April 12th, 2014

Home Mortgage Options for the Self-Employed

Mortgage Options for the Self-Employed

Ever wonder why there are not any home mortgage options for the self-employed? One of the many ironies of working in real estate is that real estate agents themselves often have a harder time being approved for a mortgage than the clients they represent! Self-employed individuals (such as real-estate agents) are generally not seen as the ideal borrower. They typically pay higher interest rates than someone who collects a regular paycheck from their employer. If an advertised mortgage rate seems too good to be true, it usually is. The best rates are applicable only for prime borrowers. Individuals with excellent credit scores and steady verifiable income source. Something many of the self-employed lack. But of course they never mention that in the ads.

As a self-employed individual you will often have to go the extra mile to find lenders willing to work with you. Reporting requirements are more stringent and lenders will look at your financial background with more scrutiny than they would a regular 9-to-5 employee with a steady income.

Mortgages Options for Self-Employed Individuals

Traditional FHA Loans – Most lenders these days will only offer traditional FHA loans to the self-employed on the basis of their tax returns for the last two years. Borrowers will have to fill out IRS Form 4506-T, authorizing lenders to request tax transcripts. Tax returns can only be received directly from the IRS and not the borrower and lenders will have to wait until the IRS has processed and recorded them.

A lender will look at the average of the borrower’s adjusted gross income for the last two years, unless the most recent year shows falling income, in which case the lower number will be used. The actual requirements (such as the debt-to-income ratio) to qualify for an FHA loan varies greatly depending on each borrower’s unique financial situation – this is something you really should discuss with a qualified mortgage broker or financial adviser.

Stated Income Loans – Before the housing market crash of the mid to late 2000’s, most banks would approve what was known as ‘stated income’ loans from most self-employed individuals. A stated income loan, as the name suggests, was where the mortgage lender would approve the loan on the basis of the borrower’s stated income, without verifying it against pay stubs, tax returns or other documents. Needless to say such loans were abused (by both borrowers and lenders) to such an extent during the housing boom, they came to be known as liar’s loans.

While stated income loans have been all but outlawed by federal legislation, some smaller lenders at the State level are offering their versions of stated income loans, albeit with more stringent requirements. For example, a lender might provide a stated income loan to a borrower who has a credit score of 720 or higher, can put a down payment of at least 30 percent or more and has at least six months of cash reserves at hand to cover all their monthly obligations beyond just the mortgage. Also it should be noted that the mortgage rates of stated income loans on the secondary market are not as competitive as those offered by traditional FHA loans.

No Documentation Loans / Alt-A Loans – Similar to stated income loans, these are loans given out in the secondary market where the lender will not seek to verify borrower income information. Since these are riskier loans than full documentation loans, the interest rates will be considerably higher. As with stated income loans, Alt-A loans have come under increased scrutiny in the wake of the housing market crash of the mid to late 2000’s.

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Alex Aguilar

is the owner of Team Aguilar real estate in San Diego and your source for everything related to the San Diego Real Estate market. Please subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

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February 23rd, 2014

TeamAguilar.com Website Redesign

As our regular readers might have noticed, the Team Aguilar website has undergone a total redesign. The old site, while perfectly functional, was getting a little long in the tooth. What was cutting edge design in 2008 was starting to show its age in 2014.

Our overall goal with the redesign was to streamline the site while retaining much of the old content. A typical real estate website belonging to a small to medium sized brokerage limits itself to a few sections containing a weekly blog, a contact page and MLS listings. What sets TeamAguilar.com apart is that it is crammed with information covering all aspects of residential and commercial real estate in San Diego you won’t find anywhere else (and yes, we have a weekly blog and MLS listings as well.)

The menu bar linking all the information pages is persistent throughout the site, meaning users are only a mouse-click away from a treasure-trove of information on San Diego real estate. Our ambition was to allow the user reach his or her desired page with the fewest number of clicks – we hope we have succeeded in that aspect!

