My Blog

Aren't You Happy to Have a Roof over your Head???

12/11/2019
Happy Roof Day!!!


Have you ever celebrated National Roof over Your Head day????   

I admit that I was unaware of this day of celebration.  Perhaps it is strange to you to celebrate the fact you have a roof over your head, whether a renter or owner of the place.  Yet, as this KCM post observes, we all can take for granted that we have a roof over our head.  

There are tens of thousands of homeless in America that struggle for a roof to sleep under.   Having supported local homeless shelters for years, I know that there are never adequate beds and there are always our fellow citizens with drug, alcohol and behavior problems that are banned from many shelters due to safety issues.   We need to be ever so thankful for the roof over our heads and work to help those who lack a roof over their heads.   As you know, it is a more than a matter of building structures to house homeless.

As you celebrate this day, be grateful for the place that you live.   If any number of reasons cause your place to be out of sync with your needs, call me.
The place you vacate to meet your needs only becomes the place for someone else.  Call anytime!!!  951-290-0289.





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It’s ‘National Roof Over Your Head’ Day!

It’s ‘National Roof Over Your Head’ Day!

Did you know that each year in the United States, we celebrate “National Roof Over Your Head Day” on December 3rd?

As noted on the National Calendar, it was “created as a day to be thankful for what you have, starting with the roof over your head. There are many things that we have that we take for granted and do not stop to appreciate how fortunate we are for having them.”

From bungalows to cottages, and farmhouses to treehouses, today we show our appreciation and gratitude for the places we call home. Owning the roof that shelters us is something many renters still aspire to, knowing there are so many financial and non-financial benefits to homeownership.

According to the 2019 State of the Nation’s Housing from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University,

“Cost-burdened renters now outnumber cost-burdened homeowners by more than 3.0 million. In addition, renters make up 10.8 million of the 18.2 million severely burdened households that pay more than half their incomes for housing.”

Homeownership drives many benefits, including providing families with a place to feel secure. It also helps promote confidence that they are investing proactively in themselves and their communities. That is why there are 77.7 million owner-occupied housing units in the United States.

Many, however, fear it is too expensive to own a home. In reality, however, it’s actually more expensive to rent. Here’s the breakdown as a percentage of income necessary for both – affording median rent and owning a home:

It’s ‘National Roof Over Your Head’ Day! | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Today we pause to appreciate the places we call home, and all of the other reasons we have to be truly thankful. For those who don’t own yet and would like to, it’s a wonderful time to start identifying the steps to take toward homeownership. Contact a local real estate professional today to begin creating your plan.

Time to Act

12/9/2019
Every Year the Same Story

Without fail, every November or December and usually a bit earlier, I re-share the facts on selling and buying real estate in the Fall and Winter is a great idea.
Below you will see today's post by Keeping Current Matters that restate 5 key reasons it is a great time to sell a house this winter.  The post could have been on
the great reason to buy a home(tax breaks, improved finances, etc) as sellers and buyers both want to act this time of year.

Homes have and always will sell every day of every year.  Thus, there is no reason to wait if one needs to sell or needs to buy.  As one never know where the buyer is that loves 
one's house or when a seller will have listed the absolutely perfect home for a buyer, an individual should contact me or a Realtor in his/her market to get there questions answered
and the advice to make the right decisions.  You always can contact me anytime any day

DRE#:  02098949

5 Reasons to Sell This Winter

5 Reasons to Sell This Winter

Below are five compelling reasons to list your house this winter.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase, and are in the market right now. More often than not, in many areas of the country, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy the same home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market.

Historically, a homeowner would stay an average of six years in his or her home. Since 2011, that number has hovered between nine and ten years. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years due to a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.

Many homeowners were reluctant to list their homes over the last couple of years, for fear they would not find a home to move into. That is all changing now as more homes come to market at the higher end. The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until additional inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.

3. Buyers Are Serious at This Time of Year

Traditionally, homeowners think about spring as a great time to list their homes, when more buyer traffic may be out there actively searching. In the winter, however, the buyers who are seeking a home – whether for relocation or otherwise – are serious ones. They’re ready to make offers and they’re eager to move, often quickly. Your house may be exactly what they’re looking for, so listing when other potential sellers are holding off may be your best opportunity to shine.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into the premium or luxury market, now is the time to move up. There is currently ample inventory for sale at higher price ranges. This means if you’re planning on selling a starter or trade-up home and moving into your dream home, you’ll be able to do that now. Demand for your entry-level home is high, and inventory in the luxury or premium market is too.

