Nevada City Virtual Tour

Monday, January 31, 2011

California home sales hit seven-month high in December

MAKING SENSE OF THE CALIFORNIA HOMES FOR SALE STATISTICS

  • Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 520,680 units in December, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations statewide.  December's sales were up 5.9 percent from November's revised pace of 491,590 units, but were down 6.8 percent from the revised 558,840 sales pace recorded in December 2009.  The statewide sales figure is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

  • Following three consecutive monthly declines, the median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in California increased 1.7 percent from a revised $296,690 in November but was down 1.6 percent from the revised $306,860 median price recorded for the same period a year ago.

  • "December's sales increase reflects buyers taking advantage of rock bottom interest rates and improved affordability since the first half of the year, when prices were higher," said C.A.R. President Beth L. Peerce.  "Most of December's sales opened escrow in October and November.  Rates hit their absolute lowest in October but began edging higher in November, prompting buyers to get off the fence," she said.
 
 
Gary J. Tippner
REALTOR®
Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource SFR Certified  
Network Real Estate
DRE# 01871153
1-877-311-GARY Direct
1-888-965-0018 FAX
www.callgarytoday.com - Don't buy or sell - till you have read my special reports
callgarytoday@gmail.com
 
"Live the Dream that is Nevada County!"

- "Old Fashioned Service with a High Tech Touch"

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Next Robo-Signing Crisis?

NEW YORK (CNBC) -- It's the next big shoe to drop in the robo-signing foreclosure scandal. Call it part two.

We already know some banks halted foreclosure sales nationwide in October when it was discovered that servicers took short cuts, so-called "robo-signing," in the foreclosure sale process in judicial foreclosure states -- which account for about half the country.

Now it appears they may have done the same thing in a different part of the process, the Notice of Default, which takes place in the other half of the country -- i.e., the non-judicial states. Like California....

This happens before the foreclosure sale.

(Judicial foreclosures are those that are processed through the courts, whereas non-judicial foreclosures are processed without court intervention.)

A Notice of Default is the notice sent out in non-judicial foreclosure states that alerts the borrower that the official foreclosure process has begun. It is also filed with the county recorder's office and allows the notice of foreclosure sale to be published.

What's so important is that this is the process in California, Nevada and Arizona (AZ is both judicial and non-judicial), which have three of the top four foreclosure rates.

Last week an article from American Banker titled "New Point of Foreclosure Contention: Default Notice" circulated widely among the folks who follow the mortgage mess. It talked about how several lawsuits are now being filed contending that the Notice of Default process was flawed and the foreclosures therefore invalid.

As this article was circulating, a source pointed me to the fact that Notices of Default had dropped off dramatically since October, especially in California. In fact, Foreclosure Radar shows it quite clearly. Foreclosure Radar's Sean O'Toole wasn't ready to say the banks had cut off Notices of Defaults but did say that "given the issues raised, we certainly wouldn't be surprised to see a slowdown of foreclosure activity in non-judicial states."

So we contacted Bank of America(BAC), and spokesman Dan Frahm said:

"As part of our voluntary, comprehensive review of the modification and foreclosure process we launched in October of 2010, we did conduct a review of the Notice of Default process. As a result, we stopped the NOD process in the non judicial states while we completed that review and, later, implemented and tested the resulting process improvements. We announced in December our foreclosure restart -- starting with vacant and non-owner occupied properties -- and ramp up of that volume continues, as does the related NODs."

They then said they had "improved" the process, and we would see volume increase soon, if not already. "Based on the American Banker story you referenced and the notion this is the potential next issue, I feel good knowing we addressed NOD as part of our rigorous voluntary review and testing process," added Frahm.

JP Morgan Chase(JPM)is still getting back to us. Wells Fargo(WFC) tells us they did not stop NOD's.

What does it mean going forward?

"This prolonged curtailment in NOD volume will lead to fewer foreclosure completions in 2011 than forecast," notes mortgage consultant Mark Hanson. "After four months of total uncertainty over the entire foreclosure process nationwide, it will have consequences on the mortgage, housing, and related sectors."

