ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/27/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/27/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

It’s the eternal question in real estate: Should I buy or rent? The answer has never been clearer: Buy.  In 98 of the top 100 housing markets, buying a home is more affordable than renting. There are several reasons. Home prices are falling. Mortgage interest rates are at historically low levels. And rents are on the rise.  Of course, many renters are not in a position to buy. For one, it’s hard to get a mortgage these days, despite low rates. And paying rent can push them further away from being able to afford to buy.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

“Rising rents make it harder for people to save for a down payment, which is the biggest barrier to buying a home that aspiring homeowners face,” Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist. Housing markets, even within a single metro area, typically have local submarkets. Take New York City, for example. Renting in Manhattan is more affordable than buying. But in suburban Westchester County just miles to the north, buying is the more affordable option.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

The size of the home can also make a difference. In some markets, renting can be a better deal on larger homes, according to Trulia. In San Francisco, for example, studio and one-bedroom apartments sell for 13.1 times rent, while three bedrooms or larger sell for more than 18 times rent. The Trulia survey does not take into account home price trends, which are another factor for individuals choosing whether to buy or rent.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Kolko pointed out that places like Honolulu, San Francisco and Boston have strong long-term growth prospects. They also have little physical space to grow, a factor that tends to keep prices strong.

On the other hand, old areas that aren’t growing much — while cheap — may not return much in the long run. “Buying is much cheaper than renting in slow-growing places with high vacancy rates and land to spare, like Detroit and Cleveland, where prices are unlikely to improve much in the future,” he said.

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/26/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/26/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Sales of new, single-family homes rose nearly 20 percent year over year in May, according to a monthly report by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. New-home sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 369,000 last month, up an estimated 7.6 percent from April’s revised rate and 19.8 percent above the estimated sales rate in May 2011, the report said.

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Last month’s sales rate was the highest since April 2010, when sales hit an annual rate of 422,000. New-home sales have been rising on a year-over-year basis for eight straight months, since October 2011, according to historical data from the census bureau. The Northeast saw the biggest yearly jump in new-home sales (127.8 percent) followed by the South (16.6 percent).

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new homes for sale at the end of May was 145,000, down 14.2 percent from May 2011. That’s a 4.7-month supply at the current sales pace, down from five months in April and 6.6 months in May 2011. New-home inventory hit an all-time high of 12.1 months in January 2009. Many analysts consider a six-month supply of homes an even balance of supply and demand.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Sales of new single-family homes exceeded 1 million per year from 2003 through 2006, dipping below 500,000 in 2008 for the first time since 1982. The 306,000 new homes sold last year was an all-time low in records dating back to 1963. In an economic forecast last month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) predicted new-home sales would rise 30.7 percent this year, to 400,000.

The new-home sale figures for May are the latest in a recent spate of positive housing news. Last week, the census bureau reported an estimated 28.5 percent year-over-year increase in housing starts in May, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 708,000. Existing-home sales also continued annual gains in May, rising 9.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.55 million, according to NAR.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/25/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/25/2012

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U.S. housing markets are likely to continue on a path of slow recovery after seeing a multiyear bottom, according to three real estate industry economists participating in a forum hosted by the National Association of Real Estate Editors said today.

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Continuing uncertainties over negative equity (about a third of homeowners with mortgages owe more than their homes are worth, according to Zillow), fuzzy housing finance reform possibilities, lagging foreclosure processing and tight lending standards are potential obstacles to the slow-rising tide of the U.S. housing market, they said.

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Despite the semi-bright outlook, recent years have been tough for the market. “Last year was the worst year on record for house sales, for 60 years of housing-sale info,” Crowe said. Industry experts forecast a 19 percent improvement in single-family housing starts this year over last, Crowe said, from 434,000 last year to a projected 516,000 this year.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

If lawmakers can’t reach a compromise by Dec. 31, more than $1 trillion in automatic spending cuts are set to begin taking effect at the end of this year. Zillow’s Humphries sees a recovery as well; he’s more optimistic than he’s been in a couple of years, he said. The recovery is one that starts on the micro level, ZIP code by ZIP code, he said.

