Credit standards going easy on jumbo mortgages


Demand for non-government loans keeps growing!

Despite overall originations hitting the lowest level since 2010, the past year witnessed a significant increase in the volume of home equity loans and lines of credit, in addition to originating the best-performing mortgages on record, the first report from Black Knight Financial Services, previously known as Lender Processing Services, found. For jumbo mortgages, however, it’s a completely different story.

Two key points about the November numbers stand out according to Herb Blecher, senior vice president of Black Knight Financial Services’ data & analytics division.

“First is that heightened credit standards have resulted in this year being the best-performing vintage on record. Even adjusting for some of these changes, such as credit scores and loan-to-values, we are seeing total delinquencies for 2013 loans at extremely low levels across every product category,” Blecher said.

The second point Blecher emphasized was that overall volumes are down. “We are seeing an increased proportion of the market being supported by non-agency (vs. government) lending – with the share nearly doubling as compared to 2010,” Blecher added.

However, increasing home prices have helped offset some of the drop in originations with demand for home equity loans increasing.

“While first mortgage originations are almost half the levels as one year ago, total home equity lending, including loans and lines, has increased by 70%, and originations of second lien home equity loans have more than doubled,” Blecher said.

In addition, the market also observed a 75% year-over-year increase in the share of non-agency jumbo prime lending.

“Notably, nearly all of these jumbo loans have been originated with no mortgage insurance, which may indicate an increased appetite for risk, as well as an opportunity to expand credit criteria, for originations within the private market,” Blecher explained.

The November data revealed that the population of “refi” mortgages has decreased by about 4 million loans since the end of 2012.

In comparison, just 5.9 million loans meet broad-based refinance criteria. But loosening the credit standards to just a 700 FICO increases the refinance population by almost 17%, or an additional 1 million loans.

If you’re looking to lease, purchase, or sell residential or commercial property, please contact me direct at (310)402-8181 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (310)402-8181 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting or

Source: Housingwire

U.S. postpones 2014 hike in mortgage fees

West hollywood real estate

It’s a Christmas miracle!

Planned fee increases that would have added to the cost of millions of mortgages will be postponed. Currently, borrowers seeking loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are set to pay higher upfront fees starting April 1.

The fees, ordered by the Federal Housing Finance Agency earlier this month, are meant to help safeguard banks against risky borrowers who might default.
But housing experts say they will add thousands of dollars to the cost of all mortgages insured by Fannie and Freddie, with the biggest hits taken by borrowers with less than perfect credit histories.

On Friday, the incoming chief of the FHFA, Mel Watt, said he intends to postpone the fees — and perhaps even cancel them — until more analysis is done. The FHFA oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Watt, a former Democratic member of Congress, has been confirmed to his post by the Senate and takes office on January 6.

In a statement, Watt said he intends to “evaluate fully the rationale” for the fees and their impact on Fannie and Freddie and the “availability of credit.”

The mortgage industry has been bracing for substantial increases in the price of loans in 2014.
“If these [policies] had been implemented, it would have increased borrowing costs dramatically,” said David Stevens, CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The hit for individual borrowers would depend on the amount of the home purchase being financed, according to Brian Koss, executive vice president at Massachusetts-based lender Mortgage Network.
Borrowers would have paid a fee when they took out the loan, or they could have effectively rolled the higher fees into their interest rate, raising monthly mortgage payments by as much as a quarter percentage point.

Even with the reversal, however, mortgages will probably get more expensive over the next few months anyway as the Federal Reserve cuts back on its purchases of mortgage backed securities, a program designed to keep interest rates low.

Stevens, the mortgage industry representative, said the proposed increases made little sense. Defaults on mortgages made in recent years have been much lower than on those made before the housing crash.

As a result, Fannie and Freddie are flush with profits, so much so that they have already returned almost all of their $187 billion taxpayer-funded bailout.

“The GSEs are making a lot of money,” said Stevens. “There’s no rationale for the increases.”

If you’re looking for commercial or residential real estate assistance, please contact me at or (310)402-8181 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (310)402-8181 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting.




West Hollywood offers a gorgeous living experience

West Hollywood (WeHo) offers a unique living experience with a variety of famous restaurants and shops as well as eccentric nightlife. The rich history of WeHo characterizes it as one of the best places to live in the Los Angeles Area.

