Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Homes for Sale - What's New?

Here is a list of the newest homes for sale by city:



Sun Valley


North Hills





Canoga Park



Canyon Country


Toluca Lake


Panorama City







Valley Glen



Valley Village

Granada Hills

Sherman Oaks

Van Nuys

Hidden Hills

Simi Valley

West Hills

Lake Balboa



Mission Hills San Fernando

Studio City

Woodland Hills

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Glendale Real Estate and Glendale Homes for Sale

Glendale Real Estate & Glendale Homes for Sale

View a free list of available Glendale homes for sale. Glendale is a very popular area to live in.  Considering the newly build Americana at Brand and the shops and restuarants that line Brand Blvd and Glendale Ave, Glendale is a great place to buy a home.

Are you looking for a Glendale Notary?

Friday, January 22, 2010

FHA - Home Loan Los Angeles

There have been some recent changes in order to qualify for an FHA loan. 

Rising defaults on loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) have led the agency to impose future policy changes to its home loan program. The FHA provides mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders. Borrowers must meet certain requirements established by the FHA to qualify for the insurance, but lenders bear less risk because the FHA will pay the lender if a homeowner defaults on his or her loan.


The FHA is federally mandated to maintain reserve funds at 2 percent or greater. As of November, the agency reported that its fund had declined to .53 percent. The funding is used to cover losses on mortgages insured by the FHA that go into default.

Loans insured by the FHA generally are less expensive to borrowers because of the lower down payment requirements. However, these loans also have fees, such as up-front mortgage insurance. To help the agency raise its cash reserves, the FHA is increasing the up-front mortgage insurance premium from its current 1.75 percent to 2.25 percent. HUD released a Mortgagee Letter today making the premium increase effective in the spring.

The agency also is raising the minimum credit score requirements. Currently, borrowers with FICO scores as low as 500 have been approved for FHA-insured loans. Under the policy changes, new borrowers will be required to have a minimum FICO score of 580 to qualify for the FHA’s 3.5 percent down payment program. New borrowers with less than a 580 FICO score will be required to put down at least 10 percent. FHA expects this to take effect in early summer once it passes the normal regulatory process.

The new policy also will reduce the amount of money sellers can provide to home buyers at closing to 3 percent, down from its current 6 percent, of the home’s price. The change brings the agency in line with industry standards and removes the incentive to inflate appraisals. The FHA expects this to take effect in early summer after it passes the normal regulatory process.

Please consult with your loan officer to see how these changes will impact your home purchase.
If you are looking for an excellent Loan officer in the San Fernando Valley, Please call Tom Cortesi with Home Services Lending at 818-817-4261 office or 323-791-8145 mobile.

Here is Tom's website:

To search for available homes for sale, visit:

Santa Clarita Valley Homes for Sale

Even though this blog is catered to the San Fernando Valley, I also do specialize in the Santa Clarita Valley Real Estate. These areas include Valencia, Stevenson Ranch, Canyon Country, Castaic, Saugus, and Newhall.

I'm very familiar with the Valencia area as I lived there for several years before moving to Sherman Oaks.  I've also sold many homes in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Here are a few quick links to view active homes for sale:
Valencia homes for sale
Stevenson Ranch homes for sale
Saugus homes for sale
Newhall homes for sale
Castiac homes for sale
Canyon Country homes for sale

If you are searching for bank owned homes, please call me for a free list of bank owned homes for sale in the Santa Clarita Valley.  I also have short sales too!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

San Fernando Valley - Difference Between REO, Lender Owned, Bank Owned, Distressed, Short Sale

The internet has a lot of useful information when searching for San Fernando Valley homes.  But what I've noticed is the confusion between the terminology that describes the same type of property.

Bank owned, foreclosed, reo, lender-owned, lender foreclosure, bank repo, repossessed home all mean the same thing.  The bank has taken back the property and now owns the home. 

Short sale, distressed home, pre-foreclosure, short pay all mean the owner is not paying their mortgage payment and owes more than the home is worth.  Short sale homes usually have more than one lender on title.

