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Monday, December 31, 2012

Loan modifications on primary residence now being treated as short sellers by Fannie Mae?

Just when it seems sanity is returning to the lending industry this gets dropped on us.
Homeowners receiving loan modifications for their primary residence (and noted on their credit report); are now being treated as short sellers by Fannie Mae…even if the homeowner was never late on their mortgage.

In other words: A responsible homeowner, who made their payments on time and received a loan mod for their primary residence will now have to wait three (at least) years before they can purchase their NEXT home (or refi their current residence).

The only exception to the rule: If a homeowner received a loan modification on an “investment property/second home” may receive financing on another property (primary residence only) on a case by case basis (underwriter’s discretion) within 2 years.

Here are the Fannie rules:

o Refinance transactions: On previously modified loans…refinancing is not permitted.

o New purchase transactions: When a borrower’s current residence (previous loan) was modified AND the property is being retained as a 2nd home/investment property…financing for another home…will NOT be permitted.

o New purchase transactions: ..When a borrower’s previous loan was modified AND the property is being sold…the borrowers loan application …should be treated with caution and reviewed for delinquencies and short payoffs.

o New purchases of 2nd home or investment properties: When a borrower’s current residence (owner occupied) has been granted a loan modification… financing for the next home will not be NOT permitted.
o Refinances where another property (not the subject property) has a loan modification should be reviewed with "caution" to ensure that there was no short refinance (treated as a short sale).

Friday, December 28, 2012

Short Sales just got harder because of new lender tactics

Short Sales just got harder because of new lender tactics!!!

Short Sale Process Complicated by "Loan Selling"
Hello Agents
Your job just got harder. A lot harder!!!!
The Real Estate Marketing Insider (La Jolla, CA.) has chronicled how the largest banks (B of A, Citi and Chase) are attempting to wiggle out of the National Mortgage Settlement that goes into affect Jan 1, 2013.
The nation’s largest banks are rapidly transferring delinquent mortgages to “mortgage servicers” resulting in the killing/ delaying current short sale transactions at the “11th hour”.
Usually the borrower is notified (via mail) their loan will be sold (usually within two weeks).
Editor’s note:As part of the National Mortgage Settlement banks are required to disclose impending servicing changes ONLY IF the owner makes a request(s)in writing).
Therefore it will be critical to regularly (approx. every 15-30 days) request
Agents (and the buyer’s loan officer) on both sides of the transaction must rush to close OR wait weeks until the change occurs and start the process from scratch with the new servicer.
The fallout can be catastrophic to the short sellers, who are often counting on cash incentives to move.
Loss of cash incentives will certainly result in many short sellers filing BK (delaying the sale for months) and even vandalizing/stripping the home.
Meanwhile, prospective buyers can lose patience with the transaction (hopefully not with their agent) or the terms of the sale can expire.

If a bank is not co–operative the seller can file a complaint with the Calif. Attorney Generals Office as a way of pressuring the lender to follow thru with the terms of the original agreement.
(Earlier this year it was California Attorney General Kamala Harris who held a hard line against banking lobbyists, forcing a more homeowner friendly settlement and reigning in abuses that have been commonplace from 2007-2011)
Editor’s note:As part of the National Mortgage Settlement banks are required to disclose impending servicing changes ONLY IF the owner makes a request(s)in writing).
Therefore it will be critical to regularly (approx. every 15-30 days) request it.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Yes, Housing Starts Surge, but Rentals Are the Drivers

Yes, Housing Starts Surge, but Rentals Are the Drivers

NEW YORK (CNBC) -- The headline number for housing starts was big, exceeding expectations and sending the home builder stocks on yet another tear.

Starts hit 894,000 (annualized) in October, over 50,000 more than the analysts forecast. Housing starts are now at their highest level since July 2008.

"We expect the builder equities will react positively initially, but then fade through the day once the report is fully digested as 'multifamily' was the key driver of the results," warned Stephen East at ISI.

There is no question that home builders are benefiting from tight supply in the existing home market and overall improved consumer confidence. That was apparent in the home builder confidence numbers released this week, which hit the highest level in six years.

Single family housing starts hit historic lows and are now just rising from the ashes. That is why some of the comparisons, like single family starts (up 35% from a year ago), sound so monumental and push the stocks higher.

But investors need to keep these numbers in perspective.

"Housing starts at 894,000 is near where they were at the depths of the 1981 and 1991 recessions and 60% below the peak in January 2006," pointed out Peter Boockvar at Miller Tabak.

The October numbers were driven entirely by multifamily apartment starts, up 10% month-to-month and up 63% year over year. Why are developers putting up so many more apartments when housing is supposedly recovering? Because there is still big rental demand and low supply.

