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Monday, December 28, 2009

Facing the foreclosure freight train or want to find out how a foreclosure works. click link.

How Foreclosure Works

How Foreclosure Works – The Foreclosure Freight Train
When homeowner efforts to refi¬nance, work out a loan modifica¬tion or otherwise avert a foreclosure fail, the lender will file a foreclosure action. Foreclosure is the legal pro¬cess whereby a mortgage lender can take title to the properties of owners in serious default on their mortgages. The lender may take title to the property at the sheriff’s sale and, in most instances, resell the home. If the property is worth less than the total amount owed on the mortgage loan, a deficiency judgment may be pursued against the homeowner. Foreclosure should be avoided at all costs.
A foreclosure under Wis. Stat. Chapter 846 generally takes four to 18 months. Once commenced, foreclosure is like a freight train, always moving forward in a slow and steady progression.
When a property owner has not made any mortgage payments for approxi¬mately 90 days, the attorneys will pre¬pare a summons and complaint that is served upon the owner and all other lien holders. After the homeowner answers the foreclosure complaint, or after the 20 days if no answer is filed, the attorneys will schedule a court appearance. If any defenses are not sufficient to prevent continua¬tion of the foreclosure, the lender’s attorneys will ask the court for a judg¬ment specifying the total amount due on the mortgage loan and ask for a sheriff’s sale and perhaps a deficien¬cy judgment. A deficiency judgment holds the borrower responsible for any amounts still owed to the lender after the proceeds of the sheriff’s sale have been applied to the debt. The foreclosure judgment also specifies the length of the borrower’s redemp¬tion period, that is, the amount of time the homeowner has to pay the entire mortgage debt and thus pre¬vent the sheriff’s sale. For a residen¬tial property, the redemption period generally will be 12 months if the lender seeks a deficiency judgment, six months if no deficiency judgment is pursued and two months if the property is abandoned. At the end of the redemption period, the property is sold at a sheriff’s sale to the highest bidder, typically the mortgage holder.

Here are some helpful resources to avoid the Foreclosure Freight Train

• Learn about Foreclosure Avoidance at the Wisconsin Foreclosure Assistance Resource Center:
• Call the lender. Contact information for various mortgage loan servicers is available on the Making Home Affordable Web site at¬tact_servicer.html and on the HOPE NOW Web site at
• Speak with a counselor, preferably a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved
Visit Wisconsin Foreclosure Resource at
HUD at, or call 800-569-4287 (or TDD 800-877-8339) for a listing of HUD-approved housing counseling agen¬cies in Wisconsin.

For Sale: 3BR/1BA Single Family House in Monroe, WI, $88,900

For Sale: 3BR/1BA Single Family House in Monroe, WI, $88,900

Friday, December 25, 2009

My Christmas Wish

Just a simple wish

May you and yours find and celebrate the true meaning of the season.

"Christ the Lord is born today"

Monday, December 21, 2009

What is early occupancy?

It is the possession of a property by a buyer prior to the close on the property. It is used when the buyer’s home has already closed and needs housing, or the Buyer is waiting on financing approval. Both situations may use this contract provision. This is established by an agreement in the purchase contract. Early occupancy is considered a form of tenancy until the property actually closes. Pre-conditions of such early occupancy include the payment of security deposits, executing the lease, and providing required insurance policies.

