Thursday, September 22, 2005

Greenspan Raises Rates Again!

As expected, the Fed raised short-term rates again by a quarter point. But, check this out...even though the Fed has increased short-term interest rates by a total of 2.75 percentage points since June 2004, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has fallen by nearly one-half percentage point in that time.

So, check with your mortgage broker, there might still be a deal out there with your name on it!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Interesting Phenomenon!!

Have you ever noticed how humans seem to be the copying type? We gain confidence from what others are doing and saying and we tend to think others know something we don't.
For instance, when others are looking and buying, suddenly we feel the urge to buy too. We go right out like everyone else and buy a new home! When others are not looking or buying...yep, we are not buying or looking either. Perhaps, too afraid of that dreaded price drop idea.
However, if we take a moment and analyze past history, the very best time to buy just might have been when others were not. Actually, the very best time was probably when no one at all was buying eh? About ten years ago, remember?
Us conservatives usually take awhile to become convinced the time is right, so we watch others start buying, go crazy overbidding, and driving the prices up, then we realize we really missed the right time to buy. Does this sound familiar? Most of us missed the real window of opportunity, didn't we?
Gee, maybe we had better think about this for our future buying plans. Perhaps we should buy when others are not? I recommend thinking outside the box!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

No More 60 Day Notice!

The 60-day notice of termination requirement for month-to-month tenancies will be repealed at the end of this year. Effective January 1, 2006, residential landlords and property managers may give a 30-day Notice to Terminate to their month-to-month tenants (unless rent control or subsidized housing rules apply).

The 60-day rule was originally enacted in 2002 as a pilot project to help tenants who purportedly needed more time than the allotted 30 days to make new housing arrangements in a tight rental market. However, sixty days is too long for evicting problematic tenants. Many landlords and property managers prefer using a general 30-day notice to terminate, rather than the alternative 3-day notice to perform or quit which may require litigation of issues such as noise, nuisances, or illegal activities by the tenant. Waiting 60 days rather than 30 days under those circumstances places an undue burden on landlords, property managers, and other tenants in the building.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Increasing Inventory

This is the first time in quite some time that I've written about increasing inventories. Of course, when inventories of available homes increase, buyer's have many more choices. This means homes are staying on the market longer, and prices are not increasing like we have gotten used to. As an example, at the height of homebuying season this past spring there were 30 condos available in Ventura, on average. Right now, there are more than 80 condos available for buyers to choose from in Ventura.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Should I Sell Now?

Here's a reason I can think of: those who've purchased a home in the past few years that may have been a bit over their heads and have an adjustable rate or interest only loan. Over the past few years, increasing prices, no threat of raising rates and creative financing allowed some folks to purchase homes that they wouldn't normally be able to afford. If they can't afford to get out of that mortgage and in to a fixed rate in the near future, it might be time to sell. Then they can use their equity to buy a lesser priced home that they can afford the fixed rate payments on.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Still Blowin' Bubbles

I thought I'd explain a little more about yesterday's posting. First, let me qualify my statement about it being a great time to buy. Obviously, prices are at an all time high right now. Based on history, prices will continue to increase over time. They may flatten out for awhile, even decrease in the short term, but over the long term, they will contine to appreciate. We've all gotten used to these incredible interest rates we are seeing right now. They won't be around forever. These are historically low rates. If you buy a home right now, you'll lock in the most incredible rates we've seen in decades.

Sometimes clients are confused, because they are hearing it's a great time to buy and at the same time a great time to sell. They wonder how it's possible that it could be a great time to buy and sell at the same time. Honestly, they think real estate agents are blowin' smoke, not bubbles. I think the answer to that depends on your personal situation. Most homeowners have seen unbelievable appreciation in their home's value. So, it would seem that most would see a sizable profit if they sold right now. That's true, but tax matters should be considered before deciding if it makes sense to sell. If it's your principle residence and you've lived there 2 of the last 5 years, you should be able to exclude $250,000 from capital gains, or $500,000 if you're married. Now, if you own a property that you don't live in and you sell if without doing a 1031 tax deffered exchange, you will probably pay capital gains taxes on the gain. Of course, you should always check with your accountant on any tax matter. All this was a really long winded way of explaining why sometimes your agent is telling you it's a great time to sell at the same time he or she is saying it's a great time to buy.

And now, the best reason to buy or sell? Because you have a need to buy or sell. If it makes your family more comfortable, or gets you closer to work so you can spend time with loved ones, or because you've always wanted a big back yard to hang out in with friends. We get so focused on the investment in terms of dollars that we forget about the payoff in terms of our own comfort and happiness.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Blowin' Bubbles

A day doesn't go by that someone doesn't mention the Real Estate Bubble. Is there one? Should I buy now?
Most of the industry information I receive is not projecting a bubble. The bubble is a media induced news driver. It's true, we are seeing a slow down right now. The inventory of available homes is definitley up. However, this is normal for this time of year. We saw the same thing happen last year. Not to say that the same will happen this year, but there is nothing to indicate that this is 1989. Rates are awesome right now, and Katrina should ensure that they stay that way, at least for the next few months.
All in all, we are probably seeing the return of a "normal", balanced market. The days of 20% price growth in one year are probably gone, for now. So, if you are thinking of buying a new home, it might not be a bad time to lock in some of the best rates that we will see in many years to come.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Open House Sunday, September 11, 2005

Awesome value for the desirable home in an established East Ventura neighborhood. Enyoy the beautiful backyard and over 2100 sq. ft of living space. Owner motivated! Bring an offer!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Priced Below the Comps!

Awesome value on this east Ventura home!It has been priced below the last 3 sales. The 40 year composition roof is less than a year old, the kitchen has new counter tops and appliances, the flooring has been replaced throughout with ceramic tile and upgraded carpeting. This home has over 2100 square feet of living space with 3 bedrooms plus an office and 2.5 baths. It is located in a much sought after neighborhood in East Ventura. See more pictures here.