I found this on a Realtor message board:

“More homeowners who are having trouble making their mortgage payments and who owe more than their properties are presently worth are engaging in a scheme known as “buy and bail,” in which they use their good credit to purchase a second home and then let the first property fall into foreclosure. They often deceive the lender into believing that they will rent out the first residence, but Fannie Mae plans to adopt new guidelines in the next week that require them to provide executed lease agreements or other evidence that they are serious about renting out the home as well as provide proof of their ability to make mortgage, tax, and insurance payments on both properties. The strategy is popping up in California and Arizona, where state law makes it difficult for lenders to file suit against borrowers unless a personal line of credit was used to buy or refinance the home. Many lenders and real estate agents call the practice fraud, and there are concerns that borrowers are being helped by agents and brokers.”

Here’s a link to another source where you can get Sold home info from. It displays the results immediately. It may look familiar to long time SloCountyHomes.com visitors. Enter in an email address like a@a.com as I don’t know if your real email address will get sold and you’ll end up getting lots of SPAM. You can just enter a letter for the first and last names too.


Realtor, Not a Real Friend

The Washington Post had an article about a bad experience when a friend (a Realtor) asked to represent them on a home sale.

Here are some reader replies to the article:

“I suggest never doing business with friends because most people don’t know how to keep business issues separate from personal friendships.”

“It was an act of friendship to NOT hire the realtor friend. If anything went wrong with the sale, it would cause tension in the friendship.”

“It is unfair to expect anyone to significantly hamper their own efforts by hiring someone who is incapable, unavailable, or otherwise not up to the task. True friends would never ask you to do so.”

Read the entire article here

Whew…is it hot or what??

I’ve been in Seattle visiting some friends since the weekend and was a bit surprised when I got off the plane in SLO.

I haven’t been in Seattle for many years and the biggest change I saw was the TRAFFIC. We were in Bellevue and the trip from the hotel to our friends house was taking about 5 minutes. On Monday, I made the trip at 5 PM and it took me almost 25 minutes because of the commute traffic. The only positive thing I can say is that commute didn’t last hours like LA and the Bay Area.

So, I’m catching up a bit on the recent happenings around good ole’ SLO. I saw that the children’s museum opened which is good news. My kids had good times when we took them there when they were growing up.

I didn’t like reading about the brawl during the Blues game yesterday and that the Trib would include it in the headlines. So when does throwing punches in baseball games become acceptable? Is it after high school? If the Blues is supposed to be family-oriented, why can’t they make a rule that if you hit someone, you’re off the team? But I don’t know what’s worse, the fight or the Trib reporting it like it was something that was on the same level as a player having a good game. What’s next, changing the name to the “SLO Black & Blues”?? I hope that there is a followup article about what the new Blues management is doing to stop this from happening again.

Ryan’s Mortgage Blog:

When receiving a quote from a lender or broker you should also receive a Good Faith Estimate (GFE), if you don’t get one, you need to ask for one. The GFE shows all the “estimated” fees related to your loan. I say estimated because it can and will change, and the fees are not legally binding. They can change because many parties are involved (Title company, government, appraiser, etc…) and sometimes there are miscellaneous obstacles like liens that need to be paid off or something else fun you didn’t know would come up.

Several fees are based on the price of the home or loan amount, and brokers/lenders change very different amounts for their time, so it is hard to estimate how much your closing costs should be. So just because your neighbor got charged “x” amount from XYZ company, doesn’t mean you will too. BUT you need to work with a broker that will explain all the fees and not hide any of them. If you are signing the docs and see fees you were unaware of, you do not have to sign. Make sure to check these fees the day of closing every time even if the GFE looked good!

Later in the week I will post an estimated list of fees that you could see on your GFE. As a loan officer, I like to give a cushion of more than less, meaning I estimate things as costing a bit more than they should so when it comes time to close you may not have to pay as much, instead of finding out you owe more. As you will also see, many fees are out of the lenders/brokers hands such as (government, appraiser, escrow, notary). So it is important to find a broker who knows which companies to use.

The APR (Annual Percentage Rate) is supposed to be the true cost of the loan, and is supposed to help you compare loans between lenders. It combines the interest rate plus the estimated fees you should be charged. It has good intentions, but can be very flawed for too many reasons to list. So let’s say company AB is advertising a 30 year loan at 6% interest and 6.25% APR, and company XY is advertising same thing for 6% interest and 7% APR. According to the figures company AB should have cheaper closing costs. BUT the problem is there is no exact mandated calculation on how to determine APR, the law just states it needs to be presented, and most times the APR is probably wrong. It also doesn’t tell you if the loan is fixed or adjustable, or if it has any kind of prepayment penalty. So don’t get too tied up into finding out the APR, I’d rather see a GFE any day.

For free, no obligation rate quotes feel free to contact me at RBaker@PeregrineLending.com or 805-540-0866.

If you’re a Verizon customer, you may have noticed that your phone recently started displaying 2 bars intead of one. That’s because they’ve been upgrading their network in SLO County. What else that means is that the speed of their wireless Internet service has also been upgraded to Broadband access, which is as fast as cable modems and DSL! Previously, when you entered SLO County, the speed dropped to more like dial-up speeds. I connected when I was at the SLO Airport on Sunday and it was FAST!

I haven’t tried my Internet connection from all areas of the County yet to see if the entire County has been upgraded by I would assume that it has been or soon should be.

I signed up for a new foreclosure info search service today. It displays pre-foreclosures and auctions and I thought it was a good compliment to the REO and Short Sale listings reports I already offer.

I’ve found a couple problems with it if you try to request more details which I’ve contacted the company about. Doubt they work on weekends so it probably won’t be fixed until next week. But, you will be able to search any city and have it display the results.

You can try it out here

Ouch! Real estate advertising in newspapers dropped a whopping 23% last year and this year doesn’t look any better. If you go to the Newspaper Association of America’s web site, http://www.naa.org/, and look at the press releases for this year you’ll see that their emphasis is now with online newspaper websites.

A little while ago I blogged aobut bill AB2678 which would have required an energy audit and repairs be paid for by a Seller before a home could be transferred to a new owner. Due to efforts by Realtors and others, the author of the bill amended it to remove the point-of-sale requirement. The bill was further amended at the California Association of Realtor’s request, to ensure that energy audits or improvements are not required as a condition of sale.