Real Estate Information Archive


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Public Service Announcement

by Dan Groteboer


*RE: Temporary Street Closures - DM&E Railroad Activities*
Where: Multiple Street Closures (see below)
When: Thursday, May 21, 2009 from approx. 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern (DM&E) Railroad is planning to unload new rail through the Rochester corridor beginning at approximately 11 a.m., Thursday, May 21st.
They will begin their unloading activity on the east side of Rochester (1 mile east of E. Circle Drive). Their train is 2000 feet long and they unload rail in 1600 foot segments. Thus, multiple street crossings will be impacted as DM&E crews carry out their rail unloading activity. They will travel westward from E. Circle Drive unloading rail. This activity will temporarily close several crossings at the same time (i.e. 15th Ave NE, 11th Ave NE, and 9th Ave NE). These crossings could be closed from 1 to 2 hours in duration.
All Rochester Railroad / Street Crossings will be impacted and they include: E. Circle Dr (CSAH 22), 15th Ave NE, 11th Ave NE, 9th Ave NE, 7th Ave NE (Cemetery entrance), W. Silver Lake Dr (2nd Ave NE), Broadway, 1st Ave NW, 4th Ave NW, 6th Ave NW, 11th Ave NW, and 7th St NW.
The traveling public should avoid the easterly city street crossings from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the westerly street crossings from 6 to 9 p.m. City police, City public works, county sheriff, and MnDOT will have patrols and staff available to assist with traffic control operations. Motorists are advised to use caution while driving in these areas.

*DM&E's schedule is weather dependent. If weather conditions cancel their work, they will reschedule their work to Friday, May 22nd beginning at 8 a.m.*
You can change your subscriptions, password or e-mail address , or unsubscribe at any time on your Subscriber Preferences Page [ ] using you e-mail address to log in.

For questions or problems with this subscription service, e-mail
This service is provided to you at no charge by Olmsted County [ ].
GovDelivery, Inc. sending on behalf of Olmsted County . Government Center . 151 4th Street SE . Rochester MN 55904 . 1-800-439-1420

Tell Your Buyers About Their FHA Options

by Dan Groteboer
Tell Your Buyers About Their FHA Options 
By Deborah Ball, RE/MAX Times Online Associate Editor

Low home prices. Historic interest rates. Tax credits. Stimulus packages. Bailouts. There's a lot of chatter about how these factors affect the real estate market, but not enough talk about a no-brainer financing option, according to one RE/MAX veteran.

FHA financing seems to be a neglected talking point on the national media stage, says Fred Doleac, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Country Properties in Amherst, N.H.

Doleac wonders why more industry leaders and real estate agents aren't taking the opportunity to explain the attainability of FHA loans. The loans, which require only a 3.5 percent downpayment and a decent (but not necessarily excellent) credit score, are ideal for qualified, first-time homebuyers who have low or manageable debt-to-income ratios but may not have tons of cash for a conventional-loan down payment.

"All you hear in the news are naysayers telling consumers they won't be approved for a mortgage unless they put 20 percent down and have perfect credit," Doleac says. "But that's simply not true. Unfortunately, the popular perception is that money isn't available and you can't get it right now if you don't meet these astronomical requirements. That's why so many people aren't budging right now."

That's where you, the real estate expert, come in, Doleac says. Real estate agents need to talk about FHA financing every chance they get with prospects, other colleagues and in the local media. Doleac recently appeared on American Public Radio's Marketplace Money program to spread the word, and is frequently featured as a real estate news source in a local paper. His efforts have paid off.

"The buying side is where you'll make your money in the next three years," Doleac says. "First-time buyers are out there, and when they start buying, more move-up buyers can get to their next home. The problem is, though, that most agents don't have sufficient lead generation to find these buyers."

Doleac shares these tips for agents interested in spreading the word about FHA financing:

1. First, educate yourself. Meet with a lender who has a delegated FHA underwriter (not a mortgage broker; a full-service lender). Ask the lender to give you a working knowledge of FHA loans, highlighting the key points you'll need to present to buyers.

2. After getting the facts, include the message in your marketing. Send out blast e-mails, post it on your Web site, put it in flyers or mention it during pop bys. Position FHA financing as a benefit for everyone you come in contact with. Make it part of your everyday real estate dialogue. You have to talk about it.

3. Key talking points for FHA loans:

  • The borrower must meet standard FHA credit qualifications (there's no set credit score barometer, but a borrower's debt-to-income ratio is heavily considered).
  • The borrower is able to finance the upfront mortgage insurance premium into the loan. The borrower will be responsible for paying an annual premium.
  • The FHA mortgage requires a low 3.5-percent down payment, and that money can come from a variety of sources, including parent gifts and HUD downpayment assistance grants.
  • Closing costs are also low - typically 3 percent of the total purchase price - and are usually covered by the seller in today's market. They can also be incorporated into monthly payments.
  • Eligible properties are one-to-four unit structures, and each state has a purchase price limit (as high as $400,000) for FHA loans.
  • If a buyer finds a fixer-upper, the FHA 203(k) program can help the person purchase or refinance the property, with the cost of repairs and improvements included in the loan.
  • FHA home mortgages aren't just for first-time homebuyers. FHA refinance loans can help people get out of toxic debt situations caused by subprime mortgages with high interest rates.

4. Have trouble finding those buyer leads? Ask the human resource departments of local companies if you can host a free, brown-bag lunch seminar for first-time homebuyers (in addition to investors and retirees to cover all employee demographics). Focus on FHA financing, but don't forget to mention the $8,000 tax credit and low interest rates too.

5. Once you find first-time buyer clients, sit them down with a lender who specializes in FHA loans to get them pre-approved for FHA financing. They may qualify for a smaller property, like a condo or townhome. Make sure the property (be it a house or a condo located in a covenant-protected community) is FHA friendly; some properties are not eligible for purchase with an FHA loan.

6. Disclose everything and make sure to establish trust and credibility as your buyers go through the FHA financing process. Explain all their options and be realistic with them if their expectations aren't in line with what they qualify for.

Comment on this story
E-mail your comments to Please include your full name, RE/MAX office, city and state or province. Comments, slightly edited for length, flow and punctuation, will appear below.

Comments (1)
Why would you not want to talk to a mortgage broker? I am a mortgage broker who owns two RE/MAX franchises. I have been doing FHA loans for 15 years. I think I have a little bit of knowledge about the product.   

1. A mortgage broker who is HUD-approved is treated like a lender and their sponsors have FHA underwriters on staff.

2. What makes you think brokers are not full service? I can't begin to tell you how many deals I saved that loan officers at banks screwed up.  

3. Underwriters do not take loan applications. They do not structure the loan. The loan officers do (with my company or with a bank). Underwriters ensure they have the documentation to sell the loan to an investor.

4. I deal on the wholesale side with FHA lenders and get better rates than the retail side. Yes, banks are paid a yield spread; it is just built into the rate. Plus, they do not have to disclose it on the HUD, so you never know how much spread the bank is making. You do with brokers, as it is disclosed on the GFE and the HUD.

5. I am not saying banks or their affiliates do not do a good job.( Every few years they try to take over the real estate broker business.)  

I agree that FHA is a great product. However, it is the people you deal with who will provide the service, be it a broker or a bank. Most RE/MAX agents know this. However, get all the facts about FHA-approved brokers. Remember, Mr. Doleac, if it were not for our brand, your sign would be reading Fred's Real Estate Co.
Kim Schieldknecht, RE/MAX Elite and The Clermont Financial Group, Cincinnati, Ohio


RE/MAX  International Seeks to have 7,500 Agents earn the Certified Distressed Property Designation This Year


 RE/MAX  International continues its commitment to the marketplace and to agent education by announcing the goal of having 7,500 RE/MAX Agents earn the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation this year.


RE/MAX Chairman and Cofounder Dave Liniger announced the corporation's plans at the RE/MAX International convention in Las Vegas on March 3.


"The CDPE designation is one of the most important and timely educational products I have seen in over 40 years in the real estate business," said Liniger.  "I will do whatever it takes to get as many agents as possible through this course so they can help homeowners, the economy and our country."


Liniger and his wife Gail recently went as far as to personally subsidize a portion of the cost of the course for RE/MAX agents willing to make the commitment to attend.


The Distressed Property Institute, based in Boca Raton, FL and launched in January 2008, offers the Certified Distressed Property Experts (CDPE) designation after comprehensive on-site or online training on how to handle short sales.  The institute was founded by dynamic real estate veteran Alex Charfen.


"The fact that a global real estate powerhouse like RE/MAX has committed to training its agents on short sales demonstrates that this is a market all Realtors® must understand," Charfen said.  "Realtors® are in a position to help people avoid foreclosure.  They can be a great catalyst for the recovery of this housing crisis."


Nationally, only 12 percent of short sales are approved.  Among CDPE designated Realtors®, more than 45 percent of existing home sales in the fourth quarter of 2008 were foreclosures and short sales.  In a short sale transaction, homeowners sell their property for less than the mortgage amount, but avoid the foreclosure process.


The CDPE designation has been endorsed by many major U.S. brokerages.  Numerous industry icons have also endorsed the CDPE, including Howard Brinton, founder of STAR POWER System; Bob Corcoran, founder of Corcoran Coaching and Consulting, Brian Buffini of Buffini and Company and David Knox, founder of Knox Properties.

Author:  RE/MAX International, CO 

Homeowners In Danger of Foreclosure

by Dan Groteboer




Dan Groteboer of RE/MAX of Rochester, Rochester, MN has earned the prestigious Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, having completed extensive training in foreclosure avoidance and short sales.  This is invaluable expertise to offer at a time when the area is ravaged by "distressed" homes in the foreclosure process.


Short sales allow the cash-strapped seller to repay the mortgage at the price that the home sells for, even though it is lower than what is owed on the property.  With plummeting property values, this can save many people from foreclosure and even bankruptcy.  More and more lenders are willing to consider short sales because they are much less costly than foreclosures.


In the Rochester area, more than 3,450 homes are in danger of foreclosing.  It is happening in all price ranges.  Local experts say that even high priced homes are not immune.


"This CDPE designation has been invaluable as I work with sellers and lenders on complicated short sales," said Groteboer.  "It is so rewarding to be able to help sellers save their homes from foreclosure."


Alex Charfen, founder of the Distressed Property Institute in Boca Raton, Fla., said that Realtors® such as Dan Groteboer with the CDPE designation have valuable training in short sales that can offer the homeowner much better alternatives to foreclosure, which virtually destroys the credit rating.  These experts also may better understand market conditions and can help sellers through the emotional experience, he said.


The Distressed Property Institute opened in January 2008 and provides training on-site and online.  The CDPE is the premier designation for Realtors helping homeowners in distress and handling short sales.


"Our goal is to educate as many people as possible so we can help as many homeowners as possible," Charfen said.


Author:  RE/MAX of Rochester, Rochester, MN



Top 100 Individuals - United States

by Dan Groteboer

Top 100 Individuals – United States


Standings for January through March 2009, based on residential commissions

paid. Rankings are compiled from figures submitted by regional offices.


