Posts tagged charlotesville

Short Sales Might be Getting Easier (maybe)

Short sales still comprise parts of the Charlottesville area real estate market; in some segments they are a greater percentage, in others they are nearly nonexistent. I’m sharing this information with you so that you can be as well informed as possible. Short sales remain an adventure – for buyers, sellers and their Realtors – and hopefully this settlement signals some progress.*

You may have heard about the $25 billion mortgage settlement … for a look at some of the critical numbers in the settlement, ProPublica has a great breakdown, including:

60-200: documents signed daily by different individual loan processors working for Bank of America, according to the government audit.

12-18 inches: height of the stacks of documents one Bank of America employee signed “without a review.”

$1 million: fine to be levied on the banks for each violation of the terms of the overall settlement, escalating to $5 million for repeat violations. (Exactly how fines will be tallied is still unclear.)

But did you know that the settlement ostensibly makes short sales, often the bane of existence who are fans of things happening in a timely fashion, logic, reason and accountability … better?

The NAR put together these takeaways from the mortgage settlement. As Sarah says, these may become helpful reality or they might be representative of another shiny unicorn that does nothing other than frustrate us — these are only for the top 5 banks, not all of the servicers, of which there are many.

1. Short Sale Timeline. The settlement contains short sale standards that are similar to the Treasury Department’s Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative, or HAFA, program. A number of these standards will improve the short sale process including making short sale requirements publicly available, development of co-op programs to evaluate short sales prior to marketing the home, and the implementation of a 30-day response requirement after receipt of all required information and third party consents.

2. No Dual Tracking. As part of the settlement, the five servicers will no longer be able to proceed with a foreclosure sale if a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure has been approved by all parties (first lien investor, junior lien holder, and mortgage insurer, as applicable) and proof of funds or financing has been provided to the servicer. Servicers will also face strict foreclosure referral guidelines if borrowers have requested a loan modification.

3. Single Point of Contact. NAR has long called on servicers to establish a single point of contact for borrowers. This provision will not only assist in maintaining consistency and coordination of loss mitigation options, but will reduce the amount of time agents and brokers spend discussing individual short sale files with new negotiators.

4. Establishment of Loan Portal. Though processes have recently improved, many members report that lost documents requiring multiple submissions continue to cause delays. The five servicers have agreed to consolidate information for borrowers by developing online loan portals that will provide borrowers with access to information, eligibility factors for loss mitigation programs, and inform borrowers of required documentation that is missing.

5. Strong Enforcement Mechanism. The success of a number of well-intentioned programs has been hampered by voluntary servicer participation and a seemingly lack of compliance oversight. The five national banks party to the settlement will be required to regularly report compliance to an independent, outside monitor that reports to state attorneys general. State attorneys general and the U.S. Department of Justice can seek redress if the banks don’t follow the settlement terms.

Sarah Stelmok in Fredericksburg’s excellent post on the new short sale guidelines spurred this post.

* I doubt it.

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Making Sense of it All – Where Is the Charlottesville Real Estate Market Going?

At the very least, I would venture to say that with housing starts and homebuilders’ stocks failing to reach new lows after hitting bottom well over a year ago, one can say with some degree of confidence that we have seen the worst of the housing recession.

…This trend — increased “outflow” and slightly reduced “inflow” foreclosure activity — means that lenders and loan servicers are 1) giving up on modifying mortgages when the borrower can’t pay, and instead repossessing homes and auctioning them off, but also 2) trying to manage the foreclosure pipeline to minimize the downward pressure on home prices. … For starters, a multiyear tidal wave of foreclosure sales has been inevitable ever since the housing bubble burst: Too many people had mortgages they couldn’t afford to pay, mortgages with a face value higher than the home’s new market price. … And then I’m hearing that: – There are 7 million foreclosures in the pipeline – what might those do to housing prices? – Some banks are seeking to vacate the lending business altogether. (from a conversation, no link) – Banks are delaying short sales in anticipation of Here’s the problem with politics – while I appreciate the necessity to achieve a “balancing act” it’s time to make a decision.

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Local Food in Charlottesville and Albemarle

The more I delve into and learn about the food system, local food, where our food comes from, the more convinced I become that real estate – my chosen path – is a huge component to the food system. … Albemarle loosens some key regulations : A pair of zoning amendments adopted Wednesday by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors will make it easier for farms and wineries to sell their products. … Previously, Albemarle restricted the amount of people allowed to attend events held at wineries to no more than 150 people, and restricted such events to no more than 12 a year.   UVA Planning Students audit area food systems : For each of the past five years, students in Tanya Denckla Cobb and Timothy Beatley’s class have examined different aspects of how this community obtains its food.

… There are at least nine Farmers’ Markets in Charlottesville and Albemarle: Charlottesville City Market ( ) Charlottesville Holiday Market Crozet Farmers Market Earlysville Farmers Market Farmers in the Park Forest Lakes Farmers Market Scottsville Farmers Market The Market at Pen Park Whole Foods Farmers Market

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School Values and Housing Prices – Specifically in Albemarle County

In an effort to get my head around the numbers, I have prepared the attached spreadsheet which evaluates (to the best of my ability with the data available) , the impact of the different budget scenarios and what different property tax rate increases necessary to close the funding gap.

…At this point in the process, I don’t like trying to address a budget challenge by manipulating the tax rate, but I think the public deserves some factual information about the different scenarios and how that might impact their personal pocketbooks.

ɉۢ In the best case state funding scenario , a property tax rate of 81.9 cents would balance the budget and increase ANNUAL tax payments by $146.19 for the median priced home when compared to 2009.

…1 However, the strength of the consensus is puzzling, given the formidable empirical challenges facing any homeowner or empirical researcher seeking to answer the question carefully.2 First, good schools usually come bundled with other neighborhood qualities– such as proximity to employment, shopping and recreational conveniences and neighborhood peers.

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Nest’s Growth is Good

The move combines two of Charlottesville’s most successful real estate firms and expands the 1-year-old Nest Realty team to 14 full-time real estate professionals. It also paves the way for Nest to expand its services from a primary focus on residential real estate into commercial real estate and leasing. … … All agents must have a minimum of three years experience, practice real estate full-time and earn their Broker’s license shortly after joining the firm. With almost $4.7 million in sales per agent and 13.75 transactions per agent, Nest Realty agents more than doubled the production for the average Charlottesville Realtor in 2009.

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Twitter Week in Review – Some Real Estate Conversations, Some Off-Topic

Great caller on @ CSPAN just now “throw them all the hell out and start a *real* third party” response “…and we’ll leave it right there” 🙂 #

… @ jolenta Long day of showing ahead tomorrow; I’ll get it done tonight w/ @docusign’s help and be done. in reply to jolenta #

… #SMCCVille’s Event today – Traditional Media and Social Media – If you can’t make it, ask questions using # SMCCVille #

… RT @tgonser: @ JimDuncan Dying to know the answer to “I love DocuSign but…” The blog image shows a red x.[try this ] #

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