Monday, December 22, 2008

Have REO's taken over Long Beach?


So are banks taking over the Long Beach real estate market? Well let's see if we can find some answers to this question. All James and I seem to hear these days is it is all about the REO business. Now don't get me wrong there are properties out there owned by banks and we both expect that to increase but let's be real it isn't the entire Long Beach real estate market.
How many REO's are in Long Beach
I decided that I would search for REO properties in Long Beach and see how many where available. The graph to the left was done on the 17th of December and shows exactly how many REO's are in the MLS system as of this date.
There are 283 REO's that are available in the city of Long Beach. The amount of inventory to chose from is 1554. So 18.2% of the real estate market in the city of Long Beach is currently owned by a bank.
So the vast majority of properties in Long Beach are not owned by banks. The real question comes into play is what will happen with the 455 short sales that are currently listed for sale in the market. These have the potential to end up owned by banks if the banks don't work something out.
With all of the attention in the media about the TARP program and the bank bailout I would have thought (Maybe naively so) that this would help the people who wanted to keep their homes and were attempting a short sale. These properties hitting the market as REO could push the REO market to 50% of the Long Beach real estate market.
I don't think anyone would disagree that a market where 50% is owned by banks is a good idea. We shall see what the new year leads us to.
Related Posts
  • How many condos are owned by banks?
  • How many REO's & Short Sales are there in Long Beach?

Friday, December 19, 2008

4 Tips to make your bank owned offer be a winning offer

Cash is King as they saying goes is once again the popular saying of many these days with changes in the lending environment. While we are noticing that cash is gaining leverage, specifically with bank owned properties, there are limitations to cash offers even in this day and age.

Whether you are purchasing a property all cash or not here are some ways that you can distinguish your offer from the many others that are on the hottest real estate deals throughout the city of Long Beach.

  • Short Closing Periods - An all cash offer and a 30 day escrow isn't much better than a 20% down offer and a 30 day escrow. Short escrow periods are (10-15 days) are a way to make sure your offer stands out. If you are using a loan, ask your loan officer how quickly they can get your loan done to give you an edge.
  • Per Diem Penalties - Most bank contracts charage between $50-$150/day for every day you are late past your originally agreed upon escrow period. If the property and price are what you want, offer a large penalty along with your short escrow period as this shows you are committed to closing.
  • Follow the Rules! - Or maybe make sure your agent is following the rules. Many agents who list properties for banks will receive 15,20, 30+ offers on a property so make their life easy. If they need the offer e-mailed, make sure you e-mail it, not fax it. Ask your agent what the instructions are for presenting offers so you can make sure yours doesn't fall to the bottom of the heap.
  • Act Quickly - Banks are allowing for just a few days on the market in many cases, so if you see that must have home or condo, get out to see it and write your offer the same day so you get the opportunity to be considered by the bank.

Following the above and most of all having all of your documentation ready to take action will make the process of purchasing a bank owned home or condo in Long Beach one that is fun and makes you happy that you got a great as well! Call your Long Beach real estate agent or start searching the Long Beach MLS to find what properties are available today.

Related Posts:

  • Bank Owned Properties Hit Belmont Park
  • Does anyone really buy property in December?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bank Owned in Long Beach..Prepare for a journey

Getting a great deal on a bank owned/foreclosure property in Long Beach is certainly possible, although the journey may be different than you think. If you listened to the media you would think that you could walk down your favorite street, see a number of bank owned properties, offer them 10 cents on the dollar and have a home in a few days. Although I would love for that to happen for any of my customers, the reality is much different.


Buying Long Beach real estate that is bank owned is a great way to save money and get that home or condo that you have always wanted. Being prepared for the journey of buying a property from a bank will help to make the process a smooth one regardless of the agent that you choose to help you with it.

  1. Be prepared to lose - I know it sounds crazy, but there are certainly a good number of people out there searching and making offers on the best deals throughout Long Beach. The best priced bank owned homes can get anywhere from 6-30+ offers. So be prepared to lose a few times when making offers.

  2. "Double App" - The requirements of many of the bank owned listings requires that you apply for a loan using their recommended loan company or loan officer (often referred to as a "double app"). You don't have to use that lender to complete your loan, but in order for your offer to be reviewed you will often be asked to apply for a loan with the recommended lender. Having all of your documentation ready for those lenders will make your life much easier.

  3. Conditions may vary - Finding a home that is in the best neighborhood and that has been heavily upgraded for super cheap is not likely. Be prepared to find homes that need some work, but remember you will be saving some good money on the purchase.

  4. Delayed documentation - The bank is dealing with thousands of offers at a time, so they are often slow to return documentation that your lender is waiting on. Make sure you have the time in your contract to allow for some of these inevitable delays.

Being prepared for the journey makes it much easier. You could certainly win on your first offer and that would be great! Just in case though, keep the tips above in mind and you will get that great deal on a bank owned property in no time.

Related must reads:

  • Top 5 Bank Owned challenges

  • Looking for REO properties, try North Long Beach

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday Gallery of Trees Event on 2nd St

The holiday spirit is alive and well in Long Beach. There are many great charities throughout the city and we wanted to highlight one today that is having a great fundraiser in Belmont Shore.


Operation Jump Start is hosting it's "Holiday Gallery of Trees" event in the short. There are 18, 3-foot tall Christmas trees that you can purchase raffle tickets fr. Each tree has $150 of prizes on them provided by the local merchants. Each day until the 20th of December volunteers will be available in front of the Washington Mutual bank on 2nd St with the winners being announced on the 20th!


This is a great charity to support during this holiday season. Operation Jump Start is a non-profit organization that provides adult mentors and an array of enrichment programs to disadvantaged Long Beach youth starting in the 8th grade and taking them through high school to prepare them for college. They have had such success with the program that their college attendance rate is 97% WOW!


We hope as you support your charities this holiday season that Operation Jump Start and their Holiday Gallery of Trees event can be on your list.
Here is the flyer for their event with the times that they the volunteers will be present to sell the raffle tickets.
For complete details of times that volunteers are available to assist you click on HGOT schedule and you will be taken to a PDF of the schedule.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Can we say affordable housing?


So you have been watching the real estate market for years patiently waiting for it to adjust and then you will pounce on something and buy it! Does that sound like someone you know?
Then as prices keep adjusting they keep making more excuses about the price and the market and everything else that one can imagine. Sometimes those people just like to talk a big game but never do anything but lose lots of money in the stock market.
So if someone has been waiting for prices to become more affordable now would be the time. There are homes, condos, investment properties that are now available that will have positive cash flow from day 1! Does that mean these deals are all over the place? NO! Does it mean that every seller will take 25 cents on the dollar because somebody has cash? NO.
What it does mean is a prudent investor can purchase properties that are going to be great winners long term. Think of it like buying GE stock at the moment (I am not an investment advisor but that is what people are saying).
How much do things cost?
The chart above shows the available properties currently listed for sale in Long Beach and a few other cities in the area. I didn't chart anything more than $300,000 because at that price and below it is less money you would have to put down and easier to find a renter because of the price you would be asking for rent.
Between just Anaheim and Long Beach there are over 1,500 that are under $300,000. Now if you can't even find 1 property between those two cities that meets or exceeds your requirements you might not be someone who wants to purchase property, ever.
Define your requirements
Before you plunge into buying a property make sure you take the time to look at what you can afford. I am not talking about those online calculators. I am talking about meeting with a lender either one from your past or one referred by your real estate agent. If you don't have one let us know here and we will give you at least 2 people to speak with.
Determine how much money you have to put down and save some money for repairs as well. Some of these properties need a little bit of love to put them in shape.
Take Action
Most of all take action. You will be glad you did as you will be one of those people you hear at parties say "I picked up this amazing deal 10 years ago and I still get money every month". Remember it is a long term came not a short one.

Monday, December 15, 2008

City of Long Beach Down Payment Assistance Program get up to $275,000

Despite the media woes that financing is "nearly impossible" and that the average person can't get financing there are still some great loan programs out there. FHA certainly leads the way with good, safe traditional financing allowing borrowers to purchase a home or condo for as little as 3.5% down.

In addition to FHA the city of Long Beach is also doing their part by providing a down payment assistance program. This program allows up to $275,000 of assistance! We have been asked about this program before and have found it's tough to get information on it.

You will have to go through a lender who is approved to work with the program, but we will certainly give you a lender to contact so you can take advantage of these limited funds.

Key factors

  • Must be a first time buyer
  • Must currently live or work in Long Beach
  • Can purchase a condo up to $332,500 or a home up to $500,650
  • 1% down payment is required by the buyer
  • Property must be located in one of the communinty redevelopment areas (primarily 90802, 90804,90805 and some parts of 90806)

There are income limits as well depending on the number of people that live in the household. There is also a calss that the buyer must take, but that's it's a short class compared with the amount of gain that you can get :).

It is definitely worth while to investigate to see if you qualify for this program as there are a limited amount of funds for this program.

