Nevada City Virtual Tour

Friday, July 27, 2012

Screens Used to Lower Electricity Bills





In Japan, Screens Used to Lower Electricity Bills
—Screens and shades placed on the outside of windows have been gaining popularity as people expect they will reduce indoor heat and help push down their electricity bills for the summer quite a bit. Pretty simple. Time to go to Home Depot.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Trend In Ultra-Luxury Homes




New Trend In Ultra-Luxury Homes... RENTALS! | $100,000 Per Month Homes For Rent
There simply aren't enough buyers for all the downsizing baby-boomers to sell their previous 'dream homes' to. So, rent them!





Gary Tippner is Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certified and a Relocation Specialist

Call 1-877-311-GARY
"One Eight Seven Seven Three Eleven... Gary"

Friday, July 20, 2012

New Build Home Sales Higher Than Expected!






Great Housing News: New Build Home Sales Higher Than Expected!
The housing bottom is here (expect the market to be 'bottoming over the next 6-12 months). Fence sitting buyers need to realize that NOW is the time to buy.. .





Gary Tippner is Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certified and a Relocation Specialist

Call 1-877-311-GARY
"One Eight Seven Seven Three Eleven... Gary"

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

May Pending Home Sales Increase | Potential 10% Home Value Appreciation in 2013






May Pending Home Sales Increase | Potential 10% Home Value Appreciation in 2013
"If housing starts do not rise in a meaningful way over the next two years due to the difficulty in getting construction loans, and barring an unexpected shift in the economy, the steady shedding of inventory could lead to shortages where home prices could get bid up close to 10 percent in 2013".



Gary Tippner is Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certified and a Relocation Specialist

Call 1-877-311-GARY
"One Eight Seven Seven Three Eleven... Gary"

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sales Finally Poised to Improve





Harvard: Sales Finally Poised to Improve


Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies released its
annual State of the Nation's Housing report for 2012 recently. The
report points to the increasingly strong market fundamentals and says
home sales really could see serious improvement this year. The main
weakness is tepid job growth.







Gary Tippner is Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certified and a Relocation Specialist


Call 1-877-311-GARY
"One Eight Seven Seven Three Eleven... Gary"
http://www.callgarytoday.com

Saturday, July 14, 2012

California home sales have accelerated sharply in May




In an article written by Alejandro Lazo and Laura Hautala, they state Southern California home sales have accelerated sharply in May and prices have improved for the second consecutive month, mirroring a national trend and providing fresh evidence that housing is recovering from its five-year slump.

The number of homes sold soared 21% compared with a year ago, while the median price jumped 5.4%.  Activity was particularly robust for homes prices above $300,000, a sign that the long-dormant move-up market could be coming out of its slumber, according to real estate research firm DataQuick.

Several factors are driving the rebound, including bargain-basement mortgage rates, a slowly improving economy and a growing consensus that housing prices are at or near bottom, so says DataQuick.

Laguna Niguel mortgage broker Jeff Lazerson is also experiencing the crush.  He has written 50 loans in June, well above his usual pace.  This year he has hired two full-time employees and plans on hiring another.  He is looking for new office space.  “I have never had the deluge I am having now in 25 years,” Lazerson said. “I am bulging at the seams.”  Lazerson said he was particularly encouraged by the rise in clients with equity in their houses.  Many experts have seen the return of the move-up market as critical to getting real estate back on firmer footing.

Sandi Pfister, a real estate agent with South Bay Brokers, said the competition for homes in the cities of Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach has intensified this year.  “Holy cow,” she said, “One property got 30 offers, a property on Monday got 10 or 12 offers.”







Gary Tippner is Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certified 
Relocation Specialist ~ Luxury Specialist


Call 1-877-311-GARY
"One Eight Seven Seven Three Eleven... Gary"
http://www.callgarytoday.com

Friday, July 13, 2012

California Homeowner Bill of Rights Becomes Law





California Homeowner Bill of Rights Becomes LawAll eyes in the nation now turn to California as Governor Jerry Brown signed into law today the Homeowner Bill of Rights to help struggling Californians keep their homes. This law aims to avoid foreclosure where possible to help stabilize California's housing market and prevent the other negative effects of foreclosures on families, communities, and the economy. The new law will generally prohibit lenders from engaging in dual tracking, require a single point of contact for borrowers seeking foreclosure prevention alternatives, provide borrowers with certain safeguards during the foreclosure process, and provide borrowers with the right to sue lenders for material violations of this law.
The following is a summary of the key provisions of the Homeowner Bill of Rights that may affect California's REALTORS® and their clients. The full text of this law, also known as Assembly Bill 278 and Senate Bill 900, is available at www.leginfo.ca.gov.
Applicability of the Law: This law will generally come into effect on January 1, 2013. It only pertains to first trust deeds secured by owner-occupied properties with one-to-four residential units, unless otherwise indicated below. "Owner-occupied" means the property is the principal residence of the borrower and secured by a loan made for personal, family, or household purposes (CC 2924.15). A "borrower" under this law must generally be a natural person and potentially eligible for a foreclosure prevention alternative program offered by the mortgage servicer, but not someone who has filed bankruptcy, surrendered the secured property, or contracted with an organization primarily engaged in the business of advising people how to extend the foreclosure process and avoid their contractual obligations (CC 2920.5(c)). A "foreclosure prevention alternative" is defined as a first lien loan modification or another available loss mitigation option, including short sales (CC 2920.5(b)). Some of the requirements of this law do not apply to "smaller banks" that, during the preceding annual reporting period, foreclosed on 175 or fewer properties with one-to-four residential units (CC 2924.18(b)).

No Dual Tracking During Short Sale: A mortgage servicer or lender cannot record a notice of default or notice of sale, or conduct a trustee's sale, if a foreclosure prevention alternative has been approved in writing by all parties (e.g., first lien investor, junior lienholder, and mortgage insurer as applicable), and proof of funds or financing has been provided to the servicer. This requirement expires on January 1, 2018. Effective January 1, 2018, a lender or mortgage servicer cannot record a notice of sale or conduct a trustee's sale if the borrower's complete application for a foreclosure prevention alternative is pending, and until the borrower has been given a written determination by the mortgage servicer. Smaller banks are only covered by the requirements taking effect in 2018. CC 2924.11.

Cancelling a Pending Trustee's Sale: A mortgage servicer must rescind or cancel any pending trustee's sale if a short sale has been approved by all parties  (e.g., first lien investor, junior lienholder, and mortgage insurer as applicable), and proof of funds or financing has been provided to the lender or authorized agent. For other types of foreclosure prevention alternatives, a lender must record a rescission of a notice of default or cancel a pending trustee's sale if a borrower executes a permanent foreclosure prevention alternative. These requirements do not apply to smaller banks, and will sunset on January 1, 2018. CC 2924.11.

Providing a Single Point of Contact: For a borrower requesting a foreclosure prevention alternative, the mortgage servicer must, upon the borrower's request, promptly establish and provide a direct means of communication with a single point of contact. The single point of contact must remain assigned to the borrower's account until all loss mitigation options offered by the mortgage servicer are exhausted or the borrower's account becomes current. The single point of contact must be an individual or team responsible for, among other things, coordinating the application for the foreclosure prevention alternative, giving timely and accurate status reports, having access to those with the ability and authority to stop foreclosure proceedings, and referring the borrower to a supervisor if any upon the borrower's request. Each team member must be knowledgeable about a borrower's situation and current status in the foreclosure alternatives process. These requirements do not apply to smaller banks as defined. CC 2923.7.

No Dual Tracking During Loan Modification: A mortgage servicer generally cannot record a notice of default, notice of sale, or conduct a trustee's sale for a nonjudicial foreclosure if the borrower’s complete application for a first lien loan modification is pending as specified, or if a borrower is in compliance with the terms of a written trial or permanent loan modification, forbearance, or repayment plan. The borrower will have 30 days to appeal the denial of a loan modification, and the mortgage service cannot proceed with the above foreclosure steps until 31 days after giving the borrower a written denial of a loan modification, or longer if the borrower appeals the denial. To prevent abuse of this provision, however, a mortgage servicer is not obligated to evaluate a first lien loan modification application from a borrower who has previously been evaluated before 2013, or given a fair opportunity to be evaluated, unless the borrower submits a documented material change in the borrower's financial circumstances. These specific requirements expire on January 1, 2018 at which time, as stated above, a lender or mortgage servicer will be prohibited from recording a notice of sale or conducting a trustee’s sale if the borrower’s complete application for a foreclosure prevention alternative is pending, and until the borrower has been given a written determination by the mortgage servicer. Smaller banks are only covered under the requirements commencing in 2018. CC 2923.6 and 2924.11.

