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Who is Protecting the Geese and Ducks in William Land Park? - 01/31/09 10:02 AM
Poaching, theft and senseless cruelty against our geese and ducks in Land Park has been going on for a long time now, but it seems to be getting worse. Residents are reporting that more fowl are disappearing or they're finding them with broken necks. It's not just happening in Land Park, either, but seems to be fairly common in East Sacramento's McKinley Park and along the waterways in the Pocket. The Sacramento City Parks and Recreation Department has put up warning signs, but the activity continues. Please, residents of Land Park, McKinley and Pocket, and visitors to our parks, please call (13 comments)
The Saga with Earnest Money Deposits on Bank-Owned Homes in Sacramento - 01/30/09 09:40 AM
As the number of foreclosures on the market in Sacramento continue to fall, banks are becomingly more demanding. It's not enough that they may want to see copies of the buyer's bank statements, a large earnest money deposit, a direct lender letter (which means some borrowers have to qualify twice) and proof of eye color before they'll look at an offer on a bank-owned home, but some reo lenders are insisting that the buyer's earnest money deposit become non-refundable upon offer acceptance. Since turnaround time can be excruciatingly slow in many cases, that time lag can give a buyer the chance (20 comments)
Influx of Lender Demands for Unsecured Promissory Notes on Sacramento Short Sales - 01/29/09 09:43 AM
Some short sale lenders are demanding unsecured promissory notes as a seller contribution to the short sale. Over the past few months, I've witnessed an uptick in this type of activity, specifically from such lenders as Countrywide and Bank of America. I've also received a lot of email from readers about the increase in this practice. Three of my Sacramento short sales are in this position at the moment. Lenders are examining sellers' credit and cash flow very closely and, if the seller has good credit coupled with disposable income, the lenders are refusing to let the seller skate. Fortunately, in (14 comments)
Sacramento Metrolist MLS To Feed Listings Directly to Trulia - 01/28/09 08:55 AM
Almost every day a Trulia user posts a question in the Q&A section about a RealtyTrac home that isn't for sale. That's because RealtyTrac lists homes on Trulia that have received a foreclosure notice, which means the owners have fallen behind on their payments. It doesn't mean the home is on the market. With any luck, the Sacramento Metrolist MLS, which is a separate company from the Sacramento Board of REALTORS®, will put a stop to that practice. A little birdie told me that Metrolist is finalizing a deal with Trulia to send listings directly to Trulia and that Trulia will (16 comments)
A Home Can Be on the Market for a Year and Get Two Offers on the Same Day - 01/27/09 09:00 AM
A reader from my homebuying forum on About.com asked me why there isn't more transparency in real estate. This buyer was in escrow on a short sale when the seller received another offer from an all-cash buyer. That second buyer offered to sell the home to the first set of buyers at a higher price. The reader put the blame of the housing bubble on agents pushing multiple offers that drove up prices, and implied that listing and selling agents are working together behind the scenes, devising secret plans to get higher prices so the agents can earn more money. In (16 comments)
Real Estate Agent Beaten in Midtown Sacramento - 01/26/09 09:11 PM
I received a very disturbing email from an agent I'm in escrow with. Her husband threw her a 30th birthday party at The MoMo Lounge, a block away from my midtown Lyon real estate office at 27th and J Streets. According to my friend, her husband was assured there would be security provided for this very important and private party. In the middle of this special occasion over the weekend, the agent saw three people she did not know standing by the handbags. She walked over to question them, asking if they were friends of her husband. The man spat in (15 comments)
Review of Akebono II on Freeport south of Land Park - 01/26/09 09:45 AM
Ever since the 1980s, I've been dining on sushi and sashimi at least once a week or so. I'm like an addict who needs a fix. After a week without sushi, I begin to feel a strong craving for raw fish. I don't want to turn into a walking thermometer like Jeremy Piven, but if I find hamachi in the vicinity of my mouth, in it goes. A Japanese restaurant opened in Sacramento a couple years ago down Freeport, just south of Sutterville from Land Park called Akebono II. I think the first Akebono is in Granite Bay. It's a strange (4 comments)
Some Agents Don't Read Listings and Some Agents Don't Read Signs - 01/25/09 10:12 AM
A drawback to being a short sale listing agent in Sacramento is the fact that the inventory stays on the market a minimum of three months before closing, which means my lockboxes can't be reassigned every 6 to 8 weeks. In a faster selling market, an agent can take 20 listings and use 10 lockboxes, because as they sell, lockboxes can be removed and reassigned to another home. Not so with short sale listings. I had no choice yesterday but to sit in the slow moving traffic on Business 80 crossing the American River and hope I could make it in (11 comments)
Land Park Community Association to Hold Special Meeting in Land Park this Sunday - 01/24/09 08:59 AM
The president of the Land Park Community Association described in an email the "turbulent beginning" of the LPCA meeting held last Wednesday. She reported "tedious discussion" and much "interruption," concluding that the rival group within LPCA was trying to "take over the community forum agenda," adding that residents of Land Park supported following her initial agenda. The Land Park Community Association will hold an Emergency LPCA meeting this Sunday, January 25, 7 PM, at the Eskaton Monroe Lodge on Freeport in Land Park to discuss petitions for bylaw amendments. I wish somebody would videotape this and put it on YouTube.
Warning: Sacramento Short Sale / REO Buyers, Don't Hire Cousin Louie - 01/23/09 09:46 AM
Sacramento's real estate market -- Is it a buyer's market or a seller's market? -- a client asked yesterday. The answer is, for those buying short sales and foreclosures, it's a buyer's market behaving like a seller's market. That's because inventory is low, which is one of the signs of a seller's market. On the other hand, prices have declined, which is one of the signs of a buyer's market. Sales are rising, which is a sign of a seller's market. But the homes that are selling are mostly foreclosures and short sales, which is a sign of a buyer's market. (8 comments)
The Battleground in Sacramento Continues for Sacramento Home Buyers - 01/22/09 08:56 AM
Every real estate agent in Sacramento is aware that the market is red-hot for buyers and multiple offers are the norm, unless they're at the movies with their kids mostly every day like one agent admitted to me. Which means in some cases, it's better to be a listing agent right now than a buyer's agent. All my short sale listings have multiple offers -- some double digits. Last night I received an offer from an agent at list price on a listing priced below comparable sales. She spent a lot of time writing the offer, putting together the additionally required (12 comments)
Do Short Sale Sellers Care How Agents Arrived at the Suggested List Price? - 01/21/09 09:01 AM
I'm going out on a limb here today to suggest that most short sale sellers -- and regular home sellers -- don't give a hoot about a comparative market analysis. They don't want to examine charts, bars and graphs of market movement -- half of which are confusing. They aren't as dedicated to our profession as real estate agents, nor do I expect them to be. Whether median prices slip or inventory declines or pendings fall off course, for the most part, is not important to sellers. Agents care about facts, trends, prices per-square-foot, inventory, median prices and comparable sales -- (29 comments)
Many Sacramento listing agents are receiving multiple offers, and not just on REOs or short sales. Any attractively priced, well appointed home in a desirable Sacramento location is likely to draw the attention of more than one buyer. The listing agent plays an important role toward helping the seller figure out which offer to accept because the highest offer isn't always the best offer. On top of that, sometimes the listing agent will bring his or her own buyer to the table. In that case, the agent is operating in dual agency but it does not relieve the agent from (15 comments)
Reasons to Find a Mortgage Broker Who Will Guarantee Rates and Closing: Yes, It Is Possible! - 01/19/09 09:14 AM
A client said yesterday that he was tired of shopping mortgage brokers. "All their rates are the same," he said. He had called a bunch of brokers and their good faith estimates were all very similar. Having been through several horror-story closings due to working with inexperienced mortgage brokers, I recalled the details of a recent escrow, which highlights the fact that service is just as important as the rates. Folsom home buyers elected to work with a bank in Folsom since the bank was located near their new home. They entered escrow last year, with a scheduled closing date 40 (39 comments)
Land Park Community Association Calls a Roundtable for January 21st -- LOOKOUT - 01/18/09 08:55 PM
I received an email tonight from the president of the Land Park Community Association. Full disclosure: she is an agent at my Lyon Real Estate office. The president is calling for a special roundtable discussion meeting next Wednesday, January 21. It will be held at the Eskaton James Monroe Lodge, 3225 Freeport Boulevard, in Land Park, 6:30 to 9:15 PM. Given the recent hysterics from an opposing group, this meeting could be interesting. Members might leap from the floor, drawing knives, maybe guns, and they could maim each other in front of our very own eyes. The opposing group, given to (3 comments)
Review of the Mavis Staples Concert at Mondavi Center in Davis, CA - 01/18/09 09:02 AM
My husband and I had the pleasure last Wednesday of attending the Mavis Staples show at the Mondavi Center in Davis, California. If you're reading this and you're not from around here -- here being Sacramento -- you are in for a treat if Mavis Staples comes to your town. Some of you of a certain age will remember the Staple Singers from the 1950s and 1960s, and already know what a treasure, a blessed honor it is to hear Mavis belt out her heart. She's part soul (R&B), part rock-and-roll and part gospel. I am particularly attracted to her music (8 comments)
