Recently I’ve had a number of buyers look at homes where the items that are updated are not all that apparent- namely the utilities and systems of a home.
When buying a home it’s important to consider the added value of having new or recently updated utilities and systems. Why? They’re expensive for one thing. Secondly you get to avoid the many stories of someone having to continually deal with problems in a home.
While it’s important to buy a house that looks and feels nice, the added value of updated utilities can be substantial – and are worth paying more for. It’s a lot easier to pay a little more for a home rather than having to spend thousands of dollars periodically once moving in. Plus, the higher purchase price can all be given as a home loan- your house projects or piecemeal fixing of systems after moving in can’t.
And for sellers- be smart about what you update. I’m a big fan of adding insulation and energy efficient windows because it brings down your utility bills. But oftentimes buyers don’t fully see that added value. So keep that in mind when you decide what to do or not do. And save your old utility bills so you can show in hard dollars how you’ve added value to the home.
If you have a short sale, this revised process will speed up the decision substantially (versus the current climate) once an offer is received.
Fannie and Freddie Set Timeline Requirements for Short Sales
By: Carrie Bay 04/17/2012
Beginning June 15, real estate agents working with distressed
homeowners whose loans are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should
expect to receive a decision on a short sale offer within 30-60 days.
The GSEs issued new guidelines Tuesday that fall under the Servicing
Alignment Initiative rolled out last fall and aim to bring greater
transparency to the short sale process and expedite decisions related
these pre-foreclosure sales.
Not only is a short sale an effective foreclosure alternative when home
retention is no longer an option, but it keeps homes occupied and helps
to maintain stable communities, according to the Federal Housing
Addressing real estate practitioners’ No. 1 complaint about short
sales, FHFA directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to establish a new
uniform set of minimum response times that servicers must follow in
order to facilitate more efficient short sale transactions.
The GSEs’ new short sale timelines require servicers to make a
decision within 30 days of receiving either an offer on a property
the companies’ traditional short sale programs or a completed Borrower
Response Package (BRP) requesting short sale consideration, whether
it’s through the federal government’s Home Affordable Foreclosure
Alternative (HAFA) program or a GSE program.
If more than 30 days are needed, servicers must provide the borrower
with weekly status updates and come to a decision no later than 60 days
from the date the BRP or offer was received.
According to the GSEs, this 30-day add-on will provide some leeway for
servicers who may need more time to obtain a broker price opinion (BPO)
or a private mortgage insurer’s approval for a short sale. All
decisions must be made within 60 days.
In the event a servicer makes a counteroffer, the borrower is expected
to respond within five business days. The servicer must then respond
within 10 business days of receiving the borrower’s response.
The GSEs plan to use the new short sale timelines to evaluate servicer
compliance with the Servicing Alignment Initiative.
Edward DeMarco, acting director of the FHFA, says the GSEs new borrower
communication and timeline requirements for short sales “set minimum
standards and provide clear expectations regarding these important
GSE servicers must comply with the new minimum communication time
frames for all short sale evaluations conducted on or after June 15,
2012, although servicers are encouraged to begin implementing the new
“I applaud Fannie and Freddie for finally coming out with real
guidance with real world timelines for their servicers,” commented
Anthony Lamacchia, broker/owner of McGeough Lamacchia Realty Inc.,
specializes in short sales. “There is no question that this will help
short sales and the market as a whole.”
Last year Freddie Mac completed 45,623 short sales, a 140 percent
increase since 2009. Fannie Mae’s short sale completions shot up by
101 percent over the same period, totaling around 79,800 in 2011.
. . .
Give me a call if you need additional information.