Posts Tagged ‘Oceanside real estate’

Still on the Fence? U.S. Home Prices are Still Rising

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

The new housing report was released yesterday by Case-Shiller, indicating that U.S. home prices are still rising. Of course this is really area dependent, but if you are a potential buyer or seller you might feel worried, and justifiably so. Keep reading for important information and advice.

The report covers major metropolitan cities and states that prices in these areas rose by 5.27% in November – above expectations of economists, and also up from the previous month of 5.1%. What does this mean for buyers and sellers? Let’s take a look at some important considerations.

Local markets: Of course these studies are general and tend to focus on big cities, so it is important that you contact an experienced real estate agent in your local market to see what is going on in the area. But, the thing to take away from this data is that prices are not easing up. Combine that with the next factor…

Inventory is still very low: Again, your local market must be studied to get an accurate glimpse and set expectations (your real estate agent can help with this), but using my local North San Diego market as an example I know that this is painfully true. I have buyers who simply cannot find homes, and multiple offer situations in some categories – like properties under $600,000 – are still the norm. With low inventory and prices staying put or rising, a buyer does not benefit from waiting to purchase, especially considering the next factor…

Springtime is coming: Traditionally the “hot” season for housing, spring and summer are just around the corner. But in my view we are already in the heat of things. Hopefully more inventory will pop up as we head into that “busy” season, but honestly I think the entire last year and especially this Fall and Winter, can be considered busy in housing – at least here in San Diego. Waiting until Spring could put buyers in even more of a quandry, bringing an  increase in the buyer pool: more competition can drive prices up again.

The National Home Price Index also rose by 5.6% annually – up from 5.5% the previous month. High demand is causing these prices to continue on an upward trend. It is important to note, as some doubters or “bubble-talkers” as I call them, may believe, that these trends are NOT similar to those that occurred prior to the last housing crisis in the early 2000s.

How is this market different than that prior to the last crash?

1. Factors driving prices are not the same. Prior to the crash people were driven by speculation and anticipation of growth. Instead, healthy market factors like a strong job market and low mortgage rates are driving this market.

2. Lending is stricter. Lending requirements are not as loose as they were during the time prior to the last housing crash, so not everyone can qualify for a loan.

3. Demand is high but supply is not. Prior to the last market crash, there is a much lower supply of inventory in most areas. It is not so easy to find property to purchase. Many would-be sellers are afraid to sell, as they don’t know where they will move if there is such low supply and so much demand – so it’s a great time to be a seller if you have the time to wait it out on a subsequent purchase.

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The moral of all this information is that if you are a potential seller you are in a great position. But if you have to buy after selling you need to have a “plan B” in place – e.g. stay in a furnished month to month apartment or temporarily move in with a relative or friend will put these people in ideal situations to sell and wait for the right home. But buyers have it a bit tougher – the best advice I can give is to BE PREPARED. Get preapproved, start looking at everything in your price range and desired area – even those homes that may not be as upgraded as you like or in the exact neighborhood you wanted. Do your homework and be ready to pounce once you find that “right” home.

 

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New Listing: Upgraded Oceanside Townhome Close to Beach/Downtown

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Gorgeous upgraded end unit Windward townhome – largest model in complex with cathedral ceilings, patio, balcony, mountain views. Stunning kitchen with granite counters, stainless steel appliances including beverage fridge and refrigerator, custom paint, crown molding and 5″ baseboards throughout. Optional 4th bedroom/den/office downstairs, wood flooring on stairs, master bath with oversized spa tub – clean and gorgeous! Gated complex, ample storage, attached 2 car garage, blocks from downtown Oceanside and beach.

Features Include:

– 3 bedrooms plus optional 4th downstairs bedroom, 1776 square feet

– Largest model in complex

– Granite kitchen with stainless appliances, refrigerator and wine fridge, upgraded
cabinetry and fixtures
– Designer tile flooring downstairs, wood floors on staircase and upper hallway
– Large living room with fireplace and hidden storage area
– Gorgeous master bathroom with oversized jacuzzi tub and towel dryer
– Walk in closets in all bedrooms

– Custom paint throughout

– Crown molding, 5″ baseboards, high ceilings

– Tons of storage

– Views out to hills, mountains and canyons

– Downstairs patio and upstairs balcony

– Attached 2 car garage

– Gated, quiet  complex with pool, spa and clubhouse

– Low HOAs and no mello roos
– Washer, dryer, towel dryer and refrigerators convey
– Only a few blocks to downtown Oceanside and the beach
Please call Broker Rachel LaMar with questions or to schedule a showing at 760-310-9466. This is s short sale subject to lender approval. To view more photos and see a virtual tour please click here.
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2017 San Diego Real Estate Market Predictions

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

If you are like me you are surprised we are at the end of the year already, but the good news is that the real estate market fared well this year, and will likely continue to do so in 2017. Here are my annual predictions for the market, at least here in San Diego County: index

1.  Home inventory will remain low. Due to a combination of factors – rising interest rates, expenses of moving up and difficulty of finding replacement housing, many potential home sellers will likely choose to remain where they are and not sell. This trend defined the market in 2016 and I believe it will continue. Until Americans see how the new President will affect the market I am betting on this.

