The Caton Team and Landed – Teacher Down Payment Assistance Program

For those of you in the know – you may have heard of the Landed Grant for local teachers.  It is an amazing down payment assistance program to keep our teachers here – with us.

In July of 2017 we heard about the program and we reached out to Landed directly – eager to work with local teachers and keep their talent in our local schools.

Since then, we’ve had the pleasure of working with a couple of Landed teachers and I am so proud to say – The Caton Team got them into HOMES! 

The Real Estate Market in the Bay Area has been booming with no signs of stopping.  When we sat down with our Landed clients we made sure we knew their time line and they knew how the market works.  It didn’t take them long to see how quickly homes were selling and truly how competitive it is.  

Sometimes in order to succeed you’ve got to go against the crowds and in order for us to get homes – not condos for our teachers we did have to go against the grain.  But with their trust and determination – together we were able to find them a lovely home – and make an offer without any competition.

It was an amazing moment for us.  Our client realized the speed of the market and adjusted their course.  They had their eyes on a home that didn’t sell right away and we had a chance to be the only offer, to offer below list price and have time for contingencies – terms we rarely see anymore.  The seller and their agent were wonderful to work with – and together we mades their dreams come true.

You don’t need to be a teacher to put us to work.  The Caton Team are full time Realtors, with over 35 years of combined, local real estate experience.  We work hard for each of our clients to turn their dreams into realty.  How can The Caton Team help you?

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help. We are but a call or click away!

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 35 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

To learn more about Landed visit:  https://www.landed.com

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

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

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

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

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

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

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

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.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

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

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

 

Please note –

Landed is not exclusively for traditional, classroom teachers.

Landed believes that education doesn’t happen just in the classroom; it also happens in the hallways, in the cafeteria, in the gym, in the guidance counselor’s office, in the bandroom… Schools are like a village: there are many different people playing many different roles and it takes each and every one of them to build a healthy environment for our students.

Landed’s mission is to uphold those who uphold us, and that means upholding each and every person pulling their weight to educate America’s future. All staff members who have worked for a minimum of two years at least part-time in a partner public or partner charter school are eligible to use Landed’s down payment support. This includes classroom teachers, coaches, interventionists, speech-language pathologists, psychologists, nurses, administrators, social workers, occupational therapists, department chairs, security guards, physical therapists, janitors, principals, and the many more valuable professionals working tirelessly to make a difference in students’ lives everyday.

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

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

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 and the information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. 

 

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How to Lower Utility Costs for Any Home

 

You may be able to decrease utility costs with just a few energy upgrades and tweaks. “There are so many small changes people can make to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, and it all adds up to significantly lower energy bills and a smaller environmental footprint,” says Christina Kielich of the U.S. Department of Energy. Kielich and home energy auditor Erlend Kimmich offered the following tips on Curbed.com about how to cut energy costs in a home, including:

Replace lightbulbs. The typical American household spends 5 to 10 percent of its energy budget on lighting alone, according to the DOE. Replace incandescent lightbulbs with LEDs, which on average are 85 percent more energy-efficient. You can shave $100 a year on your energy costs by making the switch.

Unplug. Leaving cellphones, TVs, computers, and other electronic devices plugged in can continue to pull power from the grid. That can add up over time. Unplug devices or plug your electronics into power strips that you can easily turn off whenever they’re not being used.

Use an automatic thermostat. Save up to 10 percent on your annual heating and cooling costs by just dropping the thermostat 7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit from its normal setting for eight hours a day. An automatic thermostat, which can be purchased for just $18, can help to more easily adjust the thermostat during the day and cut energy use, too.

Seal your attic and basement. For a more substantial investment, seal and insulate the attic and basement—basically the top and bottom of your home, says Kimmich. “Especially if the house was built before World War II, that’s where you tend to find the most leakage,” Kimmich adds. “Think of your home’s air sealing and insulation like a windbreaker worn over a sweater. If there’s a rip or you leave the windbreaker unbuttoned, it can’t really help. So we fix the sweater by making the insulation more substantial and we improve that air seal anywhere the indoor space is connected to the outdoor space.”

