Is It a Good Time to Buy Real Estate? A Guest Columnist Makes Some Points

The time to buy is much more than just statistics and trends

By Kala Bell

In the world of real estate, agents are sometimes perceived to be rather vague with the public on the topic of a good buying time.   Truth be told, there isn’t one stretch of time that will be perfect for every potential home buyer, even if the prices are good and sales are up. A time of year when sales are thriving and prices are down may work for some, while other prospective home owners may take a liking to another time of year.

Buyers should be taking a number of factors into consideration during the time of looking for a new house. The factors could include things like financing, location, market trends, and income. Plenty of other factors will often come into play during the buying process, but making a decision can usually come off of a few different things that are important to the buyers.

Often times, trends and statistics play a huge part in the decision process, as prices often fluctuate. When it comes to Sacramento area real estate, median prices took a steep fall in 2007-2008 and have stayed steady from 2009-2011 for the most part. Sacramento’s median sale price has sat around $190,000. The average sale prices have also showed good stability by staying put. The Sacramento area rent has slowly climbed throughout the year, possibly influencing those on the fence between a lease and buying.  Sacramento apartments are sitting around $975 a month, going up over $100 in the last year alone.

For the past three years, the median prices have stayed mostly steady, even experiencing a few small falls and rises. Some experts feel that resurgence could take place in the real estate market next year, even though a good prediction is tough to come by. Even with the skepticism from some, the Sacramento market could experience a small resurgence and rise from the steady numbers that have come in through the past few years.

A good signal for buyers is the overall rise in inventory and listings over the past few years in Sacramento. Even though the availability of medium priced homes has gone down, the Sacramento area does still have a plenty of listings for prospective buyers.

Potential home buyers should continue to list off a main set of factors and considerations during the buying process.  The statistics are certain to fluctuate over time, as figures such as sales and inventory can often change from month to month. In real estate, determining when a good time to buy is is more so about the situation of the individual rather than the recent prices and availability. If a family or potential buyer goes into the process by staking out the needs and factors which best apply to them, they will more than likely make a good choice on a home in the long run.

Kala Bell is a free lance columnist.   She can be reached at

In the mean time…?

Make it a Great Day…!!!!!

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Cash Flow Potential – Bank Owned & Short Sale Duplexes – Citrus Heights

Here are a couple of Duplexes that are both unique.

One of them just came on the market about a week or so ago.   I drove by to view the area and while I was out there taking pictures of the exterior, one of the tenants came out and we had a conversation.   She likes the area, but the building has had some issues, notably the roof.  

If you look at the pictures of the property, you’d never know.   She did say that an inspector did come out there and she was told that the roof would need some major work.   The owner has been unable to make the repairs so she’s been putting up with a leaking roof.   That’s why she said she was looking for a new place.

The property is located at 7130-7132 Grady Drive, Citrus Heights, Ca 95621.    Click here for a “pro-forma” cash flow analysis.  Keep in mind that these figues do not include the cost of a new roof, but even if it cost $10,000 to replace it, in my opinion, this would still be a decent deal in today’s market.    Click here for a Map Link to show you the major intersection that is nearby.   The City of Citrus Heights city hall, police station and lots of shopping are located about a mile away if that.  

By the way, I got an email from the agent earlier today telling me that this property has 2 loans on it.   She also said she had several offers coming in,  so we’ll see how that one goes.

The other one, located at 7542-7544Saint-Philomena Way , is a Bank Owned or REO Duplex that came on the market last October.  Since then it’s been in and out of escrow a couple of times and just came back on the market a coule of days ago.   I did a profile of it back then including a Palm Video.   

Make it a great day…

Ed Favinger, Broker CRS, GRI           916-203-1260             email me at:

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Buying Real Estate is a Patriotic Act – Especially Fixer-Uppers – See Why Below….

This is what creates jobs

Why do I say that…?   Because it’s true.

I posted a story a couple of months ago about Mr. Philips and his inability to “qualify” for a decent loan because he is a “high net worth” investor that has “passive” income.  Click here for the back ground story.

In that story I wrote about the “multiplyer effect” that each Real Estate Transaction generates.   Because Mr. Philips didn’t do these new deals, non governmental stimulous funds were stopped from “spreading the wealth”.

So with the back ground story in mind, I’ve posted a video that will show you what happens when folks spend money on Real Estate.

Take a look at the video of the “street scene” of a Duplex we sold to a Buyer that actually lives on one of this property.  He’s fixing up his place and look at what is going on around him.

Comments anyone…?

Make it a great day.

Ed Favinger, Broker CRS, GRI     916-203-1260

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Hot Bank Owned Properties – Sacramento – Cash Flow Opportunities

What About Short Sales…?  They’ re Hot too.

If you’ve been to this site before,  you already know that I am a big fan of Duplexes… especially the “REO or Bank Owned” type because they are for the most part deeply discounted from their highs from years past.

The dis-advantage to a Bank Owned or REO deal is that,  while you get the property at a dicounted price, there will be that “as is” thing they insist on and with rare exceptions they don’t deviate from it.   You get these deals with the property vacant, which means you have to go in and do the “fix up” to get them in a “rent ready” condition.  If you want to see what an vacant REO/Bank Owned property can look like, go here.

Now even “Short Sales” are becoming a great deal because the banks are now more willing to complete them in a timely manner.   

OK… Why do I say Short Sales are Hot Too…?

Well, for starters, most of the time in a Short Sale the property is still occupied by Tenants.   The trick is to get one that has “rent paying tenants”.   However, even though the case may be they are not paying rent, this could be the result of  the tenants having been notified that a foreclosure is pending and they are holding funds in case they have to move.  Or… the current owner has just abrogated the responsibilty and is not even making an attempt to collect it.

