Fraud Update

The fraud persists. I've received at least 6 phone calls from potential renters. I also received an email from a very nice reader who sent me the following email. It's unbelievable. Yahoo did answer my email but I haven't heard anything from Craigs List. This is bull honky! Ms. Angotti, I just received this 'reply' – I thought, after seeing your blog post you would like to see they are persisting. Please let me know if I can do anything more to help you catch these scammers. Also, if you know of any good (real) rentals, I'd love to hear about them. I'm sorry for the trouble, but I'm glad you became aware of this before anything truly awful happened. All the Best, Annemarie P.S. Bella is adorable, we have a Black lab (Baron) who just turned 1 – just so your husband knows, condo life with a dog isn't all *that* bad šŸ™‚ ———- Forwarded message ———- From: Jen Angotti Date: Sun, Jul 26, 2009 at 11:14 AM Subject: Re: 4009 Cole Blvd. SE To: annemarie Good day Applicant, Thanks for your email and interest in renting my house. I am Jennifer Angotti, the owner of the house you are making enquiry of. Actually I did reside in the house with my family, my husband and my only daughter before and presently we have moved out due to my official job transfer or posting, whatever you may call it, which has now found me in Warsaw, Poland. Presently my house is still available for rent for $900 USD per month (which includes utilities), though i intended selling it off but on a later thought changed my mind and have decided putting it on rent. More so now, Iā€™m currently in Lagos, Nigeria for an international Christian follower's crusade taking place at the Nigeria national stadium, by one Pastor Chris of the Christ Embassy Ministry. I want you to understand that I spent a lot on my property that you have requested to rent, so I will solicit for your absolute maintenance of this house and would want you to treat it as your own because cleanliness they say is next to Godliness. It is not all about the money to be paid on rent or spent; it is all about a good maintenance culture which I want you to adopt on the property. I want you to keep...
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FRAUD ALERT

This morning I received a very nice email from a lady asking if my 4009 Cole Blvd. property was still for rent. Except I'm not renting it. I'm selling it. I thought she'd made a mistake. Then she sent me the post from Craigs List..with my pictures and my description. Except it has a bogus email address and is for rent for $900. How messed up is that? I've reported them to Craigs List. I sent the other "jen angotti" a nasty email. (Which probably wasn't smart, in hindsight.) I also reported them to Yahoo.com. I know all sorts of frauds are perpetrated on a daily basis. I've been lucky. I've never been on the receiving end of one. So be careful! The lady who emailed me also looked up the listing on Trulia.com. She emailed me through Trulia and that's how I discovered the scam. If you are looking for rentals, look at other sources, especially if the post is claiming a real estate agent is marketing the property. Better safe than...
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Taking Advantage of the 8K Housing Tax Credit

Urban Turf has a great post about taking advantage of the 8K first time home buyers tax credit. They have a weekly post that's called "Ask An Agent." This week's question was the 8K first time home buyers tax credit and when it's going to expire. Mandy Mills from Hounshell Real Estate answers the question handily. We were just talking about this at my sales meeting on Tuesday. If you are a first time home buyer and you want to take advantage of this credit, you MUST close by Dec. 1, 2009. That's coming up rather fast especially when deals can take 30-45 days to close. Not to mention the time it takes to find a place and then actually get the property under contract. (ah hem..refer to earlier post this week about multiple contracts.) There's also the real possibility that title offices are going to be swamped in October and November with buyers trying to close their real estate deals. Not only is the 8K credit going bu-bye Dec. 1, so are the current loan limits of 729K. Although I'm sure Congress will extend these benefits again to stimulate the housing industry, there might be a gap of a couple of months. Just a few thoughts if you're thinking about jumping in the real estate...
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Multiple offers? Plllffff.

This is 17 Todd Pl, NE. It's a 4 bedroom, 2 bath foreclosure in Eckington. I was one of the 6 offers on the house because it was listed for a mere $327,750. That's correct. 6 OFFERS. My offer wasn't accepted. (ho hum) I know it went for over 351K. That's what we offered. I'm thinking it went for 360-375K. It's amazing that a property went for at least 24K over list in this market. Actually..it's not so amazing. The house has been renovated. It has central air. It's got decent square footage. It's a DEAL at 24K over list if you look at the sold comps in the neighborhood. Deals like this is one of the reasons the real estate market is still alive in DC. They're hard to find and even harder to get under contract. I'm no fan of the multiple offer UNLESS I'm the listing agent. (Te hee. I have to be an equal opportunity real estate agent, right?) Anyway, I'm bummed this didn't work out for my client. We've been searching for a couple of months and so far, this has been the only house that's been really interesting. Back to the drawing...
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Deal from hell: OVAH!

