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CalHFA Dream For All is Coming Back

CalHFA Dream For All is Coming Back

CalHFA Dream For All is coming back

Does this program truly help more people become homeowners?

by Alisa Johnson, January 2024

There is a question that has swirled around for a long time in my head. 
Do down payment assistance programs really help get more buyers into homes?  Would those buyers have been able to purchase without the assistance?  

Last year when CalHFA released $25 million in funds for the CalHFA Dream for All program the funds were gone in less than 11 days.  Did these funds actually go to first-time home buyers in need?  Or did they get dispersed to just about anyone who applied in those first 11 days?  I am not sure we will ever know the true answer to this but the program is on its way back but this time it has some adjustments to qualifications and a more controlled way to distribute funds.

Some of the qualifications for the new program release are as follows:
  • At least one applicant must be a California resident
  • At least one applicant must be a First-Generation Homebuyer – **this is a new requirement added with this release
    • A homebuyer who has not been on title, held an ownership interest, or has been named on a mortgage to a home (on permanent foundation and owned land) in the United States in the last 7 years, and
    • To the best of the homebuyer’s knowledge whose parents (biological or adoptive) do not have any present ownership interest in a home in the United States or if deceased whose parents did not have any ownership interest at the time of death in a home in the United States, or; PB.2023-03 Page 2 of 2 California Housing Finance Agency
    • An individual who has at any time been placed in foster care or institutional care (type of out-of-home residential care for large groups of children by non-related caregivers)
  • Income must be less than or equal to $178,000 in Nevada County, or $180,000 in Placer County
  • Maximum Shared Appreciation Loan amount is $150,000 or $20% of the sales price or appraised value, whichever is less. – Shared appreciation loan can be used for down payment and closing expenses!
  • Minimum Combined Loan-To-Value (CLTV) is 95.00%
  • 2/1, 1/1, and 1/0 temporary buydowns are permitted
These programs are created with the vision in mind to help more people become homeowners. 

The 1st $25 million(2023) did not have the same requirements and I fear that a lot of those funds helped people purchase homes with those funds that had other means to afford home ownership. 

So will 2024 be a better use of CalHFA Dream for all funds? 

I believe so.  If you are paying rent and spending over $2500 a month in rent then home ownership might be a great option for you and down payment assistance might be a great boost to get you there.  

Homeownership is costly and you should be prepared as it is likely the largest investment you will make in your lifetime. 

Some things that you can start now to prepare to be a homeowner are as follows.

Budgeting-Create a household budget.

Savings-Create a savings plan to have 6 mortgage payments in savings for emergencies.

Research– Gather information from your RE agent, lender, etc on costs you will incur in the buying process.

 

Homeownership is the best investment you can make so get educated, be prepared, and look into all options that will support you becoming a homeowner.
Easy Property Fixes to Prompt a Quick Sale

Easy Property Fixes to Prompt a Quick Sale

Easy Property Fixes to Prompt a Quick Sale

 

Small upgrades and aesthetic swaps can make all the difference in drawing buyers to a home.

by Danielle Braff

Key takeaways:

  • Instead of replacing outdated furnishings, consider paring down decorative distractions to show off the natural attributes of a well-structured space.
  • Focus on flourishes in common, small hardware such as doorknobs and handles on kitchen cabinetry.
  • If there are significant property defects, play up the home’s backstory to redirect attention to a positive talking point.

Despite the thought and preparation that goes into listing a home, the two biggest hurdles to the sale are property photos, which should motivate buyers to request an in-person tour, and the showing, which needs to justify the photos, says Kenny Dahill, CEO and co-founder of Burbz Co., an à la carte property manager platform. Your sellers could do expensive home improvements like a kitchen renovation or a room addition. But how can they complete a project of similar impact without spending thousands? And after the work is done, how do you promote your listing’s new look?

The National Association of REALTORS®’ Remodeling Impact report shows the following are the projects with the highest ROI:

  • New roofing: 107%
  • New hardwood floors: 106%
  • Refinished hardwood floors: 100%

But there are even easier tricks to get houses looking snazzy without spending too much time or money.

Focus on Spaces and Fixtures

Sometimes less is more, says Tamika Todd, a Bermuda-based broker with Platinum Realty.

Todd had a rental listing laden with outdated finish work and furnishings, including 1960s wall tiles and heavy drapery. She suggested that her client open up the space by removing the furnishings so the room contained only a bed, a small desk, and a chair. This helped highlight the depth of the 17-by-17-foot room and the ceiling height of the 750-square-foot loft-style unit. Todd showed the space with sheer curtains, neutral-colored walls, and open windows.

“The transformation definitely made the owner say ‘wow,’ along with every person who viewed it thereafter. It allowed prospects to see the size of the unit and to visualize living in the space without being distracted by the owner’s personal preferences,” Todd says. The owner of the rental originally wanted $1,500 per month in rent, but Todd listed it for $1,700 after the refresh of the unit and received five lease requests.

If your listing has other apparent physical issues that can’t be staged and must be disclosed, amplify the story behind the property to redirect buyers’ attention, Todd suggests.

Talk about the family whose children climbed the trees in the backyard, who witnessed a surprise proposal while hosting a family dinner by candlelight, or who welcomed aging parents to join the household. Ideally, you’ll capture these stories on video from the people who lived them and share with potential buyers ahead of their visit to the home, Todd says. “You will find that the people who view the property in person start to feel the story come alive and envision themselves in the space with their own dreams.”

One small, more tangible fix Todd often makes is replacing doorknobs, which are often overlooked.

But when chosen correctly, they can attract the eye of a buyer. “Imagine an entry door with a new coat of paint that already catches the eye but stands out even more with a just-as-eye-catching doorknob feature,” she says. For these, she selects ornate, modern doorknobs, or those that are traditional with a hint of flair, to spark intrigue and beckon buyers to wonder what’s inside. Todd instructs her listing photographer to get detail shots of the doorknob so house hunters searching online can see the thoughtfulness put into the welcoming feature of the home.

Swapping out light fixtures and other hardware, such as cabinet handles, is the first step Erik Wright, owner of New Horizon Home Buyers, a real estate investment company in Chattanooga, Tenn., takes before flipping a home.

The replacement fixtures and hardware you choose depends on trends in your market. Wright prefers simple, quality light fixtures throughout the home, with just one or two standouts, like a chandelier in an entryway or above the dining table. “Homes in my area usually do well with farmhouse chic or industrial-style fixtures,” Wright says. “Darker metal fixtures that use Edison-style bulbs are some of my favorites.”

If the floors need work, Wright selects an easy-to-install flooring option.

His favorite is luxury vinyl plank. “It looks like beautiful hardwood floors while also being much more durable and resistant to water,” Wright says. Once the floor is replaced, Wright makes sure to add “brand-new flooring” to the listing description.

Upgrades and No-Nos

Christina McCaffrey, CRS, broker-owner of Triangle Trusted Realty in Willow Springs, N.C., suggests a surprising property upgrade to her clients: She encourages adding a fence. “It’s a major expense, even if you’re doing the work yourself, but it will be a great asset when you go to sell,” she says. “Homes that have fenced yards tend to sell quickly, and the look is appealing because it makes the yard look bigger.”

In the kitchen, painting the cabinets can do wonders.

And if you have older appliances, it’s worth it to swap them out for stainless steel, McCaffrey says. White cabinetry is the preferred look in her area, so she aims for clean and sleek in her kitchens. Swapping out the faucets and adding in solid-surface countertops will also help if clients don’t have the latest look. “An older appliance will make a house look shabby,” McCaffrey says. “You only have one opportunity to ‘wow’ the buyer, so you should think about replacing the worn-out dishwasher with a new stainless one.”

In her market, she says, demand for these items is high, so most sellers recoup the cost of the replacements. However, some fixes shouldn’t be advertised, says Ricardo Mello, co-founder and managing partner at Manhattan Miami, a luxury residential real estate agency with offices in New York and Miami. The first thing buyers see when viewing a listing is the outside of the home, so curb appeal is a big deal. You don’t need to hire a landscaper to make your listing’s outdoor areas shine; small things, such as refreshing mulch, planting seasonal flowers, keeping on top of lawn maintenance, and adding a new doormat, can make an excellent first impression, Mello says.

“I find that making sure these are taken care of definitely results in a better overall impression in photos, which translates to more people opting to view the home in person,” Mello says.

“These small changes aren’t something I’d advertise in a listing. I want potential buyers to have the impression that this home has been well cared for versus quickly updated to be on the market.”

 

Nevada County Market Observations, November 2020

Nevada County Housing Market Observations

November 2020

Lack of inventory in Nevada County continues.

Numbers are consistent with previous months, 520 houses for sale October 2019 vs 286 houses for sale October 2020, 45% lower year to year. Houses sold are up 25%, 157 Oct last year, 157 houses sold this October. 

