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Las Vegas Home Prices

Las Vegas Home Prices

Las Vegas Home prices are at levels we haven’t seen since early 2004.

That’s the year when home prices began to increase by 30% – 50% in some areas of the Las Vegas Valley.  I am not sure how much further home prices can drop, but as long as foreclosures continue to be so widespread in Las Vegas there is a chance that prices could keep falling.

What does this mean for potential buyers? 

It means a great deal on a home that just two years ago would have been priced way out of their budget. With interest rates still very low, buyers have an opportunity to get into their dream home with their closing costs paid and with a low interest rate!  Even Las Vegas Home Builders are giving incentives that you would not have seen in 2004 or 2005.  Take advantage of the real estate market in Las Vegas before home prices begin to rebound.

Can’t Sell Your Las Vegas Home? Rent It

Have you been trying to sell your Las Vegas Home and just can’t seem to get an offer or at least an offer that is close to what you are asking?  Is your home listed with a Las Vegas Real Estate Agent?  Are you wondering if your real estate agent is doing everything they can to get your home sold?  Well, they probably are doing everything they can!

If you are not behind in any payments and actually have equity, you probably can’t offer your home at a price that can compare to bank owned and shortsales in your neighbourhood.  According to Scott Nelson with Stewart Title of Las Vegas, over 95% of the homes in escrow are bank owned or shortsales.  That tells you that unless you can price your home comparable to Las Vegas Bank Owned homes, you will have a very hard time selling your home.

So what do you do?  Rent your Las Vegas Home!  Rental prices are rising and you have a better chance of renting your home than selling it!  So if you can afford to wait until the market becomes a little more favourable to sellers, rent your Las Vegas Home.

Oil Companies Post Huge Profits!

Oil executives were summoned to the Senate today to discuss the rise in prices of oil.  The Oil Executives defended prices stating that prices are set based on supply and demand.  They stated that supply was tight and demand is up across the world causing prices to increase.

The Senate’s stance was that Americans were hurting in the pocket book as the average cost to fill up the gas tank is $60 and the big Oil Companies are generating record profits, $36 billion in just the first quarter of this year.

It’s ridiculous that these Oil Companies are generating these type of profits when the average person can barely afford to cover their monthly expenses as the price of gas, food and utilities keep rising!  When will the government step in and demand the Oil Companies make changes to drive down the cost of gas?  When will the government force Saudi Arabia to produce more oil?  Something needs to change and quickly, we just cannot afford to keep paying these prices for gasoline!

FHA Great Program for Home Buyers

Since the mortgage industry is consistently changing their programs, it has been difficult to keep your borrower qualified and get the loan closed. By the time you submit the loan and you schedule a signing, a million things can change and that causes lots of issues for everyone involved in the transaction.

FHA has proven to be a solid program for those who are looking to purchase or refinance. The interest rates are a little better then conventional pricing on a 30 year fixed. There is a 3% minimum down payment requirement that can be a gift of equity or the buyer can use the down payment assistance program. The seller is also allowed to contribute up to 6% seller concessions. This makes it easier for those clients who don’t have a lot of money to bring to the table.

If the home is in rough shape and needs to have repairs that is not a problem for FHA. There is a program that will allow the purchase of a home in need of repairs and not require the repairs to be done prior to closing. They will lend the purchase price and the amount needed up to $35,000 (I will have to double check that figure) for repairs to the home. It is a strong program for those homes that have been let go and the owners don’t want to put the money into the property before they sell it. Especially works well for REO’s.

If you want more information on FHA financing, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Lou Dobbs Message, “Hold Tight”!

On May 18th, Lou Dobbs, CNN Anchor was the keynote speaker at the 2008 International Council of Shopping Center’s Real Estate Convention being held at the Las Vegas Hilton.  Mr. Dobbs spoke to tens of thousands of real estate professionals about the real estate industry and the economy.  He summed up the U.S. economic situation as “normal business cycle”.

Mr. Dobbs stated he anticipates a stronger national economy by years end and advised real estate professionals to “Hold Tight” until the economy strengthens.  Las Vegas has already shown signs that the local economy is strengthening with the increase in homes sold over the same month last year and the unemployment rate dropped in April compared to March 2008.  All positive signs that Las Vegas might be on a slow path to recovery.

Las Vegas Bank Owned Properties

Whose got all the bank owned business in Las Vegas?  It’s the Las Vegas Agents that have developed the relationships with Asset Managers that control the bank owned properties!

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

I was looking at the expired list today and there was one name, I will leave nameless, who had numerous expired listings.  This Las Vegas agent has hundreds of bank owned properties, but I never see him marketing his listings any where.  You definitely don’t want to have to do a deal with him either, he never answers his phone and he usually doesn’t return your phone calls for a few days.  So how does he get so many bank owned listings?  I spoke to him a few weeks ago and asked him how he was so successful in getting so many bank owned listings and he said a friend of his was an asset manager so he gets all bank owned listings for Las Vegas.

So like I said, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.  But isn’t it like that in every industry?

So for those agents that keep trying to develop a relationship with an asset manager, don’t give up, keep forging ahead and eventually your hard work will pay off or you could just become friends with an asset manager 🙂

Trulia, Friend or Foe?

You would think Trulia is there to help local real estate agents grow their business by giving them cool tools and widgets!  But that is just not the case.  Trulia is your competitor no matter which way you look at it.  Let’s look at my local market and the term “Las Vegas Real Estate” on Google.

Trulia ranks in the top 10 and ironically I am #11 which is on page 2.

