Home Warranties – Are They Necessary

Value of A Home Warranty

Home warranties are not just for the new buyer. Owning a home comes with continual maintenance and repairs. A home warranty for many is a viable option.

Purchase a home warranty if any one of the following is true:

  1. You have appliances that are getting old
  2. Your house is more than 5 years old
  3. You do not have time and patience to get the repair done yourself
  4. You do not have a trusted contractor and you do not want to go through the pain of cold calling contractors from Yellow Pages, screening them, getting quotes, and checking their work.
  5. You do not have a cash cushion to handle costly repairs
  6. You are buying a home for the first time.

If you are a first time home buyer, you should definitely get some kind of coverage. New home owners are generally short of money, so the risk of having to pay for a pricey HVAC repair is just too much for them to manage.

Benefits for A Seller

  • Make your home a preferred home. Eight out of ten buyers prefer to buy a home covered by a home warranty plan. (Source: Gallup Poll)
  • Attract more first-time home buyers. Provide peace of mind for buyers who might be intimidated by the high cost of repairing or replacing systems or appliances.
  • Leverage your Home Warranty. Make your home stand out from other listings.
  • Avoid closing delays. A Home Warranty can minimize the chance that an equipment or system failure could delay closing.
  • Free coverage during listing*. In most states, payment is due at closing.
  • No post-sale worries. If a breakdown happens after closing, the buyer will turn to the Home Warranty.

Who Can Predict 2016 Housing Market – Not Me…Can You?

The 2016 real estate market for California looks strong based on all indicators from various sources. Yet no one can really predict which way the market will go. The low inventory of homes for sale has kept the demand high in our local area. And it would seem that is the case of low inventories across the country. In any event, with low inventories, buyer demand still up we can expect for prices to appreciate somewhat or at least stay at current levels.

Here is an excerpt from an article in January issue of California Real Estate Magazine by Roger Cruzen regarding the California real estate market.

“Predicting what’s ahead for California real estate from one year to the next is as much art as it is science. Complex economic models help experts analyze key local, state and national trends over time. Yet even these sophisticated models sometimes fall short when it comes to explaining how certain trends influence buyers, sellers and the Realtors who serve them.

 Job and income growth, low or no inflation, continued low interest rates are evidence that California has moved beyond recovery and into a new and different cycle, one many worry may not be sustainable. Forecasters predict statewide sales of existing single family detached homes will reach 433,000 this year up 6.3% over 2015. The median sales price is expected to rise 3.2%, which reflects the slowest rate of appreciation in the last five years.

The average 30 year fixed interest rate will rise slightly to 4.5 percent. Low inventories of homes for sale increases demand, driving up prices and making it harder for first time buyers to enter the market.

The global economic slowdown, financial market volatility and anticipation of higher interest rates are some of the challenges that may have an adverse impact on the market’s momentum in 2016”.

Going into 2016, the San Ramon Valley real estate market showing signs of even more appreciation. Art or science – who knows – trying to predict the real estate market seems futile. I say let’s take it one day at a time. All we know is what the market is doing right now – the future is the future.

Which Grocery Stores Increase Value of Your Home?

Research data regarding the appreciation where Trade Joe’s and Whole Foods are and the location of your home. I am not sure how valid this is, yet I found the data interesting. I would guess it depends on the demographics of any City and how many folks are into “organic” foods.

“Zillow analyzed the values of millions of homes near dozens of Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods to conclude that grocery stores and home values are definitely related.

  • According to the Zillow analysis, the median home within a mile of a future Whole Foods store appreciates more slowly than other homes in the same city before the store opens. In the months before the stores open, the trend reverses and flips, so that after the stores’ opening dates, homes near Whole Foods appreciate more quickly than other area homes.
  • Homes near future Trader Joe’s locations were appreciating at close to the same rate as other homes in the same city before the stores opened. After the opening date, however, Zillow found a clear boost in home appreciation rates. Two years after a Trader Joe’s opened, the median home within a mile of the store had appreciated 10 percentage points more than homes in the city as a whole over the previous year.
  • The analysis clearly shows that homes near the stores appreciate more quickly than homes in the city as a whole. That means the two brands are very good at choosing locations that will appreciate faster in the future, or are actually spurring home appreciation growth – or some combination of the two.”

Resource: Realty Magazine

January 2016 How Much Inventory is Available?

Thinking of selling – now is the time. There are so few homes on the market anyone who wants to sell their home will encounter minimal competition. This doesn’t mean that you can put any price out there and it will sell. The right pricing strategy is still important as today’s buyers are savvy and are not willing to pay more than the market will bear.

San Ramon Valley Area Inventory of Homes for Sale

City Single Family Condo/TH/Duet Total
Alamo 25 25
Danville 29 13 42
San Ramon 29 18 47
Dublin 17 42 25
Pleasanton 37 1 38

 

Reverse Mortgage To Buy A Home?

Most homeowners have only heard about doing a Reverse Mortgage on the home they live in. Anyone 62 years or older can purchase a home with a Reverse Mortgage as well.

This is a Federal Housing Authority (FHA) Government program which entitles you to buy a home in any state without a monthly mortgage payment and without paying all cash. In fact you can pay half or less down and still have no mortgage payment as long as you live in the home. (Homeowners are responsible for tax and insurance payments)

The program is called the “HECM for Purchase” or “Home Equity Conversion Mortgage for Purchase”. A HECM transaction is specifically designed to help a senior purchase a new residence without being burdened with new debt. Specifically, the program allows seniors to purchase a new principal residence with a reverse mortgage in a single transaction. The program has been in existence since 2008 and very few know about it.

If you want to learn more about the program, Tane Cabe has written a book titled “Double Your Retirement Dollars” which explains the program in detail. To receive a free copy of this book, go to www.NoPaymentArnie.com
Want to talk with a local lender, let us know and we will put you in touch with lenders that specialize in Reverse Mortgages.
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