Monday, December 28, 2009

Santana Row Bank REO Loft Condo $435,000

1099 square foot two story loft in DeForest Building now bank owned. These units sold for over $700,000 less than two years ago. Excellent quiet location on the rear top floors facing West. Just came on the market. Make a move to Santana Row while the few short sale and REO properties are available.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

2 new short sale listings - not on MLS in San Jose & Gilroy

Two excellent deals for investors or for home buyers who are getting cut out of the market due to "all cash" offers.

1. 4 year old home, zero lot line in Gilroy. 3 bed, 2.5 bath, just shy of 1,500 sq ft. 2 car garage. Excellent condition. One of the few homes in this tract with a full driveway. $325,000.

2. San Jose single family home. Details to come very soon. 1 week away from trustee sale. We have had great success even in these last minute opportunities to have trustee sales postponed. All we need is a listing agreement and an investor or home buyer to write an offer.

Let me know if you have an interest right away.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Wells Fargo Short Sale Success!

Very fast short sale approval process just concluded today with Wells Fargo. This was on an investor owned duplex in San Jose that was 7 days away from trustee sale when we started this project. Trustee sale was postponed when we submitted a ratified offer. All email transaction with the short sale negotiator. Full short sale approval in under 3 weeks - that's including a Thanksgiving holiday. Way to go Wells Fargo! Win for the bank, win for the borrower and win for the new investor.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

2 Investment Meetings this Week

Bay Area Apartment Brokers Forum - hosted by Richard Domich and Keith Suddjian at the First American Title Building in San Jose - every 2nd Wednesday of the month - 4th floor - from 8am - 9:30am. This month's meeting is Wednesday December 9th. Strictly a forum for multi-family investment properties - some mixed use buildings tolerated! Actually it is a great meeting that has been in existence for over 20 years. If you want the pulse of apartments in the South Bay - this is it.

The Income Property Marketing Group - hosted by Steven Pugh of Alain Pinel in San Francisco - at the St. Francis Yacht Club - 7:30am - 9:00am every 2nd Thursday of the month. An excellent meeting to discuss real estate investments throughout the Bay Area and Northern California. Heavy emphasis on San Francisco properties for sure. The knowledge base in this room every month is impressive. Small door fee of $5. This month's meeting is Thursday December 10th.

Looking forward to seeing new faces at these meetings. Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 4, 2009

San Jose Retail Strip Center & Fourplex Price Reductions

Just reduced to $1,600,000 - This fully occupied 5 tenant retail strip center at 302-310 Willow Avenue and an adjacent fourplex at 1011 Locust Avenue. Very well maintained property - excellent investment.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Downtown San Jose Bank Owned Fourplex

Just updated that a very nice fourplex that was part of a large multi-property bankruptcy proceeding, now a bank owned property, fell out of escrow because of financing issues. The deal is right off of East Santa Clara in the heart of the new downtown renovations. Offered at $549,000 for 2,600 square feet and a very attractive turn of the century building. This will move fast yet again. Call me for offer strategies.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Feng Shui Issues in Selling Homes

Buyer's agent called me today, thrilled about my new listing. Her clients have been waiting for a townhome in that complex to come available. She even said they will write an offer this weekend once they see the inside. Then the agent asked me: Which direction does the front door face? I said North - in fact, I use my iPhone compass application on every home I sell. Sadly for me her clients will not buy a home that faces either North or South - that's 50% of the market! Now, not every buyer has these same directional allegiances - many home buyers love homes that face South - they tend to be sunnier - or North for the same reason if the living spaces are oriented to the back of the house. I tend to not like high rise condos with West facing views - you roast in those units in the summer afternoon. East facing is difficult if you want to sleep in on lazy Sunday mornings - or you invest in black-out blinds. Find me a house that rotates please! By the way, my desk faces South East - what does that mean?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Real Estate on it's Head in Silicon Valley

For a bank owned home in Silicon Valley - buyers should offer 10% over asking and better be "all cash" in order to beat the competition.
For a "normal" sale - buyers can offer 5-10% below asking and get favorable responses.
For a short sale - buyers can offer less than 10% below asking and get sellers quite thrilled to take that offer to their short selling lender.

Now don't quote me on this - this is NOT completely factual - actually very anecdotal - yet, ask most buyers, sellers and agents in this marketplace and that is typical of what is going on.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Home Buyer Tax Credits


Who Gets What?

First-Time Homebuyers (FTHBs): First-time homebuyers (that is, people who have not owned a home within the last three years) may be eligible for the tax credit. The credit for FTHBs is 10% of the purchase price of the home, with a maximum available credit of $8,000

Single taxpayers and married couples filing a joint return may qualify for the full tax credit amount.

Current Owners: The tax credit program now gives those who already own a residence some additional reasons to move to a new home. This incentive comes in the form of a tax credit of up to $6,500 for qualified purchasers who have owned and occupied a primary residence for a period of five consecutive years during the last eight years.

Single taxpayers and married couples filing a joint return may qualify for the full tax credit amount.

What are the New Deadlines?

In order to qualify for the credit, all contracts need to be in effect no later than April 30, 2010 and close no later than June 30, 2010.

What are the Income Caps?

The amount of income someone can earn and qualify for the full amount of the credit has been increased.

Single tax filers who earn up to $125,000 are eligible for the total credit amount. Those who earn more than this cap can receive a partial credit. However, single filers who earn $145,000 and above are ineligible

Joint filers who earn up to $225,000 are eligible for the total credit amount. Those who earn more than this cap can receive a partial credit. However, joint filers who earn $245,000 and above are ineligible.

What is the Maximum Purchase Price?

Qualifying buyers may purchase a property with a maximum sale price of $800,000.

What is a Tax Credit?

A tax credit is a direct reduction in tax liability owed by an individual to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In the event no taxes are owed, the IRS will issue a check for the amount of the tax credit an individual is owed. Unlike the tax credit that existed in 2008, this credit does not require repayment unless the home, at any time in the first 36 months of ownership, is no longer an individual’s primary residence.

How Much are First-Time Homebuyers (FTHB) Eligible to Receive?

An eligible homebuyer may request from the IRS a tax credit of up to $8,000 or 10% of the purchase price for a home. If the amount of the home purchased is $75,000, the maximum amount the credit can be is $7,500. If the amount of the home purchased is $100,000, the amount of the credit may not exceed $8,000.

Who is Eligible fort FTHB Tax Credit?

Anyone who has not owned a primary residence in the previous 36 months, prior to closing and the transfer of title, is eligible.

This applies both to single taxpayers and married couples. In the case where there is a married couple, if either spouse has owned a primary residence in the last 36 months, neither would qualify. In the case where an individual has owned property that has not been a primary residence, such as a second home or investment property, that individual would be eligible.

As mentioned above, the tax credit has been expanded so that existing homeowners who have owned and occupied a primary residence for a period of five consecutive years during the last eight years are now eligible for a tax credit of up to $6,500.

How Much are Current Home Owners Eligible to Receive?

The tax credit program includes a tax credit of up to $6,500 for qualified purchasers who have owned and occupied a primary residence for a period of five consecutive years during the last eight years.

Can Homebuyers Claim the Tax Credit in Advance of Purchasing a Property?

No. The IRS has recently begun prosecuting people who have claimed credits where a purchase had not taken place.

Can a Taxpayer Claim a Credit if the Property is Purchased from a Seller with Seller Financing and the Seller Retains Title to the Property?

Yes. In situations where the buyer purchases the property, even though the seller retains legal title, the taxpayer may file for the credit. Some examples of this would include a land contract or a contract for deed.

According to the IRS, factors that would demonstrate the ownership of the property would include:

1. Right of possession,
2. Right to obtain legal title upon full payment of the purchase price,
3. Right to construct improvements,
4. Obligation to pay property taxes,
5. Risk of loss,
6. Responsibility to insure the property, and
7. Duty to maintain the property.

Are There Other Restrictions to Taking the FTHB Credit?

