Did You Know?

Posted: January 6, 2014 in Uncategorized
Asbestos Facts

Asbestos Facts


Holiday Waste

Posted: December 14, 2013 in Uncategorized
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The onslaught of holiday throwaways–cards, ribbons, paper, batteries, and so forth– can be brutal on the environment.

Have a plan in place for getting rid of your old electronics and food and decoration waste this holiday season.

  • E-waste: Gadgets, electronics, and computers are popular holiday gifts. Find a place to recycle or donate your old gear. You can¬†find local e-recyclers¬†online. To prevent identity theft, be certain that your personal data are wiped off devices before you drop them off. Find directions for your device from the manufacturer or search online for step-by-step instructions for each gadget.
  • Holiday trees: Check with your city to see if it has a tree recycling event. Or turn to your favorite search engine and¬†type in the name of your city and “Christmas tree recycling” and to find information, dates, and locations.
  • Oddball stuff: Before dumping anything in the landfill, figure out if you can donate or recycle it. Some of the strangest things can be recycled, including jeans, wine, and golf balls. For more on quirky things that can be recycled, see, “10 Things You Never Knew Were Recyclable.”

Did you know that you can borrow extra money, for which you don’t have to qualify, to make energy efficient repairs immediately upon close of escrow? ¬†There are actually two programs I would like to tell you about. ¬†One is the Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM). ¬†You can get up to an additional $12,400 to replace HVAC, windows, insulation, etc., for which you do not have to qualify. ¬†During escrow, an assessment is performed to see what you need, and what improvements you would like to make. ¬†After close of escrow, contractors perform the work, and then are paid with funds that were set aside from your loan proceeds.

The other program is an FHA 203k streamline loan. ¬† For this program, you must qualify for the additional funds, but you can borrow up to an additional $35,000 to bring the home up to FHA standards and make improvements you desire – these improvements are not required to be energy efficient upgrades. ¬†You can do carpet, paint, appliances – all kinds of cosmetic items – you just can’t make structural changes to the home. ¬†During escrow, you get bids from contractors, turn them into the lender, and from that point, it works generally like the EEM mortgage. ¬†After close of escrow, the contractors receive a partial payment, and once the work is done, it is inspected by an independent evaluator prior to the contractor receiving payment in full.
And one more thing, you can use BOTH of these programs together!  Your lender will evaluate which program, or if a combination of both, is right for you.

In addition to the 203k streamline loan, and the EEM, you can ALSO get up to a $4,000 rebate from Energy Upgrade California.  The assessor estimates how much you will save on your future energy bills and the rebate is based on your expected savings.  For example, if they estimate that you will save 30% on your utility bills, you can get a $3,000 rebate.  Go to http://www.energyupgradecalifornia, type in your zip code, and you will be furnished with a list of contractors.  You must use contractors from the list to be eligible for the rebate.
Also, if you have a home to sell that needs work, we can market this home as being eligible for an Energy Efficient Mortgage, and increase the number of potential buyers for your home. ¬†Many agents are not aware of the EEM and will state in the listing that it “does not qualify for FHA financing,” and this is simply not true.
If you would like to know more about these programs, call me to learn more, and I’ll introduce you to a qualified lender.


11164 Harmon Heights, Beaumont – 5 bedroom, 3 bath, 2935 square feet – $199,900


11798 Avalon Avenue, Yucaipa – $199,000 – 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 1668 square feet with built in swimming pool.


2995 Jo An Drive, San Bernardino – $195,000 – 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 1624 square feet, with built-in pool.


1223 William McGrath Street, Colton – $200,000 – 4 bedroom, 3 bath, 2192 square feet.


29405 Sunrise Place, Highland Р$198,900 Р3 bedroom, 3 bath, 1725 square feet. New carpet and paint.  HOA dues: $117.00 per month.

