How’s the Market? July 2018 Snapshot

I hope you will find the following snapshot of local Real Estate inventory interesting. The table represents aggregated values based on MLS data for the specified date.

If you are keeping up with my monthly reports you’ll notice that we are seeing a slight softening of the market in the past 30 days. What does that mean? Well, in the simplest of interpretation it means that we have more homes available for sale than last month and the homes that are being sold are staying on the market longer and selling at slightly lower prices. Again, I’d like to emphasize that this is a SLIGHT softening! No need to run for the hills yet. If you have had thoughts of selling and are just curious to see what your home would sell for today give me a call. I would be more than happy to prepare a quick, easy to understand, analysis of your home. Don’t be caught off guard, make sure you know what is going on with what is likely the biggest investment you’ll ever make!

Housing Inventory Snapshot July 28, 2018
Average List Price 30 Days Trend Median List Price 30 Days Trend Average DOM: active/sold 30 Days Trend Number of Listings
San Bernardino County, CA
Single Family $330,142 -0.90% $328,000 -0.30% 65 / 45 1 / 5 3,812
Luxury Single Family $950,353 -1.66% $739,900 -1.33% 99 / 52 0 / -2 1,264
Condo/Townhome $316,034 1.62% $339,900 1.49% 48 / 31 3 / 1 219
Luxury Condo/Townhome $549,744 4.57% $515,000 5.10% 54 / 54 3 / 22 71
Riverside County, CA
Single Family $412,938 -1.31% $410,000 -1.20% 68 / 52 1 / 2 5,500
Luxury Single Family $1,380,812 -7.61% $949,900 -4.82% 128 / 138 -1 / -22 1,787
Condo/Townhome $273,226 0.83% $279,000 0.00% 101 / 75 9 / 2 758
Luxury Condo/Townhome $562,053 0.33% $505,000 1.02% 129 / 94 6 / 0 250
Orange County, CA
Single Family $1,000,165 -1.75% $899,000 -1.75% 57 / 36 2 / 0 3,416
Luxury Single Family $4,807,038 -2.86% $3,200,000 -3.03% 110 / 121 2 / 22 1,132
Condo/Townhome $520,386 -1.02% $514,500 -0.87% 43 / 29 0 / 2 1,443
Luxury Condo/Townhome $1,388,313 -4.74% $1,095,000 -4.78% 80 / 45 4 / -13 452
Los Angeles County, CA
Single Family $795,427 -3.18% $689,900 -1.44% 54 / 36 1 / 0 7,897
Luxury Single Family $5,574,955 -0.39% $3,295,000 0.00% 87 / 82 1 / -17 2,504
Condo/Townhome $548,776 0.66% $529,000 0.76% 46 / 31 1 / 0 2,071
Luxury Condo/Townhome $2,021,007 2.06% $1,499,000 3.74% 68 / 51 -6 / -4 667

If you know someone who is considering buying or selling a home, please give me a call. I will provide professional & courteous service along with knowledgeable guidance throughout the process.


Yesenia Ruvalcaba-Garcia
Broker, BRE 01293970

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2018 Real Estate Trends: What You Need to Know

Real estate season is here, and experts are predicting the hot market conditions will continue throughout the summer in many states. Thinking of buying or selling? Here are the 2018 real estate trends you need to know, and what the hot market means for your house.

Real Estate Trend #1: Homes Are Selling Faster Than Last Year

In February 2018, data showed that properties were selling 8% quicker than the same time last year—staying on the market for a median of only 83 days!(1) In March 2018, the data found that homes sold (at least!) a whole week faster than last year in 36% of the largest housing markets in the country—averaging 63 days on the market.(2)

What Faster Sales Mean for Sellers

Clearly, this is great news for home sellers! Not only does it mean your home could sell at a higher price (more on that later), but it also removes a lot of pressure you might be under to sell your home quickly. With plenty of buyers to choose from, you have a lot of negotiating power to sell on a timeline that works best for you. Woohoo!

What Faster Sales Mean for Buyers

This news isn’t as great for buyers. Your biggest challenge will be competition for homes. In their latest report on the 2018 market, said we’ve never experienced a market where so many buyers have to choose from so few houses.(3) To beat the competition and snatch a home this year, you may have to reprioritize what you want in a dream home. So strap in, buckle down, and follow these tips:

    • Prepare finances. If you haven’t saved 100% in cash for the home you want, at least get preapproved for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and save up a 3.5 to 20% down payment. (A 20% down payment is better—you’ll avoid having to pay private mortgage insurance.) This will show sellers that you’re a serious buyer because you’ve already started the mortgage process—which isn’t common among all buyers placing offers.


