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Mortgage Rates Remain Low

by Rob Zwemmer

After hitting record lows last week, mortgage rates remain low to date. Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.32 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending Nov. 29, up from 3.31 percent last week but down from 4.00 percent a year ago. Last week's rate was a new record in Freddie Mac records dating to 1971. For 15-year fixed-rate loans, rates averaged 2.64 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from 2.63 percent last week but down from 3.30 percent a year ago. Last week's rate was a record in records dating to 1991. Rates on five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans averaged 2.72 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from 2.74 percent last week and 2.90 percent a year ago. Rates on five-year ARM loans hit a low in records dating to 2005 of 2.69 percent during the week ending July 19.For one-year Treasury-indexed ARM loans, rates averaged 2.56 percent with an average 0.5 point, unchanged from last week but down from 2.78 percent a year ago. Rates on one-year ARM loans hit a low in records dating to 1984 of 2.55 percent during the week ending Nov. 15.


A separate survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed applications for purchase mortgages were up 3 percent during the week ending Nov. 23 compared to the week before. The survey, which included an adjustment for the Thanksgiving holiday, showed purchase loan demand up 8 percent from last year.

Take a moment to view our Featured Listings on Golf Course properties and luxury homes throughout the La Quinta area. We are adding to properties to www.DesertOnline.com all the time.

Zwemmer & Associates

Coachella Valley Real Estate Update

by Rob Zwemmer

Sales were up in October with more move-up and first-time buyers finding properties along with seasonal home purchasers and investors... even with prices rising for the 8th consecutive month. A total of 853 homes and condos sold across the valley in October, a near 16 percent year-over-year increase, according to DataQuick. The valley’s median price... half sold for more, half for less... rose 26 percent to $210,000 compared to October, 2011… the fourth straight month of double-digit percentage increases in the median price.


The average sale price of a single-family home rose to $343,900 last month, compared to $335,700 the same month last year. Available inventory has reduced significantly with fewer than 2,000 single-family homes and 860 condos listed in September, according to The California Desert Association of Realtors. That figure compares with a total of 5,752 single-family homes in September, 2010. Multiple offers on a single property are now becoming the usual scenario. More competition for buyers as inventory remains down, including the amount of distressed properties available.

Visit www.desertonline.com to find your perfect desert home. Whether you are looking for a second-home or a place to call your own year-round, we can find it for you.
Rob Zwemmer, Zwemmer & Associates

 

Fall Into Winter

by Rob Zwemmer

The winter is coming and it’s time to start winterizing your home. A few safety checks, a few replacements, and a few repairs here and there will make your home both comfortable and safe.

Change Furnace Filters before turning up the heat. It is a simple and inexpensive way to maximize energy efficiency and your level of comfort.

Perform a safety check of your gas appliances. Your utility company can pay a house call to check your furnace and stove flues, duct fittings and natural gas lines.

Check the insulation around doors and windows of your home. Replacing worn weatherstripping material can maximize energy efficiency by eliminating air leaks.

Install a carbon monoxide detector or replace your current model if it’s over 5 years old. This valuable instrument can save your life in the event of a furnace or appliance malfunction.

Check all smoke detectors and make sure they are in working order and equipped with new batteries.

It’s a good time to assess the working order of all appliances throughout the house, and find ways to promote both energy efficiency and optimal safety in your home this season.

 


Waves of the Future

by Rob Zwemmer

As Real Estate continues its recovery, homebuilders are gearing up for a new wave of homebuyers. In the planning stage are homes that use no more electricity than they produce, provide additional living space to accommodate extended family members, and floor plans that are much more compact and efficient. Important to these buyers are homes that are closer to their jobs, medical services, and favorite shopping, dining and recreational destinations. Features such as more windows and bedrooms located on lower floors also top their wish lists. These new model homes target first-time buyers, growing families and baby boomers that have recently become empty nesters and need to downsize. People are more cautious now, not biting off more home than they can afford.

In downtown Sacramento, CA, developers are putting the finishing touches on a home that they refer to as a 'net-zero-electricity house'; a structure fitted with roof-mounted solar panels using no more electricity than it produces. It's intended as a model for a larger project to be built on an industrial site on the edge of an older, leafy neighborhood. "The first phase will include about 200 homes -- from studio apartments to stand-alone houses," said project manager Kevin Smith.

 
Super-insulating walls, energy-saving appliances and LED lighting are meant to give the development "green" cache. Recycled glass counters, high-tech wiring and highly efficient use of small spaces will add to the appeal, he said.

