Thursday, May 29, 2008

Point-of-Sale Bill Passes Assembly

AB 2678 (Núñez) was passed by the Assembly on a 44-33 vote on Wednesday. Three votes more than the 41 needed to pass. AB 2678 will now go before the state Senate. As mentioned in my previous blog AB2678 would require that all homes and commercial property in California have an energy audit at point-of-sale, and that mandatory energy efficiency investments be made. The California Association Of Realtors strongly opposes the point-of-sale requirements in AB 2678 "because they are not necessary to achieve the bill’s objectives and such mandates will weaken the housing market." If enacted, AB 2678 could add thousands of dollars to the cost of purchasing a home, including up to $400 just to have the home audited.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Are we at the Bottom of the Bottom?

Mary Funk, President of the Southland Regional Association Of Realtors says that "...we may have passed the bottom of this cycle and the worst is behind us." Bless her heart, don't we all hope she is right....And she may well be if the trend keeps going as it has been.

416 single-family homes closed escrow during March, an increase of 16.2% from February. Though sales were down 46% from a year ago, activity has been up since October, March being the 3rd consecutive month with an increase in resale activity.

7,193 properties were listed in the San Fernando Valley at the end of March, up 26.6% from a year ago and up 1.5% from February.
The inventory represents over a twelve -month supply – so buyers it is still your market you should be gettin' while the gettins' good as my Grandfather use to say.

For more information on buying a home in Studio City, Sherman Oaks and the San Fernando Valley visit my Studio City, Sherman Oaks Real Estate web site.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Is an FHA Loan Right For You?

There are many reasons to consider choosing an FHA loan:

  • You are buying your first home.
  • You don't have perfect credit.
  • You don't have a huge down-payment
  • You think you may not qualify for a conventional loan.
  • You don't want high monthly payments
  • You worry about not being able to meet your monthly payment.
  • Down payment can be in the form of a gift from a family member or significant other.

First you should understand that the FHA (Federal Housing Administration)does not actually lend you the money to finance your home instead the FHA insures your loan against defaults. So interest rates and terms are not set and you should shop around for an FHA-approved lender and find the terms you can live with. Your lender/loan broker MUST be FHA APPROVED! You will be required to put down 3% of the purchase price. This can be in the form of a gift from a family member, employer, significant other or a grant. The seller can pay up to 6% of your closing costs but none of your down-payment. There is also a loan limit with an FHA loan another reason to contact an FHA Approved Lender before you start your search for your new home.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Avoid Foreclosure

More and more people in Southern California are seeing their homes being foreclosed on. Some have had the bank take their home and some have just walked away using the "jingle mail' method (mailed the bank the keys to the house). The worst part is that a large number of these people didn't even talk to the bank first. They became paralyzed and felt cornered and were afraid to pick up the phone and see if there were any options open to them. If you find yourself in this unfortunate position call your lender before you give up and mail them the keys. There are a few ways your lender may be able to help you stay in your home. They could set up a payment plan to give you time to catch up on the arrears or they might even be willing to modify the loan to reduce the monthly payment. Don't assume that you lender is the enemy....give them a call you may be surprised at their willingness to help. DON'T put your head in the sand and hope it will all just go away, it won't. For information on how to stop the foreclosure on your home visit How To Stop Foreclosures at my Studio City, Sherman Oaks Real Estate site.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

As if it doesn't cost enough to sell your house!

Your home has been on the market over 5 months and finally you get an offer you can live with. You have budgeted down to the last penny and are taking bottom dollar...a dollar less and you just can't afford to sell. This scenario is taking place every day in Southern California, Sellers that either bought at the top of the market or have already spent their equity by way of a second or a home equity line trying to get out of their homes without resorting to a short pay or worse, foreclosure are being slammed by the failing real estate market. Well, the government now wants to add to your problems by way of California legislation AB 2678 (Núñez) and Los Angeles County's Sidewalk repair program both of which are being rigorously fought by local and state Realtors.

AB 2678 will require ALL residential and commercial properties to have an energy audit at point-of-sale. So now when you sell your home you will have to among other things, replace the toilets with low flow, strap the hot water heater, put on a gas shut off valve, put smoke detectors in every bedroom and every hallway leading to a bedroom, put protective film over any sliding glass doors that aren't shatter proof and if Los Angeles has its way, repair any broken sidewalks in front of your home (see below). The cost of the just the audit is about $400 and if your house fails well that could set you back thousands. Don't get me wrong I'm all for anything green but could the timing be worse?

Program C.F.05-1853 is the point of sale sidewalk repair program - the city makes you repair the broken sidewalk in front of your home and pay for it when the home sells unless the damage was created by a city owned tree.

Feel free to let me know how you feel about this and visit my website for more information on Studio City Real Estate

San Fernando Valley Real Estate


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