Thursday, April 30, 2009

Valley Village Real Estate

Valley Village Real Estate Market Update
April 30, 2009

The number of homes for sale in Valley Village is down 37% compared to a year ago this March for single family homes. What this means is that home-buyers are starting to purchase single family homes in Valley Village. The graph below indicated this trend.

The number of homes under contract (pending-in escrow) in Valley Village has increased 56% compared to a year ago this March for single family homes in Valley Village. This is the result of home-buyers writing offers on Valley Village bank owned homes and Valley Village short sale homes. The graph below illustrates this trend.

There are currently 48 available homes for sale in Valley Village. Of these homes, 12 are considered Valley Village short sale homes and 7 homes are Valley Village bank owned homes.
Also, there is a total of 21 condos and townhouses for sale in Valley Village.
If you are interested to purchase a home in Valley Village, it's important you work with a Valley Village realtor. A Valley Village real estate agent will know the area and can help you pinpoint your next dream home. If you are a home-seller in Valley Village, be sure you sign-up for my Valley Village Market Snapshot report. This report lists Active, Pending, and SOLD homes near your home.
Written by: Richard Johnston, Rodeo Realty
Valley Village Real Estate Realtor Professional
Graphs by Terradatum
Valley Village Notary Service

Monday, April 27, 2009

Granada Hills Real Estate

Granada Hills Real Estate & Market Update
Granada hills is located in the San Fernando Valley, North of Los Angeles. Granada Hills borders the north and south of the 118 freeway and left of the 405 freeway. Northridge / Porter Ranch borders to the West.
Half of the homes in Granada Hills are in some stage of pre-foreclosure. When buying or selling Granada Hills distressed homes, be sure you are working with a professional.

Friday, April 24, 2009

April 24, 1915 - Armenian Genocide Day

Today we remember the Armenian Genocide day - April 24, 1915 where close to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman Empire now known today as the Republic of Turkey.

To learn more about the atrocities committed against the Armenian people, visit:

Monday, April 20, 2009

What's Your San Fernando Valley Home Worth?

What's Your Home Worth in the San Fernando Valley?

Instantly view Active and SOLD homes near your home now. This services is directly tied into our MLS system so you will receive the most accurate information available.

Friday, April 17, 2009

California Home Prices Looking Steady

Median home prices in California slipped less than a half percent in March compared to February, a sign that the state’s troubled housing market is stabilizing, according to MDA Data Quick, which tracks housing prices.

The firm said the market was similarly stable in January and February.

"History suggests that these are the kinds of signs you see when a market is approaching stabilization in terms of pricing," Data Quick spokesman Andrew Lesage says. "Are we at the bottom? That's not clear."

Source: The Associated Press, Jacob Edelman (04/16/2009)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Under-Priced Homes in the San Fernando Valley

It's getting quite obvious that homes are being priced considerably below market value in order to drum-up offers and a quick sale on homes in the San Fernando Valley. REO agents are notorious at pricing bank owned homes at ridiculously low prices then selling for considerably higher amount.


To generate a quick response and multiple offers from buyers in order to sell the home quickly and for a higher amount. The belief is that if you price the home below market value, the number of buyers will increase considerably driving the selling price above what the home would have actually have sold for if it was priced at market value.

Why should this affect me?

From what I've personally seen, home-buyers still have the perception that the prices listed can be negotiated below the list price. This may be true on homes priced above $600,000, but on homes below that, it's not uncommon to see multiple-offers and over-bidding. In most cases, it takes a quick phone-call for a status update on a home and an idea of what the home will probably sell for.

As in any market, you need to be realistic as far as what's happening in the marketplace. A professional San Fernando Valley Realtor will be able to educate you on what to expect based on your price range, location, and amenities of the home (bed, bath, pool, etc...). Please listen to your real estate agent for professional advice.

As the triangle graph illustrates, more buyers purchase their properties at market value than above market value. If you price your property at market value, you are exposing it to a much greater percentage of prospective buyers and you are increasing your opportunity for a sale.

Northridge Real Estate

Northridge Real Estate Market Update

Here is the most up-to-date market update for the Northridge area.

There are currently 186 available homes for sale in Northridge, CA. Of these homes, 29 are Northridge bank owned homes and 84 homes are Northridge short sale homes. Short sale homes are also considered pre-foreclosure and distressed homes.

Additionally, there are 33 condos for sale in Northridge and 16 Northridge luxury homes priced from $950,000.

Homes north of Rinaldi are considered Porter Ranch homes.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Has the Market Bottomed Yet? Yes & No!

It's becoming an all too familiar question. Any time I talk to someone about the economy, it always brings the question, "When will the real estate market hit bottom?"

Based on what I have seen during the past 10 months, the lower end of the housing market did bottom out in the 4th quarter of '08. What this means is that homes priced between $250,000 to $400,000 have bottomed out and the number of buyers looking to purchase homes in this price range far outstrip supply. Multiple offers and overbidding are the norm in this price range for the Valley. Bank homes are selling within days and short sales have multiple offers.

BTW, it's not uncommon to now see cash buyers. Yes, that's people who are paying all cash.

Homes priced above $400,000 to $600,000 are starting to bottom-out as more buyers are entering the marketplace. If you fall into this price range, you better hurry-up and buy a home now as the number of buyers will increase greatly. Interest rates are around 4.75% with 20% down.

I believe homes priced above $950,000 to $2Million will probably decline in value another 10-20% before bottoming out at the end of the year or 1st quarter of '10. If you fall into this price range, I suggest starting to look for a home around Thanksgiving and purchasing by the end of the year. You can view these San Fernando Valley luxury homes here.

Overall, the San Fernando Valley real estate market seems to be in a lot better shape than last year. We have an excellent tax credit for first time buyers, low interest rates, and only 3.5% down needed to purchase a home with an FHA loan.

As always, don't believe everything you read or hear. Real estate markets are local and comparing all of Los Angeles or California will not help you to understand what is happening in the local market (Sherman Oaks, Encino, Tarzana, etc...).

Written by: Richard Johnston, Rodeo Realty

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Stated Income Update by Jeff Fink, LA Mortgage

Studio City Luxury Homes & Estates

There are currently 64 Studio City luxury homes and estates for sale priced from $950,000. Currently, the most expensive home on the market in Studio City is priced at $9,995,000 for a 7 bedroom, 10 bath home.

The graph above displays that the number of Studio City luxury homes is down 32% in March '09 compared to a year ago. What this means is that more home-buyers are entering the marketplace and snapping up luxury homes.

The number of homes in escrow is down 9% in March '09 compared to a year ago. The number of homes in escrow has increase over 70% during the past 4 months. This indicated that the luxury home market in Studio City might be turning around because of the low 4.75% 30 year fixed interest rates.

Do you own a home in Studio City? Instantly view active, pending, and sold homes in your neighborhood now. Don't be left wondering what your neighbors house sold for in Studio City.
Visit this link:

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Top 10 Home Buyer Tips for Short Sales

Top 10 Home Buying Tips For Short Sales – A Guide To Understanding Short Sale Foreclosure Real Estate by Todd Foust and Jennifer McNamara

Modern homebuyers will inevitably come across one or more properties currently classified as a short sale. A short sale is an attempt by the current owner to sell a home in lieu of the bank taking it back through foreclosure proceedings, thus partially salvaging their credit rating and lifting the burden of heavy mortgage debt. The entire short sale process hinges on the hope that the bank will take a loss now, approve the sale, and eliminate the costly process of foreclosing, clearing, and reselling a home. Obviously, this is a big hope on behalf of prospective homebuyers as well and they need to understand some things in order to lessen the chance for disappointment of unapproved short sales. This is what they should know:

1. Price is usually set by the agent & seller, not bank:

The agent and seller often create a very low asking price in order to attract buyers. The bank is normally unaware of the asking price; however, the bank has the final say in what an acceptable offer will be. Since the bank has the power to ultimately accept or deny offers, their lack of price awareness often leads to the process taking longer than anticipated. The bottom line is that the buyer needs to remain positive and patient throughout the entire process, sometimes even for months.

2. Loans owned by 1 bank usually better than 2:

If the seller has loans owned by two different banks it is a lot more difficult to approve the short sale. This is something the agent or the buyer cannot control; it simply depends on the willingness of the bank or banks involved. While the reasons are beyond the scope of this guide, buyers should know that when the seller only has loan(s) with one bank the short sale often becomes more buyer-friendly. A savvy Realtor can let you know this type of information.

3. Lowball offers get slow or no response:

Remember that the bank is typically unaware of the pricing during a short sale. When lowball offers stream into the bank they are often scoffed at and rejected, giving the prospected buyers little or no feedback. Surprisingly, it may also take painstakingly long to hear back even on good offers due to the high volume of transactions lenders are inundated with these days.

4. Agent must check comparables before submitting offer:

The agent must be sure to check recent home sales in the area to give buyers a better idea of the properties that are selling. This will give the agent and the seller appropriate grounds for an asking price that will be more likely to be approved by the bank. Checking comparables will also give the buyer a better knowledge of what price homes in the neighborhood are selling for and ultimately make them a more informed homebuyer.

5. Don’t hang your hat on the property:

Short sales aren’t necessarily "short." It can sometimes be a very long process. Don’t get your hopes up for just one property, keep your options open and continue to actively look at multiple properties. Buyers must remain optimistic, the right property will come along. In most areas it is completely legal and risk-free to have multiple offers out at any given time with the proper contingencies.

6. Sellers with other properties or too strong of financials may not qualify for short sale and/or may be asked to pay the difference:

Sellers that own more than a handful of properties or have an extremely large net worth will probably not be eligible for short sale. In some cases the seller will be asked to pay the difference of the sale. The seller might even need to sign a promisary note stating that they will pay back all or most of the debt. This has virtually no effect on the buyer as long as the seller cooperates.

7. "Approved" prices are quickest:

It is important to remember that short sales are not always timely; however, making an offer on an "approved short sale" can be a quicker process. An "approved short sale" has a price that has already been given the green light by the bank. This could be due to the fact that another interested buyer made an offer that was approved, but didn’t end up buying the property. These types of short sales are some of the most highly desirable.

8. Some banks look want strongest buyers, some want strongest offers:

The bank has all the power in approving short sales. The bank can pick the most appealing buyer, which may mean different things to different banks. Some banks may prefer the buyers with large down payments while others just want the highest price regardless of down payment. Many buyers want to know if they will get a deeper discount for an all cash offer. This is very hard to predict and one will never really know until they make an offer. As long as the buyer is surrounded by a good team we would advise them to do just that.

9. Repairs are seldom done, credit is more frequent:

If there are improvements that need to be made on a home, even if they are necessary to get a loan, it is often unlikely that they will be done. Typically there is some sort of credit issued and the buyer must take the responsibility of fixing anything that is broken.

10. When you get approval, must close on time:

During a short sale there is no leniency with the closing escrow date as there often is in a traditional sale. During a short sale, exceptions are rarely made and the buyer must close on time. Because of this, it is important to take care of all loan paperwork immediately after opening escrow. We’d advise buyers to be extra prepared and try to have the loan finalized a few days in advance of the closing date. If there is going to be an issue that will prevent closing on time, a request for an extension will need to be made immediately. If the request is made early enough, many banks will grant an extension but don’t just assume it will happen.

Short sales can be a great opportunity to find your new home at a competitive price. A Short sale could also be a major headache that lasts for months. It is important to have a good understanding of the factors that lead to a successful short sale to make it an enjoyable and profitable experience. We hope that these tips will help you to remain positive and optimistic throughout the process.

To view exclusive short sale homes in the San Fernando Valley, be sure to visit this link:

Friday, April 03, 2009

2009 Homebuyer Tax Credit

The homebuyer tax credit is one of 10 key provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed by President Obama into law on Feb. 17, 2009.

The bill provides for a $8,000 tax credit that would be available to first-time home buyers for the purchase of a principal residence on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009.

San Fernando Valley Luxury Homes

San Fernando Valley Luxury Homes

Are you in the market to purchase a Luxury home in the San Fernando Valley? You can instantly view the most exclusive homes for sale in the valley.

Click the link to view available homes for sale priced from $950,000

Sherman Oaks luxury homes and estates

Studio City luxury homes and estates

Encino luxury homes and estates

You can also view available Tarzana luxury homes and Toluca Lake luxury homes and estates.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Northridge Real Estate Market Update

Here is the latest market update for Northridge, CA. Currently there is a total of 230 Northridge properties for sale. Of these homes, 38 are Northridge bank owned homes and 119 and Northridge short sale homes. Short sale homes are also in some stage of pre-foreclosure.

There are currently 41 Northridge condos and townhouses.
Here are some graphs to illustrate the level of activity for Northridge.

The graph above illustrates the number of for sale properties in Nothridge. In the past year from March '08 to March '09, the number of homes for sale per month has fallen 39%. Home-buyers are taking advantage of the current market conditions and buying homes at prices last seen in '03.

The graph above illustrates an increase of homes under contract by 54% from March '08 to March '09. This is the result of buyers taking advantage of the current market conditions.

If you are interested to purchase a home in Northridge, call Richard Johnston with Rodeo Realty at 818-730-4128.

If you own a home in Northridge and would like to see active and sold homes near your home, visit:

Graphs provided by: Terradatum

Market Update - Recent Quotes by Industry Professionals

Housing affordability has soared in recent months, while mortgage rates have sunk to at a record low.

Here are some recent quotes concering the real estate industry:

“Prices are so low, we’re starting to see that," says Marc Savitt, President of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers. “In our area, you’re at the bottom.”

“There are encouraging signs that we're near a bottom,” says Nomura Securities Chief Economist David Resler.

“We're seeing a tremendous uptick in activity.” says Savitt, who estimates business is up 50-60 percent from a year ago.

“The hardest hit areas—California, Florida—hinting at a bottom,” says economist David Jones.

“There’s a lot of good sentiment in the air,” says David Olson, a former head of research at Freddie Mac who founded Access Mortgage Research, which provides data to lenders. “I talk to them everyday.”

We are close to the bottom,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. ”Once home sales begin to rise that could boost home buying confidence and get others off the sidelines.”

"Home sales had been surging in California, thanks to steep price declines and foreclosure sales." says Diana Olick CNBC. "I do believe that buyer traffic is picking up, and if we believe the reports, so are sales."

More Links: