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Mailing Address is 1121 W Valley Blvd, Ste I-319, Tehachapi CA 93561. Make sure you note the address at which we will meet you for your appointment.
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Page 10 of 11

Are House-hunting Priorities Different for Women and Men?

ZipRealty conducted a survey in June that highlights where men and women differ in their house-hunting priorities.  Overall it seems the survey respondents had fairly similar priorities.  I wonder if any of them were house-hunters from the Tehachapi area.

It is interesting to note that men are not focused on “man-caves” or home theater rooms.  Instead, they are even more interested than women in a nice master suite.   Would you be surprised to know that women placed a higher priority than men on a garage?

Men and women agree about the top three home features.  They both rank garages, master suites, and ample storage space as first second and third in importance.  The next five items appear on both lists, although not in exactly the same order: large or walk-in closets, outdoor entertainment areas, guest bedroom, gourmet or updated kitchen, and breakfast room or eat-in kitchen.

Finally, for women the last two top ten features are a large yard and wood floors.  For men, it’s a view and a large yard.  I guess men don’t care about wood floors and women probably figure they don’t have much time to enjoy a view.

The survey only included 1000 participants.  Do you think this is enough to provide a representative sample nationwide?  What about for the Tehachapi or Kern County area?  Share your thoughts below.  If you want to see the entire survey results, click here.

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Do You Fit the Average Home Buyer Profile?

The National Association of REALORS® (NAR) compiles statistics on all kinds of things.  In this case, we’e looking at NAR’s take on the average home buyer.  Do you fit the average?

According to NAR, the average home buyer:

  • Spends 10 weeks searching
  • Views 10 homes
  • Is a first-time buyer (41%)
  • Is a repeat buyer (59%%)
  • Has a median age of 30 (first-time buyers)
  • Has a median age of 47 (repeat buyers)

Information sources used in searching for a home:

  • Internet: 87%
  • Real estate agent: 85%
  • Yard sign: 62%
  • Open house: 48%
  • Newspaper ad: 47%
  • Home book or magazine: 30%

Took these actions as result of Internet home search:

  • Drove by/viewed a home: 77%
  • Walked through a home viewed online: 63%
  • Found agent used to search/buy home: 27%

These statistics came from the NAR 2008 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.  How well do you think the profle identifies Tehachapi area home buyers?

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Is Flipping for You?

Thinking about getting started in real estate investing?  There are several ways to get your feet wet.  One option is to buy properties that are suitable to use as rentals.  There are many terrific bargains to be had now throughout Tehachapi, Kern County and the rest of the country.

Other investors choose not to hold onto a property once they have purchased it.  This type of investor will buy a distressed property, frequently a foreclosure (also known as bank-owned, or REO), fix it up and re-sell it as quickly as possible.

Critics call the game “flipping” and blame it for a housing bubble that triggered the real estate crash in the first place. But others view it as Business 101, a critical piece of digging out from the crash. Houses with troubled histories get bought, repaired, and quickly resold, generating cash for new business entities to do it again and again.

There are advantages to the neighborhood in which the property is located.  One big advantage is that it’s one less house sitting vacant and decaying in front of the neighbors’ eyes.  Houses that have been flipped also have the tendency to somewhat increase property values since they will quickly sell for a higher price than that for which they were purchased.

Interested in getting started in real estate investing in Kern County?  Use the form on the contact page or call me.  I am ranked 1st in Tehachapi and 2nd in Kern County among more than 27,000 California Real Estate Professionals in ActiveRain.
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What is a Short Sale?

Lots of people have questions about short sales.  What is it? How does it work? Is it good for me as a buyer?  Is it good for me as a seller?  None of the answers are easy, but let’s try to sort out some facts.

What is a short sale? A short sale situation exists when a homeowner owes more on his property than it’s value.   For example, a homeowner purchased a home in 2005 for $350,000 and wants to sell it now.  If the current mortgage amount is $275,000 but the house is only worth $250,000, the seller is “underwater” or upside-down.”  A short sale occurs when the lender agrees to accept less than is owed on a mortgage.

How does it work? When a homeowner realizes he is in a short-sale situation, he should take immediate action and contact the lender to request a short sale (or short pay) package.  The lender will require a number of documents to substantiate that accepting a short pay-off on the mortgage is appropriate.  A competent real estate agent with specialized training in short sale transactions can help guide you through the process.

Is it good for me as a buyer? That question is a little complicated.  Whether or not a short sale is good for you as a buyer depends on many factors.  Short sale transactions often take longer than other types of transactions, so if you need to move on a specific deadline, it may not be the best bet for you.  If you have a flexible schedule in arranging your move, a short sale can be good.  You will likely be able to purchase a property at a reasonable price and feel good for helping out a distressed homeowner.

Is it good for me as a seller? Generally, yes.  The advantages to sellers are many.  In the first place, you can feel good about doing your best to make a bad situation better.  Lenders understand that things happen — jobs are lost, catastrophic illness, or any number of other legitimate issues.  For the most part they are willing to work with homeowners who are suffering from a  hardship.

The downside?  The process will feel invasive and embarrassing.  The lenders are going to exercise every legal method at their disposal to make sure that the homeowner is deserving of help.   At the end of the process you should understand that your credit rating will be adversely affected, but not nearly to the extent that it would in the event of a foreclosure.  And, finally, won’t you fell better knowing that you did your very best to live up to the obligations you incurred?

Get more information. The best thing you can do whether you are interested in buying or selling a home that is a short sale is get more information.  It’s important to work with a real estate agent who understands the short sale process.  One good choice when interviewing an agent is to ask if he or she has any special training in short sale transactions or holds any certifications.  There are many certifications available, such as the SFR® (Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource) available through the Natianal Association of REALTORS®.

You can ask more questions by leaving a comment below, or contact me privately (see the Contact page for email and phone details.)  You can find out more about me here.

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