John Fischer's Real Estate Views

John Fischer

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Volume 1 | Issue 8 | August 2011

In This Issue:

A Note From John:
This Month's Note from John:
Mortgage Commitment

Featured Article:
Know Your Options

Mixed Bag
Timely articles and information


July 2011**








































San Ramon




*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 July 31st, 2011.


WEEK OF August 8th

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


Interest rates per MonitorBankRates

John Fischer Real Estate

San Ramon Valley School District

Pleasanton School District

Acalanes School District

Danville Express


Blackboard Eats

Home Search

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!

"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

A Note From John

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

Featured Article

Know Your Options

Maybe 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 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 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 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 from foreclosure.

I highly 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 October 1st

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.

New Listings
Coming Soon

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.

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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
[email protected]

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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