Saturday, March 6, 2010

What are "Pay Day Loans"?

A payday loan (also called a paycheck advance or payday advance) is a small, short-term loan that is intended to cover a borrower's expenses until his or her next payday. The loans are also sometimes referred to as cash advances, though that term can also refer to cash provided against a prearranged line of credit such as a credit card (see cash advance). Legislation regarding payday loans varies widely between different countries and, within the USA, between different states.

Some jurisdictions impose strict usury limits, limiting the nominal annual percentage rate (APR) that any lender, including payday lenders, can charge; some outlaw payday lending entirely; and some have very few restrictions on payday lenders. Due to the extremely short-term nature of payday loans, the difference between APR and effective annual rate (EAR) can be substantial, because EAR takes compounding into account. For a $15 charge on a $100 2-week payday loan, the APR is 26 × 15% = 390% but the EAR is (1.1526 − 1) × 100% = 3,685%. Careful reporting of whether EAR or APR is quoted is necessary to make meaningful comparisons.

Borrowers visit a payday lending store and secure a small cash loan, with payment due in full at the borrower's next paycheck (usually a two week term). In the United States, finance charges on payday loans are typically in the range of 15 to 30 percent of the amount for the two-week period, which translates to rates ranging from 390 percent to 780 percent when expressed as an annual percentage rate (APR)[1] The borrower writes a postdated check to the lender in the full amount of the loan plus fees. On the maturity date, the borrower is expected to return to the store to repay the loan in person. If the borrower doesn't repay the loan in person, the lender may process the check traditionally or through electronic withdrawal from the borrower's checking account.

If the account is short on funds to cover the check, the borrower may now face a bounced check fee from their bank in addition to the costs of the loan, and the loan may incur additional fees and/or an increased interest rate as a result of the failure to pay. For customers who cannot pay back the loan when due, members of the national trade association are required to offer an extended payment plan at no additional cost. In states like Washington, extended payment plans are required by state law.

Payday lenders require the borrower to bring one or more recent pay stubs to prove that they have a steady source of income. The borrower is also required to provide recent bank statements. Individual companies and franchises have their own underwriting criteria.

Examples

For example, a borrower seeking a payday loan may write a post-dated personal check for $460 to borrow $400 for up to 14 days. The payday lender agrees to hold the check until the borrower's next payday. At that time, the borrower has the option to redeem the check by paying $460 in cash, or renew the loan (a.k.a. "flip the loan") by paying off the $460 and then immediately taking an additional loan of $400, in effect extending the loan for another two weeks. In many states, "flipping" or "rolling over" the loan is not allowed. In states where there is an extended payment plan, the borrower could choose to opt into a payment plan. If the borrower does not pay off or refinance the loan, the lender deposits the check.[1] In this example, the cost of the initial loan is a $60 finance charge, or 390% APR.

When the Consumer Federation of America conducted a survey of 100 internet payday loan sites, it found loans from $200 to $2,500 were available, with $500 the most frequently offered. Finance charges ranged from $10 per $100 up to $30 per $100 borrowed. The most frequent rate was $25 per $100, or 650% annual interest rate (APR) if the loan is repaid in two weeks. [2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payday_loan

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

What are "Pay Day Loans"?

A payday loan (also called a paycheck advance or payday advance) is a small, short-term loan that is intended to cover a borrower's expenses until his or her next payday. The loans are also sometimes referred to as cash advances, though that term can also refer to cash provided against a prearranged line of credit such as a credit card (see cash advance). Legislation regarding payday loans varies widely between different countries and, within the USA, between different states.

Some jurisdictions impose strict usury limits, limiting the nominal annual percentage rate (APR) that any lender, including payday lenders, can charge; some outlaw payday lending entirely; and some have very few restrictions on payday lenders. Due to the extremely short-term nature of payday loans, the difference between APR and effective annual rate (EAR) can be substantial, because EAR takes compounding into account. For a $15 charge on a $100 2-week payday loan, the APR is 26 × 15% = 390% but the EAR is (1.1526 − 1) × 100% = 3,685%. Careful reporting of whether EAR or APR is quoted is necessary to make meaningful comparisons.

Borrowers visit a payday lending store and secure a small cash loan, with payment due in full at the borrower's next paycheck (usually a two week term). In the United States, finance charges on payday loans are typically in the range of 15 to 30 percent of the amount for the two-week period, which translates to rates ranging from 390 percent to 780 percent when expressed as an annual percentage rate (APR)[1] The borrower writes a postdated check to the lender in the full amount of the loan plus fees. On the maturity date, the borrower is expected to return to the store to repay the loan in person. If the borrower doesn't repay the loan in person, the lender may process the check traditionally or through electronic withdrawal from the borrower's checking account.

If the account is short on funds to cover the check, the borrower may now face a bounced check fee from their bank in addition to the costs of the loan, and the loan may incur additional fees and/or an increased interest rate as a result of the failure to pay. For customers who cannot pay back the loan when due, members of the national trade association are required to offer an extended payment plan at no additional cost. In states like Washington, extended payment plans are required by state law.

Payday lenders require the borrower to bring one or more recent pay stubs to prove that they have a steady source of income. The borrower is also required to provide recent bank statements. Individual companies and franchises have their own underwriting criteria.

Examples

For example, a borrower seeking a payday loan may write a post-dated personal check for $460 to borrow $400 for up to 14 days. The payday lender agrees to hold the check until the borrower's next payday. At that time, the borrower has the option to redeem the check by paying $460 in cash, or renew the loan (a.k.a. "flip the loan") by paying off the $460 and then immediately taking an additional loan of $400, in effect extending the loan for another two weeks. In many states, "flipping" or "rolling over" the loan is not allowed. In states where there is an extended payment plan, the borrower could choose to opt into a payment plan. If the borrower does not pay off or refinance the loan, the lender deposits the check.[1] In this example, the cost of the initial loan is a $60 finance charge, or 390% APR.

When the Consumer Federation of America conducted a survey of 100 internet payday loan sites, it found loans from $200 to $2,500 were available, with $500 the most frequently offered. Finance charges ranged from $10 per $100 up to $30 per $100 borrowed. The most frequent rate was $25 per $100, or 650% annual interest rate (APR) if the loan is repaid in two weeks. [2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payday_loan

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

my top ten Movies selections for a wet Saturday......

1.The Godfather

2.The Shawshank Redemption

3.The Godfather: Part II 

4.Charlie Varick,

5.Pulp Fiction 

6.Schindler's List

7.One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest  

8.Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back 

9.Casablanca

10.Star Wars

Clementine.

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

Foreclosure process explained

Q. How does the foreclosure process work? What is the normal duration in Orange County?

A. Foreclosure is the process by which a lender takes a property away from a borrower who has defaulted on his loan. The process varies from state to state.

