Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What does it all mean?


There certainly has been a turnaround in media coverage regarding the state of the housing

market.  In  the Bay Area, those of this in the business saw the market begin to shift late last

year. 

Newspaper_headlineextra

 I took a look at previous blog posts and commented in August 2011 that falling inventory

would contribute to market stabilization.  In a December 2011 blog post I pointed out that it was

better to buy than to rent in 70% of the US market.  Only one month later the topic of my blog post

was optimism after reviewing the end of the year statistics.

Home-sales-rising

Where does all this lead us now that we are in mid-summer 2012?  How about the recent Forbes

headline, “Housing Market Turns Corner; U.S. Home Values Post First Annual Increase In Nearly

Five Years” or that according to the National Association of Realtors, the national median existing

home price was $189,400 in June, up 7.9% from a year ago. This marks four monthly price

increases from a year earlier, and June's gain was the strongest since February 2006 when the

median price rose 8.7% from the previous year.

Of course, there are always the naysayers, however, one thing we all know from experience is that

Ratesheadline

the low interest rate environment is a huge win for buyers and it won’t last forever.  Think about it,

the payment difference on a $400,000 loan is $248 when the interest rate increases from 4% to

5%.

So, what we do know that there is more value in buying is better than renting in most of the Bay

Area and home prices have not only stabilized but they are actually increasing.  The upcoming fall

and winter months could be the ideal time to get prequalified, find a qualified agent and make

owning a home a reality.

Thinking

With the complexity in today’s mortgage and real estate market you will benefit from the advice

and guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable mortgage and real estate professional.  

I’m always available to answer your questions or discuss your concerns. Just text, call (650 325

7877) or email me for a prompt response. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, I invite you to

take a look at our Resource Center, AboutBayAreaHomes.com. There you will find links for

active home listings, home loan information, market activity reports, home seller strategies,

staging and decorating ideas and more.

 Russ Boyd and his team professionally assist buyers, sellers and homeowners in the Peninsula

Communities of the San Francisco Bay Area. They serve clients in San Mateo, San Francisco,

Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa counties. 

Russ Boyd Licensed as a Real Estate Broker by the California Department of Real Estate,

01264240. National Mortgage Originator Endorsement 230411.

Posted via email from brokerruss's posterous

Friday, July 6, 2012

More Encouraging News for Real Estate

As we reach mid-year I thought I'd share encouraging news regarding the housing market. 

 

Please Click Here To Read this Article at Bloomberg.com 

 

Here is my breakdown of the article and what you ought to know:

 

1)  Rates are still at historic lows.

Chart_going_down
 Not only is this having positive impact on the purchase market, it's also fueling one of the strongest refinance markets in history.  Can you save on your interest rate or monthly payment?  There's one way to find out.  Just send me an email (russ@brokerruss.com) if you would like to discuss how current rates can benefit you.

 

Housingrecoverychart
2)  Do you have friends or family who are renting?  Please forward this article to them.  The window that is open for first time home buyers today will inevitably close as rates and property values rise.  Today, many first time home buyers can own as affordably as they can rent.  Do your friends a favor and send them this link, Should I Rent or Buy.

 

With the complexity in today’s mortgage and real estate market you will benefit from the advice and guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable mortgage and real estate professional. To see how our technology supports the needs of Buyers and Sellers, click here.

I’m always available to answer your questions or discuss your concerns. Just text, call (650 325 7877) or email me (russ@brokerruss.com) for a prompt response.

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, I invite you to take a look at our Resource Center, AboutBayAreaHomes.com. There you will find links for active home listings, home loan information, market activity reports, home seller strategies, staging and decorating ideas and more.

Russ Boyd and his team professionally assist buyers, sellers and homeowners in the Peninsula Communities of the San Francisco Bay Area. They serve clients in San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Russ Boyd Licensed as a Real Estate Broker by the California Department of Real Estate, 01264240. National Mortgage Originator Endorsement 230411.

 

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Real Estate in the San Francisco Bay Area Showing Signs of Significant Improvement

Real Estate in the San Francisco Bay Area Showing Signs of Significant Improvement

I’ve notice a change taking place in the real estate market over the past year. Not only are there increasing numbers of homes receiving multiple offers, there are plenty of qualified home buyers at open houses. More and more those buyers are becoming disappointed when they find out their offer was one of many and wasn’t accepted.

If you or someone you know is still asking this question you haven't read any of the articles below.

