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I operate the most complete and longest running blog about Santa Clarita real estate. I am the true local area expert living in the Santa Clarita Valley during and after my LAPD career. I'm all about the protection and service to both my home buyers and Santa Clarita home sellers. The biggest compliment that any client of mine can give is by way of them referring their family, friends and those whom they know want to buy or sell real estate. I'm honored in each instance. Our business operates primarily by referral. 

First and foremost, my method is by teaching. I'm not teaching my home buyers and sellers on how to be real estate agents. I'm teaching them how to be best protected when it comes to buying and selling real estate. 

The best way to do this is by our in-person meetings which are done in my offices, over the phone or by remote meetings conducted with my Zoom Affiliation. I was the first agent to employ a podcast/radio show in my housing market updates. I was also the first agent to conduct seminars online with many participants where questions could be asked and where the best solutions to actual real estate problems could be discovered. I have had up to 50 live participants in my seminars within the online realm and mandate that my home buyers and home sellers become educated in one of my many processes.

Buying a home is not like buying a pair of shoes. There are a lot more moving parts and the price point is much larger. 

Anything that takes 30 years to pay off, typically, needs to be approached with care and concern. Making a mistake with real estate is expensive and some never are able to recover.

Take the last real estate cycle. There were a lot of home buyers that jumped in without testing the waters. If you did so during the later part of 2011 and in the 1st quarter of 2012 - your jumping in was the best thing you could have done. 

That is because during that time that was the low part of the real estate market. Between the fall of housing in 2007 and the current date, the last absolute low point in the Los Angeles Areas was last quarter 2011 and the first quarter of 2012.

I approach real estate with my clients with knowledge and experience. I know that most home buyers take the word for what they read online, no matter the source. If the source has a large well-advertised name, most take the information conveyed as the word of a higher power.

If you are interested in your better future in real estate, do not do that. Make sure that you are

Sept. 17, 2019

Santa Clarita real estate market news and update by the Santa Clarita home Experts 2019-261

Santa Clarita real estate market <7 days

During the past 7 days, the current housing trend for Santa Clarita real estate continues to be a slow real estate buyer cycle.

  • 30 new listings have entered the Santa Clarita home market for sale
  • 21 homes have had their prices changed - Majority have been reductions
  • We have been watching as 10 real estate listings re-entered the housing market
  • During the past week in Santa Clarita 25 homes have entered escrow but under the category "active under contract"
  • 30 listings have entered the Pending Status - no longer being advertised as "active".
  • 23 homes have sold in the Santa Clarita Valley during the past week.
  • 2 homes did not sell within contractual time frames in Santa Clarita - Expired
  • 5 homes were put on the Hold Status - meaning there may be an issue or a falling out between the agent and the sellers.
  • 1 home was removed from being for sale in the SCV.


Hire the right Santa Clarita real estate agentCurrent Santa Clarita market activity

  • 537 Active Santa Clarita real estate listings and homes for sale currently
  • 235 Santa Clarita homes that are active under contract "in escrow"
  • 216 real estate listings in Santa Clarita Valley cities which are pending "under contract - not being advertised as active.

One of the reasons why I place this information for all to see on our Santa Clarita home experts blog is the fact that there are websites, and they are increasing in number, which are misleading the home buyers. They see huge numbers pertaining to how many homes are for sale in a particular city, for my example, I will say the number of homes that are for sale in the Santa Clarita is 537. That's it. There are no other real estate listings that you'll see portrayed as being for sale on some of the real estate syndication websites.

I have seen cases, where there are literally thousands of homes that they are saying, are current and on the market for sale in the Santa Clarita Valley Cities.

They use those "huge numbers" as clickbait. That's all. They want you to get on their website and enter your personal and private information so that they are able to sell it to agents who are paying for it. Besides that, they are also selling who you are, your name, phone number and email to other entities. Then if you have put other information online, you can bet it has been cataloged on one of those "who is" research websites.

If you want to pay to get all my personal information if I weren't already publishing it everywhere because I want to be transparent and have people employ me to be their Santa Clarita real estate agent, you would find these sites had saved everything I had ever been tricked to have entered online.

Your data is everywhere. Some websites sell it to other sites and service providers. 

When you go to search on our SSL Encrypted website, - I, Connor MacIvor, being of sound mind and working on the body, promise that I am the only one who is going to see your information! I won't sell, trade, or otherwise compromise our agreement that I make to all of those who we have worked with in the past, currently are working with and whom we will represent in the future.

It really is a shame, but as you can see, the internet can be a dangerous place.

The future of the Santa Clarita real estate market

People are panicked about the interest rates, they are low and will probably go lower between not and the 2020 presidential election. After the election, depending on who is in office will depend on what is going to happen to real estate interest rates during the first and second quarter of 2021.

For now and throughout 2020, I would not be worried about interest rates moving very much from where they are now. They may even lower creating another "refinance" boom as we are in currently.

It would be worth your time to speak with a lender to ascertain how much of a "point" makes it "worth it" to refinance a mortgage. "Interest rates are often talked about as points and percentages".

Points - typically refer to fee's - how much it will cost you to do a certain thing. For example, if the loan is going to cost you to pay the lender 1 point. That means 1% of the amount you are borrowing.

If you are going to have your interest rate reduced 1 point - that means 1 percentage point. If your loan was at 4% interest rate and if the lender was going to be able to get you a 3% interest rate, then you are going to be saving a point, or 1% over the time of the loan.

If interest rates reduce even farther, get a good faith estimate from your lender, your mortgage holder and someone that I recommend. That way your bases are covered. You can compare all three entities and get your best refinance interest rate, ensure your best deal on the cost of the loan and the best service.

I foresee us continuing with limited real estate inventory for the next year plus approaching the election time. Then real estate will slow down, as we observed this July, where the numbers of homes being sold will reduce.

The same lacking inventory is also going to persist throughout the election year. The timeframes to sell homes are going to be in months and not just weeks unless a fire sale is taking place.

Calling the listing agent from the sign when you have your own

Did you know that issues can arise if you have your very own agent, don't call them, only to have the listing agent show you the home you want to buy?

After that, you get into touch with the agent you like and they write the offer on your behalf to buy the home that the seller's agent showed you.

The seller's agent can sue your agent for procuring cause and get that commission they would have gotten plus penalities.

True Story. You may not know this in the law, but it does seem odd to have another agent show you a real estate listing if your agent is too busy or may be unavailable. 

Maybe with a new home builder's agent. They are sometimes mandated to follow all people throughout the open model homes, even if those parties have their own New Home Expert they want to use!

I just recently had to turn down a sign caller who said that they are not working with their agent any longer who is located in the same city that I have my offices within. After a lot of prodding, they told me that the agent they knew is not "anything special" and that they wanted me to show the home, etc.

I asked them if they loved the home, who'd write the offer. There was some pause. Enough Pause, because it should have been apparent, me - but without me, it would have been the "not so special Santa Clarita realtor."

After some direction and more advice, I stated they should go with their agent. Call them and I'll greenlight them to show the property.

It worked out and today at 5:30 pm they showed the home to the client who may also have been nothing special.

In this world, I have figured out several things. The first and foremost tenet of my life is to treat others as I'd like to be treated.

I know we are running the number one "organic" visited local Santa Clarita home expert website. I have a lot of traffic that inquire and a ton of real estate buyers and sellers (in the thousands), who are part of our Santa Clarita home experts system.

At the end of the day, you need to do the right thing for yourself. You only yourself to make happy and keep in the "right place" with whatever you believe in.

I owe myself the same as does every other human being.

I will be here for you when you are ready to have your Santa Clarita real estate won and not just done.

I'm Connor with HONOR, RE/MAX Gateway. Be well and thanks for taking the time to view our newest addition to the Santa Clarita real estate market updates.


Sept. 13, 2019

Your Santa Clarita realtor, choose one who has a good reputation in the industry

There are a lot of Websites which will appear in the "paid for" sections of the internet when you inquire about "the Best Santa Clarita real estate agent", "top Santa Clarita agents", and so on.

Here are the rankings that you will find and mind you, for me to be listed on their platforms costs me money.

Top Agents Ranked (pay per click)

Dave Ramsey (pay per click)

Home Light (pay per click)

Upnest (pay per click)

Yelp (pay per click)

Santa Clarita home expertsOf these top 5 results on Google, each is a pay to play website. All have a paid placement option and if I want all the bells and whistles in a real estate ad corresponding to their paid placement in Santa Clarita for best or top real estate agent, I have to pay them.

In some cases, my paid-for placement can cost over $5000.00 a transaction that comes to me by way of their websites, or a monthly fee for placement within a city name, zip code or radius.

You may have deduced, for a person or corporation to come up with this idea and monetize it, they have struck gold, at least for the time being.

It only takes time for the masses to catch on and to put a stop to these types of advertisement and marketing websites.

Most people have figured out that the best way to search for real estate listings on a local real estate agent's website.

They are the experts. They are the locals. The local agents are not getting paid for selling your personal and private information. They get paid when they help you buy or sell a home.

In the case of our Santa Clarita Home Experts, I only get paid in the same fashion. I only get paid when I help a Santa Clarita home buyer or seller (or elsewhere in my functional zone) buy or sell a home, condo or townhome.

In the past several years the online leads have been taken from most of the local Santa Clarita real estate agents by the publicly traded Real Estate Syndication Websites like Zillow, Trulia, and

However, after a time, people have come around full circle and have started to trust and rely on the local real estate agents websites, like to give them move updated information.

FYI - if you scroll down with either of those "best in Santa Clarita real estate" or the other search inquiry, you will see my SantaClaritaHomeExperts website on the first page standing alone.

The best means what exactly?

Who qualifies the word "best"? My mom? If that were the case, she thought a lot of me.

And ask my "mother in law", she thinks even more of me.

I'd imagine there is a "best" website that you would be able to find which provides results depending on how "much $$$" changes hands.

There are also websites that quote "BEST and TOP" which are looking at particular results. Here are some examples:

  • Only the best Santa Clarita real estate agents by number of transactions
  • The Best Santa Clarita real estate agents by sales volume
  • Top Santa Clarita realtors by award placement
  • Santa Clarita realtors with the most home buyers

I'm sure by now you get the picture. 

While the best Santa Clarita real estate agents can be categorized as closing 20+ transactions a month, I cannot do that.

Correction, I will not do that many.

For Paris and I, a Two-person team that has cut out any buyers agents and support staff, 10 transactions a month is our comfort zone.

If we get allow ourselves to take more listings coupled with more buyers to rise above my 10 count rule for any given calendar month, we start to see our level of service slip and that is not fair to our clients.

If I were to go back and hire a transaction coordinator, our clients would suffer from the vantage point of not being informed in the way they have become accustomed to.

When an agent has a transaction coordinator, even if they are awesome, the updates start to slip because the agent becomes busier than they are able to maintain.

