Company Information

Capitol Title joins forces with NLTA in Omaha, changes name

NLTAEffective January 1, Capitol Title will change its name to Nebraska Land Title and Abstract (NLTA) and will join forces with its Omaha-based sister company of the same name and offer full-service title insurance and escrow closing services throughout the state.
This joining of forces makes NLTA the largest title operation in Nebraska, providing new business opportunities while maintaining the same high level of customer service and efficiency that its clients have enjoyed. Both companies will operate under the Nebraska Land Title and Abstract (NLTA) name in order to denote their statewide service. The combined title operation will be in a better position to secure new statewide and national business accounts.
Other than the name change, the combination will be seamless to consumers and real estate agents, who will continue to receive the same high level of customer service and see the same familiar faces through the transaction.
As part of the combination, the companies will be converting to the same title software system. The end goal is to facilitate electronic document management with the eventual goal of nearly “paperless” transactions. This feature will enhance the level of service provided to both consumers and agents.
Capitol Title serves the areas of Lincoln, Beatrice, Seward and Wahoo and was founded in 1981 by its predecessor, Beutler Title. NLTA was founded in 1984 and serves Omaha and surrounding areas. Both are wholly owned subsidiaries of HomeServices of America, the largest brokerage-owned settlement services (mortgage, title, escrow and insurance) provider in the United States.
For more information, call (402) 434-3737 (Lincoln) or (402) 778-1000 (Omaha).

Market Information

Local home sales, new and used, boom during October, November

BY MATT OLBERDING / Lincoln Journal Star
November was a month to remember for local home sales.
Existing home sales were up 76 percent over the same month last year. Sales of new homes were up more than 60 percent.
Doug Rotthaus, executive vice president of the Realtors Association of Lincoln, attributed the numbers largely to the $8,000 tax credit for new homebuyers, which was extended last month, and the new $6,500 tax credit for buyers who already own a home.
“Tax credits are playing a big part in this, along with low interest rates,” Rotthaus said.
Nationally, half of home sales in October and November were to first-time buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Sales of existing homes were up 44 percent nationally and 53.5 percent in the Midwest compared with November 2008, although those numbers are measured differently from the local ones. The national sales figures are reported as an annual rate, rather than as raw numbers of sales.
“This clearly is a rush of first-time buyers not wanting to miss out on the tax credit,” said Lawrence Yun, the national Realtor group’s chief economist.
National figures for new home sales were not available from the Realtors.
Even with the strong showing in November, sales of new homes locally for the year to date are slightly below where they were last year, but Rotthaus said existing home sales are approaching record numbers.
The local record for existing home sales was set in 2005, and “we’re real close to beating ‘05 year-to-date,” he said.
Rotthaus said he’s looking forward to this year’s success continuing at least into the first half of 2010.
” I think the expanded tax credit will have a good impact on our market,” he said.

Sales Associates

Congratulations to HOME's November Award Winners

Pioneer Greens
Closed Volume – Mary Stull
Sales Written – Rhonda Dodson
Listings Taken – Bob Tallichet                                  
Pine Lake
Closed Volume – Nelda Hunt
Sales Written – Greg McCown
Listings Taken – Ellen High                   
Closed Volume – Jack Gregg
Sales Written – John Fink
Listings Taken – Jack Gregg
Closed Volume –  Roger Harre
Sales Written – Roger Harre
Listing Taken –  Brad Hulse
Total Closed Volume Award – Couple –  Underwoods (Pine Lake)
Total Closed Volume Award – Team – The Searcy Team (Cotner

Market Information

IRS sets guidelines for tax credit and co-borrowers

The IRS has spelled out guidelines for eligibility for the home buyer credit when co-borrowers purchase a property.
When a home-owning parent of an adult child co-signs for a mortgage and both names appear on the note, the IRS says that under some circumstances, the first-time home buyer can qualify for the whole amount.
The IRS says the parent doesn’t qualify for any portion of the credit, but if the child hasn’t owned a home during the three years preceding the current purchase and can qualify based on income, he or she can be allocated the entire $8,000 credit.
When unmarried individuals co-purchase a home and only one of them is eligible for the credit, then the full $8,000 can be allocated to the eligible buyer.
From REALTOR Magazine

Company Information Sales Associates

Lambie joins HOME Real Estate as Assistant Managing Broker

Tami Lambie

HOME Real Estate is pleased to announce that Tami Lambie has joined the company’s Pine Lake office as Assistant Managing Broker.
Lambie has been a licensed REALTOR® since 1996, and since obtaining her broker’s license in 2003 she has spent many years in real estate brokerage management. Prior to real estate, she worked in the title insurance industry, so she is well versed in many different aspects of a real estate transaction.
In addition to management, Lambie plans to continue her career in real estate sales, now able to offer buyers and sellers the full service, strength and stability for which HOME Real Estate is known.
HOME Real Estate, an affiliate of HomeServices of America, is the area’s leading real estate company serving the Lincoln, Seward, and surrounding areas. The company’s agents are committed to providing clients with exceptional service in all stages of the building, buying, and selling process, including real estate, mortgage, title, and insurance. For more information about HOME Real Estate, visit

General Real Estate

What is P.I.T.I?

