Author of the “Mortgage Fraud Blog”, Rachel Dollar, is our Guest this Sunday!

Santa Rosa, CA–The Real Estate Hour is proud to have as our guest nationally known expert on Mortgage Fraud, Rachel Dollar of the law firm of “Smith-Dollar”. We will be discussing on going scams on Loan Modifications, Short-Sales, Foreclosure myths and realities! Many think “mortgage fraud” is rarely prosecuted but Rachel’s blog: is loaded with stories of mortgage and real estate fraud cases where the government is putting away these criminals.

Her main area of focus is providing litigation and transactional representation to the mortgage banking and financial services industry.

Due to the current economic situation and the historically large number of lawsuits brought to mortgage companies, her business has thrived. From 2008 when Mr. Smith joined her as a partner, the firm has grown to 14 attorneys. There are a total of 30 staff in the downtown Santa Rosa office. In addition to her work as an attorney, she is the editor of the industry website, Mortgage Fraud Blog, and is the author of “Protect Yourself from Real Estate and Mortgage Fraud” released by Kaplan Publishing in 2007.

She is often called upon by publications such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and other various news outlets to give opinions on trends in the industry as well as being asked to talk on panels at conferences relating to her area of expertise.

Seller/Rental Property Owner Alert; Carbon Monoxide Detectors required on all sales as of July 1, 2011

Owners of tenant occupied properties are required to install Carbon Monoxide Detectors in existing  Single Family Homes beginning July 1st, 2011.  Home Sellers are required to install upon sale.  
 The Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010 requires that existing single family homes have carbon monoxide detectors installed by July 1st.  Other existing dwelling units must have carbon monoxide detectors installed by January 1, 2013.  The Real Estate Transfer Disclsoure Statement contains disclosure language related to this requirement. There are no special carbon monoxide disclosure obligations beyond the TDS.  Violation of the requirements is an infraction punishable by a maximum fine of $200 for each offense. 

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. Because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes, CO can kill you before you are aware it is in your home. At lower levels of exposure, CO causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu. These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue. The effects of CO exposure can vary greatly from person to person depending on age, overall health and the concentration and length of exposure. More…

How Many “Bottoms” are there in a Real Estate Market? Mid range Bottom? Upper END Bottom–THE REAL BOTTOM?

Sonoma County, California homeowners are constantly being assailed on the latest “Dip” in the real estate market. Case/Shiller, our own Press Democrat–all constantly reporting prices are STILL coming down. I’ve included below some powerful graphs on the current Sonoma County Market Place. Going back 3 years and looking at the reporting “Quarters” one gets a much different “View”  on the marketplace. Like the statement says, “You’re entitled to your OWN opinion-but NOT your own FACTS!”

The following graph shows the “Sub-$300,000” Under-Contract properties over the past three years by “Quarter” reporting. NOTE 2008! I would venture a guess and say our “BOTTOM-BOTTOM’ was back then! Why so much activity–obviously because our prices have dropped off a cliff! So it would stand to reason our “Sub-$300,000” numbers would be through the roof and they ARE! More like through the Stratosphere! UP a whopping 409%!! WOW!


Now what about the OVERALL MARKET PLACE? Year over Year-NOT even going back three years–we are UP 49%! Now while our sales are NOT on fire, those in escrow continue to mount. CAVEAT–Many of those “under contract” properties are “Short-Sales”. They go in and stay in so this “build up” the “under contract” properties. But still–overall activity indicator is very POSITIVE!

Going back THREE QUARTERS for Sub $300K Under Contract is revealing also when you “isolate” the “Bank Properties” which includes not only REO (real estate owned–bank foreclosed homes) but ALSO Short-Sales. Once again, look at 2008! Remarkable numbers once again! As you can see-they are a major force in the first time buyer arena and under the $300,000 mark.

Allison has this weekend Off! Up in Squaw Valley, Tahoe-her almost favorite spot on the planet!

Allison is in Tahoe this weekend baby-sitting her two grand-daughters while her Daughter and Son-In-law attend a wedding and all the pre-post festivities! Nice shot of Squaw Valley–Look at all that snow in almost the Middle of June! Great shot from her cell phone no-less! (of course I did edit a bit and crop!).  She is deserving of time away with the kids as she is very busy with client’s, writing offers, running OUR business. And she does it with a smile and has fun!

This week’s Guests: Two Industry Leaders in the “Distressed” Real Estate Market +John Duran,President of SRCR!

Listener’s to The Real Estate Hour, Sundays, 9 to 10am pst, 1350AM, KSRO, will hear two Industry leaders who are  experts in the field of “Distressed” properties: Ivan Choi,current president of REOMAC and formerly Sr. VP of REO for Countrywide and Bank of America. PLUS Allen Seelenbinder, Sr. VP of REO/Short-Sales BofA West Coast–just these two and YOUR questions! And to help me with the questions and provide his insights, I’m pleased to have old friend, John Duran current President of the Santa Rosa Chapter of Realtors. Continue reading This week’s Guests: Two Industry Leaders in the “Distressed” Real Estate Market +John Duran,President of SRCR!

California Foreclosure Timeline…Facing Foreclosure? Know what to expect, and then find out your options

If you’re facing foreclosure…this time-line from the Ca. Association of Realtors really breaks down the process. You may have time to look at other options such as a loan mod or a short sale….but you need to understand the process. Also, the timeline leading UP TO the Notice of Default, which in turn starts the foreclosure clock  clicking, varies from Lender to Lender. We have client’s tell us they’ve gone MONTHS or YEARS before a NOD was filed while others–BAM! Miss one payment and the hammer falls.

Know the TimeLine for Foreclosure in the State of California


Look for this and other information for distressed homeowners in our shared folder at…

Linda Watson, USDA specialist and Niche Loan Consultant–Great Guest-Contact Information

Sonoma County, California HomeBuyers had a great treat this morning listening to Linda Watson who spoke on Niche Lending and her specialty–USDA Loans. Who said  you had to PUT 20% down? Two low down scenarios are yours for the choosing. USDA has a ZERO like in -0- DOWN program and FHA with a CHDAP “silent” second gets you into a home with 1/2% down!! On a $400,000 home that is ONLY  $2,000 DOWN!!

All the more reason to listen to the “Real Estate Hour” every Sunday! Here’s Linda’s Information below–And for all YOUR real estate needs don’t forget to give us a call at: 707-799-3617!

"Niche" lending expert--USDA,FHA 203K,etc.

Linda Watson “Your Friend In The Mortgage Business”

(707) 292-6424 1303 College Ave., Suite 200,Santa Rosa, Ca. 95404

CA DRE License # 01319154  NMLS #230174

Wine Country Home Mortgage is licensed by the CA DRE, licence #00654852

USDA Loans? Huh? United States Department of Agriculture.ONLY in our RURAL Areas–Like Windsor!?

Linda Watson is our guest today speaking on Niche loans including this-THE USDA loan. Please join us NOW for the Real Estate Hour–Sonoma County’s ONLY Real Estate Talk Show and the longest running talk show of its kind in the BAY AREA!

FAQ’s for USDA Home Loans

 1.     What is a USDA Home Loan?

 The USDA Rural Housing loan is a 30-year fixed mortgage , which is guaranteed by the USDA’s Rural Housing Service.  This 100% home loan program is designed for low to moderate income families in rural areas.  Their “guarantee” means that they will compensate participating lenders for any mortgage that goes to foreclosure. 

 This “guarantee” also means that lenders are more willing to lend their money to people with less than stellar credit and little to no money for a down payment.  USDA loans are designed for those who are unable to obtain conventional financing due to credit or lack of a 20% down payment and/or money for closing costs.  It is also designed for owner occupied properties, not investment properties. Continue reading USDA Loans? Huh? United States Department of Agriculture.ONLY in our RURAL Areas–Like Windsor!?