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Paying More Than Appraised Value For Your New Miami Home

I am seeing it more and more these days…folks are paying more than appraised value when buying a home in Miami.  It’s happening in Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, Kendall, South Miami, High Pines, Ponce Davis, well, let’s just say it’s happening in all of Miami-Dade County.

One thing first time home buyers think is “well, the home’s got to appraise, right?”  Armed with this thought, they don’t think twice about assuming that if a home seller is asking too much for his home, he’s going to have to come down in price when the appraisal is done.  Right?  Well, not always!  Depending on whether the home has some really good features, and most importantly, no competition as far as other available properties, the seller may be able to hold out and get more than his home actually appraises for.

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Spoken by Maggie Dokic | Discussion: No Comments »

Buying a House Now Makes Sense

Buying a home in Miami today just makes sense. The special combination of low prices plus really low interest rates means you save on both counts. Mortgage rates are the lowest they have ever been since they started keeping track. Did you get that? The lowest. And home prices are back to what they were 10 years ago in many areas.  Anyone able to take advantage of this will look back in 10 years and pat themselves on the back.

People are always asking me “are banks lending money these days?”  They’re always surprised when I answer with a resounding, “YES!”  Here’s the deal, they’re lending money to people who can prove that they are creditworthy.  That means the person must have verifiable employment (those stated income loans are long gone, thankfully), a good credit score and history plus some funds to put down and reserves left over.

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Spoken by Maggie Dokic | Discussion: No Comments »

Miami Homes -Paying Tomorrow’s Prices Today

I had a lovely conversation with a Miami home buyer the other day. I was helping him sort through relevant market data so he could place an offer on a townhome. I didn’t want him to pay more than he had to. I also wanted him to understand that he wasn’t going to pay less than the market data said the home was worth.

I boiled it up by stating, “I don’t want you to pay yesterday’s prices (which were higher), but you can’t expect to pay..” before I could finish, he chimed in and finished it for me… “tomorrow’s prices either.” Eureka! We laughed. I realized he understood perfectly what I was referring to. I love it when my point gets across and makes sense instead of garnering a glassy-eyed look.

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Spoken by Maggie Dokic | Discussion: 2 Comments »

Housing Stimulus Bill Summary

I’m going to catch some slack from my blogging colleagues on this one. That’s because I’m reprinting an article in it’s entirety. What a faux pas! But for time’s sake, I opted for that this time. This issue is too important and I don’t have the time for a full-fledged analysis of it but still want to make my readers aware of what’s going on. I do hope to blog soon about the fact that this bill ELIMINATES in it’s entirety down payment assistance programs and I don’t agree with the change. But for now, without further ado, I present you the National Association of REALTORS®’ take on the Housing Stimulus bill:

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Spoken by Maggie Dokic | Discussion: 4 Comments »

Mortgage Fraud in Dade County Revisited

Mortgage FraudI am not going to make this one long-winded. After yesterday’s news of 31 arrests by the feds in a mortgage scam ring that spanned from one of Florida’s coasts to the other, you would think people would start re-thinking their beliefs about what is right and what is not when it comes to mortgages.

Alas, this is not the case. I think the fact that this has happened so frequently in our area has otherwise law-abiding citizens thinking that certain things are perfectly fine to do, when in fact they are illegal.

As a real estate agent I am frequently asked “how much will the house appraise for?” Even the very first time I heard it I knew what was going to follow: a quick lesson on mortgage fraud from me.

Who is teaching our Miami-Dade residents out there to ask this question? Is there an infomercial guru pushing that a home which appraises for more than the sales price can be used to tap into the equity? Are there coffee buddies discussing this somewhere? Are Miami housewives talking about this at cousin Maritza’s baby shower?

I am asked this question more often than I would like. And it is always by someone who innocently enough thinks it is ok to get a larger mortgage than the sales price simply because the house appraises for more. It isn’t OK. In fact, it is illegal. Not only is it illegal, it is a federal offense, you know, the FBI?

I was asked this question again yesterday. I could tell from the conversation that followed that they had no idea. They simply wanted to be able to pay off some credit cards with the extra equity.

Let’s start spreading the word about this. Here’s today’s homework: a link to the FBI’s publication on mortgage fraud.

hmmmm…maybe I made this a little long-winded after all. Oh well, it’s not as if it’s not merited.

Spoken by Maggie Dokic | Discussion: No Comments »

Do You Not Understand Its Mortgage Fraud?

HandcuffsI like selling real estate in the Miami Redland. I’ve met some great people in my business. I’ve helped lots of folks and knowing I’ve done a good job is extremely satisfying to me.

Yesterday I didn’t like one of the people who contacted me. I was on my way to a meeting in Aventura and driving on I-95. I’m not that familiar with the area and was keeping an eye on the exits.

My phone rang and I answered, “Hello, this is Maggie!” The gentleman on the phone asked me about some homes in an area of Homestead. I told him that I didn’t have homes available specifically where he said but a little further away I have a development listed with 15 homes still available for sale and affordable.

He asked me for the prices and if there were any incentives. I answered all his questions and he said something about wanting “cash back.” I told him we were not offering cash back at closing. I went even further and told him it was mortgage fraud and illegal.

He said to let him worry about that. He asked me again for the prices. I repeated them. “What will they appraise at?” he asked me. OK, now I see he’s trying to skin the cat a different way. I know where he’s headed with this.

I tried really hard to not sound arrogant when I replied, “they will appraise at what they’re priced at. If they were to appraise higher, we would be selling them for more money.” Now this may seem like common sense, but I did understand where he was headed. He’s familiar with appraisals that come in, magically, at numbers that are inflated. These inflated appraisals are key in being able to commit mortgage fraud. I guess he thinks he knows my business better than I do.

Mr. Cash Back must have realized that my patience was wearing thin. He told me he’d call me back if he decided to look at these homes. I’m happy if he loses my phone number. The only orange I look good in is perhaps an orange scarf. An entire jumpsuit might be a bit much. Besides that, I worked hard for my license and am actually proud of it. I won’t be risking losing it anytime soon.

By the time I hung up I realized I had passed my exit by 5 miles. Dagnabit!

Spoken by Maggie Dokic | Discussion: 10 Comments »

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These articles are not intended to give legal or tax advice, and you should consult your attorney or financial advisor for additional information.

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