Las Vegas Real Estate Update-June 2012

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Greater Living Southern Nevada
June 2012

Protect Yourself with a Homestead

Nevada homeowners can protect up to $550,000 of their home’s equity – the difference between the value of the home and what is owed – from general creditors by filing a Declaration of Homestead with the County Recorder. The simple one-page form can be a shield against debts and judgments incurred due to medical bills, car accidents, credit cards and unsecured business and personal loans.

Any creditor may file an action against you, obtain a judgment and record a lien on your property. The homestead means the first $550,000 of equity cannot be touched by the general creditor. A homestead does not protect you against the following debts, obligations or liens:

  • Mortgage or deed of trust
  • Mechanic’s lien
  • CIC lien for assessments
  • Property taxes, income taxes, or IRS lien
  • Child support or alimony
  • Medicaid lien

In other words, any of these creditors could still recover what it is owed from any equity, and/or force a sale of the property. To complete the Declaration of Homestead form you will need the parcel number and legal description of your home, which are available at the Clark County Assessor’s website. The form must be completed legibly in black ink and signed in front of a notary public. File the completed form with the Clark County Recorder in person or via mail to 500 Grand Central Parkway, Box 551510, Las Vegas, NV 89155-1510. The recording fee is $17 for the first page and $1 for each additional page. It is important to note that homestead protection is not a substitute for home insurance or any other type of liability insurance. These are separate and distinct types of protection.Click here to read Nevada’s Homestead Law. If you have any questions about filing a homestead, whether a homestead is right for you, or protecting your assets, please consult your attorney.

Sales Statistics

5 signs real estate markets are improving

It’s about more than just low interest rates
By Bernice Ross, Monday, June 4, 2012, Inman News®

We’re in the midst of spring selling season and mixed among all the negative news about unemployment and the worrisome news from overseas there are signs that the real estate market has begun taking its first tentative steps to recovery.

Could the horrible housing recession that we have been experiencing since 2007 finally be coming to an end? The answer depends upon your local market; however, there are a number of national trends that bode well for almost everyone.

1. Price increases lag behind inventory declines
According to the S&P/Case-Shiller National Composite, an index of national home prices, housing prices peaked for the nation as a whole during the second quarter of 2006. But prices continued to increase in some housing markets in 2006 and 2007. Normally, inventory increases result in decreasing prices. In some areas, it took almost a full two years after the inventory started to climb before the prices began to decline. It appears that in many areas, the exact reverse of that situation is happening now. Even though inventories are down, prices in some areas are still flat or declining slightly.

As the market absorbs the inventory and multiple offers continue to occur, prices will start to increase. Normally when this happens, buyers who have been sitting on the sidelines realize the bottom of the market has passed them by. This can trigger a buying frenzy that causes prices to increase even more.

There’s an even stronger impetus, however. Mortgage rates have never been lower. As of last week, rates on 30-year fixed mortgages were almost a full percentage point lower than they were a year ago, which translates into nearly $1,200 less in annual payments on a $200,000 loan.

Low rates have sparked another refinancing boom, but many would-be homebuyers are unable or unwilling to take advantage. The Mortgage Bankers Association expects purchase loan originations will climb by nearly 73 percent next year, to $706 billion. But the trade group recently lowered its purchase originations forecast for 2012, from $415 billion to $409 billion, citing lower home prices and weaker sales than previously expected.

Low interest rates are also driving another trend: It is now cheaper to buy than rent in more than 90 percent of the major metropolitan areas in the United States.

Moreover, the Zillow Real Estate Market Report for April showed monthly home-value appreciation in 88 of 166 metropolitan areas tracked. (Even though prices are increasing in certain areas, Zillow estimates prices are still down 24 percent since their 2007 peak.)

2. A major improvement in the foreclosure market
RealtyTrac is reporting that in April, the number of U.S. homes subjected to foreclosure-related filings dropped to the lowest level since July 2007. Due to the robo-signing scandal, however, the judicial foreclosure states may have a glut of foreclosure property coming on the market very soon. Prime areas of concern include Florida and a number of states in the Northeast. The robo-signing issues delayed lenders from making foreclosures thereby creating a major backlog. Now that the robo-signing issues are resolved, these properties have already begun to come back on the market now.

On the other hand, most other states have continued to push through their foreclosure glut and are in the process of climbing out of this mess. In fact, many report that their markets have stabilized.

3. New-home sales are up
Newly released data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau show that newly built, single-family home sales increased by 3.3 percent in April. This is good news for builders who have cut back production. Currently there are only 5.1 months of new-home inventory available nationally, which is suggestive of the early stages of a seller’s market.

What’s particularly interesting about the data is that “McMansion” sales are back. These are large houses on relatively small lots with top-drawer amenities. Homebuilders are reporting an uptick in the sizes of homes they are building. The Census Bureau is reporting that the average size of new homes built in metro areas has jumped from 2,382 square feet in 2003 to 2,550 square feet last year.

4. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae make banks toe the line on short sales
In an attempt to shorten the short-sale process, which RealtyTrac reports takes an average of 306 days, new regulations governing short sales kick in on June 15 for mortgages held by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Lenders will have to respond to a short-sale request within 30 days. If the lender cannot answer the homeowner within the 30-day period, the lender is required to update the homeowner weekly until the short sale is accepted or declined.

The National Association of Realtors has also jumped into the fray by recommending that lenders put more effort into doing loan modifications that allow families to stay in their homes, reduce defaults and stabilize neighborhoods.

5. Increased affordability
According to the National Association of Homebuilders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, 77.5 percent of all homes sold in the first quarter of 2012 were affordable to families earning the national median income ($65,000). This is an increase from 75.9 percent in 2011.

Again, while these national signs bode well for the real estate market, what is happening in your local market is influenced by the amount of inventory, the number of foreclosures and REOs, as well as the demand. The easiest way to track this is to watch the number of months of inventory. If the inventory is declining, chances are there is good news for your market in the very near future. If there are still too many foreclosures and REOs, you still may have some rocky times ahead.

Email me at or call me at (702) 355-H.o.m.e. [4663] for more information regarding the market.
Hoping you have enjoyed my Newsletter…. 🙂
I sure would “like” a “like” from you on my FB Business Page
Thanking you in advance for your support.
See ya on the Strip!
Thanks and have a great d1
Julia at Realty ONE 🙂

Brought to you by…
Julia St Marie
Realty ONE Group, Inc
(702) 355-4663
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Why Use a REALTOR®?

The REALTOR® mark shows that your real estate agent is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and adheres to a strict Code of Ethics. There are many reasons to use a REALTOR® to help you buy or sell a home. Here’s one:

A REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening your local marketplace and the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties.

Bank of America streamlining short-sale procedures

Decisions on offers may be trimmed to 20 days or less
By Inman News

Bank of America says it’s making changes to its short-sale procedures that will shorten decision times on short sale offers to 20 days, down from 45 days or longer.

The new task flow in Bank of America’s short-sale management platform, Equator, will enable short-sale specialists to conduct tasks like document collection, valuations and underwriting simultaneously. When buyers walk, agents will have five days instead of 14 days to submit a backup offer.

Bank of America is requiring a new third-party authorization form for short sales initiated beginning April 14.

When the changes to Equator take effect Saturday, five documents will be required to process short sales initiated with an offer:

Are Buyers Overlooking Key Factors in Home Purchases?

On May 28, 2012, in Home Trends, by Melissa Tracey

Home buyers may be so swayed by the home’s appearance and price that they may be missing out on researching some other important factors about the home that may keep them happy there for years to come. Articles in U.S. News & World Report and the Community Associations Network highlight some of the most common areas that buyers’ are overlooking in their home purchases.

Some of these overlooked areas include:

1. Nearby zoning. The surrounding area of a home or neighborhood can change drastically through the years so home buyers shouldn’t always assume that what they see today is what they’ll get a few years from now. Green picturesque landscapes outside their windows may one day be replaced by a row of retail stores or major highway? On the other hand, sometimes change can be viewed as good, such as a recreational park or school nearby.
To avoid unhappy surprises, though, home buyers should investigate the zoning of any vacant properties near them to give them more of an idea of what the future may hold.

2. Remodeling interference. Home buyers may have big plans for the home they want to buy, but are they sure they’ll be able to do everything on their list? Homeowner association’s may have something to say about home owners who want to change their exterior. They also may have something to say about additions, like adding a garage or a guest house, or even what type of plants you use in your front or backyard. Any home buyers with lofty remodeling goals may want to check with the community or homeowner association beforehand to make sure their plans will be allowed.

3. Sight, sound and smell. Home buyers might want to tune in to any noise that may pose a problem for them in the neighborhood, such as by visiting the home at several different times of day and night. Maybe it’s all quiet in the afternoon but there’s a loud dog barking next door all evening? Also, how’s the traffic at different times of day? The neighborhood may become a cut-through to commuters during rush hour … will that pose a problem?
And finally, home buyers shouldn’t forget to pay attention to the smell. Depending on which way the wind is blowing at certain times, you might pick up a whiff of a manufacturing plant or waste-processing facility.

So buyers should be encouraged to use all five of their senses in deciding the right home for them, and not forget that long-lasting happiness with a home purchase is much more than fancy upgrades.

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This Email is produced by the Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS®. It is provided to members as a benefit to provide consumer news to current and prospective clients. Information is obtained from various resources, both in and out of house. For further information, clarity, or assistance in buying or selling a property, please contact the agent listed on this newsletter.

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