Thursday, April 30, 2009
I have been enjoying searching for homes in areas other than my usual territory. Last week I was in La Canada, and next week I'll be in El Segundo. And I plan to return to Westlake/Thousand Oaks, too. If you or somebody you know is looking in other areas, I'd be happy to help them with their real estate needs.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Yesterday, I took buyers Laura and Mark to see the home pictured above. The address is 2945 N. Buena Vista in Burbank, it's a short sale listed at $545,000 and it has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths in 1604 square feet. I had previewed it a couple of weeks ago, and on Saturdday I set up the appointment to show it Sunday.
We walked into a mess. Junk everywhere. Loud tv blaring. Pit bull running through the house. And best of all, a naked body face down in a bed, screaming at us to "GET OUT!" No, the buyers did not like the house.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Don't get me wrong; I love FHA. Without it, most buyers could not get loans. But it is certainly a new world. Two weeks ago, my clients fell out of escrow on a Burbank house they were purchasing because it would not appraise for the purchase price -- and FHA is very strict about the comparables used. This is a good thing, but was very disappointing for the buyers. Last week, some other buyer clients learned they had to pay FHA PMI up front at closing. Big, unpleasant surprise for us all. And now, another client couple has learned that the house they want to buy has a really bad roof -- rightfully, an FHA no-no. A good thing to know, but also a wrench in the works. Stay tuned.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
I am a day late with this news and I apologize. Los Angeles Times has reported that home prices for the lower half of the So. Cal. market may be stabilizing. According to Dataquick, the median price has remained unchanged for the last three months. But I think LAT really buried the lead on this story. Further into the article is the statistic that March home sales are up 52% over March 2008. Is L.A. Times being cautious? I think this is a pretty impressive stat, and it dovetails with what I've experienced.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
The appraiser told me that the comparable sales indicated the house should sell for $25,000 to $30,000 less than the agreed-upon purchase price. She also informed me that all comparable sales have to be less than 90 days old, and no farther away than one mile from the subject property. This applies to both FHA and conventional loans. And, if the loan amount is over $417,000, there will be a second appraisal, from a different appraiser, prior to closing. She also had obtained a copy of the physical inspection report, and knew that the upgrades to the property would not make up for its physical issues.
Okay, the buyers and I knew the appraisal might be an issue. And we hoped that if that was the case, the sellers would come to their senses and negotiate a lower price with us. They didn't. And our escrow has cancelled.
- Be a first time buyer or have not owned a home in three years;
- Close before December 31, 2009;
- Use a California Realtor (it is a CAR program, after all); and
- Be w-2'd, not self-employed.
A qualified buyer who has involuntarily lost their job can be eligible for up to $1,500 a month in mortgage payments for up to six months. A co-buyer can be eligible for up to $750 a month for six months.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
This week's (April 6, 2009) New Yorker profiles Leo Nordine, a successful foreclosure listing agent here in the Los Angeles area. This link only provides an article abstract, but you can still pick it up on the newsstands. The amusing article, by Tad Friend, also discusses our local foreclosure market. Leo Nordine is what I call a mega-REO lister. His is one of several local operations that have hundreds of foreclosure listings.
The article discusses Nordine's problems in getting a doctor out of a Burbank townhouse. My clients made an offer on the same townhouse (8000 Via Pompeii in the Cabrini development) last month. Alas, it went into multiple offers and my clients didn't get it -- they were getting their loan through an FHA program, and I was told the seller bank did not want to accept an FHA offer. That's wrong, in my opinion. However, Nordine's office was good to work with, as far as the mega-listers go.
One thing the article didn't say: this same foreclosed townhouse owner took all of his food, including milk, sugary stuff, etc. out of the refrigerator and cabinets and placed them along walls of the living room and dining area. The food was still sitting there each time my buyers and I saw the unit. I suppose he may have been trying to encourage a big-time bug and rodent infestation. I told Nordine's office about it during the offer process; I hope they were able to clean it up before the crawlies and critters got there!
Friday, April 03, 2009
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Good luck, Weho. The City of Burbank went through the same process a few years ago. The reason given for the city's ban was that "somebody could fall on one of the signs and get hurt." A year and lots of hearings later, Burbank relented -- as long as Realtors observed many restrictions AND paid a permit fee.
Currently, local Realtors are working to be able to put flags up in the front yards of Sunday open houses. Again, this "issue" has been kicked around the City of Burbank for close to a year. Mind you, this has to do with flags on private property. There is no limit on how many campaign signs one can have in their front yard, but I guess that's different.