Thirteen whole years. That’s how long I’ve been in the real estate business. I remember the ﬁrst time I talked to the guy who would become my broker. He asked me what I did for a living at the time, and I let him know I was a computer consultant. “Why would you want to go and trade a nice business like that for a dirty, nasty business like real estate?” he asked. I remember I laughed out loud; I thought he was joking. As the years have gone by though, it’s become abundantly clear though that he was completely serious. Turns out that real estate is, in fact, a dirty nasty business. Perhaps you’ve seen “Million Dollar Listing” on the Bravo network – I’m a fan, of both the New York and Los Angeles versions (I prefer New York). I’m not so hot on the new Million Dollar Listing San Francisco, but I’ll give it time. These shows sure do make the business look fun and exciting – but rest assured, they leave most of the truly sordid details on the cutting room floor. They have to – because if the practice of real estate in L.A. and New York is anything at all like it is in my neck of the woods, there’s all kinds of stress, animosity, and incompetence which isn’t what I’d call sexy but, when you’re in the middle of it, can be plenty dramatic. After 13 years and hundreds of homes sold, I’ve ﬁnally gotten to the place where I am pretty well … Read More
They are not looking to speculate on real estate – that’s how so many people ended up getting foreclosed on in Watsonville, and in California, and in many other places throughout our glorious but fading homeland . A Speculator is someone who is placing a bet – they put some money down, and there bet is that the value of whatever they buy will go up. … These clients of mine are probably not what you would call professional real estate investors – but they want to buy real estate as if they were – and after they do buy a few properties, and if they keep with it, hey, before you know it – they will be professional investors, after all, every professional has to start somewhere. … What this means for my clients is that the amount of money they can afford to pay for a property, given their higher interest rate and lower rental rates means that they can offer less for a property than they had first thought – in order to make that 10% (or near 10%, anyway) return on their investment. … And, of course, the unemployment rate in Watsonville is reported to be at 25% – that’s huge, and I think it means a lot of people are going to be sharing housing, families living with families, rather than each family having their own individual place as I’m sure they’d prefer in many cases but owing to the weak economy cannot afford to do so at the moment.
I love it for many reasons – I won’t count all the ways I love it, suffice it to say that it’s a great public service as well as a prime way to drive traffic to one’s real-estate related web site. … There’s a rental scam going around on Craig’s List, where someone tries to rent out a house they do not own, one which they saw for sale on Craig’s List. … I have a sweet property listed for sale on Monterey Avenue in Soquel , and a couple of people contact me yesterday about this scam – they had been given the property address by the scammer, and they went and drove by the property, whereupon they saw my “for sale” sign and contacted me, asking if it was for rent or not. … The scammer asks the victims to proceed to a Western Union and send in the deposit money, and upon receipt of which he will make arrangements for you to get the keys.
The Housing Crash guy says: A landlords’ rule of thumb is that a house price should be a maximum of 15 times the annual rent for that place, yet in coastal areas, houses are still selling for 30 times annual rent I think he’s got a good point there – which goes to underscore my belief that prices in Watsonville are actually very reasonable at the moment. … Looking over the ads on Craig’s List, it’s safe to say that a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house would rent for about $2,400 a month in Santa Cruz, assuming it was in a not-so-great location. … Let’s look at the payment for a $500,000 house – but let’s assume you’re putting down a reasonable 10% instead of the FHA minimum of 3.5% – so you’d have a $450,000 loan, again at about 5.75% because with only 10% down, you’d still need to pay mortgage insurance. … Let’s say you’re in a tax bracket of 25%, and you can figure you’d save about $640/month in federal and state taxes, bringing your effective monthly after-tax payment to about $2,519 per month, or just about $120 more than renting.
The first thing I do is go and look at the listing itself – there is a place on the MLS entry for a property where the listing agent can put open house information. … If you point your web browser to mlslistings.com , you will see an image like this right on the first page: That image is hyper-linked to an Open House Search page. … Those are still pretty well advertised in the newspaper, and if you’re looking for a quasi-definitive list of what’s going to be open on the weekend, check out the Santa Cruz Sentinel . … Your Realtor will also probably be happy to hand you a stack of his or her cards and tell you that when you go to the open house, just hand the agent sitting the open house, “I’m working with so-and-so” and hand over one of the cards.