My Blog

Antelope Valley Existing Home Market

8/13/2012

- the average selling price in June though was up +3% ($141,282) vs. June of 2011- June existing home sales (495) fell -10.6% vs. June of 2011

- 40% of all sales in June were foreclosures, with 30% being short sales

this means that 70% of all sales were some type of distressed sale- not good

- residential agents say that sales fell due to a shrinking inventory as the number

  of available home listings in GAVAR is down 50% vs. one year ago

- agents also say the banks are slowing down in their processing of short sales

  and foreclosures

- inventory is also being held back by the loan modification process as some

  homeowners wish to go that route first before deciding to sell

- inventory is so thin that buyer fatigue is now common; some buyer have

  made 10-20 offers with no acceptance

- buyers making repeated offers on different homes are getting beat out

  by investors with cash, making the escrow quicker and easier, as no loan

  qualification process or appraisal is needed.

- one particular buyer has made 28 offers and failed to get acceptance on all 28

Antelope Valley Existing Home Market

8/13/2012

- the average selling price in June though was up +3% ($141,282) vs. June of 2011- June existing home sales (495) fell -10.6% vs. June of 2011

- 40% of all sales in June were foreclosures, with 30% being short sales

this means that 70% of all sales were some type of distressed sale- not good

- residential agents say that sales fell due to a shrinking inventory as the number

  of available home listings in GAVAR is down 50% vs. one year ago

- agents also say the banks are slowing down in their processing of short sales

  and foreclosures

- inventory is also being held back by the loan modification process as some

  homeowners wish to go that route first before deciding to sell

- inventory is so thin that buyer fatigue is now common; some buyer have

  made 10-20 offers with no acceptance

- buyers making repeated offers on different homes are getting beat out

  by investors with cash, making the escrow quicker and easier, as no loan

  qualification process or appraisal is needed.

- one particular buyer has made 28 offers and failed to get acceptance on all 28

FHA Loan Refinance.

6/19/2012
Since I stay informed about special programs that will help my clients, I wanted to let you know about the fact that FHA has rolled out a new FHA refinance program for people that currently have FHA loans. 


FHA has made it a lot easier for people to get approved for this program so if you have an FHA loan I suggest you read the bullet points below and then contact Ryan Morrow, an outstanding person and mortgage professional who can answer any questions you have about the program and determine if you qualify. Ryan Morrow can be reached at (661) 992-2216 or Ryan.Morrow@Spm1.com .

 

  • Lower mortgage insurance
  • Lower interest rates, government loan rates are at all-time lows
  • Must have a current FHA loan that started prior to June 1st, 2009
  • Program starts June 11th, so call now to see if you qualify
  • You may qualify for a No-Closing-Cost loan
  • Closing costs are extremely reduced on all streamline refinances
  • Minimal documentation required
  • You may not need an appraisal
  • Your loan must be current
  • You must have made at least 6 full months of payments
  • No more than one 30 day late payment in the last 12 months, none in last 3 months
  • Second liens can remain open in some cases
  • Up to $500 cash back in some cases


Feel free to call me if you have any questions.

 

 

Best Regards,

 

Ryan Garza

 

 

P.S. As I am always looking to expand my business through great clients like yourself, please give my name to the next person you meet that is in need of real estate services.


Paid to short sale your home?

4/2/2012

Good morning,

If you havent already heard, banks are offering sellers incentives to do a short sale.  Thats right, chase is one of the more aggressive banks, is offering up to $35,000! Sounds crazy but its true, theyve realized in may be better to cut their losses sooner rather than later. By the time they go through all legal proceedings, paperwork, evictions, repairs marketing, and anything else associated with foreclosing on a home they have lost more than the incentives they are currently offering.

So what does this mean for our market? Chances are good this year will be the year of the Short Sale. Currently we have about 990 homes on the market and of those, roughly %36  are short sales.  I anticipate this number to gradually increase over the next year. Part of the increase will be from those sellers that have been on the fence as to whether or not they want to do a short sale. These incentives might be persuasive enough to get them to finally make the decision to short sale. Many people tell me Short sales take forever, and I completely agree with them. However, over the last few months we have seen some banks begin to be more proactive with trying to expedite short sale approvals.

All things considered we are going to see a shift in the market more towards short sales as opposed to the heavy foreclosure inventory weve had for the last few years. The foreclosure inventory is low right now but should start to build up closer to the end of 2012. If youve been thinking about doing a short sale now might be a good time to explore your options. If you just have questions about Real Estate, just give me a call, Id be happy to talk 661.547.1248. No hype, just consultation!

