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Rarely Discussed Tips for Buying that First House

Lots of solid information is available online that discusses items for first time home buyers such as choosing the right loan, working with a reputable lender, and arranging a proper budget. While those items are very important, there are some other items that don't get the same publicity but deserve great attention.


Buyer Beware

It cannot be stressed enough: there is no such thing as a perfect home. One home that seems to have a great outside appearance may need significant work on the inside. Another home that is appealing both indoors and out could be located in a terrible neighborhood. Take some time to look over the home as closely as you can. Ask some friends or relatives to come by and inspect the place. If something looks wrong, consult with a professional inspector.

Don't Sign Something that is Unclear

Most people that are buying a home for the first time are not aware that there are LOTS of forms to sign. This does not mean you should sit at the closing and closely read every single word. Many of these items are simply legal documents designed to protect the borrower. However, it also does not mean you should be confused about the process. During the closing process, ask the closing agent or your lender questions about the paperwork that you are signing to be sure you understand everything.

Allow for Improvements and Vacations

Very few people buy a home and leave everything as it sits for the duration of their home ownership. Most people like to add variety by changing out the carpet, adding fresh paint and updating the appliances and light fixtures. All of these things take money, whether they are done now or 5 years from now. Don't pick a home that is at the edge of your affordability. Leave some room for making a few improvements as well as saving up for the occasional vacation.

Don't Buy With Just Your Heart

It is true that most people will live in a home for a number of years. For this reason, they need to be quite happy with the major features of the property. However, falling in love with a property that is over an hour away from your job will make your commute quite tough, and add misery to your life. It is important to find a home that makes you happy and is practical for your situation.


photo credit: joelplutchak via photopin cc

Avoid Unpleasant Features

Just as some people fall in love with a home and buy it based on one or two features, some people loathe one or two features of an otherwise suitable place. It is a bad idea to try and put up with something that makes you unhappy for the sake of owning a home. For instance, some people despise yard work. Buying a lovely modern home, with modern appliances, and in a good area may sound great until you realize the yard is monstrous. All those hours spent mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, cleaning around walkways and other items may actually irritate some people to no end.

Related posts:

  1. Tips on Buying Your First Wisconsin Home Tips on Buying Your First WI Home Getting that first...
  2. Tips for Buying a Wisconsin Short Sale Tips for Buying Your First Short Sale A short sale...
  3. Bad Choices People Make When Buying a Home Bad Choices People Make When They Buy a Home All...
  4. Tips for Picking the Right Wisconsin Home Tips for Picking the Right Home Finding the home that...
  5. Tips for Purchasing a Foreclosure Tips for Purchasing a Foreclosure The housing slump that has...
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In the oftentimes chaotic world of short sales, the road from initial list to closing is filled with rough terrain, speedbumps, wrong turns, u-turns, no turns, stop signs, and many detours. Nary a day I fail to hear the laments of yet another agent succumbing to the trials and toils of short sales. In fact, in my 7 years of selling everything from normal market re-sales to REO and short sales, I've dealt with many different (and often frustrating) short sale transactions. In fact, I've had too many to count! I must say, however, that when I first found out about FHA's Pre-Foreclosure Sales Program....I instantly fell in love! It was Short Sale Xanadu!!!

The FHA Pre-Foreclosure Sales Program enables a home owner to short sell his property (provided he has a FHA loan, of course) with a very little amount of fuss and muss. Prior to being officially enrolled into the program, an appraisal is conducted on the property to establish fair market value. Once that magic number arrives on the desk of the Negotiator from the Appraiser, it becomes the list price...VOILA!!! No more guesswork on how much the bank will require for the sale of the property! Not only that, this program takes it a step furthr and gives you their secret formula of how much the bank must net as the market time increases! In addition to letting the listing agent in on the holy grail secret of what the bank has established as market value, the program also has other benefits:

*Up to $1000 in Seller Relocation Assistance (reduced to $750 if it takes more than 3 months to close)

*Pays up to 1% in buyer's closing costs as long as the buyer's using an FHA mortgage (Sometimes they'll pay up to 3% regardless of financing as long as their warm fuzzy number's met. Ask for a variance)

*Allows up to 6% sales commission for agents (yep, we actually get paid for what we do....what a novel idea!)

