Christmas on Main Street – Yorba Linda


The “Holiday on Main Street Celebration”  is coordinated by the Downtown Merchants with the help of the local Community Organizations. It is a fun evening event for the whole family.  There will be entertainment, singing groups, SNOW for the tiny tots,  pictures with Santa, food booths and strolling choral groups and a car show.

“Holiday on Main Street Celebration” is on Thursday, December 8, 2011 from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Yorba Linda homebuying soars 14%

By Jonathan Lasner – OC Register Real Estate

2011-11-27 13:14:31


Yorba Linda real estate for sale looks up recently.

For the 22 business days ending November 8 — latest DataQuick stats — 89 residences sold in Yorba Linda vs. 78 deals closed in the matching period a year ago — a 14.1% increase over the past 12 months.

At the community level, for this period …

  • In ZIP 92886 — median selling price of $572,500 that was down 4.6% vs. a year ago. Homes sold were 56 — that was down 11.1% vs. a year ago.
  • ZIP 92887 — median selling price of $489,500 that was down 23.5% vs. a year ago. Homes sold were 33 — that was up 120.0% vs. a year ago.

Compare those trends with countywide data for the same period: Median selling price of $409,000 that was down 7.0% vs. a year ago. Homes sold in Orange County totaled 2,504 — down 1.7% vs. a year ago.


Loan limit increase finalized

Our team at Raj Qsar, Premier Orange County Real Estate, reported last week that bipartisan Congressional efforts passed HR 2112, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012 to restore higher FHA loan limits which expired on September 30, 2011.

This agreement (that came with riders) increased the maximum dollar amount of mortgage loans that can be insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) back to $729,750 after dropping the cap to $625,500 automatically after a temporary increase was issued for all loans insured by the FHA. The restored higher limit will remain in place through 2013 but does not include Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac backed loans.

Representatives Gary Miller and Brad Sherman (R-CA) successfully got a measure passed that created a conforming loan limit cap of $625,000 in areas with median home prices over $417,000 before it was initially increased to $729,750 which expired and was passed by a 298-121 vote in the U.S. House of Representatives and a 70-30 vote in the Senate.

Obama signs HR 2112 into law

HR 2112 has passed and President Obama signed into law HR 2112 late on Friday. The bill provides $128 billion in discretionary appropriations to provide funding for three 2012 appropriations bills (Agriculture, Transportation-Housing and Urban Development and Commerce-Justice Science).

The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012 provides $1.3 billion to HUD for administration, up $16 million from 2011 but down $18 million from the President’s request.

Take the Stress Out of Homebuying

  1. Find a real estate agent who you connect with. Home buying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It’s critical that the REALTOR® you chose is both highly skilled and a good fit with your personality.
  2. Remember, there’s no “right” time to buy, just as there’s no perfect time to sell. If you find a home now, don’t try to second-guess interest rates or the housing market by waiting longer — you risk losing out on the home of your dreams. The housing market usually doesn’t change fast enough to make that much difference in price, and a good home won’t stay on the market long.
  3. Don’t ask for too many opinions. It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision. Focus on the wants and needs of your immediate family — the people who will be living in the home.
  4. Accept that no house is ever perfect. If it’s in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the roof needs repair. Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go.
  5. Don’t try to be a killer negotiator. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price or by refusing to budge on your offer may cost you the home you love. Negotiation is give and take.
  6. Remember your home doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Don’t get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself — room size, kitchen, etc. — that you forget about important issues as noise level, location to amenities, and other aspects that also have a big impact on your quality of life.
  7. Plan ahead. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate home insurance, and consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers.
  8. Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be costs. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.
  9. Accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will probably pass. Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a big financial commitment. But it also yields big benefits. Don’t lose sight of why you wanted to buy a home and what made you fall in love with the property you purchased.
  10. Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation. While U.S. homes have appreciated an average of 5.4 percent annually over from 1998 to 2002, a home’s most important role is to serve as a comfortable, safe place to live.

Call our team today to help you take the stress out of buying or selling your home!  Visit us at

Five Great Things about Homeownership

by Carla Hill of


If you’ve been on the fence about homeownership, now is the time to take a leap! Don’t let the negative press deter you from one of life’s greatest joys.Take a look at five short and sweet reasons that homeownership is great!1. Equity. When you pay rent, you never see that money again. It is lining the landlord’s pocket. Yes, buying a home may come with some hefty initial costs (downpayment, closing costs, inspections), but you will make that money back over time in equity built in the home. Historically, homes appreciate by about 4 to 6 percent a year. Some areas are still experiencing normal appreciation rates. For the areas that have seen harder times since the recession, experts feel that the housing market will recover. Homeownership is about building long-term wealth. A home bought for $10,000 in 1960 is most likely worth 10 times that in today’s market.

2. Relationships: Renters tend to see their neighbors come and go quickly. Some people sign year leases while others are in the community for much shorter terms. Apartment complexes also tend to have less common shared space for people to meet, greet, and socialize. Homeowners, however, have yards, walking trails, or community pools and clubhouses where they can get to know each other. Neighbors stay put much longer (at least three to five years if they hope to recoup their closing costs). This means more time to develop relationships. Research has shown that people with healthy relationships have more happiness and less stress.

3. Predictability: Well, as long as you have a fixed-rate term on your mortgage it’s predictable. Most people buying homes today know that a fixed-rate is the way to go. This means your payment amount is fixed for the life of the term. If your mortgage payment is $500 today, then it will still be $500 a month in 10 years. This allows for people to budget and make solid financial plans. The sub-prime crisis meant many homeowners with adjustable rate mortgages saw their monthly payments rise and then rise some more. Homeownership, though, generally comes with a predictable table of expenditures. Even the big purchases are predictable. You know most roofs last just 15 years (or so). You know that each year you’ll need to pay for the gutters to be cleaned, and so on.

4. Ownership: Okay, this is a given. Homeownership means you “own” your home. That comes with some incredible perks, though! You can renovate, update, paint, and decorate to your heart’s desire. You can plant trees, install a pool, expand the patio, or do holiday decorating that would rival the Kranks (if the HOA allows!). The bottom line is this is your home and you can personalize it to your taste. Most renters are stuck with the same beige walls and beige carpet that has been standard apartment decor for 20 years. Now is your chance to let your home speak!

5. Great Deals: It’s a great time to buy. Interest rates are at historic lows. We’re talking 4.0 percent instead of 6.0 or higher. This means big savings for today’s buyers. Home prices have also taken a dip since the recession, which means homes are more affordable than ever. If you have steady income and cash for a downpayment, then be sure to talk to your local real estate agent about what homes in your area could be a fit for you.

Homeownership can be a real joy. It’s time to get off the fence and into a home that is right for you!

Homebuilder confidence improves, gradual gains expected in 2012


Homebuilder confidence in the market for new single-family homes rose by three points to 20 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo (WFC: 24.97 +0.12%) housing market index for November, the second consecutive monthly gain.

The NAHB said the number builds on a revised three-point increase in October, and brings the confidence gauge to its highest level since May 2010.

The trade group also predicted more gains next year.

“While this second solid monthly gain on the builder confidence scale is encouraging, the overall measure remains quite low due to the many challenges that homebuilding continues to face with regard to the high number of foreclosures, the difficulties of obtaining construction financing and accurate appraisals, and the restrictive lending environment that is discouraging potential buyers,” said Bob Nielsen, NAHB chairman and a homebuilder from Reno, Nev.

NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said some buyers are being tempted back to the market by affordable prices and low interest rates.

“We are anticipating further, gradual gains in the builder confidence gauge heading into 2012 due to these pockets of improving conditions that are slowly spreading,” Crowe said.

The index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as good, fair or poor. The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers. Scores from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

The component gauging current sales conditions rose three points to 20 — its highest level since May 2010 — while the component gauging future sales expectations rose two points to 25 — its highest level since March.  The component gauging traffic of prospective buyers rose one point to 15, its highest since May 2010.

