Thursday, May 25, 2006

You get what you pay for Beware of Discount Brokers

Discount brokerage firms have some owners wondering if they can save a percentage point. But the proof is in the real end result.

Does the seller of the home get the services that they need and the sale price that they deserve? Often times not.

The lowest end discount shop may not use the professionals that a full service Realtor would use. Opting for the cheapest alternative. Whether for the inspector of the home or the property disclosure service. Faulty information here can leave the homeowner open for costly law suits down the line.

Frequently the agent at that discount shop is not as available for showing and the marketing campaign to bring the buyers is defiantly smaller. When a prospective buyer asks for a showing is it acted on with gusto? Or is it more likely when it is next possible appoint is two days from now? The information I'm getting is that the hourly paid staff at the regional offices are less inclined to be available. Leaving the potential buyer to keep looking. Not getting a warm and welcoming showing. This reduces your sale ability.

Also the Real Estate Professionals know that they will not get an active participant from the sellers agent and that they will have to work harder to complete the escrow. Often times for lower commission percentages on the buyers side of the transaction. Making the agents less than enthusiastic about showing those listings to their customers.

Why start out of the gate with three strikes against you. Especially in a declining market. Less demand and less interest will cost you more in the end than the few points you will save by using the discount broker.

Just like you shop for quality food you should also shop for a quality real estate professional in your intended area.

Boardwalk Realty has a Relocation Department so that now mater where in the United States you may be going we can help you find top agents with the skills and market expertise you need. Ask me about it. Where are you moving too?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Quick flip vs really build new

Today on brokers caravan we saw some good items. Down in Venice the high expectations of the hip area are still driving some “Made for Hollywood” prices.

Ranging from... a Condo complex for sale as Rental units and you finish the conversion to... a compound that was an apartment courtyard type site with just one home on it in a spread out grassy courtyard and garden. Very hip and laid back place. It had enough room for a “Big Love” type family. Everyone would have enough room to be in their own structure.

But my focus once we reviewed the Mar Vista area just across Walgrove Ave from Venice was the best deal lot in the area. It is back on the Market. They raised the price by 20k after it fell out. Last time there were a bunch of offers. They took the “all cash” offer and did not counter the other offers. Will all those suitors come back?

Today I showed it to a friend that had expressed interest in a site he could improve. He was property impressed and will likely be working on his numbers while I am typing this tonight. Lot price is $679,000. How much would it cost to build a nice new house on it?

Another quick fix and flip is also in the area. Bigger lot. Newer house. Just need to peal away the old stuff and freshen it up. Any one out there want to make a short play on a $850,000 house that may be able to go for more once improved? Got to take down a lot of country stuff.

Give it a bit of sprucing up. Revamp the Landscape and polish the hardwood. Update the kitchen.

It does not have the view that drove a lot recently over 1 million. But it has the bones of a fairly decent house. Can you make friends with the floor plan and make it speak to the heart of a new buyer? Possibly profitable!

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Cool lots to consider for investment

Who would have thought that the local West Los Angeles area would support lot values at well over 1 million dollars and really defy the scare talk of a Real Estate bubble? Well just a few of the most savvy real estate movers and builders.

Recently a home on Dewey ( just south of Santa Monica Airport ) was listed by a notorious local agent at a low price. Of course the ensuing over-bidding had some serious developer/speck bidder action. It sold for $1.1 mil. And now this view lot will get a new home on it. Will they tear down 100% and rebuild. Some think so. The selling price on those homes in the region with “Year Built” that says 2003 or newer can command prices like $1,895,000 with views and just $1,565,000 with no views.

Another Hot one just hit the market place and has all the builders scrambling to grab their calculator. On Inglewood at the top of the Mar Vista Hill. Think of Grand View and Mountain View locations and top prices. It was listed at a sobering price of ONLY 839k and the bidding war will likely push this up to the 1 million dollar range.

Is this worth it. Very much. They estimate that the profits with a steady market will be higher than 400k and if a slow taper happened then maybe just earn 200k for one years work.

After reviewing the desires of some builders of speck housing this is not a lot of profits for the risks involved. Some are calling it very lean. And looking for less competition from other speculators who do buy and build homes for resale.

Saving a portion of the older home is not needed since the new buyer will have a new tax basis. And the new year built is a great addition to the value of the new home. And its future resale values. With the one possible exception of preserving setbacks there is rarely any values to the older home’s construction.

Keep in touch with a Real Estate Professional to learn about what is available and get the call early. The competition for tfewiew buildable lots is fierce.

Please visit and consider servicesces as your estate agent. I work hard at knowing the details of Mar Vista and Palms areas of West Los Angeles.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Jay w/ United Pacific Mortgage loan info

At our last office meeting our favorite loan consultant Jay went over the current conditions for lending.

It seems that the slowdown in new borrowers has left lots of money available for funding new loans. With this abundance of funds he can find products for 100% financing and easy docs. And still not to expensive on the loan rates!

It also seems the market was prepared for raises that are not coming. So the interest rates may even soften a little from today's rates for a little bit.

Now is a much better time to borrow. Especially if you have faith that the property value is still going up.

I have to agree. The inventory that is now available makes it possible for a buyer to pick the asset that serves his needs.

This is much better than just a few months ago. When the inventory was so tight that buyers had to settle for what was possibly just a "it'll do" type of compromise.

The market is not in a bubble. It is just returning to a bit of normalcy.

More even. Not such a hot sellers market.

IMHO Keith Lambert