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By Douglas Zeller | Broker in El Dorado County, CA
  • Upswing in Foreclosure Activity?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Amador County, Foreclosure in Amador County  |  September 12, 2014 3:17 PM  |  67 views  |  No comments

    National foreclosure filings, including default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions, rose 7 percent in August compared to the previous month, but they remain 9 percent below year-ago levels, RealtyTrac reports in its latest Foreclosure Market Report. It marks the smallest year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity in the last 47 consecutive months.

    One problem with foreclosure backlogs: 'zombie' foreclosures.

    "The August foreclosure numbers demonstrate that although the foreclosure crisis is well behind us, the messy business of cleaning up the distress lingering from the housing bust continues in many markets," says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "The annual increase in foreclosure auctions — the first since the robo-signing controversy rocked the foreclosure industry back in late 2010 — indicates mortgage servicers are finally adjusting to the new paradigms for proper foreclosure that have been implemented in many states, whether by legislation or litigation or both."

    Scheduled foreclosure auctions were up in 24 states from year-ago levels, led by Colorado (up 160%); Oregon (117%); Connecticut (81%); and New York (81%), according to the latest report.

    Also, more properties started the foreclosure process in August than July, up 12 percent month-over-month and flat when compared to last year's levels, according to RealtyTrac.

    Source: RealtyTrac

  • Baby Boomers to Face Serious Housing Crunch?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Amador County, Property Q&A in Amador County, Home Ownership in Amador County  |  September 8, 2014 8:57 AM  |  33 views  |  No comments

    Baby boomers are expected to enter retirement with less savings and more debt than previous generations, and a new report warns that will bring some housing concerns for this giant generation of home owners. Many boomers are expected to struggle to afford their homes in retirement as they continue to face large mortgage burdens and a limited income, according to a report by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and the AARP Foundation.

    Many seniors will still have mortgage debt in retirement. More than 70 percent of younger boomers aged 50 to 64, and 40 percent of those aged 65 and older, owed money on their home in 2010, according to the report.

    Retirees will likely need to put a big portion of their income toward housing – more than 30 percent – and will be forced to trim other expenses like medical care, transportation, and food, according to the report. Boomers are also facing debt outside of home ownership, like credit card and car loan debt. Debt unrelated to housing among those aged 65 and older rose from an average of $4,300 in 1992 to $7,200 in 2010.

    Within the next 10 years, the percentage of households age 65 and older who are living on less than $15,000 a year -- considered below the poverty line for a two-person household – is expected to increase by nearly 40 percent, according to the report.

    By 2030, the number of adults aged 65 and older is expected to more than double to 73 million, and the report’s authors are calling for several recommendations to better help baby boomers afford retirement. For example, the report recommends property tax relief for seniors and an increase in federal rental assistance programs as well as programs to help seniors “age in place” in their homes.

    Source: “Baby Boomers Face Big Housing Crunch,” CNNMoney (Sept. 2, 2014)

  • 'Boomerang' Buyers Get Second Chance

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Amador County, Financing in Amador County, Home Ownership in Amador County  |  June 16, 2014 2:35 PM  |  186 views  |  No comments

    About 7.2 million homes have been lost to foreclosure or short sale since the housing crash began, according to housing data from Black Knight Financial Services. That has forced millions of former home owners into renting, as they work to rebuild their credit.

    But a government program launched last summer by the Federal Housing Administration is helping these former home owners step back into home ownership in as little as a year after a foreclosure or short sale. The FHA’s Back to Work program allows them to qualify for low interest rates with a minimum of a 3.5 percent down payment. Applicants must show that the main culprit behind losing their home was that they lost at least 20 percent of their household income for at least six months. They also must show they’ve worked to repair their credit for at least a year.

    Lenders are reporting an uptick in boomerang buyers coming in to explore financing opportunities for a home purchase.

    "We see a lot of boomerang buyers,” says Matt Weaver, a lender with PMAC Lending Services in Florida. “I'd say about 20 percent of my current clientele has either suffered a short sale or a foreclosure in the past and are now re-buying back into the marketplace."

