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Showing posts from March, 2011

Goodby Fannie and Freddie

Recently the Press Enterprise ran a story about the Obama administration’s planned phase out of industry giants FANNIE MAE and FREDDIE MACwho combined hold over half of the nations mortgage securities. The stated motivation for this move is to lessen governments role inthe real estate industry. The big question is twofold first what does this mean for us today?And, what will it mean for us in the future? It should be noted thatthe prevailing thought is that in order to avoid a catastrophic collapse of our financial systemthe transition will need tobe stretched out over a protracted period (probably five years or more). So for the short term this will hardly cause a ripple. However, in order forour secondary market to survive (which is in our best interest) the private sector will need to fill the void left by the exit of Fannie and Freddie from the market place. The likelihood of this happening today is very slim. You see not only is America on sale (evidenced by the most affordable housi…

If It Smells Fishy...

It never ceases to amaze me the level of creativity that exist out there when it comes to those who would use illegal means to capitalize on a shifted or down market. The internet has spawned a new level of sophistication to the scams of yesterday. And today, the buyers and sellers would be well advised to ask questions and look before they leap. It should come as no surprise that currently the vast majority of fraud occurring is in the short sale and loan modification arena. This niche market (which currently represents over 50% of the transactions in our area) has been inundated by those who would use fraud and deception for their own financial gain to the detriment of those on whom they prey. In November of 2010, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) implemented the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (better known as MARS) act in an attempt to protect distressed homeowners from the ever increasing list of foreclosure relief scams. The primary function of this new rule is to make it ill…

2011 Changes In The Law

2010 was a busy year for our state legislators. And as a result there were a number of new laws crafted which affect the homeowners of California. The following is a brief synopsis of the regulations that have the greatest impact on you as a homeowner. First, it never fails to occur that once you purchase your new home, you immediately become inundated with documents offering to provide you with copies of your grant deed (for a fee), or a homestead document (for a fee). These solicitations are well crafted solicitations that cleverly mimic government documents. As a result an unsuspecting homeowner might be paying a premium price for a document he could get for free, or a service he does not need. AB1373 restricts these companies from these practices as of January 1, 2011. Next on the new law hit parade is SB 183. This law mandates a couple of things. First it requires that a Carbon Monoxide detector be installed in every unit or dwelling intended for human occupancy statewide. This ca…