Skip to Body

Blog Posts in Category: Homes

05/08/2022

The New California program for first-time homebuyers will let you borrow a down payment at 0% interest!

The New California program for first-time homebuyers will let you borrow a down payment at 0% interest!

Photo by Kindel Media.
California launched two programs last month to help those interested in becoming homeowners, and one allows first-time homebuyers to borrow a down payment at 0% interest.   more...

04/01/2022

Mortgage Refinances Fall Amid Higher Rates!

Mortgage Refinances Fall Amid Higher Rates!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio.
Mortgage rates took another jump higher last week, taking their toll on current borrowers who might have wanted to refinance. Demand from homebuyers, however, appears to be hanging in for now.   more...

02/22/2022

Building Materials Prices Jump in January

Building Materials Prices Jump in January

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash According to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the prices of goods used in residential construction ex-energy climbed 3.6% in January (not seasonally adjusted). The index was higher by a 25.4% jump in softwood lumber prices and 9.0% price increases for indoor and outdoor paint.
Building materials prices increased 20.3% year over year and have risen 28.7% since January 2020. Over the past four months, the index has climbed 8.4%.   more...

01/28/2022

ATTOM Reports: Home Ownership Is More Affordable Than Renting!

ATTOM Reports: Home Ownership Is More Affordable Than Renting!

On January 6th, 2022, ATTOM released its 2022 Rental Affordability Report, which proves that owning a median-priced home is more affordable than average rents on a three-bedroom property in 666, or 58%, of the 1,154 U.S. counties analyzed in this report. That means major homeownership expenses consume a smaller portion of average local wages than renting.
That can be pretty hard to believe, considering how much the median price of homes skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic, but the data does not lie. Home prices have increased more than average rents and more than average wages in 88% of the counties analyzed.   more...

01/28/2022

Lumber Prices Nearly Triple in Last Four Months

Lumber Prices Nearly Triple in Last Four Months

Following a few months of moderating prices last spring and summer, lumber prices are soaring once again; Disrupting the housing market and harming housing affordability.
Over the past four months, lumber prices have nearly tripled — causing the cost of an average new single-family home to increase by more than $18,600, according to NAHB standard estimates of lumber used to build the average home. This lumber price hike has also added nearly $7,300 to the market value of the average new multi-family home, which translates into households paying $67 a month more to rent a new apartment.   more...

09/29/2021

What Happens After September 30th, 2021?

What Happens After September 30th, 2021?

'The state legislature adjourned this month without extending its eviction moratorium and the terms of AB 832. So, barring any extraordinary effort on either the governor or lawmakers, the state moratorium should, therefore, finally lapse on September 30, 2021. Beginning October 1, 2021, and continuing through March 2022, California will enter into the "COVID-19 Rental Housing Recovery Act." What this means in Alameda County
Nothing at all! For some of you, September 30, 2021, will be the proverbial "light at the end of the tunnel." But for those with rentals in Alameda County, the end of California's moratorium will have absolutely no effect, and properties will remain mired in local "emergency" ordinances, which still effectively prohibit ALL evictions indefinitely. Laws in both Oakland and Alameda County will only expire 60 days after the local emergency ends. Our honest assessment is that regular evictions will not be allowed in Alameda County until 2022 at the earliest. Only cases involving an "imminent threat to health and safety," post-foreclosure, forcible detainer, and at-will tenancies may move forward for the time being. Please reach out to us if these issues relate to your tenancy. What this Means Everywhere Else   more...

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...

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...

05/28/2021

Facts About Selling a Home to Your Family

Facts About Selling a Home to Your Family

It’s not uncommon to wish to sell a home to a family member, but it can become a tricky situation. You have to be mindful of not only the personal elements that can come with doing this type of transaction with a relative, but the IRS may also scrutinize the transaction if you don’t avoid certain red flags. It’s perfectly legal to sell a home to a family member as long as you’re not just doing it to avoid taxes. If you’re selling the property at a steeply discounted rate, you might have to pay an estate and gift tax, but beyond that, it’s just like any other real estate transaction.
Owner-Financed: One option if you’re selling your home to your child, for example, is to select an owner-financed sale. Then, your family member would make payments to you instead of a bank. However, you’ll need to legally arrange it so that if your relative defaults, the home goes back to you automatically, enabling you to sell it.   more...

05/12/2021

Housing Interest Continues to Fall as Mortgage Rates Drop to a Two-Month Low!

Housing Interest Continues to Fall as Mortgage Rates Drop to a Two-Month Low!

Lower mortgage rates are not prompting homeowners or potential homebuyers to contact their lenders, as other obstacles stand in their way. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index, the total mortgage application volume fell 2.5% last week from the previous week.
The decline came even though the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) decreased to 3.17% from 3.20%, with points decreasing to 0.30 from 0.36 (including the origination fee) for loans with a 20% down payment. That is the lowest rate since the end of February.   more...

05/11/2021

Millennials are making their presence felt in the real estate market

Millennials are making their presence felt in the real estate market

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels
Over the last several years, millennials have rented to stay nimble and keep work opportunities open. Now, they're ready to buy.   more...

05/04/2021

First-time Homebuyers May Find Success in Slow Condo Price Growth

First-time Homebuyers May Find Success in Slow Condo Price Growth

The hot housing market is not even — and some cities and types of properties are noticing higher price gains than others. Condominium prices, in particular, are rising less than those for single-family homes across the board, according to recent insights from Black Knight.
The data firm reports that single-family home prices grew by 12.3% on average in 2020 — the highest appreciation rate since 1992 — but condos aren’t gaining as quickly. That could be an opportunity, especially for first-time homebuyers, in a market starved for inventory and where bidding wars occur in many markets.   more...

04/23/2021

A Recent Study Shows 11-Million Borrowers Could Benefit From Refinancing

A Recent Study Shows 11-Million Borrowers Could Benefit From Refinancing

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels
The number of mortgage refinancing applications is dropping as mortgage rates have been rising in recent weeks. That may scare off some homeowners who could still greatly benefit from refinancing to lock in lower interest rates.   more...

04/22/2021

The American Rescue Plan Act: Homeowner Assistance Fund

The American Rescue Plan Act: Homeowner Assistance Fund

The recently enacted COVID-19 relief legislation, the American Rescue Plan Act, included $9.9 billion in relief for homeowners to be administered through a new Homeowner Assistance Fund. These funds, which will soon be made available to eligible homeowners through their states, may be used for assistance with mortgage payments, homeowner’s insurance, utility payments, and other specified purposes.
The creation of the Homeowner Assistance Fund was to prevent mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacement of homeowners experiencing financial hardship after January 21, 2020. The law prioritizes funds for homeowners who have experienced challenging difficulties, limits eligibility based on need, and only used for certain qualified expenses, outlined in more detail below.   more...

04/08/2021

Why Do New Homes Cost So Much Money?

Why Do New Homes Cost So Much Money?

Ricky Singh on Unsplash
With mortgage rates trending upwards and a lack of housing inventory in California, prospective home buyers are beginning to consider an alternative solution to their housing needs.   more...