Archive for the ‘Home buying’ Category

In The Know – When Buying Bank Owned Or Forclosure Properties

March 1, 2012


A common question among Buyers in this Real Estate Market when purchasing Bank Owned or Foreclosure Properties is; “Why is a Special Warranty Deed and not a General Warranty Deed given on this property”?

Special Warranty Deed versus General Warranty Deed

Here is a great explanation given in simple terms by a Title Officer at Stewart Title.

“Special Warranty Deeds are becoming more common.  A General Warranty deed is a promise to the Buyer that the Seller will warranty any prior problems with Title, not just during the Seller’s ownership, but back along the chain of ownership.  

A Special Warranty deed, on the other hand, limits the Seller’s promise (warranty) to title problems that come up while the Seller owned the property, but gives no warranty for problems prior to that point.  For example, Builders often give Special Warranty deeds.  They only owned the property long enough to build the homes.  They aren’t sticking their necks out to warranty buyers against something that happened to cloud title when the subdivision was still a pig farm.  

Foreclosure property is another example where you often see Special Warranty deeds.  The Bank, like the Builder, has no close relationship to the property and won’t bend over backwards to promise anything about the condition of title before they acquired the property through foreclosure.”  

Jayne Boyle of Stewart Title explains, “These days, Title Insurance is the Buyer’s best friend.  Title Insurance insures the Buyer against past ownership problems, old liens, boundary issues, etc.” 

And now YOU are in THE KNOW! 


To contact Debbie – 425-750-4970


Condo at Belmon…

February 13, 2012

Condo at Belmonte
513 Pilchuck Path
Everett, WA 98201                                            $135,000.00

Beautiful 3 bedroom Condo with spectacular Cascade Mountain and valley views.  With approximately 1500 sq ft of living space, 2.5 baths, formal living and dining rooms and spacious kitchen with tile counters and stainless appliances.  All rooms are generous size.

Pilchuck Path

Pilchuck Path

Complete with 1 car garage (a truck can fit in this garage) and fenced backyard.

Pilchuck Path

Pilchuck Path

Enjoy the sunrise over the beautiful Cascade Mountains from your Master bedroom, Living room or cozy deck.  Low Low Maintenance fees are approximately $70/mo!

Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

(425) 750-4970

Homeowners Fighting Homeowners

July 11, 2011

Homeowners Fighting Homeowners

Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

I read an article today about Homeowners fighting Homeowner Associations because of Homeowner Dues not being paid. It is an interesting article.

In my area I have seen many Associations place liens on a property which have held up the sale of a property but I have not seen the HOA actually foreclose on the property as this article is talking about.

Although, I know it is possible for them to do this and is probably happening here locally but definitely not to the extent it is apparently happening in the areas noted in this article.

I have received phone calls from Homeowner Associations asking me how they could purchase a Condo Unit that was going to Auction.

I have also seen MANY properties for sale that are bank owned and have a very large assessment due either at the close of the sale or added to the HOA dues among all homeowners in a complex or neighborhood.

I have seen Condo’s for sale that are owned by a bank that have a disclosure noting there is an assessment due at closing in the amount of $30,000.00!   Under the remarks in the listing it states the purchase price does not reflect the HOA assessment due.  In other words – add another $30k to this asking price!  Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

I have also run across bank owned units where the bank did not disclose a large assessment due.

When working with Sellers that are in a HOA and are attempting a short sale (which is where this problem comes up a lot) we discuss the problem of the Seller not keeping their Homeowner Association Dues  current and that the Seller runs a higher risk of the Association holding up the short sale until the Association is paid what is owed to them by the Seller or Buyer.

When working with Buyers that are looking at a property with a HOA we discuss the importance of checking into the HOA and it’s financial stability.  We can do this by checking for liens on the property and reading through the resale certificate package.  Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

The article here is a good one for Sellers and Buyers to take note of.  Due diligence is a must anytime you are buying a property or selling a property and in today’s market there is even more reason to be a responsible Buyer and/or Seller.

Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

(425) 750-4970

OPEN TODAY 520 158th AVE SE Snohomish,WA

July 10, 2011

Open Today 520 158th Ave SE Snohomish, WA

Open Today 520 158th Ave SE Snohomish, WA

This home is Open Today.  A beautiful 3 bedroom home  located in Snohomish.  Features include 3 bedrooms with approximately 1800 sq feet of living space and 5 +/- acres of peace and quiet.  Your formal living and dining room with picture windows that allow the natural light in and beautiful country views out.  Enjoy the wildlife entertainment sitting on a grand wood deck overlooking the backyard.  Bedrooms are very good size and the master bedroom features a luxury 5 piece bath with soaking tub.

