Archive for October, 2011

San Diego November Calendar of Events

Monday, October 31st, 2011
November 5
Curie’s 33rd Annual Holiday Craft Fair
One of the largest holiday craft fairs in San Diego, drawing thousands of visitors, and is extremely popular with crafters statewide.  Each year the fair generally has entertainment for the whole family including over 100 booths of handmade art and craft items, a kid’s corner, bake sale, food booths, silent auction baskets, and an opportunity drawing.  Free parking.
Time:  9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location:  Marie Curie Elementary School, 4080 Governor Dr.
For more information call 858-643-9720 or visit www.curiepta.org

November 5
FAAN Walk for Food Allergies
More than 12 million Americans suffer from food allergies.  Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially fatal allergic reaction to particular foods. Proceeds from this walk will bring awareness and provide education and advance research on behalf of persons affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis.
Time:  9:00 am – 10:00 pm
Location:  East Mission Bay – De Anza Cove, 3000 East Mission Bay Dr.
For more information visit www.foodallergywalk.org

November 5
24th Annual Toys for Tots Motorcycle Benefit Ride
Staging area for Toys for Tots ride will depart the Oceanside Harbor parking lot and end at Casino Pauma.  All motorcycles welcome.  Bring $10 ($5 active military with ID) and a new unwrapped toy.  Lunch will be provided by Casino Pauma.  Oceanside Police escorted ride departs at 11:30 am.
The ride benefits Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.
Time:  9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location:  Oceanside Harbor Parking Lot #1
For more information visit www.gwrra-ca1n.net

November 5
Bike The Coast – Taste the Coast
A non-competitive bike ride that begins at the Oceanside Pier and travels down along the Pacific Ocean coastline and into the rustic north county of San Diego and then back to the Oceanside Pier.  Choose from a 7-mile ride, or a 25-mile ride.
Time:  7:00 am – 4:30 pm / Expo opens at 9:30
Location:  Oceanside Pier, Oceanside
For more information visit www.bike-the-coast.com

November 5-6
Escondido Renaissance Faire
The age of chivalry will be recreated among the wonders of nature in an idealic setting.  Travel back to the 16th century and the glories of the reign of Elizabeth the First. Activities usually include battle pageants, music in the streets, jugglers and hundreds of costumed re-enactors performing in this giant outdoor play.  There is an admission fee, which covers all entertainment.
Time:  10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Location:  Felicita County Park, 742 Clarence Lane, Escondido
For more information call 805-496-6036

November 6
Carlsbad Village Street Faire
The largest one-day street fair in California.  A non-profit event to benefit the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce with over 900 vendors, international food, kids rides, pancake breakfast, and a stage of live music with a beer garden.
Time:  8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location:  Village of Carlsbad – Downtown Carlsbad
For more information call 760-945-9288

November 6,
16th Annual Komen San Diego Race for the Cure
Proceeds from this 5K run/walk will fund breast cancer education, screenings, and treatment programs in San Diego County as well as national research for the prevention of breast cancer.  Includes post-event activities at the park.
Time:  8:00 am
Location:  Balboa Park, 6th Avenue & Palm Street
For more information visit www.komensandiego.org

November 6
11th Annual Gaslamp Fall Back Festival
Children’s Cultural & Historic Street Faire.  Learn about the history of San Diego and enjoy pony rides, hay rides, a Wild West shootout, pan for gold, and two stages of live entertainment.
Time:  11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location:  San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, 4th & Island Avenues
For more information visit www.gaslampquarter.org

November 10-13
33rd Annual Dixon Lake Trout Derby
A fun-filled event for anglers of all ages with many ways to win great prizes. The only cost to enter the derby is that each fisherman must purchase a daily permit, normally required to fish the lake anyway.  Permits: $7 adults, $5 seniors over 60, and $5 for kids under 16.
Time:  6:00 am – 4:45 pm
Location:  Dixon Lake, 1700 North La Honda Dr., Escondido
For more information visit www.escondido.org

November 11
9th Annual Veteran’s Day Parade
This parade is held in admiration of veterans of past wars and to give a salute of recognition and honor to our military men and women of today who strive to keep our country safe.
Time:  Parade begins at 11:00 am
Location:  Downtown San Diego, Cedar St. & Pacific Hwy.
For more information www.sdvetparade.org

