Over the last decade several states, including Florida, have been the center of the real estate boom…and bust. Short sales and bank owned foreclosures dominate the news in south Florida real estate. How did we get here? Where are we going from here?

In this video clip from The Daily Show, Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren gives her explanation.

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No matter what you think of the real estate market in Florida over the next decade one thing is certain. The sun will always be shining, the water will always be blue, and people will continue to move to Florida.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Beach County area, specifically Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and West Palm Beach, please visit my Forbes Realty website. For frequently updated information on foreclosures, short sales, real estate news and market conditions visit my South Florida Real Estate Report blog. There are many free reports as well as free access to MLS listed properties. You can also call 561-337-4810.

Rodney Forbes is a licensed Realtor®, certified short sale/REO specialist and broker for Forbes Realty of South Florida Inc. Rodney has co-authored the book “Should I Short Sale My Home?”. Get your FREE copy at www.SouthFloridaRealEstateReport.com

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Just when you thought the real estate market in the West Palm Beach area has turned the corner the FHA sets new tougher loan guidelines for borrowers. With the First Time Home Buyer Program set to expire this year and interest rates sure to increase in the future, the time to buy is now if you’re looking.

1) New MUCH tighter FHA Lending  Standards. The FHA has become the lender of last resort over the last few years…and now, they are going to start turning down more borrowers.

2) FHA trying to fight rising mortgage defaults.

3) Premium to 2.5%. Meaning, more money down from the borrower….unless the get the seller to contribute to their closing costs…

4) The seller can only contribute 3% of the sales price to the buyers closing costs…vs 6%.

5) Downpayment requirements…3.5% with 580 FICO and above

6) Less than a 580 credit score? 10% down. However, when you watch this CNBC video you will hear directly from the FHA commissioner on the fact that very few borrowers with low scores will get a FHA loan.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Beach County area, specifically Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and West Palm Beach, please visit my Forbes Realty website. For frequently updated information on foreclosures, short sales, real estate news and market conditions visit my South Florida Real Estate Report blog. There are many free reports as well as free access to MLS listed properties. You can also call 561-337-4810.

Rodney Forbes is a licensed Realtor®, certified short sale/REO specialist and broker for Forbes Realty of South Florida Inc. Rodney has co-authored the book “Should I Short Sale My Home?”. Get your FREE copy at www.SouthFloridaRealEstateReport.com

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Short Sale Success Story in Boynton Beach Florida

by Rodney Forbes on January 12, 2010

Here is a great video testimonial for Rodney Forbes and Forbes Realty of South Florida from a very happy short sale client.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Beach County area, specifically Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and West Palm Beach, please visit my Forbes Realty website. For frequently updated information on foreclosures, short sales, real estate news and market conditions visit my South Florida Real Estate Report blog. There are many free reports as well as free access to MLS listed properties. You can also call 561-337-4810.

Rodney Forbes is a licensed Realtor®, certified short sale/REO specialist and broker for Forbes Realty of South Florida Inc. Rodney has been interviewed by CNBC for his expertise in short sales and  has co-authored the book “Should I Short Sale My Home?”. Get your FREE copy at www.SouthFloridaRealEstateReport.com

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Best Christmas Lights Display in Jupiter Florida

by Rodney Forbes on December 22, 2009

One of our family’s most enjoyable holiday traditions is to drive around town and look for decorated homes and neighborhoods. One of the best anywhere is the Jupiter Heights subdivision in Jupiter Florida.

It can take you an hour or two just to drive through this neighborhood and see all the decorated homes. So take some coffee, sweets and your favorite Christmas music and enjoy the decorated homes in this area.

Below is a map of the neighborhood. Take I-95 north. Exit Donald Ross Blvd. east in Jupiter. Take the first left (Heights Blvd) and drive until you start seeing the displays.

If there are any other great holiday lights displays in the area, please list them in the comments section for others to find.

Happy Holidays!

