Gold Country CA Real Estate Blog and News

How a Change in Mortgage Rate Impacts Your Homebuying Budget

How a Change in Mortgage Rate
Impacts Your Homebuying Budget | MyKCM

Mortgage rates are on the rise this year, but they're still incredibly low compared to the historic average. However, anytime there's a change in the mortgage rate, it affects what you can afford to borrow when you're buying a home. As Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, shares:

Since January, mortgage rates have increased half a percentage point from historic lows and home prices have risen, leaving potential homebuyers with less purchasing power. (See graph below):

How
a Change in Mortgage Rate Impacts Your Homebuying Budget | MyKCMWhen buying a home, it's important to determine a monthly budget so you can plan for and understand what you can ...

What It Means To Be in a Sellers' Market

What It Means To Be in a
Sellers' Market | MyKCM

If you've given even a casual thought to selling your house in the near future, this is the time to really think seriously about making a move. Here's why this season is the ultimate sellers' market and the optimal time to make sure your house is available for buyers who are looking for homes to purchase.

The latest Existing Home Sales Report from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the inventory of houses for sale is still astonishingly low, sitting at just a 2-month supply at the current sales pace.

Historically, a 6-month supply is necessary for a ‘normal' or ‘neutral' market in which there are enough homes available for active buyers (See graph below):What
It Means To Be in a Sellers' Market | MyKCM...

To Renovate or Not To Renovate Before You Sell

To Renovate or Not To
Renovate Before You Sell | MyKCM

When thinking about selling, homeowners often feel they need to get their house ready with some remodeling to make it more appealing to buyers. However, with so many buyers competing for available homes right now, renovations may not be as vital as they would be in a more normal market. Here are two things to keep in mind if you're thinking of selling this season.

1. There aren't enough homes for sale right now.

A normal market has a 6-month supply of houses for sale, but today's housing inventory sits far below that benchmark. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there's only a 1.9-month supply of homes available today. As a result, buyer competition is high and homes are only on the market for about 21 days, during which time many receive multiple offers from hopeful buyers.

In a competitive market that's moving so quickly, it makes sense to sell your house when buyers are scooping homes up as fast as they're being listed. Spending costly time and money on renovations before you sell might just...

What Is the #1 Financial Benefit of Homeownership?

What Is the #1 Financial
Benefit of Homeownership? | MyKCM

There are many financial and non-financial benefits of homeownership, and the greatest financial one is wealth creation. Homeownership has always been the first rung on the ladder that leads to forming household wealth. As Freddie Mac explains:

Homeownership has cemented its role as part of the American Dream, providing families with a place that is their own and an avenue for building wealth over time. This ‘wealth' is built, in large part, through the creation of equity…Building equity through your monthly principal payments and appreciation is a critical part of homeownership that can help you create financial stability.

Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, also notes:

“The wealth-building power of homeownership shows that home is not only where your heart is, but also where your...

Helping Amador County: Interfaith Food Bank

How you can help give back to those that give the most.

amador county food bankFor the Interfaith Food Bank of Amador County, the year 2020 was a year of many struggles, and thanks to support from our community, even more triumphs. Despite taking on an almost 20% increase in the number of clients they serve, they also had to persevere with a lack in staff. Normally, Interfaith logs about 20,000 volunteer hours annually. But for obvious reasons, 2020 saw only 6,400 volunteer hours logged. So, how did this local food bank manage to provide to over 14% of the population of Amador County last year? Because those are the results of people who care:

“We’re serving clients as we always have for the last twenty years, but we’re doing it a lot differently now,” said Beth Stanton, the Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of Amador, who has been running the food bank for over four years. “We used to have our clients come in to our lobby and sit down, have coffee, maybe a cookie, and we would talk with them—in addition to giving them groceries.” Now, their only focus is making sure that food gets to the people that need it. And that’s no easy feat when you have a staff of 4, only 4-5 national guards helping out, and a handful of volunteers that have only just begun to trickle back in due to the pandemic.

During 2020, Interfaith provided over 1,450,000 pounds of food to 2,140 families (that’s 5,238 individuals), bringing them food multiple times a month. Over half of those helped were children and seniors. However, when it comes to helping the children in our county, Interfaith could always use more assistance: “We...

How Smart Is It to Buy a Home Today?

How Smart Is It to Buy a Home
Today? | MyKCM

Whether you're buying your first home or selling your current house, if your needs are changing and you think you need to move, the decision can be complicated. You may have to take personal or professional considerations into account, and only you can judge what impact those factors should have on your desire to move.

However, there's one category that provides a simple answer. When deciding to buy now or wait until next year, the financial aspect of the purchase is easy to evaluate. You just need to ask yourself two questions:

  1. Do I think home values will be higher a year from now?
  2. Do I think mortgage rates will be higher a year from now?

From a purely financial standpoint, if the answer is ‘yes' to either question, you should strongly consider buying now. If the answer to both questions is ‘yes,' you should definitely buy now.

Nobody can guarantee what home values or mortgage rates will be by the end of this year. The experts, however, seem certain the answer to both questions above is a resounding ‘yes.' Mortgage rates are expected to rise and home values are expected to appreciate rather nicely.

What does this mean to you?

Let's look at how waiting would impact your financial...

Home Prices: What Happened in 2020? What Will Happen This Year?

Home Prices: What Happened in
2020? What Will Happen This Year? | MyKCM

The real estate market was on fire during the second half of 2020. Buyer demand was way up, and the supply of homes available for sale hit record lows. The price of anything is determined by the supply and demand ratio, so home prices skyrocketed last year. Dr. Lynn Fisher, Deputy Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Division of Research and Statistics, explains:

House prices nationwide recorded the largest annual and quarterly increase in the history of the FHFA Home Price Index. Low mortgage rates, pent up demand from homebuyers, and a limited housing supply propelled every region of the country to experience faster growth in 2020 compared to a year ago despite the pandemic.

Here are the year-end home price appreciation numbers from the FHFA and two other prominent pricing indexes:

Current Homes for Sale
Upcountry
City # Price Range
Pine Grove 19 $149k - $1.3m
Pioneer 36 $225k - $850k
Volcano 7 $139k - $935k
Down Country
City # Price Range
Fiddletown 8 $429k - $887k
Ione 12 $369k - $1.4m
Jackson 24 $250k - $1.5m
Plymouth 6 $375k - $2.7m
River Pines 3 $200k - $338k
Sutter Creek 20 $399k - $995k
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