*Allows up to $1500 towards junior lien discharge

The benefit of knowing EXACTLY what you're dealing with even before the property technically hits the market makes the listing agent more knowledgeable about the short sale process AND makes the property more marketable to the buyer. For these reasons, my love affair with the FHA Pre-Foreclosure Sales Program will never end!


Happy Selling

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Looking for second mortgage

I am trying to find a 2nd lien that is on title, title shows MILA they went out in 2007.  clients say willshire, they sold off to BOA, BOA doesn't have them.  I ran through fannie, freddie and mers.. no luck any other ideas out there???

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Are Short Sales are becoming a thing of the past? It seems like this is the way the market is moving. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac own or guarantee $5.2 trillion of mortgages, more than half the outstanding U.S. home loans.


Starting in March Non-delinquent borrowers with illness, job changes or other reasons they need to move will become eligible to apply for a deed-in-lieu transaction that erases the shortfall between a property’s value and the size of its mortgage.




Team this with the fact that Fannie Mae is now artificially inflating property values through their high Short Sale counters and their Homepath program and you can see that Short Sales are no longer the first option for these two mortgage giants.


It’s clear that the goal is to take over ownership of properties so they can sell them once the values increase. Or the properties can just be sold through Homepath at a higher than market price since an appraisal is not needed with this program.


Short Sales are drying up:


  • There are about 7 million underwater properties, worth less than the mortgages on them, down from 11 million in 2011, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Within two years, the number of upside-down home loans could drop to 4 million, the New York bank said.


So....if you handle Short Sales for a living it is time to start looking for alternative income streams. I know I am.


What say you?

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Just received from NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE the complaint and notice of lis pendens for my mother's property located in North Miami Beach, FL where I live with my sister and her children. I know there is a 20 day response window but my mother doesn't want to keep the property anymore. Property is worth about $23k and $109k is the balance owed. My mother would like to consult with an experienced real estate attorney before making her final decision. Any recommendations for an attorney located in North Miami Beach, Hallandale Beach or Aventura area?

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If you are one of the smart homeowners who were involved in mortgage restructuring or a short sale in 2012, tax time is an IMPORTANT season for you. There are tax implications associated with debt cancellation/mortgage forgiveness. For those who have been involved this year, here are instructions and tips from Seattleshortsaleblog on how to take advantage of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act that was extended until 1/1/2014!

Here is an example of your liability if the debt relief act did not get extended or if you do not follow tax instructions posted here: Example: If you owe $150,000 on your home and it sells in a foreclosure auction for $100,000, the amount remaining of $50,000 would be taxable income. If you are in the 25% tax bracket, you will have to pay the IRS $12,500 in taxes on the foreclosure.

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief act allows you to exclude this income on your taxes but you must take action.

Here are instructions directly derived from the IRS Website. Read the full page HERE

If the forgiven debt is excluded from income, do I have to report it on my tax return?
Yes. The amount of debt forgiven must be reported on Form 982 and this form must be attached to your tax return.

Do I have to complete the entire Form 982?
No. Form 982, Reduction of Tax Attributes Due to Discharge of Indebtedness (and Section 1082 Adjustment), is used for other purposes in addition to reporting the exclusion of forgiveness of qualified principal residence indebtedness. If you are using the form only to report the exclusion of forgiveness of qualified principal residence indebtedness as the result of foreclosure on your principal residence, you only need to complete lines 1e and 2. If you kept ownership of your home and modification of the terms of your mortgage resulted in the forgiveness of qualified principal residence indebtedness, complete lines 1e, 2, and 10b. Attach the Form 982 to your tax return.

TIPS For Mortgage Forgiveness from TurboTax: Dealing with incorrect 1099-C forms
If your lender has reduced or eradicated your debt under a short sale or mortgage restructure, it will send you IRS Form 1099-C at the end of the year, showing the amount of the debt forgiven and the fair market value of the property. Review the document carefully and compare it to your own figures. If it contains misstatements, contact the lender and attempt to have it correct the form. If it is not able, or not willing, to do that in a timely manner, recalculate the correct figures and provide the IRS with documentation showing how you arrived at your figures when you file your income tax return.

It is vital to follow these steps after any type of mortgage forgiveness. Please read through these instructions & tips. Also, make sure you are reboosting your credit!

Feel free to contact me at

Good luck!