Inventory reduction is from 4.2 months of inventory last October to 1.8 months of inventory this October.

A very strong SELLER’S MARKET continues, especially considering Nevada County’s attractiveness as one of the premier work-from-home communities, and media outlets have taken notice.

Average SOLD price per square foot is up 13.7% year to year ($234 vs $266. Average price sold is up 14.6%, from $435,000 to $570,000. Higher list prices are prevailing.

Nevada County continues to be strongly attractive to buyers looking for safer havens.

Especially coupled with the myriad lifestyle opportunities and community connections the foothills offer. Days on market has fallen 48%, from 75 days last year in October to 39 days in October this year. Buyers are energized to jump on good, well-priced houses especially given our current low inventory environment.

We continue to see a slight slowing of the market in our own area, likely due to national elections coupled with the coming holidays. That said, good houses are still commanding significant attention from buyers and garnering strong offers. While prices are climbing, appraisals tend to lag the market a bit, so some circumspection in pricing is smart.

Don’t hesitate to call us for evaluations of your home’s value or to tour homes on the market you have an interest in. We are here for you, and Alisa (almost) always answers her cell phone, 530-559-4871.

johnson's Sierra Lifestyle Team logo

Johnson’s Sierra Lifestyle Team Adds Instagram expertise to support client listings!

Social Media has many benefits, especially for businesses.

It is a tool that many people tend to overlook. Having a good social media presence is especially important as we move further and further into a world dependent on technology. Perhaps the best way to get business is by word of mouth and advertising, social media combines those. When a business posts something on social media, not only is it being spread to more people than you can reach with typical advertising, but it also creates a personal connection between the business and the consumer making them more likely to pick that business over any other. Social media can help businesses grow immensely in size, and reach new younger customers that are essential to keeping a business alive. Overall, Social Media is only a positive for businesses looking to grow, reach more customers, and to create more personal connections with customers.

The Sierra Lifestyle Team utilizes our robust Social Media skills to benefit the sale of your home, reaching thousands of qualified buyers on Facebook.

We don’t rest on our laurels…and are pleased to announce a new INSTAGRAM manager, Karissa Johnson. Karissa will head up our new Instagram program to highlight your properties to thousands of interested buyers, giving you significant new exposure to interested real estate buyers.   

Brought to you by Johnson’s Sierra Lifestyle Team! 

johnson's Sierra Lifestyle Team logo

 

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Johnson’s Sierra Lifestyle Team Adds Instagram Expertise to Support Client Listings!

ON SOCIAL MEDIA – Karissa Johnson

Social Media has many benefits, especially for businesses.

It is a tool that many people tend to overlook. Having a good social media presence is especially important as we move further and further into a world dependent on technology. Perhaps the best way to get business is by word of mouth and advertising, social media combines those. When a business posts something on social media, not only is it being spread to more people than you can reach with typical advertising, but it also creates a personal connection between the business and the consumer making them more likely to pick that business over any other. Social media can help businesses grow immensely in size, and reach new younger customers that are essential to keeping a business alive.

Overall, Social Media is only a positive for businesses looking to grow, reach more customers, and to create more personal connections with customers.

The Sierra Lifestyle Team utilizes our robust Social Media skills to benefit the sale of your home, reaching thousands of qualified buyers on Facebook. We don’t rest on our laurels…and are pleased to announce a new INSTAGRAM manager, Karissa Johnson.

Karissa will head up our new Instagram program to highlight your properties to thousands of interested buyers, giving you significant new exposure to interested real estate buyers.   

Brought to you by Johnson’s Sierra Lifestyle Team!

 

Younger Americans Lead Desire for Bigger Homes, Outdoor Space

October 13, 2020

Young Americans are having their housing preferences shaped by the pandemic.

They’re seeking larger homes and outdoor space, yet in walkable areas, according to findings from the 2020 Community and Transportation Preference Surveys recently conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®.

Young adults who live in walkable areas tend to report a higher quality of life than those who live in less walkable areas, the survey shows.

And young Americans may need a boost: Americans under the age of 40—millennials and Generation Z—are the most likely to say their overall quality of life has been negatively affected by the pandemic.

“Although COVID has dramatically changed people’s lives, this study shows that a substantial demand for walkability persists for Americans of all ages,” says Vince Malta, NAR’s president.

The survey also showed that families with children in school tended to show a stronger desire for detached homes and larger yards.

Before the pandemic, a majority of Americans preferred smaller yards in a walkable community, the survey says.

