Saturday, April 25, 2009

1333 Windward Circle, Bluewater Bay Waterfront

Fabulous Bluewater Bay bayfront home on Choctawhatchee Bay. Gentle breezes, panoramic views of Destin skyline, pristine gated community. This home has "wow" curb appeal with a tile roof, brick siding and side-entry garage. Spectacular floor-to-ceiling fieldstone fireplace goes up 18' in the full water view living room. Kitchen has magnificent solid surface center isle with sink, also wet bar and wine rack. Tile counters, bay window and breakfast nook with view of the waves. Formal dining and living rooms with glowing wood floors. Two staircases add to unique design. Master "suite" on second floor has private, oversized balcony, and an enormous walk-in closet with built-in desk.

Covered porch on main level invites for languishing water views. Seawall. Oversized garage with golf-cart door. This Windward home in Bluewater Bay opens the world of golf, fishing, tennis and lifestyle! Just minutes from world-renowned Destin Florida beaches, shopping and Eglin Air Force Base.

3951 square feet, four bedrooms, three full baths and 90' on the water. Offered at $675,000.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Destin FL Home Needs Work

"Unique - Like YOU"

This multi-level home in Destin Florida has numerous possibilities for living!
Striking main living area with cathedral ceiing and dramatic windows. Very contemporary. Tile and laminate floors. Lower level bedroom with extra loft room above. Another lower level with family room or private bedroom with fireplace. Fenced back yard with large deck. New roof 2005. HVAC replaced 4 years ago. Propane generator. Two fireplaces! Needs attention to cosmetics, carpet and paint and priced accordingly, but "imagine"!
Great location in Destin Florida near the harbor for fishing, dining and boating!
2588 Square Feet
Offered at $184,900

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Santa Rosa Beach FL - Countrywide Short Sale Success Story

Here is a quick story about a Countrywide short sale in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. And it has a happy ending.

I have a house listed for sale in the Mack Bayou area for $187,100. The sellers had purchased the home as an investment property but were no longer able to cover the mortgage, as rental rates have decreased on the Emerald Coast. The home needs work- carpet, paint, etc, and has about six tenants living in it. After four months of gently lowering the price, and still no offer, we were sitting below what typical market value might be.

Lucky for us, we got an offer for $185,000! The first time home buyers were SO excited and loved the home. Per my recommendation, and since it was Countrywide, their agent structured the contract for a 120 day short sale approval timeline, the buyers put down earnest money, and we eliminated closing costs we know Countrywide won't usually pay. The package was submitted.

A few weeks later, I found out during my bi-weekly phone call to Countrywide, that the file was "closed" due to "insufficient offer". I was dumbfounded. Yes, the offer was a bit below some of the competition, at about $195,000- $200,000, but not low enough that the file should be "closed" and not even countered. I did two things. I contacted a negotiator who had helped me in the past, and I called the short sale department again. The representative was very helpful, and listened carefully as I explained my bewilderment at the file being closed. She gave me her email address and I sent in my comps indicating the price was not that far off. I sent the same to the negotiator. A few days later, I got a call from Countrywide. They told me the file would be re-opened, and suggested the buyers increase their offer by $5000. We did it.

A couple weeks later, the Countrywide Phase II negotiator told me the offer was still too low, "Could the buyers come up by another $10,000, to match the appraisal?" The buyers said "no". The negotiator said the investor also might require a promissory note, or it would be declined anyway. I told him the couple had no money, were self-employed and barely getting by. I also had their primary residence for sale as a short sale. He said he would submit the package as is and see what the investors would do.

One week later - APPROVED!

In summary, do not give up if you have a strong case. I could have said "OK" when Countrywide told me they closed the file. I could have put the home back on the market, and waited for six months for another offer. The buyers would have lost their home. The sellers may have gone into foreclosure. Countrywide would have gotten even less in the future. So don't let the negotiator close the file or close the door on your sale! Submit a strong offer, one that YOU can justify. Tell them to let the investor decide. You may be pleasantly surprised.

It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Paradise Retreat Short Sale Approved

Compared to my last 5 month drama with Aurora Loan Services, this was a dream Short Sale approval!

Subject: 2047 SF Home in Paradise Retreat, Destin Florida

Mortgage: Aurora Loan Services - $400,000

Fair Market Value: $217,000

Amount Forgiven: $183,000

Timeline: 26 Days from Fax to Approval

Key to Success: Strong contract, reasonable closing costs, committed buyers, complete and thorough package

It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Countrywide Approves Destin Short Sale- But Denies Buyer Loan Due to Underappraisal

This is a true story. You may have thought you heard all the crazy stories you could about Countrywide and short sales, but you haven't.

Countrywide approved a short sale for a Destin Florida condo for $100,000. Wonderful. The buyer, who had applied for a loan with Countrywide, proceeded to finalize his own mortgage to close. Countrywide ordered the buyer's appraisal. The condo only appraised for $87,000. Countrywide will not give the buyer a loan for $100,000.

I called the Countrywide short sale department to let them know that their Countrywide mortgage department would not issue a loan for the approved amount of $100,000, and faxed them a copy of their own appraisal for $87,000. They said their was nothing they could do and closed the file.

We now must re-submit a new short sale. This is so insane, that I am almost speechless.

