As a young boy growing up in Omaha Nebraska; he quickly developed an appreciation for the wholesome American values of a Midwestern background. At the age of 12, Sam’s family moved to sunny California, where he still resides raising a family of his own.
Sam’s hunger for knowledge has never been satisfied and continues to grow. After graduating from Clayton valley High School in the top percentile of his class, he went on to earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry at UC Davis California, one of the nation’s top public research universities and part of the world’s pre-eminent university system.
He’s an energetic, outgoing individual who likes to exercise and enjoys spending time at the gym, with an emphasis on body building. Sam’s outdoor hobbies include volleyball and scenic nature hikes.
Sam has a fundamentally Zen outlook on life. He looks to build long-term relationships and would like to help everyone he comes in contact with. One of his many goals is to finish an Iron Man Triathlon in Hawaii.
A selfless philanthropist, Sam is actively involved in his community. His tithing includes substantial charitable contributions to the local Food Bank. He organized a food drive during Thanksgiving 2008; he collected well over a ½ ton of food for the Food Bank. His main goal is to help everyone he comes in contact with, including the long-standing dream of building an orphanage and helping to raise 20 kids from the time they are 5 years old until they “graduate from Harvard.” And Sam is just the guy to make it happen, with his caring and generous spirit.
An overwhelming desire to live healthy and act responsibly within his community has led Sam Parwiz to the many joys of a loving family and successful career as one of California’s top luxury Home & Investment Property authorities.
By Gino Blefari
President & CEO
Intero Real Estate Services, Inc.
Oprah, Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs and Madonna. What do all these people have in common? Great charisma. They’re very likeable people; others feel good around them and are greatly influenced by their presence. Most people would say that the charisma they possess could have never been taught. It’s just something they were born with, something only some people are lucky enough to have. Well, the book I’m currently reading may beg to differ.
Charisma, as stated in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “a special magnetic charm or appeal. A personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure.” It’s that quality in a person that helps them lead successful organizations, improve relationships, work a room to their advantage and make an impression in any scenario they might face.
True, it may come naturally to some more than others, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to become more influential and persuasive by following a few guidelines. The Charisma Myth, by Olivia Fox Cabane, gives everyone the tools to create their own charismatic style. The book outlines what Cabane believes to be the main components of charisma; presence, power, and warmth. Then, it offers methods on developing these characteristics, overcoming obstacles in uncomfortable situations, and provides exercises to put these into practice. The book really shows how anyone can develop this characteristic no matter what situation you might find yourself in.
I’m in the process of re-reading The Charisma Myth with my Saturday morning leadership book club. The group includes some friendly faces you might recognize such as David Bergman, Doug Tobin, Gil Troutman, Andy Tse, Jimmy Oyenuga, and Jurgen Weller. Over the next few weeks, as the group and I discuss the book, I’ll be giving you a glimpse into each of the chapters so you too can be given the tools to master the art of personal magnetism.
Luxury Insider: From Paris, With Love!
By Alain Pinel | MAY 1ST, 2013
I am originally from Paris, so allow me to be somewhat partial to the City of Lights where I left –a century ago it feels like- so many wonderful memories and much of my shopping money! I always think of Paris when I write about luxury real estate because it is indeed THE reference in the global market, together with London & New York, and a barometer of what’s going on or what is likely to happen at the high end. After all, France is the most visited country in the world and Paris, according to most polls, is the top-of-list city where super wealthy people would love to own a pad. Many do.
Nobody can talk about the estates market in Paris better than Feau, the leading brokerage in the luxury market. It can be said that they “own” the high end, as they represent better than 70% of the listings over $2.5M in a highly competitive environment. Charles-Marie Jottras, a good friend and CEO of Feau, just sent me the study they put together on the state of affairs at the top of the price pyramid. It is quite an education, one that I would like to share with you.
The first thing that jumps at you when reading the report is the dramatic surge of new listings which has been hitting the Paris market every month for the last 12! .…Exactly the opposite of what most cities in the US have been experiencing over the same period. The surge is not just in the number of properties for sale but in the overall value of the available top heavy stock, as the top end is driving this phenomenon. There was $7 Billion worth of active inventory in the Quarter that just ended…
You may wonder why? Well, one of the crowd-pleasing initiatives that the government has been promoting is to raise taxes on the wealthy. Nice concept to gain popularity here, there & everywhere these days, but the French pushed it to the extreme level, the “guillotine level”, by announcing a…75% tax rate! Granted foreigners are not affected by the new measures, except for capital gains, but the French citizens who own pricey real estate can’t pack their bag fast enough to leave this “fiscal inferno”, hence the explosion of new listings.
