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Posts Tagged ‘Rick Schwartz Realtor’

New “Quality” Guidelines for Fannie Mae Mortgages

I recently received the following doc from William Raveis Mortgage Company* regarding the new guidelines that went into effect on 6/1/20.

As you’ll see there are some new pieces of documentation that will be required for all FNMA loans. These are being adopted by Secondary Market Investors.

This does not necessarily mean that it will be harder to get through the mortgage process.  It does mean that you should be very vigilant in discussing ALL aspects of getting your loan with your lender.   Being prepared lessens the chances of last-minute surprises.

*William Raveis Mortgage Company is an affiliated company owned by the brokerage I work for – William Raveis Real Estate.

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Rick Schwartz,   REALTOR

Homes for sale in Danbury, Bethel, Brookfield, Newtown, New Fairfield, New Milford, Ridgefield and Redding CT.

Are Foreclosures Really Decreasing?

RealtyTrac – a leading provider of tracking data on Foreclosure Activity, used by many private and public sector organizations to help evaluate foreclosure trends, reported late last week on a national level foreclosure activity dropped 9% in April.

Sounds like good news right?

Well – hold 0n just one minute there, Bucko.   There may, indeed, be more to the story.

What if there were lots and lots of  homeowners, who can’t afford their payments have realized that the banks are taking a long time to take action against them?

What if some of those homeowners just stopped making their payments and are staying in their homes, making no payments for up to a year or more?

Diana Olick of CNBC says these are questions that have to be considered.   Here is her article from May 13, 2010 on this very subject called  “Banks Ignore Delinquent Borrowers”

I’ll hang on here while you go read that.

OK  – Done?

So how does that affect owners that are operating outside of this part of the market.  You know, people who have equity in their house and would like to sell.

While no one knows for sure when those foreclosures are going to hit the market – or if they are in your town, your neighborhood, one thing is for sure.  If they do, it will affect the value of your home in a negative way.

Again – every situation is different and you have to work with your Realtor to determine the best course of action for you.  Having said that, if you are interested in selling, come up with marketing plan and a price point that will move your house quickly.  The idea of  “Trying a high price” for a while – may have passed.

If you have a need to move for one reason of another, such as wanting more space, less traffic, nearer to work or school – just get it done.   Even though the economy shows signs of getting better, the decline in housing prices may not be over – not for quite a while.

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Rick Schwartz,   REALTOR

Homes for sale in Danbury, Bethel, Brookfield, Newtown, New Fairfield, New Milford, Ridgefield and Redding CT.

Video Tour of Bethel CT

If you haven’t had a chance to drive around and see the sights in Bethel CT, here’s your chance.

There are currently 157 single family and condominiums for sale in Bethel.

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Rick Schwartz,   REALTOR

Homes for sale in Danbury, Bethel, Brookfield, Newtown, New Fairfield, New Milford, Ridgefield and Redding CT.

FAST FACTS #5: Real Estate Terminology – Average Price Vs. Median Price

When reading data or reports about Real Estate trends or when comparing prices in different markets you will, more often than not, see the term MEDIAN PRICE.

At first glance, if you haven’t been exposed to this term, you might assume this is the same as AVERAGE PRICE.  It is not.

A mathematical median, is the middle point in a set of data.   A mathematical average is a calculation derived by adding up a set of numbers then dividing by the number of entries.

So if there are 200 homes sold during a time period, the median price would be to find the house “in the middle”. There are an equal number of homes priced higher and lower than that house.    That price is the median.

Many mathematicians argue that using a median price will give you a much more accurate way of looking at the “typical” selling price of a group of homes. An average price will likely be skewed by a very high number or a very large number that is in the mix.  Using median, you reduce that risk.

Here’s an example:

Using the following 11 sold homes in ANYTOWN, the average selling price would be $214,000.  The median price would be $219,000.  Not that far off.

LIST #1

$255,000
$252,000
$250,000
$235,000
$220,000
$219,000
$199,000
$185,000
$182,000
$179,000
$178,000

Average = $214;  Median = $219

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This was an easy one – all the house were sold in the price range of $178 – $255.   Allowing for certain market variables, these homes had many similarities.

Suppose that, that two of the homes were NOT similar – they were, instead very high-end luxury homes built a short distance away but had much more to offer: Bigger, more property, extra bathroom, etc.   So take the same list but change the price of the top two homes to $619 and $579.

NOW, your average price jumps up to 276 from $214.   The median remains the same, since it based on finding the house that has an equal number of higher and lower priced houses.

Using the second list, which would give a clearer “feel” of the values of recent homes sold in your town?

List #2

$619,000
$579,000
$250,000
$235,000
$220,000
$219,000
$199,000
$185,000
$182,000
$179,000
$178,000

Average = $276,  Median = $219

Which would give a clearer “feel” of the values of recent homes sold in your town?

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Rick Schwartz,   REALTOR

Homes for sale in Danbury, Bethel, Brookfield, Newtown, New Fairfield, New Milford, Ridgefield and Redding CT.

