It’s time to take another look at short sales

Short sales becoming more streamlined

It’s time to take another look at short sales

As recently as a few months ago, if you would have told a real estate agent who specialized in short sales that they’d be raving about a lender’s stellar service and rapid approval times—not to mention significant cash incentives for financially strapped homeowners for pursuing a short sale—you’d have gotten some strange looks.

That’s all changed.  And it’s changed faster and to a greater extent than most real estate professionals ever could have imagined.

With a glut of bank-owned properties dragging down the recovery of the real estate market, as well as the national economy, major lenders are more eager than ever before to avoid foreclosure. So they’ve sharpened their focus on short sales. Big time.

The biggest lenders in the country have staffed up to ensure rapid processing of short sale applications. They’ve ponied up with cash incentives at closing for homeowners who pursue a short sale. And they’re proactively reaching out to CDPE agents and putting them in touch with delinquent borrowers.

This is big news and the media has not really caught onto it yet. What’s important for you to know is that whatever you’ve read or heard in the past about long lag times and frustrations with short sales is probably no longer the case.

As a member of the CDPEAdvanced community, I’m tapped into major lenders and on top of major developments affecting short sales and bank-owned properties.  I invite you to visit my website www.AvoidingForeclosureSanDiego.com to learn more and feel free to contact me any time at 619-994-5515 or MEHAYWOOD@QFRE.NET  if you or anyone you know is struggling with an unmanageable mortgage.

 

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Oktoberfest 2012 in San Diego

Oktoberfest is coming

Where to celebrate Oktoberfest in San Diego

Obviously, when you think of Oktoberfest, you think of Munich, Germany. Six Million people attend the world’s largest fair every year. It is a sixteen day festival held from late September to early October. This event is a very important part of Bavarian culture.

However, if you are limited in time and travel, we have plenty of places right here in San Diego County to go to enjoy some beers, brats, and a little “oom-pah-pah”!

  • The Carlsbad Rotary Clubs’ Oktoberfest being held on October 6, 2012 at Holiday Park from Noon to 10PM.  Go to their website at www.rotaryoktoberfest.org for more information
  • San Diego’s Original and Authentic Oktoberfest is being held at the German American Societies of San Diego September 28,29,30, October 5,6,7. 1017 S. Mollison Ave, El Cajon, CA  92020. www.oktoberfestelcajon.com
  • Ocean Beach Oktoberfest is on Friday, October 12th from 4-10 pm, and Saturday October 13th from 11am-10pm, being held on Newport Avenue.
  • Finally…my personal favorite, The La Mesa Oktoberfest, October 5-7th. Friday and Saturday 11am-11:30pm, and Sunday Noon-5pm. This festival boasts 300 booths, 2 beer gardens, Food, rides, live music…the works.
  • Click on the link below to determine which San Diego Oktoberfest is best for you!

http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/Blogs/Around-Town/Fall-2011/Which-Oktoberfest-Should-You-Attend/

As they say in Germany…Prost!

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There’s an App for “A”’s – back to school apps

Back to school Apps that Earn “A”’s

Mobile applications to help kids with school.

 Now that the school year is in full swing, it is good to know that back to school gear is not limited to pens, pencils, Trapper Keepers and other items available at Target or Office Depot.  Nowadays, back to school gear also can include mobile applications (or “apps”) for smart phones or tablets that can do everything from teaching young kids how to hold a pencil to keeping those teenagers on top of their homework assignments and managing their time with all of their extracurricular activities.

Here are a few apps that were featured on www.appolicous.com/education

Chalk Walk (iPad) – Free – Surprisingly enough, a child can learn how to hold a pencil with a proper pincer grip by using a touch screen tablet computer.  Chalk Walk, an iPad game, has young learners practice drawing and tracing lines while holding their thumbs and index fingers together.  In addition to offering challenges that develop motor skills, Chalk Walk also includes a basic word construction game.

iStoryBooks (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android) – Free – iStoryBooks is like an e-reader for little ones.  It has the option of having a narrator read the books to you.  Classic children stories such as The Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood are a few of the selections.  Included are other educationsl books that teach everything from ABCs to geography and sound association.  Parents have the option of choosing what books kids can find within the app’s library.  iStoryBooks also introduces a brand new story every two weeks, and provides up to 25 free selections. 

Number Line (iPhone) – Free – Winner of the Virginia Mobile Learning Apps Development Challenge, this app targets elementary school students between second and eight grade.  It is a fun and mildly addictive math game that would challenge most parents too!  The idea is simple – A row of fractions, percentages and decimals are presented in random order and it’s up to the player to arrange the figures in order from smallest to largest.  The faster you can complete the task, the higher the score.  The game’s difficulty increases the more levels one advances.

Wikipedia Mobile (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android) – Free – As long as Wikipedia research is complemented with other sources, there is great value in the service.  Most of the information published in Wikipedia is community-vetted, which isn’t always the case with other search results.  The app also includes professionally – produced stories and historical tidbits of the day.

iStudiez Pro (iPhone, iPad) – 99 cents – Voted 2011 Best College Student App, 2010 Best Young Adults App, 2010 Best Parenting App, 2009 Best App Ever in Education.  Help your high school student stay on top of their deadlines and exam prep with this productive application designed specifically for students.  Entries are color-coded based on subject, and information entered into iStudiez also syncs with your calendar.  The app provides Push Alerts when assignments are due, and includes a GPA calculator.  There is also a free version, but it may be worth to invest the 99 cents in iStudiez Pro.

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Bank of America promises up to $30k in short sale bonuses

Banks offer cash for completed short sales

Incentive helps bank minimize losses.

