Tuesday, December 21, 2010


You are invited! Join Our FaceBook Page and share your expertise with our buyers and sellers...


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Can a real estate agent really help me in buying and selling property?

The answer is YES!

When you're ready to think about buying or selling your property, you need to ask yourself the following questions: Do you have the time, energy, sources of information, and contacts to do the job yourself? If you were one of the 'do-it-yourself' people, would the results be as good or better than they would be if you had professional assistance? Would it have gone smoother? Would it have given you more personal time? Would you have purchased for less, or sold for more, if a real estate agent was involved? Read the following information and learn how a real estate agent can help you understand everything you need to know about a real estate transaction.

The Buying Process

The process of buying a home or investment generally starts with determining your buying power; that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a real estate agent some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, they can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders -- banks and mortgage companies -- offer limited choices.


Once you know how much you can and want to invest, the next step is to find the properties that most nearly fit your needs. This is the time to choose a real estate licensee. When picking a real estate agent look for one who is also a REALTOR®. A REALTOR® is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, a real estate trade association, and all members agree to abide by a 17 article Code of Ethics.

A REALTOR® has many resources to assist you in that search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.


Your job is to make the final selection of the right property for you. This is when excitement and emotion run high. Your real estate agent can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are REALTORS® have access to a variety of informational resources. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning. schools, etc. There are two things you'll want to know. First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?


There are a myriad of negotiating factors, including, but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should also provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.

Due Diligence

With a negotiated agreement in hand, it is time to complete the evaluation of the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few.

Your agent can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. You will also want to see a preliminary report on the title of the property. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities. Your agent, title company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.


As soon as you are reasonably sure the property is right for you, the process of obtaining financing begins. Your agent can help you in understanding different financing options and in identifying qualified lenders.

Closing or Settlement

Finally, there is the closing, or settlement, as it is known in different parts of the country. Every area has its own unique customs. In some areas, the title or escrow company will handle this process. In other parts of the country, an attorney does it all. Again, your real estate agent can guide you through this process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.

Selling Real Estate

This process generally begins with a determination of a reasonable asking price. Your real estate agent can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms, and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.

The next step is a marketing plan. Often, your agent can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of the property. Marketing includes the exposure of your property to other real estate agents and the public.

In many markets across the country, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Your agent acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires REALTORS® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.

Advertising is part of marketing.

The choice of media and frequency of advertising depends a lot on the property and specific market. For example, in some areas, newspaper advertising generates phone calls to the real estate office but statistically has minimum effectiveness in selling a specific property. Overexposure of a property in any media may give a buyer the impression the property is distressed or the seller is desperate. Your real estate agent will know when, where and how to advertise your property.

There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends and family, and personal contacts.


When the property is marketed with the agent help, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Agents will generally pre-screen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.


The negotiation process deals with much the same issues for both buyers and sellers, as noted above under the buying process. Your agent can help you objectively evaluate every buyer's proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections, and financing -- a lot of possible pitfalls. Your agent can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.

Monitoring, Renegotiating and Closing

Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your agent is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).

How Do Real Estate Agents Get Paid?

Real estate agents or brokers are generally paid through the sales commission paid by the seller when a transaction closes. Agents have expenses and financial obligations just like you, so it will be to your mutual benefit if you choose a real estate agent and stick with that person. The agent will respect your loyalty and respond with a sincere commitment to you.


All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR "®" logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again.

Using a REALTOR®

You Be the Judge!

Real Estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR®!

Click Here To Meet a Real Estate Latino's Certified Real Estate Professional

Monday, December 13, 2010

Home Buying Glossary

Agent - A person acting on behalf of another, called the principal.

Appraisal - An expert judgment or estimate of the quality or value of real estate as of a given date.

Assessed Value - The valuation placed upon property by a public tax assessor as the basis for taxes.

Bill of Sale - An instrument which transfers title to personal property (chattels); a "Deed" transfers'' real property.

CC& R''s: Covenants, conditions and restrictions- A document that controls the use, requirements and restrictions of a property.

Certificate of Reasonable Value (CRV) - A document that establishes the maximum value and loan amount for a VA guaranteed mortgage.

Certificate of Title - A document signed by a title examiner or attorney stating that the seller has a good marketable and insurable title.

Closing Statement (Settlement) - The computation of financial adjustments between buyer and seller as of the day of closing a sale to determine the net amount of money which buyer must pay to seller to complete purchase of the real estate and seller''s net proceeds. Also, "settlement sheets," "HUD-1."

Commission - Payment to a real estate broker for services performed.

Condominium - A form of real estate ownership where the owner receives title to a particular unit and has a proportionate interest in certain common areas. The unit itself is generally a separately owned space whose interior surfaces (walls, floors and ceilings) serve as its boundaries.

Contingency - A condition that must be satisfied before a contract is binding. For instance, a sales agreement may be contingent upon the buyer obtaining financing.

Deed - A formal written instrument by which title to real property is transferred from one owner to another. Also, "conveyance".

Deed of Trust - Like a mortgage, a security instrument whereby real property is given as security for a debt. However, in a deed of trust there are three parties to the instrument; the borrower, the trustee, and the lender (or beneficiary).

Due-On-Sale Clause - An acceleration clause that requires full payment of a mortgage or deed of trust when the secured property changes ownership.

Earnest Money - The portion of the down payment delivered to the seller or escrow agent by the purchaser with a written offer as evidence of good faith.

Equity - The interest or value which owner has in real estate over and above the debts against it. (Sales Price - Mortgage Balance - Equity).

Escrow- A procedure in which a third party acts as a stakeholder for both the buyer and the seller, carrying out both parties'' instructions and assumes responsibility for handling all of the paperwork and distribution of funds.

Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) - Popularly known as Fannie Mae. A privately owned corporation created by Congress to support the secondary mortgage market. It purchases and sells residential mortgages insured by FHA or guaranteed by the VA, as well as conventional home mortgages.

Fee Simple - An estate in which the owner has unrestricted power to dispose of the property as he wishes, including leaving by will or inheritance. It is the greatest interest a person can have in real estate.

Fixture - What was formerly personal property, which is now permanently attached to real property and goes with the property when it is sold.

Graduated Payment Mortgage - A residential mortgage with monthly payments that start at a low level and increase at a predetermined rate.

Hazard Insurance - Protects against damages caused to property by fire, windstorms, and other common hazards.

Home Inspection Report - A qualified inspector''s report on a property''s overall condition. The report usually includes an evaluation of both the structure and mechanical systems.

Home Warranty Plan - Protection against failure of mechanical systems within the property. Usually includes plumbing, electrical, heating systems and installed appliances.

Joint Tenancy - An equal undivided ownership of property by two or more persons. Upon the death of any owner, the survivors take the decedent''s interest in the property.

Lien - A legal hold or claim on property as security for a debt or charge.

Listing Contract - Between a home owner (as principal) and a licensed real estate broker (as agent) by which the broker is employed to market the real estate within a given time for which service the owner agrees to pay a commission. Also, "listing agreement".

Loan Commitment - A written promise to make a loan for a specified amount on specified terms.

Loan-To-Value Ratio - The relationship between the amount of the mortgage and the appraised value of the property, expressed as a percentage of the appraised value.

Market Value - The highest price which a buyer, ready, willing and able but not compelled to buy, would pay, and the lowest price a seller, ready, willing and able but, not compelled to sell, would accept. Basis for "listing price'', or "asking price".

Mortgage - A lien or claim against real property given by the buyer to the lender as security for money borrowed.

Mortgage Life Insurance - A type of term life insurance often bought by mortgagors. The coverage decreases as the mortgage balance declines. If the borrower dies while the policy is in force, the debt is automatically covered by insurance proceeds.

Mortgage Note - A written agreement to repay a loan. The agreement is secured by a mortgage, serves as proof of indebtedness, and states the manner in which it shall be paid. Also, "deed of trust note."

Negative Amortization - Negative amortization occurs when monthly payments fail to cover the interest cost. The interest that isn''t covered is added to the unpaid principal balance, which means that even after several payments you could owe more than you did at the beginning of the loan. Negative amortization can occur when an ARM has a payment cap that results in monthly payments that aren''t high enough to cover the interest.

Origination Fee - A fee or charge for work involved in evaluating, preparing, and submitting a proposed mortgage loan. The fee is limited to 1 percent of FHA and VA loans.

PITI - Principal, interest, taxes and insurance.

Planned Unit Development (PUD) - A zoning designation for property developed at the same or slightly greater overall density than conventional development, sometimes with improvements clustered between open, common areas. Uses may be residential, commercial or industrial.

Point - An amount equal to 1 percent of the principal amount of the investment or note. The lender assesses loan discount points at closing to increase the yield on the mortgage to a position competitive with other types of investments.

Prepayment Penalty - A fee charged to a mortgagor who pays a loan before it is due. Not allowed for FHA or VA loans.

Principal - This word has several meanings:
a) to denote the most important;
b) a capital sum lent on interest;
c) one who appoints an agent to act on their behalf;
d) either party to a contract.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) - Insurance written by a private company protecting the lender against loss if the borrower defaults on the mortgage. Prorate - To allocate between seller and buyer their proportionate share of an obligation paid or due. For example a prorate on real property taxes, fire insurance, or condominium fee.

Purchase Agreement - A written document in which the purchaser agrees to buy certain real estate and the seller agrees to sell under stated terms and conditions. Also called a sales contract, earnest money contract, or agreement for sale.

Realtor - A real estate broker or associate active in a local real estate board affiliated with the National Association of Realtors¿.

Regulation Z - The set of rules governing consumer lending issued by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in accordance with the Consumer Protection act.

Survey - A map or plat made by a licensed surveyor showing the results of measuring the land with its elevations, improvements, boundaries, and its relationship to surrounding tracts of land. A survey is often required by the lender to assure a building is actually sited on the land according to its legal description.

Tenancy in Common - A type of joint ownership of property by two or more persons with no right of survivorship.

Title Insurance - Protects lenders and homeowners against loss of their interest in property due to legal defects in title.

Title Search or Examination - A check of the title records, generally at the local courthouse, to make sure the buyer is purchasing a house from the legal owner and there are no liens, overdue special assessments, or other claims.

Transfer tax - State tax, local tax (where applicable) and tax stamps (in some areas) required by law when title passes from one owner to another.

For More Tips&Questions go to RealEstateLatino.com

Saturday, December 11, 2010

National Association of Realtors goes global with new services for international buyers

The National Association of Realtors, the number one homes for sale website in the US, is going global.
It aims to be the world’s largest online source of residential property listings and add more services such as translation, to attract more international buyers and sellers.

Its Realtor.com listing website already attracts more than 575,000 consumers from non US destinations a month.

‘While all real estate in the US is local, the same is not true for property owners. The US continues to be a top destination for international buyers from all over the world. Foreign buyers understand the value of owning a home in this country and can rely on Realtors(R) to help guide them through the process of buying property here,’ said NAR president Ron Phipps.

‘Realtor.com will expand the exposure of US real estate listings to global markets and add international listings. With expertise, knowledge and experience, Realtors(R) have a global perspective, reflecting the increasing importance of foreign buyers to US sellers,’ Phipps added.

NAR will work with Move Inc, the leader in online real estate and operator of Realtor.com, to add features to make it easier for international buyers to search for listings in their language and through personalized views.

‘This expansion of the strategic collaboration between Move and NAR benefits Realtors(R), provides home sellers with access to an even broader audience beyond our domestic borders, and delivers greater choice to home buyers interested in property in the US and internationally,’ said Realtor.com president Errol Samuelson.

‘US sellers will be able to generate even greater international exposure for their properties, while US buyers will be able to shop for global properties and connect with real estate professionals who can help them with international transactions,’ Samuelson added.

NAR’s 2010 Profile of International Home Buying Activity cites the strength of the dollar and the value and desirability of US real estate as the chief factors making US properties increasingly attractive to international buyers.

Between April 2009 and March 31, 2010, $66 billion of residential property, amounting to 7% of the total US residential market, was sold to foreign nationals, recent immigrants and temporary visa holders. More than a quarter of Realtors(R), some 28%, reported working with at least one international client in the past year, up from 23% in 2008.

The median price paid by foreign buyers was $219,400, higher than the national median price. Some 55% of foreign buyers paid cash compared to about 8% of domestic buyers, NAR’s study also shows.

Buyers from 53 different countries around the world bought residential property in the US last year with then highest number coming from Canada, Mexico, the UK, China, Germany and France. The top sources of international visitors to Realtor.com are Canada, the UK, Germany, Australia, Japan and Mexico.


Monday, December 06, 2010

Mortgage Activity Surges in Florida and New York

RISMEDIA, December 6, 2010—According to new consumer activity collected by MortgageLoan.com between October 15 and November 15, 2010, the New York City metro area and cities in Florida saw overall increases in mortgage and refinance requests. Requests in Boston, Texas, and the Southwest were mixed.

While the New York City Metro area showed a 17% increase in overall request volume, Florida was the real winner with a 71% increase in refinance requests in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale and a 47% increase in Orlando.

"The dramatic increase in refinance activity in Florida markets suggests that home values may be stabilizing in many areas," says David Coster, residential lending expert at MortgageLoan.com. "Recent home price surveys, which do not look at secondary markets, have shown further value drops. Yet our site activity provides anecdotal evidence that may indicate more positive attitudes among Florida homeowners relative to their refinancing prospects."

The Boston metro area market showed a 32% increase in mortgage purchase activity, yet a 23% drop in refinance activity. "It is suggestive of a situation in which first time homebuyers, in-bound relocated employees, or investors are taking advantage of lowered home values," says Coster. "At the same time, existing homeowners are still struggling with homes that cannot be refinanced due to value, credit, or employment issues."

The Houston, Texas area saw a 17% decrease in overall requests. Other Texas and Southwestern markets also saw declines in refinance activity, including a 38% decrease in Phoenix, Arizona, a 32% decrease in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a 26% decrease in San Antonio Texas, and a 24% decrease in Fort Worth, Texas.

The overall site activity at MortgageLoan.com indicates a housing market that varies from market to market and from month to month. Still, signs of marginal improvement appear to be creeping into the data.

Follow Us In FaceBook

Friday, December 03, 2010

Holiday Safety Tips

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or a personal holiday, the season is upon us for decorating our homes inside and outside. Here at SAFE we want to wish you all very Happy Holidays!

But, we also want you to remain alert and diligent with your safety and the safety of your family. Here are more ways to reduce your chances of being victimized during the holiday season. We would like you to be especially careful with your Christmas trees. This is how fast an accident can happen. Click Here To View The Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQT8yOYJKxQ

Safety at Home

Home Invasions increase during holidays at an alarming rate. To decrease your chances of being victimized follow these simple procedures.

* Keep the outside of your home well lit with all doors and windows locked and curtains or blinds closed.

* Do not put presents under the tree where burglars can see them.

* When away, not only have outside lights but inside lights on timers.

* When traveling make your home look occupied. Have a friend pick up newspapers and mail. Have someone mow your yard or shovel snow. And be sure someone is clearing any fliers or ads off your porch, doors and cars.

* After the holidays, don't advertise the gifts you received by leaving the boxes at the curb for garbage collection. Thieves will be on the look out for the homes that got the best presents, like that new flat screen TV, computer or game system. Cut or tear boxes up and put them in garbage bags.

Home Safety-Decorations

* Inspect all decorations before putting them out.

* Ensure all decorations are fire retardant or fire resistant.

* Use only lighting sets which bear the UL marker.

* Ensure items such as tinsel and fragile glass bulbs are placed high enough on a tree or mantle to prevent small children and pets from coming into contact with them. * Avoid overloading wall outlets and extension cords.

* Inspect light strings and cords for fraying, bare wire, loose connections and broken sockets.

* When using candles, place them a safe distance from combustibles.

* Place candles in sturdy containers. Remember hot wax can burn kids and pets.

* Extinguish candles before leaving the house or going to bed.

* Always have an operable fire extinguisher readily available.

* Install at least one carbon monoxide detector in your home.

Home Safety-Outdoor Decorations

* Never use indoor extension cords outside.

* Keep electrical connectors above ground and out of puddles and snow.

* Unplug a light string before replacing a bulb.

* Make sure when hanging lights in trees, the tree is not touching power lines.

Home Safety for Pets

* Pets are fascinated by decorations such as hanging strings, cords, sashes, tree decorations and flashing lights. To be safe, always supervise a pet closely during the holiday season.

* Guests can frighten and/or anger a pet. It is always best to remove pets from noisy gatherings, especially those pets not used to large groups or children.

Safety with Artificial Christmas Trees

* When selecting an artificial tree, select a model that is fire retardant/fire resistant.

* If the tree has a built-in electrical system, it should carry the UL (underwriter's laboratories) marker.

* Check the tree frequently, do not let it get overheated and never leave it on overnight or when you are not home.

* Never use electric lights on a metallic tree, use colored spotlights instead.

Safety with Real Christmas Trees

* When selecting a tree, get one with a deep green color and a strong scent of pine.

* Make sure the needles are attached firmly to the twigs and can be bent without breaking. This ensures a recently cut tree, fresh and not dried. If the needles fall off easily, the tree is already dead.

