Real Estate During the Holidays

 

Hi. Linda Grigorian.

First, I’d like to extend, just in case I didn’t get a chance to reach out to you personally, a Happy Thanksgiving.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday with family and friends, ate too much food, drank some wine. I ate too much food and drank some wine… it was a wonderful time. I hope you had the same.

Now, we have a couple more weeks until we head into another holiday and the question then I’m getting a lot now is, “Hey Linda, how’s the market going to be during the holidays?” Well, generally, it’s a good time home buyers and sellers and I’ll tell you why. A lot of sellers may choose to wait till after the new year to list their homes, which is fine, but for sellers who are listing their homes now we know that you are going to have less competition we know that we are faced with buyers who are serious, qualified, and ready to make a move now. It’s sort of a win-win situation for both parties involved. Not to mention homes decorated for the holidays look beautiful. They’re welcoming they’re warm, cozy… buyers really like that kind of stuff. So something to take into consideration. It’s a wonderful time of year. Let’s take advantage of it.

Give me a call, we’ll get together and talk about your goals.

Linda Grigorian.

Talk to you soon!

9 Helpful Real Estate Tax Breaks! Pay attention!

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As the year ends and the Holidays approach, we are reminded of our favorite Uncle… Uncle Sam… well, maybe not, but it fits in with the holiday “can’t stand your relatives, always take, take, take, must drink and eat too much to tolerate” theme.

Although April 15 is tax day, many Americans who expect a refund want to file sooner and get their money sooner. Now, I’m no CPA, but if you are a homeowner, here are a few friendly pointers to help ease the pain (wink) and ensure you reap all the tax benefits.  Speak with your accountant on which ones can benefit you specifically.

  1. Mortgage Interest Statement – IRS Form 1098
  2. Property Tax Statements
  3. Uniform Settlement Statement (HUD-1) -For homes sold or bought within the last year. Received from escrow.
  4. Contractor receipts for energy efficient home improvements. -Under the Nonbusiness Energy tax Credit, homeowners who have made improvements that fall within the list of energy efficient upgrades may ne eligible for tax credits.
  5. Utility statements for home office. -Must be “regularly and exclusively” used for business.
  6. Moving Expense Receipts
  7. Cancellation of Debt Statement – IRS From 1099 -For homes lost to foreclosure, short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure.
  8. Mortgage Credit Certificates (MCC) – If you bought a home in the last few years using a Mortgage Credit Certificate issued by a local housing authority.
  9. Income and Expense statement for rental properties.

There you have it!

Again, always consult with your tax attorney or CPA regarding your tax liabilities and implications when you buy, sell, short sell or lose a home to foreclosure.  Now, who wants to give ol’ Uncle a big kiss?

 

 

 

HEY SMARTY PANTS!!!

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WARNING:  THE INFORMATION BELOW IS HONEST AND RAW… IF YOU ARE SENSITIVE AND HAVE NO SENSE OF HUMOR, DON’T BOTHER READING IT…

Hey Smarty Pants!

I know you got the internet. You are clearly aware of Google. And those *awesome* real estate apps you have on your phone… *love* them!

And as much as I truly trust you have done a bunch of research, please let me help you.

In a time when patients tell their doctors what medicine they should take based on a magazine or television ad they saw, we are forgetting the necessity of a professional.

My job is to negotiate.

My job is to sell homes.

My job is to help you.

Let me…please.

Please don’t say things to me like:

“I know EXACTLY what my house is worth because Zillow says… (insert Zillow’s wrong info here)”

“Well if the seller REALLY wants to sell, he would blah, blah, blah (insert unrealistic action here)…”

Or even:

Think you should only work with listing agents because you are so sure you will get a better deal.

You know everything there is to know about real estate because you have been talking to your cousin’s neighbor’s great uncle who used to be in real estate 20 years ago.

Or the “buyers” who are real estate experts because they bought a program from a late night infomercial.

You are not buying a meat dehydrator here, people!

Buying a home is serious business and it should be approached in a serious and organized manner.
If you REALLY want to buy a home, let’s get together and make a plan!

Burbank in da house! (no pun intended…well maybe)

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Home prices are on the rise in Burbank

“Home sale prices in Burbank continued to rise last month as the number of bank-owned and short-sale properties put on the market dropped dramatically from a year ago, according to local real estate statistics.” as reported by the Burbank Leader a few days ago.

There were only 5 properties in Burbank last month that sold as short sales.  There were a whopping 32 in July of 2012, according to Eric Benz, President of the Burbank Association of Realtors. The number of foreclosed properties for sale was also down.

The Burbank Leader states:
“…the median price of a single-family home in Burbank climbed to $595,000 compared to $470,000 a year ago, an increase of about 26.5%.”

“For condominiums, the median price was $363,000, a 17.1% jump from $310,000 in July 2012.”

The rising home prices due to low inventory have resulted in homes having more equity than previous years.

If you are a seller, the time is hot now before the holidays. Prices are up and buyers want to settle into their new homes before the holidays.

To read the entire Burbank Leader article, click the link below:

http://www.burbankleader.com/news/tn-blr-home-prices-are-on-the-rise-in-burbank-20130816,0,2978850.story

For Pete’s Sake, People!

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I’m kind of an old fashioned gal… handshakes having credibility, I enjoy actual phone conversations, talking things out and connecting with people personally.

I also like to use a cool, old gadget called a camera.  Now, I get that in our modern world of technology, many people take tons of pictures with their phones.  And I’m not saying that a great phone may not take nice pictures, but it seems some Realtors do not have a great filter on what is acceptable as MLS photos.

We are selling homes here, not a used bike on Craigslist.

