December 2012

Found 37 blog entries for December 2012.

  • Financing delays, low appraisals, title problems, home inspections, and even buyer’s remorse can interfere with a seller’s ability to close a sale.
  • The good news though is that many of these problems are preventable if sellers are proactive and involved.
  • Sellers should seek out a buyer who has been preapproved for a mortgage. Typically, the buyer’s agent will be eager to share this information with the seller’s agent.
  • Real estate agents report that low appraisals have prevented transactions in recent years, because appraisers – who are hired by the lenders to assess the value of the home – are overly conservative in their valuations, even though home prices are rising in many locations. To avoid appraisals problems, sellers should
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When Stefan and Jennifer Hull beat out other interested buyers for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom Cape Cod house in Bethesda, they felt sure they’d gotten a bargain at $759,200. They were shocked when their lender’s appraiser valued the home at only $744,000.

Because of the low appraisal, their bank would only give them a $595,200 mortgage, instead of the $607,360 they’d been approved for initially. The Hulls said they didn’t believe the home was worth the lower appraisal amount — it turned out that the appraiser compared their home only to other Cape Cod-style houses, some more than a mile away, while ignoring closer-in comparable sales — so they pulled an extra $9,960 from their savings to make up the gap. The seller agreed to lower the price

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Mortgage-rate trends were mixed this week, Freddie Mac said, with lenders offering 30-year fixed-rate loans at an average 3.37%, up from 3.32% a week earlier.  The average for a 15-year fixed loan, a mortgage popular with borrowers refinancing their homes, edged down from 2.66% last week to 2.65%. The start rates for adjustable home loans also were mixed, Freddie Mac said in its latest survey of lenders.

Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said rates are basically holding steady near their record lows amid a continuing trend of low inflation and a “thriving” home construction market.  The 12-month increase in the core consumer price index has remained between 1.9% and 2.1% for each of the last five months, with home-builder confidence at the

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Best sales trends in 5 years drive US homebuilders' confidence higher for 8th month in a row


  • <p>               In this Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, photo, construction worker Miguel Fonseca carries lumber as he works on a house frame for a new home  in Chula Vista, Calif. Confidence among U.S. homebuilders inched up in Novemeber to the highest level in more than six and a half years, as builders reported the best market for newly built homes since the housing boom.(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Confidence among U.S. homebuilders inched up this month, to the highest level in more than six and a half years, as builders reported the best market for newly built homes since the housing boom.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Tuesday increased 2 points to 47 from a revised 45 in November. That's the highest reading since April 2006, just before the housing bubble burst.

Readings below 50 suggest negative sentiment about the housing market. The last time the index was at or above that level was in April 2006, with a reading of 51. It

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The median price of a detached, single-family Orange County home rose 15.9 percent from November of last year, to $565,020.

Sales were up 30.1 percent from year-ago levels. The association said 1,531 houses changed hands in November, up from 1,177 closed deals in November 2011.

Realtor numbers track DataQuick Information Systems’ housing numbers reported last week.

According to DataQuick, Orange County’s median detached, single-family house price – or price at the midpoint of all sales — increased 14.1 percent from year-ago levels to $525,000. The sales total was 1,841 units, up 23.1 percent. (The median price for all houses and condos in November was $450,000, DataQuick reported.)

DataQuick sales figures tend to be higher because the research

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The national Zillow Home Value Index rose to $156,200 in November, up 0.6 percent from October and the 13th monthly increase in a row for national home values. The last time home values stood at $156,200 was May 2004. Home values were up 5.2 percent compared with last November, the largest annual gain since August 2006, when home values rose 6 percent year over year.

And the good news is expected to carry into next year. The Zillow Home Value Forecast calls for 2.5 percent appreciation nationally from November 2012 to November 2013. Most markets have already hit a bottom – with only 10 out of 255 metro areas covered by this report not projected to hit a bottom within the next year. Additionally, 46 metro markets nationwide are forecasted to

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Does it really matter if the Act expires or not? No.

People are lining up predicting both its extension and its demise. On the demise side, heavily cited is the $1.3 Billion/year in uncollected revenues, as projected by the Congressional Budget Office. On the extension side, people point to the $1.3 Billion/year tax 'increase' of not extending it and claim that it will destroy the short sale market and borrower participation.

Unfortunately, this is a situation of some pundits having just enough information to be dangerous. The reality is it doesn't really matter if the law expires, as far as the macro market goes. If you have a financial hardship, you will likely not pay taxes anyway. The Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act altered the IRS tax code adding

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WalMart has put the Apple iPhone 5 on sale for $127.

WalMart normally sells the smartphone for about $190, and the sale price is $72 less than the $199 price set by Apple and its carrier partners when buying with a contract.

That's an incredible deal for consumers, but the sales' timing raises flags about how well the Apple smartphone is selling. The sale started Friday.

Typically, top-of-the-line smartphones start getting discounted if a new version of the device is close to rolling out. But in this case, the iPhone 5 is being marked down more than 35% less than three months after its release -- and in the middle of holiday shopping season.

Of course, there is a chance Wal-Mart might be simply subsidizing the phone itself to get more

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After five years of downsizing, homeowners may be "upsizing" once again. A growing family and a need for more living space are the prime reasons across the generations, according to a new survey by national homebuilder PulteGroup.

"There appears to be a renewed sense of optimism in housing. Homebuyers, regardless of their stage of life, still want and need larger homes," said Pulte's chief marketing officer Deborah Meyer in a release. "Consistent with our consumer research, the survey results show that today's buyers are equally focused on more efficient use of the spaces within their homes."

Eighty-four percent of homeowners ages 18-59 surveyed by Pulte said they did not have plans to downsize, which was particularly surprising, given that

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The Angels haven’t actually used the name Josh Hamilton in any press release yet, but they have announced a press conference for Saturday morning at 11:30 for a “major announcement.”

Hamilton is having his physical today, so presumably that’s all that stands in the way of the five-year, $125-million deal being announced.

The press conference, to be held at the ESPN Zone at Downtown Disney, is not open to the public, but it will be televised on Fox Sports West and MLB Network.


Tony Leocadio
Prudential California Realty

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