    • Know what you want. You’ll be able to beat competitors to the punch and make an offer faster if you already know exactly what you want in a home. If you’re married and house hunting, you and your spouse need to agree on must-haves! So first create separate lists of what you want most. Then compare and combine those lists for your real estate agent to use as the foundation of your home search.


    • Write a letter. Sending a personal story to your seller might be just the thing that makes you stand out over similar offers. Covina couple Abby and John B. included a personal letter when they made an offer on their home. They believe it’s the reason their offer beat the heavy competition. “We sent the sellers a personal letter with our offer,” Abby said. “The best thing you can do is to include in the letter things you love about their house. If they have a deck or screened-in porch, tell them how you envision using the space. We did that, and the sellers accepted our offer—out of multiple offers—within 24 hours.”


  • Hire an experienced pro. If you don’t operate in the real estate business every day, working through the complex details that go into a home purchase in a hot market could cause costly delays. In such a competitive market, why shouldn’t a seller choose to work with a buyer who’s more prepared? That’s why you want to partner with a seasoned real estate agent who has a great reputation in the community. A good agent is an expert at negotiations and can manage detailed paperwork and closing so you don’t miss your chance on a great home.

Real Estate Trend #2: Home Prices Are Higher Than Last Year

Over the past 30 years, home prices have continued to rise at an average rate of 3–4% per year.(4) But the increase in listing prices from February 2017 to 2018 is a startling 10% jump!(5)

What does this look like in dollars? As of March 2018, the median list price hit $280,000. Most new listings tend to be over $350,000, while the rest remain between $200,000–350,000. Only 1 in 3 homes on the market are priced below $200,000, and half of all buyers are competing for homes in that price range!(6)

What Higher Prices Mean for Sellers

You’ll likely make a nice profit as a seller! Will you use the profits to purchase your next home? Maybe you’re downsizing and using the money to beef up your retirement. Whatever you do, lay out your plan before you sell so your profit doesn’t go to waste.

What Higher Prices Mean for Buyers

If you’re going to buy a home in this expensive market, you absolutely must find out how much house you can really afford. Crunch the numbers yourself with our free mortgage calculator or meet with one of our trusted lenders and figure out how much of a monthly payment your budget can handle.

Commit to staying within that budget amount. Don’t rush into a home purchase that doesn’t make financial sense for you—no matter how much pressure you feel watching competitors pluck good homes off the market. If you get impatient, you’ll screw up your finances!

  • Expand your search. What if the location you’re planning to buy in is what’s really busting your budget? Get connected with Yesenia to learn more about home prices in your area that will fit your budget and lifestyle.

Real Estate Trend #3: CA Holds the Hottest Market

While the hot market is likely to affect the sale or purchase of your home no matter where you live in the country, you can expect the above trends to be at their peak on the West Coast. As of February 2018, California accounted for 13 of the top 20 locations where homes were receiving the most listing views and staying on the market for the shortest amount of days. For a glance at what some of those Californian areas are, below is a list of the top 10 hottest markets:

  1. San Francisco, CA
  2. Midland, TX
  3. Vallejo, CA
  4. San Jose, CA
  5. Sacramento, CA
  6. Denver, CO
  7. Santa Rosa, CA
  8. Colorado Springs, CO
  9. San Diego, CA
  10. Stockton, CA(7)

What If I’m Not Buying or Selling a Home This Year?

Now you know the challenges and benefits of buying or selling a home this year. But what if you decide to hold off and wait longer to buy or sell? Could your home continue to rise in value—and sell for even more? Will the hot market cool down for better buying conditions? Or are we in another housing bubble that’s about to burst?

1. Equity Will Likely Keep Increasing by 2–6% (Until 2020)

With most housing markets at a low risk for a downturn, the 2018 edition of The Housing and Mortgage Market Review estimates that home prices will continue to rise for the next couple of years, with annual increases of 2–6%.(8) So if you sell your house before 2020, you’ll likely still make a great profit. But don’t rely solely on market trends. Continue to monitor how much your home is worth to make sure your equity (how much your home is worth minus how much you owe on it) is going up.

