Friday, August 29, 2014

AmeriSave and Novo Appraisal Management Companies To Pay Almost 20 Million For Fraud Scheme

Hopefully none of my readers were Baited by their misleading ads and then got Switched to a higher interest rate.

It's not just the car dealers who do that is it?? LOLOL

Legally anyone related to Real Estate and advertising have certain standards and disclosure requirements. That includes lenders. RESPA is a big deal in my little Realtor world!

But this company advertised low rates, then apparently got up front fees from would-be-scammed-clients that would not ultimately get the teaser rate.

As you all know, I'm always happy when justice prevails. I hate people that take advantage of other people. We are in an industry that we are supposed to be helping, not stealing from, our clients.

So, good for you CFPB! Thank you for finding these schmucks and making them pay back what they stole from thousands of good people!

Hoping this stops it from happening any more!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Santa Clarita Valley MLS Stats August 26 2014

While lots of articles in the news are showing slumps in Real Estate transactions, we closed over 300 home sales in beautiful Santa Clarita Valley in the last 30 days! 311 to be exact!

Inventory is still sluggish. Only 799 active listings available as of right now.

603 are under contract/in escrow which will create more closings in the next 30 days!

With the news of FICO scoring changing recently and loans hopefully getting a little easier, I think we'll see a little boost in sales yet again!

Ever have any questions about real estate, don't hesitate to holler (I say this all the time, but don't really want anyone yelling at me) !!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Who Would Have Thunk It?

Yes I meant to spell it THUNK! But really, interest rates went down this week!! Who would have thunk it is right!

Three years ago rates were amazing, today they are still amazing. We all expected them to be in the 5's by now!

I had a conversation with one of my newest sellers about what is happening in the market. Told them things are still moving. Inventory is growing, and interest rates seem to be holding.

Will I get multiple offers? Not likely. Buyers aren't freaking out, wondering where the rates are going to be tomorrow as they stare at their computer screens looking for homes! So, they aren't in that urgency to buy. Therefore multiple offers aren't as likely to least not in Santa Clarita Valley.

What will it be like next week, next month, next year? Not even Houdini could tell you for sure. But, inventory has climbed, the normal selling season is over, interest rates are staying low.

I would think inventory will be higher. I believe that when the Spring of 2015 hits we'll see a lot more homes available for sale. But, regarding interest rates? Not til the economy is back to strong levels are we going to see much higher in the way of mortgage rates.......I would think. But, next Spring I may be saying I Thunk Wrong!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What's Happening In The Market?

Depends on where you live. What price point the value of your home is or the price point of the home you are searching for is.

Santa Clarita Valley is still low on inventory, at 802 active listings today. How come some homes sit? And, others get sold quickly? Price. It's all about price.

I can market your home til the cows come home but if it's just won't sell. Trust me on this, no matter what price range your home is in.

The typical selling season is over but homes are still transferring ownership. I've got buyers looking, and sellers listing their homes. Until we are closer to a normal inventory, In Our Market, we'll continue to get buyers in and sellers moved on in a somewhat timely fashion.

Keep in mind that anything in the upper range, there are, of course, less buyers for them. So, those homes need to be carefully priced and marketed. But, those beauties priced well, under 450-ish...those are the ones that we have more buyers coming to look at. Which means more likelihood of an advantageous sale for a home seller.

I've probably harped on the subject of price before. But, we have comparable sales, we have appraisals, we have investigative buyers. We have to list property, market well, make adjustments as needed.....well, unless you just want to waste your time sitting dead on the MLS that is.

Friday, August 15, 2014

California Requires Mortgage Loan Originators More Education

As a Realtor I have to take continuing education classes all the time. Our contract changes all the time too so we're constantly learning new things to help people buy and sell homes with the least amount of legal troubles later.

Been doing this for over 12 years and have never had any issues with buyers and sellers after the fact. All legal requirements are met and I go above and beyond to make sure everyone knows everything possible about the sale or purchase of their home.

Mortgage Loan Originators, obtaining licensing in California, must meet certain criteria. Governor Jerry Brown has added more.

Instead of complaining, take it as another way to not end up in court. Go with it. Learn it, master it, follow it to the T!

Below is the information about the new licensing laws. I bring it to your attention so that you can double check that your lender is meeting all the licensing law protects you in the long run!

The new law requires that an applicant seeking a mortgage loan originator license in California must complete two hours of approved education related to relevant California law and regulation.
An applicant seeking a mortgage loan originator license must also complete at least 18 additional hours of Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry-approved education, including at least:
  • Three hours of instruction on federal law and regulations
  • Three hours of ethics, which shall include instruction on fraud, consumer protection, and fair lending issues
  • Two hours of training related to lending standards for the nontraditional mortgage product marketplace
Applicants are also required to pass an NMLS-approved written test that covers the following areas:
  • Ethics
  • Federal law and regulation relating to mortgage origination
  • State law and regulation relating to mortgage origination
  • Federal and state law and regulation, including instruction on fraud, consumer protection, the nontraditional mortgage marketplace, and fair lending issues
Additionally, the new law requires that existing mortgage loan originators complete one hour of continuing education related to relevant California law and regulation every year.
In addition to that hour, MLOs are required to take at least eight hours of continuing education a year, with at least:
  • Three hours of instruction on federal law and regulations
  • Two hours of ethics, which shall include instruction on fraud, consumer protection, and fair lending issues
  • Two hours of training related to lending standards for the nontraditional mortgage product marketplace

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It's Always Your Decision

My job as a Realtor is not just to help people buy and sell homes. My job is to help people work through the process. That includes the decision about the timing of a homeowner purchase for their first home.

