Wednesday, February 29, 2012

THIS WEEKS FEATURED HOME - 3726 S PORTER AVE SOUTH OGDEN UTAH

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Proposed Bill to Speed Up Short Sale Process and Prevent Foreclosure

To avoid losing homes to foreclosure due to long response times for short sale transactions, three senators introduced legislation to speed up the short sale process.

Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) proposed the bill addressing the issue of short sales timelines on February 17. A short sale is a real estate transaction where the homeowner sells the property for less than the unpaid balance with the lender’s approval.

“There are neighborhoods across the country full of empty homes and underwater owners that have legitimate offers, but unresponsive banks,” said Murkowski. “What we have here is a failure to communicate. Why don’t we make it easier for Americans trying to participate in the housing market, regardless of whether the answer is ‘yes,’ ‘no’ or ‘maybe?’”

The legislation, also known as the Prompt Notification of Short Sale Act, will require a written response from a lender no later than 75 days after receipt of the written request from the buyer.

The lender’s response to the buyer must specify acceptance, rejection, a counter offer, need for extension, and an estimation for when a decision will be reached. The servicer

will be limited to one extension of no more than 21 days.

The bill will also allow the buyer to be awarded $1000, plus “reasonable” attorney fees if the Act is violated.

According to a release from Short Sale New England, short sale homes do not bring down neighboring home values like foreclosed homes do, and 83 percent of short sale buyers are satisfied with their purchase, according to a 2012 Home Ownership Satisfaction Survey conducted by HomeGain.

“The current short sale process can be time consuming and inefficient, and many would-be buyers end up walking away from a sale that could have saved a homeowner from foreclosure,” said Moe Veissi, president of the National Association of Realtors. “As the leading advocate for homeownership, realtors are supportive of any effort to improve the process for approving short sales.”

Equi-Trax released a survey last year on the issues real estate agents face when completing short sales. Guy Taylor, CEO at Equi-Trax, said 71.9 percent of respondents reported that a short sale can take four to nine months to complete, and they think that is simply too long.”

The survey also found that 18.2 percent of deals require less than three months to complete, with 10 percent requiring more than 10 months.

When agents in the survey were asked to how the short sale process can be improved, 57.6 percent said lenders should take less time to close transactions, 14 percent said borrowers should be better educated about short sales, and 40.4 percent said both of these changes are necessary to improve the process.

In April 2011, a similar bill was introduced by Reps. Tom Rooney (R-Florida) and Robert Andrews (D-New Jersey), but this version requested a response deadline of 45 days instead of 75 from lenders. The legislation never came up for debate before a House committee.

Monday, February 27, 2012

$28 million to improve Riverdale Road in Ogden - Utah to borrow $130 million less on roads

Utah lawmakers are moving to borrow $130 million less than planned for highway construction — and released a list Monday of what projects would receive money from that bonding.

The House Transportation Commission voted 7-1 to approve that bonding authorization in HB173 by House Majority Leader Brad Dee, R-Ogden, and sent it to the full House.

It would authorize borrowing $2.08 billion, or $130 million less than earlier planned, for projects during the next three years.

Dee said fewer dollars are needed because some current projects cost less than expected, so savings are being used to reduce future bonding. For example, officials said, reconstruction of Interstate 15 in Utah County has cost $200 million less than planned.

His bill contains a list of where much of the borrowed money would go. Among the projects: $35 million to add capacity to I-15 between Spanish Fork and Payson; $28 million to improve Riverdale Road in Ogden; $18 million for the Provo Westside Connector; $12 million for the Vineyard Connector in Utah County; and $9 million for the 1100 South interchange in Box Elder County.

Examples of other projects: $4 million to Taylorsville for planning a bus rapid transit project on 4700 South; $5.3 million to West Jordan to improve 5600 West between 6200 South and 8600 South; $4 million to Salt Lake City to improve 700 South between 2800 and 5600 West; and $3 million to West Valley City to improve 6400 West from Parkway Boulevard to the State Road 201 frontage road

Thursday, February 23, 2012

THE ABC's of the CODE of ETHICES - REALTORS®

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What is the Code of Ethics and how does it effect the public. Let me try to brake it down into a simple easy to understand set of rulers. These rules are what makes the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTORS® who is a member of their local board and the National Association of REALTORS®


While the Code of Ethics establishes obligations that may be higher than those mandated by law, in any instance where the Code of Ethics and the law conflict, the obligations of the law must take precedence.

Preamble
Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. REALTORS® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment.

Wordle-realtor-code-of-ethics

Why do Realtors follow  this code of ethic and what is the code? And what makes us different from other professional groups.

  • Under all is the land - what the public feels as there dream home
  • Obligation beyond ordinary commerce
  • Duty to become and remain informed - every 2 year licensing which requires constant learning and requirements
  • Willingly share the first of your experiences - share with other agents to complete a transaction for the public
  • No inducement of profit and no instruction from clients can ever justify departure from the ideal - we are responsible to remain legal and fair
  • The GOLDEN RULES


What are our duties to the public as a licensed real estate agent and a member of the National Association of REALTORS

Article 1

  • Our owe a duty to protect and promote the interest of your client
  • Our owe a duty to treat all parties to the transaction
  • Our Duty the Golden Rule


We need to protect the public with the material fact, present all offers to the sellers for them to make the decision what is best for the sellers.


Article 2

  • We are not obligated to find latent defects - climbing into the attic or knocking down the drywall
  • We need to disclose  material facts  about the property - water damages etc
  • We are not obligated to advise your clients on maters outside the scope of our expertise - plumbers,electricians,roofer etc.


Provide the buyers with the information to make decision on purchasing the property…. Like inspector, city zoning, any information we would not have.

Article 3

We must cooperate with other brokers except when cooperation is not in your clients best interest

  • The obligation to cooperate does not include the obligation to compensate
  • To be effective, any changed in compensation offered for cooperative services must be communicated to the other REALTOR prior to the term the REALTORS submit an offer to purchase the property
  • Disclosure duel or variable rate commission agreement
  • We must disclose the existence of accepted offers
  • When inquiring about a property that is listed you must disclose that you are a REALTOR and whether or not ow are representing a client
  • We do not misrepresent the availability  of the property for showing inspecting 


This is how we as agents get paid for our services. Sellers hire an agent to help sale their home. Listing agent offers an amount for a cooperating agent to bring a buyer. In return making it a win/win for the sellers.

Article 4-7

These article protect the public

  • Do not acquire interest in or buy or present offers from yourself without disclosing your interest
  • Do not sell property in which you have any interest without disclosing this information to all involved
  • Don not provide any professional service if you have interest - Selling, leasing, managing and counseling
  • Do not take profit with out disclosing - vending machines, moving company etc
  • Recommending services or Kick back for services your drive business to

Article 8

Keep all of your clients funds in a separate approved real estate trust account - earnest money and deposit etc.

Article 9

We must insure that whenever possible all agreement related to real estate contract is delivered to all parties which could include the Real Estate Purchase contract, Seller Disclosure, Title Work, Inspections etc.

Article 10

We will not discriminated base on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or nation origin or sexual orientation.

Article 11

We only attempt to provide services which you are competent to provide

Article 12

We must be truthful and honest in real estate communication present a true picture in advertising marketing and other representation. We must make it readily apparent that you are a real estate professional in all of your advertising marketing and communications. This is big with the new social media rage as long as the agent places the brokerage name on all marketing .

Article 13

We do not engage in the unauthorized practice of Law
We must recommend that legal counsel be obtained when the interest of any party to the transaction requires it. This is very important when dealing with short sales all sellers should looking into legal counsel.

Article 14
All information from ethic hearing and arbitration hearing are confidential


Article 15

We do not knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statement about competitors

Article 16

We Do not interfere with an exclusive representation of another agent

When can a client of a broker be contacted by another agent brokers - when the agent give permission.
When the new broker offers a different type of real estate services provide or services - when the clients offer it

As you can see there are very special rules that governor us as professionals to protect you as a buyer to seller that your needs are met and you are protect against misrepresentation

If you would like a full copy of the code of ethic or have any questions please let me know you can call or email me at 88lorifleming@gmail.com or 801-940-9560

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Realtor Day At the Legislature - How it effects Utah!!

Realtor Day
At the Legislature
Talking points that effect Utah

As I spent the day at Grand America hotel learning about the issues that effect the people of Utah. I had the opportunity to hear from Governor Herbert and his concerns about the ability for Utahans to own their part of the American Dream.

The importance of keeping up with technology or be left behind. Right now the state of Utah is more efficient at providing the services to the tax payers with a AAA rating. The future is bright for Utah being the 2nd in the nation for the best quality of life and employment opportunities.  One goal the governor has is to have  66% of Utahans to have a post high education which will help fill jobs and bring more companies here to Utah.

Here are 2 bills that have pasted the house and heading to the senate that will effect the real estate market and the American Dream.

Senate Bill 42 limitation on action to recover deficiency - This bill places a three-month limit on lenders who want to pursue deficiency judgements after a short sale of a single family residential property. Without this bill lenders can wait 6 years before going after borrowers for any unpaid mortgage balances after a short sale. Under bill 42 the states short sale requirements will match the existing foreclosure laws, which already limits the deficiency judgement to 3 months. This bill will provide protection to consumers, rather then putting them at risk for 6 years.