2. Is the Real Estate Market Going to Crash Again?

With such rapid upward trends, some are wondering if the housing market could collapse again. While it’s impossible to know for sure, most experts expect the rising prices to settle down over the next 24 months. For most cities, risk of a crash in the market is low.(9)

3. Despite Your Neighborhood, Buyers Are Interested

Because of the hot market and low inventory, buyers may be willing to consider neighborhoods that don’t have easy-access to highways or close proximity to the city. In other words, if your neighborhood hasn’t been swarmed by home shoppers in a while, this market will likely make it more attractive. Determined buyers are willing to compromise for an unconventional area if it means they can snatch a house. So, even if you think you live in an unpopular neighborhood or that your home isn’t what buyers are looking for, think again. Maybe now is your perfect time to sell.

Take Control of the Trends With a Real Estate Agent

Whether you’re itching to enjoy the benefits of the hot market by selling your home or feeling the challenges of a buyer, you can take advantage of current real estate trends by partnering with the right professional. Find a professional who has earned Dave Ramsey’s seal of trust for practicing what he teaches, giving excellent advice, and providing outstanding customer service. Contact Yesenia today!

Five Ways to Come Up with a Down Payment

Coming up with a hefty down payment can be intimidating, but with a little work and ingenuity you can do it. Here are a few ideas for coming up with the needed cash:

1. Down-Payment Assistance Programs
Many states offer down-payment assistance programs. You must go through an application process and qualify based on income and credit, but if you do qualify, these programs are amazing. Typically you will receive a grant for the amount of your down payment; it’s basically free money from the government to encourage responsible citizens to buy their first home.

2. Try to Qualify for an FHA Loan
If you qualify, an FHA loan can make first-time home ownership much easier. FHA-backed loans typically offer more manageable down payments (as little as 3.5 percent compared to the 10-30 percent required for conventional home loans). These loans are subject to credit requirements but sometimes less stringent ones than other loans.

3. Help from Family
If your parents or other relatives are in a financial position to help you purchase your first home, they may be happy to do so. Approach the conversation with a gracious and humble mind frame and don’t expect a specific outcome. Emphasize that you are ready to become a homeowner and begin solidifying your financial future, but that you don’t have enough cash on hand for a down payment.

Perhaps you are planning to get married in the near future. Instead of asking your parents to help you pay for the wedding, ask for help with a down payment—a smaller, more modest wedding may be well worth becoming a homeowner. As long as the gift is less than $13,000 (or $26,000 for a couple), you shouldn’t have to pay income taxes on it, either.

4. Boost Your Income
Instead of looking at your current income and thinking that saving a chunk of money is impossible, ask yourself how you can earn more money. Options include freelancing on the side or getting a job on the weekends working retail or at a restaurant. No matter how you choose to boost your income, the main goal is to continue living on your old income while putting away any extra money.

5. Borrow from Your IRA
While taking out a loan from your retirement account is generally frowned upon and penalized with taxes and early-withdrawal fees, one exception is borrowing from your IRA specifically for a down payment on a house. If you qualify, you can borrow up to $10,000 penalty-free toward a real estate purchase.

Are you thinking about purchasing a home and looking for advice on where to start? Give me a call at (626) 252-0839,  we will sit down and draft out a plan for your specific situation, whether it be buying something this month or 6-12 months down the line, its important to have knowledge and tools available to you. Let me help! 

Are you wondering what your home would sell for in today’s market? Click HERE for a free estimate! 

For a more in depth consultation please contact us directly at (626) 252-0839


Buying a home is an exciting, emotional, and stressful project. Whether you have purchased a home before or are preparing to buy your first one, you don’t want to let your emotions make the decision for you. The following are pitfalls that can be costly, and you’ll want to avoid them.

1. Love at First Sight
Don’t fall in love with the first house you see and determine to buy it no matter what. You could end up overpaying for the property. Or, after the sale, you may discover costly repairs that will negate any profit from a future resale. Many real estate agents insist their clients look at a few houses before entering into a contract because they have witnessed buyer remorse when clients insist on buying the first or second home they see.

2. Always Looking for a Better Deal
These buyers are just the opposite of the love-at-first-sight crowd. They think there is always a better deal than the one they just saw, or they hope the price will drop on some of the homes they have liked. While it is possible, it is highly unlikely. If you pass up a good deal just because you think the owner is going to drop the price later on, you are giving another buyer the chance to snatch it up. If a home has all you want, is in the right neighborhood, and is priced well, you better buy it before it’s gone.

3. Paying Too Much for the “Perfect” Home
It is highly unlikely there is any such thing as a perfect home, but sometimes buyers believe they have found one. When this happens the buyer acts on their emotions because they will do anything to get that house. When you buy a home, you always need to know you can resell it without losing any money. Unfortunately, when people find what they believe is the perfect home, they will often bid high to ensure their offer is accepted and in the process may overextend themselves financially.

