Tag Archives: Santa Rosa

“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/

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

Tale of two Price Points–Lack of Homes for Sale? Depends WHAT you’re SPENDING here in Sonoma County,Ca

Here in Sonoma County, California–Many Realtors are lamenting the LACK of inventory or homes for sale. I submit that it all depends on how MUCH money you wish to spend.  One of the most IN DEMAND price points is the 0- $250,000 price point. This has been the land of the REO (real estate owned) or bank foreclosed home. I fear this price point has “left the station” or is quickly disappearing. This price point is a natural for bank foreclosed homes AND Short-Sales. However, we only have 60 “Active” Short-Sales currently on the market. Take a look at the slide below and note we are DOWN -47% over last year at this time.  The question–is THIS the new reality of a surging market? We leave the lower price behind? Or is the market for this price point just stripping the shelves of all homes?  What’s going to happen to make this a stronger price point? MORE Short-Sales and REO’s. I can’t see a big wave of REO’s coming but Short-Sales can fill the need. We shall see if the consumer REALIZES they can SELL their homes short and get out from under a tough financial mess.

Now look at the NEXT slide–What a difference huh? Almost a 180 swing. The $1,000,000 price point is flush with listings having 40% MORE listings over last year at this time.  In between these two extremes we find a market still “starved” for inventory. The  next “range” of $250-$500,000 is down about -5% over last year but the next price point or the “mid-range” ($500-$750,000) which is gaining momentum is down about 21%.  The $750K to 1 Mil is +5%.  Knowing HOW the market inventory is before making an offer can determine WHAT you’ll offer and HOW you present your terms to the seller. KNOW your NUMBERS.   Feel free to call myself or Allison to give you analysis of YOUR price point.  707-799-3617.

Pete Phillippe, Loan Officer and old wizened one, of Princeton Capital, Joins us to discuss Interest rates,Paying your Home off Quickly and Qualifying!

 

Long time guest and friend of the Real Estate Hour, Pete Phillippe of Princeton Capital, will join us to discuss options which super low interest rates offer the consumer. With rates THIS low (3.25%) a homeowner refinancing may consider saving money while retaining a 30 year  amortized loan or choosing to opt for a SHORTER Amortization schedule be it a 15 or even 10 year loan. One would argue that at 3.25% it’s just cheaper to KEEP the loan at that rate. Why rapidly pay-off a 3.25% loan when you could use the money for reducing say, credit card debt, college debt, etc. MUCH higher consumer credit rates and keep the home rate low and affordable. These questions PLUS MORE!!

Pete’s contact information: 707-829-7490 Direct or 707-481-2737 Cell.  peterphillippe@princetoncap.com

 

 

 

At the end of it’s first year, the Sonoma County Vacation Rental Ordinance has us wondering “what’s this ordinance REALLY all about?”

Russian River Area Realtor and Vacation Rental Ordinance expert, Kyla Brook — and long time Sonoma County Permit Consultant extraordinaire, Tom Havstad return, Sunday 2/12/2012, to fill us in on some strange goings on at the Permit Resources Management Department (PRMD)….hmmm, imagine that.

Do you own a vacation rental in Sonoma County? Have you complied with the Vacation Rental Ordinance…are you paying your TOT(transient occupancy tax)? …if so, did you also apply for a zoning permit? No? Tune in..this show is for you.

Thinking about buying a vacation rental in Sonoma County? Despite the economy, Sonoma County remains a “destination”, bringing visitors from all over the world….which is a great boon for the local economy. In the Russian River area, vacation rentals flourish…and play a vital role in the city’s economy. Kyla Brook, who has been following, and filling us in, on the Vacation Rental Ordinance from its very inception, has some great insight to offer us…and a helpful list of items the vacation rental buyer should be aware of, and should be sure to investigate as part of their due diligence.

And of course, if it has anything to do with Sonoma County permits, zoning, and/or code violation, we haven’t found anyone more knowledgeable than Tom Havstad. Tom knows the ins and outs of the PRMD, the Sonoma County Planning Department, code enforcement, tax assessor, building department…state and county codes, laws and ordinances. He’ll walk us through the requirements of the Vacation Rental ordinance, what to do and what NOT to do, and he’ll bring to light a rather disturbing possible consequence of the ordinance, leaving us to wonder ” What is this ordinance REALLY all about? “

To reach our guests;

Kyla Brooke, MS, CDPE,  Herth Real Estate
707-481-0098 cell, 707-222-6006 office, www.myhousematters.biz

————And———————-

Tom Havstad, Permit Consulting Services

phone/fax:   707-874-2078, cell:  707-695-0857

website: www.permit-help.com, email: havstad@sonic.net

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Here are some helpful links from the PRMD and the Sonoma County Tax assessor.

http://www.sonoma-county.org/prmd/docs/vacrent/vacation_rental_faq.htm

http://www.sonoma-county.org/tax/tot/faq.htm

http://www.sonoma-county.org/prmd/docs/vacrent/final_ord.pdf

http://www.sonoma-county.org/tax/tot/pdf/transient_occupancy_tax_booklet.pdf

http://www.sonoma-county.org/prmd/docs/vacrent/vac_rental_handout.pdf

http://www.sonoma-county.org/tax/tot/packet.htm