From the category archives:

Distressed Sales

Emeryville condo & townhouse trends

December 8, 2011
Read the full article →

Fraudulent short sale letters

November 7, 2011

Wow! Just when you think you’ve seen it all, here’s a new short sale story of fraud…from Chicago Title’s latest newsletter. This is the first I’ve heard of an inside job related to the lienholder!

Read the full article →

Flopping short sales…a no-no

October 17, 2011

There is no shortage of scams in the world of short sales. Chicago Title’s latest newsletter gives an example of the unlawful practice of “flopping,” whereby a seller and buyer are related parties and collude to execute a short sale…only to have the buyer flip the property afterwards and split the proceeds with his partner […]

Read the full article →

First-time homebuyers & short sale trends

October 3, 2011

My managing broker forwarded me this article on short sales and first-time homebuyers. It notes that first-time homebuyers have become a smaller proportion of all short sale buyers, citing frustration with the process. I’d also credit the many buyer agents who actively discourage their clients from engaging a short sale. However, buyers should be savvy; […]

Read the full article →

New law on short sales & deficiency judgment

August 19, 2011

Effective last July 15th, SB 458 expanded protection from deficiency judgment to sellers engaged in a short sale. Under the previous law—SB 931 passed in 2010, a first mortgage holder could accept an agreed-upon short sale payment as full payment for the outstanding balance of the loan. SB 458 now expands this to junior liens. […]

Read the full article →

Real estate IRAs

March 25, 2011

Steady rent revenue… Plus appreciation too… All accruing in your IRA tax-free/tax-deferred. Think beyond typical bank CDs, stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. Did you know you can invest in real estate via a self-directed IRA? I first heard of the concept from my old boss at RE/MAX Today, Richard Williamson. He introduced it at an […]

Read the full article →


December 11, 2010

Showed a foreclosed duplex this morning in West Oakland. Upper unit had 11-foot ceilings–quite a palatial feel. But here’s a closeup of its tall walls, smothered in nasty gloss paint that highlights the odd texture. Not a good combo. And toss in the drywall hack job all around–protruding joints because someone didn’t account for the […]

Read the full article →

Closing extension on $8K tax credit

July 1, 2010

Ratified a sale before April 30th but can’t close before June 30th to claim the federal 1st-time homebuyer tax credit? Well lucky you. Congress just approved an extension…and the President will likely sign the bill. Now you’ll have until September 30th, 2010 to close. This should be a relief to lots of buyers stuck in […]

Read the full article →

Webinars on distressed sales

April 20, 2010

Yours truly has a shiny new credential. Yep, I’m SFR: Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource-certified, a designation of the National Association of Realtors meant to heighten agents’ knowledge of the distressed sales market. Much of the training material should be familiar to any agent who’s done short sales and foreclosures. But it also imparted some […]

Read the full article →

CA tax policy change on forgiven mortgage debt

April 13, 2010

Yesterday, the Governor signed legislation to put California’s tax policy regarding forgiven mortgage debt in line with federal tax policy. This has huge implications for most sellers who recently sold their primary residences through short sales. Prior to the change, they were expected to pay state income tax related to the amount of debt that […]

Read the full article →