Oct. 17, 2017

Buying Remains Cheaper Than Renting in Redding

In the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia, they explained that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

The updated numbers show that the range is an average of 3.5% less expensive in San Jose, CA, all the way up to 50.1% less expensive in Baton Rouge, LA, and 33.1% nationwide!

Meanwhile median home values in Redding hover around $250,000. Redding home values have gone up 5.1% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise another 3.8% over the next 12 months. Rent prices in Redding average just under $1,300, which is higher than the median mortgage of $1,200.

A study by GoBankingRates looked at the cost of renting vs. owning a home at the state level and concluded that in 39 states, it is actually ‘a little’ or ‘a lot’ cheaper to own (represented by the two shades of blue in the map below).


One of the main reasons owning a home has remained significantly cheaper than renting is the fact that interest rates have remained at or near historic lows. Freddie Mac reports that the current interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is 3.91%.

Nationally, rates would have to reach 9.1%, a 128% increase over today’s average of 4.0%, for renting to be cheaper than buying. Rates haven’t been that high since January of 1995, according to Freddie Mac.

Bottom Line
Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. If you are one of the many renters who would like to evaluate your ability to buy this year, let’s get together and find you your dream home! Call me at 530-222-3800 or email josh@reddinghomes.com.

Posted in Josh's Blog
Oct. 16, 2017

Thinking of Selling? You Should Do It TODAY!!

That headline might be a little aggressive; however, as August 2017’s housing market data begins to roll in, we can definitely say one thing: If you are considering selling, IT IS TIME TO LIST YOUR HOME TODAY!

See what your home is worth INSTANTLY at www.shastahomevalue.com

Shasta County Home Valuation

In a recent article by CBS News, they explained that the number of existing home sales is shrinking, and Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors, said:

“There should be 3 million homes on the market right now…Yet, there are only 1.9 million.”

And this situation will be affected greatly by recent natural disasters. Yun continued by saying:

“Before the hurricanes I would have predicted 1.35 million in new-home construction in 2018…I’ll have to scale that down now.”

The August 2017 NAR® Confidence Index, indicated that:

“Amid sustained job creation and sustained historically low mortgage rates, REALTORS® reported…that buyer demand is stronger compared to conditions one year ago… and that fifty percent of properties were on the market for less than one month when sold.”

The only challenge to Reddings market is a severe lack of inventory. A balanced market would have a full six-month supply of homes for sale. Currently, there is only a 4.2-month supply of inventory, which is down from 4.5 months one year ago.

Bottom Line
With demand increasing and supply dropping in Shasta County, this may be the perfect time to get the best price for your home. Let’s get together and discuss the inventory levels in your neighborhood to determine your next step. If you have any questions regarding the local Shasta County housing market, please give me a call at the office (530) 222-3800 or email me directly at josh@reddinghomes.com.

Posted in Josh's Blog
Oct. 6, 2017

Shasta County Market Update - October 2017

From the desk of Josh Barker @ RE/MAX

There has been a lot of talk lately about home values in Shasta County. The average sales price in Shasta County is up by nearly 5% year-to-date compared to the same period in 2016. This month I will share a few insights on what price ranges are performing the best and what to watch out for in the future. As always, feel free to contact me at 530-222-3800 or email josh@reddinghomes.com with any questions you may have.

Have a great October!

Your Realtor,
Josh Barker

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

The Tale of Two Markets
I often get asked..."How is the real estate market doing" My response typically starts the same way..."Which price range are you referring to?" I respond this way because not all price ranges are performing the same. For example, homes priced under $500,000 are selling much faster than home priced over $500,000. 

Sold Listings in Shasta County - October 2017

This slide reports on the amount of home sales in Shasta County by price range:

The reasons for the disparity are fairly obvious. The majority of home buyers in our local market can afford homes under $500,000 compared to homes over $500,000. The average family in Shasta County earns an estimated  $45,000 per year. This average wage translates into purchasing power of approximately $245,000 for a home. As the home prices go up, the amount of buyers that qualify to purchase goes down. 

