California Real Estate News & Market Information

California is a diverse state, but is vastly different from North to Central to Southern California.  There are a lot of reasons to be in California, from the weather to the State's beauty and culture.  In our Blog you will find information on cities and counties as well as statistics on the health of the state's real estate industry.  You will likely find investing in California real estate to be quite lucrative.

We will explore real estate loans as well as trends in California real estate.

We encourage you to ask questions and participate as we delve into a variety of issues related to real estate and real estate investing.

Feb. 18, 2020

Top 10 Things to Look for When You Are House Hunting

Top 10 Things to Look for When You Are House Hunting

A stunning living room

When thinking about buying a home, this list can help get your search off on the right foot. While the number of rooms, the condition of the kitchen, and the size of the yard are important, there are other things to think over before you make an offer. Consider these factors.

The Location

They say that the three most important things to think about when buying are home are location, location, location. You can live with almost any imperfection in a home if you love the neighborhood and your neighbors. You can change almost everything else. But, once bought, you cannot change your home's location. When you go house hunting, consider any potential home's proximity to your work, the charm of the neighborhood, how the home is situated on the lot, ease of access, noise from neighbors, traffic, and pets, as well as access to parks, shopping, schools, and public transportation.

The Site

 

Beyond location, look at the site of the home. If the home is on a hill, does it have a view, a walkout basement, or lots of stairs to climb? Do neighbors' windows look directly into the home? Is the yard suitable for kids, pets, gardening, or other uses? Is access to the property safe regarding driveway elevation or stairs to the front door?

The Neighborhood

Be sure the neighborhood, and not just the house, meets your expectations. They say that you should own the smallest home in the nicest neighborhood that you can afford. You'll have a great view! Drive around on weekdays and weekends, during the day and in the evening. Are homes in the neighborhood consistent in size and features? Do the neighbors keep the yards clean and tidy, or are there old cars and trash around? Is the neighborhood safe enough for people to walk, run, or bike, and are there children playing in the yards?

The Home's Curb Appeal

 

Your home should reflect your lifestyle. Do you live a laid-back life? Then you might not want a formal Victorian or Tudor-style home. Something simpler and more contemporary might be in order. Look at the exterior features. A brick home is easier to maintain, unless, of course, you live in an earthquake-prone area. Ask yourself whether the roof in good condition. Is the landscaping attractive and are the sidewalks leading to the home safe?

The Size and the Floor Plan

You may be thinking about buying your dream home. But is your dream home impractical? Do you need four bedrooms and four baths when you live alone? A large home can give you the extra space you've always wanted for a home office or crafts or art projects. But you'll pay higher heating bills and have higher taxes. It will take more furniture to fill it and money to decorate. Think about how the new home space will be used and whether it will fit your lifestyle now and in the future.

The Bedrooms and Bathrooms

Decide how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need, and only look at homes that meet your criteria. It would be a shame to fall in love with a cozy, charming cottage that isn't big enough. An extra bedroom is always a plus, as it can be used for a home office, craft studio, or guest room. If you think you'll be adding more room later, be sure to consult an architect who can advise you on space planning, lot usage, and city regulations.

The Kitchen

 

If the kitchen is the heart of your home, don't settle for a home with a kitchen that won't work. You can always remodel, but it's very costly. Can you replace cabinet faces and countertops? Will an inexpensive makeover be sufficient? Don't worry about appliances, as they can usually be easily replaced.

The Closets and Storage

Older homes tend to have little closets and not a lot of storage space. If you have lots of sports equipment, craft supplies, out-of-season clothes, and holiday decorations, be sure you know where all this will go in your new home. Newer homes tend to have big closets and lots of storage. You can always add storage space, but you might have to sacrifice living space in your rooms.

The Windows and Lighting

Do you love a bright sunny room or do you love privacy? Look at home with light and sunshine in mind. Look at the locations of electrical outlets and fixtures. Will they accommodate your lighting needs? Is there recessed lighting in the kitchen, cove lighting in the family room and a lovely chandelier in the dining room? If not, you can add them later, but it's nice to have it in place when you move in.

The Finishing Touches

Sometimes the simplest home looks spectacular thanks to the installed moldings, hardware, and fireplace. If these elements are important to you, look for them while house hunting or be ready to add them after you move in.

 

If you keep these specific elements of a home in mind, your house hunting will be more successful, and you'll likely end up with the home of your dreams.

 

Feb. 17, 2020

The Overlooked Financial Advantages of Homeowernship

The Overlooked Financial Advantages of Homeownership

There are many clear financial benefits to owning a home: increasing equity, building net worth, growing appreciation, and more. If you’re a renter, it’s never too early to make a plan for how homeownership can propel you toward a stronger future. Here’s a dive into three often-overlooked financial benefits of homeownership and how preparing for them now can steer you in the direction of greater stability, savings, and predictability.

