Monday, December 17, 2012

Learn About Sheriff Sales

English: Sale by owner previous to foreclosure.

Several people have asked me, how does a sheriff's sale work? Since I am currently in the process of flipping a sheriffs sale house, it is a topic that is fresh on my mind. Okay here's the reader digest version as I understand it. Let's say you have a house owned by Bart Lancelot. Bart did not pay his mortgage his second mortgage, or his credit cards. Long story short, Bart loses the house, he's foreclosed on, the two mortgage companies have a lien on the house (actually they already had one) and the credit card company decides to put their lien against the house also. After the house goes through the foreclosure process, it may go to a sheriff's sale. All of the creditors named on the foreclosure and the general public may go to the place of bidding and place a bid on the house.

The starting bid is set by the primary lien holder. They may set the bid at whatever they choose. (An interesting side note  many homes do not sell at sheriff's sale because the start bid is too high.) Highest bidder wins. Different states and counties have different laws about payment methods. The county I reside requires cashiers check for the full amount the day of the sale. I have seen other areas that require 10% down the day of and the balance within say, 30 days, or something similar. Check with your county's sheriff's office for details. Anyway, the winning bid goes to pay off the people who had liens against the property (mortgage companies, credit card companies, etc.) 

If by chance, the money is not enough to cover the debts, a judge will determine where the money goes most likely, and someone will just be out of luck. If by chance the winning bid is more than what is owed, the former owners will receive the overage. There are many potential snares here so buyer beware. If one of the lien holders was not named on the foreclosure, there could be some big problems. I know from experience. That is why you must consult with an attorney before, during, and after you buy a home from a sheriff's sale.

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Property Condition Assessment Inspectors

USACE Levee inspection

An official property inspection is basically a visual examination of your residence that is performed by a licensed inspector. The process is totally objective, and the chosen professional is there to speculate how your property is operating. Most would compare the course of action to that of a physical examination conducted by the family medicine physician. Both are thorough and necessary. However, do not confuse this procedure with a house appraisal, for it does not constitute a market value by applying a pass/fail grade. It only indicates the present condition of your house.

What's the Point?

It is completely normal to question the significance of a property condition assessment, especially if you have never administered one. You need it to summarize the current state of your dwelling by reporting any problematic symptoms before a disaster occurs. You will feel secure in knowing that you were able to prevent a mishap by seeking the assistance of an inspector.

What Should One Expect?

In a property inspection, everything from the condition of the heating and cooling system to that of the roofing and floors are included. The inspector observes the physical and underlying structures of your residence, and he or she is likely to jot down notes on what needs improvement and what is in good shape.

The Final Cost

Inspection fees ordinarily vary depending on the size and type of housing that you own. The price is also determined by the features and the age of the individual property. Thus, it is a good idea to carefully compare costs before making a decision on who you want to inspect your property. The costs may not be agreeable to you, but you must not let it affect your choice to go through with an inspection altogether. Remember that every residence requires an inspection at some time or other to ensure the quality of the property. Furthermore, do not resort to examining the property yourself. There are certain skills that you may lack in property inspecting, and only a professional may be able to detect the smallest of problems. Seek the best qualified.

Finding a Good Inspector

You can easily find a well-trained property inspector by listening to word of mouth (be cautious about who you trust), looking through referrals on websites, or visiting local inspection agencies to question individuals in person. Keep in mind that an ideal inspector will always display competency, interpersonal skills, and professionalism. Choose accordingly!

In order to stay confident in the qualities that your house offers, seek a licensed inspector to perform your property inspection. Your property deserves as much care as you do!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Planning for Furniture

English: Eletrical wire reel used in MORAR MAI...
Every person on earth have one wish that is very common, every individual would like to have himself a house that can give him the best comfort and a peace of mind when he enters his house. A person may spend millions on renovating his home and make it look like a million bucks but unless the right things placed at right corners of the house it is not going to give you any peace of mind. Select from some of the finest and wide varieties of modern furniture and home decor items at discounted rates, shop online and win great offers and get great bargains on your old furniture items. Different materials give different feel and a different look, select from thousands of materials to make your home a real perfect holiday home so every day you are back from office it seems like a perfect holiday destination not only for you but also for your loved ones. Select from different categories going by your tastes and preferences and go crazy over patio furniture and more items on display for sale on the site. There are also different home lighting products you can select from like head lamps, night lamps, kitchen tubs, etc. Also, don't forget about the exterior of your house. It looks tacky if your furniture is starkly different from the theme of the exterior of your house. If you have a log siding home, then invest in wooden furniture made of the type of wood of the exterior of your home.

