Archive for the ‘General Information’ Category

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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Economic Update – April 26, 2010

Monday, April 26th, 2010




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Last Week in the News

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New home sales rose 26.9% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000 units from an upwardly revised rate of 324,000 units in February. Economists had expected a pace of 330,000 units. It was the biggest monthly increase in 47 years.

The index of leading economic indicators — designed to forecast economic activity in the next three to six months — rose 1.4% in March after a revised 0.4% gain in February. It was the 12th straight monthly increase and the fastest pace of growth in 10 months.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications for the week ending April 16 rose 13.6%. Purchase volume increased 10.1%. Refinancing applications jumped 15.8%.

The producer price index, which tracks wholesale price inflation, rose 0.7% in March, following a 0.6% decrease in February. Economists had expected a 0.4% rise. The increase was largely due to a sharp rise in vegetable prices after a cold snap damaged crops in Florida.

Existing home sales rose 6.8% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million units from 5.01 million units in February. The inventory of unsold homes on the market rose 1.5% to 3.6 million, an 8-month supply at the current sales pace, down from an 8.5-month supply in February.

Orders for durable goods — items expected to last three or more years — fell 1.3% in March after a revised 1.1% increase in February. Excluding volatile transportation-related goods, orders posted a monthly increase of 2.8%.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 24,000 to 456,000 in the week ending April 17. Continuing claims for the week ending April 10 fell by 40,000 to 4.6 million.

Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on the housing price index and consumer confidence on April 27, and gross domestic product on April 30.

Click here to visit my website and apply on line:
www.DavidJGarofalo.com



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Stamford Stats: Home Values Via Zillow

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010




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Zillow Home Value Index


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Economic Update – April 12, 2010

Monday, April 12th, 2010




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Last Week in the News

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The Institute for Supply Management reported the monthly index of non-manufacturing activity rose to 55.4 in March from 53 in February. A reading above 50 signals expansion. Economists had anticipated a reading of 53.3. The reading was the highest since May 2006.

The National Association of Realtors reported that its pending home sales index, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts, rose 8.2% in February after a revised 7.8% decrease in January. The February reading was the largest gain since October 2001.

According to the Federal Reserve, consumer credit debt fell in February by $11.5 billion, an annual rate of 5.6%. Economists had forecast that consumer debt would rise by $500 million. Consumer credit rose in January by $10.6 billion, ending a record 11 consecutive months of decline.

Sales at U.S. retail chains rose 9.1% in March. It was the largest monthly jump since recordkeeping began in 2000. Economists had anticipated a 6.3% increase.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose by 18,000 to 460,000 in the week ending April 3. Continuing claims for the week ending March 27 fell by 131,000 to 4.55 million.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications for the week ending April 2 fell 11%. Purchase volume increased 0.2%. Refinancing applications fell 16.9%.

The Commerce Department said wholesalers increased their inventories by 0.6% in February following a revised 0.1% rise in January. Sales at the wholesale level rose 0.8% in February, marking the 11th straight monthly gain.

Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on retail sales on April 14, the housing market index on April 15 and housing starts on April 16.

Click here to visit my website and apply on line:
www.DavidJGarofalo.com



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Economic Update – April 5, 2010

Monday, April 5th, 2010




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Last Week in the News

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The Commerce Department reported that consumer spending rose $34.7 billion or 0.3% in February, matching what economists had anticipated. Personal income increased $1.2 billion or less than 0.1%.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in January. It was the eighth consecutive monthly gain and follows a 0.3% increase in December.

The consumer confidence index rose to 52.5 in March from a slightly revised 46.4 in February. Economists had anticipated a reading of 50. The index was benchmarked at 100 in 1985, a year chosen because it was neither a peak nor a trough in consumer confidence.

Factory orders rose 0.6% in February, slightly above the 0.5% increase economists had anticipated. It was the sixth straight gain and follows an upwardly revised 2.5% increase in January.

The Institute for Supply Management reported that the monthly index of manufacturing activity was 59.6 in March after reaching 56.5 in February. It was the eighth straight month of expansion and the best reading since July 2004. A reading above 50 signals expansion.

Total construction spending fell 1.3% to $846.23 billion in February. It was the lowest spending level since November 2002 and followed a 1.4% drop in January.

The unemployment rate held at 9.7% in March. However, employers added 162,000 jobs last month, the most since March 2007. For the week ending March 27, initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 6,000 to 439,000. Continuing claims for the week ending March 20 fell by 6,000 to 4.6 million.

Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on pending home sales on April 5, consumer credit on April 7 and wholesale trade on April 9.

Click here to visit my website and apply on line:
www.DavidJGarofalo.com



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Homebuyer Tax Credits to Expire – ACT NOW!!!

Friday, April 2nd, 2010




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The Homebuyer Tax Credits Expire Soon

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The homebuyer tax credits will expire soon. If you want to take advantage of these tax credits, you must act now. The tax credits are available to buyers who sign purchase agreements on a new or existing primary residence between December 1, 2009, and April 30, 2010. Buyers have until June 30 to close on their new home.

In addition to offering the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit, the new law also allows a $6,500 credit for repeat or move-up homebuyers who have lived in their primary residence for five years or more.

There is an $800,000 price limit on all homes eligible for the credit. The income limits for all buyers are $125,000 per year for individuals and $225,000 for married couples. The first-time homebuyer credit is available to those who have not owned a home in the previous three years. The credit does not have to be repaid unless the home is sold or ceases to be the primary residence within three years.

I’m committed to meeting your home-financing needs. Call me if you have any questions, or if you would like to get started on a loan application today!

The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a tax advisor. We are not a law firm, nor a CPA firm.

Click here to visit my website and apply on line:
www.DavidJGarofalo.com



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Economic Update – March 29, 2010

Monday, March 29th, 2010




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Last Week in the News

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Existing home sales fell 0.6% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.02 million units from 5.05 million units in January. The inventory of unsold homes on the market rose 9.5% to 3.59 million, an 8.6-month supply at the current sales pace, up from a 7.8-month supply in January.

Orders for durable goods — items expected to last three or more years — rose 0.5% in February after a revised 3.9% increase in January. Excluding volatile transportation-related goods, orders posted a monthly increase of 0.9%.

New home sales fell 2.2% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 308,000 units from an upwardly revised rate of 315,000 units in January. Economists had expected a pace of 320,000 units. It was the fourth straight monthly decline and the lowest pace since recordkeeping began in 1963.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 14,000 to 442,000 in the week ending March 20. Continuing claims for the week ending March 13 fell by 54,000 to 4.648 million, the lowest level since December 20, 2008.

The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for March’s final reading was 73.6, matching February’s final reading. The index is 28% higher than it was one year ago. During the economic expansion that ended in December 2007, the index averaged 88.9.

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 5.6% in the fourth quarter of 2009, rather than the 5.7% increase initially reported. For all of 2009, the economy contracted 2.4%.

Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on the housing price index on March 30, factory orders on March 31 and construction spending on April 1.

Click here to visit my website and apply on line:
www.DavidJGarofalo.com



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We had the “talk”

Saturday, March 27th, 2010




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We had the “talk”

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

Yup we had the “talk” and man was it embarrassing. My finances are a mess. My bookkeeping is even worse. Apparently stacking my un-opened bank statements for the last 3 years was enough to put my fiancé over the edge.

She wanted to know how come I don’t open the bank statements and I was thinking why would I??? No news is good news and besides it’s not like they send me money in a bank statement. Than somewhere around the August of 09’ statement she opened there was a check from the bank because they messed up and owed me money. A whopping 8 whole dollars and best of all the check expired as of March 1st.  Whoops.

I see her point of when buying a house every little bit counts, especially what little bit I am contributing because of my start up of my new freelancing writing career. Who would have thought starting a business during the recession wouldn’t bring in money hand over fist??? In my defense I started my business a month before the market crash so I really had no idea what was coming, but still those excuses only get me so far.

It is soooooo important when buying a house with someone to just lay all your finances out on the table. No matter how painful or embarrassing it is. I went from good money to making what I made in high school working at a pancake house, so it was definitely embarrassing. Knowing what your income is and what your expenses are will help you figure out what you can afford when it comes to buying a house.

We figured out we were looking in a price range almost $50,000 higher than what we should have been. We still have a lot of options in our price range, but when you figure on something way more than what you actually have it kind of breaks your heart when reality smacks you in the face.

I’m just glad we didn’t fall in love with any of the houses we looked at in that price range. We only had lust. But even at that the lust was for a place that was even higher than our original price we thought we could afford. My fiancé was a little crushed when that place sold before we even had chance to get our stuff together.

As they say in the business “whatever will be, will be.” Just be prepared for whatever it is. And start getting prepared by sorting through all of your finances and get everything in order. Remember we are in a “prove it” mortgage world. Whatever you say you made last year you better be able to prove it to them when they ask.

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



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