State of the Market – A Top is NOT in sight…..

Lately I have had quite a few appointments where sellers were concerned about the future of real estate prices. With homes hitting new highs, they question the sustain ability of the market. My answer has been that I don’t think there is anything to worry about, as long as interest rates remain stable and the […]

Real Estate Continues to Rally, But for How Long?

The current Real Estate market in Long Beach continues to be strong. However the climb back to 2006’s peak values from 2011’s bottom, may be running up against a little bit of resistance as this year unfolds. My outlook is positive, but there are concerns on the horizon. The History of Long Beach Home Prices […]

A Tepid Recovery

This recovery is very unlike the past two recoveries of 1985 and 1995. In both previous recoveries, prices climbed to new highs and powered forward for 5 – 10 years. The two previous price moves forward were 1985 – 1990 and 1996 – 2006. In both previous recoveries, it was like a light switch was […]

The Future of Real Estate Prices

The investment world has no shortage of commentary and media on the state of the economy. CNBC runs 24/7 with analysts prognosticating the next boom or bust. Most larger stocks have analysts that follow with baited breath each new earnings report. Real Estate on the other hand, receives no such treatment or following. I just […]

2012 Prices up as much as 5+%, Inventory Low, Prices Poised to Rise!

1995 was a pivotal year. Prices stopped going down. It had been 5 long years since prices peaked in 1989/90. Each year seemed to drag on with no end in sight. The fact that prices weren’t going down anymore seemed like little consolation because the market still felt dour, unexciting. Maybe prices weren’t going down […]

Organic Recovery or Fabricated?

If your personal financial household was experiencing a rough time, and you dipped into your savings or used credit cards to shore up your finances, make purchases or take trips, would you feel good about your newfound economic recovery? Probably not. But if you were the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics you would be […]

The Coming Bottom in Real Estate

In 1996, Penny and I had dinner at the “upper crusty” Canyon Club in Newport Beach with her great Uncle Bill. The conversation flowed to real estate and at some point great Uncle Bill emphatically stated that “It’s time to buy”. Not only was he right, he nailed it. You see, uncle Bill had been […]

Bank Repo’s and Short Sales – How Much do they Really Affect Prices?

It’s no secret that short sales and bank repos sell for less. These low sales didn’t affect sellers until the advent of the HVCC (Home Valuation Code of Conduct). This law, enacted by Andrew Cuomo, is an attempt to mitigate appraisal fraud. However, laws to regulate morality or integrity often do neither. If you want […]

Negotiating the Highest Price for Your Home is Like Poker, You Must Know the Strength of the Hand you are Playing.

It takes years of experience to become a good negotiator. Much like a good poker player, a good negotiator is both technically competent, knowing odds and with years of experience, knows which rules to apply and how far they can “push it” for any given situation. In Real Estate, the strength of the hand you […]

Appraisals & Why Andrew Cuomo’s Legislation Must Die

On May 1st new legislation (by Andrew Cuomo) went into effect, which is crippling the Real Estate market. The piece of legislation that I am referring to is know as the HVCC or Home Valuation Code of Conduct. Theoretically the intent of the legislation sounded good, to enhance integrity in the appraisal industry. The result […]

Looking for Value in the Income Property Market

Last year, we began looking to purchase a piece of income property with a partner. Our search started with the 5+ unit category because this is traditionally where you find the best cash flow. After scouring the market for 6 months, we came across very little inventory, and even less attractive deals. If the Real […]

A Tale of Two Cities

The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens starts off with a statement of contrast, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…..”. The real estate market, as well as the stock market, has embraced the opening line of this novel. One day the stock market is up 11%, then down […]

Market Showing Signs of a Bottom

 Recap – Last Year – A sharp correction In the 2nd half of 2007 market activity and prices fell off a cliff. (see for previous newsletters). The correction was so abrupt and dramatic, it ranked as the largest year over year price drop in California real estate history. (See Case-Shiller S&P Stats next page) […]

Home Prices Drop Double Digits in only 4 Months!

