27 posts categorized "Real Estate Industry News" Feed

How to Improve Your Credit Score (FICO)

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Tara-Nicholle Nelson of Trulia in this post 6 Quick Fixes for your Credit Score provided some great tips in answer to this question:

What do you advise a financially fit homebuyer to do to increase their credit score or make themselves more attractive buyers, to qualify for the lowest mortgage rates?

Here is a summary - read the full blog post at 6 Quick Fixes for your Credit Score

1.    Pull your reports online – get them for free, no strings attached, at the government authorized website AnnualCreditReport.com.  This doesn’t get you your actual FICO scores, but it does get you the content of your report.

2.      Consider reopening accounts you thought were open but have been closed because you haven’t used them in so long - it will help boost your utilization ratio. 

3.      Pay down some debt.  This both decreases your debt-to-income ratio (36% is the goal, including the proposed mortgage payment) and increases your credit score, if you do it right (see the next tip).

4.     Don’t close any accounts.  Instead, spread your debt out. The ideal utilization ratio is about 20-30% of your available credit overall, and on any given account. 

5.     Use your credit regularly – and pay it on time, every time:  FICO scores are a measure that shows that you have a history of responsibly using and managing and repaying your debt on an ongoing basis.

6.      Finally, check in with your mortgage broker.  Have them pull your report and score. If you’re really close to a score level higher, that would empower you to qualify for a lower rate, they can actually run a credit diagnostic on your score and generate some recommendations for which actions you could take to raise your score by the needed few points.

 

Are you a Las Vegas area homeowner facing a possible foreclosure and wanting to learn more about your options?  Contact Us Today for a no obligation Las Vegas short sale consultation.

Jan O’Brien is an expert with the Las Vegas short sale process.   She is the co-author of the Certified Foreclosure Alternatives Consultant designation course.   Call Jan direct at 702-858-9191 to schedule a Foreclosure Alternatives Consultation today.

Considering a Las Vegas Home purchase?  Search all Las Vegas Homes for Sale using our free, interactive map-based search.

Search all Las Vegas Foreclosures, including Henderson, Green Valley and North Las Vegas bank-owned homes.

Las Vegas Real Estate Professionals: Become a Certified Foreclosure Alternatives Consultant (CFAC)Check the schedule for upcoming class dates.

 
 

Discover the power of business coaching – Book a Free 30-minute consultation with Jan


FHA Loans - New Mortgage Insurance Premiums Effective 10-4-10

 

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FHA Mortgage News and Updates

Many investors in the Secondary Markets have INCREASED the Minimum FICO requirement for an FHA insured loan from 620 to 640 Effective 10/4/2010.

This change is likely to be quickly adopted by Secondary Market investors on a widespread basis.

FHA Upfront and Annual Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) Changes

Effective with case numbers assigned on or after October 4, 2010, FHA Upfront and Annual MIP will change as follows:

  • Upfront MIP will be 1.00% on all mortgage terms
  • Annual MIP will be 0.90% for LTVs greater than 95% for mortgage terms greater than 15 years
  • Annual MIP will be 0.85% for LTVs less than or equal to 95% for mortgage terms greater than 15 years
  • No change to Annual MIP for mortgage terms less than or equal to 15 years

  FHA-MIP

Tammy Harrison

702.234.3185 direct
888.917.2009 Toll Free E Fax
tammy@LVcredit.com

Residential Mortgage Services
3585 E. Flamingo Rd., Ste 103
Las Vegas, NV 89121
702.796.3453 main office

 

Are you a Las Vegas area homeowner facing a possible foreclosure and wanting to learn more about your options?  Contact Us Today for a no obligation Las Vegas short sale consultation.

Jan O’Brien is an expert with the Las Vegas short sale process.   She is the co-author of the Certified Foreclosure Alternatives Consultant designation course.   Call Jan direct at 702-858-9191 to schedule a Foreclosure Alternatives Consultation today.

Considering a Las Vegas Home purchase?  Search all Las Vegas Homes for Sale using our free, interactive map-based search.

