Mammoth Lakes Real Estate Market Update

analysisThere are several different data points to review when answering this question including median price, days on market and total inventory sold.   Below is a snapshot of the last two years closed transaction in Mammoth Lakes and 2013 so far.

Condos  

2013 (as of Oct 29)

2012

2011

Median   Price

$251,750

$244,000

$242,000

Median   Days on Market

104

123

98

Total Condos SOLD

286

299

309

Single   Family Homes

2013 (as of Oct 29)

2012

2011

Median   Price

$592,500

$575,000

$560,000

Median   Days on Market

101

181

120

Total SF Homes SOLD

80

91

75

While this information is useful in observing trends, the current inventory must also be considered.  Below is a snapshot of the available properties available today:

CURRENTLY LISTED

Condos

Single Family Homes

Median   Price

$389,900

$659,950

Median   Days on Market

87

126

Total   Available Today 09/29

117

Relatively flat all of 2013

56

Slightly higher than 2013 average

In summary, both condos and single family homes are selling more quickly than 2012 and at a higher price than in the previous two years.   Inventory  levels  are low and have stayed relatively flat for 2013. Based on actual closed sales so far this year,  the trend indicates there will be more condos sold this year than last and about the same number of single family homes.   Inventory is needed to support this trend.

What does this mean to you?  Prices are trending up.  People interested in buying should increase their search and identify a property before prices go higher.    Sellers can expect to get more than they would have last year at this time.    Of course, there is no crystal ball.  Mammoth Lakes has historically followed Orange County and San Diego by 6-8 months.  These areas are still in an upward cycle.   Will the upward trend continue?  Time will tell.  My advice, if you find something you love, then now is the time to make that offer.

Where am I?

There are so many beautiful places I want to share in my beautiful home of Mammoth Lakes. Every week I will post a photo for “Where Am I Wednesday?” and you can give your best guess as to my location. The first person to correctly guess my location will receive a Starbucks gift card!

Any guesses where I took this this photo? Hint: This photo was taken approximately 30 minutes from Mammoth Lakes. Happy guessing!

2013-10-15 23.32.57

Where am I?

There are so many beautiful places I want to share in my beautiful home of Mammoth Lakes. Every week I will post a photo for “Where Am I Wednesday?” and you can give your best guess as to my location. The first person to correctly guess my location will receive a Starbucks gift card!

Any guesses where I took this this photo? Hint: This photo was taken approximately 30 minutes from Mammoth Lakes. Happy guessing!

2013-10-15 23.53.19

Should I rent or buy?

rent-or-buyThere are many facts to consider before answering this question.  The biggest one being how long you plan on staying in the community.  Experts advise if you plan on staying less than 7 years then purchasing might not be the best option.  Renting versus buying is also a question about lifestyle.  Renting provides mobility.  Owning provides security.

There are several useful rent vs. buy calculators available online which allow you to input your personal data and review various scenarios.  These calculators help you do more than simply compare a monthly mortgage versus rent payment.  They take into account all costs involved in your decision.

Also, make sure your decision is not based on the numerous rent vs. own myths.   A recent Trulia article (www.trulia.com), Chief Economist Jed Kolko dispelled some of the myths – around the rent vs. buy cost factors nationwide.  These are the  top two myths.

Myth:  Rising home prices and mortgage rates make it more expensive to buy than to rent.

Fact: Homeownership remains cheaper than renting nationally and in all of the 100 largest metro areas. But rising mortgage rates have narrowed the gap between the cost of buying and the cost of renting.

The 30-year fixed rate is now 4.80%, compared with 3.75% one year ago (according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, or MBA). This jump in rates has raised the cost of buying relative to renting. As a result, buying is 35% cheaper than renting today, versus being 45% cheaper than renting one year ago.

The key reason buying is still cheaper than renting is this: both rates and prices are rising from very low levels and are still below their long-term historical norms. But the rent versus buy math depends on your local market, as rising rates and prices have pushed a handful of metros very close to the tipping point when renting becomes cheaper.

Myth: The mortgage interest deduction is the only reason home ownership is more affordable than renting.

Fact: A key factor affecting the rent-versus-buy math is whether you itemize deductions on your income taxes and what tax bracket you’re in. If you itemize, you can deduct mortgage interest payments (not principal payments) and property tax payments from your income before calculating how much you owe in taxes. That said, only 33% of tax filers choose to itemize. Itemizing lowers the cost of buying relative to renting – especially if you pay taxes at a higher rate, because that means you’re deducting more.

But buying remains cheaper than renting almost everywhere even if you don’t itemize. Without itemizing – or if your tax situation means you get no benefit at all from itemizing – buying looks 22% cheaper than renting nationally.

Your local realtor can help you in your rent vs. buy decision by providing the costs associated with home ownership on a property you are considering.

 

Where Am I?

There are so many beautiful places I want to share in my beautiful home of Mammoth Lakes. Every week I will post a photo for “Where Am I Wednesday?” and you can give your best guess as to my location. The first person to correctly guess my location will receive a Starbucks gift card!

Any guesses where I took this this photo? Hint: This photo was taken approximately 30-40 minutes from Mammoth Lakes. Happy guessing!

Where Am I?

Where Am I?

There are so many beautiful places I want to share in my beautiful home of Mammoth Lakes. Every week I will post a photo for “Where Am I Wednesday?” and you can give your best guess as to my location. The first person to correctly guess my location will receive a Starbucks gift card!

Any guesses where I took this this photo? Hint: All photos will be within 10 miles of Mammoth Lakes unless otherwise specified. Happy guessing!

Where Am I

Tips for Sellers

for saleIt can be a bit overwhelming when deciding to sell your property.  The most important thing to remember is to be flexible, especially with sale terms. Purchase price, closing dates, move-in dates, storage, appliances, furniture and fees may all require a little negotiation. Whatever the terms, don’t let personal feelings stand in the way of a good deal.

Start with the basics.  Curb appeal, cleanliness, overall good condition and updates are especially crucial. Any little flaw should be taken care of before the first buyer drives up.

  • Attend open houses in your neighborhood to see what “sell-ready” really looks like. If you’re shy, ask your Real Estate Agent to walk you through a few sell-ready examples.
  • Start with the exterior to ensure you’re  making a good first impression. Clean up the front area including the  yard, front door, porch and garage door.  Change the lights on the front of the house, and if necessary, reset the walkway stone.
  • Clean the interior beyond your standards.   Even if they are impeccable, rent an industrial carpet cleaner or hire a professional cleaning service. Brighten the interior ambience with light  fixture updates, as new lighting is one of the most inexpensive and noticeable improvements you can make prior to listing.
  • Fix leaky faucets and make sure the water pressure is strong in both the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • If necessary, a great way to improve the appearance of your home is to paint. Use only neutral colors that can easily lend themselves to different décor and styles of furniture.

Don’t reject low offers; negotiate

  • Don’t dismiss lower-than-expected offers. Instead, consider buyer incentives that help you meet your asking price.  Offer to pay the buyer’s closing costs, moving costs or loan origination fee. These can help the buyer with upfront costs. As well, you may consider offering a limited home warranty that covers HVAC systems and some appliances for a definitive period of time.
  • Be careful of purchase offers that are contingent on the buyer selling their home first. Their home may be in a softer market than yours and you could be in for a long wait. Be sure that the purchase agreement includes a contingency-release clause. This way you’ll be able to sell if another buyer comes along.
  • The purchase price is just part of the deal. Anything that makes your property stand apart from the competition will give it an edge in a buyer’s market.