Wednesday, April 5, 2017

5 Things California Homebuyers Look For That Make Them Different

5 Things California Homebuyers Look For That MakeThem Different

Homebuyers in California need to be quick and savvy.
High property prices, and limited inventory, make it
essential that they come prepared and ask the right
questions. While homebuyers in all markets are increasing
using the Internet, apps, and other tools to educate
themselves, before and during the process, there are a few
things that California homebuyers look for that set them
apart from the crowd.

Property Specific Taxes, Like Mello-Roos
Unique to California is the Mello-Roos tax, which is
applied to the owners of certain properties to help fund
local schools, parks, and services. While this can be a good
a thing, (the resulting schools in these communities often
have extra funds and are excellent), this tax is something
almost all savvy homebuyers in California will be on the
lookout for.

Location and Commute
Location is always important when it comes to buying a
property, but California’s network of freeways, and large
population of commuters, means a five mile drive to work
each way can be an hour and a half in the car. For those
who work fulltime, quick access to freeways and an easy
commute can be a huge factor in where they chose to call

The Natural Hazards Report
In June of 1998, California passed the Natural Hazards
Disclosure Act. This outlined the way that any potential
hazards, (such as being in an Earthquake Fault zone),
associated with the home and property had to be disclosed.
The disclosure is now a mandatory part of any real estate
transaction and copies of the report have to be signed by
both buyer and seller, before escrow can close. California
buyers will want to read and understand this report and
recognize that it is an important element in evaluating their
new home.

Local Schools
California has some of the best public schools in the
country. The state is home to over 650 schools recognized
by US News and World Report as among the best high
schools in the nation. Buyers here care deeply about the
school district associated with their property.

The Green Factor
Californians have always been ahead of the curve when it
comes to preserving their beautiful beaches and
environmental activism. As a result, many buyers here are
drawn to homes with “green” features, from solar panels to
heating and cooling system upgrades. These factors make
the house a better investment as well… a recent study
showed that energy efficiency upgrades significantly boost

the resale value of a home.

Monday, March 27, 2017

How Will 2017’s Spring Home Buying Market Compare to Last Year?

How Will 2017’s Spring Home Buying Market Compare to Last Year?

2016 started off a little slow but finding momentum in February and March, where the housing market experienced increased sales numbers.  Spring proved to be strong with still historically low mortgage rates, and a large increase in jobs in statewide in April.  By May, the median price for all homes shattered previous all-time highs for the state.

2017 started off strong, and then saw a drop in sales in February, (the weakest in 3 years).  In early March, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time this year. However, headed into the spring buying season, most Realtors remain optimistic about California’s spring housing market.  There are several factors that will determine if this year continues the momentum of 2016.

The Good News
Despite the drop in sales from January, February, 2017 is still looking strong with single family sales up 4.9% statewide over 2016.  Median home prices are also up 7.6% from 2016.  Job increases and low unemployment rates helped lead the demand last year and are expected to stay steady as the economy improves.  

Familiar Challenges
Housing inventory statewide continues to be one of the biggest challenges.  Little has changed from 2016 and yet new statewide active listings have fallen 13.9 percent from a year ago! Some have predicated 2017 will be the year millennials become home buyers to a great degree.  Unfortunately, affordability and low inventory in regions like the Bay Area could drive them elsewhere in the country.  Despite these challenges, the California Association of Realtors predicts an increase in home sales in 2017.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Stay Calm BUT... San Diego Real Estate Prices Continue to Rise

Stay Calm  BUT…
…San Diego Real Estate Prices Continue to Rise

It’s no secret that people want to live in San Diego.  In January, people in cold weather climates watch enviously as expert golfers play under sunny skies, and next to blue ocean waters, at Torrey Pines during the Farmer’s Open.  Relatives joke that our weather people have the world’s easiest jobs, “75 and sunny” every day.

However, even with the always-interested buying community, San Diego property prices have been rising dramatically in the past few years and continue to do so.  In fact, between December 2015 and 2016, the market saw a 5.4% price increase.  And by January of 2017, the increase was 7%.  Today, the average median price of a home in San Diego County is $495,000.  In the desirable North County costal communities like Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe and La Jolla, it is much, much more.

Despite these increases, most experts feel this is a natural value appreciation that is appropriate to the homes and investments people make here.  And they expect that prices will keep increasing.  As San Diego adds lucrative jobs in markets like tech and science, the cycle of supply and demand means the housing prices will continue to rise. 

A competitive market, fast moving listings, and a bevy of interested buyers can be intimidating, and makes finding the right real estate agent all the more key in a home buying search.  Someone that understands needs, and is able to communicate clearly can make all the difference.    The forecast shows that San Diego is not expected to become any less popular in the coming years so savvy buyers should be ready to move when the “right thing” comes along.