Why Are Things So Tough for First-time Homebuyers?

A little over a decade ago, about half of homes were being sold to first-time buyers.

Things have changed.

Now, only 27% of sold homes are going to first-time buyers. It isn’t that people aren’t interested in purchasing a home – after all, demand for homes was turbocharged during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But first-time homebuyers are having an exceptionally hard time breaking into the market. What gives? Why are a record low proportion of properties being sold to people buying their first home?

1. High Price of Homes

The first reason first-time homebuyers are having a hard time accessing the market is the sky-high price of homes.

Home prices have risen nearly 20% in the past year – representing an unusual and historic surge that disadvantages first-time buyers, who are typically younger, haven’t accumulated housing equity, and don’t have the means to make a sizable down payment.

Whether rising home prices will abate at some point this year is hotly debated, but the price of homes has been juiced by three interrelated factors:

  1. Inventory: Housing inventory remains at a record low, and continued supply chain bottlenecks leaves most experts predicting low inventory for the foreseeable future.
  2. Inflation: Inflation is at its highest rate in 40 years, increasing the price of consumer goods and services – including homes and the materials necessary to build them.
  3. Investors: Investors buy about one-third of homes in the U.S., increasing competition for available homes. Rising inflation could cause even more investors to flood the housing market, as real estate is traditionally seen as a safe investment against devalued currency.

Overall, rising prices is the biggest challenge for anyone – especially those making their first purchase – who wants to buy a home.

2. Rising Interest and Mortgage Rates

The high price of homes alone serves as an impediment for first-time homebuyers. But it’s not the only factor boxing first-time buyers out of the real estate market.

Rising interest and mortgage rates are also squeezing first-time homebuyers especially hard.

Consider a couple buying their first home. They’re targeting a mortgage of $200,000, which is already far lower than the median in many markets. Rising interest rates, which the Federal Reserve introduced to tamp down inflation, have risen from 2.6% to around 5% in the past 16 months. The $200,000 mortgage the buyers are targeting? It’s now more than $200 per month more expensive than it would have been 16 months ago.

Skyrocketing mortgage rates mean that the competition for affordable homes is even higher than before – prospective buyers seem, on average, aware that rates are likely to rise even further in the short and medium-term.

3. Slowing Wage Growth

As if rising home prices and steeper mortgage rates weren’t enough, first-time homebuyers also face the new challenge of apparently slower wage growth.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, government stimulus, and a historically tight labor market, American wages grew fast. But that wage growth has cooled somewhat in the early part of 2022, with more people working or looking for work and employers feeling less pressure to offer pay increases to bring people into the labor force.

Slower wage growth may be a relief to people concerned about inflation, but is in the short-term a major difficulty for homebuyers, especially those purchasing for the first time. Wages are generally not keeping pace with inflation, and the preexisting high price of homes and rising mortgage rates mean that many young buyers are less equipped to buy than they were months ago.

For the immediate future, first-time homebuyers are likely to struggle to enter the housing market. In the long term, tapering home prices and mortgage rates and increased inventory could make for a friendlier first-time homebuyer market.

To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.

Other articles of interest: Is Housing Inventory Finally About to Rise? | Are We in a Real Estate Bubble?

It can feel daunting but it isn’t. It is a journey. The Caton Team believes in Home Ownership for long term wealth and are here every step of the way.

The Caton Team is here to help.

We love what we do and would love to help you navigate your sale or purchase of residential Real Estate. Please reach out at your convenience for a personal consultation. Please enjoy our free resources below and get to know our team through our clients’ words.

HOW TO SELL | HOW TO BUY

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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.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654 |EMAIL |  WEB|   BLOG

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
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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

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

Three Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Three Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Buying your first home is a major decision and an exciting milestone. Even though it can feel daunting at times, it has the power to change your life for the better. If you’re looking to purchase your first home, you may be wondering what’s happening in the housing market today, how much you need to save, and where to start.

Here are three things that can help give you the information you need to confidently pursue your dream of homeownership.

1. Consider All Options When the Number of Homes for Sale Is Low

Today, there are far more buyers in the market than there are homes available for sale. When that happens, it’s a good idea to do what you can to increase your pool of options. That could mean expanding your search to include additional housing types. For first-time buyers, considering condominiums (condos) and townhomes can be an excellent way to increase your choices. According to Bankrate:

“Townhomes often cost less than single-family homes of a similar size in the same location.”