“It’s almost like a bacteria attacking a bad virus,” Humphries said of the recovery occurring in metros; he showed ZIP code-level map views of recoveries in Phoenix, Miami and Detroit in 2011 as examples. What’s more, the recovery won’t be L-shaped, Humphries said.

It’s going to stair-step as homeowners with large negative equity begin to enter the market as housing prices go up, which will temporarily swell the supply and pause the recovery briefly. However, Humphries says the rush of investment in the single-family rental market could be the next housing market bubble. As rental rates increase and homeownership looks more attractive with increasing supply, that now-hot sector of the market will cool.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/19/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/19/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Certain situations can steer buyers off the recommended course of action when making an offer. One is a multiple-offer competition. Another is stubborn sellers who buyers are trying to soften up enough to agree to sell them their home.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Normally, unless the buyer has all cash and doesn’t need a mortgage, a purchase contract will include a contingency for arranging financing. The contingency is pegged to a deadline, often two to three weeks. In order to approve a loan, the lender needs a copy of a purchase contact signed by the buyers and sellers, a satisfactory search of the title record, an acceptable appraisal of the property and acceptance of the buyers as creditworthy to borrow the amount they are requesting.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

If the buyers try in earnest but aren’t able to satisfy the above conditions, their deposit is usually refunded and the house goes back on the market. An offer that doesn’t include this protection for the buyers is attractive to most sellers. Some buyers who are well-qualified to support monthly mortgage payments have been turned down by banks for foolish reasons.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Appraisals pose another set of problems. If the appraisers are unfamiliar with the local market, their appraised value can be way off, usually on the low side. Lenders loan money based on the appraised value of the property, not on the purchase price in the contract. A low appraisal can pose a problem for the buyers if they aren’t protected by a financing contingency.

If you were protected by a contingency, you could withdraw without penalty or try to negotiate a price reduction with the seller. Without a contingency, you could lose your deposit if you back out of the deal based on the low appraisal. A fluctuation in current market value has an effect on comparable sales prices. Last month’s comparables may be out of sync with current pending sale prices, increasing the odds that a listing might not appraise for the contract price.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/18/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/18/2012

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Mortgage rates finally found a bottom this week, following six consecutive weeks of declines, but remained near record lows as worries about the European debt crisis continue to make bonds that fund most mortgages look like a safe bet to investors.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Rates on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.71 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending June 14, up from 3.67 percent last week but down from 4.5 percent a year ago, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Last week’s rate for 30-year loans was an all-time low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1971.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

For 15-year fixed-rate loans, rates averaged 2.98 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from 2.94 percent last week but down from 3.67 percent a year ago. Last week’s rate for 15-year loans was a low in records dating to 1991.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Rates on the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.8 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from 2.84 percent last week and 3.27 percent a year ago. Rates on five-year ARMs hit 2.78 percent during the week ending April 19, an all-time low in records dating to 2005.

For one-year Treasury-indexed ARMs, rates averaged 2.78 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from 2.79 percent last week and 2.97 percent a year ago. Rates on one-year ARMs hit an all-time low in records dating to 1984 of 2.72 percent during the week ending March 1.

Mortgage rates are near historic lows in part because global investors see mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae as a safe haven from turmoil in financial markets.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/18/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/15/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/15/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Times are tough. Many taxpayers owe the IRS big bucks. Fortunately, the IRS is taking steps to help them.  The IRS recently announced an expansion of its “Fresh Start” initiative by offering more flexible terms to its Offer in Compromise (OIC) program. This is intended to enable some of the most financially distressed taxpayers to clear up their tax problems more quickly than in the past — in as little as two years compared to four or five years.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

The IRS looks at your income and assets to determine your “reasonable collection potential.” You must provide detailed information about your financial situation, including cash, investments, available credit, assets, income and debt. The good news as that when the IRS calculates a taxpayer’s reasonable collection potential, it will now look at only one year of future income for offers paid in five or fewer months, down from four years, and two years of future income for offers paid in six to 24 months, down from five years. This can result in a huge reduction in how much you have to pay to have your OIC accepted by the IRS.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Other changes to the OIC program include allowing taxpayers to have higher allowable monthly expenses when determining their monthly disposable income. In addition, equity in income producing assets generally will not be included in the calculation of reasonable collection potential for on-going businesses.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Note that before you submit your offer, you must (1) file all tax returns you are legally required to file, (2) make all required estimated tax payments for the current year, and (3) make all required federal tax deposits for the current quarter if you are a business owner with employees.

