Talk of the Town – The Bay Area Real Estate Market

A reflection by Sabrina Caton | Janurary 8, 2018

 

With all the talk about the Bay Area Housing Market – it’s hard to decipher the message.  Are we crashing?  Is the boom over?  Do I buy now?  Or wait?  What if I need to sell?  What should I do? 

There are great questions and as The Caton Team firmly believes, each client has a unique situation and set of needs – so what “they” should do is all relative.  That’s why we offer a free, no strings attached consultation to help determine what is best for you.  So please do not hesitate to reach out to us should you have any Real Estate questions.  Email: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

 

The Real Estate market, much like the stock market, is made up of people.  In Real Estate those people are Buyers and Sellers, Investors and Renters and the market is very much a mirror to what those people are thinking and doing.

Because the Real Estate market is made up of people, it changes as our habits do – often reflected as seasonal change.  I’ve been a full time Realtor for the past 15 years, Susan over 20, and if there is one thing we Realtors get used to — is the cyclical change of our market.  It is so steadfast, many check out during the slow months because they know, come Spring and Summer – that’s when the action happens.  But is this realistic?  To just buy and sell for two seasons?  NO – it’s not – because life happens everyday! 

People buy and sell homes for various reason – aside from the investment standpoint.  People buy a larger home when they find out their pregnant, or a couple gets married and combines their space and their assets.  People sell homes when they get a new job out of state, or the house they have is too big or too small for their current lifestyle.  My point is, people buy and sell homes for more reasons that I can state – and those events happen every day.  It’s part of life – so why do we over analysis and stress ourselves out with the cycle?  Why do we try to time the market when no one has a crystal ball?

Real Estate has always and will always be a long term investment.  Quick and high gains are unrealistic and truthfully – unstable.  Couple that with the rise in interest rates over 2018 that directly impacted each Buyers purchase power.  Throw in changes to the stock market and everyone is going to err on the side of  caution.  Which is wise.   So is investing in Real Estate – as a long term venture.  It is a solid investment – especially because we all need a place to live.  Making NOW a great time to buy, while prices are soft and demand is low.  Get in today – at today’s rates (under 5% last I checked) then hold onto your investment.  You’ll be happy you did – because over time – Real Estate value will always rise simply becuase they’re just not making land anymore. 

 

So what dictates price?  Buyers dictate price – even during the frenzy.  It is a Buyer who decides – ‘this is the house I want and this is how much I am willing to pay for it’.  Come Spring, said Buyer may have lost out on a few houses and slowly that Buyer becomes more aggressive in order to be the winning bid.  The frenzy is created by the same source who can tame it – the Buyer.  So come Summer, those Spring Buyers who lost out on home after home, start sweetening the pot and overbidding.  Whether a Buyer wants to overbid or not – write a few offers that get rejected and a Buyer will find out what it takes to become an Owner.  Each market is different and requires a different strategy.  Right now that Sellers market is in the past.  For the first time in ages – we’re in a Buyers Market.

Th moment I see Halloween candy on display, I know the slowdown is coming – change is near.

What gets me is – why are Buyers doing this to themselves when they don’t have to?  My personal business philosophy is – to be successful in Real Estate we have to think and act differently.  That means doing whatever it takes to have my clients home or offer stand out from the crowd.  To change it up and be the first to do so. 

Which brings me to today – January 2019.  The media is spewing a Real Estate crash when in reality – our hyper-paced market is simply – returning to normal – not crashing.  Normal. 

It wasn’t normal for homes to sell in less than one week.  It wasn’t normal for a Buyer to have one chance to see a home before an offer date pushed them to move faster.  It wasn’t normal for offers to line up after one open house.  It wasn’t normal and it wasn’t practical.

Today, for the first time in what feels like ages, we have inventory.  Meaning, there are several homes on the market, at several price points.  With lower demand, offer dates are no longer pressing the urgency to make a decision and Buyers have a bit more of that much needed time.  Remember, Real Estate is one of the largest investments in our lives – so it is important to take time and make the right decision.  This type of market allows for that.  Making the Winter Market a great time to buy!

 

The flip side – it may feel like the market is crashing if you’re selling your home this season.  What drives up prices is the volume of qualified Buyers wanting to buy versus the volume of homes for sale.  For the past several years we’ve had high demand and low volume – thus further escalating prices.  Each Fall people turn from houses to holidays and demand wanes. 

