August 30, 2013

Tips For Garage Sales From CLS Financial

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Tony and Wendee CloseMortgage Broker and Loan Specialists
CLS Financial Services
Phone: 562-594-6884
NMLS: 234456 / 234445 / 234494
DRE:01433557 / 01329570 / 01430798
Successful Garage Sale Tips 
Whether you’re looking to clear out clutter or make some extra money on the side, a garage sale can be a great solution – if you do it right. Here are a few tips for hosting a successful and profitable garage sale.  

A License to Sell? – Did you know that some city ordinances require a license to have a garage sale? It’s true. So, before you haul out all of your merchandise for your garage sale, check your city ordinances and find out if there are any rules you need to abide by. It would be a shame to host a successful event only to have the city cut into your profits with a ticket or a fine.

Plan Ahead – Turnout is a key to your success. With this in mind, be sure to avoid hosting your event on the same day as other local events that might have a large draw, like a local high school sports event, a graduation, or a neighborhood meeting. You should definitely check out the TV schedule as well. Many people plan their schedules around major events like sports playoffs, college events, major award shows, etc. One local event that you shouldn’t be worried about, however, is another garage sale. Shoppers will often visit more than one sale in the area to find the best deals.

Get the Word Out – Posting signs in your neighborhood is a standard practice for garage sales, but don’t get too tricky with them. A brightly-colored poster board will do just fine. Use a dark-colored marker and neatly print out all of the pertinent information: Garage Sale, Date, Time, Address and, if you have any special items for sale, list a few of those. If you plan ahead, you can also post your event on free internet sites like Craig’s List, or any local papers or mailers that charge little to nothing for advertising your event. At the end of the day, don’t forget to remove all of your signs. Your neighbors will thank you.     

Would You Buy It? – Remember, it’s a garage sale, not a junk sale. And while it’s okay to go through everything in your house and look for those things you want to get rid of, it’s important to be objective about your merchandise as well. When you prepare for a garage sale, look closely at your items and really think about whether or not someone else would be willing to buy it at the right price.

The Right Price – Value, of course, is difficult to measure, especially for those items that hold a special meaning to you. With this in mind, if you’re having trouble putting a reasonable price tag on something, you’re probably not ready to sell it. Remember, people go to garage sales because they’re looking for deals. More often than not, items priced too high because of sentimental value will not sell, so save yourself some trouble and heartache. Sell only those items that you don’t want or need anymore, and price them to sell.

The most important tip to a successful garage sale is to be safe. Have plenty of change available, but don’t keep too much cash on you. Start early and end before it gets dark. Most importantly, don’t do it alone. Enlist your spouse, your kids, your neighbors, or others to help you throughout the day. Follow these tips and you’re sure to have a great event.

August 28, 2013

Housing Recovery Update

Article originally from -

July’s real estate market data shows the nation experienced a 5.24 percent decline in housing inventory, which is the second month in a row with year-over-year inventory declines in the single digits. National median list prices increased 5.27 percent year-over-year while median age of inventory is down 16.67 percent.

While California markets have dominated the list of markets with the largest housing inventory declines in the first part of 2013, they have been replaced by a new set of market leaders including: Detroit, Mich.; Boston; Denver; Honolulu and Naples, Fla. The large decreases in the for-sale inventory in these markets suggests the beginning of a housing market recovery process similar to what was observed in Florida in 2011, and in California in 2012 and 2013.

“The recovery is entering a new phase where inventory shortfalls are no longer the driving force behind changes in housing prices in many markets. Larger inventories, especially in the hotter markets that experienced rapid price increases in the spring, are expanding buyers’ choices and helping to moderate price increases,” said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move, Inc. “This month’s report also underscores the uneven nature of the housing recovery and its dependence on the strength of the local economy.”®’s Key National Market Indicators for July 2013
July 2013
Year-over-Year % Change
Month-over-Month % Change
Number of Listings
Median Age of Inventory
85 days
Median List Price

