Friday, December 16, 2005
If you’re ready to go house hunting in the Southern California area, please check out our listings in Long Beach and surrounding communities.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
These are posts that have valuable information for buyers or sellers. We’ve posted this index to give you a quick way to access these important posts from the past.
Year End Buying and Selling
Determine the price of your home
The Holiday Slowdown
Tenants in Common Ownership
Rent vs. Buy
Mortgage Tax Deductions at risk
How to get a better deal on a mortgage
How to get rid of Telemarketers and Junk
Real Estate Market Trends
Home buyers using the internet
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
I think this is good news but, again, it is just rumor based on reports derived from the Fed’s last meeting on November 1st. Initially this is good news because it means more potential homeowners have an extended opportunity to purchase before rates continue to rise. I’ll make one bet with you though – rates will go up within a month or two after the new year. At least that’s my opinion and I base that on the historical rise and fall of interest rates.
Have a happy Thanksgiving.
Friday, November 18, 2005
This can be a great time to buy or sell though. If you are selling a home, consider – Decorations, images of family, joy, and, love are excellent marketing tools. The emotions these things invoke are impossible to duplicate with even the best salesmanship. Part of buying a home is imagining your future there. What better way than to see yourself as you do the family down the street sitting for an elegant holiday meal, or whole families helping to decorate?
One seller’s tip though, make sure your agent knows your holiday schedule and pick convenient times (for you) to go over sales business. You don’t want to be signing papers while stuffing turkeys.
If you’re a buyer, ask your buyer’s agent to look for property that has been on the market for a while. These properties if still listed during the holidays may have very eager sellers who want to get an escrow open before shipping off to Aunt Effie’s.
A tip for both buyers and sellers, don’t be discouraged if you begin to feel things aren’t moving quickly enough during this time. Getting in now will save you a great deal of headache and money, instead of waiting for things to pick up in spring.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Why is it that some homes sit on the market for a year while others sell like hot cakes? Frustrated sellers will blame a bad market, while a good real estate professional will tell you that many times, a slow sale is often attributed to the listing price.
If a home is overpriced, buyers will stay away. But, if the price is competitive with similar homes in the area and “shows” better than the competition, it will have a better chance of being sold quickly.
The secret is perfecting a technique that’s as American as apple pie: comparative shopping.
Although comparing houses with different styles, square-footages and locations is challenging, real estate professionals still feel it’s one of the best methods to use when determining a home’s market value.
A responsible real estate agent will effectively evaluate a home’s worth through a process known as Competitive Marketing Analysis (CMA). Taking a look at assets, such as a swimming pool, bigger than normal living spaces, a fantastic view, adjacent city parks and other attractions, the agent will begin to compare your home with similar properties, called “comparables,” that have sold in the area within the last six months. Typically, the agent is able to recommend a realistic price range that will ensure you top dollar and a reasonably
However, factors such as the amount of time needed to sell your home can alter the agent’s price recommendation dramatically.
Typically, people should check with real estate agents in the community to determine the typical duration that listings are on the market. Sales associates will explain that the marketing “norms” vary with prices and properties. Based on this criteria, the agent feels confident that he or she will be able to sell it for a price that both you and the buyer will be happy with. However, if you’re under time constraints because of unexpected job changes or moving agreements you’ve made on another property, this will narrow your chances of selling the home for top dollar in the market.
Assuming you have sufficient time to market the home, here are a few small steps you and your agent can take to finding the right price for your property.
The best comparisons can be made with similar homes that have been sold within the last 45 days as opposed to the standard six months. Any longer and other factors, such as the economy, could cloud your view of how much your home is really worth.
Another good benchmark is to review the selling prices of homes that have just been sold and are pending closes. Most MLS services provide information on deals pending that most real estate agents should be able to shore with you.
A good rule of thumb before setting a price is to make 20 comparisons of comparable properties within a one-mile radius of your house. Once completed you can feel comfortable that the price you’ve picked is a good gauge of the home’s worth and won’t discourage qualified buyers.
Being open and honest about what you see as the home’s greatest strengths and biggest weaknesses will also help an agent get a better feel for how to best evaluate (or assess) and market your home. Think of your home as if you were the buyer. If your home is listed at the right price, you’re well on your way to a speedy and fruitful sale.
John Wall is a sales associate with Century 21 Results, and serves all communities in Long Beach and surrounding cities. He can be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com or phone at 562-531-7000.
(Note Published November 21, 2004, Long Beach Press-Telegram)
Friday, November 11, 2005
Housing prices generally flatten out at the end of the year and the California Association of Realtors say that affordability will remain where it is for the 4th quarter. According to reports, affordability in Los Angeles County was 13 percent which is 1% better than August. August by the way, was a month that saw record lows of affordability and tied for the state affordability record. It also saw record sales, go figure.
Lenders now are scrutinizing new loan applications more so in Northern and Central California. Which means its going to be more difficult to get a risky loan in those areas.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
I’ve been looking through some mortgage pre-qualification to see what rate my client’s are getting (these are not advertised rates, just the average of what actual borrowers are being quoted). So far the 30 year fixed seems to be hovering around 6.35+- and 5.9 for the 15 year fixed rate.
Long beach is affordable, and a great place to park yourself. How about we make you a qualified buyer too?
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Let me ask you a question. Would you have bought your house if the interest deduction were not available to you?
If congress and the President, follow the recommendation of the board, a series of events will take place, though not necessarily in this listed order.
1.Middle America will no longer be able to afford to buy a house. 2. investors will stop buying properties for rentals. 3. Rents will go up, sales prices will come down. 4. Those who already own will loose a great deal of their investment and their retirement nest egg will fall short of their needs. 5. Bush’s oil money pals will buy up entire cities and create private communities for people who don’t pay taxes anyway. 6. Riots will ensue. 7. Terrorists will loose interest in harming Americans because at least they have nice warm caves to live in. 8. Homelessness and hunger in America will increase. The economy will fail, Canada will invade and the United States as we know will cease to exist.
Okay some of that might not happen but, removing the interest tax deduction for homeowners will do ABSOLUTELY NO GOOD! Bad things will happen folks, but only if we fight this, and, make it clear to the President and Congress that this is a bad decision!