No Late Fees or Application Fees: A mortgage servicer cannot collect any late fees while a complete first lien loan modification application is under consideration, a denial is being appealed, the borrower is making timely modification payments, or a foreclosure prevention alternative is being evaluated or exercised. A mortgage servicer is also prohibited from charging for any application, processing, or other fee for a first lien loan modification or other foreclosure prevention alternative. These requirements do not apply to smaller banks as defined. These requirements will sunset on January 1, 2018. CC 2924.11.

Additional Loan Modification Safeguards: Until January 1, 2018, a mortgage servicer must provide written acknowledgment of receipt within five business days of a borrower's submission of a complete first lien modification application or any document in connection with a first lien modification application. The acknowledgement of receipt must provide a description of the loan modification process, including an estimated timeframe for the mortgage servicer to decide, other timeframes, and any deficiencies in the borrower's application. CC 2924.10. Furthermore, effective January 1, 2013 with no expiration date, if a first lien loan modification is denied, a mortgage service must send a written notice to the borrower with the reasons for denial and additional information as specified. On January 1, 2018, the required content of the denial letter will change to comport with other changes that will take effect. Smaller banks need not comply with these requirements until January 1, 2018. CC 2923.6 and 2924.11.

Binding if Loan is Transferred: Any written approval for a foreclosure prevention alternative shall be honored by a subsequent mortgage servicer in the event the borrower's loan is transferred or sold. This requirement does not apply to smaller banks. This requirement will expire on January 1, 2018. CC 2924.11.

Lender Required to Review Foreclosure Documents: No entity can record a notice of default or otherwise initiate the foreclosure process, except for the holder of the beneficial interest under the deed of trust, an authorized designated agent of the holder of the beneficial interest, or the original or substituted trustee under the deed of trust. Furthermore, a mortgage servicer must ensure that certain foreclosure documents are accurate and complete, and supported by competent and reliable evidence. Those foreclosure documents are the initial contact declaration, notice of default, notice of sale, assignment of deed of trust, substitution of trustee, and declarations and affidavits filed in a judicial foreclosure proceeding. A mortgage servicer must, before recording or filing these documents, review competent and reliable evidence substantiating a borrower’s default and the right to foreclose. The above provisions have no expiration date. However, until January 1, 2018, any mortgage servicer who engages in multiple and repeated uncorrected violations of its obligation to review foreclosure documents shall be liable for a civil penalty up to $7,500 per deed of trust in an action brought by the Attorney General, district attorney, or city attorney, or in an administrative proceeding brought by the DRE, DOC, or DFI against a respective licensee (see below for a borrower's legal remedies). These provisions apply to all trust deeds, regardless of occupancy or number of units. CC 2924(a)(6) and 2924.17.

Extending Initial Contact Requirement: Existing law requiring a lender to contact a borrower 30 days before initiating foreclosure has been modified as well as extended with no expiration date. Originally set to expire on January 1, 2013, this provision generally prohibits a mortgage servicer or lender from recording a notice of default until 30 days after the lender or mortgage servicer contacts the borrower in person or by telephone to assess the borrower's financial situation and explore options for avoiding foreclosure. During the initial contact, the mortgage servicer must advise the borrower of the right to request a subsequent meeting within 14 days, and provide a toll-free number to find a HUD-certified housing counseling agency. Any meeting may occur telephonically. Instead of directly contacting the borrower, a mortgage servicer can satisfy due diligence requirements in the manner specified. A notice of default must include a declaration that the mortgage servicer has complied with or is exempt from this initial contact requirement. An existing requirement for a declaration in the notice of sale will be eliminated. Until January 1, 2013, this law generally applies to loans made from 2003 to 2007 secured by owner-occupied residential properties with one-to-four units, whereas starting January 1, 2013, this law will generally apply to first trust deeds secured by owner-occupied residential properties with one-to-four units. CC 2923.5 and 2923.55.

