June 2009

There are 6 blog entries for June 2009.

Decades ago, sellers priced a little high to leave room to negotiate down. Buyers typically offered 5 percent less. Then they negotiated and settled at a price in between. Today, there is so much variability in the housing market that it's impossible to use a pat formula for coming up with an offer price.

Your goal is always the same: You want to buy the best house for your needs and pay the lowest price. In many cases, you can start with a price that is less -- maybe even considerably less -- than the asking price and negotiate from there.

However, this strategy might not work in some California inland markets where housing prices have dropped about 50 percent in recent years. Some low-end housing markets plagued with foreclosures have heated up in…
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Now would seem like a rotten time to sell. The economy is in recession and many housing markets around the country have suffered serious downturns.

However, if you're a seller who will also be a buyer in a market where prices have declined, it could be a good time to both sell your current home and buy a new one. You sell for less than you would have in 2004, but you also pay less than you would have then.

To be successful selling in this market, your home needs to be in good condition. Most buyers are bidding on a home they can move into without having to do a lot of work. Also, your home must be priced for the market.

If you've been transferred and need to relocate, there are a couple of options. One is to sell your current home and buy in the new…
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In the current home sale market, it might seem ludicrous to make an offer on a listing if it means competing with another buyer. However, multiple offers are on the rise in some markets. But, it doesn't always mean that you need to pay a lot more than the asking price.
Sellers are ever hopeful of receiving multiple offers. These days, this is usually an unrealistic expectation. That is, unless the listing is a prime property in a high-demand neighborhood where few homes are being offered for sale.

Price is a critical part of the equation. Some sellers price their homes low because they need a quick sale. If the price is below market, multiple buyers could step forward with offers. Sometimes an overpriced listing is reduced to market price or below and…
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Posted: 06/21/2009 12:00:00 AM PDT

WASHINGTON — Real estate may be showing signs of a turnaround in many local markets but the nation's largest mortgage players continue to ratchet up their underwriting rules, making home purchases more difficult for some buyers.

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae, for example, issued a laundry list of tougher policies June 8 that could directly affect thousands of buyers in the coming months, especially those involved in job-related transfers.

Reversing a long-standing policy, Fannie no longer will permit mortgage applicants to count the income of so-called "trailing spouses" toward the household income needed to qualify for a loan. A trailing spouse is one who

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A surge in home sales that started in some of California’s more affordable inland areas has begun to spread to several more expensive coastal areas, another indicator that the state’s real estate market may be in recovery mode.


  • Many homes in the lower end of the market are receiving multiple offers, with some prospective buyers bidding well above asking prices. Inventory levels for homes priced under $500,000 stood at 3.2 months in May 2009, compared with 9.4 months in May 2008.

  • Some buyers, especially those in historically higher-priced markets such as the San Francisco Bay Area, are newly optimistic about buying homes and are realizing that the combination of low interest rates, favorable home prices, and
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Property Tax Reduction Appeals

If you believe your home may be eligible for a reduction in property taxes based upon a decline in value, there are two ways you might proceed: an informal review by the Assessor's office and/or a formal appeal with Assessment Appeals Board. The formal appeal, in particular, can be a complicated and time consuming process but may be worth the effort for the savings in property taxes. If you need help gathering comparable sales data with which to make your case, I am happy to be of assistance. Typically, the Assessor's "valuation date" is January 1, 2009 and any sales comparables submitted must have closed before March 31, 2009.

Very generally speaking (it all depends on the neighborhood and other details of your

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