For Sale by The Caton Team

Presenting 8213 Del Monte Ave in Newark

Stay tuned for more photos!

Open House – Sat & Sun Nov 17 / 18 from 1-4pm

Contact The Caton Team for a private showing before next week’s open house.

Text | Call | Email

Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654 | Info@TheCatonTeam.com

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina

DRE 70000218 | 01238225 | 01413526

 

 

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Law Requiring Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures is in Effect

Law Requiring Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures is in Effect

Just a re-reminder, state law calling for the replacement of older plumbing fixtures with water-conserving ones went into effect on January 1 of 2014. The law says that when improving a property (based on certain standards and thresholds), new water-conserving toilets, showerheads, faucets and urinals must be installed before the local building department will issue a certificate of final completion and occupancy. The plumbing fixtures that will need to be replaced are: any toilet manufactured to use more than 1.6 gallons per flush; any showerhead manufactured to have a flow capacity of more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute; any interior faucet that emits more than 2.2 gallons of water per minute and any urinal manufactured to use more than one gallon of water per flush. Homeowners with questions about their individual fixtures are urged to contact their city or county building department.

 

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

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

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Thanks for reading โ€“ Sabrina

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

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ Office BRE# 0149900

5 Traits to Look for in Your Agent – Great Article to Share

The Caton Teams strives for excellence. We are always learning, growing in our efforts to be the best agents we can be. I enjoyed reading this article and would love your feedback. Enjoy!

5 Traits to Look for in Your Agent
By Tara on Trulia

In this internet era, weโ€™ve gotten to a place where we require all of our information in bite-sized, white-and-charcoal grey pieces. But when it comes to creating interpersonal and professional relationships that really work, lists of interview questions and โ€œwhat to Googleโ€ articles can fall short of fully fleshing out the factors that make us mesh with someone.
So letโ€™s go a little deeper. Picking a real estate agent is a business and a relationship challenge โ€“ one which has a potentially massive impact on your finances and future enjoyment of the place you and your family live. If you take that seriously, here are a handful of characteristics I recommend you look for as you evaluate prospective agents.

1. Creativity. Some transactions go precisely as planned, clicking right along on schedule. Others โ€“ many others โ€“ get messy:
โ€ข the loan underwriter issues bizzaro, last-minute document demands
โ€ข the appraisal comes in low
โ€ข the buyer backs out
โ€ข you see 50 homes without any winners, or
โ€ข the inspection reports reveal issues that make you wonder whether the home is a diamond in the rough or a money pit.
Whether your transaction will be easy-peasy or uber-messy, you cannot know until youโ€™re in it. When youโ€™re agent-hunting, it behooves you to look for someone who has the experience and creative problem-solving skill to help you methodically think through the facts, surface alternatives, propose solutions and engineer obstacle workarounds โ€“ just in case the going gets tough.

Problem solving is the core of any business. We’ve had plenty of bumps in the road, but together we get over the humps and bumps and come up with solutions that work for all parties involved.

2. Deep, varied expertise. Buying or selling a home is much more of a lifestyle design experience than it is a financial transaction, truth be told. To do it with results that work well for yourself, your family and your finances for the duration, you need an agent thatโ€™s an eager partner with you. One that will deep-dive into all the nooks and crannies of your aesthetics, your psychology, your life plans, your financials and even your relationship dynamics.
You also need an agent with deep โ€“ not surface โ€“ understanding of homes, neighborhoods and local real estate market metrics, practices and contracts, and someone who deeply *gets* the home buying or selling process itself โ€“ so they can brief you on it and fruitfully coach you through it.
Have you ever taken a class from a novice teacher vs. a class from an experienced professor? The difference is nuance: a deep, mature understanding of a complex subject allows the more experienced instructor to give you insights into patterns theyโ€™ve spotted over time and repeat transactions. Same goes for your real estate pro: you want to make sure that either your agent or someone that will be working with them on your transaction (like their manager or broker) has deep knowledge and understanding in most or all of these areas, so they can share the nuanced insights and patterns they have spotted in the past which you can harness to your advantage in the present.

With Susan in the business for over 15 years and myself hitting the 10 year mark – we’ve have a wide range of experience. From embarking on home addition, to DIY remodeling, to buying your first home and your last. Each moment is a teaching opportunity.

