Monthly Archives: April 2011

My Spring/Summer Real Estate Forecast

I am beginning to see that others are beginning to believe what I have been saying since the middle of last year, and that is the Real Estate market is showing signs of not just a recovery but a very healthy rebound.

In an April 13, 2011 article written by Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for Freddie Mac; he expresses a positive outlook for spring home sales due to decline in unemployment, a slowing of new home sales and continued affordable interest rates. He cites the labor market report and “high homebuyer affordability” as the significant increase in existing home sales. His conclusion is that home sales will increase (yes – increase) by 5% over last year’s sales. The projection for 2012 is an increase of 12.2%.

The National Association of Realtors claims; “homebuyer affordability is at its highest level in 40 years due to low mortgage rates and low home prices”. In addition, Shawn Tully, senior editor at large for Fortune Magazine writes; “After four years of plunging home prices, the most attractive asset class in America is housing”. He cites that the lack of new construction will be one of the major contributing factors to an improvement in home pricing. Another contributing factor that he cites is the cost of owning verses renting. Many renters are figuring out that they can own the home across the street for equal or less than they are currently paying rent for. This is a no brainer for renters who have the ability to purchase. As the demand increases then the supply will begin to decrease and we all know what that means – home prices will rise!

There are still areas in which distressed homes (bank owned and short sales) are keeping house prices low and new construction in those locations remain stagnant. There is no doubt that these troubled assets will continue to impact the real estate recovery. As the inventory in the non-distressed markets decreases, it will cause buyers and investors to look to the distressed markets for the “deal”. I believe we are already seeing this happen and it is where the bulk of the activity will be for the 4th quarter of 2011 and all of 2012.

If you are in a position to buy real estate then I think this is your window of opportunity as home prices will start to go up and so will interest rates. Whether it is your first home purchase, moving up to a larger home, buying investment property (that in today’s market is turning a positive cash flow), downsizing, or even buying land for future construction – this is your historic moment! The real estate market is poised for a rebound and if you want to make a move or an investment then contact me right away! I can be reached via e-mail;

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 29, 2011 in Real Estate News


Real Estate Valuation


Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) verses Automated Valuation Models (AVM)

As the technological changes within the Real Estate industry continue to improve we must embrace those changes that help us to better enhance and streamline the process. At the same time we need to ensure the improvements and enhancements reflect what is true and accurate.

 A good example of this is in the accurate valuation of Real Estate. For those of us Realtor’s and Brokers who have been in the business for 20 plus years we have seen technology dramatically change our industry and for the most part it’s been for the better. One of the most frequent questions that I am asked by sellers is; how much is my property worth? The same question is often asked by the buyer but it is usually asked this way; am I paying too much for the property?

As Realtors and Brokers we have used a method called the Comparative Market Analysis or CMA to answer these questions. Typically we research those homes in the area of our subject property that have recently sold or are currently on the market. We research like for like amenities, square footage, lot size, age and a number of other features, along with neighborhood factors to arrive at a price that would be similar or “comparable” to the subject. The process involves primarily a lot of electronic research using our MLS (Multiple Listing Service) along with County Tax records and other public information. In some cases it may involve further research that requires an area expert or knowledge that just can’t be found electronically. In most cases a lot of work goes into determining an accurate price for the subject property and it really does require an expert in the field if you want to do it right.

In the last several years we have witnessed “other” type of valuation models that have been developed to determine Real Estate value. I often am asked if these AVM’s (Automated Valuation Models) are accurate and all I can say is you should weigh out your options and consider the source. I have seen these types of “Automated Valuations” have a price that varies as much as 20% in either direction (both high and low) from what the comparable sales actually show. For me that is just too much of a variation and I would trust an expert over an “automated” system that may not have all of the relevant and accurate data.

As we embrace this new technology we need to recognize that there will be times when the AVM (Automated Valuation Model) will work for some consumers. For me however there is just no replacement for an experienced Realtor or Broker who knows how to accurately research the value of a particular property. I still provide a CMA to a seller at no cost or obligation and will provide the same information to the buyer at no cost. Why not call me and make sure that a professional expert is with you every step of the way. I can be reached via e-mail ( I am an expert in multiple geographical locations and if I can’t help you, I network with a team of Realtors and Brokers throughout the country who are prepared to assist you. It’s a free call and no obligation unless and until you are satisfied with what you hear.

Written by Mike Southwick

Use only by permission

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 21, 2011 in Real Estate News


Placerville Speedway – Race Results for April 16

Here are a few pictures from Saturday’s race at Placerville Speedway (360 Sprints):

First Place Winner – Sean Becker (Car 2sb)

Second Place winner – Andy Forsberg (Car X1)

Third Place winner – Jimmy Trulli (Car 33t)

The results for the Pure Stocks

First Place – Clarence Holbrook III (Car 2)

Second Place – Burney McClure (Car 25)

The results for the Pro Stocks

First Place – Dan Brown Jr (Car 5x)

Third Place – Jay Norton (Car 15)

It was a perfect night for racing and the fans were treating to some great racing and great weather. Next week Placerville Speedway features another Points Race (#3) with the same line up (360 Sprints, Pure Stocks and Pro Stocks) and an added feature – Dwarf Cars. See full slide show below:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Placerville Speedway – Attention Race Fans!

The sun is shining, the temperature is up and the engines are fired up! Tonights featured event will be full of power, excitement, and good family fun….don’t miss it. The Grandstands open at 5:00 and the qualigying heats start at 6:30 pm. We will see you there at the Placerville Speedway.


Placerville Speedway – Race Results

Due to recent rain delays the Placerville Speedway hosted a double header this past Friday and Saturday night. Race fans braved the cold evenings to cheer on their favorite drivers and here are the results for the first two races. For more information click on the link above to get details and upcoming races. See you there!