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Ron Buck, Realtor, Says Home Buyers Do NOT Take a Holiday Break!

Ron Buck, Realtor, Says Home Buyers Do NOT Take a Holiday Break!

Ron Buck, Realtor®, knows that Laguna Niguel home buyers have been as active as ever in the month of December. While the average family was celebrating, partying and visiting family, Ron Buck, Laguna Niguel Realtor, reveals that home buyers have managed to close escrow on 84 homes. Considering that there are only 90 homes for sale as of 12/29 this is quite a feat. Home buyers tell Ron Buck, Realtor, that they still want to take advantage of the low interest rates and get a property before the prices rebound even more. It is still true that 33% of all home sales in Orange County are ALL CASH. These folks could be investors, retirees or first time buyers that are being financed by parents. Ron Buck, Realtor, got a call today from a frustrated Realtor who said that she has made 15 offers on properties for her 20%-down home buyer and has not been able to secure a property due to multiple offers and cash buyers. Right before Christmas Ron Buck, Realtor, put a small detached home on the market for $475K and in three days got two written cash offers and another verbal. Attached properties: Currently 24 active and only 3 of these are distressed properties. There are a total of 84 properties in backup or pending status and 34 have closed so far this month. No wonder it is so difficult to get into escrow on a condo. Also considering that some of the properties are overpriced, Ron Buck, Realtor, says there is only about two weeks supply. Detached properties: Currently there are 66 active detached properties...

Everything in Real Estate is Negotiable

Everything in real estate is negotiable. Ron Buck, Realtor, has heard this saying all his life, even before working in real estate. It is true. If you want to include personal property like your Van Gogh painting with the house, it can be negotiated. As it turns out each area of the country has its own quirks on what is normal or customary in contracts and negotiations. Ron Buck, Realtor, an expert on southern California real estate, says sellers usually buy a title insurance policy for the buyer to insure that the buyer has free and clear title (the buyer purchases a secondary policy for the lender), but in the east that is not the case. Ron Buck, Realtor, flew back to Boston a few years ago to help his daughter purchase a condo. Ron Buck was flabbergasted to find that the area normally did not include a title policy unless the buyer wanted to buy her own. At Ron’s daughter’s closing there were two attorneys present but no agents. The attorneys were gabbing and Ron Buck found mistakes in the buyer’s settlement statement which they would not have found. In California the attorneys write the generic DRE contract but Realtors are allowed to fill in the contracts and no attorneys are involved unless the principles request them. When Ron Buck was a top real estate broker in Colorado, water rights, wells and septic systems were super important. Not so much in the OC. In Colorado the time frames associated with due diligence ended at midnight on the date specified in the contract. Presently in California, the time frames...

Surviving a Home Remodel

Except for a few lots in San Joaquin Hills, the city of Laguna Niguel is built out. Ron Buck, Realtor, says there are also some custom build lots in South Peak and Laguna Sur. There are a lot of homes built in the 70s, like the Niguel Hills area, with no HOA fees and larger lots. The 1980s was a very active building time. Neighborhoods like Rolling Hills, Beacon Hill, Niguel Summit and Rancho Niguel were mostly built in the mid to late 80s. The newest neighborhoods are San Joaquin Hills and Hillcrest Estates. While Ron Buck knows that location and views are always on the top of the list for most buyers, Ron Buck would like to tell everyone that the condition is obviously very important. Some things are more difficult to update, like small closets, low ceilings and small garages. This becomes more like functional obsolescence. Ron Buck, Realtor, showed two beautifully located homes today, built in the late 80s, which had limited upgrades. One property had all new expensive flooring but the cabinetry was untouched in the kitchen and baths, and the windows were original. The other property had some new windows and even a small addition to the home but everything else was original (and “tired”, I like to say). Maybe it is because Ron Buck’s family is living through a bathroom remodel right now that all this come to mind again. Ron Buck’s mid-80s home has had a new roof, new windows, new furnace and new kitchen. Oh, Ron Buck would like to add the slab leak that Ron Buck’s family had to live...

Real Estate Season – Back To School

If you have been busy with summer vacations, kids’ swimming lessons and visiting family you may not be up to date on real estate in Laguna Niguel or the OC in general. You may have caught the news release from NAR (National Association of Realtors) which gave much-improved real estate statistics. Numbers of homes in escrow and the number of homes closed are both up from a year ago. In fact the stocks for new home builders went up with the news as well. At the risk of sounding like a broken record the inventory is down 40% from the beginning of the year. Ron Buck, Realtor®, says, “Remember that the numbers reported in the media are 30 to 60 days old. I think the most recent NAR numbers were for July figures.” To really get the facts call a full time Realtor® like Ron Buck who is in the market every day. “We Realtors feel the pulse of the market and deal with the issues of inventory and interest rates every day. We interview buyers coming through open houses, fight the battle with appraisers and underwriters, advise sellers how to position their product on the market for a good sale and watch the inventory numbers like a heart monitor.” Adds Ron Buck, Laguna Niguel real estate expert. In Ron Buck’s sixteen years of residential real estate he has always noticed that August seems to be the slowest month of the year for real estate activity. The reason is obvious. Families usually want to be moved and in their new homes before school starts and many other potential buyers...

Ron Buck, Realtor®, Says “Short Sales Are Getting Easier.”

First, just a refresher – what is a short sale? Again the only thing “short” is the payoff on the loan. You may not know that in some cases clients who are completely current successfully short sale, usually because they must move for job or family reasons and their home is underwater. In these cases there is minimal impact to credit. Ron Buck would like to tell you about a new type of short sale which is a pre-approved short sale. In these cases both the owner and the price are pre-approved by the bank before the property hits the market. These are almost guaranteed to close successfully and are a welcome change. In Laguna Niguel at this moment there are 72 active listings under $750K and only 11 of them are short sales. There are 198 listings in backup or pending status under $750k right now and 125 of those are short sales. This shows the pain of previous short sales. There are only 5 bank-owned properties in escrow now under $750K. This is crazy: there is ONLY ONE bank-owned ACTIVE listing currently on the market under $750K in Laguna Niguel. Some experts believe we will see more foreclosures and short sales after the election. One particular bank will routinely foreclose if the short sale is not closed a full two weeks before the trustee sale date. The real estate market is changing every day. Ron Buck, Realtor® checks inventory to stay on top of every price range. Ron Buck “feels the pain” of first-time buyers wanting to get in on the great interest rates. (Ron Buck, Laguna...

Baby Boomers and Real Estate

One of Ron Buck’s clients is closing this week on a single story end unit town home in Dana Point. Do you realize there are only FOUR homes or condos under $500,000 for sale in all of Dana Point? The very cheapest condo in Dana Point today is $369,000 and it might be gone before this blog posts. If you want to buy a detached home in Dana Point under $900K you have a whopping twenty to look at. If you want a home with a downstairs bedroom of any kind you can see them all in an hour. Living and working as a Realtor® in the beach areas is not a bad gig. Ron Buck runs into lots of out-of-area and local people who are looking for second homes or retirement homes. Most are baby boomers of course and one of the things most-often requested is a main floor master bedroom or a main floor bedroom. That is doable and relatively easy to find if you’re willing to buy something built in the 60s and 70s. If you add in that you want something newer than the 80s, good luck. If you want one that has been completely refurbished, the wait could be lengthy. One of Ron Buck’s favorite neighborhoods with large one-story homes and ocean views is Monarch Beach Terraces which is right at the junction of Crown Valley and PCH on the east side of PCH. Of course the price is up there Ron Buck, Realtor® has noticed that the one-story homes in the Niguel Hills area of Laguna Niguel have been a hot commodity this...