Rates have moderated and are currently at or under 4% for a 30 year fixed mortgage. Given the Fed’s comments and the European economic issues I don’t think anyone is predicting anything other than subtle movements up and down for the next few months. As I indicated in last month’s newsletter FHA streamlines with more attractive premiums are going to be in effect June 12. If you have an FHA loan with a rate of 4.75% or higher, that was closed prior to June of 2009, you should talk to one of our lenders, as you could reduce your loan payment without coming out of pocket.
This is the time of year for tax sales. When the property has unpaid real estate taxes from June of 2011, the jurisdiction where the property lies has an auction. The successful bidder must pay the taxes to the city and receives in turn a tax certificate. In order to redeem the property and reclaim it, the owner must pay the bidder the tax plus interest at 18% (in Baltimore City, but it can vary) and any attorney fees the bidder has incurred. The attorney fees and title charges are capped by state statute; nonetheless it becomes costly to redeem your property. Most investors who purchase at tax sales are interested in properties that the owners will ultimately redeem, so the investor can get 18% on his/her money. However once the statutory waiting period has passed, the investor may initiate a court proceeding to foreclose the right of redemption. If the property owner does not step forward and pay the taxes, interest and attorney and court costs, the investor can in fact become the owner of the property by court order. They will then get a deed signed by the City or County official and become the owner of the property for the bid price plus costs.
If you are contemplating a foray into the tax sale realm, do some research and if you still have questions, give us a call. Tax sales are not for the faint of heart.
We want to be your title company and real estate law firm. For additional information, please contact Tee Tillman at 410.884.1160 ext. 3007 or visit ColonyTitle.com today!
About Colony Title Associates:
Founded in 1995, Colony Title Group handles in excess of 2000 real estate closings per year in the central Maryland area. The founder Tee Tillman has over 23 years experience in the title and real estate law fields. Colony handles closings for several lenders, including banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers. Colony is the preferred choice for many real estate brokers in the area.