In Part 1, we discussed the history and development of the HAFA program, and talked about short sales.  As of June, 2012, a new version of this program has come online.  It may be of interest to Oakland and Piedmont residents whom I assist.

THE PROPOSED SOLUTION-NEWER VERSION-If the home involved is financed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the homeowner will benefit from some new guidelines:

a. Under the new rules, servicers (lenders) will have 30 days to review and respond to all short sale offers or requests.  If they find that they will need more than these 30 days, they must provide the borrower with weekly updates, and furnish a final response within 60 days.

b. During the above 60 days, the lender must tell the borrower whether a short sale will…

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THE PROBLEM: Over the last few years, Americans have been made aware of what the words "Housing Crises" means.  All over the United States, due to the sagging economy, coupled with poorly regulated lending policies, homeowners are discovering that what they supposed their home's value to be is no longer correct. 

In the past, the American dream of purchasing a house, staying in it for a while, then selling it and using it's increased equity to move up to the next level of ownership was a realistic and reasonable expectation.  The simple fact is that, for quite a while now, this has been unattainable for a disturbing segment of the Oakland-East Bay homeowners. 

Complicating this issue are the huge amount of regulations and rulings at the Federal level…

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The figures for the 1st quarter have come in with some predictable results. Housing sales are way up (almost 200% in Hayward!) with the bulk of these sales in the lower end markets. Foreclosures have been the bread and butter of this market with Short Sales and REOs bringing in buyers from all over. I've had one eager man in New Zealand who has been buying up properties in Richmond.

The low interest rates combined with the $8000 tax credit has made first-time buyers and investors dive into affordable East Bay and Oakland Real Estate. The median sales price of homes sold has dropped dramatically because of the focus on the lower end market. The median price of a Oakland home sale has dropped 70% since the same quarter last year. While many areas of…

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In just a few years Oakland, San Leandro and other East Bay homes have become affordable to many first time home buyers. The median price of Bay Area homes has continued to drop from $720,000 in the spring of 2007 to the current $295,000 median price of homes sold in Feb 2008.  The majority of these homes have been REOs(bank owned) and short sale (pre- foreclosure) listings but these have also brought down the price of surrounding owner occupied homes as well. Additional changes in lending practices and the $8000 federal tax credit have also stimulated buying in many neighborhoods. Maxwell Park, Laurel, and Dimond neighborhoods have seen plenty of buyers looking to get into these areas.  Some houses are selling for over $200,000 less than they were just…

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So the auction for the 'perfect' house in Berkeley had some bumps along the way. At the last minute, a termite report was produced which detailed $14,000 to $24,000 in repairs. Personally, I would never trust a report with that much leeway, especially one that came in the day before the auction. The auctioneer had previously assured me that the termite work had been cleared two years ago so this was troubling to me.

Plenty of people showed up in the rain to bid but ultimately the home didn't sell. The reserve was $525,000, which might have been fine if there was no additional work to be preformed, but that termite report was looming. The home is back on the market for $525,000 or best offer. Good luck to the sellers because they have had the hardest time…

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I just read an interesting article on the state of home sales in parts of Oakland.  Low priced ($200,000 and less) homes are becoming very attractive to investors. They can buy a home, rent it out, and still have positive cash flow because of the strong rental market. Many investors are coming in with all-cash offers for a smooth transaction with the bank.

The median price of a home in Oakland is now $330,000 which is roughly half of what it was only 18 months ago. What is driving homes sales up and prices down is the amount of REOs (bank-owned) and short-sales being sold. 50% of homes sales last month involved foreclosed homes, but foreclosures only represented 14% in Dec. 2007.

Banks are also starting to list their homes low and let the market…

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I always take info from the internet with a grain of salt but here are a few figures I found. 


Top 10 Worst States For Foreclosures

Top 10 Worst States For Foreclosures in 2008

1. Nevada – 1 in 61 households
2. California – 1 in 88 households
3. Florida– 1 in 95 households
4. Michigan– 1 in 102 households
5. Ohio– 1 in 107 households
6. Colorado – 1 in 109 households
7. Arizona – 1 in 112 households
8. Georgia– 1 in 142 households
9. Indiana– 1 in 196 households
10. Texas– 1 in 205 households

Top 10 States With Least Amount of Foreclosures in 2008

1. Vermont – 1 in 12,294 households
2. South Dakota – 1 in 4,693 households
3. North Dakota – 1 in 4,288 households
4. West Virginia – 1 in 3,071 households
5. Mississippi – 1 in 2,501…

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