Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Wow! California Association of Realtors reports home sales still on the rise in February

"The median price of an existing home in California in February increased 20.7 percent and sales increased 3.9 percent compared to the same period a year ago, according to a recent C.A.R. report."

Inventory is still low, demand is still strong.

The full article is here.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Compare the cost of living between two cities

There are several tools online to help you compare the cost of living between two cities. The cost of housing is just one factor when considering a move.

Use MSN's cost of living comparison tool here to find out just how far your dollar will go!

Saturday, March 27, 2004

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® reports home sales rise

The NAR reports that s"ales of existing single-family homes rose last month, marking only the eighth month on record that the sales pace has reached or exceeded the 6 million mark..."

The low interest rates are fueling demand, possibly leading us to a record year in 2004.

NAR reports that "Home resales in the West rose 3.1 percent from January to an annual rate of 1.64 million units in February, and were 5.8 percent above a year ago. The median existing-home price in the West was $237,200, up 9.6 percent from February 2003."

For a full version of the NAR press release, go here


Clinton's childhood home for sale on ebay

NAR also reports that "The owners of former President Bill Clinton's childhood home in Hope, Ark., have listed the 950-square-foot property on eBay. The dwelling features three bedrooms, a dining room, a kitchen, a living room, and a single bathroom as well as new siding, carpets, and ceilings."

"In just one week, bids on the property have surged from $45,000 to $105,000. Owner Gary Johnson believes the dwelling would be "a rundown, late-40s little rent house" if Clinton had not resided there. "

Happy bidding!

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Mortgage applications decline

The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that mortgage applications for purchases and refinances declined slightly for the week ending March 19. However, the volume of refinances remains high as borrowers take advantage of favorable interest rates.

The full text of the press release is Here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Voted Best Realtor by the people!

We normally don't "toot our own horn" in this Blog, as we know you tune in to read about real estate happenings. But, please allow us this once....

We are pleased to announce that we have been voted "2004 Foothills Best Realtor". We are honored, as the vote is from the readers of the News Press Newspaper.

Last year we were honored to be voted "2003 Glendale's Best Realtor", again with the votes coming from you - the public.

voted 2003 Glendales Best Realtorvoted 2004 Foothills Best Realtor

Sunday, March 21, 2004

We're back!

What a whirlwind trip to the GMAC real estate conference! It is an opportunity to form friendships, network, share ideas and learn from others. The education sessions were varied. We look forward to next year's conference, which is currently scheduled to be held in San Diego.

Interest rates remain unchanged

Last week the Federal government left the Federal funds rate unchanged (this is the interest rate that banks charge other banks for loans).

It is our opinion that interest rates will not move a lot either up or down, due to this being an election year. What is going to happen after the election? We will have to wait and see!

Real Estate Marketing Ideas

Please feel free to email us or send us any marketing ideas you would like to share! In return, we will send you one of ours!

Friday, March 19, 2004

The New Orleans GMAC real estate conference continues!

On Thursday we were honored to receive our first place award onstage for our team marketing! The keynote speaker today was Madeline Albright, who was a very good public speaker.

Then, we led an education session on Maximum Personal Marketing for other realtors. It was quite a surprise to see standing room only, as they set up speakers in the hallway for all to hear! Our information was well-received and hopefully we will help more realtors in their business.

Do you have a marketing idea to share with us? If so, please email us and let's network our ideas!





Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Coming to you from New Orleans!

We have arrived at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans for the GMAC 2004 Business Conference. The city is alive with convention-goers.

The conference is split between the Convention Center and the education sessions held in the Hilton. There are about 100 Dilbeck Realtors GMAC Real Estate agents in attendance! What a tribute to our President, Mark Dilbeck, who inspires us all.

The sights and sounds are amazing ... enough to fill the senses! Walking down Bourbon Street, every establishment has it's own flavor filling the air. Jazz music here, country there, dixieland at yet the next. And the people are happily taking it all in!

We are coming to you from the lobby of the Hilton, where our wireless laptop is seemlessly connected to the world! Technology at it's best!

Today's first General Session found the CEO/President of GMAC, John Beardon, confirming the company vision of Premier Service and the company's goal of bundling services for greater service to our clients.

Break-out real estate education sessions offered abundant opportunities for realtors to learn and improve. Networking with other realtors is also a prime benefit of attendance.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Getting ready for GMAC 2004 real estate business conference!

We are getting ready to leave for the 2004 GMAC real estate business conference, to be held this year in New Orleans (last year it was held in Las Vegas). We are honored to be receiving a First Place award for our Team Marketing strategy. The judging committee examined the entries submitted from GMAC offices nationwide, and we were thrilled to be notified of this prestigious award. We will be receiving our award from GMAC CEO/President John Bearden on Thursday. In addition, there is a "wall of awards" where they display the award-winning entries (first and second places) for the duration of the conference. By the way, we were told that our entry was "brilliant", and since our quality was so superior, no second or third places were awarded! Wow.

The conference with also mark another milestone for us ... we are leading one of the education sessions. Our session will be on Maximum Personal Marketing. We will be sharing our marketing ideas with other realtors, and hope we can make a difference in their career.

See you in New Orleans!

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Home mortgage interest tax deductions may be less in 2003

If you refinanced your mortgage in 2003 with a loan that has a lower interest rate than your previous loan, your tax deduction for mortgage interest may be less than you had previously been claiming (depending on the amount of the loan that you refinanced). Will this affect you? Many people did not think about this effect of refinancing.

Please check with your tax advisor or other financial advisor.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

California Association of Realtors (CAR) reports on January home purchase affordability

C.A.R. that "the percentage of households in California able to afford a median-priced home stood at 23 percent in January, a 6 percentage-point decrease compared to the same period a year ago when the Index was at 29 percent"

Additionally, "the January Housing Affordability Index (HAI) was unchanged from December, when it also stood at 23 points. C.A.R.'s monthly housing affordability index measures the percentage of households that can afford to purchase a median-priced home in California. C.A.R. also reports housing affordability indexes for regions and select counties within the state. The index is the most fundamental measure of housing well-being in the state."

It is not surprising to us, as we watch the prices rise.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Is your real estate agent an internet professional?

Is you agent an e-PRO? What is an e-PRO?

e-PRO is the official technology certification program of the National Association of Realtors®. The e-PRO course is designed to help Realtors® stay on the leading edge of technology. This comprehensive e-PRO program instructs participants in the professional use of e-mail, the development of an interactive web site, and the use of on-line research tools. Graduates use the skills they've acquired to provide clients information on properties for sale, local communities, and the real estate market.

As more and more consumers turn to the Internet to buy or sell homes, the e-PRO real estate professional has been trained to use the latest web tools. Through this technological expertise, the e-PRO agent can save their clients both time and money, while maximizing the use of the internet and its resources. e-PRO graduates emerge specially equipped to meet the fast-growing consumer demand for web-based real estate services.

The nationally recognized e-PRO certification is currently held by less than 1% of real estate professionals nationwide.

Just one designation that can set your real estate agent apart from the rest!

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Your credit score - FICO® score

Those of you purchasing a home and applying for a home loan know that the "buz" word in loans is "". What is it? Your fico score is a measure of your credit. A better FICO® score can translate to a better interest rate on your loan.

To learn more about your FICO® score, including ways to improve your score, visit the website www.myfico.com

Friday, March 05, 2004

California Association of Realtors announces real estate condo market is strong

The California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) announced that 2003 was the eighth straight year in a row that sales in the condo - coop market set records.

As single family home prices skyrocket, the demand for condos is strong in our Los Angeles real estate market. The home buyers are turning to condominiums and townhouses for affordable housing.


C.A.R. also announces median home price in California for January

The California median home price in January 2004 is reported to be $405,720.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

California Association of Realtors reports on new home sales for January

The California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) reports that sales of new homes across the nation declined slightly in January as compared to December of 2003.

By region, the C.A.R. stated "Three regions registered sales declines for the month. The Northeast, South and West posted 5.0 percent, 2.1 percent and 3.9 percent declines, respectively, according to the report. The Midwest registered a 5.6 percent increase over the previous month. The inventory of new homes for sale in January increased to 370,000 units, a 4.1-month supply at the current sales pace -- quite low by historical standards."

Is this the beginning of a slow down in the real estate market?
We will see .....

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

It's a sellers's market in our area - and buyer's strategy is key!

It's the beginning of March, and real estate in our market area is going strong. Many listings are selling for more than the asking price. Buyers are competing in multiple offers. Sellers are enjoying this seller's market.

Strategy for multiple offiers can make the difference for a buyer. Each agent has their own strategy to help the buyer get the property. It can make the difference between an offer and an accepted offer.