John Fischer's Real Estate Views

John Fischer

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Volume 1 | Issue 1 | Jan 2011

In This Issue:

A Note From John:
This Month's Note from John:
Happy New Year

Featured Article:
The Dirty Secret About Loan Modifications

Mixed Bag
A Monthly Offering on a Variety of Current Topics
 

MARKET MINDER*


December 2010**

  Active

Pending

Sold

Lafayette

53

23

16

Moraga

38

17

9

Orinda

35

17

24

Pleasanton

154

98

60

Dublin

158

134

52

Alamo

70

24

13

Blackhawk

34

15

2

Danville

134

88

58

Diablo

5

1

0

San Ramon

166

169

83

*I have much more data at my fingertips than can go in the newsletter. If you would like more specific information about a particular area or neighborhood, even if it is what the neighbor's house really sold for, just call or email me and I will be happy to provide the information for you.

** These statistics reflect active, pending and sold single family homes for the month ending December 31st, 2010.

MORTGAGE MARKET


WEEK OF January 10

Loan (National Average)
15 Yr Fixed Conforming
30 Yr Fixed Conforming
30 Yr Fixed Jumbo
5/1 ARM Conforming

Rate
4.24%
4.80%
5.33%
3.50%

Interest rates per MonitorBankRates

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If you have a family member, friend or co-worker who is thinking about buying or selling their home, please forward this email to them or have them contact me at:

[email protected]

Your referrals are truly appreciated!

 

A Note From John

Happy New Year


John FischerWelcome to my new monthly email newsletter, "John Fischer's Real Estate Views". I wanted to create a venue that would afford me the opportunity to stay in touch with you and provide you with valuable and interesting information about the local and national real estate industry.

I hope to provide views on current local topics of interest as well, that will inform and enrich your experience as a resident of our area. I'd appreciate your feedback and suggestions on what you'd like to know more about.

Thank you and Happy New Year!

- John Fischer

Featured Article

The Dirty Secret About Loan Modifications

Loan Modification

No one wants to talk about being in a difficult place with their home mortgage or financial situation. Unfortunately, this can often place homeowners in jeopardy of losing their home when they don't take action soon enough.

Often the first line of defense is trying to renegotiate the mortgage by using a loan modification company or "expert". The Dirty secret is that homeowners are often left without the new loan they were promised and without the cash they paid the loan modification company.

Caveat Emptor or "Let the buyer beware", read on to see how to protect yourself from unscrupulous companies that might try to take advantage of your situation.

"Pursuant to Senate Bill 94, as of October 11, 2009 it is illegal in California for any person, including lawyers, real estate brokers, real estate salespersons, corporations, companies, partnerships, or any other licensed or unlicensed person or party, to demand, charge, or collect any advance, up-front, or retainer fees, or any other type of pre-payment compensation, for loan modification work or services, or any other form of mortgage loan forbearance", according to the California Department of Real Estate.

So if someone tells you they can help you with loan modification or renegotiation and/or deal with your lender to stop collection of mortgage payments or stop the foreclosure process, and they ask you for, charge or collect money or fees up front, that is a violation of California law. You should report this immediately to the California Attorney General, and to the California Department of Real Estate.

There are still plenty of scammers and con artists out there preying on the desperate and misinformed consumer. "As homeowners continue to feel the pinch from the recession, and as home loan worries, delinquencies, defaults, and foreclosures continue to occur in California, loan modification and foreclosure rescue scams are growing and soaring. The FBI has said that a "rampant mortgage fraud climate" currently exists, and that California is one of the top states for loan fraud."

Frustrated HomeownerSo, how do you protect yourself from those that would take advantage of you? Contact your mortgage company directly and request a Loan Modification that works for you, and that the lender will accept.

Don't give up on the first try, be persistent and take meticulous notes on who you spoke to, what was said, when you left messages and any offers that were discussed. Try and get the contact information of the person you spoke to.

The Department of Real Estate has some practical tips for you for working directly with your lender on a loan modification. Those consumer tips can be accessed at http://www.dre.ca.gov/faq_home.html.

If you are not comfortable negotiating with the lender yourself, Work with a LEGITIMATE, LICENSED, and QUALIFIED person or company. If you would like to read the entire report by the California DRE, go to http://www.dre.ca.gov/pdf_docs/FraudWarningsCaDRE03_2009.pdf
If you think you are in trouble, please, take action now.

Mixed Bag

The State of Real Estate

ForeclosureThe market has been flooded with foreclosures and short sales for the past several years forcing down the values of homes selling in a "conventional" manner.

This has been a great time for home buyers, especially with the extremely low mortgage interest rates available to them. I have tried to direct my clients to those homes where sellers have equity and therefore, have maintained their homes with pride of ownership.

The buyers I've worked with have gotten some wonderful deals during the 4th quarter of 2010 by being patient and waiting for sellers to react to the increase in the quantity of listings.

Sales volumes are still experiencing declines due to more stringent lending standards and the resulting challenges in obtaining home loans. The constant news about declining prices and sales has had a negative effect on the mental state of many would be home buyers, causing them to wait on the sidelines for things to change.

Home buyers who have stable income and good credit history needing to qualify for a home loan are being treated with many low cost options. Despite the changes in the market, home prices and interest rates are down, making now a great time to buy a home.

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About John Fischer
I've been selling residential real estate for the past six years here in the Diablo Valley. After graduating from UCLA and then getting my MBA, I spent most of my career in corporate sales starting with Xerox in the 1970's.

Following that, I proceeded into IBM computer sales and leasing. My wife, Janeen, and I have lived in the same house in Alamo since 1983 and have raised three children. They all graduated from Monte Vista High School and have gone to UCLA, UC Davis and University of Washington. Our youngest, Kelsey, is now attending UC Hastings School of Law.

John Fischer
President's Club '08, '09 '10
CA DRE #00695958
925-980-4816
[email protected]
http://www.johnfischerrealestate.com

J. Rockcliff REALTORS
15 Railroad Ave., Danville, CA 94526

"Serving the East Bay communities of Diablo Valley (Alamo, Blackhawk, Danville, Diablo, San Ramon), Lamorinda (Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda), Walnut Creek and Tri-Valley (Pleasanton, Dublin)."

Copyright © 2011 John Fischer

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