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I wanted to share this article I found at I am sharing this as a way for us to be informed and updated with the real estate industry. After all, real estate is an investment and we are doing our best to keep you in the loop.

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Title: 7 Crucial Areas a Home Inspector Checklist Doesn't Cover

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U.S. Home Prices Predicted to Rise 4.7 Percent in Coming 12 Months


Irvine Edition | By WPJ Staff |


CoreLogic's July 2015 Home Price Index (HPI) is reporting that U.S. home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased by 6.9 percent in July 2015 compared with July 2014. On a month-over-month basis, home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased by 1.7 percent in July 2015 compared with June 2015.

Including distressed sales, only Colorado has more than 10 percent year-over-year growth. Additionally, only 10 states have experienced increased growth in the last year that matched or surpassed the nation as a whole; those states are: Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Nevada, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Washington. Fifteen states reached new price peaks since January 1976 when the index began including Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas. Only two states experienced home price depreciation: Massachusetts (-2.1 percent) and Mississippi (-0.8 percent).

Excluding distressed sales, home prices increased by 6.7 percent in July 2015 compared with July 2014 and increased by 1.5 percent month over month compared with June 2015. Excluding distressed sales, only West Virginia (-0.3 percent) and Vermont (-0.1 percent) showed year-over-year home price depreciation in July. Distressed sales include short sales and real estate-owned (REO) transactions.

The CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices, including distressed sales, are projected to increase by 0.5 percent month over month from July 2015 to August 2015 and by 4.7 percent** on a year-over-year basis from July 2015 to July 2016. Excluding distressed sales, home prices are projected to increase by 0.4 percent month over month from July 2015 to August 2015 and by 4.6 percent** year over year from July 2015 to July 2016. The CoreLogic HPI Forecast is a projection of home prices using the CoreLogic HPI and other economic variables. Values are derived from state-level forecasts by weighting indices according to the number of owner-occupied households for each state.

"Home sales continued their brisk rebound in July and home prices reflected that, up 6.9 percent from a year ago," said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic based in Irvine, Ca. "Over the same period, the National Association of Realtors reported existing sales up 10 percent and the Census Bureau reported new home sales up 26 percent in July."

"Low mortgage rates and stronger consumer confidence are supporting a resurgence in home sales of late," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "Adding to overall housing demand is the benefit of a better labor market which has provided millennials the financial independence to form new households and escape ever rising rental costs."

Highlights as of July 2015:

  • Including distressed sales, the five states with the highest home price appreciation were: Colorado (+10.4 percent), Washington (+9.9 percent), Nevada (+9.1 percent), Hawaii (+8.9 percent) and Oregon (+8.8 percent).
  • Excluding distressed sales, the five states with the highest home price appreciation were: Colorado (+10.1 percent), Washington (+9.5 percent), Nevada (+9.1 percent), Oregon (+9.1 percent) and New York (+9 percent).
  • Including distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change in the national HPI (from April 2006 to July 2015) was -6.6 percent. Excluding distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change for the same period was -3.5 percent.
  • Including distressed transactions, the five states with the largest peak-to-current declines were: Nevada (-30.6 percent), Florida (-28.1 percent), Arizona (-25.1 percent), Rhode Island (-24.2 percent) and Maryland (-20.2 percent).

– See more at:

No matter the size of your home or the number of closets you have, everyone is looking for more storage space. And while you may think getting the storage you need means moving or turning an entire bedroom into a new closet, there are ways to maximize the space you have.

Use Space Bags

The idea of vacuum-sealing your linens and winter clothes may seem strange, but it actually works. Does that mean you should go out and buy a dozen more down comforters? Probably not. But at least you'll have a way to store them if you do.

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Home Sellers Advice: List It or SIY?


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If recently-approved legislation has its intended effects, clarity will have finally been achieved regarding the rules for the use of team names by California real estate licensees. Whether there will be compliance with those rules may be another matter altogether.


The legislation, Senate Bill 146 (Galgiani), was approved by the Governor July 16. It is the culmination of efforts initiated by the Real Estate Commissioner in early 2013. The problem was, and in many instances still is, that consumers were frequently unable to determine the identity of the agent(s) or responsible party behind a team name. For example, if a consumer had a problem with something that was being done by the Surf's-Up Team, he might have had no way of connecting that team to a particular brokerage or office. Nor would the Bureau of Real Estate (BRE).

