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Home Buying in 90803 : Real Estate Advice

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Activity 202
Thu Jul 28, 2011
Sheila Caron answered:
If you're a buyer trying to get your offer accepted and approved by the bank on a short sale, that's not exactly how it works. First of all, if the listing agent knows what they are doing, they should only be submitting one offer to the bank. The seller makes the decision on what offer to accept, not the bank. Once they have an offer that they think is close to fair market value then the listing agent or whoever is negotiating the short sale, sends one offer to the bank for approval of a short sale at hopefully the purchase price offered in the contract. The bank wants to pay as little as possible when settling their shortfall, so they very often will not pay closing costs, home warranties and maybe even extensive termite or repairs. So a well written offer is key, as well.

They next thing on your side is to have your agent find out who the loan is with. Knowing the different banks and how quickly they react is a great indicator of how long this will take. Also, if there is a second loan as well and how seasoned the listing agent is at short sales, are all important things to know before writing an offer. The listing agent is the key player in making this happen. Also, looking for pre-approved short sales will cut some decision time out. The quickest short sale is a HAFA Short Sale right now becuase the banks have to follow a timeline sequence. If your buyer's agent can find out or assist the listing agent in pursuing a HAFA short sale, this would work best to shorten the waiting time. Respectfully submitted by a "Certified Distressed Property Expert" (CDPE) and HAFA Certified, as well. I also am teaching classes on HAFA for the California Association of Realtors.
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Wed Jul 7, 2010
Don Tepper answered:
Here's a link to a blog I wrote on how to find rent-to-own properties:

Hope that helps.
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Mon Jul 5, 2010
John Barry answered:
Hi Eleonore,

You should find a good buyers agent to work with & they can help explain the process to you and help find the answers to your questions about any particular property you are interested in. I do not see a property address referenced in your posting, but I will try to answer some of your general questions. The purchase price is always negotiable, but there is no guarantee the seller will accept less than the asking price. The general property tax rate in California is based upon the sale price of the property and is approximately 1.25% of the total sale price. Generally, all outstanding fees and liens against the property are paid prior to closing, as you as a buyer will be notified of them in your preliminary title report during escrow, and have the opportunity to disapprove of any liens of record and require them to be paid prior to closing. Generally, the escrow period is also negotiable, but customarily is between 30 & 45 days. The buyer becomes the full owner of the home at the time the grant deed (transferring title to the property) is recorded in the offices of the Los Angeles County Recorder - this is the last step in the escrow process. I do not believe you would be granted any special residence status by owning a home - you would need to check with the US Dept. of Immigration & Naturalization for clarification on that.

Please email me if you would like some help & representation in your purcahse of a home - I would be happy to assist you. My contact information is below.

Hope this info is helpful. Have a good day!

John Barry
DRE #01856079
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Cell: 323-810-7976
Twitter: @RealtorJB
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Fri Jun 25, 2010
Quest Inspection Services answered:
Hi Mitchell,
Check out this link! It is structured; not a one time dealio
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Wed Jun 23, 2010
Anna M Brocco answered:
Are you in contract yet, if not the seller keep showing the property, up until an executed contract--signed by all parties--exists and deposit money was exchanged--they may have lowered the price in the hopes of getting a higher offer--therefore, if this is the property for you, do conduct your due diligence and move forward--what is your agent suggesting--he/she is your best source of advice. ... more
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Wed May 19, 2010
Shel-lee Davis answered:
When a person sells there home, there is always a transfer tax paid to the County and/or City. This basically covers the cost of recording the grant deed and other costs associated with the transfer of title of real property.

In recent years we have seen the rise of "private transfer fees". These are fees created by the developer or subsequent owner which also must be paid each time the property is sold. These fees do not go a government entity. They go to an individual or a company. Private transfer taxes are generally created in the subdivision's CC&R's, however, they can be created at any time.

In theory, you could create a private transfer tax on your home before you sell it and, for example, have the funds paid into your retirement account. This would require each subsequent buyer/seller to pay this tax, thus helping to fund your retirement. Currently, the creation of a private transfer tax is totally unregulated. However, in order to transfer title to such a property, the tax must be paid. Crazy but true.

According to the California Association of Realtors: "“Private” transfer taxes are increasingly being used to settle disputes between environmentalists and builders or, in the alternative, by builders to proactively avoid a lawsuit by environmentalists or to smooth development negotiations with the local government. Typically, in return for an agreement by the environmental group to not pursue a lawsuit based on one of the state’s environmental protection acts, the builder agrees to the imposition of one or more PTTs through a covenant included in the covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) for the homes in the development they are constructing.PTTs have totaled as much as 1.75 percent of the purchase price of a home and are paid by every buyer of a home in the development for 20 to 25 years or, even, in perpetuity. The monies generated by a PTT can be used for everything from environmental mitigation to the development of affordable housing. Some believe that PTTs usurp functions that properly belong exclusively to local government and, as a result, that the imposition of PTTs should be limited, prohibited or, at a minimum, that the existence of a PTT should be explicitly disclosed to potential home buyers."

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me directly either by phone or through my profile. Dare to Dream.

Shel-lee Davis, CDPE, SFR, QSC
Your Real Estate Consultant for Life
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
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Tue May 18, 2010
Dallas Texas answered:
Best to approach the city who would have the answers regarding all those questions.

