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Something we will be trying to do this year is periodically feature local businesses, people and events that we think are just worth talking about. NO ONE IS PAYING US FOR THESE PLUGS!

We did that in this episode with Town & Country Bank. These guys are just plain "cool" and their "Concierge Banking" is banking like you've never imagined! Check them out in our video.

Now the question on MANY people's minds right now is this: "What is in store for St. George Real Estate?"

It's a question that could be answered with many other questions, but here is my 2-cents as we plow into 2010 in earnest.

5 Reasons St. George Real Estate will Survive (and eventually THRIVE)

  1. Affordability – In 2007 only 20% of homes in Washington County were affordable based on national guidelines....TWENTY PERCENT! Recent data tells us that we are now at 60% and climbing.
  2. Safety - In a recent Farmer's Insurance study on safety, Washington County was ranked #1 in safety for communities under 150,000 residents. Have you READ the news about violent crime in other cities lately?
  3. Baby Boomers – This group continues to flee places like Phoenix and Palm Springs to capture what those communities were 30 years ago. St. George is it.
  4. Investors – I have said multiple times in recent months: When savvy investors begin to pay full (list) price on certain listed properties, you know that prices are getting back where they need to be. You would be SHOCKED at how many transactions in 2009 were full CASH deals!
  5. Fresh Pool of Buyers – These are the people that did NOT buy in the "hay-day" market of the mid-2000's. Instead, they continued to further their careers, pay down debt, and save for bigger down payments. As such, there is an entirely NEW pool of QUALIFIED Buyers looking to purchase a home!

There you have it, Jeremy Larkin 101 on why St. George Real estate will continue to be something worth while to live, work and invest in.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE: 

 

HUD Loosens Guidelines on "Flips" and Foreclosure Re-sales

by Chantry Abbott, SGI Mortgage

This has been a long time coming. On February 1st HUD will relax their rules and allow buyers to get an FHA loan on homes that are owned by the seller for less than 90 days – a move that will help expedite the rehabilitation and resale of foreclosure properties.

In English? After the "go-go" market of the mid 2000's and a ton of property "flipping", the government came out and said "you can't buy a home and flip it until you have owned it for 90 days." They call this "seasoning" and as is implied, it is designed to keep people from buying a home, inflating the price above market, then flipping it again.

After a long period of that rule in place, they've realized it is hampering the market.

"Property Flipping", or "Upside Down House?" (real estate humor!)

In a housing market where tighter lending requirements have made FHA financing the only option for some buyers, this 90-day policy has (1) kept some homebuyers from being able to purchase affordable homes and (2) prevented the quick resale of foreclosed properties, which affects the ability of communities to stabilize and rebuild.

If you are an Investor looking to flip homes: This change is great news because you can now go STRAIGHT to marketing the home in the MLS, etc immediately after purchasing rather than waiting 90 days.

If you are a Buyer looking for your next home: This change is great news because many of these investors put their homes back on the market at below-market prices to ensure a quick sale and naturally this will add to your options as a Buyer.

"FHA borrowers, because of the restrictions we are now lifting, have often been shut out from buying affordable properties," said FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens. "This action will enable our borrowers, especially first-time buyers, to take advantage of this opportunity."

To ensure FHA borrowers are protected from inflated prices, the policy has certain restrictions, including:

  • All transactions must be arms-length and there can be no identity of interest between the buyer and seller (i.e. their business partners, cousins, aunts, uncles, siblings, etc.)
  • If the sales price of the property is 20 percent or more above the seller's acquisition cost, the lender must meet specific conditions for the waiver to apply. (referring to fact that an investor with buying power of CASH may buy a home for $180k at auction, then be able to sell in open "retail" market at $200k+)
  • The temporary waiver will be in effect for a period of one year, unless extended or withdrawn by the FHA.

It's easy to knock the government for being overly involved, but this is a well-placed effort on their part that should do much good for the market.

*Guest Blogger Chantry Abbott is Mortgage Professional with SGI Mortgage and knows his stuff! He is also skilled in handling reverse mortgages and loan modifications. He can be reached directly at chantabbott@gmail.com or 435-979-1775.

Part 2 of 52...really! FIFTY-TWO!!! As promised, every single week in 2010 we are doing a brief video update on what is either "going on" in the market,  or of exactly what we are up to and facing in the current REO / Short Sale distress market. I'm referring to the actual day to day "slog" of working with banks, trashing out stinky house, etc.

This week Jeremy & team show a brief clip of a new bank foreclosure asset inspection. He broke his AAA card trying to gain access ahead of the locksmith. This home was built in 1947. You CANNOT break into old homes, but the new ones are easy. "They don't make em' like they used to" is the proper description!?!

If you didn't receive this video as part of our "insider's" email list, you will be missing out on our brand new listings, price reductions, and brand new bank foreclosures PRIOR to the rest of the market seeing them! Shoot me a msg to larkin@gostgeorge.com to get added!

2010 St. George, UT Real Estate "Insider's Report"

by Jeremy Larkin

With this post the Larkin Group is officially kicking off our 2010 weekly "Insider's Report" series dedicated to St. George, Utah real estate. YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS!!

It will look like this:

  • Every Tuesday, 52 weeks of the year, come rain or shine
  • ONLY every Tuesday. No spam, just a great report you can count on weekly, no more, no less.

WILL CONSIST OF THE FOLLOWING:

  • 3 to 5 minute video "interpretation" of market (not just a bunch of stats you don't understand)
  • Every single new Larkin Group listing & price reduction
  • HERE IS THE REALLY FUN PART!: Every one of our "pre-market" bank foreclosures 2-4 weeks in ADVANCE of them hitting the market. This means our friends and clients will be truly getting "1st dibbs" on inside information.

That's it, and we promise to keep it interesting if you promise to give us some feedback.

Onward into 2010....

 

 

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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Photo of Jeremy Larkin - The Larkin Group Real Estate
Jeremy Larkin - The Larkin Group
Keller Williams Realty
50 E 100 S, Suite 300
St. George UT 84770
435.767.9886
Fax: 435-359-5085

St. George Real Estate - Your premier destination for St. George,Utah Real Estate Listings, Home Values, MLS Search, REO/Foreclosure Info &  St. George Real Estate Statistics.  Serving St. George, Santa Clara, Ivins, Washington, Hurricane, LaVerkin, Toquerville & more! Specializing in REO/foreclosure properties, frustrated Sellers, First-Time home buyers, and Investors. Looking for the most LOCAL St. George, Utah real estate information available? Your search is over!