Sunday, February 28, 2010

Burbank Real Estate & Burbank Homes for Sale

Are you looking for the newest homes to hit the market here in Burbank, CA? If your looking for a specific home, you can sign-up to receive daily property updates of Burbank, CA homes listed in the Realtor MLS system.  You can also search by our map to pinpoint exact real estate locations in Burbank.

Burbank is one of my favorite cities in the San Fernando Valley.  Burbank borders North Hollywood, Studio City, Valley Village, Glendale, Toluca Lake. 

View the most current list of Burbank homes for sale now.

BTW, you can find Burbank bank owned homes for sale at huge discounts. 

Monday, February 22, 2010

New Scam - Forensic Loan Audits for Los Angeles, CA

This is a reblog from Gene Wunderlich Temecula and Murrieta Real Estate Agent:

We continue to warn people about loan mod fraud - yet people continue to be victimized. I know people are desperate but sometimes you also have to be just a little bit naive and/or stupid to buy into some of these scams.

But the coalition formed by our Attorney Generals office, the Department of Real Estate and the State Bar of California keep trying to protect us from these scamsters and ourselves. I posted here some months back when they initially formed the coalition and were effective in passing legislation that required loan mod specialists to register with the Attorney Generals office and post a $100,000 bond (SB 94 Calderon). The same bill made it illegal for anybody to charge an up-front fee to modify, or attempt to modify, a loan. Yet in spite of shutting down hundreds of these scam artists and acting on 1,000's of complaints, the problem continues.

So once again, AG Brown, the DRE and the State Bar have today submitted the following press release:

Brown Warns Homeowners to Avoid Forensic Loan Audits

Los Angeles-Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today joined the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) and the State Bar of California in warning Californians to avoid forensic loan audits, the loan-modification industry's latest "phony foreclosure-relief service," in which homeowners pay up-front fees for a forensic review of their lender's practices, but are provided no actual foreclosure relief.

"Forensic loan audits are yet another phony foreclosure-relief service hawked by loan-modification consultants trying to cash in on the desperation of homeowners facing foreclosure," Brown said. "The foreclosure-relief industry continues to be long on promises, but short on results."

Individuals and businesses who offer forensic loan audits use inflated and misleading claims to convince homeowners to pay up-front fees for services that produce no actual foreclosure relief. Homeowners are encouraged to pay for an audit of their mortgage loan file to determine their lender's compliance with state and federal mortgage-lending laws. This audit is pitched to homeowners as a tool they can use to gain leverage and speed up the loan-modification process.

In truth, there is no evidence or statistical data to support claims that forensic loan audits-even if performed by a licensed, legitimate and trained auditor, mortgage professional or lawyer-will help homeowners obtain loan modifications or provide any other foreclosure relief.

"The State Bar is committed to dealing with all aspects of loan foreclosure fraud involving attorneys," said State Bar President Howard Miller. "We will continue to work with all the other government agencies to prevent fraud and to move for disciplinary sanctions against attorneys who violate their obligations to their clients."

By law, all individuals and businesses offering mortgage-foreclosure consulting, loan-modification and foreclosure-assistance services must register with Brown's office and post a $100,000 bond. It is also illegal for loan-modification consultants and businesses to charge up-front fees for their services.

Brown has sought court orders to shut down more than 30 fraudulent foreclosure-relief companies and has brought criminal charges and obtained lengthy prison sentences for dozens of deceptive loan-modification consultants.

In 2009, the DRE investigated more than 2,000 complaints involving loan-modification scams. Nearly 350 individuals and companies received a Desist and Refrain Order to stop illegal activity.

"The DRE has aggressively pursued loan-modification scammers who prey on vulnerable and financially stressed homeowners, and those peddling false hope by promising mortgage relief with a forensic audit will be scrutinized," stated Real Estate Commissioner Jeff Davi. "With consumer education efforts and warnings, we hope to keep consumers from falling victim in the first place."

As part of today's consumer alert, Brown offered the following tips to homeowners:

- Don't pay up-front fees. Foreclosure consultants are prohibited by law from collecting money before services are performed.

- Don't ignore letters from your lender or loan servicer. Responding to those letters is your best bet for saving your house.

- Don't transfer title or sell your house to a "foreclosure rescuer." Beware! This is a scam to convince homeowners they can stay in the home as renters and buy their home back later. It could also be part of a fraudulent bankruptcy filing. Either way, a scammer can then evict you and take your home.

- Don't pay your mortgage payments to anyone other than your lender or loan servicer. Mortgage consultants often keep the money for themselves.

- Never sign any documents without reading them first. Many homeowners think that they are signing documents for a loan modification or for a new loan to pay off their delinquent mortgage. Later, they discover that they actually transferred ownership of their home to someone who is now trying to evict them.

Non-profit housing counselors certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provide free help to homeowners. To find a counselor in your area, call 1-800-569-4287.

If you are a homeowner who has been scammed, you can contact Brown's office at 1-800-952-5225 or file a complaint online at: You can also learn more about avoiding scams and obtain a complaint form by visiting the DRE's web site at: 

If you have a complaint against a lawyer, contact the State Bar Complaint Hotline at 1-800-843-9053. Complaint forms and an explanation of the attorney discipline system are available online at:

In 2009, California accounted for 22 percent of the nation's foreclosure activity, with 632,573 homes in foreclosure statewide. This is an annual increase of more than 20 percent in foreclosure activity from 2008 and a 150 percent increase from 2007.

For more information on Brown's action against loan-modification fraud visit:

Richard's Notes: If you have fallen behind on your mortgage payment here in the San Fernando Valley, please call me 818-730-4128 so we can discuss your next move.  There is no fee or charge to discuss your situation with me.  I can provide you a comparable market analysis report of your home.  You can also get your homes value report now on my website:

You have the right to short sale your home if you are unable to continue to pay your mortgage(s).  Be sure to work with a licensed San Fernando Valley real estate agent who specializes in short sale properties. 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Searching for Your New Home

Buying a home in the San Fernando Valley is not difficult.  In fact, it should be fun and exciting especially when working with the right real estate agent.

Real estate agents are not create equal.  Some are more fun to work with than others.  Some have powerful online tools to make searching for your next home fun. 

Here are the tools I've implemented on my websites to make your next move an enjoyable one:
1. Search for Los Angeles homes on your cellphone.
2. View all available homes for sale in the San Fernando Valley.
3. San Fernando Valley home appraisals.  Know what your home is worth.
4. Search by map.  Zoom into specific areas to see what's available for sale.

Plus, you'll want to stay in touch with what's going on in the marketplace. 

Follow Us on TwitterJoin Us on FacebookView Pictures on FlickrRead Our BlogLet's Network on LinkedIn

If I was a home-buyer, I would like to work with an agent who is responsive to me and also to other agents. 

Richard Johnston, RE/MAX

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

San Fernando Valley Short Sales - Encino, Sherman Oaks, Tarzana, Burbank

2010 is planning out to be the year of the short sale.  A lot of home-owners who are attempting to modify their home loan in the San Fernando Valley will soon find out, it doesn't work!  The Federal Mortgage Modification Program is failing to deliver - thank you Mr. Obama!

The other day I spoke with a client who wants to lower their monthly payment in North Hollywood.  Their home has fallen 40% in value during the past few years.  The problem (which is not really a problem) is that their income has risen during the same period.  Their lender refuses to even consider modifying their loan because they are not in any kind of hardship.  What are they to do???

The clients above did invest money when they purchased their home.  So it's a lot harder for them to just walk away.  But for others who purchased their home with no money down and seller pays closing, the situation is different.  These home-buyers really have nothing to lose - except their credit for a few years and eventually a home they never invested in.

So what do you do if you can't or don't want to pay your mortgage payment?  I recommend you take the following steps.
1. Call the lender(s) and explain your situation.
2. Try to modify your loan(s).
3. If #2 doesn't work, call me. I'm a Short sale specialist in the San Fernando Valley 818-730-4128
4. Pay all your other debts on time.
5. Don't give any money to people claiming they can help.  It's against the law!  I'm serious!
5. Don't panic!  It's not the end of the world.

I've seen some home-owners live in their home for over 18 months without paying their mortgage before they have to leave.  So, if you haven't paid for a few months, their is no reason for you to panic.  Just don't wait. Also, you won't pay any capital gains tax when you sell short

If you are considering buying a short sale home, all I can say is have a lot of patients.  The process is long, tedious, confusing, mind-boggling, plain dumb, but it does work when you work with a short sale specialist like me :-).  I do have a strategy to get you into a short sale home.  My objective is to get you into a home, not just to write offers.

If you have written a hundred offers on short sale homes and still find yourself homeless, call me 818-730-4128.  There is a difference when you work with a professional short sale specialist.

Here are my list of short sale homes for sale in the San Fernando Valley.

Also, before you go, be sure to sign-up for my San Fernando Valley mobile real estate search.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

HARP: Could It Save Your Home?

Find out now what your San Fernando Valley home is worth!  Visit: for an instant home evaluation. You will currently see what homes are available on the market near your home and recently sold homes.

Friday, February 12, 2010

FHA Insurance Premiums going up, be informed

Those Who Wait Will Pay Thousands More This Spring

Waiting a few extra days or weeks to purchase a home this spring could cost buyers thousands of extra dollars as the office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) implements several changes for loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA).

This is what's going on:

On April 5th, the cost of required up-front mortgage insurance for loans guaranteed by the FHA will increase from 1.75% to 2.25%. For a borrower purchasing a $200,000 home with a $7,000 down payment, the up-front mortgage insurance will increase by $965. Up-front mortgage insurance is typically financed in the final loan amount so the impact to a monthly payment will be minimal but overall, the increase is still borne by the borrower both upfront and monthly.

It is important to note that in order to be eligible for the lower cost up-front mortgage insurance, a lender has to order a case number from the FHA before April 5th. A case number can only be generated for loan applications where a property is involved and a fully executed purchase contract exists. Home buyers who have been pre-approved but are not under contract will not be eligible for the reduced premium effective April 5th.

If that's not enough:

Seller paid closing costs will be reduced from 6% to 3%. The reduction in these "seller concessions" can increase the amount of cash a buyer will be required to pay at closing by $6,000 for a home purchase of $200,000.

There is only one way to avoid being affected by all of these costly changes that lie ahead - submit all FHA mortgage applications by the last week of March.

Information provided by Joe Cook Minnesota : Carver County : Chanhassen Mortgage Broker - Lender
San Fernando Valley homes for sale

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Foreclosure Market Update

Search for bank owned homes - foreclosures in the San Fernando Valley

Search for Homes on Your Cell Phone

I want to tell you about a great new way you can search for homes – right from your mobile phone. I have partnered with Smarter Agent, the nation’s leader in mobile real estate technology, to provide this mobile search capability to ALL of my clients!

My tool will allow you to search homes for sale anytime, anywhere - right from your cell phone!

Wherever you are, driving, or walking around looking at properties, you’ll have access to all of the MLS information on the homes for sale around you, with just one touch of a button on your cell phone. Hit “Call to See” and you will be put right in touch with ME, ready and waiting to serve all of your real estate needs.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Unemployment and Its Effect on the Real Estate Markets

As 2010 gets underway, there are some positive indicators in real estate for the year to come. For example, the recession seems to be ending with the Gross Domestic Product expected to grow by 2.5 to 2.75 percent this year. Inflation continues to remain low hovering around 2.8 percent. Finally, thirty year conventional mortgage rates continue to remain below five percent.

More Links: