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LA Westside Sales Highlights - September 2016

by Craig Whitlock

This report will provide a quick overview as to how the Westside micro-markets are currently performing and then compares that data to the same period a year ago. 

The SFR market overall moves deeper into 'Buyer's Market' status with as much as 10-15 months of inventory in Beverly Hills and Pacific Palisades.  Both areas had significant drops in sales activity which underscores continued affordability issues and overpriced listings.  Cheviot Hills and WW however were strong exceptions with both notching sizeable gains.  Condo sales in most areas off as well largely from lack of good choices with Brentwood, Palisades, Santa Monica and Westwood inventories still locked in 'Seller's Market' status.  Great market conditions if you're thinking about selling!

The key market indicators are:

Pending Sales Activity - sometimes referred to as the 'Number of Properties Under Contract'. This is a forward-looking indicator of current sales activity where there has been an accepted offer and escrow has opened.

Median Sales Price - that point at which half of the properties have sold for a greater amount and half have sold for a lesser amount. This indicator pinpoints where in the price spectrum homes have sold rather than reflecting home value. There is a common misperception that a drop in the MSP directly indicates a drop in home value. It is far more likely that the drop indicates either smaller, older and/or homes in lower-priced areas have sold during the period.

Months Supply of Inventory (MSI) - a leading indicator of market supply, which directly impacts pricing. Generally, a five to six month supply indicates market equilibrium while anything less signals a 'seller's market' and anything above a 'buyer's market'.

LA Westside Sales Highlights - September 2016 © 2010–2016 10K Research and Marketing®

To view a portfolio of three additional reports trended over the past 12 months: Properties For Sale, Days On Market and New Properties For Sale, visit the Market Sales Data section. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this data at greater length, just drop me a note or give me a call.

Planned Unit Developments, Condominiums, and Townhouses are similar dwellings on the surface, but each has different coverages in a title insurance policy. Knowing the differences is important if you are buying or currently own one of these properties. Here is a brief explanation to help you.

A Condominium is a form of ownership which involves a separation of property into individually-owned elements and common elements. Each owner holds the fee simple interest to his or her individual unit – which consists only of the airspace – and also shares in a percentage of the fee for  the common areas, which may include patios, storage, parking, decks and other use areas.

The legal description in the owners’ title policy will have several parcels that include the unit, the common area, and any easements. Owner and lender title policies will have exceptions for the governing documents (CC&Rs) and the Condominium plans. Liens affecting the association and/or common areas can affect unit owners.

A Planned Unit Development (also known as a PUD), also allows the grouping of housing units on lots smaller than usually allowed for residential construction. Within the PUD, a land owner will own a lot inclusive of the structure and improvements and will also benefit from an association that provides common areas and amenities. Automatic membership in and mandatory assessment to the association is required for the property to qualify as a PUD. A PUD can have multiple types of dwellings: single-family detached residences, townhouses, multi-family buildings, commercial, and even industrial properties.

The legal description in the owners’ title policy will show the lot as created by the map, and there will be exceptions shown for the governing documents of the association (CC&Rs). Liens affecting the association and/or common areas do not attach to the individual land owners due to the separate ownership of the common areas by the associations.

A Townhouse is a dwelling unit, generally having two or more floors, which is attached to other similar units via party walls. Townhouses are often used in PUDs and Condominium developments, which provide for clustered or attached housing and common open space. A Townhome is merely an architectural design; it has no bearing on the title policy other than it may indicate that there are party wall agreements that may be recorded or be a part of the governing documents.

As far as title insurance is concerned, both PUD’s and Condominiums have unique items that lenders must address with specific endorsements. The owner of a PUD will have ownership of the land and structures, while a Condominium owner will have ownership of the airspace and a percentage of the land and structures. The owners’ title policy will have governing documents shown as exceptions and these documents should be read by any prospective buyer so they fully understand what they are getting into. There are advantages and disadvantages to both ownerships, and any questions regarding the type of ownership should be directed to the title company for clarification.

Should An Older Homeowner Tap Into Home Equity?

by Craig Whitlock

If you're an older homeowner looking to loosen up a little extra cash, you may wonder if tapping into your home equity is a good idea. According to experts, it is indeed a good idea, but not by the traditional refinance route.

A reverse mortgage is a better, and increasingly popular, option for older Americans to convert home equity into cash. Money can then be used to cover home repairs, everyday living expenses, and medical bills.

So how does this work? Instead of making monthly payments to a lender, the lender makes payments to the homeowner, who continues to own the home and hold title to it.

According to the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association, the money given by the lender is tax-free and does not affect Social Security or Medicare benefits, although it may affect the homeowners’ eligibility for certain kinds of government assistance, including Medicaid.

Do you qualify? Let's find out. Homeowners must be at least 62 years of age and own their own homes to get a reverse mortgage. No income or medical requirements are necessary to qualify, and you may be eligible even if you still owe money on a first or second mortgage. In fact, many seniors get reverse mortgages to pay off the original loan.

Repaying a reverse mortgage is not necessary until the property is sold or the owner moves.  Should the owner die before the property is sold, the estate repays the loan, plus any interest that has accrued.

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Craig Whitlock
COLDWELL BANKER BRENTWOOD
11661 San Vicente Blvd., 10th Floor
Los Angeles CA 90049
Mobile: (310) 488-4399
Fax: (310) 820-1457

Broker/Agent does not guarantee the accuracy of the square footage, lot size or other information concerning the conditions or features of properties provided by the seller or obtained from Public Records or other sources as presented in this website.  Interested parties are advised to independently verify the accuracy of all information through personal inspection and with appropriate professionals.  Information herein deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

CalBRE LIC 01827537