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.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mix bag of mud

Foreclosure, seem to be a hot topic.

· Foreclosure could be declining according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FIFA). April foreclosure starts were 85,938 down from the June's total of 88,491.

· Foreclosures rose 15% in the first half of 2009 impacting 1.5 million homes according to RealtyTrac. In addition foreclosures in June increased 5% from May. RealtyTrac also said June was the fourth consecutive month of 300,000+ foreclosure notices.

· For the first half of 2009 Nevada #1 Arizona #2 in foreclosures

Job Market, it is all about jobs! Unless and until the job market gets better and people get back to work, or if they are working and not feeling good about their long term job security, the recovery is going to be slow. If you want to watch one statistic watch the continuing job claims number.

· animated map provides visual timeline of job loss in U.S (2004-March 2009) let's just say "red" win.

· Initial jobless claims were down 47,000 to lower than expected 522,000 (the lowest level since January 2009).

· Continuing jobless claims fell to 6.2 million.

· Every quarter since March 2006 bankruptcies have increased. In the month of March 2008 there were 245,000 and a year later there were 330,000 in March.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Google map can now display real estate listing!

The power of search + map + street view integrated!!

I am guessing it's still in beta like their other applications.

Looks like Trulia was the first one to uses Street View's API to add value into its real estate search experience.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Are we there yet? Don't bet on it.

So it seems we have a variety of opinions regarding the proverbial bottom of the market: folks with vested interests in a thriving real estate market, like and commercial real estate mogul Sam Zell, claim that there are signs the market will improve in the next few months. Well, actually, Zillow did an opinion poll of users and reported that a majority of respondents think the market has hit bottom...wishful thinking, perhaps?

Meanwhile, economists familiar with the details of the actual economy - you know, employment, consumer purchases, home sales, default rates - have a sobering, and ultimately more accurate assessment.

Here's why we're nowhere near the bottom of the foreclosure-driven real estate market:

1. Unemployment continues to rise. Unemployment is near 9% nationally, and over 11% here in California. The rate is expected to top 10% nationally by the end of the year, and may top 12% in California. What's more, unemployment has a ripple effect on salaries and household incomes, because the few available jobs generally offer lower salaries and fewer benefits than jobs in a healthier economy. Because housing values (in a stable, realistic market - please ignore the 2002 through 2006 fiasco) are inextricably linked to household incomes, the "real" (read: the part of the market other than foreclosure investors and bargain hunters) housing market cannot recover until household incomes stabilize.

2. The foreclosure rate of prime loans is increasing. I hope that Congress is paying attention to this figure. According to data released by First American CoreLogic , the number of prime loans at some stage of serious delinquency (90+ days late) or foreclosure is more than 1.5 million - nearly equal to the number of subprime loans in serious delinquency or foreclosure. What this means is that we can no longer pretend that the foreclosure crisis is limited to "irresponsible people who bought more than they could afford" - the problems in the housing market are hitting literally millions of people who fall outside that stereotype. Some economists estimate that more than half of the defaults this year will be caused by unemployment.

3. The shadow inventory. We have a large number of homes that are not currently on the market, but will be soon, as REOs. Banks have been dragging their heels on foreclosures, mainly due to political pressure and their requests for taxpayer handouts. But now, with foreclosure activity ramping up again, banks will end up owning a lot more real estate. This is in addition to the real estate they already own but have kept off the market. Rising inventories of REOs will have to be liquidated sooner or later. This inventory is estimated to be hundreds of thousands of homes, and as we're on track to see close to 3 million foreclosures this year, those numbers are sure to rise. Banks keen on ridding their balance sheets of non-performing real estate assets will dump their REOs at rock-bottom prices, which will keep values depressed.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Meet dumb and dumber! Mac and Mae

I think the title pretty much express my view on the two fed backed company. Don't get me started on the bonus they are giving out.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Please recycle your old news paper

I guess I could just shop for house online :-) of course once you found the one you like you have to physically get there.