Monday, July 30, 2018

I'm thrilled to announce that Victor Agbayani has joined Judy Graff Properties!

Watch us grow again! I'm thrilled to announce that Victor Agbayani has joined Judy Graff Properties as an agent.  I've known Victor for 20 years and even showed him some houses before he got his license.  He's one of the smartest people I know and one of the best agents as well -- he's been extremely successful from the moment he obtained his r.e. license 20 years ago.  That was no surprise to those of us who knew him before. Here's his bio:

Victor Agbayani had been selling residential real estate in Los Angeles full-time since 1998. Knowledgeable in the many complexities of today's real estate transactions, his areas of expertise include the fast appreciating "Eastside" from Eagle Rock to Arcadia, the "Valley" from Burbank to Woodland Hills, and the "Westside" from West Hollywood to Silverlake, the Desert area - Palm Springs tp Palm Desert. Victor always strives to give his clients the best and most service, staying personally involved throughout the entire process. Open communication, mutual trust, respect, and a sense of friendship are important elements of Victor's business life. Having spent his entire career in sales, Victor has developed strong contacts with most of the local real estate professionals and affiliates including, but not limited to, other real estate agents, brokers, lenders, escrow officers, title representatives and appraisers. These positive, interpersonal business relationships help ensure smooth, hassle-free real estate transactions.

Victor can be reached at 323-547-6011 or

Thanks for joining us, Victor!

Is the housing market going to crash soon?

Every day, somebody tells me that the housing market is going to crash.  I am not an economist or statistician, so take the following with a grain of salt.  With all due respect to the experts, I just don't see the fundamentals necessary for a crash in the near future.  
  • First, yes, our housing price rises here in CA can't go on forever.  I said that in 2006, too.  Prices are now above what they were in 2008, though. Housing prices are high due to two factors in L.A.: 1) not enough inventory, and 2) there's a lot of money concentrated here.
  • Currently, unemployment is low.  It would have to go up by several points to have an impact on local housing sales.  Last time, it was 8%-9% before we saw a lot of foreclosures here.
  • Interest rates are still relatively low.  When I started in this business, interest rates for mortgage loans were around 8%.
  • Banks and lending institutions have tightened up quite a bit and are no longer giving mortgage loans to anybody that can fog a mirror.  Buyers now have to show that they can actually pay a mortgage back.
  • Even at the height of the Great Recession, home prices here in the Southland, in areas with desirable housing stock, low crime, and good schools, only went down an average of 8%.  Do the math -- even if there's a 10% price reduction, say, in Sherman Oaks, Studio City, or Burbank, an $800,000 home here will be selling for $720,000.  That's not really enough of  difference to make a home super-affordable.
Again, I'm not an expert, but I know what I see.  Could there be cataclysmic event that turns the market on its ear? Sure, but if that happens, we will all have bigger fish to fry than housing prices.  And on that cheery note...feel free to challenge my assumptions or ask questions.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

What will your monthly mortgage payment be?

Here's an easy way to calculate what your mortgage, tax and insurance payment will be every month if you buy a home here in So. Cal.

First, THIS IS JUST AN ESTIMATE CALCULATION. Your payment may be different, but let's assume for now that all other things are equal -- you have good credit, lack excessive debt, and are putting 20% down on your home purchase.  Now, divide the purchase price in half and take off two zeros (or use one of the many great online calculators).

- $500,000 purchase price = $2500 month mortgage, tax, insurance (called PITI).
- $1,000,000 = $5000/mo PITI
- $1,200,000 = $6000/mo PITI
- $1,500,000 = $7500/mo PITI

...And so on.  Condo and townhouse buyers will need to add their HOA dues on top of this.

It's really important to know that the Federal Reserve intends to raise rates more this year, so these numbers are just for now.  Yes, property taxes and insurance are still somewhat deductible from your taxes, but the numbers above reflect the outgoing cost each month.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Please celebrate the birth of our nation on July 4th by registering to vote. Here in CA, it's easy.

Here in CA, you can register to vote online.  Here's the site:

I get all the reasons why you may not have voted in the past:  

1.  Perhaps you don't feel educated enough on the issues.  Everybody feels this way.  But you don't have to vote for everything to have your votes count on what you do vote for.  And there's always an issue or candidate who will resonate with you.

2.  You just don't have the time on election day.  Did you know that by law, your employer needs to give you one paid hour off to vote?  But an easier solution is to vote by mail.  You can fill out and mail your ballot several days in advance of election day.  You can request to always have your ballot mailed.  Just visit the site above.

3.  All politicians are crooks.  Okay, but that shouldn't keep you from voting for the propositions and initiatives that may mean something to you.  For example, this year in CA, the gas tax repeal will be on the ballot.  So will the initiative that divides CA into three states.  We all have opinions on these; voting is a way to make the opinion count.

4.  Finally, your vote doesn't matter.  I sure understand how a person could feel this way.  But many of the local races, initiatives and propositions are carried or defeated by just a few hundred votes! Yes, your vote really does count on these.

Thanks and happy Fourth of July!