Case in point, looking at the entire listings inventory: just in the second quarter of last year, 25% of sellers of $2.5M+ homes were on their way out of “Douce France”. Above $9M, the exodus reaches 44%, including 28% absentee owners for whom the decision is not quite as painful.
Paris is no exception to the rule of supply & demand. When a big wave of listings hits, prices usually adjust downwards. The volume of sales, in Q1, was 20% lighter than that of 2012. No surprise. The good news is that buyers can now pick & choose, and they can even negotiate, which is a pretty new thing in Paris. Some smart buyers are jumping on the opportunity, while many are sitting tight hoping for lower prices yet. Good luck!
So, who is buying these days in the French capital?
Buyers from the Gulf come first. They cannot have enough of Paris. They are pretty busy in London as well. The Russians too are avid of Paris real estate. Price is no object. Only the best. People from the Mediterranean Basin come next, followed by….Us, genuine American buyers with good money and a love for Paris. Could not be better timing to show your love!
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Contracts to purchase previously owned homes rose in March, as the housing market continues to accelerate this year.
The National Association of Realtors said on Monday its Pending Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, rose 1.5 percent to 105.7. Activity in recent months has shown modest improvements, and contracts last month reached the highest level since April 2010.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected signed contracts, which become sales after a month or two, to rise 1.0 percent after a previously reported 0.4 percent slip in February.
The housing upturn is expected to add support to the economy this year although there have been signs of weakness lately.
The inventory of homes for sale remains low, leading to a rise in home prices in most markets. The Realtors group said the market appears to be leveling off due to the supply shortage which has pushed up home values, putting a solid foundation under the housing recovery.
“Contract activity has been in a narrow range in recent months, not from a pause in demand but because of limited supply. Little movement is expected in near-term sale closings, but they should edge up modestly as the year progresses,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun in a statement.
Pending home sales were up 7.0 percent compared to March last year.
(Reporting by Margaret Chadbourn; Editing by James Dalgleish)
(This story was refiled to remove the reference to regional changes in the last paragraph)
The Bay Area’s overheated housing market is restoring thousands of homes to their pre-crash peak values in a ZIP-code-by-ZIP-code recovery that is rapidly spreading from Silicon Valley to the East Bay.
Thirty-four of 185 ZIP codes in five counties have regained or surpassed their bubble-era peak home value or are less than 1 percent from it, according to this newspaper’s analysis of February median values for all homes from online real estate site Zillow.
Another 49 ZIPs are within 15 percent of their previous highs, including 18 in the East Bay. A year ago, only part of leafy Palo Alto had regained the value it lost after Bay Area home values crested in 2006-07.
“Seven or eight years ago, there was really a bubble,” said Richard Green, director of the Lusk Center for Real Estate at the University of Southern California. “Now it’s just good real estate where values are returning to near past peaks.”
Every part of the Bay Area has seen gains in the past year, with Silicon Valley leading the way. But parts of Contra Costa and Alameda counties, where subprime lending was heavy, are still far below their peaks.
The recovery has pulled many homeowners out from underwater — when houses are worth less than the mortgage — and convinced others it may finally be time to sell and move to bigger homes. They’re diving into a fast-moving market in which homes can sell in a day for more than the asking price.
Mike and Lois Lee sold their Danville home for $780,000 in two days this month, after their real estate agent, Mark Kennedy of Empire Realty, told them their house was again worth more than they paid for it. They made $10,000 on the sale, the result of the past year’s rise in home values.
“I had no idea the market had corrected that much,” Mike Lee said.
Kennedy said the couple tried to sell in 2011 but there were no takers, and it might have resulted in a short sale. “I would say that in a year they went from losing money to making money,” he said.
In one Sunnyvale ZIP code that surpassed its bubble-era peak in December, Greg and Daisy Biggers decided in January it was time to make a move. Their family — four children — was outgrowing the home and the market timing looked right. In fact, it couldn’t have been better.
The Biggers family sold their home in less than a week, with all offers above asking price. Then they bought a home in Orinda, paying above the asking price. The whole process, from the decision to move to the purchase of the Orinda home, took eight weeks. Both homes are in escrow, and agents declined to reveal the sales prices before closing.
“When we started looking at the market, we picked up on this up-trend in prices,” Biggers said. “We quickly decided that if we’re going do it, now is the time. We had much higher demand than we had hoped for, which is great. And things are moving really, really quickly.”
Some pricier parts of Berkeley, Pleasanton, Oakland and Orinda are 10 percent or less below their earlier peaks. Not far behind are San Ramon, Moraga, Alameda, Danville and Fremont.
“Property in Dublin is selling at prices you would more commonly associate with some parts of the Peninsula,” said Lanny Baker, president and chief executive of ZipRealty. Baker said prices should hold even as more homes come on the market.
