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Have you heard the bad news about the real estate market? That the market is in free fall? Huge housing inventories are growing even larger? Foreclosures and Short Sales are flooding the markets? Sales are down with no end in sight? Buyers are staying out of a market that is sinking further and further into the abyss? It’s enough to make you circle the wagons and block out any thought of exploring the possibilities of buying or selling a property.
Don’t believe all you’ve heard
      The network news reports on the national and statewide trends of doom and gloom. And, unfortunately, the local news often echoes these depressing figures. But our local market here in the Coachella Valley does not reflect that at all. In fact the market statistics vary from city to city within the Coachella Valley. Each city in the Valley attracts different kinds of buyers. And it seems, for all of these groups — the local market news is good and the outlook is promising.
I’m not saying we’re out of the proverbial woods or that it’s not going to be a long slow climb out of the hole that Wall Street and investment bankers pushed us into. But it certainly isn’t as hopeless and negative as it once was. And since a significant part of any market (whether it’s stocks, commodities or real estate) is the perception of what’s happening – a negative perception keeps buyers from buying and sellers from selling. So let’s shed some light on what’s happening in here. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Local Sales Activity
      From December 2010 to December 2011, statewide sales were down by 9.5 %. Sales in Palm Springs were up 21.3 %.  The reason why we increased while the rest of the state decreased seems to be threefold. The demand for second homes for retiring baby boomers is increasing – many are resettling here. Gays and lesbians wishing for either retirement or second homes are still finding the desert attractive. Canadian buyers with cash are coming down and buying up attractively priced properties as second homes. So we are drawing people that have not been hit as hard as the rest of the population.
Inventory
      From December 2010 to December 2011 – Statewide inventory was up from 4.6 months to 4.9 months – an increase of .3 months. Palm Springs’s inventory of homes for sale was down 22%! From 6.4 months to 4 months. Again, the local market is definitely better than what is happening across the state. The properties that were being sold for bargain basement prices are gone. Buyers scooped up those properties in the years following the sharp decline of the market. Realtors are now having a more difficult time finding decent homes for buyers in the lower and middle price ranges.
Foreclosures
      The statewide average of Foreclosures for sale was down 1% for 2011. Palm Springs foreclosures were down 42.9% from last year numbers! Our local market is getting rid of its foreclosed homes while the state is adding to its supply.
Prices.
      Prices are the last piece of the puzzle to fall into place. When inventories shrink down to competitive levels and Foreclosures and Short Sales are no longer forcing down the market, prices start to rise.  The market seems to be positioning itself for this last piece of the puzzle to fall into place. By comparing ourselves with the state’s Sales, Inventory and Distressed property figures, we are poised better than most areas for a recovery.

Not as bad you thought – right? It’s not a bright and shiny vision but it’s certainly not as gloomy as the national statistics tell us it is. There is solid improvement in this local market.

So when you hear the sky is falling from those “experts” – take it with a grain of salt. Every area has very different forces affecting the sales, inventories and prices. I hope you learned a little bit more about our market and forces shaping it. But most of all – I hope you always remember – all real estate is local!

 
Statistics taken from California Association of Realtors/ local Multiple Listing Service.

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Have you heard the bad news about the real estate market? That the market is in free fall? Huge housing inventories are growing even larger? Foreclosures and Short Sales are flooding the markets? Sales are down with no end in sight? Buyers are staying out of a market that is sinking further and further into the abyss? It’s enough to make you circle the wagons and block out any thought of exploring the possibilities of buying or selling a property.
Don’t believe all you’ve heard
      The network news reports on the national and statewide trends of doom and gloom. And, unfortunately, the local news often echoes these depressing figures. But our local market here in the Coachella Valley does not reflect that at all. In fact the market statistics vary from city to city within the Coachella Valley. Each city in the Valley attracts different kinds of buyers. And it seems, for all of these groups — the local market news is good and the outlook is promising.
I’m not saying we’re out of the proverbial woods or that it’s not going to be a long slow climb out of the hole that Wall Street and investment bankers pushed us into. But it certainly isn’t as hopeless and negative as it once was. And since a significant part of any market (whether it’s stocks, commodities or real estate) is the perception of what’s happening – a negative perception keeps buyers from buying and sellers from selling. So let’s shed some light on what’s happening in here. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Local Sales Activity
      From December 2010 to December 2011, statewide sales were down by 9.5 %. Sales in Palm Springs were up 21.3 %.  The reason why we increased while the rest of the state decreased seems to be threefold. The demand for second homes for retiring baby boomers is increasing – many are resettling here. Gays and lesbians wishing for either retirement or second homes are still finding the desert attractive. Canadian buyers with cash are coming down and buying up attractively priced properties as second homes. So we are drawing people that have not been hit as hard as the rest of the population.
Inventory
      From December 2010 to December 2011 – Statewide inventory was up from 4.6 months to 4.9 months – an increase of .3 months. Palm Springs’s inventory of homes for sale was down 22%! From 6.4 months to 4 months. Again, the local market is definitely better than what is happening across the state. The properties that were being sold for bargain basement prices are gone. Buyers scooped up those properties in the years following the sharp decline of the market. Realtors are now having a more difficult time finding decent homes for buyers in the lower and middle price ranges.
Foreclosures
      The statewide average of Foreclosures for sale was down 1% for 2011. Palm Springs foreclosures were down 42.9% from last year numbers! Our local market is getting rid of its foreclosed homes while the state is adding to its supply.
Prices.
      Prices are the last piece of the puzzle to fall into place. When inventories shrink down to competitive levels and Foreclosures and Short Sales are no longer forcing down the market, prices start to rise.  The market seems to be positioning itself for this last piece of the puzzle to fall into place. By comparing ourselves with the state’s Sales, Inventory and Distressed property figures, we are poised better than most areas for a recovery.

