Thursday, January 27, 2011

More About Real Estate Short Sales

The real estate short sale market has grown exponentially in the wake of the real estate crunch. Statistics from mortgage servicer Fannie Mae show that short sales and foreclosures have gone up steadily in the past four years, and with the new spate of foreclosures said to take hold later this year, distressed homes are expected to take up a much bigger portion of the market. Here are some recent statistics for a quick look at today’s real estate short sale market.

More Homes In Default

Of the 30.7 million mortgages held by Fannie Mae, 921,000 are over 60 days in default, and another 644,700 were 90 days or more behind. This was before the loan modification and short sale programs took effect, and the servicer then addressed the problem by enacting a foreclosure/eviction freeze. This was followed by a loan modification effort that resulted in 23,777 modified loans toward the end of the year. The short sale option offered today is expected to help prevent even more foreclosures.
Short Sale And Foreclosure Ratio

A 2008 report shows that for every successful short sale, eight other homes started foreclosure proceedings. To many experts, it’s a sign of the inefficiency of lenders when it comes to the short sale process. Many of them were ill-prepared for the wave of defaults and did not have adequate loan modification experience. So for much of 2008 and 2009, the helpful home-saving programs were an uphill climb for borrowers. Fortunately, both programs have since been largely improved.
Government Real Estate Short Sale Program

One thing that helped refine the process is Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA), the government’s own program and partner to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), a previous initiative focusing on loan modifications. HAFA allows homeowners who have been rejected for HAMP to pursue a short sale following a streamlined process. These efforts have since reached thousands of struggling homeowners and helped them steer clear of foreclosure.
Future Outlook for Homeowners

Lenders and government officials agree that the short-sales will play a vital role in market recovery in the years to come. Every sale means that a foreclosure has been prevented, and that losses have been curbed for both lender and borrower. As more borrowers seek alternatives in the coming foreclosure wave, there may be more demand for short sale solutions, and the government is making sure lenders are ready for it.
This guest post was written by a professional short sale/ real estate agent experienced in 
helping distressed owners, or those who want to sell for any reason. People who are having difficulty but want to keep their home may find information that is useful on his website at
For information on Myrtle Beach short-sales,  visit the C21 Harrelson Group website.
For Albuquerque short sales, visit the Albuquerque Real Estate Group's website.
Realtor Jan Bradshaw helps with Lake Greenwood SC foreclosures and short-sales.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Home is a Home is a Home...maybe

Little River Inn Resort
Not too long ago I did a long, involved, and rather heavily researched blog on manufactured houses and modular homes.  I ended up with a much healthier respect for how this type of housing is built and to what standards they are held now.

The Sun News did an article last year about the market for these "mobile homes" (which is not the correct word for what they are talking about) saying that sales for manufactured homes in Myrtle Beach were actually UP recently in the Grand Strand. One local company reported a sales increase of 15% in 2010.

To quote a manufacturer of modular homes in Pennsylvania from my other blog, here's a description of the terms and how they are rated:

"Over our 40-year history, Riverview Homes has sold mobile homes, manufactured homes, modular homes, two stories, sectional homes, single-wides, trailers, double trailers, triple-wides, double-high, etc.", he begins. "In the end what we have really sold is either a home built to the HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) building code or to a State building code. In Pennsylvania, we build single family homes to the IRC (International Residential Code). In Pennsylvania, modular homes are built to the IRC and manufactured homes or mobile homes are built to the HUD code."

Wikipedia defines a similar difference. It says that typically a modular home is built to local state or council code, so it can actually have a different construction standard depending on the state where it will be located. Modular homes built for final placement in a hurricane-prone area can have additional bracing built in to make it more safe. Surprisingly, it says that after FEMA studied the destruction done by Hurricane Andrew, they concluded that modular and masonry built homes fared better than any other construction.

The Sun News article suppositioned that the increase in Myrtle Beach real estate sales of manufactured housing was due to a price usually under 100K, and the new government incentives going on at the time. It applied to these homes as well as traditional "built on the spot" homes.

All this being said, I had a friend who was married to a guy who sold Clayton Homes here locally, and while the inside of it was nice, (it even had a fireplace) the outside somehow reminded me of a life-sized Barbie doll house. It had this underpinning that was supposed to look like rock, but was made from fiberglass or plastic and LOOKED exactly like what it was. I was not impressed.

And unless you buy the land 20 miles from the beach, you're still going to end up paying a good bit for that...or worse, renting the land itself.

I guess it's all what you were raised with. I'm partial to a condo for myself anyway, but I was raised in an older wood and brick home, with parents who very much disdained what everyone called a "trailer" back in the day. Modular homes back then were pictured as very small, one piece "cottages" which are very popular in Florida. I did always think I'd like one of them, but have never seen one up close...unless you count the "villas" they have in the campgrounds such as Pirateland.

Either way, and no matter what Wikipedia says, I wouldn't want to be sitting in one when there was a hurricane within about 200 miles from it. My Allstate agent in Myrtle Beach doesn't offer SC homeowners insurance on what they consider a mobile home, (having a title instead of a deed) or unless it is "frameless". You would almost certainly be in one of our wind zones - I don't know of any place inside the Myrtle Beach or NMB city limits that would allow one. So there would be even more cost for wind and hail insurance. I'll stick with my condo in Myrtle Beach.