1. William Derrick, RE/MAX Realty Associates, Camp Hill, PA

2. Michael R. Novak-Smith, RE/MAX Results, Moreno Valley, CA

3. Christopher J. Townson, RE/MAX Associates, San Diego, CA

4. Jeffrey J. Detloff II, RE/MAX Results, Eden Prairie, MN

5. Kimberly K. Pitaniello, RE/MAX Alliance, Lone Tree, CO

6. Debra L. Craig-Banducci, RE/MAX Magic, Bakersfield, CA

7. Rory R. Posin, RE/MAX Marquee Partners Inc, West Los Angeles, CA

8. Thomas Applegate, RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists, Long Beach, CA

9. Yang-Uk Kim, RE/MAX Tiffany Real Estate, Cypress, CA

10. Matuos Y. Matti, RE/MAX Tri-City Realty, Glendale, CA

11. Claude A. Worrell, RE/MAX Results, Plymouth, MN

12. Erik Sellfors, RE/MAX Coast And Valley, Simi Valley, CA

13. Carlos M. Alvarez, RE/MAX Total, Baton Rouge, LA

14. Valerie Hyams, RE/MAX Advantage, Las Vegas, NV

15. Michael Seder, RE/MAX The Woodlands And Spring I, The Woodlands, TX

16. Paul T. Endres, RE/MAX Properties Inc, Allen Park, MI

17. William M. Carrillo, RE/MAX Real Estate Services, Capitola, CA

18. Patrick J. Wilkins, RE/MAX Results Realty, Marco Island, FL

19. Clayton E. Craft, RE/MAX Premier IV, Frisco, TX

20. Douglas A. Goss, RE/MAX Real Estate Services, Cupertino, CA

21. Colleen J. Noble, RE/MAX Gold, Rancho Cordova, CA

22. Chad D. Lund, RE/MAX Marquee Partners Inc, West Los Angeles, CA

23. Donald L. Simril, RE/MAX Executives, Atlanta, GA

24. Willie H. Colston, RE/MAX Allegiance, Virginia Beach, VA

25. John J. Postma, RE/MAX Grand Rapids Inc, Grand Rapids, MI

26. Jeahad Kadaf, RE/MAX Leading Edge, Dearborn Heights, MI

27. Cassondra J. Birnie, RE/MAX Results, Moreno Valley, CA

28. Dan Groteboer, RE/MAX of Rochester, Rochester, MN

29. Mary Bee, RE/MAX Today, San Carlos, CA

30. Michael Farabaugh, RE/MAX First Choice, Baltimore, MD

31. Jonathan J. Cohen, RE/MAX Olson & Associates, Northridge, CA

32. Noe A. Renteria, RE/MAX Real Estate Services North, Salinas, CA

33. Susan M. Varley, RE/MAX Partners, Corona, CA

34. Merlin J. DeCoud, RE/MAX Results, Moreno Valley, CA

35. Timon P. Mitrakas, RE/MAX Pros, Germantown, MD

36. Russ L. Robinson, RE/MAX Greater Atlanta, Roswell, GA

37. Arthur Angelo, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, Carson City, NV

38. Eric B. Evans, RE/MAX Executive Realty, Charlotte, NC

39. Albert Hakim, RE/MAX Associates, St Clair Shores, MI

40. Daniel R. Clarke, RE/MAX Unlimited, Aurora, CO

41. Thomas P. Rucci, RE/MAX Advantage, Henderson, NV

42. Brian M. Pane, RE/MAX Grand Central, Tarzana, CA

43. Kamran Montazami, RE/MAX Premier Realty, Irvine, CA

44. Robert E. Siegmeth, RE/MAX Olson & Associates, Northridge, CA

45. Perrie A. Mundy, RE/MAX Advantage, Redlands, CA

46. Aruna Batra, RE/MAX Real Estate Services, Cupertino, CA

47. Marili N. Nielson, RE/MAX Equity Group-Van Mall, Vancouver, WA

48. Matthew R. Fisher, RE/MAX Premier Properties, Plano, TX

49. John Capiro, RE/MAX Marquee Partners Inc, Marina del Rey, CA

50. Joanne S. Generelli, RE/MAX Advantage 1, Worcester, MA

51. Shu Lien Chen, RE/MAX Premier Realty, Irvine, CA

52. Edward W. Lukasik, RE/MAX Professionals, Bolingbrook, IL

53. Patrick Daniali, RE/MAX Champions, Upland, CA

54. Joel Terry, RE/MAX OTB Estates, Sherman Oaks, CA

55. Jason Zaitz, RE/MAX Accord, San Ramon, CA

56. Pauline Cheng, RE/MAX Premier Properties, Arcadia, CA

57. Connie Ritchie, RE/MAX Suburban, Schaumburg, IL

58. Ryan M. Turbyfill, RE/MAX Alliance 3000, Aurora, CO

59. Michael J. Martin, RE/MAX Realty 100, Hales Corner, WI

60. Marty Azoulay, RE/MAX Grand Central, Tarzana, CA

61. Stephen J. Rottler, RE/MAX Southeast, Denver, CO

