Author: Carrie B. Reyes

February home sales fall slightly

28,719 home sales closed escrow in February 2013. This is roughly level with the prior month, but down 3% from one year earlier. The bumpy recovery pattern continues as home sales rise and fall from month to month. However, the overall trend now tilts downwards. Year over year volume will drop further, likely through the end of 2013. These market adjustments are due to this past year’s speculator-driven sales volume bounce. California’s real estate recovery will gain sustainable momentum, moving out of our past five years of bumpy plateau sales lethargy, after 18-24 months of annual job growth of...

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FHA loans cost more

What type of mortgage do you encourage homebuyer clients to take out if they have a low down payment? FHA loan. (63%, 40 Votes) Non-FHA loan. (37%, 23 Votes) Total Voters: 63 Taking out a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan just got more expensive. For loans originated beginning April 1, 2013, mortgage insurance premiums (MIPs) will increase an average of 0.1%. The new MIPs are in addition to the interest rate. For loan terms greater than 15 years, the new MIPs are: 1.3% for loans less than or equal to $625,500 with a loan to value ratio (LTV) less...

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Get that listing! Video tours set agents apart

Do you use video to market your listings? Never. (57%, 12 Votes) Usually. (29%, 6 Votes) Occasionally. (14%, 3 Votes) Total Voters: 21 How do you market your listings? Many agents hold open houses, post their listings on various websites and of course their local multiple listing service (MLS). But the marketing strategy of the moment? The video listing. Increasingly, innovative agents are turning to video to set themselves apart from the competition. These videos are often created by the agents themselves, or are contracted out to professional film makers. They can consist of a simple tour of the...

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The votes are in: the next Millennium Boom is far, far away

47% of readers said home prices will not return to Millennium Boom heights until at least another decade. Close behind, 43% claim prices will soar sometime in 2015-2020. 10% said prices will reach Millennium Boom levels before 2015. While optimism is good for lifting the spirits, first tuesday is more interested in being realistic. Here are the facts: The home prices seen during the Millennium Boom skyrocketed past the historical mean price for real estate. Those prices were a result of a bubble the likes of which had seldom before been experienced. Related article: The mean price trendline: the...

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The votes are in: Don’t worry about tax flight!

Local economists have expressed concern over California’s high income tax rate for wealthy taxpayers. The concern is that these taxpayers will flee the state for tax havens like Florida or Nevada, taking their tax revenue with them. If tax flight occurs on a large scale, this will ultimately harm California’s economic recovery. Most readers agree that this is a valid concern. However, we beg to differ. Studies show that more people move by far for reasons like jobs, as well as cultural and geographical amenities (of which California has an abundance) than tax rates. Consider Florida, which has a...

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How many of your buyers take title to a property subject to an existing mortgage without a lender approved assumption?

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from POLL: How many buyers take title to a property subject to an existing mortgage without a lender approved assumption?

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Zestimates are great conversation starters with sellers and buyers. Zillow has done more for our bottom line than NAR ever has or will. Don’t fight the current of the river, learn to run with it. Disruption is inevitable in any industry that is fragmented or inefficient. Granted, it does feel like armchair experts and platforms are plentiful in real estate these days, but when the tide rolls out we will see the value proposition of the truest professionals in this industry shine once again.

Justin Bonney, on Zillow’s impact on the real estate industry

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