The time can vary greatly. Technically, the bank can file a Notice of Default when you miss one payment, but they seldom are that fast on the trigger. After 90 days (from NOD filing) they can file a Notice of Intent to Sell, also known as Notice of Trustee’s Sale, and 21 days later (time varies from state to state) they can submit the property to the county clerk for sale “on the courthouse steps.” They have an automatic bid of their loan amount + foreclosure fees. If no one else buys it, they take it back and it becomes part of Real Estate Owned on their balance sheet.

It is seldom that fast as they give people lots of time to get out of a bind and to start making payments again. I think that a year is not uncommon.

After they own the home, it may take them time to decide to market it. If they already own 20 homes in an area and they have 20 more to market, it would be counter productive, as I think they see it, to put all 40 on at once. Agree?

From the standpoint of a potential buyer, a lender who now owns a property is more likely to sell at a lower price than the original owner would have, thus creating an opportunity for a new buyer.

All that said, this topic is complicated enough so that you can write a book about it. Indeed I found 152 titles on this topic at www.amazon.com. I suggest you look at the choices, buy one or two, and start your education.

Q. I live in a co-op in Laguna Woods Village and it is now upside down and comes with a large association fee. When I moved in I was working two jobs. I was laid off from one and got my hours cut from the other. The teaching budget doesn’t look like it is going to improve for a while. I have a year’s salary to live on with unemployment helping. I like solutions so I have called many companies, but they don’t handle co-ops. My mortgage company gave me a $100 discount for four months. Was told to call HUD – haven’t gotten through when I called. What options do I have and what plans might be available for me? How do I weed out the scam companies advertising help?

widget-lansner-text-messageA. I am sorry to hear of your plight that is so similar to others. Yours is complicated because of the co-op feature. Those properties are rare enough that many lenders decided to avoid having to train their people about such a small slice of the market, so they just do not offer the programs.

I would work with your existing lender and I would try calling a HUD approved counselor such as the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Orange County at 714-547-2227. I hope that you can make progress that way.

http://mortgage.freedomblogging.com/

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

Irvines Woodbridge is O.C.’s zippiest home market

 

RankPrev.TownZIPPricePricing rankSales rankFC rank
1 12 Irvine 92614 $460,000 10 5 6
2 19 Irvine 92604 $540,500 18 2 4
3 3 Newport Beach 92663 $804,500 2 1 49
4 51 Brea 92821 $465,000 24 24 12
5 26 Huntington Beach 92647 $530,000 21 32 11
6 22 Cypress 90630 $440,000 31 14 22
6 20 Huntington Beach 92649 $680,000 5 33 29
8 37 Orange 92869 $450,500 14 21 35
9 1 Los Alamitos 90720 $712,500 37 31 5
10 34 Laguna Woods 92637 $215,000 39 12 24

Irvine’s Woodbridge neighborhood, it seems, has the most housing zip.

Irvine 92614 had Orange County’s zippiest housing market in the most recently concluded quarter. So says our Zippy rankings that weigh pricing and sales momentum plus foreclosure frequency as measured by DataQuick stats. This ZIP ranked 10 of 83 for pricing; 5 for sales; and 6 in terms of foreclosures frequency in the community. In the previous quarter, this ZIP ranked 12 of 83 overall.

Second strongest was Irvine 92604 followed by Newport Beach 92663 as third best.

When you look at the 83 major ZIPs in the county and their Zippys rankings, you see these trends for the best-performing communities:

  • The top 25 had a median selling price of $558,500 – that’s +10% vs. the middle of the pack.
  • Price momentum of the top 25 — activity vs. a year ago was 5% compared to 0% for the middle of the pack.
  • Sales momentum of the top 25 — activity vs. a year ago was 35% compared to 15% for the middle of the pack.
  • Forecloures occurred in the top 25 ZIP at a rate of 1.8 homes per 1,000 vs. 2.7 for the middle of the pack.
  • Forecloures momentum in the top 25 ZIP — change vs. a year ago — was 10% compared to 22% for the middle of the pack.
  • Who was at the bottom of the Zippy list? CLICK HERE!
  • At right is last quarter’s 10 zippiest ZIPs, as measured by Zippy math, and their respective rankings (1 best; 83 worst) in terms of pricing and sales momentum and foreclosure frequency.

PS: What’s a Zippy? Read the rest of this entry »

http://lansner.freedomblogging.com/

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lily's first day in Newport Beach

Foreclosed Borrowers May Get Loans Again

Will people who currently face foreclosure or short sales or who walk away from their underwater properties ever be able to get financing to buy another home down the road?

Banks haven’t been very forthcoming on this issue. However, knowledgeable observers of the situation say that while it may take some time, the situation will right itself for most people.

Because bankrupt borrowers have eliminated their debts, they should "constitute attractive fodder for mortgage lenders," says University of Michigan law professor John Pottow, whose specialty is bankruptcy.

As home prices and the mortgage market stabilize, lenders will be motivated to lend to people who previously had financial troubles if they look like they can pay the next time around, says Alan Riegler, a consultant with CCG Catalyst, which advises banks.

"The lender who figures out how to do more of this case-by-case stuff cost-effectively is going to end up ahead of the pack," Riegler says.

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Intriguing people for March 4, 2010

Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger piloted his last flight for US Airways on Wednesday.
Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger piloted his last flight for US Airways on Wednesday.

CNN focuses on a handful of people in the news. This is a chance to find out more about what they've done -- good or bad -- what they've said or what they believe, and why we think they're intriguing.

Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger: On January 15, 2009, the airline captain, along with co-pilot Jeff Skiles, guided US Airways Flight 1549 into the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 people on board.

In his autobiography, "Highest Duty," the celebrated flier wrote that the landing was not a miracle, but rather the result of decades of practice and training.

On Wednesday, Sullenberger, 59, announced his retirement. In the statement he released, he spoke of his passion for the profession, and he mentioned Skiles by name.

He wrote, "Each generation of pilots hopes that they will leave their profession better off than they found it. In spite of the best efforts of thousands of my colleagues, that is not the case today."

Sullenberger wrote that he would remain an advocate for aviation safety and for piloting.

"I will work to remind the entire industry -- and those who manage and regulate it - that we have a sacred duty to our passengers to do the very best that we know how to do."

Flight attendant Doreen Welsh, who served on Flight 1549 with Sullenberger, also announced her retirement from US Airways yesterday.

Final flight for 'Sully' Video

'Miracle on Hudson' pilot retires

Whitney Thompson: California's Arnold Schwarzenegger, like many governors across the nation, faces severe budget problems. Schwarzenegger has called for "draconian" spending cuts to deal with a shortfall of nearly $20 billion. The state's public education system has been feeling the pain, and students and teachers are screaming loudly. Last fall, students held a series of protests on the UC Berkeley campus after the announcement last summer of a 32 percent tuition hike throughout the state's university system.

Those protests grew into a movement, and Thursday, rallies, marches, demonstrations and teach-ins are scheduled across the state under a "Day of Action" banner. There are also protests planned in more than 30 other states to fight further budget cuts, layoffs and furloughs.

