Foreclosure bus tours – This weekend July 11th – It’s Free!

July 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Going to Fremont and Milpitas

What is it? The bus tour takes potential home buyers and investors to view Bank owned foreclosures in The Bay Area. The Bus Stops at each listing so you can preview the inside of the property. Foreclosure experts are available on the Bus to help you understand the process of buying a Bank Owned Home and to answer all your questions whether you are looking to buy or invest. The Tour is perfect for First Time Home Buyers and New or Seasoned Investors. *Adults only please >Sign up here When is it? Every Sunday check the schedule. Where does it start? The tour departs from our office located at 39111 Paseo Padre Pkwy, Suite 101, Fremont, CA 94538 How do I sign up? To Sign Up Click Here FOR INFO CALL: (510) 505-9933 or email *Adults only please How much does it cost? The tour is FREE! Just call ahead to reserve your seat. Whats on tour? See what’s on tour. The properties on tour change weekly based on availability. Call for info (510) 505- 9933 >Sign up here

Categories: MRLBlog, Real Estate

30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages Hit New Record Low

July 9, 2010 Leave a comment

The weekly mortgage rate reports released Thursday by Freddie Mac and Bankrate were mixed. But one thing was certain: the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hit a new record low.

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.57 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending July 8, 2010, inching down from last week’s average of 4.58 percent. Freddie Mac said this rate marked yet another all-time low in its 39-year survey.

Bankrate also reported a decline in 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. According to its weekly mortgage survey, rates averaged 4.74 percent with an average 0.39 point

this week, falling from last week when 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.75 percent.

The story was different for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, though.

Freddie Mac said 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.07 percent with an average 0.7 point this week, edging up from 4.04 percent one week earlier. And Bankrate said 15-year fixed-rate mortgages came in at 4.22 percent with an average 0.36 point, a minor uptick from last week’s average of 4.2 percent.

Despite the slight increase in 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, both Fannie Mae and Bankrate noted that on an overall basis, mortgage rates continued to linger near ultra-low levels, a benefit to homebuyers and refinancers alike.

“With mortgage rates falling to historic lows, refinance activity has been strong over the past three months,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac VP and chief economist.

“The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the effective mortgage rate of all loans outstanding was just below 6 percent in the first quarter of 2010, the lowest since the series began in 1977,” Nothaft said. “Since the start of the second quarter, two out of three mortgage applications on average were for refinancing, according the Mortgage Bankers Association.”

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Categories: Real Estate

Tax rates to stay business-friendly: Geithner

July 8, 2010 Leave a comment

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Obama administration will keep tax rates at levels that benefit job-creating businesses and limit taxes on capital gains and dividends, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Wednesday.

Interviewed on CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report”, Geithner said the intent is to extend and keep in place tax cuts that should benefit 95 percent of businesses.

“We’re going to make sure that we keep at 20 percent the existing rates on dividends and capital gains,” Geithner said. “We think that’s good policy.”

Capital gains on investments held for at least a year are currently taxed at 15 percent for upper income earners, the same rate as eligible dividends. Without action by Congress the tax rates would revert to 20 percent for capital gains in 2011 and nearly 40 percent for dividends.

Geithner said some tax cuts for individuals that were put in place by the former George W. Bush administration will be allowed to expire but said that will affect only people in the top two to three percent of income earners.

He said the U.S. economy was still in a process of “healing” from the 2007-2008 financial crisis but added it was growing.

“I think the most likely thing is you’re going to see an economy that is growing at a moderate pace, hopefully strengthening over time,” Geithner said.

Boosting U.S. exports will be key to ensuring growth continues, Geithner said, nodding to comments made earlier by president Obama who said the United States wants a level playing field for U.S. companies in China and pledged to push ahead with free trade deals with three other nations.

“We have a pro-growth agenda, part of that agenda is growing exports. They’re central to our future. What the president (did) today is to say, ‘That is important to the United States, we’re going to be committed to making sure we’re expanding opportunities for American businesses everywhere,” Geithner said.

(additional reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)

(Reporting by Glenn Somerville)


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Categories: MRLBlog, Real Estate

1656 MCBAIN AV, San Jose, CA 95125

July 7, 2010 Leave a comment

1656 MCBAIN AV, San Jose, CA 95125.
Listed art $999,000

MRL Group Inc is here to serve the Bay Area as a premier real estate company. Located in Fremont we have properties all over the Bay Area. John Lee is the Listing Agent for all the properties he advertises.


Categories: MRLBlog, Real Estate

GSE Bailout: $146 Billion and Counting

July 7, 2010 Leave a comment

The government’s bailout of just two companies – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – has surpassed what it cost to put the nation’s sprawling banking system back on solid footing.

As problems in the housing market pushed the two mortgage giants farther and farther into the red, the federal government stepped in, placing the companies in conservatorship in September 2008. The two GSEs, so far, have been given $146 billion to stay afloat, giving taxpayers an 80 percent ownership stake in the mortgage financiers.

Recent estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) put the tab for subsidizing Fannie and Freddie at $389 billion, when all is said and done. Lawmakers, who’ve been pushing for the GSEs’ dissolution, argue that the figure is even higher – closer to $500 billion – while other market observers warn that if home prices continue to drop, the GSE bailout bill could jump to $1 trillion.

By comparison, 707 banks have received a total of $205 billion in bailout dollars. But thanks to a swifter-than-expected return to healthier balance sheets, banks have already repaid $142 billion, leaving just $63 billion outstanding but expected to be returned before long.

The nation’s two largest mortgage companies, on the other hand, continue to struggle and are proving to be the costliest “rescue” for taxpayers.

A recent article from the New York Times explains how home repossessions in greater numbers have significantly

expanded Fannie and Freddie’s role as landlord and are contributing to the escalating price tag of their bailout.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac took over a foreclosed home roughly every 90 seconds during the first three months of this year, according to the paper. Together, they owned 163,828 homes at the end of March – a portfolio Times reporter Binyamin Appelbaum described as a virtual city with more houses than Seattle, making the GSEs two of the nation’s largest landlords.

The bill for restoring and reselling just one of these repossessed homes generally costs the government about $10,000, after repairs are made, stolen appliances are replaced, and the inside and outside are returned to marketable condition, Appelbaum explained.

And until the companies find a buyer for the properties, regular maintenance must be performed. Fannie has contractors mow lawns twice a month during the summer, and pays them $80 each time, the Times article says, leaving the GSE with a monthly lawn care bill of more than $10 million.

The two GSEs laid out more than $1 billion for upkeep in 2009 alone, according to the paper.

“We may be behind many loans on the same street, so we believe that it’s in everyone’s best interest to aggressively do property maintenance,” Chris Bowden, the Freddie Mac executive in charge of foreclosure sales, told the Times.

Because property prices have fallen so far, Appelbaum, citing the two GSEs’ financial filings, says by the time a repossessed home is resold, Fannie and Freddie on average recoup less than 60 percent of the money the borrower failed to repay. Losses are even greater in areas where prices have dropped the farthest, such as hard-hit markets in Arizona and Nevada.

As the costs continue to mount, lawmakers’ calls for the administration to map out a strategy for weaning Fannie and Freddie off taxpayer support are getting louder.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said a proposal for “fundamental reform” of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will come early next year

Link to Article

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Categories: Uncategorized

Was the Home Buyer Tax Credit Extended?

July 2, 2010 Leave a comment

It looks like some would-be homebuyer tax credit recipients who were unable to secure a closing by the original deadline of June 30 may be in luck.

Wednesday evening, just hours before the closing deadline for the widely popular tax credit was set to expire, the Senate unanimously approved legislation that pushes the closing date out an extra three months.

The bill, which was approved by the House on Tuesday, extends the closing deadline from the original date of June 30, 2010 to September 30, 2010 for individuals who already qualified for the homebuyer tax credit by signing a contract for a home by April 30, 2010.

All the bill needs now is a signature from the president.

Legislation relating to an extension of the closing deadline arose following concerns that the backlog created by the

popularity of the program and the time it takes for banks to deal with transactions such as short sales would have left many homeowners unable to claim the credit.

In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), some 180,000 buyers were at risk of losing the credit if an extension of the closing deadline was not enacted. According to NAR, distressed short sales make up approximately 75,000 of these at-risk transactions.

It’s been quite a journey to get this legislation approved by both the House and the Senate, though.

