Archive | Foreclosures

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Atlanta Distressed Property Update

Posted on 30 January 2012 by Aaron Hofmann

Distressed property sales continue to be a major factor in Atlanta. As you can see from the chart below, 2011 saw a marked increase in Atlanta short sales and Atlanta foreclosures. An interesting point to note is that in 2011, short sales outpaced foreclosures in the last three quarters. This is what we’ve been expecting as banks have been working harder to get more homes sold via the short sale route rather than foreclosing on homes. A short sale is a win-win for both the homeowner and the bank and in most cases a much better alternative to foreclosures. One other statistic to note is the significantly higher number of Atlanta foreclosure sales in both the first quarters of 2010 and 2011 compared to all other quarters. Will be interesting to see if the trend repeats itself in the first quarter of 2012.

As noted above, distressed property sales (Atlanta short sales and foreclosures) amounted to 41.7% of all properties sold in metro Atlanta in the fourth quarter of 2011. And in general, we’ve seen the distressed sales numbers increasing. While at the same time, the percentage of active listings that are distressed properties is still quite a bit lower than the related sales numbers. What that tells us is that a higher percentage of distressed properties sell than their non-distressed counterparts. Seems logical. Distressed properties are priced aggressively. But the flip side to this is nearly 60% of all homes sold aren’t distressed properties. They’re homeowners just like you and I that understand that they have to be competitive in today’s market to get their home sold and are willing to stand toe-to-toe with distressed properties and show buyers why their properties are better.

The other point to take away from the chart above is that if inventory levels of distressed properties have doubled in the past year, expect to see a further increase in the percentage that distressed properties make up of all Atlanta homes sales in 2012.

Understanding the market in 2012 will be key to your real estate success. If you need assistance with an Atlanta short sale or are interested in purchasing an Atlanta short sale or Atlanta foreclosure, contact us today. We’ll be glad to sit down with you and strategize on the next steps.

 

 

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Short Sales Do Work for First-time Homebuyers

Posted on 28 January 2012 by Aaron Hofmann

You’ve probably read lots of horror stories online about how long a short sale can take, but what you probably don’t read about are all the short sales that close without any issue. Why is that? It’s probably just human nature to want to voice complaints more than shouting out to the world about the great deal you just got.

For Atlanta first-time home buyers, purchasing your first home can be stressful. But a short sale could fit the bill for a first-time homebuyer who has patience and flexibility. A short sale is a pre-foreclosure home, one in which the homeowner is asking the lender to take less than is owed on the mortgage balance in order to sell it before it is foreclosed. Atlanta short sale homes are generally priced aggressively for the market and represent good deals. However, short sales are complex and can  take a lot of time.

Unlike with a foreclosure, the bank generally hasn’t made a decision on the value of the home before it is listed. So all the review and valuation process comes after they receive the buyer’s offer. With a foreclosure, this is all done before it comes back on the market as an REO property, so the buyer never goes through that portion of the process when looking at foreclosed homes. In general, you can expect to wait 2-3 months to get a response from the bank on your offer, but it will vary from property to property. There are a lot of factors that go into making a decision on a short sale.

But in general, first-time homebuyers should definitely consider short sales because they offer a great opportunity to get a home at a discounted price. In fact, first-time homebuyers often have more flexibility than move-up homebuyers and are actually better positioned to not just be patient, but also be flexible in terms of when they actually close on their new home. Buyers who need to move within a specific timeline aren’t necessarily good short sale buyers, say a homeowner whose home just went under contract and is closing in 45 days. Unless they want to find temporary housing, then a short sale is really not an option for them. Conversely, most first-time home buyers are currently leasing and have the option to extend their lease a month or two if needed to ensure they get that great deal.

We see more short sales in today’s market than foreclosures as the banks try to be more proactive. So to exclude short sales, will definitely limit your purchase options. So whether you’re looking for a Smyrna short sale, Roswell short sale or a short sale in East Cobb, there are lots of opportunities that you don’t want to overlook.

One important aspect to realize about short sales is, that much like foreclosures, the property is typically sold as-is, which means the seller won’t make repairs. In many homes this isn’t the issue as a large percentage of short sales are actually fairly new homes having been purchased when the market was at it’s hottest. We tend not to see as many repair issues in a five year old home as we might in a 15 year old home. Despite a short sale being sold as-is, we always structure our offers so that an Atlanta short sale buyer can inspect the property and if the repair items are too significant, then they can get out of the contract.

The real key to buying a short sale is to ensure the buyer’s agent and the listing agent are experienced with short sales.  First-time buyers should interview real estate agents to find a buyer’s agent with short-sale experience in addition to a deep knowledge of the local real estate market, so they recognize the value in a specific property. Buyers should choose an agent with experience in their price range, so they will know whether the offer is in line with current market conditions.

