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It all starts the list a "haute" property in great condition that's price just right and you receive a FLOOD of phone calls.

This is exactly what happened to me, but one particular call stood out from the others...this agent spoke of her client who has a disabled child and they'd already looked at about 50 properties...and missed out on about 20 of those. Instantly, I felt her pain. She showed the home and quickly submitted an offer....A GREAT OFFER, might I add. She quickly explained that all of her client's financials and paperwork had been turned in to the lender and that we would definitely be in for a relatively quick closing.


After about a week, I contacted the buyer's agent to get a status on the loan processing and was told that everything was going well and that we'd probably close a little sooner. My only concern was that the appraiser had not yet contacted me for access to the property.

After about another week, I contacted the lender to ascertain the status of the appraisal and received quite interesting news. As it turns out, the buyer's loan had not yet been submitted to underwriting because they were awaiting a credit re-score. The lender advised that she informed the buyer and her agent of this prior to them placing the home under contract....just a little pertinent piece of information that the buyer's agent failed to disclose. In fact, her loan pre-approval letter failed to disclose the same doggone thing!!!

The sad part of the entire ordeal is that the buyer is outside of all of her contingencies and due diligence period....which means that her earnest money is non-refundable at this point if this doesn't close. When I reminded her agent of this, she instantly became enraged that the seller would even consider keeping the buyer's earnest money deposit "after all that she'd been through". My only response to her was that her client was in this position simply because of her inability to remain honest with all parties involved and since she was so incensed about it, maybe she should personally reimburse her client's earnest money!

Just can't make this stuff up! SMH!!!

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Welcome-to-WisconsinThe Wisconsin housing statistics are in for April of 2014. Here is an excerpt from what the Wisconsin Realtors® Association (WRA) had to say:

Wisconsin existing home sales fell in April even as median prices continued to rise according to the most recent analysis of the state housing market released by the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association (WRA). Home sales declined 11.6 percent in April compared to the same month last year due to a combination of higher home mortgage rates, higher prices and harsh winter temperatures. Median prices rose over that same period, increasing 1.4 percent to $139,900.

As we enter the second quarter of the year, we have been expecting some improvement in home sales, but it’s important to remember that April sales are still impacted by the February weather given the 6 to 8 week lag between the time an offer is accepted and a closing takes place,” said Steve Lane, chairman of the WRA board of directors. He also noted that there were heavy snows in the northern part of the state as late as mid-April 2014. Every region of the state experienced a decline in April sales. The Central region fared the best, falling just 3.8 percent over the April 2013 to April 2014 period, followed by the Northeast region which dropped 8.5 percent over the period. The South central region fell 9.6 percent and the Southeast region saw a decline of 10.1 percent. Finally, the North region dropped 17.4 percent and the West fell 25.5 percent. Interestingly, home sales fell more substantially in the metropolitan counties which averaged a 13 percent reduction in sales in April compared to rural counties which declined 7 percent between April 2013 and April 2014. “This may be due in part to much tighter inventories in the urban counties compared to rural counties,” Lane said. Rural counties had just over 14 months of available inventory in April compared to just 6.9 months for metropolitan counties.

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, overall home sales & prices have been increasing over the past few years. This month however showed a decrease of home sales statewide, but an increase in home prices.

Thinking of purchasing a home before prices or rates rise any further?! I'd be happy to show you any homes currently listed for sale. Feel free to visit Home Listings in Rock County to search for current Rock County properties or visit Home Listings in Dane County for homes in Dane County Wisconsin.

Now might be the right time to sell your Wisconsin home. Feel free to take a look at our cutting edge Rock Realty Marketing Plan! 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. Click below:

What's My Wisconsin Home Worth?

Has your home value fallen below what you currently owe? Have you experienced a hardship like divorce or job loss? A short sale may be right for your situation. Visit our page on Wisconsin Short Sales for more information.

Housing Statistics for the State of Wisconsin:

March 2014
Home Sales: 5,369
Median Home Price: $139,400

March 2013
Home Sales: 6,003
Median Home Price: $138,000

Housing Statistics for Dane County, WI:

March 2014
Home Sales: 590
Median Home Price: $210,000

March 2013
Home Sales: 701
Median Home Price: $209,900

Housing Statistics for Rock County, WI:

March 2014
Home Sales: 170
Median Home Price: $115,000

March 2013
Home Sales: 175
Median Home Price: $105,000

View my report from last month. Wisconsin March 2014 Housing Statistics

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Ignoring Potentially 21%

Ignoring Potentially 21%

In April, 2014, RealtyTrac came out with a report that showed that 1) 9.1 million, or 17% of all US mortgages (total number of US mortgages calculated at over 53.5 million) were STILL seriously underwater, where the loan amount is higher than the property value. Housing values in many areas are coming back, but not enough to put many of the 9.1 million still underwater homeowners into a positive equity position.

In March of 2013, 2) RealtyTrac reported there were 2.2 million past short sellers trying to re-enter the housing market again.

Past short sellers and still underwater homeowners who may have to short sell in the future equate to potentially 21% of the total US residential mortgage market numbers.

The credit of a great majority of those that "have had to or may have to short sell" is proven to be good, with most professing and pr...oving that keeping credit intact is given the highest priority. However, most underwater homeowners have dangerously high back end debt to income ratios as they borrow against everything they've got to stay put, until they cannot any longer. Many are depleting retirement funds and borrowing from other assets to stay solvent.

And the "strategic default" label placed en-masse upon short sellers from 2007-2009 has been proven to be 3) "relatively rare" suggesting that the greatest indicator of default has been unemployment, and that policies designed to promote employment, such as payroll tax cuts, are most likely to stem defaults rather than policies that temporarily modify mortgages.

Short sales are not approved unless a hardship exists, and the majority of those affected will not tell realtors or even their lender of hardship endured unless seriously prodded or required to do so.

Short sellers are saddled with an even bigger problem once they are able to exit their home. There is a credit code problem where past short sale credit shows up as a foreclosure. The foreclosure code is borrowed from the Metro 2 system and the code conflicts in the same raw data, where a narrative of "settled for less than full balance" appears with foreclosure credit code. This credit change occurs when a mortgage holder applies for a short sale and when their mortgage credit goes past 4)120 days delinquent.

On Nov. 16, 2013, the Fannie Mae DU version 9.1 became available and was supposed to allow lenders who were receiving a Refer/Caution( denial) on 5) conventional mortgages because the past short sale was showing as a foreclosure, to go into the Fannie Mae system and make a change. Instead, lenders must be given the OK to make the change first by Fannie Mae in verbiage provided in findings. This only works occasionally, and when the lender receives the OK to go in and make the change, the lender must state "YES" to a foreclosure to finalize.

Further, the problem also exists in Freddie Mac, which was unknown prior because Freddie Mac does not give an automated approval on past short sales until four years past the short sale. We now have cases of Freddie Mac denials of short sales, past the four years, miscoded as a foreclosure.

When we start paying attention to the erroneous foreclosure code that is stopping past short sellers from re-entering the housing market and threatens those who may have to short sell with the same, and address that the "fixes" have problems that need to be corrected, then it may be possible to see a shift in the housing market. 

2) Boomerang buyers return to market after foreclosure/By Les Christie @CNNMoney March 11, 2013
4) The delinquency requirement for a short sale has historically been required by lenders for short sale approval. Recently, lender have NOT been requiring delinquency, or a shortened period such as 31 days, required on an FHA short sale.
5) This was never a problem with FHA and VA mortgages. The Total Scorecard, a secondary automated system, parallels the Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter/Originator and the Freddie Mac Loan Prospector. FHA and VA mortgages with a past short sale typically receive an approval but with verbiage that discloses there may be a past pre-foreclosure or foreclosure with direction to confirm and adjust per FHA/VA guidelines.

