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Lydia Franz


My Blog

Today's Interest Rates



30 year fixed             4.25

15 year fixed             3.625

30 year fixed Jumbo   4.125

Today's Interest Rates



30 YR FIXED                                                4.000%        4.216% 

15 YR FIXED                                                3.125%        3.594%


FHA 30 YR FIXED                                      3.500%        4.928%

USDA 30 YR FIXED                                    3.625%        4.312%

Provided By South Point Banking Jim Howell

Interest Rates


Rates for:  11/17/2014

30 year fixed  4.25

15 year fixed  3.50

30 year fixed Jumbo  4.25

Post Oil Spill

The beaches look better here than ever. BP is doing a deep clean now that its off season and digging deep to clean all the oil out. We fully expect things to pick up dramatically next year. We have had more publicity for our area and beaches than ever before, so if you are considering buying property in the South Baldwin County, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Fort Morgan or Foley area then now is the time to do it. The amount of listings that are priced to sell has dropped tremendously and buyers are jumping on deals everyday.

Reminder on Paitence

Just a reminder to those of you out there in the process or considering the purchase of a short sale property. Be pre-pared to wait. It is worth the wait. These properties are basically foreclosures without the foreclosure part. This means you are first in line and dealing directly with the bank as well as the seller. The properties are usually in better shape than foreclosures and the seller is sometimes willing to make minor repairs although keep in mind they are having to do a short sale for a reason and if they had extra cash then they would still be making the payment. So if you do have any request keep them simple.

Short Sales

Short Sales are the new hot topic in Real Estate. There are a lot of them out there, but buyers and sellers alike should know what they are dealing with. Short Sales are a recent trend where a buyer has a chance to purchase a property at less than what is owed on it, and the seller has a chance to get rid of the property without having to be foreclosed on. This is a win win situation for everyone involved, however you had better be patient. It is a little different with every lender and things can get done in a few weeks or a few months. Dealing with the banks short sale departments is sometimes slow going and all of the paperwork has to be right or you will be going nowhere fast. The selling agent has little to do with this process but the listing agent has to be on top of everything. Make sure whatever situation you are in, that you keep in touch with your agent, and don't get to frustrated when it takes time. Just keep in mind you have the potential of getting a great deal on a property. If you are selling, then remember it is much easier to recover from a Short Sale then it is a Foreclosure. For more information on the advantages of a Short Sale please feel free to call or e-mail me anytime.

Using Tax Credit as Down Payment

Last Tuesday, Secretary of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Shaun Donovan announced that home buyers will now be able to utilize the federal $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit for their down payment on Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. This is on FHA loans, and will make it much easier for buyers who have little or no cash to walk right into a home with no out of pocket expense. Remember however that FHA has strict guidelines about the condition of homes, so make sure the house you choose is in good shape.

Incentive Packages

With the market where it is today, new home builders are making it more and more attractive for buyers. Most builders have offered SOME incentive packages for some time, but now more than ever they are stepping up their game. Not only can you negotiate with builders to pay most of your closing cost, they are now offering tons of upgrades such as Granite Counter-tops, Screened Porches, Upgraded Hardware, Crown Molding, ect... to new buyers. There are some builders offering Furniture Packages, and paired up with the 10% or $8000 Tax Credit for first time buyers this means that it really is the perfect time to buy. A young couple can literally buy a home have it furnished and get extra money back on their taxes. So if you are thinking about buying new construction, make sure you compare the incentive packages that the sellers are offering and not just the houses.

Foreclosures in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

Everyone is talking about Foreclosures! There are some great deals out there and Foreclosures are definatily a big part of them. They are not always the best though. Many people get it stuck in their heads that they have to buy a Foreclosure to get a great deal. That is simply not true. Although there are many Foreclosure properties that can be bought at a great price there are also many regularly listed properties that the sellers are just as negotiable on. Even though they may be listed a little bit higher that doesn't mean the sellers will not look at offers. They know what is going on and what the prices are, and they are actually willing to fix things in order to sell the property. Banks will not fix anything, unless it is an enviromental hazard. Trust me that is not something you would want to deal with anyway. The best thing to do is decide what area you want to be in, what type of house or condo and then look at the best prices and best properties regardless of wether they are foreclosures or not. Then make an offer, all they can do is say no or counter. Be reasonable and look at all the options, that is the best way to find a great deal.
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