• Compass DRE# 01991628
  • Address: 2120 Colorado Blvd., Suite #1, Eagle Rock, CA 90041
  • Office Phone: 323-274-2148

Tracy King Blog - Eagle Rock Real Estate - Northeast Los Angeles Realtor

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Tracy King's Blog

Welcome to LA Digs, the real estate and Northeast Los Angeles community blog written by Realtors Tracy King and Keely Myres.

Here, we share tips, market updates, and local news bits to keep you informed on what's happening in Northeast Los Angeles and the surrounding neighborhoods. Read on to learn about the latest in your neighborhood!

Tracy King begins her 27th successful year as a real estate professional specializing in buying and selling homes in Northeast Los Angeles with a depth of experience that makes her the only choice for both the first-time home buyer and the seasoned real estate investor.

Propportunity is Everywhere!

I was talking to some of my Realtor friends this morning and heard about some killer deals all around Los Angeles county.

1. El Segundo: Upgraded with care, this bright interior unit in the Pacific Sands complex is a spacious one level with 2 BR/1BA in 1112 sq. ft. It proudly offers new soundproof windows and doors, a new ventilation system, new appliances in newly tiled kitchen, smooth ceilings, a combination of new carpets and tile floors, and new paint! The balcony overlooks the pond, pool and palm trees. Low HODs. FHA approved complex. Conveniently located near the beach and LAX. El Segundo schools. Price? Only $360,000! Wow!

2. Long Beach:Executive Living in the Aqua West Tower of Downtown Ocean Blvd. Two Master suites in this unit have marble in bathrooms, slate and granite in kitchen. Private Enclosed Garage plus 2nd space adjacent to garage. You must see the amenities to appreciate this unit and building. Balcony overlooks Performing Arts Center and Convention Center just a brief walk downstairs. Gymnasium, Business Center, Sauna, 2 Swimming Pools and spas, observation deck, full kitchen in recreation lounge, private business meeting rooms. UNIT 201. Seller to credit 2.5 points with full price offer. Not a short sale! $459,900.

3. Eagle Rock:Fannie Mae owned bungalow near Occidental College in Eagle Rock. Very cute, low maintenance, your basic condo alternative. Seller plans to make some repairs. Property is 2/1 with a carport and a fenced (practically no) yard, very close to everything but off the main thoroughfare. $335,000!

None of these are my listings, so call me or email me for more info and I'll either be glad to represent you or to refer your Realtor to the listing agent.

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Propertunities Oct. 9, 2008

First, my listing at 3926 W. Avenue 43, Eagle Rock. It's cute! It's now $399,000! A screaming deal! And it's open Sunday, October 12, 2-5 pm.

Propertunities Seen on Caravan Oct. 9, 2008

3926 W Avenue 43, Eagle Rock

Who cares about the stock market sliding down to Nixon-era levels! There are some incredible deals out there in all price ranges. Call me if you want to make an offer! Check it out:

62 W. Terrace Dr, Altadena. $219,900. A crazy deal!

Bank-owned fixer on spacious lot on quiet side street with expansion/tear-down/investment potential galore. Nice neighborhood of well-maintained homes with diverse architectural styles. Flat lot with all utilities in. Great opportunity to live onsite while making building plans. It's only 628 square feet, but it's on a 6,732 sqft lot.

528 Westgate St, Pasadena. $450,000. Actually, this is in decent condition and it's 3 bedrooms, 1 bath. The back yard is a desert, ready for your creative touch. Good space, it's 1,054 square feet on a 8,750 sqft lot in a pretty good neighborhood. Make an offer!

62 W Terrace Dr, Altadena, CA


1637 Rose Villa St, Pasadena. $975,000. This has one of the best new-in-the-style of original period kitchens I've seen. And the bathrooms are beautiful, too. Impeccable is not too strong a word to describe this whole 3 bedroom, 2 bath home. A joy to see.

838 Milan Ave, South Pasadena. $950,000. Almost 3,000 sqft, on a 12,600 sqft lot, 4 bedrooms, 2 baths. A great neighborhood and a good deal!

528 Westgate, Pasadena, CA

1637 Rose Villa St, Pasadena, CA

838 Milan Ave, South Pasadena, CA

To see any of these homes, call or text me! 626-827-9795.

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Time to Think Outside the Box

How to navigate today's mortgage environment, Part 2.

First, have you been reading the newspaper lately? Well, stop it.

Let's look at other options for finding out what's going on in the lending markets. For starters, I called Ann Bedrossian at Lockheed Federal Credit Union (818-621-2758). She says they have lots of money to lend right now, their deposits are way up. And if you have decent credit and at least 10% down, you can get under 6% mortgage interest on a 30-year fixed loan up to $1 million. To join the Lockheed Credit Union, you pay a $25 application fee, that's it! Call Ann for the latest rates and programs, you might be pleasantly surprised.

I know there is scary news out there. I know everyone thinks the real estate market is on the biggest slide downward ever. But now is the time to be a contrarian! Do what Warren Buffet says, get greedy when everyone else is afraid.

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Mortgage News

If you are in the market for purchasing or refinancing a home today, you need to pay close attention to the mortgage news, and listen to responsible, knowledgeable professionals.

From Kirk Thomson, How To Plan Ahead For The New, Lower Conforming Mortgage Loan Limits in 2009. Conforming mortgages are limited by loan size, based on average housing costs around the country. Since 1980, as home prices have increased, so have conforming loan limits. The current conforming loan limit on a single-family home is $417,000. Earlier this year, as part of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, Congress authorized temporary increases to the conforming loan limit in high cost regions, as defined by median home sale price. In Manhattan, for example, where more homes sell for more than a million dollars than sell for less, mortgages as large as $729,750 are considered "conforming".

Beginning in 2009, however, that loan limit changes. Effective January 1, conforming mortgages will be capped at $625,500 in high cost areas, and $417,000 everywhere else. Therefore, homeowners in high cost areas whose mortgaged amounts exceed $625,500 are now operating on a defined timeline. Switch to a cheaper conforming home loan prior to December 31, 2008, or risk paying the "jumbo premium". This includes homeowners with: Two mortgages -- one for $417,000 and one for "the difference." An ARM that was begrudgingly accepted because jumbo fixed rates were too high. An expensive jumbo fixed rate mortgage. In addition, home buyers in the $800,000-900,000 price range may want to move up their closing dates. Today, at those price levels it takes a 20 percent downpayment to get access to conforming money. In 2009, it will take 30 percent.

My comment: In the last couple of months, FHA financing has been a great alternative to jumbo or "jumbo light" programs, because it is the only way many people have been able to obtain loans with less than 20% down payments. Keep in mind that FHA loan limits will also be decreased from $729,750 to the $625,500 limit. We'd better go shopping!

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My Take on the Current Housing Situation

As a Realtor, the most common conversation opener when I meet anyone today is, "How are you doing in this terrible market?" Well, I'm doing okay, thank you. I'm focusing on the people who need to buy and sell right now, I'm paying a lot of attention to my business, and it's working. I opened 3 escrows last week, and yesterday closed escrow on the biggest sale of my career.

You see, people are always changing and that means that they are always moving. Everyone lives somewhere. The four big reasons why people buy or sell homes are: birth, death, job change, divorce. Those things don't stop when the economy gets bad, now do they? So life goes on, real estate goes on.

The next thing people say to me is "When do you think we're going to hit bottom?" My answer is that my crystal ball is in the shop. We'll know we hit bottom when we see that prices have begun to go up.

I was reading the April, 2008, Fortune magazine recently an interview with Warren Buffet, the financial guru of Omaha, Nebraska, and head of Berkshire Hathaway, one of the most respected stock holding companies in the world. Hm, what would something Mr. Buffet said in April look like in the light of what has happened in the last few months?

Mr. Buffett is a smart man. I didn't read one word of prophecy, nothing we can examine 6 months later and say, "Well, that didn't happen the way he said it would!" He did say this in reference to investing, though, "I always say you should get greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy." Do you feel a bit of fear in the market today?And he said in response to the question, "But you’re still bullish about the U.S. for the long term?""The American economy is going to do fine. But it won’t do fine every year and every week and every month." Mr. Buffett is a rational investor, one who holds stocks for the long term. I encourage you to read his interview and substitute the words "real estate" for "stocks" in what he says. I think his words are meant for any investor in any market. Here's the interview.

I have a thought for some of you who are sitting in your homes, wanting to get top dollar to finance your move to the next phase of your life, whether it be a retirement home, a sailboat, or a loft downtown. This could be a time to consider financing your buyer yourself. If you own your home free and clear, you could help an earnest young family purchase your home and make a decent return on your investment as well. Consult your tax and financial advisors and let me know what you think.

