No REW on Foreclosures!

 Posted by at 6:29 am
Nov 172008

Don’t worry… this is not going to become a site on foreclosure sales. But as I frequently explain to buyer clients, there’s plenty to worry about when purchasing a foreclosure.

One area of concern that can be “laid to rest” is the Maine Real Estate Withholding tax required of non-resident sellers. (Compliance is considered the buyer’s responsibility.) Most banks and asset companies selling foreclosures are, in fact, “out of state” and there has been some confusion regarding how to handle this, even among closing agents. Here’s what the Maine Department of Revenue says,

If a property is subject to a foreclosure sale and the consideration received for the property does not exceed the debt secured by that property, no Maine income tax withholding is required and Maine Revenue Services does not require a withholding exemption certificate (see 36 MRSA § 5250-A(3-A)).

Nov 082008

Actually, being a successful buyer is not a lot different than it’s ever been, but some of the basics are more important now. Part of the “secret” is to worry less about the market and to focus on your own goals.

  1. Build an effective team. This is certainly not the time to “go it alone.” At a minimum, your team will include your realtor, mortgage lender, home inspector, and real estate attorney. The current market poses a number of complexities and traps so your team should include top-notch highly qualified members who are willing and able to work with each other to achieve your goal.
  2. Take care of the money. Looking at houses is fun; arranging financing is usually not so much so. But you’ll be taken most seriously if you demonstrate your sincerity by getting a good mortgage lender on the team from the start. You’ll also avoid some serious pitfalls and disappointments.
  3. Turn off the television and radio. Well, not really. But you are about to make one of the largest and most important purchases of your life. Don’t let the media or the market push you. Yes, the market will affect you (part of your team’s responsibility is to help with that). But it doesn’t have to drive you to do things that are not in your best interest. You and your team should drive your purchase.
  4. Set a deadline. The current market encourages the hazard of indecision. In most areas there are many houses you could look at. Remember that your objective is to buy a home; not to look at houses and in any market the best houses sell first. Work with your team to develop a realistic time frame for finding and purchasing your home. Be prepared to adjust your deadline; should end up purchasing a foreclosed or short sale property delays are the rule and not the exception.
  5. Carve out some time. While an efficient team can avoid time-wasters, buying a home is a big project that requires your time and energy. Set aside or postpone other projects. Balance your deadline with your available time and encourage your team to work efficiently.

The first step to being a succcessful buyer? Give me a call and we’ll get together to develop your plan. All it takes to get started is desire!


Ayuh! Last Minute Shopping?

 Posted by at 7:28 am
Nov 082008

Friend and colleague Sherry French has announced that Maine Humorist Tim Sample is coming to Dover Foxcroft on April 4, 2009 for a performance at Center Theatre to benefit the Shiretown (Dover Foxcroft) Homecoming. There’s very little doubt this will be a sell-out performance, so you’ll want to get your tickets early! Tickets are only $20, a real bargain for this kind of entertainment.

But wait, there’s more! You can also do your Christmas-Valentine’s-Anniversary-Birthday-Just Because shopping early or at the last minute! Sherry has tickets gift-wrapped and ready to go at no extra charge! Stop by the WDME office on Main Street in Dover Foxcroft and grab a gift! You can pick up a card right next door at Mr. Paperback so it’s almost “one-stop-shopping” that results in laughter and benefits a great cause!

And if you listen carefully during the performance you might learn a little of the Maine accent. Ayuh! (Actually, the Maine accent is a myth. Everybody else talks funny.)