Whitney Thompson, 23, from Yuma, Arizona, is a "super-senior" at Fresno State University. She plans to get her degree in history next fall. She is part of a statewide organization called Students for a Quality Education. Thompson will be speaking Thursday at a rally on the Fresno State campus.

"We're being denied access to quality affordable, education," she told CNN on Wednesday. It keeps worsening every year. We're paying more and getting less. They eliminated 1000 classes on my campus alone, including four I was enrolled in, and I had already paid for them. And then on top of that, I had to pay 32 percent more in tuition."

Students across U.S. plan to protest education funding cuts

Protests of tuition increase continue on California campuses

Patricia Overy: The 40-year-old accounting technician and mother of four announced Monday at the City of Lathrop, California, council meeting that she was voluntarily giving up her job.

The Manteca Bulletin reported that Overy made the decision in order to save the job of a 60-year-old coworker, Sharon Singleton. The city's budget deficit is $648,000, and Overy told CNN Wednesday that 11 city jobs needed to be eliminated. She had long discussions with her husband, Robert, about her seven years at work and how close she had become with her coworkers.

"There are a lot of mothers with kids," she said. "You know what their favorite crayon colors are. You talk about what you ate for dinner. I thought that I could possibly cope with the loss of a job better than my coworkers."

So her last day was Tuesday, and she's looking forward to spending time with her kids -- ages 14, 7 and 4-year-old twins -- before she looks for work again.

"I feel happy for what I did. I feel that I am so blessed," she said.

"I care about people, and that's how I was raised," she said. "Everyday I live my life and think about what positive influence I could have. I'm not perfect, but I try to do my best."

Singleton's last day on her job would have been Thursday.

The Manteca Bulletin: Worker's unselfish act

Matthew McCabe: Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California, and Dan Burton, R-Indiana, will be joined at a news conference Thursday by accused Navy SEAL Matthew McCabe, as well as more than a dozen retired Navy SEALs, to renew calls for the exoneration of the "Navy SEAL 3."

In September 2009, McCabe, Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas and Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Keefe were part of the SEAL team that captured and allegedly mistreated al-Qaeda leader Ahmed Hashim Abed, considered one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq.

Abed is the suspected planner behind the 2004 killing, burning and mutilation of four American contractors in Fallujah, Iraq. Abed complained to investigators that the SEALs punched him during his detention. There were arraigned in military court on charges of giving false statements to investigators and abusing Abed.

In January, a judge ruled that Keefe and Huertas will have their cases heard in Iraq next month. Petty Officer 2nd Class McCabe, 24, faces a special court martial on May 3 at the naval base in Norfolk, Virginia. The case against the Navy SEALs sparked outrage that the sailors are being tried at all for handling a suspect in the contractors' murders, one of the most notorious incidents in the war.

The killings got widespread news coverage when the burned bodies of two of the contractors were paraded through the streets of Fallujah and hanged from a bridge as their captors cheered. At today's news conference, Burton and Rohrabacher will present signed petitions of support from more than 100,000 Americans calling for the SEALs' exoneration. If found guilty, the SEALs face a maximum sentence of a year in a military prison, demotion to the lowest Navy rank, a cut in pay and a bad conduct discharge.

Yesterday, McCabe's attorney, Neal Puckett, told CNN that his client is pleading not guilty.

"He continues routine training where he works in the Norfolk area. He's completely supported by the chain of command and all of the other SEALs. He's hoping for a good outcome," Puckett said. "He's in good spirits and believes he'll be acquitted."

2 Navy SEAL cases moved to Iraq

Jose Theodore: The goalie of the Washington Capitals hockey team talked for the first time this week to the Washington Post about the death of his 2-month-old son who died last August from respiratory complications.

Chace Theodore was born five weeks early with a neuromuscular condition that has defied diagnosis. To breathe, he was put on a ventilator. Jose and his wife spent most of their son's 54 days at Washington Children's Hospital Center at a time when Jose was trying to win back his starting position with the Capitals.

The newspaper reports that he had lost the position when he was replaced by a rookie last spring. Sports psychologist Joel Fish says that being a goalie requires "the highest level of concentration and focus."

Theodore, an intensely private athlete, said, "I can remember sometimes, it could be a 2-2 game, and you start thinking about your son, or you start thinking about different stuff." After his son died, Theodore was named No. 1 goalie again, and he started a "Saves for Kids" campaign. He will donate $2 for each save, $100 for each win and $500 for each shutout during the regular season and more during playoffs to a children's medical center.

The Washington Post: Washington Capitals goalie Jose Theodore copes with the pain of his infant son's death

What makes a person intriguing?

There are people who enter the news cycle every day because their actions or decisions are new, important or different. Others are in the news because they are the ones those decisions affect. And there are a number of people who are so famous or controversial that anything they say or do becomes news.

Some of these people do what we expect of them: They run for office, pass legislation, start a business, get hired or fired, commit a crime, make an arrest, get in accidents, hit a home run, overthrow a government, fight wars, sue an opponent, put out fires, prepare for hurricanes and cavort with people other than their spouses. They do make news, but the action is usually more important than who is involved in the story.

But every day, there are a number of people who become fascinating to us -- by virtue of their character, how they reached their decision, how they behaved under pressure or because of the remarkable circumstances surrounding the event they are involved in.

They arouse our curiosity. We hear about them and want to know more. What they have done or said stimulates conversations across the country. At times, there is even a mystery about them. What they have done may be unique, heroic, cowardly or ghastly, but they capture our imaginations. We want to know what makes them tick, why they believe what they do, and why they did what they did. They intrigue us.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/03/04/mip.thursday/index.html?eref=igoogle_cnn

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

Borrowers Not Borrowing: What It Really Means for the Economy

This headline on the front of the Wall Street Journal Wednesday caught my eye: "Borrowers Pass Up Mortgage Windfall." Interestingly, the digital edition ran the very same article with a different headline: "Borrowers Miss Out on Billions in Savings."

I suggested earlier any signs like this of consumer deleveraging could have severe consequences for the economy. Consider that in 2005, homeowners cashed out roughly $1.4 trillion of their homes' equity. This is equivalent to fully 10% of total United States GDP.

Obviously, after the devastation in home prices we've witnessed over the past five years this level of "cash-outs" will not be seen again for a very long time. That equity is gone and thus so are the cash-outs. 10% of GDP has essentially vanished since the real estate bubble popped. Should homeowners continue to gravitate towards an attitude represented by the "cash-in" trend, that will make for an even larger economic headwind.

What is even more troublesome is that while the Fed and Congress have great power to influence the banking system to increase the flow of credit they have very little power to encourage consumer spending if households are focused on shoring up their balance sheets. This is why I am prepared for a prolonged period of sub-par economic performance in both my businesses and my investments.

http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/aroundtheweb/138287.aspx

These two very different headlines for the same story tell an interesting tale. There's a big difference between "pass up" and "miss out." The first suggests that borrowers are rejecting the opportunity to refinance; the second suggests they simply can't qualify for refinancing. That the Journal ran both reveals the current debate about whether banks or borrowers are to blame for the current dearth of credit creation.