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Beware of Mortgage Rate Hike Early Next Year

by Rodney Forbes on December 17, 2009

If you’ve been thinking of taking advantage of low real real estate prices, Home Buyer Tax Credits and low mortgage rates, you may want to make a move. Lock in low 30 year mortgage rates while you can. The following excerpt from The Mortgage Reports indicates mortgage rates may be ready to rise soon.

Since March, the Fed has used its statements to say that the economy is growing, but remains threatened by job loss and lack of consumer spending. This is a major reasons why mortgage rates are still so low. Growth has been tempered by dour attitudes and the Fed knows it.

But then last month happened.

        Net job gains were nearly positive and much better-than-expected
        Retail Sales for November posted much higher-than-expected
        Consumer Confidence numbers rebounded strongly
The Fed’s chosen “3 main threats to growth”, it seems, are now showing signs of rebirth. Rate shoppers should hope the Fed glosses over these facts because if its makes mention of the points in its press release, mortgage rates will jump.

Even if the Fed Funds Rate is unchanged.

Since 2000, the spread between the Fed Funds Rate and the 30-year fixed rate mortgage has been as narrow as 1 percent and as wide as 5 percent. In 1973-74 and again in 1980-81, the spread actually went negative; mortgage rates were below the FFR.

So, all of this to say: Don’t expect mortgage rates to remain unchanged just because the Fed Funds Rate is unchanged. The two don’t move in tandem. Rather, mortgage rates react to the Fed’s words and that’s why the Fed’s post-meeting press release is so important.

If the Fed shows optimism for the economy in its statement, mortgage rates will rise. If the Fed shows pessimism, mortgage rates will fall. Either way, be on alert.

Courtesy of Dan Green

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Beach County area, specifically Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and West Palm Beach, please visit my Forbes Realty website. For frequently updated information on foreclosures, short sales, real estate news and market conditions visit my South Florida Real Estate Report blog. There are many free reports as well as free access to MLS listed properties. You can also call 561-337-4810.

Rodney Forbes is a licensed Realtor®, certified short sale/REO specialist and broker for Forbes Realty of South Florida Inc. Rodney has co-authored the book “Should I Short Sale My Home?”. Get your FREE copy at www.SouthFloridaRealEstateReport.com

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My Personal Mentor Jim Rohn Passes Away

by Rodney Forbes on December 9, 2009

YouTube Preview ImageIt’s ironic that this past week has been filled with news of who Tiger Woods did or didn’t sleep with over the last few years. Tiger has been called the ultimate role model by many. With women coming forward one after the other with news of secret relationships with Tiger, the passing of one of the most influential people of modern American history almost went unnoticed.

Jim Rohn, my personal business mentor, and to tens of thousands of others, quietly passed away this past week. Mr. Rohn has been called one of the most important business philosophers of our age, a modern day Will Rogers. The people who have been influenced by the teachings of Mr. Rohn include Anthony Robbins, Mark Victor Hansen, Harvey McKay Les Brown, Dennis Waitley and many, many more.

Over the past half century Jim has lectured all over the world to millions of people about personal development, goals, financial independence, faith and family. My first introduction to his teachings was a cassette series called “The Challenge to Succeed”. It has been the blueprint of my life for the past decade and I owe everything I have become to the lessons from that first course.

If you’ve never heard of Jim Rohn I encourage you to visit the Jim Rohn Tribute page.

by Rodney Forbes

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MannheimNothing says modern Christmas music quite like the sound of Mannheim Steamroller. The group is going to be in West Palm Beach at the Kravis Center on Saturday December 12th for it’s Christmas Tour.

Get into the holiday spirit by going to see this awesome group. Click here for more information on tickets.

By: Rodney Forbes

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Banks Finally Making Progress with Short Sales

by Rodney Forbes on December 8, 2009

If 2009 will be known as the year of the bank merger, 2010 may well be known as the year of the short sale. Now that banks are emerging from the rubble of the real estate and banking meltdown, they’re finally starting to get serious about getting rid of their foreclosures and approving short sales.

