Lenders & Loan info

Consider Paying Property Taxes Early – Big Tax Changes are Coming to Town

Posted on December 23, 2017. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Los Angeles property, Making Life Easier, OC Property Management, Orange County Real Estate |

As you’re hearing on the news and seeing on social media…the way we are taxed and the things we can write off will be changing a lot within this next year! As a Realtor I can’t legally give tax advice…. so I’ll preface this post by saying it’s best to consult your CPA before the end of every year¬†and be a proactive advocate for the lowest possible taxes! If you need a CPA referral, just ask ūüėČ

That said, we wanted to make sure our CA friends and clients were aware of this before the end of 2017 – which is fast approaching!

GOP Tax Bill

The LA Times wrote about changes the GOP tax bill will have for California residents. The wealthier areas along the coast are going to suffer more than others due to this. Currently, state and local tax deduction is unlimited. However, in the final GOP plan, people will only be able to deduct up to $10,000. At the beginning the house only wanted the deduction to be on property taxes, but the final bill is for any state and local taxes to be deducted. Property, income, or sales taxes will qualify. An article from The Washington Post says, “The move is widely viewed as a hit to blue states such as New York, Connecticut and California, and there are concerns it could cause property values to fall in high-tax cities and leave less money for public schools and road repairs.” Since the average California homeowner pays 10K or more per year in property taxes, this affects YOU.

Pay Early & Still Get Your Deduction

How can you stay safe from the deduction cap? One way is to pay your second installment of your property taxes (which are usually due in April) before the end of the 2017 year so that you can avoid the amount restriction for 2018 deductions. You can pay online, by e-check, or credit card.

What if My Taxes Are Impounded Into My Mortgage?

If you call and check, most lenders won’t be able to guarantee the payment will get sent before the end of the year, but don’t worry…you’re still ok. You can simply pay your property tax online and then just send the proof of payment over to your lender for an escrow account refund. That way you can still write off your full property tax and state income tax before you get stuck only being able to write off $10k combined next year.

Stay Proactive…Stay Informed

We want you to know that we reply to all Real Estate tax alerts on our client’s behalf. We care about you and want you to get maximum benefits from being a homeowner. Here’s a recent reply from Luis Correa to one of our requests:


Ultimately we all need to watch elections big and small to fight taxes together! Please subscribe to our blog or email us to join the list for regular updates on how to protect your real estate investments.

We hope you have a Happy & prosperous 2018!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Hot Topic: FHA or Conventional Loan?

Posted on September 22, 2017. Filed under: Conventional Loan, FHA loans, First Time Buyer help, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , |

Wondering which home loan will be best for you? Here’s some helpful tips

Lots of buyers have been questioning which loan is best for them and their situation. Honestly, it does depend on just that – your situation. We have put together some information on both of these loan options to make it easier for you to decide what you think is best for yourself! Some of the biggest, but most simple differences between FHA and conventional loans are based on their guidelines and who can apply for them. FHA loans are government backed programs that require a minimum 3.5% down payment. These loans tend to be best for borrowers with lower credit than necessary to apply for a conventional loan.

Conventional loans are open-market and are geared for people with a higher credit score, typically near 700 or higher. Rates tend to be a bit lower, and in most cases no Mortgage Insurance is required.

FHA used to be a much more expensive option, but after FHA MIP reductions in 2015 it is now a real competitor. However, FHA can tend to be more strict in requirements than a conventional loan is.

What does an FHA Loan Require?

FHA loans require homes to have the following in good working order:

  • stove
  • heat
  • functioning roof
  • locking doors and windows
  • non-lead based paint

If you are looking to buy a condo… it can only be in a FHA approved community. So if you are choosing FHA, you may have less home options available to you. FHA loans also require you to purchase mortgage insurance which protects the lenders from a loss. In January of 2015, the FHA reduced the annual mortgage insurance premium on a 30 year fixed rate from 1.35 % to 0.85% of the loan balance. This is leading to huge savings for many who want a condo but just don’t have the larger down payment.


Okay, so which home loan should you choose?

There isn’t one specific answer that fits everybody. It all depends on you, your needs and wants, and what you can afford to choose. If you plan on owning your home for 6-10 years and you don’t mind refinancing to cancel your mortgage insurance you might choose FHA. If you can put 5% down, you plan on keeping your home for 10-20 years and you don’t like the idea of paying mortgage insurance for thirty years you may choose conventional!

If you are looking into buying a home and need help finding one along with deciding which loan option is best for you – we can help! We work with a lot of amazing lender contacts locally here in Orange County that we would love to set you up with. We like to match-make our clients with lenders that we think will benefit them the most. Depending on your personality, wants/needs, and what kind of loan you are interested in all helps us decide which lender will be best for you! Fill out the form below or contact Angie at 949-338-7408 for more information ūüôā


Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

INVITATION: Citrus College Home Fair

Posted on April 10, 2017. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County things to do | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Interested in buying a home in Southern California but don’t know how? Would you like safe and solid info on Real Estate Investing or Market reports and trends? We’ve got you covered with free sessions at Citrus College on April 23rd.

The event will be held from 11am Р3pm with an hour lunch break. There are 3 different sessions, each with 4 classes to choose from ranging from flipping to first time buying. We feel honored to be asked to teach 2 classes РInvesting and Market Report. Come join us and learn how to buy real estate! The first 100 registrations receive a free lunch on Citrus Real Estate Club Рjust sign up below.


Yes, sign me up for Citrus College’s Home Fair on April 23rd!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

How to Buy an Orange County Home with 1% Down

Posted on March 23, 2017. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , , |

We believe everyone, EVERYONE, deserves to own a home!! So what’s your¬†biggest obstacle to get there?

Down payment funds?! Probably!

We don’t live in a society that saves money, so how can you buy a home if you’re savings account isn’t 5 figures or more? There’s a way, and we wanted to let you know you have options!

Orange County Down Payment Assistance Programs

A great resource to reach out to for housing grants and financial help is NeighborWorks Orange County. The NeighborWorks website lists lots of really great programs – here’s a flyer¬†to check out just a few:


For your convenience, income limits for each program are color coded at the bottom of this sheet. NeighborWorks is located in Orange, and they’re always coming up with a new program or a way to help you improve credit, budget, and your overall financial picture.¬†Here’s a link to their homebuyer classes, given in various languages ūüôā

In order to learn about everything this great nonprofit¬†has, it’s best to attend a workshop. They also have an online or in house course¬†you can take to get¬†fully equipped to buy a home. It does cost a nominal fee, but you get your money back when you provide your closing statement within 12 months. How cool is that?!??

