ERA Taylor Realty Group

232 Greenmanville Avenue, Mystic, CT 06355 (860) 572-9400 Fax: (860) 572-9402
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Camille Taylor

  • Finally some REAL relief to homeowners from unscrupulous & greedy bank/loan servicers foreclosure practices...

    Five of the nations largest mortgage loan services: Ally/GMAC, Bank Of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo were finally held accountable by the fifty (50) State Attorney General's of this country and have agreed to a settlement in the amount of $25 billion for their fraudulent and deceptive mortgage practices. Connecticut will receive $120 million for homeowners affected. 

    What does that mean for you a homeowner whose home is undervalued, or who has lost their job and can't make their mortgage payment each month or has not made their mortgage payment in many months?  Read on...

    The Key provisions of the settlement...

       1. The immediate aid to homeowners needing loan modification now which includes first and second lien principal reduction. The services are required to to   work off up to $17 billion in principal reduction and the forms of loan modification. 

       2. The immediate aid to borrowers who are current, but underwater: Borrower will be able to refinance at today's historically low interest rates. Sevicers will have to provide up to $3 billion in refinancing relief nationwide, $36 million of which will go to Connecticut homeowners.

       3.  Immediate payment to borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosures with no requirement to prove financial harm and without having to release   private claims against the servicers or in the OCC review process. More than 7,500 Connecticut borrowers who lost their home to foreclosure from January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2011 and suffered servicing abuse would qualify for an estimate $1,500 in each payment to individual borrowers.

       4.  Immediate payment to signing states to help fund consumer protection and state foreclosure protection efforts. Connecticut will receive $27 million to help pay for local foreclosure prevention programs, such as CT Dept of Bankking foreclsure prevention hotline, HUD-approved housing counselors, the Judicial Branch's foreclsoure meidation program, non-profit legal aid groups that help homeowners facing foreclsoure and loan modification programs supported by the Connectiuct Housing Finance Authority.

    There are two historic reforms coming out of this settlement. First ever nationwide reforms to servicing standards and state Attorneys General oversight of national banks. This is something that no other federal or state agency has been able to acheive.

    If the banks do not comply or miss deadlines, they will have to pay heavy penalties.   This is a  of Servicing Standards and Requirement for all national banks to regularly report compliance with the settlement to an independent outside monitoring company that reports to the state attorney general. If they are not compliant they will pay heavy penalties. 

    Finally...they are being held accountable for their fradulent practices and inadequate level of staffing and training, their poor communication with borrowers, improper fees, dual tracking foreclosures, to just naem a few.

    The banks will still be accountable for other claims not covered by this settlement, especially for their wrong doing with robo-signing. Which in essence is a practice where the banks would hire an employee whose only job was to fraudulently sign the name of a bank vice president or executive on documents dealing with foreclosures to cover for lost paperwork, among other documentation needed for foreclsoure proceedings.

    Over the next thirty days the attorneys general will begin working with a settlement monitor who will oversee the mortgagor sevicers compliance with the settlement.

    Next six to nine months a settlement administrator selected by the attorney general will work to identify homeowners eligible for the immediate cash payments. Those eligible will receive letter and claim forms.

    This settlement will be executed over the next three years. Because of the complexity of the mortgage market and this agreement time period, borrowers will not immediately know if they are eligible.

    Borrowers may contact their banks directly or call the following toll-free numbers for more information:

    Bank of America: 877-488-7814, Citi: 866-272-4749, Chase: 866-372-6901, Ally/GMAC: 800-766-4622, Wells Fargo: 800-288-3212

    Please note that this settlement does not cover those loans owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. To find out if your loan is owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae go to: www.fanniemae.com/homeaffordable or www.freddiemac.com/avoidforeclosure

    If you have any other questions please call a Realtor who is a Short Sale and Foreclosure specialist, certified in that area. They will be better educated  to help you.

    ALWAYS THERE FOR YOU!

    Camille Taylor

    CRB,SFR,GRI

    Short Sale & Foreclosure Specialist

  • My credit score is what?....How did they come up with that ...?