Get more tips from Curbed.com and view the DOE’s instructions for DIY jobs like sealing air leaks with caulk, which could potentially offer energy savings of 10 percent to 20 percent.

Source: “How to Make Your Home Energy Efficient,” Curbed.com (Feb. 23, 2018)

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help. We are but a call or click away!

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2018/03/16/how-make-any-home-more-energy-savvy?tp=i-H43-Bb-1ma-2WEoU-1p-EHi7-1c-2WFwg-15LVaY&om_rid=37236114&Om_ntype=RMOdaily&om_mid=6856

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

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

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

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

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

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

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

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.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 LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

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

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

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

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 and the information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Are You Being Spied On During Showings?

I thought I would share this article because it has become top of mind as I show homes.  I am all for home security – but spying on a buyer to find out how much they like they house – well in that case – let’s be flies on the wall during seller negotiations.  In the end – it would be best if sellers posted a notice that there is surveillance  so an agent can have the home talk privately.  

Be careful: You may be under surveillance when touring a property. Some sellers are using surveillance cameras inside their home to record the sight and sound as prospective buyers walk through.

The increase in these home recordings—many from security systems that owners already have installed—are raising some concerns surrounding privacy in real estate transactions, MarketWatch reports.

Jill Comfort, a real estate pro in Phoenix, told MarketWatch she recalls recently walking through a home with her client and spotting several surveillance cameras that appeared to be “following us” and that made her and her client feel “awkward.”

“I can understand where some sellers are leery of strangers walking through their house, but that’s what happens when you put your house on the market,” Comfort says.

Andie DeFelice, a broker with Savannah-based Exclusive Buyer’s Realty Inc. and the president of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents, said she was unaware she and her client had been watched by the seller last fall when they toured. That is, until after the deal settled and the client was meeting a neighbor who informed him, “I just want you to know the guy who sold the house knew he had a buyer the minute you walked through.” The neighbor was able to repeat the conversation between the client and broker when they had first toured the property.

“It’s one of those things where it is the person’s home, they have the right to do whatever—but you feel a little violated,” DeFelice says.

Sellers may be “desperate” for feedback and turn to recorders to get it, says Ilyce Glink, author of 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask.

Brokers may want to hang a sign in the home or include a note on the listing form to alert other real estate professionals that there is a surveillance device on the property.

Source: “Home Sellers Now Use Spycams to Gather Intel on Prospective Buyers During Open Houses,” MarketWatch (March 15, 2018)

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help. We are but a call or click away!

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2018/03/16/are-you-being-spied-during-showings?tp=i-H43-Bb-1ma-2WEoU-1p-EHi7-1c-2WFwg-15LVaY&om_rid=37236114&Om_ntype=RMOdaily&om_mid=6856

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

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

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

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

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

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

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

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.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 LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

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

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

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

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 and the information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

There Goes the Neighborhood! 7 Landscaping Decisions Sure to Make the Neighbors Mad

 

Your neighbors couldn’t care less about what you keep on the mantel above your fireplace. And they wouldn’t expect you to check with them before you pick out new paint for your bathroom.

Your yard, however, is a very different matter.

Yes, the exterior of your house is still your property. Technically—unless you live in a prohibitive homeowners association—you can do what you like. But everyone else can see it … which will mean they care.

A lot.

“What upsets neighbors the most isn’t interpersonal,” explains Cassy Aoyagi, president of FormLA Landscaping, a high-end, sustainable landscaping firm in Los Angeles. “It’s property decisions that affect the neighborhood.”

Here are some of the landscaping decisions that are sure to give your neighbors something to complain about—possibly for years to come.

