The Government Has a Plan To Help Out Renters—Will It Be Enough?

The Government Has a Plan To Help Out Renters—Will It Be Enough?

The coronavirus pandemic, and resulting financial crisis, stock market crash, and growing number of layoffs, could make the already serious housing shortage even more severe.

Amid widespread fear and unprecedented measures, including social distancing and “shelter in place” procedures in especially hard-hit cities, nearly 28% of Realtors® are seeing fewer homes on the market as a result of the coronavirus, according to the most recent National Association of Realtors® Flash Survey: Economic Pulse report. And the inventory shortage is growing by the minute as only 10% of Realtors observed fewer listings the week before.

More than 3,000 Realtors participated in the survey conducted on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

“If sellers remove their home from the market, it will continue to plague the historically low inventory conditions that face the country,” says Jessica Lautz, vice president of research at NAR.

Many homeowners are practicing social distancing by taking the “For Sale” signs off their front yards as fears of an economic downturn and having potentially infected strangers tramping through their properties mount. But with the nation already experiencing a lack of inventory, this is likely to make the problem even worse as demand outstrips supply.

About 16% of Realtors saw sellers take their homes off the market due to the coronavirus—compared with only 3% a week earlier, according to the survey.

Sellers who don’t pull their listings are being careful.

Roughly 40% of Realtors are now reporting open houses have been stopped. Twenty-seven percent have seen buyers required to use hand sanitizer when entering a property, while 6% observed buyers being required to use gloves.

“Sellers are ensuring the health and safety of their families and Realtors,” says Lautz.

The fear of the virus and what could be a looming recession isn’t just confined to sellers. Nearly half of Realtors, 48%, say buyer interest has dropped because of the coronavirus fears. That’s a significant hike from 16% the previous week.

In areas with more confirmed cases of COV-19, 53% of Realtors said interest had waned, the survey found.

That’s likely because many potential buyers are worried about the security of their jobs. Some don’t want to make what could be the largest purchase of their lives and be tied to 30 years of loan payments if they don’t have steady income coming in.

About 28% of Realtors reported buyers lost confidence in the housing market after the stock market crash. But ultralow mortgage rates, which reduce monthly mortgage payments, are helping to offset the financial fears. Another 28% of Realtors said the low mortgage rates excited buyers more than all of the bad economic news.

“Buyer activity has slowed currently while buyers are listening to precautions of how to stay healthy,” says Lautz. But she’s optimistic that buyers will return to the market once the crisis has passed.

“Buyer activity will rebound after the quarantine is lifted, as buyers will be attracted to low interest rates,” she explains.

Clare Trapasso is the senior news editor of realtor.com and an adjunct journalism professor at St. John’s University. She previously wrote for a Financial Times publication, the New York Daily News, and the Associated Press. She is also a licensed real estate agent with R New York. Contact her at clare.trapasso@realtor.com.

By Clare Trapasso | Mar 19, 2020

I read this article HERE 

Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.  How can The Caton Team help you?

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials | The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat | TheCatonTeam.com | Facebook | Instagram | HomeSnap | Pintrest | LinkedIN Sabrina | LinkedIN Susan

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

DRE # |Sabrina 01413526 | Susan 01238225 | Team 70000218 |Office 01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.


 

Is It Safe To House Hunt During the Coronavirus Crisis? This Is What You Must Know

It’s a hot topic!  So I’m sharing more info on….

Is It Safe To House Hunt During the Coronavirus Crisis? This Is What You Must Know

But before I share this – safety is OUR top priority!  SIP is no joke and should be respected not just for you – but for your neighbor.  Our community is awesome because of the people in it – let’s look out for another – thank you – Sabrina 

By Margaret Heidenry | Apr 7, 2020

In the best of times, shopping for a house is a complicated and involved process—a big-ticket proposition involving lots of shopping around and meeting a ton of people so you’re 100% sure you’ve picked the right place, at the right price. But, of course, these are not the best of times.

Now that the coronavirus pandemic has people across the country hunkering down at home to lower their exposure levels, even the most determined home buyer might be wondering: Is it safe to shop for a house right now?

