Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Liquidated Damages Clause Can Be Valuable, But May Be Misunderstood

Liquidated Damages Clause Can Be Valuable, But May Be Misunderstood: Is a liquidated damages clause a good thing to have in a real estate contract? If so, for whom is it good? The buyer? The seller? Both? Like so many questions in real estate, and life in general, the first answer to such questions is, "It depends." Before we get into that, though, a word about what a liquidated damages clause is.

Real Estate Trend Data (March 2012)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick Move Closer to LA - Celebrity Home News

Ashton Kutcher Buys Home in the Hills

Ashton Kutcher Buys Home in the Hills:

(Los Angeles, CA) -- "Two and a Half Men" star Ashton Kutcher has bought a home in the heart of the Hollywood Hills for an undisclosed amount. The house had most recently been listed at $10.8 million.

The modern-style house, completed in 2007, has views of the Hollywood Reservoir and the Hollywood sign.

Kutcher had been leasing the property when reports surfaced that Justin Bieber had toured the house and might be an interested buyer. It can be weeks or months before the sale price appears in public records.

The three-story home has five bedrooms, eight bathrooms and nearly 9,400 square feet of living space, according to the listing. It sits on more than half an acre with a swimming pool and spa. Features include a gym, a sauna, a wine cellar and an elevator.

Kutcher, 34, will play Steve Jobs in an upcoming film about the late chief executive of Apple Inc. The actor starred last year in the film "No Strings Attached."

Ex-Laker Moves His Home Court

Former Laker Sasha Vujacic has put his ocean-view house in Rancho Palos Verdes on the market at $2.749 million.

The gated Mediterranean-style house, built in 1986 and remodeled, contains more than 4,000 square feet of living space on a single level.

Among the features are a terra cotta-paved courtyard, a double-door entry, high ceilings, a family room with a wet bar and wine cooler, two master suites, two additional bedrooms and a total of four bathrooms.

The nearly half-acre lot includes a swimming pool with spa and a tennis/basketball sports court.

The two-time NBA champion, 28, was a guard for the Lakers from 2004 to 2010, then moved to the New Jersey Nets until last year. He now plays for the Anadolu Efes in Turkey.

Public records show he bought the property in 2005 for $1.86 million.

It's Time for Doc Brown to Travel

Actor Christopher Lloyd, who played a quirky scientist in the "Back to the Future" sci-fi trilogy, has listed his house in Montecito for sale at $6.45 million.

Lloyd built the Umbria-inspired country home after the house he had on the site was destroyed in a 2008 wildfire. "Great Scott!" to quote his character Dr. Emmett Brown.

Recently completed, the single-level house features a double-island kitchen, four bedrooms, 4 ½ bathrooms and 4,600 square feet of living space.

The 5-acre site includes a pool, a spa, gardens, fountains, an expansive lawn and a boccie ball court. There are ocean and mountain views.

Lloyd, 73, is also known for his roles as Jim Ignatowski in the sitcom "Taxi" (1978-83) and Uncle Fester in the "Addams Family" movies. He has been cast in the upcoming ABC comedy "Only Fools and Horses."

The Emmy-winning actor is selling because he is downsizing and spending more time in New Mexico, according to listing agent Lisa Loiacono of Sotheby's International Realty.

Where Smart Money Buys

To find out where the smart money is buying real estate these days, one need look no farther than the Hollywood Hills. Billionaire venture capitalist and hedge fund manager Peter Thiel recently cherry-picked a house there for $11.5million.

Thiel has a track record as a shrewd businessman, having been an early investor in Facebook Inc. He is the former chief executive and co-creator of PayPal.

The 1.25-acre property he bought is a rarity among local homesites; it has two driveways that lead to different streets.

The 6,000-square-foot house, designed for indoor-outdoor living, has a Hawaiian Islands vibe, panoramic city views, a swimming pool, four bedrooms and five bathrooms.

Thiel, 44, owns other properties in Hawaii and San Francisco, where he is based. He will be teaching a computer science class at Stanford University, his alma mater, this spring.

The house was sold outside the Multiple Listing Service, marketed as a pocket listing.

Checking Out of Brentwood

Former model Nicole Murphy and football analyst Michael Strahan have parted ways with their house in a gated community in Brentwood in an all-cash deal for $6.15 million.

Designed for entertaining, the contemporary Mediterranean includes a theater room, a wine cellar, an elevator, two dens, a wet bar, six bedrooms and eight bathrooms in 9,200 square feet.

The master suite features a balcony, sitting area, fireplace, dual bathrooms and dual closets. Balconies overlook the swimming pool, spa, fire pit and yard.

Murphy, 44, was married to comedian Eddie Murphy from 1993 to 2006. She will star in a VH1 show tentatively titled "Hollywood Exes," which is set to air this summer. The show documents five high-profile women in the Los Angeles area who are former wives of Hollywood A-listers or music icons.

