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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

PJ's ODD REAL ESTATE JOKE - Ready to drop the price?

You've carefully selected a Realtor to sell your home.  Are you going to listen to their recommendations? Or wait?

Ridge at Alta Vista 2010 Sales Statistics

Ridge at Alta Vista is an exclusive gated community in Lakeway.  It is split into 2 sections, Reserves and Estates.  In the front of the community are condominiums called Enclave at Alta Vista.  The entire community was built by Toll Brothers.  The remainder lots have been purchased by Gehan Homes where Gehan has started to built spec homes on these lots.

I have compiled these statistics to educate current homeowners and future homeowners of the average price per square foot sold in 2010.  To enlarge the photo, please double click on the image. 

The Reserves section's average price per sq ft is $121.62 while the Estates section is coming up at $124.56 / sq ft.  The Enclave at Alta Vista condos are showing $124.38 / sq ft.

If you are a current homeowner and are thinking of selling your home, in order to assess a more accurate market value, please give me a call for a FREE market analysis.  As a neighborhood specialist for Ridge at Alta Vista, I am familiar with every home that has sold in the neighborhood and I will be able to give you my expert opinion on your property's market value.  This will be a no obligation, no sales pitch market analysis.  If you are thinking of purchasing a property in the community, I will also be able to help you by providing you a market analysis of the home you are thinking of purchasing.  Don't you want to make sure you are not overpaying for the property?  Please call or txt me at (512)786-SELL/7355.

A lending story - almost a series of unfortunate events

I don't usually blog about my real experience lending scenarios but this transaction I am currently working on right now did not only make the headache list but is surely worth blogging about.  This transaction is definitely a good reason why we are in this real estate financial mess that we are in right now.

For the purpose of keeping the transaction confidential, I am going to refer the banks, loan officers and buyers names anonymous.  The timeliness and dates may be off a day or so.

My buyers, George and Joe are investors and partners and have asked my assistance in purchasing a VA foreclosure property.  The foreclosure property located in 123 Main St is owned by Bank One.  Bank One happens to have a great program for purchasing VA foreclosures called VA Vendee financing which required my buyers, as investors, to put only 5% downpayment.  This was particulary attractive to them as it would allow them to purchase other investment properties without tying down a large amount of money into one investment property.  They were pre-qualified into the program before we made an offer on 123 Main St.

Headache 1: Perhaps headache 1 was a symptom and needed to be cured on the first day.  Well, like a common cold, perhaps simply taking aspirin would have made it go away.  Well, we didn't know it was going to be a deadly disease. 
The offer was made end of October and it took a good month of counter offers before we reached into an agreement.  The first offer took about 2 weeks before Bank One's asset manager responded.  The agreed price included a seller's concession, seller to pay home warranty and a closing date of 12/22.  Everything was good except Bank One wanted a closing date of 12/9.  The listing agent said not to worry as we were given 45 days to close due to this type of loan.  Just put in 45 days in the VA Purchase contract.

Headache 2: The VA Purchase contract and amendment was completed as negotiated.  It was submitted to the listing agent for signature only to return 2 days later with 2 changes from the Bank: a closing date of 12/9 and the home warranty was crossed out.

Headache 3: Nice to know but what happend to what we agreed upon?  Naturally, we cross out their changes and put back what we originally agreed on but since time has ticking, we asked for a 12/30 closing date and the home warranty back.

Headache 4: 2 Weeks have passed, the contract has not been receipted with the title company as suddenly the asset manager has gone MIA without a response on our changes.  Then I receive a frantic call from the listing agent stating that the bank will pull the property and put it in auction if we don't get the contract receipted today.  Great, how about our changes?  So I get another amendment done with just the 2 changes.

Headache 5:  Great, the amendment gets signed but Bank One has changed the closing date again to 12/17 with an extra "last and final" comment.  In the meantime, our original loan officer was promoted and the file was moved to a 2nd loan officer.

Headache 6: Loan officer #2 Now has gone MIA!  Daily emails to her for one and a half weeks and no response.  I could not stand to be quiet anymore and ask Loan officer #1 for assistance who pacify's me with the words "nothing to worry about, we have plenty of time".

Headache 7:  I receive an email from the title company saying we are out of contract though I have been waiting for another amendment to be signed with a 12/30 date.

Headache 8: Now the file moves to loan officer #3 which by the way, #2 never ever replied to our emails for status.  #3 responds immediately and within a few days asks for more documents from George and Joe.  Great! #1 said we were ready to rock and roll and now, more docs?  Ok, the documents get submitted to Bank One and I get an email stating the file has been submitted to underwriting on 12/17.

Headache 9: Could it be possible that there could be more trouble in this deal?  Alright, in order to close by 12/30, the clear to close would have received by 12/27 but it appears that the file sat on the underwriter's desk since 12/17 without activity!!! Oh yeah! You are reading this right.  So we ask for another extension of 1/5/2011.  Whatever happend to the words from loan officer #1, "we have plenty of time"?

