3444 Mountain Tyme Way, Sevierville, TN

OFFICE PHONE: 865-774-7764
eMail: info@easttnexperts.com

We service ALL areas of East Tennessee!
We can also show and sell ANY property in Tennessee!

Our Featured Properties

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

ETRG hosts Wears Valley OktoberFest

East Tennessee Realty Group, LLC in conjunction with non-profit organization, Friends of Wears Valley hosted the first annual Wears Valley OktoberFest on October 25,2008.

The one day event was a total success with over 3,000 visitors and raised $2,200 to benefit both Wearwood Elementary School and Wears Valley Fire Department. $1,100 was donated to each recipient to buy needed equipment at the fire department and needed supplies for the school.

Fun was had by all with the "Days Gone By" games, various crafters, live music, fodd, and even a greased pig race.

Plans are already underway for next years event which is planned to be a 2 day event with event more vendors and crafters.

We will keep everyone posted as plans come together for next year.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Down Payment Assistance Programs have hope

Members of Congress are making a last-ditch effort to head off an Oct. 1 ban on the use of seller-assisted down payments on federally insured mortgages with a compromise measure designed to win over skeptical federal housing officials.
The proposed bill would resurrect the programs, which Congress, with the backing of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, axed earlier this year. The compromise measure would limit their use to borrowers with higher credit scores. In exchange, HUD would be able to institute risk-based pricing for federally insured mortgages, allowing the agency to charge higher premiums for less-creditworthy borrowers.
Supporters of the measure face an uphill battle, with just weeks before the Oct. 1 deadline and with Congress focused on other matters in the weeks before an election recess. Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.), the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said that HUD has appeared receptive to the proposal, but a HUD spokesman said the agency had "deep reservations about the legislation in its current form."
Under the programs, a third party, usually a nonprofit, provides a down payment to the buyer and is reimbursed by the seller, often a home builder. That allows buyers to qualify for a mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Administration, which requires a down payment of at least 3% -- which will increase to 3.5% on Oct. 1.
The programs had largely filled the void left by the subprime-mortgage market that all but vanished in 2007. Federal officials renewed an effort to end seller-funded assistance earlier this year, arguing that borrowers were two to three times as likely to default on their loans if they received their down payment from a nonprofit. Other critics say that builders simply increase the price of a new home by the price of the down payment.
Builders said the program made homeownership possible for low-income buyers who didn't have money for a down payment. The assistance providers had mounted a lobbying campaign over the years to protect the programs from federal officials who tried to end the practice. The program also had strong support from low-income-housing groups.
"Our view was that, yes, there were abuses, but you ought to be able to curtail those, put in some safeguards and not wipe out the whole thing," said Rep. Frank.
The compromise is designed to ease concerns that the programs' above-average default rates were causing the FHA to lose money. Borrowers with credit scores above 680 would be able to use the programs, and those with scores between 620 and 680 might face higher insurance premiums. Borrowers with credit scores lower than 620 wouldn't be able to use the programs until mid-2009, when the HUD secretary would have the discretion to extend the program to less-creditworthy borrowers.
Home builders have aggressively marketed the assistance programs -- used by nearly 20% of first-time buyers -- urging them to buy a new home before the Oct. 1 ban takes effect. Realtors and builders have said that pulling the plug on the programs would further crimp sales at a time when the housing market has struggled to find a bottom.
"If one of the few financing mechanisms that allows for an accelerated sales rate for builders is taken off the table, it has some impact," said Howard Glaser, a mortgage-industry consultant and former HUD official. "On the other hand, you don't want to create more problems with a loan product that's doomed to fail, and that's also been the case."
Supporters of the program pointed to a new study by Alex Brill, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, challenging HUD's claim that buyers who got seller-funded down-payment assistance were two to three times as likely to default.
"Are our people going to...perform as well as someone who's wealthy enough to bring 20% down payment to the table?" said Scott Syphax, president and chief executive of Nehemiah Corp. of America, one of the nation's largest private down-payment-assistance providers. "Our people are going to be more fragile."
To speak with a real estate agent about Down Payment Assistance call East Tn Realty Group 888-662-3874 or email to info@easttnexperts.com

