Notice: Trying to get property 'query' of non-object in /home/tracys8/public_html/components/com_easyblog/router.php on line 643
Foreclosures - LA Digs - Northeast LA Real Estate Blog

Call Us Now

323-274-2148

Email Us

info@tracyking.com
Slider

LA Digs - Northeast LA Real Estate Blog

Welcome to LA Digs, the real estate and Northeast Los Angeles community blog written by Realtors Tracy King and Keely Myres.

Here, we share tips, market updates, and local news bits to keep you informed on what's happening in Northeast Los Angeles and the surrounding neighborhoods. Read on to learn about the latest in your neighborhood!

What is a Home Worth? An Update on the Local Real Estate Market

Foreclosure inventory is down nationwide (according to Corelogic’s National Foreclosure Report), and by almost 20% on a year-over-year basis.

What difference does this make to the value of your home, you ask? As the number of homes in distress goes down, the price of homes selling in your neighborhood is more likely to go up. This is one important piece of the housing recovery puzzle.

At the same time, buyers today are very well educated about the local real estate market. Did you know that you can find out what properties are in some stage of the foreclosure process on Zillow.com for free? As with many facts today, this raw information can lead people to some flawed conclusions.

If you look at Eagle Rock, 90041, on Zillow, you see a number of homes in some form of distress -- 82, in fact. These homes are what is called Shadow Inventory (properties that are in some stage of mortgage default.) Since there are only 17 properties currently for sale in 90041, this would seem to indicate that the Shadow Inventory is 4 times the current inventory. Doomsayers might say this means that if all or most of the shadow inventory came onto the market at the same time, it would have the effect of flooding the market with distress sales and would bring prices down. Therefore, they conclude, prices are depressed in Eagle Rock.

That’s kind of like saying if everyone who came to a traffic light suddenly decided to run the red light, we would have a whole lot of accidents and insurance rates would go up. Probably true, ifthat happened, but the idea of everyone losing their minds at the same moment is unlikely. The likelihood of all or even 10 of the 82 distressed properties coming on the market at the same time is also practically non-existent.

But some people like to look at the worst possible outcome. Many buyers are hoping that the housing market will continue to be distressed so that they can still jump in and get “a deal.” Many of these same buyers have been looking for a home off and on for several years and have passed up many “deals.” I have talked to a few of these people and many of their friends who have discussed how Joe Smith should have bought that cute little house on XYZ street last year when he had the chance because now he is going to have to settle for a much smaller house for the same money.

It is very difficult to know how much a home is “worth,” especially when you are a buyer in a multiple offer situation. It’s almost as difficult when you are the only buyer about to make an offer on a house. But ponder this: what would you be thinking about the deal you made on a house if you bought it 2 or 3 years ago?

Too much information can be a bad thing. If you are expecting all this Shadow Inventory to give you the opportunity to get a great deal on a house, you're going to be waiting awhile. The reality of today's real estate market, at least in Eagle Rock, Highland Park, and the surrounding neighborhoods, is that there is low inventory available to buy, there are multiple offers on most homes, and sales prices are typically going over the asking price. Yes, even that house that you think needs a new kitchen is getting multiple offers - because there are buyers who realize that they want to buy a house now, and the longer they wait, the less house they can buy.

Continue reading
  1764 Hits
1764 Hits

Foreclosures that didn't have to happen

I was looking at the properties on Foreclosure Radar that are in default, checking on some properties that have been recently listed as short sales. I recognized an address I had visited several years ago to discuss selling it. At that time, the owner could have sold it easily and made a bit of money, but it wasn’t enough for her to do what she thought she wanted. We have talked about once every couple of years since then, but the last time I spoke with her, I had to tell her she wouldn’t make enough to pay off what she owes. Today, I saw that the property is in preforeclosure, scheduled for a possible sale at the end of the year. She may be able to drag the process out for several more months, maybe even years, but it doesn’t look like she’s going to be able to sell it “when the market recovers,” because she will owe too much in back payments, penalties and interest.