We have unique collections ranging from different parts of the globe, make your house parties a real warming occasions for near and dear ones with decorative lamps and center tables for cutting cakes, make your home look like a picture straight out of a fairy tale with amazing designs and artistic creativity. Living room is a special place for family comfort where people in a family meet up and talk about on a daily basis it’s like a get together place where family members interact and exchange ideas, so it’s very necessary to select your living room furniture which gives comfort and gives the feel of luxury, we have some of the finest and the most beautiful expert designed living room sets which are sold all over the world, people from different nations are relying on us to make their home a perfect home by selecting smart furniture from us.

Today’s lifestyle is fast paced and we know that time doesn't wait for anyone and so does the offers on the site, you get free home decor items like statues, mini lamps, etc. with each of your purchase, so start picking items and putting it in your online cart and get set to live a life filled with comfort and luxury.

This post was provided by a contributor from Town & Country Cedar Products, a manufacturer and supplier of cedar siding and cedar paneling. Visit their website:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Finding Your Dream Property

Everyone wants to find their dream home, the one with a lot of lakefront, a pontoon boat and a nice sandy beach, or one up in the mountains with fantastic views and right next to a prime ski resort. For many people, this means searching around for many upscale homes available in areas all over the country. There are a number of ways to define an upscale home, but for real estate purposes, an upscale home is usually twice the value of surrounding homes. Basically, upscale homes are houses that have a high number of rooms, high square footage, and a unique design or other such aspects. Many of these homes include amenities such as a fireplace, swimming pool or specialty rooms.

These homes can have very unique designs, as mentioned above, which means they can often be custom-built to suit what you want in a home. There are also many models you can choose from, depending on who you are dealing with and where you want the home to be located.

Buying an Upscale Home

When looking into buying one of these pricey but beautiful homes, general and specific research should be of utmost importance in the process. Upscale homes can be found in almost any location. Whether your dream is to live on a ranch, a secluded wooded area, a gated community or in a simple neighborhood, you can find an upscale home in your desired environment. The key is to find a good realtor to help you along the way. He or she should specialize in luxury homes, and will have access to a wide range of upscalehome listings, so you will be able to choose from the greatest number of homes that fit your needs and your budget.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

United States Mortgage Markets

"TUESDAY" production sign

Over the weekend, I was reflecting about what a great position the real estate market is in right now, and all those involved with the market. It’s such an exciting time to be in the mortgage industry, and especially to be in the market for real estate, all things are working in our favor: Interest rates are extremely low, the housing market is gaining speed fast, and most local economies are outstanding! Basically everyone is employed and making more money than ever, we can borrow money VERY cheap, and our homes are appreciating. We really don’t have anything to complain about right now, and I haven’t been able to quit smiling.
So what happened last week, and what can we expect this week? The first question is easy to answer, and the second…well, it’s not so easy (I’ve really got to get a crystal ball). Interest rates today are down an eighth of a percent from a week ago, this is after a mid week spike in rates.
This coming week is fairly quiet as far as economic reports are concerned with only one report scheduled for the week-Tuesday morning, and then the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on Tuesday afternoon, so as can be expected Tuesday will likely yield the most movement in rates. Tuesday morning I’ll be watching for the Employee Production and Cost data. Though this report will not directly affect interest rates, it is believed that high employee productivity will allow the economy to grow without fears about inflation. Analysts are expecting to see a 2.0% increase in employee production, a higher than expected reading could strengthen bonds and lower rates, but until we see the results of the FOMC meeting I don’t expect major movement in interest rates.
By far the biggest event of this week will be the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Tuesday afternoon. The meeting isn’t likely to bring about any change to the key interest rates, and the results of the meeting itself doesn’t usually result in market movement since the results of the meeting are usually known before hand, but it is the commentary at the conclusion of the meeting that can cause the movement in the market. Bond traders will be following the post meeting statement very closely. They’ll be listening for any indication of rate hikes in the future. If that is the case, then it will be believed that inflation is still a concern which could lead to weaker bonds and higher rates; if no rate hikes are mentioned then it is believed that inflation is not as big a concern as once thought and should lead to stronger bonds and in turn lower interest rates.
In summary I think we have the best chance of seeing significant interest rate movement on Tuesday after the FOMC meeting, the rest of the week most interest rate movement will be related to stock gains and losses. If major stock market indexes continue their downward trend, investor will move their money to bonds as a safe haven which should strengthen bonds and bring rates down; but if stocks rally investors will go back to stocks which will weaken bonds and could drive interest rates up.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Things to do in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is quickly becoming one of the top tourist destinations around the world, and there are quite a few reasons why. Take a look at some of these great activities you can plan while vacationing in Costa Rica

Zip Lining
Certainly not for those who are afraid of heights, but certainly a must do for anyone else. Costa Rica's landscape is perfect for zip lining, with varying topography, extremely tall rainforests, and gorgeous canopys, rivers and wildlife below. It's hard to find a better place in the world!

