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So, you are in your home-sweet-home. Ownership has many rewards, so it is important to maintain that ownership!

Here are some tips and advice on how to keep your head above water:

  • Review the budget you set up for yourself. Are you staying within those limits
  • Check with a tax advisor to make sure you re getting the maximum write-off on your loan interest. This can mean hundreds of dollars a month
  • Watch how much you spend when you first move into your new home! This is a dangerous time to run up big credit card bills buying all of that furniture you want
  • Be sure to put a little extra away every month to cover unexpected expenses like a new hot water heater or dishwasher
  • If interest rates fall more than a half point in the months after you buy, consider refinancing your mortgage. This could save you a great deal of money over the life of the loan

The government may have the right home for you!

With all the bank foreclosures and the mountain of short sales, we forget that the government is also in the foreclosure business. Government back mortgages get returned to the government and are available for purchase. Here are a few programs that you might be interested in

HUD Homes

I can write HUD offers for you! HUD has indentified buyer types that are eligible to purchase HUD-owned homes. Certain conditions must be met to determine the eligibility of a buyer to bid on a particular home. Only registered bidders can make offers on properties. Homebuyers must use a registered selling broker or selling agent to make an offer on their behalf.

Owner Occupant: Eligible owner occupants are individuals who have not purchased a HUD property with the past two (2) years. They can bid on homes in the Exclusive or Extended periods. Owner occupants rank above nonprofits and government agencies in the bid-selection process for Exclusive and Extended listings.

Investor: Eligible investors can bid on homes only in the Extended period and are ranked below other types of bidders in the bid-selection process.

Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac will offer homebuyers and select non-profits an exclusive opportunity to purchase HomeSteps homes prior to competition from investors through the Freddie Mac First Look Initiative. This on-going initiative offers owner occupant homebuyers, Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) grantees and non-profits engaged in community stabilization efforts the ability to purchase HomeSteps homes during their initial 15 days of listing (30 days in Nevada), without competition from investors. The purchaser does not need to be a first time homebuyer to be eligible provided, however, that they are buying the home as their primary or secondary residence.

Fannie Mae

A foreclosed property can represent a great opportunity and a good value — but a HomePath property can offer even more. Some homes may qualify for special incentives, and many can be purchased with a low down payment and flexible mortgage terms through HomePath financing.

Fannie Mae’s innovative First Look marketing period was created to promote homeownership and contribute to neighborhood stabilization — allowing homebuyers to bid and purchase foreclosed properties before they are made available to investors.

Details include:

    • First Look is typically the first 15 days a property is listed on (Nevada is 30 days).
    • Properties in the First Look period have a countdown clock on the property information page of displaying the days remaining to purchase.
  • Eligible buyers during First Look are owner occupants*, public entities and their partners, and some non profits.

If that’s not enough

Several federal agencies have properties to sell. In fact, HUD sells both single family homes and multifamily properties. Check them out- one might be just what you’re looking for!

Single Family Homes for Sale

 - From HUD
 - From the Department of Veterans Affairs
 - From Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
 - From Internal Revenue Service
 - From US Army Corps of Engineers
 - From Customs
 - From the U.S. Marshals Service
 - From the Department of Agriculture Rural Development

Related Links

 - From Fannie Mae
 - From Freddie Mac
 - From

Multifamily Properties

 - From HUD
 - From Fannie Mae
 - General Services Administration
 - Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Low Income Purchase Assistance (LIPA) Program

The City of Los Angeles Housing Department’s (LAHD), Low Income Purchase Assistance (LIPA) Program offers purchase assistance financing to eligible first-time, low income homebuyers seeking to purchase eligible homes in the City of Los Angeles.  LAHD provides assistance in the form of a deferred loan for purchase assistance (down payment and closing costs).

LAHD also provides additional purchase assistance loan funds through the American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI) Program. All low income applicants are automatically considered for ADDI loan funds when applying under the Low Income Purchase Assistance (LIPA) Program.


  • LIPA – Up to $60,000 for purchase assistance, down payment and closing costs (loan funds may be used to cover closing costs up to 5% of the purchase price) AND
  • ADDI – Six percent (6%) of the purchase price or $10,000; whichever is greater.


  • Property must be located in the City of Los Angeles (See list of LA Communities).
  • Standard sales, REOs/Foreclosures, and Approved Short Sales.
  • Condominiums, Townhomes, or Planned Unit Developments (PUD) built between 1979 – 2010.
  • Single family homes built between 2000 – 2010.
  • One (1) unit properties only.
  • Homebuyer must occupy the home as their Primary Residence.
  • Property cannot be tenant occupied.
  • All properties applying under the LIPA and ADDI programs will be inspected by LAHD.  LAHD does not charge for the property inspection.
  • The property must be in very good condition and cannot have any Code violations or illegal rooms/structures.  Any minor property deficiencies or repairs identified by the LAHD inspection will have to be repaired or cured during escrow and paid for by the Buyer or Seller.
  • LAHD does not offer any property rehabilitation/repair funds.


  • Applicant must be a first-time homebuyer, defined as someone who has not had an ownership interest in any real property at any time during the last three (3) years.
  • Applicants must attend an eight (8) hour Homebuyer Education Class provided by one of LAHD’s Approved Homebuyer Education Providers (see Approved List).
  • Total household gross income of all adults 18 years of age or older who will be living in the home must be at or below the limits shown on the Income table below.

2010 MAXIMUM INCOME LIMITS (as of 05/14/2010)

Household Size

1 person

2 people

3 people

4 people

5 people

6 people

7 people

8 people

Annual Household Income

or less

or less

or less

or less

or less

or less

or less

or less

(For larger household size limits, please contact LAHD)


  • Deferred, requiring no monthly payments.
  • Shared Appreciation applies to LIPA and ADDI loans (see Shared Appreciation Example).
  • Loan is due when the property is sold, title transfer, or the repayment of the first mortgage.
  • Refinancing of first mortgage is allowed by LAHD under certain conditions.


  • A minimum of one percent (1%) of the property purchase price from the Applicant’s own funds is required as down payment.  Please note that additional funds may be needed from the Applicant to complete the purchase.



LAHD provides purchase assistance to the Borrower up to a maximum of $60,000 of LIPA funds, plus ADDI funds equal to six percent (6%) of the purchase price.  LAHD’s loan provides the difference between the purchase price plus closing costs (up to 5% of sales price) and the amount of the buyer’s first mortgage loan, down payment and other funding sources.

Purchase Price of Home:                                                            $300,000
Buyer’s Closing Costs:                                                                    $    9,000

TOTAL FUNDS NEEDED:                                 $309,000Funds Available:
First Mortgage Amount (for which buyer qualifies):               $228,750
Homebuyer Down Payment (1% of purchase price)                  $    3,000
Homebuyer Additional cash contribution                                   $    2,250
?LAHD ADDI Loan (6% of purchase price)                             $   18,000
?LAHD LIPA Loan                                                                         $  57,000

TOTAL FUNDS AVAILABLE:                              $309,000

In the example above, the total LAHD Purchase Assistance loan equals $75,000 ($18,000 of ADDI, plus $57,000 of LIPA).
In the above example, the LAHD Shared Appreciation equals 25% ($75,000/$300,000).
Note:  The Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program may be used in conjunction with the LIPA and ADDI programs.


Contact one of LAHD’s Participating Lender to get prequalified for a first mortgage and LAHD’s LIPA and ADDI Programs.  The list of LAHD’s Participating Lenders is on LAHD’s webpage at , Home Buyers, General Information, Resources section.  For more information, you may contact LAHD at (213) 808-8800.

10 Steps To A Successful Short Sale

The process consists of a series of steps that must be followed to the letter. Since the short sale process is time-consuming, having an owner who understands the long-term benefits of a short sale and is committed to work with the broker to complete the transaction is crucial.

The biggest keys to a successful sale are having a complete and compelling package and consistently following up with the bank’s negotiator. If the broker knows key contacts within the bank, he can escalate short sale process requests beyond ground level negotiators. (In short sales, who you know is often times more important than what you know.)

