41 Grandview - # 401Lower Corner Building 4

Measure O Short Sale: Help Find the Right Low Income Candidate for Home-Ownership

Santa Cruz Measure O Short Sale — Help Find the Right Low Income Candidate for Homeownership. 41 Grandview St #401 is an exceptional property in many ways. This one bedroom, one bathroom home is located in the Westside of Santa Cruz, close to New Leaf Community Market, UCSC and the Westside Farmer’s Market. At just under 700 square feet, 41 Grandview features its own laundry facilities, plentiful parking and views of the development’s quad garden area.

This little lower corner unit is also a Santa Cruz Measure O property which means that it is designated as low income housing and there are income limitations for all potential homeowner applicants. 41 Grandview St. #401 is regulated by Resolution No. NS-16,452:

Family Size Annual Income
1 $67,117
2 $77,035

It is a beautiful home and I am committed to finding the right person for it. As a short sale negotiator, I have a short sale approval on this property at the list price. The home is ready to provide the American dream of home-ownership to the right person or persons. Do you know someone who might qualify?

I have the right loan officer, Dwayne Dawson, and title person standing by, I have the short sale approval in my hands and I have 41 Grandview’s paperwork on the desk of a special officer on the Wells Fargo Executive Resolution team.

The issue is that a person qualified for this home, may not even realize that home-ownership is possible and may not be looking. Help me find the right candidate for home-ownership for this special Santa Cruz Measure O Short Sale and I am happy to pay a referral fee.

What is Mortgage Lien Elimination?

What is Mortgage Lien Elimination?

Save Your Nest - Lien Elimination
Avoid Foreclosure.
Save Your Family Nest.

Mortgage lien elimination, sometimes referred to as lien stripping, refers to the process of reducing or removing the 2nd or junior lien on the property when the home value is less than the note due on the first and the junior lien is unsecured.

Example: If $700,000 is owed on a 1st mortgage and $200,000 is due on a 2nd mortgage but the latest appraisal shows that the property is worth $638,000 the balance of the first mortgage, in this case $62,000, is deemed unsecured. The 2nd mortgage is definitively unsecured which leaves the 2nd lien holder (the mortgage bank) in a very serious situation.

If you are in this position with your primary residence,
you are a candidate for Mortgage Lien Elimination.

What is the Process Like?

Your Licensed Mortgage Lien Elimination Specialist will have you order an appraisal from a licensed appraiser to confirm your eligibility. Then your LE Specialist will contact the bank to negotiate away your 2nd and/or junior lien. The bank is informed of their unsecured loan, offered your documentation and the appraisal and then offered a percentage of the balance due. This amount of money is often more than they would get through a short sale or foreclosure and definitely more than they would receive in the event of the homeowner’s bankruptcy—when they would receive nothing.  The 2nd lien holder then reports to the three credit agencies that they have “settled short of what is owed.”

What Are The Gotchas?

There aren’t any ‘gotchas’ in lien elimination.  After eliminating your 2nd lien, you have the potential to either refinance your 1st lien at lower interest rate or continue to make the monthly payment on the remaining 1st mortgage.

Either way, you have saved the family home.

How Will Lien Elimination Affect My Credit?

The 2nd lien holder/bank would report to the three credit agencies that they “settled short of what is owed.” Your credit would take a minimal hit for 3-6 months.  Since you are free of this 2nd mortgage payment you are freed up to make the payments on all of your other obligations: 1st mortgage, credit cards, car payment, etc. on time. This will help repair the minimal damage to your credit over time.

What Are The Tax Ramifications?

As a licensed REALTOR, I recommend meeting with your licensed CPA for information about tax ramifications. The elimination of your second lien would also eliminate any mortgage interest that you might be deducting from your personal gross income and taxes each year, so check with your CPA if this is the right choice for you.

What Are The Costs?

The out of pocket fee for this process is 10% of the amount owed on the eliminated loan. This amount includes the settlement with your bank.  If you have a $100,000 2nd lien, the total cost to eliminate it is $10,000 or 10¢ on the dollar.

