Skip Schenker’s “Hot…Dog Of The Week”: Elk River, MN Bank Foreclosure Home Is A Perfect FHA 203k Candidate (Video)

31 07 2010

This property is perfect for the FHA 203(k). It is a bank foreclosure in Elk River MN; John Sawyer from Energy REO Solutions & Skip Schenker from Benchmark Mortgage walk thru the property highlighting the potential repairs that will turn the beat up vandalized Dog into a great family home just north of Minneapolis, MN


Home Remodeling Profile: Indiana Contractor Renovates A 1,000 Square Foot Basement (Video)

28 07 2010

 This is a renovation job we are very pleased to unveil. We took an unfinished basement and turned it into a true masterpiece. This job is a great example of the superior craftsmanship and attention to detail of our company. All work was completed by Thomas J. Pearson, Builder & Designer. 317-861-9778

“Skip Schenker’s Kitchen Remodel Spotlight”: “House Beautiful Kitchen Of The Year” Designed By Jeff Lewis From “Flipping Out” (Video)

27 07 2010

“Flipping Out” TV star Jeff Lewis gives a tour of the modern kitchen he designed for House Beautiful.

Skip Schenker’s “Green Home” Update: Homeowner’s Would Need To Retrofit Homes With Energy Efficiency Improvements Prior To Sale Or Refinance Under Pending Federal Legislation “American Clean Energy And Security Act”

26 07 2010

Beginning 1 year after enactment of the Cap and Trade Act, you won’t be able to sell your home unless you retrofit it to comply with the energy and water efficiency standards of this Act. H.R. 2454, the ‘Cap & Trade’ bill.”


The bill actually encourages the use of the labels when “there are major renovations or additions made to a building in accordance with a building permit,” when building sales are “recorded for tax and title purposes,” when “a new lien [is] recorded on the property,” or when there’s a change in “operation of the building for purposes of utility billing.”

  • This bill prevents you from selling your home without the permission of the EPA administrator.
  • To get this permission, you will have to have the energy efficiency of your home measured. Then the government will tell you what your new energy efficiency requirement is and you will be forced to make modifications to your home under the retrofit provisions of this Act to comply with the new energy and water efficiency requirements.
  • Then you will have to get your home measured again and get a license (called a “label” in the Act) that must be posted on your property to show what your efficiency rating is; sort of like the Energy Star efficiency rating label on your refrigerator or air conditioner. If you don’t get a high enough rating, you can’t sell.

Under the cap-and-trade bill passed by the House, a federal “Administrator” will create a label that lists the energy efficiency that residential and commercial buildings are expected to achieve based on their design and that also lists what the actual energy efficiency is of an individual building, based on a federally designed test, but the tests are not mandatory for all building owners, though the Administrator is vested with $50 million per year for 10 years to create the standards and tests and also convince states to use it.

To compel states to get onboard, the Administrator can also take money from government sales of carbon allowances and give it to states to create label systems, which pretty much ensures that the energy labels will be mandated by most states, but still, it is unlikely every homeowner will have to get one, unless a homeowner has a house or a commercial building for sale or owns rental properties. The bill actually encourages the use of the labels when “there are major renovations or additions made to a building in accordance with a building permit,” when building sales are “recorded for tax and title purposes,” when “a new lien [is] recorded on the property,” or when there’s a change in “operation of the building for purposes of utility billing.”

The bill does speak about retrofitting properties, but it covers only how much the government will pay toward having homes retrofitted, who can get the money, and the rent controls that building owners must abide by if they accept government cash. It does not mandate that all homes must be retrofitted.

Skip Schenker’s Kitchen Cabinet Spotlight: “Cabinets By Design” Offers “Aran World Italian Kitchen Cabinets” In Western U.S. (Video)

26 07 2010

Cabinets by  Design 
is a direct representative of ARAN WORLD, the leading manufacturers of fine Italian kitchen cabinets.
We are dedicated to bringing worldwide known, innovative, and affordable European products to California homeowners and real estate developers in Northwestern United States.

Aran World is the Italian largest kitchen exporter. Nowadays, ARAN WORLD is present in more 118 countries around the world. Aran world has been present the US market for 12 years, and a reason why the product has found favor with the public is that ARAN WORLD combines the design and the manufacturing of the finest European kitchen producers with the adaptability of the kitchen cabinets to the sizes of the most common US electrical kitchen appliances.

In other words, remaining all the characteristics of a European frameless cabinet, ARAN WORLD offers a product suitable to satisfy American market’s request. Whether your tastes are solid wood or laminate, lacquer or wood veneer, ARAN WORLD has just the kitchen cabinets design for you. Come and join us to discover a world of kitchen cabinets beauty and kitchen cabinets design.

Home Purchase And Refinance Appraisals: Dodd-Frank “Financial Reform” Act Eliminates HVCC And Allows Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac To Accept Appraisals Selected By Loan Originators

26 07 2010

The “appraisal independence standards” will be written over the next 60 days. The newly enacted bill, unlike HVCC, allows Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to accept any appraisal report completed by an appraiser selected or paid by a mortgage loan originator.

When President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Act this week to reform the financial markets, the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) was officially set for elimination in 90 days.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) implemented HVCC in May 2009 in an attempt to improve the independence of appraisers by prohibiting lenders and third parties from influencing appraisals. It’s a controversial regulation, leading to an increase in demand for appraisal management companies (AMCs) and complaints from independent appraisers who claim they’re being cut out of the market.

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Mortgage Market Weekly Recap: Mortgage Rates Moved Slightly Lower Last Week On Weak Economic Growth And Low Inflation Expectations

26 07 2010

Mortgage rates moved even lower during the week, as uncertainty about the pace of the economic recovery has increased investor demand for relatively safer assets such as government guaranteed mortgage-backed securities (MBS). The Fed Chairman acknowledged during the week that the economic outlook is even more difficult than usual to predict right now. Uncertain economic growth with low inflation is a favorable environment for mortgage rates.

In his semi-annual testimony to Congress, Fed Chief Bernanke described the economic outlook as “unusually uncertain”. According to Bernanke, this is the worst labor market since the Great Depression, and it is recovering more slowly than expected. Still, the Fed forecasts modest economic growth in 2010 with low inflation. Important for mortgage rates, Bernanke expressed reluctance to provide further monetary stimulus, unless the economy falters badly. He suggested that the upside of additional Fed actions may be limited, while the downside is that it would raise future inflation expectations.

In the housing sector, June Existing Home Sales declined 5% from strong May levels to an annual rate of 5.37M units, which was well above the consensus forecast of 5.10M. Existing sales were 10% higher than one year ago. First-time buyers accounted for 43% of existing home sales in June. Existing home sales have been helped in recent months by the homebuyer tax credit. Even with the end of the tax credit, though, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) expects annual existing home sales to increase in 2010 and to rise further in 2011.