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Home Buying in 95403 : Real Estate Advice

  • All27
  • Local Info4
  • Home Buying10
  • Home Selling1
  • Market Conditions1

Activity 88
Thu Sep 17, 2009
Fred Griffin answered:
Thanks for the link, Craig.

I have been telling Buyers that "word on the street" suggests it, that "some Congressmen are proposing it", and that "National Association of Realtors is lobbying for it".

Now your Link gives me something Tangible to show them.

Thanks again,
Fred Griffin
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Thu Sep 17, 2009
Patrick Thies answered:
We here in the Midwest get a lot of snow and cold too. I have found that buyers who are looking during the winter months are pretty serious buyers rather than some of the looky loos you get in the Spring. Also, sellers that have their house on the market during winter and the holidays are pretty serious sellers and usually more negotiable. ... more
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Wed Nov 28, 2012
Mike Bryant answered:
Assuming that your figures are correct on what your home should sell for and your payoff amount, you should have a 15-20% to put down on the new home after paying all fees and commissions. As long as you qualify for the new loan, and your current home sells, you should be just fine.
Let me know if you need any further assistance, or if you would like a no-charge in-depth analysis of what your current home is worth. (providing you do not have an ongoing relationship with another Real Estate professional)

Best of Luck!

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Wed Aug 19, 2009
Mike Kelly Allison Norman answered:
August 17th, 2009 03:33pm
Huge protected salamander habitat resurrected
By Noelani Price, Business Journal Event Manager

SANTA ROSA - Following a settlement in May with the Airzona-based Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is re-proposing a huge swath of 74,223 acres of the Santa Rosa Plain as critical habitat for the California tiger salamander, opening a 60-day public comment period.

Until completion of the rule-making process, the service will continue to review projects under a programmatic biological opinion issued by the service with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2007. The document simplifies Endangered Species Act consultation for projects on the Santa Rosa Plain and is consistent with the conservation strategy completed by local agencies in December 2005.

The wildlife service suspended the critical habitat designation pending the implementation of this “cooperative conservation” strategy for protecting the salamander and a few protected plants in central Sonoma County while allowing some construction in the area to continue, but last June cash-strapped local governments halted implementation of the strategy.

According to the settlement, the service must complete its rule-making by July 1, 2011, but it does not specify the amount of land that must be designated in the final action.

The proposed critical habitat is the same area proposed in 2005, bounded by the Laguna de Santa Rosa in the west, Windsor Creek on the north, on the south by Skillman Road northwest of Petaluma and by the hills east of Santa Rosa.
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Thu Apr 2, 2009
Lynn Bowen answered:
Hi Joe, what spacifically are you looking for in the way of size, bedroom bath count etc?
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Sat Mar 16, 2013
Susan Bryer answered:

When a property shows as 'contingent,' it means that an offer has been accepted and that the buyer is in the process of inspections and lining up their financing. It also might mean the buyer has a house to sell, but that is a less common contingency. It also usually means the home can continue to be shown to other possible buyers for the position of back-up offer if another buyer is interested, and in case the first buyer falters. There are timeframes for these contingencies and without speaking to the listing agent for the property it's not possible to know exactly how long the timeframes are. Hope the answer is useful.

Susan Bryer
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Sun Jan 25, 2009
Sylvia Barry, MAS,CIPS,SRES answered:
Hi Mary:

I think you answered your own question - The best place to go is just like you said, the police station for that property address. You will get the most detailed information anybody can find there.

Syliva Barry
Marin Realtor
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Fri Jun 19, 2009
Eric H. Wong answered:
It really depends on the bank. I have seen houses on the market for over a year as Short Sales, and some that last only 6 months. Sometimes if a seller declares bankruptcy, that can also stall a foreclosure. ... more
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Thu Aug 27, 2009
Shannon Doyle answered:
Hi Maureen,

I know the process of waiting for short sale approval can be pretty tiresome and frustrating. I just had an offer that we waited 2 1/2 months for an answer and my buyer was also getting tired of waiting. Unfortunately, it's sometimes just part of the process. Through experience, I have learned that certain listing agents are better at negotiating and pushing the banks along than others. I try to steer my buyers to look at those lisitngs when possible. Patience can pay off if you really love the property or feel that you are getting a good price. But you should know that with short sales, there is never a guarantee. You may wait a long time, and the bank may come back with a higher price or decide not to cooperate with the short sale and just foreclose on the home. The home should be listed as "contingent-show". This lets other potential buyers know that you have an accepted offer with the seller and is actually to your advantage as there will be less activity with showings of that property and you are less likely to get "bumped" by another offer. Everything you are describing sounds pretty typical for a short sale offer.

If you are feeling ready to move on, that may be what you need to do. Otherwise, about all you can do is communicate with your agent and have them do their best to push the listing agent. There are plenty of properties out there, and you may be able to get into something else a lot faster. It just depends on what you want and how quickly you want to buy a home. Best of luck with your home purchase and please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions. Happy New Year!
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Sun Dec 14, 2008
Shannon Doyle answered:
Hi Melissa,

It's smart of you to be on the lookout for properties where you may have an advantage. It sounds like this one went to the foreclosure auction on the 8th. If that is the case, the lender has probably taken the home or sold it to someone else at the auction. But a lot of auctions get postponed for various reasons. My broker actually buys a lot of homes at the auctions and our office tracks every single foreclosure property in Sonoma County. If you would like to email me the address, I would be happy to look and see what the status of that particular property is and see what we might be able to do to help you. My email address is Best of luck and have a great day!
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Sun Nov 9, 2008
Lori Godwin, Realtor answered:
Hi Cameron,
Data regarding the number of months of inventory available for sale can be provided by county and city. Realtors have access to sales statistics via our Multiple Listing System, the National Association of Realtors (if the agent is a member), and DataQuick Information Systems. Are you interested in southeast Santa Rosa such as Bennett Valley or Rincon Valley areas or northeast such as the Fountaingrove area?

I'd be more than happy to provide you with information regarding the available inventory of homes for sale. Please give me a call to discuss further. Lori Godwin, Realtor 888-5115
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Tue Oct 28, 2008
Michael Hightower, CRS answered:
Melissa, you say the seller has accepted your offer, but what I think you really mean is that the Owner of the home has accepted your offer, pending the Lender's approval. You really don't have an accepted offer on a short sale until the Lender accepts your offer. In the mean time, the 'seller', i.e. the owner of the home/borrower can do anything they want, including changing the asking price, accepting back-up offers, etc. ... more
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Sun Nov 29, 2009
James Wheeler answered:
If you're talking about $5,000 for the total purchase price, that sounds a bit absurd. Unless it's a naive attempt at a short sale that has no chance of ever closing.

If you're talking about buying a house with no more than $5,000 in total out-of-pocket costs, that's a different story. It depends on you, the house, and the loan program. But it is certainly possible. I routinely help clients buy a home for less than that. ... more
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Mon Oct 13, 2008
Jeff and Teresa Henderson answered:
Hi Ben,

From my experience a bank can take as long as they want. It depends on the circumstances surrounding the close. Is there HOA'S involved? Sometimes the previous owner is so behind, there has to be a demand in escrow for the homeowners and finding out who is handling them can be tricky. Also too, remember cash is tight, if there are any reasons, debt ratios, low BPO's (broker opinion of value) that the bank has reason to not make the loan, they could be looking for a way out. Of course this depends on who your doing business with and their strengths in this economy. Most of the Bank owned properties close on time, but several of ours this last few months have taken up to ten days after our original contract date. Hope all goes well for you. ... more
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Thu Oct 2, 2008
Jared answered:
Nope. Makes no sense.
I don't know the details but if your looking at 6 homes it doesn't sound like you'll be heartbroken if you get outbid on the first one. Have a sit down (like, do you still want to represent me?) with your agent and offer what you feel like. (I'd start lower than asking, personally about 85% unless it's that one house you can't lose.) ... more
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Thu Sep 18, 2008
Homa Moaddel answered:
Hi Curtis,

If you are first time buyer you may qualify for FHA loan. To qualify for FHA loan your job history and income becomes more important than your credite history. Please speak to a few mortagage consultant/broker and/or your local bank.


Broker Associate
Prudential California realty
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Thu Sep 4, 2008
Mike Kelly Allison Norman answered:
Piedmont Heights is being a bit usurped by SkyHawk which is about a mile away down Hwy 12. The community is showing it's age with the designs, construction techniques but the lots can be much bigger. The younger families are in SkyHawk with the new school there and its family friendly park and walking paths. Rincon Valley school is just down from Piedmont Heights and is always in demand for families and the new High School is right at the corner of Calistoga and Montecito Blvd. The NE area is an area not flooded with the REO/Short-Sale/Foreclosure failures we've been seeing as of late. Values, though they've come down, are not on the order of some of the other areas of Santa Rosa. All in all, solid, older, transitional but not the flag ship of upscale living it once was!! ... more
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Fri Aug 1, 2008
Pam Buda answered:
This is a very desirable area as are the others that you mention as well. This year I have sold properties in most of these locations and looked thoroughly with clients. They have different types of housing, different micro-climates, different sensibilities. West County (including Sebastopol) is cooler although there is a lot of variation. It is also more bohemian, Healdsburg is a quaint farm town and a very hip tourist destination. Fountaingrove is more conventional housing with prices from the 500's up to the high one millions. Oakmont is a fabulous retirement community in the scenic Valley of the Moon. You can't go wrong with any of these areas. Just purely a matter of taste. When I work with out of town buyers (which I do a lot) we sit down and discuss likes and dislikes and priorities and I can get a good sense of possible fits once we have spent some time together. Most Sonoma County agents are used to covering the gamut of various little communities we have. I remember from my own time as a buyer coming in from the Bay Area, so I guess I enjoy the process helping you figure out what it right for you. Good luck! ... more
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Thu Oct 2, 2008
Sj209 answered:
Save up for a down payment. It will be very difficult to obtain reasonable financing without a decent down payment.
0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Sat Apr 23, 2016
Shel-lee Davis answered:

Just because there are multiple offers, does not mean that they are over asking price. Your realtor should not be afraid to put in a reasonable offer, especially when you are an all cash buyer in a world where banks are going out of business every day and no sale is final until the loan funds and the money is actually received via wire.

Your realtor should guide you to what is a reasonable offer. Sometimes it is below asking price, sometimes it is at asking price, and sometimes it is above asking price. The important thing is to make sure you are not paying more than fair market value for the home. Asking price does not always reflect fair market value.

When I have a strong buyer (and even when I don't), I present all my offers with a cover letter highlighting the key aspects of the offer and explaining why my offer is the best one for the seller. In this competitive market, I have been told that this "executive summary" of the key benefits in my offer and the strength of my buyer has tipped the balance in my client's favor. An all cash deal IS a very strong selling point, and your agent needs to HIGHLIGHT this fact to the listing agent. Just submitting a form with the "cash offer" box checked is not really enough. Many agents, especially if they are handling REOs, don't take the time to look over the offer carefully. The cover letter is essential in these situations.

Hope this helps you in winning in this new home buying market and Dare to Dream.

Shel-lee Davis
Real Estate Consultant
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
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