My Blog

The wonderful Good Neighbor Next Door program of HUD


Dear Full time paid Police officer, Firefighter, Paramedic, or Teacher,

Do you know about this wonderful HUD program called GOOD NEIGHBOR NEXT DOOR just for you guys only?  You are only paying half of the listing price of the property. 


  • You have to be a full time paid Police officer, Firefighter, Paramedic or Teacher.
  • The location of the subject property and your job must be in the same town.
  • You need to use a HUD registered brokerage/agent to submit your information electronically.  It is Lottery form to draw for a lucky buyer.  It is open for all qualified officers and teahcers.
  • You need to get FHA loan pre-approval from your lender.

For more information about the GOOD NEIGHBOR NEXT DOOR program, please contact me, Rita Fong, RE/MAX Real Estate Today, Marion, Ar.

Rita Fong

RE/MAX Real Estate Today

1813 Highway 77

Marion, Ar. 72364

office 870-735-4663

cell 901-488-9590

fax   870-735-4668


Tax credit for 1st time buyer has been extended till 4/30/10, in addition to that, a new $6,500 tax credit was also added for existing home owners who live in their current home for 5 consecutive years in the last 8 years. 

This is great news for home buyers, you have until 4/30/10 to execute a contract, and need to close before 6/30/10.  With advantages like these:
  • Low interest rate, it is under 5% right now. (Rates change daily)
  • Great inventories on the market
  • Tax credit has been extended
  • No down payment for qualified buyers
  • Most sellers will help with buyer's closing costs
  • More motivated sellers because of the new $6,500 to current home owners to move up and buy new homes

I am a dedicated full time Realtor to my clients, I have confidence to help you to find your new home.  If you have any question, please don't hesitate to call me at 901-488-9590, I will be glad to help you.

For more details about the new extended and expanded tax credit, please visit

Time is running out for the $8,000 tax credit, hurry!

In order to claim the $8,000 Tax credit for 1st time buyer, which means you did not own any home in the last 3 years, you need to buy and close before 11/30/09. 
Facts are favoring 1st time home buyers right now:
1.  Interest rate is still low.
2.  You can keep that $8,000 as long as you live in the house for 3 years.  It is yours FREE.
3.  Zero down payment program for qualified buyer.
4.  Home price is more affordable to buyers than 1-2 years ago.
5.  Take advantage of the foreclosures and short sales.
Don't you think these are enough to attract you to buy your new home while these good deals are still here?  Give me a call at 901-488-9590 or email me at  I will be glad to walk you through the process to become a home owner.

Bad experience with a Realtor

I was going to see the people I know and sent out flyers for my seminar, even I have one pending for the school, one with West Memphis Fire Station, I want to keep it going.  It is part of my 2009 plans, I don't like to wait for things to happen.  It was sunny yesterday, but windy, so here I went to see some people I wanted to talk to and explained the theme of the seminar.

During the conversation, I noticed people are scared of the word "SEMINAR".  To them, it meant 'BUY SOMETHING FROM ME", and some of their looks were somewhat frozen,  True, real estate seminar is a good way for realtors to get to know more prospects, and hope it will lead to sales.  Some of the public had bad experiences with realtors before, and thinking all of us are BAD guys, it is like once they got burnt, they scarred for life.  They don't have confidence in us whatsoever.  As I was explaining my seminar is about offering informations and help them more prepared before selling and buying, then they started to "soften" up some.  Some of them even asked me questions, which was a good sign, that showed some kinds of trust towards me.

I am not trying to defend anybody in the seminar, I just want to let them know there are some good, honest, and reliable realtors out there, and hope they are prepared enough to find one to represent them.

Credit Check and get pre-approved before shopping

If you are planning to buy, you will want to check your credit report and see if you are ready or not.  Here is a website for you to check your credit report Free.  Each person is allowed to have ONE FREE report each year, for more details, go to , you will need all 3 reports from Transunion, Equifax, and Experian.  Things you need to pay attention to :
1.  Are all items showing on the report are correct.

