Archive for October, 2010

 

After finding documentation problems, Wells Fargo says it's going to re-file paperwork for 55,000 foreclosures. But it's not going to issue a blanket moratorium on foreclosures.

There will probably be a temporary decrease in the number of foreclosures in the last quarter of this year. But they're go back up once the paperwork is re-filed. Wells Fargo, and all the other banks, say they're just having problems with the documentation.

Foreclosures are expected to be back up next year, for a couple of reasons. Banks are going to be re-filing their paperwork.

Those foreclosures will go through, barring any more problems with documentation. But the bigger driver behind foreclosures next year will be the fact that adjustable rate mortgages are going to adjust upward.

When you think about the fact that a lot of these borrowers were only marginally qualified to begin with and would now be faced with paying a thousand dollars more a month on a property that's lost 30, 40, 50 percent of its value since the time they bought it, it's a pretty toxic mix.

Pundits predict that foreclosures will actually peak next year. 2011 will set records for the number of foreclosures and bank repossessions of homes.

For any financial questions, refer to your lender and mortgage company. For any legal questions, consult a lawyer.

For all real estate questions, please contact us at: 602.687.9933 or Info@MetroRealtyphx.com

 

  

 

You have found a beautiful condo in Paradise Valley or you are moving into your first place, a condo in Downtown Phoenix or Downtown Chandler. Before you buy, these are some questions that you should ask about the development. Not all condos are created equal.

 

1. What are the complaints?

Look at the minutes of the condo association's board meetings to see what owners have been griping about. If everyone was complaining about the faulty plumbing or the gardener's absence, you know that the complex is having management difficulties. Even if there aren't complaints, reading the minutes will reveal the kinds of projects that are under way at the complex, including those that the seller may not have mentioned.

 

2. What are the delinquency rates of the present owners?
If owners are not paying their association dues on time, it is a sign of discontent or can show that the association might be underfunded.

 

3. How much is in the repair fund?
Ask if the community has done a reserve-fund review in the past five years. If the complex is less than 10 years old, the reserve fund should have 10% of the cost of replaceable items such as roofs, roads and tennis courts. For complexes between 10 and 20 years old, the repair fund should be at 25% to 30%. At 20 years, that amount should be 50% or more. Residents who brag that they don't pay much in maintenance may be in a complex that has poor upkeep or that is living beyond its means.

 

4. Can I get a copy of the certificate of insurance?
If you look at nothing else, get a copy of the certificate of insurance, which is a summary of the association's policy. First, see if the replacement costs that the policy covers are an accurate estimate of rebuilding costs. Then ensure that the policy has a building-ordinance clause, which means that the insurance will cover the cost of bringing the building to code if rebuilding occurs. On older buildings, there may have been many code upgrades since construction. Finally, make sure that you understand exactly what the association policy covers and what you are responsible for. Smart condo owners will insure their personal belongings, along with any other items in the unit that the association's policy does not cover. If you have trouble understanding the insurance lingo, take the insurance certificate to an agent whom you trust and who understands the state laws.

 

5. Does the association present any legal problems?
Buying a single-family home without a lawyer is no big deal for many people. But with a condo, much more is involved. Have a local real-estate lawyer go over the association's bylaws. Do they make sense? Are they consistent with the state laws?  Have your lawyer screen the association to see if  any owners have filed suit against it.

 

6. Is the complex renter-friendly?
If the renter population is more than 10%, there should be clear rental policies, either listed in the bylaws or tacked on as an amendment.  Ask other tenants about their experience. In addition, ask to see the association's rental lease, and have a real-estate lawyer look it over. Remember, though, that an association can change its bylaws to prohibit or restrict renting at any time. The more owners who rent out, the less of a chance that will happen.

7. Am I my community's keeper?
Watch out for a condo whose owners manage the place themselves. Although many are operated efficiently, self-management can lead to more hassles for owners — especially those who live thousands of miles away. If the complex is professionally managed, check out  the management company as thoroughly as you check out the association.Your dream condo will keep you up at night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seven Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Condo

 

You have found a beautiful condo in Paradise Valley or you are moving into your first place, a condo in Downtown Phoenix or Downtown Chandler. Before you buy, these are some questions that you should ask about the development. Not all condos are created equal.

