Archive for the ‘Market Updates’ Category

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Supply Versus Demand

Supply versus demand -What does that mean to you? 

Many areas in Orange County are experiencing the lowest inventory rates we have seen in over 5 years! This does not apply to every neighborhood but in general:

  • Active available listings are trending the lowest in over 5 years 
  • New Listings are trending the lowest we have seen in over 5 years
  • Pending Sales hit the HIGHEST point in over 5 years
  • Current available inventory is  around  2-3 months supply!

We could be facing a very hot summer real estate market this year! 

If you are looking for purchase this spring it is a good time to get started! Lending has been very tight but we are seeing signs of improvement. Loans are key so make this your first step.  Contact Mary or visit my web site to view available listings. I am here to help and look forward to hearing from you! Call direct or text 949-275-6544

Now is the Time to BUY!!

Fall and Winter  is the Time to BUY!!

As the holidays draw near (or to a close) and the cold sets in we tend to become more dormant, much like the real estate market in many regions of the country, making it a great time to get out and buy before conditions likely thaw out by spring. There is still time to get a great deal!

The real estate market typically softens this time of the year. Kids are settled into the school year, the holidays are here, and many put off  buying a home until spring, or at least until the new year.

But the savvy home buyer will take advantage of the current conditions, which, coupled with historically low  interest rates , make it an excellent time to buy.

Homes will typically sit on the market a little longer in the winter which often presents buyers with a good opportunity to negotiate their best deal.

If you have been thinking about buying next year, or plan on buying in the near future, you may want to reconsider your plans to time the market  It could end up saving you a considerable amount of money.

Not only will you risk the probability that prices will rise, but who knows what interest rates will be like next year. Today’s low rates are  incentive enough to think about buying now.  

The chill of winter is setting in (well maybe not so much here in California!) and as the holiday season draws to a close (Happy New Year!) ,  sellers have been realizing they must be more competitive in the marketplace to affect a sale, “Many listings are now beginning to show reductions in price, and sellers are becoming more aware of how they need to  set their homes apart from all the others on the market.”

So if you do start looking in the weeks ahead, be sure to keep an open mind. Always think about the future potential. You can always change the carpet that would clash with your furnishings, paint the walls, replace outdated appliances, or add the back yard patio area that is missing. Remember, if the sellers are anxious to sell or the house has been on the market a considerable length of time, you’ll likely have the advantage in the negotiation process.

Finally, if you do manage to buy and close escrow by the end of the year (too late if you aren’t in escrow already!) you’ll have the added benefit of being able to deduct your closing costs, mortgage interest, and property taxes on your 2012 tax return!

Plan on Buying a Home Next Year?

Then Keep Holiday Spending to a Minimum

If you’re pconsidering purchasing a home in the coming year, then you’ll want to keep an especially close eye on your holiday spending -as not to hamper your chances of getting a loan You will want to refrain from opening any credit accounts for major appliance or electronic purchases , avoid  running your existing credit cards to their limits, resist overspending by using your credit to finance your holiday gift spending  or dipping  into the money you’ve set aside for a down payment on your new home.

Why? When you apply for a mortgage, the lender will request a credit score with the credit report. A credit score is a computer-generated number that indicates your ability and willingness to repay a debt based on your credit record. This is an important factor the lender used to determine whether you will be approved for a loan and to determine the mortgage interest rate.

Your credit history is very important in obtaining a loan If you show a pattern of managing your credit wisely, keeping credit card balances low and paying your bills on time consistently, your credit score will be positively affected.

Remember, besides the initial down payment you plan to put down on your home purchase, you’ll also need to have some cash available for closing costs, which will usually run between 2 and 7 percent of the property’s value. Closing costs cover taxes, recording fees, inspections, prepaid loan interest, title insurance, financing costs, and points – the dollar amount paid to a lender for obtaining a lower interest rate on a loan.

In addition to the down payment and the closing costs, you’ll need to have some cash to move, for homeowners insurance, property taxes, maintenance and repairs. And don’t forget furnishings and other household items once you move in.

So, with that in mind, the best thing to do as you tackle your holiday shopping is to plan ahead and do your homework.

  • Develop a budget. Determine who you’re buying for and how much you plan on spending.
  • Look for other ways to pay for holiday gifts. Can you put in some overtime to earn extra money? Do you have time to work an extra job during the holidays? Can you adjust your household budget – perhaps exclude your monthly or weekly dinner and movie out?
  • Try to avoid shopping at the last minute. The stress will lead you to buy whatever’s easiest, not most economical.
  • Look for deals and sales. Scour the weekly ads. Look for deals and coupons on the Internet.
  • Keep track of how much you spend. Once your shopping is done, don’t spend any more on the holidays.
  • Pay off any debt in full in January. Try to limit credit card use during the holidays, but pay it off once you receive your first-of-the-year statement.

Small sacrifices when your consider the reward to spending next Christmas in your new home!

Inflation and Mortgage Rates

Could Inflation affect mortgage rates soon? Most people do not think about inflation but it is already here. Just consider how much prices have gone up in the last year. You will see an increase in almost everything you buy!

 Contrary to what the Fed has said about it moderating, year-over-year inflation is on the rise. Producer Price Index (PPI) rose by 0.8% in the month of September, elevating year-over-year wholesale prices by  6.9%. Meanwhile, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September rose by 0.3%, and while this was inline with estimates it pushed the year-over-year number to 3.9%. This is significant because the year-over-year figure was just 1.6% in January.

Remember, inflation is the arch enemy of Bonds and home loan rates. The concept is very simple: If inflation rises, investors in Bonds demand a higher yield to offset the lost buying power inflation imposes on a fixed payment. And as home loan rates are tied to Mortgage Bonds, this would mean home loan rates move higher.

It’s still important to remember that now remains a great time to purchase  a home, as home loan rates  are still near historic lows. .

If you need help in purchasing or selling a home in Orange County Ca just Contact Mary or text /call 949-275-6544

Catch the Wave?

Here we are in May already! Time flies quickly by! The stock market is doing better this week, Chrysler is going Bankrupt and housing sales in Irvine has been hitting its stride.

You may have heard many people describe real estate as cyclical but I would compare the ups and down of real estate to catching a wave. It seems like you must “catch it” at just the right time! We have already seen a huge inventory of bank foreclosures come and go. There are very few of these right now and who knows if there will be another “wave” in the future. The optimal time may or may not have passed but it is still a very “good” time.  Inventory of homes for sale in Irvine is disappearing at a very fast rate. Albeit mostly in the under the Million price range it still is amazing to see homes so quickly disappearing fromt he mls “active’ list! The governement is offering incentives and interest rates are very low. How long will they stay this low-You might ask? Many economists are predicting we are getting close to the end of the recession and now they are worrying about inflation. This usually follows a recession! Some people mistakenly believe that when interest rates go up-prices go down. But sadly that is not the case! History has shown us double digit interest rates on mortgages when the prices were rising. In fact, since it is “inflation” it makes everything rise! If youi would like to hedge your bet against this possibility you would do well to buy real estate. Of course paying cash would be a great hedge against the future but if not, finance with a 30 year fixed low interest rate and get ready to ride out the next wave. 

Remember, no one has a Crystal Ball so everything is subject to interpretation. There are many indicators you can use to time the market and interest rates, supply and demand, decreasing foreclosures, are just a few. Several areas in California are still leading the foreclosure list including Riverside/San Bernardino and some other counties like Merced. But unless you are interested in buying in those areas you would do well just to look at the “local market activity”. Real estate is always LOCAL. If you would like more information on buying a home today please give me a call at 949-275-6544 or just send me an Email  . You can visit my web site and view all the homes for sale in Southern Orange County! I look forward to hearing from you!


Shady Canyon Home Sales Update

Last summer Shady Canyon inventory of homes for sale spiked to a new high! At our height of inventory we had approximately  52 homes for sale. Inventory has now decreased  to 38 homes. Prices currently range from approx. $2.6 mil to over $18 mil. This doesn’t actually reflect a total sold since most are replaced with new listings as we go. Homes sold since June in Shady total 17. This is hardly a slow selling season!  The lowest current inventory is in the track homes Villas, Sycamores and The Masters collection. Most of our current inventoy are brand homes and many are builder close outs. We also have a fabulous selection of resale homes. All sales offices for Sycamore, Masters Collection, and The Villas are closed out and homes in these neighborhood are only available  through resale! This is a great time to take advantage of some of the great price reductions we are seeing in this neighborhood. There has never been a better time to find your “Made in the Shade” Shady Canyon Home. For more info on this community or your personal tour Email   or call Mary Burke 949-275-6544 today. See what this wonderful community can offer you. You can also see all current all Shady Canyon property listings currently available today!  


There have been many recent stories on television and in the paper talking about how many homes are for sale now, how it is taking longer to sell, and how some sellers are giving concessions to get their homes sold! And now we are officially declared in a recession!

Some sellers are considering waiting to sell their homes in belief that the housing market will improve. Many homes on the market are priced at 15-25% below the previous year and we are in a declining market. Yes, the market is definitely in the buyer’s favor right now. 

However, the  number of houses for sale had increased each year for four or five years, but for the first time inventory is declining…

As a seller it is tougher, but as a buyer you are more in the driver’s seat. Though you may not get quite a much for your current home, your next home will also be priced lower than it would be otherwise. This year was marked by foreclosures and short sales and the market has lost about 20-25% of value. While this means that sellers cannot expect as much for their homes as last year, it also means for sellers that are moving up – their future home will not cost as much as they expected. If you’re planning a move to a higher price range, it should actually be in your favor. Interest rates are  historically low and could go lower with some of the current fed plans! That’s another story yet to come!

If you are planning to move in the next 18 months, then you may want to consider moving now to take advantage of the low interest rates and current price reductions. Remember that taxes are also calculated on the price of the homes so lower prices could work considerably in your favor!

Currently in Irvine and Newport Coast inventory is declining and in some neighborhoods and price ranges there are actually very few homes for sale! If your home is in one of these neighborhoods it could be a good time to sell-Less competition!

If you would like a free list of homes for sale in the Irvine or Orange County area, would like more information about Irvine or any of the surrounding communities, or would like to be the first to know about hot new listings before other buyers do, then E-mail Mary Burke at  or give me a call at: 949-275-6544. I lookforward to hearing from you!

Quail Hill Market Update

We here at LifeStyles Realty continuously monitor local real estate statistics to keep our clients informed and ahead of the real estate trends. Below you will find Quail Hill real estate statistics for December as of December, 19, 2008

  • Number of Homes currently on the market: 35
  • Number of Homes in escrow (pending or back up):10
  • Number of closings: 7

To find the value of your home please visit my web site for your free over the net home evaluationClick here to see Quail Hill Solds

If you would like a free list of homes for sale in the Quail Hill or Irvine  area, would like more information about Irvine or any of the surrounding communities, or would like to be the first to know about hot new listings before other buyers do, then E-mail Mary Burke at  or give me a call at: 949-275-6544. I lookforward to hearing from you!

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