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The Steve Westmark Team's Blog
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This is Steve Westmark, Counselor Realty. Thanks so much for watching my video blog this week. Today, I thought I would talk to you about evaluating what happens when you have a blip on your credit score or what changes your credit scores. And I’m going to give you a few illustrations and you’ll look from this chart what happens when you start with a credit of 680, 720, or 780. The higher the credit score, the better your credit is.
But I’m going to just stay with the consumer one at the 680. If you have a 30-day late on your mortgage payment or probably even a credit card payment, your credit score drops from 680 down to 600 to 620. If you have a 90-day late on your mortgage, it also is just the same. Kind of surprising I thought.
The next one to look at is where you have a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure where you give a deed back to your mortgage company and just say I don’t want foreclosure or you settle with no deficiency on your mortgage, your credit score gets hit by 610 to 630, which is really pretty good compared to what some of these other 60- and 90-day lates are.
The ones where you really get hit is where you have a short sale with a deficiency. That’s where the bank agrees to a partial short sale but then wants you to pay something back or you have a foreclosure where you go into total foreclosure. That drops you down to a 575 to 595, and then the bottom one shows you what happens if you go through bankruptcy. That drops you down to a 530 to 550.
In a former video I had in a credit repair expert, and I’d encourage you to go to my website and look at how do you go through credit repair to improve your credit so you can go out and get a mortgage in the future.
Well, thanks so much for watching my video this week. I hope it was very informative for you and the very best to you. Make it a great day. Bye.
STEVE: Hi. This is Steve Westmark, Counselor Realty. Thanks so much for watching my video blog this week. I thought I’d introduce you to our new real estate office that we’ve just moved into on February 1st. The location of our office is right at the corner of Highway 7 and Highway 101 in Minnetonka. We went from a 25,000-car traffic count to a 125,000 traffic count.
Have great signage out there, and we have this building that is being refurbished, redone, and we have the whole first floor on this marvelous building. Now as you see here, we’re in the reception area of our office building and we have a reception desk. To the back of it, we’ve got all the agent workspaces and things that are going on back there. Plus the coffee area. And we have all the technology of the things that were put together for us.
And then we have another space that we’re excited about. Well, this area is our Triple C or our Counselor Consumer Café. As you’ll see, we have coffee. We have refreshments. We also have flat screen TV where we rotate houses that are for sale, and we just have a nice sitting area where you can come in and just sit down. We also have free WiFi for people to use, so if you bring in your computer or iPad or whatever, you just go on and you can be looking at different things while you’re waiting to meet either with your agent or loan officer, whoever you would meet.
Well, come on in to our conference room. It’s a great area for you to either meet to close on your house where we bring our closer in, or we meet with you to talk about the pricing of your property, or we meet with our buyers to go over things that are on the computer screen and talk about houses and what fits them and how we can go through the different things, whether it be on demographics or all the different technologies that we have that’s available. But it’s a great conference room for us to meet with you, and we can’t wait until you come in and meet with us.
Well, and last and not least, they even gave me an office space that I can work in, so I’d like to show that off to you. The first area I’m going to show you is I have a flat screen and a nice conference area that I can meet with my customers and clients and friends that want to come in and talk about their real estate needs. And then it was fun putting together the technology in my office where I could have the flat screens that allow me to work with today’s technology and being able to see the different things and make my phone calls.
I’ve got a couple of phones in here and just great stuff that will really help me be effective and efficient for my customers and clients in day to day. Well, thanks so much for watching my video. We’re really excited about our real estate office. Look forward to inviting you as the weather warms up to our grand opening coming sometime either May or June. Thanks and have a great day. Bye.
STEVE: Hi, this is Steve Westmark, Counselor Realty. Thanks so much for watching my video blog this week. I brought in a mover today, Brandon Hedburg of Hedburg Moving Solutions. Welcome, Brandon, and we look forward to hearing some of the input you’re going to give us.
BRANDON: Thank you for having me today, Steve.
STEVE: Well, Brandon was really helpful in moving our office from Highway 101 down to Highway 7, very helpful in us learning how to efficiently and effectively and keep our cost down. So Brandon, as you help people in trying to move one house to another, how do you help them keep their costs down and direct them in those areas?
BRANDON: First, we try to start off with a pre-moving plan, and with that preplan, we try to talk to the customers about packing themselves, making sure their boxes are taped, making sure that there are no obstructions in the path of the movers once they get there so that they can lay out their flow protection, and just being ready for the move.
STEVE: Another big thing in moving is protecting of the house you’re in and also protecting the house that you’re moving into. How do you help people in the protection of these valuable assets?
BRANDON: Well, we start out by believing in protecting the wood floors. We lay pads on the floor, and then we lay cardboard on the pads to soak up any sand or any little rocks that you can’t see with the naked eye. And then what we do is for the stairs, if they’re carpet, we lay carpet shield up the stairs, and then on all our straightaways we have rug runners, which are neoprene softened so they can go on carpet or on wood.
STEVE: I think many times a big concern that a client has is will I get an estimate and if I get an estimate, will I then be surprised in the end. How do you help people through estimates and what’s the best way to do that?
BRANDON: Well, Steve, one of the things we believe in here is a free onsite estimate. Too many of the companies nowadays are doing everything over the phone based on a sheet by how big the house or the apartment is by how many rooms that are in it. And each house and each apartment are different sizes. The hallways are different. Elevators…so we believe in doing an onsite estimate to try to get it as accurate and in the right ballpark as we can.
STEVE: I know a lot of times people wonder is there such a thing as a full-service move if I don’t want to really do anything. Can you do all those things or what kind of menu of services can you give people?
BRANDON: Well, we start off with a free onsite estimate, and from that point we figure out exactly what you want. We can come in, do full packing. We can provide the packing, all the materials. We can move you from one place to the other, and then we also have companies from cleaning companies to flooring companies that can come and help do anything else that you may need for your move to be successful.
STEVE: Well, I can really commend Brandon and his company. He’s got great people, and Brandon’s onsite to help out as the move’s going on. Brandon, what’s the best way for people to get quotes and to contact you?
BRANDON: The best way if through our website, www.hedburgmoving.com or they can always reach us as 763-434-6683.
STEVE: Thanks for coming in.
BRANDON: Thank you very much.
STEVE: Hi, this is Steve Westmark, Counselor Realty. Thanks so much for watching my video blog this week. Well, the stats are coming in from the first month of 2013, and it’s very interesting how our marketplace is changing, especially because we can look at three different years of what has been going on and you can see the significant change that’s happened in our marketplace.
The first thing I’m going to show you is what’s going on in the pending sales. In the past years, we’re showing how things were increasing. Well, this year we’re going to see over the last 90 days we’ve had about a 7 to 8% increase in unit sales, but it’s kind of following what happened in 2012. So as we came out of 2011, it was a much weaker marketplace, but 2013 was strong, and you’ll see that we’re continuing to see about the same number of sales in pending sales going on in 2013.
The next chart I’m going to show you is what’s going on with the inventory of homes. As I’ve reported in past years or in past videos of the last few months is that our inventory continues to drop. We in fact right now are at an inventory way below where we were in 2004. In fact, you’ll see from the chart that we have on here is that we’re sitting at about 2012 properties that were on the market, and a year ago, we were at 17,000. And at the peak of our marketplace where inventory was so big, we were at 35,000 properties for sale in inventory.
So what’s happened now is you’ll see we’re at about a 2.9-month inventory of real estate properties on the market, which is causing multiple offers to be coming in on properties because our inventory is so low. The next few charts I want to show you is what’s going on from our short sale and foreclosure report area. What you’re going to see is that in the traditional home sales that in 2011 39% of the sales were traditional and then it increased in 2012 to 45%, to now in 2013 in January 57%.
So what changed is that our lender-owned properties back in 2011 were at 45% and now it’s dropped to only 32%. And in the short sale area where we were at 15 to 16% for 2011 and 2012, this year, we’re down to 10%. So you’re going to see that more traditional sellers are able to sell. We’re having less bank-owned properties in the market.
The next chart shows what’s happened because of the changes of our inventory in the market, that in fact, our inventory for the traditional homes are down at about a 3-month supply. In the bank-owned inventory, we’re down under a 2-month supply, which is why there’s so many multiple offers going on on the bank-owned because we have many buyers but much shorter supply and our inventory even in short sales is significantly dropped from two years ago where we were at a 14-month inventory to today we’re right about a 5-month inventory.
The last chart I’m going to show you is what’s gone on in median values in housing. In 2011, we were at 207,000 for traditional. Then we dropped again in 2012, but now we’re seeing a rebound of about a 3% increase in the traditional sales right around 200,000. The same thing has happened in lender-mediated sales where the lender-owned sales were at 110, dropped to 102, and now we’ve seen a significant increase even in lender sales of over 20% since last year at this time up to 124,900.
