According to a new survey just released, more than 48% of first-time home-buyers in the U.S. are expecting home prices to go up within the next 12 months. More than 80% of buyers believe that now is a good time to buy a home. (Survey published by Century 21 on 04/21/2010).
Here in Culver City, home prices are back down to their 2003 price levels. For those of us who bought before 2003 (and hopefully didn’t use our homes as ATMs), there is still equity available. For those who bought after 2003, the decrease in home value is called an “unrealized loss” by economists since you are not actually taking the hit unless you sell.
For those who are thinking about selling their home, more than half are selling now because they want to purchase a home that is more attractive and/or better suits their needs. Houses up in Culver Crest and in the “more desirable” neighborhoods like Carlson Park and Higuera areas have also softened in their prices, so a 4 bedroom 2 bath over 2000 square foot 2-story house on Madison Avenue which was worth over $1M back in 2007, can now be picked up in the mid-$800,000 range.
Prices are soft at the above $750,000 range because financing is harder to get and people need to have a good chunk of change to put down (20% starts to add up fast).
And then there are the many bank-owned properties that are being sold by the banks – some of which reside in our fair city. Bank-owned homes tend to need some TLC (some need a lot of elbow grease to become livable), but for people with a little cash and a lot of energy (picture young eager first-time home buyers) saving $$$ and getting their foot in the door of home ownership in Culver City is very exciting. Smallish fixer-upper houses on the western side of our little city can be picked up for under $475,000 and even below $400,000 depending on your tolerance for serious rehabbing and unfixable issues (like being directly below the 405 Freeway expansion).
Natalie Bergman is a licensed realtor, affiliated with the Beverly Hills and Greater Los Angeles Board of Realtors, California Association of Realtors and National Association of Realtors. She and her business partner, Nicole Costas, function as Socal Acquisitions LLC under the Keller Williams Realty shingle.
For more information or to contact Natalie Bergman, visit her website at www.socalacquisitions.com or email her at [email protected].