Sunday, November 22, 2009

October 2009 - Local Cities Unemployment Stats

State of California Employment Development Department
November 1, 2009 Labor Market Information Division
March 2008 Benchmark
(916) 262-2162

Monthly Labor Force Data for Cities and Census Designated Places (CDP)
October 2009 - Preliminary
Data Not Seasonally Adjusted

City ~ Labor Force ~ Employed ~ Unemployed ~ % Unempld

Bermuda Dunes ~ 4,200 ~ 3,900 ~ 300 ~ 6.7%
Cathedral City ~ 26,300 ~ 22,400 ~ 3,900 ~ 14.7%
Coachella ~ 12,500 ~ 9,600 ~ 2,900 ~ 23.3%
Desert Hot Spr.~ 9,500 ~ 7,600 ~ 1,900 ~ 19.9%
Indian Wells ~ 1,700 ~ 1,600 ~ 100 ~ 5.4%
Indio city ~ 27,500 ~ 23,100 ~ 4,500 ~ 16.3%
La Quinta ~ 14,600 ~ 13,400 ~ 1,200 ~ 8.0%
Palm Desert ~ 24,800 ~ 22,600 ~ 2,300 ~ 9.1%
Palm Springs ~ 26,200 ~ 23,100 ~ 3,100 ~ 11.8%
Rancho Mirage ~ 6,400 ~ 5,600 ~ 900 ~ 13.3%
Thousand Palms ~ 2,500 ~ 2,300 ~ 200 ~ 9.8%

Listed Cities ~156,200 ~135,200 ~ 21,300 ~ 13.6%

Riverside Co. ~917,800 ~779,500 ~138,300 ~ 15.1%

Buying or Selling California Real Estate- Be kind to yourself

So you've made the big decision ~ Terrific! Now that you've decided to move forward, I offer the following to make the process an easier endeavor:

You're a homeowner whose decided to the first step would be to think about a clear title. Has anything occur ed that you might have paperwork to support? It will pay dividends if you make this paperwork available now... Paid off a loan? Involved in a Divorce? Death of another recorded Owner? Power of Attorney needed? Involved in Bankruptcy proceeding? Has your property been liened for unpaid bills or other reasons? Now is the time to dig up that paperwork. Your Realtor and the Title Company insuring the sale to your Buyer will require it so why not be prepared? This will really save you a lot of headache at the Eleventh hour.

As a Buyer, the first thing you should do is to engage a Bank or Loan Broker to put your financing in place. Searching for property without your financing ready is like going to a gunfight with bullets... A Buyer should not only have his loan in place but also should have a pre-approval letter in hand, not a pre-qualification letter. There is a difference. A pre-qualification letter means the buyer meets all the requirements concerning income, credit and debt ratio. A pre-approval letter means he's approved and secured. A buyer with pre-approval is a stronger contender in a bidding war. Considering my years of experience, there are other things that might be done to bolster the strength of your offer and I would be happy to discuss the topic with you confidentially, with no obligation.

When you consider that Lenders are not only involved lending you funds to acquire your home but also the entities reviewing your contract for acceptability if you're offering on a Short Sale or REO (foreclosed property), you don't stand a chance if you're not playing on the same field with them. Give yourself a chance-Get in the game

Friday, November 20, 2009

Foreclosure Prevention and Credit Retention Assistance

Foreclosure Prevention and Credit Retention Assistance - powerful and reassuring statement to come across when you're in need of powerful guidance.

If your interest has been peaked by the title of this blog, you are in need of someone who has the interest in assisting you with your particular area of concern and who will do so with Dedication to the task at hand. Well..... I'm your man.

We can arrange a confidential meeting to discuss the challenges you might be facing. Call today 1 (760) 610-3245

Please check my website for additional contact information:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

City of La Quinta performs excellent installation

Informational Blog on the Desert Pride Neighborhood Watch can be viewed at

Check out the new kid coming to town..............

"Borrowers this is 'the 50 Year Loan' ~ '50 Year Loan' this is America's Borrowers".

The introduction probably won't go exactly like that but expect to see the term and hear the buzz. Buyers and Borrowers with property in high value areas can expect to be the initial targets by the Loan Brokers of America with California probably being #1 on the list. Some lenders see the offering as an alternative to "interest only" loans and a tool to shrink those monthly obligations. Some consumer advocates and financial professionals worry that buyers who need to stretch payments over an additional twenty years are coveting too much house-wanting to shoot for the moon rather than getting that starter house and working their way from there as is traditional. Maybe this is a good approach if you're getting a 50 year loan? The last brainstorm of the lending community was the Option Arm wherein you could make a minimum payment one month and find the next month that the outstanding balance grew because the minimum payment due was less that the interest that had accrued on the outstanding balance. This will be safer as it carries a fixed interest rate (as currently planned, but be careful, because if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it just might be an adjustable rate loan (duck) with a fixed interest rate for a short term and then yadda, yadda, yadda. Read all about it.....

While the 50-year fully amortized mortgage certainly means a slower rate of repaying the balance, at least the balance is being reduced, not remaining stagnant or increasing. It is probably not the product for someone who wants a home for more traditional reasons, such as creating a nest egg, he says. Currently, you are not likely to find 50-year home loans at your bank or credit union. Most of the loans are coming from mortgage brokers.

In addition, while they can fit certain buyers in special circumstances. Rates for 50-year mortgages tend to be about 25 to 50 basis points higher than the rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percent.
Critics contend that, for all practical purposes, a 50-year mortgage is not much different from an interest-only loan. While the monthly payment is lower, you will also pay more interest.

Remember that not all 50-year loans are or will be the same. While some loans offer a fixed-rate for 50 years, others offer options that include a fixed rate for the first three or five years, and then switch to an adjustable rate. Still other versions amortize the principal over 50 years but require a balloon payment after 30 years for the balance of the loan.

California-based Statewide Bancorp started offering 50-year loans last year, with fixed-rate, as well as ARM, versions. Both types run for 50 years with no balloon payments required. So far, more than 1,000 borrowers have opted for the mortgages. Proponents of the product warn that it is not for everyone.

Buyers, who consider these products should, step back from the buyer's frenzy. Ask yourself: Does it make sense? What are the pros and cons? What is the best thing that could happen to me? What is the worst thing? Because you pay so little toward the principal, it is not a good choice for someone who might want to move within a few years; additionally, rates are so low now and values are so affected by the economy, it wouldn't make a lot of sense if you could possibly be moving in a few years. A buyer should also be anticipating some sort of increase in income. However, when that money comes, go ahead and pay more money against it. At that point, the smart buyer starts making payments equivalent to a 30-year or 15-year note. However, similar to handling credit cards, many consumers mean well but do not follow through.

Some loans also carry prepayment penalties through the first few years of the note. Since you are already not building much equity, this can make it more expensive to refinance in the early years of the loan.

Since buyers often look at a 50-year loan as a temporary solution, refinancing or resale before the home is paid off is a virtual certainty. Weigh that going into the deal, too. Analyze how a shortage of equity could affect refinancing. Unless you pay extra money toward the equity or see a dramatic increase in the value of your house, your refinance will probably be a lot more like simply buying the same house all over again.

If that cloud in your crystal ball clears up before mine, please contact me.

Keep the faith!

What are the signs that my property value may be changing?

We all follow the media and certainly reports on the health of the economy and the housing market are first and foremost in our financial lives. There are a number of factors contributing to the reported improving conditions: The First Time Home Buyers Federal Tax Credit (which has now been extended and amended to provide tax saving opportunities for so many more), attractive home pricing (resulted from market conditions including distressed sales) and low interest rates are attracting many buyers into the market. Keep in mind that housing markets are local (i.e. the Desert can be considered a resort area) and values can vary greatly from one area to the next. Nevertheless, keeping an eye on specific information readily available from the media can provide insights to determine effect on your property's value and indicators that point to increases in it's value.

Consider these......

Statistical Data and Trends - Contact your Realtor® and have them brief you or add you to their newsletter allowing you to stay up to date. Tracking the cyclical history of Real Estate has allowed certain presuptions in the past; however, one must stay more in tune as our whole world has changed in this new century. Realtors have statistical data available to give a great snapshot of your local market. Indications are that we've seen the floor of the market (at least here in the Desert).

Available properties - a 5 or 6 month supply of homes is typical in a given market. Here in the desert, we currently are hovering around a 4 month supply. This indicates a likelyhood of rising prices in a market favoring sellers 'Sellers Market'. Should this change with an influx of new listings, the larger inventory will favor the buyer 'Buyer's Market'. Your Realtor can assist you with historical comparisons.

Jobs - The media does a great job of reporting the fluctuations. Keeping an eye on the local job market can tip you to the direction of property values in your local market. In resort areas, unemployment should go down 'In Season' with a positive effect on demand and property value.

Personal earnings - Another area the media reports on frequently as it so affects our financial world. This goes hand in hand with the Job Market in today's world and has a distinct effect on the final category....

Distressed Sales - Foreclosures and Short Sales used to be a speciality area in Real Estate and Investment and now they have so permeated our lives that they've become common buzz words you hear from the line at the grocery store to watching your favorite sitcom. Too many of these in a marketplace is not good. Too many of these in a specific community can be devastating on the property values. Unless you are really savvy, only your Realtor can assist you in determining what's effect these might be having on your own homes vales. Nationally, foreclosure activity is down for the 3rd consecutive month. Foreclosure filings were reported on 332,292 U.S. properties in October, a decrease of 3 percent from the previous month but still up nearly 19 percent from October 2008, according to the RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report released today. The report also shows one in every 385 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in October.

Bottom Line - unless you feel confident in your abilities to interpret all this information, you should contact your REALTOR®. Realtors have the training and experience to properly counsel you as to your neighborhood conditions and property values.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fannie Mae gets creative on foreclosures....

Fannie Mae has anounced a new program to lease or rentback properties they have foreclosed to the former owners. The "Deed for Lease" program will allow property owners who don't have the qualifications/eligibility for loan modifications or were unable to meet other work-out solutions to stay in their own homes.

Qualified Property Owners would be able to deed thier property back to the lienholder (Bank/Lender). The lienholder would then enter into a lease agreement with the Property Owner, now known as a Tenant. The agreement would be at a market rate for up to a year. After the lease term is up, renewal or possibly month-to-month tenancy may be available.

Jay Ryan, Vice-President of Fannie Mae, said in the release “The Deed for Lease Program provides an additional option for qualifying homeowners who are facing foreclosure and are not eligible for modifications. This new program helps eliminate some of the uncertainty of foreclosure, keeps families and tenants in their homes during a transitional period, and helps to stabilize neighborhoods and communities.”

To qualify, the home must be the borrower’s primary residence, and he or she needs to be released from any subordinate liens on the property. The borrower also has to document that the new market rental rate doesn’t exceed 31% of his or her gross income.

In a separate statement, Dean Baker from the Center for Economic and Policy Research stated “This policy takes advantage of the fact that in many former bubble markets, ownership costs are likely to be far higher than the cost of renting an equivalent unit, if the homeowner purchased their home near the peak of the market. In many cases this gap can be dramatic. For example, the savings on a moderate-priced home purchased near the peak of the market in the Washington, D.C., area could be more than $1,300 a month. The gap between ownership costs and renting in the Los Angeles area could be almost $2,000 a month. Many homeowners who could not sustain mortgages based on the original purchase price, even with sharp reductions in interest rates, can afford the market rent.”

Baker labeled the Deed for Lease Program a “very big step” toward giving families facing foreclosure more housing security. “Families that like their home, their neighborhood, or the schools for their children will have the opportunity to stay in their house even after foreclosure. This is also good policy for neighborhoods that have been hard-hit by foreclosures. The Deed for Lease Program will keep the homes occupied rather than being an eyesore and a potential safety hazard.”

Some think this is a great step in solving the housing dilemma and still others see this a real win-win situation. The lienholders getting the property back is a given but making things easier on the foreclosed owner(s) and their families is fantastic; added to the back end is the lienholders holding the property and reaping a higher yield on sales at a later date might just help this sticky wicket so many lienholders are in.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Home Security Tip for November, 2009

Walking around my development recently, I spotted a number of old yard signs and window decals for Home Security companies that no longer exist. Some signs have been moved by landscapers, may be half-hidden by brush, fallen down or been knocked down. Kind of reminds me of the bad habits regarding our personal security we can get into sometimes, including me...but those I'll write about another day.

If you have a Home Security system, this is probably not interesting to you but it should be because you wouldn't be the first home broken into that has a security system. It's not fool-proof. Most don't have alarms loud enough to alert neighbors. They ring at the service company's office-Great! If you're not home to get the call asking if everything is OK, what good has that done you. By the time the company alerts police to respond, most thieves are in-out-gone. If your service is by a company that bought or merged with another company or simply changed it's name, you should do whatever it takes to get new signs and numerous decals/stickers AND put them in conspicuous places. Your first line of defense is putting the would-be-thieves on notice that you have an up-to-date, operating system. If your landscaper moves the signs and doesn't move them back - chew him out. You pay for the service and you want everyone to know it's there.

If you purchased a house that is equipped but the system is not actively monitored by a company (You've been meaning to call...) and you still have signs, etc... especially signs with out-dated names on them or maybe you don't even have a system so you bought some signs on EBay... - Guess what? - Criminals Read Too!!!!!

You may want to explore realistic options to improve security for you and the family.

Keep the faith!