Guidance has also been clarified to allow payments for loans guaranteed by the federal government for the taxpayer’s post-high school education. In addition, payments for delinquent state and local taxes may be allowed based on percentage basis of tax owed to the state and IRS. For full details on the OIC program, see the IRS Form 656 booklet, available at www.irs.gov

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/13/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/13/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

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Inventory of unsold homes on the market declined in April as the share of underwater homeowners rose, according to a monthly report from data aggregator CoreLogic.

The number of unsold homes on the market was at its lowest level in more than five years in April — a 6.5-month supply. While that supply level is considered “reasonably healthy,” it also means that there are “significantly fewer buyers” on the demand side of the market, according to Anand Nallathambi, CoreLogic’s president and CEO.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

“Historically, current homeowners trading up represent the biggest segment of the purchase market,” he wrote in the report. “But with more than 20 percent of homeowners underwater, another 25 percent of all homeowners possessing less than 20 percent equity in their homes, and tightened underwriting requirements, this potential pool of buyers has effectively been eliminated.”

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

“While the rapid decline in months’ supply is typically good news because it indicates a better balance between demand and supply, this decline is occurring less because of an increase in sales and more because of a drop in unsold inventory as a result of negative equity,” wrote Sam Khater, CoreLogic’s senior economist.

“The presence of negative equity not only drives foreclosures, reduces the availability of purchase down payments and impedes refinances, but also restricts the ability of owners to list their homes for sale as the demand side of the market improves,” he added. Because negative equity tends to be higher among homes with lower home values, supply also tends to be tighter, and that has spurred a rise in prices at the lower end of the price spectrum, the report said.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

“We have transitioned from pricing dynamics driven by economic weakness and high shares of distressed sales to one of restricted supply, which will likely exist for some time to come — a reason for optimism in many hard-hit markets,” he added.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/12/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/12/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

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The percentage of homeowners with mortgages who owe more than their homes are worth continued to rise during the first quarter, but only 1 in 10 of underwater homeowners are seriously delinquent on their loans, according to estimates released today by real estate search portal Zillow.

Zillow — which looks at outstanding loan amounts on individual properties, and compares them with estimated valuations for each home that are generated by computer models — estimates that 15.7 million homes were underwater during the first three months of the year.  That’s 31.4 percent of all homes with mortgages, up from 31.1 percent during the last three months of 2011 (not all homeowners have mortgages).

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Although just 10.1 percent of underwater homeowners were more than 90 days behind on their mortgage payments, that represents nearly 1.6 million homes that could eventually hit the market as distressed properties. Numbers like that can put fear into the hearts of would-be homebuyers, since distressed properties sell at discounts that can drag down home prices. Those effects are highly dependent on individual market conditions.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Zillow estimates that nationwide, about 2.4 million underwater homeowners owe more than double what their home is worth.  In the Las Vegas metro area, 26.8 percent of homeowners with mortgages are that deeply underwater — nearly 90,000 homes.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Negative equity “remains an issue for the housing market as a whole, and poses a risk to any recovery,”  Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries said in a statement. The latest numbers from the Mortgage Bankers Association show foreclosure starts and new loan delinquencies fell during the first quarter to their lowest levels since 2007.

Loans originated at the peak of the housing boom continue to comprise the majority of problem loans, the group said — 60 percent of all loans that were three payments or more past due or in foreclosure were originated between 2005 and 2007.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/12/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/12/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

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The percentage of homeowners with mortgages who owe more than their homes are worth continued to rise during the first quarter, but only 1 in 10 of underwater homeowners are seriously delinquent on their loans, according to estimates released today by real estate search portal Zillow.

