Friday, 14 December 2012

Thanks for the Great Review, Rosser!

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Review Count 4
rosser g.
Los Angeles, CA
5 star rating 12/12/2012
How can you improve on perfection? Ms. Neith is not only exceptionally smart, but she is an expert in her field. With decades of experience and all the pizazz of newbie - she is quite a force on the LA real estate front. We met her during an extraordinary open house she was hosting to over a 100 people. A few days later we went back with our realtor, Ms. Neith remembered every question we had asked during the busy open house. We bought in West Adams where she resides as well. She pretty quickly convinced us that it is LA's best and last kept little secret of neighborhoods. We got keys to the house last week. I would happily, happily work with her again whether I was a buyer, seller, builder or investor.  Oh, and did I mention she's a hell of a good person as well! We now consider her not only a neighbor, but a friend!    - R and O
  Business Photo 5.0 star rating 2 Reviews
Category: Real Estate Agents
8650 Sunset Blvd
3rd Fl
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(323) 317-9696

Monday, 3 December 2012

Monday, 19 November 2012

Updated, Renovated & Resuscitated Listings

Check the specs on these updated, renovated & resuscitated listings all in and around the West Adams area!

Interested buyers contact me, Natalie Neith, at 323.317.9696 or NatalieNeith@gmail.com to set up a showing...these beauties won't be around for long...

Click each pic for more property photos!

2324 S La Salle Ave, Los Angeles 90018


$449,000
MLS #12-582677
3 BR, 3 BA built in 1912
APX SF: 2,016/AS
APX LSZ: 5,793/AS

REMARKS:  EXQUISITE CALIFORNIA CRAFTSMAN HOME THAT HAS BEEN TASTEFULLY UPDATED AND REMODELED WITH THE HIGHEST QUALITY! 3 HUGE BEDROOMS (2 MASTER BEDROOM SUITES EACH W/ BATHROOM). 3RD BATHROOM WAS ADDED WITH PERMITS! CUSTOM CABINETRY, GRANITE COUNTERS & BEAUTIFUL FIXTURES THROUGH-OUT! GORGEOUS NEW HARDWOOD FLOORS (NOT PERGO) NEW FRENCH STYLE VINYL WINDOWS!! ALL NEW ELECTRICAL 200 AMP SERVICE & WIRING, NEW COPPER PLUMBING & MUCH MORE!! DETACHED 1 CAR GARAGE. HUGE CORNER LOT W/ WROUGHT IRON FENCING! PROFESSIONALLY LANDSCAPED W/ NEW SOD & MORE!

1815 Crenshaw, Los Angeles 90019


$525,000
MLS #12-583329
5 BR, 3 BA built in 1912
APX SF: 3,008/VN
APX LSZ: 8,320/AS

REMARKS:  This house is a rare find. All original wood work still in tact. Huge family room with wet bar. Spacious living room and formal dining room. Study,with fireplace and library. Wood floors in excellent condition throughout the house. Bonus room upstairs adjacent to one of the bedrooms. Large balcony, big back yard. Property is zoned for commercial and residential use. PROPERTY SELLS AS IS - NO EXCEPTIONS - PRICE REDUCED TO SELL

1739 Bronson St, Los Angeles 90019


$489,990
MLS #IV12132377MR
6 BR, 3 BA built in 1913
APX SF: 3,000/ES
APX LSZ: 6,550/PR

REMARKS:  STANDARD SALE!!!**NOT AN REO OR SHORT SALE**STANDARD SALE!!!**CONVENTIONAL, FHA AND VA WELCOME!** CENTRALLY LOCATED BETWEEN LA & BEVERLY HILLS!!! BEAUTIFULLY RENOVATED 6 BED 3 BATH HOME APPROX 3000 SQUARE FEET W/A 2 CAR DETACHED GARAGE ON A 6550 SQUARE FOOT LOT!!! MOVE IN READY WITH ALL THE UPGRADES. TERRIFIC 2 STORY HOME (WITH PERIMETER FENCE)!!! THIS HOME HAS NEW INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR PAINT, GRANITE COUNTER TOPS IN KITCHEN W/GRANITE IN THE BATHROOMS, NEW FIXTURES, CEILING FANS, SINKS, TILE FLOORING, UPGRADED PLUSH CARPET, ETC!! A PERFECT SIZED FRONT LAWN AND PLENTY OF ROOM IN THE BACK YARD FOR ENTERTAINING. HOME IS ON A QUIET STREET AND NEAR THE 10 FREEWAY WITH EASY ACCESS. READY TO MOVE IN. PRICED TO SELL, THIS HOME WILL NOT LAST. BUYER (S) TO VERIFY ALL INFO FOR ITS ACCURACY. (APPLIANCES WILL BE INSTALLED PRIOR TO CLOSE OF ESCROW)