You most likely won't be able to obtain a home loan, do you have cash purchase the property IF it won't pass inspection NO lender will approve the mortgage you are wasting your time.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
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Tue Apr 20, 2010
John Barry answered:
Hi Sean,

I would check with a real estate lawyer to be sure, but it is my understanding that you would be able to enter into a contract for the sale of the property, SUBJECT TO and conditioned upon you acquiring title to the subject property through the consummation of your first transaction. I was an escrow officer for many many years and have seen this done on more than one occasion. As long as it was fully disclosed to your potential buyer that you were currently in escrow and under contract to purchase the property from the current seller and it was subject to you acquiring title as mentioned above, you should be OK. Again, please check with a real estate lawyer to be sure, as this does not constitute legal advice & is just my opinion.

Hope this helps.. Have a good day!

John Barry
DRE #01856079
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Cell: 323-810-7976
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Wed Nov 26, 2014
Alex Montelongo Real Estate Group answered:
I am going to say the answer is NO. You are not the rightful owner of the property. You do not have title to the property. There is no way that you can legally sell that property if you are not the owner, administrator or executor of that property.

Alex Montelongo/Broker
Coldwell Banker Star Realty
562-810-7387 Cell
BRE lic #01456982
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Mon Mar 22, 2010
Dan Chase answered:
It is legal. What it means is they will not pay for any repairs. You could accept or reject that part of the counter offer. It could be made because they know they have problems. It could be they simply do not want to take less than they will now if problems do come up. ... more
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Sun Aug 1, 2010
Emily Knell answered:
If you like a particular property submit a back up offer. For extra sprinkles on top, write a letter about yourself and why you would LOVE to own that home! You MUST find a way to stand out to the listing agent, make sure they KNOW you're waiting in the wings should something go array with the primary buyer.
562-430-3053 cell
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Tue Dec 9, 2014
Frank Abbadessa answered:
No not on HUD website. You may want to check with a lender to be sure though. Contact me and I can recommend one, thanks!
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Wed Jan 27, 2010
Shel-lee Davis answered:

Each building is different and each unit in each building is different. HOA fees depend on amenities offered, size of unit, anticipated capital expenditures, etc. In the newer buildings, and those along the ocean side of Ocean you can anticipate somewhere in the following ranges.

Studio and 1 bedroom - $350 - 650
2 bedroom - $400 - 800

This is a rule of thumb. Not all units will fall into this range. Also, if you are willing to go to the North side of Ocean and into a building without all the bells and whistles, you can find HOA well under $300. Hope this helps. Dare to Dream.

Shel-lee Davis, CDPE
Your Real Estate Consultant for Life
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
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Sun Jan 31, 2010
Philip McCollum answered:
Bank approved short sale could mean that the lender has agreed to a short sale price absent any offer on the property.

Without an accepted offer, you can't open escrow.

Phil McCollum
BRC Realty Group
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Fri Feb 26, 2010
Michael Del Rosario answered:
Hi Felix,

My site offers homes for sale (including foreclosures) and homes for rent in Long Beach, CA

Here's the URL:

Michael ... more
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Sat Jan 2, 2010
Aaron Wagner answered:
Contact a Good Agent in Your area, He / She will get you all the info you need!

Aaron A Wagner
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Fri Nov 20, 2009
Bonnie Scribner answered:
Oh my goodness, what a diappointing experience. First of all, every counter offer needs the "buyers'" signature(s) on it, so no, it shouldn't be done without her permission. Also, until there is a contract agreed to by all parties, her check should be only held uncashed by the agent. She can stop payment on it if she's really concerned - $10 is a small price for peace of mind. Perhaps he will return her check without a problem, though. I always consult my clients throughout the negotiation process -- could he just have been verbally trying to negotiate a deal without committing her to anything? Just hoping. If she needs to have another Realtor and has not signed an exclusive representation agreement with him, feel free to call. My daughter lives in Long Beach, so I know the area and am there a lot. I would be happy to help. Bonnie Scribner, Century 21 Discovery, 714.296.0513, ... more
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Fri Nov 27, 2009
Victoria Pyle answered:
You where the "Buyer" in this transaction, correct? Did you ever receive cancellation instructions from the Escrow Company? Did you have an Agent representing you? These questions should have been asked & answered by the Agent protecting your interest! I hope you weren’t alone on this transaction...I know the consumer (sometimes) believes that one does not need an Agent to represent them; until they end up with "the short end of the stick" We are professionally trained & well versed with the potential downfalls that can arise during a Real Estate transaction & are legally obligated (once under contract) to protect our clients' interest...I hope this all works out for you...let this serve as a reminder to the importance of utilizing the services of a Real Estate Agent! ... more
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Fri Oct 30, 2009
Lesley Harris answered:
SURE, you can use the same escrow company. In fact, sometimes it makes it easier for everyone if it's the same company to coordinate all the fundings and vestings and closing time frames. Just make sure it's a mutual escrow company, not owned by the real estate firm or affiliated. Talk with the escrow officer and see if he/she will work with you. Some escrow officiers are great and are happy to help you others are owned by the brokerage company and seem very "well" .... like you are bothering them when you call to ask a simple question. If it's a good escrow company and a good escrow officer you most definietly want her/him to work both transaction; it will make it smooth for all parties.
Lesley Harris, Realtor
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Tue Nov 10, 2009
Don Tepper answered:

Not unless his mortgage is assumable, which is highly unlikely.

Post more details on what you and your friend are trying to accomplish. There's almost definitely some way to achieve what you want. But mortgages aren't typically assumable. ... more
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