Chateau Marmont

Chateau Marmont

The suburban community has a population of over 34,000 people located in Los Angeles and is nearby cities like Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Westwood, and Santa Monica.


Sunset Blvd. in WeHo

With household sale prices increasing by 3.8 percent compared to the last quarter, and 17.6 percent compared to last year, now is the time to buy. Interest rates are lower than ever, and home prices are starting to rise. The number of home sales is up 6.6 percent. The average listing price for homes for sale  was over $1.1 million for the last week of October. Now is the best time to lock in those interest rates and invest in a WeHo home.

West Hollywood

WeHo offers the best WalkScore in all of California based on its walkability. This is perfect for those of you looking to have a fun night out and who want to leave the car behind or for those of you who love the city life.  With Santa Monica Boulevard, the Sunset Strip, Melrose Avenue and Beverly Boulevard, there is ample supply of art, dining, and nightlife available.

Distinct architecture, famous music venues, elaborate hotels, and a number of celebrity hangouts make WeHo a notable area.

Sunset Plaza

Sunset Plaza

WeHo offers lots of things to do and is a great place to live if you seek entertainment. Comedy clubs like the Laugh Factory can be found throughout the area. The epicenter for designer showrooms and unusual exhibits can be found at the Pacific Design Center. And if that isn’t enough of a wow factor, historic celebrity mansions can be found in the area.

Pacific Design Center

JUST LISTED: 8610 W. West Knoll Dr. PRIME West Hollywood $2,249,000

Beautiful entry into this serene property

Asking Price: $2,249,000

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 3

Separate guest house, long drive way, hedged and gated, prime location

This West Hollywood home is in the center of it all, yet discretely and securely tucked away behind gated hedges on a quiet tree-lined street. Once behind the gates, a 4-car driveway is revealed with direct access to the front and backyard through custom wooden gates. A large fountain, lush landscaping and multileveled bricked patios offer a serene outdoor area that’s perfect for relaxing.

Double doors open into a tiled entry allowing shoes or a coat to come off before stepping into the massive open floor plan of the living, dining and family rooms. The living room offers a formal experience with custom fireplace (controlled by remote) and beautiful hardwood floors. Recessed lighting and a large picture window make the room bright and warm. Custom wood posts divide the formal living and dining room allowing for entertaining and hosting dinner parties. The dining area offers custom built sky lights along with custom sliding windows all of which have beveled glass mirroring the clean lines of the wood posts and chair railing. Recessed lighting with controlled dimmers above (and through-out the home) allow for setting the mood in any room of the home.

The open kitchen features high-end stainless steel appliances and custom cabinetry. Double ovens are situated next to a 5 burner gas stove making the perfect combination for the cook. Two sinks for prepping (or Kosher cooking), filtered water system, and double door fridge complete this premium kitchen. Black Caesarstone counters make the stainless steel appliances shine and multiple breakfast bar areas are situated around the kitchen, perfect for eating or leaning on while talking to the cook. Stepping away from the kitchen, you enter the family room with beautiful, custom architectural skylights. This area is perfect for the more relaxed days of the week watching a movie with friends and family or sipping a glass of wine. Off the family is a beautiful outdoor patio that is elevated above the backyard, yet is still perfectly private. Plenty of room for entertaining your guests or lounging alone, this is the perfect getaway just steps from the inside of the home. Also off the patio is a staircase leading into the large backyard.

Beyond the entertaining areas, the first floor of the home includes a master bedroom with views of the beautiful treetops in the backyard. Two entry options into the room, from the hallway or family room create a nice flow for the room. Two separate closets allow for large wardrobes and storage. The master bathroom has beautiful custom tile work and multiple shower heads to create a spa-like experience.

Down the hall is a guest bedroom with access to the front yard and custom built-in book shelves. This room is perfect for guests or a home office/library and also features double entry ways, double doors opening into the living room and also an entry into the hallway. A guest bathroom with black and white tiled floors and custom cabinets create a high-end feel. The bathroom also has enclosed laundry room with high-end stackable washer and dryer and shelves for linens.

A custom glass and wooden staircase lead the way to the second floor of the home which is situated downstairs below the main level of the house. This part of the home is truly rare and offers many options for the owner. The stairway is concealed behind a door with additional storage in the hall perfect for luggage or seasonal decorations. The large bedroom has views of the backyard and a full bathroom with custom double sinks and allow for the perfect guest retreat or extended family member’s stay.