According to CoreLogic, prices are projected to appreciate by 5.6% over the next year. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and in your mortgage) if you wait.

5. It’s Time to Move On With Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it’s worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Are you ready to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to these questions. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market this winter. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.


Travel Trivia

12/5/2019
So Where Do You Want to Travel?

Travel to me is a joy that never stops giving.    While on the trip, I can experience new environments, history and people that I have never met.  I always find a very special moment or experience a minimum of two to three times.  Of the places noted below, I have only been to the Adirondacks(and I was living nearby!).
I have more places to travel!!!    Are you a traveler???????

The Year's Top 5 Travel Spots

Our increasingly busy lifestyles can often trigger a bit of wanderlust. If you’re wondering where your next vacation should be, consider checking out these top five destinations pinned by Travel and Leisure voyagers:

1. The Adirondacks. New York’s mountain lake region has been luring travelers since the late 19th century with clear lakes, pure air, and 46 high peaks to climb. Stay at the grand and newly renovated Hotel Saranac or at The Point, a sumptuous lakeside resort with elevated woodsy décor set on land once owned by the Rockefellers.

2. Alberta, Canada. The rugged, powdery trails at Jasper and Banff should be enough reason to put Alberta on your winter travel wish list. If not, consider the opulent Kananaskis Nordic Spa, just outside of the cities, which just unveiled a collection of hydrotherapy pools as well as salt exfoliation cabins and eucalyptus steam rooms in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies.

3. Alsace, France. This region in the foothills of the Vosges Mountains produces some of the finest wines on the globe, and the stunning Villa René Lalique, whose restaurant has two Michelin stars, is the ideal place to start your sojourn. Luxury travelers can elect to see Alsace by boat on a new barge called the Belmond Lilas.

4. The Andaman Islands. If you’ve ever dreamed of running away to a remote island, the Andamans may just fulfill the dream. Strung between India and Thailand, the collection of islands boasts unspoiled beaches, clear water, coconut trees and tropical mangroves. Consider one of the 75 luxurious villas at the Radhanagar Beach Resort, or one of the few, more private villas at Jalakara, a charming boutique resort where you can swim in peace among the coral, kayak in the mangroves, or hike the forests of the former banana plantation.

5. Armenia. Alive with the energy of a new, more liberal government, Armenia beckons travelers to its famously beautiful countryside with world-class restaurants and the newly opened Hotel Alexander, part of the Marriott’s Luxury Collection, in Yerevan. For hikers, the Trancaucasian Trail passes through the spa town of Dilijan, the bucolic Dilijan National Park, and a pair of 10th-century Christian monasteries.


 

Why Does It Cost More?????????????????????

12/3/2019
Hate to Spend Too Much!

If that is your sentiment when looking at clothing or a new cell phone, you probably are a home owner or a renter that
should be out earnestly looking for a home to buy.  How dare I say this??   Perhaps you don't see this correlation between buying
standard retail merchandise and the place you call home.

Yet, in the past 30+ years, renting a home has always been a much more expensive proposition versus buying a home.   And even before then, even with the high interest rates of the early 1980's, renting still cost more than owning a home.   A key factor of this truth is regardless of the interest rates of the time period, a landlord's desire for a profit on his investment(your rental apartment, town home, condo or single family home) cause the rent to be higher the the house payment for the same type of property.  Add historical 7% interest rates or the 5% and lower rates of the last 10 years, the house payment is substantially less than the monthly rent for a similar property.

Below you will find a post from Keeping Current Matters that express the additional value of owning a home versing renting one!!!

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The True Cost of Not Owning Your Home

The True Cost of Not Owning Your Home

There are great advantages to owning a home, yet many people continue to rent. The financial benefits are just some of the reasons why homeownership has been a part of the long-standing American dream.

Realtor.com reported that:

“Buying remains the more attractive option in the long term – that remains the American dream, and it’s true in many markets where renting has become really the shortsighted option…as people get more savings in their pockets, buying becomes the better option.”

Why is owning a home financially better than renting?

Here are the top 5 financial benefits of homeownership:

  1. Homeownership is a form of forced savings.
  2. Homeownership provides tax savings.
  3. Homeownership allows you to lock in your monthly housing cost.
  4. Buying a home is less expensive than renting.
  5. No other investment lets you live inside of it.

Studies have also shown that a homeowner’s net worth is 44x greater than that of a renter.

