Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Interest rates had a significant drop today. I'm hearing from my loan advisors that you can obtain a 30 year conforming fixed rate for 5.375%! That's a huge drop, about .5%. Happy house hunting (or refinancing).

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gilroy SFR Snatched Up This Week-End

I've been sharing with my clients (and on my website) that we had a very clean home for sale on a quiet street in Gilroy. It was a 3 bed/2 bath home on a 7,000 sq. ft. lot listed at $299,900. An excellent deal that was available with a Free Appraisal, 100% financing and Free PMI (Mortgage Insurance). This week-end, some lucky buyer snatched it up!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good Time to Trade Up?

If you're thinking of trading up to a better home in a nicer area, it's better to do it in a down market. Why? Take this example. Your home last year was worth $600,000 and you wanted to buy a $900,000 home. That's a $300,000 increase in mortgage (or cash down). If your home dropped 10%, your home is now worth $540,000, but the home you wanted to buy is worth $810,000. That's a difference of $270,000. It's actually $30,000 cheaper to make that move now than it was a year ago. And the "hidden" benefit is that your property taxes will be cheaper on your new home if you were to buy it now. And that's savings you'll keep year after year!

Monday, November 17, 2008

100% Financing Here Again, Really!

Because of our relationship with Fannie Mae, our office is presently offering several Fannie Mae owned properties for sale. There's only only a handful of them in Santa Clara County, but most have "Express Path" financing. That means that if you want to buy a home and live in it, you can get in with no down payment. In addition, your APPRAISAL is FREE. Today when you buy a home and put less than 20% down, there is an additional closing cost and monthly fee for Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). But with these properties, the PMI is FREE. I've tried to advertise this on Craigslist, but they keep flagging me and deleting my ads. I assume it's because no one believes it's possible to get 100% financing in this market. But it's true! Please contact me for a FREE list of these homes at (408) 247-4029.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

High End Real Estate Slowing?

Today, I was looking at a small cluster of custom homes in Los Gatos. Each had a minimum 2.5 acre lot. It's my understanding that these homes have been on the market for over 2 years and are priced in the $3-4 million range. They're certainly gorgeous with superior construction and amenities. But they don't seem to be selling. Why? It comes down to one of three things. One: they were overpriced to begin with. Two: the agents representing the sellers haven't been effectively marketing the property. Three: the values have declined and the sellers are not motivated to sell them at the "real" market value. What I do know based on factual evidence is that the median price of homes in Los Gatos dropped 15% from $1,550,000 to $1,315,000 in the last 12 months and the number of days it took to sell a home increased by 43% (from 51 to 73 days). While Los Gatos has dropped in value, areas like Palo Alto and Saratoga have seen little change in pricing... yet. Both areas are showing a drop in the number of homes sold by 13% from a year ago. -Gary

Monday, November 10, 2008

Loan Limits Changing.

My trusted loan advisors have been giving me the inside scoop on upcoming changes to basic loan programs. Today, there are 3 basic loan groupings: Conforming (loans under $419k), Jumbo-Conforming ($419K-$729K) and Jumbo (over $729K). All things being equal, Conforming loans have the least expensive rates and Jumbo's are the priciest. At the end of this year however, there will only be 2 loan programs, Conforming (under $625k) and Jumbo (over $625K). If you have a loan you need to refinance that falls in the $625-$729k range, my lenders are saying you should do that now before you get stuck with Jumbo rates. For more information, please go to the "Referral Directory" link on my website and look under "Lenders" to talk to some great people whom I trust to help you. But do it quickly, lenders will be shutting down their pipeline for this loan type in December!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Bank Owned Homes are Hot This Week!

In our office this our week, 7 of our Bank Owned homes have sold! Some of these have been on the market for quite a while. It may be a signal that the pendulum is beginning to swing in the other direction. :^) To see for yourself, go the "Investors' Corner" tab on my website

San Jose, Santa Clara County real estate.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Real Estate Short Sale vs. Foreclosure

In Santa Clara county (San Jose area) 69% of the homes being sold today are either Short Sales or Foreclosure properties. Huge numbers, but what's a Short Sale?
Here’s an example. Two years ago, a couple bought a home for $600,000. They put down $60,000 and had a $540,000 mortgage. Today they are barely able to keep up the payments and have to sell the home. Frankly, most people in this category weren't qualified to buy the home to begin with but were able to get a loan anyway. Today, that home is worth $400,000. They don’t have the money to make up the difference. Therefore, the bank must approve the sale and take a loss. In other words, they are “short” when they sell the home. The next phase is when the homeowners stop making the payments and are eventually foreclosed upon. Then it becomes a Foreclosure property. There are three ways to describe a Foreclosure property but don't be confused, they all mean the same thing. ("REO", Bank Owned, and Foreclosures). "REO" stands for the way a bank categorizes it's Foreclosures and refers to "Real Estate Owned". There's some outstanding opportunities for investors and first time home buyers in this market. More on that tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New Hope

Weather you're a republican or democrat, I hope you're encouraged by our new president's approach to solving the many problems our country is facing today. After an historical election, I'm feeling hopeful again about our country. I must admit, I was even inspired by his speach. It's my hope and prayer that Americans as a group unite to work together, instead of apart. That we become more self reliant, and less looking for bailouts. That we show compassion, as well as toughness. That the mortgage world on Wall Street has learned its lesson, and doesn't repeat it's mistakes. Yes, I'm hopeful, and I hope you are too. We need to work together to right this ship.