2.  If you already paid the items, did they remove from your report and gave you the credit

3.  If you see any errors, you need to dispute with the Credit Bureau in writing, with the copy of the paid receipts to prove    that you already paid them, so they can adjust them accordingly.

4.  You need at least 620 credit scores to apply for a loan, if you don't see the score on your report, you may have to pay for it before they show you the score.

5.  If you know there are things that you need to take care of, like paying them on time, some collections, past dues on your report, you need to go ahead to do so, because the lender will tell you the same thing to do before you can apply for a loan.

6.  If you think your report looks good, you can go to talk to a lender to get a loan pre-approval before start shopping for properties.  That will let you know how much of a house you should look at, so you won't waste time on the wrong price range of houses.  You want your realtor to help you to find a house, time is of the essence, if you keep looking at the wrong price range, you may miss out a good house that may best fit your criterias.  Plus, if you are pre-approved, you can put an offer on the property right away with confidence when you find your dream home.  No time is wasted, it is a win-win situation for a buyer.

I am here to help a buyer to succeed their goal of finding their dream home, but there are steps to take before we can jump on the wagon.  And it is all to protect the interests of the buyer to keep their feet on the ground, and be realistic about it.

If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call, I will be glad to help.

Are first time buyers actually scared to buy?

When everybody says it is the best time to buy, especially to 1st time buyers, why aren't they jumping into the market and start searching and go ahead and buy?  You will think with the benefits of low interest, ample supply of houses, the $7,500 credit from the government for qualified 1st time buyer, when you buy before 6/30/09, is enough to attract 1st time buyer get out to buy!? 

So, what are the 1st time buyers thinking?

You see, buying a house is a lifetime committment, it requires structure, responsibility, well plan, and again, committment.  When you rent, all you have to worry is pay your rent on time, some utility bills, your own grocery bill, and let somebody else to worry about the property tax, insurance, all the wear and tear, and the upkeep of the property.  You don't own it, right?  So, what will be your main responsibilty other than paying your rent?  Nothing much really.  So is the ownership, you don't own it, it is never yours, you just keep paying for something that will never be yours.

I remember when I bought my first house, I was scared, didn't know what to expect, everything was new and unknown to me.  I was fortunate to have an excellent Realtor to walk me through every step of the way till closing.  I enjoyed the freedom of owning your own home, decorated the way I always wanted.  A few years later, I sold it and bought my second home.

Understand buying your first home is a BIG step, that is why so important to do all your homeworks and get yourself prepared.  Also, a good Realtor is a plus to help you and walk you through the whole buying process, and make it as smooth process as possible.  Ask questions when you have doubt.  Do you remember your first day on your job........?

Talk to a mortgage lender is a smart way to start when buying your first home, to get pre-approve is like to get your back stage pass to a concert, I don't mean you can see a celebrity, but you are excited, right?  Now, you know how much you can buy, you can start looking for property, better yet, look for a Realtor to help you from step 1.  Do you know it is a free service to a buyer to use a Realtor to represent them in buying their home?  So, use it, it is free, another benefit to be a buyer.

You know you can interview Realtors, and choose the one you are comfortable to work with, afterall, your Realtor and you will be good friends for at least 30 days or till closing.  So, it is important to choose the one you really want to work with, the only way to find out is to talk to a few of them.  But, please make sure to tell the Realtor upfront that you are interviewing them, don't mislead them to think you are using them as your Realtor.  You really do not want to get into a mutliple Realtors situation.  You choose the one you want to work with and stick with him/her, let your Realtor help you to find your new home, remember, it is a free service to you, use it.

Now, do you think you are ready to start?  I hope you become a 1st time homeowner in 2009.

Real Estate Seminar

I am teaming with Kim Hollowell, a local mortgage originator, to host a real estate seminar.  It is going to start in February in our local fire department.  Date will be confirmed soon.

The seminar is all about education, nothing formal, is a casual get together.  Anybody who is interested in knowing more about how to apply for a mortgage loan, working with a Realtor are welcome.  Bring a friend, come and join us.  It is a friendly setting type of seminar, you have question, we will help.

Come back for more information on the date of the seminar.

Hope I will see you there!!
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