Home Buying in Mountain View>Question Details

Lindac, Home Buyer in Mountain View, CA

I am looking for an agent who is experienced in foreclosure houses to help us look for a new house. Any recommendation?

Asked by Lindac, Mountain View, CA Sat Jan 7, 2012

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Hi Linda,

Thanks for your post. As Marcy already pointed out, if you are looking only for foreclosure homes on the peninsula, you may be waiting for quite some time. There are far more conventional sales in this area than would be distressed home sales. I realize that if you have been following any of the foreclosures posted by RealtyTrac it would appear that the valley is full of foreclosures, but these postings are often only notices of default and seldom become foreclosures in the more highy desired areas of Myn. view, Sunnyvale, Los Altos
And Palo Alto.

So as the others have already noted, talk to at least three Realtors to find the one best suited for you. Most of us now have pretty extensive foreclosure experience and can help you through the more difficult aspects of buying a distressed home. I would wholeheartedly recommdn any of the three agents who have already answered this question for you. Give any of them a call and I am sure they can help!

Good luck,
Grace Morioka
Area Pro Realty people's choice
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 7, 2012
Lindac in 2001 there were 563 sales of both single family homes, condos, and townhomes. Of those 563 sales 62 were short sales and 34 were foreclosures, so about 17% of the sales were distressed properties. This is not a high percentage, but they do exist. There are many differences between buying a home as a distressed property sale as compared to a traditional sale. Just a few things to note are these sales are always "As-Is" although you do get to do your inspections and determine the condition. The foreclosures do not come with disclosures, or a known history of the house while a short sale does. Also these homes tend to need more work than the average traditional sale. In exchange you usually get a better price for the home than you would otherwise get. However, since the inventory of all homes for sale is so low right now, there may be competition for the home which could drive the price up. It is a good idea to get an agent with experience so that you can be guided as to what the bank looks for in a offer as well as what you should look for in the house. I have written extensively about my experience with distressed properties and invite you to read my blog here on Trulia or go to my website http://www.marcymoyer.com
Happy house hunting!
Marcy Moyer
DRE 01191194
Web Reference: http://www.marcymoyer.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 7, 2012
I will start with the Question of Why foreclosure? Is it because you believe that you can get a better value on foreclosed homes? You may be surprised of how many foreclosed home go a lot over the listing price or the market price.
A good realtor will help you find a suitable house for you weather it is a foreclosure or not. While there are several advantages to foreclose home there are the same amount of disadvantages. On a foreclosed home the bank does not have to give you “seller real estate transfer disclosures (TDS)” because the bank never lived in the property. Most times bank sells the property AS-IS.
I am representing a client on a foreclosed home that the entire house was gutted out. The inspector we hired said that he can not inspect the electrical, water and sewage lines because the utilities are off and could not be connected before the house is fixed.
So as a last word: “Be carful of what you ask for you may get it”
Let me know what you think,
Web Reference: http://www.pazbreal.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 4, 2012
Hi Lindac,

Right now there are 4 REO / Bank Owned properties in Mountain View - One on NORTH RENGSTORFF AVENUE, one on EAST MIDDLEFIELD ROAD, one on EASY STREET, and one on DEL MEDIO AVENUE.

Your chances are better if you have CASH or exceptional financing. If you need a loan, usually the seller requires that your pre-approval be from a direct lender such as BofA or Wells Fargo. Sometimes they give buyers who plan to live in the property first chance before allowing offers from investors.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 20, 2012

Any Realtor who sells a decent number of homes has had, in the past 5 years, extensive experience selling foreclosures. In reality, foreclosures are no longer the deal they used to be – they frequently come on the market just a hair below normal market price and end up with multiple offers – especially on the Peninsula, which is going through an extreme shortage of inventory currently.

Foreclosures are on the local MLS with all other properties – there is no “secret” source. And as pointed out below, if the listing on Trulia has the logo for RealtyTrac – it’s not a listing – it’s an advertisement for RealtyTrac.

The following may be helpful:

How To Buy An REO – Top 17 Questions Answered

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 10, 2012

To help clarify, there are three stages in a foreclosure. Stage one - the seller can't make the payments (or the house value has dipped below the value of the current loan), the seller still owns the home but would like to sell it. This is a short sale. The property value is less than the value of the outstanding loan balance(s). In this stage, the seller typically puts the home on the market (Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and tries to get the bank(s) to accept a lower payout than the loan outstanding. It is a long and tedious process that is not always successful.
Stage two - a trustee sale at the court house steps. This is where the home can't be sold as a short sale and the bank is forcing the sale. The first bid is the total amount of debt on the property which could include outstanding loan balances, fees,etc. Click http://www.losaltoshomes.com/2010/01/26/live-from-steps-of-t… to check out a video I did a few years ago showing an actual trustee sale.
Stage three - after no one but the bank bids on the property at the trustee sale, the property becomes part of the banks inventory and comes back on the market as a "bank owned" or REO property. These are traditionally sold via an agent and placed on the MLS for sale.
In stages 1 and 3, the properties are typically put on the MLS and a good knowledgable agent can walk you through the process to see if they make sense for you. There are many downsides to attempting to buy a home as a short sale property or as a bank owned property. The upside is that they typically bought slightly below market value (due to the problems and risks associated with their acquisition). Stage 2 involves the buyer paying cash for the property at the time the trustee sale occurs.
Please contact an agent or two determine which (if any) of these types of properties aquisition methods make sense for you . Should you wish to talk, I can be reached directly at 650 917-4250. Thanks

David Blockhus
650 917-4250
e-mail: dblockhus@cbnorcal.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 8, 2012

Please take Bill's comment to heart especially if you are looking for a home in these more highly desired Peninsula cities. The newspapers and media have consumers conditioned to believe that the greatest deals are likely only to be found in buying foreclosure homes, and Realty Tracs--in my opinion--highly misleading notice of default listings tend to make it appear that great homes can be bought for as much as 50 precent off the comparable sales prices. Truth is, while you might get a 3-5 percent reduction in price, you will also have a home without inspections, without disclosures, without information regarding building history, permits and repairs, and to top it off, many foreclosure homes are in poor to terrible condition when presented to the buyer. Since mortgage money often does not exist for repairs, home buyers need to have enough cash to both pay for the downpayment as well as the price of repairs at a later date. Working with a skilled Realtor does help prevent buying a home that can be a greater repair job than most buyers are prepared to tackle.

Short sales are, as Bill noted, considered pre foreclosure home sales, but this is not always true, so you have to be wary. In all short sales, the seller must obtain approval from the bank or banks that hold mortgages against the home. Depending on the banks involved and the position of the seller, the Realtor can help you determine the likelihood of success as well as the pitfalls that might occur. With the exception of one short sale where the buyers opted out of the transaction, I have closed all of my short sales for clients, but I also do a lot of front end research before recommending a short sale purchase to gauge the odds of a successful sale, and any good realtor with short sale experience will similarly conduct research on your behalf when looking at a short sale. Do keep in mind that even a short sae can result in higher than anticipated prices because the bank will need to approve all aspects of the sale including sales price. Banks will allow some discount on the price from comparable homes, but huge cost saving discounts are no longer the norm, so expect to pa less than the comparable price, but not a whole lot less.

Most importantly, look at all homes on the market--not just foreclosure properties. I think you might find that there are plenty of great homes being offered by sellers who ar not distressed properties. Good luck!!

Grace Morioka
Area Pro Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 8, 2012
Hello Lindac,
Are you talking about properties on which the foreclosure process has been formally started, or those where the process has been completed?
These are very different situation.
In the 1st case the property is still owned by a person who is behind on their mortgage and wants to sell the house. In most cases this will be a short sale, an area in which your Agent will require a great deal of specialist experience beyond a "normal" buyers agent.
In the other case the original owner is no longer involved as the property is now owned by the Bank. In this case the level of extra experience is much less as the Bank makes the rules and there will be very little room for anything other than what they dictate.
If you are planning to focuss on "distressed " properties you need an Agent who can explain to you exactly how the various distressed categories actually work in practice.
Any Agent with that level of knowledge will also be able to explain why the typical buyer is not going to get a "Great Deal" which I assume is the reason for the focus.
My advice to all Buyers is consider all homes for sale equally and go for the one best suited to your needs regardless of whether it's a Short Sale, Bank owned, or a Regular sale. That way you be checking out the whole market rather than the small percentage of distressed houses.
Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 8, 2012

I agree strongly with Marcy. Set up a consultation with one or more Brokers to interview which one will fit for you. In that consultation you will learn about the process and receive so much information to make a sound decision.

You should keep an open mind on the types of homes for sale and possibly neighborhoods as well. When you are done with your consultation the Broker you select to work for you will have the information they need to assist you in achieving your real estate goals.

All the best to you.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 7, 2012
Hi Linda,
Many of us are experienced with foreclosures as a substantial part of our business model in the current market.
I live in Mountain View, and have experience throughout the bay area so I'd be more than happy to help you sort through your options.
I can tell you about my professional expertise, but you may simply wish to check my website at Aileen4Homes.com to see some references from past and current clients.
If you think we might work well together, please either give me a call on 650-917-4259 or email me at Aileen@Aileen4Homes.com, and I'll be happy to chat with you, no obligation.
Have a great weekend, and best of luck in your endeavor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 7, 2012
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