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Unrealistic Expectations of Buyers and Sellers

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Buyers and sellers have been known to have unrealistic expectations in images (1)approaching the housing market and they say the funniest things.

 

Foolish TalkBuyers and sellers who buy into some foolish thinking will not find success in today’s Orange County real estate market.

 

Real estate professionals from all corners of Orange County have provided plenty of feedback as to what buyers and sellers have been saying as they approach the 2014 housing market. If you have not been paying close attention, this year has been plagued by the overpriced seller and the jittery home buyer. Here’s a short list of the top foolish things that buyers and sellers are saying today:

 

  • SELLER: “We need to net $XX,XXX from our home.” There is not a single buyer who cares to know what a seller wants to net from the sale of their home. Buyers are not asking their REALTORS®, “How much do the sellers need to walk away with from the sale in order to be satisfied?” On the contrary, buyers are doing their homework and pouring over comparable sales to arrive at a fair price. A smarter approach for sellers is to look at the true fair market value for their home and determine the net proceeds based upon that value. If a seller determines it is not enough, they should NOT sell their home. This is not a market for testing the water; instead, they will be just wasting their time. Pricing a home based upon the fair market value is crucial to be successful today.
  • BUYER: “Everybody has been wrong about interest rates and they are not going to rise.” Interest rates have remained low throughout 2014 and are not expected to rise in the short term. Despite so many housing experts forecasting higher interest rates, it has yet to materialize. As a result, buyers feel that since the experts have been wrong over and over again in regards to rates, then they will remain low for a very long time. However, interest rates have to rise for simple fundamental economic reasons. There’s a 100% chance that they will rise. The government has dumped so much money into the U.S. monetary system to jump start the economy and housing, basically printing money that eventually rates will rise as inflationary pressures build.  Raising interest rates is the main way to fight inflation. It is not a matter of “if” rates will increase; it is “when”. When will that happen? Nobody knows. But, waiting until that occurs is a foolish proposition; instead, buyers should take advantage of these historically low rates. In 5 years from now, they will look back and know that buying while rates were low was nothing short of genius. Prior to the downturn, interest rates were above 6%. Since then they have been artificially reduced through the actions of the Federal Reserve. When rates increase from 4.125%, where they are today, to the level prior to the downturn, buyers will be looking at paying an extra $700 per month for the median sales price.
  • SELLER: “We need to leave a little extra room for negotiations.” Why in the world are sellers leaving room for negotiations? In adopting this strategy, sellers are overpricing their homes and wasting valuable market time. Overpriced listings don’t sell today. These homes sit on the market and miss the opportunity to cash in on the first few weeks of selling. That’s when a new listing obtains the most showings and most exposure. Today, buyers are very sensitive to price and they do not want to overpay. The best approach for sellers is to price according to the fair market value and hold firm to that value.
  • BUYER: “We are nervous about buying right now and it could be a buyer’s market soon.” With an expected market time of just over 3 months, the current market is not even close to a buyer’s market. This is more wishful thinking on behalf of buyers and is unsupported by the facts and housing data. 2014 is very different from 2012 and 2013 when homes were flying off the market at just about any price. Just because prices are not skyrocketing out of control does not mean that the market has shifted to a buyer’s market. However, the market is moving more towards a normal, balanced market where neither buyers nor sellers will be able to call the shots. Today, it is a seller’s market with very little appreciation. That means that homes will sell close to the most recent comparable closed sales and sellers will be able to control the terms.
  • SELLER: “We feel like we left money on the table and could have got more.” This is crazy talk! Sellers are coming to this conclusion because they actually have to negotiate today. They are recalling the last two years when they heard how homes were flying off the market in just days and sellers were obtaining prices above their asking price. While a seller negotiates with a buyer, they should keep in mind what homes were selling for one or two years ago. Yes, they were selling like hotcakes, but they were selling for far less. Instead, sellers should be counting their blessings at the values that they are able to obtain, the highest in seven years.
  • SELLER: “We are going to wait until the Spring to sell.” Just about everybody is fooled into thinking that they need to sell in the Spring in order to secure a higher sales price. That logic means that sellers will be selling at a discount during the Autumn and Holiday Markets. Sellers are not even remotely thinking about discounting their homes in the coming months. Many sellers will be throwing in the towel with both the Spring and Summer Markets in the rearview mirror. Activity will slow, but so will the number of sellers that remain on the market. There won’t be as much new competition either. On the contrary, during the Spring Market there will be a lot more new sellers entering the fray, just as there will be more buyers looking to buy. A few years ago, I tried to show with numbers that the Spring Market was the best time of the year to sell, but the data just did not support the hypotheses. Instead, there seems to be a balance. When there are fewer homes coming on the market, there are fewer buyers as well. When there are more sellers, there are a lot more buyers. The bottom line: homes are not appreciating right now, so waiting until the spring will prove to be fruitless.

