Financial Friday: How Stable is the Housing Market?

inflation

The other day a client said to me that he’d know in a few weeks whether or not he was going to make an offer on the home he had his eye on.  Further, he didn’t want to be involved in a bidding war, and he wanted to pay the asking price.

He’s new.

Until inventory increases, which it’s predicted to do as we move forward into 2015, not only are prime properties snapped up almost at once, but there is usually a bidding war and sales for reasonably priced homes are commonly well over the asking price.  

It’s true that mortgages are at an all-time low right now, so that’s to the buyers advantage, but will they remain that way? Controlling inflation is now on the table for Janet Yellen, the Chair of the Federal Reserve.  One of the ways that’s done is by increasing interest rates.  If this policy is followed, as it’s rumoured to do, getting a home loan will become more expensive.

I know this might discourage a new buyer, but there are strategies you can follow that will give you an edge.

My advice?  Start small. You might buy a home that’s a little less than you need, or in a neighborhood you hadn’t considered just to get yourself in the housing market.  If all goes well, you’ll be in a good position sell for more than you paid when you’re ready to move up.

If you’re already a homeowner and ready to sell, this is a golden time for sellers.  Please give me a call at 510-527-0174 , I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make you glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective

If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Low Housing Inventory? Blame the Boomers

If you’re trying to find a home to buy, I’m sure you’ve experienced the relative lack of inventory on the market in the East Bay.  You may wonder why more people are hanging on to their homes.

There are all sorts of good reasons to sell if you’ve been in a house for many years.  Usually, an old family home is too big for older folks to take care of, or has too many stairs to navigate, or has lots of delayed maintenance issues, or is not  convenient to the goods and services you need or enjoy–and driving has become, well, an issue.

However, in the Berkeley area there are some ways around this dilemma.  In the Elmwood area there is something called Ashby Village, consisting of  “. . .a community-based network of people over age 50 living in the greater Berkeley area united by our desire to remain in our own homes as we get older,”

This attitude lines up perfectly with these statistics from C.A.R. :

BabyBoomersReality

Still, many seniors need more than good neighborhood organizations to keep healthy and safe.  My folks, when they became too old to look after themselves without constant, 24/7 care, used the proceeds from their home sale to support their assisted living.

When they moved out of their home of  over 30 years both they, and my wife and I, breathed a sign of relief knowing that their needs would be well looked after. Sometimes it’s important to know when to make a change, and the health and safety of my parents came before the sentimental value of having the family home remain in the family.

If you’re the rare boomer who wants to sell their East Bay home, or someone older who is ready to–or or a buyer looking to purchase one–and are interested in hiring an agent like me please give me a call at 510-527-0174 , I’m never too busy to take care of you or your referrals. I’ll make you glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective

If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

What’s Next: Free Fun in the Bay Area

sfclippercards1024

I read in the paper today that cities in the East Bay are pitching in to get the roads fixed.  All the cracks and potholes sure do make travel a physical challenge, not to mention the wear and tear on our vehicles.

In response,the wife and I decided to do more public transportation. We discovered that we can apply online for senior clipper cards.  BARTing across the bay to the various events and activities we enjoy will make attendance less of a hassle.  Parking, bridge tolls, and lousy roads won’t be an issue. All we have to do is fill up our (discounted) clipper card and go!

Here are the FREE FUN events available to travel to this week: (January 27th to February 1st)

TUESDAY JANUARY 27TH
Recycled Art Roundup

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 28TH
Free Flight Simulator Experience in San Carlos

THURSDAY JANUARY 29TH
Barbary Coast Comedy in Oakland

FRIDAY JANUARY 30TH
Friday Night at the OMAC

SATURDAY JANUARY 31ST
Berkeley Restaurant Week

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 1ST
Exploratorium Free Day

If you’d love to experience East Bay Living, including buying an East Bay home–or if you’re thinking about selling–and are interested in hiring an agent like me please give me a call at 510-527-0174 ,  I’m never too busy to take care of you or your referrals. 

You’ll be glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective

If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Financial Friday: The Slow Home Flipper

Can-an-Investor-Still-Make-Money-Flipping-Houses1

On Weird Wednesday last, we talked about Contractors.  If you’re a real estate flipper, you are probably familiar with using contractors, and your own sweat equity, to update lower income housing to high income standards and sell for a profit.  You’re not buying a forever home, you’re buying an investment.