A family that purchased a median-priced home at the start of 2019 would build more than
$37,750 in family wealth over the next five years with projected price appreciation alone.

Some argue that renting eliminates the cost of taxes and home repairs, but every potential renter must realize that all the expenses the landlord incurs are already baked into the rent payment – along with a profit margin!

Bottom Line

Owning a home has many social and financial benefits that cannot be achieved by renting. Reach out to a Real Estate Professional to determine if buying a home is your best move.

Would Have Been Nice If...............

11/29/2019

Would Have; Could Have


I know if you hosted Thanksgiving in a cramped apartment that you may wonder why you still live there.   Having a love to entertain without the space can
be discouraging and even cause you to apologize too often to your guests.  Yet, couples or individuals that are in large homes that have too many floors or more space than needed can wonder why they have a dining room for 12 when it is only Harry and Mable that join them for Thanksgiving.

Frequently, the tenant and the person in the "too large of home" would love to trade places.  But, as frequently, they don't realize the many benefits of being in the right style/type home.   Economic advantages range from lower operating costs to differences in insurance costs; while living style changes from maintenance requirements to available private spaces available.   These are a couple of the obvious difference but there are many more.

Each of these people only need to consult with a Realtor like me.  With years of experience helping answer individuals questions and providing direction while always seeking to meet the home seller or home buyers needs, I have helped clients "Always Make the Smart Move".

This post from Keeping Current Matters helps the home owner understand the advantageous of selling during the Holidays.   The tenant can look at the same attributes as to why is great to not rent for another month.

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7 Reasons to List Your House This Holiday Season

Around this time each year, many homeowners decide to wait until after the holidays to list their houses. Similarly, others who already have their homes on the market remove their listings until the spring. Let’s unpack the top reasons why listing your house now or keeping it on the market this winter may be the best choice you can make.

Here are seven great reasons not to wait:

  1. Relocation buyers are out there now. Many companies are still hiring throughout the holidays, and they need their new employees to start as soon as possible.
  2. Purchasers who are looking for homes during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy now.
  3. You can restrict the showings on your home to days and times that are most convenient for you. You will remain in control.
  4. Homes show better when decorated for the holidays.
  5. There is minimal competition for you as a seller right now. Over the past few months we’ve seen the supply of homes for sale decreasing year-over-year, as shown in the graph below:7 Reasons to List Your House This Holiday Season | Keeping Current Matters
  6. The desire to own a home doesn’t stop during the holidays. Buyers who were unable to find their dream homes during the busy spring and summer months are still searching, and your home may be the answer.
  7. Late fall and early winter make up the “sweet spot” for sellers. The supply of listings increases substantially after the holidays. Also, in many parts of the country, new construction will continue to surge and reach new heights in 2020, which will lessen the demand for your house next year.

Bottom Line 

It may make the most sense to list your home this holiday season. Reach out to a local real estate professional to determine if selling now is your best move.


Are there Benefits to Owning Real Estate?

11/28/2019
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Expert Advice: 3 Benefits to Owning a Home

Expert Advice: 3 Benefits to Owning a Home

Success is something often worth repeating, and Brent Sutherland, a Certified Financial Planner and Real Estate Investor, has certainly made his way in a momentum-driving direction. Here are 3 tips he shares from a recent piece in Business Insider on the benefits of owning real estate:

1. Real estate diversifies your income

“While it is certainly important to be properly diversified with your investments, it is even more important to be diversified with your income. This is because the largest financial risk for most of you is the loss of your primary source of income, which is typically in the form of a day job.”

The article highlights how having multiple sources of income, such as those derived from real estate investments, can eventually lead to relying less and less on a day job. Sound dreamy? It can be. When done well, real estate investments may eventually open up your time and the financial freedom to explore other things, like travel and other aspirations you may have for the future, particularly in the golden years of retirement.

2. Real estate produces near-immediate results

“You can achieve and feel the results almost immediately. Property improvements are visible and tangible. You can cash, spend, and invest rent payments. Today! Not 30 years in the future.”

Currently, home prices are appreciating in all price ranges, and just last week CoreLogic announced their 12-month home value projection at 5.6%, an increase from 4.5% noted earlier this summer. With that in mind, real estate today is definitely driving immediate results!

3. Passive income can help you become financially independent sooner

“If you need $40,000 a year to live, you could alternatively invest in assets that generate an 8% cash-on-cash return. This is a very reasonable assumption. And it means you would only need to save a total of $500,000 (instead of $1 million). Yet, your investments would still meet your annual household living needs.

