Menifee Real Estate Report and Trends November 2011

I know this is a little late but here you go - your Menifee Real Estate Market Report for November 2011!
I had to absorb the holidays and all that turkey before I was able to bring myself to post this. In fact, I was away for a quick weekend and the real estate market in Menifee has been quite active! Congrats to Stephanie and Rudy on their new Menifee home by the way!

I will make this trends report fairly fast but will be comparing it with my Menifee Real Estate Market Report for October 2011 to see any current adjustments. Even though I am reporting after the month, the numbers were pulled in November for this article. As always, I focus on single family homes, 3+ bedrooms, not attached, etc. Maintaining a consistent standards is the core of this article.

* Total # of Active Menifee Homes Listed - 247
* Average Menifee Home Listed Price - $223,451
* Ttl. # of Menifee Homes Sold in October - 68
* Average Menifee October Sales Price - $209,566
* Average Days on Market before sale - 78

Reading this report, it seems that some things are slowing down as we come up to the new year. This isn't unusual but it does contrast with my Temecula Real Estate Market Report that describes the very same amount of Temecula houses closing in both September and October - ie., no real reduction. In October, Menifee house sales fell from 95 units in September to only 68 units in October, a decline of 28.4% month over month. That is a pretty significant difference!

Even so, supply has also fallen from 300 active Menifee Houses in October to 247 in November, a 17.66% decrease in available inventory. That is also a significant reduction of readily available properties. Going back for a minute, we can catch that both the average Active list cost and average Sold cost have grown. The active list was $218,344 in October and is now $223,450 in November, a difference of 2.33%. The average sold cost grew from $206,600 in September to $209,566 in October, a minor 1.43% difference but still an upward one in both statistics.

It looks like we are having a contraction in the market on the supply side. We also see a shrinking in the buyer or demand side as well. I know standard and bank owned houses are moving pretty quickly if they are in respectable to excellent shape. This indicates that banking institutions are decreasing supply and the flippers are slowing a tiny bit. But the prices have held constant and slightly increased so we might have struck an interesting balance. Having said that, I do not to see closings figures down that significantly over the drop in supply. I would argue for reduced pricing but yet, currently that is not the case since supply is more limited.

This shows a couple months in decreasing sales figures for Menifee property sales. But pricing is hanging pretty well and I am really curious to see what develops in December actives and November sales in my next report. Meanwhile, I hope you all had a great Menifee Thanksgiving and are currently working on your Christmas lights!


Stefan West, Broker for Menifee Real Estate and Temecula Homes!

Real Estate Activity High - For Holidays

Real Estate sales in November and December are typically level, but so far this November has seen good activity in the market.

Housing prices are stabilizing in the valley and in some areas have seen an increase. Menifee Real Estate, when compared to Temecula Real Estate, has historically lagged when prices have increased, but this holiday season we are expecting to see an increase in sales because of the record low prices. We are on Temecula's tail!
With the new addition of Best Buy and the surrounding "blue chip" businesses, Menifee has become a sought after little town. Realtors agree that Menifee is becoming an ideal place to live and an even better place to invest.

Skylar Lewis
Menifee Real Estate

Happy Veteran's Day!!

I will get my update for Menifee up next week. But today is Veteran's day and I want to wish all the military familes out there a huge Thank You!

As a real estate guy, I get to see more of what you deal with than most. I have helped families move when a spouse is on rotation, talked with clients over skype when they are half a world away, and watched how challenging keeping a family together can be.

I also see how often you are transferred to North Carolina, Virginia, overseas, Hawaii, Arizona, etc after you are settled in here and the kids are enrolled. You put up with A LOT of things most people never think about.

So thank you very much. I am very blessed to work with many military over the last decade and it is inspiring to see great people and families at work.

Have a great Veteran's day!


