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California's Short Sale Anti-Deficiency Law, SB 931, Takes Effect January 1, 2011 - 12/31/10 11:49 AM
Because today is Dec 31, 2010, most County Recorder's offices are closed throughout California, although, I can't imagine any Sacramento short sale seller wanting to close at the end of December with SB 931 positioned on the horizon. SB 931 is the anti-deficiency law passed in California that says when a lender in first position agrees to a short sale, it cannot pursue the seller for a deficiency judgment. It does not apply to foreclosures. I'm working on 3 Bank of America short sales at the moment, all of which were scheduled to close this week. In 2 of these short (29 comments)
You might wonder how I can say The Palms Cliff House Inn is the best bed and breakfast in Hilo, Hawaii, when it's the only bed and breakfast I have stayed at, but it's not just my opinion. The Palms Cliff House Inn was voted the best bed and breakfast in Hilo by readers of the Hawaiian Tribune-Herald for 2010. This view is from room #5 on the second floor. There are only 8 rooms, four on each floor.
This is the view of the front of the home. It is owned by John and Michelle Gamble who moved (8 comments)
This is the view of Kilauea Crater and the Halema'uma'u Crater -- it's like a crater within a crater -- from the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It sort of looks like Mars, don't you think? This is where the Hawaiian goddess Pele (goddess of fire) lives.
This is the trail above the fountain of Kilauea Iki, which last erupted in 1959. The splatter from the cone devastated this area so all that you see in this photo is new since then. That means this entire rainforest is younger than I am.
I can't say I've ever seen a rainbow that formed a complete arch from one end of land to the other. I suppose it could have something to do with the latitude and being located just south of the Tropic of Cancer, though. I mean, haven't all the rainbows you've seen sort of formed in the sky on one end and the bottom was on land?
Near the end of the Chain of Craters Road is this impressive arch. It's called the Holei Sea Arch and it stands 90-feet tall. Eventually, it will collapse as waves continue to erode (7 comments)
While I love the sounds of nature as much as the next guy, after spending a few nights sleeping next to the ocean in Hilo, Hawaii, I can understand why some of the natives would like to eradicate tree frogs. These tiny little guys never shut up. Especially when it's raining, they yakkety-yak all night long, sending out a mating call. Hey, there doesn't need to be MORE of them. I want to scream: No sex for you! Like a tree frog nazi.
It's about a 15-minute trip from our bed and breakfast into Hilo, which is our closest (7 comments)
If I were 30 years younger, I could spend every day at this beach. What looks like a one-way road is actually two-lane access to the beach. It's a Peter, Paul and Mary kind of beach. Honolii Paka Beach. You go there basically for one thing. That thing is to surf, and surfers are pretty serious dudes. Overheard conversation -- Surfer Dude 1: Brotha, what did you do yesterday? Surfer Dude 2: What was yesterday? Oh, yah, Thursday; dunno. I slept all day Wednesday.
It was really warm and very sunny at Honolii. I swear, the surfers are fanatics (6 comments)
The best way to tour the lava fields and Kilauea is by helicopter. The main reason a helicopter works so well is because there is no other way to get there apart from being beamed there, and I didn't see any Starship Enterprise nearby. This is an active crater, Pu`u Oo.
The streak of red that you see is a red hot lava flow. Yeah, some volcanoes on the Big Island are active. If you look very closely, you can see faces in the lava. Lava comes in many colors, from gray like this photo, to reddish brown and (17 comments)
When I was born, Hawaii was not yet a state. I was in first grade when Alaska became a state, followed 7 months later by Hawaii. It was the coolest thing ever, two new stars added to our flag! I thought that every year we would add new states, as I was way too young to understand how long it had been since any state was added to the Union. Before Alaska, Arizona was the last state, and Arizona joined the union on Valentine's Day in 1912. That means in the last 100 years, give or take, we've added only (15 comments)
This is the view from my balcony. I told my husband I could stare at this view for the rest of my life, and he looked at me like I was nuts. What can I say? He is just not an island guy. Although, he did mention that there is a reporter job position open at a small paper on Kauai that probably pays all of $28,000 a year, so there is still hope.
