Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

Top 10 Predictions for Housing in 2013: RE/MAX Co-Founder Sees 2013 as the Best in Years

by Jorge Gonzalez, ABR, CDPE, CRS, GRI


The national housing market made a strong rebound in 2012 and that positive trend is expected to continue in the New Year, according to RE/MAX Co-Founder and Chairman Dave Liniger

"Although interest rates have been at historic lows, they have not been the driving force behind this recovery," said Liniger. "There's no single factor driving this market; it's been a combination of low prices, low inventory, improving consumer confidence and a huge pent-up demand. That was true throughout 2012 and will continue to be true in 2013."

Many consumers now understand what real estate professionals have known for the last year, a number of related factors have combined to create a favorable opportunity for homebuyers and investors to purchase residential properties.

"The 2013 situation is so unique that those of us who've worked in real estate for many years have never seen opportunities like this," Liniger added.

Dave Liniger's Top 10 Real Estate Predictions for 2013 are:
1. More Homebuyers and Sellers come back to the market.
2. Homes Sales will rise by 6-7% and Prices rise by 3-4%.
3. The inventory of homes for sale will hit a bottom.
4. Higher priced homes begin to sell.
5. Distressed property numbers continue to fall.
6. Shadow inventory continues to fall.
7. The number of Short Sale closings will rise to a peak.
8. Record low mortgage rates rise slightly by year-end.
9. Lending remains tight.
10. Home affordability remains the best in years.

While Liniger feels that 2013 could be the best year in real estate in many years, he admits that the recovery is fragile and still faces some obstacles. In his video presentation, he states that tight lending, government regulation and the overall economy still have the potential to negatively impact housing.

However, Liniger also believes that "if housing can stay on the road to recovery, it's possible that it can pull the rest of the economy along with it."

In recent years, Liniger has been a highly vocal advocate for the home buying and selling consumer, and real estate professionals. He has supported reforms aimed at helping troubled homeowners avoid foreclosure and streamlining the Short Sale process.

In October, his open letter to candidates Obama and Romney called for a continuation of mortgage interest deductions, an extension of the Debt Relief Act and more reasonable regulations on mortgage lending.

The Fiscal Cliff Agreement left the deductions mostly intact and extended the Debt Relief Act until the end of 2013. These moves support the American dream of home ownership, help distressed families avoid foreclosure and promote a sustainable housing recovery.

Freddie Mac - Making Home Affordable Video

by Jorge Gonzalez, ABR, CRS, GRI

Freddie Mac put together a new video on their website to help Virginia Beach area homeowners understand the new “Making Home Affordable” program.  In this video, Ingrid Beckles, Senior Vice President, Freddie Mac, explains how borrowers can determine their eligibility for “Making Home Affordable” and use the plan to refinance their current mortgage, or if they’re already behind on their loan or facing a financial hardship, get a modification that makes their mortgage more affordable.  Click here to access the video.


Should Buyers Pay Money To Subscribe To Foreclosure Websites?

by Jorge Gonzalez, ABR, CRS, GRI

Frankly, my opinion on paying good money to subscribe to a foreclosure website is it is basically a waste of money and I can provide a buyer with a list of foreclosure and short sale homes that are actually for sale for free.  I will explain this furhter, but let's discuss the issues with foreclosure websites first.

The problem with foreclosure websites is they draw their info from public notices, city records and the like for free.  Then they repackage the information to sell to the public on the internet. This is perfectly legal, but not always very helpful to buyers. A buyer would have to do all the legwork trying figure out what is good and what is not. For most buyers, they do not have the time or know how to do this. To make matters worse, not all homes on these sites even make it to foreclosure to begin with.

The real drawback to paying money to subscribe to a foreclosure website is the information is not always accurate either.  I will share with you a great example of this.  A friend of my mine owns several investment properties.  Her mortgage company recently sold her loans to another mortgage company, and the new company has messed up the payment processing for her accounts.  She has actually paid the mortgages on time, but her rental properties are showing up on these sites as going into foreclosure for non-payment.  Now some prospective buyers are writing her tenants letters and knocking on their doors to get into the houses to find out how to buy them.  

My advice to buyers is to just focus on all homes that are actually listed for sale.  You also need to understand that just because it is a foreclosure does not make it a great deal either. Please remember foreclosure homes have probably been neglected for a long time, since the owner could not pay their mortgage it is unlikely they kept up with preventive maintenance or other repairs either.  Many will have undisclosed problems and most will require some investment and sweat equity to bring them up to par. For some buyers, it may just be a better idea to buy a non-foreclosure home without having to deal with the unknown factors.  

Most of legitimate properties for sale that are foreclosures and short sales are listed in the MLS.  I have a program that can provide buyers with automatic daily e-mail of listings of the homes in the Virginia Beach area and other Hampton Roads cities are listed as bank repos, short sales, and Government owned VA and HUD homes and I can do this for you for FREE. The best part is you would know about these homes before most agents and other buyers even realize these homes are for sale. All you need to do is let me know what you are looking for and I can set it up for you today!

If you would like to discuss the issue further or you would like to receive foreclosure listings by e-mail, please drop me a line at


Congress has included language in the economic stimulus package to compensate service members who sell their home at a loss or have been foreclosed upon because they were forced to move after a base closure, reassignment or a combat wound required them to be relocated near a health facility. The program also covers surviving spouses of those killed in combat.  Under the new provision, the government will cover 95 percent of a loss if a service member is forced to sell. The government can also choose to acquire the title of a home by paying off the balance of a service member's mortgage or paying the owner up to 90 percent of the home's previous value. No dollar ceiling has been set.  Click here to read more in a recent Virginian-Pilot article.

