Archives for August 2012

New Short Sale guidelines, Fall 2012

Do you owe more on your home than your home is worth in the Cedar Rapids area market? Even if you haven’t defaulted on your mortgage, this is still a possibility. If your home is upside down, selling and paying off the mortgage could be a real shock come closing day, but perhaps you could benefit from a short sale from your lender. November 1, 2012 the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will give Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a few new guidelines, all in the name of expediting the short sale process. Have you heard how long a short sale can take? This change is huge! According to the … [Read more...]

Despite drought, Midwest farmland values still up in second quarter

So even with all of this terribly hot, dry weather we have had all summer, farmland values are still trending upwards. Granted, the increases aren’t as high as usual, but still increases nonetheless! According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s AgLetter, Midwest farmland values for the second quarter of 2012 are up 15 percent from last year, and one percent from the first quarter. Iowa has shown the largest increase with an increase of two percent from the first quarter and 24 percent from last year. Without a doubt (or should I say, “without a drought?”) Iowa farmland is some of the … [Read more...]

Iowa: one of the least expensive states for closing costs

According to MSN Real Estate, Iowa is the 4th cheapest state in terms of closing costs. You can expect to pay about $1,547 in bank origination fees; $1,710 in third-party fees, appraisals, and title insurance; for  $3,257 in approximate closing costs. But for fun let’s compare that to something in New York: $1,183 in bank origination fees; $3,622 in third-party fees, appraisals, and title insurance; totaling $5,435 in closing costs. That’s a difference of over $3,700!!  This is all the more reason to purchase your home in Cedar Rapids or the surrounding communities! Here is a break down of the … [Read more...]

This summer’s drought could really cost you

  I read an interesting article in the Des Moines Register the other day. I recently posted about a drought mitigation webinar being conducted by the Iowa State University Extension office, but farmers are not the only ones impacted by one of the hottest, driest summers in decades. In fact, all homeowners have cause for concern. As the soil dries out, it contracts, pulling away from the foundations of homes and buildings. Cracks that were seemingly innocuous months before are suddenly more noticeable and concerning. Windows and doors may jam as the foundations settle, and in some … [Read more...]

5-year Extension for National Flood Insurance Program

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has been reauthorized for five years as part of the Surface Transportation Bill signed by the President on July 6, 2012. Until this point, the NFIP has been kept going by stopgap extensions since 2008. One lapse back in June of 2010 stalled more than 40,000 home sales! There are 21,000 communities in the United States where flood insurance is REQUIRED for a mortgage, so this five year extension will bring about some much needed certainty to real estate transactions. Besides being extended for five years, here is the bottom line on the impact the … [Read more...]