Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Belmont Shore Real Estate - Any buyers available?

You know right now if you own belmont shore real estate and you need to sell you are in for an interesting ride. Now let me be very clear. One can always sell real estate it just depends on what price you are willing to take for your property that decides on how many days your property is going to stay on the market. So what is happening in Belmont Shore in Long Beach, CA. Well let's look at the numbers and see what they say! All of the numbers below come from the realtor MLS that serves the area which is SoCalMLS.

As of Today 05/30/2007
  • Total Active properties in Long Beach: 1,894
  • Total Active in Belmont Shore: 91 - 4.8% of the properties available in Long Beach
  • Total New Listings in May in Belmont Shore: 30
  • Total New Listings that went into Escrow (Pending or Backup) -2
  • Months Supply (Active in area\Amount into escrow) - 45.5 months!

Now I can see what is going to happen. I am going to get some hate e-mail on saying that there is 45 months of inventory in Belmont Shore. Now the area I am using in the MLS also includes Belmont Park and Naples. So in fairness these numbers come from these three areas that are very close to each other. These areas also have many high end properties in excess of 1 million dollars. These homes tend to average longer days on market. So I don't think that there is really 45 months worth of inventory. I would tell the high end buyer that they have a few choices out there. 1 million doesn't buy what it used to but it buys quite a bit.

So what does this all mean. It means that as interest rates continue to increase it is not as easy as it used to be to afford that executive home. So take caution with your pricing high end luxury seller. And to the buyers of these homes we say enjoy the selection but don't expect to get a 1 million dollar home with the ocean view for 50 cents on the dollar!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Where are the buyers in Long Beach?

Now I don't want people to freak out when they read this. In fact there are buyers in Long Beach CA. In fact there are buyers in all areas of this country. The trick is are they are the price that you need them to be at if you are a seller? So today I thought I would cover Downtown Long Beach and the activity we have seen there in May so far. I will break down the other areas of Long Beach as we go on until we get to the end of the month.

All of the numbers below are what has happened since May 1st and are taken from the realtor MLS. So here is what happened so far.

  • Total Active in Long Beach as of today: 1,876
  • Total Pending in Downtown: 28
  • Total Backup in Downtown: 14
  • Total Closed in Downtown: 6
  • Total New Listings in Downtown: 95
  • Total Active in Downtown: 411
  • Downtown Percentage of Long Beach Market as of Actives: 21.9%
So what does this all mean for the downtown long beach market? Well it means we have 10.2 months supply of property available. Now this is getting close to that 12 month mark where people consider it a buyers market but not there yet. It does mean, in my eyes, that sellers want to be agressive in price. Especially since new properties are being built in downtown.

The percentage of the Long Beach market may seem high, only time will tell. This will play out as we report on what is happening in other areas. We will say that there are some nice choices available for buyers in the downtown area. Some areas in Long Beach do not have as many choices. I would say if you were a buyer right now who wanted to be in downtown you will have a few choices. Be warned though as the best deals still go quickly!

Let us know what you think!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Who should home owners pick for insurance?

You know normally we wouldn't write an article about home insurance. It doesn't tend to be a topic that people really want to know about or think about that much. However we thought it would be important to know that Allstate will no longer be offering new home owners in california insurance policies for their homes. Allstate press release.

So why would we write on this? Well first of all you apparently aren't in good hands with Allstate. According to www.inman.com Allstate requested a 12% increase on rates in California. I don't know about you but when was the last time you got a 12% for doing exactly the same job. The new insurance commissioner of the state of California is really coming down on companies for doing this and hurting the consumer.

What I can recommend is that you make sure you you have adequate insurance and that you use someone you can trust. I don't normally do this but I can recommend a company that is reliable. Their information is below.

Landmark Insurance Agency
5406 Lincoln AveCypress, CA 90630
800-696-4285

Ask for Jason McKelvey. I get nothing out of referring Jason other than knowing he takes care of people He insures my assets as well as many friends and family. He has not asked for this endorsement because he is that kind of guy. Trust me he won't leave you like Allstate is apparently doing.

Please feel free to weigh in on your thoughts.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

How many homes were sold in April in Long Beach?

You know often it helps to know what is going on in the local real estate market before you decide you want to buy or you want to sell. We thought we would let everyone know what is going on in the Long Beach Real Estate market so you can make the decision that works best for you!

So what did happen in April in Long Beach. Let's take a look at the numbers.

  • Active properties at the Beginning of the Month: 1,102
  • Active properties at the End of the Month: 1,661
  • New properties that came on the market: 571
  • Number of properties sold in the month: 204

All of the above numbers were taken from the MLS system that covers the Long Beach area which is SOCALMLS. All of the above numbers are for residential properties only and do not include income properties which are properties classified as 2 or more units.

So what does all of this mean for the Long Beach Real Estate Market? I think it means that we currently have 8.14 months supply of properties available. Remember that under 6 months is considered a sellers market and between 6-12 months supply it is considered a balanced real estate market. So we are doing pretty well. Each area is different in Long Beach but we will break that down in future posts. For now let us know what you think.

