Mortgage Debt Relief Act Extended for Another Year

Struggling homeowners who are considering a short sale or modification will be eligible for tax relief in 2013.

The “fiscal cliff bill” passed by Congress on January 1 included a provision to exclude borrowers from paying taxes on debt forgiven through a short sale, foreclosure, or loan modification.

Known as Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007, the act was scheduled to expire December 31, 2012, but received an extension for another year.

Industry experts and political leaders from all sides expressed support for the act’s extension.

In November, 41 state attorneys general wrote a letter urging U.S. House and Senate leaders to extend the act, arguing the act’s expiration would take away from the effectiveness of the national mortgage servicing settlement.

Through the settlement, state and federal officials reached an agreement with five of the largest servicers over “foreclosure abuses.” The settlement requires the servicers to provide $20 billion in consumer relief to struggling homeowners.

As of September 30, a report from settlement monitor Joseph Smith found servicers provided 21,833 borrowers with $2.55 billion in relief through first lien principal reduction modifications, which averages to about $116,929 in debt forgiveness for each borrower.

If the act did not receive an extension, borrowers who received relief in the form of forgiven debt would be liable to pay taxes on the debt.

The Center for Responsible Lending and the Financial Services Roundtable also wrote letters asking Congress to extend the act.

 

5 Real Estate Trends to Look For in 2013

Posted By The KCM Crew On December 27, 2012, www.kcmblog.com

 

Predicting trends during volatile economic times in American is no easy task. However, we are going to give it our best shot. We strongly believe these are the five real estate items we should keep an eye on in 2013:

Demand for Housing Will Continue to Surge

The housing market has turned the corner and there is no reason to believe that buyer demand will not maintain momentum throughout 2013. Household formations shot up to boom-time levels in 2012 and are projected to increase at even a faster rate over the next twelve months. A lack of inventory will be more of a challenge to sales increases than will a lack of demand.

Generations X and Y Will Prove They Believe in Homeownership

Contrary to what many have hypothesized over the last few years, young adults (18-35 year olds) are just as committed to homeownership as previous generations. Recent studies have shown:

  • 43% already own a home
  • 72% see homeownership as part of their personal American Dream
  • 93% of those currently renting plan to buy a home

This, along with the increase in household formations mentioned above, makes us believe that 2013 will be the year that many of these young adults will jump into homeownership.

Prices Will Continue to Increase

Pricing of any item is determined by supply and demand. Demand for housing will remain strong throughout 2013. At the same time, the supply of homes ready for is shrinking in many parts of the country. Outside of a few states that still have challenges with large inventories of distressed properties (NY, NJ, CT, IL for example), prices will appreciate nicely.

Even in the areas that are still dealing with high percentages of foreclosures and short sales, prices will not tumble dramatically. The increase in demand will absorb much of this inventory. In these areas, prices will either flatten or perhaps soften to a small degree.

Move-Up Sellers Will Return in Great Numbers

Perhaps what many will find as the biggest surprise of 2013 will be the return of the ‘move-up’ seller. Over the last several years negative equity has prevented many of these sellers from moving up to the house of their dreams. However, with prices recovering, more and more of these sellers will realize that now may be their greatest opportunity to make the move to a lifestyle they always wanted.

With home prices expected to increase and more stringent mortgage qualifications (QR and QRM) scheduled to be announced this year, we believe that the first half of the year will bring many of these sellers/buyers to the market.

The Consumer Will Demand That Their Agent Be an Expert

Real Estate professionals who have invested the money, time and energy to truly understand what is happening and why it is happening will separate themselves from their competition and do very well this year.

Those who take that next step of learning how to simply and effectively communicate the market to their clients will be seen as experts. These industry leaders will dominate their markets.

Storyboarding Social With A Real Estate Twist

So the art of social starts with a twist! How do you sell real estate without talking about real estate? How do you create connections socially and bring them to where it really matters for the in-real-life meeting? How do you make real estate sexy? Where is the eye candy to get those eyeballs glued to what you are sharing? How do you curate content on multiple social channels yet make it engaging?

We believe it starts with a story! What is this home going to look like on a social storyboard across multiple channels? What is it like to live in this home, in this neighborhood, in this community? Well, we think the story starts on Facebook, with a whole lot of Pinterest and Instagram and some fabulous YouTube mixed in!

Here is a little Facebook, as we showcase the golf course community of Vista Del Verde inYorba Linda, Calif. This home at 4036HoosierLawn.com has all the aspects of a luxury home in a luxury neighborhood as is featured on our timeline cover on Facebook.

But you need to create visual appeal via eye candy as well! So we take stellar photos that are pre- and post-processed for color correction and digital enhancements (we actually physically touch each and every photo to ensure it is the perfect balance of “eye” plus “candy”).

Also, our description matters! In the gentle, rolling hills of Yorba Linda is Vista Del Verde, a luxurious master-planned golf course community … (you had me at hello!)

So what is this neighborhood like? What does this community have to offer a new family that purchases a home here? Got golf? Will play! Did someone say video? (This is the fabulous YouTube part!) Oh yeah, now you’re talking! Notice the post below! Just sent this listing to a client! Boom! Watch video here!

So how about Pinterest and Instagram? How does that fit into the storyboard of social real estate? We try to capture the true essence of Orange County, Calif., on our Pinterest page because we know that people want eye candy! Beautiful people, fast cars, fabulous food, drop-dead-gorgeous real estate, and a client-focused team that will provide white-glove service to our clients whether they are buying or selling real estate in Orange County.

Instagram is truly one of our favorite channels right now, as it presents a more intimate atmosphere for getting to know people. It is the day-in and day-out photos that can bring that street-level story to the home or lifestyle you are showcasing.

The photo below is one of the only unobstructed 270-degree-view lots in a luxury neighborhood called Kerrigan Ranch in Yorba Linda. The story is laid out nicely on video and photos as we stroll through this amazing neighborhood truly giving your connections a real-life perspective on this home and this neighborhood.

Our team truly believes that relationships are created in that person-to-person, in-real-life moment when that individual decides she is going to look at you as her trusted adviser. It may initially start on social, but you are going to have to earn her trust and respect in real life. Once you do that, then it’s time for the story of that home, in that neighborhood, in that city. Enjoy!

The Presidential Collection | 2583 Nixon Way | Fullerton | California

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION

Tucked Away in the Serenity & Peace of Fullerton is This Gorgeous Single Story Estate Home in The Presidential Collection. Located Within A Gated Community in The Heart of Fullerton This Home Boasts 3,100 sq. ft. of Living Space on a 8,000 sq. ft. Flat Lot, 4 Bedrooms + Office (4th Bedroom Currently Used As Office), 3 Baths, Gourmet Chef’s Kitchen with Custom Tile Inset Backsplash, Massive Kitchen Island and Breakfast Nook. Beautiful Custom Floors, Custom Carpet & Crown Molding Throughout.  Media Center Custom Cabinetry in Family Room & Cozy Fireplace. Opulent Master Bedroom & Bathroom with Dual Vanities, Soaking Tub & Custom Built-Ins in Master Closet. Custom Blinds Throughout Home. Great Entertainers Backyard with Room for a Pool & Spa, Stamped Concrete Patio with Retractable Awning.  Three Car Attached Garage. Minutes Away From Coyote Hills Golf Course, The Brea Mall, Restaurants, Movies & Easy Freeway Access.  Do Not Miss This Opportunity To Live In This Fabulous Community. Call Raj Today For A Private Showing.  This Home is A Must See!!! Please visit www.2583NixonWay.com for additional information.

GIVEAWAY!! Get 2 FREE Anaheim Angels Tickets when the Anaheim Angels play against the Texas Ranger on July 19th, 2011.

