Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tips for Buying Foreclosures in the Charlotte Area

Many Charlotte area residents are considering foreclosed properties either as first-time home-buyers, or as investors. The number of available foreclosed homes is incredibly high--at 1.5 million right now, and more are expected to be available soon. This means great opportunities for bargain hunters, and plenty of possible pitfalls for home buyers as well!

Here are 7 tips for making sure you get a foreclosure that is right for you.

1. Don't get caught up in the "foreclosure frenzy"

Everyone loves a great deal and the idea of getting a home for a bargain, or even for less than it is worth can make people pretty excited--but that doesn't mean you should forget your common sense! Banks put repossessed homes back on the market at below-market prices because quick sales help avoid the expenses of keeping the home up, the property taxes, the insurance, heat and electricity. They need to get these houses off their books (and onto yours!) so they are willing to make a deal.

Those hard-to-believe prices may be golden opportunities, but they may also attract a frenzy of buyers who may bid the homes up until they are no longer bargains. Don't get caught up in a bidding war, and find yourself spending more than you can--or should for a property. Carefully consider what you want to spend, and when the home reaches that point in the bidding process, move on.

2. Contact lenders directly

Buyers looking for an edge, should establish relationships with asset managers at banks. The asset managers may know when new foreclosures hit the market, and can give you a competitive advantage. In the case of a short sale, you should talk directly to the property's asset manager. That way, if the short sale falls through and the bank repossesses the house, the asset manager knows you are still interested, and you could be in a situation where you get the advantage of a quick sale without other bidders.

3. Get pre-approved from "their" bank

If you're trying to buy a property from a certain bank, take the extra step to get a pre-approved mortgage from them. Lenders may be more inclined to accept your bid if they know they are also getting your business in the deal. (And you can always change lenders laters)

4. Consider fixer-uppers

Most bank owned properties, are "sold as is", and many foreclosed homes are in less-than-perfect condition. Since the former owners were often struggling to pay their bills before the foreclosure, they may have neglected routine maintenance, or even the big stuff"--or they chose to trash the property before vacating, removed the majot appliances, fixtures, wiring and other important pieces of a home.

While some lenders will make some repairs before the sale closes, many would rather sell the house to the next available bidder, so be willing to consider a home that needs some work, and just budget the repairs into your overall investment numbers.

5. Work with a real estate attorney

Once the bank agree to the sale, they will often want to move fast--and the real estate contracts are full of legalese that can be hard to understand. Choosing to work with a real estate attorney is a great solution, even in states where they are not required. A real estate attorney can assist you in making sure the contract is equitable and the property you are buying really is a deal!

6. Wait to make an offer

It may work in your favor to wait before making an offer on a property you really like. Let the house sit on the market a few days, and then talk to the agent--they may give you some kind of clue as to what a good number is compared to bids that have already come in--especially on a home that has LOTS of interest (but don't wait TOO long--a day or two will usually be plenty in a hot market).

7. Have an inspector and/or contractor look at the property

It is true with any home--but especially so with foreclosed pays to have a professional look at the "structure" and potential problem areas of the home before you make an offer. A professional home inspector and/or a contractor will be able to tell you about foundation cracks, heating and cooling systems, roofing issues and other needed repairs, and what it will cost to make the repairs, and get the home in working condition. A contractor may also be able to tell you what "could" be done in the future to make that home more livable, such as a patio or sunroom, or other additions.

Would you like more information about the Mint Hill, Matthews and Charlotte area real estate market? Check out

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Homebuyers...May Want to Wait to Move Up

While home prices in the Charlotte area are showing signs of recovery on the lower end of the market with the government's first time home buyer incentive bringing in new buyers, higher end home prices will likely take a while longer to rebound.

Why? There is an unfortunate, but large supply of homes that have, and will be hitting the market in 2010. Foreclosures caused by continued and rising unemployment and adjustable rate mortgages will soon be flooding the market, and affecting the larger and more expensive homes.

So if you are a first-time home buyer, or in the market for the mid to low-end home, now is an excellent time to take advantage of low interest rates, incentives and low-prices. But if you are looking at moving up into that big beautiful high-end dream home in Charlotte, you may do well to wait a year until the market has bottomed out, and home prices for that range at at their low!

If you would like more information about whether now is a good time to buy for you, contact Rich Ferretti at 704-564-0807.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Charlotte NC and Mint Hill NC Real Estate

Back by popular demand..

So many people requested information regarding the "Charlotte Custom Home Blog" we decided to republish the web site.

To make your life easier, sign up to recieve the latest copy.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Charlotte NC--Mint Hill NC Real Estate Update

Here's a great article you need to read!

5 Questions to Consider Before Purchasing a Home

By Mary Ellen PodmolikPrint Article Print Article

10047-01376lwRISMEDIA, December 15, 2009—(MCT)—Interest rates on the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage dipped to a 38-year low recently, giving consumers another reason to consider purchasing a home or refinancing their current one.

Freddie Mac recently stated the average rate on a 30-year loan was 4.71% with an average 0.7 point, the lowest rate since the agency began its weekly tracking of long-term interest rates in 1971. A point is equal to 1% of the loan amount, payable as a lump sum at closing. While the decline wasn’t overly dramatic, the dip is likely to get people wondering whether it’s time to sign on the dotted line.

The 5 following questions may help you decide if now is the time to go ahead and purchase a home or refinance your current home.

Q: Why are rates so low?
Since early January, the Federal Reserve has been purchasing mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae in an effort to stabilize the housing market by making homes more affordable for consumers. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which is managing the program, plans on purchasing $1.25 trillion of securities.

Q: Are rates expected stay this low?
It’s hard to tell, but don’t count on it because the lending landscape is likely to change next year. In September 2009, the Fed said it would gradually wind down the purchase program, ending it by March 30, 2010. That has some in the mortgage lending industry worried.

In a recently published mortgage survey, more than 60% of’s panel of experts predicted that rates will move higher over the next 30 to 45 days. How much higher is anyone’s guess. Last year at this time, the average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 5.53%.

Q: Why do different mortgage surveys come up with different average interest rates?
It depends on which lenders are in their sample, when the survey was taken and whether the rates quoted are the posted rate, the application rate or the commitment rate. Also, some surveys take into account the points paid to secure the rate.

But regardless of the survey, the general consensus is that rates are ultra-low right now and may be the lowest the market will see.

Q: What else does a consumer need to know?
The lowest rates are offered to the most credit-worthy customers who can make sizable down payments. Shop not just for the interest rate and the points involved but also for the fees involved, which can vary widely from one lender to another.

If you’re refinancing, remember the bigger the loan, the greater the payoff for finding a lower interest rate. Savvy customers put in their paperwork with a lender and set a “strike” interest rate at which to lock in the loan, a good move considering rate volatility.

Several refinancing calculators are available online that let borrowers plug in all the required numbers and determine the monthly savings and how long it will take to recoup the expense of a refinancing.

Q: So is now the best time to buy a home?
It depends on personal situations. Homebuyers certainly have a lot of factors working in their favor right now—low interest rates, plenty of marked-down homes for sale and an extended and expanded federal tax credit that will expire in the spring.

On the flip side, there’s growing sentiment among analysts that housing prices, which are showing ever-so-minor improvement, may fall further. The reason? Lenders are expected to get better at determining which borrowers will qualify for loan modifications. That means lenders also will get faster at moving homes through the foreclosure process.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s, recently predicted that housing prices nationally will hit bottom in 2010’s third quarter. That means anyone buying a house now could see the value of their investment initially depreciate.

Want more information? Call or email me today.

It truly is a great time to purchase a home.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Local Market Update from Rich Ferretti

Just in time for the holidays, an homes sales up-swing in progress!!! Here are some statistics:

The Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association reports that the number of closings for October 2009 (2,210) increased 13.6 percent over the previous month when closings were 1,945, which is also up 19.6 percent over 2008.

The average sales price for homes in October 2009 was $196,204-- down 0.3 percent over last month ($196,760) and down 9.5 percent over last year. The average listing price of solds in October 2009 ($218,050) is down less than 1 percent over last month’s list price of $219,925.

The residential contracts reported figure in October 2009 was 2,400 an incerase of 9.1 % over last month when contracts totaled 2,199. This figure is also up 33.5 percent over last year when contracts totaled 1,798.

What does all this mean?

Home sales are on the rise!!!

Also note that mortgage rates continue to make both new and resale home purchases easier: 30 year fixed rates declined to just below 4.8% on average recently, and 15 year rates dropped below 4.3%, (the lowest recorded by the MBA since it began its national rate survey in 1970).

Are you looking for a new home? Let Me Help You!

Just tell me what you are looking for and I will search all of our sources and provide you with a convenient report of all the properties that you may be interested in, complete with photographs of the properties and detailed neighborhood information. Now to buy is NOW!!

Whether you're buying a new home in Charlotte, investing in property or selling a house, feel free to contact me, and I will be happy to help you with all of your real estate needs.

--Rich Ferretti

Would you like more information about the Mint Hill, Matthews and Charlotte area real estate market? Check out or call Rich Ferretti at 704-564-0807.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

First Time Homebuyers Fueling the Surge

The first-time home buyers tax credit no accounts for nearly half of home sales according to an industry report released recently.

A whopping, 47% of all Americans who purchased homes this year had not owned one during the previous three years, (National Association of Realtors (NAR))--a statistic that was up from 41% of sales in 2008 and 36% in 2006.

The credit which was was recently extended through the middle of 2010 and expanded to include many existing homeowners, gives the first-time homebuyer incentive with a credit of up to $8,000 to buyers which they could deduct from their income taxes. This credit is fully refundable, even if the buyer has less than $8000 in taxable income.

"With the expanded criteria, many people looking at homes are eligible, " says Rich Ferretti of Jamison Realty in Charlotte, NC "This is a great time to be buying."

If you would like more information about the Mint Hill, Matthews and Charlotte area real estate market check out or call Rich Ferretti at 704-564-0807.

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