 

 

Queerbomb Livens Up Dallas Gayborhood

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Dallas, Texas - Apple MapsIn terms of gay culture in Dallas, on face, it looks like we have a lot. Ask anyone where the “gayborhood” in Dallas is, and they’ll point you toward the intersection of Cedar Springs and Oak Lawn, where “The Strip” is located. Here, you’ll find almost all of the city’s sprawling, multi-level gay bars and clubs, alongside LGBT-oriented businesses. Mostly, though, you’ll just find bars, and a lot of people drinking in them.

“At first, being there is great. There’s drinks and you’re all liberated and stuff, but after a while, I just thought that this place was really goddamn boring,” says Villareal, an activist and journalist based in Dallas. “If you don’t want to eat pasta, buy underwear, or get wasted, there’s nothing for you on The Strip.” Hargis points out that the entanglement of gay culture and alcohol is especially problematic when you consider that queer people are disproportionately susceptible to issues with substance abuse.

Even at the city’s largest celebration of gay culture, the focus is largely on alcohol. “Now it’s all about beer,” says Hargis. “The Heineken logo on the banners for this year’s Pride is almost as big as the name of the parade.” Held every year in September, the Alan Ross Freedom Parade, sponsored by the Dallas Tavern Guild, is is always packed to the gills with thousands of people and consistently lauded as one of the best pride celebrations in the south.

But it isn’t the kind of pride parade that much space for activism, as Queerbomb Dallas charges. The Tavern Guild, as you may have guessed, is a group of gay bar owners that Queerbomb Dallas charges as being far too focused on profit. “The first half of the parade is basically a commercial for car insurance companies, banks, and beer,” laments Hargis. “The queer groups don’t even start marching until the parade is halfway over,” adds Villareal. As a result, the identities of queer people who don’t fit a mold that is acceptable to corporate sponsors and money-driven bar owners are often erased.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By Amy McCarthy – See the Full Story at the Dallas Observer

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals in Dallas.

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com

Image via Apple Maps

Either Way, You’re Still Paying a Mortgage

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unnamed There are some people that have not purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent free, you are paying a mortgage – either your mortgage or your landlord’s. As a paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

Also, if you purchase with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, your ‘housing expense’ is locked in over the thirty years for the most part. If you rent, the one guarantee you will have is that your rent will increase over that same thirty year time period.

And, as an owner, the mortgage payment is a ‘forced savings’ which will allow you to have equity in your home you can tap into later in your life. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person with that equity.

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, owning might make more sense than renting since home values and interest rates are still at bargain prices.  Either way, you’re still paying a mortgage

US Middle Class 20% Poorer Than in 1984

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MoneyNostalgia is just about the only thing the middle class can still afford. That’s because median wealth is about 20 percent lower today, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than it was in 1984. Yes, that’s three lost decades.

Now, as you might expect, the middle class has been hit particularly hard by the Great Recession and the not-so-great recovery. It’s all about stocks and houses. The middle class doesn’t have much of the former, but it does have a lot of the latter. And that’s bad news, because, even though the crash decimated both, real estate hasn’t come back nearly as much as equities have. So the top 1 percent, who hold more of their wealth in stocks, have made up more of the ground they lost. But, as the Russell Sage Foundation points out, the slow housing recovery means that, in 2013, median households were still 36 percent poorer than they were a decade earlier.

In fact, the housing bust was big enough to erase all the gains the middle class had made the past 30 years–and then some. As you can see below, median households didn’t add much wealth between 1984 and 2007. That’s what happens when real wages don’t increase, and the cost of a middle class lifestyle–housing, healthcare, and higher education–does. So, as Dean Baker points out, when the crisis did come, it devoured these meager gains and left the middle class with 20 percent less wealth than they had when it was “Morning in America.”

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By Matt O’Brien – See the Full Story at The Washington Post

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals.

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com

Exploring DC’s Real Estate Gayborhoods

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Image by Peter Fitzgerald; courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Do you really know where you live? When I started selling real estate in D.C. in the 1990s there were a number of neighborhood monikers that had withstood the test of time.

Everyone knew Georgetown, for example, with its expensive properties and the restaurants and shops that lined M Street and Wisconsin Avenue. Nearby Foggy Bottom was also well known; its name still produces the nervous giggles of a 10-year-old from transplants to our fair city.

Capitol Hill had always been a prominent section of the District although out-of-towners generally associated it with the government rather than the neighborhood of historic homes its residents know and love. And for other D.C. newbies, Dupont Circle was, and perhaps still is, a frustrating roundabout where one can drive in circles for an hour while working up the courage to veer off in the wrong direction, vowing never to return.

Areas like Cleveland Park and American University Park were often a mystery to newcomers who had never realized there was a suburban-like aspect to D.C. And why, they would ask, were there two different Chevy Chases and Takoma Parks?

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By Valerie Blake – See the Full Story at The Washington Blade

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals in Washington, DC.

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com

Image by Peter Fitzgerald; courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Condo Prices Up Again Along the West Coast

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Linea San FranciscoCondominium prices rose again in June in downtown Los Angeles, San Francisco and downtown Seattle, according to The Mark Company’s Condominium Pricing Index.

According to The Mark Company Trend Sheets, the value of new construction condominiums in downtown Los Angeles was up eight percent in June over the previous year. In San Francisco, the value of new construction condos was up 13 percent. In downtown Seattle, it was up 17 percent year over year.

