MLS Market Snapshot

I’m very pleased to roll-out a new service. Market Snapshot is fully automated and provides you with customized, interactive MLS property reports, packed with LIVE market information, community and school data, plus charts and graphs.
It’s never been easier to track your home’s value or obtain market conditions for a specific location.
It’s simple, easy and free. Complete the form below. In about 30 minutes you’ll receive your report.

January 20th, 2010

Finding Foreclosures

Curious on how to find foreclosures?  

It’s simple, with the right direction.  Once a property has been foreclosed upon, it’s forwarded to the Sheriff’s office to be processed and sold at auction.  Most counties, not all, make this information readily available online (see links below.) NOTE:  Ohio is a “Caveat Emptor” state.  It’s imperative that you take the time to read the Terms of Sale.

If you’re looking for properties that are bank-owned or nearing foreclosure, such as “short sales”, call me.  In addition to maintaining a list of foreclosed properties, my office maintains lists of “short sales” and bank-owned properties (including HUD homes.)  Given the climate of today’s economy, our agents have streamlined the process and are privy to the various requirements and steps that must be adhered to when purchasing these homes.
Here are a few links to follow:
Use a trusted Buyers’ Agent and know your rights!  Not sure what that means – call me.

January 11th, 2010

Colleen Rock Quoted in MSNBC

Most recent article…

December 3rd, 2009

Homebuyer Tax Credit Extended and Expanded

As part of the governments action to stimulate the real estate market, President Obama has signed the bill that includes both an extension on the current $8000 First Time Homebuyers Tax Credit and an expansion by first, increasing the income limits for first time buyers; and second, by providing a $6500 tax credit to current homebuyers who wish to purchase a new or existing home.

From a recent article released by NAR (National Association of Realtors), here are the basics: 

The legislation “Extends the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit of up to $8,000 to first-time home buyers until April 30, 2010. Expands the credit to grant up to $6,500 credit to current home owners purchasing a new or existing home between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010.

Who Qualifies for the Extended Credit?

  • First-time home buyers who purchase homes between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010.
  • Current home owners purchasing a home between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010, who have used the home being sold or vacated as a principal residence for five consecutive years within the last eight.

To qualify as a “first-time home buyer” the purchaser or his/her spouse may not have owned a residence during the three years prior to the purchase.

If you or your client purchased a home between January 1, 2009 and November 6, 2009, please see: 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.
Which Properties Are Eligible?

The Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit may be applied to primary residences, including: single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops.

How Much Is Available?

The maximum allowable credit for first-time home buyers is $8,000.

The maximum allowable credit for current homeowners is $6,500.

How is a Buyer’s Credit Amount Determined?

Each home buyer’s tax credit is determined by tow additional factors:

  1. The price of the home.
  2. The buyer’s income.


Under the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, credit may only be awarded on homes purchased for $800,000 or less.

Buyer Income

Under the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, which is effective on November 7, 2009,  single buyers with incomes up to $125,000 and married couples with incomes up to $225,000—may receive the maximum tax credit.

These income limits have changed from the 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit limits. If you or your client purchased a home between January 1, 2009 and November 6, 2009, please see 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.

If the Buyer(s)’ Income Exceeds These Limits, Can He/She Still Get a Credit?

Yes, some buyers may still be eligible for the credit.

The credit decreases for buyers who earn between $125,000 and $145,000 for single buyers and between $225,000 and $245,000 for home buyers filing jointly. The amount of the tax credit decreases as his/her income approaches the maximum limit. Home buyers earning more than the maximum qualifying income—over $145,000 for singles and over $245,000 for couples are not eligible for the credit.

Can a Buyer Still Qualify If He/She Closes After April 30, 2010?

Under the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, as long as a written binding contract to purchase is in effect on April 30, 2010, the purchaser will have until July 1, 2010 to close.

Will the Tax Credit Need to Be Repaid?

No. The buyer does not need to repay the tax credit, if he/she occupies the home for three years or more. However, if the property is sold during this three-year period, the full amount credit will be recouped on the sale.”

November 10th, 2009

Nix the Waiting Game Now

amerifrontdoor In this weeks release, the MMG report (Mortgage Market Guide) provided valuable insights into the upcoming interest rate trends…

“BE WILLING TO MAKE DECISIONS.” General George Patton. And that’s exactly what the Fed did last week at their regularly scheduled Federal Open Market Committee meeting. But just what did they decide…and what do their decisions mean for home loan rates?

