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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Government shutdown’s impact on real estate

WASHINGTON – April 7, 2011 – The federal government may or may not shut down after Friday. Lawmakers have drawn a line in the sand and, as of today, it appears they won’t reach agreement by the current deadline of budgeting. However, that could change. Or lawmakers could agree to extend the budget by only another week or two to give themselves more time to negotiate. Or lawmakers could surprisingly pull out a budget agreement at the last minute.


If the government does shut down, it won’t impact all federal programs equally. A specific impact depends on whether the agency is privately funded, semi-separate from the government, and other factors. Even insiders aren’t sure what will happen if the government shuts down.

However, the National Association of Realtors issued a list of likely scenarios on how Realtors may be impacted if the federal budget fails to pass:

Federal Housing Administration (FHA)

FHA cannot offer endorsements for any new loans in the Single Family Program and cannot make commitments in the Multi-family Program in the event of a shutdown. FHA will maintain operational activities including paying claims and collecting premiums. Management and marketing contractors managing the REO portfolio can continue to operate.

VA Loan Guaranty Program

Lenders may continue to process and guarantee mortgages through the Loan Guaranty program.

Flood Insurance

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confirmed that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) would not be impacted by a government shutdown.

Rural Housing Programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s field staff is not considered essential personnel, and only essential personnel continue to work during a government shutdown. As a result, the people who typically issue conditional mortgage commitments, loan note guarantees, and modification approvals will not be able to do so, and lenders will not receive approvals during the shutdown.

However, a lender that already received a conditional commitment from the Rural Development office may proceed to close those loans during the shutdown. A conditional commitment, good for 90 days, is given to a lender once a USDA underwriter approves the loan. If a commitment was issued, funds were set aside at that time, and the lender may still close the loan at its leisure.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

The Government Sponsored Enterprises will continue operating normally, as will their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back over half of all mortgages originated in the U.S.

Treasury

No official word as of yet, but the Making Home Affordable program, including HAMP and HAFA, may not be affected since the program is funded through the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, which is mandatory spending and not discretionary.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Should the federal government shut down, the IRS cannot process federal income tax returns or issue refunds. If a buyer expects a refund and hopes to use it toward a downpayment, the closing may have to wait.

© 2011 Florida Realtors®

Reprinted with permission. Florida Realtors®. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hello Bloggers:

  Hope all is well. To get straight to the point, how do you feel about today's market? Is it a "good" or "bad" market? I've seen a lot of homes abandoned, new and old. Not to much construction going on either. However, the opportunity to buy is quite enticing and the price's are reasonable. What do you think? Good time to buy or remain on the fence? I hear a lot of different stories from the public regarding the Real Estate market. What have you heard coming from your neighborhood? How do you feel? It's ok, I can take it..lol. Feel free to express yourself and speak your mind. Do you see a market change in the near future? If so, how many years due you estimate a market full recovery? Just a few of the questions I hear on a daily bases. So I thought I would ask you the same. Your feedback will be appreciate! Go ahead and make a comment at anytime. Thanks!


Daniel Matta
http://www.danielmatta.listingbook.com/

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Florida Realtors: Find your Florida home during Open House Weekend

ORLANDO, Fla. – March 24, 2011 – In two days, Realtors® will open doors to homeownership through thousands of open houses being held across the state as part of Florida Open House Weekend, March 26-27, sponsored by Florida Realtors®.

“This exciting event will help homebuyers find their Florida dream home,” says 2011 Florida Realtors President Patricia Fitzgerald, manager/broker-associate with Illustrated Properties in Hobe Sound and Mariner Sands Country Club in Stuart. “On March 26 and 27, people have a chance to conveniently see many homes for sale in communities throughout the state. With very low mortgage rates and a range of housing options at affordable prices, now is a great time to become a Florida homeowner.”

To find participating open houses, buyers should look for blue balloons featuring the distinctive Realtor “R” logo in white. Florida Realtors distributed 50,000 of those balloons, which will be on display simultaneously at open houses from the Panhandle to Key West. Realtors will be available at the participating open houses to help consumers find out more about each home, as well as answer questions about the local housing market.

To search for open houses during Florida Open House Weekend, consumers should check with Realtor associations and boards in their area – many local Realtor organizations are offering information about participating open houses on their association websites. Consumers should also check local newspaper and online real estate listings for open houses during March 26 and March 27.

