Monday, November 12, 2012

Wells Fargo Issues Refund Checks to Borrowers

A whole lot of Wells Fargo FHA borrowers have gotten refund checks in the mail from the mega bank with a letter stating that they’d been overcharged for their loans.

The checks were generally for several thousand dollars (nothing to sneeze at) but the caveat was that if they cashed the checks, they give up the right to sue the bank for damages. Apparently the borrowers were placed in more costly loans when they were qualified for less expensive ones…

The letters and checks were supposedly sent to up to 10,000 customers. Since the government has previously been looking into Wells Fargo’s actions, it seems they’re trying to do damage control and prevent further problems.

The refunds sent out involve FHA mortgages done from 2009 through 2011. The FHA loan is a viable and reasonable product. Borrowers with lower credit scores and down payments needed for conventional loans are able to be a part of the American Dream.

With a minimum down payment of 3.5%, the FHA loans have more costly up front fees and mortgage insurance to offset the risk of default. BUT with the loans in question, the customers actually had enough down payment required to get a conventional loan, bank officials said.

Wells Fargo hasn't admitted to any wrongdoing. However, the letter enclosed with the refunds stated  "You should understand that by cashing the enclosed check, you agree to release Wells Fargo … from any and all claims relating to Wells Fargo's origination of a more expensive mortgage loan than the loan for which you may have qualified”

The refunds only came to light when The Los Angeles Times acquired a copy of one of the letters. Not surprisingly, the bank never announced them publicly.

Monday, November 5, 2012

In spite of positive signs of recovery in the economy and Ventura County Real Estate, our nation’s market remains fragile.  More than 25% of transactions are still distressed properties. You can take action now and tell Congress to extend Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief. 

Without this extension, anyone involved in loan modifications, short sales, or foreclosures will face a big tax bill. Consumers and the housing market do not need that financial burden. Doesn't seem right to me that homeowners should be taxed on money they’ve already lost with cash they never received. 

It only takes a minute to click on this link and tell Congress to finish their unfinished housing related business upon returning to Washington, DC after the election. We don't need any new obstacles that could throw the housing recovery off track. Help pass an extension of Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief - Click on the link below the picture and take action today.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Whether or not you landed here to check Ventura Real Estate stuff, here's a fun thing you and your family will enjoy over the next week or so...

We're fortunate to have beautiful autumn weekends here in Ventura County and what better way to spend a few hours than visit Faulkner Farms Pumpkin Patch! Located on acres of Brilliant Multicolored Pumpkins, a Hay Maze, a Red Corn Maze, and climb a Towering Haystack Pyramid. Did we mention Hay Rides too?!!!?

Check it out!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Come on out everyone to the Bocce Festival this Sunday!!!              (10/7/12 from noon to 5)
Tickets at the door for General Admission are $20.00 but if you mention NACE you will only pay $10.00
Come on out for a great cause (Ventura County Sheriff's Foundation) and a fun day!!! Weather will be perfect & I'll be pouring something. Of course:)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Gourmet Food Truck and Bocce Ball Festival

Mark your calendars!!!!!

The Gourmet Food Truck and Bocce Ball Festival 
will be held at beautiful Limoneira Ranch in Santa Paula, October 7, 2012 from  noon to 5 PM. The event will benefit the Ventura County Sheriff's Foundation.  

The Foundation supports the department by helping to fund budget constricted programs such as the K9 unit and Swat Team training.

 In addition to the bocce tournament with cash prizes, there will be gourmet food trucks, beer, wine, live music and a "Kid's Zone" to round it out and make it family friendly event.  It's a beautiful venue for a great cause which will help keep our communities safe.

Click on the link for more info and I hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hot Off the Press

Excluding distressed sales, home prices nationwide increased 2.7 percent on a year-over-year basis in May 2012 compared with May 2011. On a month-over-month basis excluding distressed sales, the CoreLogic HPI indicates home prices increased 2.3 percent in May 2012 compared with April 2012, the fourth month-over-month increase in a row. Distressed sales include short sales and real estate owned (REO/ foreclosure) transactions. Locally, in Ventura County real estate, we’re still experiencing limited inventory and multiple offers on all properties in the $450,000 and under price range. Getting pre-approved for a loan is imperative. And don’t forget patience…

Friday, April 6, 2012

Home Prices on the Rise?

In the Ventura Real Estate Market we're experiencing an uptick in activity and prices inching up ever so slightly in the lower end properties. I saw this article on line today and thought you'd find it encouraging.

Copy and paste this link in your browser and take a look...

Inventory of Ventura Homes for Sale appears to be decreasing which is an indicator of an improving market.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Real Estate Snapshot

Pending home sales in California rose in February and increased from the previous month and year according to C.A.R.’s Pending Home Sales Index, based on signed contracts. The index also was up from data recorded in February 2011, marking the tenth month in a row that pending sales were higher than the previous year. C.A.R. President LeFrancis Arnold stated “A lack of inventory in the bank-owned (REO) and short sale market was a contributing factor to the decline in share of distressed sales in February,” “In fact, REO inventory declined 24 percent in February from the previous year, while short sale inventory dropped 17 percent during the same period.”