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Real Estate Market Update

Slight downward movement in mortgage interest rates was reported yesterday, Sept. 4, 2008:

Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.40 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending August 21, 2008, down from last week when it averaged 6.47 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.67 percent.

The article also reported increased home buyer interest and activity.
For the complete report, click here.

According to Itech MLS, in Eagle Rock (zip code 90041), active listings today hover at 44, with 10 of them short sales and only 1 a foreclosure. So 25% of the active listings in Eagle Rock are "distress sales," of which maybe 2 or 3 will actually ever close escrow in the next 6 to 12 months. That's a pretty low inventory of properties truly for sale, folks. All of the short sales are listed for under $580,000, which means that 45% of the properties below the median price of $584,000, are not really viable listings. It makes the real numbers point to a more normal market than a buyer's market in terms of how many months it would take to sell everything currently on the market.

Sellers, don't think this means that the market is back to 2006 price levels. No. Many properties are really more at 2004 levels today. If you have the equity to price your home there, now you're looking at some excitement from the buying community. Call me.

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Tuesday's Crop of Propertunities

Every Tuesday, the Coldwell Banker offices and a couple of MLS organizations have Broker caravans where we look at the latest listings to come on the market. I thought I'd share the news with you, as several I saw today are really good deals! If you want to make an offer, call me! I would love to represent you.

1575 N Los Robles1575 N. Los Robles, Pasadena, only $384,900! Near Howard St in NW Pasadena, this is a 1905 Craftsman, over 1200 sqft with really high ceilings, 3 bedrooms, a big lot (8841 sqft), and a super price! It's a bank-owned, sold as-is, but has copper plumbing, central air & heat, and still some character touches.

278 W Altadena Dr, Altadena278 W Altadena Dr, Altadena, $449,000. Another bank-owned, this one is 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a Janes Cottage on a 8612 sqft lot.

4577 Jessica Dr, Mt Washington4577 Jessica Dr, Mt. Washington, $538,000. Cape Cod style cottage with 3 BR, 1.5 baths, nestled under the trees and in Mt. Washington Elementary area.

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5315 Buchanan, Highland Park5315 Buchanan St, Highland Park, $499,000. A former bank-owned that was rehabbed extensively into a surprisingly nice 5 BR, 3 bath home with entirely new systems and interior. It's not a high-end neighborhood, but this is a real deal for someone who needs this much space.

4840-hartwick.jpg4840 Hartwick St, Eagle Rock, $699,000. This is all about the backyard. If you want a kid's paradise where they can play as if they lived out in the country all in your own backyard, this is your dream come true. First, sit out on the deck overlooking it with a lovely south-facing view. It's a good house, too, with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, in good condition. Located at the end of a culdesac in the heart of Eagle Rock.

2059 Windover, Pasadena2059 Windover Rd, Pasadena, $1,100,000. A midcentury on a huge lot, great style but potential to be really stunning.

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Good news, Bad news, Lots of News (Especially for Entry-level Buyers)

The good news is the Housing and Recovery Act of 2008, signed into law by President Bush last week. This bill permanently increases FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac loan limits in high-cost areas (that's us) to $625,500. There is another provision that offers a first-time buyer tax credit of up to $7,500 that is actually an interest-free loan with a 15-year repayment plan. This is available to a person who has not owned a home in the three previous years. This credit is only in effect for buyers who purchase between April 9, 2008, and June 30, 2009. The purchase has to be for your primary residence, and there are a few more qualifying rules. For detailed information, you can go to the Federal Housing Tax Credit site.

The bad news is that Freddie Mac, the big mortgage finance company, posted a large quarterly loss. This resulted in opinions from various sectors predicting further home price declines and the possibility of mortgage interest rates rising.

So how does this affect the current market in OUR neck of the woods, Northeast Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley? Those of you who are in the under $500,000 price range know that outside of short sales (which aren't sales) and foreclosures (largely junk with the occasional deal that you better be able to pay cash or put 50% down and move really really fast on), there isn't much that is any good and those few are going in multiple offers. This price range was largely non-existent for the years 2004-2006 and is really the buying opportunity of the day.

