Wednesday, December 26, 2007

We Can’t Reduce Our Price Any More … What Can We Do?

Whether you can’t, or won’t, reduce your price, we understand that it is frustrating to sit in this market without action. The best way to generate action is to reduce your price to be the best priced property on the market for what you are offering. Having said that, here are a few options available to you other than a price reduction.

For some Sellers a lease/option can help you achieve your goal. A lease option is in actuality a lease agreement, and an option to purchase agreement, that are tied together by language in the agreements. A lease/option provides you with cash flow from the option consideration and monthly lease payments while you wait to see if the option will be exercised. Since the price paid at the time the option is exercised is agreed to at the time the option agreement is signed, it is usually a higher than market price. This is because of the extended term of the option period, typically 12-24 months, and the anticipated increase in market value at the end of the term.

Lease/options can be a risk for both parties since nobody really knows what prices will do, but it gives the Seller cash and cash flow, and buys time for the market to change. The Buyer can get in to the home knowing that they have the opportunity to buy it in the future. This works well if they, too, are waiting to sell, repair credit, or any number of reasons that are holding them back from a normal purchase in today’s wonderful Buyer’s market. The fact that Sellers today are considering lease/options is another sign that it is, indeed, a Buyer’s market.

If you know where you want to go after you sell, look in that market for somebody that is looking to move to our community. A simple ad in their local paper might produce a Buyer that can’t sell their home. So what do the two of you do? Trade your homes! You might advertise your willingness to do so in your local
Carson Valley advertising. We’ve found that people looking to move to the Carson Valley look here in preparation for their move. A needle in the haystack? Yes, but with the right intention you just might beat the odds.

Our Advice: There are a number of other options, each with its own inherent risk factors, and one should be careful when considering such an option. These include selling with a Contract of Sale, All Inclusive Trust Deed, or simply renting your home until the market recovers sufficiently to allow you to accomplish your next real estate objectives. Auctions have a certain intriguing appeal, but have not proven very successful from our observation unless it is involves a distressed property, or a very unique and expensive property. Be flexible and maintain a bigger perspective when weighing your options.

Remember, it is only money. Don’t let yourself get so affected by this market that you lose your health or family … money can be replaced. Experience is Priceless!
Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, , 775-781-5472.

Easily search the entire
Northern Nevada MLS or email Lisa and Jim with questions or for additional information.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

So Many Stories ... Who Should Buy in This Market?

This market isn't for everybody, however it is a time of opportunity for many. With good credit scores and/or ready cash, it is a good time to buy Carson Valley real estate, Search Carson Valley Real Estate.

So who should buy now? If you are a nervous investor, it's a good time. It's kind of like voting early and not having to listen to the political ads anymore. If you buy a property that you want, you can stop listening to the doom and gloom media bombardment. You can be comfortable with your investment and know that whatever happens, you have it. Unlike stocks that leave you with a certificate when their value diminishes, you will always have your real property. Buy quality at a good price and relax. It may go down before it goes up, but you've made a decision and can get on with your life.

If you are a first time home Buyer, count your blessings that the market has checked. Today's prices are much less than what you would have paid a year or two ago. In fact, you likely would have been priced out of the Carson Valley at that time. Are you going to wait and try to time the market drop, or are you going to buy now and start enjoying the many benefits of home ownership? Remember, you aren't making a one year investment - home ownership should be considered with a longer hold perspective. Consider that in Douglas County 48.9% of the people lived in the same house in 1995 and 2000 - just about half the people didn't move in five years!

If you are looking to move up or down in the market you are really moving "sideways", the homes you are selling and buying are relatively priced. If you are moving up - do it before the prices rise and you will enjoy greater appreciation when they do with the more expensive property. Moving down? Do it before the prices rise and you'll enjoy a lower loan amount and, possibly, rate, for the term of the loan. Don't put your life on hold until "someone" says it is time to act - control your own life and real estate happiness by taking action now. Your buy and sell prices are even in their respective market segment.

If you are a savvy investor, this is a wonderful time to make your intentions known to your agent. Opportunities now appear on a regular basis. If your active agent knows your investment objectives, i.e.- a place for your child(ren), appreciation over five years, change portfolio location, etc., you have a much better chance of successfully achieving them in the next six months, or so. Be ready to act and stay open minded.

Our Advice: If you have a credit score below 720 it is probably in your best interest to work on increasing your score before you buy. If you don't you will likely pay a higher interest rate and could very well get the run around when it comes time to fund your loan. When the market was soaring people looked past these negatives figuring that their anticipated appreciation would offset the higher costs of the loan. Today one can't count on short term appreciation - plan on holding. Get yourself ready to act. When the market turns it will be like a dam breaking and you will have a lot of competition for the quality offerings that you don't have today.

Timing the falling market to catch it at the bottom is like the proverbial "catching a falling knife" ... it is hard to do. If you know you want to live/invest here, and have confidence in the Carson Valley community, then you can buy with confidence ... now. Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, , visit our websites at or call anytime at 775-781-5472.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

We Are Renting and Our Landlord is Having Money Problems … What Happens to Us?

