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Keeping Current Matters

National Association of Realtors

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Something We Can All Use (Not At All Real Estate Related)

For a Happier and Healthier 2008


1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.

3. Buy a DVR and tape your late night shows and get more sleep.

4. Be the change you wish to see in the world.

5. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.

6. Play more games and read more books than you did in 2007.

7. Make time to practice meditation, and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.

8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.

9. Dream more while you are awake.

10. Take the first step in faith.You don't have to see the whole staircase.just take the first step.

11. A little rebellion now and then is a good thing.

12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

13. Clear clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.

14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, OR issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the NEGATIVE BLUES away.

18. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

22. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

23. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'

26. Forgive everyone for everything.

27. What other people think of you is none of your business.

28.REMEMBER GOD heals everything.

29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

30. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

31. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

32. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

33. The best is yet to come.

34. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

35. Do the right thing!

36. Call your family often. (Or email them to death!!!)

37. Face an insane world with laughter. You will either be thought a fool,and underestimated...or thought a genius and revered.

38. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

39. The man who rows the boat generally doesn't have time to rock it.



http://StoneHarborRealtor.com
CONTENTS COPYRIGHT NANCY M. ALEXANDER 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

Be Smart. Buy Now

Daily Real Estate News March 11, 2008
Why Now is a Smart Time to Buy
Now is a great time to buy a home, say the financial gurus at the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal calls it a buyers market and offers these suggestions for first-timers getting their feet wet. While their advice is solid, it’s not revolutionary, but some potential customers might find it reassuring.

Remember this is a place to live not a stock market investment, they say. Lenders want buyers to spend no more than 28 percent of their gross monthly income on mortgage payments, real estate taxes, and home insurance. Buyers shouldn’t count on stretching further because lenders won’t approve their loans.

Cash is king. Having enough money in the bank to pay closing costs that are typically an additional 2 percent to 3 percent of the price of the home is necessary.
Location. Location, location. As any good real estate professional knows, homes in good school districts where the crime is low are much more likely to hold or increase their value.
Compare. Besides just looking at the comps, buyers should examine what it would cost to rent a similar house in the same area and they might consider what it would cost to buy land and build a comparable home.
Think long haul. It will probably take at least six or seven years of living in the house to be able to sell and come out ahead.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Shelly Banjo (03/11/08)

nancymalexander.com

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How to Attract Wildlife To Your garden


Welcome all species of guests to your garden

While some homeowners strive to rid their landscapes of insect and animal pests, others try to entice visitors from the animal kingdom to their gardens.
Many outdoor creatures that accent a beautiful landscape are also helpful participants in the community. Bees pollinate fruits and flowers, keeping gardens productive. Toads, frogs and lizards are fascinating to watch and eat pesky insects at a ferocious rate. Dragonflies, ladybugs and spiders also eat great numbers of unwelcome insects, such as aphids and mites. Here are tips for encouraging wildlife to come to your garden.
• Diversify
The more diverse the plants in your garden, the more wildlife you are likely to attract. Set up a complex mini-ecosystem in your back yard by choosing a variety of plants.
• Don't be too tidy
Humans appreciate neat gardens, but animals thrive in messier places. Removing faded flowers keeps the garden attractive and flowers bearing longer, but birds enjoy flowers that have gone to seed. Brush piles are an ideal place for butterflies and other creatures to overwinter.
• Provide cover
Most animals need a protected area. Shade trees provide protective cover for animals while fruit-bearing trees and shrubs provide food. Even a vine-covered wall can provide a potential nesting site for tiny birds.
• Garden organically
Chemicals throw off nature's balance and can kill helpful as well as harmful creatures. Many organic practices attract wildlife. Adding compost or other organic matter to the soil, for example, attracts earthworms. They, in turn, contribute to the health of the bed. Their constant burrowing tills and aerates the soil. They ingest organic wastes and deposit humus-rich castings in it. Earthworms also attract robins and other birds.
• Go native
Most native plants help feed or host local wildlife. They provide food for adult birds and good nectar for local butterflies as well as shelter for birds and other cre
• Go native
Most native plants help feed or host local wildlife. They provide food for adult birds and good nectar for local butterflies as well as shelter for birds and other creatures.


www.StoneHarborRealtor.com

Monday, March 24, 2008

Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Monday, Stewart provided brilliant analysis of the recent market turmoil.





Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
www.StoneHarborRealtor.com
800.708.5792

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Spring In Stone Harbor

I love Spring. Spring is all about hope and the promise of things to come. Trees are budding and flowers are beginning to bloom. And in MLS each morning for the past few weeks I see more and more “under contracts’ showing up.
Stone Harbor is waking up from its winter sleep. In this resort town , if you pass another car on the road in the winter, the chances are it’s another Realtor! There are not many people here in the winter. So , it is always fun to see the town come back to life in spring. And with Easter coming so early this year, it brings families down sooner. All weekend the town has been packed. Real Estate offices were all busy. Lots of people out looking at property!
Have a Blessed and Happy Easter!
Life Is Good!

http://Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
http://StoneHarborRealtor.com
800.708.5792
CONTENTS COPYRIGHT NANCY M. ALEXANDER 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

It Is Mid-March.Is Your Stone Harbor Vacation Rental booked yet?

Click Here For Your Stone Harbor or Avalon Summer Rental
http://NancyMAlexander.com/VacationRentals.htm Click on the red banner and fill in the time period you need.
Find one you like? You can book right here on-line! There are still have some primeweeks available in Oceanfront homes, Beachblock, Bayfront and others.There are condos.available too.
Nancy M. Alexander CRS,GRI ,e-PRO


http://Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
http://StoneHarborRealtor.com
call me ....
I love to Talk Real Estate ! 800.708.5792
CONTENTS COPYRIGHT NANCY M. ALEXANDER 2008

How About a Home Inspection? Do We need one? You Bet!

Just a few short Years ago, home inspections were virtually unheard of in a residential real estate transaction.
Buyers then would rely only on their own judgement of the home and the representations of the seller's real estate agent. Today it is a different ballgame. Dramatically different!

Included in the Agreement For sale is a clause giving the buyer the right to order one or more professional home inspections before completing the purchase.


Your Realtor will recommend several well-qualified home inspectors. The tricky part is selecting the best candidates among the group. Here are seven points to consider:

1. Qualifications. Ask open-ended questions about the inspector's training and experience as it relates to home inspections. The inspector should have some training in construction and building maintenance standards and a track-record of experience in the home inspection business. Depending on the location and age of the home, you may need to hire an inspector who's qualified to deal with asbestos, lead-based paint or other potentially hazardous substances. In some cases you may also require a structural engineer.

