February 24, 2012
The first quarter of 2012 was highly anticipated by followers of the real estate market, the quarter was supposed to witness increases in price, bring additional homes to the market, and be the true beginning of the recovery. We are more than half way through the first quarter and indications are not clear if this is a growing market or a zombie market, some signs are positive and others not so much.
Not Enough to Buy
A continuing problem is the lack of inventory; both foreclosure inventory and high-end inventory are shrinking rapidly. Just over a third of homes sold are distressed, either short sales or foreclosures, this puts a lower strain on the prices in the market. Less and less homes for sale are non-distressed; this absence of quality homes in the market hinder price appreciation throughout the entire market. In the western states sales have increased by 8 percent, yet more than half of California homes for sale were distressed. Looking at home sales distribution by price, in November 2011, 69.9 percent of homes sold were under $250,000: that number rose to 72.2 in January. The lack of quality homes prevents a healthy housing market from forming.
Investors want More for Less
Throughout the country markets are seeing increases in closed deals, but decreases in sale price. The Austin and San Antonio real estate markets have seen a 10 percent increase in home sales from the prior year. Investors have continued to buy, but are increasingly looking for better deals. The number of distressed homes for sale is decreasing, creating more competition for great deals. Real estate is still seen as a good long term investment, about 83 percent of people believe housing prices will appreciate over the next 10 years according to an OwnAmerica survey, only 53 percent believe prices will appreciate over the next five years. The current housing market is playing into the investor’s hand, with prices dropping and rents rising, this creates a positive cash flow situation allowing investors to buy, earn double digit returns on rent alone, and wait for the appreciation in value to come.
With the beginning of 2012 other economic indicators are starting to improve. The job market has shown some signs of improvement. The continued low interest rate, along with continuously loosening lending standards has fostered an ideal borrowing environment. Many are even speculating the rather mild winter has helped keep the real estate market afloat, warm weather has kept new construction up, as well as allowing potential buyers the ability to view these homes. External factors like these are aiding in the continued buoyancy of the housing market.
Know what to Expect
A peak is defined as the maximum point, degree, or volume of anything; the top of the mountain. Buyers should not expect to return to the peak, and any “indications” that we are on the way back to the top are false. Las Vegas home sales have doubled in quantity since the trough, yet remain extremely slow compared to pre-bubble numbers. It will take quite some time to recover the equity lost, and homeowners must accept it. Many analysts believe the bubble was a reset of home values to more realistic market conditions. No one should expect to return to the peak, but buyers should expect growth. Home sales are down significantly from 2006 levels, but have stabilized over the past couple years and even experienced some recent growth. The peak is not within grasp, but with signs of improvement in the job market as well as improved consumer confidence, the housing market will improve and grow, now is a good time to buy for those with the capital.
February 23, 2012
Buying and Selling Reminders When Relocating Across the Country
Moving for your job can either be a routine or an adventure. But it should never be a hassle, especially if you’re a homeowner. Before setting out on a cross-country trek to your new position, stop and consider the specifics regarding your real estate situation. Owning a home, looking to buy a new one, relocating across the country, and the combinations and complications therein can make for quite the number of steps necessary to arrive at your destination in the most optimum state possible. Such a task certainly isn’t impossible, but when confronting the inevitable obstacles sure to get in your way, considering the following can make buying and selling during a work related move a bit easier:
Sell fast, buy fast: This is the most popular strategy for those tasked with selling and buying in markets far away from one another. In ideal conditions, you want to sell your house fast and put the profits towards a down payment on a new home. Those sitting on sought-after real estate will find this easy, however the rest of us continue to struggle in a sour housing market, so selling fast isn’t always an option, even when buying fast is.
Renting remotely: If you are unable to sell your current home in enough time to move without losing money, then look into remote renting. Find a trusted friend or family member to act as a property manager for a cut of the rent, and put the rest toward the mortgage. Everybody is looking for cheap places to rent these days, so this strategy can be used for as long as it takes to find a buyer.
Rent for the first six months after your arrival: In addition to renting out your old home, you may want to consider renting during the first half-to-full year you’re in your new city. Not only do you not know if the new position will pan out, but it will take you this long to get properly acquainted with your new surroundings. Instead of immediately investing in a new home in a neighborhood you aren’t 100% sure about, think about planting less grounded roots upon arrival.
Compare square footage: Forget about property value and the future of the neighborhood for just one second, and think about square footage. Compare the square footage of your current home with those of the homes you’re browsing – storage space especially. While this is important no matter if you’re moving across the street or across the country, you don’t want to be juggling an interstate move only to find out half the stuff you brought won’t fit. It sounds obvious, but it’s a problem that people can easily overlook.