Stefan West
Temecula Real Estate
Menifee Real Estate

Menifee Real Estate and Trends October 2011 Report

I scream BOOOOO to you! It is late in the month of October and Halloween is in less than a week! Kids are fired up for sweets and costumes, and adults are thinking - why is Halloween on a Monday?! The holidays are coming up and we all scratch our head and start pondering, where did 2011 go?

Well I don't have the answer to that, however I can answer where Menifee CA real estate went in the month of October! As we get into the holiday months, we will normally see a gradual slow down commence in October. I know we saw that take place in Temecula when I wrote my October 2011 Temecula Real Estate Trend Report. That showed an 18% drop in home closes month over month! Please bear in mind that although this is my October report, the sales amounts trail by a month and are for September closes while the actives are for October. Having said that, here are the numbers:

Menifee Real Estate Properties Sold and Active Listings Update - October 2011

* Total # of Active Properties Listed - 300
* Average Active List Price - $ 218,344
* Menifee CA Properties Sold in September - 95
* Avg. September Sales Price - $ 206,602
* Avg. Sold Days on Market - 73

It appears like Menifee is still keeping a pretty steady tempo as we come into Autumn. There has been very small modifications in the Menifee real estate market. Total active listings have increased by only 14 homes from the previous month, a 5.6% increase. But the average asking price is almost lifeless even with last month. You are able to see last month's report here - Menifee CA Real Estate Report 9/2011.

Also, compared to the Temecula Valley real estate market, Menifee real estate actually just slightly fell in property closes from 99 in August to 95 in September which is a 4% decline. In terms of sold pricing we dropped only 1.36%. That is fairly marginal and Days on Market variable literally progressed to 73 days from 80 days! That is really fascinating and exhibits that these cities are not complete mirror images one another.

In my business I have witnessed a lot more purchasers hunting for Menifee real estate recently. The price levels are really good and numerous renters are feeling their best bang for the buck in Menifee. So overall, we lost only a number of closes but have remained steady. I would expect these numbers to decrease as we head into the holiday season. That is a fairly consistent trend. Although, with rates so uncommonly low, it is pushing more first time buyers into the real estate market.

On another note, yesterday President Obama extended the Making Home Affordable structure and I predict that reducing short sales a little bit as MANY more individuals who are upside down more than 125% will be able to get refinancing if their loans are with Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. That ought to influence the market as early as December 2011 however most banks will not transition until January.

I hope this Menifee Real Estate update finds you and your family healthy and looking forward to a great holiday season!

Menifee CA Real Estate Market 9/2011

Time is speeding by this year and Menifee real estate is flying along with it! As of just yesterday, the Federal Reserve has taken additional action to stimulate the economy and thus interest rates dropped even lower! I just had a client contact my lender today to do an FHA Streamline and lower their rate from 5.5% which they obtained about 1.5 years ago to an estimated 3.75%! That is an extraordinary change and the beneficial side of FHA Streamlines is they are quite simple for anybody who presently has an FHA loan - even if the property value has fallen down!! Right now, I am wishing I was FHA instead of conventional - Grrr.

Enough about loan stuff (but it is worth learning about if it applies to you), time to get to Menifee Real Estate! As always, I base my amounts on just Single Family Dwellings that are priced under $1,000,000. The highest close in Menifee in August was $394,990 as a side note! Additionally, make sure you remember that all the "Active" quantities are as of today - September 23rd, 2011. The Menifee "sold" and "closed" amounts are from August 2011. Let's begin:

Menifee Real Estate Trends Update - September 2011

* Total # of Active Houses Listed - 286
* Average Active List Price - $ 218,338
* Menifee Houses Sold in August - 99
* Avg. August Sales Price - $ 209,464
* Avg. Sold Days on Market - 80

So my most recent update was back in July. There are a few small differences when comparing Menifee property trends against July Active and June Sales. First, the complete amount of homes has changed from 260 in July to 286 in September, an increase of 10%. And the sales have decreased from 105 to 99, or approximately 5%. That is, in essence, two trends moving collectively downward which gives us the beginning of something to pay attention to.

