IS IT A GOOD IDEA TO BUY A PROPERTY IN FONTANA CALIFORNIA 92337?

Asked by Lola, Los Angeles, CA Wed Apr 30, 2008

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18
Diane Wheatl…, Agent, Upland, CA
Sun May 4, 2008
Dear Newportfiji, I think your economic profile of the current market environment for our region is an accurate depiction and I appreciate the time you took to detail your synopsis. Your experience in real estate coupled with your economics degree did not educate you on the ethical skills you obviously need when referring to others as "people like you".

Presuming that all Realtors/Brokers are responsible for providing the public with a false sense of security with regards to the real estate market and its direction solely for their own personal gain, monetarily or otherwise is reprehensible and should be rewarded with severe consequences and/or sanctions.

And Nancy, you are correct to state that buyers should check all school districts carefully before purchasing an home that resides within the boundaries of a school they aren't satisfied would suit their standards. Buyers need to know everything possible about the home they are purchasing including the surroundings, neighborhood, crime stats, flood zone, fire zone, etc. Information is the key. And information from all available comparative resources is invaluable. Thank you.
2 votes
Diane Wheatl…, Agent, Upland, CA
Fri May 2, 2008
Dear Ms. Newportfigi - It horrifies me when I read remarks like yours. How can anyone with ANY credibility or santiy predict the future? - In any way, shape or form? There are the laws of probability of course, but they are not to be relied on as fact. Just like fortune telling or mystical predictions, the average level-headed individual would hardly rely on information gained on that accord than win the lottery. Nonsense. If you ever hear someone, anyone, especially a professional Realtor or Broker state that they can predict the future, turn around a walk away. What could a prediction like the one you described in your post be based on? If any of us can find the answer to that question without a doubt by a proven, tested and accredited formula or method then we would all be in a whole different kind of world. It just does not work that way and Realtors are reminded time and time again not to ever bias a buyer or seller into believing something that is merely an opinion without sending them out to find out on their own using their own free will. Realtors do indeed make a living just as the rest of the population, that is true. But to steer a client one way or another simply because they may need milk money that week is reprehensible. And that is why many Realtors fall to the wayside and those of us who walk a straight line NO MATTER WHAT economy we may be in are still here today.

History has proven time and time again that the pendulum continues to swings back and forth. What goes up must come down and vice versa. The ebb and flow of life. And with life you never know what is in store for you the following day. Realtors are people just like you. We just don't label a certain group of society and predict what that group will do or not do. So unfair, irresponsible and ignorant.

By the way, please let us all know when the housing market has finally hit bottom and better yet, how you justify that "fact". Good luck to you.

