What is a Short Sale and How Does it Connect to the Foreclosure Process?

The term short sale has been brought up more and more in the real estate world as the property market has corrected to a more sustainable growth level. Depreciation of home values over the last few years has led to homes that are worth less than the mortgages that were used to finance the purchase. This situation coupled with a nationwide recession that has created the need for people to sell their homes despite being „underwater“ has led to the recent popularity of short sales.

What Is an Underwater Loan?

A home loan or mortgage that is higher than the actual value of the home is said to be underwater. Over the last few years this situation has become a common occurrence as homeowners who bought at the peak of housing prices with little or no money down have seen their property values decrease, sometimes dramatically. They began with a $300,000 loan on a home that appraised around that value, and now their mortgage amount is around the same, but that same house appraises for less than $250,000.

With the rise in unemployment, many homeowners who have found themselves in this difficult situation have been forced to sell their home because they can no longer afford the mortgage. The problem that occurs is that even if the homeowner sold their home for $250,000, they would still owe the bank the additional $50,000, which holds up the sales process. This hurts everyone involved because the original owners cannot pay the mortgage, so they default on the loan. The new buyers who are excited about the home are not allowed to buy it at the new market price. Finally, the bank that holds the mortgage will not let the original owner sell, does not receive a payment each month for the mortgage, and must now go through an expensive and time consuming foreclosure process to get possession of a home they will only be able to sell for less anyways.

Buying and Selling a Home with a Short Sale

This is where short sale comes into play. In a short sale the original homeowner who is underwater will get an agreement from the bank to complete a short sale and put their home on the market at the current local price. When a buyer decides to purchase the home, the bank agrees to let the sale take place and take a loss on the original mortgage. Ultimately, this type of legal settlement allows the homeowner and bank to avoid a costly and credit damaging foreclosure process. The owner will still take a hit on their credit score and the bank will lose some money on the transaction, but the overall solution is much better than foreclosing on the home.

Foreclosures and Short Sales

Short sales are becoming more common with our current correction in home prices and high unemployment, but many bands still make the process very difficult for the owners because they do not want to take a loss on the loan. For this reason, many banks will not consider the option of a short sale until the homeowners are already several months behind on their mortgage. In addition, banks reserve the right to not accept the price the new buyer offers for the home if they think it is too low. This creates tension between all parties involved, and if unresolved leads to the eventual foreclosure of the home.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Preston Guyton

How Do I Find a Reputable Real Estate Agent?

One of the most important things to do when purchasing a home is to find a great real estate agent to make the process flow smoothly and effectively. A question many people ponder is how to find a good real estate agent. The best agent may not necessarily work at one of the top ten agencies in the area. The agent who will work best for you would be an experienced agent who will listen to your needs, act in a professional and ethical manner and knows the market in your area.

1.)Word-of-Mouth or Referral

Most real estate professionals attract a sizable amount of business because of a satisfied client who recommends them to a friend, family member or neighbour. When you are thinking of purchasing a home, it is a good idea to ask those around you who they have used and ask them to elaborate on their specific experience with the real estate agent in question. Successful real estate agents strive to make customer satisfaction their number one priority and will do everything they can to facilitate a good experience for a customer. Try to find an agent that has a proven track record and reputation for delivering quality service, customer satisfaction, and have experience in the neighbourhoods that you are looking in.

2.) Do an Online Search For Real Estate Agents

There are many online resources available when searching for a real estate agent referral, but this by no means ensures quality. The agents referred online may have paid a fee to the website owner to be listed in the directory. Performing a Google search of the top agents in your area and then reviewing their websites will give you a good list of agents to interview. Agents who have experience in the field will tell you, but a newer agent will more than likely have the extra time to spend working with you. Review any customer testimonials or feedback about an agent you may be interested in retaining.

3.) Visit Open Houses in the Area

You should visit some area open houses where you can actually meet with a potential agent in a non-threatening manner. Here you can see how they work, collect business cards, formulate an opinion and talk with them on a personal basis. If you are thinking about selling a home, pay close attention to how the agent presents the home. Make sure the agent is polite, informative, approachable and professional. Does the agent promote the home by handing out professional looking feature sheets or other related materials? Is the agent trying to play up the features that make the home more enticing? Or is the agent in the corner, back turned and uninvolved in the whole scenario?