3. Calm resilience. When you lose out on a home to other offers, it can feel like the end of the world. When you list your home, stage it to the nines, and not a single offer is forthcoming, feelings of discouragement, frustration and even depression can easily arise. In both cases, itโ€™s easy to delve into fear (fear that youโ€™ll never get the home you need, or will never be able to move on to the next stage of your life) or paralysis (freezing up because you just donโ€™t know what to do โ€“ period).
A great agent โ€“ and there are thousands and thousands out there โ€“ can bring a massive, game-changing dose of calm resilience to the table. Theyโ€™ve been through this before. They know that there are lots of homes and lots of buyers out there, so losing out on any one is not a death knell to your dreams. They also know how to tell the difference between a normal delay in receiving an offer or an acceptance on your market and when your approach requires some serious course correction (see #4, below).
A great agent will be able to receive the news that youโ€™ve lost out on a home or take in negative feedback from a prospective buyer, call you and deliver it calmly and right along with some smart, constructive suggestions for action items you should work on next, to keep the process moving forward.

Being patient and calm is what it takes in Real Estate. We’ve had a share of surprises and a level head always prevails. It’s our job to weather the storm, buffer the waves and get you to your port safely.
In this competitive San Francisco Peninsula market – we’ve had to make our share of some disappointing phone calls. However, looking back – each sad call was eventually followed by a fantastic happy call. So much so – Susan and I believe in never giving up – because we when it’s meant to be – it will be. Add some professional insight, write strong offers and keep your options open and we’ll definitely be handing over the keys to your new home soon.

4. Frankness and optimism. You want โ€“ no โ€“ you need your agent to be frankly honest. You need them to be frankly honest with themselves and with you about all facets of the reality youโ€™ll face as you proceed through your transaction. Sellers, you cannot afford to have an agent who will let you persist in fantasy-land beliefs about what your home is worth โ€“ contrary to all evidence as to what homes in your area are actually selling for and feedback (read: silence) from prospective buyers who have seen your home โ€“ without challenging you to look at the data and adjust your pricing strategy. Buyers, by the same token, you canโ€™t afford to work with an agent who encourages or allows you to make 5, 10, or 15 lowball offers on a home without urging you to face the truth that you need to house hunt at lower price points or make higher offers in order to be successful.
You need an agent who is willing to tell you the truth and have these sorts of hard conversations with you even when you wonโ€™t like it.
That said, you want an agent who possesses both this frank integrity and an ultimate optimism that, with right thinking and strategic action, you can and will ultimately succeed at making a great buy or sale.

Tara nailed it with this one. I am very honest. I am rather blunt sometimes, I do not beat around the bush. Real Estate is serious business, some of the largest decisions and purchases in one persons life. I need to be frank with you and you need to be open with me. Honest communication is a huge part of any relationship and in real estate – it is one of The Caton Teams core values. Work with an agent you feel comfortable talking to. We’ll be talking a lot!

5. Bandwidth. This one might sound strange, but the fact is that it can be difficult to get the advantages of having the best agent in the world if the agent is wildly over-subscribed and so busy they struggle to respond to calls and emails. This is why I donโ€™t always say a great agent will necessarily have years and years of expertise. Some agents who have wonderful experience and wisdom are simply too busy to do the time-intensive guidance your situation may require. And some agents who are new to real estate bring highly relevant expertise and skills theyโ€™ve developed in other careers, have ample time to devote to your transaction and can enlist the real estate-specific insights of an experienced team leader, manager or broker.
If you know youโ€™re going to want to meet up weekly for a house hunting session or debrief with your agent, tell them this up front and ask them flat-out how much time they can devote to your process. Make sure youโ€™re comfortable with their response or solution (example โ€“ their listing specialist or partner can meet with you when they canโ€™t) before you make your pick.
My advice for agent-finding is to engage in a multi-step process:
โ€ข First, make sure you get referrals from your friends, colleagues and relatives to the agents they have worked with and love.
โ€ข Also get a few names from our Agent Finder on Trulia, which allows you to get incredibly specific about what sort of homes, areas and transactions your ideal agent will have worked with.
โ€ข Then, check all of your prospective agent candidates out online. Narrow them down a bit by what you see in terms of reviews and style of advice you see them providing on channels like their blog, website or social media pages.
โ€ข Reach out to all the people on your short list through whatever medium you prefer to communicate โ€“ phone, email, etc. โ€“ and note how quickly you get responses.
โ€ข Then book appointments to meet with a handful of agents and let them present their method to you.
โ€ข Get references and check in with those past clients โ€“ ask them to tell you about their transaction experience, warts and all.
By the end of this process, youโ€™ll likely find someone who fits just-right with your own personality, timing and transactional needs and possess these five traits.

I truly enjoyed reading this and hope you did too!

I read this article at: http://corp.truliablog.com/2014/01/09/5-traits-to-look-for-in-your-agent/?ecampaign=cnews201401B&eurl=corp.truliablog.com%2F2014%2F01%2F09%2F5-traits-to-look-for-in-your-agent%2F
Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/
Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.
Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com
Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200
Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App: http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp
Visit our Website at: http://thecatonteam.com/
Visit us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834
Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city
Or Yelp me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw
Check out my photos on Instagram: http://instagram.com/sunshineagogo
Check out our pins on Pintrest: https://pinterest.com/SabrinaCaton/
Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro
Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:
http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com
Thanks for reading โ€“ Sabrina
The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors
Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ 01499008

2014 – What will the Real Estate Market be like?

It’s on my mind – maybe it’s on your mind – but I enjoyed this article about the 2014 market forecast. Enjoy!

The housing recovery hit high gear in 2013 with bigger than expected price gains and solid home sales. This year isn’t likely to be as exciting. Rising mortgage interest rates will price out some potential buyers. Instead of double-digit price gains, look for single-digit ones, economists say, while existing home sales remain at last year’s level.
Sound boring? “You want boring in the housing market,” says Svenja Gudell, Zillow director of economic research.
Here’s what’s ahead for:
โ€ข Home prices. They were the highlight of the 2013 housing market, up 12.5% in October year over year, CoreLogic says. Prices are now 20% off their 2006 peaks after falling more than 30%, shows the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index.
Economist John Burns looks for a 6% gain in 2014. Many others see smaller increases ahead. Zillow forecasts just a 3% rise.
Prices will likely rise more slowly as more homes come on the market, fewer investors bid for homes and higher ownership costs โ€” including interest rates and home prices โ€” take a bite out of housing affordability, housing experts say.
Still, U.S. housing remains 4% undervalued when compared with other economic fundamentals, such as consumer incomes and the cost to rent, says Jed Kolko, Trulia economist. At their 2006 peak, home prices were 39% overvalued based on the same metrics, Kolko says.
โ€ขExisting home sales. They’ve started to slow. In November, they were down year over year for the first time in 29 months, National Association of Realtor data show.
The dip was driven by higher interest rates and a tight supply of homes for sale. It doesn’t mean the housing recovery has come off the rails, because home prices and housing starts continue to improve, says Capital Economics economist Paul Ashworth.
Existing home sales, which came in at a 4.9 million seasonally adjusted pace in November, are expected to be about 10% higher in 2013 than 2012 and stay about the same at 5.1 million in 2014, NAR forecasts. That’s roughly back to 2007 levels but below the inflated levels preceding the housing crash.
New-home sales, which make up a smaller part of the market, have more room to grow. They hit an annual pace of 464,000 in November, up almost 17% from a year ago but still below the 700,000-a-year pace generally considered healthy.
The new year will be different for home buyers, though.
Look for fewer bidding wars and a less frantic market, says Glenn Kelman, CEO of brokerage Redfin. Its data show bidding wars recently falling to one of two offers handled by Redfin agents, down from three of four at the peak in March.
Homes are taking longer to sell, and more sellers are also reducing prices to win sales, Kelman says. At the same time, the supply of existing homes for sale edged up to 5.1 months from 4.9 months in October, NAR says. That’s still below the six-month supply that Realtors generally consider to be a balanced market for buyers and sellers.
Supply should get closer to that level in 2014, Kelman says.
Donaee and Jeff Reeve hope he’s right. The couple sold their Seattle-area home in just 10 days amid a hot June market. They’ve been renting as they search for a new home with a few acres. Meanwhile, prices have risen. The lack of suitable homes for sale is “discouraging,” says Donaee Reeve, 36, a dental hygienist.
โ€ข Housing construction. This part of the housing recovery has been a laggard.
November’s data showed an improvement, with housing starts topping 1 million on an annual basis, the Commerce Department says. That was up almost 30% from a year earlier, but it’s still far below the norm. Starts averaged 1.5 million a year before the mid-2000s housing boom.
Construction won’t return to normal this year, but it will strengthen enough to be the main driver of the housing recovery as home price gains shrink, says investment manager Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
It sees housing starts increasing 20% a year for the next several years as household formation picks up with the strengthening economy.
More home construction means more jobs for construction workers, plumbers, civil engineers and others in the building trades, as well as related industries such as furniture manufacturing, it says.
Construction alone will add 300,000 to 500,000 jobs a year to the nation’s job base for the next three years, GSAM predicts. That’s up from about 100,000 in 2013.
“The construction revival is primarily a matter of when, not if,” says Tom Teles, GSAM head of securitized and government investments.
โ€ข Mortgage rates. Sarah and Andrew Katz know home prices are going up, and mortgage interest rates, too. But they’re still convinced it’s a good time to buy a first home. They’ve set their sights on spring.
“We’re banking on interest rates staying under 5%, but they are what they are,” says Sarah, 29, who works in public relations in Manhattan.
โ€œ
We’re banking on interest rates staying under 5%,
โ€
โ€” Sarah Katz
The couple better not wait too long, economists warn.
Average rates for a fixed 30-year mortgage will rise to 5.5% by the end of 2014, says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. Rates have already risen about 1 percentage point in the past year as the economy has strengthened. They’ll be pushed up further as the Federal Reserve winds down its $85 billion monthly bond-buying program.
Each percentage point increase in mortgage rates makes homes about 10% more expensive in terms of higher housing payments.
Another factor could weigh on borrowers. Starting in January, lenders must make home loans that meet new federal qualified mortgage standards or face greater liability from borrower lawsuits, should the loans go sour.
At least 5% of mortgages extended in 2013 wouldn’t meet the new standard, Yun says. More than that will likely face additional scrutiny from lenders as they implement all parts of the new rule, says Brian Koss, executive vice president of lender Mortgage Network.
He says the higher rates and tighter rules will likely drive some home buyers out of the market or into lower-priced homes than they could have afforded last year.
“People have gotten spoiled,” Koss says. Higher rates and home prices will test the strength of the housing recovery in 2014, he says.

