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Redlands Real Estate Blog

Blog from the Lon Mapes Team at Orangehill Realty

By Lon Mapes | Broker in Redlands, CA
  • All Active Loma Linda Homes FOR SALE as of October 11, 2013

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Loma Linda, Foreclosure in Loma Linda, Investment Properties in Loma Linda  |  October 11, 2013 1:10 PM  |  482 views  |  No comments
    Below is the link to this week's list of all homes for sale in Loma Linda.  SIGN UP to receive all new blog posts.

    LOMA LINDA HOMES FOR SALE


    Lon Mapes - Loma Linda Broker/Owner & Consultant

    Multimillion Dollar Sales Producer
    (909) 724-4778
    http://www.OrangehillRealty.com
    Follow me on Facebook
    http://www.facebook.com/orangehillrealty

  • All Active Redlands Homes FOR SALE as of October 11, 2013

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Redlands, Foreclosure in Redlands, Investment Properties in Redlands  |  October 11, 2013 1:02 PM  |  449 views  |  No comments
    Below is the link to this week's list of all homes for sale in Redlands.  SIGN UP to receive all new blog posts.

    REDLANDS HOMES FOR SALE


    Lon Mapes - Redlands Broker/Owner & Consultant

    Multimillion Dollar Sales Producer
    (909) 724-4778
    http://www.OrangehillRealty.com
    Follow me on Facebook
    http://www.facebook.com/orangehillrealty

  • All Active Redlands Homes FOR SALE as of October 4, 2013

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Redlands, Foreclosure in Redlands, Investment Properties in Redlands  |  October 4, 2013 6:18 PM  |  535 views  |  No comments

    Below is the link to this week's list of all homes for sale in Redlands.  SIGN UP to receive all new blog posts.

    REDLANDS HOMES FOR SALE


    Lon Mapes - Redlands Broker/Owner & Consultant

    Multimillion Dollar Sales Producer
    (909) 724-4778
    http://www.OrangehillRealty.com
    Follow me on Facebook
    http://www.facebook.com/orangehillrealty

  • All Active Redlands "FOR SALE" Listings as of September 26, 2013

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Redlands, Foreclosure in Redlands, Investment Properties in Redlands  |  September 26, 2013 5:10 PM  |  646 views  |  No comments
    Below is the link to this week's list of all hoems for sale in Redlands.  SIGN UP to receive all new blog posts.

    Click on the link below:

    REDLANDS HOMES FOR SALE


    Lon Mapes - Redlands Broker/Owner & Consultant

    Multimillion Dollar Sales Producer
    (909) 648-4091
    http://www.OrangehillRealty.com
    Follow me on Facebook
    http://www.facebook.com/orangehillrealty

  • All Active Redlands "FOR SALE" Listings as of September 17, 2013

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Redlands, Home Selling in Redlands, Foreclosure in Redlands  |  September 17, 2013 2:33 PM  |  699 views  |  No comments

    In an effort to provide information of interest to Redlands residents, we've decided to post all active listings of Redlands homes for sale in our blog on a weekly basis.  SIGN UP to receive all new blog posts.

    Click on the link below:

    REDLANDS HOMES FOR SALE


    Lon Mapes - Redlands Broker/Owner & Consultant

    Multimillion Dollar Sales Producer
    (909) 648-4091

    http://www.OrangehillRealty.com
    Follow me on Facebook
    http://www.facebook.com/orangehillrealty


  • Buy Your Next House From a Warehouse

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Redlands, Agent2Agent in Redlands, Design & Decor in Redlands  |  September 17, 2013 1:19 PM  |  723 views  |  No comments

    In a nondescript warehouse on the outskirts of Chicago's O'Hare airport, one of the largest U.S. home builders is doing what it does best—building homes, or, at least, parts of homes. There are full-scale frames of 11 main floors and second floors, complete with cardboard kitchens, stairways leading nowhere and floors taped with outlines of furniture and fireplaces. It could almost be the scene of a crime; instead, it is the scene of a unique experiment in market research.

