Real Estate Information Archive


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NEWS!  New goverment program changes rules for "Short Sales" and "Foreclosures"

My office recently returned from a luxury home seminar in Houston,
TX, where we were certified for short sales under government’s new “Making Home Affordable” (“MHA”) program.

PLEASE NOTE:  This program totally changes the rules for short sales as well as the entire foreclosure and avoidance processes.

The MHA Program is MANDATORY!  It covers all loans on primary residences insured or guaranteed by FNMA, FHLMC, and FHA, plus those made by any of the 8,400 institutions insured by the FDIC.

To-date, 60 non-FDIC-insured lending institutions have also signed agreements to be included in the program.

It’s expected to cover 85-90% of all home loans.  Servicers have already begun implementing these new rules so it is essential agents understand how things will change, especially with regard to existing short sale procedures and paperwork.

How MHA Changes The Evaluation Process For Covered Loans:

FIRST - a loan modification option must be considered by the lender before pursuing any other option.

SECOND - if a loan modification is not considered appropriate, then – and only then – will a short sale be considered.

How MHA Changes The Short Sale Process – if a short sale is possible, the lender will:

  • Approve the short sale in advance.
  • Set the listing price.
  • Set the listing term. 

How MHA May Affect Existing Short Sales In Process

For reasons of efficiency & economy, we believe that many/most servicers will want to put all covered loans into the new program – i.e. if an existing short sale falls under the new program, we can expect the lender to halt that process and re-establish it under the new guidelines, with new standardized paperwork, etc.

How MHA May Affect The Coachella Valley

Although the new program covers the majority of outstanding loans,
it is expected to have an impact on non-covered loans, too.

The Coachella Valley has more than its fair share of potential exceptions,
given the high number of second- and vacation-homes, investment properties and luxury estates where outstanding loan amounts exceed the GSE’s loan limits.  Lenders will need to determine how MHA operational requirements will affect their handling of short sales outside the MHA process. 

Based upon answers to our questions presented to Scott Gillen, SVP, Strategic Initiatives with Stewart Lender Services, we believe many lenders will, for economic reasons, opt to bring existing procedures into conformance with the new requirements, even if their decisioning system includes an alternate path for loans that do not fit those requirements.

e-mail me with any questions you might have.




Rob Zwemmer


Palm Springs Real Estate Market - October 2009 Podcast

by Rob Zwemmer


by Rob Zwemmer


"If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend seven sharpening my axe."
~ Abraham Lincoln


OK, OK, - you've heard all the New Year Resolution stuff before. I'll try to steer clear of that topic today.

Going back to "Honest Abe's" quote, how many trees do you plan to chop down in 2009? 24? 48? 96? 300? The higher you plan to go, the sharper your axe had better be. What's more, most axe blades lose their edge after only a few trees. That means it will be necessary to step back from the hard work of chopping, and hone the blade numerous times throughout the year. Here are a few suggestions to keep your "edge" in 2009:

Planning is a necessary first step. If you don't know how many trees you want to chop, how will you know when you're finished? Will you be chopping small, medium or large trees? Apple, maple or pine? Will you take long powerful swings, or just hack away 'till they fall? Make some important chopping decisions before you begin.

Education is the next step. It comes in many forms, like books, recordings, videos, seminars, professional courses, and so on. Vary your approach to education to avoid boredom. Seminars and courses are an excellent way to boost your attitude by sharing ideas and strategies with colleagues and associates.

A positive attitude is critical too. It is the magnet that brings trees to your doorstep. Recreation is vital to maintaining that attitude. When you find yourself working 60 and 70-hour weeks, you'll also notice your energy level and attitude begin to dull very quickly. Learn to schedule time off for yourself and family members. Choose activities that leave no room for thoughts about work. You'll notice an immediate improvement in your tree chopping. Soon you'll be off to a flying start with a very sharp axe! Best wishes for the New Year!



“Inaction saps the vigor of the mind.” 


Leonardo da Vinci























Monday, October 12, 2009


By Rob Zwemmer                               


Good Monday Morning

82°F | 52°F




Pending home sales have increased for seven straight months ….


Pending home sales have increased for seven straight months, the longest in the series of the index which began in 2001, according to the National Association of Realtors report issued this past month.


The rise in pending home sales shows buyers are returning to the market and signing contracts, but deals are closing more slowly because of delays related to short sales, and issues regarding complex new appraisal rules.


