Archive for May, 2012

California Presidential Approval Data

We are also organizing the President Obama approval rate data that is found in each of our quarterly home values surveys. Here is all of the California Presidential approval data that we have accumulated so far to date:





California REALTOR® Views on Barack Obama’s Performance

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Posted by: HG Blog Admin on May 15th, 2012 under Presidential Approval

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Real Estate 360 Live With Louis Cammarosano 4/30/12

On Monday April 30, 2012, Louis Cammarosano, General Manager of HomeGain, was a guest on the Real Estate 360 Live radio show on The Big Talker 1580 WHFS AM, hosted by Ryan Sloper.

Listen to the show.

Part 1 (15:27)

Louis and Ryan discuss Ben Bernanke’s recent comments relating to keeping interest rates low for an extended period of time.  Ryan notes that interest rates are kept low out of necessity to keep the US interest payment obligations from being too expensive. Louis  adds that low interest rates also help keep the banks solvent. Louis notes that the policy statements don’t refer to these two points but rather state that low interest rates are in place to help the economy and consumers.

Louis notes that low interest rates are not good for consumers as they create an environment that does not encourage savings, so people are almost forced to put their savings into the stock market. Low interest rates also encourage consumers to take on more debt which is good for banks and not necessarily good for consumers. Ryan notes that loans are not available to small businesses that want to take advantage of the low interest rates.

Louis notes that the Fed policy of keeping interest rates low is market manipulation as interest rates are not driven by the market. Louis notes that if one can take advantage of these artificially low interest rate and lock in a long term mortgage you can hedge your future shelter costs against future increases. Louis notes that food and energy are stripped out of the official inflation rate.

Louis notes that the only reason the Federal Government can continue to run up deficits is because the Federal Reserve purchases the debt and that the Federal Reserve purchases 61% of all US Treasury issuance. Louis notes the Fed buys the debt with money that they print out of thin air which devalues the dollar.

Louis notes that Paul Krugman believes  that the government should be borrowing more money, and the Fed should be printing more money to pay for the borrowing to help the economy, rather than encouraging savings and production. Louis notes that if printing money was the solution to economic woes, all countries would just print more and all economic problems would be solved.

Louis notes that wealth is not created from the production and spending of money but rather from the savings and investing of money and production. Ryan notes Ron Paul’s views on monetary policy. Louis notes that gold and silver hold their value.  Louis notes that Congress ceded their authority on money to the Federal Reserve, a private bank and also notes Congress has also ceded to the President certain war powers.

Louis notes that Ron Paul’s position is not to run the economy or regulate people’s lives but rather to let people and the economy sort themselves out. Louis notes that most politicians make promises to get elected and that its difficult to get elected without a scheme.

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Posted by: HG Blog Admin on May 11th, 2012 under HomeGain, HomeGain on Real Estate Radio

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Top Deadbolt Locks to Keep Your Home Safe

One excellent home safety tool is the use of dead bolts. Keeping your doors protected by sturdy dead bolt locks is a great way to keep your home safe from would-be intruders. Of course, it’s vitally important to find the best deadbolt you can purchase. Some are simply far more effective and thus more discouraging to burglars than many others. You’ll want to be sure to install deadbolt locks on every exterior door, even between the garage and home’s interior. Burglars aren’t big fans of sturdy deadbolts. They prefer picking a much easier spring lock, or an inexpensive, flimsy deadbolt to a secure model. Often, burglars will avoid buildings with strong dead bolts in search of an easier target.

Grade 1 or ANSI-designated Deadbolt Locks

This grade specification means that these locks can’t be easily picked, pried, hammered or drilled out. These dead bolts have been tested to show that they can withstand up to ten hammer blows, and that they can work effectively long term. Grade 1 locks are tested to see that they can open and close two hundred and fifty thousand times, and that they can project a minimum of one inch into the door frame. Grade two dead bolts are also considered recommended for home use, but the grade one specification is a much more secure locking system.

Two of my favorite deadbolt locks are the Schlage B60 609 Grade 1 Single Cylinder Deadbolt and the Kwikset 99800-092, which are two reasonably priced yet top of the line models. Another solid deadbolt lock choice is the Signatures 980 Grade 1 Security Single Cylinder SmartKey. This option has a customized security system allowing simple lock re-keying if you lose a key.

At the high end of the price scale for deadlocks, you’ll find another good choice – the Medeco Maxum 11WC60L, one of the toughest out there. Also popular are electronic keyless deadbolts such as The Suunect AP501AB and the Schlage BE365VCAM619 Camelot Deadbolt Keypad, which are both excellent keyless dead bolts.

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Posted by: Guest Contributor on May 10th, 2012 under Guest Bloggers


Which Home Loan is Right For You

The steady uptick in temperature ushers in more than just pool-side cocktails and barbeques. It’s the start of real estate season, and people are hitting the MLS and local Realtors in search of For Sale signs to lead them to their perfect home.

But before you move from hunter to homeowner, the mortgage industry must be conquered, and you’ll have to get a home loan. The good news is that interest rates on mortgages are dropping, with CNN Money reporting 15-year mortgages with an average rate of 3.11%. The bad news is there are so many loan options available, you may have a hard time figuring out which one is right for your situation.

These short questions can help point you in the right direction instead of taking a stab in the dark. If you’d rather view visuals, New American Funding created an infographic quiz that can help you find the right home loan though a series of short questions.

How’s your credit score?

  • More than 640: Conventional Loans are your best bet because you can take advantage of the low interest rates and flexible payments
  • Less Than 640: FHA Loans provide easier qualifying guidelines if you’re credit score isn’t great or you can’t afford a large down payment.

How big is the home you’re buying/refinancing?

  • Less than 3 bedrooms: If your home is more than $417,000, double check your county’s maximum loan limits. For a lot of house, High Balance Loans or Jumbo Loans are your best option.
  • 3+ bedrooms: If your home is less than $417,000, you’ll fall into the amounts of FHA or Conventional Loan limits.

Would you consider yourself a risk taker?

  • Absolutely: Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) give you a lower interest rate for the first 3-10 years, but it will adjust based on the market so if you can stomach the fluctuations, go for it and then go skydiving.
  • No way: Nothing wrong with being conservative. Secure yourself with a Fixed Rate Mortgage so you know how much you’ll be paying each and every month.

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Posted by: Erin Everhart on May 1st, 2012 under Financing, Mortgage and Home Loans


Real Estate 360 Live With Louis Cammarosano 4/23/12

On Monday April 23, 2012, Louis Cammarosano, General Manager of HomeGain, was a guest on the Real Estate 360 Live radio show on The Big Talker 1580 WHFS AM, hosted by Ryan Sloper.

Listen to the show.

Part 1 (14:40)

Ryan notes that the Fed is going to meet again next week and that many experts expect another round of quantitative easing. Louis thinks that the Fed won’t announce QE3 and that a lot of capital is flowing into the US as a result of the problems in Europe and that indeed many economists expect the US dollar to appreciate in value. Louis is not certain that is a well founded belief, but one that is prevalent.

Louis notes that an announcement of QE3 might cause a bit of a panic because it would be an admission that the recovery is not taking hold and oil prices would rise. Louis thinks that although the Fed may want to do QE3 they will probably hold off until after the election in November.  Louis notes that the average investor is either short on cash or can not save as interest rates are low so they put their money in the stock market which drives valuations higher.

Louis notes that if you really wanted a strong dollar you would want higher interest rates so people would save money and invest in treasuries, rather than the Fed printing money out of thin air to buy them and thereby devaluing the dollar. Ryan notes that the dollar is appreciating vs the Euro. Louis notes that the dollar is not however strengthening against gold silver and oil. Louis notes that the amount of gold being mined is not as great as the amount of money being printed.

Louis and Ryan note the rising rental market. Louis notes that college grads will also put pressure on the rental market as most won’t be in a position to buy homes as they have student loans to pay and poor job prospects and will more often than not be renting.  Louis notes that the American Dream of home ownership is in jeopardy for young people.

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Posted by: Louis Cammarosano on May 1st, 2012 under HomeGain Radio, HomeGain on Real Estate Radio, Louis Cammarosano on Real Estate Radio

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