real estate: Tick Toc, Tick Toc - 07/11/09 05:56 AM
If you are a first time home buyer (anyone who has not owned their primary residence for the past three years) that sound you hear is the expiration date of the First TIme Buyer's Tax Credit.  Could be worth up to $8,000 to you as a dollar for dollar reduction in your income tax liability.
There are lots of rules you need to meet.  Speak with your tax professional about your personal situation.  But, if you qualify for this incentive, there isn't much time left and you don't want to throw away that kind of money, do you?
You can find … (2 comments)

real estate: 'Tis a Taxing Time - 03/29/09 09:26 AM
TAX FAQ answers you need when dealing with clients to buy or finance:
Can the IRS take money from my bank account without permission?
They absolutely can, and will if they start enforced collections.
The IRS has the authority to utilize extreme tactics to collect taxes. Tactics include placing a "levy" against your bank accounts, which allows them to withdraw up to the entire tax amount owed!  Does not matter if you need the money to make payroll, pay your mortgage, or whatever.  The checks you've already written against the funds will just bounce.  Luckily you have 21 days in which … (0 comments)

real estate: A Great Tool for You - 02/03/09 09:38 AM
When potential buyers call on a real estate sign, what is it they want to know?  The price.  A few details about the house.  Oh yes, and the price.
What do they not want to share with you?  Their name, contact information, phone number, and so on.
You probably have Caller ID on your business phone line, which can often provide a caller's number.  But, that fails if the number is blocked or not listed.  Many industry pros, like you, use 800 numbers to capture caller information.  800 service provides information regardless of blocking, unlisted status, using a cell phone, etc.
Your … (0 comments)

real estate: How You Can Manage Your Risks Under "HERA" - 01/05/09 05:27 AM
The Mortgage Bankers Association provides a useful "Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008" (HERA) Resource Center.
"As you know, on Wednesday, July 30, 2008, President George W. Bush signed major housing legislation, Public Law 110-289, the "Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA)."
HERA includes reform of government sponsored enterprise (GSE) regulation that will dynamically affect FNMA and FHLMC, and modernization of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).  These are, of course, the essential sources of most of the home mortgage financing in America.  Unless you only deal with all cash buyers, you need to be up to date on … (0 comments)

real estate: Marketing Secrets for 2009 - 01/05/09 05:10 AM
One of the first things you learn to help improve your writing is the use of personas. Before you write a single word, you must decide who your audience is.
do you want to connect through your ad with Harry the handyman or Suzie the soccer mom?  If you have a wide audience, consider using different ads and landing pages for each persona you want to visit your site.
You could create separate sales messages for men and women. First time buyers, investors, and empty nesters. Separate messages for starter homes, move-up homes, condos, and so on.
While it is extra … (5 comments)

real estate: The Banking Situation Explained - 10/06/08 05:29 AM
Based on an email received from a friend today, here is a horse racing analogy for you.  Just add the appropriate number of zeros to these figures and it will be a closer, though still not a perfect match to the banking situation.  Still, I think it is closer than what Congress is using to explain the problem to the public.
George is at the race track and bets $2 on a horse to win.
Two guys observe this bet and Fred says to Samuel, "I'll bet you $5 that George wins his bet."
Nearby are William and Bob.  William says: … (0 comments)

real estate: We're From the Government and We're Here to Help! - 09/10/08 11:28 AM
Heard that line before.  Never seems to work out quite the way it was promised up front.  One wise mentor maintains that there is an inverse law at work in government.  Whatever the government tries to do, the reverse happens.  There are myriad examples, but the bottom line seems always to be that the incentives are inverted.
Business people have a constant measure of success or failure.  If they spend more than they make, the business dies.  You don't have to wait for a committee to tell you that.  But in government, the more you spend, the better your promotion will … (4 comments)

real estate: FNMA & FHLMC - still in the news - 09/09/08 09:52 AM
Much more about the developing situation around these two former GSE entities in the news today.  When these two agencies were first birthed by Congress about 40 years ago, the goal was to bring order and stability to the mortgage lending activity in America.  Prior to their creation, mortgage lending was mostly a function of local banks and savings banks, with some insuring activity available from VA and FHA.  These were the days of 20% cash down payments and your choice of 30 year or 15 year fixed rate amortization loans.  Life was pretty simple then.  Home ownership rates were climbing … (2 comments)

real estate: FNMA & FHLMC Bite the Dust - 09/08/08 09:38 AM
Dateline - Washington DC
Two interesting bits of news in from the Potomac.  This first item from the Washington Post...
U.S. Seizes Control of Mortgage Giants Washington Post (09/08/08) P. A1; Irwin, Neil; Goldfarb, Zachary A.
"The federal bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac involves putting the companies under conservatorship and placing the Federal Housing Finance Agency in charge of their operations and appointment of senior managers. The government has dismissed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's CEOs--who will, however, assist in the transition--and will provide capital, if necessary. The plan also calls for a cut in the stake of current … (4 comments)

real estate: Can't sell your house? - Why not trade it instead? - 08/25/08 09:29 AM
In today's real estate market, selling a home requires more imagination and more effort than in more typical markets. Even if you have a pretty house with equity in the property, most of the available buyer pool will need to sell their property before buying another. While the idea of exchanging one piece of real estate for another is not new, it is generally something done for income property transactions.
Now it is possible to exchange your home for another property or even for other sorts of property including boats, motor homes, mobile homes and other forms of residential properties. Not … (1 comments)

real estate: But the basics remain the same. - 08/13/08 06:52 AM
Yes, the real estate market has changed in most of the country.  See details here Real Estate Decline Charts
But the basics remain the same.
Prices have fallen, more in some areas than in others, and continue to fall.
But the basics remain the same.
Record numbers of foreclosures plague most areas of the country; certainly here in California.
But the basics remain the same.
Folks still need a bigger house due to growing families.  Sometimes this growth is from adult children returning home due to loss of their own homes.  Sometimes the growth is from new births.  Sometimes from caring … (1 comments)

real estate: Got Short Sales? - 07/29/08 09:11 AM
Short sales are plentiful today and many real estate agents either struggle with working through them or shy away from what can be profitable business for the agent.  Foreclosure is a fact of life in today's market as we recover from the lending excesses of the past few years and as real estate values return to there more normal growth rate.
Lenders are pretty much swamped with short sales and REO activity.  Stories abound in the media about this bank and that bank teetering on the edge of failure.  The FDIC is adding personnel and getting ready to deal with expected … (0 comments)

real estate: Smart Upgrades To Your Home - 07/29/08 08:49 AM
There are many remodeling options available to make your home more comfortable now and more appealing to buyers down the road. But which options will offer the highest return on your investment?
Each year the nations Realtors rate remodels and upgrades that offer the highest return for your dollar. This information is available in Remodeling magazine on the Cost vs. Value Report.
It is a great reference source for the questions:
How much will the project cost?, and Will I get most of my money back if I have to sell? The results are broken down by region, so you can … (0 comments)

real estate: How things work - 07/23/08 03:37 AM
This just in by Cecilia Kang, Washington Post Staff Writer, on Saturday, July 19, 2008; Page D01 ---
"A long-delayed merger between the nation's two satellite radio providers may be facing another hurdle after a key regulator yesterday told the companies they would need to make stronger concessions on pricing and minority programming to gain his support.
"Federal Communications Commission member Jonathan Adelstein, a Democrat, who said he discussed his plan with XM and Sirius satellite radio this week, could hold the swing vote in the five-member commission, with two votes already cast in favor of the deal.
"He told the … (0 comments)

real estate: And the dance continues... - 07/22/08 05:39 AM
How about that!  A new subprime lender discovered by Beal Bank, and they appear to be a bit put out by the discovery too.
According to the Washington Post (07/22/08) P. D2,
"FDIC Sued Over Subprime Loans: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which insures U.S. bank deposits, made subprime mortgage loans to borrowers in 2001 and 2002 that violated guidelines, according to a lawsuit by Beal Bank. The FDIC made the loans after it took over Superior Bank as conservator in 2001 and operated its subprime mortgage business, according to court documents. Beal Bank sued in 2002, saying about a quarter … (2 comments)

real estate: Lender of Last Resort - 07/14/08 05:53 AM
The news is everywhere that the government will not allow FNMA and FHLMC to fail.  Instead the Federal Reserve will offer funds at the same rate that the big banks pay and the loans will all be guaranteed by congress.  Maybe.
Obvious problem with this solution is that, contrary to popular opinion, the government does not have any money, earns no income to speak of, and seems unable to manage critical issues such as concealing concubines, balancing the budget, and uniting in the defense of the country.  Odd group of failures, one thinks.
Politicians strive prmarily to remain in office.  Events … (3 comments)

real estate: FNMA & FHLMC??? - 07/12/08 01:16 PM
It is all over the news this weekend, and last week's stock market seems to be pointing the way.  Fnma, affectionately known as Fannie-Mae, and brother FHLMC, AKA Freddie-Mac are in deep financial trouble.  Some say these two industry giants are already insolvent by a wide margin.  Their need for new capital is currently at 75 million and in the latest debt offering, FNMA had to pay nearly 3/4 percent above the Federal Funds rate that supported their usual borrowings.
What would happen to the real estate business as we know it is these two market makers (roughly half of all … (2 comments)

real estate: Another Bank Bites the Dust - 07/09/08 09:17 AM
In the news today, IndyMac Bank depositors want their money back.  So they've started a run on the bank to close their accounts and get what cash they may have, even those under the FDIC insurance limit.  This follows Monday's announcement that IndyMac would shut down the mortgage lending operations.  These were the heart of the bank's income and profits just as recently as a year ago.  Most of its retail mortgage branches were sold to Illinois-based Prospect Mortgage for an undisclosed price.
Hard to remember that a year ago IndyMac Bank stock was $30.00/share.  Two years ago it was at … (7 comments)

real estate: Watch out for Doom and Gloom - 06/30/08 01:37 PM
Reading most news media today, it seems the end of the world is coming for real estate professionals.
Want to know a secret?
This time, like all times, is a very good time, if only you know what to do with it.
For some, falling prices will cause pain.  If the politicians step in to help, it will get worse.  Free markets can solve free market problems.  Government intervention always makes it worse.  Check history just a bit and there is way more than ample proof.
So what do you do in this market?
Buy at a discount so you can … (3 comments)

real estate: How to avoid foreclosure. - 06/23/08 08:27 AM
Is it absolutely possible to avoid foreclosure?  Of course it is.  To absolutely avoid foreclosure simply pay all your mortgage payments on time.
You knew there had to be a catch, right?
Staying current will certainly avoid foreclosure, but what happens when you can not, for some reason, make a required payment?
When you know you can't make a mortgage payment on time, first thing to do is call your lender to discuss the situation.  Just pick up the telephone, dial the customer service number listed on your most current payment notice, and call them.  Explain that you can not make … (2 comments)

 
Bruce Forge (Bruce Forge Real Estate)

Bruce Forge

Santa Ana, CA

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Bruce Forge Real Estate

Address: North Tustin, CA, 92705

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