The BRE's initial solution was to require that team names be registered with the county as a fictitious business name (FBN), often referred to as a DBA (for "doing business as"). The FBN would be owned by the broker, but could, by contract, be used by a particular agent or agents. This, however, proved more than a little cumbersome. Ensuing legislation (AB 2018) sought to make matters more workable by stipulating that the most common types of team names — those containing the surname of a team member — did not have to be registered as an FBN.

Because of continuing unclarity, however, this year's SB 146 was introduced. Now that it has passed there should be a set of rules that are clear and workable.

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Written by  on Thursday, 20 August 2015


Getting a purchase closed in today's market is complex. The real estate market has changed greatly from only a few years ago. Buyers face many more hurdles including stricter financing, low housing supplies, higher mortgage rates, and rising prices.

To negotiate today's challenges, you need a real estate sales professional to help you close the deal. A good real estate professional understands current market conditions. He or she has house-by-house neighborhood experience and can help you obtain the right home at the best price and terms.

Your agent can help you find a home quickly. Not only do real estate agents have access to the local multiple listing service, they also share knowledge of homes coming onto the market with their colleagues. Your real estate professional will tell others about your requirements for a home so they can also be on the lookout for you.

In fact, networking is one of the biggest industry advantages. Many homes are bought and sold without a sign ever going into the yard. But, for buyers to be shown the latest homes on the market, or to hear about homes about to come onto the market, there has to be a strong relationship between the buyer and the real estate professional.

If you want to be the buyer positioned to make first and best offers on the most desirable homes, make certain your agent knows you are committed. How do you show you're serious? There are several ways.

Get prequalified with a lender. Share your financial records so you know exactly how much home you can buy. Your agent won't go over your limit because it would be a waste of time to show you homes you can't afford to buy.

Work with only one agent. You can do this by signing a buyer's representation agreement, if it's customary in your area. If not, show your loyalty by telling other agents you may meet at open houses or socially that you are represented and give them your agent's name.

Don't shop for homes without your agent. If you want to look at open houses or builder homes, invite your agent to go along. If your agent can't go, make sure you register your agent's name with builder sales reps and open house sellers' agents.



Be loyal. Real estate professionals work primarily on commission. If the deal of the century is about to come on the market, who do you think your agent will tell first – the buyer with five other agents or the buyer who is loyal? If you're playing agents against each other thinking you'll get people to work for free and that you'll have your pick of homes to choose, you're wrong. Agents talk, and they'll find out they're working for the same buyer. If you want great service, show appreciation, confidence, and commitment.

Once you find the house you want, the work really begins. You'll have to navigate negotiations, loan approval, seller's disclosures, inspections with environmental and structural reports, and so on. From helping you make a reasonable offer, to providing for the discovery and disclosure of material facts, your agent can help protect your interests.

Buyers and sellers are natural adversaries. Agents must be skilled negotiators and problem solvers, as well as anticipate problems before they happen. Pride, ignorance, or stubbornness can get in the way of a fair deal for both sides.

Your agent will share your risk, and will make sure you go into any home purchase with your eyes wide open. Take advantage of the greatest homebuying resource available — your own real estate agent.



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Written by Jaymi Naciri on Wednesday, 19 August 2015 2:27 pm

Real estate is serious business, and it can be easy to forget when we're involved in a complicated and emotional financial transaction that the person we're working with is just that…a person. An agent might not always show you when he's feeling disrespected or offended, but you may pay for it—literally. Establishing a good relationship early on and maintaining it through honesty, open communication and mutual respect is key to a successful transaction. You can help ensure that happens by watching what you say.

1. That price is ridiculous.

If you're dealing with a professional agent, especially one who has a good track record in the business, it's fair to assume she's done her homework on comparables and is recommending an offer price based on the local market and your financial situation. Most agents are going to expect some conversation to take place around pricing, but insisting on a price simply because it's what you want to pay doesn't typically play out well.

2. But Zillow said my house is worth $40,000 more than what you're telling me.

Zillow has become an industry juggernaut. While their home pricing estimates, known as "Zestimates," aim to inform buyers and sellers, they've been proven to be off by a whopping amount—somewhere between the 8% Zillow claims and upwards of 20%, 40%, even 61% depending on the house and the location, according to a recent L.A. Times report,said Housingwire.

3. I know what my home is worth.

Not really. Your estimation of your home's worth may be based on neighborhood comps, but it's probably also colored by your emotions or by what you need to make from the sale. It's hard to separate out your personal connection. That's why it's important to let your Realtor be an impartial professional.

USA Today

4. I have a perfect credit score.

"Unless you're part of the 0.5% of consumers who reach the 850 mark, it's time to be real about your credit score and your financial ability to buy a home," said Agent Ace.

