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Stars Are Aligning for Housing Recovery

March 1, 2012 1 comment

Folsom Real Estate / By Folsom Realtors

Pending home sales reached their highest level in January in nearly two years, according to NAR’s report this week, rounding out a handful of positive news for housing markets in the last week or two.
 
Pending sales trending upward is an interesting trend to watch considering the recent rise in cancelled contracts. I say this because pending sales at least gives us an indicator of buyer sentiment since many of the failed contracts seem to be due to things that are out of buyers’ control like not securing financing needed to purchase the home or the appraisal coming in below the contract price. With a rise in pending sales, we at least know that buyer intent is on the rise and more folks are trying to buy homes.
 
NAR’s pending home sales index was up 2% to 97 in January from 95 in December, and is 8% higher than January 2011. The January index is the highest since April 2010, when it reached 111.3 as buyers were in a mad dash to take advantage of the home buyer tax credit.
 
Other positive happenings for housing:
 
Improving job market: In January, unemployment hit its lowest level in three years, continuing a five-month streak of improvement. Without jobs, people don’t buy or move so this obviously is a good thing.
 
Home builders are gaining confidence: Home builder sentiment, tracked by the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo, in February reached its highest level in nearly five years. This basically means that home builders are more confident that market conditions are improving to the point that new home sales will be positively impacted.
 
Housing stocks are up: The stock market is a far-from-perfect indicator, but it at least gives a reading of how investors are feeling. The nation’s home builder companies have seen share prices increase 60% since October, according to ananalysis on Time’s website.

Overall, 2012 is looking to be a great year for housing compared to the last five or six. The presidential election likely will also ward off any major controversial policies that could negatively impact the market. With all this in mind, I think we’re looking at our big comeback year. It will be particularly good for certain segments of our local markets and marginally improved at the national level. Not a boom by any means, but we’ll take it!

Do you have specific questions about any homes in Folsom in El Dorado Hills on the Sacramento real estate market? Contact Alvin Newton and the Newton3 team by email (FolsomProperties@gmail.com ), phone (916-941-5798), or on Facebook with your questions or to set up a viewing appointment. Our team can provide customized services, help you navigate the Folsom MLS and set up a customized email-based home search for you to track a specific  Folsom Home, El Dorado Hills Home, and other Sacramento properties at your leisure. Thank you for visiting the Folsom Real Estate blog and we look forward to serving you and your real estate needs.

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Housing Crisis to End in 2012 as Banks Loosen Credit Standards

February 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Capital Economics expects the housing crisis to end this year, according to a report released Tuesday. One of the reasons: loosening credit.

The analytics firm notes the average credit score required to attain a mortgage loan is 700. While this is higher than scores required prior to the crisis, it is constant with requirements one year ago.

Additionally, a Fed Senior Loan Officer Survey found credit requirements in the fourth quarter were consistent with the past three quarters.

However, other market indicators point not just to a stabilization of mortgage lending standards, but also a loosening of credit availability.

Banks are now lending amounts up to 3.5 times borrower earnings. This is up from a low during the crisis of 3.2 times borrower earnings.

Banks are also loosening loan-to-value ratios (LTV), which Capital Economics denotes “the clearest sign yet of an improvement in mortgage credit conditions.”

In contrast to a low of 74 percent reached in mid-2010, banks are now lending at 82 percent LTV.

While credit conditions may have loosened slightly, some potential homebuyers are still struggling with credit requirements. In fact, Capital Economics points out that in November 8 percent of contract cancellations were the result of a potential buyer not qualifying for a loan.

Additionally, Capital Economics says “any improvement in credit conditions won’t be significant enough to generation actual house price gains,” and potential ramifications from the euro-zone pose a threat to future credit availability.

Do you have specific questions about any homes in Folsom in El Dorado Hills on the Sacramento real estate market? Contact Alvin Newton and the Newton3 team by email (FolsomProperties@gmail.com ), phone (916-941-5798), or on Facebook with your questions or to set up a viewing appointment. Our team can provide customized services, help you navigate the Folsom MLS and set up a customized email-based home search for you to track a specific  Folsom Home, El Dorado Hills Home, and other Sacramento properties at your leisure. Thank you for visiting the Folsom Real Estate blog and we look forward to serving you and your real estate needs.

Are You Selling a House With a Dated Kitchen?

February 23, 2012 Leave a comment

You have a dated kitchen and you need to fix it up in order to sell your home, but you find yourself short of the typical $30-40K for a full upgrade.  What do you do?

My experience as a Realtor has shown there are three important areas of the kitchen that are important to home buyers – appliances, counter tops and cabinets.  Replacing old appliances with new working ones makes a huge difference to a buyer.  The buyer doesn’t have to worry about the appliances not working, or having to shell out money immediately to make them functional. There are plenty of places to purchase these cheaply, from appliance outlet centers to the big box retailers.

BEFORE:

Folsom Homes By Folsom Realtors

Now on to the fun stuff – counter tops and cabinets.  In this picture (right), the appliances were fairly new, but the counter tops and cabinets were decidedly not.  It seems as though each are fighting for attention.

This was a property that my client had been renting for some time and now was looking to sell.  The fact that the appliances are fairly new gets lost with the dated cabinets and countertop. Plus the refrigerator had a slight lean towards the back wall, which made the room seem unbalanced.   Lots of chaos!

I advised my client to tackle the large visual elephant in the room – the cabinets.  I suggested painting all of the cabinets and the walls the same color — white — to brighten the room and melt the cabinets into the walls, making the kitchen feel larger. And of course, have the refrigerator straightened up. She had both things done and this was the final result…

AFTER:

Folsom Homes By Folsom Realtors

Look at that! The cabinets and countertops are now playing nice! Notice that the countertops and floors were NOT changed but each becomes less of issue with the cabinets painted.

Sure, the floors could have been updated with self-adhesive vinyl floor tiles but remember – tight budget!  It seemed to work, as the client received 3 offers on the house after the first open house weekend and the house sold quickly thereafter.

As in most kitchens, the cabinets take up the most visual attention in the room so don’t be afraid to address them! You can paint them, update the hardware or even replace cheaply with standard sized cabinets, from  discount cabinetmakers.  If you have the funds to update the countertops with laminate from local hardware store, do it. Just don’t ignore your kitchen, it could easily block your sale more than you know!

Folsom Homes By Folsom Realtors

Do you have specific questions about any homes in Folsom in El Dorado Hills on the Sacramento real estate market? Contact Alvin Newton and the Newton3 team by email (FolsomProperties@gmail.com ), phone (916-941-5798), or on Facebook with your questions or to set up a viewing appointment. Our team can provide customized services, help you navigate the Folsom MLS and set up a customized email-based home search for you to track a specific  Folsom Home, El Dorado Hills Home, and other Sacramento properties at your leisure. Thank you for visiting the Folsom Real Estate blog and we look forward to serving you and your real estate needs.

Sacramento Home Sales Up!

January 22, 2012 Leave a comment

December 2011 home sales in the four-county Sacramento region were up compared with the same month in 2010, based on closed escrows, analyst DataQuick   said Wednesday.

Sacramento Homes | By Sacramento Realtors

A total of 3,187 homes of all types, including resale and newly built condos and single-family homes, sold during the month, the company reported. That’s up from 2,938 in December of 2010.

Prices in all four counties were lower on a year-over-year basis, however. The largest price declines were in Sacramento and Yolo counties, each down 8.2 percent.

In Sacramento County, the median price was $155,000 during the month while it was $218,000 in Yolo County.

Placer County’s median price was at $260,000, down just 1.9 percent, while El Dorado County’s median was $265,000, down 3.6 percent.

 

Do you have specific questions about any homes in Folsom in El Dorado Hills on the Sacramento real estate market? Contact Alvin Newton and the Newton3 team by email (FolsomProperties@gmail.com ), phone (916-941-5798), or on Facebook with your questions or to set up a viewing appointment. Our team can provide customized services, help you navigate the Folsom MLS and set up a customized email-based home search for you to track a specific  Folsom Home, El Dorado Hills Home, and other Sacramento properties at your leisure. Thank you for visiting the Folsom Real Estate blog and we look forward to serving you and your real estate needs.

El Dorado Hills Real Estate Inventory

January 19, 2012 Leave a comment

As agents we like to see the months of inventory at about 3-4 months worth of inventory in El Dorado Hills. When inventory drops buyers will be up ageist multiple offers on most homes do to supply and demand. You can expect between 3-5 offers per homes that are in OK condition. With this said this is good news for sellers in that there is a good chance you will sell your home fast!

El Dorado Hills Homes | Presented By El Dorado Hills Realtors

Do you have specific questions about any homes in Folsom in El Dorado Hills on the Sacramento real estate market? Contact Alvin Newton and the Newton3 team by email (FolsomProperties@gmail.com ), phone (916-941-5798), or on Facebook with your questions or to set up a viewing appointment. Our team can provide customized services, help you navigate the Folsom MLS and set up a customized email-based home search for you to track a specific  Folsom Home, El Dorado Hills Home, and other Sacramento properties at your leisure. Thank you for visiting the Folsom Real Estate blog and we look forward to serving you and your real estate needs.

Real Estate Inventory In Folsom Ca January 2012

January 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Folsom Real Estate | Presented By Folsom Realtors

The inventory in Folsom Ca is down as of 1/11/12, we are at 1.6 months of inventory. Normal should be about 3 to 3.5 months of inventory. So with this said the demand is really high and you are going to see multiple offers on homes. Don’t focus so much on the purchase price but if you really like the home what do I have to do to get into contract. There is multiple ways to structure the contract and still get the buyer a good deal on some Folsom Real Estate!

Do you have specific questions about any homes in Folsom in El Dorado Hills on the Sacramento real estate market? Contact Alvin Newton and the Newton3 team by email (FolsomProperties@gmail.com ), phone (916-941-5798), or on Facebook with your questions or to set up a viewing appointment. Our team can provide customized services, help you navigate the Folsom MLS and set up a customized email-based home search for you to track a specific  Folsom Home, El Dorado Hills Home, and other Sacramento properties at your leisure. Thank you for visiting the FolsomReal Estate blog and we look forward to serving you and your real estate needs.

When Your Loan Doesn’t Close on Time

January 13, 2012 Leave a comment

homeowners sitting on couch on computer

It’s not all about rate!

When you are shopping for a lender, keep in mind that when the transaction doesn’t close on time, nobody wins.

Real Consequences

When your loan doesn’t close on time

  • Financing contingency lapse
  • Seller unwilling to extend
  • Losing earnest money
  • Per diem seller charge (IF they agree to extend)
  • Losing to a back-up offer
  • Lock extension costs
  • Altered moving plans
  • Temporary housing costs

When the financing piece of your transaction doesn’t close on time, there are many unintended consequences — beyond the fact that the property is now out of contract.

Many national banks and lenders are unable to perform and close loans in a timely fashion. Be sure to work with a Mortgage Lender that you can trust and has a good track record of closing on time.

Be very cautious of using on-line lenders. I prefer:

  • Local Lending
  • Local Decisions
  • Local People

If you are looking to purchase a home, I would be happy to help you out. I can also refer you to a local lender that will sit down with you to review your real estate needs and goals to help find you the best home loan.

Do you have specific questions about any homes in Folsom in El Dorado Hills on the Sacramento real estate market? Contact Alvin Newton and the Newton3 team by email (FolsomProperties@gmail.com ), phone (916-941-5798), or on Facebook with your questions or to set up a viewing appointment. Our team can provide customized services, help you navigate the Folsom MLS and set up a customized email-based home search for you to track a specific  Folsom Home, El Dorado Hills Home, and other Sacramento properties at your leisure. Thank you for visiting the FolsomReal Estate blog and we look forward to serving you and your real estate needs.