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12433930657?profile=originalPalm Springs and the desert cities in general are seeing declining short sale listings.  Not just the numbers in listings, but also the prices have begun to creep up to closer to FMV.  Why?  I suspect there are several things at work here...

1.  We are a resort town.  By that I mean, there are many buyers wishing to own in our winter wonderland and so very few propeties languish on the market. 

2.  The new inventory which was hardest hit..2003-2006 built..have been sold out.  These developments have mostly turned. 

Short Sales have been purchased, refurbished, moved into or resold and have new homeowners.  Equity sales or standard sales are increasingand our inventory is markedly low..all across the valley.  There are still great values to be had if you compare price/sf to what they were in the peak, but those smashing Short Sale values???  Not so much.

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Least yet again...

I know almost everyone on here preaches about having a problem keeping a buyer. Well I am a buyer and my husband and I have a preapproved priority buyer loan for up too 100k. We live in a semismall community and have been trying to purchase a home for a whole year now. We hav lost 2 homes due to seller back out. Our 1st home the seller backed out after waiting for 3 months. The latest one was even worse. We waited 5 and a half months! Our realtor told us that we were approved and were waiting on the actual paper approval. Another seller called and decided not to sell. Now we cannot find a home that can get USDA or FHA financing because when people are leaving their homes they are taking the outside A/C units or the well pumps, or water systems, or al of the above or more. According to my realtor, these homes cannot financed. Is there any way around this? So bummed almost tired of trying anymore.
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Good morning Superstars.

Here are this weeks featured discussions.

DiscussionsRepliesLatest Activity

Bank of America - approved short sale but now they are changing servicers (loan sold)

Just received this from BOA: Please be aware, the lien on this property is scheduled for sale to a new Investor (non Bank of America) on 1/…

Started by Howard Meguro

94 hours ago
Reply by Howard Meguro

Buyer to Pay Attorney &/or Negotiation Fees?

Hi Guys, Our team has been working on some strategic planning and we were surprised to find a lot of the short sale listings in our area th…

Started by Chris Black

139 hours ago
Reply by obed montez

Arms Length with Family Relations

I have clients (husband and wife) who have an LLC and want to purchase the wife's parents 2 properties through the LLC. Any advice? The w…

Started by Alesa Ottaway

69 hours ago
Reply by obed montez

Are You Seeing a Slow Down in the Qty of Short Sales Coming In?

As NC Realtors, I list and process my own short sales, but I also process short sales of agents that belong to other agencies. I do this u…

Started by Rodney McNabb

313 hours ago
Reply by Brett Goldsmith

Promissory Notes

Is there any difference between a promissory note executed by a borrower at the time of a short sale versus the original promissory executed…

Started by Paul Aceto

1018 hours ago
Reply by Patricia Bravo

Need Help W BofA//Chase standoff

We have a Fannie file with Bank of America as the first mortgage and Chase [equity line of credit] as the second. Bank of America says that…

Started by Sean Gunning

418 hours ago
Reply by Patricia Bravo


Right now, I like Wells Fargo. Bank of America and Chase are WAY to horrific for me right now, but if you had to pick your #1, who would i…

Started by Smitty

918 hours ago
Reply by Patricia Bravo

Where to Add Short Sale Processing Fees on the HUD...And What to Label Them

We 'process' short sales in NC under various attorneys, and 'negotiate' short sales in TX under our own umbrella (an attorney is not requir…

Started by Rodney McNabb

120 hours ago
Reply by Wayne Brooks

Do You Need More Short Sale Listings?

Short Sale Superstars wants to make generating Short Sale leads easier for you. So.....we have partnered with the Short Sale Specialist Network to offer you.....

The Short Sale Lead Machine.

AND......if you use coupon code SUPERSTAR you will get an additional month for only $1. That means you can have your site set up and use it for two months for only $2! is a FREE one hour course on Short Sale Lead Generation that may help you.

Let's make 2013 a banner year for Short Sales. Together we can help a lot of folks avoid foreclosure.


***Don't forget to use coupon code SUPERSTAR for the additional discount.

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Short Sale Real Estate Agents in Madison, WI

Michael-Collins-Short-Sale-Realtor-e1357917218894.jpg?width=200Are you looking for a Madison Wisconsin Short Sale Realtor® or real estate agent? Rock Realty is a real estate brokerage that specializes in Short Sales and Bank Owned Foreclosures in the Madison WI area. We have helped home owners in both Rock County and Dane County, from Beloit to Lodi.
My name is Michael Collins, broker for Rock Realty. I have completed the Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource training and have been given the SFR designation through the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Feel free to contact me directly at 608-921-8536 for help with any of your short sale home questions. I have helped many Madison home owners with their distressed property needs and consider myself a Wisconsin Short Sale Specialist.

REALTORS® who have earned the SFR certification know how to help sellers maneuver the complexities of short sales as well as help buyers pursue short sale and foreclosure opportunities. The certification program includes training on how to qualify sellers for short sales, negotiate with lenders, protect buyers, and limit risk.

What is a Short Sale?

A short sale occurs when a lender agrees to take less than the amount owed to payoff a loan as an alternative to foreclosure. Lenders know that it will cost them a significant amount of money to take a property back. The Real Estate Agents at Rock Realty can often convince them that they will be better off financially if they sell the property now rather than taking the home through foreclosure and trying to sell it later. So, a short sale can actually be good for the bank. It can also be good for the home owner, as it is typically better to perform a short sale on their Madison property instead of letting it proceed to foreclosure.

If you are considering the possibility of a short sale for your Madison Wisconsin home and have further questions, feel free to visit the information page below.

Wisconsin Short Sale Information

Is a Short Sale right for My Home?

Additional Short Sale Information

Rock Realty SOLD Short Sale Listings

514 S Jackson St, Janesville WI | 900 King Street, Stoughton WI

105 W Main St, Brooklyn WI | 408 S Academy Street, Janesville WI

449 Farnham St #2, Marshall WI | 1117 Ontario Dr, Janesville WI

4602 N Katherine Dr, Janesville WI    

Zip Codes:
53701 53702 53703 53704 53705 53706 53707 53708 53711
53713 53714 53715 53716 53717 53718 53719 53725 53726
53744 53774 53777 53778 53779 53782 53783 53784 53785
53786 53788 53789 53790 53791 53792 53793 53794 

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This 4 Car Garage Stoughton, WI short sale home is now listed at $99,000!

Click for MLS listing.
4 Car Garage Home

Property Highlights

  • 4 Car Garage!
  • Great for a mechanic or woodworker!
  • Large Front Yard
  • Private Backyard
  • Paver Block Patio
  • Vaulted Ceilings
  • Exposed Beams
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Kitchen Storage
  • Hardwood Floors
  • Tiled Bathroom


  • Bedrooms: 2 plus a main level office
  • Bathrooms: 1
  • Home Size: 1,326 sq.ft.
  • Garage: 4
  • Lot Size: 8,712 sq.ft.
  • County: Dane
  • Property Type: Single Family Home
  • Year Built: 1935
  • MLS Number: 1664037

Original Post - Stoughton WI 4 Car Garage House

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Thousands of homes Foreclosed; Can you afford a Risky Loan?

The adjustable rate mortgage has been around for a number of years and it has helped a number of people afford the purchase of their first home. However, in the late 90’s and early part of the 2000’s some people took advantage of the low rates offered by ARMS and got in over their head. Before buying a home people should really look at all the factors involved with an adjustable rate loan and make sure it is right for them.

Fixed Period Varies

photo credit: nikcname via photopin cc

The vast majority of current ARM’s offer a well-defined period in which the interest rate is fixed. The defined period typically lasts from 3 to 7 years and can be as long as 10 years. After this defined period the interest rate will adjust based on the index used to calculate the interest rate.

Some people have well defined plans and can use the fixed period for meeting their goals. For instance, a military couple that has an assignment to a particular area could purchase a home using a 5 year ARM and use the time to live in the home with no worries about a change in interest rate.

However, people that are just looking at the low rates of the ARM’s and “hoping” that their income will rise in future years are taking a big gamble.

Rates Will Rise

Years ago when the ARM was first introduced it was always explained the same way. When the market took a dip the interest rate would lower accordingly and the opposite would happen when the market improved. However, the last few years have seen nothing but historically low rates. Getting an adjustable rate loan now ensures one thing; the interest rate will rise once the fixed period ends. The current rates cannot get much lower.

