Dec. 9, 2019

Is A Bigger House Within Your Budget?

At this time of year, many families come together to celebrate the season. It’s also the time when many realize their homes are just not quite big enough to host all of their guests and loved ones. Are you one of those homeowners dreaming for a larger space to call home?

You may have enough equity in your current home to move up.

According to the Q3 2019 U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report by ATTOM Data Solutions,

“14.4 million residential properties in the United States were considered equity rich, meaning that the combined estimated amount of loans secured by those properties was 50 percent or less of their estimated market value.”

This means that one in four of the 54 million mortgaged homes in the U.S. has at least 50% equity. If these homeowners decide to sell, they can use their equity to put toward the purchase of a new home. Maybe you’ll be one of them.

NAR recently released their 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers showing that,

“This year, home sellers cited that they sold their homes for a median of $60,000 more than they purchased it, up from $55,500 the year prior. This accounted for a 31 percent price gain, up from 29 percent the year before.”

Here’s the equity gain breakdown based on the number of years these sellers lived in their homes

Bottom Line

If you’re one of the many homeowners with big dreams of owning a larger home, let’s get together. Working with a trusted advisor to find out how much equity you have is a great first step in putting your move-up plan in motion. As always, we here at Josh Barker Real Estate Advisors are here to help answer any questions you may have about buying or selling homes here in Redding and Shasta County. Feel free to give us a call at 530-222-3800 or email me at josh@reddinghomes.com

Posted in Josh's Blog
Dec. 2, 2019

Shasta County Market Update - December 2019

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


From the Desk Of Josh Barker @ RE/MAX

Redding has been ranked #3 among the top 25 coolest towns in America! 

Check out the full article here: https://matadornetwork.com/read/redding-california-outdoors-destination

Every time I make the trip north, after visiting other parts of California and as I drop down the hill between Cottonwood and Anderson,  I am always struck by the beauty of our area.  I am also quickly reminded of how little traffic we actually experience, except between the times of 5 pm and 5:15 pm - Ha Ha!   I can not help but smile at the snow-covered mountains that sit as the picturesque backdrop to our rolling hills and the eye-catching river that meanders through our community. Shasta County is a special place, and I suspect that many of you find it as beautiful as I do. 

Home Sales

Home sales in Shasta County finished at 233 in the month of November down from 263 in the same month one year ago. The largest contributing factor to the decreased number of home sales year over year is the absence of fire-related buyers that were in the market last year at this time. The slow down was expected and is expected to level out by the end of January.

 

 

New Listings

New listings coming to the market in the month of November finished at 234. This is down from 249 in the same month 1 year ago. The slight reduction of new listings coming to the market will be short-lived as many new homes are expected to reach the market in early spring. 

 

 

Current Inventory

The current inventory of homes available for purchase is averaging 1,039. This is down from 1,083 at the same time last year. The slight -4% decrease in home inventory is contributing to the overall price stability in our local market. Our company expects the inventory of homes available for purchase to decline between now and the end of January. In the early spring, we expect to see a noticeable increase in new construction which will provide much-needed inventory to our local market. 

 

 

Interest Rates

Interest rates have continued to remain historically low with the average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate of 4%. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of low money or no money down purchases taking place in the local market. The more flexible lenders become, the higher the demand will be for homes. The ability for homebuyers to purchase with low down payments looks good on the surface but also comes with an increased risk of defaults and overall housing stability. Until now, our company has been optimistic about the strong fundamentals in the housing market. Although increased buyer demand is a good thing, if it is largely created by overly flexible financing options it could turn into a bad thing.

 

 

New Construction

New construction in Shasta County has been very slow to get moving compared to other regions in the state and country. Over the past 10 years, there have only been a handful of new subdivisions taking shape. The fires last year brought a noticeable increase to the number of permits pulled for new construction. Although these permits were pulled to replace previous existing home inventory, the increase in jobs and revenue being pumped back into our community has been positive. 

The second wave of new construction taking shape will be much more noticeable in 2020. There are multiple, new subdivisions currently under development that will be offering new homes for purchase throughout the county in early spring. This spring will be the first time in 10+ years that we will have such a high number of new homes offered for purchase. The largest factor in the success of these new subdivisions will be overall buyer demand and the volume in which these new homes come available. Having multiple builders bringing similar products to the market at the same time will be challenging to say the least.

 

 

California Housing Market

The California housing market has had its challenges over the past 12 months. Large Metro markets like the Bay Area and Southern California experienced softening home prices in the first part of 2019. It appears that home prices in these markets have reached a point that has squeezed affordability and will likely remain an issue heading into 2020. The challenges in other parts of the state could translate into a positive for our local market as some may choose to move to our community.  

