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Exciting News in South Bay Real Estate

Blog, Community News, Real Estate News   |   Dunham Stewart   |   June 9, 2015

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Exciting news at South Bay Brokers!  I am proud to be part of such a great local firm, South Bay Brokers, for the last 13+ years.  With a stellar reputation going back 30 years, South Bay Brokers is the gold standard of the local real estate community.  The local strength and esteem of South Bay Brokers has now combined with the globally respected brand of Sotheby’s International Realty.

    The new company will function under the name Vista Sotheby’s International Realty, combining the traditional “sunset over the ocean” logo of South Bay Brokers into the new logo. We will now operate within six offices with nearly 200 affiliated agents.

The world of real estate is changing, and our local real estate market is world renowned! This combined “Local Touch and Global Reach” is a perfect fit.

    This opportunity will open new doors, and allow access to multiple tools and networks. I am very excited to share all the benefits of the new company with my current and new clients.  These resources are great assets that will continue to allow me to provide my clients with the ultimate service in the changing world of real estate. 

(Please note my new email: dunham.stewart@vistasir.com; My South Bay Brokers email will still receive and forward, but please make the change in your contacts.  All other information is the same, including cell and office address.)

South Bay Vision | Market Update | May 2015

Blog, Community News, Hermosa Beach News, Market Updates, Real Estate News   |   Dunham Stewart   |   May 28, 2015

South Bay Vision  Market Update December 2014 The pace of sales continue to grow faster than the number of homes on the market. Our coastal cities are showing double digit increases in sales since the beginning of the year. Even though our U.S. economy as a whole appears to have gotten off to a slow start in the first quarter consumer confidence doesn’t appear to be wavering significantly and employment shows signs of improvement. Economic reports continue to point to home sales finishing the year at their highest pace since 2006 although accelerating price growth and rising mortgage rates could have the potential to slow sales.

Please enjoy. Should your plans include real estate purchase and sales, please call or email with questions – and as always, thanks for your referrals!

Sources:

Ryan Hardin, my Realty Times May 2015

RISMedia The Leader in Real Estate Information May 2015

CLICK HERE for full graphs and stats.

Hermosa Beach Little League Opening Day 2015

Blog, Community News, Events, Hermosa Beach News, South Bay Living   |   Dunham Stewart   |   May 7, 2015

Here’s a great video for Hermosa Beach Little League! Very proud to be a part of such a great community! Thanks to Jason Meugniot at Guidance for great work ! Check out the last shot!!! Pretty awesome!

South Bay Real Estate Market Minute Update

Blog, Market Minutes   |   Dunham Stewart   |   April 24, 2015

{Video} Hermosa Beach & Manhattan Beach Real Estate Market  Sales & Inventory ComparisonHermosa Beach Real Estate Market. Our Market Minute update features the first quarter of 2015 sales, inventory and cew construction in the South Bay Beach Cities market compared to the last couple of previous years Market insight is the essential ingredient in all of the services we offer. We answer the question “How is the market?” By monitoring Manhattan Beach real estate market trends, and statistics we make projections to help you make critical decisions. This report demonstrates the comparison of rate of sales compared to current real estate inventory, which is known as the Market Action Index. The current market would still be defined as a sellers market. We present a deep dive into the current real estate market analysis for Manhattan beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach neighborhoods. Learn about the real estate market trends for median list price, asking price per square foot, average days on market. Get the market knowledge you need to make the best real estate decision. Find Manhattan Beach real estate market statistics including home values, listing prices, number of homes for sale and many other measurements. Please make sure to subscribe to our real estate market reports for Manhattan Beach homes for sale in 90266. Presented by Dunham Stewartosa Hills Deal of the Week

South Bay Vision | Market Update | April 2015

Blog, Market Updates, Real Estate News   |   Dunham Stewart   |   April 23, 2015

South Bay Vision  Market Update December 2014According to California Association of Realtors March Home Sales Report issued April 15, 2015, the housing market improved throughout the state due to the upward trend of economic conditions.

  • An increase of inventory in the Central Valley and Southern California, in particular, pushed the sales higher.
  • C.A.R. reported that we had the strongest February to March increase we’ve seen since 2008.

With April coming to a close you will see that although inventory remains low, pending sales in the our beach cities of Manhattan, Hermosa, Redondo and El Segundo show between a 25% – 50% increase in pending sales.

Additional details on median price; properties for sale, sold (closed) pending; average price for sale as well as actual sold along with months of inventory available are just a click away below.

Please enjoy. Should your plans include real estate purchase and sales, please call or email with questions – and as always, thanks for your referrals!

Sources:

California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) April 2015

Trendgraphix April 2015

CLICK HERE for full graphs and stats.

