Thursday, March 8, 2012

345 Bittlewood Avenue Berlin NJ Open House

Open House
March 11, Sunday 1:00 AM - 3:00 PM
345 Bittlewood Avenue, Berlin, NJ
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2 beds
2 BATHROOMS (2 full)
1730 Square Feet

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pictures, current price, maps, schools and more!
Just Reduced $35K!Looking for a model home right out of a HGTV design show,then look no further. This stunning home sits on an over sized premium corner lot and boast over $50,000 in upgrades & $14,000 in custom landscaping,paver patio,and full sprinkler.This Magnolia model has just about every option available, hardwood floors, custom crown molding, upgraded Anderson windows,sunroom,custom tiled baths,recessed lighting.Entering this home you will notice the open bright floor plan and the attention to detail everywhere you look.The large open dining/living room with tranquil fireplace.The Upgraded kitchen features a breakfast bar that is…
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22 Franklin Ave Berlin NJ 08009 Open House

Stephen Clyde
RE/MAX Connection Realtors
Open House
March 11, Sunday 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
22 Franklin Avenue, Pinehill, NJ
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4 beds
2 BATHROOMS (1 full, 1 half)
1400 Square Feet

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pictures, current price, maps, schools and more!

Step right up and into this tastefully decorated updated & spotless large bi-level.this home is done in all the right colors and style. Newer kitchen,Newer gas range and microwave. Newer Baths, heat c/a, carpet and vinyl and paint. New front door and new garage door.New windows in 2010. The home had new siding done less then 1 year ago. As you enter this lovely home you will immediately notice the attention to detail. The main floor features an open floor plan with a large living room that flows directly into the dining which features sliders that lead to the large deck that over looks the massive yard that backs to woods. The updated kitchen with a brand new floor has miles of counter space and a peninsula Island. 3 large bedrooms and bathroom that was remodeled in 2005. Down stairs is large family room with full wall brick fireplace, and large bedroom and a spacious laundry room plus a remodeled powder room. There is also direct access to the back yard as well as the over sized one plus car garage.  

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Real estate 'misery' and the presidential race

Foreclosure-ridden states top Trulia's 'Housing Misery Index'

Despite the approach of "Super Tuesday" elections on March 6, it is unlikely that candidates in the Republican presidential primary race will focus much on housing until June, according to real estate search and marketing site Trulia.
That's because, of the four states hardest hit by the housing crisis, three -- Nevada, Florida and Arizona -- have already had their primaries. The fourth, California, has its primary June 5.
"If candidates want to talk about what voters want most, they should focus on housing issues where it's clearly a pain point for voters. This means that ... we probably won't hear much about housing from the presidential candidates again until the summer," said Jed Kolko, Trulia's chief economist, in a blog post
In order to figure out which states are suffering the most from the housing downturn, Trulia developed a Housing Misery Index that adds together the percentage change in home prices from their peak through fourth-quarter 2011, from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and the percent of mortgages either severely delinquent (by 90 days or more) or in foreclosure as of fourth-quarter 2011, from CoreLogic.
Trulia Housing Misery Index: Top 10 'most miserable' states
Stephen Clyde
RE/MAX Connection Realtors
StateHousing Misery Index
Rhode Island34
Source: Trulia
Foreclosure hotspots Nevada, Florida, Arizona and California were rated more "miserable" by far than other states, according to the index. Among the top 10 hardest-hit states, three -- Washington, Georgia and Idaho -- will have their primaries within the next week.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Price declines put 400K more homeowners underwater

