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Keep a real estate expert close by Submitted By Voltaire Lepe | Sat, Mar 16 2013 12:00 PM

2012 real estate was a huge surprise!  Stories of a double dip recession and real estate prices to dip flooded news stations and Internet sites.  The feds reduced rates to historic lows and that kept the market moving and moving fast!

Flippers came roaring back and real estate seemed to be back to normal in San Diego County.  Affordability went way up with interest rates being so low.  In most areas under $350,000 a mortgage payment was less or equal to a rental payment—why wouldn’t you buy?  Mid-summer the real estate market was so hot that real estate agents and buyers alike were scratching their heads and wondering “What happened to the inventory?”  It was and still is extremely difficult to get your offer accepted on a property!  Sellers rejoiced and took advantage receiving multiple offers over asking price.

2012-Year of the Short Sale?  Not quite, more like Year of the Loan Modification-Applications!  Now whether the banks will actually hand out modifications and give them out with principal balance reductions is still to be seen but I’ve seen a few and it looks like there might be more to come(not too many more, but more than before). 

Ghost inventory of bank foreclosures?  Rumors of bank-owned foreclosures to flood the market have been circulating for the past few years.  This year they mixed those rumors with rumors that the lenders would foreclose on many homeowners that have missed several payments and are still living in their homes.  The main premise was that the elections would play a hugepart in this.  Critics maintained that Obama wanted to make the economy look like its recovering in order to get re-elected and once the elections were over, he’ll pull the drain plug and let everyone drown in the reality of the market adjusting itself.

So far these assumptions are unfounded but 2013 is barely here and interest rates will have a huge say-so in our real estate future.  2012 barely edged out 2011 in sales volume but sales prices were neck in neck.  Only time will tell the future of the 2013 real estate market here in Chula Vista so there are no predictions here.  Only one thing is certain and that is that I as a real estate broker and investor will continue to help clients buy, sell and make the tough decisions about their real estate and mortgages this upcoming year and I, like many others, will seize the opportunity to pick up some investment units for my personal portfolio.  Be patient, get expert advice and you can’t go wrong in 2013!

Voltaire Lepe is a local real estate agent, broker and resident of Chula Vista.  He is available for free real estate consultations by appointment on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  To schedule a FREE consultation, please call (619) 300-9675

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