Thankfully, an adjustable rate mortgage will have some safeguards to protect borrowers. The amount of increase for the rate is usually capped each year as well as a cap for the duration of the loan. For instance, most ARM’s will not adjust more than 1% in one year and no more than 5% or 7% over the course of the loan. However, a 5% increase in rate on a $250,000 loan can increase a loan payment by over $700. Keep in mind that when the interest rate adjusts the new payment is factored over the remaining loan term. This can drive up the payment as well.

Plan Accordingly

All of this information points to one simple fact. People considering an adjustable rate loan need to plan accordingly. You should have some type of exit strategy in mind, whether it is selling or refinancing or paying off the loan in order to avoid some potentially hazardous conditions in the near future.

This communication is provided to you for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon by you. Rock Realty is not a mortgage lender and so you should contact a lender directly to learn more about its mortgage products and your eligibility for such products.

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  3. New WHEDA Loan Programs Are you a first-time buyer? Do you want an affordable...
  4. 7 Key Questions to ask about your Mortgage Key Questions to Ask About Your Mortgage This week I...
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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is finalizing the “Ability-to-Repay” rule which requires lenders to obtain and verify information to determine whether a consumer can afford to repay the mortgage. Our belief is the 2013 ATR final rule will dramatically alter the residential mortgage market making it more difficult to obtain another mortgage.

"It should be emphasized that a mortgage loan that is not a "qualified mortgage" and that does not meet the ability-to-repay requirement would subject the creditor and subsequent assignees to, among other things, civil liability under TILA and provide the borrower with a defense to foreclosure. In addition to actual damages, statutory damages in an individual or class action, and court costs and attorneys fees, the Dodd-Frank Act also amended TILA to include special statutory damages for a violation of the ability-to-repay requirement equal to the sum of all finance charges and fees paid by the consumer, unless the failure to comply was not material.2"

Based off this information, we can infer that lending practices will be tighter and obtaining another mortgage will be more difficult for most to-be homeowners. If creditors now have penalties in the event that they do not fully qualify the borrower, then we can reasonably assume they will shift their lending to only those who they deem are “low risk.”

"A creditor shall not make a loan that is a covered transaction unless the creditor makes a reasonable and good faith determination at or before consummation that the consumer will have a reasonable ability to repay the loan according to its terms."4

To be clear, we are not criticizing or opposing this new rule as we don’t want to see another subprime mortgage crisis on our hands. However, current homeowners need to understand that their actions with their current home will determine their ability to obtain another mortgage in the future.

Rather than going through the whole foreclosure vs short sale debate, we’ll make this simple. Put yourself in the underwriters shoes and the new ATR rule now passed. You have two applicants with one credit report showing a Foreclosure and another showing “Paid for less than original amount.” According to Experian, most lenders typically report a short sale as a “settled” account.

Who do you think will obtain the loan and get to live in their new house?

Feel free to comment on what you think about the new Ability to repay rule. Thanks!


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How to Purchase a Home in 2013

How to Purchase a Home in 2013

As this new year begins many people are setting goals, making resolutions and generally planning for a better year. If you are one of the people considering a home purchase in the upcoming year there is some sound advice to follow in order to make the process smoother and ensure that you get in to a home that truly makes you happy.

Be Realistic About Your Finances

Buying-in-2013.jpg?width=300If you are currently renting a nice place for $650 a month then it would seem unreasonable to think that you could afford a home with a loan payment of $1,000. WHY, you may ask? Because the expense of owning a home goes well beyond the monthly payment. There are other things like mowing the lawn, keeping the furnace and air conditioner maintained, repainting every few years, updating the bathroom, replacing an appliance or two, and the list goes on. Understanding the expense for these items will help you set your budget accordingly and hopefully prevent you from getting in to a home that you cannot afford.

Talk to an Experienced Mortgage Broker

After determining how much you can comfortably afford for a home, it is time to chat with a mortgage broker. The broker can look over your finances, your credit history, employment history and the length of time you have lived at your current address and determine the best loan for your needs. A broker can also get offer from multiple lenders in order to get the best rate for your mortgage.

It is wise to let the broker know how much you are comfortable paying each month so that they can use this information to establish a price range for your home. Most people can financially afford more than they are willing to pay. Having the right budget amount will help when you begin looking at homes.

Talk to an Experienced Real Estate Agent

Now that you are firm in the amount you can afford monthly for a payment and you have an approval from a mortgage lender it is time to talk to an experienced real estate agent. A good agent will sit down with you and listen to your wishes in order to decide which homes could meet your needs. Using the price range provided by the mortgage lender, the agent can focus on homes that fall in your budget and prevent wasting time on homes that are too expensive. An agent can also focus on other parameters such as a specific school zone, homes with particular features, size of the home and other things that are important to you.

Don’t put it off any longer. Sit down with a calculator and decide how much you can afford. Then make the decision to make 2013 the year that you become a homeowner!

Related posts:

  1. Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before Looking for a WI Home 

  2. Using FHA 203K Loan to Purchase a Fixer-Upper

  3. 4 Tips to Determine How Much Mortgage You Can Afford

  4. Keep Your Home Purchase on Track

  5. Tips on Buying Your First Wisconsin Home
Read more…


Good morning folks.


If you handle Short Sales as a negotiator then you are aware of all the recent difficulties with Short Sale Property Values coming from Fannie Mae. Here are some articles and discussions about what’s going on.


Fannie Mae Short Sale Property Evaluation Issues

Fannie Mae Short Sale Value Issues

Is Fannie Mae Trying To Control Property Values?


From the Fannie Mae Short Sale Servicer Guidelines.


  • Fannie Mae will now provide the servicer with list price guidance as well as a “good-through” date for the guidance. Servicers will have access to these values through Servicers should provide the written (including email) list price guidance to the borrower and/or the borrower’s real estate broker with the following information: the suggested list price is provided only as guidance, and not as the required list price (the borrower and/or the borrower’s real estate broker are responsible for determining the list price); an offer at or above Fannie Mae’s suggested list price may not automatically result in an acceptable offer if the transaction costs are excessive;


Since the new Short Sale Guidelines from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went into effect 11/1/2012 Short Sales have become much more difficult. Kind of ironic since the Standard Short Sale was supposed to make Short Sales easier.


From Fannie Mae:


  • These new requirements implement and are consistent with the aligned policies described in Federal Housing Finance Agency's July 3, 2012 Directive to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to help simplify and streamline the short sale and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure processes


And just yesterday Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sent out this:




Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced changes to their servicing requirements for short sales. Please see below for some key changes that all parties involved in a short sale should be aware of. These changes apply to all Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac short sales; with an offer and without an offer.


  • Title Transfer requirement change:

    • The buyer is prohibited from selling the property for any sales price for a period of 30 days from the date of the deed.

    • After a 30 day period, and until 90 days from the date of the deed the buyer is further prohibited from selling the property for a sales price greater than 120% of the short sale price.

Note: The above restrictions will run with the land and are not personal to the grantee.


So what we now have are the 2 largest holders of mortgage loans in the US purposely inflating property values AND placing restrictions on property sales AFTER the property has already been sold. And just so you know the restrictions on selling are Deed Restrictions.


Team all of this with the lowest interest rates in history and, dare I say it, we are poised for another artificial increase in property values. Does all of this sound familiar?


Here’s what one analysis had to say in 2008.


  • Congress and the president have enacted legislation to put a potential bailout of those two organizations in statutory language, allowing the now-saved Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to act as “saviors,” a strange position for two essentially bankrupt organizations that wholeheartedly helped engineer the financial calamity they are now supposed to fix. READ THE COMPLETE ANALYSIS


Folks, if you deal mostly in Short Sales as I do, then it is time to start shifting your business. Equity sellers and new construction are both on the upswing. In fact equity sellers have just recently claimed more than 50% of sales in the hardest hit markets.

There were also more construction starts than in any period since 2008 in December 2012.

  • January 17, 2013 - Solid gains in both single-family and multifamily housing production resulted in nationwide housing starts rising 12.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 954,000 units in December, according to newly released data from the U.S. Commerce Department. This is the highest level of new home production since June of 2008. READ THE FULL REPORT

Based on what’s happening in the market my plan for 2013 is to:

  1. Focus more on equity Sellers.

  2. Create additional income streams.

    1. Add agents

    2. Property Management

    3. Increase commission percentage

    4. Reduce expenses

  3. Market for more Buyers.

  4. Get more involved in the “Active Adult” Communities.

What are you going to do to start shifting your business?