During the first Florida Open House Weekend last April, more than 15,000 open houses were held across the state. This year’s statewide open house, the largest event of its kind, is the culmination of statewide Welcome Home Week, March 21-27 – a celebration of the benefits of homeownership. To learn more about Welcome Home Week, go to http://floridarealtors.org/WelcomeHomeWeek.  For more on Florida Open House Weekend, go to http://floridarealtors.org/openhouse.

© 2011 Florida Realtors®

Reprinted with permission. Florida Realtors®. All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

How do you feel about today's market? What's going on in your area?


Hello Bloggers:

  Hope all is well. To get straight to the point, how do you feel about today's market? Is it a "good" or "bad" market? I've seen a lot of homes abandoned, new and old. Not to much construction going on either. However, the opportunity to buy is quite enticing and the price's are reasonable. What do you think? Good time to buy or remain on the fence? I hear a lot of different stories from the public regarding the Real Estate market. What have you heard coming from your neighborhood? How do you feel? It's ok, I can take it..lol. Feel free to express yourself and speak your mind. Do you see a market change in the near future? If so, how many years due you estimate a market full recovery? Just a few of the questions I hear on a daily bases. So I thought I would ask you the same. Your feedback will be appreciate! Go ahead and make a comment at anytime. Thanks!

Daniel Matta
http://www.danielmatta.listingbook.com/




Home Ownership Matters Take Priority at NAR Conference

New Orleans, November 04, 2010


The impact of homeownership on individuals, communities, and the nation's economy will be front-and-center during the 2010 Realtors® Conference & Expo here this week through November 8.

During the opening session, National Association of Realtors® President Vicki Cox Golder reminded attending Realtors® and guests of the challenges ahead.

“In the wake of current economic conditions, some critics have questioned the value of owning a home for families and individuals, and suggested that our government rethink its support of policies and programs that encourage home ownership,” said Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox & Associates in Tucson, Ariz. “As leading advocates for home ownership and housing issues, Realtors® need to reinforce just how much home ownership matters to people, to communities and to America.”

To drive this point home, current home owners in a pre-taped video shared with the audience their perspectives on how home ownership has changed their lives. The benefits these individuals, couples and families described were as diverse as they were. For some, home ownership provides a sense of community stability and financial security for their children; for others, it gives them the opportunity to establish family traditions, or to build financial security. All of them underscore a belief that owning a home is still a part of the American Dream.

Realtors® believe in that dream, and NAR and its members are actively engaged with lawmakers, government agencies and industry experts to ensure that anyone who is able and willing to assume the responsibilities of owning a home should have the opportunity to do so. Coming just days after the general election, NAR’s annual conference will bring Realtors® and public policymakers together to address issues like government-sponsored enterprise reform, the role of the Federal Housing Administration, foreclosures and short sales, and the availability of credit.

FHA Commissioner David Stevens joined Realtors® at the opening session and shared his concerns with the impact that tight credit policies have had on home ownership. Stevens criticized the current “one-size-fits-all” approach to mortgage lending, and emphasized that each buyer’s qualifications should be evaluated on his or her own merits.

Citing the gap between FHA policy that would allow buyers with a 580 FICO score to qualify for an FHA-insured mortgage and some lender underwriting rules that require FICO scores in the mid-600s and above, Stevens said, “(These policies) are restricting home ownership, and we need to do something about that. One-fifth of the gross domestic product of the U.S. economy is tied to the housing sector, so home ownership matters.”

This year’s Realtors® Conference & Expo is expected to draw approximately 20,000 Realtors® and guests. More than 400 exhibitors are expected to participate in the Expo, which showcases the latest real estate products and innovations across various fields, including technology, data communications and financial programs and services.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.




Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. News releases are posted in the Web site’s “News Media” section in the NAR Media Center.

Copyright National Association of REALTORS®, Reprinted from REALTOR.org with permission."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

NAR Says Families Will Suffer if Foreclosure Freeze Continues

Washington, October 12, 2010


Thousands of first-time and move-up buyers who hoped to make a foreclosed property their new home now face uncertainty, anxiety and possibly remorse as they worry that closing on their desired property could be in jeopardy.

For many, the dream of homeownership could turn into agony if their home purchase is indefinitely delayed by a moratorium on foreclosures declared by some banks, the National Association of Realtors® said today. The moratoriums are needed, banks say, to review all of the foreclosures in their portfolios to make sure they’re in compliance with the law and that titles are clear.

NAR warned that a prolonged review process would have a damaging impact on many communities and hinder the nation’s economic recovery.

