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    Stacey Boyer
    Valley Center, CA

    I think the most noticeable change we have seen in the real estate market the past two quarters is the acceptance of a “new reality” for many buyers and sellers. The shock of the mortgage meltdown is wearing off and we have all had to make adjustments accordingly. That being said we have all had to move on and move forward with our lives. In Valley Center we have the luxury of having our horses at home and more and more people are recognizing the cost effectiveness of this. Now you can buy a very nice house on 2+ acres with enough room for a barn, small arena and access to trails for between $350,000-$450,000 dollars. Buyers are taking notice of the savings here. That in combination with still very low interest rates has made for incredible affordability. My advise to buyers is to make your move before interest rates go up. Price is one thing, but buyers often overlook the savings just one or two percent can make on your monthly payments — not to mention the life of your loan. Conversely my advise to sellers is don’t sell if you don’t absolutely have to. At this point in time, things have settled enough to allow for the huge price corrections. If you are not too upside-down by now, then chances are that giving it a year or two will probably work in your favor. Hang in there!

    Doug Mueller
    Mariposa, CA

    I am located in Mariposa, a rural remote area located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with close proximity to Yosemite National Park. There is little industry here and the local economics of the area lend itself primarily to tourism. While market values for the most part are still depressed, I’m seeing much more activity as far as buyers go. In fact I’ve seen more activity in the past 90 days than I saw all last year which I feel is a positive sign. We can only hope that perhaps we’ve hit bottom and that we’re starting our climb out of this mess.

    Elizabeth Barbour
    Temecula, CA

    Statistics in our local MLS board show that both the median and average prices of homes in Riverside County have risen slightly over a two-year period. The same applies for the Days on Market. Because prices are still lower than they were during the heyday, it’s a great time to buy. While at the same time, sellers are seeing a moderate increase.

    Christine Lightheart
    Topanga, CA

    There were more properties sold in 2010 then in 2009 with an increase in median home price. However, the value of property seems to be directly related to the number of houses sold. This in and of itself has improved our median number. Seems like 2011 is off to a good start, too.

    Catherine Brown-Swai
    Peyton, CO

    People are beginning to realize that now is the time to buy. Interest rates are edging up as well as prices (in certain areas). My area, Colorado Springs, has seen approximately a two percent price increase. The savvy buyer is beginning to make a move. My quickest selling listing ever was a horse property east of Colorado Springs that went under contract in six days, and this was in a “down” market.

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