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Fading Shadow Inventory is Good News for Whittier Home Sellers!

by The Domis Team

The latest real estate news by HousingWire holds optimism for home values. According to industry analysts at JPMorgan Chase, the shadow inventory of distressed properties dropped by 1.2 million homes during the first half of 2012. By the end of the year, they expect the progress to double, bringing over 2 million homes out of the foreclosure pipeline.

Lender Processing Services reports that new mortgage delinquencies for August 2012 are down by 10.6% from a year ago. Since the peak of the housing crisis in 2010, mortgage delinquencies are down by 30%.

We have already felt the effects of shrinking shadow inventory in California, with reduced home inventory firming up sales prices. Banks are also encouraging short sales, which preserve home values far better than foreclosures. During August of 2012, short sales accounted for 23% of California market activity, with bank-owned property sales coming in at 14.4%.

During August 2012, Los Angeles County distressed property sales accounted for 36% of the market. A year ago these sales accounted for 44% of the market. Orange County shows the same improving trends, with distressed properties accounting for 27% of the market in August, compared to 33% from a year ago.

As long as short sales continue to outpace foreclosures, distressed properties will not disrupt the housing recovery. Gradual increases in home values are expected to continue. Keep in mind that there is always some degree of distressed property activity in the market, so waiting for the shadow inventory to "clear" is not a realistic goal. Anyone waiting for the bottom of our Whittier housing market has already missed it!

Would you like information about home sales in your neighborhood? 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 waiting 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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5 Smart Home Buying Tips for Whittier!

by The Domis Team

It's often said that the best offense is a good defense, and when you're buying a home, it pays to keep this in mind! Today's housing market in Whittier, CA is not the buyer's market of prior years. Buyers who push a seller too hard may find themselves out of a deal.

At the Domis Team, we understand how delicate home buying negotiations can be! Here are a few tips to help you:

1. Being pre-approved for a mortgage is essential. At the very least, you should understand your choices concerning mortgage types and rates, and know your limits. We have mortgage information on our website, and you can study sites like Bankrate.com.

2. Look at homes that fit your budget. It may be tempting to "stretch" into a higher price range, but you don't want to over-extend yourself. Instead, keep some cash reserves and stick with a comfortable payment level.

3. Don't send mixed signals to the home seller. If you are seriously interested in the home, negotiate wisely and with courtesy. Nit-picking seldom improves a deal.

4. Make your best offer first. It isn't unusual for sellers to receive multiple offers after a weekend of showings; there's no point to putting yourself at the bottom of the stack by pitching a low ball.  Even if you are the only prospective buyer, making an offer that is insultingly low can backfire.

5. Allow your deal plenty of time to close. Banks are notoriously cautious these days; it may take 45 days to close instead of 30, even if your financing is pre-approved. If a short sale is involved, you may need 90 days or more - or simply avoid them, if your own situation doesn't allow the extra time.

For full-service home buying help, turn to the Domis Team, your Whittier real estate professionals! Whether you're just starting to look, or you're ready to buy, we can help you! Take advantage of our free, automated alerts and enjoy the benefits of our local expertise!

For friendly, professional assistance, contact us today!

The Domis Team
Prudential California Realty
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Whittier Real Estate Market Updates

by The Domis Team

The real estate markets for California and Whittier continue to show positive trends, with a shrinking inventory of distressed properties. The California Association of REALTORS® reports that 59.5% of home sales in July of 2012 were equity sales. Short sales accounted for 22.6% of the market, and bank-owned homes (REO) held just over 17% of the market.

Statewide, distressed home inventory declined measurably from a year ago. In July 2011, short sales represented 18.8% of all home sales and REO's accounted for 28.6%.

Not only are distressed sales declining, but during 2012 we have seen short sales outnumber foreclosures. Since short sales use current market value, they allow for better stability of home prices than discounted bank foreclosures.

Closer to home, Los Angeles County short sales and REO sales combined accounted for 40% of the market in July 2012, in line with statewide trends. Orange County is ahead of the curve, with only 29% of July home sales involving distressed properties.

What about Whittier? Glad you asked! All the above translates into rising home sale prices at the local level. The reduction in distressed properties, along with a limited inventory of homes for sale, are resulting in median listing prices 22.6% higher than a year ago.

However, Whittier home sellers need to remember that over-pricing a home for current market conditions can backfire. Homes that are priced correctly for their condition, amenities and location will draw the most buyer attention and result in the strongest offers!

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 want a closer look at Whittier homes for sale, we are here to help you! Contact us today and find out more about the opportunities in Whittier real estate!

The Domis Team
Prudential California Realty
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How New Mortgage Fees May Affect Whittier Home Buyers

by The Domis Team

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the 900-lb gorillas in the mortgage market, are increasing the fees they charge to lenders effective October 1. Fannie and Freddie are hoping to gradually reduce their dominance through this change, in order to encourage the return of private capital to the markets.

During the housing crisis, private capital fled the mortgage markets, causing Fannie and Freddie to become the only game in town for all practical purposes. But as loan losses piled up, the government-sponsored entities were forced to rely on government assistance - namely tax dollars - to keep operating. Private capital doesn't have this advantage, and has had little incentive to compete, despite the housing recovery. Returning the mortgage markets to normalcy is in the best long-term interests of all concerned.

How will this affect Whittier home buyers? Higher lending costs are ultimately borne by the home buyer. Bloomberg reports that the lending fee increase of 10 basis points would translate into another $4,000 in costs for a borrower with a $200,000 mortgage. This may not seem huge, but when you consider average home prices in Whittier and the greater Los Angeles metro, the local impact could average $8,000 to $10,000 over the life of the loan. 

Home buyers won't see a line-item increase, however. The increased cost of lending will likely be built into slightly higher mortgage rates, and/or higher origination fees. It's too early to tell exactly how mortgage lenders will pass along the increased cost of doing business with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The good news is, the low interest rate environment means this will be a modest impact for most home buyers.

First-time homebuyers in Whittier should explore their mortgage options now in order to prepare for home ownership! And for the most up-to-date information about the Whittier real estate market, turn to the Domis Team! We are your friendly, experienced Whittier real estate professionals!

For the newest home listings, sign up for our free, automated alerts! Give yourself the advantage of professional guidance in today's fast-changing market and contact us today!

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
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