REO

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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”.

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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.

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog ”Obama Cam” Photos in Sacramento

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I’d like to take a few moments to reflect on my favorite appraisal assignments of the year. Maybe I’m jumping the gun a bit since 2009 is not quite over, but that’s okay. I won’t get specific about addresses or location because I take client confidentiality very seriously.

Top 10 Favorite Appraisal Assignments of 2009

  1. water-bill-few-easy-steps-200X200Facuets Left On:  I appraised a bank-owned property in Solano County. It was a very nice property, but unfortunately all faucets and spickets were left on (with clogged drains), so there was extensive water damage. It was unclear if the damage was done by the disgruntled home owner or a vandal.
  2. oak park kj imagery former starbucksOak Park Fixers:  This year I appraised quite a few fixer properties in the Oak Park area of Sacramento that were purchased by an investment group, re-habbed, and then re-sold on the open market to first-time home buyers. It’s nice to be a part of a project where the end result is good for the community.
  3. 008Vacant Subdivision Land in Sacramento:  Acting as a property tax consultant, I valued two parcels in Sacramento County under the supervision of an AG (Commercial Appraiser). These sites were scheduled to be finished out as a subdivision, but then the market burst and subdivision building virtually stopped.
  4. imagesCA9RGC87Spring Water & Cesspool:  I appraised a house in Placer County that was on spring water and a cesspool (as opposed to a well and septic tank). Do you think this would have an impact on market value? How much of a price discount would it take for the typical buyer to look over an atypical feature such as this to purchase the property?
  5. Dilapidated Fourplex:  This property was interesting because it had repeated damage from squatters. I had to climb through a window to inspect one of the units too, and I cut my finger on broken glass (that made me remember this property even more).
  6. fixer-property-lundquist-appraisalUpgraded Duplex:  The residential-income market in Sacramento saw a huge decline in value over recent years. All of the latest sales in this particular neighborhood were fixers. So what is a bright and shiny upgraded non-bank-owned duplex worth in a marketplace of REO fixers?
  7. city-thumbnailRancho Cordova Property:  I’ll be honest. Since my office is located in Rancho Cordova, it sure is nice to get local assignments in the same city. I don’t mind at all driving to other counties, but it’s a great thing to travel a mile from the office to take care of business. My business in Rancho Cordova definitely increased this year.  
  8. Divorce Appraisals:  I do work for home owners and attorneys during a divorcedifficult time of life. It was a pleasure to provide excellent service to home owners in need this year and at least make the appraisal process smooth in the midst of a challenging situation. I grew up in a divorced home and I know it’s not an easy time of life.
  9. Pre-Listing Appraisals for Local Agent:  I am a realtor logohuge fan of working with local Realtors and it was a pleasure to establish a new working relationship with a particular agent who began to rely upon my knowledge and services this year. This year I had more referral work from Realtors and that’s a wonderful thing!!! I am also really grateful to be more connected to some stellar local real estate agents on Facebook and Twitter too.
  10. imagesCA42V1MYRipon New Subdivision:  There was nothing terribly complex about this assignment, but I really felt like I did a solid job on this appraisal in Stanislaus County and my client was very happy with the end-product. It’s just one of those I remember putting in a good amount of time and really enjoying the finished product.

I appreciate all my clients and colleagues who made 2009 a fantastic year. This has been a trying year for the appraisal industry in light of HVCC, but I am grateful nonetheless for all the good things that happened this year. Thank you.

If you are a real estate agent or home owner, what was the best experience you had this year with an appraiser? If you are a real estate appraiser reading this post, what were some of your favorite assignments this year.

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog My Top 10 Favorite Appraisals of 2009

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What sort of a price difference is there between bank-owned properties (REO), short sales, and arms-length transactions in the market? For an example, let’s take a look at a trend graph of all sales in Rancho Cordova below, where blue dots are REO sales, green dots are Short Sales and red dots are typical arms-length sales (per Sacramento MLS).

