Real Estate Gems in SF Mid Peninsula: Monday Morning Notes

Real Estate Sales Representative with Alain Pinel Realtors

Open houses continue to draw strong interest as our Spring market combined with beautiful weather and plentiful inventory makes for active buying conditions in the San Francisco Mid Peninsula Market.

This week I received the following email regarding pending home sales and first time home buyers credits:

"As I was reading through the headlines and news updates over this past week, I was amazed that it wasn't properly pointed out that when the existing home sales were released on March 23 (up another 5.1%), that right there in black and white, the median and average price of existing homes in the US was UP in February.  That's right, February's median price was $165,400 versus $164,800 for January AND the average US price for February was $269,900 versus $256,200 in January.   Ladies and gentlemen, that's technically means that we bottomed out in February.  "But we need two months for a trend..." some (okay, many) may say, and that is a reasonable response.  But when one takes a look at February's Pending Home Sales Index for February, one sees that buying activity continues to be very strong, up 2.1% nationwide, with the West continuing to lead the way at 89.6.  Combine the above with the fact that we are pre-approving or actively working on more purchase transactions for more people in the last thirty days than we have in the last seven months, and it appears very likely that March will follow February to officially set the upward housing price trend to mark the proverbial "bottom".


Has anyone recently asked you, "If three friends and I want to buy a house together, and we're all first time home buyers, can we each take advantage of the $8,000 Federal tax credit?"  If you have.. and you weren't sure how to answer, you may want to point them to IRS Form 5405 which seems to allow for the four referenced above to EACH take advantage of the $8,000 credit.  "And if my three friends and I want to buy a NEW home to take advantage of the $10,000 CA state tax credit.., can we get that too?"  Well, CA seems to be more specific on their Form 3528-A that the max credit per purchase is $10,000...   Still, any amount of additional tax credit from the state is obviously better than nothing.  Please, please contact a professional tax advisor to guide you properly on anything tax related, as I'm just a mortgage guy. 


Regarding mortgages, we had a very big day yesterday with the Financial Accounting Standards Board easing up and clarifying the rules associated with mark-to-market accounting.  This has been a necessary first step in helping to stabilize the banks and further free up lending.  And we're not just talking about conforming lending (up to $729,750 in loan amount), we're talking about NON-conforming lending, which is so critical for our housing market locally.  Bloomberg's article yesterday covered it best, and what really opened my eyes was a question that came to mind as I read the article, "What if suddenly we had $5 trillion dollars to lend and investors began lining up to buy reliable, non-conforming mortgage-backed securities?"     


Kindest regards,




Eric T. Trailer, Principal

Absolute Mortgage Banking

555 College Avenue

2nd Floor

Palo Alto, CA 94306"

 This makes for some interesting possibilities for first time home buyers.  As the  email states, be sure and  contact a professional tax advisor to guide you through this process.

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