If you’re the type of person who wants to work with a charity FIRST,¬†or if you just don’t have a down payment and you need help, reach out by texting 949-338-7408 or filling out the form below, and we’ll put you in touch with NeighborWorks so you can get on the affordable path to homeownership!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Become an Automatic Millionaire Homeowner

Posted on November 29, 2016. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Short Sales | Tags: , , , , , , |

Ever wonder how people really come up in real estate? It doesn’t require a huge amount of capital, brains, or hard work. The process is surprisingly simple, and we’ll teach you the jist in just half an hour.


The best thing about becoming a millionaire homeowner is that anyone can do it.

Learn How at Homeownership Day Jan 14th, 2017

We’ll teach you the simple process based off David Bach’s “Automatic Millionaire Homeowner” book in an easy, 1/2 hour session at Chapman University from 12:15 – 12:45pm.

This is a class for normal people who would like to do extraordinary things in real estate while maintaining their existing lifestyle, career, and family.

The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner is not a¬†get-rich-quick scheme; everything is done on your individual timeline, and without a membership in some expensive group or school. The only money you spend will be on real estate itself. Simple concepts that once applied, will bring you huge returns regardless of where you own property. And the younger you have this knowledge and you start…the better.

Register below for this free event – space is limited!

ochfgraphicMore about Homeownership Day / OC Home Fair

This yearly event is a collaborative between Chapman University, Orange County Young Professionals Network, OC Register, and non-profits VAREP and NeighborWorks OC designed to bring you honest real estate information with no pressure or gimmicks.

There will be 4 different sessions, each with 5 classes to choose from. Attendees enjoy a ‘choose your own adventure’ style and pick the classes that interest them most. Instructors are all active experts in the industry volunteering their time to benefit our community. Visit www.OCHomeFair.com for the full class list and session times.

Where: Chapman University’s Beckman Hall 1 University Dr, Orange, CA 92866
When: January 14th, 2017 from 10am – 1pm
Cost: free

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Orange County All Inclusive Trust Deeds (AITDs)

Posted on November 8, 2016. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County Short Sales | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

loan-denialWhat is an AITD? An All Inclusive Trust Deed¬†is basically when the buyer takes over the seller’s existing loan.¬†And NO, it doesn’t have¬†to be an¬†‘assumable loan’ … The current¬†lender is actually not even notified!

Who Are Good Candidates for AITDs?

As a buyer, you could use AITD¬†as an avenue¬†if you cannot qualify for a traditional loan. If you’re a seller, it’s an option if you don’t want to short sale, or if you have a fabulous¬†loan that you would like to transfer to a family member. Another time an AITD could save the day is if you are a seller and your HOA is in litigation, or there is some type of situation causing purchase loans in your community to get denied.

How do AITD Transactions Work?

With an AITD, most¬†aspects¬†are the same as a normal Orange County real estate transaction. Instead of a traditional lender involved, the escrow company draws up the paperwork and usually collects the payments as ‘the manager’, which they then send over to the existing lender on buyer & seller’s behalf.

AITD allows you to make your own qualification rules, which is pretty neat! You don’t necessarily have to worry about credit history, scores, or capital gains taxes (if it’s not your primary¬†residence) should you go this route.

If you’re thinking of doing an AITD, make sure to record the grant deed as well. It’s better for everyone. Especially if you are the buyer, because then you can technically write off the mortgage interest.

A great company to use for this process locally in OC is Mission Country Escrow. Katie the owner spoke to us about it today, and they have been doing AITD’s in Orange County for 30 years. If you’re thinking of doing one, definitely¬†reach out to them.

Questions To Ask When Doing an AITD

  1. Loan amount: is it a ‘mirror image’ of the seller’s current loan, or if not, what interest rate will be charged?
  2. Down payment: is the buyer putting funds down, and if so, how much?
  3. Length: what is the length of the AITD and are there any extension options?
  4. HOA: does the property have a Homeowner’s Association?
  5. Commissions & closing costs: is the typical ‘each to pay own’ presiding, or who is paying?
  6. Loans: how many does the seller currently have, and are they all current?

All Inclusive Trust Deed Risks

Of course, there are plenty of risks too. Technically, the lender could call the loan due & payable because the owner transferred. However, the chances of that happening (unless there’s a late payment) are very slim.

Furthermore, we had Steve Fink, real estate attorney discuss advantages & disadvantages of AITD. Honestly, there are a ton of risks involved, and these AITD transactions should be done only in very special cases and with extreme caution. Always use a professional, and get your facts!

If you’d like a personal introduction or have questions about AITD’s, just call Angie at 949-338-7408, tweet @AngieWeeks, or fill out the form below – we’ll be sure to connect you with trusted professionals to protect your interest!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

TRID – What Consumers Need to Know

Posted on November 9, 2015. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , |

clock-runningTRID is the TILA / RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule which is designed to help consumers understand the mortgage and real estate buying process more thoroughly.

How to most industry people see it? TRID is dirt spelled backwards ūüôā It’s a pretty big change and it’s causing delays. We’re annoyed.

45 is the new 30. That’s what everyone’s saying about an escrow timeline. In order to close in 30 days, everything has to flow perfectly. Now be honest, how often does that happen???

In this perfect world…Escrow needs to get the fee sheet over the day the lender requests it.

Furthermore, disclosures need to go out immediately, and the appraisal needs to be ordered pronto. Before loan docs, well pretty much before anything, a CD (Closing Disclosure) needs to get out to the borrower. The best lenders right now are providing this digitally, and those who aren’t (*ahem* B of A, Chase, Wells) have a closing timeframe of 60+ days, which is completely unacceptable. ¬†Every time something big changes, a new Closing Disclosure must go out and there is a 3 day mandatory waiting period. There’s no more room for sloppy documents and slow turnaround for paperwork. Having a good real estate team (title, escrow, lender, and Realtor) who all communicate is crucial more than ever with these TRID guidelines.

Delays can be caused by any one or more of these simple elements within the escrow process:

  • HOA dues
  • HOA transfer fees
  • HOA move in/out fee
  • Sewer lateral
  • Roof inspection
  • Pest inspection
  • Security deposit transfers
  • Insurance Certification costs
  • Prorated rents
  • Seller rent backs
  • Mobile signing fees
  • POA preparation fees
  • Subordination prep fees
  • Draw deed fees
  • Buyer paid Realtor commission
  • Repair credits
  • Carbon monoxide detectors missing

Inspections should be done as soon as possible to avoid any of the above issues. Changing lenders in the middle of the deal now undoes the entire timeline and forces everyone to start over.  You need to interview your lenders and have your team in place BEFORE escrow starts. Call us if you need referrals for competent lenders here in Orange County.

If you’re already in escrow with another team, make¬†sure your agent orders Home Warrantee, all disclosures and inspections right away, and is in good touch with the lender. These are all standard practice already with the AskAngie team.

As a seller, you can help too. Right when you open escrow, call the management company right away with the credit card info and order your HOA documents. They are famously one of the slowest moving parts of an escrow so it should be addressed on day 1.