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January 2013 – HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Greetings!  I want to quickly update everybody on some new Real Estate news that everybody needs to know:

  1. The Attorney General of Nevada launched a “new” program called Home Again.  It makes it easier for distressed homeowners in Nevada facing foreclosure to determine what state or federal assistance may be available to them with a single “one-stop”, free resource – long over do! It is a single source for all distressed homeowners in Nevada to contact. It is specifically aimed to:
  • Homeowners seeking loan      modification
  • Borrowers current but      underwater
  • Those who lost homes to      foreclosure
  • Households working towards      homeownership

Friends, family, neighbors just need to call 1-855-457-4638

For more information, go to or to the Attorney General’s website.

Upon calling the toll free number (I waited for about 15 minutes on hold,) then spoke to a very knowledgeable person that explained the process. Upon reaching someone at the Home Again program, they will give you some information on the phone and then you will be transferred to a HUD approved counselor to make an appointment.

  1. Short Sales remain a staple in our market and for the foreseeable future.  Congress has extended the certain provisions of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, HR 3648, until December 31, 2013. This gives debt relief on your income taxes for just one more year!  This act benefits qualified homeowners who may have otherwise owed taxes on forgiven debt after going through a short sale.  If anybody is thinking about doing a short sale this is the time to act.  Who knows, with prices going up a short sale may not be necessary!  Call me – Kevin Bown!

If your friends, family and/or neighbors are facing possible foreclosure, have them give me a call 775.813.2387. There are alternatives. There is help out there with the HAFA, HEMP, and other Federal programs.  The state’s Hardest Hit Fund Program (they still have funds available!) is another great resource.  My advice is free.  Your referrals are appreciated! 

It is a great a time to buy and to sell!

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Counties of WIThe Wisconsin housing statistics are now in for December of 2012. Here is an excerpt from what the Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA) had to say:

Wisconsin’s housing market rebounded in 2012, with sales of existing home sales up substantially and median prices up modestly, according to the latest figures released by the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association (WRA). Sales of existing homes for 2012 were 20.7 percent above the levels of 2011, and the statewide median price increased 1.1 percent to $133,500 over that same period. “We’ve seen very strong growth in home sales for the last year and a half, which is an indication that buyers perceive the value of investing in housing again,”  said Renny Diedrich, chairman of the WRA board of directors. She noted that robust growth in home sales was seen throughout the state, with every region growing by double digits.
“Median prices have increased in eight of the last nine months, ending the year up 1.1 percent, which is a welcomed sign,” said WRA President and CEO, Michael Theo.
Below are the number of Home Sales and Median House Prices for the state of Wisconsin, Rock County, and Dane County. These stats include Janesville and Madison. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions pertaining to these figures. As you probably have heard, home sales have been increasing substantially all year. Both Dane and Rock counties are showing marked improvements in the number of homes sold. Prices have bounced in Rock County, while in Dane County WI they appear to now be slowly stabilizing.
If you would like some insight into how much your home is currently worth, I would be happy to provide you with a free comparative market analysis. This is a report that gives a close estimate to what your home might sell for in your current local Wisconsin real estate market. Has your home value fallen below what you currently owe? A short sale may be right for your situation. Visit the following page on Wisconsin Short Sales.
Housing Statistics for the State of Wisconsin:
December 2012
Home Sales: 4,291
Median Home Price: $132,500
December 2011
Home Sales: 3,850
Median Home Price: $120,000
Housing Statistics for Dane County, WI:
December 2012
Home Sales: 404
Median Home Price: $200,000
December 2011
Home Sales: 318
Median Home Price: $206,000
Housing Statistics for Rock County, WI:
December 2012
Home Sales: 116
Median Home Price: $95,000
December 2011
Home Sales: 119
Median Home Price: $90,000
View my report from last month. Wisconsin November Housing Statistics
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While prices are rising in the Silicon Valley there are still homes that are underwater and you may need to short sale your South San Jose home. If this is the case, don't wait!

Bank of America has instituted some new policies which can have a major influence on your South San Jose short sale.

Co-operative Short Sales: Bank of America has a program where they will let you know ahead of time how much they are willing to accept for you South San Jose home in a short sale. Once you agreed to do the short sale they would put a hold on foreclosure activity and give you some money at close of escrow.

