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By Claudia Hansen | Agent in 90049
  • 5 Reasons to Buy a Home Now Instead of Spring

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Santa Monica, Foreclosure in Santa Monica, In My Neighborhood in Santa Monica  |  February 10, 2014 8:41 AM  |  410 views  |  No comments

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    Happy Family Sold

    Based on prices, mortgage rates and soaring rents, there may have never been a better time in real estate history to purchase a home than right now. Here are five reasons purchasers should consider buying before the spring market arrives:

    Supply Is Shrinking

    With inventory declining in many regions, finding a home of your dreams may become more difficult going forward. There are buyers in more and more markets surprised that there is no longer a large assortment of houses to choose from. The best homes in the best locations sell first. Don’t miss the opportunity to get that ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ buy.

    Price Increases Are on the Horizon

    Prices are projected to appreciate by over 25% from now to 2018. First home buyers will probably pay more both in price and interest rate if they wait until the spring. Even if you are a move-up buyer, it will wind-up costing you more in net dollars as the home you will buy will appreciate at approximately the same rate as the house you are in now.

    Owning a Home Helps Create Family Wealth

    Whether you are rent or you own the home you are living in, you are paying a mortgage. Either you are paying your mortgage or your landlord’s. The Fed, in a recent study, revealed that the net worth of the average homeowner is 30 times greater than that of a renter.

    Interest Rates Are Projected to Rise

    The Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Realtors, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have all projected that the 30-year mortgage interest rate will be over 5% by the this time next year. That is an increase of almost one full point over current rates.

    Buy Low, Sell High

    We would all agree that, when investing, we want to buy at the lowest price possible and hope to sell at the highest price. Housing can create family wealth as long as we follow this simple principle. Today, real estate is selling ‘low’ compared to where it will be next year. It’s time to buy.

    Provided courtesy of Claudia Hansen CalBRE 01155245 Rodeo Realty Brentwood

    Thanks to the KCM Blog

  • Short Sale Question: Who Owns the Loan?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Sherman Oaks, Home Selling in Sherman Oaks, Foreclosure in Sherman Oaks  |  October 19, 2013 4:17 PM  |  455 views  |  No comments

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    Short Sales

    The short sale process can be very complex. Every bank and investor has a slightly different program and set of guidelines they follow. Since each investor has different rules and guidelines, it can help you considerably to find out who the investor is before starting the process.

    Whether you are a homeowner in need of help with a short sale or an agent trying to help a homeowner, one of the best things you can do is to understand the situation you are getting into. A key piece of this short sale puzzle is finding out who actually “owns” the loan not just who services the loan.

    Understanding the Back-end Process

    To understand short sales, you need a basic knowledge of the back-end process of the mortgage market.  A few years ago, when the market was booming, mortgages would be originated by a servicer such as Wells Fargo and then sold between the big mortgage investors like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Today, in most cases, you are dealing with a servicer like Wells Fargo or Bank of America that “service” the loan but do not actually own the loan. The bank who originally lent the money is unlikely to still own it unless it is a small community or regional bank. In fact, Bank of America and Wells, the two biggest servicers, only own about 8-10% of their portfolio. The rest of their inventory is made up of loans they service for other investors. The investor guidelines ultimately determine whether to provide relocation money on the short sale, if there will be a debt release on the sale and also define a slew of other details.

    How to Find Out Who Owns Your Loan

    1.) First, you can look on your mortgage statement. If the loan is FHA backed it will have an FHA MI line-item on your statement that usually says” FHA insurance”. You can also look at your original Deed of Trust, as it will have your FHA case number on it. If you want to see if your property is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you can also find it directly under the loan look-up tools available on their websites. Here are the links:

    Fannie Mae  Freddie Mac

    2.) If your loan is not owned by one of these three entities you can ask the servicer of the loan who owns it – though they will not always tell you verbally. You could also research it by getting the title pulled. Chain of title will not always be conclusive either. However, in many cases, it has helped make it easier to “track” down the investor.  In some cases, it could also be owned by the servicer; Wells Fargo could be the servicer and also the investor on the loan. This is called a “portfolio” loan. You can also request for your servicer to disclose in writing who the investor is if they will not verbally disclose that information. This is called a “qualified written request, or QWR”.  On its website, the U.S. Department of Urban Housing and Development (HUD) provides a sample QWR and gives a brief explanation of this process.

    3.) Another way to find out who owns your loan is through the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc. (MERS). MERS is a company that was created by the mortgage banking industry. It maintains a database that tracks mortgages for its members as they are transferred from bank to bank. You can look up a loan to see if they have the investor information here.  

    Different Guidelines Used by Different Investors

    The three biggest mortgage investors in the country are Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA. VA is another big investor but does not have a portfolio nearly as big as the other three mentioned. With the exception of FHA/VA (because they insure their own loans), there also could be a mortgage insurer who provided insurance on the loan. The reason this is important to understand is that, when there is a servicer, investor and mortgage insurer on the loan, all three of them have to agree to the terms of the short sale. It is very important to find out from the very beginning of the process the identity of the actual end-investor on the loan. An FHA-backed mortgage has a totally different process for a short sale compared to a Fannie Mae loan.

    Every investor has a different set of guidelines they set for short sales and foreclosure procedures so you have to understand that ultimately it is up to the end investor-not the servicer. The servicer has their own guidelines but they do not make the final decision. It is important that you know who the investor is because there will be times when you may have an issue with a servicer and you have to go to the investor to get it resolved.

    There have been many transactions where the servicer and I disagreed on a particular issue and I went to the investor and got the approval.  So make sure going in to this situation you know everyone involved and go to the servicer’s and the investor’s website to get familiar with their guidelines and any specific documents they may require.

    Provided courtesy of Claudia Hansen BRE 01155245 Rodeo Realty Brentwood

     Thanks to the KCM Blog

  • Foreclosure Trends VERY Different in Different Markets

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Mar Vista, Home Selling in Mar Vista, Foreclosure in Mar Vista  |  January 23, 2013 10:47 AM  |  493 views  |  No comments

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    Last week, RealtyTrac released their Year-End 2012 U.S. Foreclosure Market Reportâ„¢. The report revealed foreclosure trends over the past few years. Here are a few of the key findings:

    • A total of 2,304,941 foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 1,836,634 U.S. properties in 2012, down 3 percent from 2011 and down 36 percent from the peak of 2.9 million properties with foreclosure filings in 2010.
    • 1.39 percent of U.S. housing units (one in every 72) had at least one foreclosure filing during the year, down from 1.45 percent of housing units in 2011 and down from 2.23 percent of housing units in 2010.
    • Foreclosure activity in 2012 increased from 2011 in 25 states — 20 of which primarily use the longer judicial foreclosure process — including New Jersey (55 percent increase), Florida (53 percent increase), Connecticut (48 percent increase), Indiana (46 percent increase), Illinois (33 percent increase) and New York (31 percent increase).
    • Foreclosure activity in 2012 decreased from 2011 in 25 states — 19 of which primarily use the more streamlined non-judicial foreclosure process — including Nevada (57 percent decrease), Utah (40 percent decrease), Oregon (40 percent decrease), Arizona (33 percent decrease), California (25 percent decrease) and Michigan (23 percent decrease).
    • Florida posted the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate in 2012, with 3.11 percent of housing units (one in 32) receiving a foreclosure filing during the year. Other states with top 5 foreclosure rates were Nevada (2.70 percent), Arizona (2.69 percent), Georgia (2.58 percent), and Illinois (2.58 percent).

    As we can see, different markets are impacted in vastly different ways. Seller Services

    Provided courtesy of Claudia Hansen DRE 01155245 Rodeo Realty Brentwood

    Thanks to the KCM Blog

  • Shadow Inventory Shrinking in Most Regions

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in West Los Angeles, Home Buying in West Los Angeles, Foreclosure in West Los Angeles  |  November 20, 2012 11:34 AM  |  345 views  |  2 comments
    The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released their 3rd Quarter Delinquency Survey last week. The report revealed that both the delinquency and shadow inventory numbers are improving. DSNews, reporting on the survey, explained:

    “The Mortgage Bankers Association noted in a Thursday report that a four-year low in serious mortgage delinquencies and a drop in the percentage of loans in foreclosure for the third quarter suggest fewer homes are part of the shadow inventory that’s always threatening prices and creating market uncertainty.”

    This is great news. However, we must realize two things:

    • The inventory level is still four-times the normal average
    • Foreclosure backlogs still exist in certain judicial foreclosure states

    Back in September, was explained that the foreclosure challenge in most parts of the country is diminishing with the major exception being the Northeast. A new report confirms that states in the Northeast are now leading the nation in percentage increase in foreclosure activity. In RealtyTrac’s latest Foreclosure Market Report, it was revealed that:

    “The three states with the biggest annual increases in foreclosure activity in October were New Jersey (140 percent), New York (123 percent) and Connecticut (41 percent).”