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Millions of Homeowners Underwater

First-time homebuyers are searching for affordable homes; however those homes are a rare find on the market because of the negative equity on most of those homes. According to the first quarter of Zillow® Negative Equity Report, almost 9.7 million homeowners are underwater.

Homeowners who owe more on their mortgage than the house is worth are in a sticky situation. This is usually because they have fallen behind on their payments and are not able to afford that house anymore. Homeowners in a negative equity situation are not able to bring money to closing or pay for the deficiency, so they are not able to list their home for sell on the market.

In order to successfully sell their home, the homeowner would have to do a short sale so that the lender would accept a short payoff of what is owed. With the right short sale specialist, this would help the homeowners move on and avoid an additional financial problem.

The misleading information and absence of the resources about short sales are contributing to the inventory shortage. This leads to the homes that are on the market to be priced higher, making homes even less affordable for first-time homebuyers.

Speak to one of our short sale experts in Texas by calling (972)342-0011. 

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Although sellers seem to have the advantage in the current market, this does not mean that sellers can simply put their home up for sale and wait for offers.  There is still some work to be done in order to get a buyer to pay the right asking price.  In fact, a lot of sellers are not aware of costly mistakes that are made that turn away buyers.

Mistake #1: Condition does not meet Home’s Price

Comparative Market AnalysisNobody likes to pay more for a product than they have to.  When a home is priced above its condition then most potential buyers are immediately turned off.  If your home is priced at the upper end of your area’s price range then the home should be ready to move in, right now.  If a potential buyer has to replace a window pane, steam clean the carpet or any other minor repair then the price of the home needs to be reduced or you can keep the price as is and make the necessary improvement.

Mistake #2: Limiting the Buyer’s Ability to Inspect the Home

There is no doubt that trying to hold down a full time job, take care of social and personal responsibilities while keeping a home sparkly clean can be nerve racking.  However, most real estate agents will agree that people who don’t make their home readily available to a potential buyer often lose a chance for a sale.  It is important that you are easy to reach during normal hours so that your agent can contact you and schedule a showing.

Mistake #3: Getting Too Attached to Memories

People that have lived in a home for 10+ years have built up some memories in that place.  A first marriage, a first child or a college graduation can all carry some cherished memories that we associate with a particular room or the whole house.  Some sellers will ask full price for their home simply because they are so connected to the property in an emotional way.  It is important for sellers to communicate with their agent and develop a reasonable price for the home and come to the realization that they will soon part with that special walkway or bedroom.

Mistake #4: Failing to Disclose any Problem

If a deal fails to close the blame can sometimes be laid on the seller.  Almost every home has some type of flaw that needs to be repaired or replaced.  Some of these flaws are minor and can be negotiated in a contract before purchase.  But certain items, like a roof that leaks or an electrical system that operates sporadically, can cause not only monetary damage but also physical harm.  It is vital that a seller walk through their home and inspect every room and every feature.  Being up front and honest about potential problems will make it easier on you and your agent to sell the home.

Take some time to go through the home and fix the things that are within your budget and ability.  When you are through, talk to your real estate agent and ask them to go through the house with you and come up with a firm asking price.  This will make the whole process much simpler for you.

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Tips for Starting a Backyard Garden

Backyard-Garden.jpgStarting a vegetable garden in your backyard is a great way to save money and eat healthy. Gardening allows you to enjoy fresh, flavorful produce that is far superior to what you’ll find at the supermarket. Backyard gardening also helps reduce the environmental impact of transporting food.

Growing vegetables is a fun activity that you can share with your family. Gardening encourages you to spend more time outdoors, providing you with an escape from the stresses of daily life. In addition, a vegetable garden can transform your backyard into a more attractive landscape. Below are some tips for starting your own backyard garden from scratch.

