Investors dominate home flipping…

House flipping, a quick-buck scheme pursued by amateurs and professionals alike during the real estate boom, now is dominated by investors willing to pay all cash, who troll auctions for foreclosures that banks are gradually trying to siphon off their books.

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Green Tip of the Week: Paperboard is recyclable…

Paperboard is a thicker form of paper used in consumer packaging. Examples include cereal containers, tissue boxes, drink boxes, detergent packaging, and shoe boxes. Paperboard is recyclable–often at curbside–if the plastic liner has been removed and it has not been stained with cooking oil or water. While paperboard often is coated with kaolin clay to improve its printing surface, it’s still recyclable

Southern California Home Buyer’s Fair: March 13-14…

Thousands of potential home buyers are expected to converge the weekend of March 13 and March 14 at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the FREE third annual Southern California Home Buyer’s Fair.  The event is sponsored by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) and the Los Angeles Times.

The Southern California Home Buyer’s Fair, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, March 13, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, March 14, features more than 50 educational “how-to” seminars designed to help home buyers navigate today’s real estate market with confidence and peace of mind.  Seminar topics range from understanding home prices and monitoring and fixing credit to applying for a mortgage and the importance of the home inspection. Several of the sessions also will be offered in Spanish.

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FHA 90-day anti-flipping rule waived…

The Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced Friday it will eliminate for one year the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) 90-day anti-flipping rule.

FHA’s anti-flipping rule generally prohibits insuring a mortgage on a home owned by the seller for less than 90 days.  That rule already has been waived for certain transactions, including REOs.  Beginning Feb. 1, buyers may use FHA-insured financing to purchase properties resold through private developers and investors.  This one-year waiver will give FHA buyers access to a broader array of recently foreclosed properties.

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Green Tip of the Week: Recycled paint…

What happens to all the latex paint that is dropped off at hazard waste centers? It’s recycled and is being resold at your local paint distributors, Dunn-Edwards and Kelly-Moore, for instance. Recycled paint sells for less, but the quality and viscosity is augmented by blending it with virgin materials. For more information and a complete list of distributors, visit
http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/ConDemo/Paint/.


Report finds 21 percent of homes for sale experienced price reduction…

A report by Trulia.com found that as of Jan. 1, 21 percent of homes currently on the market have experienced at least one price reduction. The total amount reduced for all homes nationwide declined to $21.2 billion in January compared with $24.7 billion in December. The average discount for homes with price reductions remained at 11 percent, according to the report. In the west, which includes California, 22 percent of listings experienced price reductions.

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Ready to go Green?

#1 – The government is expected to unveil a new program in the next couple of months that, if approved, may reimburse homeowners for up to half the cost of making their homes more efficient. Through the program, homeowners will receive the largest return from simple upgrades like caulking windows, adding insulation, and changing incandescent light bulbs to those that are more energy-efficient.
#2 – To determine which energy-efficiency upgrades are best for their house, homeowners should obtain a home energy audit. Homeowners are advised to hire a contractor licensed by the Building Performance Institute or the Residential Energy Services Network. These contractors have been trained to first test a home to determine the amount of energy it is losing, then make suggestions on renovations.