* Cut about 2 inches off the trunk and mount it in a sturdy, water-holding stand.

*Keep the tree supplied with an adequate amount of water to keep it from drying out.

* Never set the tree close to heat sources such as registers, computers, radiators or fireplaces.

We wish you a Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas and a Happy Kwanzaa! May your holidays be filled with joy! And remember, "Just be safe!"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A New National Multi-Cultural Real Estate Franchise Formally Announces its Launch

OneRes, a multi-cultural independent real estate franchise organization based in Celebration, Florida, officially announces its launch at the National Association of Realtors in New Orleans, LA this week.

Celebration, FL (PRWEB) November 7, 2010

OneRes, a multi-cultural independent real estate franchise organization based in Celebration, Florida, officially announces its launch at the National Association of Realtors in New Orleans, LA this week. OneRes was founded by former real estate franchisees, former Fortune 500 company executives, residential and commercial developers.

OneRes leadership consists of African American, Asian, Hispanic and Caucasian ethnicities and represents the diversity of America. Corporate Directors are Eric Waddell, President/CEO, Edie Waddell, VP of Franchise Relations, Joe La Rosa, Chief Executive Consultant, Mike La Rosa, VP of Business Development, Ana Alvarez, VP of Recruiting and Carmen Chong, VP of Education.

From Celebration, Florida, Eric Waddell, President and CEO of OneRes said, “The Company was formed because there is a definite need for small to medium sized real estate brokerages to have affordable access to business support in the areas of education, training and technology.

The current economic conditions and the real estate and financial market collapse had a greater impact on small to medium size real estate brokerages, driving income down and many out of business causing a call to action and thus OneRes was created.” With a focus on providing education, training, and collaborating with franchisees on community outreach initiatives, the OneRes brand is a proponent of interconnecting awareness and effectively servicing outreach initiatives that have an immediate impact on improving our communities. OneRes expects a high level of growth within the next 12 months.

OneRes currently has branch locations in Texas, California, New York and Florida and intends to begin franchising new locations in November and December with a nationwide rollout in January 2011.

For more information or to schedule an interview with the principles of OneRes, please contact Edie Waddell at 407-566-2689.
# # #

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Questions You Should Ask Your Lender When Shopping For a Loan

1.Are both fixed-rate and adjustable mortgage loans available?

2.What is the interest rate?

3.How long can I "lock-in" the financing at the current interest rate?

4.Is a float down lock available in case rates drop after I have locked in?

5.What are the other fees a lender may charge me in conjunction with my loan?

6.Are funds for a second mortgage available?

7.On adjustable loans, how often will the interest rate be adjusted?

8.Is there a maximum limit on each rate change?

9.How often will the monthly payment be adjusted?

10.Is there a ceiling on payment adjustments?

11.Can the term of the loan be extended?

12.What is the maximum rate that can be charged over the life of the loan?

13.Is there any potential for negative amortization?

14.Is there a pre-payment penalty clause? This involves extra charges for paying off the loan before maturity. About 80% of all loans in the United States are paid off early.

15.What is the "grace" period?

16.How late can a monthly payment be made before a late charge is assessed?

17.What will happen if a payment is missed?

18.If you sell your house, will the new buyer (if he/she qualifies) be able to assume your mortgage at the same interest rate?

19.Do you have to pay "points" to get your new mortgage?

20.Usually lenders charge points for the cost of giving you a mortgage loan. A "point" is 1% of the loan.

21.Will the lender require mortgage insurance?

22.Is the loan serviced locally or is the servicing sold? Ask for a written "good faith deposit".

More Tips and Advice At RealEstateLatino.com

Friday, October 29, 2010

Top 20 Metro Areas by Foreclosure Rate in 3Q

As we continue trying to wade the foreclosure crisis, Nevada, California and Florida continue leading the nation with more foreclosures. Here are the latest statistics from RealtyTrac.

Rate rank / Ratio of foreclosures to households in state / Total properties with filings

1 Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev. 1:25 32,288

2 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. 1:35 10,352

3 Modesto, Calif. 1:36 4,825

4 Stockton, Calif. 1:39 5,925

5 Merced, Calif. 1:40 2,072

6 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. 1:41 35,863

7 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla. 1:41 58,624

8 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. 1:44 39,199

9 Bakersfield, Calif. 1:44 6,135

10 Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif. 1:45 3,364

11 Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla. 1:47 19,171

12 Reno-Sparks, Nev. 1:50 3,637

13 Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, Calif. 1:50 17,108

14 Boise City-Nampa, Idaho 1:52 4,624

15 Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Fla. 1:53 4,708

16 Fresno, Calif. 1:58 5,314

17 Visalia-Porterville, Calif. 1:60 2,313

18 Naples-Marco Island, Fla. 1:60 3,237

19 Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla. 1:61 4,381

20 Lakeland, Fla. 1:61 4,568

SOURCE: RealtyTrac

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Una Salida Digna! Tu Tienes Opción!

Amigos, si ya es un hecho que no calificas para una modificación a tu hipoteca y que tu finanzas no son las de antes, no crees que es hora de comenzar una nueva vida para ti y tu familia? Hacer un short sale te brinda una salida digna de un problema que en estos momentos no tiene solución. Haz "borrón y cuenta buena" evita el foreclosure, el cual arruinaría todas tus esperanzas de tener casa propia nuevamente. Comunícate hoy mismo conmigo y te te enseno el camino junto. 888-934-9770 o visitamos en http://AvoidForeclosureAmerica.com

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"The Future of Real Estate"

NHORA National Hispanic Organization of Real Estate Associates

Dear NHORA Members,

Our new series "The Future of Real Estate" will begin on July 14th luncheon and will be launch by a powerhouse of REO Agents that will be sharing regarding the future of Real Estate from a perspective of an REO agent. This luncheon is sure to sell out; therefore we are encouraging everyone to pre-register to reserve your space.

I encourage those who have not yet become a member to do so now. NHORA's vision is to encourage, promote affordable and sustainable homeownership and every month we bring forth this mission to our members.

La hora de NHORA es ahora!

Gema Smith

Register at

Download .pdf flyer

Saturday, June 19, 2010

El InfoCenter de RealEstateLatino.com, Lo Que Necesitas Saber Ahora

La diferencia entre tener una buena experiencia o no a la hora de comprar tu casa, depende en parte de que tan bien te prepares para el proceso. RealEstateLatino.com te ofrece una herramienta que hace muy fácil el aprender sobre todos los aspectos de la compra venta de una casa, el INFOCENTER.

El InfoCenter es una librería virtual llena de artículos y consejos todos accesible con tan solo un clic. Esta dividida en cinco categorías, Compradores, Vendedores, Crédito, Financiamiento y Mi Hogar. Los artículos son en parte creados por el asesor de bienes raíces y prestamos Bill Arce ademas de selecciones selectas de los proveedores mas respetados de la industria.

Para acceder al InfoCenter no se necesita tener contraseña ni llenar un formulario con tus datos personales, todo lo que tienes que hacer es visitar www.RealEstateLatino.com.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Short Sales Rising In Popularity For Troubled Homeowners

Short sales, an alternative to foreclosure that poses relatively less overall severity, are artificially boosted by mandatory and voluntary foreclosure prevention efforts that prevent mortgages from entering real estate owned (REO) status, according to a securitization research note by Barclays Capital (BarCap).

Short sales pose benefits to both borrowers and lenders where foreclosure is the alternative. A short sale tends to cost the lender less than foreclosure and it spares the borrower the negative credit score implications.

As federally-funded modifications made through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) grow in frequency and lenders are expected to hold off on foreclosure proceedings, the REO pipeline shrunk, according to BarCap researchers. The foreclosure prevention efforts have had the effect of "artificially" boosting short sales.

"The artificial constraints to foreclosure auctions have resulted in a reduction in REO stock," BarCap said. "As a result, the net volume of REO liquidations has also dropped. As short sales are not affected by moratoria, their rate held up and their overall share in distressed sales increased. It has now risen more than 10 points from the lows to about 35% of overall liquidations. It remains to be seen if this increase will sustain itself once the large number of loans sitting in foreclosure are finally released into REO."

BarCap researchers pointed to the difference in severity seem in foreclosure and short sale scenarios as one of the drivers behind servicers choosing short sales.

Servicers that pursue foreclosure on non-performing loans held within securitization have to make principal and interest advances until the loan�s liquidation, BarCap said. If the asset declines in value during the liquidation timeline and it neighbors other REOs, the final selling price will likely come in far below the current broker price opinion (BPO), which leads to high severity.