The other major goal was to make searching for properties easier. To achieve this, we placed the MLS search bar front and center in the home page. Users can now search for San Diego homes based on a number of criteria including neighborhood, number of bedrooms, price and type of property.

You may have noticed the new “search by map” feature, where users can zoom in via Google Maps and see what properties are available on the map itself along with their listing price. Links to this are available in the home page as well as the property search page.

We have also included a persistent “search by MLS#” box and “Search for San Diego Properties” link in right sidebar of every page.

Note: MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service, a centralized online resource where real estate brokers (such as Team Aguilar) access and share information with buyers, sellers and fellow brokers. MLS contains a comprehensive up-to-date list of all the available real estate inventory throughout California. If there’s a property on the market in San Diego County, it will show up in the MLS search.

Have questions, comments, or suggestions on how to make the site even better? Contact us!

Alex Aguilar

is the owner of Team Aguilar real estate in San Diego and your source for everything related to the San Diego Real Estate market. Please subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

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September 17th, 2013

Why I Hate Real Estate Dual Agency

The practice of Dual Agency brings so many conflicts to the table; I wanted to share some of them. Over the last 5 years we have sold hundreds of REO’s (foreclosures) and now with the market improving we are seeing fewer and fewer REO’s come up for sale, which is fantastic because it means we are dealing with regular sellers and the market is starting to improve. Take a look at this email I received about a new foreclosure listing we have. We have received similar e-mails inquiring about dual agency at least once a week for the last 5 years.

Please read the bottom first, as this will show you the original email sent to Carlos, along with Carlos’ response at the top. This is just one example of why I hate real estate dual agency.

Dual Agency Real Estate Scam

My question is similar to what Carlos stated in his reply above: Why would we enter into a dual agency relationship for just one extra real-estate commission and jeopardize our relationships with various banks and put our careers and reputations at risk? In fairness to the email above and many other emails we have received, the investor is not flat-out asking us to do anything illicit like look the other way when higher offers come in – but it is pretty obvious when you read between the lines.

You walk a very fine line with dual agency, and that’s a line that I’m not comfortable walking. What happens if another offer comes in at a higher price? In this scenario we had 28 offers on this REO listing. Our investor buyer will certainly want to know that number and expect that we will tell him the number that he will need to be at to make the deal work. How is that fair to the other party who submitted the offer? How can I negotiate on behalf of each party and represent their best interest? Should I walk in and out of a room during negotiations or have a 3 way conference call? It just doesn’t make sense and someone always ends up losing out (in our little example above it would be the seller).

I really wish dual agency would go away!!!

Alex Aguilar

is the owner of Team Aguilar real estate in San Diego and your source for everything related to the San Diego Real Estate market. Please subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

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August 23rd, 2013

San Diego’s Uneven Housing Recovery And How You Can Benefit From It!

We’ve all heard news of the San Diego housing market recovery by now – I’ve already blogged about it before (mini housing bubble, Prices Up, Foreclosures Down ). Latest data from real estate tracking company DataQuick, however, provides an interesting quirk on the recovery story. It turns out that the recovery is not uniform across all neighborhoods in San Diego County but, in fact, certain neighborhoods are recovering faster than others.

Unsurprisingly, high-density subdivisions close to major employers as well as beach-front neighborhoods in northwest San Diego recovered fastest, gaining back much of their pre-housing-crash value, while neighborhoods in south and east San Diego County have been much slower to recover.

What’s driving the recovery?

First of all, it is important to pinpoint the reasons behind the recovery in the first place. A gradually strengthening national economy, combined with steady increases in employment and historically low interest rates mandated by FHA have played a role in creating a mini-frenzy in the real estate market last year. Many would-be home buyers sitting on the fence decided to jump into the market to take advantage of low rates and depressed prices, driving up property values in certain desirable neighborhoods. The limited inventory of detached single-family homes combined with increased demand from local, out-of-state and international buyers resulted in a significant rise in home prices.

Which areas experienced the strongest recovery?

Carmel Valley, thanks to its proximity to large employers such as Qualcomm and good schools experienced the strongest recovery – the average home value are a mere 3.2% below their pre-crash peak in 2005.