I would urge you to contact your Congress(wo)man and the President and tell them “Do not take away the American Dream”.
E-mail the President of the United States
Search for and Contact your Representative
Thursday, November 03, 2005
So sellers want to sell but where are the buyers? Mortgage rates are up and continue to rise, prices are holding steady, but sales are beginning to slow. Partly because of the seasonal change and partly because interest rates are locking buyers out of the market.
If you are looking to buy, this might be a good time for you really ramp up your house hunting and offer writing. Sometimes in real estate, you have to jump on opportunities as they come about, because, when they do – they don’t stick around long.
Look at this time as an opportunity, one that will fade. Right now, there aren’t as many buyers clamoring for bid positions. So if you have been on the cusp of getting offers accepted, now is a time to re-evaluate your potential properties and start writing offers. Sellers with one good offer on the table in the “off season” are happier then waiting out the season with no offers at all. If your neighbor wants to sell quick, offer a short escrow period. There are ways to get into homeownership during this seasonal slowdown that might be easier than if you wait until spring.
If you want help locating properties in Southern California, as always, feel free to call on me. Some agents don’t work during the season, I work a little harder. Especially for my loyal clients who can’t seem to get in on the peak season.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
And now for the Realty Report:
According to data just released, most Californian’s are falling short on income required to qualify for a loan on a median priced home. The shortfall, $73,810 is based on qualifying income of $127,950 required to purchase a $545,910 home.
The Long Beach median price is at $457,000, about 100,000 less than the statewide median price.
Here’s a fun trick, I call math.
Lets figure out if you can buy a home. Let’s assume you have 45,700 saved in your piggy bank. (that’s 10% of the median, which is what we’re going for)
Your banker gives you a loan at 5.75% amortized over 30 years. Your payment is $2400, less tax, insurance, and lawn service.
Now lets assume you are just like everybody else and you fall short by 73,810 on qualifying income; you earn approximately $54,140 annually or $4511.67 per month. Already you know you don’t qualify because you’re now over 50% of our income to debt ratio.
So now, in order to afford this price, we need to lower the payment or increase the down payment. We can lower the payment by choosing an interest only loan which puts our mortgage payment at $1257.00.
If we find out that Aunt Edith has an extra $10,000 burning a hole in her mattress, she might lend it to you cheap. Our down payment now is, $55,700 which will save a whopping $100 on either payment choice. Not much help there.
What!? You didn’t tell me you had a wife, sugar daddy, or a brother who wants to buy a house too! Good. With a co-applicant on the loan you now double qualifying income and can buy this house! Congratulations you’re a homeowner. Now its time to figure out who gets to live there. We’ll talk about that some other time.
Monday, October 31, 2005
Monday, October 24, 2005
Real Estate lending is at an all time high! A serious problem has arisen that is very deserving of address. Borrowers with good and above average credit are getting stuck with loans usually reserved for sub-prime borrowers.
Freddie Mac (That’s my friend Freddie) said 20% of borrowers who are getting sub-prime loans could get a conventional prime loans, which are usually less expensive.
Its true that lenders are not required to tell borrowers if they can get a better deal elsewhere. So, when applying for a loan, shop first and be vigilant. Talk to multiple lenders and see what they have to say. Don’t let them run your credit or start an application though. Each time a lender runs your credit it will lower your credit score and might put you into the sub-prime category when you shouldn’t be.
Choose a trustworthy lender who takes the time to explain all costs associated with a loan. I like smaller companies versus the giant mortgage mills. I think you’re more likely to get personalized service from someone who really is concerned about your long term loyalty by avoiding big companies that mass-market and draw in customers using catchy slogans.
When considering a loan, even a sub-prime one – remember there are right & wrong ways of using these various loan products.
You should always consult real estate professionals to determine your overall strategy for real estate ownership and which finance methods will help you reach your goals.
And for goodness sake, don’t sign anything you don’t understand. Get a satisfactory explanation before signing.
For tips on getting a better deal on a home loan take a peek at our WikiHow article on getting a better deal on a home loan.
When you’re ready to shop for a loan, e-mail TeamResults@Century21.com for our Shopping List for Loans. This package contains loads of information that will give you the edge in your negotiation with lenders. Also, you’ll be empowered with a series of questions you should ask every lender you talk to. With this package, even the slimiest mortgage broker will think twice before trying to take advantage of you. Even if they do, you’ll see the warning signs and will know when to walk away.
The Bank of Marin near San Francisco has been offering a “fractionalized mortgage” aimed at buyers of TIC properties. Even first time buyers (a relatively new market).
According to the LA Times, the move toward easier TIC mortgages in the San Francisco area is expected to be duplicated by lenders in other areas.
TICs like Co-Ops are becoming increasingly popular here in the Southland. There are several properties in this category just down the street from me and they’re touted as an affordable way to get a million dollar address without paying a million dollars.
With TIC or Co-op property, owners do not own a specific unit but, a percentage of the entire building. Usually the percentage is equal among the group of owners for example, suppose 10 people bought a property, each would own 1/10th of the entire building. A little bit like owning a portion of your neighbor’s house. In a TIC, you have one deed with 10 names on it. Contrasted with a Co-Op which is a little bit like owning stock in a company. The group holds title under an organization and each owner has a percentage of ownership of the organization.
The Bank of Marin’s product, so novel, kept the phones ringing off the hook according to the bank’s vice-president, Keith Zimmerman.
Here in Long Beach, we have more than 10 listings with units under $200,000. This may be an extremely affordable option for homeownership or an investor starting out.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Although, in my opinion at least, condos don’t generally appreciate as rapidly as SFRs and as far as the investment in real estate, they really are two very different investments. Condo living works for many people and for others, it takes some getting used to. If buying a condo as a first home purchase, I generally would urge a buyer to consider it their starter home. A vehicle to build equity and learn to be a homeowner. Selecting a condo takes extra care. There are many factors to consider before buying a condo that may affect its value as an investment. Condos potentially, could be much more expensive than first thought because, association fees may be high, the common areas of the complex may need major repair or other unexpected expenses may arise which, as you know are shared by each owner. It is extremely important to thoroughly examine the association’s records before making a condo purchase.
