Friday, June 26, 2009

Willow Glen Pending Sales Up

Pending sales are up a whopping 51% in Willow Glen, a prime section of the San Jose, CA real estate market. The quaint neighborhoods with their tree lined streets and friendly downtown are again gathering buyer interest. When a home is “Pending Sale” the seller has accepted an offer from a buyer, but the deal has not yet closed. During the pending phase, buyers are typically conducting inspections, reviewing the seller’s disclosures, getting appraisals and obtaining their loans. At the end of May 2008, 49 homes were pending. In May of 2009, that number has jumped to 74. With median prices dropping in the area, buyers who have previously been priced out of Willow Glen are now able afford their dream home. To see homes available for sale in Willow Glen, please go to my FREE search engine at

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

San Jose Real Estate Inventory Way Down

Inventory of homes for sale in San Jose is down, way down. A reliable metric I like to use is called Months of Inventory (MOI). This will paint me a fairly accurate picture of how well homes are selling compared to the inventory of homes for sale. For instance, if there are 90 homes on the market in a given area and 10 homes per month are selling, that tells us that there are 9 MOI. Anything over 6 months is considered a buyer’s market, under 6 months, a seller’s market. Looking back to December of 2007, there was 14.5 MOI, definitely a buyer’s market. As of the end of May, there was less than 2 MOI, clearly a seller’s market. These numbers don’t lie. If you’re a buyer, be prepared to compete with other buyers to get the home you want. If you’re a seller, things are looking up for you, finally. For more info about your specific area, please contact me at or

Monday, June 22, 2009

Why Appraisals Can Cause Grief

Buyers Take Note: Write your purchase contract to give you maximum flexibility to renegotiate or walk away. The market is very hot right now in the price point under $500k for single family homes. Here's a recent issue that is causing us grief in the real estate industry. As prices are rising, appraisers aren't keeping up with the market. To be able to get a home in this price range buyers are typically faced with multiple offers from other buyers. The successful bidder starts the loan process by getting an appraisal. The appraiser is basing their value on homes that sold a couple of months ago before prices went up and show an appraised value less than the agreed-to purchase price. The only way a lender will lend money on a home in this situation is if the buyer pays the difference between the appraised value and the contractual value in cash. If the contract was written properly, the buyer can also try to renegotiate the price with the seller or walk away from the deal, out $500 she spent for the appraisal. The other option is to communicate with the appraiser the current market conditions and request him to make adjustments, something they are often unwilling to make. Some say this is a good process to protect lenders. Some say this inhibits a free market economy because no one cared when prices were dropping.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Silicon Valley Higher End Home Prices Improve

  1. By Sue McAllister, Mercury News, 6/19/2009
With costlier homes selling better than they have in months, the median price of Silicon Valley houses rose 9 percent in May, the biggest month-over-month jump since March 2000, according to a report released Thursday. In Santa Clara County, the median price of previously owned single-family houses that changed hands last month rose to $475,000 from $435,000 in April, according to MDA DataQuick, which gathers the data from public records. But May's median price still represented a 32 percent decline from May 2008. Since hitting a low of $420,000 in January, median house prices in the county have risen every month. That trend, said Quincy Virgilio, president of the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors, is "a good indication that our market is starting to stabilize.
"Folks who see the value in the higher end are jumping into the market," he said.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Loan Modification Scams

After just attending a legal seminar from a top local attorney, I learned a few things about loan mod's that you should know about.
1) Lender's don't like dealing with loan modification companies. They figure if the borrower doesn't have the money to pay them, how can they afford to pay a 3rd party company?
2) Some loan mod companies have had borrowers sign Power of Attorney documents enabling the company to sign on the borrower’s behalf. After the dust settles and the loan has been modified, some borrowers are finding that the loan modification merely took the amount that was past due and added it to the principle while keeping the payment and interest rate the same. If the borrowers couldn’t afford the loan in the first place, the problem repeats itself.
3) There are some good companies out there, but be careful what you sign!