Saturday June 28th is Brewfest Day and historic Main Street will be closed. Tickets are on sale now - click here. They are $30 a person, but you get to sample some of the best microbrews out there! James & I will be there pouring beer for you! So if you see someone obviously pregnant and pouring beer, chances are good that it's me.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I've written before about lowball offers and how to negotiate - even in a buyer's market. Yes, common sense seems to suggest that if it already is a buyer's market, you shouldn't have to negotiate and if you are a home buyer today looking for a well priced bank-owned property, chances are there is no room. There is fierce competition among buyers for those and they sell in a matter of days for well over asking.
However, if the spirit of negotiation moves you, since ultimately in some way it's all about price, this article from MSN might interest you.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Here's another mortgage update by Huck Ferrill, our guest mortgage broker.
Much has been happening lately on the residential real estate front, some well publicized, like the huge number of foreclosures, and some not so well publicized. In the last several months for example, I’ve been prequalifying up to a half dozen prospective buyers per day! Entry level houses ($100,000-350,000 in Sacramento area) seem to be enjoying the greatest interest by both first time homebuyers and investors looking for more rental property. One of my clients, a well recognized listing agent of bank repo property, reports that the nicer homes are seeing multiple offers not long after they’re listed. So far, prices haven’t risen but, inventory of for sale property is dropping, and prices will start to rise at some point. This is probably a great time to be buying if you or someone you know is looking for an investment or their first home.
Mortgage news-various adjustable loans made over the past few years, are resetting to higher adjustable rates, typically in the 7-8% range. Neg am ARMs also remain at relatively high rates. If you or someone you know has one of these products and are not sure what to do next, call me direct (916) 788-9802 or fax me the note from your old closing papers. We will be happy to analyze the note’s terms and make recommendations. My direct fax is (866) 529-5052.
30 year fixed loans are enjoying pretty good rates, around 6.25-6.5% depending on whether or not points are paid, and as long as the loan amount is under $417,000. 3 year and 5 year hybrids can be had in the mid-high 5% range. Also, Congress has authorized a temporary increase to that loan limit, which offer similar rates to a max of $580,000 (Sac area) and $729,750 in the major metro areas of California.
More mortgage news-FHA loans are back in a huge way! For years, FHA loans comprised about 65% of all financing in the Central Valley, but they went by the wayside with all the “subprime” lending (now gone) that became popular. The beauty of these loans is they are fixed, very attractive rates, they are tolerant of some past credit problems and only require a 3% down payment. In fact, it’s possible to finance all down payment and closing costs so that little or no upfront money is required to buy a home! In fact, we processed one of these for a single first time buyer. Price was $127,400 for a nice little North Highlands house, total payment is $944.00 including all property taxes and insurance. That’s actually better than the rent she had been paying, and her only initial investment in the purchase was about $200.00 toward the cost of the appraisal!
More news later as various lending reform packages move through Congress and the Administration, but one thing is sure-the chance to buy bargain homes comes every 10 years or so, and we’re there!
Monday, June 23, 2008
I've been dealing with a short sale listing for quite some time now. Really, I guess I'll never learn. It's been about three to four months it's been on the market and priced extremely well.
After having to answer innumerable calls from agents, buyers and not to mention the sellers who are the most affected by this, I've decided I will never take another short sale listing again. Besides not being in control of the situation, here are a few of the other myriad things that go wrong with listing a short sale:
1. The lender does not talk with you or communicate even their ballpark price. The listing agent is left guessing.
2. If there are two loans on the property, the situation is made even worse because even if the first lender co-operates, the second doesn't.
3. The sellers are constantly wondering if you're doing anything to sell the place.
4. The sellers are very inconvenienced, usually for months on end because even if offers come in, the house is still active on the market for others, just in case one falls through.
5. Buyers get tired of waiting and walk away before the bank accepts or makes up its mind to come up with a number.
6. Sometimes the bank will come up with a foreclosure notice instead of taking the short sale offer. Sometimes, surprise, surprise, the house will sell for exactly the amount of the offer, maybe less. (This actually happened to me with the last short sale - did I get paid? No.)
