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By Jenny Durling | Broker in Los Angeles, CA
  • Los Angeles Short Sales – Can I sell my Silver Lake home as a short sale?

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Silver Lake  |  June 25, 2012 8:07 AM  |  1,006 views  |  No comments

    By now, the term “short sale” is part of the common vocabulary, but if you’re not sure exactly what that means, please read the post: What buyers and sellers should know about Los Angeles short sales. If you have been asking ‘Can I sell my Silver Lake home as a short sale”, read on!

    If you’re upside down, you’re not alone…

    Most homeowners who purchased in Silver Lake during the height of the market now owe more on their mortgage than the house will bring in today’s market. In many cases, the difference is dramatic. But simply owing more than your Silver Lake home is worth today doesn’t qualify you for a short sale.Each lender has its own standards for determining whether or not they’ll approve you for a short sale. Primarily, you must prove some kind of hardship. If you have the means to continue making your mortgage payments, your lender will expect you to do so.House Exterior 300x219 Los Angeles Short Sales – Can I sell my Silver Lake home as a short sale?

    So what constitutes a verifiable hardship?

    First, something must have changed in the time since you purchased the house. In general, any of the following situations will probably qualify you for a short sale:

    • You’ve had a job transfer to another city and must sell the house in order to move out of Los Angeles.
    • Your co-purchaser has passed away and you cannot make the payments on your income alone.
    • You’ve experienced an accident or an illness that prevents you from working.
    • You’ve lost your job and have been unable to find another.
    • You purchased with an adjustable rate mortgage and your interest rate has reset. The payments are now so high that you could not re-qualify for the loan and you simply cannot make ends meet.

    All of the above situations which could qualify you to short sell your Los Angeles home are due to circumstances beyond your control.

    Falling values alone will not gain you short sale approval…

    True, you were not responsible for the crash and the sudden decrease in Los Angeles home values. That situation was definitely beyond your control. But the banks still won’t take that as a reason to approve your short sale unless you can show that continuing to make payments constitutes a hardship.

    Cruise Ship Los Angeles Short Sales – Can I sell my Silver Lake home as a short sale?Your lender is also likely to reject your short sale application if you:

    • Took all the equity out of your home to buy a car, take a trip, etc.
    • Purchased your Silver Lake home with a stated-income or no-doc loan and were not honest about your income and assets.
    • Have enough income and assets to continue making your mortgage payments.

    Prior to the passage of Senate Bills 931 and 458 the bank(s) might have allowed a short sale under those circumstances, but required you to bring money to the closing table. Now that this is disallowed by law, negotiations are more difficult.

    Why, since foreclosures do cost the banks money?

    Because SB 458, which disallows deficiency judgments on second mortgages under a short sale, does not extend to foreclosures. Under California law, the bank cannot come after you for deficiency on the first mortgage – but your second lien holder can demand payment if you allow your house to be foreclosed upon.

    If you’re having trouble keeping up with payments on your home in Silver Lake or surrounding areas, and aren’t sure if you’ll qualify for a Los Angeles short sale, call me directly at 213-215-4758. I’ll be happy to go over the specifics of your situation and make recommendations based on my experience.
    Jenny Durling Silver Lake Realtor Los Angeles Short Sales – Can I sell my Silver Lake home as a short sale?

    Jenny Durling, Broker

    Copywrite Jenny Durling 2012 *Los Angeles Short Sales – Can I sell my Silver Lake home as a short sale?*

    DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for informational purposes only. None of the information contained in this article should be taken as legal advice. Readers are advised to seek legal and or tax counsel regarding any information provided herein as they relate to specific personal situations a reader may face. Further the information herein pertains to California only. Deficiency laws will differ in each state.

  • What are the Options to a Los Angeles Short Sale?

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Los Angeles  |  May 19, 2012 9:32 PM  |  618 views  |  2 comments

    Ten years ago hardly anyone had heard of a short sale. Now, since the real estate bubble burst, “short sale” is almost a household word here in the Los Angeles area.

    The current situation is the result of several converging factors.

    First, when the bubble burst, homeowners who purchased when the market was rising or had reach its peak, lost value. That might not have mattered if two other factors hadn’t come into play at the same time:

    • Adjustable rate mortgages reset, making mortgage payments double or triple
    • The economy tanked and people lost jobs
    which road to choose What are the Alternatives to a Los Angeles Short Sale? If you find yourself unable to keep up with monthly payments on your house because of these factors, you do have some choices.