We’re here to help you navigate this time of uncertainty and instability with this second installment of our new series, “Home Buying in the Age of Coronavirus.”

While risk is a personal decision, the real estate industry is adapting to provide ways to go about home buying safely during the coronavirus pandemic. You can now do many things at a safe social distance, or even remotely, when it comes to buying a home that you may not have considered doing in the past.

Here are all the ways in-person checkpoints to buying a home have changed to keep you safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Finding the right real estate agent

When it comes to buying a home, pairing up with the right agent is always key to finding your perfect property. But today, you need one who is tech-savvy and comfortable conducting meetings and business online.  (The Caton Team is tech savey) 

“Zoom, Google Hangouts, and other tools allow buyers to have consultations they would normally have in person with me from the comfort of their home,” says agent Maggie Wells of Keller Williams in Greater Lexington, KY.

To find an agent to further help you remotely, ask candidates if they offer virtual consultations and home tours. They should also be able to help you with e-signature apps so you can send and receive documents to sign digitally through email. (The Caton Team went paperless ages ago and use DocUsign to sign our contracts online – safely) 

“If an agent doesn’t offer these services yet, I highly recommend finding an agent who is [comfortable] working with technology,” adds Wells. (Look no further – The Caton Team has you covered.)

Virtual home tours

Crowded open houses with a plate of cookies for everyone to grab are a thing of the past—at least for now. Instead, you’ve got virtual open houses and video tours.

There are several ways to virtually tour a home. Along with photos, many listings were already starting to incorporate videos or virtual reality tours. (For example, the listing for this house in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, features a VR icon you can click on, which will take you to a video.) You’ll be able to tour the home, room by room, without physically stepping onto the property.  

“The power of video cannot be underestimated at a time like this,” says Cara Ameer, an agent with Coldwell Banker who is licensed in California and Florida.

However, these videos are filmed and edited, so you may not be able to see every nook and cranny. If you want to do a deeper dive, many agents will accommodate you.

“I’ve been giving live FaceTime tours of homes,” says Wells. “This provides buyers a personalized experience of the property without having to leave their home.”

Granted, we’re not necessarily saying you should buy a house without seeing it in person, unless there’s no choice in the matter. Nonetheless, it’s smart to do what you can remotely to whittle down your options so you can choose what’s worth an in-person visit, now or later.

Also keep in mind that in late March, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security declared residential real estate sales an “essential service,” although certain state officials, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, have explicitly forbidden home showings. And even if they are allowed, agents, home sellers, and buyers must all be willing to make them happen.

When in doubt, check with your agent and local government for more information, and know that things could change as this pandemic progresses.

Remote mortgage pre-approval

“One smart way to stay safe right now is to work with a loan officer who is set up to work remotely,” says Andrina Valdes, executive sales leader and chief operating officer of Cornerstone Home Lending in San Antonio.  (Our lending teams are ready to go – and online.)

Some lenders had already made the entire mortgage process digital long before social distancing was needed. And now, many more have jumped on board out of necessity.

The first step is to interview a few loan officers over the phone or by video chat. Since mortgage interest rates are all over the map these days, it’s extremely important to shop around and compare what they’re offering—and make sure they’re comfortable conducting all steps of the transaction online.

Ideally you want a lender that allows you to track your loan progress, view educational resources, and stay in touch, all without leaving the house.

In order to get pre-approved for a loan, the lender will need to review your income, debt, credit history, and other factors—and you’ll need to submit paperwork verifying all of the above.

Luckily, most of this paperwork should be available online, such as pay stubs, tax returns, and bank statements. If you’re unsure how to access them, a tech-savvy lender should be able to help. (Here’s more on the paperwork needed for mortgage pre-approval, and why getting pre-approved matters.)

Check out realtor.com/mortgage to find local lenders and to figure out how much home you can afford.

Remote home inspections

“We are offering clients the option of doing a remote inspection, where we inspect the house alone and review the findings with them via a videoconference,” says certified home Inspector Welmoed Sisson of Inspections by Bob in Maryland and author of “101 Things You Don’t Want in Your Home.”

At a remote home inspection, inspectors take a lot more pictures than they might have in the past so clients can get a good idea of where the issues are.

“We also take videos if the issue is something moving that shouldn’t, such as a loose handrail or wobbly toilet,” adds Sisson. “While we’re in the house, we use gloves, wash our hands, and wipe down things we touch with antiseptic cloths.”

Once the report is completed, Sisson sets up a video call and emails clients PDFs of background information about why inspectors test what they do.

“Through screen sharing, I go through a slideshow of the pictures, answering questions as we go,” says Sisson.  (Some inspection companies will inspect a vacant home with precautions.)

Virtual home appraisals

Home appraisals required by a lender generally include a site visit, which is not possible in some parts of the country where this is not considered an essential service. Luckily, appraisals pertain only to those getting loans, so cash buyers can skip this process entirely. But if you are getting a mortgage, fear not.

“In the last few weeks, we’ve seen an influx of virtual appraisals done via video as well as ‘desktop appraising,’ where the appraiser reviews available public and private data,” says Nikita Idiri, a licensed real estate salesperson at New York’s Elegran.

The appraiser then uses comparable properties for the reports. While these methods may not be to the penny in terms of value, they are relatively accurate and allow lenders to continue operating.

Remote home closings

In-person home closings—where all parties come together to sign contracts, swap keys, and shake hands—are, for the most part, not happening right now (especially the shaking hands part). However, most closings require some face-to-face interaction, since people have to sign documents and notaries need to stamp them in person.

So while home buyers will probably have to show up on closing day, it will look far different from the past.

Lynn “Ginger” Ruckman, real estate associate broker at Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty in Bronxville, NY, recently closed on a home at the buyer’s attorney’s office. But instead of everyone crowding into a room for hours, parties sat in separate rooms to finalize the deal.

“The sellers and I were in the reception area, and the buyers were in the conference room,” says Ruckman. “The title company shuffled papers back and forth, and the entire process took 23 minutes.”

Another agent in Ruckman’s office had a closing where all parties showed up on the street where one of the attorneys lived.

“Papers were delivered to the appropriate cars for signatures,” explains Ruckman. “Everyone had their own pen, and the intermediary wore gloves. It got done without a hitch.”

And soon closings may be entirely remote, with states such as Georgia announcing that, as of March 31, video closings are temporarily permissible.

“The approval just happened, so nobody has done it yet,” says Georgia attorney Ken Luther. “But this is my understanding of how it would work: The closing attorney would send links to all necessary parties for a secure videoconference. All parties would sign electronically, and the transaction would be witnessed and notarized by conference participants.”

Real Estate and we Realtors are all about adapting – Real Estate has always changed and this is no difference.  Home is where the heart is and now more than ever home is so important.  The Caton Team is here to help – remotely and safely – How Can The Caton Team Help You?

I read this article HERE 

Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.  How can The Caton Team help you?

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials | The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat | TheCatonTeam.com | Facebook | Instagram | HomeSnap | Pintrest | LinkedIN Sabrina | LinkedIN Susan

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

DRE # |Sabrina 01413526 | Susan 01238225 | Team 70000218 |Office 01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.


 

UPDATE: San Francisco and San Mateo Counties have extended property tax deadlines without penalty to May 4,

Hello Caton Team Friends – I wanted to share this quickly.
As we know, the deadline for payment of the second installment of property taxes is fast approaching. The tax collector offices of our immediate, surrounding Bay Area counties have addressed the matter independent of one another. Both San Francisco and San Mateo Counties have extended property tax deadlines without penalty to May 4, the first business day that county offices are expected to open after the current Shelter-In-Place order is scheduled to end (tentatively).
The deadline for property tax payments in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, and Santa Clara Counties remain unchanged, and due this Friday, April 10.
Each jurisdiction also has enacted protocols for applications for extensions and/or waiver of late fee penalties in the event the current health situation has impacted one’s ability to make payment or to make payment on time. Please see the information for each jurisdiction that is applicable to the county in which your property or properties are located. We recommend that you consult with your tax professional or advisor to confirm all information and to decide upon which course of action is best for you.
San Francisco County – Due May 4, 2020 – Extended
San Mateo County – Due May 4, 2020 – Extended
Alameda County – Due April 10, 2020 – No Change
Contra Costa County – Due April 10, 2020 – No Change
Marin County – Due April 10, 2020 – No Change
Santa Clara County – Due April 10, 2020 – No Change
We encourage homeowners who are able to pay their property taxes by the original date of April 10, 2020, to do so, as the revenue supports essential City services which are still running. That said, we are pleased that homeowners who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic now have an extended deadline.
Take care and stay safe. As always, please feel free to contact me if you should have any questions about this or other real estate/business matter.

