The Preserve in Allen August 2011 Update

The Preserve in Allen

We had a nice conversion with Toni Petty with Ashton Woods yesterday about The Preserve in Allen. The project is slightly ahead of schedule and presales should begin in November 2011.

In an earlier blog, we wrote that there was some discussion about The Preserve in Allen being part of Twin Creeks. That decision has been made and The Preserve will not be part of Twin Creeks.

Ashton Woods has designed seven new floor plans for The Preserve ranging from 2000 to 4000 square feet. Some plans will be available with 3 car tandem garages, bonus rooms, and media rooms. Note the plans have not been finalized and are subject to change. We should have copies of the floor plans in late August and we’ll post them as soon as they are available.

We should have another update at the end of August and will continue to update you on the project as it progresses.

See all Allen TX Homes for Sale.

Read more about The Preserve in Allen.

Photo: Copyright 2011 – Tom Branch

New Home Rebate

Purchase a new home through us and we'll help you with your closing costs! We'll give you a credit of 1.5% of the price of the home at closing to use towards your closing costs.

Click here for our New Home Rebates page.

Mortgage Fraud Trends Part 3

Mortgage Fraud Trends

In Part Two of the series, I presented four types of Fraud for Profit Schemes. In Part Three, I will present the final four types.

Inflated Appraisals – An appraiser purposely completes an appraisal based upon false or misleading date in order to over- or under-state the value of the property. This scheme usually involves the buyer, loan officer, or real estate agent and their knowledge of the misrepresentation.

Foreclosure Schemes – A person offers to assist an underwater or preforeclosure homeowner. The scheme almost always involves transferring the deed to the property. The homeowner is usually asked to pay substantial upfront fees for the service.  The person pockets the up-front fees and then quickly sells the property. The homeowner is left without recourse since they no longer own the home.

Equity Skimming – This scheme almost always involves an investor. The investor uses a straw buyer to purchase the property. Shortly after closing the straw buyer signs a deed transferring ownership to the investor. The investor makes no mortgage payments but rents out the property collecting the rent until the property is foreclosed upon.

Air Loans – The scheme has no real property and no real buyer. Both are imaginary and devised, almost always by a mortgage broker. The broker originated the loan on behalf of the lender with the intent to generate profit from the fraudulent mortgage. After closing, no payments are made on the loan and the lender is left with nothing to foreclose on.

While much has changed in the past few years, many of these schemes are alive and well. We recently had a client who lost their home to foreclosure. They were approached by a Loan Modification Company who offered to file a lawsuit to stop the foreclosure. As part of the deal, the homeowner was to pay them $2500 and sign over the deed to the property. Thank goodness they called me prior to going ahead with the deal!

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

Update on Craig Ranch Townhomes

Chateay at The Settlement at Craig Ranch

CB JENI Homes is making progress on The Chateau Townhomes located in The Settlement at Craig Ranch. Located in the heart of Craig Ranch, the townhomes will be priced from $195k to $230k. The three new floor plans are Camille, Julia, and Natalie.

The first building (shown above) is well under way and the second building is being formed. The first building contains three single-level townhomes. Only one is still available and we expect the building to sell-out prior to completion.

See all McKinney Texas Townhomes for sale.

New Home Rebate

Purchase a new home through us and we'll help you with your closing costs! We'll give you a credit of 1.5% of the price of the home at closing to use towards your closing costs.

Click here for our New Home Rebates page.

Mortgage Fraud Trends Part 2

Mortgage Fraud Trends

In Part One of the series, I presented an overview of mortgage fraud outlining Fraud for Housing and Fraud for Profit Schemes.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has identified eight different schemes that are commonly seen in the US real estate market.  Part Two will cover the first four schemes.

Property Flipping – In this scheme a property is purchased at deflated prices through false documentation, deflated Broker Price Opinions, and deflated appraisals. The property then has minor cosmetic work complete and is sold at a much higher price. This scheme usually involves several individuals. Kickbacks to the individuals involved in the scheme are common. An older variant involved the appraiser on the buyer’s side with over-inflated appraisals. These are less common since the implementation of HVCC.

Silent Second – In this scheme the buyers do not have enough funds to close the transaction. The seller agrees to carry a second, undisclosed loan for the down payment amount. Some sellers go so far as to deposit the funds in the buyers bank so it looks like seasoned funds to the lender. According to the FBI, this type of fraud is more prevalent with builders than a traditional resale seller.