 Bank of America launched a nationwide program that offers delinquent mortgage customers an opportunity to prevent foreclosure, minimize damage to their credit scores and walk away with some extra cash for relocation expenses.  With an already strong and solid short sale initiative, this short sale relocation assistance program has already led to 200,000 completed short sales in the last two years and another 30,000 in the first quarter of 2012.

In order to qualify, borrower must work proactively with the bank to obtain a pre-approved sales price prior to submitting a purchase offer for review and approval.  To be eligible for this program, the short sale must be initiated by the end of this year and close escrow by September 26, 2013. 

The relocation assistance provides borrowers anywhere from $2,500 to $30,000 at the completion of a qualifying short sale.  The average payout has been around $12,000. 

In addition to the relocation assistance being offered to qualifying short sales, there has been a significant decrease in the time it takes to approve a short sale.  The process has been streamlined by real estate agents’ use of the Equator system – which keeps banks and agents in communication about the status of a short sale. 

In our experience with Bank of America short sales, we have had approvals come in as little as a few weeks.  We have also seen the relocation assistance payments be presented to sellers, often times on top of the HAFA incentive payment being offered.

If you would like to see if you are eligible to participate in this program, contact us.

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Fire Season is approaching, be prepared!

Wildfire season is approaching, are you prepared?

Things you can do around your home to prevent wildfires.

 According to website www.readyforwildfire.org :

Cal fire warns that this fire season may be especially dangerous, as the winter months were relatively dry. Much of the vegetation from the 2007 fires has returned. So, it is not a matter of if we are going to have a large fire…but when!  It is important for us to be prepared.

Preventative steps to make your home defensible:

  • Remove all dead plants, grass and weeds
  • Remove dead or dry leaves from your yard, roof and rain gutters
  • Keep trees trimmed so they remain a minimum of 10 feet from other trees
  • Remove branches that hang over your roof. Keep dead branches 10 feet away from your chimney
  • Relocate wood piles into an area at least 30 feet away from the house.
  • Remove vegetation and items that could catch fire from around and under decks

Assembling an Emergency Supply Kit (as per Cal Fire)

  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person. 
  • Map marked with at least two evacuation routes
  • Prescriptions or special medications
  • Change of clothing
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
  • Don’t forget pet food and water!

Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.

 For other tips in preparation for fire season, such as evacuation guides and the best emergency supply kits, http://www.readyforwildfire.org/defensible_space

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September 11 – We will never forget

Today marks 11 years since the attack

Obama: 9/11 victims never to be forgotten

We will never forget the nearly 3,000 lives lost on this tragic day 11 years ago.  Our hearts and our prayers go out to the families of these victims on this Patriot Day and every day.

 

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San Diego Real Estate Photographer Featured

Local San Diego resident featured as top Real Estate Photographer

Former real estate agent photographs multi-million dollar homes

As featured in an article in the San Diego Union Tribune, written by Lily Leung:

Shooting homes of some of San Diego’s rich and famous, Brent Haywood of Brent Haywood Photography, Del Cerro resident and former real estate agent, is one the highly requested photographers in the industry.  He has shot some of the most expensive homes in San Diego and those of some famous San Diego residents including Drew Brees and LaDanian Tomlinson. 

When real estate agents or homeowners themselves need high quality images to post in magazines such as “Dream Homes” and “San Diego Premiere“, they call him.  He shoots mid-priced homes also.  He treats every home with the same professionalism and careful eye. 

A former real estate agent himself, it was a stroke of luck but also perfect timing as he has built his photography business to a hugely successful one, shooting not just homes but family portraits, body-builders, yachts and anything else you can think of. 

Real estate shoots can start from $125, but depending on size of home and time of day photo shoot takes place, they can be $1,200 to $1,500 a day.  His biggest challenge is image theft as he isn’t always able to watermark his own photos. 

One of his favorite places that he has shot is in the Electra building in downtown San Diego.  Check out his website for samples of his beautiful images or to book him for your next photo job.

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San Diego Restaurant Week 2012

San Diego Restaurant Week September 16-21 2012

San Diego County’s Largest and Most Successful Dining Event

San Diego Restaurant Week 2012With the growing popularity of the term foodies and with San Diego’s idyllic climate, there is always a reason to go out and eat.  When I was a kid, going out to eat was reserved for a super special occasion (not even birthdays – those were only celebrated at McDonald’s).  But in this day and age, even my young children have gone to more restaurants in their short years than my husband’s parents and mine in their whole lifetime — combined.

Here’s the perfect opportunity to try some of the restaurants that you’ve heard about from your co-workers or have driven by and are curious about.  It is the twice annual San Diego Restaurant Week – over 180 restaurants with prix fixe menus for lunch and/or dinner.  Most of the menus include three courses – an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert.  But check out each individual menu for their particular offering.

San Diego Restaurant week spans 6 days from September 16th through September 21st.  There are no tickets or passes to be purchased, just check out the website and menu – see if the particular restaurant takes reservations, otherwise just head on down there for a good time.  This would be perfect for date night or to get together with your group of foodies friends.  You just may find a new favorite among the offerings.

Some of the ones restaurants I am curious about include one of Brian Malarkey’s restaurants called Gabardine in Point Loma ($30 prix fixe dinner menu), La Gran Terraza at USD ($15 prix fixe lunch menu, $30 prix fixe dinner menu), and Kensington Grill in San Diego – I may be the one person who hasn’t been here yet.  ($25 or $30 prix fixe dinner menu).

There are, however, a few restaurants that I have enjoyed in the past that should be a sure hit.  Some of them include Bo-Beau in Point Loma / Harbor Island ($30 prix fixe menu – love the moules) as well as Pamplemousse Grille in Del Mar (no menu posted at time of write-up).

Bon Apetite

 

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Mary Ellen Haywood
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Mobile:619-994-5515

Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty
810 West Washington Street
San Diego, CA 92103

Office: 619-269-2277
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