I spent Thursday morning with a few hundred realtors at Bank of America’s short sale class. ¬†Over the past several months, BofA has made changes that have eased the process. ¬†I have been pretty vocal about my criticism of Bank of America; however, this morning, I was very excited and impressed with the changes they are implementing over the next few weeks. ¬†In the past, it was difficult to get a short sale approved unless you had an offer in hand. ¬†They are now making it much easier to get the short sale approved without an offer, and they will give us their approved sales price, so that we can accurately price the property. ¬†Typically, the agent and seller set the price of a short sale, and then we hope and pray that the bank will take it, or at least counter back with a reasonable price. ¬†Now we will know their bottom line before we ever put the property on the market. ¬†Every 21 days, the property will be reviewed and if no offers are forthcoming, they will most likely reduce the asking price.
Also in the past, first the short sale agent submitted all of the sellers’ documentation to the bank, i.e., bank statements, pay stubs, mortgage statements, hardship letter, etc. ¬†Once that step was completed, the bank would go forward with the valuation process. ¬†After that was done, they would submit the package to the investor(s) for a response to the buyers’ offer. ¬†Now, they will perform these steps concurrently, rather than consecutively. ¬†This has the potential to save us a lot of time and makes more sense.
B of A is implementing many other new steps to streamline the process, so don’t dismiss short sales. ¬†I have people say to me all the time “I hear short sales are really bad,” or “I hear you shouldn’t buy a short sale.” ¬†That’s not at all the case. ¬†If you have to find a home immediately, I would avoid short sales, but if you have a little time, a short sale could very well be the way to go. ¬†Because people don’t want to wait, fewer offers are made on short sales, so you as the buyer have less competition. ¬†If the seller receives 3 offers, and yours is the best, your offer will be the one sent to the bank, so within a few days of making your offer, you’ll know if your offer is the one the bank is considering. ¬†If you can be patient, your patience could very well pay off in you purchasing a beautiful short sale home.

I’ve encountered a lot of roadblocks, showing property lately. ¬†I have buyers that are driving in from the desert, so their time here is limited. ¬†When I attempt to make appointments to show them homes, a lot of the homes do not have lock boxes, so we agents are dependent on either the seller or the agent to grant us access. ¬†When I call to set the appointment, I hear from the homeowner, “we’ll be gone all weekend,” or from the listing agent “I’m in Pasadena, and I have appointments that day.” ¬†If this is a standard sale and the seller is not very motivated to sell their home, maybe this is somehow acceptable. ¬†However, if it’s a short sale and the foreclosure clock is ticking, it could be a fatal mistake. ¬†I understand some people don’t want a lock box, but a seller is shooting themselves in the foot when they choose that route. ¬†You can’t be home 24/7 to show your home. ¬†Also, the busiest day of the week to show property is Sunday, followed by Saturday, and you’re going to be gone all weekend? ¬†And if you work during the week, you have reduced your chances of showing your home to next to nothing. ¬†If you choose an out-of-area agent, unless they’re partnering with a local agent to help market your property, this agent is thinking of themselves instead of their seller. ¬†The trifecta of failed home showings is: (1) no lock box; (2) an out-of-area agent; and (3) a seller that’s not available to show their home. ¬†A huge advantage when hiring a local agent is that they can show your home within minutes of a phone call. ¬†As much as we would like to have appointments set the day prior, buyers are excited and people’s time is limited, so sometimes they call us and want to see a home on short notice. ¬†Sometimes, they’re actually sitting in front of the house! ¬†While it’s not always possible to accommodate these types of showings, it’s in the sellers’ best interest to be as accommodating as possible.

When I call an agent or a seller and they aren’t available to show their property, I have to fight the urge to say “don’t you want to sell your home?” ¬†I don’t know why they make such complicated showing arrangements. ¬†Are their agents too timid to tell them what they need to do to get their home sold? ¬† If an agent can’t get his or her buyers into your home to show it, they’re simply going to pass it by and show their buyers other properties. ¬†One more thing, please understand that when an agent is setting appointments to show property, they have made an appointment with their buyer during a specific time slot. ¬†We are laying out the selected properties in geographical order, then we attempt to set the appointments in that order. ¬†If an agent asks to show your home at 10:00, and you tell him you can show it at 2:30, that simply will not work, and your house will not get shown. ¬†I know it’s not always possible to be flexible, but just know that you are significantly limiting the showing of your home. ¬†The bottom line is that you must do everything you can, within reason, to make it easy for buyers to see your home.

Less damage to sellers’ credit, less competition for buyers. ¬†http://wp.me/p14Rsp-P