This bill will make home owners more confidence in the decisions they make to short sale their homes, knowing that if the banks are not willing to forget the deficiency this will not be held over their heads for 6 years. Why short sales ...a couple of reasons this process not only allows a homeowner the chance to try and make things right with the lender ( yes it will be short of the payoff but the home will not remain in a neighborhood with growing weeds, broken pipes and creating a eye sore to the neighborhood. This also saves the bank from having to contact and agent to list the property maintain the property etc) and 2nd by completing a short sale the sellers come obtain a new mortgage somewhere between 2 and 3 years. Foreclosed sellers up to 6, do you see the benefit for this bill to past the Senate.

House Bill 302 Land Use Penalties - this bill will help keep communities clean and safe. This bill requires municipalities to provide WRITTEN notice to owner of record each time a property is in violation of an ordinance.  Oftentimes, property owners are unaware of any ordinance violations until they are accessed a fine. This bill gives the responsible party notice and the opportunity to rectify any problem. It also allows property owners the option of designation an agent to receive ordinance violation notices on their behalf. This is helpful in property management situation so the manger is always aware of any problems and can see that they are corrected.

This bill will prevent municipalities from fining  homeowner, builders and investors prior to a written notice and time for the homeowners, builders and investor to rectify the problem.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Study: Many teens use alcohol at home with parents’ OK

Lakersaregreat
This is very concerning to me, I attended Bonneville High, I knew about the parking lot crew but never was Bonneville High known as the party school.  Just lately there was a drug bust at this school. Where 8 kids were arrested for drugs.

I have a niece and a nephew who will be attending Bonneville High. I know they have learned in their homes the important about staying away from drugs and alcohol and have great support. But what about their friends homes have they learned the same.

We all need to keep are kids safe and away from the dangers this stuff can cause which effects not only their safety but their ability to learn. These kids are tomorrows leaders. I would say it is NOT ok to use alcohol at home or anywhere at this young age.

By Gentry Reinhart

Standard-Examiner correspondent

Sun, 02/19/2012 - 8:27pm

Parental attitudes contribute to teen substance abuse problems in the four cities that send students to Bonneville High School, according to a local woman who has studied the situation.

Amy Mikkelsen is director of the Bonneville Communities That Care coalition, which spent four months gathering data to identify the top five risk factors for teens in Washington Terrace, Uintah, Riverdale and South Ogden attending sixth to eighth grades.

The coalition works to reduce substance use, delinquency, school drop-outs, violence and teen pregnancy.

In her research, Mikkelsen said she was most surprised to see the attitude that some parents have toward teen drinking.

“That was really alarming to me,” she said. “There was a very high percentage of youth that reported using alcohol at home with parents’ permission.”

Mikkelsen fears that parents aren’t being clear with their expectations for drug and alcohol use, instead assuming that their standards are clear and understood.

“I think a lot of times, as parents, we assume that of course my kid knows I don’t want them to use alcohol or get involved in violence,” she said. “But they’re not necessarily talking to their kids about it.”

Inhalant abuse among sixth-graders in the four cities is double the state average, according to the coalition report released this week.

The study found the drugs most commonly used by teens are alcohol, marijuana, tobacco and prescription drugs.

The full report will be available for the public within the next week at the Communities That Care website, www.bonnevillectc.org/

“As far as substance abuse, we are higher than Weber County,” Mikkelsen said. “And we’re above some of the state averages as well.”

The four cities formed an interlocal agreement last spring to help fund the coalition. A Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force raid in mid-November at Bonneville High School resulted in the arrests of nearly a dozen students on drug-related charges and gave the coalition impetus to complete its tasks.

Another concern was an increasing relaxed perception of gateway drugs like marijuana. The report said 18 percent of 10th-graders and 23 percent of 12th-graders admitted having smoked pot.

“We’re seeing that opinion changing, probably because it’s being legalized in several areas, and maybe parents don’t think it’s that harmful or dangerous,” she said. “And in turn, the kids don’t think it’s that big a deal.”

The report also emphasizes the role academic failure plays in the likelihood of teens doing harmful activities. Mikkelsen said not addressing even common problems, such as difficulty with reading, as early as third grade can exponentially raise the risk of unhealthy behaviors.

Data for the report was gleaned from the SHARP (Student Health and Risk Prevention) survey — a biannual survey administered to youths in grades six, eight, 10 and 12 every odd-numbered year — and archival data from the community to build a comprehensive view of the area and the challenges facing youths in their daily lives.

