Archive for the ‘Community Information’ Category

This issue is common in many market places today.  Mortgage lenders will only close/fund up to a specific percentage of the appraised value for refinance and for purchase.  When properties don’t appraise for the value necessary to refinance or the agreed upon purchase price most transactions fall out or cancel.  In the case of a purchase a home buyer could increase their cash down payment or the buyer and seller could renegotiate the purchase price AND your agent could take the five steps listed below.

1. Read the appraisal and look for errors.  Sometimes appraisers undervalue properties because they mistakenly use comps that are not neighborhood comps, sometimes the bedroom or bathroom count is wrong, sometimes the square footage is wrong.  On occasion, other neighborhood information is wrong, such as schools.  All of this data impacts the final appraised value.  If you find errors then dispute the appraisal immediately.
2. If the lender or appraiser refuse to correct the appraisal then ask for a second opinion.  Request that the lender consider a second appraisal.
3.  Once a true appraised value is decided and the value is still lower than the previously negotiated price then renegotiate.  In today’s market your Buyer pool may be primarily FHA buyers who lack cash to make up the difference or the buyer simply does not want to make up the difference.  Work with your agent to renegotiate the purchase price.  While most Sellers want to avoid this tactic the reality is that once you start over again you may face the same appraisal results with a new buyer and by then you may have lost considerable time.
4. Buyers should consider splitting the difference with the seller.  How long have you been shopping for your home?  What will you lose by waiting?  If you have been looking for a year and think the solution is to wait think again – when interest rates that are so begin to increase a waiting buyer could experience a payment increase of up to $200/month on a purchase price of $300,000.  Buyers making a home purchase where they will raise their children will reside in their homes for upwards of ten years which equates to a possible savings of $24,000 in monthly mortgage payments based on today’s lower rates.  So if your appraisal came in $20,000 below your negotiated price work on splitting the difference with the seller.
5. If all else fails, extend contingencies and change lenders.  A new lender, mortgage banker or broker will have their own appraisal process and approved appraisers that could have very different results.
Stay tuned for more tips on completing successful closings in today’s market!

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Another beautiful Sunday with Ian. Shopping the Santa Monica Farmers Market for our weekly provisions. Lovely music, warm sun, Ian in the petting zoo while I read. Followed by a nice beach bicycle ride to the park in Venice. We have so many wonderful communities in southern california where we can walk and enjoy our families and friends.

Santa Monica has a terrific volunteer program directory. It’s all about getting acquainted, giving back, meeting new people, learning new skills, sharing old ones. Remaining active, replacing loss and building a richer life by supporting our non-profit, human service agencies.

Take a look – you probably have a skill or special interest that you can share!!!

Santa Monica Volunteer Programs
Best Buddies for intellectual disabilities
Find the Children dedicated to the recovery of missing children
Heal the Bay Santa Monica Aquarium at the pier
Free Arts for Abused Children
School on Wheels for one on one tutoring of homeless children
Westside Food Bank

We hope you have a relaxing Sunday!!!





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 Santa Claus, Ind., is on the list

From Zillow blog

By Inman News

The average American city jump-starts the holiday season with the usual kind of merrymaking activities: tree-lighting festivals, the opening of ice skating rinks, and holiday concerts beckoning celebrants to get in the spirit.

But then there are cities and towns where the very name of the place conjures visions of sugar plum fairies, elves and reindeer 365 days a year. From Christmas Cove, Maine, to Saint Nicholas, Pa., and, of course, North Pole, Alaska, it’s hard not to adopt the yuletide glow.

Here’s a roundup of some of the most seasonally themed community names, and a sampling of their respective real estate.

North Pole, Alaska

Source: Wikipedia.com.

History: The naming of this northern town was no accident. According to a National Geographic profile on the tiny city, the town council renamed it North Pole in 1952 (from “Davis Homestead”), “hoping that toy manufacturers would come for the “Made in North Pole” bragging rights despite its inconvenience … as a manufacturing site.” No companies came for the manufacturing rights, so North Pole remains a bedroom community for nearby Fairbanks, which is located 14 miles away.

Holiday tradition: The North Pole’s claim to fame, of course, is its responsibility regarding children’s letters to Santa. Every year, North Pole middle and high school students respond to the letters that pour in.

North Pole home for sale:
Nhn Aaron Ave, North Pole, Alaska (below)
List price: $219,900

This recently constructed home sits in a newer North Pole subdivision with quick access to schools and shopping. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home has 1,196 square feet of living space on nearly an acre-sized plot.



Rudolph, Wis.

Source: visitrudolphwi.org.