4.) Pay Attention to Real Estate Signs

Carefully monitor the real estate signs in your neighbourhood. Observe how long from the day they go up until the home is actually sold. An agent who has a high sales turnover might be a better choice than an agent who has lots of for sale signs but few sold signs. An agent who gets results is what you want.

5.) Why Agents Use Printed Advertising

There are two main reasons real estate agents use printed advertisement. First is to advertise and sell a specific piece of realty. Secondly, advertising is used to promote the agent handling the transaction. By checking the local Sunday real estate ads in your neighbourhood and then checking the agents website, you can find the agents who may specialize in your particular neighbourhood. Contact the agent and inquire about their expertise and ask any other relative questions you may have.

6.) Seeking Recommendations from Other Realty Professionals

Ask around and seek out other real estate agents for a referral. Most agents are happy to refer a buyer or seller to another associate, if the service you require is not a specialty they can provide. Some agents only specialize in resale property, while others work predominantly with the sale of new homes. Other agents work exclusively with commercial or investment properties. Mortgage brokers are a great resource for agent referrals; many brokers have first-hand knowledge and can point you in the direction of a top-quality real estate agent and remember professionals tend to refer like-minded peers. There is also typically a referral fee involved for the referring professional so be careful that they refer you to the best Agent not the one that pays the highest referral fee.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Brad Sage

Real Estate 101 – How to Find Your Realtor

„Buying a new home, especially if it’s your first home, is not an easy thing to do. There’s new terminology to learn, an entire process to follow and a large number of decisions to make. That’s why almost everyone who buys a home works with professionals in the field to make sure that they get a good deal on a good home without too much of a headache. The most important person in the team of professionals that you’ll want as a home buyer is your realtor. But how do you go about finding a good realtor?

Here are some of the top ways that successful home buyers find good realtors:

1) Word-of-mouth. Often, the best way to get a good realtor is to start asking everyone you know if they know of a good realtor. You’ve probably gotten other professional help this way (everyone’s always asking if you know of a good dentist, right?) Of course, you shouldn’t just jump into bed with the first realtor who gets referred to you – your Aunt Sally’s blind elderly neighbor that talks to his cat might come with her referral but he might not be able to meet your home buying needs. But good word-of-mouth referrals are a great starting point for finding a good realtor.

2) Look at the ads in real estate magazines. A picture is worth a thousand words right? If someone is invested enough to get a good professional picture and take the time to advertise in key locations, he probably cares a lot about his real estate business. And that means he’s got a good chance of being a dedicated realtor. It doesn’t hurt to search the ads to see who is out there and to make an appointment to meet with some people.

3) Make use of your search engine. You can do a whole lot of research into local realtors by typing your information request into your search engine. Review some realtor websites and look for positive reviews of realtors in your area to help you find a good realtor.

4) Put together a list of interview questions and don’t be afraid to interview a number of different realtors until you find the one that you want to work with. Yes, you might be seen as a pesky client but if a realtor wants your business, she’s going to work hard to get it which means she’ll fully answer the questions that you have. Things you’ll want to know include the length of time she’s been in business, how well she knows the area that you’re interested in buying a home in and what she’s going to do to help you understand the home buying process.

If you find a good realtor, the rest of the home buying process should go relatively smoothly. Yes, you’ll still have decisions to make but you’ll have a professional real estate agent there to help you with those decisions. And you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that the hard part is over. Well, at least until it’s time to start moving in!“

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Kinan I Beck

Epoxy or Polyurethane Crack Injection – What’s Best?

The Basic Characteristics of Epoxy and Polyurethane

Epoxy and polyurethane are both resins; generally, they are two component formulations. The blending of the components for each resin type creates the material with the requisite properties for crack repairs.

Epoxy’s components are a resin and a hardener; blended together before a crack injection. The mix ratio is typically two parts epoxy to one part hardener. Injection epoxies typically cure within three to four hours. Once cured, epoxy has a strong bond and a hard plastic-like texture.