When we had up to 5 buyers agents, people were coming to work with Connor and Paris MacIvor, Not our Team.

Therefore, we cut them one agent at a time until our core team was in place and we learned without having sacrificed anyone.

We had to learn by watching the so-called "mega teams" that are trying to become a thing, to the detriment of their real estate clients, they cannot be informed as to where every seller and buyer is in the process and what issues are arising.

In fact, often it's too late when an issue arises for the person who was originally hired to come through and explain what is happening to the home seller/home buyer.

We have a transaction now where the agent on the other side has a home buyer for our sellers listing who has to stop performing. They have not removed all of their contingencies. They stated in the contract that they'd be removed on day 21. We did receive a buyer contingency removal, but it says all contingencies are removed, Except ____________________. Therein lies the problem. All "Except". It matters not what it is, but it matters that it is.

Let's say someone on our "team", if we still had one in place, they'd be handing this transaction on behalf of Paris and I. The fact of the matter is it would take a long time to bring us to up to speed and more time to involve the correct parties related to our brokerage and risk management department.

I hear from people that were working with a "mega" or "real estate team" who are working with Paris and I because they know we are attached at the hip on each and every transaction and know we know where our clients are in each individual transaction per month.

Money is great except when it hurts

When I take a real estate listing knowing that I'm overwhelmed. When I accept a home buyer when we are maxed out and have no time to show listings to. I'm at fault.

So hence the 10 rule per month for Paris and I and our Santa Clarita real estate business.

If I went to a service provider and if they said they would give me their help, for which I'm paying a fee if they appeared "too busy", I'd move along.

10 real estate clients per month are perfect for us.

We are able to be there 100%, we are able to negotiate at a 100% level with each client and we are able to be there for our clients at a Level 10!

Real Estate is too important to hire cheap help. Real Estate has too much at risk to waste time with an agent who happens to be too greedy.

I'm Connor MacIvor. On behalf of myself and Paris, we will be here for you when you are ready.



Sept. 11, 2019

Bubble averted for now in Santa Clarita real estate low inventory is culprit



Santa Clarita home experts connor macivorConnor Macivor:     00:00          Good everybody, please don't forget today's September 11th of what had happened in the past. We always have to retain those memories in order to improve and also, of course, to be very self-aware, so a moment of silence would be very appropriate today when you have that moment. Thank you so much for tuning in. That says Santa Clarita, home Santa Clarita, home we do have the longest-running real estate radio show here in Santa Clarita Valley. I am Connor t Mac [inaudible] or Mac Ivo are glad to be of assistance and I appreciate you listening to our real estate radio show as we updated every week or try our best to new events here in the real estate market, pertain to a massive slow down on the buyer side. In addition to that, sellers as well. A lot of people are holding back and not putting their properties on the market and come to find out from the research that I've been doing, speaking with a lot of those people that we're going to press the trigger and get that property on the market.


Connor Macivor:     01:08          Now they're not and it's because of interest rates. Right now they're getting down in the threes, uh, some high twos as far as percentage points go, which is phenomenal, great interest rates, but instead of it kicking off the market, making sellers want to sell, basically, sellers pulled back a little bit and said, you know what? School started back. A lot of the sellers have school-age dependent children. Instead of us trying to mess up anything or move, we're going to go ahead and do a refinance. So that's where the market currently is. A lot of the lenders out there, they're overwhelmed with the refinances that are going on. That includes here in Santa Clarita Valley and Greater Los Angeles cities. There are just so many that even when buyers are out there wanting to buy real estate, their method is happening a little bit slower because of the refinances that are going on with all these different lender offices.


Connor Macivor:     02:04          People asked, they say, you know what? What's the best way to approach the refinance ing of a house or condo or townhome? Well, a couple of different methods, right? Every lender out there would want to get your business bottom line period. So the people that you see at Oh dark 30 on television talking about their lending and lending business and mortgage business. Of course, they would want to get your business. Then you have your local lenders, they would want to get your business and also your bank. So the bank that you happen to be attached with maybe savings accounts checking account, one that doesn't have anything to do with your mortgage. Of course, they want to get your business to and then the people that are attached to your mortgage, the actual bank that is holding the note that you write those checks to every month to make your payment.


Connor Macivor:     02:53          They also, they, they would love to be involved too. What's the cheapest? Well, you know what? I would say surf around just a little bit and make sure whatever any of those entities that I mentioned are promising you cause some of them will have a tendency to tease you a little bit. Hey, you know we're going to give you this deal. This is going to be the the the interest rate that's we're going to give, you're not going to be able to get it matched anywhere. If they're promising that and they've already looked at all your numbers, that's also very important. If they're promising that over the phone there is small print written somewhere and you'll see it either in email correspondence or the bottom of a text message or within some kind of a link. They can't promise that until they figure out where you are credit-wise.


Connor Macivor:     03:40          So if you are a person that has great credit, kept up with all their payments, you have an outstanding fico story of good employment, everything's just pristine and beautiful, then you are going to be able to get that best interest rate possible and for those people that are in that category, definitely shop around. On the other side of it, if you don't happen to have that kind of credit, you also want to shop around. But also it's incredibly important to get everything in writing that they're promising you. If they're promising you a 3% percent interest rate before they've run your numbers, be a little weary. Again, after they get all your documentation, they're going to ask for tax returns. They're gonna ask for paycheck stubs. In some cases, if you're going through the bank that already has the note on the property, they might not be asking for those items because they kind of already have them.


Connor Macivor:     04:31          And it depends on when you originally financed the residence as well. But at the end of the day, if in fact you go and you're asking and they see, you know what, we want to see these particular items to back you up financially in order to get this refinance done. Understand that that's part of the process. Also, understand this during the time of refinancing is happening, this is the same with purchasing a residence. Any credit inquiry could damage you, it could create issues for you if somebody makes a credit inquiry on your credit, especially auto dealerships and potentially multiple mortgage brokers when you're out there surfing around trying to get your very best deal. So I would say be wary whenever you're putting your name out there, social security number, so on and so forth. Be a little, you know, throw some caution to the wind. Just don't give it out to every buddy that you talk to that you think is going to be a fantastic deal.


Connor Macivor:     05:33          In addition, a lot of credit age, the mortgage brokers, they can actually use other credit reports that are initiated by other lenders in the business. So if you were to find someone that was willing to give you a full copy of your credit report, you might be in such a position where you could say, listen, I already talked to this bank over here. They gave me a full copy of my credit report and I would like to give that to you. And thereby you use that to be able to validate whatever interest rates you're promising to give me. And that might work in some cases, but at the very beginning when you start this process, you're to want to put a file together that has all the necessary documentation that the lenders are wanting and save that on your desktop. So if you are going to go out there and start speaking with other people, just be, we're either gonna run that credit once they run that credit, but a lot of times that's gonna injure your Fico Score.


Connor Macivor:     06:31          All of that can be fixed, but it's going to be up to the final lender to make that fix happen at the very beginning or the very end when you've made the choice and say, you know what, I like a Mr. Z, that particular lender, we're going to go with him. And then a lot of times they can do what's called a rapid rescore. So let's talk about real estate inventory here in Santa Clarita Valley. If you go to Santa Clarita, home you'll be able to pull all the data for the Santa Clarita Valley cities. That's going to be acting all the way through Valencia. So act in awkward, Say Canyon country, Castaic Newhall, Saugus, Stevenson Ranch and Valencia in those cities. Very little as far as units for sale, all total. And I'll give you that number here. Let me find the right button, sent a Clarita home and when you get to the site it's really easy to navigate.


Connor Macivor:     07:24          If you are on an iPhone or any other type of device, you will be able to pull that up immediately and you'll see Santa Clarita valley cities down at the bottom. What I did is I pulled all of those uh, here in Santa Clarita Valley, so you see it all the way from acton all the way through Valencia and you can see that number 545 active units for sale all across the STV cities. And again, that's incredibly low in comparison to where we've been in the past and this drop-off started above July. Interest rates, as I said, a very low, a lot of people are looking for this looming, bubbled up pop within the real estate market. They're concerned that if they buy now, they're going to be regretting that decision. [inaudible] it's one thing to buy low with high-interest rates. It's a different animal to buy high with low-interest rates.


Connor Macivor:     08:20          And then the other thing is when you look at the overall market, when people are asking me that question, if you can afford your payment without overtime and without all of the other things that seem to put people in a pickle, like they're expecting pay raises in the future, different percentages and now all of a sudden they have that mortgage and they're not getting the pay raise or maybe they get laid off or whatever. These are big pain points that throw the market in a tizzy when it happens in big numbers. When it happens on the small end, of course, individually it hurts people, those families, and those individuals involved the, with that kind of big life items like disease, divorce and death and job loss and so on. But the other side of the coin, when it only affects a few, it doesn't topple the market when it affects a lot of people.


Connor Macivor:     09:10          Like we saw back in 2007 then the fall of that the large subprime lender, new century bank. When we saw that happen, then it just started, uh, it was like a house of cards. There were a lot of loans out there. Those subprime loans aren't a thing. They're kind of making a comeback. But most of the loans that have been granted since the fall, the real estate market after the recovery had been very solid, requiring money down. So back in the days of 100% financing, and I always attribute the last fall of the cycle to a lot of that. A lot of people that had no,


Connor Macivor:     09:48          no way, they should have been buying $1 million worth of real estate and what they were multiple houses, but a lot of people were because they thought that the real estate market was going to continue to go up and up and up and up and up. So they just went out there and they bought one house and then they said, you know, we can get a hundred percent financing again. They bought another house, another house. So then you have a lot of these that were rented. The renters aren't there anymore. The sellers or the owners of that particular property may be having it managed by somebody else or maybe managing it themselves. Didn't foresee the market started to collapse that soon, didn't have the money in the bank to support that property for six months or a year or whatever their guide is. A year is nice to have a backup of a year in the bank.


Connor Macivor:     10:36          They including enough money to evict people that decide that they don't want to stay. That's a nice comfortable place to be in. Plus then if it only takes six months to get them out, then you have rehab money as well because more than likely in some cases, I would say more than likely, people are gonna maybe not take great care of your home when they decide not to continue to make you your rent payments or their rent payments so you can then correspondingly make those payments to your mortgage. Sometimes people are just mean and that happens, but we saw a lot of that in that last real estate cycle. It's not here, so that's not where the market's going to collapse. Some people say, well, there's going to be a deep depression in the economy. Well when usually when the stock market gets hit, hard real estate becomes more attractive to a lot of investors because it's best for the long term so people aren't trading paper commodities anymore and they're actually getting real tangible assets like real gold going out and buying actual gold bullion, silver, actual silver, platinum, and real estate homes, condos and townhomes because these are placeholders.