And then you can look at the short sale area of where in 2011 we were at 140, dropped to 122, and now it’s come back to 125. Overall, our marketplace is low inventory, a good number of buyers buying in the market, and seeing interest rates running right in the 3% rate and even for 15-year in the 2s. So it’s a great time for buyers to be buying, but our inventory is smaller and prices are beginning to increase.
If you as a buyer are looking to buy, now is the time to jump in before we see even greater increases in prices. And sellers, those that were sitting on the sidelines wondering are prices going to increase, we’ve seen an increase in 2012 and it’s continued in 2013. Hope you enjoyed the information I gave you, and we look forward to talking to you about it in the market update when the February statistics come in. Thanks a lot and make it a great day. Bye.
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Click here for your personal copy of the Twin Cities 2012 Annual Report
STEVE: Hi, this is Steve Westmark, Counselor Realty. Thanks so much for watching my video blog this week. This is going to be an update of our report that we’ll put online that’s the 2012 Annual Report for the Twin Cities Marketplace. It’s 26 pages of detail, and I think you’ll find it very, very interesting. I’m going to go over some of the highlights of the report of the front part with graphs, but what I want to tell you a little bit about is what’s in the back of the report. They have over 120 communities that you can look in.
So if you live in the community of Tonka Bay or you live in Minnetrista or Waconia or whatever city you live in in the Twin City area, it gives information on what has been the overview in your area. Then it also has in there 17 counties of the region around the Twin Cities that you can see what’s going on with an overview in the counties. Then, they also have another area where it shows the over 120 communities of what’s happened in the median sale price over the last five, six years.
So you can look specifically in your community and see what’s going on with the sale prices. And the same also goes with the counties, all 17 counties. It gives that type of information also. A very, very comprehensive report. But next what I’m going to do is show you some of the graphs of what has generally happened overall in 2012. The graphs I’m going to show you right now are about six or eight graphs that have gone on over the region and over the vast number of years that they’ve shown here.
So each one of these graphs goes back to 2008, and you can see the trends of what has been going on since 2008. The first one is the new listing area. In 2008, we had over 93,000 listings that came on the market, and that’s when our inventory kept growing and growing and growing. And you’ll see that it’s continued to drop each year both a 9, 10, 11 and now in 2012 right around 66,000 listings coming on the market.
The next graph you’re going to see is the pending sales. And so you’ll see in 2008 we were at 39,000 sales. We had a bump up in 2009 because of the tax credit of 46,000 sales. Then we dropped down again in 2011; 2012 though had an 18% increase in sales to 49,000 sales. That type of number goes back to the kind of sales we’re seeing in about 2003 and 2004. The next graph that you’re going to look at is the closed sales. And once again, it follows the pending sales, but these are the ones that closed and got all the way to closing for the seller and the buyer where they exchanged keys and they moved on.
And you’ll see in 2008 there were 39,600, and now in 2012 it’s 48,641 sales. That also is about a 17% increase in sales over 2011. The next one that is huge is the inventory of homes. As you saw over the years, the amount of listings coming on the market has kept getting smaller and smaller. And today, we see that our inventory right now at the end of 2012 was under 12,000 listings or 11,875. In 2008, we were at over 25,000 listings that were on the market at the end of December.
So we have a much lower inventory going into 2013. The next two graphs I’m going to show you are what has been happening in our pricing. You’ll see that in 2008 the median sale price in the Twin Cities was at 195,000. Then we kind of kept dropping down where we bottomed in 2011 to 150,000. And this year, we finally turned the corner, and you’ll see that we have an 11.9% increase in the median sale price. In the average sale price, you’ll also see where in 2008 we were at 236,570.
In fact, if you go back to 2006, we had an average sale price of 275,000. And now today after bottoming at 193,000 for an average sale price in 2011, we saw a 9% increase in our sales prices of average sale prices to $210,787. These are all very interesting trends, but probably the two biggest trends that you’ll see is that our prices are beginning to go up by about 10% and that our inventory has dropped to significant levels down to under a 4-month supply or less, which means we are now moving back into what we call a seller’s market and the pricing beginning to increase.
Well, thanks for watching my video blog this week, and be sure to click on our website to see this full 2012 real estate report. Thanks.