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Blog Archives: September 2013

8 Things To Not Do While In Escrow

September 30, 2013
You’ve seen lists telling buyers what to do to find the right home but knowing what not to do can be just as important.  After finding the right home, negotiating a contract, making a loan application and inspections, buyers, understandably, start making plans to move and put their personal touches on the home.In today’s tenuous lending environment, little things can derail the process which isn’t over until the papers are signed at settlement and funds distributed to the seller. Verifications are made by a lender at the beginning of the loan ...

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013
Last week brought a variety of housing related news. Highlights included the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index for July, which showed a 12.40 percent year-over-year increase in national home prices. This was up from 12.10 percent in June. The FHFA Housing Price Index reading traces home prices on properties securing mortgages owned or backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The year-over-year reading for July showed an increase of 8.80 percent as compared to a year-over-year reading of 7.80 percent in June. Rising mortgage rates and rising ...

Pacific Heights Dream Condo Sold by Michael Minson

September 28, 2013
2090 Pacific #301 SOLD for $1.5M after multiple counter-offers. Winning the property required thoughtful planning, strong price and terms, and intense negotiations.   Ultimately, my client didn’t offer the best price – we won because our terms were strongest and we delivered the offer that most effectively addressed the seller’s needs. And my client was overjoyed.  That’s the best part of all. Here’s the property description: Classic 1920’s grandeur in a prime Pacific Heights location. This elevator building showcases an early 20th ...

Before And After Tips When Dealing With A Disaster

September 27, 2013
Weather patterns across the United States seem to be getting more and more erratic. From tornadoes and earthquakes to flash floods and wild fires, there are many natural disasters that can quickly consume your home without warning. Because you never know when disaster might strike, it’s best to be prepared. Disaster insurance is the only precaution you can put in place to ensure compensation for your belongings and get your life back to normal as soon as possible. Below are the tips to take before misfortune strikes. Create An Inventory ...

4 Quick Tips On Becoming A Young Real Estate Investor

September 26, 2013
Investing in property at a young age seems like a bit of a daunting prospect sometimes. Most young people don’t have a lot of disposable income, often have poor credit and perhaps even student loans. When you are in your early 20s, you are not likely thinking about investing in property and are probably focusing on other things. However, investing in property at a young age can bring you a lot of advantages. It requires a different approach and style and you might be the only one of your peers who is doing so, but you will definitely reap ...

Case Shiller Price Index Shows An Annual Growth Rate Of Home Prices

September 25, 2013
Home prices were still gaining in July, but for 15 of 20 cities included the S&P Case-Shiller 10 and 20-city Home Price Indices, the pace of increasing home prices is slowing down. National home prices rose by 1.80 percent in July as compared to 2.20 percent in June. Home prices grew by 0.60 percent from June to July on a seasonally-adjusted basis. This was the lowest month-to-month gain since September 2012. David Blitzer, index committee chairman of S&P Dow Jones Indices, said that higher mortgage rates are hitting the housing market. Mr....

Equity Dynamics: the Key to Exponential Returns

September 24, 2013
Equity is the difference in what your home is worth and what you owe. Ideally, as the value goes up and the unpaid balance goes down with each amortized payment made, the equity grows from two directions. This dynamic leads to increasing a person’s net worth much faster than many other investments. A homeowner has minimal control over value. It is necessary to maintain the property to avoid depreciation and make good decisions on capital improvements. After that, appreciation is generally controlled by supply and demand and the economy. ...

Highest Existing Home Sales Since February 2007

September 24, 2013
Sales of existing homes reached their highest volume in almost six years in August. The National Association of REALTORS reported Thursday that sales of existing homes rose 1.70 percent in August to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million existing homes sold. This was the highest number of existing home sales since February of 2007. August’s results exceeded estimates of 5.20 existing homes sold, which was based on July’s unrevised reading of 5.39 million existing homes sold. The NAR also reported that the national median home ...

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week — September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013
Last week’s economic news was dominated by the Federal Reserve’s decision not to taper its $85 billion in monthly securities purchases. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke noted in a scheduled statement after the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting that economic conditions were not yet adequately improved to withstand any decrease in the federal quantitative easing program. The Fed also reaffirmed that the target federal funds rate would remain at 0.00 to 0.25 percent until the national unemployment rate reached 6.50 percent and inflation ...

Arbitration Explained

September 20, 2013
Arbitration for the Consumer Introduction Most real estate transactions proceed fairly smoothly; minor disputes between the parties usually can be worked out with a little negotiation and compromise. However, buyers and sellers sometimes find themselves confronted with disputes that they are unable to resolve by themselves. Various alternatives exist for resolving disputes. One such method, which is growing rapidly in popularity, is arbitration. In fact, most real estate contracts, including those published by C.A.R., give the parties the ...

