It’s Official – San Carlos Drought Declaration – Effective 5/15/2015

It’s Official – San Carlos Drought Declaration – Effective 5/15/2015

 

As some of you San Carlos residence know – last year the City Council passed Ordinance 1479, which gave the City tools for the enforcement of water restrictions if/when a declaration of drought emergency is declared. This means that “non-essential” uses of water in San Carlos would become unlawful during the declaration period, and financial penalties would be enforced by the City.

 

On Monday, February 9, 2015, the City Council voted to declare a state of drought emergency in San Carlos.  The decision came down even though we saw ample rain in December 2014, and most recently just this past week.  But January 2015 was the driest and hottest year the Bay Area has ever recorded, and marks the fourth consecutive year of drought in California. According to the news release, local water storage is still only 58% of its maximum capacity.

 

The Penalty for Water Waste.

 

If you are caught wasting water after the commencement of the declaration period, which will take effect on 5/15/2015, it’s going to cost you some money. San Carlos Municipal Code Chapter 1.20 outlines the penalties for violations of Ordinance 1479:

  • $100 for the first violation;
  • $200 for the second violation within the same year;
  • $500 for each additional violation within the same year;
  • For each day a violator continues the unlawful action, he or she is guilty of a separate offense.

Curious about what you can and cannot do with water this summer?  You can read the ordinance and see a complete list of all nonessential water uses by clicking the following link:  San Carlos Ordinance 1479.

 

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

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

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

 

REAL EATS – The beat on where to eat! MY NEW FOOD BLOG

REAL EATS

The beat on where to eat!

Hello! Thank you for reading my first installment of REAL EATS, the beat on where to eat. I thought I’d combine my love of good food with my passion for Real Estate and blog about local restaurants. I mean, what better information for a Realtor to know than where the best restaurants are and if you can walk to them from your house!   I plan on sharing my favorite spots up and down the San Francisco Peninsula and beyond. I hope you have a chance to enjoy the amazing food our communities have to offer.

I’ve bookmarked all these restaurants (and more) on my yelp page, please feel free to visit: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_bookmarks?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Curious how much properties are going for 2 miles around The Refuge in San Carlos California – click: http://thecatonteam.com/RealtorWebPage?content=http://thecatonteam.com/Listings?operation=search%26ls=REIL%26predefined=2068109881

 

The Refuge – 963 Laurel Street, San Carlos

So for my first entry – I chose one close to my heart and soul for a couple of reasons. One – it’s silly – but the building was my former Karate DoJo. Oh the memories of testing for belts in the same space I am now sipping a beer and enjoying a fine sandwich – is a riot. I love watching communities grow, how buildings change and repurposed. Anyway – let’s get to the food!

When I first discovered that a restaurant in my favorite town – San Carlos – was featured on Diners-Drive-Ins-and-Dives – I was so excited. When I saw the episode, my husband and I couldn’t wait to head down there.  Let me tell you – we were not disappointed. On our first visit, hubby got the Ruben and I got the Toasted Slaw #19. Oh boy! The moment that plate hit the table, it smelled so good, I knew I was in for a treat. The bread was perfectly toasted, the sauerkraut on the Reuben and the Slaw on mine were well seasoned. Good cheese, great flavor… But the meat – the House Made pastrami – the lacquer – was spectacular! I am drooling just thinking about it. Needless to say – we’ve returned several times and enjoyed bringing new people to appreciate their treats. I even tried the grilled Cambozola Sandwich. Good Lord, the gooey blue cheese with caramelized onions, matched with the apple and lemon-tomato marmalade. Heaven. Delicious Heaven. Oh it comes with a salad too. And a side of guilt for eating something so decadent – hahah – but worth every bite!

I managed to snap two photos in my numerous visits. Seriously – the food is that good I forgot I want to take a picture; the camera doesn’t stand a change against my hunger. Oh, they also have a plethora of awesome beers from around the world. So truly a treat for every single one of your taste buds.