It's important to try to distinguish between the two because many are accusing the banking industry for the lack of credit creation when there is ample evidence that borrowers simply don't want to borrow any more. If banks are really the problem then there are many ways that Washington and the Fed can give them incentive to lend to help stimulate the economy. But if borrowers simply don't want or need any more debt then there are massive implications for the economy.

I believe it is a combination of the two but I also strongly believe we can't afford to discount the power of a consumer shift toward deleveraging. Obviously, banks have tightened lending standards. Stated income loans and 120% LTV programs are history. We may never see them again in our lifetimes.

However, there is also ample evidence that consumers are now shunning the leverage that created the twin internet and real estate bubbles in the first place. Nick Timiraos writes in the Journal article mentioned earlier,

Around 37% of all borrowers with 30-year conforming fixed-rate mortgages—who collectively hold about $1.2 trillion of home loans—have mortgage rates of 6% or higher, according to investment bank Credit Suisse. Many could reduce their rates by a full percentage point if they refinanced at current rates, about 5%. More than half could lower their rates nearly three-quarters of a percentage point, according to Credit Suisse.

But new refinance applications in January stood near their lowest levels in the past year. Weekly data compiled by the Mortgage Bankers Association also show that refinance activity has been muted, considering that rates are so low...

The last time mortgage rates were at current levels, in 2003, refinancing activity hit $2.9 trillion, according to trade publication Inside Mortgage Finance. Last year, refinance volume reached $1.2 trillion, the highest amount since 2003 but not nearly as much as expected, considering how low interest rates have fallen.

Tighter lending standards must be factored into this decline in total refinancing volume as it's safe to assume that the 25% of mortgage holders currently "underwater" are effectively precluded from refinancing. But I have to believe many of the other 75% of homeowners with at least some equity (Americans still have roughly 50% equity in their homes in total) are simply choosing not extend the duration of their indebtedness.

The Los Angeles Times recently published an article on an interesting new trend towards, "cash-in" refinancing rather than "cash-out" refinancing which was so popular over the past decade or so.

Cash-outs hit their highest level of popularity during the wild appreciation streaks in the early and middle years of the last decade. In mid-2006, just before home values began deflating across the country, the rate of cash-outs hit 88%, according to Freddie Mac (FRE), which monitors refinancings quarterly.

This meant that nearly 9 out of 10 refinancers whose loan files were sampled by Freddie Mac increased the size of their mortgage balance by at least 5% in the process. It was the heyday of the pile-on-more-debt mind-set -- cash me out, I can't lose on my real estate -- that came crumbling down in 2007 and 2008, when home equity holdings shrank drastically and painfully...

Now the pendulum in consumer psychology appears to be swinging toward reduction of household debt -- whether on credit cards or mortgages.

In Freddie Mac's latest quarterly survey of refinancings, 33% of homeowners put cash into the deal to lower their mortgage balances, the highest percentage ever. By contrast, only 27% of refinancers took cash out -- the lowest percentage on record...

Cash-ins, in effect, are a disciplined form of saving -- one that in today's depressed rates for competing types of savings might be an astute financial move.

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

Nab a real estate deal - while you still can

If you've been holding off on a real estate purchase, glimmers of a turnaround in the housing market may have you wondering if it's finally time to make your move.

While home prices remain low, they're no longer free-falling in most markets. Mortgages are historically cheap. And the sweet tax credit that was offered to new buyers last year has been extended to April 30 and expanded to include current homeowners too.

But for all the motivation to act quickly, buying right now is not a no-brainer. In some areas home prices may fall further. If you own a house now, it may take longer than you expect to sell it, and you may walk away with less cash than you thought.

"It's a good time to buy, but it's still a really difficult market," says Patrick Newport of IHS Global Insight. As the clock ticks toward the tax-credit deadline, answer these questions to decide whether it's time to get off the sidelines.

Can you really nab that tax credit?

Current homeowners who sign a contract to buy a home on or before April 30 get a dollar-for-dollar reduction on their taxes of 10% of the purchase price of the home, up to a maximum of $6,500 (first-time buyers can get up to $8,000).

But according to the National Association of Realtors, buyers spend about 12 weeks home shopping before making an offer, so if you haven't already started looking, you may be pressed to meet the deadline.

Plus, to qualify for the full credit, your household income must be under $225,000 if you're married and less than $125,000 if you're single; repeat buyers must have lived in the home they are selling for five of the past eight years. The good news: Once you've signed the contract, you have until June 30 to close the deal.

How much could you lose by waiting?

Besides the loss of the tax credit, the biggest game-changer facing buyers is a potential jump in mortgage rates. If the Fed moves ahead with its plan to stop buying mortgage-backed securities at the end of March, the rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage is expected to increase nearly a percentage point from today's 5.18% to 6.1% by the end of 2010, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. On a $300,000 fixed-rate mortgage, that's an extra $174 per month.

But if home values are falling in your area, you don't have much to lose by waiting. If the house you want costs $375,000 today and you put down 20%, you'd pay $1,644 a month for a fixed-rate mortgage at 5.18%. Buy that same home for 5% less later on with rates at 6% and you'd only pay an extra $65 a month. If prices plunge 10% or more this year (as they are expected to in 12% of markets, according to Fiserv), you'll come out even or ahead.

To get a handle on the direction of your market, check trulia.com to see whether inventory levels are increasing, and visit realtytrac.com to find out whether foreclosure filings are still rising. A glut of properties and bank-owned homes means a recovery may not be in sight.

How quickly can you sell the home you now own?

Even in markets that are recovering, sellers must price aggressively to make a fast deal.

"Everybody thinks their house is worth more than it is," says Dallas realtor Bruce Lynn. Before you sign a contract for a new place, ask a few agents to give you a realistic figure that will generate a quick sale. Can't bear to part with your home at that price? Waiting may be your only option.

Also keep in mind that, with the credit crunch not far in the past, lenders may not approve your purchase until you've sold your home. A delay in sale could also stick you with two mortgages, far outstripping any savings from the tax credit.

See if the sellers will let you put a contingency in the contract that negates the sale if you don't find a buyer -- it's a long shot but worth a try. If they won't, propose adding a kick-out clause that allows the sellers to keep their home on the market, but lets you either pull out or quickly move ahead with the deal if they get another offer.

While extra contract negotiations may be a hassle, the past few years have proved that a purchase decision shouldn't be taken lightly. "This may be the best time in history to buy a home," says Denver realtor Jeff Fogler, "but only if you can really afford it."

http://money.cnn.com/2010/03/02/real_estate/real_estate_deals.moneymag/index.htm

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

5th GROUP VIETNAM

Prop 13 and California’s Budget

Proposition 13 was the “biggest tax revolt” in California’s history.