Notifying Borrower Before NOD: A mortgage servicer cannot record a notice of default for a nonjudicial foreclosure until the mortgage servicer informs the borrower of the borrower’s right to: (1) request copies of the promissory note, deed of trust, payment history, and assignment of loan if any to demonstrate the mortgage servicer's right to foreclose; and (2) certain protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act if the borrower is a service member or dependent. This requirement does not pertain to smaller banks as defined. This requirement expires on January 1, 2018. CC 2923.55.

Notifying Borrower After NOD: Within 5 business days after recording a notice of default, a mortgage servicer must generally send a written notice to the borrower on how to apply for the mortgage servicer’s foreclosure prevention alternatives if any. This notice is not required if the borrower has previously exhausted the first lien loan modification process offered by the mortgage servicer as specified. This requirement does not apply to smaller banks as defined. This requirement shall sunset on January 1, 2018. CC 2924.9.

Postponing a Trustee's Sale: Whenever a trustee’s sale is postponed for at least 10 business days, the lender or authorized agent must provide written notice of the new sale date and time to the borrower within five business days after the postponement. However, any failure to comply with this requirement will not invalidate any trustee's sale that would otherwise be valid. This requirement applies to all trust deeds, regardless of occupancy or number of units. This requirement shall sunset on January 1, 2018. CC 2924(a)(5).

Legal Remedies for Borrowers: A borrower may generally bring a private right of action to enjoin or stop a trustee's sale until the mortgage servicer has corrected certain material violations of this law. If a trustee’s deed has already been recorded, the borrower may recover actual monetary damages for certain material violations. For intentional and reckless violations by the mortgage servicer, the borrower may recover treble actual damages or $50,000, whichever is greater. A prevailing borrower who is awarded relief under this provision can also recover reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. Certain violations by a person licensed by the DRE, DOC, or DFI are deemed violations of that person's licensing laws. These provisions do not apply to smaller banks until 2018. CC 2924.12. C.A.R. opposed this provision because of our concern for bad faith claims, but the Legislature was not convinced.

Lender's Standard of Care to Investors: The Legislature intends for a mortgage servicer to offer the borrower a loan modification or workout plan in accordance with the mortgage servicer's contractual or other authority. Any duty a mortgage servicer has to maximize net present value under a pooling and servicing agreement is owed to all investors, not any particular investor. A mortgage servicer will be deemed as acting in the best interest of all investor if it implements a loan modification or workout plan in accordance with certain specified parameters. CC 2923.6.



Gary Tippner is Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certified
 Relocation Specialist ~ Luxury Specialist


Call 1-877-311-GARY
"One Eight Seven Seven Three Eleven... Gary"
http://www.callgarytoday.com

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Nevada City News and Events


















Nevada City News & Events

Summer Nights in Nevada City Starts July 11





The Annual Summer Nights in Nevada City celebration, an outdoor festival of art and music, will be held three Wednesday evenings, July 11, 18, and 25, 2012 in this colorful Northern Sierra foothills town.
Spend your hot summer nights on the streets of Nevada City celebrating the 22nd annual Summer Nights. Wednesday evenings in July are a vacation for the entire family, with bands playing on special stages while children whoop it up on a Bouncy Castle and Pony rides. With free nightly events throughout our downtown historic district, attendees are certain to find something to entertain and delight them.
During Summer Nights, Nevada City’s landmark historic district is closed to motorized traffic and filled with arts, crafts, classic cars, food, drink and music. Leading Sierra foothills musicians perform on outdoor stages throughout the downtown area. Hours are 6-9:30 p.m. There is no admission charge.
Three Wednesday nights in July — the best FREE entertainment for the whole family!
For more information to nevadacitychamber.com