Short sales, on the other hand, pose a shorter timeline during which fewer principal and interest advances are needed. The asset has less time to depreciate, and borrowers have a strong incentive to maintain the property in order to sell it, BarCap said. The idea is that a better-maintained house attracts stronger bids, reducing overall severity in comparison with the REO liquidation scenario.

SOURCE: http://www.nuwireinvestor.com/articles/short-sales-rising-in-popularity-for-troubled-homeowners-54068.aspx

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Senate approves home tax credit extension

The move by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would give buyers until Sept. 30 to complete their purchases and qualify for tax credits of up to $8,000.

Under the current terms, buyers had until April 30 to get a signed sales contract and until June 30 to complete the sale.

The proposal would only allow people who already have signed contracts to finish at the later date. About 180,000 homebuyers who already signed purchase agreements would otherwise miss the deadline.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Programa de ESPERANZA para Propietarios

El programa ESPERANZA para Propietarios refinanciará hipotecas para prestatarios que enfrentan dificultad que hacer sus pagos, pero que pueden hacer los pagos en un nuevo préstamo asegurado por la Administración de Vivienda Federal de HUD (FHA). El programa comienza el 1 de octubre de 2008 y termina el 30 de septiembre de 2011.

Hoja de Información Básica para el consumidor sobre el Programa ESPERANZA para Propietarios.

Para Mas Informacion Visite Esta Paguina

Monday, June 14, 2010

Olga Padron is making a mid-life career change

SEBRING - Olga Padron has one of those Hispanically lovely faces: eyes like Hershey Kisses, sepia-tone skin, high cheekbones. Did she ever model?

"No." Padron protested the absurdity of the question, sitting across a booth at Panera Bread. "I've got the Cuban gene. I'm barely 5'1".

True. During the 1960s, when Padron was growing up, models were no longer average-sized and perky; they were like Twiggy, 5'6" or taller, and built like boys.

Olga Padron, 52, has lived in Florida since she was 7. "So I'm more American than I am Cuban."

Fidel Castro revolted in 1959, and in 1961 he declared for communism. By 1965, her father realized that life in Cuba was no longer a good idea. Because they wanted to avoid mandatory military service, his two older sons had already asked for political asylum and moved to America with their mother in 1961. He decided to move too.

"I didn't speak English," Padron said. She learned in six months. "There was no one else in school who spoke Spanish so, you know what, you got to learn."

"It wasn't because I was so smart," she added, in an accent that still sounds Cuban - or maybe it's that Hispanic-Miami inflection. Although she still has relatives on the island, most have come to the U.S., some by vacationing in other countries first to avoid Cuba's suspicion.

Growing up in paradise

Ironically, her father felt that Castro's radical government wouldn't survive, and that his family would be back in Cuba in six months. He died in 2006.

Padron married in South Florida and began raising a family near Florida International University on South 16th and 102nd Avenue, but it got overcrowded. The crime rate rose, and so did taxes.

"It's a beautiful place, very dynamic and very diverse. It has beautiful beaches. But it's so expensive - the average person, it's hard to survive." She was a medical office manager, working for a doctor who specialized in head and neck cancer.

Twelve years ago, she began looking for a cleaner, quieter, cheaper place, and that brought her up U.S. 27. For awhile, she worked in another medical office, but she was told, "You should go into real estate. You've got a nice personality for it."

Jim Otterman hired her at Coldwell Banker Highlands Properties. "I had a good run, and it was fun, and I really enjoyed it." After all, she got in on the great real estate rush of the early 21st century.

"But I always wanted to be a nurse," she said. Why she didn't go to nursing school is Every woman's story. At 23, she met a man and lost her head - her words. Her husband didn't encourage her to make that dream come true. She needed to work while the kids were in school.

More changes

But Padron started at South Florida Community College last year. Today, she's working on prerequisites. That's one reason why she enjoys beaches and barbeques more than books. She'll start nursing classes in August 2011.

"There are only 24 available positions," Padron said, a little proud that she was chosen among 300 applicants to the two-year RN program.

A mid-life career change isn't scary to her: "I was in the medical field before, so I know what's to be expected. There's job security in the medical field, and I'm doing it because it's something I've always wanted to do."

Until then, she's still selling real estate, which she said is going for bargain basement prices. The trouble is, real estate agents aren't making much money these days, but they pay for advertising, office expenses, errors and omissions insurance, long distance, gifts to the buyers after closings...

"And you have to have nice clothes and a nice car," she added. "You can't be ashamed when people are sitting in your car."

Real estate agents have a saying: "It's not closed until it's closed." Deals fall through for hundreds of reasons: buyer's remorse, the home that the buyer is selling hasn't sold, the bank won't loan the money...

Some Cubans are avid, Padron is a Cuban watcher. It's a place she might visit, but she never wants to live there. Recently, the Women in White - who publically prayed for their husbands in jail, were arrested and beaten.

"It's an outrage," Padron said, "not only in Cuba, but anywhere. There really is no freedom. He was never elected. And people have to be free. People only leave something because they are not happy, rather risk their life on the Florida straits than to be there. You don't see anyone leaving America in a boat, do you?"

Highlands Today reporter Gary Pinnell can be reached at gpinnell@highlandstoday.com or 863-386-5828

Monday, June 07, 2010

¿Es su casa saludable y segura para sus hijos?

Es esencial que tome medidas preventivas para proteger a sus hijos contra lesiones no intencionales en su hogar. Cada año mueren más niños de lesiones evitables que de todas las enfermedades infantiles combinadas.

Tomando las precauciones y acciones apropiadas usted puede ayudar a prevenir quemaduras, cortes, caídas, envenenamientos, ahogos, asfixia y otras lesiones graves.

Utilice estas cuatro listas de verificación y asegúrese de que su hogar sea saludable y seguro para sus hijos:

En el dormitorio

Instale alarmas de humo afuera de los dormitorios y en cada planta de su casa.
Pruebe las alarmas de humo por lo menos una vez al mes y cámbieles las pilas por lo menos una vez al año.

Practique rutas de escape de incendio e identifique un lugar de encuentro afuera de su casa.

Ponga a su bebé a dormir de espalda, en una cuna, sin almohadones ni otro tipo de cobijas blandas.

Use una cuna que cumpla las normas nacionales de seguridad, con un colchón de un tamaño apropiado para la cuna.

Nunca use una frazada eléctrica en la cama o la cuna de un bebé o un niño.

Mantenga juguetes pequeños, globos y pelotas pequeñas lejos de los niños pequeños.
Verifique para qué edad ha sido diseñado cada juguete. Asegúrese de que los baúles para guardar juguetes tengan tapas con dispositivos de sostén de seguridad.

Para prevenir la estrangulación, utilice cordones de seguridad para subir y bajar las persianas y también evite dejar piolas o cordones en los juguetes y los chupetes de los niños.

Instale alarmas de monóxido de carbono (CO) afuera de los dormitorios, para impedir el envenenamiento con CO.
En el baño

Para prevenir envenenamientos, guarde bajo llave todos los remedios y las vitaminas, incluso los que vienen en contenedores a prueba de niños.
Tenga a mano jarabe de ipecacuana , pero úselo solamente cuando se lo remiende un centro de control de venenos o un médico.

Nunca deje a un niño pequeño solo en el baño, especialmente en una bañera.
Antes de bañar a un niño, siempre pruebe el agua con su muñeca o codo, para asegurarse de que no esté demasiado caliente.

Para prevenir quemaduras, regule el termostato del calentador de agua a 120º F e instale dispositivos que prevengan quemaduras.
Asegúrese de que las bañeras y las duchas estén equipadas con superficies no resbaladizas y con barras para sostenerse.
Guarde los aparatos eléctricos, como secadores de cabello y barras para enrular el cabello, fuera del alcance de los niños y lejos del agua.
En la cocina

Guarde los cuchillos, las bolsas de plástico, los encendedores y los fósforos en un lugar al cual los niños no tengan acceso.
Evite incendios y quemaduras no dejando comida cocinándose sin su atención, poniendo las manijas de las cacerolas hacia atrás de la cocina, y no dejando líquidos y comidas calientes cerca de bordes de mesas y mesadas.

Asegúrese de que usted y sus hijos sepan el procedimiento de DETENERSE, TIRARSE AL PISO Y GIRAR, en el caso de que sus ropas se prendan fuego.
Guarde los aparatos electrodomésticos desenchufados y con sus cables atados. Reemplace cualquier cable que esté deteriorado.
Ate o asegure a sus hijos cuando los coloque en sillas altas, hamacas u otros dispositivos para niños.

No dé a niños pequeños comidas duras, redondas, que puedan quedárseles atascadas en sus gargantas, como caramelos duros, nueces, uvas, pochoclo, zanahorias o pasas de uva.

