Just as yours truly got a sneak peek at The Century SF this week, another new, triangular-shaped condo building, is also taking shape. Here’s the latest from Linnea SF:
Delivery of Linea homes is tentatively scheduled for late Jan/Early Feb 2014 according to our contact there.
How To Get In First
The best positioning for would-be buyers is to reach out to someone like yours truly and we can then approach and secure a pre-qualification where the lender could do a rate lock. The sales office is reportedly doing a soft open this weekend and should be open to the public shortly thereafter.
Preferred Lender List
In case you don’t remember in condos and especially new condos, at least for the first half of sales — maybe even more than 1/2 the units — folks financing a purchase will have to use one of the lenders listed. From the list below, you get the usual suspects.
Why these folks only?
You might be asking yourself how come. Here’s how I understand it: other lenders will not fund on a building where one party — here, the developer — owns the majority of the units. It all has to do with debt obligations and priority of creditors should things go really South. Those other creditors may get first dibs and whatever assets can be liquidated leaving the other smaller ones with nothing.
Jackie Yi, Mortgage Consultant, Builder Division
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
201 Mission St, Suite 2200
San Francisco, CA 94105
Carrie Mickelson, Mortgage Advisor
Opes Advisors, Inc.
435 Pacific Avenue, Suite 350
San Francisco, CA 94133
NMLS # 360829
Michael Treon, Home Lending Specialist
One Sansome Street, 23rd Floor
San Francisco CA 94104
NMLS # 339550
Deborah Byrne, VP, Retail Sales Manager
Bank of America
1455 Market Street, 14th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
E- Fax: 866-517-5149
Rates are now up almost a quarter-point from the mid-November record low of 3.31 percent, but looking into the numbers, it’s clear that I shouldn’t be worried. Mortgage rates will be going up over the next two years—but not too fast, according to the most recent forecast by the Mortgage Bankers Association.
New Lending Short Sale Standards Coming
From the California Association of Realtors
Thhe Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will realign guidelines for Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-based short sales allowing lenders and servicers to qualify short sale borrower/buyers for a short sale quicker and easier.
Here are some specific changes that are effective Nov. 1, 2012:
Eliminates current Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac short sale programs and creates a single standard short sale process for both entities (Fannie and Freddie HAFA programs will expire at the end of the year).
Enables servicers to quickly and easily qualify certain borrowers who are current on their mortgages for short sales without waiting for an approval from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
Offers special treatment for military personnel with Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders.
Standardizes and clarifies foreclosure suspensions on a property with an approved short sale.
May pay borrowers up to $3,000 in relocation assistance.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer up to $6,000 to subordinate lien holders to expedite a short sale.
Additionally, FHFA clarified that a borrower experiencing a hardship must wait at least two years before becoming eligible for a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan.
These changes follow FHFA’s announcement in June that established strict timelines for servicers to respond to short sales within 30 days of receipt of a short sale offer, provide weekly status updates to the borrower, and communicate a final decision to the borrower within 60 days of receipt of the offer.
IPad Tools that Can Help Buyers and Realtors Alike Navigate the Field
A lot of my clients and folks who I meet at open houses always ask me what apps I use when I’m in the field. Realtors often ask the same type of questions too given the fact that I am the agent with the reputation of taking videos, photos and video conferencing during an open house or on broker tour for absent clients. Because I’m in the field a lot I’ve had a good chance to suss out the apps that work best for me. Of course everyone will have divergent opinions, but here are mine.
Is Anyone There?
One fundamental question we should address first: Namely, how do I get to these apps while away from a Wi-Fi zone?
For the past few weeks I’ve been fortunate enough to finagle and use a loaner iPad with AT&T’s LTE 4G service. At first, I was a little skeptical because of upload speeds, reception issues and all the other complaints I had about the original 3G iPhone.
But since then, I’ve grown to be rely upon this mobile accessibility as a utility. Either it’s improving in speed and coverage, I’m growing more patient, or a combination of the two; probably the latter as I am the inpatient type.
Verdict: it got better. Being able to access MLS data through Safari, being able to access dropbox documents easily, updating my website, social media and, of course, being able to use the apps I’m going to talk about here is addictive.
(Note: AT&T does prevent an LTE enabled iPad to tether – i.e., creating your own Wi-Fi hotspot using the LTE network as doing so would cannibalize their for-fee data plans).
Because Wi-Fi networks are not yet ubiquitous throughout the city unlike places like Mountain View, we’ll have to rely upon these LTE-equipped devices or other solutions such as mobile hotspot using LTE networks in the interim as these applications push and receive large amounts of data.
Now, for those apps.
I use three categories of applications when I’m out and about.
First, is notetaking; next, is reporting and dissemination; and last, are further research applications.
Penultimate – this is the simplest of all apps as it mimics having a notebook with you using your finger or stylus as a pen, marker or eraser. It allows you to select different types of “paper” like graph paper or wallpaper as well as allowing you to have different colors of “marker.” This app is great for those walk-through inspections, initial meetings, or times we need to draw something on the spot. The good thing is that you can PDF the documents and email them straight away from the app itself.
Notes – this is the native notetaking application in the iOS suite. It’s simple, a bit annoying when you enter addresses as it’ll automatically link them to maps, but nice to use because you can use Siri or the iPad version of Siri when taking notes. Again good for those thoughts that occur to you while you’re driving or when you need to dictate a long email or note like this one for example. But it does get a bit buggy when notes go on for a long time – better to use separate small notes. And, if you synchronize it with iCloud will have access to your notes on your desktops and email like. Also, Dragon Dictation is a great option for non-dictation-enabled devices.
Photos and Camera – self-explanatory really. Having the ability to take pictures for clients, colleagues and yourself, is essential for visual thinkers like yours truly. That said, always practice ethics when taking these types of pictures because some people will definitely mind if you do. Be sure you get permission first. One important thing is to have a photo editing application that is not your Instagram novelty type of application. Being able to crop, adjust brightness and contrast and save those changes is important. The simplest and easiest tool I’ve used is PS Express from Adobe. It essentially accomplishes all the above with the options of enhancing a photo even more. Also good that you can email and edited photo for save the photo to your camera roll
Magic Plan – this application uses your camera to take photos of a room that essentially will be able to be translated into – well, a floor plan. The application takes some getting used to and calibration. It’s continually improving by adding new features like adding photos and being able to compile all the plans into something cohesive. You can spend a lot of time trying to get this right – or you can still ask an expert plan maker to do it right the first time.
Face time – using this or Skype gives you the opportunity of being able to bring clients or relatives of clients into a place that they can’t make in person. Still the technology and network capacity is developing to meet the types of challenges streaming video and audio present, but Iimagine one day we will be able to broadcast 3-D – isn’t that a thought. The one thing I would say is it recording and or broadcasting video from the iPad camera is a bit cumbersome. Disconcerting also is that the default camera view is extreme close up!
Moving on into the research category explicitly there are two apps I especially rely upon: My Theo and Realtor.com.
My Theo is realtor-only tool for now in San Francisco but is one created by former realtors who lived and worked in the city. It’s attractive, graphical and easy to use application that was designed for realtors and consumers alike. It allows you to browse the MLS by map and access current information seamlessly. It also shows past market data, analytics and integrates broker tour an open house times as well. The latest version the good folks there have released allows agents to import and begin using customer relation management tools from iPad contacts. Plans are the works for a web accessible version for consumers and I’m sure the future is bright for these guys.
Realtor.com this is the granddaddy of the in-the-field, on-the-market apps. Why? It could do with that realtor.com has been pushed by the National Association of Realtors, who would arguably have the most access to the most MLS databases throughout the country.
Did I mention it’s free?
That said the information is a little truncated by design so that you will call your helpful agent to learn more. One example is that it won’t allow you to search for homes in or out of contract separately. The app allows you to share, browse, and do limited research for market comparables in a given area either defined by the user on a map or through GPS. It integrates GPS to create saved searches that can be e-mailed to you on a daily basis.
In San Francisco, [residential real estate] prices are being driven up by the soaring technology industry. In May, a record 211,400 people were employed in the city’s professional services sector, which includes computer design, an increase of 12,400 positions from a year earlier, according to the California Employment Development Department. Jobs in health care and private education services, leisure and hospitality also had larger-than-normal annual increases….
Freddie/Fannie/FHA Lending Guidelines
So most escrows are being held up thus delaying closings. Why? Underwriting since the housing crisis has swung the other way – almost perversely so. Underwriters will now scrutinize every transfer, dollar and cent of your down payment again and again. Underwriters will verify every link and every statement entry. Yes, all of them!
Nevertheless here they are:
Fannie Mae Selling Guide copy