Blog - Real Estate

 Posted in Real Estate on July 15th, 2009 at 7:43 PM

Good article below. The HVCC was designed to stop the over evaluation of properties and arm-twisting that goes on with appraisals, but what it's done is put appraisers in areas they're not familiar with. This takes away the crucial local market knowledge that appraisers have. This knowledge is important because without it, there is no justification for EVER raising the prices in a neighborhood.


By Robert Freedman, Senior Editor, REALTOR® Magazine

For weeks, NAR has been getting e-mails and phone calls on problems caused by the implementation of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct. If you’re not familiar with HVCC, it’s an agreement entered into between the two secondary mortgage market companies Fannie Mae and Feddie Mac and the State of New York. The intent of the agreement is laudable: to curb the kind of inaccurate appraisals that helped fuel the housing meltdown.

But HVCC has turned out to be a problem in its own right, judging from everything we’re hearing, and not just for real estate deals in New York. The two mortgage companies are applying HVCC rules to all mortgages they handle, regardless of state, so any problems with HVCC are nationwide in scope.

Here’s a sample of what our researchers found: Read more

 Posted in Real Estate on July 15th, 2009 at 7:39 PM

By Robert Freedman, Senior Editor, REALTOR® Magazine

A handful of bills to extend and increase the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit are under consideration in Congress, but if you have clients who are holding out in anticipation of one of these bills passing, you might want to encourage them not to wait. The likelihood of any of these bills getting enacted this year is highly uncertain.

That’s the message I’m getting from NAR analysts. The issue isn’t the tax credit itself. From everything we’re seeing, the credit enjoys broad bipartisan support and, as our chief economist Lawrence Yun has said, the credit is a bargain when it comes to economic stimulus. You get a lot of bang for the buck, and I think it’s safe to say that a lot of lawmakers realize that. Certainly Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) does. He’s the lead sponsor of a bill to extend and increase the credit, and he’s been a champion on what the credit can do for the economy.

The problem, rather, is far more prosaic. Read more

 Posted in Real Estate on June 30th, 2009 at 10:14 AM

Best cities to buy a home

While the overall housing market isn't on the upswing, these metros show long-term potential. According to a recent Forbes article, the top 10 cities to buy a home are:
1.       Denver
2.       Boston
3.       Phoenix
4.       San Diego
5.       Los Angeles
6.       St. Louis, Mo
7.       Tampa
8.       Philadelphia
9.       San Francisco
10.     Washington, D.C.

 Posted in Real Estate on June 24th, 2009 at 10:14 AM

Home Inventory by Price:
Q2 2008 through Q1 2009, Denver metro area

Price Range Avg Sold Price # Sold 12 mo. % of Sales # Active Months of Inventory
Less than $85k $63,500 3,339 10% 231 .2
$85-$135k $110,154 4,965 15% 824 2.0
$135-$210k $171,523 7,945 24% 2,219 3.4
$210-$315k $254,107 8,677 26% 3,053 4.2
$315-$460k $373,152 4,985 15% 2,765 6.7
More than $460k $739,776 3,305 10% 4,516 16.4

Homes priced at $1 million and more had a five-year inventory.

Comments from Lon Welsh at Your Castle Real Estate...

  • "This is a really unbalanced market overall."
  • The high-end housing category, with its large inventories and motivated sellers, is a “very strong” buyer’s market.
  • “The hot price range is $150,000 to $300,000.”

 Posted in Real Estate on April 28th, 2009 at 12:09 PM

Included in every listing I take is 2 hours of staging help. My stager can help your home look it's very best, whether it's being lived in or not. Here are some general tips for vacant homes:

  • Give the house a lived-in look. Get a neighbor or family member to make the house look occupied by parking a car in the driveway, opening and closing the drapes and taking in any mail.
  • Groom the yard. Use a lawn service during the summer to keep the grass cut and a snow removal service in the winter to scrape the walks and driveway.
  • No outstanding nicks. Hide the effects of missing furniture. Paint and replace rugs so there are no faded spots or blemishes on the walls. Cover accent paint that alone looks odd.
  • Leave some furniture. A few chairs, tables, lamps and beds (or empty mattress boxes with spreads) give buyers a sense of space.
  • Keep the utilities on. Set the thermostat at a comfortable level during the winter and summer.
  • Hire a cleaning service. Make sure the home remains spotless. (I can recommend a good one, if you need it.)
  • Check the homeowner’s policy. Understand the coverage when the home is vacant.


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