Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Rarely do I get my hopes up that our federal government can have much real impact on the distressed property market,  but the article below gives me some cautious hope.

As most of you know, I've been working in the distressed property marketplace since about Spring of 2008 - specifically with Short Sales.  It's been interesting, to say the least!

It's common knowledge that shorts sales provide an opportunity for an upside down homeowner to try and do the right thing - given our current circumstances.  Contrary to popular belief, and hyped up news stories, most of our distressed homeowners are in that situation because of circumstances beyond their control - and exacerbated by this real estate market.  Short sales provide a dignified way of disposing of the property while preserving the most financial return for the lender.

With money at stake, you would think that the lenders would be jumping up and down to get these short sales done; but alas, it's never fast enough for the likes of me!

Fortunately we have a couple of legislators who are trying to inspire these lenders to do the right thing....for all our sake.  Take a read, and hope like heck it makes a difference.


As always we're here to answer your real estate questions.....and we're happy to speak before any group you know of who may be interested in general real estate information, distressed property information or investing information.



Thursday, February 16, 2012


It's just the nature of being a seller that drives us to want to try and "time" the market.  It's a difficult task, even for the professional Realtor.  The timing of the housing bubble burst caught nearly everyone by surprise.

But what's ahead of all of us is so predictable and I want my clients ahead of the curve on this one.

We've blogged previously about the MERS and Robo-signing mess that contributed, in it's own way, to the housing mess that we're in.  Some of you may have seen the 60 Minutes segment that was done on robo-signing. (If you haven't seen it, just go to YouTube and search 60 Minutes Robo-signing for an eye opening education).

The long and the short of it is, the government has been negotiating with the lenders for a monetary settlement that is supposed to ease the pain of those in foreclosure (don't hold your breath!).  But while they've been negotiating, there has been a moratorium on banks placing foreclosed homes into the market place for sale.

All that good news you were hearing last year - it had a lot to do with a lower level of inventory because we were missing those foreclosed properties.  It was as good as it could have gotten for those of you who chose to sell.

So here's the deal for those of you who have been holding off;  the settlement is very near.....read VERY again!  And once it's done, our friends the lenders will be right back to releasing those foreclosed homes into the market and competing on price with your home. They have 49 months worth of inventory. I've already seen evidence of their plans.  And what I'm seeing is about a 5 fold increase.

Please listen to me; if you have any inkling about selling this year - NOW IS THE TIME.  Get in ahead of these foreclosures that we know are coming.  It's the best opportunity you'll have to get your highest price possible for the near future.  And of course you'll be able to take advantage of the Spring Buying Season - the peak season for real estate sales.

I've included the link below for your reading pleasure.  The reference source is Realty Trac, one of the most respected sources for information on the amount of distressed and foreclosed property affecting our market.


Of course, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to call me.  Or if you have an organization, club or group of friends that would like a presentation about the state of the real estate market, or short sales or investing, I'm happy to be your go to gal - free of charge.

Choi for now,

Friday, February 3, 2012

FINALLY - Vindicated!

Today, I have to tell you I finally feel vindicated.  "And by whom," you ask?  None other than Wells Fargo Bank.

Nearly four years ago, and in an ongoing dialogue, I have been telling you and all my clients that it's going to take a while for this market to get to the place where it can recover. 

Some have said this down market would be over in 6 months, a year, the next quarter, the next reporting cycle, etc, etc, etc.  Those folks looked at me like I was nuts!  What a negative Realtor, they said!

In spite of being called negative, a doom & gloomer, and who know's what else (?), I stuck to my guns and research, telling my clients we probably won't see a recovery until about 2022 - 2025.

There.....I said it again.  And guess who else is saying it.....Yes, Wells Fargo Bank.  Their prediction; 2021.  I think that's close enough for me.

So why have I hung on to those far distant years?  Because; we have about 49 months of shadow inventory to clean up, our unemployment has not significantly changed (we need to drop about 4 points there), and most importantly because we are in the middle of a down cycle in our population.

As many of you have heard me say, we Baby Boomers (all 84 million of us) have aged out of our primary consumption years.  We don't care about the latest cars, clothes, new floor plans, or restaurants.  And coming right behind us would be Generation X, with a whopping population count of 42 million!  That's right - one half the number of all of us who invented the Mini-mansion.  So, who would we be selling all those houses with stairs to?.......The Echo Boomers, Gen Y or the Millenials, 'cause after all, there's about 75 million of them - nearly a replacement of us, the Baby Boomers.

But here's the challenge; the Echo Boomers are not the Baby Boomers.  They are taking longer to finish school.  They want to be passionate about their work, so they tend to be more patient waiting for the right career (think Masters Degree selling coffee at Starbucks), they don't necessarily even like our big box houses and would prefer a more urban lifestyle with less square footage and a smaller carbon footprint.

All that means, delay, delay, delay the recovery.  I know, I hate the news myself.

But here's my philosophy; you can't plan properly if you don't know.  So rather than call me a Negative Ninny, or a Doom and Gloomer, I hope you'll take this information and plan accordingly.  And if you don't believe me......will you listen to all those high paid economists at Wells Fargo?

Until next time......