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Thursday, March 28, 2013

New Culver City Listing

Best buy on the Westside! Fantastic 3 bed 2 bath Culver City traditional home for sale $699,000. View property website for details!

Call me for a private showing!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Economic Update

Economic Update for Week Ending 3/22:
The federal reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke announced this week that the fed will continue bond purchases to keep long term interest rates down until substantial improvement in the employment market is seen. With that said 226,000 jobs were added in February and over the last 5 months the average has been 200,000 jobs added per month. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.7%, the lowest level since 2008. Bernanke also said that when the fed decides to pull back that they can act quickly and begin buying bonds again if the economy stalls. His suggestion of pulling back on bond purchases and letting long term interest rates rise to market levels mark a change in the long term foreseeable future comments made earlier this year. I believe we will see interest rates rising soon, as all indicators including employment have shown gains above what has been expected. This could begin as early as the next fed meeting.
In other news Cyprus had a run on its banks, which while newsworthy, had no impact on our economy or markets. Had it not been slow news days this would not have had much coverage as Cyprus is such a small economy. As far as home sales news: US home resale's were up 10.2% and the median price index showed a 11.6% year to year increase for February, lower than California but huge for US! Home builders reported that they can't find land to purchase and cannot get zoning and building approval quick enough to meet demand.
Mortgage rates this week fell back toward historic lows after moving up a week ago. The average rate on 30-year loan fell to 3.54% this week, from 3.63%, a high for the year last week. The rate on the 30-year conforming loan has been below 4 percent now for a full year. The 15-year conforming loan averaged 2.72% this week, down from 2.79% last week. The lowest mortgage rates in decades are spurring more home purchases and refinancing. The National Association of Realtors reported Thursday that sales increased 0.8% in February from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million. That was the highest sales pace since November 2009, when a temporary tax credit for home buyers had boosted sales. However, some people still are unable to take advantage of the low mortgage rates, either because they can't qualify for stricter lending rules or they lack the money for larger down payment requirements. First-time buyers made up just 30% of sales in February. In more stable economies, they make up more than 40% of sales. This is also because of such high investor demand out bidding first time buyers. These investors often buy with cash which makes a buyer with a loan contingency less attractive.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Economic Update March 15th

 Mortgage rates sharply rose this week as positive job reports suggest the economy continues to recover. Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.63 percent for the week ending March 14, up from 3.52 percent last week but down from 3.92 percent a year ago. Rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans hit a low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1971 of 3.31 percent during the week ending Nov. 21, 2012. For 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, rates averaged 2.79 percent, up from 2.76 percent last week but down from 3.16 percent a year ago.
 Rates on 15-year fixed-rate loans hit a low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1991 of 2.63 percent during the week ending Nov. 21, 2012.  For five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid-rate mortgage (ARM) loans, rates averaged 2.61 percent, down from 2.63 percent last week and 2.83 percent a year ago. Rates on one-year Treasury-indexed ARM loans averaged 2.64 percent, virtually unchanged from 2.63 percent last week, but down from 2.79 percent a year ago.  Rates on one-year ARM loans hit a record low dating to 1984 of 2.52 percent during the week ending Dec. 20, 2012.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Highest Return on Home Improvements

Thinking of doing some improvements to your home? If you're thinking of selling your home in the near or maybe distant future you may be wondering what's the best use of your money.

 Real Estate Agents rated improvements on the exterior of your home the best use of your money with the highest return on your investment.

 You've heard of location,location, location.....well this is true however think curb appeal, curb appeal, curb appeal! When thinking of selling your home it's all about creating an inviting exterior, making an investment in enhancing the curb appeal. Since this is the first thing buyers see before they'll even decide to go inside of the home it's imperative to impress them from the get go.

 Some of the most simple and least costly exterior improvements can recoup more than 70% of the cost it did to make them upon selling your home. The improvement that had the lowest return was remodeling a home office which was less than 44%.

 The 2013 National average cost-to-value ratio rose 60.6% which put an end to a 6 year decline. California was one of the top 5 states leading the way in this improvement with an average cost-to-value ratio of 71.2% due to our strong resale values.

Here's a look at the top 5 cost-value ratios for improvements in California specifically Los Angeles real estate:

  • Entry Door Replacement: recouping 85.6%

  • Deck Addition: recouping 77.3%

  • Garage Door Replacement: recouping 75.7%

  • Window Replacement: recouping 73.3%

  • Siding Replacement: recouping 72.9%

All my best,