~*~

Head over to my Instagram page THECATONTEAM where I share some delicious photots! Instagram #onlyinsancarlos: https://instagram.com/thecatonteam

Find The Refuge on YELP: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-refuge-san-carlos

My review of The Refuge on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-refuge-san-carlos?hrid=ngysaEXxUjixsTkyBcRtvQ

Real Estate around The Refuge:  http://thecatonteam.com/RealtorWebPage?content=http://thecatonteam.com/Listings?operation=search%26ls=REIL%26predefined=2068109881

 ~*~

Please to follow my Real Estate Blog – The Real BeatKeeping a Pulse on the SF Peninsula Market at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help.

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

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

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

All restaurant reviews are unsolicited and unpaid.  Photos of dishes are my own snaps.

 

FHA mortgage insurance premiums – going down

Earlier this year, President Obama announced that HUD will lower its FHA mortgage insurance premiums by 50 basis points, from 1.35 percent to .85 percent, effective Jan. 26.  This move will make it easier for hundreds of thousands of home buyers to get a mortgage and provide greater access to homeownership for historically underserved groups and credit-worthy families.  On a $300,000 loan, that could mean a savings of $1,500 a year.

 

The annual mortgage insurance premium for most FHA transactions has been reduced. What does this mean for you?

· Monthly savings: borrowers can purchase a home with the lowest possible total monthly mortgage payment. For those with an LTV greater than 95% or high credit scores, FHA financing will provide a lower total monthly mortgage payment than conventional loans with private mortgage insurance.

· Repeat homebuyers are eligible for high LTV financing: conventional loans with private mortgage insurance restrict LTVs greater than 95% to first-time homebuyers. Alternatively, FHA financing is available for first-time homebuyers and repeat principal-residence purchasers with LTVs up to 96.5%.

· Qualify more buyers : A lower total monthly mortgage payment results in a lower DTI ratio, potentially allowing more borrowers to qualify for mortgage financing.

· Afford more home: You may be able to purchase a more expensive property without increasing their total monthly mortgage payment.

· Refinance savings: Clients who have recently purchased a home with FHA financing may be eligible to refinance their mortgage and lower their total monthly mortgage payment for immediate savings.

 

This is great news for homebuyers!   Call us for more information!

 

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

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

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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:

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

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

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

 

California Homebuyer’s Rejoice as Mortgage Rates Continue to Drop

California Homebuyer’s Rejoice as Mortgage Rates Continue to Drop in February

 

Though many experts once predicted mortgage rates around 5% at the beginning of 2015, these forecasts have once again been defied this month. Thanks to concerns over slowing foreign economies, among other economic factors, mortgage rates have continued to drop – an encouraging change for buyers and the newest indication that business will continue to blossom in 2015.

According to the latest report from Freddie Mac, the average fixed rate on a 30-year loan dropped to 3.58% in the first week of February, marking the first time since May 23, 2013 that the average rate for a 30-year fixed loan reached below 3.6%.

Similarly, the fixed rate on a 15-year loan dropped to 2.92% – down from 2.98% the week before. Likewise, the starting rate on a hybrid loan – those that become adjustable after five years – dropped the same week.

While mortgage rates have reached their lowest point in over 20 months, it should be noted that these rates are far below their historic levels. In February of 1982, for example, rates were as high as 17.6% for a 30-year fixed loan, according to Freddie Mac. In February 2007 – the beginning of the subprime mortgage meltdown – the average rate on a 30-year fixed loan was at 6.29%

According to Len Keifer, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, buyers or those trying to refinance their home need not worry about rates rapidly increasing, as recent economic reports have indicated the economy is still not strong enough to trigger inflation.

“Pending home sales were weaker than expected,” he said. “Moreover, real [economic] growth for the fourth quarter was 2.6% and the Institute for Supply Management reported slower growth in manufacturing last month, both missing market consensus forecasts.”

