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Posts Tagged ‘homes for sale in tracy’

Bay Area Housing Market Still Weak – Short Sales Account For Half Of Transactions

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

MDA DataQuick reported Thursday that Silicon Valley’s housing market continued to be weak in February, with resale home transactions in Santa Clara County practically flat; the median home price is at $495,000, down 3% from February of last year.

The report is reflective of sales trends throughout the Bay Area, where sales dropped 0.4% from last year, and the median home price dropped 4.1% to $355,000.

Distress sales — foreclosures and “short sales” for less than the value of the mortgage on a home — were just over half of transactions in the Bay Area, DataQuick reported. Cash buyers accounted for 30.9 percent of Bay Area home sold, the highest level since DataQuick began keeping track of the market in 1988.

Please Note: DataQuick’s report is based on transactions reported to county governments.

DataQuick’s president, John Walsh, warns the public not to rely on the report as an indicator of what the market’s strength will be for the rest of the year. If the economy continues to improve, Walsh says, the market could bounce back in the spring and summer.

John Walsh notes, however, that “sales over the past two months certainly underscore the market’s reliance on investor and cash purchases at a time many potential buyers hesitated to act.”


bay area housing market february 2011

Title Insurance and You: Do You Need to Pay for It?

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Many people who don’t completely understand the what title insurance actually is might question this item when the closing costs are added up. It is, however, a very important thing to have. As the name implies, the function of this kind of insurance is to ensure the integrity of the title to your home at the time its title legally passes to you as the buyer. Title insurance is designed to protect you in case there are problems or unknown legal complications tied to the title on the property which were caused by the actions or failures of previous owners.

In other words, title insurance ensures that that your ownership rights to your home are protected from any kind of liability arising time before you bought. This is an insurance policy which insures the “before” period of home ownership, unlike ordinary homeowner policies, which cover the “after” period.

After you complete the purchase of your home, if it were to come to light that there had been a tax or mechanic’s lien on it, title insurance would keep you from a disastrous financial loss from the circumstance.

It is all too common that someone will purchase a property and then discover that it has an encumbrance against it because of something that happened with a previous owner. You surely do not want to find yourself coping with such a situation without having the security of a good title insurance policy. Uninsured, you would have been exposed to a financial liability, which could amount to anything from a petty annoyance up to a big debt leading to loss of the property.

Title insurance covers homeowners against any disputes that come up from situations related to the title of your home before you purchased it. For example, if you buy a home that was sold to you in as part of a scam or swindle with illegal documents, the title insurance policy would cover you against any loss you might incur as a result. If any disputes were to arise regarding the chain of ownership of the property you have just bought, your title insurance policy would give you the coverage you need in that situation.

What Title Insurance Is Not

It is not protection against things you might do to jeopardize your ownership. It is strictly limited to ensuring that you have a clear title to the home at the time that title transfers. If you fail to pay the property taxes and a lien is filed, you will still have to take settle the debt yourself. Title insurance will not give you any protection that.

As one last reminder, title insurance does not cover anything related to the belongings or the structure of the property. You also need to take positive steps to insure your home against perils such as fire, theft, and natural disasters with a good homeowners policy. When you purchase your home, both title insurance and homeowners insurance provide different kinds of coverage, and you most certainly must have both of them.

If you have a need to look into Broomfield CO real estate for sale, it’s easy to Search for Colorado Homes at AutomatedHomefinder.com.

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Pros and Cons of Choosing to Buy a Condominium

Monday, October 4th, 2010

If you are a person who likes living in the city and you crave your privacy, the condo could be your best choice. But if you want to keep yourself “well-grounded” and you like the open spaces, forget the option of a condo. The condo is perfect for the individual who does not want to deal with lawn mowing and exterior maintenance, and who can live with a small garage or none at all.

Condos have nice amenities such as tennis courts, swimming pools, and workout facilities, sometimes accessible within the building. You don’t have to deal with the maintenance of these facilities either, same as the facilities in your own condo. A maintenance staff handles everything and there’s always someone you can ask for assistance and there is 24/7 security. In addition to these advantages, condo complexes are often built near the best areas for employment.

Besides the benefit of amenities and location, condos are less expensive than traditional homes. If you want to sell it, you are likely to be able to sell it easily because of the comparatively continuing demand for condos, since one of their attractive characteristics is that they are usually lower-priced. Altogether, these advantages make a condo purchase a smart investment.

