Florida ranks number 2 in foreclosures

We continue to see roller coaster ride of foreclosure data across the country. Florida was second in the nation in preforclosures and bank-repossessions through the first six months of the year, according to a report by Foreclosures.com.

Florida reported 225,170 preforclosure filings from January to June, which compares with 256,133 filings in the same period in 2008. Meanwhile, 53,548 Florida homes were repossessed by banks or lenders in the first six months of this year. That compared with 43,845 repossessions in 2008’s first six months. That is a 22.13% increase in repossessed homes from 2008 to 2009.

Florida trailed only California, which posted 266,210 preforeclosures and 97,692 completed foreclosures in the first half of 2009. Illinois finished a distant third with 36,639 preforeclosures and 12,729 repossessions.

Nationwide, a total of 1 million preforeclosures posted in the first half of this year, along with 435,967 bank repossessions. Preforeclosures were 10 percent lower than the same period a year ago, while completed foreclosures were 11 percent down.

Relief for military homeowners in financial distress

The economic downturn and the crashing of the real estate market have put millions of homeowners in financial distress. This financial crisis has spread far and wide and is impacting members or our military who are forced to sell their homes in a down market due to a relocation. Military homeowners who must sell their homes for a loss after receiving transfers orders are eligible for aid that could mean thousands of dollars in reimbursements from the federal government. Recently, the Departments of Defense has published guidelines for a $555 million program to help military families that have had to relocate.

Members of the Armed Forces permanently reassigned during the mortgage crisis can recieve aid if they meet these guidelines:

1. Permanent reassignment requires move of more than 50 miles.

2. Reassignment ordered between 1 February 2006 and 31 December 2009.

3. Property purchased (or contract to purchase signed) before 1 July 2006.

4. Property sold by owner between 1 July 2006 and 1 May 2010.

5. Property was the primary residence of the owner

6. Owner has not previously received these benefit payments.

To find out more information visit the DOD HAP website by clicking here.

If you do not directly qualify for this program, there are more options under the Servicemembers civil Relief Act (SCRA). It is important to remember that lenders and working hard to help homeowners prevent foreclosure especially for our military. Foreclosure alternatives include; forbearance, reinstatement, short sale, mortgage modification and deed in Lieu of foreclosure. You can read more about these terms here.  It is in the lender’s best interest to help you.

Keller Williams Emerald Coast forms a Distressed Property Division to help homeowners in danger of foreclosure

Keller Williams Emerald Coast is pleased to announce the creation of a Distressed Property Division specifically aimed at helping homeowners in danger of foreclosure. “This is a tremendous milestone for Keller Williams Emerald Coast. We have over 100 active distressed properties including pre-foreclosures and short sales. Being able to leverage our extensive experience in a single focused division is a win-win for our customers,” said Team leader Jeff Adamson.

“With the addition of Team Baranowski we are able to assemble a team of Realtors with deep experience handling short sales and distressed properties. We now have a vast network of expertise to draw from to help homeowners,” Jeff Adamson said.

“Our primary objective is to help the home owner or investor in this distressed market,” said Craig Baranowski of Team Baranowski.  Keller Williams as a company is always concerned with community betterment and the addition of a team specializing in distressed properties was a natural fit.  Team Baranowski has been focusing on short sales and pre-foreclosures for over the past two years with great success.  “We have heard a lot of hard luck stories but we have also helped a number of amazing families.  I like knowing that our individual efforts go directly into bettering our local community,” said Tracy Baranowski.

Team Baranowski has comprised a group of professionals that work diligently to increase the success rate and decrease the overall time frame of the typical short sale.  Short sales can offer a very positive alternative to foreclosure for both the home owner and the banks involved.  Recent governmental changes directed by the Obama administration have helped to stream-line the short sale process.  “This is wonderful for everyone involved,” said Joe Baranowski. With open communication and thoroughness Team Baranowski has found a way to successfully move distressed inventory, which in turn benefits everyone in the community.

