Sunday, January 7, 2018

Lady Bird - Greta Gerwig's love letter to Sacramento (and did you notice she visited a Dunnigan Realtors open house!?)...

I have seen the movie Lady Bird twice...and not only is it a great movie, it paints a lovely portrait of Sacramento. What Sacramentan doesn't love the Fabulous 40's neighborhood? The McKinley Park Rose Garden? The Tower Theater? Gunthers Ice Cream? The Raven? You know you love the dirty bird. I could go on...

I am a little older than the Lady Bird character, who was a senior in high school in 2002 (I graduated in 1996), but I can totally relate to wanting to get out of Sacramento at that age. 

I didn't, and ended up attending California State University, Sacramento and graduated in 2001. I left Sacramento as soon as I graduated from college though, and moved to San Jose, CA for exactly one year (a 12-month lease where I rented a 10x10 room in a house for $800/month...I hated it there) before moving back as quickly as I could in late 2002. Thankfully my employer at that time allowed me to telecommute from my Sacramento home. I obtained my real estate license a couple years later and the rest is history. And Sacramento has grown up a lot in that time. Candidly, I love it here.

One scene in Lady Bird that caught me completely off guard is that they visit a Dunnigan Realtors open house! I loved that. So cool and unexpected. 

It was also cool to watch the Golden Globes this evening, see Lady Bird win Best Musical/Comedy, Saoirse Ronan win Best Actress Musical/Comedy, and to hear Greta Gerwig thank Sacramento for giving her wings was the icing on the cake.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The monthly costs of renting a home versus buying a home in Sacramento - how do they compare?

I have kicked off the beginning of the last few years with blog posts about the costs of renting versus buying a home in Sacramento. It's not a big secret that apartment and single family home rents in Sacramento are increasing. According to a recent article from the Sacramento Bee, rents in Sacramento from mid-2016 to mid-2017 increased on average 9.9%.

Last year, many of my clients stated one of their reasons for buying a home was, among many other things, so they could take more control over their monthly housing expenses. Many figured that if they remained renters, they would potentially have to deal with regular rent increases, and if they purchased their home the monthly mortgage would be a fixed expense. Additionally in many cases, the cost of purchasing a home is actually less than the cost of rent.

So today, as I have before, I thought I would break down a few home purchase scenarios by zip code. 
  • The rental rate data I refer to is the average for a 3-bedroom single family home according to Rent-o-Meter, which compiles rental data from around the United States from a variety of sources. I also note the "80% range". So keep in mind there are lower rents in the range, as well as higher rents, however those are probably "outliers" and that range captures the majority of where rents fall.
  • The median home price data I refer to is from November 2017 (most recent data available) per Trendgraphix, which compiles Metrolist MLS home sales data.
  • For estimating the monthly payment, I am using today's market interest rates - which according to Freddie Mac, the average rate for last week in the nation for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.99% (rounded up to 4%). The monthly payment will be the "fully loaded" payment with principal, interest, property taxes and homeowners insurance (and mortgage insurance if applicable).


    Carmichael - 95608
    Median single family home price: $374,000
    Average rent for a 3 bedroom home: $1,784 (80% range $1,395 - $2,195)
    30-Year Fixed VA Loan (zero downpayment): $2,237
    30-Year Fixed FHA Loan (3.5% downpayment): $2,419
    30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (10% downpayment): $2,233
    30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (20% downpayment): $1,895

    Citrus Heights - 95610
    Median single family home price: $325,000
    Average rent for a 3 bedroom home: $1,756 (80% range $1,450 - $2,100)
    30-Year Fixed VA Loan (zero downpayment): $1,944
    30-Year Fixed FHA Loan (3.5% downpayment): $2,111
    30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (10% downpayment): $1,931
    30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (20% downpayment): $1,647

    Orangevale - 95662
    Median single family home price: $368,000
    Average rent for a 3 bedroom home: $1,792 (80% range $1,525 - $2,000)
    30-Year Fixed VA Loan (zero downpayment): $2,202
    30-Year Fixed FHA Loan (3.5% downpayment): $2,382
    30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (10% downpayment): $2,187
    30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (20% downpayment): $1,865

    Elk Grove - 95758
    Median single family home price: $380,000
    Average rent for a 3 bedroom home: $1,724 (80% range $1,550 - $1,950)
    30-Year Fixed VA Loan (zero downpayment): $2,273
    30-Year Fixed FHA Loan (3.5% downpayment): $2,457
    30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (10% downpayment): $2,258
    30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (20% downpayment): $1,926

    Land Park / Curtis Park - 95818
    Median single family home price: $486,000
    Average rent for a 3 bedroom home: $2,313 (80% range $1,725 - $3,000)
    30-Year Fixed VA Loan (zero downpayment): $2,907
    30-Year Fixed FHA Loan (3.5% downpayment): $3,124
    30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (10% downpayment): $2,888
    30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (20% downpayment): $2,463

    Tahoe Park / Tallac Village / Colonial Heights - 95820
    Median single family home price: $260,000
    Average rent for a 3 bedroom home: $1,568 (80% range $1,295 - $2,000)
    30-Year Fixed VA Loan (zero downpayment): $1,555
    30-Year Fixed FHA Loan (3.5% downpayment): $1,702
    30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (10% downpayment): $1,545
    30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (20% downpayment): $1,318

    Rosemont / College Greens - 95826
    Median single family home price: $325,000
    Average rent for a 3 bedroom home: $1,652 (80% range $1,450 - $1,900)
    30-Year Fixed VA Loan (zero downpayment): $1,944
    30-Year Fixed FHA Loan (3.5% downpayment): $2,111
    30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (10% downpayment): $1,931
    30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (20% downpayment): $1,647

    Pocket / Greenhaven - 95831
    Median single family home price: $406,000
    Average rent for a 3 bedroom home: $1,835 (80% range $1,550 - $2,213)
    30-Year Fixed VA Loan (zero downpayment): $2,429
    30-Year Fixed FHA Loan (3.5% downpayment): $2,620
    30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (10% downpayment): $2,413
    30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (20% downpayment): $2,058

    Arden / Arden Park / Sierra Oaks - 95864
    Median single family home price: $460,000
    Average rent for a 3 bedroom home: $1,775 (range $1,395 - $2,695)
    30-Year Fixed VA Loan (zero downpayment): $2,752
    30-Year Fixed FHA Loan (3.5% downpayment): $2,960
    30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (10% downpayment): $2,743
    30-Year Fixed Conventional Loan (20% downpayment): $2,331

    These numbers are just a baseline to give you an idea of housing affordability in certain areas, and where it might make sense to purchase versus continue to rent. There are other tangible and intangible benefits to homeownership as well. For example, you may be able to deduct mortgage interest, property tax, and other expenses on your annual income tax return (consult your CPA). Additionally as a homeowner, you will have the freedom to decorate as you choose, plant a garden, remodel, and customize your home in other ways that might not make sense as a renter. I picked these zip codes at random...if there is another area that interests you, I would be happy to provide information specific to your situation.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

How to pre-pay your Sacramento County property tax before the end of 2017

Some Sacramento homeowners may benefit by paying the second installment of their property taxes now, early, instead of waiting until April when payment becomes due. The Sacramento County Tax Collector's office suggested that people wanting to make an early payment should not mail payment, and instead visit their offices and make payment in person.

It is also easy to make a payment online if you want to save yourself the trouble driving downtown to H Street, paying to park, and waiting in line. There is a small convenience fee for using a credit or debit card. There is no fee for using an electronic check. The website to make an online Sacramento County property tax payment is https://eproptax.saccounty.net. Simply enter your address, then click the link on the left to "Pay Tax Bills Online." Then you will check the box next to the amount under "Installment 2". Then click "Pay Now".

The new "tax reform" bill, which was passed by congress and signed by the president last week, makes some key changes to the deductibility of property taxes. For those who itemize their tax deductions, in most cases property taxes used to be fully tax deductible, however under the new legislation there will be a $10,000 cap in the deductibility of state/local taxes and property tax combined.

My husband and I pre-paid our second installment of property taxes for our home using the free e-check option so we can deduct the full amount this year...our property taxes aren't all that high, but we definitely pay a lot of state income tax. In 2018, we will likely exceed the new $10,000 cap with state/local taxes and property tax combined.

Please be sure to consult with your CPA or other tax professional before paying early...


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

2017 - my real estate transaction statistics and how I compare to Sacramento market averages...

I closed what will likely be my final real estate transaction of 2017 yesterday - not that I have any shortage of work to do between now and the end of the year! 2018 is shaping up to be extremely busy as well.

I like to track the statistics of my transactions, and toward the year end I always reflect on what I have done, how I compare to the rest of the agents in the market, and how I can improve. So for the sake of transparency, I thought I would post some statistics and my thoughts on the coming year. Keep in mind, I am not a part of a "team" and this is all my own production. This year, all of my transactions are in Metrolist MLS, so this information is easily verifiable...in 2017:

-I closed 38 transactions and closed $13,448,865 in volume. My lowest transaction was $95,000, and my highest transaction was $815,500. The average was $353,917 and the median was $334,500.
-65.8% of my transactions were past/repeat clients (which is amazing to me!) 34.2% were new clients.
-81.6% of my transactions were residential properties (condos, single family homes), 15.8% were multi-family properties (duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes), and 2.6% were other (commercial, land).
-57.9% of my transactions I represented the seller, while 42.1% of my transactions I represented the buyer.
-My typical residential listing sold for an average of 101.64% of its original listing price (meaning, 1.64% over the original listing price) in just 11.55 cumulative days on the market. The distinction of original and cumulative is important...original means even after a price reduction from the initial listing price, and cumulative means even if a property is re-listed or comes back on the market.
-My typical multi-family listing sold for an average of 101.4% of its original listing price (1.4% over the listing price) in just 6 cumulative days on the market.
-My typical listing had an average of 3.8 buyer offers on it!

Comparing these statistics to the overall Sacramento real estate market averages, I had a stellar year.

For one, to qualify for the Sacramento Association of Realtors Masters Club, a realtor must close $5M in transaction volume and a minimum of 8 closed transactions. Clearly I blew those numbers out of the water. I would guess that with 38 closed transactions and nearly $13.5M in volume I am likely in the top 1-2% of all agents in greater Sacramento.

My clients are all over the spectrum from first-time buyers, move-up buyers (those who sell their home and then purchase another home), investors, sellers of property they inherited via a trust or probate, sellers retiring and moving out of the area, sellers divorcing, etc. My average and median transactions at $334,500 and $353,917 are right in line with the average and median home prices in the Sacramento region according to Trendgraphix data. My high and low range indicates I work with a broad economic client spectrum as well, from those working with downpayment assistance to those among top-income earners in the region. Unlike past years, I did not close any short sale listings in 2017 (though I do have a short sale listing that is pending/approved, and scheduled close in 2018). Distressed properties are a very small part of the marketplace right now though just a few years ago they were the bulk of my transactions.

My listing statistics are also excellent...according to Trendgraphix for Sacramento County, the lowest average days on market for a single family listing in the last 14 months was 19 days on market, versus my listings at 11.55 cumulative days on market. My original listing price versus final selling price ratio is also outstanding as my listings sell for 101.64% above original listing price on average, versus the highest month of the last 14 months at 100%. I think these numbers are indicative of my strategic approach to listing property -- complete with pre-listing inspections, staging, repairs, professional photography, 3D virtual tours, and multi-faceted marketing.

Of course I hope to improve these numbers next year in 2018...so we shall see how that shapes up! If you think we would be a good fit to work together toward your next property sale or purchase, I welcome your contact via phone or email.

Friday, December 1, 2017

What needs to be removed from a home before the close of escrow?

Sometimes sellers, in their haste to move out, decide to "gift" to the buyers some of their personal property. And when I say "gift" what I really mean is - they can't fit all of their stuff into the U-Haul, or are too lazy to remove the junk from the garage and make that final dump run, or they think because the house wasn't fully cleared out when they bought it as a bank repo they can just leave it in a sub-par state for the new owners. WRONG. Sellers are contractually obligated to remove all debris and personal property prior to closing.

A seller's "gift" is often a buyer's unwanted crap that they then have to remove, donate or dispose of. I recently had a seller client who left all kinds of stuff in the property despite our conversations that they would remove everything and have the home cleaned and ready to go...escrow closed, buyer got the keys and was really upset. And rightfully so.

The buyer's agent called me to make me aware of the situation. Of course I was horrified. I had to have a pretty blunt conversation with my seller (which candidly, I never want to have to do) to emphasize that what they did was not ok and they needed to take responsibility to correct this situation. Needless to say, they paid someone to come and remove the junk-- and probably paid a lot more to have that done on short notice after the fact than they would have if they had proactively done it before they moved out.

A little planning is the key to an less stressful move-out. And I have a lot of go-to people who can help off-haul junk, clean, or whatever. Ask me for help! It is a hectic time for sure. However, a seller's poor planning is absolutely NOT the buyer's fault. And no matter which side of the transaction I am on, I will do my very best to ensure that the property is turned over to the buyers in the condition it should be.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Measure twice, cut once...or in this case order the right size doors once...

I was showing a really nicely renovated Antelope home to a buyer client the other day, and wanted to take a look inside the fireplace. That's something I routinely do, looking for evidence of cracks inside the firebox area and other things...the doors of the fireplace were open and pushed to either side. When I was done looking inside the fireplace, I went to shut the doors. Ooops! They don't exactly fit this space. Sounds like a request for repairs in the making.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

New Listing - 1018 Lochbrae Road, Sacramento, CA 95815

Adorable 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1,220sf Woodlake home! You will love the spacious layout, large living space, fireplace with gas insert, gleaming wood floors throughout, remodeled kitchen with stainless appliances, tile flooring, cherry cabinets, remodeled bathroom with dual sinks, lots of storage space! Energy efficient features such as dual pane windows, whole house fan and central heat and air. Huge backyard with shed. Sewer line was replaced in 2011. Composition roof with 2-year certification. All this and just a 10 minute commute to Downtown Sacramento! Located in the vibrant Woodlake community near parks, schools, and public transportation. Don't wait! Offered at $299,900. For a 3D virtual tour and more information, please visit 1018 Lochbrae Road, Sacramento, CA 95815.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

New Listing - 4320 20th Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95820

Adorable, well-loved 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 888sf Oak Park home is ready for a new owner and is the perfect blank canvas for your personal touches. You will love the wood floors, spacious living room, cozy fireplace, attached 1-car garage, composition roof, all on a large corner lot. Located near public transportation, parks, schools, and just down the street from a community center. Don't wait! Trust sale. Offered at $185,000. For a 3D virtual tour and more information please visit 4320 20th Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95820.