Thursday, June 30, 2011

Conforming loan limits change would impact California housing

More than 30,000 California families will face higher down payments, higher mortgage rates, and stricter loan qualification requirements if conforming loan limits on mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac are reduced beginning October 1, 2011, according to analysis by C.A.R.

Barring congressional action, the maximum FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac conforming loan limit will decline to $625,500 beginning Oct. 1, 2011, from the current $729,750 limit, though the majority of counties will fall far below the $625,500 maximum. The conforming loan limit determines the maximum size of a mortgage that FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) can buy or guarantee. Non-conforming or jumbo loans typically carry a higher mortgage interest rate than a conforming loan and require a higher down payment, increasing the monthly payment and negatively impacting housing affordability for California home buyers.

C.A.R. and NAR have long advocated making higher conforming loan limits permanent. As a result of C.A.R.’s and NAR’s efforts, in 2008, Congress temporarily raised the conforming loan limits from $417,000 to $729,750 and has extended them annually through fiscal year 2011.

To view charts showing how the changes would impact various areas throughout California, visit

and as always - Keep the faith!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Coachella Valley Update - Sales Prices up in May

Home sales rose 6 percent across the Coachella Valley in May in contrast to double-digit declines in Riverside County and the rest of Southern California.

Last month, 1,087 single-family homes and condominiums sold in the valley, San Diego-based DataQuick Information Systems reported. Cities with the strongest sales included Palm Desert with 203, Palm Springs with 187 and La Quinta with 142.

The median price — half sold for more, half for less — was $204,000 in May, a 3 percent decline from May 2010, DataQuick reported.

Compared to May last year, sales fell 12.5 percent in Riverside County and 17.4 percent across Southern California.

In recent months, the valley's home sales have fared significantly better than the rest of Southern California, driven by second-home buyers and bargain hunters.

That hasn't helped stabilize prices, but it is helping to slowly clear out the huge inventory of real estate, a critical step in rebuilding the local economy.

Read the whole story:|topnews|text|Frontpage

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New law July 1st - you must have CO2 detectors in your home

All single-family homes in California with attached garages and fireplaces are supposed to have a carbon monoxide detector starting July 1 when a new California law takes effect.

Owners of apartment buildings have until Jan. 1, 2013, to comply with the law. “Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, each year claiming the lives of an average of 480 people and sending more than 20,000 people to emergency rooms across the nation,” acting State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover said in a news release.

The colorless, odorless gas is produced from heaters, fireplaces, furnaces, and many types of appliances and cooking devices. It's also produced when gas, oil, kerosene, wood or charcoal is burned.
CO detectors are easy to install and can be purchased at most stores that also sell smoke detectors, said Bill Peters, an information officer for Cal Fire. But not just any detector will do.

“You must buy one that's approved by the state fire marshal's office,” Palm Desert director of buildings and safety Russell Grance said.
They have to be connected to the home's electrical wiring and also have a battery back-up. The exception is homes without attic access and then a battery-operated detector is OK, Grance said.

The fire marshal has a list of approved devices and installation requirements on its website,

Read the full story as it appeared in the Desert Sun:

As always - Keep the faith !!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Be careful if your receive a letter to mail your payments to a new Lender

An old scam has raised it's ugly head once again ...

A simple letter that looks official notifies you that your loan has been sold or your servicing transferred and that your payments should now be made to XYZ company. Be darn careful that you don't fall into this trap, lose a few months payments and really hurt your credit in the interim.

When a Lender sells your loan or transfers your servicing, you should receive a letter from them telling you so and this is what these scammers are banking on; HOWEVER, you should also receive a letter from the new entity telling you the same thing and letting you know how to accomplish this and if there is any new loan/account number to refer to and any other pertinent information in this introductory letter ... AND IF YOU ONLY GET THE FIRST LETTER ... call your old company and verify the information with customer service ... BUT DO NOT USE A PHONE NUMBER THAT MAY BE IN THIS SUSPICIOUS LETTER ... Use the number on your payment coupon or in the loan documentation you have copies of or just Google it, i.e. Bank of America customer service.

Be careful and protect yourself from loss with a 2 mintue phone call.

To read the entire story in the LA Times article, click here:,0,7596418.story

As always ... Keep the faith!!!