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Foreclosure in Sonoma : Real Estate Advice

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  • Local Info11
  • Home Buying33
  • Home Selling11
  • Market Conditions5

Activity 6
Thu Aug 7, 2014
Derek Jones answered:
Are you looking to purchase a home at a foreclosure auction or just a REO home? Any agent should be able to assist you with a REO home. Besides a good Realtor I always advise to make sure you get a home inspection! ... more
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Thu Jun 5, 2014
Ryan Rudnick answered:
Hi there,

I'd be happy to help you research this listing further if you could give me a bit more information. Based on what you've said (the street, price and size of the home) I'm guessing that $50k is a starting bid price or a type-o and isn't the actual price you would pay for the home.

In addition to being a real estate agent, I work with an LLC that renovates properties and have had experience with this type of home and sale.

That being said, foreclosure properties, short-sales and trust-sales can definitely be great deals if the potential for some needed renovations doesn't scare you away. Please contact me via my profile and I'll help you out.

... more
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Thu Apr 11, 2013
Sheila Lawrence answered:
Since they are both underwater, there is no reason for them to go after your CA home.

To qualify to Short Sale you need to prove that you have a hardship that is putting you in danger of defaulting. Hardships include finances, but they also include life changes such as new babies, job changes, moves, etc.

One thing you may not be aware of, and that you would want to explore, is this: the housing inventory is extremely low and the prices have swung upward in the last 5 to 6 months. Some homes going on the market as short sales in Sonoma County have actually gotten so many offers that they've gone far enough over asking not to be a short sale any longer.

My point is, if the market in OR is the same, depending on how far under water you are, you may be able to do a regular sale. If you don't have to short sale, you save yourself a credit problem and might even make some kind of profit. Since OR is your current primary residence (I'm assuming you've lived there for at least 2 years.) any profit you make is tax free up to $250K for a single or $500 for married couples.

If you are too far under for a regular sale, but want to try and hold on to the house, find out if the loan is a Fannie Mae or a Freddie Mac loan (80% of loans are backed this way). If it is, you could qualify for the HARP2 program (Home Affordable Refinance Program) and may be able to lower your payments enough to be able to hold on to the house. Then just rent it out and move.

If all else fails and you have to do a Short Sale, call your lender and tell them your situation in OR and ask about Short Selling. You are also going to need the advice of your tax person, a real estate attorney to review any non-standard correspondence you get from the bank during a short sale that your agent is not qualified to interrupt, and you will need a good agent schooled in short sales. Look for a CDPE qualification. That is usually a good indication that they can handle your transaction properly. Or, you can call me and I can research who might be good and send you the name of a couple of agents to interview.

For CA you can look at my blog There is a resource page on the site with names and numbers for tax preparers and real estate attorneys.
Good luck with this!
... more
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Tue Sep 11, 2012
CJ Holmes answered:
What is the property address? With that information I should be able to provide solid guidance for you. I recommend we take this offline. Thanks, cj
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Wed May 23, 2012
Homes answered:
Call the realtors listed with foreclosures listings on and ask to bid on the work.
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Wed Feb 2, 2011
Dan V. answered:
Hi Jonathan, I just bought an REO property in Sonoma. It was priced aggressively, they received multiple offers in the first week and I ended up buying it for about 4% over asking. If done correctly, I think it's a great way to get a deal in this market. Here are my recommendations:

(a) Get your financing in order -- sellers are very concerned that your loan is not going to get funded because banks are extremely cautious these days. To allay the seller's fears, I removed the loan contingency and got pre-approved by their lender even though I had my own pre-approval. I still had 30 days to close, so my loan got funded without any problems.

(b) Do your due diligence on price -- you have to know what the right price is for your home. Your agent can help, but it's ultimately your responsibility to protect yourself from overpaying and often agents will encourage you to increase your offer. You need to know the market and know the comps. Just walk away from a bidding war that goes beyond the price you want to pay. It should also go without saying that you need to find a great agent whom you trust.

(c) Do your due diligence on condition -- not all REOs are money pits, especially these days when there are so many on the market. I had three inspectors examine my house after the seller accepted my offer (one general inspection and two specialists). Spend the money on a thorough inspection because like others have said, you are getting the house "as-is" with no disclosures. Since there have been so many previous owners, one of them may have attempted some short-term fixes that may not be up to code.

(d) Do your due diligence on history -- you can go and visit the assessor's office in Santa Rosa where you can do some investigation on the history of your home. Who were the previous owners, how much did they owe on their loan, who is the lender, when did it go into foreclosure, were permits filed, etc. Also, you can talk to the neighbors -- they will know a lot more than you think!

Best of luck!
... more
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