SOLD!!! Come check out 8221 Rio Vista Court!

A true Forest Glenn West custom home with a fireplace in the master bedroom, an executive study with 14 ft ceilings, a see through fireplace to family and formal dining rooms, handscraped hardwood flooring, Up and Downstairs laundry rooms, 2 bedrooms down, with the media room as an optional 5th bedroom.  Largest master bathroom in Forest Glenn West with 14 ft ceilings and 3 shower heads.  Breathtaking, relaxing backyard with flagstone patio, built in bbq pit and built in tv nook.  This house comes complete with professional landscaping and walkways.  This house spacious and equipped with all the upgrades you could want….so come by and check it out!  You won’t be disappointed!


Kevin Rhodes with Keller Williams Realty-Dallas/Fort Worth Region

Cell:  832-233-0265


www.RealtorRhodes or

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Bank of America Starts Mortgage Reduction Effort

The below is an article from (my local Realtor Board) that was originally posted by Natasha Singer of the New York Times. The article outlines strong efforts by Bank of America to work with struggling homeowners in efforts to keep them in their homes and to possible keep foreclosures off Bank of America’s books. The effort is also a result of large settlement that Bank of America recently made.


Bank of America has started sending letters to thousands of homeowners in the United States, offering to forgive a portion of the principal balance on their mortgages by an average of $150,000 each.

The reduction for qualifying homeowners could amount to monthly savings of up to 35 percent on mortgage payments, Bank of America said in a news release on Monday evening.

The principal reduction offers from Bank of America Home Loans are the result of a $25 billion settlement agreement earlier this year with 49 state attorneys general as well as federal authorities who had been investigating allegations of abuses over the handling of foreclosures.

“To the extent principal reduction and other modification tools help us turn mortgages headed for possible foreclosure into long-term performing loans, it will be positive for homeowners, mortgage investors and communities,” Ron Sturzenegger, a legacy asset servicing executive, said in the statement.

The bank said it planned to contact more than 200,000 homeowners who could be candidates for the offers, sending letters to a majority of them by the third quarter of this year.

To be eligible for the principal reductions, however, homeowners will have to meet certain criteria, including: having a loan owned or serviced by Bank of America; owing more on the mortgage than their property is worth; and being at least 60 days behind on payments as of the end of January.

In the statement, the bank said it had started making such offers in March to a narrower group of homeowners — those who were already in the process of seeking mortgage modification. The bank estimated that the earlier wave of trial reduction offers to about 5,000 people could amount to more than $700 million in forgiven principal. But homeowners have to make at least three timely payments for the reductions to become permanent.

Source: NATASHA SINGER | New York Times

Kevin Rhodes with Keller Williams Dallas/Fort Worth
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Shadow Inventory – 10 Years to Unload Foreclosure Inventory?

Good morning. I often talk with my sellers about “shadow inventory”. Shadow inventory is the banks and governments foreclosure inventory that has yet to be released on the market. I have heard some astronomical figures of how much shadow inventory is really out there, but in John Prior’s article titled “Freddie could take more than a decade to unload REO (forecloure) inventory“, the realtity sinks in pretty quickly.

For example, in John’s article he mentions that in the third quarter, over 25,000 foreclosed properties were SOLD by Freddie Mac. Sounds good right? Sold foreclosures means that we are getting them off out of the market, thus we are cleaning up the market, right? Wrong! John goes on to state that in that same 3rd quarter, Freddie Mac repossessed another 24,300 properties. That is staggering!!! And at the end of the third quarter, Freddie Mac had a total of 60,000 foreclosed properties on their books and in their inventory. SCARY!

You know why else that is scary? Because that is just Freddie Mac’s numbers! That does not even factor in banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, etc…

So hopefully you can see why I discuss shadow inventory with my sellers. Seller’s… capture the market that you have now and price your house so that it is COMPELLING, not just competitive. Try to move it quicker, rather than follow your neighborhoods averages thus sitting on the market a much longer time. I say this because if that pent of supply of shadow inventory were to be released into the market at the same time (like a dam breaking), it would be CRUSHING to sellers home values and thus drastically lower what they could sell their home for.

For any real estate questions, comments or needs, you can reach me at:

Kevin Rhodes
832-233-0265 or or
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See my YouTube Channel HERE.

How to Protest Your Home’s Tarrant County Assesed Value

If you live in Tarrant County, it is highly likely that you just received your 2011 Property Value Notice from the Tarrant County Appraisal District (TAD).   And if your report is like mine, your homes value (according to TAD)  probably went up.

Being a Realtor and seeing what is happening in the market every day, I found it hard to believe that the value of my home had risen since 2010.   So I decided to protest the counties opinion through their online protest option.

Above is a quick video that I posted on YouTube today that goes through the process of how to make the protest online.   The following links will also be helpful in your protest:

Tarrant County Appraisal District – CLICK HERE

How to Submit Your Protest Online – CLICK HERE  (I recommend reading this first)

It is a fairly easy process that took me about 30 minutes to do (just because I wanted to read everything).  

If I could be of any service to you for your real estate needs or you just need a few comperable sales to help justify your protest, please feel free to contact me.

Kevin Rhodes with Keller Williams Realty ~ Dallas/Fort Worth


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What are Closing Costs?

What are Closing Costs?

That’s a good question you ask and one that is quite often talked about in a real estate transaction.   Determining your  mortgage payment is one thing.   Closing costs are definitely another.   I could tell you in my own words, but rather, let’s hear them from one of my devoted mortgage professionals:

“Closing costs are expenses that cover fees associated with the transfer of property ownership. fees paid to state and local governments, and the costs of obtaining a mortgage loan.   Some of these fees are negotiable, and could be paid by either the buyer or the seller.   Some costs are one-time fees (non-recurring closing costs, such as title searches, termite inspection, appraisal, etc…); while other fees such as homeowners insurance or property taxes are things you will expect to continue to pay on a regular basis as a homeowner.”

And per the Texas promulgated One to Four Family Residental Resale Contract, the lawyers say (try not to fall asleep):

Expenses payable by Buyer (Buyer’s Expenses):   Appraisal fees; loan application fees; adjusted origination charges; credit reports; preparation of loan documents; interest on the notes from date of disbursement to one month prior to dates of first monthly charges; recording fees; copies of easements and restrictions; loan title policy with endorsements required by lender; loan-related inspection fees; photos; amortization schedules; one-half of escrow fee; all prepaid items, including required premiums for flood and hazard insurance, reserve deposits for insurance, ad valorem taxes and special governmental assessments; final compliance inspection; courier fee; repair inspection; underwriting fee; wire transfer fee; expenses incident to any loan; Private Mortgage Insurance Premium (PMI), VA Loan Funding Fee, or FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) as required by the lender; and other expenses payable by Buyer under this contract.”

So you can see that the Buyers have a lot of potiential fees that if not negotiated, he or she will be paying for during a real estate transaction. I’m here to help.   Contact me below for any of your real estate needs or concerns.

Until next time America,

Kevin Rhodes with Keller Williams Realty Dallas/Fort Worth

My  YouTube Channel!

832-233-0265 or

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Foreclosures Post Biggest Drop on record

Now here is where reading a headline versus actually digging into the facts and processing the article and data for yourself might mix your emotions up a bit.  

Initially, reading this  headline will likely make you feel good.   It will make you feel like maybe we are beginning to pull of of the housing and financial slump.  But now actually read the  article focusing on  recent foreclosure drops.

Did you read it?   I mean the whole thing.   You really need to.

Well if you did, you will see a scary underlying future that may be presented to  the housing market.

According to the article, the USA recently saw the largest drop in foreclosures (year over year) to the tune of 27%.   This is great news right?!   Wrong.   Ever since the “robo-signer” scandal erupted late 2010, many lenders and banks have resisted selling their foreclosed properties until they have clean up their departmental fiasco.   Since that process is still being cleaned up, the foreclosures are basically off the table and waiting up on a high shelf.

So the question you have to ask yourself is, what happens when all those  foreclosures that are just sitting around on the shelf get released back into the market place?   Well to me, the word flood comes to mind.   Or maybe a better term would be Tsunami.   Especially considering the unfortunate recent events in Japan, I think that  visual is pretty strong.

No one really know, but before you celebrate a one line heading on a news article, ask yourself why it happened?   What impact will it have?   How could this change things?

Thinking like this my friends is what will help us crawl our way out of this recession… a recession that is doing everything it can to suck us back into it.

Kevin Rhodes w/Keller Williams Realty ~ Dallas/Fort Worth

832-233-0265 or

FHA and Conventional Loans – Fee’s Set to Rise

Hello America.   Apparently FHA and Conventional Loan Fee’s are Set to Rise.   There are a  lot of changes occuring in the mortgage industry  right now.   As a buyer, these changes are very important to you.   To keep up to speed, take a look at  the following 1 minute  Video from my  lender (Travis Howard at Service First Mortgage) as he gives a quick re-cap of some of the looming changes and fee increases within the mortgage industry.

Kevin Rhodes w/Keller Williams Dallas/Fort Worth

832-233-0265  or

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Fannie Mae is Raising Fee’s – Conventional Loans – Dallas/Fort Worth

Fannie Mae is Raising Fee’s on buyers loans that are Conventional loans effective 4/1/2011.   That is only 72 days away.   Once you make an offer on a house, it usually takes 45 days to close, so that would leave current buyers that are looking to use a Conventional loan 27 days from now to get under contract on a new home.  

Obviously, this is a very hot topic this week in the mortgage industry.

Fannie Mae is Raising Fee’s almost across the board for  all CONVENTIONAL loans effective 04/01/2011.  This will result in either HIGHER FEE’s or a HIGHER INTEREST RATES for the borrowers.  The only loans that will escape Fannie™s new fee structure will be loans with an LTV AT OR BELOW 75% with a FICO score above 740.  The most significant increase is for borrowers using subordinate financing to avoid MI (such as an 80/10/10).

