Real Estate Information Archive


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Foreclosure Questions? Tips for avoiding loosing your home.

by The Mike Parker Team

Having a hard time making those mortgage payments and are you fearing foreclosure in your future?  Here are some helpful tips to try to avoid foreclosure.

1.  Do not ignore the problem - it won't go away if you put it out of your mind.  The more you become behind on your loan, the harder it will be to reininstate the loan and the more likely it will be you will loose your house.

2. Contact your lender as soon as you realize that you have a problem.

Believe it or not but Lenders do not want your house. They have options to help borrowers through difficult financial times.  Don't hesitate giving them a call.  

3. Open and respond to all mail from your lender immediately.

The first notices you receive will offer good information about foreclosure prevention options that can help you withstand your financial problems.  Some mail may include important notice of pending legal action.  Telling a judge in foreclosure court that you didn't open your mail won't be a good excuse.

4. Know your mortgage rights.

Read your loan documents so you know what your lender can do if you can't make your payments.  Learn about the foreclosure laws and timeframes in your state (every state is different) by contacting your State Government Housing Office.  

5.  Contact a HUD-approved housing counselor.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds free or very low cost housing counseling throughout the country.  These counselors can help you understand the law and your options, organize your finances and represent you in negotiations with your lender if you need help. Find a HUD-approved housing counselor near you or call (800) 569-4287.

6. Prioritize your spending.

After your healthcare, keeping your home should be your first priority.  Review your finances and see where you can cut spending in order to make your mortgage payment.  Look for optional expenses-cable TV, gym memberships, entertainment, anything that you can eliminate.

7. Use your assets.  

Do you have assets-a second car, jewelry, that you can sell for cash to help reinstate your loan? Can anyone in your household get an extra job to bring in that needed extra income?  Even if these efforts don't significantly increase your income, they proove to your lender that you are willing to do what it takes in order to keep your home.  

8. Avoid foreclosure prevention companies.

You don't need to pay fees for foreclosure prevention help-use that money to pay the mortgage. Many for-profit companies will contact you promising to negotiate with your lender.  These may be legitimate businesses, but they may charge you a hefty fee for information and services your lender or a HUD approved housing counselor will provide free if you contact them.

Don't wait to recieve that dreaded letter from your lender.  If you are having financial difficulty and are unable to make your mortgage payment, contact a HUD Approved counselor today!!!

Do you need to speak to a real estate professional about further foreclosure questions?  Contact Mike Parker/HUFF Realty via email at or phone 859-647-0700.  The Mike Parker Team would be glad to answer any questions we can.

Want to Go Green at Home? Try These Tips...

by The Mike Parker Team

Try some of these tips in your home for going green.

  • A flat panel LCD TV uses a third less of the electricity of the tube based models, and with the digital switch in the near future, getting a LCD makes even more sense.
  • Use paints low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  They are safer than the latex-based enamel.
  • Use low flow toilets - they deliver more flush power and use less water.
  • Install a solar hot water system and you can stand in the hot shower all day long.
  • Install birdhouses around the yard.  Great for your feathered friends who like to dine on beetles and grubs - then you won't have to rely on pesticide.
  • Recycle newspapers and other items whenever it's possible.  Reuse your plastic bags at least once or elimate them all together.
  • Unplus your electronics when you aren't using them.  This can use up to 20% of power when they aren't even plugged in!!
  • Use energy efficient utilities such as a furnace, air conditioner, dishwasher and water heater.
  • Use compace flourescent light bulbs.
  • Use caulk and weather stripping to insulate your home.
  • Start your own garden.
  • Take up composting.  Pick a spot that is out of the way in your yard - throw in coffee grounds, eggshells, spoiled vegetables and other leftovers, mix them with dirt and once a week turn everything over with a shovel.  Not only will you help the environment, you'll create rich soil for your garden that you've started!!
  • Try to avoid aerosols - they can't be recycled and also contribute to air pollution.

These are just a few things that can help you help the environment and it can save you money too!!!!

Senate OKs $15,000 Tax Break For Homeowners

by Jill Kuchle

The Senate voted Wednesday night to give a tax break of up to $15,000 to homebuyers in hopes of revitalizing the housing industry.  The proposal would allow a tax credit of 10 percent of the value of new or existing residences, up to a $15,000 limit. Current law provides for a $7,500 tax break but only for first-time homebuyers.

Democrats readily agreed to the proposal, although it may be changed or even deleted as the stimulus measure makes its way through Congress over the next 10 days or so.

Here is what we know so far:

  •  Amount of the tax credit would be $15,000 or 10 percent of the purchase price, whichever is less
  •  Purchases must be made within one year of the legislation's enactment
  •  The tax credit would not have to be repaid
  •  The amendment would allow taxpayers to claim the credit on their 2008   income tax return
  •  Only purchases of a principal residence
  •  Recapturing the credit if the home is sold within two years of purchase
  •  Would sunset the current $7,500 housing tax credit on the date of enactment.

This is a bright spot in the real estate industry.  We'll keep you posted as we find out more information on this exciting news.

The Five Big Mistakes Overanxious Homeowners Make

by Jill Kuchle

I am a big fan of the TODAY show and often they have real estate expert Barbara Corcoran on to talk about real estate.  Recently she wrote this article about the Five Big Mistakes Overanxious Homeowners Make and I just had to share it with's right on!!! Check out the video from the TODAY show as well.  It's very informative.

So, you need to get rid of your house and you need to do it quick. Perhaps you have an adjustable rate loan that is about to skyrocket, or maybe you just got a job in another city. Whatever the reason, don't panic. This may not seem like the best time to dump your house, but if you follow my advice, it's possible.

Below are the five biggest mistakes struggling homeowners make when selling their home. I'll also show you some foolproof home-selling tactics that will get you the highest sticker price for your house.

The five big mistakes overanxious homeowners make

Making small price reductions again and again
Nothing smacks of desperation more than incremental price drops. The longer a property is on the market, the more jaded the buyers become. The more times the price is cut, the staler the offering appears. Buyers reason that a lot of people must have seen it and that a lot of people must have rejected it. And if that is the case, then why even bother to consider it?

Instead, slash the price. Find out what your house is worth by looking at similar properties in the neighborhood and price it 10% below them. The most enticing houses on the market are the newest and the cheapest. If you can be both, you'll offload yours in no time at all.

Hiring the wrong broker
There are many ways of finding a good broker. Personal recommendations from friends and colleagues are often the best way to go. If someone outside the real estate business with nothing to gain is bringing up a broker, you can be pretty sure you're on to a winner. The best brokers -  the top 10 percent -  do 90 percent of all the business. So don't get stuck with a lemon. You want someone with enthusiasm and drive, someone who will give you the attention you need and steer you through the whole messy process with courtesy and professionalism.

Waiting it out
If you decide to wait, you are joining the thousands of other homeowners who have also decided to wait. When a few decide it's time to take the plunge, you are already too late. If you need/want to sell now, then sell now. There will never be a better time.


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Photo of Mike Parker - CRS Real Estate
Mike Parker - CRS
HUFF Realty
60 Cavalier Blvd.
Florence KY 41042