You can check on the general value of your home instantly here:

The upper end market in Shasta County is typically described as homes over $500,000. The majority of these homes are sold to higher income buyers, equity heavy, move up buyers, or buyers moving into the area from larger cities. These types of buyers are fewer in number which results in fewer transactions taking place.

Due to the inherent difference in buyer demand in the local market, the types of techniques employed to market homes will very as well. For example, homes under $500,000 require a heavy marketing strategy primary targeted to local buyers. For homes selling over $500,000, out of area market strategies must be employed to ensure the greatest amount of potential buyers are targeted. 

The internet has clearly become the dominating factor in how buyers will begin their home search. One factor that all price ranges have in common is that the first showing will likely take place "online". It is for this reason that every home seller should ensure that their home shows extremely well "online". Professional photography, quality property descriptions, and quick responses to buyer inquiries are paramount when locating the best buyer for a home. 

If you have any questions regarding the sale of your home, or if you would like more information on purchasing a home feel free to utilize the links provided below or feel free to contact my office. We are always here to help.

www.reddinghomes.com/buying-home          www.reddinghomes.com/selling-your-home

Posted in Josh's Blog
Oct. 2, 2017

Get the Most Money For Your Home

Get the Most Money When Selling Your Home in Redding

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive 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 counter-intuitive... However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).


Impact on Price in Shasta County

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 one buyer over the price, but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

Realtor.com 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 Local Real Estate Professional
This, too, may seem counter-intuitive. 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 local real estate professional.

A new study by Collateral Analytics, reveals that FSBO's 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 FSBO's 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.

Check out Josh's 5 Proven Steps to get the most exposure and highest price when selling your home in Shasta County.

Bottom Line
Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and trust a local real estate team to maximize the price you get for your house. If you have any questions about the local Shasta County housing market, please feel free to call me at the office 530-222-3800 or email me directly at josh@reddinghomes.com.

Posted in Josh's Blog
Sept. 18, 2017

Shasta County Market Update - September 2017

From the desk of Josh Barker @ RE/MAX

We are finally experiencing a much needed cooling trend after 70+ days of over 100 degree weather!  For us Redding locals, we are accustomed to a month or two of warm weather, however, summer was unexpectedly warmer for much longer this year. Fortunately for us, we are moving into fall.  The next 10 months will remind us how beautiful our area really is. This month we will review several of the hottest topics trending now in our local market. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly at 530-222-3800

Your Realtor,
Josh Barker

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

Shasta County Home Sales

Shasta County home sales in August 2017 were up 12% over last year, finishing at just over 300 homes sold. The increase in buyer demand was a result of younger buyers entering the housing market, as well as a noticeable increase in out of town home buyers moving into the area. We expect both of these trend to continue in the year ahead. 

Home Appreciation

Home values are up in Shasta County over last year. Currently the average sales price in Shasta County is $269,300, up 5% compared to last year. This amount of appreciation is a good number to see. Slow appreciation is what we are looking for if we want to experience a well-balanced market and avoid potential housing bubbles. 

Shasta County House Appreciation

You can check the value range of your home instantly here

New Construction

New construction in Shasta County is continuing to pick up. We have housing projects on both the west and east side of Redding that are available now and more becoming available in the months ahead. These new homes will start in the low $300k range. Anderson is also on the uptick for new construction, with homes starting in the mid $200k range. Shasta Lake City is building primarily on the west side of interstate 5 with homes starting in the high $200k range. Cottonwood has more new construction than in years past, with homes starting in the mid $200k range. These new construction starts are a welcomed addition to the market. Home inventories for Shasta County are low, averaging at a 4 month supply. An optimal housing supply, is a 6 month supply, which provides more choices for new home buyers and existing sellers that would like to move.


Search new homes for sale instantly by clicking here


Home financing is available and becoming easier to obtain. Home buyers can purchase utilizing FHA with as little as 3.5% down with a max loan amount of $275,665. Conventional financing is available with as little as 5% down with a max loan amount of $424,100. Most loans are priced with a 30 year mortgage and interest rates are averaging in the low 4% range. Lenders are easing the lending guidelines as well, with respect to debt to income ratios and credit scores. Fortunately lenders are continuing to avoid risky loan programs such as interest only loans or negative amortization loans.