While returns, taxes, and inflation can, of course, affect your timeline, cash-flowing real-estate is a clear asset.”

Homeownership is a form of ‘forced savings.’ Every time you pay your mortgage, you’re contributing to your net worth by increasing the equity in your home, bringing you one step closer to true financial independence.

Bottom Line

If you want to increase your savings and overall net worth, real estate is a great way to go. To learn how you can make it happen, contact a local real estate professional to guide you through the process.

Who is Brent Sutherland?

Sutherland was 35 when he bought his first single home to rent out for income, less than five years later, he owns eight additional properties and part of a commercial real estate project.

For Where art Thou??

11/27/2019

Home Shortage??

Yes, California!!!   We have a home shortage.   When inventories are below 6 months, there are too few homes to satisfy the home buyers seeking a new place.

In fact, re-sale homes(homes presently lived in by people like you) have a particularly short inventory with barely over 4 month inventory level.  You may wonder how 4 month level could be a low level.  If one takes out the homes under contract, homes over priced and the home not "ready to sell", the number of homes that truly will meet a buyer's needs can be down to a handful.

Thus, a broader inventory and an inventory of ready to sell homes price right for the market are needed. Yes, even with the Holidays at hand.   Now is a great time to sell and buy real estate!

If you have a need to move, give me a call(951-290-0289).  We can discuss your questions.  

DRE: 02098949


Buyers Are Looking Now. Are You Ready to List Your Home?

Buyers Are Looking Now. Are You Ready to List Your Home?

Inventory on the market today is low, especially among existing homes in the entry and middle-level tiers of the market. It is hovering well below the 6-month supply typically found in a more normal market, as shown in the graph below:Buyers Are Looking Now. Are You Ready to List Your Home? | Keeping Current MattersWith inventory being one of the biggest housing market challenges today, finding a starter home right now isn’t easy. According to the Q3 Housing Trends Report from the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), 68% of those searching for a home think their search will get harder or stay about the same over the next 12 months.

The same study reveals,

“In Qtr3’19, buyers actively engaged in the process of buying a home are more likely to have spent at least 3 months searching (58%) than a year earlier (55%).”

 This is certainly no surprise, given the current inventory status. So, what’s the good news? The NAHB continues to say,

“If still unable to find a home in the next few months, the next step for most long-time searchers is to continue looking for the ‘right’ home in the same preferred location (52%). The next step for 35% is to expand their search area and for 16% is to accept a smaller/older home. Only 15% will give up looking.”

What does this mean for homeowners?

 If you’re thinking of selling your home, buyer demand is high – and those looking in your neighborhood aren’t planning on giving up anytime soon. The majority of potential buyers who are still searching for their dream home are eager, willing, and ready to buy, so maybe it’s time to list your house and make your move.

Bottom Line

With buyer demand as high as it is today, and inventory in the entry and middle-tier markets remaining low, it’s never been a better time to move up. Reach out to a local real estate professional to determine if now is your time to sell.

Retirement Worries???????????

11/27/2019
Information is brought to you by
Bryan Cerny
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties

Signs You're in a Lousy 401(k) Retirement Plan

Many Americans just aren’t prepared for retirement. Two-thirds of families fall short of conservative retirement savings targets to retire at age 67, according to a 2015 study by the National Institute on Retirement Security.

The median retirement account balance — including money in a 401(k) retirement account — is $2,500 for working-age households, and $14,500 for near-retirement households, the study found.

Even for workers who contribute to their employer’s 401(k) plan, they may not be saving enough money to get them to the often recommended retirement income goal of having 70 – 80 percent of their pre-retirement income, or they may be in a 401(k) that isn’t doing a good job of making money for them.

Here are some signs that you may be in a lousy 401(k) retirement plan:

Low results: Poor performance is an easy indicator to spot, and it doesn’t mean you have to stay with that 401(k). Moving to another retirement plan may be as easy as setting up a rollover account at a different financial institution. But be careful. If the funds are tied up in an annuity plan, there may be a penalty for withdrawals made during the first five years of the plan’s formation.

Hidden fees: Along with poor investments, the performance of a 401(k) can be dragged down by hidden fees such as administrative charges and index funds with high expense ratios.

Company stock diving: If your retirement plan is with a former employer and contains company stock that isn’t performing well, you may also want to change plans. Keep in mind that it’s not a good idea to have too much company stock in your retirement plan.

