The New York Times
The advantages of preapproval
The housing market is warming up in many areas, with multiple offers becoming more commonplace. Buyers who want an advantage in the bidding process will need more than a mortgage prequalification – they will need a preapproval.
Making sense of the story
- The differences between mortgage prequalification and preapproval are significant. Prequalifying for a mortgage is based solely on what a borrower discloses to the loan officer or broker about his/her earnings, credit score, and total assets, including what is available for a down payment. By contrast, a preapproval requires a borrower to provide documentation of his/her income and assets.
- The lender typically pulls the borrower’s credit report and score, while the borrower gathers together almost everything else needed for the actual mortgage underwriting: W- 2 wage statements; 1099s; recent pay stubs; bank statements; and statements from Individual Retirement Accounts and 401(k)s; and other assets that could show the borrower has the resources to buy and maintain a home.
- At one of the country’s largest mortgage lenders, Wells Fargo, the first quick review provided by an underwriter constitutes an agreement to lend. Other lenders may treat preapprovals as more of an opinion on the person’s ability to borrow, not a guarantee to lend.
- With so many homes receiving multiple offers, a preapproval is more important in today’s marketplace.
- The preapproval letter should include the amount a borrower is qualified to borrow, as well as the loan officer’s contact information. Some letters may have an estimated monthly payment, but details about the loan time and interest rate are not included.
- Timing also is important. Buyers should aim for obtaining a preapproval letter from a lender within 30 to 60 days of the expected purchase date. That is because some letters expire in 90 days.Read the full story
Now May Be Best Time To Buy A House In Two Decades
Purchasing a home may be more affordable now than it has been in more than 20 years. Almost 78% of homes sold during the first quarter of 2012 were affordable to people earning the U.S. median income of $65,000, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo. Home prices nationwide have fallen about 36% from their peak, while median income has risen by about 10%. At the same time, mortgage rates are below 4%. There is one catch for home buyers, however: mortgage availability. Lending conditions are still tight. Without this significant issue, the housing and economic recovery could be proceeding at a much stronger pace. Indianapolis was the most reasonably priced housing market in the U.S. In fact, 96% of all homes sold in the metro area could be easily afforded by the typical family, according to the report. Wages in Indianapolis are reasonably high with the median family income at $66,900, about $2,000 above the national median. Meanwhile, the median price for homes sold there during the first three months of 2012 was $102,000. Other major markets that ranked high on the most affordable list included Dayton, Ohio, where 94% of homes sold could be purchased by a typical family; Lakeland, Fla., with a 93% affordability score and Modesto, Calif. at 93%. In contrast, New York City’s housing market was ranked as quite expensive, where only 31% of homes sold were affordable to median income families, who earned $69,200. The median home price in the metro area was a whopping $400,000. Other least affordable large markets included San Francisco (40%), Honolulu (48%), and Los Angeles (50%).
Brian Sly and Company, Inc.
Registered Investment Advisor and Consulting Corporation
Please click on the below link to access the resort sales stats
Homes at Lake Tahoe are becoming more affordable for the first-time home buyer for the first time since 2001, but it’s unlikely to last long.
Homes in the lower-priced segment of the Tahoe market are in demand, a first-quarter existing homes sales report by Chase International shows.
“Lakewide, the units in single-family homes are up by 15 percent from the same time last year,” said Sue Lowe, senior vice president and corporate broker for Chase International. “We are just seeing little to no inventory in homes under $500,000 around most of the lake.”
Click this link to read the full article in the Reno Gazette Journal.
Making Home Affordable Programs – including HAMP, HAFA – Extended and Expanded through December 31, 2013.
The Treasury department recently released Supplemental Directive 12-02 officially extending the term of all Making Home Affordable programs – including Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA), the Unemployment Program (UP), and Second Lien Modification Program (2MP) through December 31, 2013. The program extensions come on the heels of the expansion and extension of the Home Affordable Refinance Program or HARP, also through December 31, 2013.
Luxury Housing Markets Heat Up
April 13, 2012
While many markets continue to languish with more price declines and so-so sales, one real estate sector is red hot, and you might be surprised at which one it is.
Even with the economy just starting to pull out of the doldrums, the luxury market has come roaring back in recent months according to experts, and that could signal good things ahead for U.S. real estate.
“There is very little inventory, which is driving a lot of activity,” says Richard Smith, president and CEO of Realogy Corp., a global provider of real estate and relocation services. “You’re getting multiple offers and quick sells. It’s not uncommon in New York City to see a co-op or an apartment go on the market and two days later it’s gotten 10 offers and it’s sold. That’s becoming pretty typical of New York City.”
Other high-end markets in Boston, Greenwich, Conn., the Hamptons, and Miami, Fla., are seeing increased activity as well, Smith says.
Even far from the hustle and bustle of major city centers, real estate watchers have seen luxury markets heat up. In Bozeman, Mont., ERA broker owner Robyn Erlenbush has already seen the same number of closings and pending sales three months into 2012 as she did halfway through 2011.
“There’s great energy in our market,” she says.
Why are buyers suddenly scooping up more high-value properties? Lack of selection does play a role, but sellers have also become savvier when it comes to pricing their properties. On the flip side, would-be buyers have become more realistic about prices as well, sensing that they aren’t likely to drop much farther.
“These are high-end buyers that have been sitting on the sidelines for long enough and pricing is not going to get any better,” Smith says. “These are people who are smart enough to know that you can’t really call the bottom of the market—you can get close, but if you miss it, prices start escalating pretty quickly.”
The uptick in buyers plunking down mega-bucks for mega-mansions could bode well for the broader market, Smith adds. While it’s not likely the average Joe looking to buy a $200,000 home in Columbus, Ohio, will take his cues from multimillionaires purchasing second homes in the Hamptons, it could give more credence to the idea that the housing market could be on the mend.
“If I’m in a market and I see the very high-end buyers grabbing the headlines, it tells me that people who are astute investors—when you’re buying a $30 million property, you’re probably pretty astute—think things are starting to improve,” Smith says. “Is there a bleed-over effect? Probably.”
Foreign buyers have given some luxury housing markets such as Miami a shot in the arm, Smith and other experts say, with healthy interest hailing from locales as diverse as Russia, China, Canada, and Brazil.
“We have an influx of Russians because it’s like their winter Riviera,” says Coldwell Banker Realtor Jill Eber, who specializes in luxury real estate, adding that current “bargain” prices have given foreign buyers incentive to move into the American housing market, especially popular vacation spots such as Miami.
Her colleague, Realtor Jill Hertzberg agrees. “Many of them are buying very big properties. You can’t buy a single-family home in the middle of Moscow on a gorgeous waterway,” she says.
And Hertzberg doesn’t think the resurgence of activity in the luxury market is a flash in the pan. “I think it’s going to sustain,” she says. “It’s definitely continuing.”
Media Contact: Katie Shaffer
Switchback PR + Marketing, Inc. 530-550-2252
For Immediate Release
Chase International Reports
Market Beginning to Rebound
~Significant Improvement seen in lower-segment of Tahoe market~
Zephyr Cove, Nev. (April 9, 2012) – First quarter home sales at Lake Tahoe show an improved market compared to last year’s numbers for the same period, according to a quarterly report released by Lake Tahoe-based real estate firm Chase International. One noticeable and positive statistic was an impressive 15 percent increase in units sold around the lake, with the lower end of the market jumping 18 percent.
“The inventory in the lower segment of the market is disappearing around the lake,” said Susan Lowe, corporate vice president for Chase International. “Even though the average and median price has gone down from the first quarter last year (which saw many lakefront sales during that 2011 period and which we have not seen this year), the market is showing signs of recovery because the supply is vanishing.”
The Chase International 2012 first quarter report also shows dips around the lake overall in regard to sales prices from one year ago, which is reflected by the median price of a home in Lake Tahoe which is now $317,000 and the average home price which is $623,645, down 25 percent and 31 percent respectively.
Truckeeis showing signs of recovery overall but especially for real estate sales over the $1 million mark. Specifically, theTruckeemarket stats report a whopping 175-percent increase in units sold over $1 million from four sales at this time last year, to a notable 11 sales this year.
The condominium market aroundLake Tahoeexperienced declines for all segments of the Tahoe market. The number of total condo units sold was down 18 percent. Average prices are down 35 percent and the median price is down 7 percent.
Headquartered in Lake Tahoe, Nevada since 1986, with eight offices in the region (Zephyr Cove, Glenbrook, Incline Village, Tahoe City, Squaw Valley, Truckee, South Lake Tahoe and Reno) and one in London, England, Chase International and its exclusive affiliations handles a large share of the country’s property. A recognized leader in the world of real estate, Chase International continues to grow. With 240 professional Realtors® boasting an array of industry certifications and the highest volume per sales agent in the area, Chase International successfully represents homes at all price levels. For more information about Chase International, visit www.chaseinternational.com.
Ultimate Proof I Believe NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY!
by Steve Harney on April 10, 2012
I truly believe that now is one of the greatest times in American history to buy a home whether it is a primary residence, a vacation home, or an investment. Cynics may believe I speak highly of the benefits of owning real estate simply because I am in the industry as a speaker and lecturer. I want to prove that I believe in the advice I have given to our readers.
Yesterday, my wife and I were absolutely thrilled to receive the mortgage commitment on the small condo we are buying in South Beach, Florida. We are looking forward to enjoying our winters in Miami in the future. We are also excited that the condo will be able to be passed down to our children and eventually their children; enhancing our lifestyle and building family wealth at the same time. That’s exciting!!
National Geographic hails Truckee as one of world’s best ski towns
TRUCKEE, Calif. — Truckee has found itself in good company sitting among the world’s best ski destinations, earning a distinguished accolade from the editors of National Geographic Adventure as one of the world’s top 25 ski towns.
The article, which was published this month, breaks down what constitutes a classic ski town. Truckee is celebrated as “an inviting mountain burg steeped in ski heritage, amenities, and culture.”
Truckee is heralded as being a relaxed town where locals live. Squaw Valley, famed for its extreme terrain, is referred to as Truckee’s “alpha mountain,” and calls out Northstar, Sugar Bowl, Tahoe Donner and Soda Springs reflecting the variety of terrain and opportunities nearby.
The article has some fun exploring what makes a place really tick by asking local luminaries for insider tips. Truckee’s own Daron Rahlves, four-time Olympian, 15-year member of the U.S. Ski Team stepped up to answer the journalist’s questions, recommending his picks of where to stay, play, and party.
Visit http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/trips/best-ski-towns-photos/ and scroll along for Truckee.
“This article provides the reader with a sense of Truckee’s colorful history and authentic charm, and also makes it clear that we sit right in the midst of many world-class ski resorts,” said Lynn Saunders, president and CEO of the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce. “Truckee’s mountain culture and fun-loving lifestyle are a draw for people who live here, visit here, and for those who decide that they want to be part of our remarkable community, by moving here.”
Other ski towns making the elite list include Telluride, Colo.; Stowe, Vt.; Park City, Utah; Jackson, Wyo.; Ketchum, Idaho; Girdwood, Alaska; Chamonix, France; Zermatt, Switzerland; Niseko, Japan and Wanaka, New Zealand, among others. *******************************************************************************
Truckee is 40 miles from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, two hours from Sacramento and three hours from San Francisco directly off Interstate 80. Contact the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce at 530-587-2757 or visit www.truckee.com for more information.
Photograph by Hank deVre, Squaw Valley
Best For: Families with aspiring ski or rider rock star kids; also, ski and rider rock stars
In the Sierra Nevada north of Lake Tahoe, between Reno and South Lake Tahoe, the old logging and railway town of Truckee has bloomed into a ski mecca, with no less than eight different ski areas within 15 miles. The first recorded ski lift in the U.S. was a Truckee steam-powered tobaggan lift in 1910, and the burg still maintains much of its Old West character, with wooden walkways in its historic downtown and a still active, clapboard train station (Amtrak service twice daily). Its population of 16,180 is growing fast, but the relaxed town has managed to eschew the glitz of the larger Tahoe resort scene. This is where the locals live.
With many of its ski areas receiving some of the highest average snowfall totals in the country—more than one ski area ran lifts on the Fourth of July this past year—it’s easy to understand why the locals choose to live here. Famed for its extreme terrain and appearances in countless ski movies, Squaw Valley is Truckee’s alpha mountain, with six distinct peaks, a superpipe, and plenty of bleached hair and mirrored goggles. It’s called “Squallywood” for a reason. A recent merger with neighboring Alpine Meadows, a family favorite, will, when connected, create the one of the country’s largest ski areas. Northstar, six miles southeast of town, is an intermediate’s paradise; Sugar Bowl has steeps that rival Squaw but with fewer crowds; Tahoe Donner, right in town, and nearby Soda Springs are perfect for beginners.
Ask a Local
Daron Rahlves—four-time Olympian, 15-year member of the U.S. Ski Team, and current Sugar Bowl ski ambassador—moved to Truckee with his family when he was 19 and is now raising his own children there. Here are his recommendations.
Budget: The historic Truckee Hotel
Swank: Resort at Squaw Creek is ski-in, ski-out at Squaw
Cheap: Tacos Jalisco, a classic taqueria
Gourmet: Cottonwood Restaurant and Bar, in a former ski lodge overlooking downtown
Best After-Ski Party Spot
Pastime Club is a happening dive bar.
Best Rest-Day Activity
Take a dogsled ride at Sugar Bowl or jump in Lake Tahoe.
Truckee’s Classic Ski Run
Rahlves’ Run at Sugar Bowl
Trinkie Watson and David Gemme, prominent real estate agents in the Lake Tahoe market, have rejoined the prestigious Haute Living Real Estate Network.
Trinkie Watson and David Gemme Rejoin the Exclusive Haute Living Real Estate Network
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Markets with largest percentage-based price declines in Q4 2011
NAR: 29 metros with double-digit percentage declines on a year-to-year basis
BY INMAN NEWS, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2012.
Home prices falling image via Shutterstock.
The Boise City-Nampa, Idaho, metro area led the nation with a 20.2 percent drop in its single-family existing-home median home price in fourth-quarter 2011 compared to the same quarter in 2010, the National Association of Realtors reported this week.
Metros with double-digit percentage-based price declines (Q4 2011 vs. Q4 2010)
Rank U.S. metro % decline
1 Boise City-Nampa, Idaho -20.18%
2 Binghamton, N.Y. -19.44%
3 Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, Pa.-N.J. -17.78%
4 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga. -17.03%
5 Springfield, Mo. -15.63%
6 Mobile, Ala. -15.08%
7 Edison, N.J. -14.92%
8 Rockford, Ill. -14.16%
9 Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis. -14.09%
10 Trenton-Ewing, N.J. -13.84%
11 Dover, Del. -13.30%
12 Akron, Ohio -13.20%
13 Norwich-New London, Conn. -12.22%
14 Pittsfield, Mass. -12.07%
15 Reno-Sparks, Nev. -12.05%
16 Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas -11.82%
17 Gainesville, Fla. -11.58%
18 Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Fla. -11.52%
19 Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn. -11.50%
20 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C. -11.46%
21 Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, Ill. -11.19%
22 Tallahassee, Fla. -11.13%
23 Gulfport-Biloxi, Miss. -11.08%
24 Tucson, Ariz. -10.59%
25 New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, La. -10.51%
26 Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, R.I.-Mass. -10.26%
27 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif. -10.23%
28 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. -10.20%
29 Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, Ohio -10.11%
Source: National Association of Realtors.
And 29 of 149 metros tracked in the quarterly price report experienced a double-digit percentage decline year over year in fourth-quarter 2011.
Three of 10 metros with the largest year-over-year price decline in the fourth quarter are in New Jersey, and one is in New York.
Metros with double-digit percentage-based price declines (Q4 2011 vs. Q3 2011)
Rank U.S. metro % decline
1 Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn. -20.64%
2 Trenton-Ewing, N.J. -16.72%
3 NY: Newark-Union, N.J.-Pa. -16.15%
4 South Bend-Mishawaka, Ind. -15.51%
5 Saint Louis, Mo.-Ill. -14.65%
6 Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, Ill. -12.47%
7 Peoria, Ill. -12.22%
8 Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, Pa.-N.J. -11.71%
9 Champaign-Urbana, Ill. -11.68%
10 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H. -11.61%
11 Cumberland, Md.-W.Va. -11.46%
12 Springfield, Mass. -11.14%
13 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga. -11.09%
14 New York-Wayne-White Plains, N.Y.-N.J. -10.84%
15 Birmingham-Hoover, Ala. -10.59%
16 Rockford, Ill. -10.53%
17 Pittsfield, Mass. -10.05%
18 Columbus, Ohio -10.04%
Source: National Association of Realtors.
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn., had the largest quarterly price decline, NAR reported, falling 20.6 percent from third-quarter 2011 to fourth-quarter 2011.
Illinois and New Jersey accounted for Seven of 10 metros with the highest quarterly percent-based price drops from third-quarter 2011 to fourth-quarter 2011, and 18 markets experienced double-digit percentage declines on a quarter-to-quarter basis.
National Mortgage Settlement: What You Need To Know
by The KCM Crew on February 13, 2012
Last week, the Federal government and 49 state governments (Oklahoma being the exception) agreed to a $25 billion settlement regarding robo-signing and the challenges it created in the foreclosure process. We want to give a synopsis of the settlement and some perspective on what effect it will have on the housing market in 2012.
The $25 billion in funds will be dispersed as follows:
$17 Billion National Commitment to Foreclosure Relief Efforts
The servicers collectively agree to commit a minimum of $17 billion directly to borrowers through foreclosure relief effort options, including principal reduction for qualifying borrowers, short sales, anti-blight measures, and enhanced homeowner transition programs.
$3 Billion National Commitment to Underwater Mortgage Refinancing Program
The servicers collectively agree to commit $3 billion to refinance “underwater” homes (when a homeowner owes more on a mortgage than a home’s current market value). To qualify, borrowers must be current on their mortgage payments on a mortgage owned by one of the five banks.
