Blog - Archive for ‘Market News’

Is it the bottom yet?

January 2nd, 2013

Is it the bottom yet?

I know you’re tired of hearing it, however, 5 years into one of the worst economies ever there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Sure there are those who will preach dooms day, but all scare tactics aside, if you’re waiting for the bottom to hit, you should know it’s already behind you.

News of the Fiscal cliff, Shadow inventory, European economic woes, China deflation, Natural Disasters cannot change that today you will pay more for a piece of Real Estate then a year ago, then two years ago. However, the cost of money continues to be historically low. You can’t go wrong if you start looking to buy today, get qualified for a mortgage or just find out what you need to qualify. Even if you decide not to buy Real Estate but want to research other investment opportunities you’re not going to go wrong.

We are at a pivotal moment in our history, taking some action to plan for your nest egg is the smart way to go. If following the DOW is not your thing then check in with me on how you can buy in this market and pay yourself to keep a roof over your head.

Paul Cruz

CRUZ MITCHELL CALLIS, Associates Metrohome, www.AssociatesREgroup.com

The Seller “Who, What and When”

November 15th, 2012

The Seller “Who What and When” – 3 simple things to look for in a Buyer

So many escrows today just barely make it past the inspection period, or the opposite they make it to the finish line and fall out. Below is The Seller Who, What and When to ask in deciding what buyer to open escrow with:
Who is the Buyers lender? Who are they, how qualified is this buyer, what is their time line for handling this transaction, how will they trouble shoot any issues, who will be your main contact are just a view questions to ask.
What is the buyer’s motivation? Buying today can be very competitive. Buyers who have been looking for a while have experienced being up against multiple offers and losing out, others may be investors looking for the best deal and return on investment.  Whatever the motivation, needing a house to live in after endless searching and finding that one that is the perfect fit may be one of the better bets. Ask why does this buyer want this house; get to know them and their situation. It will help you make the right decision.
When will they lift contingency? With any offer there will be a contingency period for inspection, loan and appraisal. Most lenders will require at least two weeks some three for the complete loan approval and appraisal. However, the inspection period can move pretty quickly, the shorter the inspection period the more likely you have a motivated buyer. If they have requested a long time you should get to the bottom of why.

Paul Cruz, Realtor

9000 W. Sunset Blvd. 11th Fl., West Hollywood, CA. 90069

(310) 498-4942

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Real Estate News: Short Sales

September 24th, 2012

A short sale is the selling of real estate at a price lower then its mortgage. This is because it has a current market value less then the amount of money owed

on it. In a short sale the borrower needs to enlist a Realtor experienced in the short sale process. The Realtor will meet with the borrower to discuss establishing the current market value of the property, the marketing strategy and how they will work with the mortgage lender to reach agreement on an approved sale price. In order to successfully negotiate a short sale with the mortgage lender the borrower must establish they are experiencing a true financial hardship and can no longer keep up with their mortgage payments. The mortgage lender may agree to approve selling the property at a discount but this decision does not always release the borrower from the obligation to pay the remaining mortgage balance known as the deficiency.

Because a short sale is less expensive then a foreclosure the mortgage lender is usually agreeable to a small loss, the borrower can sometimes mitigate the damage to their credit report and the buyer can purchase a well-priced property in good condition, many times in much better condition then a foreclosure that may have been abandoned.

For more information on our short sale services contact L.A. Metro Home for a one on one consultation Contact Us.

9000 W. Sunset Blvd. 11th Fl., West Hollywood, CA.

(310) 498-4942

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Multiple offers, overbidding, buyer beware

August 2nd, 2012

Buyers beware shopping for your dream home may not be so dreamy. If you’re looking for a upgraded 2 to 3 bedroom home near good schools, shopping and transportation be prepared for multiple bids with properties opening escrow before their first open house.

Chances are if that home is starting to appeal to you, and you’re thinking of making that offer, so are many other buyers.

What happened to the flood of foreclosures, bank owned, distressed properties that were, and are, lingering in bankbooks. With investor deals being negotiated in conference rooms this inventory may never hit the open market? Or will it?

10 Questions to Ask Your Realtor about Selling a House

July 30th, 2012

 