The report outlines protective factors, such as opportunities and rewards for pro-social involvement, a strong moral code and strong family involvement to help reduce problem youth behavior.

Mikkelsen said the next steps are to assess programs that already address the priority risk and protective factors and to focus on reducing substance use among youths.

The coalition of representatives from Weber-Morgan Health Department, Bonneville High School, Weber School District and Juvenile Court wants to find and fill the gaps in services or programs.

Finally, they intend to find programs or strategies that have been shown to be tested and effective in addressing the priorities that are not already being addressed. The group will write a community action plan and look for state and federal funds to help pay for the programs.

The nationally implemented Communities that Care framework was developed by Drs. David Hawkins and Richard Catalano at the University of Washington. It’s based on their extensive research that identifies specific risk factors that are predictive of problem behaviors and protective factors that buffer youths from those risks.

The Bonneville chapter was established in April 2011, and Mikkelsen encourages anyone in the area to get involved in making the community a better place.

“The more it gets out there, the more people we’ll have saying ‘what is that?’ ” she said. “And that leads to more involvement and participation.”

Friday, February 17, 2012

Nascar Home Theater - A one of a kind!!

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One of a kind

Dale_
Gentleman Start your engines

Theater_

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Moving to Ogden Utah - What Economist Think

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Economic and housing marketing outlook

Lawrence Yun phd                                                                            Chief Economist                                                                                     By Lori Fleming

 

Lawrence Yum Economist for the National Associate of REALTOR said “The Rocky mountain regional should have the most growth due to job and way of life with the data looking great on a national level and since Utah was behind the bubble we should be seeing that last effects and start heading upward.” 

 

Looking ahead here are  4 issue we are still facing. 

 

  1. We currently have the best affordable condition - interest rates are great for buyers to obtain great deals on their new house.  You would think people would be rushing in to purchase that new home- But there is no pick up in the market,  causing the market to remain slow and unsure. 

 

  1. National prices have stayed stable for 2 to 3 years - the feeling is everyone believes home values are still falling WHY?   As long as people believe it will still fall they will hesitate, this is  due mostly to news and incorrect local figures. 

 

  1. We currently have the  lowest newly constructed inventory with tons of vacate lots, banks are not willing to lend on new construction feeling they will remain vacant once completed.  Banks are only causing added problems by holding onto the cash and making lending guidelines hard to reach for most builders. The banks have  plenty of cash so that they can with stand any stress test placed before them- cash is not circulating into the economy. Banks are also receiving threats from investor -  if they do loans under lost guideline they will be shut down. The average hard working people are paying higher rates to obtain jumbo loans and are giving up with all the hurdles they are having to jump through. 

 

  1. Fannie  and Freddie are making internal self sustaining loan profits from hedge funds hurting the tax payers ( borrowing money at lower rates) - Fannie and Freddie are still reporting loses but investors are coming back into to picture picking up the REO properties soaking up the bank owned and distress properties and turning the profit on cash transactions. 

 

1980 interest rate were 13% people were entering the market and purchase properties value at less they what they could purchase today for the same purchase price because of todays rates. In 2012 the rates are at an all time low under the 4%  with prices of house also at the best price but where are the buyers....

 

For the past 4 years it has been tough in home sale, which has effected more people then just the REALTORS, if you think about it many things are tight to the Real Estate Market. You have builders, movers, lenders, concrete business, and the oil and lumber industries  just to note a few who are all effected by the lack of money circulating in the market place. Before the market bubble  national there was 1,400,000 realtors, today in  2012 national there a under 1,000,000 reflecting just how the market has changed in this time.

One thing to think about inventory is down 20% due to the uncertainty this will effect the supply and demand causing price to raise and the lack of homes also make it hard for sellers to want to add to the inventory with the fear they will not be able to replace what they currently have . 

 

Builders and new builds are forced to remain low due to the lending guidelines,  banks are not lending on spec homes making it difficult for any new starts. Unless the builders have deep pockets and can fund the project or can get a pre-sold vacate lot will remain vacate. So ask yourself  if you are a buyer how long will these prices remain this low. As demand increase these prices will rise. Now is the time to start your buying process

 

Why is lending so hard to get now days you ask. 

Buyers average credit scores for approved loan have increases which effects the ability to get a loan by this increase of higher credit scores it has effect 15 to 20 % of buyers ability to obtain a loan only allowing high incomes to purchase. This is forcing the rental market up or kids moving back with parents or more roommates in smaller places.

 

Something to think about is this market of unemployment and foreclosure other areas have not remained low. 