    "I remember watching one of our chief engineers at Toyota who spent a whole year watching how people interact and use their product, their vehicle, and we decided that would be the best thing to do here—have people run through homes, see what they need, how they would interact where they would go, and then as a team we started working on how can we actually do this in the home building," said Deborah Wahl, chief marketing officer for Pulte Group.

    Wahl spent 20 years marketing cars and came to Pulte in 2009, when the nation's home builders were struggling to stay alive. They were barely building, eking out the lowest volumes in recorded history as home values plummeted and foreclosures raged. Pulte was in a better position than most, having bought out entry-level builder Centex and already being established in the active, 55 adult sector with its Del Webb division.

    By 2011 Wahl had dreamed up the concept of Life Tested designs. The company would find huge warehouses, build prototypes of various home designs and run focus groups through them from top to bottom.

    "It actually ends up being a cost savings for us," noted Wahl. "We would go and build the best house we could and build it fully and put it into market, and then if it sold we made money and if it didn't sell that was a sunk investment. Here we now have several points where we're able to test how these designs work, if people need them, so by the time they get built we know these houses are valuable. They'll sell, there's less waste in the system."

    Source: Diana Olick
    Focus group discussing test homes by Pulte.

    Home builders are facing a tough buyer market, as mortgage interest rates rise and wage growth struggles. They are facing soaring land costs as well as limited labor and supplies. This pushed Pulte to raise prices 9 percent in the second quarter of this year from a year ago, even as the company faced a 12 percent drop in net new orders.

    The summer has not proved much better for the builders. Mortgage applications to purchase a newly built home dropped 14 percent from July, according to a new report from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Still, demand is there, and after building next to nothing during the housing crash, U.S. builders are now faced with renewing the nation's housing stock. That, Pulte executives say, is why innovation is so important.

    "When I was at my first conference, I met someone and referenced that I was doing market research," said Ian Wild, Pulte's director of market research. "The fellow said, 'Let me tell you how I do market research. I get in my car and I drive down the road to the competition and I say what's selling and why?' And as a result of that, the innovation in the home building industry is, well, there's very little."

    So on a hot September morning, with the roar of O'Hare's traffic overhead, small groups of homeowners wind their way through the rows of homes in frames of back doors and out frames of front doors, gripping their clipboards and checklists, and eyeing every detail and every measure of space.

    "It's much easier than looking at a blueprint, where you keep turning it around trying to understand which way the door swings. Will this be this way?" asked Chicago-area homeowner Sasha Zingerman, motioning. "It's much more comprehendible, and you can physically picture yourself in that space. You could see how you would orient yourself there."

    The subjects are paid to offer their opinions, and after the tours they sit down with a moderator to tell what they like, and more importantly what they do not like.

    "I like how it all flows together. It's open, it's airy, there's a lot of light coming in. It seems like a happy environment," said one woman.

    Pulte gets at least five new design ideas from each of these events, which are held across the country, according to Wahl. The latest trends are full home automation (running every system in the home through a smartphone), larger mud rooms, or as Pulte calls them, Everyday Entries. Dining rooms are out, larger kids' bathrooms are in.

    "I don't think I would ever use the formal dining room, so it would be a wasted space for a room that I don't use often enough," added another.

    After living through the worst housing crash since the Great Depression, today's home buyers are more skeptical and less trusting of home builders. Some blame builders for throwing up far too many houses, selling them to speculators and turning a blind eye to an overheated market that was bound to bust. They are treading back in slowly and finding higher prices.

