Short Sales Buzz In Mobile AL Real Estate

In the current Mobile AL real estate market, there has been a lot of buzz around “short sales.”  What is a short sale, exactly?  A short sale is when a lender agrees to accept a mortgage payoff amount less than what is owed in order to facilitate a sale of a property by a financially distressed owner – in essence, the lender forgives the outstanding balance of the loan.


There are pro’s and con’s to short sales on both sides of the deal.  For the seller, credit history is seriously damaged, but not as badly as it would be by foreclosure.  Sellers also walk away with no profit, which makes it difficult to purchase another home.  For the buyer, the property comes at a reduced price, but it also generally comes with its fair share of problems, and there is a considerable amount of “red tape” to get through to complete the purchase.


The short sale buying process can be a confusing one, especially for a first-time short sale buyer.  Check out this helpful article from and see 10 Steps for Short Sale Buying below:


  1. Identify potential short sales
  2. View the property
  3. Do your research
  4. Find all liens and mortgages
  5. Figure out the financing
  6. Contact the lender
  7. Complete the lender’s short sale application
  8. Assemble the proposal
  9. Negotiate
  10. Close the deal


To learn more about investing in Mobile AL real estate, please visit  For more personalized service, please call us today at 251-990-0569. 

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Mobile AL Real Estate Sales Statistics: May-July 2008

The latest survey by the National Association of Realtors® shows existing-home sales rose from the first quarter in 13 states, largely from buyers responding to discounted home prices. Nearly one-quarter of metropolitan areas showed rising home prices in the second quarter from a year ago, with greatly mixed conditions continuing around the country.  

Let’s take a look at the latest Mobile AL real estate sales statistics from Trulia to see if Mobile AL home sales have increased. Trulia compared May-July 2008 sales with May-July 2007 sales:

Mobile AL Real Estate Sales Statistics, May-July Comparison

The number of Mobile AL homes that sold declined 25% during the May-July time period compared to the same period in 2007. The per square foot price decreased by $1.00 or 1%, while both the average and median prices declined 3%.

Average Sales Price 2008: $168,457
Average Sales Price 2007:  $173,403

Median Sales Price 2008:  $140,238
Median Sales Price 2007:  $145,000

Average Price Per Square Foot 2008:  $92.00
Average Price Per Square Foot 2007:  $93.00

Number of Sales 2008:  505
Number of Sales 2007:  675

What does this mean for Mobile AL home buyers and sellers? Buyers are continue to benefit from moderate prices. Add low interest rates to the moderate prices and the new tax credit for first-time buyers and now is an excellent time to buyer Mobile AL real estate.

With sales off 25% from a year ago, sellers will need to be competitively priced and in excellent condition to catch the eye of prospective buyers.

Interested in buying or selling Mobile AL real estate? Visit our website, JudySells, or give us a call for more personal service, 251-583-5923.

Search all Mobile AL real estate and homes for sale.

Also read:
How Does The Housing Recovery Act Help Mobile Home Buyers
7 Reasons To Own Your Own Mobile Home
Mobile Eastern Shore AL Real Estate Podcast
Mobile AL Real Estate Tip: Questions To Expect From Your Lender

Mobile AL Real Estate: Second-home Sellers Pay For Tax Credits

Mobile AL Second-home Sellers Pay For Tax Credits

You have probably heard, last week President signed into law the Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act. This is the most comprehensive housing bill to be enacted in over a decade. The bill is designed to help more buyers of Mobile AL real estate realize their dreams, as well as, boast the struggling housing and mortgage markets.

One of the biggest benefits, and probably one of the most talked about provisions in this legislation, is the $7,500 tax credit to first time home buyers. Tax breaks are all well and good, but they have to be paid for somehow. While first time home buyers are getting a break, second home sellers will be paying for the $15.1 million dollars in tax cuts.

Up until the new legislation went into effect last week, homeowners could exclude up to $250,000 taxable profit on the sale of their home if they’re single taxpayers and $500,000 if married filing joint returns. The catch being, they had to live the in house as their primary residence for two of the five years before it is sold.

Many second home owners took advantage of this by moving into a property that was once a rental or vacation home, live there for two years prior to selling and benefiting from the tax-free profit.

With the new legislation, owners selling on or after January 1, 2009 will have to factor out the period when the property was still a rental or vacation home and pay taxes on that portion of the profit.