Evite quemaduras manteniendo a los niños lejos de canillas de agua caliente o de enfriadores de agua potable.
En todas las áreas habitables

Para prevenir ataques de asma, elimine fuentes de moho, polvo e insectos, como las cucarachas. Si tiene una mascota, manténgala limpia (y también el lugar donde ésta duerme), y no permita que la mascota se suba a los muebles.

Si fuma, evite hacerlo adentro de su casa, especialmente, alrededor de niños.
Asegúrese de las calderas, los hogares, las estufas a leña, los calentadores de habitaciones, y cualquier electrodoméstico de gas, venteen apropiadamente, y haga inspeccionarlos anualmente.

Utilice puertas de seguridad para bloquear el paso a escaleras (y otras áreas peligrosas), tapas de seguridad para cubrir los enchufes eléctricos, y trabas de seguridad para impedir la abertura de cajones y puertas de aparadores.

Mantenga a los niños, y cualquier mueble en el que puedan treparse, lejos de las ventanas.

Instale protecciones de ventanas (en ventanas que no se utilicen como salidas de emergencia en caso de incendio).

Para prevenir caídas, mantenga bien iluminados los corredores y las escaleras y coloque una base no deslizante debajo de las alfombras.

Guarde los agentes de limpieza, los pesticidas y otras substancias potencialmente peligrosas en sus contenedores originales, con sus etiquetas intactas, fuera del alcance de los niños.

Si tiene armas o rifles en su casa, guarde a éstas y las municiones en contenedores separados, cerrados con llave, fuera del alcance de los niños.
Aprenda Primeros Auxilios y Resucitación Cardiopulmonar.

Mantenga una lista actualizada de números telefónicos de emergencia, incluyendo su centro local de control de envenenamientos, su médico de familia y la sala de emergencias del hospital, al lado de cada teléfono que tenga en su casa.

Asegúrese de que su familia sepa qué hacer durante una catástrofe natural.

En el caso de un terremoto, tírese al piso y protéjase debajo de algo que sea fuerte; durante un tornado, protéjase en el sótano de su casa o en un cuarto interno que no tenga ventanas, y durante un huracán, manténgase lejos de las ventanas.

También tenga a mano suministros de comida, linternas y agua potable.


Compilado de Makinghomeaffordable.com

Es posible que muchos propietarios de vivienda crean que ya no pueden hacer los pagos de su vivienda, pero deseen evitar los efectos negativos de una ejecución hipotecaria.

El Programa Alternativas de Ejecución Hipotecaria Home Affordable (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program, HAFA) ofrece a los propietarios de vivienda, a sus administradores hipotecarios y a los inversionistas un incentivo para llevar a cabo una venta corta (o una venta en descubierto) o una escritura en lugar de la ejecución hipotecaria. Con estas opciones disponibles conforme al HAFA, un propietario de vivienda deja su vivienda para poder realizar una transición a una vivienda más económica y aliviar la deuda hipotecaria que tiene.

Estas opciones se encuentran disponibles para propietarios de vivienda que: 1. no califiquen para una modificación de prueba de la hipoteca en virtud del Programa Making Home Affordable; 2. no completen exitosamente el período de prueba para su modificación; 3. no realicen, al menos, dos pagos consecutivos durante su período de modificación; o 4. soliciten una venta corta o una escritura en lugar de la ejecución hipotecaria.
Venta Corta o Venta en Descubierto
En una venta corta o una venta en descubierto, el administrador permite que el propietario de vivienda incluya la propiedad hipotecada en el listado de propiedades para la venta y que la venda, a sabiendas de que las ganancias netas de la venta pueden ser menores que la suma total adeudada en la hipoteca de primer grado.

Escritura en lugar de ejecución hipotecaria
Por lo general, si el deudor realiza un esfuerzo de buena fe por vender la propiedad pero no lo logra, un administrador puede considerar la posibilidad de una escritura en lugar de la ejecución hipotecaria. Con una escritura en lugar de una ejecución hipotecaria, el deudor transfiere voluntariamente la titularidad de la propiedad al administrador, siempre que el título esté libre de hipotecas, gravámenes y cargos.

El Programa HAFA optimiza ambas opciones para que le resulte más fácil a un propietario de vivienda trabajar junto con su administrador. En virtud del programa, un propietario de vivienda puede recibir $3,000 como ayuda para costos de reubicación.

Los administradores hipotecarios y los inversionistas definen sus propias pautas conforme a los requisitos federales para determinar cómo implementar el programa. Para obtener más información sobre sus opciones, comuníquese con su administrador hipotecario. Si usted tiene preguntas sobre el programa o si desea recibir orientación sobre cómo estas opciones pueden tener un impacto en su situación personal, le recomendamos que hable con un consejero de vivienda aprobado por el Departamento de Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano (Housing and Urban Development, HUD) en forma gratuita. Para recibir asistencia en español a fin de ubicar un consejero de vivienda en su área, llame a la línea de información para propietarios de vivienda HOPE™, al 1-888-995-HOPE (4673).

Programa Making Home Affordable y otras opciones para conservar su vivienda
Los administradores hipotecarios que participan en el Programa Making Home Affordable deben evaluar a los propietarios de vivienda para una Modificación Home Affordable antes de evaluarlos para otras opciones. Si usted solicita una modificación a su administrador hipotecario y se determina que es elegible, ingresará en un plan de período de prueba.

Si se determina que usted no es elegible para una Modificación Home Affordable, su administrador hipotecario le evaluará para otras alternativas que se ofrecen para que usted conserve su vivienda, como sus propios programas de modificación o una indulgencia por incumplimiento.

Un consejero de vivienda aprobado por el HUD puede trabajar con usted en forma gratuita para ayudarle a comprender sus opciones. Para recibir asistencia en español a fin de ubicar un consejero de vivienda en su área, llame a la línea de información para propietarios de vivienda HOPE™, al 1-888-995-HOPE (4673).

Saturday, June 05, 2010

The Benefits of AdWords by Google

Because AdWords offers precise targeting and measurability, as well as tremendous reach, it's possible to achieve a high ROI on a large scale. Let's take a closer look at each of these factors:


One of the biggest benefits AdWords offers is the ability to precisely target ads to users based on their interest, as well as a number of other factors like location, language, and demographic. The result is that the user sees highly relevant ads, which they are more likely to click on. And because ads on search engines show only in response to a user's query, the user is also more likely to be further along in the buying cycle, and more likely to be ready to convert.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Online advertising is thoroughly measurable, making it easy to tell whether or not you're meeting your advertising goals. Every user's click is tied to a particular ad, keyword, and search query, all of which you can track and decide to improve whenever you like. If you spot a trend, you can create, modify, or delete keywords, ads, and campaign targeting selections within seconds. This allows you to be more responsive and more in control when it comes to improving your ROI.


Every day, Internet users conduct millions of searches on Google. When you use Google AdWords, you have the opportunity to capture any segment of that broad worldwide audience that's actively looking for products, services, information, and websites. By giving your products or services a presence during relevant user searches, you're ensuring that you're visible in a crucial point in the customer's buying cycle -- when the user is actively searching for what you're offering.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

¿Qué Es Un Short Sale?

Un Short Sale ocurre cuando la compañía financiera que está sirviendo tu hipoteca acepta que vendas tu propiedad por menos de lo que debes al banco, por ejemplo: Usted debe en su hipoteca $100,000.00, necesitas vender la propiedad, pero el valor de las casas alrededor de la suya no se venden por más de $95,000.00 entonces tu asesor de bienes raíces negocia con el banco para que ellos acepten menos dinero de lo que se debe en realidad cuando se efectúe la venta de la propiedad.

Esto no siempre se puede realizar, es por eso que se recomienda que primero se logre un acuerdo con la entidad financiera antes de aceptar una oferta y de esta forma saber cuánto dinero el banco está dispuesto a perder. Tenga presente que el banco puede pedirle que pague la diferencia por separado o vender algo que tenga de valor. Nunca haga este proceso solo y siempre trate de tener un experto a su lado.

Para informarte mas sobre el short sale, visite EviteelForeclosureAmerica.com

O contáctenos por teléfono llamando totalmente gratis a 888-934-9779, Recuerde, su llamada siempre se mantendrá confidencial.

Bill Arce
Asesor de Bienes Raíces

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tax Credit Extended For Active Duty Military

U.S. military personnel who are out of the country for 90 days (since 2008) may have an extra year to get the tax credit, up to $8,000, for buying a home.

The active-duty rule is not new. It’s part of the current tax credit law, though its use is limited. The qualification must be for “official extended duty outside the United States for at least 90 days after 2008 and before May 1, 2010.” Should that be the case, the homebuyer has an extra year to buy a home. He or she has until April 30, 2011, to secure a binding contract, and until June 30, 2011 to close on the home.