Doing so should alert you to potential problems that may end up costing you much more than you expect to pay or even afford. One thing I like to do in addition to the usual examination of records is, talk to the other owners. Sometimes you get someone who doesn’t want to give you the time of day let alone information, but, most people are eager to discuss the issues of the day. A one on one conversation usually yields far more information than you expect and can empower you at the negotiating table too.
If a single family residence is your goal, but, can’t quite qualify for that loan – Have you considered multiple units? Perhaps a duplex or in Long Beach, we even have tri-plexes and four-plexes, maybe these types of real estate are your way in. Unlike a condo a multi-family unit such as these, carry no association dues or assessments so little surprises are less likely to occur. The added benefit is that you may be able to afford more property than with a standard single family house. The reason is, you can use expected rental income to supplement your monthly income on the loan application. That means you can usually, afford a larger loan – making a bigger (better) investment. It is common in my business, to qualify clients at two or three times their original purchase price when factoring a rental units into their purchase.
The caveat of course, is; you’ll become a landlord. If you don’t mind fixing the occasional leaky toilet or patching a hole in the wall, you might find it very worthwhile. If you are lucky enough to find the right fixer upper, you’ll be better able to increase your profitability on the property too. If you talk to landlords, most say rental property is the best investment, I agree. So while house hunting, consider multi-unit properties, you’ll have a place to live and get paid for doing it!
As always, please feel free to e-mail any questions or comments to TeamResults@Century21.com we're happy to help in anyway we can
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Find it in the resources section of their homepage at;
While playing with it, I assumed a 2,100 /per month rental vs buying a house for 359,900. The calculator takes into account, taxes, insurance, maintenance, cost of sale, and loan terms. Its response to my test was,
Owning will save you $331,428 compared to renting over the 7 years in today’s dollars.
Pretty good huh?
-Questions? Call me!
Friday, October 21, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Having said (typed?) that, homes that are considered mid-level with prices at or below $500,000, are selling very quickly and at full asking price. So prices are going up, big houses are on the market longer, rents are getting more expensive…. Hold On! Wait a minute… According to the associated press, renting is better in Southern California because rents are stable and at a “mild” level. As an example, they say, the average rent in a Los Angeles apartment complex is a comfortable $1440 per month. Which according to my numbers is an increase of 6% since last year. (yup that’s holding steady all right)
Of course, there was no talk of what kind of apartments these rents represent and whether these numbers where polled from rent controlled areas of Los Angeles or why renting at 1440 is considered mild when many folks could buy a house with that payment.
** Note, since I bashed (lightly) the associated press for not disclosing their poll source I thought I would share that my 6% increase figure includes all of the CITY of Los Angeles and figures only complexes with more than 4 units of 2 or more bedrooms and 1+ bathrooms (these are the most common). Not being a mathematician, There is a margin of error there but (I think) only because larger complexes tend not to increase rents year over year like their smaller counterparts and in rent controlled areas the annual increase allowed is usually less than 3%. Take my best guesses with a grain of salt and go out and buy a house already!
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
The median price for a Southern California home is $475,000 except in Orange County, where the median is an astronomical $610,000.
A popular real estate market website reports today’s market favoring buyers while prices are holding steady.
Friday, October 14, 2005
The rate on a 30 year fixed averaged 6.03 this week up from 5.98% last week. In the adjustable rate market, the average was 4.77% a week ago – today holding at 4.85.
Everyone blames the FED. Treasury yields are being pushed up by the Federal Reserve’s credit tightening campaign and be the threat of worsening inflation from continued high energy prices.
Mortgage rates have been projected to rise gradually over the next year, with the 30 year fixed rate expected to stay at or near 6% through 2005 and rise to 6.4 by 2006. This, according to Frank Nothaft of Freddie Mac.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
The cap and how it would be determined has not yet been decided. One possibility is basing it on FHA’s current mortgage cap, which, is now at $312,895. I don’t know how they’ll use that but the details will be finalized in a meeting scheduled for October 18, 2005.
Currently a homeowner can deduct mortgage interest on a loan up to $1,000,000. A lower limit could affect many homeowners in California because we have the most over 1 mil homes.
As Vince Malta put it, “Real estate has been driving the economy, but it won’t much longer” if mortgage deductions are curtailed.
Read the full text of the latimes.com article here, latimes.com.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Monday, October 10, 2005
As interest rates increase so too will monthly payments. On interest only loans, the payment will increase to include both principal & interest in the monthly payment once the fixed term of the interest only payment ends. This can be anywhere between 3-5 years.
There is somewhat of a panic among these borrowers who chose these creative finance options, and, perhaps rightfully so. If the loan is getting near the end of its term, where the interest rate may increase if a variable rate loan, or interest only payment now includes principal, in an interest only loan, then they should definitely refinance out of those loans.
For the rest of us, we need to change the way we think about these Creative Finance Options. Sometimes we consider these things a way to get a cheap mortgage. I like to consider them, a Finance Tool. A tool that enables us to leverage our investment. Basically, lower investment, lower monthly payment, higher return.
These loans also, are probably the only way some buyers will ever be able to afford a home. But there are some considerations to take into account with these loans.
First off, you should condition yourself into paying more than the minimum payment all the time, on time. If you don’t expect your income to increase drastically within the next couple of years or if you don’t plan on moving anytime soon, perhaps these loans aren’t for you. It is necessary to refinance out of or sell the house in order to avoid increases in payments which you might not be able to afford. Also with these types of financing, if the property value drops, you might end up owing more on the house than its worth. So, to avoid a disaster should a drop in value happen, it is highly advisable to get equity built up to help cushion a slight drop in value.
For more information regarding the creative finance options available to home buyers, please e-mail TeamResults@Century21.com
Sunday, October 09, 2005
First on my list of talking points is, all this chatter about real estate bubbles and declining markets. Well, most of you know my views on these sour matters but I noticed a piece in the paper about PMI and thought it was good information to share.
If you have PMI (private mortgage insurance) you can save yourself some money on your monthly payment if you have paid down your loan to at least 80 percent of its value. PMI can add $100 or more to your monthly payment, and, it seems a waste if you don’t need it.