Ellen CarterI am a licensed Realtor, Senior Short Negotiator and Mortgage Lien Elimination Specialist with an additional ten years’ experience as a Senior Mortgage Banker. My intention is to make a real difference for homeowners. If you think I may be able to help you through lien elimination, contact me at (831) 345-1381 for a free phone consultation. Let’s put you back in control of your financial life.

Foreclosure Protection for Military Servicemembers Extended

Foreclosure Protection for Military Servicemembers Extended | Directions Real EstateForeclosure protection for military servicemembers extended past new year. Starting January 1, 2013, the existing California protection to protect servicemembers against foreclosure by a mortgage lender during their period of active military service or within three months thereafter, has been extended to nine months after service. Exceptions apply to sales made by agreement or court order. This law applies to mortgage loans originated before a servicemember’s period of military service for which the servicemember is still obligated. The nine-month period mirrors the foreclosure protection under the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

President Obama recently signed into law the federal Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act, a comprehensive, bipartisan, bicameral legislative package to provide for the needs of veterans, their families, and survivors through improved healthcare, housing, education, and memorial services, which extends, from February 2, 2013 to December 31, 2014, the foreclosure protection to one year after the period of active duty. Source: AB 2475 and H.R. 1627.

Put my VA loan experience to work for you. If you would like more information about buying or selling Santa Cruz real estate, contact Ellen Carter.

photo credit: DVIDSHUB via cc
 

applesarein

A Day Trip Through Old San Jose Road Real Estate

Old San Jose Road Real Estate Drive | Apple Season is Here!

Directions Real Estate | Old San Jose Road Real Estate | The Apples Are In

The Old San Jose Road Real Estate Drive from Santa Cruz up to Hwy-17 through Old San Jose Road and Summit Road is a seasonal treat. This stretch of road which winds through prime Soquel Real Estate is perfect for an afternoon drive. Old San Jose Road, which was the main thoroughfare between Santa Cruz and Santa Clara before Hwy-17, offers views of local flora turning shades of red and orange, Santa Cruz Mountain real estate, Soquel gated communities, as well as numerous family-owned and operated farms. Most of the produce from these farms goes toward CSAs, but several still offer traditional farm stands.

Everett Family Farm is a family owned farm that grows and sells organic produce at their stand six days a week from 9 am to 6 pm, except Mondays. Their bright and sunny farm stand offered us free-range pastured eggs, goat cheese encrusted with salt and dried herbs, colorful peppers & heirloom tomatoes, fairytale eggplants, golden raspberries, flower bouquets and, of course, apples. The farm also boasts numerous orchards that include persimmons, pomegranates, pears and plums. In the late fall and early winter, their persimmon trees dominate the roadside vista with sparse branches that are filled with bright orange fruit.

Directions Real Estate | Old San Jose Road Real Estate | Everett Farm PeppersPrime Soquel Real Estate

Just before Leap Frog Lane on our drive North, we were greeted by signs for beef, apples and fresh eggs along the side of the road. The Old San Jose Road farm in question had no discernible name, but as we drove down the driveway, we were greeted by silkie chickens, ducks, low-hanging apple tree branches and a bell to ring for service. This farm sometimes also offers fresh duck eggs and we spotted one lone duck hiding in the grass.

Directions Real Estate | Old San Jose Road Real Estate | Casalegno Farm CiderChalk signs imploring us to stop directed us next to Casalegno Family Farm, a small organic family farm that has been in operation in the beautiful Soquel hills since 1916. Marissa and Matt Kotila, who own Casalegno Family Farm, keep their farm stand open year round from sun-up to sundown which offers a selection of 15+ apple varietals, pears, plums, persimmons, Meyer lemons, heirloom tomatoes, summer vegetables, herbs and flowers, and also sell free-range organic eggs. We were tempted by luscious green beans, cucumbers and mason jars filled with freshly pressed apple cider.

After a left turn onto Summit Road and just past the Summit Store is Webb’s Organic Farm. Webb’s seems to sell a little bit of everything–and we do mean everything. The day we were there, Webb’s had walnuts, honey, tomatillos, chainsaws and even peacocks for sale. They were asking $100 for a pair of peacocks. We didn’t inquire about the chainsaws.