What are the steps to a successful short sale transaction?

Here is a summary of the process along with approximate timelines for each task:

1) Financial information provided by homeowner to establish hardship – 3-7 days
2) List the home and get letter of authorization – 1 day
3) Market the home and get qualified offers – 30-60 days
4) Package all financial information per bank requirements – 2-3 days
5) Submit package to bank and confirm receipt – 2-4 days
6) Negotiator assigned to the file – 1-3 weeks
7) Appraisal / BPO ordered – 2-3 weeks
8) Bank responds with their terms and conditions – 2-3 weeks
9) All parties negotiate terms and conditions – 2-3 weeks
10) Escrow is opened and transaction closes – 4-5 weeks

These steps add about three to four months to the transaction, not counting the time it takes for the escrow to close.

Creating a Compelling Short Sale Package

The first step in the short sale process is to document a hardship with a compelling package. Before placing the home for sale, the broker will take time to properly prepare and document the hardship that the bank will review once the package is submitted.

With the hardship package complete, the broker will now establish a competitive market price for the home. Although the broker may suggest the price to list the home for sale at, the bank will ultimately decide based on market data what value they will agree to sell the home for.

The goal during the marketing period of the process is to generate serious qualified buyers who will stay with the transaction through the negotiation. Generating multiple offers will also show the bank that the seller has done everything possible to get them the best possible price for the home.

Once the buyer offers have been reviewed and all buyers have been properly pre-qualified, the broker must prepare the full package that will be submitted to the bank. This part of the process is critical because if the paperwork submitted is incomplete or incorrect, the bank will typically place the package in an “incomplete bin”, otherwise known as the trash. Sending the bank only the information they need, and not more, is an important part of the process.

Maintaining Consistent Follow Up with the Bank

With the paperwork now submitted to the bank, typically via e-mail or fax, the broker will follow up to confirm the short sale package has been received and imaged into their system. This is a key step in the process that can save a lot of time.

Once the bank has input the documents into their system, a negotiator will be assigned to this file. Again, a good short sale broker will follow up within days of submitting the documents to confirm all needed paperwork was received and to receive contact information on who they’ll be negotiating with at the bank.

The next step in the short sale process is confirming that the BPO or appraisal has been ordered. It is important to run a report of the comparable sales for the person doing the valuation. Giving them a list of repairs along with the projected costs to repair will facilitate an accurate evaluation while assuring the transaction moves to the approval phase sooner.

Awaiting the Bank’s Decision

The bank will review the documents along with the appraisal and determine the value they will agree to sell the home for. Their response may or may not be reasonable, and it’s important to understand the bank’s response is just that, a response. This may be the start of negotiations that will iron out the price and conditions included in the bank’s approval. This is perhaps the most critical skill that the broker needs to have, since the bank is only after one thing: Money.

When all the details have been negotiated and agreed to by the bank, seller, and buyer, the sale process can now move forward and open escrow. During the escrow period, the buyer will do a full home inspection and work with their lender to obtain a loan on the home. We are now seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

Closing the sale

One the buyer’s loan is fully approved, a final closing estimate is prepared for the bank to confirm that all the terms have been met and escrow has authorization to close the transaction.

This process takes a minimum of three months in addition to the time it takes escrow to close. By carefully preparing the homeowner’s case for the bank and doggedly pursuing the sale through the system, the broker increases the likelihood he can plant a “SOLD” sign in the seller’s front yard.

Please look for future articles soon, as we unpack each of the ten steps and give you key information you’ll need for a successful short sale.

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Wells Fargo and NeighborWorks America Help 1,600 Successfully Buy Homes with Down Payment Assistance

Wells Fargo, one of America’s leading financial services companies, and NeighborWorks America, a national non-profit organization which creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes and improve their lives, today marked the one-year anniversary of their NeighborhoodLIFTSM and CityLIFTSM programs by announcing the efforts have helped 1,624 moderate income buyers purchase homes with the help of homebuyer education training and $27 million of down payment assistance grants. In addition, 460 applicants have a contract to purchase a home through the programs with the help of nearly $8 million for down payment assistance. More than $64 million remains available for down payment assistance grants through LIFT programs in participating housing markets.
The $170 million initiative created by Wells Fargo and NeighborWorks America has sought to keep the dream of homeownership within reach for prospective homebuyers facing down payment challenges in cities deeply affected by the housing crisis. The programs – first launched in February 2012 in Los Angeles and Atlanta – have made down payment assistance grants ranging from $15,000 to $30,000 per homebuyer depending on the housing market.
Pre-qualified applicants must meet certain criteria including annual income not exceeding 120 percent of the median income for the area; complete required homebuyer education training administered by HUD-approved housing counselors such as NeighborWorks America affiliates; and earn their down payment assistance grants when they buy and reside in an eligible home for five years. Mortgages available through the program are not exclusively offered through Wells Fargo, America’s largest mortgage lender, and the down payment grants, while funded byWells Fargo, are administered by NeighborWorks America’s network of non-profit affiliates.
“NeighborWorks America and Wells Fargo have reached an important milestone in helping more than 1,600 families achieve the dream of homeownership through the LIFT programs,” said NeighborWorks America CEO Eileen Fitzgerald. “These programs contribute to community stabilization because they promote successful, sustainable homeownership that’s grounded in making responsible buying choices.”
“At Wells Fargo, we believe in programs like LIFT because they provide community-based solutions that deliver real help to families,” said Jon Campbell, Wells Fargo’s executive vice president and head of Government and Community Relations. “These programs encourage the kind of collaboration that needs to keep happening between the private sector, the non-profit sector and elected and public officials.”
Since the inception of the programs, more than 14,000 potential home buyers have attended NeighborhoodLIFTSM and CityLIFTSM events in the following cities: Los Angeles, Atlanta, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Houston, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Chicago, Sacramento, and Oakland. The next CityLIFTSM program homebuyer event is scheduled April 5-6 in Baltimore. for more information about the CityLIFTSM program in Baltimore.
For more information about LIFT programs, go to For more information about NeighborWorks America, go to
About NeighborhoodLIFTSM 
The NeighborhoodLIFTSM program is collaboration between Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., the Wells Fargo Foundation, NeighborWorks America, an independent non-profit organization, and local non-profit organizations. The NeighborhoodLIFTSM program is designed to provide sustainable homeownership initiatives in cities affected by the housing crisis. A video about the NeighborhoodLIFTSM program is posted
About CityLIFTSM 
The CityLIFTSM program is designed to provide down payment assistance and homebuyer education programs in areas most impacted by the financial crisis. The program was developed in connection with the 2012 settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, and is a collaboration between Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and NeighborWorks America.
About NeighborWorks America 
For 35 years, NeighborWorks America has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.

Foodscaping the Hottest Trend in Landscaping

More households are growing their own fruits and vegetables. While lawn and garden sales have declined since 2008, food gardening sales nationwide have risen 20%, according to the National Gardening Association. The trend is referred to as foodscaping, or ediblescaping, and involves integrating edible plants into yards, lawns and open areas in a low-maintenance and toxic-free manner.

Almost one third of American households are now growing some kind of food at home. Factors contributing to this trend include reducing the cost of groceries, the desire to eat more healthy foods, and the preferred taste of homegrown fruit and vegetables harvested immediately before eating.

A simple way to start a vegetable garden is with a single raised box bed. If you’re working in a limited space, tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, basil and rosemary grow well in pots. Most vegetables should be planted after the threat of frost passes. Exceptions, such as purple cabbage, should be planted in the late winter or early spring.

Vegetables require full sun or six hours of unfiltered light. Good drainage is also important. To check the drainage of your soil, dig a 15-inch-deep hole and fill it with water. If the water drains within an hour, the soil drains well.

Most vegetables should be watered daily. For herbs, oregano, sage, bay and thyme should be allowed to dry out between watering, while mint and lemon balm should remain moist.

