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As printed in the OC Register / Saddleback Valley News

Written by Jim E. Flynn, Century 21 Beachside Realtors, Mission Viejo 

Are Non-Refundable Deposits Valid?

Jim, one of our friends told us that an Escrow deposit cannot be refunded if we see it written in on the purchase contract and noted "Nonrefundable" is that true. - Jack from Mission Viejo

What is a first time buyer --what is a principal residence ?

Jesse from Mission Viejo asks:  We have heard that there is a Mortgage Protection plan for first time buyers like us who would like to try to buy a home but are concerned about losing our jobs, etc.  What’s the story?

Bidding Wars Increase as Foreclosures Decrease

Wayne from Mission Viejo asked: Jim, tell me about the Real Estate market now, I am reading that foreclosures are not as big a factor as they were but, I am also seeing from my research on line that the properties that are price right are already sold or, have 3 to 6 offers already on them ?

Several rule changes for Mortgage loans

David from Mission Viejo asked: I have heard that there have been several rule changes for Mortgage loans so what is the first type of loan we should consider now?

Grizzly Bear Buyers Coming Out of Hibernation.

“RD” and Brenda asked:  Jim, from what we read it appears that 2010 may be getting a bit better for Real Estate and I bet you are glad to start a new year?. Were there really any good things you can say about the market last year?

What's the story about the recent mailings I received about reducing my property taxes?
Thanks for asking, just don't respond and get involved with any of these private company mailings. I have had several calls and questions from readers and other friends asking about these mailings.

I heard that FHA limits for California borrowers will be decreasing by more than $100,000 starting in 2009. Can that be true?
The FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Agency) has announced "new" conforming loan limits for 2009.

With home prices continuing to fall, do California homes still rank any where in the top 10 most expensive markets?
Along with the reduction in California home prices, real estate markets in many of the other parts of the country have adjusted commensurately.

Is a new FICO scoring system in the works?
Experts predict it could reduce default rates by between 5 and 15 percent

Consider low ball offers as a starting point
South County Realtor answers reader's questions about the local housing market.

Clients must be sold on city before buying into it
Mission Viejo Rose Parade entry will pique viewer's interest in the local real estate market.

Do you think falling home prices help anyone?
Real estate columnist says the 'spread' works in buyers' favor.

Four views on short sales, foreclosure reforms.
South County Realtor answers readers' questions.

How do we make money if we sell low and then buy low?
Columnist answers readers' real estate questions.

Lake Mission Viejo draws a diverse crowd
Columnist learns more about his neighbors while polling them on a recent morning.

Have we hit the bottom of the housing cycle?
Yes, most Realtors and brokers are encouraged at the report by Data Quick.

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Jim E. Flynn
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