Update on Menifee CA Real Estate and Surrounding Markets

Tomorrow brings around a once in 4 year event - mainly February 29th, better known as leap year. In my household this means my newly crowned 4 year old will be chortling for birthday presents while his little brother attempts to steal at least one new toy to play with. What has this to do with Menifee real estate? - Honestly, not much except....

Tomorrow also brings the end of February and the warm up to the buying season in Menifee CA real estate, or so we all hope. The economic news has not been fantastic BUT the news and political awareness of it is driving key changes that could really start to take effect this spring and summer.

For instance, this week alone I have received more calls from first time home buyers than I have over the previous 2 months. Wall Street saw some headlines about finally reaching bottom and the Fed is still planning on further reducing rates. This is all vital news for Menifee real estate as well as Murrieta and Temecula.

Due to the increase in real estate activity we are experiencing, I plan to bring on a couple additional agents in my company.

The key challenge remains the banks. They are very tight right now and absolutely devastating the market with pricing drops necessary to move Menifee foreclosure properties. But I will say that investors are out and aggressively looking. If I didn't have a huge, expensive birthday party this Saturday (ok, its not that expensive - I am a conservative soul), I would be out working this entire weekend straight with buyers.

One new thing I have seen in Menifee real estate is investors approaching me on Short Sale properties with the intention of buying it and perhaps even renting directly back to the sellers for a couple years lease option. This is dependent of course on the investor feeling good about the seller's viability to pay a lower payment consistently. And the seller doing the necessary credit repair, but the end result is the seller stays in the home and the investor can make a decent profit when they sell it back in a 2-3 years.

The seller is happy because they get the property at a lower price in the future without having to move their family. However, it isn't as turn-key as it sounds since a lot of seller see what is out there and perhaps want to find new Menifee homes in the near future that are now within their reach financially with some credit work done.

To sum things up, the Menifee real estate market remains very challenging right now but I am directly seeing much more buyer activity. We are reaching a peak point where the banks really need to lighten up on real estate but need to start lending again as well. As we move into Spring and then Summer I hope to see a solid reduction in properties on the market. Below are some sales figures picking up from my last post.

December 2007 Sales - 46
January 2008 Sales - 34

Have a great leap year everyone and let's hope Spring and Summer start reducing the amount of properties on the market.

Capital Pacific Homes Offers Price Guarantee

The Orange County Register reported today that Capital Pacific Homes, which is building some home developments here in Menifee, is offering a price guarantee against falling home prices when you buy a one of their homes.

Under the plan, buyers can back out of deals and get their deposits back if the home loan appraisal issued about 30 days before closing shows that the home value is less than the price tag.

I'm not certain 30 days before closing is enough time to prove that your home value has lost its value. I'm sure you'd have to hire an appraiser to just before taking ownership to prove this, and I don't most think will fork over money to hire one.

Moreover, when buying a new home, buyers have already invested themselves into that home by picking out tile, carpeting, outlets, cabinets, and so on.

Also, I don't think home buyers are putting off buying homes for fear of falling home prices. Most people buy homes based on need. Investors, on the other hand, are staying from certain homes.

Capital Pacific Homes is currently building the following communities in Menifee...

Calder Ranch (link)
Marsden (link)

Home Prices Hit Four Year Low

The North County Times reports today that home values in Riverside County have hit a four year low, averaging $331,500, it's lowest level since July 2004....
Prices continued to plummet across Southern California, with Riverside County's median sale falling to $331,500, its lowest level since July 2004, according to the monthly report by DataQuick Information Systems.
I just looked at my home's value on Zillow.com, and it pretty much reflects the same trend.

The article went on to quote Gene Wunderlich, a Realtor in Wildomar, that we're going to see more depreciation. I tend to agree.

I'm not a real estate expert, but everything I've read so far about our economy says that 2008 is going to just as bad as 2007. It doesn't look like the economy is going to get better until 2009.

Countryside Marketplace is supposed to open its first stores in September 2008. That should help create more demand for Menifee homes. But any demand that gets created here will be swallowed up by new home builders.