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Michael C. Angeles' Blog

By Michael Angeles | Broker in Milpitas, CA
  • Why Sell your Home?

    Posted Under: Home Buying, Home Selling, In My Neighborhood  |  February 27, 2014 9:58 PM  |  220 views  |  No comments
    It's been a while since I wrote something about the market, I was consumed with our daily work and this time, I was motivated to write again by my partner Tess Dixon. This afternoon, we attended a seminar on how to make our presence in this difficult but exciting market using social media and online marketing. One thing that we didn't talk about is what drives this market to what it is now. Clearly, 90% of people that want to buy a house, goes to Google and search. And there you have it, all the list of homes that are for sale in the local neighborhood. But what is important that we didn't discussed is what motivates a homeowner to sell their house.

    I have been selling homes since 2003 and based on my experience, homeowners sell their home because of their personal reasons. And they want an agent that will provide them the best results at the end of the day.

    So if I may asked, why sell your home? What will motivate a homeowner to call us, and ask.. Can you sell my house? There are few reasons and here are what I have encountered:

    1. Job Relocation
    2. The Family is growing
    3. We out grown this house, we need a new one.
    4. We are down sizing, our kids are all grown up
    5. The payments are high, we want to get something reasonable
    6. I want to move to a better school district, my kids are growing
    7. I want a better neighborhood

    These are only the few, I'm sure that there are more personal reasons why selling their house is being thought. In selling your home it is also important to pick the right time to sell. If you sell later on the year, most likely buyers that were looking has already bought a house, and if you sell soon, you might missed out on the upward trend of home pricing.

    Home sellers are so important in this market, because without inventory, buyers tend to over bid on their offers and sometimes it's not reasonable anymore. On the other hand, this is a very advantageous to sellers because they get most of their investments.

    So, for whatever reason you are selling, please try to get advice to a Realtor, asked questions about the neighborhood, who are selling? How much can we sell my house? How can you Market my house? And most important, can the agent work with you.

    I hope that you find this interesting. I will write soon about home selling, and please if you find this interesting, write down a comment. Until next time!

  • What motivates you to buy a HOUSE at this time?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in San Jose, Home Selling in San Jose, Property Q&A in San Jose  |  January 12, 2011 11:44 AM  |  1,915 views  |  1 comment
    I did my first open house this 2011 on one of my listing in Fremont last Sunday, 37509 Summer Holly Cmn. I had that listing since last year and run into unfortunate situation, that until now, it is still in the market. It was a short sale and I had it approved until when the buyer backed out the last minute. My seller's had moved out already and have the property vacant. I just wished a serious buyer will really come and put an offer to the home.

    So this is my question, what motivates you to buy a home at this time? I have a few things I learned and here are some of it:

    1. Location, Location, Location -  if you're in a great location buyer want to get that home.

    2. School District - a lot of my buyers with children wanted to buy a home where a good school district is.. Fremont is one of those.

    3. Interest Rates - well, today we are still below 5% in interest rates,

    4. Price - Homes right now are at least 30% less than what it is 3 years ago..

    So.. why is it that this listing of mine is still in the market, when I have counted the number of agents that showed the property just for the past two weeks are more than 20. Also, this was really an experience that I never thought I would see. Last Sunday, I met a buyer that I also met on my very first open house last year. And I asked him, all this time, one year has passed and he didn't buy a home, and you know what he said," I haven't been motivated to buy a home.. I'm just waiting." So again I asked him, what are you waiting for? Interest rates are low, the house price went down from $606,500 to $545,000, this should be a good time for you to buy," he replied,"How much will you give me of your commission so we can make a deal to buy this house?"
    I just looked at him and said.. that is why you haven't bought a home.. we can't bribe you or buy you out to purchase a house...

