Sunday, September 15, 2019

80 % of 2018 Mortgages Could Save Big With A Refinance...

Interesting blog from Aly J. Yale, Senior Contributor to Forbes, reminding people who took out a loan in 2018 might benefit from a refinance.

According to new data, 80% of mortgages from last year carry an interest rate at least 0.75% higher than today’s prevailing rate (3.49%, according to Freddie Mac).
But 2018-borrowers aren’t the only homeowners who could benefit from today’s low-rate environment. Data from property analytics firm Black Knight shows that pre-2004 mortgagees could also save big. Most of these people could save about 1.75% from their interest rate should they refinance.  
The complete article from Aly Yale can be found on this page from Forbes. The article also shows an interesting table showing how much "tappable equity" exists per state: the amount of money people could use from the equity in their home.  See below:
Click to see larger.

For questions regarding real estate in the Silicon Valley, send me a message!
Francis

Current mortgage rates   (low!)

Friday, August 30, 2019

Breaking Down the Break-ins


With nearly a million residential break-ins in the US every year, one wonders how did they all happen.  Well the stats show the following entry points:




Any real estate questions?  Give me a jingle!
Thanks for reading,

Francis

Home Valuation tool
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Current mortgage rates   super low, again.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Psychological Cost of Debt

I found this interesting article centered on the relationship that we have with money - the good, the bad, how we see it and how we relate to it.

The Ascent Staff, from the Motley Fool, conducted a survey of over 1000 Americans to explore the links between happiness, fulfillment, self-esteem and financial distress.

In it, you read that Americans with mortgages have the highest level of life satisfaction compared with those with other forms of debt, such as medical, student loan, or credit card debt.  In other words, mortgages are the happiest type of debt (who knew?...).
also:
72% of people believed that incurring debt could be a good think when done responsibly.
63% of people believed that wealthier people were also happier - it seems obvious, but in fact, not so much in my opinion.

Can money buy happiness? 56% say money could buy happiness "to an extent", while 8% say: "not at all", and 17% say "absolutely yes".
And also:
97% of people with debt believed they would be happier if they didn't have debt - I wonder who are the other 3%  ;-).

Thank you for reading!  Share if you like, and contact me for your real estate questions!

Francis Rolland

My Home Valuation tool
Detailed, local trends etc...
Current mortgage rates   (low!)

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Title, Escrow, Deed - What is that?

Title, Escrow, Deed - What is that?  - from a RISMedia article by Barbara Pronin, and Cornerstone Title blog.


For some first-time home buyers, understanding the difference between ‘title’ and ‘deed,’ and what happens when their home is ‘in escrow,’ can be puzzling - especially since title is not a physical document, but a deed most certainly is.

Here’s a simple explanation.



First, there are two parts to every real estate transaction. The first part, title, is research done by the title company to verify that the seller owns the property and has the full right to sell it.

During the title search, a reputable title agent examines all of the property’s legal records and documents, including prior deeds, liens, mortgages and releases, over an extended period of time. That’s to ensure the property is clear of liens incurred by previous owners, that the property lines are correct, and that the seller has clear ownership of the property and has the right to transfer ownership to the buyer.

A search performed by title experts is crucial to a transaction because it’s the only way to discover the legal status of a property and prove that it is free of liens.

The second part of the transaction is the escrow stage. At this point, title and/or escrow agents work with the buyer and seller to ensure that all the terms and conditions of the transaction are followed, and to receive and disburse funds as instructed for the transacting parties. Escrow is an impartial third party - the gatekeeper, you might say - of the financial process, the loan documents, and the legal documents to be recorded with the county when the transaction is concluded.

The deed, unlike title or escrow, is a written statement of property which contains the names of the seller and the new owner as well as a description of the property. It must be notarized and filed with the county and may require witnesses. Once your buyer holds the deed in their hands, they can prove legal ownership of the property.


Thinking of buying or selling? I like to explain how things work to my clients.

Thank you for reading!  Share if you like, and contact me for your real estate questions!

Francis Rolland

My Home Valuation tool
Detailed, local trends etc...
Current mortgage rates   (low!)

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Pricey Permit... ;-)

PRICEY PERMIT

A rundown shack with a city view in San Francisco's Potrero Hill area is listed for $2.5 million. The seller has obtained a rare permit to tear down and rebuild on the site in a city that's historically opposed to building demolition. The planning commission has granted permission to build a four-story, 4,451 square foot home with a two-car garage and private elevators. The list price doesn't include teardown or reconstruction costs...
(this article seen on Sr Mortgage Advisor Connie Chronis' Newsletter).

Buying or selling?  Give me a jingle!

Thank you for reading!  Share if you like, and contact me for your real estate questions!

Francis Rolland

My Home Valuation tool
Detailed, local trends etc...
Current mortgage rates

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Silicon Valley Real Estate Market

There is some confusion about the state of the real estate market in the Silicon Valley lately.  Are prices going up, are they going down? You hear anything and everything.

These two graphs show the average price per month since the beginning of 2018, one for houses, and the other one for condominiums and townhouses combined.  I show here the cities of Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, and Menlo Park. (East Palo Alto for houses).
The Counties of Santa Clara and San Mateo as a whole are also shown, giving some perspective on the larger numbers.
For May, figures are just trends - it is as of 5/20/19





Click on the graphs to see larger


Conclusion? Prices are about at the same level. The reality is that there are segments of the market which are rather up, and some segments which are down from their highs of a year ago (which were the results of many multiple offers).  Small entry level condominiums would be in the "soft" category,  and I would consider them a deal right now. Remodeled homes in desirable areas would be in the "solid" category.

To know in which category you are and how to structure your offer, you definitely need a specialist.

Factors helping the market:
- low interest rates,
- more inventory for some categories

Factors keeping it competitive:
- very high job creation in the Valley - see this recent article from the Mercury News, by George Avalos.

Thank you for reading!  Share if you like, and contact me for your real estate questions!

Francis Rolland

My Home Valuation tool
Detailed, local trends etc...
Current mortgage rates   (low!)

Homeownership Rates in the US

According to the Census Bureau there are about 10 million people who lost their home during the last crisis.
The homeownership rate was at its highest in 2004, at 69.2%
After the crisis of 2008 and with so many people loosing their home, the rate dropped to right under 63%.
It was back up to 64.3 % in 2018.
Among the people who lost their home, 35% bought another home since then, and 65% did not...

Thank you for reading!  I'm here for your real estate questions!

Francis Rolland

My Home Valuation tool
Detailed, local trends etc...
Current mortgage rates   (low!)

Friday, May 3, 2019

Why aging homeowners are a big problem


This report from Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies finds that 63 percent of homeowners are now 50 or over.
This, plus the fact that more of them in this age group carry a loan, and for a larger percentage of their home value, is a "troubling trend" according to the authors of this study.
Finally, counting renters as well as home owners, the report finds that "the number of households age 65 and over with housing cost burdens continues to climb".  Nearly a third spent more than 30% of their incomes for housing, and about 1/2 were severely burdened, paying at least half of their incomes for housing.
(From an article from HOUSINGWIRE in November 2018 by Jessica Guerin)

Thank you for reading!  Share if you like the article (I find it thought-provoking), and contact me for your real estate questions!

Francis Rolland

My Home Valuation tool
Detailed, local trends etc...
Current mortgage rates   (low!)