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Archive for March, 2012

The angst of being a home buyer multiplies tenfold if that buyer happens to be a first-timer. The mixture of excitement, tension and doubt are a constant during the process for any first-time buyer. Knowledge is power and the buyer should gather as much information as humanly possible before the pursuit of a home. There are a variety of avenues a buyer can use to amass the necessary intelligence that will make buying a home much less stressful. A Home Buyers Seminar would be one source or picking the brain of a real estate agent can help clarify the concept of buying a home. There are a number of online methods that can be beneficial. After gathering some insight, it’s now time to get serious.

Lender And Loan: The sequence of buying a property starts with choosing a lender. This task will ultimately determine your financial responsibility for the time you own your home and should be treated as the most important element in the process, outside of the property itself. There are thousands of lenders and even more loan options. You can’t interview all of these lenders, that’s time-consuming and not essential. I would suggest consulting with at least five or six lending institutions before selecting the lender that will approve and finalize your loan.

Property Search: As a first-time buyer, you have spent money on rents and assisted someone else with their mortgage payments without the benefits of any tax write-offs. Just as you shopped for the best loan, use that same strategy in your search for a property. Decide what part of town you prefer to live and start visiting weekend open houses. Have your realtor make appointments for homes that are not held open. Touring several properties will give you a better indication what amenities intrigue you and gives you a better idea how much home you can purchase in that area. You will know when the right home comes along because of your assiduous approach. It’s imperative that buyers have a whole house inspection after the offer has been accepted. This gives the buyer peace of mind that they have bought a property without major defects.

Buyer To Seller: A first-time home buyer should anticipate owning their home a minimum of five years. A buyer might consider abstaining from the purchase of a property if their plan is to own for less than that five-year period. Life is certainly unpredictable and the unexpected happens, but ownership should be sustained for a lengthy duration, other wise it might make more sense to rent. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs, join my professional networks on Twitter and LinkedIn and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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I can understand the health reasons for banning plastic bags and the environmental argument for the discontinuation. For my own selfish reasons, I’ll miss those bags, it made life easier as a dog owner, they were great pooper scoopers. The single-use carry-out plastic bags, if ratified by the Davis City Council would no longer be distributed at all grocery stores, pharmacies, liquor stores and convenience stores. The ordinance would take effect starting on 1 January 2013. The ordinance would require stores to charge 10 cents for paper bags to encourage customers to bring reusable bags from home.Good news for those plastic bag lovers, smaller establishments would not be effected, yet.

The possibilities of lost revenue for Davis merchants has to be a real concern. Many Davis residents feel the cost of shopping locally is steep enough and the threat of an additional expense for paper bags, will more than likely push some, out to customer friendly businesses in Woodland and Dixon. A total of 42 cities and counties in California have passed similar ordinances. The State of California, due to over regulations have lost thousands of businesses and revenue to surrounding states. On a smaller scale is this the path our small town is heading? It’s very possible. The majority of folks in Davis diligently recycle and are staunch conservationist, but this ordinance might create a perception that Davis has a reputation where it’s difficult for people to shop.

Davis contributes about 22% of all the garbage that’s dumped at the Yolo County Landfill and 40% of that garbage are plastic bags. Reports suggest 50% to 60% of all the litter at the Landfill are made up of plastic bags. If these numbers are correct, Davis dispenses approximately 1/5 of all the garbage at the landfill, that suggest about 15& to 20% of all the plastic bags at the Landfill come from Davis. Will this ordinance start a trend for the rest of Yolo County? If not, then our efforts will make little difference if other parts of our County do not follow our statute. Are there other means to rid ourselves of the use of plastic bags, such as better education that would be more suitable than an ordinance that most likely will make some local residents find Woodland and Dixon very attractive for grocery shopping. Some people like to hear “paper or plastic” when out shopping. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my blogs and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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One of the greatest strains in life is the burden of waiting. Many things are worth waiting for, what category short sales fall into are up for debate. Homeowners, agents and buyers all have a great disdain for this necessary evil. It’s the unbearable amount of time the process takes that causes so much anxiety. The question that has no answer, why do short sales take so long? There’s no rhyme or reason for what appears to be an endless process. Short sales are a hardship for the seller, whether it be on the personal side such as a loss of job or an economical reason, such as plummeting home prices. The interpretation is an owner that owes more than the property is worth.

What would possess a prospective home buyer to pursue a short sale when there are other options available? Might it be the awesome value these properties offer or the understanding there is no urgency on moving or the fact most homes in your price range just happen to be short sales. The value aspect is certainly appealing for any buyer, assuming the sellers bank agrees to such a low bid. Yes, the bank has the final say so in price and terms. Pronto would not describe short sales, they can take from two to six months or longer to conclude. A family with time on their side find these homes attractive in that way. A buyer with patience can obtain a home under valued using this method.

There are outside issues that the buyer has no control over that can thwart the sell. The seller has to prove to their bank they actually have a hardship. Their qualifications are as rigid as the buyers qualifying for a loan to purchase a home. Just because a property is being marketed as a short sale does not guarantee the home will sell in that manner. With the sellers being financially strapped and the bank taking a loss, all short sales are sold in “as is” condition. One of the bitter pills involving short sales are the sellers have discontinued making their monthly payments and a percentage of homes will foreclose while the bank is negotiating an offer from the buyer. This is one of the components that make short sales a gamble. If buyers get through the multiple roadblocks that can stymie a sell, they are in an excellent position to buy a home with instant equity. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs, join my professional networks on Twitter and LinkedIn and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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As the housing prices tumbled, some buyers became more daring than the market suggested. They were proposing offers that were much lower than what was considered fair market value. As if sellers weren’t insulted enough, now they are negotiating offers beyond offensive. With the influx of foreclosures and short sales, many investors were bidding on multiple homes at once and offering prices as low as 15% to 25% below the asking price. The annoyed sellers would respond with a rejection as expected or a presentable counter response. The buyer would use this ploy on more than a few sellers with the understanding their chances are better winning the lottery, than actually purchasing a home. These buyers normally have representation from more than one unsuspecting realtor. After one excursion with a buyer that’s testing the waters, as they say, most agents realize this is nothing more than a time-consuming low-baller that is not willing to compromise.

If homeowners and realtors were dependent only on these type of prospects, there would be no homes sold and most agents would be on the unemployment line. There are differences between buyers making low-ball offers or buyers seeking the best possible bargain. The deviation between the two are the bargain hunter will eventually negotiate a respectable price, where as the low-ball prospect does not barter. These prospects are easily identifiable by their insistence that the market is still plunging and their refusal to pay more than what their perceived opinion of home values are. These type of consumers make a name for themselves very quickly.

The low-ball prospect makes up a small percentage of the activity, or the inactivity in this case, of the housing market. They have been weeded out by the serious buyer that wants to take advantage of the unique combination of low housing prices and interest rates. With so many properties receiving offers and some multiple offers soon after hitting the market. Owners can minimize their chances of attracting the low-ball prospect by simply pricing their property at a value that will appeal to a number of diverse buyers. If a seller has three proposals and one is a low-ball, they can promptly sweep that offer under the table. As the housing market continues improving, there will still be a sprinkling of buyers looking for that inconceivable deal. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs, join my professional networks at Twitter and LinkedIn and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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A homeowner diligently prepares their property for the market. They spend weeks cleaning, hauling, packing and pruning. The magic day arrives and their home is officially on the market. The first few days, realtors and buyers are coming through in droves. The first open house is a resounding success with more prospects through than anticipated. The forecast looks bright with an offer or three just days away. After a couple more weeks of splendid activity, something happens, the myriad of buyers dries up and the occasional sporadic prospect views your home just for comparison purposes. The open houses slows to naught. What happened?

Picking The Price: The adage that there’s a buyer or two for every property is true, assuming the price is justifiable. Your price and the buyers opinion of price are not in tune. The market is not kind to owners that are unrealistic with the value they place on their home. Many realtors for fear of losing a listing will accept the sellers not being practical and unfortunately will end up costing the owner money in the long run. Buyers negotiate based on the length of time your home has been available. Consumers will pay more for a home in the first week than they will six months later. Over priced properties end up selling your competitors home. They will appreciate your kindness.

In-Town Realtor: It can’t get more explicit than this. Occasionally it pays to shop out-of-town, this is not one of those occasions. Choose a local realtor. It is a proven fact, a local agent will obtain higher value for your property than an out-of-town realtor. They also understand the nuances of the local market and buyer agents prefer the expertise of the local professional.

Timing Is Essential: Any time is a good time to market your home, with the presumption you’ve priced it accordingly. Selling a  home with a pool in December will not garner the same value as that same property would in July. Marketing a property at the same time as many other similar homes are listed is not the most opportune moment.

Negotiate In Good Faith: Home buyers and sellers want to be treated fairly during negotiations. Buyers expect a property in peak condition and will pay a decent price for that luxury. There are no short-cuts when it comes to selling a home. Negotiate with the buyer in good faith. Visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs, join my professional networks on Twitter and LinkedIn and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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It’s human nature to assume a coverup when full disclosures are not made by any Police Department, especially when defenseless college students were violated by UC Davis campus police. An Alameda County Superior Court Judge gave authorization for UC Davis to release most of the investigative reports stemming from the pepper-spray incident and arrest of nonviolent Occupy UC Davis protesters that occurred on November 18th. Attorneys for UC and the University Police Officers have until a March 28th hearing to determine if the disputed portions of the reports are released. Concealing any portions of these reports would not be beneficial and would only prolong the embarrassment this situation has caused. It’s not known when UC will dispense the material.

The reports were only a fact-finding operation and do not recommend any disciplinary action. UC attorneys argued the reports should be released in full, while the Federated University Police Officers Association are asking that portions not be disclosed to the public. Everyone has seen the horrific YouTube and those pictures are worth a thousand words. Six to ten police officers are under investigation among the thirty-five that took part in the clearing of the protesters on the Quad at UC Davis. Three department employees have been placed on administrative leave. The dispute between UC and the Police Department are over the release of officer names that were involved in the pepper-spraying episode.

The judge’s ruling expressed some concerns about whether some material in the reports violated the privacy rights of the officers under investigation. Some officers that witnessed the pepper-spraying were given immunity from discipline, while others that were under scrutiny were not interviewed. How could union attorneys object to a photo that has went viral and been viewed worldwide. Now that bickering attorneys are involved, this case might proceed through eternity with lawsuits and court motions. This case will be discussed and analyzed among historians, college students and the general public for ages. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs, join my professional networks at Twitter and LinkedIn and to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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It’s obvious in most circles, the highest bid reaps the rewards. There’s some ambiguity with that philosophy when it comes to selling a home. With many serious buyers now flooding the market, it’s inevitable that some buyers will be simultaneously bidding on the same home. In most cases, these offers will be very competitive with each other and no clear-cut winner among these proposals. There could be such a small separation between each respective offer, that the eventual decision made by the owner, might just be a gut feeling, that’s better than a coin flip. There are instances when the highest offer doesn’t match some of the perks from the lower bid. A home buyer with a home to sell has little leverage when competing with a no contingency buyer. That type of proposal would have to be significantly higher in price to even be considered as a viable offer.

Home sellers have to contemplate other aspects of a contract than just the price. A buyer willing to purchase a home in “as is” condition might be more appealing than a buyer that submits a higher bid that request repairs. An offer with fewer buyer contingencies could be more attractive than an elevated price. The natural inclination is for an owner to look at price first.  if an owner only focuses on the bottom-line, they could be making a huge blunder by overlooking other features in the contract.that could make or break the deal. All of these examples would assume your home receives multiple offers. If you are not one of the fortunate owners that have multiple offers, then as a seller you’re working from some disadvantages during negotiations with the buyer and fastidious bargaining is required.

Let’s assume the homeowner has more than one offer and they have selected the proposal that best fits their terms, timelines and price. With the erratic market being what it is and buyers changing their minds more often than we prefer, it’s valuable to have another party in a backup position. Having a backup offer gives the seller more leverage during tough negotiations with the buyer. The purchase contracts have lots of consumer protection for both buyers and sellers, it’s recommended owners have their real estate representative preview those protections with them before receiving an offer. Knowledge is power and understanding the barriers that can derail the deal is vital. Sometimes the highest offer is not the best offer. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs, join my professional networks on Twitter and LinkedIn and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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