 

Thank you fellow Realtor John Asdourian for sharing this information with us.  Together – we’ll get through this.

Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.  How can The Caton Team help you?

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials | The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat | TheCatonTeam.com | Facebook | Instagram | HomeSnap | Pintrest | LinkedIN Sabrina | LinkedIN Susan

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

DRE # |Sabrina 01413526 | Susan 01238225 | Team 70000218 |Office 01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.


 

Should I Buy a House During the Coronavirus Crisis? An Essential Guide

Happy Monday Friends – I spent the day chatting with my clients and it was divine to hear their voices!!!!  As I was logging out I saw this article and had to rapid share as this was THE topic on our minds.  We do hope you’re home and safe – together we’ll get through this and flatten the curve.

Stay Connected with Facebook | Instagram

 

Should I Buy a House During the Coronavirus Crisis? An Essential Guide

By Margaret Heidenry | Apr 6, 2020

Spring is upon us, which typically involves a big peak of home buyers checking out properties, negotiating, and closing on new places. But the coronavirus outbreak—with its quarantine measures and economic uncertainties—has many a real estate shopper wondering: Should I buy a home now, or wait?

We’re here to help you navigate this confusing new normal with this series, “Home Buying in the Age of Coronavirus.”

This first installment aims to help you figure out whether you can—and should—shop for a home right now, or hold off until this crisis blows over. Read on for some honest answers that will help you decide what to do.

The impact of the coronavirus on the housing market

So what state is the housing market in right now, anyway? While that depends on how bad an outbreak an area is suffering, most markets are feeling some sort of hit.

“The coronavirus is leading to fewer home buyers searching in the marketplace, as well as some listings being delayed,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors®.

The latest NAR Flash Survey: Economic Pulse, conducted on March 16 and 17, found that 48% of real estate agents have noticed a decrease in buyer interest attributable to the coronavirus outbreak.

However, nearly an equal number of members (45%) said that they believe lower-than-average mortgage rates are tempting buyers to shop around anyway, without any significant overall change in buyer behavior.

For those who are determined to buy a home, there is opportunity out there.

“This is the best buyer’s market I have ever seen in my career,” says Ryan Serhant of Nest Seekers and Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York.”

“Sellers are nervous, there’s excess supply, and interest rates have been hovering at historic lows. You can own a home for less per month than you can rent an equivalent property in most areas,” he adds.

With fewer home buyers out there looking, you have less competition in your way.

“Unmotivated and uncommitted buyers have dropped off,” adds Maggie Wells, a real estate professional in Lexington, KY. “Less competition is a huge leg up in this market.”

The window of opportunity for buyers won’t stay open wide forever. NAR data shows that there was a housing shortage prior to the outbreak.

“The temporary softening of the real estate market will likely be followed by a strong rebound, once the quarantine is lifted,” says Yun.

This pent-up demand could eventually push home prices higher. That could mean that the time to strike for bargains is now.

Bottom line: If social distancing has made you realize you don’t love the place where you’re currently spending most of your time, it’s a good time to consider buying.

How the housing industry has adapted to keep buyers safe

Although it’s a scary time to be out and about checking out real estate, it is still possible to do so and stay relatively safe. The industry has rapidly adapted, introducing approaches that minimize exposure to the virus.

For instance, many agents are now working remotely and conducting most of their business virtually.

“Buyer and seller consultations have transitioned to virtual meetings with success,” says Kate Ziegler, a real estate agent with Arborview Realty in Boston.

While open houses or showings may not be easy to arrange because of quarantine or other safety issues, real estate listings have stepped up to the plate by offering virtual tours.

“We can send clients videos of whatever properties they want to see, or we are happy to have our agents FaceTime from a property,” says Leslie Turner of Maison Real Estate in Charleston, SC.

While those who are immunocompromised may want to stay home, if you’re otherwise healthy, it is also still possible to see some homes in person in some parts of the country. You’ll want to take some precautions before you go.

“Hand sanitizer at the door has become the norm, as well as shoe covers, even on sunny days,” says Ziegler.

During the tour, it’s also now customary for the listing agent to open all doors, so that home buyers can explore closets and other enclosed spaces without touching anything as they look.

If you do make an offer that’s accepted and you head to the closing table, real estate agents and attorneys are also adapting to remote closings, to keep you out of a crowded conference room. (We’ll provide more information about virtual tours and remote closings in later installments.)

How to weigh economic concerns

Coronavirus aside, anyone thinking about buying a home is also likely to be weighing whether it’s a smart idea when the economy is in a downward spiral. But in the same way you can’t easily time a stock purchase to make a profit, you can’t easily time a home purchase, either.

“Recession or not, it’s impossible to time the market, whether for buying stock or buying real estate,” says Roger Ma, a New York–based financial planner and owner of lifelaidout.

Just keep in mind that while current market conditions offer an incredible opportunity for home buyers to lock in historically low interest rates for a mortgage, rates are actually going up quickly, because so many people are refinancing.

If you wait too long to buy, you may miss the money-saving boat. So make sure to read up on the latest mortgage rates first.

Besides mortgage rates, home buyers are probably wondering about the stability of their income, as fear of layoffs loom.

“We are entering uncharted territory,” says Michael Zschunke, a real estate agent in Scottsdale, AZ.

On the flip side, putting a property under contract now and locking in a low interest rate gives a buyer some control at a time of relative uncertainty, adds Turner.

The takeaway from all this? It matters more than ever to get pre-approved for a mortgage, to calculate your home-buying budget accurately.

If you’re worried about layoffs, you should buy a home well under budget so you have enough money left over for closing costs, home maintenance, and a rainy day fund. Now is the time to crunch your numbers more carefully than ever before. Below is what you need to consider.

  • Research ways to reduce your closing costs. For instance, many loans allow sellers to contribute up to 6% of the sale price to the buyer as a closing-cost credit.
  • Figure out how much you need to set aside for yearly home maintenance and repairs. A smart budget is to have between 1% and 4% of the purchase price of your home.
  • Be sure to put aside an emergency nest egg for unexpected repairs. On average, it’s a good idea to sock away 1% to 3% of a home’s value in cash reserves.

In our next installment, we’ll explore all the ways to conduct a house hunt safely. Stay tuned! In the meantime, here’s more on buying a home during a recession.

I read this article HERE 

Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.  How can The Caton Team help you?

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials | The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat | TheCatonTeam.com | Facebook | Instagram | HomeSnap | Pintrest | LinkedIN Sabrina | LinkedIN Susan

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

DRE # |Sabrina 01413526 | Susan 01238225 | Team 70000218 |Office 01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.


 

The Numbers are in. Sales from 4.1-4.6.2020

The numbers are in for 4.1.2020-4.6.2020:

Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.  How can The Caton Team help you?

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials | The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat | TheCatonTeam.com | Facebook | Instagram | HomeSnap | Pintrest | LinkedIN Sabrina | LinkedIN Susan 

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

DRE # |Sabrina 01413526 | Susan 01238225 | Team 70000218 |Office 01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.

Take Advantage of Free Disinfectants: How To Fill Your Home With Sunlight and Fresh Air

Take Advantage of Free Disinfectants: How To Fill Your Home With Sunlight and Fresh Air

Take a deep breath. Is the air inside your home stuffy? Don’t delay: Open a window and let fresh air and sunlight into your quarantined space. It won’t just help make your place smell better and feel fresher, it can also make your home healthier. And it may just help elevate your mood in these stressful times.