In any industry, acronyms are common. They are an effective way to shorten a series of words commonly used together. In the real estate industry, PITI is a very common one, but not all buyers are aware of what it stands for. PITI is an acronym for Principle, Interest, Taxes, & Insurance. This refers to the total monthly payment that will be needed to purchase a home.
When you are determining how much money you can borrow, the lender will want to know all four of these factors. The sum of them makes up your total monthly house payment. Let’s break them down individually:
P is for Principle. This is the amount you will pay the bank back each month that goes toward the principle amount of your loan. This amount is based on the original loan amount and the term of the loan, or the number of years you have to pay it back. The most common term is 30 years, but 15 yr, 20 yr, and even 40 yr terms are available as well. The longer you stretch it out, the lower your payments are.
 I is for Interest. This is the amount you will pay the bank each month for the privilege of using their money to buy your home. Of course, the interest charged monthly is determined by the interest rate and the term of your loan. The higher your interest rate, the higher your monthly payment is.
T is for Taxes. This refers to the dollar amount of real estate taxes on that particular property. The amount you pay monthly is the annual amount divided by twelve. This applies to those who opt to make these monthly payments into an escrow account, so that when the taxes are due, the bank pays them with the money you have been depositing into the escrow account. Many loans are set up this way to ensure that the money is there to pay the taxes. This prevents the homeowner from having to come up with a large amount of money when the taxes are due. It’s a kind of budgeting method for your tax expense.
I is for Insurance. When you purchase your home, it will be necessary to also purchase home owner’s insurance. Your lender will require this to protect their investment, and you will want to protect yourself from potential losses due to hail damage, storms, fire, etc… You will choose the deductible you are most comfortable with. The higher the deductible, the more affordable the insurance is. It does pay to shop around, because the rates vary. Many people save money on their home owners insurance if they use the same provider as their car insurance. The amount of the annual insurance is divided by twelve, and this is the amount you will be charged monthly as part of your house payment. Typically, this amount is also deposited into an escrow account, so that when your premium is due, your lender uses this money to pay it. Again, many buyers find this helpful, as it keeps your monthly payments consistent. This is the easiest way to “budget” your home’s expenses.
Here is an example: Say you want to borrow $150,000. You talk to your lender, and he agrees to give you a 30 yr loan at 5% interest. Your Principle & Interest portion of your total payment is $805.23. But remember you still need to factor in Taxes & Insurance. If the total annual property taxes are $2800, then the monthly amount will be $2800 divided by 12, or $233 per month. This is the amount represented by the “T” in the PITI acronym. Last of all, you need to figure in the Insurance. If your annual insurance premium is $840, then your monthly amount is $70. Now you add these numbers together and arrive at your total monthly payment.
Loan Amount: $150,000 Interest: 5% Term: 30 years
P & I (principle and interest) = 805.23 (repayment of loan to bank)
T (real estate taxes) = 233.00
I (homeowner’s insurance) = 70.00
Total PITI payment $1108.23
So the variables are:

  1. The principle amount of the loan
  2. The interest rate the lender is charging
  3. The term, or length of time the lender is allowing you to repay the loan.
  4. The property tax amount, which is unique to each property and dependent on assessed value.
  5.  The cost of home owner’s insurance

As you can see, there are many variables. Two properties may be priced the same, but if one has lower real estate taxes, it will have a lower monthly payment. If two properties are similarly priced, but one is in a flood plain, the insurance cost will be higher, making the payment on that property higher than the comparable property.
At your first appointment with your lender, he or she may come up with the maximum monthly payment you can qualify for. Usually, this number is the PITI mortgage payment, which just means your lender is factoring in taxes and insurance as part of your total payment. So, as you search for a home, just remember to consider the different variables that affect your monthly payment. Your agent will help you figure the PITI payment on each property to help you make the best choice.

General Real Estate

10 Reasons to List Your Home During the Holidays

  1. People who look for a home during the Holidays are more serious buyers!
  2. Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the Holidays and less competition means more money for you!
  3. Since the supply of listings will dramatically increase in January, there will be less demand for your particular home! Less demand means less money for you!
  4. Houses show better when decorated for the Holidays!
  5. Buyers are more emotional during the Holidays, so they are more likely to pay your price!
  6. Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons!
  7. January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transferees cannot wait until Spring to buy, you must be on the market now to capture that market!
  8. You can still be on the market, but you have the option to restrict showings during the six or seven days during Holidays!
  9. You can sell now for more money and we can provide for a delayed closing or extended occupancy until next year!
  10. By selling now, you may have an opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer during the Spring, when many more houses are on the market for less money!
General Real Estate

What is my home worth?

There are a number of variables in determining a home’s value, and although many people feel that their home is priceless, emotion cannot be a factor in property valuation.
Certainly, any home will have intangible amenities that appeal to emotion without adding monetary value, such as ambience, paint color, or sentimental value. But these are subjective things.
Determining the market value of a home is a matter of weighing the subject property against similar homes in the area over a short period of time, comparing like properties and their sale performance, usually over the past six months.
Market value is the price your home can be expected to fetch on the market in its current conditions and based upon the willingness of buyers to spend and lenders to underwrite. Market value is not the same as appraised value, and assessed value (for taxes) is not the same as market (buyer) value or appraisal (bank) value.
Confused yet?
A Realtor will find homes that have sold in the past, and narrow down the search to your area of town, similar square footage and house style, similar age of the home (within ten years either way, generally) and begin the comparison.
Factors affecting home market value include number of bedrooms and baths, square footage above grade, basement square footage finished, whether the home has a walkout or daylight basement, number of garage stalls, age of the roof, heating system, number of fireplaces, extent of upgrades, curb appeal, locational appeal and other factors.
Each comparable property is adjusted by a dollar amount for amenities it does or does not have compared with the subject property, and these adjustments are added or subtracted to the comparable property’s sale price to give an estimate of what the subject property might sell for based on how it compares with homes recently sold.
For example, if your home is the subject property and the house down the street is a comparable property that recently sold, you can expect the fact that your house has three bedrooms and the other house has only two to work in your favor and add market value to your home compared with that one. If, on the other hand, the house down the street has a fully finished basement and yours does not—you can expect that your home might not compare as favorably since basement finish does add value to a home.
In Lincoln, we are fortunate to be able to click onto our County Assessor’s website and see a tax assessed valuation of just about any residence in the county. The caveat to this is that these are assessed values, not appraisals or market values. It’s important not to base your entire opinion of a property’s market values on the dollar amount assigned for the purpose of levying property tax.
If you are interested in learning about your home’s market value, let us know! We can help you find out about how home values are trending in your area by filling out a simple form HERE. And if you’d like to visit about a detailed market analysis of your home, you can always call us to set up an appointment for a member of our team to tour your home and meet with you about its prospects on the market.

Company Information

HOME Real Estate teams up with INSPRO Insurance

HSNEInsHOME Real Estate has formed a new insurance partnership with INSPRO Insurance to provide its realty clients more options and competitive pricing for property, casualty and life insurance products.
INSPRO Insurance is an independent, multi-line insurance agency that has been serving Nebraska for over 50 years. The joint venture between INSPRO and the insurance division of HOME Real Estate will be called HomeServices of Nebraska Insurance.
“We are thrilled to partner with such a longstanding, reputable member of the local community,” said Gene Brake, CEO of HomeServices of Nebraska. “The joint venture with INSPRO furthers our goal to offer one-stop shopping to our clients, and INSPRO’s customer-centric values align well with our own full-service philosophy.”

Kathy Mayer
Kathy Mayer

Kathy Mayer will continue to represent HomeServices Insurance of Nebraska. Born and raised south of Lincoln on an acreage, Kathy has been in the insurance business for 20+ years. She has previously worked with Farmers Insurance as an agent, with State Farm as an office manager, and with Allstate Insurance Company as a broker. She has four grown boys, and she enjoys spending time with her four grandchildren. Kathy can be reached at (402) 434-3724.
Julia Franken will continue with INSPRO as a customer service representative, at their office at 1919 S. 40th St. (next to Capitol Title).
INSPRO Insurance is an agency leader in the Nebraska region, is 100 percent employee owned and offers a complete line of insurance products and services. For more information about INSPRO Insurance, visit
HOME Real Estate, an affiliate of HomeServices of America, is the area’s leading real estate company serving the Lincoln, Seward, and surrounding areas. The company’s agents are committed to providing clients with exceptional service in all stages of the building, buying, and selling process, including real estate, mortgage, title, and insurance. For more information about HOME Real Estate, visit