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Tag Archives: home prices

September 2015 RE/MAX National Housing Report

RE/MAX researches 53 major metropolitan markets and analyzes the data to get a pulse on the US housing market. Here are some highlights from this months report. For more information about your local real estate market and what these trends mean for you, contact a local RE/MAX All-Pro agent.

August home sales were 5.0% higher than August 2014 and were 27.6% greater than the sales in August 2008, the first month of the RE/MAX National Housing Report. Completed transactions in August were 11.4% lower than in July, which was the second best month for home sales since 2008. Click here to download the August 2015 Housing Report.

6 Questions to Ask on a Home Tour

2015-7-6-questionsThanks to the Internet and your Realtor’s digital tools, you can learn a lot about a home before visiting, such as when the house was built and the HOA or tax costs. Some things, however, are best to ask the agent in person when you’re touring a property.

1. Why are the owners selling?
The agent isn’t obligated to tell you, but he or she might. The answer could reveal issues not included in the listing description. Is there a new highway planned nearby? Are the HOA restrictions too much for the sellers to handle? If the agent does reveal, for instance, that the owner is desperate to close quickly, you might be able to use that to your advantage when negotiating price.

2. What’s the sellers’ timeline?
Do the property owners need to relocate immediately for work? Or are they waiting for their children to finish the current school year? It’s important that your timeline for moving into the home and the owner’s timeline for moving out line up.

3. What, exactly, is for sale?
Find out precisely what’s included in the sales price. That nifty new fridge with the built-in smart screen you admire might be going with the sellers to their new home. Learn whether the appliances and fixtures, such as ceiling fans, are included in the sale price.

4. Are there any issues with the property?
Yes, the sellers are required to reveal most problems, but a chatty sales agent might reveal more than is included in the disclosure document. It certainly can’t hurt to ask.

5. How are the neighbors?
Ask about the types of people that live nearby. Retirees? Young families with kids? College students? The primary population will influence the overall culture of the neighborhood and can help you determine if this is the home for you.

6. Have the owners completed any major home projects?
Lots of recent home improvements could mean the property is in better shape than ever, ready for you to enjoy. It could also indicate more work will need to be done in the future. Be sure to get the full story about any recent property updates.

You’ll have tons of questions as you search for your next home. A RE/MAX agent can help you find the answers. To meet an agent, start here: www.remaxallpro.com/agents.

Escalation Clause: A Helping Hand in Bidding Wars


Are homes for sale snapped up right and left in your targeted neighborhoods? That’s the case in some real estate markets today, and it often leads to that dreaded house hunting reality: bidding wars.

If you’re considering buying a house in an area where bidding wars are common, talk to your agent about including an escalation clause as part of your offer. It can become an important tool in a multiple-offer situation.

An escalation clause means that your offer is automatically increased by a certain amount in response to a competing buyer’s higher bid, with a maximum offer price stated in the contract.

Here’s how it works: Let’s say you’re offering $120,000 on a house. In your escalation clause, you specify your bid can automatically go up by $2,000, for example, with a maximum offer of $135,000. When another buyer bids $122,000, your lower offer doesn’t lose out right away, because the clause automatically escalates it to $124,000.

There are some important considerations to make regarding escalation clauses. Your real estate agent might advise against it based on the homebuying climate in your local market; it might be that some sellers won’t consider an offer that contains the clause. On the other hand, your agent might see it as the leg up you need in your area.

Also, you’ll need to ensure your mortgage pre-approval amount allows for those increases – and you can afford the higher monthly payments that come with approaching your maximum buying power. It’s smart to talk it over with your agent and run your plans by your lender before deciding to use an escalation clause.

The point: Low inventory and bidding wars don’t have to discourage you from making an offer on that dream home. You have options. Find a local RE/MAX agent who can discuss all of them with you.

Buying Homes in the Antelope Valley; Palmdale/Lancaster Real Estate

 Buying Homes in the Antelope Valley; Palmdale/Lancaster Real Estate

Have you noticed how some “housing experts” say that demand is “overwhelmed by supply” while others throw out estimates of an “excess supply” of over three million homes? Yet, buyers keep saying how there‟s nothing to choose from? Worse yet, when they do finally find a home they want, they often submit an offer only to find that theirs is one of multiple offers the seller‟s received! Do you have a bidding war and multiple offers in your market on any listings? What‟s going on? How can in- ventory be high with slim pickings and multiple offers? According to one study, although listings may be up from January-which is true every year due to the annual winter hibernation of the housing market-on-market inventoryand new listings, are actually down from this same time last year. The study continues, “every „major market‟ except Las Vegas has less listings than this time in 2010”! Moreover, new listings of non-distressed homes, which are more frequently well-kept and owner-occupied (i.e. the kind of home that most non-investor buyers are interested in), are falling over twice as fast as bank-owned (REO) listings. Where all the listings are hiding? -Jack

From the study, “If we don‟t start to see more listings from owners who have the equity to put their homes on the market, prices of increasingly rare non-distressed listings seem likely to stop falling soon, just due to basic supply and demand. Of course, that claim leads to the big ques- tion: howsoon?” Although supply and demand are the primary drivers of the real estate market, prices seem to react to these inputs with ice-age speed. When the bubble was inflating, it took over a year of declining sales and increasing inventory before prices peaked and began to fall, and although on-market inven- tory has been declining since mid-2008, the slow recovery of sales along with a shift in psychology away from home ownership has delayed the turnaround of prices (and this isn‟t even considering all the government intervention!) As Calculated Risk recently pointed out, home prices are not far above their historic lows, although it‟s a pretty safe bet that we‟ll have a bit of an overshoot on the downside, followed by at least a few years of flat prices (which is down when inflation is factored in). Foreclosures are still quite high and will likely take three to five years to work through, but growth in both the beginning and the end of the foreclosure pipeline seem to be backing off their 2010 peaks. The worst seems to be behind us on that front. Every region has different dynamics, but with generally lousy selection, slowly recovering sales, and year‟s worth of foreclosures to work through, where does that put us today, and through the end of this year? Barring some unforeseen economic events, some believe that home prices will likely stop falling by this time next year, while others expect prices to end the year higher than where they are today. Sales will continue their slow increases, foreclosures will be slowly but surely absorbed (many by all-cash investors), and hopefully, non- distressed sellers will begin to return to the market. In the end, nobody is able to perfectly time the market, and no matter where anyone thinks the bottom is, they‟re probably wrong. Is buying a home today less risky than it was five years ago? Absolutely. Will buying a home ever be a risk-free proposition? Unfortunately, no.

Did You Know………that while gloom and doom about the housing market dominate the news, it may be overlooked that it might be a great time to buy! In a recent survey, 64% of respondents say that they think it‟s a good time to buy a house. We all know the average median house price is down almost 10% from its peak in 2007, take a closer look at the attachments to this week‟s Newsletter at when homes have been at their cheapest.


Home Buyers LOOK Here!

Home Buyers LOOK Here!

To finalize the sale of the home a neutral, third party (escrow agent) is engaged to assure the transaction will close properly and on time. The escrow holder insures that all terms and conditions of the seller’s and buyer’s agreement are met prior to the sale being finalized, including receiving funds and documents, completing required forms, and obtaining the release documents for any loans or liens that have been paid off with the transaction, assuring you clear title to your property before the purchase price is fully paid.

An escrow is:

  • an arrangement made under contractual provisions between transacting parties, whereby an independent trusted third party receives and disburses money and/or documents for the transacting parties, with the timing of such disbursement by the third party dependent on the fulfillment of contractually-agreed conditions by the transacting parties, or
  • an account established by a broker, under the provisions of license law, for the purpose of holding funds on behalf of the broker’s principal or some other person until the consummation or termination of a transaction; or,
  • a trust account held in the borrower’s name to pay obligations such as property taxes and insurance premiums.

The word derives from the Old French word escroue, meaning a scrap of paper or a roll of parchment; this indicated the deed that a third party held until a transaction was completed.

Escrow Process

The documentation the escrow holder may be collecting includes:

• Loan documents

• Tax statements

• Fire and other insurance policies

• Title insurance policies

• Terms of sale and any seller-assisted financing

• Requests for payment for various services to be paid out of escrow funds

Upon completion of all instructions of the escrow, closing can take place. All outstanding payments and fees are collected and paid at this time (covering expenses such as title insurance, inspections, real estate commissions). Title to the property is then transferred to the buyer and appropriate title insurance is issued as outlined in the escrow instructions. At the close of escrow, payment of funds shall be made in an acceptable form to the escrow. As your real estate agent, I’ll inform you of the acceptable form.

The Escrow holder will:

• Prepare escrow instructions

• Request title search

• Comply with lender’s requirements as specified in the escrow agreement

• Receive funds from the buyer

• Prorate interest, tax, insurance, and other payments according to the instructions

• Record deeds and other documents as instructed

• Request title insurance policy

• Close escrow when all instructions of seller and buyer have been met

• Disburse funds and finalize instructions

Our Escrow Partner

You can feel more secure with an independent escrow company. Unlike banks, title companies and brokerages, an independent firm must comply with stricter operational and CPA auditing, bonding requirements, financial liquidity requirements and trust fund insurance guidelines.

For more information contact our partner:

EscrowOne, Inc. A Department of Corporations Escrow Company

www.escrowoneonline.com 661-945-6991      

Getting In Is Easy-Buy NOW!-Expert Antelope Valley Real Estate Advice

 Getting In Is Easy-Buy NOW!-Expert Antelope Valley Real Estate Advice

OK. Last week we talked about renting and the expenses going out to meet your monthly rent amount. This week we will move on to the benefits of home-ownership. a MUCH more fun topic!


Getting In Is Easy

  • Convenient Down Payment Options Still Exist
  • $8,000 Tax Credit for First-Time Homebuyers
  • Home Prices Very Affordable
  • Low Interest Rates
  • Payments Similar to
  • Average Rent Over 5 Years

Now For The Good Part!

After 5 years:
Mortgage Balance Declines
Increased Net Worth
Plus Tax Benefits!

Your Uncle Wants to Help

  • If Cash Is Tight –
  • Uncle Sam Can Help
  • Don’t Wait For Refund Bucks: Increase Your Take Home Pay
  • Quit Lending Money to Uncle Sam Interest Free
  • Check Out IRS Calculator To Do It Right



Tax Advantage

Assuming a $300,000 loan:

P&I  $1,798.65

Taxes            312.50

Insurance       100.00

  Total  $2,211.15

Tax deduction for five years:

Interest $87,082 + Taxes $18,750= $105,832

Using a 25% tax bracket   $26,458

Monthly  $     441

  Mortgage Payment $2211 – 441 = $1,770

  Average Rent (five years)              $1,658

  Payment difference                        $   112

  Plus… Possible $8,000 Tax Credit for FTHB (First Time Home Buyer)!

Got Rent?

Your Landlord Loves You


Wealth Created by Home Ownership


Buying a home is a Big Step…But a Step in the Right Direction!

If YOU or someone you know is interested in starting the home buying process, feel free to contact RE/MAX All-Pro; it’s not just real estate, it’s a relationship!

-Antelope Valley Real Estate-It Still Makes Sense to Buy VS Rent

Buying a home can be scary, overwhelming, thrilling, exasperating, and inspiring all at once, but the feeling of

home-ownership trumps them all.

Which is why;

It Still Makes Sense To BUY VS RENT!

Why?You ask.

To show you the benefits of owning your very own home, i will be doing a 2 part blog series. The first blog post will be about renting statistics and where YOUR money goes, and the second part will be the essential Information on the benefits and perks of home-ownershipAn owner-occupier (also known as an owner-occupant or home owner) is a person who lives in and owns the same home. It is a type of housing tenure. The home of the owner-occupier may be, for example, a houseapartmentcondominium, or a housing cooperative. The immovable property of the owner, which includes the home and the land upon which it sits, is known as the real estate.

FIRST lets talk about a couple fun rental facts!


Nearly 1/3 of all households rent

Baby boomer children-Echo boomers

With that being said, let’s take a closer look at home prices

  • Despite National Headlines,

Home Prices Tend to be Localized

  • Housing Prices Are Tied to Job Market
  • If Local Job Market is Weak –

Local Area Prices May Be Lower As Well

Now for the fun facts about RENTING!

Renting is an agreement where a payment is made for the temporary use of a good, service or property owned by another. A gross lease is when the tenant pays a flat rental amount and the landlordpays for all property charges regularly incurred by the ownership from landowners. This system is used in case of washing machines to handbags and jewelry.

Renting Costs a Lot – A Whole Lot!

Now remember, these are ONLY assumptions: 

  • $1,500 Monthly Rent Payments
  • Landlord Increases Rent 5% Yearly
  • Five-Year Costs = Nearly $100,000!
  • Costs to Improve…GONE!
  • Oh yeah, your landlord thanks you
  • Overall Costs…Too Painful to Look At


Renters! FIGHT BACK! Show Your Landlord The Money 

 Assuming a 5% increase per year:

  •   Year       Monthly Rent     Annual Rent
  •     1            $1,500                $18,000
  •     2            $1,575                $18,900
  •     3            $1,654                $19,848
  •     4            $1,737                $20,844
  •     5            $1,824                $21,888
  •     Total                                 $99,480

Average monthly rent over five years $1,658

Whew! Tough information to read right? The good thing is, the bad is out of the way! Start the steps to your future of home-ownership and join me next week to get the essential Information on the benefits and perks of home-ownership.

If you or someone you know is ready to take the step towards buying a home, give RE/MAX All-Pro a call at 661.945.9461.