How to do a short sale

A short sale in real estate is not always a pleasant transaction.
There are many ways to lose a home but signing away ownership in a manner that destroys credit, embarrasses the family and strips an owner of dignity is one of the hardest. For owners who can no longer afford to keep mortgage payments current, there are alternatives to bankruptcy or foreclosure proceedings. One of those options is called a "short sale."
When lenders agree to do a short sale in real estate, it means the lender is accepting less than the total amount due. Not all lenders will accept short sales or discounted payoffs, especially if it would make more financial sense to foreclose; moreover, not all sellers nor all properties qualify for short sales.
If you are considering buying a short sale, there could be drawbacks. For your protection, I suggest that all borrowers:
Obtain legal advice from a competent real estate lawyer
Call an accountant to discuss short sale tax ramifications
As a real estate agent, I am not licensed as a lawyer nor a CPA and cannot advise on those consequences. Except for certain conditions pursuant to the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, be aware the I.R.S. could consider debt forgiveness as income, and there is no guarantee that a lender who accepts a short sale will not legally pursue a borrower for the difference between the amount owed and the amount paid. In some states, this amount is known as a deficiency. A lawyer can determine whether your loan qualifies for a deficiency judgment or claim.
Although all lenders have varying requirements and may demand that a borrower submit a wide array of documentation, the following steps will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect.
Call the Lender
You may need to make a half dozen phone calls before you find the person responsible for handling short sales. You do not want to talk to the "real estate short sale" or "work out" department, you want the supervisor's name, the name of the individual capable of making a decision.
Submit Letter of Authorization
Lenders typically do not want to disclose any of your personal information without written authorization to do so. If you are working with a real estate agent, closing agent, title company or lawyer, you will receive better cooperation if you write a letter to the lender giving the lender permission to talk with those specific interested parties about your loan. The letter should include the following:
Property Address
Loan Reference Number
Your Name
The Date
Your Agent's Name & Contact Information
Preliminary Net Sheet
This is an estimated closing statement that shows the sales price you expect to receive and all the costs of sale, unpaid loan balances, outstanding payments due and late fees, including real estate commissions, if any. Your closing agent or lawyer should be able to prepare this for you, if you do not know how to calculate any of these fees. If the bottom line shows cash to the seller, you will probably not need a short sale.
Hardship Letter
The sadder, the better. This statement of facts describes how you got into this financial bind and makes a plea to the lender to accept less than full payment. Lenders are not inhumane and can understand if you lost your job, were hospitalized or a truck ran over your entire family, but lenders are not particularly empathetic to situations involving dishonesty or criminal behavior.
Proof of Income and Assets
It is best to be truthful and honest about your financial situation and disclose assets. Lenders will want to know if you have savings accounts, money market accounts, stocks or bonds, negotiable instruments, cash or other real estate or anything of tangible value. Lenders are not in the charity business and often require assurance that the debtor cannot pay back any of the debt that it is forgiving.
Copies of Bank Statements
If your bank statements reflect unaccountable deposits, large cash withdrawals or an unusual number of checks, it's probably a good idea to explain each of those line items to the lender. In addition, the lender might want you to account for each and every deposit so it can determine whether deposits will continue.
Comparative Market Analysis
Sometimes markets decline and property values fall. If this is part of the reason that you cannot sell your home for enough to pay off the lender, this fact should be substantiated for the lender through a comparative market analysis (CMA). Your real estate agent can prepare a CMA for you, which will show prices of similar homes:
Active on the market
Pending sales
Solds from the past six months.
Purchase Agreement & Listing Agreement
When you reach an agreement to sell with a prospective purchaser, the lender will want a copy of the offer, along with a copy of your listing agreement. Be prepared for the lender to renegotiate commissions and to refuse to pay for certain items such as home protection plans or termite inspections.
Now, if everything goes well, the lender will approve your short sale. As part of the negotiation, you might ask that the lender not report adverse credit to the credit reporting agencies, but realize that the lender is under no obligation to accommodate this request.
Read more about Before you Buy a Short Sale.
Click Here For Page Two About Short Sales
Weintraub's Advice About Foreclosures & Short Sales
How Foreclosures WorkBuying a Short SaleDrawbacks to Buying Foreclosures
Weintraub's Short Sale Tips
Distressed Homes in DefaultImpact of Short Sales on CreditWho Profits on Short Sales?
Real Estate Advice From Elizabeth Weintraub
Single Women Buy HomesSelling a House Where Pets LiveBuying Your First Home
Related Articles
Buying Short Sales - Before You Buy a Short Sale - Home Buying and Short Sa...
Selling on a Short Sale - Benefits to Short Sale Sellers - Pros and Cons fo...
Presentation and Sales Skills for Real Estate Agents
Foreclosures, Short Sales, REOs - Buying Distressed Homes: Foreclosures, Sh...
Short Sales Affect Credit - Impact of Short Sales on Credit Reports - How S...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friends of Wears Valley Group

