Loads of houses are up for sale — but middle-class buyers are still shut out – Washington Post

Despite an uptick in homes on the market and weakening home sales across the country, home ownership is out of reach for a growing number of middle-class buyers, according to a recent report from real estate brokerage Redfin.

An analysis of U.S. homes on the market in 2017 and 2018 found that the number of affordable homes for sale has decreased in 86 percent of metro areas (of 49 included in the study), even as the number of homes on the market grew. While buyers normally benefit from better availability in competitive housing markets, it doesn’t help if the majority of available homes are priced for the wealthy.

“For the past few years, home prices have gone up faster than wages,” said Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin. “That kind of growth really isn’t sustainable. At a certain point, there won’t be enough buyers left for the homes left on the market.”

Home ownership has long been at the heart of the American dream, a means of accumulating wealth and securing financial stability. But ownership rates have fallen dramatically since the financial crisis — coming in at 64. 4 percent in the third quarter of 2018, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau — a telling sign that the traditional markers of middle-class life are getting tougher and tougher to hang onto.

To estimate affordability, researchers used the median income in each metro area, applied standard interest rates and assumed a 20 percent down payment and a monthly mortgage payment of 30 percent or less of the buyer’s gross income. Even adjusting for 10 percent down payment, just over half of homes on the market were affordable, according to the study.

In Seattle, the share of affordable homes fell 14 percent from 2017 to 2018, leaving only 46 percent of homes within the reach of middle-class families. In San Jose, Calif., the share of affordable homes fell from 26 percent to 14 percent over the same time.

According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales in December were down 10.3 percent year over year, the biggest drop since the housing market bottomed in 2011. At the same time, the median home sale price was $223,900, according to Zillow’s home value index.

Current conditions mirror what happened after the housing market collapsed. Prices tumbled and property was abundant, but the only people who could afford to buy were those who hadn’t been crippled by the financial crisis. Years later, a booming economy has yet to restore buying power to middle-class families, as mortgage rates and home prices have climbed. Prices surpassed their pre-crash peak in October 2017. And according to a December report from ATTOM Data Solutions, last quarter was the nation’s worst for home affordability in over a decade.

In metro areas, part of the issue is a lack of public investment in affordable housing, Fairweather said. The problem is often exacerbated in cities that serve as hubs to major tech companies, where an influx of highly paid workers has ratcheted up prices and cost of living. It’s fueling a flight from the coasts, as increasing numbers of people move inland in search of affordability.

Some states and cities are taking steps to correct this. California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom has an ambitious plan to oversee construction of 3.5 million new housing units by 2025. In November, the Minneapolis City Council signed off on $12 million in affordable housing investments throughout the city. Private companies are even stepping up to the plate — and Microsoft announced it’s offering up $500 million to build and protect affordable housing in Seattle.

The housing market is a cornerstone of  U.S. economic output, accounting for over 12 percent of the country’s GDP in 2017.  With the economy deep into an expansion, there’s been a rise in first-time buyers, but if conditions persist, many may be priced out and forced to rent instead. 

“Now the economy is doing better and more people are looking to buy a home for the first time,” Fairweather said, “but they’ve missed the boat on affordable deals.”

I read this article at: Washington Post

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.

Bay Area housing market cools, but it’s still nuts – SF Chronicle

By: Kathleen Pender 

The Bay Area real estate market went into 2018 with a bang and out with a whimper.

In the first half of the year, the median price rose almost 17 percent to an all-time high of $875,000 in June. In the second half, it fell 10.3 percent from that peak, ending at $785,000 in December.

The December price was down 3.7 percent from November but up 4.6 percent from December 2017, according to a report Thursday from research firm CoreLogic. It includes all new and existing homes and condos in the nine Bay Area counties.

An earlier report from the California Association of Realtors — which includes only existing, single-family homes entered into a multiple listing service — said the Bay Area median price fell to $850,000 in December, down 6.1 percent from November and down 3.6 percent from December 2017. That was the first year-over-year drop since March 2012.

Any way you look at it, the market downshifted in the last three months of 2018. As the stock market plunged and mortgage rates rose a half percent to almost 5 percent, buyers backed off, inventory grew, price cuts surged, and price appreciation slowed from the double to single digits on a year-over-year basis.