Lawsuits: If there are class-action lawsuits against your retirement plan sponsor, that can be a sign to leave, or stay and hope participants win the lawsuit. Every 401(k) plan must have a named fiduciary or a responsible fiduciary, and often, the plan sponsor is listed. They have the fiduciary duty to pick investments that are in the best interest of plan participants, otherwise, they open themselves to a lot of risk.

Plan participants can sue their employer if they think the fiduciary duties weren’t carried out properly, or if participants aren’t being compensated reasonably.

What to do? You can contribute more money to your spouse’s retirement plan if it’s a better one, or move your retirement plan from your employer to a Roth IRA. Or, stick with your 401(k) and ask your advisor to move your investments within the current plan, if there are good options available. At the minimum, get the company match if it’s available, then invest elsewhere.


 

Buyers have not taken a Holiday

11/25/2019
Unbelievable Buyer Activity 

I am very happy to see that the coming holidays has not calmed buyer activity.  Many sellers are actively looking to move this Fall. 

Normally, homeowners can be iffy about listing their home even if this move is required.  Their fear is that their beautiful home will set idle on the market.  But, that just isn’t the case in 2019.

Buyer activity is strong!  Thus a need to sell can be fulfilled with a “Sold”!  No need to wait to sell.


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Buyer Demand Growing in Every Region

Buyers are out in full force this fall, increasing the demand for homebuying in all four regions of the country.

According to the latest ShowingTime Showing Index,

“Home showing activity was up again nationwide with a 4.6 percent rise in traffic, as the traditionally slow fall season began with a marked boost in buyer interest.”

Buyers clearly have the right idea, as mortgage rates have dropped over a full percentage point since the fall of 2018. They’ve hovered in a historically low range since this summer, making the overall cost of homeownership significantly more attractive and affordable.

Here’s the breakdown of how ShowingTime reports current buyer traffic patterns across the country:

“The West Region, which until August had experienced 18 consecutive months of flagging home buyer traffic, lead the four regions in year-over-year improvement with an 8.9 percent increase in buyer activity.

The South followed with a 6.4 percent increase, the largest such improvement in the region since April 2018, with the Northeast Region’s 5.6 percent increase the next largest among the four regions.

The Midwest’s more modest 0.8 percent year-over-year growth rounded out the nation’s promising month.”

Buyer Demand Growing in Every Region | Keeping Current MattersWith ShowingTime reporting “nationwide growth for the second consecutive month, a first since December 2017 – January 2018”, it’s one more reason why selling your house this winter is the way to go. List while buyers are on the market, before competition with other sellers pops up in your neighborhood.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of waiting until spring to sell, think again! Reach out to a local real estate professional to discuss listing your house now while buyer traffic is actively surging throughout the country.

Money Talks

11/21/2019

Forget the Price of the Home. The Cost is What Matters.

Forget the Price of the Home. The Cost is What Matters.

Home buying activity (demand) is up, and the number of available listings (supply) is down. When demand outpaces supply, prices appreciate. That’s why firms are beginning to increase their projections for home price appreciation going forward. As an example, CoreLogicincreased their 12-month projection for home values from 4.5% to 5.6% over the last few months.

The reacceleration of home values will cause some to again voice concerns about affordability. Just last week, however, First American came out with a data analysisthat explains how price is not the only market factor that impacts affordability. They studied prices, mortgage rates, and wages from January through August of this year. Here are their findings:

Home Prices

“In January 2019, a family with the median household income in the U.S. could afford to buy a $373,900 house. By August, that home had appreciated to $395,000, an increase of $21,100.”

Mortgage Interest Rates

“The 0.85 percentage point drop in mortgage rates from January 2019 through August 2019 increased affordability by 9.7%. That translates to a $40,200 improvement in house-buying power in just eight months.”

Wage Growth

“As rates have fallen in 2019, the economy has continued to perform well also, resulting in a tight labor market and wage growth. Wage growth pushes household incomes upward, which were 1.5% higher in August compared with January. The growth in household income increased consumer house-buying power by 1.5%, pushing house-buying power up an additional $5,600.”

When all three market factors are combined, purchasing power increased by $24,500, thus making home buying more affordable, not less affordable. Here is a table that simply shows the data:Forget the Price of the Home. The Cost is What Matters. | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

In the article, Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, explained it best:

“Focusing on nominal house price changes alone as an indication of changing affordability, or even the relationship between nominal house price growth and income growth, overlooks what matters more to potential buyers – surging house-buying power driven by the dynamic duo of mortgage rates and income growth. And, we all know from experience, you buy what you can afford to pay per month.”

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