PMI is an insurance policy that you pay for that the lender will use in lieu of a full 20% down payment on a home purchase. This policy covers your lender in the event that you default on the loan.
Most people who are paying for PMI don’t realize that they can terminate the policy under the Homeowner Protection Act of 1998. Basically, this law empowers homeowners with PMI to cancel their coverage if their loan has been paid down to 80% or more of the ORIGINAL VALUE. Also under the law, even if a person forgets to ask for cancellation, the policy must automatically cease after the loan has been paid down to 78% of value. Most of these are requirements of FHA loans but also apply to other loans varying requirements. You’ll want to check with your lender or real estate professional about the requirements for canceling PMI on your mortgage.
- You must be current with your payments &
- There may not be any other loans on the property
If there is a decline in the value of your home, it will be harder to cancel your PMI because the loan to value ratio will be higher, so, if you can – cancel it now. The money you save could be invested elsewhere.
Second. Since were on the topic of insurance… Renters! According to a poll, 70% of renters don’t have Renter’s Insurance. Their reason? They assume their landlord’s policy will cover their losses in a disaster, fire, flood, earthquake, etc…
Their assumption is faulty. As a landlord, any policy I have on a property covers me, not you (my tenant). It is the renter’s legal responsibility to insure his or her personal property against loss. Coverage is very much like a homeowner’s policy and usually much less expensive. So, if you rent, call your insurance agent and ask about Renter’s Insurance.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
You can check it out on WikiHow using this link, http://wiki.ehow.com/Get-a-Better-Deal-on-a-Home-Loan.
The folks of TeamResults, really enjoy this site. There is so much to learn and the step by step processes make it easy to understand a concept or idea without having to read pages and pages of mumbo-jumbo <-- Real Word!
Please check it out in your spare time and remeber to search for TeamResults' Articles and posts.
C U in CyberSpace,
Friday, October 07, 2005
Using a benchmark set in 1989, housing affordability sunk to 12%.
Affordability was at an all time low since 1989, the last major housing
A quoted source for the Long
Beach Press-Telegram said, "affordability is hitting a record low
during a year when we expect to post a record high for homesales and a
record high for home price".
Statewide, the median home price according to the California
Association of Realtors is $568,890 which using stardard qualifying
criteria, would require an income of $133,800 based on a 30 year loan
at 5.87% and a 20% down payment, approximately $113,760.
According to the Los Angeles Times
in another report today, Angelo Mozilo,
CEO of Countrywide Financial Group was interviewed for Bloomberg news and said, " I
don't see a substantial discount". Referring to single family home
prices. Angelo continued with, "You could see substantial reduction in
values in the condo market in areas of high speculation such as Broward
and Dade counties in Florida and Las Vegas, you could have 20%
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Most people begin the task of readying their home for sale about the
same time they start thinking seriously about moving. It can take
weeks or even months to find that perfect fit and during that time
you can work to bring your current house to showcase condition.
But what if you weren't planning to move? Instead you happened to
come across that ideal house at the right price in the perfect
location. A friend knew it would be right for you. Or you've been
watching that one property and now there is a For Sale sign in the
lawn. You'd be a fool not to jump at the opportunity, even if you
weren't expecting to be in the market.
The only problem is now you've got to get your house ready to list
and sell in record time. There's no time for major updates or even
significant painting. Instead, focus on these key areas.
- Rule number one is to get rid of the clutter. Donate it, sell it or
just box it and store it. Above all you want the home to be organized
and clutter free.
- Break out the cleaning supplies. If you don't have time to paint
and make major updates, make the house as clean as possible. Even if
a home or a few rooms are outdated, a clean home will give a good
impression. Remember to make time to clean things like refrigerators,
laundry rooms, cabinets, drawers and especially bathrooms.
- If there is no time to paint a whole room, try to rid marks on
walls with a good cleaning or a light touch up with a paint brush.
- Let the light shine. A well-lit home is more appealing than a dim
and shadowy one. Clean the windows until they shine and make sure
room lighting is abundant, soft and cheery.
- Think about curb appeal. Make sure your lawn is mowed and all
landscaping is neat and tidy. Sweep walkways, decks, patios and the
like. If you need some color, add a few pots of splashy, seasonal annuals.
The days leading up to the sale are sure to be crammed full of
organizing and cleaning, but the end result is sure to be worth it.
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Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Anylists are saying yields on bonds are being pushed up by the Federal Reserve in response to "worsening inflation" from continued high energy prices.
Folks, we've said it before and we'll repeat it again - Interest rates will RISE.
If you don't want to relegate yourself to renting for the rest of your life, you must buy a home AS SOON AS YOU CAN AFFORD TO!
For questions about the real estate market in your neighborhood, e-mail TeamResults@Century21.com
Friday, September 30, 2005
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Open House This Weekend
Saturday and Sunday October 1st &
359 E Adair St.
Long Beach, Ca 90805
<Click for Mapquest>
562-896-5319 for Directions
If you have any
questions or would like to schedule a private showing, please call John
Wall at 562-449-8421 or
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
from this time last year.
Sales are up 7% over last year's figures also.
The median price according to CAR (California Association of Realtors)
is $568,890 up 5.2% from last month.
Agent's are nudging client's toward affordable areas they haven't
previously considered. Most have "champagne dreams" according to one of
The Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, issued warnings against risky
mortgages. Saying, if the housing market saw a decline, the borrowers
and lenders could be exposed to significant losses. The Fed also said,
"the vast majority of homeowners have a sizable equity cushion with
which to absorb a potential decline in house prices".
Monday, September 26, 2005
against the National Association of Realtors saying, its practice
of limited access to its MLS service by discount real estate
brokers is discriminatory and anti-competitive.
This little game has been going on for a long time. Real estate is a
competitive and cooperative marketplace where its player's reputations
are almost as important as their skill. Most discount brokers don't
have great reputations so the other players just decide not to play
with them, at least not on the same court. My own experience is that
discount brokers (most, not all) are uncooperative and ineffective in
their practice of Real Estate. There is a trade off with these brokers
who greatly discount their services and entice sellers to sign contract
that basically absolve the broker of any wrong doing during the
transaction and shortly afterward. Essentially, less service + No
accountability = discount broker.