Headache 10:  In order to receive an extension for 1/5, the listing agent needed a letter of update from the loan officer she could present to the asset manager.  I ask for this letter and loan officer #3's response is "we are not allowed to supply such letter".  Excuse me, your bank's asset manager is asking for this letter and you, from the same bank, will not supply such a letter?  Oh, that's just too cruel!  Is this corporate America?  Oh yeah it is.  So I go with what I have and we get an extension for 1/5.

Headache 11: It is now 1/3 and there is still no sign of loan approval for George and Joe. No update from underwriting either except the fact that it has been put on rush!  You would think?  If you only did your job on day 1, we wouldn't need to rush it!!!!  So on 1/4 I receive an email saying, no we are not closing tomorrow.  I ask when she thinks we will close so I don't have to ask for an extension 6 more times, no definitive answer.  None at all.

Headache 12: Oh yeah, more to come!  So listing agent asks for another status letter, oh the letter Bank One won't provide to go with the extension for 1/10.  I provide what I have, which basically says, still in underwriting.  Then on 1/5, I get an email saying, since I did not provide a status letter, Bank One will not give us an extension, property is going back in the market.  Heck!  What?!!!

Headache 13: Yeah, the list goes on.  I forward the email to loan officer #3 saying, because of your lack of response, cooperation and untimeliness, my buyer is out of contract.  Give me what your bank wants this morning or my buyers lose their earnest money.  Then #3 replies, we have clear to close and that  I needed to provide her an extension of closing amendment to proceed with the closing documents.

Headache 14: No, there is no celebration yet.  Did you read that?  They need the extension amendment in order to proceed with the closing documents.  Have you ever heard of that? Since when?  So we ask how many days she needs to get the closing docs done and how many days does the title company need to get the docs to the seller.   All in all 6 days, I calculate and ask for an extension until 1/17.

Headache 15: Joe is really needing to close by the 7th as he will be leaving the country on business.  So we get a Power of Attorney drawn up by the title company only to be disapproved by the lender.  So Joe goes out again to get another POA notarized.  Then Joe finds out that the original needs to be mailed to the lender.  What? Since when?  But the title company needs the original to file it with the County.  So for the third time, Joe goes back and gets another POA notarized for the title company.  The title company and I both scratch our heads to find out why the lender needs the original.

Headache 16: 2 days go by, part of my 6 days estimate, still no extension from the asset manager.  Meanwhile loan officer #3 is emailing looking for the amendment to proceed.  A little catch 22 here huh? Excuse me, but aren't you noting that one amendment took 2 weeks to sign?  Urgh!  Then the amendment comes back, no surprise but the date of 1/17 crossed out replaced by a 1/14 date.

Headache 17: So it takes the lender one day to get the docs to the title, and it takes title and the lender the entire day to get the HUD1 approved.  One day?  Average I have seen is 30 minutes.  But a whole day?  So it eats up the whole day we needed to submit the docs to the seller for approval.

Headache 18: It is the day before closing and the lender still will not release the closing docs to the title company because we do not have HUD approval from the seller.  Another what?  Since when does the lender need seller approval to release the docs?  I reconfirm this with the title company and they have never heard of this either.  So I email the title company, you better go get those docs now.

At the closing day:  Ok, still no approval from the seller but the lender releases the docs to the title company.  The seller approves the HUD on the morning of the closing.  I meet George at the title company where we are greeted with news that the original POA from the lender arrived this morning.  I knew it!  The lender did not need it and we have an extra original POA which was not required.  Unbelievable.  So the closing goes well, almost too well and the loan funds only a few minutes later.  We all talk about getting silly drunk but we were just too drained and tired.  The buyer is happy he got a 4% loan from the bank with only 5% downpayment! 

So I ask George if all this hassle and bustle was worth it?  Well he thinks about it carefully and gives me a smile.  So I guess that means a yes and I'll go ahead and search for more VA foreclosures once I get back to the office.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

PJ's ODD REAL ESTATE JOKE - Who wants to move in with me?

Double click on the photo to view this month's Odd joke from me.  Move in with me?

Final 2010 Real Estate Statistics for Austin, TX

Okay Austinites, here are the final statistics for 2010.  In December 2010, residential sales of single family homes were down 3% in Austin compared to last December. In Lake Travis (includes Lakeway, Bee Caves and Spicewood), residential sales were down 13% compared to last December.

I have to say that December real estate was not quiet here in Austin.  The sales have finally picked up especially offers with my short sales.  It was a very interesting month and I have no idea why things finally picked up.  I saw plenty of cash buyers, mostly investors.

It was very interesting to see the slight increase in sales.  Come on, a 3% decline compared to last year isn't bad at all.  I wonder what 2011 will bring us?  Do you think that this is a good sign for our economy?