Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Check FHA Mortgage Limits

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has revised the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan limits. You can check the FHA Mortgage Limits for area(s) online here: FHA Mortgage Limits. These limits are to remain in effect until December 31, 2009.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Real estate on Twitter

Have you heard about the microblogging and social networking platform known as Twitter? It's quite the "buzz" on the internet. We "follow" the updates (known as "tweets") of friends, fellow real estate professionals, interesting people, some celebrities, companies, news organizations and individuals ... finding up-to-the-second information. These "tweets" are limited to 140 characters, so it's quick to scan what's being "said" and read in depth on topics that interest you.

We've got to admit ... we're hooked. Check us out here: Fran and Rowena on Twitter. You'll find that we're on Twitter daily, posting links to real estate, and non-real estate items of interest, covering local and more worldly venues.

Let us know what you think? Join and "follow" us!

Read more about Twitter here: Twitter on Wikipedia

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Freddie Mac Plan for High Risk Loans

Freddie Mac has launched a new workout plan for high risk loans, trying to help borrowers keep their homes. Calling it their "Workout Strategy For High Risk Loans", they are utilizing specially trained counselors from outside sources.

"Under the new pilot, a selected portfolio of higher risk mortgages that are at least 60 days delinquent will be given to a specialty servicer for intensive attention using the full range of Freddie Mac workout opportunities, including the Streamlined Modification Program developed with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae and the HOPE Now Alliance."

Where is the program focused? "Initially, the pilot will target an estimated 5000 reduced documentation loans from California, Nevada and other states with high delinquent rates."

To read more: Freddie Mac Program for High Risk Loans

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

The National Association of Realtors® reports that "Most metropolitan area median home prices, impacted by distressed sales, trended down in the fourth quarter from a year earlier. At the same time, existing-home sales rose in only six states from the fourth quarter of 2007."

It's the foreclosures and short sales that make up the "distressed sales". We are noticing very enticing prices on these properties. We are also experiencing multiple offers, and sale prices above the list price on such properties.

Metropolitan areas that suffered the steepest home price declines (on single family homes) were "Las Vegas-Paradise, seven metro areas in California, Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, and three metros in Florida".

On the other end of the scale, metropolitan areas that had the largest home price increase (on single family homes) were Beaumont-Port Arthur (Texas), Bloomington-Normal (Illinois) and Dover (Delaware).

To read more: 4th quarter 2008 home price report

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New Real Estate Radio Show

The National Association of Realtors® is launching a weekly real estate radio show. Real Estate Today is a two hour show that can be heard on SIRIUS and XM Radio starting February 14.

The website says "...the program delivers everything you need to know about your home, from buying and selling tips and financing issues, to home improvements and other value enhancements, to the current state of the local real estate market."

Tune in this Saturday. For additional information go here: Real Estate Today.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Consumer Alert - Loan Modifications

If you are behind in the payments on your mortgage, you may be contacted by companies offering to help you with the "loan modification" process.

However, there are companies and people who are not legitimate and who are taking advantage of consumers.

The California Department of Real Estate has issued a "Consumer Alert". If you are asked to pay advance, up-front fees for such loan modification services, read here first: California Department of Real Estate.

The Department of Real Estate lists two non-profit counseling services:

Federal Housing Administration
Homeownership Preservation Foundation.