    A credit score is a snapshot of a person's individual credit risk at at particular point in time. There are about five main criteria that is considered when your credit is being evaluated such as: Payment History, Amounts Owed, Length of Credit History, New Credit, Types of Credit Used.

    Scores are calculated with different percentage points given to each group, which are only approximates and vary per person.

    For instance...
    Payment history: 35%, Amounts Owed: 30%, Length of Credit History:15%, New Credit:10%, Types of Credit in Use: 10%

    The factors, and the importance of each one, depends on the overall information on file. Multiple factors are evaluated on each category or tradeline, including the type of account, revolving (R), installment (I), open (O), mortgage (M).

    The timing of negative information is important. A recent thirty day delinquency can lower a score more than a charge-off two years before. All updates and changes to an individual's credit file are considered when calculating the next credit score.

    Inquires are also an indicator of credit risk. Inquiries have a small impact on credit scores, although the more inquiries that are on a file, the more likely that a borrower may not have paid as agreed. The stronger indicators of future performance such as past payment history and use of credit can offset inquiries, so if you have a good payment history and are responsible with your credit it can positively affect your score, even if you have multiple inquiries.

    An important factor to remember when buying a home or auto is that multiple inquiries that can occur as a result of shopping for rates on an auto or home loan are "bundled" to avoid negative impact. This allows you to "shop"  for the best mortgage product and rate, just like you shop for a home...the best one that meets your needs and financial situation!

    A FICO score will ignore all auto or mortgage related inquiries that occur in the previous thirty day (30) period. Prior to that buffer period, the scoring also notes when earlier inquiries were made and counts back  fourteen (14) days from each one. In any fourteen (14) day segment scoring counts all auto or mortgage inquires as just one inquiry. 

    FICO scores are calculated on the last twelve (12) months, although inquiries form the last two years will show on a credit report.

    Some advice to improve your score...

    Pay your bills on time, keep balances low on credit cards and other revolving credit, pay off debt rather than move it around, apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed.

    If you want more information on obtaining a mortgage qualificaton we can connect you with various lenders that can discuss the mortgage qualification process with you at length. Call or email us for further details.

    Camille Taylor

    Your Neighborhood Real Estate Broker with World Wide Connections!

     

  • So you want to rent your home ...the tenant has a dog...what is the first thing you need to do?

    Did you know that not all dogs are covered under your Landlord policy? In fact, many major insurance carriers limit coverage to specific breeds of dogs.

    The prime "no-insure"  dog targets are large dogs that tend to inflict a lot of damage. Other concerns that impact an insurance company's willingness to cover a breed include the frequency of dog bites for the breed, the breed's reputation, as well as research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and individual insurance companies. Many of these dogs are fine with their owner and owner's family, but are territorial and can become aggressive if someone enters their home's boundaries/territory, such as a neighborhood child. If the child comes into the yard the dog may react negatively toward the "intruder".

    So, the first item you need to check out on the rental application is the type of  breed the potential tenant's dog is and check with your insurance carrier. Each carrier has different requirements. For instance some will allow a German Shepherd and others will not.

    There are a number of  breeds that could raise your insurance or exempt you from obtaining insurance.  I have listed some of them below.

    Akita, Alaskan Malamute,Chow Chow, Doberman Pinscher, Pit Bull, Rottweiller,Siberian Huskey, Stafordshire Bull Terrier, Wolf Hybrid,Cane Corso, Argentinian Mastiff.

    Also, be careful when you advertise, will consider small dog, as you may be setting yourself up for a problem.

    If you haven't rented your home before, use a reputable and knowledgeable Real Estate Brokerage firm that has a Rental Deparment. They are better equipped to help you understand the rental process.

     

     

  • So you want to get a real estate bargain...

    There are a lot of opportunities in the current real estate market here in Southeastern Connecticut...

    With the current interest rates for thirty year fixed mortgages between 3% and 4% you have a lot more buying power, therefore the ability to buy a larger or higher valued home with a lower interest rate for the same monthly mortgage amount. You can also have more buying power with a home that is in a compromised financial situation, such as a short sale or foreclosure. 

    A home that is in a short sale or foreclosure situation may offer you more buying power depending on the condition of the home.

