Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Behind on Your Mortgage?

Losing your job, divorce, unemployment, and sickness can all have an effect on making your mortgage payments. If you are in a similar situation, know that you have options. Of course, you can sell your home or file for bankruptcy, but there may be other options available to you. The first thing you need to do is contact your mortgage company. Ask them about a work out plan or loss mitigation programs. These plans are designed to assist you so that you can continue making your monthly payments. Some of the possibilities are forbearance, note modification, mortgage insurance protection, active military programs, and reverse mortgages. You may still end up deciding that selling your home is the best option, however, you'll make that decision knowing that it is the best decision for you. A knowledgeable Realtor will be able to guide you through the process. Remember, the bank doesn't want to own your home, they want to work with you to find a solution to keep you in your home. Call them!

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Options to Rising Rates

Think interest rates have gotten too high and you'll have to wait to buy? Berfore you send another check to your landlord, consider these options. Many of the best mortgage deals become available when lenders are competing for new business and the buyer pool is much smaller. In addition, you may be able to pull a motivated seller off his price by enough to make paying the higher interest rate palatable. Another approach that might work is to ask the seller to pay points to buy down the loan rate. You can even request that the seller pays your closing costs, saving your cash for other things. With the help of a Realtor experienced in negoitiating, you may be able to get the home you want at a price that makes sense, despite those rising rates!

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Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

I hope everyone is enjoying this incredibly, perfect weather we are having this weekend. Isn't it great to live in paradise? Let's all take a moment to honor fallen members of the armed forces. Thank you doesn't begin to express the gratitude we have for all those men, women, and families that have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country safe!

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Saturday, May 27, 2006


It seems that there is now 495,000 licensed agents in California. The California Department of Real Estate reported that the state now boasts a licensed agent for every 52 adults.

My advice? Make sure your agent is a full time agent with many closed transactions under their belt. Don't take their word for it, check it out. Full time agents should be closing at least 12 transacations a year. A good agent can make the difference in whether or not you get what your home is worth, as well as protect you by adhering to current real estate law. You wouldn't trust your baby to just any nanny, and you shouldn't trust your real estate baby to just any agent!

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Friday Best Buy!

1040 Calle Tulipan
Thousand Oaks, CA

  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 1 Bath
  • 14027 sq ft lot
  • Built in 1960
  • Fireplace
  • New Kitchen
  • New Dual Pane Windows


See more pictures of this Ventura County Home at:

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The California Association of Realtors has conducted their annual survey on Home Buyers and the use of the interenet. They have concluded that more than 70% of home buyers now use the internet as an integral part of their home search. "More than 50 percent of Internet buyers said the information they gathered from the Internet was less useful than that provided by their REALTORS®, and none considered the information gathered from the Internet to be more useful than that obtained from their REALTORS®, according to the report."

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

10 Most Expensive Homes in America

Forbes released this years 10 most expensive homes in America. Check it out! Oh yeah, good news or bad, none of them are in Ventura County!

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Monday, May 22, 2006

What are You Waiting For?

Are you waiting to buy til you find that perfect bargain? Maybe you've heard there's a bubble, and you're waiting for it to pop. Well, there's no bubble in sight, and expectations for price growth in the foreseeable future is in the single digits. However, let's just suppose that what you are planning to buy comes down in price by 5% by next year. On $600,000 that's about $30,000. Predictions for rates by the end of 2007 are that they will be above 7.5%. You do the math. Are you saving anything? My guess is that you will pay much more in interest than you would have if you had bought it right now at today's interest rates. The added bonus is, you get to enjoy your home right now. You can crunch the numbers til the cows come home. At the end of the day, home ownership is still the American Dream.

Start you search today!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Where are Interest Rates Going???

The consensus is either Up or Holding:

Those who say UP: Bank of America's economist Peter Kretzmer believes that the 0.3% rise in the "April core CPI significantly raises the chances of a late-June tightening to a 5.25% federal funds rate target."
Those who say HOLDING: Insight Economics LLC's weekly survey, which is a consensus of 50 economists, indicates that the Fed will hold the fed funds rate steady at 5.00% at their June 29th FOMC meeting.

So the only thing they can agree on is that rates are not going down. Ready to buy something? Give me a call at (805) 901-8805.

Lorraine, Realtor

Friday, May 19, 2006

Spring Sprung Late According to Star

The seasonal spring buying season has hit a little late this year according to a Ventura County Star article. Unseasonal declining sales in April was mentioned. "Ventura County had 891 sales during April, a 41.2 percent decline from the 1,515 sales the same month a year earlier." Maybe it was the rain?

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My Two Cents on Gas Prices

Here's how I see it: the more you save on filling up the tank, the more you have to spend on home improvements and saving for that big, new house. Check out Ventura Gas Prices for the best location to purchase you gas this morning.