Shasta County Rate Projections

We are offering more tools to sell your home than ever before. Visit www.reddinghomes.com/selling-your-home and see all the cool marketing tools we are deploying to get your home sold faster and for more money! 

I look forward to your comments and feedback. Call 530-222-3800 or email josh@reddinghomes.com.

Have a great week! 

Posted in Josh's Blog
Sept. 12, 2017

4 Reasons to Buy a Home in Redding This Fall!

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home in Redding today, instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 6.7% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.0% over the next year.

The bottom in home prices in Shasta County has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years to come. 

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have hovered around 4%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, local housing expenses will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You Are Paying a Mortgage 

There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It's Time to Move on With Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise in Redding and Shasta County.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

If purchasing a home for you and your family is the right thing for you to do this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings. Please contact me today at 530-222-3800 or email josh@reddinghomes.com.

Posted in Josh's Blog
Aug. 14, 2017

Housing Inventory Down in Shasta County

Housing Inventory Down in Shasta County

Spring is traditionally the busiest season for real estate in Shasta County. Buyers, experiencing cabin fever all winter, emerge like flowers in search of their dream home. Redding area homeowners, in preparation for the increased demand, are enticed to list their house for sale and move on to the home that will better fit their needs.

Curious what your home may be worth...?


Check the value of your home instantly at www.reddinghomes.com/cma/property-valuation/

New data from CoreLogic shows that even though buyers came out in force, as predicted, many homeowners did not make the jump to list their home in the second quarter of this year. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic had this to say,

“The growth in sales is slowing down, and this is not due to lack of affordability, but rather a lack of inventory."

Overall inventory across the United States is down for the 25th consecutive month according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors and now stands at a 4.3-month supply.


Market conditions in the starter and trade-up home markets are in line with the median US figures, but conditions in the luxury and premium markets are following an opposite path. Premium homes are staying on the market longer with ample inventory to suggest a buyer’s market. See all homes for sale in Shasta County at www.reddinghomes.com

Bottom Line
Buyers are out in force, and there has never been a better time to move-up to a premium or luxury home. If you are considering selling your home and moving up this year, let’s get together to discuss the exact conditions happening in Redding and surrounding areas today. Please contact me at 530-222-3800 or email josh@reddinghomes.com

Posted in Josh's Blog
Aug. 3, 2017

Shasta County Market Update - August 2017

From the desk of Josh Barker @ RE/MAX

If you've been listening to the recent news reports coming out across the country, many people have been asking the question "Are we in a housing bubble?" or "..is there a housing bubble forming?". This month I'll break down what happened during the last housing bubble in 2006 and what signals to look out for in the future.

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

Some of the hotter real estate markets in the state with very strong economies such as the bay area and Southern California may be beginning to form a bubble. These areas are primarily fueled by the tech industry and are experiencing a large wage increase, liquidity increase, and an increase from foreign investment. 

Here in Shasta County, our local economy continues to be stable, and we have not experienced any dramatic shifts in income or capital which would inflate the housing market prices beyond normal levels. All things considered we are in a very balanced housing market at this time.

What caused the previous housing bubble?

Looking back at the previous housing peak of 2006, nearly 50% of all loans were classified as "sub-prime" loans. Meaning that, the government wanted to allow more buyers to enter the housing market. The way they achieved this was to lower the credit score guidelines, lower the debt to income ratios and ease underwriting requirements. These lending practices resulted in new buyers to the market and also drove home prices up as a result.

Nearly 30% of purchases were based solely on investment or speculation. Real estate speculators are buyers who purchase a property with the intention to resell for a profit in a shorter period of time.

Close to 40% of loans were inferior loan products such as interest only or negative amortization loans. Inferior loan products are usually associated with a significant payment increase in 3, 5 or 7 years. Unfortunately, so many of these loans defaulted and fell into foreclosure since the homeowners could not afford the new higher payment.

