FROM THE REAL ESTATE TRENCHES

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 By Charlotte Reed, Realtor, SRES, CRS

 
Real Estate is my business...my only business
 
July 30, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) –This week’s hot topics from the real estate trenches are: 
1- Scam of the week
2- Proposed "Good Faith Estimate Disclosure"
3- New Real Estate Laws
4- Free Light Fixtures
5- Current Mortgage  Rates 

1-The arrest and indictment last month of three California men accused of scheming to issue Counterfeit short sale approval letters from Bank of America, is just another scheme to take advantage of the unsuspecting public. The letters appear to be authentic Bank of America documents including the B of A logo.

Bank of America has asked those who receive these letters to call their bank to verify its validity. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles said in a statement, "As a result, home buyers and investors purchased homes they thought had a clear title but were actually devalued and subject to hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of liens." In another instant of such fraudulent scams, the defendants claimed to have friends working at the bank who would approve short sales for less than fair market value, federal officials said in a statement, "This allows the defendants to resell the house for a large profit. In some of the scams, defendants assumed the identities of homeowners and then sold or refinanced the properties."
 
There are many Real Estate Scams being perpetrated on innocent homeowners and buyers in these times of distress in the market.  It is always a good thing to remember, regardless of how trite it may sound, "if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is!"
 
2-In an effort to provide more transparency to the mandatory loan disclosure form signed by the borrower in the purchase of a home, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its final proposal to simplify and clarify this document. The objective in this revised version is so the consumer receives a clear, revamped disclosure that clearly states the terms, the interest rate they will pay, how it could change over the course of the loan and how much cash will be needed at closing General Director Richard Cordray stated.
 
3- From the: California Association of REALTORS Starting July 1, 2013, every contract for the sale of residential real Property must contain a specified notice regarding gas and hazardous liquid transmission pipelines.  This notice informs buyers that the U. S. Department of Transportation maintains the general location of these pipelines through the National Pipeline Mapping System at www.npms.phmsa.dot.gov. This new requirement is a response to the 2010 pipeline explosion in San Bruno and other tragedies that have occurred.
 
The new pipeline notice provides a valuable shield from liability for sellers and brokers.  Delivery of the notice to a buyer will be deemed to be adequate to inform the buyer about the existence of a statewide database for the location of gas and hazardous liquid transmission pipelines, and information from the database regarding those locations.  (Assembly Bill 1511)
 
In a separate law to commence on January 1, 2013, a county board of supervisors may adopt by resolution a charge up to $10 as the recording fee for certain real estate instruments.
 
4- While attending a Real Estate Related meeting in the South County I heard about Rebuilding Together San Diego, a nonprofit organization that is offering Free of charge an exterior solar light fixture that will be installed at no cost to the homeowner as part of their "light up the Neighborhood, one house at a time" program.  If interested, you can call 619- 231-7873 or go to their website: www.rebuildingtogethersd.org.  This organization provides home repair and renovation services free of charge to those who need it and operates year round to provide free minor home repairs and safety and energy efficiency modifications for low income, elderly, disabled and veteran homeowners and all repairs are performed by small volunteer teams.
To apply call 619 231 7873.  Like the warehouse for Habitat for Humanity who has a warehouse of donated materials in Mission Valley that is open to the public, Rebuilding Together SD also has a Warehouse that is open to the public.  Everyone is welcome to shop for donated new materials for the home including doors, windows, plumbing and electrical supplies, sinks, faucets, cabinets, general building fixtures and more.  Located at 2013 Franklin Avenue, San Diego, 92113 it too offers never used materials at  very low prices.  Of course, all proceeds go to the charitable foundation.
 
5-just heard from Tonya Suggs of IMorgage that this week homeowners with good credit will qualify for a loan with 3.50% interest on a 30 year fixed mortgage and 3.25% on a 15 year fixed mortgage.
 
Charlotte Reed works at the Windermere SoCal Real Estate office in La Mesa and can be reached at (619) 997-7333.