A New REO Lake Tahoe Home Available

A New REO Lake Tahoe Home Available

An awesome new REO Lake Tahoe home just became available. What’s even better is that it is in Montgomery Estates, one of the most highly desirable neighborhoods in the area! I just went in and previewed this a short time ago and fell in love.

It obviously needs work and looks like it was abandoned some time ago. With some sweat there could be major equity gained. It is a 3 bedroom 3 bath home listed at $439,000 right now. Want to flip it? Fixed up nicely and based on recent comparable properties I think it could sell for $580,000 to $600,000. Here’s info on it directly from the MLS:

“Situated in the well desirable Montgomery Estates neighborhood. This 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bathroom home is across the street from forest land and has partial mountain and forest views. With high vaulted ceilings, living room, kitchen, dining area and a master bedroom located upstairs. The additional two bedrooms and full bathroom along with the laundry room with access to backyard is located downstairs. The home house great potential with value.”

This place is going to go SO fast. When I was there two other groups of Realtors were in there and two more were rolling up as I was leaving!

Real Estate is a Great Investment

Real Estate is a Great Investment

This morning I had an interesting exchange with a potential client where they were telling me how they had read that real estate is no longer a good investment and they cited an economist named Alex Tabarrok. I gave them my best reply at the time, but I wanted to give them a more informed response, and rather than just use my own anecdotal evidence, I really wanted to provide them with information from other professionals in the field of economics. I have stated and reported many times that the American Dream of homeownership is alive and well, and tomorrow, I’ll touch on the personal benefits to homeownership, however, here is what I came up with for today:

In a recent blog post on Marginal Revolution, economist Alex Tabarrok discussed homeownership as an investment.

Here is what Mr. Tabarrok had to say:

“Housing is overrated as a financial investment. First, it’s not good to have a significant share of your wealth locked into a single asset. Diversification is better and it’s easier to diversify with stocks. Second, unless you are renting the basement, houses don’t pay dividends. Stocks do. You can hope that your house will accumulate in value but don’t count on it. Indeed, you should expect that as an investment your house will appreciate less than does the stock market. You didn’t expect to get a great investment and a place to live in the meantime, did you?”

Here is my rebuttal:

Eric Belsky, the Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University expanded on the top financial benefits of homeownership in his paper –The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America.

Let’s use some quotes from Belsky’s study to address comments by Mr. Tabarrok:

Tabarrok:  

“Housing is overrated as a financial investment.”

Belsky:

“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”

Tabarrok:

You can hope that your house will accumulate in value but don’t count on it. Indeed, you should expect that as an investment your house will appreciate less than does the stock market.”

Belsky:

“Homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.”

Tabarrok:

“You didn’t expect to get a great investment and a place to live in the meantime, did you?”

Belsky:

“Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord.

Homeowners are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from income…On top of all this, capital gains up to $250,000 are excluded from income for single filers and up to $500,000 for married couples if they sell their homes for a gain.”

Bottom Line

I realize that homeownership makes sense for many Americans for an assortment of social and family reasons. It also makes sense financially. If you are considering a purchase this year, contact myself or a professional in your area who can help you evaluate your ability to do so.

How to Get the Most Money When Selling Your House

How to Get the Most Money When Selling Your House

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to ensuring you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW

This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

How To Get The Most Money When Selling Your House | Simplifying The Market

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. In that way, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price, but instead will have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

Realtor.com, gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This too may seem counter intuitive. The seller may think they would net more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

Research posted by the Economists’ Outlook Blog revealed that:

“The median selling price for all FSBO homes was $210,000 last year. When the buyer knew the seller in FSBO sales, the number sinks to the median selling price of $151,900. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $249,000 – nearly $40,000 more for the typical home sale.”

How To Get The Most Money When Selling Your House | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional (I happen to know a FANTASTIC one if you need a referral). That will guarantee you maximize the price you get for your house, and in the end everyone leaves the table happy.

Home Sales Rise Despite a Low Inventory

Home Sales Rise Despite a Low Inventory

Some Highlights:

  • Existing Home Sales rose to an annual rate of 5.47 million, representing an 11% increase year-over-year.
  • Inventory levels remain below the 6-month supply needed for a normal market at a 4.0-month supply.
  • Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, warns: “The spring buying season is right around the corner and current supply levels aren’t even close to what’s needed to accommodate the subsequent growth in housing demand.”
Thinking of Buying a Home? What Are You Waiting For?

Thinking of Buying a Home? What Are You Waiting For?

The Time to Buy is Now

With spring right around the corner, you may be wondering if you should wait to enter the housing market. Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 6.3% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.4% over the next year. The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. Their most recent report projects home values to appreciate by more than 3.2% a year for the next 5 years.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have remained below 4%. Most experts predict that they will begin to rise over the next 12 months. TheMortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will be up almost three-quarters of a percentage point by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. Your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

Either Way You Are Paying a Mortgage

As a paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe it is time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Bottom Line

If you are ready and willing to buy, find out if you are able to. Let’s get to together to discuss finding you your dream home.