Don’t Pay Too Much Property Tax

Blog, Real Estate Tips   |   Dunham Stewart   |   April 9, 2015

PropertyTax_jpg_800x1000_q100When tax time rolls around, many homeowners are surprised at the amount of property tax they owe. If you disagree with the stated value of your property, it’s worth a closer look to see if your bill has increased fairly. Statistics vary by area, but experts estimate that between 30 and 60 percent of taxable property in the United States is over-assessed, and this leads to higher property tax bills. Yet typically fewer than 5 percent of taxpayers challenge their assessments, even though the majority who do so win at least a partial victory when properly prepared. Are your property taxes too high?

To be sure you’re not paying more than you should, check the following factors.

Basic errors

First, verify that there are no mistakes on your property card — a document that records information such as dimensions, acreage and value. Errors like these can — and do — occur, and they’re actually quite common. But you won’t know about discrepancies if you haven’t seen your home’s card and reviewed it carefully. Get a copy at the town hall, bringing any errors to the immediate attention of the assessor

Comps

After you pull your home’s property card, take a look at a few of your neighbors’ cards — specifically, neighbors who have homes that are similar to yours in terms of age, size, style, condition and location. How do their assessments line up with yours?

Caps

There is often a cap on the maximum amount that property taxes on primary residences may be increased — but it’s up to you to make sure you’re being protected by it. For example, California’s constitution mandates that property taxes on primary residences cannot exceed 1% of the property’s market value and that the assessed taxable value of a property cannot go up by more than 2% a year unless the property is sold — regardless of how much the property may increase in value in market terms.

Exemptions

Are you taking advantage of special exemptions? Some states offer tax reductions for veterans, the disabled, and senior citizens. Some also provide reductions for historic buildings and special energy-efficient systems. Ask about these — and other incentives for tax reductions — that you may be eligible for. It’s worth a shot.

Is Owner Financing a Good Idea for Home Sellers?

Blog, Real Estate Tips   |   Dunham Stewart   |   March 24, 2015

buyers-sellers street signIn this current market, with home prices trending up, but access to financing is more difficult post housing bubble. So, if you want to sell your home, is it a good idea to offer seller financing?

What does seller-financing mean?

An alternative form of financing seen during a seller’s real estate market is owner or seller financing or owner carryback. This means the owner participates in financing the buyer’s purchase of the property, either in whole or in part.

Unlike a traditional bank mortgage where a lump sum is given to the buyer to purchase the home, seller financing means that the seller allows the buyer to make payments directly back to the seller. Most often, the homebuyer signs a promissory note with the seller that outlines the selling price, the interest rate, repayment schedule and even the consequences if the buyer defaults.

In most cases, a seller-financed note is short-term. Since most sellers don’t want to carry a note for 15 to 30 years, the typical note is for around five years with a balloon payment at the end where the buyer secures a standard loan for the remaining balance.

Unless the seller and buyer have an experienced real estate broker assisting him or her in an owner finance, the chances for serious problems arising from the transaction can be significant to both the seller and the buyer.

Is it good for the seller?

Sellers may choose to offer financing for any number of reasons, but some include:

Being able to sell “as is.” If your home requires costly repairs, selling through owner financing may allow you to pass those costs on to the buyer instead.

Potential investment income. Buyers looking for owner financing may be willing to pay a higher interest rate to you than you would receive through any other type of investment. Typically, you must own the home free and clear, and the buyer takes on taxes, insurance and any association dues so all income from the payments goes to the seller.

Opening up the purchase to additional buyers. Potential homeowners that were hit with difficulty during the housing bubble may not be able to get traditional financing even though they are now able to make mortgage payments. Self-employed or contractor may not be able to get favorable loans due to tighter underwriting requirements and may desire purchasing through seller financing.

Some possible pitfalls include what happens if the buyer defaults. If the promissory note is executed correctly, the seller gets the home back along with all of the monies paid to date. At that time the seller is free to sell the home again, but the “buyers” may leave behind damage and the need for costly repairs.

Some things to consider

If you are new to owner financing, make sure to work with a real estate attorney and a professional real estate agent to make sure the sales contract and promissory note fully protect you. There may be tax ramifications to seller financing, so be sure to contact your CPA or tax professional.

The most common problem arising out of an owner finance of a sale to the buyer is when the seller’s loan comes due for payment. Many times the buyer makes a claim that there are problems with the home that were not disclosed by the seller before close of escrow in an attempt to reduce the balance owed on the loan.

Since it is in your interest for your buyer to be able to refinance at the end of the note, offer to report the payments to credit reporting agencies to help build your buyer’s credit score. While individuals typically cannot report directly to these agencies—they have strict lender guidelines—services like Virgin Money can manage and report payments for you to alternative credit reporting companies such as PRBC, that many mainstream lenders now refer to for information on potential mortgagees.