The Opposite View

Looking at the other side as well, living in a condo can be boring and surprisingly expensive. It can seem rather boring or lonely for those people who like the neighborhood atmosphere. Of course, they may have nice views of the city’s skyline, but if they try to dress up their homes with holiday lights or do any improvements, they can be charged extra fees for any outside improvements.

You may count yourself among the people who cannot stand rules and restrictions such as that – or maybe not.

There will always be the association rules to be followed. The rules can go as far as dictating what type of curtains you are allowed to use, the volume of your TV or your kids’ playing and you can’t even have a little barbecue without the super coming around to correct you or turning you in as a “problem” resident.

When you buy a condo you also pay for services. Apart from your monthly bill for your home loan you’ll have to put up the cash for the numerous services. There are the association fees, which can kill you. Moreover, the fees are not tax deductible. In terms of investment predictability, when real estate prices takes a dive, the first one to go is the condo and when it reverses, the condo is the slowest to recover. This can be in your favor or it can hurt you, depending on when you are selling or buying.

In summary, if you want an affordable place to live, the condo can be a practical choice. Young professionals, newlyweds, and college students often prefer condos to apartments because of location and security. Of course, let your decision be influenced by your purpose and lifestyle, and naturally your budget.

This content was provided by the leading Broomfield CO real estate experts, Automated Homefinder.

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FOR SALE: Over 5 Acres in Valley Springs, CA

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

If you like what you see, call today for a viewing appointment! Helen Coppage (209) 640-8708.

This gorgeous spacious home sits on over 5 acres of land, complete w/ a pond & stream.

Main home is 3,341 sq. ft. w/ 1,200 sq. ft. fully finished carpeted bonus room above garage, and 350 sq. ft. attic storage.

Includes beautiful Master Suite with double doors, separate sleeping area & sliding door to outside.

Large open kitchen is a cooker’s delight, w/ built-in fridge, center island, double oven, pantry closet and more!

Words don’t do this home justice – it truly is a MUST SEE!!

Acerage For Sale in Valley Springs CA 9888 Questo Road

If you like what you see, call today for a viewing appointment! Helen Coppage (209) 640-8708.

Traps To Watch Out For When You Sell A Home

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Putting a home up for sale can turn out to be a wrenching experience. Although it matter how ready you might be to move on, it still means giving up a part of your history. Selling is even harder if it is prompted by difficult or even tragic circumstances, such as the death of a spouse, the loss of a job, or any kind of shift in financial circumstances.

This article covers common mistakes that that are made by people who want to sell and, more importantly, how to avoid being trapped by them.

Asking Too High a Price

Often it seems that sellers think that they should start out asking for the highest price in the realm of possibility. If it doesn’t sell right away, after all, they can always lower the price by a little, right? Not right. Although it’s true that opening prices can always be lowered, by the time that happens, the house has gotten “old.” People who dismissed your home as being too expensive or above their range as they studied the new listings won’t easily find out so they can come back and give your property a second look now that the listed price has been reduced. Start off by asking a fair price, and you’re likely to sell much faster and without a lot of bother. Considering the value of your time and the monetary and personal expense of holding the home on the market, most likely the right price differential could make months of difference in the time on the market before the transaction is successfully concluded.

Not Being Thorough With Disclosures

Laws in every state require you to disclose any material facts and flaws that pertain to your home. Most Realtors agree that it is safer to disclose too much about flaws and material facts than too little. It can be a problem if the buyer becomes aware of flaws or facts that you knew about, they could cancel the transaction or even take you to court.

Not Keeping the Home “Visitor Ready”

It is essential when you want to sell a home that it has to always look clean, comfortable, and welcoming. You can never tell when a Realtor will call and say they’re around the corner with a client who is ready to view the home. The home has to highlight the prospective buyers’ highest self-image, the way they like to think of themselves living a simple, carefree life. It could ruin your chances if a prospective buyer should walk in on two weeks’ worth of dirty laundry, a dirty bathroom sink, or a messy, cluttered house that looks more appropriate for a garage sale than for the relaxed, uncomplicated everyday life that needs to be the ideal.

Not Completing Your Agreements

When you enter into the contract, you may agree as part of the contract to do a few things, such as do something to fix up the outside of the home or make needed repairs. Be sure to complete whatever you agreed to do before the closing date, or the buyer could walk away from the deal.

Having Restricted Hours

When it finally happens that a prospective buyer wants to view the home, they want to be there now, or very quickly. Making a buyer wait even 24 hours may well keep them from wanting to see your place at all, or lead to them finding another one that they like better. Since the real estate agent will not want you present while the home is being shown, it’s a good idea to have your own list of places you can go or things you can do on short notice. This could be a neighbor’s home, the library, a movie theater, grocery store, etc.

Avoiding these home seller mistakes will increase the chances that your home will sell successfully and easily.

This information was provided by Automated Homefinder, Colorado’s Longmont real estate specialists.

traps when selling

Do Housing Prices Have Further to Fall?

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Author: Ryan Moeller

In many areas market stability has not been restored. High inventory, high unemployment and high home prices will lead to further declines in home values. However, we are very close to hitting bottom and in many markets we already have. Remember, real estate is regional and you have to research not the entire country but down to the zip code, neighborhood, street and specific property. The article below sheds some light on Obama’s efforts and home values, a very interesting read. For more information, check out our Market Stability Report for info on your market and our Guide on Where to Invest.

Despite Obama’s Best Efforts, Housing Prices Have Further to Fall, Says Glenn Tongue

Posted Mar 10, 2010 01:23pm EST by Peter Gorenstein

What a difference a year makes. This times last year, the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department and White House were scrambling to do whatever they could to prevent home prices from falling off a cliff and thereby dragging the banking system down with it.

Now the Obama administration is set to launch a program on April 5 to encourage short sales. The plan will give homeowners and banks money if they sell the house for less than the mortgage is worth. The homeowner gets $1,500 to leave the house quickly and the bank gets $1,000 for going through with the transaction.

Time will tell whether or not it will be more successful than the struggling $75 billion mortgage modification program. Regardless there are still fundamentals in the marketplace the government can’t solve. “The inventory is too high, prices are slightly too high and unemployment is really quite high,” say Glenn Tongue, Managing Partner of T2 Partners and co-author of More Mortgage Meltdown.

Tongue tells Aaron, in the accompanying clip, home prices still have another 5-10% to drop before hitting bottom. And, though he admits “a year ago the situation was a lot worse” he’s still wary of investing in housing and financial stocks related to housing. In fact, his hedge fund is still shorting several companies in that business, though he would not name names, citing compliance rules.

Unlike last year, Tongue no longer finds the big banks attractive and instead focused on only a few specialty financial companies including Fairfax Financial and Resource America.

Real Return Real Estate™ for years has bought property at extreme discounts, sells and rents with tremendous cash flow. We also provide FREE tips, articles, guides and Educational Webinars. Visit our site http://www.realreturnrealestate.com for all the helpful resources.

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Have Homebuilders Lost Confidence In The Recovery?

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

According to the National Association of Home Builders, its housing market index fell to 17 in the month of June, dropping five points after two straight months of increases; the lowest level since March.

From The Associated Press:

Builders had been more optimistic earlier in the year when buyers could take advantage of tax credits of up to $8,000. Those incentives expired on April 30, although buyers with signed contracts have until June 30 to complete their purchases.

Experts anticipate home sales will slow in the second half of this year. In addition, high unemployment and tight mortgage lending continue to keep many buyers on the sidelines.

The drop in activity is “a wake-up call to the fact that the market will struggle to stand on its own two feet without the tax credit,” wrote Paul Dales, an economist with Capital Economics. “The double-dip in both activity and prices that we have been expecting for some time appears to have begun.”

New homes sales made up about 7 percent of the housing market last year. That’s down from about 15 percent before the bust.

It’s also bad news for the economy. Each new home built creates the equivalent of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in taxes paid to local and federal authorities, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The impact is felt across multiple industries, from makers of faucets and dishwashers to lumber yards.

Full Article : Homebuilders less confident in recovery

homebuilders lose confidence in recovery

Renting Your Appliances

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Moving into a new place is expensive. The move, after all, comes right on top of likely spending a lot of money. Then on top of all that expense there are so many purchases you have to make just to make the home just right for your family, it can be quite overwhelming. Your major appliances will probably be the biggest expense you’ll need to consider when moving in. In that situation, renting appliances can have more advantages than you think. If you’ve been looking into the purchase of new appliances, but find that the cost is too much, here are six benefits of renting them instead.

Sometimes you might only need an appliance for a very brief period until you save enough to buy it. By renting an appliance temporarily, you can have the appliance you need for the short term, and then return it when you have met the goal. You should be careful, however, that you don’t paint yourself into a corner. You don’t want to get into a situation in which your rental must be extended repeatedly as you put off the purchase, because you failed to estimate correctly when you would be in a position to afford it. Another advantage is that you can try out a model of an appliance before committing to the purchase by renting it and either choosing to buy that kind at the end of your rental term, or choosing a different one.

Whenever you deal with a rental company, they will deliver your merchandise and hook it up for you at no added cost. Since it is theirs, they want to ensure it is installed correctly and handled carefully in delivery. Sometimes you may even be able to take delivery the same day. If something is wrong with it, they’ll even come back and get it and replace it as part of the deal. They will even get it at the end of the rental period at no added cost.

Most rental companies have various brands of appliances and pieces of furniture from various manufacturers. A lot of the merchandise is brand new.

It doesn’t cost a lot of money to rent virtually any appliance that is necessary. You can pay the fee on your appliances monthly or weekly depending on the place so they will always have something that can be fit into a small budget. With most places, you can have a nice refrigerator for well under $100 per month, going down to half that for a rental period of six months or longer. With judicious use of appliance rentals, you can keep from needing to shell out what could turn out to be thousands of dollars at one time or having to go into additional debt which might put you over the limit.

Compared with going through the application process of a credit company to purchase appliances, all that is required with a rental company is just to prove your income to rent the things you need.

With the low cost of renting, you can get what you need, and on top of that you may be able to check out some other good things, things that you might not be able to afford if you were to buy them. Have you ever thought of trying out a modern home theater system? Using a rental, maybe it’s a possibility, at least for a little while. For a special event, for example, this can be an affordable answer. Like we pointed out, though, be careful not to get yourself into an unintended extended situation.

To sum up, rental stores are a workable way to get things you need without waiting. With the flexibility and convenience they offer, it’s worth checking it out.

Article presented by Automated Homefinder, your Longmont CO real estate specialists.

renting your appliances

The Wrong Way to Invest in Real Estate

Monday, March 15th, 2010

By William Bronchick

“Real estate fever” . . . it’s hit the Country like a plague. Zillions of “newbies” are hitting the bandwagon, trying to make a profit where they lost in the stock market. I meet them all the time, and many are making big mistakes!

Mistake #1: Stock Market Mentality

You’d think after losing $7 trillion in the stock market people would have learned! Nope, they are making the same mistake, which is assuming what happened yesterday will happen tomorrow. Nine of ten new investors I meet say they are interested in real estate because they saw someone else make money from the rapid appreciation of the market over the last few years. But, buying real estate solely for short-term appreciation is often a big gamble! If you buy real estate to hold for 15 years or more, the chances are you will come out on top. If you buy a property and flip it in within a year, you probably are fine, too. And, despite the risk, many people can intelligently time the “boom” of a local market (or subdivision within a market) and make a profit. But, if you buy a rental property for full market price with break even or negative cash flow, you’d better have a backup plan if the market doesn’t keep going up. Investing is a lot like surfing… if you don’t know how to ride the wave, you will drown!

So, should you refrain from investing if you think the market has peaked? Absolutely not! You can find bargain-priced properties in every real estate market, even the hottest. You can find low-interest rate financing that will increase your cash flow so if values drop, you still are covered. You can plan short-term (six to 12 months), because real estate markets rise and fall slowly. And, if you keep a cash reserve for your business, you won’t sweat when the market tanks, because you know that in the long run, real estate markets virtually always come back.

Mistake #2: Investing Blind

You’d think after losing $7 trillion in the stock market people would have learned! Nope, they are making the same mistake, which is blindly buying real estate based on bogus advice or complete lack of education. Real estate is one of the few investments in which risk is directly proportional to knowledge. True, it has a higher learning curve than investing in the stock market, but there’s no proof that having knowledge of the stock market reduces risk (just ask your mutual fund manager).

I read a comment on a real estate discussion group on the Internet. In response to an inquiry as to whether a particular seminar or training program was worth the money, someone answered, “Why waste your money on that stuff? Just use your money as a down payment and learn as you go.” This is probably the worst advice you could ever give a beginner. Money for real estate deals is easy to find if you can find good deals. But, you won’t know what a good deal is without having first invested in your education!

The more knowledge of real estate investing techniques, financing, acquisition, negotiating and, of course, your local marketplace, the less risky your investments will be. A bargain real estate purchase will generally always be a safe investment; a bargain stock purchase isn’t – after all, who says the company you bought into will be in business next year?

Mistake #3: No Cash Reserves

Ask anyone in real estate long term (or any other business, for that matter) and they will tell you the two most important words for survival are: “cash flow.” Heck, even K-Mart failed to learn that valuable lesson!

In order to stay in real estate long term, you need cash reserves. Buying real estate nothing down is easy; handling negative cash flow, repairs and other expenses in the meantime is the trick. In fact, if you can handle the bad times, real estate will always make you come out on top. Lack of cash reserves puts unnecessary pressure on you to do substandard repairs, accept less than qualified tenants and give into tenants’ demands for fear of vacancy.

When you have a sufficient cash reserve, you act rationally. You hold out for a higher sales price. You hold out for a qualified tenant. You leave properties vacant rather than rent to low-lifes. You call a tenant’s bluff when they threaten to leave. You take care of necessary repairs and improvements on your properties. It’s a whole different ballgame than operating from a lack of cash. Like I said, buying properties with no money down isn’t hard; it’s handling the cash flow. In other words, you can buy real estate without money, you just can’t survive in business without cash reserves. Thus, consider accumulating cash reserves before investing in rental properties.

Mistake #4: Being Greedy

Many investors get started flipping properties to other investors, which is a good idea to generate cash reserves. However, you must be realistic about how much profit is in a deal. If there is a potential for a $20,000 profit in a rehab project, you can’t expect to make $10,000 flipping that property to a rehabber. A rehabber has a huge risk in embarking in such a project and wants a large enough profit to justify the risk.

For example, if a house needs $10,000 in repairs, the rehabber investor wants to make at least a $20,000 profit. If you find a deal with $20,000 in profit potential, how could you expect to get $10,000 for flipping the property if the rehab investor you flip it to is only going to make $10,000? You should be happy making $2,500 and moving on to the next deal. If you want to make more than $2,500 on such a deal, then you must find and negotiate a better bargain that has more profit potential.

Mistake #5: Treating Real Estate as Anything Other Than a Business

People are lured to real estate because of the quick buck that it promises. Don’t hold your breath, you won’t get rich quick. An “overnight sensation” usually takes about five years. More than ninety percent of the people who take a real estate seminar quit after three months.

Why the high fallout rate? Lack of action and unrealistic expectations. Real estate investing should be treated with the seriousness of a career. It takes months, even years for a business to cultivate customers and have a life of its own. You need to treat real estate like any other business. Give yourself at least six months to see if real estate works for you. It may even take a year before you buy your first property. Maybe in the second year you will buy three or four properties. If you work hard at it and keep your eyes and ears open, you may even find your first deal in 30 days. Certainly, you will not make money by talking or thinking about it; you must go out and take action.


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Tips for Keeping Tenants in Your Rental Property

Friday, March 5th, 2010

If you are an investor who rents homes, having tenants is important to make sure that you make a profit. They pay your mortgage and put money in your bank account. It is important to show them that you appreciate them, so they stay in your property and continue keeping your investment worthwhile. Here are some ways you can show your tenants that you appreciate them.

Probably one of the least productive things you can do as a property owner in maintaining your relationship with your tenants is to constantly remind them that you own the property. They know you are the owner; if you make too big a point of it or frequently bring it up, they could start feeling a little defensive or possibly take it as an insult. If you show respect understanding of their position, they will be more likely to respect you and your property by being good renters.

Make it a practice not to make unexpected visits or enter the property when the tenants are not at home. In some states, this isn’t just a violation of the tenants’ privacy, it’s also a violation of the law. Enter the house when the tenants are not home only if you have an understanding with them, or if it’s a real emergency.

You have the opportunity to be a teacher or mentor when it comes to inexperienced tenants. You have the opportunity of showing them, by taking the lead and giving a good example, how to engage in a successful association. You can show them around the house and give them detailed information about the various appliances and fixtures so they can see how things work. Also, let them know about any quirks or oddities that the house has, for example if you have to avoid taking a shower while running the clothes washer. Make sure they also know how to get in touch with you in case they have any problems about the property. One good way to make them feel welcome is to bring sandwiches or a pizza on the day they move in. Even though something like that is such a small gesture it can do a lot toward creating a sense of mutual respect.

A good, reliable tenant is hard to find. When it happens that you have a good one who wants to renew the lease, it benefits both you and them. From your side, you save a lot of turnover time and expense. When it’s time to renew, come up with something to offer, even something of just a small value, that makes the unit better for the next six months or a year. Ask if any of the appliances need to be replaced or if they could use new curtains or maybe some landscaping work. Think of one thing you can throw in to improve the deal if you can afford it. There’s a good chance you can deduct this on your taxes as a business expense. The suggestion of a caring approach to the situation goes farther than you might think.

A good tenant, in short, is worth keeping. That’s why it is important to make the good ones know that you appreciate them. If you had no tenants providing your income, you wouldn’t have a working investment at all. By putting in a bit more and spending some extra money, you can reap some good benefits from your rentals.

If you are ready to check out Lafayette Colorado homes, you can start and end your search at AutomatedHomefinder.com.

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