Know the Pitfalls of Reverse Mortgages

Your parents took out a reverse mortgage so that they could stay in their home.  Maybe they need help with medical bills.  It may sound like a good idea because there is a lot of the equity is in the house since they have owned it for so many years.  But maybe not. The cost of these reverse mortgages sometimes makes it very expensive for both the homeowner and for the heirs.  The cost of the reverse mortgage can be thousands of dollars paid up front in order to get the loan.  Then when the homeowner dies, the heirs try to take over and it appears their rights are being denied and lenders are foreclosing. Make sure you or your parents know EXACTLY what they are getting themselves into before agreeing to these mortgages. For more information, check out this article with the NY Times: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/03/26/pitfalls-of-reverse-mortgages-may-pass-to-borrowers-heirs/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0  

Lots of Events in South San Francisco This Week

South City is having a very eventful week.  Here are a couple of events happening. March 13 - South San Francisco Police Association Blood Drive The South San Francisco Police Department and The Blood Centers of the Pacific are inviting donors to its annual Blood Drive. Location: Municipal Services Building, Police Training Room Address: 33 Arroyo Drive, South San Francisco Time: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm Date: Thursday, March 13, 2014 Donor Requirements: Be in good health Weigh at least 110 lbs Eat before donating and drink extra water or juice Bring your ID Appointment can be made.  For more information, contact Maida Ng at (650) 877-8906. There will also be a raffle.  Don't know what the prize will be as you've already won by helping your fellow human being. Here's the original information: http://www.ssf.net/Calendar.aspx?EID=5441&month=3&year=2014&day=10&calType=0   ______________________________________________________________________________ Saturday, March 15, 2014

Paradise Valley Clean-up & Tree Planting Event

Want to volunteer with cleaning up and planting trees?  Staff from the South San Francisco Fire Department, the Community and  volunteers will be making Paradise Valley look better this coming Saturday.  Come and help and get to know your neighbors. High school volunteers may accumulate community service awards. They will meet at Paradise Valley Park, Hillside Blvd & School Street, at 9:00 am on Saturday, March 15, 2014. For more information:  http://www.ssf.net/Calendar.aspx?EID=5479&month=3&year=2014&day=10&calType=0 __________________________________________________________________________________ Sunday, March 16, 2016

SSF Police Association’s 12th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Dinner

See my other Post for the  South San Francisco Police Association St. Patrick's Celebration Dinner for the Survivor Benefit Funds. For more information: http://www.ssf.net/Calendar.aspx?EID=5354&month=3&year=2014&day=10&calType=0  

Be On the Lookout for Local Scams in Your Neighborhood

There seems to be a couple of scams happening in the area. One is a phone call scam where someone posing as an employee of South San Francisco.  A male is calling to say there will be work done by the City of South San Francisco in your neighborhood and wants to know if you would like additional work to be done.  This has been reported by two separate residents from two different neighborhoods. Here's the link to the Police Report:  http://www.ssf.net/index.aspx?NID=1861 Another phone call scam has to do with Walmart Mystery Shoppers.  A cashier's check is delivered stating they are from the Walmart Mystery Shoppers.  There are instructions to cash the check, spend some of the money at your local Walmart and send the rest of the funds via Western Union to another Mystery Shopper. Well, apparently this victim did not cash the check so they received another phone call demanding they cash the check and send the money as instructed.  If these instructions were not followed, the FBI would be alerted and sent to their home. Guess we have some pretty smart residents in South San Francisco, as this person did some research and discovered the cashier's check was fraudulent. Here's the link to the police report:  http://www.ssf.net/index.aspx?NID=1863 So, be on the look out for possible scams.  You know the old cliche, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is". Anyone who has had similar phone calls or has any further information is encouraged to call the South San Francisco Police Department at (650) 877-8900 or the anonymous tip line at (650) 952-2244.

Need Help With Making Your Mortgage Payments?

Can't afford your home, but don't want to sell it?  Read on to find out one solution that may work for you. Did you know there is a program where you can home share?  If someone has an extra room or separate unit available, HIP Housing can help put you together. What is HIP Housing? It is a nonprofit organization that has, since 1972, provided free home sharing services in San Mateo County.  They personally and professionally dedicate their time, tools, expertise and billingual services to helping find alternative housing solutions. They could help you in reducing your living expenses, whether you own your own home or need a home to live. This could be a great benefit to a family or older person who has a home but needs help either financially or even physically with caring for the home or in need of a companion.   In exchange,  The home seeker can exchange services in lieu of or possibly get a reduced rent.   HIP Housing helps with the contract between the two parties and it can be a win-win solution for both.  They even check in to be sure both parties are happy and fulfilling their obligation to the other. Another service of HIP Housing is called Self-Sufficiency which provides housing help and supportive services to low- income families transitioning to self-reliance. If you would like to find out more about HIP Housing in San Mateo County, call (650) 348-6660 or go to their website at www.hiphousing.org. Know anyone out there who could benefit from these services?  