Once you fall behind, it can be very difficult to catch up. I can tell you several sad stories from the past few years. Each time, the owner could have sold it for enough to pay off the loans with a little bit left over to move and rent a place. But they “had” to have more. They “had” to be able to buy another house, or pay off all their debts, or something. But things didn’t go as planned, they slipped further and further behind, and lost it all—with the added bonus of having trashed their credit and made their lives even more difficult.

It is hard to face the reality of a bad financial situation. And the minute you fall behind in your payments, every scheme suddenly seems realistic. It’s a trick your mind can play on you, and it is made worse by every grifter who sees a chance to make some money off of your troubles. It is difficult to know who to trust. Since the notice of default is a public record, unsavory characters have an easy time finding people in trouble. Here is the advice you should heed: don’t ever pay anyone a fee upfront before they deliver on their promise of a loan modification or a short sale. It’s actually against the law for someone to accept such a fee.

But I also have some success stories to tell you. I helped several homeowners sell and move on before they fell behind in their payments, and a couple whom we managed to help right before the auction gavel came down. They didn’t get as much as they wanted to get. Some of them barely managed to pay off all their loans. But they are done and moved on. They may have regrets over what might have been or what they should have done earlier, but they don’t have that big “foreclosed” sign stamped in their memory to seal in the misery. And certainly, if they fell behind in their payments their credit suffered, but not nearly like it would have if they had lost their house in foreclosure.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to change your real estate position, don’t let your emotions get in the way of what you know in your brain you need to do.
Continue reading
  1295 Hits
1295 Hits

Musings on local real estate deals

Hmm, where is that "shadow inventory" we have heard about for so long?
Continue reading
  1304 Hits
1304 Hits

Then and Now Trends for Highland Park, 90042

Let me emphasize how we need to look at these graphs and charts in terms of your own property: if you bought a house in Highland Park 2 years ago, just because the average price went down 44% doesn’t necessarily mean that your own house went down that much.

Continue reading
  1721 Hits
1721 Hits

Holiday Reprieve for some in Default

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced that they are temporarily suspending foreclosures and evictions during the holiday season in an effort to keep people from losing their homes, said an article in the Washington Post by Zachary Goldfarb.

The companies said they are taking the step so they can include more people in a newly announced program to change the terms of troubled mortgages to make them more affordable.

The mortgage finance giants, seized by the government in early September, have been under pressure by lawmakers and housing advocates to take bolder steps to fight foreclosures. As the owners or backers of trillions of dollars of mortgages, the companies have an unrivaled ability to shape the home loan market and help people with distressed mortgages.

Last week, the companies said they would enact a program to restructure mortgages for borrowers who are falling behind in their payments. That effort would seek to help homeowners who haven't paid their loans for three months but whose homes had not been foreclosed upon yet. In a foreclosure, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac seizes control of a home and, usually, tries to sell it.

The foreclosure freeze announced November 21 will extend the mortgage modification program to those who have been declared in default and are at immediate risk of being forced from their homes. The companies said as many as 16,000 borrowers could benefit.

Foreclosures and evictions will be stopped from Nov. 26 to Jan. 9. Happy Holidays!

Continue reading
  1021 Hits
1021 Hits

Market Update for Eagle Rock, CA November 18, 2008

November 18, 2008 Today's Eagle Rock Market

Inventory in Eagle Rock hasn't varied much in terms of number of active listings this whole year. Today there are 45 homes on the active market, 14 of them short sales, 4 REOs, and 33 regular sales including trust or probate sales that don't require court confirmation. Since November 1, 4 have gone into escrow including 2 short sales, 1 REO and 1 regular sale while 4 more have closed escrow including 1 short sale, 2 REOs, and 1 regular sale. Prices are interesting: what is closing escrow is much lower in average price ($411,500) than actives ($568,500) or pendings ($565,725), but the actives and pendings are close in average price. I have to say that the most surprising sale to me is the short sale that actually closed escrow on Townsend, since most short sales have not ever closed. Let's see with the 2 that just went pending if they ever actually close. Perhaps banks are actually beginning to work with people to negotiate these, we'll see. This sample is too small to really tell. But really noteworthy is the fact that 3 of the 4 closed sales sold for more than their list prices. Hello, this is a pricing strategy that works!

