Answers for you....

Where can I get your San Diego Housing Report?  Send an email to sb@berklandgroup.com with "housing report" in the subject line.

How many people are worried about keeping up with their mortgage payments?  More than you think! Before the housing bubble collapsed, most sellers cited their primary reason for selling as "moving to a bigger home or better location".  In a dramatic shift,  they now sell to escape financial distress.  (Selling to move up declined steadily since 2006 from 75% to 3% of sales, and selling to escape financial distress was 63%.  The seller survey was done by the California Association of Realtors.)  

Is it true that house prices are going up?The government is working hard to reflate housing prices, so they spent trillions of dollars to lower mortgage rates, and they are encouraging servicers and banks to ignore delinquent borrowers to keep foreclosures down.  High demand, low supply leads to bidding wars and higher prices.  Read our latest San Diego Housing Market White Paper.

Where can I find foreclosures and home sales in my area?  Check the links in the left side bar.

How much is my home worth?Compare your home to recent sales in your area.   We only need the house address and an email address to send the report.  Click here to get started.   After you view the report, compare your home's features and benefits to those of the other sold homes.  Or, call me for a personal analysis.

I want to sell my house, but I owe more than it's worth.This is the most common problem for homeowners today.  You can sell and bring money to closing, or ask your lender to forgive the debt in a short sale.  Beware that debt forgiveness in a short sale done after 1/1/09 generates California income tax (but not federal tax, under a current exemption) bills.  Your other option is stop paying the mortgage - you have a 50% chance of being ignored and we know of homeowners who have been ignored for 2 years.  If you are foreclosed, you have at least 9 months before the lender sells the house at the auction.  Your credit score is ruined equally by a short sale and a foreclosure;  however borrowers can get a mortgage again 3 years after a short sale and must wait 7 years after foreclosure.

Are there tips to selling a house?  Should I sell it myself?  We always encourage people to follow their dreams, and try new things.    FSBOs (for sale by owners) declined from 4% to 1% of California sales between 2008 and 2009.  The reason for such low success for FSBOs is that buyers don't know these homes even exist,  since 84% of buyers start their search online. Likewise, we realtors don't know they exist either.  To sell your house for the most money, you need maximum traffic, and that means being on the internet where buyers will find you and get emotionally attracted to see your home.    

I want to refinance, but I owe more than the house is worth.  Contact me to find out more about a short sale refinance. 

I can't afford my mortgage now, or I can't afford it next year after the payment goes up.  You may qualify for the government HAMP program, or a program by your servicer.  See this table for more information for your situation.

What can I do to avoid foreclosure? See these many resources available to you free of charge.

How much should I pay for a loan modification or loan audit? It's a scam to charge for loan modifications, now also called loan audits. You only need to contact your lender to apply.    California law forbids anyone from charging upfront fees for loan modification.  Here's a quick scams reference sheet for people facing foreclosure.

What are the most common scams targeting homeowners? Check Loan Modification Scam Alert.  The scams keep changing, and desperate homeowners often make poor decisions.

Where can I get free foreclosure counseling assistance? Any HUD-approved counseling agency, such as Community Housing Works. 

What's the outlook for housing?  We publish a subscription-based monthly housing report.  Ask us for a complimentary copy of the most recent issue.

 Contact Schahrzad Berkland at sb@berklandgroup.com, or by cell at (858) 449-3481.  I love talking with people, so call me anytime between 7am - 10pm.