Sunday, April 29, 2012

Update ~ Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act

Some of you may be wondering what's that latest on the Debt Relief Act. Is it really expiring at the end of this year?  Yes, it is still set to expire on 12/31/2012.

There has been a bill initiated to extend it permanently and President Obama has put it in his 2013 budget to extend it for another two years.

In 2007, it took 3 months to get it enacted. (See the dates on lower section)

In 2012, the introduction to make it permanent was 2 months ago and it hasn't moved forward at all. 
(Not much in the way of dates down there)

The Federal Budget of 2013 was presented in February. It's supposed to get approved by 9/30/12. Rarely does it get approved on time. The 2012 budget was approved at the end of December 2011. The 2011 budget was approved IN APRIL of 2011 !!

You can follow the introduction of the bill on GovTrack.US and you can follow the budget approval in any news avenue you's everywhere.....

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fantastic Mortgage Rates !

Mortgage Interest Rates*
Rates as of Monday, 23rd April, 2012:
 TermConformingAPRPayment per
JumboAPRPayment per
30-Yr. fixed3603.875%4.19%$4.704.125%4.44%$4.85
15-Yr. fixed1802.875%3.29%$6.853.25%3.61%$7.03
VA 30 Fixed3603.875%4.31%$4.704.25%4.69%$4.92
FHA 30 Fixed3603.875%4.99%$4.704.25%5.37%$4.92
20 yr fixed rate 417,0002403.625%4.21%$5.864.625%4.98%$6.39
10 yr fixed rate 417,0001203.25%3.51%$9.774%4.54%$10.12

(661) 810-3362

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Low Ball Offers...Not Right Now

I'm working with a newer couple that I've shown a few properties too. They haven't quite found anything that has turned them on enough to write an offer in one of our fair Valencia neighborhoods! But, they have been getting some schooling on our current Santa Clarita Valley market and why writing a 'low-ball' offer isn't likely to get the home of their choosing.

An associate of mine is working with an investor. Has written over 100 offers. All low, of course, they are an investor and has to get it for way below market value to make sense. I believe they have had one accepted, okay, maybe two. Short-sales too. Let's see what happens. The odds are not in their favor.

With less than 700 homes for sale in all of SCV, there isn't a lot of room for low-ball offers....on a good, well-priced, listing. Twice as many are going under contract as are coming on the market.

I went to show a home yesterday. It had been on for less that 24 hours. 6 agent cards were already there. My clients asked about the comps. I told them they were pretty close to right on. They said you would write at list? I said, if you want the home...yes, I would recommend that. They weren't happy with my answer I could tell. But, right now, that's the way it is.

Multiple offers, over list price, at list price, right around list price. The seller wants the most they can possibly get, regardless of the type of sale. SS, REO, Traditional. They all want the most money. Wouldn't you?

Keep in mind you do have an appraisal contingency, but even sometimes that doesn't save you. I wrote an offer for a client that the seller accepted our offer, out of several, only because we were willing to waive the appraisal contingency.....and pay more than the most recent closed model-match home.

So, be wary if you want to write low-ball offers in the current market. Don't be too disappointed if yours doesn't get accepted......

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Your HOA Monthly Fees and a Short Sale

In the Santa Clarita Valley we have many homes that are covered by a Homeowners Association (HOA). They help to keep properties maintained. They keep the CC&R's in place. They keep the townhouse insurance in effect. And, of course, they need your money to do this.


Many homeowners have chosen to do a Short-Sale on their property. They don't want to get foreclosed on, good decision, and yet they need to cut back every penny possible for the health and welfare of the family unit.

Important piece of information for when homes have equity.....HOA's can foreclose on your home. Not all will, but the costs they incur with attorneys, etc., to head in that direction can amount to a large chunk of change. If the homeowner is 12 months or more delinquent or the amounts outstanding total $1800 or more, your HOA can start foreclosure proceedings.

In this market, highly doubtful an HOA would do that and get stuck owing a mortgage for more than the home is worth.

Okay, so if they won't likely initiate a foreclosure, why continue paying your HOA fees if you are selling your home at a  Short Pay-off? Because, if you don't, your bank most likely will not and the buyer that writes an offer for your home probably won't want to either. You can't close escrow with that debt outstanding. Well, actually, I have heard of one case so far where someone made a mistake and it did actually close!

At any rate, keep making your HOA monthly payments if you are working towards a successful Short-Sale of your home. It keeps the neighborhood up, it keeps penalties from padding your bill....and, you just may not be able to actually close the sale of your home if the fees don't get paid got, at the end anyways.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Santa Clarita Valley 30 Day MLS Stats

Good Morning the day before tax day 2012 !

In the beautiful Santa Clarita Valley we have.....drum of just a moment ago.....701 Active listings.....yep. Seven Hundred and One....that's it.

Active ~ 701
of those:
REO ~ 101
SS ~ 271

Pending/Back-Up ~ 1114
REO ~ 184
SS ~ Yikes 714

Sold in the last 30 days? ~ 285
REO ~ 81
SS ~ 93

So, we SCV Realtors still have the buyers to be selling about 300 a month. Remember the post about the foreclosure activity in SCV? We have plenty of buyers willing to buy!

For more information about buying or selling in the Santa Clarita Valley, 
feel free to contact me at

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Foreclosure Recordings Down. California Time To Foreclose Decreased Too.

One of my last posts, back just a few, noted the stats of foreclosures in the Santa Clarita Valley. Most of the news for the last few days has been about the number of recordings. NOD, NTS, etc. How many new people were in the foreclosure pipeline.

It's actually down. Really by quite a bit. Not much just from last quarter, but 16% from the same time last year. California was actually 21% less. That's significant.....I think.....I suppose.

We all presumed that the Robo Signing Settlement, or the lack of it for a few months, was what was stalling the foreclosure filings. Well, it's been signed, we expected to see an increase....not so. Hmmmm.....

And, California, being a non-judicial state, has shown a decrease in the average time it takes to actually go from late payment to 'get the heck out'. Just over 300 days.

THREE HUNDRED DAYS, you say?!?!?!? Yep. Well, really, that's not surprising it might take that long.

Miss a payment, get a little note. 3 months later, you may get a Notice of Default.....maybe 3 or so more, a Notice of Trustee Sale....then, maybe......a month or so, actually get foreclosed on. So, see 300 days isn't quite so far off. Ten months, sounds about right.

Now, what does this mean for today? Means, maybe, just maybe, some of the plans in place are working. Maybe some of the tools we are using to wade through this mess are better tools then they were a few years ago. Maybe....maybe....we're going to see less foreclosures starting, shorter times still.....maybe come back around to a market with Non-Distressed, Standard Sale, homes on our SCV market!

I can hardly wait!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mortgage Principal Reduction ~ Are You For It ? Or Not?

It's been the buzz around for a while. There are a lot of mixed opinions. Please post your comments, I'd love to know thoughts other than my own.

Right now, I own two properties. One that I bought at the height in Westridge, Valencia. One that I purchased last summer in the Saugus area of Santa Clarita Valley. The first, needless to say, is upside down. I owe about 200k more than what it is worth. I turned that one into a rental when we purchased again. I am fortunate enough to have the majority of the expenses cover the mortgage.

Now, we talk about principal reduction. The Robo-Signing settlement is supposed to have 5 of the major banks do some principal reduction. And, about 8 more are going to get hit with something very similar. Now, mind you, it wasn't a huge portion of the 25 billion, but there is a bit that is supposed to go to PR (principal reduction ~ less letters to type). And, these ones are loans that are not backed by Freddie or Fannie......until quite possibly, the next few weeks.

DiMarco, the acting director, has been keeping his heels in the ground against PR. Says it will hurt the taxpayers. Okay, I'm with him there, but really? Isn't every little foreclosure, bailout, credit to bank.....all of the plans in force....ultimately going to cost the people as a whole? You know, the taxpayers?

Okay, so back on subject.....I believe that PR is going to have to happen, I think that's the next best thing to do and I think it should have been done long ago. Well, not in the beginning, but certainly a year or so ago. I believe that it shouldn't just be for people that are in default, people that are struggling, people that are facing foreclosure.

Yell all you want, but I believe that if one is going to get a principal reduction, we all should. I could probably come up with a formula, my major in college was math you know, that would make it appear to work for everybody. But, let's face it, reduce the mortgages on the ones that are upside down and move forward. I think we will have less defaults if the reductions are large enough. I think the banks have made a lot of money on interest in the years prior to someone defaulting and what with all the credits, bailouts, incentives....they will find their way back to the money makers they are.

After all, us taxpayers will pick up the pieces in the long rung anyways....won't we?

Okay, give me your formula! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Chase CEO Admits Many Mistakes

Yesterday I read a few articles, well, actually, late last night. Realtors in Santa Clarita Valley need to keep up on these things, right? One that caught my eye was the one that talked about Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase admitting, in a letter to shareholders, that his bank contributed to the collapse of the American housing industry.

Nice admission. Nice that they honed up. He admitted that they funded loans they certainly shouldn't have...and, never would again. When the market started to fall apart, they were unprepared for the aftermath. Not ready to deal with the delinquencies that were rampant. From 6800, in 2008, people servicing overdue notes, to now 23,000, they are working to correct the wrongs he admitted his company did.

While he admits the wrong, and is working on correcting, we are all suffering.

But, as you hopefully are hearing appears that the suffering is slowing. That the pain of the collapse is being lifted. That the housing crisis is on the road to recovery.

I know I've used that line before, 'The Road To Recovery', but it's appropriate. It was a huge uphill and a crashing downhill........ hopefully the hills are behind us and we can take the road.....a smoother, happier, and more even-keeled road.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Santa Clarita Valley Inventory Lower Still

Every day out of the week, several times a day, I'm looking for new listings for the 1/2 dozen buyers I'm working with right now. And, Santa Clarita Valley's inventory is getting lower and lower daily. I can honestly say, that in the last 10 years of selling homes here....I've never seen it this low.  And, let's be serious, when almost half of them are SS (Short-Sales), that paints a pretty dismal picture.

If you want to keep track, feel free to go to my Website @ and you can look at our MLS several times a day too......well, if you really want to.

As a Santa Clarita Realtor, that's been around for a while, I'm happy that I still have a business in this market. Lot's of others don't. And, when the active inventory is sitting at 734, we have to hustle a lot to get anything under contract for our buyers.

Now, Sellers on the other hand.....I'd be happy if I had a 1/2 dozen of those right now. But, honestly, I wouldn't have them for long. They'd be receiving multiple offers right out of the gate.

While I still believe it is a super time to buy in our lovely community, I want you to know that it is challenging and very competitive for a buyer. 

Any sellers that are just toying with the idea of selling, or have to relocate, I'm your gal! Let's run up this SCV inventory and race through the gate together!