Bravo to the Freddie Mac First Look Program!

Freddie Mac
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Starting September 2010, this program gave owner-occupied buyers 15 days to buy homes before investors can get into the offer process.  Last year I was seeing investors with all cash swooping in on prime real estate and winning the contract while interested first time buyers were unable to get a toe-hold in the home buying process.

I think this program will let the number of owner occupied buyers rise up again.

I commend Freddie Mac for taking this sane initiative.  We need more sanity in the real estate arena.  Click here to get the press release – 

Care to comment?

Pat Chadwell, Broker
Realty World – Residential Specialists

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Someone asked me – What are all those acronyms after your name?

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 04:  A sold sign...
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What are all those acronyms after your name – CRS, ePro, SRES, CDPE, SFR?

Why use Realtor with alphabet soup initials after their name?

Those acronyms point to an agent’s further education and knowledge. Those agents value education so they can do a better job at representing their client’s needs. It shows a commitment to our industry and wanting to excel in what you do.

CRS – Certified Residential Specialist – only 3.5% of the Realtors have this designation. A CRS has extensive experience, confirmed sales, and an advanced education especially on the Internet.

ePro – An e-PRO certified real estate professional joins the ranks of a special community of highly skilled and continuously trained professional who provide high quality and innovative online-based real estate services. Only 4% of Realtors are an ePro.

SRES – A designation only held by 1.5% of Realtors. A Seniors Real Estate Specialist® has demonstrated the necessary knowledge and expertise to counsel senior clients through major financial and lifestyle transitions involved in relocating, refinancing, or selling the family home.

CDPE – A Certified Distressed Property Expert® has specific understanding of the foreclosure avoidance options available to homeowners. Currently only 28,000 Realtors have this designation

SFR – The SFR certification program provides training and support that helps real estate professionals specializing in short sales and foreclosures build confidence and become a trusted resource for their clients.

Hope that helps.

Pat Chadwell, Broker

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Buyer decides more eyes are better…

magnifying glass showing aberration
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I met a buyer at a bank-owned property. He invited a trusted friend/co-worker that was knowledgeable about construction to attend the showing.

I loved it! We were able to comb over the home and felt we knew quite a bit more than the standard previewing of the home. We determined what inspections were needed to be completed. That left the buyer time to also recognize other things regarding the neighborhood that he wanted to check out  further.

I love informed and engaged buyers.

Pat Chadwell, Broker
Realty World – Residential Specialists

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Bravo to cash buyers

Cash Money

Last week we were taking offers on a short sale of a triplex in Richmond.  The amazing point was not really that there were 19 offers after 1 week or that it sold for way above what it listed for but that almost 2/3 of all the listings were coming from CASH buyers. 

Needless to say we accepted the cash offer.

I really want to commend those buyers with cash!  It is not an easy feat to amasse cash to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.  That saving style is a successful action.


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Buyers opportunity

I have definitely seen more buyers vying for homes as the year has been progressing.  I have also been running scenarios on renting vs. buying in some areas and the numbers work out great!  I have a 2 bedroom/1.5 bathroom condo in the Alum Rock area – with 25% down there is a positive cash flow if an investor snapped it up.  But a renter-turned buyer with 20% down could also be getting the benefits of homeownership at the same price as renting – meaning they would have tax advantages so they would be ahead of the game. Continue reading

Short sales abound

short sale

Working with a couple of buyers in the lower price range, I decided to see how many ACTIVE homes were short sale properties, bank owned (REO) and regular homes in homes listed under $300K.   I decided not to check the condo/townhome group – this group has significantly higher overall numbers of available properties, however, there are more restricted loan products to this group which will affect the ability to sell.

In Santa Clara County, the number of homes less than $300K was very few compared to the number of buyers out there.  There are 78 short sales (“for sale” hopefuls), 21 bank owned properties and 13 regular sales.  So less than 10% are regular sales and 15% are bank owned.  The whopping majority are short sales.  I call them “for sale” hopefuls.  The lender has not yet approved the sales price and the owners hope they will.  While a percentage might close some never will.  I have seen properties in escrow since last summer!  Some of those have closed recently though.  So a buyer in this market might get a decent home at the decent price through the short sale process – You just need patience. 

We will see if things change next month when a proposed program to speed up the short sale process comes into being.  I will be back with you when I see how this is really affecting homes in our area.

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Short commute small place vs. long commute big house

Construction works at a prefabricated house

I have a client who is pondering this question.  What is more important to him?  He works on Palo Alto.  We started looking in the San Jose area for a townhome but when a co-worker started looking in Hayward he was finding huge single family homes at the same price. 

Wanting to make sure my client “turned over every rock” so to speak I headed to Hayward to view 10 homes under $400K.  A couple of homes were really nice.  One in particular was grand but when I looked down from the master bedroom window at the neighoring yards they were filled with junk and poorly constructed sheds.   From that I started to ponder the likelihood of the neighborhood to appreciate in the future if 4 of the 5 backyard looked like the local dump already.  Then I added drive time to his commute and he had to make his decision.

All I can do as a Realtor is present the facts and my viewpoint from lots of experience how the different areas might perform over time.  Also I can add what I have seen from past clients who say bought in Livermore to get a better price but ultimately got a job over there because the commute was a nightmare. 

I have to tell you this client has all the iPhone applications to help determine drive time and recent sales, etc.  Now we are putting in the practical part of actually seeing the homes then the real world of “what is important to me” comes through. 

We will see what he ultimately chooses.  Isn’t it great to have choices!

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Real Estate Sales are up 52% over last year!!!

Conditionally Sold!

As of November 30th, in the Santa Clara County the inventory for active listings of single family homes was 1850 and condo/townhomes is 666. Totaling 2516 for both. The number of listings dropped by 60% from last year at this time!

The number of homes and townhome/condos that went into contract over the last 30 days was 1542. This figure is up 38% over last year.

The number of closed sales in November was 1121. This figure is up 52% over last year! The 1st time buyer program and investors in the market have had an impact on this a LOT.

See how specific areas are doing –

How are sales in your area?

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Homebuyer Credit May Help Stimulate the Economy More

WE 08'1011kd - 685
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I am very pleased that existing homeowners might be able to benefit from the current credit plan signed into Law this week. 

There is a great article on this describing different scenarios for current homesowners – go to With low inventory in the Santa Clara County this might spur on the move-up buyers who have been frozen in their existing homes.  In turn leaving 1st time buyer to aquire their newly vacate property.  I have a number of clients who have had their family size increase while living often in their first home.  These home are now undersized.  The $6500 credit might be the answer to make the move to a larger home. 

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