Either way in most cases you can work a deal out with the existing tenants to have them stay.   Now keep in mind when an owner is in this situation, you will probably run into an old “deferred maintenance” issue that has been neglected by the current owner which,  if resolved by you, will go a long way in keeping the tenant there and happy to stay.

The advantage then of keeping the tenant there is that you will not have to go in and spend the extra “bucks” to re-rent the unit.  

And Finally.. the best reason to go after a Short Sale now is you still get the same “discounted” or “market price and that Lenders are beginning to approve them much quicker than in the past.    How cool is that…?

If you want a list of REO/Bank Owned & Short Sales…?

You’ve come to the right place.  I’ve analyzed both types and prepared “pro-forma” Cash Flow figures for each one on this page.  I’ve got videos too on some of them.   If you book mark this page, you will get updates as I go out and view these properties and post the information.

Make it a Great Day.

Ed Favinger, Broker, CRS, GRI            916-203-1260

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Bargain Prices Lure Homebuyers in February – Sacramento Business Journal:

Just One of many homes for sale in Folsom, CaliforniaGood News in The Hunt for a Home.

Hey.. Looking for some good news…?   Well here’s some.   Take a look…  I ran across this article regarding New Homes Sales in the region that was in the Sacramento Business Journal.

Bargain prices lure homebuyers in February – Sacramento Business Journal:.

Make it a great day.

Ed Favinger, Broker, CRS, GRI            916-203-1260

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REO’s and Their Title/Escrow Rip offs…

This has been a pet peeve of mine for a while – it’s about time we get more righteous Consumer compaints.

Many of us in the Real Estate Business have been involved in a Bank Owned Property Sale in which the Asset Manager for the bank/investor stipulate in their “contract addendums” the requirement that a “preferred” Settlement/Escrow Company is to be used.

Most of these companies are in Southern California, have business practices foreign to Northern California and they have been known to “pad their fees” to the detremint of many our buyers.

Here’s a link to a Trulia Q & A that I answered from a concerned Buyer going through this process now.  You’ll see the responses from other Real Estate Professionals as well.   We hope that this will help you or a friend if you going through this experience. 

We’d like to know about other instances so if you or someone you know is getting burned… please let us know.

Click Here for the Link

I hope this helps.

Make it a Great Day.

Ed Favinger, Broker CRS, GRI     916-203-1260

Also check out this article

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New FHA Rules – Read em and weep…!

It seems they just don’t want to let the market recover…  That’s my opinion.

Click Here for the Update

One of the big changes that will come into effect soon will be the limit on the amount of Closing Costs  you can ask the Seller to pay.   That means if you are a low cash down buyer it will be harder for you to get in.

What they are worried about is the potential for the Seller to “inflate the price” to pick up those costs.

I don’t know how that can happen since the appraisal rules also require an appraiser to stipulate that even though the Seller is paying the closing costs, it has no effect on the value being paid.

Make it a great day.

Ed Favinger, Broker CRS, GRI     916-203-1260

A Great Idea – Why Don’t More First Time Home Buyers Purchase a Duplex Instead of a Single Family Home…?


Why don’t more young buyers look at buying a “duplex” as their first home…? 

Heck I don’t know why either, but I’ve got the “pro’s & con’s” here.

But first,  go to  6819-6821 Trovita Way, Citrus Heights, Ca to get the “investor” flyer. 

As you can see from the numbers it’s got a decent return if this was going to be just another “cash flow” investment.

Some Pro’s here:

  • Lower down payments for an “Owner Occupied” Duplex are the same as a Single Family Dwelling.  They even qualify for FHA Loans…
  • Your out of pocket expenses for the example above would be approximately $1,000 for a 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath unit that has New Paint, New Carpet, Doors and Appliances…!
  • Equity built up – The other tenant is paying you each month.  Even though you’d have $1,000 out of pocket, you’d still have $300 going towards “principle” reducing the amount of debt you owe.
  • You can later rent the unit you live in, go buy another home keeping this Duplex as a part of your long term financial plan.

Ok… Ok… Here are the Con’s:

  • Most Duplexes are clustered in the same neighborhood with other duplexes and don’t have that “Single Family Home” feel
  • You may not like living so close to a neighbor.  

But My Opinion..?   is… “hey, you don’t have to live there forever” – you’ll be glad you did in the “long run”.

So… An ideal Duplex then would be one that is in the midst of primarily Single Family Homes – By the way, there is one like that on my website at – It’s the one in Carmichael on California Avenue

  • Yards are not as large as a Single Family Home. 

But My Opinion..? is… “hey, you’d be surprised at how neat a Duplex would look with some great landscaping”.  

You could include adding patios or how about a French Door overlooking the back yard from the Master Bedroom?   Now Yea…, that would cost some $$$, but since you are going to live there, why not “doll it up”…?  

Besides when you do move…? trust me, you’ll get top dollar rent with a qualified tenant fast.   So please, don’t be afraid to fix up a Duplex “in and out”  like you would a Single Family Home. 

Curb Appeal would be the one big thing you can do to really enhance this type of invesment, so keep that in mind.


Buying a Duplex to “live in one side and rent the other” really is a great way to start out if you are young.   I haven’t even gone on here about the additional tax breaks that may also be available to you.

It just boils down to whether or not you want to live in a Duplex or prefer a single family home.

Just another idea here.  Give it a thought….

Drop me a note at favinger@rwnetwork if you’ve got some questions… I’d be happy to help.