New construction back in 2006 was at an all time high... There was a abundant re-supply of inventory to the market that was taking place at the same time we had the loose lending guidelines. 

All of these factors contributed to the perfect recipe for a housing crash.

What's going on in the housing market today?

Shasta County's housing market today is performing extremely well and is very stable. Over 90% of all home purchases are based on "prime loans" such as a 15 or 30 year fixed mortgage. Today's buyers are high quality buyers with great credit scores, excellent work history and good tax returns. Only an estimated 10% of home purchases are to investors, and very few speculators are participating in the market at all. The lending practices have improved significantly over the past 10 years, and the inferior loan products we had in 2006 are absent from the market.

New construction is currently very low and most of these homes once completed are sold in a short period of time.

What are the signals that could contribute to a housing bubble?

1. More "sub-prime" buyers entering the market through less strict lending guidelines. 

2. An significant increase in speculation and investment purchases.

3. Bad loan products including interest only and negative amortization returning to the market.

4. Massive amounts of new construction which could over-supply the market and drive prices down.

In addition to the signals mentioned, there are several external factors to watch out for as well. For example, economic factors such as employment and inflation could have an impact on housing. In addition, a significant interest rate increase could have a negative impact on home prices. These external factors play a major role in home prices and are very difficult to predict. 

If you have any questions regarding our local real estate market, please feel free to give me a call today at 530-222-3800 or email me at josh@reddinghomes.com.

Posted in Josh's Blog
July 26, 2017

A ‘Buyer’ in Hand is Worth Two in the Bush



In Redding's highly competitive seller’s market where there are more buyers than there are homes for them to buy, some sellers may feel like the ball is in their court. And they would be right when it comes to choosing which offer to accept, the closing date, or even which improvements they are willing to make to the home prior to selling.

One thing to remember though, is that there is always a line that shouldn’t be crossed.

Interest rates can change, financing might not go through, the appraisal may not come back at the price that you have agreed to. These are all opportunities to work with your buyer to make sure that the sale still happens.

You may think that, because buyer demand is so high right now, you can choose to make your buyer jump through hoops. But what happens if they reach their limit and need to walk away? You’re starting over… weeks, maybe months later… and other buyers may wonder what’s wrong with the house since the last deal fell through.


See all homes currently for sale in Shasta County at www.reddinghomes.com.

The Golden Rule
We were all taught from a young age to “treat others as you would like to be treated.” This shouldn’t change once you have a buyer who seems as though they would do anything to buy your home.

If you're thinking of listing your house for sale this year, now may be the time to do so! Check out Josh's Proven Home Marketing Strategies to see we can assist you in the selling of your home. Please call our office at 530-222-3800 or email josh@reddinghomes.com for more information.

Posted in Josh's Blog
July 19, 2017

Thinking of Selling? You Should Act NOW!

If you thought about selling your house in Redding this year, now more than ever may be the time to do it! The inventory of homes for sale in Shasta County is well below historic norms and buyer demand is skyrocketing. We were still in high school when we learned the concept of supply and demand: the best time to sell something is when supply of that item is low and demand for that item is high. That defines today’s real estate market.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors, recently commented:

“Buyer interest is solid, but there is just not enough supply to satisfy demand. Prospective buyers are being sidelined by both limited choices and home prices that are climbing too fast.”

"Current demand levels indicate sales should be stronger, but it's clear some would-be buyers are having to delay or postpone their home search because low supply is leading to worsening affordability conditions."

In this type of market, a seller may hold a major negotiating advantage when it comes to price and other aspects of the real estate transaction, including the inspection, appraisal and financing contingencies.

Bottom Line
As a potential seller, you are in the driver’s seat right now. It might be time to hit the gas. If you have any questions regarding the Redding Real Estate Market, please feel free to contact me at 530-222-3800 or email me at josh@reddinghomes.com.

Check out Josh's Proven Marketing Strategies for more information about selling your home.

Posted in Josh's Blog