Come visit today from Noon -3:00PM

Play VisualTour

Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

(425) 750-4970

FICO Score Impact and Recovery

May 26, 2011

The question is asked frequently regarding how much impact will a short sale, foreclosure, deed in lieu or bankruptcy have on my FICO score?

I checked out the FICO Banking Analytics Blog and found some very interesting information. FICO conducted a study of delinquencies regarding mortgages. In their study they looked at three different consumer profiles. All three profiles consisted of consumers who were paying as agreed on their mortgages.

Consumers with a 680 score .

Consumers with a 720 score.

Consumers with a 780 score.

The study then showed the impact on the credit score after each “phase” of delinquency. For example:

After the very first 30 day late on the consumers mortgage –

Consumer with a 680 score moved to 600-620

Consumer with a 720 score moved to 630-650

Consumer with a 780 score moved to 670-690

After the 90 day late on mortgage –

Consumer with an original 680 score moved to 600-620

Consumer with an original 720 score moved to 610-630

Consumer with an original 780 score moved to 650-670

Interesting huh? I’m not finished. Lets look at short sales, foreclosure and bankruptcy.

After completing a short sale or deed-in-lieu settlement with no deficiency balance

Consumer with an original 680 score moved to 610-630

Consumer with an original 720 score moved to 605-625

Consumer with an original 780 score moved to 655-675

After completing a short sale, with a deficiency balance

Consumer with an original 680 score moved to 575-595

Consumer with an original 720 score moved to 570-590

Consumer with an original 780 score moved to 620-640


Original 680 score moved to 575-595

Original 720 score moved to 570-590

Original 780 score moved to 620-640

And Finally, Bankruptcy –

Original 680 score moved to 530-550

Original 720 score moved to 525-545

Original 780 score moved to 540-560

I found all of this information very interesting and definitely saw some kind pattern that caused me say, hmmmm, but wait, I’m not finished with the results of this study. Pattern or not, we all know the credit score is going to go down with any of these delinquencies but maybe more important is how long will it take to recover?

This is what I thought most interesting.

After the first 30 days late it would take the original 680 score consumer 9 months to recover. The 720 consumer, 2.5 years and the 780 consumer 3 years!

After the 90 day late period it would take the original 680 score consumer 9 months to recover. The 720 consumer 3 years and the 780 consumer 7 years!!

How about after Short Sale, Deed-In-Lieu settlement with no deficiency balance?

680 consumer will recover in 3 years

720 consumer will recover in 7 years

780 consumer will recover in 7 years

The results are the same with a deficiency balance.


680 consumer will recover in 3 years

720 consumer will recover in 7 years

780 consumer will recover in 7 years


680 consumer will recover in 5 years

720 consumer will recover in 7 – 10 years

780 consumer will recover in 7 – 10 years.

Quote from FICO Banking Analytics –

In general, the higher starting score, the longer it takes for the score to fully recover.”

Granted the consumers score will gradually improve as time goes by and they demonstrate their other payments are paid as agreed but in all actuality it may take up to 7 – 10 years to fully recover for consumers that originally started with higher credit scores than consumers that started with lower scores.

I think this is very good information for any consumer that is looking at a possible short sale or foreclosure. There are consumers that have definite hardships that obviously show up in the original credit score and there are consumers looking at the so called “strategic default” that should consider the impact on their credit recovery time line. I have no opinion on either really but I do find it quite interesting!

Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

(425) 750-4970

Autumn Brook 2 Bedroom Ground Floor Unit

November 12, 2010

A desirable 2 bedroom ground floor corner unit with lots of room in the Autumn Brook Complex of Everett.  Check out the video below!  This is not a short sale and is available for a quick close.


Play VisualTour

How Healthy Is Your Home Investment?

September 19, 2010

How healthy is your home investment?

Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is a vital tool for homeowners and I believe the only real tool that provides an up to the minute report  of home prices in your neighborhood.

A CMA compares your house with similar ones on the market in your neighborhood during a specific time period.  This information is combined with the value of any upgrades you may have on your house and will give you anaccurate picture of your home’s market value.

Because the real estate market changes with supply and demand, interest rates, events going on in the world and the economy, a CMA gives you a snapshot of the market at a particular time.

Because of this, I recommend homeowners check their home value every year.

Whether you are buying a home, selling a home or refinancing, a CMA is most important tool you can use in setting the price and the best time to do any of the above.

Other benefits of an annual comparative market analysis?

A CMA can give you a realistic picture of your net worth.

A CMA can give you a realistic picture to provide adequate replacement insurance. You don’t want to find out after the disaster!

Know your tax value. Are tax assessments increasing faster than market values?

What is your estate value? No one wants to leave a grieving family struggling with estate taxes.

What is your equity value?

Know your sales value – Even if you are not thinking of selling – who knows you just might change your mind about selling!