“As the leading advocate for homeownership issues, we understand that many lenders need a time-out to review their actions to ensure that homeowners are not improperly foreclosed on and that the lenders are following regulations and state laws. After that, the foreclosure process must resume quickly to return stability to families, the housing market and the economy,” said NAR President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox & Associates, Tucson, Ariz.

Over the past few months NAR has met with officials of top banks to discuss market issues. NAR urged banking leaders to seek resolution quickly through loan modifications and the short-sale process rather than through foreclosure. “We stand ready to help lenders develop better short-sale procedures,” Golder said.

“There are valid foreclosures that should move ahead quickly, and we shouldn’t lump them in with mortgages that are suspect. That would cause deep problems in an already fragile market and throw many families into uncertainty,” Golder said.

Golder said that she is receiving reports from Realtors® that the moratorium is already creating some anxiety among purchasers as transactions are being delayed and that some foreclosure listings are being removed from the market.

Compounding the problem is that the requirements for foreclosure vary by state, and practices to meet these requirements vary by firm. NAR is working with regulators, such as the Federal Housing Finance Agency; and encouraging them to identify and quickly address process problems.

In a letter today to the U.S Treasury Department, the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, NAR stated the hope that banks would complete their foreclosure review expeditiously to assure that the rights of borrowers are protected and remove doubt that buyers will receive clear title to their purchase.

“NAR has long urged the lending industry to take every feasible action to keep families in their homes with a loan modification and, if that is not possible, to give them a ‘graceful exit’ through a short sale. These options are far better than a foreclosure, and nothing has driven this point home more clearly than the questions being raised about foreclosures. Lenders should place additional resources into processing loan modifications and short sales,” NAR wrote.

A year ago, NAR instituted a special short sale training program for its Realtor® members to work more closely with banks in expediting mortgages at risk by resolving them through short sales and loan modifications. More than 51,000 Realtors® have been certified in the program.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted in the News Media section.




Copyright National Association of REALTORS®, Reprinted from REALTOR.org with permission."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

JUST SOLD by DANIEL MATTA

JUST SOLD! with DANIEL MATTA
SHORT SALE
410 NW 214 ST #202
Sale Price: $60,000
Area, County: 21, Dade County
CD: 07/09/2010
Status: Closed Sale
ML Number: N266586

JUST SOLD by DANIEL MATTA

JUST SOLD! with DANIEL MATTA
SHORT SALE
18822 NW 7 CT
Sale Price: $120,000
Area, County: 21, Dade County
CD: 06/30/2010
Status: Closed Sale

ML Number: F1021933

JUST SOLD by DANIEL MATTA

JUST SOLD! by DANIEL MATTA

CASH SALE
9820 SW 142 DR
Sale Price: $265,000.00
Area, County: 50, Dade County
CD: 06/30/2010
Status: Closed Sale

ML Number: D1389399



Thursday, April 15, 2010

JUST SOLD! with DANIEL MATTA

SHORT SALE
Sale Price: $166,500
Area, County: 69, Dade County
CD: 04/12/2010
Status: Closed Sale
ML Number: N257522

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

JUST SOLD! with DANIEL MATTA

HUD HOME
Sale Price: $65,000
Area, County: 22, Dade County
CD: 04/02/2010
Status: Closed Sale
ML Number: D1358864


Thursday, April 1, 2010

JUST SOLD! with DANIEL MATTA
SHORT SALE
Sale Price: $125,000
Area, County: 79, Dade County
CD: 03/31/2010
Status: Closed Sale
ML Number: N268011

Friday, November 6, 2009

Obama signs bill: Homebuyer tax credit extended

http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?id=226422

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions on the changes to the Homebuyer Tax Credit

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions on the changes to the Homebuyer Tax Credit

Question: Existing homeowner credit: Must the new house cost more than the old house?

Answer: No. Thus, for example, individuals who move from a high cost area to a lower cost area who meet all eligibility requirements will qualify for the $6500 credit.

Question: I am an existing homeowner. On October 25, 2009, I signed a contract to purchase a new home. I have lived in my current home for more than 5 consecutive years and am within the new income limits. I will go to settlement on November 20. If President Obama has signed the bill by the time I go to settlement, will I qualify for the new $6500 tax credit?

Answer: Yes. The existing homeowner credit goes into effect for purchases after the date of enactment (when the bill is signed). There is no reference to the date of contract for the new credit. The provision looks solely to the date of purchase, which is generally the date of settlement.

Question: I am a firsttime homebuyer but was not within the prior income limits at the time I entered into my contract to purchase on October 30, 2009. I will be covered, however, by the new income limits. If the new rules have been signed into law by the time I go to settlement, will I be eligible for a credit?

Answer: Yes. The new income limitations go into effect as soon as the President has signed the bill. The income limit and other eligibility rules will look to your status as of the date of purchase, which is the settlement date. So if the new rules have been signed when you go to settlement, you should be eligible for the credit (or a portion of the credit if you're within the
phaseout range).

Question: I am an eligible existing homeowner. I have a fair amount of equity in my home. I have found a home with a nonnegotiable price of $825,000. Will I be able to use any of the $6500 tax credit?

Answer: No. The $800,000 cap on the cost of the purchased home is firm at $800,000. Any amount above $800,000 makes the home ineligible for any portion of the credit. The $800,000 is an absolute ceiling.

Question: I owned my home for 10 years, but sold it two years ago year and have been renting since. If I purchase a home, will I be eligible for the $6500 tax credit if I meet all the other eligibility tests?

Answer: Yes. Because you lived in the home for more than 5 consecutive years of the previous 8, you will qualify for the $6500 credit. For example, Say John and his wife bought a home in 2000 and lived there until 2008 when he got a divorce. Whether John has been renting or bought in the interim, he WOULD INDEED be eligible for the credit because he owned a home and occupied it as his principal residence for 5 consecutive years out of the last 8 years. The keyword here is "consecutive." As long as he lived in that house for 5 years straight what he did since 3 years doesn't impact eligibility.

Question: I am an eligible firsttime homebuyer. I entered into a contract to purchase on November 1, 2009. Do I have to go to closing before December 1? How does the extension date affect me?

Answer: You do not have to close before December 1. Once the legislation has been signed, it will be as if the Nov 30 date had never existed. Therefore, so long as the contract settles before April 30
(or July 1, worst case), the purchaser will be eligible for the credit.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tax Credit "Cloture" Vote in Senate Expected Monday

http://www.realtoractioncenter.com/

The Senate has tentatively agreed to extend and expand the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit until mid-2010.

http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2009102901?OpenDocument

Housing Tax Credit Working, So Keep Momentum Going, NAR Urges Congress

Washington, October 20, 2009

Consumers are just starting to see the first glimmers of a bright future for the housing market and the overall economy. It’s up to Congress to make that glimmer a reality by building on the momentum created by the $8,000 home buyer tax credit.

One of the key ways to do that is for Congress to extend the home buyer tax credit, said National Association of Realtors® First Vice President Ron Phipps today to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee during a hearing on “The State of the Nation’s Housing Market.”

“The data on the present home buyer tax credit show that the credit has had its intended impact—sales have jumped in recent months to a projected 5.1 million for the year and housing inventory has been trimmed, thus stabilizing home prices noticeably,” Phipps said. He also pointed out that each home sale generates approximately $63,000 in additional economic activity, providing a tremendous economic boost to the national economy.

“But it is a fragile recovery, and now is the time to build on home sales momentum by extending the tax credit throughout 2010 and expanding it to all home buyers,” he said. The present credit, due to expire on November 30, cannot help new purchasers now who write a contract today—they won’t be able to close before the deadline, and will lose out on the credit, said Phipps. “Without congressional action now, the market and our national economy may freeze again—possibly as soon as this month.”

Phipps called upon Congress to take action on a number of additional fronts to strengthen the recovery. First, make the FHA and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac loan limits permanent; these are set to expire on December 31. “Maintaining current loan limits would ensure that families have access to low-cost financing to purchase homes and can refinance problematic loans into safer, more affordable mortgages,” Phipps said.

In addition, Congress should continue federal government involvement in the secondary mortgage market. “Without the government’s involvement in the secondary mortgage market, market participants will have no incentive to reach out to lower income, creditworthy consumers. We must ensure that the housing market works in all markets and at all times, and that mortgage capital is provided to all potential and qualified purchasers in a way that promotes sustainable homeownership,” said Phipps.

Congress must also adequately address:

• The lack of liquidity in the jumbo mortgage market;

• Tight credit in the commercial real estate market;

• The Home Valuation Code of Conduct’s unintended side effects that are hindering sales;

• Increased funding to help FHA upgrade their technology and for Congress to ensure that funding be included in the final version of the FY2010 appropriation for HUD;

• Administration incentives and uniform procedures for speeding short sales under a new Foreclosure Alternative Program; and

• The potential for significant spikes in interest rates or disruptions to the flow of mortgage capital as the Federal Reserve unwinds the mortgage-backed securities purchase program to ensure that this does not happen.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

"Copyright National Association of REALTORS®, Reprinted from REALTOR.org with permission."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Realtors® Urge Congress to Act Now to Extend Homebuyer Tax Credit

Washington, September 14, 2009

The National Association of Realtors® is calling upon its 1.2 million members to urge Congress to extend the successful homebuyer tax credit into next year.

