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Archive for May, 2011

A recent article in the New York Times portend some clearly good news for buyers and some good news for those looking to short sell. Let’s take a look at each, in turn.

First, a fact you might already know: Housing prices are very low, making for a great environment for those looking to buy. Now this isn’t good news for many, especially because the prices might even drop further, but for buyers this isn’t a bad thing. The depressed prices, as you might have guessed, are the result of a surplus of foreclosed homes, with banks owning a grand total of about 872,000 foreclosed homes, Eric Dash reports for the New York Times. The surplus is bound to grow: Banks are in the process of foreclosing roughly a million homes and in the coming years are estimated to eventually take millions. Typically, foreclosures and sales stay one-to-one, but in some hard-hit cities, such as Minneapolis, the ratio is six-to-one. In Las Vegas, a whopping fifty-three percent of all home sales are foreclosures, Buck Wargo reports for VegasInc.

Now this all might look like gray skies, especially for banks, home owners, and even for those working in the real estate business. But if you’re looking to buy a home, we’re either at the bottom or we’ll be there very soon. As Les Christie for CNN Money reports, given the current economic climate, buying is typically a better deal than renting.

Now what about those already in their homes? Well, there are some government programs–namely the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative (HAFA)–that short sellers could take advantage of, but unfortunately, the program and the short sellers aren’t hooking up. As Hubble Smith of the Review Journal reports, HAFA has been seen as a failure, but things may be picking up. HAFA was billed as a program to streamline the short sale process, but either the program wasn’t advertised widely enough, or it didn’t help: Sometimes short sellers, close to a sale, would be foreclosed on because of a technicality. But things are looking up. As Laurie Maggiano notes, policy director in the Treasury’s Office of Homeownership Preservation, the program has been modified to allow more borrowers to participate. So there is help out there for short sales, but finding it can sometimes require a savvy real estate agent. If you’re smart, you can gracefully exit your home with minimal loss.

Kathryn Bovard is experienced with the often lengthy and sometimes stressful Las Vegas short sale process. If you are contemplating a Las Vegas short sale, she can assist and navigate you through the entire process. Call Kathryn direct at 702-348-7191 to schedule a short sale consultation today.

Considering a Las Vegas Home purchase? Search all Las Vegas Homes for Sale using our free, interactive map-based search.

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It’s a great time time to buy a home, but there’s a catch—only for those who buy smart.  Tara-Nicholle Nelson, a broker in San Francisco, gives some tips that are relevant to the Las Vegas short sales market.

  • First, stay on track by getting the order right: Know what you want before looking rather than looking to find what you want.  By having a concrete vision of your home–including your price range, your vision of the home itself, and your vision of the location–you’ll avoid homes that are a bad fit.  An agent’s job is partly to translate your sometime abstract vision into a concrete dwelling, but the more you work to focus your vision, the happier you’ll be in the end.  Towards this end, write down what you want before consulting an agent.
  • Second, know what you want, but also know when to settle. To find the best deal, you need to strike a hard bargin but also be realistic about what kind of home you’re going to get for the money you’re willing to put up. If you’ve been searching for months on end and no home has met your complete wish list, then it might be time to compromise.  A real-life home that meets most of your needs is better than a dream house that remains merely a dream.
  • Third, caste a wide net, but then focus on one good fish.  That is, in the beginning, look widely around to find a broker you trust, but once you find your broker and your strategy, focus like a laser beam.  Housing markets vary from city to city and from neighborhood to neighborhood within a city. Having someone–a broker–with intimate knowledge of the local market can make a world of difference.  The focusing aspect of this strategy is necessary to avoid wild goose chases and to succeed in the sometimes tiring process of finding a home.
  • Fourth, the small print matters, especially for the Las Vegas short sales market. Contracts for short sales vary widely and the facts about the condition of the home become especially relevant. Make sure to read inspection reports for short sales.
  • Fifth, beat your own bad psychological habits by doing your accounting on paper and in the cool hour.  By this I mean that making financial decisions and calculations on the fly and in your head can sometimes break your bank.  We humans tend to weigh the price tag more heavily than extra fees and costs, even though money is money. We also tend to let our desires get in the way when we’re in the process of actual buying.  To avoid this, write up your all of the costs on paper or on a spreadsheet and make your decisions when you’re at your most realistic.

Kathryn Bovard is experienced with the often lengthy and sometimes stressful Las Vegas short sale process.   If you are contemplating a Las Vegas short sale, she can assist and navigate you through the entire process. Call Kathryn direct at 702-348-7191 to schedule a short sale consultation today.

Considering a Las Vegas Home purchase?  Search all Las Vegas Homes for Sale using our free, interactive map-based search.

 

 

The Las Vegas housing market isn’t as bad as you might think.  Though the overall price of homes is down from last year, the overall price is staying stable, DQ News reports.  In general, the re-sale market has been strong and is the key to the Las Vegas housing recovery, says Dennis Smith, the president of Home Builders Research.

An example of good news: March home sales in Las Vegas crossed a significant mark, topping 5,000 sales.  The following sentiment–quoted from Hubble Smith (Las Vegas RJ), quoting David Brownell (Keller Williams Realty)–bodes well for Las Vegas real estate:

“Everybody still has the mindset that the market is in the tank, but the market is as vibrant as it’s ever been.”

He continues:

“To cross the 5,000 mark in March is very significant. It’s huge. There are probably only a handful of months that cross 5,000. To have that in March, what does that mean for June and July? Maybe 5,500?”

The majority of sales has been of existing homes, so this good news doesn’t exclude most of the Las Vegas high rise market.

 

 

Kathryn Bovard is experienced with the often lengthy and sometimes stressful Las Vegas short sale process.   If you are contemplating a Las Vegas short sale, she can assist and navigate you through the entire process. Call Kathryn direct at 702-348-7191 to schedule a short sale consultation today.

Considering a Las Vegas Home purchase?  Search all Las Vegas Homes for Sale using our free, interactive map-based search.

 

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