Friday, February 26, 2016

Orientation for New Home Construction

Today was a big day for one of my clients. Well, it is for another today as well, but this is just about one for now!

New Home Orientation......what's that?

You'd think it's the day the homeowners learn about how the dishwasher, HVAC, sprinkler, etc., systems work, right? You'd only be partially correct. 

That's also the day where blue painters' tape is used....over, and over again!

I've got clients that are about to close on semi-custom, semi-new construction. The home was almost done until we went into escrow a few weeks ago. Since then additional finish items have been happening.

The thing about new construction? You see stuff that you don't see with re-sale. It's just much more visibly apparent. And, because there is a Fit & Finish guideline.....we get stuff done that a re-sale home seller would tell us to go jump in a lake about!

I had a bad morning so I, unfortunately, was in a helluva mood when I walked up to meet with the builder, his foreman, and my clients. I was ready to be defensive on their behalf. Ready to be Momma-Bear for sure!

Was pleasantly surprised to see that about 95% of my buyers concerns were concerns of the builder as well. Blue tape here, blue tape there. Lots of notes taken by builder, lots of tape attached to the home by his foreman.

Some items will be complete prior to actually taking possession, others when the are moving in.

We thought we were being a bit picky, but we kept our notes regardless. Builder addressed everything on our notes with grace.

A good day today I say.....a good orientation day!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

More Mix in Lending Options

I just finished reading an article that Bank of America is going to offer a 3% down loan, with no PMI to qualified borrowers.

Yep, that's the face I made too...

They have a plan in place to sell the loans immediately for servicing, etc. The FHA will have nothing to do with these loans, so they say.

I dunno, really? I understand that we need to get more people into homes. This program you must have a 660 FICO score. BUT, no reserves. No reserves? That's just my humble opinion.

Someone with a 660, with only 3% down, and nothing left in the bank for a rainy day? Stupid I tell ya!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Not Getting Ripped Off

I went to visit a past client yesterday. Met her parents who, knowing I was her Realtor, proceeded to talk with me about a home where the owner was deceased without a Trust nor a Will in place.

That was the first issue. At least they are seeking an attorney's advice, and working through the probate situation.  I gave them some pretty specific instructions about making sure it did not require Court Confirmation to sell.

The house has some valuables in it, and a lot of trash.

Not getting ripped off part of this story, you ask? 

A Realtor, relative of a neighbor or something like that, approached the parents while visiting the property and offered to clean everything out for them and buy it for $$XYZ amount.

I know the area, it's not my specialty area, but I do know the area. Based upon the condition of the home it was going to be another fix/flip property. They had dozens of pictures they shared with me.

Thank goodness I had my smart phone. Quickly looked up some title records and estimated values and told them do not sell to that 'Realtor' for that $$XYZ amount. It sounded about 50k too low!

So, I told them to check back with me after they had the probate issues settled as we couldn't really do anything until that was done. But, I emphatically told them to put the property in the MLS for the best proceeds possible. There are plenty of people that want to fix and flip properties. That home is on a large lot with tons of potential.

$$XYZ! Hah, don't try and rip off anyone under my watch!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Trying To Predict Housing For 2016?

Trying to predict the exact outcome of 2016's housing market in my specialty area of Santa Clarita Valley is like trying to grow lush green grass without using your sprinklers in a drought.

We think we have ideas of how it should go, but there is still some uncertainty in jobs and economy.

The biggest factor right now is, of course, the low inventory. We currently have 505 active properties available for sale. That's just shy of a 2 month inventory. That is not enough for a healthy, normal market.

While it did get up to the 700 mark in the recent past, it dropped down during what we call the seasonal time, and still hasn't popped back up.

My personal opinion is a Catch 22 situation.

We have sellers with equity now, right? They want to sell and move, right? But....this is the Catch 22.....there isn't any inventory for them to buy a replacement home.....right????

So, how do we fix that? We continue to list homes, and list a lot of them, and work through other options til they find their replacement properties. Move into a rental, move in with a family member, move into the long-term hotel, do a rent-back.

Some current equity sellers will want to move up, some will want to move down. We just need some movers. Creative escrows maybe, but we need some people who want to move.....and now.

Friday, February 5, 2016

What Do Football & Real Estate Have In Common?

Well, certainly not our attire!

But, read an article in Forbes today about what financially the return of a football stadium will do for the area!

The banks lending the money. The homes that will be adversely and positively affected. The commercial shopping. The open parks. Not to mention all the money to be made, employees to be hired, just to have one game played.

So, I'm happy that we have a football team coming back to Los Angeles area. I live here but my mom and kids live near there. So, my moms home will go up in value...but my kids will have a harder time purchasing a home now as well.

So, how does that work all the way out here in Santa Clarita Valley? Hmmmmm, we have less expensive homes for sale that are still considered L.A. County and that football team and venue will still be considered as accessible to us!

So, Rams have been brought back and it will certainly change some of the Real Estate market! 

We brought em back all right!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Is Black the New Greige?

I wrote about Black kitchen cabinets recently. Wrote about different kitchen back was black tile. Today? It's about black WALLS!!

Remember when the rebellious teen in the house wanted to paint their room black? Yep, those were the tough teen days. Fortunately, neither of my children did want that! They rebelled in other ways though, trust me.

But now, I'm seeing black walls in adult homes....all different kinds of decorating. I get the black/white. I get a black accent wall. But, I'm a mood person. Gloomy weather, I'm gloomy. I can only imaging how I'd feel, really feel, coming home to these......

Which one would you want to come home to?