What’s So Special About Foreclosure Radar?? …and Who Spilled All the M&M’s ?

 The standard market analysis is simply an estimate of value, of current competitive listings and recent Solds but what it lacks is critical, as it  is one of the most important elements….THE FUTURE. When should you put your home on the market?? If you knew that a seller was getting ready to put a home on the market at a price that might drastically reduce the value of your home, would you wait….or would you try to beat that home to the market? In this case, timing is everything! Hence WHY we use Foreclosure Radar to read the future!

(Above, Santa Rosa,Calfifornia as of February 2011–The “P”‘s are Pre-foreclosure with Notice of Defaults filed,  “A”‘s stand for Auction or a “sales date by the lender” has been set, “B”s stand for “Bank Owned” or after foreclosure) Continue reading What’s So Special About Foreclosure Radar?? …and Who Spilled All the M&M’s ?

Wells Fargo (Wachovia, World Savings) “Help for Home Owners”

This “Help for Home Owners” link is “buried” under a few layers of the Wells Fargo website. Despite that, Wells Fargo seems to be one of the easier banks to deal with these days.  Whether your loan was originally with World or Wachovia…or has always been with Wells Fargo, makes a big difference when discussing a loan Mod, or short sale.

Wachovia, which acquired World Savings , and then subsequently merged with Wells Fargo, consists of mostly “portfolio” loans, meaning they were kept “in house”. Those loans are much easier to negotiate, whether you are looking at a loan mod or a short sale. In fact, Wachovia has the most streamlined short sale process in the industry. Wells Fargo, on the other hand, like most big banks, sells off most of their loans to investors…so, when a loan mod or short sale is negotiated, the investor has to be located and agree to the loss. This is not to say it can’t be done, just a bit harder.  To talk about specifics, or for more questions, our email is NoDumbQuestion@gmail.com.

Sonoma County Homeowners-Bank of America Short-Sale or Modification “Concierge” Toll Free number!

Homeowners in Sonoma County, California–here’s a “Concierge” telephone number you can call to escalate modification of your loan or perhaps a “Short-Sale”. 866-880-1232  This comes from a meeting we had with a VP of Portfolio Rention for Short-Sales. If it a shot but remember the following:

BofA has some 500 investors who purchased the loans they originated. If the loan is a  “NonDelegated” loan–it means BofA CANNOT modifiy the loan. Bof A will  have to get approval from THESE investors. Now remember also, these loans were chopped up by the Wall Street folks and packaged into securities and sold off to the world! It’s kinda hard FIINDING your loan “owner” in order to get approval.

BofA is in the “Debt settlement business” and has NO interest (meaning ownership” in 70% of their loans.

They are stressing “Loan Modification” and have 20,000 employees who do nothing but work on Modifications, Short-Sales and/or REO’s (Bank owned-forclosed upon properties).

Short-Selling? A MUST listen Show-March 6th-CEO of Certified Distressed Property Expert’s –Alex Charfen!

As a special presentation to the NorthBay, Allison and I  are distinctly honored to have on our show for the entire hour, the leader in the Distressed Property market, CEO  of The Distressed Property Institute: Alex Charfen.

Alex will give us the latest update in the Short-Sale market as well as new developments for Homeowners and how to stave off foreclosure and keep most of your credit intact!

  Far too many homeowners facing foreclosure proceed without the assistance or advice of real estate professionals. Now more than ever, you need to find an advocate for you and your family’s interests, one who is prepared to handle your specific needs.  Real estate professionals with the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) Designation have trained extensively to understand the options, solutions, and effective methods for dealing with homeowners facing hardships. Don’t risk your financial future and the potential sale of your home with an agent who does not have all the solutions.

  Distressed Property Institute, LLC
The Distressed Property Institute trains real estate professionals to engage with and assist homeowners facing hardships. The Institute has developed a curriculum to provide the tools and knowledge to handle distressed properties, including short sales, deeds-in-lieu, mortgage modifications, forbearance, refinances, reinstatements and, if that fails, how to help homeowners through the foreclosure process. After completing a comprehensive on-site or online course, graduates are awarded the Certified Distressed Property Expert® Designation

Since the market tanked in 2005, Keller Williams Realty has grown 30 percent in agents, 40 percent in market centers

Keller Williams Realty Announces Numbers for 2010, Continued Growth During Real Estate Downturn
Company Launches eEdge Industry’s First Lead-To-Close Business Solution Today
AUSTIN, TEXAS (February 21, 2011)–Keller Williams Realty reported today at its national convention that it ended 2010 with 79,315 associates, 701 market centers (offices), and associate profit share up 7.2 percent, with its agents receiving $34.6 million dollars back. Since the inception of the profit sharing program, the company has given back over $304 million in earnings to its agents. Additionally, CEO Mark Willis shared in his annual State of the Company address to more than 8,000 convention attendees that, since the real estate market’s sharp downturn in 2005, the company has grown 30 percent in agents, 40 percent in market centers, 21 percent in closed units and 11 percent in closed GCI.
Keller Williams agents have outpaced the market in every way, through productivity and profit share. As a company, we are better off now than we were before the shift–and we have our associates to thank for that,” said Willis.

A Little Bit of Mongomery Village History, Santa Rosa. Ca.


A Little Montgomery Village History
Excerpts from the article
“Hugh Codding Dies at 92”

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Published: Sunday, April 4, 2010 at 3:00 a.m.

Hugh Bishop Codding, for more than 60 years a larger-than-life figure in the economy and politics of Sonoma County, died Saturday of pneumonia. He was 92.

Codding, generally credited with having altered the course of post-World War II Santa Rosa, became a legend in residential and commercial development in the 1950s and ’60s.

Codding’s early development projects constitute the quintessential story of Santa Rosa’s building boom of the late 1940s and 1950s.

