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A blog about the economy and the Sacramento-area real estate market.

June 2, 2009
Short sales: revisiting the phenomenon

Way back in the late summer of 2006 I wrote my first big story about the reappearance of "short sales," a compromise kind of transaction that swept over Texas in the 1980s oil bust and California during the 1990s military base closings, defense cutbacks and recession.

At the time there were 264 short sale listings in El Dorado, Placer and Sacramento counties. Today, there must be that many in most area ZIP Codes.

People tell me that half the listings that aren't bank-owned are short sales.

So we are revisiting short sales for a story to run soon. Are banks doing more of them after a couple years dragging their feet? Is this finally an emerging alternative to foreclosures? BofA just had a big conference call with reporters to say they are gearing up to do more of them as an alternative to foreclosing. The Obama Administration has some new guidelines and financial incentives to encourage more of them, too.

I'd like to talk with a couple of people who have been through the short sale process - buying and selling, successfully, or otherwise - for inclusion in the story.

I'm also hearing that people are short-selling to investors who let them stay in the home as renters - paying half in rent what they paid for a mortgage. I'd love to get someone who has done this into the story, too.

As always, 916-321-1102 or jwasserman@sacbee.com

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