Archive for May, 2008

Pass It On…

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The Worse Housing Bust since World War II?

Sacramento area homesellers, more than most other areas in the country, are battling the most brutal environment in decades…

We were one of the hottest and now one of the hardest hit. In Sacramento’s Curtis Park, even Congress members are losing homes here to foreclosure!

I am seeing way more short sales coming on the market in many areas; I hope that the banks will continue on their path and eventually the short sale will become a viable option for Sacramento area homeowners to avoid foreclosure.

My team and I have closed several; more than anyone else in my office, I think, but we have also lost many to foreclosure. Loan servicers were set up to process payments, not work out loan delinquencies on a massive scale! But recently, most of the banks seem to be getting better about communicating, processing the package, ordering the Broker Price Opinions and/or appraisals, presenting the package to the “Investor”, etc…

We are not seeing the high turnover in the Loss Mitigation Departments and some of the banks are reportedly adding massive staffing.  (I understand Countrywide hired over 2,000 loss mitigation rep’s recently).

Hopefully we are getting closer to some level of predictability and stability in our market here in Sacramento.

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“Defaulting middle-class U.S. homeowners are blamed…”

This is kind of getting scarier and scarier… The more I learn bout the mortgage meltdown, the credit crunch, the sub prime debacle, the more I realize just how big our problems may be.

Found a great link today…”Defaulting middle-class U.S. homeowners are blamed, but they are merely a pawn in the game…” You see, just as housing had a crazy bubble, so did the credit markets, borrowed money was used as collateral to borrow more money, that went out in the market, bought assets that went up in value and multiplied; feeding more borrowing…

Here’s how it worked: It was just a larger version of the basic real estate market dynamics that were at work here in Sacramento… crazy to think emotions and exhuberance play such a huge part of even our global markets.

Who’s to blame? I’m not sure. Jury is still out on that… there were so many different factors, so many different players, I guess we are all to blame; except for the poor souls who were priced out or who were smart enough to realize that the crash just had to come…


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Sacramento is one of The six scariest…

Number of foreclosures, steep price drops and high unemployment put Sacramento on the map last week as one of the six scariest real estate markets.

The House of Representatives will take up legislation Wednesday that would broadly address the nation’s housing crisis and could have the government assume control of up to $300 billion in refinanced home loans to be given to distressed homeowners.

It also includes a bill that will provide up to $15 billion (yes, billion, with a “b”) to allow governments to award loans and grants to purchase and rehabilitate owner-vacated homes…

I just wonder how long it is going to take for the industry to figure out they need to get these homes refinanced or sold before foreclosure…  It isn’t hard to see that  a home that is occupied, being cared for, where the grass is watered and mowed, is going to sell faster and for more than the same house with broken windows, a dead, overgrown lawn, with the dishwasher, stove, ceiling fans and light fixtures missing…  not to mention the green pools and missing air conditioners!

This is not only a problem Sacramento area homeowners are dealing with; it is happening all over.

When will the short-sale or short-refinance be embraced and used as a tool to slow the tide?



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More Hope for Sacramento Shortsales…

We just got an approval letter on a shortsale the other day; from Countrywide! In just three short weeks!  It is for a client who’s home here in Folsom is in foreclosure.  We had it on the market for only a week and received several offers, one full price with plenty down. The buyer, who understands the short sale process and the potential downfalls, is represented by a great agent I worked with at my old company.  They absolutely no matter what have to live in that neighborhood and were willing to wait and take the risk of a bank saying no.

We now have two files with Indymac, another Countrywide, One with an Option One first and  HSBC second (I usually don’t even try to work a shortsale listing with a first and a second, however the HSBC gal I talked to in their loss Mitigation department promised they would work with us). 

We also have buyers in contract on a beautiful home in Orangevale who we are anticipating an approval letter from  Homeq, this week… It is a screaming deal too– these kids will move in with 20 or 30k in equity… on a street where the last reo listing sold in two days, and in a market where we have probably reached a bottom!

Yes, these people have waited six weeks for an answer from the bank.  We have seen at least thirty other houses since we wrote the offer, and the buyers have always wanted to keep the offer in and continue to try…  It is always an exercise in patience and understanding for me;  working with buyers who want to write on a short sale!  …but it always seems to work out in the long run for the best; we either close on the short sale or find another home while we wait.

I really expect short sales to get easier… they have to!

Some banks, Indymac, Homeq, Countrywide, along with several other smaller lenders are getting their acts together and I look forward to being able to really move some real estate sometime soon.

The banks just must keep working on their systems and improving their timetables… there are so many more foreclosures coming! There has been another jump in California foreclosures  last quarter, which means this summer, fall and winter, there may be another jump in shortsales and REO’s…



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