    So.. is this the new kind of buyers in the market.. the one that will be lure by money to purchase a new home.. Just like Redfin they give at least half of their commission, another way of urging buyers to use them.. here is a line I copy from redfin website, and it says, "

    In major metropolitan areas, our own agents deliver great service and a 50% commission refund; elsewhere our carefully screened partner agents offer a 15% commission credit.*

    So.. I guess I can add to my list:

    5. Agent 50% commission refund to the buyer

    Please don't hesitate to comment, I'm not here to write bad things about Redfin, they are an internet base brokerage that has their own marketing scheme. Everything that I wrote above is just base on my experience and facts.
  • Can we predict the housing market of 2011

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in San Jose, Home Buying in San Jose, Home Selling in San Jose  |  December 30, 2010 10:28 AM  |  1,708 views  |  No comments
    2010 Started great because of the $8000 tax credit for First Time Home Buyer Program by the Obama administration. It was the push that most Realtors are needing and most specially was for a buyer's stand point, it was a great incentive. However, after it ended, it was very noticeable that a lot of buyers stop biting.
    Personally, It all freezed in September until now. But I just don't put the tax credit as a biggest factor in this slow market, I will also looked at the Consumer's Confidence. Well the Gov't is measuring this and the way I look at it, it's very low. I can't blame the consumer, unemployment is really high. California alone is at 12.4% comparing to the national rate of 9.8% that is a 2.6% in difference.
    Personally, yes, that is where I blame this slow housing market. Consumers are afraid that once they purchase a home, which is the biggest investment that they have, they are vulnarable in their financial since their work is at risk.

    So how can we solve this, are we just gonna wait, and wait, and wait until this turn around? What if it doesn't turn around? What if?  Well, that is the "What if Mentality."

    Buyers, you should not be afraid of purchasing your home, you get more security on your home than just renting. it doesn't matter, if you loose your job, since if you can't pay rent, you still get an eviction notice! At least if you can't pay your mortgage, your bank will still help you find a way to modify or let you short sale your home. Well, I know what you're thinking, this guy just want to get more business by promoting home buying.. Well, Yes, but also look at it on a different prospective, an economist prospective...

    When you buy a resale home, your property tax, will help out your county. Once you get that home, for sure you will do some work, example, re-paint the wall, change the flooring, update that kitchen and so on.. I know, because my clients does it. Now, this is my point. By just you buying a house, you became a part of the economic recovery, WHY? well once you buy that paint for your home, you have help a lot of individual that is about to loose their job. Let me lay it down for you.. Paint - you bought at HomeDepot, that cashier that ring your transaction, that Salesperson that mixed your paint, that stocker that put that paint in the shelf, that reciever that recieves that paint, that truck driver that drove that paint from the distribution center to Homedepot, the paint manufacturer that created that paint and so on.. I hope you see the connection..

    Well, I wished that I have the crystal ball to tell every one when to buy or when to sell or when to do nothing. But one thing is certain, Doesn't matter if the stars have something to do with our future, what is certain is that it's all up to us on what we can do for ourselves. No one can tell us what we can do for our future, we hold the key to our success or failures. So, Can we predict the Housing Market of 2011? Well it's all up to us.. Happy New Year to All!!
  • In spite of SENATE BILL 94 - Brokers are still charging Upfront fees

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in San Jose  |  March 20, 2010 12:40 AM  |  2,118 views  |  1 comment

    I was called by a friend and consulted about their loan modification process. I was really bothered about what my friend has told me... they were asked by a broker for an upfront fee of $2100 that was split in two payments and then an additional $2100 for the attorney that was doing the negotiation. In spite of SB 94, Brokers are still scamming desperate and troubled homeowners. So I told her that NO ONE should be charging any upfront fee what so ever after October 11, 2009.

    My friend was shock and in disbelief of what I have told them. I even suggested to call DRE (Department of Real Estate) to confirm my statement. After they called DRE, they immediately called me and confirmed that what I have told them is correct. So they called the broker and immediately after they said that they called DRE, the broker told my friend that he will return the money that my friend has given them and that it was their company's policy to do that and that my friend situation is an exception... Huh? so what about the rest of the homeowners that went and will use them? that means that they are still not following the SB 94 and that they are taking advantage of desperate people.