National Highlights:
  • Dramatic national year-over-year inventory declines have evaporated. Nationally inventories in July are only 5.24 percent below the level of a year ago compared to being down 16.47 percent year-over-year in January.
  • Inventory declines decrease in local markets.  In July 2013, the number of markets with decreases in year-over-year inventory declined from 125 markets in June to 118 markets in July.  This suggests that this fall inventories in some markets may return to levels of a year ago and may continue to slow price increases in some markets.
  • Markets are still moving fast. All but five markets are continuing to experience year-over-year declines in age of inventory and on a month-over-month basis. On a national level, housing inventory is approximately 17 percent below last year, but the national age of inventory increased 6.25 percent month-over-month.
  • Price declines decrease in local markets.  Median listing prices are now negative year-over-year in only 31 markets, which is down from 36 in June.

August 26, 2013

Millennials Are Increasingly Positive About Real Estate

Article originally found here.
Confidence in the Market Jumps Sharply; Consumers Have their Eye on Mortgage Rates

IRVINE, Calif.--()--Prudential Real Estate, an HSF Affiliates LLC company, today released results of its second quarter Consumer Outlook Survey indicating that millennials are increasingly optimistic about residential real estate. A full 80% of respondents ages 25-34 said their perception of the housing market is “favorable” or “somewhat favorable,” representing a 9 percentage point increase from the Q1 study.
“Our survey shows that Americans who are looking to find and purchase a home remain positive about their prospects, and they’re looking to the guidance of quality real estate agents to navigate the entire process”
Among all respondents, the national survey also found that confidence in real estate and home values jumped sharply, reaching 83% vs. 77% in Q1 study and 73% at year-end. Confidence is highest in both South and West regions at 84%.
“Young Americans, like the majority of survey participants, are feeling much better about homeownership,” said Earl Lee, chief executive officer of HSF Affiliates LLC and president of Prudential Real Estate. “People are looking optimistically at housing for all right reasons – a place to feel secure, build a future and raise a family.”
Among all respondents, 70% said that finding the right home and community is crucial to family happiness. Millennials were even more emphatic about the emotional side of homeownership: 93% favor a home for “more space for my family,” while only 75% view it as “financial security to borrow against.”
“Consumers are mindful of the challenges faced during the real estate downturn,” added Lee. “Though homeownership makes a solid, long-term investment, a home should never be considered a siding-clad ATM.”
Mortgage and Rate Watch
On securing a mortgage loan, consumer sentiment continues reflecting the challenges people face through strict underwriting guidelines and credit-score requirements:
  • 57% of respondents said securing a mortgage is more difficult than it ever was prior to the market crisis.
  • Nearly 40% said lenders are “overly cautious” when it comes to mortgage financing.
  • Anxiety and fear of losing a real estate opportunity are respondents’ main emotional challenges in seeking home financing.
  • With rates rising recently, 71% said they are encouraged to buy a home now rather than later. It is worth noting that 78% of respondents indicated that homeownership is valuable regardless of shifting rates.
While 65% of respondents said they watch rates closely, there is confusion about recent rate trends. Among those who claim to watch rates closely, 43% believe that rates are holding steady or falling, though rates have risen so far this summer.
The knowledge gap calls for advice and guidance from real estate professionals to help people make the best choices. Of survey respondents, 63% indicated that a good agent can help them make the right choices about the type of home and community they want. And having a trusted source of information and guidance is important to 64%.
“Our survey shows that Americans who are looking to find and purchase a home remain positive about their prospects, and they’re looking to the guidance of quality real estate agents to navigate the entire process,” said Stephen Phillips, chief operating officer for HSF Affiliates LLC. “Home buyers are more informed than ever with their Internet searches and ongoing research; however, there’s a critical need to transform that information into analysis and advice that helps consumers make the best home-buying and selling decisions.”

August 23, 2013

June 2013 Unsold Inventory and Time on Market

June 2013 Unsold Inventory Index         Median Time on Market        
State/Region/County June
May 2013   June 2012   June 2013 May 2013   June 2012  
CA SFH (SAAR) 2.9 2.6   3.5   27.7 27.1   43.5  
CA Condo/Townhomes 2.7 2.4   3.5   27.5 27.2   49.1  
Los Angeles Metro Area 2.9 2.7   3.5   34.3 33.5   49.7  
Inland Empire 3.0 2.8   3.1   33.2 33.9   47.8  
S.F. Bay Area 2.3 2.2   2.7   34.1 31.4   44.3  
S.F. Bay Area                    
Alameda 1.9 2.1   2.1   49.5 48.2   59.5  
Contra-Costa (Central Cty.) 2.1 2.2   2.2   50.0 47.3   62.2  
Marin 2.9 2.8   4.3   33.3 29.6   44.4  
Napa 5.3 4.0   5.4   47.9 47.9   74.3  
San Francisco 2.4 2.9   3.1   24.8 24.2   35.3  
San Mateo 2.0 2.0   2.1   18.5 18.1   20.5  
Santa Clara 2.0 1.8   2.1   17.8 17.7   20.7  
Solano 2.7 1.8   3.7   37.6 32.5   52.4  
Sonoma 3.1 2.8   3.9   44.6 43.1   58.9  
Southern California                    
Los Angeles 2.8 2.5   3.4   28.8 27.9   46.6  
Orange County 3.0 2.7   4.2   42.5 42.1   56.0  
Riverside County 2.9 2.8   3.0   34.0 34.9   51.6  
San Bernardino 3.1 2.9   3.4   31.7 31.8   41.1  
San Diego 3.2 2.8   4.2   24.1 24.7   42.6  
Ventura 3.6 3.2   4.3   45.3 44.0   63.0  
Central Coast                    
Monterey 3.9 3.6   4.1   25.3 23.7   24.6  
San Luis Obispo 3.9 3.5   4.0   24.7 23.8   42.0  
Santa Barbara 4.5 3.4   4.0 r 29.7 28.4   65.4 r
Santa Cruz 3.3 2.7   4.4   21.6 21.2   34.2  
Central Valley                    
Fresno 3.4 3.6   4.1   24.4 24.7   27.2  
Glenn 4.3 5.4   NA   34.6 61.0   24.8  
Kern (Bakersfield) 2.0 1.8 r 2.9 r 13.0 16.0   34.0 r
Kings County 3.1 2.5   2.9 r 44.3 26.9   39.4 r
Madera 2.6 3.6   3.1   33.4 27.3   47.1  
Merced 2.4 2.1   2.5   26.0 25.7   45.5  
Placer County 2.4 2.3   3.7   20.0 20.3   28.4  
Sacramento 2.4 2.0   3.4   18.8 18.6   27.5  
San Benito 2.2 2.0   2.9   22.3 20.1   24.9  
San Joaquin 2.6 2.2   3.6   19.4 19.4   28.0  
Stanislaus 2.3 2.4   3.0   19.7 18.6   28.6  
Tulare 3.2 2.7   2.9 r 24.5 24.2   26.4 r
Other Counties in California                    
Amador NA NA   5.1   NA NA   51.1  
Butte County 4.2 2.9   4.4   24.2 26.4   27.7  
Calaveras 6.2 4.2   NA   37.0 31.0   NA  
Del Norte 11.3 7.6   NA   133.0 178.0   NA  
El Dorado County 4.0 3.3   4.5   68.3 69.0 r 98.3 r
Humboldt 5.6 5.0   6.1   29.7 27.5   41.0  
Lake County 5.8 5.0   5.2   56.4 69.7   68.6  
Tuolumne 5.7 4.7   5.8   45.5 28.1   44.7  
Mendocino 8.5 6.7   8.9   84.2 66.8   70.7  
Shasta 3.4 2.7   4.1   25.1 26.8   25.5  
Siskiyou County 11.8 9.1   13.5   57.6 64.6   51.3  
Tehama 5.0 6.4   5.9   41.9 33.4   50.3  
Yolo 2.1 2.3   3.2   18.6 19.4   29.8  

Original source -