Category Archives: Real Estate Ramblings

Lewis County REO Update

What’s an REO?  – Real Estate Owned. Property which is in the possession of a lender as a result of foreclosure or forfeiture.

What’s a short sale? – A sale of real estate in which the sale proceeds fall short of the balance owed on the property’s loan.

 

 

 

As we enter 2011 I am continuing to collect data on the REO (foreclosure) and shortsale activity in Lewis County. 

 As you can see on my Lewis County data worksheet below, over the past 30 days,  35% of properties sold were REO properties and 9% were short sales.   (click to enlarge) 

 

 

 

 

For sellers having a high percent of bank owned foreclosure properties available to buyers, can add to the already tough challenges of selling in today’s market.   Over the last 30 days sales of REO properties sold at $60/sqft where as non REO owned properties sold at $118/sqft.  That can make a difference of $87000 on the price tag of a 1500 sqft home!   Keeping in mind…a large number of foreclosure properties are in need of repairs making financing difficult and those don’t always attract the same type of buyer.  So many of the available foreclosure homes won’t necessarily compete with the typical seller owned home on the MLS but they are an indicator of overall health of our housing market.

For Buyers, prices along with interest rates remain low.  Work with a real estate agent who can help you submit an offer that will meet standard REO seller guidelines. 

 

Dice image credit to http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php

30 Year Fixed Rates, Now and Then

2010 Rates on 30-Year Fixed Mortgages.  Check out the 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages Since 1971 at http://www.freddiemac.com/pmms/pmms30.htm

Lowest year 2010,  with an annual average rate of 4.69%

Highest year was 1981 with an annual average of 16.63%

If you look back four years from now, what year are you going to wish you purchased in?

Don’t miss out on the current historical low rates!

Tis the season to keep your home listed!

We often see sellers pull their home of the market during the holiday months.  Here are some important reasons why especially this year, keeping your home on the market may be the better choice. 

Most important this winter…Interest rates are currently at records lows.  Buyers are realizing that these rates won’t be around indefinitely.

Time off the market is simply that, off the market.  New buyers rotate into the shopping pool every week, even in the winter.

In a slow market, with lots of inventory, there is a distinct advantage to staying listed during the months when others may pull their home off the market.

Often companies hire and are moving new employees to start at the beginning of the year, making December a good month to have your home available. 

People who look at houses over the holidays are normally very serious buyers, who are likely or need to purchase now.  So you may have less showings in the winter, but the ones you do have will likely be worth the prep time.

Another significant reason… Homes taken off the market (for the holiday or winter season) will start coming back on the market about the same time you want to put your home back on the market. You will be facing increasing competition and unknown interest rates.

So happy holidays to all the dedicated buyers and sellers.

Image from dream designs  http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1449

2010 Lewis County Foreclosures

Throughout 2010 I have kept a close eye on local area foreclosures numbers.  Specifically tracking the percent of foreclosure homes in our MLS inventories and the effects those numbers have on our local market for buyer and sellers. 

Foreclosures can be very attractive for buyers hunting for a great deal, they often come with deep discounts, selling far beneath the average $/sqft.  Along with the great price tag, these homes tend to sell in less time.  The average “days on the market” for Lewis County foreclosure homes sold over the last month is 54 days vs. 191 days for non-foreclosure home sales.  A smart investor/buyer looking for a great deal, is wise to work with an agent who can keep a constant eye out new arrivals and know the ins and outs of what a typical bank wants to see on an offer.  Even in today’s market, getting there early and presenting a flawless offer meeting the lender requirements can make all the difference. 

For sellers having a high percent of bank owned foreclosure properties available to buyers, can add to the already tough challenges of selling in today’s market.  Competing with the price is an obvious factor.  The average $/sqft of foreclosure homes sold over the last 30 days was $67/sqft vs. $112/sqft for the average non-foreclosure homes sales, that makes a significant difference in the price tag, over $67,000 on the typical 1500 sqft home.  Although a large number of foreclosure properties are in need of repairs making financing difficult and those don’t always attract the same type of buyer.  So many of the available foreclosure homes won’t necessarily compete with the typical seller owned home on the MLS but they are an indicator of overall health of our housing market.   Check out todays numbers below.

 

 

Dice image credit to http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=987

As 2011 approaches

 A look back…..

Interest rates Oct 2008  6.20 %

Interest rates Oct 2009  4.95% 

Interest rates Oct 2010 4.23%

Homes for sale 

2008   796

2009  796     

2010    895

Price of Avg sold home Oct  2009 $150,260

Price of Avg sold home Oct  2010 $160,592

Sales Oct 2009 vs 2010

I welcome 2011 and look forward to the continued recovery in our local real estate market. 

Bring it on! 

Image: Francesco Marino / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Start with a price plan

We are in a unique Real Estate market, and how to get a home sold is changing.  Sellers can benefit from having a price plan from the start. Too often we see sellers list above market price and remain there too long, causing their home to linger on the market.  I am recommending a price plan from day one.  Start by comparing the seller’s range to the current market range. 

  Determining the ranges

  •1)      Every seller has a price they desire for their home, along with a bottom dollar figure that they won’t or can’t sell below.  This is the seller’s price range for their home.

 •2)      Every home has a value range, based on similar homes available on the market and recent sales of similar homes from low to high.  This is the current market value range.  The appraiser will look at this to confirm value for the buyer’s lender.

 In an ideal world these two ranges will compliment each other. 

 Have a price plan.

 A starting point

 A waiting period __#days

 Activity evaluation

 A plan…

 Methodical price reductions, with the % of reduction and time intervals based on the seller’s motivation and particular circumstances.  Put future reductions on paper from the start. In today’s market, selling takes more than a quiet wait for the buyer, it takes planning and seller motivation.  Having a price plan sets the course of action in the seller’s hands, keeps their listing active and puts a focus on price, which we all know is a key factor in getting the home sold.

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net