Neighbors, since it feels like our Fall can be as short as 2 weeks or as long as 3…. we should’ve titled this ‘Prepping for A Cold, Wet Winter’. Our Fall/Winter is slightly different than it would be in South Dakota or Tennessee, so when doing research for writing this article we tried to tailor the list for this part of the country. Sad to say, ‘Bulking Up on Comfy Bedding’ did NOT make the list as it did in a few other articles! Really? If that is your worst concern, go back to your San Diego condo. Just (kind of) kidding, you are of course welcome here in our fabulous community 😊
Let’s get right to it.
The three biggest factors in what a home will sell for are location, kitchen, and curb appeal. If you are trying to maximize the value of your home, there isn’t anything you can do about location, and let’s face it, kitchen remodels aren’t cheap. Curb appeal on the other hand makes a huge difference in whether someone will even schedule an appointment to view your home AND it can be done on a budget!
The photos below are from a listing we just sold on at 43 Forest Creek Circle. The sellers did an amazing job of transforming the outside of this home from something that looked tired and dated to the gem of the block!
I listed a home last week at what I thought was the very tip top of the price range. I was on the fence about pricing the listing so high that I had my entire office weigh in on the pricing. The vote, it’s a stretch, but not completely unrealistic. By week’s end we had 5 offers all at, or above, asking price. Wow!
As you may have noticed the TINY HOME craze has subsided here in Chico and I believe part of the reason is the regulations required to obtain a permit for them overshadow the appeal. A Tiny Home is considered a Second Dwelling Unit or Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) by the City of Chico.
Some of us move on average every 5-7 years, some of us have lived in the same home for 20 years. No matter which category you represent, we all deal with clutter. Let’s face it, life gets busy and things accumulate. The accumulation of things does have a cost. It costs us both time and money to keep them, store them, and find them. The physical clutter can also be emotionally taxing. Not to mention when it’s time to think about selling and moving, the agony of weeding through everything at once to purge on a deadline!
At the risk of sounding Repetitive, Redundant, and Recurring…. We are in a Sellers Market. Maybe I hear this 20+ times a week and you don’t because you are not surrounded by buyers, sellers, Realtors, lenders, and appraisers. So, just in case, you haven’t heard… we are in a Sellers Market!
Amazingly, we have a growing demand for housing right here in Chico. I often wonder what exactly is creating this demand but nevertheless our supply can’t keep up. As of 2 minutes ago (4/11/17, 11am) we have exactly 94 homes for sale in Chico under $500,000. This includes some new construction. The last time I talked to the agents that are selling the Sycamore Creek subdivision (north of Eaton, built by Epick Homes) they said they were ‘11 months out’. Meaning if you signed a contract today, your new home would not be completed for 11 months. The new homes in Hancock Park built by Shastan Homes said they are over 8 months away from completion. The Hartley Park subdivision north of town (off Nord Hwy) built by Webb Homes is also 8+\‐ months out!!! The Wildwood subdivision next to Wildwood Park is almost sold out. Wow!!!
Let me guess: You are trying to decide between a dauntingly long laundry list of home improvement ‘projects’. Home Depot and HGTV have convinced some members of your family that you can DIY them all. Sound familiar? You are not alone. I have been banned from watching any more HGTV shows that flaunt normal every day Joe’s like you and I remodeling a whole master bath in 48hrs. That is not normal or feasible for a few reasons:
I am a Realtor, so it is sort of stating the obvious to say that I am a proponent of home ownership. More than just home ownership though, I am passionate about investing in real estate because I truly believe that owning and investing in real estate is one of the few ways that anyone can build wealth. That isn’t to say that there aren’t barriers to entering the world of investment property and like any investment, returns aren’t guaranteed, but unless you own your own business, what better opportunity is there to grow your net worth than real estate?
So first, let’s address the barriers. To obtain non-owner occupied financing you typically need 20-25% down, that’s a big barrier. However, low to no down payment loans are available for owner occupied properties. If you don’t already own your home, why not? Rates are still at historic lows and if you are paying rent, than you ARE paying a mortgage, just not your own. Your landlord thanks you for it! If you own a home but are considering a rental, you have some options. You could use the equity from your home as down payment for a rental, or you could take advantage of the low down payment owner occupied loan and purchase a new home, converting your current home to a rental property.
The 2016 Statistics are in, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that for the 5th consecutive year, homes have appreciated. We have a shortage of inventory and a result, homes hitting the market continue to sell in a matter of days, often with multiple offers. The last home that I listed in 2016 received six offers and sold $15,000 over asking price in just six days on the market! The pent up buyer demand, great interest rates, and shortage of housing continue to bid up home prices. The median home price in Chico rose 7.5% to $305,000 for the 12 months ended December 2016. Paradise and Orland also saw a rise in home prices to $219,500 (a 6.6% increase) and $225,000 (a 9.8% increase), respectively.
Here are the most common questions we Realtors are asked:
“How’s the market?”
“Is now a good time to buy/sell?”
We are certainly experts in our local market, and can explain current conditions and historical trends, but it’s forecasting the future that gets tricky! If only we had a crystal ball. We don’t, but in our world, the closest thing is Leslie Appleton-Young, the Chief Economist for the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.). Late each fall, she releases her market recap and forecast for the upcoming year. She is always spot on in explaining current market conditions, and while she can’t predict the future, she is certainly analyzing state, national and global data to arrive at her predictions for next year’s housing market.