Americans 55 and older and those with higher incomes also tended to show an increased desire for walkability in their neighborhood.

Overall, survey respondents who strongly agreed with the statement that there are “lots of places to walk nearby” showed an 8% increase in quality of life, the NAR survey shows.

Source: 

NAR Community and Transportation Preferences Surveys,” National Association of REALTORS® (2020)

 

Walkable areas? Nevada County got ’em!!

 

Social Media Marketing

Market Observations

Market Observations, October 2020

October 2020

The lack of inventory in Nevada County continues.

The numbers are consistent with previous months. 548 houses for sale September 2019 vs 148 houses for sale September 2020. That’s a reduction from 4.4 months of inventory to 1.5 months of inventory. A very strong SELLER’S MARKET continues, especially considering Nevada County’s attractiveness as one of the premier work-from-home communities.

Average SOLD price per square foot is up 17% year to year ($224 vs $264). Average price sold is up 16%, from $434,000 to $569,000. Higher list prices are prevailing.

Nevada County continues to be strongly attractive to buyers looking for safer havens, especially coupled with the myriad lifestyle opportunities and community connections the foothills offer.

We are seeing a slight slowing of the market in our own area, likely due to national elections looming coupled with the coming holidays. That said, good houses are still commanding significant attention from buyers and garnering strong offers. While prices are climbing, appraisals tend to lag the market a bit, so some circumspection in pricing is smart.

Don’t hesitate to call us for evaluations of your home’s value or to tour homes on the market you have interest in. We are here for you, and Alisa (almost) always answers her cell phone, 530-559-4871.

A MARKET perspective from CA Association of Realtors – Covid 19 colors a strong housing recovery.

October 13, 2020

C.A.R. releases its 2021 California Housing Market Forecast

California housing market recovery hinges on widespread availability and usage of effective coronavirus vaccine in early 2021. 

 

LOS ANGELES (Oct. 13) –

Low mortgage interest rates and pent-up demand from a desire for homeownership will bolster California home sales in 2021, but economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic and continued supply shortage will limit sales growth, according to a housing and economic forecast released today by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.)

The baseline scenario of C.A.R.’s “2021 California Housing Market Forecast” sees a modest increase in existing single-family home sales of 3.3 percent next year to reach 392,510 units, up from the projected 2020 sales figure of 380,060. The 2020 figure is 4.5 percent lower compared with the pace of 397,960 homes sold in 2019.

The California median home price is forecast to edge up 1.3 percent to $648,760 in 2021, following a projected 8.1 percent increase to $640,330 in 2020 from $592,450 in 2019.

“An extremely favorable lending environment and a strong interest in homeownership will continue to motivate financially eligible buyers to enter the market,” said C.A.R. President Jeanne Radsick, a second-generation REALTOR® from Bakersfield, Calif. “While the economy is expected to improve and interest rates will stay near historical lows, housing supply constraints will continue to be an issue next year and may put a cap on sales growth in 2021.”

C.A.R.’s forecast projects growth in the U.S. gross domestic product of 4.2 percent in 2021, after a projected loss of 5.0 percent in 2020. With California’s 2021 nonfarm job growth rate at 0.5 percent, up from a projected loss of 12.7 percent in 2020, the state’s unemployment rate will dip to 9.0 percent in 2021 from 2020’s projected rate of 10.8 percent.

The average for 30-year, fixed mortgage interest rates will dip to 3.1 percent in 2021, down negligibly from 3.2 percent in 2020 and down from 3.9 percent in 2019, remaining low by historical standards.

“While home prices rose sharply in 2020, driven by strong sales of higher-priced properties and a limited inventory of homes for sale, the pace of price growth will be more moderate in the coming year,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “The uncertainty about the pandemic, sluggish economic growth, a rise in foreclosures, and the volatility of the stock market are all unknown factors that could keep prices in check and prevent the statewide median price from rising too fast in the upcoming year,” Appleton-Young continued.

