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Posts Tagged ‘foreclosure’

Buyer Beware! DEA List of Known Meth Houses

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow


Meth House Nightmares —  Buyer BEWARE!!!

This post will hopefully educate you on some of the risks involved when purchasing a property that may have been used as a meth lab.   Single family homes are frequently used as a place where methamphetamine is manufactured.  

The dangers that go along with meth houses include exposure to cancer causing chemicals that can saturate walls, carpets and other building materials as well as all contents. Lead and mercury are common byproducts. Chemicals, such as solvents, may be disposed of in plumbing or simple poured on the ground. If not removed properly these can cause various health problems.

Meth Labs ~ Tell tale signs to look for…

• Yellow discoloration on walls, drains, sinks and showers

• Blue discoloration on valves of propane tanks and fire extinguishers

• Fire detectors that are removed or taped off

• Experiencing physical symptoms while inside the house, such as burning in your eyes or throat, itching, a metallic taste in your mouth and breathing problems

• Unusual strong odors that smell like materials from a garage, such as solvent and paint thinner, cat urine or ammonia

• The use of security cameras and surveillance equipment

When you enter a property take a deep breath.  A cat urine smell is often associated with meth. Other odors to be aware of are ammonia, vanilla, solvents or metallic smells.  These are warning signs.

Meth users sometimes become obsessive about objects.  They may dismantle things like remote controls, watches or electronic devices.  The objects can sometimes be found in a pile dismantled down to the smallest part.

Large amounts of household products are a tip off.  Common products are used to manufacture meth that can found in an average home, except in a meth lab large quantities of common items may be in odd places.  If you see multiple packages of lye, Heet, Coleman fuel, peroxide, pseudo-ephedrine or coffee filters in odd places, like stored in a bathroom, closet or kitchen, this is an indication that it may be wise to forget any involvement in the property.  The occupant may be a warehouse club shopper with no sense of organization, but he/she may not be.

Propane bottles, or fire extinguishers, that have been altered, or have a blue stain on the connector, may indicate that anhydrous ammonia has been stored in the container. Anhydrous ammonia can be explosive in the right circumstances. It reacts with the metal leaving the connector corroded.

Iodine may be used in meth manufacturing.  Iodine is a substance that goes from solid to gas state without becoming liquid. It sticks to everything and spreads on contact. Iodine stains walls and everything else. The stain may be red or yellow. It may be very noticeable if a photo, or other wall hanging is moved, revealing the contrast between stained and unstained.

Meth labs may be hidden behind false walls or other building alterations.  Alterations that make no sense should be suspect, such as: exhaust fans mounted where they have no logical use; bootlegged power supply; rooms that are unexplainably small.

Another thing all home buyers and Realtors should do before writing a contract on a home to purchase…is to check out the DEA Meth Laboratory Registry to see if the home has ever been used to manufacture drugs in the past.  The DEA link is .  Click on the state and scroll to the county where the property is located BEFORE you buy.

Thank you for visiting  Remember that you can’t always spot a meth house.  They are often nice homes located in nice area’s.  Check before you buy to avoid a nightmare that you may never recover from.

Contained in the clip below are some insightful meditations on the failure of the American Dream in Fresno, CA.  

The short video features skateboarders who comb through the Californian real estate wreckage in search of foreclosed homes with empty pools.

Cannonball from California is a place. on Vimeo.

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Nicolas Cage Loses Homes to Foreclosure

Monday, November 16, 2009 posted by Tommi Crow

Is it a sign of the economic times, or more like MC Hammer deja vu??

Academy Award winning actor, Nicolas Cage, lost 2 New Orleans homes to a foreclosure sale this week. 

More bad news for freespending Cage. He owes more than $6 million in back taxes to the IRS. And, his properties in California and Las Vegas have been foreclosed on and are scheduled for auction this month.

Mr. Cage owed the City of New Orleans $151,730 in back real estate taxes and defaulted on his $5.5 million mortgage debt.  His home at 1140 Royal Street in the French Quarter, valued at $3.5 Million, sold for $2.3 million.  The other property located at 2523 Pataniya Street, appraised at $3.3 million, sold for only $2.2 million.  Pataniya Street is located in the Garden District.  Famous neighbors include author Anne Rice and football great Archie Manning, father of Peyton and Eli.