    In my friends' case, I hope that their money will be return in a timely manner, and to those who was victimized by this broker, I hope that their loan modification will go through and that they can still stay in their homes.

    Below is an article from Mortgage Loan Bulletin from DRE - a message by Jeff Davi our DRE Commissioner in regards to SB 94:

     Commissioner’s Message on Senate Bill 94

    over the past year and a half, the DRE has committed considerable resources combating loan modification scams.

    The Department is currently investigating over 2,000 loan modification complaints and, in just the past 12 months, has issued over 400 desist and refrain orders and accusations against individual respondents for illegally collecting advance fees. Most of the cases involve an unlicensed Commissioner who has collected an advance fee in exchange for a promise that the homeowner will receive a sustainable loan modification; yet once the fee was paid little or nothing was done to get the borrower’s loan modified. A list of persons and companies that the Department has taken action against can be found at http://www.dre.ca.gov/cons_drs.asp.

    In recognition of widespread advance fee scams, the Governor signed Senate Bill 94 on October 11, 2009. This measure goes right to the heart of the fraud as it prohibits any person, including real estate licensees and attorneys, from demanding, claiming, charging, collecting or receiving an upfront fee from a borrower in connection with a promise to modify the borrower’s residential loan or to do some other form of mortgage loan forbearance. The advance fee prohibi­tion for loan modification and forbearance services applies to residential property containing four or fewer dwelling units. And as an urgency bill, it went into effect immediately.

    The new bill also requires the following written disclosure in at least 14 point bold type regarding loan modification and/ or loan forbearance services prior to entering into any fee agreement with a borrower:

    “It is not necessary to pay a third party to arrange for a loan modification or other form of forbearance from your mortgage lender or servicer. You may call your lender directly to ask for a change in your loan terms. Nonprofit housing counseling agencies also offer these and other forms of borrower assistance free of charge. A list of nonprofit housing counseling agen­cies approved by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is available from your local HUD office or by visiting www.hud.gov.”

    If loan modification or other loan forbearance services are negotiated or offered in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean, a translated copy of the disclosure above must be given to the borrower in that foreign language.

    A violation of the law can result in fines and up to a year in jail.

    The prohibition regarding advance fees for loan modification and forbearance services will be repealed on 1/1/2013 unless extended by the legislature. The requirement to provide a written disclosure that it is not necessary to pay a third party for loan modification services will not sunset in 2013.

    For a copy of Senate Bill 94, visitwww.leginfo.ca.govand click on “Bill Information”. Information is also available on the California Department of Real Estate at www.dre.ca.gov.


  • Loan Modification Setback - but still way much better than a FORECLOSURE

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in San Jose  |  March 19, 2010 11:59 PM  |  1,735 views  |  1 comment

    I was really surprised about this article that is why I'm posting this to my Blogs. I'm sure I understand if the borrowers were delinquent with their mortgage, that their credit score will be affected because of mortgage lates, but to those homeowners that are not late but struggling with their payments, it is really unfair. However, It is still a positive outcome to a homeowner, why? at least they get the help that was being promised by the Obama administration, second, they will not be in foreclosure, and last, they can still be in their homes.
    Get your home to foreclosure doesn't just affect the home owners, it affects all of us. So as much as possible, if you're struggelling with your mortgage payments, please, call your Mortgage Bank right away and ask for assistance, the Government has implemented all the programs to help everyone that is in need. Beside Loan Modification, you can Short Sale, Deed in Lieu, and Foreberance. Also try to remember that if you seek help with a Broker or an Attorney for a loan modification, THEY CANNOT, I MEAN CANNOT ASK YOU FOR AN UPFRONT FEE, PERIOD!!