    If you don’t mind moving, the short sale is a good choice, but what if you’d like to keep your house? Refinance: Some programs will allow you to refinance up to 125% of your home’s current value – and lower your payments via lower interest rates. The FHA Short Refinance program will reduce your first mortgage to 97.75% of current value. If you are fortunate enough to have a loan that belongs to Fannie Mae and meets the timing criteria, you may be able to refinance without having an appraisal at all!

    Reinstatement: If you’re in pre-foreclosure and have come into some extra money, you can reinstate your loan by paying the defaulted balance plus interest and late fees.

    Loan Modification: Depending upon who owns your loan, you could be eligible for HARP, HAMP, FHA-HAMP, or the USDA’s Special Loan Servicing. If you are having trouble making making payments but are employed and can still qualify for a loan, it’s possible that your current lender will work with you to lower your rate, lower the principle owed or even both. It can’t hurt for you to call the number on your mortgage statement and ask.

    Forbearance: Again depending upon who owns your loan, if you are unemployed you may be eligible for 12 months of forbearance. During this time, you’ll be required to pay from zero up to 31% of your income toward the payments, but the bank will not add late fees or penalties and cannot start foreclosure. The unpaid amounts will be added to your loan balance for later payment.

    Here in California, you may also be eligible for assistance from “Keep Your Home California.” For details, call 888.954.KEEP.

    Bankruptcy: In some cases, judges allow homeowners to keep their homes – sometimes even reducing the principal balance on investment and vacation property. Do consult a qualified real estate attorney before considering this option. Alot will depend on the type of bankruptcy. Sometimes you can forestall a foreclosure but not be able to keep your home indefinitely. In such a situation, a short sale could be your best course of action.

    More Help May be on the Way…

    Expanded HAMP programs will be go into effect June 1, 2012. So even if your lender has deemed you ineligible for assistance in the past, it would be wise to check back after the new guidelines are in place.

    To learn who owns your mortgage loan, visit Making Home Affordable.

    If you own a home in Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Hollywood Hills, Eagle Rock, Pasadena, or surrounding areas and you’ve decided that a short sale is the best option, or if you just need to discuss your options with a real estate professional, get in touch.

    I’ll be glad to go over the specifics of your situation with you and help you determine your best course of action.

    You can call me directly at 213-215-4758 – but hurry. Don’t wait until the bank makes the decision for you.

    Jenny Durling Silver Lake Realtor2 What are the Alternatives to a Los Angeles Short Sale?

    Jenny Durling
    Broker Associate
    LA Property Solutions

    Copyright © 2012 By Jenny Durling * What are the Alternatives to a Los Angeles Short Sale? *

  • Curb Appeal- Make That First Impression Count

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Silver Lake, Curb Appeal in Silver Lake, Property Q&A in Silver Lake  |  September 20, 2011 11:46 AM  |  1,585 views  |  No comments

    You Know What They Say About First Impressions-  It’s The Same Thing When It Comes To Your Home’s Curb Appeal

    Most of us are so used to the way our homes look that we don’t give it much thought, but if you are planning to sell, great curb appeal can make the sale faster, easier and many times, more lucrative as well.  Take a minute to walk across the street and give your house a good look.  If what you see is less than stellar, don’t worry, there are inexpensive ways to dress your place for success!

    Potted plants at the front door add a boost your home's curb appealNow That You Have Seen Your House From a Buyer’s Perspective, Make a Plan

    Rather than run out to the nearest garden center and buy a flat of flowers, take some time to determine what will make the most sense and still keep you within budget. What plants do you already have?  Perhaps you simply need to prune trees, shape bushes, pull weeds and get that lawn back to green! As unfair as it may sound, an unkempt yard can lead a prospective buyer to believe that the house may have deferred issues as well.
    If you feel your garden is a little bare and could use an extra punch, make sure that the plants you choose will thrive in the areas you intend to plant them. If you are planting in a shady spot, stick with shade plants. It may sound obvious but unless a plant is labeled ‘full sun’ many plants simply can’t take the heat and your work and dollars will go down the tubes in a heartbeat! Do a little online research or even stop by a local garden center and ask for advice.  If you live in a condo or have little or no space for a garden, you can add a couple of big pots with colorful plants on either side of your door. They will brighten your doorway and create a welcoming entrance for visitors.

    How Does the Walkway Look?

    flowers along the front path add interest to a homeReplace missing and broken pavers. If you have space, you can all a row of bricks along the edge or plant bright season blooms along the edge to create interest and draw the eye towards the front door. Speaking of doors, a fresh coat of paint on just the front door can make a huge difference in the way your home appears. I have clients who have already told me the first thing they are going to do when they buy a house is paint the front door red! Red may not be your thing, but a bright or contrasting color will definitely add interest and is an inexpensive ‘fix’. Add a nice, new welccome mat and you are good to go.