English: Foreclosure signs, Mortgage crisis,Image via Wikipedia

CoreLogic: Hiccup in recovery could spur foreclosures

The number of "underwater" homeowners grew by about 400,000 during the final three months of 2011, to 11.1 million, as home prices fell as a result of seasonal declines and a slowdown in processing homes through the foreclosure process, data aggregator CoreLogic said today.
CoreLogic said 22.8 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage were in negative equity at the end of the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to 22.1 percent at the end of September.
Add another 2.5 million borrowers who had less than 5 percent equity in their homes, and 27.8 percent of homes are either underwater or in danger of becoming so in the event of further price declines.
"The high level of negative equity and the inability to pay is the 'double trigger' of default, and the reason we have such a significant foreclosure pipeline," said CoreLogic Chief Economist Mark Fleming in a statement.
The economic recovery will increase the ability of homeowners to pay their mortgages, but negative equity will take longer to improve, so "if there is a hiccup in the economic recovery, it could mean a rise in foreclosures."
Nevada had the highest negative equity percentage with 61 percent of all of its mortgaged properties underwater, followed by Arizona (48 percent), Florida (44 percent), Michigan (35 percent) and Georgia (33 percent).
The top five states combined had an average negative equity share of 44.3 percent, while the remaining states had a combined average negative equity share of 15.3 percent.
Among the 4.4 million underwater borrowers with second loans, the combined mortgage debt was $306,000 on a home worth $84,000 less, on average, for a combined loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 138 percent.
The 6.7 million underwater borrowers who had no second loan were better off, with an average mortgage balance of $219,000 on a home worth $51,000 less, or a LTV ratio of 130 percent.
The Obama administration's removal of a 125 percent LTV cap on the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) means that more than 22 million borrowers would be eligible for the program it LTV were the only factor (only loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie qualify for HARP, which also has minimum debt-to-income and other eligibility requirements).
According to surveys of lenders by the Mortgage Bankers Association, about 80 percent of loan applications are for refinancings, and more than 20 percent of requests to refinance last week were for HARP loans.
As for whether housing prices are headed for further declines, recent data suggest that the answer to that question depends on where a home is located and whether it or nearby properties are sold as "distressed," Daniel Hartley, a research economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, noted in a recent report.
When distressed sales are excluded, CoreLogic home price indexes show average and median prices falling about 1 percent in the 50 larges U.S. markets in 2011, Hartley said. Prices fell in half of those markets, with Las Vegas experiencing the steepest decline of -8.5 percent.
But when distressed sales are included in the analysis, average and median prices fell by 3 percent in those markets, with 38 markets posting declines. In the metro Chicago area, prices were down 11.8 percent if distressed sales are included.
The proportion of distressed sales in each market varied widely, from a low of 9 percent in Nassau and Suffolk Counties of New York up to 68 percent in Las Vegas.
On average, though, the percentage of distressed sales has stabilized in many markets, and price declines have moderated, which "could be a hopeful sign for homeowners and policymakers concerned about the detrimental effects of distressed sales on nondistressed property values," Hartley concluded.
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mortgage rates still hovering around record lows

English: Mortgage rates historical trendsImage via Wikipedia

Tight lending standards remain a factor as spring buying season approaches

Mortgage rates eased this week, remaining at or near record lows as the spring homebuying season approaches, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
While low rates boost affordability, many would-be buyers are still unable -- or unwilling -- to finance a home purchase.
"Fixed mortgage rates bottomed out in January and February of this year, which is helping spur the housing market," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist, in a statement. Pending sales of existing home rose in January to the strongest pace since April 2010, and sales figures for December saw upward revisions, he noted.
Testifying before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke noted that affordability has "increased dramatically" as a result of the decline in house prices and historically low mortgage rates.
A pickup in construction in the multifamily sector and recent increases in homebuilder sentiment are also encouraging, Bernanke said.
"Unfortunately, many potential buyers lack the down payment and credit history required to qualify for loans; others are reluctant to buy a house now because of concerns about their income, employment prospects, and the future path of home prices," Bernanke said.
"On the supply side of the market, about 30 percent of recent home sales have consisted of foreclosed or distressed properties, and home vacancy rates remain high, putting downward pressure on house prices."
A survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed demand for purchase loans was down 4.3 percent compared to a year ago during the week ending Feb. 24. Requests to refinance accounted for 77.9 percent of all mortgage loan applications.
Fannie Mae's survey showed rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.9 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending March 1, down from 3.95 percent last week and 4.87 percent a year ago. Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hit a low in records dating to 1971 of 3.87 percent during three consecutive weeks in February.
For 15-year fixed-rate loans, rates averaged 3.17 percent with an average 0.8 point, down from 3.19 percent last week and 4.15 percent a year ago. Rates on 15-year loans hit an all time low in records dating to 1991 of 3.14 percent during the week ending Feb. 2.
Rates on 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans averaged 2.83 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from 2.80 percent last week but down from 3.72 percent a year ago. Last week's rate was a low in records dating to 2005.
For 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM loans, rates averaged 2.72 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from 2.73 percent last week and 3.23 percent a year ago. That's a new low in records dating to 1984.
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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Reverse 1031 exchange can secure bargain real estate

