Tag Archives: las vegas real estate

10 Things To Help You Buy A House In Las Vegas Today

9 Jul

Selling real estate in Las Vegas has been a challenge the last few years.  It’s been a challenge everywhere but no market has been like Las Vegas.  Vegas was ground zero for the housing bubble and bubble burst.  We then had prices sink down down down to levels not seen for twenty years.

The government, in its own inept way, tried to help punish the banks for their willy nilly foreclosure practices and passed a law requiring them to prove they had the papers in hand to foreclose on a property.  Because they not only didn’t have those papers and can’t find them because many of them were never created, foreclosures came to an absolute screeching halt.  Many people here have been living in their homes for almost three, yes three years without making a payment and there may not be a notice of default filed on their property.

How does that help you buy a house in Las Vegas?  What helps you are knowing and understanding the following ten things:

  1. There are very few houses available and currently out of all the single family homes on the market, less than 23% of them are open to receiving an offer.  All the buyers looking for a single family home are competing for a small number of houses available for sale.
  2. 82% of the houses on the market in Clark County are priced at $250,000 and lower.  This means that if you’re buying in this price range, this is where all the competing buyers are looking to buy as well.
  3. Most condos and townhouses can not be financed. When the investors jumped ship first in 2006-2009, the banks decided financing condos and townhouses was way too risky and so quit loaning on them.  So unless you  have cash, except for a very small percentage of properties that may be eligible for conventional financing, you probably won’t be able to get a mortgage for that condo.
  4. Always assume you’re going to be one of multiple offers.  Almost every property out there that’s nice receives from 2 to 22 offers or more.
  5. If you don’t need help with closing costs, don’t ask for them.  When sellers are looking at multiple offers, they are always going to choose the offer that either:  nets them the most money (no closing costs or repairs) or closes the quickest.
  6. An all cash offer doesn’t always get the deal.  One reason sellers like cash is there is no banks to deal with an no appraiser to contend with who believes the house is worth less that the market will bear.  Even with little inventory, a low appraisal can make a deal fall apart quickly.  But a higher priced financed offer will be seriously weighed against a lowball cash offer.
  7. Understand what a home warranty can and can not do for you.  There are a number of good home warranty companies in Las Vegas and I, like many agents, have a favorite.  A home warranty is great for taking care of major unexpected repairs like an air conditioning unit that was working when you bought the house but suddenly decides not to after you’ve owned the house for a month.  Only having to pay a $60 service call is worth having to come up with $4000 to replace a central air conditioning unit.
  8. Agents seldom present offers to the seller in person.  Despite what you see on TV, most agents email over your offer with the required documents like your proof of funds or loan approval and a copy of your earnest money check to the listing agent who, in turn, may just email it on to the seller.  With sellers being located all over the country, and agents working with a large number of clients, having the ability to present offers electronically makes things much faster.  The downside is you, as a buyer’s agent, can’t easily make an emotional case for your buyer to the seller and his agent.
  9. As of today, July 9, 2012, 33% of the houses on the MLS are NOT in distress. This means they are not short sales or bank owned.  You are now dealing directly with a private seller (whether its an investor or an owner occupant) 66% of the time.  That’s a far cry from nine months ago when over 66% of the houses on the market were in distress.  However, buyers are still not shying away from short sales, because 64% of the houses over all on the market are short sales and only 8% of those are available for an offer.
  10. Last, I can’t believe I’m still saying this, don’t expect your lowball offer to be considered.  When you’re competing with a number of buyers, your offer has to be attractive to be considered.  My favorite saying is offer the highest amount you’re willing to pay and that if you don’t get the house because someone would pay $1 more than you, you’re okay with it.  No buyer’s regrets of “I would have paid that much or more to get that house.”

Las Vegas is a very competitive real estate market these days.  We don’t know how long it will stay this way, but if you’re ready to buy when the rates are the lowest they’ve been since the 1940’s, make sure you make your offer the best one you can.  Believe your agent when they explain the pricing and what you may and may not want to ask for in your offer.

You may not get a second chance.

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Cirque Du Soleil house with Owner Financing

18 May

You can own the Las Vegas home of Guy LaLiberte, originator and owner of Cirque Du Soleil.  This amazing property located in a small guard gated community called “The Fountains” is everything you’d expect a Cirque Du Soleil house to be.  All the custom woodwork was built by the production crew from Mystere.

Custom paint, open floor plan, spectacular outdoor dining area in a very private back yard, you can make this home you’re very own with just $300,000 down.  Almost 8,000 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5 1/2 baths, a huge family room, and much of the furnishings can be included for a full price offer of $1,599,999.  Want to know more, you need to call or email me about this spectacular home.

My Day Job – Kind Of

18 May

While I’m working at making my living online, and hopefully giving you ideas to do the same, I have a day job.  Not a traditional day job that I commute and go to an office to do.  I am a licensed real estate agent.  You can google me and find me easily.

During the eight years I’ve been licensed here in Las Vegas, I’ve witnessed the growing bubble, the bursting bubble and the continually deflating market.  Las Vegas has been ground zero for real estate disasters.  Housing prices went absolutely insane between 2004 and 2007.  Then, pop! Image

Prices started to fall like a penny dropped off a skyscraper.  Everyone kept wondering how long could prices possibly continue to fall…..how long, well we’re still wondering if we’ve hit the bottom.  In fact, if you were waiting for the bottom, you may have missed it.

The bigger issue is now that we have no houses to sell.  The government decided to help home sellers and in Nevada they passed a law stating that banks had to prove they had the right to foreclose on a house before they could file the paperwork to do so.  Well, banks have notes that were sold several times and they have no idea where that paperwork really is or if it was ever generated, giving them the legal right to take a property back.

This has caused our market, like many others, to come to a screeching halt. In a city boasting just under 2 million residents, there are only 3900 houses to choose from priced from $15,000 to $18 million, and about 25% of those are priced at a $500,000 or less.  Las Vegas has just announced that the unemployment rate is under 12%, lower than its been since 2009.  So lower unemployment means people want to buy houses but there are very houses for them to choose from.

I tell you this because if you’re looking for a house in this market, and it feels right to you, you better put an offer on it today because 20 more people think its right for them too.  Houses are back to receiving multiple offers and prices are starting to creep up (at least for houses priced under $200,000).

So if you’re looking for a house, and you see one that mostly makes your heart pitter patter, whether its a traditional sale or you need terms like lease option or owner carry, don’t wait.  With so few houses to choose from, everyone is looking for the same thing you are.  Don’t let it get away.

Where are all the houses for sale?

4 May

This is not unique to Las Vegas, but everyone looks here because we were and I believe still are considered ground zero.  Las Vegas took the biggest nose dive first. What a dubious honor to have.

However, with the government intervention to fix the problem, stopping lenders from robo-signing documents saying they had the paperwork that gave them the right to foreclose, whether they did or not, the foreclosure process came to a grinding halt.  We have lots of sellers, especially here, that have been living in their houses for one, two, or more years without making a payment.  What’s more remarkable is many of them also don’t have a notice of default filed against them. The result is buyers have been actively buying up what is coming on the market which is now about comprised of approximately 30% short sales, 13% bank owned and the rest are properties not in distress.  

What happens next is anyone’s guess.  But with the banks finally realizing they have less problems and make more money agreeing to short sales, chances are that short sales and flipped properties will be dominating our market for the next couple of years.  Banks will finally either offer deals to the current homeowner to either give their deed back and rent from the bank or get cash to move (deed-in-lieu), short sale now and possibly get cash to move, or they will do something that generates the correct paperwork and proceed on the foreclosure. 

So knowing that as of today, there are less than 4300 houses for sale all over Clark County, that includes properties priced from $15,000 to $18 million, if you see the one you want, you better write the best offer you can because if someone is willing to pay $1 more than you, how would you feel if you didn’t get it?