And thank you Joan.
2 votes
Joan Patters…, Agent, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Thu May 1, 2008
Thanks Diane, I agree with what you said as well.
Wow Newportfijo, I am a bit surprised by your answer. The question was not if it was a good time to buy, but is it a good idea to buy a property in Fontana? I know Fontana and the market very well as I live not too far away from there. I don't recall ever telling buyers that prices never go down. Real estate has and always will be cyclical. This means it reaches the highest point and always lowers or levels out. That is how real estate has been for a long time. None of us are experts on future price trends. I do have a college degree and did take many economic classes. I do understand how things work and yes, I am a sales person, but I am an honest one. I do have an incentive to be accurate on my assessments as I get over 90% of my business from past clients who know how honest I am. I know there are sales people out there that will tell people what they want to hear, but so far, on this question, all the agents are right on. If someone plans on buying real estate and holding on to it, it does pay off depending on how long they want to hold on to it. I wish I had a crystal ball myself, but I listen to Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanki who is the Federal Reserve Chairman and they both are saying that we are in a mild recession. People still need to move for various reasons and buy for various reasons. However, prices are low and interest rates are low which make it still a great time to buy. With all the inventory on the market right now, sellers are practically giving away the farm as my friend Diane Wheatley has mentioned. This means they will throw a lot in to selling the house for example, paying the buyers closing costs including points to buy down the rate even further, or including furniture, paying HOA fees, giving away trips to buyers. I have seen a lot. In, an up market when it is a seller's market, good luck getting anything paid for by the sellers at all or them budging on the price like it was several years ago with the sellers getting multiple offers driving up prices even further. So, yes, now is still a good time to buy because it is a buyer's market and the buyers have the advantage. Do I think prices will come down further? Yes, I think slightly, but not much more. If you plan on holding on to a piece of property for a while, you will typically come out ahead. And, if you find a great home, it may not be around if you wait, so if you buy it and hang on to it, you should make equity on it! Real estate can make people a lot of money if they can hold on to it. I feel it is one of the best investments still today with prices being low as well as interest rates. I remember interest rates being 11% and higher about 10 years ago and we are complaining now when it hits 6%!
And, no one said prices will rebound quickly, no one knows how long prices will take to rebound. But, with the REO's and short sales out there, prices are still great and I would even buy now! Good luck Lola!
Regards,
Joan Patterson, B.A., A.S.P., G.R.I., Realtor
Keller Williams Realty
8250 White Oak Avenue, Ste 102
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
951-204-1864
2 votes
Joan Patters…, Agent, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Wed Apr 30, 2008
Hi Lola,
Right now is an excellent time to buy in Fontana. I just closed a deal in Fontana with a couple on a bank owned property which saved them a lot of money. The bank even paid their closing costs! They did an FHA loan which they only had to put 3% down on as well. There is a huge inventory of homes right now, especially in Fontana making now an excellent time to purchase. Please let me know if I can be of assistance to you. I can put you in touch with a great lender to get pre-qualified as well. You will need that in order to put an offer in on a property. It would be my pleasure to help you with anything I can. You can call me at 951-204-1864 or email me at calljoan4homes@aol.com. Please feel free to search the MLS free on my web site which is down below. Good luck and I hope I can help you.

Sincerely,

Joan Patterson, B.A., G.R.I, A.S.P., Realtor
Keller Williams Realty
8250 White Oak Avenue, Ste 102
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
951-204-1864
2 votes
Diane Wheatl…, Agent, Upland, CA
Thu May 8, 2008
Lola, I have to ask what your primary concern is with regards to the Fontana area for a relocation possibility. If you need further information regarding the city, stats and demographics please feel free to access available data onine at http://dianewheatley.homelog.com/CommunityInfo/Default.aspx. No obligation and all the free info you can handle.

I did respond to your question by offering -
Fontana is a lovely area and offer good schools, parks, shopping, golfing, etc. Please confirm the school districts and surroundings for yourself before you make that offer.

If you have a specific question I would be glad to answer it for you to the best of my ability. Thank you.

Diane
1 vote
Jeff Chen, Home Buyer, Elk Grove, CA
Thu May 8, 2008
I have to agree with Newport on the contradiction. Joan pointed to the fact that the question was "is it a good idea to buy?" yet she continued down the line of "now is a great time to buy." Yet, neither of you Realtors took the time to look at the question and the question topic which is zip code: 92337 and Crime & Safety.

The question based on those/that information, if I understand correctly, should really be, "What is the neighborhood like in Fontanta zip code 92337? What's the crime and safety rate like? Is it a good place to purchase a home?"
1 vote
Diane Wheatl…, Agent, Upland, CA
Mon May 5, 2008
Right on Joan. I would hope that most Realtors out there believe the same business philosophy as we do - the customer comes first. We facilitate purchase and sale transactions for buyers and sellers who need or wish to move residences. The motivation always has to come from the client.

This has been a strange thread and my apologies also to Lola who may be scratching her head wondering how a straight forward question like hers became such an extensive dialog between three others. Good luck Lola. Joan is a wonderful, diligent Realtor that I would always enjoy the pleasure to work with and so would any client. Have a great day!!
1 vote
Joan Patters…, Agent, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Mon May 5, 2008
I agree with Diane, Newportfiji, you seem to be a tad angry with real estate agents and yet you are one. Ethically you should not refer to all agents as "people like you." This is very disturbing. Not all agents are bad. I have done many transactions over the years with many excellent realtors out there!!! Diane and I happen to work for one of the best companies, And, Diane and I have been around for a long time in the real estate market. Both of us do quite well and do get referrals because of how we treat our clients. Our clients become clients for life because we are honest. Do you really think people would refer people to us if we were unethical and did not treat them fairly? I seriously doubt it.....