Connor Macivor:     11:46          You have a piece of something that you can hold on to I. E within real estate. So a lot of people make application whenever things get a little tight on the start market in. So again, I don't see that one causing the real estate market to cycle and reduce with the low limited inventory, it's keeping prices pretty high. We are seeing some small adjustments and various markets here in southern California, but not a lot. Even with a buyer drive, usually, a drop of five or $10,000 is spring off. Enough activity to get that property in escrow with a new buyer. I've caught him macgyver. This has been your real estate update. You can always find us by going to Santa Clarita, home Santa Clarita, home Looking at the right-hand side, you'll see the radio player. Then of course, if you go to Santa Clarita, home forward slash radio you'll be able to see all of the shows that we have in archive and amongst others. I hope you're doing great. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen. I am Connor t macgyver local agent here in Santa Clarita Valley with re Max. Love to be of great assistance to you. Pick up the phone, give me a call and I will take care of you and yours and whomever from a to Z. I'm at (661) 400-1720. Have a fantastic day and we'll talk to you soon.

Sept. 2, 2019

The market is stuck in gear by the Santa Clarita Home Experts

Monitoring the Santa Clarita real estate marketThe movement of real estate within the Santa Clarita Valey and other Southern California is like we have gotten stuck in the mud while in gear. 

Of course, a little pressure applied to the accelerator may fix this problem, unless what we are stuck in is too thick.

The first thing we have to do is figure out what caused us to become stuck in the first place.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, we have a majority of residential real estate. The commercial sector pales in comparison. 

With Light, medium and heavy industry located in Valencia and Castaic, a majority of the residents in the Santa Clarita Valley commute to work at places outside of the Santa Clarita Valley. Most go, as the freeways can attest to, south from the SCV.

These locations include the San Fernando Valley and other Los Angeles destinations.

I did that commute for years, it was not the best thing in the world, but I was able to do a lot of soul searching when commuting to downtown Los Angeles - 6th and Wall, back to home in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Since that time, we have added more commuters as residents within the Santa Clarita Valley and will continue to do so.

As a commuter gets savvier, they figure out "workarounds" to the large freeway arteries, such as Balboa and The Old Road, for example. These are main streets with a speed limit above 40mph, check the signage, which are workarounds to the current traffic congestion.

Valencia CA real estate break down

I am always looking at the real estate data that has been posted to the local Board of Realtors. I have access because I'm a Realtor in good standing and am able to use the data to help my buyers and sellers decide when is the right time. On the other side of that coin, when is the wrong time to buy or sell a home in Santa Clarita Valley. (yes, there is a non-optimal time to sell and buy a home).

Valencia - Original Price versus Sold Price

Valencia CA real estate market

The Santa Clarita real estate market started to change in July of 2019. That is when the numbers of home listings started to move from the median prices being sold above the listing price to even and below.

I will provide you the data points for the past 4 years on our Santa Clarita home experts radio show.

You can tune in to hear the most current real estate market data for the Santa Clarita Valley cities each week by going to our Santa Clarita home experts blog.

During my time in real estate, since 1998, I have been data-driven. I have absorbed the marketing and advertising methods that work the best for my clients.

For my clients, they want a realtor with a strong blog. They want a real estate agent who is not afraid to say it as it is.

Strong Santa Clarita real estate blog

I have been writing about the Santa Clarita real estate and housing market since about 2004. Some of those earlier blog posts were very rough in the making. 

This was due to WordPress being rough and not as refined as it is today.

However, you may laugh, but we have moved from Wordpress to an HTML5 Website format.

I find this improves my page load times and is really more functional than the other online systems for real estate. Both for home search and other values for real estate and Santa Clarita homes.

I do a lot of searching concerning what buyers and sellers want "more information" about. This brings me to finding real estate blogs and real estate websites in the Santa Clarita Valley that have not been updated for a long while.

There are no Santa Clarita real estate market reports, there are no local updates and the websites are missing general updated information about the Santa Clarita real estate and housing cycles.

The other big sin in my book concerns those agents who are paying people to write content for them on their websites and blogs. 

You can tell that those "writers" don't live and have never been to the Santa Clarita Valley. All of their information does not match up.

When I'm reading it, it does not make sense as pertaining to the Santa Clarita Valley Cities. That is bad business for the home buyers and sellers in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Update the Santa Clarita home experts blog often

Everyday?  Yes, every single day I'm writing some piece of content or gathering information to convey to our home buyers, sellers and the future clientele of Paris and I.

Also, I have realized that during our entrance in the Santa Clarita real estate market, back in 1998, home buyers and sellers hate to have to call to find out "where they are in the process".

They like the information to be told to them without having to ask.

That is why Paris and I keep our Maximum active "in escrow" client base to 10.

No more than 10.

We cut our mega team years ago. We were finding that updates and other items slipped through the cracks within the transaction. While it always went "unfelt" by our home clients, I felt it. Paris Felt it, we stopped it before it became a problem.

We went from the mega team and Santa Clarita real estate team to Paris and me.

We are who you are dealing with before, during and after the transaction. Our MAX 10 cap is something that is necessary for Paris, me and our clients to keep all informed and in the know.

That way someone won't call and get her or me on the phone and us now knowing what they are speaking about.

Exclusivity in Santa Clarita real estate

10 at a time, that is our maximum to have our clients feel as if they are the only clients we are working with.

It only took 20 years to learn, but today we have everyone who is happy with our performance in Santa Clarita real estate.

I'm Connor MacIvor please take time to watch and listen to our Santa Clarita real estate radio show so you can get what u want out of any housing and real estate market.

Aug. 31, 2019

Santa Clarita open houses who is hosting by the Santa Clarita Home Experts

Santa Clarita and Granada Hills Open HousesWhen you are venturing out on a weekend, because you are in the market to buy a home, and because the "open house signs" are aplenty, who is the host?

This is a good question and another reason for you to hire your very own real estate agent when wanting to buy a home.

It does not matter who the owner is and who the seller is, to have your own buyers agent on your side throughout, who is not in contract with the home seller, is really a plus.

Here are some reasons - 

  1. Using the home sellers' agent is outlawed in several states and Canada.
  2. Dual Agency, viewed by many, can cause you issues as is the same as hiring the same attorney as the person suing you.
  3. You don't know if the agent can actually separate their knowledge of your bottom line from the buyer's max effort.
    1. In other words, you don't know if the agent is really working for your best interest.
    2. The agent knows your bottom line
    3. The agent knows the buyer's max also
    4. How do you know if they are going to truly play down the middle?
  4. Having a real estate agent is very necessary, having your own on your side 100% is paramount
  5. An agent can find it impossible to stay true to both parties, a home seller and a home buyer.
  6. The agent, if acting in the sellers' capacity and the buyer's capacity, knows each paries bottom line.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, if you are hoping to find the listing agent, you should not and work with a buyers' agent who is not in contract with the home seller.

Open Houses and who is hosting them

As you have probably figured out, I'm not a fan of what is known as Dual Agency. That is where the seller's agent is also representing the buyer's agent.

Some of the "old school" home buyers think this is your best way to get your most advantageous deal. This is because the agent for the home seller knows the home seller's bottom line. That same agent is representing you. If that agent reveals the seller's bottom line to you, what makes you think they are going to be true to your "maximum line"?

They know it because they have discussed it with you. Think Smart.

Each day, I get requests from my real estate company and other's which I'm in the networking groups of, "Who Wants to Host my seller's home open?"

These come often and are offerings by real estate sellers' agents to have me and "other takers" host their seller's homes as open houses.

This would include MLS advertising, this would also include the syndication websites being updated and you being able to view the home you are interested in its open state.

Santa Clarita open houses - it's not who you think!

Then you show up, you have heard from the past generation that it's best for you to go through the listing agent, which does not hold water today.

Only to find out that that the agent is not the seller's agent.

It's someone else. The agent does not even work for the same company as the seller's agent. 

In another case, the agent may work for the same company but not on the team as the Santa Clarita Seller's agent.

Maybe they are a buyers agent for another brokerage?

If that is the case, your preparation from a past generation is in vain. They won't be able to help you. In fact, even if it's the actual seller's agent hosting the open house, they cannot help you either, by law.

Meaning, they are prohibited by giving out the home seller's bottom line. Unless by prior written agreement.

And if they have a prior written agreement between themselves and the home seller to give out the home seller's bottom-line, then your Santa Clarita's Buyers Agent could get you the same result with several advantages.

  1. Your Santa Clarita buyer's agent speaks the agent's lingo.
  2. The questions as to permissions will be asked and known by you.
  3. The home buyer's agent will also ask other pertinent information on your behalf.
  4. Your own Home buyers agent will also explore other "off-limit items" that will benefit you

Don't lose hope, Buyer's agents are everywhere

When buying a new home in the Santa Clarita Valley cities and elsewhere in Southern California, you need to have your own Santa Clarita home buyer's agent.

The reason is simple. If I have failed to make my point, I will say it plainly.

The agent for the seller knows the seller's bottom line, which you are hoping for.

The agent for the seller, whom you decided to hire, also knows your maximum amount!

Do you trust them enough to keep all the things between you and them?

Heck, they are in contract with the home seller. It's not until they put pen to paper that you are now in contract with them.

In some cases of dual agency, it's too late.

I get beaten up a lot for articles like this

There are a ton of Santa Clarita real estate agents don't like when I speak about the dual agency. 

A couple that comes to mind are:

  1. The new home builders and new home communities hate me. Of course, for now, they allow us to represent our buyers when they want to buy new homes. They pay me a commission to bring my home buyers and sign them up. 
  2. Agents who discount the buyer's agent commission so low that it gives them the advantage to be contacted by potential home buyers. (Hey - you thought we did not know what you were doing by offering 2% less commission in the MLS - ha - we see you) BTW, I don't care of the commission that is offered to the buyer's agent. I take my buyers and give them 100% on every single home listing, to the pain point of the seller's agent - but I think that my home buyers deserve the right to buy any home they want, no matter the compensation offered and for what reason)

The next time you walk into an open house, double-check who the agent is.

In all circumstances, let the agent, whoever it is, know that you have your own agent!

Santa Clarita home experts buyer's agent

Santa Clarita home buyer agent

Show the agent hosting the open house in Santa Clarita my card. They will probably reference that they know Paris and I. Heck - we have been top producers since 1998. I am still going strong at 50. I will be here until about 100, then for the last 20 years of my life, I'll probably travel more prominently.

Home Buyers Agent in Santa Clarita Valley CA

The bottom line is this. I have been representing home buyers since 1998 in the Santa Clarita Valley.

You won't find anyone else who is more committed to being on your side within a real estate transaction.

I have seen a lot of different real estate scenarios. I have also been by the side of over 1000 home buyers when they were buying Santa Clarita real estate.

You would not believe the actions that I have viewed that some home sellers' on the other side have taken that were not in good faith.

The same applies to home buyers that I have encountered who were represented by other agents.

Finally, when it comes to real estate agents, most are doing the best they can. The issue is education and experience.

I remember the time when I had just finished LAPD firearms instructor school - this included .45 Transition, Glock and SITS(which was shotgun). After having all the credentials, I was magically transported to the Davis Academy to teach recruits.

The LAPD can do what it wants and if they thought that my best position was in a training capacity, so be it, who am I to argue.

So I went and it was not like being on motors, which was my previous assignment. I got to keep the motor. Having finished a long tour on DUI watch, working the Driving Under the Influence Squad, I still had the court sessions to attend to. Some of those cases were felonies, so I had to dress in class A's (full uniform with tie) to attend court.

So I also attended the police academy to train in the same uniform. Of course, recruits are not used to seeing a police officer in full "motor officer regalia". 

It was quite a sight, on the range, on that concrete with the echo, when I was walking in motor boots with my taps, OMG - what a time!

The point is that I did not know squat when training recruits at the beginning. Of course, I went to all the schools and showed a mastery of various weapons systems. 

However, that is very different than having the "encyclopedia" pages of information on how to best train that the master instructors had.

I will never forget Officer Stephan. He was one that would run to work - and he lived a long way away from the academy. James Stephan showed me just what I did not know.

The day this came known to me was when I had a recruit that could not get it. They could not keep the sights on target while they pressed the trigger.

After about 45 minutes, I had exhausted all the drills that I had learned by the instructor's schools.

James Stephan came to me and inquired as to what was wrong. It was only then when I discovered all that I did not know.

I had a page of knowledge, he had an Encyclopedia set full of drills and examples for this recruit.

The recruit passed the qualification. The Recruit was lucky that I was not all he had to rely on.

The same applies to real estate. If you are working with an agent who has not had thousands of experiences with home buyers and sellers, you are doing yourself a disservice.

I'll be here when you are ready! Connor MacIvor

Aug. 28, 2019

The Final Walk Through explained by the Santa Clarita home experts

Verification of Property Condition the VP per the California Association of Realtors.

This is typically completed closer to the end of the escrow cycle. After all the negotiation, the inspections, the requests for repairs and the removal of contingencies.

The purpose of a Verification of property condition - aka The Final Walk-Through is to ensure that the property is in the same condition as expected to be delivered.

The tenants / previous owners aren't moving

people not moving when they have toBack in the last foreclosure and bank-owned era, this was made incredibly important because some of those people that were inhabiting a home that had foreclosed but now is being sold, weren't moving out!

If it hadn't been for the Final Walk-Through and the appearance of the occupants not wanting to move, a home could have closed escrow (sold) with the prior owners having not moved out.

At that point, it would be up to the new owner to evict those people. That could take months and cost thousands of dollars to the new owner.

Of course, there would be lawsuits, the real estate company's attorney's would probably become involved, etc. etc. etc...

There are many ways that scenario could have played out with fault being hard to assign for certain, so hence the legal actions.

Short Sales were also types of sales where we found that if the people occupying the property were tenants, they were reluctant to leave.

In most cases, back in the day, the short sale tenants were paying nothing or lower than typical because of the owner not paying their financial institution. (funny the way that worked out)

So hence, with such a good thing, the tenants did not want to move when the property sold in a short sale. As was the same with certain foreclosures.

The Foreclosures that had cash for keys plan play out typically were vacant at the time of sale.

Checking for damage and criminal activity

The final walkthrough also brought to light damage that may have occurred in the process of the previous occupant moving out. 

Maybe there was a massive bedroom set in the master, which was up a narrow staircase at the end of the second floor.

In that case, maybe one of the banister supports could have been broken, the walls could have been scraped or dented. There are other damages that can occur when people are moving large and heavy pieces of furniture out of a home.

Then you have the On Purpose actions that some bad people take.

There were homes that were damaged by the Foreclosure Owners and Short Sale Tenants.

I have seen bags of concrete poured in drains, toilets and elsewhere. Quick Set seemed to be the preferred choice of these vandals. Probably because the bags are smaller than 100 pounds. Did say that people that damage with intent to harm are also weak?

We have also had incidents that had nothing to do with the people who lived at the home we were selling and walking through.

We had a home that was a foreclosure which we sold in the City of Reseda. During our final walkthrough, I observed a screen that goes underneath the home having been removed.  It had been dented from the center, seemingly kicked in.

I looked and observed that under the home was flooded. There was a lot of water. These criminals had taken the copper pipes to sell them. Of course, that needed to be remedied before the home was to close escrow.

I have seen all sorts of things that were taken, which were supposed to be left with the home.

The walkthrough helps the new owners identify things which may be amiss.

Repairs promised by someone who is trying to be honest

Santa Clarita home repairsDuring the life of the escrow, that if between the point when you have an accepted offer when escrow opens to the final bell of having the home-recorded into your name, a lot happens.

Part of the process may be that you submitted a request for repair to the homeowner. There may have been items that were not functioning properly or which created a health and safety issue.

For those items, you may have asked for a credit or asked for the seller to have those items repaired.

During our Santa Clarita home experts meeting with our sellers and home buyers, we talk about credits being better than fixing items. Due to the buyer taking full responsibility. If the seller does the repairs or hires someone to do the repairs then they own it. If credits are given in lieu of repairs, then it becomes the buyer's responsibility.

However, for the sake of this Santa Clarita home experts article, let me offer that the seller is going to do the repairs.

We are going to want receipts that verify the work was done by a reputable and licensed person who specialized in the type of work needing to be done.

Then, during the walkthrough, we are going to want to see that the work was actually completed. 

We will check that the microwave is working. That the stovetop lights up, or any other "fixed" item.

Termite repairs and the work being done

This totally depends on what was negotiated in the contract. It used to be that termite was a mandatory thing to be inspected by and paid for from the seller's end of the transaction.

Now, it's all up to what was negotiated. 

If termite was part of the agreed-upon terms, then it should also be something that is viewed during the final walkthrough.

Most times "termite work" is not super apparent and needs to have a professional point out or indicate where the work was done and what exactly should be looked for. Preparing for your walkthrough with your Santa Clarita home expert is very necessary!

As an aside, most times painting is not part of the termite work. They replace items with raw lumber, FYI. In order to make sure your agent should have advised you whether or not painting was going to be part of the deal.

What if there are issues and problems?

It depends on what types of issues come up as a result of the final walkthrough.

If it's something very simple and involved a scheduling problem, it will be commented on within the final walkthrough the document as not being correct as promised during the walkthrough. Also, the solution to the issue and when it will take place will be written on the form and all parties will sign it.

If it's some big-ticket items that are health and safety-focused, it will be commented on and the escrow will stop until it's fixed. In most cases - it depends on the agreement that had taken place between the buyers and the sellers.

If it's people not moving and have no good explanation for not having moving boxes and we are closing in two days, that scenario, without explanation and verification, would also cause escrow to stop.

Now, escrow stopping is not a passive action. It's active. In order to stop escrow, there is a method to doing it right that involves the notification of all parties. 

It can be messy, but necessary.

The Santa Clarita home experts

Santa Clarita home expertsWe have clients that are new to the real estate venue. They have never bought or sold any real estate. We want them to be educated as to the entire process so they don't get taken advantage of by any party.

Our discussions with home buyers and sellers involve talking about what lenders are expecting and the best ways in which you can get your very best deal on the interest rate and lender fees.

We also walk out clients throughout the home search process. Santa Clarita home experts website is quick, responsive and has all of the real estate listings that are currently on the market for sale.

All of them, versus some of the real estate syndication websites not being allowed to show some of the homes that are for sale.

Case in point, we had a couple of home sellers that did not want their family to see that they had their home up for sale.

It was a divorce case and they wanted their privacy. That home listing would have shown up on our Santa Clarita Home Experts website, but not on Zillow and Trulia because, per our seller's request, it was removed.

There are other instances, such as sellers who don't like the "estimated value" being shown next to their home that is for sale. Especially when that value is wrong due to that website's algorithm.

Therefore, they ask me and I deliver in having their listing removed from those websites they don't appreciate and which could do harm to them in the sale of their home.

I'm here for you when you are ready to have your real estate won and not just done!

Connor MacIvor, enjoy the website and when you are ready, call me.

Aug. 26, 2019

Santa Clarita real estate market update depression or a housing bubble bursting is a non starter



Santa Clarita, real estate inventory, falls to deficient levels when compared with the past several months - dating back to October of 2018.

I'm Connor MacIvor and welcome to our Santa Clarita Home Experts real estate radio show where we talk about the issues that make good buying and selling decisions. Our shows also speak about not moving forward with real estate, either in the buying of it selling it.

Transcript for Santa Clarita home experts show

Best Santa Clarita real estate market updateSpeaker 1:          00:00          Good day, everyone. Welcome to the real estate radio show. We are now closing out the end of August 2019 today happens to be the 26th, so we're on Monday, which is exciting. So we'll be able to walk you through all the real estate related information that's going to make a difference in your lives. Whether you own real estate and want to sit tight and never want to repurchase another house or move, or whether you're just starting out considering buying real estate because of the tax breaks and all those other beautiful things that owning a home offer, whether you may be thinking about selling, moving into the state, out of the country, relocating, we've got you covered here. Santa, create a home also, our reach is of just Santa Clarita Valley. Uh, it is an apt name. Trust me. I do live out here.


Speaker 1:          00:52          I have raised a family out here representing represented thousands of sellers and buyers out here since 1998 but enough about me. Let's talk about what's going on in the real estate market. A lot of people have been discussing this, a bubble, this housing bubble that could be out there, this the pressure in real estate that's going to be starting sometime soon. I wrote a couple of excellent blog posts about this. You can go to Santa Clarita; home forward slash blog to see those articles. Just scroll down, but in a nutshell, it comes down to the equity in the market and the volatility in the real estate market and put the stock market aside because usually when the stock market starts to go down too with uncomfortable numbers, lots of points in the declining of the stock market. Often, people go out and buy tangible assets.


Speaker 1:          01:54          What does that mean? Well, they go out and buy stuff. They hold on to not paper goods and me don't mean buy toilet paper by that, but basically buying paper in stock with regard to business as and with regard to gold and with regard to silver. They buy the real stuff. They'll go down to an Aetna international coin exchanger, one of these gold places out here. We haven't southern California. They'll buy the credit Swiss, they'll buy the real stuff, and they'll hold on to that. These are tangible assets. What else is a definite asset? What real estate is a tangible asset. So they'll grab, they'll buy residences or invest more money into their residents to improve it and make it worth more if they already own one. But a lot of people that are trying to harbor themselves from a depressed economy, that's what they do.


Speaker 1:          02:46          And that involves real estate. So it's still a good market for that. However, I do see some adjustments coming. If you already own a home, that's going to be a wash for you as a real estate buyer, you'll be able to take advantage of those depending on how the market goes. Now the one thing that I'll pull back and I'll say, listen, this isn't, that market is this. We have very limited inventory running the numbers. This morning we were 600 last radio show a couple of weeks ago. We were pushing 600 units for sale this morning throughout acting awkward doll, says Kenny Country Castaic Newhall. Saugus Stevenson ranch of Valencia. We are sitting currently at 539 listings for sale. Now of those, during this past week, we've had 209 properties go under contract and that's in the last seven days or these are total numbers. So currently as of this morning, five 39 total active listings on the market, 209 properties are active under contract.


Speaker 1:          03:58          184 properties are pending under contract. These are both the properties in escrow at 59 properties closed in this last seven days. When the last seven days we've had 18 new listings, not enough to replenish the 59 so that's that drop in inventory. We have price changes out there and this is what I was referring to and we've been watching price changes since about that they'd been going on, but the bigger numbers start about mid-July this year and the kickoff point for that can typically be school starting up. So people are now positioning to get back to get their kids back into school. So that happens. Typically the real estate role slows down a little bit because people are already kind of set up, well maybe not where they want to be, but they're set up in a place where they can't be as nimble and move to a different school district or whatever.


Speaker 1:          04:55          So you'll see that these numbers directly correspond to that. In some cases, we had the lowering of the interest rate. Here's the question, interest rates go down considerably in the threes and the buyer drives slowed down quite a bit, which you wouldn't have thought. You would've thought that would have spurred off a lot more. Buyers kicked off a lot more buyers getting out there to look at real estate. That hasn't happened yet. And on the other side, the lenders are busy but not with origination loans, not with buyers wanting to buy new houses and start new loans on there. Even used houses to start new loans, but they're tied up currently with the refinance market. So a lot of people that already own real estate, they're pretty happy where they are, so they're not really feeling the need to move. They'll just refinance to three and a third or three or in some cases even lower, depending on the lender they're using in the bank.


Speaker 1:          05:52          That's something else. If you are a looking to refinance, we don't do that, but I have a great direction that I can provide for you and good advice that will end up saving you money and having you choose that best method to refinance. So call me, you see my number all over the place. Santa Clarita, home All right, so we're going to cover those changes. In the last seven days in Santa Clarita Valley cities, we've had 18 new listings hit the market for sale. 27 properties have had their prices changed. That number would you look into a deeper, 26 of those were reductions. So those are properties that are active on the market. Last seven days, they've gone down from anywhere from a few hundred dollars to, you know, thousands of dollars in reduction. What that typically does is that creates a new dry for those properties out there. So when people do reduce those prices, usually they do so for a couple of reasons.


Speaker 1:          06:54          The biggest reason is on the Internet. That listing is going to come back and repopulate the top of all the real estate syndication websites, so when you're out there looking for real estate, you're shopping online. The best resource, I'll tell you this right now and it is selfish, but it is true because they know how these systems work. Santa Clarita, home it's my site. I'm not selling your information. I'm not going to be giving information away to anybody. I'm the only person that's going to see it so you don't have to panic about other people seeing who you are and monitoring you, so don't worry. When he'd go on these other sides of the Zillows, the Trulias, some listings could be held back because some sellers don't like their properties being out there because on those websites it gives other data that sellers sometimes don't appreciate.


Speaker 1:          07:48          It shows what that website believes their house is worth. Well, if that website is inaccurate at the start, if they're not getting that information from the good MLS data, which they don't have access to in subcases, then all of a sudden that property, what they believe that property is worth, it's going to be skew. So the seller doesn't want their property out there because of the misinformation that's created by the syndication website. And that's very, that's very, uh, that's a very clear reason why. So that property might not be on there. I have agreements with the California Association, Realtors National Association because I am a realtor. I get to publicize the data after everybody checks my feet and makes sure I'm legit and I'm in good standing with all these local boards and vendors, all this other stuff. It's a big deal. Once they greenlight me, they say, okay, Connor McCarver, you own the resource, Santa Clarita, home you can publicize the MLS data.


Speaker 1:          08:53          So you show all the listings that are currently for sale over and above what you typically may see on a syndication website. And also we've had sellers in the past go out to these syndication websites in demand that their listing is removed. So Zillow for example, well then remove that seller's listing, pull down all those photographs. So the only place it's going to be found is going to be a local MLS driven real estate website that's going to be owned and operated by a local agent like me. The difference between me and the other agents with regard to real estate websites is you'll see how fast my end loads, how clean it looks, how easy it is to search, make sure when to come back. And it also works from all possible mobile devices. So that's HTML five mobile responsive, it's wonderful. All right, so that's 27 properties.


Speaker 1:          09:48          All of them except for one experienced a price reduction last seven days. Uh, the one that did was one on Galvez court and the difference that would pop out under contract. So basically it goes under contract and apparently they had a multiple offer situation on the property, which is good. So when they ended up putting it in escrow, they put in there that the property did have a price increase. And sometimes you'll get that you'll have several people waiting on a particular neighborhood waiting on a particular type of home to come on the market. And once it does, even at a slow market like we're seeing today, even in this type of market, all of a sudden now they have multiple offers and that property gets higher in offers than it's actually listed for sale because they do come back and ask for the highest and best scenario and they see, okay, you understand you're competing with three or four or five or 10 other people on this property, give us the maximum amount you would pay for it.


Speaker 1:          10:54          And then they look and then they choose from there. Under contract properties, 25 in the last week, 17 properties have gone pending in the last week, 25 properties have closed, escrow is sold in the Santa Clarita. In the last week, uh, four properties, our [inaudible] had been put on hold and to have with drones. So basically they're being pulled off the market. I will tell you that this market's interesting. We do have resources for you to keep track of the real estate market and the first and foremost resource that I believe is the most important is that talk, that discussion, that goal setting meeting that we have, and we do this several places. We do it via zoom meeting. If you have access to your tablet or computer, I can walk you through the whole a to z of real estate so you're best prepared whether you're buying or selling, whether it's your first time or your umpteenth time, at least this, you are brought up to speed the current market and if you've never been in a real estate market before who the learning is invaluable.


Speaker 1:          12:00          So there's that also over the telephone via text message, chatbox type. We have that available as well. You'll see it on our website and in person's great. We can shake each other's hand and meet. We can meet in my offices or in an offsite location, but these are all very, very important. From there during the meeting, we talk about foreclosures, Bay gold properties. There are certain grants that are being offered online, certain incentives. We talk about new housing and how that works, how we represent our clients. With regard to new construction and new builders, you can find out where those properties happen to be and do a search on a protected new housing website by going to set to Clarita home forward slash new sent a Clery to home forward slash. Now you'll be able to search all of the available new housing inventory and communicate with me there as well. I'm counter macgyver. I've hope you enjoyed this week's real estate radio show. Santa Clarita home experts were very happy to present to you on a weekly basis. For the most part, you'll see this show live up on our website in both the side columns and also on our radio page, Santa Clarita, home forward slash. Radio. I've caught up macgyver. We are experts in the business. We love to educate our clients and offer them the most. We will talk to you soon. Thank you so much, Connor. [inaudible] over and out.

I am Connor, your local Santa Clarita home expert and I'm glad to be of service. Reach out to me when you are ready to have me handle your real estate needs in the best way.

July 22, 2019

Best home staging tips, sellers and top new home staging strategies

Welcome, Cristina Salcedo to our real estate radio show. She is a local local resource for the San Fernando Valley and the Santa Clarita Valley concerning home staging.

Cristina can be reached at 818.523.0854 make sure you told her you heard about her on HousingRadio!

We have quite a large return statistically when it comes to the prices that a staged home can attain versus a home that has not had any staging services performed.

I will tell you to watch out for the scammers that exist in the home staging business. You will find a ton of home stagers online, just make sure they are close to being local and are the real deal, like Cristina.

There are a lot of hack sites which are put into place to sell your personal information to real estate agents, home lenders, home stagers, and others who are willing to pay for it.

Therefore, when you are searching, see if the person who is answering the phone is the actual home stager.

Of course, the very best are busy, you will be able to deduce those who are best in the home staging business to deal with.

Best home staging tips for Santa Clarita home sellers - PDF

2017 profile of Home Staging - PDF (good read) - Posted below also!

As always this was a computer-generated transcript from an audio file. Be super.

Transcript from our real estate radio show about home staging.

Speaker 1: 00:00 Okay.


Connor MacIvor: 00:02 Did everybody, Connor Macivor ever housing what do you know about home staging? How does that particular process work? I've always likened it to maybe going on a date so you wouldn't want to go on a date without getting prepared. The same reason why you wouldn't want to put your home on the market without it. Also being prepared. Well today we have, we're very lucky to have Cristina Saucedo. She is going to be on her show. She's going to be discussing home staging. In fact, she's waiting in the wings and we will get into how it works. We will ask her of course the five W's and the one h, the WHO, the what, the when, the why and the how and also of course we'll throw aware in there. We'll get to the bottom of home staging. She is very active and of course the Los Angeles area, San Fernando Valley and of course Santa Clarita where yours truly is headquartered and I do want to reach out to the participants to the show last week. Thank you for all your interaction, and I'm always here for anything that has to do with real estate. So very, very honored to do that. So without further hesitation, I will bring on Christina and Christina, so I'll see. No, thank you so much for coming on today.

Cristina stager: 01:13 Good morning, Connor. Actually, thank you so much for inviting me to your show. It's very a pleasure. How are you today?

Connor MacIvor: 01:19 I am wonderful. And it is very early for both you and I, but these are the best times to get these things recorded and get them out there for the people to listen to. So I appreciate your coming on with me so early.

Cristina stager: 01:30 Oh, no worries. I'm used to getting up badly, so that's fine for me.

Connor MacIvor: 01:34 Perfect. I wanted to ask a little bit, kind of give us a little bit of a debrief on who you are, what are you about and, and kind of give me a little bit of an idea, a little bit of history about yourself. Sure, of

Cristina stager: 01:46 course. Ah, okay. Like you mentioned, my name is Christina Sensata. I'm a certified in theater designer and also certify home stager. Uh, I've been practicing in your design for the last 15 years and I will say about the last three years, I decided to incorporate a home stage and need for my services because I noticed it was a big demand. I also noticed that, uh, houses that were staged, they sold a lot faster than the ones that were not. So I become at mentioning, I thought it was a really good idea to uh, incorporate that into my services. Uh, then I started looking at different, uh, statistics in, um, I checked, I was checking, uh, south Texas between a, from buyer's agents and sellers agents. And uh, I was looking at the most recent ones for now from the 2019 and a, what they say is like 83% of the buyer's agents.

Cristina stager: 02:42 They say's that it's staging makes it a lot easier for buyers to visualize in sales on the property. And this is something that I truly, I agree because sometimes, um, I can invited, when I do a stage to go to the opening, the first in a house and a I get to talk to prospective buyers in a, would they tell me when they walk in is somehow they find a connection between that home and their lives. It could be a position of the furniture, it could be a piece of art. It could be the kitchen, uh, or some kind of aroma that transports into their childhood. And they can see themselves living there just because it's, that connection is such of a psychological thing that connects them. Uh, it happens a lot, not all the time because not houses are all suitable for everybody. It happens a lot. Um, I now important statistics from the buyers agents, uh, size to say is that, um, when you stage it increases the dollar value.

Connor MacIvor: 03:48 I've read, I've read that as well. I've, I've seen those same studies and basically when you make, when I want to sell her, it takes a home and they, they, they have the expense of having us as home stager come in. You're not only looking at it to place furniture, but according to your certifications and what you've told us today, you actually are interior designers. Cause that was kind of your beginning and your start. Correct. Is this from what I get? So then you don't just look at it like let's put a table here. Let's stick a flower pot over here. Maybe a bowl of plastic fruit on the other table. You actually look at it like you're going to be placing real furniture. Well it is real, but you're actually in the home together.

Cristina stager: 04:27 Yeah. And not only that, uh, when I do stage at home, I take it very personal. I feel, I do like if I'm doing my own house, so I'm making it look really cozy and comfortable and it really shows, you know, even if I have to work the extra mile to put an extra flour and extra plans, run extra chair, whatever. I see that is needed. I do it because I pretend that I'm living in that house. So when you walk in, you really feel uncomfortable.

Connor MacIvor: 04:54 That's actually you give it that personal touch. Let me ask you this, uh, Christina, how does love the process work with home staging? What, what's like that first step? Do you go out before the property goes on the market or like how has your point of contact, how does that work?

Cristina stager: 05:09 Well to meet the ideal will be to go before they put the house on the market and I'm talking about for a homeowner it occupies. Okay. Okay. The reason that I say that is because it will give you enough time to prepare the home for the Moronic to have beautiful pictures on the mls, but also for the opening house. Uh, some houses need more work than others. So basically what I do is like I meet with the homeowner. Uh, I have paperwork that starts from the, uh, entrance of the house all the way to the patio. We go room by room, we take notes, we both take notes. Uh, we write what is it that is needed to be then in the house, whether, you know, they need to change in there. All these are suggestions and this after the owner to do it at the same time, it's for their convenience.

Connor MacIvor: 05:59 So basically you're, you're taking a space, let's say, let's say you're walking into a, a bedroom that doesn't have much furniture. Maybe these are empty nesters, people that are basically going to, going to get out of dodge because their kids are no longer around and they're going to maybe downsize. So you walk into that bedroom and then you'll have suggestions as to what would look best, maybe matching the other furniture that they already have.

Cristina stager: 06:22 Correct. Or, or sometimes I suggest, you know what, I believe that this piece of furniture will look better in the guest room instead of here. Oh, okay. Be Glad or declared it is. And we all know, you know, even in our regular life that you have to declutter your areas. Where is your desk or your bedroom or whatever. So that's number one. But, uh, sometimes I could touch really very delicate as patch, like cleaning ness, you know, smells, you know, have to talk about that. I can let them know like make sure per say, you know, the Trashcan is not visible when you have an open house, you know, little details. So sometimes it's hard for the agents to mentioned. I made sure that I addressed that because they are so important. Very, very important. When you walk into a house you want to make sure the house is a spotless beginning way.

Connor MacIvor: 07:14 So yeah, I've been at houses before where it's really difficult to tell the seller that their house smells badly. Yeah. It's, it's, it's hard to present. So the best thing I could do is say, you know, for breeze is probably going to be your best option. But yeah, coming from you, it might be a little bit even more gentle. I like that.

Cristina stager: 07:35 You know why? Because today face, everybody's so familiar with HGTV and other t science programs that when when he comes from a professional home stager or in your design is sounds different. You could be telling them exactly with the same words that I'm telling them, but they look at it a different way because it's me, you know?

Connor MacIvor: 07:59 Totally makes sense. You know, you mentioned some of the why's before with regard to why home staging and the sellers getting a bigger return on their investment, how selling faster. But one thing when we were in the pre show, kind of getting ready to do the presentation that you mentioned, maybe it was last time we talked on the phone, you had mentioned about overpriced listings. Do you remember that conversation we had

Cristina stager: 08:22 or the, the price list and yeah, I would, I think is like a, if I'm not mistaken, I remember the conversation, uh, that uh, the price listing goes hand to hand with staging. I could be doing a beautiful job. Okay. But if the price for the house is, it's really overpriced, it's not going to go anywhere. So they go hand by hand together.

Connor MacIvor: 08:45 So home staging, home staging works, but it's not like a Miracle Cure. If some agent takes a listing that's $100,000 over priced in comparison to the one that sold, you can stage it all day long and it's not going to make a difference.

Cristina stager: 08:59 Correct. So it took a combination of both. It's not because I did a wonderful job that is going to sell. It's also price combination. Yeah.

Connor MacIvor: 09:07 On the other side of it, you know today in real estate getting multiple offers, well any day real estate, getting multiple offers on a property is really a key component to the business. And if you're able to do that out of the shoot of the property that's been looked at, you know with a home, but the person that knows about home decor like you moving into having the home staged properly, having the home for a photograph by a professional and then having all of those components put online in the mls and that property advertised. Getting multiple offers is really critical. And I imagine you've seen that experience with those homes that you've staged with the multiple offers scenario happening more times after it stage without it being stated.

Cristina stager: 09:50 Yes. And you know what a, it had happened to me in a, I have to say then a couple of locations I was like in shock because normally I'd, you know, I don't interfere and I don't ask, you know, hey, how much you sell it for? But sometimes they offer that information to me. And I remember that I one time they sold the house for over $200,000 more than they were asking. Yes. Yeah. And I was like in shock myself and I said, really? I couldn't believe it either. But again, you know, I don't really ask, I don't go there unless they provide that to me.

Connor MacIvor: 10:23 Are there differences when you're looking at real estate to get it staged with, uh, homes that have furniture and, and people actually living there versus the homes that are vacant? Is that a different approach?

Cristina stager: 10:35 Yes, it is. Uh, when is, uh, like a home run and a goodbye? I kind of went, you know, a little bit. We, you, what do I do and what I suggest vacant homes most of the time is because I'm working with investors. Uh, you know, they flip the houses and they call me. So normally I suggest them to call me, uh, you know, to my regular clients to call me two weeks prior before they finish the home. And the reason I do that is speakers. I go and I measure on the home, I assess what kind of furniture is going to go into that house to make sure that he balances with the size of the rooms and with the demographic area too. So, uh, that's what I normally request Kimmy, you know, two weeks in advance, I go, I measure, I sit down in front of the computer, I decide what kind of furniture I designed. Basically the home really is like, donate your design all over again right there, you know,

Connor MacIvor: 11:28 so with, with a seller, so an owner occupied property, you, you'd like it all to be before the property goes on the multiple listing service. So there's time for you to discuss, move furniture, order furniture, have the furniture placed, photographs taken, then go on live, live on the market. And then with vacant properties a couple of weeks is even better because you're gonna also be ordering up the furniture for that.

Cristina stager: 11:51 Exactly. I had go, you know, order the furniture, go shopping for accessories, you know, if I don't think what I, the inventory that I have who will go well with that house. So it is, it involves a little bit more. One is a Jake and home, but you know, also they gave me an open canvas and I can do whatever I want. So, and what I do with a lot of my clients, I don't say just to be honest to you to do that. Uh, I normally focus on living room, dining room, the kitchen, the master bedroom. And I usually do an extra bedroom, which sometimes I changed. Sometimes we go an office that we'll do a baby room. Sometimes I will do a guest room or the kids from, you know, they pass on the demo demographic area. Would I see like if I see a scenario where a lot of young people that work from home will live there, then I go ahead and I go in office just to say, you know, you can work from home, this is the perfect room for you to work at home.

Connor MacIvor: 12:46 That's very smart, very smart of you. We have with, with uh, those adjustments looking at the houses that way. And also apparently you're looking at the other listings that are on the market that are probably maybe staged or not to kind of get a feel for what people, other people are doing. So you can make this particular sellers home more competitive than even the others. Exactly. Exactly. Tell me about where, so where I'm in Santa Clarita Valley, I know that, uh, you, you get out here very often to do staging and consultations and also the San Fernando Valley. Are Those your main two areas?

Cristina stager: 13:22 Ah, yes. Right now they, I work a lot in the porter ranch, North Trish, uh, mission hills. And other hills. I work in the similar area. I'll try clients that I do a lot of homeowner occupied consultation and San Fernando, just San Fernando Valley area. Uh, you know, I work all this areas, uh, in, no, I had done, uh, working in CNO

Connor MacIvor: 13:45 here. I see your, uh, your portfolio here and let me give the listeners your website. It's Cassa, ca s a d d d e c o r l And I'll put that in the show notes, uh, where I, uh, basically placed the show on youtube and everything. So the people that are listening in right now, you guys can have a look and see a Christina's portfolio. It's really, really pretty amazing, uh, of what she's done to these residents. And I'll tell you for personal experience, whenever I go into a home, let's say the seller is unwilling to stage after the presentation, after I explained to them the importance and how it's gonna really make the listing move quicker and for a higher price statistically. But let's say they're not into it. My instruction that Ms Declutter, declutter, declutter. And this is something that Christine also does. Maybe you as a home seller, don't want to expend the monies that are, might be necessary that import all this furniture. Maybe you would just want to have her work with what you write. You do that as well.

Cristina stager: 14:50 I that as well. And, and let me tell you, when I go to those consultations, my main point is not really the transformation of the room, uh, is the transformation of the home seller. And by educating them and trying to assist them or help them, I should say, uh, to do that crossover from seeing their home. I served below one, which we all do because we'll, we live in there for many years. We have a lot of memories. Uh, it, and then I help them to grow sober from standard home as dad below one to a product that one day really is really stage is really fixed. And the gladder it will be, it will help them really to sell the home fast and at the price at 80 psi decided if not more, you know, in a lot of the cases.

Connor MacIvor: 15:34 Wow. So you buy by even the consultation, you're trying to remove the emotional aspect that most people have to their homes because now their home isn't going to be theirs anymore. And that's huge. That's actually a really big deal because it turns it into a business arrangement, not an emotional arrangement. It's very, very important.

Cristina stager: 15:55 Correct. And, and to be honest to you, uh, most of your time would people reject anything, even if they will have a, a good offer is because they are so emotionally attached to the home. But if we really educate him and teach him, you know, that you decide to put this house for sale, so let me help you do it and complete it.

