Hat tip to DB for sending this along, fromReuters:
Bethany and Karl Schreiber are hunting for a nice big house in the pricey Washington, D.C., suburbs and they are facing a deadline: In just a few months their third child will be born, and the tiny two-bedroom they’ve been inhabiting will officially get too small.
But there’s a second deadline looming for them as well. Beginning on October 1, the government will dial back on the size of mortgages it guarantees in high-cost areas like San Francisco, New York and Washington.
After that, the maximum loan amount that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will back is scheduled to drop from $729,750 to $625,500. And that may make mortgages more expensive or harder to get for buyers like the Schreibers, who are shopping in the $700,000 range and would prefer to make a downpayment of 10 percent or less.
“If we wait a year, we may not be able to afford as big a house,” Bethany said in an interview. “Rates and housing prices are probably going to go up.”
The Schreibers concede their timing is mainly inspired by their own family circumstances. But others may be motivated to act now because of reduced government-backed loan assistance, housing experts say. Those programs were put in force as part of the stimulus package after the housing collapse.
“For people planning on exiting the market altogether (such as retirees), that is a compelling proposition,” says Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow. Home sellers may have to be patient to get the price they want. The curbs on government-backed loans could, at the margin, reduce the available pool of buyers, he said.
After two and a half months, this 1927 Paul Williams house out in the wilds of La Cañada Flintridge has emerged from its interior design cocoon, having been made over top to bottom by a group of more than 50 designers. “Before” photos and a little history here. The private property is this year’s Pasadena Showcase House of Design, a music and arts education fundraiser that’s been held since 1965. Today we’re checking out the main house, which is 7,205 square feet and has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a carriage house.
Bad neighbors aren’t just annoying. They can cost you real money when it’s time to sell your home.
A nearby property’s overgrown yard, peeling paint and clutter can easily knock 5% to 10% off the sale price of your home, said Joe Magdziarz, the president of the Appraisal Institute and a real-estate appraiser with 40 years of experience. A true disaster — a junky home in deplorable condition and a yard packed with debris — could cost you even more.
Even when real-estate markets were in better shape, messy neighbors caused problems. Kamie Dowen put her Harrisburg, Pa., home on the market five years ago but had problems selling because of a nearby property.
Toys littered the lawn, even in winter. The porch sported “a pumpkin that was two years past due,” Dowen said. A garage door, damaged after the owner ran into it with his car, was never fixed.
Frustration can lead to guerrilla tactics. Jeanine Brydges Watt of Windsor, Ontario, got so fed up with her neighbors’ yard that she waited until they went on vacation, then mowed the lawn and threw out the trash, which included old diapers and split-open bags of garbage.
Watt said she wasn’t worried about being arrested for trespassing. The messy neighbors were renters and probably thought their landlord had done it, she said. And Watt’s other neighbors were thrilled.
“If they had been asked, none of the other neighbors would have ratted me out,” she said. “They were happy we cleaned up the eyesore.”
You may not be willing to risk arrest, but there are other tactics you can try if a neighbor’s property is hurting your home’s value.
Larry Summers, one-time director of President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council, believes the economy is recovering, albeit not as fast in some areas as desired, but enough to forestall a double dip.
“There is no longer any talk of a depression,” he told journalists at a Lincoln Institute of Land Policy seminar in Cambridge, Mass., over the weekend. “Now, there’s very little talk of a double dip.”
He pointed out that the economy has grown for seven straight quarters and the unemployment rate has fallen.
“The stock market has had the best two-year run since the beginning of the 20th century,” he said. He also said corporate profits are best in any two-year period since World War II.
But he acknowledged things are not improving fast enough.
“To be sure, we have a huge concern that the recovery is not nearly as rapid as we would like,” he said. “The housing sector remains extraordinarily weak. The nation’s long-term debt situation is not where it should be. There have been major steps in financial regulation but we can’t be certain we will avoid another financial crisis.
“But the catastrophe that could have been averted has been averted , and I think it has been averted with a combination of the right diagnosis, determined effort to act on that diagnosis, a good deal of luck and an important change in psychology.”
Summers, who served in the administration from 2009 until early this year, returned to Harvard as president emeritus. He was Treasury secretary under former President Bill Clinton and chief economist of the World Bank.
Foreclosures are inching up again, while closely watched defaults shot up 34 percent in March — the largest monthly increase for San Diego County in more than two years.
Analysts at DataQuick Information Systems on Tuesday reported there were 1,837 mortgage defaults in March, up 34 percent from February but down 19 percent from a year ago.
The company’s numbers also show there were 1,047 foreclosures in March, a 17 percent increase from February but an 8 percent decrease from the same time last year.
Some industry leaders predict monthly numbers will continue to rise this year as banks are apparently becoming more expedient with foreclosure processes and people continue to walk away from their homes, even when they’re able to afford the mortgage payments.
March’s monthly increases may indicate that lenders are becoming “more comfortable going forward with notices of defaults,” said Dave McDonald, a branch manager for New American Funding in Bonita and a past president of the California Association of Mortgage Brokers’s San Diego chapter.
Another factor that could lead to more defaults: homeowners who took on five- and seven-year adjustable rate mortgages, or ARMs, during the height of the market. McDonald said those consumers are expecting drastic changes in their loan terms this year and in 2012, which could mean increases in monthly payments. In the past, he’s seen them go as high as $800 more a month for some homeowners.
Since refinancing is an unlikely option, McDonald suspects many will end up defaulting on their loans. “It’s the next wave (of defaulters,)” McDonald said.
Gary Laturno, a San Diego real estate broker whose expertise is in foreclosures, is still in the wait-and-see category with foreclosures and defaults this year.
Still, Laturno concedes the state of the county’s distressed market is volatile. He’s still seeing a number of “strategic defaulters,” homeowners who walk away from their homes because they are so underwater, even when they can afford to make the payments.
“I think we have a long way to go” before the distress is over, said Laturno, also a San Diego attorney.
The national existing-home sales in March increased by 3.7% over the previous month’s total, which makes sense as the spring buying season got rolling.
Nationally the March sales were down 6.3% year-over-year, and median price was down 5.9%.
How did we do locally?
To generate bigger samples, and to test out more of the tax-credit influence, these are the detached sales and pricing from March 1st to April 15th:
All SD Co.
Overall, our market is holding up well, in spite of no tax credit this year. SE Carlsbad, 92009 is still struggling, but sales are up sharply in the Ranch, and Carmel Valley continues to see strong sales and higher average pricing.
Jim the Realtor is legit - I interviewed three brokers; he said list price should be $100,000 higher than the other two brokers; listed it with him and had all cash (no financing) offer in two days, five day contingency period, closing in two weeks - and it closed at his recommended list price. I could not recommend anyone more than I recommend Jim the Realtor.
When we moved to San Diego in 2005 we rented a big house on Mt. Soledad (La Jolla) with 180 degree ocean views for the same payment as a mortgage on a dump in Chula Vista. Clearly something was wrong. Yet, the media was full of the usual happy-talk nonsense, so I was glad to find Jim's blog. I've followed his honest assessments and data since.
We decided to sell and move to AZ at Thanksgiving. Dec. 1st we met with Jim to sell our home. We closed today (29 days later). Jim orchestrated a feeding frenzy -- we had 25 showings in 2-1/2 days, multiple offers, and sold for well over asking price. I'd say he earned his commission! We have owned and sold homes in 5 different States always using experienced, productive, full-time realtors. Jim outshines them all.
You don't decide to sell and close 29 days later over Christmas (with COVID lockdown) without some miracles. Donna was amazing at performing lots of those miracles and ensuring that everything was done right and on time. They are a terrific team with a very responsive and professional network.
Where do we begin..2020 has been a year for everyone. When COVID hit and shut down both my husband and my businesses, we were left with a mortgage and very little income coming in. We were stressed, scared and felt stuck. We made the hard decision to sell our home and move out of state. We contacted the Klinges' and spent a good hour going over what we hoped we could accomplish. Jim and Donna came over with comps in hand and suggestions on improvements to get our house ready for the market. It was overwhelming to think about, but Donna was there and one step ahead in every scenario. Basically we just approved what they suggested and Donna handled literally everything. We placed our house on the market and within the first day we had multiple offers well above asking price! We couldn't believe it. We were overjoyed! Jim countered the offers to weed through them, and everyone came back with way more. It was amazing, and we are ?? sure it was because of the staging and repairs the Klinges suggested we do.
Due to unforeseen dishonesty from the buyers lender, we hit a big hurdle when trying to close. We had already moved out of state and were shocked when three days before closing the lender dropped a bombshell on the buyers and us. However, Jim and Donna handled it like veterans, not afraid to play hard ball and represent their clients. After a few phone calls with us, and several between Donna and the lender, they had a plan B-Z to make sure we were taken care of. In the end we closed with even more money than we ever thought possible and with very little work from us. The Klinges handled this entire "2020" worthy event with the utmost professionalism and did everything in their power to not only make this as smooth as possible for us, but we also walked away with more money from the sale of the house than we ever hoped for. After working with Jim and Donna, you don't ever use anyone else. They are hands down the best team to represent you in any scenario.
Working with Klinge Realty Group was a great experience! They are very responsive, professional and knowledgable about the real estate market! I would definitely recommend Klinge Realty Group.
Jim and Donna Klinge made the sale of our condo extraordinarily easy. They know the market and gave us sound advice backed by details and very considerable experience, reflected both in the initial pricing and subsequent negotiations. They work together as a team and are always available to talk. We had a few challenges with our property and they were able to coordinate the resolution to everything, including items that I would not think would ordinarily be their responsibility to handle. They made the whole process effortless on our part. They are folks with high integrity and we cannot recommend them highly enough.
Review for Member: Donna Klinge
I cannot believe there are no reviews of Donna yet, ugh!! She is the secret sauce of the Jim Klinge/Donna Klinge combo! I will touch on Jim here, but Donna is why I'm so totally loyal to these two (no offense to Jim :)).
I consider myself a rather savvy buyer/seller. I've bought/sold 7 times in about 15 years. On the buy side, Jim is the PERFECT combo of: completely digitally savvy (he will pull data all day long until you feel comfortable with your chosen house, area, school district, anticipated appreciation rate...anything!), he's super well respected and known in the area by other agents, an amazingly cool but strategic negotiator, is totally devoid of desperation for a sale/commission, and more.
Then once you get into contract phase, Donna literally handles every last and final detail in a concierge-like manner -- totally shielding you from the daily back and forth, noodling and annoyances of the buyer's requests. She solves it ALL; it's miraculous what that woman accomplishes over and above what is even expected in a buy/sell transaction.
On the sell side, Jim and Donna do the same, but even moreso. Donna in particular truly takes everything off your plate: she'll manage getting the house painted, the carpets replaced, she'll go on site (as she Jim both did for me when selling our rental properties) to work with the renters and make sure the house is ready to show -- freeing me to have to take time off of work to do so. They work with A+ integrity, too, so you know you are serving all parties fairly and lawfully throughout.
A home purchase/sale is the most considered you'll ever make. HIRE A SAVVY AGENT, not a friend!, and get what you need out of the transaction. Jim and Donna are our agents for life.
Jim and Donna Klinge are by far the most professional, personable and responsive realtors I have ever worked with. They provide VIP concierge level service in every area of the process of selling your home. My home was marketed so successfully that we received an offer the day after our first and only open house. Thanks to Jim's pricing and negotiating, our house is now the highest sold in our community. Jim's vast experience means he has worked with several realtors and knows the market all over north county. Donna is AMAZING in processing everything in the transaction. She scheduled trades people to work on the house in preparation for the sale as well as the repairs needed before closing. She communicated clearly every step of the way about what would be happening. She took the weight off my shoulders for the whole process. I will always use Jim and Donna for my future real estate needs and I whole heartedly recommend them to anyone buying or selling a home.
Jim and the team at Klinge Reality are without a doubt the best in the business! Not only was Jim helpful and extremely knowledgeable, he was patient and determined to help me find my first home. Jim and his team have been in the business for many years, and it shows. Jim is a wealth of knowledge and was my biggest proponent despite the temperature of the competitive market. I ended up getting the perfect property in my dream neighborhood all thanks to Jim. From the day my offer was accepted, Donna was a real lifesaver. She was extremely helpful, responsive, and knowledgeable when it came to every minute detail, and held my hand through the process. As a first time home buyer I had no idea what the process would entail, but Donna curtailed every concern I came across and made the escrow process feel seamless. Jim and Donna provided me the best home buying experience, and I am very grateful for all they did for me. It was truly a pleasure to work with Jim and Donna and I am already looking forward to the next time we work together!
Review for Member: Richard Morgan
Richard is an amazing realtor! He has high integrity and genuinely cares about his clients and their needs. Richard paid close attention to what I was seeking in a home and was very patient in our search to find it. I would highly recommend Richard and will use him for future transactions. Truly a different kind of realtor experience!
Could not be happier with my experience with Jim and his team. He helped me sell a very unique and challenging property. Throughout the entire process he was always available, honest, transparent, trustworthy, and always put my interests as a seller first. A (rare) true professional! During close of escrow Jim went above and beyond to complete the deal. It would not have been possible without his experience, fantastic team, and pure dedication. Highly recommended!
Thanks Jim and Donna Klinge!