Gold Country CA Real Estate Blog and News

What You Actually Need To Know About the Number of Foreclosures in Today's Housing Market

What You Actually Need To
Know About the Number of Foreclosures in Today's Housing Market | MyKCM

While you may have seen recent stories about the volume of foreclosures today, context is important. During the pandemic, many homeowners were able to pause their mortgage payments using the forbearance program. The goal was to help homeowners financially during the uncertainty created by the health crisis.

When the forbearance program began, many experts were concerned it would result in a wave of foreclosures coming to the market, as there was after the housing crash in 2008. Here's a look at why the number of foreclosures we're seeing today is nothing like the last time.

1. There Are Fewer Homeowners in Trouble

Today's data shows that most homeowners are exiting their forbearance plan either fully caught up on payments or with a plan from the bank that restructured their loan in a way that allowed them to start making payments again. The graph below depicts those findings from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA):

What
You Actually Need To Know About the Number of Foreclosures in Today's Housing
Market | MyKCM...

Are There More Homes Coming to the Market?

Are There More Homes Coming
to the Market? | MyKCM

According to a recent survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), one of the top challenges buyers face in today's housing market is finding a home that meets their needs. That's largely because the inventory of homes for sale is so low today.

If you're looking to buy a home, you may have noticed this yourself. But there is good news. Recent data shows more sellers are listing their houses this season, which may give you more options for your home search.

Early Signs Inventory May Be Growing

The ...

How Today's Mortgage Rates Impact Your Home Purchase

How Today's Mortgage Rates
Impact Your Home Purchase | MyKCM

If you're planning to buy a home, it's critical to understand the relationship between mortgage rates and your purchasing power. Purchasing power is the amount of home you can afford to buy that's within your financial reach. Mortgage rates directly impact the monthly payment you'll have on the home you purchase. So, when rates rise, so does the monthly payment you're able to lock in on your home loan. In a rising-rate environment like we're in today, that could limit your future purchasing power.

Today, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is above 5%, and in the near term, experts say that'll likely go up in the months ahead. You have the opportunity to get ahead of that increase if you buy now before that impacts your purchasing power.

Mortgage Rates Play a Large Role in Your Home Search

The chart below can help you understand the general relationship between mortgage rates and a typical monthly mortgage payment within a range of loan amounts. Let's say your budget allows for a monthly mortgage payment in the $2,100-$2,200 range. The green in the chart indicates a payment within that range, while the red is a payment that...

Three Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Three Tips for First-Time
Homebuyers | MyKCM

Buying your first home is a major decision and an exciting milestone. Even though it can feel daunting at times, it has the power to change your life for the better. If you’re looking to purchase your first home, you may be wondering what’s happening in the housing market today, how much you need to save, and where to start.

Here are three things that can help give you the information you need to confidently pursue your dream of homeownership.

1. Consider All Options When the Number of Homes for Sale Is Low

Today, there are far more buyers in the market than there are homes available for sale. When that happens, it's a good idea...

What You Need To Know About Selling in a Sellers' Market

What You Need To Know About
Selling in a Sellers' Market | MyKCM

Even if you haven't been following real estate news, you've likely heard about the current sellers' market. That's because there's a lot of talk about how strong market conditions are for people who want to sell their houses. But if you're thinking about listing your house, you probably want to know: what does being in a sellers' market really mean?

What Is a Sellers' Market?

The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows housing supply is still very low. There's a 2-month supply of homes at the current sales pace. ...

Gold Country Real Estate News - Spring 2022

We just finished our Spring 2022 issue of Gold Country Real Estate News which includes the latest information on the Amador County real estate market, featured listings within our community, a small business spotlight (South Main Veterinary Hospital) & more!   

Click the "READ NOW" image below to open and read the latest issue of Gold Country Real Estate News and contact the Gold Country Modern Real Estate Team if we can assist you in any way with your local real estate needs!

...

Is It Enough To Offer Asking Price in Today's Housing Market?

Is It Enough To Offer Asking
Price in Today's Housing Market? | MyKCM

If you're planning to buy a home this season, you're probably thinking about what you'll need to do to get your offer accepted. In previous years, it was common for buyers to try and determine how much less than the asking price they could offer to still get the home. The buyer and seller would then negotiate and typically agree on a revised price that was somewhere between the buyer's bid and the home's initial asking price.

In today's real estate market, buyers shouldn't shop for a home with the same expectations.

Things Are Different Today

Today's housing market is anything but normal. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average home that's sold today:

  • Receives 4.8 offers
  • Sells in just 17 days

Homes selling quickly and receiving multiple offers shows how competitive the ...

Why Pre-Approval Is an Important Step for Today's Homebuyers

Why Pre-Approval Is an
Important Step for Today's Homebuyers | MyKCM

Being intentional and competitive are musts when buying a home this season. That's why pre-approval is so important today. Pre-approval from a lender is the only way to know your true price range and how much money you can borrow for your loan. Peter Warden, Editor of The Mortgage Reports, explains:

The lender will check out your personal finances and issue you a letter confirming the amount you're eligible to borrow. This not only gives you a firm budget for house hunting, but also lets sellers know you're qualified to make an offer.

