Dec. 5, 2017

Shasta County Market Update - December 2017

From the desk of Josh Barker @ RE/MAX

The new TAX PLAN and what it means for homeowners in Shasta County.

As I am sure many of you have heard, the tax plan is likely going to be approved by the end of the year. What some of you may not of heard is that there are some real changes proposed to the capital gains exemptions.

Currently if you own a home, and have lived in the home, as your primary residence for 2 years or more out of the past 5 years, you may qualify for a tax exemption for up to $500,000 of the profit. 

The new tax plan currently being proposed has language that could change the exemption of 2 years out of the past 5 years and replace it with the requirement of living in the home for 5 years out of the past 8 years. High income earners may have additional provisions to qualify for the exemption as well.

Imagine that you have lived in your home for 3 years, the home has increased in value and you expect a profit of $50,000. Currently, many home owners would simply take the profit and use it as a portion of the down payment on the purchase of another home. With the new tax plan, this transaction could trigger a taxable event on the profit gained from the sale of the home. This "new tax" would need to be factored into the viability of the next home purchase.

If you currently own a home and are thinking of selling watch this video!

Click Here to watch Josh's video blog for the month of December

Bottom Line
The existing capital gains exemption is changing from a 2 year requirement to a 5 year requirement for owner occupied homes.

When selling a home consider the taxes that may be triggered as a result. You may have less money than you expected for the down payment for your next home.

Home Market Update for Shasta County

For those that enjoy our market reports, I have included a slide that reports on the number of home sales broken down by price range.

The average sales price in November for a home is averaging $275,000 compared to $265,000 in November of last year.

The median sales price for December for a home is averaging $247,000 compared to $248,000 in November of last year.

Year to date closed sales for the Shasta County market are approximately 2,924 compared to 2,844 year for the same period last year.  

Shasta County Sold Listings

You can check the approximate value of your home instantly at

Shasta County Home Values

If you have any additional questions regarding real estate please feel free to email me at or contact me directly at 530-222-3800.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Your Local Realtor,
Josh Barker

Posted in Josh's Blog
Dec. 4, 2017

5 Reasons to Sell This Winter!

5 Reasons To Sell Your Home this Winter

Here are five reasons listing your home for sale this winter makes sense.

#1 - Demand Is Strong

The most recent reports from the Shasta County Board of Realtors shows that buyer demand remains very strong in many price ranges. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing over a single home, netting top dollar for their home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the Redding housing market!

Shasta County Home Valuation
Check the value of your home INSTANTLY at

#2 - There Is Less Competition Now

Housing inventory in Shasta County is still under the 6-month supply which is needed for a normal housing market. This means that there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. This is good news for current homeowners who have gained equity as their home has increased in value. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon in the form of new construction.

Historically, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in their home was six, but has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. There is a pent-up desire for many Redding homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.

The choices Redding home buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until this other inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.

#3 - The Process Will Be Quicker

Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the time to close a loan has dropped to 44 days, after seeing a 12-month high of 48 days in January.

#4 - There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The inventory of homes for sale at these higher price ranges has forced these markets into a buyer’s market. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, your home will sell quickly, AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own! See all homes for sale at

#5 - It’s Time to Move on With Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. If you are ready to make that move, give us a call at 530-222-3800 or email me directly at, I'd be happy to discuss the options available in today's market.

Posted in Josh's Blog
Dec. 1, 2017

The Real Reason Shasta County Home Prices are Increasing

Shasta County Home Prices Increasing

There are many unsubstantiated theories as to why Redding home values are continuing to increase. From those who are worried that lending standards are again becoming too lenient (data shows this is untrue), to those who are concerned that prices are again approaching boom peaks because of “irrational exuberance” (this is also untrue as prices are not at peak levels when they are adjusted for inflation), there seems to be no shortage of opinion.

However, the increase in prices is easily explained by the theory of supply and demand. Whenever there is a limited supply of an item that is in high demand, prices increase.

See what your home is worth INSTANTLY!