After his graduation from Santa Rosa High School in 1936, Codding worked for his plumber stepfather, David Hall, and took construction courses at night.

The first house he built, on speculation, is at 938 Bush Street in Santa Rosa. He sold it in the late 1930s for $2,950. His next venture was a small development near the corner of E Street and Bennett Avenue. He named one of his new streets Georgia Street for the girlfriend of the man he bought the property from, displaying the whimsical approach to development that would characterize his career. 

His first brush with Santa Rosa government, which would affect post-war Santa Rosa, came Continue reading A Little Bit of Mongomery Village History, Santa Rosa. Ca.

Have your propery taxes been recently reduced due to re-valuation…do you have an impound account? …

Because of decreased property values, the county tax assessors have been either, routinely, or by request, re-assessing the value of homes. If your property taxes have not been reduced due to lower property value, contact; http://www.sonoma-county.org/assessor for information on how to have your property re-assessed, and what to expect when values go back up.

If you have had an adjustment in your property taxes, take a look at your impound account, (taxes paid through escrow)….has the bank adjusted your monthly payments as well? If not, they need to …and may owe you a refund.

The Cost of Waiting for Prices to Fall in Sonoma County California

If home prices fall, but interest rates rise…it’s a wash….or worse. So, what are you waiting for ??  The following is a great article that really spells it out. This is the prime argument Mike and I have with our clients week in and week out. As Sonoma County buyers wait for home prices to go down, interest rates continue to creep up.  We like to stay away from the “National” real estate numbers, but this simple fact still applies;

CLICK HERE for the KCM Crew Blog to see the original post.

Many purchasers have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for home prices to hit bottom. They want to guarantee that they are purchasing at the best possible price. Like them, we also believe that prices still have some room to fall in most markets. However, we disagree that waiting is a good financial decision. The buyer should not be concerned about housing prices. They should be concerned about cost.

The cost of a house is made up of the price AND THE INTEREST RATE they will be paying. Two different pieces of news released yesterday highlight this point.


The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their 4th quarter housing research report. In the release, they reported that home sales rose 15.4% in the 4th quarter over the 3rd quarter. They also showed that prices remained stable during the year:

The national median existing single-family price was $170,600 in the fourth quarter, up 0.2 percent from $170,300 in the fourth quarter of 2009.

A buyer who delayed a purchase might find solace in the fact that prices have not increased. However, the other news released yesterday paints a different picture.


The Primary Mortgage Market Survey was released by Freddie Mac which showed that the 30 year fixed rate mortgage was at 5.05%. Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac said:

“Long-term bond yields jumped on positive economic data reports, which placed upward pressure on mortgage rates this week…As a result, interest rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to the highest level since the last week in April 2010.”

So prices have remained stable but interest rates have risen dramatically in the last 90 days. What does that mean to a buyer looking to purchase a home this year?

The price is the same. It just costs more.

Let’s show you what the news means:

By sitting on the sidelines for the last 90 days a purchaser lost:

  • $89.44 a month
  • $1,073.28 a year
  • $32,198.40 over the thirty year life of the mortgage

If you buy a $340,000 home, double all these numbers.

Bottom Line

Even if prices fall another 10% this year, the cost of a home will increase if interest rates go up more than 1%. Buyers should not worry where prices are going. They should be concerned where costs will be later in the year.

Was your home loan, now serviced by Wells Fargo, previously with World Savings…or Wachovia??

 If so, you are in the prime position for a Wachovia “streamlined” short sale.

Sam Bedros, our local Wachovia short sale negotiator, held a “Short Sale”  seminar at the North Bay Association of Realtors last week.  Here’s so what he had to say;  
All short sales, at any bank, must first go through the eligibility process for a HAFA (Housing Affordability Foreclosure Alternative) short sale. Once eligibility for HAFA is determined, a seller can decide if they are better off with a HAFA short sale of a Wachovia short sale. Some of the differences to consider are as follows;

  • Wachovia may offer you up to $5000 at close of escrow for moving expenses, etc… HAFA will pay the seller $3000 in move-out money.
  • HAFA will only pay a junior lien holder $6000.00 to settle the short sale, where-as Wachovia will pay up to 20% of the 2nd loan’s balance.
  • HAFA will postpone the foreclosure of a home for 180 days with an active listing (if not less than 10 days from the sale date) Wachovia will only postpone a foreclosure date upon receipt of an accepted offer, and a commitment letter from the buyer’s lender.


So, what makes Wachovia’s short sale process so successful?? Continue reading Was your home loan, now serviced by Wells Fargo, previously with World Savings…or Wachovia??

“Distressed Market 60% of January Home Sales in Sonoma County, California!

Home Sales in Sonoma County, California dropped a seasonal 28% from December’s Sales totals. This is consistent with January sales going back 3 years and historically is a very “weak” month when it comes to home purchasing.  What IS consistent is the “Distressed” home sellers which punched through the 60% barrier–not seen since April of ’09. This means that 60% of the 304 Sales in the month of January where either REO (Real Estate Owned) or Bank seized foreclosed upon homes and “Short-Sales wherein a property owner is selling for LESS than what is owed on the house.

  A major gauge as to the health of a marektplace is the absence OF the “Distressed Marketplace”. Sonoma County is predicted to be in this “Distressed” market for years to come with some economists predicting at least 5 years. What will eliminate the “Distressed” market will be two events–the current crop of foreclosures and “under-water” properties will be eventually exhausted, foreclosed upon, modified, short-saled OR we will have appreciation which will allow large scale refinancing and allow home sellers to sell without having to sell short. Until then expect a large percentage of homes to be “distressed” when they are placed on the market and many families will be “frozen” into their homes with no way to move down, up or out!
2 Year real estate Sales with Bank Owned as a %