Reasons To Attend Your Own Home Inspection, by Steph Nobel


As a home buyer , you can get a feel for whether a home’s systems and appliances are in working order. However, you can’t know for certain until after the home’s been inspected.

This is why real estate agents recommend that buyers hire a licensed home inspectors immediately after going into contract. It’s the best way to really know the home which you’re buying.

By definition, a home inspection is a top-to-bottom check-up of a home’s physical condition and systems, including a review of the structure, and its plumbing and electrical systems. Home inspections are not the same as a home appraisal, which is a valuation of the property.

When you commission a home inspection, you should be present for it. Here are 3 reasons why :

Seeing For Yourself  There’s a big difference between reading a report and seeing “live” what may be right or wrong with a home. With first-hand knowledge of a potential issue, you’ll be in a better position to determine whether a problem warrants contract cancellation, or whether it’s an additional negotiation point.

Discovering The Home Via a home inspection, you will learn where the systems reside within a home (e.g.; boiler room, garage), and how to operate them. This is a valuable educational opportunity and most inspectors are happy to share what they know. It’s also a chance to ask questions about maintenance and upkeep.

Better Understanding A home inspector’s job is to review and disclose the condition of the home. The inspector’s report, however, is just a summary on paper. In being present for the inspection, a buyer will be able to visualize and understand the report’s conclusions more clearly. This can make for more effective re-negotiations with the seller, in the event that damage or distress is identified.

So, what should you do during the home inspection? Your primary tasks are to watch, listen, learn and ask questions. A professional home inspector will welcome your participation in the process.

Successful Short Sales: It All Starts with the Seller, by Gee Dunsten, Rismedia.com


RISMEDIA, Monday, February 13, 2012— Last month, I outlined the reasons why you should get back on the short sales bandwagon if you’ve fallen off. In the current market, more and more lenders are coming around to the realization that short sales are a favorable option after all and, therefore, are processing and closing short sales at a much faster pace.

That said, there are critical steps that must be taken throughout the short sale process.

First and foremost, make sure the home seller is truly eligible for a short sale. A credible, documented financial hardship resulting from a loss of employment, divorce, major medical crisis, death, etc., must exist. This financial hardship needs to be proven with proper documentation as well as detailed financial statements, paystubs, bank statements and tax returns.

To properly identify and qualify a potential short sale client, conduct a thorough interview right up front—and be sure to leave no stone unturned. This will prevent you from futilely pursuing a short sale with the lender. I use the following Short Sale Seller Questionnaire with my clients:

1. Is your property currently on the market? Is it listed with an agent?
2. Is this your primary residence?
3. When was the property purchased?
4. What was the original purchase price?
5. Who holds the mortgage?
6. What kind of loan do you have?
7. Do you have any other liens against your property?
8. Who is on the title (or deed) for the property?
9. Who is on the mortgage?
10. Do you have mortgage insurance?
11. Are you current with your payments? If not, how far in arrears are you?
12. How much do you owe?
13. Why do you need/want to sell?
14. What caused you or will be causing you to miss your mortgage payment obligation?
15. Do you have funds in accounts that could be used to satisfy the deficiency?
16. Are you currently living in the property? If not, is the property being maintained?
17. How soon do you need to move?
18. Are you up to date on your condo or HOA payments (where applicable)?
19. Do you owe any back taxes?
20. Are you considering filing for bankruptcy protection?
21. Are you currently pursuing a loan modification with your lender?
22. Who is occupying the property?
23. Do you hold or are you subject to any type of security clearance related to your job?
24. What are your plans after you sell?
25. Are you looking to receive any money from the sale of your home?
26. How much income are you currently making from all sources?
27. Do you anticipate any income change in the not-too-distant future?
28. Do you have a pen and a piece of paper to make a couple of notes?

Emphasize that inaccurate or missing information will potentially delay or completely thwart the short sale process. Next month, we’ll take a close look at working with lenders to secure a short sale.

George “Gee” Dunsten, president of Gee Dunsten Seminars, Inc., has been a real estate agent and broker/owner for almost 40 years. Dunsten has been a senior instructor with the Council of Residential Specialists for more than 20 years. To reach Gee, please email, gee@gee-dunsten.com. For an extended version of this article, please visit www.rismedia.com.

 

 

In Foreclosure? Say No To Fakes and Frauds


 

It is amazing that just as we move out of an era of fraudulent loan officers, fake “Mortgage Planners” and Financial Trusted Advisers we are now being over run by a hoard of “Foreclosure Experts”.   Could these people be one in the same.  Just the times and the opportunities are different?

When in foreclosure there are experts out there that can help you develop a plan of action.  These people are beholden in one way or another to the state of Oregon as in they have an ACTIVE Real Estate license, Mortgage Certificate or member of the Oregon Bar.  Bottom line, if they rip you off they it is harder for them to hide.   Your legal representatives and the state of Oregon can track them down and hold them accountable.

It is never good to be in foreclosure.  But remember you only make the situation worse by not seeking the information you need to develop a plan of action.   Maybe you can not keep your home.  Maybe you should sell and buy another home on seller contract or lease option.  Maybe you can work something out with the lenders.  You have to treat foreclosure as an problem that can be solved and not the end of the world.

Information is power and with right power anything and everything is possible.   Do rot sit in place, do not allow shame to prevent you from doing what you can to resolve the problem for you and your family.

Lastly, do not listen to anyone that does not hold an Oregon License, Mortgage Certificate or member of the bar that promises to save your home or help you make your payments.  Those people have nothing to lose and everything to gain by gaining your trust.   If it sounds to good to be true….it is.  If it sounds like it is not legal….there is a good chance is it not legal.   If that little voice in the back of your head says hang up the phone…..hang up.   Use your common sence and reach out to people that can help provide you with real solutions.

Well that is enough ranting.  Keep an eye on this blog.  Will be posting possible solutions to the problems you are facing.   If they work for you….great.  If they won’t help you in your situation, feel free to send me an email or post the question on this message board. 

 

Fred Stewart
President
Stewart Group Realty Inc.