Yes. According to the IRS, if any of the following describe a homebuyer’s situation, a credit would not be due:

• They buy the home from a close relative. This includes a spouse, parent, grandparent, child or grandchild. (Please see the question below for details regarding purchases from “step-relatives.”)
• They do not use the home as your principal residence.
• They sell their home before the end of the year.
• They are a nonresident alien.
• They are, or were, eligible to claim the District of Columbia first-time homebuyer credit for any taxable year. (This does not apply for a home purchased in 2009.)
• Their home financing comes from tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds. (This does not apply for a home purchased in 2009.)
• They owned a principal residence at any time during the three years prior to the date of purchase of your new home. For example, if you bought a home on July 1, 2008, you cannot take the credit for that home if you owned, or had an ownership interest in, another principal residence at any time from July 2, 2005, through July 1, 2008.

Can Homebuyers Purchase a Home from a Step-Relative and Still be Eligible for the Credit?

Yes. As long as the person they buy the home from is not a direct blood relative, the purchase would be allowed.

If a Parent (Who Will Not Live In The Property) Cosigns for a Mortgage, Will Their Child Still be Eligible for the Credit?

Yes, provided that the child meets the other requirements for the tax credit.

Tony Guaraldi
Mortgage Consultant


Direct: (408) 342-8644
Mobile: (408) 504-3295
eFax: (408) 516-5922
Address: 10275 N. De Anza Blvd. Cupertino, CA 95014

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

United Commercial Bank seized by FDIC and sold to East West Bank

One of the largest banks in the US focusing on Asian American lending was seized this weekend by the FDIC. This is the 120th bank to fail this year. East West Bank, with a similar Asian American focus was chosen by the FDIC to acquire UCB's assets, loans, liabilities and branches. This is a boon for East West Bank - especially because the loan loss liabilities are covered by the FDIC. Locally, UCB had a $22,000,000 loan in default on The Globe development in Fremont. Construction lending was the core of UCB's business. Typically a high profit lending segment, although of course the high risk is evident in this economy. See the San Jose Business Journal article on this for more details.

Duplex Short Sale San Jose - Oakridge Mall

The acceptance of short sale properties is becoming the norm. There is a very nice duplex by Westfield Oakridge Mall which was put on the market 4 days ago. There are now 4 offers in hand and the listing agent is submitting the best one to the bank's short sale department tomorrow. This deal was priced aggressively low at $495,000 for a 2,100 square feet quality condition duplex - perfect for an owner-occupant. And that is what it takes to spur interest and get a home sold. The emphasis is to beat the foreclosure deadline and to alleviate the negative cash flow burden that the seller is facing. This underwater property may very well be stabilized by a new owner in the next 45 days. If you know of anyone who has a property that has negative equity, is facing payments that are way too high to handle or has foreclosure looming, talk to us about our short sale successes.

Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 2009

I love this race! Great way to pre-offset the gluttony of Thanksgiving - run a fun, flat, enjoyable 6 miles through downtown San Jose, Naglee Park and the Rose Garden. The 10K run finishes well running from The Alameda @ Race Street to the Shark Tank. This race continues to get more popular every year. If 6 miles is not in your training program, there is a 3 mile version through downtown that is great too. And this year Peirre Silber is sponsoring the costume contest - do I see visions of Bay to Breakers in San Jose as this race continues to morph?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wells Fargo Short Sale Department Wins My Respect!

I thought I was sunk with a short sale listing that I took just 6 days before the trustee sale date on the courthouse steps in San Jose. I had to get this done so that the owner could process a short sale instead of a foreclosure. I listed the property and got an offer in within the day. Signatures, tax returns, pre-approval letter, financial worksheet, hardship letter, listing agreement, purchase agreement, verification of funds, etc - all this took about 24 hours. I faxed the 35+ pages to Wells Fargo's short sale department last night at 6:30pm. Today at 5:45am I am sitting in my living room trying to see who I can contact to get some movement on this file - normal receipt processing time is 72 hours - not time that I have to spare with a weekend looming and a Monday trustee sale date. Luckily I found an email through a business networking site of a manager in the Wells Fargo short sale division - I shoot him an email at 7am, by 10:13am I get a reply with 3 cc'd Wells Fargo employees who are all searching for my file, 10:18am another cc email to THE guy who can stop a trustee sale and by 10:38am a personal call from that wonderful gentleman telling me the foreclosure has been postponed and assigning me a short sale negotiator! This group of people from all different parts of the country made damn sure that this property was not going to slip into foreclosure oblivion. Great job Wells Fargo!

Why Wells Fargo bought Wachovia and not Washington Mutual

Great insight into why Wells Fargo bought Wachovia. I just read this article as I was searching for ways to get my client's Wells Fargo short sale approved. The banking industry of course is very influential to real estate and knowing why banks do certain moves is power. Eric Meyerson's blog Free Rise is outstanding. He is a banking industry insider and San Francisco area resident. Check him out.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Proposition 60 Information 55 and over - Santa Clara County

As per site:

Proposition 60 allows homeowners 55 years of age and older to transfer the base year value of their principal residence to a newly purchased residence in the same county, providing that certain requirements are met.

The requirements, in part, for this exclusion include the following:

The replacement residence must be purchased or newly constructed within two years (before or after) of the sale of the original residence. The purchase or new construction of the replacement dwelling must include the purchase of that portion of land on which the replacement dwelling will be situated.
The principle claimant or the claimant's spouse who resides with the claimant must be at least 55 years of age at the time the original residence was sold. The claimant must be an owner of record of both the original and replacement residences.
The sale of the original residence must qualify for reassessment under the provisions of California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 110.1.
The principle claimant must have been either:
1. Receiving, or eligible for, a Homeowner's Exemption, or
2. Receiving a Disabled Veteran's Exemption on the original and replacement residences.
The replacement residence must be equal to or lesser in value than the original residence. "Equal to or lesser in value" has been defined as: 100 percent of the market value of the original property as of its date of sale if the replacement dwelling is purchased before the original property is sold; 105 percent of the market value of the original property as of its date of sale if the replacement dwelling is purchased within one year after the original property is sold; or 110 percent of the market value of the original property as of its date of sale if the replacement dwelling is purchased between one and two years after the original property is sold.
Special rules apply to multi-unit dwellings and mobile homes.
Relief pursuant to Section 69.5 (Proposition 60 and 90) of the Revenue and Taxation Code can be granted only once, except for certain circumstances regarding severely and permanently disabled persons as defined in Revenue and Taxation Code Section 74.3.
Claims must be filed within three years of the date the replacement residence is purchased or newly constructed. You must complete the claim form and provide evidence and/or declare under penalty of perjury that you are at least 55 years of age. Application forms may be obtained by contacting the Real Property Division of the Santa Clara County Assessor's Office at the number below.

For More Information Please Contact:
Assessor Real Property - General Questions, Property valuations and Propositions 3, 8, 60, 90
70 West Hedding St., East Wing
5th Floor
San Jose, CA 95110
Phone: 408-299-5300
Fax: 408-298-9439

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Short Sale Townhouse Willow Glen $515,000 San Jose

Best schools - Booksin Elementary, Willow Glen Middle and Willow Glen High. 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, two story townhouse in quiet complex off Malone and Bird. 1290 square feet. 1 car attached garage plus one car space in complex. Motivated sellers. Great condition. Come look at a great bargain in perfect Willow Glen area of San Jose.
See virtual tour.