Other conditions such as a maximum $8,000 for first-time buyers and $6,500 for move-up buyers still apply. For advice in any specific case, consult a qualified tax advisor. The applicable IRS publication is posted online.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Understanding the Government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)

Post By: www.homeloanlearningcenter.com

HAMP is a modification program with very specific requirements. It was introduced by the Obama administration to help prevent avoidable foreclosures. HAMP is one tool of many available to help borrowers who are in danger of losing their homes.

As you read through the information on this page, keep in mind that loan modifications are complicated things. The company that is modifying your loan is obligated to verify, to the best of its ability, that you will be able to make your payments moving forward. They do not want to foreclose on your property. No one wins when that happens.

Through the first eight months of 2009, the mortgage industry helped avoid 2.1 million foreclosures, and through October 31, 2009, servicers extended more than 919,965 HAMP mortgage modification offers and have initiated more than 650,994 trial modifications (a three-month period in which a borrower makes on-time payments on a modified mortgage before the modification can become permanent).

If you are truly facing financial hardship, there may be help available. Be aware, however, that not everyone qualifies for a mortgage modification. As you go through the process, try to be as cooperative and patient as possible. Keep in contact with your counselor or servicer and don't be afraid to ask questions. You will be asked to provide numerous documents and fill out many forms. Be honest and realistic about your situation so you don't find yourself facing foreclosure again in the future.

What to expect from the HAMP process

Under the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, your servicer will need the following from you in order to evaluate you for a HAMP modification:

First, you will need to give an explanation of your financial hardship and the reason you cannot or believe you may soon not be able to make your mortgage payment. The government has given examples of acceptable hardships:

a. Reduction in or loss of income that is needed to pay the mortgage.
b. Change in household financial circumstances.
c. Recent or upcoming increase in your monthly mortgage payment.
d. An unavoidable increase in other expenses.
e. A lack of cash reserves to maintain payment on the mortgage and cover basic living expenses at the same time. (This can include cash savings, money market funds, stocks or bonds, but not retirement accounts.)
f. Excessive monthly debt payments and over-extensions with credit cards. For example, you have been using credit cards, a home equity loan or other credit to make your mortgage payment.
g. Other reasons for hardship detailed by the borrower.

The first step is to contact your "servicer," which is the company you send your mortgage payments to. The HAMP program requires your servicer to collect the following information from you:

1. Your current monthly household income from all sources including salary or wages, tips, bonuses, alimony, retirement benefits, unemployment benefits or public assistance. Be sure to know when your unemployment or other benefits are scheduled to expire. It is important that you have evidence that unemployment benefits will continue for at least nine months. If applicable, borrowers should also provide documentation of other income including social security, disability, death benefits, pension or public assistance such as letters, insurance policies or statements and should be able to show the frequency and duration of the benefits. Borrower must also provide the two most recent bank statements showing receipt of such payments.
2. Two most recent pay stubs from your current employer showing year-to-date earnings.
3. IRS Form 4506T signed and dated by each borrower.
4. If you are self-employed, your most recent quarterly or year-to-date profit / loss statement.
5. In certain cases, signed copies of your most recent federal tax return. (If you have filed electronically, print a copy and have all parties sign the hard copy.)
6. Household expenses, including but not limited to second mortgages, revolving debt, car payments, alimony / child support and homeowners’ association (HOA) and / or condominium fees, if applicable.
7. Your hazard and flood insurance premiums, as applicable.
8. Your real estate / property taxes. This information is often available online from your county, city or other tax jurisdiction’s web page.
9. Household assets, including but not limited to amounts in checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), stocks and bonds.

If you are current or less than 60 days delinquent with your mortgage payments but believe you are at risk of "imminent default" and want to discuss a loan modification, you will be subject to a more thorough review of your household finances. You are likely to be asked to provide documentation of all household income and household expenses.

More information on the Home Affordable Modification Program can be found at www.makinghomeaffordable.gov.

Other considerations

Stay in contact with your servicer and/or mortgage counselor at all times. Notify them of any change in your circumstances, including new employment or problems with making payments under any modification plan.

Be patient, cooperative and honest, and keep your commitment on any modification agreement.

A HAMP modification is not the only loss mitigation tool available. If you do not qualify for HAMP, ask your servicer about other "workout" alternatives, including postponements of regular payments (called forbearance), repayment plans, non-HAMP modifications and other options.

Only work with reputable servicers and counselors. There are a lot of fraudsters out there looking for targets. For some hints, download our guide to Avoiding Foreclosure Rescue Scams.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Prevent Damage from Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants damage wood by hollowing it out for nesting. Unlike termites, wood damaged by carpenter ants does not contain mud-like debris. Instead, carpenter ant nests have a smooth, sandpapered appearance. Carpenter ants typically establish colonies in a moist environment, but will nest in dry wood. Moist areas around windows, leaky roof and chimneys, bathtubs and sinks, and exterior areas that are in contact with soil are a prime breeding ground.

Control carpenter ants by destroying their nests, and eliminating conditions that encourage colonies to nest. Often, ants found inside the home may actually nest outdoors. Old stumps, untreated landscaping timber, and dead or dying trees are common nesting grounds. Before the ants move indoors as colonies expand, remove potential nesting areas near the house.

Routine household maintenance will go a long way in preventing carpenter ant infestation. Follow these tips to reduce the likelihood of infestation:

-Ants are attracted to moist wood. Repair roof and plumbing leaks, leaky chimney flashing, overflowing gutters and all other water infiltration problems to avoid creating a tempting nesting area.

-Trim trees and bushes that touch a home's roofing and siding.

Continue Reading on BobVila.com >

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Celebrating Green Earth 2010

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. While back in 1970 being green may have seemed like a radical idea, in today’s day many embraced the idea of green and homeowners are no exception.

I want to share with you some simple ideas that will help you turn GREEN.

Recycle. Paper, cardboard, plastic, cans are the most common recyclables. Check with your municipality for acceptable items and whether curbside or drop-off service is available. Also check how you can recycle at work, usually we spend more time working that at home.

Adjust your thermostat. Turn down the thermostat in the winter (72) and up in the summer (78). Install a programmable thermostat to adjust temps easily, especially while you are away from home.

Reduce electricity draw. Unplug cell phone, camera and other chargers when not in use. Turn off unused lights. Install timers to automatically turn light off.

Cut out disposables. Instead of paper towels, switch to reusable, washable cloths. Give cloth napkins a try to replace paper napkins.

Upgrade appliances. Look for Energy Star-rated appliances when replacing or remodeling to save energy and on utility costs. Take advantage of rebates and tax credit incentives while they last.

Go Green & Pass It On, Especially to Children!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Clinic designed to educate potential home-buyers on the process to becoming a homeowner

On Saturday April 17th from 10:00am - 2:00pm, the War on Poverty-Florida will host a HomeBuying Clinic for local residents interested in learning more about the home-buying process.

The FREE workshop is designed to provide a basic overview of the home buying process, availability of local home buying programs and resources with the goal in preparing participants in the pursuit of home-ownership.

What does a Realtor do? How will I know I am ready to purchase a home? What is required by the bank?

Representatives from NEFAR, CitiMortgage, Grace & Truth CDC, Florida Department of Financial Services, and Northeast Florida Community Action Agency will answer these questions and more as they cover topics such as "Becoming a Homeowner", "Thinking Like a Lender", "Trusting Your Realtor" and "Understanding Homeowners Insurance".

The event is free and pre-registration is suggested. Call 766-7275 to register. Learn more about the War on Poverty-Florida at www.waronpoverty.org.

Tonisha Gaines
Marketing & Development Coordinator
War on Poverty-Florida
5196-A Norwood Avenue
Jacksonville, FL 32208
(904) 766-7275 office


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ben Pennymon, (904) 630-3426, benp@coj.net


JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 13, 2010 – The City of Jacksonville’s Human Rights Commission will host the eighth annual Fair Housing Awareness Symposium on Saturday, April 24. The event will include workshops with speakers providing information on a variety of topics related to housing as well as a vendor exhibition designed to align attendees with resources to aid them in exercising their housing rights.

WHEN: Saturday, April 24
8-9 a.m. Registration and welcome session
9-11:45 a.m. Vendor exhibition/workshops
Noon-2 p.m. Awards luncheon

WHERE: Crowne Plaza Riverfront Hotel
1201 Riverplace Blvd.

This free event offers an opportunity for Jacksonville residents to learn practical information about acquiring and keeping a home, predatory lending, credit, fair housing and disability rights, and other housing related topics.