I read this article at: http://re-insider.com/2015/02/12/california-homebuyers-rejoice-as-mortgage-rates-continue-to-drop-in-february/

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

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

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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 – Sabrina

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

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

 

 

Economic Momentum Drives Consumers’ Optimism Toward Housing Market

Though I am posting this article in March – I am sitting here reading it in February and I have to say I more than agree.  The holiday season is always a slow time of the market – however this January I was surprised at the volume of buyers out there house hunting and in droves!  Our listings all received multiples offers and sold for well over list price.  The open houses in January were packed and they have’t slowed down through February either.  I don’t expect demand to slow down in the Bay Area through the Spring.  So if you are thinking about buying Real Estate this year – give us a call or an email so we can educate you on what it takes to buy on the San Francisco Peninsula.  If you are thinking of selling your home this year – call us ASAP to be ready to take advantage of the best time to come on the market. – Sabrina 650-568-5522 /sabrina_caton@yahoo.com

 

Economic Momentum Drives Consumers’ Optimism Toward Housing Market

Author: Tory Barringer

After suffering a setback in December, American attitudes toward the housing market recovered last month, with more consumers saying it is a good time to get off the sidelines.

Sixty-seven percent of American adults responding to Fannie Mae’s January National Housing Survey said now is a good time to buy a home, the company reported Monday, while 44 percent said now is a good time to sell. Both figures are up from December, when positive responses were at 64 percent and 40 percent, respectively.

Doug Duncan, SVP and chief economist at Fannie Mae, said the country’s current economic momentum played a role in January’s more upbeat views of the housing market.

“Consumers are as positive about their personal finances at the start of 2015 as they have been since we launched the National Housing Survey in 2010, and this optimism seems to be spilling over into housing market attitudes,” Duncan said. “Consumers are more optimistic about the environment both for buying and for selling a home today, and the share who plan to own on their next move has jumped back up, reversing a three-month trend toward renting.”

The share of respondents in Fannie Mae’s survey who said their household income is “significantly higher” than it was a year ago climbed 4 percentage points to a survey high of 29 percent, the company reported. Looking ahead, 48 percent said they expect their finances to improve in the next year, also a survey high.

Overall, 44 percent of Americans said they believe the economy is on the right track, an increase of 3 percentage points and only five points less than those saying the economy is headed the wrong way (49 percent).

That optimism spurred 66 percent of those surveyed to say they would buy a home if they had to move, a jump from 61 percent at the end of 2014. The share of those who would rent, meanwhile, slipped after three months of gains, falling to 29 percent.

“Overall, these are good signs to start off 2015 and are consistent with our expectation that strengthening employment and economic activity will boost the speed of the housing recovery,” Duncan said.

 

I read this article at: http://dsnews.com/news/02-09-2015/economic-momentum-drives-consumers-optimism-toward-housing-market?utm_source=DS+Weekly&utm_campaign=a98b7ac983-DS_Weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cc3ebd2b74-a98b7ac983-175410313

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

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

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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 – Sabrina

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

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

 

Report: DOJ Pushing to Charge Individuals for Roles in Mortgage Meltdown

This is a hot topic –  I thought I would repost this article.  I don’t have an answer but I am curious as to you, my readers opinions.  Please comment or email me!

 

Report: DOJ Pushing to Charge Individuals for Roles in Mortgage Meltdown

Author: Tory Barringer

 

Attorney General Eric Holder has given U.S. attorneys across the country 90 days to judge whether or not they want to bring cases against specific individuals for their alleged roles in 2008’s mortgage crisis, according to reports.

Speaking at a National Press Club event on Tuesday, Holder said federal prosecutors who have previously brought charges against firms for selling toxic mortgage-backed securities will be given an opportunity to investigate individual employees for potential charges, Reuters reported.

Holder reportedly told the assembled press that prosecutors will have 90 days to report back on “whether they think they are going to successfully bring criminal or civil cases against those individuals.”

The announcement marks a policy shift for Holder, whose department has taken criticism from consumers and politicians with its failure to go after bank executives and some institutions following the crash. In early 2013, he famously remarked at a Senate committee hearing that the size of some institutions makes it difficult to prosecute them without impacting the economy.

He walked those comments back later, saying, “If we find a bank or financial institution that has done something wrong, if we can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, those cases will be brought.”

The timing of the attorney general’s announcement is also bound to raise questions: With Holder on his way out, the ultimate decision to prosecute would be made by his replacement, who right now is slated to be Loretta Lynch.

