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Sherman Oaks, CA Real Estate News

By Ralph Gorgoglione, California and Hawaii Real Estate (310) 497-9407
(Metro Life Homes)
FHA and VA Allowable and Non-Allowable Fees:  Close your transactions more smoothly by knowing these in advance FHA Loans and VA Loans have their own set of lender guidlines for real estate transactions.  A good real estate agent will not only be familiar with the terms of the contract that are within those guidelines, but it is also helpful to know some of the the lending guidelines as well, since some of that overlaps on the terms of the contract. Knowing this information will pave the way for a smoother transaction, and will avoid any last-minute underwriting drama for your transaction. I've been able to get through many deals by knowing most of the guidelines in advance. An outstanding escrow officer from Chartwell Escrow, Harlene Dunn, has put together this useful chart for FHA and...
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By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
Dangerous Foreclosure Scams Plague the Unfortunate Homeowner Agents!  Homeowners!  Be informed!  Avoid making a terrible mistake in an effort to save your home! There are many scam artists out there who claim they can help homeowners avoid foreclosure by scouring their loan documents for any mistakes or loopholes that could put a stop to the process.  This "service" comes at a hefty price, upwards of $3,000 at times.  It is up to the consumer to do their part in researching a so-called business that claims it can "help." Dangerous Foreclosure Scams Plague the Unfortunate Homeowner These companies may have official looking material sent to you, but ALWAYS do your research online before even contacting them for more information.  The Better Business Bureau is always a good place to start....
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By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
It's An Investors World More and more often these days we're seeing investors purchase properties with a quickness.  Inventory is low and demand is getting competitive, especially for the personal home buyer.  I've had several clients get beat out on a reasonable or generous offer by cash investors.  I also represent a few investors as well who are making non-contingent offers with quick cash closings making it nearly impossible for the end-user family to compete!  Even the investors are having to pull out all the stops to compete with each other. It's An Investors World Hedge funds are big in the REO rental and REO rental to own markets right now.  According to the US Department of Commerce, homeownership rates are continuing to decrease.  If you are a seller who has been sitting on th...
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By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
Top Ten Turn-Around Housing Markets of 2012 According to the latest home price report from Trulia.com, the housing market in general has made quite the positive turn in the last year.  It seems it'll only get better at this point.  I thought it would be interesting to share the top ten markets with the most improvement.  This is referencing increases in median home prices from December 2011 to December 2012.  A few here in California, but some other surprising locations as well.   Top Ten Turn-Around Housing Markets of 2012 In my opinion, it's a little scary to see 27% increases as we seek a more balanced market with a long term, steady recovery, not a mini bubble!  My trusted market analyst John Burns, predicts a 21% gain in home values across the US over the next 4 years which is why ...
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By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
Fiscal Cliff Avoided - 2013 Housing Market Expectations We have had 13 straight months of home sales increasing and the avoidance of the Fiscal Cliff should help to continue that growth.  Had the Fiscal Cliff not been avoided, the average American's annual taxes would have increased by thousands of dollars which in turn would have kept some folks from putting a down payment on a home.  Of course, if you make over $450k/year, you taxes will go up significantly.  But, for the rest of us, we're safe for now.  (Or at least for the next two months until this entire Fiscal Cliff issue is revisited in Washington.) Fiscal Cliff Avoided - 2013 Housing Market Expectations Also included in the Fiscal Cliff deal were extensions for the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act and the Mortgage Interest ...
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Prospect Mortgage Shaida Tafreshi Mortgage Loan Officer NMLS 545194 Sherman Oaks, CA Good Morning Realtors, Homeowners and Active Rainers alike! I wanted to create a brief blog regarding the “slowness” of business during the holiday season, and how we can not only avoid that “holidays are slow” excuse, but defy that idea all together. Instead of jumping on the “holidays are slow” train, why not DO what everyone else is NOT DOING at this time of year… WORK, STAY FOCUSED, and ASK FOR THE BUSINESS. Here are a few basic ideas to continue the momentum you have created all year, during the last few days of the holiday season (and year!). 1.               Refinances are perfect to leverage at this time of year.  Not only are interest rates low, but there are PLENTY of people who have purchased...
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  Shaida Tafreshi Prospect Mortgage Sherman Oaks, CA NMLS 545194   Back to the Basics: Mortgages 101 Lesson: 1   The Most Common Loan Types Available   1. Conventional   §  “Conforming Loan”- Loan Amounts Up to $417,000   §    “High Balance Conforming Loan” – Loan amounts between $417,001 - $625,500 2.   FHA – Federal Housing Administration – Government Loan     §    “Conforming FHA Loan” – Loan Amounts up to $417,000     §     “High Balance FHA Loan” – Loan amounts between $417,001 - $729,750   3. Jumbo     §     Anything above $625,000 and $729,750 respectively   PROS and CONS Between Conventional and FHA Loans:         - Conventional Loans:       §     With Conventional loans you can put as little as 5% down given your loan amount is conforming. (remember, conforming is equal to or l...
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By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
California Home Prices on the RiseAn increase in the median home sale prices , the largest increase in 8 years is happening right now. From November last year to November 2012, the median price has risen 25%!  A single-family detached home was $349,300 last month, up from $279,910 the year before.California Home Prices on the RiseIn the Los Angeles market, the average price was $327,840 last month, up 22% from a year earlier and 2.9% percent from October.California Home Prices on the RiseThis isn't necessarily a true sign of an economy bouncing back, which don't get me wrong, part of it is, however it is due in part to an increase in the mid to higher priced market while the lower sales have decreased.  Remember my blog about high-end flips? The proof is in the pudding.California Home ...
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By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
Advantage to House Hunting During The Holidays As Realtors, we all know that the market slows down significantly during the holidays.  Buyers and Sellers are more concerned with kids home from school, turkey dinners and gift giving. Patience is a virtue.  Buyers that remain steadfast thru the low inventory and competition of investors, can find a diamond in the rough that they otherwise may have missed while jingling all the way to spring. According to DataQuick, homes sales have increased from October to November only FOUR times in the last 24 years. In other years inbetween, transactions have decreased anywhere from 0.2% to almost 26%.  Home listings, from 3% to 11% in the last three years. Advantage to House Hunting During The Holidays I had clients score on a property 3 days before ...
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By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
First Time Home Buyers Decreasing First time home buyers are becoming a smaller percentage of the market.  Normally around 40%, first time buyers are down to 34.7% of the active marketshare nationwide.  Meanwhile, move-up buyers are increasing. First Time Home Buyers Decreasing Perhaps the reason for this decline is due in part to the difficulties facing those trying to go the FHA route.  With many people struggling these days, applying for FHA is the best option for lower mortgage payments.  However, with so many in that struggling phase, FHA is being overrun with requests.  So there is "demand," but not necessarily enough "supply" to go around.  Up to 50% of first time buyers use FHA. First Time Home Buyers Decreasing On the recovery front, non-distressed properties on the market are ...
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By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
Single Family Lease Demand Rises, Foreclosures to Blame? Or Are They? According to a report released by CoreLogic, demand for single family home rentals has increased by as much as 25%!  Many people are losing their homes to the banks and thus turn to finding rental properties they can afford.  I have also seen families who were renting being forced to move because the property owners are under water.  So we have two groups of people, owners and current renters looking to find a place (or another place) to rent. Single Family Lease Demand Rises, Foreclosures to Blame? Or Are They? This is good and bad news for investors.  Bad news for investors who want to flip.  The demand for remodeled or renovated homes isn't as abundant as it was before.  Good news for investors looking to make a pr...
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By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
   It's Election Day - be sure to get out and vote. With all the displaced folks in the Northeast, it will be very interesting to see how the polls go. Rest assured, attorneys representing both sides of the aisle will be out in force to be sure there is no fraud and every vote is cast.  How will Election Results Effect Our Interest Rates? As far as interest rates are concerned, it really doesn't matter who wins the Presidential election, as there should not be a meaningful movement one way or the other.  There's a sense that if Obama wins, the Fed accommodation (QE3) will continue as planned, where if Romney wins, maybe QE3 gets unplugged sooner. With the economy limping along, we don't think the Fed is going anywhere, anytime soon – QE Unlimited will continue until the labor market and...
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By Ralph Gorgoglione, California and Hawaii Real Estate (310) 497-9407
(Metro Life Homes)
Are buyer's agents going to become a thing of the past? In my neck of the woods, Southern California, we've had a combination of very low inventory levels, very low interest rates, and a commonly perceived notion that the real estate market hit bottom about 9-12 months ago. The combination of these elements has created a very tight competitive approach for buyers. A by-product of this scenario that I've witnessed is a trend by many buyers to deal directly with the listing agent to represent them on offers to purchase properties. But realistically, I'm not going to point the blame on anyone at this point.  It is what it is. If I have a listing on the SALE of a home, and there is an interested buyer without representation, I personally will not represent the buyer, but I will refer them t...
