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Unemployed NC Homeowners

by Randy Dockery

Information taken from Claudie Burchfield

Breaking News -Starting December 1st, financial help is available for North Carolina homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgages because they’ve lost their jobs or experienced other temporary hardships.

The N.C. Housing Finance Agency announced today that its new N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund is now available statewide through participating HUD-approved counseling agencies. The new program is financed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s “Hardest Hit Fund.”

“We expect the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund will enable 21,000 North Carolina unemployed workers to keep their homes,” said A. Robert Kucab, executive director of the N.C. Housing Finance Agency. “By reducing the number of foreclosure sales, the effort will also help stabilize property values in communities across the state.”

Kucab said the Fund will make mortgage payments for qualified unemployed workers while they seek jobs or complete job training in a new field. Others, who through no fault of their own, have gotten behind on their mortgage payments because of divorce, illness or other temporary hardship, may qualify for help while they seek jobs to get back on their feet. The program is expected to be available over the next three to five years.

The assistance will be provided as a zero-interest, deferred loan of up to $24,000 or 24 months of mortgage-related payments. In high unemployment counties designated as "hardest hit", the maximum assistance is $36,000 or 36 months.

See listing of "hardest hit" counties here.

Homeowners will resume making their own mortgage payments at the end of the loan period. If the owner continues to live in the home for 10 years, the loan will be considered satisfied and no repayment will be due.

To be eligible, homeowners must have a good mortgage payment history prior to the job loss or hardship, have potential to resume their mortgage payments once the assistance ends, and meet other program guidelines.

For more information about eligibility, homeowners in Western North Carolina should call OnTrack at 828-255-5166 or 1-800-737-5485 or visit the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund website.

The Treasury’s “Hardest Hit Fund” is authorized under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. It is available in 18 states and the District of Columbia, which have experienced high unemployment or a steep decline in property values. North Carolina was selected because of the large percentage of the population living in counties with high unemployment rates in 2009.

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is a self-supporting public agency. It has financed 196,000 homes and apartments in the last three decades, including 81,000 for first-time homebuyers.

 

RE/MAX Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction

by Randy Dockery

7/27/2011

Good morning,

I have extremely exciting news to share with you!

J.D. Power and Associates announced today that RE/MAX ranks highest in customer satisfaction, for both buyers and sellers, in its 2011 residential real estate survey.

That's right – we've earned the highest level of appreciation from BOTH groups of consumers, which is a remarkable statement about the Outstanding Agents in our organization.

I want to personally thank and congratulate every one of you for contributing to this prestigious recognition. It truly reflects your professional excellence, your enthusiasm for education, your commitment to distressed sellers, your individual drive, and many other qualities that serve the interests of your clients. Your efforts change lives, and those people have spoken.

Our team at Headquarters is working with J.D. Power and Associates to determine how we can use the results of the survey, as well as their name and logo. As soon as possible, we will let you know what the guidelines are.

In the meantime, celebrate this incredible achievement and enjoy the fact that once again you've proven yourselves to be the best in the business.

Congratulations!

Dave

Sent by Dave Liniger, Chairman and Co-Founder, RE/MAX World Headquarters

Information found at the Cherokee County

Court House in Murphy, North Carolina

If you are facing foreclosure, be assured that you are not alone. North Carolina has several resources to help you obtain foreclosure prevention counseling, mortgage payment assistance, and protection from fraud. You don't need to be behind on your mortgage payments to seek help. If you feel you are at risk, contact one of the state's free resources right away. We are here to help.

Free Counseling

Regardless of why you are in danger of foreclosure, you can access free counseling through the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project (SHFPP), funded and led by the NC Office of the Commissioner of Banks. HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, state and federal agencies, legal assistance organizations, mortgage servicers and community organizations are working with the Office of the Commissioner of Banks to help you protect your home.

To get help, call 1-866-234-4857 or visit www.ncforeclosurehelp.org You will be referred to a HUD-approved foreclosure counselor and other services in your area.

Mortgage Payment Assistance

If you've lost your job or your income has been reduced, the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund can pay your mortgage while you seek or retrain for new employment. You also may be eligible if you are facing a temporary financial setback, such as a divorce, serious illness or death of a co-owner, and need help to pay your mortgage while you look for work.

The Fund is offered by the NC Housing Finance Agency, a self-supporting state agency, and funded through the US Department of the Treasury. Services are provided by participating HUD-approved counseling agencies statewide at no cost to you.

If you qualify, the Fund offers zero-interest, deferred loans of up to $24,000 to pay your mortgage for up to 24 months while you seek or retrain for a new jo. In the state's high unemployment counties, the maximum is $36,000 (36 months of assistance). The loan balance is reduced every year you remain in your home after the fifth year, and is fully forgiven after the tenth.

Fraud Prevention

If you have been contacted by a foreclosure prevention or "rescue" company offering help, keep the following tips from the NC Office of the Attorney General in mind.

  • Beware of companies that require payment before they "Help" you. Its illegal to charge an upfront fee for foreclosure assistance in North Carolina.
  • Steer clear of companies that want you to make your mortgage payment to them, or who tell you not to talk to your mortgage company or to an attorney.
  • Watch out for investors who promise to pay off your mortgage if you sign over the deed to your property, but not the mortgage. The investor then rents your home back to you or to a tenant but doesn't make mortgage payments and the bank forecloses.
  • Check out companies with the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division and your local Better Business Bureau, get all promises in writing, fill out your own paperwork and only sign it after reading it thoroughly.

To report a scam or check out a company, call the NC Attorney General's Office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint at ncdoj.gov

NC Office of the Commissioner of Banks, Joseph A Smith, Jr. Commissioner

NC Housing Finance Agency, Sam Ewell, Jr. Chairman, and A. Robert Kucab, Executive Director

NC Office of the Attorney General, Roy Cooper, Attorney General

To learn more, go to www.NCForeclosurePrevention.gov. or visit www.ncforeclosurehelp .org or call me toll-free at 1-877-837-3002 or send me an E-mail at: randy@randydockery.com 

Randy Dockery

What you should expect of a Realtor

by Randy Dockery

Found this article in the Asheville Citizen Times paper on Sunday, January 16, 2011. Written by: Alan Kellam

I think that it's so important for buyers and sellers to know the facts before buying or selling a property.

I think that it's critical for buyers and sellers to be prepared for the market, but when it comes down to it, your Realtor should provide guidance. He or she is the person in the marketplace every day, has experience in negotiations and knows the process. It's very important to obtain the services of a Realtor who you feel will give you the best experience.

Here are some questions that you should ask about the people you are considering to be your buyer's agent

Is he or she:

• An expert in your market? You need to know where property values are rising … and falling; what's been selling … and what's not. Your Realtor should have done his or her homework.

• Willing to work with you before you're ready to buy? A good agent knows that homebuying is a process, and will get you started, educate you about the process, help you define your needs and wants, show you properties, and help you find a lender, even before you're ready to make the commitment — so when you are ready to buy, you will be prepared to find the right home, and get the best value.

• Willing to suggest more than just that one property you found on the Internet? Are there similar homes in the same area that you didn't see? Your Realtor should dig for others and have them ready to show you.

• A good listener? Will he/she listen to your requirements … and respect them; but also talk to you about other ways to meet your needs?

• Not going to push listings just because they're listed in his/her own office? Sure your Realtor could make more by selling his/her office's own listings, but a good agent will show you everything that meets your requirements, regardless of whose listing it is.

• Able to give you advice on financing and taxes? Realtors are not accountants or mortgage brokers, but the good ones have the experience and knowledge to help you analyze alternatives … and let you know when to consult with the professionals.

To read more of this article, please click this link:

http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20110116/NEWS/301160021/What-you-should-expect-of-a-Realtor

______________________________________________________________

Whether you are considering buying or selling a home now or not, I think it's important for you to keep up-to-date on the local real estate market in the western North Carolina and North East Georgia areas.

If you have any questions about buying or selling a home, contact me toll-free at 1-877-837-3002 ext 218 or via e-mail at: randy@randydockery.com

Randy Dockery

Fed to Buy $600B in Securities to Hold Interest Rates Low

by Randy Dockery

Taken from DSNEWS.com

By: Carrie Bay

11/03/10

The Federal Reserve decided Wednesday to pump another $600 billion into the economy in the hopes of bolstering what it called a “disappointingly slow” recovery.

The capital injection will come in the form of purchases of long-term Treasury securities by the central bank, about $75 billion a month between now and the end of June 2011.