November 11-13
Head to Toe Women’s Expo
An extraordinary event – products and services appealing to women, such as apparel, jewelry, handbags, makeup and skin-care products; spa services, health & fitness and much more. Complimentary wine tasting, and even a 5k run/walk!
Time:  Fri & Sat  10:00 am – 5:00 pm / Sat  10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Location:  Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
For more information visit www.headtotoewomensexpo.com

November 16-20
8th Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival
This is Southern California’s largest wine and culinary event with 170 world-class wineries and spirit producers, 70 of San Diego’s top chefs, celebrity chefs, cooking & wine tasting classes, big bottle auction, continuious food and wine tastings – over 800 wines and much more!  See website for ticketing and additional information.
Time:  Refer to website for schedule
Location:  Embarcadero Marina Park North, 500 Kettner Blvd., San Diego
For more information visit www.worldofwineevents.com

November 20
65th Annual Mother Goose Parade
The Mother Goose Parade is the largest, single-day event in San Diego County and one of the biggest parades of its kind in the United States.  Generally there are over 100 entries featuring clowns, floats, bands, equestrians, giant balloons, and Santa Claus.
Time:  10:00 am
Location:  Magnolia Ave., Main Street, El Cajon
For more information visit www.mothergooseparade.org

November 20
Encinitas Street Faire & Fall Festival
400 unique booths featuring arts & crafts, antiques, clothing, items from around the world, and more.  The Fall Faire Festival also offers children’s rides, and two stages of live entertainment for everyone.
Time:  9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location:  Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas
For more information visit www.kennedyfaires.com/encinitas/

November 23-27
San Diego Thanksgiving Dixieland Jazz Festival
The 32nd annual celebration of Dixieland Jazz featuring bands from all over the US.  The festival bands represent a wide variety of traditional jazz, Dixieland and swing styles.  Refer to website for more information and admission prices.
Time:  Wed & Thurs  7:00 pm – 11:00 pm / Fri. 10:00 am – 11:00 pm / Sat  9:00 am – 11:00 pm / Sun 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location:  Town & Country Hotel and Convention Center, 500 Hotel Circle North, Mission Valley
For more information visit www.dixielandjazzfestival.org/festival.html

November 24
Father Joe’s Thanksgiving Day 5k
Proceeds from this 5K event will help provide basic provisions for underprivileged persons through the St. Vincent De Paul Village.
Time:  8:00 am
Location:  Archway at the Museum of Man, Balboa Park
For more information visit www.thanksgivingrun.org

November 24-January 1
Holiday of Lights – Del Mar Fairgrounds
Drive around the Del Mar Racetrack and view more than 400 spectacular lighted scenes from the comfort of your car.  Open every night including holidays.
Time:  Sun – Thurs  5:30 pm – 10:00 pm / Fri & Sat  5:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Location: Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar
For more information visit www.holidayoflights.com

November 26
Surfin’ Santa at Seaport Village
Santa will arrive via a pirate ship and head to shore for a variety of holiday festivities.  Holiday music and live entertainment, tempting treats, face painting, fanciful balloon sculptures and the Seaport Village Historic Carousel add to the excitement.
Time:  1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location:  Seaport Village, 849 Harbor Dr. San Diego
For more information visit www.seaportvillage.com
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5 Reasons Buying and Selling Real Estate is Difficult Today

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Buying and selling anything in this economy can be a bit tricky, and that goes for real estate as well. Many buyers, who think they’ll be able to negotiate a phenomenal deal, are often discouraged when they actually get out there in the market and try to do so. Likewise, sellers who price their homes at market value may find it hard to hook an offer, oftentimes having to reduce their price well below comparable value to get it sold. Sellers who do not have to sell are opting not to, which makes for less inventory. Why is it so hard to buy and sell real estate right now?