And for those of you (I will give you the benefit of the doubt) who actually use a normal camera, heaven forbid a good one or a professional photographer, take some decent pictures!  For Pete’s sake, I want to see what the place looks like.  I do not need to see you in the reflection of a mirror, your side view mirror because you couldn’t bother to get out of your car, or as you will see below, someone who should have clearly closed the door.

Come on people, it’s really not that hard. Make believe you actually care about making your money. And if you can’t I am happy to take your clients and show them what some great photos can do for the sale of their home…

Just sayin’

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I’m sorry, am I going to do what?!

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I recently spoke with a gentleman at an event.  (No, that’s not the story.)  After I told him I was a Realtor, he looked at me with a look of disgust and disdain and abruptly asked, “You’re not going to try to convince me to sell my house, are you?!”

Heh?

I’m sorry, what?

As I stared at him with what may have been my own look of disgust and disdain, I thought about what kind of vulture I must have looked like to him.  Here is this poor, innocent man.  At a party, having a cocktail, trying to mingle and there I am.

REALTOR.

NOOOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!

“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”

Here I am, just trying to be polite and have a good time and this guy’s acting like I am speaking in foreign tongue.  I get that people have bad experiences and they make marks on us forevermore, but give me a break.  I really am not that invested in doing a voodoo dance and brainwashing you to sell your home.  I am here to help people who are actually wanting to sell or buy property.  Be nice. I am a professional, damn it!

Might I add that said gentleman is an actor. Did I freak out and be like, “NOOOO, you’re not going to perform a monologue for me and break into song and dance are you?!”?

No. No I didn’t.

Honestly.  I was just making idle conversation.

Can you hear me now?

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I am a Realtor.  I sell properties.  Residential, Investment, Commercial… you get the gist.

People are my thing… well properties, but people, too.  Being in a business in which communication is vital, I am faced with the constant game of “Who prefers what form of communication”.

Phone calls, email, texts, face time, skype, letters… (sigh) so much to do so little time.

And everyone is different.  Do us both a favor, tell me what you prefer.  I am here to help. I’ll do what I can. No biggie.

If you want to talk, call me… No? Text. If not, email. I may not always be up for face time… you understand…

Hell, step outside and yell my name a few times.  I just may hear you. And if not myself, surely someone will and yell back telling you to shut hell up.  Either way, communication will be had.

And that, my friends, is what it is all about.  I can’t help you if I cannot communicate with you.  I promise I’ll listen.  So call me…text…email… whatever.

Interest rates are going up?! Oh…..my….gawd!!!

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Interest rates are going up?!  Oh…..my….gawd!!!

I just read this article on Forbes.com about “Rising Mortgage Rates Giving Would-Be Homebuyers Jitters”.

Now, obviously the lower your interest rate, the better.  It’s true. Interest rates are starting to come up.

“But, Linda”, you say.  “If interest rates go up, then that must mean home prices will come down, riiiightt?  So why is it that home prices are going up as well?”

“Well…” I begin.  (deep breath) “The demand is still incredibly high with very low inventory causing an imbalance.  Although more homes have equity now and we are seeing more properties on the market, supply is still low. Think back to high school economics class when we learned about supply & demand.  (*unless you were too busy writing notes to your friends, drawing on your trapper keeper or staring at the cute boy in the back of class.)  * Anyone younger  than Generation X, disregard the reference.

I digress.

Forbes.com shares a recent survey by Trulia of more than 2,000 people during June 24-26, after the rates rose.  It states, “How high do mortgage rates have to rise before consumers are discouraged from buying a home? Among consumers who plan to buy a home someday, 13% said that mortgage rates of 4% (which is what the rate had climbed to when the survey was conducted) were already too high for them to consider buying a home… However, in the recent run-up in rates, not much has happened to either prices or to home-purchase mortgage applications. Trulia’s Price Monitor, which is the earliest indicator of price trends available, shows that asking prices in June rose 1.5% month-over-month – showing no signs of a slowdown while not spiking much above price gains in the previous few months. Nor is there any sign of either a slowdown or a spike in mortgage applications by prospective homebuyers…”

Point:  Be brave!  It’s a jungle out there!  So, whether the supply is causing you to fall into bidding wars or the slim pickings are not suiting you desires, just hang in there.  If you are worried about the rates going up, even more reason to keep at it enthusiastically and aggressively!  You home is waiting for you!

I really don’t like saying “I told you so”, so please don’t make me.

Read Forbes.com full article:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/trulia/2013/07/10/rising-mortgage-rates-giving-would-be-homebuyers-jitters/

i love l.a. !!!!!

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“…It’s practically mine…”

A while back, I wrote about competition.

Multiple offers, buyers fighting, dirty looks, punches, hair pulling, name calling, whatever-it-takes…

It reminded me of my previous career. I used to cast for TV & Film and seeing these buyers eye each other at showings and open houses, listening to them talk about one another… people they don’t even know… it reminds me of the actors in casting offices.  You see, when an actor is in a room full of other actors who looks almost just like him, he has to weaken the competition. Gossip and assume. Psych them out! Throw them off their game.

“Oh I know the director and I practically have the part. This is just a formality.”

“Oh my God! Did you hear about Michelle’s?  How does she even have time to audition? What a tramp! She’ll probably sleep with the director.”

I overhear buyers whispering about other prospective buyers at open houses.

“Oh crap, they seem like they like the place!  I wonder if they will write an offer? Do you think it will be over asking?”

“Maybe we’ll do all cash” (Lies as they have only 20% but the others don’t know that, and now maybe they won’t bother writing.)

“Oh, my Realtor says this place is practically ours, the open house is just a formality.”

LA Weekly said we’re hot.  And let’s face it, we’ll take the compliment.

“L.A. Has 2nd-Hottest Real Estate Market in America” (click link below)

http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2013/06/hot_housing_market_los_angeles_cools_redfin.php