2018 Real Estate Trends: What You Need to Know

Real estate season is here, and experts are predicting the hot market conditions will continue throughout the summer in many states. Thinking of buying or selling? Here are the 2018 real estate trends you need to know, and what the hot market means for your house.

Real Estate Trend #1: Homes Are Selling Faster Than Last Year

In February 2018, Realtor.com data showed that properties were selling 8% quicker than the same time last year—staying on the market for a median of only 83 days!(1) In March 2018, the data found that homes sold (at least!) a whole week faster than last year in 36% of the largest housing markets in the country—averaging 63 days on the market.(2)

What Faster Sales Mean for Sellers

Clearly, this is great news for home sellers! Not only does it mean your home could sell at a higher price (more on that later), but it also removes a lot of pressure you might be under to sell your home quickly. With plenty of buyers to choose from, you have a lot of negotiating power to sell on a timeline that works best for you. Woohoo!

What Faster Sales Mean for Buyers

This news isn’t as great for buyers. Your biggest challenge will be competition for homes. In their latest report on the 2018 market, Realtor.com said we’ve never experienced a market where so many buyers have to choose from so few houses.(3) To beat the competition and snatch a home this year, you may have to reprioritize what you want in a dream home. So strap in, buckle down, and follow these tips:

    • Prepare finances. If you haven’t saved 100% in cash for the home you want, at least get preapproved for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and save up a 3.5 to 20% down payment. (A 20% down payment is better—you’ll avoid having to pay private mortgage insurance.) This will show sellers that you’re a serious buyer because you’ve already started the mortgage process—which isn’t common among all buyers placing offers.

 

    • Know what you want. You’ll be able to beat competitors to the punch and make an offer faster if you already know exactly what you want in a home. If you’re married and house hunting, you and your spouse need to agree on must-haves! So first create separate lists of what you want most. Then compare and combine those lists for your real estate agent to use as the foundation of your home search.

 

    • Write a letter. Sending a personal story to your seller might be just the thing that makes you stand out over similar offers. Covina couple Abby and John B. included a personal letter when they made an offer on their home. They believe it’s the reason their offer beat the heavy competition. “We sent the sellers a personal letter with our offer,” Abby said. “The best thing you can do is to include in the letter things you love about their house. If they have a deck or screened-in porch, tell them how you envision using the space. We did that, and the sellers accepted our offer—out of multiple offers—within 24 hours.”

 

  • Hire an experienced pro. If you don’t operate in the real estate business every day, working through the complex details that go into a home purchase in a hot market could cause costly delays. In such a competitive market, why shouldn’t a seller choose to work with a buyer who’s more prepared? That’s why you want to partner with a seasoned real estate agent who has a great reputation in the community. A good agent is an expert at negotiations and can manage detailed paperwork and closing so you don’t miss your chance on a great home.

Real Estate Trend #2: Home Prices Are Higher Than Last Year

Over the past 30 years, home prices have continued to rise at an average rate of 3–4% per year.(4) But the increase in listing prices from February 2017 to 2018 is a startling 10% jump!(5)

What does this look like in dollars? As of March 2018, the median list price hit $280,000. Most new listings tend to be over $350,000, while the rest remain between $200,000–350,000. Only 1 in 3 homes on the market are priced below $200,000, and half of all buyers are competing for homes in that price range!(6)

What Higher Prices Mean for Sellers

You’ll likely make a nice profit as a seller! Will you use the profits to purchase your next home? Maybe you’re downsizing and using the money to beef up your retirement. Whatever you do, lay out your plan before you sell so your profit doesn’t go to waste.

What Higher Prices Mean for Buyers

If you’re going to buy a home in this expensive market, you absolutely must find out how much house you can really afford. Crunch the numbers yourself with our free mortgage calculator or meet with one of our trusted lenders and figure out how much of a monthly payment your budget can handle.

Commit to staying within that budget amount. Don’t rush into a home purchase that doesn’t make financial sense for you—no matter how much pressure you feel watching competitors pluck good homes off the market. If you get impatient, you’ll screw up your finances!

  • Expand your search. What if the location you’re planning to buy in is what’s really busting your budget? Get connected with Yesenia to learn more about home prices in your area that will fit your budget and lifestyle.

Real Estate Trend #3: CA Holds the Hottest Market

While the hot market is likely to affect the sale or purchase of your home no matter where you live in the country, you can expect the above trends to be at their peak on the West Coast. As of February 2018, California accounted for 13 of the top 20 locations where homes were receiving the most listing views and staying on the market for the shortest amount of days. For a glance at what some of those Californian areas are, below is a list of the top 10 hottest markets:

  1. San Francisco, CA
  2. Midland, TX
  3. Vallejo, CA
  4. San Jose, CA
  5. Sacramento, CA
  6. Denver, CO
  7. Santa Rosa, CA
  8. Colorado Springs, CO
  9. San Diego, CA
  10. Stockton, CA(7)

What If I’m Not Buying or Selling a Home This Year?

Now you know the challenges and benefits of buying or selling a home this year. But what if you decide to hold off and wait longer to buy or sell? Could your home continue to rise in value—and sell for even more? Will the hot market cool down for better buying conditions? Or are we in another housing bubble that’s about to burst?

1. Equity Will Likely Keep Increasing by 2–6% (Until 2020)

With most housing markets at a low risk for a downturn, the 2018 edition of The Housing and Mortgage Market Review estimates that home prices will continue to rise for the next couple of years, with annual increases of 2–6%.(8) So if you sell your house before 2020, you’ll likely still make a great profit. But don’t rely solely on market trends. Continue to monitor how much your home is worth to make sure your equity (how much your home is worth minus how much you owe on it) is going up.

2. Is the Real Estate Market Going to Crash Again?

With such rapid upward trends, some are wondering if the housing market could collapse again. While it’s impossible to know for sure, most experts expect the rising prices to settle down over the next 24 months. For most cities, risk of a crash in the market is low.(9)

3. Despite Your Neighborhood, Buyers Are Interested

Because of the hot market and low inventory, buyers may be willing to consider neighborhoods that don’t have easy-access to highways or close proximity to the city. In other words, if your neighborhood hasn’t been swarmed by home shoppers in a while, this market will likely make it more attractive. Determined buyers are willing to compromise for an unconventional area if it means they can snatch a house. So, even if you think you live in an unpopular neighborhood or that your home isn’t what buyers are looking for, think again. Maybe now is your perfect time to sell.

Take Control of the Trends With a Real Estate Agent

Whether you’re itching to enjoy the benefits of the hot market by selling your home or feeling the challenges of a buyer, you can take advantage of current real estate trends by partnering with the right professional. Find a professional who has earned Dave Ramsey’s seal of trust for practicing what he teaches, giving excellent advice, and providing outstanding customer service. Contact Yesenia today!

Seven Reasons Why You Need A Real Estate Professional To Help Sell Your House

Eventually almost everyone faces the task of selling their home. During these transitions, many people wonder if they should save some money and list their house for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) instead of using a real estate agent. In reality, using a qualified agent can simplify the process and save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Here are seven perks that a qualified real estate professional can provide:

1. Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Database
This is the digital age and buyers no longer rely solely on their agent to identify possible homes. In fact, many buyers become obsessed with searching the easily accessible online MLS database both before and during the actual home-search process.

2. Marketing Plan
The MLS database is a great place to begin, but savvy real estate agents develop comprehensive marketing plans that go beyond the database. In this recovering real estate market, a combination of selling tools is often necessary to reach your closing date quickly. A variety of advertising strategies is important, but so is networking with other real estate agents.

3. Attracting Buyers’ Agents
Many buyers’ agents are wary of showing a house without a listing agreement even if the FSBO advertising promises a reasonable commission. There is great risk involved when an agent works without the usual contracts. Since most home buyers have an agent, listing your home FSBO excludes a large portion of your customer base.

4. Faster Results
Real estate agents know how to price homes correctly. Also, having a professional marketing plan accelerates the traffic to your home, increasing your odds of a quick sale.

5. Security
When your home is FSBO, you must choose between leaving strangers inside without any accountability and showing the home yourself. Since leaving people alone is not a safe option, FSBO homes are usually shown by the owner. Naturally, when you show the home yourself, your potential buyers will spend less time discussing the pros and cons of your property. They don’t wish to prejudice negotiations by telling you what they like, or offend you by telling you what they don’t like. This silence leaves you unable to encourage the pros and reasonably discuss the cons?a finely honed skill of quality real estate agents.

6. Negotiations
Sometimes negotiating can get a little sticky. Buyers may want repairs that weren’t in the sellers’ budget, or they may try to “test the water” with lowball offers. Real estate agents can work with each other rather than directly with buyers and sellers, distancing themselves and keeping emotional clients focused on the big picture. The result is often a compromise that pleases everyone.

7. Closing
The buying and selling of property is one of the largest business transactions most families face. Sometimes closings are not simple affairs. They can become clouded by chain-of-title issues or conflicting survey results. Even homeowners’ association disputes can complicate the closing process. It just makes sense to use a professional when dealing with complex legal documents.

With over 20 years of experience, we have all the knowledge and experience that you need when selling your home in today’s market. Give us a call today or click here for a quick, no obligation estimate of how much your home ins worth today.

The National Housing Market: Low Inventory, Higher Prices

Every major region of the country saw existing-home sales climb in March. The large gains posted in the Northeast and Midwest helped sales climb 1.5 percent higher than a year ago. Buyers in these regions overcame inventory woes and affordability issues to make their home purchases. On the supply side, there were 1.98 million existing homes for sale at the end of March; at the current sales pace, this represents a 4.5-month supply. Inventory was 5.9 percent higher than a month ago but 1.5 percent lower than a year ago, when housing inventory stood at 2.01 million. This lack of inventory helped drive home prices up. In March, the median existing-home price for all housing types reached $222,700, a rise of 5.7 percent year over year. For the past 49 consecutive months, median prices have seen year-over-year gains, making home affordability a growing concern for buyers.

The Starter Market
First-time buyers accounted for 30 percent of all buyers in March, a figure that is unchanged from both a month ago and a year ago. For all of 2015, the share of first-time buyers in the market was also at 30 percent. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, “With rents steadily rising and average fixed rates well below 4 percent, qualified first-time buyers should be more active participants than what they are right now.” Unfortunately, the same barriers to market entry that stymied first-time buyers in the past are still in place—affordability issues and low availability of starter homes on the market.

The Money-Making Market
Investors are another group who managed to maintain their share of the housing market. All-cash sales remained the same from February to March, accounting for 25 percent of all transactions, up 1 percent from a year ago. Individual investors are behind many of the all-cash sales; in March, 66 percent of them paid for their investments with cash. Of all the homes sold in March, 14 percent were purchased by individual investors, a 4 percent decline from a month ago but unchanged from a year ago.

Regional Home Sales

Northeast: Existing-home sales’ annual rate: 700,000, an increase of 11.1 percent. Sales are 7.7 percent higher than March 2015.

Midwest: Existing-home sales’ annual rate: 1.23 million, an increase of 9.8 percent. Sales are 0.8 percent higher than March 2015.

South: Existing-home sales’ annual rate: 2.25 million, an increase of 2.7 percent. Sales are 2.3 percent higher than March 2015.

West: Existing-home sales’ annual rate: 1.15 million, an increase of 1.8 percent. Sales are 2.5 percent lower than March 2015.

1-626-252-0839 Sell While the Market is HOTT!  What’s Your Home Worth? Find out Now! 

If you’ve been thinking about selling your home, chances are that you’re excited about the possibility of moving and starting a new chapter of your life. Simply deciding to sell your home isn’t enough, though. The process of putting your home on the market can be overwhelming and time-consuming, so before you try to sell your property, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Being honest with yourself and with the people around you will help you have a more positive selling experience when you’re ready to move. 

Small Gains in the National Housing Market

Freddie Mac’s Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) analyzes home-purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios, employment figures, and the number of on-time mortgage payments in markets across the country to determine the stability of the housing market. All of these indicators point to a slight improvement in the housing market as it heads into the busy spring season. January’s national MiMi value reached 82.7; while this isn’t as impressive as the all-time high MiMi value of 121.7, it is still a 40 percent improvement over the MiMi’s all-time low back in October 2010. January’s MiMi saw a three-month increase of 1.46 percent. Year-over-year values showed greater gains, with a 7.57 percent climb.

National Pending Home Sales
The Pending Home Sales Index, an indicator based on contract signings, reached 109.1 in February, a 3.5 percent increase from the downwardly revised 105.4 in January. This is a 0.7 percent improvement from February 2015’s index of 108.3. The index has seen year-over-year gains for the past 18 months, yet this last gain was the smallest of the lot.

Regional Pending Home Sales
In the Northeast, the Pending Home Sales Index fell 0.2 percent; it is still 12.6 percent higher than February 2015. The Midwest saw the index climb an impressive 11.4 percent month over month and 2.5 percent year over year. The index rose 2.1 percent and 0.7 percent in the South and the West, respectively. Compared to February 2015, the index dropped 0.4 percent in the South and 6.2 percent in the West.?

Future Predictions
Economists with the National Association of Realtors predict that existing-home sales will reach 5.38 million this year—up 2.4 percent from 2015. The national median existing-home price should also climb between 4 and 5 percent. In comparison, 2015 saw existing-home sales rise 6.3 percent, with home prices increasing 6.8 percent.

1-626-252-0839 Sell While the Market is HOTT!

What’s Your Home Worth? Find out Now!

 

If you’ve been thinking about selling your home, chances are that you’re excited about the possibility of moving and starting a new chapter of your life. Simply deciding to sell your home isn’t enough, though. The process of putting your home on the market can be overwhelming and time-consuming, so before you try to sell your property, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Being honest with yourself and with the people around you will help you have a more positive selling experience when you’re ready to move.

How’s the Market??? Snapshot for March 2016- Real Estate Market Trends

Here is this month’s How’s the Market??? Snapshot. If you saw last month’s Snapshot you will notice that our local real estate trends show median prices are still creeping up, its just taking a little longer for homes to sell! If Hows the market imageyou would like more detailed information about how much your home is now worth after the Real Estate Crash, send me an email, text, or call me. I’ll be more than happy to provide you with a Free, no obligation report of what its worth and things you can do to improve the value of your home.

I hope you will find the following snapshot of local Real Estate inventory interesting. The table represents aggregated values based on MLS data for the specified date.

Housing Inventory Snapshot March 31, 2016
Average List Price 30 Days Trend Median List Price 30 Days Trend Average DOM: active 30 Days Trend Number of Listings
Los Angeles County, CA
Single Family under $1M $577,104 4.57% $559,000 5.67% 65 -7 7002
Single Family over $1M $3,601,488 -0.92% $2,095,000 0.29% 87 -7 4791
Condo/Townhome under $600K $390,169 0.84% $389,000 0.26% 61 -3 1849
Condo/Townhome over $600K $1,277,128 -0.52% $899,000 0.01% 61 -3 1294
Riverside County, CA
Single Family under $500K $334,726 1.41% $339,000 1.50% 82 -3 5718
Single Family over $500K $1,594,716 0.22% $930,000 1.09% 102 -5 5765
Condo/Townhome under $300K $205,773 -0.39% $212,000 -1.17% 117 9 1233
Condo/Townhome over $300K $569,457 5.95% $469,000 4.45% 93 3 1411
San Bernardino County, CA
Single Family under $500K $290,247 1.31% $288,000 2.86% 93 -5 4314
Single Family over $500K $1,772,663 -0.24% $988,800 2.47% 96 -11 3420
Condo/Townhome under $300K $205,067 2.97% $225,000 4.65% 75 -7 228
Condo/Townhome over $300K $696,569 7.37% $599,000 9.01% 44 -3 622
Orange County, CA
Single Family under $1M $755,087 3.26% $749,000 3.47% 61 -7 4133
Single Family over $1M $3,562,601 -2.19% $2,288,000 -0.31% 97 -12 2555
Condo/Townhome under $600K $406,851 0.48% $412,000 0.49% 57 -3 1271
Condo/Townhome over $600K $1,034,862 -3.03% $848,500 2.86% 56 -3 810
If you know someone who is considering buying or selling a home, please give me a call. I will provide professional & courteous service along with knowledgeable guidance through the process.
Sincerely,
Yesenia E. Ruvalcaba-Garcia, Broker
Realtor®/HUD REO & Listing Specialist
Direct (626) 252-0839
Office (626) 917-6200 ext. 14
Cell Phone (626) 252-0839
Fax (626) 209-8318
CalBRE License Number: 01293970
yeseniaruvalcaba@aol.com
newcenturybroker.com
New Century Realtors

Understanding Your Closing Mortgage Paperwork

If you’ve decided to take the leap and become a homeowner, then odds are that you’ll need to apply for a mortgage to make this dream come true. Applying for a mortgage often seems more complicated than it should be—by the end of it all, it may seem like you are drowning in a sea of paperwork. Besides all of the forms that you’ll have to fill out and the documents you’ll need to sign to submit an official application, you’ll also have to sign three mortgage documents on the day of the closing. The following is a closer look at those documents.

Settlement Statement
The settlement statement, which is also referred to as the Closing Disclosure, is a final laundry list of everything you are paying for regarding your home purchase (i.e., fees). This shouldn’t be the first time you see these fees, though. Mortgage lenders are required by law to provide you with a Loan Estimate early on in the loan process. Although a Loan Estimate doesn’t break down your fees into a line-item list the way a Closing Disclosure does, it does let you compare your final closing costs and terms with your initial estimate. Once you receive your Closing Disclosure there is a required waiting period of three days to review the terms before closing. The following are some of the fees that a settlement statement will detail:

  • Real Estate Agent Fees – These are the commissions paid by the seller.

  • Mortgage Lender Fees – These fees typically include the appraisal fee, the credit report fee, and any origination fees for the mortgage rate you chose, as well as other potential loan processing fees.

  • Title Fees – The title fees include the title insurance that you must buy to protect both yourself and your mortgage lender in the event that any third party makes unwarranted claims on your new property. These are charged by the title company that is serving as your settlement agent.

  • Prorated Items – These items can include prepaid mortgage insurance, homeowners insurance (most mortgage lenders require a year’s worth), and more.

  • HOA Fees – The community’s homeowner association may charge you a move-in fee.

Promissory Note
The promissory note, which is often simply referred to as the note, is the document that outlines the terms of your mortgage loan including whether you’ve taken out a 15-year adjustable-rate mortgage or a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, your mortgage interest rate, your payment intervals, and whether or not you’ll be required to pay a penalty if you pay your loan off early. The promissory note also states that the property you are buying will be used as security by the mortgage lender in case you default on the loan.

Deed of Trust
This document, which is referred to by several different names, including the security instrument and the mortgage, is an agreement that states that you pledge your property as security for the promissory note. The deed of trust consists of three occupancy provisions. You must comply with one of them based on the loan you’ve chosen. These three occupancy provisions are as follows:

  • Owner occupied provision – If the property is your main residency, then you need to move into the home within 60 days of the closing date. You’ll also be required to live there for a minimum of one year before you can use it as a secondary home or as a rental property.

  • Second home provision – If you’ve purchased the property as a second home, such as a vacation home, then you are not allowed to rent the property out.

  • Non-owner occupied provision – Mortgages for non-owner occupied homes tend to require you to pay a higher mortgage interest rate, which means that you can convert the property to an owner-occupied home or a second home if and whenever you want to.

These are the mortgage documents that you’ll need to sign on the date of your closing. It’s a good idea to be prepared for the closing by knowing what it is that you’ll be signing. This way you’ll save time and reduce the amount of confusion you might experience regarding the terms you are agreeing to.

When you decide to sell your house, it is important to be well informed about the local market and current buyer expectations. Take the emotion out of the process. Be realistic about price and know what you need to do to get the best return on your home investment.

1-626-252-0839 Sell While the Market is HOTT!

What’s Your Home Worth? Find out Now!

If you’ve been thinking about selling your home, chances are that you’re excited about the possibility of moving and starting a new chapter of your life. Simply deciding to sell your home isn’t enough, though. The process of putting your home on the market can be overwhelming and time-consuming, so before you try to sell your property, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Being honest with yourself and with the people around you will help you have a more positive selling experience when you’re ready to move.

The 2016 Housing Market Is Off to a Good Start

Consumer confidence is almost as high as it was pre-recession. Economists predict GDP growth will see a slight year-over-year increase. And private sector job growth has been steady for the past two years, averaging 240,000 jobs per month. All of these factors led the National Association of Home Builders’ chief economist David Crowe to declare 2016 “a good year for housing and the economy.”

Mortgage Rates to Rise from Cheap to Low
This year mortgage rates are expected to climb one-quarter to one-half of a percentage point to an average of 4.5 percent. Though the days of “cheap” 4 percent mortgage rates may be over, rates in 2016 should still be “low,” according to Frank Nothaft, chief economist of CoreLogic. Buyers might be faced with slightly higher mortgage rates, but they may find it easier to qualify for their mortgages. Economists expect tight mortgage credit standards to slowly loosen in 2016—but not quite to levels seen 15 to 20 years ago.

National Sales Climb
According to the National Association of Realtors®, national existing-home sales saw a significant climb in December, due in part to the Know Before You Owe initiative. These new mortgage rules, which came into effect October 3rd, delayed some transactions from November to December as lenders adjusted to the new consumer mortgage form. But while the delays accounted for some of December’s activity, they were not the only influencing factor; warm weather and the prospect of higher mortgage rates also contributed to the sales jump. Existing-home sales climbed 14.7 percent in December, which is 7.7 percent higher than a year ago. Sales haven’t been this high since 2006; however, sales will have to climb much higher to beat 2006’s record of 6.48 million.

Regional Home Sales

  • Northeast – Existing-home sales’ annual rate: 750,000, a rise of 8.7 percent. Sales are 11.9 percent above a year ago. Median price: $255,700, which is 5.3 percent higher than December 2014.

  • Midwest – Existing-home sales’ annual rate: 1.22 million, a 10.9 percent increase. Sales have risen 9.9 percent above December 2014. Median price: $171,000, a 7.5 percent climb from a year ago.

  • South – Existing-home sales’ annual rate: 2.27 million, up 14.6 percent. December sales are 4.6 percent higher than a year ago. Median price: $196,100, which is 6.8 percent above December 2014.

  • West – Existing-home sales’ annual rate: 1.22 million, a climb of 23.2 percent. Sales are up 8.9 percent from a year ago. Median price: $321,100, an 8.2 percent increase from December 2014.

When you decide to sell your house, it is important to be well informed about the local market and current buyer expectations. Take the emotion out of the process. Be realistic about price and know what you need to do to get the best return on your home investment.

1-626-252-0839 Sell While the Market is HOTT!

What’s Your Home Worth? Find out Now!

If you’ve been thinking about selling your home, chances are that you’re excited about the possibility of moving and starting a new chapter of your life. Simply deciding to sell your home isn’t enough, though. The process of putting your home on the market can be overwhelming and time-consuming, so before you try to sell your property, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Being honest with yourself and with the people around you will help you have a more positive selling experience when you’re ready to move.