1. Gravelscaping

In an attempt to save water, some people transform their front yard or garden into a rockscape. It’s a well-intentioned gesture, but if “Lots of rocks, hold the grass” doesn’t fit your natural climate, these dry landscapes can become a heated neighborhood topic—literally.

“Here in Los Angeles, gravelscaping can amplify heat throughout the city and increase run-off, making neighboring properties less comfortable,” Aoyagi says.

Since rocks don’t absorb water, a gravelscaped yard sheds extra water. That means that your rockscape could even put your neighborhood at risk of flooding in high-water years, Aoyagi notes. Do you really want to be that neighbor?

2. Taking down trees

Blame it on the Lorax. Or Shel Silverstein’s tear-jerking picture book “The Giving Tree.” If you try to chop down a mature tree on your property, your neighbors Will. Be. Aghast.

“Trees cool properties and neighborhoods. They increase property values, not just for homeowners, but for their neighbors and communities,” Aoyagi says. “People simply grow very attached to them.”

3. Playing fast and loose with water

If you live in an area that’s fighting drought, maybe you shouldn’t put in, say, a koi pond or some other elaborate water feature.

“You definitely don’t want to be seen watering the sidewalk,” Aoyagi adds.

Even if you aren’t reenacting “Waterworld,” beware of the vibes your yard is giving off. Neighbors will scrutinize that oh-so-green grass and could jump to conclusions.

“Even a lush lawn can have people rolling their eyes, if it isn’t a lawn alternative with smart irrigation,” she says.

4. Using leaf blowers

Leaf blowers are the quickest way you’ll get to know your neighbors—but not in the “Hey, let’s be friends” type of way.

No, every time you fire up a leaf blower, you’re launching a sensory assault on your neighbors. That’s no understatement: The most powerful models can create noise levels as high as an ear-piercing 112 decibels. Studies have even shown that the effects of that kind of noise can cause hypertension and heart disease.

And it isn’t just the aggressive, brain-rattling noise that’s bothersome.

“One blower pollutes (as much as) a freeway full of cars, and blows pollen and pollutants from the ground into the air, aggravating asthma and allergies,” Aoyagi points out.

5. Letting your landscape grow wild

Can’t tell a hydrangea from a hibiscus? (And don’t care?) Does spending a weekend pruning trees sound like your own personal hell?

If you live in a rural area with large properties, no one may notice if you give up on your yard. But if you’re in a residential development, your neighbors will seethe at record speed.

“One unkempt, overflowing trash bin can bring rats,” Aoyagi notes. “A neighbor’s rundown garden can also decrease the appraised value of a home.”

Bottom line: “Whatever you have, stay on top of it,” she says.

6. Going overboard with the holiday decorations

You know what we’re talking about: amazingly bright lights that shine into nearby homes. Music your neighbors can hear while they’re home—with the doors closed. And maybe that realistic reproduction of the creepy clown from “It” cracks you up, but isn’t such a hit with the young kids next door.

And don’t forget the nightly crawl of traffic that over-the-top displays bring.

“If your decorations attract a steady procession of admirers, make sure you have a plan to keep (them) from making your neighbors’ lawns look like someone pulled a ‘trick’ on them,” advises Jennifer Susanne Sommers, a luxury real estate specialist for Nestler Poletto Sotheby’s International Realty in Boca Raton, FL.

Plus, all that traffic can make it hard to get in and out of the neighborhood—and that certainly won’t endear you to your neighbors either, Sommers adds.

7. Planting the wrong shrubs

Forget the aesthetics for a sec. The landscaping you select can be not only an eyesore, but potentially hazardous—to neighborhood pets, at least.

Case in point: oleander, a plant that’s popular in the South and Southwest.

“It flowers beautifully, but it can be a danger to pets if they eat the leaves,” cautions David Meek, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Arizona Realty in Scottsdale, AZ.

Oleander contains a cardiac toxin, he explains, and fewer than 20 ingested leaves would be lethal to an animal the size of a horse.

Throw up a few hedges of oleander—especially in areas where HOAs urge residents not to—and you’ll have some unhappy neighbors to deal with.

Curious what your thoughts are!

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help. We are but a call or click away!

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: https://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/landscaping-decisions-neighbors-mad/?identityID=9851214&MID=2018_0316_WeeklyNL_control&RID=353497822&cid=eml-2018-0309-WeeklyNL-blog_4_badlandscaping-blogs_trends

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

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

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

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

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

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

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

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.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 LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

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

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

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

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 and the information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

 

Where Homes Are Flying Off the Market—and Where They’re Lingering Longest

Where Homes Are Flying Off the Market—and Where They’re Lingering Longest

Why do home buyers and sellers alike track days-on-market stats every bit as obsessively as money managers fixate on the Dow, baseball fans on weight-on-base averages, or “Bachelor” fans on ambush breakups? Well, it all depends on which side of the sales aisle you’re on. Sellers, of course, want their homes to move to closing as quickly as possible, maybe even spurring a sweet price war en route. Buyers, on the other hand, are eager to avoid said price wars and maybe even have a bunch of different homes to choose from.

But contrary to what you might assume from reading real estate news headlines, there are metro areas where homes aren’t being snapped up at a breakneck pace. It’s a big country, after all. So we got curious. What could we learn from how long homes spend on the market in different metros?

Buyers and sellers, take note(s)!

“That info can give home buyers an idea of how much competition they face, how limited homes are in the market, and how quickly they need to make a decision if they find a home they like,” says Chief Economist Danielle Hale of realtor.com.

And sellers can get a reality check about how long their home should spend on the market—if it’s priced right and in good condition.

“It helps them get an idea of how long they have to move somewhere else,” Hale says. “In a really hot market, you can probably sell your home without making updates. But if you make updates, your home is more competitive.”

Nationally, the median number of days on the market is falling—there are too many buyers and not enough properties for sale, particularly in booming tech hubs. It hit a low of 60 days in the high-home-buying season of both May and June 2017, according to realtor.com data. That’s down from 89 days in June 2012. (Our data go back only to May 2012.)

To figure out where these home-buying headaches are the worst (or are relatively painless), we looked at the median number of days that for-sale homes in the 300 largest metros spent on market from February 2017 through January 2018.* We limited our rankings to just one metro per state to ensure some geographic diversity.

Ready? Get set? Let’s first go look at those boiling-hot metros where homes spend the least time on market.

1. San Jose, CA

Median days on market: 28.6

Median list price: $1,100,300

When it comes to high-tech jobs with correspondingly high paychecks—and a soaring real estate market—nothing can compete with San Jose. The sprawling city is the heart of Silicon Valley.

As a result of those movin’-like-flapjack homes and the resulting availability shortage, median list prices in the metro rose nearly 26.4% year over year as of February, according to realtor.com data.

Local real estate broker associate Zaid Hanna, of Intero Real Estate Services, routinely receives five to 70—yes, 70—offers per property if it’s not priced outrageously. He received nearly two dozen offers for one three-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom abode that was listed at $829,000. It wound up selling for $960,000. That’s $131,000 over asking price, and had a down payment of $600,000. And this was a property that hadn’t been updated in 35 years!

It’s not uncommon for homes to go for $100,000 to $400,000 over the asking price, Hanna says. Ouch.

“There no shortage of buyers—many of them well-heeled—in Santa Clara County, where so many tech giants are located and jobs, generally, have lately been on the rebound,” says area real estate broker associate Dawn Thomas, of Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty.  “Buyers are ‘burning’ through inventory with [still] low-interest rates.”

2. Seattle, WA

Median days on market: 34.1

Median list price: $499,950

Homes are flying off their blocks in the birthplace of Amazon and Microsoft almost as quickly as in Silicon Valley.

“Anything on the market that is halfway decent is selling immediately with multiple offers,” says Annie Radecki, senior manager at John Burns Real Estate Consulting Seattle. “New-home builders used to sell first come, first served. But more than half of them have converted to selling to the highest and best offer.”

