More Single Women Own Homes

Women Buyers
Home Make It Your Sweet Home

According to a new analysis by Owners.com, the Midwest is attracting more single and unmarried women who are choosing to put down roots and buy a home. Cincinnati topped its list, followed by Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo.

Phil Karp, senior manager of brokerage services at Owners.com says the following:  “There is a noticeable shift toward more single women entering the real estate market, particularly given lower unemployment rates, rising incomes, and the value placed on homeownership. Housing inventory remains low and costs are high throughout the country.”

How strong a force have single and unmarried women become in real estate? They have outpaced single and unmarried men in homeownership since 1981, according to data from the National Association of REALTORS®. In 2016, 17 percent of single and unmarried women were homeowners. That compares to only 7 percent of single and unmarried men who owned a home. NAR research indicates that these women place a high value on owning their own home near family and friends.

How was the analysis done? Owners.com studied 50 metro areas across the country, factoring in each city’s average home value, median income for women, annual crime rate, walkability and public transportation, and the price of dinner for two people. The study came up with the 20 best places for single women to purchase a house. The following are the results for California:

Sacramento-Roseville, Calif.: 15.2%

Los Angeles-Long Beach, Calif.: 13%

San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, Calif.: 13.7%

If you are interested in buying your next home, please contact me as I have very helpful information as to 5% and 10% down loans with no mortgage insurance requirements. Call or text me at 650 483-4932.

Why Buy a House in the Summertime?

Summertime House Buying
Why Buy a House in the Summertime?

Why consider buying a house in the Summertime? According to Realtor.com, home prices peak from June to August, but there are advantages to buying during the market’s busiest season.

Some reasons why for the home price peak, are amount of inventory, interest rates and the local job market. There are more homes for sale in the summer than in the winter as well as sales of homes.

However, more inventory means more choices, making buyers “feel more confident in their search because additional properties hit the market every week,” says Sarah Lilly of Five Star Lakeshore Real Estate. “The large inventory offers significantly more opportunities for purchasers to identify specific floor plans, amenities, and locations.

Also, with more properties for sale, buyers may have more leverage in negotiating prices. Those who need to sell their current home to purchase another, may find it easier to do so in the summer months.

In any case, if you are currently in the market to purchase a property, but are getting out-bid time after time (and then seeing a “Pending” sign like the one above) , give me a call, as I have a strategy to make your offer stand out, and have a better chance at getting it accepted—650 483-4932–Rafael.

For Foreign Buyers

Foreign Borrowers
Foreign Buyers

If you are a foreign (outside the United States) buyer, where can you get the money to buy in the United States?

Please let me know if you are thinking of buying real estate property, and I can give you some very good ideas on helping you accomplish your purchase goals. For example:

  • No history of US residency or US tax returns required
  • No FICO score or US credit history required (foreign credit history used)
  • Foreign assets allowed for down payment and reserves (once transferred to the US)
  • Work Visa program available with no US or foreign credit required

Let me direct you to the professionals that can make this happen for you by calling me at 650 483-4932.

10 Open House Red Flags

Open House Red Flags
10 Red Flags at an Open House

In competitive markets, like ours, you often will walk into an open house that most likely has been deep cleaned, scented, upgraded and staged to impress you. However, you should proceed with caution.

Here are 10 red flags to guide you in an open house (which I suggest you DO NOT do on your own for many reasons, but instead have a competent Realtor accompany you).
Red flag No. 1: Too much scent
The more aggressive the scent, the greater the likelihood the seller is taking precautions to mask a more offensive odor.
Take a deep whiff in every room you enter, and look closely at walls, ceilings, and flooring for signs of pet accidents, mildew, or smoke.
Red flag No. 2: Poor tiling
It may indicate a Do-It-Yourself job, which may or may have not been done properly and other potential flooring problems may be present.
Red flag No. 3: Foundation issues
Most houses have hairline cracks, which just indicate the house is settling (or has settled) into its position, but large gaps may signal bigger issues. Other things to look at: sticky doors, visible cracks above the doors or windows.
Red flag No. 4: Signs of deferred maintenance
This can be something simple like burned-out light bulbs, long grass, leaky faucets, or faded paint. What constitutes good maintenance? Flushing the water heater annually, changing the air filters at appointed times, inspecting the roof for leaks, and making sure the house is ready for all-year weather.
Red flag No. 5: Nearby water
If the house is near a creek or the Bay, it may look great, with beautiful views. But with the rainy season (which was off the charts this Winter), will it flood, or has is flooded? Will it be insurable for flood risk? It can very expensive.

Red flag No. 6: Windows That Don’t Operate Correctly
Take a second to pull back the curtains to check for uneven frames, and then give the windows a tug to make sure they slide easily. If they stick, it could be a sign of foundation issues, poor installation, or inferior quality windows—the only fix being expensive—new windows!
Red flag No. 7: Mold
To detect possible signs of mold while wandering through an open house, discreetly open bathroom and sink cabinets to take a look around water pipes or drains, Even small black or gray spots indicate that more serious issues may be lurking.
Red flag No. 8: Water damage
A musty odor can indicate water damage, even if you don’t see standing water. Check walls and ceilings for water lines; they likely indicate flooding from a leak or a burst pipe that may have caused internal damage. Also, take a peek at exposed piping in basements or laundry rooms, and check for rust, water stains, or leaking.
Red flag No. 9: Cosmetic enhancements
That one freshly painted wall could be an accent wall, or it could be hiding something like a patch of mold. You can lift area rugs to check hardwood flooring, making sure they’re not stained or damaged by pets.
Red flag No. 10: Improper ventilation
Without adequate interior ventilation, moisture sticks around, which can create mold and increase allergies. The tipoff: Look for condensation on windows or slightly bubbled or peeling paint around windows, doors, or vents. This can indicate moisture in the walls and ceiling drywall.
The bottom line on the open house: Be attentive, knowing that the home inspection you will order (when your offer is accepted, for example) will most likely detect many of these problems, but knowing about them will help you the next time you are at an open house.
I always attend open houses with my clients, and we regularly go through a list of things to look out for. Call me at 650 483-4932 and we can work together to make sure your next house will be worth it.

 

Improved Home Buying Affordability

Home Buying
Improved Home Buying Affordability

Improved home buying affordability can mean more Buyers will be searching and buying homes, most likely for the first time. Home Buyers can take advantage of historically low interest rates and any down payment assistance programs that may exist in their city of choice.

Call/Text/E-mail me on how I can help you achieve the goal of purchasing your home. Call me at 650 483-4932. E-mail: rafaelcastrojr@gmail.com.

Start a home search at: www.RafaelCastroJr.com.