Nevada City Virtual Tour

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Existing home sales fall 2.6 percent in March

Home resales fell in March but the supply of properties on the market tightened and prices inched higher, giving mixed signals about the pace of recovery in the still-struggling housing sector.

The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday that existing home sales slipped 2.6 percent to an annual rate of 4.48 million units last month.

However, February's sales pace was revised slightly higher to 4.60 million units from the previously reported 4.59 million units. Economists polled by Reuters had expected sales at a 4.62 million-unit sales pace last month.

The NAR said even with March's decline, the pace of sales in the first three months of the year marked the strongest first quarter since 2007.

An improving labor market has realtors upbeat about sales prospects for the rest of the year.

"This appears to be very sustainable," said NAR economist Lawrence Yun, referring to the pace of sales during the first quarter.

And in a sign that the nation's glut of unsold homes was easing, inventories fell to 2.37 million. Realtors in some markets have reported shortages of housing stock, Yun said.

Nationwide, the median price for a home resale rose to $163,800 in March, up 2.5 percent from a year earlier.

Distressed sales accounted for 29 percent of resales, down from 34 percent in February, the NAR said.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Residential Real Estate Is Ready to Recover?

The housing market's shadow inventory of unsold homes is starting to clear, certain areas of the country are experiencing signs of more robust activity, and, despite low levels of new-home production (based on historical data), homebuilders are even regaining pricing power in several geographic regions.

Stated simply, the U.S. residential real estate market is about to launch a broad and sustainable multiyear recovery. And, from my perch, the share price strength in housing-related equities is telling the real story of an improving and self-sustaining home market that could continue through the balance of this decade.

As proof of my emerging optimism, I would suggest listening to Toll Brothers' (TOL_) last two earnings conference call presentations and the recent observations made by CEO Doug Yearley in the media.

■Spring selling season is strong. Over the past five years, Toll's early-spring selling season had sputtered out in late February/early March. In 2012, however, its sales activity is getting stronger as the year progresses.

■Homebuilder pricing power is returning. In fact, Toll Brothers is having its best selling season since 2007. Orders are up "significantly" and nearly 30% of the company's communities have increased home prices. (A year ago, none had pricing power.)

■The sun shines in Florida. Miami, Florida, one of the epicenters of home speculation in the last cycle, which had been previously inundated with foreclosures two to three years ago, has turned around meaningfully, thanks to an inflow of South American and Northeast U.S. buyers. This turnaround has been in place for nine to 12 months.

■Shadow inventory is clearing. Surprisingly, even some areas of the country that have been adversely impacted by the weight of a large shadow inventory of foreclosed or soon-to-be-foreclosed homes, have improved measurably and are turning the corner. A good example is Phoenix, Arizona, which had over 15 months of supply for sale 12 months ago but now has a developing shortage of inventory (under three months of supply).

■West Coast land prices are soaring. In certain areas of northern and southern California, the raw land market is regaining a speculative tone as prices have risen dramatically. The strength of land prices, while well ahead of the health of the home price market, is typically a leading indicator of industry pricing and activity.

It is my expectation that both new- and existing-home prices, which suffered price declines of close to 34% from 2007 to 2011, face a better year ahead in 2012 and over the balance of the decade.

While the housing recovery of 2012 to 2020 will likely start out slowly, owing to the large inventory of unsold homes, still-restricted mortgage credit and the current preference for renting, there is now ample evidence that residential real estate markets have already turned in a national market that has grown bifurcated. Areas of the country that are unencumbered by a large supply of foreclosed properties -- for instance, the Washington, D.C.-to-Boston corridor -- are doing better. Cancellation rates are down dramatically, and some pricing power is returning for the homebuilders. By contrast, areas such as inland California (valleys), Nevada and the like continue to suffer in price and in sluggish transaction activity as a result of the indigestion of the last cycle.

In other words, the weaker regions are masking a developing national recovery in housing that has the potential to be more durable and healthier than the past cycle. (The Case-Shiller index results this week belie the improvement because it is an index of all home prices, not a regional study.)