If you have any comments or questions about working with the new normal and TRID, don’t hesitate to call 949-338-7408, comment below, or tweet @AngieWeeks¬†!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Reverse Mortgages in Orange County – Love it or Leave it?

Posted on October 27, 2015. Filed under: Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info | Tags: , , , , , , |

Reverse Mortgage Answers orange countyWe’ve all heard good and bad about the reverse mortgage market, so today I went to a class given by Dirk Pierce with Retirement Funding Solutions at the OC Register building to find out more information. Knowledge is power, right?! Plus it’s not fair to¬†form an opinion about something until the proper research and due diligence is done.

What is a Reverse Mortgage?

Basically, a reverse mortgage lets homeowners convert a portion of the equity in their homes into cash, and eliminate their monthly mortgage payments.

Interestingly enough, Reverse Mortgages are over 100 years old, and they are also available in Britain, Chile, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Korea. They were designed to help people who where house rich and cash poor, and were also known as ‘shared equity’. Fast forward to 1989, and Ronald Reagan helped to create the first government regulated Reverse Mortgage plans under the FHA umbrella.

Another variation of a reverse mortgage is HECM for Purchase; both share similiar features:

  • Both are FHA
  • Neither¬†have monthly payment requirements
  • Both offer adjustable or fixed rates

You’ll use HECM for purchase when you are planning to buy a new property, for example¬†to downsize, etc. ¬†Reverse Mortgage is when you stay in your existing home, and simply refinance.

HECM for purchase is an FHA loan that enables a person age 62+ to purchase a home with as little as 40% to 51% down and never make monthly mortgage payments. ¬†So basically you can get a 500K home for 250K and never make payments if you meet the age requirements. BUT….interest still accrues on your mortgage balance. The nice thing about the programs is they come with the following protections:

  • Guarantee that FHA will honor the terms of the loan if the lender becomes insolvent
  • Guarantee that you would never owe more than the house was worth
  • Guarantee that there is no personal liability for repayment of the loan by you or your heirs. It is truly a non-recourse loan.
  • Guarantees that the loan won’t become due until the last remaining borrower leaves the home.

Frequently there is remaining equity in the home…what happens with that? After the home is sold,¬†any remaining equity goes to the heirs.

Do you qualify for a reverse mortgage?

  • minimal credit requirements
  • minimal debt to income ratios

What types of properties are allowed?

  • single family
  • PUD
  • 1-4 unit property
  • FHA approved condo
  • new construction
  • NOT second homes or investment properties, sorry!

More reverse mortgage facts:

  • Only YOUR name is on the title, so don‚Äôt believe the rumors that the bank is on title.
  • The loan becomes due when the last remaining borrower leaves the home.
  • You can sell whenever you want to, and they do not have a prepayment penalty.
  • Family has up to a year to either refinance your property with a normal mortgage or sell it before the loan is officially due.

Reverse Mortgages are all age based, so contact Dirk today if you’d like a chart to see what your down payment would be at your age. ¬†Want to learn more? Register for his class at http://www.OCHomeFair.com on Jan 30th, 2016.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Orange County Real Estate Appraisals – “Ask The Appraiser”!

Posted on September 25, 2014. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Improvement Ideas, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, OC Property Profiles, Orange County Home Improvement, Orange County Real Estate |

Orange County CA Real Estate appraisals

Frustrated with OC real estate appraisals? Contact the professionals at the AskAngie team to learn tips and tricks to find a more accurate appraisal estimate!

Appraisers…..we love to hate them. ¬†They scrutinize your house, call your ‘baby’ ugly, and they tell you it isn’t worth as much as you would like. ¬†But they are a critical part of every real estate transaction¬†when you’re getting a loan, so we have to learn to speak appraisal¬†language. ¬†What does an appraiser do, anyway? ¬†In a nutshell, appraisers¬†determine an unbiased price your property is worth at any particular moment in time. ¬†They do this by pulling ‘comps‘ or comparable properties near you, and then factoring in upgrades and¬†features to nail down a property price. ¬†The bank hires an appraiser¬†to confirm the loan they are about to give you is on a safe, solid, properly priced property. This week we had the pleasure of hearing long time Laguna Beach appraiser Mary “Vicky” Wilson tell us how we can get closer to the right numbers. ¬†As an agent in the business 11 years, some of this info was totally new to me! ¬†I’m sure you’ll learn a few things too – so read on ūüôā

First off, appraisers take a completely factual and non-emotional approach. ¬†So to get on the same page with them…you’ve gotta use your head, not your heart. Every price adjustment and comparable property needs to be validated with a series of facts behind it, not just thoughts or feelings.

Basic guidelines Orange County Real Estate appraisers follow:

  • **Appraisers¬†do NOT NOT NOT use a price per square foot average.** ¬†Don’t even try to value¬†your property like this. ¬†You may be able to justify it to the buyers agent, buyer, and yourself, but the appraiser¬†isn’t buying it, and they give the bank the green light needed to lend the money needed &¬†close this deal. ¬†Now, lots and land are an exception to this rule, but the main dwelling is NOT.
  • Comps must be reasonable substitutes. ie single level properties vs 2 story¬†properties are NOT comparable. ¬†Read that again because it takes a minute to sink in. ¬†SERIOUSLY?? ¬†The 2 story¬†that is 3 doors down is not a comp if you’re a single story??? ¬†Notsomuch in the eyes of the appraiser. Be¬†careful not to price a less desirable model in a neighborhood the same as the most desirable if they differ in stories.
  • To follow along these lines, lenders don’t want an appraiser to compare¬†properties that are 15% plus or minus in size. ¬†If you are the smallest model, you¬†may not be a comp¬†with the largest, and vice versa.
  • Lenders require 4 closed sales AND¬†2 backup or pending sales that support the value opinion & your price tag.¬† Pay attention to active, pending, & backup listings because the appraiser is! ¬†They are looking for upward or downward¬†trends in your local¬†market. ¬†One high closing in your area won’t help you, remember FOUR closed properties are needed, plus¬†2 more that are under contract.
  • Did you know there are only¬†17-20 line items on an appraisal? ¬†Appraisers stick to the cold, hard facts.
  • L O C A T I O N¬†is the #1 consideration. ¬†Location also trumps distance from property. ¬†So if you are the only ‘ocean view’ in your community, an appraiser may go to a neighboring community to pull other ocean view comps instead of other non-view properties in your same neighborhood. ¬†Same would go for a ‘corner lot’ or ‘end unit’ location.
  • Time is of the essence. ¬†Appraisers like 3-6 month old closed comps, not more than 1 mile away. ¬†Pull up this data before you price your property so you are in line with the realities of today’s market.
  • No, your converted detached garage, pool house, or Mother In-Law suite is not part of the square footage of your property. ¬†Ever. ¬†Rule of thumb:¬†If you have to walk outside the main structure and have air or water or wind touch you then it’s not part of the square footage ūüė¶ ¬†Furthermore, to be considered square footage, permitted improvements must be above soil grade & under the main roof. ¬†Sorry, but your cool casitas¬†or underground grow and¬†wine rooms¬†can be appraisal line item adjustments, but NOT included in the square footage.
  • .75 bath (toilet, sink, shower) is counted as a full bath in appraisals!!!!¬† .5 baths with no tub or shower, on the other hand, are only noted¬†as .1….so if your property is 5 full and 3 1/2 baths… it’s a 5.3 on the appraisal; not 6.5.
  • Appraisers only have 48 hours to send their appraisals in, and they get paid less than $500 per report. ¬†Banks have high expectations and short timelines, so this is where a good agent comes in to assist your appraiser in understanding your home’s true value, quickstyle. ¬†More agent tips coming if you keep on reading….
  • The market will *usually* pay back 50-60% of what you spent on upgrades!!! ¬†Sellers who try to add the entire price of remodels or upgrades into a purchase price always end up disappointed. ¬†Remember¬†this ratio¬†and come to terms with it now.
  • If¬†you do have an unpermitted addition, appraisers will ask: ¬†Does it have intrinsic value to the property? Is the addition¬†positive or negative to the overall home? ¬†How is the condition? ¬†Remember, non-permitted¬†additions¬†won’t count toward square footage, ever, but it can be added as a line item to the overall valuation.

