What's on the market in Journey's End?

What's on the market in Journey's End?
Click on the photo above and see the homes for sale in Journey's End


Too Good To Be True; There's No Free Lunch; ___insert cliche here

I have started to see this being promoted recently by mail and on the radio.
"If we don't sell your house in ___days...WE'LL BUY IT!"

Sounds great...especially in this market. Worth checking out? That's what the agent is hoping you'll think. Get their phone to ring...but they'll most likely never discuss the details over the phone..."much to complicated and need to see your home to see if it qualifies"...get the foot in the door.  But there is NEVER a free lunch; there is always a cost associated.

But, particularly in this type of market, it would be "good business" if the agent NEVER bought any homes, or if they did, that they were purchased at such a drastic discount that the seller could do better selling the home themselves. 

I have gone to several seminars where they promoted this (tactic/gimmick) and it starts out sounding something like this:
" Mr./Mrs. homeowner, a big dilemma when making your move is deciding whether to buy 1st or sell 1st. Either way is risky as you could end up with 2 homes (or no home). Our unique/innovative/etc Guaranteed Sale Program solves this dilemma...you get our personal guarantee that if we don't sell your home in 90/120/180 days, we will buy it at a price acceptable to you. Now, WE take all the risk from you and you can immediately place a confident offer on another home".

The hidden details usually follow some or all of these general guidelines:
  • Must purchase one of the agents listings...or at least buy a 'full commission' home with them
  • Seller must still pay a full commission on the 'guaranteed' sale
  • Quite often an 'upfront' fee or guaranteed sale program fee of anywhere from $295 to fees in the thousands
  • "Agreed upon" price well below appraisal/market value...could be as low as the 80% range, then subtract commissions, fees, closing costs etc.
  • Original list price 5% below comparables
  • Seller is REQUIRED to continually lower the asking price during the 90 day (or whatever the guarantee period is)...for example: 100%  for 1st 30 days, 90% day 30-60, 80% day 60-90, at which point they have reached their 'guarantee' point (but minus a full commission, etc.)
  • Sign the listing agreement first...then the guaranteed purchase details come later
  • May be a maximum allowable program price
  • Restrictions on home condition
  • Use the language "I'll buy it for 'list' price", but fail to say that the 'list' price is the 80% ENDING list price
If they'll buy it for the full price that they agree to list it for...then that's putting their money where their dog and pony show is.

Think about these few points:
  • With as difficult as it is to get a mortgage now, COULD your agent actually perform on their guarantee? Ask to speak with their mortgage lender...do your due diligence as with any other buyer.
  • If they don't need a mortgage and have a few $million sitting around to buy homes that don't sell in 90 days, why are they a real estate agent?
  • Are they "flipping" the purchase option to an investor? Are they going to list the home for the investor once they buy it?
  • Can they assign the guaranteed sale price (as in a wholesaler)?

Good, solid, cutting-edge marketing, a detailed understanding of the local and national economic factors affecting home values, subdivision level market knowledge, ability to analyze trends...trust and mutual respect...THIS is what is needed today.

Thanks for reading


Making your mortgage payments to BofA? GOTCHA!


Bank of America has recently (and quietly) redefined their “grace period”.


When is a grace period not really a grace period? When you have to pay a $6 fee for using it. In a nutshell, you’ll have 6 fewer days of the old grace period to make your payment without being charged additional fees.

Consumers who use the bank's online payment tool, Mortgage Pay, will be subject to a $6 fee if they fund payments using another bank's checking account and the payment falls during the final six days of the traditional 15-day grace period. Consumers who make payments from Bank of America accounts are not subject to the fee.

"Let me get this straight. They tell you that you have a grace period, (then) they say, 'Oops, you only have half of it if you don’t bank with us,'” said Gail Hillebrand, a lawyer for Consumers Union who specializes in banking issues.  "That doesn't seem fair. ... This looks like a new ‘gotcha,’ and we have enough of those already."

Some consumers who are being hit with the change didn't apply for a mortgage with Bank of America. Instead, the bank inherited their mortgage later by acquiring it as part of an investment portfolio purchase.

