Make Your Home More Appealing to Young Buyers

If you are thinking of selling your home in 2017 – now is a good time to think about what your future buyer wants. Great article from Consumer Reports! What are your thoughts?

Make Your Home More Appealing to Young Buyers

By preparing now, you may sell your home faster and at your asking price

By Daniel Bortz

Millennials are powering the housing market. For the third year in a row, Generation Y (age 18 to 35) comprised the largest group of homebuyers, making up 35 percent of all buyers, according to a March report by the National Association of Realtors.

Partly for this reason, homebuilders are increasingly including the attributes that the millennial generation covets when designing new homes, according to a joint survey by the National Association of Home Builders and Better Homes and Gardens.

But what if you’re trying to sell your home—one that may have been around for decades? You may find that figuring out what millennials want can be pretty difficult. “They’re picky,” says Peggy Yee, a supervising broker at Frankly Realtors in Vienna, Va. “Millennials have specific needs, and if your home doesn’t meet them, they’re going to move on to the next house.”

If you’re considering putting your home on the market, you may want to think about doing some renovation work so that your home has greater appeal to younger homebuyers. That way, you may be able to sell your home more quickly and at the price that you want.

Create a Separate Laundry Room

According to the survey from the National Association of Homebuilders, a separate laundry room topped millennials’ wish lists. In fact, 55 percent of respondents said they wouldn’t buy a new home if the laundry wasn’t separate. Since this can be a deal breaker for younger homebuyers, consider converting a small existing room into a laundry room or even building one. Consumer Reports, found that manufacturers are making washer/dryer sets with a matching fit and finish that can integrate into living space—so you could consider having the laundry machines on the second floor. We like the Maytag Bravos ­MVWB855DWHE top-loader and Maytag Bravos ­MEDB855DW electric dryer, $1,050 each.

Buy New Kitchen Appliances

You don’t have to do a major kitchen remodel to sell your home for more—but if your refrigerator, oven, stove, and dishwasher are old, replace them. What should you buy? Consumer Reports rates the best appliances for your kitchen, but one novel idea is to look for new versions of black stainless steel that come from KitchenAid, LG, and Samsung.

Make Your Home Energy Efficient

If your home is energy efficient, you’ll likely sell your home for more. Millennials say they’re willing to pay up to 3 percent more if they think a home’s energy efficiency upgrades will help cut utility costs, according to the NAHB’s survey. But you don’t have to shell out thousands for solar paneling. You can do this inexpensively by adding or improving attic insulation, insulating ductwork, and plugging air leaks around doors and windows with weatherstripping and caulk.

Make Your Home Smart

More than two-thirds of millennials think “smart home” technology is a good investment, the NAHB survey found. But keep in mind that high-tech features can quickly become poor investments because technologies evolve quickly.

While the Nest Thermostat ($250), a heating and cooling control system is popular, Consumer Reports found that the Honeywell RTH9590WF, $300, proved easier to use. Both models can be controlled from a smartphone or computer. You could also consider buying an Amazon Echo ($180), a hands-free speaker system (with a Siri-like virtual assistant) that you can use to play music, make restaurant reservations, and get weather reports—all without having to get up from the couch. These two items, alone, will make your home seem “smart.”

Keyless entry is another attractive home feature for tech savvy millennials, says Yee; August Smart Lock ($200), for example, lets homeowners control door locks via a smartphone app.

Turn a Room Into a Home Office

More employers are allowing workers to telecommute—a shift that’s largely driven by millennials. According to a recent survey from Flexjobs, a job search site, about 85 percent of younger buyers say they want to work remotely full time. Create a home office that appeals to that desire and offers homeowners a nice tax break. It’s also relatively inexpensive to convert a room into an office; a basic desk, office chair, and door should do the trick.

Build a Low-Maintenance Deck

Many millennials don’t want to spend their weekends doing home repairs or maintaining a garden. But they do want to be outside. To sell your home more quickly, Consumer Reports recommends adding a deck or patio, with room for seating and a built-in or freestanding grill. Similarly, since landscaping requires upkeep forgo planting seasonal flowers in favor of perennials, which last for more than two years; peony plants, for example, can survive for decades with minimal care.