With a hat tip to Jim Paulsen at Wells Capital Management for providing some charts as evidence, here are the seven main reasons why (in conjunction with the Toll Brothers comments) I expect a durable recovery (in demand, activity/transactions and in prices) in the U.S. housing market:

1. Housing affordability is at a multi-decade high.

2. Reflecting normal U.S. demographic trends (household formations of 1 million-plus per year) and a low level of 2008-2012 new-home production, there is plenty of pent-up demand ready to be unleashed.

3. As rental prices have risen and as home prices have fallen, the economics of home ownership has improved.

4. We have seen improvement in the jobs market data

5. Mortgage rates are at historic lows.

6. Housing surveys have turned positive.

7. Confidence is improving.

So, start thinking about planning what you want to do. Buy, Sell, rent your place out, buy investment rental homes, get some land.

Call 1-877-311-GARY
"Eight Seven Seven Three Eleven... Gary"

Friday, April 20, 2012

How to Make House Hunting Easier

How to Make House Hunting Easier

People approach the task of finding the next house in different ways. Some grab the classified ads and begin calling real estate offices. Others jump in the car and drive neighborhoods looking at "for sale" signs.

If you are in the market for a home, here are some ideas that might be helpful:

Find The Right Agent For You

Because we are all different people, you should select a real estate agent who has the right credentials and suits your personality. Don't work with more than one agent when house hunting. You may feel that two or more agents could help you find more homes more quickly. It usually doesn't work that way. Because Realtors¨ are paid on a commission basis, an agent who knows that he or she has your exclusive loyalty will be more motivated to stick with the job until you are satisfied.

Qualifying For Affordability

One of the most painful experiences for a potential home buyer is to look at homes that are out of the buyer's price range. You may fall in love with a certain home only to discover that you are not financially able to complete the purchase. When you do begin inspecting homes you can afford, they never seem as nice as the more expensive models. Ask your agent to look at your finances and help you decide upon a price range that suits your budget before beginning your house hunting. This all-important first step will allow you to get your home search off on the right foot.

Qualifying For Needs And Tastes

Many buyers visit too many homes before their final selection is made. This is caused by a communication gap between the buyer and the agent. It is difficult for an agent to get an appreciation of your tastes and the type of home you want when you only rely on verbal communication. The best way to help your agent understand your needs is to invite him or her to see your existing home. Point out the features you like in your present home that you want duplicated in the next house. Show your agent the features you dislike about this home so they can be avoided in the next one. Let him or her see the size and style of your furniture so that room sizes can be considered when selecting homes for future showings.

Don't rent when you can buy for the same monthy payment in many cases. A 3 bedroom rental around here averages $1300 per month. Which goes toward nothing but your landlords pockets. You have heard this a thousand times before but since rates are practically nothing these days, this can greatly increase your buying power. But they won't stay at this historic low. You have no more than a year I would guess. And there are tons of homes to choose from right now. Sure, prices might change up or down a little in the next year, but long term with a look back perspective, you know we are coasting on bottom of market. It's only up from here. A slow up, but up.  Rent your place if you are that uncomfortable selling it. At least that will pay your new homes payment in part or all. Rents are high due to demand. But if you need it for a down payment we should discuss all the reasons why you should consider just selling now. Putting the most down you are comfortable with will get you many times even better rates and loan fees and will lower your monthly payment. It will be a quite long time before you get your price you think you want for your home. Sadly, a normal or even subnormal appreciation on your homes value is not in the near future. We know this deep down, but no matter who is running the show, our economy is going to take a while to fix itself. So why not move on and move up while you can and stop thinking about you should do and just clean up the place, fix what you can, and contact me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What is the MLS?