Editor Note: Trulia no ranks #3 as of 4/1/2018.

So by placing these widgets and tools on my website, I am in fact helping my competitor by placing one way links to them. 

We all know that Trulia has “no follow” attributes on their website, so they are not sharing any link juice to their so called “trusted partners”. So needless to say, I have no Trulia widgets on my website and I encourage all real estate agents to remove any and all Trulia widgets or banners from their website.

It’s hard enough competing with other local real estate professionals but now you have to worry about a free national website that has a spending budget of millions.

Stop competing against yourself and do not link to Trulia!

Project CityCenter, Las Vegas (Completed 2010)

The country is in a recession, Las Vegas Casinos are seeing earnings drop from years past, but yet MGM Mirage is still moving forward with their 8 billion dollar project, City Center. Las Vegas continues to reinvent itself even during economic downturns. Project City Center is a project that consists of condos, hotels, casinos and retail district sitting within a 76 acre area.  You can easily say that Project City Center is a city within a city.

According to City Center’s website:

“CityCenter is a cutting-edge destination, with an urban core that will blend world-class residential, hospitality, retail, gaming and entertainment elements into a synergistic hub of distinctive character.  The $8 billion CityCenter – the largest single privately funded development in U.S. history – will catapult Las Vegas to new status among the most sophisticated cities of the world.”

Project City Center will be the ultimate destination in Las Vegas and all future projects will be compared to City Center.

Update:  As of 2015, CityCenter has been re-branded as “Aria”.

Where Are All The Las Vegas Real Estate Agents?

I have been following the news and reading the newspaper about so many Las Vegas real estate agents having to get part time jobs just so they can survive. Many Las Vegas agents have given up on a career in real estate all together.

 So what’s my point? 

Well, I have been trying to hire new agents for the last 2 months and it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I am very active online and participate in many real estate forums and it appears that many real estate agents all over the country are looking for leads.

But if that’s the case, why I am having such a hard time finding agents to give business? I have personally emailed them, posted on craigslist, posted in real estate forums and sent out bulletins on Myspace.  Can you believe I have had only 1 Vegas agent contact me?

I guess maybe the agents that are still working are doing very well and don’t need any extra business or maybe the just don’t want to work with me?  Nah, that can’t be it?

Las Vegas Man Sues Countrywide After Adjustable Rate Mortgage Doubles

Your adjustable rate mortgage that you signed for a few years ago has just doubled, what do you do?  Well one Las Vegas man decided to sue his lender because his mortgage payment doubled when his adjustable rate mortgage adjusted.

The lawsuit claims he was talked into an adjustable rate mortgage that he could not afford and that documents were falsified by those that were involved in the transaction.

The mans attorney is claiming that Countrywide “took advantage of his lack of education, training, skill and ability”.

So let me get this straight; you sign for a loan, your payment goes up and then you sue and claim “they took advantage of your lack of education, training, skill and ability?” 

Now if loan documents were falsified in order for him to get approved then absolutely he was taking advantage of.  But if after all facts come out and there is no proof that loan documents were falsified then I just don’t see how he can sue because someone else is more educated than him.

Real Estate Slump, Whose to Blame?

Anyone that is paying any attention to the economy knows that the real estate market is in a slump all across the United States.  But the question remains, whose to blame?  Some say it is Wall Street for creating these investment portfolios for the banks and lenders.  Some say it’s the banks and lenders allowing anyone with a social security number to get qualified for a home loan that they could not afford.  Some say it’s the loan officers who pushed their clients into these loan programs only to line their pockets with more money.

But when you think about it, there has to be more to it?

I do believe that many of the above mentioned contributed to the real estate crash, but I also believe that the Media played even a bigger role!  Back in 2004 when the real estate market was taking off, it was the media that informed the public how hot the real estate market was and how investors are flocking to hot markets to make a buck.  That’s like telling a child, there is candy on the top shelf, you know the child is going to do whatever it takes to get the candy.  So now you have the media informing the public about the hot market and how investors are making money, so now you have uneducated so called investors buying “investment properties”.  They don’t want to be left behind, Harvey down the street is buying investment properties!

Fast forward a few years later and the media begins to inform the public that the real estate markets aren’t doing as well, now lenders are filing bankruptcy because they can’t get Wall Street to buy their portfolios.  Poeple are panicking, what are they going to do?  People that would normally be buying their first home or a second home are now hesitant because of everything they are seeing and reading on TV and newspapers.

So next time you hear of someone that lost their home to foreclosure and you think, “man they got screwed by their lender”, take a second to think how the media played a role.

Positive Signs in the Las Vegas Real Estate Market?

For the 4th straight month, Las Vegas Home Sales are up. We have seen an increase in home sales over the same month from the previous year for the first time since September 2005.

Are these signs that the Las Vegas real estate market might be turning around? 

Let’s not get to excited just yet; we still need to see how the rest of spring and summer goes before we can really access indications that the market might be rebounding.

We should continue to see a rise in Las Vegas Foreclosures as the adjustable rate mortgages continue to – well – adjust.  As more foreclosures enter the market, home prices will continue to fall as banks drop the prices to move inventory off their books. So there is a good chance Las Vegas Home prices will continue to fall.

However, the Las Vegas Strip is expected to create over 113,000 jobs over the next 5 years starting with the opening of Project City Center in 2010. With the creation of these jobs, we will begin to see an influx of people moving to Las Vegas filling these new job opportunities.  This will help the Las Vegas Housing Market as the influx of people relocating here will need housing. It will be interesting to watch how the Las Vegas real estate market evolves over the next 9 – 12 months.