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In a recent report I received from REALTOR magazine an attorney spoke about banks coming after homeowners in foreclosures and short sales.  In high foreclosure states like California where Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties in just the Southern part of the state have been highly affected by foreclosure this is information that can’t be ignored and I want to share this information with you here.

Some lenders are seeking action against homeowners who have walked away from their mortgages in foreclosure and some short sales.  Some states allow for 2 action foreclosures. California is NOT one of them we are a 1 action state.  What that means is that the banks have 1 of 2 options against a homeowner in a foreclosure situation; they can either do a regular foreclosure or a judicial action.  States that allow 2 steps is that the lender can foreclose on the homeowner and THEN seek further action for damages they suffer in the foreclosure and seek remedy for that.  Example…. House is foreclosed on, about 3 months later when it sells it sells for less than what was owed on the mortgage and then the lender hires an attorney to go after the foreclosed homeowner for the remaining amount that is owed on the mortgage.

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If you are looking to sell or purchase quality vintage mid century furniture, you’ve got to stop and check out OCMODERN. Our friends who have purchased several pieces of furniture there have suggested this site to Sarah and I, after we expressed our quest for a Danish modern credenza. Located in Long Beach, Josh & Laurie Zimber have showcased all their furniture and accessories for sale in their very own home. If you are a Danish modern enthusiast, admiring the furniture designs of Herman Miller, Saarinen, Hans Wegner, Arne Vodder, FinnJuhl, along with an array of mid-century accessories, then stop by their website or their store/home location and you will not be disappointed.

(Pictured above is a Classic danishmodern Teak Dining Set w/ 6 chairs, $1,350)

Short Sale Sellers Need To Guard Against “Double Whammy” By Bank and I.R.S. by Bob Hunt

Short-sale sellers and their agents have plenty to think about, and it is understandable if they are annoyed by the reams of paperwork that may come their way. Nonetheless, it really is important not only to pay attention to what is in the paperwork but also to be sure to retain it for possible future use. This is because of bad consequences that the seller may experience sometime after the sale has taken place.

Click here for full article.

Having a “Baby On Board” at some of our showing appointments has been easier than anticipated. Sarah and I are very appreciative that our existing clients have been very graceful towards us in this transitional time with our new addition. Elijah has already helped our clients put a property in Escrow. LOL!

–Posted by my iPhone

Here’s a very informative article in regards to FHA 203k loan rehab guidelines & requirements:

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), administers various single family mortgage insurance programs. These programs operate through FHA-approved lending institutions which submit applications to have the property appraised and have the buyer’s credit approved. These lenders fund the mortgage loans which the Department insures. HUD does not make direct loans to help people buy homes.

The FHA 203k loan program is the Department’s primary program for the rehabilitation and repair of single family properties. Basically a home improvement loan. As such, it is an important tool for community and neighborhood revitalization and for expanding homeownership opportunities. Since these are the primary goals of HUD, the Department believes that FHA 203k loan is an important program and they intend to continue to strongly support the program and the lenders that participate in it.

Lenders have successfully used the FHA 203k loan program in partnership with state and local housing agencies and nonprofit organizations to rehabilitate properties. These lenders, along with state and local government agencies, have found ways to combine the FHA 203k loan with other financial resources, such as HUD’s HOME, HOPE, and Community Development Block Grant Programs, to assist borrowers. Several state housing finance agencies have designed programs, specifically for use with FHA 203k loan and some lenders have also used the expertise of local housing agencies and nonprofit organizations to help manage the rehabilitation processing.

HUD also believes that the FHA 203k loan program is an excellent means for lenders to demonstrate their commitment to lending in lower income communities and to help meet their responsibilities under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). HUD is committed to increasing homeownership opportunities for families in these communities and Section 203(k) is an excellent product for use with CRA-type lending programs.

FHA 203K Loan – How the Program Can Be Used:

This program can be used to accomplish rehabilitation and/or improvement of an existing one-to-four unit dwelling in one of three ways:

· To purchase a dwelling and the land on which the dwelling is located and rehabilitate it.

· To purchase a dwelling on another site, move it onto a new foundation on the mortgaged property and rehabilitate it.

· To refinance existing indebtedness and rehabilitate a dwelling;

To purchase a dwelling and the land on which the dwelling is located and rehabilitate it, and to refinance existing indebtedness and rehabilitate such a dwelling, the mortgage must be a first lien on the property and the loan proceeds (other than rehabilitation funds) must be available before the rehabilitation begins.

