Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What Happened in DTLA Real Estate in 2014? Check it out...

There was an around a 2-3% uptick in prices from 2013 to 2014, with DTLA showing a strong surge in properties in escrow at the end of 2014.

Three percent may not sound like much, but let’s take it to some real numbers so you understand what this means in dollars and cents. If a property was worth $600,000 in 2013, then it was worth $618,000, average, in 2014. It a loft was worth $800,000 in 2013, then within a year, the value went up $24,000 to $824,000.

What does that mean? If you’re sitting on the sidelines and want to buy in DTLA – don’t. Prices are ticking up, and while the average may show a 3% increase, I can tell you first-hand about clients who’ve sold and made a 333% profit on their original down payment in 2 years. Another client sold their unit within a year-and-a-half and they had a $125,000 profit to help them move on to their next home. It all depends on the building, the unit, and if it’s a nice unit, it will go into multiple offers.

My last 4 listings in DTLA — all within the last 6 months — all went into multiple offers. The last DTLA offer I wrote — 2 days ago — had 3 offers and this is in the $800,000 range.

So here’s some advice for those of you looking to make your DTLA move this year: if you like the unit, make an offer immediately. If you like the unit and there are multiple offers, write at list price or more.

For you statistical types, here are the numbers for you to crunch:

Market Report - Downtown LA 2014

Have you checked out Latitudes in Silver Lake? Here's your chance...

I had the chance to stop by this lovely new construction site on Waverly last week, close to Glendale and Rowena if you're heading over to Atwater Village.

There seems to be a ton of new construction projects out there now with SL70, 5112 Melrose, and Gramercy at Hollywood all nearby. That being said, this one is less than a mile walk to the restaurants and shops on Rowena, all the cool stuff on Atwater's Glendale Blvd stretch, and Trader Joe's/Gelsons, which is no small feat. And it's got a community pool for those residents wanting to partake in the SoCal lifestyle.

While these different communities offer similar price points, offerings of roof-top decks, etc. -- I think the biggest decision-maker for which new construction project you would move forward with will be the exact location you want to be in. Hollywood ain't Silver Lake, and SL70s location is waaay different than this one at Latitudes. So drive or walk around, and pick your poison.

Here are some pics of the actual units for your viewing pleasure (because who can resist a little real estate porn?).
Beautiful and utilitarian kitchen island/breakfast bar
Beautiful and utilitarian kitchen island/breakfast bar
Living room
Living room
Roof top deck view
Roof top deck view
Roof top deck view
Roof top deck view
Living room with balcony at Latitudes
Living room with balcony at Latitudes
Great room at Latitudes
Great room at Latitudes

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

FHA and VA Loans More Viable?


Yes, it's been a busy last year in real estate, but the fervor overall seems to be cooling down a bit, and with that, any buyers who are utilizing FHA or VA financing should be in good spirits -- your offers will be considered!

For you buyers looking for homes on the market, I know it must've been very discouraging for you this past year, but things are loosening up, and it's important now you keep focused and make sure you're working with a GOOD FHA or VA mortgage lender.

With these two loan types in particular, your lender is of UTMOST importance in getting the deal done for you. Why? With FHA, your loan gets assigned a case number, and if that loan is placed in the hands of an inexperienced lender who doesn't know the ins-and-outs, it could mean bye-bye loan, an angry seller, canceling escrow, and utter disappointment. Save yourself the grief.

FHA has also made some changes where they've shortened the mandatory waiting periods to get an FHA loan:

-3 years from a short sale -3 years from a foreclosure -2 years from a bankruptcy

In some cases, if the short sale, foreclosure, or bankruptcy came from a documented income loss of 20% or more, you might qualify for another purchase within 12 months of the event.

So if you're thinking about tapping out of the game, don't do it just yet. Stay strong!

Happy Buying!

Caroline Choi Real Estate
Caroline Sells The City LA
www.CarolineSellsTheCity.com

5 Reasons you Need a Realtor!


Today's 5 reminders as to why you need a realtor:

So send your realtor a virtual hug today. :)

Caroline Choi Real Estate
Caroline Sells The City LA
www.CarolineSellsTheCity.com

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Quickie Primer on Escrow and Taxes


Ever wonder what escrow's role is in helping sort out what your property taxes, documentary transfer taxes, and other tax liabilities would be from a sale or purchase of real property?

Here's a quickie primer, courtesy of our friends at Lawyer's Title:


As you can see, escrow really helps get these items taken care of for buyers and sellers by getting them to the proper agencies. Hooray escrow! Thank your escrow officer and company your next transaction - I'm sure they'll appreciate it.

Happy Buying and Selling!

Caroline Choi Real Estate
Caroline Sells The City LA
www.CarolineSellsTheCity.com

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Higher Interest Rates? They're Here.....


As interest rates continue to tick up, the LA Times is reporting interest rates to be at 5% this next year. Check out the article below:

Depending on whether you are a buyer, seller, or owner looking to refi, this could all affect you differently.

For a buyer, a higher interest rate could mean less purchasing power due to the extra interest you would be paying on your mortgage.

For a seller, if there are some buyers on the cusp of your price point, it could mean less buyers who are able to afford your home.

For an owner looking to refi - you may now need to crunch your numbers again to see if a refi makes financial sense to move forward with.

Keep your ear to the pulse and always discuss with a trusted mortgage advisor regarding what may be the best option for you.

Happy Buying, Selling, and Refiing!

Caroline Choi Real Estate
Caroline Sells The City LA
www.CarolineSellsTheCity.com

Rates May Not be Going Back Down....


We've just experienced a spike in interest rates, leaving us wondering .... will they go back down? None of us have a crystal ball, but here's some compelling foresight courtesy of Joseph Rose of Perl Lending:

This isn't easy to say, but it must be said - rates are NOT going back down (at least not significantly). Rates being quoted right now range from the 4.75% area to above 5%, based on lender, consumer profile (credit score, program, money down, etc), and the day. When I say "the day", I'm not being flippant - there really is such nauseating volatility that we are seeing rates jump by as much as .25% in interest rate in a single day.

With the drastic and dramatic jump we've seen since May 3rd, consumers may have thrown the brakes on for looking at houses - waiting for rates to come back down. It is important that you are able to work closely with your favorite Mortgage Loan Originator to convince the consumer of two things:

1) Rates are NOT going back down into the 3's, or probably much (if any) below 4.5%.
2) They must continue their search now before home prices continue to go up along with the higher rates, further eroding their buying power.

This is a difficult conversation, and an even more difficult sale - but it is easier if you work in tandem to educate the consumer so they understand why these facts are true and are able to move past the negative emotions involved and get back in the saddle of finding that new home. You see, when rates move as drastically as they have recently, consumers are going to follow the Kubler-Ross Grief Model (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance) before they are ready to move forward.

So when you've gone through and all done with denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance - know that interest rates are still good! ...hey, they were like at 18% a couple decades ago... :)

Happy Buying, Selling, and Refiing!

Caroline Choi Real Estate
Caroline Sells The City LA
www.CarolineSellsTheCity.com