Archive for the ‘Mortgage Information’ Category


Cypress Reserve in Ponchatoula, LA

July 12, 2017

Cypress Reserve

Cypress Reserve is a new DR Horton Development happening in Ponchatoula, LA.  

New Homes Now Selling Now!!

Welcome Home to Cypress Reserve!

D.R. Horton’s Cypress Reserve is our newest community in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. Conveniently located to I-12, St. Tammany, Hammond and New Orleans. Ponchatoula was recently voted one of the “Best Places to Live”. This charming town is the epitome of southern living with names such as Antique City and Strawberry Capital. Ponchatoula is also host to the annual Strawberry Festival; the second-largest festival in Louisiana.

Cypress Reserve is a beautiful community with homes starting in the $160’s. Our plans range from approx. 1,320 – 3,173 sq ft. With over 30 floorplans to choose from, each one offers unmatched efficiencies, functional design innovation and superior craftsmanship all at affordable prices.

There is a good chance you will find the perfect home for you and your family.

Give me a call if you are interested in one of these beautiful properties and all the amenities of a top notch Subdivision Development.

Contact us Below for a List of All of the Floor Plans and Amenities




Craig Martin, Next Home Real Estate Professionals, Martin Team, Hammond, LA, Each office independently owned and operated. Licensed in LA, Cell:  985-507-9359, Office:  985-429-0777



Our New Real Estate Website

July 7, 2015

Check out our New Website.  It is full of useful resources for both buyers and sellers in today’s competitive market.  Check out our Community Pages which will not only tell you a little about the place, but we even have the weather.  Remember if you want to buy or sell start at our website:




3 strategies to move an overpriced listing

July 5, 2011

Give sellers a wake-up call


Inman News™

You have worked as hard as you can to get this property sold. Your marketing efforts have generated 50 showings but no offers. What can you do?

Recently, one of our private coaching clients posed this question to her coach. She had done everything within her power to place the property under contract. However, the sellers weren’t willing to lower the price any further. They had a great reason. If they dropped the price any further, they would have to bring money that they didn’t have to the closing table.

The challenge for the agent was that the sellers were blaming the failure to sell the property on her and they were angry. How would you have handled this situation?

One of the most powerful ways to address this situation is to do an update on your market statistics. For example, if there are currently 60 properties listed in their area and price range and 10 of them sell each month, this means that in order to sell their property, the sellers must be in the top 17 percent of the properties on the market each month in terms of the price, condition and the location. With this many showings and no offers, they’re continuing to fall in the bottom 83 percent that are still listed each month rather than in the 17 percent that sell.

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The next step is to explain the seller’s choices. Here’s what to say:

“Mr. and Mrs. Seller, as you can see from the current market statistics, only 17 percent of all the listings will sell this month, while 83 percent will continue to be listed next month. Furthermore, most of the properties that are selling are in like-new condition. Given these circumstances, you have the following options:

“First, you can adjust your price.

“Second, you can update the paint and the fixtures to make the house more appealing.

“Third, if you absolutely must get this price, you can take the property off the market and wait for the market to improve.

“It’s your house and it is your decision. What would you like to do?”

Furthermore, it’s often useful to either take the sellers out to look at the competition or to pull together a slide show of the interiors of the properties that went under contract or that are currently on the market. Sometimes the reason a property is not selling is that buyers can afford to be choosy. The agent who sold our last house told me that the only things that are selling where she is working right now are in like-new condition. Everything else, unless it’s way below market value, is languishing on the market.

A third way is to do a price-per-square-foot comparison. Remember to choose comparable sales where the lot size and the improvement size are within 10 percent of the seller’s property. Failure to do this will yield inaccurate results.

The next step is to make three pricing lines: one for sold listings, one for current listings, and one for expired listings. In most cases, what you will observe is that the sellers’ current price falls in the price range where most of the listings are expiring. Here’s what to say:

“Mr. and Mrs. Seller, as you can see from these three pricing lines, the properties that have gone under contract in the last 90 days have all been priced between $135 to $145 per square foot. The properties that failed to sell and currently are showing on the multiple listing service as expired listings were all priced at $153 to $160 per square foot. Your property is currently priced at $154 per square foot.