Fed officials said they also plan to continue reinvesting principal payments from existing securities holdings. According to a separate announcement put out by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York – essentially the central bank’s money manager – these reinvestments will amount to another $250 billion to $300 billion in Treasury bond purchases over the same period.

The goal is to buoy economic growth by keeping interest rates low. By throwing more money into the financial system, the Federal Reserve is hoping banks will lend more, allowing consumers to purchase a home or refinance their mortgages and giving businesses the capital they need to grow their operations.

If it plays out correctly, the move is expected to spur spending, foster job creation, and keep deflation in check.

The analysts at the international research firm Capital Economics say they don’t expect lower long-term interest rates to do much to stimulate demand in the wider economy.

Paul Ashworth, a senior U.S. economist with the firm, explained, “Half of all mortgage borrowers don’t qualify to refinance at lower rates because they don’t have enough equity in their homes. Larger businesses are already sitting on stockpiled cash, while small businesses dependent on banks for their credit can’t get loans at any cost.”

Ashworth added, “When the Fed realizes that QE2 [its second round of quantitative easing] isn’t working it will have two choices: Admit this is a lost cause and halt its purchases or increase the size of its purchases. We suspect the Fed would double-down rather than fold.”

This marks the second big bond-buying spree by the central bank since the recession took hold. From November 2008 to March of this year, the Fed bought up $1.7 trillion in mortgage-backed securities (MBS), debt from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and Treasury bonds.

That effort succeeded in pushing mortgage interest rates to extreme lows, but even that hasn’t been enough to boost housing demand. Even after the Fed’s bond buying initiative ended in the spring, mortgage rates continued to drop, hitting lows not seen in more than 60 years.

The Federal Reserve said in its policy statement released Wednesday that information received since its last meeting in September “confirms that the pace of recovery in output and employment continues to be slow.”

Household spending is increasing only gradually, and remains constrained by high unemployment, modest income growth, lower housing wealth, and tight credit, the central bank said.

The Fed committee voted to maintain the target range at 0 to 0.25 percent for its benchmark federal funds rate – the rate at which banks lend to one another. As it has reiterated for months on end now, the central bank said it anticipated economic conditions will warrant “exceptionally low levels” for the federal funds rate “for an extended period.”

_________

Randy Dockery

Five Star Conference in Dallas, Texas

by Randy Dockery
 Wow! I just returned to work from the Five Star Conference in Dallas, Texas. It was packed with great information about foreclosure properties. I heard some great speakers. Dave Liniger, the founder and owner of RE/MAX, gave us some information about the coming wave of new foreclosure listings that will be on the market in the next few months. He explained that when the sub prime mortgages adjust to principal and interest loans, the payments will drive many to foreclosure. The payments will go from a $700 payment to a $1,200 payment and many will lose their homes. Dave introduced our keynote lunch speaker Former First Lady, Laura W. Bush. She was a fantastic speaker. Updating us on the Bush family and her life. Laura Bush is a true southern lady. I also heard Joe Theismann and Roger Staubach. Theismann was the best speaker. I was fortunate to be invited to the Fannie Mae Training. It was very informative. Fannie Mae wants their Foreclosure homes to look as good as a regular sale and they are willing to paint, carpet and landscape the REO homes. The weather was beautiful and there were over 5,000 agents attending. I had a great time and am happy to be back home in Murphy NC working to sell these foreclosure homes.
 

Laura W. Bush


Former first lady Laura W. Bush is actively involved in issues of national and global concern with a particular emphasis on education, health care, and human rights. As first lady, she made a historic trip to Afghanistan in 2005 and witnessed firsthand the progress achieved by the Afghan people after the fall of the Taliban regime. A former teacher and librarian, Bush convened a Summit on Early Childhood Cognitive Development in 2001, providing a forum for prominent scholars and educators to share research on the best ways parents and caregivers can prepare children for lifelong learning. As the leader of former President George W. Bush's Helping America's Youth initiative, she has listened closely to the concerns of young people, parents, and community leaders throughout the country. In September 2001, Bush joined the Library of Congress to launch the first National Book Festival, and in 2006, she hosted leaders from around the world for the White House Conference on Advancing Global Literacy. She is also an advocate for women’s health and has been an active participant in campaigns to raise awareness of breast cancer and heart disease. In addition, Bush, a hiking and camping enthusiast and strong supporter of our national parks, has spotlighted the glories and needs of the parks through her many visits as first lady. Bush holds a Bachelor of Science in education from Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Texas. She previously taught in public schools in Dallas, Houston, and Austin and worked as a public school librarian. Her memoir, Spoken From the Heart, is a New York Times number-one best seller.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 || 12:00 PM

