Nebraska Land Title & Abstract personnel recognized

Jim Lamphere
Jim Lamphere

Nebraska Land Title & Abstract President Jim Lamphere has been elected to serve as President of the Nebraska Land Title Association for 2012.

The Nebraska Land Title Association was formed in 1903 and is guided by an elected Board of Directors and Officers.  The committee structure allows members to make a difference by advocating for high standards when searching real estate records, preparing title documents and passing clear title. This association is also very in touch with current legislative and regulatory issues that affect home ownership.

Lamphere has guided Nebraska Land Title & Abstract since 1998. He is a Lincoln native and earned his law degree in 1984.  He is also a licensed title agent and a member of the Nebraska and Minnesota Bar Associations.  Lamphere and his wife, Amy, have two children, Jake and Sarah.

Sheryl Oldham
Sheryl Oldham

In addition, the Realtors Association of Lincoln (RAL) recently named Sheryl Oldham of Nebraska Land Title & Abstract its 2011 Affiliate of the Year. The award is given to an affiliate member of RAL in recognition of his or her professionalism and outstanding service. Selection is based on organized real estate activity; business conduct and experience; and civic and volunteer activity.

Oldham has dedicated her career to the real estate industry for over 30 years. She is involved in RAL as a member of the Affordable Housing Committee, participates in Meals on Wheels, Salvation Army bell ringing, RAL golf and bowling events and the RAL booth at the Home & Garden show as well as many other activities sponsored by the board.

Oldham is a member and past president of the Escrow Association of Nebraska and currently serves as the Nebraska state director to the American Escrow Association. She is a member and currently serves on the Education Committee for the Women’s Council of Realtors and was that organization’s Affiliate of the Year in 2003. Oldham is active with the Home Builders Association of Lincoln. She is also very active in her local church and volunteers at the Information Center, Coffee House and many other activities sponsored by her church. Her personal interests include spending time with her family including three grandchildren, camping and any outdoor activities.

Nebraska Land Title & Abstract (formerly known as Capitol Title) is a wholly owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America, the largest brokerage-owned settlement services (mortgage, title, escrow and insurance) provider in the United States. The company provides title insurance and escrow closing services to the areas of Lincoln, Omaha, Bellevue, Seward, Wahoo and Beatrice. For more information, visit

Nebraska ranks #2!

No not the preseason college football ranking poll, but almost as important, Nebrasaka has the second lowest unemployment rate in the country.  The numbers for June are in from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the rankings are a follows;

  1. North Dakota 3.2%
  2. Nebraska 4.1%
  3. South Dakota 4.8%
  4. New Hampshire 4.9%
  5. Oklahoma 5.3%

With the national average at 9.2% and with California and Nevada coming in at  11.8% and 12.4% respectively it points out that the ecomony is, to a very great degree, a local phenomonem.  Our message; don’t base your house buying or selling plans on what you hear from the national news media outlets.

Karalyn Hoefer crowned Mrs. Nebraska

2011 Mrs. Nebraska Karalyn Hoefer
2011 Mrs. Nebraska Karalyn Hoefer

Woods Bros Realty SouthPointe agent Karalyn Hoefer was crowned Mrs. Nebraska Saturday night.

She will represent Nebraska in the Mrs. America Pageant at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia in April. Mrs. Nebraska 2011 also wins a prize package worth more than $15,000, according to the Lincoln Journal Star.

Hoefer has been a REALTOR with Woods Bros Realty sice 2001. She and her husband, Brian, have two daughters, Kalyssa and Kaitlyn. She holds her Graduate, REALTOR Institute (GRI) designation.

According to the Mrs. Nebraska website, “the Mrs. Nebraska Pageant is the state preliminary to the Mrs. America Pageant. But more importantly, it is the vehicle by which women in Nebraska are able to promote family values, women’s causes, and local charities. Past holders of the Mrs. Nebraska title have spoken out—and continue to speak—statewide on topics such as spending more time with our children, youth volunteerism, building strong marriages, breast cancer education in Nebraska, and domestic violence.”

HomeServices Lending Receives Lender Honors from USDA Rural Development


The Lincoln branch of HomeServices Lending, LLC was recognized as one of the Top Lenders in Fiscal Year 2010 for USDA Rural Development’s guaranteed rural housing (GRH) loan program. HomeServices Lending provided more than $1.7 million in home loans through this program, which fostered rural homeownership in the state, said Maxine Moul, Nebraska State Director for USDA Rural Development in making the presentation to the lender.

