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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Questionable Spending” – from Capitol Hill to Rocky Top

There are always two sides to every story, and both sides rarely receive equal consideration when the story is told, most especially the way the story is told.

Such is the case with NewsChannel 5 Investigative Reporter Phil Williams’ relentless pursuit of one of the most efficient agency models in state government, the Tennessee Housing & Development Agency, or THDA for short.

The investigative reporter even suggests their motto “Leading Tennessee Home” should unofficially be the song “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” a humourous twist that got viewers and lawmakers’ attention, but certainly not the true picture of the agency, its employees, and accomplishments.

Former THDA Director Ted Fellman arrived at THDA in November 2005.  His leadership transformed the agency from a beaurocratic behemoth to a well-oiled machine.  I have been in Real Estate since 2000 and have observed the agency evolve first-hand.

What used to take weeks to process now is accomplished in 24 hours or less.  The THDA staff gets the job done rather than “pass the buck” to someone else in another area, which we have all experienced in dealing with government agencies.

THDA employees take their job seriously and enjoy it.  You will see them speaking at Rotary Clubs at 7:00 am as well as Realtor and other functions late in the evening.  They believe in their organization.  They believe in their mission.  They produce results.

I know this not only from past experience, but from proudly serving on THDA’s Realtor Advisory Board.  The agency is constantly reaching out to the public sector for input and ideas on how their organization can make an even larger difference in the lives of Tennesseans.  In THDA offices, you can feel a spirit of cooperation and teamwork among everyone there.

Ted Fellman brought a culture to THDA that produced results.  Experts agree that incorporating FUN into the workplace dramatically increases productivity.

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS http://www.robinthompson.com/makingworkfun.htm

Instead of public ridicule from a TV station, Ted Fellman and the Staff of THDA deserve a sincere THANK YOU for becoming a nationwide model for effective housing finance agencies.  If the rest of the country recognizes this, why can’t we?  That’s the side of the story that needs to be told.

SEE MORE ABOUT RECENT THDA AWARD HERE  http://tn-tennesseehda.civicplus.com/archives/41/NCSHA%20Awards.pdf

Moving forward,  THDA Director Ralph Perrey needs everyone’s support.  The agency has accomplished so much for Tennessee and its productiveness need not be hampered in any way from outside sources.

Even though THDA does not spend taxpayer dollars and derives its revenue from other sources, Phil Williams did bring attention to the fact that those dollars were public dollars, which is a very valid point.

The public dollars that were spent by THDA on team-building exercises and employee rewards actually increased productivity.

That said, let’s go to Knoxville and investigate the spending habits of the University of Tennessee, where the spending of public dollars has not increased productivity.

One doesn’t have to go far….a severance package of $5 million for a football coach, who knows how much severance for Assistant Coaches, etc.  What about the salaries for the replacements?  And what do they do for fun?

They will say they are not spending taxpayer dollars, but revenue generated from the “program.”

Just like THDA does, except no one is going to question a thing….ever.  Not even Phil.

In response to allegations, THDA Director Ralph Perrey says the agency is only going to spend money on what make sense for its mission and eliminate anything questionable that lawmakers would not understand.

It would be much easier to eliminate what they do understand.  Enough said.

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 home sales in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Gallatin, Clarksville, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Good News for Veterans, and Active-Duty too!

With Veterans Day being this week, I would like to take the opportunity to reach out to all Veterans and Active-Duty military personnel that may be thinking about purchasing a new home.

The great folks at THDA are always on the forefront of great programs that encourage home ownership, and they have a special program just for Veterans and Active Duty military.  You don’t even have to use your VA Eligibility to use the program either… but you can and save even more!

This exciting program is called “Home Ownership for the Brave.”  For more information, CLICK HERE.   I just had the honor of welcoming a veteran who used this program into his new home last Friday!

This program is a valuable tool and can be used in many circumstances.  Already have another VA Loan?  Already used your VA acquisition limit?  Debt Ratio issues?  Simply want a lower interest rate?  If you answered yes to any of these, you need to explore this program!

If you have a preferred mortgage lender, give them a call.  If you don’t call me and I will recommend one!

Mortgage interest rates are lower than they have ever been.  Why not pursue the dream of owning your home?  An Ole South model home is a great place to start

 

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 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: Need more reasons to buy now? You’ve got em!

If you’ve been waiting for the planets to become perfectly lined up before buying your first home, wait no longer!

Buying your first home is a big decision, and if you haven’t thought much about it, you need to start now.  According to HUD, home prices have stabilized and will start rising.

Read more…..

http://www.housingzone.com/housingzone/sales/hud-secretary-home-prices-set-rise

If you have a stable job, and plan on staying in the Nashville area, what are you waiting for?  The rent to go up?

No agency is better developing programs for first-time buyers than the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, THDA, who announced today a further drop in their program rates effective Monday, July 18th.  Check this out:  (shown are current rates, edited January 2012)

THDA Great Rate – 3.95%     This loan is perfect for a first-time buyer that already has their 3.5% downpayment funds secured, but has high “front-end” ratios.  With this loan, the house-payment can actually be as high as 44.99% of gross income, as long as no other installment debt is present.

THDA Great Advantage – 4.25%   This plan is great for those that may be just a little short on cash.  With this plan, the buyer receives a 2% grant, which can be used toward the required downpayment, or closing costs.

THDA Great Start – 4.55%   This plan is terrific for those wishing to save their cash for other plans.  The buyer receives a 4% grant, which can be used toward the required downpayment, administrative, and closing costs.  With a seller paying all closing costs (which Ole South does), this is truly a “ZERO CASH REQUIRED” loan.

Homeownership for the Brave – Veterans and active duty military ned to explore this great program.  Pick any plan listed above and subtract 1/2% from the fixed interest rate.  No first time buyer requirement, and if you have another home financed through VA, you can still use this program and not sell that other home…as long as the new home will be your principal residence.

Targeted Counties – The first-time buyer requirement is waived in designated “targeted counties.”  Maury County is one such area and you will want to explore to great selection of new homes in Ole South’s Meadowbrook and Cobblestone neighborhoods of Spring Hill.

Detailed information is available at THDA’s website, www.THDA.org.

 

Want to learn more?   Whether you are exploring purchasing your first home, looking to move-up or downsize, or would simply like to know more about all home financing issues and programs, drop by Bridgestone Arena this Sunday, July 17th from 1:00 to 5:00 pm for the 2011 Mayor’s Homeownership Fair.   THDA will be there.  And so will Ole South!

For more information, visit the website  http://www.nashville.gov/housingfair/

Come on down and learn more about why NOW is the time to purchase a new home!

And you are always invited to drop by any of our Middle Tennessee model homes.  We’ll be excited to explore your options with you!

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.