October 2012

Found 55 blog entries for October 2012.

Billionaire Warren Buffett is making a big move into retail home sales, and is putting his company name on about 1,700 real estate offices across the United States.

Irvine will be the headquarters of this new real estate chain, called Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, according to the terms of the deal announced Tuesday.

“I am confident that these partners will deliver value to the residential real estate industry, and I am pleased to have Berkshire Hathaway be a part of the new brand,” Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said in a company statement.

 

The new chain is the result of a partnership between Buffett’s HomeServices of America and Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management, a global investor that owns the Real Living

Read Full Post »

Warren Buffett's company said Tuesday that it is buying the Prudential and Real Living real estate franchise and launching a new brokerage brand for those agents.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is acquiring the network from Brookfield Asset Management. Berkshire and Brookfield will launch Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices next year and begin switching agents to the new firm.

Buffett said he's happy to lend Berkshire's name and financial strength to the new company, which will be based in Irvine, Calif., and be led by a team of executives from Prudential Real Estate.

"I am confident that these partners will deliver value to the residential real estate industry, and I am pleased to have Berkshire Hathaway be a part of the new brand," Buffett said in a

Read Full Post »

If you’re in the market for a new home, chances are you’ll have to compromise at some point along the way. Maybe you’ll have to commute a little farther than you’d like in order to get the best value for your money. Or perhaps you’ll forgo a huge backyard to be closer to the city.

And when it comes to finances, you might find a disparity between how much house you want and how much house you can purchase given your gross monthly income and other factors.

Home loans are made against your ability to repay. While the mortgage loan is secured against the house, it is really made against your income. That’s what mortgage lenders look for — income to offset liabilities.

Simply put, the amount of income you need to purchase a house will vary by your

Read Full Post »

Highlights of DataQuick’s Orange County homebuying report. For the 22 business days ending October 12 — the latest numbers — Orange County’s real estate market saw total Orange County sales of 3,113 residences closed in the latest period — that is up 21.8% vs. a year ago.Median selling price for all residences of $455,000 — that is up 7.6% vs. a year ago.

Also:

  • $455,000 median selling price is 29% below June 2007′s peak of $645,000.
  • Current price is 14% above end of 2011′s median ($400,000.)
  • Resales of single family homes were up 20.2% vs last year; condo sales rose 27.1% vs. year ago. Builders’ new homes sales were 17.0% higher in the same period.
  • The most recent median is 23% above the cyclical low hit in January 2009 at $370,000 — so the
Read Full Post »

The U.S. Department of Justice sued Bank of America for over $1 billion for alleged mortgage fraud related to the sale of loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced in a release Wednesday.

According to the release, the civil fraud suit is a first for the Justice Department for mortgage loans sold to the GSEs.

The lawsuit stems from origination practices from Countrywide, which BofA acquired in 2008.

According to the complaint, from 2007 to 2009, Countrywide implemented a loan process called the “Hustle,” which pushed loans through the origination process by eliminating quality checkpoints and by compensating employees based on the volume of loans originated.

For example, the complaint stated

Read Full Post »

 

As it stands now, any mortgage debt forgiven by a lender in a short sale, loan modification or foreclosure is exempt from federal taxation. Come Jan. 1, that exemption expires.

Borrowers will have to count mortgage relief from lenders as income on their federal tax returns. That means, for example, a borrower would have to pay taxes on a $100,000 reduction in principal owed on a loan, or a $20,000 write-off in the amount owed after a short sale.

An extension of the tax exemption — established under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 — is a strong possibility. But given that Congress will have to grapple with serious fiscal issues after the November elections, there is no guarantee the exemption will emerge

Read Full Post »

Orange County's economic recovery will pick up speed next year and really start cooking in 2014, with construction hiring finally making a comeback, according to Cal State Fullerton's 2013 economic forecast released today.

Good news for homeowners: The county's median home price is expected to rise 5 percent to 7 percent next year.

Article Tab: The local unemployment rate is expected to drop from this year's average 7.9 percent to 6.7 percent in 2014. The local unemployment rate is expected to drop from this year's average 7.9 percent to 6.7 percent in 2014. FILE PHOTO, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER ADVERTISEMENT

How several O.C. execs see the economy

“In the restaurant industry as a whole, we are seeing that we are going to be slow and steady, but we are improving. We have to be careful how we grow but we believe in our economy and that it is going

Read Full Post »

New home sales jumped 5.7 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted average annualized rate of 389,000, the highest rate since April 2010, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Wednesday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected the report to show a sales pace of 385,000. Sales for August were revised down to 368,000 from the originally reported 373,000.

Sales were still up 27.1 percent from September 2011, the strongest year-over-year gain since February.

The month-to-month sales improvement was the strongest since February, when sales improved 27,000, or 8.0 percent.

While sales numbers improved, both the median and average sales price of a new home dropped month-to-month.

The month-month dip in

Read Full Post »

Share5

For the 22 business days ending October 4 — DataQuick’s freshest stats — the Orange County real estate market had homebuying patterns showing five ZIP codes where homes sales jumped 100% or more.

Also …

Click for priciest homes!

    • Overall, countywide sales were up 16.2% vs. a year ago.
    • 35 local ZIPs had both sales gains and price gains in the period. (Highlighted in green below!) These double-gainers had combined sales volume equal to 48% of the Orange County market.
    • 56 of O.C.’s 83 ZIP codes with gains in their respective median selling price. Overall, buyers’ prices were +5.9% vs. a year ago.
    • Taking sales volume in consideration, home-sale pricing is up in ZIPs representing 69% of the Orange County market.
    • 7 of 83
Read Full Post »

FULLERTON – Advocates hoping to raise awareness about domestic violence took a grass-roots approach Tuesday.

Volunteers, workers and board members of WTLC, also known as the Women's Transitional Living Center, participated in its first Walk for Awareness – a strategically mapped out 21/2 mile stroll past schools and main thoroughfares surrounding the downtown.

Article Tab: In observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, about a dozen activists join WTLC for a Walk for Awareness through downtown Fullerton Tuesday. In observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, about a dozen activists join WTLC for a Walk for Awareness through downtown Fullerton Tuesday.

WTLC is an Orange County nonprofit group that provides services for families affected by domestic violence, including an emergency shelter, transitional housing and legal counseling.

The walkers passed Fullerton Union High School and

Read Full Post »