Monday, December 10, 2012

Six Tax Facts for Home Sellers

Thinking about taxes and the tax consequences of selling your home? Take a look at this infographic from the California Association of Realtors - 6 Tax Facts Home Sellers Should Know.
Tax Facts Home Sellers Should Know

We suggest you consult with your tax and financial advisors as to the tax implications for your personal situation.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Homes Are Selling Like Hotcakes

The California Association of Realtors has come out with another of their infographics on the state of the real estate market. This one, titled "Homes Are Selling Like Hotcakes", shows the "days on market" for single family homes.

Homes Are Selling Like Hotcakes

How's the real estate market in your area?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Walkability Affects Home Buying and Selling

The "walkability", measured as a "walk score" can affect a property's desirability.  Buyers can be influenced by their ability to walk from a home to shopping, restaurants and entertainment venues.  Take a look at this infographic from the California Association of Realtors.


In today's "green" environment, a property's "walk score" should be considered.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

California home buying process

An infographic from the California Association of Realtors.  This data shows how California home buyers are locating the home that they buy.  Home buyers are looking at fewer homes before buying, and an overwhelming percentage of home buyers are using a real estate agent to locate the home.  Very interesting statistics!

Caifornia home buying

Friday, August 03, 2012

California Moving Habits

Another interesting infographic from the California Association of Realtors.  This one shows the migration to California, moving within the state, and flight from living in "The Golden State."  The statistics indicate more people are modeling the state motto - "Eureka"  ("I have found it").

Monday, July 30, 2012

California Median Home Prices by County

The California Association of Realtors has prepared this infographic on California median home prices by county.

California median home prices by county
It's pretty interesting, don't you think?

It's no surprise to us that the five most expensive counties are San Mateo, Marin, San Francisco, Contra-Costa and Santa Clara.  

Orange County, home to many prime Southern California beach communities, comes in at #6 in the state.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Home Owners Remodeling Trends

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports that remodeling of kitchen and baths is on the rise.  According to a recent survey, home remodeling has seen an increase over 2010 (the last survey done by the NAHB).  Bathroom remodeling jobs have an edge over kitchen remodeling projects (perhaps because the cost of a kitchen remodel is generally greater than a bathroom remodel).

The trend of increased home remodeling can be attributed to many reasons.  Among our thoughts are:

(1) Homeowners are deciding to stay in their homes longer.  This decision means that rather than moving, homeowners are electing to stay in their current home and remodel it - give it a "face lift" - and enjoy living in their home.
There have been many reports of a lack of housing inventory in recent months. The California Association of Realtors reported that  "Housing inventory remains extremely tight throughout the state and at levels severely under normal market conditions"  (source: March home sales and price report).


(2) Homeowners are finding - or it's being recommended to them - that they update the look of their home before putting it on the market.  More and more home sellers are updating their home to help it compete in the real estate market.  This can mean more than just "home staging".  It can mean that replacing old-style construction elements will help in the sale of the home.  Buyers are looking for that sleek, updated look.  You can read our previous blog post here:  TV Shows Affect Real Estate

This survey is yet another indicator of today's real estate market climate.   You can read our previous blog post  --- Is NOW the right time to buy a home?   It's great if now is the right time for you to buy a home ... but there needs to be a home on the market to buy!

You can read the NAHB press release here:  Kitchens and Bathrooms Remain Top Remodeling Jobs According to NAHB Survey

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Is NOW the right time to buy a home?

Is it time to buy a home?
With continued uncertainty in the economy, we just have to ask ... is NOW the right time to buy a home?   The economists study the indicators, trends and graphs; "experts" make their predictions; and the consumer wonders what to believe.

If you are trying to decide if now is the right time for you to buy a home, consider these recent real estate-related news stories:

1.  Interest rates are at an all time low.  Read:  MSNBC: 30 year Mortgage Rates at record low

2.  Home prices have possibly hit the bottom.  Read:  CNN: Buying a home won't get much cheaper

3.  Consumer confidence is in positive territory globally.  Read: Consumer Confidence Gains as Taiwan, U.S. Rise in Nielsen Survey

4.  Job growth points to a pull-back in the economy.  Read: Bloomberg: Job Gains Trailing Forecasts Add to U.S. Slowdown Concern

5.  Do you value the investment advice of Warren Buffett?   Read: Warren Buffett on CNBC: I'd Buy Up 'A Couple Hundred Thousand' Single-Family Homes If I Could

6.  An investment analyst who was previously negative on the real estate market claims now is the time to get back into the real estate market.  Read:  Time to start buying houses again in U.S.: Pimco

7.  March home sales were up over last year.   Read: National Association of Realtors: March Pending Home Sales Rise, Market Recovering

8.  Housing affordability index hits record high.  Read:  National Association of Realtors: Housing Affordability Index Hits Record High

9. If you want to buy a home, can you buy a home? The ability to obtain financing is affecting the market and still remains a sticking point.  Read:  Los Angeles Times: Home loan demand rises, but credit standards remain tight

While no one can predict the future, and until time passes, we won't know if these real estate stories are wishful hype or educated predictions.  We feel there are more positive signals in the real estate market than we've seen in a number of years.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fran and Rowena real estate agents on Facebook

With change comes opportunity!

As of March 30, Facebook is converting Fan pages to the Timeline design.  It allows businesses to create unique branding via the "cover photo" and "profile photo", with the ability to create custom "tabs".  Facebook has guidelines for cover photos, so read up on them first.  You can also use the "Milestone" feature to show the growth and evolution of your business.

Yes ... it's a change.  But ... what an opportunity!

We have updated our Facebook page to the new Timeline design with a unique cover photo to showcase our "brand" as real estate agents. It's what we do and represent ... your success in finding a home.