KPBS San Diego did an interesting piece on raising taxes in California and Prop 13’s effect on this.

Thirty-two years ago, Californians en masse went to the polls and approved the largest tax-limiting legislation in recent history.  Basically, it limited the property taxes that could be assigned to a property.

In response, many municipalities responded by building more hotels, retail, and more while limiting the amount of houses (municipalities earn more money from sales and occupancy taxes than on property tax).  This leaves the state perpetually building too few houses, and worse, restricting adaptive reuse of residential real estate into higher density because of the reassesment rules.

Personally, there are 3 major qualms I have with Prop 13.

1.  This is not a homestead exemption, so it does nothing to favor homeowners over landlords (who already have strong incentives through.  This is landlord welfare.

2.  Commercial properties are not exempted (they have a fixed base as well).  This is fundamentally flawed, since it favors property-owning companies who lease as their primary business.  This is corporate welfare.

3.  There is no means test.  Millionaires have the same exemptions as indigent elderly.  This is welfare for the rich.

Unfortunately, taxpayers were sold that little old ladies were getting kicked out of their homes.  While this is true, we could avoid the landlord, corporate, and rich welfare by instituting some changes to the original proposition.

Instead, we have serious imbalances because cities favor not building homes unless they have significant Mello-Roos attached to them, allow corporate transfer of assets to perpetually avoid reassesment, and allows non-citizens and non-tax payers of California to receive the benefits of everyone else’s pain.  How do you feel about prop 13?

The money shot for me?

RAND (Caller, La Jolla): Thank you for taking my call and thanks for this discussion. I would just like to put two issues on the table. The main one is something that really shocks me, never comes up in these types of discussions, which is the distinction between commercial properties and homes. Of course, nobody wants homeowners to be taxed out of their homes but Prop 13 also holds down the property taxes paid by shopping malls, office buildings, all kinds of commercial properties. And they have a loophole that homeowners don’t have, which is that they can sell the holding company that owns the property and then someone else can take ownership of that property but, theoretically, it hasn’t changed hands, just the company has changed hands. And so there’s many commercial properties in the state that have not been reassessed for many years and they’re not paying the cost of the essential services that they need to stay in business. And I think that that aspect of Proposition 13 is very unfair and needs to be changed.

http://www.socalbubble.com/

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

How to Get the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit

You’ve decided to purchase a home and take advantage of the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit. Here's what you have to do to get your benefit:

  1. Close on your home purchase between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010, or have a binding written contract by April 30, 2010 and close by July 1, 2010.
  2.  Decide whether to: 
    • apply the credit to your 2009 tax return, filed on or before April 15, 2010;
    •  file an amended 2009 return; or, 
    • apply the credit on your 2010 return, filed on or before April 15, 2011.
  3. Attach documentation of purchase to your return.

Documentation of Purchase

Details concerning the precise documents required to confirm your purchase have not yet been released. When this information becomes available, we will include instructions and links to the appropriate forms.

When to Apply the Credit

Buyers purchasing homes on or before December 31, 2009 may claim the credit on their 2009 tax returns.

Buyers purchasing in 2010 will have the option to:

  •  Claim the credit on their 2009 return, even if the purchase is completed after December 31, 2009;
  •  File an amended return for 2009 if their purchase is completed after April 15, 2010; or,
  •  Claim the credit on their 2010 tax returns.

If you, or your client, purchased a home between January 1, 2009 and November 6, 2009, please see: How to Get the 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.

Applying the Credit to Your 2009 Taxes

You will need to do three things to claim the credit on your 2009 tax return:

  1. Fill out Form 5405 to determine the amount of your available credit;
  2. Apply the credit when you file your 2009 tax return or file an amended return;
  3. Attach documentation of purchase to your return or amended return.

http://www.realtor.org/home_buyers_and_sellers/extended_home_buyer_tax_credit_how_to

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

J. Lohr Vineyards has earned the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CCSW

Pilot program benchmarks J. Lohr's success as one of the first 17 California vineyards and wineries to earn third-party certification through the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance

 


J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines has earned the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CCSW) distinction from the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) for its estate vineyards in the appellations of Paso Robles and Arroyo Seco, Monterey County, as well as for its two wineries located in Paso Robles and San Jose. This certification is the end result of J. Lohr’s participation in a pioneering, statewide pilot program to establish criteria for, and provide third-party verification of, a vineyard’s and/or winery’s adherence to a “process of continuous improvement” in the adoption and implementation of sustainable winegrowing practices. Designed to assess and encourage environmental stewardship, conservation and socially equitable business standards, the certification evaluates practices that protect air and water quality, promote water conservation and energy efficiency, reduce pesticide use, and preserve ecosystems and animal habitats, among many others.

The CSWA, which oversees the certification, was established as a non-profit organization by Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) in 2003 to promote the benefits of sustainable winegrowing practices. To be eligible for certification, participants meet a set of 58 prerequisites that are among the 227 best management practices in the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices Self-Assessment Workbook. These prerequisites were established to ensure the integrity of the certification program, and a vineyard’s and/or winery’s assessment results are verified using a third-party auditor.

A strong and vocal advocate of sustainable winegrowing practices, J. Lohr unveiled the largest solar tracking array in the wine industry—a 3-acre, 756-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) single-axis tracking system—in February of 2009 at its operations in Paso Robles, California. From start-up through December 14, 2009, this system has produced 1,542,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity, enough to run 84 homes for one year. In addition to building this groundbreaking system, for many years J. Lohr has carefully established a cutting-edge program of sustainable practices, including the utilization of organic soil amendments throughout its 3,000-acre estate program, limited use of chemicals, erosion control, water conservation, extensive pomace composting and materials recycling.

J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines has also helped to advance sustainability initiatives on an industry-wide scale, most recently with Jerry Lohr’s leadership in support of the new research and teaching winery and vineyard at the University of California, Davis, which will be completed by harvest of 2010. In addition to major gifts toward the construction of the facility’s sensory laboratory and fermentation hall by J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Jerry Lohr, The Wine Group and the Jackson family provided additional funding as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum Founders for the project. This funding will help the project attain LEED-Platinum certification—the benchmark for sustainable building and design standards and the highest rating awarded—making this the first winery facility of its type in the world.

“We are proud of our new CCSW certification,” says Steve Lohr, executive vice president/chief operating officer of J. Lohr Vineyards. “It is both another important step in our commitment to environmentally conscious practices, and a validation of our hard work up to this point. It is also important on a broader scale. As one of the first wineries to achieve this certification, we are happy to be helping to expand the wine industry's widespread sustainability movement. This new independent, third-party certification is important for consumers, allowing them to trust the accuracy and integrity of a company’s sustainability claims.”

