Friday, March 29, 2013

The Real Estate Bloggers

The Real Estate Bloggers

The 6 Million Dollar Squatter

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 07:03 AM PDT

If you are an older guy like me, you remember the old TV show, The 6 Million Dollar Man, featuring Steve Austin as an astronaut who suffered a crash and was rebuilt as a cyborg. It was a story of hope and change in the 1970′s.

Now in the new era of hope and change, we have a new version of the 6 million dollar man squatter. By using amazing technology of the internet, people are finding obscure laws and codes that allow them to try to beat the system. This is the story of Lamont Butler who found an obscure century old treaty that he felt entitled him to take over a 12 bedroom, 17 bathroom mansion in Bethesda, Maryland.

He did not last long, and faces a host of charges including burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, and attempted theft over one hundred thousand dollars.

But in this world of realtity TV, we may have a new show to pitch. The 6 Million Dollar Squatter. Instead of saving the world, we follow Lamont as he finds seaches Zillow to find mansions that are vacant. Then after another quick search of Findlaw he will create the legal basis for his takeover of the home.

During the half hour show we will watch real estate agents, bankers, law enforcement, and the courts find ways to legally evict Lamont from the home as he valiantly tries to maintain the residency.


DC Breaking Local News Weather Sports FOX 5 WTTG

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Real Estate Bloggers

The Real Estate Bloggers

NAR Invests in 6 Startups Through REach Accelerator Program

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 07:46 AM PDT

I bet you did not know that the National Association of Realtors (NAR) runs an accelerator program for new startups through their Second Century Ventures fund, did you? I didn’t until this week, but it is a concept worth exploring.

Innovation through technology has been an important driver in the real estate industry, and needs to be supported. That being said, the 6 companies picked to be part of the 2013 REach accelerator program are getting the best of both worlds; an investment in the company and the weight and power of the NAR to help them succeed.

These companies are focused on forward thinking customer engagement tools that will help Realtors, and that is a great thing. A commitment from the NAR to their membership to drive improved client services and communication will be beneficial for all in the industry.

NAR’s REach Accelerators Class of 2013

  • BombBomb – Provides a complete e-mail and video marketing platform for developing, sending and tracking results of traditional and video e-mail campaigns from any device.
  • Lumentus – Gives companies a measurable edge in identifying, understanding and engaging social media communities keeping social media communications on brand and on mission.
  • Planwise – Offers a financial planning service that enables individuals to plan for major life events by simply and visually testing real-life scenarios.
  • Reach150 – Provides a turnkey referral platform for service professionals to quickly build a positive reputation online.
  • Updater – Provides a free service for anyone who is moving to easily forward mail, update accounts, transfer utilities, and sign up for home services in a single location.
  • Workface – Offers a unique, quick-to-deploy live chat (text, audio, video) software platform for real time one-on-one conversations at a customer's moment of interest.

I wish all these companies the best of luck going forward, you have earned the opportunity. I would also cousel them to use the mentors in the REach program. I have been fortunately to get to know a few of them and they can offer you advice that will move your companies forward.

To learn more about the REach program, visit their site here.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Real Estate Bloggers

The Real Estate Bloggers

Top 10 Most Expensive Luxury Cities In the World For 2013

Posted: 25 Mar 2013 11:16 AM PDT

Top 10 Real Estate Market

With the significant increase in billionaires in the world over the past year due to the improving stock markets, Savills has come out with their annual World Cities Review report. The reports shows that the luxury markets in the major cities have improved much faster than the markets as a whole.

Asia has seen the biggest increase of luxury housing prices, led by Hong Kong at nearly $11,000 per square foot. With the average home being over 5.200 square feet, you are looking at the typical luxury home on Hong Kong priced at 57 million dollars.

That is a significant investment.

Here is the list of the;

Top 10 Most Expensive Luxury Cities In the World For 2013

City            Price Per Square Foot   AVG Price for 5,000 sf Home    1.  Hong Kong           $ 11,000                $55,000,000   2.  Tokyo               $  7,600                $38,000,000   3.  London              $  5,300                $26,500,000   4.  Paris               $  4,400                $22,000,000   5.  Moskow              $  4,350                $21,750,000   6.  New York City       $  4,100                $20,500,000   7.  Shanghai            $  2,125                $10,625,000   8.  Singapore           $  1,820                $ 9,100,000   9.  Mumbia              $    970                $ 4,850,000   10. Sydney              $    880                $ 4,400,000

via Savills and Forbes

Now remember this one fact looking at these numbers, this is average price for the luxury segment of the real estate market in the listed cities. The average price is much lower for all real estate. But for the upper echelon of the market place, the prices are pretty amazing.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Real Estate Bloggers

The Real Estate Bloggers

Freddie Mac Shares Optimistic Outlook For 2013

Posted: 22 Mar 2013 06:40 AM PDT

Freddie Mac, one of the key mortgage lenders, has issued it’s outlook for the real estate market and it is coming up roses. Now every increased percentage point of property value removes a huge amount of risk to their mortgage portfolio, so every bit of positive spin needs to be recognized as slightly self serving, the news is still great.

Here are the key takeaways from the March 2013 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook issued by Freddie Mac.

  • Compared to 2012, expect home sales to be up 8 to 10 percent for 2013.
    Expect housing starts to increase to 950,000 units for 2013, compared to 780,000 in 2012.
  • In 2012, real estate added $1.5 trillion to balance sheets, and residential mortgage debt outstanding increased by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, indicating household deleveraging might be drawing to a close.
  • Because of sequestration spending reductions, expect the unemployment rate in 2013 to average about 7.8 percent, essentially flat for the year or about 0.25 percentage points higher than it otherwise would have been.
  • Regardless, the housing wealth effect is taking hold in the broader market which should translate into the healthiest spring homebuying season since 2007.

You can see the complete Freddie Mac housing analysis here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Real Estate Bloggers

The Real Estate Bloggers

Rising Costs and Tight Credit Slow New Construction

Posted: 18 Mar 2013 09:29 AM PDT

NAHB logo

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) showed a slight dip for January, 2013. The results issued today showed the HMI index slipped 4 points from 51 (optimistic territory) to 47 (negative territory) as increased costs for raw materials and land started hitting the bottom line and the old nemesis, tight credit lending standards, started affecting approvals for new construction.

From NAHB Chairman Rick Judson:

“Following eight consecutive months of improvement, builder confidence leveled off in January and has since edged down several points,” noted NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “Although many of our members are reporting increased demand for new homes in their markets, their enthusiasm is being tempered by frustrating bottlenecks in the supply chain for developed lots along with rising costs for building materials and labor. At the same time, problems with appraisals and credit availability remain considerable obstacles to completing deals.”

“In addition to tight credit and below-price appraisals, home building is beginning to suffer growth pains as the infrastructure that supports it tries to re-establish itself,” explained NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “During the Great Recession, the industry lost home building firms, building material production capacity, workers who retreated to other sectors and the pipeline of developed lots. The road to a housing recovery will be a bumpy one until these issues are addressed, but in the meantime, builders are much more optimistic today than they were at this time last year.” via Press Release

The regional 3 month rolling average for the HMI score also had some interesting regional variances.

  • The West saw a surge in confidence with thier score rising 4 points to 57.
  • The Northeast region stayed negative at 37 not moving,
  • And in the South and Midwest, their was slight improvement of the negative sentiment coming in up 1 point with a 47 score.

To see the raw HMI data, follow this link

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Real Estate Bloggers

The Real Estate Bloggers

Top 10 Fastest Real Estate Markets in 2013

Posted: 15 Mar 2013 08:58 AM PDT

moneyhouseRedfin has come out with an interesting new metric for analyzing how fast moving real estate markets in the country. They have captured the flash sales, those homes that have gone to contract in under 24 hours after the initial listing, in major markets across the country.

As inventories tighten and buyers have returned to the market, we are seeing the days of people pouncing on homes the minute they are listed, very reminiscent of the early parts of the 2000′s. Over the past 5 months, Phoenix was by far the leader in this category with 540 flash sales, followed by Chicago with 261. Portland, Oregon brought up the rear of the list at 115.

Numbers like these have to make real estate agents salivate and start beating the bushes for listings. It is a profitable storm, homes that move quickly with no marketing costs. A few months of these hitting the market and agents will forget their abject fear of taking a listing that they experienced over the past few years.


Top 10 Fastest Real Estate Markets in 2013



Rank    City            # Flash Sales
1       Phoenix, AZ             540  2       Chicago, IL             261  3       Houston, TX             188  4       Dallas, TX              184  5       Austin, TX              163  6       San Diego, CA           135  7       Los Angeles, CA         132  8       Sacramento, CA          128  9       Denver, CO              115  10      Portland, OR            115

via Redfin’s Press Release

Friday, March 15, 2013

Irvine Housing Blog

Irvine Housing Blog

Link to Irvine Housing Blog

Closed Sales from 3-7-2013 to 3-13-2013

Posted: 15 Mar 2013 05:00 AM PDT

Date Sold Address Zip Tract Sold Price Beds SqFt
Airport Area          
3/8/2013 2303 Watermarke 92612 Watermarke $315,000 1 726
3/8/2013 3131 Michelson 92612 Marquee at Park Place $385,000 2 1580
3/11/2013 1248 Scholarship 92612 Avenue One $200,000 1 725
3/12/2013 2233 Martin 92612 Metropolitan (MET) $400,000 2 1269
El Camino Real          
3/7/2013 7 Amberwood 92604 Smoketree (ST) $509,000 4 1647
3/11/2013 5151 Walnut Ave 92604 Wildflower $395,000 2 1142
3/13/2013 130 Oval 92604 Walnut Square (WS) $330,000 2 1100
3/8/2013 51 Burlingame 92602 Brisbane (BRIB) $413,000 2 1475
3/11/2013 14 Pasadena 92602 Brentwood $1,240,000 5 3250
3/11/2013 805 Terra Bella 92602 Terra Bella $403,000 2 1167
3/8/2013 3 Shadduck 92620 Courtside (CS) $749,900 3 1841
3/11/2013 6 Night Bloom 92602 Mericort (MERC) $608,000 3 1635
3/11/2013 28 Alondra 92620 Woodside (WS1) $814,000 4 2392
3/11/2013 66 Secret Garden 92620 Camellia (CAME) $905,000 4 2460
3/12/2013 7 Ensueno 92620 Park Place (PP) $900,000 4 2600
3/12/2013 460 Monroe 92620 Timberline $440,000 3 1376
Oak Creek            
3/8/2013 10 Henna 92618 Kenwood $978,000 4 3123
3/7/2013 67 Tarocco 92618 Orchard Glen OT $370,000 3 1134
3/7/2013 110 Orchard 92618 Patio Homes (OT) $460,000 2 1133
3/8/2013 37 Lemon Grove 92618 Patio Homes (OT) $363,000 2 1133
Quail Hill            
3/8/2013 209 Scarlet 92603 Sandalwood $765,000 4 2300
Rancho San Joaquin          
3/8/2013 21 Las Brisas 92612 RSJ Townhomes (JH) $536,000 2 1437
Turtle Ridge          
3/13/2013 129 Coral Rose 92603 Ashton Green (ASHG) $581,000 3 1400
Turtle Rock          
3/8/2013 18982 Racine 92603 Broadmoor (BM) $890,000 3 1687
3/13/2013 10 Morning Song 92603 Ridge Townhomes Bren $580,000 2 1740
University Park          
3/8/2013 44 Gillman 92612 Chancellor $725,000 5 2291
3/8/2013 52 Seton 92612 Village I $535,000 3 1493
3/11/2013 9 Featherwood 92612 Terrace $485,000 2 1185
Walnut (Irvine)          
3/8/2013 3462 Pecan 92606 College Park (CP) $600,000 4 1644
3/13/2013 151 Kensington 92606 Parklane (WN) $455,000 2 1200
West Irvine          
3/7/2013 66 Sapphire 92602 Mandeville $515,000 3 1478
3/13/2013 46 Boulder Creek 92602 Heritage (HERI) $715,000 4 2005
3/8/2013 25 Tiara 92614 Promenade (PR) $795,000 4 2026
3/13/2013 31 Giovanni Aisle 92614 Tiempo (TI) $402,000 2 1032
3/8/2013 31 Silkleaf 92614 Cottage Homes $725,000 4 1910
3/11/2013 48 Ashwood 92604 Gables $1,025,000 5 2461
3/12/2013 120 Greenmoor 92614 Stonegate (SG) $370,000 2 978
3/13/2013 8 Amberleaf 92614 Seasons (SN) $460,000 2 1211
3/7/2013 29 Dusty Rose 92620 Villa Rosa $1,170,000 5 3000
3/8/2013 84 Costa Brava 92620 Santa Barbara/WDSB $430,000 2 1200
3/12/2013 10 Nature 92620   $445,000 2 1165
3/12/2013 37 Spanish Lace 92620 Lombard Court (WDLC) $345,000 1 1100

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Irvine Housing Blog

Irvine Housing Blog

Link to Irvine Housing Blog

Open House Review: 106 Echo Run

Posted: 14 Mar 2013 05:00 AM PDT

This weekend, I visited a condo in the southernmost part of Woodbridge.  It is an upper end unit, overlooking a greenbelt, and has some recent updates.

The basics:
Asking Price: $389,000
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
Square Footage: 1,164
Lot Size: N/A
$/Sq Ft: $334
Days on Market: 14
Property Type: condo
Year Built: 1982

HOA dues are $392 per month and there are no Mello Roos taxes.

This condo is in the Park Vista tract of Woodbridge.  As soon as I arrived, I could hear the cars rushing by on the nearby 405 freeway.  All of the windows were open in the condo, but I would imagine that it’s close enough to hear the freeway noise even with the windows shut.


There is a small storage closet at the bottom of the outside staircase that leads up to the unit.  It’s a great place for storing children’s bikes, scooters, or a stroller, but isn’t big enough to hold much more.  The staircase had recently been repainted and there was a balcony at the top with room for a small table and a couple of chairs.

The front door opens directly into the living room.  It has newer Pergo floors and recessed lighting.  The room is a good size, but with windows only in one corner, probably doesn’t get a lot of light for most of the day.

The dining room and kitchen are on the other side of the front door.  It is big enough for a table for eight, but doesn’t have any windows.  It leads directly into the kitchen, which has attractive granite counters and brushed nickel hardware.  The room is long and narrow, with white appliances and darker cabinets.  There is a second balcony off the kitchen that provides space for a grill.

A hallway at the back of the condo leads to the three bedrooms.  The master is first, with a big window on one wall and a large mirrored closet on another.  The room isn’t very big and doesn’t give many options for arranging furniture, but there is space for a bed and two other pieces (dressers or a comfy chair).  The attached bathroom has a single sink and a shower, plus a couple of storage cabinets.

Next down the hall is the second bathroom.  This one is bigger than the one in the master, but still only has one sink.  There is a shower/tub combo.  Though half the bathroom has the same Pergo floors as the rest of the condo, the back half is tiled. 

The next bedroom is a good size and has a mirrored closet.  It currently has five bigger pieces of furniture in it and still has plenty of open floor space in the middle.  The third bedroom is smaller, but still a decent size.  It has a nice walk-in closet and sliding doors that lead out to the balcony off the kitchen. 

A small closet at the end of the hall (between the two secondary bedrooms) houses the washer and dryer.


The condo is in really good condition and makes good use of the space.  It only has one parking spot – a covered carport a bit down the greenbelt.  Additional parking is available on the street on the far side of all the carports.  The owners can enjoy all of the benefits that Woodbridge has to offer, including parks, lakes, and good schools, but the specific location of this unit is a drawback.  The owners will review offers this week, so set an appointment and put your bid in quickly if you’re interested.

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