$5 Billion Payment to States and Federal Government
The servicers’ $4.25 billion payment to the states includes $1.5 billion for payments to borrowers who lost their home to foreclosure by one of the five servicers…$750 million of the state-federal payment will go to the federal government to resolve federal claims.
For further details on the settlement you can go to the official website.
Will the Settlement Have a Major Impact on a Housing Recovery?
Probably not. Though it is a step in the right direction, it may be too little too late. Here are some opinions on the settlement:
IHS Global Insights
“Like many previous plans to stem foreclosures, this agreement will help at the edges. The problem is too big for it to have a large impact, however…This agreement will help the housing market move ahead in 2012 in a small way. But it is hardly a game changer.”
“While there is no doubt some benefit to formalizing and organizing the process of foreclosure and better monitoring of the process, the fact is that the settlement changes little.”
“While it is good that the settlement has been finalized and will offer principal reductions and refinancing schemes to borrowers, the bigger picture is that the settlement is not large enough to dramatically alter the outlook for the housing market or the wider economy.”
What about Foreclosures Moving Forward?
The settlement did bring clarity to one major issue – foreclosures. Banks have been holding off the foreclosure process on millions of homes over the last 18 months as they waited for the particulars of the settlement. They now know how they can move forward without penalty. The result will be an increase in foreclosures coming to the housing market.
“It will speed up processing, and perhaps mean that foreclosures that have been waiting around since robo-signing came to light in 2010 will now gain legitimacy.”
“It does appear the number of completed foreclosures will increase following this settlement – especially in some judicial states with large backlogs – so there will probably be more REOs (lender Real Estate Owned) for sale.”
“The $25 billion settlement with banks over foreclosure abuses may result in a wave of home seizures…Lenders slowed the pace of foreclosures as they negotiated with attorneys general in all 50 states for more than a year over allegations of faulty and fraudulent paperwork used to repossess homes. With yesterday’s agreement, banks are likely to resume property seizures.”
“Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities, said the settlement helps the housing market in the long run because it allows banks to proceed with millions of foreclosures that have been stalled. Many lenders have refrained from foreclosing on homes as they awaited the settlement.”
What Happens When You Walk Away From Your Home?
It was just last summer that Charlotte Perkins made the hardest decision of her life as she and her husband Jim were caught in the vise of the housing bust.
Wanting to downsize their lives as they headed toward retirement, they bought a new house in Mesa, Arizona, before they sold the old one, also in Mesa. Their previous home had been appraised at nearly $400,000 at the height of the market, but as the housing crisis ravaged Arizona, they were told they’d be lucky to get $200,000 for it.
They were carrying a loan of $260,000 on their original home alone, meaning they were well ‘underwater,’ owing much more than it was worth. Combined with the mortgage on the new house, their housing payments had become an “anchor around our necks,” she says, threatening to gobble up all their retirement savings and leave them with nothing.
The couple made a difficult call: They would do a ‘strategic default,’ and simply stop paying the old mortgage. “We really had to wrestle with it,” said Perkins, 60. “We had worked all of our lives to build good strong credit, and we’re proud people. But it came down to, ‘Can we keep doing this?’ We had to say ‘No.'”
As the housing bust drags on, many homeowners are thinking like Perkins. Almost 11 million homes are now underwater, says financial information provider CoreLogic. Around 3.5 million homeowners are behind in their payments and another 1.5 million homes are already in the foreclosure process, according to online marketplace RealtyTrac.
As banks start to work through their backlog of distressed properties, the New York Federal Reserve estimates that 3.6 million foreclosures will take place during the next couple of years.
So, the question is: Does it make sense to keep paying a massive mortgage, knowing that it might be decades before a home regains its prior value? Or is that akin to – as columnist James Surowiecki recently wrote in the New Yorker – “setting a pile of money on fire every month”?
“I constantly get the saddest e-mails from people saying, ‘I’ve exhausted all my life savings, my retirement is gone, and now I have to default,'” said Jon Maddux, CEO of YouWalkAway.com,
a foreclosure agency that helps clients with strategic default (and charges a fee for it). “But if they had seen the writing on the wall a couple of years earlier, stopped paying the mortgage and stayed in the home throughout the whole process, they would be in a much better financial position.”
There’s a moral component to that decision, of course. People naturally feel embarrassed about breaking a contract and not paying their bills; no one wants to be branded a deadbeat. But remember that companies default on their obligations when it makes financial sense for them to do so, via the bankruptcy process. Even the Mortgage Bankers Association itself, in a flourish of irony, arranged for a short sale of its Washington headquarters.
It’s not personal; it’s business. So think of strategic default as a business decision, and do a cold-eyed cost-benefit analysis of whether it makes sense for you, advises Carl Archer, an attorney with Maselli Warren in Princeton, New Jersey.
[Also see: Small Money Missteps That Can Cost You Big]
“People think it reflects on their integrity, and say ‘I wasn’t raised this way,'” said Archer. “But the more businesslike attitude is to say that there’s a contract, there are penalties for violating that contract, and sometimes it just makes financial sense to break it.”
The penalties largely revolve around your credit record, which admittedly gets blown up in the near-term. For a few years you can likely forget about qualifying for a mortgage or a car loan. When lenders are ready to take a chance on you again, you’ll have to pay for the privilege, with stiff interest rates due to your default history.
What Happens to Scores
Charlotte Perkins watched her credit score go from a pristine 800 to 685, dropping every time she missed a payment. Credit-scoring firm FICO estimates that someone with a 680 score would see that number sink between 85-100 points after a strategic default, and someone with 780 could crater 140-160 points.
Not desirable, of course, but not the end of the world either. For Perkins, for instance, she already had a loan on her Ford Escape, and the mortgage on her new house, before she even started the default process. She hasn’t seen any changes on her credit cards since, in terms of limits or interest rates.
Now that the previous home was auctioned off in December, she can start slowly rebuilding her credit, a process that should take about seven years.
Strategic default isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, of course. If everyone did it, the housing market — and the banks — would be in much worse shape than they already are.
The following are some of the issues to keep in mind:
1. Look to it as a last resort, not a first option. Your financial troubles could be alleviated with a simple refinancing, especially since 30-year mortgage rates are near record lows of below 4 percent. If the banks are hesitant to rework your loan, look into the number of government programs designed to keep you in your home, which can be researched at MakingHomeAffordable.gov.
2. Location, location, location. Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding foreclosures, which affect both the length of the process and what you could be liable for in the end. In so-called ‘non-recourse’ states like Arizona, California and Texas, a lender cannot come after you for any deficiency (for instance, if your mortgage was $300,000 and they’re only able to sell the property for $200,000). In other states they can pursue the difference, in theory – which is why some homeowners opt to file for bankruptcy, to free themselves from those potential obligations as well.
3. Use the interim to save like a demon. If you’re in a state like New York or Florida, which require a judicial review of every foreclosure, it might be a couple of years before you actually have to pack up. In the meantime, be extremely disciplined about stockpiling cash. That will help you with a down payment for a rental, to pay for a car in cash if you need to, or to clear up other debts you might have. “Save money as if you were still paying the mortgage,” says Archer. “If you don’t, then you’ll run out of both time and money, and then you’ll be in a real tough spot.”
4. Know the tax implications. Historically, if you have a debt that’s forgiven, the canceled amount is considered taxable by the IRS. In the wake of the housing bust, though, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act was drafted to spare you those taxes. That legislation expires at the end of 2012, though – so if it’s not extended, you could potentially face a tax bill for the difference.
5. Talk to a professional. A bankruptcy or real-estate attorney can help you through a very tricky process. The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, for instance, has a searchable database of lawyers at www.nacba.org.
“Strategic default is not an easy decision, and there’s a cost either way,” said Gerri Detweiler, director of consumer education for Credit.com. “Would you rather be $200,000 underwater, or would you rather have seven years of damage to your credit report? It depends whether you’re finally at the point where enough is enough
By Chris Taylor | Reuters
You can’t compare gold to real estate as an investment as gold is a very liquid asset and it would take more time and effort to sell a house. We were not trying to make the case for real estate vs. gold as an investment in our blog. We were just showing that all investments go through cycles and that the best time to buy any investment may be when everyone is saying not to.
However, since the subject of comparing real estate to other investments has come up, let’s take a closer look. There are two major advantages to investing in a home of your own rather than another option:
You Can’t Live in Your IRA
When you buy your own home you are not taking available dollars away from another investment. You are replacing one housing expense (rent) which has no potential for a return on investment with another (mortgage payment) that does give you an opportunity for a return. We realize that there has been research showing that over the last 30 years renting has been less expensive than owning. That research also says that if you invested the entire difference between the rent payment and mortgage payment you may have done better financially. There are two challenges with this conclusion:
1. Today, in the vast majority of the country, renting is actually more expensive than owning a home.
2. History has proven that tenants DO NOT invest the difference in their rent and mortgage payments.
Today, study after study shows that owning a home is no more expensive than renting a home. However, even if this wasn’t the case, history shows that owning a home creates greater wealth.
Paying a mortgage creates what financial experts call ‘forced savings’. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University released a study last year titled America’s Rental Housing: Meeting Challenges, Building on Opportunities. In the study, they actually quantified the difference in family wealth between renters and homeowners:
“[R]enters have only a fraction of the net wealth of owners. Near the peak of the housing bubble in 2007, the median net wealth of homeowners was $234,600—about 46 times the $5,100 median for renters. Even if homeowner wealth fell back to 1995 levels, it would still be 27.5 times the median for renters.”
There Are Tremendous Tax Advantages to Investing in a Home
There is no doubt that selling an investment such as gold is easier than selling your home. However, this liquidity comes at a price. The price is called capital gains. That is the tax you pay on any financial gain you receive from the investment. This tax doesn’t apply the same way when you sell your primary residence:
Theresa Palagonia, a CPA and the Accounting Manager for the firm G.S. Garritano & Associates, was good enough to explain the Home Sale Exclusion Rules:
“You may qualify to exclude from your income all or part of any gain from the sale of your main home.
You can exclude up to $250,000 of the gain on the sale of your main home if all of the following are true:
• You meet the ownership test.
• You meet the use test.
• During the 2 year period ending on the date of the sale, you did not exclude gain from the sale of another home.
If you and another person owned the home jointly but file separate returns, each of you can exclude up to $250,000 of gain from the sale of your interest in the home if each of you meets the three conditions listed above.
You may be able to exclude up to $500,000 of the gain on the sale of your main home if you are married and file a joint return and meet the requirements. (Special rules apply for joint returns.)
Ownership and Use Tests
During the 5 year period ending on the date of the sale, you must have:
• Owned the home for at least 2 years, and
• Lived in the home as your main home for at least 2 years
Certain exceptions exist in which you may qualify for the exclusion without satisfying the tests listed.”
Every investment has pros and cons. That is why there is such an assortment of great opportunities. Real Estate has been, is and always will be one of those opportunities.
by The KCM Crew
Here are the 2011 year end stats for sold properties around Lake Tahoe.
Here is the 2011 year end price banding charts for Lake Tahoe area.
Homesites at Squaw Creek was established in 1990 as a private exclusive community along the South side of Squaw Valley. There are 48 residential parcels, 12 of which front the Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed 18 hole golf course. This subdivision has ski area and mountain views. Resort at Squaw Creek amenities are available too. A great place to invest. There is currently only one property available in this subdivision.
Offered at $2,350,000
How To Be Top
As we enter a New Year Nick Churton of Mayfair international Realty takes a look at what may lie ahead for the real estate market.
Although mature real estate brokers and agents are apt to say that they have seen it all before, this time it is different. No one has seen this market under this set of national and international financial conditions before. But what is rather refreshing is that the uncertainty now cuts down the speculation aspect of a home purchase and strips the requirement to buy down to the real and age-old essentials. This makes for easier choices.
Le Corbusier, the pioneering architect, stated that, “The requirements for a house should be to provide a shelter against heat, cold, rain, thieves and the inquisitive”. He didn’t add that a home should also provide its owner with an investment return of seven per cent year-on-year.
For the first time since, perhaps, the 1960s property investment can take more of a back seat in the home buying mindset and, instead, fundamental life requirements can come back to the fore. Of course with other financial instruments providing so little in the way of return, real estate is a natural arena in which to invest. But with little or no indication about if or when the market will return in any zest we are left with simpler decisions and choices – does a home suit our requirements in size, location, style and price?
It is although our needs have been simplified in the way they may have been fifty years ago. With less frenzy and greater choice, for a while at least, this may be a very good time to choose a primary or secondary home for all the very best lifestyle reasons.
We quickly learn to expect that there is an investment opportunity to be gained from property purchase in a rising market. But we are rather slow to appreciate the reverse is likely in a poor market and/or in particularly adverse economic circumstances as we have now.
2011 was a hard year in property and this year may not be much better. We may have new US, Russian and French presidents, more ructions in Europe and the Middle East, and greater privations at home before we see greater improvement. But still there is a reassuring level of market activity that has more to do with need than discretion. This is the market we have and this is the market we have to deal with – and deal with it we will.
But real estate buyers and sellers should not be deterred. Indeed they should be encouraged as the more life there is in the real estate market the more life there is in the economy. But those still insisting on the sort of financial profit they may have achieved several years ago should perhaps think again and get real. It will be the enlightened that get to the top of the property class in 2012, not those in denial.
Hidden Lake Subdivision in Squaw Valley USA
Hidden Lake is a planned private gated community established in 1988. Enjoy views ofSquaw Valley ski area along with southern exposure. Community offers private roads, a spring fed “HiddenLake”, and 2 tennis courts. In the winter months the lake freezes due to being only 6-8 ft deep. HiddenLake has 35 parcels with two additional parcels annexed into the community. Currently there is only 1 active listing in the subdivision.
Creekside Estates Squaw Valley USA EST. 2004.
A private community. East end of Squaw ValleyUSAand is bordered by Squaw Creek. There are 24 residential parcels in which there are 4 listed single family properties for sale ranging from $2,450,000 – $3,900,000 and only 1 lot for sale at $395,000.
People Are Buying Homes AND GETTING MORTGAGES!
by The KCM Crew on January 11, 2012
Many believe that very few houses are selling and that almost no one can get a mortgage. We want to let everyone know that neither of these assumptions is true. Recently, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Existing Homes Sales Report. According to the report there are, on average, 12,109 homes selling in the United States EACH and EVERY DAY! That means that approximately 12,000 houses sold yesterday, approximately 12,000 will sell today and approximately 12,000 will sell tomorrow. So the thinking that homes aren’t selling just isn’t true.
Another interesting fact in the report was that 72% of these transactions were accompanied by a mortgage. That means that approximately 8,719 people qualify for a mortgage on a daily basis in this country.
There are over 12,000 homes sold and over 8,000 mortgages granted every day. The real estate market is doing better than many believe.
Resort at Squaw Creek
Ranked among the top 50 best ski resort hotels in North America by Conde Nast Traveler magazine, the spectacular Resort at Squaw Creek™ offers luxurious Lake Tahoe vacation lodging, gracious hospitality and full-service amenities. Studio and one bedroom units with fireplace and kitchenette available for sale and rental.
strong>Our annual look at the prospects for U.S. luxury real estate in the coming year sees a fragmented recovery, with steady improvement at the high end.
By Camilla McLaughlin
In an increasingly uncertain world, real estate is emerging as one of the few sure things. We’ve seen a growing reversal of sentiment regarding real estate. Scarcely two years ago, buying real property seemed the biggest gamble in town. Today, especially for the wealthy, real estate is emerging as one of the few sure things. Prices at historic lows translate into once-in-a-lifetime buying opportunities, whether computed by dollars or the ability to acquire a platinum residence in a prized location. Tired of watching and waiting, with a keen eye toward value, a growing number of affluent consumers are ready to jump back into the market. In 2011, a number did, and these fundamentals, along with uncertainty in both the stock market and global economies, make the outlook for luxury real estate in 2012 at least as good as — but perhaps better than — 2011.
Affluent buyers are viewing real estate as a good long-term investment at current prices and an attractive alternative to the volatility of the stock market, observes Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage for Northern California.
“While affluent consumers are watching to see what will happen with the global economic situation, many seem concerned that they will miss out on low prices and low interest rates and they are tired of putting purchases on hold,” says Laurie Moore-Moore, founder and CEO of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. “Some are still shifting dollars from other investments into residential real estate in the belief that long term it will be a good investment.”
Blockbuster sales such as the $85 million Spelling Manor in Holmby Hills, Calif., or the $100 million mansion in Los Altos Hills, Calif., generate headlines, but the real story of luxury real estate in 2011 can be seen in high-end markets all over the country. In Sarasota, Fla.: “Our inventory is at record low levels, down to pre-2005 levels,” observes Michael Saunders, founder and CEO of Michael Sanders Company. In Atlanta: $1 million-plus sales increased by 24 percent in the third quarter while days on market went down 26 percent. In the Hamptons: Homes priced at $5 million or up sold at pre-recession rates.
“While total U.S. home sales fell about 13.7 percent in the first half of this year, activity declined less or even increased in many high-end ZIP codes,” reports San Diego-based DataQuick, which tracks home sales nationally. “Nearly 45 percent of a group of affluent ZIP codes, those with a median sale price of $800,000 or more in the last two years, saw sales rise in the first half of this year compared with last.”
More than a few properties closed well above the $20 million mark in a range of locations. More importantly, what occurred was a steady — sometimes slow, sometimes not so slow, depending on the location — rise in the number of overall sales, particularly above $3 million.
“Looking back, 2011 has really been a better year for us,” says Philip White, president and COO of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates. “Our sides are up significantly year over year. Prices are relatively flat compared to last year. Last year (2010) was a notable year in terms of the higher end market, but that was coming off a bad year. Statistically, 2010 was up over 2009 because 2009 was so bad.”
