January 2013

Found 50 blog entries for January 2013.

The rogue agent is the one who is constantly going entirely off the charts from what you’ve laid out as your criteria for a home. The one who shows you a house in Parkview when you said you wanted to live in Oakview; the one who shows you a 2 bedroom when you insist you need 3; the agent who shows you condos when you’ve asked to see single family homes - and vice versa.  Sometimes, a rogue agent can frustrate a buyer, especially when there is urgency to finding a new home, when your time for house hunting is tight, or when the homes they are showing appear to have nothing that would cause the agent to reasonably expect that you might be inclined to make a compromise. Working with a rogue agent can also be frustrating when you feel like you’re simply not

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5 Great Daily Habits for the New Year

Here's a fresh idea for the start of the New Year. Instead of trying to improve ourselves by trying to follow another set of New Year's resolutions, some life coaches and self-improvement experts suggest that establishing a few good habits on a daily basis can be much more effective. Good habits, practiced regularly, eventually help us grow in the right direction.   

Following are five great habits that can upgrade every area of our lives: 

1. Keep moving. 
To improve your physical health, you don't have to join a gym or start training for marathons (unless that's what you absolutely love doing!). Just get yourself moving, every day. Instead of staring at a TV or computer screen for a couple of hours, get up

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Bankrate.com had some awesome tips to consider for getting the best deal on mortgage rates this year whether you're buying or refinancing. Here's the top 5: 1) Stop procrastinating and refinance! If you're paying more than 3.75 to 4 percent, it's time. These rates won't be here forever. 2) Ensure that your credit is golden. Credit standards remain tight, but there are things you can do to take care of old dings on your credit. Pay off a low balance credit card and watch your credit score go up 30 points. 3) Underwater refinancers...don't take no for an answer.


HARP, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, is here to help you. Go online to find information. 4) Compare FHA versus conventional loans. FHA requires a much smaller down payment. 5) Approved

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The real estate market is in the midst of a major comeback. Sales are greater than any time since 2007. Consumer confidence is increasing. Economists are now saying housing is the major tailwind to our nation’s overall economic recovery.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) latest Existing Home Sales Report:

“Total housing inventory at the end of December fell 8.5 percent to 1.82 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 4.4-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.8 months in November, and is the lowest housing supply since May of 2005 when it was 4.3 months, which was near the peak of the housing boom.

Listed inventory is 21.6 percent below a year ago when there was a 6.4-month supply. Raw unsold

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All the recent indicators, including rising home prices and sales activity, declining mortgage distress, the return of homeowner equity, new home sales and months of unsold inventory point in the right direction. Of course, underlying these positive housing trends is the economic recovery throughout California, which has recently spread from its coastal communities to its interior.  Closer to home, housing trends in Orange County saw annual double-digit home price appreciation by December 2012, and underwater homes had dropped by 15,000 units in third quarter of 2012 from the end of 2011. Most encouragingly, we are finally seeing more listings by existing homeowners in Orange County's resale market, which should help its move up market.



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Mortgage rates moved sharply higher again on Monday, in a continuation of Friday's aggressive weakness, rates were already well into multi-month highs at the end of last week with today merely making a bad situation worse.  If there's any silver lining, it's that the market-based weakness was concentrated in the morning and overnight hours while the rest of the day has been well-contained for the markets that underpin rate movements.  Conventional 30yr Fixed Best Execution was between 3.5 and 3.625% on Friday and today clearly moves to favor 3.625%, with a few lenders an eighth higher or lower

The week ahead is tremendously busy for financial markets and there's high potential for volatility in the "Mortgage-Backed-Securities" that most directly

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There's not much that's stopping the housing market from steadily moving forward. For 2012, the National Association of Realtors reported existing home sales UP 9.2% to 4.65 million units, flirting with levels not seen since 2007's 5.03 million homes. The median existing home price is UP 11.5% from December a year ago, the tenth month in a row of year-over-year gains. For 2012, the median price was UP 6.3%, the largest annual price gain since 2005! Completing the picture, although down in December, New Home Sales posted a 19.9% annual gain, their first  in 7 years. The median sales price for 2012 was UP 7.2% over 2011, while the FHFA index of prices for homes financed with conforming mortgages is UP 5.6% in the past year.


Tony Leocadio

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San Bernardino County and two of its cities abandoned a plan that would use eminent domain to seize troubled mortgages and write down debt for homeowners.

The decision strikes a blow to an idea that garnered national attention as a potential — if unconventional and controversial — solution to the mortgage crisis.

The proposal was unanimously shot down in a vote by members of the Joint Powers Authority that the county and the cities, Ontario and Fontana, formed last year to explore the idea. Greg Devereaux, county chief executive and chair of the authority's five-member board, said it gave up on the eminent domain plan because of its lack of public support.

Devereaux also echoed criticisms by the mortgage industry and Wall Street groups, who have

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Home sellers’ optimism contrasts with home buyers’ views, C.A.R. survey finds

In contrast with a recent C.A.R. survey of home buyers that found nearly three-fourths of home buyers think home prices will go up in 10 years, sellers are not as optimistic about future home prices, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) “2012 California Home Sellers Survey.”

Only one in five sellers believe that home prices will rise in 10 years, while 12 percent say home prices will rise in five years.  Only nine percent believe prices will rise in a year.  That compares to 73 percent, 41 percent and 25 percent, respectively, for home buyers.

“In contrast to record high housing affordability and record low financing rates experienced by home buyers in

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KB Home and Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. are forming a joint venture that will offer home loans to KB customers across the country, so they can shop for a house and a mortgage at the same time.

Nationstar, of Lewisville, Texas, agreed last year to be KB’s preferred lender, providing representatives to pitch mortgages to potential buyers at KB’s tracts of new homes. Those employees will now work for Home Community Mortgage, the new company jointly owned by KB and Nationstar.

Jeffrey Mezger, president and chief executive of Los Angeles-based KB, called the venture a “natural progression” for the nation’s fifth-largest home builder.

“A quality, predictable mortgage process is an essential element” of KB’s business model, Mezger said in a news

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