Demand for Properties Continued to Expand Faster than Supply in March 2013

Demand for Properties Continued to Expand Faster than Supply in March 2013.

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What to do when an appraisal comes in below the selling price in Ventura County

What to do when an appraisal comes in below the selling price in Ventura County.

As the real estate market heats up in Ventura County and prices continue to recover, more home buyers and sellers are likely to encounter the problem of an appraisal that is lower than the agreed-upon sale price.

Making sense of the Ventura County story

  • Appraisals must be based on recently settled transactions in Ventura County, and in a rising market those past transactions are likely to be lower in price. Whether a buyer or seller, it’s important to understand the risks involved around low appraisals – and the options available.
  • Because of new restrictions on the relationship between lenders and appraiser – aimed at curbing the appraisal abuse that contributed to the housing bubble – buyers and their mortgage representatives have less control over the process.  Lenders simply order an appraisal from a list of approved appraisal companies, and a third party directs the individual to perform the appraisal.
  • Resulting from the third-party rules, the appraiser who is assigning a value to the home in Ventura County may not be from Ventura County. It can help to inform the appraiser of the quality of the school district or the amenities in the local neighborhood, as well as improvements to the property as compared with other recent sales in the area.
  • One appraiser recommends sellers prepare a package of information on the home, including data on comparable houses and any improvements that have been made that should influence the value of the home.

Contact me today if you have any questions on the fair market value of your home for buying and/or selling!

Find your next home in one of these areas: Westlake VillageThousand OaksAgoura HillsCamarilloNewbury ParkSimi ValleyMoorparkCalabasasWoodland HillsSan Fernando ValleyOak ParkConejo ValleyDos VientosLake SherwoodNorth RanchLas VirgenesWood Ranch

Info That Hits Us Where We Live in Ventura County

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE in Ventura County.  What are rising now are asking prices for homes. A major Web real estate portal reports prices for homes listed in Ventura County were up 3.8% in November versus a year ago. This is the largest year-over-year gain in Ventura County since the housing downturn began. In addition, Ventura County listing prices for the three months ending in November were up 0.8% from the prior three months. And the good news was widespread: annual gains were reported in 76 of the 100 largest metros. Finally, asking price gains are now beating rent price gains in the 25 largest rental markets.

Find your next home in one of these areas: Westlake VillageThousand OaksAgoura HillsCamarilloNewbury ParkSimi ValleyMoorparkCalabasasWoodland HillsSan Fernando ValleyOak ParkConejo ValleyDos VientosLake SherwoodNorth RanchLas VirgenesWood Ranch

Appraisals: Reflecting Market or Hindering the Ventura County market?

Appraisals: Reflecting Market or Hindering the Ventura County market?

Low-ball appraisals in Ventura County are hurting home sales, real estate agents and home sellers complain. In recent months, low housing inventories in many markets have sparked bidding wars on Ventura County some homes. The bidding wars have helped push up home prices higher than recent comparable sales, agents say. But a low appraisal then threatens to derail the deal, they add.

Appraisers in Ventura County have faced criticism over their property valuations in recent years, and have been accused of using foreclosures and short sales as comparable sales—without adjustment.

However, Ventura County appraisal firms say the idea that appraisers are suppressing home sales is misguided and unfounded. Appraisers say they’re misunderstood—they don’t set the value; they reflect it.

“We often hear from real estate agents, homebuilders and others that appraisals are ‘killing deals,’ and/or holding back the economic recovery,” Sara Stephens, president of the Appraisal Institute, testified to Congress earlier this year. “These accusations are unfounded and misguided.  Appraisals are not meant to simply support contracts—they are obtained to help lenders assess their overall risk. Fundamentally, it does neither the borrower nor lender any good to enter into a mortgage for more than the value of the property.”
I recently represented a buyer couple relocating to Ventura County that were determined to identify a home and get under contract in less than a week. They accomplished that by putting in an offer slightly over list price, but not so far out of line that they were over paying for their Ventura County home. Although I provided my clients with the comparables and suggested a lower offer price than they offered, the extra they offered was worth it to them to know that they secured a place to live. The appraisal came in $15,000 less than offer price and the bank accepted the appraised value. So in this case, the buyers had a win-win outcome.  When the Ventura County appraisal comes in substantially less than the contract price, it really is the buyers and buyer’s agent that are to blame. The Ventura County buyer’s agent should be providing comps and allowing the buyers to come up with their own offer price rather than letting them make an offer based on the list price.