As previously reported, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) had been pushing for an extension of the tax credit closing deadline and introduced an amendment to a jobs and tax bill in June that would have similarly pushed the cut-off date for the tax credit by three months. However, this larger bill failed to make its way through the Senate.

But the House bill, which was solely geared towards the extension of the closing deadline for the tax credit, was overwhelmingly approved by House lawmakers on Tuesday in a 409 to 5 vote.

The bill then moved on to the Senate, where it looked like it was going to be tied to unemployment insurance. This effort was unsuccessful, though. Late last night, the Senate unanimously agreed to pass tax credit extension by itself.

The bill is expected to be signed into law by President Obama as early as today.


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Categories: Real Estate

San Francisco Bay Area Bridge Tolls Go UP!

July 1, 2010 Leave a comment

On July 1st, 2010 the toll for bridges in the bay area will rise. But it’s not a flat increase across the board. The Bay Bridge will have variable rates depending on the day and time of use of the bridge. And the changes implemented today by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission will also change for carpoolers. Carpooling will no longer be a way to bypass tolls. To use the carpool lane you will have to pay half the toll price and have you car equipped with a fast track unit.

The Bay Bridge toll will be $6.00 during commuting hours of 5 to 10am and 3 to 7pm. Between the time of 10am to 3pm toll will only be 4 dollars. On weekends the Bay Bridge toll is a flat $5 all day. All other bridges will have their toll increased to $5 all day. With the toll for the Golden Gate Bridge staying at $6 crossing in and a $3 charge for carpoolers.

The toll increase is to help close the budget deficit and to pay for seismic renovation of the Antioch and Dumbarton bridge.

Categories: MRLBlog, Real Estate

What NOT to do when buying a home.

June 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Your home buying process is well underway. The sellers accepted your offer to purchase. The home is officially under contract and you’re counting down the days to closing. The lender pre-approved you, so buying the house is a sure thing, right?

Not quite. Nothing is certain until the keys are in your hands. There are still major hurdles to get past before you close, and your actions between now and closing can create headaches, slowdowns, and even stop the transaction.

Read more…

Categories: Real Estate

Where did the Home Buyers Tax Credit Go?

June 28, 2010 Leave a comment

An amendment that would have extended the closing deadline for the homebuyer tax credit by three months failed on the Senate floor this week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) proposed the extension, and the amendment itself was approved by a large margin last week as an add-on to H.R. 4213, the American Jobs and Tax Loopholes Act. Republican senators, though, defeated the full measure on Thursday, for the third time, when Democrats moved to end debate and push it to a chamber vote. Reid has indicated that after three unsuccessful attempts, he plans to drop the matter altogether. The amendment would have extended the tax credit deadline for closing on a home purchase to September 30. The current deadline is June 30. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says some 180,000 homebuyers who signed contracts in time will not be able to make the June 30 closing deadline, simply because of the time it takes for lenders to complete transactions. The trade group estimates that 75,000 of those who will miss out on the tax break are buyers of distressed properties. NAR says its members have reported that as many as one-third of qualified applicants have already been notified by lenders that their mortgages will not close before June 30, due to the sheer volume of applications in the pipeline. The tax credit amendment was just one piece of the multi-faceted bill that was primarily intended to extend unemployment benefits for Americans out of work for more than six months. Republicans rallied against the measure on the grounds that it would have added $30 billion to the “already staggering national deficit,” they said.


Categories: Real Estate

New Low for Mortgage Rates

June 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Long-term mortgage rates fell to the lowest levels since Freddie Mac began keeping track this week.

Freddie Mac’s (NYSE: FRE) weekly rate report says a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.69 percent in the week ending June 24, down from 4.75 percent last week. A year ago, 30-year mortgages averaged 5.42 percent.

The average rate on a 15-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 4.13 percent this week, the lowest in at least two decades.

A one-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.77 percent, down from 3.82 percent last week.

While low mortgage rates remain a stimulus for housing sales, the loss of the home-buyer tax credit is expected to slow sales in the months ahead. Earlier this week, the National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales in May fell 2.2 percent from April, though existing home sales were still up more than 19 percent from a year earlier.

The sales picture was brighter in the Triad. For example, May home sales in Greensboro were up 32 percent, while sales in High Point increased 28 percent.

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Categories: Real Estate