History: Although this Wisconsin dairy community was not inspired by the red-nosed reindeer, it has incorporated the fictional sleigh-leader in many seasonal festivities. The small town was actually named for the first male born in the community: Rudolph Hecox.

Holiday tradition: Like North Pole, Alaska, thousands of Christmas letters are sent to Rudolph each year. Other letters are directed through the village post office just to get the village’s sought-after Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer postmark. The town also features an illustration of Rudolph on all of its street signs.

Rudolph, Wis., home for sale:
5150 Stoney Brook Road, Rudolph, Wis. (below)
List price: $369,900

How about a Rudolph, Wis., home with a lot big enough to host a team of reindeer? This four-bedroom, three-bath home sits on an acre of lakefront land. The 4,400-square-foot home features a custom kitchen with granite countertops and high-end appliances, stone fireplaces, media room and sauna.



Santa Claus, Ind.

Source: virtualtourist.com.


History: The birthplace of good ol’ St. Nick? According to RoadsideAmerica.com, Santa Claus, Ind., was originally named Santa Fe and was asked by the postmaster in 1856 to change the name. At the time, the community apparently couldn’t think of anything other than Santa Claus. Today, the town completely capitalizes on its moniker with holiday-themed streets and St. Nick statues.

Holiday tradition: The post office is busy here, too, postmarking over a half-million holiday cards and processing about 10,000 letters from children.

Santa Claus home for sale:
918 S December 25, Santa Claus, Ind. (below)
For sale: $131,900

The newer-built home on the Santa Claus real estate market has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,445 square feet of living space on a large, level lot. The one-story house has an open floor plan and spacious master bedroom with walk-in closet and attached bath.



Christmas, Fla.

Source: postcardfile.blogspot.com.

History: It’s an unusual community name, but this town’s history is rather basic. On Dec. 25, 1837, at the height of the Second Seminole Indian War, American troops built a fort 20 miles east of Orlando. They named it Fort Christmas, which was later adapted into the small town’s name.

Holiday tradition: The city celebrates all year long with an enormous lighted and decorated tree display. The town’s postal staff also works overtime each season postmarking holiday cards.
Christmas home for sale:

23524 Seneca Ridge Ct, Christmas, Fla. (below)
List price: $319,000

The four-bedroom, 3.5-bath home is a spacious ranch that sits on five acres and is a few miles southeast of nearby towns Chuluota and Oviedo. Built in 1988, the house has a large wraparound front porch, mudroom, and updated solar-heated pool.



Snowflake, Ariz.

Source: ci.snowflake.az.us.

History: You may not think snow when you picture Arizona, but this small town is nestled just north of the White Mountains and gets an occasional dusting. The town wasn’t named for the winter weather, but rather for its two founders: Erastus Snow and William Jordan Flake.

Holiday tradition: Twelve Days of Christmas that culminates in a grand parade where the city serves up to 1,000 cups of hot cocoa.

Snowflake home for sale
28 County Road 8572, Snowflake, Ariz. (below)
List price: $250,000

This brick colonial-style home is situated on a “mini ranch” with solar power and battery backup. Built in 1995, the home has five bedrooms, three bathrooms and 3,367 square feet of living space.



Bethlehem, Pa.

Source: travel.webshots.com.

History: Bethlehem, Pa., is by no means the only Bethlehem in the U.S. There are several scattered throughout the states, and nearly all are named for the ancient city in the Middle East.

Holiday tradition: The city wraps its downtown in 5,500 strands of lights every year — not as many as Clark Griswold (the lights-happy father portrayed by Chevy Chase in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”) but long enough to stretch two miles.

Bethlehem, Pa., house for sale:
1015 Stone Stack Dr., Bethlehem, Pa. (below)

Located in the “prestigious Saucon Fields” neighborhood, this Bethlehem home is a far cry from a hay-strewn manger. The stone and stucco home has three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, 2,562 square feet of living space and a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace.



Evergreen, Ala.

Source: Flickr/jimmywayne.

History: Like Evergreen, Colo.; Evergreen, Ala., was named for its greenery. The small town is located in central Alabama, about midway between Montgomery and Mobile.

Holiday tradition: In honor of the town’s name, Evergreen residents line their main street with more than 30 decorated trees for the duration of the season.

Evergreen house for sale:
10951 U.S. Hwy 31, Evergreen, Ala. (below)
List price: $122,000

Built in 1935, this three-bedroom, two-bath home has been remodeled and features refinished hardwood floors, crown moldings, and gas-log fireplace. A rear, screened-in porch looks out over a backyard pond.