Shasta County Instant Home Value

It is that simple. In real estate, it takes a six-month supply of existing salable inventory to maintain pricing stability. In most housing markets, anything less than six months will cause home values to appreciate and anything more than seven months will cause prices to depreciate (see chart 1).

Shasta County Housing Inventory

According to the Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the monthly inventory of homes has been below six months for the last four years (see chart 2).

Shasta County Housing Inventory

Bottom Line
If buyer demand outpaces the current supply of existing homes for sale, Redding home prices will continue to appreciate. Nothing nefarious is taking place. It is simply the theory of supply and demand working as it should.

Posted in Josh's Blog
Nov. 15, 2017

Feeling ‘Stuck in Place’? You Aren’t Alone...

Feeling Stuck?

Whether you are a renter in Redding who is searching for your dream home, or a current homeowner who feels like your only option is to renovate, you have at least one thing in common... feeling stuck in place.

According to the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the average amount of time that a family stays in their home remained at 10 years in 2017. This mark ties the highest marks set in 2014 and 2016. Back in 1985, when data was first collected on this subject, homeowners stayed in their homes for an average of only 5 years.

There are many reasons why many Shasta County homeowners have decided to stay and not to sell. First of all, local housing inventory levels have fallen near historic lows and home prices have increased due to the higher demand. This is one of the main factors why homeowners are choosing to stay and renovate, in turn making it more difficult for renters to enter the housing market.

Search all Redding Homes For Sale
24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Historically, a normal market (in which prices increase at the rate of inflation) requires a 6-7 month supply of inventory. Shasta County housing inventory has not had that supply in over 5 years! Over the course of the last 12 months, inventory has hovered between a 3.5 to 4.5 month supply, meaning that prices have increased and buyers are still out in full force!

Shasta County Active Housing Inventory

Challenges in new home construction have helped create a bottleneck in the market in which owners of starter homes aren’t trading up to newly built homes, which tend to be pricier, in turn creating a squeeze for millennial renters looking to purchase their first home. See all newly built homes in Shasta County at

So, what can you do if you feel stuck & want to move on?

Don’t give up! If you are looking to move-up to a luxury home, there are deals to be had in the higher-priced markets. Demand is strong in the starter home markets which means that your home could sell quickly. Let’s work together to build in contingencies that allow you more time to find your dream home; the right buyer will wait. Call me at 530-222-3800 with any questions you may have, or feel free to email me directly at

Posted in Josh's Blog
Nov. 13, 2017

You May Not Want To Wait To List Your Home For Sale - Here's Why

Every year at this time, many homeowners in Shasta County decide to wait until after the holidays to put their homes on the market for the first time, while others who already have their homes on the market decide to take them off until after the holidays. Get an INSTANT PROPERTY VALUATION at and learn what your home is worth in today's market!

Here are seven great reasons not to wait:

  1. Relocation buyers are out there. Many companies are still hiring throughout the holidays and need their employees in their new positions as soon as possible.
  2. Purchasers who are looking for homes during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy now.
  3. You can restrict the showings on your home to the times you want it shown. You will remain in control.
  4. Homes show better when decorated for the holidays. (It's true!)
  5. There is less competition for you as a seller right now. Let’s take a look at the current listing inventory for Shasta County as compared to the same time last year:Tehama County Homes For Sale
  6. The desire to own a home doesn’t stop when the holidays come. Redding homebuyers who were unable to find their dream home during the busy spring and summer months are still searching!
  7. The supply of listings increases substantially after the holidays. Also, in many parts of the country, new construction will continue to surge reaching new heights in 2018, which will lessen the demand for your house.

Bottom Line
Waiting until after the holidays to sell your home probably doesn’t make sense. Visit for more information about getting the most money for your home. If you have any questions about selling your home in Redding or Shasta County, please call me at 530-222-3800 or email

Posted in Josh's Blog
Nov. 6, 2017

Shasta County Market Update - November 2017

From the desk of Josh Barker @ RE/MAX

As we enter the Holiday Season in Shasta County we can look back on how this year has transpired in regards to real estate. For those of you who keep an eye on our local area housing market we can clearly see that Shasta County home sales have outperformed last year by nearly 3% year to date. However, active inventory has remained steady throughout the year.  


If you own a property which requires a septic system, you need to watch this video!

Click Here to watch Josh's video blog for the month of November

There are changes that are coming to Shasta County in relation to septic systems. In the year 2000, there was a water situation that took place in the Santa Barbara area. As a result, there was water contamination and the State of California required the Water Quality Control Board to conduct an Environmental Impact Study to determine what the best measures would be to protect our water systems as a State. However we all know Santa Barbara is entirely different than Shasta County. The solution found by the State required a separation between ground water and all septic systems in order to prevent contamination. They determined that a separation of between 4 and 20 feet be applied. If we applied that new requirement here in Shasta County it is likely very few homes would actually qualify to have a septic system at all, or one that would be economically feasible to install. 

After this determination by the State, each County responded to the Water Quality Control Board with comments as to why each area would not be able to apply the stringent new requirements. Out of the comments made by local counties, a new program was adopted called LAMP, (Local Area Management Program) and each county was responsible for submitting their own report about how they planned to protect the local water system itself. 

Shasta County New Water Quality Regulations

Currently in Shasta County the minimum separation between groundwater and a septic system is 1 foot. Beginning in May, 2018 that requirement is going to change. The increase will be from 1 foot to 2 feet of separation. This may seem like a very small change, but will have a big impact on existing septic systems as well as new systems being installed in the future. We are likely going to see septic systems becoming more and more shallow. There will need to be additional engineering and design in order to facilitate an operational septic system. Pumps, raised burms, and curtain drains are some of the methods that can be adopted to create a working septic system and still meet the new requirements of LAMP.

If you already own property in Shasta County and you're thinking about selling within the next couple of years, you may want to consider obtaining a septic permit before May 2018. If submitted before May you may be able to remain under the current requirements. If you wait, you may be subject to the new guidelines. If your current system is limping along and maintenance may be needed within the next year, you may want to consider resolving the situation sooner rather than later, before the new requirements become effective. 

If you would like to learn more, I would recommend speaking to the Shasta County Environmental Health Department. The department will be able to walk you through some of the steps that are necessary in order to resolve your particular septic issue or question.

Beyond the county, if you're looking for advice from someone who actually installs septic systems, it is best to get in touch with a Registered Environmental Health Specialist. There are several of these specialists in town that qualify for the designation, and tend to have the most knowledge when it comes to solving problems with septic systems and how to meet those new requirements coming in the future.

As always we're always here to help. If you have any questions at all please give us a call at 530-222-3800 or reply to this email. We can help point you in the right direction.

Your local Realtor,
Josh Barker

Posted in Josh's Blog
Nov. 2, 2017

Why Sell Now Instead of Later? The Buyers are Out Now

Redding Home Buyers are Out Now!

Each year, most Shasta County homeowners wait until the spring to sell their houses because they believe that they can get a better deal during the typical spring buyer’s market. However, recently released data suggests that a seller’s best deal may be available right now. The concept of ‘supply & demand’ reveals that the best price for an item will be realized when the supply of that item is low and the demand for that item is high. Let’s see how this applies to the current Redding real estate market.

It is no secret that the supply of homes for sale in Redding has been far below the number needed for quite some time. A normal housing market requires six months of housing inventory to meet demand. Visit to see all homes for sale in Shasta County.

Supply is currently very low!!

Redding home buyer numbers have been high all year which shows us demand is very strong. The most recent Foot Traffic Report (which sheds light on the number of buyers out looking at homes) disclosed that there are more buyers right now than at any other time in the last twelve months. As you can see Shasta County Home Sales are up!

Shasta County Home Sales StatisticsDemand is currently very high!! 

Bottom Line
Waiting until the spring to list your house for sale made sense in the past. This year is different. The very best deal is probably available right now! Contact me to discuss your options 530-222-3800 or email

Posted in Josh's Blog
Oct. 31, 2017

7 Last-Minute Halloween Costume Ideas Using Boxes

Happy Halloween!