I read this article at: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/01/01/home-prices-2014-housing-starts/4181021/#!

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/
Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.
Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com
Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200
Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App: http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp
Visit our Website at: http://thecatonteam.com/
Visit us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834
Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city
Or Yelp me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw
Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro
Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:
http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com
Thanks for reading โ€“ Sabrina
The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors
Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ 01499008

1st-Time Buyers Losing to Investors – tell me something I don’t know….

If you are a home buyer in todays real estate market on the SF Peninsula – then you already know! ย Cash buyers have come out in force and it feels like they are scooping up every house on the market.

Below is an article I read in the SF Chronicle. ย It hit home hard. ย The Caton Team has been writing offers, sometimes multiple offers for one client on several properties praying one will be accepted. ย This market is nuts. ย And before I hear anyone say – you must love it! ย NO! ย Realtors do not like this type of market. ย We are human. ย We may perform some superhuman stunts from time to time – ย but we are human. ย Realtors like stable markets with consistent growth. ย Not manic markets – with ” one open house and offers are due on Monday” – markets. ย If I am feeling the rush – I know my clients are – and for them – this is a new experience. ย For the Caton Team – with over 25 years combined experience, this is just another day on the job.

So as you venture and read this article – I must add my two cents. ย DO NOT GIVE UP! ย Giving up and not getting an offer accepted has the same results – not keys to your new home. ย But dusting yourself off andย getting back on the horse to meet your Realtor at lunch to see the next new listing – now that’s tackling this market like a pro! ย In our experience, buyers who are dedicated to becoming owners will get a house. ย It may not be the house they dreamt about. ย It may not have all the bedrooms they wanted or the yard they liked – but you can make all those things happen – once you get your house. ย Curious what the Caton Team does differently for our clients – come on and and let’s talk! ย Questions – email me at Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Enjoy!