In another article, Bankrate also says:

“Buying a condo can be a great way to dive into homeownership without worrying about the upkeep that comes with single-family homes and townhouses.”

Condos and townhomes are both great entryways into homeownership. When you buy either one, you can start building equity which increases your net worth and can fuel a future move.

2. Know Your Down Payment Could Be More Within Reach Than You Think

Saving for a down payment can feel like one of the biggest obstacles for homebuyers, but that doesn’t have to be the case. As the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says:

One of the biggest misconceptions among housing consumers is what the typical down payment is and what amount is needed to enter homeownership.”

Data from NAR shows the median down payment hasn’t been over 20% since 2005. The graph below breaks down the median down payment by age group for recent homebuyers according to the 2022 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report from NAR (see graph below):

Three Tips for First-Time Homebuyers | Keeping Current Matters

Based on the data above, the median down payment for all homebuyers is only 13%. That’s well below the common misconception of 20%, and it’s even lower for younger buyers. This could mean you may not need to save as much for a down payment as you initially thought.

There are also down payment assistance programs available for many buyers. Not to mention, some loan options require as little as 3.5% (or even 0%) down for buyers who qualify. While there are advantages to putting 20% down, especially in today’s competitive market, know that you have options.  To get more information on how much you may need to save and the help that’s available, talk with a professional.

3. Work with a Trusted Real Estate Advisor Throughout the Process

Finally, no matter where you’re at in your homeownership journey, the best way to make sure you’re set up for success is to work with a real estate professional.

If you’re just starting out, they can help you with the initial steps, like educating you on the process and connecting you with a trusted lender to get pre-approved. Once you’re ready to begin your search, a real estate professional can help you understand your local market and search for available homes. And when it’s time to make an offer, they’ll be an expert advisor and negotiator to help your offer stand out above the rest.

Bottom Line

Knowledge is key to succeeding on your homebuying journey. Knowing market trends, what you need for a down payment, and what options you have as a buyer today can give you the confidence you need to buy a home. Connect with a local real estate professional so you have an expert on your side who can help you navigate the homebuying process.

The Caton Team is here to help.

We love what we do and would love to help you navigate your sale or purchase of Residential Real Estate. Please reach out at your convenience for a personal consultation. Please enjoy our free resources below and get to know our team through our clients’ words. Testinmonials.

HOW TO SELL | HOW TO BUY

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HOW TO SELL during COVID-19HOW TO SELLHOW TO BUY during COVID-19- HOW TO BUY MOVING MID PANDEMICTRUST AGREEMENTS and HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVESOUR TESTIMONIALS

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.

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.

We’re Rocket Mortgage Partner Agents

When Rocket Mortgage reached out to local agents to partner with their platform – we were honored with the opporunity. As a result we’ve met some amazing clients and grateful to have helped them achieve tehir Real Estate goals.

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How Can The Caton Team Help You?

Please enjoy our resources below. Get to know us at through our clients words.

HOW TO SELL during COVID-19 | HOW TO BUY during COVID-19

Need Real Estate help? Contact The Caton Team for a consultation.

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HOW TO SELL during COVID-19 – HOW TO SELL – HOW TO BUY during COVID-19- – HOW TO BUY –  MOVING MID PANDEMIC – TRUST AGREEMENTS and HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVES – OUR TESTIMONIALS

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.

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.

How Today’s Mortgage Rates Impact Your Home Purchase

Source
How Today’s Mortgage Rates Impact Your Home Purchase

If you’re planning to buy a home, it’s critical to understand the relationship between mortgage rates and your purchasing power. Purchasing power is the amount of home you can afford to buy that’s within your financial reach. Mortgage rates directly impact the monthly payment you’ll have on the home you purchase. So, when rates rise, so does the monthly payment you’re able to lock in on your home loan. In a rising-rate environment like we’re in today, that could limit your future purchasing power.

Today, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is above 5%, and in the near term, experts say that’ll likely go up in the months ahead. You have the opportunity to get ahead of that increase if you buy now before that impacts your purchasing power.