Black Friday Shopping Tips

by Rob Zwemmer

It's a tradition with so many, heading out for the Black Friday shopping tour, braving the crowds in search for the perfect gifts and perfect prices. Here's a few tips to keep in mind before and during the adventure:

1. Comparison shop. Research the ads, check retailer websites and social networking sites to see who has the best discounts on the things you need.
2. Make a shopping list and have a clear track of where you are headed.
3. Map out your day of shopping and visit the retailers first that have the sharpest discounts and early bird shopping deals.
4. Be sure to bring all coupons and ads with you for a speedy check-out at the register.
5. Keep your cool when the crowds get thick & stay focused on the areas of your interest.
6. Use store credit cards to get extra discounts on special Black Friday items. Be careful not to max out the card and keep it within an easy pay-off range.

You may want to forgo the action and consider shopping online during Cyber Monday. Great deals and free shipping will probably be offered at all your favorite retailers. Nothing like shopping in your pjs!


If you are real estate shopping for a home, take a look at our Featured Listings. Rob Zwemmer & Associates Inc. wish you a Happy Black Friday!

Happy Thanksgiving

by Rob Zwemmer

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn't until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

We would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. It is a time to gather, share, laugh, enjoy and reflect.

The Time is Right

by Rob Zwemmer

The national housing market continues to show steady signs of recovery. There is a rising demand, declines in inventory and rates... about 3.41 percent this month. This is a record low. It is a great time to buy. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun stated: "The market trend is up. Despite occasional month-to-month setbacks, we're experiencing a genuine recovery."

Home sales fell 1.7 percent month-over-month - a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.75 million units... an 11 percent increase from last year.

Home prices have slightly decreased this month with the current median home price at $183,900, down 1.7 percent from last month's median price of $184,900.

Housing inventory fell 3.3 percent from last month to 2.32 million existing homes available for sale, a 5.9-month supply.

We are adding listings all the time. Why not take a look at our homes for sale and give us a call.

Coachella Valley Market Update

by Rob Zwemmer

Average Home Prices Are Still On the Rise as Distressed Property Sales continue to Drop.

The California Desert Association of REALTORS has stated that for the second consecutive month single-family homes and condos saw an increase in average sales in September, 2012. The average sale price of single-family homes saw an increase of approximately 24.8 percent from last year, 2011. Condo sale prices increased from $158K last year to $181K in September, 2012.

We've seen an approximate 35 percent drop in inventory throughout the Coachella Valley, fewer than 2,000 single-family homes were for sale last month, compared with 3,065 in September, 2011. Compare that to 4 years ago when it was a common occurence to see 8,100-9,800 homes listed per month. foreclosure activity in Septmeber across the valley fell 27.9 percent in September as compared to the same time period in 2011, according to RealtyTrac, a foreclosure tracking firm. Distressed properties made up 42 percent of the valley's single-family home sales last month, down from 55 percent this same time in 2011, as reported by CDAR.

Take a look at our current listings to find the right home at the right price. Zwemmer & Associates is adding new real estate listings all the time, so you will want to check back often!

More on Home Energy Efficiency

by Rob Zwemmer

While we are on the subject of energy-efficient appliances, how about computing the annual cost to run a specific appliance? Use this equation:  Multiply the annual consumption in kWh per year (that you have already calculated) by your local utility's rate per kWh consumed to calculate the annual cost to run an appliance.  To estimate the number of hours that a refrigerator actually operates at maximum wattage, divide the total time the refrigerator is plugged in by three. Refrigerators, although turned "on" all the time, actually cycle-on-off as needed to maintain an even interior temperature.

Here's an example showing a home PC:

Personal Computer and Monitor:
[(120 Watts + 150 Watts) × 4 hours/day × 365 days/year] ÷ 1000
= 394 kWh × 11 cents/kWh
= $43.34/year

Wattage of most common appliances used in homes is stamped on the bottom, on the back or on the nameplate. the wattage listed is maximum power drawn by the appliance. Since many appliances have a range of settings, so the actual amount of power consumed depends on the setting used at any given time.

Equip your new home with the latest energy-efficient appliances and add up the savings.

Browse Zwemmer & Associates current Real Estate listings to find your new home.

Estimating Your Energy Consumption

by Rob Zwemmer

Trying to decide if you should invest in a more energy-efficient appliance or want to determine your electricity load? Here's how to estimate your appliance energy consumption.

Use this formula to estimate an appliance's energy use:

(Wattage × Hours Used Per Day) ÷ 1000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption:  1 kilowatt (kW) = 1,000 Watts

Multiply this by the number of days you use the appliance during the year for the annual consumption in kWh per year.

If you are moving into a new home, you may want to consider purchasing new energy-efficient appliances to start things off right. It'll be easier on your pocketbook as well as the environment in the long run!

Considering a new home? Here are the current listings Rob Zwemmer & Associates have available:  http://www.desertonline.com/Properties

We hope to hear from you regarding a new home purchase.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 11

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