The GRH loan program continues to be extremely successful in Nebraska. Seventy-seven approved lenders participated in Fiscal Year 2010 providing nearly $90.4 million, and assisting 1,020 rural Nebraska households to achieve homeownership. Demand for the USDA Guaranteed Rural Housing homeownership program continued to be strong in Fiscal Year 2010.

Moul said, “We appreciate our partners, the Nebraska-approved lenders, who make this program such a success. We anticipate another active year and we look forward to helping more rural Nebraskans to achieve the dream of homeownership. I wish to thank HomeServices Lending for their dedication in using the program.”

With guaranteed financing, private lending institutions provide the loans which are guaranteed by the federal government. The program features no down payment to eligible income households and no maximum mortgage limits. Dwellings must be located in a rural community with a population of up to 20,000, and including Norfolk and Columbus.

Existing guaranteed or direct loan borrowers may refinance their home loans under the GRH loan program to obtain a possible lower interest rate.

For additional information visit

About HomeServices Lending, LLC

HomeServices Lending, LLC is the joint venture mortgage bank under HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and an affiliate of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. HomeServices Lending is dedicated to serving the lending needs of home buyers, real estate professionals, builders and developers throughout the U.S. The company provides hundreds of mortgage programs, and its mortgage consultants are dedicated to serving each client’s unique financing needs.
All first mortgage products are provided by Homeservices Lending, LLC Series A. Homeservices Lending, LLC Series A may not be available in your area. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ©2010 Homeservices Lending, LLC Series A. All Rights Reserved. An Equal Housing Lender.

Nebraska Economic Development briefing Dec. 2

All homeowners and all Nebraskans might well be interested in the Dec. 2 briefing by the The Nebraska Department of Economic Development held at the State Capitol. Housing will be one of many topics discussed and it should be an excellent opportunity to hear about what is happening across the state. It will be an opportunity as well to meet with and make comments to key Nebraska leadership. Reservations are required. For more details check the link that follows.

Nebraska ranked fourth in Dollar Amount per Resident claimed from the Home Buyer Tax Credits

Did You Know: GAO Initial Report on Home Buyer Tax Credit

By: Arun Barman, Research Economist

  • According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report Tax Administration: Usage and Selected Analyses of the First-Time Homebuyer Credit, the home buyer tax credit will end up costing tax payers $22 billion.
  • About a third of those claiming the credit were trade-up buyers from the most recent phase of the credit, which allowed repeat buyers in addition to the first time buyers.
  • In terms of states’ participation in the credit, California had the most claims. However, a good way to adjust for population is to look at dollars claimed per resident. See claims chart by state > (PDF: 55KB)
  • Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, and Nebraska say the most dollars for the tax credit claimed per resident.
  • New York, Hawaii, and West Virginia had the least dollars claimed per resident.
  • Read the entire report: Tax Administration: Usage and Selected Analyses of the First-Time Homebuyer Credit (PDF).

This is one in a series of commentaries by the Research staff of the National Association of REALTORS®. Read more commentaries >
Copyright National Association of REALTORS®. Reprinted with permission.

Al Avery appointed to real estate commission

Al Avery
Al Avery

Governor Dave Heineman has appointed Al Avery to be the broker representative from the Third Congressional District on the Nebraska Real Estate Commission.  Avery is a branch manager for Woods Bros Realty in Grand Island and has had his real estate license since 1987.  Avery has been appointed to a six-year term on the seven-member Commission and will be sworn in and offcially begin his duties at the September 30th Commission meeting.

Real estate officials reflect on great first half, uncertain second

By MATT OLBERDING / Lincoln Journal Star

The federal homebuyer tax credits helped propel local home sales in the first half of the year to their highest level in three years.

According to figures released last week from the Realtors Association of Lincoln, there had been 2,001 home sales through the local Multiple Listing System as of June 30.

That’s a more than 13 percent increase over the same period in 2009 and the most since there were more than 2,100 sales in the first half of 2007.

Sales of new homes, which have been a drag on the market for several years, were up even more.

For the year, sales of new homes are up more than 40 percent after increasing nearly 150 percent in June.

Despite the good news, most signs point to a slowdown in the second half of the year.

For the second straight month in June, pending sales – sales that are under contract but have not yet closed – were way down compared with last year.

“As expected, there was a reduction in the number of pending home sales in June, compared to those in June of 2009, due to the April 30 Homebuyer’s Tax Credit deadline,” said Nicole Jensen, executive vice president of the Realtors Association.

The tax credit, which offered $8,000 to new buyers and $6,500 to repeat buyers, expired at the end of April.

