Category Archives: Short Sales

Short Sales are on the Pace to Outnumber Sales of Bank-Owned Properties

“In addition, more distressed loans are being diverted into short sales rather than becoming completed foreclosures,” Moore continued. “Our preliminary first quarter sales data shows that pre-foreclosure sales — typically short sales — are on pace to outnumber sales of bank-owned properties during the quarter in California, Arizona and 10 other states.”   >>read more


The Worst of the Mortgage Mess – Looks to be Behind the Nation’s Lenders (Banks Dodge Expected Wave of Foreclosures)

A steady flow of better-than-expected news out of the housing market is painting a brighter picture for the nation’s lenders and, perhaps best of all, a predicted tidal wave of foreclosures never made it to shore. >>read more

Real Estate News

 Click on the Article above to read the “Real Estate News” April publication that I would like to share with all of you. This publication offers amazing information regarding our current Phoenix Real Estate Market and great household tips . . .

5 Real Estate Markets to Watch in 2012

Ah, the end of the year. Time to look back, contemplate on the high points and lessons learned over the year, and start to look forward to the next one.

And when it comes to looking forward in the real estate realm, it’s most interesting to wonder: where will the market be bright in the coming year?

I posed precisely this question to one of the smartest real estate prognosticators I know, Trulia’s Chief Economist, Jed Kolko.  His answer was concise and provocative: “Smart cities are hot.”

I asked him to elaborate, and what he said was so interesting I thought I’d let you all in on the conversation that ensued. Here are 5 real estate markets that Jed says you should definitely keep your eye on in 2012.

“In 2012, the local housing markets that will enjoy rising prices, new construction or both, are those that start the year with stronger job growth and fewer empty homes holding back the market. Based on these factors, along with other leading indicators, here are my top five cities to watch:

1. and 2. Austin, TX, and Houston, TX. The bloom’s not off the yellow rose of Texas. Steady job growth and a construction revival make Austin and Houston two of my five cities to watch. Texas isn’t hung over from the housing boom like the other big states of the South and West, so there’s little to hold back growth. Honorable mention to Fort Worth and San Antonio.

3.  San Jose, CA. Wasn’t California at the center of the foreclosure crisis? Didn’t prices there fall more than everywhere else in the country? Yup. But there’s no such thing as the California housing market: California is almost as diverse as the U.S. Even though prices plummeted and foreclosures skyrocketed in inland California, the coast is another world. San Jose’s perennially tight housing market makes it faster to bounce back. The San Jose market –which includes most of Silicon Valley – has rapid job growth and the lowest vacancy rate in the country.

4.  Suburbs of Boston, MA. This Cambridge-Newton-Framingham market just west of Boston has a strong jobs engine and, like most of New England, missed the worst of the housing bubble. Honorable mention goes to Worcester, one step further west, and Boston’s northern suburbs around Peabody. These areas all benefit from offering more bang for the buck than crowded, expensive Boston: this is because most people looking to move are searching in more suburban or smaller areas than where they live now.

5.  Rochester, NY. That’s my hometown, and knowing what’s happened to Kodak and other pillars of the local economy, I was surprised when Rochester scored on the top 5 list. (I applied the same formula to all cities and did not have my thumb on the scale.) Prices – which fell little during the boom – are stable, and the economy has weathered blow after blow and is expanding.

What do these markets have in common? Three – Austin, San Jose, and the area west of Boston – are technology centers. In those three metros, as well as in Rochester, a center of high-skill manufacturing industries, education levels are well above the national average. As the recovery proceeds, smart cities are leading the way. During the housing boom, the go-go cities tended to be lower-skill, lower-education metros. But in 2012, smart is hot: it’ll be the revenge of the nerds.”