I read this article at: http://www.consumerreports.org/money/make-your-home-more-appealing-to-young-buyers/

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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Kitchen of the Week: Style and Storage in a Compact Space

Kitchen of the Week: Style and Storage in a Compact Space

A mix of splurges and saves creates a beautiful new kitchen and entry area “These clients had lived in their house for two years but had not had anyone over because of their kitchen,” says interior designer Donna Gilliam. “One of the homeowners is the best teacher in Nashville, and I wanted to do the best by her.” Gilliam was referring to her daughter’s beloved second-grade teacher, which is how they originally met. By expanding the kitchen a mere 18 inches into the dining room, designing a functional layout with an easy flow and providing smart storage, the designer was able to give this family of four a happy kitchen they are now proud to show off.

Kitchen of the Week

Who lives here: A young and active family of four

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Size: 115 square feet (10.7 square meters) for kitchen area; 30 square feet (2.8 square meters) for mudroom area

Designer: Donna Gilliam of Donna Gilliam Interiors

BEFORE: The kitchen had only about 8 feet of counter space. The cabinets were inefficient and inadequate, and the room was dark. The project was a full gut job that came in just under the clients’ $40,000 budget, thanks to Gilliam’s balance of splurges and saves.

AFTER: As you can see in the left corner of this photo, there is also an exterior door in the room, so Gilliam needed to maintain an easy flow through the space to the door. Her solution was a U-shaped layout packed with storage. In fact, if you were to cut off the room at the backside of the peninsula, the part that truly functions as a kitchen is only 115 square feet. She had to lose the window seen in the “before” photo to place the range and vent hood, but her design made the room so light and bright that it wasn’t missed.

“My client has exquisite taste, and she was armed and ready with Houzz ideabooks,” Gilliam says. “She was not afraid to take risk — rather than going for the popular all-white kitchen, she loved the idea of mixing colors.” This resulted in dark gray lower cabinets with light-colored uppers.

A key jumping-off point was the satin brass her client loves. A local woodworker made the open shelves, which keep the range wall from feeling too heavy with cabinets and bring in a custom element. To save money, Gilliam bought inexpensive silver brackets at Ikea, and her clients spray-painted them satin brass to match the faucet and other hardware.

Clever storage solutions include this built-in spice rack within easy reach of the stovetop.

Gilliam also saved money by reusing her clients’ range and dishwasher, which were in great shape. “If it’s not broken, I try to honor the resource if it doesn’t affect the overall quality of the room,” she says.

Other clever storage solutions include this pullout cutting board, trash and recycling bin storage to the left of the sink, and two rollout drawers for pots and pans to the left of the stove, below.

The idea for the satin brass accents came from this exquisite satin brass faucet that the homeowner had spied in another one of the designer’s projects. It became an absolute must-have for her. “But at $1,100, this faucet was way out of the budget range for a $35,000 to $40,000 kitchen,” Gilliam says. Her client scoured the internet and found a designer on eBay who had bought the faucet for a project but had not used it; she scored it for $386. A standard undermount sink was another cost saver.

“Because we’d saved on the appliances and the faucet, I said, ‘Let’s go all out with the jewelry,’” Gilliam says. In this case, “jewelry” refers to the beautiful backsplash tile, which was handmade in England. “It’s very iridescent, picks up the colors around it and elevates the design,” she says.

BEFORE: At first, her clients thought they should open up the wall behind the refrigerator between the kitchen and the dining room. But Gilliam wasn’t persuaded that making the kitchen huge was the answer or would fit with the style of the 1950s bungalow.

AFTER: Instead, she borrowed about 18 inches from the dining room, extending the kitchen just enough to fit the refrigerator along the adjacent sink wall and to create a pantry-coat closet space behind the wall on the right. She also enlarged the opening to the dining room, giving the space an airier feel and easier flow.

She used an economical maple flooring in the kitchen and stained it to match the existing hardwoods. Placing a 4-inch threshold band between the two rooms rather than weaving the floorboards together was another move that saved money.

Another budget saver was giving the free-standing counter-depth refrigerator a surround, for a built-in look. Counter depth is 24 inches, but the doors on counter-depth refrigerators stick out beyond that measurement. “Making the cabinets just a hair deeper than the standard size of 24 inches to extend all the way to the edge of the doors lends a high-end look on a modest budget,” Gilliam says.

BEFORE: The family had no landing zone after they walked through the door, so their coats, tennis balls, bags and shoes invaded the kitchen space.

AFTER: “We created a mudroom simulation in here, providing drop-off storage, and directing traffic to and from the door,” Gilliam says. In addition to the tall pullout storage pantry for coats, tennis balls and other gear on the left side of photo, the back side of the peninsula has storage cabinets for the landing zone. She hijacked the family photo from the living room and hung it here to welcome everyone.

