San Diego Housing Inventory at Low Numbers

Where did all those Home for Sale signs go? They’ve become scarce in San Diego County, leaving home buyers in a competitive situation that few anticipated.

In cities like San Diego, the “buyer’s market” is a thing of the past. Homes are selling faster than they’re coming on the market, and those who seek to get an under market value bargain are finding themselves shut out.

Serious San Diego home buyers need to confine their search to the price range they can afford; then work with an experienced buyer’s agent with a good reputation in the real estate community.

We fit that description.

What difference does the agent make? All the difference.

First, we know what our buyers can ask for safely and what will lead to an automatic rejection. Then, we know how to negotiate in a manner that keeps the lines of communication open – thus leading to an agreement.

Next, your agent’s reputation will be a factor when the listing agent presents multiple offers to the home seller. Our offers are looked upon favorably because listing agents know our buyers either have the cash or have been pre-approved for their mortgage loan. They also know that we’ll do our share of the work while behaving in a professional, pleasant, and cooperative manner.

Other San Diego County agents know us and know we deliver results for our clients.

If you’re ready to own a San Diego home, get in touch. You can reach us by writing td@tomdunlap.com or by calling 619-929-1413.

Thinking of selling your San Diego home?

Your first question is probably “What is my home worth in today’s market?”

To get an instant estimate, just CLICK HERE. Once you enter your address and verify a few details, an estimate of your home’s value will be on it’s way to your inbox.

Then when you’re ready for a more precise market analysis, get in touch. We’ll be glad to prepare an in-depth market analysis.

The Current Equilibrium in San Diego real Estate

The law of supply and demand is distinctly influencing the San Diego real estate market as we move into 2017.

These quick facts tell the story…

  • In a balanced market, the number of homes offered for sale equals roughly 6 times the number of homes sold in the previous month. This is referred to as “Having 6 months’ worth of inventory.”
  • Today in San Diego we have just over 2 months’ worth of inventory

To learn more about the current San Diego real estate market, click here.

Whatever the market… Tom Dunlap sells homes

San Diego’s real estate market in recent years has resembled a roller-coaster, but it makes no difference to Tom Dunlap. A consummate professional, he’s been through the downturns and the upswings many times, and through it all still gets the results his clients want and need.

Write td@tomdunlap.com or call 619-929-1413.!

 

A San Diego 1031 Exchange is Not a Do-it-Yourself Project

The information we’ve provided here is an over-view of a complex transaction that should only be undertaken with the aid of qualified advisors.

You’ll need a well-oiled team of San Diego professionals to assure your success:

  • A San Diego real estate agent who is familiar with the rules and regulations and who will help you work within the strict time frames required by the exchange.
  • An experienced, qualified tax advisor who specializes in 1031 exchanges and can help you determine your equity position in both the relinquished and replacement properties
  • A Qualified Intermediary – also known as a facilitator – to handle the proceeds of sale and prepare the paperwork.

The rules surrounding a 1031 Exchange are complex, and if broken will result in tax liability.

Do not undertake this project without qualified help.

If you’d like to exchange your current San Diego investment property for something different, but you’re not sure where to start, give us a call at 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com.

Our San Diego real estate investment specialists will be glad to discuss your situation and put you in touch with other professionals who can and will help guide you.


Note* The 1031 Exchange information on this site is meant as an overview and is not to be taken as tax advice. To determine how a 1031 Exchange would affect you, please consult your tax advisor and/or your tax attorney.

If you have a home to sell in San Diego, today’s market is good news.

Right now, the demand for homes in San Diego is strong, and correctly priced homes are selling quickly.

Because the supply of homes for sale in San Diego is at far lower than normal levels, we’re seeing fifteen or twenty buyers competing for each home priced at market value – and many of those buyers have cash in hand. As a result, San Diego homes are now selling at or above their listed price.

In a balanced market, homes typically sell for 95% to 98% of list price.

If you owe more than your house is worth in today’s market, now is the time to short sell.

Consider these facts:

  • If you offer your house as a short sale now, you’ll have good offers to choose from. You’ll spend less time negotiating with a buyer; and when you present your lender with a solid offer from a well-qualified (or cash) buyer, you’ll increase your chances of getting a speedy and positive response.
  • Getting this over and done with now will free you to get on with life – and within 2-3 years you’ll be eligible for a new mortgage loan. (If you let the house go into foreclosure, you’ll wait for 5-7 years.)
  • The sooner you close this chapter, the sooner your credit profile will recover.