COUNTDOWN TO GIVEAWAY T-6 !!!!! Raj Qsar, Realtor – Premier Orange County Real Estate is giving away 2 Anaheim Angels vs Texas Rangers tickets for 7/19. Go to Raj Qsar, Realtor – Premier Orange County Real Estate and “Like” our page & comment “Angels Rock” to be automatically entered. The winner will be announced 7/7 at 12 p.m. (Brought to you by Assistants Made Simple, growing your business virtually)

Six Common Mistakes Home Sellers Make

Selling a home during this real estate downturn can be stressful on the seller. It’s not unusual for some homes to sit on the market for months on end, and many areas are still working through a backlog of foreclosure inventory, which also drives down home prices. Fact: 36 percent of homes nationwide sold for a loss in January. As we enter spring’s home shopping season, buyers are in the driver’s seat in many markets, and they know it. That’s why if you’re planning on putting your home on the market, it’s crucial to understand the time-honored mistakes sellers make, and how to avoid them.

 

Pricing for yesteryear
Nationally, home values have fallen 27 percent since the market peaked in 2006. In some markets, total declines are in the 50-60 percent range. Yet, many sellers are tempted to list their home for sale based on what they paid for the home, not on their area’s current market conditions. If you set a price too high, your house will sit. This will inevitably lead to price reductions, which could signal to buyers there is much more room for negotiation.

Tip: Arm yourself with information on comparable home sales, price reductions in your area, and find out how long homes are typically on the market. Then you can have an informed discussion with your agent about the appropriate price for your home, given local market conditions.

 

Focusing on comps
Don’t concentrate solely on the recent sales of homes in your area. Make sure you look at the listing price for homes that are on the market right now. These homes are your competition. Based on your competition, would a potential home buyer think they are getting a good deal on your home, or theirs?

Tip: Go see the all the homes in your neighborhood. Ask your agent what current buyers are looking for in a home these days and ask yourself objectively how your home stacks up against the competition.

 

Hiring the right agent
Choosing the right agent (aka –> @RajQsar)  is a crucial part of the selling process. You need to find someone who demonstrates knowledge of your area, expertise in the process, and strong marketing skills. You also want to make sure your communication styles mesh. Yet, many people just hire someone based on one friend’s recommendation and wind up frustrated during the process.

Tip: Before choosing an agent, do some research online. Knowing the experience several people have had with a particular agent will help you make a more informed decision. Make sure to interview at least three agents before making a final decision.

 

Limiting your marketing exposure
Real Estate is often thought of as a local business, but when marketing your home it’s essential to think broadly. Limiting your exposure to a few local web portals makes it hard for home shoppers to find your listing.

Tip: Make sure your agent is active on the top online home shopping websites and has experience using technology to market your home (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, YouTube & more). Even if you aren’t active online, 90 percent of buyers use the Internet to search for a home, according to National Association of Realtors. Don’t forget to use your own social networks to build online buzz.

 

Ignoring web appeal
When marketing your home online, display as many photos of your property as possible. Help buyers visualize themselves in your space by posting lots of interior shots. Focus on what people care about, namely, the kitchen, living spaces, and even the bathrooms. Make sure to clean up and de-clutter, it’s amazing how many messy rooms are shown in listing photos. And remember — as more and more people use mobile apps to shop for homes — 23 million homes are viewed on mobile apps each month (that’s nine homes per second) — the quantity and quality of photos matter. High-resolution is best.

Tip: Ask your agent what kind of camera he or she plans to use when photographing your home. Make your main display photo the one that best represents your home.

 

Don’t follow buyers around when showing
Whenever possible, don’t be home when showing. Lurking sellers make buyers nervous — they don’t feel comfortable inspecting the house when they feel like they’re being watched. It’s easier for buyers to visualize the home being theirs when they have a chance to critique and discuss the home among themselves.

Tip: Unless there’s a real reason for it, don’t ask your agent to be present for all showings. Other agents want privacy with their buyers and they don’t usually have time to work around your agent’s schedule.

 

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