Negotiation Tips for Getting the Best Loan Terms

December 30th, 2007 by Michael Oliver

Getting the best terms and rates on your mortgage depends on how well you understand the process and your ability (as well as that of your real estate agent) to negotiate. The following points will help you understand the mortgage process and know what to look out for when obtaining home loan financing.

First, keep in mind that no two loans or borrowers are exactly alike. Everyone has a unique credit score/file, income, borrowing history, etc. Just because your neighbor or friend received a certain rate or program does not mean that you will also be able to qualify for such a program.

Differences in Real Estate Brokerages and What it Means to You, the Seller

December 27th, 2007 by Michael Oliver

You may not be aware that the real estate business structure has changed significantly over the past thirty years, and particularly over the last ten. In the past, brokerages would front the majority of the costs of marketing the properties and concentrated on selling their own listings first and foremost. Real estate agents could only sell the listings that their company offered. If you decided to employ a Re/Max agent you would only be able to purchase Re/Max listed homes, making the selection much smaller. The real estate agent just acted as a bystander and assisted in completing the brokerage’s function with no real input regarding the marketing/advertising of the property. The reputation of the real estate brokerage hinged upon the quantity of its listings, the selling price of its listings, and how quickly that particular brokerage was selling the homes they had listed.

Two Hundred More Jobs Headed to Tucson

December 11th, 2007 by Michael Oliver

Tucson AZ has just been selected by a publicly traded company — Stanley, Inc. (NYSE: SXE) — a leading provider of systems integration and professional services to the US federal government. Stanley, Inc. will be building and managing a secure passport production center in Tucson AZ for the U.S. Department of State. The company will immediately begin construction of the secure facility with production operations expected to begin in spring of 2008. Stanley will hire more than 150 full time and part time employees in the next 12-18 months.

Bailout Coming to the Mortgage Industry Near You?

December 5th, 2007 by Michael Oliver

With all the resetting of ARM’s and the generally bad market conditions across the country, the mortgage companies that were raking in billions upon billions during the boom are now losing billions. This is a real threat to the whole economy. If it persists or gets worse, it could easily lead the country into a recession. The banks and mortgage companies have no clue how to stop the bleeding. As more ARM’s reset, fewer borrowers can afford the mortgage, and since the real estate market is so competitive, they are having a very difficult time selling as well. The only thing left for these borrowers is a foreclosure or a bank-granted “short sale,” either of which costs the lender tens of thousands. A foreclosure especially eats up money due to attorney’s fees and the condition of the property after a foreclosure has occurred.

Make Some Money in Foreclosures, REO’s, and Short Sale Properties

December 1st, 2007 by Michael Oliver

I have been helping several investors acquire these types of properties in recent months and cannot believe what some of these properties are being listed and ultimately sold for. Right now, I was just looking at a property in Rancho Sahuarita — a home over 2300 square feet — listed at $195k, and it was in amazing condition. The same home 24 months ago would have easily sold fast at $250k and maybe more. This market decline has obvious causes: less availability of loans for buyers, excess inventory levels, and, in my opinion, a major psychological shift. People are running away from real estate, and the market is starting to show it. While amazing deals are still difficult to come by, they are starting to show up.

Don Diamond Gives 15M to Build Children’s Hospital in Tucson

November 30th, 2007 by Michael Oliver

Local real estate land baron and real estate developing icon of the Tucson area, Don Diamond, has given 15 million dollars of his own money to get a $55 million children’s hospital off the ground. This new children’s hospital, Diamond Children’s Medical Center, will also be a national player in children’s research and medical technology because it will be one of only a few national children’s hospitals across the Unites States. It is to be affiliated with the University of Arizona.

How Do You Know if your Real Estate Agent is Doing a Good Job?

November 26th, 2007 by Michael Oliver

Many home sellers hire a real estate agent either from a referral from a friend or relative or from a piece of the real estate agent’s advertising. Once the seller interviews the agent, many times he or she is hired on the spot. After hiring, how do you know if your home is getting the exposure that it deserves or know if your agent is doing a good job on your home sale? Many times this is hard to determine, especially when you have many other concerns and other items to worry about, i.e., work, imminent move, and other normal things. There’s little time to think about your real estate agent and the job he or she is doing for you.

Marana’s New “Uptown”

November 26th, 2007 by Michael Oliver

This week, Marana’s Town Council agreed to approve the rezoning of 205 acres on the west side of Interstate 10 at Marana Road for what’s being billed as “Uptown for Marana.” This new uptown plan is unconventional for Marana developments because it includes mixed-use areas that will intertwine commercial and residential developments. Uptown will be unlike anything that currently exists in Marana, and I, for one, as a Marana resident, am excited about the change. All the other new major residential developments, such as Gladden Farms, Continental Ranch, Continental Reserve, and Dove Mountain all feel very similar to me, although each has its own identity. I think Marana is definitely taking the right step to mix up the normal development. In my opinion, the location for this new mixed-use development could not be better because there is much land available to develop around this new Uptown project. The proximity of I-10 will make it a very alluring location for many companies looking to establish a business presence in Marana.

Real Estate Fees: What You Should Think About Before You Decide Who to Hire and What to Pay

November 24th, 2007 by Michael Oliver

I have this discussion constantly with sellers and it’s a hard one for them to understand initially. Real estate fees are part of the expense of selling your home. Trying to undercut or save by not offering at least 3% to the buyer’s agent only hurts you as a seller. Many buyers are unwilling or unable to pay out of pocket for the difference between the cooperation fee you pay as a seller and the fee the buyer’s agent receives from the buyer — typically at least 3%. Also, when selling your property, it is most important to give the property the maximum exposure possible (assuming it’s priced correctly, which is first in importance). Paying your listing agent at least 3% allows them to properly market your property so that buyers in the marketplace will look at it, and offering at least 3% on the buyer’s side makes buyers’ agents able to show the property without having to go to the buyer to ask for the difference.

Why The Tucson Real Estate Market Will Keep Growing

November 19th, 2007 by Michael Oliver

Most people who currently live in Tucson already understand why it is a high growth area. A world-class climate, low housing costs, an amazingly diverse and strong economy, and very scenic and varied natural surroundings make Tucson, Arizona, a destination spot for many. Retirees come here in droves to escape the cold weather of northern cities. The University of Arizona brings in a large number of students annually, many of whom decide to stay and live in Tucson indefinitely. The University of Arizona also attracts local and national investment dollars for research and development businesses that spring from it.

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