Author: Coops Coffee - Zackry Cooper TEAM COOPER

As Team Leader, it’s my job to play to people’s strengths and in turn offer exceptional service to our borrowers, referral partners, and national builder accounts. My goal is to create a “Client For Life” by offering exceptional service and creating “Wow” moments with everyone I encounter. I believe there is no such thing as over communication and stress the importance of “under promising and over delivering.” Because of this, our team is 100% referral based. I am a passionate person and play at 100% in all areas of my life. Knowing the importance of balance between work and play, I practice living in the moment, spending time with real people, and I’m grateful for all the gifts I been given – most of all my wife Terri and son Brody. I work hard, play hard, and laugh often.

Consistency Is Our Brand Both Personally and Professionally

Recently I have been reading a lot and being coached a lot on consistency. At first I was thinking about how this applies in my business life. What we do over and over again that impacts individuals lives and also what do we do as a team consistently that creates the outcomes we desire for our clients. And then I thought about a consistent branding for our team. Like the 18 Day Closed Transaction that we are known for. And as I delved into this this subject it started to creep in how consistency really shows up in all areas of my life. How am I consistent with my wife and making sure that I always do certain things, or acts, speak, chores, etc. for her to count on? Am I consistent in going to the gym? Being consistent to certain reoccurring meetings. Being consistent in keeping contact with friends and family. Being consistent in things I share with my son. For example: taking him to his weekly swim lessons or waking up with him every morning and sharing some quality time. Coming home every night to give my wife a huge hug and take a moment to hear how her day was. Being consistent in waking up every morning and going through my morning ritual before the rest of the house awakens. My coach once told me he “lives a boring life.” He does the same things over and over again but always get the results he desires. At first I did not really relate with this message. As some of you know or don’t know I like “shiny objects” or I get excited about new ideas. But as I have continued to think about this concept of consistency I realize this is my brand both personally and professionally. Consistency is my brand and it is how I want to be known in those whom I encounter both professionally and personally. “That Zackry guy…..he is always at his sons swim lessons, he is always at the meeting every week doing his part, he is always in the office at 9a every morning, he always makes it to his gym appointment with his workout partner, he always calls me on my birthday……” I am really looking at this subject in a new light and thinking about commitments to reoccurring events or tasks. I’m choosing to be very selective in what I commit to in order to be consistent. If I can’t be consistent then I need to gracefully say no. I am also being very careful of those shiny objects. I am choosing to first find the consistency in everything I do day to day. I am super focused on the fundamentals or priorities that I have identified first before allowing anything else in. I want to look back after every week and consistently work through these items and reflect in how I personally showed up and look for consistency. We play many roles in life as I am a husband, father, son, brother, coworker, team leader, friend, nephew, and many more. One of my commitments to be consistent is in my communication with clients. I will share with you my journey in life and keep contact throughout the years. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life and the people you know – something I do not take lightly and respect greatly. I leave you with thinking about where you are consistent in your own life and where possibly there may be some inconsistency? I will be working hard on being more consistent and welcome hearing about your journey. Be well my friends.

Sincerely,

Zackry Cooper

PS I am always here for you and the people you know. I appreciate any introductions you can make to myself and team.

“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, it’s what we do consistently.”
– Anthony Robbins

The Must Have Home Buying Guide For Anyone Thinking of Buying A Home

Buying  A Home Guide    I wanted to let you know I have completed a guide for individuals wanting to buy a home.  Whether you are a first time  homebuyer or a repeat buyer there is a lot of great info for you to review.  If you would like me to email me you a FREE COPY of the guide just let me know.  This is a MUST HAVE for all buyers thinking of buying a home in 2015.    – Zackry Cooper  925.338.9225

Appraisal Changes Coming January 2015. Read This and Understand How To Be Prepared. Don’t Read This and Learn The Hard Way!

I have had a lot of questions lately in regards to the upcoming changes to the appraisal process, known as the CU Program, with Fannie Mae.  Many of you watched this link:

http://thenationalrealestatepost.com/appraisal-time-bomb-coming-in-january-2015/

and after watching my email was full of questions on how this would effect upcoming transactions.  I decided to dig in and talk to the head of our appraisal department.  The key item to remember when dealing with HomeStreet is we own and operate our appraisal department, so our appraisers are hand selected by HomeStreet for the panel and have to pass rigorous standards in order to be a part of our panel.  “Our appraiser panel nearly rejects 1/3 of its applicants, so most of our panel has already been weeded out” as  per our head of appraisal department.  With that said what we believe at HomeStreet is the companies that do not own/operate their AMC’s, Appraisal Management Companies, will have issues due to lack of experience and whom is sitting behind the desk trying to review these appraisals and interpret this new change.  Below you will read the commentary straight from the head of all appraisal at HomeStreet and how we interpret the changes. Bottom line, HomeStreet Bank is positioned very, very well to tackle these changes and we can protect your sellers and buyers.