J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines was founded in 1972 by Jerry Lohr, who was raised on a South Dakota farm, and has spent six decades actively farming—experience that informs J. Lohr’s respect for the land and focus on sustainability. J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines crafts a full line of internationally recognized wines from its 3,000 acres of estate vineyards in Paso Robles, Monterey County, and the Napa Valley. Offering an expressive range of styles, J. Lohr produces four tiers of signature wines: J. Lohr Estates, J. Lohr Vineyard Series, J. Lohr Cuvée Series and J. Lohr Gesture. J. Lohr also produces an array of flavorful wines under its Cypress Vineyards, ARIEL (non-alcoholic) and Painter Bridge labels.

http://world-wire.com/news/1001220001.html

Posted via web from eWaste Disposal

Hate your real estate agent? Here’s why!

Back in the go-go days of real estate, 79% of California homesellers were satisfied with their agents.

And now?

Uh, not so much. Only 22% are happy with them. Gee, think it might have something to do with the market?

Click to enlarge

“The reasons for being dissatisfied with their agents were more closely related to market conditions than to agent performance,” says the California Association of Realtors, which did a survey showing, among other things,  how much people like or dislike their agents.

The 2009-2010 Survey of California Home Sellers states:

  • 64% of sellers said that the house took too long to sell.
  • 51% did not get the price they wanted.

The survey also showed that nearly 2 out of 3 homesellers initially listed their home with a different agent than they wound up selling it with.

Do you agree with the CAR findings? Let’s do our own poll in Orange County.

On the whole, I think that real estate agents:

  View Results

 

http://lansner.freedomblogging.com/

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

Hate your real estate agent? Here’s why!

Back in the go-go days of real estate, 79% of California homesellers were satisfied with their agents.

And now?

Uh, not so much. Only 22% are happy with them. Gee, think it might have something to do with the market?

Click to enlarge

“The reasons for being dissatisfied with their agents were more closely related to market conditions than to agent performance,” says the California Association of Realtors, which did a survey showing, among other things,  how much people like or dislike their agents.

The 2009-2010 Survey of California Home Sellers states:

  • 64% of sellers said that the house took too long to sell.
  • 51% did not get the price they wanted.

The survey also showed that nearly 2 out of 3 homesellers initially listed their home with a different agent than they wound up selling it with.

Do you agree with the CAR findings? Let’s do our own poll in Orange County.

On the whole, I think that real estate agents:

  View Results

 

http://lansner.freedomblogging.com/

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

Reverse Mortgages Get Special Attention from Federal Investigators

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an arm of the Treasury which generally tracks drug money and terrorist funding has now apparently added Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) fraud to their efforts.

In a recent Miami Herald article titled, “Crooks Misusing Foreign Trade,” James H. Freis, director of (FinCEN), said, “FinCEN has seen a big problem recently with home equity conversion mortgages....regulators are also seeing seniors duped into buying financial products not in their best interest as an outright theft of proceeds from reverse mortgage proceeds.”

Although I applaud FinCEN, the HUD Inspector General and all other law enforcement agencies who try and protect us from predatory practices, I am afraid statements such as these are not qualified, yet have some how still become the norm rather that the exception.

Former FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery commented by saying, “such statements that go without a challenge are downright destructive to the reverse mortgage industry.”

I can’t agree more.  Qualifying these statements is not the sole responsibility of MBA and or NRMLA. I can think of others who claim to have the best interest of our seniors at heart who should take up a position to support law enforcement’s effort to protect seniors but who should also profess the benefits of the reverse mortgage program and the potential positive impact on our seniors.

To that point where is AARP?

Although they did show positive support for the program back in 2007, there hasn't been much mentioned of it since. Do they not believe that the future generation of seniors will need a mechanism such as the reverse mortgage to maintain some semblance of a quality of life? And what about the leadership in our cities; have they not thought about the necessity of the reverse mortgage for their aging citizens? Almost every city in America is struggling with transitional housing for its seniors. Most do not have the resources to fund such requirements. Would it, therefore, not make sense to support a program that provided those seniors with the wherewithal to stay in their homes and provide for themselves?

And then there's congress. I find it incomprehensible that there isn’t a champion of this program on the Hill. Why is it that the only rhetoric coming from Washington regarding this unique program is in the form of “victims and villains”? If congress only comments on why something can’t work, is there hope for them to ever support alternatives to our aging and bankrupt entitlement system?

So why is there so little public support for the reverse mortgage program, especially if the majority of the information and data collected indicates that this program makes sense and a majority of satisfied seniors seem to exist?

Maybe it’s because the industry is so fragmented and the level of support it would require is impossible to achieve without the coordination and collaboration of all parties. But is it not time for all interested parties to put aside the need to be ‘front and center’ and take a position alongside one another? Joined in supporting a viable complement to current retirement vehicles such as pension programs, social security payments and individual retirement savings?

The reverse mortgage program is an ingenious mechanism that we can’t afford to squander.  This is an opportunity to guarantee quality of life for our seniors of tomorrow.

http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/channels/voiceofhousing/137283.aspx

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What OC ZIP has biggest hike in mortgage defaults?

http://mortgage.freedomblogging.com/

Here’s how filings of notices of default — the first step in the foreclosure process — compare from Q4 of 2009 with the previous quarter and the previous year, according to an analysis by DataQuick.

It’s a mixed bag: Countywide, default notices are down 24% from the previous quarter, but up 29% year over year.

ZIP codes are ranked in descending order below by the annual comparison.

.

CommunityZip codeQ4 2008Q3 2009Q4 2009Qtr-Qtr changeYOY change
Villa Park 92861 2 18 13 -28% 550%
Seal Beach 90740 4 16 19 19% 375%
Newport Beach 92661 1 4 4 0% 300%
Brea 92823 2 11 7 -36% 250%
Corona del Mar 92625 5 18 16 -11% 220%
Irvine 92606 12 32 32 0% 167%
Huntington Beach 92648 34 91 86 -6% 153%
Newport Beach 92660 25 62 62 0% 148%
Irvine 92618 10 22 24 9% 140%
Newport Coast 92657 12 46 28 -39% 133%
Newport Beach 92663 22 43 46 7% 109%
Tustin 92782 22 91 46 -50% 109%
Ladera Ranch 92694 71 167 147 -12% 107%
Trabuco/Coto 92679 61 148 126 -15% 107%
Huntington Beach 92646 47 93 95 2% 102%
Irvine 92604 24 56 47 -16% 96%
Anaheim 92808 35 80 68 -15% 94%
Costa Mesa 92627 37 91 71 -22% 92%
Irvine 92612 28 49 53 8% 89%
Los Alamitos 90720 9 22 17 -23% 89%
Midway City 92655 9 17 17 0% 89%
San Clemente 92673 45 108 83 -23% 84%
Placentia 92870 48 110 86 -22% 79%
Brea 92821 38 63 65 3% 71%
Irvine 92603 20 56 33 -41% 65%
Dana Point 92629 37 79 61 -23% 65%
Laguna Woods 92637 11 20 18 -10% 64%
Garden Grove 92844 25 57 40 -30% 60%
Irvine 92602 19 43 30 -30% 58%
Anaheim 92807 63 96 97 1% 54%
Yorba Linda 92886 68 109 103 -6% 52%
Yorba Linda 92887 33 54 50 -7% 52%
Orange 92867 51 86 77 -11% 51%
Aliso Viejo 92656 114 198 172 -13% 51%
Orange 92865 30 41 45 10% 50%
Fullerton 92831 35 57 52 -9% 49%
Huntington Beach 92647 31 84 46 -45% 48%
Santa Ana 92705 48 94 71 -25% 48%
Mission Viejo 92691 99 157 146 -7% 48%
Dana Point 92624 11 25 16 -36% 46%
San Clemente 92672 44 84 64 -24% 46%
Fullerton 92835 28 56 40 -29% 43%
Irvine 92620 40 86 57 -34% 43%
Orange 92869 64 100 91 -9% 42%
Laguna Beach 92651 32 56 45 -20% 41%
Huntington Beach 92649 26 47 36 -23% 39%
Garden Grove 92845 22 34 30 -12% 36%
Lake Forest 92630 121 191 165 -14% 36%
Buena Park 90620 78 112 105 -6% 35%
Foothill Ranch 92610 35 59 47 -20% 34%
Rancho Santa Margarita 92688 117 228 157 -31% 34%
Silverado 92676 6 10 8 -20% 33%
Laguna Niguel 92677 124 239 165 -31% 33%
Irvine 92614 25 47 33 -30% 32%
Costa Mesa 92626 51 94 66 -30% 29%
Westminster 92683 84 178 108 -39% 29%
Laguna Hills 92653 58 114 74 -35% 28%
Garden Grove 92841 49 88 62 -30% 27%
Stanton 90680 46 64 57 -11% 24%
Cypress 90630 48 75 59 -21% 23%
Mission Viejo 92692 83 137 101 -26% 22%
Fullerton 92833 95 150 111 -26% 17%
Buena Park 90621 49 69 55 -20% 12%
Santa Ana 92706 59 100 66 -34% 12%
Fountain Valley 92708 60 103 66 -36% 10%
Tustin 92780 85 140 92 -34% 8%
Fullerton 92832 40 44 42 -5% 5%
San Juan Capistrano 92675 82 164 83 -49% 1%
Newport Beach 92662 0 2 2 0% 0%
Garden Grove 92840 95 135 95 -30% 0%
La Palma 90623 17 23 17 -26% 0%
Anaheim 92806 57 75 55 -27% -4%
Orange 92866 16 17 15 -12% -6%
La Habra 90631 141 186 132 -29% -6%
Garden Grove 92843 80 108 74 -32% -8%
Orange 92868 32 47 29 -38% -9%
Anaheim 92802 53 64 47 -27% -11%
Anaheim 92804 150 212 133 -37% -11%
Santa Ana 92701 105 106 92 -13% -12%
Santa Ana 92703 106 142 92 -35% -13%
Santa Ana 92704 180 216 142 -34% -21%
Anaheim 92805 117 135 92 -32% -21%
Anaheim 92801 112 119 87 -27% -22%
Santa Ana 92707 143 182 110 -40% -23%

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tphhhttp://mortgage.freedomblogging.com/ttp://mortgage.freedomblogging.com/ttp://mortgage.freedomblogging.com/

://mortgage.freedomblogging.com/

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

One Old newport beach "War Dog" we miss!

Old TVs spark environmental dispute

Nine truck-size shipping containers filled with old televisions from a Brockton recycling company are at the center of an international dispute drawing attention to a major problem in the regulation of hazardous electronic waste: When is a product intended to be reused, and when is it trash?

The containers, shipped to Indonesia by CRT Recycling Inc., were seized by port officials there after an environmental organization staked out the company’s Massachusetts operations and alerted the Indonesian government about a possibly illegal shipment of e-waste.

The cathode-ray tubes in televisions and computer monitors contain more than four pounds of lead, as well as mercury and other toxins, that, if not disposed of properly, can seep into groundwater or soil. An international treaty restricts shipments of these tubes for disposal in developing countries.

But CRT Recycling says the TV tubes were being sent to the country to be reused - not thrown away. “We send good [material] overseas,’’ said Peter Kopcych, general manager of CRT, which takes thousands of tons of old computers and televisions every year from close to 200 municipalities, including some in Massachusetts.

Indonesia sent the containers back to Boston, and yesterday, the US Environmental Protection Agency released the shipment to the company, suggesting it found no clear violations of US law. The Indonesian government did not return e-mails and phone calls.

It can be difficult for the public to know where its old computers and televisions wind up. The United States has not ratified the Basel Convention treaty, a 172-nation pact to prevent the transfer of hazardous waste from developed countries to less-developed ones.

The Basel Convention considers cathode ray, or CRT tubes, hazardous waste, and it prohibits them from being sent to developing countries to be thrown away or recycled, according to the Basel Action Network, the group that alerted Indonesia to the shipment. To gain entry to those nations, many companies say the tubes are going to be reused or resold, the group said. Instead, it says, the majority of the tubes are burned, dumped, or, disassembled to extract reusable material by workers with little protection against toxins.

A 2008 Government Accountability Office report said US companies send broken CRTs overseas. Investigators posed as foreign buyers of broken CRTs in Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, and other countries - and 43 US companies told the investigators they would export those items. The report was critical of EPA’s oversight and enforcement.

“There is enough documented evidence indicating that monitors and other types of electronics shipped under the guise of resale or reuse winds up being disassembled in dangerous conditions,’’ said Allen Hershkowitz, senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “There is so much documentation consumers should assume that unless the material is going abroad [to be repaired under warranty] it will be disassembled.’’

Basel Action Network, a Seattle-based nonprofit, staked out CRT Recycling and took photographs of a container it says was being filled with computer monitors. Using container numbers and online shipping company databases, the group tracked the container and its ship to the port of Semarang, in Indonesia, in November. The group alerted the Indonesian government, which sent it back to the United States on Dec. 13, according to a letter from the Indonesian company slated to receive the material.

“We can explain that the green organization . . . known as ‘BASEL’ took photos of the cargo while being loaded in U.S.A. and then asked the Indonesian Environmental authorities to ship these containers back to the U.S.A. because BASEL CONVENTION description of CRT is ‘hazardous material,’ ’’ according to the letter from Intech Anugrah Indonesia.

Kopcych said Basel Action got its information wrong. The company sent televisions - not computer monitors - in the containers. And he said the Indonesian government never opened them to see what was inside. A Basel Action Network official said the Indonesian government did open the containers.

Kopcych said company representatives asked people whether their televisions worked when they picked them up, and the machines were separated based on the answer. In cases where there was no one to ask, the company workers separated the TVs themselves. He said it ships only 3 percent of all the televisions they collect, and of those, about 97 percent can be reused.

But Jim Puckett of Basel Action Network said those assertions defy belief. Research his group has done shows that 75 percent of CRT tubes sent overseas do not work. Testing should be done on each one, he said.

