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.
Coldwell Banker Residential
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!
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!
Frank Howard Allen Realtors
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, Realtor.com 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 activerain.com blog. Check in every once in a while as I will be soon starting up 30 minute live podcasts on ustream.tv 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.
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.
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.
First Team Real Estate