  • Food prices up 150%
  • Gas prices  up 197%
  • College tuition up 698%
  •  Medical services up 410%
  • Rents  up 200%
  • Monthly  mortgages 30 fixed rates up 0%.
  • With all the inflation of products or services mortgage rates are the only rates that are in line are below services on a national level.

 

Who are buying  INVESTOR who are paying cash and getting great deals. Where investor were buying gold which is now very expensive, they are looking at a  better way to make a return on there investments. Purchasing bank owned properties fixing them up and flipping them is giving them much more return on their money.  Open the opportunity for new buyers to purchase a home that has be remodeled and restore with little out of pocket repairs for the new buyers. 

 

Right now in North Dakota they have rose to number 3 in growth due to the oil in the state. Working at Mc Donald you would receive a starting wage of $15 to 18 per hour, with Michigan at an all time low due to the automotive business.

 

How is the government trying to recover - 

  • Forcing buyers to have 20% down payment in order to purchase their home
  • Doing away with the mortgages interest dedication -
  • Higher property taxes - 
  • Higher capital gains taxes 

This  will KILL the market and consumer confidence. The National Association or REALTOR along with the local Associations are fighting this to protect the right for the American dream

 

Ronald Reagan -  once said “We will preserve a part of the American dream by protecting the tax deduction..”

 

In the 1940 4 million no downpayment VA  loan for returning World War II  veterans were giving and the world was booming there were very few foreclosures, buyers were proud to own the American dream. With the wars of today we are having returning vets coming home to lower jobs, higher cost and very little benefits. By taking away the VA 100% loan or asking for 20% down will hurt all!

 

The 100% loan worked in the 1940 it could work again today helping the True buyers to achieve the piece of the American Dream

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Police buy cemetery plots to block Josh Powell from being buried next to his boys

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This story hits so close to home with these sweet boys being from West Valley City Utah.  Only a short distance from my home. As a mother I can only image what their grandma is feeling right now. The anger she must have felt when she heard about these boys last moments of life.


I am so glad those little boys are back in the arms of their mother and the fear Josh must feel knowing he will have to face her...all I can say is if I was the mother he would not want to meet me know what he had done to me kids!

 

Photographs of Charles Powell, right, and Braden Powell are displayed during their funeral services in Tacoma, Wash., on Saturday.

A sheriff and his sergeant in Washington state have bought burial plots next to Josh Powell's boys in order to block family members from burying him next to them, according to a media report Wednesday.

"The bottom line is, Josh Powell will not be near those two boys," Pierce County Sheriff's Sgt. Ed Troyer said in an interview with a Seattle-area radio program called the Ron and Don Show.

Josh Powell's surviving relatives wanted him to buried at the same cemetery as the two sons he killed, the city manager in Puyallup said earlier Wednesday.

But that does not look like it is going to happen.

Troyer and Sheriff Paul Pastor used their personal money and funds from Crimestoppers Tacoma-Pierce County to buy plots that are on either side of the boys, according to a report on the radio station's website that was confirmed by Troyer on Twitter:

Crimestoppers is soliciting money on its website for the purchase of the plots.

"It's disgusting that a murder suspect would be buried next to his victims," Pastor said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Powell's relatives visited the public Woodbine Cemetery and selected a plot about 25 feet from the boys, City Manager Ralph Dannenberg told The Associated Press earlier Wednesday. They haven't paid for it yet, and any sale is being put on hold because the parents of Powell's missing wife have promised legal action.

"We don't have any rules or procedures regarding refusing plots to anyone," Dannenberg said. "We're going to wait to see what the outcome is in court."

Powell was a suspect in Susan Powell's 2009 disappearance from their home in West Valley City, Utah. He later moved with his sons to near Tacoma, Wash., to be close to his parents. On Feb. 5, he attacked his sons with a hatchet and set his rental house on fire, killing himself and his sons, Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5.

Cops: Josh Powell murder-suicide house was sham set up for social worker visits

The boys were laid to rest at Woodbine on Saturday. Attorney Anne Bremner, who represents Susan Powell's parents, Charles and Judy Cox, says she would seek a temporary restraining order to block Josh Powell from being buried there.

"For him to be buried near those kids is just unthinkable," Bremner said. "For God's sake, for them to lose Susan first, and then the boys, and now this? Just give these people a break."

Powell's sister Alina did not return an email from the AP seeking comment.

Meanwhile, Powell's father, Steve Powell, who is awaiting trial in Pierce County, Wash., on voyeurism and child pornography charges, filed a motion with the court saying he does not wish to speak to the FBI or other law enforcement about his son’s case or the disappearance of his daughter-in-law.