2. Exactly What Is Covered in This Inspection? Make sure up front what is and is not covered in the inspection Ask the inspector which parts of the property are and are not - included in the inspection. Will this inspector check out the roof? How about the swimming pool? How about the built- in appliances?
A bay front property will need a separate inspection for the bulkhead.

3. Ask to see a sample of the report. Ask the inspector to provide a sample of his checklist or inspection report. Will his report include a narrative description or just check-off boxes? Is the information presented and explained clearly and completely? Does the report highlight and summarize any problems that could present a safety hazard?

4. References. Request names and telephone numbers of several homeowners who have used his services. Call those people . Wouldn’t be a bad idea to talk to some people who have owned their home for a few months or longer. Some problems overlooked by an inspection can take a while to surface.


5. Qualifications. Is he licensed? Many good inspectors don't belong to a national or state association of home inspectors. However, all else being equal, an association membership is a plus. These groups provide their members with training and certification programs and up-to-date information about industry practices and inspection standards.

6. What happen If he misses something? Even top-notch inspectors are only human and can make errors or overlook problems they probably should have noticed. What is the company's policy in such situations? Does the company have insurance for errors and omissions? Will the inspector or his company stand behind the report? Many companies ask customers to sign a waiver limiting the company's liability to the cost of the inspection.
7. An excellent idea is a pre-listing home inspection. Talk to your sellers about the value of a thorough evaluation by a professional inspector to help get a property into tip-top shape. It’s tempting for owners to assume that they know everything about a home’s condition. But even sellers in a house for 25 years may not realize they’ve been living with a dangerous electrical outlet or plumbing leaks. Taking care of problems early offers a competitive edge.



Hope this information is helpful to you! If you have any questions, or need more information, please e-mail me at http://Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
call me...... I Love To Talk Real Estate!
800.708.5792
Nancy M. Alexander CRS,GRI ,e-PRO

http://Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
http://NancyMAlexander.com
CONTENTS COPYRIGHT NANCY M. ALEXANDER 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How is the Stone Harbor and Avalon Real Estate Market? Here are MLS Facts March 2008

Stone Harbor Real Estate Market Snapshot as of March 19, 2008
There are now 124 single family homes for sale with an average list price of $2,392,192 and Currently the Average Time these homes have been on the market is 208 days

Currently, there are 7 single family homes now under agreement ranging from $989,000 to $3,795,000
.
An additional 8 Properties have SOLD and Settled since 1/1/2008 for prices as low as $898,000 and all the way up to a whopping $8,500,000.

There are 73 Condos now for sale in Stone Harbor ranging in price from $225,000 to $1,899,000.

There are now four Condos UNDER CONTRACT in Stone Harbor. These range in price from $399,000 to $1,150,000
Two Condos have SOLD since 1/1/2008.One sold for $495,000 and one for $500,000

Avalon Real Estate Market Snapshot as of March 19, 2008


There are 93 single family homes for sale right now ranging in price from $815,000 to $6,499,000.

There are now 17 single family homes in Avalon UNDER CONTRACT ranging in price from $779,000 to $4,750,000.
20 Single family homes have SOLD since 1 /1 /2008 with sold prices ranging from $457,000 to the highest price sale at $3,200,000.

There are now 139 condominiums for sale in Avalon. These range in price from $185,000 to $2,495,000
There are now 10 condos UNDER CONTRACT since 1/1/2008.

4 Condos have SOLD since 1/1 /2008 ranging in price from $850,000 to $1,650,000


Call me......I love to talk Real Estate!
Nancy M. Alexander CRS, GRI ,e-PRO
Direct:800.708.5792
Cell:609.425.7521
http://Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
www.NancyMAlexander.com
CONTENTS COPYRIGHT NANCY M. ALEXANDER 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Alert To FSBO Sellers. You Need To Read This!

Just Read Article from NAR showing What it Costs to Sell Without a REALTOR®
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) says it's $31,800.
This NAR report cites that the average seller who uses a real estate professional makes 16 percent more or an average of $31,800 on the sale of their home than do sellers who go it alone.

When I read this,I remembered a great report I had read a while back which listed all the things we Realtors do to get to the settlement table and earn that commission.
Sellers need to see the value of a Realtor.This report spells it out.
Here is the excellent report prepared by Orlando Regional Realtor Association that will show you all the reasons you really should be using a Realtor! Tear up your FSBO sign and go call your Realtor now!

