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Archive for August, 2012

As cooler weather sets in and summer ends, the real estate cycle changes with the drop in temperature. Many buyers want to be nestled into a home before fall and sellers want their home sold during the optimum selling season. Real estate follows a natural procession with spring and summer being the most favorable time to buy and sell a property. Moving into the fall season there are fewer buyers, but on the other hand there are fewer homes on the market, which leaves less competition for those that decide to sell in the fall.

It’s not impossible to sell after the summer, but the psychology of the seller has to change with the weather. The stain on the kitchen counter or the weathered carpet might not work for the prospective buyer in the fall or winter. Homeowners should minimize any known defects that will potentially turnoff the judicious buyer looking during the off-season. The homes condition is vital in the spring and summer, but even more important later in the year. Home buyers can usually be more selective during this period because they are not normally hard-pressed for time, compared to most buyers that are under time restraints during the summer.

Homeowners that have their home listed during summer and through the fall have to make concessions to achieve success. The right price is the highest priority. Astute buyers realize they have more leverage after the summer months. The inventory of homes on the market have been well below average for the entire year. This has worked in the sellers favor and should continue through the end of the year. The weekly drop in mortgage rates suddenly stopped four weeks ago and have gradually increased in the last month. Mortgage rates has had a  huge say in the ascension of the housing rally.

Supply and demand comes into play even more in the fall with the decrease in prospective buyers and the increase in the urgency of the seller. Some owners might decide at that point to take their home off the market until the next spring or summer. This tactic might only delay the inevitable necessity to make home improvements or a needed price adjustment. There are no guarantees the postponement will change what the seller should have done in the fall. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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Outside your wedding vows and the birth of your children, nothing is more joyous than the day you walk through the doors of that first home. That euphoric feeling is still prevalent, but with restraints, after the tumultuous downturn of the last five years. Many buyers purchased a home in the last few years knowing it was the right time, but uncertain if housing prices had actually hit bottom. Home sales are up in Davis, California by approximately ten percent this year compared to the same time last year.

This spurt of buyer confidence could have increased even more, if not for the difficulty of getting loan approval for many consumers. Lenders are much more selective with buyer applications. The process can be arduous for many prospective homebuyers. After many weeks of record-setting mortgage rate drops, the last four weeks saw rate increases. This is certainly a sign that the Fed feels comfortable that housing can stand on its own, at least for the time being. With so much skepticism within the housing industry and purchasers of real estate, the drop in mortgage rates helped prop the market through the first half of this year.According to Fannie Mae’s June 2012 National Housing Survey, both home prices and mortgage rates are the factors producing this positive sentiment towards housing with 73% of those surveyed saying it is a good time to purchase a home. This percentage matches the highest level recorded since this survey began two years ago.

Fewer defaults and foreclosures would stimulate consumer confidence. As long as we have the multitude of foreclosed homes and lingering for sale signs in neighborhoods across the country, people are faced with constant reminders that the housing market is still struggling. More homes sales would create an increase in buyer fortitude. It’s human nature to take that leap when everyone around you are buying a property.

Many prospects have delayed buying a home in hopes of purchasing at the bottom. When you have volatility from month-to-month with home prices within a community, this does not solidify a buyers confirmation they need to make a move. New home construction sales is another confidence boost for potential home buyers. The elimination of new subdivisions taking an eternity to sell would assist in the rebuilding of the housing market. As we slowly grind our way out of the housing downturn, all of these factors will have a play in how quickly we completely recover. Please visit my website at www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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The Water Advisory Committee kept two open options to bring surface water into Davis. One option would include joining our neighbors to the north in Woodland and the second alternative would be purchasing our water from West Sacramento. Ultimately Davis voters will determine which, if any, project is adopted. The less expensive choice would be the Sacramento option. This would assure Davis of having clean drinking water for the next three decades. Giving the City Council more than one choice was the right decision and will hopefully give the council the impetus to cut more cost from the eventual option placed on the ballot and presented to the voters.