The coastal communities of Mission Beach and Pacific Beach have also seen strong recoveries in home values thanks to limited supply of prime beach front property. Premium beach-front areas in a city like San Diego will always be in demand, regardless of the overall state of the housing market. The average home in Mission Beach and Pacific Beach sells for around 9.3% less than their peak pre-crash price.

Which areas are going through slow recoveries?

Neighborhoods mainly in the southern and eastern parts of San Diego County such as Logan Heights, Paradise Hills and Chula Vista are not faring as well as their northern counterparts. Average home prices in these areas are still nearly 50% lower than their pre-housing-crash peak.

These areas were hardest hit by the mortgage crisis, experiencing a high level of mortgage defaults resulting in foreclosures. To reduce their inventory of foreclosed homes banks were compelled to resell these properties at highly discounted prices, which had a knock-on effect of lowering property values throughout the neighborhood. While values have risen, they have not kept pace with other parts of San Diego County.

The silver lining (Here’s how you benefit!)

Economists and analysts all agree that the recovery is well underway, and has been for some time now. It’s not a matter of if, but when, prices will return to their pre-crash peaks. Even neighborhoods like Logan Heights and Paradise Hills are expected to recover fully as homeowners in those neighborhoods fix up their properties and put them on the market. As non-distressed home sales increase in such neighborhoods it will have the effect of raising median home prices across the board.

Investors are already being priced out the more expensive areas on San Diego and are turning to the South and East areas of the County to find great deals on single family homes. Southern and Eastern San Diego County are prime areas for anyone looking for a bargain right now.

The historically low interest rates for single family detached homes won’t last forever. FHA has artificially held rates down to speed up recovery in the national housing market, but once the government intervention ends mortgage rates will start to rise, pushing many would-be buyers out of the market.

San Diego’s Uneven Housing Recovery and How You Can Benefit From It!

The signs are clear; prices have no way to go but up and rates are still historically low (for the time being). Now is a great time to invest.

Alex Aguilar

is the owner of Team Aguilar real estate in San Diego and your source for everything related to the San Diego Real Estate market. Please subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

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June 21st, 2013

Mini-Housing Bubble, Foreclosure Recovery and the Most Morally Pure San Diego Neighborhoods – San Diego Real Estate Highlights for the Week of June 17, 2013

CNNMoney logo

CNNMoney recently featured San Diego as one of their Top Ten Fastest Growing Cities for Real Estate. San Diego’s prominent Navy presence and the defence contractors that come with it, as well as being the conduit for $26.3 billion worth of Californian exports to Mexico are cited as the primary reasons for the city’s economic growth. San Diego’s sunny climate and ocean front location are also listed as major draws for new residents. The article mentions that property developers in San Diego have switched to condos and rental apartments as affordable alternatives to single family homes.

UT San Diego logoUT San Diego kicked off June with a number of dire predictions about the local real estate market. This story warns about rising home prices in San Diego Real Estate. Home prices in March of 2013 were 12% higher from what they were a year ago – the highest they have been since 2008. What is the reason behind this precipitous rise? Inventory shortage as a result of high buyer demand thanks to historically low rates combined with a large number of homeowners unable to sell because they’re stuck in underwater mortgages.

A follow up piece three days later cites the aforementioned factors as a potential catalyst for a mini-housing bubble in San Diego. The author states that San Diego is more vulnerable to abrupt changes in house prices than other markets because of its strict zoning laws. Such laws, though popular with residents, make it difficult for property developers to quickly respond to surging demand with new construction. Experts estimate that new construction in San Diego is down 89 percent from its peak in 2006, leading to a dearth of new inventory in the face of increasing buyer enthusiasm.

A June 20 article laments the bleak prospects for affordable housing in California in the wake of reduced federal funding. The article discusses several new proposals to keep affordable housing alive in the Golden State, including a bill that would mandate an additional $75 fee for filing paperwork relating to refinancing, liens and quit-claim deeds – a move predictably opposed by the California Association of Realtors.

