Saturday, October 22, 2005

Rent VS. Buy

Freddie Mac has a great online calculator that I found. It helps determine whether you are better off renting vs. buying. Interesting little tool – I recommend you check it out.


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

Rates are still rising. % for today.

Rates are continuing to rise as expected. My friend Freddie says the nationwide average on a 30 year fixed climbed to 6.10%. 15 year fixed rates are up .02 and adjustable rates are  5.59

What a great time to buy!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The market today...

A fed study showed moderate growth in September through early weeks in October even among growing energy costs and the economic fear that creates. More to the point though, in real estate it appears that some sellers of high-end homes are finding out that it takes more time to sell homes that only celebrities and friends of Bill Gates could afford. Although, sales continue to rise agents like myself are working harder to get these higher priced homes sold. Believe me, I’m okay with that.

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

More market reporting

September brought a continued rise in home prices even though interest rates are continuing to increase (but still historically low).

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.