Since its inception earlier this year, the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit has brought 1.2 million new buyers into the market—350,000 of whom would not have purchased a home without the credit, according to NAR. The credit is due to expire November 30.

“Now is the time for Congress to keep this recovery going by extending the tax credit through 2010 and making it available to more homebuyers. We have all seen how the credit has been a spur to bring homebuyers into the market, and have seen the beginnings of a real recovery in the housing market. Housing has always led this nation out of economic downturns, and can do so again,” said NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Realtors®, the leading advocates for homeownership and housing issues, will be writing to their Senators and Representatives to tell them of the successes with the tax credit thus far and to press them to extend and expand it now.

McMillan added that the market has improved, but it has not yet fully corrected itself. “The credit needs to be available for an additional period of time in order to sustain the progress that’s been made so we can continue to see our markets fully recover. Uncertainty about the future of the credit will dampen consumer demand. The only way we can assure that the progress we've made can continue is to extend the credit and to do that now,” he said.

As the current deadline for the credit looms, potential homebuyers need to complete a contract, satisfy any contingencies, secure financing and go to closing by November 30. In today’s market, NAR estimates that it generally is taking between 45 and 60 days from contract to closing.

“That means potential homebuyers who qualify must act now, and so must Congress,” McMillan said.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.




"Copyright National Association of REALTORS®, Reprinted from REALTOR.org with permission."

JUST SOLD with Daniel Matta

JUST SOLD by DANIEL MATTA


List Price: $134,900
Sale Price: $134,900
Area, County: 79, Dade County
CD: 09/08/2009
DOM: 161
Listing Status: Closed Sale
ML Number: M1301511

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Realtors® Applaud Appraisal Clarification as Good First Step

WASHINGTON (July 23, 2009) – The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors® President Charles McMillan:

“NAR and our 1.2 million members are pleased that the Federal Housing Finance Agency has instructed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to take action to clarify confusion over the new Home Valuation Code of Conduct for home appraisers implemented this past May.

“Our members were experiencing delayed and lost sales because of poor appraisals conducted often by inexperienced appraisers who were not familiar with the area. The ramifications were so great to our members and to the housing industry that I personally met with the New York Attorney General’s office and with the head of the FHFA to share our concerns.

“In those meetings I shared an NAR survey that found 76 percent of our members, representing both buyers and sellers, had experienced an increase in appraisal time since the new HVCC rules were enacted. Similarly, 71 percent of Realtors® noted an increase in the use of appraisers who were not from the local area. These factors often adversely affected the sale or the sales process, which occasionally resulted in the loss of a sale or a homeowner’s inability to refinance into today’s lower rates. I expressed our serious concern in the meetings.

“We took this information, and our concerns, to those organizations responsible for the changes and we are pleased that they listened. Today Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issued clear guidance on two very important points that we raised in our meetings. First, the guidance states that lenders should use appraisers who have clear experience in the geographic area. Second, it clarifies that appraisers are not prohibited from talking to real estate agents.

“NAR has asked Congress and the FHFA to immediately implement an 18-month moratorium on the new HVCC rules to further address unintended consequences of this new rule. We will continue to push for this, but are pleased that this first step was taken today.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

"Copyright National Association of REALTORS®, Reprinted from REALTOR.org with permission."

Monday, July 6, 2009

VIDEO:July 1, 2009: Pending Sales Up

NAR: Pending home sales up for 4th straight month

July 2, 2009 – Pending home sales show a sustained uptrend, rising for four consecutive months, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Very favorable housing affordability and a first-time buyer tax credit have boosted activity.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in May, increased 0.1 percent to 90.7 from an upwardly revised reading of 90.6 in April. It’s 6.7 percent higher than one year earlier when it was 85.0 in May 2008. The last time there were four consecutive monthly gains was in October 2004.

“Closed existing-home sales have improved but are coming in lower than expected because some contracts are delayed or falling through from the application of new appraisal rules for many transactions,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Rises in contract activity show buyers are becoming more active even as they face much more stringent loan underwriting standards. Speedy clarification of the appraisal rules could smooth a housing market recovery and support the overall economy.”