Tended lawns cover 1.9% of land in the continental U.S., making it the most common irrigated crop. Lawn care costs Americans $30 billion each year. Increasingly, some budget-conscious homeowners want more in return for their efforts. They’re removing portions of their lawn to make way for edible plants.

Take the Stress Out of Home Buying.

Buying a home should be fun, not stressful. As you look for your dream home, keep in mind these tips for making the process as peaceful as possible.

1. Find a real estate agent who you connect with. Home buying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It s critical that the REALTOR you chose is both highly skilled and a good fit with your personality.

2. Remember, there s no  right time to buy, just as there s no perfect time to sell. If you find a home now, don t try to second-guess interest rates or the housing market by waiting longer  you risk losing out on the home of your dreams. The housing market usually doesn t change fast enough to make that much difference in price, and a good home won t stay on the market long.

3. Don t ask for too many opinions. It s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision. Focus on the wants and needs of your immediate family  the people who will be living in the home.

4. Accept that no house is ever perfect. If it s in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the roof needs repair. Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go.

5. Don t try to be a killer negotiator. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to  win by getting an extra-low price or by refusing to budge on your offer may cost you the home you love. Negotiation is give and take.

6. Remember your home doesn t exist in a vacuum. Don t get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself  room size, kitchen, etc.  that you forget about important issues as noise level, location to amenities, and other aspects that also have a big impact on your quality of life.

7. Plan ahead. Don t wait until you ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate home insurance, and consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers.

8. Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be costs. Don t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.

9. Accept that a little buyer s remorse is inevitable and will probably pass. Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a big financial commitment. But it also yields big benefits. Don t lose sight of why you wanted to buy a home and what made you fall in love with the property you purchased.

10. Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation. While U.S. homes have appreciated an average of 5.4 percent annually over from 1998 to 2002, a home s most important role is to serve as a comfortable, safe place to live.

Reprinted from REALTOR magazine ( with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS .
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

What is Escrow Anyway

Once an offer has been accepted by a seller and both parties have signed all of the pertinent dotted lines on the offer this document becomes the sales contract (or agreement). Next, the contract and all necessary paperwork and/or funds are collected and delivered to a neutral third party called an escrow holder.

During the escrow process, this neutral third party will carry out the provisions of the agreement between buyer and seller. An escrow holder is typically an escrow firm or title company. As with the other parts of your transaction, a good real estate agent can help you find an escrow holder in your area. Check the fees charged by the various escrow holders in the area. These fees may be negotiable.

The escrow officer carries out instructions from the buyer and seller, and ensures that ownership of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer.

The escrow officer will also collect all of the odds and ends in the purchase process.

This includes proof of insurance, the preliminary title report, inspection reports, loan information and the like. The escrow officer will also prepare the final closing statement. The final closing statement is much like a bank statement, in that it lists all of the credits and debits associated with the purchase of the home. Compare the closing costs to those listed on the Good Faith Estimate received from your broker/lender.

You will typically meet with the escrow officer to sign a lot of documents. READ EVERYTHING! Take your time and ask questions about things you don t understand.

Hints on Closing

  • Keep in close communication with your lender. Are there any problems with documentation on the loan Has everything been verified
  • Keep in close communication with your real estate agent. Are there any problems with the home inspection Pest report
  • Always be available for any questions from your real estate agent, escrow officer, loan officer, or anyone else involved in the buying process. Make sure you re  in the loop with any issues that may arise.
  • When it comes time to close escrow — that is, take possession of the house — clear some time. Figure out WHEN you d like to close, and then look at when you HAVE TO close. Are you moving at the end of the month from a rental to your new place Don t let delays leave you out in the street!

Ask your escrow officer for an estimate of closing costs. You won t know exactly how much you ll pay until escrow closes, but it is good to know these figures ahead of time.

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) provide annual grants on a formula basis for many different types of grantees.