    With that said, there are also other alternatives that the bank has to offer if you really can't afford your mortgage payments, so the best way is to CALL your mortgage bank and ask for assistance, YOU and YOUR BANK can solve your hardship with your mortgage.

    So please, read and passed this to people you know that are also in this situation

    Credit scores can drop after getting loan help

    Homeowners see credit scores sink after signing up for mortgage relief

    Alan Zibel, AP Real Estate Writer, On Friday March 19, 2010, 11:25 am EDT

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Some homeowners who sign up for the government's mortgage assistance program are getting a nasty surprise: Lower credit scores.

    For borrowers who are making their payments on time but are on the verge of default, the Obama administration's loan modification program can reduce their credit score as much as 100 points. That makes it harder to get a loan and can present a problem when applying for a new job.

    Housing counselors say it's unfair, especially because the news often comes as a surprise to homeowners.

    "Why should people's credit be hurt even worse when they're trying to do the right thing?" said Eileen Anderson, senior vice president at Community Development Corp. of Long Island, a housing counseling group in New York.

    And many homeowners are angry that a program designed to help carries such a penalty, said Kathy Conley, a housing counselor with GreenPath Inc., a nonprofit group in Farmington Hills, Mich.

    "It's a feeling of being duped," she said.

    Still, the impact is far less severe than a foreclosure, where borrowers typically find their credit is in tatters for years. That's due to the cumulative impact of many months of missed payments and the foreclosure itself, which drags down a homeowner's' credit by 150 points or more on a scale of 300 to 850.

    To enroll in the Obama administration's $75 billion "Making Home Affordable" program, borrowers enter a trial period in which they make at least three payments. But some are finding out that their credit score takes a dive during this trial phase. It happens once their mortgage company notifies the three big credit bureaus -- Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

    For delinquent borrowers, the damage was done when they fell behind on their loans.

    But for homeowners who are having financial troubles but managing to pay their bills, a request for a loan modification is the first sign of difficulty. And that means a sharp drop in the borrower's credit score.

    The credit rating industry defends the practice. People who sign up for loan modifications would not be asking for help unless they were having severe money troubles, said Norm Magnuson, spokesman for the Consumer Data Industry Association, a trade group in Washington that represents the credit bureaus.

    "The consumer is going into the program because they're in a financial bind," he said. "Other lenders would need to be aware of that."

    The Obama administration acknowledges that enrolling in the program can hurt credit scores. But Meg Reilly, a Treasury Department spokeswoman, said that foreclosure "brings far more serious financial consequences for borrowers and their families."

    The credit score issue is an unexpected consequence of the program that has been plagued with problems and disappointing results since its launch last year. Only about 170,000 homeowners had completed the process as of February. Hundreds of thousands more are still in limbo.

    Jim Owens, 46, of Harrisburg, Ore., was accepted on a trial basis for the Obama plan last year.

    He and his family were in bad financial shape. They were barely able to pay the mortgage and utility bills.

    The main reason: After being laid off and unemployed for six months, he took a job as maintenance director at a retirement home. But it paid only around $25,000 year, about $10,000 less than his former job in a city public works department.

    He and his wife were also struggling with debt, after taking out a second mortgage four years ago to pay off debt and medical bills.

    Late last year, he was searching for a used sport-utility vehicle. He got a 30-day approval for $2,000 car loan.

    But that time ran out before he found a car, so he had to reapply for the loan. He was shocked to learn that, after signing up for the Obama plan, he was denied.

    "I should have been told," that this might happen, Owens said. "Without credit, you can't do a whole lot in life."


  • Main Reason Why I encourge Short Sale to Home Owners

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in San Jose  |  February 3, 2010 12:32 PM  |  1,937 views  |  2 comments
    Please read this article from CNN Money - this is the main reason why I encourge HomeOwners that are having trouble with their mortgage to short sale instead of walking away. It's really hard and frustrating when you can't get a straight answers from the lender. But with the help of Realtors like us we can try to help you avoid foreclosure. But always remember, with a short sale, AT LEAST you try to settle it with the bank, and that before closing the homeowner can request to their lender, documentation that will not come back to them after the short sale has happened. All I can say is that, you didn't just walk away from your obligations. Please read and comment.