Bad Times or Crazy Spending?  Nicolas Cage, a member of the famous Coppola family, is known for being a big spender and news maker.  His obsession for Elvis resulted in a one minute marriage to Lisa Marie Presley.  He once paid $276,000 for a dinosaur skull.  At one time Cage owned 2 islands in the Bahama’s, luxury yachts (plural), a room full of shrunken heads and drove a stable of expensive cars, including a Lamborghini.  

Stars may occassionally fall to Earth, Nic won’t stay long.  Nicolas Cage and the Coppola family are Hollywood Royalty.  His movies have generated over $8 Billion in Box Office Sales.    Although Mr. Cage is facing financial ruin because he continued to spend, while millions of dollars drained from his bank accounts, we predict he will crank out more movies and will be back to living the high life in no time.  Also, it is rumored that Johnny Depp may come to Nic’s rescue.  It seems Depp has a soft spot for Cage, who got him his first roll in Nightmare on Elm Street.  Aren’t friends great!!

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On Thursday, the government announced two programs that may help thousands of homeowners that are sinking in debt avoid foreclosure.

Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, said “Today we are announcing a new program component to help homeowners obtain modifications in areas suffering from price declines.  If a modification is not possible, we are announcing steps to encourage the quick private sale or voluntary transfer of property, which will save homeowners money and protect their financial future.”  Geithner went on to say that, “These are critical steps in stemming the foreclosure crisis and stabilizing the housing market, both of which are critical to your economic recovery”

The Program in a Nutshell:

  1. Foreclosure Alternatives:  The program increases the odds of closing a short sale by streamlining the process and offering incentives to lenders for participation.  The program is designed for homeowners who are eligible for a loan modification, but can not qualify for one.  Under the new program, lenders may receive compensation up to $1000 for completing a short sale.  Borrower’s may receive up to $1500 for relocation expenses.  Holders of 2nd mortgages will receive up to $1000, if they agree to the terms of a short sale.

Why This New Program May Help:

  1. A short sale is the last step before foreclosure, and is far less costly for lenders and borrowers.   Selling short is less damaging to the homeowners credit and they are less costly for banks and lenders.   Survey results show that losses from short sales average 19 percent versus losses of 40 percent in the case of foreclosure.
  2. Currently, more than 75 percent of short sale contracts fall apart, despite sometimes heroic efforts on the part of the borrower.  Lenders have for the most part been uncooperative when responding to offers on short sales, which means the properties sit vacant and pull down values in the entire area.
  3. The new program may provide a much needed boost to the current Making a Home Affordable program.  Despite good intentions, the program has only helped 55,000 homeowner’s modify their loans.   In comparison, there were 342,000 foreclosure filings in the month of April, alone.

  Stop The Sinking Feeling.   If you are struggling to pay your mortgage or you are falling behind on your payments…CALL YOUR LENDER TODAY!!   Don’t procrastinate, the problem will only become larger if you wait.   You may also waste valuable time in stopping a foreclosure on your property, which is the worst case scenario for borrower and lender alike.

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Stall or Stop Foreclosure Proceedings

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 posted by Tommi Crow

Homeowners:  If you have received a notice of foreclosure on your property, there may be a easy and legal way to stall the lender.  

Recent reports have shown that some homeowner’s have been successful in delaying a foreclosure sale, by simply requesting that their lender provide copies of their original paperwork for the loan.  It seems that some of our banks and lender’s are often unable to locate the actual paperwork securing the loan against the property.  Opps!

Ask your attorney to demand a copy of your original loan documents.  If the bank can’t come up with them, they can’t foreclose on your loan until they do.   

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Housing Relief – Loan Modification Help Is Here

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 posted by Tommi Crow

 A new loan modification program was just unveiled that may help thousands of homeowners, that are facing foreclosure.  The loan modification program is the latest attempt by the federal government to stabilize the real estate market.  Thr program will not provide direct financial help, but it does provide assistance to those at risk of losing their homes.