The Pending Home Sales Index in the Northeast rose 3.1 percent to 80.9 in May and is 6.8 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest, the index slipped 1.3 percent to 89.2 but is 11.4 percent above May 2008. The index in the South declined 1.7 percent to 92.6 in May but is 7.9 percent higher than a year ago. In the West the index rose 2.2 percent to 96.9 and is 0.7 percent above May 2008.

NAR President Charles McMillan says the appraisal issue is complicated. “We see that distressed homes often are selling for 20 percent less than normal homes in the same area, but some appraisals don’t distinguish between traditional homes and distressed property,” he says. “In many cases, appraisers from outside the area are being used; but as everyone knows, real estate is local, and appraisals should be done by an expert with local expertise.”

McMillan says sellers shouldn’t hesitate to speak with an appraiser about their home. “Sellers should feel free to tell an appraiser about improvements and renovations to their home, and how it compares with other homes in the neighborhood.

“Also, if recent sales in the neighborhood were discounted, but not similar to your home in terms of quality or condition, that should be pointed out. It wouldn’t hurt to put all this in writing, especially if an appraiser is not familiar with your area. A Realtor® could offer guidance and information to help you with this process.”

NAR’s Housing Affordability Index remains at historic highs. The affordability index fell to 171.6 in May from an upwardly revised 178.8 in April, which was the highest on record dating back to 1970. “Under these conditions, the typical family would devote only 14.6 percent of gross income to mortgage principal and interest, which is one of the lowest percentages on record,” Yun said.

The HAI is a broad measure of housing affordability using consistent values and assumptions over time, which examines the relationship between home prices, mortgage interest rates and family income.

A median-income family, earning $60,800, could afford a home costing $296,700 in May with a 20 percent downpayment, assuming 25 percent of gross income is devoted to mortgage principal and interest. Affordability conditions for first-time buyers with the same income and small downpayments are roughly 80 percent of what a median-income family can afford. The affordable price was significantly higher than the median existing single-family home price in May, which was $172,900.

The first-time buyer tax credit also is benefiting the market. “Strong activity by entry-level buyers is helping to absorb inventory and allow some existing owners to make a trade,” Yun said.

Existing-home sales should trend up through the end of the year, with normal local market differences. “The big question is how much the appraisal issue will impact the ability of contracts to go to closing,” Yun said. “We are currently conducting a study to assess the degree to which new appraisal rules are impacting home sales.”


"Copyright National Association of REALTORS®, Reprinted from REALTOR.org with permission."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

JUST SOLD with Daniel Matta

This is the time to buy!!


JUST SOLD by DANIEL MATTA

ML#: N260469
List Price: $167,500
Status: Closed Sale
#Beds: Beds: 3
Year Built: 1952
City Name: Hialeah
Property Type: Single Family
Sold Price: $135,000
CD: 05/29/2009

HUD: Tax Credit Can Be Used on Closing Costs

HUD: Tax Credit Can Be Used on Closing Costs

FHA-approved lenders received the go-ahead to develop bridge-loan products that enable first-time buyers to use the benefits of the federal tax credit upfront, according to eagerly awaited guidance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on so-called home buyer tax credit loans.

Under the guidance, FHA-approved lenders can develop bridge loans that home buyers can use to help cover their closing costs, buy down their interest rate, or put down more than the minimum 3.5 percent.

The loans can't be used to cover the minimum 3.5 percent, senior HUD officials told reporters on a conference call.

Thus, buyers applying for FHA-backed financing with an FHA-approved lender that offers a bridge-loan program can get a bridge loan to bring down the upfront costs of buying a home significantly but would still have to come up with the minimum 3.5 percent downpayment.

There remain many sources of assistance for buyers needing help with the 3.5 percent downpayment, including many state and local government instrumentalities and nonprofit lenders.

In addition, some state housing finance agencies have developed their own tax credit bridge loan programs, so buyers in states whose HFAs offer such programs can monetize the tax credit upfront to cover all or part of their downpayment. These programs are separate from what HUD announced.

The first-time homebuyer tax credit was enacted last year--and improved upon earlier this year--to help encourage households to enter the housing market while interest rates are low and affordability is high. The credit is worth up to $8,000 and is available to households that haven't owned a home in at least three years. The credit does not have to be repaid, and is fully reimbursable, so households can get their credit returned to them in the form of a payment.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

HUD: FHA buyer downpayment still on track


HUD: FHA buyer downpayment still on track

WASHINGTON – May 22, 2009 – News reports that the federal government is backing away from its plan to permit eligible borrowers to monetize the first-time homebuyer tax credit are off the mark, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says.

