Will You Be My Valentine?

Real Estate Blog Carnival

The Real Estate Blog Carnival rolled into Arizona this weekend and boy did we have a lot of fun. In fact with Valentines day coming up love is in the air.  It is no surprise that this weeks’ blog carnival is heavily influenced by cupid. With over thirty submissions this week my weekend was certainly occupied reading, evaluating and expanding my horizons. In many ways all these blog submissions reminded me of the valentine cards people send back and forth. So, who do you think is my valentine this week? With apologies to my husband Shailesh of course!

Here is how I divided them up:

It's Not You It's Me“It’s Not You Its Me”– I certainly don’t want to name names here, but there were about 15 or so submissions that for one reason or another I just didn’t connect with. It didn’t have the electric vibe I would expect. Now, don’t get me wrong, they were perfectly well written and in fact some were very technical. However, for one reason or another it just didn’t give me the butterflies. So, we had to part ways and believe me when I say it’s not you it’s certainly me!

“Let’s Stay in Touch” – There were 10 or so posts which I was certainly intrigued by and that made me stop and think. In other words I gave them a second glance. However, I’m certainly not ready at this point to say I would like to move things in any other direction other than at a professional level.  I could see us as casual acquaintances and I would love to subscribe to their blog just to learn from them. So, let’s stay in touch.

How Does Italian Sound?“How Does Italian on Friday Sound?” – There were three posts in particular which caught my eye for sure and defiantly are worthy of further conversation.  In “Buyers Psychology in Today’s Market” , Cece Blase provided a great analysis of buyer behavior. Everyone talks about a buyers market but, how many really know how to take advantage of it? Also, understanding the psychological disposition in this kind of situation is very helpful as well.

Dan Melson, in “Military Housing Allowance and Loan Qualification”, wrote a great technical guide for those receiving housing allowance. While his article was geared towards those in the military it can certainly apply to anyone who receives a housing allowance such as those in the clergy etc. Take a look at this one. You’ll learn something and be better for it.

Over analyzing the market can paralyze buyers and sellers and make fools out of both. Jonathan Dalton, our very own local real estate agent extraordinaire makes this point by using tell us that “You Can’t Outrace the Sunset”.  When you price a house with an expected “x” percentage fall in prices, guess what there is a chance the next house on the block will sell for less than yours. It’s because your “realistic” price is now a comp for the next sale and if the next guy does the same thing, then the market spirals down faster.  Just read Dalton’s take, he does a great job making this clear to readers.

You Look Good in My Sweatshirt“You Look Good In My Sweatshirt” – We would definitely work together in many settings and I liked the  styles of these posts.  I am a sucker for practical guides and people who get to the point right away. That is why I liked the users guide to selecting contractors and resolving any issues when dealing with contractors written by The Smarter Wallet. The posted titled “Home Improvement Contractor Problems: How To Resolve” is a great starting guide for those homeowners seeking to embark on a major home improvement project and need to seek the services of a contractor.

Loan modifications are a joke and I want to thank William Doom for emphatically say so on his post.  He provides a five step process to guide consumers seeking to do a loan modification. The best rule he gives is not to work with those loan modification companies, because as we’ve experienced here in Arizona, they’re a joke!

“Mom, Dad, This is…” – In the end it’s about honesty, authenticity and trust. What better Mom Dad This Isway to reinforce this than by pointing out that those seeking to short sale their homes should be really up front about it from the very beginning. It’s pretty clear that not being up front about it only hurts the chances to quickly sell the home .  In her inaugural post at Rain City Guide Courtney Cooper makes a radical suggestion: honesty.Her post “Short Sale Listings: Leaving Out Key Details Is Like Telling A Lie.. “ is a great read and very insightful on how sellers should approach this difficult topic.  Honesty eh? Now that is something mom and dad can appreciate.

Have a great Valentines week everyone!

Foreclosure Reduction Plan Clears Hurdle

Apparently Citigroup has dropped its opposition to amending bankruptcy law in an effort to reduce foreclosure rates. Now that the Feds control a portion of Citigroup that was to be expected. Here is the story from WSJ today:

WASHINGTON — A Senate bill aimed at giving strapped homeowners more leverage in renegotiating their mortgages cleared a hurdle Thursday when Citigroup Inc. dropped its opposition.

The legislation, which is being advanced by top Senate Democrats, would let judges set new repayment terms for mortgage holders in bankruptcy court. Lawmakers say the measure is aimed at jump-starting broader efforts to renegotiate millions of underwater mortgages now weighing down the housing market.

Until recently, Citigroup had fiercely opposed proposals to give bankruptcy judges latitude to change the terms of mortgages. Its about-face comes after the federal government has pumped $45 billion into the company since last fall. The government is now keeping the company on a tight leash.

In letters Thursday to congressional leaders, Citigroup Chief Executive Vikram Pandit praised the legislation as a way to help borrowers stay in their homes. “Given today’s exceptional economic environment, we support its swift passage,” he wrote.

The Mortgage Bankers Association remains opposed to the bill. The main reasons for the opposition is as follows:

But the banks argue that any help the proposal might provide to troubled homeowners in the short run would be offset by the higher costs that borrowers would have to pay to get mortgages in the future. The reason, banks say, is that they would pass along the added risk to borrowers in the form of higher interest rates, larger down payments or increased closing costs.

We’ll see how this develops.

Great news for Canadians (and other Foreign Nationals!)!!

After mourning the loss of our own access to Foreign National loan programs and letting the “Blogiverse” know about it, we have actually come across several new sources for Foreign National loans. We STILL  cannot lend on these ourselves, sad to say, BUT I would be more than happy to pass on our contacts to anyone in need of this type of financing.

What do these loans look like? Well, let’s say you are a Canadian from Toronto.  The bank will need a minimum of 20% down, a clean Canadian credit report (with nice high scores, of course!), and your tax returns for the past 2 years. It is a full documentation loan, which means the bank checks your income and assets to make sure all is still current. Your debt ratio cannot exceed 41%. In other words, all of your debt, including your home in Canada, credit cards, note loans and new Arizona home cannot add up to more than 41% of your total income. Finally, you will have to have your down payment in a US bank account.  The rates on these loans are surprisingly low…right on par with the 30 year fixed conventional rate.

I am delighted that there are banks still financing Foreign National loans. Though they may seem risky on the one hand, these mortgages contain borrowers with top credit scores, excellent assets and residual income. These are the folks banks want to lend on. Thankfully, they still are!

And…kudos to the Phoenix Real Estate Guy, Jay Thompson, who was a big factor in us uncovering one of these sources and realizing we had not exhausted our options!

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