The programs covered under this designation are: Entitlement Communities, State Administered CDBG, Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program, Colonia, HUD Administered Small Cities, Insular Areas, and Disaster Recovery Assistance. From all of these programs, only the first two provide important funding opportunities for the development of housing and housing programs.

Entitlement Communities
CDBG provides eligible metropolitan cities and urban counties (called “entitlement communities”) with annual direct grants that they can use to revitalize neighborhoods, expand affordable housing and economic opportunities, and/or improve community facilities and services, principally to benefit low- and moderate-income persons. To receive its annual CDBG entitlement grant, a grantee must develop and submit to HUD its Consolidated Plan, (which is a jurisdiction’s comprehensive planning document and application for funding under the following

Community Planning and Development formula grant programs: CDBG, HOME Investment Partnerships, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), and Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG)). Entitled communities are responsible for developing their own programs and for setting their own funding priorities. Grantees must give maximum feasible priority to activities which benefit low- and moderate-income persons.

CDBG funds may be used for activities which include, but are not limited to:

  • Acquisition of real property
  • Relocation and demolition
  • Rehabilitation of residential and non-residential structures
  • Construction of public facilities and improvements, such as water and sewer facilities, streets, neighborhood centers, and the conversion of school buildings for eligible purposes
  • Public services, with certain limits
  • Activities relating to energy conservation and renewable energy resources
  • Provision of assistance to profit-motivated businesses to carry out economic development and job creation/retention activities.

Funds are received by entitled communities, which post a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), through their housing and development department or their city council, and grant proposals are requested. After a series of hearings and evaluations of the grant proposals, funds are awarded to the final recipients. These are generally non-profit agencies that have submitted projects deemed to be of great social value for the community.

Projects submitted for evaluation have to meet general funding criteria and specific funding criteria (Economic Development, General/Native American/Colonias Enterprise Fund and Planning and Technical Assistance ).

When evaluating who should receive funds and on what amount, entities place a high value on: number of people serviced per dollar, addressing a local need, and efficient distribution of human and material resources. Other factors also impact funding, such as competing agencies already providing the service proposed or total number of proposals submitted (some localities like to fund as many as possible, thereby diminishing the amount allotted to each grantee).

The final allocation process is a competitive one, usually there are several agencies competing for a limited amount of money. However, some localities either do not promote effectively the availability of CDBG funds or potential grantees are not aware of their existence, leaving in the coffers of local governments thousands of dollars. This money has to be returned, by the end of the period, to the State. REALTORS should inquire with their local governments about the availability of CDBG funds. Local or municipal housing or economic development officials should be able to furnish information of CDBG funds availability.

  • Open CDBG Grants, see the manual for supported activities.
  • 2004 CDBG budget allocation for California (includes the counties, cities and municipalities not in the State CDBG funding Allocations list). In the same page, links to 2001, 2002 and 2003 budget allocations.
  • California Entitlement List of Contact by City, County and Town

State Administered CDBG

The California State CDBG program has as its objective to develop viable communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for persons of low- and moderate-income.

Grants are only awarded to non-entitlement areas which include those units of general local government which do not receive CDBG funds directly from HUD as part of the entitlement program (Entitlement Cities and Urban Counties). Non-entitlement areas are cities with populations of less than 50,000, and counties with populations of less than 200,000, although some entitlement cities have a population of less than 50,000 (cities that are designated central cities of Metropolitan Statistical Areas). The State CDBG program has replaced the Small Cities program in states that have elected to participate.

Annually each state develops funding priorities and criteria for selecting projects. Each year the program makes funds available only to eligible jurisdictions (non-entitlement areas) through several allocations: General and Native American, Economic Development, Planning and Technical Assistance, and Colonias. Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs) are published for each allocation as the funds become available.

Successful applicants enter into contracts with the State to complete the specified activities with the grant funds. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) transfers federal funds to the State of California’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). Funds allocation is typically announced by HUD in late February, and it awards the funds to the State in May of each year. Under State statute and regulation, HCD allocates the federal CDBG award into various program components. Once the State receives the funds, it distributes them to eligible jurisdictions, i.e. counties, cities and towns, for their use. One of the requirements to receive a grant is to have submitted a housing element to HCD*. Funds cannot be denied to an entity because of the findings made by HCD regarding the element.

