check out these 2 homes under 200k- Pittsburg & Antioch

This is a beautiful remodel & looks like a new house- 4 bedrooms & 1637 sq feet in Antioch. Designer tile floors, new granite kitchen & SS Appliances,dual pane windows, remodeled baths, new carpets, interior paint, lighting, doors, sod, sprinkler system, mirrored closet doors, beautifully landscaped front & back with gazebo, pond w/ waterfall, and fireplace insert. 

Heres another one-4 bedrooms, 1699 sq ft, built in 2005.  Excellent condition- newer home in gated community, tile kitchen, breakfast bar, dual pane windows, upstairs laundry, dual sinks in master, No rear neighbors, small park just steps away, excellent value- can close quickly!

Call me on either of these homes for more details, FHA will work for either of them- Thats only 3.5% down !

Short Sales in a minute ! What you must know!

Written by Norman Sinai   Realtor, Mortgage broker.

As a radio show host for AM 1220 KDOW’s “Real Estate Rumble”, as well as being a Certified Short Sale Professional, Im often asked about short sales. Below is a copy of the update we gave out on the radio show that every prospective buyer needs to know about short sales- feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Norman Sinai

Short Sales: 72% of all the homes for sale in the East Bay Area are short sales. There are 6563 homes for sale in the bay area as of this post * By the way, we have about 8200 pending homes if that tells you anything about the supply & demand factor of the market place right now.

If your shopping for a home right now, your going to be running into short sales as many of your options. Here are some things you have to know but may not learn until your in the middle of an escrow !
1. It can take several months to complete- so be prepared.
2. Ask how many lenders there are & who they are. Some lenders play nice, others are a pain.
3. You will most likely sign a short sale addendum that outlines how long your willing to wait for the short sale to be completed.
4. Ask about the listing & buyers agents experience with short sales. It seems that 1/2 the agents know what their doing & the other half are still figuring it out .Were all being forced to get better & learn, and this is still an ever changing topic.
5. Confirm the pricing. Make sure its realistic and not some overly optimistic price the agent used to get offers that will surely be countered by the lender. Nothing worse than waiting 3 months to find out the listing agent was a bonehead.
6. Is there a professional negotiator involved on the agents behalf handling the correspondance with the bank? This can be a benefit !
7. **Ask if they are accepting only one offer to present to the bank. Some agents still send all offers to the bank & expect all the buyers to wait for the bank to pick one- (good luck on that method)
8. Follow up. Yes, you the buyer ! stay on top of the realtor. Expect it to be slow the first month, but you should be getting weekly updates after week 6 or 7 at minimum.
9. Technically, the escrow period doesnt start until the short sale is approved by the sellers bank-after this approval, you will then start your escrow period, do inspections, etc.

Listen to The Real Estate Rumble, Every Saturday & Sunday at 1 pm, on AM 1220, KDOW.

FHA drops 90 day rule ! You havent been told everything!

FHA waives 90 day flip rule ! Home run or handicap?

By Norman Sinai
If you’ve been paying attention to anything “real estate” as of recent, you have probably heard that the Federal Housing Administration has recently waived a guideline that prohibited the purchase of “flip” properties with FHA financing.
To summarize, a “flip” property is a property that has been owned for less than 90 days from the time of purchase by the current owner.  Up until now, you couldnt get an FHA loan on a property fell within this time frame of ownership, unless you closed on it after the 90th day.
    This means anyone shopping with an FHA loan would be precluded from buying the foreclosures that always seem to be a part of the inventory of homes for sale that are quickly remarketed by investors who buy & flip these homes.  Homes which always seem to be within the entry level to middle priced market in most major metropolitan areas. Until now, investors that bought and resold these homes or banks that remarketed foreclosure inventory, couldn’t sell to FHA buyers without waiting 90 days first.
    The waiving of this guideline which now made these homes available to purchase with FHA financing, appeared to be a huge homerun for both the investors that buy properties and fix them up for resale & the FHA home buyers which are always facing the limited number of homes for sale in todays real estate market. FHA Buyers now had an addition of available homes for sale that they couldnt previously touch just because of that one Guideline.
       Often times investors limited to cash or large down payment buyers, take uninhabitable or rundown properties & improve these homes for resale & profit. Not only the homes themselves are improved, but the areas and the values of the neighborhoods surrounding these homes.

THE UGLY TRUTH- Most banks are not funding these loans right now ! Of the couple that are, there are strict guidelines being imposed, not just by FHA, but by the lenders themselves. For example, FHA says that they will fund a property that falls within 90 days from purchase of the current owner, but if the sale price exceeds 20% of the original (current) owners purchase price, this will likely require 2 appraisals verifying sufficient renovation to justify the increase in value. A little harsh when you consider that 20% isn’t profit, its just the difference between purchase & resale price including all costs the current owner bears ( rehab, selling costs, etc ), and who is to say what is a justifiable increase to FHA ? Hold on- of the couple of banks doing these loans, one is not even lending on these purchases if the sales price exceeds 20%, and most big banks aren’t doing them all!

The bottom line, good news or bad, it is what it is-  What was thought to be a very exciting addition to the industry, is turning out to be a big disappointment to buyers & investors- Were learning that just like the time FHA increasedthe conforming loan limits, banks will not always follow suit right away & there is typically a layover as well as self imposed rules that the lenders themselves put in play in addition to FHA’s policies.  Im hoping for an improvement to this new waiver soon for the benefit of all the buyers & investors out there !

Short sales- Getting approvals requires this one practice !

Today I have received approvals on 3 of my short sale listings I have offers on. This comes after months of consistent & diligent follow up & negotiating in all cases. The one thing I can say that all of these banks have in common, is they dont have anything in common. Some banks have a mandatory waiting period for the short sale to be assigned to a negotiator once they receive an offer, some will not let you correspond with the negotiator, some will start from the very beginning of the process if the buyer changes a single term that affects the banks net- or if a new buyer is brought in to replace the old buyer that may have dropped out due to a lack of patience.
The bottom line is, If your doing a short sale, the best thing that I have seen agents doing isnt any kind of negotiating, but one single thing that makes a huge difference. Counseling the buyers on the time required to get an approval & an understanding of the patience & process required to get the job done. Hats off to the agents that take the time to counsel their buyers & the buyers that understand the patience required. If you have questions on the short sale process, contact me today.
Norman Sinai, CSP- Realty World Bay Area Group. 925-829-7510
Radio show host for 1220 am KDOW’s
Real Estate Rumble. Fridays at 6 pm