The United States needs to ban the export of e-waste, he said.

“Even though our own government knows that the importation of toxic waste from the US is a violation of the laws of most countries of the world, our own EPA shamefully allows the global dumping to continue.’’

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/03/02/old_televisions_spark_environmental_dispute/

Posted via web from eWaste Disposal

Advantages of the HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) program - extended one more year

The HARP loan program is underway and going strong

We have been taking applications for those of you who qualify for HARP refinancing of your current mortgage since May 1, 2009.

HARP is the Homeowner Affordability Refinance Program being offered for those homeowners who do not otherwise qualify to refinance their current home loan.  Whether you watch the financial news programs such as CNBC or Bloomberg TV, or listen to the local news, I’m sure you’ve heard about government programs aimed at helping those who need help to take advantage of low mortgage rates, but do not qualify.  This loan program is a fantastic opportunity for those of you with mortgages owned by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

If your current loan is owned by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae you might be eligible to refinance your home with HARP funds.  We have several lenders offering this program NOW.  To find out if Fannie or Freddie owns your current mortgage, click on the links below and complete the short online form.

http://loanlookup.fanniemae.com/loanlookup/

https://ww3.freddiemac.com/corporate/

You will get an immediate online response. If you get a no response but believe that could be an error, your current loan servicer has this information, and is required to tell you. 

This loan will refinance your 1st mortgage only (if you have a 1st and 2nd mortgage, the 2nd mortgage will remain as it is).  We can finance up to 105% of the current value of your home.  (You may have heard that HARP loans are available up to 125%, but no lenders are making mortgages that far under water yet).  This loan is for those who:

1.  are under water - owe more than the house is worth

2.  have an interest rate higher than prevailing interest rates

3.  have an ARM (adjustable rate mortgage) that has re-set or will re-set shortly

4.  want to refinance, but because your house loan to value ratio is now above 80%, will be required to pay mortgage insurance, making the refinance transaction not worth the closing costs.  NO MI is required for HARP loans)

5.  are not eligible to refinance due to a decrease in monthly income (job layoffs, shorter hours, etc).  However, you will need to show that you can carry the new monthly payments.

If your current mortgage payment includes mortgage insurance, or “lender paid mortgage insurance,” I’m sorry but this is another case where lenders are not doing these loans yet, in spite of technically being available.  The problem here is that the approval will always come back requiring mortgage insurance, but there are no private mortgage insurers willing to take on this risk. 

(Some of you may have Lender paid mortgage insurance and not even realize it. Here's a hint - if your loan IS owned by Fannie or Freddie AND the original loan amount was greater than 80% of the appraised value of your home, AND your monthly payment does not show a private mortgage insurance component, it is almost guaranteed that your loan DOES have lender paid mortgage insurance.) Please feel free to contact me if you aren't sure. I can help you figure it out.

Investment properties were often sold to Fannie or Freddie.  If you own investment property, you may be eligible for the HARP loan.  However, you may be limited to choosing only ONE loan to refinance through this program. 

Some of the great features of this type of refinance transaction are:

  1. Generally lower closing costs
  2. Generally more lenient underwriting
  3. Sometimes no appraisal is required
  4. The same low rates that conventional loans qualifying for a conventional refinance transaction would get.  This includes adjustments for credit score, type of property, etc.)
  5. If your loan is owned by Freddie Mac, you may not be required to prove income.  NOTE:  If your loan is owned by Freddie, you will have to do your refinance through your current loan servicer.  However, Fannie loans can be done by any lender offering this program.
  6. NO MORTGAGE INSURANCE (even if you owe more than the house is worth)
  7. With a Fannie loan, all your closing costs can be included in the mortgage, so, except for a credit report fee and appraisal fee (if required), this loan does not require cash up front.

Remember, the goal of this loan is to reduce your current payments. There is a maximum of $250 Cash out allowed. 

It is still possible that current loans with mortgage insurance, and/or loans for up to 125% of the current valuation may become eligible for HARP financing soon, so please keep checking back.  I will definitely make that announcement as soon as I hear more.

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-17460-Portland-Real-Estate-Examiner~y2009m8d10-Advantages-of-the-HARP-Home-Affordable-Refinance-Program-program--is-this-a-good-loan-for-you

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

Inside the Resort Where "The Bachelor" Handed Out the 2 Final Roses

When pilot Jake Pavelka handed out the final two roses on The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love, it was at Cap Maison, a stunning property in St. Lucia.

While we don't know yet if Jake will choose Vienna or Tenley on the March 1 finale, we do know that the trio spent some time at one amazing St. Lucia resort.

Cap Maison opened only one year ago in a location above Smugglers Beach on the northwest side of the island. It's a former sugar plantation with 1,500 acres of rolling hills. Flush with beautiful design – as well as ocean views that really are as beautiful as your television's pixels claim – the property is extremely lavish.

Accommodations are in three class levels: ocean- or garden-view rooms, junior suites and ocean-view suites. The more affordable of the rooms – with views of the ocean or gardens – feature hand-painted blue, mustard-yellow and white tiles and sinks in the bathroom, as well as private verandas to soak up the view.

the bachelor resort

One of the rooms at Cap Maison, with St. Lucia's waters in full view. Photo: Cap Maison

Hand-painted tiles

Hand-painted tiles in gorgeous blue, white and mustard-yellow. Photo: Cap Maison


Yet it's within the suites where the hotel is most luxurious.

While they all have hand-painted tiles and copper sinks in the kitchen, as well as tumbled marble and travertine basins in the bathroom (and a large soaking tub), the Oceanview Villa Suite totals a whopping 3,000 square feet. There's a private pool and terrace within that space too.

In the other two classes of suites is either a whirlpool (nestled into the private veranda, with views of the turquoise waters) or a private pool. Sheer white netting can be tied around the bed posts, too, for even more privacy. Warm tones of wood on the doorways and windows make all of the rooms a cozy enclave, which is probably the intent for The Bachelor contestants, of course.

Sinks in suites

Luxurious, deep sinks in the suites. Photo: Cap Maison


A cave wine cellar houses 1,500 wine bottles to pair with a tapas menu (items like ceviche of island conch and a citrus fruit salad, or Jamaican jerk sausages with whipped sweet potatoes) at Cliff at Cap, which sources a lot of fresh produce and even has a "sweet memories" menu (including hot hazelnut and almond soufflé).

Cliff at Cap dinner

A sunset and cool breeze = recipe for a fabulous dinner date? Photo: Cap Maison

Guests at Cap Maison can even take a sail on the resort's own boat: a 46-foot Sea Ray motor launch, nicknamed "Cap Maison 1." It's got cherry-wood moldings, a foredeck to sunbathe on and a fully equipped galley.

Cap Maison boat

With cherry-wood moldings and a full kitchen, not to mention the views, the property's boat provides a mini getaway. Photo: Cap Maison

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

HVAC boot cleared of Asbestos in Los Angeles

http://www.ewastedisposal.net