Rancho Cordova Sales REO Short Sale Typical Trend Graph by Lundquist Appraisal November 2009

Each neighborhood, niche, and location will differ in results, but generally speaking, like the data above seems to show for Rancho Cordova sales over the past 2 years, buyers tend to pay more for houses that are non-distressed transactions (notice how the red dots on the graph above tend to be located toward the top and NOT the bottom). When it comes to REO properties, it looks like the price level is a bit higher overall than short sales, though there are quite a few short sales on the upper-end of the market too. In fact, both Rancho Cordova and Sacramento County saw a 7% increase in short sales last year in comparison to the year before, so clearly there is a greater acceptance for short sales in the marketplace.

fixer-property-lundquist-appraisalOne important observation is that most of the sales at the bottom of the market are bank-owned. Why is that? Investors typically gobble up the lowest end of the market with all-cash offers because fixer-type properties at the lowest level will not qualify for conventional or government financing. This means first-time buyers utilizing conventional or FHA financing will usually need to look to a price level above the “all cash” market. In light of this segmentation, imagine scraping off the bottom layer of all-cash foreclosures. What would you find? You’d still see many REO properties, but you’d certainly see a good amount of Short Sales too. 

Overall, in my experience as a Sacramento-area real estate appraiser it seems the market price tier goes: 1) Arms-length sale; 2) REO; 3) Short Sale. This is common sense really, but it’s another thing to prove that by crunching numbers, making trend graphs, and observing data in the marketplace. But there are certainly cases and stories and sub-markets that might show a different order for whatever reason - especially depending on the supply of housing inventory and particulars of a given property. Interestingly enough, sometimes there is little to no difference between non-distressed sales and REO sales. For example, what does it do to pricing differences when 90% of all sales in a market are either bank-owned or short sales? In a case like this, since the market is clearly saturated with distressed sales, it’s probably a safe bet to assume foreclosure-pricing is indeed the market and will set the pace for what buyers expect to pay for properties (see a previous post on Patterson having 96.5% of all sales as distressed). In a case like this, there may be no verifiable difference between REO and non-distressed sales.

Let me know if you have questions or insight. Comments are welcome.

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog Is there a price difference between REO properties, short sales, and arms-length transactions?

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How is the Rancho Cordova real estate market doing compared to the rest of Sacramento county? What is the percentage of foreclosure sales (REO), short sales and total amount of distressed property sales (REO + Short Sales)? Let’s take a look below to glean some insight.  

Rancho Cordova Sales and Sacramento County Sales Past 2 Years November 2009 by Lundquist Appraisal Company

The information above is based on all residential sales listed in Sacramento Metrolist over the past two years. Overall, the percentage of bank-owned sales dropped by 5% in both Rancho Cordova and Sacramento County, while at the same time the percentage of Short Sales rose by 7% in both Rancho Cordova and Sacramento County. Over the past two years Rancho Cordova had a 7% lower foreclosure rate than Sacramento County and a 2% higher percentage of short sales. 

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog Foreclosure and Short Sales Figures in Rancho Cordova Compared to Sacramento County

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We hear so many voices in today’s real estate market talk about the foreclosure rate decreasing in the Sacramento Region. Is that true? Are there less REO (bank-owned) sales today than there were two or three years ago? Let’s look at some hard numbers below for Sacramento County.

Sacramento County REO and Short Sales Percentages 2008 2009 by Lundquist Appraisal Company

The information above is based on all residential sales listed in Sacramento Metrolist over the past two years. Overall, it’s true that there were less bank-owned sales in Sacramento County during the last 12 months in comparison to the year before that. The foreclosure rate decreased by 5% overall, but the interesting thing is that short sales increased by 7% during this same time period. What do you make of that? Have short sales simply replaced what would have been a similar rate of foreclosure for this year? As a home owner or real estate agent, have you found banks to be more receptive to working with you to do a short sale? Comments welcome.

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog The Up and Down Dynamic of Foreclosures and Short Sales in Sacramento County

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