2284 W 28th St, Los Angeles 90018


$349,000
MLS #12-629643
2 BR, 1 BA built in 1907
APX SF: 1,305/AS
APX LSZ: 5,000/AS

REMARKS:  Absolutely adorable Craftsman bungalow in the Bungalow neighborhood of Historic West Adams. The restored home features a spacious and open living and dining rooms, new cook's kitchen with granite counter tops and a separate breakfast area, 2 well sized bedrooms, a newer bathroom, laundry area as well as a bright sun room that may be in addition to the quoted square footage. Upgrades include copper plumbing, updated electrical, newer roof, new exterior paint and new landscaping. The garage is a great home workshop with plumbing. This is a charming as it gets and ready to move into. Property is located within the Jefferson Park HPOZ.






Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The Congressional Clock Ticks Toward the Cliff


As Congress rapidly approaches the unfortunately named 'fiscal cliff,' with its military and domestic budget cuts ('sequestrations') and threat of double-dip recession, we in the real estate biz are reminded of the dire implications for millions of distressed homeowners and the housing market as a whole. With the balance of power virtually intact post-election, the way forward toward compromise seems as muddled as ever. Meanwhile, 50,000 homeowners go through foreclosure each month and short sales have ballooned to almost 500,000 a year.

Perhaps the most important housing issue in this debate is one we've touched on before: the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act. Should this be allowed to expire, homeowners going through foreclosure, short sale or principal reduction will have to pay income tax on the forgiven portion of their mortgage. The National Association of Realtors supports an extension of the bill and says all interested parties agree that it's good policy. "The hold up is in the process. I'm confident it will get done. I just don't know how," says Jamie Gregory, NAR's chief lobbyist. Cold comfort as the clock winds down...

The NAR has also been critical of the Simpson-Bowles commission and its recommendation to streamline the tax code by revamping the mortgage interest deduction (MID) to only include principal homes worth up to $500,000. Any changes to the MID could depreciate home prices by up to 15%, according to NAR, and the association has promised to "remain vigilant in opposing any plan that modifies or excludes the deductibility of mortgage interest."

Nice to know someone's looking out for the interests of the housing market, which were all but ignored during the election. Let's hope some kind of consensus can be reached without doing further damage or compromising the slow-but-steady housing rebound!

RELATED ARTICLES:

Right away, housing challenges for Obama | Inman News | November 7, 2012

Tax break for struggling homeowners set to expire | CNNMoney | Les Christie | November 7, 2012




Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Sunday, 4 November 2012

New Listing: 1659 S Hobart, Harvard Heights

BEAUTIFULLY RESTORED A FEW YEARS AGO, THIS VINTAGE FOURSQUARE COLONIAL IS GETTING SPIFFED UP AND WILL BE READY FOR HER CURTAIN CALL SOON! AMPLE FRONT PORCH, CENTER HALL FLANKED BY DOUBLE PARLORS, FORMAL DINING ROOM--JUST BEGINS TO DESCRIBE THIS BEAUTY! UPDATED KITCHEN, BIG BUTLER'S PANTRY, MAID'S ROOM/OFFICE, 1.5 BATHS ON FIRST FLOOR. SECOND FLOOR OFFERS 4 BEDROOMS, 1 BATH, ENCLOSED PORCH AND GREAT VINTAGE DETAIL! AND THERE'S A BARN IN THE BACKYARD!


Wednesday, 31 October 2012

2616 Dalton Ave In Escrow!!!

Recently opened escrow on this beautiful property, but we're still looking for backup offers!!!

