Friday, November 20, 2015
If you're like most homebuyers, you're not taking any chances. You want to own a home, but you've struggled to save for a down-payment. You waited until you were 31 years of age to buy a home, and plan to stay there at least 10 years. You believe that buying a home is a sound investment.
Like other buyers, your dream of owning a home was delayed by student debt of $25,000 or more. You worked to bring your debt down until you were earning over $69,000. You improved your credit scores so you could qualify for a fixed-rate loan, knowing that today's artificially low rates won't last forever.
You'll take advantage of today's easier loan qualifications and put down between six percent and 14 percent of the purchase price. As a first-time buyer, you'll purchase a 1,620-square-foot home at $170,000. If you're a repeat homebuyer, you'll purchase a 2,020-square-foot home costing over $246,000, because you're older (about 53 years old) and earn nearly $99,000.
You'll go with a government-insured loan, either FHA or VA loan with low or no down-payment requirement. You'll use your own savings for a down payment, but you'll also accept money from family or friends, and tap into other investments to come up with the down payment. You're likely to be a repeat buyer, using the proceeds from the sale of your home to make your down payment.
You're more likely to be married than single. You're using the equity from your current home to help you get into a better home. You may be looking for a property that will accommodate aging parents as well as your children.
From the time you begin your home search, you'll spend about 10 weeks before you find the home you'll ultimately buy. You'll search the Internet for homes using your phone or tablet to see how far your money will go, then call a real estate agent to help you. Tight supplies in most areas will keep you frustrated, and more than one or two homes may slip through your fingers before you find the right home and make an offer in time to prevail over other buyers.
The home you buy will likely be a detached single-family home built in 1991 with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It will be located in a suburb or subdivision about 14 miles from your current residence. You'll choose the home for its neighborhood location, its affordability and its convenience to your job.
These are the characteristics of most buyers who purchased a home in 2015, according to the National Association of REALTORS
Story courtesy of Blanche Evans
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Less than five months ago, this three-bedroom townhouse on Garnett Terrace in the Bayview was sold at a foreclosure auction for $401,300. A quick but effective remodel has left it with new floors, lighting fixtures, remodeled kitchen and bathrooms. The house now feels fresh and modern inside, and has reappeared on the market for just $595,000, or a very low $373 per square foot. The house is on a quiet cul-de-sac that isn't super-accessible to public transportation, but it is right next to a park and has partial bay views from the backyard.
The townhouse community that the home sits in was built by the San Francisco Housing Development Corporation to revitalize this corner of the Bayview and provide attainable housing options to community members. Now, however, its interiors and staging look to be trying to attract a somewhat different audience. The kitchen has quartz countertops and subway tile floors, stainless steel appliances have been installed, and fancy light fixtures have been hung. The large master bedroom has its own little suite, and the two smaller bedrooms have leafy views. There's also a big one-car garage.
Story Courtesy of Tracy Elsen
San Francisco Housing Indicators
Story Courtesy of Tracy Elsen
San Francisco Housing Indicators
Real Estate Agent
Saturday, September 26, 2015
PIEDMONT -- The Piedmont City Council at its Monday meeting reviewed the complex and controversial topic of home-share rentals, where homeowners rent a room in their home for a short period of time to someone usually through an online service such as Airbnb.
These rentals for fewer than 30 days are currently prohibited in the city's code. The practice has become popular around the country for travelers looking to avoid expensive hotel lodgings. There are numerous companies offering online this type of rental.
After much deliberation and public testimony, the council did not take action but asked staff to prepare a report and proposed ordinance detailing what kinds of enforcement mechanisms should be in place if short-term, home-share rentals were approved. The report would go to the Planning Commission for review and recommendations to the council. The council also wanted staff to review similar issues with vacation rentals of homes.
Issues the council posed included: whether to place a limit on the number of nights per year that a room or a house could be rented; whether to inspect the property for health and safety reasons; and what types of fees should be charged.
In home-share rentals, the homeowner is on the property. In vacation rentals, the homeowner is generally not present.
Several people spoke supporting the idea of short-term, home-share rentals.
Jane Klein said she is "an Airbnb traveler" and has been a host for two years, with no problems. A speaker who gave the name of Alice from Oakland said she has hosted many short-term guests and never had a complaint. She believes the fears from opponents are unfounded in most cases.
However, the city received many emails objecting to the practice, citing strangers in the neighborhood, noise, parking, degradation of the neighborhood and other public nuisance. A report from police Chief Rikki Goede noted there have been no complaints registered with the Police Department over "temporary" home-share guests.
