Archive for June, 2010

Economic Update – June 28, 2010

Monday, June 28th, 2010




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Last Week in the News
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Existing home sales fell 2.2% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.66 million units from a revised 5.79 million units in April. The inventory of unsold homes on the market decreased 3.4% to 3.89 million, an 8.3-month supply at the current sales pace, down from an 8.4-month supply in April.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending June 18 decreased 5.9%. Refinancing applications fell 7.3%. Purchase volume fell 1.2%.
New home sales fell 32.7% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000 units from a downwardly revised rate of 446,000 units in April. It was the slowest sales pace since recordkeeping began in 1963. New home sales have fallen 78% from their peak in July 2005.
Orders for durable goods — items expected to last three or more years — fell 1.1% in May after increasing a revised 3% in April. The drop was largely due to a decrease in demand for commercial aircraft. Excluding volatile transportation-related goods, orders posted a monthly increase of 0.9%.
In its third and final report, the Commerce Department announced that gross domestic product — the total output of goods and services produced in the U.S. — increased at an annual rate of 2.7% in the first quarter of 2010, rather than the 3.2% increase initially reported.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 19,000 to 457,000 for the week ending June 19. Continuing claims for the week ending June 12 fell by 45,000 to 4.54 million.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on the housing price index on June 29, pending home sales on July 1 and factory orders on July 2.
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Open House

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010




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Open House 1-4pm.

-By your Staff Writer for the Property Network, Matt Giles

I spent the day with my fiancé running around to all the open houses in our area. There was a lot to see and some nice and some disturbing finds. Either way we are just one step closer to buying a new home.

First we plotted our plan of attack. We spent Saturday night on the computer looking for all the open houses in our area and surrounding areas. And boy did I get lucky….not like that; I got lucky because all the open houses were in the town I want to live in over the towns she likes.

We were on the computer looking at all the different houses we could afford and that we liked. She looks at the layout and how updated the kitchen was and I look to see if there is a sewer over septic and what the other utilities there are. When it comes to heating the house I would like natural gas over propane or oil and I will put my foot down on electric heat. I lived in Boston in an apartment with electric heat and our bills were almost as high as rent and it was never warm.

So anywho, after studying each picture and seeing what each listing had to offer we decided we would make an afternoon out of open house hunting. What I found out was some of these realtors try to lure you in with cookies. One had a big tin of sugar cookies and another was baking chocolate chip cookies why we were walking around. Very clever marketing ploy. Make the chubby out of shape writer want cookies and a place to live.

Now, I’m sure some of you have had this experience before. I’m not ashamed to admit before my relationship now I tried the whole internet dating thing. With that experience I found out that most of the time the person in the picture is not what you see when you actually meet. That is exactly what was happening today.

Every place we saw in the pictures looked like the ideal place to live. Just paint, maybe some updates in the kitchens but nothing to bad. In real life every place we saw needed all the carpets ripped out from one foul funk to another (now I know why she was baking cookies to cover up the stench of something).

The other thing I noticed was all the awful touch up spots that people tried to touch up either spackle or paint. Oh man, hire a professional to do the work if you don’t know how. It just looks horrible when what are supposed to be smooth walls are textured from the lack of patience to sand the spackle before you paint it.

The last thing is buy some caulk. Houses settle causing nail pops and things to move. Sometimes trim will separate off the wall from the house settling and the trim guy missing a stud when he nailed it on. Caulk fixes that problem and makes it look nice. Most trim is painted white so if you by white caulk and spend a few hours on a Saturday re-caulking it will help when people walk through.

That is one of the first things I notice, big black gaps against white trim. Just looks bad. I get not going through the hassle of fixing nail pops (nailing the nail in, spackling, sanding, spackling again, sanding, and than painting the whole wall so it blends), but get the caulk and have fun.

Needless to say we did not find first home lust or love today. We found a lot of places that needed a lot of work before we could move in. So now we are going to be setting up times to go see all the other houses to see how they compare from the pictures. I’m just hoping at least one looks better than the pictures this time.

-Matt Giles, Staff Writer for the Property Network, Freelance writer for hire. For more info visit www.mdgcopywriting.com



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4/6/10

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010




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She fell in love with a house…Me??? Not so much.

-By your Staff Writer for the Property Network, Matt Giles

Yeah she fell in love with a house we went to look at. It was cute, not very big at all. We talked prior to seeing this house and agreed we didn’t want to buy something we would out grow right away with starting a family. We wanted to find something we could grow into a little bit and maybe in 5 years or so move on.

But she had love in her eyes. This really surprised me because she normally hates old houses and this one was really old! I’m saying early 1900’s old. The owners of the house are house flippers and did a great job renovating it. They used quality products when finishing the house and great work. The only problem is it is way too small.

It had a new kitchen (which she loved), new carpet (which she loved), new tile (which she loved), are you getting the picture??? She likes new, not old…

To get up to the second floor you have to go up an old half spiral stair case, which means you can not get any furniture up the steps. If you want at least a full size box spring for your mattress you can forget it trying to get up these steps. We would have to buy either separate single box spring and push them together or sleep on the floor.

The same type of steps going down to the basement, pretty much a neck breaker. Put a laundry basket in your hand and start climbing the steps and you are done, hell with nothing in my hands I almost fell. Talk about an in home sobriety test.

If you venture upstairs you walk right into what is considered bedroom number one which is a nice size room and has a nice big bathroom off to the side. To get to room number too you have to walk through room number one, making room number one more of a living space rather than a bedroom.

