Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Suntrust Approves Niceville Florida Short Sale

This home at 1694 Valparaiso Blvd., in the Pinecrest subdvision in Niceville Florida, has just been approved for short sale!
Lender: Suntrust - both first and second mortgage
Servicer: First American Loss Mitigation Services
Loan Type: Fannie Mae
Hardship: Job Loss
1st Mortgage Balance: $192,000
2nd Mortgage Balance: $40,000
List Price: $149,000
Cancelled Debt: appr $83,000
Time for approval: 75 daysTo avoid foreclosure and sell your Niceville real estate as a short sale, contact an experienced real estate agent who specializes in short sales.

It's Wendy!

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221 Kono Way, Villages of Crystal Beach, Destin Florida - Short Sale

Lovely four bedroom. three bath short sale home in the Villages of Crystal Beach. Located in Destin Florida, this is a 3 minute walk to the beach at the Gulf of Mexico. Also, three minutes to Destin Commons, Rave Cinema! Villages of Crystal Beach has a pool and spa, waterfalls and fanciful landscaping. Sold luxuriously furnished and rental ready! The short sale lender says approval will be within days, not months, pre-approved seller.
Offered at $417,900

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217 Kono Way, Villages of Crystal Beach, Destin FL - Short Sale

Come see this elegant short sale home in the Villages of Crystal Beach. Located in Destin, Florida, this new community has luxurious pool, grounds, landscaping. Just a few minute walk to Destin beaches, Destin Commons, Rave Cinema. Four bedrooms, three full baths and fully furnished. Short sale subject to seller's mortgage holder's approval. Offered at $419,700.

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"Others Can Learn From You"

I recently had a short sale approval for a home in Niceville, Florida. The long and torturous process was with Bank of America. This one took four months, although it was approved just prior to that for another buyer who did not close. All the while, the buyer’s agent, Jimmy, was a consummate professional. Prior to writing the offer he requested the exact terms the seller was looking for. His buyer obliged by submitting a contract with the right title agent, earnest money deposit and timeline. The buyer loved the house and was willing to wait.
Each Friday throughout the process, Jimmy would email me a gentle, "Any updates?" That was it. As the approval deadline loomed, he told me, without fluff, that the buyer was a bit concerned as she needed to be in a house by a certain date.

But no panic button was pressed, no threats, direct or indirect, were aimed my way. He just relayed the facts, in a pleasant and honest manner. As the approval date grew near he waited. He kept his buyer alive.

"Just a few more weeks!", I told him, "We are in Phase II. I have escalated the file!" The negotiator, who had never responded to any of my emails for over two months, suddenly called. "There are just a few more things I need….", he said.

We worked together to satisfy the items the investor required. "I know the approval is approaching soon!" I told Jimmy. It was the truth.

A few days later, I got the happy call from Bank of America. Done deal! Yippee! I emailed Jimmy the good news. In a workmanlike manner, he completed the inspections and got repair estimates for the buyer. We are closing next week. Today I emailed Jimmy what I thought....
"Thank you for being an unbelievable professional. Others can learn from you."

It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Destin FL Real Estate

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Lot 16 Anne Ave., Village of Blue Mountain Beach, Santa Rosa Beach FL Short Sale

New community- Village of Blue Mountain Beach- in the center of Blue Mountain Beach on 30-A in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Enjoy fun on-site at the Beach Club - with fitness center, shuffle board, pools. Prefer to jump in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico? Owners may use access right across street at Inn at Blue Mountain Beach. Short sale subject to seller's mortgage holder's approval. Offered at $ 54,900.

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209 Bent Arrow Dr., Indian Oaks - Destin Florida Short Sale

This central Destin home in the Indian Oaks subdivision is a show-off! Bright, clean and surprisingly spacious! Living room with fireplace and cathedral ceiling. White kitchen with tile floors and pass-through. Oversized master bedroom. Fenced back yard with patio. Bent Arrow and Indian Oaks are three minutes from Destin Harbor, Harborwalk Village, the luckiest fishing in the world, the Gulf of Mexico and Crab Island. What more could you want? Short sale subject to seller's mortgage holder's approval. Offered at $127,900.

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36 21st Street, Santa Rosa Beach FL Home For Sale

This Santa Rosa Beach FL home has a peaceful setting with brick walkways, wrought iron rails and an enormous deck to enjoy the outdoors. Wide-open home with wood laminate floors, electric fireplace, cathedral ceilings. Huge kitchen with many cabinets and much counter space. Office in front of home for private study. Inside laundry room. Home loan is assumable from Vanderbilt Mortgage ($467/mo) for a $500 assumption fee. If the buyer assumes the loan the seller will finance the balance, less closing fees. This Santa Rosa Beach FL home is about ten minutes to the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, shopping at Silver Sands, Baytowne Wharf, Sandestin and Grand Boulevard. Offered at $99,900.