Malibu requires a 12 percent occupancy tax with penalties and fines if the tax is not paid. Palm Springs requires a business license of $28 and a tax of $25 with a "good neighbor" brochure to advise neighbors of the practice. Sausalito charges $36 for a business license and 12 percent tax, with unpermitted rentals subject to fines.
All second units, which are equipped with kitchens, bath and other self-contained living amenities are prohibited for short-term rentals, as are any apartments. Home swaps where a family swaps the use of their home in exchange for a home to vacation somewhere else are permitted.
"The sharing economy is here. I have used Airbnb. This is a work in progress," Councilwoman Teddy King said.
In other business, the council approved spending $587,424 for a paving project with Granite Rock Company. The project includes resurfacing and ADA improvements to Harvard Road between Portsmouth and Annerly roads, resurfacing Requa Place, safety improvements to Moraga avenue near the Ramona avenue intersection to reduce speeds and improve lane markings. The projects are funded through Measures B and BB and vehicle registration funds.
Story Courtesy of Linda Davis
Yulonda Evans firstname.lastname@example.org (510)385-2823 BRE#01239875
Friday, August 28, 2015
Chart update 08/24/15
|Q2 2015||Q1 2015||Q2 2014|
|San Francisco County homeownership||57.7%||52.5%||54.1%|
The homeownership rate in the Bay Area tends to vary more wildly than other parts of the state. However, the general trend since the Millennium Boom peak has been down. This decline may have recently reversed its trend, at 57.7% in Q2 2015, up by three-and-a-half percentage points from a year earlier, but time will tell. However, the homeownership rate in San Francisco has not suffered quite as much as the rest of the state during this protracted recovery due to the job support delivered by its successful tech industry. All the same, as the homeownership rate in the rest of the state catches up to pre-recession levels in the coming years, don’t expect San Francisco to follow. Due to the high cost of housing and the allure of city living, renting is often preferred in San Francisco.
If you’re looking for indications of where California’s housing market will be in a couple years, take a look at San Francisco County. Home sales volume is nearly level with the pre-Millennium Boom years and the renter turnover rate is fully recovered. Jobs are also fully recovered, due to the presence of the high-paying tech industry in San Francisco.
View charts for current activity and forecasts for San Francisco’s housing market. fill out the form below and get this complete report emailed right to your email inbox.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
We're still months away from kickoff for Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, but the VACANCY signs are already popping up like mushrooms all over the Bay Area.
"Beautiful resort-like Eichler home: entire home/apt 1 guest pay $5830."
Driving the home-hosting frenzy, which Airbnb says began with bookings as early as last January, is that many of the larger hotel properties in San Francisco, where many Super Bowl events will be held, and Santa Clara, home of Levi's Stadium, have already been booked solid. Many of those rooms are controlled early on by the NFL for its owners, guests and teams, with one hotelier complaining that the league uses "an onerous contract" that prevents a hotel from renting out even its unblocked rooms without the NFL's permission. (The league did not respond to a request for comment.)
A check of area hotels shows a dearth of available rooms. Close to the stadium, not only are all of the nearly 800 rooms at the Santa Clara Marriott already sold out for Super Bowl weekend, but a reservations clerk couldn't even quote a hypothetical rate: "They don't give me a room rate," she said, "unless I can sell a room -- and for those dates I can't."
And so into the void rushes an army of wannabe landlords like Reuven Shelef, the 45-year-old head of a management-consulting firm who's renting out his four-bedroom, two-bath home in Sunnyvale for the big event. He became an Airbnb host for the first time a few months back, even though he wasn't crazy about the idea.
"I didn't want to do all the prep work, but my wife was excited about the idea of becoming hosts," he said. "So to get her off my back, I said OK." In a flash, they had their first paying guests, who took the house for three weeks while Shelef and his family took off on vacation.
"For Super Bowl, my plan is to carefully research the market rates for those dates and then list it, start fielding candidates, and then take off Super Bowl weekend for some exotic place," said Shelef. "We'll have to take off, because it'll be too expensive to stay around here that weekend. Maybe Belize, or Costa Rica, or Hawaii to see that erupting volcano."
Isn't he worried about Super Bowl party animals trashing his pad while he's gazing at the very active Kilauea volcano?
"There is a risk, because we might get first-time renters who couldn't care less about how we might review them on Airbnb after their stay," he said. "So we might prepare the house a bit differently this time, leave no valuables or computers like we have in the past. But then again, who's going to pay $1,000 a night for our place and then destroy it?" Signs of the surge's momentum are everywhere. On HomeAway, which caters to owners of second homes and vacation properties, Santa Clara shows 58 listings this week, up from just 19 in April. San Jose jumped from 57 to 115, while Palo Alto's inventory climbed from 43 four months ago to 74 today. Spokesman Adam Annen said this Super Bowl uptick is not surprising.
