I take on the headache for you!

Have you ever wondered what a property manager actually has to go through when managing a rental property – well, let me clue you in! I’ve been a property manager for quite some time and there’s been stories to tell. Below are just a sampling:

I sent over a handyman to finish painting a shed out in the back. This home is on acreage and has no fencing. The tenants were from Texas and although they knew the painter was going to be there, they somehow decided that this might not be the painters truck out in front. The painter was busy slapping on paint, wearing his ear plugs to listen to music when he heard the bushes rattle and with a start, he turned and was face to face with the tenant waving a .45 caliber revolver at him. The tenant snapped, “What are you doing here?” The surprised handyman said as he held up his paint roller, “Um, I’m painting.” Yup – I had a firm discussion with the tenant.

When it came time for the home inspection (I do this periodically), the tenant refused to let me look in the barn. His excuse was that he couldn’t find the key. Lo and behold, come to find out, he was growing medical marijuana!

The landlord moved out saying that he’d have his house all clean and ready. Well, ‘his’ clean was not the same as the “standard” clean. After much politically correct conversations, he finally let me hire a house cleaner to do the job. It was one of the dirtiest homes they have ever had to clean.

This was a country home so inevitably mice will come in…and they did. The tenant was a city kid and knew nothing about mice. When one died in the wall, which isn’t a very pleasant experience for either the mouse or the odor it creates, she absolutely freaked out and demanded we get the mouse out of the wall. I told her that the smell would go away in a few days and since it was summer, just keep a window open. She raised so much Cain that we finally called out a handyman to remove the mouse…two holes in the sheetrock later, the mouse was located. Was she happy? No – she then complained about the temporarily patched holes! Needless to say, we’ll take on the headache for you. If you need a dedicated Property Manager, call me! Vicky – 719-488-2234

Short Sales – The Pitfalls

Short sale definition: Selling for less than what is owned on the home. This needs the approval from the servicer (the bank, the note holder) before this can be accomplished. Sellers do not net anything on the sale.

I often have buyers interested in looking for distressed sale homes; bank owned, short sale, etc. We found one home in particular that was the best deal in the subdivision – a short sale. I warned my clients that short sales can take quite some time to accomplish because, although the sellers are eager, the bank (or the holder of the note), isn’t as they have no emotional ties to either party. My buyers, knowing that this would be a great investment, decided, regardless of the time it might take, to go ahead and put in their offer.

Although we were assured by the listing agent that the bank had previously approved the short sale so our wait time for bank approval wouldn’t be “as long”, we’re still waiting, two months later. My clients are getting frustrated by this lengthy wait however I have to keep reminding them that I told them it would take some time to accomplish. They’re just very anxious.

Needless to say, we’re still waiting. Part of the problem is that the listing agent and her assistant who are the only ones, aside from the sellers, who can contact the bank and they’re not being diligent. They don’t return my phone calls or emails. I’ve spoken with their broker who assures me that they are working on it however I’ve made it strongly known that I require informtation. I require updates. I require my phone and email messages to be returned.

So now that the listing agent is non-responsive and we’re not getting the information and updates that we need, my buyers are ready to walk away from their offer in pursuit of another home.

Moral of the Story: If you are trying to sell your home via a short sale, use an experienced real estate firm to handle your short sales. Don’t entrust your home to an agent who says that they can do it when they actually can’t. Contact us at Dancing Star Realty at: http://www.findshortsalesincoloradosprings.com. Diane Frey knows how to make short sales work! Or call at: 8977-488-2234

Short Sales – What Are They?

A Short Sale occurs when a lender is willing to accept less than the amount you owe to your lender. The reasons can be many however typically a Short Sale is utilized when there is a change in your financial ability to pay your monthly payment or you can’t sell your home because there is not enough equity available to pay off the balance owed to all mortgage lien holders, Title, Escrow as well as paying the additional associated closing costs. A Short Sale is a way to get your home sold without having to bring extra money to Closing to pay off your remaining mortgage debt thus freeing you from your mortgage burden.

In order to get the negotiations started between you and the lender, you need to have an experienced professionals assistance through a qualified Realtor. If you want to try it yourself, you’ll find yourself under the muck and mire of banks differing answers to your questions and often lost in the maze of just who you can talk to and who actually has the answers you need.

In Colorado, go to: yourshortsalespecialists.com and you’ll find some information here to help us get you started. All information will be kept strictly confidential.

We’re here for you during this difficult time.

Interest Rates Going Up

We’ve seen an exposion in home refinances over the last several months when interest rates hit a historic lows. Unfortunately now the rates are going back up so if you haven’t refinanced, you’ve missed your window of opportunity. Rates for new home purchases are also going up but still are low in comparison to what they were a year or so ago. As human nature usually responds, the tendency is to say, “Oh, they’ll go back down again.” and then it the old “crossing your fingers” in hopes that they do begins. It’s a game of risk. Back in the ’80’s, a good interest rate was 15% (and I had a 16% rate and considered myself fortunate as most were up to 18%)! In the ’90’s, it was 9%. In the ’00’s, it was 7%. So, what’s the chance of rates going up to the 15% level? My crystal ball says that anything is possible.