“Once again, it appears as though the Administration is looking to bully the mortgage banks, or should I say bankers, instead of restoring faith and confidence into the mortgage banking system,” said Ed Delgado, President and CEO of the Five Star Institute.  “Despite hundreds of billions paid in fines and penalties, it’s not enough.   Today’s announcement from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to seek action against mortgage bankers, just as he is about to leave office, is nothing more than one last attempt to impugn and embarrass an already beleaguered industry.

“Now names and people’s lives have to be destroyed, but to what end? To satisfy what agenda? It begs the question: will a single family benefit from this action? Will a foreclosure be reversed? Or has the matter of seeking justice become politicized to the point, where unless a mortgage executives name and face appear on the cover of the New York Times, charged with some criminal act, there simply will be no measure of satisfaction in the eyes of the government.  It’s a shame that taxpayer money is being spent to further a cause without a means to an end.”

A message left with the department’s Office of Public Affairs was not immediately returned.

 

I read this article at: http://dsnews.com/news/02-17-2015/report-doj-pushing-charge-individuals-roles-mortgage-meltdown

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

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

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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:

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

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

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

 

 

 

The Signs Look Good…

Consumers’ Positive Financial Attitudes a Good Sign for Housing

 

By Katie Penote

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Consumer optimism toward the housing market gained some momentum last month following a dip in December, likely getting a boost from their increasingly positive financial outlook, according to results from Fannie Mae’s January 2015 National Housing Survey™. The share of respondents who said their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago rose 4 percentage points to 29 percent, and the share expecting their personal financial situation to improve over the next year increased to 48 percent – both all-time survey highs. After dropping in December, the share who said it is a good time to buy a home increased 3 percentage points to 67 percent, and the share saying they would buy rather than rent if they were to move jumped 5 percentage points to 66 percent, marking the first increase since September 2014.

“Consumers are as positive about their personal finances at the start of 2015 as they have been since we launched the National Housing Survey in 2010, and this optimism seems to be spilling over into housing market attitudes,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Consumers are more optimistic about the environment both for buying and for selling a home today, and the share who plan to own on their next move has jumped back up, reversing a three-month trend toward renting. These results are in line with lender optimism about future growth in their mortgage origination business, as shown in our Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey™. Overall, these are good signs to start off 2015 and are consistent with our expectation that strengthening employment and economic activity will boost the speed of the housing recovery.”

SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS

Homeownership and Renting

  • The average 12-month home price change expectation rose to 2.5 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months rose to 49 percent. The share who say home prices will go down remained constant at 8 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months decreased by 3 percentage points to 45 percent.
  • Those who say it is a good time to buy a house increased to 67 percent. Those who say it is a good time to sell increased to 44 percent—tying an all-time survey high.
  • The average 12-month rental price change expectation decreased to 3.6 percent.
  • The percentage of respondents who expect home rental prices to go up in the next 12 months fell slightly to 52 percent.
  • The share of respondents who think it would be easy to get a home mortgage today fell to 50 percent, while the share saying it would be difficult to get a mortgage rose 3 percentage points to 47 percent.
  • The share who say they would buy if they were going to move rose to 66 percent, while the share who would rent decreased 5 percentage points to 29 percent.

The Economy and Household Finances

  • The share of respondents who say the economy is on the right track increased by 3 percentage points to 44 percent.
  • The percentage of respondents who expect their personal financial situation to get better over the next 12 months increased to 48 percent—an all-time survey high.
  • The share of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago rose 4 percentage points to 29 percent—an all-time survey high.
  • The share of respondents who say their household expenses are significantly higher than they were 12 months increased to 35 percent.

The most detailed consumer attitudinal survey of its kind, Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey™ polled 1,000 Americans via live telephone interview to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, home and rental price changes, homeownership distress, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence. Homeowners and renters are asked more than 100 questions used to track attitudinal shifts (findings are compared to the same survey conducted monthly beginning June 2010). To reflect the growing share of households with a cell phone but no landline, the National Housing Survey has increased its cell phone dialing rate to 60 percent as of October 2014. For more information, please see the Technical Notes. Fannie Mae conducts this survey and shares monthly and quarterly results so that we may help industry partners and market participants target our collective efforts to stabilize the housing market in the near-term, and provide support in the future.

For detailed findings from the January 2015 survey, as well as technical notes on survey methodology and questions asked of respondents associated with each monthly indicator, please visit the Fannie Mae Monthly National Housing Survey page on fanniemae.com. Also available on the site are in-depth topic analyses, which provide a detailed assessment of combined data results from three monthly studies. The January 2015 National Housing Survey was conducted between January 1, 2015 and January 22, 2015. Most of the data collection occurred during the first two weeks of this period. Interviews were conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, in coordination with Fannie Mae.

 

Opinions, analyses, estimates, forecasts, and other views of Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group included in these materials should not be construed as indicating Fannie Mae’s business prospects or expected results, are based on a number of assumptions, and are subject to change without notice. How this information affects Fannie Mae will depend on many factors. Although the ESR Group bases its opinions, analyses, estimates, forecasts, and other views on information it considers reliable, it does not guarantee that the information provided in these materials is accurate, current, or suitable for any particular purpose. Changes in the assumptions or the information underlying these views could produce materially different results. The analyses, opinions, estimates, forecasts, and other views published by the ESR Group represent the views of that group as of the date indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of Fannie Mae or its management.

 

Fannie Mae enables people to buy, refinance, or rent homes.

Visit us at: http://www.fanniemae.com/progress.

 

I read this article at: http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/about-us/media/corporate-news/2015/6217.html

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

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

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Call us at: 650-568-5522

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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:

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

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

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

 

Home Sales Off to a Bumpy Start in 2015

Home Sales Off to a Bumpy Start in 2015

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS |

Existing-home sales dropped in January to the lowest rate in nine months, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest housing report. All regions across the country saw declines in sales in January, with the Northeast and West posting the largest losses.

Still, the pace of sales was higher than a year ago – at a 4.82 million seasonally adjusted annual rate remains up 3.2 percent compared to a year ago.

“January housing data can be volatile because of seasonal influences, but low housing supply and the ongoing rise in home prices above the pace of inflation appeared to slow sales, despite interest rates remaining near historic lows,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “REALTORS® are reporting that low rates are attracting potential buyers, but the lack of new and affordable listings is leading some to delay decisions.”

5 Stats to Gauge the Market

Here’s a closer look at where the housing market stands, based on NAR’s existing-home sales report for January.

  1. Inventory: Total housing inventory at the end of January rose 0.5 percent to 1.87 million existing homes available but sale. Unsold inventory is at a 4.7-month supply at the current sales pace.
  2. Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types was $199,600 – 6.2 percent above year ago levels. “Although sales cooled in January, home prices continued solid year-over-year growth,” Yun notes. “The labor market and economy are markedly improved compared to a year ago, which supports stronger buyer demand. The big test for housing will be the impact on affordability once rates rise.”
  3. Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales comprised 11 percent of sales in January, down 15 percent from a year ago. Broken out, 8 percent of sales in January were from foreclosures and 3 percent were short sales. The average discount that a foreclosure sold at was 15 percent below market value, while short sales were discounted, on average, 12 percent.
  4. Days on the market: Properties tended to stay on the market slightly longer in January – 69 days compared to 66 days in December. Short sales remained on the market the longest at a median of 128 days, while foreclosures tended to sell in 63 days. Overall, 30 percent of homes sold in January were on the market for less than a month.
  5. Cash sales: All-cash sales made up 27 percent of transactions in January, down from 33 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who account for the bulk of cash sales, purchased 17 percent of homes in January, below the 20 percent in January 2014.

