Friday, August 29, 2008

** New Listing ** 19610 Strathern St., Reseda, CA 91335

19610 Strathern St. Reseda, CA 91335
$325,000 or best offer

** Major Fixer **

Click here to view the details of this home.

Investor or Contractor special. Huge lot size 11,400 - perfect to build a new home or expand the current one. Property to be sold 'AS-IS'. Property has been divided into two separate living. All offers considered!

Serious buyers only. Call Richard Johnston, RE/MAX 818-730-4128

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Multiple Offers Reapearing

Multiple Offers Reappearing
By Mary Funk, President
Southland Regional Association of Realtors.

While many prospective home buyers are still waiting in hopes of catching the bottom, others are jumping into the residential real estate market feet first and, in an growing number of instances, they wind up competing with a swelling legion eager to capture a bargain.

At a recent meeting involving dozens of members of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors, all of the Realtors said they had recently encountered home purchases where a handful of buyers presented competing purchase offers.

It's happening in all price ranges in all communities," one participant said.

Many of the properties have list prices that had been discounted from year ago levels, including a number of bank-owned houses that had been involved in foreclosure proceedings.

The activity level is no where near the frenzy of the sellers' boom, the participants said, but offers are coming in, near and, in some instances, above the already discounted list price.

The report represent a significant shift in a market that had been paralyzed by buyers who had been glued to the proverbial procrastinator's fence. Buyers' hesitancy created endless work but no sales for Realtors, who typically are not compensated until an escrow closes.

That lack of urgency now appears to be fading as more buyers enter the market at a time when government-sponsored programs appear to be settling the finance industry, thus making home loans more available and affordable - albeit at stricter qualifying guidelines which require proof of income and down payments.

Buyers who are entering the market believe they have a secure source of income, faith in the local economy and realize that waiting to catch the top or bottom of any real estate cycle is risky business, with success hinging on a large dose of luck.

The recent increases in government-insured mortgage limits are expected to provide much-needed liquidity and stability to housing markets across the country.

That is especially true in California - a region with particularly expensive homes - where tens of thousands of families could be eligible this yer to purchase or refinance their homes thanks to the recently approved Economic Stimulus Act.

The higher loan limit expands the pool of eligible borrowers, enabling more families to qualify for safe, affordable FHA-insured mortgage loans which can be as high as $729,750.

By focusing on 30-year, fixed rate mortgages, FHA helps home owners avoid and escape the risks associated with exotic subprime mortgage products, which have resulted in rising default and foreclosure rates.

While still at historically low levels, rising sales suggest that the worst may be past and that more buyers believe that the time to buy is now.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Property Tax Reassessment Scams

Apparently, some people love paying for a service they do not need.

One letter that came in the mail charged a flat rate of $75 while a recent bulk mailing wanted nothing up front, instead going after a larger pay day down the road - an amount that could total thousands of dollars or $1875, using the most recent solicitations own example.

Yet the Los Angeles County Assessor has flatly stated: "There is no reason to pay for a review that has already been completed by the Assessor's office."

This page has warned homeowners in prior weeks to beware, but the latest example is so egregious that another warning is warranted.

Home prices in the San Fernando Valley and most of Los Angeles are holding relatively steady, but some properties have seen a decline in value. Homes purchased at the peak of the recent sellers' market may have seen enough of a drop in value to qualify for reduction of their property taxes.

In 1978, California voters passed Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that allows a temporary reduction in assessed value when a property suffers a decline-in-value. Reducing the assessed value brings with it a reduction in the annual property tax bill.

The assessor has already reviewed properties purchased between July 1, 2004, and June 30, 2007, and has sent letters notifying a property owner if they qualify for the reduction.

If a letter has not been received, chances are the property did not qualify for a reduction in assesses value as of the cut-off date of January 1. Any reduction also would be reflected in the annual property tax bill, however, homeowners can contact the assessor to check or file an application or an appeal. It's an easy process with a simple one-page form available on-line that must be filled by Dec. 31.

"Solicitations of this type many not be illegal," said Assessor Rick Auerbach, "But property owners should be aware that their property may have already been reviewed and the value reduced. There is no reason to pay for a review that has already been completed by the Assessor's office."

For details on the program, an application form, and contact information, go online to:
http://assessor.lacounty.gov/extranet/guides/prop8.aspx

Written by: Southland Regional Assocation of Realtors

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