Sherman Oaks, CA Real Estate News

By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
Long Way To Go, But The Market Is Looking Good! It's been a strange recovery and it isn't over yet.  Here are a few nationwide factoids that illustrate we are in a good place right now.   - For the first time in a long while, the housing cost-to-income ratio is at 23%, the lowest in 30 years!   (California specific figures however, would be a bit higher)  - 14% of renters moving out these days across the nation are doing so because they are buying property.  This number has been slowly rising since it bottomed out at roughly 11% in 2011.  The job market is making a comeback which in turn is producing qualified buyers that have only been able to rent until now.  - The National average monthly payroll employment growth amount is currently at $165k, whereas April 2012 was $112k.  There hav...
Comments 2
By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
How Much Does Safety Factor Into the Home Buying Process? A bit of a no brainer, but a recent study shows it can be more important than price to most home buyers.  John Burns Real Estate Consulting conducted a survey of almost 20,000 home buyers and had them rank key factors in making a decision to buy in order of importance.  Safety came in a close third only behind location and home design.  Price was ranked fourth. How Much Does Safety Factor Into the Home Buying Process? As we all have seen the news and felt the changes in our communites, many cities/counties are cutting back on police and emergency responders to save money.  While personally, I think this is the LAST place to cut budget corners, reality says otherwise.  The study also showed a direct corellation between law enforce...
Comments 1
By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
Buying Within Your Means: Be Prepared!!I recently read a column online that gave some great advice for home buyers; first timers and repeat buyers alike. I will link it below. The most important point that it illustrated is the difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval. Especially when you get to the offer submitting stage, a pre-qual letter from a lender is usually included but it pretty much doesn't mean anything without pre-approval to back it up. In other words, before you ever START house hunting, get PRE-APPROVED. It will only help you with your search by really telling you the highest you can go. Many times you might get pre-qualified for more than you actually get approved for and that can be deceiving to the hopeful buyer. Buying Within Your Means: Be Prepared!!As m...
Comments 0
By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
Real Estate Market Feeling Kind of Bubbly?For me?  The answer is Yes and No.  While sales are increasing and demand is high right now, it's not like the bubbles of Real Estate past where buyers are purchasing above their means and creating more debt.  Sales may have increased, but so have the amount of cash buyers, or financed buyers with large down payments and sufficient funds to back it up.Real Estate Market Feeling Kind of Bubbly?I've seen it first hand in my own business.  Not only do I represent several cash buyers (not all of them investors either) but many of my listings have had multiple cash offers or 30% plus down payments promised.  Since the price of sales are being driven up by demand, you won't see investors unloading left and right as they are waiting for a moment of opp...
Comments 2
By Ralph Gorgoglione, Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407
(Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes)
I'm taking matters into my own hands.....in a BIG way The craziness of the market tends to bring out advantages and disadvantages. Advantages include the obvious such as increased activity, gains in home value, and all the hussle and bussle associated with that. But there are some disadvantages that have occured as a result of us coming out of a depressed market for quite a few years, and that is the greed, nastiness, and compromising of ethics that I'm seeing by a fair percentage of agents. I've found myself having to police my business, during a time when I really don't have the time. And I've had so many agents state that our local association of realtors doesn't really do too much about, or perhaps don't have the capacity or willingness to do so (and their organization dollars come ...
Comments 27
By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
Just wanted to pass along this link to everyone.  It's a very informative and interactive map posted by the LA Times. Southern California's Housing Recovery: An Interactive Map This is a great tool if you are considering selling and need some more information to help you make your decision! Southern California Housing Recovery This article goes hand in hand with the map: California home prices and sales increase in March Check out both links and comment below!
Comments 0
By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
Renting or Buying?  Which Will Save You More? The answer to this question really depends on where you are, market conditions, etc.  The California Association of Realtors has compiled information on the monthly cost of buying versus renting in a few major counties in California.  As you can see below, overall, buying is much more beneficial to consumers even when you take property taxes and insurance into account.  On average, buying yields a 32% savings in California!  
Comments 1
By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
Should We Remodel, Or Buy A New House? Many growing families who are finding themselves running out of room or just not happy with the current finishes their home has are now contemplating the age-old question, should we remodel our house or buy a new one? Although prices are beginning to increase, many people are still under water, so even if they feel they need to expand or upgrade, they fear sinking more money into their investment.  On the flip side, shopping for a new home with such limited inventory on the market for sale poses a huge challenge of its own for potential move-up buyers. Should We Remodel, Or Buy A New House? Attractive homes that are priced well are almost always met with a bidding war in this current real estate market.  We have recently had several bidding wars wi...