These topic areas will be covered during informational workshops. Some of the workshops include First-time Homebuyers; Fair Housing and Disability Rights; Real Estate is the Value Real; Facing the Worst: Strategies, Alternatives and Options; Fair Housing vs. Landlord Tenant Disputes: Knowing the Difference; Predatory Lending; and more.

Local housing assistance organizations will also be on-hand at a vendor exhibition providing fair housing information. Participating organizations include Advocacy Center for Person’s with Disabilities, Association of Housing Counselors and Agencies, City of Jacksonville Disabled Services, Family Foundations, Grace and Truth Community Development Corporation, Three Rivers Legal Services, Home Depot, Sunshine State Health Plan and other local community-based organizations and housing partners.

In addition, awards will be given at the luncheon to individuals and organizations for their work on, and dedication to fair housing. Award recipients include:
Accessible Housing Award, Northwest Jacksonville Community Development Corporation
Good Neighbor Award, Ronald Johnson
Seniors’ Choice Award, Eula Mayes
Faith Based Award, Grace and Truth CDC
Best Practices Award, The Cathedral Foundation of Jacksonville
Communication Award, GrapeVine Newspaper

The 2010 Fair Housing Awareness Symposium is free and open to the public; however, registration is required. To register, call (904) 630-1212 x3020 or e-mail JHRCRSVP@coj.net.

This event is made possible through a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) acquired by the City of Jacksonville Housing and Neighborhoods Department, Jacksonville Human Rights Commission and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Fish Pond Management Seminar

For Jacksonville Residents:

Do you want to know how to control algae in your pond, stock and manage fish populations, as well as, learn about the USDA resources available for pond construction? If so, attend a pond management seminar on Tuesday, April 20th at 6:00 pm. There is a registration fee of $5.00 to cover light refreshments and workshop materials. Pre-registration is required to Becky Davidson at (904) 387-8850.

This program is presented by the UF/IFAS Extension Office in association with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Duval Soil and Water Conservation District.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Palatka's Bank Under the Water

Palatka's First Federal hit with regulatory order
First Federal Bank of North Florida, based in Palatka, was ordered by the Office of Thrift Supervision to merge or be acquired by another bank within 20 days. The order was issued on March 1.

Regulators say the bank is undercapitalized and that action is needed to resolve problems at the least-possible loss to the FDIC's deposit insurance fund.

First Federal was founded in 1922 as the Palatka Building and Loan Association. Outside of Palatka Florida, the bank has branches in St. Augustine, Hastings, Welaka, Interlachen and Crescent City.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Congressman Ander Crenshaw will host a homeownership promotion and foreclosure prevention workshop in Jacksonville

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Ander Crenshaw will host a homeownership promotion and foreclosure prevention workshop on Saturday, February 27 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Grand Banquet Hall at the University Center at University of North Florida.

“Homeownership is a vital part of the American dream, but with it comes serious responsibility and significant obligation,” said Crenshaw. “Unfortunately, the recent economic downturn has left many with questions about buying a home and others with difficulty making their mortgage payments. This workshop will put them in touch with representatives from government agencies, legal counselors, and non-profit organizations that have helpful information on how to move forward. I strongly encourage those who are looking to purchase a first home, having difficulty making a mortgage payment or facing foreclosure to attend.”

The session is free and open to the public, and attendees are encouraged pre-register by filling out contact information on the special events section of the web site (www.crenshaw.house.gov) under constituent services. Those interested in attending can also feel free to contact Nathan Riska in Congressman Crenshaw’s Jacksonville office at 904-598-0481.

The “open press” portion of the program will begin at 10 a.m. with remarks from Congressman Crenshaw who will introduce representatives from the participating organizations: the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Jacksonville Urban League, WealthWatchers, Jacksonville Legal Aid, Three Rivers Legal Services, Operation New Hope, and Family Foundations.

The “closed press” portion will follow where participants will be able to meet one-on-one with participating agencies and have their questions and concerns addressed.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Why when we are talking about Foreclosure and how it hurts Minorities, Race is always a factor ignoring the real problem?

By Bill Arce (RealEstateLatino.com)
Study: Latino ‘foreclosure generation’ devastated

The Orange County Register has this article featuring a study conducted by NCLR reporting how minority (especially Latinos) are being disproportionally hurt by the housing crisis mainly, foreclosures.

The study shows some interesting findings, statistics and makes recommendations:

Researchers interviewed 25 families in foreclosure, many victims of “predatory lending,” according to the study’s authors.

Among their findings:

•The loss of a job and a hike in mortgage payments most often led to losing the home. The families interviewed lost an average of $89,155 because of the foreclosure.

•Despite going to their lenders for help, none of the families were offered a loan modification, forbearance or other help.

•More than half of the families reported that their children had academic or behavioral problems in school because of the instability in the home. Researchers have dubbed these families “the foreclosure generation.”

•All but one family was left without savings they could tap in case of a financial emergency, and many held back on necessary health care to save money.

The study advocates loan modifications that include a principal reduction and a strengthening of the safety net, including allowing foreclosed families to stay in their homes as renters and a program of community based, nonprofit financial counseling.

Now, what really stroke me about this article was the responds some of the readers had. I liked to think some of these readers were showing signs of frustration due to the fact they are losing their homes to foreclosure, other may feel their race is underrepresented, or simple it seams that they are losing their share of “HOPE” and might be left out of any help available. Whether the case may be, I think it is incorrect to assume that minorities’ homeowners are getting more assistance than others just because we are considered a minority, when it is true that the mortgage crisis is hurting more Latinos and African American than anybody else.

The sad part will be when we get out of this mess and we realized we didn’t learn anything from it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

¿Qué Es Un Punto?

Sabias Que? Un punto es igual al 1% de la NUEVA cantidad del préstamo.

¿Por qué se cobran puntos?

Siempre que la regulación del gobierno, las leyes de la usura del estado y/o las prácticas competitivas prohíban a prestamistas de cargar un tipo de interés que haría el préstamo de propiedades inmobiliarias competitivo con otros campos de inversiones, el prestamista debe buscar cierto método de aumentar la producción para los inversionistas. Cargando "señala", el prestamista puede traer el préstamo de propiedades inmobiliarias hasta esas otras inversiones.

¿Tiene los puntos diferentes nombres?

Sí. Honorario de creaciones de préstamo, honorario de comisión, honorario del descuento, almacenando el honorario, el honorario de financiamiento, el etc.

¿Quién debe pagar los puntos?

FHA: Cargan al comprador generalmente con el honorario de creaciones de préstamo; El comprador o el vendedor pueden pagar el honorario del descuento VA: Cargan al comprador generalmente con el honorario de creaciones de préstamo y el honorario de financiamiento. El descuento se debe pagar por el vendedor.

Convencional: Los puntos se pueden pagar por el comprador, el vendedor o la fractura entre los dos. Términos del estado en contrato de la compra.

El gobierno de City/State/State patrocinó préstamos: Según lo publicado por ellos.

¿Es verdad que el número de puntos cargado puede fluctuar?
No sin el compromiso de la venta. Incluso cuando un prestamista estipula en escribir el número de los puntos que se cargarán, ese los estados de las garantías "si el tipo de interés no es cambiado por el gobierno." Los puntos cargados en FHA o préstamos convencionales no se cambian generalmente a partir de tiempo de la comisión al establecimiento.

¿En un préstamo para Veterano hay alguna forma de asegurar los números de puntos?

Sí. Si las tarifas en préstamos de hipoteca son más bajas que otras inversiones (tales como acción, enlaces, etc.), después los fondos serán dibujados lejos del mercado de hipoteca. También, cuando hay una demanda pesada sobre el mercado de valores debido a los requisitos militares de las necesidades del negocio o el otro préstamo del gobierno, el resultado es que el dinero para las hipotecas caseras llega a ser escaso y más costoso. Cuando ocurre esto, más puntos pueden ser cargados. Los puntos balancean el mercado. Los puntos no son fijados por la regulación del gobierno sino que cada uno rinde individualmente.

¿Son los préstamos FHA y de Veteranos una forma injusta de financiar una casa?

No. Los hogares se pueden vender más rápidamente porque más compradores pueden calificar con el requisito más bajo de la señal y bajar préstamos a largo plazo – del tipo de interés con cuotas más bajas. Los vendedores reciben todo el efectivo para que su equidad reinvierta en nuevas inversiones caseras u otras. El propósito de estos préstamos es proporcionar a compradores la oportunidad de comprar hogares con la inversión de efectivo mínima que proporciona así un mercado más grande para los vendedores.

¿Son los puntos deducibles para el propósito de impuesto sobre la renta?

Los puntos en una hipoteca casera (para el propósito o la mejora de, y asegurado cerca, la residencia principal del contribuyente) son deducibles actualmente si los puntos se cargan generalmente en el área geográfica donde se hace el préstamo y al grado del número de los puntos cargados generalmente en esa área para el préstamo casero. Si usted está en duda sobre los puntos que son deducibles usted debe entrar en contacto con a su preparador de la declaración de impuestos.

Your Money Bus is coming to Jacksonville

It's never too late to secure
your financial future.

Get free professional advice, no strings attached.
Your Money Bus will be in town soon. Just bring your questions and concerns for a one-on-one consultation with a volunteer independent financial planner.

You can ask about budgeting, saving,reducing debt, investing and more. And, you'll receive a complimentary toolkit with articles,workbooks and interactive tools to help you plan for your future. The bus will be stopping at:

Free Advice Event
Gateway WorkSource Center
(in Gateway Town Center)
5000-2 Norwood Avenue
Jacksonville, FL 32208
February 19th - 9:00-5:00 p.m.
February 20th - 9:00-1:00 p.m.

To make an appointment



Thursday, February 11, 2010

Programa de beneficio de crédito impositivo para compradores en Ohio

Permita que la OHFA le ayude con el pago inicial y los gastos de cierre a través del programa de beneficio de crédito impositivo sin intereses ni pagos de préstamo hasta agosto de 2010. Los prestatarios elegibles que participen en el programa para compradores de su primera vivienda o en el programa para héroes de Ohio pueden usar el préstamo para reducir considerablemente los gastos que un comprador debe pagar de su bolsillo cuando adquiere una vivienda.

Si usted califica para uno de los programas de préstamos para la vivienda de la OHFA, puede decidir beneficiarse del programa de beneficio de crédito impositivo.

•La OHFA emitirá un préstamo, en la forma de segunda hipoteca, hasta por un 3% del precio de compra de la casa.
•Usted podrá usar el préstamo para el pago inicial, para los gastos de cierre o para otros gastos que se deben pagar por adelantado con anterioridad al cierre. Tenga presente que, si bien el préstamo reducirá considerablemente sus gastos, es posible que aún deba pagar algunos gastos de su bolsillo si éstos no están cubiertos por el préstamo.
•Si toma ventaja del préstamo, la tasa de intereses sobre la segunda hipoteca se establecerá en un 1% más alta que las tasas hipotecarias actuales de la OHFA y usted comenzará a pagar el 1 de agosto de 2010.
•Usted podría ser elegible para un nuevo crédito impositivo federal para compradores de su primera vivienda de hasta $8,000. Puede reclamar el crédito en su declaración de impuestos federales de 2008 que debe presentar a más tardar el 15 de abril de 2009, o en la declaración de impuestos correspondiente a 2009 que presente en 2010. Puede hallar más información sobre el crédito impositivo para compradores de su primera vivienda en el sitio Web del Servicio de Rentas Internas (IRS).
•Hay incentivos disponibles si decide pagar por adelantado el préstamo de beneficio de crédito impositivo para compradores de viviendas antes del 30 de junio de 2010. De lo contrario, sus pagos de hipoteca aumentarán ligeramente debido al pago adicional de la segunda hipoteca.
¿Yo califico?
Para calificar para el programa de beneficio de crédito impositivo, usted deberá satisfacer los requisitos del programa de préstamos de la OHFA para compradores de viviendas y cerrar la transacción de su casa antes del 30 de noviembre de 2009. También podrá reclamar el crédito impositivo federal de hasta $8,000 en su declaración de impuestos federales de 2008 que debe presentar antes del 15 de abril de 2009, o en la declaración de impuestos correspondiente a 2009 que presentará en 2010. Verifique los requisitos para el programa para compradores de su primera vivienda y para el programa de héroes de Ohio.

Además, usted deberá:

•Tomar un curso instructivo para compradores de viviendas ofrecido por una agencia de asesoramiento para viviendas aprobado por el HUD, o
•Usar el programa de instrucción para compradores de viviendas de la OHFA en línea.
Obtenga más información sobre las opciones de educación para compradores de viviendas.

Información para descargar
Puede descargar información sobre nuestros programas de préstamo de nuestro centro de descargas.

Su prestamista podrá ayudarle a elegir la opción de pago inicial que sea adecuada para usted. También puede consultar la sección Preguntas más frecuentes de propietarios de viviendas para más información.

Si necesita ayuda adicional, diríjase a:

Office of Homeownership
Ohio Housing Finance Agency
57 East Main Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Help Shape the Future of AREAA Professional Development

Share your feedback to enhance AREAA's Professional Development

In 2010, AREAA will expand our education programs to reach more
members through additional course offerings, online class
delivery, and chapter education and networking events. We would
like to have your views on the education topics and delivery
methods that would be most valuable to you as AREAA members. The
information you provide will be used to prioritize AREAA
resources in supporting our education programs throughout 2010.
Thank you in advance for your participation in this brief 10
-question survey.

Click here to take survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZTH9WYB

Delinquency Rate Rises on FHA-Backed Loans

Today I came across this article and I wanted to shear it with you. This article mentions some interesting statistics that makes me wonder, WHY? FHA loans are FULL DOCS; applicants must disclose and verify income in order to (in must cases) pass the manual underwriting approval. After reading the whole article I come to the conclusion that we as professionals (lenders, Realtors, and sure counselors) need to do a better job educating consumers.

Now, I agreed that educating consumers on what is best for them sometimes can be tricked, why? Because sometime you cannot educate someone who are not willing to listening or just have an idea and no matter what your advice is they will do what they think is best for them.

So, what we should do as professional? First always be honest, remember "If you are thinking with your wallet, you are probably doing something wrong, or at least unethical". Secondly, explaining all the facts, advice your client the best of your knowledge, even is this is something you know they wouldn't like to hear. And last, be prepared to fired your clients or at the very least let them know that you preferred not to be part of the transaction that your experience tell you is a bad deal for your client.

Recently, I qualified a client (a family of 4) who is currently leaving with his brother in law, paying only $350 a month on rent. When I asking if he had saved some money to buy his house, he said NO, I advised him to review his family budget and save some money, that it was not a good idea buying a home without any money even if I could helping get first time buyer assistance.

Few days later he called me asking me the name of the DPA program, he was applying with a different bank, and I give him the information and wishing good luck. I have not heard from him ever since, but I am sure if he buys a home now he will be joining the growing army of homeowners losing their home to foreclosure even if they were FHA approved.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Casa Latino International Enters Global Expansion Phase

(ORLANDO, FL) -- Casa Latino International, an Orlando-based multicultural real estate firm, has launched a global development initiative to expand the Casa Latino brand into select markets in South America and Europe, further strengthening the real estate franchise brand beyond the U.S. territory.

The expansion of Casa Latino International into the worldwide marketplace will establish partnerships with foreign real estate professionals, agencies and brokerage firms to create an access point to the U.S. realty markets, including access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Sonny Buoncervello, president of Casa Latino International, is spearheading this global marketing initiative with the support of Dream Factory Productions, a multicultural marketing and advertising agency with experience in the development of brands in global markets.

"Casa Latino International is creating ambassadorial-style partnerships with real estate professionals to enhance their business with residential and commercial MLS inventory from the American market in their language," said Buoncervello. "We are launching boutique real estate centers abroad to serve the interests of their citizens in popular destinations within the U.S."

Buoncervello has over 35 years of experience in the real estate business and played a pivotal role in the development of two of Central Florida's most beautiful resort communities, Celebration and Reunion, which gives him a unique advantage in real estate market development. In his desire to expand the Casa Latino brand internationally, Buoncervello recently brokered a Master Franchise Agreement with Eros Spinozzi, President of Italico Srl, to develop the Casa Latino brand throughout Italy.

During the first quarter of 2010, Casa Latino International plans to expand the real estate brand to Mexico, Costa Rica and Brazil, all countries that offer excellent market potential given the established travel routes to U.S. airports with a constant flow of tourists and business travelers.

Through the establishment of partnerships with agents and brokerage firms in the Latin American territory, as well as in Spain and Italy, customers will benefit from the opportunity to purchase real estate in many of the most popular destination cities in North America--a growing trend in countries with strong middle class segments.

Since many are likely to be unfamiliar with real estate transactions in the U.S., Casa Latino International's offers foreign real estate brokers the value-added benefit of making available a full range of resources, including MLS inventory, financing options, title assistance and bilingual support.

BIENVENIDOS AL ÁREA DE ORANDO, AQUÍ SIEMPRE ESTARÁS DIVIRTIÉNDOTE. El centro de la Florida compuesto por cuatros condados, Lake,...