Posts Tagged ‘foreclosures’

2014 Foreclosure Filings Hit Lowest Level Since 2006, RealtyTrac Says

January 19, 2015

FHFA Allows Ex-Owners to Buy Back Homes

November 26, 2014

Trulia’s Housing Predictions: How 2014 Will be Different

December 16, 2013

Trulia’s Housing Predictions: How 2014 Will be Different

Report: Investors buy nearly half of Oakland’s foreclosed homes

June 29, 2012

Real estate firms turning properties into rentals, becoming “massive landlords” in some neighborhoods, critics say

By on June 28, 2012 – 11:01 a.m. PDT
Source: The Bay Citizen (

Taber Andrew Bain/Flickr

The rental listing advertises a “gorgeous remodeled craftsman-style house” with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a converted basement, a large deck and a backyard for $2,595 a month.

Eight months ago, this West Oakland home was owned and occupied by Theodros Shawl, a local chiropractor. Shawl bought the house in 2004, his first since emigrating from Ethiopia in 1990. Over the years, Shawl said, he rebuilt the home’s foundation and replaced its aging plumbing and electrical systems.

“I liked the fact that it was an older home, that I could repair and paint and fix there on the weekends. I was always at Home Depot,” said Shawl, 40. “I was living the American Dream.”

Last October, after being sidelined with a wrist injury, Shawl lost his home to foreclosure; in May, Bank of America sold it to a real estate investment firm, REO Homes 2 LLC, a company founded in 2010 by Bay Area businessman Neill Sullivan.

According to a report released today by the Urban Strategies Council, a nonprofit think tank, real estate investors have purchased – usually with cash – 42 percent of the 10,508 homes in Oakland that went into foreclosure between January 2007 and October 2011. Many of these investors are turning the homes into rental properties and charging rent that is significantly higher than the monthly mortgage payments many families would make if they purchased the homes.

“They are massive landlords in neighborhoods that historically have had high rates of homeownership, and very few people are aware of the investor activity that’s taking place under feet,” said Steve King, the organization’s housing and economic development coordinator.

The most prolific investor, the report said, was a company registered to Community Fund LLC, which bought 307 foreclosed homes and apartment buildings. The company is registered to Michael Marr, an Oakland real estate broker who declined to comment for this story. Community Fund paid, on average, $111,000 for a foreclosed home.

The homes Sullivan’s firms purchased accounted for the second-highest number of foreclosures now owned by investors. The Urban Strategies Council said at least 171 foreclosed Oakland homes have been bought by companies Sullivan founded. Many of those properties are like Shawl’s old house on 30th Street – detached single-family homes that were owner-occupied before foreclosure.

Sullivan’s firms paid an average of $139,000 for a foreclosed home. As of October 2011, those companies had sold 10 of the foreclosed homes they bought, the report said, retaining the balance, primarily as rentals.

“We’ve been a sleeping giant for a while,” said Jeremiah Brennen, a Sullivan Management leasing agent who is handling inquiries on Shawl’s former home.

Brennen said he is seeking tenants who would normally prefer San Francisco’s trendier neighborhoods, but who can afford to rent only a small apartment in the city. “We want to bring in good, productive people and really change the area,” he said.

But not everyone is welcoming that change.

“We have investors who are eating up our neighborhoods for their profits,” said Desley Brooks, an Oakland city councilwoman.

In an interview, Brooks argued that families that would want to buy the foreclosed properties with conventional financing are being squeezed out by investors who can afford to pay cash. Real estate investors are “taking away the notion of buying into the American Dream,” she said.

In neighborhoods hit hard by the housing crisis, it would be cheaper for many families to buy a foreclosed home than rent an apartment. The average price of a house in those neighborhoods is less than $150,000. Monthly payments on most 30-year mortgages at that price are usually less than $1,000, while rents on many West Oakland properties approach and exceed $2,000.

But banks have been reluctant to sell to buyers who purchase with loans, preferring the ease and speed of a cash transaction.

In its report, the Urban Strategies Council argues that banks and the government-controlled financial institutions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could be doing more to help families buy foreclosed homes. Among its recommendations: Expand programs that give owner-occupiers and nonprofits a “first look” at foreclosed homes before they go up for auction.

“It is essential that the opportunity to become a homeowner is not inequitably limited to middle- and upper-income families,” the report reads.

Real estate professionals counter that the large number of foreclosed homes purchased by investors are a temporary phenomenon, a sign that the real estate market has begun to rebound.

“It starts with investors’ rentals; that’s the first step,” said Paul Zeger, CEO of Pacific Marketing Associates, which markets residential properties on behalf of Bay Area developers. “As rents begin to rise, individuals and families start to see that buying a home makes economic sense.”

Theodros Shawl is still in the neighborhood, operating his chiropractic practice on nearby Market Street. He’s renting now, a two-bedroom apartment that he shares with his girlfriend.

With his credit ruined by foreclosure, Shawl said he’s given up on homeownership – at least for now. But he said he was surprised to learn that Sullivan’s company had been able to buy his old house for $154,000.

“I paid $335,000 for that house in 2004,” he said. “If they had been willing to reduce my balance to $300,000, I would have been able to afford to keep it.”

Source: The Bay Citizen (

5 Foreclosure Myths of 2012

March 16, 2012



By Carl Medford

Beginning in 2007, foreclosures rocked the real estate world. Like an out-of-control freight train, they began decimating the market, peaking in 2009. Myths and rumors began propagating like mushrooms as consumers struggled to understand the new reality. Although many misconceptions have come and gone, we still encounter five myths on a regular basis.


1. There is going to be a flood of new foreclosures to the market.

This rumor has appeared every year since 2008 and has been routinely debunked. However, recent announcements that the Feds reached a settlement over the robo-signing scandal have reignited speculation. The idea is simple: Since the cork is now out of the foreclosure bottle, we’ll soon see another flood of REOs inundating the marketplace.

My personal opinion: don’t hold your breath.

Banks have learned that if they control inventory, they can affect local prices. By releasing homes in measured amounts, they realize higher prices than if they released a glut of homes. In addition, they’ve learned that if they can mitigate their losses by agreeing to a short sale, everyone wins.

2. You can go directly to a bank to buy a foreclosure.

Every few weeks I’m asked how to buy foreclosures direct from a bank. Someone knows a friend being foreclosed on and they want to step in and grab the house before it hits the market. Don’t we all? In reality, banks have a simple system – they first offer properties on the courthouse steps. The rest they assign to asset mangers who then hire local real estate agents to put them on the market along with all the other homes. Want an REO? Pay cash at the courthouse steps or get in line witheveryone else when they hit the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service).

3. You can get a killer deal by submitting lowball offers on foreclosures.

You would think this myth would be dead by now. Unfortunately, like Elvis sightings, it just won’t go away. Here’s the truth: Banks want REOs sold in 30 days or less, so they typically appear on the market priced slightly under comparable properties. If the property doesn’t sell quickly, the bank will lower the price after about 30 days. Lowball offers are ignored and are, quite frankly, a waste of everyone’s time and effort. You might get a deal by offering a lower price on a foreclosure that’s been sitting on the market for more than 90 days, but remember that there are good reasons it’s gone unsold for so long. And even if you have cash, your lowball offer won’t be accepted —seriously.

4. You can’t use foreclosures when doing an appraisal.

Or short sales, for that matter. That is no longer true. In fact, in many neighborhoods, that’s all that’s there. Therefore, foreclosed or distressed sales represent the actual value of homes in the area and HAVE to be used to appraise other properties. Don’t like it? Get over it. Times have changed and the ways neighborhoods are valued have changed as well.

5. Foreclosures are only affecting the bottom end of the market.

This used to be true. However, while foreclosure rates on the lower end of the market have actually decreased,they’re actually increasing on the upper end. According to Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, the market share of foreclosed homes under $1 million is shrinking, but those among properties valued over $1 million are rising – up 115% since 2007. And foreclosures on properties valued upwards of $2 million have increased by 273%. While some well-known jet-setters have melted down and lost everything, others are choosing to strategically default. They see it like liquidating a poorly performing portfolio – they have enough resources to cut their losses and move on. Historically, banks have been reticent to foreclose high-end homes and absorb a large loss, but defaulters are now forcing their hands and mansion foreclosure rates are moving on up.

Myths control behavior, and this has never been truer than in the housing market. Savvy agents will work hard to educate their clients, debunk myths, explain market trends, educate with solid facts – and actually close transactions.


Original article can be found…

California REALTORS® Applaud New Law on Short Sales

July 27, 2011

By Leslie Berkman

RISMEDIA, July 26, 2011—(MCT)—Under a new state law, any lender who agrees to a short sale—which by definition will yield insufficient funds to cover the outstanding loans on a property—must accept it as payment in full for all loan balances. That is a good thing for upside-down homeowners who need to sell, says the California Association of REALTORS®.

In a prepared statement applauding Gov. Jerry Brown for signing SB 458 into law, the association observed that previously a first mortgage holder could accept an agreed-upon short sale payment as full payment for the first mortgage but a junior lien holder could still hound the seller for the full amount owned on the junior lien.

“The signing of this bill is a victory for California homeowners who have been forced to short sell their home only to find that the lender will pursue them after the short sale closes, and demand an additional payment to subsidize the difference,” says association President Beth L. Peerce.