Just for a moment I would like to make a few points about this business
we call real estate. First, I do not sell homes. I coordinate the
transaction. Nothing I say or do is going to make your mind up about
whether or not a particular house might be the right on for you.
Second, whether I'm the listing or the selling agent (sometimes both)
there are a million little tasks that must be completed by each party
to the transaction in order for it to close. Those tasks are beyond the
scope of this rant but suffice to say each side is responsible for
making sure certain aspects are complete and accurate. Discount brokers
largely leave these tasks to their client (seller), which is a little
like a Brain Surgeon telling his patient he'll get a discount if the
patient does 90% of the surgery himself. For me this means that if I
represent buyers who are trying to buy a house listed by a discount
broker, I end up doing most if not all of the work - which of course
puts me in a situation where I'm really a double agent now. (dual
agencies are perfectly legal in California) which puts me at risk
because now instead of being RESPONSIBLE FOR the buyers side I'm also
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SELLER TOO. Now - Do I get paid more for this
increased work load and liability? No! And that is precisely why I
refuse to work with discount brokers unless its on my terms.
Furthermore, discount brokers claim that by excluding their listings
from the mls, buyers are somehow hurt because they cannot see the
entire inventory of homes available in the area. You're damn right they
are! First off - Discount brokers don't generally represent buyers so
what do they care? Second, If I've got buyers who want a home in an
area and their are two options one is listed by HopeUSell, the other by
ReLAX. I'm going to highly recommend writing an offer on the ReLAX
listing. Its called risk management. ReLAX will be there tomorrow if
there is a problem and together we can work it out. They are PART OF
THE COOPERATIVE marketplace and understand the concept of working
together to reach a common goal of, closing the deal - not just getting
Sunday, September 25, 2005
School of Business (at the University of Pennsylvania) from 1980 to
2004, found recent increases in home prices are not the result of a
real estate bubble. Increases in price where explained by basic
economic fundamentals such as high income growth and low interest
rates. No evidence was found that indicated home buyers were bidding up
prices bases on unrealistic expectations of future growth. (thats
because they read my posts)
Also according to a href="http://www.latimes.com/classified/realestate/printedition/la-re-update25.2sep25,1,3168927.story?ctrack=1&cset=true">Los
Angeles Times report today, the median home price in California is
expected to increase by 10% in 2006. Sales are expected to reach
630,610 units, a loss of 2% from this time last year. There is a
continuing shortage in housing here in California which fuels the
double digit gain researchers are expecting.
Next Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - the Los Angeles County Board of
Real Estate will hold a real estate fair from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm at the
Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration. The address is href="http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?country=US&addtohistory=&formtype=address&searchtype=address&cat=&address=500%20W%20Temple%20St&city=Los%20Angeles&state=CA&zipcode=90012%2d2713&searchtab=home">500
W. Temple St., Los Angelehref="http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?country=US&addtohistory=&formtype=address&searchtype=address&cat=&address=500%20W%20Temple%20St&city=Los%20Angeles&state=CA&zipcode=90012%2d2713&searchtab=home">s,
Ca. 90012. (links to mapquest). There are lots of good information at
these events and I encourage you to go. Just stay away from the
Realtors, they may swipe your wallet.
A reminder, I will still donate 51% of all earned commission to the
victims of Hurricane Katrina - if you employ me before the end of the
year. Call or e-mail
Saturday, September 24, 2005
3rd, 4th and 5th place are;
- New York 17,680
- Florida 16,062
- Illinois 11,138
Reminder: double check your credit report before - house hunting. It can save a lot of headache if proplems are found before beginning the loan application process. If you do find a discrepency, talk to your agent. He should have valuable information about repairing credit problems. For a free credit repair kit, please contact me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
today, with prices ranging from 264,000 to 430,000. These were smaller
houses and condos in the 700 square foot range to 1200. Typically 2 or
3 bedrooms and one or two baths.
For August 22, 2005 through today, there were around 266 closings of
single family houses (not condos) the prices are across the board at
205,000 to 3,000,000+. I thought that interesting because we're
hearing that condos are becoming the only affordable housing for new
buyers but according to the hot sheets, SFR's are turning over in
greater numbers. With creative financing and buyers who are open
to a little compromise and flexible in there desires, it is very
possible to purchase a single family home even on a shoe-string budget.
If you would like an analysis of your buying potential here in Long
Beach, Please give me a call. I'd be happy to prepare a comprehensive
report and go over home-buying options with you. I can be reached by
calling 562-433-1914 or e-mail at
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
I know almost everyone is tired of telemarketers and mass mailers. When
I came across these steps to discourage this invasion into our lives, I
just had to share it with you... [Caveat, these will only work if lots
of people decide to do it - and this isn't another invitation to join
the FTC's Do Not Call
List (which you should do also)]
When a telemarker calls you, politely say "Hold, On Please..." Than put
your phone down and walk away. Don't hang up. If we do this - Time
spent on each call (at the telemarker's expense of course) would sky
rocket while, sales plummet. Thereby making telemarketing a waste of
When you get a call and there is noone on the other end, repeatedly and
rapidly press the # sign on your phone. This will confuse the computer
system that is calling you. Note, this is not a telemarketing call -
Its an automated call that allows a computer to log when you actually
answer the phone so a real live salesperson can call you later.
When you get ads with your utility bills (like I always do) return them
with your payment. Its only polite to return that which you won't use,
Don't just throw away "junk mail". Most of it comes with a business
reply envelope for which the sender pays when you use it. So why
deprive them of the same great deals that are offered to you? Pack
those reply envelopes and mail them right back. But don't just return
the same ads. Why not do a public service? Who knows, you credit card
company might be looking for a cheap set golf clubs and Dominoes would
love to get a few orders from the bank right?
Do this, and do it often soon it will become so expensive for companies
to inundate us, they'll stop. Also, as pointed out in a recent article
from a trade magazine, the post office claims it needs to continue to
raise postage rates because of the lost business to e-mail... Utilizing
those business reply envelopes keeps the post office busy and the
marketers paying effectively eliminated the need to raise the price of
a stamp again!