In an Institute for Luxury Home Marketing survey of U.S. agents in the $1 million-plus market, 77 percent reported an increase in luxury activity in 2011 over 2010. Internationally, sales are up as well, according to a recent Christie’s International Real Estate survey. Roughly, 67.5 percent of member brokerages responding reported an increase in buyer activity for the first eight months of 2011.
Sellers coming to grips with the realities of the current market became the tipping point in many places. “You can’t put a strategic price on a property that you are going to move down from. You’ve got to be very sensitive to what brokers are telling you it should be,” advises Robert Borden, chairman of the board and chief residential advisor at LandVest.
Miami showed substantially more growth than any other market in 2011, but by fall, other Florida locations were beginning to show signs of revival. “The Florida population is increasing, unemployment is decreasing and we are seeing more corporate group moves. Real estate unit sales are up, including $1 million plus,” observes Betty Graham, president of Previews International for Coldwell Banker NRT.
Speaking about the 2011 market at the National Association of Realtors annual conference, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun underscored the contradictions in the current market. Although homes are more affordable than at possibly any other time, there has been no appreciable uptick in overall sales. “The Fed wants to stimulate lending, but it’s hard to get loans approved,” he observed. Consumer confidence still registers at low levels, although jobs are picking up. The litany of positives for real estate, according to Yun, include a slowing of price depreciation, a decrease in the inventory of newly foreclosed homes, and, in many areas, the number of for-sale properties is trending down.
In some places, including those hardest hit by the downturn, inventories are approaching lows that haven’t been seen for years. Add to that a growing understanding among consumers, especially high-net-worth individuals, that the time to buy is now. “The smart money is coming back to the market,” says John Turco with Prudential Florida Realty of Naples, Fla. “I have never seen the Naples market take off like it has. Our market started to improve about five months ago. Our inventory is off by at least 60 percent from last year.”
In Paradise Valley and North Scottsdale, Ariz., the number of homes for sale holds steady while per-square-foot prices are trending upward, reports Tom Pelliteri with RE/MAX Excalibur Realty. In Houston, Keller Williams Realty agents see money on the sidelines beginning to venture back into the market and a pent-up demand for homes in the $1 million to $1.5 million range. And in Miami, “The market has definitely been on an upswing. We are closing $250 million this year,” says Jill Eber, with The Jills Team at Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate.
At year-end, a growing number of reports such as these from luxury enclaves all over the country paint a picture of high-end markets stabilizing and, in some instances, improving. Not only are luxury properties selling in more locations but brokers tell us they have even more sales pending. “Big properties are under negotiations now,” says Eber.
“High-end deals are coming together in a lot of the major urban markets,” observes Paul Boomsma, president of Luxury Portfolio International and COO of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World.
Seattle broker John Brian Losh, who is also the publisher of LuxuryRealEstate.com, acknowledges increased sales, but also notes reduced prices. “Transactions started to happen pretty consistently throughout the year, but prices are much lower. Properties are selling, but at bargain prices.” Moore-Moore agrees. “Luxury buyers relish the art of the deal. They are value conscious and are looking to buy future profitability by buying smart.”
The big story for the high-end market in 2011 was foreign buyers. They only account for approximately 5 percent of U.S. sales, but as prices and the rarity of a property increase, so too does interest from buyers outside the U.S. Also important is the appeal of an area. In Florida, 25 percent of all sales from June 2010 to June 2011 were to foreign buyers, particularly Canadians, Brazilians and Venezuelans.
The hottest markets are global destinations such as Beverly Hills and New York that attract international and domestic buyers. Foreign buyers buoyed Miami’s record year. Here, cash transactions, favored by foreign buyers, accounted for 43 percent of single-family and 77 percent of condominium sales in October. Nationally, only about 29 percent of sales are all cash.
“International buyers look to the U.S. as stable politically, a safe haven for money, offering a desirable lifestyle, and on sale! They will continue to invest in U.S. luxury homes,” says Moore-Moore.
This year, other places including San Antonio, Vail, Atlanta and Chicago report growing interest from outside the U.S. Houston, according to Bruce Kink at Keller Williams Metropolitan, has seen an increase in buyers from Latin America, China, Japan and Russia.
There are no indications that this interest will slack off in 2012. “So far we’re seeing great things happen. We’re so busy showing things it’s hard to keep up. We have people coming from out of the country and not just in the summer time now,” Beverly Hills agent Jade Mills said in early December. Mills, with Coldwell Banker Previews International, is ranked as the No. 2 real estate agent in the world. Particularly notable, she says, is the number of buyers from Russia, China and Indonesia looking in Los Angeles’ famed Westside neighborhoods.
And rather than putting a damper on sales, the economic turmoil in Europe is only enhancing the cachet of U.S. properties. “No one really knows what’s exactly going on in Europe and that’s disconcerting, but on the other hand that makes U.S. real estate more attractive,” says Losh.
“A lot of people in the world are still more confident about our economy overall than their own,” says Boomsma. “Most of the world still sees the U.S. as a safe haven for investment, for property rights and ownership.”
Still, assessing the market — and even categorizing the recovery — continues to be complicated. Many local markets continue to struggle, which means that in spite of promising indicators, crystal balls this year are apt to be a little fuzzy. “The country and the luxury space are becoming more fragmented so it’s harder and harder to make not only a global statement, but to make a national statement,” comments Boomsma.
“In 2011, the luxury market continued its recovery overall, although each market continued to deal with its unique situation,” says Kathy Neu, president of Luxury Homes by Keller Williams. “Based on what we hear from industry experts and our associates, this trend will continue in 2012 as buyers take advantage of the opportunities in the recovering market.”
Looking ahead, Graham sees more positives for Florida, including, “expectations that the widening of the Panama Canal will increase commerce.”
John Tuccillo, former NAR chief economist and current chief economist for the Florida Association of Realtors, cautions, “The recovery will be long, but it is a recovery. I think that we are past the bottom, but the slope up is not very steep — or won’t be until we can create more jobs.”
Looming for 2012 also are a number of potential bumps along the road to recovery. One is the presidential election, which Losh describes as the proverbial elephant in the room. “Traditionally, election years are good for business. I think activity will remain the same if not pick up. But this is an extraordinarily long recession, so that could change things,” he says.
Other wild cards include potential changes in tax laws, including potential cuts to the mortgage interest tax deduction. The lower end of luxury, under $2 million, has not experienced the same uptick as the higher prices. This is the price bracket that is also most affected by constraints from lenders and from changes to loan limits for conforming loans that took place earlier this year.
Don’t be surprised to see more distressed sales of high-end properties, says Moore-Moore, as more owners lose upscale homes and others choose strategic default as an option. “As of the fall of 2011, 2.3 percent of homes in foreclosure were $1 million property. Expect this level to hold for 2012,” she says. However, these sales might also offer an opportunity for new luxury buyers to move into the market, shares Rob Aigner with Keller Williams Beverly Hills.
Will 2012 end better than it started? “I’m betting we’ll see the number of luxury home sales going strong at the end of 2012,” concludes Moore-Moore. “Prices will still be under pressure as we work through high-end short sales and foreclosures. Will 2012 be a good time to buy upper-tier homes? Absolutely. Qualified prospects will find plentiful inventory and good value.”
The Village at Squaw Valley opened with its first phase in February of 2002 and second phase in December of 2003. The Village consists of approximately 300 one, two and three bedroom condominium suites, six restaurants, 20 retail shops and a full service spa. It offers slope side condominium suites located next to the world renowned Squaw Valley USA Ski Resort. Condos are available for purchase and rental. Let us know if you would like more information.
Tavern Inn condos at Squaw Valley have been in litigation and it is over! Great news for the condos.
Officially over and the end result is in favor of the homeowners of the Tavern Inn condos. The board president as said that the litigation papers have been released (by the court) and it will be possible for homeowners to refinance their loan. For buyers; to obtain a loan to purchase a unit at Tavern Inn in Squaw Valley. Squaw Valley now offers several different ownership options when it comes to a condo.
Homewood Mountain Resort made key adjustments to the master plan such as reducing the project size, moving the location of several buildings within the resort, and adding additional environmental monitoring requirements over the next 20 years to ensure the project terms are honored.
Hot Off the Press
> As a result of over 1,800 comments submitted during the Draft Environmental Impact Statement review process, Homewood Mountain Resort made key adjustments to the master plan such as reducing the project size, moving the location of several buildings within the resort, and adding additional environmental monitoring requirements over the next 20 years to ensure the project terms are honored.
> During the hearing, TRPA’s Governing Board heard nearly 70 public comments which were more than two-to-one in support of approving the Homewood Mountain Resort project.
> “Today the public process worked for the benefit of Lake Tahoe,” said Norma Santiago, TRPA Governing BoardChair. “After thousands of comments, four hours of public testimony, and a rigorous analysis of the environmental impacts of the project over the last four years, the final Homewood project will be better for the lake and the community.”
> “The environment and the economy go hand in hand,” said Renee Koijane, a full-time Homewood resident and mother of two, “and this project embraces both.”
> A huge, huge thank you to all who came out last night and to other hearings to speak as well as to those who sent in letters.
> We did it!
INTRODUCING CONSTELLATION AT NORTHSTAR
Lake Tahoe’s most luxurious, ski-in/ski-out full-ownership residences
As the newest addition to the JMA Ventures collection of superior Lake Tahoe properties, Constellation at Northstar offers superb design, privileges, amenities and services – and presents arguably the rarest, full-ownership luxury opportunity at Lake Tahoe. This is a special collection comprised of only 17 superbly designed and furnished two- to four-bedroom residences. With direct-connect access to the The Ritz-Carlton building at Northstar, each turn-key home offers one of Tahoe’s only true gravity ski-in/ski-out locations with access to The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe Resort amenities and services.
Home Sales Increase Across the Country
The National Association of Realtors recently released their 2011 3rd Quarter Housing Report. In the report, they showed that combined sales of single family homes, condos and co-ops increased in EVERY state as compared to the 3rd quarter of last year. Here are the state-by-state numbers.
The next time someone says houses aren’t selling, ask them which state they live in and show them the chart.
Bar of America and the High Fives Non-Profit Foundation present, “Chains Required” on Thursday December 15, 2011.
Bar of America and the High Fives Non-Profit Foundation present, “Chains Required” on Thursday December 15, 2011. Join us for a University of Vermont (UVM) Alumni Party and an evening of beats by The Silver Boombox Thief, a ski movie showing of Meathead Films “Prime Cut” …and a contest for the best chain!
Just as chains are required to drive up Donner Summit during snowstorms, chains (jewelry) are required attire to enter Bar of America on Thursday, December 15, 2011. Bring your bling, maintain your chain and scope the gold ropes while hanging out with fellow UVM alums, enjoying drink specials and the latest Meathead Films release “Prime Cut.”
• Date: Thursday, December 15, 2011
• Time: 8pm – Close
• Venue: Bar of America (Truckee, CA)
• Cost: $5 (With Chain) $10 (Without Chain) – Chains available for donation at door
• Featuring: The Silver Boombox Thief (DJ) and Meathead Films “Prime Cut”
• A University of Vermont (UVM) Alumni Party
• Proceeds to benefit the High Fives Non-Profit Foundation
The NEW Tahoe Super Pass gives you access to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows
Introducing the all new Tahoe Super Pass, the ultimate dual mountain Tahoe pass that provides access to some of the most remarkable, expansive terrain in all of North America. Starting at just $439, The Tahoe Super Pass is good at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, providing access to over 6,000 acres, spread across eight Sierra Nevada mountain peaks.
These prices are only guaranteed through November 30, 2011.
|Gold||Silver||Bronze||Super Six**||Squaw Midweek|
|Young Adult 13-22||$529||$409||$349||$299|
|Super Senior 76+||$199||$149|
|Blackout Dates||None||Dec. 26-31, 2011
Jan. 14-15, 2012
Feb. 18-19, 2012
|Dec. 26-31, 2011
Jan. 14-15, 2012
All Sat. in Jan. & Feb.
6 unrestricted days.
|Dec. 26-31, 2011
Jan. 14-15, 2012
Feb. 18-19, 2012
Home Sales Increase Across the Country
The National Association of Realtors recently released their 2011 3rd Quarter Housing Report. In the report, they showed that combined sales of single family homes, condos and co-ops increased in EVERY state as compared to the 3rd quarter of last year. Here are the state-by-state numbers.
The next time someone says houses aren’t selling, ask them which state they live in and show them the chart.
Rent or Buy? The Research Is In!!
Should individuals buy or rent? What is the evidence on this question? What is the present condition of the U.S. housing market? Relatively speaking, how affordable is housing today? Is the market turning around or are we headed for another dip? These and other questions are answered in the attached PowerPoint presentation.
I recently shared this information at the National Association of REALTORS® annual conference in Anaheim, CA. If you are a practitioner, the presentation should assist in your daily practice. If you are a consumer (buyer, seller, renter or landlord), the information contained within should prove to be very informative. If you are a policy maker, the presentation presents several findings that should influence current housing policy.
Please feel free to use this presentation and redistribute to others. The goal is to create an aware and thinking market place. To download the presentation, go to http://realestate.fiu.edu/buyer-or-renter-nation.html.
The KCM Crew: Dr. Johnson was quoted and his research highlighted in a Wall Street Journal article this past weekend: Making a New Case for Home Buying
COME SEE US AT….
Cal Expo Fairgrounds – Hall A&B
November 19 – 20, 2011
It’s your best opportunity to speak directly with ski,
snowboard and travel experts with great season pass deals & show specials.
Saturday November 19 • 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sunday November 20 •
11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sacramento Ski & Snowboard Festival™ Is Sacramento’s largest
annual ski and snowboard show and sale. Exhibitor and Sponsor booths showcase
winter all under one roof.
Free lift ticket offer, or 2 for 1 lift tickets to one of
six Tahoe Resorts. Up to $82 value just for coming!
Money saving Resort Show Specials and over $1 Million
Dollars of brand-name gear all on sale at up to 70% off. Plus, show sponsors
join in by offering FREE entertainment – Sierra-at-Tahoe® Ski Lessons right at
the show, Climbing Wall and more, with lift tickets and prizes for all ages!
Two days only, November 19-20, 2011, Sacramento Ski &
Snowboard Festival™ is the best chance to speak directly with all the experts
who can save you money and start your ski or snowboard season off right.
Projected Opening Dates (weather dependent):
Boreal Mountain Resort – OPEN
Northstar – November 18
Heavenly – November 18
Squaw Valley USA– November 23
Sugar Bowl Ski Resort – TBD
Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe – November 23
Kirkwood- November 25
Tahoe Cross Country – November 25
Alpine Meadows – December 10
Diamond Peak Ski Resort –December 15
Sierra-at-Tahoe – TBD
Homewood Mountain Resort – TBD
Lake Tahoe hosts a harvest buffet from 11 a.m. to 8 p .m. with holiday
favorites. $85 adults, $35 ages 4 to 10, free under 4. Reservations (530)
Olympic Valley. Squaw
hosts Thanksgiving dinner at High Camp from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. $27 adults,
$17 12 and under; does not include Cable Car ticket. Reservations [email protected].
TahoeCity. North Shore Hawaiian Grill hosts a
free traditional Thanksgiving turkey meal with all of the fixings from noon to
4 p.m. Donations accepted for Project MANA. Reservations appreciated. (530)
KingsBeach. The first Tahoe Community
Thanksgiving is from 1 to 5 p.m. at North
Center to bring people
together to enjoy food, fun and friendship, and the true spirit of
Thanksgiving. Volunteers needed. Bring something to share. (775) 230-1066 or www.tahoecommunitythanksgivingcelebration.blogspot.com.
InclineVillage. Lone Eagle Grille at the Hyatt
Regency offers seatings for its Thanksgiving buffet from 1 to 8 p.m. with live
music from pianists, a special kids’ buffet, and arts and crafts for kids. $70
adults, $33 ages 5 to 12, free 4 and under. Or, dine in Sierra Café from 2 to 8
p.m. with a buffet for $42 per person. Reservations (775) 886-6899.
CarnelianBay. Gar Woods hosts a special
three-course Thanksgiving dinner from 1 to 9 p.m., with the regular dinner menu
also available. $24.95 adults, $15.95 under 10. Reservations (530) 546-3366.
Alpine Meadows. River Ranch
hosts a three-course traditional Thanksgiving Dinner starting at 2 p.m. $24.95
per person. Menu at www.riverranchlodge.com. Reservations (530) 583-4264.
Tahoe Donner. The Lodge at
Tahoe Donner hosts a Thanksgiving dinner with seating from 2 to 7 p.m. $37.95,
$19.95 12 and under. Menu www.tahoedonner.com. Reservations (530) 587-9455.
TahoeCity. Jake’s On the Lake hosts a
Thanksgiving dinner from 3 to 8 p.m., as well as the regular dinner menu.
$22.95 per person. Menu at www.jakestahoe.com. Reservations (530) 583-0188.
Olympic Valley. Resort at
Squaw Creek hosts its Thanksgiving Buffet from 3 to 8 p.m. in the Grand Sierra
Ballroom. Children 12 and under diner half-price with a paying adult from 3 to
3:30 p.m. $46 adults, $26 ages 4 to 12, free 3 and under. Reservations (530)
TahoeCity. Dockside 700 is offering a
four-course Thanksgiving dinner. $24.95, $12.95 12 and under. Reservations by
Nov. 18 (530) 581-0303.
CrystalBay. Crystal Bay Casino hosts a
Thanksgiving Day special three-course menu at the Steak & Lobster House
from 5 to 9 p.m. The regular menu also will be available. $32, $28 10 and
under. Reservations (775) 833-6333.
Homewood redevelopment: Community, business support growing
Special to the Sun
TAHOE CITY, Calif. — More than 100
community members gathered Tuesday at a Placer County Board of Supervisors
meeting with one critical mission: to address the pros and cons of the proposed
Homewood Mountain Resort redevelopment.
