Will The Corona Virus Create A Housing Crisis …And Our New Norms

Lynne MacFarlane, Realtor - Together, we got this!

Concerns about the impact COVID-19 will have on the global and local economy are real. They’re scary too as the health and wellness of our friends, families, and loved ones are high on everyone’s emotional radar.

While we don’t know the exact impact the virus will have on the housing market, we do know that housing isn’t the driver as it was in 2008.

Lynne MacFarlane Realtor explains

A Recession Does Not Equal A Housing Crisis:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic is causing an economic slowdown.
  • The good news is, home values actually increased in 3 of the last 5 U.S. recessions and decreased by less than 2% in the 4th.
  • All things considered, an economic slowdown does not equal a housing crisis, and this will not be a repeat of 2008.

As our country begins to collectively roll out shelter in place, I hope we can come together, take the time to share gratitude; let’s remember that this will pass. As a country we’ve experienced multiple divisive events such as Civil War, WWII, and more recent traumatic events as 9/11. The concerns about an impending recession are real, but housing isn’t the driver. During the Dot.com bubble starting in late 90’s, a period of massive growth of Internet & telcos, in 2002 (the dot.bomb) I personally would have lost my entire wealth because I was young (& mostly naive)  never imagined stocks could crash! The only thing that helped preserve it was a little Los Altos house we divested. I sure am grateful for owning real estate – I am not a financial planner by any means, but I am conservative and because I’ve seen these recessions I advise my buyers to diversify their portfolios; try to have 6 months to a year’s worth of savings, have savings that are a mix of stocks, bonds, mutual funds but work towards owning property.  the SF Bay Area our homes are not only places to live, but a wonderful wealth generating asset over time. With our current ongoing global uncertainty, including a U.S. stock market correction, no one could have seen coming. We first should do what’s best for our country, and for our families and that is to take care of one another. 

Let’s fight this COVID-19 epidemic together by staying indoors & practicing social distancing, and checking up on loved ones and neighbors. 

 

Lynne MacFarlane says "No Dancing"

Take care of your needs now & let me know if I can help in anyway!

We’ve got this!

Lynne MacFarlane Homes

 

Lynne MacFarlane, MCDM, Realtor, PFAC affiliate

DRE# 02066698

(831) 346-2743 text/voice anytime

 


Posted on March 23, 2020 at 6:48 am
Lynne (Watanabe) MacFarlane | Posted in Articles, Economy, Homeowners, MONTEREY COUNTY, Real Estate, SAN MATEO COUNTY, SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Santa Cruz County | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cities Where Homeowners Haven’t Moved in Decades

When it comes to planting roots, San Francisco area homeowners have some of the deepest in the country (who can really blame homeowners for not moving when they have all of that beautiful California sunshine to soak in?) ☀️

Can you guess which Bay Area City ranked #2 after Detroit?

Find out more in this article from 55 Places.com click here.

Let me know if you or someone you know needs resources to “age in place” I would be happy to help! I have a great network of senior healthcare providers and affiliate services who can help provide a comfortable and safe environment if you chose to stay in your home for 30, 40 or more years!

Lynne MacFarlane HomesLynne MacFarlane, Realtor

(831) 346.2743 text/voice

lmacfarlane@intero.com


Posted on February 6, 2020 at 4:43 am
Lynne (Watanabe) MacFarlane | Posted in Articles, Retirement, seniors | Tagged , ,

How to Avoid a Gender Gap When Investing in the Real Estate Market

 

Ladies, please listen up! When buying a home, we all want to feel like we’re making the right decision, paying a fair price, and making the best investment of our lives. According to a recent gender-based study, men and women can unknowingly walk away with very different financial outcomes when the deal closes. Thankfully, if you follow some simple ways to arm yourself with the information you need to prepare in advance, you’re more likely to feel like you’ve won when the keys to your new house are in your pocket.

