Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lakeside Community in Buena Park, CA

I'm pleased to announce that we recently reduced the price of 32 Lakeside Drive almost $50,000 on this awesome listing in the Gated resort community of Lakeside in Buena Park, California. We were originally listed at $1,099,000 for the first two months on the market. We are now asking $1,050,000 for this awesome five bedrooms, three bath home with just over 3,600 square feet of living space. This unique location is one of only twelve properties that rest along a private lake in the heart of North Orange County in Buena Park near Fullerton's Los Coyotes Country Club. This gorgeous two story home has an open floor plan with tons of natural lighting. The entrance is Stunning with 20' ceilings, lots of large windows and a wide semi-spiral staircase leading to the 2nd floor. Off the entrance is a downstairs-Bedroom with 3/4 Bath, a large living room leading to the formal dining room. Second downstairs room could be another bedroom or an office, separate family room open to the gourmet kitchen & breakfast nook. Upstairs has three bedrooms & two bathrooms, a large Bonus Room with balcony, and a Tech Center with built-in book shelves. eight foot double-doors open to the giant Master Suite with Retreat, and balcony overlooking the big backyard with covered patio which overlooks the community lake. Master bath has double vanity sink, large tub, and huge Walk-In Closet. New carpet & tile floors. Fresh custom paint inside. Home includes a big walk-in pantry, double pane windows, and large back & side yards. The backyard overlooks a private lake with it's own private dock. This prestigious gated community of Lakeside offers many community amenities including an eight acre man made lake with catch & release fishing, paddle boats, two tot lots and playground areas, walking/jogging path, Jr. Olympic & Wading pool, clubhouse and so much more for the low HOA dues of $152 per month. NO MELLO ROOS! This community is located near Malvern and Dale in Buena Park a mile east of Beach Boulevard. For more information, please visit my website at

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Have We Finally Hit Bottom?

It's a question that's relevant to investors in just about any once-hot market that's gone from boom to bust: Have prices finally bottomed out? Or could they be poised for still further declines?

In the Miami-South Dade area of Florida -- ground zero for the worst boom and bust cycle -- prices have actually increased for the third straight month, according to the Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

Pending sales contracts are up, according to the Florida Association of Realtors, and the entire South Florida listed inventory has dropped from 108,000 unsold units in November of 2008 to 70,000 condos, townhouses and single family houses as the end of October 2009, according to realty consulting firm CondoVultures.

Looking at these numbers, you might say: Conditions in one of the most overbuilt local real estate markets in the U.S. are on the upswing.

And some investors agree. One bulk condo buyer reportedly has marked up prices by $300 a square foot more than he paid for his units just months ago. Sounds like the bottom is over.

But there's an alternative view taking shape among some investors: The supposed "bottom" may be nothing more than a temporary plateau, they say, with more declines ahead.

Why? For the same reason that Dr. Laurie Goodman, economist and senior managing director of research for Wall Street's Amherst Securities thinks lots of boot-to-bust metropolitan areas will see price declines in the months ahead: There is a massive 7 million unit "shadow inventory" of delinquent and distressed properties in banks' foreclosure pipelines that haven't been put on the market and haven't yet affected prices.

For instance, in South Florida, lenders expect to take a total of 29,000 units into REO by the end of the year, up 9 percent over 2008, and almost triple the repossessions in 2007, according to Condo Vultures.

When these are finally listed, they're going to be a wet blanket, and depress prices. Goodman forecasts price declines of another 8 to 10 percent in the coming months, just when the conventional wisdom is that we've already seen the worst.

However, Peter Zalewski, head of CondoVultures, says the key to South Florida pricing in the coming year will be location. Condos near or on the water are selling well to investors and second home buyers from the U.S. and abroad.

Demand is likely to keep their prices stable at least.

But in the inland suburban submarkets, which are less attractive to investors and second home buyers, Zalewski sees definite problems -- and vulnerability to further price declines in 2010.

Pending Sales Rise

Real Estate Outlook:

A record jump in pending home sales -- pointing to higher numbers of closed transactions in the next two to three months -- tops the housing economic news this week.

Pending sales rose by 6.1 percent nationwide during the month of September, pushed in part by consumer concerns that the $8,000 tax credit might expire at the end of the month - and we now know that won't happen.

The pending home sale index, compiled monthly by the National Association of Realtors, was up 21 percent higher this September compared with September of 2008. That's the biggest year-over-year increase in the history of the index, dating back to 2001.

Plus the September gain in pending sales was the eighth straight month of higher numbers -- and that's also a record for the index. Pending sales were up by 10.2 percent in the Western states, 8.1 percent in the Midwest, 5 percent in the South.

Only the Northeast saw a decline, and that was by 2 percent.

Those numbers are pretty robust, but some economists caution that the index is likely to see a tapering off during the winter and holiday months, when fewer people are shopping.

David Semmens, an economist with Standard Chartered Bank in New York, said "we expect a far slower growth rate going forward."

But other economists question whether that seasonal pattern might be overridden by the short term extension, and expansion, of the tax credit through next June.

That extension not only continues the $8,000 credit for first time buyers, but allows people who've owned their homes for the past five years to qualify for a $6,500 credit if they sign a contract by April 30th 2010 and go to closing by June 30.

In other key economic developments affecting real estate this week, the Commerce Department reported that spending on construction, both residential and commercial, was up by eight tenths of a percent during September. That's a further welcome indication the recession is over.

Also, the Clear Capital "HDI" home price index rose by 3.7 percent on a national average basis between September 26th and October 28th.

Meanwhile, mortgage rates got even a little better last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Average 30-year fixed rates slipped just below 5 percent, while 15-year fixed rate loans dropped significantly -- and now average just 4.3 percent.

