Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"Accessible"

I just learned something from my good architect friend, Paul Tessier. I recently listed a condo that I have found out has handicap features such as grab bars, low counters, French doors versus sliders, etc. I was not sure how to properly list this in my MLS remarks. Paul told me that the correct terminology is "Universal Design", "Accessible", or "Barrier Free". Basically, the universal design means the design is "for all" according to Paul. Here are some helpful websites for edification:http://www.barrierfreehome.com/ and http://www.udeducation.org/learn/aboutud.asp

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Short Sale Time Frame

Our market will see more and more short sales in the coming months. Again, a short sale is when the owner of a property has a higher mortgage balance than the mortgage payoff, and sells for market value. Banks will sometimes forgive the rest of the debt in order to facilitate the sale if the seller has a hardship and cannot meet his obligation. This is a better option than foreclosure. As more of these properties flood our market, the backlog for lenders processing approvals has grown. Banks I have spoken with may have up to 400 files in process per "negotiator". So, if you make an offer on a short sale property, be prepared to wait for a response. Countrywide's average response time is now 43 days. They are hiring more people, but not fast enough to keep up with demand. Time your offer for a 60-day closing, but it is not unrealistic to assume it could be 90 days, or more.

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