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Page 13 of 13

Southern California Home Buyer & Seller Fair

Don’t miss the third annual Southern California Home Buyer’s Fair!

Thousands of potential home buyers are expected to converge the weekend of March 13 and March 14 at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the FREE third annual Southern California Home Buyer’s Fair. The event is sponsored by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) and the Los Angeles Times.
The Southern California Home Buyer’s Fair, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, March 13, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, March 14, features more than 50 educational “how-to” seminars designed to help home buyers navigate today’s real estate market with confidence and peace of mind.
Seminar topics range from understanding home prices and monitoring and fixing credit to applying for a mortgage and the importance of the home inspection. Several of the sessions also will be offered in Spanish.
The event is free to the public. In addition, the first 200 attendees each day will receive a free movie ticket (one ticket per person).
C.A.R. also has created a consumer fact sheet about the event. Please visit http://www.homebuyersfair.com/ for more information.
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Cash for Clunkers for Appliances

Cash In on Appliance Savings

Don’t miss out on your chance to cash in on appliance savings.  The program is expected to begin in California in early spring.  It’s worth keeping an eye on the California Energy Commission’s website for up to the minute announcement.

If you are thinking about upgrading appliances, you might want to wait until the Cash for Clunkers for Appliances money is released.  It’s important not to wait for too long though because once the $35.2 million allotment is gone, it’s over.

Eligible Appliances

Three residential appliance categories will be eligible to receive rebates: clothes washers (proposed rebate $100), refrigerators (proposed rebate $75), and room air conditioners (proposed rebate $50).  This can be a great time to save even more than is available with sale prices.

More Incentives

Many California utilities, as well as appliance manufacturers offer additional rebates or incentives.  The Flex Your Power website lists 155 incentives for the “residential sector” just in the 93561 zip code.

More Savings on the Horizon

In addition to the appliance incentives, President Obama has also proposed a “Cash for Caulkers” program.  This would provide up to $12,000 per homeowner.  You can read about the proposal here.  For the tongue-in-cheek approach as only Jon Stewart can deliver it, you can check out the Daily Show’s Most Immature Montage Ever.

Keep watching to take advantage of the chance to save some money.

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Wondering What's Happening with Home Sales?

What’s ahead for home prices?
California remains ahead of the nation in market recovery with many first-time home buyers entering the market due to affordable home prices, low mortgage rates, and first-time home buyer tax credits from the state and federal governments.  However, credit still is tight and unemployment remains high, which could hinder a full market recovery until 2011.
KEEP THIS IN MIND
  • Home sales in California hit bottom more than two years, and the median home price of an existing, single-family home reached its trough in February, according to data collected by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.). In November, the state’s median home price rose in year-to-year comparisons for the first time since August 2007.
  • C.A.R.’s closely watched “2010 California Housing Market Forecast,” projects that the median home price in California will rise 3.3 percent to $280,000 in 2010 compared with a projected median of $271,000 in 2009.
  • Some economists are forecasting another surge of foreclosures in 2010. However, C.A.R.’s economists expect that foreclosures will remain flat this year compared with 2009.  In 2008, many lenders flooded the market with foreclosures, and as a result, the state’s median price declined by historic levels.  By comparison, in 2009, lenders listed properties for sale at a more measured pace, which helped moderate another home price decline.
  • Government efforts to maintain a low interest rate environment have stabilized the market.  However, a mortgage analyst at a financial publishing company predicts that rates likely will rise to 5.5 percent by mid-2010 and close the year at 5.75 percent to 6 percent.
To read the full original story, please click here:
http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=23168167&GT1=35000
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New Year, New Batteries, New Water Filters

New year, new batteries, new water filters.

There are lots of things you can do on New Year’s day.   Consider going for a nature walk, starting (or finishing) a project, park in front of the TV and watch football, etc.  I started a tradition a few years ago that I wanted to share with everyone else.

Do things that are time sensitive. What kind of things?  How about changing water filters and batteries?  How many of these need to be changed depends on your circumstances.  Do you have any or all of these?

  • whole house water filter
  • a reverse osmosis system
  • a filtered water pitcher
  • smoke detectors
  • CO2 detectors
  • others?

How often are changes required? That depends on the item.  Some only require a change once a year, some may need a change monthly, bimonthly or on some other schedule.  For example, most reverse osmosis filters only need to be changed once a year, but the filter in my water pitcher needs to be changed bimonthly.

Smoke detector batteries need to be changed annually. The conventional advice has been to change smoke detector batteries twice a year.  I don’t believe it’s necessary to do it that often.  Modern batteries have a very long shelf life.  In fact, I could never bring my self to schedule it for twice a year, so it never used to get done on a schedule at all.

Startled from sleep by a shrieking smoke detector at 3:00 am is not the best time to deal with maintenance! I didn’t need to learn that lesson too many times before I decided to get it on a schedule.

The easiest schedule to remember is January 1. New year, new batteries, new water filters.  Give it a try.  You may decide to make this your tradition too.  Let me know how it works out for you.

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