Blog Archive for Premier Williamsburg Real Estate


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Freddie Mac's Delinquency Rate Falls Below 4%

by Carrie Bay at DS

The number of past due home loans guaranteed by Freddie Mac has fallen below the 4 percent threshold. The milestone is a sign that the performance of theGSEs’ loan portfolio is improving and loss mitigation efforts to turn defaults around are having an impact, considering Freddie endured a long three-year stretch of delinquency increases up until March of this year.

According to Freddie Mac’s monthly summary report released Friday, the number of single-family mortgages at least three months past due or in foreclosure as of the end of June stood at 3.96 percent. That’s down from 4.06 percent the month before and a high of 4.20 percent as recently as February.

Freddie noted in its explanation of the numbers that because the company includes loans in the trial period of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) as delinquent in its statistical reporting, this treatment results in a temporary rise in the delinquency rate until the modifications become effective and are removed from delinquent status.

The GSEs’ data show that 21,367 official loan modifications were completed on Freddie-owned mortgages in June. During the first six months of the year, servicers have permanently modified 93,568 distressed loans for the mortgage giant.

The volume of effective modifications impacts the GSE’s reported delinquency rate, which is an indication that past due numbers will continue to improve as more borrowers complete their HAMP trials and either move into permanent mods or pursue other foreclosure alternatives.

Freddie’s multifamily delinquency rate also dropped in June, sliding from 0.32 percent in May to 0.28 percent last month.

The company’s total mortgage portfolio shrank at an annualized rate of 0.9 percent in June, ending the month with a balance of $2.22 trillion. Mortgage-related investments declined by an annual rate of 13.8 percent, or $8.6 billion, in June to $739.5 billion.

Freddie Mac spokesman Michael Cosgrove explained to Reuters, “We have been in a low-growth mode in our retained portfolio for much of this year, with most of the growth in portfolio related to purchase of seriously delinquent loans from pools backing our PC securities.”

Both GSEs announced in February that they would buy back all home loans from investors that were at least 120-days past due in order to reduce capital expenditures. Freddie Mac has repurchased approximately $73 billion in seriously past due mortgages from securities pools.


Know Before You Go to Closing: Owner's Title Insurance vs. Lender's Title Insurance

by Brian D. Lytle, ESQ., Lytle Law, PC
Brian D. Lytle, Esq.

 What is owner’s title insurance?

​by Brian D. Lytle

Title insurance is insurance, just like any other insurance, except that here it insures against defects in ownership. A policy of title insurance is like a pre‐paid legal agreement: the title insurer will provide legal defense against challenges to the buyer’ insured title (dependent, of course, upon the type of policy coverage) and will reimburse the buyer financially for losses due to covered defects in the buyer’ ownership rights. An owner'spolicy insures buyers that the title to the real estate is free from all defects, liens and encumbrances except those that are listed as exceptions in the policy or are excluded from the policy’s coverage. It also covers losses and damages suffered if the title is unmarketable. The policy also provides coverage for loss if there is no right of access to the land. These are the basic coverages and an enhanced residential owner's policy can be purchased that cover additional items of loss.

If I get owner’s title insurance am I protected?

About as protected as you can possibly get, particularly with an enhanced title insurance policy. I highly recommend it. If you ever have a loan officer or lender tell you that an owner’s policy is not needed (so you can save some money) you ought to ask them why then they require you to pay for a (lender’s) policy to protect them. If you ever have a realestate agent tell you an owner’s policy is not needed you ought to get that in writing so you can later sue them (does not need to be in writing, it’s just that the evidence of the bad advice is better).

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Doesn’t the lender’s title insurance policy protect me?

No. It is called a lender’s policy because the lender is the insured, not the buyer, which means the buyer has no rights whatsoever under that policy. Many people think that if a lender’s policy pays the note will be paid and so the loss will not be that great and so they are somewhat protected. This is misguided and wrong for several reasons. First, an owner is not compensated for the equity in the property. Second, even if the lender’s policy “pays off” what in effect happens is that the title insurance company will buy the note from thelender. So even then the buyer is not helped because the title insurance company steps into the shoes of the lender – who has an unpaid note from the buyer – and they can insist a buyer pay regardless whether the collateral for the loan has been lost or not. Besides, a lender’s policy only insures the deed of trust securing the note, not the fee simple title a buyer would be concerned about, and so there are many different coverage provisions is not compensated for the equity in the property. 

I’m so confused, what do I do?

Call me at 757.595.5655 or email me at [email protected]

Main Office
(Oyster Point)

Lytle Title & Escrow, LLC
11801 Canon Blvd.
Suite 101
Newport News, VA 23606
Satellite Office
(J. Clyde Morris)

Lytle Title & Escrow Peninsula, LLC
926 J. Clyde Morris Blvd.
Suite G
Newport News, VA 23601
Williamsburg Office
Lytle Title & Escrow, LLC
5350 Discovery Park Boulevard
Williamsburg, VA 23188
757.643.7899 phone
757.223.0954 fax
757.595.5480 phone
757.595.5686 fax
757.645.2168 phone
757.643.7906 fax



Ford's Colony Market Watch Seminar

by Deelyn Neilson
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I will be hosting a seminar "Market Watch 2010" for the Ford's Colony neighborhood tomorrow July 15 from 2-4. The seminar will be held in the lower level conference room at the Ford's Colony Country Club. (Next to Harry's Tavern).

Come find out what sales as well as values have been like in the neighborhood  over the past  year.

Find out what has been happening since the tax credit ended as well as what effect the Country Club announcements have made on the sales in the neighborhood. I will also be covering property tax assessed values versus sales price. (Two very different animals!)

For more information on Ford's Colony please visit my blog at


Check out the video of scenes from Ford's Colony. You won't be disappointed in this beautiful neighborhood.

Ford’s Colony is  a gated golf course community offering an array of amenities and a relaxed lifestyle infused with southern hospitality. Just minutes away from Colonial Williamsburg, this 2800-acre, gated community offers first-class living with 54 holes of golf by Dan Maples,  tennis courts,  2 Olympic sized pools and jogging trails nestled in rolling hills and lush woodlands. It is conveniently located near 199 I-64 and the very best shopping in town!

(photos by Christopher Conway)

For more information on Ford's Colony please visit my blog at

ST. LOUIS (July 12, 2010) - Busch Properties, Inc. (BPI), owner of the Kingsmill Resort & Spa in Williamsburg, Va., has reached an agreement to sell Kingsmill to Denver-based Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Company. The two entities expect the sale to be completed by August 2010 with Xanterra assuming ownership and management of the resort immediately after closing.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Xanterra is the largest concessioner with the National Park Service and a leader in the hospitality industry, managing resorts, lodges, restaurants, gift shops, tours and activities in national parks, state parks and destination resorts.  The company also is a leader in environmental stewardship, and its programs and accomplishments have resulted in numerous prestigious awards from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, American Hotel & Motel Association and many other governmental agencies, tourism entities and environmental organizations.

"Since first announcing our intent to sell Kingsmill, our goal has been to find a buyer that will enhance the long-term value of the resort and maintain the Kingsmill assets as a premier resort property," said Michael Taylor, president of Busch Properties, Inc.  "After a lengthy and thorough search process, I am pleased to announce we have far exceeded those expectations in a buyer that is the perfect fit for this exceptional property.  Xanterra is widely recognized as an industry leader in park and resort hospitality, and we look forward to the company continuing the longstanding commitment to quality, service and stewardship that distinguishes Kingsmill."

Kingsmill Resort & Spa includes 422 rooms; six restaurants; a 16,991-square-foot conference center; full-service spa and fitness center; marina; and 15-court tennis center. The resort is also widely known for its three award-winning championship golf courses and its executive nine-hole course. The Kingsmill Resort golf courses have been recognized repeatedly by top golf publications and other entities, with the River Course, which has served as host to 29 PGA and LPGA tour events, being named one of the "Top 10 Golf Courses in Virginia."  The Plantation Course was named one of the "Top 10 Best Courses for Women" by Golf for Women Magazine, and the Woods Course was named one of "America's Best Resort Courses."

"Kingsmill is one of the country's premier resorts, and we are very excited to acquire such a high-caliber resort that complements our existing portfolio of properties and is consistent with the expansion of our company," said Andrew Todd, Xanterra president and CEO.  "We greatly respect Busch Properties' longstanding commitment of excellence to the resort and the surrounding community, and we will build on that tradition. We place great value in the employees, condominium owners, members and the resort's other tremendous assets and look forward to being part of this prestigious property."

"Our evaluation of the resort began with the hiring of commercial real estate broker CB Richard Ellis last September to explore a potential sale, and as we reach the culmination of this process we are very excited about the future of the resort and the community," Taylor said.


This sale will not affect BPI's realty or development operations or its role within the Kingsmill Community Services Association Board of Directors.


About Xanterra

Xanterra Parks & Resorts® (consisting of several affiliated Xanterra entities) operates lodges, restaurants and other concessions at national parks and state parks and resorts. Xanterra Parks & Resorts operates concessions in the following locations: Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion, Crater Lake, Death Valley, Rocky Mountain and Petrified Forest National Parks, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and eight Ohio State Park Lodges as well as the Geneva Marina at Ohio's Geneva State Park. Xanterra Parks & Resorts also operates the Grand Canyon Railway in Williams, Arizona.
Xanterra Parks & Resorts has been committed to the preservation and protection of the environment for many years. Through its environmental program, "Ecologix," Xanterra Parks & Resorts has been recognized repeatedly for environmental leadership in the hospitality industry and is the recipient of many honors.
For more information about Xanterra Parks & Resorts, links to individual properties and reservations numbers, visit


About Anheuser-Busch

Based in St. Louis, Anheuser Busch is the leading American brewer, holding a 48.9 percent share of U.S. beer sales to retailers. The company brews the world's largest-selling beers, Budweiser and Bud Light. Anheuser Busch also owns a 50 percent share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico's leading brewer. Anheuser Busch is a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and has been a leading aluminum recycler for more than 30 years. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the leading global brewer, and continues to operate under the Anheuser-Busch name and logo. For more information, visit




The sales numbers from June 2010 are in and, while they don't look terrific, you do have to view them in a rear view mirror with the tax credit expiration date in April 2010 as a huge asterisk. For those folks that knew that they would be purchasing a home in the last 6 months and also knew that they would qualify for a tax credit, they  had an added  incentive  to make a decision and ratify on a contract prior to the April 30 deadline. The numbers do reflect a surge in sales in March of this year ( March 2009 saw 69 properties go under contract while March 2010 followed with 92 properties under contract.) 