On its face, an owner financing situation seems like a good idea. However, if the transaction is not properly supervised by an experienced real estate brokerfor both the seller and the buyer, many hidden traps may emerge.

If you’re considering selling your home, and wonder about seller financing, talk to us. We can help connect you with professionals to guide you through the process while we market your home.

South Bay Vision | Market Update | March 2015

Blog, Market Updates, Real Estate News   |   Dunham Stewart   |   March 20, 2015

South Bay Vision – Market Update  March Madness is not exclusive to basketball although some may tell you differently. You will see from the articles included in this March South Bay Vision edition that the title also fits our current housing marketing. Millennials are making themselves heard by representing the largest number of recent buyers according to NAR REALTOR Magazine. Although interest rates have fluctuated, they remain at historic lows and lenders continue to ease up on credit restrictions.

Please enjoy. Should your plans include real estate purchase and sales, please call or email with questions – and as always, thanks for your referrals!

To see all graphs and stats click >HERE<

Tight Inventory Challenges Propel Home Prices

Blog, Market Updates, Real Estate News, Real Estate Tips   |   Dunham Stewart   |   March 10, 2015
A fourth national market report has added to the evidence that winter inventories are extraordinarily—even dangerously—low. Realtor.com has joined RE/MAX, NAR and Zillow in reporting levels significantly below last year.

The dramatic drop in listings tracked by REMAX echoed findings by NAR, Realtor.com and Zillow that supplies are tighter than they were last year and even two years ago when lack of supply sparked double digit prices increases and bubbles in several California markets

The realtor.com January National Housing Trend Report shows that inventory has decreased 6.7 percent month over month and 8.7 percent year over year.

Sales were also down dramatically from December. the number of home sales decreased 32.1 percent from a robust December and were nearly 5 percent below sales in January 2014, according to the National Association of Realtors. Typically, January closings are lower than those in December. Higher prices, coupled with weak supply, caused an unexpectedly large drop in January home sales.

Most markets are struggling to achieve the proper balance of homes for sale and qualified buyers, said realtor.com. Low inventory has become a national challenge as homeowners opt to stay put longer—a record 10 years—rather than move up and move on. Most housing markets are appreciating in value as homes sell faster. In fact, prices increased 8.8% in January over 2014, according to the report.

On a year-over-year basis, the Median Sales Price has now risen for 36 consecutive months. Price appreciation is the result of pressure from year-over-year inventory losses. Inventory has dropped by roughly 10 percent for the last three months. There is strong demand, but it is hitting a roadblock in supply. Potential buyers are saying they can’t find a home that meets their needs and/or budget.

We are not seeing enough growth in inventory to support recovering demand Prices will therefore continue to rise in a market when demand outstrips supply. Home prices are beginning to grow at a faster pace again, which is not good for the spring market. Sticker shock was behind weak sales in 2014, but as price gains began to ease, buyers came back. Now prices are heating up again due to severely weak supply.

3 Things You Don’t Want to Hear From Your Realtor

Blog, Real Estate Tips   |   Dunham Stewart   |   March 10, 2015
You’ve decided to sell your house. You begin to interview potential real estate agents to help you through the process. You need someone you trust enough to:

Set the market value on possibly the largest asset your family owns (your home)

Set the time schedule for the successful liquidation of that asset

Set the fee for the services required to liquidate that asset

An agent must be concerned first and foremost about you and your family in order to garner that degree of trust. Make sure this is the case. Be careful if the agent you are interviewing begins the interview by:

  1. Bragging about their success
  2. Bragging about their company’s successAn agent’s success and the success of their company can be important considerations when deciding on the right real estate professional to represent you in the sale of the house. However, you first need to know they care about what you need and what you expect from the sale. If the agent is not interested in first establishing your needs, how successful they may seem is much less important.Look for someone with the ‘heart of a teacher’ who comes in prepared well enough to explain the current real estate market and patient enough to take the time to show how it may impact the sale of your home. Not someone only interested in trying to sell you on how great they are.
  3. “You Know, As it Happens, I’m Also a Mortgage Broker”Some real estate professionals believe it is necessary to supplement their income by wearing a variety of different hats. As anybody who has been through getting a mortgage loan can tell you, it can’t be that much work to print out 99 pages of documents to sign. The trouble is it’s not as simple as it looks, and to be a loan specialist requires a ton of training, experience and knowledge. To avoid a conflict of interest, I advise hiring separate real estate professionals who specialize in their line of work, and do not allow your real estate agent to package your mortgage financing or vice versa.

You have many agents from which to choose. Pick someone who truly cares.

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