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Special Guest–Giuliana Brockway–Brockway Law Trust & Estate Planning

This week on “The Real Estate Hour”, Sundays, 9 to 10am PST, KSRO, 1350AM or 103.5 or 94.5FM or www.KSRO.com will be . Giuliana Brockway talking trusts and estate planning. We will touch upon various ways to hold title to real estate, do you really need a trust to own real property? Is it smart to make your oldest kid the trustee of your estate (careful–trick question!) This and more Sundays, 9 to 10am ALWAYS live! Got a question for us? Caller hotline 636-1350. 

Giuliana Brockway–Brockway Law Trust & Estate Planning gvb@brockwaylaw.com www.brockwaylaw.com (707) 757-7550

Structural Engineers–Why you should consider this during your Home Inspection period.

This Week’s Guest: Marc Durand–Residential Structural Inspections

(Mike next to Marc Durand with his “Speedy” work helmet! )

When should I hire a structural engineer?

Buying/Selling Of A Home:
In many instances, we are called to evaluate a potential problem un-covered after a home inspection. In this scenario, the homeowner is usually selling their home. After a general home inspection is complete, sometimes a structural engineering inspection is also
warranted. If this is the case, the home inspector will include this recommendation in his or her final home inspection report. Home inspectors are not qualified to assess and diagnose structural problems. Only a licensed, structural engineer can provide accurate assessments
and solutions for a home buyer or seller.

Continue reading Structural Engineers–Why you should consider this during your Home Inspection period.

Beyond the Peak! October 21, 2018 Radio Show Topics and Info

Good morning to one and all! Here’s some data I’ll be discussing this morning on “The Real Estate Hour” heard every Sunday, 9 to 10am pst. 1350AM, 103.5 and 94.5FM and www.KSRO.com.  Above is a chart showing how far we’ve come from the “Depth” of the recession in relation to median home price in the Bay Area. The top 4 counties with the biggest come back are in double digits. Sonoma County? 3% above.

Currently we have 1055 “Active” or “Showable”  Detached Single Family dwellings listing in Sonoma County-for a population of 500,000+. Slim Pickens!

Of those “Active” listings 316 are $1+Million! or 30%.

Here’s a price breakdown:

0-$250,000     5

$251,000 to $499999  122

$500,000 to $749,999  422

$750,000 to $999,999  190

1+Million to $1,249,999 65

$1,250,000 to $,1499,999  53

$1,500,000 to $1,749,999   31

$175,000 to $1,999,999  29

$2+ Million   128.

Condos–Total of 117.

Solds–obviously due to the Fires of last year the October Sales will be skewed. After October 9th our “Cancelled” and “Expired” listings shot through the roof as those homes listed and lost in the fire left the market.  Sales plummeted but soon heralded a big boom in the $1+Million price point as folks replaced lost homes.

Today we have current 266 Sold sales to date–last year 182.

Boomer? Retiring to rent or should you buy?

@agingbabyboomers! Yes, I resemble that remark. RENT vs. OWNING? Perhaps you want to keep your home here in Sonoma County, rent it out and go exploring other areas to live. You could pull some cash out of your home here, rent it to cover the new debt service and then go rent in the south of France for a year? Spain? Way back east in the New England states or perhaps Oregon or even Texas! (remember, Austin is WEIRD!). A $250,000 1st at 5.5% is about $1,419 per month in debt service. You own a home in Rincon Valley, 3 bed, 2 bath, 2000sqft, rents going to be $2400 at least! Throw in social security, retirement and you’re GOOD to go (obviously speak to your accountant and retirement specialist for advice).

 

 

Benton Veterans Village housing veterans in need of housing

Santa Rosa Fire Fighters Local 1401 is partnering with Community Housing Sonoma County (CHSC) to create HOME for 7 veterans in the former 1950’s Santa Rosa firehouse on Benton Street. CHSC refurbished and re purposed the firehouse to become Benton Veterans Village housing veterans in need of housing. This former firehouse will be a unique veterans’ housing community due to the enormous commitment made by our Santa Rosa Firefighters to be involved in the veterans’ lives. Led by Santa Rosa Fire Fighters who are veterans, our local fire heroes are committed to creating a long-lasting partnership with our nation’s veteran heroes who will be living at the firehouse.

We are asking for your help. We need your help with cash donations or donations of new or gently used items to finish outfitting the building and each veteran apartment to create the feeling of HOME for our veterans moving into Benton Veterans Village in mid-October.

Santa Rosa Fire Fighters already secured donations for a pool table, dressers, tables and other items.  You can participate with cash donation or donate items needed for the apartments and the firehouse. Please visit our website donation page to make a cash donation or view household items that you can donate to help secure HOME for our veterans.   https://www.communityhousingsc.org/support-us.

Default Rates not the pin to burst this real estate bubble!

One of the main factors of a real estate “Bubble” is the appearance and increase of the mortgage  “default” rate. This usually goes hand in hand with years of issuing shady lending. We saw it in the 2008 real estate crash when default rates soared first at the “sub-prime” level but then  the “A+” paper. Those who saw the movie, “The Big Short”, recall the number which was being posted on a white board outside one of the main character’s office. It was the “default” rate and was quickly into the double digit numbers.  It kept soaring upward until the moment of implosion and government bail-out intervention.  Many today are calling this market a “bubble”. But the default rates are just NOT there. The graph below from Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae, show the gradual decline in default rates. We are at historic lows. NOTE the numbers during the “crash”.

I bring this up because shaky or very ez money was the basis of the great default of the 2008 real estate market crash. Speculation, another cause of the crash, was driven by the availability of this ez money in which to invest in real estate. But one of the first indicators was the alarming default rate of first “sub-prime” and then “prime” loans. We can eliminate default rates as the canary in the coal mine. NOT happening this time.

What WILL drive a bubble to burst or gradually deflate? In our area it is affordability. Currently in Sonoma County only 1 in 5 can afford our median home price of $670,000. It’s an old equation–buyers quit buying, Seller needs to sell, Seller drops price to bring buy to their property. The other Sellers follow suit and you’ve got a decreasing value market. Stay tuned!

Market Slow Down–Interest Rates or Affordability?

The current slowdown of the real estate market is being blamed on higher interest rates and/or affordability. Interest rates have moved over the past five years from lows in the 3.40% range to the current 4.94% range. You’d think 1% would not make a huge difference in qualifying but when you add in the lack of affordability in our area you find consumers right at their limits. And not only are they hitting their max for loan qualifying, many are saying NO to a life where the mortgage payment dominates their household monthly outlays.  What makes the market tick in the Sonoma County area is Affordability. Currently 1 in 5 can afford to purchase the median home price.  We are among the top counties with affordability issues. As you can see below, our affordability number is at 20% who can afford the median home price. But look at San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara! The most affordable county in the Bay Area is Solano but that dropped 6 points over the past year. How do we increase affordability? #1 lower interest rates, #2 building more affordable housing, #3 the economic boom we’re in needs to generate higher wages.

Continue reading Market Slow Down–Interest Rates or Affordability?

$1Mil+ Market–coming back to earth!

For the past few months the $1Mil+ price segment has been very robust. While the overall market languished in mediocrity, except for a record high median home price which quickly fell the following month, the $1Mil+ range was surging. June sales, off -20% in the overall market was UP +20% in the $1Mil+ market. Huge spread. The market, driven by fire victims replacing homes lost in the fires of October 017, are buying and rehabbing homes. If you look at the NE area and examine Lot sales you’ll find many NOT rebuilding. Currently we have approx 174 lots for sale with 33 in escrow and a whopping 247 that have sold.

The big question? Where have all of these homeowners gone? Have they moved away, moved down, moved within their price range relative to the value of the lost home? Here’s some charts on the latest activity:

July Sales in Sonoma County, California–The BIG Cool Off.

The buying season has been thoroughly mejdiocre in 2018. Year Over Year (YOY) reporting shows a market with anemic sales overall.  Inventory beginning to accumulate due to weak sales and a median home price, countywide, faltering from a record high posted in June of $705,000 and an increase of 13% to $653,000 in July and an increase of a mere 3%. 

 

 

 

Sunday, July 15th Show–$1,000,000 Real Estate Marketplace Reviewed!

Sunday’s show we’ll be discussing the surging $1Million+ Real Estate marketplace! It dragged the median home price over the $700,000 level for the first time ever–in history!  The only hesitation in the marketplace in this exclusive price range is the total inventory is not increasing in any big numbers.