Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Monday Morning Update

Monday Statistics

Good morning South County! Here are your weekly updates on what is happening in your neighborhoods. Feel free to contact me if you want more specific information. As of this week:

Morgan Hill has 141 active listings and 108 sale pendings with 46 closed sales for July

Gilroy has 126 active listings and 199 sale pendings with 67 closed sales for July

San Martin has 33 active listings and 14 sale pendings with 14 closed sales for July

Area 1 (all of the above) has 299 active listings and 320 sale pendings with 115 closed sales for July

Been on vacation and back again but it's always interesting to take a break and see what is happening. Doesn't look all that different from when I left a couple of weeks ago. Plus interest rates aren't all that different from what they have been. They seem to be holding in a certain range. I'll keep you posted.

Stay tuned for regular updates!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Beware of Loan Modification Programs

The Department of Real Estate recently issued a fraud warning alerting consumers about loan modification scams and informing consumers of what they can do to protect themselves. The alert is available in both English and Spanish. Last July, the DRE had fewer than 10 complaints involving loan modification companies but today the department has 750 pending investigations. In addition, since last October, the DRE has filed more than 200 desist and refrain orders. A list of the companies and persons the DRE has filed an action against can be viewed at http://www.dre.ca.gov/cons_drs.asp.

It is worth noting that not all firms who collect advance fees for loan modifications services do so illegally the DRE said. In general, only licensed real estate brokers and attorneys operating within the scope of their license may collect advance fees. Real estate brokers must have their advance fee agreement reviewed by the DRE prior to its use to ensure it is compliant with real estate law.

C.A.R. advises members to carefully look at any program that may appear to have a government seal. C.A.R. is not aware of any government programs that have exclusive areas for which you have to pay to participate, and cautions all members to be on the alert for schemes seeking funds from Realtors or consumers with no value, or that may be misleading or unlawful.

The above information was provided by the California Association of Realtors web page.

My 2 Cents - Almost (but not really) unbelievable that there are so many people taking advantage of people who are already financially down but there it is. Check it out on line, with the DRE or with a trusted Realtor before you give away your financial information or money to someone you don't know. Use caution and common sense and get help from a trusted source.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Bank Owned Property in Gilroy

750 Carla Way
What a great price - $289,900 for a spacious 2 story home with 1924 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths and located on a spacious lot with 7200 square feet. Home is older, 44 years old and needs some tlc but has potential. Has some of the charm of an older home with hardwood floors inside and covered patio outside. Located over by the Las Animas Park, this bank owned property should move quickly.
My 2 cents - Be aware that banks often add their own contract to the transaction which puts some of the terms in their favor and goes back to the era of 'buyer beware'. Often this means contingencies are removed automatically and any extension of close of escrow ends up costing the buyer. Read the fine print!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Leslie Appleton-Young speaks to Realtors

Chief Economist for the California Association of Realtors Speaks Out

Leslie presented results from her recent survey of California homebuyers and sellers. Here are some of the highlights, insights that might aid you in your own decision making in navigating through the market:

1) Many of today's buyers and sellers are real estate rookies - 38% of buyers surveyed in 2009 were first-timers. That's up from 12% in 2002 and a historic high. 44% of sellers in 2009 were first-timers. That's a lot of people that have never been through a transaction. If you're anxious or confused about something, chances are the people on the other side of the deal are too. Be patient and recognize both sides are working toward the same goal of a closed transaction.

2) The market may be stabilizing, but buyer and seller expectations are far from matched. 70% of buyers surveyed in 2009 reported making one or more offers before closing on a property. 47% of buyers who had transactions fall apart cited seller unwillingness to accept comprises as the reason. If you're a seller this is yet another sign that buyers are out there - if you price right.

3) Buyers are not using the newspaper. Only 12% of buyers surveyed in 2009 used the newspaper to find their home. Moreover, a strong marketing plan ranked as the #1 reason sellers cited for choosing their agent. If you're a seller, don't get hung up on having your home in the paper - it's unlikely to make any impact on the sale of your home - but do make sure an agent has online bases covered.

My 2 cents - This market is still not quite settled back into balance at the same time the very nature of how homes are marketed and how consumers find them is changing. Keep an open mind and look toward a more efficient marketplace in the future.

Stay posted!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday Morning Statistics

Monday Statistics

Good morning South County! Here are your weekly updates on what is happening in your neighborhoods. Feel free to contact me if you want more specific information. As of this week:

Morgan Hill has 148 active listings and 109 sale pendings

Gilroy has 136 active listings and 199 sale pendings

San Martin has 31 active listings and 15 sales pendings

Area 1 (all of the above) has 313 active listings and 323 sale pendings

Looks like inventory came down a little last week and pendings sales kept the status quo. Could be the rise in interest rates is contributing to the slow down. However, Gilroy is showing a little more activity all around than the the rest of Area 1. I'll keep you posted.

Stay tuned for regular updates.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

New Bank Owned Property on the Market in Morgan Hill

New Listing located at 955 Barrett Avenue in Morgan Hill
I don't usually include maps of properties but this one is important as you can see because of the location of the house to the freeway. We all discovered in our current market, Buyers are not so forgiving of freeway noise, high tension wires or anything that makes a home less than perfect. So what might be a good deal at the moment could turn into a problem later on down the road when you decide to sell. This is a 5 bedroom, 3 bath home with 1673 square feet located on a 4356 square foot lot and is only 3 years old. Pretty home in a new neighborhood but make sure you plan on living in this area for a long time or the price of $424,900 might not seem like such a good buy. Also, check out the schools in terms of where this home is located as Buyers are also very concerned with schools and their scores.
My 2 cents - Make sure you are factoring in resale later on down the line to make sure you are getting what you want now as well as a home that will allow you to make movement in your life later on down the line.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Relocating due to new job?

How to make a good decision about buying a home in a new area...

With the current economic situation , many home buyers have emerged as well as people relocating for new jobs. Finding the right home which also has the best chance of holding or increasing it's value can be challenging. There has been some study about areas where homes retain their values best in tough times and what factors they have in common.

For example, working with Realtors who are experienced and knowledgeable about an area can help with a good decision. Living closer to an urban area (i.e. where the jobs are) can increase the value of a home. Long commutes with high gas bills not only take their toll on homeowners but studies have found that prices have depreciated almost double compared to areas located closer to where the jobs are located.

Towns where zoning regulations make it more difficult to build have experienced smaller price declines than towns that experienced huge building booms in recent times. "Prices are more likely to go higher if you can't expand supply," says Danie McCue, research analyst the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies. Towns nestled against barriers such as large lakes or protected wetlands also usually limit expansion.

Buyers can call towns or county planning offices and ask how many acres of vacant land are in town, how much of it is zoned for residences and the maximum number of homes that can be built. Requesting a copy of the town's master plan also should tell buyers how much the housing stock is set to expand in the next 10 years.

Homes in towns with stores, banks, and movie theaters are more likely to hold value than those that are nearly all residential, as people like to live near these services and jobs and provide the town a stronger tax base to fund public service items.

My 2 cents - Do your homework and find a realtor you can trust!