Volume 1 | Issue
8 | August 2011
In This Issue:
A Note From John:
This Month's Note from
Know Your Options
Timely articles and information
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
** These statistics reflect
active, pending and sold single family homes for the
month ending July 31st, 2011.
15 Yr Fixed Conforming
30 Yr Fixed
30 Yr Fixed Jumbo
5/1 ARM Conforming
Interest rates per
John Fischer Real Estate
San Ramon Valley School District
Acalanes School District
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:
Your referrals are truly appreciated!
"Working with John was a great experience! He stuck with
us through the ups and downs and even when we were
completely frustrated he assured us that the right home
would come along - and it did.
We now have the home of our dreams, and it's due to
John's patience and guidance through the whole process!"
- Alamo Buyer 11/2010
Mortgage Commitment –
Financial vs. Moral Obligation?
Strategic Default – Opting to walk away from a mortgage
you can afford isn't a new phenomenon in the housing
crisis. But with home values continuing to decline, more
owners find themselves in a position where they may see
it as a savvy business decision to destroy their credit
rather than wait years for prices to recover.
When the value of a property drops way below the current
mortgage, some people are stopping payments on the
mortgage. The decision to walk, tied to a housing crisis
that continues to grip the market, is far-reaching,
raising serious questions about whether financial
commitments can be considered optional.
At the end of May, home prices had declined to the point
where more than 11 million borrowers nationally were
underwater. Consumer sentiment is growing that if there
is little financial upside to staying in a home,
voluntarily defaulting on the mortgage is a smart
decision, not a moral shortcoming. Fannie Mae found in a
recent survey that 27% of people think it's acceptable
to walk away from a mortgage if they face financial
distress, twice as many as did a year ago. Many people
strategically default because they want to preserve
their retirement savings.
The decision to walk away carries long-lasting
repercussions. A foreclosure strikes the same blow
whether it was voluntary or involuntary, decreasing a
credit score as much as 250 points, a drop that it may
take an otherwise creditworthy consumer up to seven
years to recoup. That lower score will affect a
consumer's ability to access additional credit, whether
it is credit cards, an automobile or rental housing.
Some people are taking steps beforehand to position
themselves for the difficult years ahead. They're making
repair to their cars and applying for extra credit cards
because they won't qualify after a foreclosure.
- John Fischer
Know Your Options
you are struggling with making your mortgage payments or facing foreclosure.
Maybe you aren't. But most likely you know someone who is, a friend,
neighbor or family member. Here's your chance to help them out.
Fannie Mae has a website called
KnowYourOptions.com that provides information to help homeowners make
decisions about what their options are, and experience the positive outcomes
or negative consequences of the choices they make.
There are a number of sections designed to help homeowners understand what
options are available to them, including "explore your options", preparing
to talk with your mortgage company, interactive video simulations designed
to prepare you to make good decisions, and Fannie Mae mortgage help centers.
Sometimes difficulties arise from not understanding industry jargon, they
have you covered there. Learning the terms your mortgage company uses can
help homeowners feel more confident when dealing with them in discussing
their loan and finding solutions to their particular situation.
There is also an excellent resource center that provides counseling,
understanding your credit score, various calculators for planning your
refinancing or loan modification, videos on a variety of topics including
short sales and forbearance, FAQs and helpful forms. Best of all, you don't
have to have a Fannie Mae loan to use the site.
If you aren't sure if you have a Fannie Mae loan, just go to
http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup/ and fill out the brief form to
determine if Fannie Mae owns your loan. You can also contact your lender or
servicer directly to see who your loan is held by.
Homeowners who are struggling to make their payments and do not have loan(s)
owned by Fannie Mae should contact the Homeowners HOPE(TM) Hotline at
888-995-HOPE or their
mortgage company for assistance. Homeowners can also contact Freddie Mac
(if their loan is owned by Freddie Mac)
or visit the
MakingHomeAffordable.gov website for further information.
The Know Your Options site is well organized and easy to navigate, walking
you through step by step to get the answers you need to be informed and make
the best decision for your family and your specific situation. Additionally,
there is a section for avoiding foreclosure scam artists who are stealing
millions of dollars from distressed homeowners by promising immediate relief
recommend the Know Your Options site, whether you need help, or someone you
know does. But remember, I am here to help in any way I can, so don't
hesitate to contact me with your questions.
Loan Amounts to Change
It's hard to believe that the federal government will
be lowering the loan amounts that will be backed by the government from
$729,500 to $625,500 in two months. These are the guidelines being used by
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA. You'd think that with the financial issues
that we are currently facing that they would try to help the housing market
rather than make it more difficult for people to buy houses. Several
forecasters are saying that this won't happen, but who knows? If you're
thinking of buying or re-financing and need the full $729,500 amount, you
should do it NOW.
I have several new listings that will be coming in the
next 30-60 days in Diablo Hacienda, Woodbine, Blackhawk
Plaza area, Round Hill, Diablo and possibly Orinda. Let
me know if you are looking for something in these areas
or anywhere else.
Have a question about Real Estate, buying or selling a
home or the community? I encourage you to get in touch
with me, I'm here to serve.
Click here to get
Ask Your Question
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
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