Flat Fee MLS Listings in Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana,
Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington

Archive for September, 2009

Nevada Good Funds Law Effective October 1, 2009

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Effective October 1, 2009, the State of Nevada has enacted a “Good Funds” law. The law states that for escrow to close the buyer’s closing funds must clear the bank. The buyer brings in a cashier’s check for down payment and closing costs. The check must be deposited with the title/escrow company’s bank prior to record/close. If this cashier’s check is drawn from a local bank, this clearance can take up to two business days and therefore could delay closing and recording. If the buyer brings in an out-of-state cashier’s check, the title/escrow company could have to wait up to 10 business days to verify the check has cleared.

Source:  Equity Title of Nevada

Problem banks in our flat fee MLS area

Donald L. Plunkett, Jr. Donald L. Plunkett, Jr.
Monday, September 21st, 2009

We received the Unofficial Problem Banks list from CalculatedRisk, a finance and economics blog.

Some of the banks mentioned in the states we do business:


ARIZONA: CrediCard National Bank, Desert Hills Bank, Heritage Bank, Meridian Bank, Mesa Bank, Towne Bank of Airzona, Valley Capital Bank.

CALIFORNIA: California National Bank, Canyon National Bank, Coast National Bank, Community Bank of San Joaquin, Community Banks of Northern California, Desert Commercial Bank, Discovery Bank, First Federal Bank of California, First Regional , First Standard Bank, First Vietnamese American Bank, Gateway Bank, Golden Coast Bank, Golden Security Bank, Granite Community Bank, Imperial Capital Bank, Independence Bank, Innovative Bank, International City Bank, La Jolla Bank, Los Padres Bank, Merchants Bank of California, Mission Oaks National Bank, New Resource Bank, Pacific Coast National Bank, Pacific Valley Bank, Palm Desert National Bank, Pan American Bank, Plaza Bank, San Joaquin Bank, United Commercial Bank, Uniti Bank

COLORADO: Canon National Bank, Community Banks of Colorado, First National Bank – Fort Collins, First National Bank of the Rockies, McClave State Bank, Native American Bank, Park State Bank & Trust, Pikes Peak National , Premier Bank, Rocky Mountain Bank &  Trust, Southern Colorado National Bank, Valley Bank and Trust

HAWAI’I: None.

IDAHO: None.

IOWA: Community National Bank – Waterloo, Community State Bank, First Bank – West Des Moines, First National Bank MidWest, Polk County Bank, The First National Bank of Farragut,  The First National Bank of Logan

LOUISIANA: Central Progressive Bank, First National Bank USA      , Statewide Bank

MONTANA: Bank of The Rockies, First Citizens Bank of Polson, Mountain West Bank, United Bank

NEBRASKA: The Farmers and Merchants National Bank of Hatton, Charter West National Bank, Hastings State Bank, Nebraska Bankers’ Bank, The Farmers Bank, The First National Bank of Valentine, The First National Bank of , TierOne Bank

NEVADA: Carson River Community Bank, Nevada Bank and Trust Company, Nevada Security Bank

NEW MEXICO: First Community Bank, High Desert State Bank, Valley National Bank

OREGON: Bank of the Cascades, Columbia Community Bank, Columbia River Bank, MBank

TEXAS: Border Capital Bank, Citizens State Bank, Commercial State Bank of El Campo, First Bank of Snook, First National Bank of the Mid-Cities, Gladewater National Bank, LegacyTexas Bank, Libertad Bank, Prosper Bank, Texana Bank, Texas Community Bank, Texas National Bank, Texas Republic Bank, The First National Bank of Trenton, The Morris County National Bank of Naples, Town Center Bank, Tradition Bank – Bellaire, United Community Bank, Uvalde National Bank

UTAH: Advanta Bank Corp., Barnes Banking Company, CIT Bank, Capital Community Bank, Capmark Bank, Centennial Bank, Liberty Bank, Inc, Prime Alliance Bank, Transportation Alliance Bank, Inc., Utah Community Bank Woodlands Commercial Bank

WASHINGTON: AmericanWest Bank, Bank Reale, City Bank, Eastside Commercial Bank, Frontier Bank, Homestreet Bank, Horizon Bank, Mountain Pacific Bank, Rainier Pacific Bank, Seattle Bank, Venture Bank

NAR pushing for Extn of Home Buyer Tax Credit

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Friday, September 18th, 2009

Certainly the home buyer tax credit program in place has encouraged home buyers on the fence to move fwd with a purchase sooner rather than later. With the tax credit set to expire, NAR is pushing for an extension to help continue the momentum the housing market has gained over the past few months.