 

     1. What are the complaints?

      Look at the minutes of the condo association's board meetings to see what owners have been griping about. If everyone was complaining about the faulty plumbing or the gardener's absence, you know that the complex is having management difficulties. Even if there aren't complaints, reading the minutes will reveal the kinds of projects that are under way at the complex, including those that the seller may not have mentioned.

2. What are the delinquency rates of the present owners?
If owners are not paying their association dues on time, it is a sign of discontent or can show that the association might be underfunded.

3. How much is in the repair fund?
Ask if the community has done a reserve-fund review in the past five years. If the complex is less than 10 years old, the reserve fund should have 10% of the cost of replaceable items such as roofs, roads and tennis courts. For complexes between 10 and 20 years old, the repair fund should be at 25% to 30%. At 20 years, that amount should be 50% or more. Residents who brag that they don't pay much in maintenance may be in a complex that has poor upkeep or that is living beyond its means.

4. Can I get a copy of the certificate of insurance?
If you look at nothing else, get a copy of the certificate of insurance, which is a summary of the association's policy. First, see if the replacement costs that the policy covers are an accurate estimate of rebuilding costs. Then ensure that the policy has a building-ordinance clause, which means that the insurance will cover the cost of bringing the building to code if rebuilding occurs. On older buildings, there may have been many code upgrades since construction. Finally, make sure that you understand exactly what the association policy covers and what you are responsible for. Smart condo owners will insure their personal belongings, along with any other items in the unit that the association's policy does not cover. If you have trouble understanding the insurance lingo, take the insurance certificate to an agent whom you trust and who understands the state laws.

5. Does the association present any legal problems?
Buying a single-family home without a lawyer is no big deal for many people. But with a condo, much more is involved. Have a local real-estate lawyer go over the association's bylaws. Do they make sense? Are they consistent with the state laws?  Have your lawyer screen the association to see if any owners have filed suit against it.

6. Is the complex renter-friendly?
If the renter population is more than 10%, there should be clear rental policies, either listed in the bylaws or tacked on as an amendment.  Ask other tenants about their experience. In addition, ask to see the association's rental lease, and have a real-estate lawyer look it over. Remember, though, that an association can change its bylaws to prohibit or restrict renting at any time. The more owners who rent out, the less of a chance that will happen.

7. Am I my community's keeper?
Watch out for a condo whose owners manage the place themselves. Although many are operated efficiently, self-management can lead to more hassles for owners — especially those who live thousands of miles away. If the complex is professionally managed, check out the management company as thoroughly as you check out the association.Your dream condo will ke

 

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The Amazing Chris Bianco owner of Pizzeria Bianco

 Before Friday, I had never been to Pizzeria Bianco. Bon Appetit had rated it the Number One pizza place in the United States, Oprah and the Food Network had also supported that claim. Shockingly, I live only two Metro stops away from this iconic establishment. There were no excuses except for the fact that I had heard that the lines were long and the wait time was exorbitant. There was no way I was going to wait for hours for PIZZA!

 My opportunity arrived in the form of my web master, Victor. (www.internetsocialmedia.com )  He and his wife, Amy had helped me create my website (www.MetroRealtyphx.com) and had gone the extra mile in its creation. I could also go the extra mile for them. 

Victor wanted Italian food so the decision was made-  the trekking to the Number One pizza place in the United States, Pizzeria Bianco was to begin.

I googled and asked around for advice on how to make this experience an enjoyable one. First, I discovered that you can make reservations a month in advance. Everyone I spoke to had tried that method and failed. Reservations were always taken up in a matter of minutes.

With no possibility of a reservation, I decided to wait in line like so many other Phoenicians before me. Conventional wisdom on the internet told me to show up at 3:30 PM as the doors opened at 5:00 PM.

Pizzeria Bianco is located in a small house in the charming Heritage Square. I decided to go with the flow and relax. I knew that the wait would not be that terrible. Thinking that perhaps everyone would show up at 3:30 PM, I decided to show up at  2:00 PM.  I was the first to arrive and had the opportunity to observe the staff making the pizza dough. In the front of the restaurant, there is a patio and plenty of benches and tables. It made the wait a little more comfortable.