Problems are sure to arise while buying and selling during a big interstate move. That’s just the nature of the game. Overcoming them takes nothing more than some planning and a little ingenuity. Take these inevitable obstacles seriously, and you’re certain to experience the best move possible.
February 17, 2012
A Place You’ll Never Want To Leave: Madrone in Mission Bay
The new development of Madrone Mission Bay has resident’s never wanting to leave. This new collection of bayside residences is San Francisco’s fastest selling bayside community. Offering residents most necessities and many luxuries, Madrone is one place you won’t have to, nor want to leave.
Each home at Madrone is unique. The community offers a mix of one-, two-, and two-bedroom plus den layouts, in a variety of sizes and locations. Homes are composed of spacious living areas, functional kitchens, and smart storage: making these San Francisco condos more functional than most.
Madrone is designed with retreat, and relaxation in mind. The moment you step in the front door you are welcomed by tranquility and beauty. Many of Madrone’s amenities are intended for recreation. Residents do not have to leave the building for an amazing afternoon outdoors, and the outdoors is just as luxurious as the indoor. The open-air sundeck plays host to a 75-foot pool, the third floor is the home to outdoor landscaped gardens, and other outdoor amenities include an outdoor spa and a grill and dining area. No need for a gym membership anymore, Madrone is home to a full fitness studio with steam room and sauna. But just because you want to stay at home does not mean you can’t have a fun night with friends, Madrone’s amenities also include a resident lounge and game room, a screening room, as well as an entertainment kitchen. Madrone is an all-in-one, almost everything you need in one location.
Madrone’s current homes for sale include unit #104, a two bedroom two and a half bath townhome sized at 1,635 square feet, and priced at $926,000. If you prefer a greater view, unit #1506 is a two bedroom, two-bath luxury condo clocking in at 1,492 square feet and priced just over $1.2 million. Madrone has homes that fit anyone’s lifestyles, spacious townhomes to elegant penthouses, and everything in between.
Space is limited in San Francisco, and Mission Bay condos are in high demand, Madrone is selling quickly, and units are going off the market frequently. The chance to own a luxury bay view condo will not last forever.
February 15, 2012
Luxury and Location Found Only at Foxhall Ridge
The newest townhome community in Washington DC is exceeding the expectations of the most discerning buyers. Foxhall Ridge is the pinnacle of luxury living in a new community of elegant townhomes. Located just minutes from Georgetown and the Potomac; Foxhall Ridge is in an ideal location. These luxury townhomes are intelligently designed, well built, and in a location many dream of.
Maximizing space efficiently is a key objective for Foxhall Ridge, attempting to balance fashion with function. With units ranging from about 2,000 to over 4,000 square feet, these are not your typical townhomes. Buyers will have the choice of many floor plans, these 34 homes range in size from two to three bedrooms and two to four baths. Homes are built with open spaces and natural lighting, the formal living and dining room make for an ideal location for entertaining guests. Homeowners will enjoy 10-foot ceilings (something hard to find in the Georgetown area), as well as a relaxing, casual family room perfect for relaxing with a cup of coffee in the morning. These homes were designed for function and form, a mix of brains and beauty.
Foxhall Ridge is the result of an affiliation between three companies: Duball, Stanley Martin, and Buvermo Investments. Duball, LLC is an experienced real estate development and investment firm that specializes in the creation of luxury urban living communities. Stanley Martin Homes is an award-winning builder, known for creating homes that reflect the owner’s sense of style while fulfilling each owner’s specific needs. Buvermo Investments, Inc. has been investing in metropolitan Washington DC real estate development projects since the late seventies. Foxhall Ridge is the product of the culmination of knowledge between these three companies, leveraging each of their past experiences they have created a new standard in luxury townhomes at Foxhall Ridge.
Nestled in between Georgetown and the Pallisades, Foxhall Ridge residents will enjoy living in close proximity to so much. Buyers will enjoy the finest international foods from Georgetown restaurants like Citronelle, Café Boneparte; or stop for a quick bit to eat at places like Pizzeria Paradisio. Residents at Foxhall Ridge can browse the latest fashions at the area’s many boutique shops. With this type of access to the bustle of the city, it is amazing to see Washington DC townhomes with access to the great outdoors, enjoy a bike ride along the C&O Canal Towpath, or head out to one of the many nearby parks. Whatever you are into, Foxhall Ridge is a great location.
Now on Sale
Homes at Foxhall Ridge are now for sale. Completion of the project is set for 2013, with construction already underway. Priced from the mid $900s to about $1.8 million, Foxhall Ridge is just what the most discerning buyers have been looking for.
February 10, 2012
Brohn Homes is Bringing Texans New Luxury Homes
With over 25 years of experience, Brohn Homes is building luxury homes in the hill country’s most sought after locations. With three newly developed attached home communities for sale in Texas, Brohn is bringing high quality products at low costs to the Texas real estate market.
Brohn Homes was founded by and for Central Texans, specializing in the Austin and San Antonio market places. Brohn building style is based off your desires. Brohn has been known for creating custom homes to meet the buyer’s demands. Offering a Home-to-Home Design Studio, buyers of Brohn Homes will be able to select personal design choice and upgrades, all in an effort to create the most suitable home for the buyer. Brohn Homes is the only Central Texas homebuilder to include many upgraded features as standard finishes.
Brohn is now selling new attached homes in three communities: Bellamy, Cresta Bella, and Cantera Village.
Located outside of Austin, Bellamy is a collection of 32 homes on a 6½-acre property in Northeast Cedar Park. Weather you are looking to downsize, or find a low-maintenance home, Bellamy is a great choice. A charming and quaint neighborhood, Bellamy is in the center of a highly acclaimed school district, minutes from many parks, as well as shops and restaurants. Prices in Bellamy start in the low $200s, with unit sizes ranging upwards of 1,400 square feet, and the choice of three to four bedroom homes.
Another one of Brohn’s newest developments is Cantera Village. Located in San Antonio, Cantera Village is a collection of 30 homes. Just minutes from the Medical Center, La Cantera, the Rim, and more; Cantera Village puts you right in the midst of San Antonio. Homes in this neighborhood are priced from the low $200s with units ranging from 1,700 to over 2,000 square feet, and offering three to four bedrooms.
Brohn Homes is also now currently selling homes at the master planned community of Cresta Bella. Located in the north central Hill Country of San Antonio, just of I-10 and Camp Bullis Road. This is one of the last developments to be built in the area due to a recently passed moratorium. Cresta Bella puts the homeowner in an oak tree-covered hillside, serene and peaceful, yet only a few minutes away from the big business of San Antonio. Cresta Bella is the ultimate getaway from the hustle of San Antonio. Cresta Bella is priced from $290 and up, with floor plans ranging in size from 1,800 to 2,800 square feet, offering your choice of three or four bedroom units all including a separate study. Offering six floor plans, each home at Cresta Bella is unique.
Brohn Homes is bringing luxury to the hills of Central Texas. Building beautiful, contemporary homes with many amenities and finishes left up to the homebuyer. Brohn has created amazing communities, bringing luxury and relaxation to the big cities in the Lone Star State. These homes are unmatched by many of the other Texas condos and townhomes.
February 8, 2012
It’s Time for Phase II at Truxton Row in Washington DC
Coming this month is the second phase of the Truxton Row project in Washington DC. Phase I consisted of six townhome condominiums completed in 2010, but is now sold out. Phase II will continue the project with the introduction of 10 more townhomes. Slated for move in during February 2012, Truxton Row is an exciting new opportunity among the many new Washington DC condos.
Located in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Washington DC, Truxton Row is a great location for today’s lifestyle. Just three blocks from the Mount Vernon Square Metro Station, Truxton Row puts you in the center of Washington DC. Local amenities include a Safeway, a local gym, and plenty of restaurants to expand your palate. Truxton Row puts you within walking distance of multiple museums and the Washington Convention Center. Truxton is a great urban location for the average Washington DC city dweller.
Decorated with historically detailed bricks, custom crown molding, and solid brass hardware Truxton Row brings a traditional, elegant feel to modern townhome living. Providing the warmth of a traditional home with the amenities of a modern condo, these townhomes are primed for the picking. Built with nothing but quality materials, from the hardwood floors to the lighting, Truxton Row provides homes to be proud of for years to come.
Each home is uniquely itself; choose from four floor plans, two distinct finish packages, and four color and material pallets to choose from. Unit types include a standard two bedroom, a two bedroom plus den, as well as two bedrooms plus den and family room. These two bedroom homes range from 1,285 to 1,790 square feet, and offer two or two and a half baths. Moderately priced from the $500s, Truxton Row is a great buy in the nation’s capital.
With only 10 units available in this phase, they are expected to sell quickly. Truxton Row offers reasonably priced, quality homes in a location expected to experience solid growth over the next couple years.