View link

Finding the bottom of the condo market

Donald L. Plunkett, Jr. Donald L. Plunkett, Jr.
Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Several sources have pointed to the Corus Bank failure as a critical step in determining what the true market value of high rise condos are.

Corus funded a number of speculative high rise condo projects in markets where we do a lot of business.  A few examples in Las Vegas:

  • One Las Vegas
  • Meridian
  • Platinum
  • Loft 5
  • Juhl
  • Newport Lofts
  • Panorama Towers
  • Village Green
  • The Residence Las Vegas
  • Soho Lofts
  • Copper Canyon
  • Boulders at Lone Mountain
  • Verano
  • Spanish Palms

Corus also funded a number of condo conversion or development projects in Arizona and Southern California, such as 44 Monroe (Phoenix), Safari Drive (Scottsdale), Wilshire Boulevard Condominiums and Solair (Los Angeles).  Now that the FDIC has stepped in, many of these largely unsold projects have been put up for sale with a 30 day deadline for a private placement transaction.   Corus previously tried to sell some of the completed REO or loans to investment groups, but the bid-ask spread was too high (because they would have been insolvent to let them go at the market price).  Now that they have failed, the true price will be discovered.

Even though the price discovery will be painful for someone who bought at or near the peak, it is important.  It is not healthy to have 50 units on the market at a huge range of prices and only 1 or 2 pending sales.  Lenders don’t even want to touch financing the few units that are purchased.  However, once a bottom price has been identified and a strong, patient owner is in place to gradually sell off the remaining developer units, the prices in these buildings will stabilize, financing will become available and transactions will again start taking place.

Cheronda Guyton’s bad decision

Donald L. Plunkett, Jr. Donald L. Plunkett, Jr.
Monday, September 14th, 2009

Cheronda Guyton, a senior vice president at Wells Fargo, is getting an enormous amount of flack from her ill-advised decision to temporarily move in to and throw parties at a recently repossessed home in Malibu Colony, a really high end subdivision.  Apparently some of the parties had her guests being dropped off by yacht (oh brother).  The previous owners had put all of their investment eggs in the Bernie Madoff basket and could no longer afford the home.

This is a disaster that Congress will use as proof that banks don’t care about borrowers.  My guess is that Wells had a legitimate reason for not listing the property yet (e.g. the prospect of an IRS tax lien on the owners, a restriction in the deed-of-lieu, etc.), but the poor decision making of its Senior VP will make it a mute point.  Let’s just hope Congress does not use this as ammunition for passing another law that adds to the deficit or to the long-term cost of mortgage finance, doesn’t work and prolongs the natural recovery of the housing market, which is well underway at least on the lower end of the market.

California statewide MLS is bombing

Donald L. Plunkett, Jr. Donald L. Plunkett, Jr.
Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

We just received noticed that after less than 2 weeks, the Fresno Association of REALTORS is pulling out of the CalREDD statewide MLS experiment.  This leaves just Madera and Merced County, with Lake County planning to join later this month.  By my calculation, the “statewide” MLS is covering a population area of about 400,000 in a state of over 35 million people.  While many states have talked about consolidating local association MLS’s, very few have had much success.  There are differences between how the information is laid out in different MLS’s, and REALTORS often have a difficult time adapting to a generic form.  Certain MLS areas may have key entries ranging from basements, lake frontage & views, township/range/section, to ground water potability which are considered minor or rarely or never used in other MLS’s.

On top of that, many REALTORS are not comfortable with outsiders coming into their community and competing for business.  Kern County (Bakersfield) has a very expensive-to-join MLS system that helps keep Los Angeles REALTORS out of their market.  In order to do business in a number of California markets, we had to join, learn, and continue to participate and stay current on issues for a number of MLS systems ranging from:

  • Combines LA / Westside MLS (CLAW)
  • San Francisco MLS
  • San Diego MLS (Sandicor)
  • Fresno MLS
  • Orange County MLS (SoCal)
  • Desert Cities MLS
  • Sacramento MLS (Metrolist)
  • and over a dozen others…..

While we think the idea of a California statewide MLS is very excited, frankly, I think it is years away.