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Short Sale Certification and Designation Programs: Are They Worth the Money? - 04/28/10 09:45 PM
Today I conducted another one of my free short sale workshops about mastering at the art of the short sale transaction. This one took place in Chula Vista, California. We had a great group of participants, and included many Realtors® and lenders. Lots of our discussion was centered around the new HAFA short sale program. There were several questions asked about designations for short sales specialists, specifically about all of the different designations and certifications available in the distressed property market. One designation that I am aware of is the SFR Designation which you can obtain through the National Association of (10 comments)
Escondido Homeowners Seek to Compare a Short Sale with a Foreclosure - 04/27/10 07:57 PM
Escondido home sellers frequently ask about the benefits of a short sale versus a foreclosure. Keeping in mind that I am not an attorney or an accountant and that anyone facing foreclosure should always consult with a qualified attorney or accountant, I'd like to review three common concerns facing homeowners in distress as well as their consequences. What will happen to my credit score? In a foreclosure, your credit score (FICO score) may be lowered anywhere from 250 to more than 300 points. Typically this will impact your credit for a period of five years. In a short sale, late payments (2 comments)
Home Buyers in Encinitas: Think Outside the Box - 04/25/10 09:10 AM
A friend of mine from college who lives in Northern California found me on facebook after we had lost touch for quite some time. And, guess what? He wants to buy a small place in Encinitas because he comes down here for business once a month! Here's to being on facebook! It really does create success in social networking. But I am not writing about facebook. I am writing about home buying in Encinitas. My friend said that he wanted a condo with "a view". "What kind of view?" I responded. "An ocean view? A golf course view? A view of (2 comments)
Fun with BeFunky.com - 04/23/10 03:15 PM
Yesterday I read Teresa Boardman's featured post entitled Funky Photo Effects. It discusses a website called BeFunky where you can upload photos and apply some very cool effects. Since my family constantly accuses me of "playing" on the computer when I should be "working", I had to wait until everyone left this morning to try out all of the cool photo effects. Here is a photo I took of a ceramic frog in my yard:
I uploaded it onto the Be Funky website and voila-I have a Renoir (or Monet or Manet).
I ‘undid' my Impressionist frog, and then (7 comments)
Art Walk in Downtown Escondido - 04/22/10 07:21 PM
The Second Saturday Art Walk in Downtown Escondido brings people from throughout our region to the historical and cultural center of Escondido and highlights Escondido's creative talent. More than fifteen galleries and museums featuring local original art are all within a ten block range-walking distance from one another. Featured art ranges from the work of distinguished artists known worldwide to emerging local artists. With such a diverse range, there is always something for everyone to enjoy. On the second Saturday, many galleries also offer refreshments, wine tasting and live music. Here is a list of the galleries and art-related professionals that (4 comments)
To Be or Not to Be: Local Realtor® Boards May Merge - 04/21/10 06:00 PM
To be, or not to be: that is the question:Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to sufferThe slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,And by opposing end them? Do you remember this phrase from Shakespeare's Hamlet? You probably had to memorize the soliloquy in high school, didn't you? If the words and the play are a little bit fuzzy, let me refresh your memory. Hamlet is debating the pain of life (which seems inevitable) versus the fear and uncertainty of death. Wait a minute... am I talking about Hamlet or am I talking about (4 comments)
Short Sale Sellers: Learn About HAFA Here - 04/20/10 07:27 PM
Attention Short Sale Sellers in North San Diego County and Beyond! Have you heard about the government's new short sale program where you may be able to sell your home in a short sale and walk away with a little bit of cash for your moving expenses? If you have (or even if you have not), now is the time to learn more about the HAFA program. This short video explains the program in pretty simple terms. If you are interested in the program and live in San Diego County or Riverside County and want to know if you qualify, please (6 comments)
Freddie Mac Reports on Emerging Short Sale Fraud Trends - 04/19/10 07:28 PM
I received a few emails today with regard to what seems to be an update to the Freddie Mac website. More specifically, Freddie Mac has updated one page of their website which discusses what they call Short Payoff Fraud. I reviewed the site, and am not surprised by either their definitions or their solutions. In a nutshell, here is what Freddie Mac has to say about Short Payoff (or Short Sale) Fraud: Freddie Mac's Investigation Unit describes Short Payoff Fraud as "Any misrepresentation or deliberate omission of fact that would induce the lender, investor or insurer to agree to the terms (50 comments)
North San Diego Country Real Estate: Lots of Time to Smell the Flowers - 04/18/10 09:17 AM
You are probably familiar with the adage, "Take time to smell the roses." This turn of phrase clearly refers to the fact that we should not rush through life, but rather take time to appreciate nature's beauty and all of the other components of our everyday activities. There are so many beautiful flowers in bloom throughout San Diego County right now. In fact, the Carlsbad Flower Fields are open to the public if you want to see trillions of flowers in bloom and even some Americana.
Whether you are looking at real estate today or just hanging out, make sure (8 comments)
Living ‘My Life! By Design'? Of Course I Am! - 04/17/10 04:01 PM
I've seen Tom Ferry (Real Estate Coach, Life Coach, and Author) captivate audiences with his motivational speeches a number of times. He is a great public speaker and his practical approach to business is admirable. So, I was and am thrilled to have the opportunity to have reviewed one of the chapters of his new book, Life! By Design a few weeks before the book is officially launched. Chapter 4 of Ferry's book is entitled "The Problem of No Problems." Personally, I had a laugh when I saw the chapter's title. I am an extremely lucky person-far luckier than many who (8 comments)
Learn More About Escondido, California - 04/16/10 07:43 PM
Are you moving to Escondido? Want to learn more about our weather, our activities, our schools, and our communities? Well, you have come to the right place! Check out this great video to see how we can help home buyers and home sellers in Escondido! YOu can also contact us at anytime at Broadpoint Properties--dedicated to the fine art of representing you. (2 comments)
Fun with You Tube Search Stories - 04/14/10 10:07 PM
I read Bill Gassett's featured blog post today about the You Tube Search Stories, and just spent a few minutes creating my own. What fun! This clever program is a great way for Google to advertise the power of their search engine. It is also a great way for everyday folks to advertise their own services. All in all, I'd say this program is a win-win! Here's my video: (9 comments)
Escondido Home Sellers: California Short Sale Sellers Get Good News! - 04/13/10 10:14 PM
Homeowners no longer have to pay California state income tax on debt forgiven in a short sale, foreclosure, or loan modification. Enacted into law on April 12, 2010, Senate Bill 401 now aligns California's tax treatment of mortgage debt relief income with federal law. According to a press release from the California Association of Realtors®, "for debt forgiven on a loan secured by a ‘qualified principal residence,' borrowers will now be exempt from both federal and state income tax consequences. The existing federal exemption is for indebtedness up to $2 million, whereas the new California exemption is for indebtedness up to $800,000 (3 comments)
Earthquake Safety in San Diego Post 2: Assemble a First Aid Kit Today - 04/12/10 09:41 PM
This is my second post in a series based on our recent Baja California earthquake as well as the apparent rise in earthquakes worldwide. Post 1 reviews what to do in case a quake hits. Here I will describe the first aid kits that should be assembled in case of an emergency. First aid kits should be keep at home in each of the family cars. You can purchase pre-packaged Red Cross emergency-preparedness kits from many of the local supermarket chains. However, if you want to assemble your own first-aid kit, the American Red Cross recommends that the kit include all (7 comments)
Earthquake Safety in San Diego County - 04/11/10 03:04 PM
In light of the Baja California-centered 7.2 magnitude earthquake that occurred last week and was felt as far north as Los Angeles County and the aftershocks that we are still feeling to this day, I thought I would post a series of earthquake-preparedness posts. When I was in school, we had also sorts of disaster-safety drills. We had fire drills, earthquake drills, and air raid drills. Thankfully, we never had lock-down drills because there were no students or adults with guns running around campus killing as if we were images in an Xbox game. I am pleased to report that the (5 comments)
Changes to the HAFA Program: Here's the Latest Information - 04/08/10 07:40 PM
On March 26, 2010, the Treasury set out to provide us with more information about the HAFA Program-Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives. As you may recall, HAFA provides incentives with a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (DIL) used to avoid foreclosure on a loan eligible for modification under the HAMP program. Servicers participating in HAMP are also required to comply with HAFA. A list of servicers participating in HAMP (including HAFA) can be viewed at the following website: http://hafa-program.com/ The HAFA Program complements HAMP by providing a viable alternative for borrowers who are HAMP eligible but unable to keep their (23 comments)
The Beauty of the North San Diego County Coastline - 04/07/10 08:27 PM
I'm a resident of Encinitas, a beach town about 20 miles north of San Diego. I've lived on the East Coast, and I have lived in the Los Angeles area, but Encinitas has grown on me and it's where I hang my hat. To me, Encinitas is a nice mix of city and country. We are close enough to all of the things that we need, but we do not have the vast numbers in our population the way Manhattan, Boston, and Chicago do. What's great about Southern California right now are all of the blooming flowers. While the cherry blossoms (12 comments)
A Review of the Real Estate Commission Paid on Fannie Mae Short Sales - 04/06/10 08:02 PM
Last year Fannie Mae announced that they would no longer reduce the commission on a short sale below six percent. At that time, everyone was very pleased. Present company included. To further facilitate transparency, Fannie Mae also established a loan lookup tool on their website so that agents and sellers can verify whether Fannie Mae is the actual investor on the note in question. You probably remember from Real Estate Principles 101 that many times when an individual receives a mortgage statement in the mail, this statement is from the servicing company who is merely servicing the note for some other (48 comments)
Rockin' in San Diego: Escondido Home Buyers Always Get the Most Up-to-date Information - 04/05/10 08:33 PM
Yesterday we were rockin' in San Diego County-perhaps you heard about the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that occurred in an uninhabited area of Baja California just south of the U.S. border town of Mexicali? While we were enjoying an afternoon at home, we suddenly felt the horizontal shaking. Having spent the greater portion of my life in California, I have been through several earthquakes and where we were was not on the fault line, so it didn't feel too severe. That being said, after we removed ourselves from the doorways and began to discuss the earthquake (and calm our barking dog), I (7 comments)
Escondido Short Sale Buyers Must Be Prepared - 04/04/10 09:08 AM
Be Prepared is not just the Boy Scout motto any longer. Escondido short sale buyers (as well as short sale buyers from San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside and beyond) need to be prepared. Our office took a listing at the end of the year for a gorgeous single family home, a short sale in Hidden Hills. The property had two loans, the first with CitiMortgage. We got several offers on the property immediately. Nobody was surprised about that. It has granite countertops, a fantastic backyard with the works: a lush swimming pool, tropical plantings and a built-in gas barbeque unit. The home, (3 comments)
Listing Your Home for Short Sale in North San Diego County: Important Questions - 04/03/10 10:19 AM
I've had a cold for the last few days, and that is no great fun (as you well know). I felt badly yesterday because I had a short sale listing appointment and I knew that I wasn't looking my best. We met at a Starbucks to go over all of the paperwork. We sat outside (good thing, so that I could share my germs with the world) and discussed all of the benefits and all of the potential pitfalls of a short sale. One question that was asked was about the second lien holder. "What happens if the second lien holder (7 comments)
Short Sale Sellers in North San Diego County: Do Not Wait Until the Sheriff Is at Your Door - 04/02/10 07:34 PM
Attention sellers in North San Diego County: If you live in Escondido, San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside and beyond and you are having trouble making ends meet, it is important to face facts and know your options. In the last few months, I have met many folks who might be facing foreclosure who feel scared to open their mail, to contact their lender, and to face the reality of their situation. If you are having trouble making ends meet and making those mortgage payments, know that you have options. BUT... you have many more options available to you if you do not (19 comments)
Realtor® Magazine's April Review of Ethics and Short Sales - 04/01/10 08:40 PM
April's Realtor Magazine has an article about short sale ethics and six temptations to avoid. Here's a summary of the main pieces of advice. These are all written for agents involved in short sale transactions. And, if you read Ken Cook's blog post today, it's possible that many agents will not be negotiating those short sales at some point in the future. Anyway, here is a recap of the main things to avoid when working short sales with my commentary in italics. Realtors® should avoid the following: Standing in the way of home retention efforts. Obviously, if a seller qualifies for (3 comments)
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