tv Bulls Bears FOX Business June 12, 2016 8:00am-8:31am EDT
usa. i speak for many americans who want to hear the questions answered right now, before she becomes the commander in chief because you see, liberals, afterwards, that will be too late. not too late or too early to preorder wake up america o ♪ >> i'm bob massi. for 34 years, i've been practicing law and living in las vegas, the center of the recent real-estate crisis. lives were destroyed from coast to coast as the economy tanked. now, well, it's a different story. the american dream is back. and nowhere is that more clear than the sunshine state of florida. so we headed from the strip to the beach to show you how to live the american dream. i'm gonna meet real people who are facing serious problems, take you behind the gates of properties you have to see to believe and give you the tips that everyone needs to navigate the new landscape because information is power, and the property man has got you covered.
[ woman vocalizing ] thanks for joining us. nearly 700,000 new homes were built in america last year, and over the past five years, more than three million. [ saw whirring ] new construction enables you to build the exact home you want, but it can be a daunting process if you've never done it before. so we're gonna tell you how to do it right. there is a new home-building checklist on our website at foxnews.com/propertyman, and i'll have more critical information later on the massi memo, but first... deanna, nice to meet you. >> hi. nice to meet you. >> i wanted to check in with deanna armel. she's a realtor who specializes in new-home construction in the orlando area. ♪ what are some of the first things and tips that you give a prospective homeowner, particularly somebody that's never done it before? >> the first thing i would say is, "what do we need to do to set you up for success? do we need to sell your home first? do you need a lender? what can you afford?
what area are you looking for? and how much home can you buy?" >> get a competent realtor. why? because you want them to understand what your needs are as a homeowner. >> know the location you want to be in. if you have children and you want to focus on top, a-rated schools, research realtors that are experts in the area. >> they need to understand what your needs are, the area where you're developing it. is it close to the church? is it close to the school? does it have shopping areas around it? understand your developer. what is their background? how many homes have they built in the area? and understand the incentives that they're giving you. >> builders want your business. they want to give you incentives. an incentive could be 5% or 3% towards your closing costs, and that's cash you don't have to bring to the closing table. >> sure. and as it relates to upgrades and things like that, what role do you play? >> the important component of the realtor is to protect the buyers' interests. the builder is protecting their interests, and then there's no one to protect the buyers' interests, unless you have that realtor.
>> true. >> oftentimes, you drive by new home communities, and they say, "homes offered from $300,000 to $400,000." well, that doesn't include the lot premium, and that doesn't include upgrades, and most people spend about 10% to 20% to 30% in upgrades. >> make sure that you do your own due diligence to understand what kind of upgrades you're gonna use for the home. >> step one is picking your floor plan. step two is going out to the raw land and picking that lot that you want, watching the slab be poured, then you get to pick out all of your colors, your cabinets, your faucets, where you want your extra outlets. there's nothing more exciting than being able to stand on a piece of raw land, dirt, just a mound of dirt, and say, "this is where my home is going to be built." ♪ tell me about the lifestyle that you've chosen here and... >> deanna just finished building a home for bob and caitlyn, a couple who wanted to build a three-bedroom, two-bath home. >> first of all, we have great neighbors. [ chuckles ] >> yes. >> we have lucked out. >> with deanna's help, they
built a beautiful 2,000-square-foot house with a study. >> that part of it is just super. >> i wanted to stop by and just see how it all turned out. this is actually your 11th home that you've been involved with with building. >> it is. >> and why did you pick this area? >> like our realtor, dee, said, it's location, location, location. >> picked out the layout and said, "this is what we want." >> absolutely. >> the advantage of building a new home from the ground up is, you can pick exactly what you want -- the square footage, different things that you want in your home 'cause it's personal to you. >> you are in total control of your home build. you pick your colors. you pick your roof tile, your floors, your granite. you are a part of the whole process from start to finish. >> i wanted to make sure the kitchen, first of all, was bright, cheerful. >> mm-hmm. >> i picked the white cabinets because they're light, and so that would make it look a lot, to me, a lot larger. >> the particular community we're standing in is what they're selling maintenance-free living. their hoa fees are substantial,
but the substantial hoa fees pretty much cover everything. >> all the ground and landscape maintenance, all the water for the outside, the mowing of the grass, all of that from the paint out is covered by the hoa. >> that was important for you to have that? >> sure. i get to play golf. >> absolutely. >> thataboy. [ both laugh ] ♪ >> different communities have different monthly fees. now, although those monthly fees include a lifestyle, basically maintenance-free living, it may be fees that are too high for people that are looking to have an affordable monthly payment. it's something to be aware of. >> what kind of anxieties did you have in building a home? because for many people, from the ground up, you know, it's scary. >> you try to stay on top of the builder, watch what's going on during the construction. >> don't be afraid during the construction process to drive by that home to make sure that everything is laid out the way you intended when you started from the beginning. >> making sure, yes, did they put in the right amount of electrical outlets?