Lender Contact:

Mike Simfenderfer of GEM Mortgage provided us these highlights. He is a local lender located her on Atlantic Ave in Bixby Knolls. Contact him today at 562-714-2158 or e-mail him at loans4yourhome@yahoo.com .

Related Must Reads:

  • Redevelopmentin Long Beach, right from the source
  • Downtown Long Beach Business Association gives you the inside info

Friday, December 12, 2008

2007 vs 2008 Sales in Long Beach, which is better?


So what does 2007 have in common with 2008? Well sales happened in both years and in fact it looks like 2008 sales were far better than 2007.

You wouldn't know that from the way the media has portrayed this year. You would think this would be so considering how every article talks about the demise of real estate but the chart in this post is the closed sales from June until now. Per our tradition here we aren't reporting the sales for December until the month is over. Who knows we may begin a new tradition of reporting sales as they happen but for now we will report what has happened after they are all set in stone so to speak.

What does the past tell us about the future?

This is important to consider because we want to be able to get the edge whenever possible. I can tell you this, we will be having some properties being bought and sold in 2009. I know that isn't exactly shocking news but considering what some people are saying that is out on a limb although a small one.

So really what are we thinking about 2009 right now? I say the following is going to happen at least in the first quarter for sure.

  • Rates will stay low or drop - the government has to keep things moving and banks are getting money through government programs so look to see things stay low.
  • REO's will increase - Some say this will not be true but banks have too much to hold all of it.
  • Properties in high demand areas (aka the water) will not sell for 50% on the dollar - deals in the most desirable areas will not be had. Trust me on this one.
  • It will be THE year to buy investment property - this year and next will be one of the greatest years in history to buy an investment property that you will own for the next 30 years and will give you income from day 1. Don't believe me? I hope you do as properties are being sold now that generate positive income from day one with 10-15% down.
2008 looks much better now that we are near the end. Don't let that happen to you in 2009. Now is the time to take advantage of things.

Related Posts
  • Where did the sales happen in Long Beach?
  • What's available near the water in Long Beach?
  • Long Beach Condo under $78,000

Monday, December 08, 2008

Where did the sales happen in Long Beach in November



So we had a few sales in Long Beach in November. But where are the sales happening?

That is an important question. You see that many people think that you can get this fantastic beach home, a view of the water, complete with a 4 car garage and granite kitchen counters for $200,000! That is not the case in the least so it is important to know where the sales are happening because it gives an indication of where things are selling in the city. The chart above charts the sales that happened by a few select areas in the city. The total sales reported in the chart above is 111 of 191 total sales that happened in Long Beach for November.

What this chart tells us

This chart shows a large amount of activity in two particular areas of the city, Downtown & North Long Beach. So why is there almost 3 times as many sales in North Long Beach as Belmont Heights? It has to do with affordability. More people can afford North Long Beach than Belmont Heights and that is why more sales are happening in that area/

What are you looking for?

So are you looking for your first home or an investment property? This will determine the area that you may want to look in. You can always use our free MLS right here on the blog or you can e-mail us and we will set you up with you very own custom MLS website.


Related Posts

  • Does Anyone buy in December?
  • Hot Long Beach Real Estate Activity
  • Long Beach Real Estate Statistics for October 2008

Friday, December 05, 2008

What's available near the water in Long Beach?


Have you ever thought about living near the water? If you have then looking in Belmont Heights and Naples might be the area for you.

Sometimes you just don't know what there is to look for though so we thought we would let everyone know what is going on and what is available.

Belmont Shore & Naples

If you are looking in the wonderful area of Belmont Shore and Naples there isn't much inventory to select from. In fact you have just 78 homes and 26 condos to choose from. So as a buyer you can be selective from what is there but there is not tons of inventory to choose from and certainly homes and condos are not selling for 25 cents on the dollar from what they once were. The area is highly desirable and while the values have adjusted they have not gone down the same amount as in other areas of the city such as North Long Beach.

Belmont Heights & Alamitos Heights

Belmont Heights is just north of Belmont Shore and Naples and still extremely close to the water. From some parts of this area there are gentle rolling hills that you can see the ocean. In heights we have 69 homes and 41 condos available to select from. In some cases we have amazing homes that have been restored to perfection and in other cases we have condos that need a little bit of love. The great part is there is something for every buyer in this area as long as one understands there is a price to be paid for the location.

Finding a place near the water in Long Beach

If you are looking for a place near the water in Long Beach then try our FREE MLS to find the home that you desire. If you aren't sure how close the property is to the water, what you might be able to do with it, and if it is priced right we are here to help you. You can use the simple contact form or call us at 562-989-7111 and we are happy to answer any questions you might have.

Related Posts

  • Long Beach Condo under $78,000
  • Bank Owned Properties Hit Belmont Park
  • Tired of Renting in Belmont Shore or Naples?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Does anyone really buy property in December?


Many people think that real estate just stops functioning in December. Now if we were located in a part of the country where there was 2,3 or 12 ft of snow it would stop because who really wants people covered in snow going through their home. Maybe only the most serious of sellers but for the most part people in the parts of the country where there is some real weather things tend to stop. For those on the West Coast and especially in Southern California things keep on moving in December.

So just how much activity is going to happen in December? Well we are about to find out. While we don't have any data for this December yet it always pays to study a little history to find out what things might be like. Now we don't want to go back to 2006 because that was a different market then it is today. 2007 was somewhat similar so let's check out what the past from last year and the past several months might tell us as well.


So we have a 0 so far for December (we always report those at the end of the month) but let's see how the other months have fared. We can see that November sales this year were actually better than last years sales. In fact both October and November Sales for 2008 were better than 2007. This might seem surprising to some but if you look at what is available there are some very real opportunities to become a home owner and some to become a real estate investor depending on your criteria.

What does this mean for December 2008?

If the history (although recent) holds true for 2008 it looks like we can expect sales of at least 173 sold properties and potentially even more. So how do you take advantage of this if you are a buyer? Check out the free MLS and see what kind of properties interest you. There are some very real opportunities out there and if you have been looking for a condo, home, or investment property this could very well be your time.

What if you are a seller?

If you are a seller you have to know there are people out there looking. Make sure your home is priced VERY competitively and that you have done everything you and your agent talked about. Sometimes just discussing with your agent what can be done will uncover a great idea that you haven't thought of. It isn't always price (although that is the biggest factor especially now).

Related Posts

  • Long Beach Condo under $78,000
  • Hot Long Beach Real Estate Activity
  • Long Beach Real Estate Statistics for October 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Long Beach Condo under $78,000


Living in southern California, we really aren't used to seeing properties for less than $100,000. When we do, we expect it to be a terrible area, or a property that is nearly falling down. In this case, those rules don't hold true!

A nice condo at the Californian became available for just $77,900. This is just day 2 on the market so there is still time to see it. I had the chance to get in the unit and it is in pretty good shape. It's just over 420 square ft, but I have to say it feels larger (really it does). It's a corner unit at the Northwest corner of the building so you get some good light and even get some views of the skyline of Long Beach.





It's not our listing, so I can't give all of the information (as deemed by the rules of our local MLS), but please feel free to e-mail us or call us and we will be happy to send you the full MLS listing sheet so you can get all the information these neat condo.

Related Posts:

  • Ocean Blvd High Rises East of Alamitos Ave
  • High Rise Condos on Ocean Blvd
  • How much can I save under the Mills Act?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Long Beach real estate, November wrap up

Wow, what happened to November? For those who regularly follow our blog, we were working away, we just didn't let everyone know what Long Beach was up to in the month of November. :( Now we are here in the final month of the year so Joe and I will be working away updating our blog with some of the latest happenings throughout the city.

With just 4 posts in November, you may wonder what we could possibly summarize for the past month, but here we go!


  • 179 homes and condos in Long Beach went into escrow for the entire month (Downtown represented 26 sales and North Long Beach represented 46 sales so those 2 areas contributed ~48% of the total sales)

  • Our team was able to help 5 families and individuals get into escrow in November

  • Foreclosures, although only a fraction of the market still get the most attention and often receive multiple offers

  • Good financing is still available as long as you provide documentation

  • Thanksgiving food is awesome, but means we have to run some more miles

  • A USC win against Notre Dame and a loss by Oregon State means we have 1 more game to go and we can play in the Rose Bowl Again
What should you expect here in December? Here are some of the hot items we will be working on and keeping everyone up to date with.
  • Monthly Statistics - Joe will be giving everyone an insight into just where the sales occurred throughout the city and what the latest volume of foreclosures looks like.
  • Condo Info - Some condos that haven't had turn over in years now have units available so we will share with you some of these hidden gems.
  • Hot Deals - As always you can use the Long Beach MLS for free and search away, but we will highlight some of the sweetest deals out there for your review.
  • Requests? - If you wanted information on something specific like loan programs, multi-units or another topic, let us know and we will put it in the calendar to share with everyone.
That's a wrap

November certainly went by quickly and December's tend to go even quicker with holiday parties and preparations for the coming year. All of us here at Long Beach Home Blog will be working away so if you have those burning real estate questions or just can't find that information you have been hunting the web for please feel free to drop us a comment or send us an e-mail as we are here to help.