7. The agents almost never get paid. Really 5 times out of 100 is not a good statistic for a business to run on and that's how many short sales actually close.
8. Usually, the lenders don't know where paperwork is or really what's going on until a financial negotiator takes up the file.
9. I almost always lose favor with everyone involved: the buyer's agents, the sellers and the potential buyers. How many times and in how many ways can one say, "Nothing yet?"
Monday, June 16, 2008
The Sacramento Bee in its real estate section recently reported that San Francisco's real estate market has posted a rebound. While the article talks mainly about the commercial market, its effects on the residential market have been touched upon as well.
How can this be good news for Sacramento?
Remember the real real estate boom? Not the one fueled by ARMs, but the one where homebuyers were people moving into Sacramento from the Bay Area as well as Southern California because prices there were just too high for anyone to be able to buy a home? It seems like Sacramento might get to enjoy that same reputation again soon - it is one of the most afforadable places in California, and especially so today.
Keep your fingers crossed!
Friday, June 13, 2008
It's finally summer up the hill as well as in Sacramento! And if you're wondering what to do the weekend of June 28th., be sure to head to Placerville and join in the Placerville Brewfest.
James & I will be helping out at the Wine Smith and pouring brews!
More details about the Brewfest here.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
While I've been nesting and helping my husband get the rental ready for new tenants last weekend and doing a million other things, this article appeared under the Finance section of Yahoo which I think is pretty good reading for a balanced perspective on real estate.
Friday, June 6, 2008
As opposed to last month, the median price of a condo in Sacramento county jumped 12.6% to reach $153,000 in May.
114 condos sold, an improvement over last month's 100 and 150 condos went into escrow in May - better sales all around and better prices to go with them!
136 new condo listings came on the market, lower than last month's 154.
Want more good news? Okay. There are 622 condos for sale in Sacramento county, which brings inventory down further than last month, to sit at 5.45 months.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Days on market fell for the first time in months! We are down to 54 days on market for the average house sold in Sacramento county. Median price has remained fairly stable - down slightly from last month's $235,000. April was at $230,000.
1594 homes sold in the month of May and 1995 new listings came on the market. The real surprise? 3621 homes went pending sale in the month of May - that is almost twice the amount of homes than went pending in April!
There are currently 8135 houses on the active market, inventory sits at 5.1 months.
Tomorrow: condo market.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Yes, it's finally the fifth of the month! So watch tomorrow for an exciting update on the Sacramento county market. From what I've been hearing and seeing, sales are up and the Sacramento real estate market as a whole seems to be recovering.
Check back tomorrow!
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
One of my favorite writers, Liz Pulliam Weston, over at MSN Money has written a new article about being a landlord. While being a landlord is an excellent way to invest in real estate and save for retirement, it is by no means easy. She discusses a few things in this article.
Looking for rentals? Why not search here?
If you're looking for advice on being a landlord, head over to Landlord Landmines.
Monday, June 2, 2008
For the first time in a long time, condos in and around the community of Crosswoods in Citrus Heights have fallen under $200,000. If you are considering buying a condo and like Crosswoods (I had a client who would buy nowhere else but there!) search these listings. There are at least a dozen right around $200,000.
An old broker (not in age, but the temporal sense) I used to have mentioned this little nugget about real estate sales I still remember: he said that the worth of any Realtor is how much expertise, experience and market knowledge she brings to the table for her clients. Unfortunately, some of our clients seem to think we get paid to make flyers for our listings. Anyone can make a flyer, only the good ones can sell a house.
But also very true. I was reminded of this recently when I was talking with John Lockwood about the fact that we need to educate our clients on two things in today's market:
One, the fact that they will never potentially close a short sale purchase (statistically only 5% of short sales ever close) and
Two, foreclosures really are very competitively priced. Their chances of getting one goes down exponentially if they don't make full price offers.
While as a buyer's agent it is not up to me to tell clients what they should offer on a home or which house they should pick to make a purchase offer on, they should nevertheless be educated about the market by us.
Or what am I getting paid for? Typing?
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Sacramento might not be the best place for allergies, but a recent press release by Sacramento county claims that Sacramento ranks 12th for the least amount of carbon emissions per person nationwide!
Read the press release here.