The market is so hot that sales in a week are not unusual. According to the real estate company Redfin, 24 percent of Alameda County listings in March were pending in a week; the numbers were 32 percent in Contra Costa County, 19 percent in San Mateo County and 26 percent in Santa Clara County.
Ally Yang bought a home in Mountain View in a day after losing another home to a higher offer. Her agent, Mark Wong of Alain Pinel Realty, “sent me the listing. I said let’s go check it out. I walked in, it’s a single family, I know the value, I think it’s a good deal.”
She made an offer of $705,000 that afternoon, and it was accepted. “I think in this kind of market you just have to know what you want and go after it,” she said.
Up the Peninsula in a Burlingame ZIP code that surpassed its bubble-era peak in August, Dianna Herrmann decided it was time to downsize and put her historic, 6,000-square-foot home on the market for $3.98 million.
“I watch the real estate market a lot,” Herrmann said. In February, she called her real estate broker. “I said things are overheated, inventory is low, prices are moving up and rates are low. Is this a good time to sell?”
The answer was yes.
Fifteen days later, the house was sold in an all-cash deal for over the asking price.
“The market is faster than ever,” said Burlingame broker Jennifer Tasto. “When a place sells, there’s one person who gets it and two other people replacing that buyer.”
The recovery is in full bloom in San Francisco. The Mission Bay neighborhood, where new luxury condominiums are about all that’s for sale, edged past its prior peak in January, and other parts of the city are nearing their previous highs.
“San Francisco has recovered incredibly,” said Leslie Bauer, an agent who specializes in the South Beach, Yerba Buena and Mission Bay districts. “I would say we’re recovered beyond when the market fell.”
But the data also reflects the stark contrast between the tech-heavy South Bay and Peninsula, where many areas are surpassing their pre-crash peak values, and the far reaches of the East Bay, where home values in some places are 50 percent or more below peaks that were inflated by subprime lending.
Antioch, Pittsburg, Richmond and a ZIP code in East Oakland have a long climb ahead of them. There, values still hover near their bottoms.
Fifteen ZIP codes in Contra Costa County and three in Alameda County are more than 50 percent below their peak median home value, according to Zillow’s data. In one Antioch ZIP, the median value of a home was $177,700, only 18 percent up from an October 2009 bottom of $149,800 and 62 percent below its peak of $473,400 in January 2006.
“We have a ways to go before we recover,” said Luis Salas, a real estate agent in Antioch. “We’re far from the city and there was so much construction the prices went down a lot in Antioch — in some cases more than 50 percent from the peak. But it’s recovering.”
As prices rise in Antioch, some short sales are drawing offers over asking price and becoming regular equity sales, according to Joy Di Ricco, an Antioch real estate agent who has specialized in short sales since the market crash.
She said one client’s home was $100,000 below the amount of the mortgage six months ago.
“I told them hold off,” Di Ricco said. “Sure enough, I think in another 30 days we may have an equity sale.”
Check this out!!!!!
Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Kim Connor with our Saratoga office on her keys to success. Kim is no ordinary Lady or ordinary Realtor…she is truly an Extraordinary Lady and an Extraordinary Realtor in so many ways. After only being full time in real estate for 60 months, check out these statistics:
· Sold 56 homes and earned $1,045,183 in the last twelve months
· 2012 Chairman Circle Award Winner (Top 1% of Intero)
· #1 Contributor to the Intero Foundation in 2012
· Nominated for the 2012 Intero Value Award (Bob Kaufman Award) which is given to the individual who best represents all of the Visions and Values of Intero…what makes Intero different.
Click Here hold on and Kim will share with you how she does it.
Thanks for sharing with everyone at Intero Kim. It is one of the many things that makes you truly Extraordinary!!!!
Existing-home sales, prices and inventory saw dramatic changes in 2012 reminiscent of the housing boom, statisticsreleased today by the National Association of Realtors show.
At 4.65 million units, 2012 existing-home sales were up 9.2 percent from 2011, according to NAR’s preliminary totals for the year. That would be the highest volume since 2007, when 5.03 million were sold.
Bolstered by low inventories, the national median existing-home price was up 11.5 percent from a year ago in December, to $180,800. December saw the 10th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains, a trend not seen since May 2006.
For 2012 as a whole, the national median existing-home price was up 6.3 percent, to $176,600, the largest annual price gain since prices surged by 12.4 percent in 2005.
At 1.82 million units at the end of December, existing-home inventory now represents a 4.4-month supply, the lowest level since May 2005, near the peak of the housing boom.
“Likely job creation and household formation will likely fuel (market) growth,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a statement. “Both sales and prices will again be higher in 2013.”