Between the farm stands we passed ranch and ranchette homes, some tucked into nut and fruit trees and some upon open parcels of land. Perched with a lovely view out over the Santa Cruz Mountains, prime Old San Jose Road real estate and featuring a gorgeous orchard, the last farm stand we visited was Taylor Ranch. According to the sign, Taylor Ranch has been in operation as a family farm since 1943. The stand offered us local honey, walnuts, pears, Meyers lemons, tomatoes and apples.

As with many of the Old San Jose Road farms, all the farms we visited operate on the honor system. If you plan an outing through this Old San Jose Road real estate, remember to bring cash.

If you would like to view any of these Santa Cruz Mountain properties or would like additional information about Soquel Real Estate, contact Ellen Carter today.

Everett Family Farm
2111 Old San Jose Road
Soquel, CA 95073

Casalegno Family Farm
3700 Old San Jose Road
Soquel, CA 95073

Webb’s Organic Farm and Farm Supplies
5381 Old San Jose Road
Soquel, CA 95073

Taylor Ranch
22923 Summit Road
Los Gatos, CA 95033

Hallie and Max SOLD | Ellen Carter, Directions Real Estate

First Time Homeowners: A Lesson in Santa Cruz Real Estate Resolve

“Never For Money, Always for Love”
– Talking Heads from This Must Be The Place

I wish this mantra was truer in my life and my Santa Cruz real estate business. I resolve to start making it truer, a little bit each day.

Hallie and I | Ellen Carter, Directions Real EstateResolve was the theme of the wedding I attended for my most recent clients back in 2010. I was proud of them on that day and I am proud of them today, as they begin their lives as first time homeowners. All of my real estate clients are special to me, but I have known Hallie for 14 years, meeting her when she was just 15, and I have watched her grew into a competent and compassionate woman. I have never been so proud of a completed transaction in my life or so happy that I my chosen career is in selling Santa Cruz real estate.

Hallie’s husband Max is a teacher at Bonny Doon Community Preschool, a sax player and a deacon in the John Coltraine Church. Hallie is a District Manager for the Boulder Creek Recreation and Parks District. A popular couple, at their wedding, 300 of their closest friends stood up for them. Hallie and Max are closely tied to their community–just like, as a Realtor, I am closely tied to mine and to my clients. At their wedding they resolved to join their two lives together as one. The theme of their life is resolve.

Finding them their first home was a tough process. We wrote 12 offers and I showed them easily 25 properties. I was determined to find them a bank-owned property, even with inventory down in the Santa Cruz Mountains, to meet their financial and personal needs. I was resolved to find them their perfect home and we did.

Hallie and Max SOLD | Ellen Carter, Directions Real EstateOn July 27th, Hallie and her husband Max signed the paperwork. They funded on August 1, 2012, the day of the full moon, and took possession of their new Felton, CA home. The work I put in was always about love; never about money and the Talking Head song ran through my head throughout the final days of closing.

I am resolved to bring more of that energy into my future real estate business.

 

What is the difference between a Short Sale, Loan Modification and Lien Elimination?

What is the difference between a Short Sale, Loan Modification and Lien Elimination?

Short Sale

Simply put, a short sale is when a homeowner engages a REALTOR or Short Sale Negotiator to sell their entire property short of what they owe on the mortgage. When a short sale occurs the title is transferred to a new buyer.

Loan Modification

What is the difference between a Short Sale, Loan Modification and Lien Elimination?

What is the difference between a Short Sale, Loan Modification and Lien Elimination?

Through this process, the homeowner and the bank renegotiate the terms of the mortgage loan. In some cases, the bank will offer a new interest rate and extend the monthly payments. The bank still gets their interest and you increase the length of time you are locked into the home. In some cases, the bank will theoretically decrease the actual principal. This is extremely rare.

By the way, bumping a negative amortization loan with a 1 or 2% interest rates up to the current interest rate will potentially double the monthly payments. So there is no modifying a negative amortization loan. It just doesn’t work out.

Lien Elimination

Settling Short your 2nd or junior mortgage lien is when a homeowner engages a negotiator to offer the bank a short settlement on what is owed on that 2nd note or lien. This requires that the appraised value of the home is less than the amount owned on both loans.

Why Lien Elimination?

