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Eureka California Home Sales in April 2012

by Dean Kessler

 

April 2012 had an 11% increase over April 2011 as far as the number of homes sold here in the Eureka area. That's a really nice increase. The average home selling prices have not increased, yet showing activity, buyer activity, offers being written and seller accepting offers have continued to increase. Interest rates remain low and hover between 3.75% and 4%.
The number of homes for sale has increased with sales volume. In the Eureka area there are 188 homes for sale, 97 of which are priced under $250,000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eureka California Home Sales in March 2012

by Dean Kessler

Home sales in Eureka, California continued to trend upward. First time homebuyers continued to be the largest group of home buyers. Low inventory and low interest rates meant some home sellers received multiple offers from many buyers. We still have a shortage of homes for sale in the $150,000 to $250,000 price range.
Investor buyers remained active, scooping up many of the bank owned homes coming onto our market.
The most interesting statistic has been the number of homes being purchased by what I term as the "Move-Up Home Buyer'. These are buyers who are trading up from the first home to a larger 3 or 4 bedroom home. These homes range in price from $250,000 to $400,000. The number of homes selling to this group of home buyers increased 10% over February. Very good news for home sellers in this upper price range where previously this market stagnanted and we saw few if any sales in this price point.
With historically low interest rates I believe this market will continue to be driven by first time home buyers and move-up home buyers will become more competive as inventory in the upper price point is bought out. A concern I've spoken up previously has been and continues to be locating new inventory. And now we're seeing increased pressure by our market to provide new inventory for the "move-up home buyers" in the $250,000 to $400,000 price range.

 

 

Eureka California Home Sales in February 2012

by Dean Kessler

Real estate sales for Eureka California remained consistent as we tumbled into February 2012. The number of homes sold in February was similar to those sold in January. Yet the number of homes that are presently under contract are 150% more than we had in January. March and April will be very busy as we work hard to bring these offers to closings.

Home buying activity is again led by the First-Time homebuyers, with Move-Up home buyers and Investor buyers remaining very active. I have noticed a trend developing with the type of real estate Investors are pursuing. Many entry level homes readily cherished by First-Time homebuyers are now being aggressively pursued by Investor home buyers. Homes for sale in the lower price point are now receiving multiple offers after being on the market for a short time. Case in point, witnessed a home  receive 8 offers after being on the market for 5 days. Majority of those offers from investors flush with cash. 

My counsel to First-Time home buyers, or any home buyer; to compete in this market, you must have a loan pre-approval letter from your lender of choice, period. Loan pre-qualification letters are not up to the task (if you're not sure of the difference, shoot me an email). With a loan pre-approval letter, a homebuyer is more competetive when faced with a multiple offer scenario.

For home sellers there remains great news. We continue below the two year moving average of homes available for sale. For active home sellers, there is less competition for home buyers. And home buyers are out in force with interst rates below 4%. These home buyers have seen the existing inventory and are anxious for new inventory to choose from.

Eureka California Home Sales in January 2012

by Dean Kessler

Home sales in Eureka California have remained consistent as we moved into February 2012. The Humboldt Association of Realtors MLS System reports the number of homes under contract increased 150% from January to February. These are homes with offers not yet sold, so as we move into March we should see even more Sold homes. This is a positive sign and many experts believe we are heading for a more stable housing market. Interest rates remain at all time low's hovering around 4%.

One of the most interesting trends I'm watching is the number of homes for sale which had dipped below it's 2-year moving average back in December 2011. Today our available inventory remains below this 2-year average. This means there are fewer homes for buyers to choose from. Less inventory means more activity for the available homes. The reason I'm sharing this with you is because it confirms a trend that our local real estate market activity is on the rise and I believe their is a high probability this trend will continue throughout 2012.

Thinking of buying or selling a home? Home prices are stabilizing and interest rates are at their lowest levels in 50 years.

3 Reasons the Term “Strategic Default” Is Misleading

by Dean Kessler

3 Reasons the Term “Strategic Default” Is Misleading

In a recent study, the Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index found that a full 36% of Americans would consider “strategic default”—another term for walking away from your mortgage—if they were underwater (owed more on their home than what it was worth).

Now that more than one in four American homeowners is “underwater,” I feel that it’s important for the community to know the truth about strategic default.

The truth is the foreclosure process carries with it credit issues, current and future employment challenges, issues with security clearance and possible debt collections.

That’s why it is vital to explain the 3 reasons why the term “strategic default” is misleading:

  1. There’s nothing strategic about defaulting on purpose, especially when you have options like short sales, mortgage modifications, and refinance (just to name a few) that may keep you from foreclosure.
  2. The waiting periods to apply for a new mortgage loan are at least five years less in a short sale vs. a foreclosure.
  3. A foreclosure will show up on your credit report every time you apply for a home loan, car loan, new job, etc., and will affect your financial situation for many years to come.

If you are underwater and can no longer afford your mortgage payments, you need to create a genuine strategy to avoid foreclosure, helping to provide stability for you and our community.

If you have any questions about what steps you or someone you care about should take next, contact me today!

IMPORTANT GOVERNMENT DISCLOSURE: You may stop doing business with us at any time. You may accept or reject the offer of mortgage assistance we obtain from your lender (or servicer). If you reject the offer, you will not have to pay us for our services. The above brokerage is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan.

 

Submitted to local press and television outlets:

While major lenders examine foreclosure and eviction practices, Dean Kessler offers local homeowners an understanding of the alternatives to foreclosure, including short sales.

Eureka, CA – 11/10/2010 – As Ally Financial, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase review their foreclosure processes across the country, CDPE-designated agent, Dean Kessler of The Kessler Team, helps local homeowners understand alternatives to their distressed situations.

“There is a common misconception among homeowners that the so-called foreclosure freezes translate into a ‘get-out-of-my-mortgage-free’ card. This simply isn’t so,” Kessler said. “It is vital for homeowners facing foreclosure to understand that there are other, more beneficial options, including short sales.”

A short sale occurs when the lien holder accepts the sale price of a property that is less than the borrower’s mortgage balance. Short sales have become an increasingly utilized alternative to foreclosure, growing 126.5 percent in the past year alone, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Lender Processing Services (LPS) also estimates that more than seven million mortgages are either delinquent or in the foreclosure process.

Starting in September, major lenders initially began freezing foreclosure procedures in the 23 states requiring a judicial review. Bank of America and Ally have since resumed foreclosures in these states, continuing to review their processes, and JPMorgan has yet to lift its temporary suspension.

“While some of these lenders have restarted their foreclosure process, homeowners remain generally uninformed of what this means to their individual situations,” Kessler said. “Homeowners facing financial hardships deserve to know the options available to them, and that lenders are willing to work toward alternatives to foreclosure.”

 

Making Sense of Mortgage Modification

by Dean Kessler

There has been much in the news in the past few weeks about mortgage modifications for homeowners who are having trouble making their house payments. Many are having difficulty qualifying for modifications, and so far the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) has had disappointing results.

Last month I was working with a Eureka homeowner in financial distress who had attempted to modify their loan thru HAMP. Three months later they where declined for a HAMP modification because a mathematical equation the lender used had determined it would be better for the lender to foreclose then to modify the loan. The lender then offered an “internal” modification, but only if the homeowners would pay an extra $80,000 on the loan if in the future they paid off the loan or sold the house. My clients declined and we successfully pursued a “short sale”. It was a very emotional decision, but financially it was there best option.

As a side note, the lender also found a reason to decline these homeowners for participation in the governments Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative (HAFA). If we had been successful in a short sale under HAFA, the lender would have had to offer the borrowers $3,000 relocation assistance.

Not all lenders are as devious as this lender was, but this experience was an example of how some lenders tend to manipulate or just completely ignore rescue programs meant to help distressed homeowners and lenders. My counsel remains for distressed homeowners to be proactive with their lender and be realistic about their options.

The Washington Post recently reported that “troubled homeowners who receive housing counseling are 60% more likely to avoid foreclosure and have their mortgage payments lowered significantly than borrowers who navigate the process themselves.” I can help homeowners facilitate the process of loan modification and discuss other alternatives to foreclosure if a modification is not an option.

As a CDPE, I feel it’s my duty to help anyone I can during these hard times. If you would like to know more about mortgage modifications and whether or not you might qualify, please feel free to contact me.

August Real Estate Trends

by Dean Kessler

Government Programs For Homeowners

by Dean Kessler

If you are struggling with mortgage payments, there are new government-backed programs that can help.

Take action and find out about your eligibility by filling out the free surveys here. These surveys will give you quick answers about what your options are, and what steps you need to take next. You'll also find other valuable information on foreclosure avoidance options to help you make the best decision for you circumstances.

If you need more immediate attention, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm always here to assist you.  I am a trained Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE), trained in helping families in distress avoid foreclosure.

www.EurekaForeclosureHelp.com

Local Agent Provides Free Government Program Eligibility Surveys

by The Kessler Team

Local Agent Provides Free Government Program Eligibility Surveys to Eureka Area Homeowners Facing Financial Hardships

Website presents information and answers questions on homeowner eligibility with new foreclosure avoidance resource.

Eureka, CA – 5/4/2010 – Local CDPE-designated agent and community advocate, Dean Kessler of The Kessler Real Estate Team has announced the expansion of an information website for Eureka-area homeowners in distress: 

www.eurekaforeclosurehelp.com

This resource now contains eligibility surveys for government programs offering help to distressed homeowners, including the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program, or HAFA, which increases the likelihood of a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. 

“These surveys will let homeowners quickly discover new options made available by the government,” Kessler said. “When faced with the possibility of foreclosure, I’ve seen too many homeowners make mistakes because they hadn’t been advised by a qualified professional. These people didn’t know the options available, or even how to find any information on their situation. My website helps to solve this problem.” 

www.EurekaForeclosureHelp.com acts as a hub for information on the facts and issues for struggling homeowners, putting all the necessary information in one, easy-to-use location. With the addition of these new eligibility surveys, the site lets homeowners make educated decisions about their future.

“Seven out of 10 homes that have gone into foreclosure did so without even being listed on the market,” said Alex Charfen, co-founder and CEO of the Distressed Property Institute. “Agents like Dean Kessler with the CDPE designation are helping distressed homeowners understand that there may be options available to avoid foreclosure.”

The CDPE designation provides real estate professionals with specific understanding of the complex issues confronting the real estate industry. Through comprehensive training and experience, CDPEs are able to provide solutions for homeowners facing financial hardship in today’s market.

For more information about the CDPE Designation, visit www.cdpe.com.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 13

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