‘Pick a Pay Loans’

Wells Fargo is focusing on delinquent borrowers in Florida and California homeowners with “Pick-a-Pay” loans originated by Wachovia Corp., Blume said. Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia in December 2008 and owns the “Pick-a-Pay” loans outright, said J.K. Huey, the bank’s senior vice president overseeing short sales and bank-owned properties. That allows the company to approve a short sale without consulting investors or parties that can hold up transactions.

“Pick-a-Pay” mortgages have among the highest rates of negative equity, because borrowers could select their monthly payments, often paying less than the interest, with the difference added to the principal. That formula means that total loan debt was increasing at a time property values were falling.

Wells Fargo held $87.8 billion of such loans as of Sept. 30, down $7.5 billion from the end of last year. Wells Fargo Chief Financial Officer Howard Atkins said on an Oct. 21 earnings call that the bank is reducing the number of loans with “negative amortization potential.” As of the end of the third quarter, 26 percent of the loans in that portfolio now have minimum monthly payments that fully cover the interest due so that the total principal does not grow, up from 16 percent at the end of last year.

As of Sept. 30, Wells Fargo had modified 43,500, or 22 percent, of the distressed loans to reduce borrowers’ payments, Atkins said.

Reaching Out

JPMorgan doubled the number of staff trained to handle short sales after adding 5,000 people since Jan. 1 to deal with distressed mortgages, said Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for the New York-based bank’s home lending division.

Chase services 10.3 million mortgages worth $1.4 trillion, according to Kelly. Of its portfolio, Chase reported 422,000 loans more than 60 days delinquent, about one third of which were in loan modification programs, according to a Nov. 10 Treasury Department report on the Obama administration’s Making Home Affordable Program.

“We’re reaching out to people who are struggling with the Obama loan modifications or our own,” Kelly said. “Approaching customers is a very recent phenomenon.”

Bank of America, the nation’s largest loan servicer, had one of the lowest loan modification rates, with 14 percent of problem loans in trial workout plans as of Oct. 31, according to the Obama Administration.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank started a “cooperative short sales” program in October and may close its first short sale through the program this month, said Dave Sunlin, senior vice president for foreclosure and real estate management.

Pay-Option Mortgages

Many are borrowers with pay-option adjustable-rate mortgages issued by Countrywide Financial Corp., Sunlin said. BofA bought Countrywide, once the nation’s largest mortgage originator, for $4 billion in stock in 2008.

Short sales benefit a neighborhood because they clear out stagnant properties that may have an adverse effect on values, said Sean Shallis, a senior real estate strategist with Weichert Realtors in Hoboken, New Jersey. Shallis has one home with bank approval for a short sale and three others waiting approval on the same street in Jersey City with views of the Manhattan skyline.

“In every case we had multiple offers from people who had plenty of money to put down,” Shallis said. “Americans are out there still buying homes and trying to move it along.”

Cutting Losses

Short sales also help the bank, because foreclosed properties lose more value when they are vacant or a homeowner vandalizes a house on the way out, Sunlin said.

“We typically expect a 10 to 15 percent decrease of loss severity with a short sale,” Sunlin said.

Thanks to: Tim Harris

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Beach County area, specifically Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and West Palm Beach, please visit my Forbes Realty website. For frequently updated information on foreclosures, short sales, real estate news and market conditions visit my South Florida Real Estate Report blog. There are many free reports as well as free access to MLS listed properties. You can also call 561-337-4810.

Rodney Forbes is a licensed Realtor®, certified short sale/REO specialist and broker for Forbes Realty of South Florida Inc. Rodney has co-authored the book “Should I Short Sale My Home?”. Get your FREE copy at www.SouthFloridaRealEstateReport.com

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Help for West Palm Beach Homeowners in Distress

by Rodney Forbes on December 7, 2009

The following video from Diana Olick at CNBC’s Realty Check has some positive news for Palm Beach County homeowners in distress.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Beach County area, specifically Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and West Palm Beach, please visit my Forbes Realty website. For frequently updated information on foreclosures, short sales, real estate news and market conditions visit my South Florida Real Estate Report blog. There are many free reports as well as free access to MLS listed properties. You can also call 561-337-4810.