“All three markets face low inventory levels, strong consumer confidence and job growth,” Alan Mark, president of The Mark Company, tells MHN. “The confluence of these factors has resulted in rising prices. Another factor [is] an anticipated rise in interest rates, which could make borrowing more expensive. Buyers don’t want to miss the chance to purchase a home while interest rates are still relatively low.”

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By Jeffrey Steele – See the Full Story at MHN Online

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals.

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com

Provincetown Becoming Less Gay

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Provincetown - Apple Maps

This season in Provincetown has been very striking. It’s nearly a decade since I wrote The End Of Gay Culture for TNR, but only now that the small drip-drip-drip of change seems to have reached a tipping point. The Ptown I came to in the late 1980s is gone forever. Back then, the crowds that thronged here – far larger than today – were dominated by gay men of all ages. On big holiday weekends, there were long lines outside several bars and the entire street was a virtual club. The crowd at Spiritus Pizza at 1 am would stretch for blocks and last for a couple hours.

Cruising was everywhere – on the streets, the beaches and the docks – all amid the somewhat delapidated houses and sea-shacks where groups of gays would crash for night after night. It felt like an alternative reality – an oasis at the end of the world, a place where some of us had come to die but so many more had come to live for the first time.

It’s utterly different today. The gay male crowds are much smaller; the straight influx far larger. Children are everywhere – of gay and straight parents. The super-wealthy have moved in – and real estate prices have all but prevented most regular gays from being able to live or rent here. Instead of legions of young homos working as busboys and waiters – exiled from their homes, or seeking a new life, or just killing time in a beautiful spot – we now have hundreds of young Bulgarian work-study exchange students brought in every summer and housed collectively. And many of the gay men here are like me – older now, and married, and spending more time in the garden than in the bars.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By Andrew Sullivan – See the Full Story at The Fish

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals in Massachusetts.

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com

The Best Cities for Gay Retirees

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MarkLet’s face it, when we try to figure out the best place for our retirement, we usually want to find people of like minds. If you are a liberal Democrat who has frequently donated to the ACLU, you probably aren’t going to want to retire in Reagan Country. Or, if you have a Fox News coffee mug on your desk, you probably won’t want to retire in Berkeley, California. Whoever we are, we want to live in a place where we can connect with our neighbors.

Today we’re taking a look at gay-friendly retirement locations. It turns out that it’s a myth that most gay people live in a handful of well-known urban neighborhoods like the Castro in San Francisco or Chelsea in New York City. You can go back to the 2000 Census and learn that same-sex couples live in 99 percent of U.S. counties.

The 2012 Census numbers turn up some surprising towns, from large cities, to medium-sized, to some really surprising small cities that have a significant percentage of same-sex households.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By Moira McGarvey – See the Full Story at SDGLN

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals.

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com

Chicago Gayborhood Still Going Strong

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Boystown, Chicago - Apple MapsWhile new research shows Boystown is becoming a more fragmented LGBT community, Lakeview officials say the “gayborhood” is most certainly here to stay. The analysis is detailed in “There Goes the Gayborhood?” written by suburban Chicago native Amin Ghaziani, now an associate professor of sociology at the University of British Columbia. It looks at things like census data, public opinion polls and interviews about Boystown from 1970 to 2010. His consensus? Gays are leaving Boystown, the Chicago gayborhood.

“Existing visible gay neighborhoods like Boystown or The Castro (in San Francisco) are in fact deconcentrating,” Ghaziani told the Chicago Tribune. “Fewer same-sex households lived in them in 2010 than in 2000. If we stop the conversation there, we might be tempted to conclude that gayborhoods are in danger of disappearing. If people move out, where do they go next?”

Lakeview officials, however, are telling ChicagoPride.com this is one “gayborhood” that’s here to stay. Rather than gays leaving Boystown, which is the nation’s first officially recognized gay village, leaders at area chambers of commerce and the alderman’s office say its simply becoming more inclusive.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By Andy Ambrosius – See the Full Story at Chicago Pride

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals in Illinois.

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com

Image via Apple Maps

Buying a House? 4 Reasons to DO IT NOW

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Buying a House? 4 Reasons to DO IT NOW | Keeping Current Matters
Here are four great reasons to consider buying a house today, instead of waiting.

1. PRICES WILL CONTINUE TO RISE

The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. Their most recent report projects appreciation in home values over the next five years to be between 30.8% (most optimistic) and 9.4% (most pessimistic).
The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES ARE PROJECTED TO INCREASE

Although the Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage are currently around 4.2%, Freddie Mac is projecting that rates will increase to 5.2% by this time next year.
An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. Your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

3. EITHER WAY, YOU ARE PAYING A MORTGAGE

As a research paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:
“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

4. IT’S TIME TO MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIFE

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.
But, what if they weren’t? Would you wait?
Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer, or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe it is time to buy.
If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Don’t hesitate to contact us with any and all real estate questions. We can be found on the web at www.themoellerteam.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/moellerteam

Todd Moeller

Seven Gables Real Estate

Todd@themoellerteam.com

714-404-9540