Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Real Estate News for Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

California not in Recession, According to Survey. California economy is slowing but should avoid slipping into a recession, according to a widely followed quarterly economic forecast Tuesday. But if it does, the nation will almost surely follow, according to the economists who publish the Anderson Forecast at the University of California at Los Angeles. That's because the state contributes 13 percent of the country's gross domestic product and has never gone into a recession without the rest of the country doing the same. Click here to read more.

Luxury homes buck the trend. The overall housing market might be in bad shape, but mansions still selling. The top 5% of the market is strong not just because the rich in the U.S. are getting richer. Wealthy foreign buyers are also coming in to take advantage of the weak dollar and relatively bargain prices, said Laurie Moore-Moore, founder of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing in Dallas, which trains agents to work in the high-end international property market. The ubër-wealthy are also less concerned about interest-rate fluctuations and other mortgage issues; about a third of buyers of $1 million-plus homes pay cash, Moore-Moore said. Click here to read more.

New Online Real Estate Wiki Encyclopedia. Looks like there's a new wiki out there and it's about Real Estate! According to, "the first goal of Real Estate Wiki is to create the most exhaustive compendium of real estate information anywhere. Secondly, to make every attempt to ensure that all real estate information is objective, neutral, balanced and without any prejudice. Our third goal is to make the encyclopedia available to everyone - real estate brokers, real estate agents, real estate service providers, real estate educators, etc. and of course the home owners as well as potential home buyers and home sellers - this at no cost and without the distraction of advertising or bias." Sounds good, hope it has as much success as Wikipedia.

Looking to Buy a House? Some Tips. The Wall Street Journal has some great tips for buyers in this new market. First, buyers need to research their market, focusing on school districts, crime stats and any impending construction. Look for a home that is lower than its 2004 price. Buyers should haggle a little bit. Lending standards are changing, so buyers should get prequalified for a mortgage early on. Click here to read more.

Mastodon for Sale, Harder to Sell than a House? Family puts its 3 million year old fossilized mastodon up for auction on Ebay, but market proves tricky. According to the seller, Nancy Fiddler, "the trouble with selling a mastodon is there's no comps." Click here to read more.

More homeowners are just walking away from their mortgages. has a sad but realistic view of the effects of the current housing market. Owing more on properties than they're worth, some local homeowners are voluntarily walking away from their house notes. "They don't need to be foreclosed on. They're just turning in the keys," said Martha Lucey, president and chief executive officer of Fresno-based nonprofit credit counselors, By Design Financial Solutions. "The problem we're seeing is that (these residents') equity position is compromised. They're upside-down." They are also willing to accept the disadvantages of foreclosure – the damage to their credit, their ability to re-enter the housing market and even their capacity to find a job in the future. Although homeowners often try to renegotiate the terms of their mortgages, lenders are often reluctant or unable to do so. One mortgage may be held by dozens of investors, and not all of those investors will accede to changes. Click here to read more. Shows How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Foreclosure. Stressed about making hefty mortgage payments? Turned down for refinancing? Your lender won’t agree to a short sale? You are not alone, says You Walk Away LLC. The Carlsbad-based foreclosure counselor, which opened its doors in January, says lenders have foreclosed on 2.9 million homes in the last three years, so given the trend, it offers guidance to homeowners. You Walk Away is not a real estate broker. The counselor only provides services and information to help minimize the long-term financial impact of foreclosure. The consultant says it has assisted 200 financially stressed homeowners. Formed by attorney Chad Ruyle and Jon Maddux, You Walk Away helps homeowners through the entire foreclosure process when there are no other options. Click here to read more.

~Tina Jan~
Coldwell Banker Kivett-Teeters
1655 E. Sixth St.
Beaumont, CA 92223
Work: 951-845-5520 Ext. 105
Fax: 951-845-4916
Cell: 909-446-2666
Toll-Free: 1-877-TINAJAN

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