Start Small

In your first year, don’t bite off more than you can chew because you could get overwhelmed. If you’re new to gardening, start off with a garden that’s no bigger than 8 x 10 feet. You don’t need a large space to create a plentiful garden. Many new gardeners get so excited that they plant more than they need and end up wasting food. Keep in mind that some plants, such as tomatoes, keep providing produce throughout the season, while other plants, like corn, produce only once. You may need to plant more of the latter type of vegetables.

Pick the Right Spot

A garden needs plenty of sun, good soil, and water to thrive. The plants in your garden need a minimum of five hours of direct sunlight each day. Choose a location for your garden that offers maximum continuous light. Make sure that you also take the shadows of trees, fences, buildings, and other tall objects into consideration when picking a spot. If your backyard lacks an area that’s fully exposed to the sun, you may still have success growing leafy vegetables like lettuce and spinach. Many gardeners like to have their garden close to their house, so they can easily step out and grab some produce while they’re cooking.

When looking for a spot for your garden, examine the soil. Most vegetables thrive in moist, well-drained soil that’s rich in organic matter. Garden soil needs to be well aerated to promote root growth. The best soil is crumbly rather than clumpy. You might need to bring in some topsoil or amend the soil with compost.

Your garden should be close to a source of water in case there is a dry spell and you need to water your plants. Avoid setting up your garden too close to a tree because the roots could spread. In addition, keep in mind that it is easier to garden on level ground than sloping ground.

Plan the Plot and Plant the Garden

Make a list of your favorite vegetables and consider the amount of produce that each plant can produce. When you’re starting out, stick with early-harvest vegetables that are resistant to diseases. Crops that are easy to grow include peas, beets, onions, and zucchini squash. Space plants in your garden according to the instructions on the seed packets.

It’s best to prepare a garden plan on paper. Plant in single-wide rows, staggered rows, blocks, or raised beds and include permanent paths. Be sure to plant tall crops on the north side of the garden, so they don’t block sunlight for low-growing crops. Use stakes, trellises, and other supports to grow twining crops like cucumber and tomato vertically and maximize the use of space.

It takes many hours to prepare for gardening season and get your garden ready, but it is well worth the time and effort. Eventually, it will be time to harvest your delicious garden vegetables. You’re sure to enjoy the experience of biting into fresh, crisp vegetables that you grew right in your own backyard!

Homes for Sale in Hilliard, OH

If you’re looking for homes or condos for sale in Columbus, Ohio, get in touch with Rockford Homes today. We’re a trusted, family-owned homebuilder and have been offering homes and condos throughout Central Ohio for over 25 years. Our homes are energy-efficient and built to the highest standards. Contact us today for more information!

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Rock Realty Client Testimonials

"Mike was great. He worked very hard for us and truly cared about us finding the right home. We were house searching exclusively on weekends, as we moved to a different state and were only available then, and he gave up many weekends to help us (often on short notice!). He was always positive yet never pushy, as many Realtors® are. We would definitely recommend him and enjoyed working with him."

Joe K. (Cambridge, WI 53523)
Rock Realty Home Buyer Client

Rock Realty Client Testimonials

Thanks for the compliments, and Congratulations to Joe & Sarah on a beautiful home purchase! Congrats to Michael Collins on another successful closing!

Are you considering purchasing property in the Madison Wisconsin area? Click below to start your home search!

Madison, WI Real Estate

Cambridge, WI Real Estate

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Banning, California Real Estate Market Statistics by Status and Price - All Time as of 5/6/2014

