Saturday, November 29, 2003

Know your financial strength
Recently we've found that many buyers are unaware of their financial position, including their FICO score and credit history. We strongly suggest a buyer contact a lender in advance of purchasing a home, to examine the elements of the buyer's financial strength. Working with the lender to improve your credit or FICO score can be the edge you need when you are making an offer on a property, and there are multiple offers competing with your offer. For more information, go here.

Thursday, November 27, 2003


MORE Home Price News
The California Association of REALTORS® (CAR) reports that "The median price of an existing home in California in October increased 17.4 percent and sales increased 9.9 percent compared to the same period a year ago. The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during October 2003 was $381,200, a 17.4 percent increase over the revised $324,670 median for October 2002, C.A.R. reported."
For the whole story from CAR

Mortgage Applications Up Too
The California Association of REALTORS® also reports that "The Market Composite Index of mortgage loan applications, a measure of mortgage loan applications for purchases and refinancings, increased by 16.9 percent to 775.6 on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending Nov. 21 from 663.2 one week earlier, according to a report released today by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased by 28.1 percent for the week ending Nov. 21 compared with the previous week and was down 33.8 percent compared with the same week one year earlier."
For complete info from the MBA

Housing Affordability will be helped for some
And, CAR announced that more people will be able to afford housing due to "Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's announcements yesterday that each will increase its single-family mortgage loan limit from $322,700 to $333,700 in 2004"
For more details from CAR

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Cost vs Value Report

It's out! The 2003 Cost vs Value Report has been issued by Remodeling Magazine. This informative report has been published for many years, and we refer to it often when a client is making that sometimes difficult "remodel versus move" decision.

The Report examines the cost of popular home improvement projects and then shows the estimated percentage return in various geographical markets if the owners were to sell their home today.

For example, the Report estimates that a Family Room addition would yield an 87% return on investment (ROI) in the LA market. A major kitchen remodel is estimated to give an 86% ROI in the LA market. There are a lot of factors involved, and we think you'll find the Report very interesting.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Home Prices Still Rising
The National Association of REALTORS® reports that the median price of an existing home in the U.S. rose 10.1% in the past year to a median price of $177,000 at the end of the third quarter.

In the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the median price rose 25.4% in the past year, to a median price of $365,300.

To view the report, including metropolitan areas across the United States, go here (requires Adobe Reader for pdf file)

Sunday, November 23, 2003

We have added a page "About Us" - check it out!

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Our local Realtor association, the Pasadena Foothill Association of Realtors reports that:

California's Luxury Real Estate Sizzles:

The luxury-home market in California shined during the third quarter, with Los Angeles values rising to their highest levels in 12 years and San Diego homes reaching another record high, according to the Prestige Home index by First Republic Bank.

In San Francisco, the luxury-home market broke a string of three consecutive down quarters and posted a 2.1% increase in the third quarter of 2003 in a sign that the market for high-end properties is starting to recover after several years of flat or declining prices.

Los Angeles-area values climbed 17.1% from the third quarter of 2002 and 4.5 percent from the second quarter of 2003. Los Angeles values are now at $1.53 million – their highest level since 1991.

San Diego-area values increased 6.9% from the third quarter of 2002 and 4.3% from the second quarter of 2003. Values reached $1.52 million – the region's second consecutive quarterly record.

San Francisco Bay Area values fell 0.4% from the third quarter of 2002, but rose 2.1% from the second quarter of 2003. Values in the San Francisco Bay Area are still the highest in the state at $2.23 million.

"The Los Angeles luxury-home market is booming because of a strengthening economy, low interest rates, lack of inventory and a rising stock market, while San Diego continues the recent trend of strong appreciation," said Katherine August-deWilde, chief operating officer of First Republic Bank. "In San Francisco, values are beginning to rise, with significant purchasing activity for homes priced up to $2 million. Overall, the luxury-home market in California is heating up."

Thursday, November 20, 2003

We've been working on our BLOG design ... colors, etc. Let us know what you think! To email us, simply CLICK HERE.
Ok....we're off and running!

The revamp of our website is pretty much done. Visit it at - - and let us know what you think! We've been part of a beta test of a new site format with our host, Advanced Access, and we are happy to report that the new site is great! Very flexible and easy to work on. The support staff at Advanced Access is knowledgeable and their response time is ... fast!

Real estate in our area has started the 'normal' holiday slow down. Please understand, though, we are still very busy. Instead of ten offers on a property, our buyers are competing with only two or three other offers. That's what 'slow' means in our area right now!

How's the market in your area? Let us know! We like to keep in touch with what's happening around the nation, and around the world!