Distressed Homeowner Leads

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Top 5 Indicators that Will Give Americans Confidence About the Housing Market

With the U.S. economy still struggling, over half of Americans (54 percent) aren’t sure the President can stabilize the housing market over the next year, according to Trulia’s latest consumer survey on American attitudes on housing policy.Harris Interactive conducted this online survey on Trulia’s behalf and asked more than 2,000 Americans what signals will give them confidence that the housing market is getting back on track.Jed Kolko, Trulia’s Chief Economist, says,  “Americans won’t believe our economy is improving until they see real proof.” Luckily for agents, the proof that consumers are looking for lies in key data points that agents can present to clients to help give them the confidence to buy:

1. Fewer defaults and foreclosures

“Fewer defaults and foreclosures” tops the list as a key factor indicating recovery, suggesting that consumers will be more confident in the market’s recovery if they believe that their neighborhood as a whole is doing better.

“As long as there are foreclosed homes and lingering for-sale signs in neighborhoods across the country, people are faced with constant, everyday reminders that the housing market is still struggling,” says Kolko. For real estate professionals, showing potential clients and customers local statistics on decreases in defaults can be a major tool in building the confidence consumers need to make a market move.

2. More home sales

The survey data showed home sales matter the most next to defaults and foreclosures. With 38 percent of the votes, this data indicates that statistics showing increased home sales can be a major tool to get consumers to believe in the market’s recovery.

Soon, communicating local home sales data is about to become even more important because of a lingeringNational Association of Realtors’ revision to 2005-2011 national home sales data which will likely show national numbers have been to high due to inflation.

For agents who have local areas where sales have increased, data driven presentations can motivate clients who may be straddling the fence on the decision to purchase.

3. Fewer vacant homes

While empty homes mean opportunity, they are a downer when it comes to consumer confidence. ”Neighborhood vacancies are like second-hand smoke, hurting everyone around them,” says Kolko.

Survey data showed, with 32 percent of the responses, declines in vacancies are top confidence builders for consumers.

For agents, this means the value of placing a “sold” sign is not only a great moment for the buyer, but for the neighborhood as a whole. To track vacancies by states, check the U.S. Census Bureau’s quarterly release on home vacancies, which breaks down the information by both state and Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

4. Lower Mortgage Rates

The survey data says “lower mortgage rates” are another of the top five confidence builders and received 25 percent of votes. That means it’s important, not only to offer clients updates on the day-to-day changes in rates, but also to show the bigger picture.

When it comes down to visual representations of today’s market opportunity, mortgage rate changes over the past 30 years is probably one of the most dramatic graphs an agent can present to a client. To make your own graph of mortgage rates and see the dramatic change, visit’s Graph Rate Trends Page.

5. Higher Homeownership Rates

Lastly, the survey showed nothing sells ownership like ownership. Higher Homeownership Rates received 23% of the votes when it came to building confidence among consumers.

This indicates that seeing reminders of sales activity in their area and ownership benefits are keys to motivate clients to make a move.

How Agents Can Use the data: Get Local

National stats like these matter for showing macro-level trends that offer agents strategic marketing direction, but there’s nothing like local data.

Kolko says, “Housing will remain a local game and every market will have it’s own trends in 2012.”

The truth is the stats may or may not encourage prospective owners to purchase, but keeping an eye on these indicators is good business for agents who are serious about about educating their clients on market changes.

5 Things To Do NOW If You Want to Buy A Home In 2012

At this point in December, it can start to feel like the New Year – along with all our hopes, dreams, wishes and expectations for it – are barreling down on us. Personally, I’m a rabid

Resolution-setter, and I have a pretty strong track record of making New Year’s changes actually happen – and stick.  But what I know after years of using the New Year as a great excuse to set and meet some goals is that it’s very, very helpful to get a head start, ramping-up to new habits, behaviors and target goals achievements starting in December.

If you’re one of the millions who has an eye on 2012 as the year in which you’ll buy a home (first or not), here are five things you can do now to put yourself on the right path:

1.    Check your credit.
 Take my word for it: there is no bad surprise worse than a bad credit surprise. Okay, maybe there is one thing worse – a credit surprise you receive while you’re in the midst of trying to buy a home!

Recent studies have revealed that a record high number of real estate transactions are falling out of escrow, and that credit “issues” are a leading cause of these dead deals. Your best chance at catching and correcting score-lowering errors and other derogatory items before they destroy your personal American Dream is to start checking and correcting while you still have time on your side.

2.    Do your research.  The more rapidly the real estate market changes, the more it behooves smart buyers to study up before they jump in.  And now’s the time – you can start doing online and in-person research into topics ranging from:

·    Target states, cities and neighborhoods. Whether you’re relocating or simply trying to narrow down the local districts to focus on during your 2012 house hunt, December is a great time to start your online research into decision-driving factors like tax rates, school districts, neighborhood character and even prices in various areas. Resident ratings and reviews sites like Trulia and NabeWise can help you make the neighborhood-lifestyle match.

Once you narrow things down and start speaking to local agents, ask them to brief you on the local market dynamics, including how long homes typically stay on the market and whether they generally go for more or less than the asking price, so you can be smart about how you search. (And yes, Virginia, there are areas where homes sell for more than asking, even as we speak!)

·    Real estate and mortgage pros. If you don’t already have your pros picked out, now is the time to get on the horn or drop an email or Facebook message to your circle of contacts, asking them for a referral to a broker or agent they love.  Follow up by: checking whether these pros are active in answering questions on Trulia Voices, searching for their name and seeing what sort of feedback on them you can cull from the web, then giving them a ring and launching a conversation about whether you and they might be a good partnership.

·    Short sales and REOs. 
Distressed property sales are not for the unwary. If you want to target upside down or foreclosed homes, or are planning to house hunt in an area where many of the listings are described as short sales or foreclosures, get educated about what you can expect from a distressed property purchase transaction before you get your heart set on a short sale.

·    What you get for the money. Online house hunting is a powerful tool – especially when it’s cold and wet! But there comes a point in your house hunt where you’ve got to just get out into the actual physical homes you’re seeing online in order to get a strong, accurate sense of what home features, aesthetics and location characteristics correlate with what price points.

·    Mortgage musts. You can read a bunch of articles about mortgages and get yourself pretty far down the path toward qualifying for a home loan, but you can only get a personalized action plan for a smooth road ‘home’ by talking with a local mortgage broker and having them assess your basic financials.  They might say you need to move funds around, pay a bill down or off or produce some sort of documentation from your employer.  And the time to start all that is now.

3.    Fluff up your cash cushion. So, you’ve saved up your 3.5 percent down payment. Perhaps you saved a little extra for closing costs.  Or maybe you’re even one of those uber-aggressive 20-percent-down-ers.  No matter how much you’ve saved, you’ll find that you could use more once you activate your home buying action plan. Mark my words – after closing, you’ll crave extra cash to do some repairs, upgrade a couple of things, buy appliances or even just to hold onto in order to minimize your anxiety about depleting your savings!

So, if homebuying is on your personal 2012 action plan, don’t go hog wild on holiday gifts. Instead, wait until next year and give yourself the gift of a home.

4.    Shed some stuff.  Sell it. Donate it. Give it to relatives who’ve always coveted it.  Just get rid of it. If you do it before year’s end, you can kill three birds with one stone: (a) getting some cold hard cash to go toward your savings, (b) getting some tax receipts so you can deduct the value of your donations in January, (c) minimizing money spent on holiday gifts for loved ones and these two bonus birds – clearing the mental clutter that physical clutter creates and prepping for your move in advance.

5.    Sit very, very still.
  Sometimes, the best way to further our goals is to stop tripping ourselves up.  In that vein, commit right now to refrain from making any major financial moves until you buy your home.  Don’t quit your job to start that personal chef business (yet), don’t pull a bunch of cash out of your savings account (without getting clearance form your mortgage pro first), and don’t start buying cars and boats on credit – even if you do love the idea of putting the red bow on the car you give your wife, like in the commercials.

I assure you, the bow you’ll be able to put on that house or condo will be much bigger, redder and more tax-advantaged!