Credit Crunch – the Straw that Broke the Buyer’s Back. It was the perfect storm. A seasonally quiet time coupled with the now infamous “credit crunch”, quoted as the worst credit crunch in the last 20 years by Bear Stearns president, James Cayne. As the credit crunch started to unfold, it was unclear what would […]

Credit Crunch, Short Pays & CAR’s 2008 Economic Outlook

The Credit Crunch I’m a big fan of financial sayings. “It’s only when the tide goes out that you discover who’s been swimming naked – Warren Buffett, is one of my favorites. In August of this year, that is exactly what happened to many sub prime lenders and the loans they made. See page 34 […]

Free Fall or Soft Landing?

Last night I pulled up some very encouraging statistics. The total number of unsold homes in Long Beached dropped from 1033 to 819, in just the last month. A clear indication that the market is firming up. In addition, December saw increased sales activity. Good homes that had been sitting for a while finally started […]

What Improvements, Prior to Sale, Return the Most Profit for Your Home?

After a seller knows how much his home is worth, the next question is “What can I do to increase the value?”. Sellers will usually start with ideas based upon the fix up work they were going to do for themselves, that list of 20 things you haven’t done yet. While Real Estate agents have […]

Inventory Low and Prices Rise…. What’s a buyer to do?

There is nothing on the horizon that gives any indication that the market is going to soften. If you are a buyer waiting to purchase, you may have to wait until Leisure World becomes the desired location. So if you need to bite the bullet and purchase a new home, then there are some precautions […]

Market Cycles

Quite a few years ago, I had dinner with my Great Uncle. His professional career was spent in Real Estate. He was involved in the sale of many tracts throughout L.A. Co. and had done quite well purchasing Real Estate. So when he proclaimed, “It is time to buy”, during our early 1996 dinner, I […]

Long Beach Real Estate Market Returns to Normal

Starting about 3 months ago, the real estate market started to change significantly. Inventory started to climb, albeit above abnormally low levels. Multiple offers became a thing of the past, and buyers calls dropped off significantly. One month does not make a trend, but three months later, we have the same lackluster market. I have […]

Spring Prices Explode to Upside

Every December and January the Real Estate market slows with holiday glee. Buyers are busy with holiday shopping and parties, and sellers aren’t excited about being on the market during the holidays. With a 2 month seasonal hiatus, I often wonder what the spring will bring. This year I have been blown away at the […]

The Anatomy of a Market Turn

Recently I have met with quite a few prospective customers who are planning to sell in the near future. They are anxious because they don’t want to miss the opportunity that currently exists with high sales prices. Not being quite ready to sell, they are asking me, if they don’t sell for 3-6 months will […]

Trading Up in Long Beach

Tom & Susan have lived in their Los Altos home since 1991. Like most homeowners during the early 90’s they  watched their homes value decline to about the loan amount. Simply holding on to their home during this  unsettling period was the best strategy. 12 years later, they have two pre-school aged children, several hundred […]

Building a Custom Home in Long Beach

In the process of building a custom home, I’ve learned a few things, uncovered some myths, and confirmed some of my original beliefs. Most importantly, I have learned that a good team of specialists is the solution to most every problem. I correctly anticipated the level of complexity in building our first custom home. Yet […]

Creative Lending, A Sign of Trouble?

I was interviewing lenders today to get a pulse on their business. It was a trip down memory lane. One lendernd I, were reminiscing about the creative financing tools we had in the early 90’s. Then the market was at it’s top and affordability was a big issue. Here are two creative ways we helped […]

Is There a Real Estate Bubble?

As a prospective buyer, if I knew prices were rising rapidly, then I might bid more for a home than it was worth. However  if I knew that prices were dropping, then I might bid lower or I might just wait. But buyers don’t know what the future holds, they only think they know based […]