Car Show, Toy and Food Drive November 2

Every year, RayTana & Associates puts on this Toy Food Drive Car Show for the benefit of the less fortunate in our community.  If you have a car you'd like to register, contact Ray at (650) 589-8930 for more information. There will be awards and a raffle to raise funds for this event.  Please bring a new, unwrapped Toy and non-perisable food items.  There will be classic cars, street machines, rods, trucks, unfinished and foreign vehicles. It will be held at November 2, 2013 from 8 AM to 3 PM Santo Cristo Hall 41 Oak Avenue (Corner of Mission Road just south of the Bart station) South San Francisco FREE LUNCH WITH A TOY AND BAG OF FOOD DONATION WHEN YOU REGISTER YOUR CAR! Come by and check it out;.

No More Point of Sale Sewer Lateral Inspections !

Just came from the City Council meeting where they approved the minutes from the July 24th meeting to no longer require point of sale sewer lateral inspections. Just this year, an ordinance was put into place to have these inspections when a homeowner sold their home.  Apparently, it was causing a problem in more ways that it solved.  One of the problems was many years ago, parcels of land were separated but the sewer systems were still connected to the neighboring properties.  Once this ordinance went into place and the seller had to comply, many sewer systems that were connected were also affected.  This caused financial problems for the neighbor who wasn't selling and did not have the funds to repair the faulty lines.  There have been other issues including the time it took away from other duties of Public Works. Last month, Terry White, the Director of Public Works asked City Council to change the ordinance to no longer require these inspections at time of sale. So, thank you City Council for the vote and Terry White for bringing this back to Council. This change becomes effective 30 days from today.

The Downside of All Cash Offers

The downsides of cash Source: The Wall Street Journal All-cash offers usually trump all others because the seller can be sure that the lender won’t kill the deal by not approving the buyer’s financing or appraisal. Since cash buyers can close quickly, sellers who are ready to move on with another home purchase find that a plus, too. So cash buyers often can buy a house for less money than someone who must get a mortgage. However, there is a downside. Without a bank as a backstop, one can easily make a mistake, and the consequences will be the buyer’s responsibly alone. Making sense of the story
  • Most buyers find getting a mortgage to be a nail-biting hassle because they have to go through various levels of approvals. They must make a down payment, meet loan-to-value ratios, and pay for independent  appraisals, title insurance, and homeowner’s insurance. These precautions are done for the bank’s protection and not the buyer’s. But they have the ancillary effect of protecting buyers who may be swept away by emotion after finding their dream home and making a purchase they shouldn’t.
  • Consider appraisals: Lenders always require them, but cash buyers rarely get them. Instead, cash buyers rely solely on comparable sales supplied by their agents, or plucked from websites such as Trulia or Zillow, to give them an idea of what to pay for a house.
  • In some cases, cash buyers don’t carefully compare the square footage, number of rooms, quality of construction, and other factors that appraisers do when they rule on a house’s worth. So the possibility that cash buyers could pay more than market value for a home is very real.
  • Ironically, there is a possibility that a cash buyer could lose a house in a bidding war because they bid too low, assuming that sellers will automatically choose cash over a mortgage. That is not always the case, especially if the buyers are prequalified and the sellers don’t need a quick closing.
  • In rapidly heating markets, some cash buyers may forego inspections to make their offers irresistible. That is one of the worst mistakes any buyer can make, since serious flaws can be hard to detect for untrained eyes.
Read the full story
 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323734304578545411065380082.html

Did You Inherit a Property? What Now?

I just spoke with a client recently who is preparing her mother's home to sell in a few weeks. Her mother had passed away last year.   I have been in contact with both her and her sister since way before Thanksgiving.  They had decided that it would be nice to have the whole family over for Thanksgiving, just one more time in Mom's home before cleaning it out and selling it.  She told me they had a very nice holiday and felt Mom was with them one last time at dinner with all of her favorite china and the the furniture that was in the house.  What a nice idea. In talking with her, she mentioned that she had some paperwork for me.  You see, she was the sole successor trustee of her mother's estate.  The sister, while one of the heirs, did not have any signing power I was told last year.  However, she was very much involved in the distribution of items in the estate as well as the cleaning out of the house.  When I asked what type of paperwork she had for me, she said the attorney put the property in the both sister's names. Once I saw the paperwork, it was actually "Affidavit of Death of Trustee" but it stated two co-successor trustees.  I was a bit confused as this document could have been filed through the escrow, saving the family that $500 it cost to prepare and file this document.  It is also my understanding that you can't change the terms of a trust after the original trustees pass away, so don't know why it shows two successor trustees.  There may have been some important reasons why it was was done this way and  I would always make sure that heirs follow their attorney's advice, but I truly don't understand when the property is going to be sold in a timely manner. I asked my client why the attorney did this now?  She had no idea.  She said the attorney was a friend of her sister's and was giving them a discount of $500 to put it into their names.  $500 - I would be very interested as to why this attorney thought it important to prepare this document now. There could be a very good reason of which I am not aware. So, if you find yourself as the successor trustee of an trust, be sure to ask lots of questions.  One of the reasons for a trust is so that everything that the original trustee wants is handled and usually no attorney is needed in most cases.  So always ask questions - the first one being "Why are we doing this?" As I said, there could be a very good explanation - I just don't know what it is.  And the attorney may think it is the right thing to do and it may be.  Just Ask!