Monthly Market Overview North San Diego County April 2022  

The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage exceeded 5% in April, the highest level since 2011, according to Freddie Mac. The recent surge in mortgage rates has reduced the pool of eligible buyers and has caused mortgage applications to decline, with a significant impact on refinance applications, which are down more than 70% compared to this time last year. As the rising costs of homeownership force many Americans to adjust their budgets, an increasing number of buyers are hoping to help offset the costs by moving from bigger, more expensive cities to smaller areas that offer a more affordable cost of living.

  • Closed Sales decreased 21.1 percent for Detached homes and 23.4 percent for Attached homes.
  • Pending Sales decreased 20.9 percent for Detached homes and 13.3 percent for Attached homes.
  • The Median Sales Price was up 17.1 percent to $1,101,011 for Detached homes and 28.9 percent to $735,000 for Attached homes.
  • Days on Market decreased 20.0 percent for Detached homes and 30.8 percent for Attached
    homes.
  • Supply decreased 30.8 percent for Detached homes and 30.0 percent for Attached homes.

Affordability challenges are limiting buying activity, and early signs suggest competition for homes may be cooling somewhat. Nationally, existing home sales are down 2.7% as of last measure, while pending sales dropped 1.2%, marking 5 straight months of under contract declines, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Inventory remains low, with only 2 months supply at present, and home prices continue to rise, with the median existing home at $373,500, a 15% increase from this time last year. Homes are still selling quickly, however, and multiple offers are common in many markets.

Monthly-0422

Mortgage Rates Increase

Mortgage rates resumed their climb this week as the 30-year fixed reached its highest point since 2009. While housing affordability and inflationary pressures pose challenges for potential buyers, house price growth will continue but is expected to decelerate in the coming months.

All content is subject to change without notice. All content is provided on an “as is” basis, with no warranties of any kind whatsoever. Information from this document may be used with proper attribution. Alteration of this document or its content is strictly prohibited. © 2022 by Freddie Mac.

To Buy or Not To Buy?

This is the question many potential buyers are facing right now.

 Do I wait to see if prices go lower?
 Do I wait to see if more good homes come on the market?
 Do I wait to see if interest rates move lower?

OR

Is right now the golden opportunity I have been waiting for as there are plenty of choices, sellers are motivated, and interest rates are low.

The first and most important question any buyer needs to ask is: “What do I want?”

Do I want a home?
Do I want a place to live?
Do I want an investment?
Do I want ………..?

WHAT DO I REALLY WANT AND WHY??

It is critical that every potential buyer gain clarity around what they want and why. Here is what we know about buying a home today.

1. There are some incredible values available in the market at this time.
2. It is vital that you work with a great lender to make sure you can get the loan you need.
3. Prices are not likely to soften much going forward.
4. No one has the ability to time the market.
5. Real estate is a great long term investment.

If you can live with the statements listed above and you are looking for a place to call your home for at least the next 5 – 7 years…..

Pick the home that feels the most special and make an offer that makes financial sense to you. There is no point in worrying about what prices are going to do in the short rum. This is something that is out of your control. Buying a home as a short term investment is a risky venture in any kind of real estate market, up or down.

Again….

If you want to know if NOW is the right time to buy….

Take the time to really answer the question – What do I want and why relative to buying a home?
The answer to this question will give you the freedom to move forward with great confidence whether you decide to buy now or wait.

Please do not hesitate to call me with questions about the market or if you would like to start the process of finding and buying the right home for you.

Help Me Find a Home

For more info on how I can help you find and buy a home, get my Buyer Assistance Pack:

Buyer Assistance Pack

Mortgage Rates Exceed Five Percent

Mortgage rates increased for the seventh consecutive week, as Treasury yields continued to rise. While springtime is typically the busiest homebuying season, the upswing in rates has caused some volatility in demand. It continues to be a seller’s market, but buyers who remain interested in purchasing a home may find that competition has moderately softened.