What is hard to consider – the $100,000 gains seen during the Spring Market isn’t going to happen if only one Buyer is on the house hunt during Winter.  So Sellers are seeing $100,000+ price reductions and feeling like the market is crashing from under them – when in reality it is just returning to normal.  In other words, demand has changed, and it doesn’t take an additional $100,000 to be the winning bid.  (Which always makes me wonder why Buyers don’t take the bull by the horns and change things up!  I’ve had the best success with my Buying clients over the Fall and Winter because they were the only people putting in the time!  Anyway – I digress.) 

For Sellers it is a hard transition.  When Realtors look at the market we cannot determine the future but we can map out the past.  Fall/Winter Sellers may have higher expectations because they are looking at Spring/Summer sales data that was indicative of that market – on that particular day and that day has passed.  Today is a whole new reality.  The Real Estate Market is a living, breathing entity.  Like the people in it – the market can turn on a dime without any notice.  So how does one navigate these uncharted waters?

Easy… be realistic, timely and see the big picture.  Each Seller is in a unique situation so the answer isn’t cut and dry.  I do believe in being in the “here and now”, being aware of the market change and adjusting the strategy.  Often times waiting out the market is not the best solution.  Sometimes it is.  Sometimes renting a home out is a bad idea when you consider wear and tear.  Though a great tenant is better than a vacant home that seems to age while alone. It’s a lot to weigh so it’s best to be open and flexible.  The Caton Team strives for the best result regardless of market conditions and happy to sit down and work through the challenges with you.

 

Bay Area Real Estate started to slowed down in September on ’18.  Buyers had grown tired with the insane pace of the Spring/Summer market and it showed.  Add the fire and smoke in the Fall, deterring many people from even venturing outside.  Each market is different.  Last year in 2017 – our 4th Quarter was one of the most robust ever!  2018 an entirely different story.  So how does one survive a changing market in 2019?  Move with it.

If you’re Buying you’ve seen homes sitting on the market, some have had price reductions some have not.  Don’t just sit there.  If you like a home contact your Realtor and have them contact the Sellers Realtor.  Communication is key in this business.  If you’re a serious Home Buyer – you need to get offline and in front of a Realtor.  We’re here to work with you and help you figure out these challenges.  Remember, Real Estate is not a twisting of the arm but a meeting of the minds.  Yes, Buyers determine price – but we can’t walk in with 1996 prices.  Offers need to be realistic and doable.  A Seller isn’t going to take an outlandish low offer just because – nor is a buyer going to overbid.  Real Estate is finding that middle ground where all parties can obtain their goals and walk away – happy.

If you’re selling – and don’t have the luxury of waiting till Spring to sell – get on the market now.  Move accordingly.  Make sure you are priced right – knowing there won’t be multiple offers driving up the value.  In Realtor lingo we say – don’t chase the market down.  Meaning, if the market is in flux, you don’t want to sit online forever, you’ve got to adjust with the times.  Markets move up and down from day to day, month to month, year over year.  The key to being successful is moving with that market and keeping in line with your goals and budget.  Don’t hold out for a price that doesn’t exist in the current market climate.  Review your goals and timeline, be open and honest with your Realtor about your needs and wants and work together to achieve the goal.  Flexibility is key. 

Each market is different, each neighborhood is different and each client is different.  I could go on and on but the bottom line is this – Buying and Selling Real Estate happens in real time.  Today.  The future is untold and the past is just a graph.  If you want to own a home, get out there and look – open your eyes to the possibilities.  If you need to sell your home, get the home show ready, price it right and work with your Realtor because together we can do anything. 

 

The Caton Team loves helping people obtain their Real Estate goals – contact us anytime with any questions – we’re here for you.

Thanks for reading!

-Sabrina

 

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.

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.

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

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

The Caton Team Website

The Caton Team Advantage

How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

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

Visit us at:  Our Blog * TheCatonTeam.com * Facebook * Instagram * HomeSnap* Pintrest * LinkedIN Sabrina * LinkedIN Susan

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

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

How to Sell and Buy Real Estate in Today’s Market

Are you a Move Up Buyer in Silicon Valley?   Then you know how hard it is to take that goal and realize it.  It is much harder to sell and buy today than ever before!

If you’re a Buyer in the Silicon Valley – then you are well aware of how competitive it is to get a house in this market.  A Buyer may have started off with big dreams, the want list, the wish list and then quickly condensed the list to one thing – I want a house – any house in the Bay Area.

It’s that nuts.

Why?

The Bay Area has limited space to build.  Land is the gold of Real Estate, without land you cannot build more homes.  So if you want to own a home around here – get ready for the bidding wars.

But if you’re a Buyer with a home to Sell first – then you’re really up for a challenge.  

