Date Archives: November 2012

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November
15

EAST MEADOW, NY, Nov 15, 2012-Buyers looking to score a great real estate deal often consider purchasing a short sale-a property that sells for less than the balance owed on its mortgage. There are many different types of short sale properties, from upside down homes to vacant land. While purchasing a short sale can be financially beneficial to the buyer, it can also be good for the seller and lender, as it keeps the property from facing foreclosure. "If you think purchasing a short sale property may be right for you, seek an agent specializing in short sales, as the process is often more complex than a traditional real estate transaction," says Michael Litzner, Broker of Century 21 American Homes. There are some extra steps that buyers need to take when entering into a short sale, which can require doing some additional homework and assembling the right paperwork-this is why having a short sale specialist on your team is crucial. You need to assemble an arduous proposal that includes a specific short sale request application, an authorization letter, the purchase and sale contract, a hardship letter, a statement of the property's value, a detailing of the costs and liabilities, and a settlement statement, which can be prepared by your agent. According to Litzner, paperwork aside, many short sales involve a series of extensions and can often take longer than other real estate sales. This may not be a big deal if you're an investment buyer, are purchasing a second home, or have a relaxed move schedule. However, if you're relocating for work or otherwise facing a time crunch, a short sale purchase may not be the smartest move. One of the biggest headaches that comes along with short sales can come from the bank. "Keep in mind that just because a property is listed with short sale terms, and the seller accepts your offer, this doesn't necessarily mean the lender will accept," Litzner warns. This can create extra stress and extend the time until closing. Before you make an offer, do your research. Decide how much work, if any, will need to be done on the property, and factor that into deciding whether or not the property is really a steal. "You don't want to purchase a short sale home at a low price only to find out you need to sink thousands of dollars into renovations," Litzner emphasizes. Your agent can help with the research by finding out who is in title of the home, whether a foreclosure notice has been filed and how much is owed to the lender. This information is vital when deciding how much to offer on the home. For more information on short sales, please contact Century 21 American Homes at 1-800-270-6318. Century 21 American Homes is one of the fastest growing real estate brokerages serving Long Island, Queens and Brooklyn. To find out more about an exciting career in real estate contact us at careers@c21amhomes.com.
November
2

EAST MEADOW, NY, Nov 02, 2012 - Location remains the single most important factor when choosing a home, according to Michael Litzner, Broker of Century 21 American Homes. However, there is a lot more to a prime location than waterfront views. "Before you even start house hunting, you should be location hunting," suggests Litzner." First, decide what you want in a town or city, and then do some research and talk to real estate experts to find a few choices that fit within your specifications." Of course, what constitutes an ideal location will vary from buyer to buyer. Because everyone's preferences vary, lifestyle will determine the best place for you to live. Some people prefer the suburbs while others thrive on downtown living. If you like peace and quiet, do you want serene woods or rolling hills? If you favor city living, find out what part of the city suits you best - a fast-paced neighborhood or one slightly more subdued. When searching for your ideal destination, feel free to dig deep. Talk with the neighbors and check out details like traffic patterns, and even sounds and smells. "No one wants to purchase a house to find out it's slammed with school bus traffic during morning rush hour, or downwind from the dump," says Litzner. "Make sure to get below the surface level when it comes to location. Spend a few Saturdays hanging around local hot spots to get to know the crowd and character of the community." What else should you take into consideration? Basic guidelines can include property taxes, while other specificities will depend on where you are in life. Are you newlyweds? Accessibility to work and local school systems may be important factors. Retired and looking to downsize? Consider local recreation, community, and distance from any grandchildren who may need routine snuggling. "Location is important - more important than the number of square feet or cost of your down payment," notes Litzner "By focusing on it before you start to house hunt, you will be less likely to fall in love with that old colonial or gorgeous five-bedroom on the water, only to be heart broken when you find out the commute is terrible, school systems are shoddy and property taxes are through the roof." For more information on pricing your property, please contact Century 21 American Homes at MLitzner@C21AmHomes.com, 1-800-270-6318, or Century 21 American Homes. Century 21 American Homes is one of the fastest growing real estate brokerages serving Long Island, Queens and Brooklyn. To find out more about an exciting career in real estate contact us at careers@c21amhomes.com.
November
2

By Andrew Wilson Fannie Mae is reminding servicers of options that are available to homeowners affected by natural disasters in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Under Fannie Mae's existing guidelines, servicers have the ability to grant forbearance to any borrower they believe has been affected by a natural disaster. Within ninety days, servicers are expected to establish contact with homeowners who have been affected and determine if additional assistance is necessary. "We understand the disruption that a storm such as Sandy can have on people's lives, and we've made it easy for our servicers to offer relief to those who need it," says Leslie Peeler, senior vice president, National Servicing Organization, Fannie Mae. "Servicers are on the front lines with homeowners and we are grateful for their efforts to help borrowers. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have been affected by the storm." Under Fannie Mae's disaster relief guidelines, a servicer may temporarily suspend or reduce a homeowner's mortgage payments for up to ninety days if the servicer believes a natural disaster such as Hurricane Sandy has adversely affected the value or habitability of the property or if the natural disaster has temporarily impacted the homeowner's ability to make payments on their mortgage. Since a storm may make it difficult to reach homeowners, Fannie Mae allows servicers to grant this temporary relief even if they cannot contact the impacted homeowner immediately. Borrowers can reach out to their servicer to pursue assistance. In addition, homeowners can reach out to Fannie Mae through one of twelve Mortgage Help Centers located across the country. Contact information can be found at www.knowyouroptions.com or by calling 1-800-7FANNIE (1-800-732-6643). For more information, visit www.fanniemae.com.

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