Lynn D'Avolio
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | 801-597-2857 | lynn1@soldbylynn.com


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 7/28/2015

There are many ways that you can invest in real estate. One way is by purchasing land. This option can be a very lucrative choice, as long as you keep the few important points in mind. The reason why purchasing land could be a viable option is because you get to pick your location, and build a home to your specs. This will allow you to find your own contractors to construct your building for you. By having full control over who you choose and what you pay, it becomes easier for you to save on costs. Keep in mind that while you do have full control over who you choose to build on your property, it also means that there will be more responsibility hanging over your shoulders. For example, you would need to make sure that you have all the right permits to construct your building, and you also have to make sure that you choose the right contractors; otherwise the whole project can turn into a big catastrophe. Therefore, before deciding to purchase a piece of property that is completely void of any buildings, take some time to do some research, as this will save you a lot of headache in the long run. Buying land in a down market can also be a great investment. Land is becoming harder to come by, which is creating a higher demand for land and in turn bringing the price up. Buying land now and holding onto to it could bring some great return. Think about it in 10 years from now there will be a lot less land and your lot could be worth a pot of gold. Invest now and reap the rewards down the road. Think of it like a savings account, you deposit money into a piece of land and watch your money grow!





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 8/13/2013

Buying and affording a home is becoming a little bit easier for military families with the help of PenFed Foundation’s Dream Makers program. The Dream Makers program is funded by private donations from individuals and corporations and awards grants to military families to help them buy a new home. The program awarded its first grant in 2007 and today hopes to award a total of $1 million in grants. To be eligible for a grant you must:

  • be a member of the PenFed Foundation (Pentagon Federal Credit Union)
  • be a member of a military branch of service, including the Coast Guard (widows are also eligible)
  • be a first-time home buyer
  • have a gross annual income of $55,000 or less, or 80 percent of area median income, adjusted for family size
  • The program does more than just help military families buy homes it also provides emergency financial assistance and child care to wounded warriors and their families through its Military Heroes Fund and interest-free loans to service members through its Asset Recovery Kit program. If you would like to donate to the program or apply for a Dream Makers grant click here for more information.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 5/21/2013

Many buyers today think buying a foreclosure means big savings and this can be true but buyers also need to be aware of potential pitfalls. A foreclosure takes place when a homeowner or property owner cannot pay the mortgage fees on the property and is forced to give up the property to the bank. First, potential buyers should know there are different stages of foreclosure.
  • Pre-Foreclosure
Pre-foreclosure stage is the earliest stage of foreclosure. Reaching pre-foreclosure status begins when the lender files a default notice on the property, which informs the property owner that the lender will proceed with pursuing legal action if the debt is not taken care of. At this point, the property owner has the opportunity to pay off the outstanding debt or sell the property before it is foreclosed. In this stage, many homeowners may opt for what is called a short sale. Many of these homes will sell for near their appraised values. Banks may be willing to negotiate on these properties but the process can be lengthy. Properties that sell at a 20 to 40 percent discount usually need repair or are in unstable communities.
  • Foreclosure Stage
If a property doesn't sell in pre-foreclosure, and the home owner actually defaults on his mortgage, the home goes to public auction. During this stage you can find the best bargains but it can be filled with unexpected changes and last minute details. Preparation, patience and knowledge are key here and remember if a property does go to auction it will go to the highest bidder which is often the bank.
  • Many auctions are canceled at the last moment as the property has been sold or payments reworked.
  • Court-appointed trustees only accept cash or cashiers' checks.
  • There's little time to arrange inspections, so bidders may have no clear idea of what they're buying.
  • Properties are sold "as is," without warranties. Sellers needn't disclose problems. Buyers may find themselves with unexpected and expensive repairs.
  • Post-Foreclosure
  • In the post-foreclosure stage, the lender has already taken control of the property. The home is then in the possession of the lender's REO (Real Estate Owned) department, or in the hands of a new owner or investor who purchased the property at auction. Lenders are typically extremely willing sellers, because an REO on the books is an obvious sign of having made a poor lending decision. Both the overhead and losses involved with an REO -- reflected in both the added reserves a lender must maintain as well as any potential property management fees incurred -- means the bank is likely a willing negotiator.
    • Bank will not agree to do any repairs; as-is sale.
    • Bank will usually require additional paperwork.
    • Bank cannot provide disclosures as to property history/condition issues.
    Bank foreclosure properties can definitely help you make a good buy in real estate properties and still have lots of savings. Doing your homework on the neighborhood, comparable sales and property condition are essential in making a good buying decision.





    Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 12/4/2012

    Unfortunately, many homeowners have gone through a foreclosure in recent years but that doesn't mean that future homeownership is out of the question. Hard work and discipline and these tips should have you on the road to homeownership again soon. 1. Keep a steady job Potential lenders will need to see stable employment before they’ll approve a mortgage loan after a foreclosure. 2. Build your savings Rebuild your savings account. You will want to establish a minimum of six months of living expenses in a liquid account. Mortgage companies will want to see you have a cushion to pay your bills. 3. Work on your credit score After foreclosure, your credit score probably dropped by about 150 points. Rebuilding your score will take time, hard work and perseverance. Pay all of your bills on time and make sure to keep your credit card balances below maximum levels. It is best to have the balance less than half of the available balance. If you stay disciplined and positive, the American dream—obtaining a mortgage and owning a home of your own—can, indeed, be yours again. Even after foreclosure.    





    Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 11/6/2012

    In this market, short sales can sometimes be a good deal for a buyer but they also come with some potential pitfalls. A short sale is when a seller needs to sell their home for less than they owe on their mortgage. In order to get a bargain and not a headache you will need to do your homework. Here are some tips for protecting yourself before buying a short sale.

    1. Use experts

    It is important that before you buy a short sale you assemble a team of experts. During the initial phase you will need help identifying which homes are being offered as short sales. The nature of short sales are different, you will also need help determining a purchase price and what to include in your offer. A real estate attorney who is knowledgeable in short sales is also key. Navigating the process of a short sale can be tricky so you will need an experienced short sale attorney to help deal with the potential of multiple liens, mechanic’s and condominium liens, or homeowners association liens. Often homes that are in short sale have these issues and without help will be harder to purchase.

    2. Prepare emotionally

    If you want a good deal on a short sale you will probably have to be in it for the long haul. It is important to stay patient, and remain unemotional during what can sometimes be a lengthy and emotionally difficult process. You may even want to consider a title search upfront. This could weed out properties with multiple liens if you are under a time crunch.

    3. Know the market

    In order to successfully purchase a short sale you need to know the marketplace. When a lender agrees to a short sale, they are agreeing to losing money on the loan they made to purchase the home. A short sale can be a good deal but it usually not a steal. The lender also knows the fair market value of the home and wants to minimize their losses. If your offer is too low, you chance it being rejected. During the process we will determine a price range that works with your budget and is hopefully one that the lender will accept.

    4. Know the Process

    The short sale process is different than that of a standard sale. The agreement to sell the home for less than is owed is actually made between the seller and the lender, not the seller and the buyer. The seller must first gain approval from the lender before the sale can be finalized. First, you would make an offer on a home and the sellers must consent to your offer to purchase. Then the sellers must submit the offer to their lender. The seller also sends along documentation to the bank as to why they need to sell the home for less than is owed. The seller should also have an attorney to help them with this process. Lenders typically do not move quickly on this process. It can often take weeks or months to get an answer. This is why is often best to put a competitive offer first. If several lien holders are involved; each can make a counteroffer or just reject your offer.

    5. Firm up your financing

    Lenders don't just look at the amount you are willing to pay for the home; they will also weigh your ability to close the transaction. If have a strong offer lenders will look more closely at your offer. You will want to make sure you are pre-approved for a mortgage for any consideration. Other factors that could influence the decision in a positive way are: having a large down payment, ability to close at any time, and flexibility. They will often not consider your offer if you have a contingency.