Let me give you a few examples of the new pricing and how it will impact  borrowers:

1.            800 FICO score borrower, $400,000 purchase price, 20% Down Payment.  Previous cost = $0, New Cost =  0.25% or $800 (EFFECTIVE 4/1/2011)

2.            715 FICO score borrower, $300,000 purchase price, 10% Down Payment so they want an 80/10/10, Previous Cost = 0.25% or $600, New Cost =1.00% or $2,400 (EFFECTIVE 4/1/2011)

I am certainly not a big fan of these new changes and certainly do not believe they will help stimulate our economy or the recovery.    Additional fee’s tend to do just the opposite.   However, it looks like we don™t have a choice so essentially we will roll with the changes.  It™s more important than ever to make sure buyers are working with a knowledgeable loan officer and Realtor such as myself.  The lender that I use with all of my Texas buyers is Travis Howard located in Southlake, Texas.   He is with Service First Mortgage and his service is top notch!   If you need a loan in Texas, Travis is the guy that will get it done!   The loan officer will be able to review and compare all possible loan options and tax benefits to determine the best loan scenario for buyers.

Again, this is effective 4/01/2011.  So Fannie Mae is Raising Fee’s¦. Here how you can use this to your advantage right now.

Do you have buyers  (or are you a buyer) who is on the fence, but more than likely will buy in the next 3 months?  If so, they should strongly consider buying now if they don™t want to pay a higher rate or higher fees.

For those borrowers buying after 4/01/2011¦.. Honestly, it will already be in effect and everybody will be pricing their loans based on the new pricing so the buyers at that time really  won™t know any difference.   The new increases will just have to be passed directly onto the clients.

Please remember that this is only for conventional loans.  This does not affect FHA or VA loans at this time.

Links to the Fannie Mae announcement and new pricing matrix are as follow:


Kevin Rhodes ~ 832-233-0265 ~ ~ ~

Got the Contract Signed? How to Make it to Closing!

Good morning!   This week was a challenging week for both myself and my client.  

In this case, I represent the seller of which we have had the home on the market since April 2010.   In September we received an acceptable offer and buyer and seller signed.   The closing was set for October 21st.   About 2 weeks prior to the closing, I discovered (through a pro-active phone call to the lender) that due to the buyer initially shopping the loan heavily, there was no way that the lender was going to be able to make the original closing date (Note #1: as a buyer, once you have the house you want to buy under contract, do not shop  the loan anymore.   Commit to one lender and proceed forward 100%.   This will avoid potiential delays).  

So reluctant and frustrated, my client decides to agree to extend the closing date to November 18th (this date was determined with communication with the lender as the best time for a clean closing).   So guess what happens?   You got it… about 4-5 days prior to this new close date, we find out that the buyers lender is likely not going to be able to make the November 18th closing (Rule #2: always have your agent keep in close contact with the lender no matter which side of the transaction you are on so that you can learn bad news like this at the earliest time possible).   As it turns out, this is exactly what happened.

So now, we ended up extending the close date (once again) to just after Thanksgiving which should give the lender time to get all of their documents prepared for a clear to close.   However, they have not specifically guaranteed us a closing date as they do not want to be help accountable or liable.   Nice, right?   Sadly, it’s common.

It is interesting to note here how some lenders choose to communicate with clients and/or agents.   Sometimes they are available 24 hours a day.   These are usually the local guys that really hustle the file and work it internally  to keep their clients needs on track.   Sometimes lenders may never return a phone call… they only email you.   And other times (and this is the honest truth), you may not receive any communication whatsoever from the lender until they are completely done with the file and ready to send it to the closing office (this is often times the type of service you might receive from the very large lending institutions).

So just know that even when you have your contract signed and the close date pinned down, that doesn’t always mean that you are going to be closing on that  date.   Many things can happen along the way.   Many of which are not covered in this article.   But just know that  in regards to lending and underwriting, there is a lot of the processing that you or your agent will have no control over and often times, no communication from that individual.   Frustrating?   Absolutely.   However, all efforts should be made to keep up to date and in communication with those parties regardless.   The trick is to figure out how to do this without burning whatever communication bridge you might already have with them.

And when closing dates get pushed back (and they often do in todays  market), it effects SO much.   First and foremost the clients emotional state.   This is huge!   And much of this is because (if you are the seller) the seller  is now living out of boxes,they have to change their moving truck plans, their utilities, their insurance coverage, etc…. And for the buyer, they might have just sold their home and they are completely 100% up in the air with nowhere to go but a hotel and a moving truck that charges them by the day!   Boy how that could get expensive very quick!

So plan it all out with your real estate profession and go ahead and mentally prepare for an extended closing.   That way if a delay does happen, you are ready for it!

For more information, please feel free to contact me at;

Kevin Rhodes