Category Archives: Homebuying

What is a short-sale?

Simply put, a short sale in real estate is a property being sold for less than what is owed on it. Usually this occurs when a home owner can no longer make their mortgage payments and they cannot even sell their house for what they owe on it. Their mortgage company will discount the mortgage closer to the current market value of the house so it can be sold.

The current home owner (the Seller) is able to walk away with minimal impact to their credit, well, at least less of an impact as, say, a foreclosure or bankruptcy might have. The Bank takes a loss but less of a loss than if the house had been foreclosed on and sold at auction.

If the Seller and their Bank can make the best of a bad situation, can a home Buyer benefit from this situation too? It seems like a Buyer should be able to get a screaming deal right? Maybe……

The Big, Bad Bank: With a short sale, the Buyer is, in essence, buying from the Bank (The Seller’s Mortgage Company). All aspects of the purchase, including the sale price, have to be approved by the Bank. This is no easy task. It can take weeks and even months for a Buyer’s purchase and sale offer to reach the right person at the bank that can make a decision and sign off on even just the price. Plus, if there are any other lien holders such as a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) or an HOA (Home Owners Association), they too may have to approve the purchase and sale.

Also, there doesn’t appear to be a standardized process for short sales. Each Bank seems to be handling these types of sales differently and can even vary from sale to sale. Getting the right forms signed by the right people can be a nightmare, even for the most experienced real estate agent.  

Most importantly, the Bank may be willing accept less than what is owed to them but they are not likely to take much less than what they consider the current fair market value of the home to be. Their goal is to minimize loss not give away an asset, poorly-valued as it may be.

As-Is, No Buyer Credits, No Warranty: The Buyer is purchasing the home as-is; there is no warranty and there are no negotiations for repair credits. Often with home purchases, the Seller will contribute some amount of money to the Buyer as an incentive, for things like closing cost. If repairs are needed, a Seller might make the repairs or contribute back to the Buyer the cost to repair those items. Not so with short sales. This can be important in the long run. What condition is the house really in? If the Seller can’t afford their mortgage payments, have they been able to maintain the house?

Why not Buy New, Now: Most short sales can take anywhere from two (if you’re lucky) to six months (or more). During that time, what has the Buyer missed out on? Sale Prices on new homes can change from week to week. Buyer Incentives have become more and more creative. Interest Rates are as low as 1.99%.

The time is now

Regent Homes has quality, new homes available now at amazing prices! You could be unpacking in your new home by this time next month. Imagine: a brand new home, with a warranty, at a great price, and with a low interest rate. Sounds like a deal to me!

Home Buyer Tax Credits – What’s New

The good news: The New Home Buyer Tax Credit of up to $8000 has been extended! The tax credit was about to expire November 30th, but has just recently been extended through spring of next year!

The even better news: For so long, existing home owners looking to purchase a new home were excluded from these special tax credits. Now, with the extension of the New Home Buyer Tax Credit, comes the Repeat Home Buyer Tax Credit of up to $6500.00! If you currently own a home and are looking to buy a new one, you most likely will qualify for this new Repeat Home Buyer Tax Credit. Check out federalhousingtaxcredit.com for more details.

Regent Homes - Home Buyer Tax CreditNow that nearly everyone qualifies for a Home Buyer Tax Credit, start your search today for your New Home!

In Graham, we have the new Brinley plan: A 960 square foot, 3 bed, 1 bath rambler for only $179,950.

In Marysville, we have the new Gresham plan: An 1808 square foot, 3 bed, 2 ½ bath, 2-story for only $230,000.

Last Chances for $8000 Tax Credit

If you are planning of taking advantage of the $8000 Homebuyer Tax Credit the time is now. In order to qualify for the credit your home needs to close by the end of November, which means you need to act NOW! We have just a few completed homes left so come check them out.

At our Foxbury Landing neighborhood, our model home is available. The Avery model offers a great open feel and nearly 1500 square feet of living space.

avery model home exterior

avery model home kitchen

Virtual Tour
DIRECTIONS
Model open from noon to 5:00 pm Friday through Monday, or by appointment

At our Willows neighborhood our model home is also available. This model offer almost 2500 square feet of luxurious living space at an unbeatable price. This home has granite countertops, air conditioning, a security system and many more upgrades and is a steal at $309,950!

willows model exterior

willows model kitchen

Virtual Tour
DIRECTIONS
Model home open from noon to 5:00 pm Friday through Monday, or by appointment.

Home Ownership Programs

There are a lot of great programs out there for first-time homebuyers. The $8000 First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit may be getting the most press but check out some of the fantastic local programs as well.

House Key State Bond Loan Program: This program offers first-time home buyers a lower interest rate. It also provides a free Homebuyer Education Seminar and access to a lot of really great information about the home buying process. The rates change daily, today they are as low as 5.50%!

To qualify as a first-time homebuyer you have to have not owned a home in the past 3 years. (There are even some areas within Pierce County where all homebuyers qualify for this program, not just first-time home buyers. Check out http://www.wshfc.org/buyers/target.htm for more information.)

The Express Loan Program: This program offers a lower interest rate (today the rates are as low as 5.375%), first-time homebuyers education seminars AND includes down payment assistance up to $10,000! You must have an offer on a home prior to reserving funds so if you have been on the fence about buying, this might help you over that last hurdle. Check out the great deals we have this weekend at Foxbury Landing.

For more information check visit the Washington State Housing Finance Commission’s website at: http://www.wshfc.org/buyers/index.htm for more information.

Also check out the Washington Homeownership Center’s website at http://homeownership-wa.org/index.htm. They have a lot of great information about the home buying process, financing and access to additional resources.

Now’s the time!

I know it’s been all over the news lately, but I certainly think the tax credit for new homebuyers included in the recent stimulus package is worth mentioning here. Any new home buyer who purchases a house in 2009 is eligible for a tax credit of up to $8000, and even if you previously owned a home, if it’s been over three years since you sold your last house you qualify as a new home buyer. For more details about the credit, check out www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com, which can answer almost all of your questions. The question it can’t answer for you is what home to buy, but I certainly have some suggestions. If you are considering a new home in the Pacific Northwest, make it a Regent Home.

EP kitchen

EP island fireplace