Friday, January 30, 2015

New Listing - 3715 Tallyho Drive, Unit 29, Sacramento, CA 95826

Adorable 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom Rosemont condo in "The Highlands." You will love the remodeled kitchen and bathrooms with granite counters, maple cabinets, and stainless appliances. Spacious light and bright layout, nice fireplace, big bedrooms, lots of storage space, dual pane windows, inside laundry, private patio and more! Gated community with park-like grounds, swimming pool, club house & tennis court. Conveniently located just minutes from CSUS, the river, downtown, and public transportation. Don't wait! Offered at $105,000. For more photos and information, please visit 3715 Tallyho Drive, Unit 29, Sacramento, CA 95826.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Listing - 9121 Plumgrove Way, Sacramento, CA 95826

Adorable, light and bright 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1,425sf Rosemont home! You will love the vaulted ceilings, recessed lighting, huge living room with fireplace insert, updated kitchen, custom counters and backsplash, stainless appliances, breakfast bar, large dining area, updated bathrooms, and more! Backyard has great covered patio, fruit trees, veggie garden, and lovely blooms in the spring. Conveniently located just minutes from shopping, light rail, freeway access, CSUS, downtown, and the river. Don't wait! Offered at $259,900. For more photos and information, visit 9121 Plumgrove Way, Sacramento, CA 95826.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Listing - 50 Regency Park Circle, Unit 8109, Sacramento, CA 95835

Lovely Natomas 2 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, 1,303sf end unit condo with a 2-car attached garage. You will love the granite counters and stylish backsplash in the kitchen, custom paint selections, upgraded carpet & lovely tile floors. Lots of natural light! Desirable Plan C built by Warmington Homes - Serenade at Regency Park Community amenities include a built-in pool, barbecue area, & fitness center. Washer, dryer, and refrigerator included. Close to neighborhood parks, bike/running trails, shopping, and dining. Easy access to I-5, Downtown, and Sacramento International Airport. Don't wait! Offered at $159,900. For more photos and detail visit 50 Regency Park Circle #8109, Sacramento, CA 95835.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Does it make more sense to rent or buy a home in the Sacramento area? The data is here...

For the last few years in the month of January, I have written about the difference between typical monthly mortgage payments vs. the average rent payments in certain neighborhoods in the greater Sacramento area. I thought I would start 2015 much the same way, updated with today's interest rates, average Sacramento home prices, and average rents.

2015 has started and my phone has been ringing off the hook. I have been busy with both home buyers and sellers. Who has been calling me? Prospective home buyers who finally have decided that 2015 is the time take the plunge and buy a home in Sacramento, folks who are relocating to the area, or looking for a bigger home who also need to sell their current home. I have also been called by several folks so far in 2015 who are looking to sell an investment property they've been holding on to. This is very similar to my activity that started 2014...

While home values have increased a bit since this time last year, it is still currently more affordable in many areas to buy a home in Sacramento than rent a home. And compared to our market's peak in 2005, prices are still extremely low, plus rents seem to have increased.

When you take into consideration the median home price and probable monthly mortgage payment in particular Sacramento neighborhoods vs. the typical rent, often times the mortgage payment is less. Plus often times the 'average' home that is purchased is much larger or nicer than the 'average' home rented. So as per usual, let's take a look at a few different areas...just for the sake of citing my information sources, for median home price (used to calculate mortgage payment scenarios) I am using most recent year end December 2014 Trendgraphix data, which is taken directly from MLS, and for average rent I am using the most recent Q4 2014 Homepointe Quarterly Residential Rental Survey. For my mortgage payment calculations, I am basing it on a 4.0% interest rate (which is actually slightly above today's average market interest rates), and including the full PITI - loan principle, interest, monthly property taxes, and monthly homeowner's insurance (and mortgage insurance where applicable).

Natomas - 95833, 95834, 95835
Median single family home sale price: $288,000
Average rent for a 3 bedroom home: $1,353 (range $1,095 - $1,795)
30-Year Fixed VA Loan (Zero downpayment): $1,788
30-Year Fixed FHA Loan (3.5% downpayment): $2,046
30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (10% downpayment): $1,735
30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (20% downpayment): $1,483

Elk Grove / Laguna - 95757, 95758
Median single family home sale price: $321,000
Average rent for a 3 bedroom home: $1,471 (range $1,195 - $1,950)
30-Year Fixed VA Loan (Zero downpayment): $1,993
30-Year Fixed FHA Loan (3.5% downpayment): $2,281
30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (10% downpayment): $1,934
30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (20% downpayment): $1,654

Rosemont / College Greens - 95826, 95827
Median single family home sale price: $244,000
Average rent for a 3 bedroom home: $1,239 (range $90 - $1,495)
30-Year Fixed VA Loan (Zero downpayment): $1,515
30-Year Fixed FHA Loan (3.5% downpayment): $1,734
30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (10% downpayment): $1,470
30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (20% downpayment): $1,257

Arden - 95821, 95825, 95864
Median single family home sale price: $250,000
Average rent for a 3 bedroom home: $1,275 (range $995 - $1700)
30-Year Fixed VA Loan (Zero downpayment): $1,552
30-Year Fixed FHA Loan (3.5% downpayment): $1,776
30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (10% downpayment): $1,506
30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (20% downpayment): $1,288

Carmichael, Fair Oaks - 95608, 95628
Median single family home sale price: $318,000
Average rent for a 3 bedroom home: $1,649 (range $900 - $2,600)
30-Year Fixed VA Loan (Zero downpayment): $1,974
30-Year Fixed FHA Loan (3.5% downpayment): $2,259
30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (10% downpayment): $1,916
30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (20% downpayment): $1,638

Citrus Heights, Orangevale - 95610, 95621, 95662
Median single family home sale price: $251,000
Average rent for a 3 bedroom home: $1,278 (range $995 - $1,550)
30-Year Fixed VA Loan (Zero downpayment): $1,558
30-Year Fixed FHA Loan (3.5% downpayment): $1,783
30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (10% downpayment): $1,512
30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (20% downpayment): $1,293

South Land Park, Pocket / Greenhaven - 95822, 95831
Median single family home sale price: $223,000
Average rent for a 3 bedroom home: $1,293 (range $1,000 - $1,795)
30-Year Fixed VA Loan (Zero downpayment): $1,384
30-Year Fixed FHA Loan (3.5% downpayment): $1,584
30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (10% downpayment): $1,344
30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (20% downpayment): $1,149

Obviously there are other tangible and intangible benefits to home ownership as well...for example, a tangible benefit is the fact you can write-off or deduct your mortgage interest on your income taxes, and also deduct some other related expenses each year. An intangible benefit might be that as a homeowner, you have the freedom to paint the walls, decorate, plant a garden, remodel, etc.

So clearly these numbers are just a baseline to give you an idea of housing affordability in certain areas. You definitely need to consult a loan officer to see what type of financing is the best fit for you, and ultimately just how much you can afford - and there are several variables that will affect your interest rate and terms. You should also speak with a CPA or qualified tax professional regarding the mortgage interest and other tax deductions to see how it will affect your particular situation. If you need a good referral to either one, feel free to contact me and I can put you in touch. And of course I can help you purchase your home and all that goes with it...

Monday, December 29, 2014

Need to list your Sacramento home quickly? Here are a few tips to get it ready in a short amount of time...

I tour a lot of homes. A LOT. And not just in the course of showing a lot of homes to buyers. I make a weekly habit of looking at properties for the sake of reference, to know and be familiar with what is on the market in certain Sacramento area neighborhoods. This helps me help both my buyers AND my sellers.

One thing I see frequently is a complete and total lack of preparation of a home for sale. As in this photo here to the left in a Land Park home I toured - this home seller covered a big mess of stuff with some blankets. And it looked crappy. Take a few minutes and box that stuff up...WHY would a seller not want to present a home in the best possible light? And that leads me to wonder why on earth would a seller choose a listing agent who doesn't help them or suggest ways to get the house ready to sell?

I do sometimes get calls from folks who want to list their home right away...and with RIGHT AWAY comes a time crunch to get a home presentable for showings. Perhaps it's a short sale situation and there is a risk of foreclosure looming? Maybe it is a divorce situation and there is a court order to sell? Perhaps they found another house they want to buy and need their existing home on the market now? Whatever the case, it happens. Here are a few quick ideas for home sellers who want to have their home on the market asap...

First and foremost - clean your home. If you do not have the time to clean it yourself, please hire a professional. It is really important that your home smell clean, the bathrooms be free of the ring around the toilet, the shower enclosure be free of scum, the kitchen appliances and fixtures are free from grease, and the floors are clean. Added bonus if you can have your carpets professionally cleaned and your windows professionally washed.

