Thursday, June 30, 2011

Amalfi Coast Condo Unit 221, Destin FL 32550 - Just Sold


Amalfi Coast Condo Sales
This Amalfi Coast short sale condo unt 221 in Destin Florida just sold. The spacious unit, over 1300 square feet, is two bedrooms and two full baths. The Amalfi Coast condo complex has gulf views, and yards of deeded beach access to the Gulf of Mexico. Amalfi Coast is set on eight lavish acres, with two pools, two tennis courts, pond, bridge, covered parking. It is in the Miramar Beach part of Destin proper, with nearby shopping at Silver Sands, Baytowne Wharf, Destin Commons and Grand Boulevard.

This Amalfi Coast short sale condo just sold for $225,000.

Search Destin Florida real estate.

Sell My Destin Florida property
It's Wendy!
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Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com


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Monday, June 27, 2011

Just Sold - 532 Tikell Dr., Antioch Estates, Crestview FL 32536


Antioch Estates short sales
This appealing home at 532 Tikell Dr., Antioch Estates, Crestview FL just sold. Painted in rich red and cream tones, it has a dramatic entrance into the cathedralled living room. Laminate wood flooring in living room and halls, tile kitchen and baths, berber carpet in bedrooms make this home special. It also has a wood burning fireplace, fenced back yard and brick and vinyl siding. Antioch Estates is located south of I-10 for quicker commutes to Eglin AFB and the beach.

This Antioch Estates home sold as a short sale for full price at $117,500.

Search Crestview Florida foreclosures - short sales.

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It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com


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Friday, June 24, 2011

What Is Your Real Estate Corporate Culture?


The other day a mortgage broker came in to my Destin real estate office to discuss his products. After some small talk, he asked what my corporate culture was. “What do you mean?”, I asked. He said, “You can just tell when you walk in the door of some companies, what they are about”. I figured he might mean water-cooler talkers or mostly retired agents discussing their tennis games (not that there is anything wrong with that). My office?
destin real estate offices
I responded the most important thing to my real estate business was its reputation and ethical conduct helping our clients. We also talked about the difference between successful sales people and those not so successful. Some essential philosophies, or “cultural” attributes, of a successful real estate agent, I told him, are:
1. “You cannot put the pen in someone’s hand and make him sign.” My first office manager told me that over twenty years ago. That means, you cannot make a buyer or seller do anything. Nor should you want to. That’s not the way to garner happy clients, return customers and referrals. If they don’t want to buy or sell the house, the condo, the lot, then they don’t. Plus, it’s just wrong.
2. “You should not “insert” yourself into the sales transaction.” Agents who get emotional and take things personally, as if they themselves were the buyer or seller, lose the objectivity needed to best help their clients and find solutions to problems.
3. “Move on.” If you lose a sale, ok, you are allowed to get upset. For one hour. Maybe even a day. But the longer it takes you to get over lost business, the more time it will take to help the next person. Don’t cling to a sale that died, or one that should! Say good-bye to a customer who didn’t want your help, and help someone else.
My discussion with the mortgage broker was more than a chit-chat. It was a review of innate qualities of good sales people. There are more. Some can be taught, and some can’t.
It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How Can Florida Homestead Laws Help You Short Sale with Judgment Liens?