However, the average sold price in June was $193,657 versus an average August sales price of $209,464, a growth of roughly $15,800 or 8% in selling price. That is incredibly intriguing as numerous indicators show a slow down and increased inventory but sales prices are rising. In addition, the Average Days on Market went from 69 days in June to 80 days in August. Therefore there are three signs pointing down however the big sign (price) is going up.

This needs to be watched closely because usually additional supply on the market indicates lower price. Short sales are certainly making an impact on stats and is able to mess with the numbers. I will be extremely curious to see what happens next month. I DO expect the large drop in interest rates to boost consumer activity and price point though. People can now afford far more homes since the borrowing rate is down.

That ends your installment for this month. I apologize for having to skip August 2011. I was on vacation for a week and that, plus the market moving so fast, truly had me sprinting the rest of the month! If you ever have any inquiries or would like to know something specific, just shoot out an e-mail or take a look at my internet site and I will be pleased to help!


Stefan West, Menifee Real Estate Broker

Menifee CA Real Estate Report July 2011

As we roll into July of 2011, Menifee valley homes sales continue to be at a rapid tempo! Summer is always a chaotic time as people make their move around school schedules amongst other items.

In total, the Menifee real estate market is definitely rising upward but that may just be the summer time impact. Nevertheless, we are seeing increased activity which is a excellent thing! In all of these reviews, I focus on homes that are detached, single household residences priced below $1,000,000. I like consistent numbers so you, the homebuyer, are seeing the exact same standards each and every time. Let us go straight to the amounts:

Menifee Real Estate Analysis Update - July 2011

* Total # of Active Homes Listed - 260
* Average Active List Price - $ 221,861
* Menifee Properties Sold in June - 105
* Avg. June Sales Price - $ 193,688
* Avg. Sold Days on Market - 69

Now let us compare these Menifee real estate numbers against last month. To start off there has been little change in the amount of active properties listed at the time. It has gone straight down from 278 to 260. That would indicate growing demand but the quantity change is tiny. Also, the typical active list price for Menifee houses was $229,700 in June and has dropped to $221,861, a decrease of 3.4%.

Next up although is Menifee real estate sales and there we see an increase from 75 properties sold in May 2011 to 105 homes sold in June 2011, a solid increase of 30 houses of 40% more sales! That is an important move. As for the average sales cost, we see a decrease from $206,180 in May to a lower $193,680 in June. That signifies a fall of $12,500 or 6% in actual closed sales prices for Menifee houses.

So overall, we have some confusing signals. To close it up, we have drastically growing sales but reduced prices of both active and sold houses. The days on market help clean this up as it shrunk from 81 days in May to only 69 days in June. Everything points to much more aggressive pricing but also far more buyers making the purchase selection. It also exhibits that the $200,000 price point is a target area for several buyers.

I am interested to see how this Menifee real estate pattern will change with the figures for closes in July. I will put that review up mid-month or so in August so stay tuned!


Stefan West, Broker
Temecula Real Estate
Murrieta Real Estate

Menifee Real Estate Update - June 2011

Another gorgeous day in Menifee! This and the fall are truly my favorite time of year. Soon I will be starting my update posts with, "Holy Cow - How to Cook an Egg on Sidewalk!" Ok, I am exaggerating but I truly enjoy showing and selling Menifee real estate when the weather is so fantastic.

I know you aren't reading this because you want to hear about the weather. You want to know what is going on with Menifee Real Estate and how it affects you weather you are buying or selling a Menifee Home. Hopefully, this statisical information can be helpful to you for whichever side of the transaction you may be on.

As I stated in my previous update, I cover specific stats that focus on total active homes on the market, how many sold the month prior, and the price and average time it took. These stats are based on 3+, 2+ bedroom, detached homes priced under $1,000,000. Now on to the data...