62. Dave C. Larsen, RE/MAX Partners, Corona, CA

63. Brian P. Hellwig, RE/MAX Boulder Inc, Boulder, CO

64. Kathleen Haney Jackson, RE/MAX Real Estate Services North, Salinas, CA

65. Gary Lee Miles, RE/MAX Alliance, Greenwood Village, CO

66. John Shroyer, RE/MAX Today, San Carlos, CA

67. Sean D. Simien, RE/MAX Results, Moreno Valley, CA

68. Jane McCuish, RE/MAX Town And Country, Port Orchard, WA

69. Robert Jones, RE/MAX West, Boise, ID

70. Angel Hernandez, RE/MAX Community Realty, Whittier, CA

71. Mike Ayoub, RE/MAX Team 2000, Dearborn, MI

72. Nanette B. Flock, RE/MAX Select Properties, Ashburn, VA

73. Bruce A. Nelles, RE/MAX Reliance, Princeton, MN

74. Charles H. Le, RE/MAX Marquee Partners Inc, Beverly Hills, CA

75. Brady B. Sandahl, RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants, Palm Springs, CA

76. Larissa Rubijevsky, RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty, Rolling Hills Estates, CA

77. Elizabeth Marquart, RE/MAX Marquee Partners Inc, West Los Angeles, CA

78. Aram Gaboudian, RE/MAX Tri-City Realty, Pasadena, CA

79. Mark Beydoun, RE/MAX Team 2000, Dearborn, MI

80. Fred S. Levein, RE/MAX 100, Louisville, KY

81. Joy L. Daniels, RE/MAX Realty Professionals Inc, Harrisburg, PA

82. Donald E. Thompson Jr., RE/MAX Premier Properties, Plano, TX

83. Beata Synowiec, RE/MAX Classic, Farmington, MI

84. Anthony Sessa, RE/MAX Horizons Realty, Pensacola, FL

85. Bruce A. Mattis, RE/MAX Partners, Corona, CA

86. Shahriar A. Varnoos, RE/MAX Grand Central, Tarzana, CA

87. Gerall W. Tomlinson, RE/MAX At The River Inc, Bullhead City, AZ

88. Javier G. Castro, RE/MAX Gold Coast, Ventura, CA

89. Robert T. Cadez, RE/MAX Elite Team, Temecula, CA

90. Frank J. Roberts, RE/MAX Landmark, Terrell, TX

91. Mark A. Jenks, RE/MAX Specialists, Jacksonville, FL

92. William J. Ruane, RE/MAX Marquee Partners Inc, El Segundo, CA

93. Kristy L. Petrillo, RE/MAX Town & Country - Riverstone, Canton, GA

94. Dan K. England, RE/MAX Alliance 3000, Aurora, CO

95. Kevin J. Carter, RE/MAX Select Properties, Ashburn, VA

96. Keith Gaertner, RE/MAX Excalibur Realty, Scottsdale, AZ

97. Amy B. Bergstrom, RE/MAX Southeast, Denver, CO

98. Jacqueline Scura, RE/MAX First Choice, Parsippany, NJ

99. Christopher J. Mahoney, RE/MAX One Call Realty, Framingham, MA

100. Jeffrey S. Anderson, RE/MAX Results, Apple Valley, MN

Author:  2009 RE/MAX International Inc.


Real Estate Update

by Dan Groteboer


With Affordability Up, Home Buyers are Starting to Return

Thanks to record low mortgage rates and declining home prices, 55 million families – or half of all U.S. households --  can afford today’s $200,000 median-priced new home, according to figures released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

"That’s an increase of 17 million households from conditions just two years ago and the best housing affordability number we have seen in years," said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson, a home builder from Tulsa, Okla. "We are now seeing the first signs that buyers are returning to the marketplace."

Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau comparing home prices, mortgage rates and minimum income needed to purchase a median-priced home in February 2007 and February 2009, a typical family today can purchase a house with $20,000 less in household income and save nearly $500 per month on their principal, interest, taxes and insurance. The number of households that can afford to purchase a home today is 55.4 million, compared with 38.4 million two years ago, according to figures compiled by NAHB.