Keep deal alive when unexpected delays arise

The duplex close to the university campus was too good for Harvey Blanks to pass up.
An acquaintance of mine for more two decades and a longtime real estate investor, Blanks had been in a holding pattern for the past 18 months, waiting for more positive signs in home sales. However, he signed an agreement on Jan. 4 to purchase the duplex, believing the deal was a huge bargain.
"It's not just about the built-in rental pool that will always be there because of the university," Blanks said, "but the building's in great shape and the seller needed to get out of it. The timing isn't great for me, but it's a great long-term play."
The timing wasn't great for Blanks because he had intended to sell another one of his properties via a tax-deferred exchange in order to purchase the duplex. Taxpayers can defer capital gains tax by selling one investment property and then buying another investment property of equal or greater value within certain time frames.
However, Blanks can still get his tax-deferred deal done by taking an extra step. The tax-deferred exchange process can be reversed if the title to the "new" property (in this case, the duplex) is held by an independent third party (typically a facilitator or attorney) until the "old" property sale closes. The old property in this case is another one of Blanks' properties he had listed for sale but had yet to sell.
Section 1031 of the tax code specifically requires that an exchange take place. That means that one property must be exchanged for another property, rather than sold for cash. The exchange is what distinguishes a Section 1031 tax-deferred transaction from a sale and purchase. The exchange is created by using an intermediary (or exchange facilitator) and the required exchange documentation.
Since the reverse exchange takes an extra step to accomplish, the process can be more expensive than the typical Section 1031, or Starker, exchange. The reverse procedure, however, provides the same "safe harbor" protection for reverse exchanges that delayed exchanges enjoy.
Revenue Procedure 2000-37, which allows the reverse exchange, was added to the tax code mainly because investors were losing tax-deferred status at the last minute for circumstances beyond their control.
For example, a buyer who has filled out all the proper exchange forms and adhered to the proper time frames is scheduled to close the sale of one property on Tuesday and roll the funds into the purchase of another property on Thursday. On Monday, he learns that the buyer of his "old" property must delay the purchase for a couple of weeks because the buyer's lender needs additional information before it will fund the loan.
The seller of the "new" property understands the problem and agrees to extend escrow on the "new" property. (Sometimes, sellers demand that the deal close as the two parties agreed, or the seller will sell the property to someone else and keep the earnest money.)
In this situation, the buyer's best alternative is to do a reverse exchange and have a qualified intermediary (or exchange facilitator) take title to the new property and hold, or "park" it until the old property closes. Then, the intermediary transfers the new property to the seller to complete the exchange. These "parking" arrangements are the main ingredients of the reverse exchange procedure.
The original Section 1031 will not let a taxpayer buy the replacement property, or new property, until after he or she has sold the old, or relinquished, property. Typically, a replacement property must be identified within 45 days of the sale of the "old" property. And, the sale of the replacement property must close within 180 days of the sale of the "old" property.
One of the challenges with the reverse exchange has been extra cash. If the buyer does not have the extra cash elsewhere to buy the replacement property, will lenders finance the property with the facilitator holding title?
Sometimes lenders have extended funds for a specific period of time to the facilitator as long as the loan is secured by the person making the exchange. And, as mentioned, sellers have been known to extend the closing period on replacement properties.
If you are attempting a reverse exchange, it's best to hire a professional third party to handle the process. An exchange specialist has been there before and knows what the IRS wants to see.