    Many homes which are in a short sale situation can offer you a very good value, especially if you are looking to buy as a first time homeowner or if you are looking to invest. A home in a short sale situation often has the homeowner still living in the home, so the home is occupied and usually being cared for, and in the winter, heated.

    A short sale is a home that the owner still owns, but the homeowner may be delinquent in their mortgage payments. If that is the case the lender must approve the sale/offer/purchase price of the home. A homeowner does not have to be late in their payments for a short sale situation to occur.   A homeowner could be in a short sale situation because the value of their home is currently worth less than the amount of money they have invested in it, i.e their mortgage note.

    A home that is REO, Real Estate Owned, is a bank owned property that has been foreclosed on and taken back by the lender.

    A Foreclosure action is taken when a homeowner has stopped paying the mortgage for a specific period of time. They are usually vacant, and here in Connectiuct, often go through winters vacant with the heating/plumbing system in a winterized state. (Winterized means that the hearting pipe have been drained and all water supply is turned off to prevent damage to the heating system by pipes freezing, etc. when there is no heat source in the home). Oftentimes, though, heating pipes have already suffered damage because winterization was not done in time to prevent frozen pipes.

    In essence you still need to have a licensed home inspector  evaluate the homes condition and systems and to see if  it is financially feasible for you to  go forward with the purchase of the home. 

    These homes are not for everyone, but they are everywhere and the opportunities are worth pursuing.

    If you are considering buying a short sale, take the time to speak to a Realtor who is specialized in Short sales and foreclosures. It is also a good idea to  obtain legal advice from a Real Estate attorney and accountant.

    Camille Taylor, SFR, CRB, GRI

  • So you think you are ready to close on your home...but then a hurricane hits.. What to do?

    If your home is under contract, inspections completed, remedies worked out, appraisal meets sales price value, mortgage commitment is given, and you have received a clear to close from the buyer's lender. Attorneys have set a closing date, movers are scheduled, kids are registered in their new school, you’ve taken a week off from work to move, and then...

    A HURRICANE HITS!!

    Be aware that you may not be able to close without an appraiser coming to view the house again and get back to the the lender with information on any damage done to the house. The borrowers also have to sign an addendum to the residential loan application that states they have inspected the property they are purchasing and that there was no damage to the property as a result of the sever storm or flooding. They also have to state that the property is habitable and the condition is acceptable to them. This may delay your closing, so...

    When you are checking off your emergency pack check list , along with the batteries, flashlights and canned goods, include a call to your Realtor to find out the lender's requirements in case of storm damage. If you have other questions feel free to send them to: REquestions@erataylor.com.

  • Mortgage Rate Fall to 4.15%-What does this mean if you are buying or selling a home?

    Why is NOW the time to buy?

    Buying a home just got more affordable. Here is the update on mortgage interest rates.

     "...Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed rates on both fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages continuing a three-week slide to hit new record lows. Rates on loans tracked by Freddie Mac are now nearly a full percentage point below 2011 highs seen in February...."

    Who is Freddie Mac? Why does it matter what they say?

    Federal Home Loan Mortage Corporation known as,Freddie Mac, is a government sponsored enterprise & Public Company headquartered in Virginia.  Along with other government sponsored enterprises, like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac buys mortgages on the secondary market, pools them, and sell them as a mortgage -backed secuirty to investors on the open market. This secondary mortgage market increases the supply of money available for mortgage lending and increases the money available for new home purchases. They are one of America's biggest buyers of home mortgages. They are a stockholder-owned corporation charterd by Congress in 1970 to keep money flowing to mortgage lenders in support of homeownership and rental housing.

    So Freddie Mac's reason for being is to keep mortgage money readily available to help Americans acheive their dream of homeownership.

    Since 1971, when Freddie Mac started keeping records on rates for 30 year mortgages, there has never been a lower interest rate on 30 year fixed mortgages than this weeks all time low of 4.15 percent, surpassing the previous record of 4.17 percent set during the week ending Novmembr 11, 2010.

    Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages also hit a new low in records dating to 1991, averaging 3.36 percent with an average 0.6 point. That's down from 3.5 percent last week and a 2011 high of 4.29 percent in February.