Tips for Realtors and homeowners to better work with appraisers:

  1. Be present at the appraisal appointment¬†with a comp packet. Or email it early. ¬†The appraiser is in the field NOW, not in 3 hours when you get back to the office and your email. ¬†Don’t expect appraisers¬†to drive back to see your comps. ¬†Make sure to support upward and downward trends with comps and a possible market report, too.
  2. Inform Рappraisers need to know what was upgraded and how much was spent. Readily offer full access to everything.
  3. Don’t approach an appraiser negatively or with an attitude if you don’t agree with their valuation.¬†
  4. Don’t say: “You should have no problems with the value”. ¬†Famous last words.
  5. During follow up: don’t ask the value, they can NOT¬†tell you the number directly. ¬†Instead ask: “Did you find any problems with the home that may be an issue?”

Wanna Ask the Appraiser more specifics?

Mary Vicky Wilson is happy to do ‘range valuations’ for Orange County homeowners who are considering selling. ¬†May as well do it now.

Want an Orange County Market Report and professionally pulled comps?

Contact the AskAngie team and we’re happy to help! ¬†You can reach Angie direct at 949-338-7408. ¬†Or just email Angie@AskAngie.com or tweet @AskAngieTeam so we can help you get the research you need to sell your biggest asset for top dollar!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Orange County Real Estate & Loans – Make it EASY!

Posted on July 24, 2014. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County Real Estate |

Today I’m in a lunch & learn with Ryan Grant and the iMortgage team, and we’re talking about ways to make homebuyer’s lives easier!¬† There’s a lot of little (and big) steps in the process of buying a home, and if they aren’t taken in the right order it can lead to major headaches. Today’s post will focus on the loan aspect – crucial info here!!!

  • Have you ever walked into an open house before, loved it, and then lost it because you weren’t prequalified?
  • Have you ever given a lender your financial info verbally, they told you you’re approved for 500K, and then later found out that number was really 400K?
  • Have you ever been told by a Realtor that they won’t show you homes because you aren’t approved?

Not-so-fun FACT:  36% of all real estate transactions are delayed or do not close due to lack of funding!

These things happen all the time, and the headache can be avoided by taking the right steps on the path.¬† Let’s just pave it for you here:

  1. You MUST be pre-approved before you go out shopping.¬† Buyers who think ‘Oh, I’ll just do that once I find the house I like’ are setting themselves up for heartbreak.¬† The house you liked today, another buyer liked yesterday.¬†¬† You are TOO LATE if you wait to prequalify once you find the house you like.¬† The market, nor the seller, nor the listing agent will not wait for you to bring your paperwork together.¬† If a Realtor insists that you provide them with a prequalification and proof of down payment funds before you start searching, that’s a GOOD agent who wants you to have a pleasant experience.¬† They know how to best serve you and make sure no time is wasted.¬† Only newbies let you go shopping without your *wallet*.
  2. Verbal prequalifications are not enough.¬† A pre-approval is stronger than a prequalifcation….and listing agents know this.¬† If you submit a prequal while the other buyers submit a pre-approval – you lose.¬† If you just prequal and do not give the lender your paperwork and financial information, then you may be able to secure the escrow, but it’s possible you won’t be able to close it.¬† This happens ALL THE TIME in our industry, so don’t think it can’t happen to you, too.
  3. Know your loan parameters.¬† Buying for the first time?¬† Great!¬† It’s very likely you’ll be doing an FHA loan with 3.5% down.¬† Buuuut, not all communities are ‘approved’ for FHA financing.¬† Here in Orange County, only around 50% of condo communities are open to FHA financing, so your options will be limited.¬† The same applies for VA loans – not all communities are approved.¬† If you aren’t aware of your loan limitations, you can also run into major disappointments and discouragement.
  4. Structure your offer accordingly.  Tight on cash?  Tell your Realtor, and we can write in your closing costs to be paid by the seller side.  Competing with multiple offers?  Write an aggressive timeline to be more competitive.  Does the seller need to find another home?  Offer them a rentback and be flexible on your timeline.   The way your offer is structured is very important to
  5. cash-buyerShow buying power & strength.  Part of this is your pre-approval.  Have your lender push it through underwriting so the process is almost done.  If you take the extra week or two to do this, you will appear almost as a CASH offer.  The other part is your proof of funds.  If you have more $$ saved than you are putting down, go ahead and show it to the seller.  The more funds you have, the more likely they are to feel comfortable with you!
  6. Be prepared to cross-qualify.¬† What the heck is that?¬† It’s basically the process of one lender confirming another lender’s paperwork.¬† When you buy a home you’re in a financial fish bowl.¬† If you resist the seller’s request to have you ‘double’ or ‘cross’ qualify, what does that say about your confidence in being able to close the deal???¬† You appear stubborn, or you appear to be hiding something.¬† Would you want to work with someone like that?¬† Don’t be that guy.

If you follow the above 6 steps and work with a competent lender & Realtor, you will have the best possible experience with all financing aspects of buying your new home.¬† If you don’t, get ready to ride the roller coaster because you’re in for some ups, downs, and possibly flips.

More questions?  Just AskAngie!  Call 877-230-3211, tweet @AngieWeeks or comment here!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

What’s in store for Orange County Real Estate in 2014?

Posted on January 14, 2014. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Short Sales | Tags: , , , , , , |

Orange County 2014 Real Estate Economic Forecast

What’s in store for 2-0-1-4?