That’s because the economy is strong with plenty of well-paid employees needing places to live. But the home shortage—as well as skyrocketing prices—is leading more buyers to venture farther out from the city limits.

Take Tacoma, about 35 miles from Seattle, where the median list price is a much more reasonable $270,000, according to realtor.com data. But prices are rising there as well. Prices jumped about 13.9% from December 2016 to December 2017, according to the most recent realtor.com data.

They were up 16.9% year over year in Seattle over the same period, according to realtor.com data.

“It’s so hot that one would have to drive an hour and a half at rush hour from downtown Seattle to get a better inventory situation,” Radecki adds. That means to find an area with a better stock of homes on the market buyers have to commute 30 to 40 miles to the north, south, or east.

3. Salt Lake City, UT

Median days on market: 38.2

Median list price: $372,450

People are flocking to Utah, particularly Salt Lake City, like luna moths to flame.

That’s probably because the economy is booming with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S., ringing in at just 2.7% in December 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s leading to plenty of transplants. The city is expected to gain an additional 600,000 residents over the next 50 years, according to a University of Utah research brief.

Pair that with a relatively low cost of living, compared with some of the other cities on our list, a great public transportation system, and nearby ski slopes, and you have yourself a great big shortage of homes for sale.

“Anything under $350,000 is selling pretty easily,” says Brook Bernier, a Realtor® with Hot Property Utah. She listed one home just outside the city limits for about $285,000. Within a few days, she had three offers at $300,000. “We have zero days on market with some places—no sign even goes out because it’s already gone.”

4. Denver, CO

Median days on market: 39.2

Median list price: $543,572

Buyers can’t seem to get enough of Denver. In recent years, the capital of Colorado has been drawing swaths of millennials to its outdoorsy lifestyle and vibrant nightlife. (Legal recreational marijuana probably doesn’t hurt either.)

But in addition to all the perks, the city is also home to a robust technology scene—albeit one with a cost of living well below that of Silicon Valley. And now many newcomers who have been renting are ready to purchase homes. Unfortunately, like the other metros on the list, there are few homes to buy.

Entry-level listings, from around $300,000 to $450,000, get snapped up in minutes, say local real estate professionals. However, that demand flows up to homes priced at over $1 million. The city basically has the lowest amount of inventory its seen, with just around 3,300 homes on the market.

“We make jokes that buyers are walking into homes on fire saying, ‘I’ll take it,’” says Jeff Plous with ONE Realty. “I try to tell clients to wait and be patient, keep calm. But prices seem to keep going up.”

5. Nashville, TN

Median days on market: 40.6

Median list price: $359,950

The Country Music Capital is booming these days—a Southern hub for millennial techies, foodies, makers of craft beer and spirits, and indie fashion labels. That has translated into the area receiving an influx of about 100 new residents per day, many of whom are looking to buy real estate. That’s led to the inventory shortage and rising prices.

These days, downtown condos are selling quickly for well over $600,000, says local real estate professional Lisa Peebles Chagnon of Benchmark Realty.

She had one Midtown listing that sold so quickly, she didn’t even have to enter it into the multiple listing service, the database of real estate listings.

“We put it in the MLS after the fact for comp purposes only,” she says. “That happens a lot these days.”

———

Rounding out the metros with the fewest median days on the market are Portland, OR (44.3); Boise, ID (46); Sioux Falls, SD (46.8); Omaha, NE (47.2); and Minneapolis (47.3).

Need to slow down a bit? Let’s take a look at the other end of the market, where homes are taking the longest to sell.

 

Take your time: Where homes sit on the market the longest…

1. Claremont, NH

Median days on market: 138.8

Median list price: $245,300

The small town of Claremont has an idyllic downtown punctuated with historic buildings dating from the 1830s to the 20th century. These range from wood-frame Greek Revival buildings to the ornate Queen Anne/Colonial Revival Hotel Claremont and the Italian Renaissance Revival Opera House.