“Selling and purchasing pre-foreclosure property is a detailed process.  We have assembled a team of negotiators, lawyers, closing agents, contractors, and Realtors that can make the buying and selling of distressed property extremely successful,” Joe Baranowski said.  With the real estate market ever changing it is important to have experienced professionals on your side.

Working with a real estate company that specializes in short sales and pre-foreclosures is extremely important to the end user.  For the seller, being able to finalize a short-sale with success will ultimately allow them to prevent a foreclosure.  For the buyer, being able to successfully purchase a distressed property can very well present them with an investment opportunity of a life time.  Whether you are in need of selling a distressed property or looking to purchase a distressed property, Keller Williams Emerald Coast is the company you can look to.

The Keller Williams Realty Emerald Coast Market Center opened in 2001, currently has 127 agents, and is located at 151 Regions Way Suite 4A, Destin, Florida. For more information, contact Jeff Adamson at 850.654.2900, teamleader@destinkw.com. Learn more about Keller Williams Realty Distressed Property Division, contact Craig Baranowski at 850.259.1788,  craig@teambaranowski or www.distressedpropertyexpert.net.

Certified Distressed Property Expert Team Joins Keller Williams Emerald Coast To Help Homeowners in Danger of Foreclosure

DATE: May 19, 2009
For more information, please contact:
Phone:           850-259-1788
Email             info@teambaranowski.com


The distressed property experts of Team Baranowski including Craig Baranowski, Joseph Baranowski and Tracy Baranowski have joined Keller Williams Realty Emerald Coast. Team Baranowski has earned the prestigious Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, having completed extensive training in foreclosure avoidance and short sales. Joseph Baranowski manages The Short Sale Gurus LLC and has been negotiating short sales for over two years helping dozens of homeowners avoid foreclosure.

“We assembled a team of experts to ensure we can deliver the highest level of professionalism, integrity and confidentiality to our customers,” said Joe Baranowski. “Our primary goal is to save their homes from foreclosure. This is one of the most stressful times for our customers and they deserve the best service possible.”

Team Baranowski offers invaluable expertise at a time when our area is being ravaged by “distressed” homes in the foreclosure process.

Short sales allow property owners to prevent foreclosure and sell the property at a fair market price that is lower than what is owed to the lender. With plummeting property values, this can save many people from foreclosure and even bankruptcy. More and more lenders are willing to consider short sales because they are much less costly than foreclosures, resulting in a win-win for both the property owner and lender.

In Bay, Walton and Okaloosa Counties, more than 7,884 homes and condos are in danger of foreclosing. Distressed properties are prevalent in all price ranges. “Even high-priced luxury homes and condos are not immune,” said Craig Baranowski.

On May 15, 2009 President Obama announced Uniform Short Sale Guidelines that provide incentives for borrowers and mortgage servicers to pursue short sales and other foreclosure alternatives. The incentives and process guidelines are part of a larger initiative called Making Home Affordable program which helps home owners avoid losing their homes.

“We have waited a long time for changes to the short sale process and this plan by the Obama Administration is a welcomed change that will further help homeowners in distress,” said Craig Baranowski. “Everyone has been affected; our friends, family and neighbors. Educating everyone on foreclosure alternatives is critical and we do our best to spread the word on our websites, blog, and Twitter. We are even hosting a weekly real estate radio show on 30A Radio to get the word out.”

“We are truly lucky to have Team Baranowski join us here at Keller Williams Realty Emerald Coast,” said Team Leader, Jeff Adamson. “Our goal is to continue to build and strengthen our Keller Williams team so we can help as many homeowners as possible. Team Baranowski brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise for handling distressed properties.”

For more information on short sale and foreclosure alternatives visit our website www.distressedpropertyexpert.net, or contact Craig Baranowski at 850.259.1788, or email info@teambaranowski.com.