This is just another sneaky tactic form one of the TBTF banks that received billions of taxpayer dollars. basically, it’s either switch your account to a BofA account that has a bunch of garbage fees or pay us garbage fees directly for the privilege of  paying us! 




Journeys End homes for sale...under contract

I just wanted to update my post from a month ago (http://journeysendinfo.blogspot.com/2010/12/recent-closed-sales-in-journeys-end.html) regarding homes under contract. As of 12/21/10, there were NO Journeys End homes under contract...and as of today 1/21/2011 there are still NO Journeys End homes under contract.

Three homes have come on the market since last month and three homes have been removed from the market in the last 30 days.

When I meet with a seller, we discuss what it will take from both of us to "be the next home sold"...as a seller in a declining market, that should be a primary goal.

Shadow inventory threatens housing recovery


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- There is a growing glut of foreclosed homes threatening to hit the market over the next couple of years, potentially delaying any recovery.

There were 1.7 million homes either owned by the bank or in some stage of foreclosure at the end of the third quarter of 2010, according to a recent report by Standard & Poor's. It would take 44 months, at the current rate of sales, to sell them off -- a 25% increase from the beginning of 2010. (S&P does not count home loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.)…

next, my commentary…

The paragraph above, in and of itself is troubling…but when you look at the statement within the parentheses, it becomes horrifying! The most recent statistic that I’ve read estimates in excess of 65% of all loans as being backed by Fannie or Freddie…and this S & P report just decides to leave that out? I have been telling my clients for a year or more that this distressed  inventory backlog will continue to drag home values down for several more years…coupled with no real plan or prospects for meaningful job  and income growth, and the market looks very, very soft to me.

The following is from the recent Mortgage Bankers Association Delinquency Report, and will be a real eye-opener:

  • Number of properties that are 30 or more days delinquent or in foreclosure:  (A+B loans) 6,870,000 !

Big difference from the widely published news story in CNNMoney…over 5 million more at least 30 days past due or further along in the foreclosure process.

And Numero Uno on the list of states with highest percentage of non-current loans…you guessed it: FLORIDA

So, 44 months to sell off 1.7M (and this doesn’t count all of the “non-distressed” homes on the market)…so how many months to sell off 6.8M? Well, using my middle school math, I came up with 176 months of inventory…That’s over 14 years!

Not to beat a dead horse, but if you are thinking of selling, even (especially) if you owe more than your home is worth…lets talk about your options, market direction, etc.  Call me directly at 561-602-1258. If I don’t answer, please leave me a message


Florida is one of the eight-states-running-out-of-homebuyers

by Douglas A. McIntyre, Michael B. Sauter and Charles B. Stockdale
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

provided by

The single biggest problem in the U.S. real estate market is simple: There are very few homebuyers.

That seems obvious, but the "buyers' strike" has caused house prices to drop, along with an epidemic of foreclosures. What's worse, the long depression in real estate is probably not over. S&P has forecast that home prices will drop by 7% to 10% this year. The S&P Case-Shiller Index has dropped for most of the 20 largest real estate markets over the last several months. RealtyTrac recently reported that more than 1 million homes were foreclosed upon in 2010.

Many economists argue that the housing market may take four or five years to stabilize. Even if that's proven to be true, the all-time highs of 2006 may never be reached again.

24/7 Wall St. looked at a number of the standard measures to find the housing markets facing the biggest problems attracting buyers. After a detailed examination, six metrics were chosen: (1) vacancy rates for 2010; (2) foreclosure rates for 2010; (3) November 2010 unemployment rates; (4) change in building permits from 2006 to 2010; (5) change in population from 2005 to 2010; and (6) price reduction by major cities for 2010. Taken together, they create a strong statistical base to describe markets which buyers have largely abandoned.

The real estate crisis has gone on for four years. In the states 24/7 Wall St. has chosen here, the crisis will go on much longer:

  1. Michigan
  2. Nevada
  3. Arizona
  4. California
  5. Illinois
  6. Georgia
  7. Oregon

And: #8. Florida

Vacancy Rate: 21.03% (2nd Worst)
2010 Foreclosures: 5.51% (3rd Worst)
Decrease in Building Permits 2006-2010: -81.37% (3rd Worst)

Unemployment in Florida is 12%, the fourth worst in the country. (The REAL unemployment and under-employment is much higher) Approximately 1.1 million residents are out of work. Statistics show that 21.03% of the state's housing units are vacant. Furthermore, 5.51% of homes have been foreclosed upon. Florida was among five states that had the largest real estate booms from 2000 to 2006. Residential prices in some  areas like…Palm Beach rose by much more than double during that period. New home and condominium construction soared. Many of those residences have never been occupied and are still part of the inventory of homes for sale.

If you are thinking about selling, now or in the near term, even if you owe much more than your home is worth, please call me directly at 561-602-1258, or email me: Steve@thejacksonteam.com. We just know how to sell homes, even in this market...This week, I put a home in under contract in about 5 days and had a closing yesterday for another seller for whom we applied a secret strategy that generated overwhelming property interest and a top price in about 2 weeks.


Top lenders set for foreclosure settlement: report | Reuters

 And so it has come to pass..even the state Attorneys General are in the pocket of the TBTF financial institutions. The  Attorneys General , on behalf of Fannie and Freddie, have ‘settled’ with the five biggest TBTF banks, for ‘future losses’ from the fraudulently written, fraudulently packaged, fraudulently rated and sold loans. Possibly the biggest fraud ever perpetrated will now, effectively, be swept under the rug in exchange for 1 or 2 cents on the dollar…I’d sure love a deal like that!

(Reuters) - The five largest mortgage loan servicers, including Bank of America Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co, may be the first to settle with 50 state attorneys general who are investigating foreclosure practices, Bloomberg reported, citing Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller…

Ally Financial, Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan and Wells Fargo could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours…

Here’s another report, below, from CnnMoney.com:

Is Fannie bailing out the banks?

Posted by Colin Barr January 3, 2011 10:11 pm

Financial stocks just caught fire. Someone must be getting bailed out, right?

Why yes, say critics of the giant banks. They charge that Monday's rally-stoking mortgage-putback deal between Bank of America (BAC) and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is nothing more than a backdoor bailout (QE4?) of the nation's largest lender (emphasis mine). It comes courtesy, they say, of an administration struggling to find a fix for the housing market while quaking at the prospect of another housing-fueled banking meltdown.

Monday's arrangement, according to this view, will keep the banks standing -- but leave taxpayers on the hook for an even bigger tab should a weak economic recovery falter. Sound familiar?…

And you don't need to be a conspiracy theorist to see that austerity talk in Congress means no more upfront support for financial firms. At a time of double-dipping house prices and nearly 10% unemployment, you can see where some people might find themselves devising new ways to prop up BofA and its housing-exposed rivals JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Citi (C).

"This looks to me like a gift from Tim Geithner," said Chris Whalen of Institutional Risk Analytics. "There's politics all over this."…how sharp is Freddie if all it can do is squeeze a $1.28 billion payment out of a giant customer in exchange for relinquishing fraud claims on $117 billion worth of outstanding loans? The very best its million-dollar executives can do is claw back a penny on each bubbly subprime dollar?

…"How Freddie can justify this decision to settle 'all outstanding and potential' claims before any of the private-label putback lawsuits have been resolved is beyond comprehension," says Rebel Cole, a real estate and finance professor at DePaul University in Chicago. "This smells to high heaven and they should be called out."




Palm Beach County Bar Association - Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program

Below, from the Palm Beach County Bar Association website, I have the details, forms and FAQ’s regarding the Florida State Supreme Court mandated pre-summary judgment mediated meeting between the foreclosed-upon homeowner and their lenders representative…

What is foreclosure?
Foreclosure is a legal process by which the mortgage holder causes the judicial sale of the secured real estate to pay a defaulted loan. The mortgage on real estate acts as collateral for the repayment of the loan so when this loan is in default, the mortgage holder exercises its rights to take the collateral by selling the home.

What is the RMFM Program?
The RMFM Program is the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program that has been ordered by the Florida Supreme Court, and the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court. This program mandates that all homestead foreclosure lawsuits filed on or after July 12, 2010, be sent to mediation prior to any final order being issued.

How do I enter the RMFM Program?
All homestead foreclosure suits that are filed on or after July 12, 2010 will be automatically referred to the RMFM Program. The Program Manager will contact you based on information received from the lender. However, if you have been served with a foreclosure suit and/or your contact information has changed, please contact the RMFM Program directly at (866) 900-4254 (toll free)

I am a Homeowner who was served with a foreclosure lawsuit filed before July 12, 2010. Can I participate in the RMFM Program?
You may request a referral to this Program by filing a Borrower’s Request to Participate in the RMFM Program (download copy here). File this request with the Court and mail a copy of the request to the lawyer for the Lender.

Is there a cost to me to participate in the RMFM Program?
There is no cost to homeowners for this program. The Plaintiff (usually the bank) pays the required fees, which include financial counseling and the mediation session. In the event that you choose to have a second mediation session, you will have to pay $100, which is one-half of the fees for this session. The Program anticipates that one mediation session will be sufficient for most cases and this second mediation is optional.

What financial disclosure information will I need to provide to the lender to proceed to mediation?
Most borrowers will need to file the Foreclosure Mediation Financial Worksheet (click here for that document).
Homeowners must sign and then mail, hand-deliver or fax the Release (last page of the financial agreement) to the RMFM program before the Program can schedule mediation.
Mail or hand-deliver to: Palm Beach County Bar Association, RMFM Program, 1601 Belvedere Road, Suite 304E, West Palm Beach, FL 33406.
Fax to: (561) 828-3922
Email with Release as a pdf to mediations@palmbeachbar.org
Borrowers will need to file Fannie Mae Hardship Form 1021 if they are seeking a Short Sale or Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure. (click here for that form)
For short sales, borrowers also need to file a signed purchase contract for the residence or a listing agreement for the sale of the residence, a preliminary HUD -1 form, and written permission from the borrower authorizing the bank or the bank's representative to speak with the real estate agent about the borrower's loan.
For Deeds in Lieu of Foreclosure, a current title search for the residence should also be uploaded.

What is a short sale?
A short sale is a sale for less than you owe on the mortgage loan.

What is a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure?
A Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure is when you voluntarily execute a deed that transfers the property to the lender in exchange for the lender canceling, in part or in whole, the debt owed on the property.

Do I have the right to consult with an attorney?
Yes. You have the right to consult with an attorney at any time during the mediation process and to bring an attorney with you to the mediation session. You do not have to have an attorney; you may represent yourself. If you cannot afford an attorney, you may call the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County and inquire about their pro bono foreclosure assistance program, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., (561) 655-8944 ext. 325 or (toll free) 800-403-9353 ext. 325. You may also contact the Lawyer Referral Program at the Palm Beach County Bar Association by calling (561) 687-3266 or (561) 451-3256 (Boca/Delray). There is a $30 fee for a half-hour consultation with an attorney through the Lawyer Referral Service.

Do all Borrowers who signed the mortgage need to attend the mediation session?
Yes, all Borrowers must be present at the mediation session. If not all Borrowers can attend, the Borrower not attending should bring a completed Power of Attorney for the other Borrower.

What happens if we cannot settle during the mediation?
The parties can agree to continue to another mediation session. If that session cannot be scheduled for the same day, this session is optional and both parties have to pay one-half of the fee, or $100 each for this additional session. If the parties cannot agree at all, and reach an impasse, then the case is returned to the court.

What happens if I do not attend mediation?
The case is returned to the court.

Link to Frequently Asked Questions About Mediation

Homeowner Forms

Help for Homeowners in Foreclosure – FREE!
presented by the Palm Beach County Bar Association & The Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach CountyFind out how the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program Can Help You
Space is limited. To reserve your seat, call the Palm Beach County Bar Association at (561) 687-2800
or RSVP by email

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