Follow up to REOTrans soon to be Equator on Short Sales

According to CEO Chris Saitta, as of October 9th, REOTrans had 4,388 short sales in their system. For sure this number will skyrocket. As more and more banks who want to purge the glut of short sales through stream lined technology, will look at companies like REOTrans for help. The industry as a whole will benefit from transactions that are taking months, coming closer in line with traditional sales in the 30 day range. Buyers will also step up easier into that market when the grinding barriers to entry are lifted. Yes - that a bit heavy - but that's what it feels like sometimes!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Home Buyer Strategies 101

Most home buyers jump on the new listings that come on the market. There is a mad rush to the first open house and then a decision whether to offer on that home - typically with fear that others will do the same. For sure, those homes are worth looking at, but a better strategy tends to be looking at homes that have been on the market for a while, have had a price reduction (and if so how long ago), are vacant (typically more motivation there) or are truly overpriced. This last point needs some clarification. An overpriced home does not typically reflect a motivated seller - but there are sellers out there that will not reduce their price yet will cut a market rate deal when an offer is presented. I talk to a lot of listing agents before showing homes to a buyer to evaluate what is possible in each of these situations. Info wins!
By the way, setting up a listing alert specifically for "changes" in the listing is very beneficial - this will highlight price reductions as well as changes in the comments which may reveal a more motivated seller.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Interesting San Jose Condo Complex BPO

Interesting BPO just completed on a 2005 built residential condo complex in San Jose. Of the 13 active and pending in the complex, 11 were short sales and 2 were bank REOs. 12 of them were "in escrow" with the remaining unit taking offers in few days. Prices were in the $450,000 range for new units bought from the developer in 2006, now the base line trading value is between $245,000 - $280,000. The complex has two main issues - even though the units are very luxurious and in a good location - an HOA litigation and a very high rental to owner ratio. These two problems have eliminated most lender financing and relegated buyers to pay all cash. Obviously this then only brings in more investor buyers and keeps the rental/owner percentage the same or even worse. The short sale process seems to be taking hold well and that is a trend that will continue in the overall market as many banks prefer to short sale a property instead of the foreclosure alternative. Sales of approximately 5% of the complex happened this year at these low prices. What is worrisome are the 95% of remaining owners who are significantly under water.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

REOtrans now handling short sales

Bank of America and GMAC now using REOtrans to process electronically
their short sale offers. This is very beneficial because the paper
process of faxing short sales to banks had dragged out those deals for
months. I've heard over and over about agents (including me) talking to bank short sale departments to verify that they received faxed contracts - only to be told "it takes 5 business days for them to hit the system" or "we have no record of that submittal, please fax again". Now documents can be uploaded to transaction files with verification of receipt. This should speed up the short sale process immensely.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, October 19, 2009

Short Sale Fourplex San Jose

There is a very well located fourplex in the Cambrian area of San Jose. Fully occupied, 2 bedroom, 1 bath units, each renting for $1,300. The building is offered at $699,000 and depending on bank short sale approval, may be delivered at a much better price. Contact us for our pricing and analysis guidance.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sunnyvale Bank Owned REO Fourplex

Very good deal in Sunnyvale for three 2-bedroom units and one 1-bedroom unit on Ayala. FNMA owned building which allows for 10% down non-owner occupied financing. 3,000 square foot property on a 7,840 square foot lot near north Sunnyvale. This is a good deal with very decent upside in a strong rental market. Offered at $725,500.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

2 Great East Oakland Apartment Building Deals

18 units, built in 1990 with no rent control in the Golf Links area. 20,742 sqft with gated underground parking. $2,200,000. *** 9.11 GRM***

19 units, built in 1990 also no rent control, virtually next door to the above 18 units. 20,742 square feet, *** 8.96 GRM ***

Excellent way to pick up 18, 19 or 37 units in a strong rental market.

These properties are priced very well and will move fast.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sold! Fabulous Townhouse in Willow Glen

We just closed escrow today on a wonderful townhouse that we had listed in Willow Glen on Delbarr Court! Offered at $549,000 and sold for $545,000. If you want us to sell yours too, please call.

Kohl's Opening 37 stores tomorrow - Mervyn's death yields Kohl's expansion

In 2003 Kohl's - based out of Wisconsin - opened 28 stores in California. A market that any retailer would want to be in. This was made possible by the bankruptcy of KMart. Kohl's bought the leases through the bankruptcy court at a discount and in bulk. Late last year, Kohl's successfully bid on 30+ leases that Mervyn's had at that bankruptcy auction. Now, tomorrow, Kohl's is having a mass grand opening expansion of 37 stores - most in California. This is a good sign that there are still good fundamentals in retail amidst all the retail store closures recently. If you can buy a discounted lease and have decent retail sales of mass market appealing wares, you can be profitable. Kohl's further steps in to the battle with market segment leader Target - who had owned Mervyn's until 2004 when it sold to a private equity partnership. Smart move Target! And perhaps a better move for Kohl's - we shall see...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Real Estate Market Segments and Good Moves

Common thought in the housing market is if you are selling a small home and buying a bigger home in the same market (let's say the South Bay) or doing the opposite by downsizing - then it doesn't matter if the market is a soft seller market or a hot seller market. High or low - you are simply trading across - a la the tide raises and lowers all boats...

True in a "normal" market. But is any market "normal"? And really - this market is not that at all. Because of specific abnormal issues affecting the market (lack of good first time buyer financing, REOs and short sales in abundance, decent financing for homes <$700,000 and ugly financing for anything above $1M, the condo market suffering HOA funding issues and lenders shying away from lending in those complexes, etc.) The market is segmented in ways that will allow certain buyers/sellers to gain over others.

The typical trade up buyer selling a small single family home or a townhome with the right criteria in the sub $700,000 range (that is not a short sale) will attract great buyer interest and sell at a very good price. That same client will also benefit very well as a buyer in the over $800,000 range due to a lack of buyers in that market and significant softness from REOs in certain areas (just look at what you can get in Evergreen/Silver Creek Country Club areas for $1M+ - VERY nice housing.

Every market has it's ideal moves, this market has ideal moves that are super-charged because of these highly unusual factors.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Loan Mortgage Update 9-25-09 from Tony Guaraldi

The Fed held the short term Federal Funds rate steady at 0.25% this week which was no big surprise. They will likely keep the short term rates low for several more months. One key piece of news from the Fed meeting this week that everyone was waiting for is their policy on the purchase of mortgage backed securities from Fannie/Freddie. They said they will extend the program through the end of March 2010. However, they will not increase the amount of dollars they will spend on the program. Instead they will slow down the frequency and volume of their purchases to allow the program to last longer. They committed 1.25 Trillion dollars for this program earlier this year, and that dollar amount has not changed. It is a given that once the Fed ceases its purchases, that interest rates will climb significantly higher…most likely back above the 6% area. So instead of a hard transition with a large bump in rates, the Fed is attempting to allow rates to gradually rise.

The funny thing is the bond market had a good day on this news and continues to be in rally mode today even though the Fed did not commit any additional dollars to the program. Most likely the reason is because the headline with the word “extended” gets the people excited and the market reacted to it. In actuality it is likely that the gradual reduction in purchases will bring rates higher and produce more volatility! Rates will be on the rise soon and any delays by consumers will likely result in higher mortgage rates. I would expect that the average 30 year fixed mortgage rate will be in the low to mid 6% range by end of Q1 in 2010, and I expect a gradual rise to get there over the next six months.

Well as a result of this week’s Fed announcements and other negative economic reports rates are looking better than we have see in the past several months! Great time buy a home, great time to refinance, great time to get moving!!!

Tony Guaraldi
Mortgage Consultant
Intero Mortgage

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wachovia or Wells Fargo loans in default? Let's talk short sale

Wachovia bank which has approximately 25% of it's loan portfolio in default status has a very aggressive stream lined process for short sales. They are processing short sales within 10 business days of a ratified offer being submitted to the bank. Their intent is to eliminate the possibility of a future foreclosure which will cost everyone more money. Wachovia's process (which was taken over by Wells Fargo) has proved so successful that Wells Fargo is considering the use of the Wachovia short sale team to handle the Wells Fargo defaulting loans too. I wish all banks get to this state of proactive loan processing. And if you know of anyone with a loan in default (or sometimes not even in default) and they are upside down in their home, have a true hardship (now or in the future) and want to consider a short sale - call me - we can evaluate the situation and very likely provide a solution.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Single Tenant NNN Family Dollar Store for Sale

Just listed is a Family Dollar store in Akron, Ohio. Amazing pricing on this solid investment property. 9.0% cap rate at a $737,733 list price. Corporate leased store by a company that is doing very well in this current economy. Over 8 years left on the lease. Corporate tenant pays for taxes and insurance. The store had $1,350,000 in sales last year. $52,000 average household income in a 5 mile radius with 240,000 population in that same area. This is a wonderful investment and amazingly priced.

Now - why is it so well priced? There is a lack of 1031 exchange buyers in the market since last year. This typical single tenant net leased investment would have sold to a west coast buyer who was selling his single family rental house with $400,000 in equity. Now that same rental home has $100,000 in equity - not enough to do an exchange and with that same house rented - why sell now? The buyers went away for the low price point NNN deals - and of course that affects the chain going up to the larger shopping center investments.

This is a great opportunity for someone with cash on the sidelines or an investment property in the right location that has not lost it's equity in the last 18 months. This same Family Dollar store will sell at a 7.5 cap rate in a couple years when the market solidifies. Very good deal indeed!

Monday, September 21, 2009

3 REO Bank Owned Office/Warehouses San Jose

1198 N 4th Street @ Hwy 880 - 12,650 square feet, on .46 acre fenced lot, space can be divided into 4 units. Approximately 50/50 office & warehouse in current configuration. Offered at $1,125,000.

6150 Hellyer #100, commercial condo, 6,093 square feet, built in 2006, shell interior, gorgeous commercial park at the south end of Silver Creek Valley County Club area. Amazing price per square foot for new product. Offered at $700,695.

1939 Monterey Hwy, three side by side commercial office condos. One is plumbed for 2 bathrooms. $295,000 for each unit. Very near The Plant retail mega-center.

These are three outstanding bank owned values in San Jose. Call us to tour.
Mario Pinedo, CCIM 415-269-6249

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cupertino Schools Bank REO Condo $278,900!

Newly listed Bank of America REO condo on Auburn Way in San Jose with Cupertino Unified School District, 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath, two story townhouse style condo, 1099 square feet - offered at $278,900! Great deal. Hurry. Two offers submitted as I write this. Although property is still available.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Condo Complexes in a World of Hurt

Perpetuated by rampant special assessments by Home Owner Associations that were never funded sufficiently, lenders are shying away from lending on these properties. FHA is currently revising it's guidelines with respect to "approving" certain condo complexes. The current situation is there are certain condo complexes that were built to FHA approval specifications. The one's that did not go through this process (most in the Bay Area because prices were way above what FHA would lend) had to get "spot" approvals. This took weeks and made FHA loans on these complexes far less attractive. Now it looks like all complexes will not have FHA approval and all will be required to be spot checked - ughh!!!
FHA was the one source for low down payment loans on condos recently - at 3.5%. Otherwise at least 15% down for conventional loans. If FHA becomes far more difficult to use, then far fewer buyers will be buying condos - not a good sign for a market that is already soft due to all the REOs and short sales.
Financing is key - and the single family home market is relatively firm because financing is readily available.
Is there an opportunity in the condo market - absolutely yes - but when, that's tough to say.
One complex is so underwater on Technology Drive, that listing agents are suggesting cash offers only!
That complex is 5 years old, had sold at prices above $500k for 2 bedroom units, now units are offered at $249,000, and many of the units are rentals, which is another major deterrent to lenders. Add the potential of a special assessment or HOA litigation and you have a true nightmare. Beautiful property too.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Appraisal Law Taking Values Lower

Ever since the new appraisal regulation came in to effect, it has made a significant impact on the value of homes. The law was enacted to place a separation between lender and appraiser. It was thought that an appraiser may be beholden to a specific lender who routinely gives them business. Some appraisers needed only one lender to fill their book of business. Can there be influence in a situation like this? - of course there can. Can lenders push appraisers to come in with appraisal values at or above the contract price? It doesn't seem unreasonable that this occurred.
What is happening now is perhaps backlash or maybe it is an adjustment to the right level or maybe it is a pendulum swinging way past where it should rest.
Lenders and Realtors now are at the mercy of an appraisal. These are normally completed a week or so before the purchase transaction is due to close. Now, we are crossing our fingers that the price comes in at or above the contract price (worsened by overly cautious appraisers and bank REO comps that sometimes are the only comps) and the conditions spelled out in the appraisal are not deal killers (examples - repair all termite work including Section 1, Section 2 and Further Inspections and repair/replace any and all items that the appraiser found faulty - remember we are selling homes that are 10-90 years old and then some).
How does this affect pricing? Easy - deals fall apart when a seller thought he had a home sold at a certain price and with certain repairs/costs to be absorbed. Now a week before closing, the seller is required to do major work to the property - sellers tend to object, buyers do the same and then deals fall apart. This means more time on the market, more inventory, more Days On Market, and eventually lower prices.
Was the law effective - yes - was it overly effective - probably yes too. If a lender is going to lend a home buyer a few hundred thousand dollars to buy a house - should that lender not be able to pick a trusted professional to appraise it's risk - I think so. Can this process be flawed - of course - but for a true laissez-faire believer - this is best. Ah well, we shall see how this plays out in the next year.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Open House Short Sale Townhouse Willow Glen

Today from 1pm - 4pm. Come view this wonderful, updated townhouse near downtown Willow Glen at 2052 Delbarr Court off Malone and Bird Avenue. Check out the vitual tour then come see the real thing! $515,000. 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, two story, 1290 square feet. 1 car garage plus a one car assigned space in complex.

Monday, September 7, 2009

New Short Sale Townhouse Listing in Willow Glen

$515,000 for a lovely 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2 story townhouse in a quiet and small complex in Willow Glen. Low HOA dues of $175 per month. 1 car garage plus an assigned open space. Great schools. Come to see this home on Sept 13th open house or sooner by calling me at 415-269-6249.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Corole Rodoni Speaks to Intero About Housing

Listen to 10 minutes of Carole Rodoni's review of the current real estate issues of the day. She has been consulting and researching the Bay Area real estate market for decades and has always had great insight.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Short Sale Condo Berryessa Area Not on MLS Yet

Just listed, 2 bedroom, 2 bath short sale condo. Ground floor in modern complex. Very rare attached 2 car garage. Patio, 2 master suites, 1040 square feet, nice condition. Offered at $249,000. 2 bank owned REO condos in same complex in escrow already at similar prices. This is a deal and no huge competition like the bank owned deals. HOA just spent $800,000+ on repairs and modernisation in complex. HOA dues are approx. $480 per month. Call me for details and to write an offer on this property.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Zillow Zestimate Values - How they are derived

Good video from explaining clearly how the Zestimate is derived. Please let me know what you agree with and what you don't.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Trulia Voices Question - Convert Campbell Detached Garage to Legal 2nd Unit?

Absolutely POSSIBLE - there have been many 2nd units done in the Campbell area legally. Of course, the City will require everything done according to code - while this may not sound unreasonable - the cost of making a true 2nd unit legal may cost far more than what you may want to spend. The best solution would be to check with an architect and have some plans drawn up. The architect will check with the City and see what needs to be done to make this legal. Some initial blocks that will come up that may derail the project are set back requirements of the structure. While the garage may be "grandfathered legal', any re-work to the space may trigger all new approvals and zoning compliance - 5' from side property lines, 20' from rear, etc. If you don't own the home yet, perhaps consider a duplex which was built legally as 2 units.

Trulia Question - Arbitration or Not?

Do most buyers opt for arbitration? Question arose from a buyer who has an offer in to a seller. The seller is requiring the arbitration clause signed or no deal.

Yes, in most contracts, the buyer and seller agree to arbitration. Though this may not be the best solution depending on what transaction and which party you are. By not agreeing to arbitration up front, this does not eliminate the option if a litigious situation occurs - but then both parties must opt for arbitration. By opting for arbitration, then you are forced into that situation without choice. Arbitration is effective in the most part to save money and time, but it very well may limit what you can achieve in a full blow court situation. By the way, most attorneys, who buy homes, don't opt for arbitration, obviously.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Short Sale Commercial Warehouse Condo for Sale Union City

Short Sale APPROVED on this 2,452 square foot commercial warehouse condo in a great location in Union City. Very convenient to highways 880, 92 and the Dumbarton Bridge. Offered at $399,000 - this is a great price per square foot for this building in excellent condition. Address is 33371 Croation Way, Union City, CA.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Santana Row Area Apartment Building for Sale

10 units near Santana Row, Winchester Blvd and 280 for sale at a very attractive price.
7,050 square foot living building on a 12,000 square foot lot, fully rented, nine 1 bedroom units and one two bedroom unit. $116,000 gross rents annually offered at $1,300,000. Great 1031 exchange replacement property. Rents are strong and stable in this market segment. Excellent opportunity to buy into a good rental market. Call me to tour this property or to see the other great apartment deals available that we are tracking.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

San Jose Silicon Valley Real Estate First Time Home Buyer Seminar

Our very informative first time home buyer seminar is scheduled for Thursday August 20th from 6pm - 7:30pm at the Intero Cupertino office. Tony Guaraldi of Intero Mortgage will talk about current financing options and our manager Jess Wible will talk about buying opportunities in the REO, short sale and conventional markets. Buyers in 2009 will do very well in my opinion. Get to the class and let's start looking at your first home.