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“The Music Man” Runs July 12 thru August 4
This summer, fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill is coming to town in everyone’s favorite musical – Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” – playing for four weekends only from July 12 through August 4, 2012 at the historic Nevada Theatre in Nevada City. Presented by award-winning community theatre group Sierra Stages, “The Music Man” is directed by Jeffrey Mason, with musical direction by Ken Getz and dance direction by George Jayne.
Friends, River City has Trouble with a capital “T”. It’s July 1912 – exactly 100 years ago – and there’s a new pool table in town. Just in the nick of time, Harold Hill arrives with a solution to the pool table: Form a boys’ band with sparkling instruments and brand new band uniforms! The local piano teacher and librarian, Marian Paroo, sees through the “Professor” from the start, but this music man slowly wins her over as he transforms the entire town, and in the process transforms himself into an honest man.
Where better to enjoy this valentine to small-town America than Nevada City, with its 19th century mining town architecture and quaint downtown commercial district. Don’t miss “The Music Man” and such classic Broadway songs as “76 Trombones”, “Ya Got Trouble”, “Marian the Librarian”, “My White Knight”, “The Wells Fargo Wagon”, “Shipoopi”, “Till There Was You” and many, many more.
This Sierra Stages production of “The Music Man” features a cast of 33 local actors, headed by Erick Lindley as Harold Hill and Dawn Simmons as Marian.  The set design is by Pamela Mengers Hodges, costume design is by Sharon Olson and lighting design is by Zac Cahoon.
Tickets are available online at www.SierraStages.org, by calling Sierra Stages at 530-346-3210, and in person at the Nevada City Box Office (at the Miners Foundry) and BriarPatch Co-op.

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Last Chance to VOTE Nevada City “Best Town Ever”!Each year, Outside Magazine scours the nation to find those dream cities that offer a balance of great culture, perfect scenery, stress-free and reasonable cost of living, and, of course, easy access to the outdoors. This year, for it’s 35th Anniversary issue October, Outside is calling on the public to help select the best one ever from a pool of ten finalists in their Best Town Ever Facebook app.
To select the finalists, Outside partnered with the non-profit American Rivers to find great places to live that have the usual dreamy quality-of-living criteria and also an active recreational engagement with nearby waterways-kayaking, fishing, boating, walking and bike paths, and riverfront parks – and a positive environment story.
The winning town will receive the official honor of Outside’s “Best Town in America” and will be featured in the October 2012 magazine cover, and on Outside online.
The towns nominated include – Hood River, OR; Missoula, MT; Boise, ID;Nevada City, CA; Durango, CO; Ithaca, NY; Milwaukee, WI; Richmond, VA; Nashville, TN; Asheville, NC.
Voting officially begins at 12:00am EDT June 12, 2012 and ends at 11:59PM EDT July 9, 2012.
Visit www.facebook.com/outsidemagazine to vote or join “Vote Nevada City the Best Town Ever” page on Facebook!
Let’s win this!
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Nevada City Uncorked Aug 4
The Nevada City Chamber of Commerce and the Sierra Vintners are proud to announce their second annual Nevada City Uncorked,
August 4, 2012
 from 1-5pm in historic downtown Nevada City. With nearly 20+ wineries and food vendors plus over 500 attendees from neighboring Foothill communities, we expect this event to be even better than last year.
Locations will be set up all within walking distance on Spring, Pine, Broad and Commercial Streets. Attendees will be encouraged to visit local businesses, chat with merchants, and learn the history of our charming town while enjoying a sampling of local Foothill wines and food. From vintage cabs and beautiful chardonnays to delicious crepes and creative California cuisine, there will be something for everyone.
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE CLICK HERE

Renters Are Willing to Sacrifice







What Renters Are Willing to Sacrifice for a Home

So what are they willing to sacrifice in order to save for purchasing their dream home? The survey finds: 
  • 50 percent would cut back on dining out. 
  • 49 percent would trim their shopping for non-essential items, such as clothing, gadgets, and accessories. 
  • 47 percent would give up luxuries, such as expensive cable packages and trips to the salon. 
  • 39 percent would cut back on vacations.
  • 10 percent would contribute less to their 401(k).
Why are these non-home owners so willing to make such sacrifices now? The survey finds that record-low mortgage rates and appealing home prices are making them want to act faster toward home ownership. 
“For those who are currently renting, purchasing a home is especially attractive right now,” says Gary TIppner. "In fact, home affordability reached a new all-time high for the first quarter of 2012.”

Gary Tippner is Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certified and a Relocation Specialist

Call 1-877-311-GARY
"One Eight Seven Seven Three Eleven... Gary"


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Gary Tippner is Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certified.
Relocation Specialist ~ Luxury Specialist

Call 1-877-311-GARY
"One Eight Seven Seven Three Eleven... Gary"
http://www.callgarytoday.com

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pending Home Sales Hit 2-Year High



Pending Home Sales Hit 2-Year High

Pending home sales bounced back in May, with both monthly and annual gains in
every region.













Gary Tippner is Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certified and a Relocation Specialist


Call 1-877-311-GARY
"One Eight Seven Seven Three Eleven... Gary"
http://www.callgarytoday.com

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Why Home Prices Are Better AND Worse


Why Home Prices Are Better and Worse

A home is worth exactly what someone is willing to pay for it.

We could end it right there, but for the fact that in the middle of the most closely-watched housing recovery in history, the sheer number of monthly and quarterly home price reports has proliferated to the point of almost weekly readings.

The trouble is that they each use different data sets and methodologies.

That's why this week we heard national home prices were up 8% from a year ago in May, and we also heard that home prices were down 0.1% from a year ago. It all depends on what you're watching and how you're watching it. The National Association of Realtors uses a median home price, so it depends heavily on what type of home is selling at any particular time. The Realtor's report, as I explained Thursday, showed a huge bump up because it includes sale prices of distressed homes, and far fewer distressed homes sold in May, so the numbers were skewed toward higher-priced, non-distressed homes.

Now Lender Processing Services tells us that home prices are essentially flat. LPS effectively excludes distressed sales from its numbers, and it uses repeat sales to gauge prices, not a median method, and so it's not subject to biases associated with changes in the composition of houses selling. It tracks prices across five different price tiers as well, and shows them all moving at approximately the same rate (up around one percent month to month).

"There may be reason to be cautiously optimistic, since we've seen now seen three consecutive months of minor appreciation," notes Kyle Lundstedt, managing director of LPS Applied Analytics. "LPS tracks 130 million properties in its data, and over the last several months we've seen a very typical seasonal change in the mix of the houses selling towards the higher end of the price spectrum."

S&P Case Shiller, which comes out with its April report next Tuesday, also uses repeat sales. It is a three month running average which does include sale prices of distressed properties. That's why that report is showing prices still down around 2.5% nationally.

As we've noted so many times on the Realty Check, while this housing crash was national, the recovery is increasingly local. Home price recovery will vary state to state, city to city and even neighborhood to neighborhood, depending on employment, the overhang of distressed homes, and the overall confidence of local homeowners and potential buyers.



Gary Tippner is Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certified and a Relocation Specialist

Call 1-877-311-GARY
"One Eight Seven Seven Three Eleven... Gary"
http://www.callgarytoday.com


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

5 Best Housing Markets for the Next Five Years


5 Best Housing Markets for the Next Five Years

Market watcher HousingPredictor.com thinks U.S. home prices could keep falling across much of America for years -- but believes a handful of markets offer great investment opportunities right now.

"When most people figure out that this really is a great time to buy in some areas of the country, it will be too late to make a really good profit," HousingPredictor.com's Mike Colpitts says. "In some areas, it is a great time to jump back into the market -- but you have to be very careful [given] all the concerns about the overall economy."

The firm recently analyzed 230 cities' housing and economic conditions and found about a dozen it expects will produce double-digit price gains over the next five years.

"These are places that have better job prospects and stronger economic conditions than most other areas," Colpitts says.

For instance, HousingPredictor.com expects upscale Los Altos, Calif., to see prices rise 15.5% over the next five years as staffers from nearby Facebook(FB) use gains from the company's recent initial public offering to buy homes.

Here's a look at the five U.S. markets HousingPredictor.com thinks will offer the best average price appreciation over the next five years.

Listing information comes from Realtor.com, the National Association of Realtors' official property-listing site, and excludes mobile homes, parcels under agreement and houses still under construction.

Fifth-best market: Medford, Ore. 
Expected five-year price gain:13.9%

This metro area of some 200,000 people just north of the California border in south-central Oregon has had high unemployment in recent years, but Colpitts sees an improvement coming.

"Medford has grown a lot over the past decade and has more employers these days," he says. "More jobs translate to more home purchasers."

Historically a farming area, Medford has become a regional hub for medical care, as well as a destination for more and more retirees.

The city also hosts the New York Stock Exchange-listed Lithia Motors(LAD) chain of car dealerships, the famous Harry & David food company (parent of the Fruit-of-the-Month Club) and a few other important employers.

As for housing, Realtor.com lists some 350 Medford properties for sale, priced from $33,000 for a two-bedroom condo to $2.3 million for a four-bedroom home on 166 acres.


Fourth-best market: Seattle 
Expected five-year price gain:14.9%

"Seattle has weathered the housing downturn better than the majority of the nation, despite a sizable decline in home values," Colpitts says.

He adds that the Emerald City's stable of large, well-paying tech firms -- from Amazon(AMZN) to Microsoft(MSFT) -- bodes well for real estate prices in the 3.4-million person metro area.

"Higher salaries paid to workers should bolster the housing market," the expert says.

Realtor.com lists roughly 1,800 Seattle homes for sale, from a $60,000 two-bedroom condo to an $18 million waterfront estate.

Third-best market: Los Altos, Calif. 
Expected five-year price gain:15.5%

This affluent community of 28,000 people is in the heart of Silicon Valley, just up the road from Apple(AAPL) and other high-tech firms.

In fact, Los Altos' current or former residents have included late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Yahoo!(YHOO) co-founder Jerry Yang and other tech titans.

Colpitts said that group should drive Los Altos' home prices higher and higher over the next five years.

"More millionaires are busting out [in Silicon Valley] than anywhere else in the United States -- and the majority of buyers are paying cash for homes," he says.

If you're looking to move to Los Altos, there are 135 properties listed for sale there on Realtor.com. Prices range from $340,000 for a one-bedroom condo to $13 million for a 4-acre estate.

Second-best market: San Francisco 
Expected five-year price gain: 15.9%

Sometimes called the "Wall Street of the West," San Francisco's large financial sector, seven Fortune 500 companies and thriving tech industry underpin the 7.6-million-person metro area's economy and housing market.

Large employers that call San Francisco home range from Wells Fargo(WFC) to Craigslist. The 25,000-student San Francisco State University also adds to local housing demand that Colpitts expects will increase in the next few years.

"A rich, diverse cultural mix of people has transformed the greater Bay Area into a world-class city to make home," he says.

Realtor.com has some 1,800 San Francisco homes for sale, from a $99,000 fire-damaged teardown to a $38 million eight-bedroom estate.

No. 1 best market: Miami 
Expected five-year price gain: 18.7%

Long the poster child for South Florida's housing bust and foreclosure crisis, Miami gets the top spot in HousingPredictor.com's study because the 2.5 million-population metro area's real estate market has finally begun to turn around.

Media list prices already rose 15.5% over the past year on Realtor.com, and Colpitts thinks the recovery has just begun -- fueled partly by investors from Latin America and other foreign locales.

"Miami is an international designation for vacationers and has become a world-class resort community, attracting home and condo purchasers from all over the world," he says. "If there's ever been a time to buy housing in Miami in this decade, chances are this is it."

Property buyers will find some 12,000 Miami homes listed on Realtor.com. Prices start at $12,600 for a one-bedroom condo and run to $125 million for an 11-bedroom oceanfront estate.



Gary Tippner is Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certified and a Relocation Specialist

Call 1-877-311-GARY
"One Eight Seven Seven Three Eleven... Gary"
http://www.callgarytoday.com

Sunday, July 1, 2012

BofA tries turning distressed homeowners into renters

Bank of America is testing a mortgage-to-lease program in four states. The idea: Instead of evicting homeowners who face foreclosure, it lets them stay as tenants and sells the homes to investors.

Unable to qualify for modifications on Bank of America mortgages, a few of California's most distressed homeowners are being offered one last chance to stay in their homes: Become renters instead.

Testing a mortgage-to-lease program in the Golden State, Bank of America Corp. sent 300 letters this week inviting borrowers without other options to apply. An additional 1,500 letters will go out in the next few weeks as BofA — which also is testing the program in three other states — evaluates whether a national rollout is feasible.

BofA plans to sell the homes to investors. It typically would recoup far less than what's owed but would come out far ahead compared with where it would be after evicting borrowers, making "cash for keys" payments to help them move and selling empty and often vandalized foreclosures in the troubled housing market.




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