San Diego Real Estate News – Popular Articles

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This website focuses on San Diego Real Estate news and what is happening in the local market. I was recently reminded of an old article and it got me thinking about all of our older articles and what has been the most popular articles we have written. Here is a list of some of my favorite and most popular.

Downtown San Diego Real Estate – The downtown market is a big area that we spend a lot of time focused on. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the downtown San Diego area we are here to help and this website will always post updates about what is happening in the Downtown San Diego Real Estate Market.

What does $400,000 buy you in San Diego County? These articles are always fun to create and very popular. It gives you a great opportunity to track the market and see what has happened. This article focused on what you could buy with about $400,000 and was written a couple years ago.

What does $700,000 buy you in San Diego? Here is a recent article written in the last couple weeks about what you can purchase with $700,000. The market is always changing and these articles are good to write and use to track the market.

Remember to Contact Us if you’re looking to buy or sell San Diego real estate

San Diego Renovation Home Loan – These are popular and not enough people are away that you can do a conventional or FHA renovation loan that will allow you to finance the cost of repairs and improvements. This can be an excellent way to increase the equity in any home you purchase as your primary residence.

Lazy Real Estate Agents

Lazy Real Estate Agents! – Pretty self explanatory. I know we are not supposed to speak badly of our fellow Realtors but this article from July 2013 was well worth the post. I had to write about it although I did leave the real estate agents information out. If you’re too lazy to have professional photos taken or to even get out of your car to take a photo then you should find another career. This agent had the nerve to take the primary photo of the home they were selling from the inside of their car.


Looking for a Career in Real Estate? – Check out what Axia Real Estate has to offer. San Diego Real Estate Careers

The Loan That Killed the American Dream | Stated Income Loan

Here’s a question I am asked on a regular basis: When is the housing market going to crash (again)?

Let’s answer that by talking about the STATED INCOME LOAN – This loan destroyed the economy 10 years ago. It single-handedly killed the American dream for an entire generation – many of whom are still struggling with the fallout to this day. It began as an attractive loan product for self-employed people to qualify for a mortgage and immediately exploded in popularity because it created billions in short-term profits for investors, homeowners, lenders, loan officers and, most importantly, the Wall Street financiers whose firms bankrolled the whole thing. Wall Street was so happy with the stated income loan that they started to tweak and manipulate the loan product so they could offer it to a larger audience of potential borrowers.

The American Dream San Diego

The stated income loan went from being a niche product for self-employed borrowers to something that was being made available to everyone. Because it was now easier than ever to qualify for a stated income loan, lenders went into overdrive pushing it on unsuspecting borrowers – “Don’t worry about the paperwork, let’s just wrap this loan up today, get it funded and you will have your equity by next Wednesday!” Millions of people were using this loan to purchase real estate on the assumption home values would continue to increase. Getting a stated income loan was an easy and convenient method for homeowners to cash out, pay off debt, buy a boat, remodel their home. It was the cash register for anyone needing a few extra dollars in their pocket.

Note: Roland E. Arnall created Ameriquest Mortgage, the company reputed to have created stated income loans. Read about his history, involvement in politics and connection with the Bush administration. I know many of you hate government oversight but when you have people in powerful positions making decisions based on personal profit, you have to: (1) Question their sincerity and (2) ask how such a blatant conflict-of-interest was allowed to take place at the highest levels of politics.

So why am I going on about a loan product that hardly exists today? Because I am hearing more and more people talk about the bubble bursting soon on the current housing market. I am also hearing rumblings about the stated income loan coming back.

According to data available we are just about back to where home values were 10 years ago. We have had a steady increase in home values for the last 7 years. What is the difference between today and 10 years ago? The stated income loan does not exist like it once did. There is a stated income loan but it is only available for people that are self-employed and it usually requires 30% down payment or equity.

With no stated income loan available for homeowners over the last 8 years, we have a market full of owners that have used real income to qualify and purchase their home. There’s a HUGE difference in the fundamentals of this market compared to 10 years ago. You can’t compare this market to the previous market. Yes, we will see the market cool off because the income earned by individuals can only qualify to purchase so much property. We may also see regions of this country affected by layoffs or local issues in the economy. What we do not expect to see is the entire country’s real estate sector wiped out like we did before. The foundation that this housing market is standing on is so much more stable compared to 10 years ago.