I know you think "oh, she's just a Realtor trying to make us feel like we have to buy now and everyone else says prices are still going to come down."  Go ahead, take the chance that something you like that is out there now at a price you can afford will be cheaper in a few months or next year. It might happen, but how much are you willing to bet that mortgage rates will stay the same as today? They have already crept up to 6.5% for most 30-year fixed loans and experts are predicting a rise to 7%. What will that do to your falling prices? Make it a wash, that's what. Your buying power drops dramatically when interest rates rise. For every $100,000 mortgage, the cost goes up $67 for a 1% rise in interest rate from 6.5% to 7.5%, meaning your buying power is actually almost $10,000 less. To put it simply, for every 1% increase in mortgage rate, you have a 10% decrease in buying power.

I know some people predict the market will go down another 10-20%, but once the foreclosures and shortsales work themselves out thanks to the Fed, what seller will put their house on the market? Only the few who really must. There you have the supply and demand dynamic, with fewer homes on the market, the demand goes up and so can prices.

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Cowboy Real Estate

Out in Pasadena's West, that is, west of the Arroyo and south of the 210 Freeway, is a lovely area that includes the San Rafael Hills. Most of the homes were built in the 50s, they've been well maintained, have great views, and it's a convenient location to both Pasadena's Old Town and downtown Los Angeles. I noticed some odd real estate happening over there last year when I had a listing that never sold that had appraised at $850,000, thanks to a couple of sales that seemed unusually high for the time. So here's my investigative report:

As of today, August 3, 2008, of the under $1 million market, if you look at the gross numbers it looks like there are 19 homes currently on the market, 19 have sold so far this year and 3 are in escrow. At this rate there are over 7 months of inventory. Since over 4 or 5 months' supply qualifies as a buyer's market, it looks like it's slow in the San Rafael Hills. It is truly slow, since we only have 3 properties in escrow.

Of the 19 homes currently on the market listed for $1,000,000 or less, 8 are short sales and 3 are REOs. Of the 19 properties that have sold so far this year, 2 were REOs, 3 were probate or trust sales and none were short sales. Of the 3 properties currently in escrow, 1 is a shortsale and 1 is an REO. Of the 11 expired or withdrawn properties, 4 were short sales and 1 is now on the market as an REO.

The current real estate commentary you read in the paper says that there is a lot of inventory on the market which is bringing the prices and the demand down. But if you remove the short sales from the equation, we now have 11 active listings or an inventory of about 4 months, which is closer to a normal or even a seller's market.

In my educated opinion which is verified by bankruptcy attorneys and many Realtors who specialize in short sales, most short sales will not be approved. Why? There are many reasons, mostly stemming from the fact that most people don't understand how they work and they advertise their property as a short sale with no idea whether they qualify for one. And Realtors take them on with the same ignorance. Of the 8 short sales now on the market, I'll bet you not one sells until they go through the foreclosure process and come back into the market as an REO, or bank-owned sale. What does this mean to you?

If you own a house in the San Rafael Hills and want to sell it, you are competing with some "fantasy" listings as well as some really bargain priced REOs. The 2 cheapest properties on the market are REOs. Unfortunately for you, you can't disregard them because the buyers and the appraisers are looking at them, and believe me, these properties will sell and sell quickly. So if you don't have to sell, you probably won't.

If you're a buyer, how can you take advantage of some of the really great deals that do appear, like those 2 REOs? First, can you pay cash? Or do you have such a large down payment that your loan can be under $417,000? You are in good shape. If you already own a home that you have to sell in order to buy another, you need to put it on the market and sell it for whatever you can and be willing to rent until you find the deal you want. It's not that difficult, there are lots of rentals out there right now. And when you're ready, don't be confused by the short sales you see on the market. Just ignore them and look at the homes that you have some chance of actually purchasing.

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What's Real in Real Estate Today? Part 1.

Well, I'll tell you one thing that's not real is a short sale. Those are properties where the sales price won't be enough to cover the loan and closing costs, so the bank has to agree to take less than they are owed to make the deal work. Guess what? They almost never agree to take less! They don't care that they may make less eventually when they have to sell it as a foreclosure. They want to make an example of these irresponsible sellers and make them suffer for getting themselves into such a financial pickle. If you are such a seller and need to sell, you had better be in real financial trouble or your short sale will not be approved. That means you can't have any other assets, or if you do, you have to give them to the bank. They'll transfer what you owe to another property, or they'll take a promissory note if you don't own any other real estate. And you almost always have to already be in default on your loan, so your credit is trashed regardless

So, you the prospective buyer say, what's the harm in looking at short sales? Here's the problem: you are wasting your time. Not just by looking at unlikely properties, but what if you fall in love and make an offer? What if it's actually accepted, pending lender approval, of course? Then you waste even more time waiting weeks, even months to find, 95% of the time, that the lender turned the deal down and foreclosed on the property yesterday. Not only is that really frustrating, but you have a huge loss in missed opportunities. That cute little foreclosure on the next street that sold in a day. That regular sale that sold in multiple offers last week. Oh, yes, and even though the paper says that the prices are dropping, now that you're back in the market it seems like anything that's any good is $20,000 higher than you thought you were going to pay with the short sale.