Polyurethane, while not necessarily a two component blend, typically has two; one is the resin and the other is an accelerator. Unlike epoxy, the texture of cured polyurethane varies significantly; one cannot generalize regarding the properties of cured polyurethane.

Differences in The Epoxy and Polyurethane Crack Injection Processes

There are significant differences in how polyurethane and epoxy crack injections are carried out. Epoxy injections are referred to as „Surface port injections“ because they involve the use of injection T-Ports to inject the epoxy into a crack.

Polyurethane injection involves much higher injection pressures using packers inserted into drilled holes through the crack in the poured concrete foundation. Like epoxy, the injected polyurethane fills the crack through the entire thickness of the foundation thereby preventing water from entering the crack. Professional polyurethane crack injections typically involve a flushing process to clean the crack to improve adhesion within the crack.

Advantages of Epoxy Crack Injection

1. The tensile strength of cured epoxy is greater than that of poured concrete. Under tension, cured epoxy crack repairs will not yield.

2. Epoxy injections provide positive confirmation to the injection technician that the crack has been completely filled.

3. Epoxy crack injections are extremely reliable due to their low failure rate.

4. Epoxy’s curing time allows the epoxy to gravity feed within the crack, thereby filling all parts of even the finest cracks.

Advantages of Polyurethane Crack Injection

1. Polyurethane can be used regardless of the crack condition and the weather. It doesn’t matter if the crack is actively leaking, full of mud and/or mineral deposits, or if it is small or large.

2. Polyurethane injection involves a crack flushing process that cleans out the crack prior to the injection.

3. The chemical expansion of the polyurethane will fill voids within the concrete.

4. The rapid curing of polyurethane is beneficial when rapid waterstopping is required.

Disadvantages of Epoxy Crack Injection

1. Moisture adversely affects the adhesive qualities of the anchoring epoxy used to adhere the T-Ports onto the crack. Without sufficient adhesion, the anchoring epoxy will not withstand the injection pressure.

2. Epoxy is inappropriate for re-injecting previously injected crack repairs that have failed.

3. Homeowner basement leak repairs with hydraulic cement or caulking render epoxy injections inappropriate because there is no longer surface access to the crack, mud and/or mineral has built-up in the crack, and the concrete around parts of the crack is often damaged by water saturation.

4. The curing time and the available viscosities of epoxy are positive attributes, but also weaknesses. Epoxy crack injection relies on the containment of epoxy within a crack until the epoxy has cured. This containment uses the compacted soil against the outside wall. Poor compaction, air-gap membranes and the use of epoxies with insufficient viscosity will result in the bleeding of epoxy into the soil.

Note: The strong epoxy bond is often cited as a negative attribute of epoxy crack injections due to its rigidity. Keep in mind that the entire poured concrete foundation is rigid; therefore, the need for flexibility in the material used to inject a crack, in my opinion, is illogical as there is no real need to accommodate crack movement.

Disadvantages of Polyurethane Crack Injection

1. While polyurethane is flexible and can absorb compressive force it doesn’t fare well when exposed to significant tension; consequently, it is possible that polyurethane will tear if there is excessive tension in a crack, unless it is reinforced.

2. Unlike the epoxy injection, polyurethane crack injection doesn’t provide the injection technician with positive confirmation that the crack has been filled completely.

Foundation Crack Reinforcement

Structural reinforcement of foundation cracks is either accomplished by epoxy crack injection alone and/or by using carbon fibre reinforcing staples. A cracked basement wall can be structurally reinforced regardless of the injection method used.

Concrete cracks will either be in a state of compression or tension at any time. The state of a crack varies during the year due to themal cycling as well as the changing soil pressure on the foundation wall. Epoxy will not yield to tensile forces; however, polyurethane may tear due to tension within a crack.

The Bottom Line

OK, so which method is best for repairing cracks in concrete: epoxy or polyurethane? In my opinion, one should use epoxy crack injections wherever possible. However, the characteristics of the crack to inject should dictate the method used. Failure to take into account the characteristics of each injection type will considerably increase the probability of crack repair failure.