“The technical details are still being finalized and will soon be published in a mortgagee letter and posted on our Web site,” Lemar Wooley, a HUD spokesperson, told Realtor® Magazine Wednesday afternoon.

Under the guidance that’s under development, state agencies and other HUD-approved entities would be able to provide short-term bridge loans that households could use to help with their downpayment. The loans would be repaid with the proceeds from the households’ federal tax credit.

The loans were announced on the opening day of NAR’s 2009 Midyear Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C., last week. In his announcement, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said guidance would be issued shortly.

When the guidance is released, it’s expected to cover eligible lenders and set parameters for loan terms and repayment.

Source: Realtor® Magazine Online

Mortgage rates dip, but above record lows

Average rates on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages dropped to 4.82% this week, staying below 5 percent for the tenth week in a row.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

BREAKING NEWS

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - May 8, 2009 - Having approved a $66.5 billion state budget, the 2009 Florida Legislature adjourned.

For the Florida real estate industry, the budget includes several gems. Perhaps the shiniest: $30.1 million for downpayment assistance programs. Beginning July 1, those who qualify for the federal first-time homebuyers tax credit will be able to apply for downpayment assistance in advance of closing, and then repay the amount borrowed when they get their tax refund.

"What an incredible opportunity for thousands of families," says Cynthia Shelton, 2009 FAR president. "The beauty of this program is that the state will be paid back and, conceivably, more potential homebuyers could take advantage prior to the Dec. 1 expiration of the $8,000 federal first time homebuyer tax credit."

The program will operate through local county housing administrators, though details are still being worked out. Keep reading FAR's EarlyBird e-news and checking the home page of floridarealtors.org for updates.

The state spending plan passed today also includes the following for real estate-related programs:

• Up to $400,000 to prevent, combat and publicize the dangers of unlicensed real estate activity in Florida.

• $540,000 to continue and complete a study to make recommendations on passive strategies on nitrogen reduction that complement the use of onsite wastewater treatment systems.

• $3 million in the Real Estate Trust Fund for the Education and Research Foundation.

• A reduction in the eviction filing fees from $265 to $180 - the only fee reduction in the 2009-10 budget and one with a negative fiscal impact of up to $36 million.

Even though the session was extended to today for the purpose of budget negotiations, all non-budget legislation was finalized last Friday. Here are the highlights reported previously:

• SJR 532, a constitutional amendment that will ask voters to limit increases in property tax assessments on all non-homestead properties to 5 percent annually. First-time homebuyers could benefit, too, with an additional homestead exemption up to $100,000.

• HB 521, a bill that puts the burden of proving that a property tax assessment is correct on the appraiser, not the property owner.

• In the area of property insurance, the Legislature capped rate increases at 10 percent per year for Citizens policyholders (HB 1495). The Legislature also repealed the requirement that, effective Jan. 1, 2010, sellers of property located in a wind-borne debris region, and which has an insured value on the structure of $500,000 or more, provide prospective buyers the structure's windstorm mitigation rating.

• The growth management bill (SB 360) FAR supported passed as a big package. It includes a provision to encourage urban infill by eliminating transportation concurrency, one that allows for expedited comprehensive plan reviews, and another that eliminates the development of regional impact process (DRIs) in urban areas. The bill also extends previously obtained permits and approvals by two years, creates a transition process for moving towards a mobility fee system, and streamlines and reduces inefficiency in the state's approach to growth management

MORTGAGE RATES

Rates on 30-year mortgages inched up this week to 4.84 percent after matching an all-time record low last week, according to Freddie Mac's weekly nationwide survey. Rates have been below 5 percent for eight consecutive weeks.

CHINESE DRYWALL

The U.S. House voted to study the effects of tainted Chinese drywall. The bill, which still needs Senate approval, would require HUD to study the effects of the drywall on foreclosures, and the availability of property insurance for homes that used it.

MORTGAGES

The U.S. House voted Thursday to outlaw "liar loans," ballooning mortgage payments and other bank practices that prey on consumers. Under the bill, banks would have to verify a person's credit history and income, and make a reasonable effort to determine that a loan can be repaid. However, the Senate does not have similar legislation pending.

Friday, May 1, 2009

JUST SOLD! with Daniel Matta

Bank Sale!! This is the time to buy!!

