Things are looking up!
SANTA ROSA, CA. Another dawn rises,
long shadows over the
by Barry O'Meara ~ THE Mortgage Coach casting its
scarred from the effects of the invisible hand of greed. From Wall Street to Main Street, neighborhoods stand blemished with remnants of the after math of the housing bubble.
invisible hand had pushed the envelope, raising home values beyond a sustain- able level.
County median home values peaked in 2005 at $619k only to decline to the low of $305k by February 2009.
the median home value was $350k. Median home value is the sta- tistical pulse that the real estate market uses to read the health of their industry.
the middle mark for the homes sold. Half the homes sold for more and half sold for less. It is the little piece of statis- tic that affects consumer senti- ment about where they live. Whether you are a homeowner or would be homeowner you want to know if where you live is worth it.
After the peak of the hous-
ing bubble, declining home values left homeowners sub- merged in a sea of debt. With homeowners owing more than their homes were worth coupled with a declining economy, they had little incentive to keep up with the payments yet alone the maintenance. A wave of short sales and foreclosures came on like a tsunami. Neighborhoods lay devastated with vacant and deteriorating homes with “for sale” signs hanging in their yards.
Home buying has never
been more affordable. With low prices and historic low interest rates, buying a home can be cheaper than paying rent.
why are we not seeing more sales?
The market has lost
• Life, Health & Home • The Green Dress: Navigating Energy and Water Efficiency Programs
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15
a large segment of potential home buyers. These are the vic- tims of the housing down turn. These are the homeowners that have lost their homes as a result of a short sale or foreclosure. Lending guidelines have pre- vented anyone from qualifying for a home loan that has had a foreclosure or a short sale on their credit.
This is beginning to change. In the old days if you had a bankrupt- cy, foreclosure or short sale you couldn’t even consider prime lending
years. Now conventional guide- lines are lightening up. Fannie Mae allows prospective buyers to be 4 years out of a bankrupt- cy and 5 years for a foreclosure to qualify. These programs do have some restrictions on loan to value but will allow excep- tions with extenuating circum- stances.
The big change is in the gov- ernment loans like FHA, USDA and VA loans.
This is where
you can see a dramatic change in the guidelines. These are the only programs that will allow little to no down payment. FHA and USDA will do lend to a borrower just 3 years out of a short sale or foreclosure with no additional restrictions. VA loans allow with just 2 years. Through these programs we are starting to see the victims from the first wave of foreclosures and short sales are able to re- enter the home buying market. As more and more qualified homebuyers come back into the market, home values will become more stable and con- sumer confidence will build.
~I welcome and questions or comments at barryo@stearns. com or call me direct at 707-291-6761
You can cage the singer but not the song. ~Harry Belafonte
options are available depend- ing on your location and proj- ect needs. Make a plan: Contact a few local contractors listed on the Energy Upgrade California website who are certified as a (Building Performance Institute) BPI Certified Building Analyst. They are skilled and knowledgeable in building science and quali- fied to do an upgrade on your home as a system. Ask them to recommend an independent rater to do an initial energy assessment on your home. Home energy assessment: This is conducted by a California Whole House Energy Rater (HERS II) and this is what
they do: http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=YolBP0-vkBU Review your HERS II ener- gy rating certificate: Contact your local Energy Upgrade California
can assist you with eligibil- ity for Energy Upgrade util- ity incentives and develop a recommended scope of work for your upgrade project. As always - please get a mini- mum of 3 bids before hiring a contractor to do the work. Questions or comments? Please contact:
Larysa Tanya Shmorhay – LEED Green Associate Member of Build It Green GreenDress@
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more
important than fear. Ambrose Redmoon
Pg 27 Weird Facts & Trivia -10
Weird Laws in Hawaii Billboards are outlawed.
All residents may be fined as a result of not owning a boat.
Coins are not allowed to be placed in one’s ears.
Weird Laws in Georgia
While Georgia operates its own lottery, it “protects” its citizens by making it illegal to promote a private lottery.
Members of the state assembly cannot be ticketed for speeding while the state assembly is in session.
No one may carry an ice cream cone in their back pocket if it is Sunday.
Donkeys may not be kept in bathtubs.
Oh Nooo! Did you get a dent in your car?
If you did, you will probably need someone to fix it ASAP!
Western Autobody is a great choice...
Don’t worry...We’ll smooth out the bumps for you!
5800 Guerneville Rd Sebastopol • 829-2477
UPBEAT TIMES • November 2011 • 27
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