No city anywhere in the world is compete without being home to a farmer's market. This is the farmer's market in Hilo. Good thing there (12 comments)
In Honolulu 16 Hours Later Than Planned - 12/22/10 10:35 AM
Oh, it was a glorious morning, yesterday morning. No rain, quick trip to the airport, no problems through security. Sat down in the first row as the flight attendant brought us our choice of champagne or guava juice. The plane pulled away from the gate right on time at 9:25 AM. Taxied a bit. Then the Captain made the announcement we were returning to the gate. Something about an emergency light. They tried to fix it. We sat at the Sacramento airport for another 4 hours. No can do, they said. It required a part. So, the soonest Hawaiian Airlines could (10 comments)
All I Want for Christmas is a Bank of America Short Sale Approval Letter - 12/21/10 08:50 AM
Eureka! I received two more Bank of America short sale approval letters yesterday. Of course I did, because it's just before Christmas, and I'm going to Hawaii today. That's all it takes! Seems to be the law of the universe. One of the short sales is in Elk Grove, and we're closing on December 30th. How are we closing in 10 days? Because I gave the buyer's agent a heads up that the approval letter was coming two weeks ago, and that buyer listened. That buyer started her loan and ordered the appraisal. That buyer will be in her new home (12 comments)
My Real Estate Predictions for 2011 - 12/20/10 09:29 AM
As I do every year for my Homebuying site at About.com, I have prepared my annual real estate forecast. Here are my top 10 real estate predictions for 2011. I wrote these a couple of weeks ago, which is actually a bit later than usual. I generally try to come up with my list at the end of November, but the short sales in Sacramento just don't stop, no matter what time of year it is. I am a pretty dedicated Sacramento short sale agent. My November and December have been busier than usual for this time of year. I received (11 comments)
The Main Problem With a Wells Fargo FHA Approved Short Sale in Sacramento - 12/19/10 11:22 AM
You know what's worse than a Wells Fargo short sale? A Wells Fargo short sale with two loans held by Wells Fargo. And do you know what's worse than a Wells Fargo short sale with two loans? A Wells Fargo FHA short sale. A Wells Fargo FHA short sale is generally an approved short sale. It's sort of like a Wachovia short sale but not as streamlined. I'd say it's probably closer to a HAFA short sale because it can take forever to process and close. The main difference between a Wells Fargo FHA short sale and some HAFA short sales (8 comments)
Is a Strategic Short Sale an Ethical Question? - 12/18/10 11:24 AM
I don't often dream about work but every so often a Sacramento short sale deal will creep into my dreams. With the amount of stress I deal with day in and day out, you'd think I'd dream more about short sales but the real world is crazy enough. I don't need dragons or monsters or showing up naked for school penetrating my dreamworld because I deal with that sort of stuff every day. Besides, it doesn't take a Freud to figure out that short sale banks are dragons and monsters who are stripping homeowners of dignity. Last night I had a (11 comments)
Don't Be a Conehead Short Sale Buyer - 12/17/10 09:49 AM
Most short sale purchase contracts contain a provision for when the home inspection and contingency periods commence. That time frame can be upon seller acceptance or upon bank approval. Because short sale approval can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months or longer, buyers are generally reluctant to do much until the lender approves the short sale. However, there are situations in which the buyer needs to begin the loan process prior to complete short sale approval. Those situations involve short sales with two loans. In these types of transactions, the first lender typically calls the shots. This means the (18 comments)
A GMAC Short Sale Doesn't Always Make Sense - 12/16/10 10:05 AM
There is just no rhyme nor reason to some short sales. Agents ask me how much the bank will take all the time. Like I have a crystal ball. Sometimes the bank tells me and sometimes not. I generally rely on the comparable sales because that's what BPO agents rely on, and it's the BPO agents who appraise the home for the bank. But every so often, something really weird happens. If you're looking for everything to make sense in a short sale or for logic to prevail, you're barking up the wrong tree. Sellers desperately want an explanation. Sometimes, there (8 comments)
Invasion of the Moth Agents - 12/15/10 09:58 AM
Is it the time of year that brings out the craziness and wild mood swings in people or could it be something else? Like, oh, I dunno, an invasion of moths? I never think about moths. Our closets are lined with cedar. But when my husband pulled out a suit coat the other day, he discovered tiny holes in the sleeves. I scoffed when he initially put the moth traps in the closet. I thought they were totally unnecessary and perhaps something he picked up at the grocery store while standing in the check-out line -- one of those impulse purchases. (6 comments)
Home Buyers Who Make Demands Can Lose Their Real Estate Agent - 12/14/10 11:00 AM
If I hadn't seen that email with my very own eyes, I would not have believed it. I've been working with a couple whose home I sold last summer as a short sale. It's been a bit of a struggle to get their parents qualified for a mortgage for a variety of reasons, but I finally received the preapproval letter yesterday. This couple had identified the part of Sacramento where they wanted to look. We've been concentrating on a couple of neighborhoods in that part of town and looking at homes. Suddenly, out of the blue last night, I received an (13 comments)
A Sure-Fired Way to Sell That Home is to Tell the Buyer He Can't Have It - 12/13/10 11:18 AM
It astonishes some people to learn that not all of my real estate sales are Sacramento short sales. True, a good number of homes in Sacramento that I sell these days are short sales, but I still work with regular sellers and buyers as well. It's what I was brought up to do. It's how I have sold real estate since the 1970s, and those types of transactions don't just vanish because short sales and foreclosures dominate the market. I mention this because I received an offer last week for a regular Sacramento home. It's not a short sale. In fact, (14 comments)
How Much More is a Home on the Park in Land Park Worth? - 12/12/10 11:17 AM
I was reading Jim Braun's post this morning about helping out appraisers. He's talking about all those phone calls we as real estate agents get from appraisers asking us about value in certain neighborhoods. As a Land Park agent, I can get my fair share of inquiries from appraisers, especially in Land Park. It's where I live and work. Some agents don't want to take the time to speak with an appraiser. Their attitude seems to be: What's in it for me? How am I going to make money from this call? I'm not, so I'm not talking to you. And (6 comments)
You Can Buy or Sell a Home Online Without Meeting in Person, But Do You Want To? - 12/11/10 11:26 AM
People are astonished to hear that I can conduct entire real estate transactions -- most of them Sacramento short sales -- without ever meeting the parties involved. It's not unusual to communicate solely via email, text, websites or fax. I'm connected almost 24/7 through a variety of communication tools. While this may reduce the number of shoes I need to buy and cut down on my dry cleaning bills, it's still kinda weird. I like to shake hands. If appropriate, I hug. But I'll tell you who I am not hugging. Google. I'm speaking as a client of Google, not the (8 comments)
There is Grief in a Short Sale - 12/10/10 10:48 AM
I seem to be starting out my mornings by crying. I walk into the family room where my computer is to turn it on and look at the space where my cat's pen used to sit. Brandon's pen took up a lot of the family room because it was four feet by four feet, and this room is only 12 feet wide. But it's better than it was on Wednesday when we had to euthanize him. At least big fat tears aren't dropping everywhere without notice. I'm not breaking down in the middle of the day. It's just mornings. I can (13 comments)
The 2 Elements a Seller Needs to Close a Short Sale - 12/09/10 12:26 PM
I closed two more short sales yesterday. One was in Cameron Park and the other was an Elk Grove short sale. Both were negotiated by a law firm and both sellers were released from liability. No deficiency judgments here. As short sales go, these transactions were relatively easy but that's mostly because they were priced correctly in the first place, and we chose the right buyers. I'd say that's the top 2 elements to a successful short sale apart from a motivated and committed seller: The right price and the right buyer. Many short sales in Sacramento that are prolonged or (6 comments)
When You Have to Say Goodbye - 12/08/10 09:19 AM
It looks like today I am putting my cat to sleep. That's such a strange way of putting it, but it beats saying we're putting him out of his misery by injecting him with a chemical that will kill him. It sounds like it's so peaceful and normal, an everyday event. Just going to bed. Just a little nap. Except, he will never wake up again. I have never been in this position, but I know other people who have and how hard it can be. All of my other cats -- and I've always shared my life with cats -- (17 comments)
What Can You Buy for $75,000 in Sacramento? - 12/07/10 10:23 AM
Can $75,000 buy you happiness in Sacramento? Yes, says Time magazine. A study by economists, one of whom won a Nobel Prize, shows that people who earn $75,000 or more are happier than people in lower-income categories. I don't know why $75,000 was used as a benchmark, but it's a good number. Good enough that you can buy a home in Sacramento for that amount. Granted, the home needs a little work. For example, many of the stucco walls are covered in sheets of paneling, which means you'll probably have to pull off the paneling and fix the walls underneath. Or, (3 comments)
Buyer's Agents Have No Right to Give Buyers Possession Before Closing, Even in a Short Sale - 12/06/10 10:27 AM
I am going to a closing today for a short sale in Elk Grove. It kind of surprised me when I looked at my production that about 25% of my closed Sacramento short sales this year are homes in Elk Grove. That's probably because Elk Grove was the fastest growing city in the United States in 2006, and look at what happened. When prices fell, Elk Grove took a tremendous hit, and values fell by more than 50%. A short sale in Elk Grove is almost a given. Although, I did sell another home in Elk Grove this year that was (56 comments)
Obviously, the author of this finely crafted piece of humor is a real estate agent. ABCbellefson is a genius. ABC has captured the very essence of selling real estate. From the initial encounter to the closing. If you are a home buyer or home seller who thinks these thoughts don't run through the heads of every real estate agent on the face of this planet, then you just might be . . . oh, I can't repeat the words that are used in this video. Turn down the volume if there are children or others nearby who are sensitive to (13 comments)
About Plastic Surgery and Postponing a Trustee's Auction - 12/04/10 10:38 AM
Before I get into a conversation about making an offer on a short sale a week prior to the foreclosure auction, I want to talk about plastic surgery. Specifically, a face lift. Oh, I know you've all seen those Sacramento Magazine articles about plastic surgery. I mean, it's the main reason to pick up Sacramento Magazine, right? Except for the Sac Mag edition with all those paid advertisements for Master's Club, which I get suckered into paying for every year. And why? So I can have my photo plastered among a bunch of other agents who are all hoping they have (10 comments)
It is Not Always Better For a Bank to Do a Short Sale - 12/03/10 10:14 AM
It is rare for me to lose a short sale due to valuation. So, I'm not even certain that when a bank rejects a short sale due to value whether the bank really prefers foreclosure. Because sometimes the bank prefers to foreclose. Doesn't matter what the price is. I know that concept is difficult for some people to wrap their heads around, as I hear over and over from agents and buyers that it's better for the bank to do a short sale, which is not always correct. Well, it's correct that I hear it. The premise, however, is what's wrong. (6 comments)
Freddie Mac Wants You Home for the Holidays - 12/02/10 11:07 AM
The last time my sister came to see me in California was sometime in the 1980s. I was selling real estate and living in Newport Beach (Orange County) when she flew into San Francisco. Back then she was a pilot. She called me after landing -- this was before cell phones -- and asked for directions to my house. Well, take a left and drive 500 miles. Although I've been working as a real estate agent and living in Sacramento for more than 8 years now, my sister has never come to visit. We've previously met up in Hawaii for a (4 comments)
I'm Just Sitting Here on the Group W Bench - 12/01/10 09:34 AM
They say the numbers don't lie. But numbers lie all the time. Look at 'em, just sitting there on the page. Lies, all lies. Can't you hear 'em squawking, making promises they can't keep? Why, I'll never leave you, say the zeros. And then they skip town. You can count on me, say the fives, as you watch their backbones crumble and morph into squiggly threes. The thing is there are a dozen ways to manipulate interpret just about any real estate market report. What do you want it to say? Whether real estate prices in Sacramento are going up or (8 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.
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