I’ve been in the Bay Area the past few days for my mom’s 88th B-day. For the first time I can remember, gas prices up here are higher than the Central Coast. I paid $4.29 for regular.

Foreclosures are impacting neighborhoods everywhere. A house on near my parents was listed for $599,000 six months ago. It went REO and was relisted at $429,000. Ouch!

Pending Sales on the Central Coast have picked up since my last blog about them. Right now, we’re at 510 for the month. I’ll be doing the monthly statistics updates this weekend.

Ryan’s Mortgage Blog:

The Down Payment requirement is another concern you need to be aware of when purchasing a home in today’s market. While it was usually standard to put at least 20% down several years ago(20th century), many people received loans over the last 5 or so years by putting very little (5% – 15%) or nothing down at all. Well, reality has struck the lending industry and requirements of late have gotten stricter as to how much you need to put down to qualify for a loan. There are still programs/loans out there for those who are first time homebuyers or who have little to put down but the rates are not that great. Think about it…who is more likely to “walk away” from paying their mortgage, someone who just put 20% down or someone who put 5% down? On a $500,000 loan that is a difference of $100,000. So to get a good rate today be ready to put at least 20% down, and if there are some questions as to your credit history, maybe put 30-40% down.

Taken directly from my company’s website here is some more info on Down Payment:

Documenting that the down payment comes from your savings and that you will have savings and/or assets over and above the down payment gives the lender confidence in your strength as a borrower and your ability to repay the loan.

Take extra care to document the sources for any monies to be used for the down payment or closing costs. Do not transfer large sums of money without first discussing with your mortgage consultant.

Acceptable Down Payment & Closing Costs Sources:

  • Cash in a bank account
  • Mutual funds / stocks / IRA / 401K
  • Proceeds from the sale of another property
  • Gift from an immediate relative
  • Liquidation of any asset
  • Borrow against an asset (401K)
If you have any questions or would like a rate quote, please contact me at RBaker@PeregrineLending.com or 805-540-0866.

Poly’s alcohol consumption above average

This is from Cal Poly’s Mustang Daily…

“According to random surveys of approximately 1,600 new Cal Poly students taken in 2002 and 2005, a combined 46.5 percent of students reported drinking alcohol multiple times per week, with 8.7 percent drinking almost daily. “

“When we look at alcohol consumption by students, Cal Poly is among the highest in the CSU system,” said Martin Bragg, psychologist and director of Cal Poly Health and Counseling Services.”

There is an effort to create a statewide MLS in California. So far, 61 out of the 70 local MLS Associations in the state have expressed interest in wanting to join. It won’t happen overnight as there are many things that need to be worked out.

What it means is that any agent in the state will have access to the property details (including confidential remarks) and can sell the home. Today, if an out-of-town Broker wants to sell on the Central Coast, they would need to join the local MLS. One benefit of a statewide MLS is that Brokers won’t have to join multiple MLSs so they save money. But what about the effect on the home seller?

There are still things that need to be worked out such as how agents will show properties. Will there be a common lockbox where every agent in the state can access to get the key? Will out-of-area agents just send their clients to the Central Coast with the confidential seller info to call to see their home since the agent won’t be accompanying them?

I’ve seen some agents abuse lockboxes. Some feel they are entitled to have access to a home. I hope that we don’t see out-of-town agents decide to inconvenience homeowners saying they want to “preview” a home when they really have no clients that are interested. Going into peoples homes because you area an agent and are curious should not be something to do when they are on vacation and looking for something to do.

There is also checks and balances by having everything local. If an agent from a local Brokerage leaves a door open or creates another type of problem, the Listing Agent can deal with the local Broker and agent. Other Broker’s don’t want to do things that will make other agents not show one of their listings. But what’s going to keep an agent from Eureka from not abusing the new “system”?

Right now, when an out-of-area agent has a client they do a “referral” with a local Broker/agent. That gives the Buyer someone that knows the area and the local info for the city that they are looking to buy in. I really don’t see what value there is to have someone that doesn’t know the area or local city ordinances represent a Buyer.

I hope I’m missing something and there really are some benefits to the home seller to have a statewide MLS.

If you’ve been in the Bay Area over the past 30 or so years, you’re probably familiar with Dennis Richmond who was the anchor of the 10 o’clock news on KTVU (channel 2). Dennis retired a few days ago after 40 years with the station.

I watched Mr. Richmond for many years and really liked him. When I was going to Cal Poly in the late 70’s/early 80’s the cable company in SLO at the time (Sonic Cable) broadcast Channel 2 so I was able to watch the 10 o’clock news from here too. The Bay Area will miss him!

Here’s an article on his retirement

I mapped the foreclosure sales since Jan 1st for SLO County and Santa Maria/Orcutt. These links are also on the www.SloWatch.com homepage.

To zoom in on the map, first click on the area you want to center the map on and then hit the “+”.

REO Solds Map – SLO County – 1/1/08 – 5/25/08

REO Solds Map – Santa Maria/Orcutt – 1/1/08 – 5/25/08

Short Sale Solds Map – SLO County – 1/1/08 – 5/25/08

Short Sale Solds Map -Santa Maria/Orcutt – 1/1/08 – 5/25/08

I forgot what gas prices were a few years ago so I thought I’d go back down memory lane. The chart above shows the average price since 2002 (click the graph for a larger one).