It's Wendy!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc.
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Destin Short Sales & Pre Foreclosure Help.
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Thursday, April 9, 2009

John Hollan - Santa Rosa Beach Photography

"Half Life" by John Hollan

When I first walked into John and Deah Hollan's home in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, I was struck by the exciting decor and contemporary flair. I remember strolling into the living room, my eyes big and my smile bigger. I turned to my right and then my jaw dropped. There was one of the most beautiful paintings I had ever seen. I exclaimed that I "loved" it and was truly moved! My mother was an artist so I have always appreciated art and the creation of it. John said he had painted it, as he had several others around the home. I sold John and Deah's home in Pelican Bay a few months later, and they honored me by presenting the painting to me as a "thank you". I actually got misty-eyed at the closing to have received somthing so beautiful and meaningful.

John Hollan is also a gifted photographer and has a studio in Gulf Place, Santa Rosa Beach, FL. He specializes in beach photography, portraits, pet portraits, and of course, art! You may contact John at [email protected].

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Monday, April 6, 2009

I Helped My Competition - On Purpose!

As a Short Sale Specialist on the Emerald Coast of Florida, I sometimes run into a situation where a property cannot be saved from foreclosure. Either the seller contacted me too late, or the property combined with the market was so fraught with problems, that a sale could not be obtained. Luckily, we can often save a property from foreclosure right up to the sale on the courthouse steps.

I recently had a townhouse listed for sale in a gated subdivision in Destin, Florida. The property was encumbered with association fees of $800 per month. In my area, that is outrageous for a non-waterfront property. In fact, to overcome objections to such high fees, the list price had to be lowered substantially, and then the numbers still did not make sense to a typical purchaser.

Well, the day before the foreclosure sale we got a contract on the property. My team scrambled to get it to the short sale lender, in this case, EMC. They failed to cancel the foreclosure in a timely manner, and despite efforts to rescind the sale, they let it stand.

A few days later I got a call from the "new" listing agent, who let me know she had received the assignment from EMC. Without hesitation, and without being asked, I sent her all my information on the property. I sent her details on the new association fees, the contact numbers for the association, and the name, telephone number and email address of the agent who wrote the offer. I also emailed the buyer's agent directly to let him know he should contact the new broker, so perhaps he could make his deal work.

I gave it my all. I wish the new listing agent and the buyer's agent the best. And I hope they succeed.

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

FHA - HUD Short Sale Guidelines

Do you need to sell your FHA-insured home as a Short Sale? Here is the updated summary of requirements for HUD Short Sales, also called "Pre-Foreclosure" Sales:
  • You must be delinquent 31 days or more at the time of sale
  • You must list the property with an un-related Licensed Real Estate Broker
  • You must actively market the property for four months (up to six)
  • For the first 30 days of marketing, the short sale lender (mortgagee) may only approve offers that will result in a minimum net sale proceeds of 88% of the "as-is" appraised Fair Market Value (FMV). During the next 30 days of marketing, the lender may only approve offers that will result in minimum net sale proceeds of 86% of the "as-is" appraised FMV. For the rest of the marketing time (60 days), the lender may only approve offers that will result in minimum net sale proceeds of 84% of the "as-is" appraised FMV.
  • The property must be an owner-occupied, except for cases of job transfer, death, divorce, job loss
  • There should be written proof of your decrease in income showing inability to pay the mortgage, job loss, etc.
  • HUD will pay up to 1% of buyer's mortgage as part of closing costs if the new mortgage is also FHA, plus reasonable "seller" costs
  • HUD allows 6% Realtor commission
  • HUD will not pay for Home Warranties, points or lender's title insurance
  • You must get approval to participate in the HUD Pre-Foreclosure Sale Program in advance
  • Upon acceptance into the program, you will be given Approval To Participate Form which will outline program restrictions

Here are details of the HUD Short Sale (Pre-Foreclosure) Sale Program. Remember, these guidelines apply to FHA-insured loans only, and there may be some latitude in those requirements. These guidelines are subject to change.

HUD Frequently Asked Short Sale Questions

For more information contact the HUD National Servicing Center, your lender, and an experienced Short Sale Specialist.

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1369 Ravens Run, Sandestin FL Short Sale

Impressive Sandestin Florida home in Laurel Grove on the third green of the Raven golf course. Astounding ceiling heights, natural light from thoughtful and numerous windows to lend air of relaxation and enjoyment! Beautiful beadboard cabinets, black granite counters, stainless appliances. The first floor is a tremendous open space for dining, living, cooking and entertaining. Two bedrooms have separate outside doors for inviting walks and private comings and goings of guests. Second floor "master bedroom" may be used as executive home office. This Sandestin neighborhood has its own pool and clubhouse. Sandestin Florida homes are adjacent to top end shopping and beach of the Gulf of Mexico in Destin Florida.
This Sandestin short sale is offered at $399,900.

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Friday, April 3, 2009

Short Sale Approved- Destin Florida Condo

This Sandestin Florida short sale was submitted on March 4 and received approval on March 27- three weeks!

Property: Gulf front condo in the Sandestin Beachside 2 building

Marketing Challenge: 5 year inventory of condos for sale in Destin Florida

Mortgage: EMC

Original Purchase Price: $800,000

Sale Price: Full Price offer of $359,000

Debt Cancelled: Over $350,000

Promissory Note: None

Cash Contribution: None

Contact an experienced real estate broker to sell your short sale on the Emerald Coast of Florida.

It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc.

Call toll-free 1-877-ITS-WNDY (1-877-487-9639) or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy to sell your home or buy a home: [email protected]

Call Wendy Rulnick, Destin real estate agent, to list and sell your home or condo or help you buy a home or rental property on the Emerald Coast of Florida in Walton, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa County- Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Crestview, Rosemary Beach, Mary Esther, Shalimar, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field. Wendy is a short sale and pre-foreclosure specialist and can help you sell or buy a short sale property in and around Destin Florida and the Emerald Coast.

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