Sunday, September 07, 2008

federal oversight for Freddie and Fannie

September 7, 2008
The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight has announcedthis morning, it is placing mortgage giants under conservatorshipin an effort to stabalize their ability to perform under tightercredit restrictions and low economic growth.
OFHEO cited the importance of these organizations and theirrole in residential real estate in their press release issuedSunday morning.
James Lockhart, Director Federal Housing Finance Agency, has taken steps over the past six months to help stabilize Fannie and Freddieincluding reducing capital requirements, removing portfolio caps, and others.
"I have determined that the companies cannot continue to operate safely and soundly and fulfill their critical public mission".Lockhart said.
Also released was a conservatorship Q & A which defines the conservators roleas well as the actions they will take.View the conservatorship Q&A here

John Wall

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Of the homes sold in May, 38.3 percent were foreclosure resales, up from a revised 37.6 percent in April and 5.4 percent in May a year ago.
The median price paid for a home last month was $339,000, down 4.2 percent from $354,000 for the month before, and down 30.0 percent from $484,000 for May a year ago when the median was at its peak. Around half the drop in median is due to depreciation, the other half due to shifts in the types of homes selling, and how those homes are financed.
The typical mortgage payment that home buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,569. That was down from a revised $1,645 in April, and down from $2,266 for May a year ago. Adjusted for inflation, mortgage payments are back to where they were in mid 2003. They are 23.3 percent below the spring 1989 peak of the prior real estate cycle. They are 38.0 percent below the current cycle's peak in June 2006.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Direct from the LA Times' Foreclosure series

John Wall, Realtor
foreclosure avoidance specialist


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Housing Affordability in California

The California Association of Realtors announced today, the resultsof the First-Time Buyer's Affordability Index for the first quarter of2008.

The affordability index rose 11 points, at 44%. Translate that tojust under half of consumers in California can afford to purchase anentry level home. The report goes on to say that the minimum incomeneeded to qualify for a mortgage in California was 30% lower than this time last year.

Meaning only $67,830 in annual income is needed to qualify foran entry level purchase, compared to the $97,000 that was required last year.

Great news for homebuyers, and an indicator that the Real Estate market in California is still going strong. to see the numbers and the full press release
visit or

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Price Reduction vs. Seller Credit

When buyers decide that they want to make an offer to purchase a property, often their fist instict is to offer less than asking price. This stems from a desire to save money, which we all want to do, and can perfectly understand. There is a problem with this approach though. In market where a property will see multiple offers (yes, even now, we are seeing many properties that are in a bidding war), you as a buyer stand a chance to loose out in the end. There are hundreds of ways to save money with real estate and during a consultation with us, we'll show you each and every way!

Here we present a scenario, in which the buyer saves a significant amount of money, without the hassle of having to justify a "low-ball" offer, or risk offending the seller (which is even worse).

Scenario #1 (traditional sale)
Scenario #2 ($20,000 'low-ball')
Scenario #3 (seller credit, 20k)
Sales Price
20% Down Payment
Loan Amount
30 Year Fixed Rate
Savings of

As we can see, asking the seller to credit some money (at closing) toward buying down the interest rate, we have a greater savings over just asking for a discount on the purchase price. An additional benefit to this method is, a buyer who barely qualifies, or doesn't qualify at all, using the traditional, or discounted numbers, now qualifies with the seller credit because, the payment is less of a burden on Mr. Buyer's income ratio.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

EVENT: Home Buyer's Fair (Los Angeles)

For release:
Friday, March 21, 2008

C.A.R. and the “Los Angeles Times” team up to sponsor free Home Buyer’s Fair April 12 and 13

LOS ANGELES (March 21) – The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) and the “Los Angeles Times” are sponsoring the Southern California Home Buyer’s Fair at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 12 and 13 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The event is free to the public and features more than two dozen educational “how-to” seminars designed to help home buyers navigate today’s real estate market with confidence and peace of mind. Seminar topics range from understanding home prices and monitoring and fixing credit to applying for a mortgage and the importance of the home inspection. Many of the seminars will be presented in both English and Spanish.

The Southern California Home Buyer’s Fair ( also will feature more than 75 exhibit booths, where attendees can obtain information from industry experts about a vast range of programs pertaining to homeownership and the home-buying process.

The first 200 attendees to present an entrance coupon on each day will receive a free movie ticket (one ticket per person).

For complete information, go to

Leading the way...® in real estate news and information for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® ( is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with nearly 175,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

visit for more news and events for the buyers and sellers in Southern California

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Saving Money on Your Mortgage

How to Get a Better Deal on a Home Loan

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

It is often said that for most people, the purchase of their home will be their single greatest expenditure. In truth, however, the purchase of a mortgage--the points and interest paid over the life of the loan--often equals or exceeds the sale price of the house. Thus, as everyone knows, it's essential to get the best deal on your mortgage as possible. Doing so, however, is not an easy proposition. To get a truly great rate, you'll need not only to shop smartly for a mortgage, you also need to establish yourself as a good credit risk before you apply.


  1. Wait. The easiest way to get a lower rate is to wait until the interest rates on loans across the board are at low levels. Interest rates fluctuate a great deal, sometimes even during the same day, but there are times when they are simply far lower than at other times. Keep in mind, however, that (all other things being equal) periods of low interest rates often see increased home prices.
  2. Improve your credit. Make loan and other payments on time, especially over the months leading up to the loan application. Every delinquency will result in a lower credit score The better your score, the better your deal. Keep in mind, however, that it typically takes at least a couple years to significantly improve your credit.
  3. Get the mortgage first if multiple financial obligations are going to pop up in the near future. Numerous credit inquiries, such as new applications for credit cards, can hurt a borrower's score, especially if they're filed in the months prior to the home loan review process. In addition, if you add new debt expenses shortly before applying for a mortgage, the loan underwriter may question whether you'll be able to make all your payments, so avoid making large purchases in the months before you apply.
  4. Save as much money as possible for your down payment. A major determinant of your interest rate will be the loan-to-value ratio. These days you can sometimes get a mortgage for up to 125% of the value of the home, but if you can reduce the loan amount to 80% of the value, you'll get a better rate. The larger your down payment, the more equity you will have in the home from the start. With more equity, the loan is a lower risk for the lender, and you'll be rewarded with a lower interest rate. A lease option may also help you build equity if you're not in a position to make a large down payment.
  5. Reduce upfront expenses. Points--1 point equals 1% of the loan amount--and other upfront fees can drive the cost of your loan through the roof. Always take these into account when shopping for a mortgage.
  6. Think small. Don't shop for that 6-bedroom house right off the bat. Lenders consider "payment shock" when approving loans. If you go from a relatively low monthly housing payment to a huge one, you'll either end up covering too big a loan with too little money, or you won't qualify at all.
  7. Shop around. Mortgage rates for the same person can differ widely from lender to lender, so explore your options. If you belong to a credit union or if you've been with a bank for a long time, you'll often find your best rates there, though it's still a good idea to check around. A mortgage broker, who sifts through many lenders, may be able to find you the best rate.
  8. Get pre-qualified, or "pre-approved". The difference is a pre-qualification is based on information voluntarily submitted by you to a lender, who then provides an 'estimate' of the maximum mortgage amount you can afford. A pre-approval means the borrower, has had the lender perform credit checks, income verification, and various other underwriting tasks and has been approved for a specific mortgage amount. A pre-approval is a much stronger tool, obviously.
  9. Lock in a low rate. Simply being approved for a loan amount doesn't mean you'll get the interest rate you've been quoted. You'll need to lock in the rate.


  • Do the math. Don't just listen to what the broker or loan officer tells you. Get out your calculator and calculate the total cost of the home including the loan. If the lender doesn't provide this information, simply multiply the monthly payment amount by the number of payments, and add any points or other upfront fees. For adjustable mortgages, however, there is a bit more uncertainty about the total cost because after an initial fixed period the interest rate may go up or down. However, you should still be able to calculate the minimum and maximum cost according to the terms of the loan.
  • Be honest. If your lender doesn't have a truthful application, your quoted rate won't mean a thing (and you could be prosecuted for fraud in some cases). Discuss your personal situation, ask questions and make sure the options presented by the lender are best for you.
  • Prioritize your debt, and if you must miss a payment, miss it on a low-priority loan (i.e. a credit card) rather than on an existing mortgage. Credit scoring systems look at the performance of similar loans first when deciding what type of score to assign. The most weight will be given to the performance of another mortgage.
  • Which type of mortgage offers the lowest rate. It depends on the lender and on market conditions, but generally a shorter term (10 or 15 year) fixed mortgage will offer the lowest rates. Very short term (i.e. 5 years) adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) may also offer excellent rates, but the upfront fees on these may drive the total cost up quickly.


  • If you do have credit problems, beware of credit repair agencies and lenders that advertise a fix for people with bad credit. Often these end up costing you more money and don't do a significant 'clean up' of your credit. Be honest with a trusted loan officer or mortgage broker, and ask for things you can do to help your credit.
  • This article is a general guide only and is not intended to replace professional financial or legal advice.

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Get a Better Deal on a Home Loan. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

So. Cal home sale dip...

Southern California home sales dipped below 10,000 transactions for the first time in more than 20 years last month as most potential buyers and sellers appear to be waiting out market turbulence, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 9,983 new and resale houses and condos were sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in January. That was down 24.6 percent from 13,240 for the previous month, and down 44.9 percent from 18,128 for January last year, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

For More....

Monday, February 04, 2008

California real estate licenses suffer first drop since '99

The housing downturn and revised license-exam requirements are possible factors in the decrease.

California real estate licenses dropped last month from the year before for the first time since March 1999, ending a 7 ½ upswing in which licensees increased by 81 percent.

The California Department of Real Estate reported that the state had 548,959 licensees last month. That's still the third highest number on record, and it's equal to one licensee for every 22 California households or one for every 1.4 homes sold last year.

But that's down 0.1% from the number of licensees in December 2006 and from last November.

The housing downturn and revised license-exam requirements are possible factors in the decrease. Local Realtor associations are budgeting for membership drops of up to 15 percent in 2008.

Local real estate executives say agents and mortgage brokers have left the business in droves, or taken other jobs to make ends meet as the number of sales fell to their lowest level in at least two decades. The count of licensees is slow to drop since they're good for four years before requiring renewal.

Agents have been saying for the past two years that too many people joined their ranks during the housing boom in hopes of making easy money. For the complete article see