    These same states were rocked by super storm Sandy which will result in a continued delay in these properties coming to market. RealtyTrac’s vice president Daren Blomquist explains:

    “We continued to see vastly different foreclosure trends across the country in October, depending primarily on how each state’s foreclosing infrastructure was able to handle the high volume of delinquent loans during the worst of the foreclosure crisis in 2010. Unfortunately the three states dealing with the biggest rebound in deferred foreclosure activity— New Jersey, New York and Connecticut — also had to deal with the devastation to homes inflicted by super storm Sandy. The foreclosure moratoriums being put into effect as a result of the storm will likely extend the already-lengthy time to foreclose in these states, further prolonging a fundamentally sound housing recovery.”

    Things are looking better in the vast majority of communities across the country. However, the Northeast should still be looking for prices to soften as Mark Zandi of Moody’s Ecnomy explained in a recent Wall Street Journal article:

    “Some markets are still going to suffer more price declines.”

    Fill out this simple form to get a Free Report on YOUR Home's Value and Current Market Conditions.

    Seller Services

    Provided courtesy of Claudia Hansen DRE 01155245 Rodeo Realty
  • Where Are Rents Headed?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Brentwood Country Club, Foreclosure in Brentwood Country Club, Rent vs Buy in Brentwood Country Club  |  November 14, 2012 9:21 AM  |  837 views  |  No comments
    When deciding whether or not to buy a home, one consideration will be the cost of alternative housing options. Renting an apartment is one such alternative. Where are rental prices heading over the next few years?

    Rental prices usually increase by about 3 percent annually. Trulia just released their Trulia Rent Monitor where they revealed that rental prices have increased dramatically in the last year.

    “Nationally, rent gains continued to outpace home price increases in October, rising by 5.1 percent.”

    Based on the concept of supply and demand, we believe rental prices will continue to substantially increase over the next few years. The long-run 30-year average increase in multifamily rental households is 200,000 each year. Over the next few years, those numbers will more than double to over 500,000 each year. Freddie Mac in their latest report, Multifamily Research Perspectives, projects housing demand going forward.

    “Given assumptions consistent with economic growth slightly slower than long run averages, multifamily demand is likely to be in the range of 1.7 million net new renter households between now and 2015.”

    The cost of owning a home will begin to increase as both prices and mortgate rates are expected to inch up in 2013. Perhaps now is the perfect time to lock in your long term housing expense by purchasing your own home.

    Search all properties online at www.ClaudiaErealty.com

    Provided courtesy of Claudia Hansen DRE 01155245 Rodeo Realty
  • Cost vs. Price Explained

    Posted Under: Home Buying in West Los Angeles, Home Selling in West Los Angeles, Foreclosure in West Los Angeles  |  November 7, 2012 1:09 PM  |  365 views  |  No comments
    We have often talked about the difference between COST and PRICE. As a seller, you will be most concerned about ‘short term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, you must be concerned not about price but instead about the ‘long term cost’ of the home. Let us explain.

    Yesterday, we reported that the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is projecting that mortgage interest rates will inch up over the next twelve months. On Monday, we explained that many experts are calling for home prices to also increase over the next year.

    What Does This Mean to a Buyer?

    Here is a simple demonstration of what impact certain changes would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $200,000 today:

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    Provided courtesy of Claudia Hansen DRE 01155245 Kelller Williams Realty LA//Westside
  • Choosing the BEST Realtor

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Westwood, Home Selling in Westwood, Foreclosure in Westwood  |  November 4, 2012 8:11 PM  |  525 views  |  No comments
    Is a Realtor providing you with all the tools and information you
    need to satisfy your real estate needs? Are they sending you properties
    consistently, or do you have to find them on your own? Is this why you are
    looking on craigslist? I would like you to know that I have all the tools to
    search for the right home for you.

    If you are not under contract with a Realtor at this point and you feel you
    are not getting the best service, then we should definitely talk. Keep me
    in mind. I represent my clients with the utmost integrity and I wish you
    luck in your search!

    Search all properties online at www.ClaudiaErealty.com

    Provided courtesy of Claudia Hansen DRE 01155245 Kelller Williams Realty LA//Westside
    Call or text 424-244-1195 for information on Buyer's Representation Services ( NO COST TO HOMEBUYERS)

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