Thank You Active Rain Community and Short Sale Bloggers - 01/17/09 05:49 PM
As many of you know, my book about short sales will be available in bookstores shortly. It is called The Short Sale Savior and will be published by Archer Ellison. As with any venture, writing a book is often a collaborative effort. It doesn't write itself. I would like to thank the following contributors who shared their short sale stories with me for my book. Without their valuable input, I'm afraid the book may have been lopsided and not nearly as entertaining. These Active Rain bloggers are my Short Sale All Stars! Here they are, in alphabetical order:Erin Attardi, a senior (22 comments)
Free Fishing in Land Park Next Saturday: Sacramento Anglers Over 16 Need a Fishing License - 01/17/09 10:14 AM
There is nothing in the world that compares to the feeling you get when your bobber suddenly plunges below the water's surface and your fishing pole almost flies out of your hands. You can get that experience right here in William Land Park, across from the Zoo on Land Park Drive next Saturday, January 24th, when the California Department of Fish and Game hosts a free fishing clinic in Sacramento. Fishing begins at 8:30 and runs until noon. This event is part of the Fishing in the City program, created in 1993 by the state of California to encourage urban fishing. (12 comments)
Sacramento 2008 Overview: Rising Sales, Falling Prices, Reduced Inventory - 01/16/09 09:53 AM
I received this handy chart from Lyon Real Estate a few days ago, which gives a pretty clear overview of what happened in real estate in Sacramento and its surrounding four-county area in 2008. What makes Sacramento a little bit different from other parts of the country is its huge drop in inventory and spike in REO sales. Lots of other major metropolitan cities are experiencing price drops, but those price declines typically are not coupled with falling inventory and rising sales like we're seeing in the Sacramento real estate market. This is absolutely a fabulous opportunity for first-time home buyers (5 comments)
Shocking News About Countrywide's New Short Sale Demands - It's Below the Belt, Even For CW - 01/15/09 12:17 PM
If I hadn't heard the words from Countrywide's short sale negotiator myself, I may not have believed it. Countrywide started out in this business as a bottom feeder, and I offer this story as evidence that Countrywide is returning to its roots. The demand Countrywide made yesterday on a short sale was vicious with an evil undertone. A common factor among many short sales today is some lenders want the sellers to make a cash contribution at closing. That's not unexpected in some transactions. We had negotiated that contribution for the sellers down to $2,500, even though the sellers did not (178 comments)
Does Something Have to Give to be in Real Estate? - 01/14/09 09:25 AM
Is this a good time to be in real estate? A reader from my homebuying site at About.com wrote to me yesterday, asking questions about breaking into real estate in California. He is married, his wife doesn't work outside the home, and they have two children. It's frightening to give up a day job to plunge into the world of uncertain income relying solely on commissions. I've been on both sides of the fence and realize there is something very comforting in having a paycheck deposited into my checking account twice a month, whether or not I deserved it. Now that (16 comments)
The Top 10 Biggest Real Estate Stories of 2008 - 01/13/09 09:46 AM
I suspect most people would like to forget 2008 and are hoping that what happened in 2008 will quietly slink away and not taint the new year, but the fact is almost all of it is seeping into 2009. As I looked back on last year and reviewed the top real estate stories in 2008, comparing those to 2007, I was amazed at the difficulty I encountered in choosing just 10 stories. Real estate was hit hard from a dozen different directions. On everybody's minds, of course, is the $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan. People want to know where the (14 comments)
A Stud Finder Can Be a Homeowner's Best Friend - 01/12/09 08:52 AM
