Monday, July 25, 2011

6 Reasons to Reduce Your Home Price

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Bottom Line: If you are thinking about listing your home or if your listing has already expired after an unsuccessful listing, call/text me at 918-951-7009 or email This market is all about pricing!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Assets and Your Mortgage Application

When lenders evaluate mortgage borrowers, they look at four things: income (the ability to repay), credit (the willingness to repay), collateral (appraised value and property condition) and assets (cash in the deal and cash reserves after closing, mostly). Of the “four legs of the table”, assets are the least discussed, and yet may be the most important.

What do we mean when we talk about assets?

Monies needed for the down payment (the difference between the purchase price and the loan amount which may or may not be the same as the money deposit at contract signing)

Monies needed for closing costs (fees to the lender and third parties for things like appraisals, title insurance, settlement services, and so on)

Monies needed for Pre-Paids (homeowners insurance, flood insurance, real estate taxes, etc.) and establishing escrow accounts for future payments

Monies for Reserves- the money you still have left after closing. Monies that would be available, if a problem were to arise.

Why do we care about assets?

Assets may be the truest reflection of a borrower’s fiscal strength. Their ability to save and properly budget could be a significant indicator to their future paying habits.

The source of the assets is important. Savings? Gift or inheritance? Lottery victory? Insurance settlement? Sale of a baseball card collection? Each reflects differently on the borrower.

Many people don’t show all their income on their tax returns (it’s just a fact). Undocumented income can’t be used to qualify; however, often assets become a truer representation of a borrower ability to pay than their 1040s.

Reserves are an issue. A client with $50 in the bank after closing is riskier than one with $50,000. Also, clients who have money in the bank but have some sporadic lates on their credit are looked at differently than those who didn’t have the money to make the payments.

Common Asset Issues in Mortgage Packages:

Large deposits (defined as those which are excessive for the income level) raise an underwriter’s eyebrows. Where did the money come from? Maybe the borrower took a loan that doesn’t yet show up on their credit report.

Cash deposits are another red flag. In this day and age, people keep their money in the bank, not under their mattress. Where did the cash come from?

Gift monies and seller’s concessions, while considered as borrowers assets when doing calculations, will give an underwriter pause when assessing the borrower’s real ability to replay.

Guidelines have tightened. When borrowers are paying off credit cards to get their ratios in line, lenders are asking where that money came from now. That act has nothing to do with the home purchase, but may be a sign of something fragile in the borrower’s financial make up.

The best advice is to consult a loan professional to discuss the proper way to position your assets and the timing of it that will put you in the most favorable light.

by Dean Hartman, The KCM Blog

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Is it easy being green? Tips for greening your home!

Looking for easy ways to "green" your home and put a little green in your pocket? Consider some of the following quick and easy tips! 1) Get rid of old, seldom used appliances, the refrigerator in the garage consumes a lot of energy! 2) Keep your heat and air running smoothly by having them serviced on a yearly basis and set them a little cooler or warmer than feels comfortable. Make sure your filters are clean and use programmable thermostats! 3) Conserve water by adding aerators to your faucets and low water usage toilets. 4) Unplug energy "vampires" those items such as coffee makers, dvds & vcrs that are constantly using low amounts of electricity. 5) Add extra insulation to your attic to keep heated and cooled air inside. 6) Keep your air in, plug the leaks around doors and windows. 7) Switch to energy efficient light bulbs. 8) When old appliances wear out switch to appliances that have a high level of energy efficiency. 9) Shade your home, plant trees! 10) Use less paper! Get off junk mail lists, turn excess printed material into note paper.

Susie Genet
Chinowth & Cohen Realtors



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chinowth & Cohen Realtors Help Joplin Children’s Shelter

Chinowth & Cohen Realtors recently held a fund raiser and raised $1,000.00 to assist Children’s Haven, a Joplin, MO shelter for children ages birth to 17 years whose families are experiencing a crisis. With the recent tornado, the shelter has seen an influx of children and is in need of additional funds and supplies.
Chinowth & Cohen Realtors has an in-house committee who coordinate fund raisers for area non-profits in need. Representatives of the Chinowth & Cohen Ambassadors, Angels on the Ground, visited the shelter, received a tour of the facility and donated money towards assisting the shelter with the additional needs brought on by the recent devastating tornado that affected the area.

“Children’s Haven houses up to 12 children overnight, but since the tornado, during the day we’ve had up to 20 children,” said Kristin Devore, Lead Child Advocate of Children’s Haven. “In the aftermath of this tornado the need for assistance for families is sure to increase. With the stress of families losing homes and jobs, Children’s Haven can be a safe place for children to go during these extremely difficult times. We’ve been fortunate to be able to provide assistance to many families in crisis right now and appreciate the efforts of Chinowth & Cohen Realtors in helping us at this time.”

For more information on Children’s Haven visit

Chinowth & Cohen Realtors is a full service real estate company specializing in residential and commercial real estate. Founded in 2004, by Sheryl Chinowth and Lee Cohen, the firm has over 350 Associates in six offices. The offices are located in Bartlesville, Broken Arrow, South Tulsa, Midtown Tulsa, Sand Springs and Owasso. For more information visit the company's website at

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pricing your home to sell!

Let's face it, most seller's are emotionally attached to their homes having made memories in that home. They may have unrealistic expectations to what their home is really worth in this market. This is what I tell all my sellers. "Market value is determined by what someone is willing to pay based on the home's condition, the competition, and the current state of the market." A home will sell based on condition, location, and price. We cant do anything about the location but we can do something about the condition and price. There is a lot of competition out there so a home must be in tip top condition to win out over all the other houses on the market. This approach will get you top dollar for your home. You need an experienced realtor who is market savvy to can help you price your home competitively. Give me a call today and let's make your dreams come home! Call Robin Beene 918-906-9525

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Emergency Homeowners Loan Program EHLP (EHLP is on the way!)

Facing foreclosure or know someone who is? The Department of Housing and Urban Development has a new program that is designed to provide eligible homeowners with up to $50,000 in an interest free loan to be used to help catch up on past due payments, delinquent taxes, unpaid mortgage insurance, etc. According to the HUD website, the program is designed to assist homeowners who have lost at least 15% of their income due to job loss, decrease in wages, medical emergency or other factors due to the economy. Applicants need to be at least 3 months behind in their payments and the mortgage must be on their primary residence. Other restrictions include income limits, mortgage cost burden, and the ability of the borrower to resume payments. More information on restrictions, application process and deadlines can be found at under the Foreclosure Resources tab. The website indicates that the preapplication deadline is July 22.
Susie Genet
Chinowth & Cohen Realtors

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Window of Opportunity for House Sellers

There has been much confusion as to where housing prices are headed. We have actually blogged on the issue recently. Today, we want to give our opinion on this subject for the short term. We believe sellers have a window of opportunity for the next 90-120 days in which to sell their homes for maximum price. We believe there will be increased downward pressure on home prices later this year and the first half of 2012.

Why renewed downward pressure?
Any item’s price is determined by ‘supply and demand’. In many parts of the country existing housing inventory is already high and actually increasing. In addition, an inventory of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) will be coming to market later this year. This inventory has been delayed for the last several months because of faulty paperwork by the banks when they originally attempted foreclosure proceedings on these homes.

Celia Chen, of Moody’s Analytics explains:

“Foreclosures are weighing on the outlook for U.S. house prices, and the slow resolution of issues surrounding the so-called robo-signing scandal is keeping distressed homes off the market”.

The New York Times also recently reported on this issue. They looked at the delays in certain states. As an example, this is what they found in New York:

“Last September, before the documentation crisis, nearly 1,500 New Yorkers lost their houses as a result of foreclosure, according to LPS. The average over the last six months: 286. That is far lower than at any point since the recession began.”

Banks are now correcting these errors.
There is evidence that the banks are getting their documentation in order and about to again increase their foreclosure repossessions. Housing Wire reported:

“Since major lenders delayed foreclosures to fix a broken process late last year, the amount of filings declined, but in May signs emerged the effect might be wearing off.”

They went on to quote RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio:

“…lenders are somewhat unevenly pushing batches of bad loans through foreclosure as they overhaul their paperwork and documentation procedures and as they determine that some local markets are able to absorb more foreclosure inventory… Foreclosure processing delays continue to mask the true face of the foreclosure situation, although there were some clues in the May numbers of what lies behind that mask.”

What will this mean to home prices?
As this inventory comes to market, it will impact prices in two ways:

It will provide discounted competition for buyers
It will impact the appraisal values of all homes in the area

Again, we quote Celia Chen:

“It is quite possible that house prices will pick up slightly in the second or third quarter of this year, as foreclosure sales remain depressed while nondistress sales pick up…By the fourth quarter of this year, however, the distress share will rise, sending the house price index back down…

House prices will founder until early next year and start rising in earnest at the end of 2012.”

Bottom Line
There is a window of opportunity currently which sellers should take advantage of. Waiting until later this year or until next year will not guarantee a higher sales price. If anything, it probably guarantees the exact opposite.

Blog post provided by KCM Blog

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