Florida homestead judgments
If you are selling your Destin Florida home as a short sale, and get an approval, all is wonderful, right? Not necessarily, especially if there are judgments against you from other creditors filed in the State of Florida. For example, you may owe $25,000 on a charged-off credit card, have a defaulted car loan, small business loan, or a foreclosure from another property. In order to sell your short sale home, you would have to get your creditor to release its lien from the property being sold.
How do you end up with a lien on your Destin property from an unpaid loan, in the first place? According to the website of Jonathan Alper, Florida Attorney who specializes in asset protection, “ In Florida, a judgment creditor files its judgment with the Florida government in Tallahasseee, and that judgment then becomes a lien on all the debtor's Florida real estate.”
So, what do you do if you have this $25,000 judgment, and it’s getting in the way of closing your Destin short sale? If you cannot come to terms with the creditor, and your property is yourhomestead, you may be able to use Florida Statute 222.01 to have them remove their lien.
Florida homestead judgmentsFlorida Statute 222.01, Methods of Setting Apart Homesteads and Exemptions says, in summary:
1.You can exempt your homestead property from forced sale by filing a written Notice of Homestead describing the property and recording it in the circuit court.
2. The clerk will mail of copy of your notice to your judgment lienor.
3. The creditor has 45 days to “institute an action for a declaratory judgment to determine the constitutional homestead status of the property described in the notice of homestead or to file an action to foreclose the judgment lien, together with the filing of a lis pendens in the public records of the county in which the homestead is located”. If no action is taken, the judgment will not be considered attached to the homestead property, and the status will remain such for 180 days. So you can complete the sale of your homestead.
If the judgment pertains to taxes, assessments, mortgages on the property itself, mechanics liens, or “other obligations” contracted for the real property, you cannot use this Notice of Homestead to remove the lien.
Florida has a great protection for owners of homestead property. If you are in a short sale situation, and need to apply the Notice of Homestead to remove a judgment, please consult with a Florida attorney and a Destin short sale specialist.
It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com


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My First Canoe Trip at Milton Florida’s Adventures Unlimited


Milton Canoe Trips
My first “Canoe Adventure”. My husband popped the question Thursday night. You know how guys are? They wait until the last minute to ask you something. His work group was going on a river canoe trip the next day. Did I want to go? He thought I'd say no, because I don't like bugs, hate humidity and don't like getting in the water. Well, I said "Yes" anyway, and off we went!
The canoe trip was sponsored by Adventures Unlimited in Milton Florida. Located on Coldwater Creek, they offer kayaking, canoes, zip-lines, orienteering, cabins and more. We drove the hour from Destin to Milton, getting up at a groggy-eyed 5:00 a.m. It was far away, and I was sure we were in some other state, lost on a back road. When we got to the site, though, it looked like a well-organized campground. I told the clerk we wanted an “upgraded kayak or canoe” (whatever you call those things), as I didn't want to paddle, just enjoy my husband's gondoliering skills down the creek. She said I could be like Cleopatra in the front, so just take one paddle, and it would be no problem. Uh, not exactly, as we'll find out later.
Milton Canoe TripsOur next step was getting on a bus to be driven to the drop-off point, where we would get into our canoes and kayaks. The guide announced,"The special group should get on the bus first - those who are going on the 15 mile trip." Whew, I was glad that wasn't us. But wait -- Get on”, he said! It is YOU- you are on the advanced trip. Oh no, I felt like someone who had just enlisted in the military and there was nothing you could do to change your mind. I was in, and there was no turning back. I just hoped the 15 miles would be a joy ride.

We got to our drop off point to find out there was no extra “upgraded” canoe with the raised seat-backs for us. We could wait for one and hold up the trip, or carry on. One of my husband's buddies whispered to me, "You really should have a paddle, too, just in case...". "You're right" I said, but it was too late.
At the send-off, the guide told us, you’ll be going by two bridges. After the second bridge, you’ll be close to home. Watch for the signs that say "Stop". The trip should take about four hours. Not.
Milton Canoe TripsAt first, getting in the canoe was glorious. A little shaky, but pleasant. Then the adventures came. We got stuck on the bottom several times, as the water was too shallow. My husband got out and towed us through the pebbles by hand. Such a Herc. I probably should have gotten out of the boat to help him out. Then the rain came. Not a pleasant sun-shower. A full-out downpour. There I was, soaked to the bone. I might as well have been swimming. I thought it was a dream. No help. No cover. In the middle of nowhere. Finally, the rain stopped. I tried to towel myself off, but the towel was sopped, too.
Onward we went. Where the water wasn’t shallow, there were huge tree limbsMilton Canoe Trips and stumps to avoid. They were beautiful, but banging up against them was jolting. My husband paddled on. I realized I should have brought my own paddle to help, as the rest of the group was far ahead of us. To avoid shallow areas, we had to skirt the shoreline. A little too closely at times. I did complete back flops into the canoe to avoid having my head taken off by tree limbs. That only happened three times. The last time was when all of my husband’s friends were parked on shore waiting for us to catch up. We went right into the trees, I slammed flat on my back, and they all clapped. How embarrassing.
Are we there yet? Two hours later, more rain. We were only one-third of the way through. I decided to pull a huge branch from the creek to use as a paddle to “help” out my husband. Apparently, the experienced river rats thought that was hysterical, and laughed at my “paddle”. Onward we went. Maybe we’d never get out. This was one of those movies. After each curve of trees, I kept hoping for the “Stop” sign. Maybe it was around the next curve? Nope. This is the one!? Nope. Lost on a river. Finally, six hours and 15 MILES later, we got back to our starting point. Our adventure was over.
Did I have fun? Yes! I loved looking at the beautiful nature, trees, clear water, ancient stumps, feeling the cool breeze and enjoyment of friends. Would I go again? YES. But next time? Sign me up for the short course, and I’ll bring my own paddle!
Milton Canoe TripsMilton Canoe TripsMilton Canoe TripsMilton Canoe TripsMilton Canoe TripsMilton Canoe Trips
It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com


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Considering Eglin AFB HAP PCS to Avoid Short Sale or Foreclosure? 3 Options Available



Eglin HAP agent
HAP is the Homeowners Assistance Program that helps Eglin Air Force Base or Hurlburt Field airmen PCSing to new bases who have upside-down equity in their homes. That is, their mortgage balances are more than the fair market values of their properties. HAP helps those military members who are ordered to transfer to new bases avoid foreclosure, short sale and VA Compromise Sale by paying off the mortgage balance not covered by the sales proceeds due to declining market values. If you qualify for HAP, there are three main programs for assistance: Government Acquisition (GA), Government Assisted Private Sale (GAPS), and Private Sale (PS).
In this article, we’ll example the Government Assisted Private Sale (formerly called Private Sale Augmentation). Will it work for you? Let’s see….
GAPS is a more complicated HAP program, but you could end up putting dollars in your pocket if the calculations work in your favor. To figure out how much of your mortgage and closing costs it will cover, HAP calculates 90% of your prior fair market value (your purchase price plus costs of improvements), adds about 7% for closing costs, then subtracts out your new purchase price and mortgage payoff, plus any buyer credits and actual closing costs. If you have put enough improvements into your home, or the purchase price is high enough, or your mortgage payoff low enough, that's where this program makes sense - your mortgage and closing costs will be covered and you get money back at closing. Let's look at an example.
For our example, let’s start with these numbers.
Original Purchase Price $300,000
Improvements $20,000
Total Prior Fair Market Value $320,000 (PFMV)
PFMV $320,000 x 90% = $288,000 (HAP benefit)
Sale Price $200,000
HAP Closing Cost Estimate $14,000 (sale price x 7%)
Outstanding Mortgage $250,000
Seller Subsidy,Closing Costs $7000

Now, to put our calculations together….
Property Benefit = .90 X 320,000(PFMV) = 288,000 - 200,000 (sale price) = $88,000 (property benefit)
Estimated HAP Benefit = 88,000 + 14,000 (est closing costs) = 102,000
Cash to Closing = (200,000 purchase price + 102,000 = 302,000) - (250,000 mortgage balance + 7,000 seller subsidy = 257,000) = 45,000
SELLER GETS $45,000 Back at closing!
HAP Eglin PCSHow would the GAPS HAP Program not work for the Eglin AFB Service Member? Let’s alter the numbers, and pretend the outstanding mortgage balance were higher, let’s say $285,000, and the sale price lower, like $180,000, and all the other numbers were the same.
In that case:
Cash to Closing = (180,000 purchase price + 102,000 = 282,000) – (285,000 mortgage balance +7,000) = 292,000) = -10,000 Uh Oh!! Seller would have to bring $10,000 to closing! This GAPS program would not work to the benefit of the Eglin or Hurlburt airman.
What’s the alternative? Use the standard HAP Government Acquisition (GA) program. In the GA program, HAP will simply pay off the mortgage balance at closing, plus 3% buyer credit of allowable closing costs. There would be a closing first between the U.S. and the service member, then a same-day closing between the U.S. and the buyer the service member found through his Realtor who specializes in HAP.
There are more detailed criteria that apply to each HAP scenario. If you are PCSing, need to sell, and want to avoid foreclosure, short sale or VA Compromise Sale, HAP may be your best option. Questions? Give me a call.
It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com


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Monday, June 13, 2011

Bungalows at Seagrove Beach FL #107 - Short Sale by the Beach

A welcoming cottage home in Bungalows at Seagrove Beach Florida, just steps to the pool and beach. This Santa Rosa Beach short sale home is on a lake filled with fish, turtles and herons. You'll feel nature at your window at every meal with a lakeside view. This cottage home is bright and clean. The kitchen has tiled counters, breakfast bar and recessed lighting. Upgrades include interior shutters, tiled floors and raised ceilings on both floors. The grounds on this Somerset Bridge short sale property are beautifully landscaped, with two pools, hot tub, sidewalks and wooden bridges. This home is complete with a wine refrigerator, 2 televisions, leather queen sleeper, teak furniture including media cabinet, bar stools and bedroom sets.
198 Somerset Bridge Rd., Bungalows at Seagrove Beach FL - offered for $159,900
It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204

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235 Wekiva Cove, Emerald Lakes, Destin FL 32541 - Short Sale


Emerald Lakes Homes
Impressive Destin Florida short sale home in Emerald Lakes with plenty of individuality. Tucked away on the circle part of Wekiva Cove, this elegant home is a stand out. The interior, recently tiled and painted throughout, has 9-10' ceilings, and a unique layout. The kitchen has new modern cabinets, quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, new pendant and recessed lighting. The living room has gas fireplace and is partially open to the kitchen to add spaciousness. The tiled Florida room is very cool and relaxing with ceiling fans.
235 Wekiva CoveEmerald Lakes Homes 235 Wekiva Cove235 Wekiva Cove
Master bedroom is private, with its own door to back yard. Master bath has whirlpool tub, separate sit-down shower, and walk-in closet. Other features include: crown molding, security system, motion detector lights surround sound, hurricane panels for the whole house, new air conditioner. Emerald Lakes has a community pool and tennis court, access to seven lakes for great fishing, gated community in the heart of Destin. Nearby, you'll find shopping in Destin Commons, Baytowne Wharf, Grand Boulevard and Silver Sands. Of course, the Destin Beachesare a couple minutes away, too.
235 Wekiva Cove, Emerald Lakes, Destin Florida - Short Sale offered for $269,900
235 Wekiva Cove235 Wekiva Cove
It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com


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Do You Write Just Any Old Offer To See If It Sticks?



Contract Negotiations
In the past few weeks, I’ve received some crazy offers on my listings. For example, 30% lower than list price, or only allowing 10 days for short sale approval, or very low price plus all seller-paid closing costs.
To protect the innocent, those are only a few of the rash of offers I’ve received lately. My question is, “Why”? When I gently ask the buyer’s agent “Why? Why is the offer so low? Why is there no deposit? Why do you only have 10 days for short sale approval?”, I generally get answers like – “Just get me a counter offer” or “See what you can do”.
My impression is that some agents are from the camp of “Write any offer if you have a ‘live’ buyer.” Forget about counseling, coaching or educating. If you have a live one, just write it up!

I know some agents do try to educate and explain the likely seller response, and even after counseling, the buyer chooses a doomed course of action. I am not talking about those. Nor am I talking about the unique circumstances where an unusual offer might be the correct approach. I am talking about those who "Write anything!" because, well, you might get lucky!
Does this approach truly service the buyer? Is it in the buyer’s best interest to present any old offer “just” to get a counter offer? I think not.
What if the seller got a simultaneous offer, superior to yours? Chances are, the seller won’t counter your offer, he will eliminate it! Or maybe, if the offer were more rational to start with, the buyer might get a better response, instead of getting the seller’s hackles up. Then he would have a better chance of getting the home he wanted. After all, isn’t that the point?
It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

PCSing from Eglin AFB? Another Navarre Florida HAP Home Sold


Navarre HAP agent
This gorgeous home at 2408 Kodiak Ct., Navarre Florida was just sold using the HAP program.What is HAP? It's short for Homeowner Assistance Program, and is a Department of Defense relocation benefit to U.S. Armed Forces members who meet certain requirements. It's a terrific help for Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field and Duke Field airmen whose property values have declined. How? HAP may cover most, if not all, of your upside-down mortgage when you sell your property in order to PCS.

What are HAP requirements? Here are the main criteria, but HAP will do a full review of your situation to see if you qualify, and what your benefits may be:

1. You have PCS (permanent change of station) orders to move more than 50 miles away
2. You bought your home or entered into a contract to purchase prior to July 1, 2006 (that requirement is currently under review by Congress)
3. You lived in the home as your primary residence
4. Your PCS orders were between February 1 2006 through September 30, 2010 (there is a possibility of the program approving orders through September 2012 if funding is available)
5. Your home must have declined at least 10% in value. (Common in the Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field markets). HAP Eglin PCS

Once you apply for HAP, and send your in the sales contract from the buyer you found with the help of your real estate agent, HAP will calculate how much of your mortgage deficit will be covered at closing. You might even get a credit back if you've done many home improvements.

HAP is a good alternative to short sale or foreclosure, as it will not affect your credit.

I've helped many Eglin and Hurlburt homeowners in Navarre, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Crestview Florida sell their homes using the HAP program. Contact me, and I'll help you explore your options.

Eglin HAP steps
HAP Q&A
Apply for HAP
It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com


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Can I Sell My Sandestin Short Sale With High Loss?


High Dollar short sales
Do you think your mortgage is “too upside down” to do a short sale? Think again. Many Sandestin Florida homeowners bought houses and condos with loans over a million dollars in 2004-2007. Today, those property values might worth one-half of their original purchase price. With such high dollar losses and faced with financial difficulty, many of these homeowners don’t think they have a chance at a short sale. Heck, even some real estate agents question me before showing my Sandestin listings. They say:

“I checked public records. You have that property listed at a BIG loss from the original mortgage amount. Can you even get the short sale approved?”
What? The loss amount? Why are you asking me that question? Any loss amount can be approved – if the other ingredients in the short sale are right. Some of those ingredients are: copies of bank statements, tax returns, paystubs, hardship letter, fair market value offer. Wait! This all sounds like a standard short sale! Hmmm…. well, it is!

For example, I just received approval on a Bank of America short sale listing in the Burnt Pine subdivision of Sandestin Florida. The original mortgage was over one million dollars, and the net proceeds from the short sale to the lender will be about $490,000. It will be $530,000 less than the mortgage balance. Did the short sale process take longer? Yes, but not much more than the standard time frame. Did the seller participate in the loss? Yes, the seller agreed to a small promissory note and a cash contribution.Did Bank of America waive its right to seek a deficiency judgment? Yes, it did.

How did we succeed getting approval for this high dollar loss Destin Florida short sale? The same way we get other short sales approved. Complete documentation, a strong contract, a serious seller and tenacious follow up
It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-650-7883 or 1-877-487-9639
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com


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