December 31st, 2012
Just Released! New Aged Inventory list week of 2/10/12. All offers considered on these HUD Homes in CA
February 10th, 2012
January 11th, 2012
Q&A: Good Neighbor Next Door Sale
Question: What Is the Good Neighbor Next Door (GNND) Sales Program?
Answer: HUD wants to strengthen America’s communities. The Good Neighbor Next Door Program offers HUD owned single family (one-unit) homes to eligible participants at a 50% discount.
Question: Am I Eligible for the GNND Sales Program?
Answer: Law enforcement officers, teachers and firefighters/emergency medical technicians and who meet all other requirements of the program are eligible to purchase an available home.
Question: How Much of a Discount Can I Get on a HUD Home?
Answer: You can get a 50 percent discount off the HUD appraised value. For example, if HUD lists a home at $100,000, you can buy it for $50,000 provided, you occupy the home as your personal residence for the required occupancy period. If you qualify for any FHA-insured mortgage program, your downpayment is only $100 and you may finance closing costs.
Question: What Kind of Mortgage Financing Do I Need?
Answer: You may use FHA, VA, or conventional mortgages, or cash. HUD requires you to sign a Second Mortgage and Note on the discounted amount (which is $50,000 in the example above). No interest or payments are required on this “silent second” mortgage if you live in the home for the entire 36 month occupancy period. You may be required to pay a pro-rata portion of the discount to HUD should you fail to fulfill the three year occupancy requirement.
Question: What is the Occupancy Period?
You must live in the home as your sole residence for a full 36 months. The purpose of the program is to strengthen communities by encouraging employed, professional law enforcement officers, teachers and firefighters/emergency medical technicians to live in the community. You will have 30, 90 or 180 days to move into the home you purchase, depending on HUD’s determination of the condition of the home and the level of repairs that may be required, if any. The 30th, 90th or 180th day is the start date for the occupancy period. Your are released from all obligations under this program at the end of the 36th month following the start date. HUD views the occupancy obligation seriously and vigorously pursues violators to the fullest extent of the law.
Question: What Is an FHA Rehabilitation Mortgage and How Can It Help Me Buy a HUD Home?
Answer: The FHA 203(k) mortgage program helps homebuyers buy a home and have enough money to rehabilitate or repair it. Repairs must cost more than $5,000. The cost of the repairs and the mortgage are combined into a single monthly payment. Consider FHA?s 203(b) program if needed repairs are under $5,000. FHA also has a new Streamlined 203(k) program which may be useful.
Discuss these financing options with your lender!
Question: Can I Sell the GNND Home after 3-years and Keep the Profit?
Answer: Yes. After you live in the GNND home 3 years, you can sell the home and keep any equity and/or appreciation.
Question: Do I Have to Use a Real Estate Broker or Agent to Buy a GNND Home?
Question: Do I Have to Be a First Time Homebuyer to Take Advantage of the Program?
Answer: No. However, you may not own any other residential real property at the time you submit your offer to purchase a home and for one year previous to that date. For example, if you submit an offer to purchase a home on August 1, 2007, you may not have owned a home during the period from July 31, 2006.
Question: Where Are These Homes Located?
Answer: The HUD homes are located in designated Revitalization Areas. There are hundreds of Revitalization Areas located in the United States.
Question: Does HUD Provide a Home Warranty?
Answer: No. All GNND homes are sold “as is,” without any kind of warranty.
Question: Can I Buy Multiple Unit Properties (E.g., Duplexes, Triplexes, Etc.) through the Officer Next Door Program?
Answer: No. You can only buy single unit homes, townhouses, and condominiums through the GNND Program.
Question: Do I Have to Pay Earnest Money or Other Deposits in Order to Submit a Contract for a GNND Home?
Answer: Yes. The amount of the earnest money deposit required is an amount equal to one percent of the list price, but no less than $500 and no more than $2,000. HUD considers all offers to be a commitment to purchase a home if you are awarded the sale. Therefore, please carefully consider your offer and be aware of HUD’s policy on earnest money as stated here: If an offer is accepted, the earnest money deposit will be credited to the purchaser at closing. If the offer is rejected, the earnest money deposit will be returned. Earnest money deposits are subject to total forfeiture for failure of the participant to close a sale.
Question: Can I Bargain with HUD on the Price of a GNND Property?
