Friday, January 30, 2015

Many HAMP Loans Set To Adjust in 2015

Well, about a half million. That's quite a few. The Home Affordable Modification Program for some was a life saver. Actually, a home saver.

Now, many of the ones modified in 2010 will start to see an uptick in their monthly payment.

You'll get a notice 4 months in advance, and it may not be much of an increase, but it may bring you back to an uncomfortable monthly payment.

This quickie post is really just to make sure you read all your paperwork if you did get a HAMP loan mod in prior years.

Maybe you're a candidate for a better refi now that rates are low and equity is higher.

Just keeping you informed!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Tech Tools For Real Estate & You

Well, some aren't so new. Some I've been using for a while. Some I don't think I would ever use. But a few were worth circling on my page for further review and investigation. I share them with you here. Let's see what you think!

1) Open Home Pro ~ No more signing in on paper sheets. The program will automatically send the guest my contact info. Hmmm, I think if people want to be connected with me they will, if not, it'll be just like on paper.....dyslexic numbers will appear!

2) Updater ~ A program that helps buyers with all their moving related tasks. Forward mail, connect utilities, update accounts.....etc., all with my name and contact info splashed all over it.

3) ~ Has changed agent profile. I can show you where I've been working by their check-in feature. Similar to Facebook, you'll know where I've been listing and selling homes a little easier.

4) Canva ~ A free website (if I use my own photos) to make flyers, presentations, invitations, and a ton more. I think I'll be giving this one a whirl. Take a peek, it's not just for people like me.

5) Connect6 ~ This is something to be aware of for sure. While it was shared today to enlighten the Realtor how to easily verify contact makes it easier for other people to find out public information about you as well.

6) Texting tidbits ~ I just tried one already! I frequently notice a home comes on the market near someone on my data base. Today I shot a pic of it, the MLS screen, and texted it to them. Everyone seems to be interested in what their neighbor is selling for!

7) KeyMe ~ Not sure about the safety of this but it's a way to take a snapshot of your key and if you lose it, they can make another one for you.

8) While we are supposed to make sure the other party approves of being recorded, this just reminded me that this technology is out there. We all have to be soooooo very careful!

9) Sitegeist ~ Just a mobile app that helps you learn more about your surroundings in seconds. Freebie too!

10) This one I've seen before but it reminded me I want to get it for my husband. ~ Doorbell and little camera at your front door, with motion sensors, and you can see from your phone who is ringing the bell. $199, can't beat that. Oh, and I think you can even reply to the ringer as well from your phone. I gotta investigate this one further.

Anything of interest to you too?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Great Storage Ideas From Your Favorite Realtor ~ Hah, Not Really!

Yes, I enjoy reading about mortgage, below 4 and expected to head down further!

And, yes, I enjoy reading about our inventory......still low.

Also, love chatting with clients, answering questions, helping people with their Real Estate needs.

But, I also really do love reading about some great, and easy, storage ideas.

The dang linen closet! When we bought our house a few years ago I wish I had paid closer attention to the lack of space in our linen closet. It's ridiculously small and I hate changing sheets because it's so crammed in there that I just wash and use the same ones most of the time instead of tackling the opening of the closet with the avalanche of items surely to fall out.

But, thank you to Houzz (one of my new favorite sites) for popping these ideas in front of me to share with you.

If you don't look at their site, enjoy these 3 really great ideas:

I mean really, how simple! I have my kitchen linens in a drawer and they always come out wrinkled! Damn skippy, hang them up with a slide out rod system! I can do that! 
Or see below and maybe do that in the kitchen if there's a shortage of cabinet space in there.

This one is ridiculously simple and I feel stupid for not thinking about it already.
Just throw up some towel bars on the inside of the closet door.....Wa-La....more space!

I always see shelving and think 'Ugh, more knick-knack space.'
But, done right, this would really help in the bathroom for the towels and washcloths!

If one person, well other than me, gets some help with this then I've done my job here!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

How To Survive In The World Of Real Estate

As a Realtor? Or Seller? Or as a buyer?

Let's start as a Realtor. I would know as I've been helping people in and out of homes for over a dozen years now.

1) Know what you're doing. Take continuing ed courses. Read the news, Watch what's happening in every field related to being a Realtor.
2) Treat people the way you want to be treated. Like, hopefully, the way your momma raised you.
3) Go above and beyond, it doesn't come natural to everyone.
4) Stay tuned into the market you service. Watch new listings, sold properties, price reductions. Every day, several times a day.
5) Keep in touch with everyone you know, including other Realtors.
6) Create a good team of affiliates so your clients are treated by them the same way they are treated by you.

As A Seller?

You're going to laugh since it's so very easy. Look at the list above, hire a Realtor like that described, DO WHAT THEY TELL YOU TO DO! Yes, it's truly that simple.

As a Buyer?

Unfortunately, not quite as simple. Close, but follow these suggestions:

1) Make your list of wants/needs.
2) Expect some heartache.
3) Do what you Realtor tells you to do. Of course that's after hiring one that is like the one described in the first section.

Yep, pretty much that's it. See, Easy Peasy. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Ocwen May At Least Get Kicked Out Of California

When Short Sales were in full swing I, as a Certified Distressed Property Expert, navigated through many. Too many. And, a couple of the crappiest ones were with Ocwen. They truly only cared about the last freaking penny. I worked my butt off for them and had to take a lesser payment more often than not when it was with Ocwen.

