New Property Video Tour Premier

Welcome to my newest video tour for the Lake Oroville area real estate market.

I hope these videos are helpful to all of you looking for a home for sale in the real estate market of Oroville. I always appreciate any feedback you are willing to give me about these Oroville home property videos.

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

By: Mark WistermanMy 2013 Photo-Web-Revised


Wow! Now that was quite a week in the Lake Oroville real estate market and beyond!!!!!!!!

The events of the week brought back a memory or two of the past when I worked with Bob Beever. Bob had a lot of favorite little sayings. One of them was, “It was like being on Mr. Toad’s

Wild Ride!” Now, I can’t really remember in what instance he used it, but I know what he meant, because I have been on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. And, even if you have never been to Disneyland,  you have just experienced it for yourself  if you are currently attempting to buy a home, or sell a home right now.

Mr Toad Wild Ride

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, or camping out on Lake Oroville with no contact with the outside world, you know that mortgage rates took off faster than a speeding bullet this week. It is interesting, and somewhat disappointing  to me to see the reaction to what transpired this week.

Just a month ago, on this very Lake Oroville real estate market  blog site, we discussed the potential for rates to jump like this See my post of May 23, 2013. So what happened to make interest rates move like they did. If you listen to the media, you would think it was all Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s fault. Bernanke was quoted as saying that if the economy continues to improve as the Fed is projecting, that there could be reduction in the amount of bond purchases that that the Fed is making sometime towards the end of this year and it is possible that by mid-2014 they will discontinue the bond purchases all together. Remember, these bond purchases, of over $1 TRILLION per year, are being used to artificially keep interest rates low in an effort to help the economy improve.

I have wondered for a while now how Bernanke is going to extract the Fed from this bond buying without tanking the housing market and the economy. Taking a trillion dollars out of the economy without sending it spirally out of control is going to take more magic that even David Copperfield can conjure up.

Here is my take on this: 

There is NO WAY that Bernanke can just come out one day, cold turkey, and say that the Fed has actually begun to pull back.  He has to ease into this. To do otherwise would be an utter disaster. In my view the stock market would probably drop 20% in a day if he just announced the end without any warning.  His testimony to Congress last month and his press conference this week is his way of  trying to avoid a meltdown.

Which brings me back to my comment about my disappointment with the reaction to all of this.

It seems that everyone is blaming Bernanke for the jump in rates and the drop in the stock market. Now, although I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, I am not smart enough to know if Bernanke has handled this absolutely correctly. But you could have stayed at a Motel 6 last night and still figured out that this program has to end sometime and the end was getting closer. But no!! Wall Street’s reaction was like that of a spoiled kid having his allowance taken away!  In reality Bernanke didn’t change anything with regards to the bond buying, but the market absolutely ignored the “facts on the ground” and reacted with pure emotion sending rates on an upward spiral that still continues today, yet at a much smaller pace.

As with all reactions of this magnitude you should expect to see rates moderate in the coming few weeks and may even back track a bit as the market sees that the economy, while stronger, is far from strong and may even weaken in the 2nd half of the year which, in my opinion, will keep rates in the 4.25%-4.75% range.


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E-Newsletter Service Just Launched

I just signed up with this really cool new Newsletter service provided bt the National Association of REALTORS®. I will be using this service from time to time to bring important real estate topics to all of you in the Lake Oroville, Chico, Paradise, Yuba City, Marysville real estate markets and the real estate markets surrounding these areas. I would appreciate your feedback on this service as I always want to be bringing you the most pertinent real estate information available. Afterall, shouldn’t you have the most current information available to you as contemplate selling or buying a home?

Visit for more articles like this.


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The New Flood Maps Are Here….The New Flood Maps Are Here!!!

Just a quick heads up to all of you in the Lake Oroville real estate market and beyond to let you know that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has, as of today, implemented newly revised flood area maps that may require some buyers of homes in the greater Oroville area to purchase flood insurance as a condition of their purchase.