The number of homes sold in December fell to 5,341 across all nine counties, down 13.2 percent from November and 21.6 percent from December 2017. That was the lowest sales count for a December in 11 years, CoreLogic said.

Many sellers, perhaps unaccustomed to a less-than-ridiculous market, took their homes off the market or let their listings expire. A total of 2,493 listings in the nine Bay Area counties were withdrawn or expired in December, compared with only 1,154 in December 2017 and 1,487 in December 2016, according to analyst Patrick Carlisle of the Compass real estate firm.

“December was rock bottom,” said Chad Eng, a Redfin agent in Silicon Valley. “Buyers are hesitating, on the sidelines. Sellers are still focusing on comps from six months ago.”

Instead of selling in days like they were earlier in the year, homes took weeks or even months to sell. Homes that closed in December had been on the market 29 days before getting into contract. That was up from 23 median days on market in November and 17 in December a year ago, the Realtors association reported.

Eng said things picked up around the middle of January, as the stock market recovered and mortgage rates fell back into the 4.5 percent range. “I wonder if it’s a sign of what we will see in the spring,” or just a normal seasonal rebound, he said.

Santa Clara County was the hottest market in the Bay Area — and most of the country — for the first part of the year as prices rose in the teens and 20s year over year. In February, its median price topped $1 million for the first time, rising to $1,080,000, up 27.8 percent.

That was the month a two-bedroom, one-bathroom, 848-square-foot home on Plymouth Street in Sunnyvale sold for $2 million cash — making headlines as the height of Silicon Valley insanity.

That was and still is a record price-per-square-foot for Sunnyvale, said Doug Larson, a Coldwell Banker agent, who represented the seller. “Now with the softening market, I doubt that anybody will beat it, at least for a while,” he said.

After hitting $1.15 million in June, Santa Clara’s median price has fallen to $1 million in December, exactly where it was a year ago.

January is always a slow month for the real estate market, as sellers recover from the holidays and get their homes spruced up for the busy spring season.

940x940

“Homes that sell in the winter are typically homes that have been sitting on the market awhile and have to take a price cut,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather.

Right now, “buyers are in a holding pattern,” she added. “They don’t know if this is as good as it’s going to get, if prices come down or more homes come on the market.”

She noted that a slower market is good for buyers because “they have more negotiating power” and for sellers who are moving up to a more expensive home because “overall they are going to be saving more money.”

Fairweather predicts that prices will end the year about where they are now. “I would be surprised if they go down,” she said.

Nancie Allen, president of Bay East Association of Realtors, said the government shutdown in January made it hard to tell where the market is headed. The next two weeks will be a better indicator. The market now “is all over the place,” she said. Some homes in Fremont have been sitting on the market for a while, while one had 15 offers.

Aaron Terrazas, a senior economist with Zillow, said his data show that home prices in the last quarter of 2018 rose at their slowest annual pace for any quarter since 2010.

He predicts that prices will appreciate 5 to 6 percent this year in the San Francisco metro area and 7 to 8 percent in the San Jose metro area, assuming interest rates stay low.

Kathleen Pender is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. Email: kpender@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @kathpender

I read this article at: SF Chronicle

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.

A Reflection of “What Lies Ahead for Our Real Estate Market”

The Caton Team wanted to take a moment and comment on the article we shared : What Lies Ahead for Our Real Estate Market

As full-time, professional Realtors – The Caton Team felt the market turn late in the 3rd Quarter of 2018.

Now – let’s just be honest here – anyone trying to buy in San Mateo County was reaching their wits ends.  Every seller and Realtor knew that the top was coming because it always does.  Real Estate is cyclical.  Year in and year out it goes up and down all year-long.  It often follows the weather and holidays.  However, Real Estate wealth is acquired through holding real estate long-term – and to be frank – not necessarily selling each home but leveraging each home.  Curious how that works – come in for a sit down.

What we wanted to address here was this – though the Market is cooling here in the Bay Area – and we may have hit our peek for this cycle in Spring 2018 – it doesn’t mean we’re crashing. It’s the one thing we can graph year over year, decade over decade.  Real Estate may fluctuate in price from week to week but over time it holds its value and appreciates.

So – what I hear when the “market is down” – IT’S TIME TO BUY!  My friends, a down markt is opportunity.  No offer dates, no mutiple offers – and if you and your Relator do your homework right – maybe under list price!

