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Oct. 21, 2008

Pasadena Mortgage Rates Report - October 21, 2008

Brian Brady

By: Brian Brady

America's #1 Mortgage Broker

Pasadena Mortgage rates are finally below 6.0% again. If you're closing on your Pasadena home purchase in October, take any rate under 6.0% and lock it in to closing. In the beginning of the month, I suggested to wait for lower rates if you were closing in the last two weeks of October. I said:

You can safely delay mortgage locks if your closing after October 17th. Delaying your lock is a bit different from a "float" recommendation. It means that you should expect lower rates and jump on one when you feel it's "good enough". The market should remain volatile. The par rate (with no yield spread premium to the originator) should drift as low as 5.625% in the next 60 days but it may have to go through 6.125% to get there.

We made it through the 6's but never lower than the original 5.875%. If I still think there is room for improvement in mortgage rates why am I recommending to lock for October closings?

My strategy is more about limiting higher rates than gambling for better rates. I try to avoid unnecessary risk by being biased to locking unless there is irrational fear. While I was dead on about the irrational fear in the mortgage-backed securities market, my timing was off. If you're closing a Pasadena home loan this week, and delayed your lock, I might have cost you some money.

The mortgage-backed securities markets are finally able to focus on the economy now that the drama is over on Wall Street. Economic fundamentals drive mortgage rates and the economy doesn't look real healthy.

Expect rates to improve to 5.625% and fluctuate between 5.625% and 6.25% through the rest of the year.

If you're closing on your Pasadena home after November 1, 2008, delay that lock until 5.625% is available. All October closings, take what you can get today.

Oct. 17, 2008

Castle Green - A Pasadena California Treasure

The majestic Castle Green in Pasadena California.

castle green


castle green 99 castle Green Side



Castle Green Information

©Irina Netchaev


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Posted in Pasadena
Oct. 17, 2008

Pasadena Real Estate: Opportunity Knocks

Another great article by my friend Joanna Dehn Beresford in the Best Of Pasadena issue of Pasadena Weekly this week. Granted, it mentions yours truly, but it also gives some sound advice on what to look for in a Pasadena Real Estate Agent.

Buyers and sellers have good reason for hope in economic crisis

By Joanna Beresford 10/16/2008

"These are the best and worst of times for real estate," says my favorite real estate agent, Irina-the-Tsarina Netchaev. "The worst is uncertainty. Buyers wonder if it's the right time to buy.

Sellers don't know if they should sell, rent or hold. And agents have to keep up with constant changes in the industry, work a lot harder to make the same number of sales and serve their clients in the same way that they did in the past."

But even during economic tumult, Irina is no pessimist. Her family struggled to reach America, a country that her grandmother had dreamed of for years; when they arrived in the United States, Irina and her parents had left fear and despair behind them in Kiev.

"The best thing about the era we're in right now is the opportunity!" Irina says. "Opportunity for buyers to get into a home at a more affordable price. Opportunity for sellers who want to move or trade up, to exchange their present home for the home of their dreams. It's also an opportunity for savvy and creative agents who want to build their business, and position themselves for developments in the market."

I can't claim unequivocally that Irina is the best real estate agent in the San Gabriel region, because there are so many realtors in the area. Many of them are terrific, and most of them I've never even met. But I do know that Irina is among the best. I know that she delights in the artistry of her craft. I know that she's learned a great deal from her corporate experience, and also from her experience as mother to teenage children. I know that she's an avid student of life, real estate and human nature - and I know that she's not perfect.

"It's really important to have a consultation before making any decisions or commitments," says Irina, alluding to the chemistry and compatibility involved in the agent-client relationship. "I can't help everyone."

The best Pasadena real estate agent will demonstrate several, fundamental characteristics. Some of these are self evident. Like, if you're selling a home, you don't want to hire an agent who's going to nosh on your leftovers, drink out of the milk carton and indulge in a shower in the master bath during a lull in open house activity.

Second, don't mistake "top producer" for "best agent." The truly gifted agent may spend more time, therefore earning less money, to properly serve a client, than the agent who maintains a madcap momentum of million-dollar home sales and massive commissions. Often snubbing other agents in the process, which is another thing you should consider if you want the best agent in the business; find someone who cultivates friendly, supportive relationships within the real estate community.