1st-time buyers losing to investors

Many outbid by absentee owners in a rapidly rising market

By ย Carolyn Saidย 

Hunter Mack and Nyree Bekarian are eager to buy a home for their growing family. They started looking when their son Emmett was a year old. Now he’s 2 1/2, and they have a second child due any day. And they’re still looking.

After seven years of marriage, Carlos and Robin Mariona felt the time was right to buy their own place and looked forward to leveraging his past Navy service with a Veterans Affairs loan. But their search stretched on for months, despite the loan guarantee. While their price ranges and target areas varied, these Bay Area families confronted the same reality once they started house hunting. They were consistently outbid, often by investors who paid all cash. Sometimes, even if they had the highest bid – especially in the case of the Mariona family and their VA loan – they were still rejected in favor of an all-cash offer.

“We’re people who want to commit to a place where we can live and grow together, but it hasn’t been possible,” said Mack, who teaches mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley. “We’re two mid-30s professionals who want to spend over half a million dollars on a home, but we can’t find anything, which is ridiculous. We’ve probably made 10 offers. At this point, with many homes, we’re not making offers anymore because we know we’ll be slaughtered.”

Eager to get their piece of the American dream while interest rates are low, many first-time home buyers instead are finding that they’re priced out of a rapidly rising market where they must compete with deep-pocketed investors.

Absentee home buyers now account for about 27 percent of Bay Area home sales, according to real estate research firm DataQuick. All-cash buyers (who overlap with absentee buyers) represent almost a third of sales. Historically, cash buyers were about 13 percent of sales.

First-time home buyers bought 36 percent of California homes sold in 2012, according to the California Association of Realtors. In 2009 and 2010 they represented 47 percent and 44 percent of the market, respectively. Over the past eight years, first-time buyers averaged 39 percent of the market.

Government-backed Federal Housing Administration loans, which are popular with first-time buyers because they allow for smaller down payments, accounted for 12.3 percent of Bay Area home purchases in March, according to research firm DataQuick. That was down from 20.9 percent in March 2012.

“In recent months the FHA level (in the Bay Area) has been the lowest since summer 2008, reflecting both tougher qualifying standards and the difficulties first-time buyers have competing with investors and other cash buyers,” DataQuick said in a statement.

Neighborhood impact

The strong investor presence brings up questions about the long-term impact on neighborhoods.

“I think it’s a shame that all these properties are going to investors and not to people who actually want to live there and be part of the community,” said Rachel Beth Egenhoefer, who along with Kyle Jennings set out to find a new home before their baby was born. She’s now 5 months old, and they’re still looking. “It’s easy for sellers to take the cash and run, but what about having people who actually care about the neighborhood and want to be there and invest in it?”

Maria Benjamin, executive director of the Community Housing Development Corp. of North Richmond, had similar thoughts. The preponderance of investor buyers, most of whom rent out homes, “creates a lot of absentee landlords and a high turnover in neighborhoods,” she said. “All that causes neighborhood instability.”

Then there’s the impact on the families that spend months looking for a home to buy while staying put – in sometimes less than ideal conditions.

Many prospective buyers “are being forced to just stay where they are renting and make do,” said Jennifer Ames, an agent with Red Oak Realty. “Most of my buyers are young families who have outgrown their spaces. They’re all just hanging in, trying to do the best they can with their circumstances.”

People seeking starter homes do have some things working in their favor. Besides the historically low interest rates, home prices in many areas are still far from their peaks. The Bay Area March median of $436,000, for instance, is about a third lower than the region’s $665,000 peak in summer 2007, DataQuick said.

Still, that window of affordability seems to be closing. The California Association of Realtors on Friday said the state’s “affordability index” (the percentage of home buyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced existing single family home in the state) dropped to 44 percent in the first quarter, down from 56 percent a year earlier.

“Higher home prices put a dent in California’s housing affordability,” the Realtors association said in a statement.

Location counts

The three couples seeking homes all have solid employment and can afford to spend from about $350,000 to $550,000 – typical prices for starter homes in this region. All are looking in the East Bay, which is more affordable than San Francisco and the Peninsula. Alameda County’s current median is $416,000; Contra Costa County’s is $346,000.