Menifee CA Real Estate - June 2011 Update - As of 6/2/11

  • Total Active Homes Listed - 278 Homes
  • Average "Active" List Price - $229,744
  • Menifee Homes Sold in May - 75 Homes
  • Average Sold Home Price - $206,186
  • Average Days on Market - 81 days

Let's start with Menifee home sales for May. When comparing against last month's update, we see that sales went from 82 in April to 75 homes in May. We also see that the active average price point has decreased but only by $645. Also the active market itself has hardly changed with 280 in May to 278 in June.

But we did see something interesting - it could be a fluke (only consistency will tell). The average price of Menifee real estate sold nudged upward from $201k to $206k. It is a minor increase but we also see that the days on market shrank as well from 93 days in April to 81 days in May. Those are both interesting demand side indicators to keep an eye on.

Things will pick up during the Spring and Summer of course. Menifee is always a pretty active market when compared domestically and things are heating up (pun intended) as schools are letting out and people are making the annual Summer move plans. I look foward to a busy summer and will keep posting market stats so you can see how we are doing!

And to all our Military personnel - I hope you men and woman had a great Memorial Day weekend. My family, my clients, and all of us in Menifee and the surrounding communities appreciate and applaud your duty on our behalf! Stay safe and God Bless!


Stefan West, Broker of West Realty
Temecula Real Estate
Menifee Real Estate

Menifee CA Real Estate Update - May 2011

What a fantastic day!

Today Menifee featured a 76 degree and no cloud stunner! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did - umm sitting at my computer! Enough chit chat, here's the scoop - starting this month I will plan to update this blog montly with information regarding the Menifee real estate in the following format:

•The number of Menifee Homes currently listed on the market
•The previous month's number of Menifee homes sold
•The average days on market to sell the homes
•Both the current average list price and the average closing

My overall goal is to provide consistent Menifee real estate update for Menifee owners, potential home buyers, and future Menifee citizens.

This data will give you a solid trend pattern of the Menifee Real Estate market as the year unfolds. I will also include additional information about Menifee so you can learn something new each time you visit. As an example, did you know that South Riverside county led appreciation rates nationwide from 2002-2007 at an average of almost 30% per year?! That may be a large contributor to our real estate market losing so much value of course!

There is your pinch of Menifee community information for this post. Ok, one more - did you know Menifee has grown up to a population of 77,705 as of 2010 and is roughly 416 miles from California's state capital? Ok, enough fun, I know you want to know the numbers :).

As a reporting baseline, these stats are based only on single family homes in Menifee, priced from 0-$1,000,000. They do not include townhouses or condos, etc. They also focus on 3 bedroom homes as they represent the fundamental definition of a single family residence.

Here are the numbers for my May 2011 Menifee Real Estate Update:

•There are 280 Menifee homes currently listed
•The average list price is $230,389
•In April, 82 homes in Menifee were sold at an average price of $201,889
•And the closed homes were on the market for approximately 93 days.

The average days on market is deceptive. This is due to the fact that many active homes are short sales that already have offers on them. It messes up the integrity of the number a little bit. The average time on market for a sharp, well-priced standard or Menifee bank owned property is MUCH shorter. Usually, they are left as "active" until banks agree to a submitted offer. In fact, I will be showing quite a few short sales to a great couple on Friday and when I call to check status I find they often have multiple offers already.

There it is, your Menifee real estate report for May 2011. If you are considering moving to the great Menifee community, please do not hesitate to contact me or my team. We love to welcome new people to our home and always strive to exceed your highest expectations!