Why does that matter so much today? There are many more buyers looking for homes today than there are homes available for sale, and that's creating some serious competition. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average home is getting ...

Using Your Tax Refund To Achieve Your Homeownership Goals This Year

Using Your Tax Refund To
Achieve Your Homeownership Goals This Year | MyKCM

If you're buying or selling a home this year, you're likely saving up for a variety of expenses. For buyers, that might include things like your down payment and closing costs. And for sellers, you're probably working on a bit of spring cleaning and maintenance to spruce up your house before you list it.

Either way, any money you get back from your taxes can help you achieve your goals. Using a tax refund is a common tactic for buyers and sellers. SmartAsset estimates the average American will receive a $2,897 tax refund this year. The map below provides a more detailed estimate by state:

Using Your Tax Refund To Achieve Your Homeownership Goals This Year |
MyKCM...

A Key To Building Wealth Is Homeownership

A Key To Building Wealth Is
Homeownership | MyKCM

The link between financial security and homeownership is especially important today as inflation rises. But many people may not realize just how much owning a home contributes to your overall net worth. As Leslie Rouda Smith, President of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:

“Homeownership is rewarding in so many ways and can serve as a vital component in achieving financial stability.”

Here are just a few reasons why, if you're looking to increase your financial stability, homeownership is a worthwhile goal.

Owning a Home Is a Building Block for Financial Success

A recent NAR ...

What You Can Expect from the Spring Housing Market

What You Can Expect from the
Spring Housing Market | MyKCM

As the spring housing market kicks off, you likely want to know what you can expect this season when it comes to buying or selling a house. While there are multiple factors causing some uncertainty, including the conflict overseas, rising inflation, and the first rate increase from the Federal Reserve in over three years — the housing market seems to be relatively immune.

Here's a look at what experts say you can expect this spring.

1. Mortgage Rates Will Climb

Freddie Mac reports the 30-year fixed mortgage...

The Average Homeowner Gained More Than $55K in Equity over the Past Year

The Average Homeowner Gained
More Than $55K in Equity over the Past Year | MyKCM

If you're a current homeowner, you should know your net worth just got a big boost. It comes in the form of rising home equity. Equity is the current value of your home minus what you owe on the loan. Today, you're building that equity far faster than you may expect – and this gain is great news for you.

Here's how it happened. Home values are on the rise thanks to low housing supply and high buyer demand. Basically, there aren't enough homes available to meet this high buyer interest, so bidding wars are driving home prices up. When you own a home, the rising prices mean your home is worth more in today's market....

Did Your Dream Home Just Come on the Market?

Did Your Dream Home Just Come
on the Market? | MyKCM

For the first time in a long time, the number of newly listed homes is beginning to rise. In their latest monthly release, realtor.com reveals the number of existing homes entering the market has increased for two months in a row (this comes after six months of declines). Here's a graph showing the monthly new listings going back to January of last year. The green bars indicate the first gains since June.

Did
Your Dream Home Just Come on the Market? | MyKCM

However, buying demand is still outpacing housing supply.

Though the increase in homes coming to the market is great news for prospective homebuyers, the number of buyers is still outpacing the number of homes available for sale. As realtor.com explains in their latest report:

During the final two weeks of the month, more new sellers entered the market than during the same time last year....

Key Factors That Impact Affordability Today

Key Factors That Impact
Affordability Today | MyKCM

You can't read an article about residential real estate without the author mentioning the affordability challenges that today's buyers face. There's no doubt homes are less affordable today than they were over the last two years, but that doesn't mean homes are now unaffordable.

There are three measures used to establish home affordability: home prices, mortgage rates, and wages. Let's look closely at each of these components.

1. Home Prices

The most recent Home Price Insights report by CoreLogic shows home values have increased by 19.1% from last January to this January. That was one reason affordability declined over the past year.

2. Mortgage Rates

While the current global uncertainty makes it difficult to project mortgage rates, we do know current rates are almost one full percentage point higher than they were last year. According to Freddie Mac, the average monthly rate for last February was 2.81%. This February it was 3.76%. That increase in the mortgage rate also contributes to homes being less affordable than they were last year.

...

How Global Uncertainty Is Impacting Mortgage Rates

How Global Uncertainty Is
Impacting Mortgage Rates | MyKCM

If you're thinking about buying or selling a home, you'll want to keep a pulse on what's happening with mortgage rates. Rates have been climbing in recent months, especially since January of this year. And just a few weeks ago, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate from Freddie Mac approached 4% for the first time since May of 2019. But that climb has dropped slightly over the past few weeks (see graph below):

How
Global Uncertainty Is Impacting Mortgage Rates | MyKCM...

Are Home Prices Continuing To Rise?

Are Home Prices Continuing To
Rise? | MyKCM

Many analysts projected home price appreciation would slow dramatically in the fall of 2021 and then continue to soften throughout 2022. So far, that hasn't happened. The major price indices are all revealing ongoing double-digit price appreciation. Here's a look at their reports on year-over-year price appreciation for December:

To show that they're not seeing signs of softening, here's a graph that gives the progression of all three indices for each month of 2021.

Are
Home Prices Continuing To Rise? | MyKCM

As the graph above reveals, last year, home price appreciation accelerated...

Down Payment Assistance Programs Can Help You Achieve Homeownership

Down Payment Assistance
Programs Can Help You Achieve Homeownership | MyKCM

For many homebuyers, the thought of saving for a down payment can feel daunting, especially in today's market. That's why, when asked what they find most difficult in the homebuying process, some buyers say it's one of the hardest steps on the path to homeownership. Data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows:

For first-time home buyers, 29 percent said saving for a downpayment [sic] was the most difficult step in the process.

If you're finding that your down payment is your biggest hurdle, the good news is there are many down payment assistance programs available that can help you achieve your goals. The key is understanding where to look and learning what options are available. Here's some information that can help.

First-Time and Repeat Buyers Are Often Eligible

According to downpaymentresource.com, there are thousands of financial assistance programs available for homebuyers, like affordable mortgage options for ...

She’s So Charcuterie - featured Amador County Small Business

shes so charcuterie

Here in the Gold Country, we are so lucky to have incredible local businesses that help shape this growing community for the better. One face behind these businesses is deserving of spotlight: Taylor Wenske, owner and founder of She’s So Charcuterie. For the uninitiated, charcuterie is the art of preparing and assembling cured meats and other accompaniments. With festive and fresh arrangements of fruits, meats, cheeses, nuts, it’s not surprising how She’s So Charcuterie finds its mantra: “I believe that a charcuterie board can change your life.”

Funnily enough, Taylor’s interest in charcuterie arrangements arose from lackluster snack offerings at parties:

“I always grew up being a very picky eater,” Taylor said. “Whenever I would go to events such as birthday parties, hang outs, or get togethers I would be so anxious about what food options there would be, or if there would be any options that I would be willing to eat. When I started dating my now-husband (boyfriend at the time, in high school) his mom would make meat and cheese platters to snack on when I would go over to their house. These became two of my favorite things to eat.”

When she eventually got comfortable enough, Taylor would start bringing her own snacks to events so she wouldn’t have to worry if there were any options for her.

“And people loved the presentation of my little platters,” Taylor said. “Over time I became the snack girl that would always bring a charcuterie to any gathering. Any event, big or small, I would bring along a charcuterie board.”

When Taylor finally decided that this was something she could do even more with, she took on her first real event by making a huge...

Amador County Homeowners: Sell NOW or Wait Until Spring?


The most common question we are hearing from fellow homeowners in Amador County right now is:

Should we wait until Spring to list our Gold Country home for sale? We want to capture the highest sale price possible and we’ve always heard that Spring is the best time to list a home.

This is an excellent question that Amador County homeowners contemplating a sale have been asking us with increased frequency. There has always been a seasonality to our local real estate market and Spring has typically been the best time to list a home for sale—at least in the years before the pandemic-fueled housing boom.

Historically, Spring has been a popular time to sell since buyers tend to come out of winter hibernation and hit the market in droves. Improved weather, combined with school schedules and the absence of major holidays (which inhibit most people from moving due to family obligations), generally means a strong buyer pool which can be advantageous to sellers.

That said, the pandemic has thrown a wrench into the traditional seasonality of the market and the bigger factor we see playing into timing the market right now is inventory. The reason why inventory should play a factor into your consideration of when to list your home for sale is simply a matter of economics. When there are too many qualified buyers chasing too few homes available for sale, it means home prices will continue to rise as long as interest rates (or inventory) don’t get too high.

Interest Rates & Buyer Demand
Mortgage rates remain at historic lows and buyers benefit from these low rates since it gives them more buying power and keeps their monthly housing payment lower. The opposite is also true—the higher a buyer’s mortgage interest rate, the higher their monthly payments...

How Supply and Demand Can Impact Your Buying and Selling Goals

How Supply and Demand Can
Impact Your Buying and Selling Goals | MyKCM

In today's housing market, there are far more buyers looking for homes than sellers listing their houses. Based on the concept of supply and demand, this means home prices will naturally rise. Why is that? When there are more people trying to buy an item than there are making that item available for sale, that drives prices up. And that's exactly the case in today's housing market. So, knowing what's happening with the inventory of homes for sale and the demand for housing is crucial for today's buyers and sellers.

Nationally, Demand Is High and Supply Is Very Low

The latest buyer and seller activity data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) indicates buyer traffic heavily outweighs seller traffic today, as shown in the maps below. There are far darker blues (strong buyer activity) on the left and much lighter blues (weak seller activity) on the right. In other words, this shows how the demand for homes is significantly greater than what's available to purchase.

How
Supply and Demand Can Impact Your Buying and Selling Goals | MyKCM...

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