There was still one more room up in the attic. Head up the death steps and you are in the attic. Nicely finished off with pine trim and a neutral color on the walls. The walls are in the shape of the peak of the house, so you are in one long triangle. I am a whopping 5’9” and I had to bend down to stand up in that room. My fiancé is 5’4” and loved the coziness of the room. You had a bout 4 feet across the room before you hit the slants of the ceiling. So there was no room for furniture or anything really except storage.

She loved, loved, loved the house. I thought it was alright at best. If we wanted to live there, we would need to put an addition on the house with in the first couple of years which I am fine with….except for the fact that additions cost a lot of money!!!! That is something we don’t have a lot of.

I have worked in the trades my whole life but still I can’t build an addition by myself so we would have to hire someone. Plus the cost of an architect for prints, materials, workers, zoning, taxes and everything else. I personally don’t think this is the house for us. I will let you know if it is the house for us by writing a blog titled: Welcome to our cozy home, she won.

-Matt Giles, Staff Writer for the Property Network, Freelance writer for hire. For more info visit www.mdgcopywriting.com



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Foreclosure

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010




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f o r e c l o s u r e s

A foreclosure takes place when a home or property owner defaults on their payments to the lender. The result is the bank taking hold of the property and eventually selling it for a reduced price either first hand or at auction. This typically occurs after three to six months of missed payments and attempts by the lender to obtain their due have been futile. A Notice of Default is then recorded and the borrower is notified that they are facing foreclosure. The property owner is given three months to bring the loan current. If this fails, a date to sell the property at foreclosure is commenced. The property is posted with a Notice of Sale which is recorded with the County. It is then published in local newspapers over a three week period. A foreclosure will affect credit with imposed restrictions on future borrowing.

a u c t i o n s

At auction, the bank, or lender sets the opening bid for the property. This amount is based on many variables; among them are the outstanding loan balance, accrued interest, attorney’s fees and other related expenses that have incurred. If there are no subsequent bids on the property, the lender purchases the property through the attorney holding the auction. The property is then referred to an an REO (Real Estate Owned). A clean title is given to a foreclosure sale allowing all liens except for property taxes to be obliterated. A foreclosure Trustee Sale is publically auctioned off to the highest bidder. The Notice of Sale dictates when and where the auction will take place. The high bidder awarded the property is expected to pay cash, usually with a deposit up front and the balance due within 24 hours.

d e e d – i n – l i e u . o f . f o r e c l o s u r e

“Deed-in-Lieu” is when the lender is issued the deed and all interest pertaining to a property. This is done to satisfy the loan and avoid having to go into foreclosure. Fair market value and what the property is indebted for is the biggest factor to be considered in order for this transaction to take place. Subsequent to 4 years and up to 7, the borrower can then purchase a property which requires security from a principal residence, second home, or investment property. There are advantages for both sides. The borrower is no longer obligated for most if not all personal debt associated with the loan in default and the impact on their credit is less severe. The borrower also avoids negative public exposure and is apt to obtain more favorable terms than in a conventional foreclosure. The time frame surrounding the proceedings is shortened and the expense of repossession is avoided as well.



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4/20/10

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010




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We made an offer on our first house!!!

-By your Staff Writer for the Property Network, Matt Giles

And than we pulled the offer the next day. We have been looking for a while now trying to find a nice compromise of the fixer upper I want and the condo living she would like. We found a nice 3 bedroom starter home that would require some work but wasn’t over whelming with the amount of work it would need.

The only down side of this house was there wasn’t much of a buffer zone. If you don’t know what a buffer zone is, it’s how close you live to your family. In this case it was close to her family. I love her family to death, but there are one or two uncles and aunts who would love to just drop by un-announced every chance they got. But that is not why we pulled our offer.

When we first went to see the house, it was me, my girl, her mother, and of course the only realtor you could every want to use (wink, wink).  We walked through the house and I did not notice anything major going on as far as needs to fix up. In the description they said it was a newer roof, which I think either they lied or they did not vent the roof properly because of the bubbling of the shingles.

Roof doesn’t scare me, I could handle that. They never tiled the kitchen and again it may be killer on my knees but still I can handle it. Of course we would have to paint every room and my girl would want to change out the counter top because it is an ugly blue that matches nothing in the kitchen. All things I was fine with.

So we decided to make the offer. We went and signed what felt like a thousand copies of everything. My hand started cramping up but it’s all part of the process (so I am told).

The next day I wanted to have my brother who is in construction, her brother who is in construction, my dad who is in construction and her brother’s business partner (guess what he does???? Yup construction) come and look at the house.

With all of us walking through the kitchen at one time we started to notice a bit of a bounce in the floor. It almost felt like we were on a boat with the bounce and sway of the floor. This drew a lot of suspicion, so we ventured downstairs to the basement.

What we found was old framing, which I was fine with. But what did bother me was the columns they used to support the house were the temporary columns you use until you get the cement filled lally columns, they never got the lally columns and cemented the temporary columns into the floor. Than as we looked down the floor joist they were all rolling away from the house. That is why there was such a bounce in the floor with the more weight in kitchen.

The reason they never tiled the floor was because with that kind of bounce in the floor the tiles could pop up and break. What was supposed to be a non-fixer upper was going to need some major work to get the structure sound. Nothing was going to be a quick fix and because it was an old house a lot of headaches.

So I called my girl and she gave permission to pull the offer. So now we are back to the drawing board and looking for our first home. The process is not fun, but I am sure well worth it in the end.

-Matt Giles, Staff Writer for the Property Network, Freelance writer for hire. For more info visit www.mdgcopywriting.com



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