Shortened Waiting Period for Re-Entering the Housing Market

Fannie Mae recently updated its policy related to the minimum waiting periods following a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, making it easier for distressed borrowers to re-enter the housing market.
Fannie Mae still requires borrowers to demonstrate that they have re-established credit following a significant derogatory credit event such as a foreclosure, bankruptcy, short sale, or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.  The wait period to repurchase is now 4 years now instead of 7 years.

Real Estate 101 Sell Your Home During the Holidays


By Paula Pant, Trulia | November 26, 2014

Make it happen with these eight tips!

It’s snowing outside, temperatures are dipping low, the neighborhood is feeling festive — and you need to sell your house quickly.

This time of year is spent visiting family, feasting on turkey and giving gifts. Unfortunately, selling a home usually isn’t at the top of the holiday list. Many buyers don’t want to move their furniture and belongings in the winter, and the fact that the holiday season is coming up (creating both time and financial pressures) only compounds the situation.

How can you sell your home during the winter? These eight tips will help.

  1. Price it to sell

Don’t overshoot with your asking price. Buyers who have the luxury of waiting until the weather gets warmer to purchase will overlook your home if the price seems too high. They’ll figure that you’ll either come down in price later, or they’ll find a better home elsewhere.

While you don’t want to sell your home for a song, you do need to be realistic about current market expectations. Set a price that’s fair for your home and your neighborhood based on area comps.

  1. Offer incentives

Make spirits bright by offering bonuses for people who are willing to deal with a wintertime move. Cover the closing costs or install brand-new stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, for example. Special seller’s concessions and/or home improvements can sweeten the pot for buyers who are interested in your house but need that extra push to make an offer.

  1. Display tasteful yet festive decorations

You want buyers to be able to picture themselves leading a happy life in your home, and evoking some holiday spirit as you stage your home for showings is a great way to do that. From hanging a wreath on the front door to decking out your mantel with fragrant winter greenery, dressing your home in holiday splendor can help buyers fall in love.

Just make sure not to go overboard, and don’t include decorations that are overtly religious or too personal. You’re trying to appeal to as broad an audience as possible.

  1. Use the weather to your advantage

House hunters searching in the winter months have a pretty miserable time of it. From trekking through the snow to driving around in dangerous conditions, wintertime house hunting can put people in a less-than-jovial mood — which can translate to how they feel about your home.

Put them in a jolly mood by presenting your home as a warm, welcoming escape from the elements. Set the furnace to a cozy level, “light” flameless candles on the mantel, offer a warm beverage and homemade treats. Buyers will be tempted to linger, which gives them even more opportunity to admire everything your home has to offer.

  1. Boost curb appeal

Don’t neglect your home’s exterior just because the snow is falling. A blanket of white may mean you don’t need to worry about tending to the flower beds, but you still want buyers to be inspired by the overall property.

Keep walkways clear and salted, remove any debris, and make sure everything is in tip-top shape, from the trim to the gutters. If your home looks run-down or neglected when buyers pull up to the curb, they may decide it’s not worth getting out of the car.

  1. Create a knockout online listing

Today’s buyers do the majority of their house hunting online, and that’s especially true when the weather outside is frightful. Make sure your online listing is full of high-quality photos that show off your home’s selling points. Photos of the exterior in all seasons can help, as can including a video tour.

  1. Focus on buyers with a similar deadline

Many people house hunting during the winter months are doing so because they’re also on a tight deadline. Target buyers who are eager to move ASAP, like those moving to your area for a job or investors looking to buy a new property before the tax year ends.

How do you target these groups? Just ask your experienced real estate agent. Which leads us to …

  1. Don’t DIY your home sale

The “for sale by owner” route may not be the best strategy if you’d like your home to sell quickly — especially if this is your first time as a FSBO seller. Seek out a trusted real estate agent by asking friends and family members for recommendations and by looking through the Trulia Agent Directory to find top-quality referrals. A real estate agent can give you peace of mind so that you can actually enjoy the holidays yourself.


Market Update- Real Estate News

Market Update: It’s Beginning to Look Like a Recovery

The weather has turned abruptly colder for most of the country, but the economy and the housing market are heating up.

Here are the most significant economic developments of the past week.


Breaking ground: The new home market is finally improving, as demonstrated by single-family housing starts—the number of privately owned housing units on which construction has begun. Single-family starts in October were at the second-highest level in more than six years. Homebuilders are encouraged by this increase in activity, as builder confidence also improved this month. The National Association of Home Builder’s Housing Market Index reached its second-highest level since November 2005, which was before the housing downturn began. The index reading is now at 58, which is 7% higher than last year.

Sales are up: We’ve also finally debunked the misleading perception that the pace of sales is declining: October broke the 11-month streak of year-over-year declines in total home sales. In October, we reached an annualized rate of 5.26 million sales, which was 2.5% higher than last year. The pace of existing home sales has increased in six of the seven previous months.

Distressed sales are down: In addition, the quality of sales is improving, with a substantial drop in the volume of distressed sales. If you look solely at good old-fashioned, non-distressed sales, October was up 2.6% over September and 8.2% over last year. It’s beginning to look a lot like a recovery.

Inventory is an issue: Tight supply remains a factor holding back the potential volume of home sales. The inventory of existing homes for sale fell 2.6% to 2.22 million homes, or 5.1 months of supply at the current pace of sales. And while the pace of single-family construction is finally growing again, the growth is not enough to keep up with increasing demand.

The housing market’s positive momentum reflects a substantially improving economy, and critical economic leading indicators point to even more growth ahead.

With the negative drag of foreclosure-induced distress behind us and job growth creating new opportunities—especially for younger households—we can start looking forward to a strong year ahead.

Jonathan Smoke is®’s chief economist.

California Sales Report-September 2014



Click on the California Sept. Sales image to read recent market update shared by California Association of Realtors.

C.A.R.s Humboldt Country median home price statistics:

Sept . 2014 $246,050    Aug. 2014 $255,260,        Sept. 2013 $251,090

MonthToMonth % Change  -3.6%          YearToYear % Change -2.0%


Are You Overpaying on Property Tax?

Under Proposition 8, if the current market value of a property falls below the current assessed value, the property owner is entitled to a temporary reduction in real property taxes.

Many homeowners are not aware of their rights under Proposition 8.  Many of those who are suffering from a decline in value would benefit greatly from a reduction in property taxes.  In some extreme cases, it might even help them avoid going into a foreclosure situation.

Although values have been rising since the summer of 2012, there may still be some of you that are paying too much.

If you believe that your property value has declined and that you are paying too much in property taxes, the local tax assessor will review the property value for free for a possible downward assessment.

Here at CBSR, we can help you determine if the value of your property has fallen below the assessed value.

Call us today for more information.

Jonna’s Body, Please Hold

578529_10101482072212410_1992706511_nLast night was the funniest and most touching stage performance I’ve ever seen on the topic of cancer.  When I heard the topic for “Jonna’s Body, Please Hold,” I wasn’t sure how I felt about going to see someone make light of surviving cancer.  It was the most worthwhile show I have seen in a while.  I was disappointed to see that my boyfriend and I were two of the maybe 5 young people in the audience dominated mostly by older women.  Why is that?! Jonna did an amazing performance.  She made us laugh, squirm uncomfortably and feel her despair.  Her descriptions were hilarious and heart wrenching.   I walked out feeling exhausted after watching Jonna do a one person performance playing herself, her body’s secretary, her cancer, her little toe, her hair and, of course, her breasts, throughout 3 separate battles with cancer.  It was inspiring to see Jonna’s life played out on the stage like that.  I am so lucky to have caught her act while she was passing through.  Oh yeah, and you young people, GO SEE LIVE THEATER!!!!!

Humboldt County Real Estate