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Is it "Me", "Myself" or "I" ?

by Leslie Edwards

95% of the time when I hear someone use the word "myself" in a sentence, I cringe.  The word "myself" is rarely used correctly.  More often than not, the correct word is either "I" or "me". 

Below are two explanations of when to use "Me" "Myself" or "I"

"In the old days when people studied traditional grammar, we could simply say, "The first person singular pronoun is I when it's a subject and me when it's an object,' but now few people know what that means. [. . .] The misuse of I and myself for me is caused by nervousness about me. [. . .] But the notion that there is something wrong with me leads people to overcorrect and avoid it where it is perfectly appropriate. People will say, 'The document had to be signed by both Susan and I' when the correct statement would be, 'The document had to be signed by both Susan and me.'

Trying even harder to avoid the lowly me, many people will substitute myself as in 'The suspect uttered epithets at Officer O'Leary and myself.' Myself is no better than I as an object. Myself is not a sort of all-purpose intensive form of me or I . Use myself only when you have used I earlier in the same sentence: 'I am not particularly fond of goat cheese myself'" (Brian’s, Common Errors in English Usage).  *** I wanna be, all by myself. le

When do you use "me"?

The craziest rule of all, to my ear, is the rule that governs the use of "myself" and "me". Which of these *sounds* correct to you?

1. The Captain handed the medals to my partner and myself.

2. The Captain handed the medals to my partner and I.

3. The Captain handed the medals to my partner and me.

The correct version, of course, is the 3rd. The word "me" is always a direct or indirect object (never a subject) and "I" is *always* a subject--that much doesn't sound too far-fetched, and it rules out the 2nd example.

"Myself" is a special object (direct or indirect), to be used only when the subject is you (note I didn't write "...when the subject is yourself"). I can give a gift to *myself* since I am the one doing the giving. The Captain can never "give a gift to myself" since the subject is the Captain.

Part of the confusion comes from the two-part indirect object in the examples above ("my partner and me") but the same grammar rules apply whether or not the object is compounded.

leslie edwards, Realtor                                                                       770.460.9448                                                                                                        leslie@leslieedwards.com                                                                                          see all the listings at                                            www.SouthMetroAtlantaMLS.com                                                                     As a Certified Distressed Property Expert, I help families avoid foreclosure.  If someone you know can't pay their mortgage, ask them to call me.

 

Mortgage Interest Rates

by Leslie Edwards

Mortgage interest updates courtesy of Mark King, Fairfield Mortgage. For a quick response call Mark at 770.314.3991.

Email M.King@FairfieldMortgage.com

After reaching the lowest levels in decades, mortgage rates have shot higher over the past few weeks, but why?  The simplest explanation is that when investors look ahead, they see few reasons for mortgage rates to move lower and many possible causes for them to move higher.  To fully understand this explanation, though, it is important to understand the unusual developments during the month of November and to look at all of the factors influencing mortgage rates at this time.  

The story begins in late August when the Fed hinted that they would initiate a new stimulus program to purchase US Treasury securities, a process now famously known as quantitative easing.  The news of this stimulus program created a strong demand for bonds, including mortgage-backed securities (MBS), and mortgage rates fell lower.  Fast-forward to November 3rd when the Fed announced that they would indeed buy $600B. of US Treasury securities between now and the middle of 2011.  At that time, many predicted that rates would fall even lower during the winter months ahead.  A couple of days later, however, mortgage rates actually began to do the opposite and rose for the following four reasons:

1.  Foreign and domestic opposition to quantitative easing.  The announcement of the program was met with substantial opposition from other countries and from many US politicians and economists.  Investors had viewed the $600 billion figure as a first step which would likely be increased in the future.  It is clear now that the Fed will face strong resistance to an expansion of the program, in fact, this resistance could be strong enough to end the program early.  

2.  Stronger than expected economic data.  Stronger growth decreases the need for additional Fed stimulus, and it generally leads to higher inflation.  A few key reports released just after the Fed announcement caused investors to raise their outlook for economic growth.

