Slowdown in Sonoma County housing market continued in November

The slowdown in Sonoma County’s residential real estate market sharpened in November, when sales and prices declined while the number of homes available for buyers jumped significantly.

The slowdown represents a continued adjustment from the initial real estate jolt immediately after the fires, according to local and Bay Area real estate experts.

In November, the county’s median housing price fell to $615,000, a decline of nearly 9 percent from the record peak of $700,000 in June, according to The Press Democrat housing report, compiled by Rick Laws of Compass real estate brokerage, formerly Pacific Union.

Read More

Updated USDA Rural Housing Income Limits

USDA loan is a great way to buy a house. The ability to borrow up to the home’s value at interest rates that are competitive with FHA and conventional loans make this a great option for first time home buyers. There are also new USDA income limits that make the USDA mortgage even better in the upcoming year.

Read More

Mortgage rates hold steady as housing market stresses mount

Rates for home loans took a breather after churning to the highest in nearly eight years, mortgage liquidity provider Freddie Mac said Thursday.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.94% in the Nov.15 week, unchanged during the week. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.36%, up three basis points. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 4.14%, also unchanged.

Read More

Selling and Buying a Home With Lead Paint: What You Need to Know

Was the home you are going to be selling built before 1978? If so, chances are there is at least some lead paint present in the house. The older the home, the more lead you can expect to find.

Selling a home with lead paint can present some challenges you should be aware of. Fortunately, they are relatively easy to overcome if you are well-informed about your legal obligations.

Read More

Why Isn’t My House Selling?

Most real estate agents have probably been asked the question “why isn’t my home selling?” The answer in some circumstances may not be abundantly clear. In other cases, there is no doubt why the house isn’t selling.

As a home seller, the thing you dread most is being unable to sell your home. What if you put it up on the market, do all that hard work, and no one is interested? Dwelling on such thoughts can be upsetting, to say the least.

Read More

How To Lessen The Odds And/Or Impact When A Home Buyer Defaults?

So what happens when you’re selling a home and the Buyer defaults? What could you have done differently to avoid such a scenario? Ouch. Just the thought of it catches you off balance. You’re uneasy…I understand!

The word default never paints a bright picture. However, when selling a home there are a number of things that you can do to lessen the risk of such an event. I’m sure you’ll want to know what those things are, right? Keep reading.

Read More

How to Become a Homeowner: First Time Home Buyer Guide

While interest rates are still at historically great levels, lots of first time home buyers are jumping to get a mortgage and into the market and buying a home.

The rates are so reasonable that many people are discovering their new home payment is a bit lower than their previous rent payment.

As a service to home buyers, I have laid out this detailed plan that teaches you how to become a homeowner. Use the guidance to make smart decisions when buying your first home.

These first time home buyer tips will put you on the right track to home ownership!

Read More

How We Bought a New House Before Selling Our Current House

Name: Jena and Mark Boomhower, both 36

City: Battle Ground, Wash.

Year of Home Purchase: 2018

Sale Price: $412,000

Home style: 2014 modern Craftsman single-family home

Profession: Jena is a medical technician; Mark is a supervisor for TSA

Mark and Jena Boomhower’s 1,400-square-foot starter home was just right when their daughters, Tanahleigh and Adalyn, were tots. But as the girls got older, Mark and Jena realized they needed a bigger house and yard. They wanted a two-story farther from the city, but there were a few challenges.

First, they had to figure out how to buy a house before selling their current house. Second challenge: Buying a house with a VA loan. VA loans offer competitive interest rates and don’t always require a down payment or private mortgage insurance. But VA loans limit what buyers are allowed to pay in closing costs, and sellers don’t necessarily have to pay them, either. Closing costs become a big part of the negotiation. Here’s their story.

Read More

What Is A VA Loan? A Veterans Guide To Home Ownership

For those dear men and women that choose to serve the USA through military service, our country owes a great bit of gratitude. One of the ways we show that gratitude is through the VA loan. Since 1944, qualifying veterans have used the benefit offered through the federal government to purchase a home and carve out their little spot in the world.

Read More

Third Quarter Growth Strong but Checked by Trade, Weaker Gains in Consumer and Business Demand

WASHINGTON, DC – The Fannie Mae Economic and Strategic Research Group maintained its third quarter 2018 economic growth forecast of 3.2 percent annualized amid an expected slowdown in consumer spending and business fixed investment growth, according to its September 2018 Economic and Housing Outlook. The ESR Group also noted that trade and housing will likely subtract from growth this quarter, while citing inventory restocking and increased government spending as potentially positive contributors.

Read More

Russian River Car Show

Another successful year!  All of the proceeds from the Russian River Car Show go to local charities and non-profits.  Some of our previous recipients have been:

  • Monte Rio Chamber of Commerce - Student backpack program
  • Monte Rio Elementary School
  • Friends of Monte Rio
  • Vietnam Veterans Chapter 223
  • Bob Burke's Kids
  • St. Andrews Food Program
  • Russian River Senior Center
  • River to Coast Children's Services
  • KGGV FM
  • Guerneville Community Church

 

How To Avoid Buyer’s Remorse After Buying A House

Most decisions we make in life lead to at least a small amount of buyer’s remorse. In fact, scientists have called this phenomenon the post-decision dissonance. For example, choosing to spend money on a much-needed vacation may later create buyer’s remorse that you did not save the money for retirement. People that buy a home often feel buyer’s remorse for various reasons. Here are the top causes and ways to avoid buyer’s remorse after buying a home.

Read More

Air-Purifying Plants to Make Your Whole House Smell Awesomely Fresh

Jasmine has a sweet aroma that can calm you

  • Lavender is great at making you sleepy

  • Rosemary can help you focus and work smarter

  • Sharry Baby Orchid smells like chocolate. Delicious!

  • Mother-in-Law Tongue turns carbon monoxide into oxygen

  • Devil’s Ivy, also known as Pothos, can cleanse the air of toxic fumes like glue and paint

  • Mums tackle one of the toughest toxins: cigarette smoke.

  • Peace Lily can reduce those annoying “new” odors from upholstery and carpet.

Read More

Are Affordability Perceptions Reducing Household Mobility and Exacerbating the Housing Shortage?

Are Affordability Perceptions Reducing Household Mobility and Exacerbating the Housing Shortage?

Across the country, housing affordability continues to be a challenge as the supply of homes for sale or rent has not kept pace with demand. The slow increase in single-family construction has been the subject of much discussion, with the four 'L's: (labor, lumber, lots, and laws) often serving as the focus. However, less attention has been paid to the supply of existing homes for sale, the trade-offs households weigh when choosing housing, and how households balance housing expenditures with other needs and wants.

Read More

HomeReady Mortgage by Fannie Mae

We understand the financial challenges many homebuyers are facing. They can’t afford a large down payment; may have multiple student loans; or may rely on income from non-traditional sources (i.e., parents or other family members). These challenges can make homeownership seem impossible, or may have impacted their ability to buy a home in the past.

Not anymore. After much research and feedback from both homebuyers and lenders, Fannie Mae created HomeReady® mortgage, an enhanced affordable loan designed to meet the diverse financial and familial needs of responsible, creditworthy buyers.

Read More

Mortgage rates roar to a fresh 2018 high

Rates for home loans surged on strong economic data, taking the benchmark rate to its highest point so far this year.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.47%, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey, out Thursday. That was five basis points higher than in the previous week, and the highest for the popular mortgage product since January 2014. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.94%, up from 3.87%. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.67%, up from 3.61% last week.

Read More