For a more detailed comparison of both crack injection methods visit our website at www.aquaguardinjection.com

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Jon Gerber

Making The Best Use of Your Employee Evaluation Findings Through Continuous Improvement

Why carry out employee satisfaction and workplace evaluations? Ideally employers undertake these studies to gather and analyze the information needed to ensure that employees at every level, and in all departments and work locations, have the training, information, time and support required to carry out their jobs safely, effectively and efficiently. There are compelling findings regarding the positive return on investment experienced by companies that implement employee wellness initiatives, particularly when they are based upon both quantitative and qualitative research findings (1). For example:

  • The Coors Brewing Company reported a $5.50 return for each dollar spent on a wellness program, with an 18% reduction in absenteeism among program participants
  • An international soft drink company reported saving $500 annually per employee after implementing a fitness program, with 60% of all employees participating
  • Du Pont reported a reduction of 11,726 disability days by the end of the second year of a wellness program
  • The City of Toronto reported that employees missed an average of 3.35 fewer days in the first six months of a fitness program than those not enrolled in the program
  • B.C. Hydro reported that employee turnover fell from 10.3% to 3.5% following the implementation of workplace wellness and fitness programs

Our own studies have confirmed a strong statistical correlation between levels of employee satisfaction and workplace stress, their rates of absenteeism and presenteeism, and their future employment intentions.

To ensure the best return on investment regarding your employee and workplace evaluation, you need to have a clear picture of why you are undertaking a study at this time, and commit to creating and implementing a plan to address the study findings. Continuous Improvement (CI) provides a great framework for facilitating positive changes in the workplace.

CI was developed by W.D. Deming as a means of modernizing Japanese industries following the Second World War. It focuses, in part, on ‚continuously‘ increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of all facets of a company or organization (2). Many aspects of CI touch on the culture and climate of the workplace, and employees‘ long-term commitments to their employers. From a human resource perspective, CI can lead to improvements in communication, leadership, organizational processes, and employee satisfaction.

CI is based on the concept that managerial actions are directed at improvement and not just control; at creating change and not just maintaining performance.

At a CI company, employee wellness initiatives, programs or processes are subjected to continuous improvement cycles. There are four steps in these cycles: Plan, Do, Study and Act (PDSA).

PLAN: An issue or concern is identified. The processes needed to bring about change are developed. Goals, objectives, related activities and performance measures (i.e., Logic Models) are established.

DO: A plan to achieve the desired outcomes is implemented.

STUDY: The impacts and outcomes associated with the administration of this plan are measured against external benchmarks and/or previous performance.

ACT: The changes are either incorporated into your ongoing processes, or you return to the initial planning phase to create a new course of action. Here is a fictitious case study to illustrate how an employee-based PDSA cycle might work in a manufacturing context. A company hired a new manager of operations from another region. Within about six months there was an unexplained 9.7% increase in workplace accidents, and a 13.5% increase in absenteeism.

PLAN: A review of the HR data confirmed the increases in accidents and absenteeism. Confidential interviews were held with selected employees who felt that the new manager had made unilateral changes in shifts and some key operational processes. These employees felt left out of the decision-making process, which was different than the way the former manager made important decisions. Based on these interviews, an employee questionnaire was developed and administered. The study found that some staff felt unprepared and untrained to carry out the new processes. They also felt that they were not valued by the new manager. These factors resulted in the improper use of the equipment by some employees, higher levels of stress at work, sleep deprivation, and conflicts at work and home. This, in turn, caused some employees to be tired and distracted at work, and more prone to accidents. Higher absenteeism rates were reported by employees with the highest levels of stress. In response to these findings, the company, through a committee chaired by the new manager, sought input from the employees most impacted by these changes in order to reduce accident rates and absenteeism, and to improve relationships at work.

DO: Some of the shift changes were reversed based on employees‘ feedback. Training was instituted to bring employees up-to-speed with the new production processes and equipment.

STUDY: A follow-up study found that most of the negative factors related to the changes had been reduced or eliminated. This was confirmed by a statistically significant reduction in workplace accidents and reduced absenteeism. It also turned out that the new manager was unaware of employees‘ expectations that they participate in decision-making at work, as this was not part of his previous experience. He began to see the employees in a new light, which led them to feel more valued and engaged at work.

