Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Lending is Available for ALL Buyers!

Hard Money!

• Price Range $150,000-$650,000
• Up to 65% LTV (Loan to Value)
• No FICO Requirements
• Rates 10% – 12%
• No aging after purchase to cash out
• Fixer ok
• From complete package 2-3 weeks
• Non-Owner = Stated Income
• IO (Interest Only) with 3 year balloon
• Short Sale/Foreclosure = ok

Example For a $300,000 purchase amount:

35% down:
$300,000 x .35 = $105,000

Interest Only Payment at 10%:
$300,000 – $105,000 = $195,000
$195,000 (financed at 10%) x .10 = $19,500/year

For A Year’s Monthly Payments:
$19,500 / 1 (number of years) / 12 (number of months in year) =
$1,625 per month on a $300,000 purchase

The rates aren’t as attractive so these types of loans are for those who don’t qualify for traditional lending from banks and credit unions.

If you are interested in obtaining a hard money loan, please contact Noble Griswold.

Current Market Conditions

Over the last few years I have blogged about the decreasing inventory, the real estate market turning, and price changes.

As of February 2, 2013, we have the lowest inventories that I have seen in 15 Years!

Here are the current local stats:

City Date # homes for sale #homes sold in last 30 days Days to sell supply
Vallejo 02/12/13 71 100 21 day supply
Vallejo 02/12/12 300 150 60 day supply
Vallejo 2007 1200 50 720 day supply
Benicia 02/12/13 13 28 14 day supply
Benicia 02/12/12 50 29 52 day supply
Benicia 2007 200 25 240 day supply

As you can see from the above, our current supply of homes is very low and the buying interest is very high resulting in a VERY tight inventory.   In contrast to 2007, supply was high and buying interest was low.

I’ve heard it said that a 60 day supply is a healthy market with minimal change in price.  Less than 60 day supply is an appreciating market.  More than a 60 day supply is a decreasing market.

It is pretty clear that this very tight supply should result in price appreciation.  Is this happening?

YES!   A look at Solano County Year End sales statistics shows the following:

City  Year # homes sold Average Price Price Change
Vallejo 2012 1877 $165,865 +$14,000
Vallejo 2011 1878 $156,090 -$250,000
Vallejo 2007 644 $410,933
Benicia 2012 400 $317,936 +$17,000
Benicia 2011 399 $300,477 -$240,000
Benicia 2007 274 $540,200


What we currently experience as Real Estate Brokers is a market where most properties listed for sale sell within 2 weeks with multiple offers and the final sales price is approximately 5% over asking price.

Many homes are selling over their appraised value.  This is accomplished by buyers paying a cash difference over the appraised value.

It is a good time to sell, since all properties are getting lots of attention and in many instances properties are selling over asking price.

It is a good time to buy, from the perspective of very low interest rates and prices have not gone up that much yet.  However, be prepared as a buyer to have lots of competition and to pay full price or more.

If you would like to communicate with me go to for my contact info.

Also, from this website, if you click on the link “Home Evaluations”, this link will show a value graph of your city and / or property.  For a more accurate valuation, contact Noble Griswold for a custom market analysis.

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According to the recent published CAR (California Assocation of Realtors)report, a stunning 50% decrease in index for unsold inventory for Solano county properties.  As of Jan 2011, the index was 7.1 while in Jan 2012, the index went almost halfway, 3.8%.  What does this mean?  It means that last Jan 2011, it would take approximately 7 months to sell all available properties in the market considering there will be no additional properties on sale.  As of Jan 2012, it would only take less than 4 months to sell all unsold properties.  In short, it is either an increase in demand and/or steep decrease in supply is happening.  Record low interest rates and favorable home prices continue to attract potential buyers.  NOW is the best time to purchase!


I was recently asked about current local market conditions and wanted to provide readers an update:

 We have strong data showing Vallejo and Benicia in the early real estate early.  The supply of houses is shrinking dramatically from the peak supply years.

 2005 was peak price years for these two cities.                                        

Inventory:  Vallejo: 400 homes, Benicia 50 Homes.

 2007/2008 was the worst inventory on the market and biggest price drops: 

Inventory:  Vallejo: 1,200 homes, Benicia 200 Homes.

 2009 – 2010 inventory was slightly improved and prices sagged or leveled off. 

Inventory:  Vallejo 700 Homes, Benicia 100 Homes.

 2011-now.  In the last 6 months inventory has severely tighten.  

Current levels are: Vallejo 250 Homes, Benicia 40 Homes.

 In addition to the supply, the demand was also changed dramatically. At peak inventory levels, we were only Selling 25 homes per month in Vallejo and 10 homes a month in Benicia. Last Month (December 2011) Vallejo sold 190 homes and Benicia sold 20.

 Generally speaking, real estate values are driven by Supply versus Demand.  Currently we have a tight supply of less than two month supply considering our current buying rate.  In comparison, we have a several year supply several years ago for both Benicia and Vallejo.