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Superhero Day Sponsored by @WarfieldEvans at Temple Villas in Echo Park an affordable housing facility provided by WORKS was an amazing day with lots of loving children. We look forward to more events with Free Arts for Abused Children and WORKS!!!

Visit Free Arts to find out how you can help Free Arts for Abused Children





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Superhero Day Sponsored by @WarfieldEvans took place today, Sat Sept 10, at Temple Villas in Echo Park an affordable housing facility provided by WORKS. It was an amazing day with lots of loving children. We look forward to more events with Free Arts for Abused Children and WORKS!!!

Women Organizing Resources Knowledge & Services (WORKS) was formed in April 1998 by women with extensive experience working in low-income communities of Los Angeles in the field of affordable housing and community development. Committed to developing strong, sustainable communities, we combined our years of experience in pioneering pragmatic and innovative models for affordable housing and enriched social service programs to advance family and individual viability.

WORKS has served over 4,300 individuals and families living at or below the federal poverty level and developed more than 1,100 affordable housing units. When WORKS embarks on a project, everyone involved benefits; this is our hallmark.

Channa Grace

A Message from our President

I know firsthand that in order to thrive, families and individuals need a decent, quality and affordable place to call home and access to nutritious food. This is true in the best of times, and is especially true in economically challenging times.

Join us in building affordable housing communities where our children have a safe place to run and play, our elders live in comfort, and where organic and nutritious food is accessible and affordable to people of modest means!

These are the basics!

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank


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Saturday, September 10th for the Superheroes!

Free Arts Day at W.O.R.K.S. generously sponsored by:

Cristina Warfield & Ron Evans
Warfield Evans
Keller Williams Realty

When: Saturday, September 10th

Where: W.O.R.K.S.
Temple Villas Community Center

Theme: Superheroes!

About W.O.R.K.S.
Women Organizing Resources Knowledge and Services (W.O.R.K.S.) was formed in April 1998 by women with extensive experience working in low-income communities of Los Angeles in the field of affordable housing and community building.
Committed to strong, sustainable communities, they combined years of experience in pioneering pragmatic and innovative models for affordable housing and enriched social service programs to advance family and individual viability.

W.O.R.K.S. passionately delivers quality affordable housing and innovative enriched services. Through their support and stewardship, they build equitable, heart-based sustainable communities and encourage resident self-determination. They envision community in a way that honors our collective cultures.

To learn more please visit http://www.worksusa.org

Free Arts for Abused Children
12095 W. Washington Blvd., Suite 104 Los Angeles CA 90066

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End of Summer Block Party Features Food, Fun and Free Backpacks and School Supplies for Skid Row Kids

WHAT: The Los Angeles Mission 75th Anniversary year End of Summer Block Party.

A giant street fair for children with food, games, prizes, crafts, face painting, bounce houses, giant inflatable slide and more. Children who live in the area will have a day of carefree summer fun at the Los Angeles Mission’s Annual End of Summer Block Party.

There will be health screenings, and FUN, FUN, FUN!

WHO: Celebrities and political leaders will join hundreds of other volunteers to help serve the nearly 3,000 kids and theirfamilies who will attend.

Scheduled to attended: HilaryDuff (Bloodworth), Charlotte Ross(Glee), Katie Blair (Miss California USA 2011), Angie Everhart (Take Me Home Tonight), Brandon Molale (TrueBlood), Parris Mostellar (Judy Moody and theNot Bummer Summer), Ty Paintz (How to EatFried Worms), Lauren Storm (I Love You Beth Cooper), Savannah Jayde (Big Time Rush), Kellie Goss (Big TimeRush), Tucker Albrizi (Alvin and theChipmunks), Allisyn Ashley Arm (MeetDave), Paige Adkins (Cuttin’ Da Mustard), REBORN (Gospel Artist), OrenWilliams (Lincoln Heights), Zachary Williams (Lincoln Heights), JustinTinnicci (Big Love), Lauren Dair Owens (Kids Quest) and others.

WHEN: SATURDAY August 27, 2011, 11:00 AM to3:00 PM

WHERE: Los Angeles Mission, 303 East 5thStreet (on the corner of 5th and Wall Street), Los Angeles, CA90013.

WHY: Families who receive backpacks won’t have to decide between food and school supplies for their children. The Los Angeles Mission, along with City National Bank, US Bank, Blessings in a Backpack and Hilary Duff, Jackson Hewitt, Buck Consultants and many others make the event possible.

TheEnd of Summer Block Party gives children who experience fear, hunger, health issues and stress on a daily basis a chance to spend the day just being a kid!



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