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SCV Real Estate Update
February, 2011 - Issue #76
What to Expect in 2011
by Joshua Suess

If I had to predict what will happen with the local real estate market in 2011, the easiest way would be to recall the elements that were prevalent in 2010: low prices; fairly-low inventory levels that started rising; historically-low interest rates; and - of course - the foreclosures and short sales. We should anticipate more of the same in the year to come, as long as interest rates remain in the same ballpark.

Short sales and REOs (bank-owned foreclosures) will more than likely continue to be the largest share of the homes on the market, in escrow and sold throughout the year due to their aggressive pricing and value they offer to homebuyers. We may even see a rise in these as the summer of 2011 draws near, because some homeowners with adjustable-rate mortgages will start to see adjustments. As the mortgage payments increase, so does the rate of default, which results in the more advantageous option of a short sale - or for those who don't take advantage - a foreclosure.

For homeowners who currently have equity in their home and are thinking of selling, the timing factor will become critical for them. For those looking to purchase a home, they really should not wait any longer for prices to come down further. Yes, this may occur, but interest rates could also rise in the meantime - and that means you will have waited to pay less for a home on the contract but more for a home on the monthly mortgage (which is where it impacts your finances the most).
For those who don't need to sell or buy, we wish you a Happy New Year in your current home. We are thrilled to have you living here in Santa Clarita!
Joshua Suess is with The Suess Home Selling Team at Re/Max 702-4640 www.nohasslenorisk.com.

Heads Up on Homeowner's Insurance
by Scott Thompson

Whether you already have a homeowner's policy or are looking to buy a home and acquire a new homeowner's policy, you should make sure you know what the policy covers.

Here's the big news: You need to understand that the policy covers the replacement costs, not the market value, of your home. So, if the property is destroyed and you elect not to rebuild, you will not receive market value. Instead, you will receive replacement cost - less depreciation.

It is also important to note that most policies do not cover flood or earthquakes. These policies must be purchased separately.

You may be able to save some money on your policy, so be sure to ask your insurance agent about any available discounts. Some insurance companies allow discounts for burglar alarms or fire safety equipment. You can usually qualify for discounts if you have your homeowner's policy with the same insurance company that covers your automobile. Be sure to ask your Realtor® for a good recommendation.
Scott Thompson is a broker and Realtor® with Regal Realty of California; 295-8715 www.regalrealtyca.com
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