2.  Prices will stabilize for the most part. 2016 saw prices still rising slightly in some areas, and higher in others (especially in summer months), but for the most part things seem to be leveling off. I think we will return to “normal” annual price appreciations of 5-7%. Of course this is always area-dependent so check with your local realtor for market statistics and area comparables.

3.  Market times will decrease or remain low for desirable homes. Due to the continuation of lower inventory levels I believe we will see desirable homes sell quickly. But I also think that buyers are very savvy and will not pay crazy high prices either – although in a multiple offer situation you never know.

4.  First time buyers could have a difficult time with competition. As interest rates rise, inventory levels decrease (or remain low) and prices remain high, many first time home buyers may find themselves in challenging situations when looking for homes to purchase. Competition will also factor in, especially in areas where there is an influx of repeat homebuyers who are moving up and are well qualified (with large downpayments). My advice is for those first time buyers to get preapproved and start looking now. Click here to read more on how to “win” that home you want.

5.  Interest rates will rise. This is inevitable and we have already seen the beginning of the end of the lowest interest rates in history. The new administration will also play a role in the interest rate rise as economic goals fluctuate.

The bottom line is that I believe the housing market will do well in the coming year. I do not predict any “bubbles” as some (very few) have done. I think here in San Diego County our market is strong and will continue to be as we head into 2017.

As I always say, if you are thinking of buying or selling in the future you need to do your homework and start early – even a year is not too early. Study the markets, visit homes for sale, get to know inventory, neighborhoods and floorplans. Talk to a mortgage professional and plan ahead. Find a great local real estate agent and let him or her keep you informed so you are ready to go when the time is right. Be prepared and have a wonderful new year!

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6 Types of Monkey Business Going on in Real Estate Now

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

If you are a real estate agent or a home buyer you may notice that the market is obviously low on inventory right now. Being that it is the “selling season” of Spring/Summer, and since there are a lot of buyers out there looking at homes, there are many situations involving multiple counter offers and homes selling for well over asking price…all great if you are a seller. However, there are also some fishy things going on out there and it is frustrating to agents and their buyers. th

Let’s take a look at what is happening:

1. Homes listed well over comparable value. Many, and I mean a LOT, of homes in North San Diego are being listed over market value – some slightly and some way over. Buyers, who normally would avoid such homes until the price drops, are flocking to them and making offers anyway. No one seems concerned that the home likely will not appraise, and if one buyer walks there are many more who will step right in. This is pricing out first time homeowners and bringing prices up…you may think the latter is good, but it is dangerous because such inflation could create problems for the market – especially when there are many buyers who have incomes that will price them out of neighborhoods they should have been able to afford had prices reflected comparable sold values.

2. Many sellers are taking a long time to respond to offers – even very strong ones. If a buyer makes a very strong offer over asking price, many listing agents are waiting for 4 or 5 days to even respond, during which time they collect more offers. Many then submit multiple counter offers to all bidders asking for the best and highest price. This prices many potential buyers out of the running, and most already submitted an offer slightly over their budget.

3. Sellers are refusing to make repairs or pay for reports. In a seller’s market the seller knows s/he is in the driver’s seat, and many sellers are countering back stating the home is sold as is, and that they will make no repairs and pay for no reports – like termite reports. They want the cleanest offers possible with the least amount of money out of pocket. This means the buyer can get stuck with multiple repairs, termite work, etc. If the buyer is already paying top dollar for the home, s/he has to make sure those things are affordable. No one wants to see a new foreclosure wave hit in a few years.

4. Appraisals are not coming in at contract value – but that is not deterring sales. I have not had problems with appraisals on listings (I don’t market properties in the “insane” price category), but have heard from many agents who have. Even if the home does not appraise at contract value, there are plenty of buyers who are willing to pay the difference in cash if sellers will not negotiate prices down to the appraised value. They feel that is the only way to secure a home purchase in these crazy times. Does this sound like 2003/2004 – “pre-crash” – to anyone else besides me?

5. Overly aggressive listing agents seem to be multiplying, and they are not being cooperative. There are many listing agents who are ruthless and even rude. They don’t care that your buyers love the home and have been looking in that neighborhood for a long time, or that they wrote a very strong offer and submitted it first. To these agents, it’s all about playing the game and finding the highest bidder. Some agents do not return calls and emails, and some violate the Realtor code of ethics – a few may even commit fraud. It is extremely frustrating for buyer’s agents, who are trying to find a home for their well-qualified buyers.