I am not sure why you are so angry Newportfiji. But, we have to remember this, that we need to take care of our clients first and foremost. If someone wants to buy a property, it is not up to us to tell them no. They are adults and are able to make their own choices. Many times, I would not buy homes because they are not my style or taste, but it is their taste and I have to remember to stay out of THEIR decision. It is THEIR decision to purchase a home when they want to. I am not a high pressure sales person and will take them out to look at many homes until they find what they love. If they ask my opinions, I will give them my opinion, but it is ultimately their and I stress THEIR decision to buy or sell in this market. It is not your decision or my decision... And, Lola, just asked a simple question that she got answered (I hope!). Not seeing a blog that agents are going back and forth with each other and not even answering the question at hand. We need to make sure our clients get what they want and deserve. In my book it is always clients first, myself second! We need to be positive and not negative as there is always too much negative out there in the world! It is always more important to build each other up instead of tearing people down for no good reason! Good luck Lola!

Joan Patterson
1 vote
Joan Patters…, Agent, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Fri May 2, 2008
Once again, Great answer Diane! You really write well and get the point across accurately! God bless!
Joan Patterson
1 vote
Diane Wheatl…, Agent, Upland, CA
Thu May 1, 2008
I agree with Joan's answer. It is an awesome time to purchase a home in Fontana or the surrounding areas for that matter. Sellers are aching to sell and with so much inventory on the market the sellers know they must be competitive. Here is a tip: Instead of checking the "hot sheet" for brand new listings on the market as we are so inclined to do from past market trends, check out the listings that show a longer length of time on the market (DOM) or the "slow sheet". Those are the sellers most desperate and in need of a buyer ASAP (typically). I've seen sellers give away the farm in order to make an offer come together because they just can't wait any longer or the listing and showing process has really worn them out and they want the process over with. Go for it and have fun!! You'll find your dream home very soon! Fontana is a lovely area and offer good schools, parks, shopping, golfing, etc. Please confirm the school districts and surroundings for yourself before you make that offer. Good luck.
1 vote
Hena Martin, Agent, Hot Springs, CA
Tue Jan 22, 2013
I have clients who love it there ,They seem to say it is quite family orientated depends ,you have to also drive around in the evenings,weekends and see the area for yourself.If you need help do call.
HENA MARTIN (BROKER) 760-251-2868
0 votes
Joan Patters…, Agent, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Thu May 8, 2008
Jeff,
I think someone coming into your store to buy a computer is a lot different than purchasing a house. Certainly a lot less money! Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions people will make. But, I do understand what you are saying. However, this whole blog got blown way out of proportion with Newportfiji picking and picking at real estate agents. He acted like "all agents are bad." Even though he did not use those exact words. He acted like we all are just out to sell someone houses without giving them all the pros and cons of the market. That is what started this whole thing going off on a tangent. Diane and I work in the same office and we have both built sold foundations for referrals. I do think questions were answered for Lola, but I really wish Lola would come back and give an answer.
Newportfiji seems to want to create a bad feeling about real estate agents and that is just not fair to do. Diane and I are top producers in our office and that would not be the case if we were not good agents. We put our clients first. And, if they want to buy, it really is up to them to check out the area along with contacting the local police departments and doing their research. I always recommend driving the area of homes during different times of the days along with talking to neighbors about the neighborhood as well. There are many things a buyer can do to be pro-active about purchasing a home. Finding a good agent to take them out and show them homes is a start. As well as doing the above. I would also check out to see if there are any sex offenders in the area. These are all things I would make sure I told my client when they had found a particular home as well. Fontana is a huge place and you need to narrow it down to where they want to live. That is why it is unfair to say No I would not buy anywhere is Fontana because there are many places that are nice just like in any city. I would not "steer" buyers away from any house they wanted to purchase because that is unethical of me to do so, but I would advise them to contact the local police department, and neighbors once they had found a house and let them make their own decision. It may be the only place they can afford and if they want that particular house, then it is their own choice to do so.