Mow the lawns. At least the front lawn, even if you do not have time for the back yard. Blow leaves and tidy up planter beds. If you have kids, put them to work pulling weeds or scooping dog poop. Most buyers form their impression of a home within seconds of seeing the exterior. If the exterior looks uncared for, that's usually an indication of what the interior will look like. Added bonus if you can power wash your driveway and front walkways.

De-clutter as much as it's possible to. If this means your have to cram stuff into your closets or garage, then by all means do it. You will have to pack for moving anyway. Grab a few boxes and start thinning things out - put some of the knick knacks away, put away the unfolded laundry, box up your DVD collection, maybe pack-up the winter or summer clothes (depending on what time of year it is). If you have kids and their toys are everywhere, get a Rubbermaid tote that you can throw all of the toys into for showings. Added bonus if you can do something simple like set your dining room table with clean linens with a pretty, fragrant vase of flowers in the center.

These are the basics to maximizing your home's appeal with time constraints...of course if you have more time to prepare, that's ideal. Because taking some time, when you have it, to truly prepare a home for sale can yield a higher selling price in a shorter time on the market. But that's another article I wrote...

Friday, December 26, 2014

Sacramento Christmas tree recycling for this holiday season...

It's that time of year -- the de-holiday-ification of your home is probably either underway already or planned to be underway soon...and with that, many of us need to dispose of that dried out old Christmas tree that's been sitting cheerfully in the front window. Depending on where you live, you may be able to leave your tree on the curb for pick-up or take it somewhere for mulching...

Within the City of Sacramento limits, you can leave your tree out for curb-side removal as a part of the regular seasonal leaf pick-up until January 31, 2015. The cost is included in the fees residents already pay.

Within the unicorporated Sacramento County areas (like Arden, Carmichael, Fair Oaks, Orangevale, etc), you can take your tree to the Sacramento Recycling and Transfer Station at 8491 Fruitridge Road between 8am - 5pm, Monday - Saturday. There is no cost for this service.

Within the City of West Sacramento limits, you can take your tree to the Yolo County Landfill at 44090 County Road 28H between 8:30am - 4pm, Monday - Saturday, or 9am - 5pm on Sundays. There is no cost for this service.

Within the City of Citrus Heights limits, you can set tree at curb side (next to your trash can) on your regular trash collection day from December 26, 2013, through January 17, 2014.

Within the City of Folsom, they will hold the annual Christmas Tree Recycling Drop-off Event on Saturday, January 3rd and Sunday, January 4th, 2015.  Trees will be accepted at Rodeo Park located at the end of Stafford Street. Both dates are from 9am to 3pm.

Within the City of Rancho Cordova, they offer curbside pickup of natural trees set next to trash can on regular collection days, Friday January 2nd through Friday January 9th or cut to fit in green waste carts for regular green-waste collection days.

Within the City of Elk Grove, leave your Christmas tree on the curb next to your grey green waste container by 6am on your collection day until January 23rd, 2015. If your tree is longer than six feet, they request that you cut it into 3-foot or shorter pieces.

Monday, December 22, 2014

As 2014 comes to a close, has Zillow figured out how to accurately estimate Sacramento home values?

If you have been reading my blog for a while, then you probably already know that I usually get a chill down my spine when one of my clients mentions "the Z word." What's the Z word? Zillow. What is Zillow? Zillow.com is a website that, among other things, provides information about neighborhoods and properties.

Zillow is a neat website. I have an agent profile on Zillow. I have clients who have found me using Zillow. However, my general thought about Zillow is that while it's a fun consumer tool that provides property information to people looking to buy or sell (or even rent property now), the vast majority of the time, the "Zestimate" (aka, the value that the website dreams up for a certain property), is usually not close to the market value of a Sacramento area property, and the homes listed for sale on the website are not current.

I posted a few times last year about how the sales prices of my transactions compare to Zillow data. I've closed 10 transactions in the last couple months so let's take a look to see how close Zillow is to the actual selling prices of these properties. This information is CURRENT as of today, December 22nd, 2014.

2 Alvares Court, Sacramento, CA 95833; this was a nice updated home with a pool that I sold (represented the buyer) in the Natomas area. The original listing price was $235,000, and sold on 9/15/14 for $235,000. Zillow's Zestimate: $226,000 -- approximately 3.8% below it's selling price. 
 
2480 Sandpiper Way, Cameron Park, CA 95682; this was a beautiful home with a view that I listed (represented the seller) in the Cameron Park area. The original listing price was $359,900, and after multiple offers this sold on 10/15/14 for $362,000. Zillow's Zestimate: $340,522 -- approximately 5.93% below it's selling price. Ironically, Zillow does not note the recent home sale...

11532 Linday Way, Gold River, CA 95670; this was a bank repo home I sold (represented the buyer) in Gold River. The original listing price was $374,900, and this sold on 10/15/14 for $340,000. Zillow's Zestimate: $381,702 -- approximately 10.92% above it's selling price.

6725 Swenson Way, Sacramento, CA 95822; this was a home I sold (represented the buyer) near in South Land Park on a HUGE lot. The original listing price was $449,000, and this sold on 10/17/14 for $437,000. Zillow's Zestimate: $391,758 -- approximately 10.35% below it's selling price.

3716 Lankershim Way, North Highlands, CA 95660; this was a home I listed and (represented the seller) in North Highlands in Sacramento. The original listing price was $149,900, and after multiple offers this sold on 10/22/14 for $159,500. Zillow's Zestimate: $142,915 -- approximately 10.39% below it's selling price.

329 Berthoud Street, Sacramento, CA 95838; this was a short sale home I listed and sold (represented the seller) near the Natomas / Del Paso Heights area. The original listing price was $169,000, and after learning it needed about $20,000 in work between the termite and roof inspections, it finally sold on 10/28/14 for $155,000. Zillow's Zestimate: $153,574 -- approximately 1% below it's selling price.

2180 Irvin Way, Sacramento, CA 95822; this was a cute updated home I sold (represented the buyer) in Hollywood Park. The original listing price was $275,000, and this sold on 10/30/14 for $258,000. Zillow's Zestimate: $224,040 -- approximately 13.16% below it's selling price. WOW.

5000 Priscilla Lane, Sacramento, CA 95820; this was a cute updated home I listed and sold (represented the seller) in Colonial Village. The original listing price was $169,900, and this sold on 11/20/14 for $162,000. Zillow's Zestimate: $153,372 -- approximately 5.3% below it's selling price.

4436 Wyman Drive, Sacramento, CA 95821; this was a home I sold (represented the buyer) in Arden near the Carmichael border. The original listing price was $265,000, and this sold on 11/20/14 for $260,000. Zillow's Zestimate: $251,937 -- approximately 3.1% below it's selling price. 

5020 Kokomo Drive, Sacramento, CA 95835; this was a short sale home I listed and sold (represented the seller) in Natomas. The original listing price was $259,900, and this sold on 11/25/14 for $265,000. Zillow's Zestimate: $246,126 -- approximately 7.12% below it's selling price. 

I have said it before and I will say it again...I think a couple conclusions can be drawn from the information above. First, Zestimates are generally not accurate - so if you are thinking about buying or selling, you can see that the values generated by this website are all over the board higher or lower. They don't take into consideration property features that can not be quantified. Is it on a main street, is it near a park, was the kitchen remodeled, does it have unique architectural features...? Second, some area neighborhoods have a lot of varied housing stock - they are not cookie cutter homes. Some areas in the same zip code have drastically different values or pricing trends. Third, our dynamic Sacramento area real estate market has changed significantly in the last couple of years, and Zillow has a long way to go to catch up to pricing these trends and factoring them into their mathematical equations that determine these values. But it is still a fun website for entertainment purposes. 

If I can assist you determine an accurate price range for your Sacramento area home, I welcome your call or email.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Nextdoor - the Social Network for your Sacramento neighborhood...

Not sure how many of you have discovered Nextdoor, but it's a useful social network for your neighborhood. I hadn't heard of it until recently. My husband and I just bought a new house earlier this summer, and at the urging of our mail carrier, we joined our local Nextdoor.

It's really cool. You will see a variety of items of neighborhood interest -- anything from requests for contractor referrals, announcing a garage sale, requesting a local babysitter for the kids on Friday night, the local high school fundraiser, notification of a vehicle break-in, a suspicious person in the area, etc.

I'd highly suggest joining Nextdoor! I've found it to be very valuable.