Not surprisingly, given all these positive indicators, new applications for mortgages to buy homes were up again last week -- this time by 3 percent.

The recovery looks like it's well on track.

Home Buyer Tax Credit

Home Buyer Tax Credit
Read Below for the basics of the Extension and revision to the Tax Credit. Please contact me with any questions. This is great news for the industry.

Homebuyer Tax Credit Update!
On November 6, 2009, President Obama signed a bill to extend the tax credit for first-time homebuyers (FTHBs) through June 30, 2010. The bill also opens up opportunities for others who are not buying a home for the first time.
To learn what the new tax credit means to you and your clients, take a look at the concise overview below.
In addition, we’ve put together a script featuring wording you can cut and paste as needed to beat out your competition by connecting with clients who may be able to benefit from the new plan details!
Who Gets What?
First-Time Homebuyers (FTHBs): First-time homebuyers (that is, people who have not owned a home within the last three years) may be eligible for the tax credit. The credit for FTHBs is 10% of the purchase price of the home, with a maximum available credit of $8,000
Single taxpayers and married couples filing a joint return may qualify for the full tax credit amount.
Current Owners: The tax credit program now gives those who already own a residence some additional reasons to move to a new home. This incentive comes in the form of a tax credit of up to $6,500 for qualified purchasers who have owned and occupied a primary residence for a period of five consecutive years during the last eight years.
Single taxpayers and married couples filing a joint return may qualify for the full tax credit amount.
What are the New Deadlines?
In order to qualify for the credit, all contracts need to be in effect no later than April 30, 2010 and close no later than June 30, 2010.
What are the Income Caps?
The amount of income someone can earn and qualify for the full amount of the credit has been increased.
Single tax filers who earn up to $125,000 are eligible for the total credit amount. Those who earn more than this cap can receive a partial credit. However, single filers who earn $145,000 and above are ineligible
Joint filers who earn up to $225,000 are eligible for the total credit amount. Those who earn more than this cap can receive a partial credit. However, joint filers who earn $245,000 and above are ineligible.
What is the Maximum Purchase Price?
Qualifying buyers may purchase a property with a maximum sale price of $800,000. What is a Tax Credit?
A tax credit is a direct reduction in tax liability owed by an individual to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In the event no taxes are owed, the IRS will issue a check for the amount of the tax credit an individual is owed. Unlike the tax credit that existed in 2008, this credit does not require repayment unless the home, at any time in the first 36 months of ownership, is no longer an individual’s primary residence.
How Much are First-Time Homebuyers (FTHB) Eligible to Receive?
An eligible homebuyer may request from the IRS a tax credit of up to $8,000 or 10% of the purchase price for a home. If the amount of the home purchased is $75,000, the maximum amount the credit can be is $7,500. If the amount of the home purchased is $100,000, the amount of the credit may not exceed $8,000.
Who is Eligible fort FTHB Tax Credit?
Anyone who has not owned a primary residence in the previous 36 months, prior to closing and the transfer of title, is eligible.
This applies both to single taxpayers and married couples. In the case where there is a married couple, if either spouse has owned a primary residence in the last 36 months, neither would qualify. In the case where an individual has owned property that has not been a primary residence, such as a second home or investment property, that individual would be eligible.
As mentioned above, the tax credit has been expanded so that existing homeowners who have owned and occupied a primary residence for a period of five consecutive years during the last eight years are now eligible for a tax credit of up to $6,500.
How Much are Current Home Owners Eligible to Receive?
The tax credit program includes a tax credit of up to $6,500 for qualified purchasers who have owned and occupied a primary residence for a period of five consecutive years during the last eight years.
Can Homebuyers Claim the Tax Credit in Advance of Purchasing a Property?
No. The IRS has recently begun prosecuting people who have claimed credits where a purchase had not taken place.
Can a Taxpayer Claim a Credit if the Property is Purchased from a Seller with Seller Financing and the Seller Retains Title to the Property?
Yes. In situations where the buyer purchases the property, even though the seller retains legal title, the taxpayer may file for the credit. Some examples of this would include a land contract or a contract for deed.
According to the IRS, factors that would demonstrate the ownership of the property would include:
1. Right of possession, 2. Right to obtain legal title upon full payment of the purchase price, 3. Right to construct improvements, 4. Obligation to pay property taxes, 5. Risk of loss, 6. Responsibility to insure the property, and 7. Duty to maintain the property.
Are There Other Restrictions to Taking the FTHB Credit?
Yes. According to the IRS, if any of the following describe a homebuyer’s situation, a credit would not be due:
They buy the home from a close relative. This includes a spouse, parent, grandparent, child or grandchild. (Please see the question below for details regarding purchases from “step-relatives.”)
They do not use the home as your principal residence.
They sell their home before the end of the year.
They are a nonresident alien.
They are, or were, eligible to claim the District of Columbia first-time homebuyer credit for any taxable year. (This does not apply for a home purchased in 2009.)
Their home financing comes from tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds. (This does not apply for a home purchased in 2009.)
They owned a principal residence at any time during the three years prior to the date of purchase of your new home. For example, if you bought a home on July 1, 2008, you cannot take the credit for that home if you owned, or had an ownership interest in, another principal residence at any time from July 2, 2005, through July 1, 2008.

Can Homebuyers Purchase a Home from a Step-Relative and Still be Eligible for the Credit?
Yes. As long as the person they buy the home from is not a direct blood relative, the purchase would be allowed.
If a Parent (Who Will Not Live In The Property) Cosigns for a Mortgage, Will Their Child Still be Eligible for the Credit?
Yes, provided that the child meets the other requirements for the tax credit