Gilliam’s tight organization as the project manager during construction also kept costs in check. By making sure everything she needed was on-site before they began construction, she avoided any late-delivery delays and the subsequent domino effect on the subcontractors’ schedule. The entire construction job was completed in less than four weeks.

Her clients enjoy teaching their son to cook now that they have the space. “One of his chores is doing the dishes, and now he actually has somewhere to put them away,” Gilliam says.

“Renovating the kitchen changed the quality of my clients’ lives,” the designer says. “They are so happy to have people over now. Recently she sent me a text that said, ‘I’m happy every time I walk in there.’”

I read this article at: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/70365830?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u3537&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery3

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

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Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

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

 

How People Upgrade Their Main Bathrooms, and How Much They Spend

How People Upgrade Their Main Bathrooms, and How Much They Spend

The latest Houzz Bathroom Trends Study reveals the most common budgets, features and trends in master baths. Now about that tub …

Bathrooms are nearly the most popular room to renovate, just after kitchens. After all, these are important spaces where we spend a good amount of time — several hours a week, in fact.

The 2016 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study, from a research team led by Nino Sitchinava, Houzz’s principal economist, reveals that homeowners renovating their bathrooms are craving stylish, beautiful spaces, with luxurious finishes and big showers. It also found that fewer than half of homeowners who own bathtubs and renovated their master bathroom actually use their tubs.

The study surveyed more than 2,100 Houzz users in the U.S. who own homes and are in the midst of a bathroom project, have recently completed one, or are planning one for 2016. Read on for more insights about how homeowners are upgrading these private spaces.

How much will it cost me? Perhaps the most important consideration for people embarking on a bathroom renovation is how much it will cost. Obviously, the answer will vary widely depending on the finishes selected, as well as the region, since the price tag for labor and materials differs quite a bit by location. On a national basis, the most common budget for, as well as the actual cost of, a master bath renovation is $10,001 to $25,000. Plenty of people spend more, and plenty less, but the majority of master bathroom projects cost between $5,000 and $50,000.

We just can’t stand it anymore. Why renovate the bath? Often, it’s because the homeowner can’t stand the old one anymore. That was the top trigger — cited by 46 percent of renovators — for embarking upon a bath renovation. A close second was finally having the money to do so. Some quotes from surveyed homeowners who had had it with their bathrooms:

  • “Mirrors! Seven-foot mirror on wall over sinks. Mirrors on two sides of Jetta tub. Mirrored closet doors.”
  • “Airplane bathroom-sized shower with no light!!”

“1972 decor with shag rug, flowered wallpaper, fake marble tub and counter, fluorescent lighting; never use tub; poor storage in vanity.”

Upgrading features. More than four in five homeowners renovating a master bath are replacing major features in their bathroom renovations, from showers to floors, countertops to sinks. Notably, far fewer renovators are updating their tubs or tub-shower combos compared with the large share of those addressing showers.

Supersizing the shower. As noted, today’s master bath renovators are all about the shower. While the majority of master bathrooms (75 percent) stay the same size during a renovation, most homeowners — 68 percent — are increasing the size of their showers. About one-third of renovators are bumping up their shower size by at least half.

Rainfall showerheads remain popular, while about one-fifth of master bath renovators installing new showers add a dual shower.

Of those who choose high-tech showers for master bath renovations — and about 9 percent of new showers are high-tech — the most popular special feature is mood lighting. Ooh la la.

Tile still on top for floors.Ceramic or porcelain tile is the most popular flooring material chosen as an update, followed closely by stone tile or slab. Among the most popular stones, marble is king, travertine is a close second, and granite and slate are tied for third.

Ceramic or porcelain tile is also a popular choice for wall surfaces, though it still comes in behind paint.

Hardly anyone takes baths. Most of us are hardly using the bathtub at all these days. More than half of survey respondents who own a bathtub and went through a master bath renovation say they never use a tub in the course of a normal month. No wonder renovators are putting their money into showers instead of tubs.

Move over, toilet bowl cleaner. One in five new toilets and one in 10 new showers in renovated master bathrooms have at least one high-tech feature, according to the survey. The most popular toilet feature is a self-cleaning function — who wouldn’t love to skip the scrub brush? This function is favored by 43 percent of the survey respondents who are going with high-tech toilets.

Really, a self-cleaning toilet? Yes. As an example, a Toto toilet that cleans itself with electrolyzed water debuted this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It can go a year without the need for a human to clean it, the company says.