Answer: No. You must offer the exact HUD list price when bidding on any GNND property. Then you get a 50 percent discount off of that list price.
Question: What if I Leave the employment, that made me eligible, for Any Reason, during the Mandatory 3-year Residency Period?
Answer: Nothing happens, but you must continue to live in the home for the full 36-month mandatory occupancy period. If you move out of the GNND home, you will have to repay HUD on a prorated schedule. In addition, you must certify that it is your good faith intention to remain employed as a law enforcement officer, teacher or firefighter/emergency medical technician for one year beginning with your purchase. Do no attempt to participate in the program if you know in advance that you will not be employed as required for at least one year.
Question: Some Agencies Have Other Homebuying Programs. Can the GNND Program Work in Conjunction with These?
Answer: Yes, as long as you can meet all the GNND program rules while participating in these other programs.
Question: What Happens if a Participant Fails to Honor the 3-year Occupancy Requirement?
Answer: HUD can demand repayment of the discounted amount on a prorated basis. That means you would have to repay 1/36th of the discount you received for each month that you did not occupy the home. HUD also may initiate administrative sanctions including, but not limited to, barring the officer from participating in any HUD/FHA programs, as well as other federal programs. In any case of fraud or abuse, HUD will refer the case to HUD’s Office of the Inspector General for investigation and possible criminal prosecution. HUD may also notify the officer’s employing agency. Criminal prosecution and conviction for fraud and abuse concerning the GNND Program can result in a fine of up to $250,000 and/or two years in federal prison.
Question: How Does HUD Enforce the 3-year Residency Requirement?
Answer: The participant must certify he or she is living in the GNND home as a sole residence at the time of purchase and each year after that. HUD can conduct spot checks to make sure the GNND home is your sole residence at any time during the 3-year period. You also must sign a note and mortgage for the discount amount. HUD may foreclose this mortgage if you do not comply with the 36-month occupancy requirement.
I already purchased a home under the GNND Program. Where can I get information about my second mortgage?
Information is available on the Good Neighbor Next Door Loan Servicing page.
Where can I get additional information?
Please call the FHA Resource Center.
April 28th, 2011
Back in 2008, a website called www.overseaspropertymall.com published the 10 most expensive homes in the world – 2008, they thought it would be a good idea to have a 2010 update of the list and so you can see how they compare for yourself. Anyway, here we go:
1. “Antilla”, Mumbai – $1billion
The world’s most expensive home in 2010 is unquestionable. It is the first $1 billion home the world has seen. A custom-build 27 story towering mansion, Antilla in Mumbai is the home of the world’s fifth richest man, namely Mukesh Ambani, head of Indian petro-chemical giant Reliance Industries, which is India’s most valuable firm by market capitalization.
With double height ceilings, ballrooms, crystal chandelier ceilings, retractable stages, and 600 servants, there is no other home on earth that compares to the 570 feet tall Antilla.
2. Villa Leopolda, Cote d’Azur France – $525 million.
Villa Leopolda is an 80,000 square foot Chateuau built in 1902 by King Leopold II of Belgium. The villa has been rumoured to be the home of Bill Gates and many more global figures, but has actually been home to French banker Edmond Safira, whose wife Lily still lives there. The 19 bedroom villa, which boasts sports courts, a bowling alley, multiple kitchens, dining rooms and a movie theatre, received even more press lately when a Russian mogul lost his deposit on the property when he reneged on completing the sale.
3. One Hyde Park – The Penthouse, London – $200 million
This massively stylish modern penthouse may not be so expensive did it not sit atop the famous number 1 Hyde Park address. As it is in such a premium location it has been built as a home for the rich and famous complete with SAS guard, bullet proof windows, iris scanners, panic rooms and a secret tunnel to the nearby Mandarin Hotel. The building has communal spas, squash courts and wine tasting rooms, and the penthouse is served by 24 hour room service.
4. Fairfield Pond, The Hamptons – $170 million
This 63 acre home is considered the largest residential compound in America. The 29 bedroom beachfront home of publicity shy billionaire Ira Rennert has 5 sports courts, a bowling alley and a $150,000 hot tub.