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HAP: Save Eglin and Hurlburt Airmen from Foreclosure!

HAP has done it again! I recently wrote about the military's Homeowner Assistance Program that is supposed to help our United States service members. When they have orders to relocate, or pcs, to a different military base, the newly expanded HAP would to cover up to 90% of the loss in the service member's upside-down mortgage. That would be wonderful, because many of our airmen, soldiers, marines and sailors purchased homes that are now worth less than the mortgage balances. The HAP program would probably save them from foreclosure or short sale. HAP has provided NO assistance since the initiative was expanded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that became law this February. HAP has continually removed information from its website. They have thousands of applicants awaiting help. They have done nothing.

And now it's worse.Just this morning, I was notified by Don Duft, a fellow Realtor serving military, that HAP HAS COMPLETELY REMOVED ITS WEBSITE.Friends, this is OUTRAGEOUS! Last time I wrote there is no help from HAP, now they are completely missing. It is time to take action! Don has shared a draft letter that I modified for your use. You may customize it to write your Senator or Congressman to do something to help our military members. Tell them HAP is TOO LATE to help thousands who have orders to pcs. Action must be taken NOW to support the men and women who defend us every day!
Honorable Senator or Congressman________

As Realtor working with Veterans and United States military members it appears that the DOD Homeowners Assistance Program is not responding to those authorized to be assisted in the 2009 Stimulus bill – those Active Duty Military in a Permanent Change of Duty Station (PCS). The 2009 PCS season is at its peak and the DOD does not have the rules issued by which an applicant can benefit. In fact, nothing has been done.

It is time that you step in to intervene for these deserving Active Duty Military members so they can complete their PCS move assisted by the program the Senate and House crafted and was signed into law. These brave men and women do not deserve foreclosure or ruined credit, while defending our nation. It is not encouraging and when you call it is even more discouraging.

You can find your Senators here and your Congressmen here. Please do what you can and take a stand to help those who help us.

It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc. 850-650-7883
Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field FL Real Estate
Short Sales & Pre Foreclosure Help for Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field.
Read Real Estate Blog
Email Wendy to sell your home or buy a home: [email protected]
Call Wendy Rulnick, Broker/Owner, to list and sell your home or condo 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 has been featured in "Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine" and "Florida Realtor Magazine".

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

119 Fern Way, Santa Rosa Beach FL Home for Sale

Open the from door to the most relaxed feeling of home in this lovely Santa Rosa Beach FL property. Great for entertaining and family. L/R, D/R, Kitchen all open to screened porch, with view of natural landscapped and wooded lawn. Interior features, Maple wood and tile floors, 9' ceilings, crown molding, Kitchen counter tops are Formica Brand hard Surface, Island in kitchen is tiled. 4th bedroom is now set up as office. Oversized garage,laundry tub, outside shower, Hot Tub, above ground pool. Very secluded sub/division and close to Bay Park. The Woods subdivision in Santa Rosa Beach Florida is 15 minutes from Destin shopping, Sandestin, Baytowne Wharf, Grand Boulevard, Sacred Heart Hospital and of course, the Gulf of Mexico Beaches! Offered at $395,000.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

HAP - Help Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field PCS to New Bases!

HAP, where are you?

HAP is the Homeowner Assistance Program for U.S. military members "who face financial loss" when selling their homes in order to PCS, or permanent change of station, to a new base. In other words, if you are an airman stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field or any other base and you have “orders” to move and your mortgage amount is more than the current value of your home- HAP is supposed to help you. HAP was meant to help cover a significant portion of your losses so you can dispose of your real estate to PCS, even if you are upside-down in your mortgage, without facing foreclosure.

But what is HAP doing? I am sorry to say- NOTHING! Thousands of servicemen have applied for help and many have already relocated - with no financial assistance. I have written a series of posts with information every time I get updates about the HAP program. Each time I write a new blog, HAP changes its story and so far has done NOTHING to help upside-down Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field airmen who are forced to relocate to new bases. On a previous blog I posted a link to the Department of Defense Directive that detailed the new HAP policy for PCS moves. When I checked the blog links about a week later- I found the information had been REMOVED from the HAP site. Further, the HAP site used to have an expanded FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section that answered many questions about the new PCS help. Those questions have been since REMOVED. But not before I quoted them in another post.

Our military members are good citizens and purchased homes when they moved to Eglin AFB or Hurlburt Field. Now, forced to PCS, they are faced with a choice:

1. Rent out their property, for an amount insufficient to cover their mortgage payment, due to declining rentals. Most military do not have enough to cover the shortfall.
2. Let the property go to foreclosure.
3. Do a short sale.
4. Bring money to closing to cover the loss- highly unlikely since most Fort Walton Beach, Crestview and Navarre Florida homes purchased in the last few years are $100,000 or more upside-down.
5. Wait for HAP while doing any of the above.
When HAP finally puts an assistance policy in place, these servicemen may get reimbursed part of the loss on their upside-down mortgages. But my question is- what good is a reimbursement after a lender has foreclosed or a short sale has been completed? By the time HAP starts working, it would be too late. There will already be a hit on the airmen’s credit. HAP representatives have suggested to me that the affected homeowner "borrow" an amount sufficient to cover the loss in a short sale, then wait for HAP funds. My question is - "HOW can an airman who earns $50,000 borrow a $100,000 note to “cover” an upside-down mortgage?" He cannot.

HAP, you've got to help... NOW.

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, Broker/Owner Rulnick Realty, to list and sell your home or condo 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 has been featured in "Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine" and "Florida Realtor Magazine".
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Westwinds- Sandestin Short Sale Approved

This 9th floor unit in the gulf-front Westwinds condo in gated Sandestin was just approved for short sale. Soothing jewel-like colors. Granite breakfast bar, inlaid tile backsplash, recessed lighting. Plush furnishings. Tile flooring. Gorgeous sights of beach, grounds, pool. Westwinds is on the south side of Hwy 98, with gulf-front amenities, restaurants, work-out facilities and shopping.

Sandestin in well-know for its Gulf of Mexico and Choctawhatchee Bay setting, Village of Baytowne Wharf and extravagant landscaping. Just five minutes away are more Destin Florida attractions- Grande Boulevard, Destin Commons and of course, Gulf of Mexico Beaches.Listed at $589,000, Bank of America has accepted over $300,000 loss. The short sale approval took 90 days.

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]
Wendy Rulnick is Broker/Owner of Rulnick Realty in Destin, FL. Wendy is a short sale specialist, and has been featured in Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine and Florida Realtor Magazine.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Proposed Changes to Florida Real Estate Contract: How Will It Affect Buyers and Sellers?

The Florida Association of Realtors uses two different versions of the purchase and sale agreement. One is called " FAR (Florida Association of Realtors)" the other "FAR BAR" (Florida Bar Association). In different parts of the state, real estate agent communities have their own customs as to which version they use. In my Destin FL area, for example, the FAR contract is more common. But a few towns over, in Pensacola, the FAR BAR is prevalent. Now the Florida Association of Realtors is proposing to combine both contracts and make further changes. The decision whether to proceed with the new contract will be made on August 23, during the FAR Annual Convention & Trade Expo. I have reviewed the 21 proposed changes and sent my comments in to my board at the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors. You should do the same, as your input is requested. Here are my thoughts:

· Paragraph 1. d. I find it odd that check boxes include "shed" unusual to remove that anyway), but don't include "Window Coverings". If the contract is taking the stance on questioning items that typically stay, like a shed, it should do the same with window coverings for the sake of consistency

· 125% escrow for repairs not completed – implies that buyer MUST close if repairs are not done by seller. As a buyer, I would be leery to close – what if the air conditioner did not work? Close anyway? Wait six months for the seller to repair? It might never be repaired, as the money sits in escrow. Forcing a buyer to accept that term is far too much micro-management of a contract between buyer and seller. I would line it out if I were representing a buyer. This should be removed from the contract. Ditto to RISK of LOSS paragraph

· If seller has a title policy, he shall provide a copy to buyer and closing agent within 5 days. Most sellers have one, but can they find it? Most cannot find all their paperwork, so the seller would be in default of the contract if he couldn’t find it. It would be "nice" if they provided it, but to stipulate it in the contract is excessive and not realistic. Remove this requirement.

· If seller has a survey, to provide to title agent within 5 days. I suppose that could cause issues if a seller has one, but cannot find it. VERY typical… Thus buyer could claim seller is in default… if they don’t comply. This should be removed.

· Define "financial failure" of lender… New proposal states buyer can cancel contract if he cannot close to due financial failure of his lender. I can see a situation where funds didn’t make it to closing on time, so hypothetically, the lender failed financially. This needs to be more clear. Lender "out-of-business" or something more specific should be used here. Another example, a bank was taken over or merged. That might also fit the definition of "financial failure"- but in essence, the closing could still be funded. That might be used as an excuse for a buyer not to close.

· Closing to occur on or BEFORE closing date as mutually agreed. This comes up again and again.

· Remove same county closing restriction. We often have closings one county away. It should state, "unless otherwise agreed between buyer and seller."

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Short Sales - Practical Training for Agents

Wendy Rulnick and Bryant Tutas recently taught real estate agents from around the country-- practical advice for success with short sales. It benefits the consumer, buyers, sellers and the entire economy if agents learn the most effective way to do short sales. Session One of the Short Sale Basics webinar discussed seller choices when faced with foreclosure, and the ramifications of different alternatives. Some of the topics covered were FICO scores, affects of deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, federal programs for homeowners in trouble. The next session, July 11, at 10:00 a.m. Central, will discuss qualifying the seller for a short sale.

