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Post: 5/1/15

ARE STATEN ISLAND HOME SALES IMPROVING?

Staten Island home sales appear to be moving in the right direction ever slow slowly. More buyers have jumped back into the marketplace while selling prices are still attractive enough, and the fear of even higher rates may come soon. However, inventory is low, and buyers have less properties to look at right now.

The Staten Island Board of Realtors recently indicated a slight rise in sales, and more important in a stablized market. Some think that homeowners are still not ready to sell their property at prices that are lower than they were before the bottom fell out of the housing market.

The economy is still the main reason for the housing market creeping along, both locally and around the country. Jobs and take home pay also have a lot to do with it too. Short Sales are still prevalent in large numbers along with foreclosed homes. 

From a buyers perspective however, the interest rates are still appealing to qualified buyers, but there is a fear of higher interest rates as the economy continues to show signs of improving, plus gas prices being lower too. The problem is however, what constitutes being qualified? Banks change their lending policies almost daily based on the cost of money they borrow from the Feds and private investment company's. If interest rates climb some, lenders might relax some qualificaton rules, due to a higher return on the money. Also, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is available to buyers seeking low cost financing. At this time, the FHA has returned as a leader in providing financing to less qualified buyers, with it's 31/2 percent down payment programs.
                                                                                              
There still a lot to do to get the market moving in the right direction as buyers and sellers try to figure out their best game plan.  With all things being equal, any growth is welcome. Buyers have been saving whatever they can, and they are waiting for the right time to buy. However, they also are aware that the marketplace can change at any time also. Buyers have to be ready to part with their money when the right house comes along. Sellers on the other hand have a more difficult of it. Before the housing bubble burst, sellers enjoyed relatively quick sales, and at a good price too. This is due to the fact that buyers are not too eager to just buy the first house that comes along. Most buyers feel that a house might stay around a little longer in this current economy, and look for a price reduction from the seller.

The good news is that the Feds have loosened up some of the more rigid requirements that was put in place at the height of the housing downturn, and lending institutions have followed suit. So, unless something occurs that could have a direct effect on the health of the Country and the value of US currency, the upward momentum in housing sales should continue at a forward measured pace.

The Real Estate Team
V.I.P. Real Estate, Inc.


Post 1/10/15 

SHORT SALES AREN'T FOR EVERYONE!

Short Sales are exactly what? Some people think it's an easy way to get a deal on a house, and sellers think it's a way out of their mortgage headache. The truth is their both right. The challenge is a lot has to happen for a short sale to actually close, and it is usually not a pleasant transaction for either the buyer or seller.. It requires a lot of negotiation and could take some time for everything to fall into place.

For the seller: There are many ways to sign away home ownership in a manner that can destroy your credit and affect you dignity. Foreclosure and bankruptcy comes to mind first. Is there is an alternative? Yes, and it's called a "Short Sale". In Staten Island as well as in the entire United States, short sales are happening all the time. Basically what happens is; a lender agrees to a sale price between seller and buyer which is normally less than the entire amount due. However, not all lenders will participate in a short sale, especially if foreclosure on the property is better for them than a discounted payoff. Often the loss is too great for the lender to accept. It all depends on the total money owed, and the market value of the home.  But for the buyer purchasing a short sale it's an oppurtunity to pick up a home for a great price. But all this does not come without difficulties. First, low ball offers will go nowhere, and a buyer without a Pre-Approval in hand will not even get the process started.

Short sale transactions have the same appraisal requirements that other types of residential sales have. Actually, the sellers lender is quite interested in what an appraiser determines the value of the property to be. Many times a second appraisal is ordered before the closing to examine  the value again. Another issue is time. Lenders do not make decisions quickly when short sales are involved, and there's usually someone higher up-the-ladder that makes the final decision. So it can go very slowly, especially in the early stages of negotiations. This by itself can be an added expense for the purchaser if they don't evaluate their own circumstances before entering into a short sale. For renters buying a short sale, they could get hit with additional rent and penalties. If a landlord wants the apartment back when you said you would give it to them, but because of delays you can't, it could be costly. If your a Short Sale buyer and selling another home, you might find yourself having to find a place to live if you need to delier your home to that buyer on time. Additionally, if a Short Sale buyer secures a rate lock from their lender too soon, and it's expiring, you will need to pay for another one. If your bank appraisal times out because of delays, another one has to be ordered and paid for. 

There are other things that could delay a short sale from closing, and a common one is that the seller may be indebted to others that have a direct affect the Title of the property. If your a short sale candidate, either and buyer or seller, then you should always use a Realtor with short sale experience, and the patience to see the deal through to the end. Someone who will assist in finding out all that can be learned and help with any obstacles or issues that may arise. A good short sale Realtor knows where to look, and what information is important to learn. This helps them play an important role in the transaction, and it helps buyers and sellers focus on other things. Note: When a short sale is closed, the lender might issue an IRS 1099 form to the seller as income for the differential or loss to the lender, and therefore income to the seller. A short sale seller should consult with an accountant as to any additional debt that may be incurred from a short sale transaction. We would like to say that we provide the best short sale service that we can to all our customers and client's. And it's based on all our years of experience and training, so we feel that we can assist you with short sale transactions. If you want to know more or have some questions you can call us directly at 718 967-2600 and mention that you are interested in short sale help.








 

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