Archive for the ‘For Buyers’ Category

Top 5 Tips for First Time Home Buyers in Orange County

  1. Figure Out How Much Mortgage You Qualify For.
    Before you start shopping, it’s important to get an idea of how much a bank or lender will actually be willing to give you to purchase your first home. You may think you can afford a $300,000 home, but lenders may think you’re only good for $200,000 depending on factors like how much other debt you have, your monthly income and how long you’ve been at your current job.
  2. Decide on What Type of Home Best Suits Your Needs.
    You have several options when purchasing a residential property: a traditional single-family home, a townhouse, a condo, or a multi-family building with two to four units. Each option has its pros and cons, depending on your homeownership goals, so you need to decide which type of property will help you reach those goals.
  3. Make a Master List of Wants & Needs for Your Ideal Home.
    While it’s good to retain some flexibility in this list, you’re making perhaps the biggest purchase of your life, and you deserve to have that purchase fit both your needs and wants as closely as possible. Your list should include basic desires, like neighborhood and size, all the way down to smaller details like bathroom layout and a kitchen that comes with trust-worthy appliances.
  4. Write Out a List of All Current Expenditures. Then Make a Second One for When You Purchase.
    By doing so you will continue to save money by focusing on things you can cut out from your monthly expenses. The second list is everything on the first one plus the items you’ll need to anticipate spending money on in your new home, like what your future gas, electric, cable, maintenance and repairs.  Your loan officer can help you with estimating the taxes and insurance in your monthly payment when you get pre-qualified.
  5. Find and Excellent ‘Buyer’s Agent’                                                                                                                                                                                           A prompt Realtor who caters to first time home buyers and works hard keeping you in the loop while educating you and supplying valuable material is ideal. Never sign a contract making them your ‘exclusive’ agent to buy a home until they have proven their worth to you. Once selected, they will help you locate homes that meet your needs, are in your price range, and then meet with you to view those homes. Once you’ve chosen a home to buy, your agent can assist you in negotiating the entire purchase process, including making an offer, getting a loan, completing paperwork and protect you from common pitfalls along the way.
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September 2011 Home Sales Statistics – 4 County Pie Chart

Quick Foreclosure Market Update – Must Read

Just thought this would be useful information for you all. This comes from RealtyTrak and Wells Fargo at the AREAA national conference in SF. This session is about the current REO market.

In a nut shell the first wave of foreclosures in 2006-2008 were caused by the subprime loan market. This created the economic down turn, increasing unemployment. Unemployment is what caused the current wave of foreclosure we are seeing now. Adjustable rate loans may be third wave of foreclosures which we will know by spring of 2012.

We are not selling enough homes to move current inventory of foreclosures out there which is keeping home prices down.

Inability to sell new homes(which are always highest in price drive up prices) is also what is keeping prices stagnant.

Quick Foreclosure Market Update - Must Read

There are currently 800,000 foreclosures on banks books with less than 30% actually listed on the market. Another 800k are currently in foreclosure, 1.3mil in severe delinquency. 3.5 mil in some stage of delinquency.

The market in terms of pricing will probably bottom out in 2011, remain low through 2012 and 2013 as we work through selling off the foreclosure through inventory. Possibly a rise in pricing by 2014.

Banks are facing adjustable rate mortgages as being the third wave in foreclosures, however they have many options to work through this by extending loan terms, forgiving principle, etc. They want to work this out as they see these loans as their highest risk factor for delinquency in the future.

Surprising Market Stats For Orange County / Irvine

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The Year of the Short Sale: 7 Tips to Finding Your New Home at Discount

RISMEDIA, August 17, 2010—Real estate professionals nationwide are calling 2010 “the year of the short sale,” where homeowners who owe more on their properties than what they are worth sell at deeply discounted prices—with the blessing of their lender.

Here is how to go about successfully buying a short sale:

1. Search for short sale properties
Most short sales are listed by real estate agents. You will find these listings on local websites and in MLS feeds. Some lenders have complained about advertising that identifies the home as a short sale, because the lenders feel it puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to home pricing. This is accurate, as buyers generally offer less when the property is advertised as a short sale.

Read the listing carefully. Agents slip in words that identify the listing as a short sale. Look for the following terms:

• Subject to bank approval
• Pre-foreclosure
• Notice of Default
• Give the bank time to respond
• Preapproved by bank
• Headed for auction

2. Select a real estate professional
Professionals with short sale experience can help you navigate the short sales process in your local market. The buying process is often far more complex—and far longer than typical sales–so a trained ally on your side can make your experience successful.

3. Investigate the mortgage and liens on the property
Here’s where a good short sale real estate agent is worth his or her weight in gold. Uncover how much the mortgage is worth. Find out how much the current owners paid and when. Find out how many liens are on the property. Find out which lender is the primary lien holder. Research comparable sales in the area.

4. Have a home inspection
Short sales are typically sold “as is,” with no contingencies allowed. That short sale is no bargain if you discover—after the closing—that it requires major, unexpected repairs. A thorough home inspection will provide a clear view of the home’s condition, allowing you to make educated decisions on whether or not to purchase.