In what was regarded as “one of the most civil and thoughtful comment periods”
Board Chairman Robert Weygandt had ever seen, the meeting showed the majority
of the community is in support of the project. Audience members at the
Granlibakken Resort ranged from West
Shore homeowners to Tahoe
City Public Utility District representatives, construction workers to clean
energy advocates and small-business owners to Tahoe-area resort general
Out of the nearly 40 community members who voiced their opinion at Tuesday’s
meeting, more than two-thirds supported the project, citing economic
stimulation, enhanced recreation, revitalization to the West Shore
and potential loss of Homewood Mountain Resort as reasons to support the
“The West Shore
was once a vibrant business and community-oriented area … that is now facing
the potential of losing Homewood Mountain Resort,” said Rob Weston, president
of the West Shore Association and full-time West Shore
homeowner. “It is reasonably estimated that once Homewood Mountain Resort is
complete, it will generate 180 jobs, millions of dollars in economic activity,
as well as 6 to 7 million dollars in annual tax revenues.”
Other West Shore homeowners and proponents stressed
the need for further recreation in the area to improve quality of life,
increase property value and further the transparency of the humble mountain
“From Crystal Bay
to Tahoma and possibly beyond, we are experiencing insipid decay … this process
has only been exacerbated by the global economic situation,” said Tahoe Vista
resident, Tahoe Truckee Unified
School District trustee
and longtime local Randy Hill. “We need this development approved
environmentally, socially and economically.”
The TCPUD Board of Directors unanimously approved the project, and while some
community members expressed concerns over the water and sewage infrastructure,
General Manager Cindy Gustafson assured them the PUD are well-equipped for such
“Our sewer system is more than adequate to address needs of this project,”
Gustafson said. “New customers bring with it new opportunities to offset the
costs for our existing water and sewer customers to pay for improvements that
are so desperately needed.”
Those questioning the project include Friends of the West Shore,
the League to Save Lake Tahoe and the Tahoe Area Sierra Club. Representatives
were present Tuesday, emphasizing concerns with the potential negative impact
such a large project would have on the environment of Lake
“No one is asking to delay project or stop the project — we’re only asking to
downsize it, and yet we want to see the developer make his number,” said Ron
Grassi of the Sierra Club. “We’re not saying the developer is not well
intentioned … he is well intentioned and is trying to do a good project for us,
but it doesn’t have to be this large.”
Susan Gearhart, president of Friends of the West Shore,
said she is open to a reduced plan that would address deficiencies such as
noise impact, traffic congestion, water supply, lack of adequate parking and
earthquake risk management.
“A project size reduction would result in true win-win that compliments the Homewood community rather
than overwhelms it,” she said.
Project developers and representatives of JMA Ventures say they have already
reduced the project over the last five years of planning, and further cutbacks
will merely negate the foreseeable benefits.
“A smaller project won’t work because it will not generate sufficient skiers to
sustain the ski operation,” said Art Chapman, president of JMA Ventures, the
San Francisco-based company that owns Homewood.
“If this plan doesn’t come together, Homewood
will close. There is no alternative.”
By the numbers
A look at some of the figures
associated with the proposed redevelopment of Homewood Mountain Resort:
2014-17: North Base construction estimated to take place
2018-20: South Base construction estimated to take place
75: rooms in 5-star boutique hotel on North Base
15,000: square feet of retail space including a grocery and hardware store,
ice cream parlor and coffee shop
13: workforce housing apartments
56: residential condos
47: multi-family condos in a 3-story lodge
48: ski-in-ski-out chalets
180: new full-time positions
500: temporary jobs during construction
16-20 million dollars: estimated visitor spending on West Shore after
construction is complete
175 million dollars: estimated wages
6-7 million dollars: estimated yearly tax revenues
50: years Homewood has been open
The Placer County Board of
Supervisors will reconvene on Dec. 6 in Auburn,
where they are expected to either approve or deny the proposed project. There
will be an allotted time during this meeting for members of the community to
re-address the board before they make their final decision.
Should the board approve it, it goes to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
governing board for potential final approval.
A proposed village for Homewood would include, among other things, an ice skating rink.
Rendering ourtesy of Homewood
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows Merger is complete!
As we prepare to welcome more snow, cold temperatures, the completion of many of the $50 million Squaw Valley Renaissance projects and the excitement of a new season, I’m proud and genuinely thrilled to inform you that the transaction announced on September 27, 2011 uniting Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows has been completed.
The completion of this transaction perfects our goal to afford skiers and riders access to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows’ 6,000 acres, 44 lifts and over 270 trails on one lift ticket or season pass. The two resorts will be connected by complimentary shuttles that will provide convenient transportation between the two resorts. So far the feedback we have received about the joining of forces has been overwhelmingly positive – and we hope you are as excited as we are about this opportunity to experience these two incredible mountains, each with their own unique spirit and character.
It is important to note that our team remains committed to supporting the unique brands and spirits of both resorts. We intend to offer an unmatched resort experience to the guests at Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley in every way – and a large part of this will, in fact, be maintaining the distinct character of both resorts.
With the joining of Squaw and Alpine, we also recognize the increased importance of being an active and supportive member of our community. In that light, we are pledging $25,000 to the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation’s Community House project. The money will help to secure long term space for non-profits providing critical core services for families in Kings Beach, enabling them to live with dignity and opportunity in our community.
Finally, the closing also marks the 14 day countdown for skiers and riders to purchase a Tahoe Super Pass at the current reduced rates. Through November 30, starting at just $439, the Tahoe Super Pass is the first pass in ski resort history to offer season-long, interchangeable access to both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. The all new Tahoe Super Six is also available for $399 for adults and provides six unrestricted days of skiing and riding at both resorts for the 2011-12 season. Both the Tahoe Super Pass and the Tahoe Super Six are on sale now and additional information can be found at www.squaw.com or by contacting Squaw Valley at 1-800-403-0206. Purchase by November 30th before prices go up.
On behalf of the proud members of the Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley teams, thank you for your support and interest in our mountains. We look forward to welcoming you this season.
Warm but snow-filled regards,
President & CEO
Squaw Valley Ski Holdings LLC
One Thing That Still Concerns Us
There is no doubt that the housing market is stumbling to a recovery. This past week Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, predicted a 4% increase in sales next year. Last month, Celia Chen of Moody’s Analytics projected sales to increase over 20% in 2012. Any increase in transactions will be welcomed.
However, we believe there is one headwind that could jeopardize a recovery: fragile consumer confidence. Consumer sentiment, as measured by the University of Michigan, has seen modest improvement in the last few months after nose diving over the previous several months. Moving forward, any hit to consumer confidence will impact a real estate rebound.
Prices are predicted to soften through the first two quarters of 2012 before reaching modest levels of appreciation by year’s end. Falling prices will force more homeowners into a position of negative equity. Being underwater is one of the triggers that cause people to strategically default on their mortgage obligations. If this happens, there will be an increase in the number of foreclosures. This, in turn, could cause a relapse in consumer sentiment.
We believe that there will be a dramatic increase in residential real estate transactions (both existing sales and new construction sales). The only thing that may stand in the way is a loss of confidence in a housing recovery. The next six months will tell us a lot regarding this possibility.
Teton Gravity Research and Matchstick Productions host 2 ski films this weekend at the Snowbomb Santa Clara Ski Festival Nov. 12th & 13th 2011
SNOWBOMB PRESENTS MSP & TGR FILM PREMIERES
New for the 2011, we’ve partnered with award winning
filmmakers Teton Gravity Research and Matchstick Productions to host TWO ski
movie premiere nights at the Silicon Valley Ski & Snowboard Festival. Fans
will have the chance to watch TGR’s“One for the Road” on Friday night, Nov.
11th. Everyone that purchases a movie ticket will also go home with a FREE
Alpine Meadows lift ticket valid Sun.-Fri. (no Saturdays) all season long!! You
must attend the movie to claim your free lift ticket.
And watch MSP’s “Attack of La Nina” on Saturday night, Nov.
12th. Everyone that purchases a movie ticket will also go home with a FREE
Sugar Bowl lift ticket valid Sun.-Fri. (no Saturdays) all season long!! You
must attend the movie to claim your free lift ticket.
– Friday Night
Convention Center Theater
TGR – “One for the Road”
Friday, Nov. 11
– Saturday Night
Convention Center Theater
MSP – “Attack of La Nina”
Saturday, Nov. 12
Americans Still Believe in the Value of Homeownership
- Last week, Fannie Mae released their National Housing Survey for the third quarter of 2011. They survey the American public on a multitude of questions concerning today’s housing market. Each quarter, we like to pull out some of the findings we deem most interesting. Here they are for the most recent report:
Most Important Reasons to Buy a Home
The study shows that the four major reasons a person buys a home have nothing to do with money. The top four reasons, in order, are:
- It means having a good place to raise children and provide them with a good education
- You have a physical structure where you and your family feel safe
- It allows you to have more space for your family
- It gives you control of what you do with your living space (renovations and updates)
When we talk about homeownership today, it seems that the financial aspects always jump to the front of the discussion. There is no doubt that families must justify a home purchase from a financial point of view today. However, the reasons they actually buy are the same reasons our parents and grandparents purchased their home – to create a better lifestyle for their families.
The Home as an Investment
Though most people purchase a home for non-financial reasons, everyone realizes there is a money component to homeownership. Here is what they said on this issue:
- 64% of the general population (and 69% of homeowners) believe that homeownership is a ‘safe’ investment.
- 55% believe that homeownership has more potential as an investment than any other traditional asset class.
- 68% think that now is a good time to buy a home
Rent vs. Buy
We are always interested in the difference people see in renting vs. owning.
- 63% of renters have aspirations to someday own their own home
- 70% of renters think that owning is superior to renting
- 96% of homeowners see homeownership as a positive experience (4% see it as a negative experience) while 83% of renters see renting as a positive experience (15% see it as a negative experience)
- 97% of homeowners live in a single family residence while 53% of renters live in a multi-unit building
Even in these difficult times, Americans still realize the value of homeownership both from a financial and social standpoint.
At the core of the San Francisco and Silicon Valley Ski and Snowboard Festivals lie our passion and love for the mountains. Spend two days exploring gear manufacturer booths, interactive ski resort exhibits, and the biggest winter sale you’ve ever seen.
Come see us this weekend at the Hyatt in Santa Clara! Want free admission? Contact us to be placed on the “Will Call” list!
Trick or treat? Last week, there was big news out of Europe, as an agreement was reached to help keep Greece from going into default. But will this deal mean a frightful time is ahead for Bonds and home loan rates? Read on for more details.
On Thursday, the world was cheering on the news that a deal in Europe was reached, with private banks and other holders of Greek debt accepting a 50% haircut on their principal investment. Once the write down takes place, Banks who are holding Greek debt will have to recapitalize themselves by year-end, and government support will be available to fill voids that private money won’t fill. In addition, the Economic Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) rescue fund, which currently has $443 Billion in holdings, will be expanded and leveraged to $1 Trillion Euros or $1.4 Trillion US Dollars.
So the agreement is together…but like any effective plan, it now has to be put into action. And as this rolls out, the financial markets will be watching every step. When the sentiment is positive, like it was the day the plan was announced, Stock markets could benefit as investors would seek to take advantage of gains.
In fact, the Stock markets are set to have their biggest monthly gains on record as October comes to an end. The closely watched S&P 500 Index is up 13.5% for the largest increase since October of 1974, while the Dow Jones advance of 12% is the biggest gain since January of 1987. Optimism surrounding the European crisis, positive economic data and better than expected earnings reports have fueled the rally.
So what does all of this mean for Bonds and home loan rates? The deal that was reached in Europe is historic, and good news for the world’s economies overall. However, the plan has yet to be put into action-and then it has to work. And if there are hiccups or issues along the way, Bonds and home loan rates could benefit with some renewed safe haven trading. We saw a little of that late last week, when Friday’s less than stellar Italian Bond auction reminded the world that the European debt crisis is not yet entirely resolved.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that now remains a great time to purchase or refinance a home, as home loan rates are still near historic lows. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.
Forecast for the Week
Major economic data is set to impact trading behavior this week…with manufacturing and employment leading the way:
- Manufacturing headlines will be in the spotlight this week with the Chicago PMI on Monday, followed by the ISM Index on Tuesday. Worker Productivity is also set for release on Thursday.
- The ADP Employment Report will be the first of two key releases to gauge the labor markets. Watch for ADP to be released on Wednesday.
- As usual, Weekly Jobless Claims will be delivered on Thursday. Last week’s report showed that people filing for first-time benefits still remain above the 400,000 level.
- Friday’s Jobs Report data will garner the most attention as the Labor Department reveals how many new jobs were created in October. Last month’s gain of 103,000 new workers was positive.
In addition to the reports above, the Fed Meeting begins on Tuesday and ends Wednesday with the Fed’s monetary policy statement. The housing markets will be scrutinizing that statement for any rhetoric that involves possible new purchases of Mortgage Backed Securities to keep home loan rates near record lows. Recently, several Fed members have stated that the Fed needs to support the housing markets and not to see elevated borrowing costs.
Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite result.
As you can see in the chart below, Bonds and home loan rates worsened in October as Stocks had one of their best months on record. But rates remain near historic levels, and I’ll be watching closely to see what happens as we move into November.Chart: Fannie Mae 3.5% Mortgage Bond (Friday Oct 28, 2011)
The Mortgage Market Guide View…
The President’s New Plan for Homeowners
You may have heard that President Obama plans to open up refinancing to more homeowners who are underwater. If you’ve been hearing questions about this program or are just curious about what the plan involves, here are some of the major highlights:
What’s Really New?
First, it’s important to realize that the president’s proposal is not a new program, but a revision to the current Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). However there are some big changes that you can let people know if they ask you.
Refinance…No Matter How Underwater
Now homeowners can refinance no matter how underwater they are! Before homeowners could only refinance if they were 25% or less underwater, and even then many banks only let people who were 5% or less underwater refinance.
No Appraisal Necessary?
With the program’s revision, it’s possible that an appraisal won’t have to be performed. That’s great news because it can help people save time and money. But this is only the case if Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac can electronically estimate the value through their valuation models.
But Keep in Mind…
These updates to HARP apply only to people whose mortgage is currently secured by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac…and whose loan was securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac prior to May 31, 2009. So the chances are that people who have refinanced since May 2009 will not qualify to refinance under the HARP revision.
As of now, the revisions to HARP have been proposed by President Obama and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This directive has been given to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and they now have until November 15, 2011 to give guidance and details regarding how these changes will be run.
If you or someone you know has a question about what these changes mean, call or email me anytime. I’m always happy to help.
Economic Calendar for the Week of October 31 – November 04
Date ET Economic Report For Estimate Actual Prior Impact Mon. October 31 09:45 Chicago PMI Oct 58.9 58.4 60.4 HIGH Tue. November 01 10:00 ISM Index Oct 52.1 51.6 HIGH Wed. November 02 08:15 ADP National Employment Report Oct 100K 91K HIGH Wed. November 02 02:15 FOMC Meeting Nov NA NA HIGH Thu. November 03 08:30 Jobless Claims (Initial) 10/29 402K 402K Moderate Thu. November 03 08:30 Productivity Q3 2.8% -0.7% Moderate Thu. November 03 10:00 ISM Services Index Oct 53.7 53.0 Moderate Fri. November 04 08:30 Non-farm Payrolls Oct 88K 103K HIGH Fri. November 04 08:30 Unemployment Rate Oct 9.1% 9.1% HIGH Fri. November 04 08:30 Hourly Earnings Oct 0.2% 0.2% HIGH Fri. November 04 08:30 Average Work Week Oct 34.3 34.3 HIGH
In This Issue
Last Week in Review: The Fed made headlines, plus inflation is heating up!
Forecast for the Week:Some key reports on housing, plus the Fed’s favorite gauge of inflation and news from Europe could move the markets.
View:Ever feel like you ramble when you leave voicemails? Check out these tips for surefire ways to leave effective messages.
Last Week in Review
When the Fed talks, people listen.And last week, the Fed made headlines when Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo called for the Fed to engage in another round of Mortgage Bond purchases…or in other words, another round of Quantitative Easing (QE3). Read on to find out what this could mean for the housing market and home loan rates.
In order to really have an impact on housing, the Fed would have to announce something significant to get people to buy a home. Why? Because even now, with rates at historically low levels and incredible affordability levels, the sales pace in housing is tepid, due to structural problems in the labor market, which the Fed can’t fix.
In fact, there is a lot to consider before the Fed starts expanding their balance sheet, and the biggest concern is rising inflation. Contrary to what the Fed has said about it moderating, year-over-year inflation is on the rise. The headline Producer Price Index (PPI) rose by a whopping 0.8% in the month of September, elevating year-over-year wholesale prices by a hot 6.9%. Meanwhile, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September rose by 0.3%, and while this was inline with estimates it pushed the year-over-year number to 3.9%. This is significant because the year-over-year figure was just 1.6% in January.
Remember, inflation is the arch enemy of Bonds and home loan rates. The concept is very simple: If inflation rises, investors in Bonds demand a higher yield to offset the lost buying power inflation imposes on a fixed payment. And as home loan rates are tied to Mortgage Bonds, this would mean home loan rates move higher.
And let’s not forget the ongoing drama out of Europe. French and German leaders will hold two summits in the span of four days to come up with a resolution to the European debt crisis. Whichever way this news goes could have a real effect on the markets, including Bonds and home loan rates.
With all the news to come this week, it’s still important to remember that now remains a great time to purchase or refinance a home, as home loan rates are still near historic lows. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.
Forecast for the Week
Look for some key reports on the housing market, which come after last week’s better-than-expected Housing Starts and the softer numbers from Existing Home Sales.
- New Home Sales are set to be delivered on Wednesday. That number has been hovering near record lows, so the markets will be anxious to see if there’s any indication of an improvement. Also this week, Pending Home Sales will be released Thursday.