1. You Won’t Always Have a Monthly Housing Payment

According to a recent article by the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“If you’ve been a lifelong renter, this may sound like a foreign concept, but believe it or not, one day you won’t have a monthly housing payment. Unlike renting, you will eventually pay off your mortgage and your monthly payments will be funding other (possibly more fun) things.”

As a homeowner, someday you can eliminate the monthly payment you make on your house. That’s a huge win and a big factor in how homeownership can drive stability and savings in your life. As soon as you buy a home, your monthly housing costs will begin to work for you as forced savings, coming in the form of equity. As you build equity and grow your net worth, you can continue to reinvest those savings into your future, maybe even by buying that next dream home. The possibilities are truly endless.

2. Homeownership Is a Tax Break

One thing people who have never owned a home don’t always think about are the tax advantages of homeownership. The same piece states:

“Both the interest and property tax portion of your mortgage is a tax deduction. As long as the balance of your mortgage is less than the total price of your home, the interest is 100% deductible on your tax return.”

Whether you’re living in your first home or your fifth, it’s a huge financial advantage to have some tax relief tied to the interest you pay each year. It’s one thing you definitely don’t get when you’re renting. Be sure to work with a tax professional to get the best possible benefits on your annual return.

3. Monthly Housing Costs Are Predictable

A third item noted in the article is how monthly costs become more predictable with homeownership:

“As a homeowner, your monthly costs are most likely based on a fixed-rate mortgage, which allows you to budget your finances over a long period of time, unlike the unpredictability of renting.”

With a mortgage, you can keep your monthly housing costs steady and predictable. Rental prices have been skyrocketing since 2012, and with today’s low mortgage rates, it’s a great time to get more for your money when purchasing a home. If you want to lock-in your monthly payment at a low rate and have a solid understanding of what you’re going to spend in your mortgage payment each month, buying a home may be your best bet.

If you’re ready to start feeling the benefits of stability, savings, and predictability that come with owning a home, contact me today to determine if buying a home sooner rather than later is right for you.

Feb. 11, 2020

Homeownership Rate on the Rise to a 6-Year High

 

Homeownership Rate on the Rise to a 6-Year High

Regardless of the lack of inventory on the market, the U.S. homeownership rate has climbed to a 6-year high. The United States Census Bureau reported that it increased to 65.1% in the fourth quarter of 2019, representing the highest level in the past six years. See the graph below:

Homeownership Rate on the Rise to a 6-Year High | Keeping Current Matters

“The largest cohort of the millennial generation turns 30-years-old in 2020 and they are hitting the housing market in full force. At the end of the fourth quarter of 2019, millennials made up the largest generational segment of homebuyers, growing their share of home purchase mortgages to 48 percent.”

With so many Millennials entering a homebuying phase of life and getting into the market, the Millennial Report also explains,

“Homeownership is an even bigger goal for younger generations. Of those with savings, 41 percent of Gen Z and 40 percent of younger millennials are saving to buy a home.”

Today’s low interest rates are providing a break to new homeowners too, regardless of generation, making homeownership more desirable and achievable at the same time. Freddie Mac explains,

“The combination of very low mortgage rates, a strong economy and more positive financial market sentiment all point to home purchase demand continuing to rise over the next few months.”

 

Reach out to me today tos set a plan that will help you get one step closer to achieving your dream.

Feb. 9, 2020

What's the Best Time of Year to put a House on the Market?

What's the Best Time of Year to put a House on the Market?

Image result for house

A common question I get asked as a real estate agent is “what is the best time to put a house on the market?” The fact of the matter is, it depends. Below I break down the different variables to consider when choosing a time to put your house on the market.

The first thing to consider is location. What region are you selling your home in? A state like Florida that sees the sun almost all year round? Or a four-season-state like Michigan, that gets hit with really hot summers and extremely cold winters?

If you fall into the latter category and experience both the extremes of the summer and the winter, then your best bet is to sell your home during springtime, as people are not hibernating from the cold or gone for summer vacation.

However regardless of region, it is always important to think “when will my house get the most attention in the calendar year?”

In this sense, you should also consider the holidays. Whether you are in a region that is mild or extreme, keep in mind that during the holiday season in December and January, many people are focused on family, spending money on gifts and planning holiday parties. That said, almost no one is thinking of uprooting when they have gifts to throw under the tree!

On the opposite spectrum of the calendar year, summertime is meant to relax, escape the every day to-dos and hit the beach. A majority of people, therefore, are not interested in moving boxes — they want to enjoy the sun!

Lastly, keep in mind the aesthetic of your home. Since photos are a key component to the home-selling process. Therefore, taking photos when the flowers are blooming and the sun is out is a lot more appealing to the eye than if they were taken during the dead of winter when it’s grey and gloomy.

But what if you have no choice but to sell your home during an inopportune time like December? This is where a good real estate agent comes in. Please contact me today and we can discuss questions like this and more as you prepare to put your home on the market.

Feb. 3, 2020

Three Reasons Why Pre-Approval Is the First Step in the Homebuying Process

Three Reasons Why Pre-Approval Is the First Step in the Homebuying Process

When the number of buyers in the housing market outnumbers the number of homes for sale, it’s called a “seller’s market.” The advantage tips toward the seller as low inventory heats up the competition among those searching for a place to call their own. This can create multiple offer scenarios and bidding wars, making it tough for buyers to land their dream homes – unless they stand out from the crowd. Here are three reasons why pre-approval should be your first step in the homebuying process.

1. Gain a Competitive Advantage

Low inventory, like we have today, means homebuyers need every advantage they can get to make a strong impression and close the deal. One of the best ways to get one step ahead of other buyers is to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you make an offer. For one, it shows the sellers you’re serious about buying a home, which is always a plus in your corner.

2. Accelerate the Homebuying Process

Pre-approval can also speed up the homebuying process, so you can move faster when you’re ready to make an offer. In a competitive arena like we have today, being ready to put your best foot forward when the time comes may be the leg-up you need to cross the finish line first and land the home of your dreams.

3. Know What You Can Borrow and Afford

Here’s the other thing: if you’re pre-approved, you also have a better sense of your budget, what you can afford, and ultimately how much you’re eligible to borrow for your mortgage. This way, you’re less apt to fall in love with a home that may be out of your reach.

Freddie Mac sets out the advantages of pre-approval in the My Home section of their website:

“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”

I have relationships with lenders who can help you through this process, so partnering with a trusted advisor will be key for that introduction. Once you select a lender, you’ll need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”

Freddie Mac also describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you’ll be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or Cash Reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

While there are still many additional steps you’ll need to take in the homebuying process, it’s clear why pre-approval is always the best place to begin. It’s your chance to gain the competitive edge you may need if you’re serious about owning a home.

Getting started with pre-approval is a great way to begin the homebuying journey. Reach out to me today to make sure you’re on the fastest path to homeownership.

Jan. 22, 2020

The 2 Surprising Things Homebuyers Really Want

In a market where current inventory is low, it’s normal to think buyers might be willing to give up a few desirable features in their home search in order to make finding a house a little easier. Don’t be fooled, though – there’s still an interest in the market for some key upgrades. Here’s a look at the two surprising things buyers seem to be searching for in today’s market, and how they’re impacting new home builds.

Homebuyers Are Not Giving Up Their Garages

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently released an article showing the percentage of new single-family homes completed in 2018. The data reveals,

  • 64% of new homes offer a 2-car garage
  • 21% have a garage large enough to hold 3 or more cars
  • 7% have a 1-car garage
  • 7% do not include a garage or carport
  • 1% have a carport

The following map represents this breakdown by region:The 2 Surprising Things Homebuyers Really Want | Keeping Current MattersEvidently, a garage is something homebuyers are looking for in their searches, but that’s not all.

Homebuyers Are Not Giving Up Their Patios

Patios are on the radar for buyers as well. Community areas are often common amenities in new neighborhoods, but as it turns out, private outdoor spaces are quite desirable too. NAHB also found that,

“Of the roughly 876,000 single-family homes started in 2018, 59.4% came with patios…This is the highest the number has been since NAHB began tracking the series in 2005.”

As shown in the graph below, the number of new homes built with patios has been increasing for the past 9 years. Clearly, they’re a desirable feature for new homeowners too.The 2 Surprising Things Homebuyers Really Want | Keeping Current Matters

Homebuyers are looking for garage space and outdoor patio living. If you’re a homeowner thinking of selling a house with these amenities, it appears buyers are willing to spring for those key features. To find out the current value and demand for your home, contact contact me today so we can get the ball rolling!

Jan. 16, 2020

Why You Need a Real Estate Agent

Why You Need a Real Estate Agent

With the wealth of information and resources online about buying and selling homes today, you may be wondering if it’s really necessary to use a real estate agent.

Sure, you may be able to save on commission, but one small misstep in the process may end up costing you unimaginable frustration, and unexpected financial costs. And you won’t want to take any chances when legal contracts and significant amounts of money are on the line.

Agents deal with real estate transactions and these types of legally binding agreements all the time and we’re here to hold your hand through the entire process- from getting your home market ready to eventually closing the deal.

Here are 5 reasons you should consider working with an agent:

We take care of the work for you.

Buying or selling a home takes a lot of time and energy. More often than not, searching for the perfect place, or finding the best offer can turn into a full-time job. Luckily, that’s what I’m here for.