Here are comments from students taking the webinar:

"I've completed lots of training but feel yours was most valuable in your method of approach and delivery. The dialogue made it feel like I was in an actual brick and mortar classroom with real live scenario." Wendy Weber, Realtor, Scottsdale, AZ

"Your webinar was very impressive and informative. I feel that it didn't come across as a lecture, but good and clear conversation. The short sale is a very complex process, but you have made it much clearer and there was a lot of useful information." Richard Barton Real Estate Investor

"I am really glad you guys are doing this, I was looking for a class taught by practicing real estate brokers." Jana Hristova

"I enjoyed the SS session 1 yesterday and look forward to the next 4. After Wendy's comment about the lame duck DOD HAP program yesterday I decided to blast my Congressman and 2 Senators an email blasting DODs inaction as a Citizen, Veteran and Realtor serving military clients." Don Duft, REALTOR

"I just wanted to thank you again and let you know that you and Wendy did a fabulous job! I'm really looking forward to the next one." Debe Maxwell, Realtor/Broker

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Friday, July 3, 2009

5 Steps to Get Your Short Sale Buyer to "Walk"

Today I was talking with a title agent in my Destin Florida market who handles short sale negotiations for agents. He lamented that he had two contracts recently fall apart, with buyers walking.
"Why?" I asked.
"Well, the agents don’t have the seller sign the contract, so it is just an offer. There is nothing to hold them."
"Stop doing that!" I told him, "I would never send an offer in to a short sale lender."
Which brings me to my point-- "How can you increase the chances of your buyer 'walking' from a short sale?" Just follow these tips:

1. Don’t have the seller sign the contract. Then it is not a contract, just an offer, and the buyer can bail without repercussion.

2. Never ask for an earnest money deposit. Why ask the buyer to put anything on the line to show his investment in the contract? Then he can walk free, usually, with nothing to "lose".

3. Use a 60 day closing and 30 day short sale approval time line. Sure, that will be enough time to get a typical short sale approved- Not! Oh well, if the time frame passes after hours and days of work invested, and the buyer doesn’t "stay", you can always start all over on a new transaction.

4. Write in the contract that the buyer can "Withdraw at any time". That should simplify things.

5. Finally, let the contract be submitted to the lender with others, just like an auction , because the short sale lender will abide by contract provisions and honor the "primary" offer first, right? That tactic will make your buyer stick like glue.

Follow these tips, and you'll be sure to decrease your chances of closing on a short sale. Or, get a buyer with realistic expectations, a good deposit, one strong offer, and an "executed" contract, and be on your way to a successful short sale closing.

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

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Why Short Sale Lenders Want Promissory Notes

Why would a short sale lender ask for a promissory note or cash contribution from the seller? The emails below, from Bank of America negotiators, will show you exactly why:

EXAMPLE 1: Santa Rosa Beach Florida Short Sale
"Please be advised, that before we discuss the closing costs you have to talk to the sellers regarding contribution to mitigate the loss.
The reasons:
* FICO in the high 700, never late on any account, continue to make payments on all credit cards
* good deposits
* good income on tax returns
Requested contribution: Promissory note of 12,000, payable in 8 years, 125 per month, 0 interest."

EXAMPLE 2: Destin Florida Short Sale
"Seller is currently paying off a car at 453.00 per month and several credit cards paid on time, Seller is getting deposits of 3000 and 2500 every other weeks on her bank accounts. I'm sure she can afford 333.33 per month.
The note is 0% interest for 5 years at 333.33 per month. There is no way we are releasing the liens debts over 684K without the seller contribution."

Both of these examples show how financial information is scrutinized by the short sale lender. Apparently, good credit, few delinquencies and regular income make the seller a candidate for contributing to the shortfall. In other cases, the lender, servicer, or mortgage insurance company may request a contribution due to its loss amount or policy. It is best to prepare your seller in advance.

It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Search Destin Real Estate
Destin Short Sales & Pre Foreclosure Help.
Read Destin Real Estate Blog

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 on the Emerald Coast of Florida: 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

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Welcome Debbie Gremillion!

We are excited to introduce our newest Rulnick Realty team member

Debbie Gremillion, Realtor®

Debbie is a Florida Licensed Sales Associate since 2005 and has worked with residential properties from Pensacola to Destin, serving all of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton Counties.
Prior to that Debbie worked as a Title Agent (Real Estate Closer) for over 12 yrs throughout the state of Florida, as well as 15 years in Banking experience.
She comes to us with great knowledge of military family transfers, as a spouse of retired military. Stop in to say "Hello, Debbie!"

Office: 850-650-7883 ext. 205
Cell: 850-292-6657
E-mail: [email protected]

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