Now more than ever, we all need each other in the course of buying, selling and living in our homes.

Most experts caution against working with a part-time agent. The full-time agent tends to be more focused, informed and dedicated than the guy who's still hanging onto his day-job.

Also, among other things, the best agent knows how to take a decent photo, write a decent description and return calls in a decent amount of time. It also helps if your realtor knows how much it costs to replace a 50-year-old furnace or rewire a converted garage.

The best real estate agent will provide you with references and comprehensive market analysis. He will negotiate effectively on your behalf. He will, according to real estate coach, broker and author Jennifer Allan, put your needs above his/her "need for a paycheck."

Obviously your agent should know the region intimately. And who wouldn't want to know Pasadena intimately?

"Where else can you find a sunny, 76-degree climate?" asks Irina. "Where can you be an hour away from skiing, 40 minutes from the ocean, surrounded by chic boutiques, theater, museums, culinary schools, academia, upscale restaurants and amazing hole-in-the-wall dives - all within a few mile radius of tree-lined streets and quiet neighborhoods? It's an amazing place to live and work!"

The thing is, the beauty of Pasadena persists through good times and bad, and the pleasures of living and working here make our community shine among the best-of-the-best idyllic regions in the world. The best real estate agents share our passion for the landscape, climate and community and their passion creates productivity.

"The example of my grandma following her dream," Irina says, "the courage that it took for my parents to leave their homeland with almost nothing and make a life in this country has instilled in me the idea that anything can be accomplished if you just dedicate yourself and are clear about your goals and passions."

Contact Joanna Dehn Beresford at

Posted in About Us
Oct. 16, 2008

San Marino Real Estate: New San Marino homes on the market this week

Every Thursday, real estate agents get together to preview new San Marino homes that are listed for sale. This week, there were five San Marino homes available for preview.

You can find information about this week's San Marino homes for sale by clicking here.

Posted in San Marino
Oct. 16, 2008

Do you want to go to Disneyland for FREE?

Disneyland is giving the best present of all - a free Disney ticket to the happiest place on earth. The only condition is that you have to visit Disneyland on your birthday. Why not? What a fun way to spend your birthday! So visit the Free Disney Ticket site here.


I found the Disney information on a great new website - new to me, but has been around for awhile. It's called Fitness for Busy Moms and is run by my Altadena neighbor, personal fitness trainer - Stephen Cooper. Stephen offers great exercise and relaxation tips that are quick to read and easy to incorporate into our schedule. Check Fitness For Busy Moms website out. You'll be glad you did.


What websites are you reading? Share them here. I'd love to hear about them - spread the love!

Posted in Fun Posts
Oct. 16, 2008

San Marino Luxury Real Estate - September Million Dollar Sales

September was a slow home sales month for San Marino. There were only eight homes that were sold. These luxury San Marino estates ranged from $805,000 to $2,580,000. Three of the homes were under $1.5 million and five were over.

1. 2370 Sherwood Road, San Marino - Listed at $1,549,000 and sold for $1,600,000 - SOLD OVER ASKING It was on the San Marino real estate market for only 18 days - this home was priced correctly and showed beautifully.

2. 2822 Gainsborough Drive - Listed at $1,920,000 and sold for $1,829,053.

3. 2855 Devonport Road - Listed at $1,880,000 and sold for $1,860,000.

4. 2890 Monterey Road - Listed at $1,850,000 and sold for $1,990,000. SOLD OVER ASKING

5. 20 Mill Canyon Road - Listed at $2,888,888 and sold for $2,580,000


Information gathered from ITEC (Pasadena Foothill Association of Realtors)

If you are ready to start your San Marino luxury home search or thinking of relocating to San Marino and would like more information, please visit our San Marino website here.

READ MORE: San Marino Schools are #1 in California again!

Posted in San Marino
Oct. 14, 2008

Pasadena Mortgage Rates Report - October 14, 2008

Brian Brady

By: Brian Brady

America's #1 Mortgage Broker

If you're closing your loan after Friday, I left you naked (not locked). I told you that the fundamentals of the economy would bring rates lower after the bailout was announced. Rates were at 5.875%, today they're at 6.5%. What's in store for the rest of the month?

Eric Holloman of Rate Link offers this two-minute research report about why "headline risk" should be replaced by economic data as a determination of mortgage-backed securities pricing. If he's correct (and I think he is), the next three days will be important for the direct of mortgage rates through the end of the year.

I'm still recommending that you float your Pasadena mortgage rates; I believe we'll see rates come back down under 6% within the next 7-10 days. If the economic data suggest that we are NOT headed for a recession,mortgage rates will stay in the 6.25-6.75% range. If the data are as indicative of a downturn as I think they will be, lower rates should be on the horizon. As always, keep checking back.

Originally posted on Long Beach Real Estate Home

Oct. 10, 2008

San Gabriel Real Estate Market Report - September 2008

San Gabriel single family home inventory is on the rise. In September 88 homes were on the San Gabriel market compared to 68 in August. The average days on the market has decreased to 70, but the absorption rate increased to 4.5 months (18.2 weeks) mainly due to increased inventory compared to the stagnant number of homes sold.

The homes that were sold last month ended up closing escrow at 97.44% of asking price and were on average 1,521 sq. ft. Most homes were 2 to 3 bedrooms with 2 baths.

The lowest priced home listing in San Gabriel is at 322 E. Angeleno Avenue - offered at $259,000 (reduced from the original price of $305,000)

The highest priced home listing in San Gabriel is at 616 S. Ramona Street - offered at $2,195,000. This San Gabriel estate has been on the market for over two years now. Price remains the same.

If you look at the San Gabriel statistics below, you'll notice that there was an increased number of San Gabriel townhomes that went under contract or pending. This is due to a newly built development at 128 E. Broadway. 5 out of 7 pending townhome sales were in that complex and were all priced between $538,000 to $548,000. Even though these townhomes were a bit on the high end of the price per square foot spectrum, buyers seemed to have jumped on them and were willing to pay a premium for living in a newly constructed complex.

The new development at 153 Junipero Serra Drive didn't do as well as the one on Broadway. 3 of the townhomes have expired and were removed from the market. Developer is probably reviewing the pricing prior to relisting them for sale.

Lots, and I mean, LOTS of condos came up on the market in San Gabriel. 12 new listings compared to only 1 in August. Yikes! this increased the absorption rate to 78 weeks. The sales remain minimal at one a month. Interesting phenomenom is occuring. Condos are priced higher per square foot ($349.08) than townhomes ($315.18) in San Gabriel. San Gabriel condo sellers and their real estate agents need to get more realistic or they will just be wasting their time and efforts.

San Gabriel Real Estate Market Statistics for July 2008 through September 2008:

Single Family Residence Jun-08 Jul-08 Aug-08 Sep-08
New Listings 18 15 23 29
Total Listings 91 68 68 88
Sales Pending 13 22 9 13
Homes Sold 24 22 22 21
Listings Expired 9 12 7 20
Average Days on the Market 98 79 95 70
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $358 $354 $394 $380
Average Selling Price $580,783 $595,932 $660,745 $546,329
Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 16.4 13.4 13.4 18.2
Condos Jun-08 Jul-08 Aug-08 Sep-08
New Listings 6 5 1 12
Total Listings 21 11 7 18
Sales Pending 0 1 1 0
Condos Sold 1 3 0 1
Listings Expired 1 2 5 6
Average Days on the Market 54 301 n/a 63
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $325 $341 n/a $408
Average Selling Price $588,000 $438,667 n/a $368,000
Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 91.0 15.9 10.1 78.0
Townhomes Jun-08 Jul-08 Aug-08 Sep-08
New Listings 3 1 9 7
Total Listings 14 7 12 13
Sales Pending 1 1 1 8
Townhomes Sold 0 1 1 2
Listings Expired 5 4 7 7
Average Days on the Market n/a 20 244 114
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. n/a $269 $290 $270
Average Selling Price n/a $355,000 $439,500 $384,250
Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 60.7 30.3 52.0 28.2

Data taken from ITEC (Pasadena Foothills Association MLS service)



For weekly updates on San Gabriel real estate market activity, please feel free to request market analysis reports with detailed information at How is the Market button on this site. These real-time real estatemarket reports are gathered and updated by Altos Research and will be emailed to you weekly with my compliments.

Posted by Irina Netchaev, Real Estate Agent

Oct. 8, 2008

The Pulse of the Pasadena Real Estate Market

Yesterday, I met with Joanna Beresford of Pasadena Weekly. Joanna is a report writing a weekly real estate column for this local Pasadena periodical. As we chatted about the health of the Pasadena real estate, she asked me if I saw any changes in the real estate market since the Wall Street bail out announcement.

Absolutely! I thought I'd share my real estate blog's statistics and personal observations with you to give you a sense of what is going on in the Pasadena real estate market.

This Pasadena real estate blog is barely six months old. It is still visited daily by about 100 readers and gets somewhere around 500 to 800 hits a day. I usually get one to three people each day signing up for the free home search option allowing readers to find Pasadena home listings from the comfort of their home.

Since the announcement of the bail out recovery bill and the volatility that we've been experiencing in our economy over the last week or so, I have not had one person register to search for homes.

I have also spoken to some of my colleagues in the real estate industry. Pretty much across the board, I hear the same thing. The phones stopped ringing and the existing home buyers are taking a wait and see approach.

Now... I am not predicting doom and gloom for the state of the real estate market in Pasadena. September's Pasadena Real Estate Market report shows signs of stagnation in sales which is normal as we start heading into the slowest part of the real estate cycle - fall and winter months. And, I am getting phone calls from cash heavy real estate investors that are recognizing amazing opportunities to pick up Pasadena homes in this buyer's market.

But, the average Pasadena home buyer is concerned about the bank's tightening of credit and is feeling a lot of fear and uncertainty at this time. I'd love to hear your opinion on the Pasadena real estate market. If you were thinking of buying a home in Pasadena, are you taking a wait and see approach or are you actively taking advantage of the opportunities that a buyer's market is offering us?

Posted in About Us
Oct. 8, 2008

Monterey Hills Real Estate Market Report September 2008

So what's going on in Monterey Hills real estate market? I find it very curious that in the month of Septmeber no townhomes came on the market in Monterey Hills. New listings of Monterey Hills condos always remained at its lowest at only 2 condos that were listed.

Inventory, overall, is trending down each month from June to September with the sales at the all time low as well. Even with the lower unit volume of available condos, we are still looking at 26 week absorption rate. This means that if only 2 units continue to sell monthly at today's inventory levels, it will take sellers an average of 26 weeks to sell the existing inventory of 12 listings. Price per square foot ended at $313 and has been around the $300 range for awhile now.

The lowest priced condo in Monterey Hills is in Chadwick Terrace at 4260 Via Arbolada #204 - $258,000.

The highest priced condo in Monterey Hills is in Drake Terrace at 4141 Via Marisol #415 - $439,000. In my opinion, this condo is extremely overpriced at $391 a sq. ft.

Monterey Hills Real Estate Market Report - Juen 2008 through September 2008:

Condos Jun-08 Jul-08 Aug-08 Sep-08
New Listings 5 8 2 2
Total Listings 24 16 14 12
Sales Pending 4 3 2 3
Homes Sold 4 5 2 2
Listings Expired 2 8 7 3
Average Days on the Market 136 79 77 108
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $297 $302 $295 $313
Average Selling Price $304,520 $344,578 $344,450 $394,500
Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 26.0 13.9 30.3 26.0
Townhomes Jun-08 Jul-08 Aug-08 Sep-08
New Listings 0 1 2 0
Total Listings 4 2 4 0
Sales Pending 1 2 0 3
Homes Sold 1 2 1 3
Listings Expired 0 0 2 0
Average Days on the Market 154 98 122 57
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $401 $302 $401 $307
Average Selling Price $655,000 $465,500 $655,000 $425,667
Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 17.3 4.3 17.3 0.0

Data taken from ITEC (Pasadena Foothills Association MLS service)

If you are interested in beginning your search for a Monterey Hills condominium or townhouse, please click on the search home link.

For weekly updates on Monterey Hills real estate market activity, please feel free to request market analysis reports with detailed information by clicking here. These reports are gathered and updated by Altos Research and will be emailed to you with my compliments.

Posted by Irina Netchaev, Monterey Hills Real Estate Agent 626-627-7107