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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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Home Sizes Trending Downward

The days of the Tehachapi McMansion as a new home may be behind us.  The National Association of Home Builders reports in this article that the average size home built in 2009 had declined to a national average of 2438 square feet.  Home sizes had continually increased for the past three decades, peaking at a national average of 2521 square feet in 2007.

Not only were 2009 constructed homes smaller in square footage, they also had fewer bedrooms and bathrooms as compared to recently built homes from prior years.  Following almost twenty years of increasing, the number of single-family homes with four or more bedrooms declined to 34 percent in 2009 compared with its peak of 39 percent in 2005.  The number of single-family homes with three bedrooms increased from 49 percent to 53 percent between 2005 and 2009.

The trend for 2009 built homes also included fewer bathrooms.  The proportion of homes with three or more bathrooms declined to 24 percent in 2009 compared with 28 percent in 2008.  The percentage of single-family homes with two bathrooms rose to 37 percent in 2009 compared with 35 percent in 2008.  How many bathrooms did you really want to clean anyway?

Do the national trends accurately reflect the Tehachapi area home market?  Share your thoughts by commenting below.

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Foreclosure Alternative?

There’s been lots of talk about how to get out from under a mortgage that is more than the value of your home.  One of the possible choices is a short sale. definitely a better choice than foreclosure.  Another choice that may be often overlooked is a deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure, or deed-in-lieu for short.

Choosing a deed-in-lieu might be a viable option for many.  It allows you to cancel your mortgage in exchange for turning over the deed to your house.  In most cases, it is a much faster process than either a short sale or foreclosure.  Another advantage is that Fannie Mae has reduced the time that a borrower has to wait from four years to two as compared to a foreclosure.

Want to know more?  Check out this article from the LA Times, or use the Contact page to phone, text or email with your questions.

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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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Real Estate Market Snapshot

The California Association of REALTORS® offers many benefits to its members.  CAR also provides outreach to consumers in the form of Market Snapshots.  This one is for May 2010.  It offers a one page overview of what’s going on in the real estate market.

The CAR perspective is statewide.  How do you think the statewide perspective compares to current conditions in Tehachapi or Kern County?

If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, this is important information that could help with your decision.  One of the most important aspects of your real estate transaction may well be the research you do before you begin a transaction.  For tips on your transaction use the  form on the Contact page, or feel free to call with any questions.

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