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Judy Kivela
    Years of Experience: 29

    CRS: Certified Residential Specialist
    GRI: Graduate REALTOR® Institute
    CDPE Certified Distress Property Expert, SRS
    WHS: Workforce Housing Specialist

Direct: (406) 491-5777

Office: 406-491-5777

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Homestead Real Estate
1815 Harrison Avenue
Butte, Montana

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Posts Tagged ‘Real Estate in Butte MT’

2010 Forecasts for National and Butte Real Estate Are In!

Monday, January 4th, 2010

From national and Butte real estate to the U.S. economy, the predictions for 2010 are in. Like any predictions, they vary from somewhat bright and cheery to doom and gloom:

CNBC’s Realty Check predicts:

  • the beginning of a housing market recovery mid-year
  • higher foreclosure inventory
  • rising mortgage rates, probably leveling off around six percent.
  • suffering commercial real estate

The National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) chief economist is projecting:

  • A sustainable recovery. The tax credit expansion will help to relieve extra housing supply through mid-2010.
  • A rise in existing home sales. The NAR is expecting existing home sales to rise as high as 5.69 million, even with continuing unemployment issues. That’s a 13.6 percent increase.

In fact, the U.S. forecasts for national and Butte real estate are overall positive for 2010.

Housing Predictor, one of the first places to predict the wave of foreclosures, also forecasts positive numbers for 2010. They anticipate rising home sales, market improvement and even value appreciation for some places. Again, the magic period for the start of stabilization is the middle of the year.

Although no one knows for certain what will happen in the future – especially for such struggling sectors as national and [city] real estate – we can all gain a little hope from the 2010 forecasts. There is one thing that is fairly well agreed upon according to these predictions: there will be a real estate recovery in 2010.

If you’re struggling to sell your home, I can help. Call me at 406-491-5777 or email me at judy@montana.com for more information.

Realty Check


Existing home sales


Housing Predictor


First Steps to Getting a Mortgage for Your Butte Real Estate

Monday, November 30th, 2009

You’ve reached that time in your life where you’re ready to buy Butte real estate. Even though the mortgage approval process can be intimidating, you can get yourself ready to apply for a loan. These are the first steps to buying your home:

Make a List

First, make a list of your finances. Include all your income, and factor in your normal monthly debts. Miscellaneous bills, like your daily coffee or weekly magazine, should be listed too. Write down everything that you spend each month.

Calculate what 28% of your income is. Most loan officers recommend not spending more than 28% on your housing costs. You may not want to take on a mortgage loan for the maximum amount offered without consulting your list to see what money is actually available for you to spend.

Decrease Your Debt

Once you’ve have detailed your finances, it’s time to make a budget. A good budget can help you eliminate wasteful spending which will allow you to pay off more of your debts. When planning your budget, don’t forget to include some personal money.

Start with the small debts first. Pick the credit card with the highest interest rate and smallest balance and work from there. After one debt is paid off, use the extra money that you’re saving from the first card, and pay off the next. This way, you should be able to pay your balances down quickly.

It only takes a couple of months of good payment practices to begin to see your credit score go up. With a good credit score, you can get a better interest rate. This will save you thousands of dollars in mortgage payments over the life of the loan.

Save For the Down Payment

You’re ready to start saving for the down payment on your Butte real estate. It has to be paid up-front at the loan closing, but sometimes the seller will pay the closing costs.

If you’d like more tips on how to buy Butte real estate, subscribe to this blog. It’s free and easy. Just enter your email address in the subscription section, and you’ll automatically receive tips like this in your email inbox a couple of times a week.

Decrease your debt:


Make a budget:


Credit score:


Energy Efficient Mortgages for Butte Real Estate

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

If you’re looking to buy Butte real estate, you’re probably already looking at mortgage possibilities as well. Since many buyers are also looking for energy efficient options, I thought it only right that I brought EEMs (Energy Efficient Mortgages) and EIMs (Energy Improvement Mortgages) to your attention.

What are EEMs and EIMs?

An EEM adds a home’s energy efficiency into the mortgage, giving you the ability to finance energy efficient measures as part of the mortgage payment. One of the good things about an EEM is that it stretches the debt-to-income qualification ratio, which means that you can qualify for a larger loan and a more energy efficient home.

An EIM is for existing Butte  real estate that you plan to make energy efficient improvements to. You can include the cost of the improvements into the mortgage without raising the down payment. In addition, whatever you save in utility costs from the improvements can go to finance more improvements.


If you’re trying to qualify for an EEM or EIM, you’ll need to have a home energy rating conducted first. This is to give you an estimated Energy Savings Value – the value of the measures and the estimated monthly energy savings.

Types of Energy Mortgages

There are several types of energy mortgages available:

  • Conventional - sponsored by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, these EEMs give the Fannie Mae approved lender the ability to raise your income, matching a dollar for each estimated dollar gained through efficiency.
  • FHA - Lenders can add 100% of the cost of improvements to an approved FHA loan, up to $4,000 or 5% of the home value (maximum of $8,000). FHA loan limits won’t stop you from getting the EEM. You can find out more about the FHA EEMs on their website.
  • VA – Veteran’s Administration EEMs cap energy improvements at $3,000 to $6,000, and are for buying existing [city] real estate. If you’re a qualifying reservist, veteran or military personnel, you can find more information on the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs website.
  • Last but not least, there is the Energy Star mortgage pilot program. Currently, it is only available in a few states, but it’s growing to include others.

If you’re interested in making energy efficient improvements to an existing home or buying a home that’s already energy efficient, I strongly recommend that you look into EEMs and EIMs.

If you’re looking for an energy efficient home or one you can make energy efficient, I can help. Call me at 406-491-1234 or email me for more information.


Fannie Mae approved lender




U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs


Energy Star mortgage pilot program


The Laws are Changing for Butte Real Estate

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Not just Butte real estate, either. Since the end of 2007, as the real estate market started to decline, new rules, regulations, mandates and more have come down the pipeline.

State Specific Laws

Take Michigan, for instance. Ranking sixth in the nation on the number of foreclosures, Michigan legislature enacted the “Lifeline Law.”  This law gives an extra 90 days for homeowners to work with banks to come up with solutions other than foreclosure.  California did the same, with the California Foreclosure Prevention Act.  In New York, judicial hearings are mandatory for both borrowers and lenders before foreclosure can go through.

Nationwide Laws

Other laws have been enacted throughout the United States, such as Congress lowering homeowners’ tax deductions.

Before 2009, if you used your Butte real estate as a primary residence for at least two years out of the last five, you could keep up to $500,000 (married couples – $250,000 if single) in real estate gains on your tax return. That exemption is now pro-rated to the time you spent in the house, which could be quite substantially less than what your tax exemption would have been last year.

As well, new appraisal rules went into effect May 1, and, although they aren’t government rules, they do affect Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans. With the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) put into place, every lender that goes through Freddie or Fannie has to follow the HVCC to the letter. The HVCC stops mortgage brokers from having home appraisals done themselves. Instead, the home appraisals must be done by a third party appraisal management company in the same area as the home.

Laws that Affect You

Other laws have been put into place that may (or may not) effect the Butte real estate you own or are looking to buy. However, with so many coming down the line, make sure that you ask your real estate agent what laws have been put into place that may affect your purchase, sales or ownership.

If you’re looking to buy or sell real estate and need a professional who keeps up to date on the real estate laws, I can help. Call me at 406-491-1234 or email me for more information.


Lifeline Law


California Foreclosure Prevention Act




Market Recap

  • Avg. Sales Price: $128,662

  • Avg. Days on Market: 157

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