I just wanted to add this reflection becuase we need to see this in perspective.  A market adjustment is a chance to get in.

Curuious if buying or selling now is right for you – contact The Caton Team for a private and personal consultation.

Need some proof – The Caton Team hopped on the #10yearchallenge for Real Estate and in just the past 10 years you can see our local growth!  That’s why the old addage applies – Don’t Wait to Buy Real Estate – Buy Real Estate and WAIT!

Let The Caton Team help you – contact us any time – Call | Text 650.799.4333 | Email | Info@TheCatonTeam.com

img_7090

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.

What Lies Ahead for our Real Estate Market?

Americans stopped buying homes in 2018, mortgage lenders are getting crushed, and an economic storm could be brewing

Alex Morrell
Jan 25, 2019 | 8:30 AM ET

  • The US housing market took a dark turn in 2018 as homebuying fell off a cliff and mortgage lenders saw a steep decline in applications, originations, and profits.
  • Interest rates are partly to blame for the slide in housing, but that’s only half of the equation, according to analysts.
  • It’s too soon to panic, but a deeper drought in housing is bad news for just about everybody, not just the banks.
  • Significant housing declines have foreshadowed nine of the 11 post-World War II recessions in the US, according to UBS.

As 2018 headed toward its close, Americans’ appetite for buying homes fell off a cliff.

In December, US existing-home sales cratered to 4.99 million, 10.3% below the mark from the year-ago period, according to data released earlier this week by the National Association of Realtors.

That’s the steepest decline in more than seven years, and it followed year-over-year declines of 7.8% in November and 5.1% in October.

Home sales dropped in every month in 2018 except February, but the trend grew more aggressive in the final quarter of the year.

The decline has been broad, affecting every US region. Even home sales in the posh Hamptons got battered in 2018.

Banks with large mortgage-lending businesses felt the homebuying malaise take a bite out of their bottom lines last week during fourth-quarter earnings results.

At two of the largest bank mortgage originators and servicers in the US, the numbers were especially pronounced.

At Wells Fargo, mortgage-banking income fell by 50%, to $467 million, in the fourth quarter, while originations declined by 28%, to $38 billion.

JPMorgan, meanwhile, saw mortgage income fall to $203 million, a 46% drop from the same period last year. Originations fell by 30%, to $17.2 billion.

These ugly housing numbers have raised red flags for Wall Street investors and analysts. UBS economists said in a note this week that “the deterioration in housing and its intensification since midyear raise the possibility of underlying weakness in the household sector.”

It’s too soon to head to the panic room, as this trend could prove a small bump that smooths over in 2019 — but a deeper drought in housing is dark news for just about everybody, not just the banks.

Significant housing declines have foreshadowed nine of the 11 post-World War II recessions in the US, according to another note by UBS from December examining the housing slowdown.

“The housing market usually does not slow down in a vacuum, and a falling housing market may well be the first indication of broader economic weakness,” the bank’s analysts wrote.

What’s to blame?

The US economy has been exceptionally strong in the past year — we’ve had wage growth, low unemployment, and low delinquency rates, among other positive drivers that should augur well for real-estate investing, UBS said.

So what happened to the housing market? The most glaring explanation is that mortgage rates increased, convincing prospective homebuyers that the market had become unfavorably expensive.

The Federal Reserve hiked its benchmark interest rate four times in 2018; the rate on a 30-year mortgage hit 4.94% in November — the highest mark since 2011 — before falling to 4.45% by year’s end.

That November figure may not seem a gigantic increase from the average rate of 3.65% just two years ago, but for a $250,000 home, the difference in the monthly payment is $190 and the lifetime cost is nearly $70,000 greater.

But interest rates don’t tell the full story — UBS analysts estimated that rates accounted for roughly half of the slowdown.

Home prices have also been ascending for years. The median existing-home price in December was $253,600, a 2.9% increase from 2017 and the 82nd straight month of year-over-year gains, according to the NAR.  (Local stats pictured below by The Caton Team)

2018 dec

“We saw a cooldown because buyers couldn’t afford these homes anymore,” Daryl Fairweather, the chief economist at the real-estate brokerage Redfin, told Business Insider.