Mark T. Quigley, Steve Powell’s attorney, told the Salt Lake City Tribune that the notice, filed Tuesday, was common in criminal trials to protect rights against self-incrimination. It was prompted by a visit last week in which Steve Powell reportedly rebuffed FBI agents.

"It’s simply a statement to law enforcement that says my client doesn’t want to talk," Quigley told the paper. "That’s [Steve Powell’s] right. I don’t think belligerent has anything to do with it."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Parking a worry at Riverdale splash pad site

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Riverdale City has provide a place for family and friends of Riverdale City to spent time with their kids. I don't think when this was in the works they ever dreamed the amount of people who would be coming from other cities to enjoy what Riverdale  has to offer or that parking would became an issue.

I personally have driven by the park on a hot summer day and have seen for myself the amount of people enjoying this pad.

I am not sure we need to drive people away from this splash pad by limiting the amount of parking. What we need to remember is these people are coming to Riverdale to enjoy not only the splash pad but also are purchasing food and gas as they travel to and from the pad.

From the View of a Realtor, this is a great opportunity to show people what a beautiful city we have and the accommodations we offer to the citizens of Riverdale with the possibilities that they would like to move their families into our city.

Currently there are 35 homes available in Riverdale in the price range of 72,500 to 314,900 out of those 35, 5 of them are bank owned or in a short sale. Riverdale also has a number of homes that are abandon.  Wouldn't it be nice to place good families in these home which would help beauty our city.
Lori Fleming Golden Spike Realty
Riverdale_

By Deanne Winterton

Standard-Examiner correspondent

Wed, 02/15/2012 - 6:23am

RIVERDALE -- The Riverdale splash pad is becoming so popular that parking in the area is becoming a problem, city council members and residents agree.

Some residents are asking for a no-parking zone on the west side of Parker Drive near Riverdale Park.

City officials didn't expect the splash pad to be so popular that visitors consistently struggle to find a parking space.

On busy days, visitors park on the narrow shoulder on the west side of Parker Drive and cross east to the splash pad.

Although Councilmen Braden Mitchell and Don Hunt said they understand that children running across a busy road to reach the park is a safety hazard, reducing parking in the area would likewise be a problem.

"It's a no-brainer. We don't want people who come to visit the park in harm's way" by crossing a busy road, Hunt said.

"But the problem is, we don't have parking."

Councilman Norm Searle said converting the west side of Parker Drive to a no-parking area would eliminate 80 parking spaces.

"I'm not totally sure that prohibiting parking in that area is a good idea," he said. "Ideally, it would be nice to have more parking."

Councilman Mike Staten said city residents get frustrated with the popularity of the splash pad, which draws crowds from as far away as Brigham City. He said people running day care facilities in Brigham City come to enjoy the free venue.

As other cities build splash pads, Mayor Bruce Barrows said, it could reduce the strain on Riverdale's facility.

Other cities in the area that have or are planning to build a splash pad include Harrisville, North Ogden, Pleasant View, South Ogden and Roy, he said.

The council asked staff to review the issue, with the possibility of establishing additional parking spots.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Housing Crisis to End in 2012 as Banks Loosen Credit Standards - Yahoo

Capital Economics expects the housing crisis to end this year, according to a report released Tuesday. One of the reasons: loosening credit.

The analytics firm notes the average credit score required to attain a mortgage loan is 700. While this is higher than scores required prior to the crisis, it is constant with requirements one year ago.

Additionally, a Fed Senior Loan Officer Survey found credit requirements in the fourth quarter were consistent with the past three quarters.

However, other market indicators point not just to a stabilization of mortgage lending standards, but also a loosening of credit availability.

Banks are now lending amounts up to 3.5 times borrower earnings. This is up from a low during the crisis of 3.2 times borrower earnings.

Banks are also loosening loan-to-value ratios (LTV), which Capital Economics denotes “the clearest sign yet of an improvement in mortgage credit conditions.”

In contrast to a low of 74 percent reached in mid-2010, banks are now lending at 82 percent LTV.

While credit conditions may have loosened slightly, some potential homebuyers are still struggling with credit requirements. In fact, Capital Economics points out that in November 8 percent of contract cancellations were the result of a potential buyer not qualifying for a loan.

Additionally, Capital Economics says “any improvement in credit conditions won’t be significant enough to generation actual house price gains,” and potential ramifications from the euro-zone pose a threat to future credit availability.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Utah foreclosure rate heads down; state doing better than nation

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The foreclosure situation in Utah is improving. That’s according to two new reports that show a decline in the state’s rate of problem loans.

Among states, Utah had the 17th-lowest percentage of loans in the foreclosure process, according to a report from CoreLogic on December 2011 data.

At that time, 1.7 percent of Utah homes with a mortgage were in the foreclosure inventory compared to 3.4 percent nationally. CoreLogic, a data and analytics company, defines foreclosure inventory as the stock of homes in the foreclosure process.

Compared to a year ago, Utah’s foreclosure inventory declined 0.7 percent. Nationwide, the decrease wasn’t as large, with foreclosure inventory down 0.2 percent.

“The inventory of foreclosed properties has begun to shrink, and the pace at which properties are entering foreclosure is slowing,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist with CoreLogic.

Utah’s share of seriously delinquent loans was also lower than the national rate. In December, 5 percent of Utah loans with a mortgage were more than 90 days late compared to 7.3 percent for the U.S.

The findings were similar to a separate report from LPS Applied Analytics. In that study, 2 percent of Utah loans were in foreclosure and 6.8 percent were seriously delinquent at the end of December. Again, the national rates were higher at 4.1 percent for foreclosures, 8.2 percent for delinquencies and 12.3 percent for total non-current loans.

At 8.8 percent, Utah had the 13th-lowest percentage of non-current loans compared to other states, according to LPS. Utah’s combined foreclosure and delinquency rate fell nearly 10 percent from the prior December. That rate peaked in February 2010 when 10.6 percent of Utah loans outstanding were not current.

Home for disabled veteran built in 72 hours

Home for disabled veteran built in 72 hours

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Utah saw home sales increase in 2011 - But Prices were down about 8 percent in 2011 compared to 2010

SANDY — Home sales in Utah last year rose to their highest levels in three years, according to a new report from the Utah Association of Realtors. The report indicated that nearly 33,000 homes sold in 2011, up almost 9 percent from 2010 and at least 5 percent from each of the past three years.

 

Since last July, statewide sales have climbed for seven straight months, with sales increasing dramatically in several counties, including Uintah — up 33 percent, Wasatch — up 21.4 percent, Washington — up almost 12 percent and Utah — which had a nearly 11 percent hike in sales.

 

House

By ksl.com

“We’re seeing higher sales because of increased homebuyer confidence, affordable home prices, stronger employment and record-low interest rates,” said Lori Chapman, president of the Utah Association of Realtors.

The report indicated that single-family homes had the highest sales increases for the year, climbing more than 10 percent compared to 1 percent for condominiums and townhomes. Additionally, pending sales — which measure contracts that have been signed to buy properties — were up more than 11 percent in 2011 compared to 2010.

 

“Based on these figures and recent forecasts, we expect the trend of rising sales to continue into this year,” Chapman said. “In Salt Lake, homes sales are expected to rise 15 percent in 2012.”

 

Meanwhile, as home sales rose during 2011, housing supply was absorbed, the report stated. Inventory levels were down nearly 24 percent at the end of December, with the 20,243 homes listed for sale representing a 7.2-month supply of inventory — down more than 31 percent from the 10.5-month level in 2010.

 

“The effect of the steep inventory drop was to bring supply and demand more in line,” Chapman explained. “Traditionally, a market is balanced between buyers and sellers when the inventory represents a supply of about six months.”

 

Supply was particularly tight in the low price ranges, the report said. For homes priced at or below $150,000, the supply of inventory was at 5.9 months, while the supply for properties in the $150,001 to $200,000 category, supply was at 6.1 months.

 

Prices were down about 8 percent in 2011 compared to 2010 with the statewide median sales price of homes sold at $174,900. The average sales price also declined about 8 percent for the year to $224,526.

 

“While prices remained weak in 2011, the reduced supply and increased demand suggest that trend will not continue,” Chapman said. “A new (national) report predicts Utah home prices will have increased by the end of summer, with the state having the seventh- highest appreciation in the country.”

Friday, February 10, 2012

Psycho Siri - What is this world coming to......

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Resources for Avoiding Home Foreclosure

Resources for Avoiding Home Foreclosure

Home ownership can be a heavy responsibility at times… especially when times are tough.  It can be challenging to find help when times are difficult due to a  decrease or loss of income, illness, unexpected disaster or home repairs, or personal crisis such as separation or divorce.  Add to that a reduction in home values, and the problem can seem insurmountable. While savings can help to alleviate some of the impact of these life events, it is still helpful to be aware of  potential programs and alternatives offered to distressed homeowners, too.  In fact in last month’s State of the Union address, President Obama made reference to this struggle in home ownership, saying, “And while Government can’t fix the problem on its own, responsible homeowners shouldn’t have to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom to get some relief.”

If you find yourself in a no-win situation regarding your mortgage, it can be helpful to speak with your lender and ask about modifications that can be made in the short term.  You can ask about the short sale process,  too, and see if that may be a viable option for you.  A short sale is when your lender agrees to accept a lower price than is owed on your property as payment in full.  There is a lot of paperwork that accompanies this type of sale and it is helpful to use a real estate agent that has short sale experience with this type of transaction.  In fact, some real estate agents and home buyers specialize in just this type of sale and can be a great help to you!

If you want to stay in your home, rather than sell, programs such as the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) , or the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative (HAFA)  offered by Freddie Mac may all be options.  Fannie Mae and your individual lender may have other programs that can assist you as well.  Please click here to view a variety of tools on how to avoid foreclosure.  Remember that you have options, if you are willing, able, and have the time necessary to explore them.  Don’t give up!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Josh Powell, sons killed in home explosion - Now the Boys are with their Mother

Powell
GRAHAM, Wash. (AP) - An explosion at a Washington state home has killed Josh Powell, the husband of a missing Utah woman, plus their two young sons, officials said Sunday.

The explosion occurred moments after a Child Protective Services worker brought the two boys to the home for a supervised visit, Graham Fire and Rescue Chief Gary Franz told The Associated Press.

Powell let the boys in the house, then blocked the social worker from entering. The social worker called her supervisors to report that she could smell gas, and the home exploded.

"Everything we know right now, this has become a crime scene," Franz said.

The children had been living with Susan Powell's parents since Josh Powell's father Steven was arrested on child porn and voyeurism charges last fall. On Wednesday, a judge had denied an attempt by Josh Powell to regain custody, saying she wouldn't consider returning the two boys to their father until he underwent a psycho-sexual evaluation.

Josh Powell was under investigation in the disappearance of his 28-year-old wife from their West Valley City, Utah, home in December 2009. He claimed he had taken the boys on a midnight excursion in freezing temperatures when she vanished.

The case took a bizarre turn last year after Powell's father, Steve, was arrested for investigation of voyeurism and possessing child pornography. Josh was living at his father's home at the time, and a judge gave Susan Powell's parents custody of the boys.

Sgt. Mike Powell of the West Valley City Police Department in Utah, which is handling the investigation into Susan Powell's disappearance, said it was too soon to say how Josh Powell's death may impact their probe.

"Quite frankly, this has obviously quickly unfolded up in Washington and we're obviously just working through the details ourselves here," Powell said Sunday.

"We are in contact with authorities," Powell added. "It's obviously an ongoing situation in Washington at this point."

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tracy Morgan Won't Give Mother The Money Needed To Avoid Foreclosure - Its happening in Hollywood to

Between a homophobic rant on stage and his hospitalization at Sundance Film Festival, Tracy Morgan hasn't gotten the best press lately. And claims that he isn't doing enough to help his mother avoid foreclosure aren't likely to help.

The 43-year-old star of NBC's hit show 30 Rock has reportedly offered his mother, Alicia Warden, $2,000 to help her stave off foreclosure, despite her currently owing $25,000 on her Ohio home, the New York Daily News reports. Family members have spoken out against the at-times troubled Saturday Night Live alum -- who is reportedly worth $18 million -- for not providing more financial help since it "would be a drop in the bucket for Tracy," according to his sister Asia Morgan.

Morgan has reportedly been estranged from his mother for some time, portraying her unfavorably in his 2009 book I'm the New Black. On her side, Warden says she hasn't seen her son in person in over a decade, according to the NYDN.

Warden's situation may sound familiar to millions of Americans who've been affected by the foreclosure crisis in the aftermath of the housing bust. If the foreclosure on Warden's home goes through, she'd join 1.89 million households that were foreclosed on in 2011. And the problem may only get worse: experts anticipate millions more foreclosures by 2013.

In Warden's home state of Ohio, one in every 583 housing units received a foreclosure filing last month, according to RealtyTrac.com. That's enough to make Ohio one of the states struggling most with the foreclosure crisis today.

Indeed, the foreclosure crisis is so pervasive that many of Morgan's fellow celebrities have already lost their homes. JPMorgan Chase foreclosed on O.J. Simpson's Miami home in September. And in an odd twist, PETA has asked the bank to gift them the imprisoned ex-NFL star's house to turn it into a "Meat Is Murder" museum.

But other tales of celebrity foreclosure aren't quite so grisly. Last summer R. Kelly faced a foreclosure lawsuit worth $2.9 million after failing to make payments for over a year on his south suburban Chicago mansion. The artist reportedly witheld the payments as part of an effort to force the bank to negotiate a loan modification.

Actor Burt Reynolds also faced foreclosure last summer on his Hobe Sound Florida home, prompting him to slash the house's asking price by $4 million last week.

Wow is all I can say....