Nicole’s Real Estate News May 2013


For the past few months, we have experienced a hot real estate market. Well-priced homes have multiple offers and may sell for more than the asking price. If you are still looking or thinking of selling, now is the time.

 Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors, reports that the month of May is showing signs of leveling off. Buyers are pausing while they wait for more inventory. Contract activity is slowing.

 I expect more inventory to be coming in the next few months as sellers are encouraged by the comparable sales in their area. The “shadow” inventory I spoke of last month is starting to come on the market.

Growth in both the job market and household wealth are proving to have a strong impact on sales. Right now is a good time to sell and still a good time to buy – a situation that is not the norm. Mortgage rates are exceptional, so it is a great time to lock in a good loan rate.

 If you want to talk about our area, know that I am your advocate and will be watching the market for you. Meanwhile, enjoy spring.


Q: What is the activity in the vacation and rental home market?

 A: According to the NAR’s 2013 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey,

vacation home sales accounted for 11 percent of all transactions last year. Investment sales accounted for 24 percent in 2012. All-cash purchases remain common in both markets. Almost half of all buyers paid cash in 2012. Of buyers who financed with mortgages, the median down payment was 27 percent.

 The average investment home-buyer in 2012 was 45 years old, earned $85,700 and bought a home close to their primary residence. The median distance was 21 miles. The majority of these homes are being held as rentals. Only 6 percent of these homes were sold within the first year. The typical vacation homebuyer was 47 years old and had a median income of $92,100. These buyers plan on owning their property for an average of 10 years. This survey can be purchased at  


Many of us think of second-home buyers as buyers of vacation homes. These vacation homes are usually at least a three-hour drive from our main residence.

 Yet more and more, buyers are purchasing second-homes in their own local markets. These second homes are used as investment properties. With the current low interest rates and high rental prices, it makes sense to buy in the area you know best. And for rentals, you are close by to take care of the property.

 The time is right to think about expanding your real estate portfolio. Let’s talk.


With summer around the corner and vacation plans in the works, it’s useful to put technology to work for you. Disneyland attracts millions of visitors in the summer months. If Disneyland is on your summer To Do List, consider these two phone apps. Both will help you minimize wait times and maximize your magical experience.

 Disneyland Lines: You can research the open rides, choose which rides are your priorities, and then receive a customized list of what to do based on the date and time of your visit. If you prepare your lists ahead of time, just click on this customized list when you enter the park. The app aggregates past and current data, ride locations and ride closings to give you a plan.

 For example, the app will you to get a Fast Pass at Peter Pan, then go on Dumbo with an 8 minute wait, then go on the Tea Cups, etc. Or, if you prefer, choose one of their pre-created touring plans. To find this free app, search for Disneyland touring plans and choose Disneyland Lines in the app store on your iPhone or Android.

 Disneyland MouseWait: Thousands of Disney visitors use MouseWait to enjoy more and wait less. Using an “advanced wait time algorithm,” it depends on thousands of people who update their own wait times. You get up-to-the-second information. So before you run across the park to ride Space Mountain, check Mouse Wait to see if it’s open or closed. Get this free app by searching for “mouse wait” in the app store on your phone.

 There are so many great apps out there. Wherever this summer takes you, make the most of it with a little advance planning and some help from your phone!


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