Real Estate Strategies

Forecasts for a slow 2016 real estate season have been greatly exaggerated.

Late last year, some financial analysts worried that a rise in the base interest rates by the Federal Reserve would Santa Clarita Real Estate Market Updatetrigger a reversal of fortunes in the real estate industry. Rates would rise, loans would be harder to get, houses would begin to languish on the market, and home prices would drop.

However, that turned out to not happen…at all!

Interest rates, while bumping back and forth between a few fractions of a percentage point, are still holding below 4 percent, despite the quarter percent rise in the base rate the Federal Reserve implemented in December.  Continue reading

Home buyers are not waiting to see what happens with interest rates.

In what almost defies odds, despite the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise their base interest rate in December, home buyers are finding that their Santa Clarita Real Estatepurchasing power is at its peak with nearly historic low interest rates.

According to a recent study, home mortgage applications jumped by nearly 9 percent in January of 2016. Borrowers are clearly seeing the advantages of acting now, rather than sitting on the fence.

And why not? Home prices on average rose 10 and a half percent in 2015. This average includes both single family homes and condominiums sold in the Santa Clarita Valley. The median price of a single family home rose 8.1 percent, while condos rose on average 12.9 percent.

I think I’m ready to buy a house. What do I do first?

The best thing to do, of course, is to contact Montemayor & Associates, and we’ll get the ball rolling to find the right lender who can let you know what your qualifying home mortgage rate and amount may be. Yes, you should do this FIRST before you begin looking at homes.  Continue reading

Lots of economic indicators left “in the air” as we near the end of 2015 gives pause to speculation about the real estate market.

As we hurtle toward the final month of 2015, we’re seeing some interesting signs in the Santa Clarita real estate market. Interest rates, while still very First time home buyer questions.low, have inched just above 4 percent, and housing prices for both condos and single family homes have leveled off.

That being said, it’s not unusual for housing prices to dip slightly in the final quarter of the year, with the summer buying season behind us and the holidays just ahead. The question still remains, however: Have Santa Clarita home prices reached their peak?

To be clear, prices have only dipped slightly between September and October of this year. The median price of a single family home still holds firm at the half million dollar mark, and condos are averaging prices in the low $300,000’s. We’re nowhere near the peak we achieved in the Spring of 2006, when single family home prices averaged $643,000 before they began to fall at the outset of the recession which began a year later.  Continue reading

Single family home sales up nearly 16 percent from 2014.

Recent statistics provided by the Southland Regional Association of Realtors provided continued positive news for the Santa Clarita real estate Santa Clarita Real Estate Market Updatemarket.

The median price of single family homes in the SCV rang in at $523,000 in August, up 2.7 percent from the previous month, and nearly 7 percent from the previous year.

Condos fell only slightly in August, but are still strong year over year, with median equity increasing by 14 percent from August of 2014.

These numbers reflect continued positive growth in our economy, as well as interest rates still holding at historically low levels. We can also attribute the rise in prices to the still relatively low number of available homes for sale in the Santa Clarita Valley. There was a reported 675 active listings in the SCV at the end of August, which is about half of what would be considered a “balanced” market. Continue reading

Should I accept, reject, or counter the very first offer on my home?

So you’ve made the decision to sell your home. You have it listed, and your agent provided you with comparables and information that, from a Montemayor and Associatesprofessional approach, will sell your home quickly and at Fair Market Value. After all, you have your eye on a home in Westridge that you REALLY hope you can purchase once your home gets into escrow. Everything is going great. Even better, two days after your home hit the Multiple Listing Service, you receive an offer!

Suddenly, you begin to second-guess yourself and your Realtor. “Wait. That was TOO quick,” you say to yourself. “Maybe we should have listed it for more money.”

This thought process unfortunately leads many sellers into the trap of self-doubt, leading to a listing that ends up sitting way too long on the market because they decided to reject their first offer for fear they did not ask for a high enough selling price. So what should a seller do when confronted with a quick offer? When should they accept, reject, or counter? Let’s take a look at some solutions.

“Know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em…”

The popular song performed by Kenny Rogers referred to the game of Poker, but in the case of real estate, there are some definite signs as to when you should accept, reject, or counter the buyer’s offer.

Beware the “low-ball” offer.

This is an almost always unsuccessful tactic from buyers who have not been properly educated by their agent as to how the home selling process works.  In this case, they try to “haggle” by making a ridiculously low offer, typically WAY below asking price. This is a situation where you may consider countering their offer at a price you feel is fair, or you can reject it outright.

When to reject vs. counter.

In any situation, a buyer’s offer that does not come without at least a loan pre-qualification letter is usually a red flag. Not only is he/she offering a price way below Fair Market Value, but you don’t even know if they can afford to purchase the home.

Another red flag is in the form of very little, or no, good faith deposit from the buyer. Again, this may be indicative of how serious they actually are about buying your property.

The “Asking Price” offer.

If an offer comes in very quickly from a buyer for your home at asking price, don’t second-guess yourself! You have reached this price through the diligence and professional opinion of your real estate agent who has used (and shown you) recent comparables, title information, and demographics to come up with a price he/she knows will help you reach your real estate goals. Of course, the above rules still apply. You will want to make sure the buyer can actually afford to purchase the home, and that they are willing to put down enough of a good faith deposit to make you feel comfortable that they won’t back out before escrow closes.

We are your Santa Clarita real estate professionals!

Montemayor & Associates is a team of highly trained, experienced, licensed Realtors who are ready to serve all of your home buying and selling needs. Contact us today for a no obligation consultation.

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Rumors that The Federal Reserve may raise interest rates have not affected the market…yet.

For all this talk of the impending rise in mortgage interest rates, the first week of August ended on a good note with rates hovering just UNDER 4 Mortgage rate updatepercent (3.98 percent as of Friday, August 7th).

The market is in pretty good shape at the moment, with the recent jobs numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics bolstering confidence along many financial lines. Of course, this confidence may eventually lead an increase in inflation; something the Federal Reserve would like to avoid.

So how do we curb inflation as the nation’s economy improves? Many signs point to raising the base rate at which banks borrow money. In essence, this move trips a proverbial “breaker switch” with businesses and financial institutions, causing them to rethink their decisions on raising prices on goods and services. That being said, even a slight push upward in Federal rates will have an impact on the real estate market, even if it’s only temporary. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has hinted that rates may rise as early as September.  Continue reading

As we head dead on into summer, SCV home prices are holding their own.

Can you believe it? We’re halfway through 2015. With that, we’ve seen the Santa Clarita real estate market continue to push forward in a positive Summer home prices remain steady in Santa Claritafashion. Interest rates are still holding just over 4 percent, and the buyers are out there ready to realize their dream of owning a home.

Recent statistics from the Southland Regional Association of Realtors showed the median price of single family homes and condominiums remained basically the same from May to June of this year. Condo prices did not budge, while single family home averages dropped by a few thousand dollars to a median price of $521,000. This type of fluctuation is not unusual, and is typical of the overall Santa Clarita marketplace during the summer months. Continue reading

How to avoid capital gains tax when investing in another property.

So you’re taking the step forward into investing. You have one property you’d like to sell so that you can purchase another, maybe larger, property Montemayor and Associateswith the proceeds. Under normal conditions:

  • You would sell your home, and receive a check at the close of escrow, minus closing costs and realtor fees.
  • You would be taxed on the capital gains from the sale of your home, thus reducing the amount you can re-invest toward another home.
  • Since you have less to re-invest, you also may not qualify for the size of home you actually want so that you can increase your portfolio and overall net worth.

Continue reading

Yes, Spring is still in the air, but timing is everything when it comes to buyers and sellers realizing their real estate goals.

There’s been a lot of good news in the Santa Clarita real estate market lately. Not only have single family homes topped the $500,000 mark for the First time home buyer questions.first time in 8 years, but interest rates are still holding below 4 percent…establishing what we might call a “win-win” scenario for both buyers and sellers.

While we’re still smack dab in the middle of Spring, many buyers and sellers “on the fence” should take this time to consider the fact that Summer is one of the best times to buy or sell. Why?

First of all, for the most part, kids are out of school. Parents find it much easier to move in between school sessions. Also, it is the time right after tax season that many renters are reminded of the potential tax savings as homeowners. Conversely, those who have received tax refunds have cause to think about investing it in something that will give them a long term return. Continue reading

Median price of single family homes takes a 6 percent swing upward from February.

The Santa Clarita real estate market showed signs of a continued rebound when statistics recently released from the Southland Regional Association Santa Clarita Real Estate Market Updateof Realtors showed the median price of a single family home reached $520,000 in the SCV in March. This represents a slightly higher than 6 percent median equity increase over the previous month.

To put it more plainly: Single family home prices rose $30,000 in one month!

In fact, home prices have risen nearly $60,000 since March of 2014, which begs the question yet again: What other investment can you make that will net you an equitable return of this magnitude in 12 months?

Leveraging your money to leverage equity.

Say, for example, you purchased a home in Santa Clarita in March of 2014 for the median price of $462,000. Now, if you obtained what we call a conventional fixed-rate mortgage using a 20 percent down payment ($92,400), then in one year you’ve technically made back nearly 2/3 of your cash investment.  Continue reading

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Client Testimonials
I had specific needs for my new home. Brandon was very patient with my unique situation and flexible when it kept changing. He showed me so many houses, but with little inventory, none of them were quite perfect or they had too much HOA or Mello Roos. Finally when we found The One, no HOA, no Mello Roos, it had been on the market for 4 days and I made an offer that morning. I was sure the sellers would give it to someone else but Brandon worked hard to make sure they accepted my offer and by that night, the house was mine. Had it not been for Brandon I would still be searching for a house because so far, there is still nothing better than mine.
Lisa G. , Saugus
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