Obama Administration announces uniform Short-Sale Guidelines

Daily Real Estate News | May 15, 2009 |

Uniform Short-Sales Guidelines in the Works
Extensive delays in the short-sale process has caused many buyers to go elsewhere and have left would-be sellers with no option but foreclosure. But the picture is improving.

This week the U.S. Treasury announced that it would be providing incentives for borrowers and mortgage services to pursue short sales and other foreclosure alternatives. The program includes a standard short-sales process flow, minimum performance timeframes, and standard documentation, the U.S. Treasury says.

(More information is available on the Treasury Web site and in this PDF document.

The incentives and process guidelines are part of a larger initiative called Making Home Affordable, which helps home owners refinance to avoid losing their home.

“NAR is pleased that the government is stepping in to help prevent foreclosures by streamlining the short-sale and deeds-in-lieu process,” NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® President Charles McMillan said in a statement. “NAR has been calling for uniform short sales procedures and other initiatives that will help today’s home owners in challenging economy.”

More Collaboration Needed

A panel of experts at the 2009 REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings this week agreed with NAR’s position that more needs to be done to streamline short sales.

“It’s hard to find the right person to talk to, you send in multiple forms multiple times, you’re not sure if the forms were received or processed correctly,” said Marcel Bryar, deputy general counsel and vice president at Fannie Mae.

To reach a set of standards that suits everyone, the government should collaborate with lenders, the real estate industry, and advocacy groups, he said.

“The process is going to take a while,” said David Knight, head of the short sales division at Wells Fargo. “Getting them all to understand what we can all live and deal with is not going to be easy, but that is exactly what’s going to have to happen.”

Panel participants applauded the Obama administration’s efforts to streamline the short sales process, and encouraged the real estate industry to get more involved in formulating this standard.

“It’s going to take some thorough intervention,” said Boyd Campbell, a Washington, D.C.-area REALTOR®. “That’s why I think it’s so important for RPAC to get involved and make sure NAR has the resources to go in and help resolve this problem. This doesn’t just impact us as practitioners. It also impacts all of our homes and communities.”

-Brian Summerfield, REALTOR® Magazine
If you or someone you know is looking at buying or selling distressed property…rely on the experts, The Distressed Property Experts of Team Baranowski!
Note: The information provided is for informational purposes. No legal advise is given or implied. Please check with a qualified attorney in your area.

Distressed Property: Windswept Estates – 125 Double Eagle, Freeport FL

Short Sale Property. This custom home is the only one of its kind in Windswept Estates. It features custom cabinets, hardwood floors, double ovens, granite throughout, two screened in porches, a circular driveway, and a three car garage. Windswept Estates is a beautiful golf course community on the longest golf course in the state of Florida. It was voted #5 in the Top Ten Courses you can play by Golf Magazine.

Distressed Property: Forest Lakes – Lot 30 Okeechobee Way


Short Sale. This is your opportunity to own in beautiful Blue Mountain Beach and build your dream home. Nestled in Forest Lakes, this is a Craftsman Style inspired development in Blue Mountain Beach area with a small lake, walking paths that wonder into the State Forest. This craftsman style development boast a large pool and comfortable pool pavilion with an outdoor fireplace. It is located across from Draper Lake on the north side of 30A. This lot is close to the lake and grass common area and is within walking distance to the Gulf of Mexico.

Distressed Property: Driftwood Estates – 374 Driftwood Point Road, Santa Rosa Beach, FL