Critical Role of the Realtor®in the Real Estate Transaction.
Why Was This List Prepared?
Surveys show that many homeowners and homebuyers are not aware of the true value a REALTOR®
provides during the course of a real estate transaction.
At the same time, regrettably, REALTORS® have generally assumed that the expertise, professional
knowledge and just plain hard work that go into bringing about a successful transaction were understood
and appreciated.
Many of the most important services and steps are performed behind the scenes by either the REALTOR®
or the brokerage staff and traditionally have been viewed simply as part of their professional responsibilities
to the client. But, without them, the transaction could be placed in jeopardy.
This publication seeks to close that gap.
Listed on the following pages are nearly 200 typical actions, research steps, processes and review stages
necessary for a successful residential real estate transaction and normally provided by a full service real
estate brokerage and for which they are entitled to fair compensation.
Comprehensiveness
The list is by no means an attempt to set forth a complete list of services as these may vary within each
brokerage and each market. Many REALTORS® routinely provide a wide variety of additional services that
are as varied as the nature of each transaction.
By the same token, some transactions may not require some of these steps to be equally successful.
However, most would agree that given the unexpected complications that can arise, it’s far better to know
about a step and make an intelligent, informed decision to skip it, than to not know the possibility even
existed.
The REALTOR® Commitment
Through it all, the personal and professional commitment of the REALTOR® is to ensure that a seller and
buyer are brought together in an agreement that provides each with a “win” that is fair and equitable.
The motivation is easy to understand. For most full-service brokerages, they receive no compensation
unless and until the sale closes.
By contrast, there are firms that offer “limited services” in exchange for an up-front flat fee, or perhaps offer
a menu of pay-as-you-go or “a la’ carte” options. Some even offer a sliding scale ranging from limited to full
service. In these cases, the compensation of the REALTOR® is based on these reduced service levels
with the seller bearing full responsibility for all the other steps and procedures in the selling process. In
short, the marketplace truism is that “you get what you pay for.”
A Variety of Choices
The variety of brokerage business models in today’s real estate industry affords the homeowner a greater
range of options than ever before.
But no matter which option is chosen, before signing a Listing Agreement or otherwise engaging the
services of a REALTOR® and agreeing to compensate them, homeowners should understand exactly what
services will, or will not, be provided.
Why Use A REALTOR®?
Not every real estate agent or broker is a REALTOR®. That term and the familiar Block “R” logo are
trademarked by the National Association of REALTORS® and can only be used by those are REALTOR®
members through their local association of REALTORS®.
While all REALTORS® are state-issued licensees as agents or brokers, the major difference between a “real
estate licensee” and a REALTOR® is that REALTORS® have taken an oath to subscribe to a stringent,
enforceable Code of Ethics with Standards of Practice that promote the fair, ethical and honest treatment of
all parties in a transaction. Non-member licensees have taken no such oath and are not morally bound to
the ethical practices and principles set for in the REALTOR® Code.
For that extra measure of peace of mind, ensure the individual seeking to represent you is both a real estate
licensee and a REALTOR®. Visit the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association’s website, orlrealtor.com,
for a searchable list of our REALTOR® members.
The Critical Role of the REALTOR®
Listed here are nearly 200 typical actions, research steps, procedures, processes and review stages in a
successful residential real estate transaction that are normally provided by full service real estate
brokerages in return for their sales commission. Depending on the transaction, some may take minutes,
hours, or even days to complete, while some may not be needed.
More importantly, they reflect the level of skill, knowledge and attention to detail required in today’s real
estate transaction, underscoring the importance of having help and guidance from someone who fully
understands the process – a REALTOR®.
And never forget that REALTORS® are pledged to uphold the stringent, enforceable tenets of the
REALTOR® Code of Ethics in their professional dealings with the public. Not every real estate licensee
holds REALTOR® membership. Make sure yours does!
Pre-Listing Activities
1 Make appointment with seller for listing presentation
2 Send seller a written or e-mail confirmation of listing appointment and call to confirm
3 Review pre-appointment questions
4 Research all comparable currently listed properties
5 Research sales activity for past 18 months from MLS and public records databases
6 Research "Average Days on Market" for this property of this type, price range and location
7 Download and review property tax roll information
8 Prepare "Comparable Market Analysis" (CMA) to establish fair market value
9 Obtain copy of subdivision plat/complex lay-out
10 Research property's ownership & deed type
11 Research property's public record information for lot size & dimensions
12 Research and verify legal description
13 Research property's land use coding and deed restrictions
14 Research property's current use and zoning
15 Verify legal names of owner(s) in county's public property records
16 Prepare listing presentation package with above materials
17 Perform exterior "Curb Appeal Assessment" of subject property
18 Compile and assemble formal file on property
19 Confirm current public schools and explain impact of schools on market value
20 Review listing appointment checklist to ensure all steps and actions have been completed
Listing Appointment Presentation
21 Give seller an overview of current market conditions and projections
22 Review agent's and company's credentials and accomplishments in the market
23 Present company's profile and position or "niche" in the marketplace
24 Present CMA Results To Seller, including Comparables, Solds, Current Listings & Expireds
25 Offer pricing strategy based on professional judgment and interpretation of current market conditions
26 Discuss Goals With Seller To Market Effectively
27 Explain market power and benefits of Multiple Listing Service
28 Explain market power of web marketing, IDX and REALTOR.com
29 Explain the work the brokerage and agent do "behind the scenes" and agent's availability on
weekends
30 Explain agent's role in taking calls to screen for qualified buyers and protect seller from curiosity
seekers
31 Present and discuss strategic master marketing plan
32 Explain different agency relationships and determine seller's preference
33 Review and explain all clauses in Listing Contract & Addendum and obtain seller's signature
Once Property is Under Listing Agreement
34 Review current title information
35 Measure overall and heated square footage
36 Measure interior room sizes
37 Confirm lot size via owner's copy of certified survey, if available
38 Note any and all unrecorded property lines, agreements, easements
39 Obtain house plans, if applicable and available
40 Review house plans and make copy
41 Order plat map for retention in property's listing file
42 Prepare showing instructions for buyers' agents and agree on showing time window with seller
43 Obtain current mortgage loan(s) information: companies and & loan account numbers
44 Verify current loan information with lender(s)
45 Check assumability of loan(s) and any special requirements
46 Discuss possible buyer financing alternatives and options with seller
47 Review current appraisal if available
48 Identify Home Owner Association manager if applicable
49 Verify Home Owner Association Fees with manager - mandatory or optional and current annual fee
50 Order copy of Homeowner Association bylaws, if applicable
51 Research electricity availability and supplier's name and phone number
52 Calculate average utility usage from last 12 months of bills
53 Research and verify city sewer/septic tank system
54 Water System: Calculate average water fees or rates from last 12 months of bills )
55 Well Water: Confirm well status, depth and output from Well Report
56 Natural Gas: Research/verify availability and supplier's name and phone number
57 Verify security system, current term of service and whether owned or leased
58 Verify if seller has transferable Termite Bond
59 Ascertain need for lead-based paint disclosure
60 Prepare detailed list of property amenities and assess market impact
