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Dollars & Sense Real Estate Experts

Tapping the Expertise & Profit Strategies of a long time Investor

By CJ Holmes | Broker in Sonoma County, CA

CJ's Tips for Buying, Selling, Investing, or Loan Mods

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Blog Category: Real Estate Nitty Gritty

: Let us set up a direct MLS link, called a Portal, for your next VIP property email alert.  Portals show all the market action and allow properties to be sorted.  Portals give the competitive edge in finding properties and making offers. 

If you lost a home to short sale or foreclosure before 2010, now is the time to get re-qualified to buy.  Prices, down payments, and interest rates are all still very low making the cost of home ownership quite affordable.  Make the best use you can of this opportunity.

Selling:  Below are July 2012 average and median home prices for several counties.  Lately, fewer foreclosure listings have resulted in buyer bidding wars, particularly for homes priced below median.  These values can give some guidance about any property sales you might be considering.  Don’t hesitate to ask for my specific input.

..........County:   Median    Average
........Alameda: $463,840 $536,692
.Contra Costa: $349,900 $480,004
..............Lake: $125,900 $144,857
.............Marin: $770,000 $986,538
.....Mendocino: $214,900 $279,011
.............Napa: $327,550 $365,433
San Francisco: $725,000 $1,186,072
....San Mateo: $749,000 $997,301
...Santa Clara: $679,998 $915,450
..........Solano: $189,750 $215,076
........Sonoma: $325,000 $384,923

Investing: In case you haven’t noticed, rents are climbing – the natural result of no lending to buyers that lost a home to foreclosure or short sale during the last three years.  Now is the time to focus on building a rental portfolio of cash flowing properties.  Lenders do require more down payment and offer a slightly higher interest rate, but the investment should position you nicely for future appreciation as the market recovers.  Don’t hesitate to ask any question you may have regarding your personal investing situation or any specific property.

Loan Mods:  Word on the street - if you have significant assets (401k, stock portfolio, rental properties) don't expect to get a loan mod…

When monthly income/expenses is itemized in the pre-qual paperwork, be sure the end result is positive - like have $50-$100 left over per month.  Any negative amount will be interpreted that you are too broke to pay for a loan mod...

Once last hint - check out www.loansafe.org.  This “gossip” site about what works/doesn't work with specific servicers may be just what you need to be successful in obtaining a loan modification.   Good luck!

CJ Holmes, real estate investor since 1977, broker since 2005, and market analyst since 2007, has personally handled hundreds of transactions, viewed thousands of properties, and dealt with countless agents.  She also owns a portfolio of income producing properties, and has developed unique market analyses to determine and predict price trends, which principles apply to markets nationwide. She recently founded Home Owners For Justice and can be contacted at (707) 578-5727, cjholmes@cjholmes.com, www.cjholmes.com, or www.HOFJ.org


By Trevor Curran,  Wed Aug 8 2012, 05:32
CJ, excellent tips. I like the extra detail you include: why rents are rising or that previous loan mod folks should get re-qualified for mortgage financing. Nicely done!
Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140

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