Comments 0
By Ralph Gorgoglione, Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407
(Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes)
FHA and VA Allowable and Non-Allowable Fees:  Close your transactions more smoothly by knowing these in advance FHA Loans and VA Loans have their own set of lender guidlines for real estate transactions.  A good real estate agent will not only be familiar with the terms of the contract that are within those guidelines, but it is also helpful to know some of the the lending guidelines as well, since some of that overlaps on the terms of the contract. Knowing this information will pave the way for a smoother transaction, and will avoid any last-minute underwriting drama for your transaction. I've been able to get through many deals by knowing most of the guidelines in advance. An outstanding escrow officer from Chartwell Escrow, Harlene Dunn, has put together this useful chart for FHA and...
Comments 0
By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
Dangerous Foreclosure Scams Plague the Unfortunate Homeowner Agents!  Homeowners!  Be informed!  Avoid making a terrible mistake in an effort to save your home! There are many scam artists out there who claim they can help homeowners avoid foreclosure by scouring their loan documents for any mistakes or loopholes that could put a stop to the process.  This "service" comes at a hefty price, upwards of $3,000 at times.  It is up to the consumer to do their part in researching a so-called business that claims it can "help." Dangerous Foreclosure Scams Plague the Unfortunate Homeowner These companies may have official looking material sent to you, but ALWAYS do your research online before even contacting them for more information.  The Better Business Bureau is always a good place to start....
Comments 0
By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
It's An Investors World More and more often these days we're seeing investors purchase properties with a quickness.  Inventory is low and demand is getting competitive, especially for the personal home buyer.  I've had several clients get beat out on a reasonable or generous offer by cash investors.  I also represent a few investors as well who are making non-contingent offers with quick cash closings making it nearly impossible for the end-user family to compete!  Even the investors are having to pull out all the stops to compete with each other. It's An Investors World Hedge funds are big in the REO rental and REO rental to own markets right now.  According to the US Department of Commerce, homeownership rates are continuing to decrease.  If you are a seller who has been sitting on th...
Comments 3
By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
Top Ten Turn-Around Housing Markets of 2012 According to the latest home price report from Trulia.com, the housing market in general has made quite the positive turn in the last year.  It seems it'll only get better at this point.  I thought it would be interesting to share the top ten markets with the most improvement.  This is referencing increases in median home prices from December 2011 to December 2012.  A few here in California, but some other surprising locations as well.   Top Ten Turn-Around Housing Markets of 2012 In my opinion, it's a little scary to see 27% increases as we seek a more balanced market with a long term, steady recovery, not a mini bubble!  My trusted market analyst John Burns, predicts a 21% gain in home values across the US over the next 4 years which is why ...
Comments 3
By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
Fiscal Cliff Avoided - 2013 Housing Market Expectations We have had 13 straight months of home sales increasing and the avoidance of the Fiscal Cliff should help to continue that growth.  Had the Fiscal Cliff not been avoided, the average American's annual taxes would have increased by thousands of dollars which in turn would have kept some folks from putting a down payment on a home.  Of course, if you make over $450k/year, you taxes will go up significantly.  But, for the rest of us, we're safe for now.  (Or at least for the next two months until this entire Fiscal Cliff issue is revisited in Washington.) Fiscal Cliff Avoided - 2013 Housing Market Expectations Also included in the Fiscal Cliff deal were extensions for the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act and the Mortgage Interest ...
Comments 0
Prospect Mortgage Shaida Tafreshi Mortgage Loan Officer NMLS 545194 Sherman Oaks, CA Good Morning Realtors, Homeowners and Active Rainers alike! I wanted to create a brief blog regarding the “slowness” of business during the holiday season, and how we can not only avoid that “holidays are slow” excuse, but defy that idea all together. Instead of jumping on the “holidays are slow” train, why not DO what everyone else is NOT DOING at this time of year… WORK, STAY FOCUSED, and ASK FOR THE BUSINESS. Here are a few basic ideas to continue the momentum you have created all year, during the last few days of the holiday season (and year!). 1.               Refinances are perfect to leverage at this time of year.  Not only are interest rates low, but there are PLENTY of people who have purchased...
