Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Fed Leaves Rates Unchanged!

Relax! The Federal Reserve made it abundantly clear today that it plans to leave interest rates alone and suggested it won't be raising rates either!

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Economic News

Some pretty good news for housing, as New Home Sales came in better than expectations, while Existing Home Sales were slightly less than expected, both enjoyed improved inventory. 2006 represented the third best existing home sale market on record. Of course, the media is already putting a doom and gloom spin on the story, making a stink about the drop from 2005 to 2006, and the fact that sales haven't fallen off this much year over year since the early 1980's. Some important considerations: first, 2006 is coming off a record year in 2005, so to see a drop off in record levels is not unexpected. Second, the media is comparing the drop in year over year sales to the early 80's, but in 1982 the national unemployment rate was 9.7%, more than double the current unemployment rate. Many experts believe that we will look back at August 2006 as the bottom of the housing market. I guess it depends on who you are as to whether or not this is good news.

One more quick note on this subject. We've had better than expected economic news over the past couple of weeks. This is causing home loan rates to increase. If you are considering buying, you might want to get on your horse! Just a 1 point increase in rates could raise your housing costs by 20%!

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Understanding Prop 13

Prop 13 was passed in 1978 as a way of reducing property taxes. Now, according to the amended state constitution, property tax rates could not exceed 1 percent of the property's market value and valuations couldn't grow by more than 2% per annum unless the property was sold.

Features of Prop 13

  • One percent rate cap. Prop 13 capped, with limited exceptions, property tax rates at once percent of full cash value at the time of acquisition.

  • Assessment rollback. Prop 13 rolled back property values for tax purposes to their 1975-76 level.

  • Responsibility for allocating property tax transferred to the state. Prop 13 gave lawmakers responsibility for allocating property tax revenues among local jurisdictions.

  • Reassessment upon change of ownership. Prop 13 replaced the practice of annually reassessing property at full cash value with a system based on price at acquisition.

  • Vote requirement for state taxes. Prop 13 requires any measure enacted for the purpose of increasing state revenues to be approved by 2/3 vote of each house of the legislature.

  • Voter approval for local "special" taxes. Prop 13 requires taxes raised by local governments for a designated or special purpose to be approved by 2/3 of the voters.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Moving? Change Services Online

Moving can be a very exciting time. Along with excitement, there's so much to do! One of the tedious chores is calling all your utilities, the newspaper, researching the cable and internet companies, etc. Now there's one place you can go on the internet to get all your services turned on AND it's free! Check it out and let us know what you think.

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Friday, January 19, 2007

JUST LISTED! Custom Ventura View Home

Check out this JUST LISTED home in Ventura with a view of the islands from the lovely living room with a fireplace. Over 1700 sq ft of living space with a family room, 2 baths, and a solar heated pool. Wonderful corner lot! $789,000

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Thursday, January 18, 2007


The number of foreclosure filings across the nation exceeded 100,000 for the fifth consecutive month in December, with foreclosure activity up from year ago levels in all but 13 states, according to RealtyTrac's "December 2006 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report." In California, monthly foreclosures were down 34.4 percent from November but up nearly 65 percent from December 2005.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Home Builders Confidence Improving

Buoyed by improved buyer demand, the confidence level of the nation's home builders continued its slow but steady climb in January, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The seasonally adjusted HMI stands at 35 this month, up two points from December and at its highest level since July 2006.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday Best Buy!

Just Reduced for Quick Sale! Ready for you to move right in with fresh paint, a 2 car attached garage, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and over 1700 square feet of living space. $479,900

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

New! PMI Tax Deduction!

Some home buyers may be impacted by a mortgage insurance premium provision of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006. The provision creates a limited deduction for private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums that only applies to policies issued in 2007 for homes purchased in 2007. It is available to home buyers with less than $100,000 adjusted gross income on a joint or single tax return.

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Friday Best Buy!

Great Value! Just want to get in the market? Need an investment property? This is one of the lowest priced Marina Village Townhomes near the Channel Islands Marina. It's close to shopping, dining, and public transportation. It's recently been painted, and new carpet has been installed. It's ready for someone to move right in! Oh yeah, did I mention the price - $268,000. Once more thing, this one has low, low dues at $165.

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Security Deposit Return

Do you own rental property? Are you renting a home or condo? How long does a landlord have to return a security deposit upon the tenant vacating the property? California law indicates the landlord has 21 days to return the security deposit along with an itemization of any deductions. Get more information on this subject on the California Department of Real Estate website.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Consumer Confidence Up

Looks like Johnny got an XBox, Suzy got an iPod, and Fido (aka Butcho) got a nice warm bed by the fire! CONSUMER CONFIDENCE HITS EIGHT-MONTH HIGH! Following a two-month decline, the confidence level of the nation's consumers took an upward turn in December, according to a recent report from The Conference Board. The Consumer Confidence Index improved to 109.0 (1985=100) last month, up from 105.3 in November and nearly reaching the last high of 109.8, which was achieved in April. Also in December, the Present Situation and Expectations indexes increased to 129.9 and 95.1, respectively.

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