To purchase a dwelling on another site, move it onto a new foundation and rehabilitate it, the mortgage must be a first lien on the property; however, loan proceeds for the moving of the house cannot be made available until the unit is attached to the new foundation.

For more information, go to:

–Posted from my iPhone

The July 2009 median price rose 3.9 percent compared with June’s $274,740 median price…Sales in July 2009 increased 8.1 percent compared with the previous month. The market has been so crazy that I haven’t been able to keep up with this dusty blog. Enjoy the stats. -Richard

Quick Facts:

· Existing, single-family home sales increased 12 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted rate of 553,910 on an annualized basis.
· The statewide median price of an existing single-family home increased 3.9 percent in July to
$285,480, compared with June 2009.
· C.A.R.’s Unsold Inventory Index fell to 3.9 months in July, compared with 6.9 months in July 2008.

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 25) – Home sales increased 12 percent in July in California compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home declined 19.6 percent, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today.

“The federal tax credit for first-time buyers played a critical role in the purchase decision of many buyers,” said C.A.R. President James Liptak. “Nearly 40 percent of first-time buyers said they would not have purchased a home if the tax credit was not offered.

“Because the tax credit has helped so many first-time buyers become homeowners, it is critical that Congress extends the credit beyond the Dec. 1 deadline, and includes all buyers, not just first-timers.”

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 553,910 in July at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations statewide. Statewide home resale activity increased 12 percent from the revised 494,390 sales pace recorded in July 2008. Sales in July 2009 increased 8.1 percent compared with the previous month.

The statewide sales figure represents what the total number of homes sold during 2009 would be if sales maintained the July pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

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C.A.R.’s “2009 Survey of California Home Buyers” Highlights

Favorable home prices, record-low interest rates, and the belief that rates will rise in the near future were the primary motivators leading home buyers to purchase in 2009 compared with last year, according C.A.R.’s “2009 Survey of California Home Buyers,” released this week.

68% of buyers said price decreases motivated them to buy a home, while 39% reported low interest rates helped them move to a better location.

23% claimed the likelihood that rates will move up as the motivating factor.

“After back-to-back years of sharp declines, home sales in California rebounded in 2008 and early 2009,” said C.A.R. President James Liptak. “The increase reflected the combination of favorable prices, low mortgage rates, and home buyer tax credits, fueled primarily by sales of distressed properties that accounted for more than half of the state’s transactions.

Housing affordability has improved dramatically in response to the decline in home prices along with historically low mortgage rates, creating a tremendous opportunity for home buyers in California.”

49% of all buyers purchased a home through a traditional market sale, while 38% purchased a REO/bank-owned property, according to the survey.

Reflecting the difficulty in closing short sales — properties selling for less than the loan amount — only 13% of buyers purchased a short-sale property.

Home buyers who purchased a REO or bank-owned property experienced the highest level of difficulty in obtaining financing, compared with a more traditional transaction.

They rated the level of difficulty as 8.9 (on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 representing the greatest level of difficulty in obtaining financing) compared with a 7.7 for home buyers with a traditional market sale and 7.6 for short-sale home buyers.


You’re going to say – Oh so that’s what Mello-Roos is! After reading this great article Todd & Charmaine wrote on Mello-Roos make sure you pass it on.  -RR

What Exactly is Mello-Roos? by Todd Foust and Charmaine Ngo
California Home Buying Information

Many prospective homebuyers in California are becoming increasingly aware of the term Mello-Roos when looking to purchase new and used homes. For those that are unfamiliar, Mello-Roos is simply a special tax assessed to homeowners in a community as repayment for bonds used to fund the infrastructure within their community. To home buyers, Mello-Roos often carries a negative connotation, one where the monthly payment for a home will be significantly more than one in a non Mello-Roos community. But is this a fair assessment? We will attempt to answer this question in order to educate any potential homebuyers about Mello-Roos.

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Here’s an easy read commentary on inflation & real estate I enjoyed this morning. The Four Horseman of Real Estate. Animated articulation.  -RR

Inflation on the Horizon? by Dennis Torres
As the government prints trillions of dollars, currency may become devalued.

About three years ago, I was invited to sit on a panel of real estate experts at a conference organized by Pepperdine University’s business school. I spoke of an impending housing market collapse, citing my belief that we would soon see home values decline 35 percent to 40 percent.

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