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Archive for September, 2011

Real estate round-up: September 30

September 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Check in every business day for the latest edition of Real Estate Round-up, where we post a list of our favorite real estate news stories from DC and beyond.

Headlines from the DC Metro Area:

Autumn home selling and buying
Baltimore Sun

Home sales in the Baltimore area generally peak in June and slide pretty much for the rest of the year, so you can see why some would-be sellers pull their homes from the market with the idea of trying again the next year.

D.C. Economic Partnership not ready to go
Washington Business Journal

The nonprofit partnership describes itself as “your first point of contact for development and business opportunities in the District of Columbia.”

Tour Chancellor's Row development in Brookland
Curbed DC

Out of the one hundred homes in the first phase of their Chancellor's Row development in Brookland, only eleven remain on the market. Of those eleven, only two are available to move into this year.�

National real estate news stories:

In the beginning of land title claims
St. Augustine Record

If someone makes a title claim, it's up to the landowner to defend his ownership.� Title insurance not only provides and pays for legal representation to defend your ownership rights, it will also pay out the policy amount should that defense fail.�

Redfin Web site now publishes data on real estate agent success
The New York Times

The tool can help sellers find agents who are active and who have had success in their specific neighborhood. Using information from local multiple-listing services, where agents list the home they are representing for sale, the “Scouting Report” tool provides data on roughly one million agents.

Conforming loan limit drops Oct. 1
Housing Wire

Congress elevated the conforming loan limits in 2008 to allow the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac to insure and guarantee more mortgages when the credit markets froze.

http://twlv.net/DOw2bP

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New rules attempt to clarify DC mortgage foreclosure legislation

September 29, 2011 Leave a comment

The D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities & Banking (”DISB”) proposed new rules for governing residential mortgage foreclosures in an attempt to clarify legislation that affects the city's mortgage foreclosure process.

D.C. Council had made fundamental changes to the city's mortgage foreclosure process last year by adding (among other things) a requirement that lenders and borrowers make an attempt to mediate their disputes.

After the parties concluded their attempt to mediate, the lender was then entitled to record a “mediation certificate” and proceed to a foreclosure sale and enforce its rights under the deed of trust.

However, the requirement mandated by the “Saving D.C. Homes from Foreclosure Act of 2010,” which the Council passed in an attempt to keep pace with reforms made by Maryland and other states, raised concerns among lenders and title insurers.

The raft of changes to the D.C. mortgage foreclosure law and rules thereunder opened a Pandora's Box of loopholes that increased the risk of clouded title for any property sold at, or even after, a foreclosure sale.

The aim of the new rules is to clarify the legal effect of recording a mediation certificate and make an amendment to the wording in the certificate.

Lenders and their allies have been clamoring for a change to the rules to state that recording a mediation certificate is prima facie evidence – that means presumptive validity – of all the procedural steps taken prior recording.

This change would prevent a borrower who participated in mediation and loss prevention from raising any objection to the conduct of this process after the foreclosure sale.

An aggrieved borrower could still raise objections, file a lawsuit, or take any other action to contest the lender's conduct during the process.

It will still take some initial stumbling through the maze of new rules by both lenders and borrowers to work out the kinks in the new procedure.

Hopefully, the new requirements will give borrowers increased opportunity to modify loans, and if modification isn't realistic, it will give title insurers, lenders and purchasers confidence that their title will be undisturbed.

– Jack Reid

http://twlv.net/JSVmrI

Categories: Uncategorized

Real estate round-up: September 29

September 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Check in every business day for the latest edition of Real Estate Round-up, where we post a list of our favorite real estate news stories from DC and beyond.

Headlines from the DC Metro Area:

New condo project gets moving in Mount Vernon Triangle
DC Urban Turf

The new project would be following in the footsteps of CityVista and Yale Lofts, condo developments built over the last decade that represented the changing face of the area.

The risk of asking too much for your house
Baltimore Sun

It can seem counter-intuitive, especially to a seller who is trying to account for the possibility of lower offers from buyers by making the asking price 10 percent higher than he would actually take. But in a market where sale prices are dropping and lots of listings are jostling for attention, pricing too high really hurts sellers.�

National real estate news stories:

Vetting the lender
The New York Times

Ferreting out good information is not that easy. For one thing, different kinds of lenders are held to different rules, licenses and disclosure requirements.

Can mortgage servicing be saved from itself?
Wall Street Journal

Loan servicers have been forced to revamp their operations after revelations surfaced a year ago that they used so-called robo-signers who signed foreclosure documents without personally verifying their contents, possibly breaking state laws.

Their efforts to foreclose on members of the military have also raised alarms. And many homeowners were not offered loan modifications despite being eligible for them.

http://twlv.net/MDyNRE

Categories: Uncategorized

Real estate round-up: September 28

September 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Check in every business day for the latest edition of Real Estate Round-up, where we post a list of our favorite real estate news stories from DC and beyond.

Headlines from the DC Metro Area:

Jair Lynch buys a block on H Street
Washington City Paper

It's just one of a bunch of big moves on H Street lately, with a deal for Murry's in the works, H Street Connection ready to go, and the Autozone site and 1350 Maryland spoken for.

DC home prices show slight annual increase: Case Schiller
DC Urban Turf

The index reported that home prices in the DC area increased on both a monthly (+2.4%) and annual (+0.3%) basis.

Where does the dirt go?
Washington City Paper

As long as construction keeps rolling, the D.C. dirt economy will do well.

Why do women pay more for mortgages?
National Association of Realtors

Authors of a recent study offer another explanation suggesting that women pay higher rates because they are more likely to choose lenders by recommendation while men tend to search for the lowest rate.

National real estate news stories:

Who wants to buy a new home?
Wall Street Journal

New homes are designed for the way Americans live today, maximizing the usability of space and offering amenities that speak to modern needs, such as big closets. Plus, new homes are built to be more energy efficient.

How are mortgage rates determined?
HSH.com

If you are watching mortgage rates so you can lock in a loan at the best time, you will notice that rates tick up and down regularly. Here are a few of the factors that regularly influence mortgage rates.

America's top cities: Cheapest real estate in the world?
Creditsesame.com

Even though many economists predict that prices may continue to fall, thus expressing a view that U.S. real estate is still overpriced, real estate in America's top cities is cheap when compared with the rest of the world.�

http://twlv.net/eDdbXa

Categories: Uncategorized

What does a title company do?

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

In the wake of foreclosure problems stemming from improper documentation and representation, a title insurance policy has never been more valuable than it is right now in this current real estate market. �

Clients often ask: What exactly does a title company do?� And the easiest answer that I give them is, “Take a look at our website and view the videos.”�

At Federal Title, we conduct an extensive search of public records to verify the seller's right to transfer ownership.� The purpose of all this research is to discover claims or defects (a.k.a. “clouds”) that limit the owner's right in transferring the property.

Lenders require title insurance when the purchaser obtains a mortgage to finance the purchase; this type of insurance is often called a lender's title insurance policy to cover the bank's interest in your property and to safeguard first position as a lien holder on your property. �

At the time of closing an owner's title insurance policy is also issued which protects you as the purchaser at the closing. An owner's policy is your assurance of protection against economic loss if a title defect is ever discovered and a claim filed against your property. �

The insurance premiums are only collected once, and your coverage will remain consistent for as long as you or your heirs retain an interest in your property or until you refinance the property at which point a new policy is issued.

Without the protection of an owner's policy, you may be in jeopardy of losing your investment which stems from a cloud on title that does not appear in the public records such as:

  • Forged legal instruments (deeds, mortgages, wills, releases of mortgages)
  • Improperly recorded legal documents�
  • False impersonation of the true property owner
  • Undisclosed heirs
  • Issues involving improper marital status�
  • Documents executed under false powers of attorney
  • Deeds drafted by persons lacking legal capacity
  • Undisclosed spouses
  • Issues of rightful possession of land; which arise when a foreclosed property owner claims that they did not receive proper notice of the foreclosure.�

In the event that a claim is filed against you as owner of your property, the title insurance will cover your legal expenses, court costs and related fees. If the claim against the property is valid, then the title insurance company will reimburse you for your loss up to the amount of the policy.�

At Federal Title our attorneys are diligent in reviewing all documentation in an effort to assist buyers with the often times unexpected yet frequent legal matters that arise during the purchase and sale of real property.� At Federal Title and Escrow there is always an attorney title agent on each transaction that is prepared to explain, negotiate and if needed, represent your legal interests in every transaction.

http://twlv.net/0ODLsf

Categories: Uncategorized

What is title insurance?

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

As we have stated before, it's a great time to buy real estate.� However, due to the banking industry's foreclosure problems due to improper documentation and representation, title Insurance has never been more valuable than it is right now this current real estate market. �

Clients often ask: What exactly does a title company do?� And the easiest answer that I give them is “take a look at our Federal Title and Escrow website and view the videos.”�

At Federal Title and Escrow, we conduct an extensive search of the Florida public records to verify the seller's right to transfer ownership of the Florida property.� The purpose of all this research is to discover claims or defects (a.k.a. “clouds”) that limit the owner's right in transferring the property.

Lenders require title insurance when the purchaser obtains a mortgage to finance the purchase; this type of insurance is often called a Lender's Title Insurance Policy to cover the bank's interest in your property and to safeguard first position as a lien holder on your property. �

At the time of closing an Owner's Title Insurance Policy is also issued which protects you as the purchaser at the closing. An Owner's Policy is your assurance of protection against economic loss if a title defect is ever discovered and a claim filed against your property. �

The insurance premiums are only collected once, and your coverage will remain consistent for as long as you or your heirs retain an interest in your property or until you refinance the property at which point a new policy is issued.

Without the protection of an Owner's Policy, you may be in jeopardy of losing your investment which stems from a cloud on title that does not appear in the public records such as:

  • Forged legal instruments (deeds, mortgages, wills, releases of mortgages)
  • Improperly recorded legal documents�
  • False impersonation of the true property owner
  • Undisclosed heirs
  • Issues involving improper marital status�
  • Documents executed under false powers of attorney
  • Deeds drafted by persons lacking legal capacity
  • Undisclosed spouses
  • Issues of rightful possession of land; which arise when a foreclosed property owner claims that they did not receive proper notice of the foreclosure.�

In the event that a claim is filed against you as owner of your property, the title insurance will cover your legal expenses, court costs and related fees. If the claim against the property is valid, then the title insurance company will reimburse you for your loss up to the amount of the policy.�

At Federal Title and Escrow our attorneys are diligent in reviewing all documentation in an effort to assist buyers with the often times unexpected yet frequent legal matters that arise during the purchase and sale of real property.� At Federal Title and Escrow there is always an attorney title agent on each transaction that is prepared to explain, negotiate and if needed, represent your legal interests in every transaction.

http://twlv.net/OVAXr6

Categories: Uncategorized

Real estate round-up: September 27

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Check in every business day for the latest edition of Real Estate Round-up, where we post a list of our favorite real estate news stories from DC and beyond.

Headlines from the DC Metro Area:

Are LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale DC's hottest rehab market?
DC Urban Turf

Over the past year, homes sold “as-is” which, in real estate parlance, means “what you see is what you get” are scooped up after a short window on the market, renovated from top to bottom (and in some cases enlarged) and back up for sale several months later.

Is the new rate worth the refinance?
Washington Times

If making the higher payments does not affect other financial aspects of your life, it would make sense. If the higher payment would result in taking away from important investments, such as a college fund or a retirement account, you may not want to be in the position of a required 15-year payoff.

Michelle Rhee sells at a slight loss
Curbed DC

The house in 16th Street Heights that Michelle Rhee had listed back in April sold at the end of August for less than she paid for it in 2007. She had paid $855,000 then, and the final sales price was $841,000.

The Yards virtual tour
DC Metrocentric

Developer Forest City gives a sneak peak of the development with this great fly through of how all the projects will looks once complete, including the Yards Park, Foundry Lofts, Lumber Shed, and more.

National real estate news stories:

Why rent when you can nest?
The New York Times

The children of baby boomers have inherited an expectation of early independence that in today's economy is hard to sustain, and many of them are moving back home � if, of course, their parents live in a place that holds the potential for jobs.

Rate drop spurs home refinancing
Wall Street Journal

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped below 4%, possibly triggering a refinancing boom for many of the same borrowers who already have taken advantage of rock-bottom interest rates.

http://twlv.net/oSYnvs

Categories: Uncategorized