Tuesday, July 30, 2013

May Be Able To Get FHA Loan in Non Approved Condo Complex....Maybe

Any FHA buyer that was looking for a condo or townhouse in the last couple of years has really struggled. More and more condo complexes lost their FHA certification. And, that made it extremely hard for a home buyer and much easier for an all cash investor to buy the units for sale.

Some buyers were able to bump up to 5% conventional financing. But even then, not all complexes would allow a 95% LTV due to other underlying concerns. Not enough in reserves, too high of a rental to owner-occupied ratio.

But, FHA has proposed a 'Workaround' to some of the problems with re-certification for FHA approval on a condo complex.

The National Housing Act regarding 'transient' , or short-term rental of units, language in the certification has created part of this problem. And, FHA is considering a solution to this dilemma. The HOA boards can either amend their CC& R's, an extremely costly and time consuming endeavor, or provide a statement that confirms there are 'No units in the project currently rented for less than 30 days and/or pursuant to the lessor providing any services normally associated with a hotel'

Now, not saying that will correct every situation by far. As, with any one group or person, no one really likes being told what they have to do. But, FHA was meant to help people get into homes. Their certification, and re-certification, process has been hindering a lot of the potential condo home buyers...the ones that FHA was set up to help....so here's to hoping this is a step in the right direction of re-certifying local complexes for FHA buyers!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Just What is Full Recovery To You?

The article I read this morning that prompted this post was "Five More Markets Reach Full Recovery in May"

Well, then it continued to talk about the recession. And, which parts of the country have reached full recovery, which have rebounded more than 200% since the 'recession'.

Okay, in 2005, 2006 house prices were ridiculous. That's it, I'm saying it....out loud! A townhouse was over 600k, a single family home was 800 +. Really? That was crazy. I bought then. (I'm my own worst client ~ I see it, I want it, I buy it)

So then the market crashed. We knew it would, just not to the extent that it did. But, even though a lot of people lost their homes, or people chose to walk away, prices certainly became more reasonable. The average double-income, hard working blue collar people could actually buy a home.

Well, it is what it is, we have been working through all the underwater homeowners, the short-sale, the foreclosures. So, of course, we have nothing to do but RECOVER!

I'll stop spewing and ask a question instead. What is full recovery to you? Do you think home prices, right now, should be where they were 6-7 years ago? Or do you think we should just start with some normal appreciation, slow progress to higher prices. Slow progress so that we can continue to allow the possibility of home ownership to the people that may not make 200k per year, the ones that between the two bread-winners make significantly less?

I believe everyone that works hard, saves their pennies and are genuinely good people deserve the chance at home ownership. But, again, where does this recovery have to end up to have reached full in every market?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

When Will They Learn???

Really, I can't believe I even read this today. Mortgage broker giving bonus' to their loan officers if they convinced the borrowers to take a higher interest rate loan. I'm just appalled.....disgusted, and so glad they are getting their 'due'! The CFPB sued the heck out of them!

I really don't understand how someone can think they are above the law? And, how they are so willing to hurt someone's livelihood just to make a few bucks.

Yep, it really pisses me off!

Brand new client, first time home buyer, came with his own lender. I spoke with lender several times, seems to be on the ball, good staff, very responsive to calls and e-mails. The buyer called me and said the lender offered him two different interest rates, only an 1/8% difference, and if he took the higher rate the lender could give him 2500 towards his closing costs. 

So, in the above instance, is the lender getting a bonus? I honestly don't know. But, the buyer was smart enough to ask my opinion...yes, I'm full of opinions. I told the buyer what I know. If the mortgage broker gives out a higher rate than what buyer qualifies for, he makes more money. Of course it costs the buyer more money in the long run too. But, as long as it's discussed with the buyer and he makes an informed decision...I'm okay with that. 

However, if the buyers are just being shoved into higher rates with some B.S. reason....I'm sooooo not OK with that! 

My buyer, after the two of us put our heads together and did the math, 
chose the lower rate....I'm so proud of him......

Friday, July 19, 2013

MLS Stats for Santa Clarita Valley July 19, 2013

Interest rates are up, inventory is up.....yep. Sellers need to be more cautious with their listing pricing.

Again, I include Acton and Agua Dulce in these stats. Along with Canyon Country, Saugus, Newhall, Valencia, Stevenson Ranch, and Castaic.


440 Active Listings. That's 20% more than just a month ago
Only 37 are Short-Sales
Only 17 are REO's


724. Almost 100 less than a month ago. Yep, weeding thru the last of the Short-Sales...hopefully.
302 of those are Short-Sales
33 are REO's

SOLD in the last 30 days:

354. That's a smidgen more than last month.
75 were Short-Sales
only 13 were REO's.

One thing I love about Real Estate, it is ever changing. You've got to be in it for the long haul!

I'm adding a link here to an article about rising rates and historically what it's done to housing:

It's worth the read!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Get Your Head Out of You-Know-Where and Buy A House!

Great story to share! We've been dealing with multiple offers all this year, right? Crazy, over list price, no appraisal contingency, offers. Any agent working with buyers under 600k knows these experiences.

Well, it's stalled for sure right now. I expected it to stall this summer and it certainly has. What with increase in interest rates and growth of inventory, it was bound to happen.

Now, I'm not saying that there is any bursting of any bubble...I'm saying if you were tired of multiple offers as a buyer? Get your butt out there and write an offer! You might be surprised.

Awesome first time buyers just got accepted on their first offer! First one written, first one accepted! They wrote strong, clean, drafted a letter to the sellers. Did everything right. And, I just got the call that they are being accepted!

Shocking to buyers, listing agent, and myself that they were the only offer. Two others said they were going to but didn't. Were those other buyers thinking something better was going to come along? That there was 'greener grass' to be found? Quite possibly.

But, when you fall in love with a home, and it just feels right? Don't go looking for greener. And, this home? AWESOME!! Fits all their needs, great location, nice amenities! I told them either they prayed like crazy, got extremely lucky, or this is just the house they were meant to raise their kids in!

So excited for them!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Mortgage Rates July 8 2013

Current Info on Mortgage Rates today from one of my favorite lenders:

Mortgage Interest Rates
Rates as of Monday, 8th July, 2013:
 TermConformingAPRPayment per
30-Yr. fixed3604.625%4.84%$5.14
15-Yr. fixed1803.875%4.21%$7.33
VA 30 Fixed3604.5%4.81%$5.07
FHA 30 Fixed3604.5%6.01%$5.07
20 yr fixed rate 417,0002404.75%5.01%$6.46
10 yr fixed rate 417,0001203.75%4.29%$10.01

We all got so used to having rates below 4 that with this hike it freaks a few people out. Puts a few out of their original price range too!

But, rates are still historically low, homes prices are still low. Now is still a great time to buy!

Friday, July 5, 2013

A Buyer And Seller Story

Met with my doctor today. She lives out of my immediate area and knows I'm a Realtor so the topic of her new home purchase and subsequent sale came up.

She bought her replacement home about a year ago and is doing a lot of renovations. When it's ready to move in she will sell her current home and 'just hopes to break even'. I assured her she would have done well with appreciation if purchased last year, most definitely!

Now, onto the existing home. She did like many home owners, went into an open house in the neighborhood to see what her competition is and talk to the agent. She really wanted to get a feel for this agent...maybe have him list her house.

She honestly told the agent she lived in the neighborhood and just wanted to see what the home looked like. He was a bit rude to her after that. Poor dumb schmuck. Hasn't learned customer service 101 yet obviously. Or his momma didn't raise him like mine did me....treat people the way you want to be treated. Regardless, he lost the possibility of being her listing agent.

She and her husband are doing some things to prep the house so it shows the best it can. She seemed to be in a state of uncertainty about who she should have list her home and what she needed to do to have it ready for sale.

I didn't push myself on her, although I can most certainly sell her home for her as well. But, that may be uncomfortable for her since she's my personal doctor. I'm A.O.K. with the task, I get involved in very personal information with clients all the time.

What I did tell her is it doesn't really have to be a neighborhood specialist. Your listing agent has to be someone that can determine the appropriate list price based upon comps, amenities, condition. We all have access to that information. A seasoned agent knows how to determine the numbers based upon those items.

Most important is that you are confident in the agent's skills. That you feel comfortable working closely with them, as it is a close relationship.These things are vital.

The last little thing I mentioned as she was talking about the sealer her husband put around the pool? Let your agent come and tell you want you need to do to get top dollar for your home. Don't do things unnecessarily. Realtors see many more homes than the average person. We witness tremendously more reactions from buyers to different aspects in a home. We should be the main advice you listen to about what you need to do to prep your home for sale.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pay Backs A Bitch!

Citigroup has to pay Fannie Mae NINE HUNDRED SIXTY EIGHT MILLION dollars in a Repurchase Claim Agreement! Good.

This is an agreement to resolve future repurchase claims for breaches of representations of warranties on millions of loans originated between 2000 and 2012.

Citi also stated that it will continue to work with Fannie on repurchases of any mortgages to the GSE that do not meet its requirements....in a timely fashion.

These were loans sold to Fannie Mae with expectations of performance.

The agreement claims to show that Citi wants to work with Fannie and resolve repurchase issues, compensate taxpayers for losses and to have Fannie and Citi move forward to strengthen the relationship between the two.

I still say Damn Good!