Specs: Historic exterior, totally redone & updated for the discriminating buyer-- 3 BR, 2.5 BA, new roof, foundation, wood floors, gorgeous kitchen, marble counters in beautiful baths, HUGE den/family room, with banks of windows overlooking deck with big tree in the middle! That's not all--central heat & air, new plumbing, electric, garage off the adj. alley, fully landscaped in the heart of Historic West Adams.

Friday, 26 October 2012

2616 Dalton Ave Price Reduction!!!


The deal on this authentically restored & completely updated 1904 craftsman beauty just got even better...now only $449,000, a $20,000 reduction!

The time is now to make an offer on your own personal slice of revitalized LA history!!!

Specs: Historic exterior, totally redone & updated for the discriminating buyer-- 3 BR, 2.5 BA, new roof, foundation, wood floors, gorgeous kitchen, marble counters in beautiful baths, HUGE den/family room, with banks of windows overlooking deck with big tree in the middle! That's not all--central heat & air, new plumbing, electric, garage off the adj. alley, fully landscaped in the heart of Historic West Adams.

Click the image below for a photo tour!

Click here to view my eCard

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Deconstruction Over Demolition at Wilshire Grand

It's deconstruction over demolition at the Wilshire Grand. Phase one of 'soft demolition' has begun, which includes taking down non-load-bearing walls and eliminating hazardous materials. Next month brings phase two and the heavy machinery, complete with two giant cranes hoisting smaller, tractor-like vehicles to drill through concrete walls and platforms, dismantling the Grand floor-by-floor. When the building is reduced to street level by late next Spring, phase three begins with excavation of the existing foundation and underground infrastructure, a sensitive phase as crews are careful not to expose the nearby Seventh Street Metro Subway tube.

The choice of deconstruction seems a wise one overall, especially to those of us who frequent DTLA, with the triple threat of street closings, falling debris and noxious dust outweighing the broad-spectrum appeal of a good explosion. Chris Martin, architect and overseer on the project, made the call against outright demolition, disappointing pyromaniacs city-wide. He's interviewed by Ryan Vaillancourt of LADTNews here.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Who's the Housing President?

In light of the final presidential debate tonight, let's take a look at how the candidates' housing plans will affect the country's nascent housing market recovery. Despite tonight's proposed topic of foreign policy, it is widely agreed that the first candidate to relate any problems abroad back to our still floundering economy at home will likely emerge victorious. Housing looms as large in our economic recovery as it did in our downfall, so it would follow that the candidate most capable of boosting the housing market has the best chance of fostering an overall upturn. However, according to an analysis by Capital Economics released last week, neither candidates' policy tinkerings will have a significant effect on the pace or depth of the housing recovery. In short, the slow-but-steady rebound will continue no matter who is president, and though each candidate has specific policy proposals that may prove mildly successful, none are enough to significantly affect a market with an apparent mind of its own.

http://www.dsnews.com/articles/obama-romneys-housing-policies-wont-make-huge-difference-report-2012-10-18

Obama, Romney's Housing Plans Won't Make Huge Difference: Report

While Barack Obama and Mitt Romney may have been “frustratingly light on detail” so far with regards to housing, an analysis by Capital Economics reveals the two candidates’ policies may have more in common than they care to admit.

In a Housing Market Update released by the company, property economist Paul Diggle writes that, based on the information Capital Economics has pieced together, “it looks like anyone expecting either candidates’ housing plan to make a dramatic difference to the course of the housing recovery will be disappointed.”

When it comes to the continuation of current housing policies, both President Obama and Governor Romney largely agree. For one thing, both candidates support selling off government-owned REOs to investors, a process that has already been tested to some success. Both favor the greater use of foreclosure alternatives, promoting a shift toward short sales and deeds in lieu of foreclosure. And both share at least a small section of common ground with regards to principal reductions.

“Obama supports outright principal reductions on underwater mortgages owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in an attempt to reduce the delinquency rate. Romney, meanwhile, gave a brief supportive mentioned to shared appreciation-whereby lenders forgive borrowers some of their outstanding mortgage balance in exchange for a share of future house price gains-in his housing plan,” Diggle said.

As president, either man will likely face some measure of opposition from the FHFA, which has expressed its opposition to principal reductions and has so far “made for an effective roadblock” on those efforts. Diggle speculated that the forced removal of FHFA acting director Edward DeMarco may be necessary for progress on that front.

