Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fiscal Cliff Deal Extends Mortgage Debt Relief Act

Thanks to Denise Wing of Academy National Mortgage for this information:

Thanks to some last minute maneuvers in Congress, the Mortgage Debt Relief Act was extended through the end of 2013 as part of the deal reached by lawmakers to avoid the fiscal cliff. The law was set to expire at the end of 2012. Legislators left in place a 2007 tax break for homeowners whose debt is forgiven by lenders and preserved exemptions for profits on home sales.

Mortgage debt that's been forgiven by lenders in short sales or loan workouts is typically taxable, which means money coming out of borrowers' pocketbooks. Short sales are deals in which homeowners sell their properties for less than they are worth as long as banks approve. Help arrived in 2007, when the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act came to be, giving people a break from taxable income on loan balances of up to $2 million, or $1 million for a married tax filer who's submitting a separate return.

This move will help keep momentum going for a housing market that last year started to reverse a five-year slump that pushed the U.S. economy into the longest recession since the 1930s. The law helps the housing market by reducing the number of foreclosures. Repossessions are also down by one third compared to their highest levels in 2010.

Consumer advocacy groups would like to see a provision that excludes loans in which borrowers tapped their home equity while refinancing to be dropped because it creates a large paperwork burden for everyone who claims an exemption.

It is believed by many analysts the expiration of the mortgage-debt relief act could have led to serious economic consequences for parts of the nation. Possible outcomes included a surge in bankruptcies and foreclosures because certain borrowers would have been stuck with a tax bill after a short sale or loan modification. This could also have led to a reduction in the number of homes available in the market as consumers would have attempted fewer short sales and simply let their homes go back to the lender.

Since there are some situations were a tax liability could still be incurred, please consult your tax professional about the consequences of completing a short sale or home loan modification.

Keeping You Informed
Academy National Mortgage Corporation mortgage professionals are dedicated to keeping you informed of the latest market trends and mortgage options. Call Academy National Mortgage Corporation today at 303-987-0622, to obtain custom loan options designed to fit your needs and help you obtain your home goals.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Vacant Homes Burglarized in Denver


Crime Alert - Denver Police Report Several Burglaries of Staged Homes on the Market; Offering Reward

During the month of November 2012, there were a series of burglaries in "staged" houses that were up for sale and located in District 2. "Staged" houses are generally vacant houses with "rented" furniture so potential buyers can see how the residence will look. Those addresses were located in the North Park Hill area between M.L.K-38th/Monaco-Quebec.
During the month of December 2012, a new series of burglaries occurred in the "staged" houses that were up for sale. These residences were located in the Cole/Whittier/Clayton and North City Park neighborhoods.
The Denver Police Department is asking that anyone with information on these series of crimes, contact Detective Philip Stanford at (720) 913-1009 or Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-STOP (7867).
They are also asking citizens to be on the lookout for suspicious parties at homes for sale in their neighborhoods. Contact the Department through its non-emergency number at (720) 913-2000 or call 911 if it's an emergency.
For questions regarding the burglaries, please contact the Denver Police Department.

Thank You.
Division of Real Estate
Department of Regulatory Agencies

Thursday, January 3, 2013

10 Home Improvement Tips for Seniors

          According to an AARP survey (May, 2000) most older Americans want to remain living independently in their own homes for as long as possible.
          There are a number of improvements and modifications that can be made to improve the safety and quality of life for seniors living on their own.  The AARP study indicated that making these simple improvements may allow seniors to live in their homes up to 10 years longer than they might have otherwise.

  • Levered doorknobs.
  • Grab bars in bathrooms and non-skid strips in bath tubs.
  • Levered faucets in kitchen sinks
  • Handrails on both sides of stairwells and on front and rear steps.
  • Grab bars in showers;
  • Removal of any door threshold.
  • Movable shower heads for those who must sit.
  • Portable shower seats.
  • Widened doors
  • Ramps in place of stairs

Back to Basics - Replacing Door Knob and Dead Bolt

If you've just moved into a new home you should consider replacing all of the door knobs and dead bolts on your exterior doors for safety reasons.  When a house is on the market any number of people can have access to the keys that open your doors.  Also, the previous owners may have given keys to a neighbor or relative and completely forgotten about it.
Here are some simple steps to removing the old and installing the new hardware.

Step 1

Count up the number of exterior doors you have and what hardware you need. (front, rear, garage access or man door, etc.) In most cases you’ll want them all to use the same key.  When heading to your local hardware store to purchase new knobs and deadbolts look for sets that are ‘keyed alike’.  Some will be sold in sets of 2 or 3 in the same packaging or you might need to match numbers to be sure all of the locks will use the same key. Click here for information on finding sets that are keyed alike. Ask for help to be sure you’re getting what you need.

Step 2

Remove the existing door knob and/or dead bolt sets, by loosening and removing the screws that hold the hardware together. Screws are typically located on the indoor side of the hardware.  You may need to turn the dead bolt to access the screws.  Loosen and remove the screws that secure the latching mechanism (door knob) and the throw mechanism (dead bolt).

Screws are on indoor side

Rotate to access screws



Remove Door Knob

Remove Dead Bolt

Remove Latch and Throw

Step 3

Install the new door knob.
First install the latch and tighten the screws. Line up the door knob that will go on the outside so that the 3 prongs or bosses go through the holes in the latching mechanism.  Install the interior knob and rotate the flange so the holes line up.  Insert the screws and tighten.
Keyed Door Knob

Tighten Screws

Door Knob Latch Installed

Install Door Knob

Step 4

Install the new dead bolt.  First install the throw and tighten the screws.  Line up the keyed side of the dead bolt so that the prong fits through the "D" shaped hole in the center of the throw mechanism.  Install the interior side and line up the holes, insert the screws and tighten.

Keyed Dead Bolt

Install Throw Mechanism
Install Dead Bolt

Install Dead Bolt

If you live in the Metro Denver Area and are interested in taking hands on classes to learn home improvement, maintenance and repair skills, visit my website at 

Back to Basics - Keyed Alike Door Hardware

If you are planning to replace your existing exterior lock sets for safety reasons, such as a move into a new home, or because you want a different color or style you'll want to be sure that all of them use the same key or are 'keyed alike'.

When you go to your local hardware or home improvement store there are several ways to be sure your lock sets are keyed alike.

Sometimes they'll be sold in sets like this.  With 2 or more keyed locks or sets of knobs and dead bolts that will all use the same key.

If you need more than are in one set you'll need to look on the packaging somewhere for a number indicating the key type.  If you can find another package with the same key number then all of your locks will use the same key.
Here is an example of what it might look like.
Notice Key # 34025

Notice Key # 49453
Key #'s Match