Tuesday, October 30, 2018

My Beautiful Home is Worth WHAT???

Just a reminder story....since it happened yesterday.....figured I'd share!

Dear pals referred a seller to me. Seller had attempted to sell a few times. Several different reasons why the home did not get sold.

When I see something like that, I usually think it's the Seller's fault. This one was quite possibly not, well, not completely.

But, with that said, I had to ask a few questions, review the comparable sales, take note of location and the homes' amenities. And, then, sight unseen give the Seller a value opinion.

I offered to come view the home in person but from what Seller told me, and the photos in the MLS from prior listings for sale & lease, it was pretty apparent that his value thoughts were significantly higher than this professional opinion.

Ah, my dear sweet Zillow pal. Who, does not know what location does to a model match. Now, mind you, they have gotten better, but their 'computer' does not know the neighborhood as I do. Does not get in the car with Buyers to learn what they like & don't like.  Has not sold homes and seen values change from one model match to another.....just a few houses away.

My honesty may have cost me a listing, but a listing that is over-priced is not generally worth the headache and marketing expenses I put out to get my Sellers' homes sold.

Of course I followed up with a message this morning.....but, I'm thinking someone said they could get his price....and, that's who will get the listing.

Honesty hurts sometimes....in Real Estate & in real life!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Changing Up Kitchen Islands

If you read my blog regularly, you know I love sharing some ideas from Houzz!!

I've been doing a few house projects this year. Have a couple more on the list to do. One is replacing kitchen counters. Probably not for another year or two still, but, I am attracted to articles that show pretty pictures with new ideas for kitchen makeovers. Sheesh, who isn't, right!?!?!?

This one was just focused on kitchen islands. And, since my pal that made my custom doggy gates mentioned a custom cabinet build he did with a toe-kick slide out doggy eating station, one of them definitely caught my eye!

Not sure if I'd be willing to give up cabinet space. 
But, nice to not give up floor space I suppose!

I really liked this one!
The idea of one counter with two different surfaces is very appealing.
And, the warmth of the wood to eat on is awesome!

This was in the article too, and it was a big fat no for me.
I am too klutzy, and that section of the vise that sticks out?
I'd be bruised on my hip forever! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Santa Clarita & Our Surrounding Communities Home Sales October 2018

Just keeping you informed.

Santa Clarita was incorporated many moons ago and some of these areas aren't really part of the city, but we still include them in our activity as when we are selling SCV, we are selling these areas too!

Acton, Agua Dulce, Canyon Country, Saugus, Valencia, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic, and Val Verde.....all 'considered' to be part of SCV. Remember, this includes Condos, Townhouses, Single Family Residences, and Manufactured homes not in parks.

Active as of this morning ~ 789

(cool Chevy, right?)

Under contract/In escrow ~ 397

Sold in the last 30 days...as in closed escrow..... ~ 283

The closed escrow number is about 10% less than what we had been averaging. But, yes, the holiday season is coming.

If rates & inventory continue to climb, the market will continue to change. We still currently have just under 3 months worth of housing inventory. Once we are at 6 months, and if we continue to grow inventory after that landmark, we will definitely be in a buyers market....again....finally.

Should you wait to buy then? That's entirely up to you. What I'm seeing shows that you will be paying the same-ish monthly payment due to rising interest rates...why wait? Why continue to throw money into a landlords pocket vs. building equity in your very own home? I wouldn't.

Just reach out to me and I'll try and answer every question you have. If I don't immediately have an answer, I'll tell you...and, then I'll find the answer. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Home Price Vs. Interest Rates

I have several lenders that I trust & refer my clients to. I've worked with many, but I keep a handful that I know will always get the job done and treat my peeps with kindness and respect.

So much talk about the changing of the market. How much of a correction, when, interest rates, etc.

I definitely expect a correction. As inventory grows, prices don't escalate. Sellers get a bit anxious and price reductions are a plenty.

As interest rates climb, buyers get a bit timid.

Millennial buyers have never seen the interest rates over 5% in their adult lifetimes. They don't remember the adjustable 8.5% loans that we got excited over. They have no real knowledge of a 12% mortgage rate. Nor do they have the concept of a house costing only 27k or 70k, or a 2500 sq ft home in Valencia for 263k.

But, for today's blog, it's about now. Where the prices are likely going & the other half, where interest rates are apparently going as well.

The copy & paste below is from one of my preferred lenders. Just so you realize I'm not the only one talking about this future market happening .........


Lately we’ve been getting quite a few questions regarding the state of the market, and if we believe that values are going to drop significantly.
While no one has a crystal ball, we’ve definitely seen a shift from the seller’s market we were in for so long, to more of a buyer’s market in latter part of 2018.
What we’ve also seen is a consistent rise in interest rates, that when combined with rising prices, and concerns of a correction, have made for nervous prospective buyers!
While no one can guarantee the direction of home values (or interest rates), we thought a mathematical comparison of rates vs. cost might be helpful to some folks still unsure of how they’d like to proceed

Here’s our hypothetical scenario-
$600,000 purchase price
$60,000 down payment
$540,000 loan amount
5% interest rate
$2,898 Principal and Interest payment

Now, let’s take a look at what happens should values fall 10%, but rates rise by 1%-
$540,000 purchase price
$54,000 down payment
$486,000 loan amount
6% interest rate
$2913 Principal and Interest payment

As you can see, a lower price doesn’t help much for affordability, if the cost to borrow has risen.
Although market trends are subject to change, a 6% 30 year fixed doesn’t seem far-fetched, given the Fed’s stated plan of five rate hikes between now and 2020; as a matter of fact, 6.5% doesn’t seem too far-fetched, when looked at through that lens.
If you’re still on the fence, remember to consider the cost to borrow when doing your math; in all likelihood, that may be increasing significantly, soon.


Me again. So, expect these changes & talk with me, + my lender(s), to decide if you want to quit paying rent today and start the benefits of owning your own home tomorrow.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Vampire Power!

We are in one of my favorite seasons in Santa Clarita. Fall, Autumn, whatever, it's not over 100 degrees every day. The mornings are cool, the clouds are spectacular. Days are warm but not hot. And, the evenings....ahhhh, so delightful. Yep, I said delightful!!!

Now too, we are not running that A/C what feels like 24/7. Well, I'm an energy freak since husband has a dozen aquariums in our house and garage for pleasure & business. So, I have my A/C set at 78 during the day, 80 at night. Ceiling fans are going. Shades are drawn. LED lights are in our sockets. Fireplace doors are closed too.

But, I am also a bit of a nut about Vampire power!
Drives the hubby a bit crazy...well, at first it did....but he puts up with me looking for ways to save energy.

I don't unplug my computer or TV stuff as I'd have to climb around on the floor and not gonna do that a couple times a day.

But, coffee maker is only plugged in when brewing. Zero counter appliances are left plugged in for maybe using. Cell phone cords get unplugged as soon as I see they are fully charged. Lamps not being used daily but still look pretty? Unplugged.

So, you look at that vampire pic and think, well that's not that much.....but, it is. And, it's easy to do. 

We put up solar panels to save energy. And, then used more! So, back to conserving we went and our bill was noticeably lower with the vampire power changes.

Oh, and for sure....don't do your laundry or run the dang dishwasher until after 9 pm or just on the weekends. HUGE saver!!! 

See, I don't always talk about just Real Estate! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Oh My ~ Solar Panels on Condos???

I own a townhouse....it's a rental. Yesterday I got some updated information about our Architectural Guidelines for the newest change....putting solar panels on our roofs!

Well, only an owner can do it. But, sheesh, that's going to be quite the challenge for the installers, owners, and us Realtors when we go to sell them.

Solar panels have always been a bit of a challenge during a sale escrow. If they are owned outright, no biggie. Anything else and it can create a tad of a roadblock.

So, my complex in Westridge Valencia is allowing owners,
 with approval, to put panels up.

Purpose of this post? To think long & hard before you put up solar panels on your condo or townhouse. There are so many complexes that aren't approved by FHA for sale which limits the number of buyers that can buy those units. Putting panels up will likely limit more buyers as they won't necessarily qualify for the extra payment.

Our market is seemingly leveling off.....don't make yours any more difficult to sell when it turns, and it will, into a full-on buyers market. Well, unless you buy the solar panels outright....that would be a plus then!

Just sayin......