Foreclosure Vs. Short Sale Homeowner Consequences

Foreclosure Vs. Short Sale Homeowner Consequences


Issue Foreclosure Successful Short Sale
Future Fannie Mae Loan – Primary Residence
(effective May 21, 2008)
A homeowner who loses a home to Foreclosure is ineligible for a Fannie Mae backed mortgage for a period of 5 years. A homeowner who successfully negotiates and closes a short sale will be eligible for a  Fannie Mae backed mortgage after only 2 years.
Future Fannie Mae Loan – Non Primary 
(effective May 21, 2008)
An Investor who allows a property to go to Foreclosure is ineligible for a Fannie Mae backed investment mortgage for a period of 7 years. An investor who successfully negotiates and closes a short sale will be eligible for a  Fannie Mae backed investment mortgage after only 2 years.
Future Loan with any Mortgage Company On any future 1003 application, a prospective borrower will have to answer YES to question C in Section VIII of the standard 1003 that asks “Have you had property foreclosed upon or given title or deed in lieu thereof in the last 7 years?” this will affect future rates. There is no similar declaration or question regarding a short sale.
Credit Score Score  may be lowered anywhere from 250 to over 300 points.  Typically will affect score for over 3 years. In some cases only late payments on mortgage will show and after sale mortgage will be reported as paid or negotiated. This will lower the score as little as 50 points if all other payments are being made. In some states default can be reported as a foreclosures however the time a short sale instead of a foreclosure will affect a borrow is much less. A short sale’s affect can be a brief as 12 to 18 months
Credit History Foreclosure will remain as a public record on a person’s credit history for 10 years or more A Short Sale is not reported on a persons credit history. There is no specific reporting item for ’short sale’. In most cases a loan is typically reported ‘paid in full, settled’ or ‘paid as negotiated’.
Security Clearances Foreclosure is the most challenging issue against a security clearance outside of a conviction of a serious misdemeanor or felony. If a client has a foreclosure and is a police officer, in the military, in the CIA, Security, or any other position that requires a security clearance in almost all cases clearance will be revoked and position will be terminated. A Short Sale on its own does not challenge most security clearances.
Current Employment Employers have the right and are actively checking the credit regularly of all employees who are in sensitive positions. A foreclosure in many cases is ground for immediate reassignment or termination. A short sale is not reported on a credit report and is therefore not a challenge to employment.
Future Employment Many employers are requiring credit checks on all job applicants. A foreclosure is one of the most detrimental credit items an applicant can have and in most cases will challenge employment. A short sale is not reported on a credit report and is therefore not a challenge to employment.
Deficiency Judgment In 100% of foreclosures (except in those states where there is no deficiency) the bank has the right to pursue a deficiency judgment.  In some successful short sales it is possible to convince the lender to give up the right to pursuit a deficiency judgment against the homeowner. 
Deficiency Judgment (amount) In a foreclosure the home will have to go through an REO process if it does not sell at auction. In most cases this will result in a lower sales price and longer time to sale in a declining market. This will result in a higher possible deficiency judgment. In a properly managed short sale the home is sold at a price that should be close to market value and in almost all cases will be better than an REO sale resulting in a lower deficiency.
Take action and make an appointment with us today and get yourself started on the path to financial recovery. Click here to download a complimentary report on Foreclosure Vs. Short Sale Homeowner Consequences.
Our team has specialized training on helping homeowners who may be facing foreclosure. Please contact us today for a no cost confidential consultation.
We can be reached at: 850-259-1788
If you or someone you know is looking at buying or selling distressed property…rely on the experts, The Distressed Property Experts!
Note: The information provided is for informational purposes. No legal advise is given or implied. Please check with a qualified attorney in your area.

7 Most Common Short Sale Pitfalls

As a homeowner considering a short sale it is important you understand the most common mistakes agents and homeowners make in this process.  The Distressed Property Experts have completed extensive training in the short sale process and in assisting homeowners who owe more on their properties than what they are worth and need solutions.   

1. Property is Priced Incorrectly

PITFALL: This is the most common mistake made with all properties and the most common reason a listing expires and a property doesn’t sell.  

SOLUTION: The Distressed Property Experts will go through a detailed listing price strategy with you that will allow you to see exactly where your property should be priced based on it current condition, sales in your area and most importantly how much time you have left to sell. 

2. The Short Sale Proposal is Incomplete

PITFALL: This is one of the most common reasons why a short sale does not get approved.  Most agents do not understand the short sale process and what your lender will be looking for.  