A change in style. Bathrooms are very personal spaces, so it’s perhaps not so surprising that 90 percent of homeowners who renovate their master bathrooms change the style of their master bathrooms when they upgrade. This chart shows the most popular styles, with contemporary at the top.

Beauty over resale value. Beyond specific features or decor choices, the most appreciated design aspects of renovated master bathrooms are their style and beauty, according to the survey. Far fewer owners, comparatively, value a master bath renovation for adding to resale value — an interesting finding, suggesting that a gorgeous bathroom is worth it just for the soothing factor.

Caring about the room’s beauty and style makes a lot of sense, given that we spend a good amount of time every week in the bathroom. Nearly two-thirds of respondents spend 30 to 60 minutes a day there, while nearly one-quarter spend more than an hour a day. What are those folks doing during all that time? Well, not just getting ready.

Can I put you on hold? More than half of master bathroom renovators surveyed use a mobile device in there at least once a week — about one-third to check email, and 22 percent to make or answer calls.

Where we can accurately pluck our brows. Of course, there’s more than email and texting going on in master baths these days. We’re also getting dressed. On that note, many homeowners are prioritizing good lighting. Other high priorities: having a space that’s easy to clean and disinfect, and where it’s easy to store and find things.

The pros who make our bathrooms beautiful. If you’re not doing a renovation on your own, you’re not alone. A whopping 90 percent of owners who undertook master bathroom renovation projects last year or are planning one this year enlisted or will enlist the help of a professional. That’s up from 78 percent the year before. More than half hired or will hire a general contractor, while one-fifth hired or will hire a bathroom remodeler.

I read this article at: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/71161422?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u3537&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery1

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: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

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

 

Farmers Market List for San Mateo County

Do you love walking through farmers markets and finding yummy, fresh food?  Here is the list of the Farmers Markets in San Mateo County.  P

San Mateo County Farmers Markets

(posted 10.19.2016)

San Mateo County

 

SAN MATEO County (events subject to change)

 

Sundays

 

Belmont CFM

El Camino Real & O’Neill Avenue

 

Burlingame Fresh Mkt CFM

Park Road and Burlingame Avenue

 

Downtown San Mateo CFM

Wells Fargo Parking Lot, corner of 5th Avenue and San Mateo Drive

 

Menlo Park CFM

Chestnut Street parking lot across street from Trader Joe’s

 

PJCC CFM

PJCC 800 Foster City Blvd, Off Hwy 92

 

San Bruno CFM

San Mateo Ave between Jenevein and Sylvan Ave

 

San Carlos

Hot Harvest Nights CFM

700 Block, Laurel St

http://www.cityofsancarlos.org/news/displaynews.asp?NewsID=17

 

 

Tuesdays

 

Kaiser South San Francisco CFM

1200 El Camino

 

San Mateo Tuesday CFM

194 W. 25th Avenue

 

Wednesdays

 

Redwood City Kaiser CFM

Veterans & Maple

 

Rockaway Beach CFM

Rockaway Beach

 

San Mateo Wednesday CFM

San Mateo Event Center

 

Thursdays

 

Daly City Thursday CFM

Serramonte Center, back parking lot, behind Target

The Fresh Market

Burlingame Capuchino Ave and Broadway

 

Saturdays

 

Cow Palace CFM

Cow Palace

 

Daly City Saturday CFM

Serramonte Center, back parking lot, behind Target

 

East Palo Alto Community CFM

550 Bell St

 

Millbrae CFM

200 Block Broadway

 

Redwood City Kiwanis CFM

Parking Lot, Winslow & Middlefield

 

San Mateo Saturday CFM

College of San Mateo parking lot

 

Shoreline Station CFM

Shoreline Station (Kelley & Highway 1)

 

South San Francisco CFM

Orange Memorial Park, Orange Ave. and Tennis Drive

 

 

I read this article at:http://www.seecalifornia.com/events/farmers-market/san-mateo-county.html

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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

13 Things Almost Every Homeowner Forgets to Buy

13 Things Almost Every Homeowner Forgets to Buy

When you first moved into your home, you probably trekked over to Target or logged onto Amazon and stocked up on all of the obvious stuff like light bulbs, a hammer and a few cleaning supplies.

But moving into a new space can be chaotic, and in that chaos, there are always a few things that don’t make it into the shopping cart. And a month later when you’re hanging art, you really wish you’d bought that level.

That’s okay. You’re not alone!  Here are 13 things almost every homeowner forgets to buy:

  1. Level

Have you ever seen a painting or photo in someone’s home that’s just crooked enough to be noticeable? Yeah. That’s really annoying. A level doesn’t just make sure your artwork is straight; you can also use it for hanging shelves, mirrors or sconces.

