Click here for downloadable copy


Sheila Fitzer
June 2010
Copyright © 2010 Realty Times
All Rights Reserved.




Plenty of Reasons to Buy a Home Even After the Tax Credit

  Even though the home buyer tax credit expired on April 30 and won't be renewed, there may never be a better time to buy a home than today, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Many outstanding opportunities still exist for home buyers, but they may not be around forever.      
      "The home buyer tax credit was just one of many factors motivating Americans to buy homes," said NAHB Chairman Bob Jones, a builder and developer in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. "But buyers can still take advantage of today's

Mortgage Rates


View current rates

U.S. averages as of May 27, 2010:

30 yr. fixed:   4.78%
15 yr. fixed:   4.21%
1 yr. adj:        3.95%

low interest rates and competitive prices to get a home they may not have been able to purchase just a few years ago."
      Besides mortgage interest rates that

Wondering What Your Home Is Worth?

Let me show you.

It's a Good Time For a
Home Inspection

     In today's housing market, a home inspection can wake up buyers to what "as is" really is and give them a negotiating edge that could lead to cash or repair concessions.
      For sellers, a home inspection serves as an anti-haggling tool and keeps the dickering down to a roar.
      An inspection is also for new homes, given new home defects aren't just incidental.
      It's also a good tool to use to assess a home's integrity after a natural disaster, including flooding, an earthquake, a wind or rain storm.
      Finally, a home inspection by home owners who aren't listing their home for sale can let them know every few years what maintenance or upgrades they need to perform.
      It's always a good time for a home inspection.
      For $350 to $500, a professional

Appealing Your
Property Tax Bill

     If your property tax is aligned with or assessed based on the value of your home, a swing in property values could warrant close scrutiny of your property tax bill.
      Some more progressive tax jurisdictions will make the adjustment for you -- up or down -- but most only move your rate up or they'll wait for the property to change hands before adjusting the tax.       Even where adjustments are automatic, you still may not be satisfied and will need to appeal the deal.
      Over valued or over assessed property is perhaps the most common and successful grounds for challenging your tax bill.
      When the economy is faltering and spawning foreclosures, short sales and homeowners otherwise bailing out of homeownership, consider it a red flag -- it's time to scrutinize your property tax bill.
      Many homeowners bailout, accept the foreclosure or take the short sale way out because their mortgage is more than the value of the home, which may have fallen for a variety of reasons.
      The incidence of incorrectly calculated property tax bills may also

Featured Properties

click pictures for details

A rare offering in Westlake
Customized to 4100 sq. ft.


Green Building Becomes Mainstream

     Green building and remodeling broke into mainstream culture in the past decade, leading to a changing home landscape across the nation.
      As this landscape changes, trends are changing as well. So, just what are the trends to be on the lookout for in green housing?
     Earth Advantage Institute, a free standing nonprofit organization acting as the Northwest's premier green building program, has identified 10 trends that you'll see in 2010.
      The first of these is the smart grid and connecting home. This terminology means, simply, that energy usage now has some accountability. "The development of custom and web-based

Daily News and Advice

Read about the events shaping the Real Estate market today, find current interest rates, or browse the extensive library of advice and how-to articles written by some of the top experts in Real Estate. Updated each weekday.


More Articles

May Round Up: Rates Tick Down

Where is Real Estate Headed?

Is Your Home in Tip-Top
Shape for Sale?

Buyers Advice: Housing Affordability

Sheila Fitzer
Cell 805-402-2387

Sotheby's International Realty
Office 805-446-1822
971 S. Westlake Blvd. Suite #100
Westlake Village, CA 91361

Equal Housing Opportunity

E-mail this Newsletter to a friend

Previous Newsletters: