Memphis, TN Real Estate News

By David Saks
((retired))
                                        Mold is everywhere. It grows on everything. It can destroy everything, too. Mold can make you puke. Mold reeks. It can make you mad with nausea. It causes allergic reactions and can make it hard to breathe for many. It can release gases and toxins and causes irritation. In the last few years thousands of claims have been filed because of mold hazards. Have you had to deal with this problem ? What measures were taken to correct it ? Many thanks to all for your thoughts.
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By David Saks
((retired))
                                                                                          We produce so much garbage in America everyday it defies reality, myself included; take my desk for example. (about like the pic) Recycling is so important, especially during these days of economic crunch. Paint, diapers, toxic stuff, tires, food, paper, etc..; we have to find places for all this junk. We're beginning to see more garbage dumps on rural properties these days, and even the aquisition of land specifically placed aside for these purposes. How will it impact our land in the future ? What experiences have you had with the elimination of waste in your community ?  Have you had any experience with rural waste disposal ? Thanks to all for your thoughts.
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               CERCLA is the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. CERCLA was created in 1980 with a startup fund of 9 Billion Dollars (whew) called the SUPERFUND (I wonder why?) to clean up hazardous waste that was left behind by some villain...er...uh...potentially responsible party know in the industry as the PRP or the perp. CERCLA swoops down on them with their talons and orders the PRP to clean up the mess. Any landowner could be held liable under CERCLA when hazardous or toxic substances are released into ground or water areas a...
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By David Saks
((retired))
                                          Buyers always want to make sure that the property their signing their life away for is in the condition it was promised before they assume occupancy. The buyer wants to know about these things: * The Seller's Deed * The Survey * Any Leases If Tenants Reside on the Property * Results of All the Inspections Such as General Home Inspections, TERMITE Inspections, etc. * Evidence of Title * Documents Proving That Liens or Encumberances Have Been Removed * Have the Required Repairs Been Made ? Can you think of anything else ? Thanks for your time.  
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                                    When do real estate closings have to be reported to the IRS ( Internal Revenue Service ) and how are they reported? The form used to report real estate closings is IRS form 1099-S. Properties that have to be reported include: 1. Condominium Units, common elements, land and fixtures. 2. Improved or unimproved land which includes the space above it, or what is commonly referred to as air space. 3. Any stock in consequence of your ownership of or retention of shares in a cooperative housing corporation. 4. Commercial, residential or industrial structures deemed permanent. What else does the 1099-S require ? Many thanks for your thoughts.  
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                                     Kickbacks and referral fees: Are they good ? Are they bad ? What are your experiences with them ? RESPA, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, prohibits the payment of kickbacks or unearned fees, for the performance of any real estate settlement service. Referral fees are prohibited when no services are actually rendered. Any defrayment, payment, any act of paying money, any receipt, acknowledgment (usually tangible) that payment has been made, any kickback for anything of value for referrals for settlement services, including activities such as mortgage loans, title searches, title insurance, attorney performance or service, credit reports, an appraisal or a survey is prohibited by RESPA. Have you ever had a situation arise that challenged this...
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                                         The Uniform Settlement Statement - HUD-1 Form. What does it mean ? RESPA, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, requires that a special HUD form be completed. This form itemizes all of the charges to be paid by a borrower and a seller at the settlement. All of the charges that are collected at the closing table required of the lender or any other party to the transaction are indicated on the HUD-1. Any items outside of closing paid by the borrower and the seller not required by the lender won't be included in the HUD-1. When you pay for something required by the lender outside of closing it is referred to as "POC" or 'paid outside of closing'. We know that RESPA prohibits lenders from requiring borrowers to deposit amounts in escrow accounts...
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                                         Another disclosure requirement is: The Good Faith Estimate of Settlement Costs : GFE No later than three business days after receiving a loan application, the lender has to provide the borrower with what as known as the Good Faith Estimate or the GFE of the settlement costs that the buyer is facing. The estimate can include a specifc amount or any of a range of costs that are based on similar transactions in that particular area. Have you ever had a situation where a lender required you to use any particular attorney or title company and, if so, did they state whether or not they had a business relationship with that attorney or title company ?
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                                                         We all know that lenders and settlement agents have disclosure obligations.  What are some of them at the time of the loan application and the loan closing. The Special Information Booklet. Lenders have to provide of copy of the special informational HUD booklet to every personthey receive or prepare a loan application for. The booklet must be given at the time the application is received or within three days after. This booklet also provides your borrower with information about settlement costs and explains RESPA, The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act provisions which include an explanation line-by-line of the Uniform Settlement Statement. Have you ever experienced problems with disclosure? What are they ?
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By Joe Spake, Midtown, Downtown, East Memphis Specialist
(InCity Realty)
The national news media is full of flooding stories, but if you want to see some BIG flooding, take a trip to Downtown Memphis and check the Mississippi River. The National Weather services says today is the crest (the highest it will get) at Memphis at over 37 feet; flood stage here is 34 feet, so as you look west toward the Arkansas bank, there is at least 3 feet of water over the delta lands as far as you can see, until the levee holds it outside of West Memphis and Marion.Here is a shot i took this morning from the Mud Island River Walk Park parking area, and the same scene taken a few weeks ago when I was downtown.
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By Jolynna McCune, Affiliate Broker
(Groome & Co. REALTORS)
Recognizing Predatory Mortgage Lenders Definition of a predator: One that preys on others. This is why some lenders have very fittingly earned the title as predatory mortgage lenders. Excessively high interest rates, questionable and/or hidden fees and high pressure tactics used to direct borrowers to a larger loan than they may be able to afford are trademark characteristics of a predatory mortgage lender. Prey vs. Predator When it comes to obtaining a mortgage, the rules of the jungle often apply. If you aren't careful, you may find yourself in the grasp of a questionable foe. If you are someone who has had past credit problems or simply find yourself struggling to obtain a mortgage, it may seem like a good idea to sign on with any lender who can close the deal. But wait, jungle etiq...
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                                       What does real estate counseling invlove? Do you provide your clients with competent adivce? Does your advice reflect sound, professional judgement? How can we counsel our clients to choose among the many alternatives they face? What do we have to furnish our clients with to make informed decisions? Many thanks for your thoughts.
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                                                It's been said that subdivision is the splitting of a single property into smaller parcels. It's also been said in the same breath that development will involve the construction of improvements on a parcel of land. We also know that improvements are made off-site on public lands which include electricity, water and other municipal services. New homes and their additions with their improvements are made on-site, that is, on individual parcels of land. We believe that subdivision and development are related, but could they be distinctively different from one another and considered independent processess which must occur apart from each other? How do they work together?
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                                                      We know that a property manager is usually a person or company hired to maintain or manage a property on behalf of another, usually the owner. But when we hire a property manager is the owner actually relieved of the usual day-to-day tasks required to manage a property, such as collecting rents, making repairs, finding new tenants or evicting bad ones, modifying or constructing space for tenants or maintaining the property? What do we have to insure as owners that our investments are being protected? Isn't the most fundamental responsibility of the property manager to protect your investment, maximizing your return? Many thanks for your comments.
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By David Saks
((retired))
                                              I was sitting here sipping some iced tea and thinking about Kemmons Wilson, you know, the man who started out with a popcorn stand in front of the theater when he he was a kid and went on to become the founder of Holiday Inns in 1953. I was a year old then. I grew up hearing about Kemmons and his accomplishments, almost daily as a child. One of the greatest days of my life came when the phone rang, in 1990, and it was Kemmons. He called to congratulate me about a Memphis City Council honor I had just received. Kemmons asked me to come to a little party he was throwing for me at one of his hotels near the Memphis International Airport. He said his pals would be there; police captains, politicians, judges, real estate brokers, bankers, school ...
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By David Saks
((retired))
                                   Is a brokerage just the business of bringing people together in a real estate transcaction, or is it more like a business characterized by a high degree of intensity which combines the components of a multi-platformed community into one full service entity? Seems that the larger a brokerage is the more important training and retaining becomes. What is the process of becoming a better brokerage? I think it's understanding the business and all of the intricate processes, some sophisticated, some simple, that are the foundation of it's very existence.
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By David Saks
((retired))
                                                                                                        Often, when we hear others talking about real estate, and even considering a career, what do they think about? Do they think about becoming a broker and running their own brokerage? Do they think about becoming a salesperson and working for a brokerage? Do they think about becoming an appraiser, mortgage broker or banker, title agent, real estate attorney or what of many other options available allowing them to specialize within our profession? What is the real estate business to you? Is it a world revolving around negotiation and transaction all the time? Is it commercial leasing? Is it working with families to help them find a home, making a home a reality rather than just a clouded...
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                                                                                                                           Could it actually be that there is a low risk of home price decline in Chattanooga, or other Tennessee towns and cities, because, like Memphis and Shelby County, they have high property taxes ? In other words, could high property taxes make it more difficult to stay in step with appreciation and create some unbeknownst condition of equalization? Other factors such as foreclosure, tax liens, divorce, bankruptcy and crime influence price decline. High property taxes seem to keep prices stable, to a degree. I'd like to see a nationwide study or moratorium on the impact of ad valorem assessment and it's affect on market conditions, especially in a reassessment year. Wha...
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By David Saks
((retired))
                                                                       The trap has sprung. When the Fed lowered the lending rate it might have signed a death sentence for the economy. For cash-strapped homeowners, they're worst nightmare could happen. They're going to refinance their mortgages at bargain rates again, thanks to the Fed's beneficence, and think that they can cut their payments in half. Low documentation and low downpayment scams are going to resurface their ugly heads for new borrowers. Those who take the bait are in for a nasty surprise. While many Americans have started to worry about falling home prices, borrowers who jumped into so-called option and hybrid ARM loans have another, more urgent problem: payments have and are about to skyrocket, and it's predicted the re...
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By Joe Spake, Midtown, Downtown, East Memphis Specialist
(InCity Realty)
Rather than spend a long time in Google Documents trying to make a chart, I provide a link to  To Memphis Area Home Sales Report, published by the Memphis Area Association of REALTORS for Jan. and Feb., 2008.  Volume is down 17.2% overall from last year, but some market segments are doing fairly well.  There seems to be more buyer activity out there, and the March figures should be quite interesting.For more detailed information, or if you or someone you know is considering buying or selling a home in Memphis, please contact me. 
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