Continue reading
  1191 Hits
1191 Hits

Are You Having Trouble With Your Mortgage Payments?

Help for Homeowners

As I was canvassing the neighborhood last week, I encountered a couple of people who said they were "upside down" in their mortgages, had tried to contact their lenders with no luck, and didn't know what else to do. Here at last is real information with phone numbers, websites, and rules gathered by the California Association of Realtors

Mortgage Workout Programs for Homeowners
The following information is intended for REALTORS® and homeowners seeking information on existing mortgage workout programs.  In general, the loan modification programs on the chart and consumer information sheets (see links below) are intended for primary residences only.
 .HOPE For Homeowners (H4H)

.Countrywide Financial (Bank of America)

 

.Citigroup, CitiMortgage

 

.JP Morgan Chase & Co.

 

.IndyMac Federal Bank, FDIC

 

.Federal Government Loan Modification  (Participants include: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Federal Home Loan Banks, Hope Now participants, Department of the Treasury, Federal Housing Administration and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and Wells Fargo.)

 

Mortgage loan modifications typically are handled on a case-by-case basis. Homeowners having difficulty meeting their mortgage obligation or interested in finding out more about a loan modification program should start by contacting their lender. Prior to calling a lender or loan servicer, homeowners should have the following information available:

 

.Loan number

 

.Income information and documentation

 

.Most recent mortgage statement

 

.Bank statements

 

.Letter demonstrating financial hardship



If you want help with this, or if you can't access the website or the links, call or email me and I'll either email or snail mail you the relevant information. NOTE: It is illegal for people to charge you a fee upfront for helping you. I am offering information as a public service only. The fewer foreclosures in our neighborhood, the better the neighborhood will stay.

Continue reading
  1200 Hits
1200 Hits

Propportunity is Everywhere!

I was talking to some of my Realtor friends this morning and heard about some killer deals all around Los Angeles county.

1. El Segundo: Upgraded with care, this bright interior unit in the Pacific Sands complex is a spacious one level with 2 BR/1BA in 1112 sq. ft. It proudly offers new soundproof windows and doors, a new ventilation system, new appliances in newly tiled kitchen, smooth ceilings, a combination of new carpets and tile floors, and new paint! The balcony overlooks the pond, pool and palm trees. Low HODs. FHA approved complex. Conveniently located near the beach and LAX. El Segundo schools. Price? Only $360,000! Wow!

2. Long Beach:Executive Living in the Aqua West Tower of Downtown Ocean Blvd. Two Master suites in this unit have marble in bathrooms, slate and granite in kitchen. Private Enclosed Garage plus 2nd space adjacent to garage. You must see the amenities to appreciate this unit and building. Balcony overlooks Performing Arts Center and Convention Center just a brief walk downstairs. Gymnasium, Business Center, Sauna, 2 Swimming Pools and spas, observation deck, full kitchen in recreation lounge, private business meeting rooms. UNIT 201. Seller to credit 2.5 points with full price offer. Not a short sale! $459,900.

3. Eagle Rock:Fannie Mae owned bungalow near Occidental College in Eagle Rock. Very cute, low maintenance, your basic condo alternative. Seller plans to make some repairs. Property is 2/1 with a carport and a fenced (practically no) yard, very close to everything but off the main thoroughfare. $335,000!

None of these are my listings, so call me or email me for more info and I'll either be glad to represent you or to refer your Realtor to the listing agent.

Continue reading
  1431 Hits
1431 Hits