Zillow — which looks at outstanding loan amounts on individual properties, and compares them with estimated valuations for each home that are generated by computer models — estimates that 15.7 million homes were underwater during the first three months of the year.  That’s 31.4 percent of all homes with mortgages, up from 31.1 percent during the last three months of 2011 (not all homeowners have mortgages).

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Although just 10.1 percent of underwater homeowners were more than 90 days behind on their mortgage payments, that represents nearly 1.6 million homes that could eventually hit the market as distressed properties. Numbers like that can put fear into the hearts of would-be homebuyers, since distressed properties sell at discounts that can drag down home prices. Those effects are highly dependent on individual market conditions.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Zillow estimates that nationwide, about 2.4 million underwater homeowners owe more than double what their home is worth.  In the Las Vegas metro area, 26.8 percent of homeowners with mortgages are that deeply underwater — nearly 90,000 homes.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Negative equity “remains an issue for the housing market as a whole, and poses a risk to any recovery,”  Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries said in a statement. The latest numbers from the Mortgage Bankers Association show foreclosure starts and new loan delinquencies fell during the first quarter to their lowest levels since 2007.

Loans originated at the peak of the housing boom continue to comprise the majority of problem loans, the group said — 60 percent of all loans that were three payments or more past due or in foreclosure were originated between 2005 and 2007.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/11/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 06/11/2012

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8 scenarios that hurt mortgage qualification

Do I jeopardize my mortgage application by changing jobs before the loan closes?

Yes. The underwriter approved your application based on your documented income covering two years or longer, from one source. At closing you must certify that all the information in your application continues to be true, which short of committing perjury you won’t be able to do if you switch jobs. Your revised job history will be numbered in days rather than years, which could cause a rejection.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Will the rental income I receive from renting out my house during part of the year help me qualify for the mortgage I need to buy that house?

No, anticipated rental income cannot be counted as qualifying income unless it is documented in the owner’s tax return for at least two years. Further, only income net of expenses would be counted, and that number would be very small or zero if you expense everything you can in order to avoid taxes.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Can I qualify using my income and my spouse’s credit?

No. Good credit without the means to pay is of little value to lenders, and good income without the willingness to pay is not much better. Lenders require both capacity to pay and willingness to pay in the same person.

Have preapprovals become more useful to homebuyers since qualification requirements became more restrictive?

Yes and no. The main purpose of preapprovals is to establish the bona fides of potential homebuyers to home sellers and their agents, who don’t want to waste time dealing with wannabe buyers who can’t qualify for a mortgage. With an increasing number of potential homebuyers unable to qualify, the value of reliable preapprovals has increased.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

As a “nonpermanent resident alien,” can I qualify for a mortgage?

Yes, but the terms are a little stiffer because of the risk that you might be obliged to leave the country. Lenders will require a larger down payment and/or a higher interest rate. In contrast, a “permanent resident alien” suffers no penalty.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Can an excess in appraised value over the purchase price be used to meet a minimum down payment requirement?

No, the down payment requirement is based on the lower of purchase price and appraised value. Any excess appraised value is ignored.

Will sizable student debt prevent my qualifying for a mortgage?

It may if you must begin repaying the debt within the first year of the mortgage, and if the amount is large relative to income. If the payments are deferred more than a year, it is a judgment call by the underwriter who will consider the size of the student debt, your credit and perhaps other factors.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

As a divorced spouse who remains liable on an existing mortgage, can I qualify for a new mortgage?

Yes, if your income is large enough to afford the payment on two mortgages. If you can afford a new mortgage but not two mortgages, you must induce your ex-spouse to refinance the mortgage in her own name. Such a provision should have been part of a separation agreement.

The only other possibility is to convince the new lender that the ex-spouse remaining in the house is sufficiently creditworthy that there is negligible risk of your having to meet two payments. That will require documentation that your ex has been making the payments on her own for at least a year.