Home Prices Rise Across the Country and Here in Alamo

Existing-home sales were down a little for the month of September, but overall home prices were up across the nation. The number of homes for sale is continuing to decrease, and in turn we have experienced the seventh straight month in a row with home prices rising here in Alamo and across the country.

An existing-home sale is a completed transaction that includes single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops. For the month of September existing-home sales dropped by 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.75 million. However, existing-home sales in September were up 11 percent over September 2011. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the market trend is up. “Despite occasional month-to-month setbacks, we’re experiencing a genuine recovery,” he said. “More people are attempting to buy homes than are able to qualify for mortgages, and recent price increases are not deterring buyer interest. Rather, inventory shortages are limiting sales, notably in parts of the West.”

Historically low mortgage rates are continuing to help the housing market. According to Freddie Mac, the national average mortgage rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan was 3.47 percent in September, down from 3.60 percent in August. September of 2011 mortgage interest rates were averaging 4.11 percent.

The national median existing-home price last month for all home types averaged $183,900.  Home prices were up 11.3 percent over this same period of time last year. We have not seen home prices increase for seven consecutive months since the time period of November 2005 to May 2006.

Decreased housing inventory and increasing home prices make now the perfect time to sell your home. If you are ready to sell or buy a home, contact me by email or call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a real estate professional for 23 years, and my qualifications include the production of over $105 million in sales within the past 5 years.

5 Reasons Why You Should Sell Your Diablo Home Now

Many home sellers feel that spring is the best time of year to place their homes up for sale when there is typically an increase in buyer demand. However, fall and winter both have their advantages when it comes to listing a home, as we are now seeing a decrease in homes on the market. Fall would be the perfect time to sell your Diablo home.

1.    Sincere Buyers – During the fall and winter, the home buyers out looking are sincere ones who are serious about buying. The number of homes on the market during this time of year tends to be dwindling. There is no need to wait till spring to list your Diablo home when there are buyers waiting to buy now.

2.    Competition – The housing supply drops this time of year. There is less competition during fall and winter when the housing market slows, and there are fewer homes for sale. Put your home up for sale during this time of year and let your house shine.

3.    Timelier Transition – The length of time it takes for your home to go from contract to close can take awhile. During springtime, banks are being inundated with both mortgage applications and loan refinances which can slow things down. During fall and winter, there are fewer applications making the mortgage process a little quicker.

4.    Moving on Up – If you are looking to buy a home that is larger and more expensive, now is the time to do it. Home prices are projected to be up by over 15% by the year 2016.  Take advantage of the still-low home prices we are seeing in 2012, and sell your home and move up now before home prices jump.

5.    Is It Time for a Change? – Determine why you feel the need to sell your home and purchase a new one. If it is to relocate, then you may not have a chance to wait to sell, but if it is for a change of pace, ask yourself if it is time.

Take advantage of less competition in the housing market and let your house stand out. If you are ready to sell or buy a home, contact me by email or call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a real estate professional for 23 years and my qualifications include the production of over $105 million in sales within the past 5 years.

Danville Home Prices Rise

U.S. single-family home prices rose for the sixth month in a row. The S&P/Case Sheller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas showed an increase of 0.4% in July which is up 4.6 percent over last year. This was the largest home-price increase seen year-after-year since July 2006. According to Trulia, the average listing price of a home for sale in Danville as of October 3rd, 2012 was $1,190,062.This is an increase of 2.5% compared to the week prior. The average price per square foot in Danville is $351 which is an increase of 10.7% over last year.

Nearly six years after the housing collapse, many economists believe that the housing market has finally turned the corner. The sale of previously occupied homes jumped to a high that we have not seen since May of 2010. The number of home re-sales and the breaking of ground on new properties rose for the month of August. David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor’s, said in a statement, “All in all, we are more optimistic about housing. Upbeat trends continue.” The trend in gains in the housing market is headed in the right direction, but there is still a long ways to go until a full recovery can be considered.

If you are ready to sell or buy a home, contact me by email or call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a real estate professional for 23 years and my qualifications include the production of over $105 million in sales within the past 5 years.

Tips for New Home Buyers in Alamo

Buying a new home in the Alamo area can be exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. Here are a few tips when it comes to buying a new home.

1. Short-Term Mortgages

If you are in the beginning stages of home buying, you may still be shopping for a mortgage loan. If you are able to financially afford a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage over a 30-year fixed-rate, I would highly recommend it. This type of loan would result in you paying off your home in 15 years versus 30. A 15-year loan will also allow you a lower interest rate. Your monthly payment will be a little higher as you will be paying off your home in half the time of most common mortgage loans.

2. Do Away With PMI

If you put less than 20 percent down on your home loan, you can expect to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). PMI is a policy that protects the lender from any losses they may incur if you do not pay your monthly payments. The U.S. Federal Reserve System, which oversees national monetary policy and banks, reported in its consumer guide that the cost of PMI can range from $50 to $100 per month. Getting rid of your monthly PMI payment can save you a substantial amount of money.

To do away with PMI, your first option would be to put 20 percent down on your mortgage loan. However, if you are unable to put 20 percent down, there are other ways to do away with PMI. Once you have made enough payments to gain 20 percent equity in your home, send a written request to your lender asking them to cancel your PMI insurance.

3. Shop Around for Your Home Insurance

For many, their home is one of their biggest assets and properly insuring it should be a top priority. Take your time and approach many insurance companies to find the best rate and coverage for your needs. You want to purchase enough insurance to cover the full replacement cost of your home.

4. Is It Time To Hire A Contractor?

If you are looking to make improvements to your new home to make it fit your style, changes that you can do on your own are ideal and will save you money. However, unless you are a contractor, you may not be able to tackle some of the projects you want done around your home. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) recommends hiring a contractor when there is an unknown. According to the NARI, “The unknown that is obvious to a professional but is not to the average layperson can cause a lot of problems for people trying to tackle a project themselves.” Things such as painting and small roof repairs are easy projects that many homeowners are capable of doing on their own.

5. Internet, Cable And Phone

After you have purchased your new home in Alamo, consider a monthly plan that will bundle your Internet, cable and phone. If you are planning on using the same company for both your Internet and cable, ask your provider if they offer a bundle plan. Consumer Reports Magazine Senior Editor Jeff Blyskal, says if you do it right, bundling can save you money.

If you are ready to sell or buy a home, contact me by email or call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a real estate professional for 23 years, and my qualifications include the production of over $105 million in sales within the past 5 years.