    Mortgages
    30 yr fixed4.53%3.58%
    30 yr fixed jumbo4.77%3.52%
    15 yr fixed3.55%3.02%
    15 yr fixed jumbo4.06%3.21%
    5/1 ARM3.69%2.67%
    5/1 jumbo ARM3.33%2.55%

    In fact, the premium for new construction today is, "abnormally high," according to researchers at John Burns Real Estate Consulting. They compared two similar homes, one built in 2003 and one built today; the older home was priced at $400,000, the new home at $480,000.

    "With limited supply and elevated investor purchasing activity in the resale market, new home builders are benefiting from the spillover of demand for housing with the ability to provide homes and increase prices faster than their respective resale market," according to the researchers.

    Most of the subjects in the Pulte focus groups said they would be interested in buying a new home, but some are still cash-strapped or underwater on their current homes. Still, they seemed energized just walking through the frames of future models.

    "Overall desire for new home is huge, and that is the best news for all of us," beamed Wahl, as she headed through the door frame of the Everyday Entry.


    Lon Mapes - Redlands Broker/Owner & Consultant

    Multimillion Dollar Sales Producer
    (909) 648-4091

    http://www.OrangehillRealty.com
    Follow me on Facebook
    http://www.facebook.com/orangehillrealty

  • Housing Isn't Really Going Gangbusters

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Redlands, Home Buying in Redlands, Home Ownership in Redlands  |  September 11, 2013 4:31 PM  |  703 views  |  No comments

    Housing isn't really going gangbusters. Despite those eye-popping price jumps, housing is not in a bubble or even a boom. Real estate is also not likely to be the same economic driver it once was, Duncan said. “We are of the view that housing is continuing to grow, but we are not of the view that it is robust,” he told The Times. While home prices have posted double-digit increases this year, those gains are just bounce-backs from very low bottoms. Meanwhile home builders have been slow to acquire land and hire adequate help, and that has made housing’s overall contribution to the economy smaller than it would be otherwise. When construction finally does get humming along at full tilt again, the industry will probably contribute a million fewer jobs than it did during the boom, Duncan said. Those jobs will simply have to come from other parts of the economy.

    PHOTOS: Most affordable Southland ZIP codes for home buyers

    The rise in mortgage interest rates will not choke off the recovery. Economists at Fannie Mae recently studied the relationship between a sharp increase in mortgage-interest rates and home prices. They found there is little correlation between the two. Sales may decline but prices are still likely to increase. Duncan also doesn't expect mortgage-interest rates to surge again. Expect a more gradual increase, he said. “I don’t think that the rate rises will be as sudden as the first piece we saw,” Duncan said.

    Homeownership is the goal but renting has lost its stigma. The homeownership rate has fallen drastically since the boom years, raising questions about whether America will become a rental society. But much of the growth in the rental market has come from the single-family housing market, as investors have snapped up homes and turned those properties into rentals, meaning that former homeowners have tried to re-create their experiences. While the homeownership rate is not likely to rise anytime soon, even those people who lose their homes are likely to become homeowners again. The aspiration to be a homeowner remains unchanged by the crisis, and most renters would still like to own a home, Duncan said.

    It is indeed a good time to buy. Home prices are still down considerably, even though they are up from their bottoms. Mortgage-interest rates are still very low despite the recent spike this year. But you should only buy a house if you can afford it, Duncan said.

    Investors pose a possible risk. Big investors have become a significant factor in the housing market’s recovery. The question is, will new home construction increase supply, just as big investors decide it’s time to sell their holdings? If they were to do so, that could usher in another decline, though not one of the same magnitude as the last housing downturn, Duncan said. Investors should be watching the home builders closely. “If I were them, I would have a close eye on what's actually happening in construction, because that is going to be one form of competition,” Duncan said. Another form of competition for both investors and builders will be homeowners who are freed up to sell their house after spending years "underwater."


    Lon Mapes - Redlands Broker/Owner & Consultant

    Multimillion Dollar Sales Producer
    (909) 648-4091

    http://www.OrangehillRealty.com
    Follow me on Facebook
    http://www.facebook.com/orangehillrealty

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