Century 21 Results
paper again this morning (I really should stop doing that), AP covered
a FED story about our friend, Alan Greenspan raised the shorth term
interest rate again to 3.75 %. He's continuing the FED's ongoing 15
month rate-raising plan.
When asked about the effects of Hurrican Katrina on the US economy -
Policy makers were quoted as saying, fallout from the storm doesn't
pose a threat to the economy.
Why do I post this information in The Realty Report? Because, I like to
and its fun. It doesn't really have much to do with Real Estate other
than to demonstrate the superior investment quality of Real Estate and
long term holdings. If you recall the archived articles, we've learned
the short term rate doesn't really effect mortgage rates as much as
some media outlets imply (not by fault).
Anyone want a g-mail account? I've got some invites left.
Monday, September 19, 2005
Beach Press Telegram today, the discussion was made about our
"Housing Bubble". According to
Christopher Thornberg of UCLA, 'It appears to us we're at the peak of this
market, but it could take off again,' You bet it could Chris.
In his forcast, Christopher predicts prices will flatten, but at a
nominal rate, and, there is likely to be slow down in new construction
in the region. Hmmm. Historically, this is good for the real estate
market, at least for sellers. A slow down in new construction
means less inventory available, which could mean a strong upturn in
prices for existing homes. Now is that going to happen? We'll have to
see if the new construction actually does slow down. It will of course,
I can style="font-style: italic; font-weight: bold; text-decoration: underline;">ALMOST
guarantee it. Contractors and laborers are lining up to move out of
California, at least temporarily. In the United States, we are gearing
up for the largest re-building project ever in our nation's history.
Hurricane Katrina did one thing that may be a ray of sunshine -
Creating an environment where there will be lots of work available for
people who are skilled in any level of home building. The folks with
those skills would be wise to take a trip to those affected areas and
guarantee themselves some steady, well paid jobs. Translation,
California will see a drop in available, skilled, homebuilders -
thereby creating the slow down in new construction here.
Chris also said, "I think this is a market today where people are
buying a monthly payment. They aren't buying houses.". Isn't that the
way it always was? Unless you have enough capital to finance the entire
purchase price, you're most likely buying a mortgage. (did I mention
that I dislike "experts" who say dumb things and point out the obvious?)
So, bubble or not, we're in a seller's market and it seems that it will
stay that way, for a while at least.
Century 21 Results
The Realty Report
Friday, September 02, 2005
Beginning today - and continuing until December 1, 2005 I will donate 51% (fifty one percent) of ALL earned commissions to the American Red Cross for disaster relief efforts in the United States. I will list any property in Southern California from Los Angeles to San Diego and everything in-between. Of course I will as always provide full support and services just like always and guarantee your satisfaction like I always have.
Please call me today to discuss this further.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
With hurricane Katrina and all the damage she's caused, we should remember
that September is National Preparedness Month. We've seen the devastation and
destruction from this latest disaster on our 24 hour news feed. What we didn't
see much of was the quick assessment and response that professionals and
volunteers were able to make because they were PREPARED. We should all congratulate
those who did a fantastic job evacuating citizens and setting up shelters
rapidly and effectively. They helped thousands of people by providing food,
water, shelter and much needed support during a difficult time which still
Each of us has the responsibility to be prepared for emergencies. And to
facilitate individual preparedness, some fine organizations have come out to
educate citizens on the importance of being prepared.
The ready.gov website had this to say,
"The goal of National Preparedness Month is to
increase public awareness about the importance of preparing for emergencies and
to encourage individuals to take action. During September, the U.S. Department
of Homeland Security, the American Red Cross and the National Preparedness Month
Coalition Members will ask all Americans to take some simple steps to prepare
for emergencies including getting an emergency supply kit, making a family
emergency plan, being informed about different threats and getting involved in
preparing their communities."
If you live or work in Long Beach, the Long Beach Fire
Department will train you to be self sufficient, prepare you, and empower you
during an emergency or disaster. For more information on how you can learn to
take care of yourself, your family and your neighbors, please visit the Long
Beach CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) website at http://www.longbeachcert.org
or http://www.longbeach.gov/fire This
program is free and requires only your willingness to attend class 1 day a week
for 6 weeks. It truly is something worth doing. I did and so should you.
Also visit http://www.greaterlongbeachrc.org/
to donate money to the Red Cross or Volunteer your time. In fact, since preparedness
month is coming up, why don't you meet me at next Saturday's CPR
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Huntington Beach Executive Home
This sharp 3 bedroom, 2 bath house on a spacious 6000 sq. ft. lot
located in the heart of Huntington Beach near Bolsa Chica and McFadden
- 1225 Square feet of living space
- Italian tile throughout the kitchen
- Relaxing living room with slate fireplace and beautiful engineered floors
- Luxury of a master bath
- Parking for a large RV
- Gigantic yard with Pool and Spa & plenty of space for a casual party
or 'nock your socks off backyard bash'!
At $719,917 you'll have to get your offer in today!!! Call or e-mail TeamResults@Century21.com
Call for a private showing at a time convenient to you.
Team Results is the premier sales team for Southern California. Centrally
located, we're able to serve your buying and selling needs just about anywhere.
When its time to sell or buy, you can count on us.
We believe, "The Difference Between Ordinary and Extraordinary is that
Little Extra!" Call 562-433-1914 to
find out how we can serve you better. Email us at TeamResults@century21.com
or visit the Realty Report Blog online http://therealtyreport.blogspot.com.
Century 21 Results, serving all of Southern California for
more than 25 years. Square footage is based on tax records. No warranty or
guarantee for the accuracy of any information provided herein. Buyer must verify
all information prior to purchase. Not responsible for any claim or loss based
on lack of or accuracy of information contained in this advertisement.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
The answer given was as technical and long winded as one would expect from an organization that must cover its butt to avoid a lawsuit for bad advice. Me? I have to do the same thing, only with less words.
According to california civil code 1950.5, a landlord or agent shall notify the tenant in writing regarding the option for holding a pre-departure inspection. The notice must also inform the tenant of their right to be present during the inspection.
When I do a pre-departure inspection my purpose is to identify potential repairs and allow the tenant the opportunity to make those repairs or have them paid for by their security deposit or portion thereof.
