Archive for December, 2007

Instant Online Home Value Estimator

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

I recently installed the Zillow Zestimator on the home page of my Web Site, Realty Of Marin.  It is a fun tool to use because it gives you an instant estimate of the value of your home, or if you are nosey check out your friends and relatives too.  I have mentioned Zillow in previous blog articles here.

How accurate is this Zillow Zestimator anyway?  That really depends on the location and type of property you are looking at.  If the home you are Zestimating is in the middle of a tract development the results may be accurate.  If, on the other hand, you are estimating the value of Marin County Real Estate it may not prove to be as accurate.  This is because Zillow can’t possibly know the quality of construction or the level of improvements.  It also has no idea if you have a view of the Golden Gate Bridge or no view at all.  It may know your lot is large but it does not know if it is useable or on a steep hill.

Who, cares, have some fun with it, just know we are talking ballpark value here and sometimes the value is not even in the ball park, especially with Marin Real Estate.

Warren Carreiro

Do not refinance your home!

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

 If you are up-side-down on your home (owe more than it is worth) and are considering foreclosure or a short sale you need to know the ramification each option has.

If you purchased your California home in the past couple of years with 100% financing and the home is worth less than your purchase price foreclosure may be your best option.  This may also only be true if you have NOT refinanced your home.  You see, in California, in a foreclosure the bank has no recourse on your assets beyond your home (original purchase money only- does not apply to refinanced property).  So if you want to walk from the house -give it back to the bank, the hit you take is on your credit rating for seven years.

Option 2 might be to sell your property and ask the bank to forgive the difference between your loan and sells price.  Even if the bank will not forgive you the difference this is called a short sale.  In a short sale your credit is not hit as bad as a foreclosure.  However, the bank will likely come after your other assets AND (this is a big one) the IRS will tax you on any amount forgiven by your lender.  Don’t forget when the IRS wants your money they get it.

If you want to refinance your property to keep the payments low that will be hard to do at 100% financing and it may take away the best foreclosure on original purchase money has to offer.

Because this subject has such legal and financial ramifications if this article applies to your situation get professional legal (attorney) and financial (CPA) advice.
Warren Carreiro