What is the MLS


  • The Multiple Listing Service has a long history of working with real estate professionals.
  • The MLS is an independent advertising and marketing company providing data bases, software and standards to regional, board-maintained, member groups.
  • In Nevada County, The Nevada County Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service, Inc. represents its dues-paying Realtors and associated professionals, offering buyers & sellers free access to all members' listings.
  • Buyers and sellers benefit from using RMLS online searches and tools.
  • Nevada County's Alternative-Realtors like Gary Tippner offer a powerful, easy-to-navigate website with a variety of search advantages, including their newest "Map" search.

What is the Multiple Listing Service, aka MLS?

The Multiple Listing Service was founded over 100 years ago when regional groups of real estate brokers began meeting to share their listings for the benefit of each other. They quickly discovered it would become necessary to adopt a means for compensatating one another when sales were shared.

Today, the MLS is an independent advertising and marketing company, operating for the benefit of member professionals engaged in real estate sales in local areas across America. It provides the means for listing real estate by way of an electronic database. Each region is responsible for maintaining a board, and individual members pay dues to their local Service for the use of MLS sales tools. Beside sharing information, the MLS maintains standards for providing monetary compensation between sellers and buyers.

By way of specially created data bases and software, brokers are able to list their clients' properties online, and view other members' listed properties for sale in their area. Additionally, mortgage and insurance co. members have access to the information when they put together paperwork associated with a property sale.

Nevada County MLS properties for sale 

As a potential buyer or seller, you are able to view homes and lands for sale in our area listed online on RMLS websites. This is a free service to you. We invite you to explore our Nevada County MLS properties for sale website to experience the ways you (as a buyer or seller) can benefit from using a Realtor with a powerful online presence.

The MLS does not work directly with buyers or sellers. When you, as a buyer, find properties that interest you, contact a Realtor, like us, to learn even more about each listing. We will set up an online portal for you that provides access to homes that meet your specifics of price, size and other amenities. You will also receive an email when a new home is listed in the MLS. As you narrow your search to specific online properties that you wish to visit, we, as your MLS member Realtor will accompany you to the listing. As MLS members, we have the authority to enter all MLS-listed homes via electronic access.

As a seller, our MLS's electronic access offers security and information about who has visited your property. Each Realtor who enters the home is recorded and asked to offer buyer feedback to the seller's agent. This information is passed on to you, the seller, by us and thus, provides an understanding of a buyer's likes or dislikes. For example, if you receive several comments about your garage ("Client doesn't know if their cars will fit") you'll know why it's time to de-clutter.

Many Realtors, including Nevada County MLS properties for sale  Alternative-Realtor Gary Tippner, create unique websites that allow visitors to search for properties in several ways. You'll find a "Quick Search" on our home page that lets you type basic information (price, bedrooms & size) into boxes and begin searching for MLS-listed homes for sale in the Eugene area. However, for the serious buyer, a click on "Search" (top left, Home page) offers searches by address, MLS #, land, farm, single or multiple family, commercial and, our newest search: Map based MLS search. We want your search to be quick and easy so we let you choose how you want to use our website to find your perfect Eugene home.

Search the MLS in Nevada County, Placer County, Thurston County, Ventura County, The Bay Area, actually any county in the U.S. with my data access setup. Other agents do not pay for this.

Click here for home search to try out our online search abilities. We think you'll be impressed with our many options and ease of navigation our website offers.

Gary Tippner is Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certified.

Call 1-877-311-GARY
"Eight Seven Seven Three Eleven... Gary"

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Loan Process Overview

Overview of the Loan Process

You have decided on the house to buy, now what? The following explanation will tell you what to expect from loan application to loan closing.

Loan Application

You will meet with a representative of the mortgage company or bank to complete an application.

Loan Processing

Starting with the information from the loan application, the loan processor puts together a picture showing your ability to qualify for the loan. This picture includes a credit report, verifications of employment and deposit and a property appraisal. Loan processing is usually the most time-consuming part of getting a home loan taking form one to three weeks. There are also reduced documentation programs available for qualified applicants.

Loan Submission And Approval

Once the loan processor has put the picture together, your loan package is submitted to an underwriter. The underwriter's job is to review your file to be sure it meets criteria for granting the loan. If everything is in order, the underwriter will issue a loan approval. Occasionally, the underwriter will require additional information from you before or at closing. Underwriting usually is a twenty-four to seventy-two hour process.