ACT: The changes made during the ‚Do‘ stage were permanently incorporated into the work process. Training is now provided for all new employees, and employees are consulted on key changes. As a result, higher rates of employee satisfaction, and a commensurate decrease in workplace accidents and employee absenteeism, have been sustained over time.

(1) cf. http://naturalhealthcare.ca

(2) cf. „A Ten Step Method To Continuous Improvement,“ (Note: A modified version of this article will appear in the upcoming edition of the Canadian Meat Magazine.)

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Gerry Kaplan

Top 5 Caribbean Destinations for Surfing and Boogie Boarding

The Caribbean is well known for outstanding surfing, and just about any destination in the region will have something to offer, but these top five destinations have some of the best to be found anywhere in the region.

  1. Costa Rica is in the geographical position to offer excellent conditions on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, and there is no shortage of beaches to choose from. Surf schools and rental shops are in abundance, and numerous hotels, guesthouses and inns cater to the surfing crowd. Beaches with good conditions include Playa Avellana, Playa Bejuco, Playa Esterillos, Playa Hermosa and Playa Negra, to name a few.
  2. Barbados offers year round surfing on the island’s east coast, and holds regular international competitions in November when wave conditions are at their best. Top surfers from around the world compete in this popular 2-day event held at the Soup Bowl on the island’s rugged east coast. The Soup Bowl is the most famous place for both surfing and boogie boarding all year long. At certain times of the year, the south coast has tremendous waves pummeling the shore, anywhere from Oistins to Needhams Point, and Silver Sands, South Point and Accra are particularly popular when conditions are right, but there are numerous small bays and out-of-the-way areas where the swell is good. There are several rental shops and training schools on the island, and accommodations that offer packages with good conditions right outside.
  3. Martinique also boasts several beaches that offer excellent board opportunities, plus equipment rentals and lessons for surfers of all levels of proficiency, including complete novices. Anse Cafard, Anse Ceron, Anse Diamant and Anse Trabaud are the most popular beaches on the island for good year round waves.
  4. St Martin is another island that has been blessed with excellent waves. Baie aux Prunes, Baie de l’Embouchure, Baie Longue, Le Galion Beach and St Barthelemy are particularly popular and include boogie boarding. There are surfer schools, equipment rental shops, plus accommodations that offer packages to surfers with or without equipment and experience.
  5. The British Virgin Islands also make it into the top five surfing destinations in the Caribbean, with most of the good areas being on the island of Tortola. Apple Bay Beach, Cane Garden Beach and Josiah’s Bay Beach are the most popular, and there are surfer schools, equipment rentals shops and nearby accommodations to cater to the needs of visitors.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by P M Johnson

Real Estate Agents – Discover How to Earn Extra Income With Broker Price Opinion (BPO) Orders

As a real estate agent your business may be hitting hard by the current economic downturn. Your listings no longer sell and your buyers are taking forever to make purchase decisions. Meanwhile you still have to pay office expenses, broker fees, MLS subscriptions, board dues, etc. In this article I will discuss how you can earn extra income with your real estate license in addition to selling houses. Specifically I am talking about performing Broker Price Opinions (BPOs) for banks. I will also reveal a technique I personally use to grab those BPO orders before other agents do.

BPOs are basically mini Comparative Market Analysis (CMAs). Banks order BPOs whenever they want to know the value of the properties. This could happen in many occasions; for example, the owner could be applying for refinance, or the owner could be in default, or the property could be in foreclosure or in need of a short sale. Currently there is a huge demand for these BPO orders due to the foreclosure crisis. Since banks require BPOs to be performed by licensed real estate professionals, you can put your hard earned license to good use.

There are two types of BPOs. An exterior BPO does not require you to get into the property and typically pays $40 – $50. An interior BPO requires interior pictures of the property and typically pays $60 – $90. Granted you don’t earn a whole lot with each BPO order but keep in mind that a BPO can be completed in under an hour or so. Just do 3 to 5 BPOs a week will help pay for your basic expenses.

