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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.
Top Remodeling Projects for Resale

Top Remodeling Projects for Resale

Refinishing hardwood floors is the remodeling project that pays back the most, recovering the highest percentage of its cost—147%—at resale, according to the 2022 Remodeling Impact Report, a joint study from the National Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

Home remodeling projects aren’t only offering a potential boost at resale; they’re also making homeowners happier. Painting a home’s interior, adding a home office, installing hardwood flooring, and renovating closets made consumers happiest, the report shows.

The remodeling boom has continued since the pandemic began as homeowners’ desires to spruce up their homes grow, whether through large house additions or simply small one-room painting tasks.

“Quite often, an added benefit to home renovations is the possibility of an increase in the home’s value, which is a reason why some people remodel,” says Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights at NAR. “This is especially advantageous to a homeowner who may be considering selling their house or converting the home to a rental property.”

For the report, REALTORS® provided an estimate of the likely dollar value of various remodeling projects that could add to the value of a home during resale that was compared to National Association of Remodeling Industry remodelers’ estimations of project costs.

Besides refinished hardwood flooring, new hardwood flooring also had the potential for a high recovery at resale, at 118%, as did upgrading the home’s insulation, at 100%, the survey shows.

Among exterior projects, new roofing and garage doors had recovery rates reaching 100% of the project costs, according to the report.

Kitchen upgrades also showed a high potential payback at resale. NARI remodelers estimated an average kitchen remodel would cost about $45,000. But REALTORS® surveyed estimated that $30,000 of that would likely be recovered at resale—a 67% recovery rate.

House Projects That Bring the Most Joy

The survey also identified projects that made home renovators want to remain in their homes and those that brought them an increase in the enjoyment of their spaces. The home remodeling projects that received a “Joy Score” of 10, the top score, were:

  • Painting a home’s entire interior
  • Painting one room
  • Adding a home office
  • Hardwood floor refinishing
  • Closet renovation
  • Insulation upgrades

The Remodeling Boom Continues

Americans spent $420 billion in 2020 on home remodeling. Contractors report greater demand for services and for larger-scale projects, such as remodels of more than one room, according to the 2022 Remodeling Impact Report. Eighty-six percent of consumers reported that remodeling one area of their home then inspired them to remodel other areas of the house.

“The pandemic has changed the way we use our homes, and many of those changes are here to stay,” Lautz says. “As a result, homeowners needed to reconfigure or remodel how they use their home and maximize space.”

Thirty-five percent of homeowners said one of the top motivators for their remodel was to improve their home’s functionality and livability.

Also, 22% of homeowners were motivated to have greater durability in the materials and appliances inside their homes. Fourteen percent were motivated to improve the beauty and aesthetics of their home.

Source: 

2022 Remodeling Impact Report,” National Association of REALTORS® (April 6, 2022)

 

 

 

 

Nevada County Walking Trails

Nevada County Walking Trails

by Mary Cornell

Whether you are an avid hiker or a daily walker there is no shortage of amazing trails and places to walk in Nevada County!

Being a walker myself, some walks that include my dogs, other days a friend or two, or just a solitary walk to get my thoughts together, walking is a great way to stay healthy, strong, and stress-free.

Wolf Creek Trail Map

Wolf Creek Trail Map Courtesy Bear Yuba Land Trust

One of our latest trails in Grass Valley that has opened within the past two years is Wolf Creek Trail. It is convenient, close to town, paved, and is wheelchair, and stroller-friendly. Meandering along the Wolf Creek and amid the North Star Mine, it has not only beauty but history. There are 4 trailheads for this trail. One is off of the mine museum’s parking lot, one-off Freeman lane by the Animal Shelter, one-off Freeman Ln, with a path down our “sinkhole” and the other at the Wolf Creek group housing. 

I love to walk my dogs at The Nevada County Fairgrounds or around the Lyons’ lake. The fairgrounds are open again for dog walkers, the walk is level, paved and they provide doggie bags. I love that the fairgrounds encourage us, dog walkers, with even a bowl of water for our furry friends.

The Empire Mine State Park trails are awesome, as there are many trails to take, and are popular not only for walkers and joggers but also for horses. Many ways to enter this area and one time we even got lost and came up on Highway 174 without knowing where we were!

 

There is a trail that comes off of Litton Rd in Grass Valley that meanders up crosses Sierra College Blvd, up around the high school, and ends up at Eskaton off of Ridge Rd. That is a fun, short, and surprising walk.

 

There are many trails that run alongside a NID ditch (Nevada Irrigation District).

One of the longest and most beautiful is the one that starts at Gracie and ends up at Red Dog in Nevada City. This trail is 4 miles if you take it and double back to the car. It’s level and calming as you walk near water the whole time.

Hirschman’s Pond is just a short scenic walk, starting off of Cement Hill Dr in Nevada City. I love the rock outcropping and the serenity of the pond. You can continue past the pond and walk another couple of miles on this trail, but it does run near the highway for a while, so you have some road noise.

The Independence Trail was once a stunning and awesome path leading to a waterfall and creek where salamanders are abundant. The trail had been built through and using the wooden flumes that were once there for the gold miners to direct the water floor. Unfortunately, in 2020 the fire that swept through also destroyed the flumes and walking bridges.

The Deer Creek Tribute Trail in Nevada City is a little more challenging but well worth it! The trail memorializes the early contributions of the native Chinese people. It’s complete with the Chinese Tribute bridge that highlights the walk.

Alta Sierra has a trailhead at the corner of Dog Bar and Alta Sierra Dr. It is a short uphill trail that crosses the NID ditch, skirts the golf course, and has an amazing large tree that is unique and makes a great photoshoot. If you’ve walked the trail, I’m sure you know the one!

If you head on down the hill towards Penn Valley, you will find the Buttermilk Bend Trail at the Yuba River near Bridgeport. This is a great springtime hike, as there are beautiful wildflowers all around and labeled for you to see their names. It rambles above and follows the beautiful Yuba River. It is a breathtaking hike.

Further down the road on the way to Beale’s Airforce Base, there is a trail leading to Fairy Falls. This trail is best taken in the spring as you are walking through large open fields among the cows and very little shade. Finally getting to the waterfall, you will find it a great spot to picnic.

These are just a very few of the great hikes and walks in Nevada County that I have enjoyed. There are plenty more that I’ve yet to mention!

So get out there, explore our beautiful Gold Country and breathe the mountain air!

 

 

Support Small Businesses

Support Small Businesses

 

What a year it has been and especially for small businesses in Grass Valley and Nevada City.

 

🎄As you start your holiday shopping think about supporting local businesses.  As a business owner in the area I know this year has hit small businesses and restaurants the hardest.
So take a trip to a local store and find Christmas presents or purchase gift cards to local restaurants as this too will help them during this “Purple tier shutdown”.

 

So shop local and support those small businesses.

 

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.

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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! 

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