Good Times, and Bad Times that will get better!

Have you ever had one of those days when you don’t know whether to laugh or cry?

LaughOrCry

Well I had two of those days this week!   And they both seemed to go something like this…..

BadDay

Well maybe not quite THAT bad!

The week had been extremely busy, but quite pleasant up until Thursday evening, when I arrived home to learn that our dear Ruby, the Blue Doberman, had destroyed a couch looking for her damn ball.

Ruby Blue Doberman with Santa Hat

Now lets go to the kitchen to learn that a clogged sink had evolved into a loose drain fitting flange and a heck of a mess – with a house full of company.

cloggedkitchensink

But no big deal, I’ll just run to Home Depot and have it all fixed in no time!  Then the phone rings – my aging mother’s legs are seriously swelling for no reason, so off I go to help.  After getting the swelling to go down, we scheduled an early Doctor’s appointment for her the next morning.  She would have rather died than visit the emergency room anyway.

Okay, making it short…..back home, back to Home Depot, got parts I needed, forgot wallet, back home, back to Home Depot, back home, fixed sink and then realized the grill needed propane.  We finally finished dinner around 10:30 pm.

Friday was going to be much better, I just knew it.  Mom’s appointment was early and would go smoothly, and the rest of the day would fall into place perfectly.  That was the plan.  I open my car door only to see the interior in shambles.  My Ipad was gone, along with my laptop, and briefcase..and who knows what else!  Yes, I left it unlocked.

bad things happen

So true.

 

After spiraling out of control, life pulled back together and all is now well again.

But it isn’t for everyone.  There really are people out here having a tough time, with problems that cannot just go away over night.  Although our economy is on the rebound, there are many still on the cliff.

GOOD NEWS!  The Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) has extended its KEEP MY TN HOME program where it can help many more people keep their home.  If you are unemployed, or underemployed with a 30% decrease in income since 2008, with household income less than $92,680, you may be eligible for up to 18 months of mortgage payment relief – as long as you don’t owe over $275,000 on your home.

If you know someone that is struggling, please let them know of this program.  For more information, visit www.keepmytnhome.org or www.THDA.org.   When someone loses a home, everyone loses.

There are still a few days before Christmas.  Please make the most of it with your friends and family!

have_a_happy_holidayTrey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new home sales in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Gallatin, Clarksville, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreclosure Help: Why not keep your home?

The past several years have been financially hard on many Tennessee families.  Even though the Middle Tennessee economy is rebounding, there are still those that may need a helping hand.

Tennessee is one of 18 states that is receiving funds from the “Hardest Hit Fund.”   The great folks at THDA are the ones administering this program, which is called “Keep My Tennessee Home.”

From the THDA Keep My Tennessee Home website:

Homeowners who qualify for financial assistance may receive up to 18 months of monthly mortgage payments and/or funds to pay past due mortgage payments to bring the mortgage current; these funds are paid directly to the loan servicer/lender.

The program is also expanding to offer temporary assistance to those whose income loss results from medical issues as well.

For more information on this great program, visit www.KeepMyTNHome.org.

This is one program that many people are not aware of.  It is out there and it is available.

Now YOU know.  Others need to know.  Please pass the word!

 

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, Gallatin, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Nashville New Homes: Need a helping hand? Know someone that does?

The past several years have been financially hard on many Tennessee families.  Even though the Middle Tennessee economy is rebounding, there are still those that may need a helping hand.

Tennessee is one of 18 states that is eligible to receive funds from the “Hardest Hit Fund.”   The great folks at THDA are the ones administering this program, which is called “Keep My Tennessee Home.”

From the THDA Keep My Tennessee Home website:

Homeowners who qualify for financial assistance may receive up to 18 months of monthly mortgage payments and/or funds to pay past due mortgage payments to bring the mortgage current; these funds are paid directly to the loan servicer/lender.

To qualify for the Keep My Tennessee Home program, a homeowner must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be unemployed or underemployed (a 30% reduction of income) through no fault of their own. The event or incident which results in unemployment or substantial underemployment must have occurred after Jan. 1, 2008.
  • Have a mortgage for a single-family home or condominium (attached or detached) in Tennessee that they occupy as their primary residence. This includes manufactured homes on foundations permanently affixed to real estate that they own.
  • The combined amount of your mortgage principal, interest, taxes and insurance must be greater than 31% of your household income after the job loss/reduction of income.
  • Not have more than six months’ reserves of liquid assets, that is, liquid assets equal to six months of their mortgage principal, interest, taxes and insurance.
  • Have a household income less than $74,980.
  • Have a total unpaid principal balance not exceeding $226,100.

Above are the basic eligibility criteria. Meeting these criteria does not guarantee eligibility for the Keep My Tennessee Home program.

This is one program that many people are not aware of.  It is out there and it is available. 

Now YOU know.  Others need to know.  Please pass the word!

 

Trey Lewis is VP Sales & Marketing for Ole South Properties Inc, Tennessee’s largest independent home builder,  615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340 or email TLewis@olesouth.com.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, Gallatin, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.

 

Nashville New Homes: The “Short Sale” can of worms.

I was showing one of our brand new Ole South homes this week to a first-time home buyer.  They loved the home and all of its many features, especially the fact that everything was NEW and under warranty too.

They had learned through others that new homes offered the best value for the money, and that in most cases, a new home could be purchased for the same price, or even less, than an older resale home comparable in size and features.  They had looked at other resales, and told me everything that was important to them, even the price range.  Well guess what?  We have the perfect home nearing completion!

This particular home was $169,990, complete with all appliances and closing costs paid.  Using THDA’s Great Start program for first-time homebuyers, their monthly payment, yes PITI, would be approximately $1153 with zero cash out of pocket at closing.  If they chose to place their own down-payment of approximately $5950, their monthly payment would drop to approximately $1076. 

They really liked the -0- down option, but developed a perplexing look on their faces.  They really wanted a NEW home, but there was another home, similar in size, just 2 miles away they had seen online.  It was listed for $84,900.  It was a “short sale.”

They asked, “Just what does that mean?”   I explained the basic process where the bank would hopefully agree to allow the current owner to sell the home for less than the bank was owed on the property.  “You mean to say the bank is going to let them sell that home for 84,900?”  No, not necessarily.  “Then why is it listed for that price?”

Great question.  And we Realtors know the answer.  It is just like fishing.  We know the list price is just to attract a prospect, who will then be encouraged to make an offer, which the bank, at some unknown point in time, will accept or counter.  We all know that in most cases, the bank will not approve a listing price on a pre-foreclosure home until an offer of some kind is on the table.  The general public does NOT know that.

So, in the meantime, those shopping for homes receive a unrealistic picture of home values.  Neighborhoods suffer.  Those trying to sell their homes without financial difficulty suffer.  Zillow’s “z-estimates” seem to pick up on the suffering too, lowering those home values that are automatically calculated.  People believe those values because they saw it on “the internet.”

Okay, let’s go ahead and open the can of worms.

 The “short sale” can be a great alternative to foreclosure and I know many Realtors that are very successful negotiating the sale of homes in this situation.  It can be a win-win situation for all involved, but only if extraordinary levels of patience can be applied.

Let’s be serious.  Wouldn’t our whole real estate economy be better off if a property could not be listed at an arbitrary price that is basically pulled out of the sky?  

Many will disagree, but ANY home listed for sale on our MLS should be able to be purchased at the price listed.  Period. 

Why can’t our MLS require all short sales to be classified a separate way without a list price, followed by the instructions?   Or, if a price has to be present, enter $1.00.  At least that way, the playing field is more level.  I know there are data fields already for short sale notations, but that still leaves the “pie-in-the-sky” listing price.  Simply put, it is “bait and switch.”  

Again, there are many great Realtors that specialize in “short sales.”  If you would like a recommendation, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Bad things happen to good people all the time.  If you know anyone that has suffered a 30% drop in income or more, that may need assistance in avoiding a foreclosure or short sale, don’t forget about THDA’s newest program, www.keepmytnhome.org.

And always remember, better times are ahead.

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Nashville New Homes: Zero downpayment available to even more home buyers.

This morning, while reading Leneiva Head’s blog about THDA’s foreclosure prevention program, it hit me that I had forgotten to do something.

http://leneivahead.wordpress.com/2011/08/20/theres-a-way-to-keep-your-home-foreclosure-prevention-assistance/comment-page-1/#comment-61 

Yes, I had forgotten to post about some recent changes from the great folks at THDA, who are always on the forefront of ways to boost home ownership!

Everyone should know that down-payment funding for FHA loans is still available for eligible first-time buyers through THDA’s “Great Start” program.  To be eligible, your household income cannot exceed certain limitations and the price of the home you are purchasing must fall below a certain amount.

 On August 1st, the income limitations were raised!  These revised limitations bring the reality of home ownership within the reach of many more first-time buyers.

Lets look at the Greater Nashville area, including the adjoining counties of Rutherford, Williamson, Sumner, Cheatham, Wilson, and Robertson:   A first-time home buyer can purchase a home with ZERO out of pocket if the home price does not exceed $226,100.   A buyer’s household gross annual income cannot exceed $79.440 for 1-2 person households.  If the household contains 3 or more, annual gross income can be as high as $92,680.

For eligibility in nearby Maury County, the home purchase price cannot exceed $200,160, with gross income limited to $70,320 for 1-2 person and $82.040 for 3 or more person households.  Maury County is a designated “target” county and you do not have to be a first-time buyer to take advantage of THDA programs.

Like with any loan program,  there are additional credit score and debt ratio requirements for eligiblity.  Visit www.thda.org for all the details.

If you are looking to purchase a new home, and like the idea of keeping your down-payment, you will want to explore this program.  We have homes available right now in almost every community that can fit within the guidelines.  Visit us today and find out why Ole South is Tennessee’s # Home Builder!

www.OleSouth.com

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, and Spring Hill, Tennessee

 

Nashville New Homes: Mortgage Payment Relief Program in Tennessee

What is the difference between a recession and a depression?

A recession is when a friend or neighbor loses their job.  A depression is when you lose yours.  Job losses have affected many, with positions either eliminated, or full time hours scaled back to part time.  In either situation, through no fault of their own, many families have difficult choices to make.

Tennessee is one of few states that received money, $217,315,593.00 from the US Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund (HHF).   In January of this year, the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) announced a program to help unemployed and under-employed homeowners meet their mortgage obligations in Tennessee’s hardest hit, or “targeted” counties.  Click here for a list of these “targeted” counties:  https://www.keepmytnhome.org/ppc.html

Now, this 7-year program has now been expanded and is available in ALL Tennessee counties.  Here is a synopsis of the program from the THDA website www.keepmytnhome.org

*****

Homeowners who qualify for financial assistance may receive up to 18 months of monthly mortgage payments and/or funds to pay past due mortgage payments to bring the mortgage current; these funds are paid directly to the loan servicer/lender.

To qualify for the Keep My Tennessee Home program, a homeowner must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be unemployed or underemployed (a 50% reduction of income) through no fault of their own. The event or incident which results in unemployment or substantial underemployment must have occurred after Jan. 1, 2008.

 

  •    *** THIS has now ben changed to a 30% reduction. ***

 

  • Have a mortgage for a single-family home or condominium (attached or detached) in Tennessee that they occupy as their primary residence. This includes manufactured homes on foundations permanently affixed to real estate that they own.
  • Have a history of timely mortgage payments prior to the job loss/reduction of income.
  • The combined amount of your mortgage principal, interest, taxes and insurance must be greater than 31% of your household income after the job loss/reduction of income.
  • Not have more than six months’ reserves of liquid assets, that is, liquid assets equal to six months of their mortgage principal, interest, taxes and insurance.
  • Have a household income less than $74,980.
  • Have a total unpaid principal balance not exceeding $226,100.

Above are the basic eligibility criteria. Meeting these criteria does not guarantee eligibility for the Keep My Tennessee Home program.

*****

In Tennessee’s “targeted” counties, homeowners can receive funds up to 18-months, up to a total of $20,000.  In all other counties, homewoners can receive 12 months of assistance, up to a total of $15,000.  Once eligibility is approved, funds are sent direct from THDA to the servicing lender and can be for delinquent payments, current, and future payments as they become due.

The assistance funds are basically a loan, set up as a “line of credit” to be used as long as the hardship circumstances continue, up to the end of the eligibility period.   The loan is then forgiven over 5 years, 20% each year, as long as the family keeps the home as their primary residence.

Another great feature of this program is that you do not have to be delinquent on your mortgage payment to be eligible.  As long as your financials fit the guidelines, you are eligible for the assistance loan. 

For more information, please visit www.keepmytnhome.org.  For more information on THDA and its many valuable programs, please visit www.thda.org.

Even in tough economic times, Tennessee is still the best place in the world to live.  Come join us.

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.