Monday, December 21, 2009

Good News For Orange County CA Short Sales - HAFA

The Making Home Affordable Programs new mandate may be great news for home buyers of Orange County CA short sales!

The Making Home Affordable Program (HAMP) has taken aim at standardizing the long process of short sales and making the process fairer, quicker, and more clear to borrowers and buyers. We are currently reviewing the 41 pages of details related to this new (HAFA) program and are finding it very intriguing.

Unlike before, when offers needed to be present for most banks to even think about approving a short pay sale, the HAFA guidelines will enable borrowers to potentially agree to a set of terms that would be acceptable to the bank prior to listing the property. There is also legislation that will provide financial incentives to lenders and investors for agreeing to a short sale as well as protection to borrowers from the possibility of having to repay the short debt.

Maybe the biggest news is that loan services will be given only 10 days to respond to short sale offers! And again, the aim is to have all the sale terms agreed upon up front so that when a buyer comes with an offer, the response can come much quicker.

The servicer also will determine the minimum net proceeds for a short sale; if an offer presented to the servicer by the borrower or listing broker meets the net proceeds requirement, then the servicer must accept it. This is a huge deal. Not only will buyers have the potential to know what an acceptable price is ahead of time, they also will get a response to the offer in a reasonable amount of time.

According to HAFA, the loan services must make a policy detailing the criteria borrowers, borrowers homes, and offers from potential buyers must fit in order to be eligible. Prior to asking for a short sale, homeowners must also be given the opportunity and participate in an attempt at loan modification. While we are still wading through the details, here's what we know so far:

Benefits to Homeowners:

-Provides a criteria set to help them determine if they qualify, this will be a big help since in the past, homeowners were basically indirectly told that they don't qualify unless they are behind in payments.......leading many people to default, and many times still be denied, when they may have been able to stay current if they had known denial was imminent.
- Helps aid in proper short sale pricing
- Gives uneducated homeowners a chance a loan modification

Benefits to Buyers:

-Shortens short sale process
- Gives buyers a realistic idea of what price the bank will take
- Gives banks incentives to take the short sale payoff and sell the house to the buyer instead of foreclosure


-HAFA goes into effect April 5, 2010
- HAFA only applies to non Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac lenders (though there is speculation they may follow suit)
- Applies only to loans up to $729,750
- The banks are still in control over what the accepted payoff criteria is

If you'd like to see what type of short sale inventory is available in the area, our Orange County Foreclosure Homes for sale page has all the foreclosure homes currently on the market.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Yorba Linda Real Estate and Homes For Sale Update - Dec 2009

Yorba Linda, CA Real Estate - We've noticed that there are certain cities in the North Orange County area that have a tremendous amount of opportunity in the upscale home price point. We compare upscale home sales which we roughly define as homes with:

At least 4+ Bedrooms
between $700,000 - $1,000,000
minimum 3+ Full Bathrooms
and a home size of at least 2,400+ sqft

We've really been noticing a lot of good deal on homes in Yorba Linda, CA. Here's the numbers for Yorba Linda homes for sale that fit the above criteria in the last 45 days or so....

22 Homes For Sale
12 in Escrow
10 Closed Sales

We've included these two beautiful examples of homes currently on the market!

Compare this with the nearby city of Fullerton and you'll see what we mean by choices. In Fullerton, your seeing numbers that look like this:

9 Homes For Sale
10 in Escrow
5 Closed Sales

Obviously, Yorba Linda has about twice as many homes for sale in the price range and here is a kicker...........they are averaging nearly 3600 sqft as opposed to just over 3000 in Fullerton...........and the real kicker is 5 of the 9 homes available in Fullerton have lots under 7000 sqft!

Bottom line = Big house, big lot, under a million bucks? You need to take a look and see what Yorba Linda real estate has to offer.

Take a look at our Yorba Linda Homes For Sale page if you have a moment.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Placentia Real Estate Update - Market Conditions December 2009

In the Placentia, CA real estate market there are currently 63 active homes on the market for sale. Of these:

7 are under $300,000
9 are between $300,000 and $400,000
9 are between $400,000 and $500,000
20 are between $500,000 and $600,000
19 are between $600,000 and $700,000
6 are between $700,000 and $900,000
0 are over $900,000

In the past 2 months Placentia has had 63 home sales:

11 under $300,000
9 between $300,000 and $400,000
18 between $400,000 and $500,000
14 between $500,000 and $600,000
11 between $600,000 and $700,000
1 between $700,000 and $900,000

Right now there are 63 Placentia home in escrow with:

7 under $300,000
9 between $300,000 and $400,000
17 between $400,000 and $500,000
12 between $500,000 and $600,000
9 between $600,000 and $700,000
10 between $700,000 and $900,000

Placentia's real estate market is actually pretty consistent across all price points. Consistent for the area and time I suppose. The top selling markets and the ones that appear to be the hottest are those at the $400,000-$500,000 price point. The lower price point is strong as well but inventory is low so the amount of sales will be limited by this. That being said, it is still a market segment that is seeing multiple offers over list price.

Suprising though is the strenth of the $500,000-$600,000 price point. This mid level Placentia home value has actually had quite a few sales and appears strong from a surface glance. Of course, we all know the devil for any market is always in the details. As we are seeing across Orange County, the sales do slide off once we get over teh $600,000 price point but not quite as dramatically as we are seeing in other areas.

Our Tips

For Placentia home buyers - We are seeing quite a bit of opportunity in the $600,000+ price ranges. The bang-for-your-buck factor at this price point is fantastic!!

For Placentia CA homeowners - The timing is actually good for many people looking to move up into the middle and upper middle price ranges if they have some equity to sell. The theory being they can sell in a hot entry level market and buy for a discount in the upper level markets.

Feel free to browse the current Placentia homes for sale to get a feel for the current market.

Orange County Home Sales in the Median Range - Dec 09

Our last couple posts dealt with hot market for entry level homes in Orange County. If we took those same home requirements and bumped it up a bit to be between $400,000 and $500,000 we see something very interesting happen. To refresh, the basic criteria is a single family residence with at least:

3 Bedrooms
2 Full Baths
1000 Sq Ft
2 Car Garage
6000 sqft lot

In all of Orange County, this buyer would now have an additional 175 homes to look at!

If they were to take the price point up to between $500,000 and $600,000, that would mean yet another 200 houses that would fit the price range!

Of worthwhile note is also the fact that the highly desireable cities like Tustin, Fountain Valley, Orange, Rancho Santa Margarita, Fullerton, Yorba Linda, and Mission Viejo start coming into play at this range.

While we wouldn't consider this an abundance of homes by any means, especially when you consider many people will want 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2000+ sqft, etc, we think the numbers reveal a much different inventory of homes available to buyers.

Most of our clients are summing this up best with statements like, "Wow, I'm really liking the bang for my buck better at these price points!"

We would have to agree, atleast for now. You can see what is available at these price points by using the quick home search on our Orange County Homes For Sale page