Mortgage Rates Play a Large Role in Your Home Search

The chart below can help you understand the general relationship between mortgage rates and a typical monthly mortgage payment within a range of loan amounts. Let’s say your budget allows for a monthly mortgage payment in the $2,100-$2,200 range. The green in the chart indicates a payment within that range, while the red is a payment that exceeds it (see chart below):

How Today’s Mortgage Rates Impact Your Home Purchase | Keeping Current Matters

As the chart shows, you’re more likely to exceed your target payment range as mortgage rates increase unless you pursue a lower home loan amount. If you’re ready to buy a home, use this as your motivation to purchase now so you can get ahead of rising rates before you have to make the decision to decrease what you borrow in order to stay comfortably within your budget.

Work with Trusted Advisors To Know Your Budget and Make a Plan

It’s critical to keep your budget top of mind as you’re searching for a home. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, puts it best, advising that buyers should:

Get preapproved with where rates are today, but also consider what would happen if rates were to go up, say another quarter of a point, . . . Know what that would do to your monthly costs and how comfortable you are with that, so that if rates do move higher, you already know how you need to adjust in response.”

No matter what, the best strategy is to work with your real estate advisor and a trusted lender to create a plan that takes rising mortgage rates into consideration. Together, you can look at your budget based on where rates are today and craft a strategy so you’re ready to adjust as rates change.

Bottom Line

Even small increases in mortgage rates can impact your purchasing power. If you’re in the process of buying a home, it’s more important than ever to have a strong plan. Partner with a trusted real estate advisor and lender to strategize so you can achieve your dream of homeownership this season.

The Caton Team is here help.

We love what we do and would love to help you – please reach out at your convenience and enjoy our resources below. Get to know our team through our clients words.

HOW TO SELL | HOW TO BUY

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654 |  EMAIL  |  WEB  |   BLOG

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

HOW TO SELL during COVID-19HOW TO SELLHOW TO BUY during COVID-19- HOW TO BUY MOVING MID PANDEMICTRUST AGREEMENTS and HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVESOUR TESTIMONIALS

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.

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.

Will Home Prices Fall This Year? Here’s What Experts Say.

Source

Will Home Prices Fall This Year? Here’s What Experts Say.

Many people are wondering: will home prices fall this year? Whether you’re a potential homebuyerseller, or both, the answer to this question matters for you. Let’s break down what’s happening with home prices, where experts say they’re headed, and how this impacts your homeownership goals.

What’s Happening with Home Prices? 

Home prices have seen 121 consecutive months of year-over-year increases. CoreLogic says:

Price appreciation averaged 15% for the full year of 2021, up from the 2020 full year average of 6%.”

So why are prices climbing so much? It’s because there are more buyers than there are homes for sale. This imbalance is expected to maintain that upward pressure on home prices because homes for sale are a hot commodity in today’s low-inventory housing market.

Where Do Experts Say Prices Will Go from Here?

Experts say the housing market isn’t set up for a price decline due to that ongoing imbalance between supply and demand. In the latest home price forecasts for 2022, they’re calling for ongoing appreciation throughout the year (see graph below):

Will Home Prices Fall This Year? Here’s What Experts Say | Keeping Current Matters

While the experts are forecasting more moderate price appreciation, the 2022 projections show price gains will remain strong throughout this year. First American explains it like this:

While house price growth is expected to moderate from the rapid pace of 2021, strong home buyer demand against a backdrop of historically tight inventory of homes for sale will likely keep appreciation positive in the coming year.”

What Does That Mean for You?

The biggest takeaway is that none of the experts are projecting depreciation. If you’re a homeowner thinking about selling, the higher price appreciation over the last two years has been great for your home’s value, but it’s also something you should factor in when planning your next steps. If you’ll also be buying a home after selling your current house, you shouldn’t wait for prices to fall. Waiting will only cost you more in the long run because climbing mortgage rates and rising home prices will have an impact on your next home purchase. Freddie Mac says:

“If you’re thinking about waiting until next year and that maybe rates are higher, but you’ll get a deal on prices – well that’s risky. It may be more advantageous to purchase this year relative to waiting until 2023 at this time.”

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of selling to move up, you shouldn’t wait for prices to fall. Experts say prices will continue to appreciate this year. That means, if you’re ready, buying your next home before prices climb further may make the most financial sense. Partner with a real estate professional to begin the process of selling your current home and looking for your next one before prices rise higher.

How can The Caton Team help You?

Turning Real Estate Goals into Reality

The Caton Team loves what we do and would love to help you – please enjoy our resources below and get to know our team through our clients words.

HOW TO SELL | HOW TO BUY

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654 |  EMAIL  |  WEB  |   BLOG

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

HOW TO SELL during COVID-19HOW TO SELLHOW TO BUY during COVID-19- HOW TO BUY MOVING MID PANDEMICTRUST AGREEMENTS and HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVESOUR TESTIMONIALS

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.

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.

Finding Their Way Home – Anthony & J’Risha

Turning Real Estate Goals into Reality

I am so happy to share this moment – the opportunity to be part of a friend’s journey home is amazing.

Anthony and I go way back – back to our days as college students and bankers. When he and his lovely wife J’Risha called me saying – they were ready to buy a home – I was so excited.

They shared their goal, their budget; we did the Real Estate math. With loan parameters varying county to county, a quickly escalating East Bay market, and the last corner lot in a new development – well – let’s just say – we couldn’t have done all this without trust. I was grateful to have my friends trust and hash this out together. 

Having actively worked in the East Bay for years; The Caton Team is well-versed on market value, competition, and the window we had to work with. I’ve never crunched the data so fast in my life. Grateful to speak candidly and toss ideas around. Soon it was clear to Anthony and J’Risha – what their path would be.

So grateful to be a part of their journey home – thank you for making The Caton Team a part of it. Cheers and to many happy years in your beautiful new home!

How can The Caton Team help You?

We truly enjoy helping our clients sell their home. The Caton Team loves what we do and would love to help you – please enjoy our resources below. Get to know us at through our clients words.

HOW TO SELL during COVID-19 | HOW TO BUY during COVID-19

 How can The Caton Team help You?

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654 |  EMAIL  |  WEB  |   BLOG

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

HOW TO SELL during COVID-19HOW TO SELLHOW TO BUY during COVID-19- HOW TO BUY MOVING MID PANDEMICTRUST AGREEMENTS and HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVESOUR TESTIMONIALS

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.

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.

The Buyer Love Letter No Longer Allowed in Real Estate Sales

One of our favorite tools in the toolbox when representing Buyers in one of the most competitive Real Estate markets in the Nation – was the Buyer Love Letter to the Seller – sharing all a Buyer could about why they love the home and want to call it their own. I know our sellers have always enjoyed reading those letters, and some didn’t. I’m sharing the article below from the National Association of Realtors on why the lover letter is being left behind.

What are your thoughts? We’d love to hear your opinion – comment below. 

Love Letters or Liability Letters?

Buyer love letters are a tactic used by some buyers in an attempt to stand out to a seller, especially in hot markets with low inventory and bidding wars. Seemingly harmless, these letters actually raise fair housing concerns, and could open real estate professionals and their clients to fair housing violations. In this month’s Fair Housing Corner, learn how to protect yourself and your clients from the potential liability related to buyer love letters. 

To entice a seller to choose their offer, buyers sometimes write “love letters” to describe the many reasons why the seller should “pick them.” While this may seem harmless, these letters can actually pose fair housing risks because they often contain personal information and reveal characteristics of the buyer, such as race, religion, or familial status, which could then be used, knowingly or through unconscious bias, as an unlawful basis for a seller’s decision to accept or reject an offer.

Consider where a potential buyer writes to the seller that they can picture their children running down the stairs on Christmas morning for years to come in the house. This statement not only reveals the potential buyer’s familial status, but also their religion, both of which are protected characteristics under fair housing laws. Using protected characteristics as a basis to accept or reject an offer, as opposed to price and terms, would violate the Fair Housing Act. 

Before the next time you are faced with a buyer love letter, consider these best practices to protect yourselves and your clients from fair housing liability:

  • Educate your clients about the fair housing laws and the pitfalls of buyer love letters.
  • Inform your clients that you will not deliver buyer love letters, and advise others that no buyer love letters will be accepted as part of the MLS listing.
  • Remind your clients that their decision to accept or reject an offer should be based on objective criteria only.
  • If your client insists on drafting a buyer love letter, do not help your client draft or deliver it.
  • Avoid reading any love letter drafted or received by your client.
  • Document all offers received and the seller’s objective reason for accepting an offer.

More Information on Fair Housing

How can The Caton Team help You?

We truly enjoy helping our clients sell their home. The Caton Team loves what we do and would love to help you – please enjoy our resources below. Get to know us at through our clients words.

HOW TO SELL during COVID-19 | HOW TO BUY during COVID-19

 How can The Caton Team help You?

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654 |  EMAIL  |  WEB  |   BLOG

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

HOW TO SELL during COVID-19HOW TO SELLHOW TO BUY during COVID-19- HOW TO BUY MOVING MID PANDEMICTRUST AGREEMENTS and HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVESOUR TESTIMONIALS

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.

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.

THE COST OF WAITING

Realizing it’s time to buy a home is an exciting and scary moment. That’s why The Caton Team is here to guide our clients through the Bay Area Real Estate market.

Today’s topic – The Cost of Waiting – is something most buyers do not consider when first looking into Real Estate investing.

Buying the dream home is not a linear journey. Getting into the dream home is a stepping stone process of Real Estate investments. All in the name of equity.

Equity is earned over time and through updating a property. It’s the money ‘in’ your home. That future value minus the mortgage is the profit that turns into the downpayment for the next, bigger, and better Real Estate Investment. 

Often buyers will consider waiting until they can afford the home they really want, instead of buying something smaller – here’s where things get real. 

The Bay Area is one of the most expensive Real Estate in the country. Properties are selling in less than a week, significantly over list price, with multiple offers – repeatedly. This not only creates an appraisal lag but also a savings nightmare.

My point is – California Real Estate has appreciated since 1849. There are and will be ups and downs through the years, but overall its constant trajectory is up.

What does that mean if today you’re thinking about buying Bay Area Real Estate today?

Do it.

Invest in the best place within budget, in the best area possible – improve the property, and over time it will earn equity. Equity is the stuff dreams are made of.

Because trying to out-save the market is impracticable, the only way to do so is to own and earn equity.

With the most affordable market, Alameda County, seeing $300,000 in appreciation from January 2020 to March 2021 – it’s a tall order to expect anyone to save faster than the current market is appreciating. This means – if a buyer waits – they could wait themselves out of the market.

Here’s some food for thought; data for San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Alameda Counties.

Values are from January 2020 and March 2021.

San Francisco: $ 1,668,000 / $1,687,000 – Average appreciation of $19,000 – Peaking at $ 1,835,000 in June 2020. *(This average is skewed due to the diversity of the city. For more detailed information please reach out.)

San Mateo: $ 1,881,000 / $2,453,000 – Average appreciation of $572,000 – Peaking at $2,453,000 in March of 2021. 

Santa Clara: $ 1,454,000 / $1,936,000 – Average appreciation of $482,000 – Peaking at $1,926,000 in March of 2021.

Alameda: $968,000 / $1.275,000 – Average appreciation of $ 307,000 – Peaking at $ 1,275,000 in March of 2021. 

Real Estate wealth is made over time with sage wisdom. The Caton Team believes in the power of homeownership to create long-term security and wealth. Each client is unique and each opporunity different. If you’re considering a sale or purchase of Real Estate in the Bay Area – you need a full-time, professional Realtor to guide you. The Caton Team would love to interview for the job as your Realtor Team – please reach out at your convenience. 

Call | Text 650.799.4333 Email | Info@TheCatonTeam.com | Testimonials

Data for homes sold UNDER $1 million in San Mateo & Santa Clara Counties, and sold OVER $1 million in San Mateo & Santa Clara Counties. Castro ValleyHaywardSan Lorenzo & San Leandro.

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

HOW TO SELL during COVID-19HOW TO SELLHOW TO BUY during COVID-19- HOW TO BUY MOVING MID PANDEMICTRUST AGREEMENTS and HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVESOUR TESTIMONIALS

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.

Some things never change… our work ethic is one of them…

Working with The Caton Team… a repost updated for 2021…

I’m on hold at the moment.  Waiting to hear how many offers are coming in on my clients dream home.  Wondering if we offered enough.  Oh the joys of Real Estate in the Silicon Valley.

This isn’t the first time I’ve waited on hold, nor the last.  Though this is the first time I’ve waited long enough to start a blog post – so that tells you something.  Tenacity.  I’m not hanging up until I know.

You see, once I find out where we stand, I can call my clients and update our strategy.  Because it isn’t over until it’s over – and if we’re not the best offer – well gosh darn it – we will be.  Or try to be.

– I know Yoda – there is no try.  But I tell you – it doesn’t hurt to try.

When The Caton Team has the trust and confidence of our clients – we can do anything…

… As soon as the lovely agent concierge gives me the latest news.

I am so proud to say – that over the years – sellers left money on the table to work with The Caton Team buying clients.  That says something.  Furthermore, there were no side deals, no commission re-negotiations, nothing but a good clean offer and our Caton Team offer package.    Because The Caton Team knows what it takes – good old fashioned hard work.  Because when I say – sellers left money on the table – I mean – our buyers didn’t offer the most money for property in Silicon Valley – BUT – we had the best offer package and the hustle to ensure – we will close escrow.  That’s the name of the game.  You can offer all the money in the world and it doesn’t mean a thing if it doesn’t close escrow.

As my mother always told me.  Talk is cheap.  It’s all about the action.  Her words ring true today.

I’m still on hold…

I’ve been a Realtor for a lucky 18 years now, Susan for over 25.  However in the past decade give or take, Real Estate has changed dramatically.  In fact, the past 5 years have been a revolution if you’ve been in the thick of it.  I was able to see how the internet – wait – mobile devices – single handedly changed everything.  It’s amazing.

Now add that tech to the pandemic and we are prepare for success.

By the looks of commercials, just a push of a button will summon a virtual open house.  That’s perfect – that’s grand!  So I wonder…

Do people still need Realtors?  Or is there an App for that?

In my humble opinion, the answer is YES, professional Realtors are still needed, relevant and imperative – especially in the Silicon Valley Real Estate Market.  As long as we are human, making one of the largest financial decisions in our lives, and for as many algorithms and apps with data we have – there are some things you cannot replicate.  Experience,  knowledge and the ability to navigate a contract in a market that moves so damn fast.

Not every Realtor is the same mind you.  I’m speaking on behalf of myself, Susan and a bountiful handful of awesome Realtors who get it.  We offer so much more than just opening a door.  There’s an app for that – what The Caton Team brings to the table is knowledge, experience, negotiations skills that turn our buyers into homeowners.

The Silicon Valley Real Estate Market is on par with New York now as one of the hottest Real Estate Markets in America and it also happens to be in our back yard.

Though this post was dedicated to our Buying clients in this hot market – Selling a home is just as challenging.  It’s not just putting a sign in the yard or a link on the net.  Alas – that’s a blog for another day.  Because….

…I’m off hold – so it’s back to work!

– Thanks for reading,

Sabrina

The Caton Team has 35 years of combined, local Silicon Valley Real Estate experience.  Both of us born and raised in San Carlos – The City of Good Living.  We know what it takes to become a homeowner in the Bay Area, we know what it takes to prepare your home for a successful sale in Silicon Valley.  If you’re interested in working with The Caton Team – please reach out at your convenience.   Call | Text 650.799.4333 | Email:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

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.

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.

Testimonial of the Day – J.R. in S.F.

WOW – what an amazing Yelp Review from our awesome clients J.R.

This came as a total surprise (I somehow didn’t see the email) so I was literally looking up a place on Yelp when I saw my own 5 Star Review. I was thrilled to read this. JR, your kind words mean the world to us.  We love what we do and we love taking great care of our clients – like you!

“Outstanding relators. Sabrina was an excellent communicator with us, and a fierce negotiator on our behalf. Having Susan’s expertise made us stronger each step of the way. Sabrina and Susan first impressed us with their clear knowledge and strong experience, as well as their warmth. They showed clear willingness to  understand us as clients and support us in our goal of buying in SF, even when it appeared out of reach. Even though they are based on the Peninsula, they both demonstrated a strong understanding of the SF market  and instantly built an effective working relationship with the sellers agents, or strengthened an existing relationship. When it was clear we needed to make a change in our search, Sabrina was understanding and helped guide us to a house we ADORE. Sabrina and Susan quickly sized up properties we were interested in and provided us with factual, detailed responses to help us make decisions about proceeding with properties. Sabrina was clear, thorough and direct in reviewing disclosures with us and helped us as first time buyers to feel comfortable with the process, especially in managing contingencies and the risks involved. Sabrina is highly organized and timely in writing offers, she even knew how to make our letters to the sellers stronger. Sabrina wowed us with her negotiating and advocacy for us with the sellers agent. We were overall thrilled with Sabrina and Susan’s work and will definitely work with them again in the future.”

– J.R.

To read all our testimonials visit The Caton Team Testimonials.

Need Real Estate help? Contact The Caton Team for a consultation.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654 |EMAIL  |  WEB  |   BLOG

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.

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.