Volcano Hiking
Costa Rica is home to many volcanoes, many of which are still active. Don't worry though, they are well monitored and are at a very low risk status. You can hike up to the top of one, and get spectacular views for miles, or hike to one of the many geothermal powered hot springs for a relaxing dip.

 Beach Going
Costa Rica has both a Caribbean and Pacific Coast, and both are beautiful. Lay out for a day at the beach, or partake in surfing, sailing, deep sea fishing or scuba diving. Regardless, it's something you have to enjoy on your visit.

Finding a place to stay isn't all that difficult. There are plenty of Costa Rica vacation rentals available that you can find and book online, and they are all at a good price relative to many other popular tourist destinations.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Electric Pool Heater or a Gas Pool Heater For Your Home?

pompous pool
 (Photo credit: Esthr)
Gas Swimming Pool Heaters

When you choose a pool heater, you’ll need the answer to this question. Will your gas pool heater run on natural gas or liquid propane? The price and availability of fuel will influence your decision. Also, you may not want an unattractive propane tank sitting next to your swimming pool.

Gas heaters heat your pool water fast. It doesn’t matter what the weather is, you can set and keep the temperature you want. And, you’ll keep your pool water temperature the same throughout your pool. You can swim any time you want to.

Heated water is expensive. On the other hand, if you use your pool often and you’re willing to spend a few extra dollars, gas heaters are a great buy. Therefore, if you want your pool water heated fast, gas is fine.

Electric Swimming Pool Heaters

Your electric pool heater heats your pool best in mild weather. On the other hand, when you want to go for a swim and the water is cold, an electric pump heater heats your pool water slower than gas. And, they don’t create their own heat. They circulate pool water through the filtering and heating unit, and the heated water returns to the pool.

In the end, when your pool heater works hard, it costs you more money. For that matter, if you live in a low electric cost setting, you may decide to buy an electric pool heater. The choice is yours, whether you pick a gas or electric swimming pool heater.

Pool Water Heater Installation

However, before you rush out and buy a new pool heater, take your time and check out a few reputable plumbers. Pick one of them to install your heater. Your plumber will know local building codes, and inspection procedures. Then and only then, have your plumber buy, check, and install your heater according to manufacturer’s specifications and local building codes.

Finally, remember, besides regular pool cleaning and maintenance, have your plumber set the proper gas pressure, and service your pool heater regularly.

Learn More

Another great article on how to pick -

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Real Estate Investment Time Again?

In my opinion, there is no quicker, easier or safer way to build wealth than through real estate. In fact, the laws of this land are written heavily in your favor to purchase real estate, user real estate to lower your income taxes, and to keep most or all your investment gains. The same can’t be said of any other investment vehicle.

Buying Property
Boy, is it easy to qualify for a home loan. Would you loan a stranger $250K? Banks do it all the time. The hardest part of getting a conventional loan is the down payment, but banks will even loan you the down payment! There are many programs out there in our local Syracuse area geared towards first time homeowners that can get you into a property. They can’t wait to hand over their money. So take it.

Owning Property
Homeowners can deduct interest on mortgages and property taxes on their primary residences. On investment properties, government forces owners to depreciate residential property over 27.5 years, even though in reality the property is appreciating. So that means if the rent minus all expenses puts real money into your pocket year after year, your taxes can legally show a loss. For example, a condo which cost $275K is depreciated at $10K per year. Let’s say that every month, the positive cash flow from that property is $500, or $6K income for the year. But because the property “depreciated” $10K, my loss on the books is $4K, and consequently, my taxable income is reduced by $4K.