Search all Las Vegas Foreclosures, including Henderson, Green Valley and North Las Vegas bank-owned homes.

Las Vegas Real Estate Professionals: Become a Certified Foreclosure Alternatives Consultant (CFAC)Check the schedule for upcoming class dates.

 

Visit www.WBNLCoaching.com to learn more about our coaching program and online training membership options. Your FREE, basic membership includes a complete real estate business-planning course and downloads.


IPad Winners Announced for the 2010 PREA Summit Conference Registration Drawing


Post Update, Monday July 19, 2010

 

It is my pleasure to announce the winners of the iPad giveaway for the Summit Conference Registration contest...

 

 

 

 

 

Judy LaFico - Prudential Gary Greene, REALTORS

Barbara Gunn - Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate


Congratulations to the iPad Winners and see you in Washington, DC!

**************************


Attention Prudential Sales Professionals who are eligible for the 2010 Summit in Washington, DC September 19-21!

 

PREA_Summit 
 
Register no later than 5 pm (EST) Friday, July 16 and you could have a chance of winning a brand new iPad. 

 

I will be joining Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services (PRERS) for the 2010 Summit Conference and delivering the session Business Acumen for Real Estate Leaders.  I am excited to sponsor this registration contest that will select two lucky winners for Apple iPads.

 

The iPad Giveaway winners will be chosen in a random drawing of eligible entrants. The contest is open only to Prudential Real Estate Network members who are legal residents of the 50 United States, 18 or older, with valid membership prior to July 1, 2010.   Entries will only be granted to those registered for the Summit Conference along with three other associates from the same office.  All eligible registrations must be completed by 5 PM Eastern on Friday, July 16.
 

Winners will be posted here on my blog  (www.janobrien.com) and on my Facebook page by noon Eastern on Monday, July 19.

This event is exclusive to Prudential Real Estate 2008 and 2009 Chairman’s Circle, President’s Circle and Legend Award winners and the Broker/Owners of your companies and is programmed for the top producing sales professionals in the network.  Eligible Prudential Sales Professionals can register at www.prea.prudential.com/.


Having been in the trenches, I am looing forward to sharing my perspective for Sales Professionals and Brokers alike on strategies to maintain your position in the real estate industry.  I will share proven tips and tricks on real estate business systems, best practices for distressed properties, online reputation management and branding, blogging for business and much, much more.

Download PREA Summit Flyer for more details on the program and agenda.

 

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.


Nevada Homeowners Go Green & Away from Asbestos

Located in the western region of the United States, Nevada is a Mecca for those wanting to view Mother Nature's beauty first hand. With a large amount of natural parks, lakes, canyons and scenery, what home buyer would not want to call this state their home?

The road to owning a home is a wonderful experience, but requires new responsibilities. Homes that are newly purchased may require additional remodeling or repairs. Having the assistance of an honest and reliable Nevada real estate agent can make all the difference in the world.

Asbestos Tips & Prevention

Used throughout the 20th century to insulate pipes, boilers and in roofing, asbestos gained recognition due to its resistance to heat and electrical conductivity. Asbestos typically appeared in ceiling insulation, piping, siding, roof shingles and flooring. Homes and buildings built before 1980 may still contain asbestos materials.

If you are located any suspected asbestos in the home, the best advice is to leave it un-disturbed and un-touched. Asbestos that remains in that state will likely not pose any cause for concern. When it becomes disturbed due to age or human interaction, this is known as "friable" asbestos. This can become a concern because the potential for its fibers to become airborne is possible.

If asbestos needs to be removed, it should be performed by licensed abatement contractors. These contractors are trained in the handling and disposal of asbestos in public facilities and homes. Although it may prove to be costly, it is worth the price for achieving a healthy home. Prolonged exposure to airborne asbestos may lead to the development of a rare, but aggressive form of asbestos lung cancer known as mesothelioma. Diagnosis of this asbestos-related lung illness is a difficult task due to a long latency period and many mesothelioma symptoms mimicking less serious ailments.