Comments 1
  Shaida Tafreshi Prospect Mortgage Sherman Oaks, CA NMLS 545194   Back to the Basics: Mortgages 101 Lesson: 1   The Most Common Loan Types Available   1. Conventional   §  “Conforming Loan”- Loan Amounts Up to $417,000   §    “High Balance Conforming Loan” – Loan amounts between $417,001 - $625,500 2.   FHA – Federal Housing Administration – Government Loan     §    “Conforming FHA Loan” – Loan Amounts up to $417,000     §     “High Balance FHA Loan” – Loan amounts between $417,001 - $729,750   3. Jumbo     §     Anything above $625,000 and $729,750 respectively   PROS and CONS Between Conventional and FHA Loans:         - Conventional Loans:       §     With Conventional loans you can put as little as 5% down given your loan amount is conforming. (remember, conforming is equal to or l...
Comments 3
By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
California Home Prices on the RiseAn increase in the median home sale prices , the largest increase in 8 years is happening right now. From November last year to November 2012, the median price has risen 25%!  A single-family detached home was $349,300 last month, up from $279,910 the year before.California Home Prices on the RiseIn the Los Angeles market, the average price was $327,840 last month, up 22% from a year earlier and 2.9% percent from October.California Home Prices on the RiseThis isn't necessarily a true sign of an economy bouncing back, which don't get me wrong, part of it is, however it is due in part to an increase in the mid to higher priced market while the lower sales have decreased.  Remember my blog about high-end flips? The proof is in the pudding.California Home ...
Comments 0
By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
Advantage to House Hunting During The Holidays As Realtors, we all know that the market slows down significantly during the holidays.  Buyers and Sellers are more concerned with kids home from school, turkey dinners and gift giving. Patience is a virtue.  Buyers that remain steadfast thru the low inventory and competition of investors, can find a diamond in the rough that they otherwise may have missed while jingling all the way to spring. According to DataQuick, homes sales have increased from October to November only FOUR times in the last 24 years. In other years inbetween, transactions have decreased anywhere from 0.2% to almost 26%.  Home listings, from 3% to 11% in the last three years. Advantage to House Hunting During The Holidays I had clients score on a property 3 days before ...
Comments 4
By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
First Time Home Buyers Decreasing First time home buyers are becoming a smaller percentage of the market.  Normally around 40%, first time buyers are down to 34.7% of the active marketshare nationwide.  Meanwhile, move-up buyers are increasing. First Time Home Buyers Decreasing Perhaps the reason for this decline is due in part to the difficulties facing those trying to go the FHA route.  With many people struggling these days, applying for FHA is the best option for lower mortgage payments.  However, with so many in that struggling phase, FHA is being overrun with requests.  So there is "demand," but not necessarily enough "supply" to go around.  Up to 50% of first time buyers use FHA. First Time Home Buyers Decreasing On the recovery front, non-distressed properties on the market are ...
Comments 1
By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
Single Family Lease Demand Rises, Foreclosures to Blame? Or Are They? According to a report released by CoreLogic, demand for single family home rentals has increased by as much as 25%!  Many people are losing their homes to the banks and thus turn to finding rental properties they can afford.  I have also seen families who were renting being forced to move because the property owners are under water.  So we have two groups of people, owners and current renters looking to find a place (or another place) to rent. Single Family Lease Demand Rises, Foreclosures to Blame? Or Are They? This is good and bad news for investors.  Bad news for investors who want to flip.  The demand for remodeled or renovated homes isn't as abundant as it was before.  Good news for investors looking to make a pr...
Comments 1
By Emily Rose Newmark
(Keller Williams Realty)
   It's Election Day - be sure to get out and vote. With all the displaced folks in the Northeast, it will be very interesting to see how the polls go. Rest assured, attorneys representing both sides of the aisle will be out in force to be sure there is no fraud and every vote is cast.  How will Election Results Effect Our Interest Rates? As far as interest rates are concerned, it really doesn't matter who wins the Presidential election, as there should not be a meaningful movement one way or the other.  There's a sense that if Obama wins, the Fed accommodation (QE3) will continue as planned, where if Romney wins, maybe QE3 gets unplugged sooner. With the economy limping along, we don't think the Fed is going anywhere, anytime soon – QE Unlimited will continue until the labor market and...
Comments 28