Cash-strapped and saddled with student loans and other debt, millennials — a generation of more than 70 million now in their 20s and mid-30s — have delayed buying a home later than their parents did, but their participation is crucial in buoying home sales.

They may be balking at the higher monthly payments commanded for increasingly pricier homes and deciding they’re better off renting.

“They need to be in the housing market to keep things going, but they face real affordability challenges,” said Jody Shenn, a vice president in structured finance at Moody’s. “Just being able to get a house they can afford on a monthly basis with a mortgage is on the challenging side at this point.”

But the debt-burdened millennial didn’t materialize in 2018. That long-standing trend is most likely contributing to the overall slowdown, though it doesn’t necessarily explain the precipitous drop in fourth-quarter home sales.

Other factors that may have had an impact but are harder to pin down are rising construction costs, a reduction in the mortgage deduction in the new tax law, tightening credit standards by some lenders, and less flexibility in underwriting.

If profits are down, why are lenders rejecting more mortgage applications?

Curiously, despite less homebuying demand and falling revenue, the rate of rejections of mortgage and refinancing applications also shot up in the second half of 2018, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

In its “Credit Access Survey,” a quarterly report on US borrowers, the Fed found in October that even as mortgage applications among those surveyed fell to 6.7% from 9.2% over the previous year, the portion of respondents who experienced a mortgage application rejection increased to 19% — the highest mark in the survey since February 2015 — from 15.6%.

Why would lenders, already facing headwinds in their mortgage businesses, start denying more applications?

Two Moody’s analysts told Business Insider they hadn’t noticed tightening lending standards for residential mortgages. Home-lending standards have actually been loosening of late, they said.

Charge-offs have been on the downswing, though, suggesting lenders have been doling out credit responsibly in recent years.

“The squeeze on mortgage originators is encouraging them to move down the credit spectrum, but it’s a slow, measured shift,” Warren Kornfeld, a senior vice president covering financial institutions at Moody’s, told Business Insider.

But it could still be the case that lenders experienced an influx of applications from borrowers they deemed too risky to lend to. The Fed has telegraphed its rate hikes, so savvier and more creditworthy borrowers may have acted earlier to get a cheaper mortgage rate.

Borrowers applying at the peak were “probably more desperate,” Fairweather said, and banks don’t typically like to lend to people in desperate situations who have a higher chance of defaulting on their loan.

“My interpretation of this is that there was a decrease in the quality of applicants at this time,” Fairweather said.

Overall lending standards may not be any stricter, Shenn added, but “it could be the mix of who’s coming in the door has changed.”

Riskier borrowers may have grown more interested in buying a home, but in general the number of consumers who say they think it’s a good time to buy has been declining since 2014, surveys from the University of Michigan and Fannie Mae have found.

The number of consumers who say they think it’s a favorable time to buy a home has fallen below the number who say they think it’s a good time to sell one — a foreboding signal.

Fannie Mae; University of Michigan; UBS

As UBS pointed out, that’s happened only twice in the 26 years those survey questions have been asked — and those instances preceded our two most recent recessions.

A housing collapse isn’t imminent, but there’s no quick fix either

There’s no quick fix for consumers feeling stretched too thin to buy a home, according to Kornfeld and Shenn. Costs and rates have to fall, or wages need to increase, or some combination thereof.

Mortgage lenders face a bleak horizon this year. Their profit outlook fell for the ninth straight quarter and reached an all-time low to close out 2018, according to Fannie Mae’s “Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey.”

But a housing collapse is by no means imminent, especially in light of the strong economic fundamentals at play right now.

Consumer spending hasn’t flatlined elsewhere, and, as previously mentioned, unemployment and wage growth are trending in the right direction.

Fairweather said that she anticipates another strong year for the economy in 2019 and that she’s optimistic buyers will have an easier time and more leverage in negotiations this year.

Still, amid a steady housing decline and following the especially ugly numbers from the fourth quarter, analysts are on alert, and UBS said it would be tracking the trend closely this year.

“The incongruity of the spending on housing with the rest of the economy is a red flag,” the bank’s analysts wrote. “Unwillingness to spend on large, long-lasting items like housing may signal susceptibility of consumer confidence and spending to adverse shocks.”

 

I read this article at: Business Insider.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.

Market Update – Janurary 14, 2019

Hello Caton Team friends! 

Each Monday I post a quick video on Facebook and Instagram with a market update.  Today I am happy to report that this past weekend – open house turn out was the best since before the holidays.  Real, qualified, pre-approved buyers came out regardless of the rain.  This is live, from the trenches updates from myself and Susan in Newark and my fellow agents here on the San Francisco Peninsula.  By no means is this the start of Selling Season – but it is a start.

If you are thinking about buying this year, get approved TODAY!  Getting fully pre-approved can take some time due to the large volume of paperwork each bank is going to require.  It is best to be totally approved and underwritten by your lender of choice BEFORE you look at homes.  Once you are pre-approved the Caton Team starts the house hunt and focuses on homes since they themselves require time and consideration.  Buying Real Estate is a journey – not a race.  The more time you prepare – the better you can make solid decisions and once the market heats up – you can act as fast as needed.  In my experience, Buyers who take the time to understand their loan and their budget get the home they want often on the first try because they are prepared to do what it takes and already understand the impact of their actions.  It is nearly impossible to be a competitive and knowledgeable buyer if you haven’t taken the time to prepare. 

If you’re on the market to sell – hold tight!  Right now the market is in the buyers seat with a bit more inventory sitting due to the holidays.  However, interest rates are low now and that in itself is motivation to get in while rates are low.  So stay inline with the current market, adjust strategy as needed and make sure your home shows well. 

If you’re thinking of selling this year, contact your Realtor now to get a true market picture.  Each neighborhood is different.  Homes may be selling quicker in the mid peninsula but sitting across the bay or on the coast.  Be realistic with yourself and your Realtor with your expectations.  What fuels over bidding is high demand and low supply.  Right now we have low demand and normal supply.  California Economists believe the market is going to appreciate this year, even if the market is soft today.  The Caton Team knows come Spring – more buyers will be in the game and we expect a healthy market.

With all the talk that our market is in flux, people can get overwhelmed with the mixed messages and feel uncertain.  We believe that each client is unique and requires a high level of care and consideration.   Contact The Caton Team at anytime for a free, no strings attached consultation.  We love what we do and love helping people achieve their dreams and goals. 

How can The Caton Team help you?

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

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

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

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

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call | Text at: 650-799-4333 

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

The Caton Team Testimonials

The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat

The Caton Team Website

The Caton Team Advantage

How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

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

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

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

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

How to figure out the best time to buy a home, according to a mortgage analyst

Timing your home purchase correctly — like during the winter or before you get married — can save you money.

  • Buying a home is likely to be one of the biggest investments of your life.
  • For many, life events such as marriage or the birth of a child are often the catalyst to buying a home.
  • It’s important to buy a home when you’re able to afford one, though waiting until the winter to put down an offer could save you a bit.
  • Here’s how to know when it’s the best time to buy a home.

Buying your first home is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime.

With housing prices on the rise in many US markets, it can be difficult to find a home that fits your family’s needs without mortgage payments that will break your budget.

According to Holden Lewis, a mortgage analyst at Nerdwallet, timing your home purchase correctly — like during the winter or before you get married— can save you money.

Lewis has followed the mortgage market since 2001 — through the first housing boom, the 2008 crash and its aftermath, and the recovery. Here are his practical tips to help you figure out the right time to buy a home.

Buy when you’re ready

You’re ready to buy a home when you can afford one.

The right time to buy a house is when you have enough money saved up for a down payment and an income that allows you to comfortably afford the mortgage payment. According to Consumer Reports, many financial planners recommend limiting the amount you spend on housing to 25% of your monthly budget.

If you’re not sure whether you can afford a home in your area, Lewis suggests using an online calculator, such as this one from Nerdwallet.

Major life events can also be an impetus for making the leap into home ownership. “I think there’s a lot of personal triggers for homebuying,” Lewis said. “The most common one is adding children to your family.”

Lewis transitioned from being a renter to a homeowner shortly after his son was born. “It was really nice that his first steps were taken in a home of our own,” he said.

Don’t wait until you get married

You don’t have to hold off until marriage to buy a home.

According to Lewis, many people think they need to wait until they get married before buying a home. “I think being single is not a reason to hold off,” he said. “When you buy a home sooner, you’re building equity sooner.”

The Washington Post reported in that 18% of the home purchases made in 2017 were made by single women. That figure includes older women who are widowed or divorced, as well as younger women ready to invest in real estate and put down roots.

Buy in the winter

You may find cheaper listings in the winter.

In 2012-2017, the number of starter homes on the market reached its peak between October and December in 70 of the 100 largest US metros, according to a 2017 report by Trulia. This means that there are more options for those looking to buy their first homes in the fall.

But it may be worth waiting until winter to make an offer, as Trulia also reported a decline in the prices of starter homes between January and March 2017. Additionally, Lewis said that prices tend to be highest in June and July and take a tumble by January or February.

While the number of houses for sale goes down in the winter, the number of buyers declines even more, so you’ll face less competition for the homes that are on the market, Lewis said. And sellers with homes on the market in the winter may be more likely to negotiate, according to a US News report.

Lewis said that this trend holds true even in the places that snowbirds flock to in the winter months. “There’s even a difference in prices in places like Orlando and Phoenix,” he said. “That really surprised me.”

“Each city and even different neighborhoods might be different,” Lewis added. “The best thing to do is ask an experienced local real estate agent.”

Avoid waiting for mortgage rates to go up or down

Don’t let mortgage rates impact your timing of buying a home.

Lewis said mortgage rates have remained low for the past 15 years, despite predicting that they would rise.

“I’ve been following mortgage rates now for 17 years and I can’t tell you how many Januarys I’ve predicted, ‘This is the year when mortgage rates are going to rise substantially,’ and every year it hasn’t happened,” Lewis said.

Lewis recommends resisting the pressure to either rush or delay buying a home based on mortgage rate predictions. “You have at least a 50% chance of being wrong,” he said, so don’t let this affect your timing of when you want to buy a home.

Look for creative financing

There are home-buying programs that you may find helpful

You might have more options for home financing than you realize. Some states, such as Pennsylvania and California, offer homebuyers help with financing, including down payment assistance. Even if your state doesn’t offer any special programs, you might be eligible for an FHA loan, which may only require a down payment of 3.5%.

The VA offers home-buying programs to active-duty military, veterans, and some surviving spouses of servicemembers. “If you are a veteran or in the military, really look into VA loans,” Lewis said. “They are a great deal.”

There is also first-time homebuyers’ assistance at the local level. San Francisco has a special program to help local teachers, and New York City’s HomeFirst program provides up to $40,000 in down payment or closing cost assistance to homebuyers.

In expensive markets like these, assistance programs can make a big difference, Lewis said. Invest a bit of your time to research what support is available where you live.

SEE ALSO: The 10 smartest things I did before I bought my first house

I read this: Business Insider

Got 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 upmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.

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

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

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

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
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Visit us at:  Our Blog * TheCatonTeam.com * Facebook *Yelp Us * My Yelp * Instagram * HomeSnap* Pintrest * LinkedIN Sabrina * LinkedIN Susan

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

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

Homeowners Say They’re Finally Ready to Sell

Seventy-seven percent of consumers say they believe now is a good time to sell a house—a record high. That’s according to new findings from the National Association of REALTORS®’ second quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience survey.

Fifty-three percent of survey respondents say they believe home prices will continue to increase in their communities over the next six months. Survey respondents in the West were the most upbeat about the prospects of selling. 

“Though the vast majority of consumers believe home prices will continue to increase or hold steady, they understand the days of easy, fast gains could be coming to an end,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Therefore, more are indicating that it is a good time to sell, which is a healthy shift in the market.”

Consumers are also upbeat about the direction of the economy, which may be making them feel wealthier and more willing to sell. But optimism seems in higher supply for Americans who are already relatively well-off. Households with incomes of more than $100,000 are more likely to view the economy as improving (67 percent) than those with an income of $50,000 to $100,000 (64 percent) and under $50,000 (49 percent), the survey showed.

4 bog

After several consecutive years of home price growth, some homeowners may finally be ready to cash out. A separate report from CoreLogic released last week showed that the average homeowner has gained $16,200 in home equity between the second quarter of 2017 and the second quarter of 2018.

I read this article here:  Realtor Magazine

 

Got 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 upmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.

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

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

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

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

The Caton Team Testimonials

The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat

The Caton Team Website

The Caton Team Advantage

How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

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

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

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

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