4. Unrealistic Offers
The opposite of the overpayer is the low bidder. There is a big difference between negotiating a price with a seller and offering an unrealistically low price. Discuss this with your agent before you wind up alienating the seller and possibly the chance to buy the property. Making a realistic bid that is good for you and the seller is the answer to getting the property you want.

Shopping with your emotions rarely yields a good deal. Listen to your real estate agent’s suggestions, look at several homes, and then make your decision. Once you have your home, don’t look back. Enjoy this home and make improvements. You will be one step closer to your dream home.

Are you thinking about purchasing a home and looking for advise on where to start? Give me a call at (626) 252-0839,  we will sit down and draft out a plan for your specific situation, whether it be buying something this month or 6-12 months down the line, its important to have the tools available to you. Let me help! 

Are you wondering what your home would sell for in today’s market? Click HERE for a free estimate! 

For a more in depth consultation please contact us directly at (626) 252-0839

Seven Reasons Why You Need A Real Estate Professional To Help Sell Your House

Eventually almost everyone faces the task of selling their home. During these transitions, many people wonder if they should save some money and list their house for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) instead of using a real estate agent. In reality, using a qualified agent can simplify the process and save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Here are seven perks that a qualified real estate professional can provide:

1. Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Database
This is the digital age and buyers no longer rely solely on their agent to identify possible homes. In fact, many buyers become obsessed with searching the easily accessible online MLS database both before and during the actual home-search process.

2. Marketing Plan
The MLS database is a great place to begin, but savvy real estate agents develop comprehensive marketing plans that go beyond the database. In this recovering real estate market, a combination of selling tools is often necessary to reach your closing date quickly. A variety of advertising strategies is important, but so is networking with other real estate agents.

3. Attracting Buyers’ Agents
Many buyers’ agents are wary of showing a house without a listing agreement even if the FSBO advertising promises a reasonable commission. There is great risk involved when an agent works without the usual contracts. Since most home buyers have an agent, listing your home FSBO excludes a large portion of your customer base.

4. Faster Results
Real estate agents know how to price homes correctly. Also, having a professional marketing plan accelerates the traffic to your home, increasing your odds of a quick sale.

5. Security
When your home is FSBO, you must choose between leaving strangers inside without any accountability and showing the home yourself. Since leaving people alone is not a safe option, FSBO homes are usually shown by the owner. Naturally, when you show the home yourself, your potential buyers will spend less time discussing the pros and cons of your property. They don’t wish to prejudice negotiations by telling you what they like, or offend you by telling you what they don’t like. This silence leaves you unable to encourage the pros and reasonably discuss the cons?a finely honed skill of quality real estate agents.

6. Negotiations
Sometimes negotiating can get a little sticky. Buyers may want repairs that weren’t in the sellers’ budget, or they may try to “test the water” with lowball offers. Real estate agents can work with each other rather than directly with buyers and sellers, distancing themselves and keeping emotional clients focused on the big picture. The result is often a compromise that pleases everyone.

7. Closing
The buying and selling of property is one of the largest business transactions most families face. Sometimes closings are not simple affairs. They can become clouded by chain-of-title issues or conflicting survey results. Even homeowners’ association disputes can complicate the closing process. It just makes sense to use a professional when dealing with complex legal documents.

With over 20 years of experience, we have all the knowledge and experience that you need when selling your home in today’s market. Give us a call today or click here for a quick, no obligation estimate of how much your home ins worth today.

How’s the Market??? Snapshot for June 2016- Real Estate Market Trends

Here is this month’s How’s the Market??? Snapshot. If you saw last month’s Snapshot you will notice that our local real estate trends show median prices are still creeping up, its just taking a little longer for homes to sell! If Hows the market imageyou would like more detailed information about how much your home is now worth after the Real Estate Crash, send me an email, text, or call me. I’ll be more than happy to provide you with a Free, no obligation report of what its worth and things you can do to improve the value of your home.
I hope you will find the following snapshot of local Real Estate inventory interesting. The table represents aggregated values based on MLS data for the specified date.