Today we had the pleasure of attending a lunch & learn by The Real Estate Focus Group and Steven Thomas, one of Orange County’s best real estate forecasters.¬† Steven’s reports have been published in Forbes, USA today, NY Times, and especially the OC Register because he’s constantly pulling tons of valuable data about what’s going on with the OC housing market.

2013 Real Estate Review

In 2013, short sale volume dropped by 61%, (holla:) we experienced a hot hot hot market with 18% appreciation and then the unrealistic sellers entered the market after June.  We saw many more move up sellers, which is a great sign.  There was a significant lack of inventory at the beginning of the year, followed by a spike and overpriced inventory in the fall.  We also had a refinance bonanza, so hopefully you took advantage of that!  Interest rates are still historically low, but tapering is looming, so 2014 is a year to get your financing while financing is still good.

2014 Real Estate Ramp Up

We currently have 5000 homes on the Orange County market, and we have a 49% increase in inventory since this time last year.  Our market is healthy because interest rates are still low (but expected to go up), and we are currently at 90% equity (standard) sales.

Only 5% of the mortgaged homes in Orange County are currently underwater.¬† That means 95% of you are back to even or have (gasp!) equity – FABULOUS NEWS – and this makes the perfect formula for a continued move up market.¬† If you’d like to get the house with the yard or the pool, this year is opportunity time for you.

First time buyers who have been squeezed out of the market the last 12 months will come back, even though their rates are a little higher and FHA guidelines have changed.  In addition, more luxury buyers are expected to enter the market this year.

Sellers, our expected time for a properly priced home on the market in Orange County is 93 days.¬† Our median sales price is 610K, and buyers, your¬†monthly payment for a 4.5% loan at this price¬†is approximately $2500.¬† Still affordable.¬† Unless you like paying off your landlord’s mortgage instead.

New home construction is going up: Rancho Mission Viejo, Great Park Irvine, and Baker’s Ranch in Foothill Ranch are all big developments underway.¬† Remember it’s still a good idea to have a Realtor represent you even in a new build situation, so be sure to call us if you would like to check out any of the inventory out there.

Some¬†concerns for 2014….. uncertainty, lack of fair market value homes, interest rates, and the circus in Washington DC.

Some expectations for 2014…… buyers will insist on fair market value vs. paying over appraisal, active inventory will continue to rise, interest rates will continue to rise, and we should have a mild appreciation of 0-5%.

If you are interested in MORE geeky data, we have it at our fingertips!¬† Just email angie@askangie.com, tweet @angieweeks or @weeksteam, or call 877-230-3211 to request a copy of this month’s Orange County housing report.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Is it Mortgage D-Day? Qualifying for a Home Loan in CA Gets Harder

Posted on January 10, 2014. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , |

2014 home loan guidelines

2014 Loan Guidelines are changing!

What’s New & Different for 2014 Home Loans in California

Today’s been coined in the real estate industry as “Mortgage D-day”; new Qualifying Mortgage regulations are rolled out and they are changing the way your mortgage can be structured.¬† We recently had the pleasure of attending a Lunch & Learn hosted by Brian Kimball, loan officer with Summit Funding.¬† Brian went over a few of these changes in the lending industry so we figured we would share! A word of warning….lending land is confusing with a ton of acronyms!¬† If you have questions or clarifications about this information, feel free to reach out to Brian or your preferred lender to help clarify and explain.

Some improvements and changes for California home loans starting next week:

– license required for all team members
– dual compensation is now prohibited (no more point in the front and point in the back)
– geographical standardization of commission percentage (no more getting different loan origination quotes from different lenders at the same company!)

Home Owner Equity Protection Act (HOEPA)

1st time buyers are now required pre-loan counseling. This education can be done online. It will hold up your closing if you do not complete this education so if you’re buying your first home or condo be sure to address this with your lender EARLY and get your certificate ūüôā¬† PS. A 1st time buyer is defined as someone who has not owned a home in 3 years.

Higher Price Mortgage Loan (HPML)

– Lenders must require 5 yr escrow payments (impound account) REGARDLESS of your loan to value ratio. Borrower must meet residual income requirements, so this means that many lenders are not going to be willing to offer and provide these higher price mortgage loans :/

General Qualified Mortgage (QM)

– Points and fees are less than or equal to 3% of the LOAN amount (not purchase price..cool!)
– No ‘risky’ features. This includes negative-am, interest only, or balloon payments
– Maximum loan term is 30 years. Darn, the young buyers really liked the 40 year option ūüė¶
– Maximum total Debt to Income (DTI) ratio is 43%

Temporary Qualified Mortgage (TQM)

– Meets product requirements of Qualified mortgage and is available to GSE direct lenders only
– Available until 2021: This creates some “breathing room” for lenders and buyers to settle into the new QM.

Ability to Repay (ATR)

РLenders currently look at your big deposits, and NOW they are going to be looking into your big withdrawls too.  If you have a personal loan from someone that does not show up on your credit report they will be looking into your regular payments.
– Lenders can be liable for deficiencies over the lifetime of the loan.
– Underwriting will now be based on 8 federally mandated criteria.
– All lenders must standardize underwriting practices. This means there will be less ‘exceptions’ during the underwriting process.
– Buyers must qualifiy based on fully amortizing payment and maximum payment in the first 5 years. This means buyers cannot use ARMs to qualify for more $$, simply to lower monthly payments.

Points and Fees Limits

– 100K or more -> limit is 3% max of the total loan amount
– 60-99K -> limit is $3000

What points and fees are always included in the 3% max?

– loan origination fee, rate lock and discount points
– prepaid interest
– application, processing, and underwriting
– admin fee and commitment fee
– conventional up front mortgage insurance cost
– all compensation to mortgage broker
– ‘junk fees’

What is never included in the 3% max?

– FHA MIP and VA funding fee
– Hazard insurance and property taxes
– Appraisal fee, credit report, and tax service
– notary fee and courier fee
– title insurance, flood cert
– seller paid fees and points. Sellers, think EARLY about what you are willing to add to the pot to keep a deal together.

On the 2015 horizon:

– Loan Estimate may replace the Good Faith Estimate
– Closing disclosure will replace the HUD1

Both of these things will standardize the format so buyers can easier compare lender to lender.

Wow – lots of changes to California Home Loans but many are good ones to protect consumers. Getting a loan is complicated and it’s very important to your financial future.¬† We always encourage you to talk to a couple lenders so you can find who offers the best programs, payments, and education. If you select the wrong lender, you very well may select the wrong loan, and this could cost you thousands of dollars and big headaches in the future. DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE and research so you don’t get burned. The Weeks Team is here to help you every step of the way with your Orange County real estate needs – call us at 877-230-3211 or tweet @AngieWeeks or @WeeksTeam with your questions!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

California Real Estate Market Update from Leslie Appleton Young

Posted on November 15, 2013. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Short Sales | Tags: , , , , |

California Real Estate Market update 2014What’s in store for Orange County Real Estate and the California market in general in 2014? We had The California Association of Realtors Chief Economist Leslie Appleton Young present a ton of great market data and facts today, so we wanted to share with you!