Regional Breakdown

Here’s a closer look at existing-home sales in January across the country:

  • Northeast: existing-home sales dropped 6 percent to an annual rate of 630,000. Sales are 3.3 percent above a year ago. Median price: $247,800, up 2.7 percent from a year ago
  • Midwest: existing-home sales fell 2.7 percent to an annual level of 1.08 million in January. Sales are still 0.9 percent above January 2014 levels. Median price: $151,300, up 8.2 percent from a year ago
  • South: existing-home sales dropped 4.6 percent to an annual rate of 2.07 million in January, but are still 5.6 percent above year ago levels. Median price: $171,900, up 7.4 percent from a year ago
  • West: existing-home sales fell 7.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.04 million in January, but are still 1 percent above a year ago. Median price: $291,800, up 7.2 percent from a year ago.

 

Allow me to add my 2 cents.  On the San Francisco Peninsula – we are experience a HUGE demand for housing.  We actually are having a housing shortage with the volume of people who work on the peninsula and expect to live on the peninsula.  As a result we have seen rental prices soar through the roof!  I can’t even believe I used to rent a two bedroom apartment in 1996 for under $1000 in SAN CARLOS!  Now – a 2 bedroom apartment is going for close to $2500-$3500 A MONTH!  And the East Bay is rapidly capturing our displaced employees – have you seen the bridges these days during commute hours?  Redwood City is one of the few communities that has actually built housing and they are going for a premium.  So if you want to call San Mateo or Santa Clara County home – it’s best you start saving your money and get into the market sooner than later.  The Caton Team is here to help you every step of the way.  Call or email me anytime.

Sabrina

650.568.5522 or sabrina_caton@yahoo.com

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2015/02/24/home-sales-bumpy-start-in-2015?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BU7P7wB8-lmizw&om_ntype=RMODaily

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

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

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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 – Sabrina

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

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

 

Why Homebuyers Need to Act Now

Wow – the article below really stuck a chord with me  – as I just heard one of my buyers “wants to wait”.  I cringe when I hear that – because in my 11 years in this business, and Susan’s 16 years – “waiting” has got our clients no where!

Well, let me rephrase that – those who were able to get back into the market after stepping out – ended up spending more money on less house.  Point Blank – end of story.  I kid you not.  Some of them are still looking and it isn’t getting any easier.  Now maybe the few would couldn’t buy before the financial crises did great “waiting” by buying afterwards – but those folks are far and few between and those days are long behind us.  We have exceeded our pre-bust prices – by far!  And with the way our market has fully recovered, with amazing demand we have for housing on the San Francisco Peninsula and the lack of inventory – waiting means paying more money for less house.  And in some cases not even a house – but a condo or townhouse – or nothing at all.

There is a phrase in Real Estate we use.  Don’t wait and buy real estate – buy real estate and wait!  Once you own your home, you will gain equity as the market continues to climb.  Now I know so many buyers, myself included, that would like to see prices come down a bit – for affordability factors.  However, that’s not likely to happen here on the San Francisco Peninsula.  Do you know how many new office spaces are being built or planed to be built here?  I do.  And it is a lot.  And where are these people going to live?  If you want to rent a place these days – get ready to fork over at least $2000 for a one bedroom apartment if not a studio!  And why waste a good $2000 on rent when a person could easily afford a mortgage payment and actually earn some equity so that you can buy a larger house down the road.

The first home you buy will never be perfect, nice enough, or big enough.  But buy investing in a home – since we all need to live somewhere – a buyer will earn equity that will in turn get them into a better home down the road.  In the long run, you earn more money buying and holding real estate than the stock market or that saving account.

It breaks my heart to hear when person looses steam while trying to buy a home.  Our Bay Area real estate market is very competitive.  Always has, always will.  However, The Caton Team knows how to maneuver through it and have had great success with our buyers who take our sage advice, consider the facts, review our numbers and give it their all.

If you have questions regarding buying or selling – we are here to help – call or email me any time.

Sabrina

650-568-5522

sabrina_Caton@yahoo.com

 

Now for the article…

 

Why Homebuyers Need to Act Now

 

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS

 

Home buyers need to move fast if they want to spend less, notes Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com® in commentary at the site.

“Delayed purchases will only result in higher monthly mortgage payments as prices and rates rise,” Smoke writes. Realtor.com® is forecasting that affordability may decline as much as 10 percent over the year.

