Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Consumer Abuse"

From the Stockton Record:

The sales run for existing homes in San Joaquin County - mostly foreclosures [about 80%] - continued to pick up speed in April. But after a small median sales price jump in March, prices fell sharply in April, sliding below the $200,000 mark in Stockton [a drop of 43.0% YoY and hitting $240,000 in San Joaquin County, a decline of 36.8% YoY], according to figures from the latest Coldwell Banker Grupe-TrendGraphix monthly sales report, based on Multiple Listing Service data.
Cameron Pannabecker, owner of Cal-Pro Mortgage Inc. in Stockton and a board director of the California Association of Mortgage Brokers, said he is urging caution about buying now as real estate agents and brokers tout the current market as a great time to buy.

That's consumer abuse, he said. "Tell me how it is different to tell someone to hurry up and buy into a market that is clearly still on the way down?" he said. "If prices dropped 40 percent in a year when there were 4,000 foreclosures, what can it do other than decline that much or more in a year when we will have that many foreclosures in the first four months?"
From the Sacramento Bee:
The Mortgage Bankers Association says nearly one in five California homeowners who descend into foreclosure is an investor who typically doubles the trouble by displacing renters. Exhibit A for the shock and disruption are Kyla Salazar-Thompson and Mike Kennedy of Elk Grove...The couple seem to have a unfortunate knack for finding homes where a Bay Area owner stops paying the mortgage. Booted unexpectedly from one foreclosed rental in February, the two moved March 1 into another where the owner now is in financial trouble.

Speaking for an entire group of renters being blown about in the foreclosure storm, Salazar-Thompson says simply: "There are other victims of the housing crisis than homeowners who are losing their houses. It's happening to us, it's happening to others."
It's become enough to make renters wonder who should undergo a tougher screening process, them or landlords.
From the News10:
The Sacramento County Assessor Friday released a list of more than 85,000 properties that have been temporarily reassessed because of overall declining values...Last year the reductions affected 11 percent of the 450,000 tax bills mailed out. This year the number is up to 19 percent.
From KCRA:
As cars zoom by, Steve Benson points to a rundown house in his Meadowview neighborhood that was foreclosed on recently. The front yard is covered in trash, and weeds are growing out of control. Near a window, a gang has tagged their logo in graffiti.
Meadowview was turning a corner with their gang problem in recent years, but budget cuts and vacant houses have caused the violence to rebound, Benson said.
From News10:
In Tracy, one foreclosure had holes cut out in the walls of every room. In Rancho Cordova, someone removed doors, doorknobs, and stole kitchen cabinets, even toilets in one house. Agents say it's likely frustration, anger and hurt that's being taken out on the home by former owners.
From the Modesto Bee:
About 1,200 properties in Patterson, or one out of every five homes, has received a foreclosure-related filing, one of the highest foreclosure rates in Stanislaus County, according to the nonprofit organization No Homeowner Left Behind....

Patterson also charges some of the highest special taxes in the county. Residents in five of the newest Patterson subdivisions pay about $2,000 a year in Mello-Roos taxes, a common way for cities to fund public infrastructure such as parks or sidewalks.
One resident, who said he owns two homes in Patterson, blamed the high taxes for his financial hardship, saying that the city is threatening foreclosure if he falls behind on the tax payments. "We could afford to make the (mortgage) payments, but the Mello-Roos is killing us," he said.


Perfect Storm said...

"If prices dropped 40 percent in a year when there were 4,000 foreclosures, what can it do other than decline that much or more in a year when we will have that many foreclosures in the first four months?"

Exactly, were right on track for a 50% decline by 2009 and that includes East Sacramento.

Wadin' In said...

The Mello Roos bonds in Lincoln total about $3800/yr. It is huge and must contribute greatly to the foreclosures. Also puts a damper on investor activity, since it takes a bite out of cash flow.

Anonymous said...

Renters should check to see if the landlord has stayed current on the property taxes. It's possible to check online for free here in Santa Clara County. Not sure about others.

Santa Clara County:

norcaljeff said...

LOL, so in Patterson they are blaming high taxes on the foreclosures? Who are you kidding lady? You all knew what the taxes were. What about that fact that Patterson is smack dab in the middle of NO WHERE??!! How about that there is absolutely NOTHING to do there, or that since gas is $4 it costs $100 to go anywhere with green grass and has more people than cows. Get real!

Jacob said...

Yea, I hate taxes too, but if you can make a $3k mortgage payment, how if the $150 / month in tax going to break you?

If your budget is that tight then you are screwed anyways cause gas, energy, and food are going to cost more and more.

Diggin Deeper said...

Got to find a victim before you can sue the s**t out of the rest of them...way too many "abused" victims affected right now...mass lawsuits are coming and the courts will be filled with poor unsuspecting people who were forced to buy because it was a "good time" to do so. This ought to really put pressure on the banks as homes that should be foreclosed on will be tied up in litigation for months while the abused victims ride for free.

When we sold our property in 2005 and moved up to this area, we specifically questioned the landlord on how his loan was structured. Thankfully it was a 30 year fixed, with plenty of equity to lose. No guarantees that if the price submarines the loan value, the landlord won't walk, but it's a much better risk than ARM or or some other hybrid that could blow up in the process.