Thursday, July 29, 2010

California Home & Loan Headlines


Sacramento Bee

Home prices rise despite fewer sales

Following the expiration of the federal home buyers tax credit, sales of existing, single-family homes in California declined 4.2 percent during the month of June compared with the prior year, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) June sales and price report. Meanwhile, the median price of existing homes in California rose 13.6 percent on a year-to-year basis to $311,950. The median price is the point at which half of the homes on the market sell for more and half for less.


• Although the median home price in California rose in June on a year-to-year basis, in month-to-month comparisons the median price declined 3.8 percent, according to C.A.R.’s report. Despite the slight decline in month-to-month home sales, California’s housing market continues to recover at a quicker pace than the national housing market. Nationwide, home sales declined 5 percent in June and the median price rose only 1 percent, according to a report from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR).

• C.A.R. expects home sales to be lower in the second half of the year because of the absence of the federal home buyers tax credit, but sales should remain above the long-run average and be significantly higher than the trough in 2007.

• According to C.A.R. President Steve Goddard, “It’s important to keep in mind that home prices are substantially below their peaks and interest rates remain at historic lows, making this a very affordable time for many first-time buyers to purchase a home of their own.”

• Home prices continued to post modest gains in June, due in large part to the lean inventory of homes for sale in many regions of the state. C.A.R.’s Unsold Inventory Index slightly rose to 4.8 months in June compared with 4.6 months in May and 4.2 months in June 2009. However, inventory remains well below the long-run average of a 7.1-month supply. The index indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.

To read the full story, please click here:

In Other News…

clip_image004 Los Angeles Times

Credit rescoring can help you qualify for a mortgage

Rapid rescorings by independent, legitimate firms use procedures approved by the three major credit bureaus and can help correct errors or omissions that are dragging down your scores.

To read the full story, please click here:,0,7390703.story



Los Angeles Times

Sellers should ensure that condo projects are on approved list for FHA mortgages Condominium owners who are trying to sell in today’s agonizingly slow housing market should make sure that their community is on the Federal Housing Administration’s approved list. Ditto for someone who is thinking about refinancing a condo.

To read the full story, please click here:,0,7727492.story



Wall Street Journal

Mortgage delinquencies fall in June, still near record high

Some 9.39 percent of all loans were 30 days or more past due, down from 9.54 percent in May, according to LPS Applied Analytics, which tracks loan data. An additional 3.69 percent of mortgages were in some stage of foreclosure, down from 3.72 percent in May and the record high of 3.81 percent in March.

To read the full story, please click here: highs/



Los Angeles Times

Home prices tick up 4.6 percent in May

Home prices in 20 major U.S. cities gained in May, according to data released Tuesday, boosted by the effects of federal tax credits that have now expired.

To read the full story, please click here:,0,7277846.story



San Diego Union-Tribune

Consumer confidence falls to lowest since February

Americans’ confidence in the economy eroded further in July amid worries about a still-stagnant job market. The report raised concerns about the overall economy and the back-to-school season.

To read the full story, please click here: february/



Wall Street Journal

The threat of “sidelined” home sellers

How many homeowners have been sitting on the sidelines during the housing downturn, waiting for massive price plunges to pass? The prospect of home-price stabilization is raising that question in some of the nation’s housing markets, say real-estate agents, who report an uptick in listings from “sidelined” sellers testing the waters.

To read the full story, please click here:



Americans tap $8.3 billion in home equity, least in a decade

Americans in the second quarter tapped the smallest amount of home equity in a decade, showing households are focused on repairing tattered finances.

To read the full story, please click here: quarter-least-in-decade.html



Wall Street Journal

Doubling down on housing

The housing crash has left at least 11 million people in the unenviable position of owing more on their homes than they are worth—and many more millions with properties worth far less than they paid for them.

To read the full story, please click here:

What you should know about the market

• Federal foreclosure-prevention programs have been expanded to encourage delinquent borrowers to avoid foreclosure by streamlining the short-sale process. In the new program, participating lenders now are required to advise eligible sellers of the minimum amount they will accept for the short sale prior to the house being listed for sale. If the seller secures an offer for the agreed price and meets the lender’s terms of the short sale, the lender must approve the proposed sale within 10 days.

• Another component of the new streamlined process requires the property to be listed with a licensed real estate professional who works in the community where the property is located. However, homeowners should be aware that because short sales require the bank to accept an amount less than the amount due on the mortgage, lenders may not approve a short sale, even if the price is comparable to recent sales in the neighborhood.


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Barbara Whisenant

A Division of Richard Realty Groups, Inc 6986 El Camino Real, Ste. H, Carlsbad, CA. 92009                     Office Line: (760) 603-8377 Ext 311    Cell: (760) 583-2107

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Navigating Short Sales: What to Do When the Sale Price Leaves You Short

If you're thinking of selling your home, and you expect that the total amount you owe on your mortgage will be greater than the selling price of your home, you may be facing a short sale. A short sale is one where the net proceeds from the sale won't cover your total mortgage obligation and closing costs, and you don't have other sources of money to cover the deficiency. A short sale is different from a foreclosure, which is when your lender takes title of your home through a lengthy legal process and then sells it.

1. Consider loan modification first. If you are thinking of selling your home because of financial difficulties and you anticipate a short sale, first contact your lender to see if it has any programs to help you stay in your home. Your lender may agree to a modification such as:

· Refinancing your loan at a lower interest rate

· Providing a different payment plan to help you get caught up

· Providing a forbearance period if your situation is temporary

When a loan modification still isn’t enough to relieve your financial problems, a short sale could be your best option if

· Your property is worth less than the total mortgage you owe on it.

· You have a financial hardship, such as a job loss or major medical bills.

· You have contacted your lender and it is willing to entertain a short sale.

2. Hire a qualified team. The first step to a short sale is to hire a qualified real estate professional* and a real estate attorney who specialize in short sales. Interview at least three candidates for each and look for prior short-sale experience. Short sales have proliferated only in the last few years, so it may be hard to find practitioners who have closed a lot of short sales. You want to work with those who demonstrate a thorough working knowledge of the short-sale process and who won't try to take advantage of your situation or pressure you to do something that isn't in your best interest.

A qualified real estate professional can:

· Provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA) or broker price opinion (BPO).

· Help you set an appropriate listing price for your home, market the home, and get it sold.

· Put special language in the MLS that indicates your home is a short sale and that lender approval is needed (all MLSs permit, and some now require, that the short-sale status be disclosed to potential buyers).

· Ease the process of working with your lender or lenders.

· Negotiate the contract with the buyers.

· Help you put together the short-sale package to send to your lender (or lenders, if you have more than one mortgage) for approval. You can’t sell your home without your lender and any other lien holders agreeing to the sale and releasing the lien so that the buyers can get clear title.

3. Begin gathering documentation before any offers come in. Your lender will give you a list of documents it requires to consider a short sale. The short-sale “package” that accompanies any offer typically must include

· A hardship letter detailing your financial situation and why you need the short sale

· A copy of the purchase contract and listing agreement

· Proof of your income and assets

· Copies of your federal income tax returns for the past two years

4. Prepare buyers for a lengthy waiting period. Even if you're well organized and have all the documents in place, be prepared for a long process. Waiting for your lender’s review of the short-sale package can take several weeks to months. Some experts say:

· If you have only one mortgage, the review can take about two months.

· With a first and second mortgage with the same lender, the review can take about three months.

· With two or more mortgages with different lenders, it can take four months or longer.

Reprinted from REALTOR® magazine ( with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.


Barbara Whisenant

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