Benefits of GREEN Building

Many states throughout the country are taking an active role in not only implementing green, Eco-friendly methods of building, homeowners can now receive tax credits for doing so. By utilizing green energy home solutions, citizens and homeowners can play an active role in the transformation to a sustainable and healthier world. With the consistent growth in technology and public awareness, there are currently a number of products which replace the need for asbestos. The implementation of green alternatives such as cotton fiber, lcynene foam and cellulose can reduce annual energy costs by 25 percent. Cotton fiber is also becoming a favorite insulation method. Made from recycled batted material, it is then treated to be fireproof. Water based spray polyurethane foam, lcynene, is a healthy insulation which contains no toxic components.

Many health and economic benefits can be achieved as well. These include: Conservation of natural resources, enhance air quality, protect Eco systems, energy sustainability, increase property value, improve quality of life, improvement of pulmonary and cardiac health and reduction of waste.

 

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HERA: Housing and Economic Recovery Act (effective July 30, 2009) Could Impact Closing Dates

Recent Federal legislation (HERA - Housing and Economic Recovery Act - effective July 30, 2009) could impact the closing date of your real estate transaction.  When completing a purchase agreement, consider a conservative closing date of 30-45 days from the accepted contract date.

HERA was designed to ensure that the borrower(s) involved in the transaction are given accurate disclosure information (Truth in Lending Statement pertaining to Annual Percentage Rate or APR) regarding the loan they are applying for and adequate time to re-evaluate their decision to proceed in the event of any changes that would impact their costs to finance.

Key points of HERA:

  • No fees may be collected for the transaction other than those for running a credit report at the initial time of application. Additional fees may be collected only after four business days.
  • Should the APR change by more than .125% on a fixed rate loan or .250% on an adjustable rate loan, the lender must disclose the new APR and the borrower must have a minimum of three business days to review the information before the transaction may proceed.
  • Items that can trigger re-disclosure requirements include a change(s) in the loan amount, closing date, loan program, interest rate changes (waiting to lock interest rate), any fees that impact the APR or interest rate from the rate indicated on the original loan application.
  • In cases where documents are sent by mail to the borrower related to re-disclosure of APR and/or providing a copy of the appraisal, anticipate six business days (three to allow for mailing and three to allow adequate time to review them) before a closing can occur.

Join the Wanderers Club for $67/mth membership fee to access all of the member benefits including monthly training webinars, group coaching sessions, online training courses, private Facebook and LinkedIn Groups.

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What is a CLUE Report and How to Obtain One

The  Residential Purchase Agreement from the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors added the CLUE report as a due diligence option for buyers to request in 2009.  Here is some more information about the CLUE report and how to obtain one.

What is a CLUE report?

The C.L.U.E.® (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) Report.  CLUE is a report of claims information generated by ChoicePoint, a consumer-reporting agency. Insurance companies report claim information to ChoicePoint, such as the type of claim and how much they paid on a claim. In exchange, insurance companies can access the claims history of a specific consumer or property. A CLUE report generally contains up to five years of personal auto or personal property claims history.

A CLUE report contains:

• Your name

• Date of birth

• Policy number

• Date of loss

• Type of loss

• Amount the insurance company paid

• Description of the covered property

• Property address (for homeowner coverage)

• Specific vehicle information (for auto coverage)

How insurance companies use CLUE reports

An insurance company may request a CLUE report when you apply for coverage or request a quote. The company uses your claims history, or the history of claims at a specific property, to determine if it will offer you coverage and how much you will pay. They believe past claims indicate that you’re more likely to file a claim in the future. 

Who maintains this database?

The major issuer of CLUE reports is ChoicePoint, a Georgia company that is one of the country's biggest compilers and sellers of personal consumer data. A property loss database is also maintained by Insurance Services Office (ISO) which calls its database the Automated Property Loss Underwriting System, or A-PLUS. The Fair Credit Reporting Act entitles you to a copy of your CLUE report.

TO ORDER A CLUE Reports: Visit  LexisNexis Personal Reports (formerly Choice Trust) or call (866) 312-8076 (automated voice line). NOTE: The homeowner must be the person ordering the report.  If you are a buyer, check with your insurance company, they may be able to obtain the CLUE report as a service to you.

PrivacyRights.org website (Fact Sheet 26 - CLUE Insurance Databases)

 

Visit www.WBNLCoaching.com to learn more about our coaching program and online training membership options. Your FREE, basic membership includes a complete real estate business-planning course and downloads.


Weekly Real Estate News Links

A new weekly feature on the blog is "Weekly Real Estate News Links".  Thanks to my fellow manager, George Head, who aggregates the best links on a weekly basis as a service to our agents to help keep everyone informed, educated and aware of "the news they can use!"

 

Market the $8000 Tax Credit

 

http://www.realtor.org/rmonews_and_commentary/articles/2009/0904_taxcredit

 

 

Lots of Information at Census Site:

http://www.factfinder.census.gov/home/saff/main.html?_lang=en

Changes to Code of Ethics that Affect Your Business

Although the changes to the Code of Ethics for 2009 look small, they have a big impact on REALTORS'® business practices.

Standard of Practice 1-15, which interprets Article 1, was amended to read as follows (new material in bold):

"REALTORS®, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the seller's approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property. Where disclosure is authorized, REALTORS® shall also disclose, if asked, whether offers were obtained by the listing licensee, another licensee in the listing firm, or by a cooperating broker."

Essentially, the buyer's agent now needs to ask two questions: "Do you have any offers?" and the follow up, "Who are they from?" The listing agent must only disclose (with the seller's approval, of course) whether offers exist, but need not reveal the source of the offer(s) unless specifically asked by the buyer's agent. Both buyers' and sellers' agents and brokers need to be aware of this new practice

 

Daily Real Estate News  |  March 27, 2009  

Fed Plans Spark Drop in 30-Year RatesBoston
The average interest on a 30-year mortgage fell to a 38-year low of 4.85 percent during the week ending March 27 from 4.98 percent the prior week, Freddie Mac reported.

The decrease came on the heels of the Federal Reserve's announcement that it plans to purchase another $750 billion in mortgage-backed securities and up to $300 million in Treasuries. President Obama says refinancing is now possible for 40 percent of mortgages and encourages home owners to reap the benefits of the record-low rates.

Source: Globe (03/27/09)


Rental properties to lead recovery, experts say

 
Housing experts predict that multi-family rental properties and apartments will recover fastest from the current downturn, followed by housing in cities that didn't overbuild.  The market is likely to hit bottom in the next few months, says Bernard Markstein, senior economist and director of forecasting for the National Association of Home Builders.
 
"Next year will see slow but steady improvement, as homebuilders are controlling their inventory," Markstein says.  Apartments and other multi-family residences will snap back quickly once businesses start hiring again, predicts Victor Calanog, director of research at Reis. Baby boomers looking for retirement homes and first-time home buyers also will lead the way out of the decline, predicts Bill Singer, a securities attorney and trader who is a member of Forbes.com's panel of financial experts.
 
Source: Forbes.com, Madalina Iacob (03/18/2009)
 

Hope Now Alliance Says Foreclosures Keep Rising
News on the foreclosure front continues to be discouraging and especially bad for prime borrowers.

Hope Now alliance of mortgage servicers says it helped 244,000 borrowers avoid foreclosure in February, but completed foreclosure sales reached 56,000, an increase of 86 percent compared to January.

Foreclosure starts on prime loans numbered 157,000 in February, a 25 percent increase over January.

Hope Now says that although it made more than twice as many loan modifications for subprime borrowers in February – 91,333 compared to 42,503 prime borrowers – a rising number of prime borrowers are getting repayment plans – 64,605 compared to 46,033 subprime.

Completed foreclosure sales as a percentage of foreclosure starts reached 46 percent. The percentage for homes with prime loans was 54 percent.

Source: Inman News (03/31/2009)

 

Join the Wanderers Club for $67/mth membership fee to access all of the member benefits including monthly training webinars, group coaching sessions, online training courses, private Facebook and LinkedIn Groups.

