That Flicker of Light is getting Greater Everyday!

Did you know that in April, our region,   saw a 3.3%  INCREASE in new-home sales from the month of March?   This is the 1st monthly increase since last October!  
The U.S. Department of Commerce is reporting the Northeast experienced a 41.7% increase in new-home sales!   What could be better…..Well,   the inventory of new homes dropped to 10.6 in April.   This marks the 12th straight monthly decline.  

It is always nice to start the weekend with some good news.   If you are planning on buying you might want to get moving.   As time goes by the market is getting better…..SLOWLY…..but it is getting better!  


Question about Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae

I received many comments and calls about my previous blog.   There were 3 questions that kept coming up, so I thought I would touch on them this evening.

Who is Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

What do they do?

How are they involved in the foreclosure Process?

Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not originate loans.   They are not the primary lenders. They purchase these loans on the secondary market.   They buy these loans in packages.   This results in banks having more money to lend out to lenders.   Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac add liquidity to the market.  

Nationwide, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac own 1 out of 6 mortgages.  

The Freddie Mac Foreclosure Unit opperates  under the name HomeSteps.   If you are looking at one of their foreclosures,  below is a short list of what you might expect to see.

1.   As the buyer, you should receive HOA documents.

2.   They do not  dump their properties.   Most of thier homes have been repaired and should be in good condition.   This is important because they want property values to stay high, and so do you!    If you live next to a foreclosed property  that isn’t maintained, the value of your home declines as well.

3.   They have a mandatory set of days a home must be on the market before accepting offers.   This protects the buyer and makes it a level playing field for all who want to place a bid on a property.    

4.   Once one of their homes goes  into foreclosure,   a NEW market price is placed on the property.   The price has nothing to do  with the past mortgage.

5.   They do not work with  escalation  clauses.   When there are  multiple offers there are clear defined rules in place that go into effect to protect the buyers.

This  list can go on and on.    Again,  if you want to discuss these topics more or just have questions, give me a call.  

Beware of Foreclosure Bidding Wars!

Wednesday evening I have the opportunity to meet with the head of Foreclosed Property Department of Freddie Mac.  I will share the information that recieve in future blogs…

 In our area we are seeing more and more “bank owned” properties come onto the market at unbelievablly LOW prices.   This is an incredible marketing “trick” to get the banks higher returns on their properties.   Can you imagine seeing a home offered in the $180’s or low $200’s in our area?   That is what we are seeing as you can imagine this causes a lot of excitement among buyers.   To the point we are seing 10 to 40 offers at a time on a property.   These homes end up going for more than market value in some cases.   It is very easy to get caught up in these type of bidding wars.   In the majority of cases, if you don’t do your homework on a property and lose track of your perameters you will end up spending too much for the DEAL you thought you were going to get when deciding to buy a foreclosure.

The best advise I can give to you is to be patient.   I have experience on both sides, buying and selling, foreclosures.   There are many tools and techniques that I use with my clients to get them the best deal possible.   If you are interested in purchasing a foreclosed home give me a call.   If you have questions or just want to learn more about foreclosures let me know, I would love to talk to you.

Fannie Mae’s New Policy=Positive Home-Ownership

Fannie Mae, the 2nd largest secondary mortgage market company,  has been requiring home buyers to come up with an extra 5% down for  down-payment towards a home in what they call a “declining market”.   As of June 1st, this policy will change.

Fannie Mae’s new policy states that borrowers can receive up to 95% loan to value.   This includes markets where home prices are declining.  

I for one, along with many other REALTORS, have felt this discourages buyers from purchasing homes in markets that have been flooded with foreclosures.   Dick Gaylord, President of the National Association of Realtors agrees.   He believes that this policy “stigmatizes communities with lower sales prices.”

The Second Wave of Foreclosures is Coming

In April, the number of homeowners faced with foreclosure sky-rocketed to 65% as compared to the same month last year.   Across the nation, last month, 243,353 homes received one foreclosure type of filing.   If you compare these statistics to March of this year,   these statistics went up 4%.

There are reports that efforts by our government and the mortgage industry  trying to turn things around, can’t keep up with the rising number of troubled homeowners.

You could say that the government has missed the boat on this one.  

Even if the homeowner aid package passes both houses in Congress and they come to some kind of compromise with the President, it will probably be too late for homeowners who have adjustable-rate mortgages scheduled to change to higher rates in the coming months.

Open House on May 18, 2008 at 12841 Rannoch Forest Cir.

On May 18, 2008 at 13:30 PM, you are invited to an Open House at 12841 Rannoch Forest Cir. in Bristow. If you are looking for a Single-family property in this area, don™t miss this rare opportunity to visit this magnificent property. For a preview of this Single-family property, check out my site at Please do not hesitate to Contact Me if you have any questions or wish to schedule a private showing.

Open House on May 18, 2008 at 12841 Rannoch Forest Cir.

On May 18, 2008 at 13:30 PM, you are invited to an Open House at 12841 Rannoch Forest Cir. in Bristow. If you are looking for a Single-family property in this area, don™t miss this rare opportunity to visit this magnificent property. For a preview of this Single-family property, check out my site at Please do not hesitate to Contact Me if you have any questions or wish to schedule a private showing.

Housing Legislation being debated in Congress

The House of Representatives is debating a housing package to help troubled homeowners refinance into less expensive mortgages and provide tax breaks to first time home buyers.

If passed, the bill would include $15 billion for state and local governments to rehabilitate forclosed properties, and would authorize $300 billion in loan guarantees to help distressed borrowers refinanced into FHA (Federal Housing Administration) mortgages, which are government backed.   This bill has the potential to assist 500,000 homeowners.

 President Bush is threatening to veto this bill, since this legislation would force the government to take an  undue financial risk.

A new performing arts center is coming to our area!

Construction has begun on a $60 Million performing arts center at the George Mason University Prince William campus.   It will open in spring 2010, and will be called the Hylton Performing Arts Center.

 The center will have two theatres, a reception hall and an art gallery.   One of the theatres, to be named Merchant Hall, will have 1166 seats in a 19th-century European opra house type setting.

 I believe this center will have a great impact on our area, both culturally and economically.   This center will also make our area more attractive to home buyers.

Recession or Recovery? It Depends on the Day of the Week!

Were you surprised to see that the U.S. Labor Departments job report showed a decline in jobs for the month of April?   Not really, you and I know this is not good news, but the number was much better  than what was expected.  

This morning, it was reported  that this  could be a possible sign that the US economy is recovering.  I don’t know if I would go that far, but I do believe that this is another VERY SMALL sign of what is to come in the future.  

If you read my blog from yesterday, I spoke about the real estate turn around, and that we are beginning to see a flicker of light at the end of this rocky tunnel.   We are seeing more and more signs of recovery,   but there will be definite set backs coming as well.  

What does surprise me, is how one day the media can predict how dismal the future looks for the economy  and the real estate  market, and then the very next day report that we could already be in recovery.

“Will It Ever Get Better?” YOU BET!

By far, the biggest question I get from my clients on both sides is, “When is the market going to turn around.”   Now that we are beginning to see a second wave of foreclosures hit the market, you might think this is never going to end.   But, believe it or not, there is a light at the end of this tunnel.

The President of Fannie Mae, expects some recovery and growth, but not until 2010.   You might be thinking that is far away, but things are already starting to change.   Of course, these changes are very small but they are the start to what lays ahead.   For example,  in Northern Virginia, we are seeing home prices start to stabilize.   This does not mean we are seeing the same prices on homes that we did even a year ago.   In the Washington area  home prices have dropped 13% in one year.  

The President of the United States and Congress are working on legislation to help the real estate disaster we are experiencing.   If this legislation ever gets approved and implemented, I feel that it will help.   But of course, it takes time.  

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, even though it is very small, we will get there.   If there is one positive about living in this area of the country, it is that we live in a very transient community.   People are always moving in and out.   So if you are selling, and your home is priced for today’s market, it will sell. For the buyer’s, this is a great time to buy, but don’t hold out too long.