The program will benefit borrowers who are at least 3 months behind on their mortgage payments, if they live in the home and have not filed for bankruptcy.

Borrower’s who fit the criteria would be offered a mortgage loan that would bring the payment to no more than 38 percent of their monthly household income.   Loan payments would be adjusted downward through interest rate cuts and longer terms of repayment.  Borrower’s would be allowed up to 40 years to repay the debt versus the traditional 30 year mortgage most of us are familiar with.

Borrower’s who are in danger of foreclosure should immediately contact the lender who services their loan.  The loan modification program was designed to be swift and efficient in stopping foreclosures.  It is expected that 1.6 million Americans will lose their homes this year, and another 1.9 million are projected to lose their homes in 2009.

Efforts by the government to work with borrowers and homeowners and keep them in their homes is good news for neighborhoods and communities.   The program is also good news for lenders and taxpayers as foreclosures typically cost the lender 50 percent of the loan value.  Ouch!

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Home for Sale

Home for Sale

While the present ecomonic situation in this country is uncertain, one thing remains unchanged.  Markets will rise.  Markets will fall.  Markets will Recover.  Savvy Investors/Buyers will Profit.

Too much inventory, and too much absurd lending and borrowing, have Americans facing the worst housing market since the great depression.  While this is not new news, the opportunities in this market may be.   

Home buyers with money in the bank, a job and good credit have not been in such a great position in decades.   Price declines and record loan defaults have made bargain hunting for a home a lot more fun.   The McMansion, many believed they could never afford, is now well within their grasp. 

So, what is the truth about getting a great deal in this market?   Are some properties easier to buy than others?    Can you really get a steal from lenders sitting on unsold inventory?   

The answer is YES, but there are big differences in the types of distressed property being offered for sale.

  • SHORT SALES:  A short sale is one in which the borrower is behind on their mortgage, but they still own the property.   Usually, the borrower owes more to the lender than they can sell the home for (upside down).  Usually a short seller will ask the bank to consider any offer on the property and “forgive” the outstanding loan balance.   A short sale is good for the home owner because short sales do not reflect as poorly on their credit report.  Short sales are good for the lender because they don’t have another vacant home on their books.
  • MAKING A OFFER ON A SHORT SALE HOME:  This is the most difficult type of distressed housing to make an offer on.  Unless you have a lot of patience or an unlimited amount of time to sit and wait for a response to your offer, you may want to seriously avoid properties advertised as Short Sales.  Truefully, very few, if any, offers made on Short Sales ever close.
  • REO’s and Foreclosures:  These are bank owned properties and there are plenty to choose from.  These types of listings sell very quickly.  Generally the buyer can be sitting in their new living room in less than 30 days after submitting an offer on a lender owned property.
  • MAKING AN OFFER ON A FORECLOSURE OR REO:  Banks are completely detached and unemotional from their home listings.   They know exactly what they need in terms of price, they know the local market and they love quick closings.  That being said, you won’t be successful offering 75, 80 or even 90 percent of the list price.  You will more than likely be out bid, as often the winning bid is over the list price.  Keep in mind that the bank is not like a human home seller, they usually never counter low ball offers, they simply move on to the next offer in the pile.

Thanks as always for visiting  We are here to help you sell and buy, so let us know your thoughts.

Hope for Homeowners is a new program, created by congress, to assist homeowners in refinancing their “at risk” loans into more affordable FHA, insured mortgages.

It is estimated that over 400,000 homeowners could avoid foreclosure through participation in the voluntary program, by enrolling before September 30, 2011.

In order to qualify for the special refinancing, the original loan must have been originated on or before January 1, 2008. In addition, the existing mortgage payment must exceed 31 percent of the borrower’s gross monthly income.

FHASecure is another program designed to help homeowners refinance and avoid foreclosure. The program, which went into effect on July 14th, offers borrowers with ARM’s, the option to refinance with an FHA insured mortgage designed to lower the monthly mortgage payment. Under the FHASecure program, lenders can not disqualify borrowers based on loan payment deliquency and the lender may actually offer a second mortgage to make up the difference between the appraised value of the property and the outstanding balance due.

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