    What About the Backyard?

    meyer lemon trees are a Los Angeles stapleAgreed, the backyard has nothing to do with curb appeal, but as long as your are working the garden you might as well put some energy in the backyard as well. In Southern California, most people think of the backyards as an extension of their living space. If you have the space and don’t already have one, plant a citrus tree. The Meyer Lemon is a favorite and they grow pretty quickly. I can’t imagine living in L.A. without a lemon tree- it’s almost a requirement!  A small tree will grow pretty quickly and won’t cost a whole lot. It will definitely be worth the investment.

    For more ideas on what to do to get your house ready for market, simply give me a call at 213-215-4758.  I can stop by and give you my objective opinion on what small changes you can make to the outside of your home to get that first impression you are hoping for!

    Jenny Durling- Silver Lake Realtor





    Jenny Durling
    Broker Associate
    L.A. Property Solutions


    Copyright © 2011 By Jenny Durling * Curb Appeal- Make That First Impression Count*


    Buying or Selling Los Angeles Real Estate

    Buying a Los Angeles home is no simple process.  Los Angeles is a huge city!  If you are new to the area or planning a move to the area, working with an agent who specializes in the neighborhoods that interest you such as  Silver Lake,Los Feliz, Hollywood Hills, Echo Park, and Eagle Rock can be of critical importance.  If you have or plan to have children, you’ll want a Los angles real estate agent who can direct you to the best area schools.  Where will you be working?  An experienced local Los Angeles Realtor can help you narrow down the neighborhoods that will make the most sense for your commute to the office.  I am your local resident expert and can be your guide in finding the right Los Angeles properties for sale to choose from that will fit your budget and lifestyle!

    It is also important for Los Angeles Home Sellers , to work with a local expert. When I list and sell a Los Angeles home for a client, I help them understand the local market and the minds of local agents and buyers alike. My priority is to sell your Los Angeles home for the most money possible in the least amount of time.  When you hire me to list your Los Angeles property, you hire me to market it fully to fellow agents, their buyers and the public both online and in person. Many agents will represent both the buyer AND the seller in a single transaction.  That is not how I operate. I believe that it is my duty to represent only YOUR interests and feel it would be a conflict of interest to represent a buyer for your Los Angeles property for salesimultaneously.

    When I list and sell Los Angeles homes for my clients, I make the process as smooth and pleasant as possible. You will never have to question where my loyalties lie. You can trust me to take care of the details and keep you informed every step of the way. Please let me know how I can best serve your real estate needs by filling out the online contact form , or better still, give me call today at 213-215-4758.

  • Silver Lake Market Statistics

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Silver Lake, Home Selling in Silver Lake, In My Neighborhood in Silver Lake  |  July 13, 2011 8:36 PM  |  1,080 views  |  No comments

    If you are looking to buy or sell a home in the Silver Lake area, you are most likely curious about the current Silver Lake real estate market. Well priced Silver Lake homes are selling relatively quickly with many of the more desirable properties selling in multiple offers.  That said, there are still some sellers who are not being realistic about their asking price.  Such homes linger on the market until reality sets in or the property listing is withdrawn or expires. There is not a particularly large inventory homes for sale in the area right now. The MLS shows the current active listing inventory of single family Silver Lake homes to be 67, which coincidentally, is the same number of homes that have sold in the first half of the year. The follow chart shows Silver Lake Real Estate Market activity for the Month of June, 2011.

    Silver Lake Market Statistics Report for the month ending June 30, 2011 
    Now let’s take a look at some year to date figures from January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2011. These figures are for single family homes in Silver Lake only and to not include Silver Lake condos or income properties. If you’d like information on either or both of those categories, give me a call at (213) 215-4758.

    Silver Lake Home Sales Year-to-date from January 1st, 2011 through June 30, 2011 

    • Number of Single Family Homes SOLD: 67
    • Highest price -  $1,605,000  
    • Median price -$628,000   
    • Average price -$688,255  
    • Lowest price – $135,000  
    • Average Days on the Market – 71  
    • Average Square footage 1673.89  
    • Average price per square foot- $408.62

    Silver Lake Market Statistics Report for the month ending June 30, 2011  

    According to the information provided in the MLS, of the total number of single family homes sold in Silver Lake so far this year, 7 where short sales and 8 where bank owned. Approximately 22% of the total sales for the first half of this year were distress sales. Six of the currently active Silver Lake listings are distress sales, just shy of 9%.

