Saturday, December 12, 2009

Times are changing



Commercial, retail and high-end residential real estate in Monmouth County
does not seem to be hit as hard as other areas of the country, especially like California. Is it because real estate in New Jersey never had the overinflated jump that other areas did? Is there a high demand for oceanfront luxury condos, waterfront homes, etc. in the New Jersey Real Estate market? California does have more than its fair share of luxury real estate...Santa Barbara, San Diego, San Francisco Bay Area, just to name a few and the demand is still there just not as much.

I do see the professional & medical class A office space, retail, shopping centers hanging in there but they sure are not building any new buildings here in California.

Until recently, when developers started putting up cookie cutter two story houses so close you could feel your next door neighbors breath on your shoulder, Californians always had homes on fairly big lots with plenty of room to roam. Times they are a changin'.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Home sales up



This is from the local paper in Lake Havasu
A decline in October home sales from September isn’t worrying local real estate officials.
Home sales typically slow during holiday months and the numbers are still up from last year, according to Lake Havasu Association of Realtors President Pat Landry.

“Our inventory has gone up some,” Landry said of the increase in residential active listings to 974 from 930 in September. “I was kind of surprised to see that, to tell you the truth. I’ve been busier than ever. I’m thinking more people are coming in now with the snowbirds and the holidays and people are thinking now is a better time to sell.”

The number of residential homes on the market has decreased in the last four months and foreclosure sales have skyrocketed, Landry said. Median prices, however, are continuing to see a rollercoaster effect in the last four months. The average median sale price for residential homes in October dropped slightly for the fourth consecutive month to $134,450 from $150,000 in September, and $152,500 in August.

The number to focus on is the 92 sales in October 2008 versus the 132 sales this year, Landry said.

“We are doing much, much better than last year,” she said. “The median price may have been higher but we’re more than making up for it in the number we’ve sold. People are seeing it’s a safer time to buy and it’s a sure sign things are getting better.”

Landry said she was pleased to see foreclosure closings stay well above the expected 50 percent marker with 74 of the 100 listings closed in October.

“We had been running at about 50 percent for a long time but just like last month, we sold a lot more of those,” she said, adding that the number of active listings (100) was another steep decline from September (142). “Gradually that number has gone down quite a bit and that’s another positive sign.”

Landry cautioned that she still expected to see a monumental increase in foreclosure listings in January due to a bank backlog of foreclosures. The backlog has also made short sales more difficult for real estate agents and buyers, she said. The median short sales closing price $162,000 in October, well above the $115,000 foreclosure closings in October.

“If the banks would listen to us and get these short sales moving, they would make a lot more money,” Landry said. “We’re still trying to get legislation passed that would be similar looking as California and it would streamline the process to make them move much faster.”

A five-month extension on the first time buyer’s incentive package has added a shot to the arm for real estate agents, Landry said.

“I think it will help out more now that they’ve included people that have owned homes from five to seven years,” Landry said. The tax credit program gives current owners up to $6,500 who have owned homes for five consecutive years during the last eight years. “We aren’t going to see a lot of first-time buyers in Lake Havasu but extending it to others will help us quite a bit.”

LHAR president-elect Suzanne White said residents should be assured that overall real estate market numbers are improving.

“Sales are still strong and that’s five months now of strong sales,” White said. “Things are looking really good.”

White said residents should also not be discouraged by an almost inevitable decline next month.

“We’re getting close to the holiday season,” she said. “It’s completely typical to see it go down during the holidays. Things are much better than a year ago, and I think we will continue to get better from here in the long run.”

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Buying a house?



Are you thinking of buying a house? I follow the market mostly in Arizona and California and I see prices have leveled off and there are some bargains out there. I see some houses that are going for under $50,000 and its hard to believe that just a few years ago these same houses were priced up near $300,000. One problem people are having today that was not a problem a few years back is getting financing, there are still ways to get loans, here is a website to get some tutorials on mortages. FHA is a popular program people are using right now since you can get into a home with as little as 3% down. So if you are looking to buy your first home or a fixer upper visit advantagehomerates.com

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gold or a House?

If you had $100,000, which would you buy? Gold, or a house? That's a tough one for me. Looking at the last 10 years, a home versus gold coins, it seems that the gold has held its value better. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I'm an easy-going guy, and I have nooo problem with that.

I have heard commercials about how gold has never been worth zero, and it always reminds me of when I was a kid and my dad bought some gold bullion. He actually buried it. I kid you not! He went out in the back yard like a golden retriever, and dug a hole to put it in. I remember it very well for two reasons. I was with him when we buried the gold bullion. He got out a gold coin and showed it to me. I think it was 10 oz, and at that time the price was around $250-$300 an oz. The other reason is that he told me if they were needed for some reason in the winter, we would be out of luck, because of the ground being frozen to about 2 feet down.

I also remember that about 2 years later we were going to dig up the gold and we could not find it. This was not in the city so its doubtful anyone saw us, but not impossible. We did this a few times, and would bury it in between two trees so it would be easy for us to find. All of the times we buried gold it was found, but not that one time.

Ahhh the father-son memories! This was back in the 60's and 70's when we still did things the old school way. Somewhere, in a quaint little town in northern Illinois, there is 10 ounces of gold that will likely never be found.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Goin' to Carolina



In my mind I am going on a vacation. A place where the pace is slower, the sky is bluer, and the beach and ocean calm me. A place like South Carolina. I have always wanted to visit the Atlantic coast. I've always been on the Pacific coast, and even lived on a boat for 14 years.

Lately, my wife and I have been realizing if we don't plan something, it will never happen. We've been wanting to check out Myrtle Beach, SC,but we could not find a nice Myrtle Beach Resort but after some searching we have found a site for Myrtle Beach Resorts to help us plan where to stay with links for things to do while there. Sailing will definitely be on the agenda!

The Myrtle Beach Hotels listed offer different things for different people, whether you are laid back like us, or like to be on the go. We're looking forward to the next adventure. That's what life is all about!

In my mind I'm goin' to Carolina Can't you see the sunshine Can't you just feel the moonshine Ain't it just like a friend of mine To hit me from behind Yes I'm goin' to Carolina in my mind -James Taylor

Brick Wall Cable Company



I don't know about you, but there are times when I have been dealing with the local cable company that I just want to bang my head against a brick wall. The customer service is horrible. I will go out of my way to avoid dealing with them. I have been thinking about switching to satellite TV, and looking into Direct TV for my entertainment needs.

I am somewhat of a cheapskate, but have come to the realization that I don't mind paying more for the same service if it means that I will be treated like a valued customer. We used to have DirectTV when we lived in Arizona and then again in Illinois, and I was pretty happy with it. In fact, we had Directv when we were on the boat in Santa Barbara, so that brings back some happy memories. Ahhh....when life was simpler.

It seems that that is what people are longing for these days, a simpler time. Back when life was more innocent and kind. When companies treated you like they were happy for your business, not put out by you like they are doing YOU the favor.

Did that time ever exist? Why yes it did, and I'm glad I got to experience a part of it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Some good news



Here is an article from the local paper in Lake Havasu.

Home sales begin to get sea legs


Friday, October 9, 2009 10:59 PM MST

Lake Havasu City has seen rock bottom in the real estate market, according to local officials.

“We are definitely stabilizing right now but it’s going to be awhile before we really turn that corner,” Lake Havasu Association of Realtors President Pat Landry said. “Our supply is starting to go down and the snowbirds are coming in and we haven’t seen our numbers drop in the last few months. These are all good signs.”

The number of residential homes on the market has decreased in the last four months and foreclosure sales have skyrocketed, Landry said. Median prices, however, are continuing to see a rollercoaster effect in the last four months.

“I don’t think we can go any lower because we are down,” LHAR president-elect Suzanne White said. “We might do a slight increase in dollars but I think we’re going to see the same numbers because people are more willing to buy.”

The average median sale price for residential homes in September dropped slightly to $150,000 from $152,500 in August. The numbers were also down from July ($162,500) but up from June ($148,700).

“They are going up and down and that shows me that it’s starting to stabilize,” Landry said. “I think buyers are realizing it’s a good market and more and more people are starting to buy, causing the prices to stay where they are.”

Landry said she was particularly surprised to see that 139 of the 142 foreclosure listings sold in September.

“We’ve been running at about a 50 percent rate (of selling foreclosed listings),” she said. “So that number shocked me as I sat and looked at it.”

Landry added the current number of foreclosed home listings in the city is 105, with 106 sitting in escrow, indicating that foreclosed lots are starting to decrease. The trend may change in the next several months as several banks have reported a backlog of foreclosure listings, Landry said.

“They just got so many at one time that I think by January, we might see a lot more on the market,” she said. “With 139 sold in September though, that’s a really good sign of things turning around.”

There is still a problem with short sales in the real estate market, however, and Landry said banks have been inundated with too many listings to give approval in a reasonable amount of time.

“It’s taking the banks sometimes five to eight months to respond to the contracts and it’s causing buyers to just walk on some deals,” she said. “That tells me that I want to scream at the banks and that things need to change. It’s hurting us a lot.”

The first-time buyer’s incentive package has helped sales, but not as positively as many hoped, Landry said.

“The problem is that the government has given the tax break over three years and most buyers are still struggling to get that down payment,” she said. “We see only a few but having that extended over another six months would help us a lot.”

White said many Realtors are seeing many positive signs, but added that nothing drastic has occurred.

“I am seeing definite improvements in terms of number of sales and prices,” White said. “I think we’re getting more and more buyers on the market and things are starting to change for the better.”

Friday, October 2, 2009

Boston Real Estate



Boston real estate does not seem to be hit as hard as other areas of the country, especially like California. Is it because real estate in Boston never had the overinflated jump that other areas did? Is there a high demand for Boston luxury real estate ? California does have more than its fair share of luxury real estate...Santa Barbara, San Diego, San Francisco Bay Area, just to name a few.

Boston is a historic and cultural place to live with plenty to do and see. California does not have as old of a history, but there is plenty to do and see here. Ocean, desert, mountains, valleys, vineyards, orchards, ranches.

Boston condos have held up pretty well considering that condos seem to take the first hit. California is not an area that has a high demand for luxury condos. Until recently, when developers started putting up cookie cutter two story houses so close you could feel your next door neighbors breath on your shoulder, Californians always had homes on fairly big lots with plenty of room to roam. Times they are a changin'.

Boston is an awesome city that I would love to visit one day.
If you live there or want to move there and are ready to buy visit Bushari Group Real Estate.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Where Do They Go?



I have often wondered where people go after the foreclosure or short-sale of a home. Do they stick around and tough it out? Move out-of-state? It's not easy to just pick-up the pieces of ones life and move anywhere, especially if it's not planned! If you live in Houston, Texas, and happen to be looking for Houston apartments you can check out Houston Apartment Services.

I know of a couple with kids who decided to sell their home and move into an apartment with a 3 - 5 year plan to get out of debt, and purchase and pay cash for their dream home. They are making the best of it, and actually find ways to enjoy themselves. They have a pool, playground, and workout room, and make good use of them. These are tough times, and bring out the need to learn to find enjoyment in more simple things, and that is what they are doing.

Looking in areas other than Houston, Texas? Check out Apartment Info to find what you suits your needs. Whatever your case might be I hope it all works out for you!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Living on a boat



My very first home on my own was a sailboat similar to this one (minus the seals). I loved the boat life. It was simple and cheap, but as you grow up you want better things in life, like a real home.

I was self-employed, so getting a loan was not easy. I didn't even have a rental history. I just paid slip rent to the City of Santa Barbara. I had to shop around for places like Advantage Home Rates. I was able to get a loan, and have owned three homes since the boat life. There are still a lot of people who are self employed, and if they want a loan they might want to look at places like this one.

There are also those who are buying the houses that have been trashed by the previous owners, which you can get pretty cheap right now. A good source for a FHA loan for a place like that would be Advantage Home Rates. Then there are individuals who have bad credit, but still have a good job yet have had some bad luck along the way, but want to be a home owner. It is still possible to get loans. It may take some work, but it can be done.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Good Read

A Reminder of More Peaceful Times
Lake Geneva, Wisconin


As you are weathering the economic storm that seems to be raging fast and furious, information can be a shield of sorts. Articlealley.com has many excellent real estate articles for nearly any topic one could possibly want to research.

The articles are recent and relevant, and free to republish on your own blog. You know me, I've been having a hayday reading them myself. Howard is going to want to check articlealley.com out for his own blog too!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Foreclosure?



I spend a lot of time looking for houses online. Probably too much time. I love it like a wino loves his Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joe's. It relaxes me, and at least I'm not stumbling around and yelling at the neighbors with slurred speech: "Hey turn that loud rap music down or I'll pall the colice!"


One site that is helpful is Free REO foreclosures. This service is free and one of the better ones I have found. It's very easy to use, and do a Free foreclosure search in the city of your choice. Every state is on the map, and there are more cities to choose from than you likely have the time for.

Check it out at Real Estate Owned Foreclosures Click on any state then you will see the cities from that state. Its fun to do just for pure entertainment. I wish they had pictures of the foreclosures, but that would be the undertaking of the century.

So sit down at your computer, pour yourself a glass of Two Buck Chuck, and search away. Maybe you'll find your boss' house on there...that would be sweet justice now wouldn't it! The Man stickin' it to The Man.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Infomercials

I have been seeing more and more homes just like this one. I wonder how inexpensively I could pick up one? I'm not in the market, but I know there are investors out there who are getting these dumps for next to nothing, and then renting them out. I also wonder how many of these investors have heard of dean graziosibio? He has a book and a blog.

If you are into infomercials, go to this website about being a real estate millionaire now and you most likely will recognize him. He has over 12,000 registered users so he must be doing something right.

My advice is always to do your homework, and never buy anything you cannot afford.

Boston hanging on?



Boston real estate does not seem to be hit as hard as other areas of the country, especially like California. Is it because real estate in Boston never had the overinflated jump that other areas did? Is there a high demand for luxury real estate in Boston? California does have more than its fair share of luxury real estate...Santa Barbara, San Diego, San Francisco Bay Area, just to name a few.

Boston is a historic and cultural place to live with plenty to do and see. California does not have as old of a history, but there is plenty to do and see here. Ocean, desert, mountains, valleys, vineyards, orchards, ranches.

Boston condos have held up pretty well considering that condos seem to take the first hit. California is not an area that has a high demand for luxury condos. Until recently, when developers started putting up cookie cutter two story houses so close you could feel your next door neighbors breath on your shoulder, Californians always had homes on fairly big lots with plenty of room to roam. Times they are a changin'.

Boston is an awesome city that I would love to visit one day.
If you live there or want to move there and are ready to buy visit Bushari Group Real Estate.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A House With Potential

This place should sell VERY quickly with the recliner out front and Christmas lights still up. The tough economy is nothing for this seller.

All kidding aside, I might have to take a look at this house. It looks like a fairly decent place that needs some minor work like a remodeled bathroom. It's no mansion, but with some work you could enjoy a nice place to live if you are one who likes a small house. Smaller means less to heat/cool, less to furnish, and less to remodel. You could just choose to update some parts of the home like making a tub into a walk in shower. I found a nice site that has a lot of up grades for the bathrooms if you are in the market for home improvements.

My wife and I recently bought a smaller home its 3 bed with 2 baths and we love it. It is cozy and our gas bill last month was only $8. Our electric bill was only $68 and we keep our air at 75-77 degrees. Since we bought less house we were able to upgrade some appliances, so it's not all bad. It helps that we don't have kids, but our dog Howard makes sure we keep him cool in the summer or else!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Shack for Sale!


Located in Beautiful downtown Needles, California

View the serene Colorado River on the backdrop of the Mohave Desert from the veranda of this lovely little gem. Needs a little TLC...or just rip it down and start all over.

Once upon a time this house was likely someone's pride. A cool, breezy front porch to sit on and watch the Colorado River after a long, hot day at work. Now, it is a shack for people like me to take pictures of and mock. How sad what time does when things are neglected and treated poorly.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Vacation or Buy?



A few years ago I knew a guy who was cashing out and moving to Mexico. In the back of my mind I was thinking hhhhmmm, why would he want to move to Mexico? Now I hear about more and more people leaving the USA and buying in areas like the Playa del Carmen real estate.

My sister has been there several times, and loves it. She takes her vacations there year after year, and I think out of curiosity the next time she goes, which should be very soon knowing her, I will ask her to pick up some real estate magazines for me of Costa Rica Golf Real Estate.
I am a real estate magazine junky, but if you would rather just see Costa Rica Golf Real Estate through the internet you can click the links.

It can be confusing to buy real estate in this country, let alone thinking about investing out of the country in Panama Real Estate market. The links above should have some very helpful information for you. Maybe you are not in a position to buy now, but it is never to late to think about how you want to spend your retirement years.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My First Home



My very first home on my own was a sailboat similar to this one (minus the seals). I loved the boat life. It was simple and cheap, but as you grow up you want better things in life, like a real home.

I was self-employed, so getting a loan was not easy. I didn't even have a rental history. I just paid slip rent to keep the boat there. I had to shop around for places like Advantage Home Rates. I was able to get a loan, and have owned three homes since the boat life. There are still a lot of people who are self employed, and if they want a loan they might want to look at places like this one.

There are also those who are buying the houses that have been trashed by the previous owners, which you can get pretty cheap right now. A good source for a loan for a place like that would be Advantage Home Rates. Then there are individuals who have bad credit, but still have a good job yet have had some bad luck along the way, but want to be a home owner. It is still possible to get loans. It may take some work, but it can be done.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Things turning around?



Statistics released Tuesday by the Lake Havasu Association of Realtors, indicate the number of residential homes sold in the city jumped 12 percent in April over the same time last year. There were 154 homes sold last month, as compared to 120 in April 2008.

The increase in homes sold comes after median sales prices dropped more than $65,000 from last year.

However, Realtors continue to close the gap between the total sales dollars. Dollar amounts for April were just more than $3 million less than this time last year, at $27,635,314. Last year’s figures were $30,852,999.

April’s total dollar amounts also helped Realtors gain some ground on the year totals. Through April 2008, sales dollars were more than $109 million in the city. This year, those figures are just slightly less at $91.5 million.

Pat Landry, president of the Lake Havasu Association of Realtors, says the reason continues to be the number of foreclosures on the market. In April, sales on foreclosed homes accounted for more than half the total sales in Lake Havasu City, Kingman and Bullhead City. There were 78 foreclosed homes sold in Lake Havasu City, 37 in Kingman and 59 in Bullhead City. Lake Havasu City had 208 foreclosures on the market, Kingman 123, and Bullhead City reported 115.

Landry said she expects the number of foreclosed homes sold to increase in the next month, because of the number of those homes still pending escrow.

The departure of snowbirds from Lake Havasu City is having an impact, according to Landry. Part-time residents from as far away as Montana and Wisconsin currently have homes pending escrow. Landry said this is a typical trend that occurs each year right before winter visitors go home.

One thing, she said, that has been different is prospective buyers are taking a look at more homes, making sure the one they are buying is what they want for the right price.

Buyers are looking at how the home was built, including insulation, windows, air conditioning and energy efficiency to determine what utility costs they would incur with the purchase of a particular home.

The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act tax credit for first-time homebuyers has yet to impact sales, Landry said. Under the stimulus plan, first-time homebuyers would receive $8,000 tax credit next year. Landry said if the tax credit applied to every homebuyer, it might have more of an impact. With homebuyers not receiving the credit when they apply for the initial loan, Landry said she doesn’t see it making much of a difference. In fact, one first-time homebuyer she dealt with didn’t even know about the tax credit.

As the economy improves, the housing market will follow or vice versa. Landry said both are neck and neck with each other. And, with low-interest loans and low market prices on larger homes, she said things should continue to move upward. Homebuyers should be aware, though, lenders are being stricter on who they will hand out loans to.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Whine


How did we go from being cute wriggly, pink little pigglets...


to big stinky pigs....


who never did any harm to anyone...


just minding our own stinkin' business...



to being accused of starting an epidemic called the swine flu, alarming the CDC,
and causing panic in the streets? HOW?
It is an INJUSTICE to pigs everywhere!!!



I don't know...I'm just glad the focus is off mad cow disease for awhile.

Me too, but I'm confused.
What does this have to do with real estate?

Wally World or Bust!


Time For a Break From the Hamster Wheel of Life


Are you in a rut? Do you need a vacation? You do and you know it. Your boss and co-workers are about to get on your last, dangling, exposed nerve. Your nerve that is just hanging there from the constant exposure to the Nancy Pelosi's of the world. This goes for business owners as well...your ungrateful employees just need to quit their whining and help you hang onto what little you have left so that you can ALL keep working. Most likely, due to budget cuts, you are expected to do MORE work for LESS money and just be grateful you have a job.

Swine flu be damned, just put out your closed for business sign, and take off a day or 10. If you are one of the fortunate few who have any extra money that you can spend, might I suggest checking out Costa Rica Country Club? While you are there look into some Costa Rica real estate, because, trust me, you are not going to want to leave.

Belize real estate is awesome. Perhaps you need a 320 acre farm and mountain property for $499,000? Far, far away from those annoying, chirping little voices of your co-workers or employees, whatever the case may be.

Get out there and vacation. Howard would.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Marco, Polo, Howard


If you are a handsome devil like Howard, then you know how good you look in a polo shirt. Polo golf shirts say, "Hey, I'm busy and important, but I am approachable too," in a way that a business suit never could. Also, what better way to advertise your business than on a polo shirt? People can see you and say, "Look at that classy fella in that good-lookin' shirt. I'm gonna go right out and buy me some of the stuff he is advertising!" Business problems solved.

Want to make your own embroidered golf shirts? Check this website out. There are tons of items to choose from...not just polo shirts.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Enjoy Paradise!!



This is from Havasunews.com


Friday, April 10, 2009 10:35 PM MST

Foreclosures are making a difference for the real estate market in Lake Havasu City, as more and more bank-owned homes are being sold.

Pat Landry, president of the Lake Havasu Association of Realtors, said offers are pouring in on foreclosed homes. Usually, she said, two to three of those offers are coming from investors.

Lake Havasu City reported 80 foreclosures sold for the month of March, more than half of the 149 single-family residential homes sold total.

And, Landry says there are even more bank-owned homes pending escrow. Already in April, there are 167 foreclosed homes pending approval for purchase in Lake Havasu City.

The total active listing for foreclosures in the city currently sits at 232 homes.

Landry said she expects foreclosures to continue through the end of 2010. With the average price of a bank-owned home in Lake Havasu around $126,000, Landry says prospective homeowners, especially first-time buyers, should continue to consider the foreclosure route for purchasing a new home. Right now, homes that were once in the $250,000 range have dropped in price more than $75,000 in some areas.

Landry says now is still the best time to buy, too. As the inventory of homes goes down, prices will, once again, begin to rise across the city.

“Prices have pretty well hit bottom and won’t go down any more,” Landry said.

The market in Lake Havasu City could begin to turn the corner by next year, Landry said.

The momentum gained from foreclosures is just a sign of what is happening in the real estate market across the city. For March, 149 homes sold. That number is more than the same month last year, when 123 homes were sold.

Landry attributes the increase in homes sold partially to snowbirds leaving Lake Havasu City. Numbers often indicate snowbirds will wait until the last minute to buy a second home here, in order to get the best possible price, Landry said.

Median and average sale prices for residential homes sold are well below what they were last year — $240,768 average for 2008, $194,984 this year. The median price compared with last year was an approximate $59,000 difference between the two years.

The average and median price of the homes sold may have dropped considerably, but the total dollars stabilized for the month of March. Total sales for the month of March this year were $29,052,677. Last year’s dollar amount for March was $29,614,466.

In comparison to other cities in Mohave County, Lake Havasu City is doing quite favorably. Kingman has a total listing of 806 residential homes on the market. Bullhead City has 884. Lake Havasu City lists 1,142 residential homes on the market, but sold a greater number of homes in March than either city. Bullhead City listed 62 homes as closed, Kingman 87. Both cities have a good number of home sales pending — Kingman, 160, Bullhead City, 62.

While the home industry continues to have some improvements, the building industry is still struggling. In March, only seven lots were sold, bringing the overall total to 21 for 2009. That is an average of seven homes per month for the first three months of the year, though.

What may be even more disappointing are the total dollar amounts of those lots being sold. Last year at this time, the total dollar amount of lots sold was near $1.6 million. This year total sales fell to approximately $652,150.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Boston Real Estate


Boston real estate does not seem to be hit as hard as other areas of the country, especially like California. Is it because real estate in Boston never had the overinflated jump that other areas did? Is there a high demand for luxury real estate in Boston? California does have more than its fair share of luxury real estate...Santa Barbara, San Diego, San Francisco Bay Area, just to name a few.

Boston is a historic and cultural place to live with plenty to do and see. California does not have as old of a history, but there is plenty to do and see here. Ocean, desert, mountains, valleys, vineyards, orchards, ranches.

Boston condos have held up pretty well considering that condos seem to take the first hit. California is not an area that has a high demand for luxury condos. Until recently, when developers started putting up cookie cutter two story houses so close you could feel your next door neighbors breath on your shoulder, Californians always had homes on fairly big lots with plenty of room to roam. Times they are a changin'.

Boston is an awesome city that I would love to visit one day. If you live there and are ready to buy visit Bushari Group Real Estate.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Madder than a Hornet!



Our sales tax is going up in the beautiful, but poorly run by a bunch of darn liberals, State of California. Here is what I am doing about it - I am now making as many online purchases as possible and it will depend upon where the location of the business is as to whether or not I will have to pay the sales tax. I found a new source online that you can shop for some good deals on anything from appliances to food processors.

Not only is the sales tax a reason to shop online, but some of the help at stores is just so bad. They really do not have the knowledge about any of the products, or even care if you buy from them. When I needed a new oven range I shopped at one of the big box stores, and the person had very little knowledge about what I was interested in.

So even if its only dinnerware you want there are ways to buy the product online, and you can do some reading on what other consumers have to say about the what you are looking to buy.

Besides, Howard needs some lovin' from the UPS man.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Rabbit Ears



If you were one of the lucky people, or maybe you waited to buy and now you have your own place, you surely will want to watch some TV. There are two ways to get reception: one is Satellite and the other is cable. If you choose satellite there are some good Direct TV deals right now. If you are fortunate enough to live out in the middle of nowhere, like I would love to do, and want to watch TV you also can get good Direct TV offers.

It looks like the rabbit ears days are over! Check out the Direct TV specials.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Don't Pick Your Gang Fight in My 'Hood


Several months ago we purchased a home in a nice neighborhood with a cute little park across the street. Most days we enjoy watching little kids playing, and elderly people walking their dogs. There are three schools within walking distance, including a high school and a junior high. There is also a gated senior community.

Well, yesterday some high school kids thought they could use the park as a scene for some kind of gang rumble. If they had only known my wife would be pulling out of the garage to go on an errand at the same time. She whipped out her cell phone like a gun slinger whips a gun out of his holster, and dialed 911 and told the police to get there ASAP, which they did. We have a great PD in our town. The police had already received several other calls. She then dog starred all of the little punks down, especially the three who thought they could park in front of our house. After that we drove over to speak to the police, as there was no way in H-E double hockey sticks that they were going to get away without hearing her out about the little kids and elderly people who use the park and would not tolerate these gangster punks in her neighborhood. Becoming a nurse has made my once shy, quiet wife fearless.

I then patiently listened to her rant about how people don't know what their little brats are up to half of the time, and is sick of parents who are afraid of their own children and do nothing to set boundaries for them, and how when she was a kid and got in trouble at school she would have been in even bigger trouble once she got home, and never wanted to do anything that would bring shame to her parents or cause them to be disappointed in her because she RESPECTED them, and so help her she REFUSED to live in a 'hood.

I love this woman.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

WOW!!!



This is from the manteca bulletin
Thirty-five months ago only 4.8 percent of the people working and living in San Joaquin County could afford to buy a home here.
Today, 66.4 of county residents can now afford to buy a median priced home taking it from one of the least affordable counties in California for housing in 2006 to the third most affordable today.
That is being made possible by a significant drop in median housing prices going from $435,000 in the first quarter of 2006 to $175,000 at the end of 2008 while median household income at the same time went from $57,100 per household to $61,300.
The information is gleaned from the Wells Fargo Bank Housing Opportunity Index that has been monitoring the affordability of housing nationwide.
“I think more and more people are getting the message that this is a good time to buy,” said Jennifer Harnden of Coldwell Banker Crossroads Real Estate.
She noted that a sign of that is the fact she is writing between five and 15 offers for each buyer she represents until they are able to secure a home.
The buying activity is reflected in pending sales that continue to stay at near high levels with 212 deals in escrow. There have been 151 homes in Manteca close escrow as of Wednesday so far this year with another 335 available through the Multiple Listing Service.
Harden noted that some banks that have voluntarily put a moratorium on mortgages while trying to sort through the proposed housing bailout plan will have the effect of slowing down the supply.
“We’re already seeing less homes become available each week,” Harden said.
That could translate into good news and bad news for buyers. If another glut of foreclosures hit the market in a few months propped up by banks holding back, it could drive down prices a bit more. Experts are saying that only 5 to 6 percent of those who have homes facing foreclosure could be helped by the Obama plan.
At the same time, though lenders have been noticed that FHA is getting ready to increase minimum credit scores required for mortgages significantly to tighten up lending standards. That could create problems for people who can now afford homes but may not after the qualifying guidelines are changed. Virtually every home being bought by first-time buyers to live in on the resale market in the Manteca are going FHA. That is due to more lenient income and debt ratio standards, the affordability of the mortgage insurance, and the fact only a 3.5 percent down payment is required as opposed to 10 to 20 percent with conventional loans.
Realtor Tom Wilson said the $8,000 tax credit for buying a home is serving as a big carrot.
He noted one client – single man with a well paying, stable job who was comfortably living in his apartment – finally gave in to his mother’s constant insistence that he buy a home while the affordability is so good because of the $8,000 tax credit.
That means on a $109,900 home going FHA with a required 3.5 percent down payment, it will end up costing you less than $2,050 once you file taxes for next year as the $8,000 would cover the $5,300 in closing costs and $1,700 of the $3,742 down payment requirement.
As of Wednesday, there were four homes in Manteca or Lathrop listed for $109,900:
• three bedrooms, two bathrooms with 1,146 square feet at 796 Cherry Hills Court in Lathrop.
• three bedrooms, two bathrooms with 1,076 square feet at 430 Eva Drive in Manteca.
• three bedrooms, two bathrooms with 1,077 square feet at 405 Locust Ave. in Manteca.
• three bedrooms, one bathroom with 1,094 square feet at 339 Edward Ave. in Manteca.
Wilson noted you don’t get the money until you file your taxes for the year the home was purchased it. He has had several clients who are borrowing the amount from relatives and paying them back when they get the tax credit/refund check.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Need Help?



I'm sure there are plenty of people who could use a service that offers Loan Modification.
I get A LOT of google hits for "can't sell my house," and if you have arrived here looking for advice, or want to do a Mortgage Loan Modification, then you are in luck. There is help available that will show you how to stay in your house, without your mortgage company harassing you, while you figure out what you are going to do next. Of course you won't be able to stay there forever, but if you are on the verge of foreclosure with no other options you may want some Foreclosure Assistance. For more information, click on one of the links.

Most affordable place in California



From the Modbee

Stanislaus County homes are the most affordable in California, followed by Merced and San Joaquin counties, a study released Thursday shows.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that home sales prices plunged again in January, pushing values back to what they were in autumn 2000. Stanislaus home prices, for instances, have fallen nearly 65 percent since peaking in December 2005, and Merced and San Joaquin values have dropped even more.

Housing statistics from various sources keep demonstrating how drastically things have changed in the valley.

New calculations show that Stanislaus' median-income families can afford to buy 71.1 percent of homes on the market. Three years ago, before the housing bubble burst, only 3 percent of Stanislaus homes were affordable to median-income families.

Most homes also are affordable in Merced (70.9 percent) and San Joaquin (66.4 percent).

That's terrific for first-time buyers such as Tammy L'Allier.

"I have a fairly decent job, but I never thought I'd be able to afford my own home in California because I've always been a single mom," said L'Allier, 47. So she was shocked last summer when she saw a home for sale in her price range. "I thought: Oh, my God! I could actually afford that."

She started searching and by October bought a $129,000 home on Estep Drive in central Modesto. The foreclosed house, with more than 1,600 square feet, costs her only about $150 more per month than what she had been paying for rent. She expects to save at least that much in income tax deductions.

"I still can't believe it. Now I can own dogs and paint my walls any color I want, which I couldn't as a renter," said L'Allier, who has painted her living room dark chocolate and put black stripes on her bedroom walls. "I love it!"

Andy and Amanda Baker of Modesto also are thrilled. They bought their first home in December for $123,000, and their monthly payment is just $930.

"We're so thankful we were able to do this," said Andy Baker, 38, who is an adoptions social worker in Merced County. He and his wife, who is 36 and works with developmentally disabled adults, expressed sorrow that their Carol Street home's previous owner went into foreclosure. "It was hard to buy knowing someone else lost this home," he said.

But the Bakers, who have two children, had been frustrated for years as they watched home prices soar out of reach.

"We were ready to settle down and get that first home," said Andy Baker, who was raised in Merced County. He advises others to consider buying now, but he cautions: "Make sure the home is within your ability to pay for and that it's someplace you want to live."

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, released Thursday, shows how the Northern San Joaquin Valley has flipped from being among the nation's least affordable places to buy to being among the most affordable.

Stanislaus hit its highest affordability level in 1998, when median-income families could afford nearly 80 percent of homes. That was well above the national average, but the county fell way below average during this decade's housing boom.

The index shows that 62.4 percent of homes sold nationwide in October, November and December 2008 were affordable to families earning the national me- dian income of $61,500. The median income was calcu- lated at $56,500 for Stanislaus, $47,400 for Merced and $61,300 for San Joaquin.

Those incomes were about the same three years ago, even though homes cost more than double what they do today.

In January, the median-priced home sold for just $140,000 in Stanislaus, which was $17,500 below December and $256,000 less than 2005's peak price, according to MDA DataQuick. That's a 64.6 percent decline.

That value drop, obviously, is bad for current homeowners, many of whom now owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

During the past 24 months, lenders have repossessed more than 11,601 Stanislaus County homes as homeowners have defaulted on more than $3.9 billion in loans, according to statistics released this week by Foreclosure- Radar.

To attract new buyers for those foreclosed properties, banks typically offer to sell at bargain prices. That drives down home values even more.

Because existing homes are priced so low, new home builders are struggling. Stanislaus new home building permits fell to the lowest level on rec- ord in 2008, and this year is expected to be worse, according to recent forecasts by the California Building Industry Asso- ciation.

To see all the affordability statistics, visit www.nahb.org/hoi. Additional home price data is posted with this story at www.modbee.com.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Go Big Network

I see all kinds of things that people invent or dream up, and I have asked myself on more than one occasion, "why didn't I think of that?" Here is one of those ideas. You make a website and name it Go Big Network, and have it as a connection for people who need funding for a project or an idea.

The Go Big Network offers more than just funding. You can get business plans, and either find a job or post job. They have been featured in several places like Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and The Street.com just to name a few. So, if you own a business, or want to start a new business, and you either need funding or a business plan, you can get some help on GoBigNetwork.com. Also, don't forget to check them out if you are looking for a job.

At the Top


If you did a search for "I can't sell my house," you would see that this blog is likely number one or very near the top. There are several ways to be on the top when your website is searched. One of these ways is a company named SEO Expert, Inc. This company is excellent at making sure you are top ranked in search engines. In case you are wondering what SEO stands for, it is Search Engine Optimization.

It does not matter if you are a business website, or you have a personal website. If you want people to see your site, then this company is the best. Their website is easy to navigate and offers all of the information you need to make an educated decision. They have been in business for over 10 years, and have clients that range from small start-ups to major corporations.

SEO Expert, Inc. also offers partnerships and affiliates where you can private label their services as your own and sell them to clients. They do all the behind the scenes work, while you handle all of the customer service and billing, etc.

Now is a time in the economy to put your creativity to work. Check this company out!


Representin'


There is nothing wrong with showing a little hometown pride on your house. I love how Modesto is spelled with a dollar sign for the "s". If I were a betting man, I'd say this guy is gunning for Mayor of Modesto.

Truth in Advertising


You may have to click on the picture to see the underlined portion for this short sale that says: WHY RENT WHEN YOU CAN OWE?

At least there is truth in advertising here. I'm just waiting for the sign that says:
WHY RENT WHEN YOUR ASS CAN BE OURS FOR THE NEXT 30 YEARS?


It's so refreshing to see some honesty in this day and age.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Cars



I have been doing some traveling lately, mostly due to my work. To my surprise I have seen quite a few new cars on the road, and one of them I see a lot is the Hyundai Genesis. It's a nice car, and although I am not in the new car market this is one I would be looking at if I were. Another car would be the Toyota Corolla. My wife used to have a Toyota Corolla before she met me, and she is a such sweetheart and would let her then 16 year old brother borrow the car. I've heard some stories about how she'd come out to her car in the morning and find mud on the bottom and tumbleweeds sticking out from underneath. According to her brother, that car took a beating and kept on running like a charm. It's still a touchy family subject.

The choices are hard for me because I would need a nice tow vehicle. I like to be on the water, so I need something to tow a boat or jet ski, and I like the look of the Toyota Land Cruiser. I know a few people with these and they love it.

If you are into getting really good gas mileage, then the
Toyota Prius is the car for you. You get 48mpg in the city and 45mpg on the highway. The good thing about the high MPG, is you can drive a long ways and not have to stop to gas up. All I would be stopping for is to let Howard out. I wonder which vehicle Howard would like the best? My guess is the Toyota Land Cruiser. He's a big guy and would need more space than a Prius.

Pests



When we looked at the house we recently purchased, there were a ton of Ants and when I say a ton I mean a ton. The person who lived here didn't like to have any treatments for any pests. To me that's just disgusting. We had a pest inspection done and got a nice pest inspection report back. When you buy a house, be sure to get a pre-purchase pest inspection done. They are well worth the money, and they inspect your entire house. You can ask for a copy of the inspection after its complete.

We hired a pest control company to control the ants and within a day they were all gone with none to be seen ever since. They are safe for your pets too, once the application has dried. Even if you already own, it's not a bad idea to get a pest inspection done. You can see if you have any around, and if you do you can prevent any damage or control further damage. There are so many options, and some are pretty high tech like the thermal camera that is used by a pest inspection company in Sydney with some nice testimonials.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My 2 Cents

A long time ago, my dad told me 3 things run this country:

1. Communication - The media is a very powerful tool. Just Barrack Obama.
2. Education - From our grade schools to our universities minds are being molded and shaped.
3. Transportation - Gas prices affect the cost of everything. Did you see prices drop on any goods that were raised when gas was over $4/gallon. No? Me either, but I guarantee that when gas prices go back up, prices on goods will go up again.

I read a blog of someone crying about how they had lost over $30,000 on their 401K this year, which is sad and I felt bad for them, but then they said that 'social security isn't looking so bad now.' WHAT? Do you think that there is going to be funding for social security if your 401K is circling the drain? I don't, and I have never in my life wanted to depend upon the government for my financial security.

I truly do not understand the mindset of those individuals who think that the government should support them. I don't want the government to tell me how to live my life, but that is what is being taught and now, Barrack Obama is the answer to everyone's prayers and it baffles me. It sickens me when people chant, "Obama! Obama! Obama!" instead of "USA! USA! USA!" We didn't hear people chanting, "Clinton! Clinton! Clinton!" or "Bush! Bush! Bush!" Not like we do for Obama. Nothing against the guy, but it is scary to see someone in power worshipped like he is. Pretty soon I have a feeling we'll be the United States of Obama.

There are three parties in this country:

1. A very strong Democrat party who leans toward socialism, and is ruining, I mean running our country.
2. A very weak Republican party who does not know what has hit it, and sides with the Democrats because they don't want to ruffle feathers.
3. A conservative party who wants smaller government, less spending, fewer taxes, and a price to pay instead of a bailout.

Remember AMC, American Motor Corp from the 1960's? They failed...life goes on.

I may get slammed by some of you who disagree with me for what I have said, but I just wanted to say it while I'm still free to do so.