Monday, August 31, 2009
Okay, this whole wacky appraisal environment is obviously not bugging just me, and here's an article from yesterday's L.A. Times to prove it.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Are you obsessing about decorating your home or the home you'll own one day? Here's a great new site for you: Younghouselove.com. These folks just won't quit redoing their house, and some of their ideas are so easy that even I could tackle them. Yes, there is a lot of personal stuff on this site that you won't really care about, but just get past that. Thanks, Floris and Rose Anne, for the heads-up here.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Sorry for two LAT posts in a row, but this was the headline on the front of today's times: "Home sales and prices on the rise." (The hard copy headline is slightly different from the LALand headline, where I got the link.) I know you won't believe me, but Peter Hong interviewed me for this article. I didn't make the final edit. Bah.
In fairness to the media and how under-reported this story has been, most of the major journalists use financial statisticians and data experts for their sources. As we all know, those folks measure what has occurred, not what's happening this minute.
As far as all that foreclosure inventory, don't hold your breath for it to hit the market. My sources tell me that it will trickle on to the market over the next two years.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Backstory: the house was bought at a foreclosure auction in May, fixed up, and sold to my clients in July. Our purchase price is $525k.
The first appraisal came in at $425k. The appraiser was from out of the area. We knew we were in trouble when the cover page picture was of some other house. And two comps used were on major streets, not residential streets. What happens when an appraisal comes in so low? The lender will only loan 80% of the appraised value.
The second appraisal was done two weeks later after the clients switched lenders. The appraiser used realistic comps. And the value came in at $525k. Not only will the bank loan more money on this property, but my buyer clients are relieved that the house is currently worth what they agreed to pay for it.
How can two appraisals be so different? The answer may have to do with new appraisal regulations. Banks and lenders now have to order their appraisals from pools of appraisers, rather than just calling individuals they've worked with before. And these pools are undercutting each other on price. So what you get are inexperienced appraisers doing as much as they can, as fast as they can, as cheaply as they can. And often not doing a very good job in picking comparable properties. If you're in this situation, don't be afraid to ask for an appraisal review if you think that something about the appraisal just doesn't quite smell right.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
And Market Metrics has come out with this statistic: there is only a month-and-a-half supply of inventory right now in the SFV. No surprise. The supply of houses for sale is as low as I've ever seen it, not counting brand new condos.
Friday, August 07, 2009
- Number of people at my Sunday open house on Birmingham: 80+. Number of people who attended the Lincoln open house that a colleague held: 100+.
- Offers on my listing on Lincoln by Tuesday: 6. Number of offers at or over full price: 4. Sellers accepted an offer substantially over full price.
- Offers on my listing on Birmingham by Tuesday: 5 -- one accepted at full price. And these listings were not deliberately underpriced at all.
- Number of offers previously submitted by prevailing buyers on the Lincoln house: According to their agent, 31. Anymore, it seems that buyers are submitting eight or nine or nineteen offers before they get one property.
- Of all offers received, number that were offering less than 20% down (and yes, I ask for proof of funds to close): only 1.
- Offers written by me for clients this week: 2.
- Offers written that were then accepted: one (yay!). The other offer was one of 11, and even though my buyers came in $40k over asking, they were still $60k from getting it.
- Transactions that appeared to be falling apart by mid-week: 3. All transactions look solid now.
- Problems with lenders: 1
- Problems with appraisals: 1.
- Unnerved clients: everybody.
- Realtor who wished this week that she were paid by the hour: 1 and that's me.
- Drinks needed: plenty.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
This doesn't surprise me as my own refinance took five months to go through.