Archive for the 'rachel lamar' Category
This is the first in a series of blogs that will focus on the happenings at local parks. Poinsettia Park, a beautiful 42 acre sprawling park located in South Carlsbad between Poinsettia Lane and Palomar Airport Road, just off Hidden Valley Road, is a busy place right now!
If you have driven by the park lately you may have noticed a lot of big dirt movers, men in hard hats and safety cones. Currently two new parking areas are being installed at the park, to be completed shortly. This is part of the master plan for the park and will be welcome by park users, especially during baseball games, heavy tennis times and summer concerts in the park.
Recently Poinsettia Park completed an addition of seven new tennis courts just over a year ago, bringing the total to ten lighted courts. Two years ago the tot play area was rehabilitated. The park also has lighted basketball courts, barbeque areas, walking/running trails throughout, lighted baseball fields, childrens’ play areas and a synthetic turf athletic field. It is the largest public tennis complex in the City of Carlsbad. In the summer Poinsettia Park is one of the parks to host Friday jazz concerts in the park.
The master plan for Poinsettia Park includes the addition of a Recreation Center (much like the one at Stagecoach Park), but due to current economic conditions that is on the back burner for now.
Many local residents, myself included, have wondered whether Poinsettia Park will ever open a dog park area. Well, according to a representative from the Parks and Rec Department for the City of Carlsbad, that is not planned for the immediate future. The closest city dog park is located Ann D. L’Heureaux Dog Park, just off of Carlsbad Village Drive, east of El Camino Real.
If any dog lovers are interested in working with me to petition the City Council for the addition of a dog park at a South Carlsbad Park, such as Poinsettia, Aviara, or other parks, please contact me! Carlsbad is not as dog friendly as some other San Diego cities, and it would be wonderful to help the City Council to lean toward correcting that.
Poinsettia Park is a beautiful park and has something for everyone, including many places to relax. Be sure to check my website soon for a review of more Carlsbad Parks! http://RachelLaMarRealEstate.com
The newest program in the Federal arsenal to help homeowners who are facing foreclosure is called the Deed for Lease program. Created by Fannie Mae, this program will allow homeowners to essentially become tenants in their homes for 12 month periods (including the possibility of renewal at the end of the lease). In exchange for this right the homeowner will agree to deed the home back to the lender, as well as other requirements. It is basically a deed in lieu of foreclosure, but with substantial benefits to the homeowner.
Here are the requirements in a nutshell:
1. The primary mortgage must be financed by Fannie Mae (they finance about 31 million home loans so there is a good chance they finance yours)
2. Borrowers must live in their home as a primary residence
3. Any secondary mortgage holders must agree to release the borrower from loan obligations (this I see as the biggest challenge to this program)
4. Rental rates will be fixed at market rates but no more than 31% of the renter’s gross income (another potential problem, since 31% of gross income may be less than market rental rates)
As I indicated in the parenthesis above, there are issues with this program that will need to be ironed out. While it sounds great in theory it may not effectively help many. It will depend a great deal on the second lien holders willingness to forgive debt (and if short sales are any indication this may be an issue–the reason many short sales do not go through is BECAUSE second lien holders are not willing to forgive the debt and walk away).
It is clear that the Feds are continuing to try to help struggling homeowners, but to what extent this new program will work remains to be seen. If anything it is another avenue that a desperate homeowner can try. If you are interested in what other options may be available to you please email me for a download of my book, Mortgage Walkaway Options, at [email protected]
More great news for home buyers…late Wednesday that Senate unanimously extended the $8000 first time buyer tax credit, also expanding it to include a $6500 tax credit to all buyers who are not first time home buyers. The new deadline will be April 30, 2010.
The current tax credit program was scheduled to expire on November 30, 2009. Under both bills buyers need to be in the earning bracket of $125,000 or less as an individual and $225,000 or less as a couple to qualify for either credit. The new home cannot cost more than $800,000.
The expansion credit to all non-first-time home buyers also requires the move-up buyers to have lived in their current home for at least 5 years before purchasing a new home.
The House still must approve the credit expansion but is expected to do so. The President is also expected to sign the bill.
The dreaded short sale…you find a property at a great price, make an offfer, and wait. Many times the bank takes months to respond, creating frustration among buyers, sellers and agents. I personally groan when I pull up properties for clients and see they are short sales; although I do show them to my buyers I tell them up-front that it could be a long time until the bank responds to their offer, so not to give up searching for other properties.
As a lisitng agent of short sales I feel I have a little more control, but only because I am willing to bombard the lender daily–multiple times a day if necessary–to get paperwork and answers. But as agents dealing with these types of properties know, every lender has it’s own policies and every short sale can be dramatically different from the previous one...but maybe not for long.
The newest buzz is that one of the largest lenders, Bank of America, is switching over to a new short sale system that will make the process easier for everyone involved. They are doing this via an electronic platform that will allow them to streamline the process, eliminating mounds of paperwork files for each transaction.
Timelines will be streamlined and everyone involved in the transaction will be working in real time to get the offers accepted and close the transaction in the time it takes for a normal sale to go through. Parties to the transaction will be able to log into they system to see status updates electronically 24 hours a day. The electonic platform will also automate decision-making for the lender, handle offer approvals in a speedy fashion and comply with all government programs.
It seems lenders have finally figured out what we agents have been screaming for years: that short sales benefit THEM too! They save the lender money and time, and get a property off the lender’s books; after all, the lender does not want to own all these homes. Short sales are a win-win for everyone involved.
As with most great ideas, hopefully other lenders will play follow-the-leader and make short sales a pleasant experiences for everyone.
Did all the complaining work? It appears that the controversial Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC)–an appraisal system that was the brainchild of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and caused much aggravation amongst Realtors, home buyers and sellers, mortgage brokers and appraisers–may be thrown out the window.
The House Financial Services Committee approved a bipartisan amendment last week that would terminate the Code and replace it with a new set of rules and creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency. The new rules would apparently not be as confining upon appraisers, a problem that caused many property appraisals to come in exceedingly low, which in turn caused many home purchase deals to fall out of escrow.
The purpose of HVCC was to give independence to home appraisers. It created a slew of appraisal management companies, used by many lenders, who would in turn pay the appraisers a fee to work an appraisal. Oftentimes these fees were low and less than appraisers normally made.
Many appraisers were obtained from out of the area, which unfortunately meant that they were often unfamiliar with the neighborhoods in which they were working, AND they sometimes lacked experience (as established, experienced appraisers would not work for such reduced wages).
Furthermore, these management companies would then charge all or a portion of the appraisal fee to the home purchaser, making a nice profit in the end. These factors caused many escrows to be delayed, and others even fell through because the value did not match comparably sold properties.
Over the last several months the National Association of Realtors, the National Association of Home Builders and the the National Association of Mortgage Brokers have been standing behind member complaints to push for changes to the HVCC. It seems to be finally working. If the new rules come into play the housing market should be able to continue on the road to recovery.
Just goes to show you how DOING SOMETHING makes a difference!