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

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.