Friday, July 31, 2009
Second nicest house of the week: a townhome on Valley Spring in Studio City. Just lovely, and with its own garage! I'm not going to advertise it further here in case my buyers want to buy it.
Best view of the week: from the for-sale house on Via Montana. You can see all the way to the County Hospital and the Ralph's warehouse! And downtown, Glendale and across the Valley.
Laughable seller statement of the week: "You don't need a/c in the summer in the Valley."
Trend of the week, continuing: Realtors that make their listings impossible to show.
Trend of the week, new: Realtors that don't read showing instructions on the mls.
Bank of the week: None other than Bank of America. If you read this blog often, you know that my recent BofA refinance took six months. Bank of America isn't doing much better with purchase money loans, apparently. I've heard lots and lots of anecdotes in the last few days about how long it takes for their loans to be approved, funded, etc. Way to bring your "A" game, BofA!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Here's another great new listing at 648 Birmingham Road, Burbank 91504. It looks like a Pottery Barn catalog inside and has 3 beds, 2 baths, 1478 square feet, redone kitchen and baths, and lots more. It is listed for $659,000 and will be open this Sunday. See my website for more pics.
And, this home is also in the Burbank Unified School District. Jefferson is the Elementary and has an API of 853 and Muir Middle has an API of 851. If you have children, you may want to consider this school district instead of private school or the ever-declining LAUSD.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
-My first involvement with this unit was when it sold to clients Melissa and Phil for $145,000 in March 1998.
-Next, Eric and Jennifer bought it in October 2000. They paid $190,000.
-Then, Jade and her partner, George, bought it from Eric and Jennifer in 2004 for $390,000.
Jade and her partner, George, never lived in the unit. They rented it to a nice family from Canada instead.
-It came back on the market earlier this month as a short sale for $299,000 and is now in escrow again.
My clients are in escrow on this cutie in North Hollywood. We had to beat out 11 other offers to get this. It's even cuter inside than outside, and the neighborhood is nice, too. Yes, we had to go over the list price. Will it appraise? Stay tuned...
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
One house is a 3+1, a little over 1100 sf, and is a cosmetic fixer. Listing price isn't set yet, but it will probably list at about $499k. The second house is 3+2, 1400 sf., and looks like it's right out of a Pottery Barn catalog. It will probably list around $659k. Both of these are regular sales -- not REOs or short sales. More details to come next week.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Just as we've been saying...here's an article from the Burbank Leader about the local real estate market. IMO, this covers all local real estate, too, not just Burbank. Here's the opening paragraph: "Frustration is mounting among home shoppers trying to take advantage of historic drops in prices as the suply of real estate for sale in Glendale andBurbank dwindles, experts and agents say."
Monday, July 13, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
The pros of this approach: The seller and listing agent receive more seemingly "trustworthy" information since it is coming from a lender that they have presumably worked with before. However, the cons include the following:
-In the current economic climate with layoffs still occurring, there are no guarantees that a loan will fund until it actual does so, regardless of buyer qualifications.
-Getting a purchase loan is a contingency which must be met in a certain number of days after offer acceptance anyway;
-This is a time-consuming burden to sincere, already-approved potential buyers, and in multiple offer situations, not all offers will be considered anyway;
-A potential buyer may have to share confidential financial data with several institutions over the course of their search. Privacy, anyone?
Solution: 1. If a listing agent wants to know if a particular buyer is qualified, the listing agent needs to do the legwork by calling the buyer’s lender and asking for particulars. The listing agent can then advise their seller client accordingly. That’s what we’re paid for. 2. The listing agent & seller can ask the buyer to "double apply" during the loan contingency period if extra certainty is needed.
Here are two emails between me and a listing agent about just such a situation. Names and details changed, of course. Background: my buyers were pre-approved for a loan, have plenty of provable cash, good credit scores, stable employment, were putting down 25%, and made an offer that was $34,000 over the list price. Offers had to be in 72 hours after the property listed.
My email: "[Listing agent], as you know, my clients have a very strong offer in on the [address] property. I'd like to ask you to reconsider the requirement that my clients get pre-qualified through [lender name] at [lending institution].
[Mr. Buyer and Mrs. Buyer] are continuing to go through all sorts of gyrations in an attempt to meet [seller's specific lender] requirements although they've had an extremely short time period to do so. This includes attempting to get their 2008 taxes filed today. They had been holding off to take advantage of the $8000 first time buyer tax credit that can be applied to 2008 taxes. Now, in 2009, they make too much money now to qualifiy for the credit. So, [listing agent], the way I see it, they are losing $8k in just attempting to get this house.
Also, I am attempting to line up another [seller’s lending institution] to get the letter you need.
The issue appears to be [buyer's 2006 and 2007 income]… Obviously, this is 2-year-old and three-year-old information anyway. The [Mr. & Mrs. Buyer] were barely out of college at the time. Subsequently, [Mr. Buyer’s business has taken off and [Mrs. Buyer] is an accountant at [large company]…
Most importantly, they have already been conditionally approved by [buyer’s lender] at [large lending institution]… one of the biggest home loan lenders in the area. You can call [buyer’s lender] at [phone no.] for any information that you need, and/or I can get a letter from him. You'll recall that you and I had a very successful transaction in February with [same lender] as the buyers' (Mr. & Mrs. [former buyers]) lender -- it was FHA and it closed on time. Thanks for considering this."
Response from listing agent (a nice guy, btw):
"sorry but [seller bank] requires a pre-qualification letter from a [seller bank] loan officer. If things aren’t going well with [seller’s specific lender] you are free to get one from another [seller bank] loan officer. Please try to remember that [seller’s specific lender] is doing what she is supposed to... [seller’s specific lender] is just trying to be thorough and avoid problems down the road."
Outcome: two days into the process, the seller’s lender told us that there was a better offer and we would not get the property anyway. Gosh, wouldn't it have been nice to know that before all this time was wasted? As my buyer said, "There is more drama going on here than in General Hospital."
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Friday, July 03, 2009
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Here's an excellent guest post from Blogdowntown about the future of the condo/loft market in downtown Los Angeles. The author, Fred Cordova of Colliers International, states that there will be deals to be had there -- but not for another 12 to 24 months.
IMO, the market for downtown L.A. condos and lofts has always been naturally limited because downtown is so family-UNfriendly. But, then, maybe that's wrong. After all, being family-unfriendly has not hurt the real estate market or prices in NYC or San Francisco.