FREE Basic membership is free and includes:

WBNL Coaching Real Estate Business Plan Online Course and Downloads


What's Your "Great Opportunity" in the current Real Estate Market?

At the Prudential Real Estate Affiliates (PREA) National Sales Convention held March 29-31, one of the keynote speakers, Geoffrey Colvin (Senior Editor-at-large for Fortune Magazine) presented a compelling talk on our economic recovery, how we got here and how we are going to get out of it. 

As he was speaking, the thought that came to me was...What if everyone could stop focusing on the next "great depression" but rather see "The Great Opportunity". What have you been focusing on in the past months?  Are you open to the opportunities in the market?  Are you making the appropriate adjustments in your business plan and daily tactics?

The key points of Colvin's speech that resonated with me included:

  • The two main areas to watch and track are:
    1.  Consumer behavior.  Colvin explained that this recession showed a distinct "opposite behavior" by consumers compared to previous recessions.  Specifically, this time around, the consumer trend leading up to the economic downturn has been increased spending and decreased savings rates. 
    2. The price of risk (tracking the gap between junk bond rates and low-yield instruments)
  • This has been historically the longest recession but not the deepest.
  • Three things that have to happen to drive the economic recovery:

    1. Employment rate must increase
    2. Credit markets have to start working again
    3. Home prices have to stabilize.  Colvin also relayed his belief that "small business owners especially us (Realtors)"  were vital to the economic recovery.  Housing is after all at the center of this situation
  • What the leading companies are doing differently during this down turn and recovery:
    1. Investing in their core
    2. Protecting their most valued assets (their people)
    3. Communicating like crazy  (with optimism, the victories and sucesses)
    4. Creating new solutions for new problems

This last point is "the golden nugget."  Are you actively creating new solutions for new issues?  What is your "Great Opportunity"  and what action steps are you taking to make it your new reality?

 

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President's Plan "Making Home Affordable" Loan Refinance and Modification Options Explained at FinancialStability.gov

On Wednesday, March 4, 2009 - The White House released the details of who is eligible and how the loan refinancing and loan modification programs will work.  The program dubbed "Making Home Affordable is detailed at FinancialStabilty.gov- see below for a re-posting of the information added to the site yesterday.

Learn About the Making Home Affordable Refinance and Modification Options

America's Making Home Affordable Program Logo

The President's plan was created to help millions of homeowners refinance or modify their mortgages.

Refinancing: Many homeowners pay their mortgages on time but are not able to refinance to take advantage of today’s lower mortgage rates perhaps due to a decrease in the value of their home. A Home Affordable Refinance will help borrowers whose loans are held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac refinance into a more affordable mortgage.

Modification: Many homeowners are struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments either because their interest rate has increased or they have less income. A Home Affordable Modification will provide them with mortgage payments they can afford.

Who is Eligible?

Please use the self-assessment tools provided on this website to see if you are among the 7 to 9 million homeowners who can benefit from Making Home Affordable. Based on your results, we will provide suggestions about what you can do next.

FIND OUT IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE.

Borrower Q&A Icon: PDF Document

Beware of Foreclosure Rescue Scams - Help Is Free!

  • There is never a fee to get assistance or information about Making Home Affordable from your lender or a HUD-approved housing counselor.
  • Beware of any person or organization that asks you to pay a fee in exchange for housing counseling services or modification of a delinquent loan. Do not pay – walk away!
  • Beware of anyone who says they can “save” your home if you sign or transfer over the deed to your house. Do not sign over the deed to your property to any organization or individual unless you are working directly with your mortgage company to forgive your debt.
  • Never make your mortgage payments to anyone other than your mortgage company without their approval.

Making Home Affordable - Downloads

Fact Sheet Icon: PDF Document

Summary of Guidelines Icon: PDF Document

Modification Program Guidelines Icon: PDF Document

Counselor Q&A Icon: PDF Document

Additional Resources:

Need urgent help? Contact the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline: (888) 995-HOPE

www.Treas.govwww.USA.govwww.WhiteHouse.gov