Best Wishes,

Ryan

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Five Tips for Spring Cleaning

4/28/2011

By Ryan Garza

Prudential Troth Realtors

 

 

    Spring is here and for those selling their home or getting ready to put their house on the market, theres nothing quite as beneficial as doing a great spring cleaning job to not only make your home look great, but to get rid of some of that clutter that could distract someone coming to see your home. 

     Here are five spring cleaning tips that will help you sell your home.

    1: Curb appeal becomes as important as ever when the weather turns nicer and buyers are more likely to spend time outside looking at the exterior of the house and the property. Make sure to have a well-maintained lawn with all the leaves gone, the grass mowed and the hedges trimmed.

Spruce things up by buying some inexpensive, yet colorful flowers and spread fresh mulch in flowerbeds. Fill in any bare spots on your lawn with sod or seed. Make sure to also clean your gutters, wash your welcome mat and put away any rakes or winter shovels that clutter the yard.

    2: The phrase I dont do windows should never apply when selling a home. While a REALTOR® may tell you that homes show better with the blinds or curtains up, this will not be true if the windows are dirty. A clean window brings more light into a room and allows buyers the chance to see what the view will be when they look out of their potential new home. Its important to clean both the inside and outside of all windows until they are streak free and spotless. This includes all sliding glass doors, garage windows and outside doors.

    3: Pay close attention to the little things that might draw the eye of a prospective homebuyer. Go around your home with a pad and pencil and inspect each room for things such as small holes in the wall where a painting used to hang, outlets that are missing a cover or doorknobs that are loose and squeaky. Also, be sure to check all of the caulking around sinks, faucets and tubs, as well as any grout in tile counters or bathtubs. As you take the time and the small amount of money to fix these items you reduce the reasons for someone not liking your home.

    4: Power wash your driveway, walkway, siding and deck. You dont need to invest in the money of buying a new power washer as they are easy to rent from stores such as Lowes. Power washing removes layers and years of dirt and grime from stone and cement, including mildew stains from the winter. Power washing the porch, a fence or deck clears away all the dirt and debris and makes the home instantly seem cleaner. If the outside of your home looks dingy, you may be setting the impression that you didnt keep up the home itself well, so make sure to have everything looking top notch.

    5: One of the first pieces of advice you will get from your real estate agent is to reduce clutter in your home. Spring cleaning is the perfect excuse to get rid of things you dont really need. Go through all your closets and bag up all the clothes that dont fit, are out of style or you simply dont wear anymore and donate them to a charity. Take your old books, the kids toys they no longer play with and those kitchen knickknacks and hold a garage sale. A de-cluttered home is always more attractive to the homebuyer.

 

Ryan Garza can be reached at 661.547.1248 Prudential Troth Realtors is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential company. Equal Housing Opportunity.

 

Great article for buyers.

4/15/2011

April 6, 2011 -- Realty Times Feature Article by Carla Hill

Not every market is struggling. The truth is that many desirable neighborhoods and zipcodes are still experiencing healthy inventory levels and conditions that promote multiple offers. As a buyer in these markets, how can you be competitive?

First, and perhaps most importantly, be ready to buy. Readiness is not impulsiveness, however. Before you begin your home search, be clear on your objectives. This means knowing your budget (and how much wiggle room you really have), what amenities are must-haves, and what things you can do without. By having a clear plan of action, you'll know a good deal when you see it and won't hesitate to act. Many would-be buyers miss out on their dream home because of hesitation. They need "the night to think about it" or "to see a few more" before they make a decision. If the home is a good price and in a desirable location, one night could mean missing out on the house altogether.

To take the preparation stage one step further, be absolutely sure you are pre-qualified and pre-approved for a loan. Do this before you even set foot in seller's house. Why? You wouldn't be the first buyer you puts in an offer on their dream home, only to find out financing has fallen through. Lending is tight right now. You may not qualify for as low of an interest rate as you would think. And for others, you may not qualify at all!

And if you were prequalified or approved months ago, be sure to stay in contact with your lender, so that there are no surprises when it comes time to make an offer.

Communication doesn't end there. Keep in contact with your agent about new listings and showings. Homes come on the market all the time, and in hot neighborhoods they don't last long. If you wait even a few days, a home could be scooped up by another eager buyer.

Next, bid competitively. This is where your agent can be invaluable. They have access to your market's stats, which show for how much comparable homes have been selling. This means you may be able to come in a little under list price and still be competitive, or it may mean that the property is already underpriced, and to beat out any other offers, you need to offer more than the asking price.