It’s my responsibility to handle the research, answer all the emails and phone calls, make appointments on your behalf and even read through all the contracts and paperwork. I’m here to take care of all the tedious, often time consuming work to make your life easier.

We know real estate like the back of our hand.

As a licensed real estate professional, it’s my job to know the industry inside and out. Real estate transactions involve a lot of moving parts and at times can get pretty tricky. I’m here to make sure that the process goes smoothly and that we avoid any potential bumps in the road.

We’ve got contacts.

Not only do I have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a database housing property listings in your area from various agents and brokers, but I also work regularly and have formed relationships with home inspectors, lenders, professional stagers, and even a neighborhood handyman. Whatever needs attention, I know someone who can help!

We’re natural negotiators.

I know the local market and won’t stop the negotiations until we’ve settled on a fair deal. I have a good idea of what’s reasonable to request on either end and can help advise you to avoid anything that may kill the deal.

I’m here to work as a middleman, representing your interests and making sure both parties are satisfied in the end. If necessary, I’ll even take the fall and be the “bad-guy” in the transaction, so that you don’t get personally involved.

We’ve got your best interest in mind.

As a real estate agent, I’m bound by law to put my client’s interests ahead of my own. And I do this not just because I have to, but also because I want to. It’s my job to make sure that you’re happy with the final deal. I base my business and my well-being on the satisfaction of my clients, counting on your referral and repeat business.

 

Ready to get in touch with a real estate agent?

Don’t hesitate to contact me today and get the ball rolling.

Jan. 6, 2020

3 Benefits to Buying Your Dream Home This Year

3 Benefits to Buying Your Dream Home This Year

1. Buying a Home is a Great Investment

Several reports indicate that real estate is a good investment, topping other options such as gold, stocks, bonds, and savings. Why? Real estate helps build equity, a form of investing for you and your family. According to CoreLogic’s Equity Report,

“U.S. homeowners with mortgages (roughly 64% of all properties) have seen their equity increase by a total of nearly $457 billion since the third quarter 2018, an increase of 5.1%, year over year.”

This means the average homeowner gained approximately $5,300 in equity over the past year. If you want to start building your equity, put your housing costs to work for you through homeownership this year.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Low

The Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac indicates that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have fallen since November 2018 when they hit 4.94%. In their latest forecast, Freddie Mac expects rates to remain low, leveling out to a yearly average of 3.8% in 2020.

When you purchase a home at a low mortgage rate, it will impact your monthly mortgage payment, giving you the opportunity to buy more house for your money.

3. Investing in Your Family is a Win

There are some renters who haven’t purchased a home yet because they’re uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you’re living rent-free with your parents, you’re paying a mortgage – either yours or that of your landlord.

Today, rental prices continue to increase, and when you’re paying your landlord’s mortgage instead of your own, you’re not the one earning the equity. As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ you can use later in life to reinvest in your family. You can use it for a variety of opportunities, such as saving for your children’s education, moving up to a bigger home, or starting your own business. As a renter, it can be more challenging to achieve those types of dreams without home equity working for you.

Bottom Line

Buying a home sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings and long-term financial growth for you and your family. today determine if homeownership is the right choice for you this year.

Dec. 30, 2019

Working with a Local Real Estate Professional Makes All the Difference

Working with a Local Real Estate Professional Makes All the Difference

Working with a Local Real Estate Professional Makes All the Difference [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Considering of buying or selling a home in 2020?
 
Make sure you contact me - Tamme Pairman @ 909-322-2781- so I can answer all of your questions about pricing, contracts and negotiations.
Dec. 25, 2019

When a House Becomes a Home

When a House Becomes a Home

Image result for happy home

We talk a lot about why it makes financial sense to buy a home, but more often than not we’re drawn to the emotional reasons for homeownership.

No matter the size or shape of a living space, the feeling of a home means different things to different people. Whether it’s a certain scent or a favorite chair, the feel-good connections to our own homes are typically more important to us than the financial ones. Here are some of the reasons why

1. Owning your home offers stability to start and raise a family

From the best neighborhoods to the top school districts, even those without children at the time of purchase may have this in the back of their minds as a major reason for choosing the location of the home they purchase.

2. There’s no place like home

Owning your own home offers not only safety and security, but also a comfortable place where you can simply relax and kick-back after a long day. Sometimes, that’s just what we need to feel re-charged and truly content.

3. You have more space for you and your family

Whether your family is expanding, an older family member is moving in, or you need to have a large backyard for your pets, you can take all this into consideration when buying your dream home, so the space truly works for you.

4. You have control over renovations, updates, and style

Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments you saw on Pinterest? Tired of paying an additional pet deposit for your apartment building? Maybe you want to finally adopt that fur-baby puppy or kitten you’ve been hoping for. Who’s to say you can’t do all of these things in your own home?

 

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in your life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that make a house a happy home.