In addition, both Obama and Romney seem to agree on paring back the mortgage interest deduction, but neither wants to scrap the deduction entirely. While altering the deduction will probably change the renting/buying trade-off somewhat, Capital Economics’ calculations suggest even without a deduction, buying is still a better deal at the moment.

While there appear to be many similarities in the candidates’ housing plans, they don’t agree on every point. For one thing, “it’s likely that Obama would use a second term to renew efforts towards allowing more mortgage borrowers to refinance onto lower rates,” including an expansion of the HARP program outside of Fannie and Freddie-owned mortgages.

Romney, on the other hand, proposes to create looser mortgage credit conditions by repealing Dodd-Frank. His concern is that the current uncertainty about the definition of a “qualified mortgage” is hindering credit availability. Diggle cited a recent survey by the Federal Reserve that revealed legislative concerns are becoming an “important factor” in mortgage credit for about a third of respondents. However, that issue seemed to worry lenders less than put-back risk, the availability of mortgage insurance, and the house price outlook.

The bottom line, Diggle said, is that while both candidates’ policies would likely be helpful for the housing recovery, neither candidate is likely to improve the current course of housing greatly.

“The fundamental drivers of the housing recovery will continue to be the very favourable level of valuations and affordability, meaning that the housing market should continue recovering with or without further policy tinkering,” Diggle said.

Friday, 19 October 2012

2616 Dalton Ave Open House!!!

Authentically Restored & Completely Updated 1904 Craftsman Beauty, Open Saturday & Sunday, 10/20 & 21, 2-5pm!!!

Don't miss the chance make an offer on this slice of revitalized LA history!!!

Specs: Historic exterior, totally redone & updated for the discriminating buyer--
3 BR, 2.5 BA, new roof, foundation, wood floors, gorgeous kitchen, marble counters in beautiful baths, HUGE den/family room, with banks of windows overlooking deck with big tree in the middle! That's not all--central heat & air, new plumbing, electric, garage off the adj. alley, fully landscaped in the heart of Historic West Adams.

Click the pic for a photo tour:

Click here to view my eCard

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Hipster Flippers

Have you heard? Flipping is officially back! Even ABC News has hopped on the bandwagon, reporting that 25% more houses are being flipped this year over last, with an average profit of $29,000. A tad tight for our taste (love to flip in the 50k and over range), but more biz is more biz...let's just keep the mania a little more tempered than last time, right?

Friday, 12 October 2012

Enough Malarkey


After enduring the malarkey of last night's VP debate, which brought barely a mention of the country's ongoing housing crisis and no consideration for the millions of distressed homeowners facing their own personal 'fiscal cliff' should Congress once again fail to act, today's post focuses on the impending lame-duck congressional session and what it means for borrowers facing foreclosure.

The session is scheduled to begin on Nov. 13, thankfully seven days after what is sure to be a contentious presidential election.  Though it is perhaps too optimistic to be thankful, the hope is that with the election decided, Congress may finally be able to focus on the problems at hand with an eye toward what is best for the country, rather than what makes the best political sense for each side.

The main concern for distressed borrowers will be the future of the mortgage debt forgiveness tax provisions, laws passed by Congress during the housing crisis that ensure any debts forgiven by lenders following foreclosures, loan mods, short sales or deeds-in-lieu will be written off without being taxed as income by the federal government. (State governments have passed similar laws, including California.) The central tenet of these laws, the Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012, passed the Senate Finance Committee in August but has a chance of being embroiled in the inevitable partisan bickering over spending cuts, taxes and the federal debt ceiling once the lame-duck session starts.

Hopefully for the millions of worried borrowers wrenching their hands at congressional intransigence, the Tax Cut Certainty Act will be treated as a stand-alone bill and the issue of debt forgiveness tax exemption will be seen for what it is: a small but significant succor for millions of Americans facing the loss of their homes, businesses and overall lifestyles.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Kenneth R. Harney, Los Angeles Times, October 7, 2012
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/oct/07/business/la-fi-harney-20121007

Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle, September 17, 2012
http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Clock-ticking-on-forgiven-debt-tax-break-3872721.php?goback=.gde_133476_member_165464841

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

No Winter!

