Tuesday, July 21, 2009

HUD Properties are Your Friends!

HUD Properties are Your Friend!

Many buyers tend to believe that HUD properties are bad properties and we want to stop this rumor! There are many great things about HUD properties ...

1) Not all HUD properties are in bad condition and need a lot of work. In fact, some aren't in need of any repairs at all. HUD properties are simply properties that were purchased with a HUD insured mortgage in which the buyer defaulted. HUD then pays off the lender and takes possession of the home as a foreclosure. HUD homes aren't near as creepy as the happy house to the left is! :)

2) You can purchase a HUD property with only $100 down if you're obtaining an FHA loan; whereas the normal minimum down payment is 3.5% of the purchase price! You can keep more money in your pocket!! For example, if you were to purchase a home for $115,000 the minimum down payment you would have to come up with would be $4,025 whereas with a HUD home, you would only have to pay $100! Perfect if you want to buy now to take advantage of the tax credits but don't have quite enough cash!

2) HUD will give you a $1000 credit at closing if you put a HUD property under contract within it's first 30 days on the market! Free money! There are only three requirements for this ... 1) you have to be an owner-occupant (not an investor) 2) the property has to be a new listing (not one that has expired and put back on the market) and 3) you have to put a contract on it within the first 30 days on the market.

3) HUD will pay up to 3% of your closing costs!

4) HUD favors owner occupants! During the first 12 days that a HUD home is listed, it is open to owner-occupants only! This means that investor offers aren't even considered until the 13th day (and that's if there are no acceptable owner-occupant bids)

5) HUD has a special program called "Officers/Teachers/Firefighters/EMTs Next Door." This program was created in effort to help more officers, teachers, firefighters and EMTs become home owners. If you are one of these professionals, you can purchase a HUD property at a 50% discount. That's better than hitting a good sale at Neiman Marcus ... half off of your next home! In order to take advantage of this program, the property must be your primary residence (you can't own any other properties) for 3 years. If you're a teacher, the home must be located in the same county in which you teach.

These are just some of the great things about HUD properties!

Click the following link to browse through all HUD properties in Georgia: http://www.stephensandstephens.net/links/view_link_frameset.cfm?lid=2136&sid=7

Feel free to email or call with any questions! We would love to help you find the perfect HUD home! rebekah@stephensandstephens.net

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Monday, July 20, 2009

YOU NEED US! Yes, I'm being a bit forceful with that comment, but actually I'm backed by a well-known Real Estate guru, John Adams. You may already read his articles in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Homefinder section in the Sunday paper. If not, you may want to start. His advice is almost always in-line with what we at Stephens & Stephens believe.

This past Sunday (July 19th), John's article discussed why you need a real estate agent to represent you when you purchase a home. I'll just let you read the article below and hear it from him.

There's one important note that he left out of his article that I think you should know though: Using a Real Estate agent to represent you as a buyer is free to you!!!! The seller pays the commission to both their listing agent and the agent who brings them a buyer, commonly called the selling agent in our world (unless your looking at a For Sale by Owner, or FSBO, but John covers that issue in his article below).

Some buyers have a misconception that they must pay their agent a 3% commission when they find a house. That's simply not true. The seller pays it! If a Realtor ever asks you to pay them a commission or fee for their services when you are buying you should ask them why!

What more could you ask for? You can have great representation from the Stephens & Stephens Group for free and find your dream home at the same time!

Here's the article:
Read this week's AJC article
Sunday, 19 July 2009

John Adams

"I recently had the privilege of visiting with a group of prospective homebuyers, listening to their concerns and trying to answer some of their questions. There was one question asked more often than any other, and here it is:

Q: In this market, many sellers have given up on agents and are trying to sell without an agent. Their signs often read "For Sale By Owner" or FSBO. Isn't it wise to approach these sellers directly and try to save the commission dollars in a lowered offering price?

A: In my opinion, that's not a smart route to take. I must begin by pointing out that I am not a Realtor and I have no axe to grind in this matter. But this is my observation: in most cases, agents today more than earn their commission, whatever that amount is.In this challenging market, one of the most important elements of homebuying success is to have an experienced agent assist you in the task of shopping and comparing among the many homes that may be right for you.

Everyone knows that today we have lots of supply and little demand - that's the definition of a buyer's market. All the more reason to equip yourself with an experienced professional to prevent you from making mistakes.

In addition, agents have direct access to previous neighborhood listing activity as well as county tax records. This data is critical in helping a buyer compare one house to another and learning about conditions of past sales. With so many foreclosures being resold today, you have to be able to discern the real sales from the forced ones.

Finally, real estate agents are trained to make sure that written agreements are valid and enforceable, and they will make sure all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed. In other words, your agent will work to make sure your purchase is shepherded to a successful conclusion.

Is it possible to buy a house on your own directly from an owner? Of course it is, and it happens every day. But my advice is to take advantage of professional assistance.

Most sellers, even FSBO sellers, will entertain the idea of paying a reasonable commission to your agent for services rendered. And what good is a contract between buyer and seller if it fails to reach the closing table?

The answer is that it's worse than no contract at all. A failed contract wastes the time and energy of all parties, and discourages both buyer and seller going forward.

My experience has been that sales guided by an experienced real estate professional have a much higher chance of getting to closing, especially in today's difficult mortgage market.

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