Thursday, February 28, 2013

Will The Inventory of Homes Get Better Any Time Soon?

It will be March 2013 in a few days and the real estate market is on everyone's mind right now. It is turning out to be common that houses in sought-after areas are going $10k to $40k or more over asking. And this has everyone asking..."Is the inventory of houses for sale going to grow in numbers any time soon?" I've said it before, and I will say it again: I'm not a fortune teller for Los Angeles Real Estate but my guess is, Yes. The inventory of homes for sale on the market will begin to pick up sometime around May. It is a common trend that there are less houses for sale from November to March. A lot of this has to do with school's schedules for families. People are usually more open to moving in the summer time when the kids are out of school and it is easier on the parents. Also, there is something to be said for longer days with more hours of sunlight and people feeling more comfortable about making a move then as well.  But...I can not be sure that just because we may have a steady rise in the number of houses that may come on the market for sale, doesn't mean the competition we are seeing out there right now will get better. I think it may ease up slightly but I feel that there are more buyers that will be coming out to look for homes as soon as tax season is over and people finally understand their financial situation and are able to meet with a loan person to get pre-approved for a loan. So, while we are seeing multiple bids on houses, as many as 20 or more sometimes, we may feel the ease on the number of offers on the table this coming Spring. But my guess is that multiple offers may be here to stay for quite some time. So, when you are ready to buy or sell your home, please give me a call, and let's get moving!


Friday, February 22, 2013

Now Is A Great Time To Sell Your Home!

Hello 2013 and welcome to a seller's market once again. If you have been keeping up with Real Estate headlines here in LA then you have surely seen headlines that read something like..."Real Estate Prices are up!" or "Multiple offers on multiple homes".  I'm literally being stopped by people in the market or coffee shop asking me about the exciting news in Real Estate that is going on. I think people that have been waiting to sell, or are just thinking about selling, are finally getting excited about this change in the market. Here is some of what is going on:

1. Interest rates for home loans are still very low for buyers. But they may not stay this way for long so buyers are getting out there to get something now. 
2. There aren't a lot of homes for sale on the market right now (which is a huge reason you should be listing your home now)
3. There are so many buyers looking for homes and just not enough for sale. 
4. While prices have gone up and continue to gain momentum quickly, buyers have a feeling that now will be a better time to buy than next year or years after that (and they may be right)
5. There will be more buyers coming to the market very shortly when everyone gets their taxes finished and see where they stand financially in terms of a home purchase. 

I'm not going to claim that I am a fortune teller for where the market is headed, but if you read any of my past blogs regarding the future of LA real estate, you will see that I have been right on the money with every single one of them. And I believe that Now Is A Great Time To Sell Your Home!! Call me if you are considering selling your home. You need a strong realtor that knows what is going on and how to market your place right and I am just the Realtor to do that.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

What To Expect When Inspecting

The process of buying or selling a home can sometimes be a lot to take it. There are a lot of hoops to jump though and sometimes, you can be faced with unexpected challenges or information. Here in this article, I would like to give you an idea of what you can expect during the home inspection process.
So you've had your offer accepted or you have accepted an offer and now things are moving forward.  Sometime usually within the first week to two weeks you will have an inspector come into the home and look around for things that the typical person may not see or recognize on their own.  This process typically takes about 2-4 hours for a standard sized home but could be more for a large home or one that may have a lot of amenities.
 When it comes to the inspection process, let me make this analogy.  Let's say you went in to the doctor to have your body examined to make sure everything was working and looking good. Could you imagine at the end of that appointment all the things you may hear? What if you read that list and it said:
1)You have a funny looking mole on your arm that needs to be looked at further
2) your nose is crooked but we can fix that
3) the levels in your blood work are a little off and we will do more tests to see what that is
4) you put on 15lbs since your last visit and we need to talk about that
5) those headaches you mentioned are a concern and we should run a scan
6) and also on your eye exam you said you saw a "Q" but that was an "O"

Now you may think and know that everything about you is fine. Your nose was a childhood accident, but it works fine, that mole has been looked at before, these headaches have been happening your whole life etc...  Now think of yourself in this situation as the seller and someone else is in the room hearing all this news is  the buyer. That is kind of what it feels like in a home inspection. As the seller, you may know a lot of what is reported and that it has already been fixed, or maybe you've learned to live with it, or perhaps it does indeed need to be further looked at and remedied. But as the buyer, this can feel like a lot of overwhelming information and mostly bad news. And maybe it is...but maybe it isn't.  Things can be further inspected by specialists, things can be fixed or paid for to be fixed, or things can be left how they are. And these are the choices as a buyer and seller you will have to make.
It may be more common that in a buyer's market (where the buyer may have the advantage)  that some of the issues found may be fixed by the seller. In a seller's market, it may behoove the seller to fix larger issues that any subsequent buyer would be concerned about as well. But you may find yourself, in any market, with the seller saying they are unwilling to fix or pay for anything. And then you have to make choices about how you feel about that decision and move forward or maybe move on to another home. But, when you are the buyer, especially a first-time buyer, ask your agent about each step throughout the process of a sale and what you should expect. It is better to go into each situation knowing an idea of the possible outcomes as oppose to being blind-sided with a shocking bit of information. And know that even if your real estate agent keeps you informed and educated along the way, there is always the chance that something new and unexpected may come up, so always expect the unexpected and if you are looking to buy or sell, please give me a call and let me help you get moving!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Marijuana Shops In Your Neighborhood