If you're in the middle of a move you probably don't have a lot of time to spend on an elaborate Halloween costume. Don't let that stop you from celebrating in style. Take advantage of something most people probably have a lot of – boxes! Here are suggestions for last minute-costumes ideas using boxes.

1. Voting booth
Some red, white and blue paint and you're set to celebrate Halloween – and democracy. Add an Uncle Sam stars-and-stripes top hat and you're good to go.

2. A perfect pair
Black and white construction paper or paint can turn a couple of boxes into a pair of dice, ideal for couples or siblings heading out for Halloween.

3. Get corny
Decorate a box as an old-school, red-and-white striped popcorn container and attach crumpled yellow tissue paper as the popcorn. Don't forget to make a corny crown.

4. Hit the block(s)
Dressing as a family of Legos is easy using rectangular moving boxes, paint and paper cups for the knobs that stick out. Top it off with a small, matching box on your head.

5. Robot
Silver spray paint can turn a cardboard box into a shiny metallic torso. Visit Home Depot for the silver accordion tubes that vent the air from clothes dryers to cover your arms and legs (or add extra appendages). Accessorize with tin foil.

6. Best vintage
Enlarge a copy of your favorite boxed wine label and slap it on a moving box. You can even add a spout that dispenses real wine.

7. Real estate agent
Cut up a box to make a collection of "SOLD" signs, make sure your phone headset is securely fastened to respond to clients around the clock and you're ready to head out as a RE/MAX agent!

If you're looking for a real real estate agent to help you buy or sell your home, it's easy to find one. Start here.

Posted in Josh's Blog
Oct. 30, 2017

Buying a Home Can Be Scary... Until You Know the Facts

Many potential homebuyers in Shasta County believe that they need a 20% down payment and a 780 FICO® score just to qualify to buy a home, which stops many of them from even trying! 

Here are some facts:

  • 40% of millennials who purchased homes this year have put down less than 10%.
  • The average credit score of approved loans was just over 700 in September.
  • 76.4% of loan applications were approved last month.

First get in touch with a local mortgage lender to see what you qualify for. Then find your dream home on and leave the rest to us! If you have any questions about buying or selling a home, please don't hesitate to contact me at 530-222-3800 or email directly at

Posted in Josh's Blog
Oct. 26, 2017

After the Move: 5 Fast and Easy Ways to Feel at Home

You’re done buying your new home and, at last, the moving truck’s been unloaded. Now it’s time to unpack and make the new place your own – a labor-intensive process that will go a lot easier when you follow these five quick tips. 

1. Divvy Up the Work

Give everyone in the family a list of jobs to do, with the big items – like furniture placement – to be done first. Focus on making the living room comfortable so the entire family can take a much-needed break at the end of the day. Crossing tasks off the list together will make everyone feel accomplished and more at home. 

2. Ensure Safety First

Being in a new home can feel strange for a while. Taking time early on to address any safety concerns can help. Check all entrances and windows to ensure that they lock properly. Make sure you have enough keys for all the family members. Do the locks need changing? Schedule a locksmith and someone to help with any coded entries, such as a garage-door opener or security systems. Also, know where the circuit breaker is and how to operate it.

3. Do the Paperwork

It’s tempting, but do not put off the paperwork. Transfer all utilities, complete a change of address form for the post office, and update your address with your credit card companies, bank and insurance providers. Remember to make the time to change the address on your driver’s license, too. It’s not necessary to complete all these projects in one sitting, but the sooner they’re done, the better you will feel.

4. Make It Personal

Think about painting some walls and rooms with colors that are uniquely you. Or put up a treasured photograph or decorative item, and encourage your family members to do the same. This simple act will make you feel at home and can make the rest of the unpacking a much more pleasant experience.

5. Don’t Forget To Breathe

Remember, everything doesn’t have to be done at once. Schedule time out for a family dinner, movie or neighborhood outing. Or just relax, step outside to meet the neighbors and take time to enjoy your new surroundings.

Are you thinking of moving?

See all current Shasta County listings at

Wondering how to sell your home?

See Josh's Proven Marketing Strategies at and for more information please contact us at 530-222-3800 or email

Posted in Josh's Blog