However, Section 50830 of the California Health and Safety Code states that if the city or county has adopted a general plan, ordinance, or other measure which directly limits, by number, either the buildings permits that may be issued for residential construction or the buildable lots which may be developed for residential purposes, then the entity becomes ineligible to receive funds. The flow chart prepared by HCD succinctly describes the allocation process.

If the state finds a jurisdiction to be non-performing, it disencumbers the funds previously awarded and rolls them over to a similar program within the other State eligible jurisdictions. Programs elected for the rollover are selected from the waiting list. Programs are placed, according to ranking, in a waiting list either because they couldn t be fully funded or because they were not funded at all. Since the program s award grant in a sense is lost for the community for that funding cycle it is important to monitor the performance of the local government.

  • State CDBG Funding Allocations Packages, information on NOFAs: general and specific funding application packages.
  • State CDBG Rep List by County (Adobe PDF) All listed numbers are area code 916.
  • State CDBG Rep List by Program
  • CDBG Information, use this page to learn about late-breaking news and to view copies of the most recent Program publications. Information is updated monthly or as needed.
  • State CDBG 2003 General Allocation Funding List (Excel file provided by HCD)
  • State CDBG 2003 General Allocation/ 2nd Rollover Funding (Word file provided by HCD)

Section 7056 (b)(1) of Title 25 of the California Code of Regulations, and Section 50829 California Health and Safety Code.


Short Sales Predictions?

Will we see an increase or decrease in Short Sale Activity in 2011?
It’s been a bumpy ride for short sales investors since 2008. Over the last two years a lot of banks have been less than eager to approve short sales, instead drawing out the process for long periods of time and ultimately halting short sales completely for a while at the end of 2010 because of the robo-signing debacle. So is there light at the end of the tunnel for short sale investors?

Short Sale Predictions

While I have continued to operate my short sales business successfully through this mess, I must say that it has become more difficult for a short sale to get approved by the bank, so it’s taken working on more deals to create the same income (luckily for investors, there are a lot of short sale deals out there). If the short sale predictions for 2011 that are reported in the news are correct we should see a significant increase in short sales a fewer foreclosures during 2011. One report released today explains it like this:

“According to global ratings agency Fitch Inc. and Managing Director Diane Pendley industry experts are expecting to witness more short sales and fewer foreclosures in 2011, an encouraging sign for homeowners in the D.C. Metro, northern Virginia and Maryland regions as well as those seeking alternatives to foreclosure. A short sale, or a sale in which a property is sold for less than what is owed on the mortgage, can be an effective alternative to foreclosure while allowing homeowners to escape the burden of bankruptcy. The Tania Ivey Real Estate Group, which services Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., offers a number of Certified Distressed Property Experts (CDPE) to advise clients in the short sale process. Home sellers in specific areas such as Fairfax County VA, or Loudoun County VA are seeing the number of Short sales increase. If you are a homeowner in Leesburg VA or Ashburn VA trying to sell your house you are competing with numerous Short Sales. Even areas such as Great Falls VA and Vienna VA are seeing a major part of the market being short sold.”
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Ultimately, the banks will be the ones that decide if they are ready to play ball in 2011. There will be no shortage of delinquent mortgages any time soon, and so it comes down to foreclosure or short sale for the banks. For both investors and homeowners alike, let’s hope the banks choose to start short selling more properties again.

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About the Author:
Phill Grove has conducted approximately $200M in real estate transactions – using non-traditional investing methods such as mortgage assignment, short sales, equity partnering, auction-options, wraps, swaps, and other methods – many of which he invented and/or pioneered for the industry. Phill has invented a new strategy called the Mortgage Assignment Profits System. Phill Grove has personally trained and coached hundreds of Real Estate Investors on the “12 Ways to Buy and Sell Real Estate”, as well as marketing and lead processing strategies that actually work. Find out more about Phill at

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