Source: Calculated Risk blog
A survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released today showed builder confidence holding steady in January at the highest level since April 2006.
“Conditions in the housing market look much better now than at the beginning of 2012, and an increasing number of housing markets are showing signs of recovery, which should bode well for future home sales later this year,” said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg in a statement.
Existing-home sales, which make up about 90 percent of total home sales, slipped 1 percent from November to December, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million units.
Existing homes were on the market for a median of 73 days in December — up from 70 days in November, but down from 99 days in December 2011. About a third of existing homes for sale in December were on the market for less than a month, NAR noted.
First-time buyers accounted for 30 percent of purchasers in December, unchanged from November.
Distressed homes, with an even split between foreclosures and short sales, accounted for 24 percent of all existing-home sales in December — up from 22 percent in November, but down from December 2011’s 32 percent. Foreclosures and short sales sold for 17 percent and 16 percent, respectively, below market value.
All-cash deals accounted for 29 percent of December’s sales, just 2 percentage points below last December’s portion. Investors accounted for 21 percent of existing-home sales in October.
Existing-home sales, December 2012
Seasonally adjusted annual rate4.94 million% change from December 2011+12.8%% change from November 2012-1.0%
National median price$180,800% change from December 2011+11.5%
Unsold inventory (months’ supply)4.4
Share of all-cash buyers29%Share of investor buyers21%Share of first-time buyers30%Share of distressed sales24%
Source: National Association of Realtors
Regionally, the Midwest led the way with a 15.5 percent year-over-year increase to an annual pace of 1.12 million units and a median price of $144,800, up 12.3 percent from last December.
The South saw home sales increase 14.7 percent from a year ago in December to a yearly pace of 1.95 million units, with a median price up 4.6 percent, on an annual basis, to $161,100.
Existing-home sales in the Northeast were up 10.3 percent in December to an annual pace of 640,000 units from December 2011. The median sales price was up, too, to $231,600, 5.3 percent above last December’s median price.
In the West, sales were up 8.8 percent from a year ago to an annual rate of 1.23 million units in December, and the median price jumped 17.3 percent from last December to $239,900, the largest yearly proportional price jump of any region.
By Alain Pinel
General Manager of Intero Prestigio international
Intero Real Estate Services, Inc.
Is anybody getting a mortgage to buy a house these days? Just kidding of course! Yes, the great majority of buyers need or choose to get a loan. Not a bad deal, really, when you pay only a skinny rate today to borrow the bank’s money and leverage it for years and years. The question, however, is not as silly as it might appear. The fact is that the percentage of homes which were purchased without mortgage financing more than doubled in just the last 5 years!
The weekend Wall Street Journal, using a DataQuick study across 55 large metropolitan areas, reports that 36% of homes sold last year were all-cash deals. The percentage was short of 30% in ‘09 and was….15% in ‘07! The WSJ notes that, even though the number of sales is back to 2007 levels, the mortgage activity is only a fraction of what it was back then. In the last quarter, mortgage originations totaled $123 billion, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The number was $226 billion in ‘07.
A big reason for this phenomenon is the huge appetite that investors of all sizes have shown for income property. As we mentioned here many times over the year, investors have been gobbling up distressed-price homes all over the country to rent them out, often with positive cash-flow right from the start. No better return on the money in today’s economy. After a while, if prices keep on rising, these investors may want to put their houses back on the market to benefit from the appreciation.
“Amid uncertainty, cash is king.” This was the title of a segment of the Luxury Portfolio’s white paper referred to in my previous blog. The survey, done by the Harrison Group, remarks that the savings rate among the wealthy stands at 23%, up from 11% in ‘07. Also significant is the fact that 63% is in money markets rather than financial markets (37%), the exact opposite of 2007. 31% of affluent and wealthy households owe nothing on their primary home and 48% of second home owners own their homes outright.
All year-long, we have seen a burst of cash offers in the most affluent markets. In a multiple-offer environment, an all-cash deal obviously gives the buyer a greater chance to win and, sometimes, a stronger position to negotiate a better price. It’s a double-win. Buyers can later refinance if they so wish, to leverage the bank’s money and recoup their valuable cash.
Some sellers are unimpressed by cash; after all, an offer is almost always all cash to them anyway, whether the money comes straight from the buyer’s account or from the bank’s own cash register. It is nonetheless reassuring to know that the buyer can cut a check for the whole thing. It goes a long way towards eliminating worries about the property not appraising for full-price, a contingency which has become largely meaningless in a market where values go up month after month. Even if an appraisal were to come short, cash covers the difference. No sweat. Cash is what you call peace of mind today, for both sellers and buyers!