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Tracy's Micro Market Report for Friday

Pasadena, CA:

 

Constant readers know I am the King of Eagle Rock, but my real estate license is good in the state of California, and I have sold a lot of real estate all over Northeast Los Angeles and the western end of the San Gabriel Valley including Altadena and Pasadena in my 18 years as a Realtor.

Last week, I co-listed a terrific property at 3150 San Pasqual Street, Pasadena, for $1,875,000. We priced this to sell, not to market. We had 121 Realtors attend the Broker's Caravan last Thursday and 112 people attended the public open house last Sunday. We were given an excellent offer and after a bit of negotiation came to a mutually acceptable agreement by the end of the open house.

Wow, this sounds like the activity of the good old days, doesn't it? Here's the deal: we had sellers who wanted to sell, buyers who wanted to buy, and everyone eventually was satisfied with the price. A number of people whined about how quickly it sold although they admitted that they knew it was a good deal. They had been lulled by the current expectation that all houses take a while to sell and didn't act quickly enough.

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Check out the Eagle Rock Farmer's Market!

The Eagle Rock Farmer's Market has been around for almost 9 years, can you believe it? It's had its ups and downs that included pony rides, Elvis impersonators, fresh pressed apple juice, inexpensive clothing, incense, and the balloon clown. Today's market includes a fast food row with Latino, Filipino, and American style foods like hot dogs, horchata, chicken and pork skewers. There is always the Farmer's Market Table run by John and Sueann Miller on behalf of Michael Noguiera and the Chamber of Commerce. And there is good, fresh produce in season. Right now you can enjoy strawberries, plums, peaches, grapes, all kinds of greens, mushrooms, eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, herbs, and lettuce. The orchid lady is there with several varieties of orchids at slightly higher than Trader Joe's prices. Every week brings a slightly different cast of vendors, so this week there was another garden booth selling small pots of other plants.
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Check out the Eagle Rock Farmer's Market!

The Eagle Rock Farmer's Market has been around for almost 9 years, can you believe it? It's had its ups and downs that included pony rides, Elvis impersonators, fresh pressed apple juice, inexpensive clothing, incense, and the balloon clown. Today's market includes a fast food row with Latino, Filipino, and American style foods like hot dogs, horchata, chicken and pork skewers. There is always the Farmer's Market Table run by John and Sueann Miller on behalf of Michael Noguiera and the Chamber of Commerce. And there is good, fresh produce in season. Right now you can enjoy strawberries, plums, peaches, grapes, all kinds of greens, mushrooms, eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, herbs, and lettuce. The orchid lady is there with several varieties of orchids at slightly higher than Trader Joe's prices. Every week brings a slightly different cast of vendors, so this week there was another garden booth selling small pots of other plants.
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Two events this week

Two community events worth checking out:


Join me at Shaker's restaurant in Glendale to support the Women's 2oth Century Club tomorrow night!  The Women's 20th Century Club of Eagle Rock is a non-profit organization of local women who work together to improve the community, so the money raised will go straight into bettering Eagle Rock .


Womens' Club Fundraiser


The tree-lined sidewalk by Montrose Shopping Park plays home to a variety of artists who display and sell their work this weekend.  From 9 am to 4 pm, walk along Honolulu Avenue to see the fine art created by the community's own artists.



Montrose Art Walk
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Finance 101 thanks to Money Magazine

An interesting calculation in the June 2008 Money magazine is the TED spread, an indication of easy it will be to borrow money. It's the difference between the 3 month LIBOR rate and the 3 month T-bill rate.  The T-bill is essentially risk free and the LIBOR is the rate the banks charge to borrow from one another. If they are nervous about lending to each other, they certainly are more fearful about lending to you and me. They say a difference of .4 % is what we need to see. The latest figures show a spread of .97%, which is a bit more than last month, and a lot more than 1 year ago when it was .41%.

My conclusion: this formula confirms that it is difficult to get loans right now. I already knew that anything but the most pristine of credit, 20% down, conforming loan type buyer was having trouble getting a loan, but this formula shows me why and also how I can know when it is changing.

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Summer Solstice in Eagle Rock

It was the hottest day so far this year, 108 degrees by several accounts. TERA, The Eagle Rock Association, had its second annual Summer Solstice Volunteer Recognition Party at the Eagle Rockdale Community Garden and Art Park last night and it was a delightful event.

Lots of food, wine, and water were on hand scattered under the trees in this tucked away corner of Eagle Rock just east of Figueroa off La Loma and Lanark at the end of Shelby-Lanark Park. Several misters scattered under the trees cooled off the partygoers enough to make it bearable.

It seemed like dozens of adorable little girls got themselves drenched in the spray and then listened with rapt attention to the folk/environmental rock of the Glen Iris band. As dusk descended, Queenie and the Saints entertained with torch songs reminiscent of Peggy Lee.

 Does life get any better? A hot night, good music, reconnecting with friends and family, and celebrating the continued renaissance of Eagle Rock; that is a pretty great way to welcome summer, in my book

An adorable audience of little girls listen to the Glen Iris Band.


The Glen Iris Band performs.



The gardens themselves are grown and maintained by local individuals and are producing organic food for their families. The Community Garden is a project sponsored by TERA headed by Mary Tokita, who has lovingly and wholeheartedly worked for several years to make an abandoned right of way into this garden in the city.

How did you celebrate the first day of summer?
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Buyers In Today's Market

Buyers in today's market are seeing some of the most confusing contradictions we've had in the market in my 18 years selling real estate. On the one hand, there is more inventory including more foreclosures and short sales than we've had in over 12 years, and we often see price reductions of over $100,000 on some even modestly priced homes. On the other hand, we see multiple offers with prices going over asking. It doesn't seem to make any sense.

Especially in these confusing times, pricing it right is the key to success. The hard part for a buyer to figure out is whether the price is right or can they offer less? Sellers are wondering whether the right price is too low and can they try just a bit higher? If the price is good enough to draw multiple offers, is it crazy to be in a bidding war when all the news says we're in a down market?

Here's the really hard part: you need to rely on the advice that moves you toward what you really want. This is true of any subject, from housing to your career. That means that your mother or nephew or friend at the office is not who you should rely on because they are rarely the ones who tell you to do something adventurous. They usually see their role in your life as the cautionary voice of what can go bad. This way, they are never wrong. If you ignore their advice and do something and it doesn't turn out, they told you so. If you don't do it, they were right and can never be proven wrong. And if you do it anyway and it turns out great, well, maybe you forget that they told you not to do it. The only advice that people seem to take from friends all the time which is risky is buying stocks. And that turns out badly so often, it's amazing.

What to do? Buy because you need a place to live. Buy because you want your own home in a neighborhood so you can be a grownup and a citizen and participate in the American Dream. Buy because you're tired of your landlord raising your rent and telling you you can't smoke in your own home, or own a dog, or paint your bedroom purple. Buy because you are tired of seeing all that rent money go to helping your landlord buy your house with you not getting any ownership of it.

Buying a house as purely an investment strategy is not a bad thing, but you cannot expect to see your stock share go predictably up like the accumulated interest on a CD. Over time, say 5 to 10 years, you are pretty sure to see your initial investment increase significantly. But don't make that the only reason to own a home.
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I’m Walking and Fundraising to Fight Breast Cancer

Did you know that every three minutes, another woman in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer? I didn’t, and I was shocked to learn how prevalent this horrible disease has become in this country.

Ten years ago, I joined thousands of other women and walked the first Avon Walk Against Breast Cancer. This time, my daughter Keely asked me to join her on her first Avon Walk, and I’ve committed to doing that.

I’m asking for your help. On September 13-14, we’ll spend the weekend walking, along with thousands of other people, in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. We will walk at least the distance of a marathon (26.2 miles), and I may walk as far as a marathon and a half. Either way, it’s a very long walk. I’ll have to spend the next few months training, fundraising, and preparing for the event. It’s a big challenge, but I’m very excited about doing it because I know it will make a real difference to the millions of people affected by breast cancer.

The money raised goes to the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade, a 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission is to provide access to care and to work toward finding a cure. They provide funding to organizations all over the country in five areas: medical research, clinical care, support services, educational and advocacy seminars, and community-based, non-profit early detection breast health programs. Much of the money raised will stay right here to help people in our city.