Loan Closing

After the mortgage company has received the loan approval, you and the seller can decide on when you would like to close or to finalize the sale. The mortgage company or bank will probably need at least twenty-four to forty-eight hours notice in order to prepare the closing documents. At closing, the seller will convey the property to you, and you will sign final documentation at the title company.

Please visit and see why Gary Tippner is different.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How Much Should You Offer?

How Much Should You Offer?

When you find the house you want, it is time to act. How do you know how much to offer the seller? Although everyone likes to get a bargain, every transaction is unique and there are certain factors to consider in each potential purchase.

Here are some things to consider:

Recent Comparable Sales

What price has this type of property sold for in the recent past? Can you see a trend in the local area that would justify an offer in a certain amount? Remember that the seller will be going to the same sales data in order to evaluate your offer. If your offering amount can be backed up by solid market data, you will have a better chance of having your offer accepted.

Demand For This House

Some properties have no one else interested at the time you make your offer. This situation is to your advantage because the seller doesn't know when or if another offer will come along. If the house you want is in great demand, however, you could be involved in a bidding war regardless of what the market value may be. Your best strategy may be to offer more than the seller is asking. This will often get the house when competing against someone else who thinks a full-price offer is sufficient to win the house from you. Offering a high earnest-money deposit also helps strengthen your position. Another good strategy is to obtain a pre-approval from a mortgage lender prior to making the offer so the seller is assured in advance that you will be able to qualify for the loan amount you will need to complete the purchase.

ADVICE: The purchase of real estate is a major financial decision for all of us. Use the services of a Realtor when you are buying real estate. Realtors know the present market and the past sales history of similar homes. They can give you the facts.

Please visit and see why Gary Tippner is different.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Who pays what Fees - Confused?

Confused by Who Pays What Fees?

The SELLER can generally be expected to pay for:
  • Real Estate Commission
  • Document preparation fee for Deed
  • ½ Escrow fee Payoff of all loans in seller's name (or existing loan balance if being assumed by buyer)
  • Interest accrued to lender being paid off, Statement Fees, Reconveyance Fees and any Prepayment Penalties
  • Termite inspection (according to contract)
  • Termite work (according to contract)
  • Home warranty (according to contract)
  • Any judgments, tax liens, etc., against the seller
  • Recording charges to clear all documents of record against seller
  • Tax pro-ration (for any taxes unpaid at time of transfer of title)
  • Any unpaid homeowner's dues
  • Any and all delinquent taxes
The BUYER can generally be expected to pay for:
  • Title insurance premiums
  • ½ Escrow fee
  • Document preparation (if applicable)
  • Recording charges for all documents in buyer's names
  • Termite inspection (according to contract)
  • Tax pro-ration (from date of acquisition)
  • All new loan charges (except those required by lender for seller to pay)
  • Interest on new loan from date of funding to 30 days prior to first payment date
  • Assumption/change of records fees for takeover of existing loan
  • Beneficiary statement fee for assumption of existing loan
  • Inspection fees (roofing, property inspection, geological, etc.)
  • Home warranty (according to contract)
  • Fire insurance premium for first year
Please visit and see why Gary Tippner is different.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

How to Look at a House Critically with a Trained Eye

How to Look at a House

Each time you look at a property, compare that property against your search parameters. If a specific home falls short of your desires, consider if you can alter the home to make it acceptable to you.


Certain features of a home are virtually impossible to change (e.g. location, ceiling height, or lack of nearby transportation). But, many features of a building which may be perceived as a drawback to you may be easily remedied. If the street noise bothers you, consider installing double pane windows. If the heating system is inadequate, you may be able to install additional heaters or central heating. Building closets may solve inadequate storage issues. Or adding crown moldings and new baseboard trim may address a lack of architectural detail.

