Sunday, May 23, 2010

Always check the basement ( or crawel space)

Yes, it's dark and sometimes smell. But you must go in there.

I apologize the photo is out of focus, I was trying not to laugh! Below photo is taking in a crawl space, I was wondering why the hardwood floor in the family room sinks a little. If you are not sure what you are looking at, the "blue" seems to be supported by bricks, one of them had already give up and see the two 4x4 support above ... not sure what that does :-)

Nothing interesting ... just leak
below basement shows that owner really did try to fix the bowed wall. But the water is still seeping in, I think it's because downspout problem.

Monday, March 1, 2010

should be an intresting April for 1st time home buyer.

As most of you know about the The $8,000 tax credit is for first-time home buyers only. For the tax credit program, the IRS defines a first-time home buyer as someone who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase. The deadline is April 30, 2010. However, in cases where a binding sales contract is signed by April 30, 2010, a home purchase completed by June 30, 2010 will qualify.

I do see more people starts to bid up the price (good area not a bad investment), kinda remind me of 2004-2005. Which is kind of crazy because some of them will probably later realize it's not their "dream home". Picture is worth a 1000 word so here goes one of my favorite site


Other articles on cost of home ownership:

Get Rich Slowly (from 2007) the data is little dated but great reference.

Q4: Homeownership Rate Declines to Early 2000 Level homeownership and rental vacancy rate graph

Is it better to buy or rent NYTimes

Equifax's reported more than 8 percent of homeowners were behind 30 days or more on their mortgage loans, up 4.4 percent from December 2009 and 21 percent from last January. Let's hope the dip is due to xmas shopping.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

nothing new home sales in November tumble

The number looks bad...probably due to the winter season in most of the U.S.

The data on contracts follows a recent government report that new home
sales plunged 11.3% in November. Experts said the November drop in home
contracts and in new home sales reflected a falloff after a surge in activity as
buyers rushed into the market to take advantage of the tax credit before its
initial expiration Nov. 30. Congress in November extended that credit through
April and expanded it to include a $6,500 incentive for some buyers who already
own a home.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

You house is a home or a "investment"?

saw this article titled "A house is a home, not an investment" lot of discussion.
I paste a short version here you can read full on NYTimes. btw, it's NY Times so the price maybe different in your area.

"spend a nice week at a friend's new house. At the end of a visit with friends a while ago, I took a little tour through the house to count the rooms that had gone unused through the long weekend.

There was a finished game room in the basement, a kids’ playroom on the second floor, the second guest room, a sitting room and formal living and dining rooms — all unvisited for three days while the seven of us hung out in the family room and kitchen. Finishing my tour, I found four big air-conditioning units humming beside the house, each as big as the single unit that cools my own home quite nicely.

Now, our friends are very successful small-business owners, and they can afford this house. But, wow! There’s a lot of money committed to owning and maintaining this palace — money that could be invested elsewhere, put back into the business or kept in reserve in case the business hits a rough patch. Is the home really a good enough investment to justify such expense?

We often hear that the home is our “biggest investment.” But there’s a good case to be made that a home isn’t an investment at all. On a purely financial basis, owning a home is generally more profitable over the long term than renting. But I believe an expensive home is generally not as good an investment as an inexpensive one — not considering the alternatives. "

Continue at NYTimes

Monday, July 27, 2009

New home sales is out for June 2009.

hard to say if this is just another data point on the graph, but it's positive one and that is what everyone could hope for in this condition.

Bloomberg news

Saturday, July 25, 2009

On site visit is a must!

Depend on how long the build has been on the market or the type of person lived there before a short sell/foreclose house maybe in bad shape. See photo for two different house I visited.

A damage ceiling is not so bad, compare to molds..

of course it looks bad, but the root cause is probably a old leaky roof which can be fix.

next time I'll provide a list a simple check list of things to look for. Remember what you "see" may not be the true value of the property. If you know a contractor he maybe able to quote you the price to fix it up.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

credit is due...

I was searching around for data points so I can compare the past 2 or 3 years foreclosure rate and found this graph from most of the data are focus California, but still relevant.

It looks so much better than my excel spread sheet! The blog titled "Foreclosure Nation" if you like numbers and charts this web site got it all.