Kelly Shue and Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham of the Yale School of Management showed in their recent study The Gender Gap in Housing Returns, when single women invest in the housing market, they’re generally losing out compared to their male counterparts. The report explains,

“We find that single men earn one percentage point higher unlevered returns per year on housing investment relative to single women…The gender gap grows significantly larger after adjusting for mortgage borrowing: men earn 6 percentage points higher levered returns per year relative to women. Data on repeat sales reveal that women buy the same property for approximately 2% more and sell for 2% less.”

On National Public Radio (NPR), Kelly Shue elaborated by saying,

“Women are losing about $1,370 per year relative to men because they tend to buy the same house at a higher price and sell for a lower price.”

In the grand scheme of things, $1,370 a year could be as much as an entire month’s mortgage payment for many households in the United States.

How can you make sure this doesn’t happen to you?

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way for anyone, regardless of gender. Here are a few tips on how to make sure you’re prepped and ready to enter the housing market with your best foot forward.

1. Work with a Trusted Real Estate Professional

You need someone on your side who’s going to have your best interest in mind and support your unique homeownership goals. Hiring an agent who has a finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying experience an educated one. You need someone who’s going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear. (Call me today and let’s get together a plan for your real estate needs in 2020.) 

2. Understand the Homebuying Process

Know the key homebuying steps in advance, so you have the best context for how the process works from pre-approval to budgeting, inspections, and more. Have a price range in mind that you can realistically afford, too, so you’re ready to make an offer that positions you for success. Ask your agent questions along the way, and partner together so you feel confident and prepared at every turn.  (Call me today to schedule a Home Buying Process appointment) 

3. Research the Current Market

Make sure you know the current trends and insights of the housing market as well. When you find a home that’s the perfect fit, determine what other homes are selling for in the neighborhood. These numbers can vary over time based on market conditions such as inventory, appreciation, and many other economic factors. A great agent will provide you with this information and guide you through every step from start to finish. (Email me today to receive a current real estate market report in your area).

Bottom Line

When you have a trusted advisor on your side and you’re confident you know exactly what’s happening in the market, you’ll be in a great position to negotiate effectively. Let’s get together today to make sure you’re ready to win the homebuying deal.

 

I would like to help you. Give me a call and let’s go over the buyer process together to make sure your offer is the winning one!

Lynne MacFarlane, Realtor

(831) 346-2743 text/voice

lmacfarlane@intero.com

 

Lynne MacFarlane Homes


Posted on February 4, 2020 at 11:24 pm
Lynne (Watanabe) MacFarlane | Posted in Articles, Housing Market, investors, Retirement | Tagged , , , ,

CA Prop 60/90: Transfer of Base Year Value for Age 55 & Over

Happy 2020!

Hi friends~ As we head into another property tax season, it is important for homeowners and investors to better understand CA’s Proposition 60 and 90 (Prop 60 & 90), which provide certain tax relief for qualified homeowners age 55 or over.

Understanding Prop 60 & 90

Prop 60 & 90 are initiatives both passed by California voters and amend section 2 of Article XIIIA of the CA Constitution. They provide property tax relief by preventing reassessment by allowing qualified senior citizens to sell their primary residence and transfer the base year value of that property to a replacement primary residence worth the same or less within two years of the transfer.
Proposition 60 & 90essentially have the same provisions and qualifications, however Prop 60 applies intra-county, which means the transfer is within the same county, whereas, Prop 90 is inter-county and applies to transfers from one county to another county in California, if the county where the replacement property is located has enacted Proposition 90 to authorize such transfer. According to the Board of Equalization, as of Nov. 7, 2018, ten California counties that have adopted Proposition 90.
  • Alameda