Rodney Forbes is a licensed Realtor®, certified short sale/REO specialist and broker for Forbes Realty of South Florida Inc. Rodney has co-authored the book “Should I Short Sale My Home?”. Get your FREE copy at www.SouthFloridaRealEstateReport.com

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Here is the latest news from the Treasury Department regarding streamlined procedures for homeowners in distress, whether it be a loan modification or a short sale.

Separately on Monday, Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) kicked off a program intended to help convert as many of the 375,000 borrowers who have received trial loan modifications into permanent ones (see story).

In order to “hold (loan) servicers accountable for their commitment to the program,” they will be required to submit schedules for making a decision on each HAMP-eligible loan. Servicers failing to meet performance obligations under a servicer participation agreement may be subject to monetary penalties and sanctions, the Treasury Department said in announcing that initiative.

The initiative also offers new Web tools for borrowers, including links to all of the required documents and an income verification checklist to help borrowers request a modification in four easy steps.

Some economists and housing analysts have warned that lenders’ foreclosure prevention efforts aren’t keeping pace with deteriorating loan performance.

An industry coalition of mortgage servicers and investors, HOPE NOW, says its members have provided 2.1 million loan workouts in the first eight months of 2009. While nearly half of homeowners entering the foreclosure process in in 2007 ended up losing their homes, only about one in three do today, the group said.

But the number of homes in foreclosure or headed there continues to grow. A record 14.1 percent of homes with mortgages were at least one payment behind or in foreclosure at the end of September, according to the latest numbers from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Nearly one in 10 loans outstanding on one- to four-unit residential properties — a seasonally adjusted 9.64 percent — were delinquent, up from 9.24 percent at the end of June and 6.99 percent a year ago.

Another 4.47 percent of outstanding loans were in the foreclosure process, up from 4.3 percent at the end of June and 2.97 percent a year ago.

MBA Chief Economist Jay Brinkmann said delinquencies and foreclosures continue to rise despite the recession having ended in mid-summer, “because mortgages are paid with paychecks, not percentage-point increases in (gross domestic product),” and unemployment remains high.

Over the last year, the ranks of the unemployed have increased by about 5.5 million people, Brinkmann said, increasing the number of seriously delinquent loans by almost 2 million.

Prime, fixed-rate loans accounted for the largest share of foreclosures starts and were the biggest driver of the increase in foreclosures, Brinkmann said. One in three foreclosures started in the third quarter were on prime fixed-rate loans, and those loans accounted for 44 percent of the quarterly increase in foreclosures, he said.

The foreclosure numbers for prime fixed-rate loans will get worse, he said, because they also represent most of the recent increase in loans 90 days or more past due, but not yet in foreclosure.

Click here to see how Forbes Realty of South Florida can sell your home quickly and at no cost to you if you’re in a distress situation.

More than 4 million loans were in foreclosure at the end of September or “seriously delinquent” — more than 90 days past due, the MBA said. That’s slightly more than the total number of homes currently on the market, although there’s some overlap between the numbers.

Brinkmann said he expects delinquency and foreclosure rates will continue to worsen before they improve. It’s unlikely the economy will begin adding jobs until sometime next year, he said, and then only at a very slow pace.

When the economy does begin to add more jobs, those jobs probably won’t be in regions of the country with the biggest excess housing inventory and the highest delinquency rates, Brinkmann said.

Source: TimandJulieHarris.com

The south Florida real estate market has been one of the hardest hit during the real estate downturn. If you’re upside down on your home, behind on payments or have experienced other hardship, don’t let your home go to foreclosure. There are many alternatives available to you at Forbes Realty of South Florida.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Beach County area, specifically Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and West Palm Beach, please visit my Forbes Realty website. For frequently updated information on foreclosures, short sales, real estate news and market conditions visit my South Florida Real Estate Report blog. There are many free reports as well as free access to MLS listed properties. You can also call 561-337-4810.

Rodney Forbes is a licensed Realtor®, certified short sale/REO specialist and broker for Forbes Realty of South Florida Inc. Rodney has co-authored the book “Should I Short Sale My Home?”. Get your FREE copy at www.SouthFloridaRealEstateReport.com

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