Otto Kobler,Branch Manager
NMLS ID# 225957 CA BRE ID# 00981742
3550 Round Barn Blvd., Suite 310 Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Branch NMLS ID# 379493
I’ve been licensed and a Realtor since 1978. Look at the chart below and you’ll see I spent 12 years wandering the desert of double digit interest rates. Also note that my first year was my last year of single digit interest rates for some time. How did I do? I was a top producer in my office all through the double digit storm. When we dropped under 10% it was cause for mass celebration in the Realtor ranks! I remember my fellow agents stating, “Man if we could get single digit interest rates we’ll tear this market wide open!” And we did.
Then notice it took almost 20 years to get down to the 4% range. If you’ve been in the business 5,10, 15, years you’ve KNOWN no other rates and experienced a historic low. Well, guess what boys and girls, rates DO go up, markets WILL go down, and recessions will come and go. Enjoy this while you can but remember to stack some cash aside, buy some investment properties with your big commissions today and prepare for the inevitable. I remember some of the infamous phrases used before the BIG BANG of 2007, “We’ll always have appreciation”, “We’ll refinance you out of this loan next year and pull cash out.” We all need to guard against, “Irrational Exuberance”. (thanks to Erik Oquist of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage for the graphics!)
We seem to be suffering under the MORE INVENTORY WILL EQUAL MORE SALES notion. Granted, more inventory would allow more choice, lower our appreciation rate as we’d have more to choose from with fewer overbidding, but note the sales are NOT that dramatically different when there is more inventory. Looking back 10 years you can see in the light green the huge amount of inventory vs. today’s anemic numbers. However, the sales do not look all that much different.
We’ve discussed “Crowdfunding” previously for raising money for home improvement, down-payment for a loan but the funds all needed to be “seasoned” and would have to be usually 6 months old before being counted as legitimate funds by the big government lenders–Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Now CMG has partnered with the two big GSE’s in making the crowdfunding money available immediately for a down-payment. We’ll discuss what changed and how you can use this way to raise money to buy a house.
Why go on a “destination” wedding which may cost $50,000 when you REALLY want to buy a home?!
Here in the lovely “Wine Country” housing market you can’t be complaining about the interest rates! If you are retiring in 7 years and perhaps moving to another area then hook onto a refinance as your rate would be 3.125% Wow! Or opt for a 15 year loan and enjoy super low rates and rapid equity build up.
Realtor.com came out with their 20 Hottest real estate markets in the nation. 11 of these are in California and we’ve added two NEW spots–Eureka and Fresno. Eureka is way up north on the coast of California. Isolated, older fishing community but it is very affordable as is Fresno which is in the “Valley”. “Valley” properties in the greatest state of California are fairly depressed and still have higher percentages of distressed homes. They have yet to get even close to their pre-bust highs. If you look at the top lists you’ll see 4 of these hottest market are in the California interior valleys—Sacramento, Stockton (at one time ground zero for the distressed market in California), Modesto and Fresno. What they all have in common is affordability. Median priced homes in these areas range from $270,000 to $317,000. Compare these prices with Santa Rosa (#13 on the list with a median price of $597,500).
Here in Sonoma County, California, “The Wine Country”, we are seeing persistent scarce homes to sell and lack of affordable homes is raising its ugly little head. The only category where sales are out-performing last year is in two price categories: $500 to $750K and $750 to $1,000,000K. These are for detached single family houses.
This stunning traditional home is back on the market and OPEN this Sunday–All reports NOW on file! 4 bedrooms and 3 FULL baths the home has 3 bedrooms upstairs and one bedroom down wit adjacent full bath and exterior door–perfect “Multi-generational” living or for guests who savor their privacy. Kitchen new flooring in a rich brown with matching entry statement. Home is over 2100 sqft and has enormous living room with adjoining Dining area big enough for your Grandma’s sideboard, hutch and dining table and chairs. A big sectional would be swallowed up in the living room. Kitchen has newer appliances, flooring and is adjoins the family room with fireplace. Breakfast bar serves your hurried mornings or quick lunches. Yard has gate for ez acess and patio for al fresco dining. Priced to sell at: $560,000. Join Allison THIS Sunday, February 21st from 1 to 4pm.
1200 Halyard Drive, Santa Rosa: $560,000–Traditional home beckoning to new owners seeking 4 bedrooms and 3 full baths in a quiet NorthWest Santa Rosa neighborhood. Oversize lot with big side yard. Inside, new flooring in Entry Way and Kitchen. Living room will swallow up your big sectional and adjoining “formal” dining area will take a big dining room table, hutch and sideboard. See the virutal tour by clicking RIGHT HERE!
Sonoma County selling and buying season here in the lovely “Wine Country” just an hour north of the “Gate” is flat with sales down 2% over last year but the bigger issue–Inventory! Usually March will signal the beginning of the “Selling” season by more homes coming onto the marketplace. March was a GOOD month but instead of being the beginning of an inventory surge–it was the end. March was our best month and inventory has been declining since. WHAT are the reasons? Below is a slide from the California Association of Realtors. I’ve added on the last three.
I think the “Off Market” or “pocket listings” is an issue but I’ve NOT seen any hard numbers on it. I’m waiting for CAR or perhaps Core-Logic, to come out with a study showing MLS sales vs. recorded sales. I know in our super tight inventory market, Realtors/Agents are always asking to see new listings not yet on the market. We hear of sales being made off MLS all the time. I keep waiting for the law suit which will define this isssue to apppear. Sellers and their Realtor/Agents who state, “They got their price.” really have no idea at how much that “price” could have been! The current disclosures by CAR, reflect this very issue which came out of the ’89 market scarcity.