Loan Modification

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I’m disheartened to hear stats on President Obama’s “Making Home Affordable” program. So far it doesn’t look like the program is working very well (at all). A CNN article last week stated ”The administration projected that between half and three-quarters of applicants would have new mortgages at this point. As of the end of November, the number is 4.3 percent.” That’s not good.

In light of this less-than-wonderful news, I thought it would be interesting to use the “Obama Cam” app on my mobile phone to snap a few images of some local REO and Short Sale properties in the Sacramento area. The “Obama Cam” application overlays an image of President Obama (17 to choose from) on any picture taken with my mobile phone (an Android G1).

These images are in no way meant to belittle the President, make a political statement for any political party, or even rant about the Making Home Affordable program. There is actually a deep element here for me since the shots juxtapose governmental programs with real life local distressed properties. I’m reminded of the ever-present struggle in today’s economy for so many households, that recovery is going to take a long time, and also that good intentions in Washington DC do not necessarily translate to good results on “Main Street”.






What do these images evoke in you? Why is the “Making Home Affordable” program not yet working as it should? Please give your two cents and feel free to share your experience. By the way, do you have an app like this on your phone? Your comments are welcome below. ”Obama Cam” Photos in Sacramento


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Someone found this blog last night by typing in the question, “Can I Use an Appraisal for a Loan Modification?” In case the answer was not found, I’d like to shed some light on the matter. The answer is maybe. When you are doing a loan modification you’ll need to consult with your agent, attorney or bank and do what they say. If you already have an appraisal in your hands that demonstrates fair market value for your property and it was recent (and reliable), you may be good to go. However, if you have an outdated appraisal, it might not be acceptable for your loan modification needs since the market has changed so rapidly over the past several years (and months). An older real estate appraisal is often no longer reliable because the market has very likely shifted down or up since the time the appraisal was completed (down most of the time lately).

I hope this helps to answer the question. Please let me know if you need any clarification and if there is anything I can do for you. I am very familiar with doing loan modification appraisals for attorneys and home owners, so I am glad to provide my services to households in the Greater Sacramento Region. Feel free to contact me at 916-595-3735 or or  Can I Use an Appraisal for a Loan Modification? (Question from Search Engine)


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copylac08153048I have an appraisal report on my desk right now for the purpose of loan modification. A Sacramento area home owner contacted me because her attorney instructed her to hire a real estate appraiser (this is a fairly common practice in loan modification situations). So here I am entrenched in details and analysis in order to provide the home owner with a reliable appraisal report that she can then give to her attorney (who will then take it to the bank or use in court). The goal of the appraisal report is to stimulate conversation with the bank about the true value of the home vs. the current loan amount and situation.

When you need an appraisal to convince your bank of the true and current value of your home, I suggest the following:

  • Find an appraiser who knows your market area very well.
  • Look over the appraiser’s website to see which areas he covers. Is your neighborhood located within the coverage territory? It should be.
  • Keep in mind that appraisers often do have experience in cities located much further from where their office is located (this is certainly the case with me). It’s reasonable for an appraiser to cover large territories, but the real key is that the appraiser is knowledgeable enough in your market to be able to correctly value your property (geographical competency).
  • It might be a good idea to interview the appraiser and ask him about his experience as it pertains to your area of town. 
  • Tell the appraiser a little about your property so that he can assess whether your property is something he can take on. For example, if you have a detached single family residential house in Fairfield, Roseville or Sacramento on a fairly typical lot size, that is something much different than if you have a mansion on 250 acres with agricultural production.
  • Don’t go with the lowest price. If you look hard enough in any trade it is inevitable to find someone who is willing to provide a service for a little cheaper than anyone else. But what kind of product do you usually get for the lowest fee? Your loan modification is a very crucial decision and it is important that you are presented with the best possible product to suit your needs.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at 916-595-3735 or or “ryan [at] lundquistcompany [dot] com”. I am more than happy to walk home owners through what the appraisal process entails.  Tip of the Day for Loan Modification Appraisals (Sacramento Region)


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North Highlands is a census-designated place in Sacramento County just South of Antelope, East of Rio Linda, West of the Foothill Farms area and generally surrounded by Sacramento. 

What’s been happening in the North Highlands real estate market lately?


North Highlands Real Estate Market Data (entire area):

  • 738 sales in past 12 months
  • 163 sales in past 90 days
  • Median Price over past 12 months: $108,900
  • 83 current Pending listings
  • 32 current Active listings
  • 89 current Short Sale Active listings

Let’s take a closer look in North Highlands in a particular area typically called “Larchmont Village” or “McClellan Meadows”. Below is a map of this defined area.


The trend graph and data below represent the area of North Highlands as pictured above in the map.


Larchmont Village / McClellan Meadows Market Data:

  • 200 sales over past 12 months
  • 49 sales over past 90 days
  • 25 current Pending listings
  • 8 current Active listings
  • 23 current Short Sale Active listings
  • Median Price over past 12 months: $105,000

Short Sales & Loan Modification:

When observing the data above in both the overall trend of North Highlands and a look at a specific neighborhood (Larchmont), it seems clear that the trend has been a declining market. It seems evident too that the current prices are becoming more attractive to buyers since there are a good deal of current pendings in comparison to the level of active listings.

One important observation to consider also is that there are more short sale listings than active listings (active listings are regular non-distressed properties or bank-owned homes). Short sales generally tend to stay on the market for a longer period of time and/or are less appealing for local buyers. Sometimes agents and buyers avoid short sales because they can be time-consuming or unfruitful to get an offer accepted in a timely manner. In light of this, it is common for many short sales to end up in foreclosure. So when we see a higher amount of short sales in an area, it is a bit of a red flag unless the market readily absorbs short sales (it does not appear to be the case here).

If you are potentially facing foreclosure, it is important to communicate with your bank or lender and find out what your options are. Sometimes banks are willing to modify the rate and terms of your loan, so that can be an excellent option to explore. If that is the case, you can always present your bank with a current and detailed appraisal to show them what the true value of your home is. I would be happy to help you with the appraisal process by providing you with a detailed analysis of your house and neighborhood so that the bank can see clearly what values are doing in your area.

You are welcome to call me at 916-595-3735, see my company website at, or email me at ryan [at] lundquistcompany [dot] com. Whether you live in North Highlands or anywhere in the Sacramento Region, if I am able to help you, I will be glad to do so.

Lastly, the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency has excellent resources for home owners facing foreclosure. Please see for details.  North Highlands Real Estate Market Trends / Loan Modification in Sacramento Region


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