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Spring Is A Great Time To Buy

by Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, GRI

Spring has officially arrived! If you are selling your home, the spring and summer months are traditionally the busiest times of year for the residential real estate market. Eventhough the current real estate market has sellers dealing with fierce competition, buyers are getting some amazing homes at great prices.

If you're in the market for a house this spring, below are some tips you can take to give you the advantage to get the best deal.
  • If you're going to work with a real estate professional, be sure to research and interview a few to make sure you are comfortable with them. Be sure to get references and be honest to let them know what your expectations are.
  • Make sure to get your loan pre-approved. This will give you the upper hand in several ways. You will know upfront how much you will be able to finance and it shows the seller that you are serious and ready to buy when you make an offer.
  • Be flexible. If your Realtor calls with a listing that matches your criteria and wants to show you the home right away, beady to make an offer -- quickly.
  • Don't forget to look at the potential in homes. Of course there are only so many thing you can change, but if minor things are standing in your way, such as paint or carpet color or flooring, don't forget that these are easy changes to make and could create a whole different space!I

Now is a great time to buy and spring only makes your choices more plentiful! Check out the latest lstings and contact me to view them!

Home Downsizing

by Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, GRI

Each year, many homeowners decide to sell their home and downsize down to a smaller one. For some, their children are no longer living at home and they don't need all the space and some decide the responibility of a large home is too much. Recently, many homeowners are deciding to trade down to a smaller home with a more manageable mortgage. Whatever your reason for looking for a smaller home, below are some advantages and disadvantages for you to consider.


•Increased Cash Flow. In a sluggish economy, a better cash flow is something everyone would like. It makes sense, if you're spending less on your mortgage payment, you are likely to have money leftover every month to allocate for other needs. .

•Lower Utility Bills. It costs a lot less to heat and cool a smaller space. Not only will this help save money but reducing energy is better for the environment and helps to keep your home green.

•More free time. A smaller home means less to clean, less responsibility, and less stress. A large home can be alot of maintenance bot inside and out. With a smaller house, there is more free time.


•Less Space. Moving to a smaller home would probably result in selling, giving away or throwing out furniture, books, and other non essential items. If parting with personal items that you don't have the space for is not for you, you will need to consider some options for storage.

•Less room for guests and entertaining. Less space means it will be more difficult to host parties and have overnight guests.

•Lifestyle Changes. Trading down means changing a lifestyle, and for some homeowners may not like the changes from a large prestigious home to a smaller simpler one.

The decision to move into a smaller home can be a difficult one but it doesn't always mean that you have to move into a home that has less amenities. Some people find that although the space is less, they have the money to upgrade appliances, add spas and other luxury items.

Mortgage Renegotiation

by Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, GRI

Foreclosures are everywhere and with the economy being strained, many homeowners are struggling to make the monthly mortgage payment.  The good news is that many lenders are more willing than to negotiate terms to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. By renegotiating their mortgage, homeowners may be able to get a lower finance rate as well as change your rate from a high fixed-rate mortgages or adjustable-rate.

Most lenders require that you have at least 10 percent equity in your home. You can easily check the value of your home on sites such as and I can provide you with a free and quick estimate of your home’s worth. Today's lenders typically will require that you have a credit score of at least 720 to qualify for good rates.

Lenders are aware of the many fiscal difficulties borrowers have in making their mortgage payments when hardships arise. However, they typically won't volunteer or advertise their help. So if you are struggling to make your payments on time, it is vital that you take the initiative and contact your lender and give them a heads up on your current financial hardship before you miss payments.  Keep in mind that lenders have more incentive than ever to work with you. Plunging property values mean they’re recovering less now on foreclosures. Plus, many that received cash infusions from the U.S. Treasury are under pressure to show that they’re responding to the housing crisis.

HUD Announces New Policy For Quicker Foreclosure Re-sales

by Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, GRI

Recently the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) annoucned that they will relax FHA rules that prohibit insuring mortgages on homes that are owned by the seller for less than 90 days. This new policy took effect February 1, 2010 and is a move that hopefully will help to expedite the rehabilitation and resale of foreclosure properties.

With recent tighter lending requirements,  FHA financing has been the only option for some buyers. The 90-day policy has kept some
homebuyers from being able to purchase affordable homes. In addition this has also prevented the quick resale of foreclosed properties
, which affects the ability of communities to stabilize and rebuild.

This temporary waiver will be in effect for a period of one year, unless extended or withdrawn by the FHA. "FHA borrowers, because of the restrictions we are now lifting, have often been shut out from buying affordable properties," said FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens. "This action will enable our borrowers, especially first-time buyers, to take advantage of this opportunity."

To ensure FHA borrowers are protected from inflated prices, the policy has certain restrictions, including:

  • All transactions must be arms-length and there can be no identity of interest between the buyer and seller.
  • If the sales price of the property is 20 percent or more above the seller's acquisition cost, the lender must meet specific conditions for the waiver to apply.
  • The waiver is limited to forward mortgages, and cannot be used under the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) purchase program.

Read more specifics on this waiver, visit the release.

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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Contact Information

Photo of Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, SRES, SFR Real Estate
Jon Smith, CRB, CRS, SRES, SFR
Iowa Realty
3521 Beaver Ave.
Des Moines IA 50310
Fax: 515-453-6404



Licensed in the State of Iowa