Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Most Fiscally Irresponsible Government in U.S. History

Friday, August 27th, 2010, 11:04 am

Source: US News

There is an instinctive conclusion among the American public that President Obama's stimulus package has failed to create a sustained recovery.

Unemployment has increased, not declined; consumers have retrenched; housing starts have crashed along with mortgage applications; and there is a fear that a double-dip recession may very well be in the pipeline.

The public perception, reflected in Pew Research/National Journal polls, is that the measures to combat the Great Recession have mostly helped large banks and financial institutions, and that's a view common to Republicans (75 percent) and Democrats (73 percent). Only one third of either political leaning thinks government policies have done a great deal or a fair amount for the poor.

Read more here...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Are You a Renter? Here are the Facts

Report finds one quarter of renters never plan to own a home

A new report by finds that 27 percent of renters surveyed indicated they do not plan to ever purchase a home, while 68 percent said it would be more than two years before they do.

Of the 68 percent of renters who plan to someday purchase a home, nearly 80 percent said there are factors that could inspire them to purchase within the next 12 months. Factors cited included: Able to save enough for a down payment, 47 percent; got a new job, 28 percent; interest rates stay low/get lower, 27 percent; decide it makes more financial sense to buy instead of rent, 24 percent; got a promotion/raise, 23 percent; and local real estate market stabilized, 9 percent.

According to the study, 72 percent of American adults still believe home-ownership is part of their personal American dream. Additionally, 23 percent of those surveyed said their attitude toward owning a home has grown more positive over the last six months.
Richard's Notes: I'm sure you know of someone who has lost their shirt in the real estate meltdown thanks to the government who was asleep at the wheel and the greedy banks who didn't bother to check the paperwork they lent money on.  There are many reasons to jump ship and buy your first home but only after speaking with a real estate agent.  Because most all agents are on commission, if you want the best insight without the pressure, offer to pay the agent for their professional advice.

Pretend and Extend

Pretend and Extend

Pretend and extend has been the game of the federal government and the banks for several years now concerning the housing market.  It's not unheard of to meet home-owners who have been living in their home RENT FREE for over two years.

But this pretend and extend game has encompassed even those home-owners who have stopped paying their mortgages long ago.  The real game is being played with people lives, emotions, and families.  These so called modification programs which were originally designed to help home-owners stay in their home has FAILED.  The plan was to modify their loans to affordable levels to keep the home-owner from walking away or short selling their home (short sale).

In my opinion, the home affordable modification program has failed.  The biggest reason is that the modification does not reduce the principal balance of these loans.  This is crucial to fix the housing market as most of these homes will still be in the red a decade later.  Think about that for a minute.  There is a large chance your home will still be in the red (negative equity) a decade from now.  Who likes to throw good money at bad?  Not you I hope!

Banks and the federal government love the Pretend and Extend game.  Here's is why:

1. Banks are slow to foreclose and even during modification (HAMP), they are asking for some monthly money.  They don't show a loss on their books so that really misleads the public who thinks this housing market is turning around.

2. The less they foreclosure, the less homes are on the market.  This prevents homes from losing more of their value thus causing a more sever downward spiral on home-prices.  Agents who list bank owned properties are notorious with playing with people's time and money. 

3. The government who in my opinion, has forgotten to govern.  I don't understand why they are encouraging people to apply for failed modification plans which they know that the whole system is a plow to pretend and extend.

Listen, if you've tried to modify your home-loan and find yourself running around in circles with lost paperwork, failed modifications, failed promises, rude and disrespectful bank employees, you have two choices:
1. Stay in your home as long as possible to play the pretend and extend game.  Where the bank proceeds to foreclosure, hire an attorney so you can pretend and extend the game a little longer.

2. Hire a local real estate agent to help you get off the pretend and extend game and into reality.  Let's face it, your home isn't going to go up in value like it did several years ago.  Why throw good money at bad and find yourself in a short sale situation years from now with a home that's still worth less that what you bought it for.  Stop extending the problem and solve it today.  Better now than later.

Thanks for reading.  If you or someone you know is tired of the pretend and extend game, give me a call so we can work on solving your problem today.

Richard Johnston
Exclusive Estate Properties

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Santa Monica Mobile Notary

If you're planning to buy a home in Santa Monica, it's important to work with a local Santa Monica Mobile Notary specialist to help get your loan documents signs quickly and efficiently.  A mobile notary can pick up the loan documents from the Santa Monica escrow office and later drop them off signed and complete. It's that simple and it will not cost you any more than what the escrow office will charge you.

Notary.LA caters to homeowner and businesses of Santa Monica.  They are locally based and can meet you at your home or office in Santa Monica and nearby areas including Brentwood, Malibu and Century City.

The cost to have a document notarized is $10 a page per signature.  It's important to have a valid picture ID. 

Friday, August 06, 2010

Foreclosure program's failure disappoints

July 30: Chris Hayes highlights the utter failure of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) in helping to alleviate the foreclosure problem in America.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Los Angeles Real Estate News

In the news...

Credit rescoring can help you qualify for a mortgage
Rapid rescorings by independent, legitimate firms use procedures approved by the three major credit bureaus and can help correct errors or omissions that are dragging down your scores.

Sellers should ensure that condo projects are on approved list for FHA mortgages

Condominium owners who are trying to sell in today’s agonizingly slow housing market should make sure that their community is on the Federal Housing Administration’s approved list. Ditto for someone who is thinking about refinancing a condo
Talking Points

Federal foreclosure-prevention programs have been expanded to encourage delinquent borrowers to avoid foreclosure by streamlining the short-sale process. In the new program, participating lenders now are required to advise eligible sellers of the minimum amount they will accept for the short sale prior to the house being listed for sale. If the seller secures an offer for the agreed price and meets the lender’s terms of the short sale, the lender must approve the proposed sale within 10 days.

Another component of the new streamlined process requires the property to be listed with a licensed real estate professional who works in the community where the property is located. However, homeowners should be aware that because short sales require the bank to accept an amount less than the amount due on the mortgage, lenders may not approve a short sale, even if the price is comparable to recent sales in the neighborhood.

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