The law also dictates requirements about itemized statements that specify repairs or cleaning that may affect the disposition of the security deposit. Most tenants are very open to this inspection because generally it saves them money. But what if I don't want to do an ispection? At whose option, is the inspection? Mine, theirs? Answer: Both. The rental contracts I use have provisions that express my intention to do a pre-departure inspection but doesn't obligate me to do one. Well, what if the tenant wants one? He or She gets one. If requested by the tenant - I must carry it out. No big deal!
A note of caution - I GIVE NO ADVICE - just practical experience. You should not consider anything herein to be considered sound legal advice. Any questions regarding matters of law should be addressed by an attorney specializing in the matter at hand which, I am not.
USA Today has called Long Beach the "most diverse city" out of the 65 most populous cities in the nation. Proud of it's ethnic diversity; Long Beach is home to residents of many descents. The City provides a full range of municipal services, including police and fire, public health and environmental services, library, parks, recreation and related social services, engineering and public works, sanitation, general administration, planning and community development, public improvements, and gas, water, airport and towing services.
The City operates and maintains a world-class international deep-water harbor, a nationally recognized convention center, several beaches and marinas. Long Beach is one of only three cities in California with its own Health Department and Energy Department and the only city in California with its own Oil Department, which manages close to 2,000 oil wells.
Home Prices Decline in July
According to the Long Beach Press Telegram, the median price of homes fell in July.
The year over year increases in the median (statewide) home price have been
below 20 percent going back to February. The report sates in 2004, home prices saw 20%+ gains each month.
Even with this 'beginning of the end', an increase in housing inventory was
reported for areas considered less affordable. Orange county saw a price increase of 9% from a year ago. [gee, a 9% return on your money in one year!? Yup, it's a bubble]
The interesting thing in this report is that areas that are more affordable,
are continuing to see increases. Compton for example saw a 36 percent increase since July last year. Bellflower and Carson were up 20%.
So, what does this tell us? Has the bubble burst? Nope! Affordability has
impacted the real estate market, just like it always does. The market has begun
'self-correcting' and prices aren't artificially rising like they were in the past. The market is beginning to normalize meaning its still a great time to buy & sell.
For in depth market analysis of you southern California home, please e-mail me.
Monday, August 22, 2005
When considering a home purchase, buyers on a budget must consider all
possible expenses regarding the home they are considering. There is a 'new' tool
available to home buyers that may help to maintain that budget.
The CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) is
an electronic database of all insurance claims filed against personal and real
property (cars and houses). This is important to know about because the
information contained in these reports is very empowering to a prospective
purchaser of real estate or even current owners.
It is possible to use this database to lower your homeowner's insurance cost.
For example - If you are considering a home but before you finalize the purchase
you discover that according to the CLUE report, there have been five claims for
flood damage to the property. This tells you that 1., your insurance coverage
for this property is going to be very expensive because of the high risk for
loss and, 2., This property is prone to flood damage. You now know that you
should seriously consider looking at less risky properties or at least taking
this information into consideration and perhaps re-negotiate the transaction.
Perhaps there are some repairs that can be made to the property to limit the
chances of flooding. See, You're saving money already.
This is some good stuff to know but, I just had another thought; For me
anyway, insurance is a necessary evil. I pay and pay and pay every month. Car
insurance, homeowner's policies, business E&O, and more. Luckily I've never
had to use any of these policies (and probably never will) but, I'm glad I have
them just-in-case. (I just wish they were cheaper) So here's my thought, I'm a
low insurance risk - I know that and so does my insurance broker - The next time
around when I "insurance shop", I'll take my CLUE with me and use it
to negotiate lower premiums on my policies.
For more information visit your state's insurance commission's website or ChoicePoint
(the provider of the CLUE Report). If you would like to receive a brochure
on ways to lower your homeowner's insurance costs,
e-mail me or call 562-433-1914 and let me know where you want it sent. I
can e-mail the information also. And don't worry, I won't put you on any
lists or contact you for any reason other than to get you the brochure.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
LOCATION: 946 HILLDALE AVENUE, WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA. APN #4340-004-0121. These properties are offered together with improvements thereon as is, with no warranty expressed or implied. The estate and the auctioneer make no representations regarding the properties offered for sale. Bidders must rely on their own inspections. No termite clearance will be supplied for these sales. Sold "as is" with no contingencies whatsoever.
DIRECTIONS: THOMAS GUIDE (L.A. COUNTY) P. 592, H-6. SOUTH OF SUNSET BLVD., WEST OF SAN VICENTE BLVD., NORTH OF CYNTHIA ST.. SHOW ME A MAP
DESCRIPTION: LOCATED IN THE VERY DESIRABLE CITY OF WEST HOLLYWOOD, THIS 2 BEDROOM, 1 BATH PLUS 1 BEDROOM, ¾ BATH DUPLEX IS A GREAT FIXER OPPORTUNITY. THE 2 BEDROOM UNIT #946 INCLUDES A LIVING ROOM WITH FIREPLACE, KITCHEN & BONUS ROOM/DEN. WOOD FLOORS THROUGHOUT. THE 1 BEDROOM UNIT #948, HAS A LIVING ROOM & KITCHEN. 2 CAR GARAGE. GRASS YARD. SEPARATE GAS & ELECTRIC METERS FOR EACH UNIT. ENCLOSED BACKYARD PATIO. LAUNDRY ROOM WITH HALF BATH (MAY NOT BE PERMITTED). PERSONAL PROPERTY NOT INCLUDED IN SALE. DO NOT DISTURB OCCUPANT. GREAT CENTRAL LOCATION. CLOSE TO SHOPPING AND ENTERTAINMENT.
LOT SIZE: 5,772± SQ. FT.
ZONED: WD R2 SUBJECT TO GENERAL PLAN CONFIRMATION
TAXES: PROPOSITION 13
TERMS: CASH. BUYER TO OBTAIN OWN FINANCING. FINANCING IS NOT A CONTINGENCY TO THIS SALE. PROPERTY SOLD IN "AS IS" CONDITION WITH NO CONTINGENCIES WHATSOEVER. PROPERTY SOLD SUBJECT TO ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION BY THE ESTATE AND SUBJECT TO COURT CONFIRMATION.
