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News Flash! - Connie's youngest daughter turns 27!

September 25, 2018
Nothing can make one feel older than the birthday of your youngest child - especially after they reach 21 and up.  Each day, in the mirror, there appears even more lines and wrinkles that weren't as deep yesterday and will be deeper and more pronounced tomorrow.  What is happening?

I have always looked younger than my age.  I think this was just in my imagination - now that the person at the movie ticket booth doesn't even question my "senior"-ness.  I look at my 97/almost 98 year old mother and hope my skin and hair lasts as long as hers.  Sure she is aged - gracefully, and I'm hoping her genes have been passed along to me and perhaps even to my daughter.

Here's to a happy birthday - to my youngest - Leanna!  Have a great year!
 

Those Dodgers

August 21, 2018
Just when You think they are going to get the win... need I say more?
9th inning - Kenley is back from the DL (heart issues), and gives up 2 home runs (in succession)!
So, although I'm disappointed and amazed, it's good to see Kenley back!

Tonight's another night!  Let's GO DODGERS!
 

Brain Health

August 10, 2018
I've subscribed to several alternative health newsletters, including TTAC.com and Brain Health.  TTAC is The Truth about Cancer - it's very compelling and all these alternative health methods completely go against what the large Pharmaceutical companies - and the doctors who don't know any better - literally shove down our throats (and stick in our veins).

Big Pharma (we know who you are) gives you some great things - like vaccinations (and there are those who are opposed to them), and medicine to combat plagues and ebola, and other things.  BUT there are many more in their arsenal(s) that are just poison - to those who are taking them.  I'll elaborate more next time.


 

It's Not Over Until it is Over

August 4, 2018
OK, this is where I start talking about other people.
My short sale went bust on August 2 around 10:30 a.m.  That is when we couldn't stop the sale.  Up until that point, I thought we had a chance.  The bank seemed to be behind us as we gave them everything they asked for (except one thing, which I'll get to in a minute).  The bank said they were escalating the extension approval to postpone the foreclosure sale and they would let us know - and they made it clear there were not guarantees that they would/could stop the trustee sale (that is where they auction off the house to the highest bidder).  We were able to track the auction, online, and yes, it still said that the house was active on the auction list for that morning.
My partner in this transaction, Louis, received a call from someone who was at the auction.  The house was indeed still on the list, and there were active bidders.
Around 10:30, I found out that the house was sold to a third party.  The bank (of America) never got back to me.  In fact, I sent them the sale information after the fact.  They still didn't acknowledge it as of today.
Now we have to mop up the mess.  The for sale sign needs to be taken down, I took the supra lock box off the water pipe, and the big thing - the seller, who is out of town at her mother's funeral - still needs to be told that she no longer owns the house, and that is due to the auction, not the short sale. She'll now have foreclosure on her credit report.
All this time, I was hopeful.  I kept telling Louis, don't give up - as he did give up about a week ago, and turned negative - and I was sure that the bank would rule in our favor.
BUT the biggest lesson I learned - investors have to be vetted better.  The first buyer, an investor, decided very late that he didn't want to buy the house because he wouldn't make enough money.  It took him four months to figure that out.
The second buyer had an acquisition specialist who we were dealing with.  He was great at the beginning, saying once the sale was approved they could close in 10 days.  Then, after we accepted their offer, they starting asking us if the short sale was approved.  Now, I told them we had to start over with the bank and with them as the new buyer, and no, they could not change the name of the buyer during escrow because the bank would then decide they have to start over, again.  
I assumed, wrongly in this case, that a distressed sale investor would know that banks are on their own schedule and they don't suddenly say yes to a short sale.  There are forms and protocols and more wet signatures to be turned in.  Once one form gets to them, they ask for another one - and I don't know why they can't ask for everything at the same time. Sellers don't all have computers or internet - most short sales happen because the seller has no money or at least not enough to pay the bank on a regular basis.  So getting a wet signature is not easy - especially when the only email/internet/scan capability is through a phone.  It usually means a trek to the library or FEDEX store to have them send a scan to me.  AND then the store may format it as a picture instead of a PDF document because they forgot to tell the person at the desk that I need PDF.  
The biggest hole in this entire scenario was the buyer.  Suddenly, last week, the main contact decided to not answer email, text, phone, voice mail.  I needed two important documents from them and their deposit to escrow.  These documents were their current bank statement WITH the account number not blacked out like they did before, and a signature on another document.  I first sent email - no response. Then phone - kept ringing.  Then text - no response.  Voice mail was ignored.  I called and called. Then on Tuesday, after not getting back to me all weekend, he sent a text saying sorry, he was out of the office Monday.  I was thinking - so you don't answer your cell phone when you're not at the office??? 
The bank first said they needed those docs, but I actually pleaded with them (close to begging) to work with us in good faith.  They, the bank, escalated the file, like I mentioned, and gave us no promises that they would stop the trustee sale.
I have been working on this since February, and it is now August.  I spent hours and hours on this, talking to the seller, getting lots of background papers and correspondence from her, driving to the property, driving to meet the seller for a wet signature (several times).  Filling out forms for the first buyer, sending them and getting them signed, organizing everything.  Then doing it again with the second buyer.  I had many exchanges with both banks (yes, she had two mortgages), for both buyers since we had to start over when the first buyer went south.
Every day, my partner Louis called for the latest information, sometimes several times.  That at least kept me on the ball.  But many times I had nothing new to say.
So, there's one thing I hate about short sales.  When the banks don't come through, when the buyers don't come through, many hours, weeks and months of work are for naught - I haven't made any money on this for my 5 1/2 months of work.  I have to make it up on the other sales - and chalk it up to - "It's the cost of doing business."  
And people say we Realtors don't work hard.  Hah!
 

Back to Short Sales

July 31, 2018
This current short sale that I have is mostly conversation with two banks.  Right now we have a sale date (foreclosure trustee sale auction) in 2 days and we have NOT heard back from the bank, although I send them email every day.  Today our strategy was to call them, and they circled back to the same people I am in contact with via the Equator platform.  This platform is where all communication with the asset manager, negotiator, and decision makers stand.  

We still have not heard, but the message from someone on the other side of the phone looked up the status and they said we may (not will) hear from them in the morning.  The sale is in 2 mornings, so this is cutting it very close.  Our objective is to postpone the sale date so we can finish the short sale.

The seller and my listing partner are both getting ulcers (may be literally) because the answers come slowly no matter how many times we communicate to the banks.  And now with the sale date approaching, it's very nerve wracking!  

So, like I said before, short sales aren't dead.  BUT perhaps this situation has shortened the life of those involved.
 

Life of a Realtor

July 31, 2018
No complaints, here.  EXCEPT for one main one:  Leads.

I subscribe to a few lead generating companies and their "wares."  The issue I have is this - people like to leave bogus information so I can't contact them.  I have to pay for these leads, and when they leave bad info, I still have to pay.  They don't want me to call them, so in order to see what they want on the website, they leave an email address that just pops into their head and a phone number that really isn't theirs.  

Speaking of bad info, take this morning, for instance.  My Broker gave me a couple leads because he couldn't/didn't want to use them - he's swamped right now.  These leads both had bad phone numbers, but left email addresses.  So far, these emails I sent have not come back to me undeliverable.  But do I know that they are "real" or not?  No.  I actually sent them the listing that they were looking at and a promise to get them a free account so they can search, save, and take notes on listings that they may want to review.  And as buyers, they don't actually pay me - I get a commission split from the listing side (which is then split with my broker).

The kicker - have I left bogus info before?  Yes.  Why?  Because I didn't want a call back for a product or service that I wasn't committed to at the time.
 

The Day After

July 31, 2018
My car technician (or let's say, mechanic) was nice enough to give me a ride home, then pick me up when my car was done.  While I was at home, I researched the issue (EGR Valve- Exhaust Gas Recirculation), I found that the part ranged in cost from about $75 to $200.  In fact, the part at the Ford Parts Store (OEM) was a little less than what was on my itemized list when I looked at the bill.  Hmmm.  I hope the installed part was OEM, but we don't know that, do we?  

They also cleaned around the area which is good, since gunk has probably built up over the 14 years I've had this FORD FREESTAR van.  It didn't take them long to do the work, so I guess I was charged a relatively good labor rate.

