7 Reasons Why NOW is the Time to Buy in Ventura County!

7 Reasons why NOW is the time to buy in Ventura County!  See it HERE!

Find your next home in one of these areas: Westlake VillageThousand OaksAgoura HillsCamarilloNewbury ParkSimi ValleyMoorparkCalabasasWoodland HillsSan Fernando ValleyOak ParkConejo ValleyDos VientosLake SherwoodNorth RanchLas VirgenesWood Ranch

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Tax relief on forgiven debt set to expire Dec. 31, 2012

Tax relief on forgiven debt set to expire Dec. 31, 2012
Unless Congress and the California State legislature take action, a break for mortgage principal forgiven in loan modifications or short sales will expire at year’s end.
California’s tax treatment of mortgage debt relief income is set to expire at the end of 2012. For debt forgiven on a loan secured by a “qualified principal residence,” borrowers are exempt from both federal and state income tax consequences, but only until Dec. 31, 2012.  Tax breaks apply only to debts discharged from 2009 through 2012.
Sellers who have transactions closing after Dec. 31, 2012, need to speak to their own legal counsel or tax advisors about the impact of the expiration of these laws and their potential tax liabilities, including the applicability of other exemptions from debt relief income tax.

Why the Candidates Aren’t Talking About Housing for America and Ventura County Residents

Why the Candidates Aren’t Talking About Housing for America and Ventura County Residents

The housing crisis has reshaped the nation over the last five years particularly in areas like Ventura County. But neither the Obama nor the Romney campaign has had very much to say about it.

Although many Ventura County residents wonder why housing has not been discussed in the campaign debate,there is an obvious explanation: housing is a political loser.

All potential Ventura County housing fixes are messy. Some are very expensive and reward irresponsible behavior. None will be a cure-all. And each will leave someone feeling left out.

That was the view articulated two years ago by Richard Berner, then the chief U.S. economist at Morgan Stanley, shortly before he joined Obama’s Treasury Department. “Many policy options are available to fix America’s dysfunctional housing and mortgage markets,” he wrote. “But the political will to deploy them is scarce.”

President Barack Obama has not included much discussion of his housing, though he continues to push Congress to loosen rules that would allow more homeowners to refinance.

His administration neglected to spend a substantial amount of money it had allocated for reworking troubled mortgages for American and Ventura County, for which it has received heavy criticism. White House officials insist the efforts made have helped move the mortgage industry towards providing more loan modifications, and we can see this in the decline of default rates on modified loans for Ventura County.

Republican challenger Mitt Romney has offered little detail about what his administration would do differently.

Last October, Mr. Romney told a Nevada newspaper that foreclosures should be allowed to run their course. Nevada’s newly passed law had brought foreclosures to a standstill and significantly dropped housing sales. Many critics claim this is proof of Mr. Romney’s apathy towards struggling borrowers. (Mr. Obama, as a candidate in 2008, argued that heavy-handed intervention, such as an interest-rate freeze and foreclosure moratorium proposed by Hillary Clinton, also risked delaying a market recovery).

Mr. Romney’s campaign website says he would promote foreclosure alternatives for those who can’t afford to stay in their homes. It also says he would roll back a wave of upcoming regulation designed to prevent the abuses of the subprime years, but which the mortgage industry and even some consumer advocates call ill-conceived.

Source:  The Wall Street Journal, Nick Timiraos

Find your next home in one of these areas: Westlake VillageThousand OaksAgoura HillsCamarilloNewbury ParkSimi ValleyMoorparkCalabasasWoodland HillsSan Fernando ValleyOak ParkConejo ValleyDos VientosLake SherwoodNorth RanchLas VirgenesWood Ranch

Home prices in Ventura County, CA bounded up 4.4% in July!

Nationwide home prices increased quite a bit in July including Ventura County, making their largest year-over-year leap since 2006 when they jumped 4.1%, according to real estate data provider CoreLogic.

Home prices in Ventura County, California bounded up 4.4%. Without distressed sales – including foreclosures and short sales – national prices were up 4.3% compared with last July.

This report, the magnitude of buyers, and the shrinking inventory, suggests that the real estate market is “clearly seeing the light at the end of a very long tunnel,” said CoreLogic Chief Executive Anand Nallathambi.

Find your next home in one of these areas: Westlake VillageThousand OaksAgoura HillsCamarilloNewbury ParkSimi ValleyMoorparkCalabasasWoodland HillsSan Fernando ValleyOak ParkConejo ValleyDos VientosLake SherwoodNorth RanchLas VirgenesWood Ranch

Fannie Mae and Federal Housing Finance Administration moving forward secretively with bulk sales program in the Ventura County area

The Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) is moving forward with a REO bulk sales plan in a highly secretive manner, and not without intense opposition from Ventura County, California congressional members.  This plan in Ventura County will have a negative economic impact to the state’s housing market and cost to taxpayers.

The REO bulk sales plan will cause nearly 500 Fannie Mae-owned foreclosed homes in the Ventura County area to be sold to undisclosed institutional investors.

“We are disappointed that Fannie Mae and the FHFA fail to understand that this initiative will harm the communities in which it will be implemented and are going forward with this ill-conceived plan,” said C.A.R. President LeFrancis Arnold. “Moreover, not only are Fannie Mae and FHFA moving forward with the plan, they are refusing to disclose any details, such as property locations, final property count, sales price, or names of winning bidders,” said Arnold. 

Since FHFA’s is not openly presenting the plan in Ventura County, C.A.R. is filing a request for details through the Freedom of Information Act.

The FHFA announced earlier in the summer that winning bidders in the Ventura County foreclosure auction had been chosen, and we can expect transactions to close in the third quarter.

Find your next home in one of these areas: Westlake VillageThousand OaksAgoura HillsCamarilloNewbury ParkSimi ValleyMoorparkCalabasasWoodland HillsSan Fernando ValleyOak ParkConejo ValleyDos VientosLake SherwoodNorth RanchLas VirgenesWood Ranch

For three weeks in a row, Ventura County fixed mortgage rates rose.

For three weeks in a row, Ventura Countfixed mortgage rates rose.  After setting an all-time low, the Ventura County 30-year rate increases from 3.59% to 3.62%.

Freddie Mac noted this week’s average for the 15-year fixed loan at 2.88%, up from 2.84% one week earlier. The start rates on Ventura County variable-interest loans were mixed.

The increasing economic strength causes a decrease in demand for the safe securities issued by the U.S. Treasury. The decrease in demand pushes up their yield, and many other rates, including those on mortgages, tend to follow.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note closed at 1.8% Wednesday hitting bottom at 1.4% on July 24. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate, as calculated by Freddie Mac, hit an all-time low of 3.49% in the same week.

Rising rates in Ventura County could curb refinancing as mortgage rates gradually descended from double-digit levels in the 1980s.

The Ventura Countymortgage arms of large banks and independent lenders collect significant profits when they sell loans made at the low rates.

Source: Money & Co, Scott Reckard

Find your next home in one of these areas: Westlake VillageThousand OaksAgoura HillsCamarilloNewbury ParkSimi ValleyMoorparkCalabasasWoodland HillsSan Fernando ValleyOak ParkConejo ValleyDos VientosLake SherwoodNorth RanchLas VirgenesWood Ranch

Million-dollar-plus home sales surge in second quarter in Ventura County!

Million-dollar-or-more home sales in Ventura County surged in the second quarter to the highest level since the third quarter of 2007 as the in Ventura County economy improved and more mortgages became available.

The year-over-year increase was nearly double the gain for the in Ventura County housing market. According to San Diego-based DataQuick and its president, John Walsh, increased prices moved some homes into the million-dollar-plus category.

The Ventura County homes that sold at $1 million or more from April to June represented an 18.5% increase from the same period last year. It was the most sales in this price range for a quarter since 2007.

The highest quarter number of sales for $1-million or up houses since DataQuick began tracking such data was the third quarter of 2005, when 15,898 homes changed hands.

Source: Money & Co, Laruen Beale

Find your next home in one of these areas: Westlake VillageThousand OaksAgoura HillsCamarilloNewbury ParkSimi ValleyMoorparkCalabasasWoodland HillsSan Fernando ValleyOak ParkConejo ValleyDos VientosLake SherwoodNorth RanchLas VirgenesWood Ranch