Real Estate Insight

Fall Maintenance Checklist

Are you ready for winter?  Even though it's off to a slow start here in the Hudson Valley, it's right around the corner.  Your home is your one of your most valuable possessions, so don't take any chances and not be prepared.  Here are some tips to keep you warm and worry free over the winter.

  • Stow your lawn mower-add stablzer to your gas to keep it in good condition over the winter
  • Store your hoses and turn off the outdoor water source
  • Drain and turn off your sprinkler system
  • Seal cracks around your doors and windows-Exterior caulk is easier to work with on days over 50 degrees
  • Clean and tighten your gutters & downspouts-clogged rain gutters can cause ice dams
  • Inspect your roof-look for cracked or broken shingles & replace if necessary
  • Direct drainage away from your house to avoid water soaking in around your foundation
  • Get your furnace serviced and replace furnace filters if necessary
  • Prune your plants and trees to keep the limbs and branches away from your roofing and siding
  • Give your fireplace a once over-with a flashlight look up for blockages and check that the damper is working

February 14, 2013: Home Prices in 2012: Best Year-on-Year Gain in Six Years

Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased on a year-over-year basis by 8.3 percent in December 2012 compared to December 2011. This change represents the biggest increase since May 2006 and the 10th consecutive monthly increase in home prices nationally. On a month-over-month basis, including distressed sales, home prices increased by 0.4 percent in December 2012 compared to November 2012. The HPI analysis shows that all but four states are experiencing year-over-year price gains.

"December marked 10 consecutive months of year-over-year home price improvements, and the strongest growth since the height of the last housing boom more than six years ago," says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. "We expect price growth to continue in January as our Pending HPI shows strong year-over-year appreciation."

"We are heading into 2013 with home prices on the rebound," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "The upward trend in home prices in 2012 was broad based with 46 of 50 states registering gains for the year. All signals point to a continued improvement in the fundamentals underpinning the U.S. housing market recovery."

For more information, visit www.corelogic.com

February 7, 2013 - IRS provides guidance on HAMP principal reductions

The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) was established a few years ago by the Departments of the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development to help homeowners who are underwater avoid foreclosure.

Since 2010, one of HAMP's programs has been the Principal Reduction Alternative (HAMP-PRA). Borrowers who qualify for the program have their mortgage principal reduced by a predetermined amount (called the PRA forbearance amount).

A borrower qualifies for the HAMP-PRA program only if:

  • the mortgage is not owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
  • the borrower owes more than the home is worth
  • the house is the borrower's primary residence
  • the borrower obtained the mortgage before January 1, 2009
  • the borrower's mortgage payment is more than 31 percent of gross (pre-tax) monthly income.
  • up to $729,750 is owed on the 1st mortgage.
  • the borrower has a financial hardship and is either delinquent or in danger of falling behind
  • the borrower has sufficient, documented income to support the modified payment, and
  • the borrower has not been convicted of a real estate related fraud or felony in the last ten years.

The end goal of the HAMP-PRA program is to reduce the borrower's mortgage loan until the borrower's monthly payment is reduced to a monthly payment amount determined under the HAMP guidelines.

To learn more about HAMP and the HAMP-PRA program, visit www.makinghomeaffordable.gov.

 

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