Shasta County has remained affordable in comparison to many other markets throughout the state. The median price for a home in California according to Zillow is $552,000 while the average price for a home in Shasta County is $275,000. With housing prices that are half of the cost of the rest of the state, Shasta County remains a great option for many.

You can view the average value of your home instantly by visiting www.shastahomevalue.com

 

 

As always, if you have any additional questions regarding real estate, we are always here to help. Please feel free to email me directly josh@reddinghomes.com or contact me by telephone at 530-222-3800. On behalf of all of us here at the office, we wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Josh Barker

P.S. You can view all of our past real estate market updates by visiting www.reddinghomes.com/blog

Posted in Josh's Blog
Nov. 25, 2019

Expert Advice: 3 Benefits to Owning a Home

Success is something often worth repeating, and Brent Sutherland, a Certified Financial Planner and Real Estate Investor, has certainly made his way in a momentum-driving direction. Here are 3 tips he shares from a recent piece in Business Insider on the benefits of owning real estate:

1. Real estate diversifies your income

“While it is certainly important to be properly diversified with your investments, it is even more important to be diversified with your income. This is because the largest financial risk for most of you is the loss of your primary source of income, which is typically in the form of a day job.”

The article highlights how having multiple sources of income, such as those derived from real estate investments, can eventually lead to relying less and less on a day job. Sound dreamy? It can be. When done well, real estate investments may eventually open up your time and the financial freedom to explore other things, like travel and other aspirations you may have for the future, particularly in the golden years of retirement.

2. Real estate produces near-immediate results

“You can achieve and feel the results almost immediately. Property improvements are visible and tangible. You can cash, spend, and invest rent payments. Today! Not 30 years in the future.”

Currently, home prices are appreciating in all price ranges, and just last week CoreLogic announced their 12-month home value projection at 5.6%, an increase from 4.5% noted earlier this summer. With that in mind, real estate today is definitely driving immediate results!

3. Passive income can help you become financially independent sooner

“If you need $40,000 a year to live, you could alternatively invest in assets that generate an 8% cash-on-cash return. This is a very reasonable assumption. And it means you would only need to save a total of $500,000 (instead of $1 million). Yet, your investments would still meet your annual household living needs.

While returns, taxes, and inflation can, of course, affect your timeline, cash-flowing real-estate is a clear asset.”

Homeownership is a form of ‘forced savings.’ Every time you pay your mortgage, you’re contributing to your net worth by increasing the equity in your home, bringing you one step closer to true financial independence.

Bottom Line

If you want to increase your savings and overall net worth, real estate is a great way to go. To learn how you can make it happen, let’s get together to discuss the process. As always, we here at Josh Barker Real Estate Advisors are here to help answer any questions you may have about buying or selling homes here in Redding and Shasta County. Feel free to give us a call at 530-222-3800 or email me at josh@reddinghomes.com.

Who is Brent Sutherland?

Sutherland was 35 when he bought his first single home to rent out for income, less than five years later, he owns eight additional properties and part of a commercial real estate project.

Posted in Josh's Blog
Nov. 18, 2019

2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers

In a recent article, First American shared how millennials are not really any different from previous generations when it comes to the goal of homeownership; it is still a huge part of their American Dream. The piece, however, also reveals,

“Saving for a down payment is one of the biggest obstacles faced by first-time home buyers. Dispelling the 20 percent down payment myth could open the path to homeownership for many more.”

Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment”

Buyers often overestimate how much they need to qualify for a home loan. According to the same article:

“Americans still overestimate the qualifications needed to get a mortgage, resulting in qualified potential buyers not even considering homeownership. Indeed, the Urban Institute report revealed that 16 percent of consumers believed that the minimum down payment required by lenders is 20 percent or more, and another 40 percent didn’t know at all.”

While many potential buyers still think they need to put at least 20% down for the home of their dreams, they often don’t realize how many assistance programs are available with as little as 3% down. With a little research, many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined.

Myth #2: “I Need a 780 FICO® Score or Higher”

In addition to down payments, buyers are also often confused about the FICO® score it takes to qualify for a mortgage, believing a ‘good’ credit score is 780 or higher.

To debunk this myth, let’s take a look at Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insight Report, which focuses on recently closed (approved) loans.

As indicated in the chart above, 50.23% of approved mortgages had a credit score of 500-749.

Bottom Line

Whether buying your first home or moving up to your dream home, knowing your options will make the mortgage process easier. Believe it or not – your dream home may already be within your reach. As always, we here at Josh Barker Real Estate Advisors are here to help answer any questions you may have about buying or selling homes here in Redding and Shasta County. Feel free to give us a call at 530-222-3800 or email me at josh@reddinghomes.com

Posted in Josh's Blog
Nov. 11, 2019

75 Years of VA Home Loan Benefits

Today, on Veterans Day, we salute those who have served our country in war or peace, and we thank them for their sacrifice.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of VA Home Loan Benefit offerings through the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, also known as the GI Bill. Since 1944, this law has created opportunities for those who have served our country, ranging from vocational training to home loans.

Facts About VA Home Loans:

  • Nearly 24 million home loans have been guaranteed by the Veterans Administration.
  • Nearly 82% of VA home loans are made with no down payment.
  • The VA also provides grants to help seriously disabled Veterans purchase, modify, or construct a home to meet their needs. Last year the VA provided 2,000 grants totaling $104 million.

Benefits of a VA Home Loan:

  1. No down payment
  2. No Private Mortgage Insurance*
  3. Lower credit score requirements
  4. Limitation on closing costs
  5. Lower average interest rates

*More information on VA Home Loan Fees

Bottom Line

The best thing you can do today to celebrate Veterans Day is to share this information with those who can benefit from these opportunities. For more information, or to find out how to qualify to use a VA Home Loan Benefit, let’s get together to navigate through the process. Thank you for your service!

As always, we here at Josh Barker Real Estate Advisors are here to help answer any questions you may have about buying or selling homes here in Redding and Shasta County. Feel free to give us a call at 530-222-3800 or email me at josh@reddinghomes.com.

Posted in Josh's Blog
Nov. 5, 2019

Shasta County Market Update - November 2019

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


From the Desk Of Josh Barker @ RE/MAX

Home Sales

Home sales for the month of October finished at 262. This number is down -17% from the 317 closings in the same month one year ago. This reduction in closings was anticipated as the number of fire related purchases has rapidly declined.

 

 

New Listings

The number of new listings coming to the market in the month of October reached 333. This number is down -18% from 409 one year ago. This decrease in new listings to the market was also anticipated. Last year home sellers jumped into the market at higher levels due to increased buyer demand.

 

 

Home Inventory

Current home inventory is averaging 1,084 properties for sale.  This is down -6% from the 1,154 homes on the market at the same time last year. Home inventory is expected to decline as we move into the winter months and should level off in the mid 900 range.

 

 

Interest Rates/Refinance

Interest rates continue to receive the majority of the attention. Interest rates are at near, all-time lows and FHA loans which represent a large portion of loans below 300k price range, have extremely low rates.

 

 

Homeowners that obtained financing in the past 3+ years and have private mortgage insurance (PMI) may want to consider refinancing. Private mortgage insurance can add hundreds of dollars per month to a mortgage payment and could be removed in some cases when the property has more than 20% equity.

 

 

Home Price Expectations

Home prices and where they are heading is a major topic surrounding both buyer and sellers. With sales declining in the local market, the two largest contributing factors to future pricing will be home inventory and interest rates. If the inventory of homes for sale remains stable or drops slightly, that could be a positive factor towards stable home prices. If interest rates begin to increase, this could be a negative factor impacting home prices. In the short term, expect home prices to flatten out and perhaps soften a bit through the winter months. In early spring, interest rates and the supply of homes for sale will act as leading indicators of what to expect next.

You can view the average value of your home instantly by visiting www.shastahomevalue.com

 

As always, if you have any additional questions regarding real estate, we are always here to help. Please feel free to email me directly josh@reddinghomes.com or telephone at 530-222-3800. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Make it a great day!

Josh Barker

P.S. You can view all of our past real estate market updates by visiting www.reddinghomes.com/blog

Posted in Josh's Blog
Nov. 4, 2019

The #1 Reason to List Your House in the Winter

Many sellers believe spring is the best time to put their homes on the market because buyer demand traditionally increases at that time of year. What they don’t realize is if every homeowner believes the same thing, then that’s when they’ll have the most competition.

So, what’s the #1 reason to list your house in the winter? Less competition.

Housing supply traditionally shrinks at this time of year, so the choices buyers have will be limited. The chart below was created using the months supply of listings from the National Association of Realtors.

As you can see, the ‘sweet spot’ to list your house for the most exposure naturally occurs in the late fall and winter months (November – January).

Temperatures aren’t the only thing that heats up in the spring – so do listings!

In 2018, listings increased from December to May. Don’t wait for these listings and the competition that comes with them to come to the market before you decide to list your house.

Added Bonus: Serious Buyers Are Out in the Winter

At this time of year, purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere ‘lookers.’ The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.

Bottom Line

If you’ve been debating whether or not to sell your house and are curious about market conditions in your area, let’s get together to determine the best time to list your house. As always, we here at Josh Barker Real Estate Advisors are here to help answer any questions you may have about buying or selling homes here in Redding and Shasta County. Feel free to give us a call at 530-222-3800 or email me at josh@reddinghomes.com.