Take a look and let us know what you think!

Fran and Rowena real estate agents

You can view our page here:  Fran and Rowena real estate agents 

Facebook is always changing, and as real estate agents we also face change in our business.  We welcome change, and keeping up with the current real estate, financial, and economic markets plus social trends.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mortgage Settlement Agreement

By now, most people have heard the term "robo signing", and also are aware that this practice has been widely challenged as a contributing factor to the current foreclosure woes.

Recently a settlement agreement was reached to assist homeowners who obtained a mortage with certain lenders.   The agreement has been approved in 49 states.

You can read more about it:  "Robo-Signing" Agreement Assists Homeowners

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sellers Seize Increased Real Estate Activity

Remember our blog post from January?  Winter Real Estate Market Heats Up

Well, apparently the sellers have noticed.  Recently sellers have also been feeling better about the market.  What does this mean?  The effect in our area is twofold.

First, sellers are pushing prices again.  Listing prices appear to be on the rise.  Will the sales price correspond with a similar increase?  Time will tell.  It's up to the buyers to let the sellers know if they are willing to pay more than, say, last year.  We've noticed some properties relisted this year that did not sell last year ... and they're selling!  That's good news!

Second, buyers are buying.  We're feeling that the buyers have a "sense of urgency" with this being the "window of opportunity" for them to take advantage of low interest rates and favorable home prices.  However, some buyers have already noticed the increased list prices and "balked".  It may not be too hard to push the buyers right back out of the market.

Our advice?  Sellers be careful.  Reasonable pricing is still key to getting your home sold.  And, remember --- there's still the important contract contingency of the appraisal.  The appraiser must appraise the house for the amount of the sales price.  Lenders may not be feeling this same upward pressure on prices, and that may, in the end, be the "check and balance" on home prices this year.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Number of Real Estate Agents Continues to Decline

The California Department of Real Estate (CA DRE) "salesperson" licensees continues to decline from the peak in 2007.

Statistics available from the CA DRE website show the following:
Month, Year       Number of "salesperson" licensees
October, 2011    291,623
October, 2010    322,009
October, 2009    356,199
October, 2008    383,118
October, 2007    398,176
October, 2006    376,561
October, 2005    336,827

Yes, it would appear that the number of real estate licensees has mirrored the economic environment.  You can see the decline in the numbers of licensees from 2007 through now, as with the economic downturn. 

We think we continue to see the number go down.  From what we are hearing, many agents who have been holding on in the business are about at the point where they feel it necessary to get a "real job" - one with steady income and, possibly, benefits.

What do you think?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Should you remodel in your city?

Remodeling Magazine has issued their second annual forecast on the top 100 cities in terms of remodeling activity when measured against "the level of activity in first-quarter 2007, which was the peak of remodeling activity nationally in the prior decade."  They have dubbed their "measuring stick" to be the Residential Remodeling Index ("RRI").  We find their list an interesting commentary on the health of the nationwide real estate market.  One wonders - Does this remodeling index point to and correlate with the sales activity in that community as well?  Or is it the indication that homeowners are staying in their homes and remodeling rather than moving?

In order, the top ten based on the RRI are:  Cincinnati, Houston, Minneapolis, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Kansas City, Charlotte (North Carolina), Oklahoma City and Philadelphia.

In our state, California, the following cities made the list:  San Francisco (#35), San Diego (#49), Sacramento (tied for #51), San Jose (tied for #54), Los Angeles (#66), Riverside (#79), Ventura (#84).

Did your city make the list?  Check it out here:  Top 100 Remodeling Markets

Friday, January 20, 2012

Winter Real Estate Market Heats Up

Yes, it may still be winter, but the real estate market has started with an early thaw.

Real estate agents report that phone calls into their office have increased in number since the doldrums of the holiday real estate market.

Open houses have been well-attended.  A recent open house on our new listing was busy from the moment the door opened, until closing.  Buyers were not only looking at the house, but talking about their plans to purchase.  This represents a change from the general outlook during 2011, when buyers were more hesitant to express their desire to purchase, and seemed more "on the fence" about buying a home.

FreddieMac recently came out with their January 2012 Economic Outlook.     You can read the pdf version here.

While those who make predictions are hedging their real estate bets, the home buyers we are talking with have an optimistic outlook on their home buying prospects.  Historically low interest rates and lower home prices certainly are contributing to this positive feeling.  Also, buyers are feeling more "settled" in their jobs.

Sellers may see an increase in activity.  Indeed, one of our recent new listings received multiple offers within the first week of marketing.   We encourage sellers to take a hard, realistic look at their listing price before putting their property on the market.  We find that sellers who are pricing their homes more in line with the marketplace, without an extra "pad" in the price, are creating an encouraging signal to home buyers.

Yes, it's a winter thaw.   Let's hope the real estate market continues to bloom in spring, and heat up in summer!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

4855 Ocean View Blvd., La Canada, CA 91011

View our new La Canada listing

4855 Ocean View Blvd.
Offered at $649,000

Open Sunday, January 15 from 2 to 4 pm

Fran and Rowena
Dilbeck Real Estate Real Living
1030 Foothill Blvd.
La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011
(818) 952-0077

CA DRE #00966791 and #00913659

Dilbeck Real Estate is independently owned and operated.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Fran and Rowena Year End 2011

Are you thinking of selling your La Canada, La Crescenta or Pasadena home in 2012?

Call us for a free, confidential real estate consultation.

Fran and Rowena
Dilbeck Real Estate Real Living
1030 Foothill Blvd.
La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011
(818) 952-0077

CA DRE #00966791 and #00913659

Fran and Rowena, real estate marketing specialists ... help you get your home sold!

Let us help you move to the next, great chapter in your life!