Tip:  If you are listing agent accepting offers you are looking pre approval letters from lenders whom own operate their appraisal panel.  Typically your large banks, brokers, and most correspondent lenders do not.  They use a 3rd party AMC typically.

Tip#2:  If you are working with buyers I would also make sure the lenders they are pre approved with have the above criteria as well.

Tip#3:  If you are working my team and HomeStreet Bank we will make sure to let the listing agents know on the offer going in we can help both their seller and agent navigate this new uncharted territory.

Here is the email from the head our appraisal department, Clark Dickson, in response to the upcoming CU changes:  (READ THIS)

My thoughts are that it is simply too early to determine how this all will affect appraisals/appraisers/mortgages, going forward.  As usual, there are always “The sky is falling” folks in the mix who always predict doom and gloom.

 

None of us here at the bank in the appraisal department has actually “seen” what CU will actually be.  All of us are aware of it and our compliance officer has been in any number of meetings and seminars to determine how it may affect us moving forward.

 

When I was in Las Vegas in November listening to the head FNMA appraiser discuss the implications of this “CU” program, he was downplaying it’s immediate influence.  The way he described it was as a double-check against appraiser’s choosing inferior comps, to inflate values and additionally, some minor level of insurance that the appraisers at least considered the most appropriate comps.

 

Generally, I believe that good appraisers, doing good appraisals, will be just fine, doing what they have historically done, provided that they explain what they did and why they did it.  To that end, we just finished an all-day seminar in both Carlsbad and Pasadena (and Fairfield/Dublin-Cathy), where we strongly encouraged appraisers to stop being form-fillers and gave them permission to become appraisers again.  This seminar was CA-approved for continuing education credits for appraisers.  We gave them specific language and techniques to more-strongly support their appraisals, along with a myriad of other issues.  Between the four venues, we had nearly 300 HomeStreet-only appraisers in, to re-learn how to work for us and provide well supported, credible appraisals for the secondary market.

 

FNMA appears to be trying to weed out weaker appraisers.  Our appraiser panel rejects nearly 1/3 of it’s applicants, so most of our panel has already been weeded out.

 

One of the assumptions made by the article below, is that AMC’s don’t have access to local data for ROV purposes and won’t be able to respond to the now-available 20 additional “low risk” comps.   Our experienced appraisal review team all have over 20 years of technical appraisal experience each, and we have MLS access to data for almost every area that we service.  In addition, our review team is residentially certified in all states that we serve.  We have three dedicated, experienced review appraisers stationed in or near Southern CA with MLS data for all So Cal counties.  We have three more in Northern CA.

 

It is a sure bet that many cost conscious AMCs will use low cost unlicensed staff to ‘review’ these computer generated comparables and ask for the originating appraiser to respond to any that have a lower ‘risk rank’ than the comparables selected by the appraiser.  This is not the case with us.  We will read the appraisal to determine if the appraisal has performed a reasonable analysis and supported his/her assertions in a credible manner, irrespective of computer generated printouts.  Based on all of the appraisal, we will question or have the appraiser respond to issues, based on sound reasoning and not a printout.

 

The directives from FNMA are that the neighborhood IS the neighborhood and that the data from the 1004MC (market conditions report) is dependent upon the actual sales data.  Irrespective of how they think they will be able to use CBG (Census Book Groups) to determine neighborhood data, they won’t.  It’s an apples-to-oranges comparison, which will never fit.

 

Every one of our HomeStreet appraisers on staff is already registered for THREE different units of FNMA training in January/February to become expert in CU.  Our compliance officer will keep us up to date and compliant.  But the sky is not yet falling and there is always a knee-jerk, over-reaction when these edicts come out from FNMA.

 

If there are truly issues to be addressed, then we will do so in a rational, compliant manner, leaving the sky where it belongs.  There is truly no need to panic at this point, although the dooms-dayers are already at it.

 

“The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear.”

