Realtors Care Day 2012 in Statesville!

image For the fourth year in a row, Realtors® are stepping out and helping their community members fix up and repair their homes.  On April 20, 2012, over 500 Realtor® volunteers with the Charlotte Regional Realtors® Association will work on 23 homes from Mathews to Statesville NC and everywhere in between.   Realtors® Care day is organized by the Housing Opportunity Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the Charlotte Regional Realtors® Association.  The foundation is dedicated to funding, education, advocacy and leadership programs that are focused on fair and affordable housing and workforce-housing initiatives.

This year, the Foundation was proud to announce that Realtors® Care Day has been adopted for use by another state and is in hopes that eventually this project will be a national day of Realtors® giving back to their community.  I have had the pleasure of being a volunteer since the start, a site captain for two years and Area Captain and Core committee member this year.  It is so rewarding be be a part of such a wonderful project.  I am so proud of our association and of all the hard selfless work that goes in to putting this day all together.  image

I would like to take a few moments to thank all the sponsors and contractors that have donated their time and money – oh and don’t forget the fabulous food!  Without all these businesses, this project would not be possible.  A HUGE thank you to Lowes Home Improvements for all they do for Realtors® Care Day.  You guys rock!

A little more about Realtors® Care Day:
Area Realtors®, each year, trade their Iphones and droids for toolboxes to make a lasting impression in the lives of homeowners throughout Mecklenburg and Iredell counties. Realtors® Care Day is an all-day, home-repair project to help those who have critical home-maintenance needs.

Equipped with hammers and nails, and armed with a passion to give back, Realtor® crews replace and repair roofs and gutters, paint exteriors of homes, and undertake a host of exterior repairs. Each year, around 25 homeowners are identified as those in need by regional Habitat for Humanity chapters, the City of Charlotte and other housing partners.

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Every day, Realtors® make the American dream a reality – and in April of each year, we come together to help sustain that dream for those who desperately need our help. As housing industry professionals, we are keenly aware that many in our community lack the physical ability and/or financial resources to maintain their homes. The shelter that is supposed to be a comfort instead becomes a burden, and in many cases, is unsafe.

Realtors® Care Day has accomplished so much! Since 2009, Realtor® volunteers have helped repair 87 homes in Mecklenburg and Iredell counties – giving them a safer, cleaner and more stable home in which to live.

Watch a slide show from 2010 or the 2009 Realtors® Care Day video: Video Part 1, Video Part 2.

 

So if you are out and about on the 20th and you happen to see a Realtors® Care Day sign with about 25 worker bees crawling all over the house, give them a shout out and don’t forget to watch Wilsons World on Fox Charlotte April 20th starting at 5:30 a.m.

 

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Children’s Homes of Iredell County gets grant from Local Realtor Association

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Housing Opportunity Foundation awards $2,500 to

Children’s Homes of Iredell County

Realtors® continue to make a difference through third-annual Community Grants Program

Charlotte, N.C. – The Housing Opportunity Foundation awarded Children’s Homes of Iredell County $2,500 through its annual Community Grants Program.  The foundation serves as the charitable arm of the Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association and is dedicated to making a difference in the community by creating housing opportunities, promoting homeownership, and positioning and educating Realtors® as leaders.

The Community Grants Program, now in its third year, supports area organizations that address unmet housing needs in Mecklenburgand Iredell counties.  The Realtor®-directed and funded program awards a total of $10,000 annually to area agencies, and has awarded $30,000 over the past three years to 14 nonprofits.

Children’s Homes of Iredell County was awarded $2,500 to provide educational training materials, college application funds, and transportation funds for employment and college visits to the young adults in the Children’s Homes’ Transitional Living Program.  This program houses foster children ages 17-21 who have been in the care of the Iredell County Department of Social Services.  The skills and resources that these young adults receive through this program help them to become more independent and self-sufficient as they age out of the foster care system.  This funding will allow them to gain the skills necessary to pursue employment and/or advanced education, and will prepare them to be productive adults. Realtor® and volunteer Sonya Leonard provided a recommendation for Children’s Homes of Iredell County to receive funding.

“Realtors® recognize the vital role that agencies like Children’s Homes of Iredell County play in meeting the very basic needs of stability and shelter for children who have been separated from their families,” said association/Carolina Multiple Listings Services, Inc. (CMLS) President Laurie Knudsen.  “We are thrilled to be able to assist this organization that works to provide homelike environments for those who are the most vulnerable in our community.”

For more information about the Housing Opportunity Foundation, the association or CMLS, visit www.CarolinaHome.com.

 

The Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association is a trade association that provides its more than  6,000 Realtor® members with the resources and services they need to conduct ethical, professional, successful and profitable businesses. The association is dedicated to being the region’s primary resource for residential real estate information. The association operates the Carolina Multiple Listing Services, Inc. (CMLS), which has approximately 7,000 Subscribers and is the private cooperative Realtors® use for access to tens of thousands of residential listings in a 10-county service area, including the high-growth Charlotte area and outside this service area.

The Housing Opportunity Foundation is the charitable arm of the Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association and is dedicated to funding, education, advocacy and leadership programs that are focused on fair and affordable housing and workforce-housing initiatives. The foundation serves to position and educate Realtors® as leaders, promote homeownership and provide funding to create housing opportunities.

*Pictured from left to right: (Children’s Homes of Iredell County)

Laurie Knudsen, 2011 association/CMLS president; Joan Goode, Realtor® and chair of the Housing Opportunity Foundation Committee; Brenda Speece, executive director of Children’s Homes of Iredell County; Sonya Leonard, Realtor®; Anne Marie Howard, association/CMLS CEO

 

A few things to consider before purchasing a distressed property

I have been working with lots of buyers of foreclosed or distressed homes lately and wanted to give you some hints on how to make this type of purchase a little easier. 

First, let’s talk about Short Sale Properties:  A short sale is a home that is listed by a real estate firm for less than is owed to the bank because the currentj0427594_1 value of the home has decreased to the point that they cannot get an offer to cover all encumbrances on the home.  The seller will complete a financial package and submit it to the bank for review and advise that they want to sell the home and that it is expected to be a short sale.  Once an offer is received on the home, the bank will send out an independent person to do an appraisal or Broker Price Opinion on the home to determine current market price.  If they are in agreement, they may accept the short sale.  WARNING:  This process can take a LONG time.  Usually up to 4 months or more and the foreclosure process still moves forward.  It is a game of "Beat the Clock" and there are not guarantees.  Once accepted by the lender, you may still run into title issues on the property that have to be resolved (usually by the seller or buyer) before closing.  It is recommended to have a title report done in advance to uncover any hidden Liens or judgments.  You can get a great deal on these properties but you must be patient and work with the process.

Foreclosures:  These types of sales are much easier to do than a short sale and work the same way a regular sale works other than the seller is a bank and there are usually additional addendums to be signed that state the property is being sold in "as is" condition with no warranties and no liability by the bank.  You need to do your homework UPFRONT on these types of properties and know what you are buying.  In some instances, you can ask the bank to make repairs to enable you to qualify for financing and they may agree to complete them.  They may also pay for closing costs and even a home warranty.  Some banks will waive the appraisal fees and even lower the interest rates if you finance through them.  Work with your Realtor and know all your options. 

Financing considerations:  Please keep in mind that with ALL distressed properties, the banks will require a pre-approval letter from a lender or require you to be qualified with them directly (even though you may still choose a lender of your choice), or require proof of funds if you are paying cash.  They will consider an offer without this and earnest money.

There are lots of finance options out there such as USDA (100% financing), FHA (3.5% down payment), VA (100% for veterans plus possible lower interest rates), 203K (roll renovations into the loan and finance the whole package) as well as conventional loans.  Talk to your lender about the best option for your situation.  If you are considering a Manufactured Home, be sure to let your lender know upfront as some programs are for "Stick Built" home only.  There may also be limitations on loan amounts.  Many lenders  may not finance anything below $35,000.

So, before you begin your search, get prepared, do your homework, ask your Realtor lots of questions and make a smart buy.  Avoid any un-necessary stress by being an informed buyer.

I am here anytime you have questions – just ask!

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