Competitive doesn't mean handing everything to the seller on a sliver platter, though. Sellers may ask for certain concessions, such closing costs terms, as-is purchases (without an inspection contingency in the offer), and requests regarding closing dates. Some of these requests may seem reasonable to you, but don't be afraid to stand your ground if others are too far-fetched.

And finally, stick to your guns. It can be easy to lose sight of your true end goal, which should be the home you love at a reasonable price. This means that your pre-decided upon budget, well, it must remain your budget. Don't overpay for a house simply because you've gotten caught up in the excitement of a bidding war.

Use these simple tips to help you navigate a tough market. Before you know it you'll be signing on the dotted line for your new dream home.

Ah, Spring Make Sure Your Property Is Ready for a Warmer Market

4/11/2011

By Ryan Garza

Prudential Troth Realtors. 

Spring is a season of renewal this year in particular. Just as the birds are chirping and flowers are starting to bloom, the U.S. economy is moving forward with real estate sales percolating in many markets. Indeed, the days grow longer in spring, allowing more time for consumers especially those motivated by current, historically low interest rates and attractive home prices to shop for their American dream.

If youre considering selling your property this spring, now's a good time to complete some spring maintenance to make sure your home is in tip-top shape. Even if you aren't planning to sell your home, you should still add these chores to your list to help preserve your home's value and help avoid major repairs later on.

Walk Around the Outside

Check for any damage caused by winter's cold weather. Look for those sagging or loose gutters, window frames or siding. Is your roof missing any shingles, or is there any water damage under the eaves? Promptly schedule repairs for those items you can't do yourself.

Over the fall and winter, leaves, mud and debris may have accumulated in your gutters. Check your gutters for clogging and damage and schedule an appointment for cleaning.

Walk around your yard as if you were a first-time visitor. What impression does your home make? Be sure to clear away fallen branches and leaves. Loosen the soil around perennials, plant annuals or a vegetable garden. Prune shrubs and trees. Don't forget the backyard! Is it time to condition your deck? Be sure to hammer in any loose nails, or replace them with galvanized deck screws. Replace any broken boards or rails. Consider renting a power washer to clean dirt and mildew from the wood, and then apply an all-weather sealer or stain. Then dust off that patio furniture you kept protected over the winter. Test your automatic sprinkler system or connect your water hose and check for cracks and leaks. Replace old washers or sprinkler heads.

Repair any broken fence boards and paint or seal them as needed. Clean the pool if it has been covered all winter. Wash windows, screens and windowsills; repair any winter damage.  

Take a Tour Inside

Start making a list of things to do in each room. Then go to work. Dust walls and ceilings to remove cobwebs and wash any grimy areas. Wash window curtains or remove drapes for dry cleaning. Deep clean rugs and carpets. Dust and polish wood or laminate floors.

Clean fan blades using mild soapy water. Check the central air-conditioning unit for debris and obstructions; vacuum the main condenser coil on top of the unit. Check the operating condition of window air-conditioning units; remove and wash filters in mild soapy water.

Make sure all exhaust fans and vents are clean and clear. Don't forget to remove the lint buildup from the clothes dryer vent.

Look around for clutter. Are there items you don't use any longer? If you are planning on moving, what items will you not need? Consider having a garage sale and then either donate or trash the remaining items.

And lastly, don't forget to replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. A good time to change them is when you change your clock for daylight savings.

Although performing these spring chores may be dreaded task, they go a long way in maintaining and even enhancing the attractiveness and quality your home. With more buyers out and about, you must be sure your property is ready for its next new owner!  

Ryan Garza can be reached at 661-547-1248 Prudential Troth Realtors is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company. Equal Housing Opportunity. 

First-Time Homebuyers Face the Opportunity of a Lifetime

4/4/2011

By Ryan Garza
Prudential Troth Realtors
 

Todays first-time homebuyers are presented with the opportunity of a lifetime. Mortgage rates in early December stood near lows last seen during the Truman administration while home prices were well off their peaks of previous years. Housing inventory is also abundant in many markets, enabling first-timers to secure good homes and pave the way to their financial futures. Indeed, homes and their long-term virtues of shelter, wealth-building and personal and civic pride are available at bargain-basement prices that wont, or cant, last.

Naturally, first-timers have many questions about home buying, starting with costs. With research and the services of a licensed real estate professional, these consumers can demystify the process and place themselves on the fast track to homeownership.

Knowledge is power Nine out of every 10 home searches today begin on the Internet. With just a few mouse clicks, you can peruse neighborhoods, search countless online listings and take virtual tours packed with detailed photographs. The process gives you working knowledge of home availability and pricing in your local markets so by the time you sit down with your real estate sales professional youre well on your way.

Affordability Costs involved in the purchase of a home mortgage, down payment and closing expenditures can be overwhelming to first-time homebuyers. By looking at your income and debt ratio, your real estate professional can help you calculate how much you can afford each month in mortgage payments. But before determining your price range, you should also take into consideration other factors that will affect your monthly budget once you are a homeowner, such as property taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance. And if your down payment is less than 20 percent of the cost of the home, you will be responsible for private mortgage insurance.

Mortgage payment In todays buyers market, you may face competition for your dream home. To establish your spending limit and gain the ability to move quickly on a home, get pre-approved for a loan before you start looking. The fact that your loan has already been approved is of great value to the seller because it shortens the purchase process, and there is less of a chance that the buyer will back out of the sale. This process will also help you identify any credit challenges you must address prior to your purchase.

If you dont have a specific mortgage lender in mind, ask your sales professional for a recommendation.

Down payment The down payment amount varies depending on the value of the home you choose and your mortgage lender. First-time homebuyers may also qualify for down-payment assistance programs and grants available through their states and municipalities. Contact your state housing finance authority, county housing and community development office for an application.

Closing costs must be factored in as well. These include origination fees charged by the lender, title and settlement fees, taxes and prepaid items such as homeowners insurance or homeowner association fees. All told, buyers should spend no more than 28% of their income on housing costs, according to Fannie Mae. Your real estate professional will be able to explain your options.

Making offers Make sure you visit several different homes to get a feel for the marketplace. Visit the ones you like again to see things you might have missed. Work with your real estate professional to get all of your questions answered before making an offer. And remember there are no silly questions. Make sure you understand and are comfortable with every aspect of the transaction.

Indeed, home ownership remains a sound financial decision for most and a key component of long-term financial planning. First-time buyers who seek homes for all the right reasons a place to raise a family, build for the future and face lifes opportunities and challenges can secure their dreams and build for their futures at some of the most attractive values in years.

 

Ryan can be reached at 661-547-1248. Prudential Troth Realtors is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Tis the Season for Tax Breaks

3/29/2011

By Ryan Garza
Prudential Troth Realtors

With April 15 rapidly approaching many are scrambling to complete their taxes. For those who have recently bought or sold a home, there are a number of tax deductions that that may be available to them.

Real estate brokers commissions, title insurance, legal fees, advertising costs, administrative costs, and inspection fees are all considered selling costs and may be used to reduce ones taxable capital gain by the amount of the selling costs. That could result in a big savings depending on the final sale price.

Interest that is paid on a mortgage is also tax-deductible, within limits. A married couple filing jointly can deduct all their interest payments on a maximum of $1 million in mortgage debt secured by a first or second home.

Buyers may also be able to deduct some of the interest they paid on a home equity loan or similar line of credit.

One deduction that many buyers often overlook is points. Points or origination fees on a home loan that were paid during the purchase of a home are generally tax-deductible in full for the year in which they were paid.

Refinanced mortgage points are also deductible but only over the life of the loan not all at once. Homeowners who refinance can immediately write off the balance of the old points and begin to amortize the new.

If your lender required private mortgage insurance, the PMI premiums are tax-deductible for mortgages taken out from 2007 through 2011.

Making improvements to property prior to the sale or once one moves in might qualify for an interest deduction on your home-improvement loan. Qualifying capital improvements are those that increase your homes value, prolong its life, or adapt it to new uses, such as adding a porch or installing energy-efficient windows.

Many times during a sale, the seller will send the local tax collectors office a check for real estate taxes prior to the closing. In many circumstances, however, the buyer will pay a pro-rated portion of the taxes for the year at closing. This tax deduction also gets overlooked.

For those working from their new home: If a room is used exclusively for business purposes, they may be able to deduct home costs related to that portion, such as a percentage of your insurance and repair costs, and depreciation.

In some instances, if you have moved because of a new job, moving costs may be deducted. These can include travel or transportation costs, expenses for lodging, and fees for storing your household goods.

Every year the tax laws change and certain tax deductions become available while others phase out. If you have recently bought or sold a home, its probably a good idea to seek out a professional tax consultant to do your taxes as missing deductions that you can legally claim can add up to quite a bit of money.

Ryan can be reached at 661.547.1248 Prudential Troth Realtors is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential company. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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