    Silver Lake prices vary by location, school district, property size and condition.  The following chart shows that the majority of sale of Silver Lake single family homes this year (46%) have sold between $500,000 and $800,000. 

    If you have been hoping to find a house in Silver Lake for less than $400,000 you’ll see that only 11 homes (about 16%) have sold in that price range since the beginning of 2011.  The market for homes in this lower price range is not only very competitive, but the majority of the properties are major fixers, very small, and/or in less desirable areas.  Investors have come back into the market and are snapping many of these up for all cash.

    If you are looking to buy such a home to live in, you do have a time advantage in some cases. Fannie Mae’s “First Look Program” for Fannie Mae-owned foreclosed homes only considers offers from public entities and those seeking to purchase a home as their primary residence during the first 15 days that a property is listed.

    For a list of First Look properties or assistance in buying or selling Silver Lake area real estate, fill out the online contact form, or better still, give me call today at 213-215-4758.

     Jenny Durling- Silver Lake Realtor

    Jenny Durling
    Broker Associate
    Keller Williams Realty, Los Feliz
    Copyright © 2011 By Jenny Durling * Silver Lake Real Estate Market Statistics*

  • Short Sales and Los Angeles Short Sale Alternatives

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Silver Lake, Foreclosure in Silver Lake  |  October 9, 2010 5:34 PM  |  777 views  |  No comments

    Short Sales and Los Angeles Short Sale Alternatives

    When the real estate bubble burst, a lot of homeowners found themselves on the losing side in terms of property ownership. There are a lot of people with monthly mortgage payments that exceeded their monthly net income. In combination with the drop in property values, a lot of folks have been left not knowing what to do. It is due to this dismal situation that the short sale became a household name.

    Realize, that if your property has enough equity in it, you can sell it through conventional channels. If the amount owed on your property is more than what is is currently worth, you might be a perfect candidate for a short sale.  I've written previous posts about short sale and you can click on any of these links for more information.

    If you are truly in a hardship position and cannot sell your home for as much or more than you currently owe, a short sale could be the right choice for you. If there is equity in your home or you have money in the bank, there are a few options that could allow you to stay in your property.

    Refinance. This option would allow you to replace your current mortgage with a new one. You will need to have a certain amount of equity in the property to qualify for this option.

    Reinstatement.  If you are in pre-foreclosure but have come into some extra money, you may be able to reinstate your existing loan by paying the entire defaulted amount as well as interest and late fees.

    Loan Modification. If you are gainfully employed and simply not able to cover your current mortgage, it is possible that your lender will work with you to adjust the loan either in terms, amount  and/or interest rate. Your mortgage will want you to demonstrate a reason (or hardship) for your inability to keep up with the mortgage and will likely give you a trial modification before making any permanent changes.

    Forbearance.  Your existing mortgage could allow you leeway in bringing your loan current. They may allow extra time for over due payments, add late payments to the principle or any number of things to allow you to ‘pick up where you left off' and not get further behind on your loan or farther down the foreclosure path.

     If you have exhausted these options or simply are not qualified for them, you can go one of these routes: 

    Deed in lieu of foreclosure. In this option you essentially give the property back to the bank instead of proceeding with a foreclosure. There are definite negative impacts on your credit rating and ability to obtain a loan in the future if you go this route.

    Foreclosure.  If you take no action at all, eventually the bank will simply foreclose on the property. It will be sold at a trustee's sale and if you have not already vacated, you will be evicted by the sheriff. Again, your credit will take a giant hit! 

    Bankruptcy. This option can liquidate debt and postpone a foreclosure sale. You lender may impose requirements as to property condition and tax status. You would definitely want to speak to an attorney before going this route.

     There are many things to take into consideration when deciding what move to make. f you are having trouble making ends meet, don't let the bank foreclose on you! I urge you to contact me directly at 213-215-4758 and I will go over the specifics of your situation with you and help you determine your best course of action.

    For more information on shorts sales in Los Angeles County and buying or selling property in Silver Lake, Echo Park, Los Feliz, and surrounding areas, contact me directly at 213-215-4758 or check out LApropertySolutions.com

    Broker Associate, HAFA certified, E-pro
    Keller Williams Realty, Los Feliz

    Copyright © 2010 By Jenny Durling *All Rights Reserved * Short Sales and Los Angeles Short Sale Alternatives*

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