Sunday, April 27, 2008

Challenging Time.

According to my own schedules and my marketing activities - I also have a challenging Real Estate market.

I had several showing appointments and I took my clients out to show several bank owned properties in Hemet and Murrieta in these last several weeks.

The problems were that most listings were either already have offers and or pending without the listings being updated to show the current status.
I tried to call most agents before I showed the homes. Some listing agents never answered their phone calls. Some of the agents are out of town agents and they never RETURN the phone calls.

I showed several homes that were attractively priced and great properties for new home buyers. The buyers were ready to put in the offer but we found out that the bank already had several offers in their pockets and they are waiting for the highest or the higher offer before they are making up their minds.

My buyers are first time home owners and they are very conservative and they want to make a 'LOWER' than the asking prices. Most of the agents told me not to waste my time or efforts.

The scenerio was not the same as when I showed several homes in Moreno Valley to my other buyers about three months ago. Most of the homes that were REO were not in good condition and most of the listing agents told me to submit the offer with, anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 lower than the asking prices.

Unfortunately my buyers already own two homes and those homes are my listings.
I am trying and have been for over 6 months to sell one of these homes.
Alas there were not many interests since they are priced higher than the market will bear.

Challenging time indeed.

Real Estate News, Challenging Market

According to Forbes magazine. These are 10 most difficulty areas in Real Estate.

Daily Real Estate News | April 24, 2008
10 Most Challenging Housing Markets

The hardest places to sell homes are those with falling prices and a large inventory of unsold homes.

Forbes magazine, which examined markets all over the country, concluded that Florida has the most markets that are really in the doldrums. Several cities there are overbuilt, saddled with lousy loans and flat sales.

Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, a Manhattan-based real estate appraisal company that assisted with the analysis, says it is hard for a city to climb out of a slowdown because in the best of circumstances there's generally a three- to six-month lag between the time buyers start putting a serious dent into the inventory and the time when prices start to improve.

Here are the 10 markets where Forbes says the sales opportunities are the most challenging:

Los Angeles
Washington, D.C.
San Diego

Sources: Forbes, Matt Woolsey (04/15/08)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


For Immediate Release
April 22, 2008

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. home prices rose approximately 0.6 percent on a seasonallyadjusted basis between January and February, according to OFHEO’s new monthly House Price Index. For the 12 months ending in February, U.S. prices fell
2.4 percent. Since its peak in April 2007, the index is down 3.1 percent.

The OFHEO monthly index is calculated using purchase prices of houses backing
mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The
index, introduced in OFHEO’s fourth quarter 2007 House Price Index (HPI) report,
provides a timely indicator of house price conditions for the nation and each of the nine Census Divisions. For the nine Census Divisions, seasonally-adjusted monthly price changes from January to February ranged from -0.6 percent in the Mountain Census Division to 2.2 percent in the New England Division.

Changes in the national index, which is constructed as a weighted average of data from the nine Census Divisions, reflect movements in market prices as well as changes in the mix of geographic areas within Census Divisions. Normally changes in the mix are relatively small. However, in February, the share of reported sales volumes rose in states with stronger housing markets, which significantly increased estimated appreciation above what it would have been in the absence of such effects. Holding the weights for each state constant, the national increase would have been only 0.3 percent in February.

Monthly index values and appreciation rate estimates are provided in the table and graph on the following pages. All estimates are seasonally adjusted and, as with OFHEO’s quarterly HPI, will be revised in later releases. As indicated in OFHEO’s fourth quarter 2007 HPI report, quarterly HPI releases will include updated monthly data presented in the same format as the attached table.

For detailed information concerning the new monthly HPI, please see the HPI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), at

The next release of monthly index data will be included as part of OFHEO’s next quarterly HPI, released May 22, 2008. That release will include quarterly index data through the first quarter of 2008 and will report monthly estimates through March.

Please e-mail for a printed copy of this report.

Friday, April 18, 2008

top 10 things homebuyers and sellers need to know about

Each month, lists the top 10 things homebuyers and sellers need to know about a different topic. So stay tuned for tips on everything from foreclosures to taxes.'s Top 10 Red Flags for Homebuyers
Sellers don't always tell the whole truth to potential homebuyers, especially if they're eager to sell (or "motivated" in real estate lingo). But you can't afford to get a professional inspection of every house you tour. So before you spring for the pro, narrow down your choices by doing your own pre-inspection to spot potential problems.

Mass Exodus from the Neighborhood

Don't let a home's curb appeal keep you from glancing down the street. Are there several other homes for sale? Are nearby businesses boarded up or vandalized? Get the scoop from the neighbors. If everyone else wants to leave the street, maybe you should, too -- before you're stuck with a bad investment. Read More >>

Mediocre Maintenance
Three layers of roofing and gutters with plants growing in them are signs the owners aren't big on maintaining their home. What else did they neglect? Read More >>

Foundation Failures
Check out the yard grading. If the yard slopes towards the house, it could cause water to run down the foundation walls or into the basement, which will be costly to repair. Scour the foundation for damage. Bulges or cracks bigger than 1/3 inch can mean the house has serious structural issues.

Bad Smells (inside or outside)
Take a big whiff of the air inside and outside the house. Do you smell anything funky? If you can't smell anything but the huge baskets of potpourri all over the house, this could be a red flag. Read More >>

Faulty or Old Wiring
While you're probably not an electrician, make sure all the switches and outlets in the house function properly. Flickering lights, circuits that don't work and warm or hot outlets or faceplates are all symptoms of wiring problems. Read More >>

Fresh Paint... on One Wall
New paint can really spruce up drab walls, but it can also hide bigger problems, like water damage, mildew or mold. If the room smells strange or if you see stains or saggy walls or ceilings, have an inspector look for mold and leaks. Read More >>

Locked Doors and Blockades
Ask about any rooms that are "off limits" during your home tour, and arrange to see them later if you're interested in the house. Read More >>

Foggy or Non-Functioning Windows
Check for water in between double-paned windows and make sure all the windows are functional. Read More >>
Structural Walls or Floors Have Been Removed
Sure you love the open floor plan, but was the house always open or did the homeowners renovate? If they removed a load-bearing wall without adjusting the framing, it can shift weight to other parts of the house. Hire a structural engineer if you think any renovations are questionable. Read More >>

No one wants a house with a pest problem -- be it roaches, mice or worst of all, termites. Be on the lookout for unwelcome creatures as you tour the house. Even if no foes pop out while you're there, consider a separate termite inspection if you're thinking of purchasing the property. Read More >>

BOTTOM LINE: Always get a professional inspection

Yeah, it's a little expensive, but it's worth every penny. Don't kid yourself: skipping a home inspection is not a good way to cut homebuying costs. You'll end up paying more in the long run when problems inevitably arise.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Risk Of Price Declines

Although the risk of price declines in California markets continued to rise, the rate of increase was "significantly below" the third quarter. For the eight California MSAs in the top 50, the average increase in risk score was 2.1 percent, compared to a 19 percent increase between the third and fourth quarters.

Among the top 50 MSAs, the 14 PMI determined face a greater than 50 percent chance of price declines in the next two years were:
• Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. (93 percent)
• Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev. (92 percent)
• Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla. (85 percent)
• Ft. Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, Fla. (84 percent)
• Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. (84 percent)
• Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif. (81 percent)
• West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, Fla. (80 percent)
• Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, Calif. (78 percent)
• Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. (78 percent)
• Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (77 percent)
• San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif. (73 percent)
• Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, Calif. (64 percent)
• Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla. (61 percent)
• San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. (51 percent)


Price declines also present the biggest opportunity for the buyers. Here in the Riverside County any home that either bank owned or a short sale and is listed way below market will get 3-5 offers within the first few days after the listing show up in the MLS. Sometimes, it is sold from $10K to $20K more than the asking price.
It is the buyer's market but it is also back to the bidding game. The highest offer/bidder will win and get the home.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

February pending home sales index drops

February pending home sales index drops to record lows

Pending sales of existing homes were weaker than expected in February and 21.4 percent below last year at this time, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® (NAR) reported Tuesday. The NAR Pending Home Sales Index measures pending sales contracts and is seen as a barometer of future home sales activity. However, the Index rose 2.1 percent for the month in the West.


The Index fell 1.9 percent from 86.2 in January to 84.6 in February, the lowest level since NAR began publishing the Index in 2001. Economists had expected a drop of 0.7 percent.

Despite the decline, NAR expects home sales to remain flat before picking up during the latter half of the year, when increases in loan limits for jumbo mortgages are expected to help improve liquidity.

By region, the Index in the West, which includes California, rose 2.1 percent.

Housing Market

Lenders retreat as housing market plummets

The national housing market decline and resulting financial institution write-downs are beginning to hit home in the form of tighter credit, even for highly qualified borrowers with solid-gold credentials. As lenders clamp down on new borrowers and cap existing home equity credit lines in an effort to limit future exposure, everyone from car dealers to landscape architects feels the effects.


Credit fuels economic growth by providing the means for people to purchase goods and services. By 2004, Americans had borrowed more than $180 billion based on their home equity, plowing record amounts of cash back into the economy with the resulting purchases.

In particular, lenders are cutting back on loans and lines of credit backed by real estate assets or raising interest rates and qualifying criteria. By year-end 2007, home equity lending plunged to only $26 billion, according to the Federal Reserve.
According to economists, other factors also are at play. Slowing wage growth, rising prices for staples, falling stock portfolios and the cost of servicing existing debt all are causing consumers to rethink their spending habits