"Super Bowls draw hundreds of thousands of people to events outside of the actual game," he said about an event that organizers predict will draw one million visitors to the Bay Area. "And all these people simply can't be accommodated by the existing hotel infrastructure. So you have people putting up their homes to take advantage of the demand."
Super Bowl 49 in Glendale, located nine miles outside Phoenix, saw a more than 300-percent price hike above usual rates, according to HomeAway, averaging $850 a night.
In the Glendale/Phoenix area, rates started as low as $617 for the weekend all the way up to the site's most expensive listing of $225,000 for seven nights in a $10 million-valued home. The average weekly rate was around $8,000, a Super Bowl-sized jump from the normal rate of $1,600.
Ian McHenry, co-founder and president of Beyond Pricing, which helps hosts figure out what to charge, said that greed is also part of this annual ritual. "We've seen this cycle over and over again, whether it's a Super Bowl or a Grateful Dead concert or the pope visiting, where all the hotels sell out and then the news stories lead everyone to list their home on these sites," he said. "Suddenly, you have a flood of supply with people asking outrageous amounts like $2,000 a night. People equate a listing with a booking, but it often doesn't turn out that way."
Still, the thought of easy income has proved hard to resist for Paul Arys, a 30-year-old account manager at Fiserv whose Santa Clara home sits across the street from the stadium.
"We started renting out a bedroom in February to pick up some extra income to pay our bills and save for a trip," said Arys. "It's pretty good since you can see a profile of the person who'll be staying in your house. We haven't gotten any ax murderers that we know of."
Asking $2,000 for his room, Arys has already fielded a handful of queries from "people saying, 'If our team makes the Super Bowl, we'd like to rent it for the week.'" And while they wait to rent out the bedroom, Arys and his wife are already thinking ahead: "We'll probably turn our garage into another bedroom we can rent out for Super Bowl," he said. "We're just waiting for permits."
HOMEAWAY super bowl 50 listings are up
Santa Clara: 58 listings (up from 19 listings in April)
San Jose: 115 listing (up from 57)
Palo Alto: 74 listings (up from 43)
Oakland: 246 listings (up from 64)
Berkeley: 201 listings (up from 172)
San Francisco: 1,185 listings (flat since April)
Half Moon Bay: 38 listings (flat since April)
Redwood City: 36 listings (up from 18)
Sunnyvale: 38 listings (up from 19)
Mountain View: 36 listings (up from 5)
* Airbnb currently has more than 7,000 available listings in the Bay Area for Super Bowl 50 weekend.
* Some current nightly rates for rentals in Santa Clara on HomeAway: $6,500; $2,500; $2,100; $1,840; $1,860; $1,800; $1,499; $688; and $579.
Source: Airbnb; HomeAway.com, which also owns vacation rental site VRBO
By Patrick May pmay
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
HAYWARD -- Stay out of our backyards and leave our chickens alone, a group of residents told city staff at an informal meeting Tuesday.
The city's regulations do not differentiate between larger animals, such as horses, and smaller ones, including chickens; all are classified as livestock.
A stable -- or chicken coop -- must be set back 20 feet from the property line and 40 feet from neighboring homes. But many Hayward backyards are only 20 feet deep.
Hayward assistant planner Michael Christensen acknowledged many people already are raising hens in the city. "We don't have a lot of properties that have permits, but we have a lot of properties that have chickens. They have had them for years, and we never hear about them," he said.
Most of those at the meeting agreed the ban on roosters should stay. If there are complaints about hens, the city should be able to respond. City planners will discuss revising the ordinance with the Planning Commission and City Council in September. A proposal could come as early as October, Christensen said.
A number of cities allow chickens, including San Leandro, Fremont, Oakland and Berkeley. San Leandro's approval in 2013 came after four years of debate. Some unincorporated areas of Alameda County also allow backyard chickens.
Moraga is considering an ordinance to not only allow chickens, but also let hen owners slaughter their livestock. It is patterned after a similar ordinance in Lafayette.
Some of the 20 or so people at the meeting also asked for the city to lift its ban on bees. Hives only are allowed on lots zoned for agriculture or in some open spaces along the shoreline. "Bees are critical to our survival," said Frank Goulart. Hayward could require beekeepers to register their bees, as Alameda County does, said Rick Hatcher, a beekeeper and member of the Ashland Cherryland Food Policy Council.
"It's the dogs I hear about at our neighborhood association meetings," Goulart said. "Dogs have to be snarling to get a response from the city. And the city is worried about chickens and bees?"
Story courtesy of Rebecca Parr.
Real Estate Café Yulonda Evans ulondae