did they put them in the right places? is that where you want them? [ saw whirring ] >> so, they're able to walk in and make sure that things are set up the way that they saw it originally, you know, the outlets, the kitchen, the family room, the bedrooms. >> i absolutely encourage every homeowner to be a part of that, number one, to make sure everything's being done right and to their liking, but, number two, the pure excitement of watching your dream come true. >> we could pick out the lot. we could pick up the location of where the sun was rising and setting. i wanted a patio where we could entertain at night. those types of things you have more difficulty with if you're looking for a -- at a second home. we've always just found it more convenient, more to our satisfaction to get what we want. you get the incentives from the builders. with a good realtor that knows the builders in the area, you get a quality builder that'll work with you. >> there's nothing more rewarding than helping a family from start to finish make their dreams come true. ♪ >> we've got more information about building your home from
the ground up on our website, foxnews.com/propertyman, and i'll review some critical tips at the end of the program in the massi memo. but first, for happily ever until death do us part. well, sadly, a lot of people part long before death, and that could cause a lot of headaches when it comes to divorce and your property. [ woman vocalizing ] my business was built with passion... but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. with it, i earn unlimited 2% cash back on all of my purchasing. and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business... which adds fuel to my bottom line. what's in your wallet?
♪ >> thanks for joining us. i'm bob massi. good news for marriages -- across america, the divorce rate is dropping, but there are still about one million divorces every year, and combine that with 5 1/2 million property purchases each year, and you've got some problems. the two biggest commitments you will ever make are getting married and buying a home. i got an e-mail from a man named dennis. >> once you go through the divorce, you've got all of the other things that are still carrying on from the past. the big issue that i'm working on right now is, of course, trying to get her name removed from the house so that she can
get on with her life. >> he went through a divorce, and his ex-wife deeded their home to him, even though her name was on the original note and mortgage. so, the property now is in your name? is that right? >> that's correct, yeah. >> okay, but her name and your name is still on the original loan. >> that's right. >> when you get divorced, the language in the divorce decree does not bind the creditors. >> what she was looking for was to have her name removed from the note so that she could move on with her life, and i thoroughly agree with that. >> she moved away to california, and dennis was approved for a loan modification that was based solely on his own income and qualification. >> i called them up and told them that i was going through a divorce and i needed some help on this because i was gonna be just a single income to support the house. first, they had told me that i had to stop paying on the house. that was the first thing. >> and "they" being bank of america at that time was servicing the loan? >> and bank of america said, "there's nothing that we can do for you until you" -- 'cause i was current on all of the payments. once i was not current, then they were able to start the modification process.
the whole thing was done solely and based on my salary alone. >> the loan modification was processed without her having to sign anything. >> the modification was complete, and i was in the trial process for three months. unfortunately, on the third month, i got a letter saying that they were selling the loan to caliber home loans. >> oftentimes, lenders passed on their loans to servicers. those are the people that you make your monthly payments to, and then your money is sent on to the lender. >> caliber wouldn't do anything, wouldn't even discuss an assumption. >> yeah, as a matter of fact, in looking over the loan-modification agreement, the representative from caliber, the new servicer, actually is the one that signed the -- the loan-modification agreement. >> yes. i got nothing from caliber until after the modification was complete, and then the letter that we had received was -- stated that "bank of america has now sold the loan to caliber." >> now, in this case, the new servicer refuses to remove the ex-spouse name from the loan, even though the lender only looked to dennis for the ability
to pay. >> caliber is holding her hostage. there's no reason for her to be on the mortgage or on any note or anything like that. the whole modification was completely based on my salary, and so she should've been removed from the -- from the paperwork. >> as we sit here today, is the value of the property still underwater? >> yes. >> today, because homes are still under value, what's a court going to do? the court can either tell the parties, "hey, go short-sell it" or "continue to make the payments." when people get divorced, there's certain language that -- that is put in divorce decrees or property-settlement agreements that basically say, "you get this property. you get the car. you get this bank account," and transfers of title happen. for example, in this case, right, your wife deeded the property to you. many times, the thought process is, "i have no more responsibility on the note," but, in fact, she did. why? because they're both still responsible for the underlying loan in case of a default. but caliber looks at it from this perspective. they say, "hey, if for some
reason this property never goes up in value and this guy wakes up one morning and says, 'i'm done,'" they have two people to go after for the deficiency. they have you, and they have your ex-wife, so they look upon her as sort of another safety net. when he makes a payment for a period of time -- for example, one year -- he could go back to the servicer, show his good-faith payment, and ask them if they would consider removing his ex-wife from the loan. you could say, "i will provide you updated financials. i'll give you my tax returns. and would you then consider removing her from this loan?" just as an alternative, let's assume that they want her on there, just what i said, as a safety net. if you have a friend, a brother, sister that is willing, many times, you could go to them and say, "listen, i have somebody that'll guarantee this loan besides me being primary. would you then consider it if they're willing to go on it just for purposes of removing her name from the note?" so, there are alternatives, and,
by the way, the under and over is, this loan will probably be transferred again. >> right. i'm sure it will. >> from caliber, you know? >> [ laughs ] yeah. >> the last thing i want to tell you, there are always new programs, dennis, that are being proposed by brokers, mortgage companies, lenders. even though this is underwater, i'm telling you, there's federal programs. there's state programs you should always look at. so, just because you have this loan mod in place, that doesn't mean the process stops. and we may try to contact caliber ourselves, saying, "listen, he is the reason why the loan modification happened," but be proactive in that yourself, and you may catch lightning in a bottle. >> i hope so. >> there's a lot more to discuss when it comes to properties and divorce, and i'm gonna speak with a few experts whose advice just might surprise you up next. [ woman vocalizing ] okay, ready?
♪ >> thanks for staying with us. i'm bob massi, the property man. as we've seen, when a couple gets divorced, it can be very tough to untangle everything related to homes and properties, but it can be done. so, i asked some experts to walk me through it. >> buying a home is, close to getting married, the biggest decision you're gonna make in your life. let's face it. >> a prenuptial agreement is important when you want to protect all of your assets. >> let's talk about a prenuptial agreement. it's a contract between both parties that intend to get married. here's what's very important for it to be enforceable in most states in the country. first of all, there has to be a total disclosure of all debts and assets between the parties, and most states require both parties to have an attorney so everybody understands what the prenuptial means, what it stands for, and what the legal impact will be if you ever get divorced. >> if you're going into a marriage with non-marital property, i would recommend a prenuptial agreement, absolutely.
>> difficult, though, to discuss it. love is blind. people get married, right? >> it is very difficult. it's a very difficult topic to discuss, but there are certain marriages that i think require it. >> there's also what's called, believe it or not, a postnuptial agreement. it's just another contract after you get married. you have a couple that doesn't want to do a prenup. they don't want to do a postnuptial after they're married. if they're married 50 years, how do they keep their assets separate? >> the best way to keep their assets separate is to keep it titled in their individual names and don't put into those accounts any monies earned during the marriage. >> so you could be married for many years, and if you keep it separate, it remains separate. >> you need to be able to prove that during the entire marriage, you didn't put any marital money into it. >> that's where you really start to get into turning assets that should be separate into marital assets. one examplof doing that would be paying down the mortgage with marital funds. this is any money earned during the marriage going into a mortgage payment.
>> that's what we call a transmutation. in other words, you've given up the separate character of the property, and you've given it to both you and your wife or your husband. if somebody is married and they inherit or something's gifted to them? >> if they receive it by inheritance during the marriage, it would be considered a non-marital asset. >> so long as there is no co-mingling, and co-mingling goes back to paying down the mortgage or appreciation. >> but they never transferred the title into both names. would that -- would that other person still have a claim to some equity in the property if they get divorced? >> they could be entitled to a portion of the appreciation, especially if the appreciation is due to renovating the property, which is a term that we use as active appreciation. >> the husband or the -- or the wife buys a piece of property and puts it in their name only. >> mm-hmm. >> but it's from community funds. >> well, that's a marital asset, and that asset is going to be divided in the -- in the event of a dissolution.
so that equity would be split equally between the two parties. however, the court would take testimony as to who maintained that property. the court could award that spouse that property in an equitable distribution. >> let's talk about community property and equitable distribution. essentially, all this means is that when you get divorced, a court will look at the assets and liabilities during your marriage, and they will make a determination how they are supposed to be equitably divided amongst the parties. well, some states, like the state of nevada, are community property. in other words, there's a statute that specifically states certain things under the law. equitable distribution are mostly those states that don't necessarily have and recognize just because you're married that it's a community interest, but when all is said and done, courts always look to equity, and they will distribute the property under the laws in the state where you live. >> i represented a husband where, for example, there was a lot of net equity in the house, meaning the house was worth more
than they owed. and so, when we divided the net proceeds, we were able to do some type of unequal distribution to maybe compensate for a waiver of an alimony claim. the wife saw the money now, the husband didn't have to pay alimony to the wife, and both parties knew that house was gonna sell. >> you definitely want to interview the couple to make sure that they have an agreement and an understanding about how the mortgage is gonna work, you know, what their responsibilities are gonna be when they sign that mortgage. >> what happens with the mortgage of note? what happens with the lender? because the contract, the agreement that the parties reach is not binding on the bank. >> a divorce decree doesn't necessarily mean one party is removed from a debt. quite frankly, the mortgage lender doesn't care what the divorce decree says. a decree usually will say which property and which party is responsible for that particular debt. that debt is still joint. >> so, what they should do is probably talk to the other spouse and say, "could you refinance this property in your name alone?" and if they can, likely, they
will, but a lot of times, they can't because now you have one spouse maybe with half the income who can't refinance, and maybe their credit isn't so good. >> what do you do to protect yourself? >> this is a dangerous situation now where we have housing values that have declined and mortgages that are underwater, a lot of -- one spouse could -- could stop paying the mortgage, and then both of the parties are in foreclosure, so that's a very dangerous situation. >> if one spouse keeps the property, you want to say that that spouse will have 60, 90, or 120 days to refinance the property. if they can't do it, you want the other spouse to be able to come back into court to request that the house is sold in a partition sale. >> if you have assets during your marriage, if you inherit something during your marriage, if anything becomes a gift during your marriage and you're concerned or you don't want to have the spouse that you're married to have an interest, go get legal advice. >> i'll always recommend, you know, that someone seek independent advice from tax and family-law attorneys before
making these decisions. >> up next, the massi memo, with more tips on how to navigate a divorce as it relates to dealing with your property. [ woman vocalizing ] we were born 100 years ago into a new american century. born with a hunger to fly and a passion to build something better. and what an amazing time it's been, decade after decade of innovation, inspiration and wonder. so, we say thank you america for a century of trust, for the privilege of flying higher and higher, together. ♪ with usaa is awesome. homeowners insurance life insurance automobile insurance i spent 20 years active duty they still refer to me as "gunnery sergeant" when i call being a usaa member because of my service in the military to pass that on to my kids
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particular debt. if that debt still is joint and if one party defaults, guess what? the other is still responsible. or if one party files bankruptcy, the other party is still responsible regardless of the language in the divorce decree. the reason being is that the creditor was not a party to the divorce decree. it's only between the couple that got divorced. if it was a joint debt during the marriage, in most cases, lenders will not release the other party, even on a loan modification. so, what if your property is still underwater and you're getting divorced? well, the best thing to do with real estate that is still underwater when getting divorced -- try a short sale so that maybe you can get the property sold. both names will then be removed, and you no longer have any responsibility. now, i have to say, short sales today are not as prevalent as a few years ago, but it's something you could try to do. make sure your attorney explains thoroughly the responsibility that you still have upon the granting of that divorce decree. ♪ that's it for today. be sure to send me your questions or property stories to
firstname.lastname@example.org and check out our website at foxnews.com/propertyman. i'm bob massi. i'll see you next week. [ woman vocalizing ] >> i'm bob massi. for 34 years, i've been practicing law and living in las vegas, the center of the recent real-estate crisis. lives were destroyed from coast to coast as the economy tanked. now, well, it's a different story. the american dream is back. and nowhere is that more clear than the sunshine state of florida. so we headed from the strip to the beach to show you how to live the american dream. i'm gonna meet real people who are facing serious problems, take you behind the gates of properties you have to see to believe, and give you the tips that everyone needs to navigate the new landscape because information is power. and the property man has got you covered.