We end our UT San Diego round-up with this positive piece proudly proclaiming that San Diego foreclosures are at a 7 year low. The $25 billion national mortgage settlement and California’s Homeowner’s Bill of Rights are said to be the primary driving forces behind the reduction in foreclosures (both are discussed in more detail in this earlier blog post). Another factor behind the recovery is increasing home values, which brought many homeowners struggling with underwater mortgages out of negative equity. Federal and State incentives to protect homeowners also meant that banks were more receptive to conducting short sales in San Diego instead of foreclosing. Now would be a good time to remind readers that real estate industry groups like the California Mortgage Association, California Bankers Association and California Mortgage Bankers Association lobbied hard against the Homeowner’s Bill of Rights, warning of dire consequences if it passed.

This 13 page feature in the May/June 2013 issue of Our City San Diego gives us an extensive look into the many diverse and colorful neighborhoods that make up San Diego. The editors broke down San Diego County into 85 neighborhoods and ranked them in 16 categories, including crime, schools, youth facilities, health and “moral cleanliness.” The article contains the details behind ranking methodology and data sources used. Spoiler: Coronado consistently ranks as the best place to raise a family, and Downtown San Diego the worst. As far as moral cleanliness (i.e. sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll) is concerned, Hillcrest and Downtown San Diego are ranked as the worst (or best, if you happen to enjoy sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll!)

Alex Aguilar

is the owner of Team Aguilar real estate in San Diego and your source for everything related to the San Diego Real Estate market. Please subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

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May 21st, 2013

San Diego Real Estate Market Update, Prices Up, Foreclosures Down!

Bank Owned HomesThe prices of homes in San Diego County are the highest they have been in the last 6 years. It’s due to a combination of distressed sales continuing to fall, and mortgage rates reaching record lows.

According to DataQuick, a San Diego-based real estate monitoring site, the median price of houses sold in April rose to $400,000. This is a 21% increase from what it was exactly one year ago. Meanwhile, the rate of sales increased by 7% compared to what it was a year ago.

The numbers from the site also indicated that properties lost to foreclosure in the past year were at the lowest they have been in the last 6 years. Less than 10% of home sales were distressed homes such as foreclosures or short sales. January of 2009 was the peak of foreclosure sales where 55% of all homes sold that month were foreclosures. The median price was also $280,000.

Some analysts are worried these figures may trigger another housing bubble, but San Diego State University real estate economist Michael Lea says such fears are overblown.

The primary reason for continued hikes in the prices of homes is caused by a shift from a distressed market. This resulted to heavily discounted deals for buyers, and a decline in short sales. Short sales means that borrowers are selling their homes for less than what they owe.

All in all, the market is finally moving in the right direction. It’s nice to get back to a more normal market where we are helping buyers realize their dream of purchasing a home and dealing with regular sellers that are not facing foreclosure or having to consider a real estate short sale.

San Diego Real Estate Market Update – May 2013

Alex Aguilar

is the owner of Team Aguilar real estate in San Diego and your source for everything related to the San Diego Real Estate market. Please subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

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February 22nd, 2013

San Diego Real Estate Market Update for February 22, 2013

The latest report from real estate tracker DataQuick paints a sunny picture for San Diego Real Estate in 2013. January’s figures show mortgage default rates in San Diego County at their lowest levels since mid-2005, and foreclosures at a six year low.

Impact of the Homeowner Bill of Rights
California Homeowner Bill of RightsA big reason for these declines is the of the Homeowner Bill of Rights, a comprehensive update to California’s mortgage regulations championed by Attorney General Kamala Harris and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. The bill includes provisions to stop dual tracking (a controversial procedure where banks went ahead with foreclosure against struggling homeowners in the middle of a short sale or loan modification procedure), stop robo-signing foreclosure documents and to streamlining loan modification applications to make it easier for borrowers.