Here’s an example courtesy of

Jim and Joan are in their 50s and next January buy a vacation home for $200,000. Ten years later, they retire, sell their old principal residence and make the vacation home their new principal residence. Fifteen years after that, Jim and Joan, now in their 80s, move to an assisted-living community and sell the vacation-turned-primary-residence for $700,000. That nets them a gain of $500,000.

Under pre-housing bill statute, Jim and Joan wouldn’t face any tax on the entire $500,000 gain.

The new law, however, means that Jim and Joan can exclude only 15/25, or 60 percent, of the gain. That would give them $300,000 of nontaxable property sale profit and $200,000 upon which they would owe long-term gain taxes.

As you can see, the new legislation significantly affects second home owners and their retirement strategies. The second home market has remained strong in the last few years, but this may change dramatically in the near future….something congress may not have intended.

If you own Mobile AL real estate and are in the middle of converting your second home to your main residence, you could be out of luck. If you don’t have enough time left in 2008 to meet the two year lived-in rule and sell the property, when you do sell next year, you will pay.

If you need to sell your Mobile AL home before January 1, 2009, give us a call at 251-990-0569. We will help you get the highest price for your Mobile AL real estate before the end of the year!

Get the current market value of your Mobile AL home.


Eastern Shore Mobile AL Real Estate: Getting The Price Right

“Location, Location, Location.”  We hear it all the time in the real estate world and many assume that location is the most important criteria to buyers when purchasing a new home.  But what is it really that determines why one property sells more quickly than another?


Price.   Having the right price was the most important factor in deciding on one home over another, according to 2/3 of the respondents of a recent poll conducted by the National Association of Realtors.


Sellers agreed on the importance of the right price.  “Getting the price right” was and is one of the most frequently cited challenges for sellers who are not represented by a Realtor®.


Other factors that were included in the poll were – no surprise – location, but also condition of the property, staging, and upgrades.


If you are interested in learning about Eastern Shore, Mobile AL real estate prices, please call me at 866-560-7474 or visit  You may also begin searching the MLS!


Mobile AL Real Estate Tip: Questions To Expect From Your Lender

Before lending you a large sum of money to purchase a piece of Mobile AL real estate, it is understandable that your lender will want to know a little bit about you and your ability to pay back the loan.  If you are a first-time homebuyer, or if it has been a while since you last spoke with your lender, it is helpful to be prepared for some of the questions you may be asked and to have some responses in mind.  Below are some general examples of questions you may expect to hear when applying for a home loan:


Employment and income

Where do you work?

How much do you make?

How long have you been at your job?

How is your income derived — steady salary or irregular income? (if it’s the latter, plan on providing more details so that you get a favorable interest rate)

Outstanding debts

What recurring debts do you have?

How much do you pay a month for auto loans?

Credit cards?

How much of your monthly pretax income do these debts consume?

Cash reserves and assets

How much money do you have in the bank?

How much will be left after you pay your down payment and closing costs?

Down payment

How much money are you putting down?

Is this your own money? A gift? A nonprofit agency grant?

Loan purpose

Is this mortgage for a home buy or refinance?

If it’s a refinance, do you want to take cash out at closing to pay off other debts?

If so, how much?

Property use

Do you plan to live in the house?

Is it investment property?

Property type

A condominium?

A duplex?


In order to get the best possible interest rate and gain the trust of your lender, you will want to be able to prove that you’ve had steady employment (preferably with the same employer or in the same line of work) for two or more years.  You also want to avoid making any major purchases before applying for a loan – if a lender sees that you’ve just purchased an automobile last week, your debt-to-income ratio goes up and your ability to pay down a home loan goes down.  It is preferable to be making a down payment of at least 5% of the sales price with your own money and to prove that you have at least two months’ worth of mortgage payments in the bank; however, there are many programs such as Fannie Mae that require much lower down payments. 


To learn more about investing in Mobile AL real estate or for a referral to a reputable lender, please call me at 866-560-7474 or visit  You may also request a complimentary relocation package here!

Buyers of Mobile AL Real Estate: Lock in Low Interest Rates NOW!

As I reported recently, Fannie Mae is now requiring only a 3% down payment on all loans processed through its Desktop Underwriter® program.  This is great news for buyers who can take advantage of this program.


If you are in the market for a conventional mortgage, however, the news may not be so promising.  As this article from the Real Estate Journal explains, mortgage interest rates are climbing again at an alarming rate, and it is in Mobile AL real estate buyers’ best interests to lock in a low rate now.  Due to fears of inflation, the average interest rate on a typical 30-year fixed loan has spiked to 6.02% from 5.82% in just a week. 

To see how this spike would increase your mortgage payments, consider this:  as a rule of thumb, for each $100,000 you borrow, an additional tenth of a percentage point on your mortgage rate will add about $2,300 to the total amount of interest you will pay over the life of the loan.  For example, on a $300,000 mortgage, the current increase will add $38 to your monthly payments. It will cost an extra $4,000 in interest over the total life of the loan.

To learn more about Mobile AL real estate, or for a referral to a reputable lender who can explain your options when it comes to interest rates, please call me at 866-560-7474 or visit 

The Case For Staging Your Mobile AL Real Estate

Staging  Mobile AL real estate for sale has become a hot trend in the industry.  Unlike some trends that are more trouble than they’re worth, however, this is one trend that can really pay off!  Here are 12 reasons why you should consider staging your home on the market:

1. Turbo Boost Sales Time
Experts all agree and studies show staged homes sell quicker – sometimes up to 50% faster – than non-staged homes.  Not only are you having to pay for your mortgage while your home stays on the market, but the longer the home is on the market, the greater chance there is for a price reduction.  Typically, when a home has been on the market for some time, buyers and agents will assume there must be something wrong with it or that the seller will be anxious to sell and will take much less than the asking price.

2. First Impressions Are The Most Important
People’s first impression of your home is critical.  Staging gives you the best opportunity to make a positive first impression rather than a negative one.  The stronger the impression, the less likely a potential buyer will be bothered if some things aren’t perfect.

3. Gone In 60 Seconds…
Psychology experts have proven that people react based on emotion and then seek logic to back up the feeling.  From a real estate perspective, a buyer will make an initial reaction in less than a minute whether they like your home or not.  Then, after the potential buyer’s initial decision has been made, they will either confirm that decision or rescind it in the next 6 to 20 minutes as they tour the property.  This is why proper staging is critical for any listing.    

4. Ready, Set, Go – Move-In Ready Sells Faster
A properly staged listing not only appears to be in “Move-In Ready” condition, but it really is.  Staging a house for sale means that every component of the house is as close as possible to model condition.  All buyers prefer to buy a home where they can just move-in and start enjoying life.  Most will even pay a premium for this.

5. Imagination Not Included
Did you know that only 5% of the population can truly visualize how beautiful a home can be or see past the clutter, grime and so-so appearance?  It’s true.  Help potential buyers see themselves happily living in your listing and let the offers come pouring in. 

6. Be the Needle In The Haystack
Staged homes have a much greater competitive advantage over houses that are not staged.  Experts are predicting that more and more listings will be sitting on the market for sale in the next few years.  Some areas have already seen a 100-300% increase in available inventory and average time on market.  A staged home stands apart from other listings because it has been properly merchandised to bring out the best qualities of the listing.
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Good News For the Mobile AL Real Estate Market!

newsMobile AL real estate sales of existing homes slowed this spring, partly because restrictive lending practices hampered home buyers. At the same time, a greater number of areas are showing sales gains from a year ago and a recent reversal in mortgage policy means the Mobile AL real estate market is better positioned for a turnaround, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

NAR President Richard F. Gaylord, a broker with RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, Calif., said the good news is that mortgage restrictions have just been eased. “In the past week, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae announced that they were eliminating their ‘declining market’ policies, effective June 1,” he said.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said eliminating restrictive policies should be a big help to home buyers. “I would encourage buyers who were disappointed by poor mortgage options to take another look at the market because the lending changes are significant,” he said. “Also, a recent notable drop in interest rates on conforming jumbo loans will help consumers in high-cost markets like California and New York.”
To learn more about the current conditions of the Mobile AL real estate market, please call me at 866-560-7474 or visit You may also visit the MLS to begin searching for Mobile AL homes!

Mobile Eastern Shore AL Real Estate Podcast

This month’s edition covers Mobile Eastern Shore real estate market activity and then we’ll talk about how to avoid the pricing pitfalls and still manage to get top dollar for your home!

Features special guest Terri Murphy of US Learning.

Program length: approximately 7 1/2 minutes

download podcast mp3 file | subscribe to podcast feed


To learn more about current Mobile AL real estate market conditions, please call me at 866-560-7474 or visit  You may also request a complimentary relocation package!