RSVP please as seating fills up every meeting.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

*** Need a Buyer for Approved Short Sale Townhouse in San Jose ***

After 4 months waiting on a short sale approval from the bank, buyer is no longer around. Short sale is now approved and I need a buyer for this great deal by Friday, August 7th! $400,000 price for a 2 year old townhouse, 1,496 square feet, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, end unit, 2 car garage, HOA is only $158 per month! View the virtual tour here. Address is 3234 Lago De Como Place, San Jose, CA 95136. Call me to tour as soon as possible!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Absolute NNN California Burger King

Walmart pad ABSOLUTE NNN Burger King with 9 years left on lease. Built in 1998, this Burger King is operated by a master franchisee with 40 stores. Personally guaranteed by the franchisee. Currently $115,000 per year rent to landlord. Offered at $1,695,000. No landlord responsibilities! Perfect 1031 tax deferred exchange replacement property. Let's run the numbers on your single family rental or fourplex and see how much more you can get in income and without the headaches of management.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Great Neighborhood Bank Owned Duplex Santa Clara

Off Bascom and Newhall - very close to Santa Clara University, Westfield Valley Fair and Santana Row is a quality duplex now owned by the bank. 1,550 square feet, 2 bedrooms and one bath on each side. Shared two car garage. Upgraded kitchens and baths, hardwood floors, vacant units. This is a very nice duplex investment in a solid neighborhood. Nice, easy investment property. Let me show you the numbers and the area. $575,000. One more short sale duplex in the area too. May take a long time, but well worth the wait.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

1031 Tax Deferred Exchange Strategies

Ron Ricard of Investment Property Exchange Services, Inc sent the follow article regarding current investors strategies paired with the 1031 exchange:

Investors are Buying

Today's educated investors are repositioning their investments and buying up "deals" during this dip. Purchasing at today's low prices can allow investors to have positive cash flow with single family rentals that, in some markets, are normally purchased primarily for appreciation. Investors are beginning to sell assets like apartment complexes, commercial and industrial properties and using the cash to exchange into multiple single family rental properties that will cash flow immediately. When the real estate market turns positive, these investors will be poised to gain maximum appreciation and will continue to reposition their real estate investments utilizing the benefits of a 1031 Exchange.

Some Creative 1031 Exchange Strategies

1. Sell commercial/industrial/retail properties and buy multiple single family rentals
2. Sell single family rental properties and buy desirable vacation rental properties
Many vacation areas are priced at record lows
3. Sell vacant land and buy single family rentals, vacation rentals or commercial/industrial/retail investment properties
4. Sell investment properties and buy a "dream" property that later can be converted to a principal residence
5. Converting from or to an IRC §1031 "Qualified Use" may offer tremendous favorable results

For your 1031 questions, Ron Ricard can be reached at 408-483-1031 or

Monday, July 20, 2009

Good Time to Buy Apartments?

Great time to buy investment real estate? Depends. For sure in the single family home market, prices are down significantly. Interest rates are also at close to all-time lows. So, yes, very good time to buy. The apartment market is different altogether. Because first time buyer financing is harder to get and also due to many foreclosures making homeowners into tenants, there are far more renters in the marketplace than normally would be. Therefore, rental rates are up and vacancies are down. Most apartment owners are happy and not very motivated to sell. Read: no good deals here. The one opportunity I see is in the duplex – fourplex market. Here there has been financial trouble because of the loose financing that occurred. Compare this to the financing of apartment buildings above 4 units which has always been very conservative. There are short sales and bank owned foreclosures to be had in the duplex – fourplex market. And with rents up… yes, good time to buy.

4plex Cap Rate Same Same Comparison

I just ran an analysis on a 4plex which traded hands in 2006 for $950,000 and now my investor bought it two months ago as a short sale for $700,000. The GRM went from 16.5 to 12.2. The Cap Rate was 3.5% and now is 5.2%. Yes, definitely better numbers. Even better is the cash flow after financing because interest rates dropped approximately 100 basis points.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Santa Clara County Foreclosures Rising Again

Check out the article by Mercury News real estate reporter Pete Carey about the rising tide of Foreclosures in the Valley. The tide is rising again, somewhat buffered by the Obama plan and other local governmental agencies artificially halting foreclosures. This will stretch out the problem so that the pain will be felt more evenly over the next couple years. Expect a significant impact in listing inventory as we get past September.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Great Specials on New Condos in San Jose

- 2 bedroom, 2 bath downtown San Jose new high rise condo for $354,550!
- Another building offering 3.99% financing this weekend with 5 units on special.
- and my favorite building's best floor plan 1 bedroom on special for $395,000. Great deals on the City Heights, 88 and Axis.
Call me to tour!

Mortgage Update July 2, 2009

Rates have been holding and slightly improving over the past week. Adding fuel to the fire for mortgage bonds today was a stinker of a jobs report. The Labor department reported a loss of 467,000 jobs in the month of June. The national unemployment rate rose to 9.5%, its highest since 1983. Any time there is negative economic news the safer fixed income investments such as mortgage bonds get the benefit.

On Monday of this week China, the largest holder of US debt, announced they will continue to purchase our Bonds as part of their current foreign-currency reserve policy. China holds $763B of the $6.45T in US debt. This was great for mortgage bonds as China’s buying has really helped to keep our interest rates low over the past several years. Why do they do it? They wish to devalue the Yuan against the dollar so their exports to the United States are cheaper for the American consumer. The United States is the largest buyer of manufactured goods from China, and they want to keep it that way! By weakening the Yuan against the dollar it helps to ensure that American demand for Chinese goods will remain strong. Mortgage bonds get the benefit of this when China buys our debt.

Turn times are starting to improve for conventional loans, which is great news for the purchase market. The reason is that the refinance boom came to a halt when rates went up and origination volume decreased significantly. Conventional underwriting is much faster than the past several months, but there are still delays from the new appraisal process started on May 1st of this year. Over all it’s good to see lenders getting caught up with underwriting. I would still allow extra time for condo deals and FHA. Contact us with specific scenario questions as it’s always case by case for turn times.

That’s it for this week. Have a great 4th of July!