More and more mainstream media is reporting on the changes. Here are links to some of the more interesting stories:

Bay Area home sales see best April in six years

Bay Area home sales see best April in six years

Foreclosures drop across Bay Area

Positive signs abound in Real Estate

What Bay Area City is in the top 5 Cities Where Rents are Rising Most

Rising rents, healthier job market help market for new homes

In case you are still wondering if this is a good time to buy a home take a look at these articles and then consider that mortgage interest rates are around 4%. For many, it simply makes more economic sense to buy rather than rent.

For several years, many sellers have not been willing to put their homes on the market because of weak demand and the need to compete with distress sales, such as foreclosures and short sales. We are now seeing sellers beginning to notice the short sale times and prices trending up rather than down. All in all, the market is becoming more and more balanced. And this is a good thing!

With the complexity in today’s mortgage and real estate market you will benefit from the advice and guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable mortgage and real estate professional. To see how our technology supports the needs of Buyers and Sellers, click here.

I’m always available to answer your questions or discuss your concerns. Just text, call (650 325 7877) or email me for a prompt response. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, I invite you to take a look at our Resource Center, AboutBayAreaHomes.com. There you will find links for active home listings, home loan information, market activity reports, home seller strategies, staging and decorating ideas and more.

Russ Boyd and his team professionally assist buyers, sellers and homeowners in the Peninsula Communities of the San Francisco Bay Area. They serve clients in San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Russ Boyd Licensed as a Real Estate Broker by the California Department of Real Estate, 01264240. National Mortgage Originator Endorsement 230411.

Posted via email from brokerruss's posterous

Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's Tax Time and Time to Review the Tax Benefits of Homeownership

Tax Benefits of Home Ownership

Owning a home can provide some significant advantages when it's time to file your federal tax return. From green energy credits to deductions for damage from natural disasters, there are a number of items homeowners may be able to claim that could reduce a tax bill.

Mortgage interest

Most homeowners know that they can deduct the interest paid on up to $1 million in mortgage debt for their primary home. The interest paid on up to $100,000 of a home equity loan for the same home may also be itemized.

In most cases, it's possible to deduct all of your mortgage interest, so long as you itemize your deductions. That opens up opportunities for other savings.

For instance, local property taxes may also be itemized. Although property tax rates vary widely across the country, this item alone can be a big win for homeowners in areas with heavy tax burdens.

Here are some other tax benefits homeowners should be aware of:

Refinancing costs

Homeowners who refinanced their mortgage in 2011, and paid points or a fee based on the loan amount, may qualify for a deduction. However, unlike points paid on a new mortgage, those paid on a refinancing must be written off over the life of the loan.

Each point is generally equal to 1 percent of the loan. Say for instance, you paid 2 points on a $150,000, 30-year loan, or $3,000. You may claim $100 of that fee each year you own the home.

Mortgage workouts and foreclosures

When a lender forgives debt, the amount forgiven is usually considered taxable income.

However, under a law passed in late 2007, taxpayers whose mortgage debt on their main residence was partly forgiven through a mortgage workout are generally able to exclude the forgiven debt from their income. The same goes for those who lost their homes through foreclosure and had some part of their debt written off because they owed more on the home than its market value.

In certain cases, however, some cancelled debt may be considered taxable income. This can be a complex situation and it's best to get professional advice. Guidelines are available on the Internal Revenue Service website, http://1.usa.gov/pv8sN .

Taxpayers who lost money on a foreclosure generally may not claim a loss on their returns.

Energy-efficient home improvements

According to Jay Safier, a certified public accountant and principal with Rosen Seymour Shapss Martin & Co. in New York, this will be the last year that homeowners may claim credits for installing energy-efficient exterior windows and doors, heat pumps, furnaces and insulation under a law that expired on Dec. 31. Up to 10 percent of the price of the improvements may be claimed. There is a lifetime limit of $500, of which only $200 may be used for windows.

Homeowners who installed alternative energy equipment like solar water heaters, solar panels for electricity generation and certain wind or geothermal projects may receive a credit of up to 30 percent of the cost for the installation. There is no cap on this credit. Safier said you may include labor costs when figuring this credit.

Anyone who replaced an old household appliance like a dishwasher or refrigerator with a new energy-efficient unit may also be able to claim a small credit. The credits range from $25 to $225, and are based on the type of appliance and its energy efficiency.

Medical-related expenses

A taxpayer or dependent who has a medical condition that requires renovation to a home may be able to claim the cost of that work as a medical expense.

Medical expenses are only deductible to the extent they total more than 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income, which is a high hurdle. But if you installed a ramp, widened doorways or did other work such as, lowering countertops to accommodate a wheelchair, it may be far easier to reach that threshold. That's because such work generally counts as a medical expense, and may be added to more traditional costs like doctor bills and prescriptions.

As Jackie Perlman from the H&R Block Tax Institute noted that some improvements may add value to your home. A doctor may advise a disabled person to use a hot tub or swimming pool, for instance. The amount that could be claimed in such a case would be limited to the difference between the cost of the item and the value added to the home, she said. For instance, only $2,000 of a $7,000 hot tub installation that adds $5,000 to market value would qualify.

Disaster losses

The first major disaster of 2011 was a Groundhog Day blizzard that brought Chicago to a standstill. Then hundreds of tornadoes swept through the Midwest and Southeast over the year, including the killer twister that leveled Joplin, Mo., on May 22. Wildfires in the drought-stricken Great Plains and Southwest; flooding along the Mississippi River and its tributaries; and Hurricane Irene, which left a path of destruction from North Carolina to Vermont, also contributed to the worst year on record. There were 99 separate federal disaster declarations in 2011.

The declarations made federal funding available to individuals and businesses. It also enabled them to claim disaster-related losses on their taxes. Typically the IRS requires that the first $500 in losses be deducted from any claims.

Perlman said homeowners may claim the losses on either the return filed during the year of the disaster -- their 2010 return -- or the following year. So it's worth revisiting last year's return to see if filing an amendment or claiming the disaster losses for 2011 would produce a bigger refund.

The laws covering tax benefits for homeowners are complex.  It is best to discuss your situation with a tax professional.

With the complexity in today’s mortgage and real estate market you will benefit from the advice and guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable mortgage and real estate professional. To see how our technology supports the needs of Buyers and Sellers,click here.

 I’m always available to answer your questions or discuss your concerns. Just text, call (650 325 7877) or email me for a prompt response. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, I invite you to take a look at our Resource Center,AboutBayAreaHomes.com. There you will find links for active home listings, home loan information, market activity reports, home seller strategies, staging and decorating ideas and more.

 Russ Boyd and his team professionally assist buyers, sellers and homeowners in the Peninsula Communities of the San Francisco Bay Area. They serve clients in San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa counties. 

Russ Boyd Licensed as a Real Estate Broker by the California Department of Real Estate, 01264240. National Mortgage Originator Endorsement 230411.

Posted via email from brokerruss's posterous

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

When Housing Inventories Drop, List Prices Rise

No Surprise Here; When Housing Inventories Drop, List Prices Rise

In a growing number of housing markets, sellers are facing less competition now compared to a year ago.  And, you guessed it, as sellers face less competition, prices begin to increase.

 While I’ve noticed this trend develop over the past year in most of the San Francisco Bay Area, a report just released byRealtor.com confirmed that, nationwide, inventory of for-sale homes has dropped by about 23 percent compared to this time last year, and fell by 6 percent alone from December 2011 to January 2012. 

The Days on Market of the inventory is also declining, and is nearly 5 percent below levels last January. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Days on Market of for-sale housing inventory is lowest, at 45 days, in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties combined, 77 days in Santa Clara County and 85 days in the combined counties of San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo, according to January data from Realtor.com.

Meanwhile, as inventory is falling, the median list price has been on the rise; up nationally more than 3 percent year-over-year. In Alameda/Contra Costa Counties, the median list price has risen 8.9%, in Santa Clara County, it is up 5.89% and it is near even in the combined counties of San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo.

 “Over the past year, an increasing number of markets have registered year-over-year increases in median prices, while fewer markets have experienced year-over-year list price declines,” a statement by Realtor.com notes. 

With the complexity in today’s mortgage and real estate market you will benefit from the advice and guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable mortgage and real estate professional. To see how our technology supports the needs of Buyers and Sellers, click here.

 I’m always available to answer your questions or discuss your concerns. Just text, call (650 325 7877) or email me for a prompt response. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, I invite you to take a look at our Resource Center, AboutBayAreaHomes.com. There you will find links for active home listings, home loan information, market activity reports, home seller strategies, staging and decorating ideas and more.

 Russ Boyd and his team professionally assist buyers, sellers and homeowners in the Peninsula Communities of the San Francisco Bay Area. They serve clients in San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa counties. 

Licensed as a Real Estate Broker by the California Department of Real Estate, 01264240. National Mortgage Originator Endorsement 230411.

Posted via email from brokerruss's posterous

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Signs of an Improving Housing Market - 2011 Bay Area Market Reports

Signs of an Improving Housing Market - 2011 Bay Area Market Reports

Recently, there have been more optimistic reports nationwide that indicate there appears to be signs of life out there for the housing market.

My recent experiance is that nice, well priced homes are selling in all areas of the San Francisco Bay Area and many with multiple offers. For example, I represent a client looking in the south bay and the last two homes we have made an offer on have had more than 20 offers each.

Yes, they were in desirable neighborhoods, showed nicely and sold quickly. Also, they were priced at the low end of the market price range to encourage multiple offers. A recent survey of agents nationwide by HouseHunt.com revealed that 65% of agents reported at least one multiple offer situation in the last quarter of 2011.

With that being said, below are the Market Activity Reports for each San Francisco County for 2011:

San Mateo County Market Metrics Report

San Francisco City/County Market Metrics Report

Santa Clara County Market Metric Reports

Santa Cruz County Market Metrics Reports

Alameda County Market Metrics Reports

Contra Costa County Metrics Reports

Of note, available inventory is below 2.5 months in all Bay Area Counties with the lone exception of Santa Cruz County. A balance market is considered 6 months of housing inventory.

With the complexity in today’s mortgage and real estate market you will benefit from the advice and guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable mortgage and real estate professional. To see how our technology supports the needs of Buyers and Sellers, click here.

I’m always available to answer your questions or discuss your concerns. Just text, call (650 325 7877) or email me for a prompt response. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, I invite you to take a look at our Resource Center, AboutBayAreaHomes.com. There you will find links for active home listings, home loan information, market activity reports, home seller strategies, staging and decorating ideas and more.

Russ Boyd and his team professionally assist buyers, sellers and homeowners in the Peninsula Communities of the San Francisco Bay Area. They serve clients in San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Licensed as a Real Estate Broker by the California Department of Real Estate, 01264240. National Mortgage Originator Endorsement 230411.

Posted via email from brokerruss's posterous

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Have you heard? Buying is better than renting in 70% of America

Have you heard? Buying is better than renting in 70% of America.

I'm asked two questions all the time, "is this a good time to buy" and "what kind of market is this, a buyers market or sellers market?" My answer is this, "it's a good time to buy when the timing is right for you" and "the market is at a point of affordibility not seen in decades,so, if the time is right for you, this is the time to buy."

12-11truliarentvsbuy

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “Home prices and mortgage rates have fallen so far that the monthly cost of owning a home is more affordable than at any point in the past 15 years and is less expensive than renting in a growing number of cities.”

What this means to renters is “as a result, monthly mortgage payments on the median priced home—including taxes and insurance—are lower than the average rent levels in 12 metro areas, according to data compiled for The Wall Street Journal by Marcus & Millichap, a real-estate brokerage that tracked 27 metro areas.”

Furthermore, Trulia recently reported that “Making an apples-to-apples comparison between the renting and buying a two-bedroom apartment, condo or townhouse, we found that buying is more affordable in 72% of major cities.”  As you can see from the graph below, a strong case can be made for buying in the major bay area cities.  The full report can be seen at Trulia.com.

 Notice that In the San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland markets the balance is shifting strongly from “it’s better to rent” segment.

12-11rentvsbuytrulia

With the complexity in today’s mortgage and real estate market you will benefit from the advice and guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable mortgage and real estate professional. To see how our technology supports the needs of Buyers and Sellers, click here.

 

I’m always available to answer your questions or discuss your concerns. Just text, call (650 325 7877) or email me for a prompt response. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, I invite you to take a look at our Resource Center,www.AboutBayAreaHomes.com. There you will find links for active home listings, home loan information, market activity reports, home seller strategies, staging and decorating ideas and more.

 

Russ Boyd and his team professionally assist buyers, sellers and homeowners in the Peninsula Communities of the San Francisco Bay Area. They serve clients in San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Licensed as a Real Estate Broker by the California Department of Real Estate, 01264240. National Mortgage Originator Endorsement 230411.

Posted via email from brokerruss's posterous