Why is the real estate market not surging ahead?

Southern California home sales









Real Estate market is stuck in neutral

Sales are at the highest point of 2014 burr still below last year. NAR says it’s because of the lack of inventory. Builders are not building enough new homes to satisfy the demand. According to the NAR we need 14 million new homes and less than 10 million are being built. But it looks like the builders have a reason to be cautious.

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Short sales have a hidden problem

short-sale-sign1A short sale can cost you money

If you did a short sale on your property, you could be in trouble. When a lender agrees to take less than what is owed on your loan, you are liable for paying tax on that amount. It’s really a forgiven debt and is considered as ordinary income to you and taxable. How would like 100k of income that you never received added to your taxable income?

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10 things you need to know about dealing with contractors


First of all this is not about trust. You have to assume they are out to cheat you and
behave accordingly.

1. Check the contractor out with the better business bureau.
2. Check with the state to make sure they don’t have any claims against them.
3. Ask to see their license and proof of insurance, and worker’s comp proof.
4. Get references and make sure it’s not their brother in law. You can ask for
addresses of places they did and then check to see who the owner is.
5. You should always get more than one bid. Make sure the bid is broken down into
material and labor. Be sure the list is written on a first grade level . Don‘t assume
anything. Spell it all out. Specify materials- brand, size, brand name and product.
6.You can act as your own gc and let the main contractor do most the “handyman” type
jobs and then sub out the big stuff like roof or plumbing. Remember that the gc is going
to do that and make money on every sub.
7. Make sure you get proof of partial releases with names of subs.You have to be aware
that when the gc gets subs, you have to make sure that they get paid or you can get a lien
on your house. Stamp each check with lien waiver release stamp so he can’t come back at
you. When everything is done, you need a unconditional final waiver. That is not done
until the final inspection from the city is done.
8.The contract is most important. In Ca. a contractor can only ask for 10% upfront so
don’t fall for that 50% crap. You should lay out a payment schedule and what they have
to do to get paid. I think it should be tied to inspector signoffs. You should set a start and
finish date with penalties for missing dates and well as rewards for early finish. You
should include proceedures for changes .
10. If it’s a big job I would suggest an attorney to review it.

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