In order to continue the cycle of increased home sales and rising home prices you need more homeowners to use the equity they have accumulated over the last 8 years to purchase larger homes with higher down payments – and we aren’t seeing those move-up buyers like we did 10 years ago. Why? Because the lack of availability of the stated income loan makes it harder to qualify for a new loan. Another reason could be that the housing crash from 10 years ago is still fresh in many homeowners’ minds and they’re more conservative when it comes to blowing their savings on a newer, larger home – an extra bedroom or larger backyard may not be worth the risk.

Evander Holyfield’s 109 Room Mansion Up For Auction

Evander Holyfield and another boxer.

The sale of Holyfield’s 12 bed/24 bath/45,000 square-foot mansion in Fayetteville, Georgia is making headlines right now, highlighting the waning fortunes of the former 4-time World Heavyweight Champion. Every news article on this story focuses on the scale and opulence of the 105 acre property. The mansion, built in 1994 when Holyfield was at the height of his fame, boasts America’s largest private pool, a two lane bowling alley, a 135 seat theater, a baseball field, tennis court, handball court, stables, indoor swimming pool, a boxing gym, three kitchens, dining room that seats 100, and… well, you get the picture. Holyfield once told a reporter that the 109 room behemoth costs around $1 million a year just to maintain. The current owners, JPMorgan Chase & Company, took over the property in 2012 after Holyfield went into foreclosure. They have put up the $7.5 million home up for auction yesterday (November 14, 2013) – bidding is set to start at $2.5 million. Evander Holyfield’s mansion is listed on Trulia as “Villa Vittoriosa”. Listing price is $7.89 million.

Regular readers of the Team Aguilar blog may remember a story I did last June where I looked at why so many pro-athletes who have earned millions throughout their careers often end up broke. Among the many riches-to-rags stories in that article, I cite the case of boxer Evander Holyfield. A titan in the ring, Holyfield made a name for himself in the boxing world, winning everything from Olympic Bronze in 1984, to the WBA, IBF and WBC championship belts on multiple occasions in both the cruiser-weight and heavyweight divisions. To this day he remains the only 4 time World Heavyweight Champion in the history of the sport. I even had the Evander Holyfield Sega Genesis game as a kid!

Evander Holyfield’s lifetime earnings, as of 2009, were estimated to be $250 million. Keep in mind Holyfield kept fighting until 2012, at which point he finally announced his retirement. Despite a quarter of a billion Dollar career earnings, Holyfield, like so many of his peers, is broke. In Holyfield’s case the problem was apparently his extended family – he has 12 children with 6 different women. According to Wikipedia, Holyfield pays an average of $3,000 a month per child in child-support. He also is reported to owe huge amounts of unpaid back taxes.

While Holyfield refutes all claims he is broke, he has been forced to auction off his jewelry, furniture and boxing memorabilia to pay off debt.

Mansion staircase. America's largest private pool.
Mansion exterior. holyfield_mansion4

Evander Holyfield’s 109 Room Mansion Up For Auction

Contractors Looking For Rehab REO Business

If you’re in the construction business and looking to provide, trash outs, cleanups, repairs for REO (Bank Owned & Foreclosure Property) real estate property please use the list below to sign up as a vendor. We receive a lot of calls from contractors looking to do rehab work. Many times we don’t control this flow of business. Most of the time, the work is completed by the REO department (lender) and a national vendor who out sources the work to local contractors. The companies below outsource this business. Please feel free to view the links below and see if you can become a vendor.

Safeguard Properties
Click on “Contractors” to register

Cyprexx Services
Click on Prospective Vendors

FAS (Financial Asset Services)
May Have to Contact Them

Field Asset Services (FAS)
1.800.468.1743 x 1580.
Erin Moore, Vendor Manager/Recruiter, I will be more than happy to take your call.

If you have additional companies to add to this list please post a comment with the information. These are the 2 largest companies that work with a lot of different banks!

You may also consider contacting the REO Departments we have listed because they do control some business and this may be another option to get additional construction business. Here is a link to the List of REO Departments.

Don’t get sucked in to paying a high registration fee! Post a question if you are unsure about a company and they are asking you to pay a registration fee.

Contractors Looking For Rehab REO Business

Real Estate Market Update Template

List of REO Departments

List of REO (Real Estate Owned) Companies

List of REO (Real Estate Owned) Companies

Last Updated Jan 2018

Updated List of REO Departments, looking for a list of REO departments? Also known as Real Estate Owned. If you’re looking for a list of contacts to get REO listings or BPO assignments here is a great list to start with.

REO List (Real Estate Owned) Companies & Departments (See list below)

MY REO experience dates back many years. I am fortunate to have many REO contacts at various institutions throughout the country. This list is designed for real estate agents looking to get REO listings. None of these REO departments deal directly with buyers, they will typically refer you to a local agent handling the property.

ATTENTION! We receive A LOT of phone calls about how to get into the REO business. It’s difficult and tough to break in. I don’t have any problem sharing some of my experience and helping others but please use THIS SECTION of the REO forum to post your questions. I should be able to respond within 24 hours. Thank you very much!

Looking for a BPO form? HERE is a FREE BPO Form for you to download and use.

A WORD OF CAUTION – Be careful of paying up front fees to companies promising to give you REO & BPO assignments. It’s likely a waste of money!

REO List (Real Estate Owned) Companies & Departments in no particular order.

REO Trans DEAD website – Website now forward to

Equator – I use to pay for the zip codes but if you’re not in an area with REO’s you’re likely wasting your money. OLD COMMENTS – Consider paying the additional fee to add your zip codes and improve your profile, you will get assignments from this company. Don’t be afraid to take the rural zip codes, less desirable areas because that is where you will find more REO business and REO company’s having a more difficult time finding quality REO agents.

Goodman Dean – Have received several requests, it’s free to sign up.

REO Network – Directory to advertise your REO services Worth signing up for the free account, not sure if I would pay for the additional features. Don’t have a lot of experience with them.

Atlas REO – CLOSED 2017  You can sign up on the website. They seem to have Fannie Mae assets all over the country and always seem to be looking for quality agents.

Fannie Mae




REO World – CLOSED 12-31-2013

REO Solutions

Mellon Bank REO department is not listed on website any more. No other updates.

Financial Asset Services

Integrated Assets – DEAD website

Default Servicing – DEAD website

Wells Fargo – Great but really difficult to get approved

Hope this helps and please post if you have any additional questions!

Thx 😀

RE: REO List (Real Estate Owned) Companies & Departments

Hey Carlos, great site!
Thanks for the REO lists..this is what i want to be doing, BPO’s leading to REO’s..
so are you saying just send in a request to these companies and wait for a reply?What should i expect
to be paid? Any more info is appreciated…


I would complete the online applications, some REO outsources, departments will have you email your submission package in. I would try to follow up with everyone once a week. Anything you can do to get your foot in the door will help.

As far as the BPO’s, we have been paid $0 on some BPO’s. Most will pay $50-75 and a few have paid as much as $125-150. You wont make a living doing BPO’s but it’s great experience and you may be able to get a REO assignment or two.

The thing I would stay away from is the companies offering a lot of song and dance for a fee to buy their REO program. I don’t think it is necessary to pay a fee. There are plenty of forum’s / real estate agents out there like this one that will offer some decent advice for free.

I have to tell you, the best relationships that Carlos has for getting REO property go back 15-20+ years. He also worked on the other side as a asset manager and VP of credit / loss mitigation. Those are the key relationships.

Please let us know if you have any additional questions, we will be happy to help.

SunTrust REO
SunTrust Mortgage, Inc website claims that all REO is listed with local real estate agents. Below is a link to their REO practices.

First Niagra Bank REO
The First Niagra website states that REO listings are not currently available but they do list contact information.

Key Bank REO
No Key Bank REO information is available at this time.

HUD REO also offers properties offered for sale by the government.

Regions Bank Properties … Search.jsp

SBA Properties

Hope this helps!

Carlos Aguilar

List of REO (Real Estate Owned) Companies & Departments

Why I Hate Real Estate Dual Agency

The practice of Dual Agency brings so many conflicts to the table; I wanted to share some of them. Over the last 5 years we have sold hundreds of REO’s (foreclosures) and now with the market improving we are seeing fewer and fewer REO’s come up for sale, which is fantastic because it means we are dealing with regular sellers and the market is starting to improve. Take a look at this email I received about a new foreclosure listing we have. We have received similar e-mails inquiring about dual agency at least once a week for the last 5 years.

Read More

San Diego’s Uneven Housing Recovery And How You Can Benefit From It!

We’ve all heard news of the San Diego housing market recovery by now – I’ve already blogged about it before (mini housing bubble, Prices Up, Foreclosures Down ). Latest data from real estate tracking company DataQuick, however, provides an interesting quirk on the recovery story. It turns out that the recovery is not uniform across all neighborhoods in San Diego County but, in fact, certain neighborhoods are recovering faster than others.

Unsurprisingly, high-density subdivisions close to major employers as well as beach-front neighborhoods in northwest San Diego recovered fastest, gaining back much of their pre-housing-crash value, while neighborhoods in south and east San Diego County have been much slower to recover.

What’s driving the recovery?

First of all, it is important to pinpoint the reasons behind the recovery in the first place. A gradually strengthening national economy, combined with steady increases in employment and historically low interest rates mandated by FHA have played a role in creating a mini-frenzy in the real estate market last year. Many would-be home buyers sitting on the fence decided to jump into the market to take advantage of low rates and depressed prices, driving up property values in certain desirable neighborhoods. The limited inventory of detached single-family homes combined with increased demand from local, out-of-state and international buyers resulted in a significant rise in home prices.

Which areas experienced the strongest recovery?

Carmel Valley, thanks to its proximity to large employers such as Qualcomm and good schools experienced the strongest recovery – the average home value are a mere 3.2% below their pre-crash peak in 2005.

The coastal communities of Mission Beach and Pacific Beach have also seen strong recoveries in home values thanks to limited supply of prime beach front property. Premium beach-front areas in a city like San Diego will always be in demand, regardless of the overall state of the housing market. The average home in Mission Beach and Pacific Beach sells for around 9.3% less than their peak pre-crash price.

Which areas are going through slow recoveries?

Neighborhoods mainly in the southern and eastern parts of San Diego County such as Logan Heights, Paradise Hills and Chula Vista are not faring as well as their northern counterparts. Average home prices in these areas are still nearly 50% lower than their pre-housing-crash peak.

These areas were hardest hit by the mortgage crisis, experiencing a high level of mortgage defaults resulting in foreclosures. To reduce their inventory of foreclosed homes banks were compelled to resell these properties at highly discounted prices, which had a knock-on effect of lowering property values throughout the neighborhood. While values have risen, they have not kept pace with other parts of San Diego County.

The silver lining (Here’s how you benefit!)

Economists and analysts all agree that the recovery is well underway, and has been for some time now. It’s not a matter of if, but when, prices will return to their pre-crash peaks. Even neighborhoods like Logan Heights and Paradise Hills are expected to recover fully as homeowners in those neighborhoods fix up their properties and put them on the market. As non-distressed home sales increase in such neighborhoods it will have the effect of raising median home prices across the board.

Investors are already being priced out the more expensive areas on San Diego and are turning to the South and East areas of the County to find great deals on single family homes. Southern and Eastern San Diego County are prime areas for anyone looking for a bargain right now.

The historically low interest rates for single family detached homes won’t last forever. FHA has artificially held rates down to speed up recovery in the national housing market, but once the government intervention ends mortgage rates will start to rise, pushing many would-be buyers out of the market.

San Diego’s Uneven Housing Recovery and How You Can Benefit From It!

The signs are clear; prices have no way to go but up and rates are still historically low (for the time being). Now is a great time to invest.

Mini-Housing Bubble, Foreclosure Recovery and the Most Morally Pure San Diego Neighborhoods – San Diego Real Estate Highlights for the Week of June 17, 2013

CNNMoney logo

CNNMoney recently featured San Diego as one of their Top Ten Fastest Growing Cities for Real Estate. San Diego’s prominent Navy presence and the defence contractors that come with it, as well as being the conduit for $26.3 billion worth of Californian exports to Mexico are cited as the primary reasons for the city’s economic growth. San Diego’s sunny climate and ocean front location are also listed as major draws for new residents. The article mentions that property developers in San Diego have switched to condos and rental apartments as affordable alternatives to single family homes.