Many thanks to the Friends of Wears Valley for all their on going efforts in maintaining the quality of life that we, as Wears Valley residents, enjoy daily.
There has been a change in the administration of the FOWV lately and with this change comes great expectations as to the future of Wears Valley and what the FOWV has in store for Wears Valley.
The corporate members for FOWV is as follows: Lisa Line - VP , Gwen Merker - Secretary,Terri Brown - Treasurer, Tim Line - Member

Thursday, July 17, 2008

East Tennessee Realty Group moves!

Monday, July 7th was a day that everyone here at ETRG has anticipated for a long time. Finally, the day had arrived for us to move into the brand new office building. WOW! What a step up from our prior office. All the latest technology and state of the art equipment right at our finger tips!
Looking somewhat like a line of picnic ants we carried boxes and loose items one at a time until we were moved in. This was not an easy task by no means but well worth the effort.
Our builder, David Troxler, has really put a lot of time and effort into the design, construction and last minute details of our new building. Thanks Dave!
As with any new building, you have the occasional bugs to work out but we are getting there and business has already started to increase with more walk-ins for the cabin rental department as well as more traffic into the real estate office.
ETRG is holding steady among the top 20 real estate agencies throughout Sevier County and maintains the constant push to reach the #1 ranking position. We are making every effort to broaden our marketing base to new levels not only with the eye catching appeal of our new building but through various other campaigns to include more internet based marketing to reach a wide variety of buyers. The new website launch with this blog is just one of many items on the agenda for this year with ETRG.
Just stay tuned and watch us grow. Better yet, Follow me to East Tennessee!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

There are some good guys left

He's Taking Law Into His Own Hands To Help Broke Homeowners
Trouble Is, He Is the Law; Philly's Sheriff Green Doesn't Do Foreclosures, to Lenders' Dismay
By MICHAEL M. PHILLIPSJune 6, 2008; Page A1 of the Wall street Journal

PHILADELPHIA -- Sheriff John Green has spent 37 years in law enforcement. But these days he's best known around town for the law he won't enforce.
With the economy soft and thousands of Philadelphians delinquent on their mortgages, Sheriff Green this spring refused to hold a court-ordered foreclosure auction. His move raised eyebrows on the bench and dropped jaws among lenders and their attorneys, who accuse him of shirking his duty to enforce legal contracts.
It also prompted a sweeping, court-endorsed deal, scheduled to go into effect next week, that aims to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. Even as Congress moves forward with a federal plan that could insure up to $300 billion in refinanced mortgages, Mr. Green's unilateral approach has pushed Philadelphia to the leading edge of local responses to the national crisis.
"More of our neighbors, our families and our friends are falling behind on their mortgages and losing their homes" to foreclosure, the 60-year-old Mr. Green writes in a "Declaration of Neighborhood Stability" on his Web site, www.phillysheriff.com. "My staff and I watch the suffering every day and witness the heart-wrenching scenes as families lose their primary means of wealth-building and face eviction."
Mr. Green's 241-person sheriff's department is the armed wing of Philadelphia County courts, charged with transporting prisoners, securing courtrooms and auctioning off foreclosed properties at sheriff sales. In a city beset by poverty and crime, Mr. Green has emerged as an unlikely blend of lawman, politician, spiritual leader and social worker.
Desperate Homeowners
A dozen or more desperate homeowners appear in the sheriff's lobby each day, seeking solace and counsel from Deputy Sheriff's Officer Marquette Parsons, who sits at the front desk wearing blue and packing a sidearm. "This is the end of the line," Mr. Parsons says. "They have to face reality now, because they're facing a sheriff sale." Mr. Parsons helps homeowners understand documents they've received from the court and advises them how to reach housing counselors. Sometimes he'll contact the lender's attorney to mediate a misunderstanding.
Associated Press
People demonstrate in Philadelphia on Tuesday, hoping to draw attention to the subprime mortgage crisis.
The sheriff runs ads in local papers urging people to take "Sheriff Green's Important Steps to Saving Your Home."
Mr. Green, a police sergeant when he was elected sheriff in 1987, has a politico's eye for his job. Last month, he presented a commendation for valor to an officer who was robbed at gunpoint while sitting in a barber's chair and wounded one thief in the ensuing firefight. Standing next to the taller officer for the photo opportunity, Mr. Green hiked himself onto his toes. "Just one second," he said. "I'm going to become a politician." Everyone laughed. But he stayed on his tiptoes until the photographers finished their shots.
The sheriff says his political life merges with his religious calling. "Everything you do is part of your faith," he says. For the past 20 years, Mr. Green, who is married and has six children, has hosted an annual prayer breakfast that has become a see-and-be-seen event for the city's political elite.
The 80-page program from this year's breakfast is jammed with paid congratulatory ads from businesses and unions, clergymen and subordinates, office holders and office seekers. "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice," wrote one pastor, quoting the Book of Proverbs.
The sheriff first made his mark in the foreclosure issue in 2004, when he noticed a spike in the number of delinquent properties the court was ordering sold. He postponed one month's auction and then went to Judge Annette Rizzo of the Court of Common Pleas seeking to legalize the move.
"We have to stop the bleeding," the judge recalls the sheriff saying in a courtroom crowded with worried homeowners. The sheriff says he doesn't remember making such a statement.
"Really what he did was not legal," Judge Rizzo says of the sheriff's decision to stop the auction.
During a recess, she summoned the lenders' lawyers, the sheriff, consumer advocates and the city solicitor into the back room. She asked them to form a committee to determine which individual homeowners deserved a delay, aid through existing government programs, or just a graceful exit from their house. But she declined to order a blanket moratorium on sales.
In 2007, the foreclosure wave began to swell again. Because Philadelphia didn't experience a big run-up in home prices, it isn't in as bad shape as hotter markets in Florida and Nevada. Nonetheless, foreclosure filings in the city rose to 6,237, from 5,288 the year before. Early this year, approximately 1,000 properties a month were going on the block at the sheriff sales, according to the sheriff's office.
The trend caught the attention of Curtis Jones Jr., who had won a seat on the City Council a few months earlier and was eager to make a splash. He teamed up with consumer advocates and a senior colleague, Councilwoman Marian Tasco, to write a resolution calling on the sheriff and the Court of Common Pleas president judge, C. Darnell Jones II, to impose an indefinite moratorium on foreclosure sales.
On March 27, in its gilt-and-green chambers, the City Council unanimously voted its approval. It was a nonbinding resolution, more of a political statement than a practical one.
But as the council meeting moved to other matters, one of the sheriff's senior aides phoned Mr. Green to tell him the resolution had passed. The sheriff decided on the spot to postpone the next sale and go to court seeking a longer moratorium. The aide relayed the decision to Councilwoman Tasco, who interrupted the meeting with the news. Housing advocates and their allies in the audience broke into applause.
"We knew [Sheriff Green] would do that," Ms. Tasco told the council. "He cares about the citizens of Philadelphia."
Bad for Business
Mortgage lenders, servicers and their attorneys thought Mr. Green was acting more Robin Hood than sheriff. "It's not his job to postpone things in favor of certain people," says Michael VanBuskirk, a Philadelphia attorney, who describes the city as a "legal free-fire zone." The city, he says, is "less attractive to business if you can't be certain that the sheriff won't invalidate a contract."
Mr. Green and Judge Jones are casual golfing buddies. Still, Judge Jones warned the sheriff at a meeting soon after the announcement that a blanket moratorium on the sales was "unwise and more-likely-than-not illegal."
Mr. Green says he never considered the legality of his decision to halt foreclosure sales. His aides say he is being cagey and that he saw himself as a catalyst to get the court to take action.
People Are the Law
"It's not the sheriff's job to sell houses," says Deputy Sheriff's Officer Paris Washington, a veteran of the department and its head of training. "It's the sheriff's job to serve the people who elected him. Because he was elected by the people, he has to listen to the people. Aren't the people the law?"
In closed-door negotiations in April with lenders' attorneys and housing advocates, Judges Jones and Rizzo worked out a streamlined process intended to make loans more affordable for delinquent borrowers who live in their houses.
Such homeowners are entitled to a free lawyer at court-supervised conciliation sessions with their loan-servicing company. Housing counselors are lined up to help assemble financial information to enable servicers and their lawyers to assess borrowers' ability to pay. The lenders are under no legal obligation to reduce principal or interest, but they face strong pressure to make allowances.
Michael McKeever, a partner in Goldbeck, McCafferty & McKeever, says that his clients -- large loan servicers and investors -- welcome the court initiative's potential to help borrowers resolve their debt problems. This week Mayor Michael A. Nutter offered $1 million to finance borrowers' attorneys and counselors.
To give the plan a chance, Judge Jones ordered that sheriff sales on such owner-occupied properties be suspended at least through next month. The foreclosure wave "is a problem," the judge says. "Is there a way we can do this in a way consistent with the law?"
Mr. Green downplays his own role. "All I did was provide enough time for a solution to develop, which was the easy part," he says.
Write to Michael M. Phillips at michael.phillips@wsj.com