Tony Guaraldi
Mortgage Consultant

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Commercial Retail Tenants Poorly Represented

It's a sad fact of the commercial real estate world that small retail users of space and for that matter also small office space users don't get good representation or they get none at all. Economics play a big factor in this. If a business owner needs 1,000 square feet of retail space for a new venture and he wants to have a 2 year lease at a rate of $1.50 per month, the compensation for the work is too small for the effort. A commercial leasing agent is looking at gross commissions in the range of $1,000-$2,000. Yes, that is not small potatoes. And yet, when compared to the work of finding the space (think no MLS, lots of sign calls, hitting commercial marketing meetings), setting up appointments to show the space (few small spaces with lockboxes, setting up appointments with landlord reps), a month of lease negotiation, attorney review time, city approval (heaven forbid a conditional use permit process), touring of architects and contractors, and then dealing with huge costs of starting up a business - that may dissuade the hopeful retail operator from actually signing the lease... I could go on and on... Many leasing agents don't see the economic benefit of allocating the time and effort. The realty then tends to be budding business entrepreneurs driving themselves around and calling on signs in the areas they think they should be. Many times not considering other areas that very well may support their business model better. Then calling landlord reps directly - who of course have their fiduciary duty to their main client - the landlord. The prospective tenant then signs whatever lease proposal hits the table. It's not equitable by any means. Solutions are grim - the best would be to hire a leasing agent - not by the commissions expected on a landlord sided fee offering - on a flat fee agreement sufficient enough to warrant the work. Few bootstrap business people want to fork out that kind of fee. OK - that's my gripe for the day - based on a commercial tenant who called me yesterday finally realizing the gravity of the lease document they signed years ago.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Short Sale 4plexes are Gone

The market is improving all around. I cannot say this is our firm bottom by any means. Although, there are a lot of buyers and their agents chasing single family homes, townhouses and condos with multiple offers and going over asking prices. What I found interesting is that this wave has finally come over to the duplex - fourplex market. A few months ago, there were some outstanding short sale opportunities in west San Jose, specifically near Southwest Expressway and San Jose City College. Now those deals are all in escrow - some 3,500+ square foot fourplexes were listed at $650,000-$750,000. My client just bought a fourplex on Leigh Ave - very nice property - Pollack & Gambord style - for $700,000. If that property went on the market now, it would easily be worth $800,000+. We were in a short sale escrow for approximately 3 months and the market moved higher in that timeframe. There are still some deals that are not being chased, but they are becoming fewer. Has the market really turned...? Comments and thoughts please!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Last Year's Bank REO is This Year's Short Sale

It's not this year's Black is the last year's Ecru... Although it is interesting to see that a bank owned condo in the mid-Peninsula in early 2008 is now on the market as a short sale some 15 months later. Yes - all bank deals are not necessarily good deals! And for sure, the banking regulations and scrutiny have become more intense in that period. Good for consumers and banks to have loans decided on their true merits and stability. I also believe that the first wave of bank owned properties last year were the beginning of the slide and many buyers thought otherwise. Most bank properties now are selling quickly in the Peninsula and the South Bay. Some though, especially the higher end homes are sitting and taking price reductions. There are good reasons to not jump in necessarily on a deal just because it is owned by First National Trust and Co, Ltd..

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

San Francisco Apartment Building Short Sales and REOs

We are tracking a large investor group that is having their apartment acquisitions over the last 5 years liquidated or restructured by their bank partners. Approximately 50 of the 250+ buildings held by the group were given back via Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure. Another 12 buildings are currently being marketed for sale via a mutual agreement of the banks and the owners - essentially a formalized short sale process. 6 of these assets have already gone pending. The properties range from Tenderloin difficult properties to a Marina building ideally located one block from vibrant Chestnut Street to a heart of Chinatown property. All of which are essentially fully occupied properties. This is the best opportunity I have seen since starting the business in 1991 to acquire a solid San Francisco asset at a reasonable down payment and cash flow!

Monday, June 15, 2009

City of San Jose Downpayment Assistance for High Rises

The City of San Jose just opened up the downpayment assistance program to the new high rises in downtown. These will included The 88, City Heights, 360 Residences and Axis. Assistance of $50,000 for one bedroom units and $60,000 for two bedroom units are available. These are no payment loans - the cost of the loan is the pro-rata appreciation of the unit when you sell in the future. Example, if you buy a $400,000 J plan one bedroom at The 88 and use $50,000 from the City for a downpayment, this is 12.5% of the purchase price. When you sell, you would pay back the original $50,000 plus 12.5% of the profit. Very good deal. This paired with some fantastic deals in price that are being offered and you have a great opportunity to buy your first home. Call us for the current best values in downtown.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Technology and Real Estate

I know I've touched on this topic before and I truly believe it has very important investment impact for commercial property owners & investors. Why today though? Well, as a guy who is perhaps on the verge of becoming a relatively young tech dinosaur, this topic is close to my heart. Meeting a friend at Starbucks this morning, she wanted to give me some songs so I could update my Ipod workout playlist. I was handed a microscopic 4meg chip that she easily popped out of her smartphone. My one year old Blackberry had no apparent slot for this media card. I had to open the back plate, pull out the battery and then dig for the media card to take out. Obviously not a new enough smart phone for 2009! Also, today the big media buzz is about the new Palm Pre and the price slash on the 3G Apple IPhone.
My concern over technology and real estate is - not the "what happened to all the retail space taken by travel agencies" but now: What will this freedom and freeflow of information and entertainment do to how we live our lives and where we spend our money? I would like to throw this question out there and ask for ideas on where this will take our need for housing space, retail space and office space. Square feet per occupant has got to go down (just think of all the saved space when the tube tvs and rack stereo systems are replaced by a flatty and an ipod - yes I know this already happened...) and in the workplace everything is shrinking except the size of the employees (think better nutrition). Any thoughts? (See what a tall soy latte is capable of doing?)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Absolute NNN or Ground Lease?

A majority of the single tenant NNN properties that are Ground Leases are marketed at a lower cap rate than traditional NNN leases. The (ir)rationale for this is that the tenant pays for all the improvements built upon the land and the LANDlord has no responsibilities. So, therefore, some would assume that the investment is more valuable and should therefore sell at a higher price/lower cap rate. I disagree...
What the landlord does not get in this scenario is the ability to depreciate the building - this value goes to the tenant. The shift of this financial benefit from landlord to tenant usually is very significant. And to pay a premium for this less-than situation is ridiculous. The far better alternative is the Absolute NNN lease. Whereby the tenant pays for absolutely all costs of the property and the landlord still has technical ownership of the improvements (building) so he can still depreciate the property.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Another Technology Real Estate Death

Near the corner of Stevens Creek at Lawrence Expressway in San Jose is a new for lease sign. It sits in front of the recently closed approx. 4,000 square foot Blockbuster Video store. 10 years ago this would have been a very hot NNN investment property - little did people see how technology would reshape the real estate world. We want to be very forward thinking whem investing in commercial property. What can change in the next 5 or 10 years - the time frame when you may want to sell or exchange. Food is hard to sell on the internet. But cell phones as an example - do they require such an abundance of retail stores? Banks are also significantly shrinking their retail space requirements. All these changes morph strip malls and the investment outlooks behind them. That's what I think while waiting for my haircut at Supercuts.
Mario Pinedo, CCIM
Intero Real Estate
Office 408-342-3155
Cell 415-269-6249

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Where to Invest?

Or what to invest in? That was a question just posed to me by a new friend of mine. Big question if you think about it. It all started off by her asking me if I liked Pinkberry frozen yogurt as we were walking through Santana Row. Then the conversation went to the competitors in that marketplace - Red Mango and others. Good or bad for an investor? They are making a volume of sales for sure. Does that make for a good real estate investment? I would say in general no. Starbucks was the industry darling for quite a few years. Everyone wanted a strip center with Starbucks as a tenant. And those single tenant Starbucks and strip centers sold at a premium (lower) cap rate. Now, with Starbucks closing locations, this darling is no longer courted. And owners of these will not be able to sell at the same premium cap rates that they bought. Starbucks was a trend - it didn't seem so at the time - it seemed as if the world economy had shifted to have an endless demand for coffee. Pinkberry is also a trend and trends wane. I'm boring and conservative when it comes to real estate investments - I like unhealthy hamburger and boring drug stores over flash in the pan froyo and grande lattes. And then there is the thing about location...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Estate Quality BANK REO near Silver Creek

Feel like you are on vacation in your own home! Breathtaking views of golf course & city lights from this elegant Ponderosa Ridge home. 6 bedrooms,3 ½ baths with upgrades throughout. Excellent floor plan with marble, hardwood floors, new carpet & paint. Spacious master suite with fireplace, vaulted ceiling, huge spa bathroom. Open kitchen and family room overlooking pool and flagstone patio. 3 car garage. 4,001 square feet on a 15,681 square foot lot. Built in 1999. This is a very well priced bank deal in the Silver Creek area. Just came on the market. Offered at$1,319,900. Call for a tour quickly. I am holding this home open Sunday, May 10 from 1:30-4:30. 4751 Whitetail Lane, San Jose, CA 95138

Investing in Short Sales and Bank Owned REOs seminar

This Thursday at Intero Cupertino we will be holding our investment seminar specifically focused on short sales and bank owned properties. Our manager Jess Wible and Jason Smiley from Intero Mortgage will covering many strategies on how to invest well in this market. Only 6 seats remain for this class. Please email or call me to RSVP. This Thursday, May 7, 2009 6pm-7:30pm.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Warehouse and fenced yard San Jose

Very good deal and excellent location for an industrial warehouse property with parking for trucks or equipment. $1,300,000 is the asking price for this freeway exposure property currently rented by an asphalt paving company. There is over 5,000 square feet of warehouse and dock space. Over 20,000 square foot lot. This parcel is right at the "clover leaf" of North 101 going to South 880. Perfect deal for a construction company that wants to own their own space.

Call me for a tour:

Mario Pinedo, CCIM

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Communications Hills Townhouse Bank REO $425,000

Two bedroom, two and a half bath, modern townhouse built in 2002. 1,264 square feet, end unit model on Communications Hill. Great location. Granite upgrades, Views!, two master suites. Two car garage. Too much to list. Great value! Call me to tour 415-269-6249.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Loan - Purchase Perspective - It's not all about rate

From Yulin Lee of Opes Advisors, Yulin is one of my trusted advisers in the lending world:

Since January we've been seeing historically low conforming loan interest rates. It seems we've almost gotten used to having them around.

Most recently we've been seeing some incredible rates for jumbo loans. This is great news for the high cost Bay Area and it opens up new opportunities for both purchases and refinances.

It's easy to get enamored by great rates. But rates aren't the whole story. The rest of the story includes having the chance to consider the many other variables involved and to reveal opportunities and potential threats that aren't immediately apparent.

In fact, all the buzz about low rates led a client to contact me about a purchase he was considering. Rather than immediately jumping into a rate conversation, I suggested we take a broader look at what he wanted to accomplish.

Taking advantage of Opes' blended expertise of Wealth Management and Mortgage Banking; we looked further into his financial situation and discussed his financial goals. Through this planning, we assessed that increasing his down payment somewhat would enable him to get a considerably lower rate. We were also able to demonstrate that he would be receiving the equivalent of a guaranteed return of 8.25% on the additional down payment money.

Whether securing a home loan for a purchase or a refinance through Opes Advisors, we provide our clients key financial advice. And, because comprehensive financial advice is so important to meeting financial objectives, we do this at no additional charge. Here is a link to some of our client case studies.

Please contact me to discuss a specific situation or to review the potential impact of options that are being considered.

Best regards,

Monday, April 20, 2009

Union City Pre-Foreclosure Warehouse Condo for Sale

2,452 square feet warehouse condo for sale at 33371 Croation Way, Union City, CA 94587
This is a short sale with financing from a conventional bank and the SBA (Small Business Administration). Seller is facing foreclosure. Looking for an interested buyer who can make an offer subject to obtaining bank and SBA short sale approval.
Ideally located near Hwys 92 and 880.
Call to tour this great property perfect for your business.

Commercial Office Building BANK REO San Jose

New bank REO in a great location of South San Jose near Silver Creek Valley Country Club and Hwys 101 and 85. 6,093 square foot stand alone office building, well built out with 7 perimeter offices, two conference rooms and a break room. Also approximately 60% of the space is open floor plan for cubes or lab/work space. 100% drop ceiling. 8.7 per thousand parking with reciprocal parking agreements. Built in 2006 in a complex of similar office buildings, this deal is very well priced. Offered at $175 per foot for almost new product or $1,066,275. Call me to tour this great opportunity.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Home Buyer Workshop April 21, 2009

Intero Mortgage is hosting their monthly Home Buyer Workshop
Tuesday April 21st, 6pm - 7:30pm
10275 N De Anza Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014

* Home Purchase Process Step by Step
* Credit Reports Revealed
* Mortgage Options Currently Available
* Jumbo Loans to 2 Million
* Conforming with 5% Down
* FHA with 3.5% Down
* Min Credit Score 620
* Title & Escrow Process
* New Tax Credits From Fed. and CA

Tony and Jason give a very informative talk on how to finance a home in this market. This is well worth the time for anyone looking to buy a home. Please email me or call to RSVP.

7 Bank REOs in Los Gatos

A total of 7 bank owned homes in Los Gatos available now. These are some very nice deals. Call me to get a run down of which would work best for you.

17450 Phillips Avenue - $2,750,000 - gorgeous estate home, gated entry, 5,725 square feet.
15433 Blossom Hill Road - $1,399,900 - 4,324 square feet
101 Via De Tesoros - $949,000 - 3,505 square feet, gorgeous pool, setting, amazing price per square foot in a great area
301 Blossom Valley Drive - $749,000 - 1,602 square feet - very nice house in Los Gatos
16449 Lucky Road - $1,919,000 - Monte Sereno address - 4,913 square feet - modern light filled home. A short drive up the hill from Hwy 9. Spectacular views.
16040 Escobar Avenue - $1,225,000 - 2,096 square feet - very pretty house on nice lot.
15075 Garden Hill Drive - $825,000 - 2,106 square feet on over 19,000 square foot lot - large fixer upper in great Los Gatos schools

Mario Pinedo, CCIM
Intero Real Estate
415-269-6249 c
408-342-3155 office

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mortgage Update April 10, 2009

The big news this week was Wells Fargo announcing that earnings a positive number for the 1st quarter of this year to the tune of 3 billion dollars. The was largely due to high mortgage origination volume and also some profit taking by the bank. The mortgage bonds improved big time this past quarter, and the lenders have dropped rates as a result. But at the same time they are taking fatter profit margins per deal because the demand for loans is so high, they can price in more profit per deal and still have more than enough business. Additionally, a major reason that earnings were higher for them this past quarter is due the change in “Mark to Market” accounting earlier this month. I think we will see a positive trend here with other banks major US Banks as a result of the change in Mark to Market accounting. The bank also went on to say that the Wachovia acquisition is exceeding expectations.

In other news, Initial Jobless Claims were reported at 654,000, still a bad number but better than expectations. The Bank of England left their benchmark interest rate steady at a record low of 0.5% today and said it will continue to buy government bonds in an attempt to keep the UK from falling into a deeper recession. This is more good news for the global financial system.

The market is closed today for Good Friday. We’ll be around this weekend. Gave a good one!

Tony Guaraldi
Mortgage Consultant

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Santana Row Loft for RENT

FULLY FURNISHED LOFT FOR LEASE: Perfect location A-2 floorplan loft with a large master bedroom suite upstairs, including stackable washer & dryer, deep soaking tub, walk-in closet, and bonus alcove perfect for an office. Downstairs is a 2nd bedroom area with half-height walls - very nice for guest bedroom or roommate situation. Large 1/2 bath on ground floor, wonderful kitchen with granite counters - views of Santana Row - facing Taryn Rose store and above H&M - very unique additional parking downstairs - one assigned underground parking space plus AN ENCLOSED ONE CAR GARAGE IN THE UNDERGROUND PARKING GARAGE - perfect for tons of storage or to completely secure a high end vehicle. Offered at $2,450. Available June 1, 2009. Call me for an appointment 415-269-6249

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

$8,000 Tax Credit for First-Time Home Buyers in 2009

Buy this year and you can receive a tax credit up to $8,000!

A new law could put up to $8,000 in your pocket via a first-time homebuyer tax credit that does not have to be repaid.

But you must purchase a property this year to qualify.


When do I need to purchase to qualify?

If you buy a home between Jan. 1 and Dec. 1 this year and close escrow during these dates, you will qualify for a tax credit up to $8,000 - as long as it is your primary residence and you meet the simple requirements.

How does the law define "first-time homebuyer"?

The law defines "first-time homebuyer" as a buyer who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase.

What are other requirements to qualify?

All U.S. citizens who file taxes are eligible to participate. An income limit of $75,000 a year for individuals and $150,000 a year for joint filers also applies.

How do I apply for the credit?

Taxpayers should use IRS Tax Form 5450 to claim the first-time homebuyer tax credit.

Does the credit have to be repaid?

No. Unlike a similar tax credit passed in 2008, this $8,000 tax credit does not have to be repaid to the IRS.

( email blast April 7, 2009)

4plex Investments in San Jose

There are some very good deals out there. And there is also a very fluid market too. If a property hits a certain price point, there are buyers who are lining up. I just went after a fourplex in San Jose. Decent condition, large property, fully occupied were the upsides. Crowded "fourplex neighborhood", not a great unit mix were the downsides. Approximately 4,000 square feet building with a short sale asking price of $675,000. After a few days, the listing agent has 5 offers! I'm sure this deal will sell very close to what they are asking or even higher. To land a good deal out there, I suggest being fast and when need be, aggressive. These low interst rates and low prices make for some very good cashflows. Buyers this year will be very happy down the road.

Stunning Estate Bank REO in Los Gatos - Open House April 11th.

Amazing Bank owned REO estate in Los Gatos. Huge, gated property very close to downtown Los Gatos. Outstanding schools, great demographics, perfect place to call home for a long time. Countrywide Home Loans took this property back and they are pricing it very low to get it sold! I am holding the home open on Saturday, April 11th from 1:30-4:30pm. Or call me for a private tour anytime this week. You will fall in love with this house and with the opportunity. Home is at 17450 Phillips Avenue, Los Gatos, CA 95030. Offered at $2,750,000 (new price as of April 7, 2009)for 5,725 square feet on over 4 acres. See the virtual tour here.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

2 Stunning Short Sale Homes in Saratoga


Leonard was built in 2007 and never lived in! Amazing opportunity to buy a true estate home in Saratoga.

14190 Victor Place, Saratoga, $2,300,000, 5 bedrooms, 6.5 baths, 6,000+ square feet. Built in 2002. This is a wonderful home in a perfect location. The short sales were brain damage last year, now most banks are returning decisions in less than a month. Don't wait till this home becomes an REO and then there will be multiple offers.

Call me to tour - these are worth seeing.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Open House Bank Owned REO in Monte Sereno Stunning Estate Home

This Countrywide bank REO is an amazing opportunity to buy a stunning estate home in Monte Sereno, a short distance to downtown Los Gatos and downtown Saratoga. Over 4,900 square feet on 1.69 acres, stunning valley views. 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, Saratoga schools, built in 1990 with walls of glass to view the valley below. Easy access to the home from Saratoga Los Gatos Road @ Greenwood. I will be showing this home on Sunday April 5th from 1:30 - 4:30. Please come and see what this downturn in housing prices has to offer you. Asking price is $1,919,000.

Come to the open house even if this may not be the perfect home for you. This is a great time to talk about the market, plan your next move, strategize and find a solution to your housing desires. I am always glad to talk face to face - although it is very un-techie!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Bank REO San Jose Great Price $124,900

828 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 1 very nicely remodeled bath, open floorplan on 2nd story of two story building. Great location in complex near main gate. Bank owned by Countrywide. Very good value in Berryessa area. Offered at $124,900. This is a steal!

San Jose Bank REO on Communications Hill

2,200 square foot end unit townhouse in wonderful Communications Hill with views. 4 bedrooms and 4 baths! Bank owned by Countrywide, offered at $594,900. This home has had many upgrades including granite counters and located across the street from a quiet park. Very wonderful home and very well priced. Call to tour today.

Friday, March 20, 2009

1031 Exchange Timing Issue

Normally the 1031 tax deferred exchange of investment property allows for 180 days from the sale of your relinquished property to acquire the replacement property. That is what most people remember as the amount of allowable time. People tend to forget the second line of that regulations which states -or until the next tax return filing - by the way, that is not a direct quote. 180 days is maximum time allowed and it can be shortened if you file your taxes. An example would be if an investor closes escrow (through a 1031 exchange) on Dec. 1st. 180 days ahead would be approximately the end of May (depending on leap years, etc.) If you file your taxes on April 15th or sooner - that date then is the last day of your exchange. The reason for this moving target is that the IRS wants both legs of the exchange reflected on the tax return. The solution is simple to keep the full 180 days - file an automatic extension. Then, when you actually file your taxes, you will have hopefully completed your exchange and can reflect the whole transaction on the form.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My office partner Christine Kim and I attended a live home auction on Tuesday in San Jose off of Capitol and 680. There were some 25 bidders in attendance with down payment cashier's checks in hand. Three properties were to be auctioned - all three were open for public viewing over the last few weeks. A small starter house in the 7 Trees area started at $50,000 (an obvious teaser price if I ever saw one) and sold for $207,000. The second home which was in a similar area with additional square feet sold for $280,000. The bidding depth was light. There were only a few serious bidders - or perhaps after the $50,000 price was blown up, the other bidders quickly became quiet. The interesting thing about this auction was that the winning bid was not contractually binding - it still had to be presented to the bank (REO department) for their approval of the price. The bank could easily reject the offer as too low and the deposit money would be immediately returned. This is the background of why many REO listings on the MLS had previously been offered at auction. Yes, there is always a winning bidder, and no, that does not guarantee that the home will sell. More definitive of a market is when there is no "strike-price" and the auctions are "absolute". Then the true market value is more easily achieved. Worth the effort - yes - we suggest the drive through at In and Out Burger prior to the auction to keep you content through the process.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Full Catwalk Loft Santana Row Short Sale with SR View

Great short sale opportunity in Santana Row's DeForest Building. This is an "A-3" floor plan with the full catwalk. 1,250 square feet. View of Santana Row. Blonde wood cabinets in kitchen. Very nice unit. This may be one of the last financially strained sales in Santana Row. Prices for these units were $100,000 higher less than a year ago. Call me for a tour.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Santana Row Short Sale Loft Condo

There is a very good opportunity to purchase the largest "A" model in the DeForest building. 1,250 square feet of two story loft with the full catwalk and an outdoor approximately 600 square foot patio facing the back side. Offered at $550,000, this short sale will sell at a very good value. And, do not be discouraged by short sales anymore. I am seeing decisions by the banks coming in within 30 days. I just had a two-lender short sale approved for a fourplex in that timeframe. Now is the best chance since the units first sold to buy into Santana Row. Call me for a tour.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Los Gatos Bank REO - Huge, Good Condition & Pool

3,500 square feet on an over 10,000 square foot lot in a pretty part of Los Gatos off of Quito Road. Very nice pool and two story "trex" decking and pool house! Not Los Gatos schools although schools are very good. Offered at $999,900 - this home had offers a few weeks ago and just fell out of escrow. Very nice deal and great home to live in for a very long time. Call me for a tour - you will be intrigued.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Large Family Home Sunnyvale Bank REO $679,900

1,832 square feet with 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, two story home in a nice Sunnyvale location near Fair Oaks and El Camino. Well priced and in good condition. Come check out one of the opportunities in a nice Sunnyvale neighborhood.

Two Bank REO Homes in Evergreen (San Jose)

Two awesome opportunities from Countrywide's REO listings in Evergreen:

Fronda Drive at Flint, 4 bed, 2 bath, 1772 square feet, nice quiet street, good sized lot, in very nice condition $495,900

Nickel Avenue off S. King, 3 bed, 2 bath, 1,200 square feet, great starter single family home, offered at only $340,000!!!

Let me know if you want to see any of these deals.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Commercial Short Sales

The commercial short sale market is dramatically different than the residential short sale market. The commercial market is just starting to have negative issues, about a year after the residential market started to slide. What was normal a year ago in the residential market - banks not willing to negotiate short sales and being quick to foreclose - is the way commercial banks are acting now. They have yet to "get it" and will learn the hard way. I am dealing with a short sale in a commercial warehouse condo right now and the banks involved (a major bank and the Small Business Administration as a second lender) are not willing to consider a short sale until the borrower defaults for a few months. Foolish attitude. The residential lenders realized that this did not make sense about 6 months ago and the transactions started to flow. The commercial lenders will have to go through this learning curve too - hopefully not as long - we shall see...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Home Loan Modification Blog

I just started building a blog for home loan modifications. Obviously this is a large and growing aspect of real estate this year and for sure for years to come. Please see what I have offered and let me know what you think. Thanks!