Posted in Josh's Blog
Oct. 28, 2019

Think Prices Have Skyrocketed? Look at Rents.

Much has been written about how residential real estate values have increased since the housing market started its recovery in 2012. However, little has been shared about what has taken place with residential rental prices. Let’s shed a little light on this subject.

In the most recent Apartment Rent Report, RentCafe explains how rents have continued to increase over the last twelve months because of a large demand and a limited supply.

“Continued interest in rental apartments and slowing construction keeps the national average rent on a strong upward trend.”

Zillow, in its latest Rent Index, agreed that rents are continuing on an “upward trend” across most of the country, and that the trend is accelerating:

“The median U.S. rent grew 2% year-over-year, to $1,595 per month. National rent growth is faster than a year ago, and while 46 of the 50 largest markets are showing a deceleration in annual home value growth, annual rent growth is accelerating in 41 of the largest 50 markets.”

The Zillow report went on to detail rent increases since the beginning of the housing market recovery in 2012. Here is a graph showing the increases:

Bottom Line

It is true that home prices have risen over the past seven years, increasing the cost of owning a home. However, the cost of renting a home has also increased over that same time period. As always, we here at Josh Barker Real Estate Advisors are here to help answer any questions you may have about buying or selling homes here in Redding and Shasta County. Feel free to give us a call at 530-222-3800 or email me at josh@reddinghomes.com.

Posted in Josh's Blog
Oct. 22, 2019

5 Tips for Starting Your Home Search

In today’s market, low inventory dominates the conversation in many areas of the country. It can often be frustrating to be a first-time homebuyer if you aren’t prepared. Here are five tips from realtor.com’s article, “How to Find Your Dream Home—Without Losing Your Mind.”

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before You Start Your Search

One way to show you’re serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage. Even if you’re in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach. This will help you avoid the disappointment of falling in love with a home well outside your price range.

2. Know the Difference Between Your ‘Must-Haves’ and ‘Would-Like-To-Haves’

Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Before you start your search, list all the features of a home you would like. Qualify them as ‘must-haves’, ‘should-haves’, or ‘absolute-wish list’ items. This will help you stay focused on what’s most important.

3. Research and Choose a Neighborhood Where You Want to Live

Every neighborhood has unique charm. Before you commit to a home based solely on the house itself, take a test-drive of the area. Make sure it meets your needs for “amenities, commute, school district, etc. and then spend a weekend exploring before you commit.”

4. Pick a House Style You Love and Stick to It

Evaluate your family’s needs and settle on a style of home that will best serve those needs. Just because you’ve narrowed your search to a zip code doesn’t mean you need to tour every listing in that vicinity. An example from the article says, “if you have several younger kids and don’t want your bedroom on a different level, steer clear of Cape Cod–style homes, which typically feature two or more bedrooms on the upper level and the master on the main.”

5. Document Your Home Visits

Once you start touring homes, the features of each individual home will start to blur together. The article suggests keeping your camera handy and making notes on the listing sheet to document what you love and don’t love about each property you visit.

Bottom Line

In a high-paced, competitive environment, any advantage you can give yourself will help you on your path to buying your dream home. As always, we here at Josh Barker Real Estate Advisors are here to help answer any questions you may have about buying or selling homes here in Redding and Shasta County. Feel free to give us a call at 530-222-3800 or email me at josh@reddinghomes.com.

Posted in Josh's Blog
Oct. 15, 2019

Homeownership is the Top Contributor to Your Net Worth

Many people plan to build their net worth by buying CDs or stocks, or just having a savings account. Recently, however, Economist Jonathan Eggleston and Survey Statistician Donald Hays, both of the U.S. Census Bureau, shared the biggest determinants of wealth,

“The biggest determinants of household wealth [are] owning a home and having a retirement account.” (Shown in the graph below):

This does not come as a surprise, as we often mention that homeownership can help you to increase your family’s wealth. This study reinforces that idea,

“Net worth is an important indicator of economic well-being and provides insights into a household’s economic health.”

Having equity in your home can help your family move in that direction, building toward substantial financial growth. According to the report noted above, people are not only creating net worth in the homes they live in, but many are also earning equity in rental property investments too. (See below):

John Paulson said it well,

“If you don’t own a home, buy one. If you own one home, buy another one, and if you own two homes buy a third and lend your relatives the money to buy a home.”

Bottom Line

There are financial and non-financial benefits to owning a home. If you would like to increase your net worth, let’s get together so you can learn all the benefits of becoming a homeowner. As always, we here at Josh Barker Real Estate Advisors are here to help answer any questions you may have about buying or selling homes here in Redding and Shasta County. Feel free to give us a call at 530-222-3800 or email me at josh@reddinghomes.com.

Posted in Josh's Blog