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Jeremy Lehman's Blog

By Jeremy Lehman | Agent in Garden Grove, CA
  • HomePath Properties Great Opportunity for Buyers

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Orange County, Foreclosure in Orange County, Property Q&A in Orange County  |  March 22, 2012 12:25 AM  |  609 views  |  1 comment

    homepath-listingsHomePath Listings are a Great Opportunity for First Time Buyers

    A foreclosed property can represent a great opportunity and a good value — but a HomePath property from Fannie Mae can offer even more. Some homes may qualify for special incentives, and many can be purchased with a low down payment and flexible mortgage terms through HomePath financing.

    California and local housing authorities offer financing programs that can assist you with the down payment and purchase of your new home. Additionally, HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) provides homebuyer funds through special financing programs.

    HomePath supports public funds programs and offer additional assistance to buyers, including the following:

    • Earnest money requirement (deposit) for individuals using public funds is only $500.
    • Fannie Mae waives the earnest money requirement for public entities using public funds to purchase a Fannie Mae- owned property.
    • Once an offer using NSP funds is accepted, buyers have the opportunity to renegotiate after receiving an NSP required Uniform Residential Appraisal value for the property.
    • The standard closing period for a public funds offer is 45 days, which allows time to fulfill the NSP requirements for funding.
    • Buyers using public funds to purchase a home can do so without competition from investors during the First Look marketing period (typically the first 15 days on the market).
    Simply put, HomePath homes are set up to help buyers purchase them by providing additional financial assistance. The First Look program provides an opportunity for buyers to make an offer an a HomePath property without competing with investors. Additionally, all HomePath properties are are cleaned up, repaired, painted, and provided with new flooring. The idea that all foreclosures are beat up homes simply isn't true. HomePath properties are "turn-key", ready to move in.

    There are lots of HomePath listings available in Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, and throughout the rest of Orange County. HomePath listings hit the market almost daily and any buyer interested in finding one needs to be patient to find the right home in the neighborhoods you'd consider moving to.  See HomePath Listings
  • Get Up to $3000 To Short Sale Your Home

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Orange County, Home Selling in Orange County, Foreclosure in Orange County  |  February 29, 2012 9:51 AM  |  445 views  |  No comments

    HAFA, an answer to struggling homeowners and frustrated real estate agents.

    The HAFA short sale program, effective from April 5, 2010, through December 31, 2012, is a great alternative to foreclosure for homeowners who are upside down on their home’s value or can no longer afford their home. HAFA promises short sale approval within 10 days (most can take 30-90 days) and gives you up to $3,000 in cash at closing.

    HAFA stands for Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives, and it’s part of the government’s plan Making Home Affordable Program. The first step is to apply to HAMP, Home Affordable Modification Program. The banks would rather modify your loan than short sale your home, because they lose more money on a short sale. However, most borrowers only qualify for a short sale, but you need to apply for HAMP first. Here are the rules to be eligible for the HAMP program:

    • The home must be your  personal residence.
    • The mortgage amount must be less than $729,750.
    • The borrower suffers a hardship such as loss of income, an increased mortgage payment or an unexpected increase of expenses.
    • The mortgage originated before January 1, 2009.
    • The PITI mortgage payment, including HOA, is more than 31% of the borrower’s gross monthly income.

    If you are not eligible for HAMP, then you may want to consider a short sale. If you are eligible for HAMP, it does not mean that you will qualify for HAMP. Eligibility and qualification for HAMP are two different animals. Your goal, if you want to do a short sale, is to hope that HAMP will turn you down. Then you will be eligible for HAFA. Or, if accepted into HAMP, and you stop making your loan modification payments, you can apply to HAFA. This may sound like goofy rules, but it’s the way our government works.

    Qualify for a Short Sale on your home

    Eligibility Requirements for HAFA Short Sales

    Once the borrower is rejected for a loan modification through the HAMP Program, the borrower is then eligible to apply to the HAFA Short Sale program or pursue a Deed in-Lieu-of Foreclosure. Since I don’t know why anybody in their right minds would do a deed in-lieu, I’ll stick to the short sale process. HAFA will preapprove the price of that short sale and give the seller 4 months to sell the property through a real estate agent. Here are the eligibility requirements:

    • Only personal residences are eligible.
    • The mortgage amount must be less than $729,750.
    • The seller must be behind or about to fall behind on the mortgage.
    • The mortgage originated before January 1, 2009.
    • The seller was or would be rejected by HAMP for a loan modification.
    • Sellers who have government loans may qualify under a different HAFA program.
    Do I Qualify for a Short Sale on My Home?