Despite continuing closings of sales related to the tax credits, sales of existing homes in June were actually down compared with June of last year – 370 to 396.

“We definitely foresee that the volume of home sales are going to curtail and are going to curtail pretty quickly,” said Kent Thompson, the elected president of the Realtors Association.

Still, Thompson stands by an earlier prediction he made that home sales will be up overall for the year.

“I think that Realtors, as a whole, will have a good year this year,” he said.

Mike Rezac, owner of Rezac Construction and president of the Homebuilders Association of Lincoln, is not as optimistic.

Despite the spike in sales of new homes, permits so far this year are down slightly compared with where they were at this time last year.

While that may not sound so bad, Rezac points out that last year was a 29-year low.

“I don’t see this being a terribly strong year,” he said. “We’re really holding out for next year.”

Not everybody is looking at the market with skpticism, though.

Rita Dinger, a real estate agent for Woods Bros. Realty, says she’s been plenty busy since the tax credits expired.

“I’m having one of the busiest Julys I’ve ever had,” she said.

Dinger said she thinks that all the incentives did was push people to buy a home earlier than they would have otherwise.

And she’s not convinced yet that the slowdown is anything more than typical late summer seasonal drop-off.

There are plenty of people still considering buying a home, Dinger said.

“They’re looking for all the reasons that people have always looked.”

Nebraska Foreclosure Activity Falls in April

Courtesy of RealtyTrac

Statewide foreclosure filings down 47 percent from March
Monthly foreclosure activity in Nebraska decreased in April, down 47 percent from the previous month to 277 properties with foreclosure filings. This latest state total also represents a 135 percent year-over-year increase in foreclosure filings from April 2009, according to the latest RealtyTrac® U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.

“Nebraska foreclosures fell nearly 50 percent in April,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “The largest decline was in default notices, which dropped 68 percent for the month. The state currently holds the third lowest unemployment rate in the country and had higher-than-average home sales during 2009.”

Nebraska ranked 45th in the country in total foreclosures reported for the month. With one in every 2,839 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, its foreclosure rate ranked 45th among the 50 states.

Saline County posts top foreclosure rate for April
Saline County posted the highest county foreclosure rate in Nebraska for April, with one in every 1,158 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing — 2.5 times the state average. Douglas County came in second, with one in every 1,260 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing — 2.3 times the state average. Saunders County was third, with one in every 1,529 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing — 1.9 times the state average.

Douglas County led the state in total foreclosures for April
Douglas County led the way, reporting 170 properties with foreclosure filings for the month. Lancaster County came in second highest, documenting 27 properties with foreclosure filings. Reporting 17 properties with foreclosure filings for the month, Sarpy County ranked third highest. Cass County was fourth, reporting six properties with foreclosure filings, while Saunders County came in fifth, reporting 6 properties with foreclosure filings.

State contributes less than 1 percent to nation’s month foreclosure total
Nebraska accounted for less than 1 percent of the 333,837 properties with foreclosure filings reported nationwide in April. Total U.S. activity declined more than 9 percent from the previous month and was 2 percent below the level reported in April 2009. One in every 387 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month.

Report methodology
The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing entered into the RealtyTrac database during the month — broken out by type of filing by state, county and metropolitan statistical area. Some foreclosure filings entered into the database during the month may have been recorded in previous months. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. RealtyTrac’s report incorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: Default
Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank). If more than one foreclosure document is received for a property during the month, only the most recent filing is counted in the report. The report also checks if the same type of document was filed against a property in a previous month. If so, and if that previous filing occurred within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state the property is in, the report does not count the property in the current month.
For more information and entire article, click here.

Nebraska to offer low-interest loans for green homes

From the Sioux City Journal:

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – The Nebraska Energy Office is offering residents low-interest loans to go green when building a house.

The office is offering 2.5 percent loans through eligible Nebraska lenders for the construction of single family, highly energy-efficient homes. The home must meet or exceed the state’s energy code by 30 percent to be eligible.

Energy Star 5 Star Plus homes typically feature higher levels of properly-installed insulation, high-performance windows, tight construction and ducts, efficient heating and cooling equipment and Energy Star appliances, lighting and water heaters.

The first step to building an Energy Star 5 Plus Star home is to have a certified home energy rater complete a rating of the construction plans provided by the designer and builder.


On the Net:

Nebraska Energy Efficient Housing Loans:

Certified Home Energy Raters:

_Reliance Setup Office

_Reliance Setup Office

, NE

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