Despite strenuous objections from industry groups like the California Mortgage Association, California Bankers Association and California Mortgage Bankers Association, the Homeowner Bill of Rights became law on January 1st and had an immediate effect on lowering foreclosures and mortgage defaults, although the jury is still out on long-term ramifications.

Short Sales Popular as Ever
Short sales, where the lender approves the sale of a property for lower-than-market-price and forgives the remainder of the debt, made up 25.9% of all homes sold in Southern California. San Diego short sales remain as popular as ever, as it gives borrowers the opportunity the chance to get back into solvency with minimum impact to their credit ratings, and lenders the chance of avoiding a messy, lengthy and expensive foreclosure.

National Mortgage SettlementA large part of the rise in popularity of short sales in recent months is due to the $25 billion joint state-federal settlement reached with the nation’s largest mortgage companies in February 2012. The settlement is meant to help homeowners struggling in the aftermath of the housing-collapse, and the majority of that help is coming in the form of short sales. Now is as good a time as any to get approved for a short sale, seeing as the nation’s largest mortgage servicers are obliged to help.

Tight Inventory, Seller’s Market
San Diego real estate’s lack of inventory has led to a steady increase in prices towards the end of December. The lack of inventory and rising prices have created the perfect conditions for a seller’s market in January, and many homeowners decided to sell their properties to take advantage of this sudden-price hike.

This increase in sales is reflected in January’s figures, which show a six year high in the number of homes sold for that month. Experts are already questioning whether this sudden price hike is sustainable, and if it could encourage short-term property speculators.

Cash is King!
34.9 percent of all homes sold in January were paid for in cash. Buyers are paying with cash in record numbers in San Diego and other real estate markets in Southern California. Jumbo loans, i.e. mortgages above $417,000, accounted for 21.6 percent of January’s home lending, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) made up 5.8 percent while government-insured FHA loans, popular with first-time buyers, accounted for 23.5 percent of home financing options for the month of January.

Think market conditions are ripe for investing? Check out our San Diego real estate listings and contact Carlos or Alex today.

Alex Aguilar

is the owner of Team Aguilar real estate in San Diego and your source for everything related to the San Diego Real Estate market. Please subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

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February 11th, 2013

Tax Consequences of a Real Estate Short Sale in 2013

Short SaleFor many homeowners struggling with underwater mortgages in the aftermath of the housing crash, a short sale is often the best possible solution to their problems.

To put it simply, a short sale is where the homeowner sells his or her property for less than what is owed on it. All the lenders have to be on board and agree with the short sale  before it can be completed. The proceeds of a short sale go directly to the lenders, minus closing-fees and other minor transactions costs. Once the short sale is complete, the borrower is free from any obligations on the property; any outstanding debt (the difference in what was owed on the property and what was realized from the short sale) is forgiven by the lenders.

Short sales are advantageous to both homeowners and banks. Homeowners unable (or unwilling) to make monthly mortgage payments on homes with negative equity can take advantage of a short sale to walk away from their obligations debt free and sometimes have a relatively minor hit on their credit ratings. For a more detailed look into why short sales are preferable to all parties involved, please see my earlier blog on the subject.

One thing every homeowner thinking about doing a short sale must be aware of is the tax consequences. Short sales can affect your taxes in negative or positive ways, depending on your financial situation.

Short sales involve the forgiveness of debt by the lender. Any forgiveness of debt is, as far as the IRS is concerned, considered taxable income.

Here’s a basic example:

Current market value of home is $250,000. The homeowner took out a home equity loan on the house in the height of the housing bubble (when the value was considerably higher) and currently owes the bank $300,000. The bank agrees to a short sale and purchases the house for its current market value of $250,000, writing off the outstanding $50,000 as forgiven debt. The State of California views this forgiven $50,000 as gross taxable income.

$250,000 current house value.

$300,000 loan amount based on previous value when the house was worth considerably more.

$50,000 = Amount forgiven by the bank in a short sale. Remember, THE BANK’S LOSS IS YOUR GAIN, and that is why the IRS views this as taxable income.