There is a downside to keeping both options open, it will cost the city at least $500,000 to fill its share of the WDCWA water treatment site, in order to keep the Woodland/Davis project on schedule. What’s a couple of dollars during this economical malaise. Pun intended. The cost to the city ranges from $142 million for the West Sacramento project up to $163 million for the Woodland-Davis undertaking. The consensus from the committee was that the overall cost for either design was still unclear. There’s going to be a tremendous financial impact felt by every resident, regardless of which project is submitted to the voters in the spring.

More kudos to UC Davis, it was recently voted the coolest school in the United States by the Sierra magazine in its annual rankings of the nation’s greenest schools. The project that turned the tide for UC Davis was the West Village project, labeled the country’s largest net zero community. This enclave will someday house over 3,000 students, faculty and staff and be powered by electricity produced on the same 130 acres.

The news is not all rosy on the campus of UC Davis, as we figured the pepper-spray incident just won’t go away. It was recently discovered that UCD paid two separate investigators over $230,000 to perform an internal affairs investigation. They concluded the pepper-spraying of unarmed protesters was disturbing, but reasonable under the circumstances. The cost of the internal affairs investigation brings the amount UC Davis has paid on consultants since the pepper-spray incident to more than $686,000. I understand the need for UCD’s due diligence and the necessity to protect themselves during the endless lawsuits coming their way, but the viral pictures that reverberated around the world can not be defended, no matter how much money you pay for your own investigation. The court of law will eventually determine what responsibility UCD had during that sordid incident. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home.

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The shortage of any valuable product naturally raises the attraction and the price. How else can you explain the infamous Cabbage Patch Kid doll that sold for a few dollars back in the day, but is now worth a few thousand dollars. That’s supply and demand at work. That analogy is similar to what has happened recently with real estate. The limited supply of properties and strong demand from buyers has created an uptick in homes receiving multiple offers. How do the two dynamics affect the housing market?

Sellers Market: When the market demand for properties in a particular area is high and when there is a shortage of good quality properties (i.e. supply is scarce) then the balance of power in the market shifts towards the seller. This is because there is likely to be excess demand in the market for good properties. Sellers can wait for offers on their property to reach (or exceed) their minimum selling price. We are trending toward a seller’s market in many communities throughout the country.

Buyers Market: Conversely when demand both for new and older housing  is weak and when there is a glut of properties available on the market, then the power switches to potential buyers. They have a much wider choice of housing available and they should be able to negotiate a price that is lower than the published price. We have been in a buyers market for the majority of the last five years

There’s an endless number of factors that can take us from one cycle to the next. Consumer confidence, mortgage interest rates, job creation and economical barometers are just a few issues that drive housing. Pent-up demand exist now, but it has nowhere to go for a large segment of potential buyers. Lenders are putting a damper on a full-blown recovery with todays tight lending standards. Homeowners that want to sell their current home and purchase a replacement property are in a tremendous position. There’s plenty of eager buyers for their home and mortgage rates on the new home are at historical lows. Mortgage rates have kept demand strong and the main reason why home buyers are so intent on outbidding the competition for that next hot property. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities

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As we move closer to having a recommendation from the Water Advisory Committee regarding the proposed water surface project, one theme rings loud and clear, water bills will hurt, no matter what. The options are many and the cost estimates are exorbitant. Which ever option the committee chooses, it’s going to greatly affect ratepayers. One proposal has Davis and Woodland jointly paying to have water siphoned from the Sacramento River, treat it and pipe it into both communities. The next two options would delay the city of Davis participation with Woodland until 2020. The second proposal would have Davis delay financing, but participate immediately. I bet that option goes over well with Woodland residents.

The last and least expensive option for Davis residents is the West Sacramento alternative where Davis would buy into West Sacramento’s existing intake facility on the Sacramento River and pay to pipe treated water into Davis, all for an astounding $142 million. Not being sly, but I suggest installing a water filtration system into every Davis residence for half the cost. This would also include the yearly service fees that are recommended for each filtration system. See how quickly issues can be resolved with logical thinking. As I have stated before, each of these proposed options would affect residents on fixed incomes. With the economy swirling, this is not an optimum time to increase rates of any sort.

Davis ratepayers are billed bi-monthly for water, sewer and garbage fees. The city intends to switch to a monthly schedule beginning in the spring of 2013. Each of the projected water projects are estimates only and that is certainly a frightening proposition based on the likelihood the true cost could exceed the initial estimate. It’s a proven fact that Davis water is hard, but it’s also a proven fact that Davis is one of the healthiest communities in the nation. There’s been no known illnesses from drinking our well supplied water. The Davis City Council will soon make a recommendation on which project will be placed on the 2013 ballot. Thankfully, the citizens of Davis will then make the final decision if the reward is worth the risk. Democracy at work. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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Why in this housing market with limited inventory are a large percentage of homes taking so long to sell? How can you explain one property selling in a few days and other similar properties taking months to transfer. Each home has its own identity and every home owner can make decisions on how swiftly they want to move. There are a number of factors that will determine how quickly your home sells.

Picking The Right Realtor: Your choice in realtors could be the difference between selling or not selling. Just as all homes are not the same, neither are all realtors. The absolute first requirement in getting maximum value for your property is picking a local experienced realtor that understands specific neighborhood values and they also should be well-respected within the real estate community. A local realtor will promote your home to other local agents that will normally generate the best prices. It’s been repeatedly proven over time that an in town agent will garner the highest value for their listings, with the least amount of inconveniences.

Price It To Sell: There’s nothing more deflating for a buyer than a new listing that fits their needs and demands, but the price is well above fair market value. The first few weeks of marketing are the most critical time. During that period is when many sellers start receiving an offer or two. Even with a shortage of homes, buyers will not blindly overpay for a property. If by chance a buyer elects to pay more than fair market value, the appraiser will squash the deal and bring the inflated price back to reality. Your realtor can prepare a market value analysis. The analysis is based on the most recent activity in your neighborhood comparable to the subject property.

Property Preparation: A well maintained home and peak value go hand-in-hand. Location and condition are the most important criteria when determining true worth. Rather a home has been updated or not, it’s still important to clean, declutter and stage your home. The front yard and entrance should be attractive and inviting to the buyer. Getting your home sold at top dollar can be accomplished with a combination of property preparation, pricing your home correctly to sell and choosing the right local realtor. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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Not everyone remembers their first car ( it’s true) or the name of their first date, but no one forgets that first home. For those of us that bought a home years ago, there might have been something during the process that we would have liked to change. Jumping in bright-eyed and bushy-tailed isn’t the best approach to buying that first home. There are many pitfalls and travails that can make what should be a pleasurable experience turn into a calamity of horrors. Buying that first home is one of the greatest accomplishments for most folks up to that point in their life. Here are a few pointers to be aware of.

Educate Yourself First: Attend a first time home buyer seminar or do your own research. Googling buying that first home will give you a sense of what too expect. We might blindly go out and purchase a pair of shoes or some other small ticket item, but this is not the approach to buying that first home. Get the concept before jumping in.

Finding An Experienced Realtor: This is not a time to break in a brand new agent. The experience comes in handy during a time like this. A realtor should be your confidant and point you in the right direction as far as the loan process and assisting in the search for that first home. During this stressful time, you want an agent that is readily available for questions or visiting that new property that just came on the market. They can also point out the good and bad associated with the neighborhoods that are attractive to you.

Choosing A Lender: Unless you have a family member in the lending business, I always suggest interviewing multiple lenders in an effort to get the best mortgage loan possible. You are qualifying the lender, just as they are you. Requesting good faith estimates, which are an outline of all the cost and fees associated with that loan, will give you assurances that you are obtaining the best loan.

Finding That First Home: Buying a property is a process. You can’t immediately buy a home without meeting these other objectives first. By this point, you have probably viewed many homes online, visited numerous open houses and had your realtor show you others. You can be supremely confident when the right home becomes available, that you are more than prepared to purchase your first home. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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