Beth Fitzgerald 214 801-4992  09-05-08 A

Beth Fitzgerald is down to earth, and that’s what we love about her. After retiring from AT&T and becoming a Realtor just when the bottom dropped out of the market in 2008, Fitzgerald has used her optimism and no-bones-about-it attitude to serve her clients, and the many clients that are referred to her. She’s just that amazing and easy to talk to.

We think you’ll enjoy finding out more about Fitzgerald, a hard-working Realtor who has earned a spot as this week’s Featured Realtor, sponsored by Jeff Lindgrin of Great Western Home Loans. Of course, every sale should have a lender that works just as hard to get a great deal as their Realtor. What has your lender done for you lately? Find out what you’re missing by contacting Jeff Lindigrin with Great Western Home Loans today.

Read more about Beth after the jump!

 

CandysDirt.com: So are you a native Dallasite or where were you born?
Beth Fitzgerald: Army Brat, born in Alexandria, Va., but grew up in Fort Worth.

CD: Where do you live? House or Condo? House style?
Fitzgerald: I live in Coppell in a one-story traditional.

CD: And you drive a… let me guess, Mercedes Benz???
Fitzgerald: Lexus RX 330

CD: What’s you favorite ‘hood in Dallas and why?
Fitzgerald: Bishop Arts/Kessler Park. It reminds me of area that I grew up in Fort Worth — Mistletoe Heights.

CD: If you could move in Dallas, where else might you live?
Fitzgerald: Lakewood

CD: How the heck did you get started in real estate?
Fitzgerald: I was with AT&T for 26 years selling bits and bytes of voice and data networks to Fortune 500 companies. When AT&T merged with SBC, I was able to retire. I always loved looking at homes and I had an amazing experience with my last Realtor. I decided that helping people realize their dream of home ownership would be more interesting and fun. I have only had my license since August of 2008, when the bottom dropped out of the market. Needless to say, my expectations were “things can only get better.” My first broker was a “boutique” office in Park Cities — didn’t survive the market downturn. Most of my training came from Lori Arnold with Coldwell Banker APEX; an incredibly smart lady. Currently work at Keller Williams Realty in Coppell.

CD: What’s your worst sales nightmare? Just worst transaction ever?
Fitzgerald: People that watch HGTV and think that they know everything. They usually know just enough to be dangerous. Worst transaction was a woman in the middle of leaving her common-law husband and so anxious to buy her own home that she had unrealistic expectations of financing and the whole homebuying process. It was a real mess and she lashed out at everyone in her path. Funny thing was that she was referred to me by my best client!

CD: What’s your best/highest sale?
Fitzgerald: $526,000

CD: How quickly have you ever turned a house?
Fitzgerald: Three days before it went on the market!

CD: How much did you sell last year?
Fitzgerald: More than any other year!

CD: Secret Sauce to marketing a house?
Fitzgerald: Clean, clean, clean!

CD: If you ever change careers for an encore you’ll…
Fitzgerald: Owner of the Kessler Theater. I love live music.

CD: Finally, what is your favorite place for a second home and why?
Fitzgerald: I would love to have a home in Lake City, Colo. Beautiful little town and everyone knows everyone. Beautiful San Juan mountains.

Will Bank of America's Principal Forgiveness Program bring borrowers back from the brink of foreclosure?

Thousands of homeowners underwater on their Bank of America mortgages could receive one of the 200,000 letters the bank is sending out offering partial loan forgiveness. According to Bankrate.com, BofA borrowers have to clear a pretty significant series of hurdles in order to qualify for the “principal reduction program”:

To be eligible for this principal reduction program, a borrower must:

  • Owe more on the mortgage than the home is worth.
  • Have been at least 60 days behind on the mortgage payments, as of Jan. 31. (I don’t get it either but that’s the rule.)
  • Have monthly housing expenses of more than 25 percent of gross household income. The expenses include mortgage principal payments, interest, property taxes, homeowners insurance and homeowner association fees.
  • Have a loan that is owned and serviced by Bank of America, or serviced for an investor who has given the bank the authority to do this type of modification.

We already know that major lenders are being pretty tight-fisted when it comes to new mortgages, so this program probably won’t have any real impact on the bank’s bottom line. It’s likely just a way for Bank of America to improve its tarnished image.

Still, what kind of message does the “principal forgiveness program” send out to borrowers? And do you think it’ll keep people at risk of foreclosure in their home?

 

‘Nother new thingee here on CandysDirt: Tell me Your Real Estate Story. Your home is your Castle, whether it’s $90K or $9 million. How did you find it? What’s the tale behind the sale? Inquiring minds at CD would LOVE to know!

Back in 1993, my soon-to-be husband and I bought a 1600 square-foot house in North Garland near Buckingham and Jupiter. After living in a basement in Queens, New York, living in a real house was thrilling to me. We both worked in the Telecom Corridor, and the home was about three miles to our respective offices. The house was on a cul-de-sac and had these great big trees. At around $84,000, our monthly payments were $880 a month. I was thrilled on every level – new house, new fiancé, new, bright life!

My husband, on the other hand, was terrified about paying the mortgage, even though it was less than we were currently paying in rent. He was so sick he nearly threw up at the closing and had to sit outside with his head down for a few minutes. This tells you what you need to know about us – Tom is the steady, reliable one. I’m the excitable entrepreneurial one.

We thought it was going to be our starter home (ok, I thought that) and that we’d be on to a bigger, better deal in five years. Life is never what you think. When Worldcom laid everyone off, Tom was unemployed/underemployed for two years. We were sure happy that our mortgage was only $880 a month. With the time on his hands, Tom remodeled part-time – including our house – and so we were happy to stay there. Once the Starbucks opened nearby, I had everything I needed.

We probably would never have left that house except — we adopted a teenager with special learning challenges. We found a great school for him in Dallas Academy, but the commute was horrible – one hour roundtrip to pick him up. So, when President Obama had that special housing incentive in 2010, we went for it. Despite the tough marketplace, we had a contract on our house before our first open house! I credit Tom’s incredible remodeling skills and our amazingly beautiful and functional garage. (That’s the photo – wish it was wider.)

We also found our new 1950’s mid-century modern in the Lake Highlands area serendipitously. It wasn’t on the market yet, either. They were having an open house just for the neighbors and I gate-crashed. The previous owners were an architect and graphic designer. They had opened up the house to the studs for their remodel and it was fantastic. In an interesting twist, they were moving because they had just adopted a daughter and the house was too small for three kids. I call our house the dollhouse because it is much smaller than our previous house (and only a one-car garage!), but we love it. East Dallas is fantastic. I’m in love with the trees and green spaces, the lake and the fact that our son can ride his bike to school. The roaming coyotes and occasional lost chicken make it interesting. My husband wasn’t even nervous when we signed this mortgage even though it was twice as much as before. I guess he had more faith in our ability to pay than last time – or else he was too tired from packing up 17 years of stuff.

Cynthia Stine, Publicist, Haley Brand Intelligence