"With affordability up dramatically, reports from our builders in the field indicate that foot traffic in new homes is on the rise and consumer interest is increasing with each passing day. These are encouraging signs that the housing market may be finally reaching a bottom," said Robson.

Entering the crucial spring home buying season, there are other signs that buyers are starting to return to the market.

Single-family permits were up 11 percent in February, new and existing home sales also posted gains and the huge inventory backlog is being slowly whittled down. In a survey for Century 21 Real Estate last month among prospective first-time home buyers who indicated they were likely to purchase a home in the next two years, a majority – 78 percent – said that now is a good time to buy a home. Of those responding to the online poll, 68 percent said that now is a better time to buy than six months ago.

  Another sign that consumers are considering jumping back into the housing market is the growing interest in the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit included in the recently enacted economic stimulus package. During February and March, 1.5 million visitors logged on to NAHB’s consumer Web site,, to learn more about the tax credit. Further, a new survey commissioned by Move, Inc. found that nearly 20 percent of those who plan to purchase a home this year are doing so to take advantage of the tax credit, which expires at the end of November.  

"With home values in many markets at the lowest level since 2003, an $8,000 tax credit available to first-time home buyers, fixed-rate mortgages under 5 percent, and an outstanding selection of homes to choose from, buyers are starting to recognize that this has the makings for a one-time opportunity to break into the market," said Robson.  

Housing is a critical component of the U.S. economy, accounting for about 15 cents of every dollar spent in this country, so any upturn in the housing market should be viewed as good news for the overall economy, said Robson.  

Construction of an additional 500,000 single-family homes – the difference between today’s anemic construction rate and one that would move closer to meeting the underlying demand for housing – would generate 734,000 jobs and $35 billion in wages in the construction industry  and another 790,000 jobs and $37.7 billion wages in manufacturing, trade, and service sector jobs, he noted.  

Additionally, another half-million housing starts would bolster the tax base for government, generating $45 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues. And the benefits go well beyond the completion of each home. Within the first year after buying a home, those half million households will spend about $2.5 billion more on appliances, furnishings and property alterations.  

"Clearly, housing will be central to any economic recovery we experience in the months ahead," said Robson.

Written by Realty Times Staff

One Crazy Busy Life

by Dan Groteboer

I feel like I have a very successful life. It's full. Overflowing actuallly. I have been told that I don’t know how to relax. On Saturday I woke up early, went to Lowes to buy a paint scraper, sandpaper and then continued to the nursery to pick up some ivy and spring flowers. I came home, scraped and sanded the table top that my youngest daughter had used to express her creativity some years ago by decorateing it with purple, pink and bronze flowers. I painted it white. I planted and then recovered all the chair seats. My thumb is still numb from sticking in the tacks.  In between I made lunch for the family. That is what I did. There is a much longer list of the things that I didn’t do that day.

I made a birthday breakfast for my daughter on Sunday. Got up early and made crepes, set the table, sliced fruit, grated chocolate….and I waited until she woke up so we could all enjoy brunch together. I only make crepes 3 times a year, for each of the children’s birthday. It’s become a tradition along with the pink balloon and decorations.

You might think that I have time on my hands, but really I don’t. I just seem to have a potent brew bubbling over with equal parts of procrastination and rationalization. Yes, I know that I am allowing everybody’s needs to rise to the surface, like cream.

Work feels like a retreat. Here I don’t have to think about all the things that I have to do. Here it’s simple. Here I create structure. Aha…I wonder if I can bring this structure that I have allotted to my work space home. I seem to leave it at the door in the same way as I leave the kids to miraculously fend for themselves when I leave for work.

I guess I could give up a little more sleep or maybe just give up a little more in general. I love my crazy busy life and everything that in suggests and consumes. But, I do need to carve some of that life out just for me. One hour a day. My inspiration time. That is my goal. Each day I will give myself an hour. The hour cannot be to do things for someone else. It can and should be working out, reading a book, writing – just something that makes no one happy except me. 

And here is the most wonderful gift in all of this. When we make ourselves happy it spreads to everyone else in our world!
Author:  Jacqui Markowitz

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7





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