Monday, May 14, 2012

Spring Market 2012

I am very glad to report the market is looking like it might be stablizing. There are more buyers out there looking to purchase homes than I have seen in the past few years. There are still a lot of properties for sale. There seems to be a gap in the $200k to %350k market. Move up buyers are looking to snatch a good deal while the interest rates are low. This has not yet driven up pricing. Buyers a more savvy than I have seen in the past. They will walk away from a house if the price doesn't line up with past sales. If you are trying to sell a home and it isn't moving it is either price or condition. Condos are still a tough sale. I think people have become wary of getting involved with condominiums because of the assesments and uncontrollable HOA fees. This is a shame because there are some super properties out there with some pretty stable HOA fees. When you own a home you get hit with replacing a roof,furnace,central air. Well if you own a condo you get hit with assesments to fix issues as well. Just because you pay a monthly fee doesn't mean you won't have to come up with additional funds for repairs. One of my pet peeves is when people reference Zillow as a price parameter. Zillow doesn't do anything but merge all the values in a neighborhood and gives you a median value. Median values do not take into view what improvements or repair issues are present for that particular property. Another one is when a buyer references the tax value. First of all the county doesn't send an appraiser into every home. They don't even hire real appraisers to put the value on your home. Again the county uses the median approach to put a value on your home. The banks for years have tried to to automate appraisals and have found they can not do this. You need a real person trained in real estate valuation to take an actual look at your property and compare it to other properties that are similar to yours. We look at active properties which would be your competition and comparable sold properties. There is no black and white here. It ends up a caluculated judgment call on where we think the price will be. I have a great track record here and 27 years of experience is something that certainly comes in handy when valuing property. Financing is still available but you need a job or some kind of income and a good track record for paying your bills (credit score). Commercial finanicing is not so great. All I have found is ARM (adjustable rate mortgages) with a short term and balloon payment which means they will finance you for say 3 or 5 years with a rate that can change on a pre determined timetable and at the end of 3 to 5 years they want the full balance of what is owed. This doesn't seem like a good business move to me unless you know you have a windfall coming. SBA (Small Business loan) is a good loan for someone looking to purchase a property they plan to use for their business. It is expenseive and comes with lots of government imposed rules(red tape).The best bet for commercial financing is credit unions. They use a different set of rules than banks do to amke loans. So far they have been the more stable loan product. Let just keep our fingers crossed that this recovery continues! Real Estate sales lead to other related commerce so hopefully we can get back to some level economic recovery.