Ellwood Real Estate Newsletter

All but one of the sales on these pages occurred within 30 days of the listing date! The buyers in today’s market recognize the low interest rate opportunity coupled with lower prices not seen since 2003-2004. As buyers have been watching the market the past 12 months they have seen declining numbers of opportunities, and a leveling off of prices at the low end.

Financing, Foreclosures

Low interest rate loans up to $729,000, the conforming Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA loan limits are driving the market for homes priced under $900,000. The number of houses for sale is low throughout Santa Barbara and Goleta in this price range, and they are selling quickly. Of course, the homes in the best condition are selling fastest, if they are priced to reflect 2010 market conditions, ie. less buyers, harder loan qualification standards, 20% down payment requirements. With FHA financing, a buyer is required to make only a 3% down payment, but this results in the need to qualify for a larger loan. FHA is only for owner occupied homes.

There are some great bargains for bank owned properties, which typically get listed in the MLS, but their condition is usually inferior, and the banks want a quick “as-is” sale. Often there are competing buyers. I have sold bank owned properties recently and can help you out in this area.

There are some occasional sales of Bank properties that take place on the courthouse steps in which the loans do not exceed the value. Investors show up to bid on them, with cashiers checks in hand (required). To participate in these sales you must do your own independent investigation of the physical condition of the property beforehand, and thoroughly research the title report, at your own expense, for back taxes, mechanics liens and the like. It is a small niche where only a few savvy investors succeed. Bank owned sales comprised about 14% of the sales in the MLS in 2009.

Why Buyers See Opportunities

The Role of Market Conditions In The Decision To Buy From CAR 2009 Survey of Home Buyers
  • Price decreases motivated us: 67%
  • Low interest rates helped us move to a better location: 39%
  • Likelihood that interest rates will move up motivated us: 22%
  • Low interest rates helped us buy a larger home: 10%
  • Moved to an area that was more affordable: 9%
California Statewide Median Home Price

Hit its low in February 2009 at $245,170. In January it stood at $287,440. Most regions of California reported this “Trough” in the median price between February and April 2009.

By the Way…

If you wish you had invested in Real Estate before the last big boom, NOW is the time to consider entering the market. The prospects for future appreciation and a stable return on your investment have never been brighter. You will never feel like it’s the best time to buy, because property always seems too expensive. History has shown that when there is less competition the market is favorable for investor-friendly (i.e. affordable) transactions. Please call me to see how you can profit from a real estate investment.

Current Offerings: Homes and Condos

BR/Ba Status Price
Palo Alto 3/2 Active $649,000
Chapman Duplex Pending $685,900
Davenport 3/2 Pending $615,000
Cannon Green 3/2.5 Pending $449,000
Mills Way 2/2 Active $495,000
Linfield Place 1/1 Pending $249,900
Linfield Place 2/1 Active $296,800
Pacific Oaks 2/2.5 Active $629,999
Pacific Oaks 2/2.5 Pending $579,000
Phelps Rd. 2/2.5 Pending $575,000
Monique Ct. 2/1 Active $459,000

Recent Sales

Bd/Ba Sale Date Sale Price
408 Pacific Oaks 4/2.5 3/10 $715,000
216 Cannon Green 3/2 1/10 $540,000
7284 Lowell Way 4/3 1/10 $590,000
335 S.B. Shores 3/2 12/09 $530,000
250 Daytona 4/2 1/10 $522,500
7245 Evanston 3/2 11/09 $575,000
7263 Georgetown 4/2 11/09 $750,000
7025 Marymount 2/1.5 1/10 $465,000
542 Mills Way 2/1.5 12/09 $445,000
355 Cannon Green 3/1.5 1/10 $475,000

Ellwood Real Estate Newsletter, March 2010 PDF