And of course, the first time buyer tax credit ends at the end of November…and there is no doubt many first-time buyers are rushing to beat the deadline for the $8,000 tax credit, which will most likely boost sales and closings before the end of the year even higher.



But as we enter our last quarter, if history repeats itself, housing demands will start to decline in the autumn as seasonal factors influencing market demand, such as cold weather and the Holidays.


So it is imperative that both buyers and sellers be aware of the advantages and disadvantages they need to navigate as we head into the fall of this calendar year.


I am also expecting a grow of Canadian home buyers this fall , with the Canadian dollar almost at par. A lot of Canadian residents who missed the boat last time, will not miss the opportunity this time!


1 Canadian dollar = 0.968429 U.S. dollars


E-mail me with any questions you might have


Have An Awesome Week!

Rob Zwemmer






if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please e-mail me with their name and number, and I'll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.


It’s the perfect storm for home buyers

by Rob Zwemmer



Monday, October 5, 2009


By Rob Zwemmer



Good Monday Morning

82°F | 52°F


It’s the perfect storm for home buyers!



The summer is officially over and we are getting ready for our 2010 season here in the Palm Springs Real Estate Market. The temperatures are in a comfortable low 90’s and the golf courses are being prepped and seeded for our new season.


So let’s recap last month sales here in the desert!


The summer of 2009 was one of the best summers I have seen so far in the last 3 years. Of the total sales, 866 were recorded in the Coachella Valley — up 12 percent over September 2008, and slightly up from August of this year.


The median home price paid for a Coachella Valley home or condo was $178,000 in August, slightly down 1.5 percent from July.


Now, in a few local areas like Bermuda Dunes, La Quinta, Palm Desert and one section of Palm Springs — recorded sales that resulted in median home prices in the $200,000 to $275,000 range.


We have seen a small increase of sales in the luxury home market in September, vs the same month last year. Luxury home sales aren't easy to snare in these times, but they are happening.


Residential Inventory in the Palm Springs area is down to just over 5000 units. Take the current housing inventory and divide by the 866 closed sales for August, shows an inventory of 6 months….


A number that most would suggest is reaching a neutral market.


bank owned Homes and Short Sales still makes up for the majority of sales here in the desert.


It’s the perfect storm for home buyers. Deep discounts on properties, historic low interest rates and great tax incentives are driving home buyers to snap up these great opportunities.


To receive a complete list of bank owned Homes here in the desert visit:


What else do we see?


·        An increase of appraisals from banks for distressed homes over 4000 sq.ft.

·        Interest rates will stay where they are through next year

·        This is the final month to take advantage of the first-time home buyer $8000 Tax-Credit.

·        The highest-priced property out of the 866 sales fetched $2.2 million.

·        The Canadian dollar is still very strong.

      (1 Canadian dollar = 0.93 U.S. dollars)


There are still deals to be made! Don’t miss the opportunity this time!


E-mail me with any questions you might have


Have An Awesome Week!

Rob Zwemmer







by Rob Zwemmer


"It is of immense importance to learn to laugh at ourselves."
~ Katherine Mansfield


Feel like you're losing touch with your children? Wish you understood your spouse better? Want to enjoy closer family ties without the background noise of X-Box games or loud music? Does everyone seem to scatter the moment their last bite of food is swallowed? Introduce them to "the family game!"

It's a fun way to bring your family together at the dinner table and keep them there - without complaints. Furthermore, you'll soon have them willingly sharing their dreams, disappointments, likes & dislikes, interests, successes, and innermost thoughts. Finally, you will have created a new family tradition your children will delight in passing on to their own families.

Introduce your version of the family game at the end of a dinnertime meal when everyone is present. Don't make a big production of it, just ask everyone to remain at the table. Tell them you've heard of a fun game and would like to play it with them. Explain that each person at the table gets one turn (and only one turn). You begin by asking a question that everyone, including yourself, has to answer. For instance, your question might be, "What's the most embarrassing moment you've ever had?" Go around the table and let each family member contribute.

Once everyone answers, let the person at your left ask the next question. It might be, "What's the worst birthday present you've ever received?" or maybe, "If you could go back in the past and live in a different time, when would it be and why?" You'll be amazed at the sharing your family will suddenly experience.

Once the "family game" becomes a regular part of meals, add this twist: Before being seated, tell family members that they may sit in any seat at the table except their normal seat. The catch is that they must also "act" like the person normally seated in the chair they choose. This can produce hilarious results.

If your family seems fragmented and scattered, play "the family game." It's a natural for bringing joy, depth, communication and understanding back to your loved ones

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6