„Where do I find BPO orders?“

Although BPO orders are placed by banks, contacting banks directly would actually be a waste of time since most banks don’t handle them directly. Instead, they order BPOs through asset management companies. A quick way to find these companies is to Google „asset management companies bpo.“ During your search you will come across some companies that are actually just directories. They usually require you to pay a fee to be listed as a BPO agent. They claim by listing on their directories the asset managers will find you. I have never had any luck with them so my advice is to save your money.

Once you find these companies you simply log on to their web site and register yourself as a „vendor.“ You will be asked to fill out an online application with your information. Most companies will require a copy of your real estate license, your E&O insurance information, a W-9 form, and a list of zip codes or city names of the area you covered. Once you are registered, you will begin to receive emails whenever a BPO order becomes available. To maximum your chance of getting orders, you should try to register with as many companies as possible. I personally have registered with 15 companies and I know some agents have registered with over 50 companies.

One thing to pay attention to is that some of these asset management companies are so called „BPO shops“ where they only handle BPO orders. Clear Capital is a well-known example of such company. On the other hand, some companies may also handle REO properties for banks. If you do a good job with your BPOs for these companies, you will have a chance of getting REO listings. Some companies such as Integrated Asset Services will give you the listing of the property that you performed a BPO on if that property ever becomes an REO. Thus if your goal is to eventually become an REO agent (which it should be as listing REO properties is EXTREMELY lucrative), then you may want to avoid those BPO shops and focus only on companies that can give you REO listings.

„OK. I got registered but I can’t get any BPO orders! What should I do?“

So you started to get emails of BPO requests. You were excited but when you replied to those requests you found the orders have already been taken by other agents. What happened? Well, when most asset management companies send out BPO requests, they don’t just send to one agent but to all agents that cover that particular city or zip code. Whoever answers the email first gets the order. You may be answering your email the second you get it, but your email program may only be querying the mail server every 30 minutes. So you could still be too late by the time you respond.

What can you do about it? Do you need to sit by your computer all day to respond to emails? Here is my solution. I use a separate email address specifically for BPO orders. Then have all emails sent to this address also forwarded to my cell phone email address. Most cell phone numbers have email addresses associated with them. For example, a Verizon Wireless cell would have an email address in the form of cellphonenumber @ vtext.com where „cellphonenumber“ is the phone number. You can contact your cell phone service provider to get that information. Once it’s set up, every time a BPO request comes in, I get a text message to my cell immediately. I can then respond to the email right away. I have been able to get over 90% of BPOs since I implemented this technique.

You now have enough information to get into the BPO industry and the knowledge to beat out competitions. Start earning the extra money with those BPO orders when your regular business is slow and you may even be getting hundreds of REO listings in near future!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Leo Liu

How the Federal Housing Tax Credit For First-Time Home Buyers Works

Not all eligible Louisville residents are aware of it, but first-time homebuyers can qualify for a great deal on buying their Louisville properties through a Federal Housing Tax Credit that expires at the end of November 2009.

This Federal Housing Tax Credit for first-time home buyers is a true tax credit and not a deduction. That means that the federal government is using the IRS and the tax code to gift first time home buyers up to $8000 or 10% of the purchase price, whichever is less.

The size of this tax credit means many buyers could double their down payment or use the credit to alleviate the entire cost of closing on a property. This is truly an unprecedented deal. Those who were looking clearly at the tax credit from its inception knew that it would provide a big boost in home buying across the country, as it is clearly a great opportunity for most of those who stand to gain from purchasing their first home. There are some restrictions in place. One is aimed at ensuring that the buyer using the tax credit are true first-time homebuyers and not looking to speculate in real estate and others are restrictions on in-family sales, income caps and a few other disclaimers. Aside from those limitations, the federal program is clearly wide open to the vast majority of middle-income households who make their first home their largest investment.

For buyers looking for Louisville homes for sale in this attractive urban area, the first time home buyers credit can be just an additional incentive for closing the deal on Louisville properties that offer proximity to park land, historic locations and all of the attractions of the big city. Ask Louisville real estate agent, Jim Powell of Louisville Properties LLC about how this federal tax credit has given those who were on the fence about property buying a real incentive to seriously consider a purchase.

Whether you are looking for downtown Louisville properties or Louisville homes for sale outside of the urban area in an adjacent Oldham or Jefferson County location, the possibilities are nearly endless. Let seasoned Louisville real estate agent, Jim Powell of Louisville Properties LLC show you how this one-time tax credit can be the key to your own home and an investment in your future that will gain significant value over time. In addition to the Federal Housing Tax Credit, home sale prices are currently low so now is the time to capitalize on the combination of unique circumstances that will make it easy to purchase Louisville homes for sale. Prospective first time homebuyers who get serious about researching Louisville properties will see that „the stars are right“ for making that investment this year before some of these opportunities reach their deadlines.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Jim Powell

Mortgage Options for Home Buyers

To first-time or even repeat buyers it can be daunting to figure out what all your martgage options are. Especially when you’re time pressed to make a commitment to one after you have drafted a contract to purchase a home. Here is an overview of available mortgage products. I’ve added common loan terms from mortgage lenders.

-Affordable housing loan: umbrella term used to cover various loan products targeted to first-time homebuyers.

-Assumable loan: existing mortgage loan that can be assumed by another person; most conventional loans are not assumable; government loans are assumable with qualification of the new person.

-Bi-weekly mortgage: one-half of the mortgage payment is paid every two weeks, resulting in one extra full payment toward principal each year.

-Blanket mortgage: mortgage secured by more than one piece of property.

-Blended rate (or wraparound) mortgage: refinancing plan that combines the interest rate on an existing mortgage loan with current interest rate for an additional amount of loan.

-Bridge (or swing): loan used to bridge the gap when someone is purchasing a new home before they have gone to settlement on their previous home.

-Budget mortgage: another name for a loan that included taxes and insurance along with the principal and interest payment (PITI).

-Installment sale (also called a land contract): usually a private agreement between a seller and buyer where title is not conveyed until all payments have been made.

-Carry-back financing: whenever a seller agrees to finance either the first or a second mortgage on the property.

-Chattel mortgage: a pledge of personal property to secure a note.

-Construction loan: short-term loan made during the construction of a house.

-Home equity loan: either a lump sum or a line of credit made against the equity in a home.

-Interest-only: Your monthly payments only cover the interest on your mortgage loan. Your payment does not include any principal payments to create equity. In a market transitioning from a sellers to a buyers market, you might loose money on the sale of your home.

-125% loan: A loan product in which you are actually borrowing 25% more than the present value of the property you are purchasing. If you should have to sell the property in the first few years, you will find yourself „upside-down“ in the mortgage, owing more on the mortgage than you can sell the house for.

-Open-end mortgage: one where additional funds may be borrowed without changing other terms of the mortgage, typical for construction loans.

-Package mortgage: mortgage secured by a combination of real and personal property; often used for vacation property such as a cabin, beach condo, or ski chalet.

-Portable mortgage: new concept; mortgage loan can be carried with you from one property to another.

-Purchase money mortgage: any loan used to purchase the real property that serves as collateral but usually refers to seller-held financing.

-Reverse mortgage: special program for senior citizens (62 or older), which utilizes the equity in the seniors‘ home to provide additional income without having to sell their home.

-Sub-prime loan: loan with risk-based pricing for persons unable to qualify for prime conventional loans; typically has higher rate of interest; credit scoring and appraisal are critical.

Mortgage terms.

-Mortgagee: the party receiving the mortgage, the lender.

-Mortgagor: the party giving the mortgage, the borrower.

-Mortgage: document establishing property as security for the repayment of the mortgage loan debt.

-Note: a written promise to repay a debt.

-Deed of trust: document conveying legal title to a neutral third party to provide security for the mortgage loan debt. The choice of whether to provide collateral for the loan through a mortgage or a deed of trust depends on individual state law.

-Default: failure to carry out the terms of the contract; the most important term being the agreement to make regular payments.

– Loan-to-value (LTV): percentage of what the lender will lend divided by the market value (e.g., property worth $200,000 with a LTV of 90% means that the lender will loan 90% of the value, or $180,000, and a down payment of 10%, or $20,000, will be required from the borrower.

-Qualifying ratios: the percentage of gross monthly income allowed by different loan programs.

o Front-end ratio is the amount allowed for total housing expense.

o Back-end ratio is the amount allowed for total debt. Example: Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac ratios are 28/36 or 33/38 for affordable loans. FHA ratios are 29/41.

-Points: each point is 1% of the loan amount. Lenders often charge a l% loan origination fee. Additional points may be charged to discount (lower) the rate of interest.

-Buy-down: a cash payment to the lender that lowers the rate of interest; often used a marketing technique by new homebuilders. Example: Property selling for $200,000 with a 2-1 buy down. Interest rate for first year is 4%, second year 5%, and life of the loan 6%.

-PITI: usual components of a mortgage loan: principal, interest, taxes, and insurance. Payment is attributed first to principal, next to interest. Taxes and insurance are paid from an escrow account. Interest and taxes are tax deductible.

-Principal: the balance due on the amount originally borrowed.

-Interest: the amount charged by the lender for the use of the amount borrowed.

-Conventional loan: any mortgage loan that is now government insured or guaranteed.

-Government loan: FHA-insured or VA-guaranteed loans.

-Conforming loan: conforms to Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac guidelines.

-Nonconforming loan: does not conform to Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac guidelines.

-Jumbo loan: one that exceeds current Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac loan limits.

-First mortgage (or Trust): the primary loan placed on the property.

-Junior, or second mortgage (or Trust): secondary loan sometimes used in conjunction with first mortgage or one placed sometime after closing on first; such as a home equity loan.

-Portfolio lender: one who retains and continues to service the mortgage loans in-house.

-Prepayment penalty: a fee charged by the lender if you wish to pay off part or all of the balance due prior to the scheduled end of the term; penalty not allowed on any conforming or government loans; most often seen in jumbo loans and ARMs.

-Negative amortization: occurs whenever the monthly payment is not enough to cover the interest charges for that month with the additional amount being added to the principal balance; results in an increasing principal balance rather than a decreasing principal balance as occurs with a fully amortized loan.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Mark Nash

Real Estate Lead Generation Services – A Breakdown Of Those Available

Online and automated real estate lead generation services are provided by companies that do the bulk of your lead generation work for you. In return for payment, they provide you with targeted leads of prospective clients who are investigating the sale of their home, thinking about buying a home or actively searching for a real estate agent.

But who are these companies, how do they work, what information can you expect to derive from their services, and what do they charge? For a breakdown of some of the industry’s most popular real estate lead generation companies, keep reading.

Realty Generator

Realty Generator syncs your local MLS listings with your website, manages search engine advertising spending, offers cell phone alerts, and includes CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software.

House Values

House Values is a website that lets homeowners type in their zip code and real estate property info in exchange for a home evaluation, provided by you. In turn, they collect the visitor’s contact info and pass it on to you for a nominal fee.

House By Mouse

Through a variety of websites and MLS listings, House by Mouse collects visitor information and passes it on to you. You get email updates, including those local prospects‘ contact info and, in turn, pay per lead generated. They charge about $12.95 per lead.

Realtor Exposure

Realtor Exposure works by providing you with a personal website that is designed to capture leads from buyers and sellers who are searching for home information in your area. Those leads are delivered to your cell phone or email. They also guarantee that your site will appear on the first page of search engine results, but this isn’t confirmed.


1to1Red allows you to set your monthly budget and then creates a personalized lead generation program based on that budget. They can manage advertising, online campaigns and pass on potential leads right to your inbox. Their focus is on quality leads and providing you with all the tracking information you need to stay on top of your marketing.

For an average of 5-15 quality leads per month with 1to1Red.com, you can expect to pay approximately $500.


HomeGain’s biggest selling feature is that you only pay a referral fee if you close a deal. They offer customized coverage areas for a low monthly subscription rate and, in turn, provide you with the contact information of web searchers looking for a home evaluation or realtor.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Cole Stevens

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