Find your next home in one of these areas: Westlake VillageThousand OaksAgoura HillsCamarilloNewbury ParkSimi ValleyMoorparkCalabasasWoodland HillsSan Fernando ValleyOak ParkConejo ValleyDos VientosLake SherwoodNorth RanchLas VirgenesWood Ranch

Fixed Mortgage Rates Fell to Record Lows in Ventura County

Fixed mortgage rates fell to record lows for the second week in a row, a welcome sign for a recovering Ventura County housing market, economists said.

The average rate on a 30-year loan was 3.31%, the lowest since 1971, according to figures released last Wednesday by mortgage giant Freddie Mac. That’s down from 3.34%  last week.

The average on 15-year loans was 2.63%, down from the previous week’s 2.65%, also setting a record. A year ago it averaged 3.30%.

“Fixed mortgage rates continued to ease somewhat this week to record lows and should help the ongoing housing recovery,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief Ventura County economist at Freddie Mac.

New construction and home sales are also rising in Ventura County and the US.  Construction was up 3.6% in October, the strongest showing since July 2008, and sales of existing homes increased 2.1% in October, exceeding forecasts.

Home-builder confidence rose for the sixth straight month to its highest reading since June 2006, according to the National Assn. of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.

The lower mortgage rates have encouraged more Ventura County people to refinance, usually leading to lower monthly payments and more consumer spending, which drives an estimated 70% of economic activity.

The average fee for 30-year and 15-year loans in Ventura County was 0.7 points, unchanged from last week.

The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage in Ventura County was 2.74% with a 0.6-point fee, the same as last week.

The average rate on a one-year adjustable-rate mortgage in Ventura County went up to 2.56%, from 2.55% last week; the fee rose to 0.5 points from 0.3 points last week.

Source: LA Times, By Adolfo Flores

Find your next home in one of these areas: Westlake VillageThousand OaksAgoura HillsCamarilloNewbury ParkSimi ValleyMoorparkCalabasasWoodland HillsSan Fernando ValleyOak ParkConejo ValleyDos VientosLake SherwoodNorth RanchLas VirgenesWood Ranch

Ventura County borrowers eager to find lenders with superior service!

Ventura County borrowers eager to find lenders with superior service!
A poll by Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group found that more than a third of potential borrowers would be willing to pay a higher rate if the mortgage came with superior service. The survey didn’t say how much more the 34 percent were willing to pay, but it did find that this group is a frustrated bunch.

Making sense of the story for Ventura County borrowers:

  • More than half think the process is too slow.  A third find it impossible to track the status of their loan application, an equal percentage say it is too difficult to talk with their lenders, and a quarter don’t believe the advice they’re given.
  • A starting point for borrowers is to ask their real estate agent which lenders offer the best service.  Agents know which lenders keep their promises and close quickly without incident. Another option is to ask friends, co-workers, and relatives about their experiences.
  • Beyond that, prospective borrowers should look for several attributes that will help them find a responsible company or accessible loan officer.
  • Borrowers should look for a consistent point of contact.  Federal regulators have already settled on this as a requirement for loan servicers – the companies that collect payments, disburse funds to cover property taxes, and homowners insurance and otherwise administer loans.
  • Dealing with a company that provides up-to-date status information also is beneficial.  There’s nothing worse than chasing down an unresponsive loan officer to make sure this document or that report has been received, or to find out whether underwriting has looked at the application.

Read the full story

By Lew Sichelman, Los Angeles Times

Find your next home in one of these areas: Westlake VillageThousand OaksAgoura HillsCamarilloNewbury ParkSimi ValleyMoorparkCalabasasWoodland HillsSan Fernando ValleyOak ParkConejo ValleyDos VientosLake SherwoodNorth RanchLas VirgenesWood Ranch

Historic Low Interest Rates for Ventura County House Hunters!

Ventura County housing has never been more affordable!  Check out these historic low interest rates for Ventura County house hunters.  Now is an amazing time to buy and sell in Ventura County.  Do not miss this opportunity!