Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fannie, Freddie & Ginnie .... Household Names ... but, What Are They??

Fannie Mae, Washington DC
You've heard these terms before....  but what are they exactly?   

Fannie Mae                All About Fannie

President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal established the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) in 1938 as a federal agency in the wake of the Great Depression.

Its purpose was to bring liquidity, stability and affordability to the U.S. housing and mortgage markets.

Congress converted Fannie in 1968 to a publicly held corporation to help balance the federal budget.

Freddie Mac                   Freddie FAQ    

To compete against Fannie Mae's domination of the secondary market and further lower housing costs, Congress chartered the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) as a public corporation in 1970.

What do they do?       Fannie & Freddie at Work in the Secondary Market

Freddie and Fannie have similar Congressional mandates, charters and regulatory structures.

 Both entities buy mortgages from lenders and package them into mortgage-backed securities that are sold to investors with a guarantee against default. This creates a secondary market, allowing mortgage lenders to use the freed-up funds to make more home loans.

Ginnie Mae                 All About Ginnie

The Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) was established by Congress in 1968. Unlike its GSE siblings, Ginnie does not purchase loans, but guarantees investors the timely payment of principal and interest on mortgage-backed securities containing federally insured loans — mainly FHA and VA loans.


In September 2008, the U.S. government rescued Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from the brink of economic failure and placed them into conservator ship with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Some members of Congress have called for the gradual elimination of Fannie and Freddie to leave mortgage finance completely in the private sector. A Treasury Department report on the future of Fannie and Freddie will be delivered to Congress in the first half of February 2011.

info provided by:   Lynn Ashe, Prospect Mortgage
Looking for a home, thinking of Selling, Renting or Investing?       Give me a shout    508-494-9061 or

                                        Your Home Search Starts Right Here!


Monday, January 24, 2011

The $8000 Tax Credit Still Exists for Some!!

with restrictions of course!

for more info contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040

 If you know of someone in the Military ... Foreign Service or Intelligence
this info could be important to them......
Who qualifies?
    soldier on a military boat
    by Nat Edwards
  •  Member of “uniformed” services  
  •  Member of US Foreign Service 
  •  Employee of Intelligence Community  
  •  Spouse of any of the above
 And must have had:
  •  Extended Duty outside the US for 91 days, or  
  •  Extended Duty inside the US for 91 days and had to relocate at least 50 miles from principal residence  
  •  Sold principal residence between Jan 1 2009 & April 30, 2010
 Tax Credit Dates Extended to:
  •  Signed contract by April 30, 2011  
  •  Closed by June 30, 2011
Can get tax credit if:
  •  They sold their home or the home stops being their principal residence as of January 1, 2009 (because of government orders)  
  •  Extended duty (either inside or outside the US) and had to move at least 50 miles away from principal residence  
  •  (Extended duty is defined as 91 days service (either inside or outside) the US.)  
Info provided by Michael Dunsky, Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Co.

If you know of anyone looking to buy, sell, rent, or invest in Real Estate... I am here to help...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Nicole's Law .... CO Detectors.... Are YOU Safe??

Another tragic news story tugs at our hearts and reminds us to be aware of this dangerous gas..

Do you know that you are required by the Commonwealth of MA to have CO detectors in your home?  

If your home is equipped with fossil-fuel burning devices you are!   This includes but is not limited to a furnace, boiler, water heater, fireplace or any other apparatus or appliance......or has an enclosed parking within the structure?

In March 2006, Nicole's Law was adopted here in the Commonwealth...

Nicole's Law

It calls for a home to have a CO detector on each finished level.. and there must be a detector placed within 10 feet of the bedrooms.    They don't necessarily need to be hard wired and an can be as simple as a plug in with battery back up.  

Nicole's Law was adopted after young Nicole Garofalo perished in January of 05 .. a result of Carbon Monoxide build up in her home ..... a heating vent was blocked by drifting snow.

What makes this so deadly?    
CO is a colorless, orderless gas...  it can sneak up on people without them even knowing it.
Symptoms include headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, chest pain and a cherry red coloring of the skin......

What to do if you suspect CO poisoning?  

Get out of the house and into fresh air....   that includes everyone including pets!....  then get to a medical facility for treatment. 

What types of Detectors are acceptable?

What ever alarm you purchase must be approved by an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL). Be sure to look for the approval label when buying alarms. The CO detectors may be:

                               •Battery operated with battery monitoring; or
                               •Plug-ins with battery back-up; or
                               •Hard-wired with battery backup; or
                               •Low voltage system; or
                               •Wireless, or
                               •Qualified combination (smoke/carbon monoxide alarm)

When Selling your Home

You need to know that the local Fire Department will need to inspect & certificate your home for CO and smoke detectors...  No certificate, no closing...

If you are looking to make a move or have any Real Estate questions...  give me a shout! 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Buying a Short Sale for you? (Part 3)

In our Multiple Listing Service, you will
know it is a "Short Sale".  You will
see this disclosure.
The term "short sale" or "bank owned" on a property certainly generates a lot of buyer interest.   So buyers must believe that the short sale is a deal...  but is it?

If you have the Time and Patience, and the right players involved..   then, it may be.

We know that someone offering a "short sale" is attempting to avoid foreclosure.
We also know that the lender accepting a short sale is attempting to minimize their loss.
We also know that a good Realtor will price their listing ahead of the market, because they know that it is going to take time and a buyer may have to wait a long time for this property.  

So,   Is it for you?   Here are some things to consider...

  • The Seller/Realtor priced the property aggressively but also knowing that the bank may not accept the price....the agreed upon offer price will have to be supported by BPO's (brokers price opinion) or appraisals.. in other words validated by others not involved in the transaction.
  • There is a possibility that the bank will say no...  alot of time could be wasted waiting for the banks response....    no problem you say    ... but experience tells me that come month two with no word, a buyer will start to worry about interest rates and missed opportunities...
  • If there is a second lender on this property (very likely)..this second lien holder has less motivation to agree to remove their lien...
  • This process really can't begin until the seller accepts an offer on the property....   it can and will take months....    again, just because the seller accepts the offer doesn't mean bank(s) will.  
  • Who is negotiating the "short sale"...  is it someone experienced?    Is the Sellers paperwork in order... Do they have a bonafide hardship? 
If you can deal with the unknown and the possibility of not having it happen.. then you may make out okay and get a "deal".     You will also need to understand the Banks position here.   Their attachment to the home is strictly financial...They will do their due dilligence and research  market value....   
Are they really going to sell this out substantially lower than the market will bear at this point in time?   
If you need to find something more immediate or are worried about interest rate changes effecting your payment, then you might want to skip looking at these types of listings.  

In my market, the "short sale" is disclosed in the listing.

If you do decide to go the "short sale" route...   get your inspections done and financing in order early in the process....

You don't want to go all this time waiting to find out that it is not the home for you after all....