With a pandemic raging, the Centers for Disease Control recommends all households “increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning.” This call for fresh air is in addition to regular disinfecting and best hygiene practices to blunt the spike of COVID-19 cases.

Sunlight plus a cool breeze to assist in the fight against infection isn’t a new idea. There’s a history of fresh air and sunlight being used to control the spread of disease.

During the 1918 flu pandemic, “open air” treatments were used to treat sick soldiers and sailors, according to public health expert Richard Hobday. It remained a popular therapeutic method to treat infection through the 1950s.

In a recent article, Hobday explains the lessons learned from the 1918 flu outbreak: Over a century ago, medical officers discovered a “combination of fresh air and sunlight sees to have prevented deaths among patients; and infections among medical staff.” Hobday cites a report that indicates open-air treatment during the 1918 pandemic reduced deaths in hospitals from about 40% to about 13%.

In 2018, researchers led by Dr. Ashkan Fahimipour published findings in the Microbiome Journal that show sunlight does help kill bacteria in household dust. However, the doctor cautions there isn’t direct evidence sunlight is an effective deterrent for the spread of COVID-19.

“We do have scientific evidence that sunlight inactivates some microorganisms, including viruses,” says Fahimipour. “However, to my knowledge, data on the effects of sunlight on COVID-19 do not exist. That said, sunlight is a ‘free’ potential infection control measure that is easy to implement and unlikely to contribute deleterious effects—with emphasis on potential.”

So if the sun’s rays and fresh air are an easy way to boost the overall health of your living space, we wanted to focus on that crucial potential for beneficial effects  We spoke with a few pros for tips on how to maximize airflow and sunlight in your home.

Open your windows, even if you have to adjust the thermostat

Whether you’re in a part of the country in the full throes of spring or still dealing with a deep freeze, think about opening your windows for fresh air and adjusting the thermostat to compensate. And yes, we know it’s expensive to run the heater with windows open, but letting the air circulate for a few hours a day can help improve the atmosphere inside your home.

Jeff Scroggins runs Creative Design Group, a design firm focused on high-end homes in Colorado’s ski resort towns. Even in the often-frigid Rockies, where air conditioning isn’t a standard feature, Scroggins says he has plenty of clients who crack open their windows year-round just for airflow. Even when temperatures dip below freezing, fresh air can offer benefits.

If you have outdoor space, use it

If you’re lucky enough to be quarantined at home and have a backyard, use that space for dining alfresco, grilling, or even an impromptu picnic.

And your backyard doesn’t need to be designed to the nines to enjoy it. Make the most of what you have right now.

“Pretend you are in a luxurious resort, and start your day by experiencing that first cup of coffee outside, listening to the birds,” suggests Susan Solliday, president of the Arizona North Chapter of American Society of Interior Designers. “Pull out chairs and tables suitable for outside, and place them in great morning spots.”

No yard? No problem. Designer and real estate agent James Judge says even the smallest outdoor spaces can be transformed into an inviting hangout spot.

“It can be as simple as a yoga mat on the patio or a cute bistro set that you order online,” Judge says. “An indoor and outdoor throw pillow can brighten up a space, too.”

Ditch heavy drapery for sheer curtains

Judge also recommends sheer curtains to lighten up your space. Now is not the time to live out your vampire fantasies—so consider replacing heavy drapes or thick fabric curtains to allow sunlight to stream in.

“With sheers you can still achieve privacy, but they are a great way to get natural light in, too,” says Judge.

There are several options for blinds and shades, like solar shades, which are designed to maximize natural light while cutting down on glare and blocking harmful UV, which could damage furniture or other valuables.

Blinds with larger slats let in the most light, but offer less privacy than those with smaller slats, which is important to consider for windows facing the street.

How you approach letting sunlight and fresh air in to your shelter-in-place lifestyle will be personal. It depends on your home, your climate, and your health. Whatever your situation, try to make every effort to keep your surroundings as healthy as possible. Opening a window is free, easy, and proven to boost your health. And that’s something we can all use right now.

By Becky Bracken | Mar 27, 2020

I read this article HERE 

Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.  How can The Caton Team help you?