Overvaluing your credit, your down payment, or any other aspect of your buying ability, is pointless. Everything is going to come out during the buying process anyway.

5. I'm not going to bother getting pre-approved.

To an agent, this can indicate that you're not a serious buyer. Or that you don't understand the process.

In tight markets, you're at a disadvantage if you aren't ready to pull the trigger right away when you find a house. You could very well lose out because another buyer was ready with their pre-approval and you were just getting in touch with your lender.

And, as Lighter Side of Real Estate points out, "An agent worth his or her salt won't agree to invest countless hours showing homes to someone who isn't approved for a loan."

6. I have between $200,000 and $2,000,000 to spend with any number of bedrooms in any location.

Open-ended budgets and limitless expectations are great, but giving your agent a little more guidance can help him zero in on viable options. When you have no idea where or what you want to buy, most agents won't embrace the idea of spending countless hours trying to narrow it down.

7. I'm not doing any repairs.

Sellers want to think their house is perfect, but inspections may show otherwise. Drawing a line before you even know what problems may exist can be frustrating for an agent. It's her job to get you the best possible price, but unreasonable expectations make that more difficult.

GruntWorks Home Services

8. You can cut your commission. I mean, you make a ton of money.

While commissions are often negotiable, assuming an agent will cut it—especially when they've been approached in a callous or sarcastic manner, isn't the way to go about getting what you want.

9. I'm not ready to buy…I just wanted to see a few homes.

People looooove having their time wasted. Especially busy agents who could be out dealing with serious buyers instead of showing homes to someone who isn't sure they're even in the market.

"The best real estate agents are busy individuals for a reason. Their services are highly in demand and thus their time is valuable," said Agent Ace. "It's ok if you're just looking around and aren't sure whether or not you're ready to take the leap; but if that's the case, be upfront at the start not after several showings."

10. Can you give me some advice about my house? I don't want to hire an agent.

Most people wouldn't approach a CPA to do their taxes without hiring him or expect a lawyer to write up a divorce agreement without paying, but real estate agents often yield questions from people looking for free advice. Most will answer a question or two, but there is a limit.

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Whispering Palms Home Sells For Top Dollar On Same Day.

Avenida Brisa golf course frontage sells at record price in Whispering Palms.

Whispering Palms Golf Course Frontage Homes Sells Full Price.

Whispering Palms Golf Course Frontage Homes Sells Full Price.

Homes sales as well as the weather is heating up in August! The Biszantz Connection listed one of the finest single story home in Whispering Palms last Friday and it sold on Saturday at full price. This home at 3895 Avenida is situated on one of the finest lots that has panoramic views of the South toward Fairbanks Country Club as well as to the East and North. 3895 Avenida Brisa will close on mid September driving the sales per square footage ratio of golf course frontages past the $591 a square foot! The Biszantz Connection has another Whispering Palms golf course frontage home coming on the market next week on Avenida Calma in Whispering Palms. Please call 619-417-4655 for a private showing before it gets sold!


The view from Avenida Brisa

The view from Avenida Brisa

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It’s getting harder for people to afford rents, but paying a mortgage is still more affordable on a monthly basis than it was in the years before the housing crisis.

Zillow’s newest affordability report found that rents hit their least-affordable point to date in the second quarter of 2015. U.S. renters can now expect to spend 30.2 percent of their monthly income on rent payments.

In certain markets, the problem is even worse. Renters in high demand markets like Los Angeles, San Jose, Miami and San Francisco can expect to spend more than 40 percent of their monthly income on rent — up over 10 percentage points from historical norms.

Meanwhile, mortgages continue to be affordable for many. Buyers now should expect to spend 15.1 percent of their income on a mortgage payment. In the years before the real estate bubble and burst, borrowers could expect to spend around 21.3 percent of their monthly income on a mortgage payment.

Blog_Q2_2015_Affordability_Zillow_2015_b_02Even if mortgage rates go up to six percent, buyers in most metros can still expect to spend less than 30 percent of their income on mortgage payments, according to Zillow’s quarterly report.

With mortgages being more affordable than rents, it’s a good time to buy — as long as you can afford a down payment, said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell.

“There are good reasons to rent temporarily — when you move to a new city, for example — but from an affordability perspective, rents are crazy right now,” Gudell said. “If you can possibly come up with a down payment, then it’s a good time to buy a home and start putting your money toward a mortgage.”

However, saving for a down payment can be difficult when rents are unaffordable. Some overdrawn renters are skimping on health care, let alone saving to buy a home.

For more information on rental and mortgage affordability, check out Zillow Research.

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