5. Write a complete offer
Remember, the lender—not the owner selling the property—is calling the shots and decides whether your offer will be accepted, rejected or countered. Helping the lender, whose agents may be overloaded with a glut of short sales, fully understand the financial picture will support your bid. Include the following materials with any short sale offer:

• Cover letter
• Signed owner/borrower short sale purchase agreement
• Seller hardship letter
• Seller payroll stubs
• Two years of seller tax returns
• Market comparables
• HUD-1 closing net sheet
• Repair cost estimate
• Pictures of property

6. Negotiate
Like any real estate transaction, successful negotiation is required to strike a deal. If the lender rejects or counters your written offer, you’ll have to negotiate with the lender by making a higher offer. Be prepared to offer more money to close the deal, or to walk away if it doesn’t make financial sense.

7. Be Patient
Short sales, which have increased in volume and frequency, are overloading some lenders. Be aware that processing and decision-making times for some lenders can be quite long—up to a year or more. Decide if you have flexibility in your timing, and if so, know that you may be waiting for awhile.

Dan Steward is president of Pillar To Post Home Inspection.

For more information, visit www.pillartopost.com.

RISMedia welcomes your comments and questions. Email realestatemagazinefeedback@rismedia.com.

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REALTOR� Magazine-Daily News-Geithner: Bailout Costs Should Be Recouped

REALTOR� Magazine-Daily News-Geithner: Bailout Costs Should Be Recouped.

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Financial Reform

RISMEDIA, June 23, 2010—As the United States continues to put plans into action in order to help remedy the country’s financial situation, Americans are waiting optimistically to see the end result of the regulation bill that is moving through both the Senate and House. While the Senate recently approved their version of the big financial regulation bill by a 59-39 vote, the bill has now moved to a conference committee where it will be reconciled with the already passed House bill.

Here are the top 10 things you should know about the Financial Regulations bill.

1. End of too-big-to fail: If a big financial firm is failing, it will have only one fate: liquidation. There will be no taxpayer funded bailout. Instead, regulators will have the ability to shut down and break apart failing financial firms in a safe, orderly way – without putting the rest of the financial system at risk, and without asking taxpayers to pay a dime.

2. Close loopholes in regulation of major financial firms: Loopholes that allowed firms like Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and AIG to operate without tough standards or oversight were major contributors to the financial crisis. Regulatory reform will close these loopholes, and create accountable regulation for all firms that pose the most risk to the financial system. It will end the ability of financial firms to avoid tough standards by manipulating their legal structure.

3. Bring transparency to hedge funds: Financial reform will require advisers to hedge funds to register with the SEC for the first time, bringing transparency and oversight to these unregulated financial firms.

4. Constrain the size of the largest firms: Financial reform will prevent any financial firm from growing by acquisition to more than 10% of the liabilities in the financial system. This will reduce the adverse effects of the failure of any single firm and prevent the further concentration of our financial system.

5. Reform executive pay and strengthen shareholder protections: Financial reform will give shareholders a say in the compensation of senior executives at the companies they own, and require that the compensation committees of corporate boards are independent.

Top 10 Things You Should Know about Financial Reform

6. Separate banking and speculative trading – the Volcker Rule: Financial reform will protect taxpayers and depositors by separating risky, speculative “proprietary trading” from the business of banking.

7. Strongest consumer protections ever: Instead of seven federal agencies with only partial responsibilities for consumer protection, there will be one agency with the sole responsibility of establishing clear rules of the road for banks, mortgage companies, payday lenders, credit card lenders and other financial service firms and for enforcing these rules. From now on, every consumer will be empowered with the clear and concise information they need to make financial decisions that are best for them.

8. Crack down on the abuses in the mortgage markets at the center of the crisis: Financial reform will ban abusive practices in the mortgage markets, like those where brokers got paid more to put families into higher priced loans than those they qualified for, and require mortgage brokers and banks to consider a family’s ability to repay when making a loan. The reforms will also require lenders and Wall Street loan packagers to keep skin in the game when selling off loans to investors and make full disclosure so investors know what’s in those packages. Reforms of credit rating agencies will help make sure investors do not rely unwisely on their ratings on these packages.

9. Safer, more transparent derivatives market to help Main Street businesses: By bringing the derivatives markets out of the shadows, reform will benefit those businesses that use derivatives to manage their commercial risks. Reform will benefit Main Street companies at the expense of Wall Street’s hidden fees. That’s good for every farmer and every manufacturer that uses derivatives the way they were meant to be used. Derivatives reform also means the taxpayer won’t be on the hook for reckless risks of an AIG.

10. Support long term job growth by helping prevent future crises: By making the financial system safer and stronger, reform will reduce the chances that a financial crisis deprives businesses of the credit they need to grow and to create jobs. Financial reform will ensure businesses a more stable and predictable source of credit through the business cycle and reduce the risk of a sharp and sudden cut-off because of financial panic.

For more information, visit www.financialstability.gov.

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