If you’re interested in pursuing Atlanta short sales, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are short sale specialists and ready to help you find your new home. We also offer a complimentary search of all Atlanta distressed properties. The search tool will allow you to strictly search Atlanta short sales or foreclosures if you want.

 

 

 

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Debt Relief Act coming to an end in 2012

Posted on 13 January 2012 by Aaron Hofmann

2012 is a big year for home owners facing foreclosure. Currently, there is a federal tax break for homeowners who want to unload their homes for less than they paid for them. The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act became effective in 2007 and has been extended through the end of 2012.

This has allowed owners selling their homes through a short sale to do so without having to pay tax on the amount their mortgage holders forgave them. That will end in less than a year, giving homeowners until the end of this year to get out from under their debt without facing tax consequences.

When you find yourself in financial distress, it’s good to know that you have options to foreclosure. Short sales are a way for homeowners to be proactive in selling their home and negotiating the terms with the bank. Foreclosure is something that is done to you and you really don’t have any say in the matter in when they will foreclose, whether they will forgive the debt and how it will be reported on your credit.

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act provides that forgiven debt in many of these situations is not taxable. The tax law has been a nice benefit to those who have lost their home and would have been faced with a tax bill, even after having lost their home.

The best strategy for anyone considering asking their bank for permission to do a short sale is to meet with a Certified Distressed Property Expert.

The worst thing to do is walk away from your home and force the mortgage holder to take back the property. A short sale is almost always a better option than foreclosure.

The tax change means that if a house is sold for $100,000 less than what’s owed on the mortgage, the seller would owe federal income taxes on that amount. If the seller is in the 15 percent tax bracket, they would owe the IRS $15,000. Since your state tax return is derived from your federal adjusted gross income, it would also be taxed at the state level in most states.

In December, 42 out of 131 Smyrna Vinings homes, condos and townhomes were short sales or foreclosures, equating to 32% of all transactions.

Some real estate analysts think doing away with the tax incentive will sabotage the government’s efforts to gradually move people out of homes they can no longer afford.

Almost every client I meet with asks about receiving a 1099 if they do a short sale. What they need to realize is, the IRS will require the 1099 to be issued for forgiven debt whether from a short sale or foreclosure. The important fact to note is whether you will be covered by the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act by doing a short sale before the end of the year or procrastinating and risking that the short sale doesn’t get completed until next year when the law is no longer in effect.

Do yourself a favor and don’t procrastinate. Contact us today to see what your options are in avoiding a Smyrna Vinings foreclosure.

Aaron Hofmann

Keller Williams Realty Cityside – Short Sales

C: 770-653-9601

 

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Time for Black Friday

Posted on 25 November 2011 by Aaron Hofmann

OK, so we survived Thanksgiving, which means it’s time for Black Friday.  For some savvy shoppers, this is the time of year to assault the stores on what has become known as Black Friday. Now while you may be looking to take advantage of the latest deals, keep in mind that not all deals are found in the stores.

For example, you can find lots of great deals online.

Another option is in the Atlanta real estate market. Home prices have been reduced and, interest rates are great right now.

These kind of deals are going to be hard to beat in the stores or even online. To make your Black Friday shopping spree, easier, we’ve compiled up-to-date lists of Atlanta short sales as well as foreclosures in Atlanta. We’ve also broken the list down to include some other popular communities in metro Atlanta.

Alpharetta
Short Sales
Alpharetta
Foreclosures
Brookhaven
Short Sales
Brookhaven
Foreclosures
Buckhead
Short Sales
Buckhead
Foreclosures
Decatur
Short Sales
Decatur
Foreclosures
Duluth
Short Sales
Duluth
Foreclosures
Dunwoody
Short Sales
Dunwoody
Foreclosures
East
Cobb Short Sales
East
Cobb Foreclosures
Johns
Creek Short Sales
Johns
Creek Foreclosures
Mableton
Short Sales
Mableton
Foreclosures
Marietta
Short Sales
Marietta
Foreclosures
Midtown
Short Sales
Midtown
Foreclosures
Milton
Short Sales
Milton
Foreclosures
Norcross
Short Sales
Norcross
Foreclosures
Roswell
Short Sales
Roswell
Foreclosures
Sandy
Springs Short Sales
Sandy
Springs Foreclosures
Smyrna
Short Sales
Smyrna
Foreclosures
Vinings
Short Sales
Vinings
Foreclosures

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the Black Friday deals in the Atlanta real estate market, be sure to contact us for your free buyer consultation.

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Black Friday in Atlanta

Posted on 26 November 2010 by Aaron Hofmann

I always look forward to Thanksgiving every year. It’s time for some turkey, time to give thanks and time for some extra football. Thanksgiving time. It’s certainly a time of year when we get to spend time with friends and family and realize that we are fortunate.

But for some savvy shoppers, this is also the time of year to prepare to assault the stores on what has become known as Black Friday. Now while you may be looking to take advantage of the latest deals, keep in mind that not all deals are found in the stores.

For example, you can find lots of great deals online.

Another option is in the Atlanta real estate market. Home prices have been reduced and, interest rates are great right now.

These kind of deals are going to be hard to beat in the stores or even online. To make your Black Friday shopping spree, easier, we’ve compiled up-to-date lists of Atlanta short sales as well as foreclosures in Atlanta. We’ve also broken the list down to include some other popular communities in metro Atlanta.

Alpharetta
Short Sales
Alpharetta
Foreclosures
Brookhaven
Short Sales
Brookhaven
Foreclosures
Buckhead
Short Sales
Buckhead
Foreclosures
Decatur
Short Sales
Decatur
Foreclosures
Duluth
Short Sales
Duluth
Foreclosures
Dunwoody
Short Sales
Dunwoody
Foreclosures
East
Cobb Short Sales
East
Cobb Foreclosures
Johns
Creek Short Sales
Johns
Creek Foreclosures
Mableton
Short Sales
Mableton
Foreclosures
Marietta
Short Sales
Marietta
Foreclosures
Midtown
Short Sales
Midtown
Foreclosures
Milton
Short Sales
Milton
Foreclosures
Norcross
Short Sales
Norcross
Foreclosures
Roswell
Short Sales
Roswell
Foreclosures
Sandy
Springs Short Sales
Sandy
Springs Foreclosures
Smyrna
Short Sales
Smyrna
Foreclosures
Vinings
Short Sales
Vinings
Foreclosures

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the Black Friday deals in the Atlanta real estate market, be sure to contact us for your free buyer consultation.

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$50 million allocated to Georgia Neighborhood Stabilization

Posted on 13 September 2010 by Aaron Hofmann

The U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has set aside $50.4 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program grants  for Georgia  as part of  $1 billion plan to help states struggling to reverse the effects of the foreclosure crisis.

State and local governments will be able to use the neighborhood stabilization grants to buy land and property; to demolish or rehabilitate abandoned properties; and/or to offer downpayment and closing cost assistance to low- to moderate-income homebuyers (household incomes not exceeding 120 percent of area median income).

Of Georgia’s $50 million allocation, the major components include:

  • State of Georgia: $18,679,977
  • DeKalb County: $5,233,105
  • Atlanta: $4,906,758
  • Fulton County: $3,094,885
  • Cobb County: $2,415,784
  • Gwinnett County: $2,065,581

“These grants will support local efforts to reverse the effects these foreclosed properties have on their surrounding neighborhoods,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, in a press release. “We want to make certain that we target these funds to those places with especially high foreclosure activity so we can help turn the tide in our battle against abandonment and blight.”

Since the housing crisis began, Georgia has ranked among the states with the most foreclosures. The Peach State had the sixth-most foreclosures in the second quarter and ninth-most in July, according to RealtyTrac.

The latest $1 billion in Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding is provided under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and follows some $6 billion in similar funding in recent years. The two other rounds of Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding came with the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 ($3.92 billion) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ($2 billion).

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How is the purchase process different between a short sale and foreclosure?

Posted on 02 September 2010 by Aaron Hofmann

We get a lot of questions about short sales and foreclosures from Atlanta home buyers these days. Here’s one of the most common.

Q: How is the purchase process different between a short sale and foreclosure?

A: To give you a little background, in short sale you have multiple parties involved in the transaction. It’s not just a buyer and a seller. On the seller side, you’ll also have one or two lenders, as well as a third party investor and a mortgage insurance company. With so many fingers in the pot, short sales can take several months to complete. Banks are working to improve their systems and personnel, but don’t expect a traditional 30-day close. The majority of short sales don’t even involve the lender until they’ve received a contract from a buyer, which is submitted to the lender(s) along with a hardship package. The lender(s) then need to go through their due diligence process before ever making a decision. Generally, we counsel buyers to expect a minimum of 2-3 months before hearing a decision. Sometimes it’s quicker and sometimes it’s slower.

Conversely, the process for purchasing a foreclosure, also known as an REO (real estate owned) property it pretty quick. Typically, we’ll receive a response with just a couple business days. With a bank-owned property, there’s just the bank and the buyer involved, so it makes sense that decisions don’t get hung up for a long period of time. In addition, with a foreclosure, the bank has already done their pricing analysis prior to putting it on the market, so once they have an offer, they’re ready to make a decision.

In both cases, there are great opportunities available for the savvy Atlanta home buyer and patience and flexibility are key to ensuring you’ve found the right property and can wait for the decision.