Source: Center For Real Estate Newsletter


4 Myths And 33 Facts About Real Estate Today


Mainstream Media Myth: Everybody is losing their house.

1. The US average foreclosure rate is 2.47%.
2. All of our markets (VA, MD, DC) have a foreclosure rate of less than two percent.
3. Foreclosure rates are moderate. Virginia ranks about 24th in foreclosure rates nationwide.
4. Only 7% of home loans in Virginia are sub-prime. Over half of Virginia foreclosures are on sub-prime loans.

Mainstream Media Myth: Everybody has a house to sell.

5. New home inventory topped out during the second quarter of 2006 and is thirty percent less today than it was then.
6. The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in June, rose 7.4 percent in August to 93.4 from an upwardly revised index of 87.0 in July. The August reading was 8.8 percent higher than a year earlier, and the highest level since 101.4 in June 2007. Economists polled by Reuters ahead of the report were expecting pending home sales to drop by 1.8 percent.
7. Nationally, home sales were up 3.1 percent in August over July. Single family prices were up 1.1 percent in June from May.
8. Virginia second quarter (08) sales were up 48% over the first quarter (08).
9. Virginia median home prices were up six percent in the second quarter (08).
10. Single family inventory fell in Washington DC about 7.5% from April 08 to August 08.
11. Single family inventory fell in Montgomery County, MD about 7.5% from April 08 to August 08.
12. Sales are up and prices are down in many of our markets:
2nd Qtr 08 vs 2nd Qtr 07
MLS Area Average Price Sales Pending Sales
Dulles -18% + 7% + 37%
NVAR -14% -7% + 10%
Prince William -34% + 72% + 129%
Richmond Metro -2% -23% -26%
Roanoke Valley 0 % -22% N/A
Hampton Roads -2% -21% -15%

Mainstream Media Myth: The sky is falling with no end in sight.

13. The DC metro area added 35,000+ jobs from July 2007 to July 2008. This ranked fourth out of the fifteen largest metro areas. Nine areas had job loss or little noticeable gain.
14. The DC metro area has the lowest unemployment rate out of the fifteen largest metro areas and about two percentage points less than the national average.
15. Virginia is expected to add 19,000 jobs in 2008.
16. The average price of a home in Maryland has grown 9.3% since 1999.
17. People who purchased homes six years ago have, on average, seen the value of their homes rise over 24 percent, despite recent price declines.

Mainstream Media Myth: Now is a terrible time to buy.

18. On Tuesday, September 30, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine called it a good time to buy a home in Virginia.
19. The average price of a home in Maryland has grown 9.3% since 1999.
20. The average renter’s net worth: $4,800. The average homeowner’s net worth: $171,000
21. In a recent survey, 8 out of 10 economists stated they believed housing prices would be higher five years from now.
22. An overwhelming majority of economists surveyed - by a better than 5-to-1 ratio - agreed with the statement, “A person can increase their long-term wealth by purchasing a house rather than renting.”
23. Over the past 30 years, home values have risen more than 6 percent annually.
24. People who purchased homes six years ago have, on average, seen the value of their homes rise over 24 percent, despite recent price declines.
25. On average, the value of a home doubles nearly every ten years.
26. 60 percent of the average homeowner’s wealth comes from their home’s equity.
27. Homeowners benefit from the power of leverage. At an annual appreciation rate of 5 percent, a 10 percent down payment on a home will return 94 percent after three years. After five years, it increases to 225 percent. After ten, 623 percent.


28. Unlike many US businesses, Allegiance is not dependent on lines of credit.
29. Make no mistake: Allegiance is here for the long term.Division President Brian Sivak said it well the other day: “We became RE/MAX Allegiance to weather storms like this. Continue to use the Allegiance umbrella to stay out of the elements and together we will make it to clearer skies!”


30. The median selling price of a single family FSBO in Virginia was $249,500 compared with $313,400 for REALTOR assisted home sales. Is 26% more for a seller’s home worth paying a commission for? I’d like to think so.
31. Virginia’s population is expected to grow by 500,000 by 2010.
32. RE/MAX Associates averaged 39 percent more transactions than our nearest national competitor.
33. Keller Williams Associates averaged $1.1 million in sales in 2007. Long and Foster averaged $2.1 million. Allegiance Associates averaged $3.5 million.

Source: Charlie Bengel, Jr., CEO of RE/MAX Allegiance

Virginia Foreclosure Prevention Task Force

by Jorge Gonzalez, ABR, CRS, GRI

The Commonwealth of Virginia has created an informative website to help homeowners who are facing the possibility of foreclosure and to help them be more proactive in preventing foreclosure.   You can find out more about preventing foreclosure at this website:

From my own past experience with homeowners in this situation is that they are embarrassed and most wait too long to do anything about it. One resource that should be helpful on this website is the list of major mortgage companies and the proper phone numbers to call for assistance.  In many cases, the problem when an owner calls is they never speak to the correct department. 

If you wish to discuss your options or a possible short sale to prevent a foreclosure, please feel free to contact me by e-mail at or at 757-287-3400.  Please note their is no reason to be embarrassed about your situation, it is becoming more common than ever before. 


Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

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Jorge Gonzalez primarily provides Real Estate and Property Management services for rental properties for the following areas of Hampton Roads:

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