The Fed said they are going to ration out the remaining commitment of Mortgage Backed Security purchases through the first quarter of 2010. There will be no additional buying, but instead, a longer weaning off of the program. There was some speculation about the Fed increasing the amount of buying above the $1.25T committed to, and last week’s statement is the Fed’s nice way of saying “no.” They will not be buying more in quantity, but what they will do is attempt to provide a smoother transition to normal market conditions.

It is a given that once the Fed ceases its purchases, that interest rates will climb significantly higher…most likely back above the 6% area. So instead of a hard transition with a large bump in rates, the Fed is attempting to allow rates to gradually rise. This means that waiting to purchase or refinance will very likely mean a higher interest rate.”

If you’re a buyer and wish to take advantage of the market conditions, please take time to seriously consider the facts and the overall upward trend in real estate sales over the past few months.  

Bottom line, call your Realtor today. If you’re  not working with a Realtor,  please contact me direct. Even if you are outside of my area of expertise (NE Ohio) I would be more than happy to discuss your real estate needs and assist you in working with a professional from your local area.

September 29th, 2009

$8000 Tax Credit

$8000 Tax Credit Countdown

Less than 3 months left on the First Time Buyers $8000 Tax Credit.

If you or anyone you know has been considering buying a home and wish to take advantage of this opportunity, CALL me today.

 Here are the basics: 

  • 10% of the sales price with a maximum of $8,000.
  • For purchases closed between January 1, 2009 and November 30, 2009.
  • Buyer can not have owned a home in the last three years.
  • Maximum income is $75,000 for a single purchaser and $150,000 for a couple.
  • Home must be used as a principle residence.
  • NO repayment required as long as the buyer lives in the home for three years.

Although attempts are being made to have this program extended, we have been given no guarantees.  For updates and detailed information visit

September 6th, 2009

House Whisperers

As the economy continues to gyrate in general, the inventory of homes for sale is at an unprecedented high.  After 18 years in real estate, I’ve learned – when it seems like there’s no way out – dig in. 

 So I roll up my sleeves, work harder and push the limits of creativity. Which is exactly what led to my beginning this blog.  For those that know me, I could easily write, and write, and write. However, as Jimi Hendrix so eloquently put it – “knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” 

I wanted to blog and share something that was different and hopefully beneficial to both home sellers and buyers.  So, after much prodding from associates… drum role please, I’m introducing you to my latest marketing tool; which I like to call, House Whisperer.  The House Whisperer tells the story of a home through the heart of the owner, but from the house’s perspective. You got it- right from the horses’, that is, house’s mouth.

Now here’s where I can become wiser. I’m including a House Whisperer story below for a  current listing I have in Rocky River, Ohio. I’d be very interested in hearing your feedback. So please, leave comments and/or suggestions:


Yes, as a matter of fact, I’ve been very well cared for, doesn’t it show?

My impeccable landscaping, snazzy newer walkways, and large, newer maintenance-free deck – that begs to entertain your guests- only add to my charming and stylish exterior. With newer windows and siding, I’m also gallantly strong and energy conscious with the ability to resist Northeast Ohio’s seasonal changing elements.

 And, I’m not just another pretty face. Take a closer look at me on the inside too!  I’m smart, efficient and offer an excellent value. Plus, plug away! My electrical has been updated to insure high performance. The spacious, but also comfortable family room boasts a real wood-burning fireplace, with newer glass doors and access to a private patio. I know I keep mentioning the word newer quite a lot, don’t I? My owner has updated both my bathrooms, with shiny new fixtures. And your feet are surely in for a treat because there’s newer carpeting and ceramic tile flooring throughout. What’s nice to point out about living in a split level, like me, is the desirable option for an owner to take full advantage of the physical and psychological space – each level unobstructed from the other with places to escape. For example, one person can be enjoying a hobby, or watching their favorite show in the family room, while someone else is enjoying another interest on the main floor, while still another is snuggled for bed upstairs.

I’m considered a great catch, because of my convenient location, which is hard to beat. You see, I told you I was both smart and pretty.


 Thank you,
Colleen Rock

August 8th, 2009

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