Seal of CaliforniaFortunately the State of California has passed the Conformity Act of 2010, a law that offers struggling homeowners from being taxed on the forgiven debt from a short sale. The Conformity Act of 2010 essentially a copy of the federal Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, a law that exempts taxpayers from having to report forgiven debt from short sales of their primary residence between 2007 and 2013 as gross income on their tax forms.

In many states, including non-recourse states such as California, second mortgages such as a home-equity-lines-of-credit, popularly known as HELOC, are not covered by the state or federal tax exemption laws. To put it simply, the first loan you took out to purchase your house is covered by the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and the Conformity Act, the second or third home equity loans you took out to buy that speedboat or sports car is not. There have been cases where banks have sued borrowers to recoup HELOC money.

The Federal debt relief Act limits the exempt forgiven debt to $2,000,000 for married people, single people, heads of households, and widows or widowers. Married people filing separately have limits of $1,000,000. California’s Conformity Act covers up to $800,000 (or $400,000 if married filing separately) of mortgage debt forgiven between Jan. 1, 2007 and Dec. 31, 2013, through foreclosure, short sale or some other loan modification. Once, again these only apply to debt used to buy, build or renovate a principal residence – home equity loans taken to purchase speedboats and luxury vacations are not covered.

Keep in mind that these laws are not blanket exemptions, and apply only to homeowners unable to maintain regular monthly payments due to financial hardship or decline in home prices. Also remember that these exemptions are limited to debt forgiven on the taxpayer’s primary residence. Vacation homes and investment properties may not be covered by these specific laws, although there do exist ways to minimize the tax burden from the sales of these as well. Always check with a qualified tax accountant or attorney to find out how and if these laws apply to your own situation.

As part of the fiscal cliff compromise on January of this year, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act has been extended another year till the end of 2013. A California Senate Bill to extend the Conformity Act for the remainder of 2013 has been filed on January 3 and is currently pending review by the State Senate Governance and Finance Committee. (See here for latest updates on the bill.)

For more information on the federal Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation law please visit: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/The-Mortgage-Forgiveness-Debt-Relief-Act-and-Debt-Cancellation-

For additional background information on California’s Conformity Act of 2010, please visit: https://www.ftb.ca.gov/aboutFTB/newsroom/Mortgage_Debt_Relief_Law.shtml

If you’re thinking of doing a short sale on your property, please contact either Carlos or Alex at Team Aguilar – your San Diego short sale specialists.

Alex Aguilar

is the owner of Team Aguilar real estate in San Diego and your source for everything related to the San Diego Real Estate market. Please subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

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February 1st, 2013

Latest Figures From NAR Show Decline in Home Sales; “Acute Shortage of Inventory” Blamed.

Monthly Pending Home Sales IndexThe latest PHSI figures from the National Association of Realtors have shown a marked decline in new contract signings for December, 2012. The PHSI, or Pending Home Sales Index, is the NAR’s leading indicator of the future condition of the real estate market; it looks at all home sales contracts that have been signed but not closed. (Contracts typically take four to six weeks to close.) Overall PHSI trends are still positive with each month showing higher figures compared to a year ago for 20 consecutive months, but December, 2012 showed a 4.4% drop-off in signed contracts from the previous month (although still up 6.9% compared to December, 2011).

A Loss of Momentum

A downturn of 4.4% indicates “a loss of momentum in the signing of contracts to buy a home,” according to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. In spite of the overall positive market trends, Yun adds, December’s slow-down cannot be dismissed as a one-time statistical fluke, and has to be considered a “measurable decline.”

This sudden downturn is not due to a lack of buyers, however, but rather to a lack of inventory in certain key markets. Demand is high and buyer interest remains strong in the fourth quarter of 2012 and is set to continue in 2013. The latest Buyer and Seller Traffic Index from Realtors.org paints clear a picture of a seller’s market; buyer traffic outstripped seller traffic 56 – 38.

