3 Buyer Tips on Short Sales and REOs

Thinking about a short sale? Lately, it seems as though everyone is. Sellers are looking for a quick way to get out from under the threat of foreclosure. While buyers, on the other hand, are seeking a great deal on a home being sold below market prices. Here are a few facts that every buyer should know before actively pursuing purchasing a property in a short sale.

1. Short sales are never short.

The average short sale can take 60-120 days from the date of “mutual acceptance”, meaning all parties agree to the terms of the sale. Although the seller must agree to the initial offer, the bank is who gets the final word. And, as we now know, these banks can be very difficult to work with. Getting answers from them is like pulling teeth. Sometimes, it can take the bank months to even acknowledge the buyer’s request, let alone respond to it. If they don’t like the offer, more than likely, they’ll just ignore it altogether. If they do like the offer, it will still take weeks to negotiate inspections, closing terms, etc…

2. There are NO guarantees.

Buyers have been known to have to wait weeks, sometimes months for a response from the bank. Then, when they do, the buyer finds out the bank never even saw the offer, or they got a better offer from elsewhere and jumped on it.

This, of course, is not the best scenario for the potential short sale buyer. They spend all this time just hoping that the bank accepts their offer. This can be even more stressful for the buyer looking to buy a home to live in with their family. So, to homebuyers who are looking for a place to live, rather than investment property, keep this in mind. If you have a deadline to finding a place to call home, a short sale may not be for you. Explore other options to find a deal on a home you can afford

3. Banks really aren’t that motivated.

The banks are not in a rush to change the way they behave or to do anyone any favors. Between using distressed properties as tax write-offs (losses), Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) that covers those losses and the US government providing unmentionable amounts of money to bail the banks out, they don’t need to be in a rush to change or assist.

You would think that the banks would be eager to cut any deals they can with delinquent homeowners. It almost sounds like common sense to me. Here are some of the positive effects this could have:

=> Help provide relief to the homeowners in trouble.
=> Put some of the housing money back into circulation.
=> Slow up the acceleration of home value depreciation.

Sounds like a winner. Right? Well, not with the rewards the banks are receiving for being greedy. Instead of holding them accountable for their failures in the housing market, the government is willing to buy them out of the crisis situations they, themselves, created.

Weigh Your Options

All homebuyers have options. This includes short sale purchases. Be sure you have the time needed to go through this long, tedious process. If you and your family are in need of a home, short sales are a good option for getting a great deal. But, the process takes time. So, make sure that you are not under any time constraints or strict deadlines when making an offer on a short sale. Not only can it take months for the deal to close, there is always a possibility that the bank won’t agree to the terms of the short sale anyway, leaving you starting your search from the beginning again.

Have additional questions or would like to search for buying a foreclosure home>? Visit our website’s search home pages. We also have a Tampa Homes website where you can search for Tampa Short Sales and Foreclosures.

Basics of Military Housing

The Basics of Basic Allowance for Housing
Basic Allowance for Housing, or BAH, is a monthly military stipend given to active duty service members to alleviate the cost of housing while being stationed in the United States. Basic Allowance for Housing is determined by a service member’s rank, geography, and number of dependents, and although BAH rates change yearly, a service member currently receiving BAH will never decrease.

How is BAH determined?
An entry level (E01) service member with dependents may have a Basic Allowance for Housing that ranges from $800-$1500 a month, but can be as low as $700 and as high as $2,700. Officers and Warrant Officers monthly BAH are usually higher with a low ranking Warrant Officer with dependents (W01) receiving between $1,200-$1,800 a month on average.

Although there is a great difference of ranges between what a service member could receive for BAH, the government carefully researches each area’s median housing costs to ensure service member’s do not struggle. Government workers review data sources, research rental listings, and even question real estate agents to obtain fair BAH for service members. So if a service member is living in a higher in real estate market such as Los Angeles, they will receive a higher BAH than a service member stationed in Salina, Kansas where the costs of housing is lower.

After a service member’s location is determined, his or her rank and the number of their dependents is factored in to calculate the service member’s alloted Basic Allowance for Housing. Depending on the type of housing the service member chooses, BAH may or may not cover the entire cost of housing.

Is BAH for Rent Only?
A service member’s Basic Allowance for Housing can be used for a mortgage payment, and can even help that service member qualify for a VA Home Loan to make their BAH stipend go even further. Because a service member’s Basic Allowance for Housing can never decrease, it makes it an ideal number when a lender considers a monthly mortgage payment.

Service member’s who are going to be stationed at a location for a long duration of time should considered purchasing a home with a VA loan. A VA loan is another benefit designed to help military service members achieve their dreams of home ownership, and can do so with zero down payment, competitive mortgage rates, and limited closing costs.

With many housing opportunities near MacDill Air Force Base, it may be the time to buy instead of rent. Contact us at Lipply Real Estate for more information.

Living in Safety Harbor FL

Do you know where Safety Harbor is? Safety Harbor, Florida is just north of Clearwater, which is also very close to Tampa too. This historic town with a population of over 17,000 began in 1917 and is located on the northwest side of Old Tampa Bay in Florida.

Living in Safety Harbor has the definite advantage of being close to recreational areas, while being far enough away to relax and enjoy peace and quiet. The overall Tampa Bay region serves as a tourist attraction so there are many activities and places to see not far from Safety Harbor. Some of the most popular national parks are within just a few miles of Safety Harbor which are Caladesi Island State Park, Honeymoon Island, and Clearwater’s Sand Key Beach. Among the unique things you can experience in this “neck of the woods” is to watch both manatees and dolphins from your own boat or on an organized tour.

Many of the everyday things that you need in order to live your life the way of employment, shopping, quality education, etc., are close at hand. Safety Harbor has all the amenities of family life, and there are many more in the nearby larger cities of Clearwater and Tampa that are within easy access by car. Living in this area gives you not one, but two, international airports: St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport and the Tampa International Airport.

Safety Harbor real estate gives one variety and style, in many shapes and price ranges. This community favors families, so you can find many facilities and activities geared to meet their needs.

Currently, we are experiencing a buyer’s market in Safety Harbor. This means that it is more favorable for the buyer to buy than it is for the seller to sell. This translates into $$dollar savings$$ for you as a buyer. And, because there are so many homes on the market, you will have many choices. Now is the time to get in on the bargains and we are your Safety Harbor Realtor, call us ~ we’re waiting for your call!