Connor MacIvor: 16:17 Yeah. Yeah. It's huge. That's, that's, that's really, really big, big benefit for sellers out there. I uh, I appreciate your coming on today, Christina. I have, I'm going to put all your information in the show notes. I will put your contact information. You did a fantastic job on today's real estate radio program and thank you so much for coming on

Cristina stager: 16:39 Connor. Thank you so, so much for the opportunity. Like I said, it's been a pleasure and I hope we have a more shows coming up. I really enjoyed it. It was fun.

Connor MacIvor: 16:47 I did as well and absolutely. I would love that. I'll talk to you soon.

Cristina stager: 16:51 Okay, thank you. Take care. Have a good day. Bye Bye.

Connor MacIvor: 16:54 Bye Bye. Very good everybody. That was Christina Saucedo. Very, very nice. It's really awesome to have that kind of brush or breath of fresh air in the business within the particular vendors out there and being a home stager and having the background and certifications. She does really puts her above where those other people are out there trying to do home staging. She's actually making it happen for sellers and I'm happy to have had her on today's real estate radio show. I will put her location. I did speak with her. Her best point of contract is contact. It's going to be her a telephone number and give me just a hot second. I will give that to you so you can have that as well. And in the future basically all you'll do is just pick up the phone and call her and let me get this out here so you can have it.

Connor MacIvor: 17:53 And also thank you so much for tuning in. So if you want to speak with, you know when you're ready and again a little bit, most times agents, if you're an agent listening you're going to be making that referral to Christina and again give her a little bit of heads up so after you get out there you're going to get the contract are probably going to delay that listing. There's other forms to fill out as you know as agents to make that happen. And then you'll basically tell the sellers to, hey, you know Christina is going to come over and speak with you guys about the best ways to prepare your home for sale. And that's going to include some tips on staging and of course their fee for all these things. But again, that return on that little bit of money spent is actually a big, with the, according to statistics, with regard to real estate. And I'll tell you how many furniture that doesn't really elicit anything but a very warm and cozy emotional response to give you advice rest of your week, and we will talk to you soon. Don't forget STV where all the news real estate articles come together.

It's always my pleasure to produce our Santa Clarita Housing Radio show and I hope you have enjoyed listening as much as I did in the production of it.

I'm Connor Macivor and I have been representing both buyers and sellers of real estate and homes since 1998. When you are ready reach out to me and you will be taken care of greatly. I can be reached at 661.400.1720.

July 20, 2019

This week in the Santa Clarita real estate market - Update 2019-029

Welcome to our Santa Clarita real estate market update Thursdays - We are sitting in the year 2019, and this is week #29. There are 52 weeks in a year.

Four most recent postings on our Santa Clarita blog which will give answers to the questions

Santa Clarita Home inspector speaking out of school

Google is overloaded with "find the best agent" ads

The Santa Clarita housing bubble

5 Recent trends in the Santa Clarita real estate market you need to see

Did you know that 38% of Santa Clarita homes now have their prices reduced before selling?

Home Inspectors and what to watch out for

Every buyer that we have worked with since 1998 since we became licensed Realtors has hired a home inspector to inspect all resale homes.

As far as new homes and new builder communities, most have not, but the ones that did truly got their monies worth.

Most new homes come with a guarantee. They are sold with guarantees and warranties on the appliances, flooring, and even a warranty on other construction components. In some cases, this warranty can extend over ten years. That is good and is hard to beat. However, there are other issues besides getting the issued fixed. What about displacement costs, what about personal property damage and other items? Some things cannot be replaced once they are exposed to fire and water, like photos that have not been archived on digital media or on the cloud.

The one incident where our clients had a home inspection with regard to new housing found that the washer water supply lines were not fully secured and had been "spliced" inside of the wall. If this would have not been discovered, the home would have flooded at the point where the washer had been activated. The flooding would have started within the wall and would not have been able to have been seen until the water had run it's course and flooded inside of the wall then exited via the path of least resistance.

Other issues would have to have their place of concern; future dampness can equate to mold developing and more.

This tragedy was averted, and others like it are "caught" during the home inspection portion of the buyer investigations within escrow.

With new housing, a home inspector has to be sharp to catch items such as these. It also helps if they have inspected new homes before. It would seem everything would be in order, heck - it's a new house. But, the contractors and labor which are hired are getting paid by quickly building. When quick enters the picture, mistakes are sometimes made. Those mistakes can be buyer damaging.

We have a list of home inspectors that we work with who are the backbone of our team when it comes to inspecting both on the side of buyers and the side of our sellers.

Yes, you read that right, we also have our sellers hire home inspectors if they are willing. It's called a seller's home inspection and will give the seller insight into what may be asked for when a buyer enters the picture.

Also, this also gives the seller a leg to stand on if the buyer's home inspector is stating that item A is an issue and was discovered by them to be a potential problem.

The seller has already been informed about item A and whether or not it's an issue. It also shows real transparency and creates a specific type of trust in the buyer's purchase.

Some ask if the seller has already had a "seller's inspection" at their home and if it is recent if there a reason why the buyer should spend the money and hire another home inspector?

Yes, the buyer should hire their home inspector because the seller hired the seller's home inspector. There is no reason to believe that the seller's inspector did them any favors in the releasing of and not releasing items found and within their discoveries. I will tell you that I have yet to meet a home inspector who is "intentionally" missing items to help the seller coverup issues.

I'm sure it happens, it's just not as prevalent as you may think.

The "termite inspection" is something that has changed hands in the past few years within the Santa Clarita real estate procedures. It was the case where the home seller hired the termite company to do the termite and pest inspection. Today, they can still hire the termite company to do the inspection, but the inspection is now a home buyer requirement and they also need to hire a termite/pest inspection company.

The reason why this change had to do with the present and or imagined appearance of evil as it related to the sellers not having termite items discovered by the company they had hired.

Whether it was by chance or on purpose, it caused a change in the Santa Clarita real estate rules.

Finding the Best agent ads online

This one has blown up completely lately. A couple of years ago the major search engines were not very good at intuitive search. Telling you what you were searching for, without you really knowing.

Today, with the follow ads and the marketing that is intuitive - the game has changed.

If you look to the paid-for space on the major search engines, you will see that in response to the inquiry, "Who is the best Santa Clarita Agent", or "Top real estate agent in Santa Clarita", there are a ton of websites which have been build on that singular premise.

Those sites have been built around an intuitive search query.

Best Agent - Top Realtor - etc. - they promise to give you the best agent in the market in which you are interested. Also, they do it for free, isn't that nice of them?

But, know this. The system maybe is free for you, at least monetarily, but they do keep and sell your personal and private information on the consumer market. Not only do they do what they say they are going to do and send your personal information to a real estate agent who is also paying them to be listed on their website and to get leads, but they are going to divvy up your personal info and sell it to "lenders, box stores, construction and remodeling companies, grocery stores, automotive dealerships and more...".

Search smart and do not get caught up in this kind of system. Furthermore, recently there was something going around the internet space where a major company was going to give a credit or voucher to those who were willing to have their search habits and personal information monitored and used. If memory serves this was going to be a one time $10.00 credit. Be smart, Maybe $1,000,000.00 would be worth it, but for 10 bucks to have your phone and email blowing up, no way!

When searching for the best agent online who is the local area expert, look at the sites that are on the first page of the search engine. Stay away from the paid-for websites and the advertisements. Stick to those websites which are showing up, what is returning in the "organic" places. That would be the sites which are below the ads from the top and above the ads up from the bottom. They will also be the listings on the search sites that are not under the "maps" which are the local places ads, (verified) local by the websites.

When you click on these listings, like, you will be able to verify on their page 1 by scrolling down at the bottom, or otherwise - looking at the top of the page, the address.

This is the information at the bottom of our home page. You have our office name, our brick and mortar address - which is local to the Santa Clarita Valley, and other associated information.

This is the stuff you want to look for when wanting to hire a real and true local real estate agent.

Have an updated real estate website is super important. I hate it when I am looking for real estate investment opportunities in other states when I find real estate websites which have not been updated for months or years. That is a sure sign that the owner and operator could care less about their clients. They are probably not "referral" bases. Those agents are probably paying for their leads.

Santa Clarita housing bubble

Since the last foreclosure market, this is a very well voiced concern. In fact, our clients are so comfortable with us they ask this question directly.

The answer is I don't know. The self-proclaimed "sages" in the real estate world said after the last foreclosure market started that they told everyone it was going to happen. When they were yelling this from the rooftops, I remember thinking "I don't recall them telling that to me..." - But, you know people, they love to talk about "having known" when they don't promote themselves.

Of course, nothing stays the same forever and real estate cannot always increase, there have to be times of distress in financial markets, including real estate.

The things that are most memorable from back in 2006/2007 were the loans that were most prevalent. They had 100% financing. It was like veterans loans for all.

The lending institutions, unlike the VA loans, had two to get to 100%.

They had an 80% loan and then another 20% loan on each home purchase.

The 20% loan typically had a higher interest rate than the 80% and in some cases had a shorter payment time frame. Instead of 360 payments needing to be received to satisfy it, it was less, 240 and below.

The A.R.M. loans were also very popular. Instead of paying the "higher interest" rate to go with the 100% financing, you could get the interest rate cut in 1/2 for a number of years. However, then you had were brought face to face with a change in your payment, where the interest rate increased, you had to refinance, or some other modification. Those "modifications" were costly if the equity wasn't in place when the future arrived.

Then it happened, the market collapsed and the in short order the future arrived. Those who had changed due with their ARM loans folded and either sold short via a short sale(short pay) or committed to foreclosure.

There is a lot more equity in this market. The lending practices have changed by governmental oversight. There are a lot more rules with borrowing money for real estate today. A lot more rules concerning "disclosure" in real estate and the lending world.

To get a loan there are a lot of verifications which are needed during the entire process, all the way to closing. JIC the home buyer loses their employment without saying so, a last-minute verification of employment will reveal the truth.

That is only one chance in the continual vetting process within the life of every single home loan and lending escrow period.

Prices are up in the Santa Clarita Valley cities, higher than they were back in the pre-bubble real estate market. Not by a lot and city dependent. But 2-5% over last sold prices before the collapse is not uncommon when looking at real estate values in Stevenson Ranch and Valencia CA.

Changes in the Santa Clarita real estate market

The best way to take in and analyze the local real estate market, in Santa Clarita or elsewhere, is to be able to look at larger timeframes. The week to week market update is fine, but to see if a trend is really a trend to be concerned about or considered would be to take in quarters of years.

Three months snapshots of real estate market activity are the best way to digest the local Santa Clarita real estate market.

From these trends, we see if our current level of having 38% of homes experience at least a single price reduction as a real thing of just a momentary "typical yearly" change.

As we transition from the different seasons and times where schools change the market dynamics, knowing those items have their fair share of impact is important to the real estate market digesting public.

When the "local market expert" says that prices are not increasing, but reducing, they need to look at a longer period of time. They are creating havoc to serve their own selfish interests. However, the local paper doesn't mind picking up the story because even fake news sells papers and increase readership.

The purpose in saying prices are reducing when it's a typical yearly market change or not verified by the actual longer-term data would be to get more sellers off of the fence and to list their homes quickly. The agent being quoted would appear as the local Santa Clarita market expert and may have their own phone ringing off of the hook.

Before being "knee-jerked" into making a real estate decision, contact me and I will show you the data so you don't have to rely on my word alone. We do this for every single real estate client. Eventually, they may take my word for it, but I always want to verify what I'm saying with factual data in order to never be misunderstood.

BE safe - thanks for taking the time to read this particular weekly update from the Santa Clarita real estate blog. I'm Connor and I'm here for you when you are ready for my assistance with everything that is your own personal real estate.

Call me when you are ready for my assistance with your real estate at 661.400.1720.

July 19, 2019

Santa Clarita housing market 2019 what to watch out for

Typically 1/2 way through the calendar year, I get to the housing market updates, where Santa Clarita real estate has come and where the data seems to indicate we are going.

Currently, in the Santa Clarita Valley cities here are the YTD stats for the Santa Clarita Cities.

I am compiling the data from Castaic, Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus, Stevenson Ranch, and Valencia California.

My primary interest is Residential Real estate. I'm looking for the saleable data which will pertain best to the local market research for those who would have an interest in Buying or Selling residential real estate.

Tenant and Rental numbers are relayed to our investor clients in another article with a more appropriate title.

YTD Santa Clarita market recap - 2019

From January 1, 2019, to today, Thursday, July 18, 2019, the Santa Clarita real estate market has had 1906 real estate listings closed escrow. That means that since January 1, 2019, that many homes have sold.

Last year, for the same period of time, that was 2019, 1968 real estate listings sold.

Things last year were sort of like groundhog day, if you have seen the movie, the actor keeps getting up and repeating the same day over and over again.

The biggest change, despite the relatively small difference between 2018 and 2019, the 2019 market is moving a bit slower.

It also seems that this year as been more steady than last. To give you more of a comparison - Let's look to 2017 - to date - from January 1, 2017 - July 18, 2017, The Santa Clarita Valley experienced 2139 homes that closed escrow (sold).

As I ran the calculations for Months of Inventory regarding the Santa Clarita Valley cities, I was surprised to see how "historically slow" the market was moving January of 2019 in comparison with the previous two years.

Months of inventory is another way to reference the absorption rate in real estate. The data required to make this calculation is the rate at which homes are selling and the rate at which residential home inventory is being replenished.

When those are factored into each other, the result is months of inventory aka absorption rate.

If no more homes entered the for-sale market and if properties continued to sell at the very same rate when that change occurred - I would take just a bit over 4.5 months to have the market get to Zero units for sale, if you look at the highest point on the graph, January 2019.

The Santa Clarita Valley has been a fast-paced real estate market for the past few years when it starts to return to a more balanced market - an "in-between" real estate market, people start to panic as if it's been raining.

When a market is in the Seller's Zone - it favors the seller in a lot of ways.

When a real estate market is within the Buyer's zone, the buyer holds the advantage.

When the housing market is in between those types, then the housing market is balanced.

We well may be on our way to a more balanced real estate market where the months of inventory or absorption rate is around 6 months.

We have arrived in a functional and healthy real estate market in the Santa Clarita Valley in regard to distressed homes and foreclosures. 

As of July 18, 2019, there are only four foreclosure/bank-owned homes on the market within the Santa Clarita Valley. Typically in a real estate market where the number of distressed homes is reduced to a total of 1% or less within the available-for-sale inventory, the market exhibits health.

Today, we are well below that 1% guideline and the absorption rate is also increasing.

Next Year is an election year for the president of the United States. No matter what side you are on, it's going to be quite a show.

Typically when the stock market is strong real estate is not in full stride. However, when the stock market starts to show signs of trauma, people move their money from paper to tangible assets. Such as gold, silver, and real estate.

Things they are able to hold onto.

If 2020 produces a change in the government leadership, remember what I said about real estate versus the stock market.

Currently and for the rest of 2019, I don't believe records are going to be broken either way.

In the Santa Clarita Valley cities, we have over 20 locations where new homes are being sold. Never leave any personal information when viewing. You will give up the right to have an expert new home negotiator on your side. You will be having to deal with the new home builder's representative. You wouldn't use the same lawyer, would you? It's a conflict of interest. Call me and I'll explain 661.400.1720.

Here are some New Santa Clarita home snapshots of the current new home builders who are operating currently Mid-July 2019.

Eastside of the 14 freeway in Canyon Country CA


Valencia - West - and North new home locations.


Saugus new home builders - from Plum Canyon to Five Knolls


Want to see the new homes with us on a tour?

Fill this out and I, Connor with meet with you personally and be your professional new home negotiator with all new homes and with the new home builder's representative.

You can learn a lot about a real estate market when looking at the activity that is within the new home builders and in those communities.

It seems they have a much better grasp of the overall real estate market. The last foreclosure cycle, I had been a realtor just about 10 years at that time, licensed in 1998.

When the second-largest subprime lender fell, claiming Bankruptcy in March/April of 2007, it was like a house of dominos.

We had transactions in process with home buyers that had to be canceled. Others were able to continue the process, depending on who the lender was.

Also, the market just stopped and then the "experts" came out, who had been silent for the previous 10 years, "We told ya..."

"We have been saying it, the market is going to collapse, we told you..." LOL - they said nothing. Apparently, a foreclosure market affects a person's memory.

But, there they stood in their robes tied around the waist with a string.

The Second 1/2 of 2019 in real estate

Interest rates are low - and getting lower. If you entertain the word on the street, we may get into the 3's before the end of this year, that's 2019.

If that happens you are going to see a real estate firestorm and inventory really start to lower, then within a short time, it will be replenished quickly, causing the housing market to pick up and finish at the first quarter's predictions of a 2-4% increase.

Currently, the "word" is that we are on the way for a 2% decrease, that intel came out via a couple of weeks ago.

Truly, until it's over, no one knows for sure. But it can be spoken about with a certain amount of backup by good historical real estate data.

The biggest problem seems to be the fluctuation within the stock market being so "presendentially" dependent. One thing is said and or tweeted and you have a large tsunami ripple effect that slams into stocks, bonds and rates.

Some of the things that I am going to keep my eyes on is the new home development. The city of Santa Clarita in their infinite wisdom has approved more than 19 new home developments that have been offered up by the new home builders.

I drive to Los Angeles Often - All I'm going to say is I will be able to learn a few other languages with how that commute has become and it won't be getting better. I think the 5 freeway is 5-6 lanes south out of the SCV - the Northbound 5 freeway is only 3 coming up and over the hill to Calgrove. However, the 14 freeway is accessible now that Golden Valley connects with the 14 freeway and the other end of Golden Valley is Newhall Ranch Road - it serpentines throughout the valley and was a true blessing for the commuters. Another insider tip, while I'm talking about them is San Fernando Road access to Balboa and  Balboa into the Santa Clarita Valley connecting to The Old Road. San Fernando Road also connects to Sierra Highway at the same point where it turns into The Old Road - Just for your traveling pleasure. But 200,000 new homes in the SCV?

Besides the issues with traffic - when you are ready to buy a home, phone calls need to be made concerning schools and the number of students, if you have school-aged children.

It wasn't too long ago when a client of ours called me and relayed a story about a particular elementary school who turned them away due to the school having exceeded the number of students they were limited to. Of course, she was given the alternative to register her kids at a nearby elementary school and it was close enough where it did not cause any regret related to her choice of home location, she just did not do her due diligence.

There is very little doubt, the Santa Clarita Valley is a great place to live and if you are one who wants to start a family, it is good for that also. We have many parents who save a ton of money taking their kids out of private schools in the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles when they place them into a scholastically competitive public school in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Considerations before buying a home

First and foremost - what type of loan are you obtaining and where are you getting it from?

If you are able to track back to when the last foreclosure cycle started and what happened to spark the eventual, look to the 2nd largest subprime lender who claimed bankruptcy in March/April 2007.

Sub Prime - Not as good as "prime". These are borrowers who get lent money to buy homes, but buyers that are unable to obtain "prime loans".

The first bank to fail at the start of the last foreclosure housing market was a Sub Prime Lender.

Look at your loan, look at the interest rate, are you paying too much? If you are not a risk and have good credit, you should be able to obtain the typical market interest rate. If you have bad credit and if you are more of a risk you will be dealing with a subprime lender. If you are in the first category and are having to pay a high-interest rate, ask why. Then call me and tell me why. I will property vet what you have been told. And if I don't know the answer I have the best Santa Clarita lenders that are in the business of lending money.

Know this, in some cases, some take advantage of others when it comes to borrowing money. It's not fair and I'm just glad we have a detection system with an appropriate method.

Can you afford your mortgage payment? The housing market aside, if you want to buy a home and if the being able to write off your mortgage interest helps you on your taxes and if you are tired of renting, you'll be proceeding. I have my clients, after stopping with me to discuss their needs first, second, go to one of the lenders that I know who is the best in the real estate loan business.

If you have a 30 year fixed mortgage, that is the safest. Back in the last real estate cycle, there were a lot of "funky" loans being offered with interest rates which were a lot lower than the typical rates which the savviest of homebuyers were paying.

The attraction was the more affordable payment. The borrower knew what was eventually going to happen, after a certain time the interest rate was going to increase. This type of loan is known as an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). It's not something that I like and in an unstable housing market, it should not even be offered. I like the 30 year fixed loan.

The other thing that got the past market into trouble was the 100% financing, people were able to buy homes with zero skin(downpayment) in the game and with an adjustable-rate mortgage.

This is facts - If you are able to afford your home payment without future pay increases and raises, if you are able to make your home payment without having to depend on overtime, if your home loan is a fixed type of loan and if you can afford the "other costs" of homeownership with keeping the same dependency rules, then you can survive any and all foreclosure markets.

If a real estate bubble bursts, you won't lose your home if you are able to afford your payment. If real estate resets to 1/2 of the current value, you can stay put and you are able to live.

The question of "whether you'd want to" will come to mind sooner or later. The one thing that I know for certain is it's nice to have the choice and not be forced out of the place you had been calling home for a while.

I'm Connor with HONOR and I love helping our clients with all housing markets including the Santa Clarita housing market 2019.

When you are ready call me, email or text me. I'll be here to get your trusted advisor with real estate. Be safe and I will talk with you when you are ready.

I have the longest-running Santa Clarita real estate radio show, have a listen and contact me as soon as you are ready, before any other sub-entity in the real estate field.