— Brian Tracy: is a self-help author and motivational speaker

In a Strengthening Market, Appraisals May Not Keep Up With Prices

Some people  live in one of those pockets of the U.S. where home prices never dropped as dramatically as elsewhere and in some instances, appear now to be rising. Other such pockets exist across the U.S. — just look at your local (not national) headlines to see whether you’re in one of them. But even if you’re not, keep reading to see what growing pains your own market might soon endure.

We’re only at the tentative beginnings of this mini-trend. And that very transition is leading to complications at appraisal time. The situation was summed up recently by Realtor Julie Scheff as, “multiple offers  driving prices upward and conservative appraisals [] dampening them downward (in an April 20 article in the Montclarion called “Multiple offers signal a strengthening realty market”).

By way of reminder, most home buyers take out a loan in order to buy a home, thus making the bank or other lender a key player in closing the sale. What the bank says, basically goes. And the bank will nearly always require an appraisal, in order to make sure that the house is worth the amount of the loan in case it ends up foreclosing.

Appraisers, meanwhile, have become a conservative lot. They got burned in the real estate meltdown, collectively accused of having willingly gone along with insane levels of home price inflation. So they take a much closer look at properties now before proclaiming their value, and if they don’t see comparable sales supporting the amount the buyer wants to pay, they may not sign off on the magic number.

The last thing you want in a market that still isn’t exactly superheated is to have the deal fall apart because the appraiser, having looked around at all the low comparables, says that property isn’t worth what the buyer and seller have agreed upon. Fortunately, there’s no reason to just sit back and wait for that to happen.

Avoiding a low appraisal in advance. It’s possible to forestall a low appraisal by helping the appraiser recognize the property’s value. Whether you are the seller or the buyer, you can commission your own, independent appraisal of the property, and give those to the lender’s appraiser ahead of time.

You (or your real estate agent) can also research and advise the appraiser of any local short sales or foreclosures that might artificially bring down the numbers. (Contrary to rumor, you are allowed to speak with the appraiser, though the lender may not do so.) Give the appraiser a list (with before-and-after photos, if possible) of interior features, upgrades, and improvements, all of which can boost the property’s value. And by the way, sellers, keeping the property looking good through appraisal day doesn’t hurt, either.

Your real estate agent’s industry connections can help here, too. Your agent can speak to other agents with homes in escrow and ask for the sales prices, then — assuming they reflect rising values — prepare a list of these homes with their agents’ contact information for the appraiser.

Dealing with a low appraisal. If providing advance information doesn’t work, and the appraisal still comes in low, the seller and the buyer can call up the appraiser and question the bases for the appraisal, hoping for a reevaluation. You can also commission a second appraisal, and (assuming it’s better) show that to the lender — though the lender has no obligation to accept it.

If you’re the seller, your main hope may end up being that the buyer is willing to pay the original price (particularly likely if you were in a multiple bid situation) but increase the down payment and take out a smaller loan. That just heightens the importance of sellers carefully scrutinizing the buyer’s financials before accepting an offer, and asking for detailed information on the buyer’s income and savings. Yes, it may feel like the seller is delving for private information, but the buyer has good reason to consent to share it in this situation. (It’s also another good reason for sellers to prefer a buyer who offers a large down payment to begin with.)

Barring this, a price drop (or failed deal) may be your only option. But buyers, don’t be overly alarmed if an appraisal comes in low, particularly if you did your research or were in a competitive bidding situation. While the appraiser is a professional, and the process is backed up by evidence, every house is unique. A house’s value comes down to what a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to accept.

TEAM EMPOWERMENT MORTGAGE CHATTER: Feb 2; Who’s The Quarterback?; Is It Time For Young Families To Buy A Home?; Obama Refi Plan Would Help Non-GSE-Backed Borrowers; First-Time Buyers More Willing to Compromise

“Conventional wisdom is not to put all of your eggs in one basket. 80/20 wisdom is to choose a basket carefully, load all your eggs into it, and then watch it like a hawk.”

— Richard Koch: is a former management consultant, entrepreneur, and writer

WHO’S THE QUARTERBACK?

Given that it’s Superbowl Week, I thought we might go with a football theme today. I can’t tell you how many different people I hear proclaim that they are the quarterback of the real estate transaction – the agent, the loan officer, an attorney, accountant or financial planner. But for goodness sake, the buyer/borrower had better be the one calling the shots. Not that everyone else doesn’t play an important role, but the buyer/borrower is the one most impacted by the choices made.

