I really like to answer my client's real estate questions via blog posts.  I've found via analytics, you like to read them too.  Ask me your questions, and I'll research the real news.  Contact button is at the top of the page :)

Aug. 23, 2019

June Buyer Foot Traffic Report

Buyer traffic index decreased 5.6 points in June from May.  Home showings pulled back in June from one year ago, with an upside potential given low mortgage rates and strong job growth.

California Real Estate Foot Traffic for June 2019

Every month SentriLock, LLC. provides NAR with data on the number of properties shown by a REALTOR®. SentriLock Lockboxes are used in roughly a third of home showings across the nation. Foot traffic has a strong correlation with future contracts and home sales, so it can be viewed as a peek ahead at sales trends two to three months into the future.

Posted in Local Market
Aug. 16, 2019

Mortgage Industry Market Update: July 2019

Hello to all of Tim and Elizabeth's favorite clients!

Interest rates have DROPPED in the past several weeks to their lowest levels in over 2 years! That is good news if you're going to enter a real estate market that seems to be going through a correction. If you got a loan in early 2019, you may want to explore refinancing to a better rate. If you're already in the adjustable phase of an older ARM, and you're seeing your rate resets above 5% now, it's a good idea to explore refinancing to a fixed product, which of course I can help with.

  • Low down/zero down buyers?- The CalHFA program offers loan programs with no down and no closing costs! Ask for details, in a less competitive market you may have a good opportunity to buy NOW!
  • Self employed borrowers- If you're looking to buy, I'm using 12 month bank statements programs to qualify using deposits and NOT looking at income tax returns, let me know if you might be interested in this?

Available to my office- HIGH balance up to $726,525 to 90% LTV even in NON high cost counties, like San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Sacramento, Solano, so basically ANY county in California, that didn't have the high cost limit, is now eligible for a high balance limit up to $726,525. This product is only available to a very select group of brokers, and I have it! Call me for the details!

CONDO's in litigation- YES I can do them, construction defects etc.. Let me know your scenario.

As always, have a safe and successful weekend and let me know how I can assist in smooth, efficient and timely loan closing! Also, let me know, Tim Hanford and Elizabeth Russo sent you too!

Thank you,

Eric ChauhanEric Chauhan Sr. Loan Officer  Associated Mortgage Group
Sr. Loan Officer
Associated Mortgage Group
39180 Liberty St #101
Fremont, Ca 94538
PH: 510-494-2625
CELL: 510-676-8939
FAX: 510-744-9835
BRE: 01314394
NMLS: 240203


Posted in Local Market
Aug. 9, 2019

States With the Strongest Job Growth

States with the Strongest Job Growth Washington 2.7%

Posted in Tips and Tricks
Aug. 2, 2019

3d Tour and Seller Interview: 64 Mozden Lane, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

3d Tour of 64 Mozden Lane in Pleasant Hill

Read the seller interview and watch the 3d tour here: https://www.elizabethrusso.com/contra-costa/pleasant-hill/listing-agent/official-listing-64-mozden-lane-pleasant-hill-ca-94523/


2BD    2.5BA    1,296 SqFt    $370 per month HOA (CONDO/TOWNHOME)

Posted in Listings
July 26, 2019

Think Before You Move (Out) of your Antioch, CA Home

Think Before You Move (Out) of your Antioch, CA Home

Think Before You Move (Out) 

Vacant (unstaged) homes not only sell for less money, but they also spend more time on the market.

  • The average vacant home sells for $11,036 less than homes where the owners still live there.
  • Typically, home where the owners have moved out spend six more days on the market than comparable occupied homes.

Vacant homes can signal to buyers that the sellers aren't in a hurry to sell and may take their time making an offer.

Posted in Tips and Tricks
July 19, 2019

Market Update: June 2019

California Association of Realtors Market Snapshot

A New Peak … but Will Home Prices Continue to Rise?

California home prices continued to rise as the market approached the peak of its home buying season. After setting a record high in April 2019, the state median price inched up again and reached a new peak in May. A typical existing single-family home was sold at an all-time high of $611,190 in May in California, an increase of 1.7 percent from the same month of last year and an increase of 1.4 percent from the prior month.

Declining interest rates probably played a role in the recent upward price movement, as low rates made mortgage payment more affordable, giving buyers more flexibility to offer higher prices in the market. With the economy slowing down and the trade tariff situation between the U.S. and China yet to be resolved, interest rates will likely stay below last year’s level for the rest of 2019, especially since the Federal Reserve is expected to cut rates at least once in the second half of the year. Low rates could lead to more home price appreciations. In fact, the median list price of for-sale properties has been trending up in the past three months with an average of more than 5 percent, which suggests likely price growth on closed sales in the short term. The overall growth remained soft, however, as the median price of closed sales increased an average of only 1.8 percent so far this year, as compared to 8.6 percent in the same time frame in 2018.

Slow growth in property values implies that the market could be reaching a plateau in the near term. While low rates incentivize homebuyers to purchase by keeping monthly mortgage payments more manageable, high home prices continue to create affordability issues for many as down payments remain elevated in many parts of the state. The mortgage payment for a typical existing single-family home in California dropped 4.4 percent year-over-year in May 2019, but the down payment - assuming a 20 percent down - increased 1.7 percent to $122,238 from $120,172 recorded last May. In fact, while 36 counties in the state experienced a decline in mortgage payment, 23 of them also had an increase in down payment. On top of that, 14 counties had both an increase in mortgage payment and an increase in down payment in the recent month.

Housing affordability is not only a monthly mortgage payment issue, but a down payment issue as well. According to the 2018 Consumer Survey Report released by the California Association of REALTORS®, 33 percent of all homebuyers said that the lack of down payment was the reason that they delayed their home buying process and 43 percent of all renters said they were renting because of the very same reason. So, while interest rates will stay low and give prices some room to maneuver upward in the next couple months, high down payment requirement is a factor that may hold housing demand back and continue to put a cap on price growth.

Reason for Not Buying Sooner in 2019

Posted in Local Market
July 12, 2019

3d Tour and Seller Interview: 1732 Nandina Court Antioch, CA 94531

3d Tour of 1732 Nandina Court in Antioch

Read the seller interview and watch the 3d tour here: https://www.elizabethrusso.com/contra-costa/antioch/listing-agent/Sold-Homes-Near-1732-Nandina-Ct-Antioch-CA/


3BD    2.5BA    1,636 SqFt    3,100 SqFt Lot    $109 per month HOA (PUD)     40873239 MLS

Posted in Listings
June 28, 2019

Home Design Dilemmas in Brentwood, CA

Home Design Dilemmas in Brentwood, CA

Design Dilemmas

Home trends come and go, but these are ones people are most likely to regret in 20 years, according to social media users (ie Reddit). 

Barn Doors

Commenters feel the use of these hanging doors is already starting to look dated.

Floating Shelves

Using these in lieu of cabinets requires the homeowner to always keep shelves tidy and to have gorgeous, matching dishes to pull off the look.

Pallet Wood Walls

Some equate the use of shiplap to wood paneling from the '70s.

Doorless Glass Showers

Although walk-in showers with no doors are growing more popular, commenters say the space needs to be closed up for practical reasons, like keeping the heat in.

Overusing White and Gray

Some feel the look is overdone.  Instead, they want more colorful interiors.

Posted in Tips and Tricks
June 7, 2019

Market Update: May 2019

California Association of Realtors Market Snapshot

Top 5 Reasons You Should Become a Homeowner

Buying a home is a complicated process. Even finding the right home can be difficult in California’s inventory constrained market. Once you do, there is the negotiation process, contracts, inspections, appraisals, financing, and myriad other issues that pop up along the way. In many cases, your monthly mortgage payment when you do purchase a home can be more expensive than your rent, and that’s without considering the upfront cost of a down payment.

Taking all of this into account, why should you invest in home ownership? First, and perhaps most important, home ownership is the one tried and true way that Americans have actually managed to generate wealth in this society. In part, this is because home prices appreciate over time—even after adjusting for inflation. Back in 1980, the typical home in California cost less than $100,000. Today, that number is more than $600,000.

However, price appreciation is only part of the story. The leveraged/collateralized nature of the investment is also critical. Let’s face it, if you walked into your local bank branch tomorrow and asked for $500,000 because you had a hot stock tip, the conversation probably wouldn’t last very long. However, if you ask that same bank for money to invest in buying your own home, there’s a much higher probability of getting that loan. And, you are only required to produce a fraction of the upfront costs yourself—in some cases as low as 3.5%. However, when it comes time to sell, the bank does not require a 96.5% split of your profits—you keep it all despite putting a much smaller amount down.

Next, your rent will continue to increase, but your mortgage payment won’t. Aside from wealth creation, locking in a fixed-rate mortgage is one of the best ways to hedge against housing inflation. Since the 1980s, rents have more than tripled nationwide. In California, the typical apartment ranges from roughly $1,200/month for a studio to as much as $3,000 for a 4 bedroom unit. In some coastal metros, rents are significantly higher than that. Locking in a fixed payment now can generate significant savings over the course of 30+ years.

Also, interest rates are almost as low as ever. Today, the median-priced home in California exceeds $600,000, but rates have fallen back down to 4%. It has never been more affordable in modern history to borrow for home ownership than in the past few years. Although rates are not forecasted to rise rapidly, even a small increase to 5% will cost you significantly more over time. At 4%, the monthly mortgage payment for a median-priced home is $2,713 including taxes and insurance. At just 5%, that monthly payment goes up by $259 per month—costing you an additional $93,240, over the life of the loan.

Finally, your kids will lead better lives. Not only will your future generations benefit from the wealth creation and savings generated by your decision to purchase a home, but studies have shown that even after controlling for parents’ incomes, race, education levels, and other socioeconomic factors, home ownership has a positive impact on children’s health, high school graduation rates, and college attendance.

Home ownership has big paybacks for the economy as well as society at large. However, you don’t need to be altruistic for home ownership to make sense—you will give yourself a springboard that you and your family will continue to benefit from for generations.

Posted in Local Market
May 31, 2019

Staged Homes Sell Best

Staged Homes Sell Best

Posted in Tips and Tricks