Okay, so a personal beef, yes. 

At any rate, Ocwen has been getting a lot of grief in the last couple of years. They have been attacked for lack of correct servicing on many different occasions. Not producing documents to the big dogs in a timely manner. Stalling short sales to get more money. Their stock has gone down about 85% in the last 12 months! Rightfully so. Whoops, did I really just say that?

Anywhohow (a past client used to say that, and now I'm stuck on it too!) , Ocwen is likely going to lose it's license to operate in our lovely state. No more palm trees in their future it would appear.

This is really just an informative post.
If you have Ocwen as your mortgage servicer, clap your hands! 
You may be getting a wonderful bit of news in 2015 
and losing these losers (oh my, did I really say that too?) !

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What Do You Think Of Black Interior Doors?

Yes, I usually write about other than decor but I still have to be aware of what's one of the supposed hot new design themes.

Today I read on Houzz that painting interior doors black is quite the 'rage'. I'll make a trip to the newest housing development shortly and see if they are doing this yet!

Reasons they suggest ~

1) Makes a room more elegant.
2) Of course they accent anything else in the room that is black.
3) The color helps disguise unflattering items.
4) This one is my favorite ~ They Frame Views ~ Most definitely, and I love this pic!

(photo courtesy of their article)

5) They help pull your guests eye away from another black void in the room (think ugly old large never used fireplace).
6) They make a Home Depot/Lowe's cheap door look a bit more special.
7) It says they don't show fingerprints.....hmmmm, not sure about that one.
8) They mark a destination. Yes, when it's that bold of a color you can't help but see where you are going!
9) Oooooh, the do look great with dark floors too!
10) Instead of using a large mirror, a black door sure would have some shine to it.
11) Very good point for older homes.....They make a ceiling look taller.

How many of my readers are gonna go out and try this now??

Friday, January 9, 2015

Buyer Beware.......of TERMITES

I've been helping people in and out of homes in Southern California for over a dozen years now. That entire time we've had a Wood Destroying Pest Addendum generally part of the purchase agreement. Sometimes with the distressed properties we knew they wouldn't pay for anything so it was just left out of the contract.

The WPA stipulates at the initial offering, who is going to pay for what when it comes to anything that can destroy wood. Termites, fungus, wood-rot, and such. Houses in California are generally made out of wood & stucco so it makes sense, right?

Well, for years, there has been no big deal. Sellers pay for Section One items, any Section Two items, if buyer or lender wants it done, buyer generally pays for it.

Section one are active problems. Something destroying the wood right now. Section two are usually items that can cause a problem in the future or an old water stain that buyers lender (usually FHA or VA) wants resolved before closing escrow.

Now, that lovely addendum that all Realtors in my area are used to? It's completely gone. Not even able to add it on at all. Nope, no way, no how.

So what do you do? You have to have an agent that remembers to write in that seller is to pay for inspection, if you want an inspection. You can hopefully negotiate at the onset that the same type of terms will happen. Section one for seller, section two for buyer. If you forget, well if your Realtor forgets (or isn't savvy), you'll be working it out after the fact. Buyer will end up paying for the inspection possibly. The items that come up on the report will have to be negotiated later, just like the home inspection report findings.

A couple of things to think about. SELLERS ~ Consider doing a termite inspection before you even go into escrow. BUYERS ~ Make sure the Realtor you are working with is knowledgeable regarding this huge, could be costly, change.

Don't let this little bugger ruin your deal!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

End of Year Home Loan Rates

As a local Realtor in the Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valleys, I have to keep knowledgeable on current interest rates and loan programs. As should you.

As of the end of 2014 ~ Loan Programs and Rates:

FHA 30 Year Fixed ~ 3.75% (APR 5.32%)
VA 30 Year Fixed ~ 3.75% (APR 3.98%)
Conventional 30 Year Fixed ~ 3.875%, No Points (APR 4.14%)
Conventional 20 Year Fixed ~ 3.75% No Points (APR 4.04%)
Conventional 15 Year Fixed ~ 3.25% No Points (APR 3.53%)
7 Year Adjustable 3.5%
Jumbo 30 Year Fixed 4.0% (APR 4.23%)

Those are the standard. Rates obviously vary based upon individual applicants history, credit score, debt to income ratio, type of property being purchased, etc. Great rates, right?!?!?!

Well, those were the published rates on 12/29 TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN.  I hope to remember to do a comparable post at the end of TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN!

Friday, January 2, 2015

End Of Year MLS Awesometown And Surrounding Neighborhoods

First Post of 2015! Figured it was appropriate to indicate the tally of sales for 2014.

Neighborhoods Included In The Number Are:

~ Acton ~ Agua Dulce ~ Canyon Country ~ Saugus ~ Newhall ~ Valencia ~ 
~ Stevenson Ranch ~ Castaic ~ Val Verde  ~

Total sales closed last year were 3603. Approximately 300 per month.

Of those 399 were in the Distressed category. 
Short-Sale, Foreclosure, Auction.  About 10%.

As of today, 1/2/15, we only have 552 active listings. I'm anticipating that number will drastically increase over the next 1/4!