2021 CALIFORNIA HOUSING FORECAST

 

201520162017201820192020p2021f
SFH Resales (000s)409.4417.7424.9402.6398.0380.1392.5
% Change7.0%2.0%1.7%-5.2%-1.2%-4.5%3.3%
Median Price ($000s)$476.3 $502.3 $537.9 $569.5 $592.4 $640.3 $648.8 
% Change6.6%5.4%7.1%5.9%4.0%8.1%1.3%
Housing Affordability Index31%31%29%28%31%32%31%
30-Yr FRM3.9%3.6%4.0%4.5%3.9%3.2%3.1%

p = projected
f = forecast

* = % of households who can afford median-priced home

 

 

Easy Property Fixes to Prompt a Quick Sale

Buying, Selling at the Same Time

Nearly a Third of Home Sellers’ Top Stressor is Buying, Selling at the Same Time

Written by CRISSINDA PONDER 

Edited by DEBORAH KEARNS

Published on: July 27th, 2020 

For many home sellers, the most anxiety-inducing part of the home-selling process is trying to simultaneously sell their current place while buying their next dream home.

That’s according to findings from a new survey commissioned by LendingTree, which also found that sellers are planning to spend an average of more than $10,000 on repairs and upgrades to sell their home.

Key findings

The No. 1 stressor for nearly one-third (29%) of home sellers is buying and selling a home at the same time.

Another 16% of sellers report that costly repairs and upgrades are the most stressful part of selling a home, and 15% stress most about failing to sell their home.

More than 1 in 5 (22%) of home sellers have felt pressure from their agent to accept a lower-priced offer.

Another 22% felt their real estate agent pressured them to spend a significant amount of money on repairs and upgrades before selling their home. Still, 31% of sellers reported not feeling any pressure at all.

When broken down by age group, millennials (70%) were more likely to feel some sort of selling-related pressure than older generations such as Gen X (49%) or baby boomers (14%).

More than 4 in 10 (43%) strongly agree that the home-selling process is more expensive than they anticipated.

Another 43% of home sellers somewhat agree that they’re spending more than expected on their home sale. Meanwhile, more than half (51%) of millennials strongly agree with that sentiment, compared with just 28% of baby boomers.

Other takeaways

Nearly 1 in 5 (18%) millennials said the top stressor of selling a home is deciding on an asking price, compared to just 10% of Gen Xers and 6% of baby boomers.

More than 1 in 5 (21%) baby boomers are most stressed about making costly home repairs and upgrades to sell their home. Another 22% of baby boomers fear that their home won’t sell, compared with 15% of Gen Xers and 10% of millennials.

When asked how long they think their home will stay on the market before it’s sold, more than 4 in 10 (44%) sellers said one to three months. More than 1 in 4 (27%) think it will take four to five months to sell their home.

Home sellers expect to spend more than $10,000 on average for repairs and upgrades in order to sell their home. Millennial sellers anticipate spending $13,727 on average, which is the highest amount of all age groups.

After removing decorations and decluttering, the top three repairs and upgrades home sellers have made are:

  • Fresh interior paint (48%)
  • Bathroom upgrades (45%)
  • New kitchen appliances (45%)

4 factors to consider when selling your home

The cost to sell a home can reach more than $20,000, depending on your home’s sales price. Keep the following factors in mind as you prep for a home sale:

  1. Be mindful of your timeline. If you’re buying a home while selling your current one, it’s important to bake in enough time to find your new home. The average time close on a home purchase is 47 days, according to Ellie Mae’s June Origination Insight Report.
  2. Get a home inspection. Before you list your home for sale, pay for a home inspection to identify issues with your home’s condition that may need to be addressed right away. If the buyers discover the issue during their inspection, negotiating repairs could postpone or derail the sale.
  3. Negotiate your selling costs. You’ll have to pay several closing costs, including commissions for both your and the buyer’s real estate agent. It’s in your best interest to negotiate these fees, as they can cost several thousand dollars.
  4. Reduce your mortgage debt. Your mortgage will need to be paid off first before you receive any sales proceeds. In the months before you begin the home-selling process, consider dedicating any bonuses, refunds or windfalls to paying down your outstanding loan balance.

Methodology

For this survey, LendingTree commissioned Qualtrics, an experience management firm, to gather responses from 964 home sellers, with the sample base proportioned to represent the overall population. The survey was conducted April 24-30, 2020.

Generations were defined by the following age ranges:

  • Millennials are ages 24-39
  • Generation X are ages 40-54
  • Baby boomers are ages 55-74

Our survey also included responses from members of Generation Z (ages 18-23) and the silent generation (ages 75 and older). Their responses were factored into the overall percentages but excluded from the generational breakdowns, due to the low sample size among both age groups.

Sierra Lifestyle Team Note: A good Real Estate Team on your side is essential to reducing your stressors as you prepare to sell your house and go through the process. Your agent(s) should be prepared to discuss their value proposition to assist you in selling your home, maximize your offer price, and minimize the time frame for selling.