Seller EXPECTATIONS

If you’re a Seller these days – you have some expectations.  With multiple Buyers for each home – a Buyer pretty much has to do the following to be a candidate:

  • OFFER OVER LIST PRICE – sometimes even more than the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) warrants.  This can be frightening and can setup a Buyer for some surprises*.  The Caton Team always prepares a CMA and gauges market activity to help a Buyer determine their right price.
  • WAIVE ALL CONTINGENCIES – These days a Buyer cannot ask for repairs, or request time to sell their current home .  If a Buyer wants to be a contender – they must come in Non-Contingent and ready to close.  Let me re-phrase that.  A Buyer must write THIER best offer and if that includes a contingency – the Buyer must do what is best for them.  Just know – if there is a contingency – generally that offer goes to the bottom of the stack because in this market, the Seller has plenty of offers to choose from and does NOT have to accept a Contingent Offer – no matter how cute the letter is.  (Note, in cooler markets Buyers have more leverage and will have the opportunity for Sellers to accept contingencies.  It’s just not that market today.)
  • PROOF OF FUNDS – A Buyer MUST HAVE ALL their down payment, closing costs and reserve monies ready from DAY 1!  Not only for their bank loan approval – Buyers need proof of funds just to write a contending offer!  To be frank, sometimes a great offer is beat out by an offer with “better” proof of funds – IE – money in the bank.
    • Each Seller and their Realtor will REQUIRE Proof of Funds to be submitted WITH the Offer.  Meaning your Realtor needs recent copies of all your bank statements to be provided in your Offer Package to show money for the downpayment, closing costs and reserves.  You would too if you were in the Seller seat.  Our job as Realtors is to protect OUR Clients best interests.  Meaning, while reviewing offers, not only does The Caton Team call each lender to verify loan strength – we also want to see Proof of Funds totaling at minimum the monies for said deal AND reserve funds which are healthy and liquid to ensure –  if things go awry – there are funds to close on time.  In other words, the strongest reserves has an impact on what is considered the “Best” offer.  It is not always price that equates as “Best”.  (Curious why?  – Ask us anytime – it is another blog post.)
      • An example of a Buyer surprise* is when the appraised value is lower than the offer price.  The Buyer may need to pay the difference between the appraised value and offer price because there are NO Contingencies – a Buyer must perform or quit.  Quitting on a Non-Contingent Offer means the Buyer could forge all or a portion of their good faith deposit – which is 3% of the total purchase price.  Note – each case is different and this is just an example.  Bottom line – selling Real Estate is serious business and being prepared is the first step.

There are several more items that make the perfect Offer Package – so if you’re curious – contact The Caton Team.

Ok, so now you have an idea of what it takes to buy a home around here.  Now what do you do if you have a home to sell first?  Bear with me on this – it is the hottest topic in Real Estate today.

HOW TO SELL THEN BUY

If you’re lucky enough to already be a Silicon Valley homeowner – congratulations!  You’re ahead of the game.  Right?  Unless you need more space and want to move up.  The Caton Team has met many clients who opted to add onto their existing homes.  Great!  Unless that is not an option.  Then we are back to square one – How does a Buyer sell then buy in this market?  

As I stated above in Seller Expectations, the “requirements” for contention can feel like a tall order.  If your down payment funds are tied up in the equity of your home – you have several options but only a few are viable in this market.  

DREAM OPTION

Rich Aunt Sally gifts you the money you need for the purchase of the home.  Thank you Aunt Sally.  But what if we don’t have rich relatives?

SELL FIRST OPTION

This is the cut and dry option.  Sell the home.  Close Escrow.  Move out and into a short term rental or with relatives.  Bank the  proceeds of the sale – aka: the downpayment and enjoy the Home Buying Experience at your own pace knowing you can A) Prove your Funds and B) Go in Non Contingent. 

Oh – Did I mention this option is also terrifying?  A Seller feels as if they are loosing their only piece of California – the “what if we don’t get the next one” can be frightening.  That’s why this option that is often chosen last.  Next up…

SELL FIRST WITH RENT-BACK OPTION

Similar to the first scenario – except instead of moving out at Close of Escrow – the Seller is granted Rent Back to live in the home for an agreed timeframe and cost, then move out – whether or not the Seller has acquired their next purchase.  The advantage to this is the Closing – the Seller has the proceeds in the bank and can write a non-contingent offer on their next home.  The down side – it is a short term solution – if the Seller doesn’t find their next home within the time frame – they will have to move out when the tenancy is over no matter what.  

OBTAIN AN OFFER TO PURCHASE

This option is often the first step – the proverbial toe in the water.  We, as your Realtors will try to find a Buyer willing to do the following:

  • Offer to Purchase the home with an Extended Close of Escrow, giving the Seller time to acquire their next property then quickly close on one then the other – a Domino closing effect.  The downside, their proceeds are not in the bank; therefore the Proof of Funds will be short AND even if the Seller writes a Non-Contingent Offer – we as Realtors know – it isn’t over until it’s over.  In other words, when comparing offers – the one with less strings attached wins.  Even Non-Contingent Offers in this scenario are not as strong as Buyers ready, willing and able to close on time.  IE:  Don’t have to close one house before they can close on the other.  Confusing right?  

That’s why inevitably, if a Client truly needs more space and cannot add on – they often are forced to sell first, rent then buy because this market is too competitive to request contingencies from the seller.  – Please don’t shoot the messenger – 

THE LONG ROAD

Now here’s my idea – but it takes a few years and you truly need to ask your CPA.  The idea is – the Seller moves out into.  (Where?  That is not part of my scenario.)  The Seller then converts their personal residence into a rental – renting it out for a minimum of 2 years.  (I cannot give tax advice, so please verify with your CPA).  After those two years, the Seller sells their home as a 1031 exchange, then buys their next home – as another investment.  The caveat – the Seller cannot move into their new home until it’s been rented for at least 2 years. Again run this by your CPA as tax laws change and I am not a CPA.  Anyway, this is the long term approach.  The good news, especially if you’re buying in the same community, even if prices rise – hopefully so will the value of your current investment.  Anyway, can you tell I have several clients in the same boat?  This blog post was really just me organizing my thoughts then I figured – why don’t I just share this – if I can help someone make a better decision for their future – then I did my job today.  

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Right now – the forecast is Interest Rates will rise.  This can diminish a Buyer’s buying power.  As the interest rates rise the amount of the loan reduces.  To remedy this – a Buyer will need to bring in more monies towards the downpayment.  Easy, if we have Aunt Sally on speed dial.

The Caton Team cannot forecast the future but we have endured all sorts of markets.  We always worry about our Buyers waiting themselves out of the market and in this still inclining market – that can happen faster than you think.  Ask us anytime – we’re in the trenches, we know what homes are selling for before the internet gets wind.  It’s wild out there but we’ve got you covered.  Susan and I have over 35 years combined, local real estate experience.  We represent our clients with integrity.  Our offer packages stand out and often times just the edge a Buyer needs in this market.  Our Seller Package is successful, our negotiating is skilled, kind and focused.  We pride ourselves in being effective, efficient and responsive.

Real Estate is multi faceted and this blog is just the tip of the iceberg.  Each family has a unique set of needs.  We value the sit down time to get to know what you need whether buying or selling a home in the Bay Area. 

What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Thank you for reading and forgiving my typos,

Sabrina

 

I wrote this…

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help.

The Caton Team strives 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. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

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

The Caton Team Website

The Caton Team Advantage

How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

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

Visit us at:  Our Blog * TheCatonTeam.com * Facebook *Yelp Us * My Yelp * Instagram * HomeSnap* Pintrest * LinkedIN Sabrina * LinkedIN Susan

 

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

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

How to Make an Offer That Can’t Be Refused

How to Make an Offer That Can’t Be Refused

By Angela Colley

Really excited to share this article as finding the motivation is a huge name of the game when The Caton Team represents Buyers in the Silicon Valley Real Estate Market.  I’ll add my 2 cents as we go.

You’ve found the perfect house. You can already see yourself unpacking your books, pulling all the glassware out of crates, setting up the PlayStation 4. You’re ready to make an offer. Nothing could go wrong now. Except, wait a minute. What if there are other offers? What if the seller doesn’t like your offer? What if the seller doesn’t like you?

Don’t panic. There’s a way to make an offer that can’t be refused—and the answer is better than “cough up more money.” Way better. Use the science of human behavior!

Find their motivations

To seal the deal, you have to know the seller’s motivations. Yes, we know that sounds like a self-help book gimmick, but it’s true. We’re all motivated by something, and seeing things from the seller’s point of view can help you write a killer offer.

Sellers are usually primarily motivated by one of three things, according to Diana George, founder of Vault Realty Group in Oakland, CA.

  1. The bottom line (aka money”)
  2. A rush to move/dont want to drag the selling process out (terms)
  3. Emotional attachment

Of course, all sellers are at least a little motivated by cash (after all, they’re not giving the house away), so that will usually overlap with the other motivations. Say, for example, the sellers are emotionally attached to their house. If you’re in love with the property, too, you might have an in, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get it for nothing.

“The buyer who thinks they can come [below] asking and honestly believe they have a shot at winning is making a mistake,” says George.

But money isn’t all that matters.

To find out what is motivating the sellers, have your Realtor® do some digging.

“I always call the real estate listing agent and speak to them directly to get a better understanding as to what is driving the seller,” George says. In some cases, she finds out the sellers have written a letter about the history of the home for potential buyers (showing they’re emotionally connected). In other cases, the buyers are in a hurry to move (and will be motivated by easy and fast closing terms). And sometimes they just want to get a lot of offers and pick the highest bid.

Calling your fellow agent is key.  The Caton Team always calls the sellers Realtors to discuss the sale and the sellers needs.  When I represent sellers – I can tell you first hand – VERY FEW agents call me – so picking a buyers Realtor is just as important as picking your listing Reatlor.  

Your agent won’t always be able to learn everything. “It all depends on how much the listing agent is willing to disclose,” she says. But you can up your chances by asking your Realtor for something simple: Call the seller’s agent and talk to her in person. Having that spur-of-the moment conversation can make all the difference.

“The buyer’s agents who are communicative, persistent, and follow up by actually picking up a phone and calling the listing agent are most likely to discover the motivations of the seller,” George says.

George – said it all!

If they’re motivated by money

If the seller is all about the Benjamins, you’ll need to submit the highest offer to get the home—and in a competitive market, the listing price may just be a starting point.

“We tell our buying clients in this hot seller’s market to be prepared to bid over $100,000 depending on the area,” George says.

To get an idea of what to offer, you and your agent should compare recently sold homes in the area. And if you get in a bidding war, don’t expect the sellers to come back with their own offer.

“Nowadays, sellers send out offers asking for the buyer’s highest and best offer,” George says. “At this point the buyers have one or two chances to come in with their all.”

If they’re motivated by terms

If the sellers are motivated by terms, they want the deal over and done with—as painlessly as possible. You’ll probably have to give up some contingencies (the clauses that give you the option to back out of the deal if something doesn’t go through). Even though those contingencies might help you, they can slow down the sale—something the seller doesn’t want.

But what do you give up? Usually, it’ll come down to some peace of mind.

“Many sellers are disclosing the termite and home inspection reports in an attempt to persuade buyers to offer noncontingent,” George says.

And if those reports are clean, you might be safe to waive your own right to inspect and cross your fingers nothing goes sideways.

Don’t want to give up the inspection from the pro? Give in on another contingency to push things along.

“The other huge trend we are seeing is buyers waiving their appraisal contingency, meaning if the home comes in below the offer price the buyer has to come in with the difference,” George says.

If they’re motivated by emotions

If the sellers are attached to their house, they’re going to have a hard time letting it go to just anybody. You can prove you aren’t just anybody by writing a personal letter.

“Just be honest and be yourself,” George says. “Many of the letters we read are very genuine and emotional.”

But remember, you’re writing a personal letter, not a resume. The seller is more likely to be interested in why you want the house and what your personal plans are for the future, than in what you do for a living.

The faster the better

Once you know how to approach the offer, consider the timing. Generally, the faster you can submit an offer, the better.

“Being the first offer in on a deadline means you just became the leverage offer,” George says.

Even if the seller doesn’t accept your offer right away, your offer will become the yardstick against which other buyers are measured.

If you’re not first, make sure your offer is solid and submitted in a reasonable time frame. Many sellers have a deadline for accepting offers before they start considering candidates, and you don’t want to miss out because you sat on the fence.

Don’t get cocky

It’s tempting to submit a lowball offer just to see what the seller will do, but the seller may get irritated and just stop working with you altogether.

But on the flip side, don’t get excited and blow past your budget.

“You need to figure out how badly you want this house,” George says, “and how far you’re willing to go.”

There are many facets in Real Estate.  The Caton Team how just about seen it all and we know how to make our clients and their offers – SHINE!

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help. We are but a call or click away!

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 35 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/in-it-to-win-it-the-science-behind-making-a-killer-offer/

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts and the information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. 

Renters Are Getting Frustrated

Renters Are Getting Frustrated

The majority of renters say they want to own a home in the future and believe that homeownership is a critical piece of the American dream. But making the leap into homeownership is facing bigger hurdles as the market sees higher home prices and a shortage of homes for sale, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ newly released Aspiring Home Buyers Profile, which is based on findings from a survey of more than 10,000 households’ attitudes about the real estate market.

Non-homeowners surveyed say the main reason why they do not currently own is because they are unable to afford homeownership. Swift price increases and a shortage of homes for sale in most of the country have shaken the confidence of non-owners as they consider buying. As such, the share of non-owners who say now is a good time to buy fell to 58 percent at the end of 2017, following a high of 62 percent in the third quarter of 2017.

“A tug of war continues to take place in many markets throughout the country, where consistently solid job creation is fueling demand, but the lack of supply is creating affordability constraints that are ultimately pulling aspiring buyers further away from owning,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “These extremely frustrating conditions continue to be most apparent at the lower end of the market, which is why the overall share of first-time buyers remains well below where it should be given the strength of the job market and economy.”

Still, non-homeowners’ desire to eventually buy is not waning. They say the following goals most make them want to buy in the future:

•Change in lifestyle, such as getting married, starting a family, or retiring

•Improvement in their financial situation

•Desire to settle down in one location

Until they do buy, non-homeowners expect to face increasing rents. Fifty-one percent of renters surveyed say they expect their rent to increase this year. However, only 15 percent of renters said the increase in rental costs would make them consider purchasing a home.

“Housing demand in 2018 will be fueled by more millennials finally deciding to marry and have kids and the expectations that solid job growth and the strengthening economy will push incomes higher,” Yun says. “However, with prices and mortgage rates also expected to increase, affordability pressures will persist. That is why it is critical for much of the country to start seeing a significant hike in new and existing housing supply. Otherwise, many would-be first-time buyers will be forced to continue renting and not reach their dream of being a homeowner.”

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

The Caton Team strives to be more than just Realtors – we are also your resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here. Contact us at your convenience.  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2018/02/07/renters-are-getting-frustrated?tp=i-H43-Bb-1Yi-27VfQ-1p-EHi7-1c-27WWy-1svHsi&om_rid=31342700&Om_ntype=RMOdaily&om_mid=5996

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

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http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

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Could the Inventory Crunch Worsen?

I share this article as I look forward to hearing the Chief Economist for the California Association of Realtors speak next week – I’ll keep you posted.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?  The Caton Team would LOVE to hear your thoughts on our local real estate market!  COMMENT PLEASE!

Could the Inventory Crunch Worsen?

Housing permits, a gauge of new-home activity, slipped in the final quarter of 2017, which could worsen a housing shortage already shaking many markets across the country.

Single-family permits are running at only 56 percent of normal activity, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index.

“We are concerned with the sluggish permit activity,” says Robert Dietz, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders. “The weak permit numbers indicate that builders may be hesitant to start projects as they contend with supply-side hurdles, such as rising material prices and labor shortages.”

Permit levels are at or above normal in only 62 of the 337 metro areas tracked in the NAHB/First American Index, which is a drop of 7.5 percent compared to the third quarter of 2017.

Despite sluggish permits, the index showed that many markets are showing a stronger recovery in their economy and home prices. Housing markets in 195 of the 337 metro areas tracked nationwide returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity in the fourth quarter of 2017. The LMI measures three components: housing permits, employment, and home prices.

Employment is at 98 percent of normal activity, while home price levels are well above normal at 158 percent. Single-family permits were the only of the three components to see a decline in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Overall, the index shows the fastest-growing new-home metro areas are in the South and West, says NAHB Chairman Randy Noel.

The major metros scoring the highest on the LMI—meaning they are performing at the highest levels compared to their historic normal market level—are Baton Rouge, La.; Austin, Texas; Honolulu; Oxnard, Calif.; and Provo, Utah. Among smaller metro areas, the metros scoring the highest in besting their own previously normal market levels are: Odessa, Texas; Midland, Texas; Walla Walla, Wash.; Florence, Ala.; and Gadsden, Ala.

Source: National Association of Home Builders

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK?  The Caton Team would LOVE to hear your thoughts on our local real estate market!  COMMENT PLEASE!

 

The Caton Team strives to be more than just Realtors – we are also your resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here. Contact us at your convenience.  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

 

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2018/02/07/could-inventory-crunch-worsen?tp=i-H43-Bb-1Yi-27VfQ-1p-EHi7-1c-27WWy-1svHsi&om_rid=31342700&Om_ntype=RMOdaily&om_mid=5996

 

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

Information Deemed Reliable But Not Guaranteed

7 Pricing Myths to Stop Believing If You Ever Hope to Sell Your House

7 Pricing Myths to Stop Believing If You Ever Hope to Sell Your House

By Cathie Ericson

Pricing your own home is hard, what with all the history and hopes this magic number entails. Of course, you want to make a profit. Of course, all that money you spent installing a swimming pool or a half-bath will be recouped, because you’re leaving your digs in better shape than when you bought it, right? Right?

Well, not necessarily. Too many home sellers fall prey to myths about home pricing that seem to make sense at first, but don’t jibe with the reality of real estate markets today. To make sure you haven’t bought into any of this malarkey—since the buyers you’re trying to woo sure haven’t—here are some common pricing myths you’ll want to rinse from your brain so you kick off your home-selling venture with realistic expectations. It’s time to get real, folks!

1. You always make money when you sell a home

Sure, real estate tends to appreciate over time: The National Association of Realtors® estimates that home prices will jump 5% by the end of 2017 and continue rising 3.5% in 2018. But selling your home for more than you paid is by no means a given, and your return on investment can vary greatly based on where you live.

The NAR also found, for instance, that the cost of single-family homes increased in about 87% of the metros it studied, but prices actually dropped in 23 markets. So don’t assume you’ll walk away with a profit until you’ve examined what’s up in your area first.

2. Price your house high to make big bucks

We know what you’re thinking: “Hey, it’s worth a shot!” But if you start with some sky-high asking price, you’ll soon come back to Earth when you realize that an overpriced home just won’t sell.

“While the payday might sound appealing, you’re actually sacrificing your best marketing time in exchange for the remote possibility that someone will overpay for your home,” says Kathleen Marks, a Realtor® with United Real Estate in Asheville, NC.

While certain buyers might be suckered in, this becomes far less likely if they’re working with a buyer’s agent who will know all too well when a home is overpriced, and advise their client to steer clear. And this can lead to problems down the road (as our next myth indicates).

3. If your home’s overpriced, it’s no big deal to lower it later

Sorry, but overpricing your home isn’t easily fixed just by lowering it later on. The reason: Homes that have lingered on the market for months—or that have undergone one or more price reductions—make buyers presume that something must be wrong with it. As such, they might still steer clear, or offer even less than the price you’re now asking.

Bottom line: “Price your home appropriately from the beginning for your best shot at having a quick and easy sale,” Marks recommends.

4. Pricing your home low means you won’t make as much money

Similarly, sellers are often leery of pricing their home on the low end. But as counterintuitive as this seems, this strategy can often pay off big-time. Here’s why: Low-priced homes drum up tons of interest, which could result in a bidding war that could drive your home’s price past your wildest dreams.

5. You can add the cost of any renovations you’ve made

Let’s say you overhauled your kitchen or added a deck. It stands to reason that whatever money you paid for these improvements will be recouped in full once you sell—after all, your home’s new owners are inheriting all your hard work.

The reality: While your renovations might see some return on investment, you’ll rarely recoup the whole amount. On average, you can expect to get back 64% of every dollar you spend on home improvements. Plus that profit can vary greatly based on which renovation you do.

Check out this list of common renovations and their return on investment to know what you can actually expect.

6. A past appraisal will help you pinpoint the right price

If you have an appraisal in hand, from when you bought or refinanced your house, you might think that’s a logical place to start to price your home. It’s not!

An appraisal assigns your home a value based on market conditions at a specific date, so it becomes old news very quickly. In fact, lenders typically won’t accept appraisals that are more than 60 days old.

“Since lenders know markets can change in six months’ time, it’s important for sellers to understand that a previous appraisal is never a reliable source for the current value of a home,” Marks says.

7. Your agent might overprice the house to make a bigger commission

Don’t even go there, says Realtor Raena Janes of RJHomes in Tucson, AZ.

“While it’s true that an agent’s commission is based on the selling price of a house, the disparity will end up being negligible,” she says. For example, the difference in commission between a $300,000 house and one that’s $310,000 is about $150.

“No real estate agent is going to lose a sale for the sake of a couple hundred dollars,” she explains.

 

Selling a home takes knowledge and resources.  Contact the Caton Team for a free consultation.

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: https://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/home-pricing-myths/?identityID=9851214&MID=2017_0908_WeeklyNL&RID=353497822&cid=eml-2017-0908-WeeklyNL-blog_1_homepricingmyths-blogs_sell

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

8 Home Projects with a High ROI

8 Home Projects with a High ROI

Article Submitted by Fixr.com

With warmer weather and longer days, summer is the ideal time of year to take on a project in or around your home. Many contractors and other pros often find this time of year a little slower, as many homeowners are waiting until fall to tackle big interior projects, which means that you’ll have an easier time finding the right person for the job.

These eight projects are designed to add value to your home, without breaking the bank at the same time. Tackling them now will make your home more comfortable for the coming months, while ensuring that you can get maximum ROI when the time comes to sell.

1. Fix Window Leaks

Air gap around your windows could be driving your air conditioning bill up higher than it needs to be this summer. Old or leaking windows can cause you to lose as much as 20% of the energy you use to heat and cool your home, which can also make it less comfortable as well.

There are two ways to fix window leaks: installing new replacement windows, or installing weatherstripping around your existing windows. While both will help you save money on your energy bills, replacement windows will also help you recoup about 73.9% ROI at time of resale.

Cost: Weatherstripping your windows costs around $168 on average, while replacement windows cost between $650 and $1,500.

Money Saving Tips: Get an energy audit done on your home before you start replacing windows. You may find that only a few need to be replaced, while the rest can be caulked or weatherstripped to save.

2. Basement Remodel

Remodeling your basement is a great way to increase your existing living space, without the hassle or expense of a major addition. Basements are often cooler in the hot summer months than the rest of the home, so remodeling can help you gain more usable living areas during this time of year. A basement remodel featuring things like waterproofing or french drain installations can also recoup you about 70% at time of resale.

Cost: A full basement remodel including a new bathroom can cost around $50,000. However, waterproofing costs around $5,000, while installing a new set of stairs costs around $1,000 to $2,000.

Money Saving Tips: Simply waterproofing your basement will help make the area livable, allowing you to simply paint the concrete walls and floors, and begin furnishing the room for less.

3. Bathroom Remodel

Bathrooms are among the most frequently used rooms in the home. During the humid summer months, older bathrooms can often become home to things like mold and mildew, which makes now the best time to start remodeling. A bathroom remodel, including all new fixtures, shower, and ceramic tile can recoup you around 64.8% at time of resale, while making your home healthier and more functional at the same time.

Cost: A full scale bathroom remodel costs around $18,000. However, there are many components that can be done for less, such as installing a new bathroom fan to help dry out the room for $350 – $400 or putting in a new mirror for $120 – $150.

Money Saving Tips: Cosmetic updates to an otherwise functional bathroom can save you a lot of money. Simply painting the walls or replacing the sink and faucet can give your bathroom a facelift for less.

4. Add Attic Insulation

Another way to help lower energy costs this summer is to add some insulation to your attic. Most homes are underinsulated, particularly in this area, which can contribute to higher energy costs. Insulating your attic will make your home more comfortable, while saving you money on your AC bill this summer. Best of all, attic insulation recoups a whopping 107% at time of resale.

Cost: The cost to insulate an attic is around $400 for fiberglass insulation.

Money Saving Tips: Purchase the highest R-value you can find for your climate, and you’ll save even more on your energy bills year round.

5. Build a New Deck

Enjoy more time spent outdoors this summer on a new wood deck. Decks increase your usable outdoor space, make entertaining easier, and have a rate of return at around 71.5%. Start this project early in the summer to make the most of your new space before fall.

Cost: The average cost to build a new deck is around $10,630.

Money Saving Tips: If you have an existing deck, consider having it repaired, rather than replacing it. Often pressure washing and staining a deck, while replacing some of the boards can help extend its life.

6. Replace Your Roof 

After a long winter filled with ice dams, your roof may be in poor condition and in need of replacement. Don’t wait until summer storms send water pouring in through your ceiling; have your roof taken care of at the start of the season to ensure that it’s in good condition for the rain to come. A new roof will help you recoup about 68.8% at time of resale as well.

Cost: The average cost of a roof replacement is around $6,000.

Money Saving Tips: If the majority of your roof is in good condition, you may want to opt for a partial replacement or roof repair to save money.

7. Replace Your Siding 

Siding is just as important as your roof when it comes to both protecting your home from the elements, and to giving it its curb appeal. The nicer weather of the summer makes this the ideal time of year to take care of this important project. Replacing your siding can recoup you as much as 76.4% at time of resale. Replacing your siding can also help you take care of other issues such as rotting fascia, and can improve the appearance of your home at the same time.

Cost: The average cost of replacing your siding is around $7,510 for vinyl siding.

Money Saving Tips: If your siding is in decent condition, consider making repairs to those areas that require it, and painting the entire exterior to give it a fresh look for less.

8. Universal Bathroom Design 

Universal design is one of the newest trends that’s recouping costs in a big way. In many cases, universal design costs less than a complete bathroom remodel, but can make your home easier to sell because it appeals to a wider group of people. Take on the project this summer when plumbers aren’t as busy to get the job done faster. This type of project also recoups about 68.4% at time of resale.

Cost: The average cost of universal bathroom design is around $9,000.

Money Saving Tips: Many things in a universal bathroom can be installed DIY for less, including lever handles on faucets and a universal height toilet.

To find out more about projects you can tackle around your home, be sure to visit the Cost Guides.

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2017/08/07/8-home-projects-with-high-roi/?tp=i-H43-Bb-cg-bixC-1p-EHi7-1c-biVU-1ODR8u&om_rid=8990942%20&Om_ntype=RMOdaily&om_mid=2398

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008