If Lola had come back on to ask a question or clarify if we all did not answer, we all could have helped her. Unfortunately, it took a different twist in having to defend realtors being honest out there! There are great agents out there who really do care. That is another reason I am writing more here! I do care about clients and making sure their needs are met. Lola, have we all answered your question correctly? Let me know if I can help you in any way. You can call me direct at 951-204-1864.

Regards,
Joan Patterson
0 votes
Jeff Chen, Home Buyer, Elk Grove, CA
Thu May 8, 2008
Diane - Thanks for your last answer. You nailed it a lot better and I appreciate that.

Joan - I don't think that negativity caused Lola not to come back so much as the thread of answers (which now is at 16 including mine) didn't answer her question at all.

For example, I am a technology expert and work in the IT Field. On tech forums I traverse, if someone came on and asked "Is it good to buy Dell laptops?" what would my response be?
Much like Diane nailed in her last post on clarification questions, I would ask the user
A) What is the reason they are purchasing the laptop?
B) What are your needs?
C) What's your budget?
D) Dell laptops relative to what?

You're right, Lola wasn't too explicit and detailed on her question, and it is very open ended. If it can be interpreted in many different ways, then I would ask the question to be clarified first and foremost. Why answer a question then if you're not sure what the point of the question is at all? Then I could sprinkle some knowledge of Dell laptops and let them know I can help them out with anymore questions or if they're looking to buy one.

And while I appreciate your profession and your job, it would be quite easy to be more subtle about it.
On the flip side, you're right, Newport could be a little nicer and more professional on a site like this.
0 votes
Joan Patters…, Agent, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Thu May 8, 2008
I think this question could be answered several ways myself. Jeff, I only continued down the line in the question in answer to Newportfiji because he went down that line about it not being a good time to buy. I know the question came up under crime and safety, however, it can be read and interpreted in many different ways. I have yet to see Lola come back here and clarify anything. She is probably afraid to after the negativity going on here which really, is very sad.

Wow, and Newportfiji, not sure what you are talking about with a love fest between Diane and myself. So, we happen to agree with each other and disagree with you. That is our right! I really think you need to put more use into doing something good in the world instead of trying to be so negative. I stand behind everything I have said and my clients know how I treat them. I have nothing to prove to you. Obviously, you are a very upset person and think you know what will happen with the market. I am happy you do because no one can predict the future. God is the only one who knows!

You all make it a great day and try to be positive. Do something good for someone today!

Regards,

Joan Patterson, B.A., A.S.P., G.R.I., Realtor
Keller Williams Realty
8250 White Oak Avenue, Ste 102
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
951-204-1864
0 votes
Newportfiji, , Long Beach, CA
Thu May 8, 2008
I hate to break up the Joan – Diane love fest. But, do either of you actually read what you wrote? The two of you Joan, in your first answer you state unequivocally, “Right now is an excellent time to buy in Fontana.” Diane, quickly agreed stating, “It is an awesome time to purchase a home in Fontana.”

I disagreed and stated that generally realtors are not trained in economics. Further, in my opinion, realtors are doing their clients a disservice when making such blanket statements that it is an “excellent” time to buy when oblivious to understanding market trends.

In response, Diana attacked me saying she was “horrified” by my remarks and that economic forecasting was akin to “fortune telling or mystical predictions.” I provided my reasoning based upon fundamentals why further prices decreases will occur in all probability.

I am a real estate professional, but I am not a realtor, nor am I angry at them. I just don’t view realtors as having the economic/business/financial training to make blanket statements that the current market is “excellent” or “awesome” for buyers. Unfortunately, from what you have written neither of you indicated anything to dispel this view.

If you truly put the interest of your clients first, you would NOT tell them that it is an excellent time to buy. Rather, you would recommend that they should delay purchases and wait for prices to drop further. Of course, this would eliminate and ability to obtain a commission, something most realtors are not willing to do. So much for putting clients first.