Numerous news sources are reporting that the home price forecast is trending toward something we're quite accustomed to here in severely sunny Southern California: no winter!  Real estate valuation firm Clear Capital reports that recent gains seem strong enough to plow right through the usually tepid winter season and into Q1 2013; that is, of course, if our otherwise intransigent Congress can get its act together, agree on a compromise balancing tax increases with spending cuts, and pull us back from the "fiscal cliff."  Consumer confidence and the future of our fragile recovery depend on it...

Home Prices Forecast to Weather Winter, but Will Congress Ice Gains?    


Home prices continued to reclaim lost ground in September with increases recorded for every corner of the country, Clear Capital reported Tuesday. Improvements have been so strong, in fact, the real estate valuation firm says yearly growth is forecast to shake off winter’s chill and continue through the first quarter of 2013.

That is, if federal lawmakers can keep from squashing consumer confidence, and before coming head-to-head with the end-of-year deadline, can agree on a resolution for the $500 billion in tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to take effect—a looming cloud of financial uncertainty that pundits have dubbed the “fiscal cliff.”

National home prices closed out the third quarter 3.6 percent higher than the previous year, according to Clear Capital’s latest Home Data Index (HDI). If the fiscal cliff is averted, the company projects a 2.2 percent gain nationally through the first quarter of next year with home prices defying the typical seasonal trajectory that follows the thermometer’s mercury lower.

Clear Capital’s Dr. Alex Villacorta says housing is making notable progress, with enough momentum to carry improvements well into the new year, but he warns it could all be undone by the 535 delegates representing the American people that sit atop Capitol Hill.

“[W]e’ve turned our focus to the impending fiscal cliff,” said Villacorta, Clear Capital’s director of research and analytics. “With forecasted gains of 2.2 percent over the next six months, the threat of the fiscal cliff could throw a wrench into the recovery.”

Even if Congress grinds out a fix as the curtain falls on 2012 and the cliff is avoided, Villacorta says they run the risk of damaging consumer confidence—particularly among potential homebuyers—if a resolution fails to materialize until just before the year-end deadline. “Confidence is key to turning the recovery’s near-term sprint into a marathon,” Villacorta said. “The sooner businesses and consumers are reassured, the more likely they are to build, purchase, or loan on a house.”

According to Clear Capital, the housing recovery now lies in Congress’ hands. The company draws parallels between recent bouts of economic uncertainty and declines in both consumer confidence and home prices in its latest report.

Consumers reacted negatively to the debt ceiling spectacle last summer with a 14.3 percent drop in sentiment—the largest since the end of the recession—and concurrently, home prices experienced their worst annual declines since the bottom of the market in 2009, Clear Capital reports.

READ THE REST HERE...

Friday, 28 September 2012

Know anyone who wants a GREAT pied-a-terre in DTLA?
Corner loft in the Sexy Eastern Columbia building...1 BR, 
1.75Ba
Furnished, linens & dishes included
$3150 per month--conference/dining table--plenty of space
 for artist to create.
...Rooftop pool, fitness center, great lobby
Fun, social building--wine club, book club, gardening club,
and more....

who do YOU know?

Attention Demolition Enthusiasts: the UNNC has important news & info concerning Carmageddon, the Sequel



Wilshire Ramps 







The September 29 and 30 demolition of the north side of Mulholland Bridge can be described by the 53 hours the work is expected to require or the approximately 4,000 cones to be used during the closures.
Gardeners might be impressed by the 1,200 cubic yards of soil to be spread under the bridge, to a height of approximately four feet, to cushion the freeway surface from falling debris.
If you enjoy trivia, you might appreciate that 38,000 pounds of miscellaneous iron and steel will be removed. The metal jackets surrounding the four pillars to be removed that weekend weight 90,333 pounds each, a total of 361,332 pounds. As a comparison, the Washington Monument, according to the National Park Service, weighs 162,240,000 pounds.
If you want to see the demolition up close, Metro.net will feature a live feed of the demolition, beginning very early Saturday morning, September 29. If demolitions do not interest you, Metro offers dozens of discounted offers and events through its Eat, Shop and Play Locally program that weekend.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Better Late Than Never

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced today that the final components of the Homeowner Bill of Rights have been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, to take effect January 1, 2013.

“California has been the epicenter of the foreclosure and mortgage crisis,” said Attorney General Harris. “The Homeowner Bill of Rights will provide basic fairness and transparency for homeowners, and improve the mortgage process for everyone.”

Designed to prohibit numerous unfair bank practices that pushed many thousands of Californians into needless foreclosures, the law restricts lenders from initiating foreclosure on a homeowner while simultaneously negotiating a loan modification on said home...a wildly popular practice in our experience. 

The new law also guarantees distressed homeowners a single point of contact with their lender, thus avoiding the temptation for lenders to simply pass borrowers around the horn of bureaucracy from department to department, lulling them into complacency while initiating foreclosure proceedings.

The final components enacted today include:

SB 1474, giving the Attorney General leeway to use a statewide grand jury to indict financial criminals with victims in multiple counties,

AB 1950, extending the statute of limitations on mortgage-related crimes to three years,

and AB 2610, requiring buyers of foreclosed homes to give tenants at least 90 days notice prior to starting eviction proceedings.

All steps in the right direction for sure, but one wonders why such regulations are only being considered AFTER such a crisis...

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Chat-and-a-Handshake

This article rings true. The ever-expanding arsenal of new tech tools are precisely that--tools to serve a trade based in old-fashioned, 1-on-1 dialogue between client and professional. Surely such tools are invaluable in collecting information and dispersing it to clients and colleagues quickly, but their purpose is to augment, not replace, that old school, personal touch. Whatever happened to the chat-and-a-handshake?


"In the last few years real estate has changed more radically than ever before. Externals in the economy such as high unemployment, a stagnant economy, lack of corporate transferees, high gasoline prices, foreclosures and short sales that never close, homes that do not appraise and buyers that do not qualify for a loan on the last day have taken a heavy toll on our industry both in rank and file membership and real estate offices and brokerages. As agents, we have become gun--shy because we are afraid of alienating those dwindling ranks of buyers and now we are afraid to ask real questions and meet them face to face. We've shied away from dialog because we are afraid of more rejection and failure.

Dialog is a lost art! The new buzz words in real estate are 'Text me, go to my web, make your loan application online, see the attached file, or please electronically sign the contracts…!' However such impersonal communication and service may not be the right answer to closing more business. Erroneously, our industry has embraced the notion that Internet, social media and Blogging are the new bonding opportunities and they've replaced those 1--on--1 relationships that we employed so successfully just a short while ago. They have not! They are just tools that are being improperly used to facilitate the marketing and sales process, but they may not increase your bottom line. Perhaps they are beneficial tools for business, but they cannot replace the personal touch!..."

Published: September 26, 2012

READ THE REST HERE...

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Received a a wonderfully interesting phone call today from a blogger who researches historic LA,...and had a lengthy conversation with him...more info on his blogs coming soon!

also interviewed this afternoon by a journalist from USC's Anneberg School for NeonTommy--stay tuned!

A Time To Lend

Following the Sept 19 post re: NAR's call for more "sensible" lending standards, yesterday LPS released its first look data for the month of August, indicating a further fall in the total delinquency rate to 6.87%, down 2.3% from July.  Declining delinquency, historic mortgage rates, a market slow to turn...the time seems ripe for lending...turn! turn! turn!

www.dsnews.com/articles/delinquencies-drop-further-in-lps-first-look-august-data-2012-09-24

Delinquencies Fall Further in LPS First-Look Data 


"Loan delinquency in the United States continued to drop in the month of August, according to first-look data from Lender Processing Services (LPS).




According to data released Monday, the total delinquency rate (for loans 30 or more days past due but not in foreclosure) was 6.87 percent in August, down 2.3 percent from July. Year-over-year, delinquencies fell 10.6 percent.

An estimated 3,430,000 properties were 30 days or more past due (but not in foreclosure) at the end of August. Approximately 1,520,000 were 90 or more days delinquent but not in foreclosure.

A total of 5,450,000 properties were 30 or more days overdue or in foreclosure.

The foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate fell 1.0 percent from July, with the number of properties estimated at 2,020,000. Yearly, the inventory rate dropped 2.0 percent. The estimated foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate was 4.04 percent.

Nevada and Florida once again made the list of the top five states with the highest percentage of non-current loans. They were joined by Mississippi, New Jersey, and New York.

The list of states with the lowest percentage of delinquent loans included Montana, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wyoming, all of which consistently rank near the top."

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Fixed Mortgage Rates Find New Lows in Wake of QE3 Announcement

The Federal Reserve’s announcement confirming a third round of quantitative easing sent long-term mortgage rates tumbling to all-new record lows this week.

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed a drop in both the 30-year and 15-year fixed. According to the survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.49 percent (0.6 point) for the week ending September 20, down from 3.55 percent the week before.

The 15-year FRM also fell this week, averaging 2.77 percent (0.6 point). The previous survey showed an average of 2.85 percent.

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) saw some slippage, however. The 1-year ARM saw no change from last week, averaging 2.61 percent (0.4 point). The 5-year ARM actually increased, rising to 2.76 percent (0.6 point) from 2.72 percent before.

The Fed’s announcement adds to the other good news the housing market has been seeing, said Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist at Freddie Mac.

“Following the Federal Reserve’s announcement of a new bond purchase plan, yields on mortgage-backed securities fell, bringing average fixed-mortgage rates to their all-time record lows, which should aid in the ongoing housing recovery,” Nothaft said. “New construction on one-family homes rebounded in August, rising by 5.5 percent to the fastest pace since April 2010. In addition, existing home sales increased by 7.8 percent in August to its strongest pace since May 2010.”

Bankrate’s weekly survey showed drops in all categories. The 30-year fixed plummeted to 3.70 percent from 3.81 percent last week, while the 15-year fixed fell to 2.95 percent from 3.04 percent. Meanwhile, the 5/1 ARM dropped to 2.69 percent from 2.75 percent.

While the new stimulus may be good for housing, Bankrate wondered if the Fed’s plan will be able to achieve its intended goal.

“Unhappy with the pace of economic recovery or job growth, the Fed felt compelled to take additional measures, even if those measures will be more effective at boosting the stock market and reducing interest rates than the stated intentions of lifting economic output and aiding job growth,” Bankrate said in a release.

http://www.dsnews.com/articles/fixed-mortgage-rates-find-new-lows-in-wake-of-qe3-announcement-2012-09-20

Thursday, 20 September 2012


Need Support Letters
Trader Joe's and Nike Town have approached the Council Office with interest in locating at District Square (Crenshaw and Rodeo; where Ralph's is located) This entire site is going to be redeveloped; Rodeo to Starbuck's; Crenshaw to the alley.
Since they have shown interest, we want to show them we are interested. We would like letters, emails from community groups and individual residents that express support for these two stores.
Please make the support for Trader Joe's and/or Nike Town in separate emails or letters so that we can pass them on to the correct entity.
Thank you so much.
Pass this along to all on your list and we would like to have them within a week to 10 days. Thanks again.

Sylvia Lacy
District Office Director, Council District 10
HERB J. WESSON, JR.
President, Los Angeles City Council 
1819 S. Western Avenue 90006
Phone: 323-733-8233 Fax: 323-733-5833
Sylvia.Lacy@lacity.org
Visit CD 10's Website www.lacity.org/council/cd10/

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Home Sales and Job Creation would Rise with Sensible Lending Standards

WASHINGTON (September 17, 2012) – New survey findings, combined with an analysis of historic credit scores and loan performance, show home sales could be notably higher by returning to reasonably safe and sound lending standards, which also would create new jobs, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said there would be enormous benefits to the U.S. economy if mortgage lending conditions return to normal.  “Sensible lending standards would permit 500,000 to 700,000 additional home sales in the coming year,” he said.  “The economic activity created through these additional home sales would add 250,000 to 350,000 jobs in related trades and services almost immediately, and without a cost impact.”

A monthly survey* of Realtors® shows widespread concern over unreasonably tight credit conditions for residential mortgages.  Respondents indicate that tight conditions are continuing, lenders are taking too long in approving applications, and that the information lenders require from borrowers is excessive.  Some respondents expressed frustration that lenders appear to be focusing only on loans to individuals with the highest credit scores.

Even though profits in the financial industry have climbed back strongly to pre-recession levels, lending standards still remain unreasonably tight.

Yun said all it takes is a willingness to recognize that market conditions have turned in the wake of an over-correction in home prices, with all of the price measures now showing sustained gains.  “There is an unnecessarily high level of risk aversion among mortgage lenders and regulators, although many are sitting on large volumes of cash which could go a long way toward speeding our economic recovery.  A loosening of the overly restrictive lending standards is very much in order,” he said.

Respondents to the NAR survey report that 53 percent of loans in August went to borrowers with credit scores above 740.  In comparison, only 41 percent of loans backed by Fannie Mae had FICO scores above 740 during the 2001 to 2004 time period, while 43 percent of Freddie Mac-backed loans were above 740.

In 2011, about 75 percent of total loans purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are now a smaller market share, had credit scores of 740 or above.

There is a similar pattern for FHA loans.  The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has defined a prime loan as having a FICO score of 660 and above.  However, the average FICO score for denied applications on FHA loans was 669 in May of this year, well above the 656 average for loans actually originated in 2001.

Loan performance over the past decade shows the 12-month default rate averaged just under 0.4 percent of mortgages in 2002 and 2003, which is considered normal.  Twelve-month default rates peaked in 2007 at 3.0 percent for Fannie Mae loans and 2.5 percent for Freddie Mac loans, clearly showing the devastating impact of risky mortgages.

Yun said home buyers in recent years have been highly successful.  Since 2009, the 12-month default rates have been abnormally low.  Fannie Mae default rates have averaged 0.2 percent while Freddie Mac’s averaged 0.1 percent, which are notable given higher unemployment in the timeframe.

Under normal conditions, existing-home sales should be in the range of 5.0 to 5.5 million.  “Sales this year are projected to rise 8 to 10 percent.  Although welcoming, this still represents a sub-par performance of about 4.6 million sales,” Yun said.  “These findings show we need to return to the sound underwriting standards that existed before the aberrations of the housing boom and bust cycle, and thoroughly re-examine current and impending regulatory rules that may cause excessively tight standards.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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*Data derived from a monthly survey for the Realtors® Confidence Index based, on over 3,000 member responses, posted at www.Realtor.org.

http://goo.gl/zkZnn

Monday, 17 September 2012

Why FHA Buyers Should Purchase Soon!!!

 

In case you did not hear, the FHA will probably be raising its monthly mortgage insurance "MIP" premiums yet again. "The FHA Emergency Fiscal Solvency Act of 2012" (H.R.4264) has overwhelmingly passed the House and is on its way to the senate. Among other powers, the bill grants the FHA authority to raises its monthly mortgage insurance premiums to as high as 2.05% -- nearly twice the 1.25% rate most FHA-insured homeowners pay today. This would be the highest annual MIP increase in FHA history. For example, on a $400k home with the new monthly MIP of 2.05%, a buyer will pay an extra $267 a month.

Why are the FHA doing this, quite simply they need to shore up dwindling reserves and prevent a bail out! Increasing the monthly mortgage insurance "MIP" premiums is the easiest way to raise money.

*This is a clear signal from the FHA to the housing market that they will be increasing their mortgage insurance premiums "MIP" soon, just as they telegraphed 4 times already in the recent past (see below)

Recent FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium Changes!

The FHA is no stranger to changing MIP rates. Since 2008, the agency has changed its monthly mortgage insurance premiums four times.

In 2008, the FHA charged 0.50% in MIP to home buyers using 30-year fixed rate mortgages and a 3.5% down payment. Since then, those rates have climbed.

In 2009, the FHA charged 0.55 percent
In 2010, the FHA charged 0.90 percent
In 2011, the FHA charged 1.10 percent
In 2012, the FHA charged 1.25 percent (or 1.50 percent in high-cost areas)

If a buyer has been holding off on purchasing a home, now might be a good time to start looking soon before they get stuck with this increase! Of course FHA mortgage interest rates may be dropping, but they're not dropping as fast as FHA mortgage insurance premiums may rise.

You can check out details of the FHA Emergency Fiscal Solvency Act of 2012 here http://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/112-2012/h562

Please feel free to contact me with any questions

Michael Deery