61 Prepare detailed list of property's "Inclusions & Conveyances with Sale"
62 Compile list of completed repairs and maintenance items
63 Send "Vacancy Checklist" to seller if property is vacant
64 Explain benefits of Home Owner Warranty to seller
65 Assist sellers with completion and submission of Home Owner Warranty Application
66 When received, place Home Owner Warranty in property file for conveyance at time of sale
67 Have extra key made for lockbox
68 Verify if property has rental units involved. And if so:
69 𐂃 Make copies of all leases for retention in listing file
70 𐂃 Verify all rents & deposits
71 𐂃 Inform tenants of listing and discuss how showings will be handled
72 Arrange for installation of yard sign
73 Assist seller with completion of Seller's Disclosure form
74 "New Listing Checklist" Completed
75 Review results of Curb Appeal Assessment with seller and provide suggestions to improve salability
76 Review results of Interior DΓ©cor Assessment and suggest changes to shorten time on market
77 Load listing into transaction management software program
Entering Property in Multiple Listing Service Database
78 Prepare MLS Profile Sheet -- Agents is responsible for "quality control" and accuracy of listing data
79 Enter property data from Profile Sheet into MLS Listing Database
80 Proofread MLS database listing for accuracy - including proper placement in mapping function
81 Add property to company's Active Listings list
82 Provide seller with signed copies of Listing Agreement and MLS Profile Sheet Data Form within 48
hours
83 Take additional photos for upload into MLS and use in flyers. Discuss efficacy of panoramic
photography
Marketing The Listing
84 Create print and Internet ads with seller's input
85 Coordinate showings with owners, tenants, and other Realtors®. Return all calls - weekends
included
86 Install electronic lock box if authorized by owner. Program with agreed-upon showing time windows
87 Prepare mailing and contact list
88 Generate mail-merge letters to contact list
89 Order “Just Listed” labels & reports
90 Prepare flyers & feedback faxes
91 Review comparable MLS listings regularly to ensure property remains competitive in price, terms,
conditions and availability
92 Prepare property marketing brochure for seller's review
93 Arrange for printing or copying of supply of marketing brochures or fliers
94 Place marketing brochures in all company agent mail boxes
95 Upload listing to company and agent Internet site, if applicable
96 Mail Out "Just Listed" notice to all neighborhood residents
97 Advise Network Referral Program of listing
98 Provide marketing data to buyers coming through international relocation networks
99 Provide marketing data to buyers coming from referral network
100 Provide "Special Feature" cards for marketing, if applicable
101 Submit ads to company's participating Internet real estate sites
102 Price changes conveyed promptly to all Internet groups
103 Reprint/supply brochures promptly as needed
104 Loan information reviewed and updated in MLS as required
105 Feedback e-mails/faxes sent to buyers' agents after showings
106 Review weekly Market Study
107 Discuss feedback from showing agents with seller to determine if changes will accelerate the sale
108 Place regular weekly update calls to seller to discuss marketing & pricing
109 Promptly enter price changes in MLS listing database
The Offer and Contract
109 Receive and review all Offer to Purchase contracts submitted by buyers or buyers' agents.
110 Evaluate offer(s) and prepare a "net sheet" on each for the owner for comparison purposes
111 Counsel seller on offers. Explain merits and weakness of each component of each offer
112 Contact buyers' agents to review buyer's qualifications and discuss offer
113 Fax/deliver Seller's Disclosure to buyer's agent or buyer upon request and prior to offer if possible
114 Confirm buyer is pre-qualified by calling Loan Officer
115 Obtain pre-qualification letter on buyer from Loan Officer
116 Negotiate all offers on seller's behalf, setting time limit for loan approval and closing date
117 Prepare and convey any counteroffers, acceptance or amendments to buyer's agent
118 Fax copies of contract and all addendums to closing attorney or title company
119 When Offer to Purchase Contract is accepted and signed by seller, deliver to buyer's agent
120 Record and promptly deposit buyer's earnest money in escrow account.
121 Disseminate "Under-Contract Showing Restrictions" as seller requests
122 Deliver copies of fully signed Offer to Purchase contract to seller
123 Fax/deliver copies of Offer to Purchase contract to Selling Agent
133 Fax copies of Offer to Purchase contract to lender
124 Provide copies of signed Offer to Purchase contract for office file
125 Advise seller in handling additional offers to purchase submitted between contract and closing
126 Change status in MLS to "Sale Pending"
127 Update transaction management program to show "Sale Pending"
128 Review buyer's credit report results -- Advise seller of worst and best case scenarios
129 Provide credit report information to seller if property will be seller-financed
130 Assist buyer with obtaining financing, if applicable and follow-up as necessary
131 Coordinate with lender on Discount Points being locked in with dates
132 Deliver unrecorded property information to buyer
133 Order septic system inspection, if applicable
134 Receive and review septic system report and assess any possible impact on sale
135 Deliver copy of septic system inspection report lender & buyer
136 Deliver Well Flow Test Report copies to lender & buyer and property listing file
137 Verify termite inspection ordered
138 Verify mold inspection ordered, if required
Tracking the Loan Process
139 Confirm Verifications Of Deposit & Buyer's Employment Have Been Returned
140 Follow Loan Processing Through To The Underwriter
141 Add lender and other vendors to transaction management program so agents, buyer and seller can
track progress of sale
142 Contact lender weekly to ensure processing is on track
143 Relay final approval of buyer's loan application to seller
Home Inspection
144 Coordinate buyer's professional home inspection with seller
145 Review home inspector's report
146 Enter completion into transaction management tracking software program
147 Explain seller's responsibilities with respect to loan limits and interpret any clauses in the contract
148 Ensure seller's compliance with Home Inspection Clause requirements
149 Recommend or assist seller with identifying and negotiating with trustworthy contractors to perform
any required repairs
150 Negotiate payment and oversee completion of all required repairs on seller's behalf, if needed
The Appraisal
151 Schedule Appraisal
154 Provide comparable sales used in market pricing to Appraiser
152 Follow-Up On Appraisal
151 Enter completion into transaction management program
153 Assist seller in questioning appraisal report if it seems too low
Closing Preparations and Duties
154 Contract Is Signed By All Parties
155 Coordinate closing process with buyer's agent and lender
156 Update closing forms & files
157 Ensure all parties have all forms and information needed to close the sale
158 Select location where closing will be held
159 Confirm closing date and time and notify all parties
160 Assist in solving any title problems (boundary disputes, easements, etc) or in obtaining Death
Certificates
161 Work with buyer's agent in scheduling and conducting buyer's Final Walk-Thru prior to closing
172 Research all tax, HOA, utility and other applicable prorations
162 Request final closing figures from closing agent (attorney or title company)
163 Receive & carefully review closing figures to ensure accuracy of preparation
164 Forward verified closing figures to buyer's agent
165 Request copy of closing documents from closing agent
166 Confirm buyer and buyer's agent have received title insurance commitment
167 Provide "Home Owners Warranty" for availability at closing
168 Review all closing documents carefully for errors
169 Forward closing documents to absentee seller as requested
170 Review documents with closing agent (attorney)
171 Provide earnest money deposit check from escrow account to closing agent
173 Coordinate this closing with seller's next purchase and resolve any timing problems
174 Have a "no surprises" closing so that seller receives a net proceeds check at closing
175 Refer sellers to one of the best agents at their destination, if applicable
176 Change MLS status to Sold. Enter sale date, price, selling broker and agent's ID numbers, etc.
177 Close out listing in transaction management program
Follow Up After Closing
178 Answer questions about filing claims with Home Owner Warranty company if requested
179 Attempt to clarify and resolve any conflicts about repairs if buyer is not satisfied
180 Respond to any follow-up calls and provide any additional information required from office files

Direct:800.708.5792
Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
http://StoneHarborRealtor.com





Vacation Rental Search Stone Harbor and Avalon New jersey

Vacation Rental Search Stone Harbor and Avalon New Jersey
Need help finding your Summer rental property at the shore ? Looking for an Oceanfront, Beachblock, or a Bayfront property (or anything in between) in either Avalon or Stone Harbor. We have huge selection of vacation homes and condos with weeks still available.
http://StoneHarborRealtor.com/VacationRentals.htm
Click on the red banner ,and fill in the weeks you need. If you need some help with this, or have any questions, let me know if I can help ,Give me a call Direct at 800.708.5792 Or if you prefer, E-mail me .. http://Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
http://NancyMAlexander.com
If you want to discuss the advantage of owning a property here at the shore for second home use or as a rental investment , call me. I love to talk Real Estate.
CONTENTS COPYRIGHT NANCY M. ALEXANDER 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2008

It's A Great Time To be A Buyer!

It's A Great Time To be A Buyer!

Don't Be Scared Off By The Media Negativity...
Be Smart. Buy Now. Lots and Lots of inventory. Sellers understand they need to negotiate and interest rates remain remarkably low. Cut your own deal. Buy now and in a few years when the market rebounds (and it always does),you can pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself on your brilliant strategy.

In 1982 interest rates went as high as 18% and 19%. The banks were charging 4 and 5 points and guess what? People were still buying vacation homes at the shore. Sure, the tax code was different then. (That helped)
Back then we did not have a dozen cable channels 24/7 with non-stop repetitive negative coverage hyping fear about the state of real estate market. Non-stop negative press is scaring off some folks who would really like to jump in and buy a property.

If you are one of these people who would really like buy a home please try to ignore all the negative press and understand real estate is cyclical and at the moment the market is undergoing a natural correction. A correction does not equate to a crash.

We just came off four years of insane sale prices with sellers and speculators securing a full price buyer as soon as the ink was dry on the listing. Those days are gone. Forget about it. Today's seller realizes he needs to negotiate. If you are ready to own a home here at the shore, step up and make a deal.

30 year fixed Mortgage rates still remain between 6 and 7%....this is a 45 year low!
Let's take a look at a home for $300,000 with 30 year fixed mortgage at 6.5 interest rate (with no money down.) Your monthly mortgage payment would be $1896.20. Back in 1991, your interest rate would have been 9.25% and that same mortgage payment would have bought a house worth only $230,492. In 1982 a 30 year fixed rate was 14.6% and same monthly payment bought a house worth only $151,657.

Take a look at the homes now on the sale market. Find one you like and make your offer.You'll be glad you did.
Call me. I love to talk Real Estate 800.708.5792
http://Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
http://NancyMAlexander.com
CONTENTS COPYRIGHT NANCY M. ALEXANDER 2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spring Has Sprung ..You Know What That Means!

Spring Has Sprung ..You Know What That Means! So have all the dust bunnies in your home! Spring means now it's time to bring in the professionals for a clean sweep. Whether you need a professional to come in and do a one time, big clean or you are looking for someone to come clean on a regular basis, it's important to find a reputable service provider and to communicate your needs and expectations up front. Asking friends or neighbors for cleaning-service recommendations is the best way to start the process. Consider whether you want to use a cleaning service or an individual housecleaner. Call several prospective cleaners and ask them about experience, rates and availability,
Find out if the people who will be coming through are employees or private contractors and if they bring their own cleaning supplies. For regular services, find out if it will be the same crew every time. Once you've selected someone, it's a good idea to meet in your home and walk the cleaners through the house, pointing out places you want cleaned and asking specific questions, such as, "How would you remove these stains from my carpet?" or "What do you use to clean hardwood floors ?
Determine the day and time the cleaners will come and how long they expect your cleaning job will take. Ask how service complaints are handled. And make sure to get everything in writing. I can give you a list of trusted cleaning people..
Please either e-mail me at Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com.or call me at 800.708.5792 Nancy M. Alexander CRS,GRI ,e-PRO
Give me a call today at Direct number 800.708.5792.
Cell:609.425.7521
Fax:609.368.7557
Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
http://StoneHarborRealtor.com

Stone Harbor and Avalon Summer Rentals Are Still Available.You Can Book Your Summer Rental On-line Right here!

Stone Harbor and Avalon Summer Rentals Are Still Available.You Can Book Your Rental On-line Right Here!

Coming down the shore this year?

Have you booked your summer vacation rental house yet? If you are looking to rent a summer house or condo,there are still some prime weeks available in several luxury homes in Stone Harbor and Avalon New Jersey. Take a look here on my rental site. (and please remember to save the link to my rental site!) Choose your time period, and take a look at all the homes available. please e-mail me at Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com with any questions you may have,and I can help you!



http://www.stoneharborrealtor.com/VacationRentals.htm Click on the red banner and fill in the weeks you need to pull up all rentals still availble for your time period.( or e-mail me at http://Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com ,and I will search rental availability for you and e-mail the information to you. If you prefer,you call me at 800.708.5792. I Love To talk Real Estate!

http://NancyMAlexander.com
CONTENTS COPYRIGHT NANCY M. ALEXANDER 2008

Monday, March 10, 2008

Before You Leave For Vacation...

Spring break should be a relaxing time, especially if you’re
planning to go on vacation. But preparing your home for
your departure can be stressful. Whether you’re leaving
home for a week or a month, you can rest easy with these tips for
keeping your home safe while you’re away:

• Arrange for someone to do seasonal maintenance, such as
mowing, raking or snow removal.

• Have mail or packages picked up by a
friend, forwarded or held by the
post office.

• Stop newspaper deliveries and ask a
neighbor to pick up freebie newspapers
and circulars.

• Lower your telephone ringer (and
answering machine volume) and never
leave an outgoing message that says
you’re away.

• Use timers to turn lights off and on at
the appropriate times. Compensate for
having lights on when no one’s home by
turning off other appliances that are often
left on, such as DVD players, computers
and microwaves. Also consider connecting a radio to a timer.

• Leave blinds open in their usual position.

• If you live in a cold climate, keep the heat on just enough so
that the pipes don’t freeze.

• Ask neighbors to park their car in your driveway.

• If you leave your car in the driveway, be sure to remove the
garage-door opener from plain view.

• Double-check all doors and window locks.

• Tell a trusted friend or neighbor where you’ll be.

Sources: Travelocity.com; Tripso.com; Insurance Information Institute

Hope you find These Tips Helpful!
Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
If I can help you in Selling or Renting your home at the shore,call me at 800.708.5792. I Love To Talk Real Estate!
http://www.NancyMAlexander.com

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Like Politics, Real Estate Is Local !

We sell Real Estate home by home and neighborhood by neighborhood. The national media can't tell you about market trends in your community. So trust in your Realtor. We know the neighborhood and can give you specific market information for your area. This has always been true .The news media continues to dwell on the negative. Here at the shore,in the Stone Harbor and Avalon market, the market correction with reduction in sale prices makes for some phenomenal deals . It is the time to recognize the positives of this downturn in price. Now is a great time for a buyer to get into the market. Don't be bashful about making an offer.
If you want to discuss market activity, please e-mail me at http://Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com,or you can call me at 800.708.5792. I love to talk Real Estate.
http://NancyMAlexander.com
Looking forward to hearing from you!

Nancy



href="http://NancyMAlexander.com">
CONTENTS COPYRIGHT NANCY M. ALEXANDER 2008

Stone Harbor Real Estate Activity

Statistics show 100 single family homes now on the market. Four single family homes now under contract.
Average list price is $1,835,395

Here are the latest MLS statistics for Condo/Townhomes There are Currently 77 condos for sale, two are under contract and one has been Sold since 1/1/2008 .Average list price is $822,841,and average time on the market of 77 days.

17 vacant Lots in Stone Harbor are now for sale..One lot is under contract, and two lots have been sold since 1/1/2008.Average time on market is 288 days.The Average list price is $2,135,588

There are now 21 Multi-family properties for sale in Stone Harbor and one is now under contract.

If you are buying or selling a home here at the shore, or if you would just like more property information,please e-mail me at http://Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
http://NancyMAlexander.com
CONTENTS COPYRIGHT NANCY M. ALEXANDER 2008

Friday, March 7, 2008

The 411 Basics On Short Sales

Real Estate “Short Sales” have been getting some attention in the news lately. But just what is a “Short Sale?”
Simply put, a short sale is the sale of a mortgaged property that results in the mortgage holder receiving less that what is owed to them. The mortgage holder is “shorted” part of the mortgage balance.

In order to do a short sale, the bank or mortgage company must agree to it. But why would they agree to take less money?

The answer; banks don’t like owning, maintaining or selling houses. It interferes with their main business of lending, managing and investing money.

If you find yourself in the position of having to sell your house and you don’t have the equity in your house or cash reserves to pay the mortgage off in full, a short sale may help you out.


Here’s how to go about doing a short sale, step by step:
1. Determine the current market value of your home.
2. Add up all of the selling costs you will need to pay.
3. Find out what the payoff amount is on your current loan(s).
4. Do the math, subtract the loan balance & the selling costs from the market value.
5. Call your lender and ask for the “loss mitigation” department or a supervisor. Explain your situation to them.
6. Ask them what their procedures are for a short sale. If they are willing to work with you, get all the forms and requirements and see if you can work out an agreement. Be prepared to convince them your case deserves consideration. They will probably want a financial statement with all your bills and assets shown. They may even want to see your household budget. Don’t take it personally, it’s just business.
7. Sell the house. The bank will probably be involved with most of the contracts and offers.

The biggest mistake made by home owners in financial trouble is not getting in touch with their lender. Almost all lenders would rather work things out with you than take back your home. Especially in today's market.

Questions? Comments? Give me a call at 800.708.5792 or E-mail me at Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com. I love to talk Real Estate!

www.NancyMAlexander.com

Selling Your House? Time For A Garage Makeover!

Making your home stand out will give you an edge on your competition in today's real estate market. One way to accomplish this is to upgrade your garage. Changing your garage into a showplace can be easy and relatively cheap.

You can take advantage of a recent housing trend, the "Garage Makeover." There are all kinds of new products available to spruce up your garage.

You can get special garage flooring systems that snap together in one afternoon; tough enough to withstand our studded tires, oil, grease and dirt. Andyou can pick up 17' X 7' garage mats for about $149 at Wal-Mart or Home Depot.

Or... you can go with a complete garage floor refinishing system with epoxy finish in any color you can imagine. Most Home Depot stores or Lowes will carry these.

Along with a floor treatment, consider painting the walls & ceiling, especially if they're starting to get a bit dingy.
And you can't have too much lighting in a garage, most don't have enough. How about getting some fluorescent fixtures in 4-ft. or 8-ft. lengths.

Next, to get rid of all that clutter, you need shelving, cabinets and organizers. Getting stuff up off the floor will make a big difference in appearance.


With your garage all done over,your property will stand out from the competition.

Now get packing and get ready to move!

Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
www.NancyMAlexander.com

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Frequently Asked Questions When Buying Real Estate

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions in real estate. If you have a question that has not been included in this comprehensive list, please e-mail me at Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com and I'll will get back to you quickly .

Is there a difference between market value and appraised value?
The main difference between appraised and market value is that the former is an opinion, while the latter is based on a comparative market analysis. A certified appraiser's opinion of property value is based on comparable sales within the last six months with fees ranging from $200 to $300. Lenders require appraisals as part of the loan application process. A comparative market analysis is an estimate of value based on sales of comparable properties, and is usually provided by an agent or broker.

Are property taxes deductible? What about taxes on second homes or investment properties?
Property taxes on all real estate transactions are deductible against current income taxes. Interest and property taxes are deductible for second homes if expenses are itemized. The best advice to follow can be provided by your accountant or tax adviser.

What are, and why do we pay, property taxes?
Property taxes are the annual fees that property owners pay for owning real estate - usually 1.5 percent of the property's current market value, although they are calculated in many different ways. The county or local government uses the money to help fund public services.

What are closing costs?
Closing costs are the fees for services, taxes or special interest charges that surround the purchase of a property. They may include upfront loan points, title insurance, escrow charges, document fees, and prepaid interest. Unless these charges are included in the loan, they are paid at the closing.

What kind of home insurance should I get?
An "all inclusive" policy is standard fare when dealing with home insurance. This type of policy will usually cover claims involving:
-Lightning, wind, storms, hail
-Fire, explosions, smoke
-Electrical damage and water damage from plumbing
-Heating or air conditioning systems
-Floods

For personal property, homeowners can increase coverage beyond the depreciated value of items such as televisions or furniture by purchasing a replacement cost endorsement. Another option is to purchase an inflation rider, which automatically increases coverage as the property value increases.

Do I need a home inspection?
Absolutely. For example, roof, plumbing, and electrical repairs are major problems and can amount to tens of thousands of dollars or more. Think twice before signing a contract to purchase property "as is."

When is the best time to buy?
Here are some great reasons to buy:
-You need a tax break.
-The mortgage interest deduction can make home ownership appealing.
-You plan to use the property long enough for any appreciation to cover your transaction costs.
-You want to own, not rent.
-You can afford it!