We specializing in counseling buyers on the advantages and disadvantages of buying short sales and foreclosures. Contact us today to see how we can help navigate you through the short sale and foreclosure home buying process and find you a great home at a great price.

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One in Seven Homeowners is Past Due on their Mortgage or in Foreclosure

Posted on 30 August 2010 by Aaron Hofmann

According to the State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group’s latest report on home loan delinquencies, we have seen an improvement in loan modifications not becoming delinquent within the following six months. Loans modified in 2009 are 40 to 50 percent (40% – 50%) less likely to be seriously delinquent six months after modification than loans modified at the same time in 2008. In addition, recent modifications that significantly reduce the principal balance of the loan have a lower rate of redefault compared to loan modifications overall.

Finally, while loan modifications have consistently increased over time, the numbers of foreclosures continue to outpace loan modifications. Nearly three years into the foreclosure crisis, the report finds that more than 60% of homeowners with serious delinquent loans are still not involved in any loss mitigation activity. With the significant overhang of seriously delinquent loans, they anticipate hundreds of thousands of foreclosures will occur later this year absent additional improvements in foreclosure prevention efforts.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest report on home loan delinquencies, one in seven homeowners is past due on their mortgage or in foreclosure.  The report shows that mortgage delinquencies rose during the second quarter, and overall, one in seven borrowers is delinquent or in foreclosure. That’s up from one in eight a year ago and one in 11 two years ago. Although there was a dip in the share of homes in foreclosure, the report shows that the foreclosure epidemic continues, with millions of homes still at risk.

If you are at risk of foreclosure, contact us today to see what your options are because procrastination is certainly not one of them. Loan modifications are a possibility to keep you in your home and if you don’t qualify for a loan modification, we can talk to you about the benefits of a short sale rather than losing your home to foreclosure and the destructive impact foreclosures have on your life.

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How a Short Sale Realtor Can Stop Atlanta Foreclosures

Posted on 01 April 2010 by Aaron Hofmann

Foreclosures are continuing to be a pressing issue around the country as well as in Atlanta Georgia. A homeowner who has stopped making their mortgage payments is at risk of their home being foreclosed. There are options for Atlanta homeowners, but often a short sale is teh only viable option.

It’s always stressful enough when you are having financial difficulties, but the unknowns of how one does a short sale does not need to add stress to your life. It’s always important to hire a short sale Realtor who is knowledgeable of the process and has successfully negotiated short sales..

Realtors who are experts in short sales can advise you on the proper steps when dealing with the mortgage lienholders. Avoid hiring anyone who has little experience in short selling or who hasn’t been successful in closing a similar deal in the past. Ask the agents about how many deals they have successfully closed in the past.

Always get the help of a Realtor who has the knowledge and experience in short sales. Seeking out a Certified Distressed Property Expert helps to ensure the Realtor has attained critical training related to short sales and foreclosures. The Realtor should be able to explain how things will go from the beginning to the end and keep you informed throughout the whole process.

We speak with many homeowners that are in a similar situation such as yourself. When trying to avoid foreclosure, procrastination is not an answer. It’s important that you contact us immediately so we can assess your situation and provide you with options based upon our initial assessment. Rest assured, all consultations are held in the highest confidence. We understand that this is a stressful time and we want to ensure that your needs will be addressed in a confident and professional manner.

About the Author:

Aaron Hofmann is a Certified Distressed Property Expert with Keller Williams Realty in Atlanta. Mr. Hofmann is not only Realtor, but also a CPA, and is expert in dealing with the financial industry and assisting distressed Atlanta homeowners avoid foreclosure.

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Georgia Ranks Third in Mortgages Past Due

Posted on 07 March 2010 by Aaron Hofmann

Georgia is third in the nation, with 13.5 percent of mortgages one or more payment past due as of December 31st, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Delinquency Survey. Florida and Nevada came in at #1 and #2.

The MBA said the drop in the 30-day delinquency rate is “a concrete sign” that the end of the mortgage crisis may be near. That’s important because mortgages that are 30 days late generally serve as a leading indicator of serious delinquencies and foreclosures.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury recently reported while more than 1 million U.S. homeowners have started the process of modifying their home loans under the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), only 116,000 have actually had their mortgages modified as of last month.

In Georgia, there have been 33,059 active trial loan modifications through January. Of them, 4,508 have been permanently modified.

Atlanta is among the top 15 metro areas for HAMP activity, accounting for 3.2 percent of overall HAMP activity. The city had 30,285 active trial loan modifications through January. Of those, 3,692 were permanently modified.

If you or someone you is having financial issues and concerned about foreclosure, contact us for a free report on Avoiding Foreclosure.

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