    Source: “‘Boomerang’ Homebuyers Getting a Boost From Uncle Sam,” CNBC (June 13, 2014)

  • California Real Estate News and

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Amador County, Financing in Amador County, Property Q&A in Amador County  |  February 20, 2014 8:13 PM  |  324 views  |  No comments
    Fast Facts
    Calif. median home price:January 2014:
    • California: $410,990
    • Calif. highest median home price by region/county January 2014: Marin, $960,000
    • Calif. lowest median home price by region/county January 2014: 
      Del Norte, $130,610
    Calif. Pending Home Sales Index
    December 2013: Decreased 25.2 percent from 92 in November to 68.8 in December.
    Calif. Traditional Housing Affordability Index: Fourth Quarter 2013: 32 percent (Source: C.A.R.)

    Mortgage rates: Week ending 2/13/2014 (Source: Freddie Mac)
    • 30-yr. fixed: 4.28% fees/points: 0.7%
    • 15-yr. fixed: 3.33% fees/points: 0.7%
    • 1-yr. adjustable: 2.55% Fees/points: 0.4%
    More real estate help at: www.DougandBudZeller.com 


  • Mortgage Applications Fall, Again

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Amador County, Home Selling in Amador County, Agent2Agent in Amador County  |  February 19, 2014 8:34 PM  |  441 views  |  1 comment

    Loan demand continued to soften this week, as mortgage applications for both home purchases and refinancings inched down, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday.

    MBA’s seasonally-adjusted mortgage application index showed that refinancing and home purchase applications dropped 4.1 percent for the week ending Feb. 14.

    Broken out, refinancing applications dropped 2.7 percent for the week while home purchase applications – viewed as a leading gauge of future homebuying activity – dropped 6.3 percent to its lowest level since September 2011, MBA reports.

    MBA says that mortgage rates were on the rise last week. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.50 percent, up 5 basis points over the previous week, according to MBA.

    MBA’s survey reflects 75 percent of the nation’s retail residential mortgage applications.

    Source: “U.S. Mortgage Applications Fall in Latest Week: MBA,” Reuters (Feb. 19, 2014)

  • Future Paved for Driverless Cars?

    Posted Under: Traffic & Public Transportation in Amador County  |  January 18, 2014 9:41 AM  |  420 views  |  1 comment

    Soon, you may be able to text and drive — and show your customers listings on your tablet — all while on your way to the next showing. Driverless cars are closer to reality than you may think. At the International Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas this week, several auto makers are touting features that allow you to take your hands off the wheel. 

    In fact, Bosch, a global automotive supplier, said during a session Tuesday that it will likely have a completely automatically powered car available to the public within the next seven to 10 years. It already has two models that it is testing in San Francisco and Germany that can drive themselves. The cars have 360-degree sensors that track their surroundings and adjust the cars accordingly — switching lanes, changing speeds, braking, and maneuvering through turns, all without any driver intervention. When drivers want to take back control of the car, they just put their hands back on the steering wheel and instantly have control over it again. 

    By 2050, industry researcher IHS Automotive has predicted, nearly every vehicle — both private and commercial — will be a self-driving car. The roads will be safer then too, according to IHS. 

    Indeed, one motivation behind developing driverless cars is for increased safety, auto makers say.Studies have shown that vehicle accidents would significantly decrease due to less driver error if more cars were driverless, said Dirk Hoheisel, member of the Bosch Board of Management, during Tuesday’s session on “Road to Driverless Mobility.” Hoheisel also said driverless cars would usher in better traffic management on the roads, greater fuel efficiency due to vehicles being driven optimally, and an obvious driver benefit -- allowing you to be more mobile and productive while you drive, even reading the newspaper or checking your e-mail. 

    Source: Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Daily News

  • ‘Vampire’ foreclosures?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Amador County, Foreclosure in Amador County, Property Q&A in Amador County  |  October 13, 2013 6:10 PM  |  395 views  |  No comments

    Foreclosures are scary enough, and now we have "vampire" foreclosures. RealtyTrac coined the term phrase in a new report to describe a growing number of homes around the U.S. that have been seized by a bank, but are still lived in by the original owners.

    An estimated 47 percent of bank-owned homes across the nation are still occupied by the previous owner, according to the real estate information company. In some cities, such as Houston, Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago, up to 65 percent of bank-owned homes are considered vampire foreclosures.

    These homes, along with the 20 percent of foreclosures known as "zombies," where a homeowner has abandoned the property during the foreclosure process, will eventually have to come to market, said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac.

    "This distressed inventory is artificially being held back so that in the short-term, it's helping boost the home prices and the housing recovery in general," Blomquist said. "But the red flag there is that eventually these homes are going to have to hit the market. They're not going to just disappear."

    Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-57605771/vampire-foreclosures-could-damage-housing-market/

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