I'm happy to report that the short sale that's been driving me crazy FINALLY closed. It was a nerve racking week. There were so many different problems with this deal. At one point, my client was bringing 3K more to closing than the original estimate. Yep. You're reading that correctly. We resolved that problem lickety split and my clients brought the original amount to the table. That's not happening on my watch if I can help it. But it closed. My clients are happy and proud owners of a new condo. Yaaaaaa! While I was being consumed by problems with my deal, some really interesting articles came out in the Post. Kenneth Harney's article titled: "When Default Is a Strategy" is a must read. Who would have thought that people would be using foreclosure as a strategy? Really? I was raised to believe that having good credit was really important. I find it hard to believe that someone would ruin their credit for 7 years on purpose. But that's me. Renae Merle wrote an article about short sales titled "Coming Up Short, More and More." Since I had just lived through my own personal short sale horror, I found the article informative. The other article I thought was intriguing was Elizabeth Razzi's post in her blog Local Address. It's called "Appraisal Quality Getting More Attention." On May 1, a new set of appraisal rules went into effect nation wide for real estate agents, banks and mortgage brokers. It's wreaking havoc on the buying/selling process and NOBODY has been happy with it. A lot of people in the industry feel that it's affecting the housing market adversely. Read the post for more details because this has become a HUGE issue when buying and selling a property. In some good/sad news, Dave Stevens, the President of Long&Foster; has been appointed as the new FHA Commissioner of HUD. I'm glad because I think he'll do an amazing job. I'm sad because he was doing a fabulous job for L&F; too. He spoke to a small group of us at one of our weekly meetings a couple of weeks ago. I was impressed with his vision for L&F; and for real estate in general. He was very engaging and entertaining. Plus he told a funny joke about Sarah Palin. I know, I know. He said the same thing: never mix politics with business....
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City Livin’ With The Pup

This is Bella. As I've mentioned in my last post, we're doggie sitting for my parents. They went on a grand tour of the West (Denver, Grand Tetons, and CA). We used the beach house (thanks!) and volunteered to keep the pup. She's 7 months old and she's got a lot of energy. DC is a dog friendly town. People LOVE their puppies. City living with a puppy has been a great experience. But it's really different from beach living with the puppy. Our condo building is very dog friendly. It's a point of contention for some owners..some dogs have a little bathroom problem in the elevator. That's not what you want to see first thing in the AM. I've found that living in a dog friendly building is actually a selling point in DC. There's a lot of DC condo buildings that have a "no pet" policy or just a "cats only" pet policy. Cleavland Park (CP) is especially tough for pet owners. I have a client looking for a one bedroom in CP but she has a cat and a dog. It's been almost impossible to find her something. Having Bella visit has been a ton of fun. Since we don't own a dog just a cat, the learning curve has been interesting. First, you meet all sorts of new people with a dog. I've met a lot of neighbors in the last week and half. Second, you become really familiar with the dog park. Shaw has a great dog park on 11th and S St, NW. The dogs seem to be friendly although I do get skeeved out by cesspool smell. Uf. Third, it's not as hard as I thought it would be to care of the pup. The hubby has been resistant to getting a dog because we live in a condo. I see his point of view: late night walks aren't fun especially in bad weather. But Bella sure has been fun. She goes home tomorrow and I'm going to miss her a lot....
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Price Reduction on 1221 Harvard St., NW

I'm back from the beach and it was lovely. I really, really wasn't ready to head home. But I'm back and I hit the road running. As I mentioned in a previous post, in real estate, if you're going on vacation you instantly get busy. While I was at the beach, I had an offer on one of my listings and I had to deal with a home inspection (HI) contingency. The offer didn't work out but the HI contingency did..yea! I also had a ton of traffic on 2120 Vermont Ave, #319. Serious buyers look on holidays people..remember that! Anyway, 1221 Harvard St…we've reduced the prices by 25K on each unit. That means Unit 2 is now $624,725 and Unit 1 is $573,765. I'm holding them Open Sunday 7/12 from 1:30-4pm. Stop by if you're interested..they are very, very nice. Especially at these price points. More news: my hubby caught a 27" red drum while we were at the beach! It was quite the catch. It was also good eating. We're also doggie sitting my parents pup Bella. She is a trip. City living with a dog is really, really interesting. I'll save those thoughts for my next...
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