I’m required to raise at least $1,800 to participate. Please help to support me and the breast cancer cause by making a generous contribution to my efforts. You can make your donation online by simply clicking on the link at the bottom of this message, which will bring you right to my personal page. Please remember as you’re making your donation that in less than the time it took to read this e-mail, another woman in the U.S. was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Thank you for your support. If you receive duplicate emails from me, please understand that I wanted to make sure at least one message went to your current email address.

P.S. You can find out more about the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer by visiting www.avonwalk.org

Click here to visit my personal page.

If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address: http://info.avonfoundation.org/site/TR/Walk2008/LosAngeles?px=4084328&pg=personal&fr_id=1650&et=CZmNxGARnff5BPL1fg3DCA..&s_tafId=314152

Some email systems may send your response to the Avon Foundation, not to your walker/donor when you push “reply”. Before “sending”, please confirm that your message is addressed to your intended recipient (above). If This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. appears as a recipient, please delete and add the correct recipient email.

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Straight Talk About Foreclosures

The people who made the most money during the California Gold Rush of the 1800s were the grocers and other providers who sold goods to the prospectors. Today, the people making the most money off the great deals to be found snapping up foreclosures are selling the lists, how-to programs, and access to the websites that publish the data on pre- and post- foreclosures.

You don’t believe me? Fine. Pay your $49.95 per month for access to the lists and then go convince one of the people who have had a notice of default published that they should sell to you instead of going through the disgrace of foreclosure. Keep in mind that someone in this kind of financial trouble is not a particularly reliable source of information about the true state of the property in question, or about other liens there might be against the property besides the one that filed the notice. Are you an investor? In this case, that means someone who does not intend to live in the property. If you are, then a Realtor cannot represent you because there is an odd law called the Home Equity Sales Contract Law that says they can’t without a bond that doesn’t exist. So you are on your own to negotiate the jungle of preliminary title reports and what they mean among other technical issues. Also, the seller can claim duress anytime up to 2 years after the sale and have the sale rescinded, plus collect damages against you

Another thing to keep in mind is that the minute a notice of default is recorded against a property, the owner starts receiving all kinds of letters and notices from attorneys, lenders, investors, and other individuals who all promise they have the magic pill that will cure all the homeowner’s financial problems and allow them to keep the property or sell it at a profit or win the lotto or something. The homeowner quickly becomes immune to any communication relating to the property due purely to mail overload. And phone call overload if their phone number is listed

You can buy yourself a cheap foreclosure on the steps of the courthouse because the website says that the equity is 40%. Of course, you have no access to the property, no inspection or disclosure rights, and when you become the owner of the property you get to be the one who evicts the unfortunate tenants or former owners from the site. In the City of Los Angeles and other communities with rent control laws, you may find yourself with tenants you cannot get rid of. And anywhere, if they are there with a valid lease, a change of ownership does not affect their right to live out the terms of the lease. Also, if the lien holder in second or third position is the one foreclosing, you may find that you have a senior deed of trust that you are now responsible for paying.

In actual real life, most foreclosures eventually become listed by Realtors who have a relationship with the lender that obtains the property. They get to make sure the tenants vacate, secure the property and do whatever cleanup/fixup the bank approves. Then the property is listed on the Multiple Listing Service and is treated just like any other listed property, which means you can call me to represent you on the purchase. Sometimes they are listed for a really low price and there are multiple offers, sometimes the bank is just like many sellers who think they need to get more than what any buyer is willing to pay for the property.

Does this make you want to run out and pick up a foreclosure list or sign up for access to a foreclosure site? Call me, I have a great bargain for you. It’s out in the desert. It’s a bridge!

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Here is Tracy's new and improved blog at last!

It's great to be back posting after a several month hiatus. Bear with me while I work out the bugs.

My focus is on life in Northeast Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley, with a particular emphasis on housing since that is what I do--connect interesting homes with interesting people. I define interesting in a lot of different ways, so don't worry about whether what you want is interesting enough for me, let me be the judge of that, ok?
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Compass 179x55

Tracy King, Realtor
DRE# 01048877
Phone: 323-274-2148 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
COMPASS DRE# 01991628

Keely Myres, Realtor
DRE# 01834633
Phone: 323-274-2148 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
COMPASS DRE# 01991628

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