This level also includes a mother-in-law kitchenette and second laundry room with high-end washer/dryer. The kitchen (once operating as a recording area of a studio) offers easy access to food and drink or can be easily converted into a projection room, media storage or left to serve its current purpose. A truly versatile space waits just on the other side of the kitchen which currently functions as a recording studio. This room has many useful options and is a wonderful bonus space for a home owner to have and can be used as living space, screening room or additional lounging area.

The lower part of the home opens into the backyard with multiple covered and open entertaining areas hidden with large manicured hedges that create privacy. The property has fruit trees and a garden area perfect for skipping the market for fresh fruit or herbs.

The home also offers the quintessential white picket fence which separates the main house from the full guest home. A separate entrance from the side of the yard makes this convenient for extend guests or family to enter the guest house with privacy and ease. A large room offers the prefect amount of space for the already installed kitchen area, living and dining space. A separate bedroom encloses off the living space with walk-in closet. The guest house also offers a fully remodeled bathroom with custom tile work and jacuzzi tub. An exterior area that is hidden away from the rest of the property offers privacy and lounging areas for the guests. Also featured is a third laundry area so entrance into the main house is not necessary.


Creative Commercial Space for Lease! Great Location in West Hollywood!

Fully built-out creative office with exposed wood bow-truss construction, high ceilings, 2 bullpen areas, conference room, and 15 executive glass offices.

  • Great visibility: ~150 linear feet glass frontage at the corner of Melrose and Crescent Heights. Signage Available.
  • Expansive floor-to-ceiling windows. Fully Sprinklered. Main entrance can be configured to Crescent Heights or Melrose Ave at tenant’s discretion.
  • Single Tenant Space: No Corridors =No Waste. Up to 20% more square footage than comparable spaces in multi-tenant office buildings.
  • Centrally located at the corner of Melrose Ave & Crescent Heights, in the exclusive Melrose shopping district (± 30,000 cars).
  • Neighborhood tenants include Fred Segal, Palihotel, Paul Smith, Alexander McQueen, Adidas, Red  O  Restaurant, Hart & The Hunter Restaurant, and other high-end retailers.

Contact me direct for information (310)402-8181 or

6,600 Sq. Ft. Available. Divisible.

loft3 loft2 Melrose Creative Lease


Fed attempts to free higher-priced loans from appraisal binds

A proposed rule was issued by six federal financial regulatory agencies that would create exemptions from specific appraisal requirements for a subset of higher-priced mortgages.

The proposed exemptions would save borrowers both time and money as well as promote the safety and soundness of creditors.

The Dodd-Frank Act imposed appraisal requirements for high-priced mortgages. Under the act, loans are deemed “higher-priced” if they are secured by a consumer’s home and have interest rates above a certain threshold.

The rule proposed would allow the following three types of higher-priced mortgage loans to be exempt from the Dodd-Frank Act appraisal requirements: loans of $25,000 or less, certain streamlined refinancing and certain loans secured by manufactured housing.

In January, the Federal Reserve Board, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a final rule implementing the new Dodd-Frank Act appraisal requirements.

As of January 18, 2014, compliance with the final rule will become mandatory. The agencies listed above are jointly issuing the proposed rule on additional exemptions in response to public comments received previously.

Public comments are encouraged by the agencies on all aspects of the proposal. The public will have until September 9, 2013, to review and comment on most of the proposal. However, comments linked to the proposed Paperwork Reduction Act analysis will be due 60 days after the rule is published in the Federal Register.




Majority of metro housing markets improving, trade group says…

Most of the nation’s metropolitan housing markets can be classified as improving, according to a trade group, pointing to a broad-based housing recovery.

The National Assn. of Home Builders said Monday that 255 metro housing markets are improving, a pullback from 263 in June, but the sixth consecutive month that at least 70% of metros tracked by the association earned the improving label.

The association lists a market as improving when it shows increases in housing permits, employment and home prices for at least six months running.  The home builder group dropped 14 markets from its list in July and added six. 

“The relative stability of the [index] is representative of the broad recovery underway, which is much more extensive than what we were looking at one year ago,” NAHB Chairman Rick Judson said in a statement.

The number of improving markets has more than tripled since July 2012, and 49 states and the District of Columbia now have an improving local market. 


If you’re looking for real estate assistance please feel free to contact me direct.