  1. Guest Towels

You may have purchased a new, plushy set of towels for you and your partner, but chances are you weren’t thinking about towels for your first houseguests. Grab a new set of guest towels so no one is left using your old beach towels to dry off.

Hosting houseguests soon? Check out these five tips for making your guests feel at home.

  1. Oven Mitt

What’s worse than an oven mitt that does a poor job of keeping heat from your hands? Not having an oven mitt at all. No, really – using a dishtowel puts you at risk for serious burns 99.9 percent of the time.

  1. Plunger

It only takes one traumatic bathroom experience before you realize you forgot to buy one of the most important bathroom tools: a plunger. Pro Tip: Hide your plunger with this chic storage idea.

 

  1. Fire Extinguisher

If you remembered to purchase a fire extinguisher, cheers to you! (They’re really important.) However, there is a common misconception that “one kind fits all.” Not true! You actually need a specific kind of extinguisher depending on the type of fire you need to put out. Use this guide to make sure your home is stocked up with the right fire extinguishers.

  1. Mixing Bowls

They may not be as sexy as a mandolin slicer or a new set of knives, but when it comes to your kitchen, mixing bowls are a must-have part of cooking, especially if they’re durable and easy to store.

  1. Coasters

Save yourself the stress of finding drink rings on your new coffee table by purchasing some coasters. There are a lot of options out there, so we suggest going with some that are practical and sturdy without sacrificing style (like this set or this collection).

If you do find yourself with drink rings, don’t panic! Here’s how to take care of the problem.

  1. Food Thermometer

A food thermometer is not just for perfecting a pot roast or an egg-based dessert – it’s important for food safety, too. A food thermometer is essential to making sure your dinner has been cooked (or re-heated) to the correct temperature to prevent illness or contamination.

  1. Paper Towel Holder

Okay, a paper towel holder may not be something that will make or break your kitchen, but we still think it’s nice to have, especially if it’s durable (read: not plastic). After all, you’re likely to use this every day.

  1. Welcome Mat

Think of your entryway as your home’s first impression: it’s the first thing guests will see as they enter your home. All the more reason to deck out your front porch or entryway with a fun, stylish welcome mat!

  1. Salt and Pepper Shakers

You could just use the containers that your salt and pepper came in from the grocery store, but let’s be honest: those are ugly. Salt and pepper shakers are an inexpensive way to show off your decorating personality without sacrificing functionality.

  1. Watering Can

You may have filled your home with houseplants, but how are you going to water them? That’s where a small, easily storable watering can comes in handy. Tip: If you don’t have the storage space for a watering can, snag one of these watering bulbs, instead.

  1. Tea Kettle

No kitchen is complete without a way to boil water for tea and coffee. When it comes to tea kettles, it’s worth it to spend a little more to get a little more – any kettle under $25 can chip or worse, rust! We’ve tested and approved this one from KitchenAid.

 

I read this article at: https://brightnest.com/posts/13-things-almost-every-homeowner-forgets-to-buy?source=digest

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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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: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

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

 

Bubble Watch: Could the Housing Markets in These Top Cities Be Getting Too Hot?

If this isn’t the hottest topic in Real Estate – I don’t know what is.  Enjoy this article from Realtor.com

 

Bubble Watch: Could the Housing Markets in These Top Cities Be Getting Too Hot?

Home prices are skyrocketing faster than inflation. Bidding wars are breaking out. Shacks in the nation’s most scorching real estate markets are selling for over a million bucks. Things seem to be heading up, up, up. Sound familiar?

Déjà vu can be a spooky thing. Some folks these days are beginning to wonder whether the U.S. is seeing another housing bubble, like the one we suffered through beginning in 2007—and a reprise of the bloody financial carnage that followed when it burst.

Well, let’s get this out of the way right now, Chicken Littles of America: The sky isn’t falling, and the real estate market isn’t crashing. There are indeed a few warning clouds on the horizon (more on that below), but things in the world of residential housing are generally safe and steady and continuing to grow. Got that?

Those sky-high prices and ultracompetitive bids we at realtor.com® report on daily are mostly the result of a housing shortage rather than ominous signs of another real estate meltdown. The factors that led to the historic bust—easy-peasy credit for all, rampant flipping, frantic overbuilding—simply aren’t happening today.

In fact, the opposite is true these days.

“Only the most qualified buyers are able to get financing” for mortgages, says our chief economist, Jonathan Smoke.  “Flipping is back to normal. And we’re building about half as many homes as we need.”

As it turns out, not a single big metropolis in the good ol’ USA—that’s right, not even San Francisco or New York—appears to be “bubblicious,” says Smoke, who carried out an analysis of the 50 largest metropolitan markets in the country. During the bubble, home values were dramatically inflated, making the high prices unsustainable.

There are, however, a few super-duper expensive cities (San Jose, we’re looking at you) where the real estate market is showing signs of overheating, according to Smoke’s analysis. That means the high prices can’t be sustained—because as we all learned from high school (grade school?) science class, what heats up must eventually cool down.

In those smoking-hot markets, Smoke expects the relentless rate of price increases to eventually slow, or even dip, when prices hit a point that buyers can no longer afford.

“There are places that have risks,” Smoke says. “But even those places do not resemble what they looked like in their actual bubble years.”

To reach this conclusion, Smoke and the realtor.com data team analyzed 50 major housing markets from 2001 through 2015, using 2001 as a baseline year.

(Critics will be quick to point out that the country was just coming out of the dot-com bust in 2001, and then there were the terrorist attacks of 9/11. But despite those factors, housing experts consider 2001 to be the most normal, recent year before the bust, when homes were considered fairly valued. It is also the earliest year for which all the data were available.)

Smoke and his team then created an index of the six factors that create a housing bubble to assess whether any of these 50 markets were overheating. Here are the criteria:

  • Price appreciation: Are home values shooting up to abnormally high levels, outpacing inflation?
  • Home flipping: Are more homes being bought and sold for a profit within a year?
  • Mortgages:Is there a larger share of buyers getting mortgages, which they potentially could default on? Or are they paying in cash?
  • Home prices compared with wages:Are homes more expensive now for locals earning the local median income than they were in the past?
  • Home prices compared with rent prices:How do the costs of buying today compare with the costs of renting historically?
  • Construction: Are too many homes being built to meet the needs of the area’s population? If so, that could spell trouble.

We’ll say it again: None of the cities below is in a bubble. However, the top six cities—San Jose and San Francisco, CA; Austin, TX; Salt Lake City; Dallas; and Los Angeles—do show signs of overheating as prices continue to zoom up. The next four on the list—Fresno, CA; Buffalo, NY; Charleston, SC; and Portland, OR—show some elevated risk, but they seem to still have plenty of room to grow.

Let’s go to the list!

  1. San Jose, CA

Median list price: $981,500

Bubble index compared with 2001: +19%

Bubble index compared with market peak: -18%

This Silicon Valley hot spot shows the most signs of overheating, no doubt because prices jumped a whopping 10% last year when adjusted for inflation. That’s a year of seriously accelerated growth, even for the San Francisco Bay Area. Buyers are paying a premium to live in San Jose because there simply aren’t enough homes to go around, even with new construction.

But unlike the subprime borrowers who were scooping up homes before 2007, today’s buyers can actually afford the higher prices. About a quarter to a third of local real estate agent Nicki Brown’s sales are all-cash. Or the buyers are plunking down 30% to 50% on properties going for $2 million and up, says Brown, who’s with Alain Pinel Realtors.

  1. San Francisco, CA

Median list price: $855,000

Bubble index compared with 2001: +19%

Bubble index compared with market peak: -26%

Prices in neighboring San Francisco are likewise out of reach for many buyers due to the lack of residences for sale. But like their neighbors to the south in San Jose, plenty of well-paid San Franciscans can afford these properties.

Still, the insane bidding wars of previous years are tapering off as more newly constructed condos are coming online, says Patrick Carlisle, chief market analyst at local brokerage Paragon Real Estate. Luxury homes in the multimillion-dollar range are sitting on the market longer. And the area, which has seen a flood of new residents move in for work over the past few years, has recently been shedding tech jobs.

“After four years of a desperate, overheated, overbidding market … we’re in a transition to a more normal market,” Carlisle says.

  1. Austin, TX

Median list price: $400,000

Bubble index compared with 2001: +17%

Bubble index compared with market peak: -1%

The funky city, a bright blue spot in a deeply red state, may appear riskier than ever at just 1% below its peak. But it’s important to note that the recession didn’t hit Austin nearly as hard as other parts of the country. The city, with its growing tech sector, earned a spot on this list, because the cost of homeownership has since shot up as more people move to the recently crowned top city for millennial buyers.

But rather than crashing, prices will cool, says local real estate agent Josh Bushner of Private Label Realty. “The rate of increases has to slow down, unless everyone gets a 20% raise tomorrow,” he says.

  1. Salt Lake City, UT

Median list price: $347,200

Bubble index compared with 2001: +14%

Bubble index compared with market peak: -20%

The outdoorsy metropolis earned a spot on this list because home prices and rents have been rising faster than in the past, but prices are already starting to cool. Last year, they rose 6%—a full percentage point below the 7% national average. And unlike in many other cities, builders are actually putting up more of those sorely needed new homes.

Many of these residences are rising in new subdivisions about 30 minutes from the city limits, says local real estate agent Brook Bernier of Equity Real Estate. There are also new condo and apartment buildings under construction within Salt Lake City.

“Our economy is booming,” Bernier says, noting that more companies are moving to the area. That, combined with still relatively lower prices, means even “people with student loans can still afford a home.”

  1. Dallas, TX

Median list price: $335,000

Bubble index compared with 2001: +13%

Bubble index compared with market peak: -2%

Being so close to the previous peak of the real estate market, right before it crashed, may give Dallas homeowners and buyers the sweats. But it’s worth noting that, like Austin, the city wasn’t socked quite as hard as other major metros by that housing bust.

Although the local oil industry took a beating, prices in the Texas city still ballooned 9% last year. That’s because more companies are moving and expanding into the area, such as Toyota relocating its North American headquarters from California to nearby Plano, TX. Life beyond oil—it’s a wonderful thing!

“Is it scary that prices are up [9%]? Yes, it is,” says local real estate agent Debbie Murray of Allie Beth Allman & Associates. “But if the demand stays where we are, I don’t see prices coming down anytime soon.”

  1. Los Angeles, CA

Median list price: $690,000

Bubble index compared with 2001: +10%

Bubble index compared with market peak: -35%

The City of Angels shows signs of overheating as prices are up, construction is lagging demand, and there’s more home flipping in the celebrity hot spot than in most other parts of the country,

But the palm tree–lined West Coast mecca has steadily been moving out of the housing bubble danger zone, says Smoke.

“The Los Angeles market looked more overheated two years ago than it does now,” he says. “Price gains and flipping activity have both moderated from more intense levels.”

  1. Fresno, CA

Median list price: $272,100

Bubble index compared with 2001: +9%

Bubble index compared with market peak: -31%

While Fresno doesn’t appear to be overheating, prices are rising at higher rates than they have historically.

But the agricultural area, which is still reasonably priced, doesn’t appear headed for a bust.

“There were a lot of [home] flips three years ago,” says local real estate broker Alejandra Charest of Guarantee Real Estate. “Now it’s a struggle to find one.”

  1. Buffalo, NY

Median list price: $159,900

Bubble index compared with 2001: +7%

Bubble index compared with market peak: -1%

The former industrial powerhouse has fallen on hard times as manufacturing jobs have moved abroad, so it may come as a surprise that Buffalo made this list.

But although locals are still moving out (freeing up homes for buyers), home flipping and the number of new residences under construction are up.

“This could simply be [because] the housing stock needs an upgrade,” Smoke says of the construction. “Its age of housing is substantially older than the rest of the country.”

The city has also been experiencing a resurgence of sorts. Rundown buildings along the waterfront are being transformed into condos and apartments. Nearby shops and restaurants and a green space for outdoor events have sprouted.

“Buffalo has turned a corner,” says local real estate broker Ryan Connolly of Re/Max North.

  1. Charleston, SC

Median list price: $322,300

Bubble index compared with 2001: +7%

Bubble index compared with market peak: -20%

Prices in this coastal city, where horse-drawn carriages still run on the cobblestone streets, have been shooting up faster than they have historically. But the city’s economy is growing and unemployment has been steadily falling, reaching its lowest level in May since early 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“We’re not really seeing incomes go up at the same rate as [home] prices,” Smoke says. But Charleston also has more high-paying jobs now than it has in the past. And compared with, say, Silicon Valley, buying a home in Charleston is still a relative bargain.

  1. Portland, OR

Median list price: $428,600

Bubble index compared with 2001: +6%

Bubble index compared with market peak: -26%

Portland may be known for its laid-back vibe, but lately, local buyers have been anything but. The housing shortage has led to fierce bidding wars and soaring prices—11% just in 2015—as more people move into the city while local laws and sluggish construction still limit the number of new residences that can be built.

However, buyers are still able to afford the price tags that are heavy on the zeroes.

“Buyers are concerned because prices have gone up so dramatically,” says local real estate agent Deb Counts-Tabor of Oregon Realty. “But this is basic Econ 101: supply and demand. And until one of those eases, prices will stay higher.”

 

I read this article at: http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/housing-bubble-2/?identityID=9851214&MID=2016_0722_WeeklyNL&RID=353497822&cid=eml-2016-0715-WeeklyNL-blog_1_housingbubble2-blogs_trends

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

 

10 Ways Homebuyers can Improve Credit Scores

10 ways homebuyers can improve credit scores

Buyers will find it easier to get a home loan using these tips…

 

by Johnson Fedrick

 

Key Takeaways

  • It’s better to have two credit cards if you are a definite credit card spender.
  • Maintain a good mix of good and bad loan, AKA a healthy credit mix.
  • Close your unwanted savings bank accounts.

 

Real estate is a booming business in the world. To get loans quickly, potential homebuyers need to keep an eye on their finances and credit.

 

Below, you will find 10 general tips that will help ease the process of acquiring a home loan by improving credit scores.

 

  1. Always pay on time

No lender likes to lend money to an individual who has a repeated record of missing his payments. This indicates a lack of discipline and poor financial management, and it leads to a bad impression on paper.

Whether it was intentional or due to genuine reasons is immaterial. If you have a frequent history of missing your equated monthly installment (EMI), you will end up with a lower FICO score.

 

  1. Keep your credit owed within limits

A good ratio is not having your unsecured credit outstanding above 50 percent of your annual salary. Keep your credit card balances within half of the allowed limit. If you have $10,000 as your limit, then it is wise to restrict your statement amount to $5,000.

 

  1. Always pay your dues on time, in full

This is one of the most important tips to improve credit score: On-time payments improve your credit score tremendously. It carries almost a 40 percent weight on your score. So try not to miss your due dates for EMIs and monthly payments.

Nobody likes a person who cannot keep up his or her word, especially with banks. So pay in full and on time. Why should you suffer unnecessary late payment charges and interest?

 

  1. Use two credit cards if you are a definite credit card spender

This is good and bad advice at the same time. FICO does not consider spending money on two credit cards as one. But if you have two credit cards, you can keep your usage percentage in control.

For example, if you have a credit card with a limit of $20,000, and you charge $15,000 on it, you’ve used 75 percent of your credit limit.

Now if you split your amount into two, and spend $7,500 each, then the percentage of usage will be around 37 percent. So it helps you in the eyes of FICO.

Now, don’t go on a credit card shopping spree.

 

  1. Maintain a good mix of good and bad loans — AKA, a healthy credit mix

Home loans and business loans are considered good loans. Personal loans and credit are considered bad loans.

That is why investing in a home loan if you are a spendthrift is a better decision. You will have a good credit mix and be building an asset.

 

  1. Pay high-interest loans and small loans first

It is a prudent decision to pay your home loans over longer periods. Pay off your personal loans, credit cards and private loans first, as they tend to have a higher interest (typically 15 percent to 36 percent) with no asset creation.

Home loans, on the other hand, are just 9 percent to 11 percent, but they build an asset. This is one of the underutilized logical tips to improve credit score.

 

  1. Close your unwanted savings accounts

Many people tend to abandon their savings accounts without closing them. If you have less than your Minimum Average Balance (MAB), it will start to affect your credit score. Also, when you finish a loan, it’s imperative to get the loan closure certificate.

 

  1. Check your credit reports regularly

Credit reports can be availed for a minimal cost. You can obtain them from the official FICO site. Just pay online and check your credit score at least once in a year, so that you can seek clarification on any mistake and have it sorted. There have been cases when banks report you to FICO by mistake.

 

  1. Monitor your co-signed joint accounts properly

In instances of co-signing a loan or maintaining a joint credit account, be careful when dealing with someone outside your close family. You need to monitor the statements closely to make sure everything is in order.

There is no use complaining if you chose the wrong joint holder who was careless.

 

  1. Negotiate if you cannot pay on time

This is also one of best tips to improve credit score. People often know that they would not be able to pay their bills in advance. Regardless, they do not take any action.

If you know you will not be able to pay on time, negotiate with your bank. Banks will be willing to extend your loan period and reduce the EMI if they see a genuine customer.

It might hurt, but you will make a good impression, and the bank will see you are honest.

 

So these are some of the tips to keep your credit score in check and get a home loan easily.

I read this article at: http://www.inman.com/2016/07/13/10-ways-homebuyers-can-improve-credit-scores/?utm_source=emailsubscribers&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=inmanbest&utm_content=1

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 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: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

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