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials | The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat | TheCatonTeam.com | Facebook | Instagram | HomeSnap | Pintrest | LinkedIN Sabrina | LinkedIN Susan

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

DRE # |Sabrina 01413526 | Susan 01238225 | Team 70000218 |Office 01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.


 

Mortgage Applications Drop as Coronavirus Infects the Housing Market

Mortgage Applications Drop as Coronavirus Infects the Housing Market

My 2 cents – these Bear Markets can be frightening.  But I’m not scared.  Real Estate is one of the most crucial investments of your life and time and time again Real Estate recovers and maintains its vaule.  Will it dip?  Of course it will.  The Real Estate Market like the Stock Market is a direct reflection of the people’s collective reaction.  So this slow down is not a surprise, people are sheltering in place and scared to act. 

Let me leave you with this, Uncle Warren Buffett who owns BHHS – he always buys in a Bear Market.  So don’t be scared.  If buying a home was your goal this year, if you still have your downpayment safe in your saving account – interest rates are low, if you’re still employed you’ll get a loan! If you want to buy, go for it.  We Realtors can make things happen virtually and online while maintaining safety and obeying the shelter in place. 

Even if you already own your home, values doesn’t matter if they go up and down until you actually sell.  So stay in place, maybe even work on the house and hang tight. 

Now for the article…

The U.S. housing market is showing signs of being infected by the coronavirus. With more Americans testing positive for COVID-19, the economy crashing, and increasing numbers of shuttered businesses and layoffs, fewer folks are seeking mortgages to purchase homes during this crisis.

The number of home buyers seeking mortgages dropped significantly in the week ending March 20, according to a weekly survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Weekly purchase applications fell 14.2% compared with the previous week—and was down 11.2% from the prior year, according to the nonseasonally adjusted numbers.

The survey spans more than 75% of U.S. residential mortgage applications.

This was the first year-over-year decline in home purchase applications in more than three months. The average loan size for home purchases was $336,000.

“Home purchase applications were notably impacted by rising rates and the widespread economic disruption and uncertainty over household employment and incomes,” Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting for the association, said in a statement.

The number of buyers seeking mortgages plummeted the most in the states hardest-hit by COVID-19. In New York, the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S., purchase applications fell 35% in the seven days ending March 20 compared with the prior week. And they were down 24% in the week ending March 13 from the previous week.

Weekly purchase applications fell 23% in California and 17% in Washington state in the week ending March 20 compared with the prior seven days.

“Potential home buyers might continue to hold off on buying until there is a slowdown in the spread of the coronavirus and more clarity on the economic outlook,” Kan said.

Overall, the number of mortgage applications fell 29% compared with the prior week. Weekly refinance applications were down 33.8% but were still up 195% from the same week a year earlier.

Refinances spiked at the beginning of the month, when mortgage interest rates fell to historic lows, reaching a low of 3.13% on March 2 for 30-year fixed-rate loans, according to Mortgage News Daily. Homeowners rushed in to refinance their existing home loans in an effort to pare down their mortgage payments by as much as a few hundred dollars a month and tens of thousands of dollars over the life of their loan. The exact amount varied considerably depending on the rate they received and size of their loans.

Mortgage rates have since fluctuated wildly, reaching 4.15% on March 19 before going back down to 3.5% as of Tuesday, according to Mortgage News Daily. And that’s led to a drop in refinance applications as refinancing isn’t as profitable as it was for homeowners when rates reached new lows.

Clare Trapasso is the senior news editor of realtor.com and an adjunct journalism professor at St. John’s University. She previously wrote for a Financial Times publication, the New York Daily News, and the Associated Press. She is also a licensed real estate agent with R New York. Contact her at clare.trapasso@realtor.com.

By Clare Trapasso | Mar 25, 2020

I read this article HERE 

Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.  How can The Caton Team help you?

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials | The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat | TheCatonTeam.com | Facebook | Instagram | HomeSnap | Pintrest | LinkedIN Sabrina | LinkedIN Susan

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

DRE # |Sabrina 01413526 | Susan 01238225 | Team 70000218 |Office 01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.