5. Hearst Mansion, Beverly Hills – $165 million
This mansion — the former home of publishing giant William Randolph Hearst, the inspiration for the main character in “Citizen Kane” –, features 29 bedrooms and three pools. The estate became a pop-culture icon after being used in The Godfather movie, when the infamous severed horse’s head turned up in the owner’s bed. The fact that assassinated President John F Kennedy stayed in the mansion during his honeymoon also added to its status. The house has some notable neighbours, including Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and David and Victoria Beckham
6. Franchuk Villa, Kensington – $161million
Anyone else spotting a trend here (the most expensive homes being mainly in the UK and US, this making it 2 all). This Victorian Villa was a girl’s prep school until 1997, when it was bought and upgraded in 2006. After receiving a £10 million overhaul and refurb it was purchased by Ukrainian AIDS philanthropist, Elena Franchuk, and renamed the Franchuk Villa.
7. “The Pinnacle”, Montana – $155million
This is the home of Time and Edra Blixseth, owners of the billionaires-only golf and ski resort “Yellowstone Club” in Montana. It will be the largest and grandest property on the resort, but is still small in comparison to some of those on this list, with only 10 bedrooms. To catch up the property has impressive features such as every inch of floor being heated, a heated driveway and fireplaces in all bathrooms. (3-2 to America).
8. “The Manor”, Los Angeles – $150 million
The home of Aaron Spelling, dubbed “The Manor” by wife Cindy, has 123 rooms for his family to choose from, an indoor skating rink, multiple pools, three kitchens, sports courts, private orchard, and a bowling alley. The home, which he had built from scratch in 1991 also has a room used exclusively for wrapping presents and an entire floor dedicated to closet space.
9. Updown Court, Windlesham, Surrey – $139million
The description of this home is above, as it was the 3rd most expensive home in 2008. What is interesting however, is that in 2008 it was valued at $110million, meaning its value has grown substantially even during such difficult financial times.
10. Dracula’s Castle, Romania – $135million
This home needs no introduction. Built in the 14th century, the castle is now a national monument and museum thanks to the legend surrounding it, which also needs no introduction. It has 57 rooms in total, including 17 bedrooms filled with antiques and historical artefacts. It wouldn’t do for the publicly shy Ira Rennert mentioned above, but for the quirkier billionaire, the 450 million tourists that visit every year may be worth it for living in Dracula’s castle.
And there you have it folks, now that is what I would call “Prime Real Estate.”
April 27th, 2011
Sacramentans struggling to keep their homes increasingly are suing their lenders for fraud, even though judges rarely rule in their favor.
Desperation has led some of these homeowners to pay thousands of dollars to people who are not lawyers to help prepare their cases. Others hire attorneys in lawsuit mills that aggressively solicit for clients.
“It’s the new scam,” said Tom Layton, an investigator for the State Bar of California.
The number of lawsuits filed by individuals against banks and mortgage companies in the Sacramento region has more than doubled, rising to about 250 in the last six months, up from about 115 from the same period two years ago, according to a Bee review of court records in Sacramento and Placer counties.
Many of the lawsuits are filed by frustrated owners tired of dealing with banks that repeatedly transfer calls or reject loan modifications after a successful trial.
But homeowners don’t always know what they’re getting into when they go to court. Some unscrupulous operators, Layton said, are charging large fees for little work.
The Legislature barred lawyers and non-lawyers alike from charging upfront fees to file a loan modification; however, there is no ban on collecting such fees for preparing a lawsuit.
“Now we’re seeing the loan mod people morph into the sue-your-bank people,” Layton said.
Stephen C. Ruehmann, a Folsom lawyer who has filed dozens of recent lawsuits against lenders, agreed that some people are taking advantage of homeowner desperation. Others, though, are fighting for homeowners who have no other recourse.
“(Banks) don’t have any motivation to change; they’ve already been bailed out,” Ruehmann said.
Local judges, though, have traditionally been resistant to these types of fraud claims. In Sacramento County, 20 of the 24 homeowners who sued their lenders in Superior Court during a six-month period exactly two years ago have since lost their homes, according to court records and Foreclosures.com, a tracking firm.
Thirteen of those homeowners represented themselves in court; twelve of the 13 have lost their homes.
Despite that record, the trend of homeowners representing themselves has accelerated. More than 50 local residents who filed lawsuits during the past six months don’t have counsel.
“It’s a sad situation,” said Lawrence Green, professor of law at the University of California, Davis. “People not represented by a lawyer face a much harder time prevailing.”