All content is subject to change without notice. All content is provided on an “as is” basis, with no warranties of any kind whatsoever. Information from this document may be used with proper attribution. Alteration of this document or its content is strictly prohibited. © 2022 by Freddie Mac.

7 Secrets That’ll Help You Buy a House Right Now

Once upon a time, wannabe homebuyers could leisurely peruse a variety of properties in their price range, mull over their choices, put in an offer, and presume they’ll be moving in soon enough. But how things have changed!

In today’s hot seller’s market, scads of desperate house hunters scramble for limited inventory, paying sky-high prices to beat out other bidders.

As the homebuying landscape has evolved, so too must homebuyers, ferreting out a whole new set of insider ploys that can give them the edge in today’s market. To keep you up with the times, we pressed real estate agents and brokers to divulge the kind of intel required to find and lock down a good deal right now.

1. Look a little lower

Fixer-upper, anyone? How about an up-and-coming neighborhood? There’s no need to give up your wish list entirely; but in today’s market, you’ve got to get real.

“Move-in ready homes with modern finishes sell first. So I’m telling buyers who keep getting outbid to look at a slightly lower price point,” says Mike Opyd, the managing broker and owner of Chicago’s Re/Max Next. “You could get a better deal and use the extra money to renovate.”

This strategy also makes sense because often listing prices are intentionally low to build interest and encourage a bidding war. So if your top dollar is $750,000 and you look in that range, the available properties may well sell for $775,000 or higher. Check out homes in the $710,000 to $725,000 range, and you’re more likely to find something you can truly afford.

2. Enhance your earnest money

Cash offers may be king to the majority of sellers, but let’s face it: That’s not feasible for a majority of home shoppers. Still, you can make a financed deal more attractive with your earnest money, the 1% to 3% typically put down after an offer is accepted.

“Buyers can get a leg up by putting down more earnest money and making a portion, if not all of it, guaranteed,” Opyd says. “Yes, this means the sellers get to keep that money if the deal falls apart for any reason at any time. However, it makes a buyer look a lot more committed to doing whatever it takes.”

Obviously, there’s some risk here. You don’t want to lose your hard-earned funds by going overboard on a deal that collapses. That said, if you have found a house that is The One, this tactic can give you the edge.

3. Obtain an approval letter

Yes, you got pre-approved for a mortgage—just like everyone else! In a seller’s market, go the extra mile. Different from traditional pre-approval, an approval letter, also known as a commitment letter, can be prepared by the lender once your loan application is approved. It typically states the type of loan, the amount, the terms, and the interest rate.

“An approval letter lets the seller know that the lender has gone beyond pulling your credit,” says real estate agent Ashley Melton, owner of Agent Owned Realty in Charleston, SC.

This kind of document can give you a leg up because the home seller has less to worry about, such as your application going into underwriting and unraveling.

4. Take the escalator (clause, that is)

An escalation clause, also known simply as an escalator, can help you be ultracompetitive as you vie for a home.

This contract addendum commits you to the price you are bidding while also agreeing to increase the amount should the seller receive a higher offer.

An escalator basically includes the original offer, the amount to be raised above competitive bids, and the maximum amount the buyer can offer.

Say you decide to offer the asking price of $200,000 for a home, but you can actually afford to shell out $10,000 more. Since bidding wars are fairly common these days, the escalation clause commits you to say that if other bids come in over yours, you’ll raise your offer to $210,000 if needed.

What’s good about this is it protects you from that crushing situation in which you lose a home by a margin you coulda, shoulda, woulda paid.

5. Throw in a lease-back

Here’s the conundrum: Sure, sellers hold loads of power when they are offering up their home. But once there’s an accepted offer, they are often thrown into the pool of desperate homebuyers and have to scramble like the rest of us to find a new abode. This is why some savvy buyers will sweeten their deal with a lease-back, meaning they will let the seller stay in place for a period of time for an affordable price, or for free.

“If the seller is living in the property, the buyer can offer to lease it back for 60 to 90 days, at no charge, to allow them time to find their next place,” says Glen Pizzolorusso, a licensed associate real estate broker with Compass in Connecticut’s Fairfield County.

Offering this option with your bid may appeal to a stressed “Where will we go?!” seller.

6. Know when to waive

In a less heated market, a home inspection is sacrosanct. It can be a buyer’s friend, telling you that a water heater is about to conk out or that there’s water damage that you never would have noticed. But lately, some buyers are skipping the home inspection. This may or may not be the right move for you.

“Waiving inspections could be a way to win in a multiple-offer situation, but every case is different,” Pizzolorusso cautions. “For example, a house on city water and a city sewer system makes it easier to waive inspection, but I would never do so on a house with a septic system—there are far too many variables. Also, if the house was built in the last 20 years, it’s probably safer to skip the inspection, since the roof and most of the mechanical systems are within their typical life span.”

Bonus tip: When interviewing prospective real estate agents or brokers, ask about their experience with building, flipping, and renovating homes. Here’s why: Know-how in this area can be an asset when debating whether or not to waive inspections. This brings us to…

7. Interview for the best broker or agent

It’s more important than ever for buyers to shop around for an agent or broker. You want to talk to at least three, and don’t simply take, say, your cousin’s recommendation blindly.

“To find the right fit, ask about their experience with multiple-offer situations, contingency waivers, and escalation clauses—and what the outcomes have been,” Melton says.

Be sure to balance experience level with attentiveness.

“You need an agent who will be available to you. Someone with too many clients may be spread too thin,” Melton adds.

Sometimes, a successful and busy agent will be juggling so much that they may not honestly have the bandwidth to take on a new client but don’t want to say no. Basically, you want to look for an agent who’s the total package—who knows what they’re doing and can do it for you!

Original Article

Help Me Find a Home

Mortgage Rates Hit Five Percent

This week, mortgage rates averaged five percent for the first time in over a decade. As Americans contend with historically high inflation, the combination of rising mortgage rates, elevated home prices and tight inventory are making the pursuit of homeownership the most expensive in a generation.

All content is subject to change without notice. All content is provided on an “as is” basis, with no warranties of any kind whatsoever. Information from this document may be used with proper attribution. Alteration of this document or its content is strictly prohibited. © 2022 by Freddie Mac.

Zillow’s Zestimate; How accurate is it?  

First of all, what is the Zestimate?

Zillow is using an AVM ( Automated Valuation Model) to come up with your home’s value. AVM’s are a service that can provide real estate property valuations using mathematical modeling combined with a database. Most AVMs calculate a property’s value at a specific point in time by analyzing values of comparable properties. Some also take into account current asking prices, previous surveyor valuations, historical house price movements and user inputs (e.g. number of bedrooms, property improvements, etc.)

An AVM typically includes:

  • An indicative market value (capital value or rental value) for a single residential property.
  • Information on the subject property and recent history of like properties.
  • Comparable sales analysis of like properties.
  • Current like properties being actively marketed.

Besides Zillow, lenders, appraisers and mortgage investors use AVMs in risk management fields, estimating home equity, and quickly coming up with approximate property valuations in a portfolio. Fannie Mae now purchases qualified homes without an appraisal only using and AVM value.

So how accurate are AVM’s and Zillow in particular?

According to Zillows website here is how accurate their off market Value is:

Active listings accuracy:

Here are 3 recent sold properties with the sale price and the Zestimate:

The Zestimate is off from 6 – 9%. Overvalued 2 properties and undervalued 1. According to Zillow itself, their off market valuation is significantly worse then the active listing valuation. That is because they get a lot of help from a real estate brokers listing price to dial in the value.

I don’t doubt that AVM’s will get more accurate in the future, but for now, the Zestimate is only that, an estimate.

If you are going to sell, get a professional Real Estate Brokers price opinion to dial in your homes value.

What is my Home Worth