South Orange County Blog from Bob Phillips

The latest Orange County real estate market report

Posted in Real estate by southorangecounty on November 29, 2008

Hello again.

The president of my company, having earned his degree in Quantitative Economics and Decision Sciences, is well qualified to issue opinions on our local real estate market.  His reports have been cited in most local newspapers

( The Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Times, to name a couple.) on a regular basis for well over a year.

With those facts in mind I offer his latest report – just emailed to me.

Here is a synopsis of his report.   The number of available listings is down substantially from a year ago, and two years ago.  The number of properties currently in escrow is up substantially from a year ago, and two years ago.  Interest rates fell – this week – to their lowest level of this past year.

After reading the complete report, here is an easy conclusion to come to.  This next few months may be an ideal time to purchase a home in Orange County. Actually, I stated pretty much the same factors – minus the comprehensive facts and statistics – in my Nov. 20th post, titled: “This may be the best time of the year to buy local real estate.” Of course I have been reading his reports for over a year now, plus watching the activity in our area, so I’m reasonably up to speed.

If you are even remotely thinking of buying a house over the next year, I humbly suggest ( with over 32 years of local experience.)  that this next couple of months will be a great time to get serious.   Why not drop me an email ( ) or give me a call (949) 643-2100, and let’s discuss the possibilities?

Bob Phillips – Altera Real Estate – – (949) 643-2100 –

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This may be the best time of the year to buy local real estate.

Posted in home affordability, Home Values, Real estate by southorangecounty on November 28, 2008

This next couple of months represent a good opportunity for local home buyers, with lower prices, and reduced competition. ( Most people are more preoccupied with the Holidays, than with house shopping.)

Two things different about this year, vs. the past couple of years. First, there is less inventory to choose from, and second, there are more houses selling, due to lower prices – especially in the lower ranges, under $750,000.

One thing to keep in mind is that as of January 1st, the new higher limits on Jumbo “conforming” loans – those which are easier to qualify for, with better rates – will be lowered from $729,500., down to $625,500.. This will probably have an impact on houses priced over $650,000.

If you are seriously considering the purchase of a house in South Orange County, this next two months will be a superb opportunity to do so, with lower prices and reduced competition. By the end of January there will probably be similar pricing, but considerably more buyers, out beating the bushes – and buying.

I have been serving this community’s real estate needs for over 32 years! I would be pleased to assist you in your next real estate decision. Please give me a call – 949-643-2100 – or send me an email.

Bob Phillips,   Realty One Group, Inc.,

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“Franksgiving” And Other Black Friday Facts

Posted in Uncategorized by southorangecounty on November 28, 2008

FDR tried (twice) to move Thanksgiving ahead by a week for purposes of Consumer SpendingThe day after Thanksgiving is a busy shopping day nationwide and, this year, analysts are paying extra attention to sales figures.

Dubbed “Black Friday” in reference to red ink representing loss and black ink representing gain, today’s start to the Holiday Shopping season is believed to be the day that retailer balance sheets finally cross over to profitability.

But the accounting connotation of the phrase “Black Friday” wasn’t its original usage — it’s a media-coined term. 

When the phrase was first used in Philadelphia in 1975, it was in reference to the day after Thanksgiving being the busiest shopping and traffic day of the year.

There’s other Black Friday trivia out there, too:

Did you know? Black Friday is neither the largest, nor the most profitable, shopping day of the year.  Contrary to popular wisdom, it’s the 5th biggest, not the first.  The two weekends before Christmas are usually the “biggest” series of days.

Did you know? In an attempt to spur the economy in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed to move Thanksgiving ahead by 7 days.  7 more days of shopping, he thought, would help retailers and help the economy.  Eventually, the idea dubbed “Franksgiving” failed.

Did you know? To protect competitors from price matching “deals”, some retailers copyright their Black Friday advertising.  Others won’t print prices at all.

Did you know? Last year, 14 percent of Black Friday shoppers had made a purchase prior to 4:00 A.M. with an average ticket of $347.

Black Friday is of special significance this year because consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of the U.S. economy.  If Americans are shopping in full force, expect economic optimism and a mild rebound in the stock market.  Unfortunately for home buyers, this should also lead mortgage rates higher.

By contrast, if sales figures are weak, expect talk of recession to grow.

Black Friday (Shopping)

Geek Trivia: Early bird special
Tech Republic
Jay Garmon, Nov 22, 2005

(Image courtesy: Give Congress Back)

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List of Lenders Participating in the HOPE for Homeowners (H4H) Program

Posted in Real estate by southorangecounty on November 13, 2008

NOTE: Homeowners, contact your existing lender and/or a new lender to discuss how you may qualify for the H4H program.

The lenders listed below have indicated an interest in refinancing loans under the HOPE for Homeowners program.  When contacting any of the lenders listed below, you are strongly encouraged to contact your servicing lender and any subordinate lien holders since their participation is vital for you to refinance into a HOPE for Homeowners mortgage.  It is important to remember that the HOPE for Homeowners program is voluntary and your servicing lender may offer different solutions for avoiding foreclosure. 

If you are experiencing difficulty in communicating with your current servicing lender and/or subordinate lien holders, you may wish to contact a housing counseling agency to ask for advice and assistance in reaching a mutually agreeable solution for avoiding foreclosure.

To view the list of lenders who are participating in the HOPE for Homeowners program click on the link below.  Your browser will open an Excel Spreadsheet. 

The H4H Lender List was updated on October 17, 2008. We will refresh the list on most Fridays.  

List of H4H Participating Lenders

If you are looking to buy or sell a property in South Orange County, I began my career in this area over 32 years ago, and have been through numerous cycles, some just like this one.  I would be pleased to be your Realtor of choice.

Send me an email ( )  or give me a call. 

        Bob Phillips, Altera Real Estate, 949-643-2100.

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