10 Questions to Ask Your Realtor about Selling a House

  1. Are you a full-time professional real estate agent? How long have you worked full time in real estate? How long have you been representing buyers? What professional designations do you have?
    Knowing whether or not your agent practices full time can help you determine potential scheduling conflicts and his or her commitment to your transaction. As with any profession, the number of years a person has been in the business does not necessarily reflect the level of service you can expect, but it is a good starting point for your discussion. The same issue can apply to professional designations.
  2. Do you have a personal assistant, team or staff to handle different parts of the purchase? What are their names and how will each of them help me in my transaction? How do I communicate with them?
    It is not uncommon for agents who sell a lot of houses to hire people to work with them. As their businesses grow, they must be able to deliver the same or higher quality service to more people.
    You may want to know who on the team will take part in your transaction, and what role each person will play. You may even want to meet the other team members before you decide to work with the team. If you have a question about fees on your closing statement, who would handle that? Who will show up to your closing?
  3. Do you have a Website that will list my home? Can I have your URL address? Who responds to emails and how quickly? What’s your email address?
    Many buyers prefer to search online for homes because it’s available 24 hours a day and can be done at home. So you want to make sure your home is listed online, either on the agent’s Website or on their company’s site. By searching your agent’s Website you will get a clear picture of how much information is available online.
  4. How will you keep in contact with me during the selling process, and how often?
    Some agents may email, fax or call you daily to tell you that visitors have toured your home, while others will keep in touch weekly. Asking this question can help you to reconcile your needs with your agent’s systems.
  5. What do you do that other agents don’t that ensures I’m getting top dollar for my home? What is your average market time versus other agents’ average market time?
    Marketing skills are learned, and sometimes a real estate professional’s unique method of research and delivery make the difference between whether or not a home sells quickly. For example, an agent might research the demographics of your neighborhood and present you a target market list for direct marketing purposes.
  6. Will you give me names of past clients?
    Interviewing an agent can be similar to interviewing someone to work in your office. Contacting references can be a reliable way for you to understand how he or she works, and whether or not this style is compatible with your own.
  7. Do you have a performance guarantee? If I am not satisfied with your performance, can I terminate our listing agreement?
    In the heavily regulated world of real estate, it can be difficult for an agent to offer a performance guarantee. If your agent does not have a guarantee, it does not mean they are not committed to high standards. Typically, he or she will verbally outline what you can expect from their performance. Keller Williams® Realty understands the importance of win-win business relationships: the agent does not benefit if the client does not also benefit.
  8. How will you get paid? How are your fees structured? May I have that in writing?
    In many areas, the seller pays all agent commissions. Sometimes, agents will have other small fees, such as administrative or special service fees, that are charged to clients, regardless of whether they are buying or selling. Be aware of the big picture before you sign any agreements. Ask for an estimate of costs from any agent you contemplate employing.
  9. How would you develop pricing strategies for our home?
    Although location and condition affect the selling process, price is the primary factor in determining if a home sells quickly, or at all. Access to current property information is essential, and sometimes a pre-appraisal will help. Ask your agent how they created the market analysis, and whether your agent included For Sale by Owner homes, foreclosed homes and bank-owned sales in that list.
  10. What will you do to sell my home? Who determines where and when my home is marketed/ promoted? Who pays for your advertising?
    Ask your real estate agent to present to you a clear plan of how marketing and advertising dollars will be spent. If there are other forms of marketing available but not specified in the plan ask who pays for those. Request samples or case studies of the types of marketing strategies that your agent proposes (such as Internet Websites, print magazines, open houses, and local publications).

We look forward to earning your business.

The L.A. Metrohome Team

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Luxury boom, the rich go shopping

July 23rd, 2012

Bigger, better and All Cash is the game. In a world where the adage is “Less “IS” Less” and “More “IS” More” there is no shortage of cash making deals in well heeled Los Angeles neighborhoods.  Homes in affluent areas of Hollywood Hills, Beverly Hills, Bel Air,  West Hollywood and to the East Historic Hancock Park, just to name a few, garnish million dollar price tags and can sell in a matter of days.

With inventory running thin, multiple offers are not uncommon driven by prices, that though eye popping, are still at a discount compared to what could have been 5 years ago. While the debates continue over the future of jobs and the economy some folks have the means to going shopping and they’re doing just that.

Redfin reports Rising Demand, Falling Supply….

July 16th, 2012

Redfin: Rising Demand, Falling Supply Driving Home Prices Up

07/13/2012 By: Tory Barringer Printer Friendly View

Real estate broker Redfin released the June results of its Real-Time Home Price Tracker, showing home price increases in nearly all 19 major U.S. markets.

The tracker showed an average year-over-year price gain of 3 percent across all major markets and a monthly gain of 2.6 percent. Sales volumes also rose year-over-year (a 7.4 percent increase) but fell 1.1 percent month-over-month. Overall inventory levels declined, falling 25.3 percent from June 2011 and 2.4 percent from May this year.

The price data, combined with an earlier Redfin report that showed demand broadening, points to a strengthening market, said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. Kelman expects prices to continue to rise, but said he’s interested to see what happens next.

“Prices in June rose year over year for the second straight month, but the true test lies ahead,” said Kelman. “For the first time in five years, we’re seeing sellers enter the market to take advantage of rising demand, not just out of sheer necessity. We thus expect listing prices to increase, even as employment remains weak and Europe’s debt crisis continues. In competitive markets like the San Francisco Bay Area, buyers will likely rise to the bait. Elsewhere the market may falter.”

Out of the 19 markets served by Redfin, 16 showed annual price increases, with Phoenix posting the greatest gains (28.7 percent, the only double-digit year-over-year increase in all markets). Of the markets that posted decreases, Long Island suffered the most (a 4.4 percent drop). In month-over-month data, 16 markets showed price increases-Portland and California’s Inland Empire stayed flat, and Austin fell 0.1 percent.

Additionally, the tracker showed that homeowners who listed their homes sold very quickly, with all single-family homes listed in the first three weeks of June finding a buyer within two weeks of debut. The San Jose market actually saw 52.5 percent of homes selling within that short time frame.

While sales occurred quickly, the number of closings grew only modestly since last year, owing partly to lack of inventory. Closings of single-family homes increased 4.3 percent since last year. The biggest drops in sales volume were found in places where inventory was in shortest supply: Sacramento, San Jose, the Inland Empire, and Denver.

 

Latest update from Foreclosure Radar

July 16th, 2012

Inventory continues to decline. The following report is copied from Foreclosure Radar, Foreclosure Report 2012.

 
Top Story
 
FORECLOSURE INVENTORY CONTINUES TO DECLINE
 
June 2012 Foreclosure Sales were significantly down in the three largest foreclosure states in our coverage area. California Foreclosure Sales were down 13.4 percent over last month, and down 48.8 percent vs. June 2011. Arizona Foreclosure Sales were down 18.5 percent over last month, and down 42.1 percent vs. June 2011. Nevada Foreclosure Sales were down 14.6 percent over last month, and down 72.1 percent vs. June 2011 driven by the new regulation that took effect in October 2011. In addition, Foreclosure Filings are flat to down in all states in our coverage area, both on a month over month basis and vs. previous year. Arizona Notice of Sales were down 27.7 percent over last month, Nevada Notice of Defaults were down 22.7 percent over last month, and California Notice of Defaults were basically flat, being down 0.9 percent over last month.We already have significantly low home sales in the market today, and with the declining level of Foreclosure Sales the inventory will continue to decrease. In California, banks take on average 272 days to resell properties they take back at auction, thus, realtors, investors, and homebuyers should brace themselves for significantly less inventory in next years’ selling season.

Los Angeles Reconstructed

July 11th, 2012

As the debate continues over the state of the Real Estate market, developers and entrepreneurs build their own future by creating an ‘up’ market reconstructing the urban Los Angeles landscape.

Be it in Downtown L.A., Hollywood Hills, West Hollywood or the many adjacent areas, it’s nothing new driving down a city block where there might be several homeowners in default, the occasional bank owned foreclosed home and suddenly a construction site for a new mixed use development, new luxury home or fix and flip.

Builders, developers, investors, even some savvy Real Estate agents have been capitalizing on the low cost of money and plentiful distressed inventory.

Properties that are incredibly well priced may entice the average buyer but they are realistically out of reach. Boarded up or with too many health and safety violations to list, the average buyer cannot get a loan on these properties so its open territory for the buyer with “All Cash” to pick up and restore. They are refurbishing property in too poor condition for your conventional loan to then put back on the market like new and lendable.

Old distressed mini malls and vacant lots in bustling Los Angeles urban locations are also being picked up, coming back reconstructed as vibrant mixed used developments with condos, apartments, retail, restaurants and hotels. Construction sites are popping up everywhere. Inventory is thinning and competition for prime property increasing. Could the bottom of the Real Estate market have passed us up? You decide.

How much home can you afford?

February 15th, 2012

” Home buyer need to earn a minimum annual income of $57,750 to qualify for the purchase of a $282.350 home”

For release:
Feb. 9, 2012

California housing affordability improves, matching previous record high, C.A.R. reports

LOS ANGELES (Feb. 9) – California’s housing affordability rose to its highest level in fourth-quarter 2011, matching a record high set in 2009, thanks to lower home prices and record-low interest rates, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today.

The percentage of home buyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced, existing single-family home in California rose to 55 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, up from 52 percent in third-quarter 2011 and from 50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to C.A.R.’s Traditional Housing Affordability Index (HAI).  The index was the highest since C.A.R. began tracking this statistic in 1988, and equaled a high set in first-quarter 2009.

C.A.R.’s HAI measures the percentage of all households that can afford to purchase a median-priced, single-family home in California.  C.A.R. also reports affordability indices for regions and select counties within the state.  The Index is considered the most fundamental measure of housing well-being for home buyers in the state.

Home buyers needed to earn a minimum annual income of $57,750 to qualify for the purchase of a $282,350 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home in the fourth quarter of 2011.  The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance on a 30-year fixed-rate loan, would be $1,440, assuming a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 4.31 percent.  The effective composite interest rate in third-quarter 2011 was 4.63 percent and 4.62 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, housing affordability rose in most counties except San Francisco and San Mateo counties, where it was unchanged, primarily due to home price increases in those counties.  At 78 percent, San Bernardino County was the most affordable, while San Francisco County was the least affordable, with only 26 percent of households able to purchase the county’s median-priced home.

Visit http://www.car.org/marketdata/data/haitraditional/ to see C.A.R.’s historical housing affordability data.  For first-time buyer housing affordability data, visit http://www.car.org/marketdata/data/ftbhai/.

Leading the way…® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with more than 160,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.