'Cash for Clunkers' & 'Making Home Affordable' Updates

One of the Administration's programs intended to stimulate the economy is the Cash For Clunkers program (http://www.cars.gov/ for more information). By all accounts it appears to be a huge success. It's a pretty straight forward program and easy to maneuver through the qualifications. Approved to run through November, the initial $1Billion was gone in about a week! (It should be noted that the original legislation called for $4Billion but only $1Billion was allocated) More than 245,000 new vehicles were sold. Due to the overwhelming response Congress approved another $2Billion hoping to take the program through Labor Day.

My husband and I had looked into taking advantage of this program to trade in our old gas guzzling clunker for a more fuel efficient replacement. We ran into a huge snag however because the specific vehicle we had wanted was nowhere to be found.

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The Real Estate Market is Showing Signs of Life!

I've been busy the past couple of months and so have many of my collegues. Buyers are starting to come back! It's a perfect storm; prices are very attractive, there's a first time home buyer tax credit up to $8,000, and interest rates are still low.

What's selling? With many first time home buyers beginning to shop homes priced under $250,000 are the best sellers. As always, the sharpest homes that are priced well are the ones able to attract buyers. Recently I've participated in multiple bid offers where the parties offered more than the listing price. It's reminded me of the peak real estate market not too long ago. But the similarity ends there. Closing any transaction successfully, in this environment is not easy. The real estate world has been turned on it's head. More than ever, it's important to have a highly experienced Realtor and Lender helping you navigate these waters.

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New White House Program for Distressed Homeowners

There's new help available to homeowners who 1) Could not refinance to the lower interest rates currently available because their loan balance exceeded their market value and 2) are, or soon will become delinquent in their mortgage payments due to substantial financial changes in their household.

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Rates Below 5%, Attractive Home Values, Tax Incentives...

Although the market has been tough for several months now, there are a few opportunities that I feel are too valuable not to share with you. If you have any questions or I can help you or anyone you know, please don't hesitate to contact me!

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Interest Rate Drop Alert!

Mortgage rates dropped substantially this morning. I'm seeing 30 year fixed rate conventional loans below 5.50%! With these low rates, I would expect to see a rise in refinancing and home purchasing by buyers sitting on the fence looking for "the bottom" in the real estate market.

The Federal Reserve and Treasury Department has unveiled a plan today to pump $800 billion into the economy to help jumpstart lending by banks to consumers and small businesses.

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What Happened to the Rental Market?

I'm experienced with owning rental property and keep a close watch on the rental market. At the beginning of this housing crisis there was an increasing demand for rental property, primarily due to an influx of displaced homeowners who could no longer afford their mortgage payments who were now renters. They needed 1,500+sqft homes at a monthly rental rate between $1,100 - $1,395 tops. They needed the space they couldn't afford to own; for example, a newer $1,500 sqft home had the average price tag of about $240,000 which would have equated to a $1,850 monthly payment with minimum down.

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