01 Nov 2013
01 Nov 2013
Ain’s Precursor to Small Lots and Cohousing Goes On The Market: Last of the Original OwnersOur friend Jim Simmons shooting the animated sequence for our "virtual tour" which you can see here along with some other stills by Jim as well as by Julius Shulman (used by permission).
Fri 01 Nov 2013 12:20 PM | Permalink |
13 Apr 2013
13 Apr 2013
Cities Within LA CountyNumbers indicate Supervisorial Districts. Gray areas are Unincorporated. Link to PDF: http://ceo.lacounty.gov
Sat 13 Apr 2013 10:07 AM | Permalink |
28 Jan 2013
28 Jan 2013
Random Walk: Robertson Boulevard, West Hollywood
Mon 28 Jan 2013 10:21 AM | Permalink |
21 Nov 2012
21 Nov 2012
Beachfront defensive retreat: Cede property to the Commons or to wealthy re-re-rebuilders?
Natural Hazards: Americans prefer do-overs
Beachfront property defensive retreat: Ceded to the Commons or wealthy re-re-rebuilders?
Loans from Costco, Home Depot, Walmart: Icing on the crumbs of the financial crisis cake?
"Everything about housing is flashing green." Jamie Dimon to Matia Bartiromo
Geothermal Heat: High first cost, storm-proof, "green" NYT
WSJ reporter calls "the great Richard Meier" "the Paul McCartney of architecture." Irving Berlin, maybe.... http://fb.me/w0XFu1hz
Buffett's Berkshire positioning to benefit as U.S. home market recovers
NYTimes: Putting back their houses=good money after bad
Concrete and oysters-Designers imagine hard and soft storm mitigation NYTimes: Before Next Time
Columbia climatologist proposes "managed retreat" from disaster-threatened locations NYTimes
Zillows "nonsensical exercise":Value of White House via @MarketWatch
Trans-disaster applicable “@Redfin: Tips for homeowners with property claims: via @bloombergnews”
Food and water after a disaster, not jus Sandy “@NPRCities:
Apple software "larded with nostalgia, unnecessary visual references to the past". Steve?
Wed 21 Nov 2012 11:20 AM | Permalink |
06 Apr 2012
06 Apr 2012
Huffpo: “Realtors Perspective on Selling Your Home”...oftentimes sellers crave hearing what they want hear, not what they need to hear...If a realtor provides a seller with a price for their home that very well may be the accurate number, but is one that the seller deems as too low, there's a good chance the realtor has just alienated him or herself right out of the opportunity to represent the seller.Considering that realtors don't get paid unless we are part of the transaction, we are faced with the choice to either: Tell the truth and perhaps take ourselves out of the equation, or... Tell the seller what they want to hear to get the listing, at the risk of creating false expectations, ultimately putting them in a compromising position of negotiation down the line... The housing market is constantly changing, which means the "right" price for a house will vary based on a few, specific factors: average prices of homes currently on the market in that same neighborhood, the number of homes currently in escrow, and the number of homes that have sold in the past three months. [If] there's a lot of activity: more homes on the move means higher demand, which leads to higher values and more room to push the envelope with the pricing... [If] Homes aren't flying off the shelves, meaning that one will need to aggressively price the home to get it to sell in that market - perhaps even listing it for less than the rest of competition to attract potential buyers...
Fri 06 Apr 2012 07:12 AM | Permalink |
Advice from Redfin on Multiple Offers... In California last month, 74% of the offers submitted by Redfin agents on a property met with competition. In Washington DC, 51% of offers faced a bidding war
The problem is inventory, with the number of homes for sale down 43% in California and 27% nationwide compared to last year... The supply of houses for sale is now below six months – the threshold between a buyer’s and a seller’s market — in 13 of the 17 markets we could measure.
...The number of offers being signed by our customers in March was up 50% from this time last year, but our closings were up only 17%
....top-six tactics with everyone in Redfindia:
Data: arm yourself with information, about sale-to-list ratios for area homes and how many parties have bid on recent transactions. Be prepared for setbacks; in competitive situations, almost nobody wins his first offer – it’ll feel like the end of the world – but if you did win the first time, you’d just wonder if you overpaid. Just make the best offer you can without pushing yourself into an uncomfortable place. Sometimes that first offer will surprise you. But mostly, losing on the first or second offer is just an experience you have to go through for yourself.
Relationships: Research the listing agent by asking your agent to query Redfin’s Scouting Report or the local Multiple Listing Service for her deal history, just to understand how the listing agent prices homes – some use a low price to create an auction and others ask for top-dollar. If your agent doesn’t know the listing agent, the two can meet at a broker’s open house. You definitely want to find out how the listing agent prefers to communicate, by telephone, in person or by email, so you and your agent can be Johnny-on-the-spot without being a pest.