Nominee Loans / Straw Buyers – A straw buyer is a person who purchases a home on behalf of another buyer. They have no intention of living in the house and are simply “lending” their good credit and financial status. In return, the straw buyer is compensated for taking part in the scheme. This usually takes place with higher payments to the straw buyer over the amount due on the note.

Fictitious / Stolen Identities – The buyer uses a false or stolen identity to qualify for the mortgage. The buyer poses as the borrower and uses their credit and documentation to qualify for the mortgage.

In Part 3, I’ll cover the final four schemes.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

McKinney TX Home For Sale 2520 Dunbar

 2520 Dunbar Home For Sale McKinney Texas

3 Bedrooms | 2 Baths | 2-Car Garage | 2039 SF/Tax

McKinney TX Home For Sale – Enjoy all the Stonebridge Ranch amenities! Well-kept single-level Grand home on a corner lot. Open floorplan. Covered front porch opens to tiled entryway and stacked formals. Island kitchen overlooks the family room with wood-burning fireplace. Generous master suite is split away from the other bedroom. Master bath with separate shower, dual sinks, garden tub, and large walk-in closet. Fenced backyard and patio. Zone to McKinney-Boyd High School. 

Click here for Current Pricing, Details, Photos, and Virtual Tour.

See all McKinney TX Homes for Sale.

Source: NTREIS

Mortgage Fraud Trends Part 1

Mortgage Fraud Trends

As an NMLS licensed Mortgage Loan Originator, I did my eight hours of annual continuing education today.  While much of it was specific to the lending community, I found the section on mortgage fraud trends to be very interesting and applicable to a broader audience of real estate professionals.  This blog will be the first in a three-part series on Mortgage Fraud Trends.

There are two kinds of fraud categories:  Fraud for Housing and Fraud for Profit.

Fraud for Housing takes place when a buyer commits fraud so they can purchase a home for their personal use. The fraud is committed though forged/altered documents or otherwise leading the lender to believe they have the income or assets needed to purchase the home. Some buyers are helping out family members and purchase the home as their residence but intend for a family member to reside and make the mortgage payments.

Fraud for Profit schemes usually involve multiple individuals such as appraisers, lenders, real estate agents, and closers. The intent of these fraud rings is to make a profit through inflated appraisals or fraudulent documents/identities.

The FBI has identified eight different kinds of Fraud for Profit Schemes in today’s real estate market:

  • Property Flipping
  • Silent Seconds
  • Nominee/Straw Buyer Loans
  • Fictitious/Stolen Identities
  • Inflated Appraisals
  • Foreclosure Schemes
  • Equity Skimming
  • Air Loans

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) typically does not investigate Fraud for Housing but has stepped up enforcement of Fraud for Profit rings.

In the next part in the series, I’ll cover the first four Fraud for Profit Schemes.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

Market Conditions are Up in Dallas Fort Worth

Dallas Texas Skyline at Dusk

All the discussion in the national media about how bad the housing market is doing doesn’t take into account that all real estate is local in nature. I was reviewing our local sales statistics the other day in preparation for a radio interview I was doing. Te Dallas Fort Worth market is doing very well.

Our MLS covers all of north Texas, so I looked at the numbers for the entire region and then for Collin County.

The first statistic I looked at was average sales price. The average sales price for the region is up 3.5 percent (May 2010 – May 2011) and Collin county is up 5.4 percent. These are really good numbers when you consider that 2010 spring sales were inflated by the federal first-time home buyers and move-up buyers tax credits. Those credits spurred early spring sales and drove down inventory in the early part of the year.

Next I looked at new listings. This figure tells us how much inventory is being added to the market.  New listings are down 17 percent in both the regional and Collin County Markets.  Less inventory is a good thing as long as the market continues to absorb what is available.

Sales closed gives us an indicator of the absorption rate of existing inventory.  Regionally and locally sales are down 14 percent.

With 17 percent fewer listings and only 14 percent fewer sales, we can determine that the overall inventory is shrinking. That’s the primary factor in seeing value stability in the area.

In other good housing news, foreclosure rates continue to fall. Foreclosures have a serious impact on values as they usually sell at a discount over the traditional homes.

All indicators for the Dallas Fort Worth housing market point to a stable market despite what the national media reports. Have a question about your area? Contact a local real estate professional as all real estate is truly local.

Search for Real Estate in Dallas Fort Worth.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR