Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Foreclosure Purchase

If you have made any offer on any foreclosure, you already know they are very different than buying from a private owner. While they remain a really good buy they have several requirements.

On a HUD home most buyers do not know that HUD requires a $500.00 earnest money deposit on any home priced $50,000 and below. On a HUD home priced over $50,000 HUD requires a $1,000 earnest money deposit. This is due when the buyer writes the offer. They will however help with closing costs and down payment. Property usually purchased “AS IS” condition.

A short sale is very different from a foreclosure. This is usually a pre-foreclosure and the mortgage company considers bids that are less than the owners owe on their mortgage. On most short sales, if the mortgage company agrees, the difference on the owed amount and the sale amount is written off by the mortgage company. On a short sale you can’t be in any hurry to move. Short sales can and usually do take weeks if not months for the mortgage company to get back with your agent on the offer. If the bottom line is what the mortgage company will accept, they will consider closing costs and buyers down. Property purchased “AS IS” condition.

Freddie Mac owned properties are usually priced well below market and you usually get instant equity. They will pay for your closing costs, if the price is right, but they will not pay for buyers closing costs plus the down. Even if this is added on to the purchase price, they will only consider paying one of these charges. They require a $500.00 earnest money check when the offer is made also. They do reply to offers in a really short time, usually 24 hours. They will consider some repairs if the inspector or its mortgage required.

Each mortgage company has its own individual guidelines so check this out before writing your offer. Most do require an earnest money deposit and a pre-approval letter from the buyers’ mortgage company.

Most mortgage companies will not pay for any inspections, repairs and they require an earnest money deposit when you write your offer.

Mike Clifford
Clifford Realtors

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Housing Market Improving

Finally some very encouraging news from the Board of Realtors about our real estate market. The numbers are in for February and it looks like the market has started to turn around. The number of contracts written for February topped the last three months as well as the same time last year in February. The housing activity started when the mortgage interest rates were dropped in January this year. The Columbus Board of Realtors and many Realtors felt many buyers were waiting for this drop. Many buyers were able to qualify for their first home with this drop in interest while some others jumped at the chance to move to a larger home. While contracts increased, actual sales decreased by 5.8% from last year same time and same months. This is probably a carry over from the lack of activity during the holiday season and the first of the year.
The average price of a home last year in 2007 was $164,397. Then average price last month was $154,497. The very important issue is that there was fewer homes listed for sale in February 2008 (3538) compared to January (3812) and February 2007 (3417). The total number of homes listed for sale is now lower than the inventory level one year ago.
As inventory levels have been roughly 30% higher than normal for the last year or so, any leveling off in new listing is a welcome sign for the market as a whole. Quoting Greg Hrabcak, President of the Columbus Board of Realtors,” the fact that the supply has been significantly greater than the demand has resulted in lower sale prices, lengthier sales listing periods and a general concern about housing.” But housing, like most economics sectors, is cyclical. This buyers market won’t last forever.” Looks like he was exactly right as I see this buyers market ending very soon.
So, to all you’ve read in the newspaper, television and on the internet, that’s always bad, I would like for you to read about all the positives that are happening right now. Real Estate is alive and well. But, if you still want to read about the doom and gloom, I’m sure our news media will be happy to report this. They are part of this problem as they feel we only want to hear BAD news. Well I think they are wrong, we want to hear the truth.

Dora Clifford
Clifford Realtors

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Columbus Real Estate Marketing Update

Greetings Columbus and Central Ohio. Real estate is still alive and well in our area. There have been some changes in our market as we are aware. A few months ago the market was a buyers market with about 10 homes on the market for every one buyer. A balanced market is about 7 homes on the market for every one buyer. With the interest rates so low, this is really good news for all buyers. However, according to the Columbus Board of Realtors there have been some changes in the last few weeks. A slowing in the number of listings added to the market is good news for sellers. While it is still a buyers market, my opinion is this will change in 2008 to a balanced market again. Right now it remains the perfect market for buyers.

For buyers 2007 was a memorable year in real estate. The low interest rates, prices and inventory, made 2007 a strong buyers market. Despite what you have heard and read, according to the CBR reports, the market was strong for central Ohio. I feel most of the doom and gloom in the media was including states with an extremely high foreclosure rates. While Ohio is facing a record number of foreclosures, Ohio is very low compared with other states. For Ohio buyers there are some extremely good buys in this forcloseure market if the buyer is careful about what they buy. Not all foreclosures are good buys. Some need an extreme amount of costly repairs. You can check out a list of forclosed Real Estate on Clifford Realtors web site. You should know what sold in that area at what price, in the last six months. Get estimates of the repairs and add that to the purchase price and don’t forget to add your time involved. Ask your Realtor for an estimate of your net before buying a foreclosure.

So, right now it is still a buyers market with lots of great buys out there. But, according to my research this may change soon and the market will be balanced again. When this happens, there will still be some great buys and the interest rates will still be good. I don’t think we will see this memorable buyers market again for years. So, congratulations to all you smart buyers that are taking advantage of this. Be sure and check out all homes for sale on Columbus Ohio MLS. There are many great buys with low interest rates.

Posted by: Dora Clifford, Broker Clifford Realtors