Foreclosure sales on the West Coast started strong for the beginning of 2012, with Washington as the exception, according to ForeclosureRadar.
Arizona, California, Nevada, and Oregon are the other states included in the report – all of which saw increases in foreclosure sales to investors. Trustee sale investors pay the full amount in cash without inspections or title insurance prior to purchase.
This is the fourth largest month on record in California, and the busiest since March of 2011, stated ForeclosureRadar…
California also saw a substantial increase (+14.6 percent), and the state underwent the most activity, with investors purchasing 3,964 properties for $766.2 million, according to ForeclosureRadar…
Read the rest of this article from DSNews.com here: “Foreclosure Sales Up for West Coast States Except Washington.”
My Thoughts on the Current Real Estate Market: Mortgage Reform, Refinance, Really?
With interest rates at the lowest rate in history, and foreclosures bursting through the ceiling still at this writing, I ask myself, why is this still happening? How does the 1-in-4 upside-down homeowner out there, staring at their bank and scratching their head, get help to avoid walking away?
The empty promises, or the so-called “helping hand” being offered by the banks and the government, is still a joke to say the least. For the people who sold their home in recent years, they are in a position to buy or have already bought another home and recovered from that stress of “What do I do?” while taking advantage of the low interest rates and prices.
It still is not too late to make that leap and start over–because the faster you do, the faster you will recover. Property values are not expected to go anywhere for at least two more years, and the laws for selling short sales that protect homeowners will expire at the end of this year. Laws allow a purchase after two years of selling a short sale. With a consultation with me and strategy, you could pay off most of your unsecured debt, while not paying your mortgage. This can only be done with someone who has had experience with this. I have done this with clients that have recouped while living in their home for over 3 years without paying a mortgage.
The latest reform laws are offering a glimmer of hope; however, when and how these guidelines are implemented by the banks and government is clear to not happen for awhile. The state governments will have to also be on board. At this time, California is weighing the settlement being offered for unlawful foreclosure practices from five of the larger banks that have agreed to pay a settlement.
My opinion is that any settlement should accompany a mandate that the banks must reduce every upside-down property out there to fair market values, to allow the homeowner an opportunity to keep their home; granted that the home is not dilapidated to the point that the owner does not have the funds to repair the home or care for it after the refinance. This exclusion is warranted to the extent that a home that is in bad shape is only dropping or keeping the values low in the neighborhood and should be taken care of. In a perfect world, the banks would allow the homeowner funds after the refinance to repair the home–heck, let’s go for it all!
As always, my gratitude to you for reading my blog. Please share your opinions or questions–I look forward to any questions I can answer or help I can give!
John A. Silva, Realtor
(619) 890-3648 | www.JohnASilva.com
A good rental history can help borrowers
First-time home buyers planning to purchase a house later this year may have a better chance of qualifying for a mortgage if they have had a history of paying their rent on time.
- Last year, credit-reporting agency Experian added a section to millions of credit reports showing on-time rent payments and raised the credit scores of many people. The company said that this year it would add in negative marks, including mentions of bounced checks or of tenants’ leaving before a lease was up.
- Incorporating rental payments into credit scores could affect millions of people who have not established credit histories through credit cards, student loan repayments, and other credit sources.
- Almost half of consumers considered “high-risk” experienced an increase of 100 points or more after their positive rental history was added, according to Experian’s rent bureau. Those with average or higher scores did not experience major movement.
- Although it is still too early to show the effects of the new credit report, which began in December, the changes are intended to allow lenders and consumers to have greater transparency, according to Corelogic.
- People who have lost their homes to foreclosure and are now leasing may be able to rebuild their credit histories by being responsible renters.
- However, consumer groups and advocates are skeptical, noting that reports are sometimes riddled with mistakes and some landlord-tenant disputes may be difficult to capture in a credit report. Rent may not have been paid, for example, because the furnace was left unrepaired for months.
Read the article, from which these points were taken, from the New York Times.
Goodbye 2011 & Hello 2012! Is this a Happy New Year?
Is it goodbye to a bad year or hello to the same? While the economy is still struggling, unemployment slightly better, and real estate showing signs of improvement only to retract its position, I believe the glass is still half full, with an asterisk.
The holiday season began strong on Thanksgiving weekend, reports are that retailers numbers receded which led to heavy markdowns the week of Christmas. Final numbers are still to come, while job growth is modest, mostly in low-paying sectors like retail and hospitality. This past year also saw an increase in credit card spending for gifts as a result of higher gasoline, food prices, and general inflation.
With mortgage rates still at historic low rates, the housing industry is still struggling with values dropping, even though sales have shown signs of recovery. With more than one in every five borrower still owing more than their home is worth, many homeowners are too pressed to spend on much more than the essentials which leave us to the big question: WHAT SHOULD I DO?
With all predictions expecting more of the same this year as last, there is still and always will be optimism, but each homeowner out there who is still upside-down, either waiting for or in a modification, is so far upside down that they most likely will never recoup the past negative equity in the future. They are at the same time struggling to make ends meet with just the essentials. Mortgage companies and investors are still holding the belt tight and are not reducing principle for most people waiting for modifications or who have them–leaving homeowners to finally make that decision that enough is enough.
There are opportunities to purchase and leave your upside-down home, but you would need to act fast. Other opportunities are also available and action now will help you live a life more care-free and stress-free in a fast-paced, ever-uncertain economic time.
Call me now and let’s talk. My direct line of contact is 619-890-3648.
Half of refinance applications are abandoned or rejected, as are 30 percent of purchase mortgage applications, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. All told, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) says that well over 2 million mortgage applications were rejected last year.
Want to avoid falling into that number? It’s tough — especially in light of the fact that mortgage lenders have become increasingly restrictive in terms of their lending guidelines since the housing market crash.
1. Income issues. Most failed applications falling into this category have income too low for the mortgage amount they are seeking; often, a spouse’s credit issues can create this problem, too, as the income the spouse plans to actually chip in toward the mortgage cannot be considered by a lender.
But increasingly, the recent vagaries of the job market are also causing this issue, as people who have changed their line of work or have changed from salaried employee to freelancer over the last couple of years can also have their home loan applications rejected based on income.
2. Muddled money matters. If the mortgage for which you’re applying plus your monthly payments on credit card, car and student loan debts will comprise more than 45 percent of your total income, you could have problems qualifying for a home loan. You might also run into problems if you rely too heavily on bonuses, overtime, cash wages or rental income — all of these can be difficult or impossible to get a mortgage bank to consider, and if they do, they might not take all of it into account.
3. Credit issues. Today, the mortgage-qualifying FICO score cutoff falls somewhere between 620 and 660, depending on which lender and which loan type you seek. More than one-third of Americans, by some numbers, have credit scores too low to qualify for a home loan. Even if your credit score is high enough to qualify, if you have any late mortgage payments, a short sale, a foreclosure or a bankruptcy in the last two years, loan qualifying could be difficult to impossible.
4. Property didn’t appraise. Since the whole industry had its hand smacked for allowing home values to skyrocket in a very short time, appraisal guidelines have tightened up — some would say, even more than overall mortgage guidelines. So, it is increasingly common to have the property appraise for a price lower than the sale price negotiated between the buyer and seller.
This is especially common in the refinance realm, as well over a quarter of U.S. homes are now upside-down, meaning the mortgage balance owed is greater than the value of the home.
5. Condition problems. With all the distressed properties on the market, and with most non-distressed sellers barely breaking even, more home-sale transactions than ever are falling apart due to condition problems with the property. Many lenders will not extend financing on homes where the appraiser points out problems like cracked or broken windows, missing kitchen appliances, electrical problems, or wood rot.
And in the world of condos and other units that belong to a homeowners association, if more than 25 percent of units are rented (rather than owner-occupied) or more than 15 percent are delinquent on their HOA dues, new applications for refinance or purchase mortgages on units in the development are likely to be rejected.
6. Technical difficulties with application. The days when lenders just took your word for it are long, long gone. Applications with incomplete or unverifiable information are doomed.
If any of these mortgage loan application glitches arise in your homebuying or refinancing process, it’s critical that you connect with your mortgage professional, be it your banker or mortgage broker, to determine what course of action to take.
In some cases, it might be as simple as buying a stove you find at Craigslist and installing it before escrow closes; but with income issues your mortgage pro will need to help you determine whether it makes sense to pay some bills down, get a co-signer, or even wait six months so your income documentation will qualify.
Tara-Nicholle Nelson is an author and the Consumer Ambassador and Educator for real estate listings search site Trulia.com.
Five reasons near-record low rates are out of reach for some
CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — Mortgage rates are near historical lows, but the rates lenders are quoting you aren’t as eye-popping as those you see in the news.
When your vacation home becomes everybody’s home
Buying a retirement or second home might sound like a great idea, until friends and family begin using your place as a crash pad. Here are tips on how to handle unexpected guests without damaging relationships.
Why is that?
First, remember that mortgage rates are moving constantly, and rate surveys are capturing rates from past points in time. For example, Freddie Mac’s weekly survey collects rate data over the course of a week. Bankrate.com’s survey collects rate data every Wednesday…By the time results are released, they’re already outdated.
There are other reasons your rate might be higher. Below are five of them.
Average rates in Freddie Mac’s survey include average discount points paid for the mortgage. But not everyone is willing to pay points.
For the week ending Oct. 27, rates on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.1%, but that rate required an average 0.8 point to get it. A point is 1% of the mortgage amount, charged as prepaid interest.
Unless you’re going to live in your home for a very long time, paying points often doesn’t make sense…
2. Your borrower characteristics mean price adjustments
A credit score on the low side will prevent you from getting the lowest rates. Low levels of home equity will also mean a pricier mortgage rate.
That’s thanks to loan level price adjustments from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that have been making it tougher for borrowers to get the best rates for the past few years…
3. Your property type means higher rates
For condo-unit mortgages, you need a 75% loan-to-value ratio, or a 25% equity position, to get the best rates, said Christopher Randall, vice president, secondary marketing, at the Real Estate Mortgage Network, a mortgage lender.
And if your mortgage is for a vacation home or investment property, you can also expect to pay a higher rate, McBride said…
4. You don’t have recent proof of income
For the self-employed — who don’t have pay stubs as proof of recent income — the most recent tax returns are what a lender will look at before giving you a mortgage. If business has improved after your past tax return, that’s not going to be of any help as you try and get a mortgage today…
5. Your lender isn’t hurting for business
There can be a big disparity in what rates are offered from lender to lender, Findlay said. And it may have to do with how many mortgages they’ve been originating lately.
“Some that are lacking volume will tend to be more competitive,” he said. “Those that have enough volume may say we’re going to keep rates high.”
But the rate isn’t everything, Randall said. When shopping for mortgages, borrowers need to focus on comparing their monthly payments. “People are drawn to the interest rate… but you have to look deeper. Review the documentation,” Randall said.
For instance, it’s possible for someone to get an offer of a very low rate on a mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Administration — that loan also may come with a higher insurance premium, Randall said. That person may be better off taking a conventional mortgage with lower priced private mortgage insurance, even if their interest rate is a little higher, he said…
If you’re shopping for a home with a bargain-basement price, a short sale could be the answer.
This is where a lender allows borrowers who can’t keep up with the mortgage payments to sell their home
for less than they owe on the property. The bank or mortgage company takes whatever you pay to purchase
the home and forgives the remaining debt.
How low can you go and still expect a lender to approve the deal?
Lenders usually will accept offers that net at least 82% (after expenses) of the home’s current fair market value, regardless of what the borrower owes, says Tim Harris, co-founder of Harris Real Estate University in Las Vegas.
Why would a lender do that?
Because it will lose less by allowing a short sale than by going through a foreclosure.
Taking advantage of a short sale is less risky than buying a foreclosure, because so many repossessed homes need tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs. The worst of the bunch have been deliberately vandalized by angry owners just before they were evicted.
Here are 4 smart moves for buying a short sale property:
Smart move 1. Make sure you’re a good candidate for a short sale.
Short sales are all about presenting the lender with a deal it can’t refuse. Banks and mortgage servicing
companies are most likely to approve buyers that:
• Have a substantial down payment.
• Have been preapproved for a mortgage.
• Place no contingencies on their contract, such as having to sell their current home before
proceeding with the purchase.
Smart move 2. Hire a real estate agent who’s experienced in short sales.
You need someone who can steer you away from short sales that aren’t likely to succeed.
Vincent Bindi, a real estate broker for ShortSalesASAP in Orange County, Calif., says your real estate agent should interview the listing agent to determine whether the seller has done everything that’s needed to win lender approval.
You need to know whether the home has been aggressively marketed — the bank won’t like it if the seller hasn’t made a good-faith effort to get a reasonable bid — and whether the bank has received a broker’s price opinion, which it will use to determine the home’s market value.
Smart move 3. Offer the right price.
Short sales aren’t the time or place to do a lot of dickering.
Lenders don’t have the time or staff to evaluate an endless bunch of bids, each a little higher than the last. If you deliberately lowball a bank or mortgage company, it will just write you off as a waste of time.
You need to come up with a cheap but reasonable offer, which the bank or mortgage company will accept, in one try.
Start by estimating the fair market value of the home for yourself, using comps (values of comparable properties that have sold near the home in the past few months).
Take the condition of the home into account and reduce your estimate if the home needs repairs. It’s a buyer’s market, and you don’t have to treat a fixer-upper like it’s in pristine condition.
Calculate 82% of the home’s value, throw in a few thousand dollars to cover the lender’s cost of doing a short sale (ask your agent what that typically is for your area), and you have a good starting point.
Now look at the quality of your comps.
If they’re straightforward deals, and the homes spent at least three or four months on the market, then you’re good to go.
But if all of the comps are foreclosures that sold within a few weeks of hitting the market, you’ve got to assume those were damaged homes being dumped at fire sale prices.
You’ll have to adjust your offer upward, perhaps all the way to the full fair market value calculated with those comps.
Check how close your offer is to the asking price on the home. Remember, the sellers won’t get any of the money, so they have no incentive to demand an unreasonable price.
They’re just trying to find a price you’ll pay, and the bank will accept, to relieve them of their debt.
If you’re close, then you’ve probably come to the same conclusions as the sellers and their real estate
If not, then your agent needs to have another talk with their agent to find out why.
Smart move 4. Be patient.
It almost always takes longer to close a short sale, because it takes so long for lenders to review and accept
We’ve heard of deals closing in as little as five weeks when the lender has preapproved the short sale and asking price and you agree to meet that price.
But that rarely happens.
Most sellers don’t seek the lender’s approval for a short sale until they have a signed purchase contract in hand. (Here’s a step-by-step look at what sellers must do to complete a short sale.)
More often than not, it takes two to four months to get a “yes” or “no” from the bank or mortgage servicing company.
Although lenders say they’re trying to process these requests more quickly, there still aren’t enough loss mitigation specialists to deal with the rising demand for short sales, and we’re not seeing a big improvement.
By Bonnie Biafore | Interest.com Contributing Editor