Saturday, November 27, 2010

New How-To Home Buying Videos were just release at the National Association of Realtors

New How-To Home Buying Videos were just release at the National Association of Realtors

Three new how-to home buying videos were just released at the National Association of Realtors Convention in New Orleans. HUD produced the three consumer education videos in coordination with NAR. The videos help educate the consumer on shopping for a home they can afford, a mortgage they can sustain, and what to expect when its time to close escrow.

“Educating consumers about the home buying process is at the heart of what Realtors® do,” said 2010 National Association of Realtors® President Vicki Cox Golder at the video release announcement. “Informed home buyers create the conditions necessary for responsible, sustainable home ownership, and we’re very happy to be a part of this project.” Here’s a summary of the three videos:

Shopping for your Home – The home buying process begins with finding a place you’ll want to call home. This video instructs viewers on assessing how much of a home they can afford, how to work with a real estate agent and what happens once they find the home they want to buy.

Shopping for your Loan – Once you’ve found the right home, the next step is to shop for a loan. This video helps consumers use the good faith estimate (GFE), a form that spells out the terms of a loan offer, to shop for the best loan for them. Consumers learn how to use the GFE to determine how long an interest rate is available for a particular loan and how to identify key loan terms and costs of a particular loan offer.

Closing the Deal – This video walks consumers through the actual closing process including how to make sure the loan they were offered closely matches what they receive. Of particular interest, HUD will walk the viewer through the HUD-1 Settlement Statement and demonstrate ways for the consumer to compare their actual costs with those on their Good Faith Estimate.

The videos are accessible from both HUD and NAR’s websites. Additionally, HUD has a youtube site that is easy to use, They are free, informative, and could make a difference to you in your home buying process. Check them out. All it takes is one good bit of information that helps you in your home buying undertaking to make the time worth your while.

Our Advice: First time home Buyers will find these videos informative and helpful. During the release announcement, a HUD spokesman said, “These videos go a long way in identifying key aspects of the home buying process that a consumer should be aware of. Our goal is help make the process more transparent through educating consumers who in turn can make informed choices about their home purchase. We partnered with NAR because a real estate agent is often the primary point of contact for homebuyers and we believe real estate agents are in a great position to provide these videos to their clients as they move through key areas in the home buying process.”

Between the videos and your good agent you’ll have a more informed and therefore a more confident, pleasing experience. So pop some popcorn to watch the videos with, and get ready to buy a house! Prices and rates are great! These are the good ole days – don’t miss out.
When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs… Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, CDPE, SFR, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-5472.,

Lisa Wetzel and Jim Valentine are the authors of this blog. Lisa, Jim and Jessie are experts in Carson Valley , Carson City and the tri-county area of Douglas County , Carson City and Lyon County. Call our team anytime at 775-781-5472 or 775-781-3704. To Search for Homes go to: Carson Valley Listing Book or visit our website at or

Friday, November 26, 2010

Reflections Of Thanks And Gratitude

Reflections Of Thanks And Gratitude

This is the time of year for giving thankful reflections of gratitude and we have many. We are thankful for the ultra low interest rates helping so many right now to buy or refinance. We are thankful for realistic Sellers; Buyers buying with confidence; Real estate agents that are helping Buyers and Sellers gain perspective to navigate these challenging times and not whining as they help them accomplish their goals; The deliberate efforts to understand and effect Short Sales by Sellers, Lenders, and Buyers.

We are thankful for the renewed opportunity for young families to obtain home ownership and enjoy the American Dream of home ownership due to the low prices today; For the young people that are having the confidence to step up and buy a home; For the loan programs available to them that, combined with the current low interest rates and low homes prices, make for a truly magical buying experience. We are thankful for cooperative lenders that understand Borrowers are often the victim of circumstances these days and are treating them with more compassion and understanding. Many governmental agencies and departments have adjusted their practices in recognition of the need for leniency by developers and builders and we are thankful for their understanding.

We are thankful for the natural beauty and wonderful people of our communities; the wonderful life enhancing opportunities available for our children such as Pop Warner football and cheerleading and the many other superb youth organizations filled with great civic-minded volunteers; We are thankful that the Youth are still and always important in our communities, and that Values are respected and a way of life for most. We are thankful for our many Seniors that stay active in the community and impart their experience and wisdom along the way so we don’t lose our way. The large network of compassionate social services for those down on their luck is something to be truly greatful for.

We are thankful that we can still enjoy free concerts in the park; That people still stop to help one another; People still say hello to strangers with a smile. Drivers are courteous – let you in rather than cut you off. We are thankful for the incredible strength of our community as we suffer together the sickness or passing of loved ones and help them recover or celebrate their life; The right to vote and the many freedoms we enjoy in this great country of ours.