In a normal market, if the owner stopped paying their mortgage payment, the lender would usually foreclosure between the 6th to 8th months.  In this current market, it can take 12-18 months to foreclosure on a home.  Keep in mind lenders usually postpone the foreclosure date because either the home is listed with an agent who is trying to sell it, or the owner is trying to modify their home loan.

If you are considering purchasing a short sale or bank owned home in the San Fernando Valley, it's important you are working with a certified agent who specializes in these kinds of homes.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pending Home Sales Higher Than a Year Ago

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, discusses where the market is headed and interest rates in the near term. Click to watch the video above.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said a drop was expected. “It will be at least early spring before we see notable gains in sales activity as home buyers respond to the recently extended and expanded tax credit,” he said. “The fact that pending home sales are comfortably above year-ago levels shows the market has gained sufficient momentum on its own. We expect another surge in the spring as more home buyers take advantage of affordable housing conditions before the tax credit expires.”

Click here to read more....

Richard's Notes: I do agree with Dr. Yun that homes sales will increase in Spring of '10 as home-buyers will try to secure a low interest rate and the tax credit.  What remains to be seen is what will happen to the real estate market past June 30(deadline for $8000 or $6500 tax credit).

I also agree with Dr. Yun that the foreclosure market will be elevated this year.  The question remains, aside from politics and incentives for banks to modify home loans, how many of these home-owners will finally be forced out of their home.


Richard M. Johnston
RE/MAX Grand Central
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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Home-Buyer Tax Credit Revisited - Time Running Short

Thinking of buying a home for sale in the San Fernando Valley?  In order to get your hands on the $8,000 tax credit you have to be in a contract by April 30, 2010 and close by June 30, 2010.  If you are thinking of buying a short sale home, you will need to get into a home very quickly.  It usually takes anywhere from 4-6 months to close on a short sale.  If you plan to purchase a short sale home, you will need to be in escrow very soon or your chance of securing the $8,000 credit could be at risk.

The number of bank owned homes for sale in the San Fernando Valley has been reduced as lenders are trying to find ways to keep home-owners in their homes.  Read this article:

Search for bank owned homes in the San Fernando Valley.


• The $8,000 tax credit is now available for homes purchased before April 30, 2010 and closed by June 30, 2010.

• Single taxpayers with incomes up to $125,000 and married couples with incomes up to $225,000 qualify for the tax credit.

• The $8,000 tax credit is for first-time homebuyers or someone who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase.

Please consult with your tax advisor to see if you qualify for the tax credit.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Phoenix Homes for Sale

Are you searching for homes for sale in Phoenix, AZ? A great real estate agent I know is Gary Sattleberger of US Preferred Realty.  Gary and his wife Karen are a top producing real estate team in Phoenix, AZ and a trusted resource for my referrals.

As a 35 year resident, Gary is intimately familiar with the Phoenix metropolitan area and specializes in the Ahwatukee, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Maricopa, Scottsdale, Tempe and Queen Creek areas. As a buyer’s real estate agent, his focus is on guiding home buyers through the process from finding the right home, negotiating the best deal, home inspections, escrow and moving-in.

If you are considering buying a home in the Phoenix area, call Gary Sattleberger today at 480-820-0043.  Gary also specializes in Phoenix Bank Owned Homes and Arizona Short Sales.

Here are some quick links for active homes for sale in Arizona:

Ahwatukee Homes for Sale
Avondale Homes for Sale - Buckeye Homes for Sale
Fountain Hills Homes for Sale - Gilbert Homes for Sale
Gold Canyon Homes for Sale - Litchfield Park Homes for Sale
Goodyear Homes for Sale - Laveen Homes for Sale
Paradise Valley Homes for Sale - San Tan Valley Homes for Sale
Maricopa Homes for Sale - Mesa Homes for Sale
Phoenix Homes for Sale - Queen Creek Homes for Sale
Scottsdale Homes for Sale - Tempe Homes for Sale
Tolleson Homes for Sale  - Anthem Homes for Sale
Apache Junction Homes for Sale - Chandler Homes for Sale

Monday, January 04, 2010

California Foreclosure Law Review

California Foreclosure Law Review

Due to the recent burst of the so-called housing bubble, and the subsequent economic crisis, foreclosure law in California has recently changed. Here we will focus on the primary method of foreclosure in California—Non judicial. The state of California passed a new law that imposes an additional delay on the filing of a Notice of Trustee Sale. This change applies only to loans originated from January 1, 2003 through December 31, 2007. This new law requires that the lender contact the borrower in default at least 30 days prior to initiating foreclosure proceedings in order to assess the borrower's financial condition and avoid foreclosure, if possible.

Regardless of whether or not your loan falls between the above mentioned dates, there are still certain rules that must be adhered to in a non-judicial foreclosure in California. On day one of this process, the Notice of Default is recorded. Within ten business days the Notice of Default must be mailed and published (when required). The next step required is that within one month the Notice of Default must be mailed to all junior lien holders and other parties. After three months the Notice of Trustee sale date is set. Once the date is set, the Notice of Trustee Sale date needs to be sent out 25 days before the actual sale date. Twenty days prior to the Trustee Sale Date, you may be required to notify the IRS. Next, within ten days from the first publication of the Notice of Sale, the Beneficiary must be sent a request for directions to the property. Fourteen days prior to the sale date, the Notice of Sale must be recorded. Seven days before the sale date, if it is a court action, the seven-day rule may apply before the sale can occur. Finally, five days before the Sale Date, the Right to Reinstate expires, and on the Sale Date, the property is sold at auction to the highest bidder at public auction.

Search for foreclosure homes for sale in the San Fernando Valley.
Source: Default Research Inc.

Friday, January 01, 2010

San Fernando Valley Market Update

Here is the most recent market update for the San Fernando Valley Real estate area.  Please pay special attention to the highlighted sentences.

Home sales fell compared to the prior year for the first time in 16 months during October throughout the San Fernando Valley due to an extremely tight inventory that has triggered dozens of offers on virtually every property listed for sale under $500,000, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors® reported.

The exceptional demand from buyers eager to take advantage of a federal tax credit and the most favorable resale prices in years pushed home and condo prices higher.

"There is widespread interest in buying a home with dozens of competing bids coming in on virtually every property listed under $500,000 and a few examples of properties receiving 50 to even 100 offers," said Ana Maria Colon, president of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors®.

"It's preposterous and difficult to believe," she said, "yet multiple offers and this intense competition also illustrate the underlying faith consumers have in the economy along with their deep desire to own a home."

Unfortunately, Colon said, because there are so few properties listed for sale traditional buyers - even those coming in with a 50 percent down payment, a job and high credit scores - often lose to all-cash buyers, many of whom are investors.

There were a mere 2,858 properties listed for sale throughout the San Fernando Valley at the end of October, a number that was down 51.7 percent from a year ago.

"At the current rate of sales, the inventory represents a mere 3.2-month supply," said Jim Link, the Association's chief executive officer, noting that a "balanced market" appears when there is a 5- to 6-month supply. A year ago the inventory represented a 6.0-month supply.

"Realtors® would be completing many more sales if the inventory was higher," Link said. "We expect the market to remain very busy well into next year, particularly now that the $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time buyers has been extended through April and existing home owners who trade up or down are also eligible for a $6,000 tax credit."

Source: Southland Regional Association of Realtors

If you are thinking of buying a home under $500,000 in the San Fernando Valley, it's important you are working with a professional.  I have additional resources other agents don't to find you the perfect bank owned home or short sale home under $500,000.

You can search for San Fernando Valley bank owned homes.  When you are ready to actively look for homes, you will need to get pre-approved with a loan officer.  Please call me to schedule a meeting at my office in Tarzana so we can discuss your next move.

If you are planning to purchase a home with an FHA loan, please read my post concerning the difficulting of buying with an FHA loan here in the San Fernando Valley.

Richard Johnston
RE/MAX Grand Central

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