Quick Tips To Beat Out Cash Buyers

September 20, 2013
You’ve been searching for the perfect home for quite a while, and finally, you’ve found it! You get all of your finances in order and place an offer on the house. However, you’re not the only who loves the home, because there are multiple offers — and one of them is cash. Cash buyers are seen as desirable because they’re almost always a guaranteed quick-close. They don’t have to borrow money from a bank, and therefore won’t have any financing hang-ups, which is where a large portion of offers fall through. Don’t worry; not all hope is l ...

Median list price in San Francisco this week is $899,000

September 19, 2013
The Market Action Index has been trending down lately, while inventory and days-on-market are climbing. The trends imply a weakening market. Prices hit another all time high this week. Given current conditions, prices continue to march higher. A persistent drop of the Market Action Index into the Buyer’s zone will be a leading indicator of the price strength subsiding. Market conditions have been consistently cooling in the past several weeks. Because we’re still in the Seller’s zone, prices have not yet begun to drop. It may take a few ...

Tips For Buying A Home That Your Pets Will Love

September 19, 2013
When you are buying a new home, it is important to take into consideration the four-legged residents that will be living there, as well as the two-legged ones. What things should you keep in mind if you are house hunting and you own a pet? Layout Of The House When you are looking at the house layout, think about how it will accommodate your pet. If you have an older dog that can’t climb stairs very well, look for a home that is mostly one level. Cats like to have little alcoves and quiet spaces where they can hide away. Think about where ...

Home Builder Confidence Has Far Outpaced Actual Home Construction

September 18, 2013
Home builder confidence was unchanged for September, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index HMI released Tuesday. After four months of rising confidence, September’s HMI reading came in at 58, which was not far from expectations of a reading of 59. August’s reading of 58 was revised from 59. Readings over 50 indicate that more builders view housing market conditions as being positive than negative. Housing Market Index Readings Rise Components of September’s HMI include readings for home ...

Don’t Overlook These Important Factors When Buying A New Home

September 17, 2013
Most of the time when buying a property, there are a few obvious factors that you will consider – such as the location, the number of bedrooms, the accessibility to schools or your workplace, the need for repairs and any interior features. However, there are a few things that might not have crossed your mind during your house hunt but are still quite important. Water Quality Most home buyers don’t even think about the water quality at the property until they get to the inspection stage. However, if you find out that the home has hard water, ...

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013
Last week didn’t feature any housing-related news other than Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of mortgage interest rates. Reports on consumer credit, job openings and weekly jobless claims suggest that without some relief in the jobs market, Americans may be taking a “wait-and-see” stance toward buying homes. Consumer Credit Rose By $10.40 Billion In July The Federal Reserve reported Tuesday that revolving credit fell by an annual rate of 2.60 percent as compared to an annual decrease of 5.20 percent in June. Non-revolving consumer credit such ...

Median list price in San Francisco this week is $839,000.

September 13, 2013
Inventory has been decreasing lately but the Market Action Index is falling also. With days-on-market climbing, these are relatively negative implications for the market. The market continues to get hotter. More sales demand and fewer homes listed have contributed to a relatively long run of increasing prices. Current supply and demand levels show no sign of prices changing from their current trend. Prices hit another all time high this week. Given current conditions, prices continue to march higher. A persistent drop of the Market Action ...

Social Living – How To Buy A Comfortable Home for Guests

September 13, 2013
When people are buying a home, one of the things that they sometimes forget to consider is the need to be able to accommodate guests. You likely have out of state relatives or friends who might come to visit you, and you will probably want to be able to give them a place to sleep so that they don’t have to pay for a hotel. You will also probably want to have your parents or your relatives stay over on special occasions such as Christmas. You might even need to host guests for long periods of time, such as if an aging parent needs to move in ...

A Few Reasons Why That Extra Bedroom Might Be Worth It

September 12, 2013
So you are looking at buying a home, but you are wondering whether or not it is worth it to pay a little extra for a home with one more bedroom. It’s a tough decision to make, especially when balancing other factors such as location and the other features of the home. However, having one more bedroom than you think you need could end up being a good thing for a number of reasons. Expanding Family Perhaps you only planned on having two children, but a third one might come along as an unplanned surprise.  Will you have enough room for ...

What You Need To Know About Mortgage Insurance

September 11, 2013
If you are on the verge of buying real estate, you’ve probably heard the term Private Mortgage Insurance. Mortgage professionals talk about it a great deal, but you may be asking, “What is it exactly? And why should I care?” Private Mortgage Insurance Defined PMI is required by lenders if the down payment of a purchase is less than 20 percent of the home’s value. It protects the lender if the borrower defaults on the loan. It also makes the lender more apt to loan, even if the down payment is as low as 3%, because in the long run, the ...

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