Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Amalfi Coast, Miramar Beach FL Fannie Mae Approved Short Sale


Building and Grounds
It was an interesting run to "APPROVED" and "SOLD" for this Amalfi Coast Unit B114 short sale condo in Miramar Beach, Florida.  The condo had one Bank of America mortgage and the investor on the mortgage was Fannie Mae.
Initially, the property was enrolled by Bank of America into their cooperative short sale program with a set list price. After I received a good offer that become a "contract" just 60 days later, I found out that it had mistakenly been entered into the "Coop" program.  Bank of America had delegated the servicing of this loan to a third party company, REDC, with whom I did the negotiating.  I got a terse "rejection" on the file even after some counter offering of price and a request for seller contribution.  I could not get a good explanation as to "why" the file was rejected so that I could solve the problem.
Give upThe seller said to me, "Well, thank you, we tried.". "Tried?", I replied, "I am not done yet."  When something is wrong, it's wrong. I knew this Fannie Mae short sale should have been approved.  I wasn't going to be "done" until it was approved.  I emailed Fannie Mae executives directly.  I received no reply or even acknowledgment (hey, aren't they a government agency?).  My next step was to escalate this file to the Bank of America Twitter Team (technically called their "Social Media" team).  I explained that the seller should have had an approval based on the new FHFA Fannie Mae guidelines that had been announced in November 2012. His hardship was one of the automatic approvals listed. The Twitter rep understood!

The file was pulled from REDC, the third party vendor, and I was assigned an ace Bank of America negotiator who "got it".  We worked the file, and he re-submitted to Fannie Mae. Result? Approved.
The seller was thrilled. The buyer, who was working with another agent, even dropped me off a bottle of champagne (first time that's ever happened in my career). The Bank of America negotiator told me that his reward was helping people. That meant a lot.  I feel the same way.

Do you have a Fannie Mae Bank of America short sale property in Miramar Beach or Destin Florida? Give me a call. I don't give up until it's done!

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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812 Lark, Fort Walton Beach FL Short Sale Fixer Upper


812 Lark Fort Walton Beach
It's all about the lot at 812 Lark St., Fort Walton Beach Florida short sale.  At .85 acres, this is the yard you've been waiting for. Inside feels spacious, find a tiled family room that could be an office, in addition to the separate living room. Circular drive, newer air conditioner. There is a large shed in back of the property. The lot is twice as large as most others in the neighborhood, leaving the possibility to subdivide open. Two short sale lenders, EMC which is handled by Chase and ASC which is handled by Wells Fargo. This Fort Walton Beach Florida home is in the Wright area, very convenient to Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field.

812 Lark St., Fort Walton Beach Florida - offered for $127,900.

Fort Walton Beach lot for subdividing Fort Walton Beach EMC short sales Fort Walton Beach ASC short sales Rear

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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Selling Our Destin Florida Home – A Realtor’s Story– Part 5 Conclusion


Selling my Destin Florida home 
This is the last of a five part series. As a Destin real estate Broker with over 20 years experience, I recently went through the home buying and selling process myself. It was a “moving” experience.
Having found the perfect home in Bluewater Bay, now it was time to sell my house in Destin Florida. (For explanation of why I did this in reverse, see Should We Sell or Buy First? ). I decided the best way to “show” my home was without us living in there. Plus, I Wendy's catshave three precious cats, what a nightmare to round them up prior to any showing! My husband and I decided to move most of our things out and live in the digs he had prior to our marriage, while our new home was being remodeled by Beukenkamp Building Group (future blog). One week after my back surgery, we packed up most of the house, but left items that would help stage the home. The living room, dining room set and some paintings remained. Since the carpet was beat up from years of cat-abuse, I had them replaced with a neutral and “in” carpet for a reasonable price. We had minor repairs done. The home was then deep cleaned. It looked great!
So, I listed my Destin home in the MLS and did all the normal and extensive marketing I do for all my listings. I wrote a custom blog, made a visual tour, blasted my Destin Florida listing on social media platforms, like FacebookGoogle+Twitter, Linkedin, syndicated the listing to about 100 different sites, such as Craigslist, Realbird, etc. The home was shown, a lot.
Each time there was a showing I would email the agent for feedback: “Hi! Thank you for Feedbackshowing my home. How did it go? Do you have any questions about the property? Price and condition compared to others? Offer forthcoming?” As a “homeowner”, the answers to these questions meant a lot. I was a basket case. I would overanalyze every feedback comment, dumb or not, and I am sure I drove the buyers’ agents nuts. “What do you mean the master bedroom not on the first floor is a problem?” “If it’s so beautiful, why aren’t they writing an offer?” “Huh? Far from the beach? It’s only a four minute walk.” Since Crystal Beach in Destin Florida is not a normal “suburban” market, there was a strange mix of buyers. Some were looking at houses AND condos. Others wanted a rental property. Very few wanted a full time residence, which is how we had used the home.
Finally, after about 110 days on the market, we got “the offer”! It was great-  after a little negotiation, we were sold! The time on the market had felt more like six months to me. I had wondered if the home would ever sell. I kept asking myself, “Wendy, what would you tell your seller who got positive feedback and a good number of showings?” “Chill out!” That was the hard part, I couldn’t.
What did I learn from this selling adventure? I am fairly empathetic with my buyers and sellers already. Now, I am more so. With gentle kindness, a little good humor, and a lot of patience, I am ready to guide them through their own adventure of selling and buying real estate on the Emerald Coast.
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, January 21, 2013

Writing the Offer - A Realtor's Story - Part 4 in a series


Buying a Home in Niceville or Destin Florida
Fourth in a Five Part Series
We found it! Having decided to move, buy before selling, searching diligently, we had finally found the perfect home. After viewing hundreds of properties online and looking at a few, this was “It”! Now it was time to write the offer. I knew the home would be popular, as it was in a gated golf community in Southwind, part of Bluewater Bay. In fact, I slightly freaked out, as there were other agents’ business cards on the breakfast bar. That meant – it was being shown! I was no longer a “Realtor”, I became the “Buyer”. I wanted the house and no one else was going to get it. So part of this story is a bit of a confessional.
What to offer? The house had only been on the market a few days, so I guessed the seller, probably like most, expected a strong offer. I wanted to make what I thought was a “fair” offer. I looked at the comparable sold properties, and wrote an offer just slightly under market value, which was 12% lower than list price. Let’s see how the seller would respond. Would they be reasonable or want to play the counter offer game? I was hoping for the former.
Uggghhh!! They took four days to respond – past the counter offer deadline. The buyer’s agent kept saying he couldn’t reach them. In the meantime, I had bad thoughts. Seriously, I was no longer the Realtor. I was the Buyer. Here are my thoughts: “Maybe the seller was entertaining another offer? Maybe they were stalling HOPING to get another offer?” I went back to look at the house again. YES, fears confirmed, there were more business cards on the counter!
Finally, the seller responded by countering at just 3% under list price. I knew they would counter, but I thought they would be reasonable. Their counter was over market value. My turn. They wanted to play. I countered again quickly. I increased my offer to 7% under their initial list price. I also told them (card held back), that I would waive my Realtor fee on the sale. Duhhh. Why would I want to finance or pay my own commission when buying my own property? That doesn’t even make sense. (If your company allows you do to this – I am the Broker, so I could do so).  I wrote a cover letter to the seller’s agent explaining that by adding back the saved “commission” expense, the seller’s net would increase, and they would find it very fair.
Buying a HomeTick tock. Tick tock. Again, we waited for their response, as I was getting prepared for a major back surgery. They knew that. (Buyer thoughts: I couldn’t believe they would make me wait. Surely, they must realize the stress I was under?)  Three days later, the morning of my back surgery, a late night voice mail had come in. ACCEPTED!!
Next, the final chapter in the series – Selling our home! And yes, I really became that “Seller”!
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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The Search for a New Home - A Realtor's Story - Part 3 in a series


Niceville Florida home search
Third in a Five Part Series
Being a Destin Realtor with over 20 years experience, it’s good to go through the home selling and buying process every once in a while. This is the third in a five part series describing my recent journey.
Having decided to move, then deciding to buy a home before selling the original, the search for a new home began. The “search” is my field, being as OCD on research as I am. One of the key criteria in my new home search was “privacy”. Never again did I want a home where the adjoining lot owner could build an edifice and take down every tree. The other criteria were location, age, size and price. And my strange minor requirements, such as not having the kitchen sink on the other side of the breakfast bar.
Home searchIt’s true that over 90% of buyers start their home search online. That’s what I did. I scoured the MLS every day for six weeks. I would look at every lot or house with my target criteria that was already for sale, new to the market or back on the market – online.  I went a little above and below my price range. I looked a little outside my top locations, Niceville and Destin Florida. I would pull the aerial of the lot from the Okaloosa Property Appraiser website to check the adjoining pieces – to see if there was the privacy I wanted. On some lots I would do a FEMA flood zone search. I would look at all the online photos. I must have looked at a few hundred properties in this manner. (Yes, I am nuts!)
My husband and I only drove to four lots. We eliminated those. Some were too "downhill", one was in a flood prone area and one gave us a lot of bug bites! For houses, we only made appointments to see three over the course of the search. One was quite an experience, where the owner was home during the showing. The last house, however, was “the one”. I remember when it came on the market. Location? Check! Price? Check! Size? Check! I looked at the aerial and plat from the property appraiser website. There was an unbuildable public marshland behind and to one side, and the house was situated deep and private at the end of a cul-de-sac . I grabbed my friend and drove off during work to see the vacant house. 
When I pulled in the driveway  - I knew! This was it! The trees were sixty feet high. The driveway, 100 feet long. It was private. When I walked inside - I knew! The inside felt “right”.  It had a huge open living room with a high ceiling, an open dining area and a sunroom beyond. The kitchen had an adjoining breakfast room with a vaulted ceiling. It would need major updating to make it perfect for my style (much later blog), but I was excited. I called my husband and told  him he had to see it immediately. He liked it, too. I even showed my builder, Felix Beukenkamp. "Can you remodel it for us?” “Of course!”, he said. We wrote the offer.... just before my back surgery.
The next part of the adventure.... Writing the Offer
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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Should We Sell or Buy First? - A Realtor's Story - Part 2 in a series



Selling or Buying First
Second in a Five Part Series.
Having made the decision to leave our Destin Florida home, I had another decision to make with my husband. "Should we list and sell our Destin home before buying or building another one, or should we find something we really wanted first, then sell?" First, of course, we had to get “qualified” for a new mortgage, either way. Would it even be possible for us to get another loan without selling?
Knowing the amount of paperwork we would face to apply for a mortgage, I took the first step. I contacted a handful of mortgage lenders. The difference in style and knowledge was apparent. We ended up working with Joe Pelter of First Federal Bank of Florida. The instant I spoke with him on the phone, I knew he was the master. After about a 40 minute detailed conversation, he told me we could go ahead and buy or build without selling our home first. This would have to be verified by the full mortgage application process, but he was confident, and we were confident in Joe. Since First Federal Bank did not do lot loans, we also got pre-qualified for one with People's National Bank of Niceville, in case we went the building route with a construction perm loan.  (They are one of the few lenders who currently do lot loans on the Emerald Coast).
Armed with the knowledge we could buy without selling, I made a chart comparing the positives and negatives of buying a house, or buying a lot and building, either with selling first or later. The key criteria for me was “stress” (that came later anyway). I thought it would be less stressful buying first, then selling. That’s what we did! Part Three will be about “The Search”.  The fun part!
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, January 18, 2013

Deciding to Move – A Realtor’s Story - Part 1 in a Series


Deciding to Move
First in a Series: Deciding to Move - A Realtor's Story
I want to tell you about my personal journey and the decision to sell my home and buy a new one. As a Destin Realtor with over 20 years experience, it’s good to go through the home buying and selling process once in a while. It has helped me really empathize with my customers – both buyers and sellers. A similar journey is shared by many and was poignantly felt by me.
Background. I had lived in Destin Florida for many years, about 15. The home I owned had been custom built and designed for me by my good friends and excellent builders, Beukenkamp Building Group. The architect even studied Feng Shui for me to really make the home mine. It was beautiful. I had found the perfect lot for the home by mailing everyone in a three street radius in the neighborhood I wanted, to see if they had been thinking of selling. The lot owner who interestingly listed with someone right after my mailing, had the perfect location. It was at the end of the street, away from the short-term rental properties (lots of noise), and bordered by two vacant lots filled with trees, brush, vines and nature. The Gulf of Mexico was at the end of the street. I loved it. I would sit out on the balcony and look at the trees, listen to the waves, feel the breeze and relax. I would watch for birds in the back yard, twice seeing a Marsh Hawk.  I kept a log of the birds and the dates I saw them. I felt enveloped by nature in my beautiful home. 
A few months ago, after 13 years in my home, the vacant lot to the north of me sold. The lots are not very big in Destin, so I was alarmed. My first thoughts were of my evaporating privacy and the trees. Oh the trees! I immediately had a gorgeous fence installed by Beukenkamp Building Group, hoping that I would still have some privacy and a treed border beside what would be a new house next door. I put up wood blinds over my kitchen window that had been bare for the treed view, to at least save some privacy from peering windows.
Unfortunately, almost every tree that bordered my house on the lot next door was removed. The eight-foot tall, meandering fence wasn’t going to stop the towering shadow of the house being erected at the edge of my property line. Then the lot to the south of me also sold. I made the decision. It would never be the same. It was time to move. And so, the adventure began.
It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, has been featured in "Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine" and "Florida Realtor Magazine". Wendy Rulnick sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Crestview, Rosemary Beach, Mary Esther, Shalimar, Panama City Beach, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field. 
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc., Destin Florida
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

2834 Atoka, Crestview FL Citi VA Compromise Sale Approved


Citi Mortgage just approved this Cherokee Bend, Crestview Florida VA Compromise Sale.  An interesting and long process, we ended up selling this property to the second buyer.

This  Crestview Florida VA Compromise Sale took about four months to be assigned to a VA negotiator at Citi.  Countless documents were requested to be faxed and re-faxed. For example, seller pay stubs, bank statements and Citi's "Workable Solutions Package" (their standard financial worksheet) had to be sent in multiple times. Citi would take days to acknowledge receiving the documents, or not. They were sent in by both my office and the seller, sometimes to Citi's short sale email, which is host.citilinkdocs@citi.com.  Unfortunately, the initial buyer purchased another home during this short sale process.  Fortunately, we found a new buyer within a few days, and directly emailed the new contract and HUD-1 settlement statement to the VA Compromise negotiator at Citi, the same day he said he had to permanently close the file!  Happily, the new offer was within guidelines for VA Compromise Sale - the net proceeds exceeded 88.13% of appraised value.  We expect the property to close within 30 days.


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, January 7, 2013

2 Acres Waterfront Lot Mary Esther Florida


Mary Esther Florida waterfront 2 acres

Spectacular Mary Esther Florida sound front estate-sized lot of over 2 acres on secluded cul-de-sac on Forest Shores Drive, just past Emerald Pointe. Build a home with dappling water views and privacy, and even your own sandy beach. This lot is deep, over 900 feet to water, and 100 feet on the sound. Waterfront area has some wetlands, but there is plenty of uplands for a home surrounded by nature and a beach walk-over. Lot includes property to north of road for more privacy. Neighboring homes are upscale and grand. Tap fees are paid. Home can be built for you on this lot, we have a builder in mind who knows the property.  Located in Mary Esther, West of Hurlburt Field and good commute to Eglin Air Force Base, too!

This property at Lot 15 Forest Shores Dr, Mary Esther Florida is offered for $199,900

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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98 Barracuda St., Destin Florida - Crystal Beach on way to Sold


Crystal Beach Destin FL
This Crystal Beach Destin Florida home at 98 Barracuda St., is on its way to Sold. Under contract in a little more than 90 days, the home epitomizes Crystal Beach living. Crystal Beach is located across from several walk-ways to the Gulf of Mexico beaches, and just a stroll to shopping and restaurants. Nearby, you'll find Destin CommonsRave Movie Theater including IMAX, restaurants like Cuvee Bistro and Tuscany Bistro, shops like The Fresh Market and more.  The home at 98 Barracuda Street was custom built in 2000, and has 2000 square feet. The list price that procured a buyer was $414,900.

Currently, there are seven homes under contract in Crystal Beach or Crystal Shores.  Thirty-six homes sold in Crystal Beach in 2012. There are thirty-one homes for sale.

98 Barracuda Street, Destin Florida will close in mid January 2013.

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, January 4, 2013

127 Valencia FHA HUD Short Sale Fort Walton Beach FL



Valencia Townhome in Fort Walton Beach. This is an JP Morgan Chase FHA HUD pre foreclosure short sale. A brick townhome with private fenced back yard. Needs work, but some started for you! Welcoming shutters and bay window. Living Room has new floor. Master bedroom has walk in closet and new carpet. Kitchen has pass-through breakfast bar. Half bath downstairs and full bath upstairs with the bedrooms. Bathroom shower nicely done with tile in shower. Backyard is private and has storage shed. Covered patio with extra storage room attached. Flooring needed upstairs in bedroom - just has subflooring.  Good commute to Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field.

127 Valencia Dr., Fort Walton Beach Florida - Chase FHA HUD short sale offered for $58,900

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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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Parkwood Estates Green Tree Short Sale Bluewater Bay Florida

 Green Tree short saleParkwood Estates Green Tree short sale home in Bluewater Bay, Niceville Florida. 1616 Myrtlewood  stars a saltwater pool and is located in a gated Parkwood Estates community on a cul-de-sac. Four spacious bedrooms, cathedralled living room with corner fireplace, plant ledge, French doors. Kitchen is eat-in with tiled center isle and overlooks delightful saltwater pool area. Separate, carpeted formal dining room. Master bathroom has double vanities, whirlpool tub. Big closets with custom shelving in all bedrooms, second bedroom has two closets, master bedroom has walk-in. Master bedroom has hardwood floors, bath tile. Former sunroom has been converted a bonus room is fully enclosed with tile flooring and central heating and air. Wood blinds through out home with insulated cellular/honeysuckle shades in kitchen nook, dining room, and office/bedroom.  Fantastic landscaping showcases the star of the home - the elegant salt water pool surrounded by a manorly pavered patio. Memberships available in Bluewater Bay for tennis, pool, golf.
1616 Myrtlewood, Parkwood Estates, Niceville Florida - Green Tree short sale offered for $329,900
Parkwood Estates Green Tree short saleParkwood Estates Green Tree short sale
Parkwood Estates Green Tree short saleParkwood Estates Green Tree short saleParkwood Estates Green Tree short saleParkwood Estates Green Tree short sale
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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