Saturday, March 17, 2007

Friends don't let friends buy without a REALTOR

I'm amazed that NAR (National Association of Realtors) doesn't spend some of those bazillion dollars to educate the public. I still don't think that people understand that when they buy a house, they need to have a REALTOR representing them. NOT THE REALTOR ON THE SIGN. They need their OWN REALTOR representing their interests, not the sellers. It doesn't cost the buyer ANYTHING to have a REALTOR representing them. The seller pays the REALTOR commissions, not the buyer. When the listing agent sells the home, the REALTOR becomes a "Transaction Broker". This means that the REALTOR represents both sides equally and owes both sides certain duties. I've closed several times (okay, twice) and represented both sides. It's a whole different ballgame. The transaction happened without a hitch and everyone was represented fairly, honestly and with due diligence. I think I am going to specialize in Buyer Agency representation. I have some buyer clients that I'm working with right now. I am loving the challenge of finding the "perfect home". I can't wait until we finally start the negotiating stage of the game. That's when the fun begins. I enjoy the thrill of offer-counteroffer-offer-counteroffer. What a rush. I love that side of the deal! I strongly suggest that if you are considering buying a home, be sure to call me. YOU NEED YOUR OWN BUYERS AGENT WORKING 100% FOR YOU. I will negotiate the very best price, I will make sure the proper inspections are done, I will make sure that all of the paperwork is being done on schedule, I will look out for you, and you alone.

If you know someone that is considering buying a home, please have them call me. I'll be happy to help.
(904) 241-2386 (904) 885-9907

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Little Gator Told Me Prices Have Bottomed Out....

Here's what the Gator said:

A University of Florida study suggests the state's single-family residential housing market has bottomed out.

"If you're thinking of buying a house, there's probably not much to be gained by holding out at this point," said Wayne Archer, director of UF's Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. "It doesn't look like prices are going to fall anymore."

The quarterly survey of real estate industry professionals completed in January shows the share of respondents observing a drop in single-family housing prices has dipped, while a growing number find prices staying even with inflation.

"We see that as a benchmark," Archer said. "When prices maintain the same level as inflation, then we're probably in some kind of equilibrium. It indicates the market is stabilizing."
The exception is condominiums, which Archer said are overbuilt and prone to speculative and naïve investors.

But the overall news is good - Archer pointed out the most recent results reflect the first time in the UF survey's five-quarter history that the buyers' investment outlook for residential development has brightened. It declined for the first three surveys and was flat for the fourth survey at the end of October, starting to rise only in this latest survey, he said.

Also, because of the dominance of single-family housing, Archer said the latest findings have far-reaching and potentially optimistic implications for the state's real estate industry.

"You can't get away from the fact that the single-family housing market is the single largest driver of the real estate market," he explained. "Most brokers and real estate agents are dealing with single-family housing. Most lending is for single-family housing. And home furnishings are driven by single-family housing. So when it stabilizes, that's important."

Archer pointed out a restricted supply of land for residential development meant there was less overbuilding than there might otherwise have been.

Condos did not have this land restraint, which is one reason they are overbuilt, he said.
At the same time, condos are prone to strong speculative swings because they are considered a relatively easy commodity to exchange - it's not difficult to acquire them in multiple units or to buy contracts on them, he said.

For the survey, UF's Survey Research Center questioned 318 industry executives, real estate lawyers, market analysts, title insurers, financial advisers, market research economists, real estate scholars and other professionals in the field.
The last survey had 183 respondents.
I'm not sure what to think about this............
To be continued............

Monday, March 12, 2007

Official Washington, DC forecast-take with a grain of salt

Home sales forecast brighter in ‘07
WASHINGTON – March 12, 2007 – Anyone selling a home in the past year has likely suffered through some pretty stormy markets, but economists say a break in the clouds may be on the way.

That’s because since the highly anticipated “real estate bubble” began deflating in mid-2005, has been losing air for the past year and a half and may finally be out of air. And while some markets suffered through some deep slumps, forecasters are now predicting the worst may be over.

“It appears we are getting very close to bottom,” says David Lereah, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.

Lereah is one of several economists who agree that sales data show the national existing home sales market is on the verge of regaining ground.

“Sales have hovered for the last four months, scratching bottom and then coming up, scratching bottom and coming up again. We are comfortable this is now the bottom,” he says.
But before you put away that umbrella, it might be best to check your local forecast; scattered showers may persist in certain markets for at least another year.

Over the past few months, Lereah says 75 percent of the nation’s housing markets have expanded. Unfortunately the ones that are still falling are posting losses large enough to bring the national numbers down with them.

“So, you can’t generalize. You can’t say ‘We are in this sharp recession,’ when it is only 25 percent of the markets that are losing ground,” Lereah says.

What makes the current housing slump so hard to forecast is that the factors driving the contraction are different than those driving past slowdowns, says Dave Seiders, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders.

“You have to put this in context,” he says. “This is not a downswing connected to a recession. This one is special because the drivers are unusual.”

In previous contractions, the entire economy hit a bumpy patch, and mortgage rates were in double digits, Lereah says.

“This is not the case now,” he says.
The primary problem now plaguing the housing market is one of oversupply, rather than a general economic malaise. In general, the markets that are suffering the most now are the ones that benefited the most during the run-up in prices.

“Markets that boomed in the last five years boomed too much, and now they are coming down,” Lereah says.

Prices were high, and builders responded by adding a flood of new homes to the market. When prices continued to rise, investors saw potential and bankrolled even more homes. When buyers stopped buying, the markets that flew the highest had the farthest to fall. Molly R. Boesel, a Fannie Mae economist, wrote in a February commentary that sales will likely post another negative year in 2007, but that most of the decline is expected from a reduction in investor demand. Consumers, on the other hand, will likely jump back into the market.

The Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve agreed when it issued its Jan. 31 statement. In that statement, governors said they were encouraged by “tentative signs of stabilization” in the housing market.

“These are the first stages to getting the markets back into balance,” Seiders says.
But even as consumers get back in a buying mood, housing markets won’t necessarily spring back to previous heights. Part of the reason is because there is still a large inventory on the market, Lereah says.

One way economists rate homes sales is by calculating how many months it would take to sell all the homes listed for sale at the current buying rate. At last count, Lereah says it looked like there were between 6.8 months and 7 months worth of homes sitting on the market right now. He says that number will likely fall to between 6.6 months and 6.5 months worth by year end. But that is still above the 5.5- to 6-month inventory that signals a balanced market.

Looking foreword, Lereah says 2007 will likely see an additional 1 percent fall in sales compared with 2006 numbers, meaning sales will have hit bottom and begun to rebound by year-end. “We are not looking for a big expansion, but it will be an expansion ­– a sluggish expansion,” he says.
© 2007, Bankrate Inc. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Jacksonville Beach Buyers Agent Update

After further review, it appears that the downward spiral continues in the beaches real estate pricing. I continue to see prices dropping at an alarming rate. This is truly a buyers market! I think that the downward trend will probably continue through the Spring buying months. I am waiting and watching for a leveling off, but so far, there's no evidence of that.

Now is the time to buy a house at the beach. Interest rates are very low right now and there are lots of houses on the market. Call me today for some detailed information on any home you're interested in looking at.

As your agent, I will:

  • Assure that you see all the properties in the area that meet your criteria. Not just those listed on the local MLS, but also many un-listed properties that I find through my local contacts and affiliations.

  • Guide you through the entire process, from finding homes to look at, to getting the best financing.

  • Make sure you don't pay too much for your new home. As a real estate expert in this area, I help people negotiate and make home purchase decisions every day. I can help you avoid costly mistakes.

  • Answer all of your questions about the local market area. Not just about homes for sale, but about schools, neighborhoods, the local economy and more.

Let me help you find your dream home and assure your best interests are protected throughout the entire process. Feel free to call or e-mail me with any questions you may have at any time.

As your agent, my focus is on getting you the best possible home at the best possible price. I will work hard not only in finding you potential new homes to see, but also in keeping you informed of everything that takes place. As your agent and a top expert in the local market, I'll negotiate the best prices and terms for you and answer all of your questions as they arise. I'll be representing you, not the seller. This assures that my experience and expertise in the local market will be used in your best interests during the negotiation process.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

(904) 241-2386 (904) 885-9907