Upcoming Interactive Virtual Open House Tours

Get exclusive inside access when you follow

The Caton Team on Facebook & Instagram

 

Next Interactive Tour:

THURSDAY June 25th 2020 – NOON

500 Middle Road, Belmont |  MLS #ML81793965

3 Bedrooms | 2 Baths | 2770 SF | 13,460 SF LOT | Pool | INFORMATION

Contact Joe Rodden ‭(650) 400-5401‬ | jrealestat@yahoo.com

LIVE & INTERACTIVE TOURS – Thursday June 25th Noon

Join Zoom Meeting  |  Meeting ID: 644 293 6393 /  Password: home

Get exclusive inside access and if you missed the Zoom – you can catch our Facebook & Instagram Tour – when you follow The Caton Team on Facebook & Instagram

Whitagram-Image.JPG

 

 

 

144 Hudson Street, Redwood City |  ML81797118

Contact Joe Rodden ‭(650) 400-5401‬ | jrealestat@yahoo.com

VIRTUAL FACEBOOK TOUR

Whitagram-Image 2.JPG

Get exclusive inside access when you follow us on Facebook & Instagram

FOR SALE

1532 Belmont Ave San Carlos  | ML81792339

3 Bed |  2 Bath  |  Private Office  |  Master Retreat Suite | Formal Living & Dining Room  |  1700 SF Home  |  5532.12 SF Lot

3D Tour

CONTACT THE CATON TEAM FOR MORE INFO 650.799.4333

IMG_5037

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  |  WEB  |   BLOG

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.

IMG_2294

 

 

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

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

By Margaret Heidenry

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.

“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.

“If an agent doesn’t offer these services yet, I highly recommend finding an agent who is [comfortable] working with technology,” adds Wells.

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.

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.

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.”

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.


 

Be Aware of Security Flaws During Your Next Video Call

Be Aware of Security Flaws During Your Next Video Call

 

While “zoombombing” poses a threat to those who are using the platform Zoom to work remotely, there are ways users can protect themselves.

Intruders are reportedly hijacking some video calls and posting hate speech and offensive images, such as pornography, during video meetings. That has prompted the FBI to warn about security glitches, including the potential for hackers to spy through a computer’s webcam or microphone.

Zoom has become increasingly popular as more Americans work from home. In March, Zoom says 200 million people used its app on a daily basis, up from 10 million in December.

On April 4, Zoom enabled new security settings that require a password for personal meeting IDs. Passwords are also now required when scheduling new meetings and webinars, instant meetings, and for participants joining by phone.

A recent Forbes article outlines key ways Zoom users can improve their security.

  • Make sure you have the latest version of Zoom installed, because the company has been adding new security updates. It’s also a good idea to make sure your operating system and browser are up to date.
  • “Never share the link or meeting ID on public platforms and try not to use the personal meeting ID–instead allow Zoom to generate a random ID for each meeting,” Jake Moore, cybersecurity specialist at ESET, told Forbes.
  • Don’t share your meeting passwords publicly. Security researcher Sean Wright told Forbes that users should enable two-factor authentication for signing in.
  • For smaller group meetings, Zoom’s waiting room feature is an option, allowing hosts to screen everyone entering the meeting.
  • Users can also set parameters, such as allowing only the host to share their screen and disabling the file transfer feature.
  • Always scrutinize emails with links that purport to link to Zoom, because phishing scams may cause people to inadvertently download malware. “If users are ever suspicious, they should copy just the ID from the link provided and enter it in the official application to join,” Moore says.

Zoom has been increasing its security measures in response to concerns. It published a guide on how users can protect their meetings.

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan wrote in a blog post last week that the company is delaying working on new features so it can focus on fixing privacy and security problems. “We recognize that we have fallen short of the community’s—and our own—privacy and security expectations,” Yuan wrote. “For that, I am deeply sorry, and I want to share what we are doing about it.” Read his blog post.

Source: “A Must for Millions, Zoom Has a Dark Side—and an FBI Warning,” NPR (April 3, 2020); “Use Zoom? Here Are 7 Essential Steps You Can Take To Secure It,” Forbes (April 3, 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.


 

4 Ways Coronavirus Could Impact Housing Long-Term

Hi Caton Team Friends, doing my part to stay educated and safe during this Shelter in Place.  I am reading as much as possible and will share articles here.  Thank you for reading! – The Caton Team

4 Ways Coronavirus Could Impact Housing Long-Term

The COVID-19 outbreak will undoubtedly have a long-lasting influence on Americans and the housing market moving forward. Housing analysts are already weighing in on what those changes could be.

In a new report, Apartment List highlights a few of the long-term changes they foresee coming from the COVID-19 pandemic:

Mobility will initially be low before spiking.

“Geographic mobility generally declines during downturns, when a lack of job opportunities catalyze fewer long-distance moves across market or housing upgrades,” the report notes. Evictions and foreclosure moratoriums will also help slow mobility. But housing analysts are predicting a spike in moves once the COVID-19 outbreak eases. “Many upgrade and downgrade moves will be postponed rather than canceled, creating a reshuffling of households throughout the recovery,” researchers note. The future wave will include those relocating for jobs, moves to be closer to family, and young adults forming their own households. Also, those who still hurt financially even after the pandemic lessens likely will need to move too.

Affordable housing is likely to become even more difficult to find.

Affordable rentals and homes for sale were already in short supply prior to the pandemic. “Fewer people moving means fewer homes available,” the report notes. “With both pandemic and policy keeping people in place, affordable units will become even more rare through the 2020 peak season.” Luxury apartment inventory, on the other hand, may be abundant.

Housing inequality could increase.

Higher earners will likely take advantage of low borrowing costs for refinancing to lower their payments as well as have more choices with the growing luxury rental inventory. On the other hand, lower-income households will likely struggle due to a sluggish economy and face increased competition for limited affordable housing. “As shelter-in-place orders cover a growing share of the nation, those who are able to work remotely are at a distinct economic advantage,” the report notes. “Unfortunately, a correlation between income and the ability to work from home reveals that the lowest earners will be hit hardest by these measures. Fifty-two percent of full-time workers who earn more than $100,000 annually say they can work from home. But only 15% of workers who earn less than $25,000 are able to work from home.”

Sight-unseen housing is likely to accelerate.

Some households may need to make a move sight unseen into their new home or apartment. “Many apartment communities are already enabling virtual tours in response to the pandemic, and many renters and owners alike may soon be evaluating their next home through a tablet screen,” the report notes. “Mainstream adoption of sight-unseen moves will bring both opportunities and challenges for the housing market.” In the rental market, sight-unseen transactions may prompt elevated levels of rental fraud, Apartment List notes.

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.


 

How Record Unemployment Claims Will Affect the Housing Market

As businesses across the United States have been mandated to close their doors in a desperate effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, people have been losing their jobs left and right. Now, we’re seeing the first unemployment report since the first “shelter in place” orders, and it’s far more grim than anyone had expected.

A record 3.28 million Americans filed for unemployment support in the week ending March 21—the most claims ever filed in a single week.

“Normally, when an economy goes into a recession it develops slowly over time,” says realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “That’s not happening this time around. … It’s pretty clear that the economy is grinding to a halt pretty suddenly.”

It will also be a tough blow to the already wobbly housing market, since those who lost their jobs are not likely to be buying a home anytime soon. Even the millions of Americans who haven’t been laid off or lost work yet are likely to hold off on a major purchase, fearing for the stability of their employment. And while ultrawealthy buyers may be insulated from the downturn, they may still balk at plunking down millions of dollars on a property they can’t even walk through. In response to this lack of demand, many sellers will likely pull their properties off the market until the crisis passes.

However, folks shouldn’t expect home prices to plunge by the double digits as they did during and after the Great Recession. In the last downturn, there were many more properties for sale, due to an overabundance of construction and mass foreclosures, than there were qualified buyers.

This time around, there is a severe shortage of housing for sale. Builders haven’t been putting up enough homes to meet demand for years. And there isn’t likely to be a huge wave of foreclosures because borrowers are in better financial shape. Plus, the federal and many state governments, along with some banks, are rolling out forbearance and other programs to help Americans who’ve lost their jobs stay in their homes. This is all likely to stabilize prices.

“Price growth will slow, and it’s possible that prices could decline” in certain markets, says Hale. “Folks expecting price declines to happen like they did during the last recession are going to be disappointed.”

The hardest-hit areas will likely be those with the highest percentage of jobs in tourism, leisure, and hospitality, the industries most affected by the novel coronavirus. But even in these areas, Hale doesn’t expect prices to go down more than 5%.

However, sales will slow down as there are simply fewer buyers and sellers in the market. Plus, it’s harder to transact remotely.

“We will see a shocking drop-off in home sales in a very short period of time,” says Hale.

They’re likely to rebound when the virus is under control, but there will almost definitely be fewer sales this year than anticipated before the pandemic.

“We don’t know when things will get back to normal,” she continues. “But when they do … we might also see a really strong bounce back.”

But Americans should expect things to get worse before they get better. Jobless claims will likely remain high until the crisis abates—and that timeline is still unclear. But the federal stimulus package expected to pass, which includes $1,200 checks to most Americans, could help to steady the markets.

“All the incoming data will also be off the chart for a few months,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors®, said in a statement. “The key is whether the stimulus package can reverse all these damages by the second half of the year.”

By Clare Trapasso | Mar 26, 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.

 

 

Home Selling in the Age of Coronavirus: It’s a Whole Different World

Home Selling in the Age of Coronavirus: It’s a Whole Different World

THIS ARTICLE POSTED AT AN EARLIER DATE – Please adhere to new County Safety Standards.

In the not so distant past, Seattle open houses were packed with home buyers eagerly poking their heads in closets, perusing spec sheets, munching on snacks, and offering bids above asking price in this ultracompetitive market.

Then on Jan. 20, a Washington state resident became the first confirmed case of the coronavirus in the U.S.—and slowly but surely, everything changed.

According to Seattle-based real estate agents, open houses are now significantly more guarded affairs, and some have been canceled outright. Attendance of the open houses that are still taking place has been noticeably lighter than it has been traditionally, and attendees seem to be less interactive—most are doing their best to keep their distance from one another, and don’t dare crack open a closet or touch a countertop without clenching an antiseptic wipe.

“We are seeing a lot more hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes at open houses,” says Wes Jones managing broker with Keller Williams in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, WA. “We also make sure to wipe down the front door handle a number of times throughout the open house. It also appears that not shaking hands at all is quickly becoming acceptable.”

Meanwhile, more home sellers leery of the potential health risk of strangers at their open houses are refusing to host them.

“We did have one client decide not to have us continue with their public open houses,” Jones says. “We will continue to show their property by appointment only.”

He’s also seen more home buyers pulling out of the market and putting their searches on hold for now. But “the worst-case scenario is that we go from a really hot market to a more normal market,” he says of Seattle.

“I am not naive enough to believe that the overall economy may not be impacted short term by this scare,” he continues. “What could happen next? That remains to be seen.”

How the coronavirus is changing how people sell homes

Welcome to the reality of selling a home in the era of the coronavirus. Anxieties abound, not only about catching the virus that causes COVID-19, but also the volatile stock market, the shaky economy, and general fears of a coming recession—all of which could plunge the U.S. real estate market into a forced hibernation right when it’s supposed to leap into overdrive this spring.

While Washington state may be coronavirus ground zero with the earliest known cases, and some of the highest levels of infection in the U.S., (according to the Centers for Disease Control), the panic is being felt nationwide by real estate agents who’ve noticed a drop-off in the number of home buyers and sellers willing to mingle and make a deal.

“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®. “In the latest flash survey, 11% of Realtors indicated a reduction in buyer traffic and 7% are reporting lower seller traffic when asked directly about the coronavirus impact on the market. The stock market crash is no doubt raising economic anxieties, while the coronavirus brings fear of contact with strangers.”

Ironically, this downturn comes at a time when buying a home is more affordable than ever. Just last week, Freddie Mac reported that interest rates hit a near 50-year low, at 3.29% for a 30-year fix-rated mortgage.

“The dramatic fall in interest rates may induce some potential buyers to take advantage of the better affordability conditions, but it is too early to assess whether lower interest rates can overcome the economic and health anxieties,” says Yun.

Nonetheless, he continues, “in the short term at least, home sales will be chopped by around 10%, compared to what would have been the case, due to the spread of coronavirus.”

Seattle’s housing market: A harbinger?

As for what could happen next, many are looking for clues in the Washington real estate market. It’s still strong, but due to the double whammy of the area’s virus exposure levels and plummeting stock portfolios, experts are watching it closely for signs of decline.

“Anytime you have local stocks like Amazon and Microsoft experiencing a 15% drop, that is a lot of perceived wealth that has been taken out of the market,” says Nick Glant, founding broker at Compass in Washington. “That said, some buyers and investors are looking at housing as a safer asset class than equities given the recent volatility.”

Glant’s biggest worry is whether the virus forces certain areas of Washington to go on lockdown.

“The only thing I would see as a detriment to selling in a significant way would be a larger-scale quarantine situation,” he says. “It will also be interesting to see what happens to relocation buyers should more travel restrictions be put in place. Tech relocation is a significant driver of our market, and if people cannot easily come out to tour properties in advance of taking a job here, they may be more apt to rent in the short term.” 

Meanwhile, home buyers in other areas hit hard by COVID-19 (like California and New York) are feeling nervous, too.

“Concerns just started this week,” says Janine Acquafredda, a broker at House n Key Reality in Brooklyn, NY. “So far, homeowners haven’t voiced any concerns with regards to showings, and sellers are still listing without restriction. But I do have buyers and sellers reluctant to attend closings if it involves taking the subway, and one closing was postponed by an attorney because his client was very ill—exhibiting flu-like symptoms—and didn’t know what she had. He said, ‘I’m not going to put myself in that position.'”

How home buyers and sellers can limit their exposure

Ultimately, determined home buyers and sellers will find a way—it may just look a little different than before. For one, the days of lavish, party-atmosphere open houses with finger food or baked cookies may be over, at least for a while.

“I do think agents may rethink hosting large open-house events with spreads of food and drinks where people are picking up plates, napkins, and plasticware along with pouring drinks out of bottles,” says Cara Ameer, a real estate agent in California.

Another way home buyers and sellers are limiting their exposure is by opting for virtual tours.

“As a virtual tour provider in Washington, DC, we are seeing an uptick in demand for video and more elaborate virtual tours so homeowners don’t need to have an open house,” says Roman Caprano at Sky Blue Media. “In our market, homes sell in days, so many agents typically only invest in photos, but now they are purchasing more content.”

“These virtual tours work like Google Street [View] within a house,” says Jones, who uses Matterport software to give buyers a 3D, multidirectional spin through a property.

While it can’t completely replace an in-person showing, says Jones, “a virtual tour can help them understand the house better. For those that are concerned about the virus, this allows them to make a more informed decision about the property and whether to get out and go see it.”

Nonetheless, “the reality is real estate is a contact sport,” says Ameer. “And that means exposing yourself to a lot of potential germs from shaking hands, interacting at open houses, and touching all sorts of doorknobs and light switches multiple times a day.”

As such, she adds, “I think we need to adopt a new normal of practices during this period of time.

“I now carry a canister of disinfecting wipes in my car so I can wipe my hands and the steering wheel after being in and out of houses,” she says. “I have also wiped down lockboxes, light switches, and doorknobs on my listings, and encourage customers to do the same. While you don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, it is better to err on the side of caution rather than worry about exposure. You can never be too careful.”

By Erica Sweeney | Mar 12, 2020

Erica Sweeney is a writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Parade, HuffPost, and other publications.

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 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.


 

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.


 

Recession Alert: What Home Buyers and Sellers Need To Know About the Housing Market

Recession Alert: What Home Buyers and Sellers Need To Know About the Housing Market

Last year, there were fears that a trade war with China or the fallout from Brexit could torpedo the strong U.S. economy. Instead, it was the unforeseen force of COVID-19, caused by a new strain of coronavirus, that has led the president of the United States to declare a national emergency and made a global recession seem all too possible.

As flights are canceled, school suspended, and professional sports put on ice around the world amid the deadly pandemic, an economic slowdown appears inevitable. That’s terrifying to those whose memories of the Great Recession are still fresh, but many housing and financial experts believe this looming downturn—which may not even devolve into a full-blown recession—may not be as painful as the last.

“I don’t expect the slowdown to be like the last recession where prices fell,” says realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “There are more than enough buyers out there to keep home sales from slowing in any major way.”

While it doesn’t look like it will be business as usual anytime soon, home prices aren’t expected to fall off a cliff and low mortgage rates may help buoy home sales. At least that’s what experts are saying this week. But this is a fast-moving, unprecedented crisis, and no one knows yet how it will all play out.

“The next eight weeks are critical. We will learn, and we will turn a corner on this virus,” President Donald Trump said in a press conference on March 13, as he announced the national emergency. During his appearance, the stock market went up more than 9%. “We will get through this altogether.”

While there will likely be layoffs, many economists don’t expect them to be widespread, but rather concentrated in industries such as tourism and hospitality. If employment stays high, most folks will be able to make their monthly mortgage payments and hold on to their homes. Subprime loans, which helped to tank the economy in the past decade, have largely ceased to exist today, as credit requirements for loans got much stricter after the housing bust. Plus, home prices have risen so much in the past few years that most owners have substantial equity in their properties. So they’re much less likely to find themselves underwater on their mortgages.

“It will be different than the Great Recession. Things unraveled pretty quickly, and then the recovery was pretty slow,” says Hale. “I would expect this to be milder. There’s no dysfunction in the banking system, we don’t have [many] households who are overleveraged [with their mortgage payments] and are potentially in trouble.”

Will home sales and prices go down?

If folks are worried about their jobs, and being able to pay their bills, they’re less likely to want to buy a home. Ditto if they’re nearing retirement and the stock market volatility wiped out a big chunk of their 401(k) accounts.

But that caution is likely to be at least partly offset by some of the lowest mortgage interest rates in nearly 50 years. They were just 3.36% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage as of Thursday, according to Freddie Mac.

“I don’t know which force will be greater: the negative impact of job cuts, if that was to occur, or the positive influence of low mortgage rates,” says National Association of Realtors® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

Most housing economists don’t expect housing prices to fall, since we’re still seeing a housing shortage. There aren’t enough existing homes or new construction to satisfy the high demand from buyers, many of whom have been looking for a home for a while and perhaps have lost bidding wars. After all, the life changes that lead people to buy a home are still ongoing: expanding a family or having kids leave the nest, or relocating for a new job.

Also, sellers will likely be reluctant to accept less than they would have just a few weeks or months ago. Those not in a hurry to sell may simply pull their abodes off the market and wait for prices to rebound.

As for current homeowners who might find themselves in financial straits if they lose their job, lenders may offer forbearance and payment deferral programs to help them stave off a short sale or foreclosure, says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.

“They’ll be very understanding,” Zandi says of lenders, particularly of government-sponsored loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and Federal Housing Administration loans. “Especially in an election year, I don’t think there’s [much of a] chance they’ll take a hard line.”

What real estate markets could be hurt the most by a downturn?

The markets that are most likely to be affected by a downturn, at least initially, are those that rely heavily on travel, tourism, and hospitality. Manufacturing sectors that rely on a global supply chain that’s been disrupted by the virus could also take a hit.

With conferences and conventions being canceled at a rapid clip, places such as Las Vegas could feel the economic toll. Similarly, tourist hot spots like Orlando, FL, home to Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld theme parks, which have all announced closures, could also feel the pain.

Their saving grace could be the retirees moving in to those communities, says NAR’s Yun. That demand could keep prices stable—and therefore sellers happy.

“Those [type of] markets are worth watching,” says Yun.

Booming markets that grew very quickly with big price gains could also experience a bit of a slowdown. Metro areas like Denver, Salt Lake City, and Boise, ID, could potentially be affected, says Moody’s Zandi. These markets, which have growing tech scenes, have become popular with retirees and priced-out folks from California in recent years.

“You might see some price declines in the Western markets that got very juiced up, very speculative,” he says.

Zandi thinks those real estate markets could rebound fast—maybe within a quarter or two, or as soon as the economy improves.

The luxury market could have a harder time. A multimillion-dollar home isn’t exactly a necessity, and they typically take longer to sell in normal times. And those who have enough money to buy high-end real estate often have quite a bit of money in the stock market, which has been on a wild ride lately, making them less likely to want to commit to another pricey property. Even luxury rentals, which is where builders have been focusing in recent years, may end up sitting empty.

“Prices are going to come down,” says Zandi. “In a recession, people will look for the best bargain. They’re not going to look for the luxury, high-end home. … They’re going to look for the ‘give me what I need at a good price.’”

By Clare Trapasso | Mar 13, 2020

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

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.