THE SECOND STORY | March 11th, 2010

Back in the saddle again….

Post photo: This is Stuart, or maybe he spells it Stewart. I didn’t ask. But Stu makes his home at Ruby’s Diner at the end of Balboa Pier in Newport Beach. He’s taking a stretch here, but I’d hate to think what it would be like if he took a nip! He was so tolerant with squirrely kids whose parents let them harass the bird. My friend Sandy – well, not so tolerant with the kids. YAY for Sandy and Stuart!

Post title: No I don’t ride horses. But the song with that title has cracked me up with its multiple meanings since I heard it used in the movie Sleepless in Seattle (yes, the ultimate chick-flick and I love it just as much today as back then).

If you read this on Friday, I should be on my way back to Alameda. I was scheduled to saddle up on a Southwest Boeing 737 for an afternoon flight. But instead I’m going round myself up and push them little engine horses midst the freeway herds in my dad’s 2007 Prius. (It’s on the floor mat recall list, not the stuck accelerator list).

To my surprise late this afternoon my dad wondered if I should drive his car to my house. And then sell it. I thought he meant flying down again to pick it up and then drive it back…then I realized he was talking about me driving it home instead of flying! I was nearly in shock. And I’d known something had to be done about the driving/car situation before I left.

Willing to listen to opinions and noting that I may not act on any of them, I talked to my son and daughter-in-law, brothers in FL and OR, and my step-sister, got pep talks from them, and just waited and listened for clues about how to broach the subject. Patience paid off, and the answers appeared without any extra or uncomfortable effort from me.

The trip to Newport Beach has been full of business mixed with some pleasure. The weather has been COLD, wet, super windy, sunny and combinations of them all. I spent time with my folks, caught up with dear friends, spent the weekend with Evan (who put a new computer system in place for his Papa most of Saturday), worked on closing a transaction this coming week, worked on getting an accepted offer on a listing, tried to deal with another offer, and attended a cine-meeting in Irvine hosted by Wells Fargo, not to mention the client calls and emails, and agent calls for info on properties.

What’s a cine-meeting? Loan officers invited their clients (agents) to attend a 2.5 hour event at movies theatres around the US as honchos from WF explained their take on the market, short sale processes, foreclosed upon properties, loan modifications, and what we might expect in 2010 as far as the market is concerned. They say the bottom has been hit. They say they have no expectation of holding back REOs from the market. It was informative, well done, and hey….it included a free box lunch! The large theatre I was at was packed with agents from all around Orange County. I was clearly the odd (wo)man out.

From the California Association of Realtors Money Market Matters (weekly news feed 3-11)

• Homeowners wanting to pay off their mortgage earlier than planned can do so by making extra principal payments. One extra full principal and interest payment a year will reduce a 30-year loan to about 17 years, and adding the following month’s principal payment to the current one will cut the loan almost in half. It is important that borrowers tell their lender the extra money is to be credited to principal. Homeowners should keep records of their payments and review it once a year to be certain the lender has followed directions.

(I can personally vouch for the extra principle payment per year but thought it brought the loan period to about 20 years. You can also get that same result if you pay half your monthly mortgage every two weeks. Using auto-withdrawals makes that very easy, if it’s offered by your lender. Dont’ pay extra for it! ) ms

• Private mortgage insurance (PMI) generally is required for home buyers whose down payment is less than 20 percent. PMI is added to the mortgage payment each month to protect the lender should the borrower default. By law, PMI must be canceled automatically when the loan balance reaches 78 percent of the home’s original value. However, some lenders are allowing borrowers to cancel this coverage when the balance declines to 80 percent of the current value, as long as the loan is at least five years old. Borrowers who have made their payments on time each month for five years should contact their lender or loan servicer to obtain all the details on cancelling the coverage.

(In the old days, borrowers needed to prove the equity position and the holding period for the loan was never (if I recall) an issue. Of course back then, MI or MIP or PMI as it can be known, was never tax deductible either.) ms

Alameda real estate this week….

My client did get an accepted offer on the two-houses-on-one-lot at 2128-30 Buena Vista.

Active listings 135, 127 last report
Pending listings 86, 41 last report

Highest priced and lowest priced new listings

Tuesday Tour 12 (I need to catch up!)

New 16

Back on Market 2

Price change 2

Pending 14

Sold 3

Expired 2

Withdrawn/cancelled 6

That’s it for now! I should be back on the broker tour, on schedule, on track, and on point once I return! Thanks for your patience and tolerance.

Carry on! marilyn

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I arrived in Alameda in 1973, as a new bride...with husband Carl Schumacher, both of us from Newport Beach. He was embarking on his career as a Naval Architect (i.e. yacht designer) under Gary Mull. Please see the 'ABOUT ME' page in this website! to see how it has all turned out! I'm so blessed!