March 21, 2018

Is a Major Home Renovation Worth It in the Long Run?


Let’s say you have a 4-bedroom colonial style home in a great school district. The neighborhood is amazing, and you are very comfortable there, but your kids are all grown up and the original benefits of the home no longer apply.

You’ve always wanted a huge master suite and are considering merging 3 of the smaller bedrooms on the second floor to achieve this dream.

In the short term, you are over the moon excited about your newly renovated oasis.

In the long term, when you go to sell your home down the road, you’ve now taken a 4-bedroom home in a great school district and turned it into a 2-bedroom home. Your pool of potential buyers has shrunk significantly and so has the value of your home (unless you are able to find someone who has the exact needs you have today!).

Why not consider listing your 4-bedroom home now and moving into a gorgeous 2-bedroom with a master suite? Your house can become a home for the next family looking for that perfect neighborhood with a great school district to raise their kids in!

You may even be able to achieve your dream in the same area you love, without having to give up your favorite restaurants and grocery stores.

Bottom Line

If you are debating a major renovation that would change the layout of your home, before you pick up that sledgehammer, let’s get together and discuss the available listings in our area that might meet your needs today! Feel free to give us at Josh Barker Real Estate Advisors a call at 530-222-3800 or email me at

Posted in Josh's Blog
March 19, 2018

Dreaming of a Luxury Home? Now’s the Time!

If your house no longer fits your needs and you are planning on buying a luxury home in Shasta County, now is a great time to do so! Recently, the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing released its Luxury Market Report which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control.

The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury market far exceeds the number of people searching to purchase these properties in Shasta Country and many areas of the country. This means that homes are often staying on the market longer or can be found at a discount.

Those who have a starter or trade-up home to sell will find buyers competing, and often entering bidding wars, to be able to call their house their new home.

The sale of your starter or trade-up house will help you come up with a larger down payment for your new luxury home. Even a 5% down payment on a million-dollar home is $50,000.

But not all who are buying luxury properties have a home to sell first.

A recent Bloomberg article gave some insight into what many millennials are choosing to do:

“A new generation of affluent homebuyers powered by a surge in inherited wealth is driving the luxury-home market, demanding larger spaces and fancier finishes, according to a report heralding ‘the rise of the new aristocracy.'"

Bottom Line

The best time to sell anything is when demand is high, and supply is low. If you are currently in a starter or trade-up house that no longer fits your needs and you are looking to step into a luxury home, now’s the time to list your house for sale and make your dreams come true.

Here is a list of all of the luxury homes in Shasta County that are currently for sale.

As always, we at Josh Barker Real Estate Advisors are here to help. Feel free to give us a call at 530-222-3800 or email me at

Posted in Josh's Blog
March 16, 2018

The Cost of Waiting: Interest Rates Edition [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

Interest rates in Shasta County are projected to increase steadily heading into 2019.

The higher your interest rate, the more money you end up paying for your home and the higher your monthly payment will be.

Rates are still low right now. Don’t wait until rates hit 5% to start searching for your dream home!

As always, we at Josh Barker Real Estate Advisors are here to help. Feel free to give us a call at 530-222-3800 or email me at

Posted in Josh's Blog
March 14, 2018

You Can Save for a Down Payment Faster Than You Think!

Saving for a down payment, whether in Shasta County or elsewhere in the United States, is often the biggest hurdle for a first-time homebuyer. Depending on where you live, median income, median rents, and home prices all vary. So, we wanted to check and see how long it would take to save for a down payment in each state.

Using data from the United States Census Bureau and Zillow, we saw how long it would take, nationwide, for a first-time buyer to save enough money for a down payment on their dream home. There is a long-standing ‘rule’ that a household should not pay more than 28% of their income on their monthly housing expense.

By determining the percentage of income spent renting in each state, and the amount needed for a 10% down payment, we were able to establish how long (in years) it would take for an average resident to save enough money to buy a home of their own.

According to the data, residents in Ohio can save for a down payment the quickest in just under 3 years (2.44). Below is a map that was created using the data for each state:

What if you only needed to save 3%?

What if you were able to take advantage of one of Freddie Mac’s or Fannie Mae’s 3%-down programs? Suddenly, saving for a down payment no longer takes 5 or 10 years, but becomes possible in a year or two in many states as shown on the map below.

Bottom Line

Whether you have just started to save for a down payment, or have been saving for years, you may be closer to your dream home than you think! Let’s meet up so I can help you evaluate your ability to buy today. As always, we at Josh Barker Real Estate Advisors are here to help. Feel free to give us a call at 530-222-3800 or email us at

Posted in Josh's Blog
March 12, 2018

Home Prices: The Difference 5 Years Makes


The economists at CoreLogic recently released a special report entitled, Evaluating the Housing Market Since the Great Recession. The goal of the report was to look at economic recovery since the Great Recession of December 2007 through June 2009.