    Mortgage lenders pursue homeowners even after foreclosure

    By Les Christie, staff writer , On Wednesday February 3, 2010, 8:18 am EST

    As terrible as it is to lose your house to foreclosure, at least it's a relief to put your biggest financial headache behind you, right?


    Former homeowners may still be on the hook if there's a difference between what they owed on their mortgage and what the bank could sell it for at auction. And these "deficiency judgments" are ticking time bombs that can explode years after borrowers lose their homes.

    It can even happen to people who got their bank to approve them selling their home for less than it is worth.

    Vanessa Corey, for example, short sold her Fredericksburg, Va., home in April 2008. She and her husband built the house in 2004, but setbacks, both personal (divorce) and professional (housing bust), made it impossible for the real estate agent to keep her home. So she negotiated the short sale and thought that was the end of it.

    "My understanding was that the deficiency was negotiated away," she said. "Then, last November, I got a letter from a lawyer telling me I owed my lender $65,000. I had to declare bankruptcy. There was no way I could pay it."

    Many homeowners are now in the same boat. And not just those who took out bigger loans than they could afford or who did so called "liar loans" where they didn't have to verify their income.

    Because of falling home prices, borrowers who always paid their mortgage but who have run into unforeseen circumstances -- like unemployment or a job transfer -- can no longer sell their homes for what they owe. As a result, they are being forced to short sell or foreclose and are getting caught up in deficiency judgments.

    "After the banks foreclose, it's very common now to have large deficiencies with houses not worth the balances owed," said Don Lampe, a North Carolina real estate attorney.

    Lenders mostly declined comment. Although Corey's lender, BB&T did indicate it was pursuing more deficiency judgments.

    "They follow the rise and fall of foreclosures," said the spokeswoman, who would not discuss Corey's account.

    Can they come after you?

    Whether banks can and will pursue deficiency judgments depends on many factors, including what state the borrower lives in and whether there's a second mortgage or other liens. But if borrowers ignore the possibility of deficiencies, it could haunt them.

    "Once they have a judgment, they can pursue you anywhere," said Richard Zaretsky, a board-certified real estate attorney in West Palm Beach, Fla. "They can ask for financial records, have your wages garnished and, if you fail to respond, a judge can put you in jail."

    In the case of foreclosure, lenders can pursue deficiencies in more than 30 states, including Florida, New York and Texas, according to the U.S. Foreclosure Network, an organization of mortgage law firms.

    Some states, such as California, are "non-recourse" and don't allow deficiency judgments. But, even there, if the if the original loan was refinanced, some or all of it may be subject to claims.

    Deficiency judgments on short sales and deeds-in-lieu can happen in many more places. In these cases, extinguishing the debt is often a matter of negotiating with the bank.

    But even when lenders are willing, many borrowers may not be aware that they have to ask for release. So, if you are pursuing a short sale, be sure your attorney asks the bank to release you from any further obligation.

    "People shouldn't have a false sense of security that a deficiency judgment may not be later sought," Zaretsky said.

    He expects many will be filed over the next few years, based on the fact that banks have sold many of these accounts to collection agencies and other third parties, at discount.

    "The parties who bought those notes wouldn't have paid money for them unless they had the intention of acting," Zaretsky said.

    Ticking time bomb

    What can be scary is that the judgments don't have to be obtained immediately. Lenders or collection agencies may wait until debtors have recovered financially before they swoop in. In Florida, the bank can wait up to five years to file. Once the court grants a judgment, the lender has 20 years there to collect, with interest.

    It doesn't have to be a large amount of debt for a lender or collection agency to come after borrowers. Richard Varno and his wife short sold their Nashville home back in 2004 after he lost his job.

    It wasn't until 2008, when the second lien holder asked him for $25,000, that he realized he still was liable.

    "I told them, 'Hey, you guys released the title,'" he said. "As far as I know, I'm off the hook."

    He wasn't. Releasing title does not necessarily end the debt. It's complicated because of variations in state law, but, generally, a mortgage has two parts: a pledge of collateral, represented by the home, and a promise to pay off the loan.

    Lenders may release property liens in order to facilitate short sales without releasing borrowers from their obligations to pay under the promissory notes. The secured debt can convert to an unsecured one after the sale.

    Zaretsky had one client who was so relieved to have arranged a short sale that he signed every paper his real estate agent shoved at him, even a confession that clearly stated he still owed the debt.

    "He had no idea what he was doing," said Zaretsky. "All the lender had to do was go to court to convert the confession into a deficiency judgment."

    Lenders are also very inconsistent. One of Zaretsky's short-sale clients was ready, willing and able to pay, but the bank did not even ask; another lender always reserves the right to pursue the deficiency.

    Strategic defaults

    Sometimes lenders go after borrowers walking away from their homes if they have other assets, according to Florida real estate attorney Larry Tolchinsky.

    "Banks are pulling credit reports to see if it's a strategic default," he said. "If you're behind on all your other payments, you're okay. But if you're not, they'll come after you."

    If borrowers have any doubts about their risks, they should seek legal advice. Or, at least, call non-profit organizations such as NeighborWorks for advice. According to Doug Robinson, a NeighborWorks spokesman, its counselors always try to negotiate away deficiencies when they facilitate short sales or deeds-in-lieu.

    "We don't favor any short-sale contracts that leave any deficiency that can be pursued," he said.

    Robinson himself knows what can happen. He paid off a deficiency after his own New Jersey house went through foreclosure 11 years ago.

  • Are the new Home Buyers not Loyal to their Realtors?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in San Jose  |  August 18, 2009 7:53 AM  |  1,914 views  |  1 comment

    I have noticed from the past few months that home-buyers has been very aggressive in looking and buying houses, specially at the San Jose Area and also in most of the bay area cities. And through this whole experience, one thing I've notice and that is 80 percent of my call from my listings didn't came from a Realtor, but came from buyers that are very interested to buy the listing I just put in the market.

    Don't take me wrong on this, I really like that I have a bunch of buyers that are inquiring and expressing their interest on the property, but come to think of it, shouldn't I be dealing with my fellow Realtor? Or should I just look at my best interest to double end the transaction?

    This is what's happening to our market, since house inventory is low and demand is so high, home-buyers don't waste their time to look for a Realtor to represent them, they go straight to the listing agent and let the listing agent represent them too. With all this, they feel secure and confident that they will get house. But be careful - HOMEBUYERS - please ask yourself, are you really getting the right representation? Is the listing agent really look at your best interest? Have they disclosed all that is needed to be disclosed?

    If you're a homebuyer reading this, I'm just telling you to use your common sense and do your own research about the listing agent, use the web.. Google the agent or search Trulia, the internet has a lot of information about the agent. So from there see if you really need to use another Realtor to represent you or not at all.

    Here is a piece of advice, to First Time Home Buyers and Investors too. Please use a Realtor to represent you. And make sure they are a Realtor, not just a licensed Agent. The difference, they are a member of the Local Realtor Association, National and California Association of Realtors. And we follow a Code of Ethics in dealing with clients and fellow Realtors. We have the knowledge and experience in regards to market conditions and the latest trend and information about housing and Real Estate Law.

    I welcome buyers that doesn't have any Realtor Representing them, don't get me wrong, however, it's also great to deal with fellow Realtor that will represent you in purchasing your first Home or your investment property, either way, the bottom line is to keep the American Dream Alive!!

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