 Much of the demand is driven by low interest rates, prices low versus good rent resulting in positive cash flow for most investor purchases and perception of bottom prices.

 The tight inventory has resulted in price tightening and some increases.  Most desirable well priced home are now multiple offers for more than asking price.  Overpriced homes sit until prices are dropped.

 I’m willing to offer lower prices when it makes sense.   However, if a home is priced lower than market value, which Short Sales (homes whose mortgage is higher than the market value) and REO’s (Real Estate Owned by bank generally purchased by Bank at foreclosure sale) often are, then offering a lower price would be a waste of time.   If a home is priced higher or around market value and the home has been on the market for some time, then offering a lower price makes sense.

 Current home loan interest rates are 4% or less for owner occupied purchases and approximately 4.5% for non-owner occupied.  The low prices and low interest rates combined are resulting in attractive payments for homeowners and positive cash flow for investors!

Bottom line:  It is a great time to buy!

HARP: Refinance Even If You’re Mortgage Is Upsidedown

Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), the newest program sponsored by the government, which is informally called “short refinance.”  This program allow homeowners with no equity and those who owe more than their home is worth, to refinance into today’s record-low interest rates.

 So, what are the requirements?

1.  Fannie/ Freddy backed loans.  The mortgage must be guaranteed by government-sponsored Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. You can check yours online by clicking the link:

Fannie Mae – – or call 800-7FANNIE

Freddy Mac – – or call 800-FREDDIE

Other links:

Builder Magazine has an article about qualifications:

Columns in the San Francisco Chronicle expand and some cases contradicts the BM article about HARP.

HARP 2.0 Congress reinstates higher FHA mortgage limit

2.  Be current.  You have to be up-to-date on your payment.  Not even 1 delinquent payment is allowed.

3.  Problem with credit.  Not an issue at all.

4.  Underwater:  Yes since this program is geared toward homeowners that are upsidedown on their loan.  

So, when is it coming and what are the limits on principal reduction?  Answer:  Good news/bad news LTV caps will be removed for all Fixed rate mortgages with terms up to 30 years. Unfortunately, lenders and borrowers won’t be able to utilize this relief until DU (automatic loan approval from Fannie Mae) is updated in March 2012.

Bottom line, this seems like the best program so far to find a bottom in real estate, and to add liquidity to the economy. Every family who accomplishes this refinance, will have more cash to spend which will contribute to economic expansion. Lastly, this program should also reduce distressed sales, which will help the recovery of the housing market.

Inventory pattern is currently stable for Benicia and Vallejo.

We have seen a shrinking inventory for the last year.  In Vallejo we have gone from 1,500 active home listings to 225 homes.  In Benicia, 100 active home listings to recently 60.

However, the pattern appears to be changing again.  The last couple of weeks inventory is staying about the same.  What is going on?

When we look at the sales data, it is similar as before.  However, when we look at “New Listings” they are up.  

My conclusion is that the post moratorium release of foreclosed homes is the main cause for the additional listings.  Also, there are an unusually high amount of “Failed Sales”.  This appears to be caused from financing issues and appraisal issues.

I expect this pattern to continue for the next couple of months.

Shrinking Inventory in Vallejo and Solano County!

Have you noticed the shrinking inventory in your local real estate market??

I sure have.  Since 2007 peak in inventory, I have been noticing the inventory in Vallejo shrinking from approximately 1,500 homes to the current level around 425 homes!   In the last 6 months the Vallejo inventory has been shrinking at the approximate rate of 75 homes per month net. 

If this rate continues, Vallejo will run  out of homes for sale in about 5 months!  Of course this can’t happen… so prices will have to increase as inventory gets scarce.  As prices increase, sales will slow down until we are in balance with the Law of Supply and Demand. 

I have noticed a similar phenomenon of shrinking inventory occurring in nearby cities and counties as well. 

There are of course many variables that can effect the inventory.  For now, we are on a trend for a tight inventory and price changes to follow.   If this trend continues… then  your opportunity for good pricing and diverse choices for a home will greatly be affected. 

Is this happening in your local area? 

The answer is yes, for Vallejo and most of Solano County!

June Inventory for Vallejo and Benicia

Vallejo Inventory has continued to diminish to approximately 275 homes.  For the last 8 months, the inventory has been steadily diminishing at the rate of approximately 75-100 less homes per month!  However, in the last few weeks this inventory is not dropping as fast.  However, there is still lots of competition on properties.   From a Buyers perspective, well priced homes generally have more than one offer.   If the property is priced low,  we are seeing 5-20 offers and the final price is 10-20% over the asking price!

In Benicia, inventory has been more stable for several months with approximately 60-70 homes for sale.  Homes don’t generally sell immediately unless priced lower compared to the rest of the inventory.   There is good buying interest overall, and buyers are acting quickly when they like the property and price!