ which reflects up to 79 percent of the heat that would come through windows. Strategic investments today can pay for themselves in months and make summer much more enjoyable. Also, any upgrades you make to lower cooling costs will be beneficial when listing your home.

From the first time home buyer to the savvy investor – from the seller with equity to the seller underwater and needing options – I am here for you.