Status: Closed Sale (2746)
List Price: $0 - $100,000 (305)
List PriceADOMSelling PriceBRBAYear BuiltSqFtLot SqFt
List Price: $100,000 - $200,000 (918)
List PriceADOMSelling PriceBRBAYear BuiltSqFtLot SqFt
List Price: $200,000 - $300,000 (903)
List PriceADOMSelling PriceBRBAYear BuiltSqFtLot SqFt
List Price: $300,000 - $400,000 (492)
List PriceADOMSelling PriceBRBAYear BuiltSqFtLot SqFt
List Price: $400,000 - $500,000 (96)
List PriceADOMSelling PriceBRBAYear BuiltSqFtLot SqFt
List Price: $500,000 - $600,000 (22)
List PriceADOMSelling PriceBRBAYear BuiltSqFtLot SqFt
List Price: $600,000 - $700,000 (5)
List PriceADOMSelling PriceBRBAYear BuiltSqFtLot SqFt
List Price: $700,000 - $800,000 (2)
List PriceADOMSelling PriceBRBAYear BuiltSqFtLot SqFt
List Price: $800,000 - $900,000 (1)
List PriceADOMSelling PriceBRBAYear BuiltSqFtLot SqFt
List Price: $900,000 - $1,000,000 (1)
List PriceADOMSelling PriceBRBAYear BuiltSqFtLot SqFt
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$173,500, 3Bd/2Ba Single Family House, 1242 sqft.


Garrigus Real Estate | Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters | 951-490-3683
2059 Norloti St, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Price Reduced - Great Owner-Occupied Fixer Home in Palm Springs! Palm Springs real estate
3Bd/2Ba Single Family House
Year Built1987
Sq Footage1242 sqft.
Bedrooms3 Beds
Bathrooms2 Baths
Parking2 Garage
Lot Size6969 Square Feet
Virtual Tourgarrigusrealestat...


Price just dropped $20,000! This home needs some work, but all work is cosmetic and no major construction is apparent! Only offers from owner occupied buyers will be reviewed due to short sale lender requirements. Come check out this diamond in the rough!
Palm Springs
see additional photos below
Unit Features

- Living room- Dining room- Yard
- Fenced yard

Contact info:
Garrigus Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters
For sale by Agent/Broker
Posted: Apr 2, 2014, 6:50pm EDT
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$85,000, 1Bd/1Ba Condo, 568 sqft.


Garrigus Real Estate | Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters | 951-490-3683
474 S Calle Encilia Apt. # E14, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Great Palm Springs Condo! - Palm Springs CA REALTORS
1Bd/1Ba Condo
Year Built1985
Sq Footage568 sqft.
Bedrooms1 Bed
Bathrooms1 Bath
Parking1 Carport
Lot Size871 Square Feet


Beautiful Palm Springs Resort Style Living at the Biarritz! Surrounded by desert mountain views, palm trees, historic downtown Palm Springs, restaurants, shopping, casino and resorts. This is the perfect vacation getaway home or everyday resort living spot. Many community amenities, pool, spa, and tennis courts. Treat yourself with this quaint desert condo. Living space features living room, kitchen, patio, bathroom, bedroom, classic mirrored walls giving you the Palm Springs Style feeling. This condo can also be used as a vacation rental.
Palm Springs
see additional photos below
Unit Features

- Living room- Range / Oven- Balcony, Deck, or Patio
- Heat: forced air- Central A/C- Ceiling fans
Community Features

- Shared pool- Guest parking- Covered parking

Contact info:
Garrigus Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters
For sale by Agent/Broker
Posted: Feb 11, 2014, 8:23pm EST
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$145,000, 2Bd/2Ba Condo, 1457 sqft.

Garrigus Real Estate | Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters | 951-490-3683
45372 Driftwood Dr, Palm Desert, CA 92260
2BR/2BA Condo - Palm Desert - Realtors in Palm Desert CA
2Bd/2Ba Condo
Year Built1979
Sq Footage1457 sqft.
Bedrooms2 Beds
Bathrooms2 Baths
Lot Size1307 Square Feet


great condo for sale in Palm Desert that's located in the warm and friendly community of The Mountain Villas. This park's landscaping is gorgeous and boasts three large pool areas and spas! The condo has its own private garage with private access, and is two stories. This is a great place that's waiting for someone to call it home! It is short sale approved and the short sale bank will respond to any offers within three business days!
Palm Desertc5aa4bb4?fit=crop&w=350&h=262&or=0&a=1&s=d7f4e35fb086c1e90c8b0ff5f0a327b3
see additional photos below
Unit Features

