Category: (8)

How does a mortgage Debt get cancelled?

by char-maccallum-real-estate-group-inc

Debt Relief = Income 

Mortgage Relief.pngMany times a homeowner might feel relieved being out from under the obligation of a mortgage they can’t afford even though the property was lost due to foreclosure or short sale. If a lender cancels or forgives debt, a taxpayer must include the cancelled amount in their income for tax purposes depending on the circumstances. The tax significance could be serious for manyJohnson County homeowners.

Congress enacted the Mortgage Relief Act specifically to help homeowners who might be affected in the housing crisis that started approximately in 2007. The Act expired on 12/31/12 but was temporarily extended by Congress until December 31, 2013. The Char MacCallum Real Estate Group has been working with many Olathe and surrounding Kansas City homeowners to educate and assist through the bankruptcy and foreclosure processes

This relief only applies to a taxpayers’ principal residence which does not include second homes and investment property. The maximum amount is limited to $2 million of mortgage debt forgiveness or $1 million if filing separately.  Many of our Johnson County homeowners are well under this mortgage amount, but any home debt in a foreclosure situation can be extremely stressful on a family.

Another provision is that the debt relief is limited to acquisition indebtedness used to buy, build or improve the property. It excludes cash equity loans whether made separately or in a refinance of the original mortgage.

Due to the serious consequences involved in short sales and foreclosures, it is advised that homeowners faced with this possibility should seek expert advice from their legal and tax professionals.  If you are experiencing cash flow issues or are considering a foreclosure or short sale on your home, please contact Char at the Char MacCallum Real Estate Group.  Char is a Certified Distressed Property Expert and can help you navigate through the foreclosure and short sale process while helping your best interests in mind.  The office is 913-782-8857 or you can email char@char4homes.com

Lenders are starting to relax their standards

by char-maccallum-real-estate-group-inc

Wondering what’s going on with Interest Rates?  Are Lenders starting to “relax” their standards a bit?

We’ve seen a lot of activity in our Johnson County, Kansas area – particularly in our OlatheHomes for Sale.

WOW, we are seeing a HOT sellers market right now.  Here’s a quick video about what’s going on in our mortgage industry.

Are you looking for a new Kansas City area home?  Check out our free power search atwww.FindKansasCityRealEstate.com

Breathe Easier at Home

by char-maccallum-real-estate-group-inc

The benefits of regularly changing the heating and air-conditioning filters are obvious to homeowners; the real challenge is creating a system to make sure it gets done. Just like real life right?

A reasonable schedule would be to replace it with a new one-inch pleated filter every 60-90 days. Households with shedding pets should consider replacing them every month. Some people change their filters every month when they pay their electric bills.  A simple system would be to set a recurring appointment on your calendar like Outlook or Google.

Filters trap dust, mold and bacteria which can directly affect the air quality and play havoc with your allergies. When a filter is dirty, it prevents proper airflow and allows dust, dirt and allergens to blow through your home. Changing your filter regularly helps to avoid maintenance, improves equipment life and produces increased energy savings.

When shopping for filters, it’s understandable to look for the best bargain but the cheapest price may not be the best choice. When purchasing, recognize that HEPA-rated and HEPA-type filters are not the same thing. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. A HEPA filter meets or exceeds standards for efficiency set by the U.S. Department of Energy. Most HVAC contractors recommend HEPA filters.

Some filters need to be changed monthly and other types have manufacturer recommendations of every three months. An alternative to disposable filters are the permanent, washable types. These will cost more initially but because you can clean them and re-use them, eventually, you’ll recapture the cost and realize savings.  It’s going to be a busy, hot summer here in Johnson County, Kansas!  Make sure that your home is ready to tackle the heat with your air conditioner running efficiently!  Need an HVAC company for any maintenance issues?  Call the Char MacCallum Real Estate Group office at 913-782-8857 and we can tell you who we use!

Things to do Fathers Day Weekend in Kansas City!

by char-maccallum-real-estate-group-inc

Happy Father’s Day Weekend!

Wondering what to do this weekend?  Here’s a few things going on in our area for you to give you some ideas!

Saturday, June 15
Kids Fishing Derby, Cedar Lake, and Gates open at 7:30 a.m., open to first 700 participants. Register and check in from 7:30 to 9: am. Receive gift bag, t shirt and id number before fishing.
http://www.olatheks.org/parksrec/Fishing

Saturday and Sunday, June 15 – 16
Fiesta Filipina at the Filipino Cultural Center. An annual showcase of Filipino culture, food, dance, music, and games. The Fiesta commemorates Philippine Independence and will feature: a sampling of favorite Filipino cuisine, performances by the Sinag-Tala Dance Troupe and Sampaguita Choir, and arts and crafts from various vendors, among others. Cost is $2 per person. Children 12 and under are free. Open Saturday 12 AM-8 PM; and Sunday 12-6 PM.
http://www.filipino-association.org/calendar/showevent.asp?_id=65

Sunday, June 16th
Father’s day at the Kansas City Zoo. Dads receive free admission Sunday and a hot dog. Live radio remote with 105.1 JACK FM.

Saturday, June 15, 3-10 p.m
Johnny Ray’s Drive In steak burger restaurant hosting cruise in on third Saturday of the month, .Enjoy food and classic cars with dad.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Johnny-Rays-Drive-In/214056801996667

Sunday, June 16
Paradise Park Family Fun Center
Father’s day promotion Fathers receive free entrance and $ 5 off Indoor / Outdoor max Park.
http://www.paradise-park.com/promotions.aspx?id=5

Saturday June 15 & Sunday June 16
Bass Pro Shops, Olathe.
Father’s Day Weekend Event- Kids can enjoy the catch and release fishing pond with Dad. Free, noon to 5:00 p.m.

Hope this gives you a few “dad” related things to do!  Whatever you do this weekend, relax and enjoy!

Char, What’s My Home Worth?

by char-maccallum-real-estate-group-inc

What should we offer when we purchase?  How much can I list my house for?

Question button.pngHow much is a one carat diamond worth? Anyone who has shopped for one knows that the price could have a significantly wide range of value. It’s been said that purchasers should consider the color, cut, clarity and carat size to compare stones but when it gets down to decision time, buyers still want to know “how much is it worth?”

Real estate valuation can be equally as confusing to the public. TheChar MacCallum Real Estate Group receives several phone calls a week wondering what “the market” is doing in our Olathe, Kansas area. Our Johnson County area home prices vary significantly these days with a hot sellers market!  There are three commonly used tools that today’s home buyers rely on to make decisions but they vary significantly in the methods used to make the determination as well as the possible final consideration.

1.  Appraisals are an opinion or estimate of value based on specific guidelines made by individuals who are licensed and possibly certified. Buyers and sellers may be reluctant to engage an appraiser because there is a fee of several hundred dollars that must be paid in advance even if no sale is ever consummated.

2.  A Broker’s Price Opinion (BPO) as defined by the National Association of REALTORS® is an “estimate of the probable selling price of a property.” The Dodd-Frank Act describes a BPO as “an estimate…that details the probable selling price of a particular piece of real estate property and provides a varying level of detail about the property’s condition, market, and neighborhood, and information on comparable sales, but does not include an automated valuation model.”

3.  A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is a commonly used tool of salespeople to provide information to buyers and sellers to facilitate a sale. In most cases, it would be difficult to distinguish a CMA from a BPO because the steps considered are essentially the same and practitioners commonly use the terms interchangeably.

Another method called Automated Value Model (AVM) use software to search available data on the Internet to arrive at an approximation of value. Zestimates found on the Zillow site use this method. AVM’s may not consider all the market activity such as MLS sales and active listings. They can’t make adjustments based on human experience and market knowledge.

For what it’s worth, a buyer or seller might want to acquire as much current and factual information as possible from a trusted real estate professional familiar with the market before making a decision on the largest single asset most people acquire. Our Kansas City and Olathe, Kansas market is a sellers’s market right now.  If homes are priced well and in good condidtion, we have been seeing them FLY off the market – often in multiple offer situations.

Are you wondering what your home is worth?

Want to see homes for sale in our Kansas City area?

Give us a call at The Char MacCallum Real Estate Group at 913-782-8857.

Is a new construction home more affordable?

by char-maccallum-real-estate-group-inc

Can you come out ahead by buying a newer home?  In the Char MacCallum Real Estate Group, we often get asked the differences in buying a newer home vs. maintenance on an older home.

According to a a recent survey, the National Associate of Home Builders say there is a 23% difference in maintaining a newer vs. older home.  Take a look at this video and see what you think!