2 interesting REO properties

Yesterday afternoon Don and I saw 2 different bank owned (REO) properties.

In Camarillo, there are 4 different developments built about the same time (late 70s) that are duplexes (you buy half the building). One development is on Hidalgo (off Adolfo), the other is on Colony (off Mission Oaks Blvd) and the other two are on Creekside (just up Mission Oaks from Colony, on both sides of Mission Oaks). Historically, the 4 generally have had different price points: Hidalgo (lowest), then Colony, then Creekside (highest).

We saw a newly listed REO for $320k – we thought it was a typo in the listing. The place was re-done with new carpeting and paint and very clean. What struck us was the upwards of $100k differences in asking prices from nearby duplexes currently on the market.

Some history on these duplexes. At the height of the real estate boom, these homes (Creekside) were selling upwards of $500k. Needless to say, the sub-prime credit mess has pummeled their values. But we felt there was excellent value in today’s market for this particular REO property.

In Ventura, a totally different house and totally different situation. Also an REO, this is a 2,400 square foot home in east Ventura that was begun to be completely re-modeled, but something happened and the owner/investor lost it. Many walls have the drywall removed for new wiring and insulation, the old kitchen cabinets are completely gone, the ceilings have been “scraped”, and it’s obvious major upgrades were in the works for this large 2 story home.

The problems as I see it is that only an investor or contractor can buy this home, because most lenders won’t lend on it in its present (unfinished) state. We also think it’s overpriced in its current condition. But for the right person, at a lower price, we think there is great value in this property if you want to basically have a completely “new” home.

It’s fun looking at 2 completely different homes like these!

Filed under article topic: Foreclosures
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Mortgage applications spiked last week

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported yesterday that overall mortgage applications jumped almost 50% last week as interest rates continue to fall. Most of the increase was attributed to homeowners re-financing (about an 82% surge) into fixed rate loans, but new purchase applications also were up about 10%.

The Fed’s been easing up on monetary policy and bringing more liquidity into the market, allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (a part of the secondary market) to buy more loans from lenders, getting the money flowing again.

Filed under article topic: Mortgages/Interest rates
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March 24 – Ventura real estate home sales and price snapshot.

The national media just reported yesterday that home sales rose for the first time in seven months, but that prices dropped 8.2% from one year ago.

That is so OLD NEWS! The media sells bad news obviously.

What I want to know is – what’s happening NOW in our local real estate market of Ventura, Oxnard and Camarillo? A leading indicator for real estate sales and pricing is “pendings” – homes that have just gone into escrow. That’s about as current a snapshot of market conditions locally as you can get.

So I jumped on our MLS and compared Ventura, Oxnard and Camarillo home sales and average asking price (per square foot) for the first 24 days of February to the first 24 days of March. Is this statistically precise? Of course not – that’s why it’s a snapshot.

Are local real estate prices “plunging”? Are home sales “plummeting”? Follow our monthly stats and then you decide! In the first week of April, we’ll have a complete market statistics report for March.

Filed under article topic: Market statistics/Trends
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Hope Now update

Hope Now is an alliance of lenders and other organizations formed last fall to deal with the sub-prime mess. They just published data showing results through January.

It shows the overall delinquency rate at 1.21% for the first quarter, 2007, and climbing to 3.38% in January. That sounds distressing, and it is. But a closer look reveals that for those with prime loans, the first quarter 2007 delinquency rate was 0.40%, which has climbed to 1.42% in January.

That means that 98.58% of home owners with good credit who didn’t get funky loans are making their payments okay.

The real mess is in those funky loans, many of which never should have been made in the first place. Look at the difference. First quarter 2007 had a delinquent rate of 6.83%. In January, that number shot up to 18.59%. Unbelievable! That’s where all the mess is occurring today.

And unfortunately for us homeowners, all those short pays and foreclosures hitting the market place have been driving down home values.

But the upside to this mess is that lower home prices are making it easier for entry level buyers get into a home.

Filed under article topic: Foreclosures
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FHA interest rates drop

BankRate.com just announced (Your Best Interest Report) today that FHA interest rates (for 30 year, fixed rate loans) dropped nationally to 6.00%. You can track FHA interest rates going back to 1992 at this FHA site.

Remember 2 things:

  • FHA just increased loan limits in Ventura County, and
  • An FHA loan isn’t just for first time home buyers!
Filed under article topic: Mortgages/Interest rates
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