- Living room- Master bath- Range / Oven
- Dishwasher- Balcony, Deck, or Patio- Heat: forced air
- Central A/C- Air conditioning- Hot tub / Spa
Community Features

- Secured entry- Controlled access- Gated entry
- Shared pool- Clubhouse- Garage - Attached

Contact info:
Garrigus Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters
For sale by Agent/Broker
Posted: Mar 17, 2014, 6:58pm EDT
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Dane County Housing AuthorityThe Dane County Housing Authority, (DCHA), offers interest-free, deferred, Down Payment and Closing Cost loans to income-eligible, first-time-home-buyers. Loans are available on a first come, first serve basis as funds are available. The DCHA Down Payment and Closing Cost Loan Program is a gap financing program for income-eligible first time home buyers providing up to $12,000 per transaction in the form of a zero interest, deferred payment loan.

Household must be first time homebuyers purchasing in Dane County, outside the city of Madison. First time homebuyer is defined as never owning a home or not owning in the last three years.

Home must be owner-occupied in the form of a single-family home, ½ duplex, townhome or condominium. Income property is not allowed for this assistance.

Household income may not exceed 80% of County Median Income.

Borrower must bring a minimum of one percent (1%) of the purchase price from their own funds to the transaction.

Maximum purchase price is $223,250.

Processing time is approximately 20 days from the date of commitment.

Household members who will be listed on the mortgage documents that are accessing the DCHA program, will be required to complete homebuyer education and counseling through an approved source. Buyers can either take a DCHA First Time Home Buyer Course or another DCHA-approved program can be substituted as needed.

Madison, Maple Bluff

Cottage Grove, Dane, Mazomanie

For more information, including income limits, please visit their website at:

Need help finding the perfect home? We would love to help! Take a moment to fill out the home buyer questionnaire below:

My Next Home

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HOME Consortium Down Payment Assistance

The HOME Consortium home ownership assistance program helps families afford a home of their own by providing deferred loans. The DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE LOAN (DPA)program provides eligible home buyers with a forgivable loan of up to $5,000 to be used for down payment and/or closing costs. Funds are for buyers purchasing in WaukeshaJeffersonWashington or Ozaukee counties.

Home Consortium Down Payment AssistanceThe program is funded by the HOME Consortium’s annual allocation of funds provided through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Eligible homebuyers must reserve funds through a participating lender of their choice who will receive a loan commitment from the HOME Consortium program administrator.

DPA loan is provided as a five-year forgivable loan, meaning that as long as the property remains the borrower’s primary residence for five years the loan is forgiven and no repayment is due. If the property is sold, title is transferred, ceases to be the primary residence, or there is a cash out refinance a partial repayment of the loan would be required. The loan is forgiven 20% for each full year. The HOME Consortium down payment forgivable loan may be combined with other down payment assistance programs available through the state, Federal Home Loan Bank, HUD or other personal or non-personal sources.

For additional information on maximum purchase price limits and eligibility please visit their site at:

Need help finding the perfect home? We would love to help! Take a moment to fill out the home buyer questionnaire below:

My Next Home

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Rock Realty Client Testimonials

"Mike was wonderful to work with. He was always there to answer questions but never pushed me to make a decision. My entire home buying process went smoothly thanks to Mike. I would gladly recommend him and would be happy to use him again the next time I move!"

Laura S. (Middleton, WI 53562)
Rock Realty Buyer Client

Rock Realty Client Testimonials

Thanks for the compliments, and Congratulations on your closing Laura!

Are you considering purchasing property in Dane or Rock County Wisconsin? Click below to start your home search!

Dane County Properties

Rock County Properties

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