Defensive end Strahan, 40, played for the New York Giants throughout his NFL career, retiring in 2008 after his team won Super Bowl XLII. He starred in the 2009 TV series "Brothers."

The property, which came on the market at the first of the year, was purchased for $5 million in 2009.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Inman Reveals Top 10 Growing Real Estate Markets for Foreign Buyers

Inman Reveals Top 10 Growing Real Estate Markets for Foreign Buyers:
Miami Home Value
Last we heard on the global home buying front, developers in Miami, FL were gearing up for a turnaround in the real estate market thanks to interest from foreign buyers from South America, Europe, Russia and China. However, Miami is hardly the only hot spot for international homebuyers, according to a new report released by Inman News this week. Of the ten U.S. markets for global homebuyers, six, including the Miami-Fort-Lauderdale-Pompano Beach area, hail from the Sunshine state, while the other rising markets are can be found in prominent vacation destinations and metropolitan areas. The study points to the decline of the U.S. dollar and current bear market coupled with cash-rich foreign parties as the main the main reasons for the increasing interest.
Read the full list of 10 Hot Spots for Global Homebuyers here.
Check out more Real Estate News at REALTOR.com

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rentals Continue to Outshine Purchase Market, Home Values Still Plagued By Foreclosures

Rentals Continue to Outshine Purchase Market, Home Values Still Plagued By Foreclosures:

The February Real Estate Market Reports show that national home values decreased 0.5% to $145,400 from January to February. On an annual basis, this represents a 4.5% decline (See Figure 2). The Zillow Rent Index, which measures median rent prices from month to month, shows the rental market continuing to outshine the for-sale market (See Figure 1). Annually, national rents have appreciated 2.0%. National monthly rents, however, are down due to seasonality.
Home values, now back to 2003 levels, combined with historically low financing rates are fueling homes sales, both existing and new, even while homes values continue to decline due to high levels of foreclosure re-sales, which set a new record in February. January existing home sales were very strong, while February slowed somewhat but still were quite strong when viewed on an annual basis (up almost 9%). February pending home sales were up a similar amount on a year-over-year basis, February new home sales were up 11% from the prior year, and both housing starts and permits were up 34% from year-ago levels.
home value
Home Values
The ZHVI covers 164 metropolitan areas of which 109 showed monthly home value depreciation, while 47 metros showed home value appreciation. Of the 25 largest metros covered by the ZHVI, Phoenix was the only metro to show monthly and yearly home value appreciation. In an encouraging sign, hard-hit areas of Florida, including the Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and Fort Myers metros did show monthly home value appreciation in February.
Major markets that continue to feel the downward pressure of the housing recession include the Chicago metro, falling 1.7% from January to February and 11% annually, the Atlanta metro, declining 1.1% month-over-month and 10.8% annually, and the Seattle metro, showing a monthly decline of 0.8 %, representing an annual decline of 7.4%.
Overall, national home values have fallen 25% from their peak in May 2007, and are now back to October 2003 levels. An interactive chart of all metro regions can be found at the bottom of this brief.
home value
The Zillow Rent Index shows year-over-year gains for nearly 68% of the metropolitan areas covered by the ZRI. By contrast, only 8% of the metros areas covered by the ZHVI experienced annual home value increases.
The rental market remains strong, especially in markets that continue to experience consistent home value declines. For example, Chicago metro rents increased 8.6% over the past year, in comparison to an 11% fall in home values over the same period. In the Philadelphia metro, rents are up 14.8% while home values have fallen 5.4% year-over-year.
The rate of homes foreclosed remained unchanged in February with 8.4 out of every 10,000 homes in the country being liquidated. Nationally, foreclosure re-sales have reached a new all-time high making up 20.3% of all sales in February (Figure 3). The rate of foreclosure re-sales has steadily increased over the last several months, a reflection of the heavier volume of foreclosures that have entered the market. Despite the expectations for stronger home sales, this increased liquidation rate will continue to put downward pressure on prices throughout the rest of the year.
home value

Nationally, the Zillow Home Value Forecast calls for a 3.7% home value decline from December 2011 to December 2012. With that said, as we get closer to a bottom, sub-regions within larger metro regions will begin to see positive home value performance – something that we are already beginning to see. For example, in the Phoenix metro in January 2011, only 18% of ZIP codes were seeing home value appreciation over the prior three months whereas 87% were seeing appreciation by the end of the year (December 2011). Miami showed a similar development, with 17% of the ZIP codes seeing home value appreciation in January of 2011, while 60% showed home values rising in December 2011.
The rental market remains positive territory as the housing market proceeds down its path to recovery. Rents continue to experience strong annual appreciation. High foreclosure rates will continue to spawn demand in the rental market and, in turn, attract investors.
A PDF version of this report can be found here.
home value