Bottom line? There were 1384 properties for sale in the 23185, 23188 and 23168 zip codes.  71 (or 5.1%) of those properties went under contract in June. 104 properties that had been under contract did go to close and 119 properties expired. There were 230 new listings.

The  median home price in Williamsburg is now $322,450 compared with $329,000 in June of '09. Our average price per square foot for active listings is $168 compared with $173 in June '09.

Interesting, those properties that actually went under contract in June had an average price per square foot of $147 while those that expired (i.e. didn't sell!) had an average price per square foot of $166. Those numbers are very telling: if you want to sell your property you need to be realistic about pricing your home in today's market. Price it competitively. Period.

Here are the grits and grasshoppers with pictures and numbers! Please click on each graph for a larger and easier to read PDF version.


Please feel free to call(757.503.1999) or email ([email protected]) if you have any questions or are interested in any other statistics.

General Warranty Deed and Special Warranty Deed Defined

by Brian D. Lytle, Esq. , Lytle Law, PC

Two Questions: What does the word “warranty” mean when it is used to describe a deed? What is a "general" warranty deed and what is a "special" warranty deed and how do they differ?

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A warranty for a deed for a home is the same definition we give to it when we use in the context of other warranties, e.g. a car warranty. It is a promise, a guarantee.

With a general warranty deed the seller warrants (promises or guarantees) that he holds clear title to the property and has a right to sell it. This warranty covers all problems created back in the chain of title (as opposed to the special warranty’s promise only that the immediate seller has not created a title problem). So, if a title problem arises the buyer would have the right, even years later, to sue the seller for breach of warranty, and in some circumstances force the seller to cooperate in getting the problem fixed. Note that deed title warranties do not cover condition of the property.

With a special warranty deed the seller warrants (promises or guarantees) only that he has not created a title problem (as opposed to the general warranty’s promise that no one has). Obviously then general warranty is better than special warranty. One can later convey by general warranty even though title was taken with special warranty (or even with no warranty, see quitclaim deed below). So, if a title problem later arises the buyer would have the right, even years later, to sue the seller for breach of warranty but only if the seller created the problem. Fiduciaries (e.g. trustees) should always convey by special warranty and the contract should so reflect (and the VAR contract, unlike the REIN contract, has language to that effect). Note that deed title warranties do not cover condition of the property.

How do they differ? Whereas a general warranty seller’s guarantee covers all problems created back in the chain of title, a special warranty seller only promises only he has not created a title problem.

Brian D. Lytle, Esq.

Lytle Law, P.C.

11801 Canon Blvd., Suite 200

Newport News, VA 23606


757.595.4262 (fax)


A great loan product for Veterans that are VA eligible

by Nina Efird, Asst Vice President SunTrust Mortgage

I am a Veteran. What is a good loan product that I might be able to qualify for that will give me a good interest rate and affordable payments?

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The Department of Veterans affairs has a great loan program for anyone that is VA eligible.  It is their 5/1 ARM loan.  What this loan does is allow veterans active duty, retired, or anyone that is eligible for a VA loan to purchase or refinance a home and use a 5/1 ARM.  How this loan works is that the interest rate is fixed for the first 5 years of the loan.  After the first five years the loan will adjust each year after that.  The adjustments are capped at 1% each year and 5% over the life of the loan.  So if the loan is currently running around 3.75% then it would be fixed at 3.75% for the first five years and then if it adjusted at the max of 1% in the 6th year it would only go up to 4.75%.  The max it could ever go is 8.75% after 10 years.  Another positive effect of the loan is once it goes into the adjustment period the new payment is based on what you owe on the loan at that time.  So even though your rate may go up your payment could even go down.  There is never a pre-payment penalty on any VA loan and never a chance for negative amortization.  You can also refinance at any time to a fixed rate.  This loan is great for someone that may only have orders here for 4-6 years and is looking to keep their payments low.  Rates on the 5/1 ARM are currently running below 4% and APR is based on actual rates, points, and credit scores.  Please give me a call or shoot me an email if you have questions. 

Nina Efird

Assistant Vice President

SunTrust Mortgage  

11817 Canon Blvd. Suite 600

Newport News, VA 23601

757-873-7927 - office

757-810-3628 - Mobile

757-873-7929 - Fax

[email protected]  



Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7




     Deelyn Neilson on Zillow