UT San Diego logoUT San Diego kicked off June with a number of dire predictions about the local real estate market. This story warns about rising home prices in San Diego Real Estate. Home prices in March of 2013 were 12% higher from what they were a year ago – the highest they have been since 2008. What is the reason behind this precipitous rise? Inventory shortage as a result of high buyer demand thanks to historically low rates combined with a large number of homeowners unable to sell because they’re stuck in underwater mortgages.

A follow up piece three days later cites the aforementioned factors as a potential catalyst for a mini-housing bubble in San Diego. The author states that San Diego is more vulnerable to abrupt changes in house prices than other markets because of its strict zoning laws. Such laws, though popular with residents, make it difficult for property developers to quickly respond to surging demand with new construction. Experts estimate that new construction in San Diego is down 89 percent from its peak in 2006, leading to a dearth of new inventory in the face of increasing buyer enthusiasm.

A June 20 article laments the bleak prospects for affordable housing in California in the wake of reduced federal funding. The article discusses several new proposals to keep affordable housing alive in the Golden State, including a bill that would mandate an additional $75 fee for filing paperwork relating to refinancing, liens and quit-claim deeds – a move predictably opposed by the California Association of Realtors.

We end our UT San Diego round-up with this positive piece proudly proclaiming that San Diego foreclosures are at a 7 year low. The $25 billion national mortgage settlement and California’s Homeowner’s Bill of Rights are said to be the primary driving forces behind the reduction in foreclosures (both are discussed in more detail in this earlier blog post). Another factor behind the recovery is increasing home values, which brought many homeowners struggling with underwater mortgages out of negative equity. Federal and State incentives to protect homeowners also meant that banks were more receptive to conducting short sales in San Diego instead of foreclosing. Now would be a good time to remind readers that real estate industry groups like the California Mortgage Association, California Bankers Association and California Mortgage Bankers Association lobbied hard against the Homeowner’s Bill of Rights, warning of dire consequences if it passed.

This 13 page feature in the May/June 2013 issue of Our City San Diego gives us an extensive look into the many diverse and colorful neighborhoods that make up San Diego. The editors broke down San Diego County into 85 neighborhoods and ranked them in 16 categories, including crime, schools, youth facilities, health and “moral cleanliness.” The article contains the details behind ranking methodology and data sources used. Spoiler: Coronado consistently ranks as the best place to raise a family, and Downtown San Diego the worst. As far as moral cleanliness (i.e. sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll) is concerned, Hillcrest and Downtown San Diego are ranked as the worst (or best, if you happen to enjoy sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll!)

Fannie Mae REO Associate Caught Soliciting Kickbacks

Fannie Mae logoAn Irvine based Fannie Mae REO associate was indicted on federal bribery charges late last month. Armando Granillo, 44, used to work out of the government mortgage giant’s office in Irvine, California as an REO specialist. Apparently Mr. Granillo also specialized in offering brokers listings access to Fannie Mae’s extensive portfolio of foreclosed homes for a 20% kickback off sales commissions.

Granillo approached a broker in Tucson Arizona with such an offer – unfortunately for him the Tucson realtor reported Granillo to the authorities. An elaborate sting operation was set up where Granillo flew down to Phoenix to meet the broker and receive an $11,200 payment. The entire transaction was caught on tape and Granillo was promptly arrested by federal authorities.

Audio obtained by authorities from the sting operation Granillo states that kickbacks are “a part of the business.” Granillo is currently out on bail. He faces 20 years in prison if found guilty on 3 charges of wire fraud.

BriberyAs a REO specialist for Fannie Mae, Granillo’s job was to review and approve (or deny) listing offers from real estate brokers who wanted a piece of the Fannie Mae foreclosure action. Instead of doing his job, Granillo used his position of power to solicit bribes from these brokers.

The big question that needs to be asked here is if this is an isolated case, or if it points to something rotten at the core of Fannie Mae. It’s no secret that the keys to the 24 Billion of foreclosed properties owned by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are in the hands of mid-level office workers like Granillo. How many of them are expected to remain totally honest gatekeepers of billions of dollars of assets and not give in to temptation?