Friday, December 18, 2009

What is a contract Contingency?
It is a condition to the sale that the buyer wants meet before they will purchase the property. If the condition is not meet the buyer would without penalty, get back an earnest money deposit upon cancellation.
The types of contingencies vary; here are a few common examples.
• Appraisal.
Buyers who obtain a loan will be required by the lender to pay for an appraisal to substantiate the purchase price.
• Loan Contingency.
Even though a buyer may hold a loan preapproval letter, further investigations concerning the property or the borrower could result in a loan denial.
• Home Inspection.
Buyers have the right to hire a home inspector and conduct a complete inspection of the home.
• Lead-based Paint.
• Many homes built before 1978 contain lead-based paint.
• Wood Destroying Pest Inspection.
The contract should specify who will pay for the pest inspection
• Septic and Well Inspection.
Septic systems can get clogged from tree roots or deteriorate over time. Wells can become contaminated
• Radon, Mold or Asbestos Inspections.
Depending on a visual inspection, sometimes home inspectors will call for additional inspections by licensed entities to check for their presents
• Early Occupancy.
Contracts can be contingent upon the buyer and seller entering into a written agreement that allows the buyer to rent the property prior to close of the sale.
Your realtor will help you with any contingency that may be needed at the time of the offer.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Check out the NEW home buyers tax credit website. Now truly is the time to buy a home

What Is Series VA Loans from Scott Larson

What is a VA loan? Who qualifies?

Banks and other private mortgage companies make a special type of home loan to veterans of the US Armed Services. A portion of each loan is guaranteed by the Veterans Administration (VA), and protects the lender's investment if the borrower defaults.

* The guaranteed amount of a VA loan is called an entitlement.
* The current maximum entitlement for loans up to $144,000 is $36,000, with the exact figure determined by your loan amount.
* The maximum entitlement for VA home loans over $144,000 is $60,000.

An entitlement is not a cash payment to you or to the bank. It is the amount the VA promises will be paid to the lender if you default on your loan. Should that happen, the VA may pursue you to recover those funds.

Here is a list of who is eligible for a VA Loan

Wartime/Conflict Veterans who were not dishonorably discharged, and served at least 90 days.

Peacetime Service
Peacetime service of at least 181 days of continuous active duty with no dishonorable discharge.

Reserves & National Guard
Members who have completed six years of service and have been honorably discharged (or are still serving) may be eligible for a VA loan.

Other types of service that may make you eligible for a VA loan:

* Certain US citizens who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States during World War II.
* Surviving spouses of eligible persons who died as the result of service or service-connected injuries. The surviving spouse must not have remarried.
* The spouse of any member of the Armed Forces serving on active duty who has been listed as a prisoner of war or missing in action for more than 90 days.

Anyone with questions about eligibility should speak with their regional VA office.

The Wisconsin phone contact is 608-266-1311

Here is the Wisconsin website.

From Scott Larson of Towne Square Realty in Monroe, Wisconsin

“Your Realtor of the Region”

E- Mail

On the web at

I think you will be surprised how affordable the Dairyland is,

so come to my land of cows and plows and visit for a day, but stay for a lifetime

608-2124-9844 Direct

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bank repossessions – or Real Estate Owned properties (REOs) – are great investment opportunities because lenders are often anxious to sell these foreclosure homes. Lenders don’t want to be in the real estate business. It's not uncommon to buy these properties at 40 percent less than market value! With foreclosures on the rise across the United States, this market is hot, but competitive! If a homeowner defaults on a mortgage, meaning he or she cannot make the mortgage payments, the lender will seek to repossess the home. After the repossession process is complete, the bank owns the property and will try and sell it to recover its losses. Most are listed with local Realtors and acquiring the services of a knowledgeable agent is beneficial in navigating the REO waters. Investing in real estate can be a financially rewarding experience. Whether this is your first real estate purchase or you are a seasoned investor, buying foreclosures, preforeclosures (short sales), bankruptcies, or distressed properties can give you instant savings and equity in your home. Contact Realtor Scott Larson at 608-214-9844. Servicing all of South Central Wisconsin, and nationwide by referral.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Did you know there are several distressed homes on the market, some under $49,000.? Call Scott for details 608-214-9844 U-Repair and U-Save
Are you in the market for a home? Consider making me your personal home finder. Let Scott guide you each step of the way home. 608-214-9844

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What is "Earnest Money"

What is Earnest Money?

An earnest money deposit shows the seller that a buyer is serious about purchasing a property. When the transaction is finalized, the funds are put toward the buyer's down payment. If the deal falls through, the buyer may not be able to reclaim the deposit. Typically, if the seller terminates the deal, the earnest money will be returned to the buyer. When the buyer is responsible for retracting the offer, the seller will usually be awarded the money.