Julie Kryukova





Source: LA Times

JUST LISTED AT $499,000! 999 Doheny Dr. #902 West Hollywood, CA 90069 – Chic condo with unbelievable views!

999 Doheny Drive






$520 Monthly Dues

Available NOW!

Please contact Julie Kryukova at (310)402-8181 or for showing and questions.

999 Doheny #902 #2 999 Doheny #902 #3  999 Doheny #902 #5 999 Doheny #902 #6 999 Doheny #902 #7 999 Doheny #902 #9  DSC_0012 DSC_0013 DSC_0015 DSC_0016 DSC_0018 DSC_0019   DSC_0038 DSC_0039 DSC_0040 DSC_0042 DSC_0043  exterior lobby lobby2


New Listing Alert: Stunning Spanish in the Grove Area of LA $1,749,000

435 N Martel Ave

435 N. Martel Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036 (Walking distance to The Grove – lovely location)

3bedrooms/3.5bathrooms/2,500 Sq. Ft

ASKING PRICE: $1,749,000

Please contact me at or call (310)402.8181 for more information or to schedule showings:

This rebuilt, remodeled, redesigned three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom Spanish residence in the heart of The Grove/Melrose area sets a high standard for the neighborhood. Walk to everything or stay home and enjoy a sequestered life behind gates and mature ficus hedges. Amazing finishes, fixtures and top-of-the-line stainless-steel appliances reflect a Hollywood era gone by, but provide a complete set of today’s most sought-after elements–including a built-in Miele espresso machine.

An elegant light-filled living room with extra tall and wide picture windows, wood-burning fireplace and barrel ceiling offers ample room for formal entertaining.

Just outside the living room is a lofty combination of rooms in the center of the house. A chef’s eat-in kitchen, dining area, media room and powder room form an axis of activity for residents desiring an open floor plan conducive to contemporary living and entertaining.

The chef’s kitchen features Caesarstone counter tops, custom Downsview cabinetry, a professional-grade Wolf range (multiple burners + griddle + grill + double ovens) and a stainless-steel Wolf hood. The room’s over-sized center island provides that hard-to-come-by space for cooking and entertaining while also keeping an eye on the game on the media room’s flat-screen television. Upper and lower cabinet lights and recessed halogens provide multiple options for mood lighting. Stainless double sinks with filtered water system, an appliance lift door (for microwave or toaster oven), Miele dishwasher and Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer make this kitchen one of the best in the area.

Bonus alert! A designated media/family room in three-bedroom Spanish homes around The Grove is a rarity. This room adjoins the dining area and provides a sight line into the kitchen area. Five-speaker surround sound makes watching screeners a theatrical experience. Custom floor-to-ceiling blackout draperies (throughout the home) convert this area into a true home theater.

Two guest suites (each with their own sparkling bathrooms) and a massive master suite with a huge spa-like bathroom and a giant walk-in closet provide plenty of private living space. The master bath has an over-sized step-in rain shower, a separate extra-deep tub, Carrara marble counters, Walker Zanger and Ann Sacks tiles, custom wood Downsview cabinetry, mirrors, double sinks, in-wall speakers and a TV monitor. Can you say “Mandarin Oriental” or “Ritz-Carlton”?

The master bedroom’s walk-in closet/dressing area has a floor-to-ceiling built-in closet system by California Closets including hanging areas, dressers and storage cabinets. Each of the other two bedroom closets also has built-in storage systems. One of the two guest rooms has a built-in “office wall” with upper and lower custom wood cabinetry by Downsview and a Caesarstone counter/desktop, a perfect work-from-home or study area.

A laundry room (with king-sized side-by-side front-loading washer/dryer) provides built-in storage shelves for cleaning supplies. A media cabinet and linen cabinet augment the house’s storage components.

The home has a security system, Harman/Kardon sound system (with individual room-by-room volume controls), climate control, art lighting, double-paned E-glass windows and French doors. A “California basement” houses some of the home’s systems, as well as additional long-term dry storage.

Outside is a restful, private backyard retreat with a pool, waterfall and spa. A shady, luxury hotel-style cabana with a vaulted ceiling creates opportunities for an outdoor living/dining room, game room or carport.

A driveway gate can be operated electronically and provides access to off-street parking. There is additional off-street space for two cars in front of the gate. Access to the grassy hedged-in front yard and front door is through an electronically-secured pedestrian gate.

This home is a rare example of an extensive renovation done right. Impeccable attention to detail and not a single thing to change. Move in, unpack and enjoy California indoor/outdoor living at its best.

NOTE: Assessor’s interior sq.ft. is 2,300. A recent floor plan draft from R.E.S.T. calculates interior sq.ft. at 2,439. Outdoor cabana is not included in these calculations. [Buyer to verify square-footage.]

New addendum could help appraisers give credit for green features

The three-page Appraisal Institute form should guarantee at the minimum that an
appraiser will take notice of a home’s energy improvements and seek to come up
with a value adjustment for local market conditions.

Here’s some good news for homeowners who’ve installed energy-saving features
but haven’t been sure appraisers will credit them with higher valuations: Thanks
to a new industry-issued appraisal addendum, the odds have improved that such
upgrades get the fairer market value they’re due.

The Appraisal Institute, the country’s largest and most influential association in
its field, published the long-awaited addendum late last month. It’s designed to
be attached to any standard appraisal report covering a property with
significant green features. Owners, sellers, buyers, refinancers and realty
agents don’t have to wait for an appraiser to use it. They can download it at no
cost and ask that it be made part of the appraisal submitted to the lender.


The new addendum won’t guarantee you that the appraiser will raise your
property value by the tens of thousands of dollars you spent on your solar panel
array, high-efficiency windows or geothermal system. But it should guarantee at
the minimum that he or she will take notice of the energy improvements and seek
to come up with a value adjustment for your local market conditions.

The three-page form is a response to growing concerns that although the Obama
administration and many state governments and utilities are pushing homeowners
to invest in energy-conserving components, standard appraisal forms — including
those used by financing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not set up to give adequate

recognition to those often costly improvements.

The inevitable result: Owners are frustrated at what they consider lowball
valuations. Refinancers can’t get the loan amounts they seek because the
appraisal report doesn’t factor in the monthly utility savings they’re getting
from their solar panels. Appraisers, for their part, say local real estate
listing documents often don’t spell out in detail all the energy-efficiency
improvements or they get the facts wrong.

For example, appraisers complain that some realty listings claim that the
house is an “Energy Star Home” when in fact there’s nothing more than a few
Energy Star appliances installed in the kitchen. The Energy Star Home
designation is a much higher standard: It requires qualifying under a
comprehensive set of criteria for the lighting, windows, water heating and
high-efficiency appliances, among others.

The institute’s addendum runs the gamut of improvements and ratings, and goes
well beyond energy efficiency. Though it has basic sections covering insulation,
windows, lighting, heating, air conditioning and solar, it also covers
sustainability features such as the presence of water-saving or reclamation
systems, landscaping that lowers either water or energy use, and even the
presence — or lack — of public transportation nearby that might help lower fuel

Of special significance to owners who have had their houses audited or rated
for green features and energy efficiency, the addendum asks for detailed
information on the rating or auditing entity, the dates of the rating, average
utility costs in the area and estimated monthly savings based on the rating

Any certifications such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design) must be attached to the report along with information on any changes
made by the owners to the property since the certification. If the house has
solar installations, the addendum asks for such details as the age of the
panels, the energy production in kilowatt hours for each array, and other
information relating to the energy savings attributable to the solar

Appraisers using the new addendum should now be better equipped to identify
accurate, recent “comparable” sales in the area — a key part of coming up with a
valuation, according to Joseph C. Magdziarz, 2011 president of the institute. In
other words, if you have a highly efficient, audited house with extensive
energy-saving features as demonstrated by the addendum, an appraiser should look
for prices of houses that sold recently with and without energy-efficiency
features for indications of your home’s true market value.

Appraisers who have training in green valuations can also use one or more
techniques that essentially capitalize the documented monthly savings on utility
bills into a specific value adjustment appropriate for the local market. Sandra
K. Adomatis, an appraiser in Punta Gorda, Fla., who teaches green appraisal
courses and is a nationally recognized expert, said the higher the utility
charges in a jurisdiction, generally the higher the value gain from solar panels
and other energy-saving installations. For instance, in a relatively
high-utility-cost state such as California, said Adomatis, the value increment
from the same improvements might be double that in a relatively low-cost state
such as Florida.

The addendum is available at the Appraisal
Institute site, at


Source: 10/9/11

By Kenneth R. Harney