Hanson says distressed loan pipelines are "poised to get out of control beginning in Q1."

-- Written by D i a n a   O l i c k  of CNBC
 
 
 
Here's my thought on the above, less inventory usually means higher prices and/or multiple offers on a home.
Plus interest rates cannot stay this low, that means higher monthly payments even if prices stayed the same.
Call Gary Today sooner rather than more money later.
I know every agent has always said this, but...
 
 
Gary J. Tippner
REALTOR®
Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource SFR Certified  
Network Real Estate
DRE# 01871153
1-877-311-GARY Direct
1-888-965-0018 FAX
www.callgarytoday.com - Don't buy or sell - till you have read my special reports
 
"Live the Dream that is Nevada County!"

- "Old Fashioned Service with a High Tech Touch"

Monday, January 24, 2011

On the other hand.... Foreclosure glut threatens housing recovery

Foreclosure glut threatens housing recovery



"December was a nice finish to the year, but looking at the bigger picture -- home sales and prices have been scraping along the bottom for the last three years,"
"So, while we're not digging a deeper hole -- the housing market is still quite weak, and there are still more homes available on the market than there are likely to be buyers."


Nationwide, the median price of all existing homes sold in December was $168,800, down 1% from a year ago.




Meanwhile, the inventory of homes on the market fell 4.2% in December to 3.56 million units. That's enough inventory to last 8.1 months, and is down from a 9.5-month supply in November.



While that's an improvement,the data doesn't reflect the large number of foreclosures that could soon enter on the market.



"What's hidden behind the curtain are potential foreclosures adding to those inventory levels,"
"Even as we have jobs growing, inventory is still large and more foreclosures are going to be coming on the market. ....it's going to continue to be very much a buyer's market."

Existing home sales jump 12%

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Sales of existing homes jumped in December, marking the fifth month of gains in the past six months, based on an industry report released Thursday.




Previously-owned home sales climbed 12.3% in December to an annual rate of 5.28 million, from 4.70 million in November, according to the National Association of Realtors.




That puts sales at the highest level since the homebuyer tax credit expired in June, said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group.



The December rate came in much higher than expected. A consensus of experts surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast an annualized sales rate of 4.8 million. However, sales were down 2.9% from 12 months earlier and fell 4.7% in 2010.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Foreign Investors Resume Large Purchases of U.S. Assets

 

Foreign investors stepped up their purchases of U.S. assets in November after the FOMC decided to resume its Treasury purchases. Foreign investors bought a net of $85 billion of U.S. equities, notes and bonds from an upward revised $29 billion in October. The November purchases were the most in a few months (since August). Perhaps related to QEII, foreign investors were net sellers of short-term U.S. securities, like bills and stock swaps. When these short-term instruments are taken into account, foreign investors bought $39 billion of U.S. assets, more than twice the $15 billion purchased in October.

Returning to long-term assets, private sector flows dominated. Foreign official accounts bought $4.7 billion while private sector bought $61.7 billion. U.S. residents appeared to step up their purchases of foreign assets, purchasing nearly $82 billion of long term securities.

Foreign investors purchased $13.3 billion of U.S. equities after $16 billion in October. Foreign investors also took $4.7 billion in corporate bonds from $1.1 billion in October. China seemed to reduce its Treasury bond holdings by about $11 billion. But, as we have noted, flows could go through a different financial center, like London.

 
 
Gary J. Tippner
REALTOR®
Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource SFR Certified  
Network Real Estate
DRE# 01871153
1-877-311-GARY Direct

www.callgarytoday.com - Don't buy or sell - till you have read my special reports
callgarytoday@gmail.com
 
"Live the Dream that is Nevada County!"

- "Old Fashioned Service with a High Tech Touch"




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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fannie Mae launches video on foreclosure help

Fannie Mae recently launched WaysHome, a free, interactive multi-media tool designed to educate homeowners about their options to avoid foreclosure, empower them to make informed decisions, and motivate them to take action and seek help in 2011. As part of Fannie Mae’s “Know Your Options” initiative to help struggling homeowners, the WaysHome video uses innovative technology to allow homeowners to put themselves in real-life situations, make informed choices, and immediately see the outcomes of those actions. WaysHome is available at http://flsvideo.com/assets/Ways-Home/.

The WaysHome video is set in a neighborhood that has been hurt by the foreclosure crisis. Real actors play three residents of the neighborhood – each in financial distress. Homeowners select to play one of the residents and, as their stories unfold, make important financial decisions for them and see how the consequences of these decisions play out. Fannie Mae provides helpful tips, tools and links during the process and users have the ability to go back and revise their decisions should their choices lead to a negative outcome. Most choices lead to an immediate consequence followed by a related teaching point.

For further help please contact Gary at 1-877-311-GARY

Nevada County Housing market update Jan 2010

Nevada County Housing Market

So why are prices down?

F i n a n c i n g  a n d  f e a r


Both Zillow and CoreLogic reported home prices down just over 5 percent in November year over year, and the price drops are accelerating month to month (of course this is the slowest season). While California and Arizona, with all its overbuilding and foreclosures, leads the nation in price declines, some surprising cities led the drop. Chicago home prices were down 6.6 percent, Atlanta down 6.2 percent, Philadelphia off 4 percent, according to CoreLogic. These were not exactly bubble markets, but they are seeing higher foreclosure numbers, and that is likely bringing down prices.

It is also becoming more expensive to get a loan, and that extra expense may be coming of selling prices.

So it begs the question if now is the best time to get in?

We know that foreclosure activity has taken a bit of a hiatus as the banks figure out all their procedures and refile a whole lot of paperwork.

The majority of those foreclosures though will come back to the system and hit the market in 2011. Add pent up selling demand, that is, sellers who have kept their homes off the market, waiting for a bottom, and the usual Spring additions, and we're likely to see inventories head far higher in the coming months.

Prices are likely falling again now because the only homes selling are the real bargains. Some leftovers.

If enough demand comes back in the Spring, prices could finally hit bottom.

I'm not saying they're going to come surging back with gusto, but they will stabilize.

The decision now is, do I get in and get the really great deal, or do I wait until Spring to see the new inventory being baked and perhaps have a tiny bit of competition? Obviously it's going to depend on the local market.

But it sure feels like it might be finally stabilizing at bottom. It begs the question, do I need to worry about interest rates rising (which they have) that might limit your loan amount. Yup.

And it's pretty nice to live here in Nevada County and if you have always wanted to change homes to say a nice log home, lake property, or a beautiful Victorian in Grass Valley or Nevada City, the melons ripe. Time to eat.



  

Reverse Mortgages Get Modernized and are Better than Before


Reverse Mortgages Get Modernized A reverse mortgage has long been considered a loan of last resort because of its high fees. Now, a new type of reverse mortgage is attracting the attention of more-affluent borrowers eager to extract cash from their homes. But older homeowners—and the adult children who advise them—need to be aware of the new trade-offs.
Reverse mortgages allow people age 62 or older to convert their home equity into cash. The homeowner can elect to receive a lump sum, a line of credit or monthly payments. The loan is due, with interest, when the borrower dies, moves, sells the house or fails to pay property taxes or homeowner's insurance. (With a conventional loan, such as a home-equity line of credit, a borrower can tap into a home's equity but must make monthly repayments.)

One of the biggest criticisms of reverse mortgages is their upfront fees, which can total as much as 5% of a home's value. Last fall, the Federal Housing Administration, which insures virtually all reverse mortgages, introduced the "Saver," which reduces these fees by about 40%. Lenders such as MetLife Bank, Bank of America and Wells Fargo have since begun marketing them.

To cover its potential losses on a reverse mortgage—which can occur when a home isn't worth enough to repay the loan—the FHA traditionally pockets as much as 2% of the value of the property. This "mortgage insurance premium" is typically the largest upfront charge in a regular reverse mortgage.

With the Saver, the FHA has cut this insurance premium to 0.01%. That is because homeowners who apply for a Saver are typically limited to borrowing about 80% to 90% of what they could get with a regular reverse mortgage, says Peter Bell, president of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. On a $500,000 home, for example, a 75-year-old New York resident would receive about $262,000 with a Saver, versus $331,500 with a traditional reverse mortgage, according to MetLife Bank.

The lower lending limits mean the FHA is less likely to incur a loss—allowing for a smaller insurance premium.
Waiving Fees
At the same time, many lenders are reducing or waiving other fees on all reverse mortgages, including servicing fees and the upfront "origination fee," which is generally 2% of the first $200,000 of a home's value, plus 1% of the balance up to a maximum of $6,000. (Because of projected losses on reverse mortgages issued in its current fiscal year, though, the FHA recently raised a separate mortgage-insurance premium it levies to 1.25% from 0.5%.)

One caveat: While fee reductions can be especially attractive these days on fixed-rate reverse mortgages, these generally require borrowers to take out a lump sum and pay interest on the full amount over the loan's life.
Whether a Saver makes sense for you or your parents depends on how much money you need and the amount of time your loan will remain outstanding, among other factors.

Typically, reverse mortgages are used for long-term needs, such as medical expenses. But the Saver "increases the ways in which older homeowners might use a reverse mortgage," says Barbara Stucki, vice president for home-equity initiatives at the nonprofit National Council on Aging.

For instance, a borrower paying high upfront fees "may need to stay in the home a long time before the benefits of a reverse mortgage exceed the costs," Ms. Stucki says. But with the Saver, that calculation could be different.
Matthew Gregory, an Atlanta-based reverse-mortgage consultant at Generation Mortgage, says a 68-year-old client with a $635,000 home near Dallas recently opted for a $300,000 Saver to avoid tapping his savings for a few years. "He thinks his investments are likely to appreciate by more than the housing market," Mr. Gregory says.
Lower 'Effective' Rates
The client, a retired management consultant, could do better with a Saver than a home-equity line of credit, Mr. Gregory says. The Saver's 4.01% "effective" rate—consisting of a 2.76% variable interest rate, plus a 1.25% annual fee—"compares favorably" with the 4.78% variable rate the client would pay for a home-equity line of credit, he says.

Although closing costs on the Saver are higher, the client plans to hold the reverse mortgage long enough to come out ahead thanks to the lower interest payments, Mr. Gregory says. The client also didn't want to worry about his wife being saddled with monthly loan payments if something were to happen to him.

So far, lenders say, Saver loans appear to be attracting a more-affluent borrower who likes the idea of a smaller reverse mortgage and lower fees. At MetLife Bank, for example, customers with a Saver have an average home value of about $350,000, versus $250,000 for those with regular reverse mortgages.

Still, there are downsides to Saver loans. The loan amount is smaller than that of a traditional reverse mortgage. And some lenders charge slightly higher interest rates on Savers, in part because of uncertainty over investors' interest in buying them. MetLife Bank, for example, charges 5.25% for a fixed-rate Saver, versus 5% for a standard reverse mortgage.

While "it may be appropriate to pay a higher interest rate to get a lower upfront fee," Ms. Stucki says, such a move could backfire if a borrower plans to keep the loan for a long time.

Before talking to lenders, homeowners should consult a reverse-mortgage counselor approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees the federally insured reverse mortgages that account for some 99% of the market. For more information, call 1-877-311-4279 or go to www.hud.gov.


Reprint from WSJ

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Best Nevada City Bed and Breakfasts and Inns Reviews

 
This link to TripAdvisor gives reviews and opinions of Grass Valley and Nevada City Bed and Breakfasts and Inns.
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Unique Alta Sierra Homes for Sale

Here is a link to some Unique Alta Sierra Homes for Sale


Check it out, Nice Golf Course too!

Business Resolution #1: This Year I Will Back Up My Files

Business Resolution #1: This Year I Will Back Up My Files
Prevent a costly, catastrophic loss today.
 