1. Lender hurdles. Getting qualified for a loan these days is very difficult. Even those who have steady jobs, make sufficient money and have a nice savings on the books are facing troubles. The lenders, who I believe are the main cause for much of the stagnation in the market and the overwhelming number of foreclosures (see previous blogs if you want more detail on this), simply have a death grip on their funds. Anything that is seen as risky, any tiny little thing, gives them cause to deny a mortgage application. This applies both to traditional sales and distressed properties.

If you are a buyer you need to make sure you are working with a mortgage professional who has access to different products, and can help you to figure out which one is best for you.

2.  Foreclosures/Lender owned properties. Foreclosures have been weakening the market for years, and there is no end in site. The lenders simply have too many properties on their books, the majority of which have not even been released to the open market. Once they are, prices will suffer. This tends to make sellers withhold selling their homes (the ones who can), in order to wait for a “better” time to do so. Buyers, who should be able to reap the benefits from the lower prices, still have to go through the loan qualification process. Many buyers are now also afraid because of recent lawsuits claiming bank-owners did not in fact possess title to the homes. If purchased at auction buyers usually do not have the opportunity to have home inspections or even get inside the property; if the property is sold as an REO (lender-owned, post-foreclosure) the buyer can view the property but is provided no disclosures related to it’s history.

3.  Short Sales. Short sales should be a no-brainer, as I have blogged about many times. There are willing buyers out there who want to buy homes in neighborhoods they otherwise would not be able to afford, but for a short sale and the lower prices. Sellers of short sales obviously want to and need to sell to avoid the scarlet letter “F” on their credit. Similarly, banks save lots of money selling their properties short rather than going to foreclosure. Despite the end goal being common, short sales as we know can take a long time. The main reason for this is because of the banks, who dilly dally around and take forever to approve them, work off bad BPOs, and often have inexperienced and downright nasty people in their loss mitigation departments.

4.  Title issues. Another problem plaguing the real estate industry is title issues, especially in homes that have been foreclosed upon. There have been several lawsuits against lenders who have been found to have wrongfully foreclosed on homes – after the home had been sold and new owners had moved in. These types of suits seem to be growing, and there is no telling what will happen to the new owners. If found that the banks did not have the authority to sell (because they did not physically possess title), the sale is rendered void. We will have to wait and see what effect this will have on purchasers, but surely it will may scare some buyers away from these lender-owned properties. For sellers, it is imperative to understand any title hurdles at the time your home is listed

5.  Appraisal and BPO issues.  It seems appraisal issues come into play these days more than in times past. This is especially true in areas where there have been a lot of foreclosures or short sales, which bring down comparables. If an appraiser has to look outside a neighborhood s/he may use comps from another neighborhood or complex that really does not compare to the subject home. If the appraiser is from out of the area s/he may not understand the particular nuances of a neighborhood, and that can also affect valuation.

Bad BPOs (Broker Price Opinions – these are ordered by the banks and are typically completed by certified real estate agents, not appraisers) also wreak havoc on short sales. Some properties are hard to appraise/establish value, if they are one of a kind or there are no valid comps in the vicinity, or where the condition of the comps do not compare to the home being appraised. California has hinted at drafting a law about how foreclosure and short sale homes can be used as comps for a traditional sale home. There are problems either way when a home is hard to appraise. Suffice it to say there is a lot of deal-killing going on because of bad appraisals and BPOs. [NOTE: This is not meant to be a degradation of appraisers – most are highly skilled professionals.]

Buying and selling property can be difficult in these troubled times, but the silver lining is that there ARE great deals out there for buyers, and it is possible for sellers to sell their homes as well. One simply needs to know how to best accomplish her/his goals. To do that, you need to start with a great agent.

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Will Homeowners Really Be Helped by New HARP Changes?

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Recently the Obama administration announced changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) that are aimed at helping homeowners refinance mortgages, even when there is no equity in their homes. Their goal is to help the millions of homeowners and prevent more foreclosures, but what is involved and will it really work?

Some of the changes to HARP include the following:

1.  Fee reduction. Many of the fees associated with refinancing will be reduced.

2. Current loan to value cap on fixed rate home loans will disappear. This was the reason many homeowners could not take advantage of HARP initially, since the value of their homes had decreased significantly.

3.  Reduced underwriting guidelines. Some of the changes almost hint at a stated income situation, with a verbal income verification…but we will have to wait and see the specifics when they are announced.