If you really want to be a homeowner, instead of paying the mortgage for your landlord, there are likely a few things you've been doing already.

Hopefully you've been stashing some cash. Yes, there are lots of loan programs that require little down, but the more cash you have the better. Better for your down payment and interest rate. Better for any work your possible new home may need after close of escrow.

Best set home buyers have really looked through their budget. Decided what they can cut out, what they still have to keep in. Therefore they can determine what they are comfortable spending every month towards housing expenses. A lender can frequently qualify your for a large mortgage, but you still need to be comfortable paying it every month. Don't forget about your tax benefits of home ownership. Ask your tax person what kind of annual savings you can expect.

You've probably been stalking neighborhoods that you find attractive. Ones that you are pretty sure you can afford and that offer the amenities you feel important for your way of living. Keep stalking!

Smart home buyers pay special attention to what they must have to fulfill their needs. Not their wants, their needs. Do you really need granite counters? Or do you really need 3 bedrooms and a yard instead? Always put together a list of wants, but the needs really should be top priority. Those wants can usually be added later.

So, if you've been dreaming about buying a home,
consider this information and see if you're ready!

Friday, August 8, 2014

I Would Never Want To Be An Appraiser!

Poor guys (or gals) much rests in their value decision! Two properties that I have in escrow this week we were kind of holding our breath on the appraisal outcome. One most definitely was a little edgier than the other.

First one came in....phew....out whooshed my breath. I wasn't horribly worried about that one. The next one, concerned as the comparable sales were all over the place and the property my clients have in escrow had an amenity that we just hadn't seen in that area this year! And, it was also income producing property.

The appraiser on the first one met the listing agent and he said he felt it would be okay.....and it was.

Second appraiser was a little more close-lipped and I was figuring we may have a value problem in the amount of about 25k and knew the seller would be really, really, unreasonable if the value didn't come in at contracted purchase price!

Just got the good news today that not only did the appraisal come in at purchase price but due to the appraisers knowledge, skill, and expertise, he found comparables that I wouldn't have used due to how long ago the homes had closed escrow. But, those appraisers (and I took an appraisal course too) have great little appraiser calculations to give value even when it's older than the traditional 90 days that they prefer to use!

At any rate, wandering and I do. Very happy for both of my clients in the excellent calculations and ultimate valuations of their soon to be homes! And very thankful that my chosen career is as a Realtor....not an Appraiser!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Do You Have An Adult Child Living At Home? You Are Not Alone!

It may not seem Real Estate related but it definitely is. The funniest thing I thought is the article I read today is that 1/2 of the parents surveyed don't seem to mind at all.

My ex-in-laws seem to love it! And, they have my ex and my kids under their roof! The kids are considered the Millennials. The younger ones are 18-22, and the older ones are 23-34. Mine are the Older Millennials.

The largest chunk of kids still living at home are saving money while still in school. A big pool too are the ones that just don't have enough income to live on their own. That's a big problem.

Will they buy when they actually do move out? The majority likely will be renting. Less than a third, per the survey, do their parents think they will be able to buy a home.

As the market continues to have appreciation, that percentage of renters vs. buyers will likely increase further.

But then, when I was young, my first husband and I agreed we would have lived in a shack to sock away money to buy a home. And, that the first home wouldn't be a mansion by any means.

So, yes, they are saving money by living at home.....but are they really SAVING money to buy a home? Or just living cheaper by living at home?

I'm going to shut my mouth any further on this subject. But, Feel Free To comment!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Loan Modification Scammers Are On The Rise Yet Again

Some home owners are still in need of financial assistance. I've seen a rise in short sale listings recently. Not a ton, but just a few. My thought process is it's the end of the road for these people. They may have tried loan modification, tried to continue to pay, got further in debt. Hard to say, just my presumptions.

I haven't worked a short sale for a seller in about 2 years, well, something like that, so I'm a bit out of the loop as to the reasons.

Back to the subject of this post. If you are having financial issues, if you are having trouble with your your lender first. Be your very own advocate. Do Not Pay Anyone up front to help you. Only if you have a personal referral from a dear friend or trusted business professional that has seen the company actually get help for other clients.

Those bastard, yes I said bastard, scammers are out there again!
 I get so mad the way people take advantage of others that are in need!

But, I'm happy to report that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
 has cracked down on a handful more of these creeps! Two were from So. Cal....Siringoringo Law Firm and Clausen & Cobb Management Company.

Hoping none of my readers are involved!