Blog Posts

08/27/2021

A New Fannie Mae Rule Could Help Renters Qualify for Mortgages

A New Fannie Mae Rule Could Help Renters Qualify for Mortgages

Photo by RODNAE Productions via. Pexels.com
Would-be homebuyers with thin credit files will have a better chance of getting approved for a mortgage if they’ve been paying their rent consistently, thanks to changes to Fannie Mae’s automated underwriting system taking effect next month.   more...

08/27/2021

California Views a Broad New Law To Ease Affordable Housing Crisis

California Views a Broad New Law To Ease Affordable Housing Crisis

This article was produced by Capital & Main, an award-winning publication that reports from California on economic, political, and social issues. This article highlights vital points and perspectives of S.B. 9. For the complete article and more information covering this topic, please visit prospect.org.
The classic American ideal of a single-family home surrounded by a green lawn and picket fence may no longer be sustainable in California. Today, most of the state’s residential land—more than two-thirds of it—is set aside exclusively for one home per lot. The practice may not only have driven up land prices, but it has also created intense racial and economic segregation. Single-family zoning is the “new redlining,” wrote Richard Kahlenberg in a New York Times op-ed earlier this year. Scholarly work on the exclusionary effect the practice has had in U.S. cities has recently come to public attention.   more...

07/29/2021

The Pros and Cons of Owning Multiple Rental Properties

The Pros and Cons of Owning Multiple Rental Properties

Being a rental property owner is something many strive for in their lives. Most of the time, financial advisors recommend owning a rental home is a great investment strategy in building wealth. But, “with great power comes great responsibility,” as you’ll always be required to adhere to the ever-changing local and statewide housing policies and laws. Owning multiple rental properties only ups the stakes, and as with anything else, there are plenty of pros and cons — but that’s where hiring a Property Management company plays a role; we’ll get into that throughout this article too.
Related: How to Hire a Property Manager (Webinar)   more...

07/26/2021

The Cost of Construction Materials is Rising Nationwide

The Cost of Construction Materials is Rising Nationwide

Nationwide, the challenges contractors are experiencing with fast-rising materials costs, uncertain delivery times, and rationing of vital inputs are due to the ongoing global construction struggles with materials shortages and prices.
The steep material cost increases tell only part of the story — One example is a potential shortage of steel form ties used in concrete formwork. The US-based Concrete Foundations Association (CFA), representing cast-in-place contractors, has announced an industry-wide effort to mitigate the shortage.   more...

07/15/2021

The Latest COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act Extension

The Latest COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act Extension

The California Apartment Association has published an array of compliance materials — including an Industry Insight document, an FAQ, and related forms — to help rental housing providers comply with AB 832, legislation signed into law earlier this month that extends the state’s COVID-19 eviction moratorium by three months.
The moratorium had been scheduled to expire with SB 91 on Wednesday, June 30th, 2021 but will remain in effect through September 30th, 2021. AB 832 also expands the existing State Rental Assistance Program to provide landlords with 100% of rent owed by qualifying residents. Compliance materials: The California Apartment Association has published an Industry Insight document and an FAQ to help rental housing providers comply with AB 832. If you are a CAA member, the Industry Insights are accessible for your viewing.   more...

06/25/2021

Will iBuyers Fuel Real Estate’s Future?

Will iBuyers Fuel Real Estate’s Future?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
The growth of eCommerce has become an indispensable part of the global retail framework. Like the pharmaceutical, finance, entertainment, and many other industries, the retail landscape has undergone a substantial transformation following the advent of the internet. Due to the ongoing digitalization of modern life, eCommerce now plays a vital role in our daily lives. It is redefining people’s commercial activities around the world.   more...

06/25/2021

Lawmakers introduce short-term extension of COVID-19 eviction moratorium

Lawmakers introduce short-term extension of COVID-19 eviction moratorium

California lawmakers unveiled legislation today that would extend the state’s COVID-19 eviction moratorium through September 30th, 2021. One day after U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended the nationwide moratorium through July.
AB 832 would keep California’s eviction moratorium in effect for two months beyond the federal eviction ban. Tenant activists had pushed for an extension of the state moratorium through the end of 2021. At present, the moratorium (SB 91) is scheduled to lapse Wednesday, June 30th. The Legislature could vote on the bill as early as Monday, June 28th.   more...

06/25/2021

Homeowners cashed in on Pandemic-driven demand for homes this year

Homeowners cashed in on Pandemic-driven demand for homes this year

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels
American homeowners have gotten nearly $2 trillion richer as real estate prices continue to climb. According to CoreLogic data released Thursday, during the first three months of 2021, mortgage holders – representing roughly 65% of U.S. homes – saw their equity surge by 19.6%. That depicts about $33,400 per borrower, the highest average gain in at least a decade.   more...

06/25/2021

The Importance of Outcomes Associated with Homeownership

The Importance of Outcomes Associated with Homeownership

Homeownership promotes wealth building by acting as a forced savings mechanism and through home value appreciation. Wealth building hinges on the homeowners’ ability to build home equity, which is statistically challenging for lower- and moderate-income households. A few vital factors to building home equity for and moderate-income homes are refinancing loans at a lower interest, sustaining homeownership with the means to weather home value fluctuations, and, most importantly, providing affordable financing. Improving affordable homeownership leads to numerous outcomes that extend beyond the house​​​​​. In the U.S., these include higher economic stability, access to quality education, increased civic and social engagement, better health, and a reduced environmental footprint. Recent findings provided by Habitat for Humanity identify the impact that affordable housing has on individuals and families at home and beyond. The brief provides an overview of how families can prosper with greater access to decent, affordable housing. The full brief is available for download here: download the full brief. Research highlights Wealth and financial stability U.S. homeowners have an average net wealth 400% higher than renters with similar demographics and earnings, and home equity represents the highest proportion of wealth (34.5%) for U.S. households. Research has shown a correlation between homeownership and increased wealth, with each year of homeownership tending to be associated with an additional $9,500 in net wealth, on average. In 2019, net wealth was lower for lower-income ($9,300), Black ($24,100) and Hispanic/Latinx households ($36,050) than for higher-income ($1,589,300) and white households ($189,100). Home equity represented a larger share of net wealth for low-income, Black, and Hispanic/Latinx households.​​ Civic and social engagement Homeowners are more likely to vote in local elections than renters in comparable neighborhoods, and this likelihood increases with the degree of neighborhood disadvantage in low-income urban areas.​​​​​​ Regardless of the length of time owning a home, homeowners are 1.3 times more likely to become involved in a neighborhood group — and join a civic association than renters. The increased participation in neighborhood groups reflects in low-income neighborhoods as well. Environment For older single-family homes, weatherization reduces low-income households’ total energy costs by 12.4% within the first year. That is substantial given that low-income homes have higher energy burdens. Totaling three times the share of their annual income (7.2%) on energy costs compared with other households (2.3%). Education Children of low-income homeowners are 11% more likely to graduate from high school and are 4.5% more likely to complete post-secondary education than children of low-income renters. Homeowners can leverage their housing wealth to finance post-secondary education for their children, notably lower- and moderate-income households. For lower- and moderate-income homes, a $10,000 increase in housing wealth raises the probability of college attendance by 14%. Health Decreasing housing costs for cost-burdened households (those spending more than half of their household expenditures on housing) releases resources to spend on nutritious food and health care and limits overcrowding to minimize the spread of respiratory infectious diseases.   more...

05/28/2021

4 Big Incentives for Homeowners to Sell Now

4 Big Incentives for Homeowners to Sell Now

The housing market keeps sailing along. The only headwind that could take it off course is the lack of inventory for sale. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports 410,000 fewer single-family homes for sale this March than March 2020. The key to continued success in the residential housing market is for more listings to come on the market. However, many homeowners are concerned that selling their homes could be challenging for several reasons.
Recently, Homes.com released the findings of a survey that identified these concerns, as well as what it will take for homeowners to feel comfortable selling their houses. Here are the four major homeowner concerns and a quick explanation of what’s happening in the housing market today.   more...

Effective August 3, 2021, all visitors to our office are required to wear a face-covering over mouth and nose by the order of Alameda County Health Officer Order 21-03. Those who do not comply with this requirement will be refused entry.
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