3.  Concerns about lower foreign demand for US securities.  The quantitative easing program pumps dollars into the economy, and the increased supply weakens the value of the dollar relative to other currencies. When foreign investors sell US securities, they must convert the US dollars they receive into their own currency. If the value of the dollar falls, then the value of their US investment falls in relative terms to their own currency. As a result, foreign investors may reduce their purchases of US securities, including mortgage-backed securities (MBS), which would cause yields to increase.

4.  Rising foreign rates.  China's announcement of a rate hike was another negative for US mortgage rates.  Yields must rise in other markets to compete with higher yields in Chinese markets.

The recent news has not been uniformly negative for mortgage rates, however.  Current inflation levels remain extremely low.  In fact, the Consumer Price Index data released last week showed that annual core inflation dropped to a record low in October.  Bottom line, though, when mortgage rates reached such extremely low levels, it left them in a position to reverse direction very quickly, and that is what has happened in November.  December and January should be very interesting...

               

Understanding Appraisals    

If it’s too high, underwriters get nervous and get out their red pen.  If it’s too low, realtors get nervous and call their loan officer.  If it's right around the sales price, everyone's happy!  What is it?  The appraisal, of course!  An appraisal is a key component of the mortgage process.  It provides assurance to the lender that if the loan isn’t paid back, the lender could recoup any losses through the sale of the property.  Here are some key facts regarding this important piece of the loan approval process.

Appraisers are independent experts
Appraisers are beholden to no one.  They are independent third-parties hired by lenders to render an opinion on what a home is worth, based on specific data.  Recent guidelines put into place by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae prohibit anyone tied to the sales side of the mortgage process (loan officer, processor, etc) discussing the appraised valued with the appraiser.  Appraiser independence is a big deal in the mortgage world today and has forced many lenders to use impersonal national appraisal firms that are low on customer service.  At Fairfield Mortgage, however, we only use the best appraisers in Georgia that have been cherry-picked by county and are the very best in each given area.

Appraisers use data and experience
Appraisals are based on opinion, but that opinion is steeped in data that supports the conclusion.  A common practice for appraisers is to compare similar properties that are superior and inferior in features, size and condition to the subject property, making adjustments between them to support the final value.  This practice, called bracketing, would work like this.  A comparable property might have a fireplace whereas the subject property does not.  Or, the square footage might be greater in the subject property compared to the other comparable properties.  Appropriate positive or negative adjustments are made to the subject property's value accounting for differences in features (or lack of them), so the properties are compared as closely as possible.

Adjustments based on market and not cost
Some home remodeling projects will deliver a healthy return on the investment, but others do not.  A seller may have paid $30,000 to install a pool, but the current market is only willing to increase the price they’ll pay for that pool by $15,000.  Adjustments are based on what the market values the improvements, not the cost or opinion of the seller.

Appraisals are a snapshot.
As market conditions change, so will the appraised value of a home.  Appraisals capture the value at a specific point in time, but as we know, the housing market can change quickly.  Thus, the value of a home in the Fall of 2010 might be a lot different than the value of the same home in the Fall of 2009.  This is why appraisers are instructed to primarily look back only 3-6 months for data and appraisals are normally only good for four months.

The appraisal piece of the mortgage puzzle, is more complicated and controversial today than ever before.  That is why it is critical to work only with lenders that use an in-house appraisal desk and the very best in appraisers.  At Fairfield Mortgage, our appraisers always involve the realtors involved in the transaction before turning in a low appraisal.  They will always ask for more data because they want to turn in a value that works if at all possible.  Like everyone at Fairfield Mortgage, they are looking for ways to make deals work, not the opposite.  Experience the difference.  Experience Fairfield Mortgage!

Rate Update


Rates are up a bit in November but there is no doubt that we can all be thankful for the low rates of 2010, which continue to be at amazing levels!

 

 

 

Conforming

Non-Conforming

FHA

VA

Loan Amount

< $417,000

> $417,000

< $346,250

< $1,000,000

30 Year Fixed

4.375%

5.375%

4.375%

4.375%

15 Year Fixed

3.750%

 4.750%

4.000%

4.000%

10 Year ARM

 

 5.125%

   

5 Year ARM

3.250%

 3.500%

   

3 Year ARM

 

 3.375%

   




The above rates are for purchase loans for a primary residence and are intended to give you an overall idea of how rates are changing from week to week. Other factors such as credit score, down payment, and number of days the rate is locked all contribute to the exact rate, which is subject to change at any time and without notification. The Conforming rates above apply to purchase loan sizes $150,000 - $417,000 and carry zero discount points. Rates for lower loan amounts are slightly higher. Lower rates are also available for all programs with discount points.  Qualification is subject to credit and property approval and other restrictions may apply.




Looking Ahead

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, all of this week's economic reports are due out prior to Thursday.  Revisions to third quarter GDP and Existing Home Sales will be released today.  Durable Orders, New Home Sales, Personal Income, Consumer Sentiment, and the Fed Minutes from the November 3 meeting will come out on Wednesday.  The mortgage markets will be closed on Thursday and will close early on Friday.








Have a great week and when you think of financing, please think of Fairfield!

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How Long Will It Take To Sell My House?

by Leslie Edwards

To figure out how long it should take to sell a home, I use a formula that will calculate the absorption rate of each neighborhood. Knowing the correct absorption rate for the neighborhood will help the seller determine a realistic asking price for their home. 

The absorption rate formula is based on past sales, days on market, and the amount of houses currently for sale in the neighborhood/area. This information tells us how many months supply of inventory is presently on the market, and therefore provides us with information that indicates just how many months it may take to sell a particular home.  

A 6 month supply of inventory is telling us that it may take a full six months or more to sell the house. In addition, a 6 month supply is considered a balanced market, but anything over 6 months indicates there are too many houses and too few buyers, indicating it may take up to a year or more to sell the house.  

A seller whose house falls into the category of 6 months or more should be willing to position their house, in terms of price, condition, and incentives, in a way that will give them a distinct advantage over their competition.

 Sellers have different needs, motivations and desires which typically determines how aggressive they should be on their asking price.     In today's challenging real estate market, because sellers are in a price war and a beauty contest at the same time, it takes aggressive pricing and staging to show the home at it's best.                                                                                                                                                               If you would like to discuss the absorption rates for homes like yours, call or email me.  I want to be your real estate resource. 

 

leslie edwards                                                                                 Environmentally Aware, Socially Conscious, Politically Active, Real Estate Agent                                                                                         770.460.9448                                                                                        CDPE Certified Distressed Property Expert                                                CRS   Certified Residential Specialist                                                       Epro  Certified Internet Professional                                                           ABR   Accredited Buyer Representative                                                    GRI    Graduate of the Realtor Institute Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider

Selling South Metro Atlanta including:Clayton, Fayette, Henry, Coweta, Merewether, South Fulton & Spalding Counties

All the towns and cities south of the Atlanta International Airport, including: Brooks, College Park, Fairburn, Fayetteville, Jonesboro, Locust Grove, McDonough, Newnan, Sharpsburg, Stockbridge, Palmetto, Peachtree City, Tyrone and more                                                                                           Moving Families Since 1978                                                                       Let My Experience Work For You                                                               fax:  770.460.0739 See all of the properties for sale in the Multiple Listing Service at www.SouthMetroAtlantaMLS.com                                                                                          .com                                              leslieedwards@leslie RE/MAX Around Atlanta.com/blogleslieedwardswww.

 Almost everyone knows someone who is behind on their mortgage payments and wants to avoid foreclosure to save their credit, relieve the uncertainty, and most of all, help their family.

Have them call me for Short Sale and Pre-Foreclosure Solutions and let's get started on the path to recovery.

http://www.leslieedwards.com/Blog/What-is-a-Short-Sale-and-Why-You-Might-Want-One

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is not what I signed up for....

by Leslie Edwards

Way back in Elementary School, my expectation was that I would go to college and study to be a therapist.  Some say that lots of crazy people go into the field to figure out what is going on with themselves. Hmmm...                        College came 5 years after High School (that's a whole other story) and it took me another 5 years to get a degree in Psychology while working full-time.          It was pretty exciting when I got my first job/internship with the Fulton County Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center.  I thought I was on my way to the career I had planned for since Elementary School.                                                       The reality of the situation was not at all what I expected.  The failure rate of addiction treatment was huge compared to a very small success rate. I found out quickly that the chance that I could actually help someone was minuscule.  All I could really do is listen, which left me seriously depressed.  If the patient cried, I often cried too.  I carried their pain home with me and it did not take me long to realize that the job was too hard on my own mental health.                  

In 1977 I got a real estate license on a lark.  Part time I closed a few transactions and soon, real estate was in my blood. I could actually help people get what they wanted and if they came back, it was a success, not a failure. At closing, everyone was happy. The buyers got a house, the seller got a check, agents, loan officers and attorneys all got paid a fair fee for their work. 

There is a "new normal" in real estate today and my job has changed so much that it now looks and feels more like my Therapist experience than my real estate experience of the first 30 years.

Today, buyers have to wait months to close a foreclosure or a short sale, both of which dominate the current real estate market.  Sellers who have to move, because of the foreclosures and short sales in their neighborhoods, are bringing money to closing or negotiating a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure with their mortgage companies, which has a huge negative effect on their credit ratings.  The fees for real estate agents, loan officers and attorneys have steadily decreased while expenses and the work involved have more than doubled.  So rarely at closings today, is everyone happy.  Often nobody is happy.   Listing appointments today consist of telling sellers their homes are not worth what they paid and finding out if they are behind on their mortgage payments and if so, how much.                                                                 It often feels like I am in my Psychologist mode rather than in my Sales Person mode.  A lot has changed in the past few years. So many sellers are experiencing hardships that make it impossible to make the payments and are at risk of losing their homes.  When I listen to some of them tell me their stories, I still want to cry and I still take their pain home with me                                                         

It does not look like things are going to improve any time soon.  The news reports claim people are once again spending money so the economy must be recovering.  I don't think so.                                                                  Often, right after people have an accident or serious illness, they will drive more cautiously, quit smoking, eat right and exercise.  Human nature is such that, over time, these same people will start falling back into their old habits. 

           My sense is that those spending money are just reverting to old spending habits that got them into trouble in the first place.

Foreclosures are moving steadily up in the higher price ranges.  There are also many interest only loans that cannot be refinanced because the appraisals willl not support the loan amount they approved when the interest only loan was made.  Because we have had historically low interest rates, those loans have remained manageable for many.  Once the interest rate starts moving up, and it will, those interest only loans will start to adjust to higher interset rates and monthly payments, causing a whole new stream of foreclosures and short sales.

The job has changed. Because I have 32 years of experience in the real estate trenches, I can help some people fix their problems and that is some consolation. Some people can't be helped.  Sometimes it is their own fault but most often something bad has happened to cause them to lose their home.

If you know someone who needs help, have them call me. I will do a free consultation to find out what we can do for them.

I am ready for the business to return to the time when we all got to be happy at closing, but until then, I am trying to help everyone I can.

You cannot change the world one at a time but if you help one person, you can change their world.

leslie edwards 770.460.9448                                                               selling real estate throughout South Metro Atlanta

environmentally aware, socially conscious, politically active

 

 

Clayton County Market Update January 1 -April 30, 2008

by Leslie Edwards

There are currently 3318 active single family residential properties in Clayton County listed for sale in Georgia MLS.  The average list price is $144,762 and the average number of days on the market is 133.

In the past twelve months 3161 listings sold with an average of 109 days on the market and an average sales price of $113,012 .  That sounds like a lot of home sales in the past year. 

However, during the same 12 months, 5110 homes expired unsold after an average of 180 days on the market and an average list price of $150,056.

38% SOLD and 62% Expired UNSOLD.  One clear explanation is that the difference in the list prices of the homes that did not sell and the homes that did sell is $37,044 which indicates that the majority of the unsold homes were overpriced. 

From January 1 through April 30, 2008, there were 991 homes sold with an average sales price of  $97,502 a drop of $15,510 from the 12 month average.

1530 homes expired unsold during the same period with an average list price of $153,594, up $3538 from the twelve month average list price.

Average sales price goes down while the average list price keeps going up which only cause more properties to expire unsold. 

There is increased competition with foreclosures that are selling well below market.If a homeowner has not been in the house for more than 5- 6 years or if they have refinanced and increased their mortgage amount, chances are the house is worth less than when they bought.  Sellers are writing checks to sell their homes and many sellers, unable to write the check are losing their homes in foreclosure.

The good news is that even in the worst market the best homes sell.  Best home at the best price.  The market will come back so if you don't have to sell, wait.  If you do have to sell, or if you really just want to sell, call me for a FREE consultation with no obligation. I want to be your resource for real estate information.  Ask me how I am selling homes at a rate that is 10 times the national average prouction for real estate agents.

leslie edwards   sells real estate    770.460.9448   RE/MAX Around Atlanta

Serving South Metro Atlanta       30 years experience isn't expensive, it's priceless

leslie@leslieewards.com     www.leslieedwards.com                                                                                 

Henry County Real Estate Activity 1 Year, 6 Months, 3 Months

by Leslie Edwards

The residential real estate in Henry County for the past TWELVE MONTHS.

 Status                          #                 Average Price        Ave Mkt Days     %

 For Sale Now            3856             $256,485                    144                              13.31 Supply

 Sold                             3476            $200,465                    106            44%          289.67 per month

 Expired Unsold          4431            $242,726                    185            56%

The market for the past SIX MONTHS

 Sold                             1460             $193,560                     109           36%          243.33 per month

Expired                          2581            $243,106                     186            64%

The market for the past THREE MONTHS

 Sold                               597               $193,741                     114           30%           199 sales per mo

 Expired                        1419               $236,536                      187          70%

Translation:  Based on the number of homes that sold over the past year in Henry County, we currently have a 13.31 month supply of single family homes for sale now.

The average number of homes sold per month has gone from a one year high of  289.67 per month to a 90 day low average of 199 sales per month

The percentage of homes sold dropped from 44% a year ago, to 36% over the past six months to just 30% in the past three months.

The average sales price has dropped 3% in the past 2 months 

When you look at these numbers, compare the average price of homes for sale, sold or expired.  The average price of the homes that do not sell are clearly higher than the average price of the homes that do sell and often the average price of the homes currently for sale is higher than the homes that sold and the homes that expired. 

These are the facts.  The good news is that In any market, the best properties sell.  You have to have the very best property or the very best price.

If you want an aggressive, straighforward, no nonsense real estate agent, call me for a FREE consultation.  No obligation.   My 30 years of negotiating experience negotiating can save you money.

leslie edwards, the name you know in real estate, 770.460.9448 direct .  Email leslie@leslieedwards.com     or visit  www.leslieedwards.com where you can sell all of the properties listed for sale and get important real estate information.

A proud RE/MAX agent since 1979.

your comments are always welcome.  le

                                                                       

 

Raise Your Credit Score

by Leslie Edwards

1. Pay your bills on time

2. If you have missed payments, get current and stay current.  The longer you pay on time the better your credit score

3. Even if you pay off a collection it will remain on your credit report for seven years. 

4. If you cannot make your payments, contact your creditors or see a credit counselor

5. Keep balances low on revolving credit

6. Maintain fewer open accounts

7. Don't close unused credit lines.  Closing accounts will not help your score

8. Don't open new lines of credit

The best credit score is between 760 to 850

General loan guidelines will consider scores in the low 600's and sometimes even in the high 500's with compensating factors.

If you need help finding a loan, call me.  I work with some great mortgage people and would be happy to give you names.  It is always good to shop rates, but don't be fooled.  Often the lowest rate does not have the lowest costs and the difference in costs can make the lowest interest rate, the most expensive program for you. Get and compare all the costs, not just the interest rate.

Call me for a FREE, no obligation consultation regarding your real estate needs and dreams.

leslie edwards  sell real estate  770.460.9448 direct  RE/MAX  See 100,000+ listings for sale at www.leslieedwards.com

 

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

If you hear of anyone who wants to buy or sell in any of these areas, please mention me and then call me so I can contact them. I appreciate your referrals!