Bianco Margherita Pizza

I brought a book to read and never opened it. The next group arrived at 2:15 PM and the flow of humanity began.

I met people from Oregon, San Francisco, Germany, and Italy whose conversations were interesting and exciting (there is a common thread among people who would wait hours in line for pizza) and time passed very quickly.

At 4 PM, an hour before the restaurant opened, Bar Bianco opened and scouts were sent from the line to the bar to buy drinks and appetizers. The “Bar Next Door” is conveniently located in a cozy and relaxing home-like building and has comfortable seating in the bar. Bar Bianco also has a polite staff who attend to your drinking needs. It was a beautiful night so we had our drinks outside.

The wait was long, yes-BUT if you have some alcoholic beverages in your veins it makes the wait almost a delight.

After waiting for three hours, the doors finally opened and the first shift of fortunate foodies entered the restaurant. I was, of course, first in line and had my choice of seating. The first 30 people were able to sit in the first shift. Those who arrived after those 30 would have a 2-3 hour wait.

What can you say about this pizza… For me, it was the best pizza I have ever eaten. I love New York pizza but this pizza is very different. It was more of a Neapolitan type pizza, brick oven, thin crusted concoction with absolutely amazing ingredients for the toppings. 
My two favorite pizzas were  The ROSA  (Red Onion, Parmigiano Reggiano, Rosemary, AZ Pistachios) and the BIANCOVERDE (Fresh Mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano, Ricotta, Arugula).  The cheese is the secret ingredient in all of these pizzas; homemade to perfection. The Biancoverde was my absolute favorite and the arugula on top gave the pizza not only a beautiful presentation but a very unique taste.

Pizzeria Bianco: Heritage Square: Downtown Phoenix

Dining at Pizzeria Bianco is an event and the waiting is part of the fun. If you want a relaxed and memorable night out with plenty of fun, check it out. If you are in a hurry, forget it.

The prices are fantastic for this quality.  The pizzas range in price from $11 to $14. 

Click here for  Pizzeria Bianco’s website.

Contact Catherine for any other questions about her experience, Catherine@MetroRealtyphx.com or 480.239.7447.

Comments (14)

Okay, you have found the “perfect” home and are now ready to sign a mortgage. There are many things to consider and here are  our top three.

Tip #1: Pay more than your monthly payments.

In fact, you may be able to write two checks. One for your monthly payment and another check towards the principal. This extra money will towards paying off your remaining principal, which lowers the overall interest you will pay throughout the life of your loan. This tip and approach does not apply to interest-only type loans.

Tip #2: Avoid prepayment penalties in your contract, if you can:

 Some lenders try to stop you from paying off your mortgage early. It cuts into their profits. Do not accept a mortgage with a prepayment penalty if you can help it. The mortgage company may attach a fee to your mortgage if you pay it early.

Tip # 3: Understand Points:

Remember, lenders offer lower interest rates on mortgages at times with points attached. It is a kind of exchange. Points or origination costs are a percentage of of your total loan and must be paid “typically” up front. For example, a mortgage with three points means that you have to pay 3% of the total mortgage up front to your lender. In most cases, the costs of paying more up front outweighs the benefits.

If you are going to live in your home for a long time (15 + years) and are  not going to refinance, you may want to consider this option.

Please ask the advice of your lender or mortgage company before entering into a contract. This information is our opinion only and should be regarded as such.

For any real estate questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at Info@MetroRealtyphx.com or 602.687.9933.

Wow! The mortgage rates are the lowest I have ever seen. If you are in the market for a property, now would be the time to buy but… be very careful and cautious when obtaining a mortgage. There may be hidden costs in the mortgage you obtain. Read the fine print and look at the APR.

What is the APR? The APR, the annual percentage rate, by  law, includes all cost in a single rate. This rate avoids all of the confusion with the various charges that may be accrued.

If you see one 30 year fixed rate with an APR of 7% and another with an APR of 7.5%, you can feel confident that the one with the lower APR has the lower rate.

Please ask your lender for all mortgage advise. For real estate information, please contact us at Info@MetroRealtyphx.com or 602. 687.9933.

Making a decision on the term of your mortgage is always very difficult. I have tried to simplify the information for you below.

Longer Mortgage Terms: The length of the mortgage affects both the total cost of the mortgage and the size of the monthly payments. You will pay more for your property overall but longer mortgage terms have lower monthly payments.

Shorter Mortgage Terms: These terms generate less total interest over time so that you will pay less for your property overall than a longer term mortgage.

Here is an example of the differences in mortgage terms. The example below is not exact. Please check with your mortgage professional for any questions you may have.

Mortgage Term                   Monthly Payment             Total Cost
15 year                                           $1,687.73                               $303, 787.81
30 year                                          $ 1,199.15                               $431,676.25

Which Term Should you Choose?

This is a very personal decision and you will have to analyze your particular financial situation. If you choose the shorter term, you will pay less overall but you would have to decide if you could handle the payments.  If you cannot, a longer term might be the solution for  you.

For any mortgage questions, confer with your lender. For any real estate questions, contact us at Info@MetroRealtyphx.com or call 602.687.9933.

Oct
06

The Future of Shopping

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To all of you fashionistas: I found this video very intriguing and exciting. I am ready for this technology. Will selecting homes in this manner be far behind?

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Catherine del Rey Kolodin | Metro Realty phx | catherine@metrorealtyphx.com | (480) 239-7447
295 North Rural Road, Chandler, AZ
Fully Furnished end unit close to the Chandler Fashion Square and freeways. Everything you need is in the unit; Pots, pans, dishes, bedding, flat scre
Furnished 2BR/2BA Condo
 
$1,800/month
Bedrooms 2
Bathrooms 2 full, 0 partial
Sq Footage 1,239
Parking 2 dedicated
Pet Policy Dogs, Conditional
Deposit $0
DESCRIPTION

The master bedroom is furnished with a mahogany sleigh bed and luxurious sheets. There is a small patio area for outside dining when the beautiful fall weather appears.
 
see additional photos below
RENTAL FEATURES

– Air conditioning – Central heat – High/Vaulted ceiling
– Walk-in closet – Dishwasher – Refrigerator
– Stove/Oven – Microwave – Granite countertop
– Stainless steel appliances – Washer – Dryer
– Laundry area – inside – Balcony, Deck, or Patio – Swimming pool
– Jacuzzi/Whirlpool – Cable-ready – High-speed internet
COMMUNITY FEATURES

– Guest parking – Business center – Clubhouse
– Laundry on-site – Fitness center – Swimming pool(s)
– Sauna/Spa – Gated property – Wheelchair access
LEASE TERMS

We will provide you with the details by calling Dennis at 602.315.9292 Metro Realty. This unit is owned by Dennis’ son.
ADDITIONAL PHOTOS


Photo 1

Photo 3
Contact info:
 
Catherine del Rey Kolodin
Metro Realty phx
(480) 239-7447

 

powered by postlets Equal Opportunity Housing
Posted: Oct 6, 2010, 9:40am PDT

 

Categories : Phoenix Real Estate
Comments (0)

Prices are amazing out there, I know.  Before you start house hunting, you should have a good idea what size and type of mortgage you want and can really afford. Talking to a lender is key as he/she will be able to prequalify you. Your lender will be able to give you a letter with an amount.  This letter will improve your house hunting efficiency and your ability to close once you have found the house that you want.

 

 

 Mortgage Size:

Don’t let “your eyes be bigger than your stomach” as the old expression says. There is a big difference between the mortgage you can get and the mortgage you can really afford.

What size mortgage can you get?  Lenders typically will approve you  for 33% of your monthly pre- tax income.

What size mortgage can you afford? You really need to evaluate your current financial situation and your worst case future scenario. Consider your life’s goals; savings goals, retirement goals, children, job prospects to name a few. These factors determine how much risk you can take.

One rule of thumb is that you can probably afford a mortgage worth 200 times your current rent. For example, if your rent is currently $1,000, you can typically afford a $200,000 mortgage.

As always, confer with your financial or mortgage advisor before making any financials decisions. We can answer any real estate questions you may have.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 602. 687.9933 or Info@MetroRealtyphx.com

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Comments (2)