Well Los Angeles, if you have taken a look around lately you will be sure to find a marijuana shop somewhere nearby. Of course, there are a lot of supporters of these and the overall legalization of marijuana. But I'm not writing this to get into a debate about whether that is good or bad, but rather to bring this issue closer to home. Literally. As in, are these shops in your neighborhood and if so, does that effect your home's value? Well, these shops that are opening up around town in the large numbers happen to be a pretty recent thing so it's hard to say if and how they will effect your neighborhood.  But in my neighborhood, there are already three or more marijuana shops within one block of where I live. This past Sunday my neighborhood had our annual neighborhood watch meeting where the topic of discussion was said to be about some recent car break-ins. Well, that topic was covered then dropped pretty quickly when the topic of marijuana shops came up. There seemed to be an overall concern for the amount of stores that have opened up in on our streets. Most people would agree that if you have the choice between liquor stores or marijuana shops, that the shops would be less troublesome, right? I mean, we don't usually think of the people smoking pot as shifty as someone who has over abused alcohol.  But does that mean that we still are settling for the lesser of two evils?  Some of the things mentioned in our meeting were things like the cars that now come and park in front of our houses to smoke. The littering of the green medical bottles that the marijuana is sold in.  The all-night hours of these places that attract customers to our neighborhood during late hours. And there were also people who mentioned that kids would just sit out on the curb in front of houses and smoke. And while all of this may not be legal, it may also be on the bottom of the priority list for a police officer to respond to with all the other issues they are over loaded with already.  And when people are out looking to buy homes, are these stores a deterrent? Do people view them in the same manor that strip clubs or liquor stores are seen?  And if they are, then how does it look to have 3 of them within one block of each other? I think it may be too early to see the full effect these will have on the desirability of a particular neighborhood.  But this will be an issue that will come up in the near future on our ballets for a vote.

Monday, February 11, 2013

"Best and Final"- Have You Been Hearing This A Lot Lately?

At this time, the market has switched from a buyer's market to a seller's market. A lot of homes here in Los Angeles are getting multiply offers on them and you may be one of the buyers who has put in an offer, and received a counter offer that simply said "best and final". What does that mean? And what should I do with that? Well, first things first.  "Best and Final" is referring to you making your best offer you are willing to make to the seller and there will be no more counter offers after that. The seller will simply choose the most appealing offer from what they receive. And what is most appealing to one seller, may not be the same for the next seller.  So have your agent call the listing agent and ask the question, "What is it your seller is looking for in the offer they will choose?"  This bit of information, if provided will go a long way.  Do they want a short escrow? Do they not want to make any repairs to the house? Do they want a very qualified buyer in terms of a large down payment or perhaps a high fico score? Or maybe, they just want the highest priced offer. There are a lot of ways to make your offer more appealing to the seller, which I will not get into simply because,'s not that simple to explain.  But one piece of advice I can leave you with is: If it comes down to the dollar amount, think to yourself, "What is the price I want to pay for this home?" After you have that number, then think to yourself this question, "If I lost this house to a higher bid, at what price would I be telling myself, man...I would have paid that to get this home." Now write down that number, scratch and ignore the first one you had written down, and tell your agent to put the 2nd price you came up with on that offer. If you are up against multiply offers again and again, please remember, you are not alone. And do yourself the favor of finding a good agent, hopefully me, that will know about how to make your offer look as good as it can and get you a home.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Property Taxes Calendar for Southern California

In case anyone couldn't sleep at night because they were up thinking about property taxes, here you go....

July 1               is the beginning of the fiscal year

October 1-31   Property Tax bills mailed

November 1     Property tax 1st installment due

December 10    Property Tax 1st installment delinquent

January 1         Assessment date. Taxes become lien on property at 12:01AM

February 1       Property tax 2nd installment due

February 15      Last date to file home owners exemptions

April 10            Property tax 2nd installment delinquent

June 30            Last day of fiscal year.  Delinquent property taxes become tax default for non payment of taxes.

The amount of California property taxes are approximately 1.25 percent of the selling price

You can find more information about this and other exciting topics on a government website or try seeing more here