Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy Real Estate New Years!

Today is the day for resolutions, even with big subjects like where to invest in the new year. Beats "I will join a gym and lose 10lbs".
Real estate resolutions are impacted by end of the year tax planning or in other people's cases - new years filings and larger than expected tax bills. In the first quarter of every year there is more activity in investment properties due to advice by tax preparers or by large checks being sent to Fresno. For whatever reason, make a move now, not later. Urgency is something everyone should have in their resolutions this year.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Whinning about the market

KGO radio this morning was a whine-fest about how expensive the market is and home owners that were duped into "exotic" financing that will force them to sell their homes when their payments rise. My opinion, most (and yes there are some sad cases out there of unscrupulous loan agents) buyers knew what to expect when they opted for that loan. ARMs adjust! 2 year fixed rates adjust in two years! Interest only payments for 5 years mean year 6 will be higher! These short term loans were not meant to be held forever. They were an entry vehicle for the first few years. There is the cost and effort of refinancing. But needing to sell your home is an extreme measure and probably not necessary. Need help? Talk to my buddy Amanda Pham at Sinclaire Financial 408-942-7962, she rocks. As for the market being expensive... yes it is. And since 1991 when I got in to this business, NEVER has there been a year when people said anything other than that. This is an expensive market, but justifiably so.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Ron Ricard speaks on Foreclosures & Investors

Just came from a great class given by our local IPX 1031 Exchange guru Ron Ricard hosted by Fiona Tsang at Chicago Title. The class was on short sales and the foreclosure process. Apparently very few of those happening in the South Bay or the Peninsula. Defintiely more in the outlying parts of the Bay Area. Very interesting fact that all Realtors should know: you can NOT represent an investor buyer who is buying a home from an owner-occupant seller who is in distress (read: short sales and foreclosure situations). That's the law folks. Unless you want to spend time in some of the state's less desireable hotels (read: San Quentin). I know, the law does not make sense in certain situations. It would be nice to have representation all around. Talk to your local councilmember... Comments?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Multiple offers on fixers in the valley

There seems to be three buyer segments in Silicon Valley's home market right now. And this perspective is from single family homes in the sub $700k range. My buyers encountered multiple offers on the perfectly remodeled homes (those with the brand new feel, full new kithens and baths) and the same on 45 year old homes with 45 year old kitchens and baths. The opposite was true in the large middle segment. So, the flippers are well represented as are the buyers who are looking for turn-key homes. This even more so gives confidence to the flippers. But the buyers in the middle are few. I think many of these people read too much Mercury News.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Invest in China? Perhaps...

I just got an email from a CCIM buddy of mine who just got back from his second investment tour of China. I was with him, as well as 30 other CCIM's on his first trip November 2005. There are many residential opportunities there, mostly condos in new buildings. Some, as in Beijing near the 2008 Olympics, provide guaranteed cash flows of 8% for the first few years. I was really impressed with Macao. This is the Las Vegas of the East. If Steve Wynn is already there... And Macao will eclipse the gaming revenue of Las Vegas in 2007. Hmmm.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Cupertino schools - need I say more?

Every time I hold an open house in Cupertino school district, I am reminded of what good school scores can do to the popularity of a community. This drives property values dramatically. And even within the hallowed school district are breakdowns between good schools and great depending on their API numbers. I think this view is foolish though. I would rather buy in to the lower scored elementary areas and see better appreciation on my homes value as all the schools rise to approximately the same levels over time. I believe its the family and child with more emphasis on the education than the overall school. Arrogant maybe, but what parent would not believe that?