Foreclosure in 93065>Question Details

Jennifer, Home Buyer in California

I am a first time homebuyer just starting out in the process of buying. I have been pre-approved for a loan

Asked by Jennifer, California Tue May 13, 2008

the problem or first obstacle seems to be that most houses in my price range are short sales. I want to be knowledgeable before staring anything. Any tips , advice, help??

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Jennifer, I have a different take than some of the other answers. Although I do see the pricing at a leveling out, because we are still in a declining market, I also see interest rates at 50 year record low. I don't see them holding this low for a very longtime but your lender can give thier opinion.

One thing that I love about Simi Valley is they have a downpayment assistance program for low-medium income first time buyers. It is not for everyone and it is fairly tough to comply but if your income works for the program it is a fabulous. It allows the buyer to qualify for a 3 bedroom at a loan of $199,300 to buy a home at $349,300. A 4 bedroom quailfy for $218,600 for a home priced at $418,600. For a better understanding of the program I am attaching my wifes blog, she is a lender that works with the program and in fact has 3 escrows going with Simi, and it will better explain it. Or feel free to call her for further information.

As to short sales, they are a major part of our Real Estate world right now. You can get a good to great deal but you have to have patience. It has been explained well above and it is not a bad thing.

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me I would love to help. I work with first time buyers well with a, for lack of a better analogy, hand holding process. It is overwhelming and I make it simple and fun.

Ken Barker
Coldwell Banker Residential
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 5, 2010
I would not shy away from short sales because in my experience, they are much nicer homes than bank owned properties. I have tips on my active rain blog. Just google my name. Thanks, Jason
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 21, 2008
Hi Jennifer,
This is crazy! I haven't answered any questions on Trulia in a very long time and have just attempted to respond to your question several times before losing my answers over and over again!

Here goes:
As a real estate professional, the best advise I can give you is to get a very competent and trustworthy Realtor to assist you. Short sales are very difficult for all parties involved, and in many cases, a big waste of time. There are so many wonderful purchasing opportunities available today.

Please take the time to find the right Realtor to help you out. My 22+ yrs in the business and many affiliations have afforded me the added benefit of networking with Realtors throughout the USA.

Should you need me to help direct you any further, please don't hesitate to let me know. One of my favorite things to do is to make sure people are perfectly suited and well cared by their Realtor.
Best of luck to you!

Abby Kagan
Frank Howard Allen Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 13, 2008

Prices in Simi Valley have fallen 20% since January. More specifically 85% of every single family detached home sold this year has been below $550,000. Two weeks ago that number was $585,000. Homes have fallen as much as 30% and more in some of the Simi tracts. I would not let short sales keep you from looking online right now.

Between, Zillow, Trulia, and many other sites, you can monitor the active listings on your own with no pressure. If you need more specific local information you can set an RSS feed from my blog to your Reader. I blog on Simi market conditions and sales at least twice a month. I also blog on local issues important to home owners in Simi & Moorpark On my older website, I have scans of floorplans to many of the tracts that are probably in your price range.

If you go to my blog in the link below, there are links on the right hand side of the page to my old website and my blog. Check in every once in a while as I will be soon starting up 30 minute live podcasts on on credit, credit repair, buying tips, and bargain hunting. Ifyou miss the live show a recorded copy will be available for online listening or download to your ipod. If you read any blog posts that interest you, feel free to leave comments as that will help me help you or even someone else who may have a similar question.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 13, 2008
Hi Jennifer, First let me say that unless you have a compelling reason to purchase a home right now, I agree with Barry, price are adjusting down more all the time. However, homeownership is something people feel strongly compelled to do, it is something that may have tax or personal emotional value over and above the investment value, which is always good in the long run. So, if you can and want to wait, I'd say until fall, then do. If you want to own a home now, I'd say just make sure you look for an exceptional value. As a first time buyer, you may not know that the Buyers Agent, the person who would assist you with purchasing a home, is usually compensated by the Sellers Agent for "bringing the buyer" to the transaction. You will pay escrow, title and perhaps a brokerage administration fee during your escrow and usually only if you close your purchase. Sometimes I meet first time homebuyers who think they had to do all their research before they bothered a Realtor. I say, go ahead and bother someone. A Realtor should be able to tailor a database search to your preferences and then you would recieve properties that meet your criteria in your email inbox, rather than seaching around for properties online. You should look for someone who is patient and willing to work with you until you are ready. Lots of my clients are my "contacts" that I meet on RealtyTrac - the nations number one foreclosure web site, where I am the area representative for Simi, Moorpark and TO. This weekend, I just wrote the second offer on a house for a couple I have been in contact with for almost two years now. We waited and planned for when they were ready to purchase. I think they will own a home before Summer.

Also, you should look for an agent who has experience with short pay transactions. I think it would be to your advantage to work with a Realtor who has both negotiated the short pay on behalf of the Seller and also on behalf of a Buyer, that way the understand the whole picture. Short pays can be a very good way to save money but they can also be frustrating too. It "works" less than 50% (probably more like 25%) of the time. You will make an offer and then usually wait about 3-4 weeks to hear from a bank. The prices that you see, which seem attractive and in your price range may also be too good to be true. During that 3-4 weeks the bank or banks will gather data about the home sales of the comperable homes in the area. They often come back with a counter to your offer and then if you counter, you will be waiting again. So, I tell my buyers that they should keep looking and they should not go pick out carpet swatches at home depot. With Short Sales, it's not over until you have the keys in your hand. I had on that was "approved by the lender" end up at the trustee sale auction anyway. We got it straightened out but only after a lot of work and heartache for the buyer.

If you would like local assistance, I would invite you to contact me for further information. I have said it before and I'll say it again. I would be skeptical of an out of area agent, who says they work Orange County, who offers you local assistance. Unless they previously resided here or have an additional residence in the area, I would be concerned that they lack knowledge about the area. So, whoever you pick, I would suggest you keep it local. Good luck and I hope to hear from you.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 13, 2008
Yes, Simi Valley has it's share of short sales. Please visit the link provided to learn more about Short Sales. With patience and perserverance you can actually pay between 80-90% of today's true market value for the home of YOUR choice. I also advise you to WAIT another 6-12 months, as prices are going down at a rate of 1% or more per month. Instead, that money you save today will get you closer to your retirement, since you will pay off the mortgage sooner (since you will owe less)... Thank you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 13, 2008
Hi there Jennifer, I can show you some properties that may not be short sales. There are many great buys on the market. I would love to help you out and explain the process to you. I can show you a system that saves my cleints thousands of dollars when they are ready to buy a home

Kind Regards
Michael Barron
First Team Real Estate
(714) 552-6817
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 13, 2008
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