5 Things to Ask a Buyers Agent

Last post we covered the 5 best things to ask a listing agent. Today we wanted to cover the 5 questions you should ask when interviewing a buying agent. We are defining a buyers agent as a real estate agent who focuses their time on helping clients purchase homes. They should focus over 90% of their time on this task and preferrably not help sellers at all. This will help ensure that you get someone who focuses their craft on negotiating for the best interest of buyers and not sellers.

  1. Are you specialized in an area? - A buyers agent with experience will focus on 1-2 areas that they are experts in. This will help you to get as maximum value from their experience within an area. If they say they cover many areas then you may not get the detailed area information that you would need to focus on the best neighborhoods that meet your criteria.
  2. How many families have you helped each year? - The average real estate agent helps only 4-6 people each year. Purchasing a property is a detailed process so you will want to have someone who has experience negotiating tough issues so you can get the best deals. Top agents in an area will generaly help 12-24 familes each year. You will want to ask questions to see what different types of properties they have helped people purchase (condos, homes, multi-units) to ensure their expertise matches up to your goals.
  3. Will you refer me a lender? Do you get any compensation for that? - Getting a referral from you buyer agent can be very helpful because the process can run smoothly if they work together often. Be careful that compensation is not happening though as this can sometimes mean you are not being steered in a direction that is best for you. You can also ask them for more than one referral. If the buyer agent objects to that be warned.
  4. How will you will help me pick properties to view? - An experienced buyers agent should help you decide what best meets your needs through a consultation. A consultation can generally take 30-60 minutes and will include much more detail than just how many bedrooms and bathrooms you would like. This is your time to explain your vision of what you would like to find. You will also want to get access to the MLS so you can have a view of all of the properties that are out there. Ask to make sure that you will see listings from every brokerage, not just theirs.
  5. What do you do during escrow? -Escrow can be a time where many agents don't give you guidance and expect you to figure out what is going on. Ask if they will have a dedicated transaction coordinator and what inspections will be scheduled. You will also want to find out if they are going to help you with paperwork. Make sure that you are going to get regular updates on the escrow process. The minimum update you should expect from your agent is once a week and preferrable twice a week. Also ask what form the updates will come in whether that be e-mail, fax, mail, or phone. It is preferred that you get an update in writing. You should also get an update from the lender have you chosen in writing a minimum of once a week during escrow.

We hope that these questions help you select the long beach realtor that is best for you. Please remember to ask these questions as it is one of the biggest purchases of your life!

Monday, May 07, 2007

5 things to ask your Long Beach Real Estate Agent

You know often we are asked what people should ask a real estate agent before they hire them. People often choose a real estate agent because they are a friend, a referral, or they say someone they saw on a park bench. This is one of the biggest decisions in ones life so we recommend when choosing a Long Beach Real Estate you should ask a few questions to make sure you are trusting the right person. For today we will cover how to select the right listing agent. A listing agent is an agent who sells your home and may not be the best person to help you buy. For questions to ask a buying agent we will write a separate blog on that.

  1. What kind of Guarantees do you have? - This is an important one. Agents should put something in that guarantees a level of service or a level of communication so that you know they will be held responsible. Remember you are paying them quite a bit of money. Remember if they Guarantee isn't in writing it doesn't exist.
  2. What is the average Days on Market the homes you sell stay & how is that compared to the average agent? - Be wary if an agent can't answer this. You want an agent who is above average. If they are below average you could possibly get far less for your home than you might with someone else.
  3. What is your marketing plan? - Make sure the agent has more than a 5 point marketing plan. You want to know the dollars you are paying are toward selling your home so make sure they give you a marketing plan that has some length to it.
  4. Can I fire you at any time & will that be in writing? - Any agent who doesn't want to work under a little pressure shouldn't be your agent. DO NOT get stuck in a 6 month contract without a way out. Make sure it is in writing that you can fire them for any reason.
  5. How many homes have you sold? - Make sure an agent has experience in selling homes. In fact if you are choosing an agent to sell your home it is preferred that they only work with sellers as in general that means they have help to find buyers. Find someone who is specialized.

Next time we will give you the questions to ask your buying agent so you get the home at the right price!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

How many condos are available in Long Beach, CA?

You know when you have a property and you are either getting ready to sell your condo or you just want to know the value of your property it always helps to know the competition. In fact we believe nothing helps like know how many people are competing with the type of property that you own. Today we thought we would let everyone know a little bit about how many long beach condos are available for sale and in particular how many condos are available in the downtown area of Long Beach.

Downtown Long Beach currently has 48% of the condos that are available in Long Beach. So what does this mean and 48% means what and how does it affect me? All of these are important questions so here we go!

  1. There are currently 579 condos available in the city of Long Beach. This number was taken from the MLS as of 05/03/2007 and represents all properties that are currently in an Active status which means they are looking for offers on their condos.
  2. 268 of these condos are available in the downtown area of Long Beach. This is a large number of condos and in downtown this represents 10 months of inventory.
  3. What does this mean to me? What this means is if you are in downtown and you would like to sell study your competition carefully!

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Just make sure that you know what properties are available that are similar to yours and especially in your building. Make sure your realtor is local and knows the dynamic of your area!