Real Estate Thoughts for the New Year

Welcome to 2012!  Hopefully you are getting closer to fully recovering from the busy-ness of the holidays and ready for a productive new year.

Looking back at 2011, I probably spent most of my time dealing with short sale properties.  In the parts of Orange County and Los Angeles County that I serve, you can’t seem to enter any neighborhood without encountering a short sale property.  While I also had my fair share of bank-owned, corporate-owned, and standard sale properties alongside a few lease properties, short sales were a big deal in 2011 when it came to my clients.  I’m pretty sure that will continue on into 2012.

But one thing’s for certain:  There’s still a lot of activity going on, at least in the areas that I serve.  Good, well-qualified buyers are still out there (I’m in the middle of a bidding war right now for one of my clients!), and people still will need to sell their homes this year for various reasons.

For those that are thinking about buying a home this year, because short sale properties are not going to go away anytime soon, it may be to your advantage to start looking for a home at least 6 months before you think actually want to move.  Short sales can take several months to complete, and depending on your price range, short sale properties may be the bulk of the inventory that will be on the market.  Also, it may be helpful to get connected with a good lender that can help you figure out how much you can afford when purchasing a home.  Perhaps you’ll need some time to save up more money or to improve your credits score.  By knowing that ahead of time, you will be able to make the homebuying process more efficient for you overall.

For those that are thinking about selling a home this year, I suggest that you get a clear understanding of the financial and tax impact it may have on you and your family.  Also, it may be a good idea to start getting some projects done around the house to improve the marketability of your home.  If a short sale may be in the cards for you this year, you will need to educate yourself on the credit, tax, legal, and financial implications that will have on you and your family and what kind of timeline you may be looking at.

And for everyone else in between, the real estate market is changing all the time.  Don’t be afraid to ask for some info or help from a real estate professional if you have any questions or concerns about your current housing situation.  This may shed some more light on things in addition to the info that you’ll get from the other experts in your life — your family and friends.

I often get the question, “Is it a good time to buy?”, or “Is it a good time to sell?” The answer to both questions will depend on your own specific situation.  Feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss your situation as it relates to YOUR needs.  In a world where so much information is available on the internet, some things actually do require some one-on-one interaction.  Real estate is one of them, at least the way that I handle it.  And hopefully you’ll come to value the personal interaction just as much as I do.

Happy new year to you all.  May 2012 be a great year for you and yours!

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