Sizzling Summer Real Estate in Walnut Creek, CA

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Empire Realty Associates

Loan Modification… If You Can’t Take the Heat…
Many of you have asked me about loan modification services. Last week, I attended a risk management seminar with Shannon B Jones ( , one of the best real estate attorneys in CA. Her perspective is that the loan mod business is in its infancy in 2009, comparable to where short sales were in 2008 and REO sales were in 2006. That means that every lender has its own rules, there is little oversight, and there is little predictability to how a modification will be handled. This is particularly true in cases with a second, when dealing with recourse loans, or when the property owner has assets beyond the property in question. Still, many people must find out if loan modification is an option, as it may be preferable to losing the property all together. Here is a government website that gives you several financial tests re: eligibility.
Once you’ve done your research, remember, HUD-approved housing counselors can help you evaluate your income and expenses and understand your options. This counseling is FREE. 1-888-995-HOPE (4673)

$8000 Tax Credit
If you are a first-time homebuyer, you may qualify for the $8000 tax credit if you purchase before December 1, 2009. To learn more:

Bridge Loans to Use Tax Credit in Your Purchase Transaction
There have been rumors of monetizing the $8000 tax credit so that it can be used during the transaction (either in addition to the minimum 3.5% down with an FHA loan or for closing costs). This credit would be handled as a short-term bridge loan, and the lender can charge up to 2.5% interest to loan the money. We haven’t seen this in action yet; however, it is of interest, and here’s a Q&A published by the National Association of Homebuilders.

Do You Need Local Stats?
Empire Realty has added a great tool to my website, These are market trend reports for every area of Contra Costa County. With one click, you can see price per square foot, average days on market, median price, and inventory, broken down by city/zip code.
I always think this is helpful for an overview. However, if you are looking for a specific property type, neighborhood, school, etc, call me!!! I can give you the micro-details that you need to buy or sell. 925-413-0044

Downtown Walnut Creek – Property Changing Hands…
At What Price??? For all of you who enjoy speculating on the values happening in Walnut Creek’s commercial district, here’s an article from 6/23/09, Contra Costa Times, citing some very interesting local transactions. Kinda makes me hanker for some frozen yogurt in this great summer heat!


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