JUST SOLD by DANIEL MATTA

215 SE 3RD AV # 207C Hallandale, FL 33009-5681
List Price: $64,000 / Sale Price: $57,000
Area, County:3040, Broward County
CD: 04/30/2009
DOM: 93
Listing Status: Closed Sale

JUST SOLD! with Daniel Matta

Bank Sale!! This is the time to buy!!

JUST SOLD by DANIEL MATTA

1137 NW 48 ST Miami, FL¤ 33127¤-2225
List Price: $32,900 Sale Price: $33,000
Area, County: 31, Dade County
CD: 04/24/2009
DOM: 7
Listing Status: Closed

Friday, April 17, 2009

MARKET WATCH: CENTRAL FLORIDA


It's too soon to break out champagne to celebrate the return of the Central Florida housing market, but many observers say it's advisable to put a bottle on ice. After more than a year of free-falling sales and prices, first-time home buyers and investors are taking advantage of record foreclosures and distress sales.

SHORT SALES


Too many times, short sales can turn to no-sales. It can take 60 days or more for the mortgage holder to make its decision, says Jeff Marks, a real estate lawyer with Ryan and Marks Attorneys in Jacksonville. "(Buyers) have to have a stomach for it," he said. "But if they can wait it out, they will get a wonderful deal financially."

MORTGAGE RATES


Rates on 30-year mortgages dipped this week to 4.82 percent after rising a week earlier, and are again close to record lows. "The housing industry is starting to exhibit some positive signs," Freddie Mac's chief economist said in a statement.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

MORTGAGE RATES

Rates on 30-year mortgages inched higher this week to 4.87 percent after two straight weeks of record lows, but still remained at attractive levels for borrowers looking to refinance their home loans.

FORECLOSURES

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink has scheduled a meeting of lawyers working pro bono on foreclosure cases and the 12 largest Florida lending firms. "The purpose of our meeting is to find out how we can be more efficient and effective so our volunteer attorneys don't get frustrated and say, 'I don't have time for this,'" Sink says.

PROPERTY INSURANCE

To keep property insurance rates low, Florida officials must minimize the state's financial risk from a major hurricane strike. One effort to minimize that risk, however, failed yesterday when U.S. Treasury officials refused to issue a line of credit to the Florida Catastrophe Fund.

Mortgages

While many small banks are in decent financial shape, there are exceptions, making it difficult for homebuyers seeking a trustworthy lender. One factor to consider: Banks that expanded quickly during the boom could be on shakier financial footing. In Florida, for example, the FDIC seized Riverside Bank's nine branches in February.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

VIDEO:2009 NAR Public Awareness Campaign

VIDEO:Eco-friendly kitchen Design

National Association of REALTORS® Fact Sheet





What: The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members, including NAR’s institutes, societies and councils, involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.



Who: Our membership is composed of residential and commercial REALTORS®, who are brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors and others engaged in all aspects of the real estate industry. Members belong to one or more of some 1,600 local associations/boards and 54 state and territory associations of REALTORS®. They are pledged to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.



Why: Working for America's property owners, the National Association provides a facility for professional development, research and exchange of information among its members and to the public and government for the purpose of preserving the free enterprise system and the right to own real property.

The Term REALTOR®
The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ordinance offers protection for home buyers


Ordinance offers protection for home buyers

As of March 13, foreclosed property title holders will be required to disclose building or zoning code violations prior to offering properties for sale or transfer. This measure was brought about by Ordinance No. 08-133, which is aimed at protecting foreclosed property buyers against unexpected repairs. Read more about this.

You'll go wild over Zoo's Amazon and Beyond


You'll go wild over Zoo's Amazon and Beyond

Miami Metrozoo's newest spectacle, Amazon and Beyond, takes visitors on a journey through the tropics where they can see more than 100 species of wildlife, including exotic fish in a giant 40,000-gallon tank.

Learn what Miami-Dade County can do for you


Learn what Miami-Dade County can do for you

Get exclusive access to government services. Members of miamidade.gov can report neighborhood issues online with ServiceDirect, they get a weekly update on everything that's going on in the County, and they can send in their County-related questions to the Portal Wizard -- who will give them the answers they seek, just like magic! This, and much more awaits you. It's free, quick and easy, so sign up today!

Save time: pay your water bill online


Save time: pay your water bill online

Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer (WASD) customers now have an easier way to pay their water bill! Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Card holders can submit their payment online without the hassle of checks, stamps or long lines. It's just one of the payment options available to WASD customers from the convenience of their computer.