“Consequently, you have an important decision to make. You can leave your property at $154 per square foot and it will probably still be on the market, or you can reduce your price to $145 per square foot and increase the odds that it will sell. It’s your choice; what would you like to do?”

Now if the sellers are being unrealistic and you’re no longer willing to work on an overpriced listing, here’s a different approach:

“Mr. and Mrs. Seller, you have an important decision to make. You can continue to keep your property on the market at the price where it is currently listed or you can lower the price to the point where the property will sell. Clearly, since we have had 50 showings and no offers, the property is not priced where buyers today are willing to purchase it.

“It’s your choice; what would you like to do? Continue with your current price? Or reduce the price, end the two-hour commute each day, and get on with your life?”

If the sellers say they want to keep the same price, the next choice is really yours. Are you going to choose to continue to work on an overpriced listing or are you going to walk away? In many cases, your willingness to walk away can be a huge wake-up call. Here’s what to say:

“Thanks so much for the opportunity to market your home. Given the current market conditions, I would be doing you a disservice to continue to represent you on the sale of your property when the market data says that you won’t sell in this market unless you drop your price. I have cleared this with my broker and we are releasing you from the listing. I wish you the best in getting the price you want.”

If you have an overpriced listing that is not selling and the sellers aren’t willing to be realistic, walking away is probably the smartest thing that you can do. If the sellers realize you’re serious and reduce their price, it’s a win for you both. If they are unwilling to reduce their price, you have just eliminated a huge energy and money drain from your business.

Bernice Ross, CEO of, is a national speaker, trainer and author of the National Association of Realtors’ No. 1 best-seller, “Real Estate Dough: Your Recipe for Real Estate Success.” Hear Bernice’s five-minute daily real estate show, just named “new and notable” by iTunes, You can contact her or @BRoss on Twitter.


Is the Market Turning Around!!

February 12, 2011

We have noticed a tremendous up tick in the amount of calls we have been receiving on our listing inventory.  It seems that a lot of home buyers are now understanding that interest rates are rising and if they would like to get in on the historically low rates they will have to act now.  We have recently, in the last week, put two of our homes under contract that have sat for a while.  We look forward to helping as many home buyers or sellers as we can.  Remember affordability has never been better.  This will be a time when we look back and say wow and if you don’t act now you will be saying I wish I would have.  Take a few minutes to familiarize yourselves with the market by searching our website at:  For home buyers or sellers take a look at our Market Snapshot at either: or

I look forward to hearing from you!!!


FHA Program Offers Help to Buy a Home to Rehab

November 5, 2010

FHA 203 Rehab Program offers help to buy a fixer upperWith so many different homes available on the Hammond real estate market, now is the time to dip your toes into the homeowner pool with a “fixer upper”.  If you don’t mind buying a “diamond in the rough”, you may want to consider the FHA program that offers help to buy a home to rehab.  The FHA (203) Rehab Program was created to help clean up the rundown homes in a neighborhood while helping homebuyers afford to do so.

Through a conventional home loan, the property must be worth at least what the loan amount is in order to be approved.  However, when it comes to a home that needs a bit of work, oftentimes, the property isn’t worth that much.  This causes the homebuyer to have to secure financing through other means in order to pay for repairs or other construction work needed to fix up their home.  These loans tend to be for shorter terms and higher interest rates, decreasing the chances that a buyer can purchase the fixer-upper to begin with.

Through the FHA (203) program, a Hammond homebuyer is able to purchase the home as well as secure financing for repairs and construction in one mortgage loan, with one payment and the lowest interest rates they qualify for.  This works out as a win-win for the local housing market, since the properties that were previously considered eyesores can now be bought up by homeowners willing to put the work into them to make them better and more homebuyers are now able to afford their own Hammond home.

To qualify for the FHA (203) Rehab Program, the home in question:

  • Can’t be larger than a four-family multiplex (single-family, duplex, triplex or quad will qualify)
  • Must have been completely finished from initial construction within the last year (no newly constructed homes allowed)
  • At least have part of the original foundation left in place on the property (if the rest of the home has been completely demolished)

If you want to purchase a Tangipahoa home, are willing to put a bit of elbow grease into fixing it up and want to have the cost of the mortgage and repairs/remodeling in one payment, this FHA program offers help for buyers who want to purchase a home to rehabContact me today so I can help you find the perfect Hammond home for you!

Yvonne Martin, The Martin Team, Let My Family Bring Your Family Home to Hammond Real Estate


Help for Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

July 7, 2010

There is help for Hammond homeowners facing foreclosure.Are you struggling to keep up with your mortgage payments?  Are you worried you might lose your Hammond home if you don’t get help soon?  Rest assured that there is help for homeowners facing foreclosure.  The government has set up HAFA, HAMP and HARP programs specifically for distressed homeowners.

The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA) is set up to give both lenders and homeowners financial incentives to sell a home under a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure rather than let it go to foreclosure.  Since a lender has to agree to forgive part of the loan amount under a short sale, they stand to lose money and may not allow a short sale to happen.  With the financial incentives from the HAFA program, they are more likely to allow it.  Also, currently, if a home is successfully sold under short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, a homeowner participating in the HAFA program will receive $3000.

The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is designed to help homeowners who wish to stay in their current home but are struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments primarily due to higher interest rates.  HAMP allows homeowners to try to modify their current loan at a lower interest rate, making the payments more affordable and allowing the homeowner to retain ownership of the home instead of losing it to foreclosure.

The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) allows homeowners who are up to date on their current home loan the opportunity to refinance their home at a lower interest rate, even if the value of their home is less than what is owed.  But, if you are behind on your payments, you will not qualify.

Additionally, there are other options for homeowners who are facing foreclosure, including the Second Lien Modification Program (2MP) for help modifying a second mortgage (used in conjunction with HAMP), bringing cash to closing, mortgage loan workout and lender workout.  You should consult your real estate professional to guide you in finding help if you are a homeowner facing foreclosure.  They will have access to reliable resources and should be up to date on the most recent programs available.

Yvonne Martin, The Martin Team, Let My Family Bring Your Family Home to Hammond real estate


Low Interest Rates + $8000 Tax Credit = Lots of Tangipahoa Mortgage Apps

October 9, 2009

Low interest rates combined with the $8000 tax credit equal an increase in mortgage applications.Here’s an equation to be happy about:

Low Interest Rates + $8000 Tax Credit = Lots of Tangipahoa Mortgage Applications

With interest rates dipping below the 5% mark recently and the deadline for the $8000 First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit looming (must close by November 30, 2009 to qualify), many local Tangipahoa Parish banks and lending companies are experiencing a flood of calls inquiring about refinancing their current mortgages or applying for new ones.  The tax credit has been a major incentive for buyers to purchase properties, helping to lift the slow sales over the last year.  In fact, approximately half of all purchases lately have been first time homebuyers wanting to cash in on the tax incentives for their first Tangipahoa home.

Another benefit of the lower interest rates in the Tangipahoa real estate market seem to be propelling homeowners to start considering refinancing their current mortgages as well.  This has created another refi boom and kept mortgage and loan companies very busy.  Even if your credit scores are below the 720 required for the best mortgage rates, you can still get a good deal if you pay even part of a point.  As of Thursday, October 8, interest rates were at 4.875 with no points for a 30-year loan while 15-year loans were at 4.375 with no points. 

It looks like the last quarter of the year is going to be one of the biggest ones.  Let me know how I can help you get the best deal on your Tangipahoa home purchase today!

Yvonne Martin, Let my family bring your family home to Hammond real estate