I just hate it when the check engine light goes on - it usually costs me between $500 and $1000 to get something fixed. If it starts happening regularly, it would be time to find a new automobile, one that is large enough to haul stuff, but nice enough to drive through $million neighborhoods without someone pointing and laughing.
 

Car is once again in the shop

July 30, 2018
This weekend, when going to my sister's home which is about 35 miles away, my check engine light went on.  This light, which has gone off several times in the past, costs me at least $500 when it goes on.  

I was tempted to first buy a car warranty program, whose commercial told me this morning what a great deal it was.  Of course, my car is 14 years old, so I'm sure the insurance would cost much more than the amount I'm going to have to pay when they fix my car.  AND I'm sure it doesn't pay 100%, as everyone's check engine light goes on at some point and why would an insurance company take your money now and then spend twice as much over the year to fix yours and everyone else's car.  They must count on not many people taking advantage of the warranty every year, which I really can't believe.  Those who buy these policies have older cars, so the cars must have repair work each year.  After all, insurance companies are there to keep your money, not give it back.




 

Fishing -

July 27, 2018
These words, fish/fishing, are quite useful.  You can fish for a trout, or you can fish for an answer.  You can go fishing in a lake or online.  However, my need for using the word, fishing, is something that I'm not doing this year - I used to be able to put a note on my door, "Gone Fishing," but apparently not this year!  I have too many loose ends here that won't be tied up for a while.  I have a couple listings that need my total attention, I have a dog who needs 2 shots a day and it seems like I'm the only one who can get her to sit still for them, and I have a lot of classes and courses I have to finish.  That means that fishing will have to wait until another season.
Oh sure, I could trot over to the nearest stocked lake for a couple hours, but it wouldn't be the same.  The people I fish with also seem to be lacking in motivation to get together this year - we're all busy.
What is keeping you too busy?  I'd love to say BE LIKE ME AND TAKE THE DAY OFF, but unfortunately, that isn't the case.
 

It's the Market, again!

July 26, 2018
Back in 2006-2007, the market was at it's peak and them came crashing down.  Will it happen again?  It may not happen for the same reasons, but remember, there are market cycles.  The inventory of homes for sale has been sparse for the past few years.  That drove prices up.  I was looking at homes in West Los Angeles, the other month, and I couldn't believe the relative shacks that were going for $800K.  Who could afford to live in those run-down neighborhoods at that price?  I was amazed as I couldn't think who would plunk down that kind of money (in a mortgage, yet) to settle in an area that was iffy at best. 

Then there were condos that I saw, that were nice, going for about that same price, but the HOA fees were in the $500++ range, and some had more than one HOA fee.  These were 2 bed/2 bath homes.  

I live in the OC.  My home is worth about that much, around $800K - and it is 2400 sq ft with 5 bedrooms and 3 baths - much bigger than those shacks in LA. It's in a nice OC neighborhood - but the people who want to live in LA have little choice.  They don't want to come out to OC because their jobs are in LA, and with traffic, they don't want to drive 2 hours to and 2 hours+ back. Even the train gives a commuter a lot of travel time.

So what to do?  Prices will eventually come down, but to where?  I doubt if they will go down to where they were in 2008.  And the real question is - what are you going to do?

Real estate has always been a good investment, but you have to invest wisely.  You have to buy low and sell high, not the other way around, and you have to know when to buy and when to sell.  Rents will not be going down, even if home prices go down - so if you buy a rental home, you may have to start with negative cash-flow.  Eventually, it will turn positive, rents will go up, and you will able to start your empire.

Lesson:  Look at market cycles, buy low, sell high.
 

News Flash! - Connie's youngest daughter turns 27!

September 25, 2018
Nothing can make one feel older than the birthday of your youngest child - especially after they reach 21 and up.  Each day, in the mirror, there appears even more lines and wrinkles that weren't as deep yesterday and will be deeper and more pronounced tomorrow.  What is happening?

I have always looked younger than my age.  I think this was just in my imagination - now that the person at the movie ticket booth doesn't even question my "senior"-ness.  I look at my 97/almost 98 year old mother and hope my skin and hair lasts as long as hers.  Sure she is aged - gracefully, and I'm hoping her genes have been passed along to me and perhaps even to my daughter.

Here's to a happy birthday - to my youngest - Leanna!  Have a great year!
 

