Your A/C unit, this weekend’s HEAT WAVE, BIG warning- please read if you live in AZ and own a home!!!


I direct this blog to all homeowners (landlords/owner occupants alike) with a HUGE warning as we will be having RECORD temps this weekend and currently 1 of our beloved clients that just closed escrow on their home is being completely screwed over right now by Choice Home Warranty and I really think it’s an important trending topic to MAKE ALL OF YOU AWARE so this doesn’t happen to you too!

Lessons learned dealing with recent AC issues for both our client and ourselves:#1 NOT ALL Home Warranty Companies are alike, #2 just like your car, your AC needs regular maintenance not just to extend the life of the unit- but to ensure you have coverage on your AC in the event it fails under these harsh AZ temps and you need to call in a claim on your home warranty. #3 You get what you pay for #4 Don’t let your dog pee on your AC unit(s).

The story of Diane and Chad in Goodyear AZ… These wonderful clients of ours bought a home from a lady who was having some personal issues and when it came to the condition/maintenance/etc… there’s definitely a lot of work my clients knew they were in for after closing. HOWEVER, because they did a Home Inspection prior to closing (with a reputable inspector) and found issues with the AC that were fixed by the Seller/warranty company during the escrow period (& the same warranty policy transferred over to them which doesn’t expire until August), they didn’t think they’d be staring at a $3k bill today and most likely will have to sue Choice Home Warranty in small claims court if they do not step up to fix their AC like they should.

About a month ago, my husband & I experienced a disappointing situation ourselves with our own AC for our 3 year old Shea home.  It prompted us to purchase a Platinum Warranty with Old Republic immediately on our own home with the Star coverage that allows us to have our units serviced for a reduced price annually.  Basically our ACs were covered completely first 2 years we owned our new home by the manufacturer via our Builder’s warranty dept, but after year 2, only parts.  Our coil went bad on one of the units- turns out our lab was peeing on it 🙁 and it cost us $2k for labor/Freon.  What we found out in dealing with this is it’s a new trend by builders, manufacturers and warranty companies to deny any coverage IF you can’t prove you serviced your AC unit during the previous 12 months?!?! Most of us don’t think about our AC unit until it’s not working properly, so yet another lesson learned- give yourself an annual reminder in early Spring to get those AC’s serviced and ready to go for the long hot upcoming Summer. AGAIN NOT just to ensure coverage, but increase efficiency and the lifetime of the unit itself.

In case you’re curious… the following is a list of what “they” consider “servicing” but notice- everyone seems to be finding a way to exclude coverage for anything expensive like coils or compressors, so take care of those expensive units! 


Document1The scoundrels currently denying coverage for our clients are Choice Home Warranty, check out these horrible reviews- click on the image---> for link!!! Don’t USE THEM!!! And if you’re a Realtor- DON’T let your clients use them either!!!!!

THIS September may be best month yet locally for HOME Buyers

CR2Periodically I like to share the information I get regarding our local market statistics to help our clients determine if right now is the right time for them to buy or sell Real Estate.  I was lucky to get to sit in on a presentation by Michael Orr last week of the Cromford reportClick here for power point presentation

I found it quite insightful due to the fact that he verifies the information in our local MLS data is correct and bases his analysis on those statistics rather than basing his information on National data.  He started off his presentation like so many of us do with the disclaimer/definition of a “good” market- because every market can be good, depending on who you are and your goals. 

He was clear to say that the Real Estate agents that focus on the distressed market or local homebuilders today may not think it’s a “good” market right now- but if you are a BUYER looking to purchase by September of this year, this is a GREAT market right now…

Basically, it boils down to the simple law of Supply and Demand as the Cromford Index shows currently. 

In Chandler for example, the demand being in the RED but the supply in the green shows currently Buyers have the upper hand. However, a truly balanced market would be at 100 for the Market index and we are not far off from it. 

Michael predicted that by Spring of 2015, we most likely will see it gradually return to a Sellers market.  Nothing crazy, just a slight push upwards, along the lines of inflation which traditionally before the market crashed in 06, 2-5% a year increase in value is all that a homeowner would expect from his home and be quite happy for it.

This time last year, the Market Index was at 151 for Metro Phoenix with a Supply of 63.1 and Demand at 95.3.  Things have changed quickly in this past year as it was clearly a Sellers market back then.  The prices were also lower too… So a seller today without a huge urgency to sell, very well may be better off today than where they would have fared just 1 year ago as well… seems in life and in real estate, there’s always 2 sides to every coin… If there were a Seller just getting out of the market entirely, we’d most likely recommend to wait until Springtime to sell HOWEVER if they were wanting to purchase, they may fair better selling with today’s prices and incentives that Buyers are receiving rather than waiting to both sell and buy in the Springtime because that way as Buyers, they too can take advantage of the DEALS happening out in our marketplace today.


Michael Orr also spoke to why he thinks that the demand has dropped (please watch the power point presentation, link at top of blog for further stats and details) but mostly because our younger generation (Millenials) are preferring to rent homes today instead of purchasing for many reasons and there’s so many people still renting as a result of losing a home to foreclosure/short sale that the RENTAL MARKET has only gotten more expensive in recent years making it a great time to be a LANDLORD.  Because of this (along with the interest rates remaining super low), it’s CHEAPER TO OWN your home than rent today, not to mention the great tax benefits of owning vs renting a home.

ford Crom

HOW to RAISE your CREDIT score yourself!


(To download the complete power point from Go Clean Credit, please click photo above)

I recently came across this article which reminded me of a blog I wrote nearly 1 1/2 yrs ago (Click here to read) and I decided it’s time to revisit this topic since CREDIT SCORES and how they are CALCULATED are such a MYSTERY to most.

PLEASE BE SURE to click on the photo above as it’s only 1 slide of many that literally breaks down how our CREDIT SCORES are determined and gives great advice on what you can do yourself to improve your scores. 

CREDIT SCORES are so important since everything we do in life seems to go back to your CREDIT WORTHINESS- from the rate you get on a car or mortgage loan to whether you get hired on by an employer or get approved for a lease to what you get quoted for your insurance rates and so much more! 

It’s imperative we educate ourselves and our children because it really is a huge key component to getting the material things one wants in life!

A little over a year ago, I had the pleasure of having Dawn McCraw, owner of Go Clean Credit, speak at one of our Buyer Workshops and she shared with our group the above power point.  I’d never had it broken down so simplistically before so please share this valuable information with anyone you care about. 

In my blog I wrote, I have the link to where one can pull their 3 reports for FREE with no impact to their scores (FTC Website), so my advice to you is to first pull your reports and see if everything on there is correct- if not, file an online dispute to get whatever erroneous information off of your credit report which will undoubtedly improve your score.  Second step, is to go through the Power Point above and compare your report to the breakdown of credit and create a plan to follow the advice to improve your score yourself! 

You can always hire a firm like Dawns to help, but it’s really easy and I recommend only paying for credit repair services when you’ve already done these steps and can’t improve your score any further without professional help.  I’ve seen Dawn’s work in action and last year she helped one of our clients purchase her first home by removing $20k of “bad” credit with the help of an attorney in her office, so her program does work but there is so much each of us can do ourselves without the help of a professional.

For my PAST SHORT SALE CLIENTS- this is so important to do because many lenders reported SHORT SALES by mistake as FORECLOSURES- so please get online and pull your reports to verify the information on there is correct and do the steps outlined above to get your scores as high as possible so if you want to buy a home again, you’ll be able to without a problem!  (waiting periods are 2-3 yrs after the closing of a short sale for most low to no down payment mortgage loans)

Please feel free to call our office for any advice on this topic! 480-243-4242  We are always happy to help- any way we can!


Are you considering a “Strategic Default”?

Strategic Defaults


Not sure what to do with your current home you are upside down on?

Should you rent it?  Should you Short Sale it? Is it even upside down any more since the prices have been on the rise the last 6 months?

Worried about the Mortgage Forgiveness Act expiring?

You see how low the rates are today and wish you could buy a home? Well, Maybe you can…

See this Brochure for more info regarding the “Home Again” program through our partners at Academy Mortgage, the law firm of Mack, Drucker, & Watson, and First Sonoran Property Management.

We definitely believe it’s imperative to get the proper advice and have sought long and hard to find the right professionals in their own respective fields to counsel our clients down the right road with regards to Real Estate in today’s very complicated market.

Please call us at 480-658-0265 or click here to get started  and have all of your questions answered by the right people!


What is considered an “Acceptable Hardship”?

It seems that documenting a hardship is one of the major issues we contend with for our clients during the Short Sale approval process.  Writing the letter of Hardship for your Short Sale application is a crucial piece of the puzzle and must be done with thought and care in order to get the best results in the end for a Short Sale approval.

Not having a hardship per se doesn’t automatically keep someone from getting approved to do a Short Sale, but it will impact the final outcome and whether or not the bank will be looking towards the homeowner to contribute to their loss versus awarding them incentive money to move forward with a short sale versus having a foreclosure on their record.  Here’s a link to an article that also speaks of Hardships with a list a commonly accepted reasons for Hardship.

We have in fact helped clients close escrow on their Short Sales and turn around a purchase a new home right afterwards, it can be done in some cases but requires good negotiations based on a financial settlement offer rather than focusing on a Borrower’s Hardship.  (click link here for article)

Everyone’s financial picture is different, so no matter your personal situation- it’s worth consulting with us specifically on your situation if you are still upside down on your home.  Not sure if you are- use our calculator here free!

Please click to get started here or call us anytime at 480-696-5800.


Click photo below to read full article.


Phoenix has made #4 of 20 cities ridden with Foreclosures, 1 out of 14 homes are in Foreclosure; there are so many people out there that need help from someone who cares.  We just hope it’s the right kind of help in the end for those families that need it.









Yes, they are an option for people struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments who really don’t want to lose their home.  In the end, at least half of our clients come to us after a failed attempt, or in some cases several, and credit destroyed already- wishing they hadn’t wasted time or resources in trying to get their bank(s) to work with them.  Unless a PRINCIPAL REDUCTION is given, then Loan Modifications are “Band-aids” to delay the inevitable- for some, is reason enough to apply for them just to buy more time in the home they are living in.  Please call us at 480-243-4242 to discuss your personal situation and get quality free advice with no obligation before you go down the road of applying for a loan modification.

short sales suck

Short Sales S*&k; What sets US apart & Why we do them for our clients.

Short sales are challenging– we know!

· The rules of the game are always changing

· Banks give bad advice

· Buyers bail; get tired of waiting for an answer on their offer

· The short sale process can take what feels like forever, and sometimes it does- especially when someone else does them…


We started doing them when the market started to decline in 2007 and the “Mortgage Forgiveness Act” made it more feasible; not to mention people who we sold homes to started coming to us asking us to help them get out from under the home we’d help them purchase.

We saw THE need and we decided to meet IT.  Hopefully our market will recover in the somewhat near future and short sales will not be our market.  If we help people today in a market when there are so many people that need help;  we hope that they will refer their friends and family to us and we can truly become their preferred “Realtors for Life”.

What sets us apart???

  • We are the “Goldilocks Team”! We are not too big and not too small and we didn’t just start doing short sales yesterday-unlike so many of the other realtors out there that claim to be the experts.
  • We are a more of a boutique brokerage which takes a hands-on approach to customer service.
  • Solo agents typically cannot handle negotiations themselves  and do a good job at a high volume; many outsource them to title companies or attorneys (which you usually have to pay for).
  • Mega teams often times lose touch and do not have consistent communication directly with their clients.
  • We intentionally have a hands-on approach to handling every single transaction internally. Our full time team negotiator and admin manager allow us to accomplish this!

We don’t give up!

  • Persistence – we don’t take no for an answer from the banks. We continue to ask for help through the banks corporate systems until we get someone to help us. This is due in part to our Negotiators 21 yrs in banking industry- she knows their lingo and how to operate with them. She only works for OUR team and OUR clients!
  • So many times throughout the process our clients give up and they feel defeated. We don’t give up at all on them and we exhaust all measures to fight for them (even when they’ve already given up).

We can relate to your pain…

  • We’ve literally lost sleep when we have a house scheduled for trustee sale and continue to fight to get them postponed until the day of, we never give up!
  • We have either empathy/sympathy for our client’s situation– everyone from our team has been touched by this market directly; either having to do a short sale themselves or for a close friend or family member.
  • Therefore; we are never too busy to pick up the phone to update our clients on their files or just to listen to them vent. We understand! (Even if we’ve spoken with them several times already that day)


  • Over 75% of our current transactions are referrals from past clients. We always follow up with customer surveys after the sale or purchase of their home because we are always trying to improve our service.
  • We really do care about our clients and they will tell you the same!  I had one tell me the other day that we spoil them with our response time and there was no comparison with his last Realtor, that he fired.  Those kind of compliments keep us going strong.

Call us today @ 480-243-4242 to get your questions answered confidentially with compassion or click here to get started now.

Jeff Underwood and Rebecca Hidalgo discuss Short Sales on Blog Talk Radio- The Ugly Truth about Money

Listen to internet radio with Jeff Underwood on Blog Talk Radio


Click on the picture to hear the episode- many important topics are covered including:

  • Foreclosure VS Trustee Sale
  • Mortgage VS Deed of Trust
  • Arizona being an Anti-Deficiency State
  • Loan Modifications
  • Being Pro-Active on doing a Short Sale so as not to damage your credit

DENA JONES – What does she do for her clients?

Watch video so you can learn more about Dena and what she does to help our clients of the Integrity All Star Team.

ALSO, Please find Dena on Facebook and like her Fan Page when its goes live!

Do you want to avoid a stressful foreclosure and leave your home gracefully?

We help homeowners just like you and your friends who may be in a position where you think you owe more than your home is worth or you cannot afford to make your mortgage payments anymore or you just want to know what options are available to you.

There are many reasons homeowners choose to do a short sale:

  1. They recognize that to get the help they need is completely overwhelming and disheartening. There is light at the end of the tunnel! We can help you navigate through the HUGE organizations such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo or Chase systems and get you results. Many times clients come to us after being denied a loan modification and super frustrated already by their processes.  We don’t give up on our clients and because of that we have a very high success rate!
  2. A short sale will give the seller some control over the process and a potential seller incentive for moving expenses. YES, that is right I said “SELLER INCENTIVE”. Not all short sale situations result in giving the seller incentives for moving expenses, but in some cases a seller can get up to $5000 for moving expenses. How do you know if you qualify? Call us let us help you determine if there are any programs out there that will help you move into the next chapter of your life.
  3. A short sale helps preserve a neighborhoods market values and reputation. 66% of all homes that sold in August were either short sales or bank owned homes. The national average home price of a short sale is $213,900, an REO is $184,300 and a damaged bank owned home is $113,900. Homes that are damaged are bringing down home values and making everyone’s property values suffer. What can you do about it? Maintain your home and call us to sell your home in a short sale before it is too late. It’s amazing how many people worry about impacting their neighbors when they decide to leave their home, which is totally normal.
  4. They want to help preserve their credit so they can buy a home again someday soon. Did you know that based on today’s current FNMA lending guidelines that a person can apply for a new home loan 2 years after they had a short payoff through a short sale and people who had a foreclosure need to wait 7 years. Lending guidelines are always changing, but as of today a person can apply for a short sale 2 years after their short sale has been closed. ACTUALLY,did you know if you are current on your mortgage payments, FHA will give you a new loan NOW with no waiting at all? Contact us today and we can explain how that works.

Foreclosure can be extremely stressful – let us help you gain some control over your situation by helping you with a short sale, click here to apply online with NO COST to you to find out if we can help.

What are the Top 3 ?’s people ask when considering a Short Sale instead of a Foreclosure?

Rebecca Hidalgo sits with Corey Peterson of Kahuna Investments and discusses the most FAQ’s she sees when clients contact her for advice/consultation on doing a Short Sale.  (Corey is an investor and helps many people by buying their homes with cash for a quick close)

1. Do I have to be late on my mortgage payment(s)?

2. When can I buy again?

3/4. (tied) What are my tax obligations and can the bank come after me for the loss (deficiency)?

Watch the video and if you’d like to discuss your own situation with Rebecca, please fill out our quick online questionnaire about you and your home or call Rebecca @ 480-243-4242.




Here’s a link to the June Market report I wrote based on last month’s reports coming from Mike Orr of the Cromford Report.  If you want to get a better idea of what is going on in our market place today; I recommend reading both.  I’ve been full time in Real Estate since 1993 and I can definitely say we are on the road to recovery but we still have a long way before we get there.

Why hire us? If you need help in either selling or buying a home or know someone that does, please click here to get started or call us at 480-243-4242. 

HAFA Changes Effective August 1

Looks like I am going to have to eat my words from the blog I wrote back in April; & I am very happy to do so!

Reason being, the Government just recently announced that both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be participating in this program which was the main reason I and so many other professionals in my industry felt it was off target when it started back in April- looks like the government was listening however it may be too soon to see since it doesn’t start officially until August 1.  See for more information straight from their website.

Give me a call at 480-243-4242 if you want to find out if you will qualify for this Government program.

Metro Phoenix’s JUNE Real Estate Market Update

June Metro Phoenix Real Estate Sales

(Please click on photo above for a downloadable PDF of the article written by Mike Orr of the Cromford Report; bullet points listed below)

Last month; in Metro Phoenix’s Real Estate Market we saw the supply of REOs increased substantially, short sales were stable and normal listings declined in number:

  • REO listings grew 11% from 5,087 to 5,626 (Greater Phoenix, all types)
  • Short Sales / Pre-foreclosure listings grew 1% from 16183 to 16,347 (Greater Phoenix, all types)
  • Normal listings fell 5% from 18,123 to 17,226 (Greater Phoenix, all types)
  • Because sales pricing is higher than last year, we saw a more significant 8.6% jump in dollar volume which is good news for the optimists.
  • It seems likely that almost anyone who wants a "starter home" in 2010 and could get approved for a home loan has already purchased one before the Tax Credit expired at the end of April.
  • Overall we can say with confidence that the luxury market is now showing strong signs of improvement while the low end end of the market is weakening significantly. The weakness in lender-owned homes is particularly noticeable, with REO sales volume down 36% year on year. 
  • These annual charts are very slow to react to changes but confirm the bottom of the market is now over a year behind us.  The most important measures of real home pricing - the average price, median price and average $ per sq. ft. of homes that actually sell have been moving in a general upward direction for Greater Phoenix since April/May 2009.
  • New notices of trustee sale dropped another 8% from April, to the lowest monthly number (6,471) since July 2008. Trustee sales also dropped 8% to 4,090, the lowest total since November 2009. 
  • Nevertheless market distress remains very high and will dominate the market for at least the next two years. Short sales are becoming more significant as each month goes by, while lender-owned properties become gradually less so.
  • The market is still fragile and although it has stabilized over the last year, we must caution that in the last several days the Cromford Market Index has been falling fast due to weakening demand matched with a fairly strong and stable supply.
  • The biggest question we have right now:  Are the changes we have seen in the last month merely due to the end of the tax credit or are the result of more significant changes in the demand for housing??

Stay tuned for next months update and we hope to be able to answer that question for you.  In the meantime; if you’d like to discuss your particular situation with one of our very talented and experienced Realtors, please call us at 480-243-4242.

BEWARE of Loan Modification Scams!

If you are upside down on your home and not sure what to do because you would really rather stay in your home and not do a short sale or let you home go into foreclosure- please watch the attached video!

Our advice to our clients is to apply directly with their lender(s) for a loan modification and not turn to a company to do it for you; remember if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Several of our clients have come to us days before their home’s Trustee Sale (after spending thousands of dollars that they didn’t have to apply for a loan modification) hoping for a miracle to avoid foreclosure- we’ve had a few miracles; but we’d much rather see you keep your money in your pocket.

Don’t hesitate to call us for more advice if you don’t know how to get out from under your house payment; especially if you already have a Trustee Sale (aka Foreclosure) date set. 480-243-4242

Are you embarrassed or scared? Don’t know where to turn for help?


  • Are you at risk of losing your job or have you already lost it?
  • Do you know where the money to pay your next mortgage payment is coming from?
  • Are you afraid of getting your family locked out of your own home by your bank? 
  • Do you know that 58% of the loan modifications that even do get approved, end up in foreclosure/default again within 4 months?
  • Did you know that in Chandler alone, 3 out of 5 homes on the market are considered “distressed” sales. (Either Short Sales or Bank Owned)

If you answered yes to any of these questions; please reach out to us for help now before it’s too late, click here to get started. 

We will gladly give you a compassionate & intelligent conversation when the time is right for you and your family!

IN THE MEANTIME; THERE ARE LEGAL RIGHTS THAT GIVE SOMEONE TIME STILL IN THE HOME AFTER A TRUSTEE SALE: Please read the following article AZ Republic: Eviction Adds to Pain of Home’s Foreclosure.  In this, Michelle Lind, general counsel for the Arizona Association of Realtors, explained how the state’s eviction laws work. "The buyer of a foreclosure home has to give the home’s former owner notice to move out," she said. "If after five days the former owner doesn’t move out, the new owner can file with the courts for a forcible eviction."

You do have rights and don’t have to be alone, call us at 480-243-4242 and we will do our best to help!



What is the default process?  I’m going to try to explain what the information on this chart means but… it is when someone starts getting behind on their mortgage payments and they are usually at least 3 months behind before the following occurs:

Basically, there are only 4 results that can happen when a person isn’t able to stay current on their mortgage payments:

    • NOTS= NOTICE OF TRUSTEE SALE is sent to the homeowner.  This notice gives them 90 days to do something otherwise the bank will try to sell them home at a Trustee Sale. (Please see resource tab of website for more information and a slide show re: what happens at Trustee Sales) Most lenders will either issue a postponement or a cancelation of the Trustee Sale (aka Foreclosure Proceeding) as long as someone contacts them and tries to work out an alternative solution.  Unfortunately the majority of homeowners facing this do nothing and put their heads in the proverbial sand and ultimately do lose their homes, which only adds to this crisis.
    • REINSTATEMENT OF LOAN= This means that the Lender will allow the borrower to add the missed payments to the end of the loan and allow them to become current under the original loan terms.  In this situation one normally needs to show that it was a one time problem that caused them being late.  It’s also commonly called a Forbearance.  For most this isn’t an option. 
    • LOAN ADJUSTMENT= By proving a hardship, one can request what is called a loan modification in hopes of getting the payments reduced to where they are affordable.  Financial information must be sent to the Lender with an application to be considered.  The government has stepped in and have some programs (HAMP and HAFA) intended to help those in need but in my opinion, they aren’t enough.  This process can be tedious and time consuming and many give up.  In some opinions, these are just temporary Band-Aids because to get principal reductions to what the current value is has not happened with anyone I have met or heard of .  The recent stats are that 58% that do get approved for these loan modifications end up in default again as well.  I had one client recently that fought with her Lender for a year and they extended her loan to 40 yrs and reduced her interest rate but changed the loan from an interest only and in the end it only reduced her payment $100, which wasn’t the help she had asked for.  Typically the Trustee sale is either cancelled or put on hold by the Lender during this process.
    • SHORT SALE= Default process is over because the borrower sells the home short with the Lender(s) approval.


There is another option called “Deed in Lieu” which is basically the homeowner giving the house back and is considered a Foreclosure without having to go thru the legal proceeding of a Trustee Sale.  If the home doesn’t sell to a private 3rd party (many investors pick up great bargains) at a Trustee Sale (aka Auction), then title goes back to the bank and they have to remarket the home.  That’s where the term REO (Real Estate Owned) comes from, sometimes called a Lender or Bank Owned Home.  Those homes get marketed normally on the MLS, here’s a link to the Bank Owned Homes in our area.

If you have any further questions about this process, feel free to call us at 480-243-4242 or go to our Get Started Tab and enter in your information so we can see if we can help you or someone you know who is in DEFAULT on their Mortgage payment(s). We do everything we can here to help those that need it!

What we do for you when you hire us to Short Sell your home

Rachel Mitchell, Team Negotiator for Integrity All Star Realty, touches on what happens once you’ve listed your home with us to do a short sale- please see this link

What to expect with the Short Sale process with us which gives you a PDF you can download and save regarding the Short Sale Process, aka the Life Cycle of a Short Sale.

Rachel is referring in the video to our 1 page Questionaire which is part of the full application but also summarizes for us our prospective clients current situation and allows us to analyze very quickly if we indeed can help them with a short sale.  As always, if you have any questions, please contact us for more information!

HURRY, YOU ARE ALMOST OUT OF TIME- If you’ve even been just thinking about taking advantage of the IRS tax credit to buy a house- LET US KNOW IMMEDIATELY, before it’s too late!!!


WE NEED TO FIND YOU A NEW HOME AND GET YOU UNDER CONTRACT BEFORE APRIL 30TH-  below is information directly from the IRS website, but here's the link for more FAQ's:,,id=206291,00.html.  
Please contact us immediately to set an appointment to go find you your next home!

First-Time Homebuyer Credit Questions and Answers: Basic Information

Updated Nov. 6, 2009, to note new legislation. The new legislation extends and expands the first-time homebuyer credit allowed by previous Acts. The new law:

  • extends deadlines for purchasing and closing on a home
  • authorizes the credit for long-time homeowners buying a replacement principal residence
  • raises the income limitations for homeowners claiming the credit

Q. What is the credit?

A. The first-time homebuyer credit is a tax credit for individuals and couples who purchase a new home after April 8, 2008, and before May 1, 2010. There are several versions of the credit depending upon when the home was purchased:

  • For homes purchased in 2008, the credit, with some exceptions, must be repaid and takes the form of a $7,500 interest-free loan.
  • For homes purchased in 2009 prior to November 7, the credit is for a maximum of $8,000 and, with some exceptions, does not have to be repaid, but it's only for new home owners who have not owned a home in the prior three years.
  • Beginning November 7, 2009, an additional category of new homebuyers, long-time residents (who owned their own homes), was added. The credit for this group is a maximum of $6,500, which, with some exceptions, does not have to be repaid. (1/27/10) 


Like Scenarios of 2010

This chart was provided by Mike Orr of the Cromford Report and is his forecast for this upcoming year regarding our market.

According to Mike, our market is finally “heading back to normality” after one enormous party in years 2003-2005 and one enormous hangover in years 2007-2009.  As previously quoted in past blogs, 2010 is the Year of Hope.  Current pricing in our market is comparable to 2002 when our market was balanced between supply and demand and foreclosure sales were nearly non-existent compared to today’s numbers.

Below is a chart showing what is selling for how much today which is very comparable to what we experienced before the enormous party began which put so many families in peril with their home values and affordability due to current economic times and job losses in the last few years.

Market statistics

The are a lot of numbers on this chart, but some note worthy ones is the highest volume of sales are taking place between 75k-150k where a lot of investors are picking up some phenomenal deals and first time homebuyers are able to qualify and take advantage of the First Time Homebuyers Tax Credit and really low rates! 

Another noteworthy event was the increase demand for single family homes as rentals for all of the families that have had to become renters again. 

There’s definitely a lot of great statistics and hope for our market today, just contact us for more information.

Calling all Cops, EMT’s, Firemen & Teachers- you don’t want to miss out on this!!!

HUD Homes "On Sale" if you are in the right profession!


Like we learned from Chris and Lanie Martin in our last segment, you can buy a HUD Home (that’s an FHA Foreclosure) with just $100 out of your pocket if you qualify for a new FHA loan.

BUT IF YOU ARE A CIVIL SERVICE PROVIDER- It gets even better!  Listen to the Martin’s talk about HUD's Good Neighbor Next Door Program.  HUGE DISCOUNTS are available on these homes if you are in the right profession.  Check out the link above to learn more or just click here to get started.

HUD Homes have been around for years, many Realtors do not know how to place offers on them or access their lists of homes available, we sure do here at Integrity All Stars.  Just let us know you are interested in more information and we are here to help!

Here’s the link to give you more info on how to buy a HUD home in general as well.

You also will want to get preapproved by a Mortgage Professional, if you haven’t done that yet, please contact Lanie Martin with Cobalt Mortgage.

Are you scared? Embarrassed? Don’t know where to turn for help?

  • Are you at risk of losing your job?
  • Do you know where the money to pay your next mortgage payment is coming from?
  • Are you afraid of getting your family locked out of your own home by your bank? 
  • Do you know that 58% of the loan modifications that even get approved, end up in foreclosure within 4 months?
  • Did you know that in Gilbert alone more than 3 out of 5 people, just like you, are either at risk or are already in a foreclosure situation?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, please reach out to us for help now before it’s too late, click here to get started.  We will gladly give you a compassionate & intelligent conversation when the time is right for you and your family.

IN THE MEANTIME; THERE ARE LEGAL RIGHTS THAT GIVE SOMEONE TIME STILL IN THE HOME AFTER A TRUSTEE SALE: Please read the following article AZ Republic: Eviction Adds to Pain of Home’s Foreclosure.  In this, Michelle Lind, general counsel for the Arizona Association of Realtors, explained how the state's eviction laws work. "The buyer of a foreclosure home has to give the home's former owner notice to move out," she said. "If after five days the former owner doesn't move out, the new owner can file with the courts for a forcible eviction."

Helping Buyers with Short Sales vs REO purchases

When we take out our buyers to look at both Short Sales and REO’s, we need to set our Buyers expectations between the two because there is a difference in how long they take to close escrow. 

  • Short Sales do have a longer time frame involved due to negotiations than other homes on the market unless they’ve already been “pre-approved”; on average about 3 months but it does depend on who is handling the negotiations, who are the banks or lenders involved, and how many lien holders there are all impact the time frame. 
  • Bank owned properties (REO’s) take usually less than 2 months start to finish just due to the fact that they already have determined and processed what they want for the home. 
  • There are also a lot more “regular” or “equity” sales out there recently because the “flips” are now coming back due to FHA temporarily removing their 90 day seasoning rule.  It has made it more attractive for investors to purchase either bank owned homes or homes on the auction block, aka Trustee Sale Homes. Those also move faster than short sales.

We’ll be happy to further talk with someone interested in buying a home on more specifics because these are merely estimates; each home out there has it’s own story to tell.