Here are 8 quick facts about CA Real Estate:

1. REO level is at 5%. There are only 205 bank owned properties for sale in OC right now.

2. There are now only 15.4% underwater homeowners in California.

3. Foreclosure and delinquency rates are now at their historic normal level. (Big WHOOP WHOOP!!)

4. Sept median price in CA for detached homes: $428,810

5. 72% of properties from the beginning of this year had multiple offers. (This is why you need a good Realtor!)

6. 82% of investors bought & HELD. Only 18% flips in 2013.

7. There are 3.6 months of inventory supply in CA as of Sept.

8. Only 28% of buyers were first time buyers because they were outbid by all cash investors ūüė¶ The long running average is 38%.

The big question: Will there be home appreciation or depreciation in 2014????????

Leslie predicts we will have more inventory, and sales volume will be up 3.2%. She is projecting a 6% appreciation, and mortgage rates will RAISE to 5.3%.

What does this mean for you? It’s a great time to seize the opportunity of lower prices while rates are still in the 4’s! Call us at 877-230-3211 for help and to maximize your investments!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Do You Qualify for a Loan Modification?

Posted on November 10, 2011. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , |

I‚Äôm astounded at how many Orange County homeowners qualify for a loan modification. And I‚Äôm even more astounded that they never seize the opportunity, generally because there‚Äôs so much misinformation floating around. As a result, hundreds of distressed homeowners never get the help they need. Mike Hatcher, seasoned modification advisor with the Ascent Network, is here again to offer a wealth of valuable insights —

The best thing I can do is clear away all the debris of misinformation.  So, in no particular order, here’s a list of GREAT loan modification candidates:

  • Those yearning to save an average of $1,000 a month — our average improvement.
  • Those with W2 income between $40k-$130k. Or the self employed, who usually don‚Äôt qualify for a refinance. We are 99% successful securing modifications for this group.
  • Those who never ‚Äúrob Peter to pay Paul‚ÄĚ in order to cover the bills.
  • Those who have perfect payment records but wonder how long they can afford to make their payments.
  • Those in default and are 14 days from a foreclosure sale on their property.
  • People worried sleepless because they fear losing their home and fear seeking help. This reluctance typically is the result of mass misinformation.
  • Those who want to shoot their spouse (or realtor) for deciding to purchase the house back in the mid-2000s.
  • Individuals seeking a long-term mortgage solution with a fixed rate.
  • Those who realize that renting ultimately costs more, don‚Äôt want to pay for or expend the energy for a move, and don‚Äôt want to live in someone else‚Äôs rental property.
  • Those who fail to qualify with their lender, or are given a token $30-$100 monthly savings modification as a consolation prize.

Quite a list, with more than a few surprises, eh? So, are you ready to learn how a loan  modification can put $1,000 extra in your pocket every month? Just call Mike at 877.871.2400  x15.  You’ll be amazed at how simple it is to cast your financial worries to the wind.

And, of course, if you’d like to learn more about the variety of opportunities the Orange County real estate market offers, I’ll be delighted to help. Just call, tweet, or email me at 949.338.7408,   @AngieWeeks, @WeeksTeam, or  angie@askangie.com.  I’m ready to assist you in any way I can.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Why Loan Modifications Are Great For Investors

Posted on November 9, 2011. Filed under: Lenders & Loan info, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , |

You all know that Orange County homeowners can reap substantial rewards from loan modifications.  But were you aware that loan mods are a great avenue for investors as well? Believe it or not, most investors can qualify for this excellent financial option. Here’s a quick overview by Mike Hatcher, seasoned modification advisor with the Ascent Network

Here at the Ascent Network, a faith-based, non-profit organization, we offer a number of outstanding options for investors. Thanks to our experienced and knowledgeable team, we’ve helped thousands of clients since 2007.  And one of the major ways is by securing loan modifications for investors. Why should you pursue a loan mod if you’re an investor? Here are the five top reasons:

1.   Income qualification is based on Profit and Loss (P&L), which we help put together for you, not your tax return. A P&L is a great asset. That’s because, depending on your debt to income thresholds, deductions may or may not be applied to ensure the best fit for a client.

2.   Our average, the investor modification rate is 4.25-4.5%

3.   This is a fixed rate.

4.   The term typically is 30 years, with some going as long as 40 years. For the record, 30% of lenders consider a 40-year term.

5.   We negotiate successful outcomes with 80% of our clients.

Would you like to learn how modification can help you leverage the value of your investment property to put more cash in your pocket on a monthly basis? Call Mike at 877.871.2400 x15, and boost the cash flow from your investment property.

And, of course, if you’d like to learn more about the variety of opportunities the Orange County real estate market offers, I’ll be delighted to help. Just call, tweet, or email me at 949.338.7408,   @AngieWeeks, @WeeksTeam, or  angie@askangie.com.  I’m ready to assist you in any way I can.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Orange County VA Loans – 8 Things Realtors (and Vets!) Should Know

Posted on October 3, 2011. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier | Tags: , , |

VA LoansHey Orange County Veterans! ¬†Here’s a great article about VA loans from¬†OCAR mag, reprinted with permission here on our blog.¬† If you’re interested in a VA loan or getting a home with your veteran benefits please contact the AskAngie team¬†at 877-230-3211!

VA Loans on the Rise

With deployment looming and more veterans entering the workforce soon, Realtors might want to brush up on the basics of VA financing.  A VA (Veterans Administration) guaranteed home loan is the preferred loan program for Active (and non-active), Reserve, National Guard, and retired military of the armed forces because there is no down payment needed, the interest rates are low, and no private monthly mortgage insurance is required.

An interesting fact — more than 27 million veterans and service personnel are eligible for VA financing.¬† This is a growing buyer segment for the real estate community.

Veteran Loans – Do I Qualify?

To be eligible for a VA loan, Wartime/Conflict Veterans must serve for at least 90 days and must receive an honorable discharge.  Here are the dates of active duty:

  • World War II – September 16, 1940 to July 25, 1947
  • Korean Conflict – June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955
  • Vietnam Era – August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975
  • Persian Gulf War – Check with VA regional office for specific eligibility.
  • Afghanistan and Iraq – Check the VA’s Web site for eligibility guidelines for current service in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Reserves and National Guard – Members who have completed six years of service and have been honorably discharged (or are still serving) may be eligible for a VA loan.

For peacetime service, an applicant must have at least 181 days of continuous active duty with no dishonorable discharge. If discharged earlier due to a service-connected disability, the applicant must contact the regional VA office to verify eligibility.

