Is It Time to Downsize, Even in a Seller’s Market?

SAN LUIS OBISPO SELLER MARKET

A study by Edelman Berland reveals that 33% of homeowners who are contemplating selling their house in the near future are planning to scale down. Let’s look at a few reasons why this might make sense for many homeowners, as the majority of the country including San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties are currently experiencing a seller’s market.

In a recent blog, Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, highlighted the advantages of selling your current house and downsizing into a smaller home that better serves your current needs. Ramsey explains three potential financial advantages to downsizing:

  1. A smaller home means less space, but it also means less time, stress and money spent on upkeep.
  2. Let’s assume you save $500 a month on your mortgage payment. In 30 years, you could have an additional $1–1.6 million in the bank to get you through your golden years.
  3. Use the proceeds from selling your current home to pay cash for a smaller one. Just imagine what you could do with no mortgage holding you down! If you can’t pay cash, aim for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage and put at least 10–20% down on your new home. Apply the $500 you saved from downsizing to your new monthly payment. At 3% interest, you could pay off a $200,000 mortgage in less than 10.5 years, saving almost $16,000 in the process.

Realtor.com also addressed downsizing in a recent article. They suggest that you ask yourself some questions before deciding if downsizing is right for you and your family. Here are two of their questions followed by their answers (in italics) and some additional information that could help. 

Q: What kind of lifestyle do I want after I downsize?

A: “For some folks, it’s a matter of living a simpler life focused on family. Some might want to cross off travel destinations on their bucket lists. Some might want a low-maintenance community with high-end upgrades and social events. Decide what you want to achieve from your move first, and you’ll be able to better narrow down your housing options.”

Comments: Many homeowners are taking the profit from the sale of their current home and splitting it in order to put down payments on a smaller home in their current location, as well as a vacation/retirement home where they plan to live when they retire.

This allows them to lock in the home price and mortgage interest rate at today’s values. This makes sense financially as both home prices and interest rates are projected to rise.

Q: Have I built up enough equity in my current home to make a profit?

A: “For most homeowners, the answer is yes. This is if they’ve held on to their properties long enough to have positive equity that will be sizable enough to put a large down payment on their next home.”

Comments: A study by Fannie Mae revealed that only 37% of Americans believe that they have significant equity (> 20%) in their current home. In actuality, CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that 72.6% have greater than 20% equity. That equity could enable you to build the life you’ve always dreamt about. 

Bottom Line

If you are debating downsizing your home and want to evaluate the options you currently have, let me know so that I can help guide you through the process to your next home.

April’s Market Update

Here’s your San Luis Obispo city house price market update. This graph shows median sales price  for single family homes in San Luis Obispo. You can see that trend line steadily climbing since February, and going even higher in April, and likely May.


Below is San Luis Obispo County House Price Trend Line


 

Every city here on the Central Coast, every neighborhood, and every home is unique in relation to every other. How to properly assess and calculate the current value vs market value is a detailed and complex process when it comes home property valuations. Do you want to know more about what’s happening in your specific area and how it affects the value of your home? CLICK HERE OR BELOW!

SLO Home Values

Thinking about selling? Now may be the best time!

 

4 Reasons to Move Up to Your Dream San Luis Obispo Home This Spring

San Luis Obispo Real Estate Homes For Sale

 

Spring is in full force; the summer months are right around the corner. If you are debating moving up to your dream San Luis Obispo home, here are four great reasons to consider listing your current home and moving up to your dream home now, instead of waiting.

1. Buyer Demand is High & Inventory is Low
Recent numbers show that buyer demand is at the highest peak experienced in years, and inventory for sale is at a 4.5-month supply, which is still markedly lower than the 6 months needed for a historically normal market.

Demand in many markets is far exceeding the supply, and more properties in March sold in less than 30 days (42%) than in any month since last July.

Listing your home today can greatly increase exposure to buyers who are out in force and ready to act.

2. Prices Will Continue to Rise
CoreLogic recently released their latest Home Price Index in which they predict that national home values will appreciate by 5.3% by this time next year.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting for your current home’s value to increase before selling could price you out of your new home if you aren’t careful.

3. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Still Near Record Lows
Interest rates have remained below 4% for some time now and are substantially lower than the rate previous generations paid when getting a mortgage.

The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will rise over the next 12 months.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. Even an increase of half a percentage point can put a dent in your family’s net worth. Whether you are moving up or buying your first home, your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your home.

4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life
The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise. But, what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Have you always wanted to live in a certain neighborhood? Would a climate change be just what the doctor ordered? Would you like to be closer to your family?

Bottom Line

If the right thing for you and your family is to move up to the home of your dreams this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings. You may even consider one of the these luxurious homes currently on the market!

Top 10 Luxury Homes For Sale in San Luis Obispo, CA

We picked out the top 10 luxury homes for sale in San Luis Obispo, Ca! From Modern Farmhouse to Classic European to Vintage Spanish Style Homes these properties have it all. From Downtown SLO living to peaceful country acreage, you’re sure to fall in love with these homes. Check out how the elite of San Luis Obispo live and who’s looking to sell!

 

#1 – 951 Pasatiempo DriveSan Luis Obispo, CA 93405 | Listed Price $3,250,000

951 Pasatiempo Dr San Luis Obispo

 

#2 – 4950 Davenport Creek RoadSan Luis Obispo, CA 93401 | Listed Price $2,850,000

Davenport Creek San Luis Obispo Home

 

#3 – 1650 Harmony WaySan Luis Obispo, CA 93401 | Listed Price $2,699,000

Harmony Way San Luis Obispo Home

 

#4 – 6970 Canada VistaSan Luis Obispo, CA 93401 | Listed Price $2,495,000

Edna Valley Home For Sale

 

#5 – 672 Oakridge DriveSan Luis Obispo, CA 93405 – Listed Price $2,395,000

Oakridge Drive San Luis Obispo Home

 

#6 – 550 BassiSan Luis Obispo, CA 93401 – $2,325,000

Bassi Ranch San Luis Obispo Home

 

#7 – 7175 Paseo VinedoSan Luis Obispo, CA 93401 – $2,295,000

Paseo Vinedo San Luis Obispo Home

 

#8 – 875 GreystoneSan Luis Obispo, CA 93401 | Listed Price $1,995,000

Greystone San Luis Obispo Country Club

 

#9 – 1190 Bassi DriveSan Luis Obispo, CA 93405 | Listed Price $1,999,000

Bassi San Luis Obispo Home

 

#10 – 1443 Osos StreetSan Luis Obispo, CA 93401 | Listed Price $1,845,000

Osos St Downtown San Luis Obispo Home

San Luis Obispo and National Housing Inventory Disappearing

San Luis Obispo Housing Inventory

The price of any item is determined by the supply of that item, and the market demand. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their latest Existing Home Sales Report which gives insight into today’s market conditions nationwide.

Inventory Levels & Demand

Sales of existing homes rose 5.1% month-over-month in March and are 1.5% higher than this time last year. Sales rose in all four major regions in March.

Total unsold housing inventory is 1.5% lower than March 2015 at a 4.5-month supply and remains well below the six months that is needed for a historically normal market.

Consumer confidence is at the highest level in over a decade. Pair that with interest rates still below 4%, programs available for down payments as low as 3%, and you have an attractive market for buyers.

Homes sold in March were on the market for an average of 47 days and 42% of properties sold in less than a month.

Prices Rising

March marked the 49th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains as the median price of existing homes sold rose to $210,700 (up 5.7% from 2015).

So What Does This Mean?

The chart below shows the impact that inventory levels have on home prices.

Housing Supply SLO

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun gave some insight into the correlation:

“Buyer demand remains sturdy in most areas this spring and the mid-priced market is doing quite well. However, sales are softer both at the very low and very high ends of the market because of supply limitations and affordability pressures.”

Bottom Line

If you are debating putting your home on the market in 2016, now may be the time. The number of buyers ready and willing to make a purchase is at the highest level in years. Let me know if you are ready and we can get the process started.

 

How Important Is The List Price?

Central Coast List Price

In today’s market, where demand is outpacing supply in most cities here in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, pricing a house is one of the biggest challenges we’ll face. Sellers often want to price their home higher than recommended, and many agents go along with the idea to keep their clients happy. However, the best real estate agents realize that telling the homeowner the truth is more important than getting the seller to like them.

There is no “later.”

Sellers sometimes think, “If the home doesn’t sell for this price, I can always lower it later.” However, research proves that homes that experience a listing price reduction sit on the market longer, ultimately selling for less than similar homes.

John Knight, recipient of the University Distinguished Faculty Award from the Eberhardt School of Business at the University of the Pacific, actually did research on the cost (in both time and money) to a seller who priced high at the beginning and then lowered their price. His article, Listing Price, Time on Market and Ultimate Selling Price, published in Real Estate Economics revealed:

“Homes that underwent a price revision sold for less, and the greater the revision, the lower the selling price. Also, the longer the home remains on the market, the lower its ultimate selling price.”

Additionally, the “I’ll lower the price later” approach can paint a negative image in buyers’ minds. Each time a price reduction occurs, buyers can naturally think, “Something must be wrong with that house.” Then when a buyer does make an offer, they low-ball the price because they see the seller as “highly motivated.” Pricing it right from the start eliminates these challenges.

Don’t build “negotiation room” into the price.

Many sellers say that they want to price their home high in order to have “negotiation room.” But, what this actually does is lower the number of potential buyers that see the house. And we know that limiting demand like this will negatively impact the sales price of the house.

Not sure about this? Think of it this way: when a buyer is looking for a home online (as they are doing more and more often), they put in their desired price range. If your seller is looking to sell their house for $400,000, but lists it at $425,000 to build in “negotiation room,” any potential buyers that search in the $350k-$400k range won’t even know your listing is available, let alone come see it!

One great way to see this is with the chart below. The higher you price your home over its market value, the less potential buyers will actually see your home when searching.

Price Visibility Chart

A better strategy would be to price it properly from the beginning and bring in multiple offers. This forces these buyers to compete against each other for the “right” to purchase your house.

Look at it this way: if you only receive one offer, you are set up in an adversarial position against the prospective buyer. If, however, you have multiple offers, you have two or more buyers fighting to please you. Which will result in a better selling situation?

The Price is Right

Great pricing comes down to truly understanding the real estate dynamics in your neighborhood. I am here to simply and effectively explain what is happening in the your specific market and how it applies to your home. I am committed to telling you what you need to know rather than what you want to hear. This will put us in the best possible position for success in selling your home in today’s market.

The Ultimate San Luis Obispo Seller’s Checklist

Here’s pretty much everything that you need to consider and be mindful of before we put your San Luis Obispo home on the market. If you want top dollar for your property it’s crucial that we present your property in the best possible light and in the best possible condition. If you need help with referrals for contractors or any other local central coast service people let me know and I can help you with that as well.

Remember we can only make one first impression with buyers, why not make the best most attractive first impression possible?

If you are ready to get started let me know and I can guide you through this entire process, my team and I are here to help and get you to where you and family want to go.

San Luis Obispo Real Estate

6 San Luis Obispo County High Schools Receive Top Rankings

Morro Bay real estate

Six San Luis Obispo County public high schools received silver medals in U.S. News and World Report’s annual assessment released Wednesday.

The magazine evaluated data on more than 21,000 schools, weighing their performance on state assessments, how well they serve disadvantaged students, their graduation rates and how well they prepare students for college.

From that total, it identified 6,218 schools as gold, silver or bronze medal winners, ranking them according to a College Readiness Index based on students’ rate of participation and success at passing Advanced Placement tests. The top 500 ranked schools nationwide received gold medals. The next 2,173 received silver medals. And an additional 3,545 earned bronze medals. California has 683 ranked high schools.

Arroyo Grande High School placed the highest locally, ranking No. 170 in California and No. 1,032 nationwide.

It was followed by San Luis Obispo High School (No. 221 and No. 1,262, respectively), Templeton High School (No. 279 and No. 1,555), Coast Union High School (No. 430 and No. 2,278), Paso Robles High School (No. 449 and No. 2,345) and Morro Bay High School(No. 475 and No. 2,492).

Central Coast New Tech High School in Nipomo earned a bronze medal but wasn’t ranked.

Atascadero and Nipomo high schools were unranked locally.

The report named the School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas, Texas, as the best in the country. Whitney High School in Cerritos was named the No. 1 high school in California.

For more information on the school rankings and to see detailed breakdowns on local high schools, visit www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools.

San Luis Obispo Home Prices Are Up…But There is a Challenge

San Luis Obispo home values

Home values continue to climb and are projected to increase by about 5% over the next twelve months here in San Luis Obispo. That is good news for anyone who owns a home. However, it could present a challenge for a family trying to sell their house.

If prices are surging, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate, comparable sales (similar houses in the neighborhood that closed recently) to defend the sales price when performing the appraisal for the bank.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released information revealing just how prominent the challenge is in today’s market.

SLO real estate

And the challenge is deepening…
Every month, Quicken Loans measures the disparity between what a homeowner believes their house is worth as compared to an appraiser’s evaluation in their Home Price Perception Index (HPPI). Here is a chart showing that difference for each of the last 12 months.

Central coast homes

As we can see the difference has increased each of the last two months.

Bottom Line

Every house on the market has to be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then to the bank (through the bank’s appraisal). With escalating prices, the second sale might be more difficult than the first. If you are planning on putting your San Luis Obispo home on the market this year, I am here to guide you through this process, and effectively deal with any other obstacles that may arise. That’s what I am here for!

Have you been thinking of Selling? The Market Needs Your Listing!

SearchingForHome-SLO

The Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties real estate markets are really heating up and buyer demand is dramatically increasing as we enter the spring season. However, one challenge to the current market is the major shortage of inventory. Below are a few comments made in the last month by industry experts.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of NAR

“Looking ahead, the key for sustained momentum and more sales than last spring is a continuous stream of new listings quickly replacing what’s being scooped up by a growing pool of buyers. Without adequate supply, sales will likely plateau.”

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist of Realtor.com

“Low inventories and tight credit will limit the gains we will see in 2016. However, given the level of pent-up demand evident in web activity and stated buyer intentions for 2016, we should see this spring materialize as the busiest season of sales since 2006.”

Rick Sharga, Ten-X’s EVP

“Inventory is too low to support much higher sales. There’s virtually no inventory available at the entry level, and single family housing starts and permits continue to languish at levels far below where they should be at this point of the recovery.”

David Crowe, Chief Economist of the National Assoc. of Home Builders

“Many sellers may not have an absolute decision as to whether to buy an existing home or a new home. So the low inventory of existing homes is locking them in place.”

Freddie Mac

“Challenges remain, with low housing supply and declining affordability being a key concern in many markets.”

 

If you have have been thinking of selling your central coast home my team I would love the opportunity to earn not only your trust and business but your friendship as well. We are committed to serving you and this community.

We look forward to hearing from you!