There's a new grass-roots group called "Bloggers for Good" that is having their first ever meet-up and charity event at O'Faolain's Irish Restaurant in Sterling, VA on February 19.
The meet-up will be a chill, fun way to grab some food and drinks and hang out with fellow local bloggers while raising money for charity. If you're a blogger in the area, I hope to see you there.
Here's the official press release including more details about the group and the event next month:
Bloggers for Good is a new, grass-roots group that leverages local blog communities to help people meet, greet, and give to a good cause. BFG events provide a chance to gather in a fun, social setting with a common interest and a bigger purpose.
BFG “meetups” are designed to be low-key, interesting, and enjoyable. There is no cover charge or advance signup required; bloggers, their readers, and the general public are encouraged to attend.
Some of the attendees include Erica Garman of the Washington Post’s Loudoun Extra website, author/blogger Tammi Marcoullier of the blog InsideOut, and Dan Sousa of LoudounPrepSports.
The first BFG meetup will take place on February 19, 2009 from 6-8 p.m. at O’Faolain’s Irish Restaurant in Sterling, VA. Proceeds will benefit Loudoun Interfaith Relief; including a percentage of restaurant sales, raffle sales, canned food collection and direct donations.
BFG events are primarily publicized through "word of blog." Supportive bloggers and their fans support the event by posting the BFG logo graphic/badge on their blogs, writing about the event, and attending the meetup.
With your help, another BFG event will be coming soon to a place near you!
For more information, visit www.BloggersforGood.org.
Loudoun County just released the name of the neighborhoods that qualify for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). This is part of the NSP application process to, which Loudoun will submit to Virginia at the end of this month in hopes of securing at least $2 million to buy foreclosed properties for rehab.
The designated neighborhoods are (Adobe Reader required):
- Crestwood Hamlet
- Heritage Square
- Hunington Ridge
- Sterling Park South (A)
- Sterling Park South (B)
- Sugarland Run
The application for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program requires Loudoun County to provide a list of qualified buyers that would be interested in purchasing a property in these designated neighborhoods.
If you are interested in purchasing a property in one of these designated neighborhoods through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, contact me and have the following information ready:
- Phone number
- Pre-qualification letter from a lender (aka "approval letter" or "lender letter")
- The deadline for these applications is January 27, 2009 (the application from the county is due to Virginia at the end of the month and these applications need to be a part of that)
- Without the above information, the County will not process your application
- The information listed above is required by Loudoun County as well as Virginia - this is not a gimmick to get your information for my own records (I was asked by Loudoun County to be part of the group providing input into the program and application process)
My contact info: danilo.bogdanovic (at) gmail (dot) com - 703.582.6900 (cell)
You've all probably heard the term "loan modifications" being thrown around a lot lately. It's being referred to by many as a way to help troubled borrowers and help soften the blow of the foreclosure and mortgage crisis. Many believe that if we lower the rate and/or change the terms on the subprime loans that are causing the very mess we're in, we'll be able to help borrowers while getting through this mess faster and with less destruction.
But not everyone feels the same way, especially the subprime lenders who gave out those sub-prime loans in the first place. After crunching the numbers, many subprime lenders feel that modifying subprime loans will cost them more than just letting those in trouble default and go into foreclosure.
Perhaps to you and I… But remember that these subprime lenders are businesses - they're concerned with their bottom line and shareholders, not the well-being of borrowers. If they have to sacrifice a few borrowers for the greater good of their bottom line, they will do so.
There's an excellent post by Rob Blake over at BiggerPockets.com on this topic. It reveals some recent Fed research and statistics that go along with the notion that subprime lenders would rather just let the inevitable (foreclosures) happen than help troubled borrowers.
Here's an excerpt:
So the researchers factored in the cost of the “accidental helping” of those who didn’t need it…which does occur when you do en mass loan modification ala Sheila Blair’s method. With this factored in, the subprime borrower now shows a negative “Net Gain” of -12.7%. The bank loses money even after reducing the principal amount…a no-win situation.
Combine this fact with the fact that 67% of subprime home-owner borrowers were going to pay in full without any help whatsoever, we get a reluctant banking industry when it comes to principal reduction loan mods.
Another argument Rob makes in his post is that "loan modifications" and other such help are actually delaying the inevitable and interfering with the natural course of the market. I believe that there is truth to that. But I share in his sentiment…
I say this with equal parts relief that the debate is over…and overwhelming sadness the only logical conclusion means, in this case, “help” turns into hindrance.
I really wanted it to go the other way…
Bottom lines…share holders…delaying the inevitable… All sad realities, but realities nevertheless.
Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!
Yes, this is shameless self-promotion so cover your ears or click "back" if you'd like…
The Washington Post ran an article entitled "2008 Foreclosures Mostly in Sterling, Leesburg" both, online and in last Sunday's Loudoun Extra print edition. The article talks about how most of the foreclosures and bank-owned properties in Loudoun County are in Sterling and Leesburg.
The piece features myself as well as data and a foreclosure map discussed at the Dulles Area Association of Realtors Economic and Housing Forecast Summit, which took place last month.
If you haven't seen it, here's the online version of the article over at Living in LoCo/LoudounExtra.com.
You may be wondering if you're able to do a home inspection on a foreclosure/bank-owned or short-sale property prior to writing an offer or afterwards. Well, the answer is "no" and "maybe". The "no" is the easy part - the "maybe" is where it gets tricky.
The easy part…You definitely do not get to do a home inspection prior to submitting an offer. That's the case with most all residential real estate sales - foreclosures/bank-owned properties, short-sales, traditional resales and new construction.
The tricky part…you may or may not be allowed to do an inspection of the property after verbal or written ratification. Let me explain…
Some banks will let you do an inspection of the property within a certain time frame from the date of ratification, either written or verbal ratification. If that's the case, you can have the property inspected and if there are "material deficiencies" (e.g. cracked foundation, water damage, holes in the roof), you can give notice to the bank and walk-away from the contract. You must provide the inspection report noting the "material deficiences" along with the notice that you're walking away within the specified time frame.
Some banks will not allow you to conduct an inspection nor have a clause that lets you pull out of the deal if you find something "wrong with the property" after the contract has been ratified. And no…you can't just ask your agent to "open the door for you" and let you waltz around the house doing an inspection anyway.
The contract will most likely state that the bank will give you "reasonable access to the property" and accessing the property for an inspection that is not agreed upon in the contract is not "reasonable". I'm not a lawyer, but I wouldn't be shocked to find out that the bank may view something like that as trespassing and possibly a breach of contract. (Thank goodness that I've never had to find that out for real)
How do you know if an inspection is allowed and whether there's a clause that protects you and leaves you a way out?
Have your agent find out for you or, if you're in Dual Agency, ask the listing agent (I do NOT recommend Dual Agency, but that's for another post). There are other ways to protect yourself such as putting certain language in your offer, but I won't get into details about that here on this post.
And make sure you find stuff like this out before you write an offer so you're not wasting your time nor getting stuck buying a property that ends up being a lot more hassle and work than you originally thought.
Hope you have a Happy New Year and best wishes for 2009!