- Also on Thursday, Initial Jobless Claims will be released as usual. Plus, the first reading on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the 3rd quarter will be released. Overall, the estimates don’t appear as if the economy is hitting on all cylinders yet.
- The markets will see how the American people are holding up in this economy with Consumer Confidence and Consumer Sentiment on Tuesday and Friday, respectively.
- Ending the week, Friday’s Core Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE), the Fed’s favored inflation measure, is sure to garner some attention.
In addition to those reports, keep an eye on the news. One story that could gain some attention is news that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Obama administration will submit proposals to Congress to help the housing market for those homeowners who are underwater.
Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite result.
As you can see in the chart below, Bonds and home loan rates stayed in a tight range last week. I’ll be watching closely to see how the markets react to Fed Governor Tarullo’s call for QE3, the news out of Europe, and the economic reports of the week.Chart: Fannie Mae 3.5% Mortgage Bond (Friday Oct 21, 2011)
The Mortgage Market Guide View…
Don’t Say Another Word!
5 Secrets to Leaving More Effective Voice Messages
People are busy. That means, even with the wide variety of technical products developed to keep us in touch, it’s sometimes hard to get a hold of people. In those instances, we find ourselves transported back to the tried-and-true technology of the 1980s—that is, leaving a message after the beep.
Same Old, Same Old
While the technology has changed from tapes to megabytes, the basic concept of a voice message remains the same. You talk; it records; people listen.
Sadly, that’s not the only thing that’s the same. Many people still don’t know how to leave a message that provides information but also establishes a compelling reason for the listener to call back.
Use These Tips Today!
The following tips can help you be more effective and get better results with voice messages:
1. Don’t Talk So Much. You have a limited window to make your point. That means you can’t provide a lot of background information or cover multiple topics.
Before you call, make sure you have a singular focus to mention if you get the person’s voicemail. Then, highlight that important point, and leave the rest of your points for the actual follow-up discussion.
2. Focus on a Problem. To put it bluntly: People don’t want to hear about you; they want to hear about themselves.
So before you call, make sure you’ve thought about the person on the other end—including what she cares about, what she spends her time on, as well as what she wishes she could spend her time on instead. You could even try to imagine why she was busy and couldn’t answer the phone. Or imagine where she’s about to rush off to as soon as your message ends.
Based on those ideas, craft a simple, focused message that hits on ONE major problem or issue that the listener has.
3. Everyone Likes a Good Mystery. Once you’ve focused on a single overriding problem, resist the temptation to go into your sales pitch about solving it. For one thing, the listener probably doesn’t have time (or want) to listen to your pitch. For another, if you give your pitch, what reason do they have to call you back?
Instead, only allude to the idea that a solution does exist…but don’t go into detail. Leave some mystery. That’s your hook for getting them to actually call you back…because now they actually have a reason to!
Finally, state a number the person can reach you at and say you’d like to tell/give them some information by chatting for a couple of minutes. You can even give them a time frame (such as saying they can call you back by a certain day or time) to help create a sense of urgency about solving the mystery you’ve established in your message.
4. Energy and Enthusiasm. Nobody wants to listen to a person who’s boring or sounds bored.
The same is true with voice messages. After all, if you don’t have energy when talking about something, why should the listener have the energy to call you back?
So before you call, take a second to raise your energy level. Some experts recommend standing up when making a call or smiling while talking on the phone, as a way to subtly convey a pleasant, energetic tone.
5. Phone Home. It’s not enough to practice in your head. It’s not even enough to practice out loud. You need to actually leave some practice messages.
So here’s what you do: call your home phone and leave some test messages. You can even try a few different approaches. When you get home, take notes about what worked and what you want to improve. Then, try the same process the next day or even every couple of months to make sure you’re still effective.
Remember: If you don’t want to listen to yourself or don’t feel compelled to call back, then why would anyone else?
By following these tips and constantly working to improve your voice message skills, you can help increase your productivity and the number of responses you receive.
Economic Calendar for the Week of October 24 – October 28
Date ET Economic Report For Estimate Actual Prior Impact Tue. October 25 10:00 Consumer Confidence Oct 46.0 45.4 Moderate Wed. October 26 08:30 Durable Goods Orders Sept -1.0% -0.1% Moderate Wed. October 26 10:00 New Home Sales Sept 300K 295K Moderate Thu. October 27 08:30 Pending Home Sales Aug -1.0% -1.2% Moderate Thu. October 27 08:30 GDP Chain Deflator Q3 2.5% 2.5% Moderate Thu. October 27 08:30 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Q3 2.2% 1.3% Moderate Thu. October 27 08:30 Jobless Claims (Initial) 10/22 403K 403K Moderate Fri. October 28 08:30 Personal Income Sept 0.3% -0.1% Moderate Fri. October 28 08:30 Personal Spending Sept 0.6% 0.2% Moderate Fri. October 28 08:30 Personal Consumption Expenditures and Core PCE Sept 0.1% 0.1% HIGH Fri. October 28 08:30 Personal Consumption Expenditures and Core PCE YOY NA 1.6% HIGH Fri. October 28 08:30 Employment Cost Index (ECI) Q3 0.6% 0.7% HIGH Fri. October 28 10:00 Consumer Sentiment Index (UoM) Oct 57.5 57.5 Moderate
|Today’s Date:||October 21, 2011
|District:||District 3 – Marysville, http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist3
Shoopman [email protected]
(530) 741-4566 desk
(530) 701-9459 cell
El Dorado County / Tahoe Roadwork Schedule Sunday through
State Route 28(Placer County) in Kings Beach: Work continues on a $46 million
environmental improvement project to reconstruct drainage facilities and
improve the road surface. Completion is expected in the fall of 2011.
October 24 – October 28
State Route 28(Placer County) from Stagg Drive (Kings Beach) to Cal
Neva Drive(Nevada County line): Motorists can expect up to 10 minute delays
eastbound #1,#2 lane and shoulder closures from 7 a.m.
to 5:30 p.m. Monday through (12:30 p.m. Friday) Friday. Crews are scheduled to do potholing, and
U.S. Highway 50 (El Dorado
County) Echo Summit: Work continues on the $1.9 million project to
reconstruct rock wall barriers, re-line drainage culverts, and replace weather
station equipment on U.S Highway 50 near the Echo Summit. The project is funded in part by the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Visit
Caltrans website www.Way2Tahoe.com
October 23 – October 29
U.S. Highway 50 from Echo Summit Road to Flagpole Gun Mount: Motorists can expect east
and westbound lane closures from 7 a.m.
to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.
A contractor is scheduled for electrical work.
Highway 50 (El Dorado County) from
the Sacramento County line to Bass Lake Road: Work continues on a $31 million
project by El Dorado County to add bus/carpool lanes to U. S. Highway 50 in
south El Dorado County.
October 23 – October 29
U. S. Highway 50 between El
Dorado/Sacramento County line and Bass Lake Road: Motorists can expect various east and
westbound lane and ramp closures from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. Sunday through
Saturday. A crew is scheduled to do striping
and sign work.
U.S. Highway 50 (El Dorado County) U.S. 50/Missouri Flat Interchange Improvements: Work
has resumed on a $40.5 million project.
The project includes:
reconfiguration to a four-lane interchange, auxiliary lanes between the
interchange and the Forni Road/Western Placerville Drive Interchange; widening,
addition of a bike/pedestrian facility between Missouri Flat Road and
Placerville Drive. Completion is expected in the fall of 2011.
October 23 – October 29
U. S. Highway 50 at Missouri Flat Road
overcrossing: Motorists can expect
one-way traffic control (north and southbound on local cross-street) closures
from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. Sunday
through Saturday. A contractor is
scheduled to do bridge work.
Highway 50 (El
Dorado County) at Latrobe to El Dorado Hills Blvd: Motorists can expect east
and westbound lane and ramp closures from 12 a.m.
(Midnight) to 5 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday. A contractor is scheduled for drainage and paving
U.S. Highway 50 (El Dorado County) in South Lake Tahoe: Work has begun on a $40.6
million project to widen shoulders, construct new sidewalks, add bike lanes,
install new roadside drainage systems and improve signal operations from Trout
Creek Bridge to Ski Run Blvd. Completion is expected in 2013.
23 – October 28
U. S. Highway 50 (El Dorado County) from
Blue Lake Avenue to Ski Run Boulevard:
Motorists can expect intermittent east and westbound #1 & #2 lane
closures from 7 p.m. Sunday through (11 a.m. Friday) Friday. A contractor is scheduled to do miscellaneous
work and wrapping up for the construction season.
89 (El Dorado County) from El Dorado
County between the Alpine County line and U.S. Highway 50: Work continues on a $25 million project to
widen the shoulders to 4-foot minimum, construct curb and gutters, and rehabilitate
and construct new drainage facilities.
This project allows for roadway runoff to be directed to treatment
collection facilities including infiltration swales, rock energy dissipaters
and sand collection traps/vaults. Completion is expected in fall of 2011.
October 24 – October 28
State Route 89 (El Dorado County) from
Alpine County Line to junction of U.S. Highway 50: Motorists can expect one-way traffic control
from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. A contractor is scheduled for drainage work.
State Route 28(Placer County) from Stag Drive to Cal-Neva Drive: Motorists can expect
up to 10 minute delays east and westbound
#1,#2 lane and shoulder closures
from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through (12 Noon Friday) Friday. A contractor is scheduled to do permit work
U.S. Highway 50 (El Dorado County) from Snow Road to Sawmill
Road: Motorists can expect east and
westbound lane and ramp closures from 12 a.m. (Midnight) Sunday
through 12 a.m.(Midnight) Friday. A
contractor is scheduled to do bridge work.
U.S. Highway 50 (El Dorado County) from Sawmill Road to Ice
House Road: Motorists can expect east
and westbound lane and ramp closures from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through
(11a.m. Friday) Friday. A
contractor is scheduled to do paving and electrical work.
U.S. Highway 50 (El Dorado County) from Division of Highway
Drive to Pyramid Creek: Motorists can expect east and westbound lane closures
from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. A Caltrans crew is scheduled to do ditch
89 (El Dorado County) from Bliss State Park Road to Pine Street
/Tahoma: Motorists can expect north and southbound #1,#2 lane and shoulder closures from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. A Caltrans crew is scheduled to do tree work.
89 (Placer County) Tan Tavern/
Granlibakken to the State Route 28 Junction in Tahoe City: Motorists can expect
one-way traffic control from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through (12 Noon
Friday) Friday. A contractor is
scheduled to do profile grinding road work.
Route 89 (Placer County) from Squaw
Valley Road to Squaw Creek: Motorists
can expect one-way traffic control from 8
a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday through (12 Noon Friday) Friday. A contractor is scheduled to do pavement
Route 89 (Placer County) from Squaw
Creek to Pole Creek Road: Motorists can
expect one-way traffic control from 7
a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through (11 a.m. Friday) Friday. A contractor is scheduled to do drainage
Route 174 (Placer County) from State
Route 174 / Interstate 80 Separator to the Nevada County Line: Motorists can expect one-way traffic control
from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through
Thursday. A contractor is scheduled
to do miscellaneous work.
193 (El Dorado County) at Junction
State Route 49 in Cool to Sliger Mine Road:
Motorists can expect one-way traffic control from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Saturday. A contractor is scheduled
to do paving work.
267 (Placer County) from Nevada
County Line/ Airport Road to Northstar Drive: Motorists can expect one-way
traffic control from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Monday through (1 p.m. Friday) Friday (Motorists
can expect up to 15 minute delays) A contractor is
scheduled to striping / marking work.
Caltrans District Traffic Management Branch has reviewed each project and
determined that individual project delays are expected to be less than the
statewide policy maximum of 30 minutes, unless noted otherwise above.
are numbered from the center divide (#1) to the shoulder (#2, 3, 4, etc.).
schedule changes may occur. For current information on roadwork, delays, road
conditions and emergency closures, call the voice-activated Caltrans Highway
Information Network (CHIN) at 800-427-7623 (ROAD) or visit the Caltrans website
the latest chain control information in the Northern Sierra, visit the Caltrans
District 3 North Region Winter Operations website located at:
Best Buys for the Week of October 16th -22nd
Lake Tahoe 9105 Hwy 89 Rubicon Lakefront
$4,650,000 (2 houses) 7
Bedrooms 6.5 Baths Private delightful Lake Tahoe.
Approx.100 feet of Gold Coast white sandy beaches. Incredible panoramic lakeviews, private pier and 2 buoys.
$1,575,000 4 Bedrooms 3.5 Baths
Desirable Painted Rock in a cul-de-sac. Three fireplaces, alarm, outdoor b-b-q on deck, central vac, in
floor heat, and much more. Resort at Squaw Creek amenities
Lahontan Golf Community 8424 Jake Teeter Truckee
|MLS#20110548$1,695,000 4 Bedrooms 4.5 Baths
Kurt Reinkens-designed, rustic trusses, finely crafted mountain home. Great room and media room. Social and Golf Membership included.
Custom Home 1708 Grouse Ridge Northstar Ski Resort
$1,149,900 4 Bedrooms 4.5 Baths
Mountain views, soaring ceilings, several suites, family room and office. In floor heating, rock fireplace, french doors. Bank Owned.
Tahoe Donner 16017 Northwoods Blvd Truckee
$449,900 4 Bedrooms 3 Baths
Spacious floor plan with open kitchen and high ceilings. Great room, large back deck and oversized 2 car garage. HOA amenities.
Ski Area Cabin 1602 Deer Park Alpine Meadows
$550,000 4 Bedrooms 3 Baths
Large driveway with detached 2 car garage and studio apartment above. Huge
front deck with mountain views and full wall sliding glass doors.
Brand New 10228 Winter Creek Loop Truckee
$429,000 3 Bedrooms 2 Baths
Brand single story design, under construction. Includes standard finishes.Buyer may up-grade and pick out custom
Donner Lake 14425 Denton Ave Truckee
$410,000 3 Bedrooms 2 Baths
South facing with views of Donner Lake and surrounding mountains. Vaulted
ceilings, loft and 2 decks add to the value.
Highland Green 575 Village Rd Tahoe City
$419,000 3 Bedrooms 2 BathsLarge in a forested setting with a large front deck. Open living spaces and high ceilings. Lots of upgrades too.
For information on any of the
West Shore Association
Board of Director’s Meeting
October 29, 2011
8:00 AM at Granlibakken Resort
Please respect others time and allow us to start the meetings on time. Please respect others opinions, which may differ from your own, and allow people to comment freely.
1. Call to Order – Establish Quorum – Introductions
2. Approval of September 15, 2011 meeting minutes
3. Treasurer’s Report – Bill Edic
4. Committee Reports (please see item 6b)
a. Marketing Committee (TBD, Rob nominates Brad Barth)
b. Membership Committee (TBD, Nominations open)
c. Website Committee / Calendar (Dick White)
d. Events Committee (Kay Williams)
5. New Business
6. Old Business
a. Action on proposed meeting times: Even months (2-February, 4-April, 6-June, etc) as is
(third Thursday’s 8am), Odd months (1-January, 3-March, 5-May, etc) third Wednesday’s
5:30pm (meet at odd places, ie: revolving West Shore businesses)
b. Nominations for Committee Chairs, (Website and Events confirmation; see Item 4)
c. Action on Board sending letters of support re: Homewood Mountain Resort to Placer
County and TRPA
d. Action on Board sending letter of support re: Homewood Bike Trail alignment to TCPUD
7. Updates – PLEASE limit updates to 3 minutes if possible
a. Placer County
b. Chamber of Commerce/Community Partners (NLTRA)
c. California State Parks
d. Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Assn (TNT TMA)
e. Tahoe City Public Utility District (TCPUD)
8. Public Comment and Announcements – Comments on any item NOT on the agenda.
Comments will be limited to 3 minutes PLEASE.
9. Next meeting – November 16 at 5:30 p.m. at Sunnyside or November 17 at 8 a.m. at
Granlibakken depending on Item 6a.
Reno Gazette Journal Article
Real Estate: East Shore serves as Tahoe bright spot in quarterly report
The East Shore continued to outperform the rest of the Lake Tahoe real estate market, which saw home values fall overall during the third quarter.
The median price for a single-family home in Lake Tahoe fell 10 percent to $370,500 from July to September, according to Chase International’slatest housing report. Average price also fell to $630,984 —an 11 percent drop. Unit sales fell by 4 percent to 712 units.
One bright spot was the East Shore, which continued its positive pace from the second quarter. The median price for an East Shore home in the third quarter was $575,000, up 7 percent from the previous quarter. East Shore also posted a 51 percent jump in average price to $1.4 million.
The positive numbers for East Shore were fueled by high-end home sales. Although East Shore unit sales fell by
9 percent to 59 units, sales volume rose by 30 percent to $80 million. More than a third of East Shore sales involved
homes priced more than $1 million.
Despite, the negative numbers overall, Chase expects 2011 to get a shot in the arm from the activity seen in high-end homes.
“We are starting to see the return of the high-end buyer with especially the East Shore experiencing some substantial high-end sales,” said Sue Lowe, corporate vice president for Chase International. “With the increase of high-end sales, we are
anticipating a boost in end-of-year numbers.”
Truckee experienced some stabilization from this time last year, seeing a 16-percent increase in units sold and a 21-percent bump in units sold for less than a million.
The median price of a home in Truckee was $435,000, a 12 percent drop, and the average price was $554,744, also a decrease of 12 percent.
Schaffer’s Mill, final opportunity to take advantage of the
low $1000 Enrollment Fee (and delay any dues payments until May of 2012!).
Schaffer’s Mill recently introduced the Membership
Reservation offering, and it has been extremely well received. In fact, nearly
20 new Members have joined Schaffer’s Mill since September 1st alone, securing
their low Enrollment Fee before it goes up at the end of the season.
Essentially our Membership Reservation program allows someone to lock-in the
current $1,000 enrollment fee and delay any dues responsibility until May of
The details of the Membership Reservation are as follows:
· Enrollees pay the
$1,000 non-refundable Enrollment Fee between now and October 31, 2011 (this
locks-in the current Enrollment Fee, which we have officially confirmed will be
raised at the end of this season)
· Upon payment of the
Enrollment Fee, dues responsibilities may be delayed until May 2012, at which
time the annual dues payment of $4,500 is required
· At the point the
$1,000 Enrollment Fee is paid, those with a reservation may access the golf
course for the remainder of this season at the Member Accompanied Guest Rate of
$80 per player
With an increased Enrollment Fee on the horizon and the
incredibly easy and affordable Membership Reservation program on the table,
there’s simply never been a better time to become a Member at Schaffer’s Mill
Club. The Membership Reservation program
is a limited time offer and will expire at the end of October.
Have you seen this exciting new building under construction on Donner Pass Road in Truckee? It is the expanded, state-of-the-art Cancer Center due to open the summer of 2012. As a member of the Cancer Advisory Council since its inception, along with other community business leaders, I share a common vision to help shape the future of cancer care in our community. I am excited to be a member of this dynamic group of volunteers and especially excited to tell you about the Community for Cancer Care Endowment. Funds raised through this Endowment will support unique patient and family services and create sustainable programs providing exceptional care, while allowing patients to remain close to home and in our community throughout their treatment.
Tahoe Forest Cancer Center, led by Medical Director Laurence Heifetz, MD, FACP and Medical Oncologist Hematologist, Ahrin Koppel, MD., is creating a national model for rural cancer care in our community. In addition, Tahoe Forest Cancer Center is a proud affiliate of the UC
Davis Cancer Care Network, an organization that unites five hospital-based cancer care centers dedicated to providing high quality health care.
Through the UC Davis Cancer Care Network program, the collaboration allows patients access to cutting edge cancer research with the latest clinical trials and diagnostic techniques. Another important feature of the network is the Virtual Tumor Board where all network sites are linked through state-of-the-art telemedicine technology, giving oncologists and medical staff, convenient opportunities to meet via
real-time video conferencing to share medical information, and reach consensus on patient treatment plans. These sessions are also utilized to evaluate appropriate clinical trial opportunities and other specialty care.
The keystone of the endowment is the Circle of Life. The Circle of Life is a beautiful work of art, comprised of inlaid stonework, which will greet our patients in the entryway of the new Tahoe Forest Cancer Center. This eight-foot Circle of Life represents our community of generosity with 520 naming opportunities. The goal of this unique artwork is to embrace our patients with the knowledge that they are supported by our community with hope and positive energy as they seek treatment and wellness.
I invite you add your name (or the name of a loved one) in the Circle of Life. The deadline to secure your space is October 28, 2011
We are also scheduling Hard Hat Tours for small groups. If you are interested in touring this amazing building while it’s under construction and learn more about naming opportunities, please call the Tahoe Forest Health System Foundation at (530) 582-6329 to schedule a tour and be sure to mention my name.
I encourage you to visit the official website for the Community for Cancer Care
Endowment at www.endowment4cancercare.com
to learn more. I hope you will join me in supporting our efforts.
Trinkie Watson, Founding Member
Cancer Advisory Council
530 582 0722
Lake Tahoe, Sonoma, Marin & Murphys…Introduction to Homeownership in three different regions of Northern California.
Mother Nature gave a taste of winter yesterday and today when an Arctic blast brought the first snow of the season to the region, resulting in a dusting of snow around the lake and in the mountains. There are mixed feelings across the area….do you want more warm weather or are you ready for winter? It seems as though we are going to skip the fall season but with higher temperatures forecasted for later in the week it should feel more like fall this weekend. Nevertheless, it is a great reason to get that ski season pass locked in or the ski lease/vacation rental deposit in! If you need assitance located a ski lease this year let us know and we can help you out.
Here is a link to Squaw Valley USA webcam http://www.squaw.com/base-cam?WT.mc_id=fs_10.5
Short Sale vs. Foreclosure: A Short Sale Always Wins
by Christopher Reale on October 4, 2011 ·
We are again honored to have Christopher Reale, Director of Short Sale Operations at Lepizzera and Laprocina Title and Escrow Services, as today’s guest blogger. He is an expert on the short sale process and will share his knowledge with us on a regular basis. – The KCM Crew
Today’s ever changing real estate industry has brought upon some very challenging questions from our clients. We as counselors, want to put forth the best, non-emotional advice that we can, in hopes that we can help our clients and their families navigate the rough waters of the short sale process.
The most prevalent question and one that continues to permeate the industry is:
“Why should a seller go through the short sale process rather than letting their house be foreclosed upon?”
While we cannot speak to every client circumstance, we can say one thing with complete conviction. In almost all instances in which a potential seller is contemplating whether they should short sell their house or let it go through the foreclosure process, a short sale is the better option. The following are examples to consider:
Example A- Short Sale
Mr. Smith owns a home in which he has a mortgage balance of $220,000 and a current market value of $150,000. Mr. Smith has elected to short sell his property. His Realtor successfully obtains a buyer who puts forth an offer price of $120,000 (80% current market value according to Realty Trac Foreclosure Report 5/26/2011). After reviewing the buyers offer and the financial hardship information from Mr. Smith, Mr Smith’s bank agrees to accept the short payoff of $120,000 which would leave a deficiency balance of $100,000.
The transaction closes and is final. Mr. Smith then pulls his credit report 30 days after the transaction takes place. On the report he notices that the mortgage trade line states “Mortgage debt was settled for less than full” and the balance on the mortgage is $0. Mr. Smith is now on the road to financial recovery.
Example B- Foreclosure
For the ease of illustration we will use the same value and mortgage debt amounts as in Example A. However, Mr. Smith has elected to forgo the short sale process and let the bank foreclose on the property. The bank holding his mortgage facilitates the proper legal procedures to foreclose on the property, all of which are costly. Mr. Smith is notified and his property foreclosed upon of which is taken back by the bank to sell as an REO.
Six months later, the bank finally sells Mr. Smith’s home only they sell it for $90,000 (60% of current market value according to Realty Trac Foreclosure report dated 5/26/2011). Remember, as a short sale, the home would have sold for $120,000 keeping the deficiency to $100,000. In addition to the deficiency now being $130,000, the bank has elected to add on legal costs of $15,000 and asset preservation costs of another $5000 for a total deficiency liability of $150,000. Mr. Smith pulls his credit report 30 days after being notified that the bank has sold his property and of his liability.
On the report he notices that the mortgage trade line states “Foreclosure” and the balance is $150,000. Because of Mr Smith’s choice to choose foreclosure vs. short sale his road to financial recovery has taken a major detour. He not only has a foreclosure on his credit report but know has a much larger deficiency balance in which the bank, in most cases, will report on his credit report as a balance owed.
The Best Option is Clear
While the financial and credit advantages are clear when choosing a short sale over a foreclosure, other advantages are sometimes overlooked. The most important of all of them is maintaining the seller’s dignity and peace of mind. We have heard too many stories of families having to leave their homes because of a Sheriff’s order or some other type of legal action. The short sale process alleviates this negative social impact. The process puts the control back in the seller’s hands so that they can get back on the road to financial recovery and start providing for their families. In the battle of the two evils, a short sale always wins!!!
Selling? Waiting Until the Spring Makes No Sense
by The KCM Crew
Late last year, banks were warned that they needed to guarantee that the paperwork necessary to start a foreclosure process on a family was both accurate and complete. Since then, the banks have slowed down the foreclosure process while they re-examined their procedures. They are now confident that all the required documentation is in order. We are currently waiting on a settlement between the banks and the state attorneys general which will establish what penalties will be assessed.
Once this settlement is reached, the banks will again move forward on many homes which are currently stalled at some stage in the foreclosure process.
How many homes are we talking about?
There are millions of homes in this category. Calculated Risk quantified the situation:
“There are a large number of seriously delinquent mortgage loans in limbo waiting for this settlement. According to LPS, at the end of August there were about 1.87 million loans seriously delinquent and another 2.15 million loans in the foreclosure process. This is only down slightly from a year ago when 4.4 million loans were seriously delinquent or in-foreclosure. Once the settlement is reached, the pace of foreclosures will pick up sharply.
The pace will “pick up sharply”.
As more foreclosures come to the market at discounted prices, there will be greater downward pressure on all housing values. Waiting for the spring selling season to put your house on the market may not make sense this year. The increase in demand may be overshadowed by an increased supply of distressed properties.
|Open House at The Buckhorn Ridge
Squaw and Alpine Join Forces
Today we are excited to announce something that season passholders have long dreamed about. Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows are combining operations. Now, with the 2011-12 season pass you purchased for Squaw Valley, you can also ski and ride Alpine Meadows.
If you know someone who still needs to buy a pass, tell them about the Tahoe Super Pass. It’s a tremendous value starting at $439 for both resorts. Additionally, those who purchased Alpine Meadows passes will be able to ski and ride Squaw Valley with their Alpine Pass. To make it easy to access both mountains we’ll be providing a regular daily shuttle between them.
Like many of you, I have stood at the top of KT-22 and looked at Alpine Meadows thinking how incredible it would be if the two resorts were combined. The idea of combining Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows is a long time coming, but the actual transaction originated, very fittingly, on a chairlift.
It was on a spectacular California bluebird day when I happened to be riding a chairlift with Todd Chapman, President and CEO of JMA (the owners of Alpine Meadows). We were talking about what an amazing winter we were all enjoying and lamenting that we didn’t have more time to get out and enjoy the snow.
As the chairlift ride came to an end the talk turned to the obvious concerning our two mountain resorts. In the end, this was an effort forged in a passion for the mountains, snow, skiing, and riding. I’m honored to lead the new company that has been formed as its President and CEO.
I know I’m not the only one who is looking forward to skiing both resorts with one pass. Our customer research showed that the number one choice of Squaw Valley skiers and riders, when not skiing or riding Squaw, is Alpine Meadows. The number one resort frequented by Alpine Meadows customers, after Alpine, is Squaw. It’s not surprising since both resorts offer incredible terrain and breathtaking natural beauty.
I am truly thrilled to be making this announcement today and hope you will join me in celebrating as, together, we make history.
Andy Wirth, President & CEO
We couldn’t be more excited about the merger of these two resorts!
Here is a link to another article on this topic. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j75XO1H6DnEQHhcx7eD5UEyxpaMw?docId=ae0f624d4a22458283c11a1d70048410
13,780 Homes Sold Yesterday
by The KCM Crew on September 26, 2011 · 3 comments
To all those who have declared the real estate market dead, we want you to know that over 13,780 houses sold yesterday, 13,780 will sell today and 13,780 will sell tomorrow.
That is the average number of homes that sell each and every day in this country according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) latest Existing Home Sales Report. NAR reported that sales had increased 7.7% over the month before and 18.6% over the year before. According to the report, annualized sales now stand at 5.03 million. Divide that number by 365 (days in a year) and we can see that, on average, well over 13,000 homes sell every day.
We realize that these numbers are below the record for homes sold in 2006. We also know that we may never see those numbers again (and that is probably a good thing). But to say that the current real estate market is dead or that houses are not selling is totally inaccurate. We have over 13,000 pieces of evidence to prove that.
All. I. Can. Truckee World Tour Stop, w/ Drop Theory
100% of raffle $ and 25% of door goes to High Fives!
$20, tix on sale soon at 50-50, High Fives, or contact me.
Watch the trailer, get pumped up, come see the film and the show!
Truckee Down Payment
Last year 10 homebuyers were selected to receive down
payment assistance money. This year the Town hopes to assist 12 folks in their
effort to enter the residential market as homeowners. A huge “win” for real
estate professionals was also secured in Round 2; specifically, the ability of
two Agents under the same Broker to participate in these Town assisted sales.
Some might recall that when Round 1 of the program was rolled out it had a
serious policy impediment. The objective of ensuring an “arm’s length”
transaction was implemented via a policy with disallowed two agents within the
same office (i.e., same broker of record) to participate in a given sale. As
such, if an agent within a given local firm was the listing agent for the
property, then under the old policy, the buyers’ representatives could not be
affiliated with the same broker. Our organization identified this policy as a
real and unnecessary impediment to facilitating these first-time homebuyer
transactions. TSBOR expressed its misgivings with the policy, and were assured
that it would be revisited before Round 2 kicked off. Well, it has been
reconsidered, and the new/current implementation policy will reportedly allow
for both a buyer and a seller to be represented by agents within the same
office (i.e., under the same broker).
Dates, Details, & Deadlines: Application packages, along
with program participation guidelines, will be available on August 9, 2011 in
the Town Manager’s wing of Town Hall, and can also be found on the Town’s
website (www.townoftruckee.com) under
Departments, Affordable Housing. The
deadline to submit completed application is Thursday, September 8, 2011, no
later than 5:00 p.m. The completed application package must be submitted
to the Program Operator, JoAnn Anders. She can be reached by phone at (530)
272-5395, or via e-mail at [email protected]
This down payment assistance program was established to
bring our local residents and workers into the housing market as vested members
of the community. It is structured in such a way that respects the free market,
property ownership and value appreciation, along with a very reasonable
repayment plan. Check it out, it’s a model template for giving folks “a hand
up, not a hand out”, expanding the American Dream of homeownership, and
ensuring that both the participant and the Town are made whole at the end of
the day. A win-win!
America’s Best Places to Live, 2011
With the current state of the economy — and the dispiriting sight of the nation’s leaders endlessly battling about how to fix it — the phrase “small town” conjures up images of a happier time. When unemployment wasn’t above 9%. When people didn’t stress out about home values. When school budgets weren’t under siege. Those were the days, right?
|More from CNNMoney.com|
“Those days” are right now — if you know where to go. A team of seven MONEY reporters spent months combing through reams of data provided by OnBoard Informatics and other sources and fanning out across the country to identify small towns (those with populations of less than 50,000) that stand out in the qualities American families care about most.
The goal: Find the best combination of job opportunities, fiscal strength, top-notch schools, safe streets, good healthcare, cultural and outdoor activities, even nice weather. The result: MONEY’s 100 Best Places to Live. The top 10 follow.
No. 10 – Chanhassen, MN
|Chanhassen, MN is 10th.
Photo: Bob Firth
Despite some 2011 budgetary brouhahas in the state of Minnesota, Chanhassen has plenty going for it — including good jobs right within its borders (manufacturing and technology company Emerson is based here), evening diversion (the Chanhassen Dinner Theater is the nation’s oldest and largest), and nature galore (34 parks, 11 lakes, and the enormous Minnesota Landscape Arboretum). The town’s new state-of-the-art high school has racked up some national awards in just its second year. — Ismat Sarah Mangla
No. 9 – Mukilteo, WA
|Mukilteo, WA is 9th.
Photo: Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce
As West Coast towns go, Mukilteo (pronounced MUCK-ill-TEE-oh) is in good economic shape. Bank-owned homes represent a small fraction of houses on the market, and area employers, including Boeing, are hiring again. It has affordable homes by Seattle standards, good schools, and a killer location right on Puget Sound. And the town is spending to beef up its attractions: A new 29,000-square-foot community center debuted in February, and historic Lighthouse Park recently got a makeover. — Sarah Max
No. 8 – Middleton, WI
|Middleton, WI is 8th.
Photo: Ismat Sarah Mangla
Middleton is right next to state capitol Madison and boasts 17,000 jobs right in town (employers include pharmaceutical company PPD and Electronic Theater Controls, the world’s biggest theater lighting company). Its walkable downtown has plenty of good restaurants, shops, and quirky attractions (National Mustard Museum, anyone?). Even its developments are cool: a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired mixed-use project thoughtfully blends homes and businesses. And Middleton offers residents lots of parks and trails — including a new free splash park. — Ismat Sarah Mangla
No. 7 – Liberty, MO
|Liberty, MO is 7th.
Photo: Vanessa Richardson
Known to tourists as the town where Jesse James’ gang staged its first daytime bank robbery–and where Mormon prophet Joseph Smith languished in jail before fleeing west–Liberty today is a charming place with a quick commute to Kansas City’s mix of jobs in telecom, engineering, and life sciences. The school district is consistently ranked as one of Missouri’s best; student musicians play in a new state-of-the-art facility, and budding broadcast journalists have their own public-access channel. William Jewell College, with its lovely hilltop campus overlooking Liberty, lets residents take advantage of many cultural offerings. — Vanessa Richardson
No. 6 – Hanover, NH
|Hanover, NH is 6th.
Photo: Pieter van Noordennen
Dartmouth College, located in this hamlet near the White Mountains, gives Hanover an economic, social, and cultural advantage rare in towns so far from major urban centers. Unemployment in town is about half the statewide average (Dartmouth and its top-rated medical center provide over 12,000 jobs). Graduate programs spin out entrepreneurial start-ups in almost every industry. Housing — which ranges from century-old Victorians to new construction — isn’t cheap, however. And students account for some fraternity-style rowdiness. — Pieter van Noordennen
No. 5 – Papillion, NE
|Papillion, NE is 5th.
Photo: City of Papillion
Nebraska, sexy? You’d better believe it. With agriculture booming, towns here are showing employment and housing-market strength that’s the envy of the coasts.
Papillion is no exception; its economy benefits from a broad base of industries, including health care and transportation, in nearby Omaha.
In June, energy company Black Hills Corp. moved its local headquarters — and 130 jobs — here. There are also excellent schools, a five-month-old AAA baseball stadium, a new retail and restaurant complex, and loads of green space. — Sarah Max
No. 4 – Leesburg, VA
|Leesburg, VA is 4th.
Photo: Pieter van Noordennen
Leesburg, which snuggles up to the Virginia-Maryland border, offers proximity to plenty of good jobs not just in government but also in defense contracting, consulting, and technology. True, commutes can be abysmal. But residents say that the tradeoff to live in this pretty town, which has seen more history than a Ken Burns film, is worth it. Many antebellum red-brick buildings still stand, now filled with restaurants and art galleries. On the negative side, there are some run-down neighborhoods. — Pieter van Noordennen
No. 3 – Solon, OH
|Solon, OH is 3rd.
Photo: City of Solon
Solon is a small town with a large tax base: Major employers include Nestle, L’Oreal, and industrial equipment maker Swagelok. Solon punches above its weight in other areas too. Health care? The world-renowned Clevelend Clinic has a family health center here. Culture? Solon has its own philharmonic orchestra. Schools? Solon was the highest-achieving district in Ohio last year. And the student body is diverse: 11% of residents are black, 10% Asian. — Anne C. Lee
No. 2 – Milton, MA
|Milton, MA is 2nd.
Photo: City of Milton
Milton is just minutes from the jobs and culture of Boston but feels in places like a country getaway. Tree-lined streets are dotted with historic homes. Single-family home prices have remained essentially unchanged since the market’s peak in 2005. One major reason for this stability is the outstanding school system, which boasts six brand-new buildings and offers such rich opportunities as a French immersion program that begins in elementary school. The downside: high taxes. — Ismat Sarah Mangla
No. 1 – Louisville, CO
|Louisville, CO is 1st.
Photo: Brad Kemp/City of Louisville
This sunny, lively mountain town is safe (crime rates are among the lowest in Colorado) and easy to navigate. Lots of good jobs in tech, telecom, aerospace, clean energy, and health care can be found right in Louisville, and more are on their way. And there’s world-class mountain biking, hiking, and skiing in the nearby Rockies. Real estate prices have barely budged since 2005, yet a typical three-bedroom house here still runs less than a comparable one in nearby Boulder. Its schools consistently rank among the top three academically in the Denver area. — Jessica Levine
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The Economy: Why All the Panic?
by The KCM Crew on August 17, 2011 ·
For the last couple of weeks, all we have heard is how bad the current economic situation is. “The markets are going to crash and interest rates are going to skyrocket.” Panic has definitely engulfed the entire country.
Consumer confidence, as measured by the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Survey, has fallen to a number not seen in thirty years. This panic has actually had a negative impact on the economy.
It was said best by Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy:
“Confidence normally reflects economic conditions; it doesn’t shape them…
Yet at times, particularly during economic turning points, cause and effect can shift. Sentiment can be so harmed that businesses, consumers and investors freeze up, turning a gloomy outlook into a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is one of those times.”
What does the data actually show?
We decided to look at certain economic indicators and compare them to the numbers from a year ago. Here is what we found:
We are not making the argument that the current numbers are worth celebrating. We are only suggesting that the sky is not falling.
Conditions aren’t as dire as some are professing. Make good sound financial decisions based on your own economic conditions. There is no need to panic.
As you know, Squaw Valley is an incredible and diverse mountain, and we are committed to honoring every aspect of the mountain’s history, legacy, and legend. Last December we announced that we would be investing $50 million in Squaw Valley in the next three to five years and I know many of you have been waiting to hear how we’ll spend that money. I am excited to share with you some of the initial phases of this transformative capital plan, which we are calling “Squaw’s Renaissance.”
Every improvement that we will be making for next winter and the seasons to follow stems from listening. We have spent the last six months listening to the complaints, praise, suggestions and wishes of our passholders, skiers, riders, guests, and employees. We also conducted extensive research with people who don’t ski or ride here to discover why that is. We’ve learned that the very caliber of this mountain may have kept some visitors away, and we are dedicated to creating an approachable and friendly experience for our guest of every ability level. Whether someone skis 135 days a year or two, we wanted to know what it was that we could do to make their experience better.
The projects below are a direct result of what we heard and these improvements are just the beginning. Over the next five years we will continue to listen to you as we improve our lifts, shops, restaurants and on mountain facilities.
I hope you will join us this winter to experience the beginning of the new Squaw Valley during these exciting times.
President & Chief Executive Officer
YEAR ONE: Winter 2011-12 / $15 Million
Squaw Valley USA will be investing approximately $15 million in base area and on-mountain improvements for the 2011-12 winter season to improve the guest experience in the following:
Realizing that Terrain Parks are critically important to many customers, Squaw Valley is placing a renewed focus on creating terrain parks with a variety of small, medium and large features for the upcoming winter season. With significant resources allotted for terrain park improvements, Squaw Valley’s parks will have new boxes and rail features in addition to high-quality jumps and snow features. The resort will also add benches in key areas of the parks and at the top of key chairlifts for snowboarders looking to strap in or relax, and enjoy the majestic views.
New Grooming Machines
After purchasing six new grooming machines during the 2010-11 season, Squaw Valley will be further improving their grooming program this winter with the addition of four new snowcats and new winch ‘pick points’ to enable enhanced grooming on popular terrain. Squaw Valley will also be releasing a new grooming map for the 2011-12 winter season so the resort’s groomed terrain will be easier to find than ever before.
Upper Funitel Terminal
Those riding North America’s only Funitel (28-person gondola) will now arrive to a welcoming space at the Gold Coast Complex. The once utilitarian space will be transformed with new ceiling panels, new flooring and new lighting. New lockers will also be installed for increased on-mountain storage and restrooms will be doubled in capacity. The Gold Coast Complex will also be host to North America’s first ski-up coffee shop, which will serve as a fun and innovate way for skiers and riders to get their daily dose of caffeine.
New Information Boards
To assist skiers and riders in making the most of their runs, Squaw Valley has partnered with Lumiplan and Brand Connections to create new state-of-the-art information boards. Squaw Valley will be the only ski resort in North America to offer this technology. Functioning like the flight information boards found in airports around the world, Squaw Valley’s information boards will display real-time lift status updates as well as projected lift opening times and reasons for delays, should they occur. The information boards will also designate which runs were groomed overnight.
Additional features of Squaw Valley’s new communications system will include iPhone app features such as location-based viewing which will interact with the new mountain map. Squaw Valley will use leading-edge technology that has been previously implemented at top European ski resorts.
New Trail Names & Mountain Map
This winter, Squaw Valley’s ski runs will have formally established trail names for the first time in the resort’s 62-year history, making the mountain more accessible than ever before. Squaw Valley is working with artist Gary Milliken to generate new trail map artwork. In addition to the artwork, Squaw Valley is simultaneously naming and assigning degree of difficulty levels to the never-before-named ski runs at the Lake Tahoe resort. Choosing from hundreds of unofficial trail names used by ski patrol, grooming teams and long-time Squaw skiers and riders, Squaw Valley has named runs from top to bottom, opting to use the most popular names of many of the ski runs.
New Mountain Signage
Squaw Valley will be installing all new on-mountain signage for the upcoming ski season. The new signage will ensure that Squaw Valley’s 4,000 acres of inspiring terrain are easily navigated by skiers and riders of all ability levels. Approximately 200 new signs designating trail names and difficulty ratings will now mark Squaw Valley’s trails. The resort will also implement grooming flipper signs designating which runs were groomed overnight, as well as “Easiest Way Down” signs at the top of main lifts marking the least difficult routes from the top of the run to the bottom.
NEW FOOD & DINING EXPERIENCES:
New Village Restaurant & Bar
Centrally located with the best views of the mountain, this new food and drink experience will anchor the Village’s dining scene. The current Blue Coyote will be re-launched as the place to be for cocktails on the outdoor patio, cold brews, signature drinks and great dinners for groups of all sizes. From rockin’ burgers to seasonally fresh salads and not-to be-missed appetizers for sharing, skiers, riders and resort guests alike will feel comfortable in their own spot here. Inspiration for the new space will come from real people, amazing athletes and the mind-blowing lore that have made Squaw the legend that it is. The space is designed to give all Squaw enthusiasts a chance to celebrate and tell the stories of their runs, tricks and mountain discoveries through easy to use and share technology features. Whether it’s posting a helmet cam video from the day on the restaurant’s TVs or choosing the late-night bar playlist from one’s iPhone, the color and vibe at this hot spot is truly one of a kind, just like its guests.
Revitalized KT-Sundeck at Olympic House
Squaw Valley’s iconic peak, KT-22, is the backdrop for the now equally as epic après ski party hosted on the deck at Olympic House. KT-Sundeck will be completely redesigned as the ultimate spot for skiers, riders and guests to gather and bask in the day’s adventures, the mountain’s afternoon light and the energy of great times. The sundeck will be enhanced with outdoor fire pits for lingering, live music and an industry-first, on-mountain K-banas, Squaw’s own cabanas with views of KT-22. For those looking to reconnect with friends and family, the K-banas will provide an intimate après ski experience. The entire KT-Sundeck will feature an indoor/outdoor bar serving beer, cocktails, pitchers of specialty margaritas and just about anything one can think of to toast the day. Great bar food and snacks will satisfy the biggest appetite including flatbread pizzas, burgers and appetizers for sharing. Just inside, a walk-up stand invites guests to indulge in big-on-flavor burritos, burgers and pizzas for on-the-go food and beverage options. Eating areas inside will be enhanced with comfortable seating options–and, as always, incredible mountain views.
Bar One Lounge at Olympic House
The current Bar One space will be enclosed to create a new dining and beverage concept for guests who desire a more relaxed experience. A signature chef’s harvest table will offer an ever-changing, seasonally inspired menu that allows guests to savor fresh soups, salads, antipasti, hand-carved meats and desserts. The new area will be home to afternoon events such as wine and chocolate tastings.
Top of the Funitel Market & Café
The current Crossroad Cafe will be transformed into an on-mountain market designed especially for the skiers and riders who want to hit the slopes right away. Wired for convenience and flavor, the menu will offer breakfast sandwiches, performance-oriented snacks (including a make your own trail mix), homemade soups, hot and cold sandwiches and pocket-ready desserts. In addition, a new signature dessert called Funi-Cakes, created with a nod to the resort’s high-speed Funitel, may quickly become the most craved item on the mountain. Reminiscent of a cross between a tasty doughnut and a funnel cake, warm Funi-Cakes are topped with sweet cream cheese, chocolate, cinnamon sugar or fresh berries.
Wildflour at Olympic House
True to its name, the wildly popular Wildflour Baking Company will expand its appeal this winter. Home of the warm, melt in your mouth cookies beloved by every one of Squaw’s legendary athletes, Wildflour will have an expanded new home in the transformed ground level of Olympic House. With more space to create, the Wildflour menu will expand to include additional breakfast sandwiches, soups and salads to accompany the ever-famous cookies.
NEW SKIER SERVICES:
As phase I of a multi-year program, the evolution of the Snowsports School will include a specific focus on significantly improving the beginner learning experience. Three new magic carpet lifts, new rental gear, progression-based terrain features and a new lesson structure will be in place to assure ease and enjoyment of learning to ski and ride. The new design of the Snowsports School will also provide increased service and a streamlined reservation and registration process for guests of the School.
Additionally, a major portion of the interior of the 17,000 square foot Squaw Kids facility is being remodeled and refurbished. Future plans include improvements to the High Camp beginner complex at el. 8200’, additional magic carpet lifts and on-mountain children’s attractions.
New Snowboard & Demo Rental Center
Squaw Valley’s main snowboard rental shop and demo center will be re-opening in a new slopeside location next to the resort’s main ski rental shop, allowing skiers and riders to effortlessly rent or exchange gear. The new combined snowboard and demo rental center will offer the latest in ski and snowboard technology including a new Salomon rental fleet. The new shops will also offer electronic registration and custom-designed technician pits enabling skiers and riders to get through the shop and on the mountain faster. Squaw Valley offers a truly unique demo program with both a base and a mountaintop demo location, allowing skiers to seamlessly try out the latest skis until they find the perfect fit.
New Salomon Rental Fleet
This season, all skiers and riders will be tackling the mountain with state-of-the art of equipment developed by Salomon. Squaw Valley’s brand new Salomon rental fleet utilizes the latest ski and snowboard technology to deliver exceptional performance on the mountain. The new Salomon rental fleet includes all new rental skis (Salomon Enduro 750LXR) and performance snowboards (Salomon Drift Rocker) which will be available at Squaw Valley’s main ski and snowboard rental shops. Squaw Valley’s main ski rental shop will also offer new men’s and women’s high-performance ski boots with adjustable air bladders to create a comfortable and custom fit (Tecnica Phoenix Max SR Air Shell).
In addition to the resort’s main ski and snowboard rental shops, Squaw Kids Children’s Center will also be renting all new Salomon rental equipment. Kids ages 3 through 12 will enjoy the latest equipment as they develop a true love for winter sports in Squaw Valley’s renowned children’s program.
New Day Lodge & Family Rec Center
The base level of Squaw Valley’s Olympic House base lodge will be transformed into a new day lodge and family recreation center. The area will provide a comfortable and cozy place for families and friends to change into their equipment or relax before or after spending time on the mountain. The area will be expanded to include new windows, opening up the area and creating a spacious venue to gear up or unwind.
New Central Reservations Platform
Booking winter vacations will be easier than ever this winter through Squaw Valley Central Reservations. Customers will now be able to book vacation packages online or over the phone. Through Central Reservations, guests can access the best deals on lift tickets and build a full custom package including lodging and a variety of other amenities. Squaw Valley’s new Central Reservations platform will also offer Live Chat, so users can talk to a sales specialist as they book their winter vacation.
New Sales and Services Center
Located adjacent to Olympic House, Squaw Valley’s new sales and services center will enable skiers and riders to purchase lift tickets, season passes, activity products and sign up for snowsports lessons effortlessly in one place. The new sales center will be designed and outfitted to ensure that guests can get on the mountain as quickly and easily as possible—be it to enjoy the mountaintop pool or take an advanced ski lesson.
The removal of the resort’s ticket portals will eliminate the barrier between the Village and the base area, creating a mountain “beachfront” in the Village providing enhanced views of Squaw Valley’s peaks. This new “beachfront” plaza will serve as a new venue for guests to relax around social fire pits, listen to live music and enjoy delicious make-your-own s’mores.
YEAR TWO: Winter 2012- 13 / $20 Million
Squaw Valley USA will be investing approximately $20 million in capital improvements for the 2012-13 winter season, including significant lift upgrades for the upper mountain.
As part of the five year capital improvement plan, Squaw Valley will be installing two new high-speed detachable lifts—one lift replacing Granite Chief servicing intermediate and advanced terrain, and the other lift replacing the High Camp chairlift. The existing High Camp chairlift will be refurbished and reinstalled in a new location with improved alignment. These new lifts, slated to open for the 2012-13 winter season, will have an uphill capacity of 7,200 skiers per hour, allowing skiers and riders to spend less time on the lifts and more time on the mountain.
The lift upgrades and expanded intermediate groomed runs are designed to maximize the resort’s terrain by ability level. The newly aligned Links and High Camp express chairlifts have been engineered to accommodate the natural fall lines of the High Camp area slopes, allowing beginner and intermediate skiers to easily enjoy all of the terrain that the area has to offer. The improvements will make the area ideal for teaching beginner lessons, allowing new skiers and riders to easily make their first turns of many overlooking beautiful views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra Nevada.
The resort’s new express Granite Chief chairlift will similarly enable intermediate-advanced and advanced skiers and riders to spend less time on the lift and more time floating through the trees, steeps and natural terrain features that make this area some of the most beloved on the mountain.
Squaw Valley’s five year and $50 million capital improvement plan will continue to evolve to include further lift innovations, new experiential concept stores and new mountain adventures for kids and families. Consistent with the theme of current improvement projects, all capital investments will focus on creating the ultimate guest experience at Squaw Valley’s legendary mountain resort.
Time to Buy That Vacation Home
The clouds hanging over upscale vacation-home markets are starting to lift. While prices are still falling in most regions, the luxury segment is picking up, and brokers are reporting more inquiries than they have had in years.
The upshot: If you have the money and plan on staying put for the long term, now may be a good time to buy.
Five years after housing’s peak, markets that once were out of sight even for well-heeled buyers are now in range. On Hilton Head Island, S.C., a three-bedroom home nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Calibogue Sound changed hands in April for $750,000, after having sold for $1.2 million in June 2006. In Vail, Colo., a three-bedroom home that fetched $3.3 million in 2008 sold in February for $2.5 million.
Overall, the median second-home price was $150,000 in 2010, down 11% from 2009 and roughly 25% from 2006, according to the National Association of Realtors. That isn’t pretty, but it is only slightly worse than the 22% drop for the overall housing market. The higher end of the market—homes in the $5 million-plus range—has held up better, says Douglas Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae. “At the top of the market, particularly luxury homes, prices have proven very elastic, and have sprung upward quickly,” he says.
Buyers are taking heed. On Palm Beach Island, Fla., sales were up 50% in the year ending June 30. Transactions in the Hamptons, on New York’s Long Island, jumped 59% in the second quarter from a year earlier. In Aspen, Colo., sales for the year ending May 31 were up 10%.
The number of people looking at properties is up as well: In Vail, Hilton Head and Palm Beach, foot traffic has jumped by at least 30% this year, according to local real-estate agents. “People have frugality fatigue,” says John Burns, president of John Burns Real Estate Consulting Inc. in Irvine, Calif.
This isn’t to suggest the boom is back. In general, properties situated in prime locations—on the water or near a ski slope—are selling well, but homes in less desirable spots are languishing on the market. Banks are increasingly wary of making second-home mortgages, particularly “jumbo” loans above federally guaranteed limits; 10% of banks raised their standards on such loans last year, according to the Federal Reserve. And the tax deduction for mortgage interest on second homes is at risk of being cut back.
Geography is the best guide to today’s vacation markets: In some places prices are holding up, while in others they are still tanking.
The blue-chip market consists of a handful of spots where prices have stabilized and could soon rebound as sales pick up. Some, such as Hilton Head, have benefitted from tough restrictions on building, which kept inventories manageable during the bust. Prices there have risen by 4% during the past year.
The other market is still very much in crash mode. In places like Miami, Fla. and even Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., prices have continued to drop as foreclosed properties flood the market. But bargains abound as sellers cut their asking prices or accept less to unload properties. In March, for example, a three-bedroom home on Palm Beach Island, Fla., listed for $4.6 million sold for just $2.5 million.
With the broader housing market still so sick, it might seem the height of folly to jump into such unpredictable investments now. Even in blue-chip markets there isn’t a guarantee of price appreciation anytime soon. Indeed, over time vacation-home markets don’t do noticeably better than primary-home markets. Homes on Martha’s Vineyard appreciated by 40.9% over the past 10 years, edging out Boston’s 40.5%. But Hilton Head’s 15% gain was trounced by nearby Charleston, S.C.’s 25.4% rise.
Then again, most vacation-home buyers aren’t looking to make big investment profits. More than 80% of second-home buyers surveyed by the National Association of Realtors in May reported that they bought for consumption reasons—to live in the house and enjoy it.
And many second-home buyers are wealthy enough to pay in cash, sidestepping the restrictive and time-consuming mortgage process. Last year, 36% of vacation-home transactions were all-cash deals, up from 29% in 2009, according to the National Association of Realtors. “If you have cash right now, you are in unique position,” says Paul Dales, senior U.S economist with research firm Capital Economics.
If you are thinking of taking the plunge, here is a look at some prominent markets across the country.
These markets are stabilizing and, in some, prices already have started to rise.
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Median home price: $695,000
Median home price five years ago: $1,000,000
Market Snapshot: Situated roughly halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Santa Barbara is starting to reel in wealthier buyers again, says Ken Switzer, a real-estate agent with Prudential California Realty. While prices have plunged since the peak, they have steadied out over the past two years, and sales are starting to jump, according to Paul Suding, president of Santa Barbara’s Association of Realtors. Strict zoning and scarce available land helped protect Santa Barbara from the overbuilding that swept much of California, he says.
Who’s Buying: With interest rates near record lows, restaurant owners Dave and Leah Larson decided it was time to buy. In June, they picked up a four-bedroom ranch-style home for $1.39 million. The couple says the property seems like a great investment because it is on a street where homes recently sold for about $2 million. “We’re very happy and we get the tax savings on the second home,” says Mr. Larson, 39 years old.
Median home price: $781,000
Median home price five years ago: $802,000
Market Snapshot: Housing economists look to Aspen as a luxury-market bellwether. Dotted with upscale boutiques and four-star restaurants, the ski town is welcoming buyers with ample cash on hand, says Steven Shane of SDS Real Estate, a local real-estate broker. Sales of $1 million-and-above are on the rise—especially on the higher end. So far this year, 18 properties priced at $5 million or above have sold, up from 14 in the same period last year.
Who’s Buying: Laura Stovitz, a Los Angeles lawyer, already had a second home in Aspen but couldn’t resist the opportunity to trade up. In April, she sold her town house for $3 million and purchased a $6.5 million home with three bedrooms, an office, gym and adjacent guest house. She says she isn’t worried about falling prices because the posh ski town seems so “European in its appeal and will likely be insulated from the domestic market’s doldrums.”
The Hamptons, N.Y.
Median home price: $680,000
Median home price five years ago: $1,100,000
Market Snapshot: Prices have fallen 42% since their peak, but sales are picking up, say real-estate agents. That’s thanks, in part, to the return of Wall Street bonuses, says David Adamo, chief executive of Luxury Mortgage Corp. in Stamford, Conn. Despite booming sales, prices have fallen in the past year, creating opportunities for buyers, according to Clear Capital, a Truckee, Calif.-based research firm. The best deals, of course, can be found away from the water, where inventories are high and properties are sitting for longer.
Who’s Buying: Jeffrey Ponzo, a retail executive, is still marveling at the deal he got on his ranch-style home with a pool and tennis court in East Quogue, N.Y. The 45-year old New Yorker closed this month on the $950,000 home; a year earlier, it was listed for $1.1 million, he says. “The return on a quality-of-life aspect far exceeds any money I might have saved if I waited for prices to fall further,” he says.
Hilton Head, S.C.
Median home price: $307,000
Median home price five years ago: $574,000
Market Snapshot: Sales are up 17% for the year ending June 30, according to Jim Keilor, a real-estate agent with Hilton Head-based Alliance Group, while prices are ticking up. The vacation spot, famous for its golfing and lush beaches, didn’t see the overbuilding found in places like Phoenix and Las Vegas. “We were insulated from much of the pain elsewhere because we are an island,” Mr. Keilor says. Interest from buyers is back to 2006 levels, says Randy Smith, a real-estate agent on the island.
Who’s Buying: Steve Race, 52, purchased a two-bedroom oceanfront home in April. The former Lockheed Martin executive, who took a buyout in February, wanted a sunny spot at a good price, but didn’t want to brave the “softness” of the foreclosure-scarred Florida markets. He watched prices fall for more than two years, he says, before deciding that even if they fell further he was scoring a good deal on the two-bedroom house he bought for $500,000. Given the uncertainty of the stock market right now, he says, he would rather have his “money invested in a home with real value.”
These areas are still suffering—but bargains abound.
Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.
Median home price: $403,000
Median home price five years ago: $638,000
Market Snapshot: Even though this exclusive northeastern island sidestepped overbuilding during the boom, buyers still seem reluctant, says Sean Federowicz of Coldwell Banker Landmarks, a broker on the island. The problem: Martha’s Vineyard is made up of six different communities, some of which have had waves of foreclosures, says Carol Shore, a real-estate agent on the island. “Even though the $22 million waterfront properties are selling, the lower-end properties are dragging down much of the rest of the market,” she says.
Who’s Buying: In February, Brian Roach and his wife snapped up a three-bedroom house in Oak Bluffs for $740,000, roughly 35% below the asking price. The 53-year-old financial-services executive is comforted by the island’s cachet, which he believes will help prices appreciate down the road. “At some point, you see such low interest rates and good prices and you don’t want to wait anymore,” he says.
Median home price: $385,000
Median home price five years ago: $562,000
Market Snapshot: Unlike its nearby resort cousin, Aspen, Vail experienced a wave of development just as the market crashed, says Josh Lautenberg, owner of Sonnenalp Real Estate in Vail. Since the peak, available inventory has shot up by 40%, he says. Although sales started picking up in 2010, there has been another dip in activity while people “wait to see if the other shoe is going to drop.”
Who’s Buying: Falling prices didn’t discourage Peter Tempkins, a 56-year-old insurance executive, from buying a $370,000 three-bedroom home in May. “My gut feeling is that we didn’t buy at the bottom, we bought one step from the bottom, and for us it was just a great time to buy a place we love,” he says.
Median home price: $130,000
Median home price five years ago: $302,000
Market Snapshot: Miami was among the biggest casualties of the housing crash, in part because a wave of speculative building swept through the market. Prices have fallen 57% percent since 2006, reports Clear Capital, and 10% from last year. But bargains are beginning to attract more foreigners—particularly wealthy Venezuelans looking for a safe haven from President Hugo Chavez, says Michael Internosia, vice president of sales for Pordis Residential, a Miami based real-estate firm, who notes that such buyers made up 35% of his sales so far this year.
Who’s Buying: Sam Mandel considers himself something of a second-home veteran. Last year, the 78-year-old retired physician bought a Hamptons home in Shinnecock Bay, N.Y. In February, he purchased a home in Miami Beach’s Canyon Ranch development for $985,000. The two-bedroom condominium with beach views caught his eye because it was “distinctive and will be easy to resell if need be,” he says.
Palm Beach, Fla.
Median home price: $254,000
Median home price five years ago: $758,000
Market Snapshot: A condo binge during the boom has led to a glut—and shoppers are swarming on low-priced units, says Alex Villacorta, director of research and analytics for Clear Capital. That is presenting bargains at the higher end, says David Fite, owner of real-estate agency Fite Shavell & Associates. Sales are on the rise: there were 29 transactions in the first quarter, typically the busiest selling season, up from 6 in 2009 and 26 last year, says Christine Franks, president of real-estate broker Wilshire International Realty.
Who’s Buying: John Reid, a 57-year-old retired financial-services executive, and his sister are taking advantage of plunging prices. The siblings earlier this month purchased a $4.75 million four-bedroom home near the ocean, in an all-cash deal. “I got the sense that prices were nearing the bottom,” Mr. Reid says. “If we wanted a good deal on a fabulous home, we had to act quickly.”
Write to Jessica Silver-Greenberg at [email protected]
Corrections & Amplifications
Santa Barbara, Calif., is an example of a “blue chip” residential real-estate market where prices have stabilized. An earlier version of this article incorrectly labeled the section on Santa Barbara as Santa Monica, Calif.
We just closed down 512 points on Dow yesterday. The Dow has dropped approximately 1,350 points in 10 trading PIMCO 2011.082011.08.04 NY Times European Bankssessions. It was up only once in the last 10 trading sessions. It has dropped approximately 10.5% and is now officially in “correction” territory, along with most other stock indices. Most, but not all, technical and sentiment indicators are deeply over sold and at an extreme level. We are probably within a few days of a good short term low if we are not already there. In this panic type environment, if you are off by a day, you could be off 500 or more points. This is one of those very unusual and infrequent (thankfully) times were the markets are in a free fall. We are at areas that should begin to provide support for the stock market. But in a panic, markets can easily go further down than fundamentals or technicals would normally predict. In my opinion, this is not the time to panic.
When we had our last quarterly call in early May when I discussed the very likely possibility of a summer correction of 10 – 20%. We discussed that you should always have at least one year’s worth of cash on hand for all expenses so that you would not have to raise cash in a down market (such as this). We have now hit my first minimum target of 10%. This is not surprising or unexpected as we discussed. There could certainly be a short term trading opportunity coming up, but I would wait for some time and price stabilization before I would recommend making any long term asset allocation changes.
The old market adage that we discussed of “sell in May and go away” has worked again. A disproportionate number of market lows are made in the May through October time period. We are only in the middle of the time period and only at the minimum pullback percentage, so I would not recommend any long term allocation changes at the moment. This drop has been so sharp and fast that the panic and pessimism is just starting to build – it is not at an extreme yet. You want that extreme to begin to develop more fully before making long term allocation changes. Right now, this is just a normal, every day 10% correction, though the way that it occurred was unusual. There are definitely structural issues in Europe and within the US itself that are providing the catalyst for this move. I do not know how these will play out. My focus will be on trying to spot the indications of a longer term bottom as they occurring, such as we did in March 2009. We don’t need that extreme in price or sentiment, but we want to get to the point where investors give up on stocks again. We are not that close at the moment in my opinion. In summary, we have a violent short term low coming in very soon and I would expect a very sharp short term bounce before a likely calming down in volatility and a potential retest of whatever lows we hit. When your friend at the cocktail party tells you he is getting killed in the stock market, that he thinks that the market will not ever go back up again and that he cannot take it any more, then you buy and change your long term asset allocation. The same situation would apply if it is you and not your friend.
Watch for these types of stories in the newspapers and on TV. When a strong belief sets in among the general population and non investing population that the market can only go down and only an idiot would invest in it after how poorly it has done for so long, then you should strongly consider increasing your long term equity allocation.
I wanted to include some additional comments.
1. The faster and farther a diversified portfolio of stocks / the market drops, the more it is lowering the risk of a new investment going forward (it does not change the fact that you lost money on the investments that you owned on the way down, but that is irrelevant. You cannot change that, you can only change what you do going forward. Focus on things that you can change, not the things that you can’t, and have the wisdom to know the difference). One thing I can guarantee you – the Dow has 512 less points of downside risk today than it had yesterday and about 1,350 points less downside risk than it had 2 weeks ago. A drop in stock prices essentially pulls forward potential future losses and puts them in to the present time period. Therefore, there is less price risk going forward from this new lower level. It is simple math, but people forget this. A simple example is a house. If you can buy the same house for $400,000 instead of $500,000, you have less risk. The stocks you are buying today are the same stocks that you would have bought yesterday 512 points higher.
What has changed today is the perception about future earnings and the addition of fear. For those changes, you get a 512 point discount in your purchase price. As I stated frequently during the spring of 2009, stocks trade on the second differential – the change in the rate of change. For example, if investors are now pricing in a 20% drop in earnings and there is only a 10% drop that actually occurs, the stock market will rally. The lower the investor expectations, as reflected in pessimism and lower stock prices, the more likely it is for fundamentals over time to outperform the low expectations. Or as I like to say, if you set the bar low enough, eventually you will be able to simply trip over it.
2. Critical bottoms are normally made when investors completely give up on future upside in stocks and only worry about future downside. They know that the market is significantly off of a prior high, but their only focus is to sell now at this lower level before the market goes even lower. This is the key psychological point to look for at all market lows in all different markets. That is the point where fear and emotion overtake rational thought and fundamentals. That is when you must be there with a clear head and cash available to take advantage of the errors of others.
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Ski Area Supply vs. Demand
In my last Blog post I stated we are starting to see that the real estate market is showing signs of leveling based off of a Price Comparison. There is still great potential for the prices to drop in most markets over the next year, but there are pockets/neighborhoods within the Lake Tahoe market that may be arriving at bottom sooner than others. Most of these are the markets directly surrounding the ski resorts. I believe these Exclusive Markets (defined as an area with limited home sites because of the desirability or other environmental factors which prevent endless development and sprawl) have what it takes to offer the luxury and adventurous buyer a lifestyle purchase. Because of this lack of supply, many of the buyers are stating their price they want to pay and getting in now before it is too late.
In all three of the market comparison below, the Road to Recovery is well under way and here’s why. In all 3 Ski Destinations the supply is down an average of 48.9% from 2008. While we see an increase in demand equal or greater to that of the last quarter of 2007. An increase in demand coupled with less supply means that shortly the sellers in this area (if they are priced in market) will start to see an asking price equal to sale price. In Alpine, we are already seeing this. Of course there would be the occasional overly motivated seller or a property which will compete with distressed properties. What I have witnessed in each of these markets (because of their luxury pricing or lack of first time buyers) is a majority of the buyers have purchased with low LTV’s or mostly cash. This has created greater stability with less volatility; which “in theory” should allow a faster recovery and leveling in the market. This combined with the fact that the subdivisions are mostly built out, the good properties haven’t been put on the market, is creating a demand even for the Fixers and properties on good lots with great views.
See the Graphs below:
Northstar Single Family Residence Median price of For Sale, Under Contact, and Sold Properties (There are 653 SFR, 29 lots, and 817 Condos according to First American Title Company).
Alpine Meadows Single Family Residence Median price of For Sale, Under Contact, and Sold Properties (448 SFR, 192 lots and 129 condos according to First American Title Company).
Squaw Valley Single Family Residence Median price of For Sale, Under Contact, and Sold Properties (540 SFR, 68 Lots and 968 Condos according to First American Title Company)
Complete recovery may be a year or two away, but interest rates are low, and asking price is not equaling sale price as of yet. So create next year’s price today, capture a low interest rate, and make your dream of Ski Area home happen today. Stay tuned next week . . . “Today is a good day to sell, and a great day to Buy” – where we explore the top 5 reasons to sell and the top 5 reasons to buy. For questions and comments contact us at [email protected] or “LIKE” our face book page.
A dialogue of Ski Area properties in the Lake Tahoe area
In my last Blog post I stated we are starting to see indicators that the real estate market is showing signs of leveling. One indication is investors buying up inventory that has been on the market a long time, and they are, in a sense, “creating next year’s price today”. After writing that blog, I had several conversations with clients and fellow Realtors, discussing the indicators of what that looks like. This provoked me to analyze some data in our local market and compare these markets because they are what I like to call The Exclusive Markets -defined as an area with limited home sites because of the desirability or other environmental factors which prevent endless development and sprawl. See the 3 charts below, representing a 3-year quarterly sample of our 3 biggest ski resort communities (Squaw Valley, Northstar and Alpine Meadows). Each one of these communities is unique, so it would be a shame to bulk them together because they offer such diverse terrain, inventory and amenities. Yet, within each of these communities there is a broad range of inventory. We have seen an increase of Sold and Pending properties, especially in the fall of 2010, and a decrease of new listings. This is a combination of many factors:
1. Affluent owners not needing to sell because they do not want to lose money, so they let their listings expire and choose NOT to relist.
2. Good deals and quality well-priced inventory being purchased usually at less than 60 days on the market.
3. Tired sellers with functionally obsolete properties taking the first offer that comes in. This is what the investors are feeding on, and many of the investors feel they have done well . . . and the good news is – they have!
Northstar Single Family Residence Median price of For Sale, Under Contact, and Sold Properties (There are 653 SFR, 29 lots, and 817 Condos according to First American Title Company)
Squaw Valley Single Family Residence Median price of For Sale, Under Contact, and Sold Properties (540 SFR, 68 Lots and 968 Condos according to First American Title Company)
Alpine Meadows Single Family Residence Median price of For Sale, Under Contact, and Sold Properties (448 SFR, 192 lots and 129 condos according to First American Title Company)
In all three of these markets, the median price of Sold properties increased compared to the median price of the newly listed properties. This, in my opinion, is the sign that demand is increasing because prices have dropped and will continue because of the lack of good, well-priced homes. Stay tuned next week when I compare the same data analyzing it from Supply and Demand, not reflective of price. For questions and comments contact us at [email protected] or “LIKE” our face book page.
The Reno Gazette Journal recently published an article with great news for the Lake Tahoe real estate market! The article was entitled “Tahoe Homes Stage Comeback.” For 2010 many areas around Lake Tahoe saw an increase in real estate numbers compared to 2009. The median home price is a down a little compared to 2009 but the number of units is up in every area!
Click on the image to view PDF version of article. Or click on the link to view the online version of Tahoe Home Sales Stage Comeback.
The Lake Tahoe real estate stats for 2010 are out! These graphs show 2010 statistics for the real estate market in Lake Tahoe and Truckee.
The numbers shown include sold numbers for the 2009 compared to 2010 for Lake Tahoe and then Truckee. The graphs show sales volume & units sold for single family homes & condos.
Click on the images for enlarged versions of the graphs.