Housing Inventory Snapshot June 27, 2016
Average List Price 30 Days Trend Median List Price 30 Days Trend Average DOM: active 30 Days Trend Number of Listings
Los Angeles County, CA
Single Family under $1M $603,548 1.46% $599,000 3.28% 61 0 7894
Single Family over $1M $3,418,896 -3.43% $1,990,000 -0.45% 82 1 6147
Condo/Townhome under $600K $399,871 1.20% $400,000 0.25% 56 -1 2101
Condo/Townhome over $600K $1,161,368 -3.71% $888,000 -1.22% 59 1 1571
Riverside County, CA
Single Family under $500K $341,969 0.04% $349,000 0.03% 79 0 5655
Single Family over $500K $1,562,278 -1.81% $939,000 -0.95% 102 1 6359
Condo/Townhome under $300K $206,691 -0.43% $214,900 -0.05% 120 3 1035
Condo/Townhome over $300K $603,547 0.69% $499,000 0.81% 89 -2 1432
San Bernardino County, CA
Single Family under $500K $300,429 1.79% $299,900 0.30% 87 -1 4645
Single Family over $500K $1,671,680 -3.16% $975,000 -1.40% 88 0 4613
Condo/Townhome under $300K $197,325 -0.94% $219,800 2.23% 77 -2 223
Condo/Townhome over $300K $701,870 -4.00% $598,000 -4.32% 44 0 819
Orange County, CA
Single Family under $1M $781,130 0.21% $770,000 -0.76% 59 2 5238
Single Family over $1M $3,477,692 -1.67% $2,200,888 -4.10% 95 2 3224
Condo/Townhome under $600K $420,328 1.17% $429,000 0.94% 54 1 1485
Condo/Townhome over $600K $1,004,403 -1.77% $799,900 -1.84% 61 3 1038
If you know someone who is considering buying or selling a home, please give me a call. I will provide professional & courteous service along with knowledgeable guidance through the process.
Yesenia E. Ruvalcaba-Garcia, Broker
Realtor®/HUD REO & Listing Specialist
Direct (626) 252-0839
Office (626) 917-6200 ext. 14
Cell Phone (626) 252-0839
Fax (626) 209-8318
CalBRE License Number: 01293970
New Century Realtors

The National Housing Market: Low Inventory, Higher Prices

Every major region of the country saw existing-home sales climb in March. The large gains posted in the Northeast and Midwest helped sales climb 1.5 percent higher than a year ago. Buyers in these regions overcame inventory woes and affordability issues to make their home purchases. On the supply side, there were 1.98 million existing homes for sale at the end of March; at the current sales pace, this represents a 4.5-month supply. Inventory was 5.9 percent higher than a month ago but 1.5 percent lower than a year ago, when housing inventory stood at 2.01 million. This lack of inventory helped drive home prices up. In March, the median existing-home price for all housing types reached $222,700, a rise of 5.7 percent year over year. For the past 49 consecutive months, median prices have seen year-over-year gains, making home affordability a growing concern for buyers.

The Starter Market
First-time buyers accounted for 30 percent of all buyers in March, a figure that is unchanged from both a month ago and a year ago. For all of 2015, the share of first-time buyers in the market was also at 30 percent. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, “With rents steadily rising and average fixed rates well below 4 percent, qualified first-time buyers should be more active participants than what they are right now.” Unfortunately, the same barriers to market entry that stymied first-time buyers in the past are still in place—affordability issues and low availability of starter homes on the market.

The Money-Making Market
Investors are another group who managed to maintain their share of the housing market. All-cash sales remained the same from February to March, accounting for 25 percent of all transactions, up 1 percent from a year ago. Individual investors are behind many of the all-cash sales; in March, 66 percent of them paid for their investments with cash. Of all the homes sold in March, 14 percent were purchased by individual investors, a 4 percent decline from a month ago but unchanged from a year ago.

Regional Home Sales

Northeast: Existing-home sales’ annual rate: 700,000, an increase of 11.1 percent. Sales are 7.7 percent higher than March 2015.

Midwest: Existing-home sales’ annual rate: 1.23 million, an increase of 9.8 percent. Sales are 0.8 percent higher than March 2015.

South: Existing-home sales’ annual rate: 2.25 million, an increase of 2.7 percent. Sales are 2.3 percent higher than March 2015.

West: Existing-home sales’ annual rate: 1.15 million, an increase of 1.8 percent. Sales are 2.5 percent lower than March 2015.

1-626-252-0839 Sell While the Market is HOTT!  What’s Your Home Worth? Find out Now! 

If you’ve been thinking about selling your home, chances are that you’re excited about the possibility of moving and starting a new chapter of your life. Simply deciding to sell your home isn’t enough, though. The process of putting your home on the market can be overwhelming and time-consuming, so before you try to sell your property, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Being honest with yourself and with the people around you will help you have a more positive selling experience when you’re ready to move.