4.   Appraisal changes. The new plan will have a valuation system for appraisals, called “automated valuation,” which will do away with the need for new appraisals, and hopefully avoid appraisal issues that have plagued refinancing in the past.

There are a few caveats, most importantly that the homeowner has to be current on their mortgage. The home also must be a primary residence, and borrowers will be able to shop rates with other lenders, not just the lender who currently holds their loan. More details will be revealed next month. Some of these changes sound promising, and I do believe that more homeowners will get to take advantage of the lower rates without these restrictions, but the big question is:

Will the new HARP really help the housing market?

I have to say no to this. While this is a nice plan to help some more people get into lower mortgages, the fact is that it does not shine the light on the bigger problem in real estate – homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgages. The new HARP offers no help to these people, and their homes will likely turn into a big future foreclosure wave. The negative equity in these homes is so great that neighborhoods will continue to be effected by their foreclosures, with comparables continuing to drop.

The other big problem I see with the new program is that it has to be implemented by the banks. Although some banks, like Bank of America, claim to embrace the new program, chances are we will still face many hurdles from the banks with implementation. Banks are  simply too scared to refinance many mortgages, and the re-default rate is high, making them risky.

While I think the new HARP plan can help some homeowners, I think it is just the beginning. I stand by my opinion that housing must be fixed if we ever want to see the economy improve. We need MUCH more than what HARP can do. We need to help the millions of people who are unable to pay their mortgages, prevent the wave of foreclosures down the road, and find ways to deal with the heavy inventory currently owned by the lenders that is not yet on the market. To do this, we need the cooperation of the major lenders in formulating plans to help these people.

What do you think?

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Recent Real Estate News, and How it Effects You

Monday, October 24th, 2011

There has been plenty of recent housing news that could effect the value of your home, so here are some of the latest updates:

Bill to allow visas to foreign home buyers. Congress is considering a bill that would allow foreign homebuyers to purchase residential property in the U.S., in an effort to stimulate the housing market. Buyers would need to spend at least $500,000 to obtain the visas, and would be allowed to split the money and purchase more than one home, as long as one property was at least $250,000. The buyers resident visa would be in place for as long as the buyer owned the home, and the buyers will have to live in their U.S. home for at least six months out of the year.

Mortgage rates may be lowered. The Federal Reserve is considering lowering the mortgage rates again, as the current low rates do not seem to be stimulating housing and the economy. They plan to purchase more mortgage backed securities, with the goal that banks will be able to help homeowners with refinancing and stimulate purchasing, without causing inflation. Since most of the problems with refinancing involve problems with fees or restrictions, will this really help? This could create more mortgage rate risk for the Fed, and realistically how many people will it help? It certainly won’t do anything for the millions of underwater homeowners. It seems to me this is digging a deeper grave, but I am not a mortgage expert so I will leave this to those who are, but my gut feeling says this is not the best solution.

Next generation of homeowners have little confidence in housing. A new study released by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has found that the younger generation is less willing to purchase homes. Older respondents seemed to be more confident about homeownership after large declines, while younger participants felt opposite. Older respondents saw the drop in the market as cyclical, with the expectation of recovery, whereas their younger peers view the current situation as more permanent. Could this have an effect on housing in the long term?

Study says bank owned property sales may not peak until 2013. The latest study claims that we will see a lot more foreclosures, and therefore many more bank owned homes, until 2013. Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts claim that although we will not see price drops as steep as those of 2008, we could see a 10% increase in these REO (bank-owned) properties from 2012 to 2013.  For more details of the study click here.

State court voids home sale…could this happen across the country? A Massachusetts state court recently ruled that a home recently sold post-foreclosure was improperly sold, as the lender did not hold the title. The sale was found to be void. So what happens to the new owners? Certainly there will be a big lawsuit against the title companies. But if this becomes the standard who is going to want to purchase a post-foreclosure home? Home buyers rely on title companies to convey clear title…so isn’t this punishing the purchasers and not just the bank? After all, if the title company certifies title is clear and escrow closes, how would a homeowner have any reason to know that there was  a problem with the title? I’m not even going to speculate as to how badly this would fare for housing and the economy in general.

