Why pay for a service when you can do it yourself?
By Tara-Nicholle Nelson, MA, Esq., FrontDoor.com | Published: 2/24/2009
Many homeowners are receiving offers for assistance in getting their property taxes reduced, sent by services purporting to specialize in reducing people’s property taxes. It is absolutely possible to have your property value reassessed and, accordingly, your taxes reduced due to a recent decline in market value. However, it is a very feasible DIY project — most homeowners do not need to hire a service to do this.
If you bought your home within the last three to four years, it is likely that your current assessed property value — the basis for your property taxes — is higher than the current market value of your home. And in many areas, the annual reassessment is an assumed, automatic increase in value, rather than an actual reevaluation of fair market value based on the factual market dynamics.
This situation is so common that many counties across the country have actually simplified the process of getting your property taxes temporarily reduced on the basis of the current market value. As such, a homeowner with some basic Web navigation skills can generally do the same things these property tax reduction services do — for free — and might even have an easier time dealing with the County. (Local government offices tend to be a little less rigid with homeowners than they are with hired guns.)
This week Mike is off wading in a river somewhere near Trinity, or floating on the lake…fishing pole in hand no doubt. A much deserved vacation!
So, while Mike’s away…Pete Phillippe and I will try to fill his shoes. We’ll keep it true to form…interesting, informative…and fun. Pete, a veteran of the show, and a long time Sonoma County lender is a wealth of information when it comes to financing. Besides rates, we’ll try to cover; What’s going on with the condo market, Advantages/Disadvantages of FHA financing…and which homes will go FHA (what to look for before writing an offer) I’ll be discussing the looming “end of the First Time Homeowner Tax Credit”; How it has helped to stimulate the economy, and what’s this we’re hearing about an extension? I”ll also dispel some myths about short sales, talk about buying foreclosed properties, and how, as a seller, knowing the upcoming foreclosures in your neighborhood can help…and where to get that information. It just wouldn’t be The Real Estate Hour if we didn’t discuss July sales and stats…and what all those numbers mean. I may even share some “tips from the trenches”, my experiences not only working with buyers through this buyer frenzy, but as a key player and contact person for Mike’s REO Accounts, my take on writing a strong REO offer, what the asset managers are looking for, and how to make your offer stand out. All this rolled into an hour…a full hour indeed. Hope you’ll join us. ~Allison
The $8000.00 First time home buyer tax credit is set to expire on Nov 30th, 2009. This is the date you will need to CLOSE ESCROW if you wish to claim the credit. With escrows taking at least 30 days to close…and often more, you should have an accepted offer in escrow no later than October 30th , 2009…and that’s pushing it. Best scenario is to get an accepted offer into escrow by October 1st. Yikes! That means you have approximately 40 to 60 days to find a home and more importantly (and more challenging) to get an offer accepted amongst the flurry of competition from other buyers doing the same thing.
There has been much speculation that this credit will be extended. The National Association of Realtors and the National Association of HomeBuilders have been lobbying the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee with justifiable reasons to extend the credit. Their Stance is this; Continue reading First time Home buyer Tax Credit is coming to an end….???→
The following is an answer to a question I received regarding Buyer closing credits in an REO.
Q; How do I get the bank to pay closing costs in an REO?
A; There was a time in the last few years that an all cash “low-ball” offer could beat out higher financed offers. But, In my recent experience, the banks are now looking primarily at their bottom line. Your best bet is to present an offer that is high enough to get the bank the the best pay-off, after subtracting your requested closing costs. Its important for this to be written into the purchase contract, as it is very difficult to ask for any concessions after the contract has been ratified. Continue reading How do I get the bank to pay closing costs on an REO???→
Videos galore this week! We were busy in the studio last week. Here’s my take on the future of the Foreclosure Market Place in Sonoma County and beyond! With the upcoming re-set wave of all the “Option-Arms” and “Alt-A” loans the future looks bleak for those wishing to get back to a “normal” market! I think we’ll be seeing more of this particular market segment in the years to come. Check out the video!
1. Financial pre-qualification or pre-approval-Note-With REO properties “Pre-qualification with
the lender is usually required and in some instances an absolute MUST! We included a pre-appoval form for you to fill out for this. Big Strategy Idea: USE the lender who OWNS the REO! If you have a Bank of America REO–then try and USE the Bof A lender! Make sure you tell the REO Agent you are USING their guy or gal!
Application & interview–Buyer provides pertinent documentation, including verification of employment
Credit report is requested and appraisal scheduled for current home owned, if any
2. Underwriting–Loan package is submitted to underwriter for approval
3. Loan Approval–Parties are notified of approval
Loan documents are completed and sent to title
4. Title Company–Title exam, insurance and title survey conducted
Borrowers come in for final signatures
5. Funding–Lender reviews the loan package and Funds are transferred by wire Continue reading Funding Your Home Purchase–Steps to consider!→
The Wrong House: Too Big, Too Small? Too much land? Fixer-upper (what’s a hammer?) Define your current and future needs now before you buy? Imminent
retirement, on the road a lot, teens leaving the roost?
Bidding on Bank Foreclosed Properties or Real Estate Owned (REO’s)?What to expect!—I work with a Realtor of 30+ years experience in Sonoma County Real Estate and we work with Asset Managers daily in the sale of Bank Owned, REO properties. We know how to write an offers which capture the attention of the banks!
Title Trouble Traps: Always, repeat always! Get Title Insurance. End of story.
Survey Surprises: Buying country property requires knowing your property lines.
Even older subdivisions should be looked at hard!
I get the feeling there’s more to your story than we’re hearing. A foreclosed property(REO) is listed and sold through local real estate agents and is required to be listed in the local mls. An REO is sold just like any other home, with a full escrow period, inspection period , title reports…. the standard buyer safeguards and disclosures.,with the exception of “seller” disclosures ie; Seller Property Questionnaire and Transfer Disclosure Statement,)as the seller(The Bank) has never lived in the home and has no material facts about the property. In my area foreclosures in the mid to lower price point are our bread and butter. I have not heard of any Agents avoiding them, rather when an REO hits the market these REO’s are being swamped with offers. Short Sales, although daunting are no longer being avoided either as some banks are coming up with systems to work with the seller, making the process much more likely to actualy close. Continue reading “I can’t get Agents to Show me Foreclosures? What’s Up with that?”→
Listen to Mike and Allison on "The Real Estate Hour", Sundays, 9 to 10am PST, KSRO, 1350AM or 103.5 FM and www.KSRO.com