Will Housing Money be Spent on Housing? The national mortgage settlement with some of the biggest U.S. Banks (from the the robo-signing scandal last year) is supposed to provide many states with money to help with housing issues. California, set to receive a $410 million settlement, could create more programs to help distressed homeowners stay in their homes, strengthen counseling services, fix up neighborhoods that have suffered from foreclosure blight, help people qualify for loans to purchase homes…the list is long and the possibilities endless. Sounds great for housing, right? Not so fast. While State Attorney General Kamala Harris says half of the money will be put into the housing sector, Governor Brown announced that the other half will be used to dig California out of debt. Do you really want my opinion on this one?
Bank of America Offers Up to $30k to Short Sellers: Bank of America announced at the end of last week that it has initiated a new nationwide program that will give up to $30,000 to distressed homeowners upon completion of successful short sales. There are some restrictions – the seller must work with B of A to get a preapproved short sale price before accepting a contract, and the short sale must start before the end of this year and close before September 26, 2013. But B of A says that homeowners in the midst of a short sale may be able to take advantage of this program as well. To find out if you are eligible call 877-459-2852.
Just a quick note – one of my sellers called B of A this morning to see if he was eligible for this new program, but he felt the representative was not very knowledgeable about the program. If anyone has success with this program please let me know.
Condos May Soon Be Easier to Purchase: The FHA announced that it may be changing some of the restrictions that frustrate condo buyers and investors, thus making these properties easier to purchase. Two of the restrictions – a 50% minimum owner-occupancy requirement and a refusal to approve complexes when the delinquency rate on homeowner association dues is over 15% – have made many condos unattainable for those who require loans. There are several other restrictions that are being looked at, and there are no details yet, but it will be good news for buyers and the housing market if these restrictions are loosened.