SOLUTION: The Distressed Property Experts understand this process in detail and will work with you to present a complete and cohesive proposal to your lender.  

3. Inadequate Follow Up and Communication

PITFALL: If your agent does not follow up with everyone involved as your short sale goes through each threshold or step in this process you may not know that your file has been delayed and you again may run out of time.  

SOLUTION:The Distressed Property Experts know exactly how to follow up to ensure that your lenders issues are addressed in a timely manner and will make certain you do not have unnecessary delays.  

4. Not Enough Time

PITFALL: It is critical that your agent understand the foreclosure laws in your area. They should be able to show you an estimated timeline. They should also know how to communicate with your lender and what to provide that in some cases can stall your foreclosure for weeks or months in order to let you negotiate a sale.  

SOLUTION: Make sure you provide your agent accurate information as to exactly how many payments you have missed and any correspondence you have received from your lender. This will allow your agent to understand your situation and work to improve it. 

5. Your Deal is Not Submitted Properly

If you do not follow the directions you receive for submission then you are expecting an over-worked, under-staffed department to go out of their way to handle your file. There is very little likelihood of this happening.  If you are instructed to fax your file, fax it and send a backup copy in the mail.  If you are instructed to mail two copies, mail two copies. Once you have a contract, have gathered your information and completed your proposal you do not want your deal to fall apart because no one sees it.   

6. The Buyer’s Offer is Too Low

PITFALL: Many agents will encourage you to submit any offer they get.  The reality is that short sale is not the same as a fire sale!  In order to have a legitimate chance at getting your deal approved you must have an offer that is more attractive to the lender than a foreclosure.  

SOLUTION: The Distressed Property Experts will work with you to properly negotiate any offer that you receive to get ‘highest and best’ from each buyer so you are presenting the best solution possible to your lender.  

7. The Buyer’s Contract is Not Strong Enough

PITFALL: In today’s economic climate, just because a buyer is willing to make an offer on a property does not mean that they are truly qualified to purchase.  The reality is that a buyer needs to be preapproved for financing, closing funds need to be verified and their ability to buy needs to be confirmed.   

SOLUTION: The Distressed Property Experts are familiar with the details of exactly what must be verified in order to qualify a buyer to submit an offer on your property that has a chance at closing. Don’t risk this process with an uneducated agent who does not have these answers. 

In summary

While these pitfalls may seem troublesome –The Distressed Property Experts can help you navigate your way to a successful closing.  Don’t risk your financial future and the potential sale of your home with an agent who does not have all the solutions, call us today.

Take action and make an appointment with us today and get yourself started on the path to financial recovery. Click here to download a complimentary report on the 7 Most Common Short Sale Pitfalls.
Our team has specialized training on helping homeowners who may be facing foreclosure. Please contact us today for a no cost confidential consultation. We can be reached at: 850-259-1788
If you or someone you know is looking at buying or selling distressed property…rely on the experts, The Distressed Property Experts!
Note: The information provided is for informational purposes. No legal advise is given or implied. Please check with a qualified attorney in your area.

7 Most Dangerous Short Sale Myths

A short sale can be an excellent solution for a homeowner who owes more on their home than what it is worth and has to sell. Unfortunately a number of myths about short sales have developed and it is important you understand the reality of this process if this is a solution that you feel meets your current needs.

 1.    Short Sales are Impossible and Never Get Approved

Nothing could be further from the truth! 

  • Are short sales more difficult? Yes.
  • Do you need to learn a new process? Yes.
  • Are they impossible? No, No, No!

2.  Banks are Not Accepting Short Sales; They are Waiting on a Bailout

The reality is that banks (and the government) are trying to do anything they can, within reason, to avoid foreclosing on property.  Lenders are aggressively pursuing Short Sales. Freddie Mac recently hosted a national training webinar for real estate agents where they expressly stated the organizational goal of  “eliminating distressed assets through modification or short sale”. 