After declining for two consecutive months, equity sales (homes that are not distress sales or “upside down”) increased in February, making up 51.1 percent of sales in February. In January 2012 and February 2011, equity sales consisted of 49.9 and 44.8 percent respectively of all sales.

Statewide, the total share of all distressed property types sold went down in February to 48.9 percent, down from January’s 50.1 percent and from 55.2 percent in February 2011.

The share of short sales dipped slightly in February. Of the distressed properties sold statewide in January, 23 percent were short sales, down from the previous month’s share of 23.8 percent but increased from last February’s share of 22.9 percent.

The share of REO sales also edged down in February to 25.2 percent, down from January’s 25.9 percent and down from the 31.9 percent recorded in February 2011.

Locally, in Ventura County, we’ve seen prices increase slightly in the low end price range. Much of this is being driven by investors, though first time home buyers are a large part of the market too. A listing in the under $350,000 range is sure to sell fairly quickly if priced right and in decent condition with multiple offers not uncommon. The mid range homes seem to have stabilized and high end single family homes are still constricting somewhat.

Income property, particularly multiple units, are flying off the shelves as well since those with money in the bank are not getting a good return on their money.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Real Estate Snapshot

The number of American buyers who signed offers to purchase homes went up in January to the highest point in almost two years sustaining the platform that our real estate market is showing increasing improvement.

Last Monday the National Association of Realtors stated that its index of sales agreements went up 2 percent last month to a reading of 97. That's the best reading since April 2010, which was the last month that buyers could cash in on the federal home-buying tax credit and the last time the reading was over 100.

A reading of 100 is considered healthy.

The NAR also released revised data for 2011. That decreased November's initial 19-month high of 100.1 to 96.9. However, contracts have been noticeably higher since summer when many were concerned that a second recession was imminent.

Contract signings are usually a bellweather of how the housing market is developing. The time frame between an accepted offer and closing escrow is generally one to two months.
This increase in accepted offers sustains other evidence of recovery in the housing market.

An economist at Decision Economics, Pierre Ellis, says home sales and building are in the process of “ongoing general, but gentle, progress.”

While we are no doubt a few years from a full recovery, housing prices are more affordable than they've been in decades and mortgage rates at all time historical lows.

If you’ve been thinking about buying a home or investment property, I’m happy to help you in the decision making process and consider your options. The window of opportunity is still open!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Detect, Prevent and Report Real Estate Fraud

If you know of anyone who is struggling to keep or has lost their home, you may want to read on. It’s easy to be vulnerable when under financial distress and there are people who will prey on those who are.

Enter “The Real Estate Fraud Advisory Team” (REFAT) which is a unique collaboration between the Ventura County District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit and Ventura County real estate professionals. The knowledge and expertise of this volunteer team assists in identify various frauds taking place and stays on top of the ever changing tactics of scammers who seek to take advantage of Ventura County residents.

REFAT has done such an outstanding job of finding and prosecuting scammers that they’ve successfully prosecuted over a dozen people for real estate fraud over the last year. Other DA offices throughout California and further have begun doing the same and are using us a model.

Here’s some practical advice to prevent consumers from falling victim to a scam:
Never pay an upfront fee for loan modification services. These fees are illegal.
Watch out for promises or guarantees of any sort. No one can promise that a loan modification will be successful.

Anyone offering to take over your payments in exchange for a fee is likely committing fraud. Homes have been lost and life savings have been wiped out.
Contact a HUD-approved counseling agency that can provide loan modification services for free.

If you think you’ve been approached in this manner or have been a victim of a loan modification or other scam, report it to the DRE, the FTC, the Attorney General, and the Ventura County District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit. We can’t do it without your help!

Check out the REFAT website – you’ll be surprised what’s been accomplished and they’ve only just begun. Or you can call their hotline at
(805) 751-5899.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Check Out Senior Living at it's Best!

5 open houses in one of Ventura's most desirable Senior Parks this Sunday from 1-4!

4700 Aurora Dr., #85, Ventura, CA 93003 (DRE # 01041434)

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Listing Above the College

This Ventura home for sale is located in sought after neighborhoodand and made for entertaining with open floor plan and lots of light. Remodeled full baths and new cabinets in kitchen. Formal dining room and a cozy breakfast area to sip your morning coffee. Spacious master has a balcony with ocean and island views. For more pictures and info on this and other Ventura homes for sale, visit my web site at or
Lic. #01061434

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Shred of Good News

Pending Home Sales in California Higher for Seventh Month in a Row

California Association of Realtors reported that pending home sales fell 9.1% in November 2011, but were up from a year ago. Based on contracts signed in November, the index came in at 109.8 (down from October’s revised index of 120.9). The index was up 11%, however, from November of 2010.

This marked the seventh month in a row that pending sales were up from last year. Equity sales (as opposed to short pays or bank owned homes)) accounted for more than half (55.1%) of sold homes in November, up from 53.9% in October and 54.4 % in November 2010.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Listing!

This 2 bedroom home is a treasure! 2 bedrooms on a large lot with hardwood floors (under the carpet) and dual pane windows. It's been well cared for (not a fixer). Located in a nice neighborhood on a large lot! $269,000. Contact me for details.

Lynn Kenton, 805-901-5444,,