Monday, December 28, 2009

Northridge Homes for Sale

Are you interested to view just listed homes for sale in Northridge?  Here are the most up-to-the minute information on availability.

There are currently 108 single family homes for sale in Northridge and 31 available condos for sale in Northridge.  Of these, 19 are considered Northridge bank owned homes and 41 are Northridge short sale homes.

Purchase a bank owned home is very easy in Northridge.  When writing an offer, keep in mind that the price you negotiate upfront is usually the price you will end up paying.  The home is being sold as-is unless something seriously defective is found with the home. 

On the other hand, buying a short sale home in Northridge can be difficult and time-consuming.  Hopefully, some new regulations will take affect which will shorten the short sale approval process. 

There are currently 12 Northridge luxury homes for sale starting from $950,000.  The most expensive Northridge home currently on the market is $2.3 million. 

An exclusive area of Northridge is called Porter Ranch.  To schedule a time to view available homes for sale, contact Richard Johnston, RE/MAX.  818-730-4128.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA)

The U.S. Dept. of the Treasury recently announced the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA), which provides instructions for lenders and servicers participating in the Making Home Affordable Program and Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). The purpose of HAFA is to create an alternative to foreclosures for homeowners unable to successfully modify their troubled mortgage under HAMP, and to streamline the short-sale process.


A short sale is when the lender agrees to accept less than the amount owed on the mortgage instead of foreclosing. Many homeowners and REALTORS® have expressed their frustrations in the short-sale process, criticizing lenders for the amount of time it takes to process and approve a short sale. The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® listened to members’ concerns, worked with other industry groups, and responded by helping to create provisions to streamline the short-sale process.

The HAFA program simplifies and encourages short sales and deeds in lieu of foreclosure. It will permit pre-approved short sale terms before a property is listed; release borrowers from future liability for the debt; provide financial incentives to borrowers, servicers, and investors; and prevent servicers from attempting to reduce real estate commissions established in the listing agreement as a condition for short sale approval.

Under terms of the program, the borrower and/or listing broker have three business days to submit an executed purchase offer and related documents to the servicer on a short sale, and the servicer has 10 business days to respond to an executed purchase offer.

The servicer also will determine the minimum net proceeds for a short sale. If an offer presented to the servicer by the borrower or listing broker meets the net proceeds requirement, then the servicer must accept it.

The program currently is available only for non-Fannie Mae- or Freddie Mac-owned loans up to $729,750 and is scheduled to take effect April 5, 2010. However, C.A.R. expects that many lenders will choose to implement it before the deadline.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Just Listed Homes for Sale in the Valley

Here is a cool new site which lists just listed homes for sale in the San Fernando Valley.  You can instantly view just listed homes in the following areas:

Sherman Oaks homes for sale

Encino homes for sale

Tarzana homes for sale

Woodland Hills homes for sale

Studio City homes for sale

Monday, December 14, 2009

Selling Tips for the San Fernando Valley

The best chance for selling your property is within the first seven weeks. Studies show that the longer a property stays on the market, the less the seller will net. Listed below are the five main factors to accomplishing this goal.

Pricing Factor: It is very important to price your property in the San Fernando Valley at a competitive market value right when you list it. The market is so competitive that even over-pricing by a few thousand dollars could mean that your house will not sell. Exampe: Instead of listing your home at $310,000, price the home at $299,000.  It's interesting, but your first offer is usually your best offer. Here are reasons for pricing your property at the market value right from the start in order to net you the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time.

An overpriced home:

Minimizes offers

Lowers showings

Lowers agent response

Limits financing

Limits qualified buyers

Nets less for the seller

*New for 2009 & 2010 - Won't get appraised!

Access Factor - VERY IMPORTANT!!!

Top selling agents will not show your home if both the key and access are not readily available. They do not have time to run around town all day picking up and dropping off keys. They want to sell homes.  The harder you make it for an agent to view your home, the less you will net. 

Friday, December 04, 2009

When will Banks Finally Start Foreclosing?

I wonder when banks will start to foreclosure on homeowners?

I  know five home-owners here in the San Fernando Valley who haven't made a single payment to their mortgage companies for the past 15 months and are still living in the home - payment free.  No payment, no taxes, no HOA fee!  Who doesn't like a free ride at the expense of others? How is this possible? 

Thanks to the government and all the money they threw at the banks, banks are in no hurry to recoup the governements their losses.  It's gotten so crazy that Bank of America is returning the governments money because they don't like the restictions being imposed on them.

Read this story about how Bank of America is returning the government's $45 billion.

Nonetheless, I believe there are so many home-owners in default that if the banks moved quickly to foreclosure, home-price would plummet to 1995 levels.  How about a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home for sale in Sherman Oaks for $250,000?  Down from a high of $800,000 just a few years ago.  It definitely would have been a reality if the government and politics did not step in.

Who wouldn't walk away?  What level-headed person would continue to pay for a home-loan who's value has fallen drastically and in which the purchase-price may never happen even after 15 years.  I wouldn't!!!

Richard Johnston
RE/MAX Grand Central

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