Selling Property
Homeowners can keep capital gains tax-free (up to $500,000 for married couples filing jointly or $250,000 for singles), provided that the home was the primary residence of record for at least two of the prior five years. The exclusion can be taken every two years. On investment properties, Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code allows owners to roll the gain from the sale of the old property to a new property without paying tax, provided that the new property is equal or greater in value to the old property and all of the proceeds from the sale of the old property are invested into the new property. We're seeing this happen all the time out here in New York.
So with all these benefits, if you aren’t into real estate, you should ask yourself why.

This post was contributed by William Cross Reality, providing Syracuse real estate.

Monday, August 13, 2012

US Mortgage Industry News Update

NEW YORK - JUNE 10:  Traders work on the floor...
(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

For those of you that floated your rate last week, as I recommended, you just hit a bomb home run! And if you locked in on Thursday, you hit it clear out of the ballpark!
So what happened on Thursday? On Thursday I was anxiously waiting for the Manufacturing, and Junes New Home Sells reports, when those reports showed weaker than expect numbers for Manufacturing, and the new home sells report showed a larger than expected decline, investors jumped from stocks (I’m sure you heard about the 400 point hit to the Dow on Thursday) and into bonds. When bonds go up, mortgage rates go down. And go down they did on Thursday, posting lower rates than I’ve seen in about six months. Oh so crazy!
Interest rates today are an eighth of a percent lower than a week ago, rebounding on Friday and today from Thursday’s low numbers; if you haven’t locked yet, I recommend you lock in right now.
If you’ve been on the fence about purchasing a home or refinancing, take advantage of these rates and start making offers or lock in your refinance. Even if you missed Thursday’s rates, by locking today you can still save an eighth of a percent over last Monday, and an eight of a percent over the life of a 30 year mortgage will save you thousands of dollars, so when they dip like they did last week and today now is when you want to buy a home or refinance.
This coming week there will be two days you’ll want to have your mortgage professional on speed dial and at the ready, Tuesday and Friday. Looking at Tuesday, there are three reports that can affect mortgage rates: First are June’s Personal Income and Outlays, then the 2nd Quarter Employment Cost Index, and then finally the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index report; and then later in the week Friday’s Employment report will be very important as well.
The bottom line is that this is going to be an interesting week for mortgage rates, and I expect the most movement in the rates on Tuesday and Friday. The market is expecting weak numbers that means if any of the reports are more positive than expected mortgage rates can skyrocket very quickly. It’s been said that you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but this week you should keep your enemies close and your mortgage professional closer.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Renting in a Tough Market

Apartments (Photo credit: Beedle Um Bum)
Real estate companies are not the only ones suffering in our sluggish economy these days. Many Americans, particularly under 30, cannot afford the lump sum cash needed to purchase a home, and the risk is far too great to take out a huge loan from a bank. That's why rental properties are currently on the rise throughout the country, and the rental options available keep on growing.

Just a few years ago, if you wanted to rent an apartment, the important decisions you had to make were where you wanted to live, and how many bedrooms you wanted. Apartment developments are on the rise, and with that comes many more no-traditional options. Take a look at First Troy Corp. Rentals, located just north of Dayton, OH. They offer traditional rental apartments, but also have rental ranch style apartments, rental townhomes, rental single family houses, rental duplexes, rental triplexes and rental fourplexes!

This only shows how important it is now to offer a diverse variety of rental living options to attract the attention of a diverse crowd. It will certainly be interesting to see how rental companies do if the real estate market clears up, and mortgage interest rates become more affordable, but for now, the rental industry is booming where others are busting!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mortgage Industry Update

Wednesday (Photo credit: teachernz)

WOW! What an exciting week we just had. Last week there were several economic reports that we in the mortgage industry were paying very close attention too, and we were all listening intently as Fed Chairman Bernanke spoke on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.
I was anxiously awaiting the release the Producer Price Index (PPI), the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Housing Starts as these reports can have a big effect on mortgage rates. And without getting into the long version with the specifics, the actual numbers were very close to expected and there was little movement in interest rates.
Furthermore, Fed Chair Bernanke reported that after a slow first quarter the economy picked up some speed for the second quarter, even though it’s still not quite up to potential. He predicted the economy would level off for the second half of 2012 and would then pick up speed at the beginning of 2013 and begin performing at its full potential.
All in all, rates today are exactly where they were a week ago. With rates still at historic lows it’s a great time to buy a home!
I’m really excited about this coming week and what it could have in store.
Economically, this week is even busier than last, with six economic reports scheduled to be released, all coming in the second half of the week, and one of them is considered to be of high importance mortgage rates.
I’ll be watching June Existing Home Sales numbers on Wednesday and the Beige Book Report on Wednesday afternoon, and then June New Home sales numbers on Thursday; thought he Beige Book Report can have the biggest impact on interest rates.
If we see weaker than expected numbers, rates could go down a notch, and if we see stronger than expected we could see rates go up. But given that Fed Chair Bernanke’s testimony last week didn’t have any serious warnings or ground breaking news, I expect numbers to be close to expected, and that usually means rates won’t move much.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Visiting Turkey

English: Ortaköy Mosque, along the Bosphorus, ...
English: Ortaköy Mosque, along the Bosphorus, in Istanbul, Turkey. Français : La Mosquée Ortaköy, sur le Bosphore, à Istanbul (Turquie). Türkçe: Büyük Mecidiye Camii (Ortaköy Camii). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of the most traveled areas of the world, Turkey has tremendous natural beauty as well as rich historical backgrounds. Over the course of human history, Turkey has been a highly contested area of land, including locations where Achilles battled the Trojans, where countless crusades battles were fought and where the Ottoman Empire rose to power. Visiting a history location with a tour guide can be a well spent afternoon, and you can learn to appreciate the rich culture and history of the area.

If history isn't really your thing, spending a day at the beach along either the Mediterranean Sea or the Black Sea can be quite the trip. A city that is a must visit includes Istanbul where bars and street markets dot the city.

Despite strong heritage and generations of families rooted to their homes and properties, there is a large amount of great property for sale in Turkey. The Turkey property for sale includes villas, houses and apartments all throughout Turkey, fitting the needs of both long term travelers and long term residents. Regardless, Turkey should be a country on your travel bucket list, and when you visit you certainly won't be disappointed.

Researching the Utah Market

English: Sunset at Delicate Arch (Arches Natio...
English: Sunset at Delicate Arch (Arches National Park, Utah). Français : Coucher de soleil sur Delicate Arch (Arches National Park, Utah). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I'm no native to the state of Utah, so when I think of the state, or any states that border it, I think of desert. I was quite surprised after doing a bit of research that it a very geographically diverse state and is home to some of the best national parks in the United States.

Some of the key features of Utah include a great stretch of the Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin, and the Colorado Plateau of Utah. Yes, Utah has many arid deserts, but they are quite beautiful and have many landmark locations including the Delicate Arch in the Arches National Park. Salt Lake City is the largest city in Utah, and is home to the Great Salt Lake, which is a popular attraction to visitors of the state.

After looking through the Utah MLS, I noticed that there are some great homes on the market in the state, and I would recommend looking at them if Utah is a state you're interested in moving to.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dominican Republic Real Estate

Deutsch: Physische Positionskarte Dominikanisc...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What was once a sleepy Caribbean country is now one of the top tourist destinations in the world. The Dominican Republic economy has exploded with construction projects, and the influx of tourism by air and sea has given the country a huge financial boost. Just today, the popular Marriott chain announced that they will be opening a world-class luxury hotel in Santo Domingo, which should be completed in 2014. Among other developments include improved ports along ocean cities to accommodate larger cruise ships and the passengers they carry.

With the increase in development and economic activity, new areas of business development are opening across the country. Existing business are expected to grow in size, new industries will begin to emerge, and the nation should have a much more diverse and stable economic base in the coming years.

With all this good news for the Dominican Republic, it can be expected that real estate property will become more valuable. If you're looking for a change of pace, take a look at some great Dominican Republic real estate and see if the Caribbean life is a place for you!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Real Estate Market

Real EstateReal Estate (Photo credit: allan.hane)It's hard to believe that anyone would have anything good to say about the United States real estate market, but that's exactly what's covering the news. Newspapers and media outlets from CNN and the New York times to the Unionville Times are projecting positive growth in home sales and home prices. Those are two numbers that any economist would see as negativity correlated. Why the sudden boom? Well there are many reasons, but here are some of the biggest:
The number of foreclosures is finally on the decline, a hangover that is starting to go away since 2008. That means that there are fewer homes on the market, meaning prices will be increased and more home owners will be more willing to sell their homes for agreeable prices. This is mostly good news all around as home sellers and real estate agents get the prices they want, and there are enough houses on the market as it is, so home buyers don't see much of any loss.
One hot real estate market at the moment would be the Albany Oregon real estate market. Located out in central Oregon, this once sleepy town is now the center of new businesses and industries. Located nearby is Corvallis, which has some great homes for sale in Corvallis Oregon. Don't miss out on some of these niche markets if you're an investor!