BofA pays $1.3 billion to Fannie, Freddie for foreclosure delays


Monday, November 7th, 2011

Bank of America (BAC: 6.45 0.00%) will spend at least the remainder of 2011 still revising affidavit filings in foreclosure cases around the country.

In October 2010, BofA and other major servicers froze the foreclosure process nationwide when evidence of improperly signed affidavits surfaced in many state courthouses. BofA had to pay $1.3 billion in penalties to Fannie Mae andFreddie Mac in the first nine months of 2011 because of the delays, the bank disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

According to RealtyTrac, more than 8.9 million homes have been lost to foreclosure since 2007. Lender Processing Services (LPS: 18.98 0.00%) said foreclosures completed in September spent an average 624 days delinquent.

“We expect that these costs will remain elevated as additional loans are delayed in the foreclosure process and as the GSEs assert more aggressive criteria,” according to the filing. “We also expect that additional costs related to resources necessary to perform the foreclosure process assessment, to revise affidavit filings and to implement other operational changes will continue for at least the remainder of 2011.”

The government-sponsored enterprises charge servicers for taking too long to complete the foreclosure process under specific, state-by-state guidelines. In June, Fannie said it would even charge servicers retroactively for such delays, though no particular servicers were mentioned.

Federal regulators and the top 14 servicers signed consent orders in April setting standards for how troubled mortgage borrowers would be treated. The orders also included a review of 4.5 million foreclosure files of borrowers directly affected by the mismanaged process. The reviews began last week and could last months, regulators said.

State attorneys general are still in talks with the servicers over a separate settlement to the robo-signing case that could include principal reduction for affected borrowers.

In January, BofA resumed foreclosure sales in judicial foreclosure states, where the bulk of the robo-signing and foreclosure problems occurred, which include Florida, New York, and others.

But the correction continues. BofA claimed extended foreclosure timelines for it and other servicers would only exacerbate the problem — a notion also issued by Republican presidential nominee hopeful Mitt Romney.

“An increase in the time to complete foreclosure sales also may increase the number of severely delinquent loans in our mortgage servicing portfolio, result in increasing levels of consumer nonperforming loans and could have a dampening effect on net interest margin as nonperforming assets increase,” the bank said.

And the bank is already searching for new capital. Also in the SEC filing, BofA disclosed it was exploring an issuance of commons stock to raise nearly $3 billion in cash.

Short Sales Offer Significant Discounts in Several Major Cities

10/31/2011 By Krista Franks

Short sales are growing throughout the nation as distressed homeowners and servicers continue to seek alternatives to foreclosure and home buyers increasingly opt for the significant discounts that come with short sales.

With 9,145 completed short sales, the Los Angeles area had more short sale transactions than any other metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the second quarter of this year, according to a recent blog post from RealtyTrac.

These short sales came with an average discount of 32 percent and at an average price of $350,237. Phoenix ranked second in number of short sales for the second quarter with 8,434 short sales, which came with an average discount of 27 percent and an average price of $133,793.

According to the RealtyTrac blog post, the metros with the highest numbers of short sales in the second quarter were:

1. Los Angeles
2. Phoenix
3. Cape Coral – Fort Myers, Florida
4. Oxnard – Thousand Oaks – Ventura, California
5. Reno – Sparks, Nevada
6. San Francisco
7. San Jose
8. Portland
9. Atlanta
10. Milwaukee

Short sale savings averaged more than 30 percent in Cape Coral – Fort Myers, Florida; San Francisco; San Jose; and Milwaukee.

Reno – Sparks, Nevada, experienced a 50 percent rise in short sales from the first quarter to the second quarter of the year, while San Francisco saw a 47 percent rise in short sales.

Atlanta and Milwaukee also saw significant increases in short sales over the quarter – 21 percent and 20 percent respectively.

To search all distressed homes in Orange County please visit