Did you take a lot of photos this holiday season? Parties, family dinners, new babies... just a the typical few hundred of December's memories on digital media, right? And that's not counting the ones forwarded to you by friends and family, is it?
Now imagine you turn on your computer one day this Spring and it turns out your trusty hard drive has given up the ghost. How will you recover those irreplaceable files? (Not to mention documents, PDF files, client records, and spreadsheets?)
It's going to happen. Maybe not this year, maybe not the next, but one day, your computer will betray you. When that day comes, will you mourn the time lost setting up your new system, or will you mourn the loss of your entire digital life?
Let 2011 be the year you backup your most important files to what's commonly being called "the cloud." With bandwidth speeds increasing and the cost of online data storage plummeting, there's no reason you have to suffer a catastrophic loss of your most important files when your computer dies.
Storing your files in "the cloud" basically means you upload your important files to an encrypted web server, where you can download them again when your computer crashes.
While it's true you can burn CDs and DVDs for backup, the process is slow and doesn't account for changes in the files. When you use an online service, you can often synchronize versions of files, meaning that the online backup is an accurate reflection of your system on a daily basis.

Below are three good options to explore. Both Mozy and Carbonite offer a free trial membership.

MOZY:
https://mozy.com/

CARBONITE:
http://www.carbonite.com/

S.O.S. ONLINE BACKUP: http://www.sosonlinebackup.com/


 

Nevada City Grass Valley Foreclosures Foreclosed Homes Bank Owned for Sale

Here is a link to Nevada County Bank Owned Foreclosures for Grass Valley Foreclosed Homes for Sale

Please contact Gary Tippner for anything you see or any questions you have regarding this market.

Network Real Estate Grass Valley Homes for Sale

Here is a link to Network Real Estate Grass Valley Homes for Sale

Please contact Gary Tippner for anything you see or any questions you have regarding this market.

Grass Valley Homes for Sale Real Estate

Here is a link to some of the best Grass Valley homes for sale:


Grass Valley Homes for Sale




please contact Gary J. Tippner for any questions at 1-877-311-GARY

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Difference Between Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval

The Difference Between Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval

Pre-qualification is the first step in obtaining mortgage financing. A potential borrower answers a few questions to provide the loan consultant with a quick snapshot of the borrower's income, existing debt, accumulated savings and whether or not there is a co-borrower. Signature(s) allow the loan consultant to run a credit report and begin to determine what loans are good candidates for this particular client. However, there are literally thousands of loan programs available. It is important for the loan professional to know the long-term financial objectives of the prospective homeowner.

Pre-approval is a written documentation that proves the borrower has full support of a lender. It means the form 1003 Uniform Residential Loan Application has been completed and reviewed by an underwriter. Based on the borrower's income, debt ratio and savings, the underwriter will provide a dollar amount this borrower is eligible for. Now the borrower has the convenience of shopping for a home in the price range agreed upon by the lender.

Pre-approval allows potential homeowners to shop as cash buyers, and that means negotiating power. Sellers will take an offer from a pre-approved shopper much more seriously and may even accept a lower bid because they know the financing is in place and the deal is secure.

Mortgage Rates Jump Yet Again

Bankrate: Mortgage Rates Jump Again

RISMEDIA, January 3, 2011—Mortgage rates climbed higher last week, with the average conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rising to 5.02 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.44 discount and origination points.

The average 15-year fixed mortgage increased to 4.39 percent and the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate rose to 5.64 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages also went up, with the average 5-year ARM rising to 4 percent and the average 7-year ARM reaching 4.43 percent.

The last time mortgage rates were above 6 percent was Nov. 2008. At that time, the average rate was 6.33 percent, meaning a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,241.86. With the average rate now 5.02 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,076.09, a savings of $166 per month for a homeowner refinancing now.

Survey Results
30-year fixed: 5.02% -- up from 4.96% last week (avg. points: 0.44)
15-year fixed: 4.39% -- up from 4.29% last week (avg. points: 0.4)
5/1 ARM: 4.00% -- up from 3.92% last week (avg. points: 0.45)

Buy Now to pay less per month!

http://www.callgarytoday.com

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