As part of the loan process lenders will require that a flood certification be done on the property. If the property is located in a high risk flood area (generally the 100 year flood zone), the lender will require flood insurance as a condition of providing the loan. The relative high cost of this insurance, which is added to the monthly payment of the buyer’s loan payment, can keep a buyer from qualifying for the loan that they need in order to purchase the home of their dreams.

Something important to keep in mind here, for those of you who currently are in the middle of a purchase transaction, is that this map revision is NOT grandfathered in. Meaning that if the home you are purchasing is now in a high risk flood zone you are going to be required to have flood insurance even though the home may not have been in a flood zone when your purchase contract was put into place.

Based on what I can decipher by looking at these maps there are not a whole lot of additional Oroville area properties that are affected by the new maps, but there are enough that some current transaction may be impacted.

You can look at the maps yourself by visiting the FEMA website. You can get to the Oroville maps by CLICKING HERE or on the picture of the map.

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KUDOS to the Housing Department

I recently had cause to discuss an issue with the City of Oroville Housing Department regarding whether or not a particular home located within the city limits of the Lake Oroville real estate market could be approved to be sold to the first time home-buyer that I am representing.

Without getting into the minutia of the issue, the Housing Department originally said that my client would not be able to purchase the home based on the current guidelines that were established within the grant program that is being used to fund the loans for first time home buyers that are purchasing homes within the city limits of the Lake Oroville real estate market.

In my view, the guideline that they were using was one that was very subjective and open to broad interpretation. In discussing this issue with the housing department over a three day period I think I talked to nearly everyone in the department.

I talked to Dawn, Tiffany, Vanessa, and Pat during this time and to be totally honest I thought I was going to get the proverbial government runaround that normally comes in  dealing with “policy.”

Well I was wrong. That’s right….wrong!

Each of these public servants listened to my concerns and my position with an open mind  and in the end understood that the guideline was in fact extremely subjective and worked diligently to do the right thing for my client , as well as for future users of the First Time Home Buyer Loan Program, of which many in the Lake Oroville real estate market have availed themselves.

The postition that these ladies are in cannot always be an enjoyable job. Dealing with REALTORS®, lenders and first time home buyers while trying to keep up with, and communciate, the many changes that occur in the grant programs that make the loan programs possible has got to be quite a challenge.

A big thank you to Pat Clark, the Director of Business Assistance and Housing Development, and the entire staff in the department for their help. It is refreshing to see that common sense and fairness are alive and well in the halls of our city in the Lake Oroville real estate market.

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Dear Real Estate Commissioner:

Have you ever had one of those days, weeks, or years when you finally get so fed up with something that your head almost explodes. Well, I am having one of those moments right now, in good old Lake Oroville, CA. and I guess I am going to have to be the first one to do something about it since it seems that nobody else wants to.

Below is a letter I just mailed off to the California Department of Real Estate, in the hopes that something can finally be done to bring some of these REO agents back to reality. I am absolutely tired of these agents hiding behind the excuse that a bank owned listing exempts them from doing their job. They must be held accountable for their inaction.

February 16, 2010

California Department of Real Estate

Attn: Enforcement

P.O Box 187000

Sacramento, CA 95818-7000

Dear Sir/Madam:

Over my nearly 16 years in the California real estate business, I have seen a continuing deterioration in the care that many licensees take in the performance of their duties as required by the laws and regulations under which they operate.

With the enormous numbers of foreclosures that have come to the market over the past 3-4 years has come a likewise increase in the number of licensees who fail to fulfill their duties under their license. The biggest violations have to do with the lack of disclosures being made by listing agents for their bank owned listings.

In the past, if an agent neglected to provide me with the appropriate disclosures, a simple phone call to the agent fixed the problem. The missing disclosure would either be faxed or e-mailed to me promptly. This is not the case in today’s market environment. There are an ever increasing number of agents who either refuse, or ignore their duty of disclosure. In particular, many agents are not performing any type of diligent visual inspection, and the problem seems to be growing.

Enclosed are three examples of what we have received in our office lately from agents who have neglected, or ignored their duty to disclose. Each of these from agents representing REO listings.

While it gives me no satisfaction to resort to lodging this complaint with your department, I feel I can no longer sit silently by while our industry continues to shoot its reputation in the foot. I am sure that I will most likely suffer some repercussions from my fellow REALTORS for lodging this complaint, but at some point someone has to stand up for the right thing; not the popular thing.

If there is anything I can do to shed further light on these cases please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours truly,

Mark S. Wisterman


DRE# 01181168

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Oroville’s Week In Review

 It seems that this week’s Lake Oroville real estate market report reflects some ongoing reporting issues the local REALTORS are having with our new multiple listing service system.

It looks as though that the inventory of unsold homes is beginning to increase slightly. This may be an effect of some sellers trying to get a head start on what most people think is the peak selling season of Spring. Hopefully we can get the bugs worked out of our new MLS system soon. Watch for the weekly sales numbers for the Paradise real estate market later this week.

MLS Stats for Oroville Area Week Ending Week Ending Week Ending Week Ending Weekly % 
  1/11/2010 1/18/2010 1/25/2010 2/1/2010 Change
# of Total Sales 13 12 4 10 150.00%
# REO/Short Sales Sold (SS) 4 7 3 8 166.67%
% Sales that are REO/SS 30.77% 58.33% 75.00% 80.00% 6.67%
Avg. List Price $124,300 $148,383 $75,975 $79,790 5.02%
Avg. Sold Price $115,100 $112,637 $68,475 $83,229 21.55%
Sold Price % of Listing Price 92.60% 75.91% 90.13% 104.31% 15.74%
Avg. Days On The Market 112 107 163 154 -5.52%
Total Sales Volume $1,496,300 $1,351,650 $273,900 $830,599 203.25%
# of Single Family Listings 315 317 320 324 1.25%
# Foreclosed On Market 44 45 38 34 -10.53%
% of Foreclosed on Market 13.97% 14.20% 11.88% 10.49% -11.63%
# Short Sales on Market 44 41 50 52 4.00%
% Short Sales on Market 13.97% 12.93% 15.63% 16.05% 2.72%
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Short Sale and Foreclosure Certified

Those of you who know me, whether you are a client, or another REALTOR®, or a friend, know that I take the business of negotiating and successfully completing real estate transactions very seriously. You also know that I do not believe for a moment, that just because someone may have a real estate license or calls themselves a REALTOR®, means that the particular someone is competent, or educated enough to properly represent their clients best interests. Let’s face it, it is way too easy to get a real estate license in this state.

It takes more than a license or the paying of dues to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)  to acquire the proper level of competence to do the job. Above all else it takes education and the desire to stay informed of the latest trends, rules, laws, etc.

This is why I am SFR_cmykvery pleased to announce that each of my associates have thought it important enough to spend the time necessary to join me in completing the educational requirements set forth by NAR  in order to obtain our Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource Certification. This is the ONLY “distressed property” certification recognized by NAR. A certification that, at the time we received ours, had been attained by only 2,500 of the nearly 1 million REALTORS® nationwide.

Through the attainment of this certification we have gained valuable knowledge and have access to the resources necessary to counsel and better guide our clients through the foreclosure and short sale processes. In fact, (here comes the commercial), we are the only office in the Lake Oroville real estate market, and maybe the entire Butte County real estate market, where every associate in the office has earned the certification. Are we “experts” yet? Nope. But, knowing my associates as I do, we are going to be as close as you can possibly be as this market begins to move away from foreclosures and more into the short sale arena.

Oh, just a side note regarding “experts”  in this business. If someone calls themselves that, in most cases you should probably run away as fast as you can. Case in point-There is one REALTOR® in town that claimed in her advertising that she was a “Short Sale Expert” and yet had never, ever negotiated a short sale transaction of any kind.!!!!!!!!!!!



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