Long time…

•November 27, 2009 • 1 Comment

It’s been a long time since I posted because I’ve been super busy with life and also things just continued down the same path (declining home values, rising unemployment, futile government intervention attempts) with no major change. Over this past summer things definitely stabilized a bit on the home value front in the Eastvale area with the first time home buyer tax credit, record low mortgage rates and lots of interest from investors all conspiring to prop up prices. Hopefully this is not just a temporary bottoming and these price levels will hold. Nobody really knows what the future holds but if you’re planning on staying in the house for a while (read > 7 years) and the monthly payment is something comparable to what you’d pay in rent then I’d say go for it. But definitely lock in the lowest possible mortgage rate you can get for 30 years. Forget about taking on anything that is adjustable, etc… because there is only one way for mortgage rates to go from here and that is UP which will make your monthly payment rise to a level you have not planned for. Be smart and learn from the past few years and don’t get in over your head.

If anyone has some interesting/funny/irritating Eastvale housing experiences to pass on let me know and I’ll write about it.

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great SNL clip on the bailout

•November 7, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I meant to post this several weeks ago but forgot to. Anyways, check it out. This is just awesome.

SNL – Bailout

Decision ’08 Presidential Results

•November 4, 2008 • 1 Comment
here we go!

[clearspring_widget title=”Decision ’08 Presidential Results” wid=”48ff995c49a30ff2″ pid=”4910caee985a29c2″ width=”400″ height=”545″ domain=”widgets.clearspring.com”]

foreclosure help and loan modification scams everywhere!

•October 29, 2008 • 1 Comment

Hey everyone,

A lot of people are seeking help with their foreclosure or loan troubles. Everyday I am bombarded by google ads, billboards on the freeway, those small signs shoved into the ground and attached to poles at the major intersections, banners in the newspaper and pretty much everywhere else I look with ads proclaiming things like “stop foreclosure now!” “fix your mortgage now!”, etc, etc… Many people are getting roped in by these promises because its what’s in front of their face every day and they are are desperate for assistance. Please understand that most if not all of these are scams of one sort or another. These companies are not there to truly help you. They are there to help themselves first. Having said that I compiled a short list of the best places to go for help. They are all HUD-approved and many are actual HUD sites.

HUD Guide to Avoiding foreclosure:
http://www.hud.gov/foreclosure/

HUD Approved Housing Counselors:
http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm

HOPE For Homeowners:
http://www.hud.gov/hopeforhomeowners/index.cfm (some good info on the program here)
http://www.hopenow.com/ (official site for the program)

Homeownership Preservation Foundation:
http://www.995hope.org/

Hopefully by spreading the word about these “real deal” resources this will help someone prevent foreclosure or at the very least prevent someone from being scammed.

the listing reality gap

•October 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been watching the numbers over several months now and one thing in particular I’ve noticed is a “reality gap” between what houses are being listed at and what houses are actually selling at. I call it the “listing reality gap”. It has definitely gotten smaller over time but it is still substantial. Here are the current numbers for the 92880 zip code. Notice the gap between the average sales price and the average listing price. Yes the time frames are slightly off but you get the idea…:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One could predict that a wider gap would mean future price drops and a narrower gap would mean price stabilization. This is somewhat obvious but it is interesting to see it in action and to see banks and resellers coming to terms with the reality of the true market values of their properties.

open houses getting some good traffic…

•October 22, 2008 • 7 Comments

I keep a close eye on the bank owned properties in my neighbourhood and this past weekend several of them had open houses. There have been open houses in past months but not a lot of traffic. This past weekend though I noticed a ton of people stopping in. The latest report from DataQuick shows home sales up big in the southland and prices still going down but at a slower pace. California real estate was the first to implode and I think we’re starting to see it become the first to slowly but surely slow its implosion and hopefully begin to show something that remotely resembles “recovery” albeit weak at first. No doubt there will be many more foreclosures, prices will go down further, unemployment will rise more giving way to more “traditional” foreclosures and less qualified buyers but as for right now I think a lot of people that have been on the sidelines for the past couple of years are fed up waiting and see value in the current market and are jumping in in large numbers. I dont think they are doing it because they think we are at some sort of “bottom” whether it be temporary or final. I think it is occuring because they are seeing value and just want to get on with their lives. I wouldn’t even try to call some sort of “bottom” but the fact that prices have gone down SO much and people are jumping in certainly signals a shift from “wait and see” to either “buy and hope” or “buy and ignore”. Buy now and ignore it if it goes down a little more because if you’re going to stay in the house a long time (5+ yrs) its not really going to matter because it will recover eventually and there certainly wont be anymore 300-400k losses to take unless the US economy goes into some kind of death spiral it cant get out of. Houses in my area now are quite simply cheaper than renting (on a monthly payment basis) and of course monthly payment shouldn’t be the only thing people look at but it certainly is a large factor.

don’t buy stuff

•October 8, 2008 • 3 Comments

Okay so it looks like my predictions last week of the marketing dropping into the 7000s or 8000s on friday did not come true. At least it didnt come true that quickly. It’s just going to take a few days longer. Either way the market tanked.

On another note I was going to do a post on personal budgeting and living within your means and then I found a video that said it all very simply and with a good laugh too…

http://www.hulu.com/watch/1389/saturday-night-live-dont-buy-stuff