“SB 458 brings closure and certainty to the short sale process and ensures that once a lender has agreed to accept a short sale payment on a property, all lien holders—those in first position and in junior positions—will consider the outstanding balance as paid in full and the homeowner will not be held responsible for any additional payments on the property,” she adds.

Those shopping for a home in the $500,000 to $1 million price range should not tarry. That is because they will probably face higher interest rates and more strict underwriting standards and will need to make a larger down payment later this year when conforming loan limits increase, cautions California Association of REALTORS® President Beth L. Peerce.

“Would-be buyers on the fence need to act well before Sept. 30, when the conforming loan limit is set to be lowered, to avoid a higher cost of homeownership,” Peerce said in a prepared statement.

Lowering the limits on mortgages eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could have a broader impact than on individual homebuyers, says Peerce. “As the housing market tries to gain a more solid footing, the decrease in conforming loan limits that is scheduled for later this year could adversely affect the market,” she says.

Copyright (c) 2011, The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Calif.

What is Really Happening in the Foreclosure / REO Real Estate Process / Market? One Agent’s Point of View

June 23, 2011

Is it possible there is a corrupted process at the very top (wall street executives, wall street investors, bank executives, hedge funds, etc.) Here is a thought: We know banks are not willing to reduce the principle loan amount for owners under water. That can easily be measured by the number of completed loan modification that include a principal reduction. Very (very) few: About 49,000 of all the proprietary modifications completed reduced both
the loan principal and monthly interest payments. Out of how many foreclosures again? About 1.2 mil? The ones that are done are merely to keep the politicians at bay so the banks can say they are following their guidelines.

But…….banks are very willing to foreclose on any property, and sell the properties in REO bulk at 55-60% of current market value. This allows rich “investors” to buy these properties, and then turn around and sell them back to the consumers market at 85% of value and make 20-25% of the investment in about 4 months. We are talking about $60 – 100 million REO investment per deal (read “tape”) . You and I cannot take advantage of these incredible returns, as we have no “insider” at the bank who will give us that opportunity. These opportunities go to “connections” so they can make a ton of money on foreclosed properties. Pretty easy money, no? Then here is this question: If banks are willing to write down the REO to 60% of value, then why  can they not do a principal forgiveness for say 25% to the home owner? The write off to the bank is the same “loss” no? The big difference is that in the first scenario, the profit goes to the big investors at wall street. In the second scenario  the “advantage” goes to the home owners.

So what would be the difference in the real estate market today (read values and prices), if we had used the second scenario? Well for sure there would be a lot less “distressed” properties. The home values would not have declined as much, which also means there would have been much less of a “recession” in real estate, and home owners would have felt very good about staying in their homes, so no strategic defaults, and thus a much “happier” consumer who might have been able to spend money on the economy.

When will we learn to do the right thing for all Americans?

Antoine E. Pirson, MBA, CCRM
Broker and Investment Consultant
Caldecott Properties
5251 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94618
Office: (510) 594 2400 x 234
Fax: (510) 594 2424
Lic Nr: 01372814

Which Oakland Condominium Buildings (Condos) Qualify for FHA Loans?

June 7, 2011

Close to half of all condo sales in Oakland in 2010 utilized FHA backed loans.  Though FHA guidelines have gotten a bit more conservative, most borrowers that meet FHA guidelines with credit scores above 680 qualify. 

The loan limit for single family homes (including condominiums) in Alameda County, as of 6/7/2011, remains $729,750.  In 2010, condominiums sold for an average of less than $300,000, so most condominiums qualify for FHA financing, right?  Wrong.

It has become a bigger challenge for a condominium building to qualify for FHA financing than for the borrower to qualify due to the condo building approval process implemented by the FHA.

As of 5/23/2011, there were 42 condominium buildings in Oakland that are approved by the FHA.  Here is a list of those buildings:

  1. 1755 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612
  2. 360 Vernon Street, Oakland, CA 94610
  3. 3738-3740 Laguna Avenue, Oakland, CA 94602
  4. 407 Orange Street, Oakland, CA 94610
  5. 525 Mandana Boulevard, Oakland, CA 94610
  6. 532 30th Street, Oakland, CA 94609
  7. 55 Fairmount Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611
  8. 590 El Dorado Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611
  9. 666 Oakland Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611
  10. 77 Fairmount Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611
  11. 423 7th Street (8 Orchids), Oakland, CA 94607
  12. 926 Chester Street (Chester Street Lofts), Oakland, CA 94607
  13. 127 Bayo Vista Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611
  14. 1411 Center Street (Cigar Factory Lofts), Oakland, CA 94607
  15. 455 Crescent Street, Oakland, CA 94610
  16. 460-468 Crescent Street, Oakland, CA 94610
  17. 3721 Fruitvale Avenue (Diamond Park Townhouses), Oakland, CA 94602
  18. 424 Orange Street, Oakland, CA 94610
  19. 330 13th Street (Golden Bridge Lofts), Oakland, CA 94612
  20. 388 Santa Clara Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610
  21. 322 Hanover Avenue, Oakland, CA 94608
  22. 3403-3409 Haven Street (Haven Street Lofts), Oakland, CA 94608
  23. 2316-2324 Lakeshore Avenue, Oakland, CA 94606
  24. 10 Moss Avenue (Manor Park), Oakland, CA 94610
  25. 585 9th Street (Market Square), Oakland, CA 94607
  26. 7100 Mountain Boulevard (Monte Vista Villas), Oakland, CA 94605
  27. 4504-4508 Montgomery Street, Oakland, CA 94611
  28. 425 East 11th Street (Mutual Creamery Lofts), Oakland, CA 94606
  29. 567 Oakland Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611
  30. 1201 Pine Street (Pacific Cannery Lofts), Oakland, CA 94607
  31. 989 Webster Street (Pacific Renaissance Plaza II), Oakland, CA 94607
  32. 565 Bellevue Avenue (Park Bellevue Towers), Oakland, CA 94610
  33. 180-320 Caldecott Lane (Parkwoods Condos), Oakland, CA 94618
  34. 740 Canyon Oaks Drive, Oakland, CA 94605
  35. 288 Whitmore Street (Rockridge Manor), Oakland, CA 94611
  36. 388 Santa Clara Avenue (Santa Clara Commons), Oakland, CA 94611
  37. 401 41st Street (Temescal Station), Oakland, CA 94609
  38. 222 Broadway (The Ellington), Oakland, CA 94607
  39. 320 Lee Street, Oakland, CA 94610
  40. 3825 High Street (Villa Del Lago), Oakland, CA 94619
  41. 1695 15th Street (Willow Court Lofts), Oakland, CA 94607
  42. 1219 Wood Street (Zephyr Gate), Oakland, CA 94607

 If you are interested in obtaining an FHA loan for a condo project that is not on th list, it is possible to get a condo building approved.  I am happy to assist with this process.  It requires, among other things, the approval of the home owner’s association.

If you are interested in purchasing a condo in the East Bay with an FHA loan or getting your building approved for FHA financing, please feel free to contact me to discuss.

We also have a good place for you to see what listings are available in most of these buildings:  If you don’t see a building here, drop me a line and I can assist you with more information.

Andy Read
Caldecott Properties
510.594.2400 x 222

The 12 Step Program to Real Estate Success (1-4 Unit Investment Properties)

April 11, 2011

When: Tuesday, April 19th
6:00 – 8:00pm

Where: Rockridge Library
5366 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

Why: To Make Good Investments!

Presented by:
Antoine Pirson, Broker/Investment Advisor (Caldecott Properties)
Ed Diaz, Mortgage Advisor (FirstCal)

Some Topics We Will Discuss:

1. Residential Realtors vs. Commercial Agents
2. Financial / Mortgage Decisions: Ed Diaz
3. Caldecott Properties: Antoine Pirson
4. Why am I doing this?
5. Multi-Unit Properties vs. Single Family Residences
6. Rent vs. Own
7. Short Sales, REO’s + Foreclosures
8. The Economy + GDP
9. Value vs. Cash Flow
10. Investing vs. Flipping
11. Tenant management and screening
12. Sell or Refi?

Invest in your future and come to this event!

RSVP here or email – hope to see you there!

Antoine E. Pirson
MBA, CCRM, CCIM (candidate)
R.E. Broker and Investment Advisor
5251 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94618
Office: 510.594.2400 x234
Lic #: 01372814


Ed Diaz
Mortgage Advisor
Corporate Accounts
Cell: 415.368.1149
Fax: 877.834.6357
Visit me on LinkedIn
NLMS#249808 DRE#01313063

Save Your Home From Foreclosure

March 24, 2011

If you are close to losing your home or know someone who is, California has 4 NEW Housing Finance programs that can provide direct assistance to help prevent foreclosure.

Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program (UMA) – Provides up to 6 months free mortgage payments for unemployed homeowners.

Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program (MRAP) – Provides up to $15,000 in mortgage payments for homeowners that have experienced a change in household circumstance which has led to default.

Principal Reduction Program (PRP) – Provides funding to homeowners whose homes are now worth less than their mortgage.

Transition Assistance Program (TAP) – Provides money for relocation costs in the event of a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure.

To find out if you or someone you know is eligible for one of these federally funded programs click here.