Thursday, June 28, 2012

More Mortgages Are Current

Maybe, just maybe, we really are seeing a turn in our housing crisis. Everything I've been reading for the last few years, yes years, tells me we are making a move to the end of this mess.

Today the headline that caught my eye was in DSNews....

" The report attributed the improved performance to several factors, including strengthening economic conditions during the quarter, seasonal effects, servicing transfers, and the ongoing effects of home retention programs and home forfeiture actions. "

Ongoing effects of Home Retention Programs. Come on, people have been complaining about how long it takes to get the banks to respond, how frustrating, how many times paperwork gets lost. True on all counts I am pretty sure. But, with patience and perseverance, things do get done.

Another article does the admission of the mess the loans originated a few years ago caused us now. But, we've been working towards correction on those stupid, yes stupid, loans and it seems that the hard work on all is finally paying off.

I look forward to my beautiful Santa Clarita Valley being happy housing once again!

Monday, June 25, 2012

San Bernardino Taking A New Route with Eminent Domain

Eminent Domain is where the government, local or otherwise, can take over a property to use for city/local purposes. They have to pay the homeowner fair market value of course, but they can take it. Think Freeway Expansion back in the day.

San Bernardino county is thinking along those lines for mortgages. Very interesting I say! L.A. Times has some good stuff, this one caught my eye today.

It was approved by their county Board of Supervisors last week, titled Homeownership Protection Program and they are also working with the cities of Ontario and Fontana.

What does this have to do with Santa Clarita you say? Well, nothing right now. But, it is an interesting concept for a small suburb that has enough money to invest within. Do we?

S.B is using private funds from investors to obtain the underwater mortgages and then restructure them for the homeowners in those cities.

“Under this particular proposal, the county would use its eminent domain authority to condemn the mortgages on negative equity properties and that way the county would take possession -- would be the owner of the mortgages,” Wert (spokesperson for S.B. County)  said. “The mortgages could then be renegotiated at a lower amount.”

What I find most interesting is that ONLY homeowners that are CURRENT on their mortgages would be allowed to participate in the program. Seems, as we all know, that the majority of programs aimed to help with underwater homeowners are for those that are struggling and/or delinquent. Not the ones that are still paying their 30-50% underwater loans.

So, if we Santa Claritans could come up with something like this? What cha think??? Eminent Domain, what a novel concept for mortgages. At least they aren't taking the houses along with the mortgages!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

News I'm Reading Today ~ Rental Properties & Potential Problems

I know I've touched on this before, and it seems like anyone would recognize this potential problem, but it's all over the news in the last couple of days. Well, the Real Estate news sites that I read regularly.

OMG, when we get more people buying again, we will have higher rental vacancies! Really, like that's not completely obvious to everyone?

People displaced by Short-Sale or Foreclosure....they are renting. But, yes, they'll be back.

People that can't qualify with the tight standards.....they are renting too. But, you bet, when standards slack off a bit, and we know they will, they'll want to buy as well.

Youngsters, and some oldsters too, that can't find a well paying job and even with low prices and rates can't afford to buy......yep, renters! When the economy comes back, they'll be coming back to buy for sure!

So, investors beware, be calculating, be smart. Realize that in a few years the rent you are getting today ~ you likely won't get tomorrow. So, a few hundred bucks here or there, count on not having it if you want to keep your properties occupied.

 Make sure that you are crunching your numbers correctly.

And, that the math makes sense.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Shadow Inventory Decreasing

While our MLS inventory is decreasing and that isn't a good thing....the infamous 'Shadow Inventory' decreasing is.

Read a couple of different articles from different sources and they concur that the Shadow is receding. Specifically in California the decrease is 28% since 2010 when it peaked.

We still aren't seeing much increase in the release of these homes (note our low MLS inventory). We are still seeing an increase in the way we are keeping underwater homeowners in their homes.

These little things, to me the ultimate optimist, point that we are finally moving in a positive housing market direction.

I do believe we still have a ways to go, but this decrease in the 'Shadow Inventory' is promising!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Multiple Credit Checks

People are frequently asking me if they keep checking their credit can it harm their FICO score. Answer: Yes....and No.

Perusing the news this morning I came across a nicely laid out bit of information in the LA Times about this very same thing.

And, what I didn't know, was that they way the credit request is ID'd can make a little impact, or none, on your FICO score!

If you are shopping for a home loan make sure your lender ID's the inquiry as such. Same as with an automobile. Those are apparently the 'safe' requests.

Now, and this piggy-backs on another touchy subject of mine, don't go around opening a bunch of new credit lines with local stores...the ones to fill your new home with furniture?!?!? I always say don't go spending a bunch of money during escrow, don't get new credit cards and think you can charge them up. AND, just sending out inquiries for new credit cards can ding your FICO just enough to not qualify for that loan at the end!

So, while safely shopping for the best rate is seemingly okay, it is NOT okay to be shopping for the best credit cards at the local stores until after escrow closes!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Same Ole, Same Ole.....But I Still Love It!

Up and know I do this daily...and there really isn't anything new or exciting to bring to your attention.

Still lots of changes, still the majority of listings are short-sales, still really low inventory (543 today in SCV), and interest rates are still ridiculously low.

I believe the most important thing I could say today:


Even in the most challenging of housing markets, it is still my passion.
I love helping people in and out of homes.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Tenant Rights in Foreclosure ~ California

So many times I get a friend/client that is renting a property call me and say "What do I do, it appears the landlord isn't paying their mortgage" The lease is between the tenant and the landlord, not the tenant and the mortgage still are supposed to pay your rent.

There has been a federal law in place that gives rental victims of foreclosure a window of time and/or an upholding of their lease if the property gets foreclosed upon.

California just passed a couple of bills that will extend the following until 2019:

Under the bills, new owners of a rental property, who bought the home in foreclosure, must give tenants 90 days notice before starting an eviction and must honor any fixed-term leases entered into before the sale.

It's important to remember that you still have to pay your rental amount. The terms of the lease may not be honored if you are not keeping up your end of the contract.