Lien elimination reduces a good chunk of your total monthly mortgage payment and gets your mortgage closer if not under what the property is worth in value. Lien elimination might free you up for a refinance of the 1st or to even sell the property and move onto something else.

If you are caught up in the endless spiral of a negative amortization loan, lien elimination could be your rescue.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I am a licensed Santa Cruz Realtor, Senior Short Negotiator and Lien Elimination Specialist with an additional ten years’ experience as a Senior Mortgage Banker. My intention is to make a real difference for homeowners. If you think I may be able to help you through lien elimination, contact me for a free phone consultation. Let’s put you back in control of your financial life.

 

Ellen Carter, Directions Real Estate
Ellen Carter
REALTOR | Senior Short Sale Negotiator | Mortgage Lien Elimination Specialist
Directions Real Estate(831) 345-1381 Cell
(866) 446-3142 Fax
DRE # 01417614
Mortgage Lien Elimination

Mortgage Lien Elimination Solution: Putting You Back In Control of Your Financial Life

Mortgage Lien EliminationThe present day market mess created by the banking industry has left homeowners and their collateral—their home—in a devalued state. After negotiating 50 short sales a year, year after year, my frustration grew. While a short sale might be the best debt-relieving decision for some homeowners, it is not the only foreclosure alternative possible. As a real estate professional, I wanted a tangible solution for homeowners to keep their homes.

Mortgage Lien Elimination Solution

Homeowners with a first and a second mortgage on a primary residence whose property is underwater are not able to refinance to a lower interest rate. They cannot take advantage of the historic low interest rates of the market today to reduce their monthly payments and are trapped because of property value reduction in current home loans with ever increasing interest rates.

Out of my mortgage banking and short sale negotiation experience, I created a solution for homeowners: lower monthly payments through a Lien Elimination Solution.

What is Lien Elimination?

Lien elimination, sometimes referred to as lien stripping, refers to the process of reducing or removing the 2nd or junior lien on the property.

As the real estate market value of homes continue to fall in many locations around the country, homeowners are left with mortgages that far exceed the current fair market value of their homes. If the value of the home is worth less than the note due on the first than the junior lien is unsecured.

For example, if $700,000 is owed on a 1st mortgage and $200,000 is due on a 2nd mortgage but the latest appraisal shows that the property is worth $638,000 the balance of the first mortgage, in this case $62,000, is deemed unsecured. The 2nd mortgage is definitively unsecured which leaves the 2nd lien holder (the mortgage bank) in a very serious situation.  If you are in this position with your primary residence, you are a candidate for mortgage lien elimination.

What is the Process Like?

The process of mortgage lien elimination is very much like a short sale as far as the documentation is concerned. Your licensed LE Specialist will make sure you order an appraisal from a licensed appraiser to confirm your eligibility. Then your LE Specialist will contact the bank to negotiate away your 2nd and/or junior lien.  The bank is informed of their unsecured loan, offered your documentation and the appraisal and then offered a percentage of the balance due. This amount of money in a mortgage lien elimination settlement is often more than they would get through a short sale or foreclosure and definitely more than they would receive in the event of the homeowner’s bankruptcy—when they would receive nothing.  The 2nd lien holder then reports to the three credit agencies that they have “settled short of what is owed.”

What Are The Gotchas?

Personally and professionally, I do not see any ‘gotchas’ in lien elimination.  After eliminating your 2nd lien, you have the possibility to either refinance your 1st lien at lower interest rate or continue to make the monthly payment on the remaining 1st mortgage. Either way, you have saved the family home.

How Will Lien Elimination Affect My Credit?

The 2nd lien holder/bank would report to the three credit agencies that they “settled short of what is owed.” Your credit would take a minimal hit for 3-6 months.  Since you are free of this 2nd mortgage payment you are freed up to make the payments on all of your other obligations: 1st mortgage, credit cards, car payment, etc. on time. This will help repair the minimal damage to your credit over time.

What Are The Tax Ramifications?

As a licensed REALTOR, I recommend meeting with your licensed CPA for information about tax ramifications. The elimination of your second lien would also eliminate any mortgage interest that you might be deducting from your personal gross income and taxes each year, so check with your CPA to see if mortgage lien elimination is the right choice for you.

What Are The Costs?

The out of pocket fee for this process is 10% of the amount owed on the eliminated loan. This amount includes the settlement with your bank.  If you have a $100,000 2nd lien, the total cost to eliminate it is $10,000 or 10¢ on the dollar.

I am a licensed Realtor, Senior Short Negotiator and Lien Elimination Specialist with an additional ten years’ experience as a Senior Mortgage Banker. My intention is to make a real difference for homeowners. If you think I may be able to help you through lien elimination, contact me for a free phone consultation. Let’s put you back in control of your financial life.

Ellen Carter, Directions Real Estate
Ellen Carter
REALTOR | Senior Short Sale Negotiator | Mortgage Lien Elimination Specialist
Directions Real Estate
(831) 345-1381 Cell
(866) 446-3142 Fax
DRE # 01417614
Life in Capitola Village – Josie Fuller Art & Jewelery

Life in Capitola Village – Josie Fuller Art & Jewelery

Josie Fuller and Her ArtSince, as a Santa Cruz Realtor, I am in the business of placing people into homes in their dream locations, I thought I could blog a little about why I love living in Capitola Village.

Life in Capitola Village has great perks. Whenever I need a break from my home office, I can take a stroll out my front door towards Capitola Beach for a little revitalization. Along the way, I have discovered a few amazing businesses and people.

During my wanders, I have started calling in to say hello to Josie Fuller at the Craft Gallery Annex. Her infectious smile is guaranteed to perk me up like a cup of coffee.

It turns out that Josie is more than just the manager and buyer for The Craft Gallery Annex, Josie is also an artist in her own right with jewelry in the display cases and metal sculpture on the walls. Prior to realizing that she was the artist, I purchased one of her sculptures—a cut metal octopus that greets visitors at my front door.

Asking about her artwork, I learned that Josie’s father was a jeweler. She grew up with the tools of the trade at her disposal, but with little interest in making jewelry herself—not in the beginning. She explains that her dad sometimes took tools in lieu of money from customers. One day, according to her story, a customer traded an oxyacetylene torch. Not long after that, Josie had a fender bender in her Mazda truck—and an idea.

Josie Fuller Art - MermaidSuddenly, with a big piece of metal and a torch at her disposal, Josie’s creative voice kicked in. With a few safety lessons and a lot of encouragement from her dad, she set to cutting and fashioning her first metal sculpture, similar to the Mermaid piece hanging on the wall of the Craft Gallery Annex. After a friend encouraged her to hang the piece in her shop, Josie explains that an amazing thing happened, “it sold.”

In the 15 years since that first sale, Josie has branched out into making metal garden sculptures, explored customized wearable word art and, most recently, she has begun working found sea glass into her metal jewelry. She is especially excited about the sea glass and the process of walking on the beach to find her materials. According to Josie, “sea glass inspired me to back into wearable art.”

You can find Josie Fuller’s artwork on display and for sale at the Craft Gallery Annex. You may also contact Josie directly at thecraftgalleryannex@yahoo.com.

Josie Fuller Art - Jellyfish

Josie Fuller Art - Metalwork

Josie Fuller Art - Rings

Carin Hanna, owner of the Craft Gallery and Craft Gallery Annex recently received the Lifetime Achievement award from the Capitola Chamber. Both shops are located on Capitola Avenue in Capitola Village.

Mind Your Real Estate Ethics Ps & Qs

You know the old joke about how you can tell when a politician is lying? Well, how do you know when a REALTOR® is not disclosing? Thanks to the ethics code, not just when their lips are moving or, at least, that is how things are supposed to be. A recent transaction really pushed the boundaries of this professional trust.

Keeping the playing field level for your client, either seller or buyer requires that the agents on each side of the transaction share all of the information that it would take to create a fair, honest and ethical situation. As most transactions go–I always thought that I was pretty clear-headed and could tell if something was askew from the get go.

Mind Your Real Estate Ethics Ps & Qs, Ellen Carter, Directions Real EstateRecently, however, I had a real estate transaction that made me feel like a total bobble head—empty and surprised! Down to the last few days before the transaction should close, and just minutes before the month’s end, I find out that the buyers are getting a divorce and that the property is being purchased as a 2nd home, versus the owner occupied per the contract, with not a word from their agent. In America, we call this non-disclosure. As the sellers’ real estate agent, I learn from the lender that not only are there two people fighting with each other on the buyers’ side, but that one of them decided to unlock their loan to get a better interest rate the day they were supposed to sign docs.