   

Roger Staubach

Football Legend and Chairman and CEO/President of the Staubach Company
Heisman Trophy owl winner, Super BMVP, and Pro Football Hall of Famer Roger Staubach played his entire 11 years of professional football with the Dallas Cowboys, leading the team to four Super Bowls and achieving victories in Super Bowls VI and XII. In 1977, he entered the commercial real estate industry, forming the Staubach Company. Over the years, he expanded services to meet clients’ ever-changing requirements and grew his company to 1,600 employees serving 3,000-plus clients from 70 North American offices. In July 2008, the Staubach Company merged with Jones Lang LaSalle, where Staubach now serves as executive chairman, Americas.
Monday, September 20, 2010 || 12:00 PM

 

 

 

 

Joe Theismann

Football Legend, TV and Radio Host, and NFL Network Analyst

 

Entrepreneur and former Washington Redskins star quarterback Joe Theismann hosts The Joe Theismann Radio Show on ESPN 980 in Washington, D.C. The 12-year NFL veteran also serves as an analyst for Playbook, a show airing on the NFL Network. In April 1988, Theismann joined ESPN after spending two seasons as an NFL analyst for CBS Sports. Touting an illustrious football career that spanned 163 consecutive games from 1974–1985, he holds Redskins’ records for passing yardage (25,206), completions (2,044), and attempts (3,602). A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Theismann led Washington to a 27-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII.
Monday, September 20, 2010 || 5:15 PM

 

Chris Wallace

Veteran Journalist and Host of FOX News Sunday
Chris Wallace is the host of FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace (FNS), FOX Broadcasting Company’s Sunday morning public affairs program. He also contributes to the network’s political and election news coverage. As host of FNS, Wallace has secured interviews with many leading newsmakers, including all the leading contenders for the 2008 Presidential campaign, top national and international figures, and his controversial interview with former President Bill Clinton. During his career, Wallace has won every major award for broadcast journalism, including the Dupont-Columbia Award, three Emmy Awards, the George Foster Peabody award, and the George Polk Award

 

 Pictured below is Joe Theismann and Randy Dockery at the Five Star Conference in Dallas, Texas

 
 

Daily Real Estate News

by Randy Dockery

Daily Real Estate News

8 Tips Toward Unpluging on Vacation

By Stephanie Andre

RISMEDIA, July 15, 2010--You have your iPhone, your BlackBerry, your Android. You have your laptop or netbook with wifi. It's hard enough to unplug for the weekend...let alone an entire vacation. But for your own sanity and even that of your coworkers, you need to. There's no reason to take a vacation only to spend it working. The beach might be great, but think about how much better it would be if your phone was left in your hotel room.

Vacations are meant to help employees recharge so they can return to work re-energized and refocused. But if you're constantly checking in with the office, you won't get a real break.

To help you unplug and look forward to your vacation, here are eight tips from CareerCast.com:

  1. Plan ahead. Coordinate your vacation time with your co-workers, team and other executive staff to ensure that things run smoothly while you're out.
  2. Designate your main point of contact and give them a detailed account of all your projects and work commitments along with your emergency contact information.
  3. Try to leave the majority of your work-related hardware at home.
  4. Inform your key accounts, vendors and clients when and how long you'll be out of the office.
  5. If you have a lot of projects that will need attention while you're out, consider distributing your projects among your co-workers or team.
  6. If you can't resist the temptation to check in, try to set up specific times or days you will be checking messages.
  7. Leave your mobile devices in your room so you can concentrate on family and friends and not be tempted to check in during the day.
  8. If you receive urgent voicemails or emails while you're out, ask your main point of contact troubleshoot the issue.

Remember, your health is important, and taking a vacation may be all the help you need.

Call RE/MAX MOUNTAIN PROPERTIES and Randy Dockery at 877-837-3002, or drop by our office at 1151 West US 64, Murphy, NC 28906. Let us show you your Chalet in the Beautiful Mountains of Murphy, North Carolina. Check out our new home and land listings.