The Federal Reserve continues to remind the financial markets that it plans to raise its target federal funds rate this year, which will cause mortgage rates to rise. Many economists are predicting 30-year fixed-rate mortgages to average near 5 percent by the end of the year.

For now, mortgage rates are near historical lows for homebuyers and home owners who can take advantage. Freddie Mac reported last week that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66 percent (last year at this time it averaged 4.32 percent), and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.98 percent (a year ago, it averaged 3.40 percent).

“Right now, the Fed is using the word ‘patient’ to describe its approach to picking the time to raise the target rate,” Smoke notes. “However, when the Fed ‘loses patience,’ rates will go up at least 20 to 40 basis points in anticipation of the target rate officially going up. … So, buyers beware: The clock on these low mortgage rates may be ticking.”

Source: “2015: Buy Now, Before the Fed’s Patience Ends,” realtor.com® (Jan. 30, 2015)

 

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2015/02/04/why-homebuyers-need-act-now?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BU0pLgB8-LaaY2&om_ntype=RMODaily

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

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 OUR NEW INSTAGRAM PAGE: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

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

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

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

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 – Sabrina

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

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

 

 

Warren Buffet is our New Boss!!!! Press Release!!!!

PRESS RELEASE !!!!!

Prudential, Real Living brands to be Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Brookfield Asset Management remains a partner in new brand

BY INMAN NEWS, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2012.

The nation’s second-biggest real estate broker, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. affiliate HomeServices of America Inc., has entered the franchising business by acquiring a majority interest in the Prudential Real Estate and Real Living brands from Brookfield Asset Management.

The Prudential Real Estate and Real Living affiliate networks will be rolled into a new franchise brand, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, that will come online in 2013, the companies said.

HomeServices and Brookfield have formed a joint venture, HSF Affiliates LLC, to operate the Real Living and Prudential Real Estate affiliate networks, whose member brokers employ 53,000 sales associates and closed more than $72 billion in home sales last year.

HomeServices is the majority owner of HSF Affiliates, with Brookfield Asset Management retaining joint ownership. Brookfield’s relocation business, Brookfield Global Relocation Services, will remain wholly owned by Brookfield. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is a new franchise brand built upon the financial strength and leadership of Brookfield and HomeServices,” said Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., in a statement. “I am confident that these partners will deliver value to the residential real estate industry, and I am pleased to have Berkshire Hathaway be a part of the new brand.”

Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of  HomeServices, said the company was “honored and proud to be entrusted with the use of the Berkshire Hathaway name as our new real estate franchise brand.”

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices will be based in Irvine, Calif., and led by Earl Lee, who will serve as chief executive officer. Other key management executives named today are Chief Operating Officer Stephen Phillips, Chief Financial Officer Brian Peterson, and Chief Marketing Officer Aleya Chattopadhyay.

Lee has worked under the Prudential brand since his Hawaii-based company, Locations LLC, joined the Prudential network in 1995. He was president of Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services when it was acquired by Brookfield Residential Property Services for $110 million last year.

Real Living founder and president Harley Rouda Jr. will take over as CEO of Trident Holdings Inc., the parent company of Ohio-based HER Realty Real Living. Rouda said HER Realty does not plan to be affiliated with Real Living or Prudential Real Estate.

Canadian-based Brookfield entered the U.S. market in 2008, by acquiring GMAC Real Estate and merging the company into Real Living the following year.

Phillips served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for GMAC Home Services from 2001 to 2006, and as interim CEO of the GMAC Relocation Services business. Peterson has 24 years of experience in the real estate brokerage and franchising business, including 14 years with Brookfield and GMAC. Chattopadhyay has been with Brookfield since 2003, holding roles in Canada, India and the U.K.

Peltier said that while Minneapolis-based HomeServices is getting into the franchising business to accelerate its growth and build a website that will be a destination for consumers, the company will continue to expand its company-owned brokerage operations.

“The business model we have used to grow for the last 15 years was to identify great companies, regardless of their brand, and own and operate those local companies,” Peltier said. 

Since HomeServices was acquired in 1998 by Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary MidAmerican Energy Holdings Corp., the “independent brand” acquisition strategy has helped the company grow from 4,000 agents in three markets to more than 16,000 agents in 21 states who last year handled sales of homes valued at nearly $32 billion.

Peltier said that while HomeServices will continue to identify brokerages to acquire, own and operate, “being a franchisor, we’ll be in a lot of markets much quicker than (with the) existing strategy” alone.

With consumers typically starting their home search on the Internet, creating a single destination website under the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand will benefit both company-owned brokerages and franchisees, Peltier said.

“At some point, you can’t ignore the fact that if you want to attract customer eyeballs, you have to have a presence on the Internet, and you can’t do it with local independent brands” alone, Peltier said. “You have to have a single brand.”

Company-owned brokerages that operate under independent brands will continue to have the option of pursuing that strategy, while still benefiting from the exposure they will receive from the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices website, he said.

“We will continue to grow and support the independent brand strategy as well,” Peltier said. “We’re adding to our strategy — this is not deleting.”

HomeServices of America’s business model now looks more like the one employed by competitor Realogy Holdings Corp. Although Realogy operates the nation’s largest brokerage company, NRT LLC, most of the company’s 2011 adjusted net earnings came from providing real estate franchise services to companies operating 13,800 offices under the Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA, Sotheby’s International Realty, Coldwell Banker Commercial, and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brands.

HomeServices owns nine brokerages affiliated with Prudential Real Estate, including three acquired this year: Portland, Ore.-based Prudential Northwest Properties, acquired in February; Seattle-based Prudential Northwest Realty Associates, acquired in April; Prudential Connecticut Realty, also acquired in April.

The six other HomeServices brokerages affiliated with Prudential Real Estate are and Prudential California Realty (Southern California), Prudential First Realty (Iowa), Prudential Rhode Island Realty, Prudential Carolinas Realty, Prudential York Simpson Underwood Realty (North Carolina) and Prudential Yost and Little Realty (North Carolina).

HomeServices also owns Koenig & Strey Real Living, a dominant brokerage in the metro Chicago area, which it acquired from Brookfield in 2009.

“This is not a new thought,” Peltier said of the decision to create a national franchise brand, noting that HomeServices was interested in acquiring the Prudential Real Estate brand two years ago. 

When Brookfield acquired the brand instead, it did so knowing it would eventually have to transition to another name — parent company Prudential Financial Inc. made that a condition of the sale.

“They were looking for a great brand, and we were fortunate in that we’d been given permission by our parent” company to use the Berkshire Hathaway name to create a new brand, Peltier said. It’s “an internationally recognized brand that’s currently not being used in commerce.”

According to an amended registration statement Prudential Real Estate Affiliates filed on Jan. 19 with the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Brookfield was barred from signing up new franchisees to operate under the Prudential Real Estate name. Brookfield had the right to renew the right of existing franchisees to operate under the Prudential name for up to five years, but only if their franchise agreements expired on or before Dec. 6, 2013.

All rights to use the Prudential Real Estate name expired at the end of 2027 — when the franchise agreement with the longest term was set to expire — or on the date on which no franchise agreement is in effect, the registration statement said.

Brian Boero, a partner in the real estate technology consulting firm 1000watt, said in a blog post today that while many existing Prudential affiliates “are deeply invested” in the brand, “I think most will jump at the opportunity to associate with Berkshire Hathaway. I’ve heard from some already, and they’re enthused. A conversion process that could have taken a decade will be collapsed into months.”

In filing its updated registration statement with Minnesota regulators, Prudential Real Estate also disclosed recent litigation with several franchisees.

Last year, Prudential Real Estate said it received $1.9 million from Mason McDuffie Real Estate Inc. to settle a breach of contract lawsuit Prudential Real Estate filed against the Pleasanton, Calif.-based brokerage after it switched its franchise affiliation to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate.

Prudential Real Estate also disclosed that it had received settlement payments in 2011 from Prudential Texas Properties and Missouri-based brokerage Carter Duffey Inc.

I read this article at: http://www.inman.com/news/2012/10/30/prudential-real-living-brands-be-berkshire-hathaway-homeservices

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

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

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-cityå

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

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina