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September 2008

New FHA Appraisal Guidelines - Debbie Huber of Huber Appraisal in Las Vegas

Debbiehuber Debbie Huber of Huber Appraisal and Home Pride Insections in Las Vegas is today's featured guest blogger.  Debbie has been appraising residential homes in Las Vegas for over 20 years and holds the SRA designation (Senior Residential Appraiser).  She is also a Past President of the Appraisal Commission for the State of Nevada.  Her topic is recent changes to FHA appraisal guidelines.

To reach her at Huber Appraisal, please call (702) 243-3256 or email her at                        

To reach Home Pride Inspections, please call (702) 363-1681      

FHA Required repairs for residential appraisals will be limited to necessary requirements. They fall under the three “S’s”: Safety, Security (of the loan), and Soundness. Typical conditions requiring further inspection or testing by qualified individuals or entities include (if the appraiser thinks it may be an issue): infestation – evidence of termites, inoperative or inadequate plumbing, heating or electrical systems, structural failure in framing members, leaking or worn out roofs, cracked masonry or foundation damage and drainage problems.

Examples of property conditions that may represent a risk to the health and safety of the occupants or the soundness of the property for which FHA will continue to require automatic repair for existing properties include, but are not limited to:

  • Leaking or worn roofs (also, there cannot be three or more layers of shingles on leaking or worn roofs; all existing shingles must be removed before re-roofing)
  • Evidence of structural problems (such as foundation damage caused by excessive settlement)
  • Defective paint surfaces in homes built prior to 1978 (lead based paint?)
  • Defective exterior paint surfaces in homes where the finish is otherwise unprotected
  • Inadequate access/egress from bedrooms to exterior of home
  • Security bars on bedroom windows must have quick release mechanisms for emergency egress
  • ”Green pools” should be operating and clean

Repairs/inspections NO LONGER automatically required by FHA:

  • Wood destroying insects/organisms inspections
  • Private or community well inspections
  • Septic system inspections
  • Roofing inspections for flat or unobservable roofs
  • Installation of stove(s)

Questions to FHA (Santa Ana office) can be directed to (714)-796-5577

Las Vegas Nevada Foreclosure Statistics and Market Update August 2008

NEVADA:  # 1 Foreclosure For Filings/Per household in the U.S.  According to RealtyTrac, Clark County, Nevada had 10,099 properties with foreclosure filings in August 2008 (1 in every 74 housing units).

Usforeclosureratemapaugust2008 Realty Trac released this recent comprehensive foreclosure report on September 12, 2008: FORECLOSURE ACTIVITY INCREASES 12 PERCENT IN AUGUST

The report states ... foreclosure filings — default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — were reported on 303,879 U.S. properties during the month, a 12 percent increase from the previous month and a 27 percent increase from August 2007. The report also shows one in every 416 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing during the month.

Nevada, California, Arizona post top state foreclosure rates
With one in every 91 households receiving a foreclosure filing in August, Nevada continued to document the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the 20th consecutive month. Foreclosure filings were reported on 11,706 Nevada properties, a 16 percent increase from the previous month and an 89 percent increase from August 2007.

Las Vegas registered the seventh highest metro foreclosure rate in August, with one in every 75 households receiving a foreclosure filing during the month. Las Vegas foreclosure activity was up nearly 14 percent from the previous month and 83 percent from August 2007. 

Bank owned REO sales still account for nearly seventy percent (70%)  of all residential closings.  Read Forrest Barbee's post Las Vegas Real Estate Market September 2008  for more Las Vegas Real Estate Market information and statistics.

Read more posts on REO, Foreclosures, and Short Sales


Answers to Common Questions Regarding Writing an Offer on a Bank Owned (REO) Property

NEVADA:  # 1 Foreclosure For Filings/Per household in the U.S.  According to RealtyTrac, Clark County, Nevada had 10,099 properties with foreclosure filings in August 2008 (1 in every 91 housing units).


REO Experts, John & Leslie Carver, have been successfully listing and selling bank-owned/foreclosure homes in Las Vegas for more than 13 years.  Team Carver has already closed over $40 million in sales volume through August of 2008. 

The following Q & A is provided by John & Leslie as a service to agents and buyers alike to assist in a smooth REO purchase.

Why are there so many foreclosures in Nevada?

  • High number of previous Buyers that were investors and non-owner occupied
  • High number of Adjustable Rate Mortgages with increasing mortgage payments
  • High number of mortgages with 100% financing and no equity in the property

What is a foreclosed property?

  • The true term is REO, “Real Estate Owned”
  • Owned by the bank who is the seller 
  • No mortgage on the property
  • List price is determined by market value for current condition with a 30-90 day sell   

What are some things I should put in my offer?

  • Insert the following:  “Seller to complete lender/appraisal required repairs not to exceed $__________.”   
  • Write your offer contingent upon a home inspection.
  • Buyer can back out based on due diligence clause and receive earnest money back
  • Seller's Choice of title
  • No assumptions or owner will carry
  • The bank may pay for a home warranty and/or the appraisal (request it)
  • Seller can close quickly
  • Seller will not pay for C,C & R’s unless agreed in offer

What should I submit with my offer?

  • Pre-qualify letter or verification of funds
  • A copy of the earnest money check – make payable to “title” if escrow unknown
  • A prequal letter with lenders bank (if required)

When can I expect a response?

  • Generally offers are responded to within 3 – 5 business days, but may take up to 3 weeks. 

How does the bank respond?

  • Initial offers need to be presented in writing, preferably on the GLVAR form.  The bank negotiates verbally, so future negotiations will be verbal.
  • Multiple offers on the property? Buyers to submit the highest and best offer.   
  • Submit highest offer – may be over list price

When is acceptance?

  • Once the Buyer signs all documents and provides copies of required paperwork, the property may be put in pending status. 
  • Acceptance is only upon Seller signature and generally contingent upon investor approval.

What disclosures and paperwork does the bank provide?

  • The Buyer must waive Sellers completion of the Sellers real Property Disclosure statement and other disclosures. 
  • Banks do not provide the CC&R’s or certificate of resale packet
  • AS IS Purchase Addendum

With so many bank owned properties on the market, many clients are looking specifically to purchase a foreclosure property.  Don’t be afraid to show these homes, just prepare your Buyer in advance of the process and condition of the home. These properties are typically priced slightly less than comparable other properties and can be a terrific transaction! 

Contact Team Carver today:

Phone: 702.436.3615
Toll Free: 888.545.8344
Fax: 702.315.7820

REBlogworld 2008 - Highlights & Best Tips Part 1

REBlogworld was a well-organized and successful event.  I enjoyed participating, networking and the learning and sharing of ideas.  Kudos to Todd Carpenter and Jason Berman for all their hard work and to all the speakers and attendees for being on the leading edge of the

Here's a recap of some of the sessions I attended/participated in at REBlogworld on Friday, September 19, 2008.

Mariana Wagner - From Click to Close.  Mariana covered 10 major points of conversion using and expanding on a traditional sales cycle adjusted for

  1. Find - Potential clients will find you online due to your SEO; Pay Per Clicks/Adwords; adding your blog to directories; joining various online communities and offline marketing strategies
  2. Click - Increase your click through rate with compelling content; enticing headlines/titles; relevant keywords that the consumer is searching for; long tail posts
  3. Stick - Powerful calls to action, compelling content, ease of navigation and interior links can help your stickability - having a visitor stay on your site longer
  4. Inquire -To get visitors to contact you or register for your home search, place properly worded calls to action in key areas on your blog.  Use graphical buttons on a prominent area above the fold (front page area visible on the screen).  Top 3 ideas: Search Homes for Sale in ____ ; Find Out How Much your Home is Worth in Today's Market; Get our Exclusive Weekly "Best Buy" Homes/Foreclosure List.  Put your call to action links in the body of the post when it makes sense or at the end of the blog post.
  5. Contact - Find and build rapport as soon as possible.  Add and offer value through your blog content.
  6. Appointment - stay in their mind; get permission; use your targeted blog post informative content in your drip email campaigns; create a sense of urgency to take action; remain helpful
  7. Agreement - Use your blog to subtly promote yourself and address their concerns.  Be the expert.
  8. Contract - Continue to educate through the process.
  9. Close - Reinforce the process with blog posts.  Keep yourself educated.
  10. Referral - Involve your clients in your blog - record and post testimonials; interview your clients - promote their business or favorite charity for example.

Dan Green of The Mortgage Reports shared some excellent advice on the design and aesthetics of your blog, among them:

  • Put your most important info above the fold (the area visible on your screen when you go to a website or blog
  • Your contact information must be clearly visible
  • Dan uses a triangle format on his blog and in his posts that follows the normal eye pattern of someone visiting the site (the header; a graphic adjacent to a call to action (his "Work with Dan" area)
  • Include an email subscription widget - many people still don't understand or use RSS feeds

Dave Smith and Rich Jacobson debated the benefits of Active Rain vs. Wordpress:

  • Rich outlined the benefits of Active Rain and some of the newer features like Outside Blogs, changes in which will be opening to the public soon to be part of the community
  • Loved Dave's comment about every post is a "line in the water" - another opportunity to attract a potential reader, client
  • Write about local events and happenings in our community - make sure to use keywords in the title and post.  You'll be amazed at how you will come up in the search engines sometimes more prominently then the actual event organizer or site.  (Especially when you use the SEO power of Active Rain)

Technorati's State of the Blogosphere Report September 2008

Technorati has posted the State of the Blogosphere 2008 in a 5 part series packed with trends, stats and details about the who, what, why and how of blogging.  This year, as discussed by CEO Richard Jalichandra at the recent Blogworld & New Media Expo, Technorati conducted a random survey of the 1.2 million Technorati members (approx 1300 participants from 60 countries). 

Some of the highlights of the report and from the Blogworld 2008 presentation:

  • Technorati has indexed 133 million blogs since 2002
  • 76,000 blogs have an authority of 50+ (Technorati assigns an authority rating based on the number of sites linking ot the blog - the more links the higher the authority rank)
  • Two-thirds of bloggers are male
  • 50% of bloggers are between the ages of 18-34
  • 70% of bloggers have college degree
  • One in four have an annual household income of $100k
  • The top 10% of blogs producing income blog multiple times daily and use multimedia formats
  • Bloggers are also active Web 2.0 participants (social networks, Twitter, Videos, podcasts, social bookmarking)
  • Bloggers are self-identified as Personal, Professional or Corporate


Blogworld 2008 - Dave Taylor on Search Engines and Findability

Dave_taylor_blogworld_2008_2  Dave Taylor Ten Things Your Need to Know about Search Engines and Findability

It all starts with good content - interesting, compelling and relevant.

Search Engines use semantic (what are you saying) and contextual analysis (who links to you and how they link) to figure themes and topics.

Here are Dave's 10 Things (plus a Bonus Tip) to Know About Search Engine Optimization:

  1. Importance of titles- is title good enough to draw attention? Does is contain a keyword or concept about the post?
  2. Keyword Density - think keywords when writing - use the keyword several times in the post and not "it" or other pronouns.  Don't use click here - make the keyword text a link.
  3. Smart image filenames - Rename your images with relevant keywords for the particular post
  4. The alt and title attributes -Take the time to fill out the alt and title tags for your uploaded images and files - again with relevant keywords/concept.
  5. "More..." is definitely less" - Reconsider the use of the Read More  in the post.  Change the link from more to the keyword heavy title for example.  Consider not using "Home" but the name of your Website in Navigation.
  6. Use savvy permalinks -  Each blog post has it's own unique URL - choose the most powerful words to describe the content of your post.  Wordpress has plugins to customize your URL.
  7. Use HTML too, not just CSS - Search engines like HTML - All blog platforms have easy HTML editors. (header tags <h1> <h2> for example)
  8. Minimize exit links - scrutinize who and how many links are in your blogroll.  The more outgoing links you have increases possibility of visitors leaving your site
  9. Use internal links to cross-promote content - Use Related/Similar Posts at the end of your post (Use Wordpress plugin); Title of the blog post is the link.
  10. Encourage easy commenting - Don't require login or registering in order to post comments.
  11. Bonus Tip:  Use Keyword Research Tools to see what combination of words and word phrases people use and how often people search for certain keywords.

Blogworld 2008 Kicksoff with Keynotes on the State of the Blogosphere

The opening keynote address at Blogworld & New Media Expo 2008 featured Technorati CEO,Richard Jalichandra unveiling part of the latest State of the Blogosphere report. Look for the 5 part series on Technorati this Monday. Six Apart's Chris Alden and Anil Dash spoke about The Past, Present and Future of Blogging. I am posting this from my iPhone using the new Typepad app I just downloaded.

Benefits and Business Uses of Twitter

Back in May I wrote a post entitled To Twitter or Not Twittter?   And that is still a question I am pondering.  I find myself re-intrigued with this platform whenever I am at a conference.  I'm attending REBlogworld and Blogworld Expo this weekend and am following all the Blogworld tweets and joining the conversation. Follow REBlogworld on Twitter.

Chris Brogran wrote 50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business and his first idea of simply getting a Twitter account and listening to the conversation is the perfect advice to experience Twitter.  I also like his #11 idea: 

Instead of answering the question, “What are you doing?”, answer the question, “What has your attention?”   This question really broadens the possibilites of tweeting more interesting comments, questions and information.  This post is packed with some great ideas and advice on how to use Twitter for business.

Here are a couple of other must-read posts to help you figure out the whole Twitter craze and decide if it's something for you...

The bottom line about using Twitter for business will probably come down to whether or not it's a tool your clients or potential clients are using now or may use in the near future.

Are you ready for coaching? Take your business to the next level today. Schedule a complimentary 30-minute coaching session today to find out more.

Let us be your virtual coach as well.  Learn at your own pace and on your own schedule.  Our on-demand online courses integrate multi-media with an intuitive learning management system. Learn more about becoming a member of our community at WBNL Coaching.

Just Stand Up 2 Cancer - Download this song!

On October 4, 2008, I will be joining my sisters in St, Petersburg, FL to run in the Susan G Komen 10k Race for the Cure.  My sister, Mom and Aunt are all breast cancer survivors.  An estimated 182,460 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in American women in 2008 alone.

In case you missed it or haven't heard about Stand Up 2 Cancer (SU2C), there is a truly inspirational song by Antonio L.A. Reid and Kenny Babyface Edmonds entitled "Just Stand Up".  The song features Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Fergie, Sheryl Crow, Miley Cyrus, Melissa Etheridge, Ashanti, Natasha Bedingfield, Keyshia Cole, Ciara, Leona Lewis, LeAnn Rimes and Carrie Underwood. All sales of the single (download it on iTunes) will benefit cancer research. 

Just Stand Up To Cancer Lyrics

(everything will be alright yeah, alright yeah, alright yeah,)

The heart is stronger than you think, It’s like it can go through anything. And even when you think it can’t it finds a way to still push on, though

Sometimes you want to run away, Ain’t got the patience for the pain, And if you don’t believe it look into your heart the beat goes on

I’m tellin’ you, Things get better, Through whatever, If you fall, dust it off, don’t let up

Don’t you know you can go be your own miracle

You need to know

If the mind keeps thinking you’ve had enough, But the heart keeps telling you don’t give up

Who are we to be questioning, wondering what is what, Don’t give up… THROUGH IT ALL, JUST STAND UP!

Ooh, It’s like we all have better days, Problems getting all up in your face

Just because you go through it

Don’t mean it got to take control, no

You ain’t gotta find no hiding place

Because the heart can beat the hate

Don’t wanna let your mind keep playin’ you

And sayin’ you can’t go on

I’m tellin’ you

Things get better, Through whatever

If you fall

Dust if off, don’t let up

Don’t you know

You can go

Be your own


You need to know

If the mind keeps thinking you’ve had enough,(i've had enough) But the heart keeps telling you don’t give up, (no, don't you give up) Who are we to be questioning, wondering what is what, Don’t give up… (don't give up, just stand up) THROUGH IT ALL JUST STAND UP! (just stand up) THROUGH IT ALL, JUST STAND UP! (just stand up)

You don’t gotta be a prisoner in your mind

If you fall, dust it off

You can live your life


Let your heart be your guide

Yeah yeah yeah

MARIAH: And you will know that you’re good if you trust in the good

Everything will be alright, yeah, (alright) Light up the dark, if you follow your heart

And it will get better

Through whatever

If the mind keeps thinking you’ve had enough,(if the mind is thinking you've had enough) But the heart keeps telling you don’t give up, (don't give up, no, no, no)Who are we to be questioning, (yeah, yeah)wondering what is what, Don’t give up… THROUGH IT ALL, JUST STAND UP!

(oooooh) If the mind keeps thinking you’ve had enough, But the heart keeps telling you don’t give up, (don't give up) Who are we to be questioning, wondering what is what, Don’t give up… (don't give up, don't give up) THROUGH IT ALL, JUST STAND UP!

You got it in you, find it within, You got in now, find it within now, You got in you, find it within, You got in now, find it within now, You got in you, find it within, You got in now, find it within now, Find it within you, find it within