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California Real Estate Market Is Heating Up

California Real Estate Market Is Heating Up

Laguna Niguel Real Estate Market is Heating up Ron Buck, Realtor®, blogged several times in 2012 about the low housing inventory in Laguna Niguel. It is still the nemesis of home buyers today as well but also a blessing to the home sellers. Of course we are just now approaching the listing season. For reference, during the peak years of 2005 and 2006 we reached close to 450 active homes on the market. As of today we hit 117 active listings, up from 95 in January. After the national media declared a bottom to prices in March 2012, retail buyers decided it was a good time to buy. Investors were buying a year or more earlier. Summer brought us low inventory and multiple offers. Inventory declined in the fall because good homes got snapped up so quickly. Home prices went up from 5% to 15% by the end of the year depending on price and neighborhood. Most Realtors® I speak with think we are going to see another 15% appreciation in 2013. Ron Buck, Realtor, knows that these price increases started at the low end, as they always do, and are working their way up. As of today, Ron Buck, Laguna Niguel Realtor, reports that there are only two detached homes active below $500,000, and there are only 49 homes active between $500k and $1 million. Follow Ron Buck’s advice! Today buyers must be prepared, have solid financing, if not cash, and be quick. Oh yes, it also helps to use a sharp Buyers’ Agent, as Ron Buck, Orange County Realtor, who will properly advise you and write a...

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...

Laguna Niguel Housing and Buyer Search Tools

Charts are fascinating to Ron Buck, Realtor, and Ron finds them very impactful. Here are a couple of them which will illustrate the inventory situation for Laguna Niguel homes for sale. Sorry about the cropping of the titles, but Ron Buck thinks these charts are important! Ron Buck’s research reveals that the supply of active homes is down for many reasons. One is that there are fewer coming to market and a second is that homes that are priced right are selling fast. The second chart shows days on market which is very low. This information comes from Clarus market metrics. Ron Buck, Realtor, thinks reality is more severe than this chart shows. Buyers are very frustrated this fall because of this low inventory. One thing that exacerbates the situation is that buyers are looking at one line sites that are not up to date. Keep in mind that most on line home sites are just lead generators which take listings from the MLS and then sell the leads back to Realtors. (Yes, Ron Buck is only slightly bitter about that.) Because the purpose is to generate leads some of the sites are not particularly worried about accuracy. Ron Buck pays for enhancement on some public sites and Ron Buck knows that he has closed listings appearing on some of them. Some sites are not clear about which homes are already in pending status. If your Realtor is sending you a direct feed from the MLS then that is the most accurate. If he or she is not, contact Ron Buck, Realtor. Ron will get you on a free...

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...

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...

Sellers and the Department of Real Estate Contracts

Previously Ron Buck, Realtor®, spoke about the consumer protections built into the Department of Real Estate purchase contract that is meant to favor buyers. The state Department of Real Estate wants to insure that buyers know who is representing them and that they have every opportunity for “due diligence”. What about home sellers and their rights? The first contract that most home sellers sign is the DRE Listing Contract. While there are no standard commissions or length of contracts, there are trends that are market driven and local driven. It is very important for the sellers to think through what items of personal property would be included and excluded, as well as the length of listing contract. Also think about your timeframe and what alternatives you have if your home does not sell. Make sure your agent updated. Put away all cash, jewelry and prescription drugs. If a seller turns down a full-price offer then the listing company could be entitled to a full commission. Even if a seller cancels the listing contract early a seller could be held responsible for a full commission. What are the seller’s responsibilities as far as the DRE Purchase Contract is concerned? First, Ron Buck thinks that all sellers should understand that if the buyer performs as specified in the contract then the seller must sell. What if the seller changes his or her mind and does not want to go through with the sale? In that case the buyer may negotiate with the seller to cover his costs or the buyer may go to court and sue for specific performance. Of course...