HUD homes for only $100 down: In the spirit of stimulating housing purchases, HUD has decided to offer buyers the chance to purchase a HUD REO (lender owned home) for  only $100 down…yes, you read that right, one hundred dollars. Of course there are restrictions: the home must be a HUD home (a home that is the result of a foreclosure on a FHA home loan), the sale must be for list price, FHA guidelines apply (you have to qualify for a loan), and the state of your purchase must be one that is listed. To find out more search the internet for HUD’s $100 downpayment program orvisit their site.

 

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Want to Get Your Distressed Home Sold? It May Matter Who You Know

Friday, October 21st, 2011

You have heard the famous line, “it’s all who you know.” That has proven to be true in many cases – getting a reservation at a swanky new restaurant, upgrading to a better hotel room, getting a great job or a promotion over others who may be more qualified….but who would ever have thought that getting a home sold through the short sale process could be added to this list?

Recently I had a short sale offer approved by a major lender, after months of arguing with them on the issue of price. You see, the lender had a bad BPO (Broker Price Opinion, which is much like an appraisal yet is created by a real estate agent who is certified to do so). I sent them comparables and even analyzed them, but the lender refused to believe what was in black and white. Since lenders have no obligation to share the BPO with the listing agent I was not made privvy to it, but unless there were some magic comparables of which I was not aware, they did not exist.

After months of arguing and of lender demands that the contract price be raised tens of thousands of dollars over comparable value price, the lender denied the short sale. It must be mentioned here that two months before, the lender had accepted a previous offer that was much lower. How could this property have increased thousands of dollars in such a short time, when prices have dropped?

The buyer of my short sale listing happened to have a contact at the bank who holds the loans on the property, and she called in a favor. The executive was surprised at his bank’s demands, and agreed that the second BPO had to be incorrect. With a few calls he was able to help us out – something the bank negotiator was unable and unwilling to do.

As happy as I am that my sellers and the buyer are now able to complete this sale, I am also furious. There are countless sellers out there who are not afforded the opportunity to short sale  their homes, and the qualified buyers who cannot purchase them, because of bad information and unqualified bank representatives. It took a connection with a higher-up to get this home into escrow. There is something very wrong with this picture.

Situations like this are plaguing the housing market. Lenders need to not just believe what a BPO states, as the agents who prepare them are not appraisers. If the listing agent sends over valid comparable data the lender needs to have a qualified individual verify the discrepancies, not just turn down the sale and refuse to have a dialogue to rectify the differences. It should not be about who one knows…these lenders need to stop this insanity.

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New Lender Role: Landlord?

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

There have been quite a few crazy ideas proposed by the Feds to help the housing market, but in the recent panic to finally DO something, the latest proposal takes the cake: make lenders landlords.

As the number of lender-owned properties continues to rise, and as lenders remain hesitant to release them to be sold (mostly for fear of what it will do to the housing market and, more selfishly, because declines in prices will not net them as much as they might get in an improved market), the fact is that we are seeing less of these properties on the market. Lenders who own hundreds or thousands of homes need to find solutions, and quickly.

One proposal is that lenders of unoccupied homes that are held by the government should rent out these properties. This idea has received both criticism and accolades.

Proponents: Those who applaud the idea say that doing so will help neighborhoods by preventing vacant homes, unkempt landscape and neglect, and vandalism. It will put people in homes, which will benefit neighbors and prevent prices from declining by withholding these properties from the sales market.

Opponents: These people claim that lenders should stay out of the rental market. First of all, they do not have the manpower to dedicate to customer service (of course they should hire property management companies, but might choose not to do so to save money). Furthermore, they claim that putting renters in these properties will not have any positive effect on the neighborhoods, as the renters may not have the same respect for the neighborhood as owners.

Twist: owners to renters: There is one possible exception that may make sense: renting the foreclosed homes back to the foreclosed homeowners. This is a good way to prevent throwing millions of people out of their homes, and will likely keep these homes in better shape, compared to letting them sit vacant or finding renters. Maybe there could be a possibility of re-purchase down the road if the homeowners can show they meet qualifications (although I doubt lenders will go for this one). This is an idea I will support.

I believe that renting out these properties is only postponing the inevitable (noting the exception for owners-to-renters). The better solution is to sell these properties off now, get rid of all the excess distressed inventory and let us move on. As I have said many times, we cannot move forward and get back on track to a “normal” housing market when there is a plethora of inventory that needs to be taken off the books. It is not until we eliminate the overwhelming inventory of distressed properties that we can see the light at the end of the recovery tunnel.

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Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Are Sellers Liable?

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

You may or may not have heard that as of July 1, 2011 carbon monoxide detectors must be installed in every single family residence. So, what is your liability if you are a seller – do you have to install them before the close of escrow?

While it is true that carbon monoxide detectors must be located in every home, it is not a requirement to install them in order to close escrow. However, the seller is responsible for disclosing in the Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS) whether or not the home has carbon monoxide detectors installed.

Keep in mind that if you do not install them in your home you are technically in violation of the law – but whether that would actually be enforced is anyone’s guess (I suspect local law enforcement officers have better things to do).

If you are a buyer and would like the seller to install the detectors during escrow you can ask your agent to write that into your contract. If you are a seller, my advice to you is to spend the money on carbon monoxide detectors and forget about it – there are some great deals if you check. I recently purchased a set of two for about $20.

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Don’t Blow Your Real Estate Purchase: Understanding Material Terms

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Understanding the difference between material and non-material terms in a real estate contract is of great importance to the real estate purchaser. While most agents understand need for specificity in real estate contracts, buyers and sellers should also know the difference between material and non-material terms in order to avoid potential problems with the sale of property.

Material terms to a contract are those that affect the agreement as a whole, such as whether a buyer will pay cash or get a loan, the price of the sale or possibly the closing date. If the buyer breaches a material term s/he risks losing the initial deposit, as well as a possible lawsuit/arbitration.

Some examples of material terms include purchase price, close of escrow deadlines, and other terms in the contract upon which acceptance was based.

In most contracts where a loan is obtained it will not be considered a material term if the loan rate or product differs from that described in the contract, so long as the buyer can still perform within the specified time frames. But if a buyer needs to change a material term it can be considered a breach, giving the seller the ability to cancel the contract.

Take the example of a buyer who has made a cash offer but decides to obtain a loan after acceptance. As this is a material term the agent will need to approach the listing agent and ask if the seller would be amenable to this change. Oftentimes it could create a delay in closing, and could be a problem in a short sale transaction (where lenders often approve sales at lower price points when cash offers are presented). The buyer’s agent will need to discuss this change with the listing agent to see if this is possible, and it then should be put in writing and signed by all parties to the contract. If not, the buyer is bound to proceed with the terms as they were defined in the contract, unless that is impossible and you have not yet removed contingencies.

When writing a contract for the purchase of real estate it is imperative to have all the information at hand so as to avoid a material breach after acceptance. Agents should talk to the lender and make sure their buyer is qualified, discuss important dates with buyers, check current proof of funds on cash transactions – these are all things agents know but sometimes overlook. Many potential issues are covered during the contingency period, meaning that if the buyer cannot qualify for the loan s/he wanted during that time, or if a problem is discovered with the property after a home inspection, it is not considered a breach and the buyer can choose not to proceed without repercussions.

Doing your homework early, before submitting a contract, is a win-win for all parties to real estate contracts. Do not worry – that is why you have an agent representing you, and s/he can help walk you through it. Now more than ever it is critical to be diligent, so make sure your agent explains the important details.

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Open House Sunday 1-4: Carlsbad Beauty with Large Yard

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

This coastal South Carlsbad view home has been exceptionally maintained. Nestled in the gated hilltop community of Mar Brisa, this home offers the largest and most popular floorplan and sits on one of the biggest lots. Open Sunday, October 16, from 1:00 to 4:00 – plus win gift cards and take home free goodies just for stopping by!