So what are you suppose to do? If you’re paying rent, you’re dumping your money into your landlords pocket. Despite the interest rate, whatever that rate will be, it’s better to put your money into something tangible than not. It will then be “your” home, “your” equity gain, “your” investment. So if you’ve been scared to buy a home because of what our foreclosure market has done, please keep in mind that those in foreclosure are those who elected not to pay their mortgage. It’s the “no pay, no stay” agreement that you sign when a lender finances you. So if you are responsible and understand that you should only buy what you can afford, you’ll be just fine and definitely should buy a home!

Whether you are located in Colorado or not, call me and we’ll talk. I can give you ideas, information and guidance at no charge at all. Vicky Baker, Dancing Star Realty, LLC – 877-488-2234

3.8% Sales Tax Added onto the Sale of Your Home!

Yes, you really did read this correctly. Individuals making over 200K and couples who make over 250K, you will now be facing an additional investment tax when you sell your primary residence! Yes, this is true! This was instituted when our Health Care Bill was adopted! So if your proceeds top your normal and pre-existing exemptions and capital gains, you’ll be paying a 3.8% tax on your proceeds! Essentially, you could be paying $3,600 per 100K made on the sale of your home!

Attention Military: $8,000 credit incentive has been extended!

ATTENTION MILITARY: The $8,000 First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit has been extended for ONE MORE YEAR for those who have served outside the U.S. for at least 90 days from January 1, 2009 to April 30, 2010 or those who were forced back to the U.S. due to medical reasons before the 90 days was fulfilled. The extension is to April 30, 2011 to have a home under contract and close by June 30, 2011. This also applies to those in the U.S. Foreign Service and Intelligence Community.

Dancing Star Realty stays on top of important issues especially for our service men and woman. A special Thank You to our military for their vital service to our Country!

Call Dancing Star Realty – 877-488-2234 and let them assist you with your real estate needs.

Interest Rates on the Rise

Unfortunately, it’s true. Interest rates for home purchases are starting to show in increase. It is projected that within 4-6 months, the rates will be upwards 6% or even higher. They’ve already gone up for the 4th consecutive week! Ouch! Yes, we’re still remaining in near historic lows but that edge is projected to dwindle.

Rates on 30-year fixed loans rose to 5.14% from the recent lows of below 5%. They’re obviously, still affordable loans given that in the 1980’s, interest rates were 16-18%. That was the loan I had on my house – and I was grateful for it as we didn’t know how much higher they’d go!

Regardless, the higher the interest rate, the harder it will impact a buyer wanting to buy a house. It cuts severely into what they can pay monthly on their mortgage. This will affect the tone of any economic recovery.

Yes, in recent months, demand for homes has increased and recession caused lower home prices have eased. Government tax incentives for 1st time homebuyers did help to fuel the housing demand and the Federal Reserve has helped to keep interest rates low by buying up mortgage securities. (They pump money into our housing market making it easier for lenders to provide credit.) However, there’s now a retreat especially with tax incentives ending mid-year. And, in a move that’s potentially important for interest rates, the Fed has said it will stop buying mortgage bonds within 3 months or so.

Lower interest rates mean buyers can afford to spend. If the interest rates rise, it could put downward pressure on home prices, unless the interest-rate rise also accompanies a rise in income. No rise in income means the higher interest rates will cause buyers to hold off in buying “in hopes” that the interest rates will go down. Guess what that’s going to do to our real estate market….make it dive into what we just experienced…more homes on the market, sellers not able to sell their homes so more foreclosures, etc.

With this, another key factor of the housing market will be whether lenders standards get more lax or not. A good interest rate only helps if buyers can get a loan! Right now, loan programs are so tight, and documentation so lengthy, buyers are deterred from making that home purchase.

Obama said he wants to make sure regulators get the message to banks that credit should flow to qualified buyers. Unfortunately, foreclosures are expected to run high this year. Banks and regulators are also trying to make sure that they don’t dig deeper into a hole of bad loans.

Should you buy a home now? Absolutely! Is getting a loan like running a marathon through paperwork? Yes it is. Will it be worth it in the long run? Yes it will be. Call me if you’re looking to buy in Colorado. If not, and if you want to find a good, qualified Realtor who will go out of his/her way to help you, I can help you with this by interviewing, screening agents and finding that expert who will provide you with better than expected help in finding you the home you want.

Vicky Baker – Broker/Owner
Dancing Star Realty
877-488-2234 – toll free