Not as bad you thought – right? It’s not a bright and shiny vision but it’s certainly not as gloomy as the national statistics tell us it is. There is solid improvement in this local market.

So when you hear the sky is falling from those “experts” – take it with a grain of salt. Every area has very different forces affecting the sales, inventories and prices. I hope you learned a little bit more about our market and forces shaping it. But most of all – I hope you always remember – all real estate is local!

 
Statistics taken from California Association of Realtors/ local Multiple Listing Service.

You’ve found the home you want…

It’s owned by an individual(s) and not a bank.  That’s a very good thing!

Now comes the adventure of making an offer, waiting for a response, negotiating the counter offer, signing the contract and completing the deal.  This might all sound a little daunting but your Realtor is there to explain it all to you and help you every step of the way.

The process of making an offer on a home owned by an individual(s) is  different from making an offer owned by a bank.  (we will explore Bank Offers in the next post).  The conventional offer is fairly simple and straightforward.  Timelines are clear and spelled out.  You are dealing with only one contract — the California Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions.  This form is used in the vast majority of cases and is approved by the California Board of Realtors.  Other forms/contracts can be used but this is the one you’ll see 99% of the time.

If you want me to send you a sample contract so you can look it over and become familiar with it — just email me at jeffpalmer@windermere.com and I’ll send you one.

So you’ve found your home.  The realtor has given you a list of houses in that area that have recently sold (called a CMA — Comparative Market Analysis) so you can determine a fair price for you and the seller.  It fits in your budget.  Now you sit down and write the contract.  You fill out the Purchase Agreement with the property information, the price you are offering to pay, the way it will be financed and a timeline on when certain things will/must be done and who will pay for what.  These include obtaining financing, performing inspections, who will pay for what regarding inspections, title, escrow fees etc.

All of this can sound very scary and impossible, but the Purchase Agreement takes them all one step at a time and your Realtor is there every step of the way to explain each item to you so you are satisfied and secure.  When you take one item at a time it becomes very possible.  If you are unsure or don’t understand something — that is one of the reasons your Realtor is there.  They know the contract — they should be able to explain it to you so you can understand it.

Remember — this has been done literally millions of time before.  You can do it also.

So you’ve filled out the contract.  Your Realtor now sends it to the the seller’s Realtor to give to the seller.  In the contract you have give the seller a deadline for responding to your offer.  If they do not respond within the time you stated — your offer is no longer valid and you can walk away if you wish.  If and when they do respond — be ready for a Counteroffer. This is the Seller’s response to all your terms — the price, who pays for what, deadlines etc.  Now you either accept the seller’s new terms or get together with your Realtor and fill out a Counteroffer form giving your new terms.  This process goes back and forth until all the terms of the Purchase agreement are agreed upon by both you and seller.

Congratulations!  You’ve completed the first major step!  The clock has now started.

Escrow is now opened.  In your Purchase Agreement you and the seller have agreed upon an Escrow company with the help of your Realtors.  This company acts as an impartial agent.  They accept your earnest money and hold it, they receive papers/forms from the seller and from you that are needed to close the deal, and when everything has been completed — they take your money and your loan and exchange it for the seller’s property.  So now the seller has their money and you have the property.

In the Purchase Agreement you have stated how long everyone has to get this deal finished.  The clock starts ticking when you get the signed contract back from the seller.  Now you must get a loan.   Remember that PreApproval Letter you got (explained in an earlier post)?   You now bring all your papers that your loan person needs to secure the loan and they start their process.  Your Realtor will work with you and the loan person to make this process go smoothly and on time.  You must also get all your inspections completed in the time you both agreed upon — your Realtor will help you with these also and keep track of the deadlines.  This process can go wonderfully smoothly, might have some bumps along away (explained and remedied by your Realtor) or fall apart.  The first two end with you in your new home.  But you also might find some hidden problems in the house and cancel the deal.  Your loan might not go thru for some reason.  If this happens — you start the process over again.  It’s very disappointing but you must always keep your goal in sight — a new home — it’s worth the work!

This all might sound like a lot of effort — it is.  Be ready to ride the roller coaster of emotions.  But your Realtor is there to smooth out the bumps and help solve the problems.  It’s so important to keep your goal of owning a home in mind, go with the flow and hope for the best.  What’s the alternative?  And no matter what emotions you’ve experienced — nothing will beat the excitement and satisfaction you feel when you open the door to your new home.  Go for it!

Is the New Credit Score Model Helping Home Buyers?

Credit Expert Eddie Johansson believes the improved FICO 08 credit scoring model will increase the credit scores of a significant segment of borrowers, but it’s not helping home buyers. According to Johansson, president of Credit Security Group, a leading nationwide credit analysis and rescoring firm, that’s because the largest sources of home financing, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have not yet approved it.
“When Fannie and Freddie approve it, it has arrived- but not until then,” he said. Neither organization has provided its schedule or intentions for approving the FICO 08-based credit scores available from two major credit bureaus. Credit scores help lenders determine whether a mortgage loan is approved and the interest rate offered. In general, the higher the score, the easier it is to get a mortgage loan and the lower the interest rate.
Johansson said his analysis predicts the new model- if approved- will have the most impact on the current refinancing boom and mid-to-higher-end home sales. Speaking to 150 bank executives at the Independent Bankers Association of Texas Leadership Conference in San Antonio and to banking educators attending the Financial Literacy Summit at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Johansson said, “If it’s implemented as expected, it is a great opportunity to boost the housing market.” Johansson believes the new model will be a more accurate measure of credit risk. “It takes into account more of the borrower’s history and penalizes them less for a single unusual event,” he said. “It also has more score card levels, allowing finer adjustment of credit scores.” He said it will reduce the power of unscrupulous credit collectors too, since a single bad event- reported in error- will have less impact on scores.
FICO 08’s developer, Fair Isaac Corporation, predicts it will help lenders reduce default rates on consumer loans 5 to 15%.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac own or guarantee almost 31 million home loans worth about $5.4 trillion, which makes it all the more important that they approve the new score model.

Read more: http://rismedia.com/2009-09-08/is-the-new-credit-score-model-helping-home-buyers/#ixzz0QblwNFHv

Welcome to the Baugh Family and their friends! This video is a progress report about the Baugh’s new home being built in the Coachella Valley. We’ll take a little tour of the development as well as go through the house itself — no hard hats needed!
Sit back, relax and enjoy!

Jeff Palmer
760-218-8030…….jeffpalmer@windermere.com…..www.JeffPalmerRealtor.com

moutainsnowpalms.jpg

The city of Palm Springs was ranked No. 2 in CNNMoney.com and Money Magazine’s list released Tuesday of the top 25 best places to retire in the U.S.

It will be featured in Money Magazine’s October issue, which hits newsstands this month.

The list looks at the perks and “bang for your buck” that retirees could expect to find. It factors in local amenities, home prices — including the drops in prices after the recent housing bust — state income tax rates and the percentage of population over 50 to help determine the rankings.

Palm Springs was the only Coachella Valley city on the list, which put the typical price of a Palm Springs three-bedroom home at $250,000 — down some 44 percent in the housing burst. The list released Wednesday also estimated 42 percent of the city’s 48,000 residents were above the age of 50.

“It’s easy to see the appeal of living in the desert town beloved by Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack,” Money Magazine’s editors wrote. “Residents get 332 days of annual sunshine, 360-degree views of the mountains, and as much culture and design as they can pack in.”

Maureen Gessel, associate manager with Palm Springs-based The Gaffney Group,  which represents seven homeowners associations in the city, wasn’t surprised Palm Springs scored so high. “The city is so friendly and welcoming,” Gessel said “It doesn’t matter what your background is.“Being listed nationwide, it’ll definitely generate more interest around the country” in Palm Springs, Gessel said.

Last year, Where to Retire magazine listed La Quinta as one of the top eight places in the nation to retire for music and art lovers.

New York: Narrow Home Lists for $2.7 Million
Reduced real estate prices don’t seem to be affecting the sale of the house billed as the narrowest in New York City.

The three-story, red brick house in Greenwich Village, which measures 9.5 feet wide and 42 feet long, is on the market for $2.7 million. It last sold in 2000 for $1.6 million.

Practitioner Alex Nicholas, senior vice president of the Corcoran Group, who listed the property, predicted it would sell for the listed price because it is unique, has an interesting history, and is well located.the outrageousness of real estate!!