What is the difference?

Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) – is an objective report prepared for you by a real estate professional.  The report lists homes for sale and homes that have recently sold in your neighborhood.  A CMA usually includes location, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and information such as asking price, sales price and days on the market.  The data should be of homes that are comparable to your home.  This information is essential in determining a selling price.

Appraisal – is a subjective report prepared by a certified appraiser for a fee.  The report gives an analysis of the estimated value of a home and considers square footage, construction, quality, condition, floor plan, landscaping, surrounding community and other factors based on the appraiser’s experience and opinions. An appraisal is required to obtain a new loan or to refinance.

For most homeowners their home is the single largest investment they will ever make.  Shouldn’t you know what your investment is worth today? How healthy is your home investment?

Contact Debbie Atwood for an up to date Comparative Market Analysis.

Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

Blue Grass Condominium Complex

August 18, 2010

Check out this new home just listed in the Blue Grass Condominium Complex in South Everett. A 2 bedroom unit with 2 assigned parking spaces and a great Clubhouse. The unit is clean and ready for its new homeowners.

2 bedroom 2 bath

Debbie Atwood is “Making A Splash In Snohomish County!”

Marysville Tri-Level

July 27, 2010

Now is the time to check out this beautiful Marysville Tri-Level. A 3 bedroom 2.5 bath home with approximately 1600 sq ft of living space. The home sits on a large nearly .25 acre residential lot!

Check out the Tour here

To see more available properties go to

You Have To Sell Your House To Me – You Have No Rights

October 14, 2009

cut money

I received an offer on a short sale listing for a client of mine. My client, the homeowner, purchased this property 8 years ago. At our listing appointment he and his wife gave me a tour of the home, showing me all the upgrades they had put into the home over the years. They had pulled out the family photo album sitting in the drawer of the china hutch to show me pictures of his retirement party they had celebrated in the backyard 3 years ago. The home is beautiful and it is apparent the love and care they have put into the home. This wasn’t just a house to these people, it was a home. As we leafed through the album there were pictures of annual Christmas get-togethers, Thanksgiving dinners and many other happy memories with family and friends that had taken place in this home. As he closed the album with shaky hands he raised his reading glasses to his forehead. He looked at me and explained the day that had changed his and his wife’s lives.
Past Due
The shaky hands were pretty much a constant through my visit with my clients but it wasn’t because of nervousness or anything you might think. He had been diagnosed with an illness soon after his retirement and now was in the failing stages of his life. Through the course of his medical care, insurance covered some but not all of his expenses. They had taken a second mortgage to help pay the remainder costs. They both had taken retiree type jobs to make ends meet in the past 2 years and now that his medical condition has worsened he’s not able to continue with the job. His wife still goes to work in the evenings and their daughter comes over during the day to help care for him. Behind on mortgage payments and unable to qualify for a loan modification the time has come to try to sell the home in a last effort to avoid foreclosure.

The home is aggressively priced for a short sale and after about 3 weeks an offer has come in. An unrealistic offer in my homeowners opinion. When asked for my opinion, I concur. My client counters the buyers offer and the exchange of opinions begin!

Since the time the short sale market has begun it has been a common misconception of many buyers and their agents and brokers that a seller does not have the right to NOT accept a buyers offer – no matter what that offer is! I received a phone call from the buyers agent and then another call from the agents broker informing me that my sellers by law had to present this buyers offer to the bank and that only the bank could decide if they would accept this offer. The agents broker decided it would be a good idea for his agent to call the bank and let the bank know that the seller was not presenting their offer.
I’m sure you can imagine how this made my homeowners feel. The key word in that last sentence being HOMEOWNERS. I can tell you that yes, this agent did call the bank and no, the bank would not even speak to the agent or the buyer, who also decided to call the bank.

So what is a short sale? question-mark

The borrower/homeowner has run into financial difficulties or a hardship. They are unable to make their mortgage payments and are facing a foreclosure in the near future. They still own their home at this point. They have in most cases defaulted on their mortgage payments and are unable to sell their property for the amount owed on their mortgage. They owe more than the current market will bear. In this case a borrower will list their home for sale at present market value and submit that offer to their lien holder and propose a short sale. The lien holder at that time will review the offer, the current market values in the area of the property along with other financial information and the borrowers hardship circumstances to determine if the they will accept the lower payoff of the mortgage. The lien holder, knowing that there is a high probability that they will be foreclosing on the property will determine if a short sale is in their best interest versus a foreclosure which in most cases will be more costly for the lien holder. Once the house has been foreclosed on – the lien holder is the seller. During a short sale – the borrower is the seller.

The concept of what a short sale is, is pretty simple. The actual process of a short sale is not so simple. You can learn more about short sales at Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

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