Still, prices continue to rise rapidly in most of the region, making the search more difficult. “The bottom line in the decent neighborhoods keeps getting raised,” said Patrick Leaper, an agent with Red Oak Realty. “Entry-level buyers are looking at prices going up 2 or 3 percent a month sometimes. That’s critical for somebody whose finances are (tight). They end up being priced out of the market or forced to go to areas or neighborhoods that they weren’t interested in before.”

Looking around

Sometimes expanding the geographic search is what it takes to land a house. That was the case for the Marionas, who started off looking around Albany, where Robin Mariona works for the Department of Parks and Recreation.

“For the amount of money we could spend, in Albany or North Berkeley we would have gotten a smaller place than our rental,” said Carlos Mariona, an IT director for a catering company. “We were at the cusp where everyone was moving a little more north as they got priced out – El Cerrito, then San Pablo, Richmond, El Sobrante. It seemed you had more bang for the buck there.”

After more than six months of house hunting and countless rejected offers, they found a house in the Richmond View area near Wildcat Canyon Park listed at $324,000. They offered $350,000, and Leaper, their agent, negotiated with the seller to accommodate their VA loan’s tight requirements of completing all termite work before the sale closed.

“We’re very happy,” Carlos Mariona said.

More-affordable areas

Despite rapidly rising prices, more-affordable pockets remain scattered around the Bay Area. For each county, here’s the town with the lowest median price in the first quarter of this year – and how much it’s changed since the same time last year.

County City Median price Q1 2013 YOY change
Alameda Oakland $310,000 48%
Contra Costa Bay Point $153,000 4%
Marin Novato $565,000 39%
Napa American Canyon $360,000 19%
San Francisco Ingleside Heights (S.F.) $410,250 58%
San Mateo East Palo Alto $356,000 27%
Santa Clara East Valley (San Jose) $377,500 28%
Solano Vallejo $175,500 28%
Sonoma Forestville $261,450 -3%

Source: ZipRealty

Read more: http://www.sfchronicle.com/realestate/article/1st-time-buyers-losing-to-investors-4512891.php#ixzz2TJ56qE00

I read this article at:ย  http://www.sfchronicle.com/realestate/article/1st-time-buyers-losing-to-investors-4512891.php

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

Email Sabrina & Susan at:ย  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

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

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

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

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

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

Are Home Prices Rising Too Fast?

Hello Readers!
Found this article and had to share it.ย  Why?ย  Because this is on all our minds. ย My 2 cents are in italics.
ย ย 
Whenย the real estate marketย hit bottom you could feel the thud.ย  Buyers were leery of buyingย afraid home prices would continue to fall and sellers wouldnโ€™t sell if their life depended on it not wanting to take any kind of loss.ย  Thankfully those days are behind us.ย  What a difference 1 year makes….it is obvious the memo is out and buyers are ready to buy again.ย ย However, sellers are not quite there yet.ย  It seems that the bulk of properties for sale since 2009 were pre and post foreclosures, overinundating the market with options.ย  Come 2012 and today, with sellers not quite ready to put their homes on the market inventory remains low in our area โ€“ thus pushing prices up.
No Realtor or client enjoys markets like this.ย  Multiple offers, over bidding, no contingencies โ€“ all this is back in force right now.ย  Ideally we would like to see a normal healthy market with normal growth.ย  But with so few homes for sales and pent up buyers jumping off the fence โ€“ it is amazing to see this change that has taken place in the real estate world.
Enjoy the article โ€“ and would love to hear YOUR thoughts too!
Are Home Prices Rising Too Fast?
Some housing analysts are concerned that the sudden rise in home prices could make homes more unaffordable again if the price increases outpace income growth,ย The Wall Street Journalย reports.
Average housing costs for home buyers who took out a mortgage were around 22.5 percent of average incomes, according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting. That is down from 38.5 percent in 2006, the peak of the housing bubble. The historical average is about 33 percent.
But with home prices rising in many markets and, in some, rising at a faster pace than income levels, will more people soon be priced out of the market?
Housing analysts say that, for now at least, lower mortgage rates are offsetting the higher prices of homes.
Borrowers have seen their purchasing power rise by around 33 percent over the past four years due to the low interest rates,ย The Wall Street Journalย reports. For example, a borrower can make a $1,000 monthly mortgage payment and qualify for a $222,000 mortgage at todayโ€™s low interest rates, compared to 2008 when theyโ€™d likely qualify for $165,000 when mortgage rates were around 6.1 percent — nearly double what they are today.
Borrowers are able to withstand home-price increases because of the low rates, not because household incomes are growing,ย The Wall Street Journalย reports. If mortgage rates tick back up to the 6 percent or 8 percent range, homes may look overpriced relative to incomes, according to housing analysts.
By: DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS
Source: โ€œWhy Rising Interest Rates Could Eventually Curb Price Gains,โ€ The Wall Street Journal (April 10, 2013)
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The home bidding wars are back!

Always nice to find a good article to share. ย Enjoyย By Les Christie CNNMoney

The home bidding wars are back!

The bidding wars are back. Seemingly overnight, many of the nation’s major housing markets have gone from stagnant to sizzling, with for-sale listings drawing offers from a large number of house hunters.

In March, 75% of agents with broker Redfin said their clients’ offers were countered by rival bids, up from 56% who said so in late 2011.

The competition has been most intense in California, where 9 out of 10 homes sold in San Francisco, Sacramento and cities in Southern California drew competing bids during the month. And at least two-third of listings in Boston, Washington D.C., Seattle and New York generated bidding wars.

“The only question is not whether a new listing will get multiple bids but how many it will get,” said Kris Vogt, who manages 14 Coldwell Banker offices in the Sacramento area. One home in an Elk Grove, Calif., subdivision recently received 62 separate bids. The final sale price was for more than $150,000, well above its $129,000 asking price.

In Cambridge, Mass., two condos that could be combined into one large home hit the market two weeks ago for $800,000 each, according to Pat Villani, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in New England.

“The brokers stopped taking names after the number of bidders reached 250,” she said. The winning bidder offered $2 million for both units.

Related: Five best markets to buy a home

Homebuyers eager to purchase before home prices and mortgage rates rise are finding few homes for sale as sellers hold out for better deals, said Glenn Kelman, Redfin’s CEO.

Many homeowners are still underwater, owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, and they want to wait until selling becomes profitable again. By doing so, they can avoid short sales, which carry big hits on credit scores, 85 to 160 points, according to FICO.

“Many people have been holding on for a profit and they’re just now getting their heads above water,” said Kelman.

Those who want to sell and buy a new home are encountering a market where it’s difficult to find a new place of their own, said Vogt.

Related: Five best markets to sell a home

Over the past few months, Jackie and Cliff Kaufman have bid on four different homes in St. Petersburg, Fla., including one short sale and a foreclosure.

The pair, who have two adult children and run an online jewelry business, said they bid $5,000 more than the $495,000 asking price on the first home they had their eye on and never heard back from the seller’s agent. They were later told the house sold for nearly $550,000.

Next, they bid on a short sale listed for $600,000. This time, they came in $10,000 above the asking price and again, they were beaten out. The house was only on the market for two days.

The third attempt to make an offer on a bank-owned property was also met with silence.

Related: Buy or rent? 10 major cities

“It was very frustrating,” said Jackie Kaufman. “We felt we were always on the outside of the loop and that people who won the homes had the inside track.”

By the fourth try, the couple successfully bid through a listing agent, who they believe pushed their bid harder in order to earn a double commission since she was representing both the buyer and seller in the deal. And they managed to get the place for $30,000 less than the asking price.

They were lucky. Inventories of homes for sale continue to shrink. In February, the National Association of Realtors reported a 19.2% decline in inventory year-over-year. While the number of homes for sale should rise with the onset of the spring selling season, housing inventory is expected to remain low, pushing prices higher.

Related: Fastest growing boomtowns

And new home construction, especially in markets hit hard by the housing bust, is still moving forward at a snail’s pace, since the cost to build the homes is often more than what the property ends up selling for, said Jeff Culbertson, president of Coldwell Banker’s Southern California operations.

Even though home prices are on the rise, the balance between buyers and sellers has been thrown off balance, said Kelman.

“With buyers out in force and sellers cautious, the market is in an awkward ‘tweener’ phase,” he said.

I read this article at:ย  http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/04/real_estate/bidding-wars/index.html?source=linkedin

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina