Original Boat Street Café owner Susan Kaplan handed this recipe down to me when I took the reins, and although it’s changed over the years, it’s still a favorite.
The method is a bit unusual: I dress unpeeled juicy peaches with lemon zest, then smear the batter on top, followed by a dousing of sugar and a bit of hot water. The result is a delicate crackly crust unrivaled in the world of cobblers. Use the same crust to top summer berries, if you prefer.
1 hour 40 Minutes
10 large peaches (about 4½ pounds), unpeeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar, divided
1½ cups (about 192 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup whole milk
½ cup hot tap water
Heavy cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Put the peaches in a 9-by-13-inch (or similar) baking pan or gratin dish. Pat the peaches into a roughly even layer, then, using a zester or a Microplane, zest the lemon evenly over the fruit and squeeze the lemon juice evenly over the top.
In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and 1½ cups of the sugar on medium speed until sandy, about 1 minute. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and beat again for another 30 seconds, until all the flour is incorporated and the mixture is evenly crumbly. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the milk. Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Plop the batter in 6 large blobs over the top of the peaches. With an offset spatula or small knife, carefully spread the batter evenly over the fruit, so it’s no more than about ½ inch thick in any one place.
Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup sugar directly over the batter. Drizzle the hot water evenly over the sugar, using it to melt the sugar into the topping. (Use it all. It’s a strange method, but it works.)
Bake the cobbler for 70 to 80 minutes, or until the top is browned and cracked. (A toothpick inserted into the topping should come out dry—be sure to check in a few places.)
Let the cobbler sit for about a half an hour to firm up before serving warm in big bowls, with heavy cream poured on top.
Lenders Uncovering Identity Theft in Mortgage Reviews – Protect Yourself!
August 10, 2021
About 14.4 million adults are victims of identity theft each year.
But many may not even realize it until they try to qualify for lending. A financial review by a lender may be tripped up if their identity has been taken, and their homebuying dreams could quickly be taken from them.
“Identity theft is on the rise, and if you don’t pay attention, you could have a harsh awakening when applying for a mortgage to purchase a home,” cybersecurity expert Sandra Estok, author of the “Happily Ever Cyber!” book series, told realtor.com®.
Identity theft can take many forms.
Some criminals steal a Social Security number and then use it to open credit cards or loans in the person’s name. That can ruin a credit score, needed to qualify for a mortgage.
Home buyers should do advance work in ensuring their finances are up to par and have not been hacked, experts say.
“One proactive step to take before putting in an offer, or even before you consider looking at homes, is to review your credit report at annualcreditreport.com or directly with all three major bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion,” Estok told realtor.com®. “Each of these companies maintains a separate report that can give you clues if something doesn’t add up.”
Check bank statements too. Credit card companies offer enrollment in fraud detection programs as well. Often, there is a 60-day window to report any suspicious activity in an account. After that, you may be on the hook for any amounts stolen from your accounts.
Estok also suggests visiting haveibeenpwned.com to check whether your email address or phone number has been part of a data breach. If so, change your passwords immediately.
Survey: Bidding Wars Aren’t the Big Problem Anymore
August 9, 2021
Many would-be home buyers say they aren’t having much luck in finding a home.
Sixty-six percent of buyers who were actively engaged in searching for a home in the second quarter say they’ve spent three months looking without success.
In the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of this year, active house hunters blamed being outbid by other offers as the most common reason for their inability to make a purchase.
But the top reason changed in the second quarter: More would-be buyers said that high home prices are sidelining them lately, according to The Housing Trends Report, a survey from the National Association of Home Builders.
Thirty-nine percent of active buyers surveyed said the inability to find an affordably priced home was the main reason they couldn’t buy.
Forty-three percent of surveyed buyers said if they continue to be unsuccessful, they will expand their search area while shopping for a home.
Forty-two percent will remain persistent and continue looking for the “right” home in the same location.
Overall, most long-term house hunters aren’t willing to give up. The share who are likely to put off their home search until next year or later has declined over the last two quarters, dropping to 20% in the second quarter.
Home buyers continue to search for the right home, even if it takes more than three months to finally find one in their price point.
Don’t hesitate to call the Sierra Lifestyle Team 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.
The majority of consumers continue to mistakenly believe they need at least a 20% down payment to purchase a home,but the truth is the average down payment among all buyers is just 12%, according to National Association of REALTORS® data.
Younger buyers tend to put down the least: For example, those between the ages of 22 and 30 put down an average of 6%, and those between the ages of 31 and 40 make an average 10% down payment.
Financial experts often say a 20% down payment is ideal because it helps borrowers qualify for a mortgage and avoid the extra costs of private mortgage insurance.
But it’s not always practical advice, especially as affordability dwindles. For example, a 20% down payment on an entry-level single-family home in the Los Angeles area could be between $200,000 and $400,000.
Several conventional lenders allow buyers to purchase a home with a down payment as low as 3%, while some government-backed programs like through the VA issue loans with no money down.
Borrowers may find such options through FHA, USDA, or VA loans as well as down payment assistance programs.
Young adults, in particular, may be missing out on key information to move forward in the housing market.
Two out of three recently surveyed say they are waiting for lower mortgage rates before starting the homebuying process, according to a survey of 1,000 millennials (ages 25 to 40) conducted by Lombardo Homes. However, economists have largely predicted that mortgage rates will edge upwards in the coming weeks. Further, one in four millennials underestimated their buying potential by $150,000 or more, the study finds.
Also, 59% of consumers say they did not know that the seller pays the real estate agents’ commission, the Lombardo Homes survey shows. Respondents also expressed confusion about many real estate terms, such as earnest money, FRM (fixed-rate mortgage), and PITI (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance).
Real estate pros can educate buyers on common terms and financing resources.
Don’t hesitate to call the Sierra Lifestyle Team 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.
July 2021 was a Seller’s market* Home For Sale in July 2021: 212 units.
Up 7.1% compared to last month
Down 26.9% compared to last year
Home Closed in July 2021: 190 units.
Up 6.7% compared to last month
Down 10.8% compared to last year
Home Placed under Contract in July 2021: 150 units.
Down 18.9% compared to last month
Down 31.2% compared to last year
*Buyer’s market: more than 6 months of inventory based on closed sales Seller’s market: less than 3 months of inventory based on closed sales Neutral market: 3 – 6 months of inventory based on closed sales
July 2021 Average For Sale Price is Neutral* Average For Sale Price (in thousand) in July 2021:$784
Down 2% compared to last month
Up 10.1% compared to last year
July 2021 Average Sold Price is Appreciating* Average Sold Price (in thousand) in July 2021: $662
Up 3.6% compared to last month
Up 18.2% compared to last year
*Based on 6 month trend – Appreciating/Depreciating/Neutral
The schools that serve your neighborhood can have a significant impact on your home’s market value.
You may already be familiar with the schools in your immediate area. The map in the link below will spell it all out for you as a quick reference.
For bonus points, click the info button next to each listing. You will find the number of students and staff, expenditures per student, and more.
The economy posted strong signs of further improvement last week with just shy of 1 million new jobs created in July and the lowest level of unemployment since the onset of the pandemic.
In addition, interest rates fell back below 2.8% last week and recently released construction data shows that California is on track to build at least 30% more homes this year than it did in 2020. However, the public health numbers in the state continue to deteriorate at a rapid pace. In addition, buyers continue to become discouraged about housing even as new listings finally start to come online so hard work remains the mantra as the market continues to normalize.
Strong Jobs Report Despite COVID Rebound: Although California will not report on July jobs for several weeks, we can be optimistic because the U.S. jobs recovery last month accelerated with 943,000 new jobs and a post-crisis low for unemployment of 5.4%. That was the strongest month for job creation since last August and marks the second consecutive month with more than 900,000 new jobs. However, rising Coronavirus cases are likely to stifle growth in coming months and California has had two weeks in a row with over 100,000 new unemployment claims filed so the recovery still has a long way to go.
Interest Rates Fall a Bit More: Freddie Mac reported that the typical rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 2.77% last week from 2.80% the previous week. This follows the 10-year Treasury, which also declined to 1.21% last week. Overall, rates are now back to their lowest levels since February and are likely to remain relatively subdued as the effects of rising COVID cases are likely to bolster demand for Treasuries while also causing the Fed to be more cautious about taking too aggressive an approach to monetary policy on what may ultimately prove to be transitory inflation pressures.
California Building Permits Up 32% Through June: So far, California has permitted nearly 60,000 new residential units through the first 6 months of this year. Single-family permits are leading with a 36% increase, but multi-family units are rising by 27% on a year-to-date basis as well. Despite supply chain disruptions and significant increases in the cost of building materials, strong housing demand, Proposition 19, and a renewed passion for homeownership have lured builders back into the market to increase production after a relatively lackluster year in 2020.
Buyer Fatigue Intensifies in July: The number of California consumers that felt it was a good time to purchase a home fell to an all-time low of just 17% last month. This coincides with a new all-time high price in California of almost $820,000 and demonstrates the downside of having a market where new listings cannot keep pace with home sales for such a prolonged period. Rising prices, fierce competition for available homes, and most transactions closing above asking price continues to take its toll on would-be homebuyers in California. Combined with a modest uptick in new inventory and the pressure on each individual listing has also helped to normalize the market—45% of members had 3 or fewer offers on their last sale compared to less than 30% of REALTORS® back in May.
Mortgage Applications Down for 11th Consecutive Week: The number of new purchase applications ended July down 18% from the same week last year. This marks the 11th decline in a row on a year-to-year basis. However, at a value of 273, the index is only slightly behind the 2020 average of 283 and still well ahead of the 2019 annual average of 255. Low rates are helping to maintain demand at relatively high levels, but growth has clearly decelerated.
COVID Numbers Continue to Deteriorate in California: The number of new COVID-19 cases in California rose above 14,000 on Friday as the pace of infection rises. The positivity rate hit its highest level since February with nearly 7% of tests resulting in a positive result while the number of tests is also rising. Hospitalizations are also at their highest levels since early this year. Meanwhile, vaccinations in the state continue to hover in the low-60% range after an initial surge during the spring. Many parts of the state have re-implemented mask mandates and we expect the guidance to continue to evolve over the near term as the situation changes.
Don’t hesitate to call the Sierra Lifestyle Team 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.
The cheerful color of yellow is lighting up home design ever since paint firm Pantone chose “Illuminating”—a bright, bold yellow—as one of its 2021 Colors of the Year.
Yellow commands attention and is often used as an accent color in throw pillows or rugs. It also could make for a great color pop in outdoor accent pillows.
Yellows are being used in more kitchens, too, particularly for a high-contrast look in white or gray kitchens. Consider adding a yellow jar or vase filled with fresh greenery, a bright yellow serving piece, or even yellow kitchen stools to make an island standout.
Yellow is a bold color and should be used sparingly.
It can be overpowering and can change the lighting in a room—making you appear slightly green on a Zoom call. But in small doses, yellow may be just the ray of sunshine to help brighten the mood in your home design.
Subscribe(link is external) to receive weekly home staging tips and design trends delivered directly to your inbox from the Styled, Staged & Sold blog.
Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, editor of the Styled, Staged & Sold blog, and produces a segment called “Hot or Not?(link is external)” in home design that airs on NAR’s Real Estate Today radio show. Follow Melissa on Instagram and Twitter at @housingmuse.
Securing your home and office wireless network is essential, especially for real estate pros, who handle sensitive client information every day. The last thing you want is a stranger connecting to your wireless router and snooping through private data. It’s important to update your router—which acts as a firewall, protecting you from the many digital threats lurking online—so it’s performing at its best. Change these basic settings to improve your home network’s security.
Change your router’s login credentials.Most routers have administrative credentials that enable you to change your router’s settings based on whether you’re using a public or private network. These settings include turning the firewall on and off, monitoring who’s connected to your wireless network, and updating the firmware for your router. For most brands, you can Google the default username and password. So, if you never change the administrative settings for your router, anyone connected to your wireless network can gain access and change the settings. It’s OK to continue using the default username, but you really need to change the password.
Change the network name and password.Most brands of routers come with a default wireless network or SSID and password. Sometimes, this information is printed on a sticker attached to the router. Default router settings can easily be found on the internet—just look up yours! Changing these settings differs by the router, but you’ll often find this function under “wireless settings,” “wireless security,” or something similar. Once you make changes to your wireless network name and password, you’ll have to reconnect all of your wireless devices.
Use strong network encryption.Most routers already have encryption methods set up out of the box, but it’s always a good idea to login to your router settings to make sure it’s properly secured. Looking at your wireless security settings, you will see options such as:
None. This setting means you want your home or office network to be publicly accessible—like your local coffee shop’s. Don’t choose this option if you’re exchanging sensitive information.
WEP. Wired Equivalent Privacy is outdated technology and provides little security, so you shouldn’t use it.
WPA. Wi-Fi Protected Access is the current security method used to protect routers. It comes in three flavors: WPA, WPA2, and WPA3—which became available in 2018 but isn’t available on all devices.
Disable the display of your wireless network name.If you want to keep your wireless network secure from prying eyes, it’s best to simply disable the broadcasting of your Wi-Fi network name or the SSID. If you change your default wireless name and make it invisible to other wireless users in the area, you’ll create the ultimate protection from hackers. To make this happen, go into the settings and choose the option to turn off SSID.
Keep your router firmware updated. Firmware is the software that controls your router, and just like your computer, smartphone, and tablets, your router needs to be updated from time to time. Router manufacturers occasionally release updates to fix security holes, and you need to download them. Your router should have a “firmware update” option in the main menu, or you might have to visit a separate page to download the latest version and manually upload it.
Set up a guest network. If you have frequent guests in your home or office and you want them to use your Wi-Fi, it’s not a bad idea to set up a guest network that will give them access to the internet while keeping your personal network private and secure. Not all routers have the option to set up a guest network. If yours does, you just need to go into the router’s settings and select the option to set up a guest network.
There’s no way for your network to be 100% bulletproof, but these common-sense tips will protect you against the usual methods cybercriminals use to get into your network.
Burton Kelso is the owner and chief technology expert at Integral, an onsite and remote computer and laptop repair service company for consumers and businesses.
Time to Act: ‘The State of America’s Housing Stock Is Dire’
June 16, 2021
A “once in a generation” response is needed to address the decades of underinvestment and underbuilding in the housing market, according to a report released on Wednesday by the National Association of REALTORS® and the Rosen Consulting Group.
The nation has faced a shortfall of 5.5 million to 6.8 million housing units since 2001.
“There is a strong desire for homeownership across this country, but the lack of supply is preventing too many Americans from achieving that dream,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.
“It’s clear from the findings of this report and from the conditions we’ve observed in the market over the past few years that we’ll need to do something dramatic to close this gap.”
The report calls America’s housing stock situation “dire,” with a chronic shortage of affordable and available homes to support the nation’s population.
“A severe lack of new construction and prolonged underinvestment [have led] to an acute shortage of available housing … to the detriment of the health of the public and economy,” the report notes “The scale of underbuilding and the existing demand-supply gap is enormous … and will require a major national commitment to build more housing of all types.”
Policy recommendations outlined in the report call for lawmakers to remove construction barriers that could help incentivize new development.
“A number of factors from the past 20 years are responsible for the massive housing investment gap we see in America today, but what’s important now is that we find solutions that will get us out of this crisis and provide more stability in future markets,” said Charlie Oppler, NAR president.
He said increases in housing construction not only add much-needed housing inventory but also could add an estimated 2.8 million American jobs and $50 billion in new, nationwide tax revenue. “Additional public funding and policy incentives for construction will very clearly provide huge benefits to our nation’s economy, and our work to close this gap will be particularly impactful for lower-income households, households of color, and millennials,” Oppler said.
Housing has been on the leading edge of economic growth since the recovery began, but several signs show that a hot market is causing the market to moderate earlier than normal.
Closed sales are likely to exhibit high double-digit growth for May and June, but the overall level of home sales is slipping from its decades-high level at years’ end.
Rapid growth in home prices has caused some buyers to become discouraged—even as rates dipped below 3% again. Encouragingly, the number of new listings being added to the MLS each day has finally started to exceed closed sales and C.A.R. is still forecasting at least 10% growth in home sales this year.
Consumer Confidence Hits Post-Crisis High:
Consumer confidence reached its highest level since the onset of the crisis as many get back to work and the economy in many parts of the nation starts to reopen. This is a vital component of overall GDP and more robust main street consumer spending will help to generate additional jobs recovery in the retail and restaurant sectors in coming months.
California Unemployment Claims Drop to Post-Crisis Low:
California ended May with its 9th consecutive week with fewer than 100,000 new claims for pandemic and traditional unemployment insurance. With less than 65,000 new unemployment claims filed, last week also marks the smallest number of claims since March of 2020. As the economy is poised to reopen this week, many of the service sector jobs, which bore the majority of the job losses, are expected to begin to come back as consumers participate more fully in the economy.
Signs of Optimism for the Fall Market:
The number of active listings has started to rise as the number of listings being added to the MLS each day has started to increase. Although total active listings remains depressed relative to 2020 and 2019 levels, there has been more inventory on the market over the past 2 months after reaching a nadir back in March. The number of new listings coming onto the MLS is still down from normal levels, an increase in supply could help would-be buyers who are facing an incredibly competitive market environment and help to sustain an elevated number of home sales.
Rates Dip Slightly as 10-Year Treasuries Moderate:
The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) dipped slightly to 2.96% last week – remaining below the critical 3% threshold. The 10-year Treasury initially rose early last week after a decent jobs report, but began to slide during the second half – hitting just 1.45% to begin this week. However, spreads have widened, which may mean some ongoing softness in mortgage rates for the coming weeks, but the medium-term trend is likely towards higher rates.
COVID Numbers Moving in Wrong Direction as We Approach Reopening:
After several months of ongoing improvement, California’s public health numbers have started to deteriorate again, albeit modestly. The 7-day moving average for new cases remains below 1,000 per day, but it has been rising for the past 4 days consecutively and the raw case volume was above 1,000 over the weekend. The immunization rate has begun to settle in the mid-50s, but varies significantly by county.
Mortgage Applications Post Largest Drop in Over a Year:
The number of new mortgage purchase applications fell 24% last week to their lowest level since January. After growing for 52 consecutive weeks on a year over year basis, new applications first began to decelerate in April. By mid-May, mortgage applications had begun to fall, and dropped by double digits the first week of June. This is consistent with both the C.A.R. and Fannie Mae home purchase sentiment indices released last week, which showed increasing pessimism amongst buyers as prices rise and competition over limited available listings remains fierce.
Cashing Out Amidst Double-Digit Price Growth:
Freddie Mac’s quarterly report on cash out refinancing shows a marked increase in spending from home equity. Nearly $50 billion in home equity was cashed out in the most recent quarter. Some of this is driven by consolidation of other debt at low rates, but the percentage of loans resulting in a principal balance at least 5% higher than the original first mortgage has also risen to nearly 50% of mortgage originations. This still pales to the nearly $85 billion cashed out at the peak of last cycle, but it does represent a sizable shift from just $20 billion a few years ago.
In this classic Italian American sandwich, tender meatballs drenched in tomato sauce are tucked into crisp rolls then buried under a blanket of gooey cheese.
It’s a messy sandwich no matter how you build it or bite into it, but wise construction can help: First, hollow out the rolls a bit so the meatballs have a place to sit. Then, use the leftover crumbs to make the meatballs, which will keep them light. Finally, toast the rolls to prevent them from getting too soggy with sauce. Of course, some crispy-gone-soggy bites are welcome, just as the cheese pulls, sauce drips and messy fingers are, too. They’re all part of the experience.
Ryan Liebe for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.
4(6-inch-long) sub, hero or hoagie rolls, split lengthwise but still attached on one side
Kosher salt and black pepper
2garlic cloves, peeled
Extra-virgin olive oil, for greasing
1pound ground beef (at least 15 percent fat)
½cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
2tablespoons chopped basil leaves, plus more for serving
2cups marinara sauce (homemade or from a 24-ounce jar)
4slices mozzarella or provolone
Heat the broiler to high with a rack no more than 6 inches from the heat source. (See Tip if you don’t have a broiler.) Using a fork, scrape out some of the interior of the rolls until you get about 1 cup bread crumbs. Add them to a large bowl along with 1/2 cup water, the egg, 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Finely grate 1 garlic clove into the mixture, then stir to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Lightly grease a large (12-inch), oven-proof skillet with olive oil. To the bread crumbs, add the beef, Parmesan and chopped basil. Stir with your hands until combined, avoiding overmixing. Roll into 12 balls (about 2 heaping tablespoons/2 ounces each) and place them in the prepared skillet as you go. Broil the meatballs until browned and nearly cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.
Move the skillet to the stovetop. Add the marinara sauce, stir to coat the meatballs, and warm over medium-low heat while you toast the rolls: Place the rolls on a baking sheet, cut-side up, and broil until lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Rub the cut sides of the roll with the second garlic clove.
Divide the meatballs and sauce among the rolls, then top with mozzarella. Broil until the mozzarella is melted and browned in spots, 1 to 2 minutes. Top with more grated Parmesan, basil leaves and black pepper.
If you don’t have a broiler, you can make this recipe using a 450-degree oven. The meatballs will take about 15 minutes to cook through (or you can sear them on the stove), and the bread-toasting and cheese-melting will take 2 to 4 minutes each.
I wanted to however give a quick update. It has been business as usual completing both lender and private appraisals. With private work I have been forced to stagger multiple weeks out to keep up with lender demand. While lender demand gets all the headlines, I am continuing to maintain private work demand.
Market Overview: As far as the market goes, we all know the story. Low inventory, excess buyer demand, multiple bids above list price, waived appraisals (at times!). I imagine it’s not easy for many buyers losing offer after offer. I’ve heard some buyers deciding to take a breather and wait. Maybe that is a good idea. The one thing I know is every cycle changes. We don’t know exactly when but it does. Lenders are increasing fees and offering rush fees. Lenders have recognized demand and are regularly quoting higher fees to appraisers. This has likely increased the assignment acceptance by an appraiser vs. unassigned orders for weeks. I will always prioritize my primary lender clients, but when solicited by other lenders, I have noticed higher fee quotes at times. I’m always available for questions or discussion about the market. Feel free to reach out.
Don’t hesitate to call The Sierra Lifestyle Team 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.
Check Out the Top 10 Buyer Priorities in a House
June 17, 2021
Extra space for extended family and pets and a home office have risen to the top of wish lists among house hunters. And that desire for more space is driving many home buyers’ decision to purchase a new home in the coming year, according to a new realtor.com® survey of 1,200 home shoppers.
Also, the eagerness for greater outdoor space is prompting terms like “fenced yard,” “acres,” “backyard,” “front porch,” “garage,” and “three-car garage” to see an increase in realtor.com® searches over the past year. Since more households became pet owners during the pandemic, the term “pet friendly” has also significantly increased in searches.
“The COVID pandemic ushered in a new way of thinking about what home means, and that is influencing much of what today’s home shoppers are looking for,” says George Raitu, realtor.com®’s senior economist. “Garages, large backyards, and space for pets always rank high on buyers’ wish lists, but those features have grown in importance. The survey results highlight that the pandemic has elevated our relationship with family as well as the need for our home to serve multiple purposes, especially the ability to work remotely. As a result, we are placing a premium on the need to accommodate extended family, and features like a home office and broadband internet.”
Buyers reported that the following 10 home features have become a priority as a result of the pandemic:
What’s more, 65% of buyers surveyed said they were considering their extended family when they shopped for a home.
Nearly a quarter said they planned to buy near family members. One-fifth of respondents said they would have extended family living with them full-time. Thirty percent said their new home would need to accommodate extended family staying with them part-time or visiting.
On the other hand, some home items have seen a decrease in importance since the pandemic—notably the need for a short commute time.
Also, a home with smaller square footage is also in less demand since the pandemic, the survey showed.
“Remodeled” homes dropped 88% year-to-date through May. “It appears that motivated buyers are making concessions in their home search” as home prices rise, the report notes. Fewer searches are occurring for otherwise popular features such as granite countertops (down 58%), theater/media rooms (down 65%), and bars (down 52%).
Buyers may be getting more realistic heading into the housing market, knowing that they might not be able to get everything on their wish list.
When they were asked to select which features they’d be willing to sacrifice if they had to reduce their budget, the following home amenities would be among the first to go:
Buying what is considered a second home before purchasing the more conventional first is beginning to appeal to some renters.
Those in metro areas are watching the red hot housing market and may be interested in a place of their own. With remote work trending, they can take advantage of the opportunity to spread out and buy a small getaway home with a vacation-first mentality, Apartment Therapy reports.
These second-home buyers may be drawn to country cottages or mountain cabins while they continue to rent apartments in the city.
They may search for their second home in a less competitive market than their current one, too.
Jamie Manning, founder of the real estate blog Exposed Brick DC, told Apartment Therapy that she and her husband didn’t expect to purchase a vacation home in Charlottesville, Va., before ever buying their first property in the Washington, D.C., area. “[We] see this as a true second home, somewhere we can spend weekends and possibly work remotely during the week,” Manning told the publication. “This idea had been on our radar because real estate costs are so high in D.C. that we felt buying here may not be realistic. We have been diligent and saved and were anxious to make some kind of real estate investment. We were craving a change of scenery and a different pace of life.”
Low interest rates may be attracting some renters to the thought of buying, but they may be priced out of their own area as many markets have seen escalating home prices over the past year.
A second home could offer these first timers a financial benefit and investment while they continue to rent in the city, financial analysts say. For example, Lisa Greene-Lewis, a certified public accountant, says that you can deduct mortgage interest on a vacation home similarly to a primary residence and deduct property taxes up to the cap. Some buyers may also decide to rent out their secondary home as a form of supplemental income.
“A lot of people were excited to purchase getaways during the pandemic because of limited travel options,” John Coleman, a real estate pro who works with many first-time home buyers, told Apartment Therapy. “Buying and renting out on Airbnb has been very lucrative for some, and it will be interesting to see if that can hold up moving forward.”