Our Advice: Be thankful for your health, your family and your community. Be thankful for the strength and understanding to carry on when you have a hiccup in the well-being of one of the above. Be thankful for the ability to learn the lessons coming to you during such times, and the good that will result. Every cloud has a silver lining … every cloud. Be a shining example of gratitude and be thankful for what is … not resentful for what isn’t. The real estate market is what it is today, not what it was yesterday, or what it will be tomorrow. Be thankful you can establish your priorities and keep the reality of real estate challenges you might be encountering in perspective – its only money and, thankfully, you can get it back. You can’t get back health and the time with your family so be thankful you can keep them both strong now while you weather the storm.

These are the good old days… be thankful we can share them together. We are very grateful to have so much to be thankful for. When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs… Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, CDPE, SFR, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-5472. ,

Eagle Ridge At Genoa ... Executive Homesites $150,000 to $170,000

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Prices between $150,000 - $170,000 - call for specific lot prices and details.

The developers of Eagle Ridge at Genoa have, like all of us, been weathering the storm of a declining economy and housing market. While remaining completely committed to the project that has been their focus and passion for the past six years, the developers are now compelled to restructure their ownership position.

The restructuring includes the retirement of debt to enable the developers to remain significant investors and owners in the project while working through these stressful economic times. To accomplish their goal it is essential that they sell lots, and the only way to sell lots in these times is to incentivize Buyers such that they can’t pass up buying their dream lot, or make a good investment by buying one, or more. The best incentive being price, the developers are offering a limited number of lots at unbelievable prices, THE SALE.

Opportunities like this don’t come along often, and are talked about for years afterwards by the fortunate ones to capitalize on them.

THE SALE of Eagle Ridge at Genoa will be talked about for years to come. The developers will retain approximately one third of the lots they own. Their continued investment and participation in the development are sure signs of their commitment to the project, and that they will take care to protect their significant investment … and yours.

Acreage: 3 - 9 acre homesites
Zoning: Single Family
Sewerage: County Sewer
Water: County Water system
Subdivision: Eagle Ridge at Genoa
School District: Douglas County School District
Agent Name: Lisa Wetzel and Jim Valentine
Broker: John Fisher
MLS #: several
Protective CCR's: Yes - Eamil forcomplete package

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tales From The Trenches in Northern Nevada Real Estate

Tales From The Trenches in Northern Nevada Real Estate

Frustrated or confused in this market? Consider some of these recent experiences, all true stories. Think your lender is giving you fits? How about this one – A couple was looking to refinance their home to take advantage of the new low rates. They were seeking $100,000 on an appraised value of $360,000, 28% Loan to Value. Their credit scores, husband and wife, are 840 and 820 (not a typo) respectively. They were turned down. Why? The stated reason is because they are tearing out their deck and replacing it with a patio, and they used two pieces of siding on their expansion that didn’t match the rest of the home. This is the same asset that the company is already using to secure a higher rate loan. True story. Think the lender didn’t want to give up a higher rate loan? They are appealing to upper management and to their Senator.

We had a Buyer write full price on a bank-owned property. Excellent agent on the other side, no problem, right? Fourteen days later the madness continues. Some adventures along the way: Lender countered with 10% down to a Buyer that is getting a 100% loan. The next Counter they allowed the 100% loan, but said the transaction wasn’t conditioned on the Buyer getting a loan. The last go ‘round included the bank removing the agents’ selling fees. Sound like the asset manager was punching the wrong buttons on the portal, or simply didn’t know what he was doing? Either way, the Buyer has been on an unnecessary roller coaster ride.

We wrote full price on another bank-owned property. They countered one item because “they had to” – the close of escrow. They extended it from 15 days to 30-plus. The Buyers went along and we proceeded. A week later the bank started requesting an early close. They had it to begin with, held up the acceptance to counter with an extended closing, and then reversed their course. This after they took days to accept and then demanded acceptance within 24 hours. This last item is very common these days with bank owned properties.

Then there’s the ex-wife that won’t sign docs for a short sale. Refused to cooperate. She recently went to buy a new home and is running in to problems with her loan because of the late payments on her old home that the ex got in the divorce. They could have been minimized if she would have cooperated 9 months ago when he was current but struggling! She’s threatening suit on the ex-husband because he couldn’t make the payments after he lost his job. Remember, they bought the house on both of their incomes, he now has zero income. Hmmm – what’s a judge to do?

Our Advice: These are just snippets of what’s going on around town. There are many, many more examples that are simply jawdroppers. Hard to believe, but it is the reality and must be dealt with. Whether buying or selling, it more important than ever to have a good seasoned agent to help you navigate this tumultuous Market. It is important to stay calm, stay focused, and proceed to your objective. Things are really quite exciting right now and you can be a part of it – just be ready for surprises.

Keep your eye on your goal and don’t get emotionally wrapped up in the brushes of insanity you’ll experience along the way. Make sure it doesn’t rub off on you and you’ll be just fine. The end game is what counts for you and your family – remember that as you laugh at the ludicrous scenarios that unfold before you and you’ll have fun while you succeed. A good way to live.

When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs… Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, CDPE, SFR, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-5472.,