  • Los Angeles

  • Orange

  • Riverside

  • San Bernardino

  • San Diego

  • San Mateo

  • Santa Clara

  • Tuolumne

  • Ventura

*See below for a list of certain requirements that must be met before a person can take advantage of this tax relief.
Eligibility Requirements
  • Age – The claimant or a spouse residing with claimant, must be at least 55 years old when the original property is sold.
  • One-time benefit – The is a one-time benefit. If Prop 60 or Prop 90 relief was filed and received, neither claimant nor spouse are eligible for filing again.
  • Primary Residence or Disabled Veterans’ Exemption – The original property must have been eligible for the Homeowners’ Exemption (i.e. was the primary residence) or the Disabled Veterans’ Exemption at them time it was sold or within 2 years of the purchase or construction of replacement property.
  • Reappraisal of Original Property – The original property must be subject to reappraisal at its current fair market value as the result of its transfer.
  • Principal Resident of Replacement Property – The replacement property must be the claimants’ principal residence and must be eligible for Homeowners’ Exemption or the Disabled Veterans’ Exemption.
  • Value – The replacement dwelling must be of equal or lesser value than the original property.
  • Time – the replacement dwelling must be purchased or newly constructed within two years (before or after) of the sale of the original property.
  • Filing Claim – A claim for retroactive relief in must be filed within three years of the purchase date of the replacement property or the new construction completion date of the replacement property.

**Ask me if you’d like a list of real estate CPA specialist and financial advisors. Tax season is around the corner, don’t wait!

For more information about transferring base year value, please visit the California State Board of Equalization website: https://www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/prop60-90_55over.htm#Description
Lynne MacFarlane Homes

Lynne Watanabe – MacFarlane, MCDM, Realtor

INTERO REAL ESTATE SERVICES | a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate

(831) 346-2743 text/call

email: lmacfarlane@intero.com


Posted on January 9, 2020 at 6:14 pm
Lynne (Watanabe) MacFarlane | Posted in Articles, Buyers, Homeowners, Sellers, Tax Relief | Tagged ,

Real Estate News in the San Francisco Bay Area

Home sales shift to ‘neutral’

“Bay Area home sales swooned in June, tumbling to recession levels of a decade ago as buyers grew increasingly weary of skyhigh prices and scant choices.

Sales of existing homes in the Bay Area fell 13% last month from the previous year, according to real estate data firm CoreLogic. Last month’s sales were the lowest for June since 2008, when the real estate market collapsed and the U.S. economy dove into a deep recession.

Year-over-year sales dropped 14.6% in Santa Clara County, 21.6% in Contra Costa County, 14.9% in Alameda County, 8.9% in San Mateo County, and 21.7% in San Francisco County, according to a CoreLogic report released Friday.

“Across the board, prices have hit a point where people have stopped responding,” said Core-Logic analyst Andrew LePage. Despite lower interest rates and more homes for sale, transactions”

More here.

Mortgage rates near 3-year lows while 30-year average dips to 3.75%

“Long-term mortgage rates in the U.S. fell this week, nearing a three-year low.

The dip comes amid signals from Federal Reserve officials that they could cut the benchmark interest rate at their meeting next week.”

More here.

Pruneyard Towers office complex in Campbell gets big new investor, fourth tower planned

“The Pruneyard Towers office complex has landed a new majority owner and an infusion of fresh capital, which will allow the launch of a wide-ranging upgrade to the three iconic towers as well as construction of a fourth tower, the principal developer of The Pruneyard “

More here.

The (nearly) impossible search for a cheap Bay Area home

“You can still find a $425,000 home — if you look hard enough” Seven years ago, for sale signs dotted suburban lawns and city streets, hot bidding wars were uncommon, and the typical single-family, Bay Area home sold for $425,000…but if you look hard enough, you can still find a home for $425,000 in the nine county Bay Area.”

More here.

If you or anyone you know is interested in buying, selling, investing or renting in the San Francisco Bay Area, I am happy to help. I am native San Franciscan, born and raised here in the Bay Area, and lived and own homes in 5 of the 9 counties. I would love to share my knowledge of the different areas and unique attributes of each community that make living here in Silicon Valley a world-class investment for you & your family’s future. Give me a call and let’s meet over a cup of tea & discuss your needs!

Cheers, Lynne


Posted on August 1, 2019 at 6:23 pm
Lynne (Watanabe) MacFarlane | Posted in Articles | Tagged , , , , ,

Why Access Is One of the Most Important Factors in Getting Your House Sold!

So, you’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve hired a real estate professional to help you through the entire process, and they have asked you what level of access you want to provide to your potential buyers.

There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is access, followed by condition, financing, and price. There are many levels of access that you can provide to your agent so that he or she can show your home.

Here are five levels of access that you can give to buyers, along with a brief description:

1. Lockbox on the Door – this allows buyers the ability to see the home as soon as they are aware of the listing, or at their convenience.
2. Providing a Key to the Home – although the buyer’s agent may need to stop by an office to pick up the key, there is little delay in being able to show the home.
3. Open Access with a Phone Call – the seller allows showings with just a phone call’s notice.
4. By Appointment Only (example: 48-Hour Notice) – Many buyers who are relocating for a new career or promotion start working in that area prior to purchasing their home. They often like to take advantage of free time during business hours (such as their lunch break) to view potential homes. Because of this, they may not be able to plan their availability far in advance or may be unable to wait 48 hours to see the house.
5. Limited Access (example: the home is only available on Mondays or Tuesdays at 2 pm or for only a couple of hours a day) – This is the most difficult way to be able to show your house to potential buyers.

With more competition coming to the market, access can make or break your ability to get the price you are looking for, or even sell your house at all.


Posted on June 13, 2019 at 6:23 am
Lynne (Watanabe) MacFarlane | Posted in Articles, Sellers | Tagged ,

Mortgage Rates Decline – Great Time for Buyers to Come Back

If you were discouraged as a home buyer a year ago or were worried about interest rates going up, take a look again, and meet with your lender or if you don’t have one, feel free to contact me for a referral to help you prequalify. Prequalification is how lenders determine if you fit the basic financial criteria for a home loan. To get prequalified, you tell a lender some basic information about your credit, debt, income, and assets, and they tell you how much you may be able to borrow. There are higher inventory of homes on the market, and homes are longer days on market so this may be the perfect time for to make an offer.

According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average tumbled to 3.99 percent with an average 0.5 point. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount and are in addition to the interest rate.) It was 4.06 percent a week ago and 4.56 percent a year ago. The 30-year fixed rate moved below 4 percent for the first time since January 2018.

U.S. weekly averages as of 05/30/2019 (from 05/30/2018 – 05/30/2019) from FreddieMac.com

U.S. weekly averages as of 05/30/2019 (05/30/2018 - 05/30/2019)

Bankrate.com, which puts out a weekly mortgage rate trend index, found that more than half of the experts it surveyed say rates will go down again in the coming week. I personally like to use Bankrate’s website to see mortgage comparisons at a glance, and they have informative articles on retirement, personal finance, home equity, etc… all good educational stuff.  I found through personal experience that the online lenders will often not give you personal attention and if you’re trying to buy a home in a competitive market, this may not always be the best choice. Sometimes local banks or brokerage, you’ll be able to contact them quickly and have your answer in minutes which is very important when applying for a mortgage. AND as SmartAsset states, rates aren’t always guaranteed: “Jumping on board with an online mortgage lender because they’re promising you a super low rate can backfire if it turns out that you’re not eligible for a great deal. By that point, you could be several weeks into the process, so you might feel like it’s too late to back out. And as a result, you could end up paying more for a mortgage than you had originally planned.” You’ll want a smooth escrow so do your research upfront, find out if there are hidden fees the lender charges for processing and funding the loan.

Let me know if I can help introduce you to lenders. I can introduce you to get you started started.

Lynne


Posted on June 1, 2019 at 5:17 pm
Lynne (Watanabe) MacFarlane | Posted in Articles, Buyers, Mortgage Rates | Tagged ,

Mainstream Concerns about an Economic Slowdown Revisited

Recently, we reported that many believe a recession could happen within the next two years. We explained that 70% of economists and market analysts surveyed last year believe that a recession will occur in 2019 or 2020 and that 42% of consumers currently looking to purchase a home also agree that a recession will occur this year or next.