When I purchased my first home in Berkeley, I did the same–with one difference:  I estimated a much slower turnaround on the deal.  At the time our two bedroom bungalow was perfect for our small family, and near both our jobs. We stayed through the birth of our first child,  but when the second came around a couple years later we knew we needed to move.

And we were ready to sell, and knew we’d receive higher price than we originally paid, not just because property values had increased, but because we spent the time we lived there making improvements. We turned the garage into a home office, we built a deck out the back, we repainted, planted a lovely garden, and refinished the floors.

We spent roughly 4 years in our “starter” home, and it’s sale took us to the home in the hills in which we still live.

My point? In this crazy housing market, start small just to get your toe in the door.  Plan on doing a Slow Flip. Investing in the East Bay, with all it’s advantages, is never a mistake.

If  you’d love to buy an East Bay home to prepare for a slow flip–or if you’re thinking about selling–and are interested in hiring an agent like me please give me a call at 510-527-0174 ,  I’m never too busy to take care of you or your referrals. 

You’ll be glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Weird Wednesday: The Trouble with (some) Contractors

WWChina-Skyscrapers

There’s a cliche when it comes to hiring contractors to work on your home: they will never finish when they say they will.  Maybe if we had prefab units, like they do in this building in China, the estimates would be closer to the mark.

Knowing home  improvements might take longer than you think is important information if you’re improving a home that you’re planning to sell.  (And speaking of which, here’s a link with some pretty creative ideas in that regard.)  Timing is important, and making sure the job is done right is essential.

I had a contractor–hired by the seller– on one of my listings.  He not only took way too long to get the job done, but made some pretty crucial mistakes.

The home was an elegant property in the Berkeley Hills.  There was a termite report that the contractor was supposed to address. Instead, he decided that the work done was unnecessary since he himself didn’t see any termites.

I worked under the assumption that he had done what he was supposed to have done, so was floored when the buyer’s inspection revealed that the work required was unfinished.   The buyer’s backed out of the deal. They decided that, because of this omission, they couldn’t trust the work the contractor had done in other areas of the home either.

Needless to say, he went on my “never hire” list.

I’ve since formed relationships with contractors that I find reliable and honest.  I’m happy to share if you need one.

If  you’d love to buy an East Bay home–or if you’re thinking about selling–and are interested in hiring an agent like me please give me a call at 510-527-0174 ,  I’m never too busy to take care of you or your referrals. 

You’ll be glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

What’s Next: Impressive Performances and Free fun this week in the Bay Area

NFC Championship Football

I don’t know if you were gathered around your TV set for the playoff games on Sunday, but if you were not, you missed an amazing, miraculous, outstanding game. No matter how you feel about the Seahawks, and believe me, Pete Carroll and the “12th Man” thing gets up my nose, you have to admit that the passion, fire and emotion displayed by this team in the last few minutes of the game was inspirational.  Quarterback Wilson’s tears in the final moments told the tale. At the end of the day they won because they depended on each other, supported each other, never gave up, and left it all out on the field.  A lesson for us all.

My friends and I agreed: it’s moments like this that make watching a team sport terrific fun; and speaking of fun, let’s see what’s going on this week (January 19th to the 28th) in the Bay Area:

MONDAY JANUARY 19TH
Martin Luther King Day Events around the Bay

TUESDAY JANUARY 20TH
 Arts & Drafts every Tuesday at the Era Bar and Lounge

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 21ST
If you like Banksy, you’ll like this, including 836 Montgomery Street

THURSDAY JANUARY 25TH
Deadhead alert: California Historical Society discusses you (Free to members, $5.00 for non members.

FRIDAY JANUARY 26TH
Recycled artists and art enthusiasts will enjoy this

SATURDAY JANUARY 27TH
Meet Grumpy Cat and adopt a pet in Berkeley

SUNDAY JANUARY 28TH
Mixed Media Mixer in Berkeley

Enjoy this week in the Bay Area.

I’ve been working on this blog  for a few years, and the more I do the more impressed I am by the variety of cultural and multi cultural opportunities for expansion and enjoyment there are in this beautiful community.

If  you’d love to buy an East Bay home–or if you’re thinking about selling–and are interested in hiring an agent like me please give me a call at 510-527-0174 ,  I’m never too busy to take care of you or your referrals. 

You’ll be glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Financial Friday: Buy Now? Smart Money Says it’s Smart.

Sand Art - Smart Money

Many of my buyer clients are waiting (thinking, wishing, hoping) that the market gets “better”, and by that they mean housing prices will go down and competition for homes will be less intense.

Maybe, but one thing they might not be considering is the mortgage rates.  Whether home buyer or home seller, it’s important to get as much information as possible when strategizing for major financial purchases.  I’m here to help.

I stumbled across this informative article from Yahoo about the wisdom, or lack thereof, on waiting to buy a home.  Now, Westside Today has a slightly more positive take on their 2015 housing market forecast, but I think it’s important to hear various points of view to get a broader sense of what’s happening in the real estate market today.  A well educated buyer and seller are more confident with their choices and happier with their purchases.

If  you’d love to buy an East Bay home–or if you’re thinking about selling–and are interested in hiring an agent like me please give me a call at 510-527-0174 ,  I’m never too busy to take care of you or your referrals. 

You’ll be glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Open House Hazards

My wife has trained me when it comes to buying clothes.  Her mantra, when I hold something up for her approval, is always:

“Have you tried it on?”

In real estate, Open Homes are equivalent to heading for the changing rooms at your local clothing store.  A buyer has to see if the home fits their lifestyle before they can think of buying it.

Open Homes, however, carry certain risks.  C.A.R. has this terrific graphic designed to help sellers avoid some of the pitfalls.

SafetyFirst

An experienced agent like myself is aware of these risks and will be sure to tell you how to maximize your security so you will have a successful and safe Open House.

If  you’d love to buy an East Bay home–or if you’re thinking about selling–and are interested in hiring an agent like me please give me a call at 510-527-0174 ,  I’m never too busy to take care of you or your referrals. 

You’ll be glad you called.

Please check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my online presence. I have two sites I made just for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

 

What’s Next: January 13-19 FREE FUN

Watching-football-on-TV

Time to emerge from the football coma that marks playoff weekends.  Even for those of us who lose interest in football if “our team” isn’t playing, there is some curiousity to see if anyone has what it takes to beat our North Coast enemies, the Seahawks.

“GO!” whoever can do that.

Or, you can just go to the dark side, as I often do, and root for the sure winner.  In any case, in between now and the Super Bowl, I hope to provide a few fun FREE ideas of other ways to occupy our time. Let’s take a look at a short list of this week’s offerings.

TUESDAY JANUARY 13TH
Adult Story time at the Mountainview Library

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 14TH
Horseshoe Hill: Granddaughters of Warren Hellman
(of Hardly/Strictly fame) play in SF

THURSDAY JANUARY 15TH
Free Bhangra Dance Classes in Berkeley

FRIDAY JANUARY 16TH
25th Anniversary of Sea Lion’s Arrival at Pier 39

SATURDAY JANUARY 17TH
Final Free day for “The Anarchist” at Theater Rhino

SUNDAY JANUARY 18TH
MLK Weekend SF Walking Tours

Enjoy your week in our beautiful Bay Area.

If  you’d love to buy an East Bay home–or if you’re thinking about selling–and are interested in hiring an agent like me please give me a call at 510-527-0174 ,  I’m never too busy to take care of you or your referrals. 

You’ll be glad you called.

Please check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my online presence. I have two sites I made just for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need, I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Financial Friday: Good News for Buyers

SOLD buyersRT

Lately my posts have focused on the advantages home sellers have in today’s East Bay housing market.  It’s good to see that there’s some good news for buyers as well.  Here’s an encouraging paragraph from friend and mortgage lender Steve Walden I thought I’d pass along to you.

“A positive prologue to 2015 came when mortgage rates ended last year a whole percentage point below the original forecasts. An online publisher of financial data reported: “Even with average home price appreciation of 5%, housing is more affordable now, with lower monthly payments on a larger loan than one year ago, by virtue of lower mortgage rates.” They feel stagnant consumer incomes have held back the market and that “if wage growth materializes as expected in 2015, home sales will pick up as buyers’ reluctance slips away.”  Finally, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index posted a 4.6% annual gain in October.”

If  you’d love to buy an East Bay home–or if you’re thinking about selling–and are interested in hiring an agent like me please give me a call at 510-527-0174 ,  I’m never too busy to take care of you or your referrals. 

You’ll be glad you called.

Please check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my online presence. I have two sites I made just for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need, I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley