If you’re a parent, you’re probably familiar with the existential question, “Are we there yet?” As a real estate broker, I feel like a lot of home owners are asking the same thing: are we there yet? That is, has the market peaked, is this the perfect time to sell my home? Let’s dig into […]
Welcome to February, the first month where we report what’s going on in the new year. I know you’re dying to hear the headline news, so I’ll cut right to the chase: the median price of single family homes in Santa Cruz county in January 2015 was $677,500. That is an increase of 10.2% compared […]
Today I had a missed call on my cell phone, from the 212 area code – that’s the Big Apple, if you’re not familiar. I figured it was a telemarketer or someone looking for money – not to be judgmental, I think a lot of us are looking for money. But I got a voicemail, […]
A few days ago, after about a month’s silence, I wrote something of a “doom and gloom” blog entry about Santa Cruz real estate – in fact, I’m proud to say, the entry was even picked up on the HousingDoom.com blog, which I read now and again to stay in touch with my darker side. […]
As has been the case for several months, there is a bit of good news – the sales volume (number of houses, condos, etc., which have sold) has increased for the seventh month in a row, year-over-year. Unfortunately, sales were not up month-over-month; in December of 2008, there had been 112 sales of single-family residences in Santa Cruz county; in January ’09, that number had sunk back down to 79. … The important thing to look at, I feel, is the year-over-year gain or loss, and this year, sales were up a whopping 21.5% from January 2008. … If you watch TV or listen to the radio, you may have heard a commercial or two from the National or California Association of Realtors telling you this is a great time to buy , that there are a lot of homes for sale. … There are not many homes for sale at all – the amount of inventory is down 21.6% from January a year ago, and inventory has been declining for nine straight months.
If you are thinking about buying property in Santa Cruz County in 2009, there’s a very good chance that you’ll be considering buying one of these homes. There’s a great deal of confusion around buying bank-owned homes. I do have some information on my web site that should be of interest to folks interested in doing so, specifically my Santa Cruz Foreclosure Report (delivered via e-mail), as well as the Santa Cruz Foreclosure Opportunities video which I had taped last year at the Santa Cruz County Housing Expo. … If a bank has two offers on a property, one with a conventional loan and the other with an FHA loan, the buyer with the conventional loan usually wins out, even if it’s for a bit less money. An all-cash offer will, of course, trump an offer from a buyer needing a loan, assuming it’s close to the same price – a cash buyer will not have any loan or financing contingency, and that’s one less thing for the seller to worry about, and one less way a deal could fall apart.
The Housing Crash guy says: A landlords’ rule of thumb is that a house price should be a maximum of 15 times the annual rent for that place, yet in coastal areas, houses are still selling for 30 times annual rent I think he’s got a good point there – which goes to underscore my belief that prices in Watsonville are actually very reasonable at the moment. … Looking over the ads on Craig’s List, it’s safe to say that a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house would rent for about $2,400 a month in Santa Cruz, assuming it was in a not-so-great location. … Let’s look at the payment for a $500,000 house – but let’s assume you’re putting down a reasonable 10% instead of the FHA minimum of 3.5% – so you’d have a $450,000 loan, again at about 5.75% because with only 10% down, you’d still need to pay mortgage insurance. … Let’s say you’re in a tax bracket of 25%, and you can figure you’d save about $640/month in federal and state taxes, bringing your effective monthly after-tax payment to about $2,519 per month, or just about $120 more than renting.
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a safe and sane New Year’s Eve, and I hope that as I type this on January 2nd, most of you are taking the day off to spend on vacation, or with friends and family. We’ll all get back to the grindstone soon enough, but I think that […]