The new policy is that there will be no holds on foreclosure until the offer is fully accepted by Bank of America. What this means is that if you can not make your payments  on your South San Jose home and want to short sell you can not wait. You will not be allowed to stay in your home for months trying to modify your loan and trying to get a new job. Once the notice of default has been recorded you will have 3 months to get your South San Jose home sold as a short sale before the notice of trustee sale is recorded. At that point you have another 3 weeks before foreclosure on your South San Jose home.

As any real estate agent familar with south San Jose short sales knows, they take time for approval. Even a Bank of America co-operative short sale can take time. 4 months is not unheard of to obtain approval on a South San Jose Short Sale, so if you can not make your payments, do something or you could lose your home to foreclosure.

If you have any questions about Short Sales in Santa Clara or San Mateo County please feel free to contact me.

Marcy Moyer

Keller Williams Realty

D.R.E. 01191194


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Buying again After a Short Sale

Rock Realty Client Testimonials

"Approx 4 years ago.. I was having some financial strain. I wasn't able to keep up with a first and second mortgage alone as a single mom.

Through friends and family, I was introduced to Mike and Matt.

I didn't want to have to go through the foreclosure process, because I knew that I would be able to pull through the mess I was in within a few years and I didn't want to have that looming over me.

Matt and Mike were able to take over and help me with a short sale. They worked with me directly. They both came to my home, sat down, helped me understand this delicate process (which remains total Greek to me), and they were extremely efficient. My bank worked with me and these gentlemen, and withing approx 3 months, my home was sold in a short sale.

I remain amazed at their abilities and their continued efforts to help me.

Now, 3 years later, I'm looking to purchase... I have looked them up again... and they are helping me find a home that I'm looking for within my specifications and they also have resources to assist with lending.

Couldn't ask for more!!

Thanks so much my friends!! you do an awesome job... Keep up the great work!"

Kari B.(Cross Plains, WI)
Rock Realty Seller & Buyer Client

Rock Realty Client Testimonials

Thanks for the kind words Kari! We look forward to finding you the home perfect for you!

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Good morning Superstars.


This week's buzz word.......FANNIE MAE!


DiscussionsRepliesLatest Activity

New Fannie Mae Re-Sale Restrictions Control the Market

Just in from Bank of America.... Comment with your thoughts below... Original link Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac short sale changes Content:…

Started by Wendy Rulnick

610 hours ago
Reply by Smitty

FNMA Irrational Values

FNMA irrational values have become the rule rather than the exception...and not just a little irrational! One must conclude they don't wan…

Started by Gregory Holmes

14on Thursday
Reply by Mike Linkenauger

Fannie Mae Does Not Allow Appraisals to Dispute Values -- Really???

I was told this week by AMS Servicing (3rd party vendor that processes short sales for BofA) that Fannie Mae does not accept an independent…

Started by Barbara Thomas

4Dec 21, 2012
Reply by Kevin - Greenville, SC

How Long Should It Take FNMA to Respond to A Counter Offer?

Can anyone tell me what the guidelines are for a response to a counter offer. The servicer, Dovenmuhle, keeps insisting that they are wait…

Started by Terry Reager

6Dec 3, 2012
Reply by Tni LeBlanc (805) 878-9879


According to a partially trustworthy, third party source, listening to Jillian Pogach Micheals sirius talk show, stated that fannie mae and…

Started by Donte Tribble

7Nov 20, 2012
Reply by Michelle Adams

Trend in your area? Fannie Mae is requesting about 45% more than the market value

Is anyone else noticing this? We are now on our fifth property where Fannie Mae is requesting about 45% more than the market value of the s…

Started by Dawn Maloney

11Sep 26, 2012
Reply by Rachael Babinchak

Do You Need More Short Sale Listings?

Short Sale Superstars wants to make generating Short Sale leads easier for you. So.....we have partnered with the Short Sale Specialist Network to offer you.....


AND......if you use coupon code SUPERSTAR you will get an additional month for only $1. That means you can have your site set up and use it for two months for only $2! is a FREE one hour course on Short Sale Lead Generation that may help you.

Let's make 2013 a banner year for Short Sales. Together we can help a lot of folks avoid foreclosure.


***Don't forget to use coupon code SUPERSTAR for the additional discount.

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