Tag Archives: Homeowners

Interest rates this week still Spectacular! 7/1 Arm 3.25%, Jumbo Money3.875%

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.

Otto Kobler loan representative.
Otto Kobler loan representative.

New Listing in NW Santa Rosa–Stately home seeking lovers of space!

VWN_3879-f1200 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!

VWN_3885-f VWN_3896-f VWN_3899-f VWN_3914-f VWN_3907-f VWN_3929-f VWN_3938-f VWN_3943-f VWN_3964-f VWN_3969-f VWN_3973-f VWN_3978-f VWN_3957-f

 

“Where’s the Beef?” Sales are flat, Inventory Short.

“Where’s the Beef?” Sales are flat, Inventory Short.

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  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.

Reasons for LACK of Home Inventory  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.

Continue reading “Where’s the Beef?” Sales are flat, Inventory Short.

The latest in Lending for Sonoma County and beyond! Sunday on the Real Estate Hour

Our "Loan Guy" Pete Phillippe
Our “Loan Guy” Pete Phillippe

We are pleased to have show favorite, “That Lender Guy”,  Peter Phillippe of Princeton Capital. Pete will be discussing the latest and BEST Interest rates, VA/FHA, lending requirements plus YOUR CALLS! Join us for what will surely be a “don’t miss” hour. Pete can be reached at: 707-481-2737 Cell  1-888-305-2473 eFax or peterphillippe@princetoncap.com

Why WAITING for 3.5% is FOLLY and Financially Naive.

$$SignsThe link below will take you to a Fannie Mae history of 30 year fixed rate loans. The reason I’m bringing HISTORY into the argument of lower interest rates is to show Buyers and Sellers why NOT to “wait it out”. These folks mistakenly think they will see 3.5% again.  It is wise to  understand the dynamics OF interest rate fluctuations and to study past rate increases. For instance,   In April of 1971 the interest rate was 7.31%–(42 YEARS AGO!) it would NOT fall under that rate again until July of 1993 when it hit 7.21%! Oh, and during that time frame it hit a high of 18.45%  in October of 1981!

30 Year Fixed Rates since 1971. Waiting for 3.5% again? Good luck!

The first 11 years of my real estate career we had double digit interest rates with that big high I mentioned above. We STILL sold homes. Sure they were lower but so were wages and salaries. Fast forward to today and we see rates soaring from April to today by one full percentage point or what they say in banking as 100 “basis” points. And this is WITH the Fed taking a long term support measure for keeping interest rates “low”.  What bothers me is the consumer balking at rates exceeding 5% as if THIS is a high rate! Continue reading Why WAITING for 3.5% is FOLLY and Financially Naive.

Sonoma County Home Affordability….How Much Home Can You Afford…now, versus 2006

June 2 , 2013; Santa Rosa, Ca.

The change in the Sonoma County Real Estate Market was upwards of 60% in some areas of the county, from the height of the market in 2006, to the bottom in 2009.  But, in some Sonoma County cities homes have managed to hold their value amazingly well.  On today’s show we’ll tell you which areas, and why…..

And, We’ll talk about how much home you can afford now…

Tune in to The Real Estate Hour for this, and more local real estate news, every Sunday morning from 9-10am on 1350AM KSRO or streaming live at www.KSRO.com

 

 

 

 

The Forgotton Entrance – Is your Front Door Welcoming?

Sunday, May 26, 2013 – Sonoma County, Ca.

Creating a welcoming front entrance can add to your home’s curb appeal, desirability and value.  Your front door is the first impression your visitors (and potential buyers) get of your home. Make sure it’s a good one.

Your front entrance should be;

Welcoming; Your guest begin developing an opinion of your home as soon as they pull up to the curb.

Obvious ; Don’t make guests wonder which entrance they should approach

Light; Not just the front door, but also the path leading them there.

Safe; High fences and tall bushes can become a hiding place behind which to lurk. Make sure your guests feel safe at your front door.

Start at the curb. look at your entrance.  Walk the path your guests will use several times and think about the experience.  Is it Welcoming, Obvious, light and Safe? If not, make some changes.

 

This Week’s Show; Wildfires are Coming…Is Your Home Ready?

5/26/2013 Sonoma County, Ca. on The Real Estate Hour, 1350 am KSRO

Fire Prevention Battalion Chief, Ben Nicholls, joins us on the radio to discuss the steps homeowners in High Fire Areas (State Responsibility Areas, SRAs) should be taking to protect their homes from Wild Fire.

Did you know that, if you live in an SRA, you are required to clear a “Defensible Space around your home? Chief Nicholls will tell us what that means. Here’s a link to help you determine if you are in an SRA,    http://www.firepreventionfee.org/sraviewer.php

Also, great tips for everyone on fire safety in your home.

Join us at 9:15 for this informative and very important topic.

For more information visit; http://fire.ca.gov/

 

 

 

 

Eight ways to improve your home appraisal

Sonoma County, California Home Sellers AND buyers–get out of the Appraisers way! Let me start by saying there are many really good appraisers. Unfortunately, not all home appraisers are created equal.  Some make a genuine effort and others are just in a hurry to get this appraisal done and move on to the next one.

 

Some come from out of the area, and they’re not familiar with your particular neighborhood, and how it compares to the others nearby..  Low appraisals can be a real problem as scarcity of homes and multiple offers are driving up prices.

Appraisers are limited to looking back at recently sold properties within a limited radius of your home, not what homes are in escrow for today.  They need all the help they can get…although, some are not interested in anything you have to offer.  Your best bet is to have the information available anyways.  Here are some good suggestions for things you can do to improve your home appraisal; Thanks to loan officer, Kevin Long. http://kevinlongloans.blogspot.com/

Eight Ways to Improve Your Home Appraisal

1. Make Sure Your Appraiser Knows Your Neighborhood

There are pockets and micro communities.  If you step off the curb, you’re in a different zone.  So make sure your appraiser knows that just because you’re in one district doesn’t mean you’re in the same neighborhood as the places 3 miles down the road.

2. Provide Your Own Comparables

If you provide the appraiser with three solid and well-priced comparable properties, you will save them time as well as ensure that they have appropriate comparables rather then having them randomly pick some from the neighborhood.

3. Know What Adds the Most Value

Kitchens and bathrooms get the most value.  However, wood floors, landscaping and enclosed garages also increase appraisals.

4. Document Your Fix Ups

You’d want to do this for tax and insurance purposes.  But if the records are a little haphazard, take some time and organize it into different file folders, and make them available for the appraiser.

5. Talk Up Your Town

Has your town gotten any award, or award winning restaurants, museums, parks, colleges, etc?  Make your community seem vibrant as it will increase the  perceived value of your home.

6. Distinguish Between Upstairs and Downstairs

If you’ve remodeled and completely finished a basement or an attic, you will need to point that out to the appraiser, as these are often not counted in the square footage, and therefore the final appraisal.

7. Clean Up

Clean up and declutter where you can.  Put flowers out.  Have cookies baking.  Make your home seem clean, upscale, and organized.

8. Let the Appraiser Alone to Do Their Job

If you follow the appraiser around, they’ll be more focused on you then on the home, so let them know where you are if they have any questions.

90 Energy Upgrades await you Freezing Sonoma County Homeowners! County Financed!

90 Energy Upgrades can be financed through Sonoma County!

Click on the Facebook icon immediately following this sentence and check out their page and make sure you LIKE THEM! Get more information on energy upgrades and how the County of Sonoma can make this happen for you!