Important Questions to Ask

When you see a house that meets most of your criteria and that house appears to be a likely prospect for further consideration, you will want to ask certain vital questions or inspect certain aspects of the home more thoroughly. Some frequently asked questions are: 
  1. Are there any recent inspection reports? In some situations, a seller may have obtained a recent pest control or general contractor inspection. This information should be reviewed before submitting an offer.
  2. In what condition are the systems (heating, plumbing, electrical, and the roof)? For example, if a roof is very old, it may need to be replaced soon. The cost of this type of work should be considered in the terms and conditions of your offer.
  3. What items of personal property are included in the sale? Appliances which are not built-in, such as stoves, refrigerators, and washers/dryers, may not be part of the sale. Get that information before writing an offer.
  4. When were improvements made and were they done with permits? If the seller provides evidence that building permits were issued for additions or other major improvements, chances increase that these improvements comply with local building and zoning codes. Many properties in the Nevada County area have improvements completed without the benefit of permits. What does this mean to you? I can help answer this question.  
  5. Are there any signs of dampness or poor drainage? These conditions are often difficult and expensive to correct.
This is why you need an agent who can coach you on what to look for and for good recommendations on home inspectors. I can help you find information that is public data that most people don't know how to find.

Please visit and see why Gary Tippner is different.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Home Buyers Simple Guide to The Process of Buying without Stress

Step-by-Step Guide to Buying

1. Select a Realtor & establish a relationship:
We are full time, professional Realtors with extensive market knowledge. We will work closely together to find the right home.

2. Have an initial consultation to evaluate your needs and resourcesOnce we establish your needs, we will provide guidance to financial institutions where you can obtain information in order to get the best financing available. We will meet to discuss your needs and analyze your resources.

3. Identify property to buy:
We will show you homes based on the criteria that we establish. The more precise and direct you are with me, the more successful your search will be.

4. Determine seller's motivation:
Once you have found the home that you wish to purchase, we will do all the necessary research to help you structure an effective offer.

5. Write offer to purchase:
We will draft the Purchase Agreement for you, advising you on protective contingencies, customary practices, and local regulations. At this time you will need to provide an "earnest money" deposit, you will be credited this earnest money deposit at close of escrow. (This deposit will be held in escrow after your offer has been accepted by the seller.)

6. Present the offer:We will present your offer to the seller and the seller's agent. The seller has three options: they can accept your offer, counter your offer, or reject your offer. Our personal knowledge of your needs and qualifications will enable us to represent you in the best way possible.

7. Review seller's response:
We will review the seller's response with you. Our negotiating skills and knowledge will benefit you in reaching a final agreement.

8. Open escrow:
When the Purchase Agreement is accepted and signed by all parties, we will open escrow for you. At this time your earnest money will be deposited. The escrow, or title company will receive, hold, and disburse all funds associated with your transaction.

9. Review contingency period:
This is the time allowed per your Purchase Agreement to obtain financing, perform inspections, and satisfy any other contingencies to which your purchase is subject.
Typical contingencies include:

  • Approval of the seller's Property Disclosure Statement
  • Approval of the Preliminary Title Report
  • Loan approval, including an appraisal of the property
  • Whole house inspection
  • Pest inspection and certification
  • Septic & Well if private well and septic system
  • Any other requested inspections
10. Coordinate homeowner's Insurance:
I can help coordinate between your Insurance Agent and the Title Officer to make sure your policy is in effect at close of escrow.

11. Pay down payment funds:You will need a Cashier's Check or money transfer several days prior to the closing date of escrow.

12. Close Escrow:
When all of the conditions of the Purchase Agreement have been met, you will sign your loan documents and closing papers. You will deposit the balance of your down payment and closing costs to escrow and your lender will deposit the balance of the purchase price. The Deed will then be recorded at the County Recorder's office and you will take ownership of your home.

YAY! Done.

Please visit and see why Gary Tippner is different.

Gary Tippner is Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certified.

Call 1-877-311-GARY
"Eight Seven Seven Three Eleven... Gary"

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