Randy Dockery

7 Rules for Room Additions

by Randy Dockery

Taken from Tuesday Tactics by Scott Levitt For Your Clients: 7 Rules For Room Additions
Great tips when considering an addition to your home.

This recent article by Paul Bianchina offers seven great tips for people considering an addition to a home. With an eye on how "aesthetics, access, and open space affect resale," this is a great article to share with past and present clients. Who knows, for some it might just open the door to a conversation about trading up rather than adding on!

1. Know why you're adding on.
2. Good additions never look like additions.
3. Out, up, down or a combination.
4. Don't let the interior become an afterthought.
5. Create convenient access.
6. Don't overwhelm your lot.
7. Understand the legalities.

How aesthetics, access, open space affect resale

If you're happy with your home and your neighborhood but are craving a little more space, maybe adding on is a better alternative to moving out. Room additions can be a terrific alternative for many homes, adding space for a growing family and adding resale value at the same time.

But be forewarned. A good room addition involves a whole lot more than just slapping on some additional square footage. Here are some important rules to keep in mind as your planning gets under way:

1. Know why you're adding on: This is the first rule, and it happens before you lift a hammer. Why do you need to add on? And no fair cheating and saying, "I need more space!"

Do you need another bathroom? Bedroom space? A laundry room or mud room? An improved kitchen flow? More space to entertain? Better accessibility due to health issues? More storage? A larger garage or hobby area? The only way the addition will meet your needs is to know what those needs are in the first place.

2. Good additions never look like additions: This is the other top rule of room-addition planning. When you're done, the addition -- no matter what its size or where it's located -- should never look like an addition. The architectural styles of new and existing need to blend.

The exterior materials need to blend as well, or at least complement each other. To the extent possible, use the same type of windows, roofing, doors, siding and other materials. If the original home has wood windows, using new vinyl windows in the addition screams "add-on" and lowers the appeal and the value. Don't overlook the need to blend landscaping and hardscaping as well.

3. Out, up, down, or a combination: The how and the where of a room addition is always a fun and exciting challenge for everyone involved. Some homes are situated on larger lots and lend themselves very nicely to adding out. Others seem best suited to adding up by building on a second or even a partial third floor.

Some houses are even laid out in such a way that it's possible to excavate under them and add new living space in the form of a daylight basement. Or it could be that a combination of two or even all three of these options makes the most sense for your particular home.

Keep your mind open to the possibilities. Work with a good contractor and a good designer and you'll be amazed at what you can come up with.

4. Don't let the interior become an afterthought: I've seen a surprising number of additions that look great from the outside but seem to have no thought put into them on the inside. Flooring doesn't match. Trim doesn't match. Sometimes even the interior floor heights don't match. Remember that how the interior of your addition looks and flows on the inside is just as important as how it looks and flows on the outside.

Use the same materials or the same style of materials. Match up ceiling, floor, and wall levels. Here again, no matter how you view the addition, inside or out, it should never look like an addition.

5. Create convenient access: This is another afterthought in a lot of additions. Let's say you have a three-bedroom, one-bathroom house, and you want to add a second bathroom. Typically, that's an addition that's going to have a good payback.

But then you build the addition so that the only access to the second bathroom is through the kitchen. You now have a three-bedroom, two-bath house, but since the layout is lousy, you've actually gone backwards in terms of desirability and resale value.

Are you going to create a beautiful second-floor master suite that can be accessed only by a tiny spiral staircase from the family room? Is the only way into your great new kitchen via a convoluted hallway that leads through the laundry room?

When planning your addition, never lose sight of how you're going to access the new spaces, and make sure that access is both convenient and inviting.

6. Don't overwhelm your lot: Granted, room additions are expensive. So when you're doing one, and all those workers are onsite, there's a temptation to get as much square footage as you can. But don't cram your lot full of house. Remember that open space is important as well, both to you and your family, and, later on, to potential buyers.

This is a good time to go back to Rule No. 1 and reconsider the "why" part of your room addition. Don't add space just to add it -- stay focused on your overall goals.

7. Understand the legalities: There are lots of rules and regulations that come into play regarding room additions. These include property line setbacks, zoning restrictions, and restrictions imposed by homeowner associations and architectural review committees.

In some historic areas, your addition may have to comply with certain historic guidelines. In other areas, there may even be solar shading restrictions that limit the height or the orientation of your roof line. Be sure you check into all of this before you get too far along with your planning.

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