Man paid paralegal $5,500
Sacramento resident Charles Ratliff is among those going it alone. He paid a Southern California paralegal $5,500 to prepare a complaint against IndyMac and others.
He filed his complaint in January. A judge denied his request for an order to stop the foreclosure, saying he was unlikely to win his case. The bank repossessed his house in March.
Ratliff said he regrets filing his lawsuit, which has sat dormant since he lost his home. “I fault myself,” he said.
He said he was introduced to the paralegal, Camilla Williams, by Sacramento real estate agent Kathleen Petroff, who was working with him on a short sale.
Petroff said she also introduced another one of her clients, Bay Area resident Clifton Constantine, to Williams, but never vouched for the paralegal’s services. She said she took a one-time payment of $200 from Williams but turned down an offer from Williams to pay her $500 per referral.
“I told them all, ‘It’s your own choice,’ ” Petroff said of her clients.
Reached by phone, Constantine said Williams wanted more than he could afford to prepare a lawsuit against American Home Mortgage Servicing and North American Title Co.
“She said, ‘Cliff, I’ve been praying about this and I want to help you guys,’ ” he said.
Even with an initial discount, Constantine said he wound up paying Williams more than $20,000 for his case in San Francisco Superior Court. The judge issued a preliminary ruling for Constantine’s lenders, but has given him a chance to amend his complaint.
Jim Towery, the State Bar’s chief trial counsel, said people without a law license should not be preparing lawsuits. “It is illegal,” he said. “It falls under the category of the unlicensed practice of law.”
In a brief phone interview, Williams declined to answer questions about her business, including how many clients she has or where she received paralegal training.
“I haven’t done anything illegal,” she said.
When informed of Towery’s comments, Williams said, “I’m not even aware of any law like that.”
While homeowners such as Ratliff and Constantine have tried to fight the banks on their own in court, others have turned to law firms that specialize in such cases.
Sacramento resident Maria Montoya-Cano, for instance, has been paying $1,500 a month to the Roseville-based United Law Center to pursue a fraud case against her lender.
Montoya-Cano, who filed her case in late October, alleges her mortgage officer and bank incorrectly told her the only loan she could get had an adjustable rate. That rate has since reset to an untenable level, she said.
The bank that gave her the loan went under in 2008. Her original mortgage broker said her case lacks merit.
A judge recently ruled against her request for an injunction against the current holders of her loan, saying Montoya-Cano’s case has little chance of success.
So Montoya-Cano has filed for bankruptcy protection to save her home. She’s selling a few rental properties she owns at rock-bottom prices to help pay her legal bills and other debts. She’s also taking care of her ailing mother and preparing for the return of her Marine son from Afghanistan.
“He told me not to worry – that he would find a job and help me out,” she said.
Montoya-Cano said she is happy with United Law Center’s representation. Her lawyer did not return a call for comment. Asked why she continues to pursue her case, Montoya-Cano said, “I’m just not through fighting. We can’t let the banks get away with this.”
False claims usually alleged
Lawsuits against lenders generally are based on the same argument: Banks and mortgage brokers made false claims during the boom, telling borrowers they could easily refinance their loans before interest rates reset, or didn’t disclose the true terms of loans.
The lawsuits often allege that lenders knew these statements were untrue, but were interested in making a quick buck by selling the mortgage on the secondary market.
Some of the lawsuits also allege that banks set conditions for trial loan modifications, then denied those modifications even after borrowers met the conditions.
Legal experts contacted by The Bee said it’s hard to prove fraud claims, even though dubious lending practices were widespread during the real estate boom.
“After all, borrowers typically did sign loan applications, escrow instructions, promissory notes, trust deeds and disclosures,” said Green, the UC Davis law professor.
Another obstacle facing borrowers is that it’s tough to prove a fraud conspiracy between the mortgage brokers, banks and investors.
Even if a bank committed fraud while giving a loan, the investors who bought that loan on the secondary market aren’t liable if they didn’t have direct knowledge of the fraud, said John Sprankling, a professor at the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law.
And if the loan holders aren’t liable, the homeowner likely doesn’t have a shot of keeping the house.
The response of banks to these lawsuits is often uniform. They say that even if everything in the complaint is true, it doesn’t constitute fraud. They file a request, usually successful, to dismiss the case or deny an injunction keeping the bank from taking a home.
