Thursday, October 16, 2008

Current Real Estate for Sale Gray, ME: Where is the market heading?

No doubt the market is tightening as it usually does during the winter months. This does not mean you won't still find buyers searching for homes for sale, but it does mean that there will be fewer of them.

What does this mean for you?

If you are a seller, any and all offers should be given consideration. Not responding to an offer, even if it seems insulting, is a mistake in this market. One thing to remember is that this is a financial transaction, and keeping personal feelings out of it as much as possible will benefit you. If the goal is to sell your home, focus on that. Are you going to get less now than you would have 2 years ago, most likely yes, but you are also likely going to be paying a lot less for your next home.

If you are a buyer, this means you are in the drivers seat for the most part. You have the choice of a lot of inventory. First time home buyers, you have a lot to gain and very little to loose. There are some fabulous tax credits and loans for those who have good credit and reserves. The days of 110% financing are over and rightfully so.

More tips are available by visiting my website at FiveStarRealtyMaine.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Real Estate Sales down in June

SALES DOWN IN JUNE: Sales of single-family existing homes in Maine continued to decrease in June 2008. In a press release to the Maine media, MREIS reports 996 homes sold last month, a drop of 24.32% from last June’s sales figure of 1,316 homes. During the past 12 months, Maine's median sales price decreased nearly six percent to $188,000. The median sales price indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less. NAR reports a nationwide sales drop of 14.8% in June. The national median existing single-family home price dropped 6.7% to $213,800. Regionally, sales in the Northeast fell 15.8% during the past 12 months. According to NAR, the regional median sales price decreased 12.6% to $256,700.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Real Estate, Market Change buyers sellers

Wow, sorry I have been away so long... but the market has picked up. Perhaps some of it is because there are fewer real estate agents, or perhaps it is repeat customers, but mostly it is because of the service I provide and when people have a pleasant experience they tell everyone.

To find out more about tips of the trade that can make a home buying or selling experience more pleasurable, just visit my website.

You can also find information about local resources and things to do in Gray, Windham, New Gloucester, and Raymond areas.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Real Estate, Market Change Affects Investors

There is about to be a major change in investment property... that could put some people who don't plan in a very tough situation.

Freddie Mac has just released information regarding new cuts that become effective on August 1, 2008. They are now restricting the number of financed investment properties a borrower can have to four total, including the subject property. These are 1-4 unit(s) properties, and the current restriction is 10 total properties.

Another change that takes effect at the same time is a seasoning restriction on refinancing an investment property of 6 months. Currently there is no restriction.

This will have a significant impact on the residential real estate market by limiting everyone, regardless of income, loan to value, credit scores, or assets.

Houses for sale Gray Maine, How not to sell a home?

So in the previous segment I explained some creative selling techniques to assist in bringing a buyer and seller together. Sometimes it just takes looking at the situation and helping the parties realize this is a business transaction, and other times it takes bringing in a more personal touch. Every situation is different.

I had brought the buyers and sellers together, until a survey issue arose. The buyers wanted the seller to pay for a full boundary survey and the buyers refused. Cost of this was $2500 and the parties walked away from the deal. Which is what I let them do for a couple days to rethink their positions. Then I addressed all concerns of the seller about putting up the money and then the deal still not working. After covering those, I found a surveyor who did the work for $1000. That saved the seller $1500 and saved the deal, again.

Having an experienced real estate broker is a great investment when selling or buying a home.

Call several realtors before deciding... this decision will make a difference.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

How to Fix or Improve Credit Scores

Improving your credit can be a long process, but it doesn't always have to be.

Beware of programs or people who claim they can make drastic improvements in a short period of time.

I have done a lot of research, and there are some things that can help.

First, did you know that your credit scores, the actual numbers are not figured by the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax).

The scores you receive are derived from companies that banks or lenders use to pull the information from the major credit bureaus, like Landsafe, or Birchwood Credit. These companies take the information they get from the major credit bureaus and give you a score on all three. Depending on which company a bank uses, your scores can easily vary 40 or 60 points.

Most lenders don't even know this is the case.

For more on this
read credit repairing on my website.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mortgage rules and regs tightening.

Due to the lastest housing crisis...yes, I would call it a crisis; the guidelines for underwriting mortgages have tightened and it has become more difficult and the days of stated products are all but extinct.
Reinusa si a real estate investor's website loaded with information for investors or people thinking of owning investment property. You can sign up for the Rein Report and receive emails with the latestest information and changes in today's market. Below is part of a rein report regarding investment properties and different loan options and requirements:

Below are some of the most recent guideline changes concerning investment property financing.

Be sure to look toward the bottom for the latest on cedit scores, rental income, and stated income products!!!

Current LTV limits for investment properties

· Full doc purchase or rate and term refinance

Up to 90% LTV on 1 to 2 unit properties

Up to 75% LTV on 3 to 4 unit properties

· Full doc cash out refinance

Up to 90% LTV on 1 to 2 unit properties

Up to 75% LTV on 3 to 4 unit properties

· Stated income purchase or rate and term refinance

Up to 90% LTV on 1 to 2 unit properties

Up to 75% LTV on 3 to 4 unit properties

Stated income cash out refinance

Up to 75% LTV on 1 to 4 unit properties

Non seasoned refinances (Immediately after purchase)

These loans are still available for either full doc or stated income borrowers and used primarily by investors purchasing rehab properties. Refinance an existing rehab loan or cash purchase project. Some restrictions apply so we recommend speaking to an experienced mortgage professional prior to executing a purchase agreement.

LTV limits vary from lender to lender. The above is a sampling from various lenders and is subject to change without prior notice. Additional qualifying requirements may apply.

Credit score requirements

While credit score requirements vary by lender and property type, most programs require a minimum score of 660 for full doc and 700 for stated income.

Stated income update

Stated income loans for real estate investors are quickly becoming a thing of the past. These programs are only available through a few select lenders and qualifying is very stringent. We highly recommend getting any stated income loans submitted and locked as soon as possible.

Proof of rental income for full doc borrowers

Until recently full doc guidelines only required signed rental agreements in order to use rental income for qualifying purposes. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines now require tax returns to verify rents recieved unless a property was aquired within the past year, and then it is required to provide a signed lease and the HUD from the purchase. If rents are not reported on the borrower's personal tax returns, the rental income can not be included. It is very important to work with a professional CPA to make sure rental income is documented appropriately.

Growing issues regarding title and mortgages held in an LLC

Though many investors feel that holding title or a mortgage in an LLC (or other company name) may benefit them, it can actually hinder their investing goals and their ability to obtain a conventional mortgage. Since guidelines have become more stringent lenders have ceased to allow conventional mortgages to be held in company names. While there are still a few lenders that do not require title seasoning, some now require title be seasoned in a personal name for at least 90 days prior to submitting a refinance. Please contact us for more information on these programs before purchasing or transferring title into an LLC or company name.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Housing Market makes the turn up this month

The housing market has reported growth from last month and is indicated a turn for the better. This doesn't mean we are out of the woods yet, but the has done well these past few days and oil was also dropping again this morning on the market. Interest rates are still very good, perhaps this is a real positive sign, just as it was for Bear Stearns with JPMorgan uping their bid to buy the company out to @ $10 a share from @ $2 a share.

Check out this AP Video on YouTube for more information.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Who pays? Buyers Agency Part 1

Who pays the realtors or realtor when a house sells? The seller? Not if you ask me.

Think about it. You pay $215,000 for house, the seller gets around $200,000 and the realtor(s) split the other $15,000. If you just happened to meet this seller at the moment they decided they wanted to sell, in theory he would accept the same $200,000 he got in the above scenario wouldn't he? I think so, and you would have bought the property for $200,000, not $215,000.

So who paid the realtors?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Gray and New Gloucester Maine Real Estate Deals

There are some great opportunities out there to purchase new homes for less than what you would expect to pay. If you want to see some of the great deals that are out the you can email or call me, or you can search for homes anywhere in Maine by yourself. I would not recommend just searching on your own, you should contact a qualified realtor who knows the area and knows what is going on in todays real estate market.

Finding a qualified realtor is not as hard as you might think. The hard part is realizing it may not be your wife's friend who just got liscensed last month, and explaining why you didn't choose to use he or she. Face it, everyone pretty much knows or knows someone who does know a real estate agent. In 2004, people where signing up and getting licensed trying to get in on the booming market. Longevity in this business is tough, most don't make it more than a year or two. Many experts are predicting that 35 to 40 percent of the agents will leave the business over the next two years. So pick a realtor or Agency that has been around and has some experience in selling real estate in Gray, Maine or what ever the location is that you are searching to purchase in.

This is a great time to buy a home. Interest rates are still low, inventory is good, and sellers are willing to negotiate with qulified buyers. Vist us at
Five Star Realty located in the center of Gray Maine.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Has Real Estate Market finally turned?

Market trends are starting to indicate that perhaps the worst could be over. The market is still a buyers market. Interest rates should flexuate around 6%, although many people are hoping to see them drop closer to 5%. As of today they seem to be around 5.8%. Check your current local rates and learn about what options you may have to save yourself money.

The dollar is gaining momentum, but many strategist feel we could see a lot of volativity over the next few weeks.

The housing market has declined in the northeast region by approximately 4% in January alone. Lower rates and higher loan amounts do appear to be jump starting the spring market.

You can search for New Homes/Land for sale in Maine by visiting my website and click on the Search New Homes/Land tab located in the center of the website.

Oil prices take a slight it enough.

Not so much the who, but more the what and when? Exactly, what is going on with oil prices and when are they going to come back down to reality! Lower oil prices in Maine seem to be a long way off. A barrell of crude oil did take a $3.00 drop on wall street and fell below a $100 a barrell. Hopefully we will see this in gas prices throughout Maine. For more information about how this is may help or hurt our economy you can learn more about where current oil prices stand on the market by visiting CNN or CNBC.

How does this helpinterest rates and when the Fed made another 3/4 point cut this month, did you end up a winner or a loser.

Currently homes for sale in Maine have taken a drop of about 3% over the last few months. This also helps to make it a great time to buy or invest in Real Estate. There are a number of reasons to buy, but here are ten great reasons to get into todays market. There are also some great advantages in hiring a real estate agent to work for you. Check out a few these reasons to hire a real estate agent.

On another note. The Boston Red Sox are heading to Japan to get ready to start the MLB season. Go Soxs!