NewportFiji
0 votes
Newportfiji, , Long Beach, CA
Fri May 2, 2008
Diane,

I have been in the real estate industry for over 15 years and have a graduate degree in economics from USC. It greatly concerns me that people like you are guiding people with the largest purchase in their lifetime, ostensibly completely blind as to where prices may be heading. When prices where going up, realtors such as yourself would quickly tout what a great “investment” real estate is. Now that the real estate market is crashing, you conveniently claim that only someone with “fortune telling or mystical” skills can tell if prices may fall further. From your answer it is obvious that you do not have even a rudimentary understanding of business or economics. Yet, you still opine that economic forecasting is some type of mystical witchery. You should not comment on what you clearly have never studied or understand.

Actually determining price trends in the real estate market is not that difficult; it is illiquid and cyles move slowly. This is especially true for a market which is imploding like Fontana. Price is a lagging not leading indicator. Thus, one simply need look at the leading indicators to determine future price trends.

All leading indicators are pointing in the same direction as to the southern California residential market: (i) inventory has increased, (ii) sales transaction volume has slowed dramatically, (iii) lending standards have tightened (pulling thousands of potential buyers from the market), (iv) notices of defaults and foreclosures are at RECORD levels, (v) the economy is slowing (looking more and more like a recession) (vi) literally thousands of high paying mortgage and other real estate related jobs have been lost in southern California over the past year, and (vii) the previous mania to purchase has been replaced with a fear which minimizes transactions. All of these things will put downward pressure on pricing for some time to come. Further, all traditional housing pricing metrics indicate that the Fontana market remains overvalued, including price to household income and rent to price ratios.

Apart from a few “the world is flat” realtors like Diana, everyone realizes that home prices are falling in Southern California. Those that are expecting a quick turn around from this bubble are dreaming. The last cycle took about 11 years to reach peaking pricing from the previous peak. Here are your Los Angeles County vanilla medians between 1989 and 2000: http://www.laalmanac.com/economy/ec37.htm

1989: $214,831
2000: $215,900

Pretty amazing, someone who purchased the “median home” for 214,831 sold for 215,900 11 years later. However, this bubble appears even larger that the 1989 run up as depicted in the following graph: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/laland/2008/04/where-we-stand.html . Granted, prices are falling faster, so perhaps we can reach a bottom sooner.

The reality is that prices will almost certainly be lower later this year, likely lower in 2009 and possibly even lower in 2010. Real estate cycles take many years to play out and we are at the early stages of a down cycle.

The bottom will not be difficult to miss. Again, unlike stocks which are very subject to dramatic short term fluctuations, real estate is illiquid and cycles move slowly. If you are paying attention, you likely will not miss the change as prices tend to remain flat for an extended period flowing stability in the residential market. Clues will be increasing transaction volume, decreasing inventory and a closer cost ratio in comparing the costs of renting versus owning. Simply stated, following a down cycle, people are generally more conservative in real estate purchases so prices will not likely rebound quickly.

NewportFiji
0 votes
Nancy, Home Buyer, RPV
Fri May 2, 2008
If you are looking for good schools, check out carefully. We used to live in Diamond Bar, and I don't think people would say Fontana has good schools. Walnut School District is a better place though the housing there is more expensive.
0 votes
Newportfiji, , Long Beach, CA
Thu May 1, 2008
Don't waste your time asking Realtors about price trends or if it is a good time to buy. It was Realtors who were spouting off two years ago that "it was a great time to buy" and "prices never go down." We all know how foolish that advice was. According to Realtors, every day during the past 100 years was a great time to buy OR sell real estate -- and remarkably the same will hold true for the next 100 years.

Realtors may be knowledgeable on current and past prices for their area, but they are NOT experts on future price trends. Realtors are NOTeconomists and very few have any business or economic training to speak of. They are SALESPEOPLE. The reality is that they only get a commission if you buy, so they have an incentive to be less then accurate as to their assessments. The few competent Realtors with integrity would admit that prices are going down in the inland empire and most buyers could save money by simply waiting for the bubble to further deflate.

If you can afford a home with a large down payment and conventional financing and don't care about prices dropping further, consider the purchase. But DON"T purchase with the expectation of future price gains. This was a huge bubble that needs to finish deflating. If history is any guide, prices will not rebound quickly when the bottom is finally reached.

Best of Luck,
NewportFiji
0 votes
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