Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Good news for buyers!

By Tim Logan LA Times  March 29, 2014,

This time last year, investment firms raced to buy dozens of single-family homes in neighborhoods from Fontana to South Los Angeles to lease them out, transforming the mom-and-pop rental business into a Wall Street juggernaut.

The flood of cash helped spark a steep rise in prices, drawing criticism for pushing families out of the market.

But now the firms themselves have all but stopped buying in Southern California, the latest evidence that home prices have hit a ceiling.

The professional investors no longer see bargains here.

The real estate arm of Blackstone Group, the largest buyer, has cut its California purchases 90% over the last year, a spokesman said. Santa Monica company Colony Capital reports a similar retreat.

Oaktree Capital of Los Angeles, meanwhile, is looking to cash out by selling its portfolio of more than 500 homes, many of them in Southern California.

The shift is giving regular buyers more homes to choose from, at least those who can still afford them.

Experts say an expanding supply should help usher in a healthier housing market, with a better balance between buyers and sellers.

That's a stark change from last year, when buyers faced bidding wars.

All the activity drove the region's median home price up to $385,000 by last June, a record 28% increase over the same month a year earlier, according to San Diego research firm DataQuick.

But prices have since been flat in Southern California.

Among the 20 firms buying the most California real estate since January 2012, purchases are down more than 70% compared with last year in each of the last four months, according to DataQuick.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The sign placement laws change in Los Angeles County!

Due to neighbor complaints and a proliferation of signs, the City of Los Angeles has begun enforcing the sign placement laws already on the books.
Signs are not allowed in the public right-of-way due to liability issues. However, the City of Los Angeles has casually allowed such placement with written permission of the property owner, and as long as there were no complaints.

Neighbor complaints have arisen due to the placement of signs in the parkway (area between sidewalk and curb) and due to the number of signs placed advertising one property.
In order to avoid citations and seizure of signs:
* Only place your signs(open house or others) on private property.
* Avoid placing signs in the parkway.
* Do not place signs on any public property, including medians, sidewalks, and utility poles( garage sale, lost puppies, birthday party...).
For a copy of the actual wording from the Los Angeles Municipal Code Click Here, Section 28.04 & 67.02 pertaining to off-site signage. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Available First Time Home Buyer Programs in California

CalPlus with Zero Interest Program :  This is a FHA loan with an exclusive down payment assistance program "ZIP" which offers to qualified buyers 3.5% for their down payment. The ZIP program defers your payment with a zero interest second mortgage that is only available with CalPlus First mortgage. 

ECTP Program: The" Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program" is a deferred payment subordinate loan with simple interest charged.  Qualified teachers can use this for down payment assistance with eligible CalHFA first Mortgage loan.

CHF ACCESS Homebuyer Program: Put less than 1% down. With the Program, it may be possible to finance up to 99.5% of a home's purchase price.
Southern California Home Finance Authority (SCHFA)SCHFA offers a 4% down payment and closing cost assistance program which comes in the form of a grant and does not have to be paid back.

California Housing Down Payment Assistance (CHDAP)CHDAP offers a 3% down payment or closing costs assistance with deferred payments.

CHF Platinum Home Buyer Program Down Payment Assistance : This program is not limited to first time home buyers and is a grant of 3, 4 or up to 5% which can be used towards your down payment and/or closing cost. This is a forgivable grant and not a second mortgage.

Mortgage Credit Certificate Program(MCC) : The MCC Program offers First Time Home Buyers a yearly tax credit for as long as you own your home and carry a mortgage. This credit is for 15% of your annual mortgage interest. Using this program allows you to qualify for a higher purchase price.

CalSTRS Program : Originally expected to roll out in September the program is still on hold so come back to discover its status.

*** FHA UPDATE*** : You can now purchase a home if you have only recently reached your one anniversary of having filed a Bankruptcy or having sold your home as a Short Sale or if you lost your home to a Foreclosure. Your FICO score can be as low as 500!

For any real estate questions please call or text message me at: (323) 316-3300

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Short Sale after 8-1-13

         "Many homeowners who are potential Short Sale candidates have been holding on and trying to work out a loan modification with their bank or reinstate their loan.
         Unfortunately, as well-intended as this is, it is working against many homeowners in this current appreciating market.  The banks and mortgage servicers know that even if they incur the costs of foreclosure (one of the biggest motivators for them to approve a Short Sale), that in an appreciating market, time is on their side and they can offset attorney fees, property rehab, etc. when the property value increases. 
          One of the more frustrating initiatives of Fannie Mae in particular is their stated position of countering all offers on Short Sales at 10-15% over market value.  Well, obviously this guarantees an appraisal issue even if they can find a buyer willing to overpay for the property. 
          If the Short Sale is not approved, then Fannie Mae in this case repo’s the property and sells it as an REO (foreclosure).  They are consistently overpricing the REO’s congruent with their approach when the property was a Short Sale, but, oh by the way, once it’s an REO, any buyer can purchase it with Fannie Mae Homepath financing… and guess what, there is no appraisal condition!!  See the strategy here?
          Specific changes got into effect on 8-1-13.
          On it’s face, the specifics of the release (that apply to agents and homeowners – many of the changes apply to the services  are simple enough: properties must stay on the market for 5 days + a weekend before Fannie or Freddie will consider a Short Sale.  The implications however are that Fannie and Freddie are continuing to demand sale prices that are unrealistically higher than market value (10-15%), thus the additional marketing requirement.

          On a positive note, they have further streamlined the approval process, so if they are going to approve, the process will be a little less “painful.”  

The purpose of all this is to: 
1. Quickly evaluate which sale type Fannie and Freddie will profit from more: Short Sale or Foreclosure;
2. Clear the properties they are not going to approve so they can focus on getting the highest dollar amount on the properties they will approve.

The bottom line to all of this is: if you are in a position where you think you may have to Short Sale, give me a call so you can proactively decide what your next steps are.  Time is winding down on the non-taxability of forgiven debt (was extended to 12-31-13), and banks and servicers are doing all they can to take advantage of the appreciating market… which many times spells foreclosure for the homeowner."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012