This party on the buyers’ side who contacted the lender is NOT actually on the loan or named on the purchase contract; yet she managed to get the lender to unlock the loan and revisit a better interest rate for her—WTH? Meanwhile, their agent hasn’t counseled, advised or said one word to us and the sellers and I are three days from month’s end close. Plus, this is no normal month’s end: the conforming loan limits are due to be reduced, so pulling your loan out of line would be certain transaction suicide. The buyers in this case have absolutely no concern for anyone but themselves, because of their impending divorce, which meant that this was never a level playing field for my seller. This is why there are real estate ethics rules about disclosures.

Without disclosure, my seller and I had absolutely NO CONTROL. Nada, No Way, None! We can only suffer the internal freak out, hoping that the transaction won’t turn completely south after five months of intense negotiations. We even have the full and final release of all contingencies and still we can’t do a damn thing about it. It’s my job to keep it all together.

Just so you know: words like “easy” and “slam dunk” just don’t live here ladies and gentlepeople and never have. There are people out there with no respect for ethics. They believe that a contract means nothing, no matter how hard you work to protect your clients or how well you write it. People are out there for themselves only and if you’re a REALTOR that has their wits about them and performs with incredible due diligence, it’s the most you can do. Trying to get anyone’s attention about it to make it different is like fighting a war with the universe, all the planets, the stars, sun and the moon.

“Sure you can win a few little battles here and there,” my good friend tells me, as I charge ahead to make a difference, “but until people start giving a dang about each other you will never win the war.” In all of these cases, the other agent is on my list. This is a reminder to all REALTORS, including myself, to treat each other with a little more professional respect; we have to work with each other, over and over, if we are lucky. With the strength in my convictions, I am dying to be proud of what I do for a living.

My name is Ellen Carter. I am a Realtor and Senior Short Sale Negotiator and this is Ellen’s House.

photo credit: brianjmatis cc

How to Negotiate a Real Estate Short Sale

Advice from a Sr. Short Sale Negotiator

I started doing short sale negotiations almost 4 years ago, before the banks and the state and local real estate associations had really begun to codify terms and requirements. I started because I saw that there was a need to help people out of debt and I realized that as a Realtor with my background in mortgage banking, I was uniquely qualified to try to help.

Since I have been around the short sale block longer than most people in my field, I get asked a lot of questions by my colleagues and I thought I would write about some of my thoughts and advice that have sprung from that.

The questions that I get the most have to do with contracts and payments. After several trials and tribulations, I find that the best way to ensure payment is through a strong contract. Make sure that your contract states that you will be paid for your short sale service at the completion of the bank approval and not at the close of escrow. Or, consider a laddered payment structure in case you are called upon to re-negotiate for a new buyer (or several new buyers.) I also suggest, when possible, to hook any repayment (from junior lien payoffs) or payment into the escrow so that you get paid by title.

My fellow Realtors also want to know how far I think they can push the bank. Negotiating with a bank is a confidence game that reminds me of a great blog called The Art of Manliness that offers a lesson in negotiating for a used car. Many of his used car lessons apply here:

  1. Knowledge is Power
    I think this is the most important rule when negotiating a short sale—know your client’s file! Never let the bank have the upper hand. Educate yourself about the lien-holding banks, monies owed, deficiencies and your client’s story. Interview and research extensively.

    100 px

    Image via Wikipedia

  2. Know How the Dealers (Banks) Make Their Money
    Remember that the banks insure against losses in several different ways, through the FDIC, through mortgage insurance and also through other government programs, not the least of which are TARP funds. So while they are taking a loss, a short sale is never as uncomfortable for them as it is for your clients, so negotiate accordingly.
  3. CarFax. (Property Inspection) Get One.
    Surprises are great, but not at close of escrow. Don’t let surprise disclosures foul up the deal. When possible, get your inspections done up front before you begin short sale negotiations, because this is an ‘as is’ sale.