How the team works best:

• Head Coach (Your Loan Officer) – Your loan officer should be the Head Coach. After careful analysis of your income, credit and assets, this is the person in the best position to make sure you are playing to your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses. Your loan officer can discuss the economic realities of homeownership, while listening to your quality of life concerns. (How often you’ll be able to eat out or vacation, for example.) The loan officer can set up the game plan.

• Offensive Coordinator (Your Real Estate Agent) – Your real estate agent is your offensive coordinator. Armed with the game plan (which includes your limitations), the agent calls the plays, counseling you on the geography, the competition, the best ways to negotiate your way to your personal touchdown. Agents know the playing field (the inventory and the market). If you hire them to represent you, they can disclose the weaknesses of your competition (the seller).

• Offensive Line (Your Attorney, Accountant and Financial Advisors) – Your attorney, accountant and financial advisors are your offensive line. They are there to protect you from the blitzes that come from outside (sellers, title issues, tax consequences, and protecting your assets). Not the glamour positions, but vital to any success you are going to have.

• Running Backs and Wide Receivers (Your Friends and Family) – Your friends and family are the running backs and wide receivers. They often receive the glory and attention, but honestly, if everyone else doesn’t do their job, they rarely ever see success. Bad game plans, weak play calling, poor execution on the offensive line or by you, as quarterback, leave them merely as names on the roster.

As with any team, communication is the most important component to getting the desired results. Being the center of the action on the field, the quarterback (you) needs to honestly talk with your coaches and coordinators, so they can help direct you on the proper play calling. Simultaneously, you need to heed the feedback from your offensive line, running backs, and receivers to filter wise advice from emotion. Be the quarterback of your own home-buying process and you’ll be more likely to realize your dreams (and not the dreams of someone else).

 

IS IT TIME FOR YOUNG FAMILIES TO BUY A HOME?

It has been reported that almost six million adults between the ages of 25 to 34 are currently living with their parents. That number reflects an almost 50% increase since 2003. These young adults are now being advised to jump into homeownership.

Who are the people selling them on the American Dream? Their parents! It seems that parents of some adult children are strongly suggesting that their children take advantage of the low cost of homeownership available today. Some moms and dads are helping financially and are even co-signing for the mortgage. Middle age parents who have owned a home understand its true value. A home has always been a good long term financial investment. However, homeownership also has many other benefits.

In Fannie Mae’s most recent National Housing Survey, they asked the question directly: Is this a major reason to buy a home?

The study broke up the answers into financial and non-financial reasons. The top four reasons and six of the top ten reasons were NON-FINANCIAL. The top four are below:

1. It means having a good place to raise children and provide a good education.

2. You have a physical structure where you and your family feel safe.

3. It allows you to have more space for your family.

4. It gives you control over what you do with your living space (renovations & updates).

Should this surprise us? Aren’t these the same reasons our parents bought their home? Aren’t these the same reasons we purchased our home? These are the same reasons parents have suggested their children buy a home. They want the same things for their grandchildren that they believed to be important for their children.

And today, the cost of homeownership is at all time lows:

J.P. Morgan

“The numbers on housing have an important message for American families today, and particularly younger families setting out on life’s great adventure: Five years ago, at the peak of the home-buying euphoria, it was emphatically a time to rent. Today, when home ownership is depreciated more than ever before, the numbers tell us it is a time to buy.”

MSNBC.com

“[S]omeone who plans on staying put for seven years would come out ahead by about $9,000 if they bought a median-priced home rather than being a tenant in a median-priced rental.”

HUD

“Homes today are more affordable for average families than they have been since 1971. Median-income families today have nearly double the funds needed to purchase the average home.”

Bottom Line

Now that the economy is beginning to show signs of stabilizing, people are getting back to the core values that families have always embraced. Homeownership is definitely high on that list. And today, from a financial standpoint, it may be the opportunity of a lifetime.

 

OBAMA REFI PLAN WOULD HELP NON-GSE-BACKED BORROWERS

In the details released today, President Barack Obama fleshed out a proposal he announced in his State of the Union speech to boost the housing market by helping more underwater home owners than are currently being served by lenders.

The President said he wants to make the federal government’s existing mortgage refinance program, called HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) available to more home owners. It’s currently available to struggling borrowers with loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. For these borrowers, incentives are provided under certain conditions to make refinancing more attractive.

Key points:

1.) More underwater home owners would be able to tap federal refinance assistance than can do so today,

2.) mortgage servicers would be restricted in their ability to foreclose until after they’ve exhausted efforts for borrowers who’ve make a good-faith effort to modify their mortgage, and

3.) efforts to reduce the inventory of foreclosed homes through bulk sales to investors for use as rental housing would be tried in a pilot program.

