Appliance Shopping? READ THIS FIRST!

12 Money-Saving Secrets Appliance Stores Don’t Want You to Know

By Lisa Gordon

 

Let’s face it: Shopping for appliances is rarely as fun as, say, a weekend in Vegas. Has anyone ever experienced any kind of high-roller exhilaration from splurging on a washing machine?

Of course not! That’s because home appliance shopping usually happens when one of your workhorses is on its last legs or, heaven forbid, completely busted. And, if you’re not careful, a savvy salesperson will spot that sweat of desperation. Suddenly, you’re leaving the store not just with a new appliance but also a sad, empty wallet.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you’re buying an appliance in a store or online, we know a few tricks of the trade to keep money in your pocket.

  1. Look beyond advertised prices

Have you noticed that when you shop for appliances online or look at store circulars, all the prices are pretty much the same? That’s because big manufacturers dictate the minimum prices stores can advertise. But that doesn’t mean the actual cost is the same across the board.

“They can sell it for less, but they can’t advertise it for less,” says Kevin Brasler, executive editor of consumer watchdog Checkbook. That means if you just do something—such as click a button online or approach a sales associate in a store—you can often buy the product for less cash. Sometimes a lot less.

  1. Time your purchase right

The right time to buy appliances can vary depending on whether you’re buying online or in store. But there’s one common denominator: The best time to shop is when retailers need your money more than you need that appliance. Let’s break it down:

If you’re shopping in a brick-and-mortar store, these are the best times to buy:

  • September, October, and January, when manufacturers roll out new appliance models and retailers are desperate to get rid of last year’s fare
  • The end of each month, when stores are trying to meet monthly quotas
  • Holiday weekends (No, retailers aren’t tricking you with bargain prices—they promote heavily and stock for greater sales during those periods. But different holidays are better for different deals.)
  • Off-season (For instance, force yourself to think about buying an outdoor grill in January or an electric fireplace in July.)

If you’re shopping online, these are the best times to buy:

  • November
  • Thursdays (the day retailers are twice as likely to reduce prices)
  • The fourth or fifth day of the month, when buyers are flush with paycheck money
  • 3 p.m. (Yes, 3 p.m.)
  1. Use a shopping cart—and then walk away

We’re talking about the online kind. If you’ve had your eye on an appliance but wish it were just a smidgen cheaper, try putting it in your cart. Then walk away (so to speak). If you leave it there for a few days, a retailer might send you a coupon to entice you to close the deal.

  1. Decode the price tag

According to the folks at Lifehacker, some price tags have a secret code that can help you determine how much a store is discounting an item—and whether there’s room for a bigger cut.

They put together a handy chart that reveals what certain numbers and symbols mean at several major retailers, including Home Depot, Costco, and Target. If this looks like information overload, remember this: If a price ends in any number other than 9 or 99, you’ll know you’re getting less than full retail price.

  1. Embrace your inner snoop

You can’t always get to a store during a big sale. But if you peek into the metal price stand next to an item, you might be able to preview the cards behind the one displaying the current price—cards that might reveal the date and price of the next sale.

  1. Ask repair people for bargains

When a repairman arrives to fix a busted appliance, ask if he knows of warehouses selling almost-new appliances for deep discounts. This is what we call insider info! When my oven broke, my repairman pointed me to a family warehouse filled with slightly dented appliances. I got half off a returned wall oven with a tiny dent on the side that nobody will ever see.

  1. Combine discounts

Think of how much you can save if you shop for appliances during a Black Friday sale, pay with a gift card you bought online for a discount, and add a 20% coupon to the mix. The dollars simply melt away.

  1. Don’t be afraid to haggle

Never be afraid to ask salespeople, cashiers, and store managers if they can do a little better on the price. In fact, Consumer Reports says that nearly all people who haggle over appliances are successful at least once—and save an average $200.

Brasler advises consumers to call stores in advance and say, “I’m shopping around for this appliance and will buy from the place that gives me the lowest price. What’s the best price, including delivery and install, you can give me?”

“Independent stores, rather than chains, are really set up for this,” he adds.

  1. Re-evaluate the extended warranty

Extended warranties can be a good idea. But if you’re not careful, they can also drain your bank account unnecessarily. Consumer experts say extended warranties often cost more than they’re worth—in other words, you’ll spend less on a potential repair than you will shelling out for the warranty in the first place. We won’t tell you to skip it, but you should do the math and proceed with caution.

  1. Sell your old one for scrap

Even an old, broken appliance is usually worth something. You can try selling a busted unit for parts on Craigslist or eBay, or at a local scrap yard that purchases metal based on weight. You can often earn $10 to $50 per 100 pounds, depending on the type of metal and the scrap yard. That means a 150-pound dryer could net you $15 to $75 dollars. Apply that to a new $300 dryer, and you’ve suddenly got a discount. Score!

  1. Consider white

If you’re not picky about colors and finishes, you can often buy white appliances for hundreds less than stainless steel, black, or the color of the moment.

  1. Send in your rebate

We know it’s a pain to keep track of your receipt and send it to a manufacturer or store. But isn’t it worth five minutes of your time to get a bargain? Keep receipts in one place, and put together your rebates while you’re bingeing on Netflix.

 

I read this article at: http://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/appliance-stores-money-saving-secrets/?identityID=9851214&MID=2017_0224_WeeklyNL&RID=353497822&cid=eml-2017-0224-WeeklyNL-blog_6_movingsavingsecretsappliancestores-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/

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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

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

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

 

Rent vs. Buy

HAPPY TAX DAY!  To all you homeowners – congratulations on the mortgage interest write off.  To all you renters – take a read…

 

The Misleading Math Behind the Rent vs. Buy Calculation

By Jonathan Smoke |

 

There’s about $13.1 trillion stashed away in the United States, in plain sight. Where? In our homes!

Do we have your attention yet?

That’s the total value of the equity held by over 75 million U.S. homeowners, according to the latest estimates from the Federal Reserve Board. And that works out to almost $175,000 per owning household.

This is unmistakable evidence that homeownership is a critical building block of household wealth. Owning a home is a key reason why the median net worth of a homeowner is almost $200,000 while the median net worth of a renting household is just over $5,000.

Sure, part of that is because owners were able to pony up a chunk of money to put down on a house, and to qualify for a mortgage. But the act of paying for a mortgage actually helps produce more wealth, by freezing payment amounts and building equity through forced savings.

A 30-year amortized, fixed-rate mortgage is a beautiful thing. It provides an affordable path to buying a home while locking in today’s cost of that home for the life of the loan.

The traditional rent versus buy argument compares the total monthly costs of buying a home with a mortgage with the corresponding rent. So that comparison is relevant when it comes to representing the housing choice trade-off in clear cost terms.

Two years ago, that head-to-head heavily favored buying, thanks to very low mortgage rates and lower prices. Back then, more than three-quarters of the counties in the country saw lower buying costs than renting costs.

With prices and rates higher now, less than half of the counties in the country see math that favors buying.

But those raw numbers hide the fact that unlike a rent check, a percentage of every monthly mortgage payment—after the lender is paid interest—goes toward the owner’s home equity. That means it’s really a forced savings plan.

Over time, less of the mortgage payments go toward interest and more go toward equity, so the savings power is enhanced further.

Here’s how that works out for a median-price home of $250,000 bought in January with 20% down with a monthly payment of $976.

Before their first payment, the proud new homeowners had $50,000 in equity thanks to their down payment. (Actually, 20% down isn’t always typical or necessary, but, hey, it keeps this illustration simple.)

In the first year, an average of 29% of the monthly payments builds equity. After 12 payments, the homeowners have just over $3,400 in added equity.

By year 14, 50% of the monthly $976 payment goes toward equity. Don’t forget that the monthly payment hasn’t changed, because the interest rate was fixed.

At the end of the 14th year, just shy of $64,000 has been added to the initial $50,000 in equity.

In the final year of the 30-year mortgage, while the monthly payment remains $976, 98% of the monthly payments builds equity until that magic day when the home is owned free and clear.

Think you can beat that with rents? Researchers at Harvard put it this way:

“While studies simulating the financial returns to owning and renting find that renting is often more likely to be beneficial, in practice renters rarely accumulate any wealth. In no small part this seems traceable to the difficulties households face in trying to save absent either a clear goal or an automatic savings mechanism.”

So, you want a better rent versus buy illustration? First, find a place to rent for no more than $976—the same as our mortgage payment example above. If you can rent for less, great. Will you be able to save that difference amounting to at least $3,400 in the first year? That would imply you can really pay only about $700 in rent to get the same savings effect.

If you can’t save $3,400 yourself by paying less in rent, ask the landlord if he’ll take a portion of your rent payments and set it aside for your rainy day fund.

Then ask the landlord if he’ll set your rent payment at today’s rate for the next 30 years. And before you close the deal, ask him to raise the rainy day share each year by 1% to 2% until year 30, when he’ll get only 2% of the rent payment.

Clearly, this would not be easy to do.

Even if the house only keeps pace with inflation over 30 years, which is a very conservative assumption, the forced savings inherent in a mortgage guarantees a homeowner is building wealth. A renter household has to be extremely diligent to amass the same savings that the good ol’ 30-year mortgage does automatically.

 

I read this article at: http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/misleading-math-rent-vs-buy/?identityID=9851214&MID=2017_0224_WeeklyNL&RID=353497822&cid=eml-2017-0224-WeeklyNL-blog_1_misleadingmathrentvsbuy-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

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

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

 

Email Phishing on the Rise: Is Your Mailbox Safe?

PLEASE NOTE:  This is most serious.  If you are in a real estate deal – or any deal – involving a wire transfer – call directly for wire transfer instructions – as emails have been hacked and money rerouted.!!!

Email Phishing on the Rise: Is Your Mailbox Safe?

By now, most everyone has heard of “phishing,” the act of defrauding an online account holder by posing as a legitimate company or person. Simply put, it’s when bad guys pretend to be someone or something they’re not to steal from you or your company.

They’ll use “spoofed” email addresses, websites and attachments to convince you to give them personal information, financial details, account passwords and even wire transfers. These criminals use advanced tactics and social engineering to learn about you and your company so they can present tailored information you wouldn’t think to double check.

“Spear phishing” is even more egregious, appearing to originate from within your company or your domain and targeting a specific person or company.

Examples can include what appear to be:

  • your IT guy asking you to login to a system or website,
  • your boss asking you to “open the attached document,” or
  • your CEO asking you to initiate a wire transfer to one of your vendors.

Because it’s so effective, phishing and spear phishing attacks continue to rise exponentially.

Part of the problem lies with us. Because we know what phishing is, we think we’re not susceptible — it only happens to other people, to dupes who aren’t paying attention.

But when we think it can’t happen to us, we let our guard down — and then we become most susceptible. Just ask the now-infamous Mattel executive who wired $3 million to a scammer.

“Email is such a common and trusted form of business communication that employees are extremely susceptible to spear phishing,” noted a recent report from Cloudmark, a Rackspace Email Partner and leader in the anti-spam industry. That report found fully 94 percent of companies surveyed acknowledged that their employees have fallen for a contrived phishing attack.

So — still think this can’t happen to you?

What can you do?

This is scary stuff, but you can fight back. If you (and your colleagues or employees) look for the signs of phishing and practice basic email hygiene, staying safe is actually pretty easy. The best way to combat phishing is just exercising common sense.

Here are a few tips to keep you on your toes.

Do not share personal information! EVER!

This really cannot be emphasized enough. Never respond to an email with personal information, financial information or passwords. Ever. Think about the risk-to-reward ratio. Is the upside of quickly sending this info worth the risk? Remember — NO reputable company will EVER ask for these details in an email.

Let me add my two cents here.  The other day a friend was reading me a meme – it was something silly like what is your Leprechaun Name?  As she read it to me – it occurred to me – those were password retrieval questions!  What street did you grow up on?  What was the name of your first pet?????  Out of context and without the silly meme before my eyes – hearing those questions made me realize it was a red flag!  SO DON’T SHARE PERSONAL INFO ONLINE!

Visit websites directly from browsers and bookmarks – not email.

Whenever possible, avoid clicking a link in an email to login to an account. It’s easy to misrepresent where that link may be taking you. A link might say “PayPal.com,” but it’s really pointing at “PeyPals.com.”

A quick way to double check a link’s actual destination is to hover your mouse over it. In most cases, your browser or email application will show you the true path.

If you’re logging in to your bank or other website, access the site directly instead of clicking a link in an email. Be especially suspicious of emails asking you to click a link to confirm your account information.

Double-check attachments before you click or download them.

Be careful with attachments. Word documents and Excel spreadsheets may contain macros or viruses that compromise your computer. These files can automatically download malware or direct you to malicious websites. If an email or attachment looks even the least bit suspicious (misspellings? See below), confirm its origin with the sender. Call, text or message them before you click.

Also, it is critical to have anti-virus software installed and up-to-date on your computer.

Whach for missspellngs and urginsee.

Although it’s not a hard and fast rule, poor grammar can often be a tell-tale sign of phishing. Look for unusual use of words, misspelling or even strange greetings (Hello Madam!). Also, be suspicious of an email that evokes a sense of urgency and asks you to do something right away.

When it comes to wire transfers, be extra vigilant.

The vast majority of people do not wire money as part of their day-to-day duties. So if you’re asked for a wire transfer, that should immediately raise a red flag. Double-check the request, OUTSIDE OF EMAIL, before you do anything. If you’re in the business of transferring money, never rely on email as a secure communication channel for these requests. Always confirm through alternative means.

When in doubt… DO NOTHING!

Being unsure and still clicking around suspicious emails can be disastrous. Take a little extra time to be vigilant and/or confirm emails origin and intent can save you, and your company, a ton of grief (and maybe even money). So if you have even an iota of doubt – DON’T DO ANYTHING. Delete the email, and pick up the phone.

Maybe more than ever before, the old adage holds true: when it comes to email and phishing it is truly better to be safe than sorry.

For more information about how to keep your inbox safe and your email secure, visit Rackspace email hosting solutions.

I read this article at: http://blog.rackspace.com/email-phishing-rise-mailbox-safe

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

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

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 best month and day to put a home on the market – well my birthday of course!

The best month and day to put a home on the market, according to Zillow

A study points to a Saturday in May as a seller’s peak opportunity

Key Takeaways

Homes listed between May 1 through 15 tend to sell nine days faster and sell 1 percent above the asking price, a new Zillow study says.

You may want to hide during the ides of March, but the ides of May are the perfect time to put a home on the market, says a new study by Zillow.

In 20 of the 25 metro areas studied, homes listed anywhere between May 1 and May 15 sold nine days faster and for up to 1 percent more than the asking price.

“With 3 percent fewer homes on the market than last year, 2017 is shaping up to be another competitive buying season,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell in a statement.

“Many [homebuyers] who started looking for homes in the early spring will still be searching for their dream home months later. By May, some buyers may be anxious to get settled into a new home — and will be more willing to pay a premium to close the deal.”

Mark your calendar for a Saturday in May

Moreover, Zillow’s research revealed the best day to place a home on the market is Saturday — listings that appear on Zillow’s site on this day garner 20 percent more views than early-in-the-week listings.

The second best day to list is Friday, when properties receive 14 percent more views.

Lastly, Gudell says sellers have to be cognizant of other factors, such as weather.

Sellers in Texas, California and Florida have more leeway in when to list their home due to warmer weather patterns. Also, sellers who live in areas without distinct seasonal weather tend to have little variation in sales price based on the month.

Are you thinking of selling?  Call the Caton Team – it is what we do best!  We’re available for a free consultation.  

I read this article at: http://www.inman.com/2017/03/02/the-best-month-and-day-to-put-a-home-on-the-market-according-to-zillow/?utm_source=weeklyheadlines&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sundaysend&utm_content=20170310_readmore

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

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

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

 

Understanding Solar Easements

There is no fooling around when it comes to solar power, solar easements and how they effect Real Estate.  We recently had a bid on our home – it was eye opening.  Enjoy this article on…

Understanding Solar Easements

Interest in solar energy is growing as more and more homeowners, as well as business, are taking long, serious looks at this alternative source of power.  As with any new technology, however, there are potential problems.  For example, the sun’s rays must reach the solar collectors in order to produce energy from either active or passive systems.

If the sun were always directly overhead there would be no problem. It is not, of course, and this brings up the question of solar access – the availability of sunlight to reach of buildings solar collectors. Resolution of this problem often involves access across adjacent properties, which, in turn, involves a neighbors airspace.

The building owner, access questions involve both the height and setback of adjacent buildings. That’s where negotiated agreement for solar easement come into sharp focus.

Under such an agreement, one property owner would receive assurances from the other that the sunlight which travels over the neighbors property would always be available. The neighbor, and all subsequent owners, would be restricted in building or planting trees which could obstruct the sunlight.

After agreement, if such solar easements are properly recorded, problems could arise if the property is subsequently sold and the new owners are either unaware of the easement or not in agreement with its conditions.

A solar easement establishes certain land-use conditions agreed to buy the property owners involved. Such an agreement includes:

– A description of the dimensions of the easement, including vertical and horizontal angles measured in the degrees of the hours of the day, on specific dates, during which direct sunlight is a specified surface or structural design feature may not be obstructed;

– Restrictions placed upon visitation, structures and other objects which would impair or obstruct the passage of sunlight through the easement, and;

– The terms and conditions, if any under which the easement may be revised or terminated.

It is important, of course, that all solar easements be officially recorded, just as other use and conditions are included in public records. Otherwise, such an easement might not be noted during the title search at the time of a real estate sale.

Such an omission could create serious problems at a later date when the new owner decides to make structural or landscape changes that would affect the path of sunlight across their property. This article was edited from an article by the California land title Association provided by North American Title Company.

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

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

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

 

Spring housing already overheating—think 60 offers on one house

Spring housing already overheating—think 60 offers on one house

The spring housing market started early this year, not because of higher-than-average temperatures but because of hotter-than-average demand and overheating home prices.

This year may be the starkest example of a post-recession reality that is redefining housing as we know it.

“This spring housing market is shaping up to be another doozy for homebuyers,” said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist for home-listing website Trulia. “Housing affordability is the key to helping break yet another year of gridlocked inventory, but all signs are showing that homes this spring will be much less affordable than last year.”

Affordability is being hit on several fronts: The foreclosure crisis is over, but it left behind an entirely new landscape for potential buyers. Entry-level homes are scarce because investors bought tens of thousands of them during the crisis and turned them into rentals. The number of single-family rentals jumped to more than 15 million, up from about 11 million in 2009, according to the U.S. Census.

Homebuilders continue to operate well below normal levels because of higher costs and a lack of labor, and thousands of construction workers left the business during the recession, never to return. Builders don’t focus on entry-level homes because the margins are simply too tight, and prices for new construction are also rising at a fast clip.

What’s more, credit is still tight, and the youngest cohort of buyers, the millennials, are delaying marriage and parenthood, the two biggest drivers of home ownership. The shortage of homes for sale has now pushed prices to a 30-year high, according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller. Rising mortgage rates only add to the pressure.

“Home prices continue to advance, with the national average rising faster than at any time in the last two-and-a-half years,” said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “With all 20 cities [in the S&P/Case-Shiller Index] seeing prices rise over the last year, questions about whether this is a normal housing market or if prices could be heading for a fall are natural.”

At a Sunday open house in Los Angeles this weekend, nearly a dozen house hunters showed up before the scheduled start. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home was reasonably priced, in a desirable neighborhood and move-in ready.

“Typically for a home like this we would expect to see upwards of 15 to 20 offers,” said Fabrizzia Perri, the Redfin agent showing the property. “Recently, I was at a similar listing that had 66 offers on it, of course only one person wins, so 65 homebuyers have to restart their home search.”

Emily Leach, 35, knows that story all too well. She has been looking for a few months, hoping that by getting in before spring she might have a better chance at an affordable home. So far, that has not been the case.

“We actually had a house that we saw that we really liked in South-Central Los Angeles, and we tried to make a move on that and we got outbid. South-Central!” she laughed.

Michelle and Derrick Jacob have been trolling the market for six months. They have a strict budget with little leeway, making it difficult for them to compete.

“The ones we want seem to be purchased in a snap, over asking price most of the time, well over asking price,” Derrick Jacob said.

Housing demand climbed considerably this year, even compared with last year, as the leading edge of the largest generation finally moves into homebuying and a stronger job market supports them. A monthly demand index from Redfin jumped to the highest level since January 2013, when the index began. Compared to January 2016, homebuyer demand was up 23 percent, led by a 26 percent annual increase in homebuyers requesting tours and an 18 percent increase in buyers making offers.

“Soaring stock markets, still-low mortgage rates, and a steady economy bolstered homebuyers at the start of 2017,” said Nela Richardson, Redfin chief economist. “Homebuyers were not just window shopping. They were serious about making offers and getting to the closing table. However, this uptick in homebuyer enthusiasm won’t guarantee strong sales in the coming months. With pending home sales down across the country in January despite strong demand, the lack of supply is a formidable foe for buyers this year.”

Higher home prices in some areas are supported by improving local economies and employment, but in other markets, too much demand pitted against too little supply is resulting in overheated housing. Dallas, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Portland, Oregon, are overpriced by 10 to 14 percent, according to a recent report from Fitch Ratings, which considers markets overheated when they exceed the areas’ supporting economic fundamentals. Los Angeles, Miami and Tampa, Florida, are close to 10 percent overvalued.

Analysts at Fitch don’t predict when any of these bubbles will burst, but they do point to certain warning signs.

“For Dallas, the current unemployment rate in the Fort Worth [Texas] region is 3 percent. You’d have to go back 30 years to go that low. We think it’s not sustainable. The business cycle will turn. Eventually, when it does, home prices will come down,” said Samuel So, director of research at Fitch.

Potential buyers today are facing tough new realities. Some houses are clearly overpriced, and renting is still a better financial option in some markets. Competition is fierce for the best homes, and buyers have to be ready to pull out all the tricks.

“You have to make an introductory letter, little story about yourself and you just hope that the home that you’re buying is not being sold by a flipper because they are much more neutral,” Leach advised. “If you have a home that’s being sold by the previous owners, you might be able to get that emotional human connection.”

Curious about our local Silicon Valley Real Estate Market – Contact The Caton Team for a one on one consultation.  

I read this article at: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/28/spring-housing-already-overheating-think-60-offers-on-one-house.html

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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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

 

Guide to Buying a Home

The Early Bird’s Guide to Buying a Home

By Daniel Bortz

Edited by Sabrina

 

Planning to buy a home this year?  Then – is the time to get rolling.

“Spring is peak home-buying season, which means you’re going to have a ton of competition from other buyers,” says Peggy Yee, supervising broker at Frankly Realtors in Vienna, VA. Hence, winter is the ideal time to get ahead of the curve.  But life happens when you make other plans.  Regardless of when you want to buy – follow these steps and you’ll be way ahead of the pack.

Step No. 1: Find a buyer’s agent

Teaming up with a Realtor is your first step.  For starters, an agent can take the time to help you identify what type of home you want and educate you on the local market so that you’ll have realistic expectations of what you’ll be able to find in a few months.

Also, “your agent may hear of properties that are going to come on the market or sold off market, which could enable you to get a sneak peek at homes before other buyers.”

To find a real estate agent, you can ask friends or family for referrals, or use a reputable real estate database.

“If you’re laser-focused on a specific neighborhood, you’ll want to work with a neighborhood specialist—someone who knows the community like the back of their hand,” Yee advises.

Step No. 2: Get your financing squared away

Before you even lay eyes on a house, you should be looking at lenders. Why? Because lenders will help you get real about how much house you can afford. They will determine how much money they’re willing to lend you by checking out your financial details, from your income to your credit score and more. Plus, if your finances are less than perfect, you’ll be able to find out in plenty of time to make amends.

“Depending on what shape your credit is in, it may take a couple of months to raise your score,” says Richard Redmond, mortgage broker at All California Mortgage in Larkspur and author of “Mortgages: The Insider’s Guide.”

There’s no magic spell to banish poor credit; the strategy will depend on your financial situation.

“For some people, it might make sense to pay off their credit card balances over the next couple of months, but that might not be the right move if you’re going to need the money for closing costs,” Redmond explains. Thus, it’s beneficial to get credit advice from a mortgage professional at least two to three months before you plan to buy.

If your credit score is strong (760 and above will qualify you for the best interest rates), getting pre-approved for a home loan now makes sense.

“Pre-approval is usually only good for 90 days,” says Redmond, “but it’s easy to renew it if the borrower’s financial picture doesn’t change. And when interest rates are trending upward, which they currently are, it’s better to lock in your rate sooner rather than later.”  And remember – you don’t lock a rate until you have an accepted offer.  Now that’s a whole other blog.

Step No. 3: Start previewing homes

You’ll probably do an initial consultation with your agent to identify what type of home you want to buy. However, you won’t really know what type of home you’re looking for until you actually step inside some homes, says Lisa Cahill, co-owner of Evolve Real Estate in St. Petersburg, FL.

“Your criteria can change when you start to look at properties,” says Cahill. For example, you might think you need a home with 2,500 square feet of living space, but that number could change when you start seeing homes in person. Your real estate agent can alert you to open houses to attend so you get a feel of homes on your own.  As you would in your own life.

Step No. 4: Scrutinize prospective neighborhoods

Have your sights set on a particular neighborhood? Check it out – to see if the community is going to be a good fit.

“You can tell whether an area has good schools on paper, but there are a lot of things you can’t judge unless you go there in person,” says Cahill.

For instance, online research won’t show you what the noise level is during rush hour or what the neighbors are like (e.g., is it more for young families or older residents?). Those are things that you need to assess with your own eyes. Concerned about traffic? “Go and test-drive your commute,” says Yee.

Step No. 5: Don’t rule out buying early or later

Even if you had originally planned to buy later in the spring, what if you find a home you absolutely love earlier or later? If you’re willing and able to move earlier or later, then keep an open mind with respect to buying a home.

If you’re thinking of buying this year – let’s sit down and chat.  I’m sure you have questions and we probably have the answer – and if we don’t we know who does.  Contact the Caton Team for a free Real Estate consultation.

 

I read this article at: http://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/early-birds-guide-buying-home/?identityID=9851214&MID=2017_0217_WeeklyNL&RID=353497822&cid=eml-2017-0217-WeeklyNL-blog_2_earlybirdbuying-blogs_buy

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

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

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