Those Dodgers

August 21, 2018
Just when You think they are going to get the win... need I say more?
9th inning - Kenley is back from the DL (heart issues), and gives up 2 home runs (in succession)!
So, although I'm disappointed and amazed, it's good to see Kenley back!

Tonight's another night!  Let's GO DODGERS!
Continue reading...
 

Brain Health

August 10, 2018
I've subscribed to several alternative health newsletters, including TTAC.com and Brain Health.  TTAC is The Truth about Cancer - it's very compelling and all these alternative health methods completely go against what the large Pharmaceutical companies - and the doctors who don't know any better - literally shove down our throats (and stick in our veins).

Big Pharma (we know who you are) gives you some great things - like vaccinations (and there are those who are opposed to them), and medicin...
Continue reading...
 

It's Not Over Until it is Over

August 4, 2018
OK, this is where I start talking about other people.
My short sale went bust on August 2 around 10:30 a.m.  That is when we couldn't stop the sale.  Up until that point, I thought we had a chance.  The bank seemed to be behind us as we gave them everything they asked for (except one thing, which I'll get to in a minute).  The bank said they were escalating the extension approval to postpone the foreclosure sale and they would let us know - and they made it clear there were not guarantees that...
Continue reading...
 

Back to Short Sales

July 31, 2018
This current short sale that I have is mostly conversation with two banks.  Right now we have a sale date (foreclosure trustee sale auction) in 2 days and we have NOT heard back from the bank, although I send them email every day.  Today our strategy was to call them, and they circled back to the same people I am in contact with via the Equator platform.  This platform is where all communication with the asset manager, negotiator, and decision makers stand.  

We still have not heard, but the m...
Continue reading...
 

Life of a Realtor

July 31, 2018
No complaints, here.  EXCEPT for one main one:  Leads.

I subscribe to a few lead generating companies and their "wares."  The issue I have is this - people like to leave bogus information so I can't contact them.  I have to pay for these leads, and when they leave bad info, I still have to pay.  They don't want me to call them, so in order to see what they want on the website, they leave an email address that just pops into their head and a phone number that really isn't theirs.  

Speaking of b...
Continue reading...
 

The Day After

July 31, 2018
My car technician (or let's say, mechanic) was nice enough to give me a ride home, then pick me up when my car was done.  While I was at home, I researched the issue (EGR Valve- Exhaust Gas Recirculation), I found that the part ranged in cost from about $75 to $200.  In fact, the part at the Ford Parts Store (OEM) was a little less than what was on my itemized list when I looked at the bill.  Hmmm.  I hope the installed part was OEM, but we don't know that, do we?  

They also cleaned around th...

Continue reading...
 

Car is once again in the shop

July 30, 2018
This weekend, when going to my sister's home which is about 35 miles away, my check engine light went on.  This light, which has gone off several times in the past, costs me at least $500 when it goes on.  

I was tempted to first buy a car warranty program, whose commercial told me this morning what a great deal it was.  Of course, my car is 14 years old, so I'm sure the insurance would cost much more than the amount I'm going to have to pay when they fix my car.  AND I'm sure it doesn't pay 1...
Continue reading...
 

Fishing -

July 27, 2018
These words, fish/fishing, are quite useful.  You can fish for a trout, or you can fish for an answer.  You can go fishing in a lake or online.  However, my need for using the word, fishing, is something that I'm not doing this year - I used to be able to put a note on my door, "Gone Fishing," but apparently not this year!  I have too many loose ends here that won't be tied up for a while.  I have a couple listings that need my total attention, I have a dog who needs 2 shots a day and it seem...
Continue reading...
 

It's the Market, again!

July 26, 2018
Back in 2006-2007, the market was at it's peak and them came crashing down.  Will it happen again?  It may not happen for the same reasons, but remember, there are market cycles.  The inventory of homes for sale has been sparse for the past few years.  That drove prices up.  I was looking at homes in West Los Angeles, the other month, and I couldn't believe the relative shacks that were going for $800K.  Who could afford to live in those run-down neighborhoods at that price?  I was amazed as ...
Continue reading...
 

About Me


Connie Gohata RealtorĀ® and RE Investor Short Sale and REO Specialist Regular Sales, Distressed Sales CA/BRE #01822665 Phone: 714-553-9146

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