Features include:

• 4 bedrooms + loft/2.5 bathrooms, 2570 square feet, and ocean breezes
• Beautiful views of mountains, rolling green hills, canyon and
golf course, and peek ocean views from upstairs loft
Largest floorplan in gated coastal community of Mar Brisa
• Northeastern exposure, with lots of sunlight throughout the day
• Travertine flooring with custom inlays downstairs and on staircase
• Chef’s dream kitchen with center island, breakfast area
• Cathedral ceilings
• Formal dining room
• Cozy family room with fireplace
• Master suite with endless views
• Sunken tub and walk-in closet in master bathroom
• Custom paint throughout
• Big, private backyard (8000+ square feet) with large patio area for
entertaining or dining al fresco.
• Lots of storage throughout
• 3 car garage with epoxy flooring
• Ceiling fans
• Upstairs laundry room with sink
• Great loft area for den/office/playroom/gym, or convert to
5th bedroom
• Short stroll to community pool/spa and tot lots
Carlsbad schools!
• Low HOA fees, no mello roos taxes
• MLS #110049083

This home is truly exceptional…stop by and see it! I am hosting a gift card drawing just for visiting…plus, pick up some free environmentally friendly shopping bags and Halloween candy! For more photos and information please visit http://1452SapphireDrive.2seeit.com. If you have questions or would like to schedule a private showing please call me at 760-310-9466 or email me at Rachel@LaMarRealEstate.org.

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Why Short Sales Fail

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Not all short sales get approved; in fact, some statistics claim only half make it to closing. The truth is that both the agent and seller need to do everything in their power to get these sales approved, but sometimes it is simply out of their hands. Here are the reasons short sales fail:

1.  Incomplete paperwork. A short sale agent needs to know what paperwork to get to the lender. Oftentimes paperwork is needed before the home is even listed, and this is lender-dependant. Bank of America, for example, has a new program where they evaluate short sales before listing, and TELL the agent where the price needs to be. An agent must be aware of this before placing a listing on the MLS. Different lenders also require different paperwork, and paperwork may vary depending on whether the loan is a first or subsequent lien. Make sure your agent knows what is needed, and complete all the paperwork on time – this is the easiest problem to fix, and the one over which we have the most control.

2.  Under-skilled agents. If you are facing a short sale, you’d better make sure you have a competent agent who understands all the steps involved, and can communicate (and knows when to do so) with the lender. Many agents claim they are short sale experts, but taking a one or two day class does not make them experts – much of this comes from experience.

3.  Lack of communication. This is where the listing agent, although skilled in working with negotiators, is not on top of the transaction and is not communicating with negotiators properly, or frequently enough. This can happen whether or not the agent is skilled with short sale transactions. If the agent is too busy, there are plenty of highly trained and successful negotiators that can negotiate with the lenders on behalf of the agents, and the agent pays them from his/her commission.

4.  Bank negotiators who are under-skilled, uncommunicative, and/or just don’t care. This is the number one reason I personally think short sales fail. Oftentimes an agent will encounter bank representatives who don’t have the skills to do their job (I have had people quote me incorrect law -let’s just say they received a lesson); some of these people either don’t know how to communicate, or simply choose not to (obviously not caring about all the lives their actions effect). Recently, I have been involved with a short sale in which the bank negotiator did not return calls or emails. It was impossible to communicate with her, and then she simply closed the file! The lenders need to hire skilled people, train them, and constantly evaluate them. These people work in CUSTOMER SERVICE! Do these lenders not understand the meaning of this (this is a topic for a blog in itself, and it wouldn’t be a nice one).

According to an article in California Real Estate Magazine, a JD Power and Associates recent study found that 77% of California Realtors found recent short sale transactions to be either “difficult” or “extremely difficult.” This number is up from the last survey, almost a year ago, which was at 70%. Furthermore, the same study reported that 75% of Realtors were not satisfied with lenders they worked with in their most recent short sale transactions. Consumer satisfaction with primary mortgage servicers was ranked at 718 on a 1,000 point scale. This is crazy!

Lenders: I feel like I have been shouting at you for so long…many people have. Why are you not listening? What will it take to make you hear us? You hold the cards to housing market recovery, yet you choose not to care. You have created a country of bank-haters, people no longer trust you. Financial markets teeter on the brink of disaster, and yet you still follow the same practices. Why? Can anyone help me to understand this? Let’s hope these lenders listen before it’s too late.

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