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Jennifer Henning's Blog

By Jennifer Blackwell | Agent in 74114
  • Proposal to Curb Private Transfer Fees

    Posted Under: Home Buying, Home Selling, Moving  |  March 23, 2011 5:48 AM  |  1,489 views  |  No comments
    U.S. regulators are proposing a new rule to ban Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from acquiring loans where home buyers are charged private transfer fees.

    Private transfer fees, also known as “capital recovery” frees, are inserted by developers for newly-built housing subdivisions. They require sellers to pay a percentage of the selling price to the original developer of the property every time the property changes hands for up to 99 years. The percentage charged is usually 1 percent of the sales price.

    REALTORS and other real estate groups have been speaking out against private transfer fees, calling it an unfair extra fee to home owners.

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency has proposed a rule that Fannie, Freddie, and 12 Federal Home Loan Banks would no longer be able to acquire mortgages that have such fees.

    Source: “U.S. Government Proposes Restrictions on Home-Resale Fees,” Dow Jones Business News (Feb. 1, 2011)

  • Is your Home Equity Line of Credit negativly impacting your Credit Score? What to DO!

    Posted Under: Financing, Foreclosure, Credit Score  |  March 22, 2011 9:25 PM  |  1,534 views  |  No comments

    Have a Home Equity Line of Credit?  Is it Impacting your Credit Score Unfairly?

    What You Should you Know and Do?

    Credit reports have always been important, but they’ve grown even more important in recent years. Now more than ever, you need to make sure you understand what’s on your credit report - and you need to know what steps you can take to improve your score.

    For example, did you know that a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) can impact your credit score quite dramatically... and sometimes unfairly... depending on how it is reported?

    Here’s What You Need to Know... and Do!

    First, you need to know that HELOC’s are commonly reported by the three credit bureaus as revolving accounts. In reality however, they do not fall under the typical revolving terms, even though they are set up in the same way as a revolving account. That’s because HELOC’s are secured by an asset.

    Here’s the Good News...

    The Fair Credit Reporting act requires reporting agencies to report true and accurate information. So when a HELOC is reported as a revolving account, you can actually send a letter to the three credit bureaus asking them to change the type of account from "Revolving" to "Line of Credit" or "Other."

    This way, the account will not be rated by the scoring system using the "Balance to Limit" ratio scenario - which can drop a credit score by as much as 75 points if the HELOC is maxed out to the limit of the available credit line.

    A Final Word of Advice

    If you do decide to send a letter, you should send it as a Certified Letter, along with a copy of the HELOC agreement. You may have to send the letters more than once, but persistence is the key to accomplishing a positive result with the bureaus.

    If you need more information or help finding a lender or for any help with your Real Estate needs, you can reach me at Jenn@JenniferSellsOklahoma.com or (405) 625-1576.

  • GO Green!!!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Oklahoma, Home Selling in Oklahoma, Going Green in Oklahoma  |  February 9, 2011 5:17 AM  |  1,693 views  |  3 comments

    Green isn't just a trend; it's a movement.  Every step towards a greener, more sustainable environment is a step in the right direction. Whether you're looking to build a greener home, green your current home or your business or your life, an NAR Green Designee can help.

    A lot of people today are greenwashing or falsely claiming to be green. To help you distinguish fact from fiction, the Green REsource Council provides NAR Green Designees with up-to-date resources and ongoing education about:

    • Green materials
    • Energy-efficient technology
    • Green ratings
    • Green design
    • Green incentives
    • Green living
    • And more!

    If you need information on the GREEN Designation or If you're ready to buy, sell or build green, I am a GREEN Designee, please give me a call at (405) 625-1576 or reach me via email at Jenn@JenniferSellsOklahoma.com.

  • What to Know when Making an Offer on Short Sales!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Oklahoma, Foreclosure in Oklahoma  |  February 8, 2011 12:08 PM  |  1,578 views  |  No comments

    Thinking of Making an Offer on a Short Sale? What You Need to Know


    Are you looking to buy a new home? Are you thinking that now's a great time to find bargains? That's true, but it pays to know a little about the seller's situation before you make an offer.


    If a home is being sold for below what the current seller owes on the property—and the seller does not have other funds to make up the difference at closing—the sale is considered a short sale. Many more home owners are finding themselves in this situation due to a number of factors, including job losses, aggressive borrowing against their home in the days of easy credit, and declining home values in a slower real estate market.


    A short sale is different from a foreclosure, which is when the seller's lender has taken title of the home and is selling it directly. Homeowners often try to accomplish a short sale in order to avoid foreclosure. But a short sale holds many potential pitfalls for buyers. Know the risks before you pursue a short-sale purchase.


    You're a good candidate for a short-sale purchase if:


    · You're very patient. Even after you come to agreement with the seller to buy a short-sale property, the seller’s lender (or lenders, if there is more than one mortgage) has to approve the sale before you can close. When there is only one mortgage, short-sale experts say lender approval typically takes about two months. If there is more than one mortgage with different lenders, it can take four months or longer for the lenders to approve the sale.


    · Your financing is in order. Lenders like cash offers. But even if you can’t pay all cash for a short-sale property, it’s important to show you are well qualified and your financing is set. If you're preapproved, have a large down payment, and can close at any time, your offer will be viewed more favorably than that of a buyer whose financing is less secure.


    · You don’t have any contingencies. If you have a home to sell before you can close on the purchase of the short-sale property—or you need to be in your new home by a certain time—a short sale may not be for you. Lenders like no-contingency offers and flexible closing terms.


    If you're serious about purchasing a short-sale property, it's important for you to have expert assistance. Here are some people you want to work with:


    · Experienced real estate attorney. Only about two out of five short sales are approved by lenders. But a good real estate attorney who's knowledgeable about the short-sale process will increase your chances getting an approved contract. Also, if you want any provisions or very specialized language written into the purchase contract, a real estate attorney is essential throughout the negotiation.


    · A qualified real estate professional.* You may have a close friend or relative in real estate, but if that person doesn’t know anything about short sales, working with him or her may hurt your chances of a successful closing. Interview a few practitioners and ask them how many buyers they've represented in a short sale and, of those, how many have successfully closed. A qualified real estate professional will be able to show you short-sale homes, help negotiate the purchase when you find the property you want to buy, and smooth communications with the lender. (All MLSs permit, and some now require, special notations to indicate that a listing is a short sale. There also are certain phrases you can watch for, such as “lender approval required.”)


    · Title officer. It’s a good idea to have a title officer do an initial title search on a short-sale property to see all the liens attached to the property. If there are multiple lien holders (e.g., second or third mortgage or lines of credit, real estate tax lien, mechanic’s lien, homeowners association lien, etc.), it's much tougher to get that short sale contract to the closing table. Any of the lien holders could put a kink in the process even after you’ve waited for months for lender approval. If you don’t know a title officer, your real estate attorney or real estate professional should be able to recommend a few.


    Some of the other risks faced by buyers of short-sale properties include:


    · Potential for rejection. Lenders want to minimize their losses as much as possible. If you make an offer tremendously lower than the fair market value of the home, chances are that your offer will be rejected and you’ll have wasted months. Or the lender could make a counteroffer, which will lengthen the process.


    · Bad terms. Even when a lender approves a short sale, it could require that the sellers sign a promissory note to repay the deficient amount of the loan, which may not be acceptable to some financially desperate sellers. In that case, the sellers may refuse to go through with the short sale. Lenders also can change any of the terms of the contract that you’ve already negotiated, which may not be agreeable to you.


    · No repairs or repair credits. You will most likely be asked to take the property “as is.” Lenders are already taking a loss on the property and may not agree to requests for repair credits.


    The risks of a short sale are considerable. But if you have the time, patience, and iron will to see it through, a short sale can be a win-win for you and the sellers.


    Jennifer Henning
    REALTOR | GREEN Certified
    [p] 405.625.1576


    By The Way...  If you know someone buying or selling a home, I'd love to help them.  Just call, text or e-mail me their name and number.  I promise to take great care of them.

    Note: This article provides general information only. Information is not provided as advice for a specific matter. Laws vary from state to state. For advice on a specific matter, consult your attorney or CPA. From Realtor.org

  • 5 Reasons Homeownership trumps Renting

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Oklahoma, Financing in Oklahoma, Rent vs Buy in Oklahoma  |  September 3, 2010 7:57 PM  |  1,725 views  |  2 comments
    1.  Be your own landlord. The bank can only kick you out if you don’t pay; a landlord can be much less dependable – landlords could decide to sell the property or choose to live there themselves.
    2. Paying the principal is forced savings. Yes, it’s possible that home prices will fall further. It is also possible that your 401(k) will lose value. But over the long haul, both are likely to enjoy modest gains in value.
    3. Fixed-rate mortgages never rise – and eventually you pay them off. With mortgage rates at record lows, people who buy now are locking in real bargains.
    4.  Good schools. Family-sized rentals are harder to come by in areas with excellent public schools.
    5. Spacious properties in pleasant neighborhoods. Sizable homes in attractive communities are almost always owned – not rented.

    Source: The New York Times, Ron Lieber (08/27/2010)

    Thinking about buying go to:  http://jhenning.findokcmetrohomes.com

  • Do You Understand Your Credit Report?

    Posted Under: Credit Score  |  May 28, 2010 5:31 PM  |  1,551 views  |  2 comments

    Over 70% of consumers identify errors on their credit report. Twenty-five percent of those are serious enough to deny consumers and business owners access to credit, preferred interest rates or even a job. With over 54 billion credit updates occurring each year, it’s very likely you may have errors that are negatively impacting the ability to get credit and/or causing you to pay unnecessary interest expenses.

    Identifying a credit report error is only the first step. Most consumers don’t know they have an error on their report because they rarely, if ever, review it until they need to get a loan. By the time this occurs, a consumer typically has less than 45 days before they need their loan funded, and their ability to get a single, valid error corrected within this timeframe is marginal at best.

    The need to proactively understand, evaluate and optimize your credit profile has never been greater. So what should a consumer do? Become educated and informed about how credit works. You should continually review and evaluate your credit profile. When a questionable activity is identified, you should make sure you understand it and correct any valid errors. In most cases, consumers begin by filing a dispute with the applicable credit agency who is reporting the information.

    Start now by reviewing your credit. You can click the link to receive your yearly free credit report:  http://tiny.cc/freeCR

    Jennifer Henning, Realtor
  • Top 7 HomeBuyers Turn-Offs

    Posted Under: Property Q&A  |  May 13, 2010 9:18 PM  |  1,590 views  |  2 comments

    1. Funky Smells

    Please leave your home smelling fresh, not reminiscent of your dog, cigarettes and mildew.  If you smoke, smoke outside.  If you have pets, you may need to wash them often and keep pet deodorizer on hand.

    2. Hover-ers

    Sellers who hang around the house for showings... STOP!  I hate to be the one to tell you this but, it is a little creepy.  Yes, you... leave the house during showings. Home buyers feel awkward about opening closet doors and lingering for a really good look at the house if the seller is home.  If you must stay, at least go outdoors while the potential buyer is looking.  Otherwise, you may lose a sale.

    3. Dirty Pottys

    Gross bathrooms are, well, just stinkin' gross and an instant turnoff to buyers. Scrub them, paint them, buy a new shower curtain, rugs and towels--do what it takes to make them less gross. It takes a little bit of time and the payoff is fantastic!

    4. Dark Rooms

    Dungeon-esque homes are a turnoff to most home buyers, so try to brighten it up:

    • Replace dim light fixtures
    • Install additional light fixtures
    • Install sola tubes or skylights
    • Remove heavy drapes to let the light stream through windows
    • Repaint rooms with colors that reflect light
    • Clean dingy windows

    5. Creepy Crawlers

    Bugs... Roaches, spiders, any insect that shouldn't be in the house… Get them out!

    6. Poor Curb Appeal

    You must grab a buyer's interest from the curb if you want to sell the home for top dollar. Home buyers often refuse to go into a house with an un-manicured lawn, unruly flowerbeds, sagging doors or peeling paint. Buyers assume if a homeowner doesn't keep up with maintenance on the outside, seller must not take care of the inside either.  So you better, get the yard in tip-top shape!

     7. Dogs/Cats/Pets

    I know you love your dog, I LOVE mine too... but some people just don't.  Some people are allergic.  So, remove pets during showings if possible. If you can't, remove them from the property... contain them in crates for their own safety and to show respect for the feelings of potential buyers.



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