Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Good News For Hemet Investers

Study Pinpoints Best U.S. Markets to Invest
— By Camilla McLaughlin for REALTOR® Magazine Online

Here is some good news for Hemet Real Estate and Real Estate throughout the Inland Empire region. This is an article that appeared in yesterdays Realtors Online Magazine, an official National Realtor Association (NAR) publication. the article specifically mentions Los Angeles, but as we all know, what happens in Los Angeles happens in the Inland Empire - only a bit more sanely. So read this short post and rejoice there is light and the 'bubble' may not be all it's cracked up to be.
- John Occhi, REALTOR

The top U.S. markets for real estate investment prospects next year are global gateway metros such as New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco, says the Urban Land Institute and Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2007,an annual outlook for U.S. real estate investment and development trends.

In spite of real estate’s unusually long run up in prices and sales, interest from investors hasn’t waned.

"Real estate is still viewed favorably as an asset class and there’s still a lot of money — especially from private funds and institutional investors — looking for the right opportunity," says William Croteau, U.S. real estate practice leader for Pricewaterhouse Coopers. "Although we don't expect any major downturn in the marketplace, it's likely that real estate's overall performance will be more modest in 2007."

Location Still Rules

Most promising? The report says it’s “investment Meccas on both coasts,” noting that “location becomes even more important in real estate investing as the transforming global economy increasingly determines where companies and people need and want to be.”

In addition to being located along “global pathways” with international airports and harbor ports, top markets are characterized by:
  • 24-hour features
  • Attractive settings in reasonably comfortable climates
  • Geographic barriers limiting sprawl
  • Brainpower jobs attracting an affluent, highly educated workforce

Although a number of cities in the South and Southwest, including Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Phoenix, are described as “development magnets,” because of the amount of current new construction, the report says “their tendency toward oversupply compromises their standing with investors."

Sunbelt development havens consistently fall behind global gateways for investment prospects, even as their economies continue to grow, the report says. They remain relatively affordable, but these areas lack strong 24-hour cores and mass transit systems. In addition, their locations away from coasts "make them secondary destinations for international business.”

San Bernardino Woman Arrested in Theft of House from Boyfriend

San Bernardino Woman Arrested in Theft of House from Boyfriend
Reported by MortgageFraudBlog.Com

This is not exactly Hemet Real Estate related, but geographically it is very close - so what happens in San Bernardino could very well happen in Hemet. I share this article, becasue I want you to be careful - sometimes when you least expect it...
- John Occhi

Ana Morales, 35, San Bernardino, California was arrested by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office-Real Estate Fraud Prosecution Unit and charged with two counts of forgery and two counts of offering a false/forged document (Grant deeds) for recording at the County of San Bernardino, California, Recorder’s Office.

According to authorities, Morales told Antonio Ramirez, her boyfriend at the time, that he and his brother needed to sign some documents for income taxes purposes and for a house improvement loan. Both Antonio Ramirez and his brother Arturo signed the documents. One of the documents signed was a blank grant deed, which was filled out later by Morales. This removed Antonio and Arturo Ramirez from the deed to his home and placed the property into Antonio Ramirez and Morales’ name. The investigation also disclosed that Antonio Ramirez had unknowingly signed another grant deed that granted the property to Morales as the sole owner.

Morales subsequently recorded the false grant deed and applied for a debt consolidation mortgage loan in the amount of $117,500. Morales acquired the equity out of the home and used it to pay off more that $30,959.54 of her own debt, in addition to obtaining a cashier’s check for the remaining sum of $11,431.18 from the escrow company. It was during a 2005 income tax appointment that Antonio Ramirez learned that he and his brother had been removed from the title and Morales was the sole owner of the property.

10 Questions to Ask the Condo Board

10 Questions to Ask the Condo Board

This report is provided by the National Association of Realtors, as a consumer handout. I thought it was particularly valuable to the Hemet Real Estate market, not so much because of all the condos we have, but rather because of the number of Mobile Homes and other communities with Home Owners Associations. The same questions are all relevant. So, if you are looking to buy any type of home in any area that is governed by a HOA or has any common areas, do yourself a favor and check out this valuable resource...
- John Occhi, REALTOR

Before you buy, contact the condo board with the following questions. In the process, you’ll learn how responsive — and organized — its members are.

1. What percentage of units is owner-occupied? What percentage is tenant-occupied? Generally, the higher the percentage of owner-occupied units, the more marketable the units will be at resale.

2. What covenants, bylaws, and restrictions govern the property? What grandfather clauses are in place? You may find, for instance, that those who buy a property after a certain date can’t rent out their units, but buyers who bought earlier can. Ask for a copy of the bylaws to determine if you can live within them. And have an attorney review property docs, including the master deed, for you.

3. How much does the association keep in reserve? How is that money being invested?

4. Are association assessments keeping pace with the annual rate of inflation? Smart boards raise assessments a certain percentage each year to build reserves to fund future repairs. To determine if the assessment is reasonable, compare the rate to others in the area.

5. What does and doesn’t the assessment cover—common area maintenance, recreational facilities, trash collection, snow removal?

6. What special assessments have been mandated in the past five years? How much was each owner responsible for? Some special assessments are unavoidable. But repeated, expensive assessments could be a red flag about the condition of the building or the board’s fiscal policy.

7. How much turnover occurs in the building?

8. Is the project in litigation? If the builders or homeowners are involved in a lawsuit, reserves can be depleted quickly.

9. Is the developer reputable? Find out what other projects the developer has built and visit one if you can. Ask residents about their perceptions. Request an engineer’s report for developments that have been reconverted from other uses to determine what shape the building is in. If the roof, windows, and bricks aren’t in good repair, they become your problem once you buy.

10. Are multiple associations involved in the property? In very large developments, umbrella associations, as well as the smaller association into which you’re buying, may require separate assessments.

Used with permission from Real Estate Checklists & Systems,