September 27, 2020

The Internet and home buying/selling . . .

Importance of the Internet

“It is a great time to buy” . . . statement confirmed!

Go to the link below to see what Warren Buffet has to say about buying Real Estate!

5 Foreclosure Myths for 2012 . . .


Baby boomers are participating in the investment real estate market segment. A survey of 1,300 agents and brokers by Coldwell Banker Real Estate found that baby boomers not only have a strong desire to purchase and own a home, they want more than one home.
About 87 percent of respondents said they have baby-boomer Clients who already own or are looking to own investment property, including 22 percent of agents who report that at least half (50 percent) of their boomer Clients are taking advantage of today’s market and historically low interest rates to own such investment properties.



Despite the economic recession, owners of second homes and vacation homes are getting strong returns by renting out their properties according to a report by HomeAway, an online vacation marketplace.  Nearly two-thirds of second-homeowners (63%) are able to cover at least half of their mortgage by renting out the home to travelers and 38% generate enough rental income to cover 75-100% of the property’s mortgage.  Vacation rental bookings are about the same or higher than last summer, averaging 20 weeks per year, the report finds. 



In what may be a signed that market conditions are improving, the PMI (private mortgage insurance) Group removed 105 metropolitan areas from its Distressed Markets List effective June 18th. Among those areas are several major cities, including Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Boston, SEATTLE, Indianapolis, New York City and Washington, DC. Homebuyers in these markets will find it easier and less expensive to obtain mortgage insurance, PMI concludes. Other major cities that remain on the Distressed Markets List include Atlanta, Detroit, Baltimore, Oakland and Newark, NJ.

10 Reasons To Buy a Home

Enough with the doom and gloom about homeownership.

Sure, maybe there’s more pain to come in the housing market. But when Time magazine starts running covers that declare “Owning a home may no longer make economic sense,” it’s time to say: Enough is enough. This is what “capitulation” looks like. Everyone has given up.

The Sept. 6 cover of Time magazine: This is what capitulation looks like.
.After all, at the peak of the bubble five years ago, Time had a different take. “Home Sweet Home,” declared its cover then, as it celebrated the boom and asked: “Will your house make you rich?”

But it’s not enough just to be contrarian. So here are 10 reasons why it’s good to buy a home.

1. You can get a good deal. Especially if you play hardball. This is a buyer’s market. Most of the other buyers have now vanished, as the tax credits on purchases have just expired. We’re four to five years into the biggest housing bust in modern history. And prices have come down a long way– about 30% from their peak, according to Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Index, which tracks home prices in 20 big cities. Yes, it’s mixed. New York is only down 20%. Arizona has halved. Will prices fall further? Sure, they could. You’ll never catch the bottom. It doesn’t really matter so much in the long haul.

Where is fair value? Fund manager Jeremy Grantham at GMO, who predicted the bust with remarkable accuracy, said two years ago that home prices needed to fall another 17% to reach fair value in relation to household incomes. Case-Shiller since then: Down 18%.

Brett Arends discusses why he thinks now is a particularly good time to buy a home.
.2. Mortgages are cheap. You can get a 30-year loan for around 4.3%. What’s not to like? These are the lowest rates on record. As recently as two years ago they were about 6.3%. That drop slashes your monthly repayment by a fifth. If inflation picks up, you won’t see these mortgage rates again in your lifetime. And if we get deflation, and rates fall further, you can refi.

3. You’ll save on taxes. You can deduct the mortgage interest from your income taxes. You can deduct your real estate taxes. And you’ll get a tax break on capital gains–if any–when you sell. Sure, you’ll need to do your math. You’ll only get the income tax break if you itemize your deductions, and many people may be better off taking the standard deduction instead. The breaks are more valuable the more you earn, and the bigger your mortgage. But many people will find that these tax breaks mean owning costs them less, often a lot less, than renting.

The June 13, 2005 cover of Time.
.4. It’ll be yours. You can have the kitchen and bathrooms you want. You can move the walls, build an extension–zoning permitted–or paint everything bright orange. Few landlords are so indulgent; for renters, these types of changes are often impossible. You’ll feel better about your own place if you own it than if you rent. Many years ago, when I was working for a political campaign in England, I toured a working-class northern town. Mrs. Thatcher had just begun selling off public housing to the tenants. “You can tell the ones that have been bought,” said my local guide. “They’ve painted the front door. It’s the first thing people do when they buy.” It was a small sign that said something big.

More on the Developments Blog
Buying a Home, Good Idea?
With Little to Do, Home Builders Focus on Quality
In Monaco, the ‘Most Expensive’ Home
House of the Day: Private Maine Island

.5. You’ll get a better home. In many parts of the country it can be really hard to find a good rental. All the best places are sold as condos. Money talks. Once again, this is a case by case issue: In Miami right now there are so many vacant luxury condos that owners will rent them out for a fraction of the cost of owning. But few places are so favored. Generally speaking, if you want the best home in the best neighborhood, you’re better off buying.

6. It offers some inflation protection. No, it’s not perfect. But studies by Professor Karl “Chip” Case (of Case-Shiller), and others, suggest that over the long-term housing has tended to beat inflation by a couple of percentage points a year. That’s valuable inflation insurance, especially if you’re young and raising a family and thinking about the next 30 or 40 years. In the recent past, inflation-protected government bonds, or TIPS, offered an easier form of inflation insurance. But yields there have plummeted of late. That also makes homeownership look a little better by contrast.

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Associated Press

A house for sale in Shelby, Ohio.
.7. It’s risk capital. No, your home isn’t the stock market and you shouldn’t view it as the way to get rich. But if the economy does surprise us all and start booming, sooner or later real estate prices will head up again, too. One lesson from the last few years is that stocks are incredibly hard for most normal people to own in large quantities–for practical as well as psychological reasons. Equity in a home is another way of linking part of your portfolio to the long-term growth of the economy–if it happens–and still managing to sleep at night.

8. It’s forced savings. If you can rent an apartment for $2,000 month instead of buying one for $2,400 a month, renting may make sense. But will you save that $400 for your future? A lot of people won’t. Most, I dare say. Once again, you have to do your math, but the part of your mortgage payment that goes to principal repayment isn’t a cost. You’re just paying yourself by building equity. As a forced monthly saving, it’s a good discipline.

9. There is a lot to choose from. There is a glut of homes in most of the country. The National Association of Realtors puts the current inventory at around 4 million homes. That’s below last year’s peak, but well above typical levels, and enough for about a year’s worth of sales. More keeping coming onto the market, too, as the banks slowly unload their inventory of unsold properties. That means great choice, as well as great prices.

10. Sooner or later, the market will clear. Demand and supply will meet. The population is forecast to grow by more than 100 million people over the next 40 years. That means maybe 40 million new households looking for homes. Meanwhile, this housing glut will work itself out. Many of the homes will be bought. But many more will simply be destroyed–either deliberately, or by inaction. This is already happening. Even two years ago, when I toured the housing slump in western Florida, I saw bankrupt condo developments that were fast becoming derelict. And, finally, a lot of the “glut” simply won’t matter: It’s concentrated in a few areas, like Florida and Nevada. Unless you live there, the glut won’t have any long-term impact on housing supply in your town.

Write to Brett Arends at


In sometimes-complicated relationships between residents and their condo or homeowner associations, neighborly love can go only so far. When it comes to association decorum, the more you know about the CC&Rs (covenants, conditions and restrictions), the better. It’s the homeowner’s job to reinforce these governing rules and regulations, which can easily pit residents against association members. Here are a few hot-button issues that, according to Realty Times and, are important to keep in mind:

    Pets. Many condominiums restrict the permitted size and number of pets, if they allow them at all. Check in with the head of the association before bringing any four-legged friends home, and take note of any restrictions — such as the proper way to clean up after your pets and whether they’re allowed to stay outside for any period of time.

    Parking. Take note that beyond your four walls, the land is not all yours — including your driveway. What are the parking restrictions for residents? For guests? Have the conversation before guests arrive to ensure that vehicles are out of fellow residents’ way. Keep in mind that many condos limit the number of cars to reflect the number of residents in the home.

    Maintenance. There are two areas to consider: What does the association take care of, and what are your responsibilities? Typically, condo owners can rely on workers hired through the condo association to help maintain the exterior of their home, including painting, roof repairs, lawn maintenance and trash collection. But depending on association rules, sweeping your porch by Tuesday afternoon each week or setting the trash on the curb (not the end of your driveway) before Monday morning might be mandatory. Find out the specifics to avoid future headaches.

   Fees. All associations have monthly or annual fees that residents must pay, but dig a little deeper and find out what happens if you accidentally break a rule. The last surprise you want is a letter stuck to your door telling you to pay up or risk eviction. Additionally, keep in mind if your building is due for a code  upgrade — every five, 10 or 20  years, condo associations can charge residents large fees  written into the minutiae of the CC&Rs.


“Borrowers spend an average of 10 hours researching a car purchase and only five hours researching a mortgage or home equity loan.”  

Yet another good reason to rely on  the recommendations from your Realtor for competent lenders.  



When you are looking for a home in the Seattle area, you NEED a buyer’s agent!
          Click here to order my Buyer’s Agent Job Description

          * Seeing an ad in the newspaper
          * Driving by a for sale sign
          * Visiting an open house
          * Surfing the internet

I will provide you with specific property information and can help you purchase it!