Thursday, August 17, 2017

Paying it forward ...

Today was another very pleasant "Pay it forward day" ... As we have done for quite a few years now, my office mates and I find ways to make the start of school a fun thing for 3 of the 4 Fourth grade classes out at Oasis School in Thermal. This year was a little different because not only were the students new to 4th grade, several of the teachers were new as well ... We started with an introduction and the attention and thankfullness was already apparent. We moved on to passing out pencil boxes ( loaded with goodies - pencils, pens, crayons, colored pencils, highlighters, scissors, pencil sharpeners, glue sticks, etc ...) dry erase boards, rulers, pads of paper ... and yes a small snack and juice ... It is a heartwarming visit each time we go. We'll be back to preparing for our Christmas visit right away and after the holidays we'll get on to the reading program where we gather as many children's books as possible to enhance their development. If you are cleaning out the garage or a closet and find any children's books, please call me and help pay it forward :)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

La Quinta Easter Egg Hunt 2017

Well, Easter 2017 came in a little early on Saturday, April 15th kicked off with the La Quinta Easter Egg Hunt and Chalk Drawing Contest at La Quinta park. It was a well attended event and this year there were less tears than prior years as more Moms and Dads were able to arrive early this year allowing their kids to dash for the thousands of eggs, many hoping to find a golden ticket for prizes. \

Again, Janet Zappala, the wonderful and multi-talented Anchor with KMIR, exercised her judging talents at the Chalk Drawing contest. Janet was truly the highlight of the Day.

Balloons filled the air, bouncy houses were rockin' and the faces of the kids were filled with smiles and Thank You's ... and then there was the Easter Bunny ... I can not forget the memories created by all taking photos with the Easter Bunny.

All in all, it was a wonderful day hosted by the City of La Quinta and their Business Partners ...

The next main event will be the Celebration of the City of La Quinta birthday, April 29th.

KMIR's Janet Zappala and Sandy Beakey of Bennion Deville Homes


Janet, Sandy and Bennion Deville Homes Agent volunteers

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Easter fun ...

Set those phone calendars as a reminder of the La Quinta Easter Egg Hunt and Coloring competition.

April 15th is the date and if you arrive after 9:00 you will miss the Easter Egg hunt which is followed by the very popular Sidewalk Coloring Contest - judged by the noted TV Anchor - Janet Zappala ... Keep the kids happy and expectations in sight by being there early for a fun Family time ... There will be a visit and photo ops with the E.B. ...

click below for flyer info:

http://www.la-quinta.org/home/showdocume...

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Big news from HUD

Reported by RisMedia ...

The U.S. Senate issued a final vote Thursday confirming Ben Carson as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 58-41. The party-line approval assigns Carson leadership of the agency, which currently has a budget of $47 billion and more than 8,000 on staff.

The housing industry largely took a wait-and-see approach throughout the confirmation process, embracing the opportunity of a new leader.

“Dr. Carson should be proud of his achievement,” said Bill Brown, president of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), in a statement. “The task at hand is a big one, and we applaud his commitment to the challenges that lie ahead. NAR has been the voice of real estate for over a century. In that time we’ve seen changes in markets, in Washington, and in the business of our REALTOR® members—but there’s a reason that homeownership is called the ‘American Dream,’ and that hasn’t changed one bit. Homeownership helps build communities and build wealth for families, and we know that the policies set in Washington can make a real difference for individual Americans as they work to realize the dream of homeownership for themselves.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Informative article from RisMedia - Trump Administration and Housing

The Best Opportunities the Trump Administration Brings to Housing

By Gary Acosta

For the first time in history, the United States elected a president without any political or military experience. For some, this means a promising departure from the status quo and the rapidly increasing feelings of disenfranchisement from our political system. For others, a Trump presidency encourages apprehension, as his directives are considerably less predictable than those of a seasoned politician. The actuality of a Trump Administration still prompts more questions than clear policy directives; however, the new president’s lifelong career as a builder and real estate investor could provide some fresh prospects for a growing, but fragile, housing industry. While fumbling GSE reform or following through on his promise for mass deportations would cause major setbacks to the housing market, below are where some of the best opportunities might exist.

Housing Supply
Trump likes to build things, and if you ask 100 real estate agents from around the country what is the one thing that would help them sell more homes, the most common answer would be increasing available housing inventory, especially in the affordable price ranges. The home-building industry was nearly decimated during the housing crisis. New-home construction was almost non-existent between 2008 and 2013. During that same period of time, the country added nearly five million new households. The net result of this shortage of housing supply has been a sharp increase in home prices and an equally sharp decrease in affordability, leaving millions of would-be homeowners on the sidelines.
This has proven to be a difficult problem to solve, as rising construction costs and an increasingly complicated regulatory environment have made the business prospect for the construction of affordable homes unviable in many markets. The Trump Administration could, by providing supply-side solutions to our housing inventory challenges, inject a powerful boost to the industry and go a long way toward reversing the trend of decreasing homeownership rates across the country.

Financial Regulations
Members of the new administration have promised, and have already begun, an overhaul of our financial regulations. Many leaders in the housing finance industry, regardless of their political leanings, believe the market would benefit by some selective regulatory relief. While nobody wants a return to the irresponsible lending that proliferated in the last decade, pulling back on a few regulatory levers would stimulate demand, especially in a number of markets where an increase in qualified buyers is most needed.

Consumer Confidence
In the years following the Great Recession, many would-be homebuyers have been understandably cautious to leap back into the housing market. This has been especially true for our minority and millennial populations, whose introductions to the housing market were likely during the worst market conditions in a century. While the shortage of housing inventory has made this issue less noticeable, as the market continues to normalize, a shortage of buyers will become more problematic.
The new president could help improve this perspective by using his formidable promotional talents to advise the country that it is safe to get back into the housing market, and that purchasing a home is still one of the best ways to build wealth and improve your quality of life. Because purchasing a home is as much about emotion as anything else, one of the best things our new commander-in-chief can do for the housing industry is to also be the “cheerleader-in-chief” for buying a home. Given that housing represents about 16 percent of our overall economy, President Trump should have the appropriate motivation to do exactly that.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

BEWARE *** Short Sale Scams ***

While we all are concerned about cyber crime and identity theft, it appears taking someone’s money the old-fashioned way has reappeared in short sale scams in Southern California. The alleged scams appear to follow the same basic format.  A short sale agreement was entered into four to six months ago.  The buyer made an initial deposit in the $5,000 to $15,000 range into the listing broker’s non-independent broker escrow.  As with most short sales, the process takes several months and the selling agent is assured that the listing agent is working towards lender approval – it is just taking more time.  Then the communication slows down, the selling agent begins to get concerned and calls the listing broker’s escrow.  There is no answer and no return call and no other number to contact.

A case has been opened with the Long Beach Police Department, Financial Crimes Division.  The officer in charge is Detective Robert Ryan (562) 570-7391.  As of late December, there were approximately 20 victims.  However, the C.A.R. Hotline has received more than 15 calls since the first of the year which have been referred to the Long Beach Police.  The California Bureau of Real Estate is also aware of this case.

Additionally, the Los Angeles County Sheriff has made an arrest in what appears to be an identical scam involving at least 32 victims with a total loss of $498,000. To contact the LA Sheriff’s office call Detective Keith Clark at (562) 946-7217 or tips can be made anonymously at Crime Stoppers, (800) 222-TIPS (8477).

If you believe you or your buyer has fallen victim to a short sale scam, you should contact the police and the Bureau of Real Estate.

To protect short sale buyers going forward, remember to include a Short Sale Addendum (C.A.R. Form SSA) in the offer.  The default agreement in the SSA is that the buyer is not required to submit any deposit to escrow until three days after receiving all short sale lenders’ written approval.

To ensure the fidelity of contract and security f your deposit(s), make sure you enlist the service of a qualified and experienced Realtor.

I can assist you from setback to comeback ... to obtain answers to many initial questions, you can check out my webpage @ http://www.ShortSaleSully.com  and click on Short Sale Menu. Should you have any further questions, please call me at (760) 610-3245.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Rate hikes affecting First-time Buyers per RisMedia

First-time homebuyers are shying away from their plans to purchase this spring, according to a recently released report by realtor.com®, due to the surge in mortgage rates in the last two months of 2016. Though rates have deflated since the end of the year, they remain hovering above 4 percent—high enough to scare off first-timers this spring, now down to 44 percent from 55 percent in October.

“The rise in rates is associated with an anticipation of stronger economic and wage growth, both of which favor buyers,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com. “At the same time, higher rates make qualifying for a mortgage and finding affordable inventory more challenging. The decline in the share of first-time buyers since October suggests that the move-up in rates is discouraging new homebuyers already.”
First-time homebuyers affording a 20 percent down payment on a median-priced home at the current average 30-year rate would be responsible for an additional $720 in interest each year, according to realtor.com’s report.
Record-high home prices will tamp down first-time homebuyers, as well. The median list price in December 2016 matched the median list price in July 2016: $250,000. Inventory in December 2016, in addition, remained limited, setting the new year up with the lowest inventory since the recession. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) expects single-family construction to grow 10 percent in 2017.

The rise in rates is not stifling demand overall, though, according to realtor.com’s report—in fact, repeat homebuyer activity has continued, as buyers, uncertain about the future, take advantage of still-low rates. Consumers recently surveyed by Fannie Mae believe now is a good time to buy a home, but also believe mortgage rates will rise in the year ahead.

“Last fall, we saw a large jump in the number of first-timers planning home purchases, which was very encouraging because their market share is still well below pre-recession levels,” Smoke says. “But, as evidenced by their decline in share, first-time buyers are really dependent on financing, and affordability is one of their largest barriers to homeownership. This number could continue to decline with anticipated increases in interest rates and home prices.”

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

FHA reduces annual premiums for Private Mortgage Insurance on home loans ...


Check out this excerpt from the story reported by Reuters ... 

The U.S. Federal Housing Administration will reduce the annual premiums on mortgage insurance on home loans the agency insures by a quarter point on Jan. 27, it said on Monday.

The FHA projected homeowners it insures would save an average of $500 a year with the new premiums.

The lower premiums will come after mortgage rates recently hit their highest levels in over two years and the FHA's Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund has been recovering from the hit it took due to claims in the aftermath of the housing bust.

"After four straight years of growth and with sufficient reserves on hand to meet future claims, it’s time for FHA to pass along some modest savings to working families," Housing and Urban Development Secretary Juli├ín Castro said in a statement.

The agency, which is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, offers mortgage insurance, often to first-time home buyers and those with low income or below top-notch credit. The insurance protects lenders in case of defaults.

The premium reduction was projected to lower the cost of housing for about 1 million households that are expected to purchase a home or refinance their mortgages using FHA-insured financing in the coming year, according to HUD.

The planned cuts will lower FHA insurance premiums to 55 basis points from 80 basis points on mortgages with loan-to-value ratios of or below 95. Premiums on riskier mortgages will drop to 60 basis points from 85 basis points.

The move places FHA mortgage insurance premiums "basically back to the pre-crisis levels" of 50 to 55 basis points, the statutory floor, JPMorgan analysts wrote in a research note.

Roger's comment: So while the Fed raised rates, this reduction basically will offset that increase, at least for loans requiring Private Mortgage Insurance ...