"The consensus view on supply remains that it is not a threat to apartment fundamentals in the near term. Overall, demand for apartments (driven by household formations) should continue to rise with deliveries, especially in high(er) barrier coastal markets," analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald said in a note.
There has been a lot of talk of increasing household formation, but what some fail to realize is that household formation can be a single family owner-occupied home or an occupied rental unit. Younger Americans are in fact moving out of their parents' basements, but many are moving into rental units, and that is also a formed household.
Should investors be concerned about overbuilding in the apartment sector, given these huge jumps in starts coupled with the fledgling single family housing recovery? No.

"We've had four years of zero supply," said David Toti of Cantor Fitzgerald. "There's still a groundswell of demand. The shift from owning to renting is still moving in favor of the renter."

Multifamily starts are now above 10-year averages. In fact they officially crossed them in October, but home ownership levels continue to contract. As for apartment performance? Landlords are raising rents and occupancies, and that does not point to any weakness, for now at least.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Top Tippner Homes and Land Picks of the Week

Enjoy exquisite panoramic Sierra views from this 3 bedroom 2 bath manufactured home on 4.7 acres with gated access and end of road privacy. Open floor plan with mirrored wall in living room. Kitchen features gas range (propane), dishwasher, serving bar. Master bath has both tub and shower. Detached 2 car garage + second single car garage attached with workshop rooms. Plenty of parking area for RV or boat. Public water. Special septic system with alarm. Fenced dog run. "As Is", bank owned sale.

This 3 bed 2 bath manufactured house has the feel and look of a stick built home with large family room. Wonderful secluded deck to spend your evenings enjoying the gorgeous pine trees. There is small granny unit with kitchen above the garage. This is a Fannie Mae HomePath property. Purchase this property for as little as 3% down. This property is approved for HomePath Mortgage Financing.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Principal relief for stressed homeowners

Principal relief for stressed homeowners

A limited number of underwater homeowners in California will soon be able to get principal reductions of up to $100,000 apiece on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans through the federally funded Keep Your Home California program.

  • Although the federal agency that oversees Fannie and Freddie had previously refused to allow permanent principal reduction on loans they own or guarantee, in mid-September, the Federal Housing Finance Agency told servicers they could immediately begin accepting money for principal reductions from programs financed by the U.S. Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund, including Keep Your Home California.

  • The California Housing Finance Agency set up four programs under the Keep Your Home name to distribute California’s Share of the funds -- $1.9 billion. It allocated $772 million to principal reduction – enough to help an estimated 9,000 borrowers.

  • To qualify for the principal reduction in California, homeowners must live in the home, owe more than it is worth, be of low-to-moderate income, and be delinquent or have some hardship that puts them in imminent risk of default.

  • The balance on the first mortgage cannot exceed $729,750. Other rules apply, but there is no asset limitation. The maximum reduction is $100,000 per homeowner.

  • For more information on the Keep Your Home programs, visit

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Best US Housing Markets for Buyers and Sellers

Best US Housing Markets for Buyers and Sellers


NEW YORK (CNBC) -- As the overall housing recovery gains steam, local market divergences are growing wider. That is because one overriding factor - faulty and fraudulent mortgage lending - brought the market down; it will take varied local and national market drivers--jobs, income growth, consumer confidence, increased lending - to bring it back.
And that is why certain markets remain buyers' markets and certain ones have fast become sellers' markets.
Online real estate marketplace Zillow, defines a sellers' market as not necessarily one where prices are rising, but one in which homes sell faster, price cuts occur less frequently and final sale prices are close to or greater than list price.
Zillow ranked the top 30 markets and found that the formerly hard hit markets in California, Arizona and Nevada now rank as the top sellers' markets, which may seem counterintuitive, until you consider who the buyers there are now.
Top 10 Sellers' Markets
1. San Jose, CA
2. San Francisco, CA
3. Sacramento, CA
4. Las Vegas, NV
5. Phoenix, AZ
6. Riverside, CA
7. Los Angeles, CA
8. San Diego, CA
9. Seattle, WA
10. Washington, DC

"Much of that strength is driven by investor interest, as many distressed and non-distressed homes are purchased and transformed into rentals," says Stan Humphries, Zillow's chief economist, in the report. "This investor activity is contributing to very low inventory levels, which increases demand and helps drive up prices, particularly for less expensive homes in these markets."
The best buyers' markets are equally surprising, with Chicago, Cleveland and Philadelphia topping the list.
Top 10 Buyers' Markets
1. Chicago, IL
2. Cleveland, OH
3. Philadelphia, PA
4. Cincinnati, OH
5. New York, NY
6. Pittsburgh, PA
7. Baltimore, MD
8. St. Louis, MO
9. Columbus, OH
10. Charlotte, NC
These markets are still plagued by distress, despite the fact that their foreclosure numbers were lower during the worst of the housing crash. Investors are a far smaller share of buyers, as these markets don't offer the sun and leisure opportunities that the sand states do. Home prices are still suffering in these markets under still-tough local employment conditions. All that makes them less desirable for buyers. Stricter mortgage lending standards are also likely playing an outsized role, since most buyers in these markets would be owner-occupants.
The housing crash was the first fully national housing downturn in U.S. history. Usually housing downturns are local, spurred by some local phenomenon. Now that the overall economy is starting on the upswing, housing return to its roots and rises and falls on local factors again.

Top Tippner Homes and Land Picks of the Week

 Newer manufactured home on a large, level lot. Has detached garage. Close to shopping and regional park. The interior of the home is spacious with lots of storage. The open floor plan has both a living room and family room with a two sided fireplace

 Beautiful gentle upslope parcel overlooking rooftops of Lake Wildwood. End of road cul-de-sac for privacy. Great western sunshine for gardens or horse. A bit of rock outcroppings with manzanita and sprinkled with pines can make a lovely scene. The west portion of this property extends just below Riffle Box Court, down to Riffle Box Ditch; complete with the soothing sound of its cool flowing waters. Very private & quiet neighborhood. Seller may carry financing for a qualified buyer, w/reasonable down payment. Priced to Sell!

RARE FIND on 1+/- ACRE in a quiet Alta Sierra location. This floor plan is sure to please. Great room features fireplace. Large family eat-in kitchen. 3 generous bedrooms. 2 Decks. Hard to find affordability. The completely flat parcel is excellent for kids, gardening and/or rv, boat parking. Room for shop and/or pool. This is and �??as-is�?? sale. However, the house is in move in condition.

Great foothill cabin location!!! Kitchen has white tile counters. Large living room with beautiful wood floors and a stone hearth for the wood stove. Master is upstairs with a sliding glass door onto balcony. Views from every window. Secluded location with meadow setting, surrounded by dense trees. This is a fantastic opportunity!!

Knoll top - 10.78 Acres near Grass Valley, with easy year round access from Highway 49. Great solar orientation and level areas for your gardens, home and outbuildings. 15 GPM well & newly installed Septic & Leach Field System for a 3 bedroom home. Quiet neighborhood, paved road, power just across the street & East side of parcel borders several hundred ft of NID irrigation ditch. A Comprehensive Site Plan already on file with County. Possible Seller Financing with strong Down Payment. (i.e. Seller needs $80k+ as down payment to carry 1st TD.)

Look no further! Private and sunny parcel with year round creek frontage is a gardeners dream. Seperate large and fenced garden area completes the package. The home has been meticulously maintained and boasts vaulted ceilings and large kitchen with walk in pantry. Fresh carpet and paint make this home a true pleasure to show, and is sure to please. Sale includes a second vacant one acre parcel. Schedule your showing quickly, this opportunity will not last!

10 acres Sierra Foothill land with VIEW, Pine, Oak, Manzanita & other trees & natural landscaping. Paved access road, Rocked driveway to top of hill level area circles back down 2nd dirt access road. Private treated water district. Survey complete & corners marked. Electricity nearby. Private, peaceful hilltop, sloped, very nice.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How To Invest As You Age

How To Invest As You Age
Financial investments should change as you move through the stages of your life. Consider these strategies to make better use of your hard-earned money.
During your 30s and 40s: These are years of increasing income and increasing demands for your money, particularly providing for your children.
·         Life insurance is relatively inexpensive at this stage of your life. Buying a policy also is a way of providing for your family’s future.
·         529 plans offer tax-advantaged savings for your children’s education. For details, which vary by state, go to
·         Annuities can be a good addition to an IRA or 401k retirement account, and usually have tax-deferred options and guaranteed life income.
During your 50s: Prepare for a well-funded retirement during these years.
·         Remove all risks from your retirement plan. Think about a retirement date and your ability to meet that date. Reduce investments in such things as your employer’s company.
·         Take advantage of slowing expenses. You are at the top of your earning power, and big expenses, like children living at home, are likely reduced. Consider paying off your mortgage or increasing your investments.

During your 60s and beyond: This is a time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
·         Test living on projected income before stopping work. If your expected retirement income will be 70 percent of your current paycheck, set aside 30 percent now and see what it’s like to live on the rest.
·         Apply for Social Security and Medicare. Visit these sites to help you make important decisions about these programs: and

Monday, December 10, 2012

As Home Sales Quicken, So Do Realtors' Pulses

As Home Sales Quicken, So Do Realtors' Pulses

 NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Positive reports on the U.S. housing market have moved from a trickle to a torrent as home values rise, inventories shrink and homes sell faster than at any point in the past four years.

