First Time Homebuyer Workshop Today At Tanforan Shopping Center

HEART/Meriwest First Time Homebuyer Workshop on Saturday Nov 16, 2013

When Saturday November 16, 2013 from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM PST Add to Calendar
    Where The Shops at Tanforan 1150 El Camino Real Go to main entrance, between BJ's & Barnes & Noble 3rd door on the right San Bruno, CA 94066 <image004.jpg>Driving Directions
HEART and Meriwest Mortgage together offer a downpayment loan and mortgage program to help first time homebuyers in San Mateo County buy a home with 5% down and no PMI.Find out more at our free First TIme Homebuyer workshop on Saturday, November 16 from 10:30-12:00 at the Shops at Tanforan in San Bruno. This popular program has helped over 50 families buy their first home in San Mateo County. Find out if you qualify on our website. You may buy a house or condo up to $521,250 anywhere in the County except Daly City with this special program.. We'll have representatives from Prudential CA Realty on hand to talk about what might be available in this challenging real estate market and how to make a successful offer.   Space is limited. Please click on the link below to register or RSVP now.

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We look forward to working with you. Please contact Paula Stinson at HEART or John Souza at Meriwest Mortgage, 408-849-7115 if you have any questions.Sincerely,  Paula Stinson HEART of San Mateo County 650-872-4444 x 4# <image005.jpg><image006.jpg><image007.jpg>

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.
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What Happens When An Owner Dies While Selling Their Property?

Do you think everything continues on as though that owner were still alive?  Can a spouse just slide in and continue on their merry way? Well this very thing is happening right now on a piece of property I have listed.  The property is unique in itself and had been on the market for over a month when we got an offer.  This property is an investment property and the sellers bought it a couple of years ago so they could "flip" it.  For whatever reason, they did nothing with it until this year.  One of the reasons is because it is so unique and needed a lot of work.  Then at the beginning of the year, they finished getting it ready for market and at the beginning of this month, an offer came in that the sellers were entertaining. There are 3 sellers, two of them are are married to each other and the third one, who is unrelated, lived in Arizona and I have never had contact with him.  All conversations were only with the married sellers. When this offer came in, I had heard that the seller in Arizona was not feeling well but he and his family thought he would be fine.  Just as the offer was being sent to him, he passed away.  What a shock to all involved. So, what happens now?  The buyer wants his offer accepted so they can move forward; as does the remaining 2 sellers.  However, this is a sensitive situation.  So it was decided to wait until after the funeral before letting the heirs know about this offer, which we all felt was the right thing to do. The other problem was no one knew if the seller who passed away had a trust or even a will. You see, if the property is not in a trust, then the property would have had to go through probate.  That could take a long time before this property would sell.  If it was in a trust, who is the successor trustee?  Would that person be cooperative in the sale or would this person want to keep the property? Since this seller died in Arizona, his attorney had to refer the heirs to an attorney in California.  We are all in a waiting mode right now and hope we can move forward soon with selling the property. The moral of the story - Make sure you have your affairs in order in case the unthinkable happens.

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!  

Top Scams of 2012 from the Better Business Bureau

Well, you've heard about scams and may have even gotten a few in your email about some poor guy who can't get his trillions of dollars out of his country and wants you to help him.  You know the one where if you just send him your checking account information or better yet your savings account info, the trillions of dollars will be sent to you for safekeeping or that you will get a huge fee of $$$$ millions of dollars for your assistance. You've heard it before "If it is too good to be true, it usually is".  So, here is the link from John Barrett, Jr.'s YOU Magazine that was reprinted from the site.