How does one choose between buying and renting?
While homeowners have the freedom to make decisions regarding their property, most renters do not worry about maintenance and other financial obligations associated with property ownership. Homeowners that secure a fixed-rate mortgage, are better able to plan financially because monthly housing expenses will not increase dramatically. This way, wise investments can be made, and, hopefully, yield long-term profits on the initial investment.

However, such returns depend on value appreciation. Aside from maintenance costs, the monies paid to the lender is usually greater than the total amount paid in rent. To determine whether a property is a long-term investment, prospective buyers should spend some time investigating potential communities or neighborhoods.

How do I hire a contractor?
Most people rely on referrals when hiring a contractor, but even in a referral situation the contractor should be subject to a background check. Inquire with the state regarding a licensing board for contractors. Then, call to learn whether any complaints have been filed against the contractor. The Better Business Bureau will also keep complaints on file. Both of these agencies are excellent resources for determining whether a contractor is reliable.

Next, you want to interview all candidates, being sure to ask whether they carry worker's compensation benefits as well as an umbrella general liability policy. If contractors do not have coverage, you could be responsible for worker injuries incurred on your property. Further, obtain the policy number, insurance company name and phone number to verify coverage. Take your time while making this important decision, and never pay a deposit at your first meeting.

How do I determine the price of my property?
The best way to determine the price of a property is to refer to a comparative market analysis, which is a report based on recent sales of comparable properties in your neighborhood. Although the real estate market fluctuates, it is still important to base the list price on current market conditions. I can help you with this. Please give me a call at my direct line 800.708.5792.I Love To Talk Real Estate! or if you prefer,you can e-mail me at Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com

www.NancyMAlexander.com

Another Stone Harbor Bayfront Home Under Contract

Just this morning,MLS data shows brand new 5 bedroom,5 bath,Stone Harbor Bayfront home listed for $3,795,000 is under contract.It has been on market 239 days and will go to settlement 4/29/08.
If you would like more information on any property in stone Harbor or Avalon,please e-mail me at Nancy@NancyMalexander.com,or you can call me at 800.708.5792

www.NancyMAlexander.com

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Vacation Rentals in Stone Harbor & Avalon

If you have not yet booked your Stone Harbor/Avalon vacation rental for next summer you might want to do it now. We still have a huge selection of properties available.
Simply visit my site at http://www.stoneharborrealtor.com/VacationRentals.htm Click on the red banner Looking forward to hearing from you!
Nancy
Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
www.NancyMAlexander.com

Benefits Of Working With An e-PRO

What is an e-PRO—— and why should you use one?
A short guide for the Internet consumer
When you're on the Internet, you don't have time to waste on endless searches for useful real estate information. You want to get things done quickly and without hassle. So chances are you'd like a real estate agent who


Answers e-mail promptly and professionally.
Respects your on-line privacy.
Offers home listings and other Internet tools to help you find or market a home.
Enter the e-PRO.

An e-PRO is a REALTOR® who has successfully completed the e-PRO training program for real estate professionals. Endorsed by the National Association of REALTORS®, the e-PRO course teaches professionals the nuts and bolts of working with real estate on-line: Web sites, e-mail, on-line tools, and most of all, what today's consumer really wants.

What does all this mean to you? There are several benefits of working with a certified Internet professional.

More privacy
Are you reluctant to give out contact information through the Web for fear of being pestered or spammed? e-PROs understand. They've learned the Web isn't just a place to do business; you need information from someone you can trust.

That's why e-PROs respect your privacy. They respond quickly to your questions, but don't send you unwanted communication. And they protect your personal information.

Less hassle
Tired of struggling to find information? e-PROs are more likely to have access to the latest Internet utilities, making your life easier. These tools may include:


On-line home tours
Instant access to comprehensive neighborhood data
Extensive property listings
Immediate e-mail notification of just-listed homes meeting your criteria
Referral networks and on-line forums, where e-PROs can quickly find information——even potential buyers——from other e-PROs
Newsletters on current real estate conditions in your area
Electronic faxes sent to you by e-mail
Advanced software, PDAs, and laptops to find you answers on the spot
The result: you get more information, more easily. With electronic files, you have less paperwork to deal with. And since your agent uses e-mail, you can even eliminate phone tag. The e-PRO streamlines your entire transaction, from showing to closing.

Less expense
An e-PRO's access to advanced technology can save you considerable expense. You have more tools to find or market your home, so you're likely to get a better price. With on-line home tours, you reduce in-person showings——and the costs involved. And by using e-mail, you save money on long-distance calls and fax charges.

Relocating? An e-PRO is ideal for you. With the tools to do your research electronically, you can make a decision on a home the first day you're in town——or without traveling at all. You and your family save on travel costs. And after you've decided to buy, monitoring the sale by e-mail saves you even more.

Should you use an e-PRO? Yes——especially if you're an Internet user. In this fast-paced age, technology has become a necessity. An e-PRO is someone who has recognized and responded to the needs of the new consumer. If you choose an e-PRO, it's a safe bet you'll get the kind of service you want——and need.

Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
www.NancyMAlexander.com

Staging Your Home For Sale Checklist

Just recently I heard a great line on one of those Real Estate TV shows .The Realtor said to the seller that “not staging your home for sale is like going to a job interview in your pajamas.” Isn’t that great? I love that line! And besides being funny, it is also very true. You only have one chance to make a good First Impression.

Remove all clutter from the house.
Are countertops free and clear?
Have you removed unnecessary furniture throughout the house?
Remove the art gallery and coupon collection from the refrigerator.

Check the bathrooms.
Are the surfaces clean and clear?
Are shower curtains and doors hung properly?
Is the flooring clean and fresh?
Are towels neatly hung?

Check the walls.
Is paint and wallpaper fresh and clean?
Are the walls free from holes?
Are there any colors or objects on the walls that need to be removed?

Check the floors.
Is the carpet clean and free from stains?
Are hard surface floors clean and free from stains?

Check windows and window coverings.
Are all your windows clean?
Are draperies and blinds clean?

Pet check.
Are there any signs that this is a pet's home? Be sure to clean and remove kitty litter, pet toys and bedding.

How's the aroma?
Try to air out the home prior to showings.
If air freshener is necessary, use well before showings as a consideration to those with allergies.

To Set the mood prior to showings.
Open all the draperies and blinds.
Turn on the radio to a nice classical music station and keep the volume low.
If you have time, bake a batch of cookies .Everyone loves the smell of fresh baked cookies!

http://Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
http://NancyMAlexander.com
CONTENTS COPYRIGHT NANCY M. ALEXANDER 2008

Stone Harbor Condo/Townhouse Market Snapshot

Right now there are 47 condos on the market in Stone Harbor with average listed price of $690,511 and average days on market =254.
There are 25 townhouses on the market with average listed price of $690,511 and average days on market=254.
There are now two under contract with average list price of $574,450 and days on market = 97.
Two have SOLD with average sale price of $497,500 and average days on market = 82.
Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
www.NancyMAlexander.com

Stone Harbor Single Family Homes Under Contract since 1/1/2008 to 3/4/2008

Two single family homes in Stone Harbor homes are now under contract. One listed at $989,000 and Has been 40 days on the market.
Another home listed at $1,649,000 just went under contract. This was on the market 126 days.
Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
www.StoneHarborRealtor.com
800.708.5792

Monday, March 3, 2008

Stone Harbor Single family Homes Sold and Under Contract from 1/1/2008 to 3/3/2008

There are now 127 single family homes in Stone Harbor on the sale market. Average days on market = 193
Average listing price of a single family home in Stone Harbor is $2,415,913
There is now one single family home under contract (listed at $989,000) and on market 40 days.
7 listings have been SOLD since 1/1/2008 with median price of $2,185,000 and average time on market of 206 days.

If you would like more information on Stone Harbor property,please email me at
Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com and I will get back to you right away.
or call me at 800.708.5792
www.StoneHarborRealtor.com

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Hang Up That Cell Phone in New Jersey And Drive!

Phoning while driving in New Jersey could be a real toll call
By ELAINE ROSE
Published: Saturday, March 01, 2008
Hang up and drive - or else. Starting today, police can ticket drivers who talk on a hand-held cell phone or send text messages while the car is moving. And the officer doesn't need another excuse to pull you over. The fine for the first offense is $100, but no points are added to your license.
It has been illegal since 2004 to talk on a hand-held cell phone while driving, but it was a secondary offense. That meant police had to see a driver commit another motor-vehicle violation, and could then write a second ticket for using the phone while driving.
But starting today, it is a primary offense, and the officer can stop you just for talking or texting. Drivers using headsets are exempt from the law.
You can still use a hand-held cell phone if you're in fear for your safety or to report a crime, fire or accident. But if you're calling your spouse to ask what's for dinner or sharing the day's events with a friend, wait until you get where you're going or be prepared to pay a fine.
Don't expect leniency or warnings, at least from state troopers. Capt. Al DellaFave of New Jersey State Police has said the troopers have their ticket books ready to write the summonses ! Be careful! You have been warned.
Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
www.NancyMAlexander.com

IRS Changes Rule On Personal Residence Debt Relief

IRS Changes Rules on Personal Residence Debt Relief. If you lost your home due to foreclosure or had during 2007, there are new IRS rules that may apply.According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), "The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 generally allows taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence. Debt reduced through mortgage restructuring, as well as mortgage debt forgiven in connection with a foreclosure, qualify for this relief."Further, the IRS explains "This provision applies to debt forgiven in 2007, 2008 or 2009. Up to $2 million of forgiven debt is eligible for this exclusion ($1 million if married filing separately). The exclusion doesn’t apply if the discharge is due to services performed for the lender or any other reason not directly related to a decline in the home’s value or the taxpayer’s financial condition."To read more from the IRS: IRS questions and answers on Home Foreclosure and Debt CancellationNote: We advise you to check with your tax advisor, financial advisor or other appropriate professional(s) to see how this may affect you and your personal situation. We are not qualified to, or to we mean to, give tax advice.

Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
www.StoneHarborRealtor.com

Did You See The Headline Article On MSN.com? Check It Out

The Housing Crunch

Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com

www.NancyMAlexander.com

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Real Trends Newsletter

COMMENTARY
The New Year: The Worst Looks to be Behind Us
According to the REAL Trends Housing Market Report released on January 17, closings for the fourth quarter 2007
were down 21 percent from the same quarter in 2006. However, the good news is that closings for each month from
October 2007 through December 2007 were down fairly uniformly from the same months in 2006.
Prices were down in much the same pattern. Prices for closed homes were off about 1.5 percent for the quarter, but
were off fairly uniformly for each month of the fourth quarter.
Hence, while business is down, it did not appear to be declining much throughout the fourth quarter of 2007.
The REAL Trends Housing Market Report was launched in October of 2007. It is a
compilation of closed home sales from brokerage firms representing nearly 40
percent of all broker assisted sales throughout the country. The report covers all
states and MSAs and represents a cross section of price ranges and types of homes.
A new report from REAL Trends, the Pulse, a survey of 750 brokerage CEOs that
we launched in January, indicated that many brokerage firms improved in January
over the prior month. Sixty-four percent of CEOs said they strongly supported or
somewhat supported the statement that their business was measurably better as of
the end of January. Almost 70 percent strongly said that a temporary raising of the
conforming loan limit would have a material positive impact on their business –
which Congress and the President appear ready to sign.
Mortgage rates dipped on interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve Board as economists
indicated that the risk of recession was near or upon us. Retail sales and credit card
growth were down measurably in December and January, indicating that consumers are
cutting back. While a recession is not an event to be sought, it can lead to an easing of
credit demand and lower rates. Lower rates can stimulate housing demand, even in
the fact of a downturn in employment, as we saw in the modest downturn of 2001.
Lower rates for mortgages and softer prices for homes mean a rise in affordability, all
other factors being equal. All of these trends should support increased buyer activity.
According to many sources, housing price indexes prices are down. The REAL
Trends Housing Market report showed that prices for closed homes were down
1.5 percent from the year before. NAR and OFHEO show soft house price declines.
Zillow’s Zindex and Cyberhomes show 3-5 percent home price declines on a
national basis. Even the S&P/Case-Schiller Index, the most bearish indicator of
house prices, says that there are many markets that remain healthy.
While homebuilders continue to report record soft sales and starts, a drop in the
supply of new homes is not bad for this housing market. Also, there are numerous
reports of investors gathering portfolios of distressed mortgages and real estate.
When large pools of investors are beginning to purchase real estate, it signals that
professional investors smell the bottom of the market.
We do not think most markets will decline much further in terms of transactions.
However, should the predicted recession be more than a mild one or the Fed
becomes more worried about inflation than a growing economy, then 2008 will not
likely be a year where housing turns upward.

Nancy@NancyMAlexander.com
www.StoneHarborRealtor.com