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Things to Avoid When Holding an Open House

This weekend was national open house weekend. I had the opportunity to see an open house go wrong in a million dollar neighborhood, so I'm going to share some pointers to help your open house go smoothly.

1. Ensure that there are no malfunctions with the home. A defective air conditioner ruins the experience for everyone including the agent. You do not want the agent to be in a bad mood!

2. Have an agent who will not push prizes, giveaways, or follow prospective buyers as they look at the house. The idea is to make everyone comfortable and the way to do that is by making all information readilly available and be available to answer questions.

3. Have drinks and/or snacks on hand, especially on a hot afternoon. At a minimum, bottles icewater and soda is a must.

Challenges to be aware of in today's lending environment

There seems to be a fear out there that banks are not lending money.  This is absolutely not true.  If you do decide to either purchase or refinance a home there are some items that are helpful to know prior to beginning this process.  This article is intended to educate you about some of these complexities.  There are always issues that could arise but having knowledge of the following items could allow you to alleviate some of the potential issues or at least educate you about what could happen. 

SOURCING FUNDS
This issue would only be applicable if you are purchasing a home or putting money down for a refinance.  Depending on the type of loan you are applying for the lender can ask for up to 60 days worth of account statements from the account you will use for funds at closing.  They now require borrowers to show proof of any type of non sourced deposits to the account being used for down payment.  They will not q

City of Atlanta offers down payment assistance

City of Atlanta offers down payment assistance

ATLANTA -- Anyone who wants to own a home in Atlanta could get as much as $50,000 to go towards a down payment.

Individuals must be making less than $71,000, and couples must make less than $82,000.

There are several other requirements for eligibility. For information, go to the Atlanta Development Authority.

Fulton County Homestead Exemption Deadline is April 1

Fulton County Homestead Exemption Deadline is April 1

Atlanta, GA--  (Submitted by Fulton County Communications)

The Fulton County Board of Assessors reminds property owners that April 1, 2011 is the deadline to file for homestead exemption. The basic homestead exemption amount increased from $25,000 to $30,000 for the 2011 tax year. If you are currently receiving the basic homestead exemption, you do not need to reapply unless there is a change of ownership on the property. The increased amount will automatically be granted to homeowners who are currently receiving this exemption and to first-time applicants who qualify.

To qualify for any exemptions, you must own and occupy the property as your primary residence as of January 1, 2011 and be a permanent legal resident of Fulton County.

Fannie Mae to Host Open House at New Atlanta Mortgage Help Center

Atlanta, GA--  Fannie Mae will host a special open house event at its Atlanta Mortgage Help Center.  The event will bring together counseling and mortgage industry partners to emphasize foreclosure prevention and highlight help that is available. 

Fannie Mae’s new facility provides greater metro homeowners, who have a Fannie Mae loan and may be at risk of foreclosure, the opportunity to meet directly with dedicated on-site staff and experienced housing advisors who speak English and Spanish to discuss their mortgage situation.  These face-to-face meetings help borrowers better understand the entire range of foreclosure prevention options and provide an opportunity to work closely with servicers to achieve a prompt resolution.

This new Fannie Mae initiative consist of a partnership with Civic and Community Leaders, Forest Park-based The D&E Group and Major Mortgage Servicers.

WHO:      &nb

Loan Modification Could be Good, but Short Sale is Better says 1 Expert

Atlanta, GA--  As more and more Atlanta homeowners find themselves in financial distress and are forced to make tough decisions regarding their homes and specifically their dropping values and ballooning mortgage payments, we turned to a housing expert to help us navigate this complex situation.

Marian Anthony is a real estate finance expert and author of Short Sale RUSH- A How To Guide for Nonperforming Assets.  According to Marian, a Short Sale is more advantageous than a Loan Modification or a Foreclosure because "the reduced payoff in a short sale releases you from the debt obligation." He states that a foreclosure will ruin the homeowner's credit, and "a loan modification actually builds a debt trap around the borrower, milking them for every last nickel."

With so much information and marketing dollars being spent on homeowners getting into Loan Modification programs which may keep you bogged in debt for years, take Marian's su