Real Estate News
While the Federal Reserve did finally make good on their promise to raise interest rates, mortgages are almost as cheap as they’ve ever been.
Of course, prior to this, many financial speculators wondered what would become of the real estate industry should rates finally rise. So what has happened?
In fact, mortgage interest rates are back down to near historic lows, hovering below 4 percent as of the date of this article. Continue reading
There is still time to get into your dream home before year’s end.
There’s a myth that the real estate market goes into hibernation mode this time of year. In fact, most agents (Like ourselves) are as busy as ever.
Believe it or not, both buyers and sellers are out there hoping to close a deal (or at the very least, get into escrow) before the Christmas holidays roll around.
Buyers should assess their options.
This may be a buyer’s best opportunity to work with a seller who is motivated, meaning they may be willing to work on a “win-win” transaction that benefits both parties. Remember, while their home is on the market, a seller has to keep their home clean and ready to show, sometimes with very short notice. As the holidays near, it could put a crimp in their plans. Continue reading
If you’ve never purchased a home before, beware the “Realtorspeak” that may leave you bewildered. BUT…We’re here to help!
PITI, HOA, PMI…CURB APPEAL?
For the uninitiated, there are a lot of words and terminology that those with experience in the real estate industry take for granted. This language can be confusing, and is sometimes referred to as “Realtorspeak.”
Add to that the marketing “Realtorspeak” that can lend itself on occasion to make a home appear much better in an ad piece than it actually might be. Let’s start with a few of those first.
Marketing Realtorspeak Glossary
Curb Appeal Continue reading
Or…How to let your listing languish on the market.
Let’s face it. Even in a hot real estate market, a seller can make mistakes at any time before or after an offer is accepted to screw things up. So here are the top 5 home selling deal killers you should avoid when you plan on selling your home.
Not having clear cut goals.
If you’re “just trying to feel out the market to see if I get any bites,” you’re wasting everyone’s time…especially yours. Think about it. You put your home on the market with no solid goals, yet you have to make your home presentable for buyers who will go through your property on any given day, and at practically any given time. Plus, it wastes the agent’s time who tries to work within your murky vision.
Know why you want to sell. Consider your options, where you’ll move, what you’ll clear after escrow closes, and get it all in place before you have us put that “For Sale” sign in your yard. Continue reading
Single family home sales up in August.
Single family home sale rose nearly 3 percent in August from July, and show a nearly 7 percent rise from August of 2014. This is continued good news in a year that so far, has shown no signs of slowing in the Santa Clarita real estate community.
The median price of single family homes in the Santa Clarita Valley has risen $43,000 since January, when the price began the year at $480,000. Think about it. In 8 months, your home on average, gained in equity what many people strive to make in a year.
Condos took a slight dip in August, off $5,000 from its yearly high of $330,000 in July. Still, it’s the strongest showing in growth since 2007.
What’s driving these prices upward?
Of course, we can chalk at least part of the continued home price rise to the fact that mortgage interest rates are still holding at just below 4 percent. Buyers anxious on word that the Federal Reserve may raise rates by the end of the year are taking advantage of increased purchasing power by acting on the fact that they can still get a great rate on a home loan. Continue reading
Federal Reserve takes a pass on rate hikes…for now.
Unless you’re able to pay all cash for the next home you buy, you’re going to need to know a few things about interest rates. Buyers have been extremely lucky the past few years as rates have continued to hover around historical lows.
And yet, some “on the fence” types are still waiting for some sort of magic moment or sign to finally take that step toward purchasing a home.
Well, consider this your sign: The Federal Reserve has decided once again to hold off on increasing interest rates, at least for the time being.
In a two day conference last week, “The Fed’s” big players, including Chairperson Janet Yellen, met to determine whether it’s finally the appropriate time to raise the base interest rate at which banks and lending institutions borrow money. This rate also determines the “retail” rate that consumers pay. The conference concluded with a decision not to raise rates, with the caveat that they may reconsider as early as December of this year, or as late as March 2016. Continue reading
How do you maintain curb appeal when watering days have been limited?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that California is facing its worst drought…ever. State mandates have required that each
city and metropolitan area come up with plans to reduce water consumption by over 20%, which in Santa Clarita means that residents are required to cut their landscape watering down to two days per week. As we begin to get used to seeing some patches of brown on everyone’s grass, it doesn’t necessarily make for the best curb appeal when it comes to selling your home?
1. Check your sprinklers and watering systems to insure they are working properly.
As obvious as this sounds, often the issue isn’t how often we water, but how much of the water is actually REACHING areas of your landscape that are needed. In our busy lives, we may not realize that sprinklers have become blocked with debris, or broken, or have been pointing in the wrong direction.
On another note, you may want to adjust watering times for certain sprinkler sets that require more water than others.
2. Replace all or part of your grass.
Did you know that Santa Clarita water agencies, in partership with the City of Santa Clarita offer rebates for lawn replacement? Qualified homeowners can receive up to $2 per square foot of grass removed and replaced with drought tolerant landscaping. Click here to find out more and see if you qualify.
A Xeriscape is a landscaping design that requires very little or no water to maintain. Using drought tolerant plants that can handle long periods without water, as well as decorative ground cover, can provide a creative alternative to trying to maintain a green lawn.
Need more drought tolerant landscaping ideas?
The Castaic Lake Water Agency Conservatory Garden and Learning Center offers a variety of landscaping education and ideas that can help add value to your home while at the same time, conserving our much needed resources. It is located at:
27234 Bouquet Canyon Road
Entrance is at Central Park, then make an immediate left to the guard gate.
Once considered toxic and blamed partly for the cause of the recession, interest only loans are back, but with safeguards in place.
With housing prices on the rise in Santa Clarita, some potential home buyers are frustrated at their inability to afford the mortgage payments that come with a conventional home loan, thus thwarting their dreams of ownership.
That being said, over the years there have been several options that may allow buyers into a home with a mortgage payment that is within their means. One particularly popular option was the “interest only” mortgage. An interest only loan can save a homeowner up to a few hundred dollars per month in loan payments, thus improving their cash flow and allowing them more purchasing power. Basically, the borrower only paying the interest portion of the loan without any of the payment going toward the principle (IE: The actual loan amount). In theory, over time, the equity value will still rise above the dollar value of the loan, and when the homeowner sells, he can still make a profit.
Of course, when this theory goes wrong, it can REALLY go wrong! Interest only loans became very popular in the few years leading up to what’s now known as the “Great Recession” that hit us 7 or 8 years ago. Lenders with loose qualification standards handed them out like candy at Halloween with no regard to the potential dangers should the housing market begin to drop…which it did. This and other bad lending practices are what helped lead to such a collapse of the market. So why in the world would lenders want to bring the interest only loan back? Continue reading
In some cases, “deferred maintenance” homes may be had at a bargain, but what are you really getting yourself into?
Everybody loves a bargain, and especially when it comes to real estate, buying a home that needs some work may seem like the deal of a lifetime. So how do you know if you are indeed getting an actual bargain? On top of that, what do you know about home renovations?
The Home Bargain
To be realistic in the current market, houses are changing hands in Santa Clarita relatively quickly these days. Many of our recent listings have sold in 30 days (And in some cases, a week or less), so the buyers are out there in pursuit of “the deal.” Recently a home in Valencia’s Old Orchard II neighborhood was priced at least $30,000 below market value, but needed pretty much a complete makeover inside as it hadn’t been updated in years. No really, it was as if you walked into a time capsule from the early 70’s. Long story short, it sold for over $30,000 it’s original list price, or in other words, it sold for what would be roughly considered Fair Market Value for the neighborhood. Turns out the agent was flooded with offers and the seller took the best one. Continue reading
The answer is fairly obvious, but just in case, please read on!
To be clear, this is still an incredibly low rate, considering the historic average going back about 45 years hovers between 7 and 8 percent. So still, qualified buyers are still in pretty good shape.
Of course, we have seen a slow but steady upsurge in the past month or so, and this is yet another great time to remind you of what you may be missing out on if you decide to “wait out the market.”
Rents in Santa Clarita are scarce!
As of the date of this article, there are 41 active listings for rent or lease in the Multiple Listing Service. Now, while there may be more homes out there available through private parties, there’s still a noticeable lack of available homes for rent in the SCV. That being said, why would you want to continue living in a situation that can change as soon as your lease is up? Your rent could go up or worse, the owner of the home or condo you’re renting may decide its time to sell…leaving you to find somewhere else to live. Are you REALLY in control of your living situation? Continue reading