New law for cash investors on REO’s (bank owned property)

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

This is a great opportunity, because of very low prices, for first time buyers to finally get into the housing market.  Those that have saved a down payment (sometimes as low as 3% with FHA financing) and have documentable income can buy a home that just a few years ago may have cost twice as much.

The problem is many of these homes have multiple offers, ten or more is not uncommon in Marin county.  It is not unusual that the majority of those making offers are cash investors that have no plan on living in the home.  Nothing wrong with that, after all the United States is a capitalistic society which is not a dirty word.

The sellers, big banks many of whom received bailout money favor cash offers as do most sellers.   There should be some regulation that would put intended owner occupied buyers on the same footing as cash investors.  If the buyers have a down payment and proof of income and fully qualify for the purchase REO banks should not be allowed to accept a lower cash offer from a non owner occupied investor.  These qualified buyers are the type that build communities, have an interest in local events and tend to keep up the homes and therefore the neighborhoods.  This just seems like a no-brainer to me especially if the REO bank is using OUR bailout money.

Novato Housing Market is Hot

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Monday, June 01, 2009

The Novato housing market is on fire, the inventory can’t keep up with buyers. At least that is the case for single family homes priced between $400,000 and $500,000. For those that don’t know that is the lower end in Marin County.

A majority of those homes are receiving multiple offers. When agents outside the area visit Marin they tell us our market is booming. The newspapers give a different impression, one that says real estate is still in a slump, and it is for most of the country and many areas of Marin.

What is it about Novato that is drawing all the buyers? Well for one, Novato got hit on prices much more than most other towns. Just a year or two the $400,000 homes were selling for close to $700,000. Novato has a history of pricing volatility both up and down. One January just a few years ago prices increased 10%. Then late last year it seemed you could not price your home low enough to attract buyers.

Today there are 26 single family homes priced between four and five hundred thousand and 20 of those homes are in escrow. That is 77% in escrow which is defined as a strong sellers market. The buyers of those homes are typically investors or first time homeowners.

While Novato may be enjoying its hay day the high priced homes in Marin are taking price reductions daily. There just are not that many buyers willing to spend a couple of million for a home.

Warren Carreiro, Broker