However, the real estate market isn’t quite as strong as its architecture. The population has decreased (3% from 2010 to July 2016), and the property taxes are far higher than in nearby areas. However, there is no sales or income tax in the state.

In Claremont, the property tax rate is nearly a whopping $43 per $1,000 of home value, which is considered a factor in the low demand, according to Housing Solutions Real Estate, which sells property.

Just 35 minutes away, in Hanover, NH, home to the University of New Hampshire, Dartmouth College, and a highly coveted public school district, taxes are more like $20 per $1,000. But the median home prices are also much higher, at about $520,000.

“So it’s a wash, pretty much,” says local real estate agent Ann Jacques, of Century 21 Highview Realty, of the lower prices but higher home prices in Claremont. She’s seeing a lot of locals returning to the region, along with retirees and out-of-staters seeking a cheaper cost of living. “It’s been super busy lately.”

2. Brownsville, TX

Median days on market: 129.4

Median list price: $200,000

Brownsville has experienced its share of difficulties over the past year, including budget cuts and hiring freezes at the local colleges. Unemployment is about one and a half times the national average, at 6% as of December 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The upside is that after close to a decade of high-impact fees on new real estate development, the city lowered the rate to a more affordable level, spurring a flurry of new construction. That left many of the older homes, including many of those McMansions from the early 2000s, stagnating on the market.

“Anything over $150,000 is just sitting unless it’s just a really good deal,” says Craig Grove, broker/owner Grove Realty Team. “I’ve seen more people build over the past year than the whole time I’ve been here.”

3. Salisbury, MD

Median days on market: 124.9

Median list price: $299,500

Set on Maryland’s idyllic Eastern Shore, about a half-hour away from popular beach town Ocean City, Salisbury is the largest city in this rural region.

The historic town is filled with a mix of bungalow, Victorian, Colonial, and Cape Cod homes. Those properties are selling at a slower rate than what is common in the rest of the country. But homes are still fetching top dollar, says local real estate pro Dale King of Esham Real Estate.

Homes are selling for about 97% of the list price. And Salisbury is also experiencing a lack of inventory.

“The good stuff gets snapped up,” says King. “Older stuff languishes.”

There are a lot of older homes in the area that are in need of renovation, and many local buyers just don’t want to put in the elbow grease, says King.

Plus, a couple of economic factors may be driving down demand in Salisbury. Although the city’s population has increased 8.5% from 2010 to 2016, according to Census data, the city’s median income, $37,780, is lower than the national median of $59,039 in 2016.

There is also a large renter population. Only 29.9% of housing units in Salisbury were owner-occupied from 2012 to 2016, according to Census data.

4. Rocky Mount, NC

Median days on market: 123

Median list price: $135,050

There are several reasons why homes in Rocky Mount sit longer on the market than in other cities in booming North Carolina, the fifth fastest-growing state in the country, according to Census data.

The city was slow to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Floyd in 1999, utility costs are high, and many locals prefer to live in the surrounding counties, where there is no city tax.

And the few homes that do come onto the market (about 470 active listings in Nash and Edgecombe Counties compared with around 1,200 a half-decade ago) aren’t necessarily desirable to the small pool of buyers who are looking.

The ones that move are those that have been renovated and modernized.

“If we see a good, renovated home it’s usually gone within a day or two,” says Ana Joyner, a real estate professional with Joyner-Silk Team Market Leader Realty. “We don’t have a lot of new construction, and many older houses here have not been updated—they’re the ones you’re seeing longer on the market.”

5. Pittsfield, MA

Median days on market: 121.6

Median list price: $371,775

Lying between the lush Berkshire Hills and the jutting Taconic Range, Pittsfield and greater Berkshire County are defined by the stunning New England wilderness. But like many former industrial hubs of the Northeast, the city has been losing well-paying jobs since the 1970s.

This includes the General Electric plant closures that took place primarily between the 1980s and early 1990s. Since 2000 alone, more than 40% of the area’s manufacturing jobs have disappeared, a Berkshire Regional Planning Commission told MassLive.com.

Populations have been declining throughout Western Massachusetts. Berkshire County has lost more than 3.3% of its population since 2010, according to the Census, squelching demand for the aging property supply.

The area isn’t attracting many out-of-towners from bigger cities, like New York, seeking country homes. It’s more a local’s market with homes selling under the $200,000 mark, says local real estate broker Susan Baum, of Berkshire Homes and Condos, based in Lenox, MA.

“We’re an older housing market. We don’t have [a lot of] new housing construction,” she says.

Taking the No. 6 slot for cities with the highest median days on the market is Bangor, ME (118.8), followed by Torrington, CT (118.4); Hilton Head Island, SC (114); Naples, FL (112.6); and Lebanon, PA, (112.4).

  • We looked at the monthly, median days on the market for each of the largest 300 metros. Then we created an average of the past 12 months ending Jan. 31, 2018.

 

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help. We are but a call or click away!

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/hot-markets-where-homes-are-flying-off-shelves-and-where-theyre-not/?identityID=9851214&MID=2018_0316_WeeklyNL_control&RID=353497822&cid=eml-2018-0309-WeeklyNL-blog_1_homesflyingoffshelves-blogs_trends

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

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

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

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 and the information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

6 Unorthodox Ways to Use Airplane Mode on Your Phone

What can you accomplish when you cut your smartphone off from the world? No wi-fi, no voice, no data–nothing but literal radio silence?

A whole lot, it turns out. Last month, we showed you a neat Instagram trick using Airplane Mode (the fastest way to go “radio silent” on your phone). There are plenty more creative uses for Airplane Mode, so today we’re going to show you a sampling of the best.

Why Airplane Mode?

But first, let’s start with a quick refresher on just what Airplane Mode is, and why it’s the perfect method for accomplishing certain things.

Airplane Mode disconnects you from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, voice calls, and mobile data–effectively shutting you off from the outside world with just one click. As its name suggests, Airplane Mode was created for use on flights, as turning it on prevents your phone from sending or receiving signals and thus from interfering with the plane’s navigation equipment.

For our purposes, it’s the complete disconnection from the internet and cell networks that’s of interest. Why? Because it lets us do things on our phone that we couldn’t otherwise do. Read on to find out what we mean…

Practical Uses for Airplane Mode

The first set of Airplane Mode uses are purely practical and are aimed at making your phone work better. Turn on Airplane Mode to:

Save battery

When your phone is disconnected, it’s in a state of rest. That means it’s not constantly searching for nearby cell towers, or Wi-Fi networks, or pushing notifications your way. This disconnection alone saves a MASSIVE amount of battery, as all of the checking in your phone does with various networks and apps is a huge energy drain. So if you’re running low on battery, switch your phone to Airplane Mode to conserve what’s left.

This is also a good trick when you’re in a rural area with spotty reception. Your phone will be constantly searching for nearby cell towers, which is another big battery drain. Turn your phone to Airplane Mode in these areas to save battery life; you can turn it off when you get back to an area with better reception.

• Pro Tip: If you’re going to be in an area with poor reception, you can download a Google Map of that area beforehand. When the time comes, just turn on Airplane Mode to save battery and access your downloaded Google Map for navigational help. Here are instructions for doing this on iPhone and Android devices.

Charge your phone faster

Need to charge your phone a LOT in a little amount of time? Turn on Airplane Mode!

Most people charge their phone while it’s still turned on and connected to various networks and Wi-Fi. That means your apps and other phone functions are still communicating with the networks around it, and all that activity drains your phone even while it’s being charged.

To cut off this energy siphon, just turn on Airplane Mode. Your phone will charge a lot faster because of it.

Regain cell service

Sometimes our phones drop cell service for no apparent reason. If you’re in an area where you would typically have service, but don’t at the moment, turn on Airplane Mode and then turn it back off again.

Why? Well, because when you turn off Airplane Mode and go back to normal mode, your phone automatically pings nearby cell towers and connects your phone to the nearest tower. Think of this trick as a connectivity “reboot.”

Regain your sanity

If it’s you that needs the reboot, use Airplane Mode to disconnect from all of the constant texts, emails, and notifications. Bonus: Airplane Mode is the quickest way to disconnect–instead of disconnecting from each network individually, it disconnects from all of them (voice, mobile data, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth) in one touch.

The Down Low

These next couple tricks–well, let’s just say they fall into a bit of gray area. Use them at your own discretion.

Read messages without the other party knowing

So you know how on apps like Facebook Messenger when you read a message, it shows the sending party that you’ve seen it? Well, if for some reason you don’t want them to know if you’ve read their message (no judgements here), turn on Airplane Mode, read it, exit the app (VERY important!), and go back to normal mode. Because the app was disconnected from the internet and cell service, it couldn’t communicate that you read the message–and because you exited the app before reconnecting, it never will. Mwa, ha and ha.

(This also works on other messaging apps like WhatsApp.)

Screenshot Instagram and Snapchat stories on the sly

Instagram made waves last month after TechCrunch reported that the social platform was testing a new feature–one that notifies posters when another user screenshots their Instagram Stories. (Snapchat has a similar feature that you can also outsmart in Airplane Mode.)

This made a lot of creepers very angry and was widely regarded as a bad move–but only because they didn’t know about Airplane Mode. Like the tip above, this trick relies on you logging into the app, entering Airplane Mode, doin’ your thang (screenshot), exiting the app, and going back to normal mode.

Because Airplane Mode disconnects you from the outside world, you can ghost in and out of the app without anyone knowing you were there or what you did.

 

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help. We are but a call or click away!

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: https://www.retechnology.com/index.php?option=com_retechcontent&view=content&layout=articles&item_id=21256&utm_source=newsletter_69847&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=top520180318

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

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

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

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

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

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

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

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.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 LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

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

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

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

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 and the information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Dryer Fires – How to Prevent Them!

Dryer Fires
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that annually dryers are associated with 22,000 home fires which result in some deaths and injuries. Fires can occur when lint builds up in the dryer or exhaust duct thus blocking the air flow.Reduced air flow causes excessive heat buildup that can result in a fire.

How to prevent fires?

  • Clean the dryer lint screen/filter before drying a load of clothes. If clothing is damp after drying or the drying cycle is taking much too long, then this may be a sign of blocked air flow.
  • Clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct to the exterior of home annually. Check the exhaust termination on the exterior wall for proper operation; the termination must be free of lint, with no screen and a flapper that operates to prevent animal entry.  Monitor dryer air flow out of the exhaust termination with the dryer operating normally. If you do not feel significant air flow, the duct system may be partially blocked, or the duct is too long.
  • Check the User’s Guide to ensure the duct is the correct length. If blocked, have it evaluated and cleaned appropriately.
  • Clean around dryer and under dryer periodically to remove lint build up. Ensure that flammable materials are not stored around the dryer.
  • Replace plastic accordion type duct connector from dryer to wall with rigid metal or semi-rigid metalized duct.Also, ducts from dryer to exterior of home should have a slight slope downward (with no dips) to avoid collecting water and thus trapping lint.
  • Take special care when drying clothes that have been soiled with volatile chemicals such as gasoline, cooking oils, cleaning agents, finishing oils or stains. Wash this type of soiled clothing more than once before drying and dry it on the lowest heat possible.

For additional information consult the web at https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/5022.pdf

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help. We are but a call or click away!

 

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team. We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience. How can The Caton Team help you?

 

I read this article at: BPG Inspections

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

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

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

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

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

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

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

Visit our INSTAGRAM page: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.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

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

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

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

 

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 and the information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.