From Scott Larson of Towne Square Realty in Monroe, Wisconsin
“Your Realtor of the Region”
E- Mail
On the web at
I think you will be surprised how affordable the Dairyland is,
so come to my land of cows and plows and visit for a day, but stay for a lifetime
608-2124-9844 Direct
With inclement weather on the horizon, PLEASE drive safe. Monroe may receive 12 inches of snow. I will be working from home on Wed.

Monday, December 7, 2009

What is PMI?

What is PMI?

With many personal budgets stretched to the limit and less money in savings, it is more difficult for first time home buyers to accumulate a traditional 20% down payment. Move-up buyers struggle to find down payment funds, too, especially if they haven't been in their current home long enough to see a significant increase in equity.

Private Mortgage Insurance
One home buying aid that nearly everyone can use is Private Mortgage Insurance, or PMI. This special insurance protects the lender if you default on your home loan. It makes it possible for you to purchase a home with as little as 3-5 % down.

Here's How PMI Works

1. You have a 5% down payment.
2. The lender wants to finance 80% or less of the home's value, since studies show that buyers who put less down are more likely to default.
3. The lender secures a private mortgage insurance policy for you and closes on the loan. You pay for the PMI policy at closing or (most often) you pay a fee with each monthly loan payment.
4. If you default, the lender receives the 15% you did not pay at closing.

PMI payments can be significant, so if you can avoid paying private mortgage insurance, that's great.

From Scott Larson of Towne Square Realty in Monroe, Wisconsin

“Your Realtor of the Region”

E- Mail

On the web at

I think you will be surprised how affordable the Dairyland is,

so come to my land of cows and plows and visit for a day, but stay for a lifetime

608-2124-9844 Direct

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What is “Real Estate Transfer Tax?”

What is “Real Estate Transfer Tax?”

Real estate transfer taxes (sometimes called deed recordation taxes) are imposed on the sale or transfer of real property located in the state. The tax is usually based on or measured by the consideration paid for or the fair market value of the real estate. The tax is commonly collected by the local official responsible for recording deeds to real estate, and it must be paid prior to the deed to the property being recorded.

This fee is paid by the seller.

The Wisconsin rates are $.30 per $100 of value, Example a $100,000 Home would cost the seller $300. at closing

From Scott Larson of Towne Square Realty in Monroe, Wisconsin

“Your Realtor of the Region”

E- Mail

On the web at

I think you will be surprised how affordable the Dairyland is,

so come to my land of cows and plows and visit for a day, but stay for a lifetime

608-2124-9844 Direct

Monday, November 30, 2009

What IS? (Series) from Scott Larson "Title Insurance"

What is Title Insurance?

Owning Your Property free and clear involves more than having a deed in hand. A deed does not cancel certain "rights" and "claims" other people may have to your property - rights whose existence you never suspected; claims that may go back in time months or decades to the earliest owners of your newly acquired property.

Protecting Your Rights

"What Protection," you may ask, "do I have against such claims? How can I be sure my property is really mine?" The answer to both of those questions is real estate ownership insurance, commonly known as title insurance.

Title Insurance

Title Insurance is an insured statement of the condition of your "title" or ownership rights to a certain piece of property. A title insurance policy describes your property in detail and states what limitations, if any, there are to your ownership. (For liens or encumbrances. Or you may not own mineral rights. Or easements may have been granted to utility companies or adjacent property owners.)

Most importantly, a title insurance policy guarantees that the property you are purchasing is free of undisclosed liens, confusion in the rights of ownership and other clouds on the title. In short, it guarantees that you own the property for which you bargained.

Before A Policy is issued, the title company or one of its agents conducts a search of public records, maps and documents. The records trace back to colonial estates, pioneer homesteads or Spanish land grants and forward to the current owner. Only after collecting, examining and interpreting appropriate records is a policy issued insuring the condition of title.

Besides Describing your property and spelling out any recorded limitations on your ownership, a title insurance policy sets forth in clear terms what the title company will do in the event that a flaw in the title is discovered or your rights of ownership are challenged.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to all, I wish everyone a safe and blessed holiday weekend. Even in tough economic times we can find something in our lives to be thankful for, so be close to those who matter most this Thanksgiving week and remember to focus on the positive. Now….go eat some Turkey!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Scott Larson is a SRES
Who Are the Seniors Real Estate Specialists®?

Seniors Real Estate Specialists® are REALTORS® qualified to address the needs of home buyers and sellers age 50+. The SRES® Council awards the SRES® Designation to those members who have successfully completed its education program.

By earning the SRES® designation, your REALTOR® has demonstrated necessary knowledge and expertise to counsel clients age 50-plus through major financial and lifestyle transitions involved in relocating, refinancing, or selling the family home. Your REALTOR® has received special training, gets regular updates, and is prepared to offer the options and information needed in making life changing decisions.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Things to Consider in making an Offer

This is what to consider when coming up with your offer:

1. The advice of your realtor. The realtor is a lot more familiar with the market and the process than you are. Even though they have a vested interest in the price being higher, carefully consider what they tell you.
2. How much the bank is willing to loan. You obviously can't offer more than you can afford, but you should have realized whether a particular house was out of your budget long before it came time to make an offer.
3. How much the house is worth. We all want to avoid paying more than something is worth, and this is especially true when buying a house that you might want to sell someday. But you might ignore this if #4 is more important to you....
4. How much you want the house. There is nothing wrong with paying more than a house is worth if you really want the house and you can afford it. If the seller is asking $200k, but your realtor and a market analysis suggest the house is worth only $180k, you can certainly pay the $200k anyway if the house is worth that much to you. Of course, even if you are willing to pay the $200k asking price, it usually won't hurt to offer less to try to get a better deal, unless it's a hot housing market where another buyer might outbid you.

Offering more than market value for a home you really want works best when you don't intend to sell the home any time soon. An overpriced home takes longer to appreciate, but if you're not selling it then what do you care?

by Michael Bluejay

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Home Buyer Credit Questions Answered

NAR Frequently Asked Questions

Homebuyer Tax Credit Changes

National Association of REALTORS® Government Affairs Division

500 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington DC, 20001

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions on the changes to the Homebuyer Tax Credit

Question: Existing homeowner credit: Must the new house cost more than the old house?

Answer: No. Thus, for example, individuals who move from a high cost area to a lower cost area who

meet all eligibility requirements will qualify for the $6500 credit.

Question: I am an existing homeowner. On October 25, 2009, I signed a contract to purchase a

new home. I have lived in my current home for more than 5 consecutive years and

am within the new income limits. I will go to settlement on November 20. If

President Obama has signed the bill by the time I go to settlement, will I qualify for

the new $6500 tax credit?

Answer: Yes. The existing homeowner credit goes into effect for purchases after the date of enactment

(when the bill is signed). There is no reference to the date of contract for the new credit. The

provision looks solely to the date of purchase, which is generally the date of settlement.

Question: I am a firsttime

homebuyer but was not within the prior income limits at the time I

entered into my contract to purchase on October 30, 2009. I will be covered,

however, by the new income limits. If the new rules have been signed into law by the

time I go to settlement, will I be eligible for a credit?

Answer: Yes. The new income limitations go into effect as soon as the President has signed the bill.

The income limit and other eligibility rules will look to your status as of the date of purchase,

which is the settlement date. So if the new rules have been signed when you go to settlement,

you should be eligible for the credit (or a portion of the credit if you're within the phaseout


Question: I am an eligible existing homeowner. I have a fair amount of equity in my home. I

have found a home with a nonnegotiable

price of $825,000. Will I be able to use any

of the $6500 tax credit?

Answer: No. The $800,000 cap on the cost of the purchased home is firm at $800,000. Any amount

above $800,000 makes the home ineligible for any portion of the credit. The $800,000 is an

absolute ceiling.

Question: I owned my home for 10 years, but sold it two years ago year and have been renting

since. If I purchase a home, will I be eligible for the $6500 tax credit if I meet all the

other eligibility tests?

Answer: Yes. Because you lived in the home for more than 5 consecutive years of the previous 8, you

will qualify for the $6500 credit. For example, Say John and his wife bought a home in 2000

and lived there until 2008 when he got a divorce. Whether John has been renting or bought in

the interim, he WOULD INDEED be eligible for the credit because he owned a home and

occupied it as his principal residence for 5 consecutive years out of the last 8 years. The

keyword here is "consecutive." As long as he lived in that house for 5 years straight what he

did since 3 years doesn't impact eligibility.

Question: I am an eligible firsttime

homebuyer. I entered into a contract to purchase on

November 1, 2009. Do I have to go to closing before December 1? How does the

extension date affect me?

Answer: You do not have to close before December 1. Once the legislation has been signed, it will be as

if the Nov 30 date had never existed. Therefore, so long as the contract settles before April 30

(or July 1, worst case), the purchaser will be eligible for the credit

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The not so good news for South Central WI. home sale prices for the 3qtr. Home prices down; Green -5.6%, Rock -6.3%, Dane -5.7%, Lafayette -32.6%
Good news for home sales in South Central WI. WRA 3qtr home sale results. Green County +21.3%, Lafayette +7.1%, Rock +6.1%, Dane +5.3%

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Just For Fun "It's really not this BAD"

Watch this funny animation about buying a bank owned home
On Wednesday we remember our brave serviceman, "Veterans Day"

I would like to extend a personal Thank You to all the men and women who serve and have served in the United States Armed Forces. Your service, dedication, and sacrifice are greatly appreciated, for we know that freedom isn't free. Also I extend a special note of sympathy to the families of Fort Hood. May God uphold you and comfort you in your time of grief.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I saw an ultra lite leading a flock of sandhill cranes on their migration today, Awesome!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Looks like the government will be extending the $8000 first time home buyer credit plus some new credits for existing home owners. I will keep you posted. Here's a link to Q & A about the credit.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Buying and Selling Real Estate in Green County has its own unique challenges and hurdles. Pricing, selling, and buying a home can easily become an intimidating venture. With so much competition, so many different communities and such a wide selection of inventory, it is easy to become lost in the fray. As a professional real estate consultant, it is my mission to help clients sort through these difficult issues and create an open and communicative environment to help facilitate successful transactions. It's about creating lasting relationships with my clients; relationships based on respect and trust, which extend long after your closing. Scott Larson

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Invest in the Your Home Sale. Ask clients to invest 1/2% of the home's asking price in repairs and staging. Then use that money to paint tired walls, remove out-of-style wallpaper, or store worn out furniture. The money invested may actually reap substantial returns with a higher selling price and quicker sale.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Thinking of moving before the snow flies? Call me today the market is full of deals. The MLS has several 3br homes that a person could buy for less than renting. Remember I can show you any home listed with any company.

Monday, October 26, 2009

For Sale: 3BR/2BA Manufactured in Monroe, WI, $24,500

For Sale: 3BR/2BA Manufactured in Monroe, WI, $24,500
Tip number 4 has to do with appearances, primarily the inside of the home. If you're not comfortable making decorating decisions and you think a client needs serious help, suggest for them to hire a professional decorator or stagger that understands the ins and outs of staging a home. Not only does this keep you from having to criticize your client's home, it brings fresh eyes and ideas into play. Plus, suggestions from a professional decorator may be easier for homeowners to swallow. My office actually offers this as a Free service.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sometimes simply repositioning a chair can make a world of difference in a room. Look at traffic patterns and remove obstacles along with excess furniture.Take leaves out of dining tables. In the kitchen clear the countertops. When selling a home, less is more.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tip part 2. When the scrubs have been tamed now you can see through the windows. Or can you, well not through dirty windows. So clean the windows then open blinds and drapes. This will automatically make a home look more open, brighter.
Home selling tip. Trim back the landscaping. Make sure your windows and entryways are not obscured by overgrown shrubs. Otherwise, you're hiding the home from the street as well as reducing the light that comes in. You want your home to say Welcome.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Home Selling Tip #1 of 5
Remove the clutter that we sometimes don't see. Old socks, magazines, and scattered toys are obvious problems, but just as distracting are the various treasures and collections that people accumulate over time. One home that I viewed had more Captain Morgan bottles than the local liquor store. Get your clients to pack up the treasures and books on shelves and tabletops. It may be a good idea to rent a storage garage to move out the mementos. Also make sure every photo is put away, buyers can't see themselves living where the current owners family pictures are everywhere and buyers tend to go down memory lane when they see sellers photos. The finished product is a home that looks more open and spacious, without the strong stamp of the present owner's life. Scott web site
One of the great things about being a Realtor today is being part of the MLS system. A system that allows me to show a client any home listed with any real estate company in the state.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Can you price a home, Too Low?
Homes sell at a price a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to accept. If a home is priced too low, priced under the competition, the seller (should) receive multiple offers to drive up the price to market value. So there is little danger in pricing a home too low. The danger lies in pricing it too high and selecting your agent solely on opinion of value.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How to Price your Home & Who sets the value of your HOME?
There is a lot of talk about who or how the price is determined for listing a home
The truth is it doesn't really matter how much money you think your home is worth. Nor does it matter what I think or ten other agents. The person whose opinion matters is the buyer who makes an offer. Pricing homes is part art and part science. It involves comparing similar properties, making adjustments for the differences among them, tracking market movements and taking stock of present inventory, all in an attempt to come up with a range of value, an educated opinion. This method is the same way an appraiser evaluates a home. And no two appraisals are ever exactly the same; however, they are generally close to each other. In other words, there is no hard and fast rule to price any home. It's an honest, educated evaluation and the market will dictate the price.
Scott Larson of Towne Square Realty in Monroe, Wisconsin
On the web at
608-2124-9844 Direct

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

For a list of foreclosed homes in the Greater Monroe Wisconsin area contact Scott Larson at

Thursday, June 25, 2009

About Me

Here is the Larson 8.

Hello, I am Scott Larson, a motivated full-time Realtor serving Green, Lafayette, Rock and Dane counties in Southern Wisconsin. I have been associated with the housing industry for many years and received a degree at ALVC for Manufactured Housing Business. I also hold a SRES designation (Seniors Real Estate Specialist) that qualifies me to assist the special housing needs of Senior Citizens.

My wife Carol and I have been married for more than 25 years and have six children. We are long time residents of Green County and love this land of cows and plows.

As a people person, I strive for a high level of personal customer service and satisfaction by implementing my negotiating skills and my knowledge of Real Estate. I enjoy getting to know my clients and their individual needs as well as making sure they are represented completely. Therefore, clients feel comfortable and confident when working with me.

As we are all aware, technology is changing rapidly. In today's market, an agent with the right tools is a necessity. I take pride in my internet presence, allowing visibility to clients outside the local area and ability to provide individual features for my clients.

When buying or selling a home, many details need to fall into place. Appropriate steps must be taken properly and promptly. You can enjoy this exciting time instead of worrying or dealing with the stress or details of your housing transactions.

I believe sound advice, personality, experience and genuine care for my clients are what set me apart as well as the reason I receive referrals from satisfied home owners. I do not consider what I do as merely sales, but rather think of it as private representation, counseling, advocacy and doing my part to help people achieve the "American Dream."

The process of buying or selling a home does not always fall between the hours of 9-5 when your work and family may keep your busy. My schedule is flexible to meet your needs. For your convenience, I have a courtesy moving truck available to help you transport your treasures to your new home. I make a donation to the Children's Miracle Network for every home I sell.

I look forward to hearing from you soon and working with you in the future to find or sell your home.

608-214-9844 or