However, the U.S. economy has performed well in the first quarter of 2019 and that has caused some experts to change their thinking on an impending economic slowdown.

Here are a few notable examples:

Anthony Chan, Chief Economist at JPMorgan Chase

“I feel really comfortable that the economy is slowing down this year, but not going into a recession… It doesn’t look, to me, like the odds of a recession in 2020 are there.”

Dean Baker, Senior Economist at the Center for Economic & Policy Research

“To sum up the general picture, the U.S. economy is definitely weakening… However, with wages growing at a respectable pace, and job growth remaining healthy, we should see enough consumption demand to keep the economy moving forward. That means slower growth, but no recession.”

Lisa Shalett, Chief Investment Officer, Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley

“I’m not convinced a recession is coming soon… I see an improving housing market (low rates help), a rebound in bank lending, a tight labor market, higher oil prices and well-behaved credit markets. All these point to a stable U.S. economic outlook.”

Bottom Line

We are seeing a stronger economy than many had predicted. That has caused some experts to push off the possibility of a recession further into the horizon.


Posted on May 11, 2019 at 6:44 am
Lynne (Watanabe) MacFarlane | Posted in Articles, Economy, Housing Market | Tagged ,

5 Reasons To Sell Your House This Spring!

Here are five compelling reasons listing your home for sale this spring makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase… and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other for the same home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in most of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers.

Historically, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in his or her home was six, but that number has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. Many homeowners have a pent-up desire to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years due to a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners are granted the freedom to move.

Many homeowners were reluctant to list their home over the last couple of years for fear that they would not find a home to move in to. That is all changing now as more homes come to market at the higher end. The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until additional inventory comes to market before you to decide to sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. Buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. This makes the entire selling process much faster and simpler. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the time to close a loan has dropped to 47 days.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The inventory of homes for sale at these higher price ranges has created a buyer’s market. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, it will sell quickly, AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own!

According to CoreLogic, prices are projected to appreciate by 4.6% over the next year. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

5. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to these questions. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.


Posted on April 4, 2019 at 8:51 pm
Lynne (Watanabe) MacFarlane | Posted in Articles, Real Estate, Sellers Market | Tagged , , , , ,

Looking to Upgrade Your Current Home? Now’s the Time to Move-Up!

In every area of the country, homes that are priced at the top 25% of the price range for that area are considered to be Premium Homes. In today’s real estate market there are deals to be had at the higher end! This is great news for homeowners who want to upgrade from their current house and move-up to a premium home.

Much of the demand for housing over the past couple years has come from first-time buyers looking for their starter home, which means that many of the more expensive homes that have been listed for sale have not seen as much interest.

This mismatch in demand and inventory has created a Buyer’s Market in the luxury and premium home markets according to the ILHM’s latest Luxury Report. For the purpose of the report, a luxury home is defined as one that costs $1 million or more.

“A Buyer’s Market indicates that buyers have greater control over the price point. This market type is demonstrated by a substantial number of homes on the market and few sales, suggesting demand for residential properties is slow for that market and/or price point.”

The authors of the report were quick to point out that the current conditions at the higher end of the market are no cause for concern,

“While luxury homes may take longer to sell than in previous years, the slower pace, increased inventory levels and larger differences between list and sold prices, represent a normalization of the market, not a downturn.”

Luxury can mean different things to different people. It could mean a secluded home with a ton of property for privacy to one person, or a penthouse in the center of it all for someone else. Knowing what characteristics you are looking for in a premium home and what luxury means to you will help your agent find your dream home.

Bottom Line

If you are debating upgrading your current house to a premium or luxury home,

now is the time!

 


Posted on April 3, 2019 at 11:39 pm
Lynne (Watanabe) MacFarlane | Posted in Articles, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,