One of the key indicators used in the report to determine the health of the housing market in Shasta County was home price appreciation. CoreLogic focused on appreciation from December 2012 to December 2017 to show how prices over the last five years have fared.

Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, commented on the importance of breaking out the data by state,

“Homeowners in the United States experienced a run-up in prices from the early 2000s to 2006, and then saw the trend reverse with steady declines through 2011. After finally reaching bottom in 2011, home prices began a slow rise back to where we are now.

Greater demand and lower supply – as well as booming job markets – have given some of the hardest-hit housing markets a boost in home prices. Yet, many are still not back to pre-crash levels.”

The map below was created to show the 5-year appreciation from December 2012 – December 2017 by state.

Nationally, the cumulative appreciation over the five-year period was 37.4%, with a high of 66% in Nevada, and a modest increase of 5% in Connecticut.

Where were prices expected to go?

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists and asks them to project how residential home prices will appreciate over the next five years for their Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES).

According to the December 2012 survey results, national homes prices were projected to increase cumulatively by 23.1% by December 2017. The bulls of the group predicted home prices to rise by 33.6%, while the more cautious bears predicted an appreciation of 11.2%.

Where are prices headed in the next 5 years?

Data from the most recent HPES shows that home prices are expected to increase by 18.2% over the next 5 years. The bulls of the group predict home prices to rise by 27.4%, while the more cautious bears predict an appreciation of 8.3%.

Bottom Line

Every day, thousands of homeowners regain positive equity in their homes. Some homeowners are now experiencing values even higher than before the Great Recession. If you’re wondering if you have enough equity to sell your house and move on to your dream home, let’s get together to discuss conditions in our neighborhood!

As always, we are here to help answer any questions you may have here at Josh Barker Real Estate Advisors. Call anytime at 530-222-3800 or email me at

Posted in Josh's Blog
March 6, 2018

Housing Market Expected To “Spring Forward” This Year

Just like our clocks this weekend in the majority of the country, the housing market in Shasta County will soon “spring forward!” Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale in the market right now is what is holding back the market.

Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest, and, traditionally, they would have been right.

Buyer demand has a seasonality to it that usually falls off in the winter months. Especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic temperatures and winter conditions.

That hasn’t happened this year.

Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows. Even with the recent increase in rates, buyers are still able to lock in an affordable monthly payment. Many more buyers are jumping off the fence and into the market to secure a lower rate.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that the top 10 dates sellers listed their homes in 2017 all fell in April, May, or June.

Those who act quickly and list now could benefit greatly from additional exposure to buyers prior to a flood of more competition coming to market in the next few months.

Bottom Line

If you are planning on selling your home in 2018, let’s get together to evaluate the opportunities in our market. As always, we here at Josh Barker Real Estate Advisors are here to help. Feel free to give us a call at 530-222-3800 or email me at


Posted in Josh's Blog
March 5, 2018

2 Ways to Get the Most Money from The Sale of Your Home

Every homeowner in Shasta County wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive the maximum value for your house?

Here are two keys to ensure that you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW 

This may seem counterintuitive, but let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their homes a little OVER market value will leave them with room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house. gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This, too, may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would make more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

A study by Collateral Analytics, reveals that FSBOs don’t actually save any money, and in some cases may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent.

In the study, they analyzed home sales in a variety of markets in 2016 and the first half of 2017. The data showed that:

“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.”

The results of the study showed that the differential in selling prices for FSBOs when compared to MLS sales of similar properties is about 5.5%. Sales in 2017 suggest the average price was near 6% lower for FSBO sales of similar properties.

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. This will guarantee that you maximize the price you get for your house.

As always, we at Josh Barker Real Estate Advisors are here to help. Free free to give us a call at 530-222-3800, or drop by our office at 2135 Larkspur Ln. Redding, CA 96002.

Posted in Josh's Blog
March 2, 2018

Shasta County Market Update - March 2018

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

From the desk of Josh Barker,

First and foremost, Thank You! Thank you for all of the great responses we receive from these monthly market updates. I appreciate your feedback and questions. It truly makes these updates a lot of fun to prepare each month.  

This month I will be reviewing several of the hottest topics trending now in our local market. Enjoy the information. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. 

Have a great start to March!

Your Realtor,
Josh Barker

Home Inventory

Home inventory in Shasta County has remained extremely stable for the first 2 months of the year. Numbers are averaging nearly 840 homes for sale compared to 850 homes just 1 year ago. The stable supply of homes is providing much-needed inventory for buyers to choose from and is also keeping home appreciation at healthy levels. 

Interest Rates

Interest rates are currently averaging near 4.5% for a 30 year fixed mortgage. This rate change is a noticeable increase from the 3.75% interest rates of less than 1 year ago. Interest rates will continue to be a factor that will have to be watched closely. When the interest rates increase by just 1%, the borrower's purchasing power is reduced by approximately 10%. Higher interest rate environments can eat away at home appreciation in a market like Shasta County.  

Rental Market

Vacancy rates (the percentage of homes waiting to be rented) have remained very low in the residential rental market. This low rate has translated into higher rent and shorter turn over periods. With the continued squeeze on new housing, rental properties are in extremely high demand and there is no sign of this changing anytime soon. If you are considering purchasing a rental or converting a home you currently live in into a rental, now may be an excellent time to do it.

Home Appreciation

It is still too early in the year to report on home appreciation for 2018. We will be closely watching the new listings coming to the market in the early spring. We can typically expect to see home sellers test the market a bit and push asking prices a little higher than the previous year. If it works, homes will sell for more money. If it does not work, we can expect to see price reductions starting in late spring...I will report back on this topic in a few months.

In the meantime, if you would like to check the approximate value of your home instantly, visit I pay for this service each month and offer it to all of you for free. It is by far the best home value estimate I have been able to get my hands on.

If you are interested in seeing the full summary of the housing market data for February 2018, here are the slides:

Thanks again for reading and, of course, if you have any questions about buying or selling a home, feel free to contact me directly at 530-222-3800.

Make it a great day!

Josh Barker

Posted in Josh's Blog
Feb. 27, 2018

Latest NAR Data Shows Now Is a Great Time to Sell!

Redding Home Shasta County

Everybody in Shasta County knows the most ideal time to sell anything is when demand for that commodity is high, and the supply is limited. Two major reports released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests now is a great time to sell your home.

Lets check out the latest data in the REALTORS® Confidence Index and Existing Home Sales Report.


Every month, NAR surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions.” This month, the index once again showed that demand for homebuying continues to outpace the supply of homes available.

See map below for state-by-state breakdown of the results.


As you can see, the latest NAR data shows that now is a great time to sell in California!

In addition to showing high demand, the index also reveals that compared to conditions in the same month last year, seller traffic conditions were ‘weak’ in 22 states, ‘stable’ in 25 states, and ‘strong’ in only 4 states (Alaska, Nevada, North Dakota & Utah).

Demand for housing continues to be strong but supply is struggling to keep up, and this trend is likely to continue throughout 2018.

 Josh Barker Redding Homes

If you are thinking of selling, now may be the time. Demand for your house is strong at a time when there is very little competition. That could lead to a quick sale and a really good price! Call us at 530-222-3800 or email me at, I'd be happy to discuss what options are available to you.

Posted in Josh's Blog
Feb. 26, 2018

80% of Renters in Shasta County Believe Homeownership is a Part of Their American Dream

According to the latest Aspiring Home Buyers Profile by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 82% of surveyed renters desire to own a home in the future, with 80% believing homeownership is a big part of achieving their American Dream.

The profile went on to state that 50% of millennials believe that their rent will increase, with 20% believing that an increase in rent will be the catalyst that pushes them to consider buying a home vs. renewing their lease.

So, what is holding renters back? 56% believe they cannot afford to buy a home, 25% feel that they need the flexibility of renting, 10% do not want to responsibility of owning, and 9% cited “other” as a reason.

What would make renters take the plunge? 32% cited a change in lifestyle, 30% reported an improvement in financial situation, 12% said a desire to settle down in one area, 11% claimed a better or more stable employment, and 7% cited “other”.

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun believes that,

“Housing demand in 2018 will be fueled by more millennials finally deciding to marry and have kids and the expectations that solid job growth and the strengthening economy will push incomes higher.”

Yun goes on to warn that,

“However, with prices and mortgage rates also expected to increase, affordability pressures will persist. That is why it is critical for much of the country to start seeing a significant hike in new and existing housing supply. Otherwise, many would-be first-time buyers will be forced to continue renting and not reach their dream of being a homeowner.”

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many homeowners in Shasta County whose houses no longer fit their needs and are looking to move up to your dream home, now is a great time to list your starter home! Read Josh's Proven Marketing Strategies on our website.


First-time buyers are out in force looking to achieve their American Dream. If you are thinking of selling, now may be the time. Demand for your house will be strong at a time when there is very little competition. That could lead to a quick sale and a really good price! Call us at 530-222-3800 or email me at, I'd be happy to discuss what options are available to you.

Posted in Josh's Blog