What can we expect in the coming months?

We have no way of knowing. However, prices have continued to rise in San Diego over the past 4 years.

This is a situation that equity sellers should also consider carefully as they weigh their alternatives.

  • The current market presents a unique opportunity for move-up sellers. Due to the law of percentages, selling a mid-range home to purchase a high end home means “losing” a little to gain a lot.

If you’d like to learn your home’s value in today’s market, or if you have questions about short sales, please call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com.

We’ll be glad help…

P.S. Are you SURE you need a short sale?

The San Diego real estate market is changing rapidly, so your home that was underwater last year may no longer be underwater.

To get an estimate of your home’s current value, just CLICK HERE to get an instant estimate.

Then call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com to request a detailed market analysis.

There just might be good news in your future…


Please note that the information provided on this San Diego short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.

*Source: www.zerohedge.com

The Importance of a Reasonable Purchase Offer

Right now in San Diego we’re experiencing a shortage of homes for sale. When the market is balanced, we have 6 months worth of inventory. As we go into 2017, we have just over 2 months worth of inventory. As a result, buyers are competing for every correctly priced home.

Most San Diego homes are priced at – or even below – the price at which they will sell. So buyers who come in hoping for a large discount are asking for disappointment.

Sellers don’t have to entertain low offers, so if they feel an offer is unreasonable, they won’t counter. They’ll just accept another offer or counter to the buyer who made a reasonable offer. The unreasonable offer will be marked “rejected.”

Next, a low offer could alienate the sellers so much that they won’t counter even if there’s only been one offer.

Remember that for a person who has lived in a home, emotions play a significant role in the decision-making process.

Listing agents always advise sellers to view the sale of their home as a business transaction. But it is difficult for most, especially if they’ve lived in the home for many years.

How can you come up with a reasonable offer on a San Diego home?

Trust your buyers’ agent. He or she has a finger on the pulse of San Diego real estate – and knows when a house is or isn’t priced at market value.

Your home buying decision should be based on finding a house in your financial “comfort zone” that will feel like home. When you find one that says “I’m your new home, you must live here,” don’t play games with the price you offer. If you do, someone else will soon be living in “your” home.

When you’re ready to find your new San Diego home, get in touch.

Our experienced San Diego buyer’s agents will not only speed up the process by narrowing your search to homes that fit your wants and needs, they’ll help you determine an offering price that will help you own the home you choose.

You can reach us by writing td@tomdunlap.com or by calling 619-929-1413.

Before You Leave the House to View San Diego Homes for Sale, Get Prepared

You’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage loan, you’ve chosen an agent, your agent has helped you narrow the search, and now it’s time to get in the car and see those San Diego homes in person.

This is fun and exciting, but can also be confusing and exhausting if you’re not prepared. Happily, being prepared isn’t difficult.

Here’s the short list:

  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
  • Take along property flyers and a clipboard.
  • Focus your time and attention on the search.
  • Be prepared to act if you find the home you want.

The clothing: Yes, you do like to look nice, but go for comfort as well. Getting in and out of the car and walking around can make you tired and cranky if your clothes or shoes are pinching.

The flyers and clipboard:
If you see more than 2 San Diego homes in a day, it’s easy to get their various features and benefits confused. So take along the flyers and make your own notes as you view the homes. The clipboard will make it easier to keep things together and give you a writing surface.

Plan to focus: When you’re making a major life decision, it’s best to give it your full attention. So set aside enough uninterrupted time to really see the homes you’re viewing.

This is not the time to be distracted by cell phones, nor to need to rush in order to make it to an appointment. And if you have children, carefully consider whether or not they should accompany you as you view homes.

Some children will enjoy the San Diego home search and be helpful as you make your determinations – and others won’t. Only you know how your own children will react.

If they’re going to love the adventure and help you focus on the benefits and features of each home, by all means bring them along.

If they’re going to be tired, cranky, and anxious to go home, don’t make them come along. You won’t be able to focus on the homes if you’re focused on the kids.

Be prepared to act: The San Diego housing market is low on inventory and we’re seeing the most desirable homes moving quickly from “for sale” to “sold.” So when you find the home you know you want, don’t hesitate. Take the time to make the offer before you return home.

Are you ready?

Our buyers’ agents are ready. So get in touch. You can reach us at 619-929-1413 or by writing td@tomdunlap.com.

Searching for a San Diego Home

When you begin the search for your San Diego home you’ll see more homes for sale than you could possibly view, even though the inventory is low. Your first task, then, is to narrow the search.

First, settle on a price range.

When you meet with a lender to become pre-approved for a home loan, you’ll learn the maximum you can spend. But do listen to your own instincts as well. You may not want to “spend all you can” on your monthly mortgage payment.

Choose the monthly payment that you know will fit comfortably into your budget, then ask your lender to work backwards and tell you your maximum loan amount.

Next, consider where you want to live.

Which San Diego neighborhood will be most convenient to work, school, family and/or recreation – and which will enhance your own lifestyle? Come, explore the differences between the neighborhoods and what each has to offer in terms of lifestyle and convenience.

Of course these aren’t all the San Diego neighborhoods you have to choose from. Describe your perfect neighborhood to your buyer’s agent and he or she will help you focus on areas where you’ll be happy.

Start the search in those neighborhoods.

Now – what you want vs. what you need.

Start with what you absolutely must have. This generally includes the number of bedrooms and baths, but you may have other requirements. You might need a master bedroom and the laundry room on ground level. You may have a grand piano or other large furniture that requires an over-sized room. Maybe a home office is a feature you can’t do without.

Whatever it is – whether it affects the interior or exterior of the home – make a list of these important features.

This will help your buyer’s agent narrow the search to homes that meet the basic requirements.

Now comes the fun part – making a list of features you’d like to have.

What would please you and make a house seem extra-special?

  • Walk-in closets?
  • Bay windows?
  • Cathedral ceilings?
  • A huge pantry?
  • A 4-car garage?

Share that list with your buyer’s agent as well. It will help focus your search on those houses you’re most apt to love.

Be prepared for your list to change as you view homes. You may see other features that grab your attention and cause you to alter your goals. Sometimes buyers even change their minds about the “must have” items if a house without one of them speaks to their emotions.

And that’s OK. Your list is not carved in stone. It’s merely a good starting point that will save you time in your search for the perfect San Diego home.

Let the San Diego Pro Team help you find the perfect home…Call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com.

Become pre-approved for a mortgage loan before beginning your San Diego home search.

You’ve probably heard this many times: Get pre-approved first, then begin the search for your San Diego home.

Why? For several reasons.

First, you’ll learn just how much you can spend on your new San Diego home. Events over the past few years have changed the landscape when it comes to lending. They’ve even affected credit scores for consumers with perfect credit histories. Becoming pre-approved will show you where you stand.

Next, you’ll learn about different loan programs. You may choose one over another, and that one may come with requirements affecting the home you choose. FHA and VA, for instance, have some specific guidelines.

But perhaps most important of all: When you’re pre-approved for a loan, your offer is more likely to be accepted.

Sellers want to know that if they take their home off the market pending a closing, that closing is probably going to happen. A letter of pre-approval gives them that confidence.

If you’re planning to buy a short sale or a foreclosure, becoming pre-approved is mandatory. The asset managers who handle short sale and foreclosure properties won’t even consider approving your offer until you’ve shown that you can complete the purchase.

And speaking of confidence – local lenders inspire more confidence in sellers than “Internet lenders” and will be likely to give you better service.

If you don’t already have a trusted mortgage lender, get in touch and we’ll provide you with a list of lenders who have served our clients well.

Just call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com.

Call us! We’re always glad to help.

How a ½% rise in interest rates will affect your buying power

Will a 1/2% increase in mortgage interest rates determine which San Diego home you purchase?


Depending upon your finances, it certainly could.

As an example, let’s assume that you’re purchasing a home and after you’ve made the down payment; your loan balance will be an even $100,000.

If your interest rate is 4%, your monthly payment for principle and interest on a 30 year mortgage will be $477.42.

Should the rate rise to 4.5%, the payment will go to $506.69. That’s a difference of $29.27 per month – per $100,000 of your loan balance.

Translating that to a price you’re more likely to pay for a home in San Diego, $400,000 at 4% = $1,909.66 per month, while 4.5% = $2,026.74 – for a difference of 4 X $29.72 or $117.08.

Now let’s assume that your lender has looked at your other obligations and said that $1,910 is the most you can pay for principle and interest.

Working backwards, we now find that your loan amount can’t exceed $376,896. In other words, the price of the home you wanted would have to drop by just over $23,000, or about 6%. Of course, you could add the $23,000 to your down payment.