A client called me yesterday, sounding in somewhat a panic. He and his wife bought a high water bungalow in Midtown a few months ago. Among the many glorious features shared by homes in Midtown, Sacramento, this home also has wood floors, bordered by inlaid mahogany, but the floors needed to be refinished. As the floor refinisher was securing loose boards, he managed to drill a couple screws not into the joist below but into a copper pipe running to the water heater. Did I know a good plumber? I'd say out of the emergencies that could happen in a home, (12 comments)
In This Hot Sacramento Market, Everybody Handles Stress Differently - 01/11/09 10:43 AM
Almost everybody I talk to lately says they are overwhelmed with business. Escrow companies are swamped with foreclosures and refinances. Agents are showing property like crazy to first-time home buyers. Sellers are calling to obtain pre-listing advice and prepare for the Sacramento spring real estate market. In my little world, there are days when my phone doesn't stop ringing. My publisher sent a request late Friday for an updated biography and a list of individuals who may endorse my short sale book. I don't have time to think about contacting people for an endorsement nor do I have any ideas for (14 comments)
Property Taxes on a Short Sale or Bank-Owned Home in California - 01/10/09 10:59 AM
A client asked me the other day if he would get a refund from Sacramento County for buying a short sale home. All those REOs and short sale transactions involve transferring the present tax base until the home is reassessed. If you bought a home for $200,000 that sold for $500,000 a few years ago, your taxes may be presently computed on the $500,000 value. The taxes amount to about $6,250 a year, versus $2,500 on the new value. It means you will overpay the taxes until the assessor's office catches up with the recorded sale numbers. There will be no (17 comments)
Here's a news flash: Beginning February 6, California state offices will close the first and third Fridays of each month. I realize we have a $40 billion-dollar deficit in California, but how are state workers going to survive this? It's estimated that state workers' income will shrink by 10%. Most people already spend more than they earn, unfortunately, so I expect this maneuver by Schwarzeneggger's administration will cause chaos throughout the state. Not to mention, most people shudder to even think about going to the DMV. Some state workers may end up having to sell their homes. Others may be (6 comments)
Some Gardens in Land Park, Sacramento, Are Crippled From Frost - 01/09/09 09:57 AM
It seems that this winter is a bit colder than last year. While we've received a reprieve from the type of rainstorms that hit last year -- such as the January 4th storm that knocked a tree down on my home in Land Park -- it's been frostier. Last Sunday morning, I walked across the lawn and it crunched under my feet. The philodendrons under my maple tree sagged and the lilies hugged the ground. I was devastated. But what really stood out in the icy air was my giant cactus, that which I nursed from a six-inch high stalk last (14 comments)
A Remarkable Sacramento Home at a Remarkable Price is a Winning Combination - 01/08/09 08:47 AM
8621 Sebrell, Sacramento, CA 95823, priced appropriately at $175,750. This is a stunning single-story, three-bedroom, two-bath home in the Elk Grove school district with soaring ceilings and an open floor plan. It will take your breath away. The interior has been custom finished, featuring interesting angles, arches and beautifully crafted ornate woodwork.The kitchen is huge and open to the family room, plus there is space for a breakfast table in the kitchen. Cherry manufactured wood floors throughout match the cherry cabinetry in the kitchen, along with a complementary built-in china cabinet. The kitchen appliances are high end, Miele and Thermador stainless (5 comments)
How Bad **REALLY** Was the Sacramento Real Estate Market in 2008? - 01/07/09 09:46 AM
I'm looking forward to attending my first office meeting of the year, especially since nobody has been in the office for three weeks or so. That's one of the amenities I enjoy at Lyon Real Estate -- working in a large top-producing Midtown Sacramento office, surrounded by smart, funny and hardworking agents who swap stories and share tidbits of their day-to-day challenges. One of the items on our agenda this morning most likely will be a review of 2008. For many people in this economy, 2008 wasn't a good year, but for me it was. 2008 was my best year ever, (14 comments)
How Quickly Should a Real Estate Agent Respond to a Potential Client? - 01/06/09 08:55 AM
Years ago, when I was buying a home in Land Park, Sacramento, and in the process of moving from Minneapolis, I had hired a real estate agent who rarely communicated with me. I would email her and she would not respond. I would leave her voice mails and she would not return my phone calls. Being several thousand miles away and trying to close a real estate deal was stressful enough, but working with an agent whose communication skills were sorely lacking was even more frustrating. It's not the way I choose to do business. You learn a lot when you're (42 comments)
Interview Questions for a Short Sale Specialist Led to an Interesting Conclusion - 01/05/09 07:41 PM
I never set out to be a short sale or foreclosure specialist; it just happened. More than half of my business in 2008 was from representing short sale sellers and foreclosure buyers, with a few short sale buyers thrown in for good measure. But when I stop to look at the sold housing stats from November, 72% of the sales in Sacramento were foreclosures, so that's where the bulk of the business is nowadays. It amused me when a short-sale seller emailed me over the weekend with a list of interview questions. She was a smart seller to ask how many (13 comments)
Just Because It's a Short Sale Doesn't Mean It Doesn't Deserve Adequate Marketing - 01/04/09 10:58 AM
Everybody is trying to save money these days. Some do it by decreasing services or charging extra for things that were previously free. It's not my imagination that airline seats, for example, are being moved around. Airlines that used to tout "extra legroom" have changed their mottos. We flew United to Hawaii over Christmas, and economy class seating was so restricted that my knees were practically to my chin, and I'm not a tall person. The plane was packed, a full flight, so I couldn't change seats. On the way back, we had a stopover in LAX. When we printed our (13 comments)
A Fine 2009 Hardly Describes the Sacramento Real Estate Market - 01/03/09 12:07 PM
My MetroList subscriber log-in screen has a message for me this morning. It shows a couple of beaten-up New Years Eve noisemakers and this note: "Have a Fine 2009." I wonder if the marketing crew at MetroList were limited by space requirements for characters or if they simply decided that it's cute to rhyme 2009 with fine, but it makes me scoff. A fine 2009? Is that the best they can do? I'm not going to have a "fine 2009," I'm looking forward to a spectacular 2009. But that doesn't rhyme. I don't even like the word "fine." For one thing, (10 comments)
If You Fall From a 10-Story Building and Land On Your Back, Your Eyeballs Pop Out - 01/02/09 08:31 PM
While on vacation last week, I finished reading "When You Are Engulfed in Flames," by David Sedaris. I've read everything Sedaris has published -- some of you may know him as the brother of Amy Sedaris or maybe you were in the audience with me when he came to downtown Sacramento to speak at the Crest Theatre last year. I always learn something from him -- such as did you know if you fell from a 10-story building and landed on your back that your eyeballs would pop out of your head? Yeah, it's true. He spent time at the coroner's (11 comments)
Club Chaos Eye Candy: Happy New Year From Kauai - 01/01/09 01:17 PM
Sadly, this is our last day on the island, and I'm not ready to go home yet. Funny, because we've been here 8 days. You'd think I would have had my fill of island relaxation, but no. Last year, when we spent 4 days in Cabo, I was ready to go home on the last day, even though I thoroughly enjoyed our visit. In reflection, that's probably because I could not see myself actually living in Mexico. I built a house in Mexico once. Even considered retiring there. But now, not so much. It's a good thing that my ex is (25 comments)
Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate, midtown Sacramento. Selling since 1974. Home Buying Guide at About.com. Sacramento short sale agent.
Author Bio: Elizabeth Weintraub is a Sacramento real estate broker, author, home buying guide for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a Land Park agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully closes short sales throughout Sacramento four-county area. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 35 years of real estate experience to work for you.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.