I just finished my second HUD transaction in a year. In both cases my Buyers got fantastic deals….but it came at a cost. Navigating the bureaucracy, paying additional fees, dealing with slipping deadlines, and dealing with some rude representatives are unfortunately par for the course. If you can handle this kind of stress, HUD homes may be an option. If not, consider yourself warned.

I feel more equipped to guide my clients through the process. My second clients certainly benefitted from knowledge gained on round one. My next HUD transaction will surely go even smoother.

It does make me wonder why this kind of learning curve is required to “play ball” with government owned properties. We take classes. Some agents swear they won’t deal with HUD. As a citizen and tax payer this is really disturbing to me. As I expressed my frustrations to others involved in the process I received empathetic agreement…and resignation that we had to put up with it.

Maybe so, but I’m going to write to HUD and my Representatives.

I am thrilled at the end result of both transactions. I just wish it weren’t so painful getting there.

http://whatsupgig.com/173/

Fun Events Always Going on in Gig Harbor

There is always something fun for everyone in the whole family.  For example, check out the Children’s Cooking Class at Bella Kitchen & Home 

RE/MAX #1

My mom always said it wasn’t nice to brag.  But as Dave Liniger, Board Chairman of RE/MAX International, told nearly 1,000 RE/MAX Brokers, Owners and Managers in Los Angeles last month…

He is through being polite or humble about the unmatched competitive advantages of RE/MAX affiliation. We have the best, most productive, most experienced Sales Associates in the business, and there’s no reason to be shy about what that means.

RE/MAX Sales Associates are…

  • #1 in Market Share
  • #1 in Sales Associate Productivity
  • #1 in Brand Name Awareness
  • #1 in Advertising
  • #1 in Lead Generation
  • #1 in Professional Education

And we received an award from J.D. Power and Associates to prove it!  When I first got into real estate I could have joined any agency.  Clearly the most productive, seasoned, successful agents were associated with RE/MAX, and I wanted to work with and learn from the best.  I’ve always been happy with my decision.

Cancer Care in the South Sound

Today I heard an interesting presentations from an organization making a real difference in our community. When it comes to cancer care, locals immediately think of Seattle to get the best and cutting edge treatment. Our region is blessed with fantastic research facilities like Fred Hutchinson, but for those of who live an hour+ away the commute can add to the stress of an already dire situation.

Fortunately, there are great doctors and facilities here in the South Sound region. Dr. Frank Senecal told us about the South Sound CARE Foundation.

The purpose of the foundation is to advance the standard of care through access of clinical trials. Their initiative is to expand and maximize the patient access to clinical trials.

Great news for those of us who know that being “at home” is part of the overall plan to beating this terrible disease. For more information, check out www.SouthSoundCAREFoundation.org.

National Rental Prices Climb

I’ve been wondering when we were going to see rental prices go up, and it looks as though the theory of supply and demand is finally catching up.  According to Hot Pads, a real estate research site, rent prices are up 6.7% in June relative to the prior year.  This reflects a national average of 500,000 rentals.

On a local level, I’ve been seeing the number of homeowners go down, specifically with people who cannot afford to be in their homes and sell short or are foreclosed.  Realistically all of these former owners are now renters.  So, with an increased demand of rental units, you would think the cost of rent would go up.  I don’t follow the rental market that closely, but I wasn’t hearing any “word on the street” of price increases….until recently.

One thought that I have for the delay in rent increases is many homeowners opted to rent their homes rather than sell.  Suppose a job transfer causes a move.  If the homeowner can’t sell the home for what he/she would like or can’t sell it for what is owed, renting the property became a viable option.  This would increase the supply of rentals, delaying the increase in pricing.  However, as you would expect, the number of homeowners-turned-landlords is limited.

Direct correlation between rental prices and former homeowner residences now being rented?  It’s hard to prove, especially on a local level, but it only stands to reason.  I’ll keep an ear open for further talk of rent prices and report back.  It might be what investors want to hear to push them.  Low prices + low interest rates + high inventory + higher rents = Happy, Profitable Investors.

To blog or not to blog….

I’ve been vowing for weeks to start a blog.  There have been so many times that I wished I had a place to put important and helpful information for clients and friends.  Other times, I just want to post some pictures, announce an upcoming event, share some up-to-date stats….but where do I put these so others can access it?!  It’s times like that I wish I had a blog.  Other times, when I have the time, I don’t have an immediate need to create a site.  You see my problem.

So bear with me as I attempt to learn this new technology.  I encourage you to check it for information regarding the real estate market, particularly as it pertains to the Gig Harbor / Tacoma / South Puget Sound area.  We have a saying in this business, “all real estate is local”.   The national news and statistics may have nothing to do with what is happening in your neighborhood.  We tend to lag behind other parts of the country, so we can look at other markets and make a prediction of things to come.  But adding the local spin and data can really put things into perspective.

Speaking of local, all work and no play makes for a boring life!   Therefore, I will of course post what is going on about town.  I’m happy to share what I know about civic events, great restaurants, businesses and service providers that go above and beyond, opportunities to get involved….even thoughts on the book I’m reading.  Consider the hard data of the real estate market as the main course, but you gotta have some spice, right?!