Communication: Don’t guess which terms matter to the seller. Your agent can just ask the listing agent what it will take to win the deal. Sometimes sellers will take a lower price if the buyer can be flexible about the closing date, or promises an immediate inspection with no follow-on repair requests. And even if you can’t afford a high overall price, let your money talk, offering up as much earnest money as you can afford, to underscore that you’ll follow through on the terms you offered.
Offer presentation: Your agent should deliver the offer in person when time allows, although sometimes bidding wars happen so fast it’s more important to get the offer on top of the pile. It helps to have your agent summarize key terms as bullets in a term sheet, then present the purchase & sale agreement in a package with the term sheet as the first page. The terms that favor the seller should jump out. Include a cover letter about your personal history, with a family photo; if you plan to live in the home, say so. Conclude with your agent’s deal history, to demonstrate that the escrow process will come off without a hitch.
Financing: For the pre-approval letter, use a local lender who understands neighborhood price trends, preferably one recommended by the listing agent. You can even ask your lender to call the listing agent, to testify personally that your money is good. Address appraisal concerns up-front: many bidding wars result in a price higher than the appraisal value of the property, leading the seller to worry that the buyer’s bank will balk at the price. Get a pre-approval letter for the highest-possible amount you can borrow and, if you have the money for a larger down-payment, make it clear that you are willing in a pinch to borrow less and pay more to offset a low appraisal.
Planning ahead: Arrange an inspection in advance if that is customary in your market, just so you can reduce the number of contingencies in the offer. Think through how you’ll feel if you win or lose an offer, calculating what different prices mean for your monthly payment. On one hand, don’t pick a price so high you’ll wish you hadn’t won the deal. On the other hand, don’t pick a price so low you’ll wish you’d bid more. Ideally, you want to have no regrets if you get out-bid, secure in the knowledge that the other buyer paid a price that doesn’t make sense for you. And you want to be ready for any outcome, able to respond to a counter-offer confidently and quickly, guided by discipline rather than emotion.
Fri 06 Apr 2012 06:48 AM | Permalink |
22 Nov 2011
22 Nov 2011
Recent Posts From Our Facebook Page
More on the RealEstateArchitect Facebook page.
"Wall Street's Big Lie: Housing policies caused crash... Banks and their hired guns suffer cognitive dissonance — the intellectual crisis that occurs when a failed belief system or philosophy is confronted with proof of its implausibility..." -Barry Ritholz, The Big Picture
"Let's accept the role of gardener as being equal in dignity to the role of architect" -Brian Eno, Edge.org
"The central irony of the financial crisis is that while it is caused by too much confidence, too much borrowing and lending and too much spending, it can only be resolved with more confidence, more borrowing and lending, and more spending..." -Lawrence Summers, Financial Times
"Regulators have provided a bare-bones website and frequently asked questions about the foreclosure reviews. But we thought things could be even clearer for readers, so we are providing this FAQ..." -Propublica.org
AIA Study: Tight credit=more stalled construction=less recovery. -AIA.org
"For best results, list your home on Friday." -Redfin.com
Proposed Senate bill brings introduces energy to mortgage underwriting equation. -NRDC.org
Homes in more walkable neighborhoods are worth more, study finds. -CEOsForCities.org
Shifting the Suburban Paradigm -Allison Arieff, NYTimes.com
Tue 22 Nov 2011 09:23 PM | Permalink |
27 Sep 2011
27 Sep 2011
13 Aug 2011
13 Aug 2011
30 Jul 2011
30 Jul 2011
Housing Recovery? It’s The Mortgage and Securitization Reform, Stupid!Randall S. Kroszner, Ph.D., (quoted in SecondMarket.com ) Norman R. Bobins Professor of Economics at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Governor of the Federal Reserve System from 2006 to 2009: "...people who are underwater now and are having difficulty paying their mortgages are likely to continue to face those challenges for the foreseeable future. So that means the foreclosures are going to be with us for quite some time...those who are out of work for long periods of time will have more difficulty repaying their mortgages....one of the things that has dislocated this market [is that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were] very big players and very big purchasers in the markets, but they were also trying to discourage others from coming in to compete with them for these services...Will they be public, private, merged, broken up?... That kind of uncertainty makes it very difficult for these markets to come back... being able to make markets during times of illiquidity, how to provide liquidity in market stress situations is incredibly important. It’s extremely valuable to be thinking about that in terms of any financial regulatory reform..."