Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sullivan County Vacant Land

Once again me being busy has made my blog suffer. I just haven’t had that two hour block where I can sit down and write a witty, compelling yarn. Having a twenty-month old is a surprising amount of work, and I also seem knee deep in short sale paperwork, or answering emails.

Vacant land has been the theme of the last month. Up here in Sullivan County, the fall always seems to bring attention to larger land lots, because many of the avid hunters that come here have a dream of owning their own large piece, and being able to hunt it with impunity. There are quite a few pieces of state owned land that people can hunt on, but just like any other “public” area, this brings others into the equation. Everyone knows how annoying the Speedo wearing cell phone guy is at the public beach. Well put him in the woods with a gun. That is the hunter’s equivalent.

No, the dream of sitting in your own tree stand, on your own twenty-five to fifty acre piece, as dawn arrives and the sun breaks over the mountains is pretty powerful. And pretty universal for those who are into hunting.

I also think land ownership is a deep, ingrained desire. Owning you own space, and inviting those who you want, and denying the rest is a basic human (or perhaps even primate) trait. “I own all that I can see!” This kind of stuff has been around for centuries.

I have mentioned it before, but by far land here in Sullivan County is cheaper than I have ever seen it since I started selling real estate. I have compiled a list of my five favorites. These are all larger land lots, that I feel are really good bargains in today’s market.

50 acres 99K

I featured this piece last week. This is a foreclosure near Callicoon Center. It is fifty acres with a bunch of frontage on Nort Branch Creek, and a really nice pond. This is one of those pieces that would have had a 450K price tag on it in '07. This piece has just been surveyed, so that cost would not be needed upon purchase. Half wooded and half open fields.


41 acres for 99K
This piece is located just outside of Jeffersonville, within ten minutes of Bethel Woods. I have shown this piece a few times to hunters, and the concern was houses in the immediate vicinity. This is a great, flat piece of land however, also with a little stream. It has been on the market for over two years, with the original price well over 200K. It is sub dividable.

37 acres 225K
How much is a view worth? This 37 acre piece is priced higher than some of the others, but it has the best long range views from a piece for sale that I have seen in a long time. It is located just outside of Jeffersonville, by the desirable Beechwoods area. It has only been on the market for a few months, and they have already dropped the price some, showing motivation. Really nice open piece.

70 acres for 279K
This is another open piece with long range views, almost but not quite as nice as the one in Jeff. It is lot more acreage however, just under seventy. This piece is located outside of White Sulpher Springs, as you go up the mountain towards Livingston Manor. It has been on the market a whopping 1500 days. Original price tag? 995K. It is now listed for 279K. Can you say sellers fatigue?

130 acres 349K
There were a few I was flip-flopping on for the last one, but I picked this one for the sheer size of it. It is 130 acres down in Glen Spey off of Kalin-Weber. This is another piece that has been on the market forever. I believe the original tag on this one was around 800K. It is now 349K Or just under 3K an acre. Being less than two hours to NYC makes this one a pretty good deal.
There were four properties reported sold in the Sullivan County MLS in the last seven days. Click Here

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Short Sales in Sullivan County

Two of my four deals currently going on are short sales, and two deals already completed this year have been short sales. It seems the inevitable changes that life brings continues, but now as more people are upside down on their mortgages than ever before, being able to pick up and move is not so easy.

So more and more people are going the short sale route. What was once the root canal of the real estate world is really not that painful anymore. The last one I did was forty-five days from offer to full acceptance. Soup to nuts as my Dad would say.

Some sellers may consider letting a property go into foreclosure rather than a short sale. With a foreclosure, especially with the backlog that still exists with big banks, a seller could stay in the property, essentially rent free, for well over year before being forced to evacuate. But that fact alone does not mean a foreclosure is better. With a short sale, yes the home will be listed, added to the MLS, people will tromp through, break appointments and invade your privacy. All the inconvenience of selling a home will be present. And what are you left with? A clean slate.

Basics of a Short Sale

Short sales happen when a lender agrees to accept less than the amount owed against the home because there is not enough equity to sell and pay all costs of sale.

How is the Seller’s Credit Affected?

According to Allan Franks, division manager at Citi Mortgage, sellers will take a bigger hit on their credit report by going through foreclosure or giving the lender a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. Franks says the points lost on a FICO score are as follows:

Foreclosure or Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure--Both of these solutions affect credit the same. Sellers will take a hit of 250 to 280 points. This means if a seller’s FICO score before foreclosure was 680, it could dip as low as 400.

Short Sale--The affect of a short sale on a seller’s credit report is much less damaging. The ding on credit will show up as a pre-foreclosure in redemption status, Franks says, which will result in a loss of 80 to 100 points. This means a short sale with a previous FICO of 680 will see it fall to 580 to 600.

Waiting Period Before Buying Another Home

Foreclosure or Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure--Franks says a seller who wants to buy another home after foreclosure will end up waiting about 36 months before a lender will offer any kind of interest rate that makes sense.

Short Sale--The good news for short sale sellers is the wait is much shorter before buying another home. “They can buy again in about 18 months at a good interest rate,” says Franks.

Short Sale / Foreclosure Deficiency Judgments

The bad news is a seller could be subject to a deficiency judgment for the difference between the loan amount and the amount paid. In New York, purchase money loans are not subject to deficiency judgments; however, hard money loans, equity loans and refinances are. Other states have laws regarding personal guarantees, which could also result in a deficiency judgment if the home owner is personally liable for loan repayment.

The lender has sole discretion whether to pursue a deficiency judgment in those instances when the judgment is permitted. To determine whether a pending foreclosure or short sale is subject to a deficiency judgment, talk to a real estate lawyer. At no point should you move forward with a short sale if a deficiency judgment is a possibility.

If you’re a seller trying to decide whether to let a home go through foreclosure versus attempting a short sale, salvaging your credit is the main advantage to doing a short sale. But seek legal and tax advice before making that decision.

I haven't done a "pick of the week" in a while but this piece in Callicoon Center is a steal. 50 acres with a stream and a pond for 99K Land Piece

There were nine single family homes listed as sold in the Sullivan County MLS in the last ten days. Click Here for Listings

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Favorite Farmhouse Listings

     We had our first snow of the year, (I am sure pretty much everyone on the northeastern part of the country already knows this). Sullivan County didn’t get hit as hard as other areas though. I had about eight inches on my back porch, and in and around Monticello I heard just over a foot. No major power outages or anything, I even showed some hunting property on Sat., before the flakes began to fly.

     I have remained fairly busy over the last week, I am getting a lot of hits on my website. Most of those hits have been about farmhouses. It seems that the trend (at least for me) is back to the country farmhouse getaway. The good news is, there are a few good—priced right properties out there. Properties that just a few years ago, would have had astronomical price tags on them. However, here at the end of 2011, getting a nice farmhouse for under 250K is doable. I have compiled a list of my favorites below.

32501—Priced very nicely at $179,000, this is an almost 3,000 sq. foot turn of the century farmhouse in Callicoon Center. A lot of the original elements remain, although there is some evidence of paneling and drop ceilings. The bones of the house are great, however. Although it is on 1.6 acres, it is located basically in the town of Callicoon Center, which may be a turn off for some, but an advantage for others. Click Here for Listing.

31170—This brick farmhouse on almost eight acres is one of my favorite active listings, and I am surprised it has not been snapped up yet. Built in 1949, it has four bedrooms, great original hardwood floors and cast iron radiators. The property is flat and open with apple trees and a great barn. This is a unique property at a good price (210,000), just outside of Narrowsburg on a quiet road. Click Here for Listing

32255—Built in 1890, this is a great little farmhouse in Obernburg with some really nice long range views. Like so many others, it was paneled and carpeted at some point, but the current owners have done a great job minimizing and re-doing. It is on a road that is somewhat busier than others, which may be a drawback for some. Click Here for Listing

 32639—I guess not technically a farmhouse because a farmer never lived there, but this home, built in 2002 has all the bell and whistles of a farmhouse. The views from the porch are phenomenal, and it has a nice pond. Taxes are a bit steep at $7,500 Click Here for Listings

30587—Probably my favorite active farmhouse listing. This is a pre-Civil War farmhouse on 13 acres, with a huge barn and a carriage house. House has been done impeccably. You put this house in Fairfield County and the price tag is a million dollars. Here in Sullivan? $249,000. Click Here for listings. Click Here for Listings

 There were fifteen properties reported sold in the Sullivan County MLS. Sullivan County Solds