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By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
Mortgages Rates on a Slight Rise Freddie Mac is reporting mortgage rates are on the rise.....nothing too drastic though.  After record lows, rates this week on a 30-year fixed-rate loan rose from 3.37% last week to 3.41% according to Freddie Mac's latest survey. 15-year fixed-rate home loans rose from 2.66% to 2.72%, based on what mortgage lenders say they are offering to borrowers with 20% down. Mortgages Rates on a Slight Rise It still pays to shop around as a borrower for better rates.  Many pay additional points upfront to lower their rates, this is a good idea in the long run. So eventhough we see rates on the rise again right now, we're still better off than we were four years ago.  A $300,000 30-year mortgage in 2008 at 5.5% requires monthly payments of $1,703.37.  The same loan ...
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By Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002
(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties)
Olives Mature in October Check out this Olive Tree in Sherman Oaks CA   Olives in the United States are mostly grown in California. They are typically green in color and they get picked in an unripe state. Then they are lye-cured and ultimately exposed to airs as a way to trigger the oxidation and conversion to a black outer color. Generally water curing, brine curing and lye curing are the most common way to process the olives. Each has a different affect on the color and composition of the olives. A typical Olive three will produce about 150-160 lbs of olives. Olive trees need to be pruned and taken care of including fertilized.       Technically  olives are classified as fruits of the Olea europea tree (a tree that typically lives for hundreds of years) we commonly think of olives no...
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By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
Housing Market Improving in "Sand States"   Keller Williams Calabasas released this blog today and I wanted to share the highlights of it with you.  Here is a link to the full blog entry: http://www.kwcalabasas.com/residential/fdic-reports-housing-market-improvement-in-sand-states/   The Sand States being California, Nevada, Arizona & Florida....oddly enough, the four states with the highest unemployment rates are showing an increase in Real Estate activity as reported by the FDIC. Housing Market Improving in "Sand States" According to the FDIC report and above mentioned blog, California home prices have dropped 1.3% from a year ago, but is an improvement from the 2.2% fall in the first quarter of this year. California's unemployment rate is at an astounding 10.8%, however single-family...
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By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
Big Bank Walks Away from 2nd Mortgages!!!! If you have a 2nd mortgage through Bank of America, you may want to check your mailbox.  According to the TBWS Daily Show, Bank of America has sent out 150,000 letters to consumers informing them their 2nd mortgages have been wiped away.  Too good to be true?  Perhaps, but in a way, it makes sense. Big Bank Walks Away from 2nd Mortgages!!!! Bank of America, as well as any other major bank, has entire departments dedicated to loan modifications.  Money and manhours spent on working with consumers to modify their loans that in all seriousness, might never get resolved, is more wasteful than simply dissolving the loan altogether.  Big Bank Walks Away from 2nd Mortgages!!!! While this might be a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card to these 150,000 consumer...
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By Ralph Gorgoglione, California and Hawaii Real Estate (310) 497-9407
(Metro Life Homes)
Let's admit to the elephant in the room:  Listing agents are manipulating the process to double-pop their listings I've been writing tons of offers for my buyers.  Some of them ridiculously over asking with terms that are just short of pledging their next unborn child into the deal! But Zip!  Zilch!  Nada!   No acceptance. I decided to follow up on a few of these listings as they have closed and pulled up the MLS info after closing, and lo and behold - the same broker was representing the buyer on the deal. Many times the offer I submitted was lightning quick.  We wanted to show the seller we were being aggressive and were stepping up to the plate with all of our I's dotted and T's crossed. Then what?  It seemingly takes forever to get a response, and then when we finally do it's "Well,...
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By Ralph Gorgoglione, California and Hawaii Real Estate (310) 497-9407
(Metro Life Homes)
Homestead Exemptions:  Is it possible to end up with $75,000+ from your short sale or foreclosure? During the last 2 courses I'm completing towards my broker's license, some of the material I'm going through is quite interesting.  I'm going through a section regarding Homesteads, how they work, and the legalities surrounding them. Here is some initial info: A homestead declaration does not restrict or limit any right to convey or encumber the declared homestead. [CCP §704.940]. If a property owner records a declaration of homestead against their primary residence, it in effect drains the property of its equity up to the statutory limit of the homestead. Subsequently, if the owner seeks to borrow against the property, a lender may want the property owner to subordinate the homestead to a...
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By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
Home Prices in CA at 4 Year High!!! In the month of July home sale prices rose for the fourth month in a row resulting in a near 4-year high!  While it's harder to see in certain areas at times, the median prices have been the highest since August 2008.  Of course, this is taking into consideration the houses actually on the market.  Many bank-owned properties get sold without ever being listed.  Home Prices in CA at 4 Year High!!! July was also the 5th straight month that the state's median home price saw both month over month and year over year growth.  According to a report by the California Association of Realtors, the median price of a single family home was $333,860 last month, up 4.2% from $320,540 in June and nearly 13% from the state's July 2011 median which was $296,160. Home ...
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