Under the new proposal, HARP would be expanded to include borrowers with loans that aren’t backed by Fannie and Freddie. These are the borrowers whose loans were securitized in private-label securities without any federal backing, and they would be allowed to refinance into FHA-backed loans, the same as the Fannie and Freddie borrowers. The administration has estimated that borrowers would save $3,000 a year in mortgage costs.

To be eligible, borrowers would have to have made their mortgage payments over the last six months with only one delinquency, and their loan amount couldn’t exceed the FHA loan limit for their area. If borrowers owe more than 140 percent of the value of their home, the lender has to agree to reduce the loan balance. Also, borrowers wouldn’t have to submit a full file of paperwork for the refinancing as long as they can verify their employment. The proposal also would enable borrowers who still have equity in their home — up to 20 percent — to participate.

The changes will require legislation, so Congress will have to agree to them for the expanded program to take effect.

In his State of the Union speech last week, Obama said he would pay for the expanded program using a fee charged to the country’s largest banks so the initiative wouldn’t add to the deficit. But some members of Congress have said they oppose charging banks a fee to cover the cost.

The Obama plan would also introduce a Bill of Rights for home owners, part of which is intended to smooth the mortgage modification and foreclosure processes, which today can be contentious and difficult for borrowers to understand. A key part of this is an effort to curb banks’ practice of undertaking a mortgage modification while at the same time proceeding with a foreclosure — a process called dual tracking. Before they can start foreclosure, banks will have to show they took all reasonable steps to modify a borrower’s mortgage.

To help ease inventories of foreclosed homes, the plan would give a green light to Fannie Mae to implement a pilot program to make foreclosures available to investors in bulk purchases for conversion to rental housing. Under the pilot, Fannie would package for sale foreclosed homes in a limited number of markets and require them to be used as rental properties for a period of time.

NAR has concerns with this proposal and has been talking with federal regulators to ensure that the program is carefully tailored to the communities who can truly benefit from it, that small- and medium-sized investors be able to participate, and that real estate professionals continue to play a role in the disposition of the homes.

In a statement released after the President outlined the details of his proposal, NAR said it’s urging the regulator of Fannie and Freddie, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, “to proceed cautiously with the REO-to-rental program since housing markets are complex and varied.

“NAR believes an overly aggressive REO-to-rental program that is not privately administered by local entities and does not involve substantial participation of local market experts, especially licensed real estate professionals, could be disruptive and counterproductive to communities already suffering from high foreclosure inventories and lower housing values.”

 

FIRST-TIME BUYERS MORE WILLING TO COMPROMISE

When it comes to space and upgrades, first-time home buyers are more willing to compromise than repeat buyers, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2011 “Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.”

While they have big wish lists too, first-time buyers seem to be most driven by finding a home that offers a reasonable monthly mortgage payment.

“Single home buyers tend to value affordability above all when they are choosing a home and a neighborhood,” says Jessica Lautz, NAR’s manager of member and consumer survey research. “They also focus more on living some place convenient to friends and family, as well as entertainment and leisure activities.”

The median age of first-time home buyers is 31, and about 26 percent are married with children.

First-time home buyers tend to rate energy efficiency high on their wish list, as well as simple, no-hassle technology use in their house, the study finds.

But “even if they like the idea of solar panels, first-time buyers are not likely to spend an extra $20,000 to have them,” says Stephen Melman, director of economic services for economics and housing policy for the National Association of Home Builders.

First-time buyers also are willing to compromise on space: The median-size of a home purchased by a first-time buyer is 1,570 square feet.

Overall, “the top three things that buyers want are a great room instead of a formal living room, a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, and a laundry room,” says Melman. “First-time buyers want the same thing, but they are more likely to be satisfied with a small laundry room without an attached mudroom and with a smaller master bedroom and a smaller walk-in closet.”

But one thing first-time buyers aren’t as willing to compromise on: Buying a home that needs a lot of repairs.

“Buyers that don’t have any experience with home maintenance tend to be afraid of renovations, so home sellers should be sure to fix everything they can and make minor home improvements in order to appeal to first-time buyers,” Melman says.

TEAM EMPOWERMENT MORTGAGE CHATTER: Feb 2; Who’s The Quarterback?; Is It Time For Young Families To Buy A Home?; Obama Refi Plan Would Help Non-GSE-Backed Borrowers; First-Time Buyers More Willing to Compromise