Michael P. Malloy, a McGeorge professor, said judges may be more amenable to fraud lawsuits after a spate of “robo-signing” scandals revealed some lenders’ shoddy foreclosure practices.
“The courts are going to take their time and not treat these cases as routine,” Malloy said.
But, like other legal experts, Malloy cautioned that proving mortgage fraud takes a lot of work, and is tough to do without records outlining false promises.
“If all you have is a batch of paperwork and a vague recollection of what someone said to you, you have a real tough road ahead,” he said.
March 24th, 2011
Sacramento County home sales hovered around seasonal norms for the second month in a row, but the median price fell again as investors snapped up distressed properties, according to figures released Thursday by market watcher DataQuick Information Systems.
Sales in Sacramento County rose 6.3 percent in February compared to the same month of 2010, the La Jolla-based researcher said. This is the second straight month that sales were up when compared to the prior year. They’re only down about 5 percent from the monthly average of the past two decades.
However, the median price for those sales was $157,000 -the lowest level since September 2000, when the median was $154,000. The median price for resale detached homes was $160,000 -equaling the median in spring 2009, when the full impact of the foreclosure crisis hit the market.
The low median but steady sales are largely the result of investors snapping up distressed assets in foreclosure and short sales, said Andrew LePage, a DataQuick analyst.
“There are so many people out there bargain hunting still,” LePage said.
About 34.7 percent of February sales went to absentee owners — the highest percentage since 2000 when DataQuick started tracking such figures. A record number of buyers — 39 percent — paid cash. That compares to an average of 13.3 percent since 1988.
February 18th, 2011
The definition of the word character is: Features and traits that form the individual nature of a person; the moral or ethical quality of a person. Did you ever ask yourself….what makes us who we are? Do we remember the events throughout our life that made us who we are and shaped our character?
I believe defining oneself is difficult. Am I the way I am because of my genes? How about my personality and where did that come from? What about parents, family life and culture? Could society be a factor? Education? Do we ever stop becoming who we are?
Trying to define one’s self can bring about many interesting memories.
To this day, I actually remember playing at daycare with my brother and the other children. I credit my babysitter with giving me courage. I remember playing with my younger brother and I thank him for teaching me love. I have been a fairly independent person and I thank my father for that trait. And, my mother, I thank her for many things, but her greatest influence was purpose. She would refer to the 211 degree theory. 211 degrees is hot water – adding one more degree to that water can power a locomotive! Be your best, have a purpose.
Along with my Cousin Mike and his wife, Randi, I recently attended this year’s super bowl in Texas and made some great memories while rooting on our team, the Green Bay Packers. As I reflect on the time I have spent with Mike over the years, I realize that he has been such a great mentor to me, and the time I have spent with him has helped develop the best parts of the man I am today. Mike is an entrepreneur with a strong sense of leadership. Every time we converse, I learn something – he helps me grow by sharing his ideas and experience. Both Mike and Randi have inspired me to one day have a family as wonderful as theirs. I thank Mike and Randi for the super bowl memories, but most importantly, I thank them for helping shape my character.
Today, I want to thank all of you who made me …….ME. All of you have played a huge role in what makes me ME.
Take a few minutes this week to remember fond memories of people and experiences that have shaped you into the person you are today. Take time to thank those who are, or have been, a part of your life. Call that special high school teacher or that coach that positively influenced your life. What about your former neighbor from long ago, or your uncle who you haven’t talked to for such a long time?
The more we reflect on the people and experiences that have helped shape who we are, the better we can define what makes us the best of who we are today.
Here is a video that my marketing department did on my cousin, it is pretty funny.
February 15th, 2011
I was doing a video for Realtor Magazine 30 under 30 and obviously I continued to mess up…… Well my field inspector made a video blooper of me and my assistant Jennifer. What a crack up, hope you enjoy as much as we did.
This is the remix video he made. Thanks Nate!
January 29th, 2011
To apply for this position you need to do 2 things:
- Phone into 916-235-7005 and leave a message on why you think you will be a fit for our team and what value you have to add.
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a statement of qualifications to include the following:
- Current Location (Sacramento, Elk Grove, Roseville, etc.)
- Years in Real Estate
- Where do you hold your license currently?
- Have you ever worked with a team?
- Do you have any ethics violations with DRE?
- Do you have a data base, and if so how many people are in it?
- Tell us something about yourself that we would not know?
January 17th, 2011