East Bay Area Real Estate Market and Financing

East Bay Area Real Estate Market

Here we are in the first weeks of January and the homes being held open are very well attended and there are multiple offers on plenty. In fact, one REO (Real Estate Owned – by a lender) property on the hill in Berkeley had 10 offers. In other locations in Oakland and El Cerrito the same holds true. Of course it always depends on how the home looks and overall condition. “Short Sale” sales are more troublesome and take a long time to agree/close.

We are really encouraged by the low interest rates- in some cases below 5%. Refinancing is once again on a roll, clogging the system for availability of appraisers; fortunately purchase contracts are at the top of the pile.

Financing

Here are a couple of things to be cautious about: . If you do not know your credit score, you should get a credit report. Your mortgage broker can order one easily enough. If you need help, contact me.

Depending on your score, the interest rate varies.
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REO Real Estate Owned Properties

East Bay Area REO Properties

As a result of the sub-prime mortgage fiasco, there are many REO (which stands for Real Estate Owned) properties coming on the market.

Typically a home that is advertised as an REO is a bank-owned property that was acquired through the foreclosure process. Not to be confused with a short-sale property (which is pre-foreclosure), an REO property is being sold by the bank, sometimes at a value below market. Often this is because homes are in less-than-pristine condition – homeowners often remove appliances or upgrades before foreclosure, or they may be rental properties which were poorly maintained.

But there can be good opportunities to purchase homes with instant equity if you know where to look, have patience, and buy with an agent who understands the REO process.

Feel free to contact me anytime with questions about REOs or homebuying in the East Bay.

Guest Blogger: Alexis Greenberg – Marvin Gardens Realtor®
Direct: 510-381-3232
Email: www.BerkeleyHomeSearch.com