8 Things Realtor’s¬†& Vets¬†Should Know about VA Loans:

  1. 100% financing ‚Äď No down, Zero Down.¬†¬† Unlike an FHA loan (3.5% down) or a conventional loan (3-5% down), a VA loan requires no down payment.
  2. No monthly private mortgage insurance is required.  Unlike a low down FHA or a no down Conventional loan (which require PMI), a VA loan has no PMI.
  3. 4% seller credit is okay — There is a limitation on buyers closing costs.¬† FHA and Conventional loans allow for a 6% seller credit, but VA loans cap this credit at 4%.
  4. VA is not a lender — VA does not actually lend the money to you directly. Instead, the VA offers a guaranty to lenders, like me, that if the loan goes into default, they will pay the lender a percentage of the loan balance. The word GUARANTY does not actually guaranty the veteran will qualify for a VA home loan.¬† Instead, it‚Äôs a ‚Äúguaranty‚ÄĚ that the lender will not incur losses in case the VA borrower hits hard times and a foreclosure ever develops.
  5. Interest rates are low ‚Äď The interest rates are similar to FHA rates.
  6. You don’t need perfect credit ‚Äď Most lenders require at least a 620 FICO score, but some lenders will go as low as 580, if certain conditions are met.
  7. The VA defines allowable fees and charges that the veteran borrower can pay or closing costs that may be charged to the borrower. These costs are determined as reasonable and customary by each local VA office. All other costs in the transaction are considered non-allowable and generally paid by the seller when purchasing a new home or by the lender when refinancing your current VA mortgage. Allowable fees are appraisal, inspections, recording fees, credit report, prepaid items, hazard insurance, flood check, survey, title insurance, and VA funding fee.
  8. The VA also specifies what is NOT allowable.¬† Additional fees may be charged to the veteran only if specifically authorized by VA. The lender may request VA to approve such a fee if it is, (a) normally paid by the borrower in a particular jurisdiction, and, (b) considered reasonable and customary in the jurisdiction.¬† The following list provides examples of items that CANNOT be charged to the veteran as “itemized fees and charges.” Instead, the lender must cover any cost of these items out of its flat 1% fee.¬†¬† Non-allowable fees include:¬† Loan closing or settlement fees, underwriting, processing, escrow fees, notary, document preparation fees, preparing loan papers or conveyance fees, attorneys services other than for title work, photographs, interest rate lock-in fees,¬† escrow fees, broker fees by third party mortgage brokers and tax service fees.

PAUL E. SCHEPER, MBA, CSA, SRES is a devoted member of OCAR.  He is a graduate from Harvard University and USC.  He is a licensed mortgage banker and OC VA loan specialist since 1984.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

How Short Sales and Foreclosures Can Affect You

Posted on August 12, 2010. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Short Sales | Tags: , , |

It’s the law of the universe. Every action triggers a reaction. And this law certainly comes into play in the world of foreclosures and short sales. If you’re an Orange County homeowner who’s gonna go through with one or the other, it’s best to know what’s in store for you when the dust settles.

Derek Beisner, a certified mortgage specialist with New American Funding, cites the following as among the most important potential affects of a short sale or foreclosure action. Derek points out that guidelines in this area are always subject to change. But as of this posting, these are some possibilities consumers definitely should be aware of.

  • With a short sale, the lending institution has the legal right to 1099 the seller for the difference between what the house sold for and what was owed on the property. Bear in mind that this has been changed to a non-taxable 1099 for the years 2010 to 2012.
  • In a foreclosure situation, a buyer must wait 3 years from the foreclosure date to get an FHA loan. Securing ownership of a property also will require a minimum credit score of 620 and a letter of explanation documenting the reason for foreclosure.

As with any other important undertaking, it’s best to get the input of an expert before plunging into a short-sale. Derek advises speaking to a CPA or Real Estate attorney well in advance of taking action.

After all the foreclosure or short sale dust settles, your credit definitely will need some major repair work. The good news is that credit repair is very do-able. Derek recommends three fundamental steps:

  • Establish new credit.
  • Know your credit score.
  • Consult a credit repair specialist to get things back on track.

If you would like to learn more about Orange County short sales and foreclosures, Derek will be delighted to help. You can reach him 949-637-9939 or derek@derekbeisner.com.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Orange County CA Economic Update – Gary Watts says…..

Posted on June 25, 2010. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County CA Foreclosures, Orange County Real Estate |

Hi everyone,

Just got back from OCAR’s annual meeting held at the beautiful Aliso Viejo golf course.¬†¬† I thought I would record a video update for you ūüôā

I know you have comments, let ’em fly!!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Understanding B of A’s Short Sale Process

Posted on June 18, 2010. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Home Seller Tips, Lenders & Loan info, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Short Sales |

B of A  Short Sales РWhat every party needs to know!

Today I’m taking a few hours out of the busy day to listen to Allen Seelenbinder, a VP with Bank of America, tell Realtors how to work better with B of A to get our short sales closed quicker.¬† Definitely good use of time, because short sales take waaaaay too long!!!¬† For Realtors looking for Equator tips, check this post.

Allen said the goal of the bank is to help preserve homeownership, they WILL attempt to modify your loan & help you stay in your house if you want to.¬† It’s part of being on the HAFA program, and you can even try multiple times if you get denied on your first loan mod request!¬† Good news if you’re late on the mortgage & want to keep your home, but you have to keep communicating & trying.

BUT…Did you know 60 percent of all loan modifications fail in the first 9 months?¬† Yikes, make sure you are working with a professional modification specialist so you are not a statistic!¬†¬† Most times if you default on your modification, you’re not going to get another one, and its time to short sale.

For those who can’t afford the mortgage, & don’t see light at the end of the tunnel soon, you have options…

1.  Deed in lieu Рleaving your home and giving the deed back to the bank willingly
2.  Foreclosure Рdefaulting on payments until the bank is forced to take your property back
3.  Short sale Рselling your property for less than it is worth

Short selling your property will allow you to buy again sooner than if you get a foreclosure, so its a good option.  BUT, its complicated, so you need a good Realtor who knows what they are doing to help.

If you’re drained on the process, please keep trying.¬† If you allow foreclosure, your credit will have a huge hit, and you know how important your credit is!¬† Allen warned many times employers are looking at your credit as a gage on your responsibility, fight to keep it in tact as best you can!!

Short sales are the new normal!¬† Buyers, sellers, investors, Realtors, & banks need to work together ūüôā¬† There are over 6 million homeowners late on their mortgage right now, and many more projected in the upcoming months.¬† Short sale will continue to be a household term for the next few years, unfortunately.

Why is the short sale process so long?¬† Well…theres a lot of hoops to jump through:

  • the process doesn’t begin until an offer is received, you could have a sign in the yard for months.
  • an appraisal & bpo must be done
  • the offer must reasonably meet current market value
  • the buyer must qualify
  • the seller must demonstrate hardship & provide documentation
  • arms-length has to be proved (that means sellers aren’t in cahoots w buyers)
  • the mortgage investor must approve the offer
  • 3rd party approvals (mortgage insurance, helocs, second liens.)