Decline in Inventory

The decrease in contract signings is not uniform across the country – three of the four major real estate markets have seen an increase in pending contracts from a year ago. December’s 4.4% decline is actually driven by one key region – the West, which comprises of real estate markets in Arizona, Nevada, California and Washington State. These regions, according to Yun, are suffering from an acute shortage of inventory. The double-digit growth in prices in the West compared to other regional markets reinforces the idea that it is a supply-constraint rather than a lack of demand that is the reason behind December’s slowdown.

Strong Demand + Low Inventory = Rise in Prices

Supplies of homes in the sub $100,000 range are especially low in the West. First time buyers are stuck with few options as demand for starter homes continues to grow, driving up prices. There is more movement at the higher end of the market, although the tight inventory means it is still very much a seller’s market.

This lack of inventory can also be seen in the local San Diego real estate market. The Californian real estate market rebounded earlier than other regions in 2012, seeing increased sales in the fourth quarter and a lower supply of available homes in December and beyond. Everyone who kept expecting a glut of bank owned property to flood the market with new inventory in 2013 are going to be disappointed; the banks report that they don’t have much inventory in the pipeline for California.

Although builders in Western markets are ramping-up housing-starts in 2013, they are doing so from a considerable deficit (due to severely diminished new-home construction in the wake of the 2006-2009 Depression). Even at the increased pace of construction, housing-starts are nowhere near enough to meet demand in California and other markets in the new year.

Housing Starts Regional Variations in Months Supply and Price Growth

What to Expect in 2013?

Even with the ongoing inventory problems in certain regional markets, things are looking up in the real estate sector in 2013. Favorable affordability conditions in most regions combined with cheaper borrowing costs and more job gains will likely drive real-estate growth in the new year. Previously owned homes account for over 90 percent of the housing market, and NAR head economist Lawrence Yun expects the sale of these homes to go up 9 percent in 2013.

Home buyers who qualify for financing can take advantage of extremely competitive rates right now. Stats from Freddie Mac show that the average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage in the last week of January 2013 was 3.42 percent; one of the lowest in the last 40 years.

While inventory may be tight, there are still plenty of active listings at TeamAguilar.com. Looking to buy or sell? Think now is a good time to invest? Contact Carlos or Alex today.

Alex Aguilar

is the owner of Team Aguilar real estate in San Diego and your source for everything related to the San Diego Real Estate market. Please subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

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December 4th, 2012

Jeffrey Dahmer’s Childhood Home and How it Affects You

Jeffrey Dahmer mugshot

Earlier this year there were reports of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s childhood home being put up for sale. Located in the quiet township of Bath near Akron, Ohio, this 3 bed 2½ bath 2,170-square foot single-family home was bought by Dahmer’s parents in 1968, when the erstwhile serial killer was 8 years old. The property comes with a 1.5 acre private wooded lot.

A large part of the home’s notoriety comes from the fact that it is the site of Dahmer’s first murder. In 1978 an 18 year old Dahmer killed and dismembered hitchhiker Steven Hicks and buried him in the woods surrounding the house. Even before this there were reports of a young Dahmer dissecting dead animal he found in the woods around his home.

Dahmer went on to kill 16 more people, all young men of various ethnicities, in and around Milwaukee before being caught in a botched attempt to kill his latest victim in 1991. Anyone old enough to remember the trial will recall it being a major media circus at the time. The horrifying details of Dahmer’s crimes were described in grisly detail by the news media – gory tidbits of acid-filled vats of corpses, a shrine of severed heads, cannibalism, necrophilia and attempted zombification of victims were breathlessly reported to a voracious public.

Dahmer’s trial lasted just two weeks, a surprisingly short time for such a high profile case. Milwaukee’s most famous cannibal was found guilty of 15 counts of murder and sentenced to 957 years in prison – the maximum possible penalty in Wisconsin, a state with no death penalty. Dahmer’s story ends in 1994 at the maximum security Columbia Correctional Institution, when he and another prisoner were bludgeoned to death by fellow inmate Christopher Scarver.

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Alex Aguilar

is the owner of Team Aguilar real estate in San Diego and your source for everything related to the San Diego Real Estate market. Please subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

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