    Benefits of a HAFA Short Sale

    After a seller has jumped through all of these hoops, there should be benefits, right? There are. For example, second lenders can no longer try to force a seller to commit short sale mortgage fraudby demanding payments outside of escrow or holding the seller’s first-born as collateral. Here are other HAFA benefits:

    • Lenders that participate in HAFA waive the right to a deficiency judgment.
    • Junior lenders can receive up to 6% of the loan balance or $6,000 maximum to release the loan. As of Feb 1, 2011, the 6% cap has been removed by the U.S. Treasury.
    • Sellers will receive a government payment of $3,000 at close of escrow to cover relocation expenses.
    • Sellers will not be required to make a seller contribution.
    • Lenders must agree not to foreclose during the short sale process.
    • With the exception of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, VA and FHA loans, the sellers’ mortgage payment does not need to exceed the 31% ratio after 2/1/11.

    Another condition of HAFA is all parties must sign an arm’s length affidavit. In other words, you cannot sell to a person you know or  are related to. The buyer must also agree not to sell the property for a minimum of 90 days.

    If you’re considering a Short Sale on your home, we’d love to help. Our team is experienced at closing short sales and we can help you get qualified for a HAFA short sale at no cost to you. Get Qualified to Short Sale your home or Call Jeremy direct at 714-580-3274

  • What's a Short Sale?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Garden Grove, Home Selling in Garden Grove, Foreclosure in Garden Grove  |  February 19, 2012 2:10 PM  |  326 views  |  2 comments

    A few days ago, I was asked by a friend, “what’s a short sale?”. My response was, “do you live under a rock?”. The conversation went on, he told me he had of course heard of them, had no idea what they really are, and that they sucked. In reality, they don’t suck as much as they used to.  This conversation helped me realize that even though we hear and use the term all the time, not everyone necessarily knows exactly what a short sale is.

    A short sale is when someone owes more on their home then they can sell it for. You make a deal with the bank to sell it for less than you owe, and they don’t make you pay the difference. Not a bad deal, huh?  The reason you’ve heard so much bad press about them is the short sale process use to take forever, and for agents, are the most difficult homes to show and sell. The short sale process has sped up quite a bit and there are new ways to make the experience better for buyers and sellers. You can read more about short sales here

    A short sale isn’t  for everyone. You have a couple of other options too. If you really want to keep your home, you can try to get a loan modification. Sometimes, your bank will allow you to restructure your loan to make it more affordable to stay in your home, or better yet, forgive the negative balance on the loan, adjusting it down to market value. Loan modifications have always remained low in comparison to short sales and foreclosures simply because most people who can’t afford their homes have some kind of financial hardship that prevents them from qualifying. In 2012, our government is launching a program that will allow you to refinance your home at a very low interest rate whether your bank wants you to or not. We’ll do a write up when it comes out.

    Another option is foreclosure. You can stop making your mortgage payments and live in the house until the sheriff shows up. In 2011, we saw less foreclosures and a lot more short sales. There are many reasons for this. A short sale is better on your credit than a foreclosure, allows you to control when you move (and you can do it quietly), some programs pay you money to do a short sale, and you can buy another home within 3 years. You can read more about short sales here

    Why does all this matter? It looks like our market will continue to be dominated with short sale inventory for the next couple of years. If you plan to purchase a home, don’t rule out short sales simply because they can take more time. If you’re planning on selling your home, you will compete against short sales in the market (this can be an advantage). Working with an agent that is familiar with short sales is important. Not all agents are qualified to work this kind of a sale. Not only is our team experienced with short sales, but we use several short sale negotiators to help us with our short sale transactions. The advantage is having a full time Realtor talking to the bank, negotiating, and handling the paperwork, allowing the rest of our team to do our job of marketing our listings, showing homes and making offers, and servicing our clients.

    If you’re considering a short sale on your home, click here to see if you qualify

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