 3. You Must be Behind in on your Mortgage in Order to Negotiate a Short Sale

While it is true that initially some lenders wanted you to be in default (missed a payment) before they were willing to consider a short sale – this trend has almost all together reversed. Today lenders are looking for verifiable hardship, monthly cash flow shortfall or pending shortfall and insolvency. 

 If you meet these three requirements and are in a position where you will soon not be able to afford your mortgage, act now! Don’t wait until the countdown clock to foreclosure has started and you have even less time left.

 4.  Buyers are Not Interested in Short Sales and Avoid Them

This is a myth that potential sellers hear all the time – thankfully the reality is that today it is not.  In fact many agents are getting calls from buyers who say “I only want to look at foreclosures and Short Sales!”

 Short Sales and Foreclosures have become synonymous – not with issues – but with GOOD DEALS. International buyers specifically are interested in these properties.  

5. Listing my Home as a Short Sale is an Embarrassment

It is understandable that you may have reservations about letting the world know that you owe more on your home than it is worth however, understand that according to recent estimates, 1 out of 5 homeowners in the US is in your exact situation. You are to be congratulated for admitting you need help, taking action, and finding a professional who can work with you towards a solution.

 With 40 to 60% of the sales in the US predicted to be Short Sales or foreclosures you are not alone!

 6.  The Bank Would Rather Foreclose than Bother with a Short Sale

We know you have heard this; you may have even heard it from an overzealous collections agent working for a lender.  The reality is that banks do not want to foreclose on your property.  Banks, investors and event the federal government have all publicly said that if a person is qualified for a short sale the deal needs to be considered.

 The qualifications are: 

  • A. Financial Hardship – There is a situation that is causing you to have trouble affording your mortgage.
  • B. Monthly Income Shortfall – You have more month than money! A lender will want to see that you cannot afford or will not be able to afford your mortgage soon.
  • C. Insolvency – The lender will want to see that you do not have significant liquid assets that would allow you to pay down your mortgage. 

7.  There is not Enough Time to Negotiate a Short Sale Before My Foreclosure

This is a myth that probably hurts homeowners the most.  Many don’t realize that foreclosure is a process and there is time. 

The foreclosing party (in most cases a lender) can stall a foreclosure up to the final day of the process.  Many lenders will stall a foreclosure with as little as a phone call from you letting them know that you are trying to sell.  Almost all lenders will stall a foreclosure with a legitimate contract, in our view there is time until the foreclosure process is complete.  

Take action and make an appointment with us today and get yourself started on the path to financial recovery. Click here to download a complimentary report on the 7 Most Dangerous Short Sale Myths.

Our team has specialized training on helping homeowners who may be facing foreclosure. Please call us today for a no cost confidential consultation. We can be reached at: 850-259-1788

If you or someone you know is looking at buying or selling distressed property…rely on the experts, The Distressed Property Experts!

Note: The information provided is for informational purposes. No legal advise is given or implied. Please check with a qualified attorney in your area.

Housing Recovery? Not This Year, Experts Say

One in every nine homes in the United States is sitting vacant, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Economists predict that getting rid of this glut nationwide will take at least three years.

Here is a quick look at the math: The number of housing units in the United States increased by an astonishing 8.65 million from 2002 to 2007. During that period, the number of U.S. households rose by only 6.7 million. If you subtract a half-million homes that will be torn down or lost to fire, and that leaves an excess of 1.3 million units, not including vacation homes.

The country adds about 1.5 million households every year, but the recession and a slowdown in immigration is reducing that number. Additionally, Gen Xers, most of who are within the age range when people tend to have the most children, are relatively small in number and won’t create an enormous need for larger living space.

Factor in the number of new homes being built-about 700,000 this year, according to Arthur C. Nelson, director of the University of Utah’s Metropolitan Research Center- and the bottom line is a multi-year recovery.

As Robert Lang, head of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech, puts it, “Population is still growing, and sooner or later, you’ll want to move out of relatives’ basements.”