6. Pocket listings and homes listed “off the MLS” are increasing. Many agents are marketing their listings on third party sites like Zillow, and not placing them on the MLS – the cooperative tool used by Realtors to benefit all parties looking in particular areas/price ranges. While it is their right to do so, it makes a problem for buyer’s agents whose clients may see these listings and want to visit them – but when their agent calls the listing agent to make an appointment she is often told that the seller is not paying a commission to buyers’ agents. Imagine you have been helping your buyers for months to find a home and now you cannot show them this one home because the broker will not cooperate with your broker. It puts buyer’s agents – who play an imperative role in protecting buyer’s rights – in a very sticky situation. You may ask why listing agents do this: the answer is so they can find buyers who will work with them, thus saving the seller from paying out a commission to the buyer’s agent. Hopefully the California Supreme Court will soon put an end to double ending sales and this will no longer be a problem.

I am a bit concerned and hope that we are not heading into trouble in the real estate market. I hope that agents keep in mind the spirit of cooperation that is inherent in our business – we all need to work together and be fair. If we do not then buyers and sellers will not be protected from future lawsuits, and many people will be priced out of the housing market – which could cause a domino effect with local economies and eventually the US economy.

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New Listing: Upgraded San Marcos Twinhome

Friday, July 17th, 2015

Charming and quiet end/corner lot twinhome with garage and extra parking via large, private side driveway (can accommodate an RV).  IMG_6556

Features include: Wood and tile flooring, 5 burner gas chef range with convection oven, microwave, dishwasher, Reverse osmosis system for bottled quality drinking water, Fresh paint throughout with smooth white ceilings, Lighting fixtures with ceiling fans in every main room, Window coverings, Yard, washer and dryer, central A/C, low maintenance/water usage yard,

IMG_6550Wood fenced private terraced back yard with irrigation…perfect for gardening, Large covered and uncovered patio, Garage with workbench and extra storage, Sunroom, Kitchen dining area, Kitchen garden window, Ample cabinets and storage throughout home, Nice investment income potential.

Great first home or income property. Please call Rachel LaMar, Broker, for more information or to schedule a showing at 760-310-9466. BRE # 01399682. MLS #150039255

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Where Can You Buy a House in North San Diego for Under $500,000?

Monday, July 7th, 2014

The North San Diego housing market is pricey, and for that reason many people move outside of the county in order to find affordable homes. Of course they have to deal with long commutes to work in San Diego, not to mention being away from our ideal weather, but it makes sense for many.

If you just can’t fathom not living the San Diego lifestyle and don’t want to live outside the county, there are some areas where you can afford a detached home for under $500,000. Let’s focus on three areas in North County that will allow you to afford San Diego real estate on a budget under $500,000.SanMarcos

San Marcos. San Marcos is a great area that has changed dramatically in the last decade. Located only 8-10 miles from the ocean and right off the 78 freeway (close to the 15 and  less than 10 miles from the 5), this community offers several different neighborhoods where your dollar can stretch a lot farther than in coastal neighborhoods. There are many restaurants, shopping and entertainment throughout the community, as well as Cal State University San Marcos.

There are currently 45 active homes under $500,000 in San Marcos, in neighborhoods like Discovery Hills, Twin Oaks and Santa Fe Hills. Each neighborhoods offers different amenities – some are gated communities. There are also retirement communities in the Lake San Marcos area that will fit into this budget. If you have a townhome or condo in mind you will have even more choices, such as the well-known walkable community of San Elijo Hills.

VistaVista. Vista has been touted as one of the best weather cities in North San Diego. With constant ocean breezes (Vista is located 7 miles from the ocean) and a central location to all of north county, Vista has a lot to offer, whether you are looking to live in the middle of or away from it all. According to Wikipedia “Vista was listed as the seventh-best place in the United States for family life, based on factors such as jobs and business opportunities, education, climate, and cost-of-living in a 2008 review.

Right now there are 86 active detached homes under $500,000 in Vista. These properties lie in different areas of the city, from the popular Shadowridge area (which sits right next to Carlsbad and has a nice golf course and close proximity to the ocean), to rural and city neighborhoods.

Oceanside. If you want to live closer to the beach Oceanside, San Diego’s northernmost community, is a great option. Formerly known as solely a military town, Oceansideit has developed and changed substantially in the last decade, with a variety of neighborhoods along and off the 76 corridor. Many homes here can be purchased for under $500,000 – whether you are looking for older or newer homes, tract neighborhoods or custom homes. There really is something for everyone in Oceanside.

Currently there are 171 detached homes on the market in Oceanside, including many different neighborhood types and locations. Oceanside is known for its wonderful weather, nice beaches and the pier, its many bike and hiking trails, and Mission San Luis Rey.

There are coastal finds for under $500,000 in other cities as well. For more information, detailed market reports and/or home listings in any of these or other north San Diego areas, please feel free to contact me at Rachel@LaMarRealEstate.org, or visit my website.

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Wonderful New Oceanside Listing

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

This new listing at 4700 Ventana Way is located on a corner lot in the wonderful Rancho del Oro neighborhood. It boasts 1881 square feet, with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms and is listed for $450,000.

The living space is filled with natural light and new flooring throughout – warm honey colored laminate flooring is found in the living/dining room areas, the stairs, and all the bedrooms and hallways upstairs. The kitchen, family room and all bathrooms have beautiful neutral tiled flooring.

3_mlsThe backyard has been recently landscaped with a sprinkler system and grass, and offers privacy and a nice amount of space for a garden, play area or whatever your heart desires.

This home has a central alarm system, mini blinds throughout, and a comfortable flooplan. The master bedroom has peeks of the hills and a walk in closet. The laundry room is conveniently located upstairs and there is a spacious loft with built-in desk area upstairs as well.5_mls

4700 Ventana Way is centrally located close to highways, shopping, dining, entertainment, public transportation, trails, and only moments to the beach.

This home will be open on Sunday, February 16, from 1:00-4:00. Stop by and have a look, or call Broker Rachel LaMar for more information at 760-310-9466.

MLS# 140008125. Listed by LaMar Real Estate, CA BRE 01399682.

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Are You Ready to Find a Home?

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Have you been considering buying a home, maybe for the first time, maybe to move up or down? Have you been waiting for the market to hit bottom, for prices to fall, for loan rates to get lower? Guess what? It is that time. Yes, I am a Realtor, and my telling you this may sound self-serving, but let me tell you why that is not the case:

1.  Rates are still low. They will get higher – that is something I would be money on. There are a few reasons why. One is that they have been historically low for a long time and it is inevitable. Another reason is that there could be some big changes coming up in the loan industry (see below), which will make them rise.

2.  Qualifying for a loan is not going to get any easier. Lenders are still reeling from the housing crash and make it difficult to qualify new borrowers (believe me, I have seen it happen to my own clients). If the new rules pass in September, come October 1 loan limits will decrease, meaning buyers will have to put MORE money down in order to qualify for a loan, and limits will be lower so that means less of a loan (buyers will have to buy smaller homes, or maybe even consider different areas/neighborhoods).

3.  Down payment requirements could rise. If the loan limit rates decline the downpayment amounts will increase. Borrowers will have to pay more money up front to get a loan. This will make buying a home a pipe dream for many Americans.

4.  There are still some great loan products out there. FHA loans require much lower downpayments and better interest rates. If the new limit restrictions pass they will have an effect on these loans.

5.  Selling a home could get much more difficult. If the loan rates change it may effect sellers the most, especially in higher priced areas like San Diego county. Buyers who could qualify for a loan to buy a home may no longer be able to afford that much house, so sellers may have a hard time finding qualified buyers. Many homeowners may not be able to sell their homes, which could lead to more foreclosures. Property values will go down, but who will buy these properties? One theory is that the lenders will simply rent them out rather than try to sell.

6.  It is a great time to negotiate! With the market slower than usual for the time of year, and the many well-priced homes out there that are available (especially short sale and lender owned properties), buyers are in the driver’s seat as far as negotiations are concerned. There are some stubborn sellers out there, but if you encounter that situation you can always find another property that is ripe for negotiation.

7.  Learn from who is buying now. If you look closely, especially in the attached home market, you will see many investor buyers. As I have said before, this is a sign. It is a sign that now is the time to buy. I am personally working with multiple investor clients right now, and they are getting great deals on short sale and lender owned properties.

I get asked all the time what the market is like, how we are faring here in North San Diego. The market is doing much better than in some other areas of the country, but we are still struggling a bit. Prices have come down, and will likely continue to do so. If the new loan limit reductions pass it will create qualification problems for many buyers and for sellers as well. Right now you can still lock in a very low rate (today’s conforming rate on a 30 year fixed mortgage is  4.5% with no points). There is a decent amount of inventory out there.

So, here is my pledge to you: I will do my best to help you find the right property, at the right price – if you don’t there is no pressure at all. Use me as a tool to help you, because that is what I am here for. I will provide all the information you need about any home we find. You don’t need to sign any agreement, I won’t make any demands on you. I offer you honesty and professionalism, and all you have to do is call me. I will be around all weekend. 760-310-9466

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