This Home is Juuust Right

a home just right for youWhen you are ready to go out and buy a home, I am sure you have done your research, asked for advice and perhaps visited open houses so you could make the best buy for you. Well, I did, too. My own father gave me advice many years ago. He advised me to try and buy the most home I could afford. While this advice worked for me, it may not work everyone.

If you stretch your budget to buy a home, this may work great if you don’t have a lot of other obligations and/or are planning to stay in the home for many years. Seven to ten years after you stretch your budget, sacrifice and purchase that home, you may be well ahead of the game here in Orange County. For instance, if you purchased just about anything back in 2009-2011, you have probably realized at least $100,000 and more in equity gain. Even since last year, values have gone up anywhere from 2%-7% depending on the area where you bought. However, if you purchased in 2005 -2007, you may just be breaking even right now or perhaps slightly under depending on where you live in the County. Another 4-5 years from now, though, the value of your home will most likely be more than what you paid back then.

couple making an offerThe longer you plan to stay in a home, the less you need to try and time the market. In many instances, I think this practice of timing the market can be self-defeating. I may blog about that at some other time, but as a quick example, in 2010, I had a client who wanted to buy an investment home, had ample funds to do so, but was scared that he was overpaying and was listening to those who said the market was poised to go down again. So he did not buy. He basically threw away about $100,000 in equity he would have realized in the next 2-3 years. But the decision as ultimately his.

Keep in mind it is not just your principal and interest payments you will be paying monthly, it will be taxes, insurance, HOA payments, etc. Either you or your lender needs to factor these in to your monthly payment so you have as few surprises as possible once you close escrow.

So do what you have to do to help you make good home-buying choices, close escrow on the home that is just right for you and enjoy!

Should I Buy a Condo or a House?

Should I Buy a Condo?You know you need to make a home purchase, but you are unsure of a house or a condo. There are compelling reasons to buy for both as well as detracting factors. Give them all some thought beforehand.

Condo living can be more carefree since much of the maintenance is taken care of by the governing homeowner’s association. If you don’t want to take care of a yard but still want some gardening space, you can usually find that with a condo. Condos come in all sizes, so whether you are a single or a small family, you should be able to find something. You will usually pay less for a condo, too, so if you are on a budget, a condo will seem very attractive. If you outgrow your condo, it would be fairly easy to keep the condo and lease it out, turning it into a great investment property. On the downside, since these are multi-family homes, your neighbors are in closer proximity to you, so noise and odors that you may find objectionable will be hard to escape. The Homeowner’s Association may have rules that might not fit your lifestyle or that you find too restrictive. And storage space can be tight.

huntington beach condoSingle family homes usually have much more space in general. You are usually freer to customize your home if you desire. You may find more privacy with a single family home. Lower or fewer association fees and rules are attached to your property. When going to purchase, you usually have more choices with single family homes. However, usually all the maintenance is up to you, the homeowner. It may be harder to keep as an investment if you need to move.

So consider your budget, how you live and where you want to live if yo are lucky enough to be able to choose between house or condo. And call me so I can help you with the process!

Opportunity! Single Family Home at Condo Price

Wonderful Single Level Home in Indian Village WestminsterThis little home located in Indian Village is still in mostly original condition, but has newer windows, roof and paint and has been well-maintained by long-time owner. Four bedrooms, two baths and carport and driveway parking, and potential RV access. Large 7400sf lot surrounded by other long-time owners.

Located at 6451 Bannock Rd., Westminster, and priced at just $415,000. You can call me for a private showing or check out the virtual tour. 949.525.5905

Orange County Short Sales and Bank-Owned Homes

Orange County CondosA lot of folks ask me about the foreclosure market and the inventory of bank-owned homes.  I decided to look into the numbers and create a chart showing the market data for both types of homes. I went back 18 months and charted the data for 1) bank-owned homes and 2) homes that are selling “short” and are in the foreclosure process.

Click here to see the data for the past 18 months for all bank-owned residential properties in Orange County.

Click here to see the data for the past 18 months for all Orange County residential properties in the short sale or pre-foreclosure process or have a notice of default.

There has been a dramatic drop in both types of inventory.  Buyers have been most eager to take advantage of this type of property listing. Is the drop just because banks are holding off foreclosing? Truly doubtful. Not for this kind of drop. As we get further away from 2007-2008, the fewer homes we will see going into foreclosure and an increasing amount of buyers gobbling up the inventory, especially investors. You can see in both cases, there are more homes in escrow than are available for sale. There are simply not enough of this type of property for sale. Demand is high as first-time buyers and investors see the wisdom in making a purchase right now as rental rates continue to rise.

If you want to see what types of bank-owned homes or short sales may be available, call me today! 949.525.5905