ESCROW PERIOD: 45 DAYS OR SOONER
DEPOSIT: $10,000 CASH OR CASHIER'S CHECK REQUIRED TO BID. BALANCE OF 10% DEPOSIT BY PERSONAL CHECK. CASHIER'S CHECK SHOULD BE MADE PAYABLE TO YOURSELF. IN THE EVENT YOUR BID IS REJECTED, DEPOSIT WILL BE REFUNDED WITHOUT INTEREST.
INSPECTIONS: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3 & 10 (11:00 A.M.- 2:00 P.M.) & HALF HOUR BEFORE AUCTION.
TITLE: SELLER TO PROVIDE STANDARD TITLE POLICY.
PRESENTED BY: LARRY WEINER, AUCTIONEER. PLEASE CALL ME IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS PROPERTY OR THE AUCTION PROCESS @ (818) 501-4888.
TERMS OF SALE
By Order of the Superior Court
2. Sales of these properties are subject to probate court confirmation. Higher bids may be accepted by the court if they are made in court and they are in an amount of at least 10% more on the first $10,000 and 5% more on the amount of the bid in excess of $10,000 of the original bid submitted for confirmation.
3. On the day of auction sale, the high bidder will be required to deposit 10% of the amount of his bid as follows: the first (see terms & conditions for deposit) in the form of cashier's check; balance of the 10% deposit may be in the form of personal check. the purchase contract will require completion of the purchase as follows.
(a) A 45 day escrow shall be opened by the seller at a company of sellers choice.
(b) Bidder's deposit will be applied to the purchase price. Balance of purchase price to be cash.
(c) Seller will furnish policy of title insurance through escrow at sellers expense.
(d) Taxes, rents, fire insurance and interest on encumbrances will be prorated to close of escrow.
(e) Escrow fees to be shared one-half by seller, one-half by buyer.
4. A real estate broker who registers a client with the auctioneer 48 hours prior to auction and attends the auction with his client will receive 50% of the total commission awarded by the court to the seller's broker.
5. All descriptions and information is derived from sources reliable, but no guarantee is expressed or implied. Announcements made on the day of sale will take precedence.
If escrow does not close within the 45 days, or within an extension of time granted by the seller, Probate Code of California Sec. 10350 requires the seller to ask the probate court to vacate the sale. If the court orders the sale vacated, the law requires the deposit to be held by the seller until the property has been sold again and escrow has closed. If the total amount of final sales price, plus the amount of expenses and fees allowed by the court for vacating the first sale, is less than sales price of the vacated sale, the difference is paid from the deposit. If the difference is greater than the deposit, a lawsuit to collect the amount is usually filed.
The zoning information contained herein including but not limited to square footage, zoning and lot size was obtained from sources believed reliable. However, Flans & Weiner, Inc. makes no representation as to the accuracy thereof and recommends buyer consult appropriate professionals to determine same.
The property will be sold in its present "as is" condition (the actual physical condition of the property existing on the date of the auction) with no warranties or contingencies whatsoever. All descriptions of size and location of the property stated in the auction catalog are approximations only. Seller / receiver have not and do not make any representations, warranties or covenants, either express of implied, regarding any matter whatsoever (except for seller's title), including, but not limited to, geological condition, soil condition, asbestos, zoning, existing means or ingress and egress, the availability of utilities, water or the presence of toxic waste materials on, in or under the property.
A standard policy of title will be issued by the seller insuring marketable title. Balance of escrow expenses to be divided equally.
Broker participation invited with registration in writing 48 hours prior to sale. Only brokers with duly registered clients may be permitted at sale. Brokers must attend the auction with client in order to receive a commission.
Seller and auctioneer reserve the right to refuse admittance to or expel anyone from the auction premises for interference with auction activities, nuisance, canvassing or other reasons.
John M. Wall
Neighborhood Real Estate Specialist
Century 21 Results
4909 Lakewood Boulevard, Top Floor
Lakewood, California 90712-2440
Home Office: (562)433-1914
Corporate Office: (562)531-7000
Direct: (562)633-1000 x.450
#9 You think I'm going to bite.
#8 You just came from one of those seminars and the Real Estate Guru told you that you needed to listen to all his tapes before you called anybody.
#7 You were going to but forgot.
#6 You own a gas station so you can afford to pump tank after tank of unleaded in your car running around looking at houses that don't interest you.
#5 You first aunt's second cousin's sister Marlene has a real estate license.
#4 Someone lied and told you I would charge you a commission.
#3 You want to pay to much for a house.
#2 Your dog ate your cell phone.
#1 You didn't know I would be tickled pink to give you all the information you want (including addresses) of all the properties you might be interested in.
No kidding, give me a call. I'll give you all the information you need on any property listed in the area FREE, No HASSLES, NO KIDDING.
TeamResults@Century21.com (562) 449-8421
Serving All of Long Beach and Southern California Communities
The State of Long Beach Real Estate
Or Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble
The bubble, the bubble - Oh no! The Bubble!!!
Relax, there is no bubble. Here's why. California's Real Estate Market is
directly affected by one thing. Population. Everybody needs a place to sleep and
as long as our population continues to increase so to will the need for housing.
Be it home purchasers or renters - this market will remain hot as long as people
want to live in California communities. Do I smell a mass exodus coming?
Long Beach's population according to the United
States Census Bureau:
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
A CAR (California Association of Realtors®) survey conducted
in March 2005 had some interesting findings.
Almost 2/3 of first time homebuyers used the internet as a significant part
of the home buying process. Interestingly, less than half of repeat home
buyers used the internet. I thought it would be fun to post some of the results
from the survey:
- Median age of internet home buyer was 39
- 9 out of 10 were married
- 85% had college degrees and had average income of $185,088 /annual
- 0% (yes zero percent) considered information found on the internet more
important than information from their real estate agent
- Internet buyers spent 5 weeks less searching for the home they would
eventually purchase than their non-internet user counterparts
So what have we learned here? 1.) call me. 2.) the internet is good 3.) all
those failed dot com-ers are buying houses using the internet but relying their