Unfortunately, there is a lot of red tape to untangle.  Buyers need to be prepared for at least 60-120 days for close, and agents from both sides need to constantly keep communication lines clear and all parties in the transaction updated.

What is financial hardship? Its better to say what it is not.¬† Financial hardship is NOT that you are under water on the property, that is simply a bad investement.¬† Its also not hardship if you can’t get a renter.¬† If you are widowed, but have assets, death is not financial hardship, its emotional hardship ūüė¶¬† there are a lot of people now trying to claim hardship when they do not have truely have one.¬† You need to be able to show your hardship on paper.

One of the biggest challenges right now is getting 2nd loans, liens, and MI to reasonably come in line with the short sale loss.¬† Sellers, be prepared for agents to ask questions about ALL loans & liens on the property, and please offer up front and honest answers.¬† There’s going to be some back & forth necessary between the parties you owe $$ to.

Want to know if you are eligible for HAFA?  Check bankofamerica.reo.com/hafa to make sure you qualify!  B of A is also working on a program similiar to HAFA, but with better guidelines, called the Cooperative Short Sale.

B of A Cooperative short sale

Yes, its still in the works, but its pretty good!!  It will:

  • proactively outreach to customers
  • offer preapproved short sale pricing
  • promise offers reviewed/approved within 2 weeks
  • be similiar to hafa, but wider scope
  • rollout hopefully August 1st

Banks including B of A are all trying to make the best of our current market, and short sales are a huge percentage of it.  Look for more posts (and videos!) soon to help you through the short sale process.  If you or someone you know is late on their mortgage, The Weeks Team keeps everything confidential and we will be happy to discuss options!  877-230-3211 or info@successinweeks.com

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Tips for Realtors to use Bank of America’s Equator

Posted on June 18, 2010. Filed under: Lenders & Loan info, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Short Sales |

Allen Seelenbinder answers Realtor's questionsI went to a seminar today on using Equator, here are some tips for all!

Equator has 5 stages:

1.  Initiation Рseller calls & signs up to initiate
2.  Document collection Рseller uploads hardship docs & Realtors upload offers
3.  Valuations РBPO & appraisal is done
4.  Negotiations Рcounter offers & 3rd party investor approvals
5.  Closing Рhandling escrow & title transfer

To better step (um, jump) through through them, check out bankofamerica.reo.com/shortsaletraining

Realtors, make your short sale process shorter:

– have the seller contact the loan servicer asap to advise s/he is trying to sell
– ensure your customer financials are in pdf format
– confirm all requested documents & tasks are accurate & completed asap
– double check purchase offer is legitimate & @ fully executed
– make sure the purchase offer is the best possible at fair market value
– include listing information & comparables to support price w/your purchase offer

Success Secrets

In Equator you can add attachments when you email negotiators..¬† Listing agents, email your COMPS; they WILL be reviewed.¬† Help the bank help you.¬† Show them you’ve done everything possible to get the best value.¬† Tell the bank how many offers you had, your open houses, your marketing, so they know you’ve minimized their loss.¬† Remember, the bank is losing $$ here so offers need to be reasonable.

NEVER, ever, for the love of God, use the reject button in Equator.¬† It closes your file!!!! There is a button to submit with changes, use THAT instead ūüôā

Itemize your escrow items, too.¬† Don’t forget to include buyer credits, this happens too much & causes deals to blow up!!

When you submit your counter offer in equator, push the close date out 60 days. If you pass approval date, then a new BPO & approval usually need to be done, and that can set you back 3 whole weeks!¬† This can make any deal crumble, so just get the extra padding upfront.¬† *note* if property is going to auction, that won’t work, so set the closing to be the day before scheduled sale.

Stop clogging up the phones, B of A has a rule ‘if its not in Equator, it didn’t happen’…so use¬† Equator to give you the paper trail you need.¬† You can escalate right there through the system, copy a manager if necessary.¬† ***ANGIE TIP*** if a conversation is necessary, and you’ve tried 3 emails through the system, tweet @bofa_help .¬† I always get a call back within 48 hrs ūüôā

Say ‘actionable item’ in the subject, not urgent. Everyone says urgent.¬† What many consider urgent is truly not urgent, but actionable items=urgent to B of A, ok?

Today a VP at Bank of America, Allen Seelenbinder, advised us cash offers mean nothing.¬† B of A doesn’t care about your quick close, they care about minimizing their loss. Present your highest & best offers as opposed to lowball quick close cash.

Also, write your repairs into the contract, the bank doesn’t play well with new terms after appraisals!¬† How will you know?¬† Bring your trusty B of A local lender to the property, they can help advise you on standard repairs B of A is willing to do.

Realtors Pelt Bank of America with questions

What if the buyer walks?  Why do you automatically close my file? Unfortunately, we have to completely start over including submitting the sellers info again into equator.  Its for privacy purposes, so its not gonna change.  There is a 5 percent chance you can pull a switcheroo:  upload a NEW, better offer FIRST.  Then the next day, email the negotiator the cancellation of the first offer and request the switch out for the better offer.  In some cases this is allowed.

Will B of A pay a negotiation fee? NO, agents or buyers need to absorb.

Will B of A allow closing cost credits?
YES, but submit everything correctly in equator.

How can we escalate a file in equator? CC the manager or team leader on an actionable item!!¬† (for our technically clueless that means CTRL+click all titles you want to copy)¬† OR, worst case, you can call your local B of A loan offer and they can talk to the OC approval head.¬† There is such a person, however, Allen would not release his/her name to the ‘dogs’ ūüôā

Will B of A reduce Realtor commissions?¬† Tax us for dual agency? Contrary to popular belief they try not to…commission can be 6 percent for properties up to 250k, 5 percent for 500k, higher than that your commissions can be reduced more.¬† Allen jokes…You can always ask the seller to pay the rest…the bank is taking a loss too.¬†¬† Now Angie must joke…sure, how about we charge per phone call, email, and walked buyer then, cool?¬† Seriously, this process is a B for all of us.

Allen, way to let yourself get on the hot seat.¬† I’ve done customer service for Realtors before… they can be a mean, loud, unhappy bunch.¬† You handled yourself with class, and taught us how to work with B of A better.

Hopefully this post will help some struggling agents – tweet @angieweeks or @weeksteam your Equator tips, or comment them below!!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

« Previous Entries


    Orange County, CA Real Estate for hip first-time buyers and investors. Plus, fun things to know and do in OC.


    Subscribe Via RSS

    • Subscribe with Bloglines
    • Add your feed to Newsburst from CNET News.com
    • Subscribe in Google Reader
    • Add to My Yahoo!
    • Subscribe in NewsGator Online
    • The latest comments to all posts in RSS


Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...