Stefan West, Broker of West Realty

Specializing in Menifee Homes and Menifee CA Real Estate

Government Forces Banks to Reimburse Foreclosed Homeowners: Does This Apply to Menifee?

menifee foreclosed homesNews came out recently that the Federal Government ordered 16 banks to reimburse homeowners who were improperly foreclosed upon. Citibank, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, the nation's four largest banks, were among the financial firms cited in the joint report by the Federal Reserve, Office of Thrift Supervision and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Under the agreements reached, the lenders and servicers have 45 days to hire an auditor and will "remediate all financial injury to borrowers caused by any errors, misrepresentations, or other deficiencies." There is no minimum or maximum dollar amount identified.

If you've read my blog before, you know that I've had situations here in Menifee where homeowners with genuine hardships tried to get loan modifications but were instead foreclosed upon.

Worse yet were the cases where homeowners with genuine hardships were negotiating in good faith, with bona fide offers from buyers ready to purchase the properties as short-sales, only to have the banks foreclose and auction the properties for less than the short-sale buyer was willing to spend.

Remember the case here in Menifee, where I had an offer of $310,000 and the bank turned it down, auctioning it off for $214,000? How about the one where the bank asked the seller for updated income and asset statements, leading him to believe they were still considering his short sale of $160,000? Instead, the bank foreclosed, selling it for $117,000 to a cash-paying investor.

There are a few instances where this could happen. I have personally seen where a bank will not work with any offer, regardless of the amount. I have seen where the Bank and the Legal Department did not communicate and the foreclosure proceedings were enforced and not delayed due to loan modifications or short sale settlements. I have also seen here in Menifee that some residents had multiple loans (1st and 2nd Loans) and the two could not be settled out if the seller did not have any cash.

So, it's too early to tell how much homeowners will get, how many will get anything, how long it will take, or what to do if you believe you were a victim of the lenders' improper practices, but this news represents a great step in the right direction.

I am certain details will be forthcoming, and will look out for them and pass them along to you.

Or if you have a personal interest in this, call me at 909-659-1315 or e-mail me at and I will do more research on this and find the proper channels.

But just as with my last article, call me before your home goes to foreclosure to prevent this from happening.

Dee Molina
License# 01422710

What Are Your Options As a Homeowner If Times Get Tough?

financial hardshipStatistics show that homeowners are better informed than compared to four to five years ago when the market turned and hardship became the norm. Foreclosures are down by 14% in California from last year alone.

To be honest it was a learning curve for many...

  • Banks had to learn to handle the high volume of defaults.

  • The government had to develop programs.

  • Realtors had to learn the options and then educate the homeowners in default.

  • The homeowner had to learn their options and act fast enough to take advantage of it.

The fact is that many are still walking away from their homes that just do not need to. There are options for the homeowner however. I must also warn that not just any Realtor can help a hardship homeowner. Many Realtors are not full time Realtors, many have their license but do not practice and are lost to the options and processes.

So, to help a friend or family member that is not seasoned or experienced, with your future on the line, will many times result in a foreclosure. Every client is different and unique. It is not a slam dunk that you will keep your home, but many times you can leave with an exit plan and regain your credit and buy again in two years if done properly.

Your options are to seek advice from a seasoned/experienced Realtor as soon as you can to figure your best solution...

  • This agent must present all your options, not just sit with you to list your home for sale.

  • This agent must care enough about your future, to show you the other options that will not necessarily get "that" agent a commission from the sale of your home. Unless, it is what you eventually choose.

  • This agent must be know the answer to your question what if...

  • This agent should be full time and work with short sales... Have listed at least 12 homes last year, worked with more than one bank on negotiating the best interests of the seller.

  • Have a professional Short Sale Negotiator on their team.

If you have more questions about this subject feel free to contact me.
Dee Molina 909-659-1315 Cell License# 01422710

CalHFA - Below market rates to First-Time home buyers.

CalHFA recently announced a new 30-year mortgage, insured by the Federal Housing Administration. According to CalHFA, this is the CalHFA’s flagship mortgage loan product to get them back in business,
and being offered to first-time homebuyers. In addition, CalHFA has made some improvements to the California Home buyer’s Down payment Assistance Program (CHDAP) that makes it even more attractive. Menifee's housing market has been hit very hard and this new program will help create some new home sales in the area.