We’ll be happy to help you find the home that fits your budget, regardless of the prevailing interest rate.

So if you want to own a home anywhere in San Diego County, simply call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com.

Beware of Loan Modification Scams

As most San Diego homeowners know, loan modifications did not turn out to be solution that was promised.

A program that was supposed to give aid to more than 3 million troubled homeowners across the U.S. within the first year has instead, after several years, helped only about 600,000 homeowners nationwide.

So, while we know that most loan modifications fail – or end in foreclosure for San Diego homeowners – the slight chance of success gives hope to some who desperately want to keep their homes.

As a result, troubled homeowners have become the latest “easy target” for con artists. These con artists run crooked companies that promise that for an up-front fee, they’ll handle all the paperwork, details, and follow-up – and the homeowner will get a loan modification.

The truth is, many of these companies don’t even attempt to help the homeowners. They simply take the fees, which can range from $750 up to nearly $4,000. Even worse, they advise the homeowners to stop making payments – a move that almost guarantees foreclosure.

Some of these companies have been shut down and fined. Others are still in operation and still fleecing homeowners when they can least afford it.

If you are considering a loan modification on your San Diego home, please realize that you will be your own most effective negotiator. However, there are things you need to know before you start the process. The first is whether your payments, income and assets fall within your bank’s guidelines for loan modification.

If they don’t, the bank will take your application and let you wait for several months before they send you a rejection notice. By then you will have wasted precious months when you might have been considering other alternatives – such as offering your home as a San Diego short sale in order to avoid the stain of foreclosure.

Talk to us first…

Before you apply for a loan modification, call Tom Dunlap and make an appointment to come in and talk. We have obtained the software and the guidelines that will enable us to tell you within minutes whether your San Diego loan modification application will even be considered.

If the answer is yes, we can explain some things that the banks won’t tell you. For instance:
• How to write an effective hardship letter
• The 3 most common loan modification mistakes – and how to avoid them
• What not to do so you don’t risk being carted off to jail
• How to calculate and present your budget properly to increase your chance of success

If the answer is no, We’ll be happy to explain how you can still avoid foreclosure through the short sale of your San Diego home.

And yes, when considering foreclosure versus short sale, a short sale is the far better choice.

Over the past 9 years, Tom has successfully helped hundreds of San Diego area homeowners avoid foreclosure through short sales. In fact, he has a 98% success rate. He can do the same for you – as long as you don’t wait too long to ask for assistance.

So if you own a home in Carlsbad, Coronado, La Jolla, Rancho Bernardo, North County, Del Mar, Mission Hills, Kensington, or Metro San Diego and are contemplating either a loan modification or a short sale,call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com to tell us your situation. We’ll be happy to help you determine whether you’ll be eligible for a loan modification, explain the real estate short sale process, and answer your questions about both the benefits and consequences of a short sale.


Please note that the information provided on this San Diego short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.

If I short sell my home, will I have to pay the property taxes that are in arrears?

No, when you short sale your house, you won’t be expected or asked to pay the San Diego property taxes.

This is one of the costs that the lender will pay in the course of the short sale.

Property taxes are a first lien and have to be paid – whether the homeowner does a short sale or the bank forecloses. They can’t be negotiated away.

The fact that they are a first lien is why most lenders require home buyers to agree to setting up an escrow account as part of the monthly mortgage payment. When homeowners deposit 1/12 of the taxes each month along with their mortgage payment, the money is there when the tax bill is due. And, when the bank mails the payment, they know it’s been done. Most also want to collect monthly for homeowner’s insurance, in order to assure that “their asset” is covered.

We have not yet run into a San Diego short sale in which the bank required the homeowner to pay the property taxes – even if they were 2 or 3 years in arrears.

If you’ve already fallen behind, there’s a very good reason to call us today.

  • We have a 98% success record in successfully closing our San Diego area short sales. But even we can’t help if you wait until the week before a foreclosure becomes final.

If you’re in distress over a home in Carlsbad, Coronado, La Jolla, Rancho Bernardo, North County, Del Mar, Mission Hills, Kensington, Metro San Diego, or downtown San Diego, we can help you short sale your house and avoid foreclosure.

To reach us, call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com. We’ll be happy to answer all your questions and to explain the short sale process.


Please note that the information provided on this San Diego short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.

Is it possible to just walk away?

Yes, it is possible to walk away. Under California’s new laws, when you go through foreclosure, the banks cannot sue you for a deficiency on your first mortgage. However, if you have a second mortgage or a home equity line of credit, they can. And they probably will.

(One of the benefits of a short sale vs a foreclosure is that when you choose to short sale your San Diego house, none of your mortgage lien holders can sue for deficiency.)

However, even if you don’t have a second mortgage, walking away and allowing your house to go into foreclosure is one of the worst possible choices you could make. It should not be done without careful consideration.

The pitfalls of a San Diego foreclosure…

Foreclosure will severely impact your credit rating for many years to come. This will not just impair your ability to purchase another home, it will affect your ability to rent, to get a job or a promotion, and even to order cellular telephone service or cable television.

In addition, if you’re in a “sensitive” job, it could cause termination.

As for your ability to purchase another home – mortgage loan applications used to ask if you had a foreclosure in the past several years. Now they ask if you have EVER had a foreclosure. If the answer is yes, you’ll have to supply even more information and may well be turned down for that loan.

A further danger is that you could be trapped in a Zombie foreclosure. Should this happen, bills on your foreclosed house will keep mounting, and you could remain liable for several years. Learn more about Zombie foreclosures.

If you do choose to walk away, do NOT pay anyone to help you. Just call the lender and let them know.

If you’d like to discuss your other options, such as a San Diego short sale, a strategic default, or even a loan modification, do call call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com. We’ll be happy to talk with you.

What about the new “Walk away” program from Fannie Mae?

The new program is essentially a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. The only thing new is that Fannie now says they’ll approve the process for homeowners who are not delinquent on payments.

The impact on your credit is still the same as a foreclosure, and it’s still a poor idea for California homeowners. Here’s why.

If you have specific questions you’d like answered, call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com. We’ll be glad to share the benefit of our experience in closing hundreds of San Diego short sales.


Please note that the information provided on this San Diego short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.

What is an upside down mortgage?

An upside down mortgage is a mortgage in which the total amount you owe is larger than the amount you could realize if selling your property today at fair market value.

This is also called “being underwater,” and is very common among San Diego homeowners who purchased at the top of the market.

The only way to sell an “underwater” home in today’s market is through the real estate short sale process. In a short sale, the bank agrees to accept fair market value, less selling costs, for the payoff of your mortgage loan.

  • Do you wonder if you’re underwater – and if so, by how much?
  • Do you wonder if it’s too late for you to avoid foreclosure?

Call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com to tell us your situation and get answers to your questions.

What are deficiency judgments?

Deficiency judgments are legal obligations to pay after a court proceeding. They arise when a person fails to repay the entire amount due on a promissory note. This is, of course, common after the foreclosure of a home in today’s real estate climate, because foreclosed homes typically do not sell for enough to cover the mortgage loan balance at the time of default. The difference between what was owed and what was realized through the sale is called the deficiency.

Unless the (former) homeowner agrees to make payments on that deficiency, the bank can sue and obtain a judgment for up to the full amount owed. Then they’ll take steps to collect the debt through seizing bank accounts and other assets or by wage garnishment.

In some states, deficiency judgments can also result after a short sale. Fortunately for San Diego homeowners, deficiency judgments are something you don’t have to worry about after the short sale of a California home. This threat was removed via SB 931 and SB 458, both passed in 2011.

However…

The rules are not the same for foreclosure. If you have a second mortgage and the bank forecloses, you could be liable for a deficiency on the second mortgage unless it was made as a part of your purchase. In other words, if you took out a home equity line of credit at a later date, the bank will attempt to collect that debt.

Thus, you still do need a strong agent to negotiate for you – to assure that the short sale of your San Diego home does close.

As you might expect, second lien holders are sometimes reluctant to cooperate with a short sale when they stand to gain more through a foreclosure.

Even if you have only a first mortgage… Since they can’t ask for a deficiency payment, asset managers are now pushing harder for higher selling prices and/or lump sum payments from purchasers. Without a strong negotiator on your side, your home could go into foreclosure even with a buyer standing by, ready to purchase.

Our specialists stand ready to help you avoid foreclosure – just as we’ve helped hundreds of other San Diego homeowners. So reach out today…

Every short sale situation is different. If you’d like specific answers that relate to your situation, call 619-929-1413 or write td@tomdunlap.com to arrange for a no-obligation consultation.


Please note that the information provided on this San Diego short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.