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Friday, October 22, 2010

Just another heads up to keep your wits about you when leasing your own property to someone. This comes from the MLS:

NWMLS has received information from multiple brokers about a potential lease purchase scam. The scam artists have contacted property owners and brokers in an effort to view and lease high end property. After a lease purchase agreement has been executed, the scammers ask that you hold their first and last month deposit until after they move in. After the scammers move into the property, their rent check bounces, and the seller is forced to go through the eviction process to remove the scammers from the property. The eviction process is time consuming and expensive. Please be cautious when dealing with similar situations and be wary of suspicious people.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Interesting proposal put out by Congressman Dennis Cardoza from California. Basically it would allow all homeowners that have a Fannie or Freddie backed mortgage to refinance at today's rates without any documentation, whether they are current or not. Think about this, no paystubs, no appraisal, no income or asset verification, just a streamline refinance of your current mortgage to today's VERY low interest rates. It's an interesting take on one way to stem the current flood of foreclosures across the nation. The idea is to keep people in their homes. Read the full disclosure on Congressman Cardoza's site here:
Then head on over to Think Big Work Small for Frank and Brian's thoughts on the whole thing:
Then leave me a comment and let me know what YOU think.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A little reported fact was that the Obama administration pumped nearly 1 billion dollars into a program called the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). The idea was to get neighborhoods hardest hit some funds to help with downpayment assistance programs and the like. Every state got some money based on their level of need. For example, California and Florida got $149M and $208M respectively. As they have been hardest hit by foreclosures, this makes sense. Now remember, I just said everyone got something based on their level of need. We keep hearing about how Washington is one of the markets predicted to recover first, and we're already seeing signs of that. This just goes to further that point. Washington received $5M. Yep, 5 million out of 970 million dollars went to Washington state. What do you suppose the MINIMUM was that was given out to states? Yep, $5 million dollars. So while we're not out of the woods yet, it certainly COULD be worse.

If you'd like to see where all the money went, here's a link to the file: NSP Funds By State

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Boundary Dispute
Here's an interesting case that just happened here in Washington. Let me set up the scenario for you, this may not be exactly what happened, but I'm providing the link to case law so if you're REALLY inclined you can read for yourself:

The case is Proctor Versus Huntington.

Mr. Proctor and The Huntington's both purchased parcels (30 and 27 Acres respectively) of land that adjoined each other. They were given a vague description of the property lines by the seller of the land. The Huntington's actually camped on the land for a couple of years and even met Mr. Proctor while camping there. They assumed they were camping on their land and in fact, Mr. Proctor never said anything to them about them being on his land. Turns out they were camping on his land. To take it one step further, the Huntington's, again under the assumption they were on their land, had a home, well and garage build on that portion of land. They lived there for 6 years when Mr. Proctor had a boundary survey done and discovered that the Huntington's were in fact on HIS land. He filed a motion to have them ejected from the land and have the house, well and garage removed.

When the court heard the case, they refused to eject the Huntington's because the damages to them (over $300,000 to have the buildings and well removed) far exceeded the benefit Mr. Proctor would receive by getting his land back. The court through some appraisal process valued the approximately one acre the Huntington's were on at $25,000. So they made a property line adjustment and ordered the Huntington's to pay Mr. Proctor $25,000 for his land.

Now in Washington we have a law called "Adverse Posession" that among other things states that if you use land that isn't yours for 10 years, you maintain it, act as if it is yours and the actual property owner doesn't prohibit you from doing so, you have legal claim to that land. There are other provisions that define this, so don't start mowing your neighbor's yard with the hopes that after 10 years he doesn't say anything and you get more land, but you get the general idea. Even though this case did NOT meet adverse posession, the court still sided for the Huntington's. Just when you think you know the law . . . .

I'd love to hear your comments on this! What say ye!?

Here's the link to the actual case if you're bored and want to read case law:

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Here's the latest news from the National Association of Realtors. Bottom Line: Tax Credit will be extended, Flood insurance is also extended and they're still working on USDA Guaranteed program funding. Here's the rest of the scoop:

Last night, the Senate passed the National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2010 (H.R. 5569), an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program until September 30, 2010. This will allow transactions to move forward. The bill is retroactive and covers the lapse period from June 1, 2010, to the date of enactment of the extension. NAR members sent more than 250,000 letters to Members of Congress encouraging them to extend the program.

Additionally, Congress passed an extension of the closing deadline for the Homebuyer Tax Credit, the Homebuyer Assistance and Improvement Act (H.R. 5623). The extension applies only to transactions that have ratified contracts in place as of April 30, 2010, that have not yet closed. The legislation is designed to create a seamless extension; the new closing deadline for eligible transactions is now September 30, 2010. There will be no gap between June 30 and the date the President signs the bill into law. Extending the tax credit closing deadline will help provide additional stability to real estate markets across the nation.
Our Government Affairs team worked closely with Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to enact this important legislation.

NAR is still working on restoring the 502 single-family rural housing loan guarantee program. Language is included in H.R. 4899, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill, that is currently in conference between the House and Senate. We expect the House to pass that bill shortly and are hopeful the Senate will do the same when they return the week of July 12. When that bill passes, the program will be restored through the end of the fiscal year.

This is just another good example of why you want to work with a Realtor when it's time to buy or sell your home. We go to work for you well beyond just helping you buy and sell your home.

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