FAST FACTS #3 – Mortgage Terminology: LTV (Loan to Value), DTI (Debt to Income)

LTV Loan To Value ratio.  This is the ratio of a mortgage expressed as a percentage of the value of home.  For example, if you were to purchase a home valued at $100K and you were borrowing $76K, your LTV would be 76%.

The higher the LTV, the bigger risk for the lender. In other words, should you default on a loan with a 40% LTV the bank would only be losing 40% of the value of the home.  If you should default on a loan with a 95% LTV, the bank would stand to lose all but 5% of the value of a home.

This is of particular importance to lenders in a depreciating market  If, for example, the bank were to loan 95% of the value of a home and the market declines by 6% over the course of a year, the amount of the bank’s risk now exceeds the value of the property.

DTI Debt To Income ratio.  This is the ratio of your monthly expenses expressed as a percentage of your monthly income. This ratio is used, actually to mean two different things.

  • The first is based strictly on the monthly cost of the home (Mortgage payment, taxes and insurance) against your total income.
  • The second meaning includes ALL of your monthly obligations including credit cards, car loans, etc. against your total income.

Most lenders will look at and set limits for both ratios in determining your qualifications to obtain a mortgage.

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Rick Schwartz,   REALTOR

Homes for sale in Danbury, Bethel, Brookfield, Newtown, New Fairfield, New Milford, Ridgefield and Redding CT.

Fairfield County Farmers Markets

Those of you who know me well have to be rolling your eyes at the idea of me talking about places to buyburger and fries and consume fresh produce and farm products.  After all, my idea of trying to eat healthy is to have a diet Coke with my burger and fries.

As the old expression goes – “It’s not what you know but who you know.”  So I asked my friend Alicia Ghio @Aliciaghio on Twitter,  for some help in putting this article together.  Alicia, is a great resource in the area for all things about eating healthy – and local.  She hosts a terrific Web Show called  The Natural Princess where she entertains and educates you about things that grow. It’s not only good information, Alicia has a very cool style and makes learning fun.

I’ve been watching the episodes and I’ve learned so far that there are 7,000 different varieties of Apples, and that Apples can help pregnant women in a few different ways – and the stuff you can use garlic for is really amazing….So check out her shows as well her Blog LOCAL FOOD ROCKS.

Anyway – she put together the list below for us to help find out where in the area we can go to partake of some locally grown, healthy stuff.

FARMERS MARKETS

corn stand

BETHEL FARMERS’ MARKET Saturdays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. July – October Fairfield County  Cooperative Extension Building Rte. 6, 67 Stony Hill Rd FMNP Authorized

DANBURY FARMERS’ MARKET Fridays 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. J

uly 10 – October 23 Kennedy Park, Main Street FMNP Authorized EBT Available

GEORGETOWN FARMERS’ MARKET Sundays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. May 24 – November 1 Intersection of Main Street & Rte. 57

NEW MILFORD FARMERS’ MARKET Saturdays 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. May 9 – October 31 Town Green, Main Street FMNP Authorized

RIDGEFIELD FARMERS’ MARKET Fridays 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. June – October 88-90 Danbury Road http://www.ridgefieldfarmersmarket.org

SANDY HOOK FARMERS’ MARKET Sundays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. June 1 – October 1 5 Glen Road

SANDY HOOK ORGANIC FARMERS’ MARKET Tuesdays 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. June 23 – Oct. 13 St. John’s Church, 5 Washington Avenue EBT Available

FARMS/FARM STANDS

BABBLING BROOK FARM 16 Church Road, Sherman, CT 06784 860-354-2749

Seasons Open: July to October        Hours: 24hrs/7days   Honor System: Yes

Products offered: Vegetables, Pumpkins, gourds, and other fall products

BLOOMINGFIELDS FARM 9 Route 55, Sherman, CT 06784 860-354-6951    Products offered: perennials

Farm stand: Fri., Sat, & Sun. 10am-5pm Memorial Day to Labor Day

BLUE JAY ORCHARDS 125 Plumtrees Rd, Bethel, CT 06801 203-748-0119

Seasons Open: July to October, November and December      Hours: Mid-Aug to Xmas. Market: 10am-5:30pm, PYO: 10am-5pm.

Products offered: Pumpkins, gourds, and other fall products, Fruit, Agritourism activities: pick-your-own, corn mazes, hayrides, etc., Specialty foods including jams, jellies, honey, maple syrup, salsas etc., Specialty products such as CT made soaps, candles, lotions etc.

FORT HILL FARM Bay State Organic Certifiers 18 Fort Hill Rd., New Milford, CT 06776 860 350-3158

Products offered: flowers, fruit, garlic, herbs, salad greens, transplants, vegetables Weston and Westport Farmers’ Markets

GARDEN OF IDEAS 647 North Salem Road, Ridgefield, CT 06877 203-431-9914

Seasons Open: April to June, July to October, November and December

Hours: Daily, 10am-4pm

Honor System: Yes

Products offered: Vegetables, Green products such as annuals, perennials, nursery/landscape stock, potted herbs, cut flowers, etc., Agritourism activities: pick-your-own, corn mazes, hayrides, etc.

HOLBROOK FARM 45 Turkey Plain Rd (Rt. 53), Bethel, CT 06801-2842 203-792-0561

Products offered: bedding plants, cheese, eggs, flowers, fruit, garlic, greenhouse, herbs, honey, milk, on-site bakery, perennials, pork, poultry, salad greens, straw, transplants, vegetables

Farm stand: year round Mon-Sat 10:00am-6:00pm.

ON THE ROCKS FARM 9 Points O’Rocks Road, Newtown, CT 06470 203-426-3868 wpieragostini@yahoo.com Products offered: Eggs, Farm Stand, Poultry, Turkeys Farm Stand: Self-serve, 9am – 5pm, 7 days a week.

SHORTTS FARM & GARDEN CENTER Bay State Organic Certifiers 52-A River Side Rd., Sandy Hook, CT 06482 203-426-9283

Products offered: bedding plants, eggs, flowers, fruit, herbs, perennials, salad greens, transplants, vegetables New Canaan & Sandy Hook Organic farmers’ markets

Farm store at farm: Apr -Oct. 7 days a week

STONE’S THROW FARM, LLC PO Box 76, Bethel, CT 06801-0076 203-798-0151

Products offered: Berries, container plants, fruit, flowers, garlic, herbs, pumpkins, salad greens, vegetables.

SULLIVAN FARM 140 Park Lane, New Milford, CT 06776 860-210-2030

Seasons Open: April to June, July to October, November and December

Hours: Mon-Sat 9:30am-6:30pm, Sun 12pm-6pm

Honor System: No

Products offered: Vegetables, Pumpkins, gourds, and other fall products, Agritourism activities: pick-your-own, corn mazes, hayrides, etc., Specialty foods including jams, jellies, honey, maple syrup, salsas etc.

TAYLOR FAMILY FARM 94 Great Plain Rd., Danbury, CT 06811 203-744-1798

Products offered: bedding plants, flowers, garlic, gourds, greenhouse, hay, herbs, honey, perennials, salad greens, transplants, vegetables Bethel & Georgetown farmer’s markets

VICTORIA TAFT’S GARDEN 94 Rte. 39 North, Sherman, CT 06784 860-350-2711

Seasons Open: April to June, July to October Hours: Open daily starting in May, 9am-6pm

Honor System: Yes

Products offered: Green products such as annuals, perennials, nursery/landscape stock, potted herbs, cut flowers, etc.

WARRUPS FARM Stellar Certification Services 51 John Read Rd., West Redding, CT 06896 203-938-9403

Products offered: Christmas trees, flowers, fruit, garlic, gourds, hay, herbs, maple candy, maple syrup, pumpkins, vegetables.

Weston and Maple Demo’s Farmers’ Market Farm stand: mid August-end of Oct, Tues-Sunday, 10:00am-6:00pm

Retail store and pick your own sales Maple syrup making demonstrations 1st three weekends in March—pick your own pumpkins & hayrides weekends in October and Columbus Day, 11-5. Group visits Tues-Fri by reservation.

WHITE SILO FARM & WINERY 32 Route 37 East, Sherman, CT 06784 860-355-0271

Seasons Open: April to June, July to October, November and December Hours: Call for hours

Honor System: Yes

Products offered: Fruit, Vegetables, Fruit Wines

Where do I put all my stuff?

One of the tips we Realtors give our clients about selling their house is this:

De-Clutter De-Clutter De-Clutter

The simple fact is this – rooms look bigger with less stuff in them.

  • The photo array of your family tree on the wall (you know – on that wall under the stairs heading from the front door to the kitchen) has great sentimental value to you and yours.  To a prospective buyer it is just a distraction.  It’s better to have just a few photos to accent the wall rather than to blanket it.
  • Your wine bottle collection (model car collection, cork collection, mug collection, etc) can take away from the beauty of the built-in shelves in your living room.
  • It’s great to keep the spare bedrooms furnished for your grown kids and grand-kids who visit. The 4 poster bed, triple dresser and wardrobe may have a great, homey feel to them but they do make the room look a little smaller.

Get the point?   Some of your stuff has to go.

Sounds like a monumental and highly emotional undertaking to have to get rid of things that have great value but there’s a simple solution.

Remember, the goal of selling is to move.  You are going to have to pack ALL your things at some point, so why not get some of packed up now, make your house look bigger and ultimately have less to pack when the day does arrive.

So go through the house, pick out some things that will make a difference (I’m not suggesting that you empty the place – you do still live there) and put them in a self-storage facility.

When Shereen and I moved in 2007 we managed to empty out quite a bit of stuff and kept it in storage for a few months.  I can’t remember exactly but the whole cost of it was well under $1,000.  When we sold and moved, we simply had the moving truck make a second stop at the storage place and pick up the stuff and we were on our way.

Make sure to check the place out to make sure you are comfortable with it.  Many facilities have climate control and the ones I have seen are typically very clean and secure.

Here is a list of some places in the Northern Fairfield and Southern Litchfield area.  There are likely some others but this will give you a place to start.

Rick Schwartz,   REALTOR

Homes for sale in Danbury, Bethel, Brookfield, Newtown, New Fairfield, New Milford, Ridgefield and Redding CT.