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 Some things cannot be replaced once they are exposed to fire and water, like photos that have not been archived on digital media or on the cloud.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 SCVnest.com, 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.