The CalHFA FHA mortgage is, at first look, simple enough: a 30-year loan with a fixed rate. It stands out for
two reasons, though. One, it carries a below market interest rate, the result of ongoing bond negotiations  between CalHFA and the US Treasury. Two, when combined with CalHFA’s CHDAP or AHPP (Affordable Housing Partnership Plan) programs, the rate may drop even lower, currently giving a 0.125% break for CHDAP and 0.25% break for AHPP.

They have also made some changes to the underwriting and  documentation requirements for CHDAP, so its standards conform to the standards of the first mortgage.  CHDAP now only requires a 1% buyer contribution instead of the previous 3%.

In addition, the School Facility Fee Down Payment Assistance Program has returned. This program gives a conditional grant to purchasers of newly constructed homes in California, to be used for down payment, closing costs, upgrades, or any other aspect of the purchase. The grant averages about $5,000, and if the qualified buyer stays in the property for three years, it does not need to be repaid.

CalHFA continues to be dedicated to safe, responsible lending. A FHA loan requires a 620 credit score, and every borrower must undergo home buyer counseling.

This FHA loan product, along with their down payment programs, represents a new beginning for CalHFA as they move forward after the extremely challenging events of the past few years. With powerful products like these, CalHFA is poised to open doors for new home buyers, and fund possibilities for the future once again.

Many lenders in Menifee and the Temecula Valley are able to offer this loan. Make sure the broker offering the loan charges reasonable "points". Usually 1 to 2 points is more than enough.

Skylar Lewis
Temecula Real Estate
Check out our Menifee Carpet Cleaning friends

Drop in home prices, but what about our insurance?

homeowners insuranceHome prices in Southern California have dropped dramatically over the last couple years, but our homeowner's insurance hasn't. The average cost of homeowner's insurance has actually gone up. Why is this?

The price of homeowner's insurance is based on the cost to build or repair your home. Even though the construction industry has been hit hard, that doesn't mean the cost of rebuilding a home is decreasing or has decreased. Home prices are decreasing but homeowner's insurance costs are rising...

So how can you reduce your bill?

  • Raise your deductible ( can dramatically decrease insurance costs, but will cost more when you have an emergency )
  • Lower the amount of your insurance ( not usually recommended )
  • Shop around. Online rates are sometimes cheaper than through local insurance agents.
  • Always be weary of insurance companies offering extremely low prices. Low prices could mean bad customer service or no service at all.
  • Be sure to check consumer websites and the department of insurance when searching for homeowner's insurance. Check out Home Ownership Accelerator for more information on reducing your balance.

Skylar Lewis - Your Local Real Estate Expert
Menifee Homes
Menifee Real Estate

Happy New Year Menifee Home Owners!

As I start my first week of the New Year - I wanted to wish all of you a improved and wondeful 2011. As always, Menifee real estate remains a large part of my business. In each case, the people and community remain one of the best!

Over the last few years I have watched Menifee continue its growth in Commercial and City-Hood. We have also seen prices in real estate rise a bit in 2010. I know it doesn't often seem like it but homes that were selling at $175,000 are now closer to $210,000. It is hard to see that when they used to by worth $300,000. But we are getting there!

I will also point out that people are paying more for rent lately and it isn't easy finding rentals right now. I think we will see further appreciation over the next year of around 5% or so. I am not an economics professor BUT I do see people looking more than last year. And that means only good things. As prices have risen in Temecula and Murrieta real estate, it pushes more home buyers into Menifee.

So, enough economics and rain for that matter! Here is to wishing you all a wonderful 2011. If you should need any help regarding understand short sales, wanting to know your options, etc. Please do not hesitate to let me know!


Stefan West, Owner of West Realty for Menifee Real Estate and Menifee Short Sales