Mar 30, 2010

Suspension of National Flood Insurance Program

Hello Neighbors,

This just in from our friend Chris Altobell with Farmers Insurance. It looks like buyers in Natomas may have a few extra hiccups:

Hi Jim,

The National Flood Insurance Program has been suspended; meaning new flood policies cannot be issued. This will likely have an impact on your clients looking to close escrow on a house in the Natomas area (or any other area) where flood insurance is required by the lender.

The flood program will not be reconsidered for extension until the Senate resumes its session on April 12th.

Here’s why it is being suspended:

1) The proposal for extending the flood program is part of a larger package of programs that are under consideration for extension. There is opposition to extending some of the other programs, not the flood program.

2) There are many in Congress who want to make reforms before granting a long-term extension to the flood program.

I’ll keep you posted on any further changes.



Have questions?

Chris can be reached at the following:

Altobell Insurance Agency
1700 Eureka Rd., Ste 120
Roseville, CA 95661
(916) 797-0990 (office)
(916) 214-2126 (cell)

Thank you Chris for the updates!

- Jim

Mar 25, 2010

California Extends Buyer Tax Credits !!!!!!!!

Hello Neighbors,

This JUST in... literally, not 30 seconds ago.

It looks like California is extending Buyer tax credits past the existing April / June deadline!

I will dig into the mechanics of the legislation more in the coming days, but here is the note we just received from the California Association of Realtors:

Dear C.A.R. Member:

I’m gratified to report that late this afternoon, Gov. Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 183, the Homebuyer Tax Credit legislation, into law. His actions today are the result of our efforts in Sacramento over the last several weeks as members and our team in the capital worked for the bill’s passage before it landed on the governor’s desk.

AB 183 will provide $200 million for home buyer tax credits, allocating $100 million for qualified first-time home buyers of existing homes and $100 million for purchasers of new, or previously unoccupied, homes. The eligible taxpayer who purchases a qualified personal residence on and after May 1, 2010, and on or before Dec. 31, 2010, or who purchases a qualified principal residence on and after Dec. 31, 2010, and before Aug. 1, 2011, pursuant to an enforceable contract executed on or before Dec. 31, 2010, will be able to take the allowed tax credit. The credit is equal to the lesser of 5 percent of the purchase price or $10,000, in equal installments over three consecutive years. Under AB 183, purchasers will be required to live in the home for at least two years or forfeit the credit (i.e., repay it to the state).

The positive impact of the federal home buyer tax credit is clear. Nearly 40 percent of first-time home buyers said they would not have purchased a home if the federal tax credit for first-time home buyers was not offered, according to C.A.R. research conducted last year.

The state’s previous home buyer tax credit program was so successful that it ran out of tax credits by the end of June 2009, eight months before it was set to expire and just as housing markets appeared to be turning a corner. Unlike last year’s legislation, AB 183 adds a tax credit for the purchase of an existing home by a first-time home buyer.

AB 183 will significantly contribute to the effort to stimulate jobs-creation within California's housing market by helping to incentivize first-time home buyers to purchase homes that have been abandoned, foreclosed upon and returned to the lender, or have been sitting on the market for extended periods of time. It is these homes that will require substantial rehabilitation by the new owners, which will in turn generate a tremendous increase in jobs and accessory purchases connected to home improvement activities.

Your Association’s efforts at the state and federal level to help protect private property rights and your right to conduct business are ongoing. This promises to be another busy year in the state legislature and in Washington, D.C.

If you’re not already involved in the political process, I encourage you to do so. You can go to for a quick guide to involvement opportunities at the local, state, and national levels.


Steve Goddard
2010 President

Woo Whoo!

- Jim

Mar 24, 2010

Neighborly Welcomes Noelle Pitts to the Team !!

Hello Neighbors!

It's been a GREAT week here at Neighborly!

The real estate team added a fine young lady to the group - Noelle Pitts.

Noelle comes to us with experience, and from one of the larger "corporate" brokerages. She got tired of the high costs of doing business with the large shops, and wanted to focus more on the customer experience - 1000% the Neighborly Way!

Welcome to the team Noelle, and thank you for spending your time with Neighborly!

If any of you need help, Noelle is full blast as of a few days ago. You can reach her at 916.600.7665. You can also email Noelle directly at

Woo Whoo!

- Jim

Appraisal Problems (Again)

Hello Neighbors,

More insanity with appraisals.

As we are seeing with just about every appraisal these days, the values are out of sync with the market. It doesn't matter if the appraisal is for one of our real estate clients or for one of our partner company's loan / re-fi clients.

On May 1st of last year, the government changed the regulations governing the appraisal industry. The regulation is known as “HVCC” – Home Valuation Code of Conduct. We are now getting appraisers from out of the area doing appraisals in areas

Here is a bit of background on the appraisal changes over the last year and a half:

My own experiences:

Thoughts from the industry in general:

From the National Association of Mortgage Brokers:

Our latest appraisal came in at roughly $11,000 below our offer price.

The appraiser isn't a high performer. He has used one comp that is bank owned property (that isn’t truly “like kind”).

What does it all mean?

If you are putting a large sum of cash into the process, then the appraisal value isn't as much of a problem. If you are using a high loan to value ratio, then you may be in trouble - having to renegotiate the contract, get additional appraisals, or a few other steps.

Remember - the valuation is more of a “comfort” level for the Buyer / Borrower. The appraisal isn’t used by any other entity – it’s not used by the County to determine your taxes, it’s not used by the home owners insurance company to determine value, it’s not used by any other group in this process.

I think my clients are getting this particular home at a good price (or I wouldn’t let us proceed).


Nope. We still don't have effective channels to provide feedback on appraisals or appraisers.

- Jim

Mar 3, 2010

Infamous Sacramento Landmark Up for Sale

Hello Neighbors,

This is a bit morbid, but an important part of downtown Sacramento real estate history.

1426 F St Sacramento, CA 95814

MLS# 10015576

List price is currently $309,800. It is bank owned (Bank of America), meaning the last buyers (who paid $560,000) defaulted.

This duplex has a very sad history. Back in 1988, this duplex was owned by a lady named Dorothea Puente.

This property comes with a ton of disclosures, including photocopies of the newspaper articles.

- Jim