One of the hidden casualties of the foreclosure crisis are the tenants. When the landlord doesn’t make the mortgage payment and the property sells at a foreclosure sale, most leases are worthless. Statistically, just over 20% of all foreclosures are rental properties. A foreclosure will most often trump a lease – the note and Deed of Trust were in place before the lease agreement was signed. Regardless of how long you’ve rented your home, how early you pay your rent, or how much you have improved the property – if the owner of the house isn’t making the payments you have great exposure of being evicted with very little warning after a foreclosure sale. Note: this does not occur in a conventional sale situation where the Buyer acquires the property subject to your lease terms and conditions.

Some precautions you can take include looking at your owner’s information online at the County Recorder’s site - you can get the name of how they hold title at the County Assessor’s site. If you see a Notice of Default, check the date. You will have approximately 120 days after that date before the property will sell. If you see a Notice of Sale, you have about three weeks. Either way – call your landlord to see if they intend to correct the situation … and how. He should understand that the consequences of his loss will dramatically affect you.

If your landlord is in default you might want to pay your rent into an escrow account and contact an attorney who specializes in foreclosure property issues. Other options: You can file a legal action against the landlord for non-performance on the lease, and try to recover expenses, damages and costs of relocating you incur as a result of the foreclosure. You can also try to contact the new owner (after the foreclosure sale – they likely won’t talk before the sale) and try to negotiate a short-term occupancy offering to protect the property for them while you search for new housing.

Our Advice: Keep an eye out for signs that your owner might be in financial trouble. Are people driving by looking at your house … even stopping to take pictures? Is the property suddenly on the market at a low price? Is your landlord suddenly screening calls? If you have a friend or relative that is renting be sure to share this information with them. Forewarned is forearmed. Imagine finding out one day that you have but three days to get out of your home! You will have to find a place, pack and move … or your belongings could be put on the street. It is a tough situation, but it is legal and real. Of all the proposed mortgage industry crisis solutions none so far have included remedies for non-owner occupied, investor owned, properties. If your landlord is in trouble he had better have resources to solve his problem for there is little chance help will be coming any time soon to stave off an imminent foreclosure.

No matter how good of a relationship you have with your wonderful landlord … desperate people do desperate things. If they are being squeezed financially and it becomes you or his family that will feel the pain … start packing. Be prepared and you will be fine. Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, , 775-781-5472.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

It's Great to Live In Northern Nevada!

You mention that our market will recover in the future … how are you sure?

We believe that the reasons for the “discovery” of the Carson Valley as a wonderful place to live will continue to attract people wanting to move here and enjoy it on a daily basis. The local natural beauty is a joy every day – whether a beautiful sunset or a raging storm boiling over the mountains – it is simply gorgeous. We are ideally located in relationship to other Western States and we have a true Western mindset in our community – better yet - a Nevada mindset.

Our biggest faith for the future of our community, however, is the people. We believe the people of the Carson Valley are one of its biggest assets. A close look at the goings on around town reveal a consistent giving nature in the population. Traffic backed up and heavy – there’s the guy waving you in from the side street. Animal on the road – people will nearly wreck their car to save the animal and will cause a traffic jam while they get the animal to safety.

We were awakened at 5:00 a.m. last Sunday morning by the doorbell. It was our neighbors, Paul and Sue Brunnelle, telling us the sheriff’s office had called them reporting that our horses were out. Great! It was dark. It was eighteen degrees. Did we say it was five in the morning? The problem – we couldn’t find the horses in the dark. The neighbors didn’t just go home and get back in bed. No, they drove around looking for the horses, located them down the road eating another neighbor’s lawn, and helped us walk them home. All the time with a smile on their face and reassurances that we would find them that cold dark morning …It’s the people!

A few weeks back one of our neighbor’s replacement dairy heifers was out and on a busy road. A caring couple stopped to tell us, and we all went out to help the scared animal. It was nice to see all the cars, a busy road at a busy time, stop … and the drivers smile … understanding the situation. People also “stop” in the Carson Valley to help individuals and families in need … whether from health, accident, or life circumstance misfortune. The Carson Valley takes care of its own … every time. It is a true community of great people that let you live your life without intrusion, and rally to help those in need - whether animal, child, or family - when needed.

Our Advice: Real estate values will always fluctuate, but what is important in the long run is that the integrity of the Valley remain intact so the lows are higher and the highs dependable. We are confident that the People of the Valley will see that it does. The quality of life that is so dear to those that live here … and those that want to live here … is essential to the overall real estate values. There is no doubt that it will, in time, serve to protect local real estate investments … including those made in 2005, 2007 and 2008. Have faith … in the people.

Buy now with confidence. The many reasons you want to live here are exactly why your Carson Valley real estate investment is safe.

Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, , 775-781-5472.