Take San Diego, where the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors reports that the $400,000 median price of a home in the region is 13% higher than last year.
Smaller homes, especially townhomes and condos, have really taken off. The GSDA says that those prices are up 19% in the same period. Single-family home sales are up 10% on a month-to-month basis, and single-family home sales are up 34% from October 2011.
Those numbers have local real estate agents raving -- in a good way.
"There's really only positive, encouraging news in these new numbers," association board president Donna Sanfilippo says. "You can't help but feel good about what we're seeing in the San Diego County real estate market. Homes are moving and prices are increasing. If our recent first-time homebuyer clinic is any indication, which turned into a standing-room only event, San Diego is becoming a real estate town again."
It's not just San Diego.
Seattle-based Redfin, an online real estate broker, says U.S. home sales increased in October by 21.8% across 19 U.S. major housing markets. Additionally:
  • Home prices rose 8.4% from the same period in 2011 in those markets.
  • Inventories have slackened, as the number of available "homes for sale" across the U.S. slid by 29% (and have fallen 5% from September to October).
  • Lower inventories means U.S. homes are selling more rapidly, with the percentage of homes selling within 14 days of appearing on the market rising by 28%.
All in all, housing market reports these days are showing good if not great improvement and should encourage homeowners anxious over the value of their homes.
"With supply low, and the economy slowly improving due to record-low interest rates, demand has increased," notes Glenn Kelman, chief executive at Redfin. "Household formation is now at a record high, and high demand and low supply drives prices up."
"The $64,000 question is whether more people will list their homes for sale in 2013," he adds. "Based on the conversations our agents have been having with homeowners, we think they will. We also believe that demand among homebuyers will increase, though that prediction has become less certain late in the year. Almost no new Redfin customers are touring homes right now, fewer even than last year."
That trend could be changing -- and fast, Kelman adds.
"But those who have been touring are writing offers at record levels," he says. "Everyone wants to get married on the first date."
That obviously hasn't been the case for years among homebuyers, especially first-time homebuyers.
But the housing market terrain is shifting, and in favor of a long-neglected group - the U.S. homeowner.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Number of low-price homes plummets in California

Number of low-price homes plummets in California

Competition for lower-priced homes in California is so hot that the number of cheaper homes available for sale has sunk more than 40 percent in the last year, pushing out many would-be buyers.

Grass Valley and Nevada City Home Deals of the Week

Grass Valley and Nevada City Home Deals of the Week that I found:
Ridge top chalet style home is priced for immediate sale! Hurry before it's gone. Listed price is considered opening bid price. Talk to your agent about the terms offered. Short Sale subject to bank approval. Note: of the 1,775 sq. ft. noted, apprx. 325 is in the finished basement - permitted as a "storage room"
land  views-views-views GREAT SOUTHERN EXP. WELLS IN, PERK & MANTE done. Drivway to bldg PAD, open & LIGHT, An opportunity to own a view lot for builders, investors & familly. Adj. 2 lots also available. call agt for info.
Beautifully finished home has the feel of a mountain cabin the moment you step into the foyer: warm wood interior, built-in hutches, stained glass accents, window seat, brick wood caddy next to the wood stove - and so much more (some repairs needed).Wrap-around deck, patio and pool are perfect for the active family. Don't miss the barn with room for horse stalls, hay storage.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

End is near for certain tax exemptions

End is near for certain tax exemptions

Currently, any debt forgiven by a lender in a short sale, loan modification, or foreclosure is exempt from federal taxation. However, that exemption is scheduled to expire Jan. 1, 2013.

  • Borrowers will have to count mortgage relief from lenders as income on their federal tax returns, if the exemption is allowed to expire. That means, for example, a borrower would have to pay taxes on a $100,000 reduction in principal owed on a loan, or a $20,000 write-off in the amount owed after a short sale.

  • An extension of the tax exemption – established under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 – is a strong possibility. But given that Congress will have to grapple with serious fiscal issues after the November elections, there is no guarantee the exemption will emerge from those negotiations intact.

  • The Debt Relief Act exemption applies only to canceled mortgage debt used to buy, build, or improve a primary residence, not a second home. The maximum exemption is $2 million.

  • Reinstating the tax would undercut the the effect of the National Mortgage Settlement reached earlier this year in the federal government’s investigation into banks’ mishandling of foreclosure documents.

  • Under the terms of the settlement, five of the biggest mortgage lenders must put some $17 billion toward debt relief that enables borrowers to stay in their homes. Smaller portions are reserved for short sales and refinancing.

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