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CORRECTION AND PACE LOANS

This is two articles in one. First is a correction for a recent article I wrote about Homeowner’s Associations. In my article I incorrectly stated that when you see the HOA board go into “executive session” where no minutes are kept they may be contemplating litigation. I was politely corrected by a local board member that they go into executive session in order to discuss discipline against homeowners for violating rules, and they don’t want the names in the public minutes but they DON’T discuss potential litigation there.

 

Secondly, I wanted to let you know about some issues with PACE/HERO loans. These are relatively new loans where you can get some energy-efficient home improvements done like improved HVAC, solar, etc. You may be getting solicitations in the mail or by phone about them and the salesperson may tell you how this is an easy way to get home improvements done with almost no qualifying needed (you do have to have equity) and stretch the payments out over many years. What’s different about these loans is they are repaid through your tax bill. This means that when you sell the home, it stays on the home for the next buyer to deal with. This creates a couple of issues. The buyer may not WANT to pay for this and therefore may not want to buy your home or ask you to pay the loan off. In addition, their lender may not even agree to loan on the property because the PACE/HERO loan is part of your tax bill, which makes it the primary lien on your property. Some people are having issues even refinancing their regular mortgages because of these liens. So be sure to check into it fully before you sign up for one of these loans.

EDITING ZILLOW DETAILS

“All the people said, ‘Amen!’” is the name of a song by Matt Maher that came out in 2013, and that title rightly applies to Zillow this week.

 

FINALLY, after years and years of complaints, Zillow is now allowing people to edit the facts about their home on Zillow. I’ve heard from many people over the years who complain that Zillow has their home details incorrect. They may have the square footage, or year built, or any number of things wrong. This is particularly troubling when people try to sell their home, and potential buyers see it on Zillow but pass on the home due to the incorrect information.

 

I checked my own home and it was listed as a mobile home, not a single-family home (it’s not listed for sale, but Zillow tries to list info on EVERY home). But now there is a NEW button next to my home’s details that says, “Edit.” When I clicked on that, it asked me to verify that I was the owner and then it allowed me to submit the changes, which showed up immediately on the live Zillow site.

 

Please note that they are NOT allowing you to change your Zestimate (their wildly-inaccurate guess at what your home is worth) directly. However, if your home’s info in Zillow was wrong, that does factor into your Zestimate. For example, if Zillow has your home at 1,500 square feet, and it’s really 2,000 square feet, when you correct that, your Zestimate SHOULD go up since size is one of the factors Zillow uses to come up with the Zestimate. They also use year built, lot size, wind direction, astrology, tarot cards and a random number generator that adds or subtracts $25-75K from your Zestimate. [Most of this last sentence isn’t true, it just seems like it!]

BATTERY CHIRP

So lately I’ve been battling “low battery chirp” at my home, my office and my parents’ home. I’ve learned a LOT about these detectors that I didn’t know before! I woke up at 3 am a few weeks ago due to a smoke detector chirping, and of course it was a super-high ceiling in my house, so I had to get the extension ladder out while wearing my pajamas. Good luck going to sleep after THAT!

 

A few days later I hear chirping at my office. We have quite a few close to each other, so it was hard to tell which one was chirping. I take them all down and start replacing batteries one at a time, but I still hear chirping. Come to find out that some detectors keep a small charge even AFTER you remove the battery, so they can still chirp for a while even WITHOUT a battery. So it wasn’t until I replaced ALL the batteries that I finally got rid of all the chirping.

 

Then a week later my mom calls because she is hearing chirping. Hey, I’m an expert at this now! So I replace all the batteries in her detectors and put them back up. A few minutes later, “Chirp!” I take them all down and test the batteries, which test fine, but still I hear a “Chirp!” somewhere, but it doesn’t seem like it’s coming from any of the detectors. I take them all down and put them in a sealed box in the garage but I still hear a “Chirp!” inside the home. I’m thinking I’m either going insane, or I’m on some hidden camera TV show! Finally I pay attention to the plug-in carbon monoxide detector and IT’S the one chirping! Apparently these detectors now have battery backup (the first few I bought years ago did NOT have them) so now you know!

 

Free loan mod/short sale seminar

Updated for 2012. New loan mod/short sale laws and incentives will be discussed along
with the following topics:

  • Who is a good
    candidate for a loan modification vs. a short sale?
  • Can lenders
    pursue you after a short sale, foreclosure or loan modification?
  • Impact on your
    credit score and waiting period to buy another home.
  • Which lenders may
    pay you up to $30,000 to do a short sale.
  • Discussion of the
    “1099 issue” and the two big exceptions to it.
  • How the
    expiration of the Mortgage Forgiveness Act at the end of 2012 affects you.

June 12th at 6 pm or 7:30 pm or June 16th at 10 am or Noon. All will be the same
one-hour presentation including time for Q&A.

Presented by: Brian Sharp, Certified Distressed Property Expert.

««« MUST R.S.V.P. TO RESERVE A SEAT «««

Phone:
925.998.9712  Email:
Brian@SharpHomesOnline.com

 

LOAN MOD/SHORT SALE SEMINAR

I will be doing another free seminar on loan mods and short sales as part of a local church’s budget class soon. They will allow a FEW outside people to attend, but space is extremely limited.

TOPICS TO BE COVERED:

• New government program can pay you $3,000 to do a short sale.
• Find out who is a good candidate for loan modification vs. short sale.
• Can lenders pursue you after short sale/foreclosure/loan mod? (UPDATED FOR 2011 NEW LAWS)
• Impact on your credit score and ability to buy another home.
• Why you may still get a 1099 after a foreclosure or some loan mods, but learn what exclusions you may qualify for per the IRS.

The seminar will be on Nov. 13th, 2012, starting at 9:45 am. If you would like to attend, you MUST speak to me first to make sure we have room for you. If we run out of room, I will be doing another seminar with more seating over the next 60 days, so I can put you on a follow-up notification list. You can call me at 925.998.9712 or email is preferred at Brian@SharpHomesOnline.com. I will respond back to you to confirm if we have room and give you directions. But you will hear from me one way or the other. This will not be held at Sharp Realty, so don’t show up there thinking you can just slip in unnoticed!

SEMINAR – ADDITIONAL DATE

A few weeks ago I announced a free seminar on short sales and loan mods. I’ve had so many RSVPs that I’ve added another date – 5/11 at 7 pm. I still have some room on 5/7 at 2 and 4:30 pm. You must RSVP to reserve a seat. Best way is to email me at Brian@SharpHomesOnline.com, or call at (925) 998-9712. If you can’t make one of these dates/times, let me know and I’ll put you on list for next time. Or go ahead and contact me anyways and we can discuss your situation over the phone or in person. I’m happy to be a resource for people during these difficult times, and I don’t charge just to talk about your situation!

This will not be one of those seminars where I just “tease” you with partial bits of information and then the rest is a sales pitch for something else. There are just so many people who have questions in this area and there is a lot of bad information floating around that I wanted to share what I’ve learned. I will present for about 50 minutes, and then I’ll stay after for as long as it takes to answer questions.

I’ll go over when you should try a loan mod vs. a short sale, and we’ll discuss if it is ever OK to just walk away. I’ve recently gone through a successful loan modification on my own home. I’ll be happy to share with you what worked for me so you can try your own (I don’t do loan mods for other people), and what your odds of success are. I’ll also discuss how short sales and foreclosures work in the event that a loan mod doesn’t work out, including how it impacts your credit score and ability to buy another home. I’ll also discuss how we got into this real estate mess, and my prediction for the future of our market. I’ll also talk in general terms about the 1099/forgiven debt issue, and whether lenders can pursue you after a short sale, loan mod or foreclosure for the deficiency balance. I’ll also give you the details on a relatively new government program that will pay you $3,000 in relocation expenses when your short sale closes.

FREE LOAN MOD/SHORT SALE SEMINAR

I wanted to let you know about a free upcoming seminar I’m putting on about short sales and loan modifications. This will not be one of those seminars where I just “tease” you with partial bits of information and then the rest is a sales pitch for something else. There are just so many people who have questions in this area and there is a lot of bad information floating around that I wanted to share what I’ve learned. I will present for about 50 minutes, and then I’ll stay after for as long as it takes to answer questions.

I’ll go over when you should try a loan mod vs. a short sale, and we’ll discuss if it is ever OK to just walk away. I’ve recently gone through a successful loan modification on my own home. I’ll be happy to share with you what worked for me so you can try your own (I don’t do loan mods for other people), and what your odds of success are. I’ll also discuss how short sales and foreclosures work in the event that a loan mod doesn’t work out. I’ll also discuss how we got in this real estate mess, and my prediction for the future of our market. I’ll also talk in general terms about the 1099/forgiven debt issue, and whether lenders can pursue you after a short sale, loan mod or foreclosure for the deficiency balance.

The last time I did this, the seminar filled up quickly and I had to turn people away, so this time I’m doing the exact same seminar three times on May 4th at 7 pm, and then May 7th at 2:00 and 4:30 pm to give you some options. You must RSVP to reserve a seat. Best way is to email me at Brian@SharpHomesOnline.com, or call at (925) 998-9712. If you can’t make one of these dates/times, shoot me an email and I’ll put you on list for next time. Or go ahead and contact me anyways and we can discuss your situation over the phone or in person. I’m happy to be a resource for people during these difficult times, and I don’t charge just to talk about your situation!

SHORT SALE/LOAN MOD SEMINAR

I will be giving a free seminar on March 6th at 9:45 a.m. that all are invited to. I will be covering a broad range of topics including: Discussion of how loan mods, short sales and foreclosures work, who is a good candidate for each, impact on your credit score, can your lender pursue you after, will you owe tax on forgiven debt, how to rebuild your credit score after one of the above and a discussion of many of the various government loan mod and short sale programs available. Then I will wrap up with my prediction for where the market will go from here.

Obviously, I have a lot to cover, so I will talk fast. My talk will take about 45-50 minutes, but I always leave time at the end for questions and answers from the group. Plus I will hang out after to try to answer as many individual questions as I can. This is not a “sales-pitch” for any particular course of action. While doing a short sale is an option for some people, many times my advice is to try something else first, and only look at short sale as a last resort. I’m just finding there is a lot of confusion out there in the marketplace right now on these topics. So if I can help clear some of the basics for you, I’ll be satisfied.

We are limited on space, so you must RSVP through me to make sure you reserve a spot. When you RSVP, I’ll tell you where the seminar will be held. It will NOT be held at my office, so if you show up at my office on March 6th, you will be disappointed! You can call me at the number below, or email me at Brian@SharpHomesOnline.com to RSVP. I will be doing another of these seminars again in a few months, so if you can’t make this one, email me anyways if you would like me to notify you when the next one gets scheduled.

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Contact Us

  • Sharp Realty
  • 320 Fairview Ave.
  • Brentwood CA 94513
  • P: 925.240.6683
  • F: 925.524.2302
  • E: info@SharpHomesOnline.com
  • DRE# 01858431