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Mother's Day, The Morning After

I hope you had a great Mother's Day, I know I did. Remember when all dogs were boy dogs, and all cats where girl kitties? When do our little ones suddenly gain the awareness that it just isn't so?

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Home Staging the latest Rage for sellers

Just about every home on the market these days is in tip-top shape. Even if it is vacant, owners are staging the home so buyers can see it as it's best. I would say 90% of the homes I preview these days are staged. So how do you do it?

  1. Get up to speed on home decorating trends by reading recent home decoration magazines.
  2. Go through your home with a friend or Realtor to help accent the best and edit the worst in your home.
  3. Stage a home office somewhere in your home even if you don't have one.
  4. Living space is the key (and lots of it). Open it up; limit knick-knacks; wicker baskets can hold a lot of loose things.
  5. Kitchens need a lot of counter space - put things away. Clean the refrigerator door; make sure buyers can see the back wall of the cabinets; omit throw rugs; clean window sills.
  6. Bathrooms need to be decluttered. Wash the shower curtain if it has the slightest trace of mold; add sets of towels that coordinate with shower curtain; put cosmetics away in a drawer or plastic case.
  7. Bedrooms also need to be decluttered. Make sure the bedroom receives the maximum natural light. Install closet organizers in closets; eliminate wall and door hooks.
  8. First impressions are still the key - don't forget the entryway. It needs to be well lit night and day.


  1. Don't use silk flowers - use the real thing if you have them.
  2. Don't overlook window treatments. Buyers want the most light and the least embellishments on windows.
  3. Don't use low wattage light bulbs - you want it light and bright.
  4. Don't paint with bold colors.
  5. Don't think that cleaning is just a part of this - it should be done first. Everything must shine.
  6. Don't think everyone loves wallpaper. No two people have the same taste. If it's more than 3 years old, take it down and paint a neutral color.
  7. If you have a pet and the food bowls, waterer or litter box is within eye sight, make sure you upgrade these items to something more than the left over bowl from breakfast. Even stage their area!

There are many homes on the market right now. Make sure yours stands out! Call or email me with any questions at (805) 901-8805 or


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Camarillo Open House Today 1pm-3pm

568 Rosewood
Camarillo, CA

Spacious end unit townhome w/2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 car attached garage, and low homeowners dues of $170. Dues include this beautiful pool, spa, and tennis courts. Priced to sell at $447,000

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Friday, May 12, 2006

Strong Housing Market to Continue According to NAR

The National Association of Realtors anticipates the U.S. housing market to experience its third best year in 2006, despite rising interest rates. "Coming off a prolonged period of record sales, housing is taking something of a breather this year," said NAR Chief Economist David Lereah. "Even so, interest rates remain historically low, we've added about 2 million jobs over the last 12 months, and the economy continues to grow -- that will sustain healthy levels of home sales in 2006, but they'll stay below the peaks experienced during the last two years."

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

More homeowners struggling to be current on their monthly mortgage payments

Foreclosure Statistics: California was third in the nation in most first-quarter foreclosures with 29,537 properties entering some stage of foreclosure in the first quarter of 2006 (per Realty Trac 2006 U. S. Foreclosure Market Report). The good news is only one in every 414 households was below the national average.

January, 2006 homes that went in the foreclosure process: 9354
February, 2006 homes that went in the foreclosure process: 9110
March, 2006 homes that went in the foreclosure process: 11, 073
Quarter One 2006 (Total): 29,537
1 in every414 Households were in some stage of the foreclosure process
% change from the 4th quarter of 2005: 60%
% change from the 1st quarter of 2005: 86%


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Another Rate Hike?

Yup, you heard it right. Today's Fed meeting netted yet another quarter point to key short-term interest rates. This was the sixteenth consecutive increase. The increase was expected, so it didn't affect mortgage rates or the bond market by much. It was the post-meeting statement that raised the eyebrows and caused some knee-jerk selling in the markets and upward revisions to mortgage rates. The statement indicated that more rate hikes may be needed, depending on future economic data. This was not what analysts were expecting to hear. They wanted a stronger hint that the end is near for the increases and inflation was in-check.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Gas Prices and Morgage Rates

Unless you've been hiding out in your bomb shelter, you've probably noticed the sharp increase in gas prices. How does this affect mortgage rates, you say? Well, with the increase in gas prices, it costs more to manufacture and transport goods and services. Eventually, that increase in cost will be passed on to the consumer (you and me). When that happens, we have inflation. Inflation causes bond prices to erode. When bond prices erode, mortgage rates increase.

So, if you've been on the fence about refinancing or buying a new home, it might be time to lock in a rate!

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Courtesy Rental List

Did you know the MLS has a courtesy rental listing service? If you have a property that you would like to offer for rent, or you are looking for a rental yourself, contact your Realtor. Your Realtor will be able to list your property in the MLS as a courtesy, or if you are looking for a rental, provide you with a courtesy list of available properties. Go to Search for Rentals to check it out yourself.

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