Utah’s Nelson analyzed government and private housing data and predicts that hard-hit housing markets in the West and South will start to bounce back later this year and during the first half of 2010. The Northeast and Midwest will have the slowest comeback, possibly extending beyond 2012, he says.

Northwest Florida is already seeing a resurgence of activity with real estate transactions. It is definitely the right time to buy real estate. We are slowly depleting our inventory. In Walton, Okaloosa and Bay County we have seen new construction starts at an all time low and many developments and new condo projects are either stopped or abandoned. Decreasing the amount of new supply is allowing our communities in Santa Rosa Beach, Panama City Beach, Destin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, WaterColor and many others to finally deplete the available inventory. I believe this buyers market will continue well into 2010.

 If you or someone you know is looking at buying or selling distressed property…rely on the experts, The Distressed Property Experts!

Distressed Property: Destin West Sandpiper Unit# 503


Excellent investment opportunity! This Destin West unit has a great view of the Gulf from the master bedroom and the living area overlooks the bay, lagoon pool. Enjoy floating in the lagoon pool during the day or under the lites at night. Very relaxing and fun for the whole family. Kids just love it. This unit has been tastefully upgraded by the seller at time of purchase. Seller has installed custom made bunkbeds in bunkroom and added a door for privacy. Crown molding has beeen added and fans replaced with decorative palm leaf blades and lites. Custom paint makes this unit special. Unit has washer/dryer and a microwave.  Destin West Bay side is connected to Destin West Gulf side by a pedestrian walkover. This will be the only walkover in the area and will allow for safe crossing of Hwy 98 to the beach access on the Gulf. Close to the convention center; local restaurants and shopping. This unit is on Destin West’s onsite property management program. Unit is immediately available to be rented. Good rental history for that investment opportunity. All measurements to be verified by buyer.

Fannie Mae tightens up on Condo Lending Requirements

We have all felt the credit squeeze. Especially as a Realtor trying to get our buyers financing for distressed condos as a short sale, pre-foreclosure or REO. In NW Florida, from Panama City Beach to Destin there are only a few lenders that will write mortgages for condos and even fewer for condotels. The difficulty in finding financing is due to lenders being very cautious with condo developments that are not financially sound and HOAs that are in financial trouble. Due to the large surge in condo developments, many new condos are vacant and the units that have sold are mostly in foreclosure. This puts the HOA in a death spiral. As Realtors we find ourselves and buyers in a difficult position. We need to sell the distressed inventory to financially sound buyers to revive the condo developement and infuse much needed HOA dues. Financially solid buyers will get the condos out of their death spiral. However, if lenders will not write mortages for these developments and Fannie Mae will not back them, then there is no way to get out of the financial death spiral.

During the condo boom Fannie Mae loosened up their condo pre-sale requirements from 70% down to 51%. In a letter to Cynthia Shelton, President of the Florida Association of Realtors, the old requirements have been re-instated and now all new condo pre-sale requirements are 70% of units must be under contract. I believe this to be a good move. Fannie Mae is also requiring that at least 85% of condo units in established projects must be current on their condo fees. This requirement has been expanded to new construction.

The tightening of the HOA guidelines makes it very difficult for a condo development to get out of financial difficulties and back on track. Buyers are jumping in to the market taking advantage of the incredible prices and low mortgage rates, hopefully we will work through this condo dilemma and get everything back on track.

You can read the letter that Deborah Tretler of Fannie Mae gave to Cynthia Shelton of FAR here.

3 Must Have Short Sale Qualifications report download available

 There are many misconceptions of what qualifies a seller for a short sale. The reality is that the qualifications are very simple. Following is an explanation of the three major items that most lenders are looking to see if you will qualify for a short sale. Click here to read report and download a complimentary copy.

The Distressed Property Experts can help you evaluate if you qualify for a short sale. We will put together a detailed action plan that will help you prevent foreclosure. Work with the experts, The Distressed Property Experts.