I own my home that is in a flood zone. Are flood insurance issues going to make it difficult to sell now?

At least in terms of the astronomical rate increases that you have been reading about lately, probably not.

The U.S. Senate just passed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act which had already been passed by the House this month. Once signed by the President, this Act will negate the majority of the devastating changes that were enacted by the House and Senate last year. More on this at: http://rem.ax/1fXPi7o

For information on this or other real estate topics, please visit www.DestinFloridaRealEstate.com or email us at smith@realtor.com

My partner and I are being foreclosed on. Why did I get served with papers when I am not on the note, just on the deed?

The note is the obligation to pay, so it sounds like your partner may have to wage that battle alone. However, everyone that may have an interest in the disposition of the property will typically be served when the lis pendens is filed. That would include all of the parties on the deed, the HOA or condo association, second lien holders, etc.

It is not too late to structure a short sale just because you were served with foreclosure documents. In most cases, a short sale is the best option for the owner and lender. Please call us direct for more details.

As always, please visit us at www.Ed-Terri.com or for questions, email us at smith@realtor.com

 

As an owner, can you really get paid by the banks for short selling your house?

Yes. Many lenders (not all) will pay you, as the homeowner to cooperate in the short sale of your property. This is referred to by the lenders as “relocation assistance”.  This assistance is based on a number of factors, including the loan balance, current value of the property and the loss severity rate. At least one major lender has recently increased their limit on relocation assistance payments to a whopping $45,000!

For more on this topic, visit www.FloridaBrokers.com or email us at smith@realtor.com.

Are the foreclosures and short sales drying up? Fewer of them seem to be available for purchase.

Yes, they are. Distressed properties only represent 20% of the sales market this year as opposed to more than 40% just two years ago. Foreclosure filings are down an average of 37% as compared with last year. Strong buyer demand for distressed properties has caused the average sale price for such properties to increase by 27% as compared with last year as well.

The low interest rates that we are seeing have played a significant role in the reduction of distressed inventory. Call us for a list of what’s available today and be ready to act quickly!

For more info, please visit us at www.destinfloridarealestate.com . Please email questions to smith@realtor.com

What are the most inexpensive improvements that we can make to our house to make it show better?

No two houses ever seem to be in identical conditions. One home may need paint while another may need landscaping upgrades. We can easily compile a list of decorating suggestions to help “dress your house for success”.  The entire process takes less than 30 minutes.

However, some commonly overlooked interior items when sprucing up are things such as A/C registers, door knobs, door hinges, cabinet hardware and light fixtures.  These can be inexpensive items to replace and may really help freshen up the appearance!

For more info, please visit us at www.destinfloridarealestate.com . Please email questions to smith@realtor.com

We enclosed our attached screened porch on the back of our house. Our existing A/C unit won’t keep it cool. Will it hurt our resale value if we add a window unit to keep the new area cool?

In most cases yes, a window unit will detract from the value of your property. A much better option may be one of the new mini split air systems that are available both locally and online.

These are permanently installed climate control systems that work well in situations just like yours. Also perfect for mother-in-law quarters, garages or any area that needs additional climate control. No duct work is required making the installation very simple. You will need an A/C contractor to install your system, but the price can be extremely affordable.

For more info, please visit us at www.DestinFloridaRealEstate.com . Please email questions to smith@realtor.com

Can I short sell my property if I have two mortgages on it?

Yes. Many of the short sales that we complete for our clients have not only multiple mortgages, but are often encumbered by liens and judgments as well. However, additional encumbrances create additional challenges to the successful completion of the short sale. Every additional challenge serves to protract the entire process. At the end of the day, every entity with a claim against the property has to be either fully satisfied or agree to a compromise in order to close the deal.

For more information please visit www.DestinFloridaRealEstate.com or email us at smith@realtor.com

As an owner, can you really get paid by the banks for short selling your house?

Yes. Many lenders (not all) will pay you, as the homeowner to cooperate in the short sale of your property. This is referred to by the lenders as “relocation assistance”.  This assistance is based on a number of factors, including the loan balance, current value of the property and the loss severity rate. At least one major lender has recently increased their limit on relocation assistance payments to a whopping $45,000!

For more on this topic, please visit http://www.floridarealestate.com  or email us at smith@realtor.com.

Will I have to pay income taxes on my short sale?

According to the IRS, forgiven or written-off mortgage debt is the same as taxable income. If you complete a short sale on your property, the difference between the lender’s net and the mortgage balance due is referred to as the deficiency.  The lender is required to issue a 1099 if they are writing off the deficiency.  This is often referred to as “phantom tax” as you could end up owing taxes for money that you did not actually receive.

However, the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 provides for certain levels of insulation against the phantom tax, at least in the case of your primary residence. Vacation properties would not qualify under the act. The bad news?  Unless extended by Congress, this act will expire at the end of the year.  For more, visit: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/The-Mortgage-Forgiveness-Debt-Relief-Act-and-Debt-Cancellation

 

I am ready to close on a short sale that I’m buying, but the bank won’t pay the back HOA fees. Don’t the banks usually pay this on a short sale?

The lenders will often limit the amount of back HOA fees that they will pay at closing on a short sale. That is because a lender that acquires title to a property through foreclosure in Florida is only on the hook for one year’s worth of HOA fees. However, many distressed properties have accumulated several years’ worth of unpaid HOA fees. For that reason, it is oftentimes smart on the part of the HOA to accept the lender’s offer and allow the sale to proceed.

When entering into a contract to purchase a short sale, you must bear in mind that the banks are under no obligation to approve short sales to begin with. If they do choose to approve one, it is only because they believe it to be in their own best interst to do so.

For more on this topic, please visit us at http://www.DestinFloridaRealEstate.com or email us at smith@realtor.com