Welcome to East Tennessee Home to beautiful Wears Valley!

East Tennessee Realty Group: Keeping Pace in a Changing Market

The summer heat is being turned up on East Tennessee Realty Group in more than one way. The company itself has turned on its own heat in order to move into their new location (next door to their present offices) by early July. Everyone has probably noticed ETRG’s construction in process on Wears Valley Road.

The striking building looks out over the Smokies, and the design is a result of what the real estate company thinks is the face of future building in our area. David Troxler, the building contractor says, “We see the market for new mountain homes changing. New home buyers are looking for low maintenance, environmentally-friendly building products, but they still want to maintain a “mountain home” look. ETRG’s new building is a reflection of those buyer demands.”

“The shakes we have used are vinyl, although they look like wood. They’ll be easy to maintain for years, and no trees were cut down for them,” David Troxler explained.
“Additionally, East Tennessee Realty Group’s new home has tankless water heaters for increased efficiency, energy-saving electrical bulbs, high UV windows, and added insulation.”

ETRG is hoping to also get approval from county health officials to recycle its waste water into an irrigation system for its landscaping. This measure will reduce water consumption by the company by thousands of gallons yet keep its shrubs and flower beds in pristine condition.

Fran Troxler and Jerry Sandifer, co-owners of East Tennessee Realty Group, have also been in contact with a recycling company to possibly provide recycling bins at the offices for Wears Valley. Fran says, “ETRG is committed to the Wears Valley community. We are the proud supporters of Wearwood Elementary School and the Valley sponsor of the “Keep Sevier Beautifull” litter campaign. Adding the recycling bins to our list of community support is just one more way we can be a good neighbor.

The real estate company is not just stopping with their building endeavors. They have also just revamped their company website as well. Besides having a whole new look and feel, visitors to the site (EastTnExperts.com) will be able to access the complete Multiple Listing Service database, as well as the company’s own listings. There will also be a slideshow of properties and a Blog.

Founded just two years ago by Troxler and Sandifer, ETRG has grown to be not only a top producer in Wears Valley but also in much of East Tennessee. While many of the firm’s listings are in the Valley, it also has properties listed all over Sevier, Knox, and Jefferson Counties.

The present offices (the old Christmas store) were always meant to be temporary, so it seems appropriate that the company is moving into its new facilities on its two-year anniversary.

The future looks bright for East Tennessee Realty Group with plans to not only be in Wears Valley but to also have additional offices located throughout all East Tennessee. “The sky is the limit,” laughs Jerry Sandifer. “There’s no stopping us now. We have to keep pushing to maintain #1.”