    To give you some perspective on the history of  mortgage interest rates consider that in August of 2007 mortgage rates were  6.62% for a 30 year fixed. In  January of 2008,  mortgage rates were 5.68%

    How does this help you as a buyer?

    The impact of a 1% reduction in interest rates on a $250,000 home with a  20 percent down would allow a buyer to purchase a home that has a value of 9 percent more. Your buying power is worth 9 per cent more for the same amount of monthly payment. You as a buyer could afford to buy a home that is 9 per cent higher in value, whether it is a home in a more desirable school district or location, a home with more square footage that your family will grow into, or a home that has more amenities/upgrades already built into the home so that you will not have to invest in later on during your home ownership.  

    It also indicates that with a monthly mortgage payment on a home priced at $250,000 with a 30 year fixed term with a 4.25% interest rate on 80% financing, (which means a down payment of  20% and a $200,000 mortgage) would make your monthly prinicipal and interest to be about  $982.00 a month.If the interest rate was 1% higher, at 5.25% you would be paying $1106.00 per month on the same $200,000 that you borrowed.

    So if you are considering buying a new home and living in it for at least three to five years, NOW is a perfect time to buy!

    If you have been thinking of selling, call a knowledgeable Realtor to discuss your options and the impact this will have on selling your home.  A lower interest rate will allow for more qualified buyers. It also allows you the seller, more buying power, on your next home.

    If you are interested in obtaining an Amortization Schedule with interest rates starting as low as 4%, email requestions@erataylorrealty.com and request an amoritization schedule and an explanation on how to calculate monthly mortgage payments of principal and interest, as well as taxes and insurance.

    Portions of this article was excerpted from INMAN NEWS,, August 22, 2011.

     

     

  • So you want to Buy A Home- 69% of American Public surveyed believe it is the Right Time to Buy!

    Are you still not sure whether to move forward with buying that home you have had an eye on? Are you still picking up free Real Estate magazines and flipping through the pages in your spare time? Are you spending your leisure time in front of the computer, checking sites like  ERA.com, ERATaylorRealty.com, Realtor.com, or any of the many real estate sites to see what is "out there"?  

    If you are interested to know what your fellow American think about homeownership today, read on...

    On August 15, 2011, Fannie Mae released their National Housing Survey for the second quarter of 2011. They survey the American public on a multitude of questions concerning today’s housing market. Each quarter, we like to pull out some of the findings we deem most interesting. Here they are for the most recent report:

    Most Important Reasons to Buy a Home

    When we talk about homeownership today, it seems that the financial aspects always jump to the front of the discussion. However, the study shows that the four major reasons a person buys a home have nothing to do with money. The top four reasons, in order, are:

    • It means having a good place to raise children and provide them with a good education
    • You have a physical structure where you and your family feel safe
    • It allows you to have more space for your family
    • It gives you control of what you do with your living space (renovations and updates)

    The Home as an Investment

    Though most people purchase a home for non-financial reasons, everyone realizes there is a money component to homeownership. Here is what they said on this issue:

    • 65% of the general population (and 67% of homeowners) believe that homeownership is a ‘safe’ investment.
    • 56% believe that homeownership has more potential as an investment than any other traditional asset class.
    • 69% think that now is a good time to buy a home (this number has increased in each of the last two quarters)

    Rent vs. Buy

    We are always interested in the difference people see in renting vs. owning.

    • 63% of renters have aspirations to someday own their own home
    • 72% of renters think that owning is superior to renting
    • 95% of homeowners see homeownership as a positive experience (4% see it as a negative experience) while 82% of renters see renting as a positive experience (17% see it as a negative experience)
    • 96% of homeowners live in a single family residence while 46% of renters live in a multi-unit building

    Bottom Line

    Even in difficult times, Americans still realize the value of homeownership.

    The decision to buy a home is a personal one. There is  a lot that goes into making that step. If you have any questions about the process involved, or the market conditions, or you just need to talk to someone who knows, do not hesitate to give us a call or email us at REquestions@erataylor.com. We are always there for you!

    Statistics from National Housing Survey compiled by The KCM Crew on August 15, 2011. 

  • Do you REALLY want to sell your home?

    "Leaving Room for Negotiation" is something many sellers like to do when listing their home for sale.  That "strategy” is a BIG mistake if they are serious in selling their home. The trap of price reduction after price reduction to try to catch up with this changing market results in many negative consequences for the seller. For instance, it limits the number of potential buyers, reduces showings, and allows for potential buyers to "wait it out" ... until the seller reduces the price again.

    According to Trulia.com, U.S. home sellers, over the past year, whose homes were listed on various websites and syndicated to Trulia.com, ended up reducing their listing sales price after 79 days on the market, cutting their original list price by 8% and 35% of the time, those sellers made a second price reduction.

    Most Buyers will look at 10-15 homes before making a buying decision. The importance of  the Seller setting a competitive price relative to competition at the beginning of the listing term, is essential to a successful marketing strategy and reaching the seller's  goal...getting your home SOLD.

    Working with a Realtor who understands the current market condition and has a systemized marketing program to help price your home correctly and evaluate the price of your home on a regular basis is the key that any serious seller needs to have  to lock the revolving door of the downward spiral of constant price reduction.

    To better understand a customized marketing plan for sellers click the link below.

    http://www.erataylorrealtygroup.com/Selling_Your_Home/page_2082534.html

     

  • Free Mobile Application For Finding Your New Home or Investment Property

    Well, instant information on Real Estate has just gotten easier! Right from your phone at any time, you can find out about homes that are listed in Connecticuit, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts!

    My personalized mobile app will help you find any homes in those three states that are listed on their Multiple Listing Systems.

    I can send you this free service if you have a Smart Phone, by entering your cell number into my phone, and sending you the app directly.  If you want any information further information on the property or would like to set up an appointment to see it, you can call us directly by pressing the "Call Broker" button through the application.

    Get Listings Right to your Smart Phone!

    If you don't have a smart phone, don't feel left out! You can always call us at 860-572-9400 and we will be ready to assist you with any information your seeking!

    Connecticut Multiple Listing Services, (CTMLS), Rhode Island Multiple Listing Service, (Statewide MLS), or Massachusetts, ( MLSPIN, H3MLS) is ready for you!  and so am I ...

    ALWAYS THERE FOR YOU!

    Camille Taylor

  • New Tax Law in CT - How does it affect you?

    Well, it passed!  The increase in Connecticut's Real Estate Conveyance Tax Rate. We knew it was coming. We, the Realtors,  fought hard to stop it, and we will continue to do so, but as of July 1, 2011 any seller  who is selling their home will have to pay a higher conveyance tax.

    What is a conveyance tax? ...it is a tax charged to any property owner  who is transferring or conveying their property to another person or entity. It means that the cost to sell your home or property has now increased.

    Why you may ask, when real estate has been so hard hit all over the state did Governor Malloy decide to increase the conveyance tax? I suspect the simplest answer is the state needs to close a very large deficit...but then it may be better if you ask him yourself.

    There are two seperate conveyance tax in this state: State and Municipal. 

    There are two exemptions: Homes with foreclosures sales conducted pursuant to a foreclosure by sale conducted by a court committee. And...

    Two new exemptions: Homes that transfer with a deed in lieu of foreclosure, and homes that are short sales  ( when the gross purchase price is insufficient to pay off mortgages, municipal tax liens, and liens for municipal services.

    The state conveyance tax has increased as stated below:

         For deeds, instruments, or writings that are currently subject to the state real estate conveyance tax at a rate of 0.5%, the rate increases to 0.75%.  

         For deeds, instruments, or writings that are currently subject to the state real estate conveyance tax at a rate of 1.0%, the rate increases to a rate of     1.25%

    For deeds, instruments or writings conveying residential estates in excess of $800,000, the state real estate conveyance  tax rate increased from 0.5% to 0.75% on that portion of the consideration up to and including $800,000 and the state real estate conveyance tax rate increases from 1.0% to 1.25% on the portion of the consideration exceeding $800,000.

    The Municipal Real Estate Conveyance Tax  remains at the same rate of .25%, unless it is in a "targeted community" which allows the municipality to charge double the rate to 0.5%. Those Eastern Connecticut communities that have adopted the increased tax are: Groton, New London, Norwich, Windham.

    If you have any fuerther questions about this tax or the application of it, Call your closing attorney or any Real Estate attorney.

  • Mortgage Compliance Beware!

    Your almost done with your Real Estate Transaction, just finishing the final paperwork and then BAM! An issue arises right after your home inspection. The paint on the home you are buying or selling is "defective", whatever that means.  Instantly, one of the largest transactions you'll make in your life, which was going smoothly until now, does not comply with the strict FHA & VA Mortgage Requirements. It is the  FHA/VA appraiser's subjective take on what will classify as "defective" paint. It is not just peeling paint, which is easy to define, it is "defective".

     

    This nightmare can be avoided or at least be prepared for if you are selling your home by making sure your Listing Agent informs you ahead of time which property condition issues that a potential buyer who is obtaining a VA or FHA loan needs to adhere to.  It is also a good idea to have the Listing Agent informs any potential Buyer's agent via the MLS (Multiple Listing System) sheet that "this house may not qualify for VA or FHA loans" .

     

    If you as the seller are able to address and correct the peeling paint, i.e have it repainted or sided, it is better for you to do so before listing it or during the initial listing period because most loans in today's market that are affordable and easier to obtain, are  FHA/ VA . Besides, it increases abiloiuty to be sold quicker for a higher price.

     

    If you are a Buyer, make sure that your agent is familiar with VA and FHA requirements and  informs you of what they are prior to showing you any homes so that if you are unable to remedy any of the paint issues, you will not put money out for home inspections, appraisal fees,etc when more than likely the home will not pass a VA/ FHA appraisal without conditions to remedy the defective paint. There are other property condition requirements like condition of roof, and safety issues like proper hand rails that you also need to be aware of. 

     

    If you need to know more information feel free to email me. camille.taylor@erataylor.com   Camille Taylor, Broker/Owner of ERA Taylor Realty Group

  • Single Story For Rent/Lease in Mystic - Stonington

    Exterior

    • 1,336 sq. ft., 1 bath, 3 bdrm single story - MLS® $1,500 USD Monthly

     -  Great home! Move right in. Freshly painted. Newer appliances.


    95 North to Exit 90 Downtown Mystic/Seaport. Bear Right onto Greenmanville Avenue. Left onto Rossie Street.

    95 South to Exit 90 Downtown Mystic/Seaport. Turn Left onto Greenmanville Avenue. Left onto Rossie Street.

    Property information

  • Other For Sale in Mystic

    Side View

    • 806 sq. ft., 1 bath, 2 bdrm other - MLS® $57,000

     -  Lot Rent $435.00 a month. Subject to Buyer's Credit Check approval by Murphy's Property Management. New shutters. Lawn maintained by owner. Mobile Home skirted and leveled by JJ Mobile Home Services. Hot and cold water pipes insulated. Deck restained. Hot Water Tank 3 years old.
    Move right into this great property right along the Mystic River!
    Walk to Restaurants, parks, shopping, and movies!

    Directions: 95 North, take Exit 90. Take Left at end of exit ramp onto Rte. 27. Take Left onto Michelle Lane. Take Left onto Fair Acres Circle. Located on Left side.

    95 South, take Right off Exit onto Rte. 27. Take Left onto Michelle Lane. Take Left onto Fair Acres circle. Located on Left.

    Property information

  • 3 Story For Sale in Gales Ferry

    Front View #1

    • 2,203 sq. ft., 2 bath, 3 bdrm 3 story - MLS® $225,000

     -  Spacious home with three finished levels. Large Master Bedroom Suite. Fully applianced Kitchen with center island and granite counter tops. Sunken Family Room off Kitchen and opens to side yard. Large Living Room with woodburning fireplace.

    From Rte 12 North, turn Right onto Long Cove Road. Go .5 miles. The home will be on the right.

    Property information

  • Single Story For Rent/Lease in Mystic

    Exterior Front 1

    • 811 sq. ft. single story - MLS® $1,200 USD Monthly

     -  Unit F-2. Small office space. Great Opportunity, small office building, easy access to I95, great location with plenty of local traffic. Great space for Dance Studio, Book Store, Retail, Landscaping, Lawn and Garden, and many more permitted uses!

    Property information

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