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Whittier Home Prices Rise as Inventory Falls

by The Domis Team

Are Whittier homes becoming scarce? Whittier is in the midst of declining home inventories, with our October 2012 market posting a 57% drop in home inventories compared a year ago!

Not surprisingly, this has firmed up home prices, putting our median list price at $359,999. This is a 20% gain in the median list price from October 2011.

Another sign of shrinking inventory is the reduction in days on market. Whittier homes spent an average of 40 days on market during October 2012. During this same time a year ago, homes averaged 68 days on market. In short, Whittier homes are selling for more money - and they're selling faster!

The boost in Whittier real estate activity is part of a larger trend throughout California. It's welcome news for homeowners who have been anxious to recover equity; but discouraging news for home buyers who find themselves in unexpected bidding wars.

To find out whether the grass is greener, or cheaper, on the other side, let's look at the Los Angeles Metro area. The latest data from the California Association of Realtors shows a median Los Angeles home price of  $318,470 during September 2012. This represents a 16.4% price gain from the prior year.

Statewide, the California median home price averaged $343,820 in September 2012. This is a price gain of 19.5% from the prior year.

Are higher home prices here to stay? While broader economic trends can affect our Whittier real estate market, higher rental costs and a stronger job market are spurring home demand. At the same time, many homeowners are waiting for better prices before listing a home for sale. Until more homeowners are willing to sell, prospective buyers will feel the squeeze of rising rents and rising home prices. Working with real estate professionals who are local market experts is more important than ever!

Looking to buy or sell a home in Whittier? Look no further! At the Domis Team, we have the local expertise and the friendly, professional service you can count on. Whether you need a comparative market analysis to find your home value, or you'd like to visit Whittier homes for sale, we are here to help you! Contact us today for the Whittier real estate guidance you can trust!

The Domis Team
Prudential California Realty
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Weekend Fun in Whittier!

by The Domis Team

Ready for back-to-back weekend fun in Whittier? Mark your calendars with these special events!

This Saturday, October 27, round up your little monsters and bring them to Uptown Whittier's Halloween Capers! There is a costume contest for kids and adults, with 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes awarded in each age category. There is also a pumpkin patch, live music, trick-or-treating at uptown area businesses, and more!

The event is held on the grassy area of Greenleaf Ave., between Philadelphia St. and Bailey St. The Halloween Capers run from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., so don't be late!

On November 3, it's time for the 17th annual Fall Antique Street Faire! Enjoy the best of California nostalgia with the 50's Fashion Show and dance performances by the Memories Swing Team. Over 90 vendors are expected, offering collectibles, furniture, art and jewelry, and one-of-a-kind treasures you won't find anywhere else!

If you're curious about the value of a family heirloom, bring it to the Antique Street Faire and take advantage of the on-site appraisal service! Also, don't forget the pumpkin pie contest - only $10 to enter, which is a small price to pay for potential fame! 

The Antique Street Faire is free to the public and runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It is located at 13000 Philadelphia St. between Greenleaf Ave. and Painter St.

Events like these are another reason why Whittier continues to attract new residents! Our community offers a wonderful quality of life, and we encourage you to enjoy our hometown events.

When you are thinking of buying or selling a home, get the local expertise you can trust! Here at the Domis Team, we have the latest Whittier real estate market information for you. Whether you are relocating, "just looking" or ready to move, we can help! Contact us today for friendly, professional service and the best in local experience!

The Domis Team
Prudential California Realty
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Can You Buy a Whittier Home After a Foreclosure?

by The Domis Team

As rents continue to climb in the Los Angeles area, some former homeowners who experienced foreclosure or a short sale want to buy a home again.

According to RentJungle.com, a two-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles rents for an average of $1,800. With no end in sight for rent increases, it's easy to understand why former homeowners may be the most motivated homebuyers.

The Wall Street Journal estimates that 729,000 former homeowners who were foreclosed upon during the housing bust may now be eligible for an FHA-backed mortgage. However, the conditions and timelines vary depending on whether you experienced a foreclosure, a short sale, or personal bankruptcy. Here's some examples:

Those who previously filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be eligible for a new FHA mortgage in as little as 12 to 24 months, providing they now have squeaky-clean credit, a good income, and a reasonable down payment. FHA loans traditionally allow as little as 3.5% down, making this type of mortgage the most feasible for borrowers who have rebuilt their credit.

Prior homeowners who had an FHA-backed mortgage, but experienced a foreclosure or short sale, need to wait at least 3 years before being considered for another FHA loan. Those who can prove that the previous foreclosure or short sale resulted from events beyond their control will have a better chance of approval.

If you had a mortgage previously backed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, and experienced a short sale or foreclosure, you may be waiting up to 7 years before you are found eligible under their guidelines.

One of the challenges for any of the above, is that most mortgages today use qualifying criteria based on Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Because of backlash from these entities during the housing bust, including litigation, some lenders are raising the bar to insulate themselves from future disputes. This means that even though you may technically qualify for a mortgage, the lender may ask for a larger down payment or more paperwork to assure themselves of your ability, and willingness, to repay the debt.

Can you buy a Whittier home after going through a foreclosure, bankruptcy, or short sale? Yes! The answers of "when" and "how" will depend on the type of mortgage you had before, the circumstances surrounding the loss of the home, and your financial condition today. You should also check your credit history and credit score to make sure past events were reported fairly and accurately. Prepare for your next mortgage by talking to a professional lender as soon as possible.

As your Whittier real estate professionals we are always ready to assist you with your questions about the Whittier real estate market! From the latest home sales statistics to the newest listings, turn to the Domis Team for the best in local expertise!

For friendly, professional assistance, contact us today!

The Domis Team
Prudential California Realty
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Are Your Home Selling Expectations Realistic for Whittier?

by The Domis Team

After enduring years of declining home values, home sellers in California and around the country are testing the price thresholds of the current housing market. According to a survey by HomeGain, 77% of home sellers believe their home is worth more than the values estimated by their real estate professional.

When surveyed about this issue, real estate professionals responded that almost half of their selling clients overestimated their home values by 10% to 20%. 

Home seller expectations are even higher for the future, according to a survey by Redfin. When homeowners were asked about their selling expectations, 80% believed that home sale prices would be higher in a year or two. Another 32% said they intended to price their home above comparable properties.

While our Whittier real estate market is improving, it's a gradual process. For example, the median home price in Whittier was $310,000 in August 2012. In August 2011, Whittier's median home price was $304,000. Los Angeles County saw a median home price of $336,500 in August 2012, up from $317,500 a year ago.

It pays to keep your expectations based on market reality. While it may be tempting to price your home above the market, remember that home appraisals are far more conservative today than in the past. If you're fortunate enough to attract a buyer, but the appraisal falls short, the buyer's financing could fall through. Holding out for the highest dollar doesn't make sense if the sale can't happen!

If you are thinking of selling your Whittier home, let us help! Our local market expertise will help you find the right price range for your home. By pricing your home correctly from the start, it will attract serious buyers and spend less time on the market. You also have a better chance of a successful closing.

When you have questions about your home value, or need to know how the Whittier real estate market is doing, call the Domis Team! Our friendly, professional service and local market experience makes the difference!

The Domis Team
Prudential California Realty
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California Market Direction and Whittier Real Estate

by The Domis Team

Looking for direction on the future of Whittier real estate? The California Association of Realtors® (C.A.R.) has released market projections for 2013, and we have the highlights for you! But first, let's take a quick look at how 2012 is expected to wrap up.

Statewide, a total of 523,300 home sales should be completed by the end of 2012. This would represent a 5.1% increase over 2011 volume.

The median home price in California is expected to be $317,000 by the end of the year; this would be a 10.9% gain over 2011 prices. While there's more progress to be made in the housing recovery, the improvements of 2012 are encouraging for Whittier!

What's ahead for 2013? C.A.R. expects our state to see 530,000 home sales, while median home prices  should increase by 5.7% to $335,000. Mortgage interest rates are expected to increase to 4% for a 30-year loan. However, there are several variables to watch during 2013 that could affect our markets, namely:

  • Federal monetary policy
  • Federal housing policies
  • State and local housing policies
  • Overall economy and employment conditions
  • Home inventory and ratio of distressed property volume
  • Purchase activity by foreign investors, cash buyers and first-time buyers

These projections are helpful, but the most important information to you is what's happening in our Los Angeles and Orange County markets when you're buying or selling a home! At the Domis Team, our local market experience gives you the professional guidance you need to make your real estate plans a success!

When you need a comparative market analysis for your home value, or you're interested in Whittier homes for sale, we are here to help you! Contact us today for the best in Whittier real estate service and expertise!

The Domis Team
Prudential California Realty
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Photo of Linda & Ryan Domis - The Domis Team Real Estate
Linda & Ryan Domis - The Domis Team
Keller Williams Realty
16310 E. Whittier Blvd. Suite F
Whittier CA 90603
Cell: 562-884-5373
Cell:562-458-6947
Fax: 562.902.5158
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