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Now in the second week of 2021, how are you feeling about this New Year? In terms of real estate, there is a lot on the horizon.

2020 will go down in history for a pandemic that changed the world. It is also changing where and how people live. Remote working has proven to be successful for businesses and this trend is here to stay. People now can move further away to get more affordable options allowing them to buy bigger houses with bigger yards and a remote office space for them to work.

Most people moved relatively close to their current location with the suburbs gaining most movers during the pandemic.

So how did that look for Los Angeles County? We see people moving out of some of the country’s more densely populated areas and relocating to the “suburbs.” This includes communities like Altadena, Pasadena, Sierra Madre and La Crescenta as well as further out to communities in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Trends Point To A Thriving 2021 Real Estate Market

Despite elevated unemployment and weaknesses across the broader economy, the real estate market weathered 2020 with surprising strength. Consumer confidence is rising, historically low interest rates continue to drop and we’re seeing competitive offers across price points. All of this, combined with the arrival of the COVID vaccines, paints a rosy picture for the 2021 real estate market.

Closings and home prices are at record-setting highs.

According to the California Association of Realtors, we just closed out the month of November with the highest level of home sales in nearly 15 years. “This was also the first time existing single-family home sales rose above the $500,000 benchmark since January 2009.”

What’s more, prices continue to rise by double-digits annually. This amidst competing, multiple offers, and with very little by way of price discounting.

 

Pending sales are also driving confidence.

In addition to the strong closings numbers, pending sales remained above 2019 levels by double digits again last month. “As a result, home sales, which were already 1.3% higher than last year through the first 11 months, are likely to rise above 2019 levels even more (in December).”

As a result, the C.A.R. is revising its 2021 forecast, predicting sales will be up by mid-single digits next year.

Historically low interest rates are driving demand.

According to the latest Freddie Mac survey, “Rates hovered at the all-time low level of 2.71%” for the second week in a row. And these low rates are paying dividends. First time homebuyers are entering the market at the highest level in a decade.

Low rates of course are also enabling work-at-home buyers to expand their housing choices, both spatially and geographically.

Showingtime.com’s index of private showings provides further proof of the incredible demand in the market. California is “more than 92% ahead of the pre-pandemic peak, and more than 155% higher than during the same point in 2019.”

Encouraging news out of Washington.

Several key programs are set to expire as relief talks resume in D.C. Although the details are still being finalized, there is likely to be an extension of expanded unemployment benefits, more small business loans, and perhaps most importantly, rental relief. All of this will serve to stimulate the economy writ large in 2021.

In short, historically low interest rates make this a uniquely advantageous time to buy, and incredible demand makes this an optimal time to sell. The real estate market is strong, and there’s every reason to believe that will continue well into 2021.

Live with Mary Winner of About Senior Solutions

The recent passing of Proposition 19 is going to have a massive effect on the real estate taxes as it has dramatically changed Prop 13. It will affect the real estate taxes on properties when the owners pass, as well as Seniors wishing to move or downsize. Like anything in life, the change has both good and bad components depending on the circumstances. The changes are complex and very specific to each property, so feel free to reach out to Nancy directly about your specific situation. She’ll help you. She can also refer you to or work with your existing attorneys and accountants to help you get specifics and the financial impact to you and your estate plan.

Rising home prices creating wealth for owners

Homeowners are building wealth as property appreciation surges to its highest level since 2014. In the third quarter, the average homeowner had gained about $17,000 in equity year over year, according to CoreLogic’s latest Home Equity Report. Owners in Washington State saw the largest annual increase in home equity at $35,800, followed by California at $34,000.

CoreLogic said the housing market has remained a strong in an otherwise tumultuous economic year. Record-low interest rates is spurring a sharp rise in demand, which continues to bolster homeowner equity. And with many people now spending more time than ever before at home, some homeowners have tapped into their strengthening equity to fund renovations.

Source: https://www.corelogic.com/insights/homeowner-equity-report.aspx

Happy Thanksgiving

2020 has been a challenging year.

Hopefully, you are well. Life is definitely progressing differently. Sheltering in place has caused a disruption in people’s lives. We have been confronted with a re-evaluation of where we live, how we live, and what is really important in life. In the end, it comes down to relationships.

These are some of my favorite inspirational quotes for this special holiday…

 

You say ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled,                                    – Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. – Melody Beattie

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.– John Fitzgerald Kennedy

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was “thank you,” that would suffice. 

Meister Eckhart
 
Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our Thanksgiving. – W. T. Purkiser
 
Every day is a day to be thankful. Life’s abundance has no limit, and gratitude is what keeps that abundance flowing. In every circumstance there is something for which to be thankful. Even when there seems to be nothing else, there is hope. – Ralph Marston
 
A basic law: the more you practice the art of thankfulness, the more you have to be thankful for. Norman Vincent Peale

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues. -Cicero               

The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness. – Dalai Lama

Gratitude begins where my sense of entitlement ends. Steven Furtick

 

Thanksgiving, like contentment, is a learned attribute. The person who hasn’t learned to be content will not be thankful, for he lives with the delusion he deserves more or something better. Robert Flatt

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude – Cynthia Orzick

We would worry less if we praised more.  Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction. – Henry Allen Ironside

Attitude is the sign of noble souls.  – Aesop
 
I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. Gilbert K. Chesterton
  
When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.– Willie Nelson
 
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. Marcel Proust

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. – Thornton Wilder
 
If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share. – W. Clement Stone
 
Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. – Oprah Winfrey
 
Pride slays thanksgiving, but a humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves. 

– Henry Ward Beecher


Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. – Charles Dickens
 
How wonderful it would be if we could help our children and grandchildren to learn thanksgiving at an early age…Thankful children want to give, they radiate happiness, they draw people. 

– John Templeton

Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received.  Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling.  Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.  – Henry Van Dyke

I cried because I had no shoes until I saw the man who had no feet… let us be thankful for what we have. 

How high can prices go?

How high can prices go? It’s only up these days. Many thought real estate would take a pause.  But that didn’t happen. Instead, the lid blew off and the sky’s now the limit.

The price range for modest homes in the greater Foothills: is
$ 1 million dollars. For a first time home?

No, I am not kidding.  Money is cheap, people are aggressively looking and there’s an air of desperation on the part of buyers. I HAVE to find another place to live. Sellers are starting to think, if I can get THAT much for my home, maybe it is time to sell. With all the changes in how and where people can work, all of a sudden for some there’s no compelling reason to stay in California anymore.

America has opened its doors and the flight is to a less urban lifestyle. But it’s not just in California. So expect to pay more wherever you go.

Testimonials

Nancy knows the real estate business very thoroughly. She has proven this by helping our family three times over the past eleven years. Each time she displayed knowledge, experience, and care that generated confidence and comfort in the process, ensuring everything went very smoothly. The first time we worked with her involved the sale of a family home of more than fifty years. The second time involved the purchase of a condominium. The third time was the sale of another home of almost thirty years. Each transaction was unique due to different neighborhoods, market conditions, and other circumstances. Each involved the many complications and details that are expected in a real estate transaction.

In our most recent sale, during COVID, Nancy guided us wisely through each step. Her experience with real estate marketing and managing the chain of events helped the process move smoothly. It helps that she knows the real estate market so well, knows the features buyers are looking for, and the issues that might concern them. Her advice on timing and pricing was right on. She explained how the methods of marketing homes have changed in recent years and she let us know what was expected and what had to be done. Once the house was listed, she kept an eye on each step, made us aware of the progress, and advised us regarding responsibilities and options so that everything stayed on schedule. As an experienced professional, she anticipated and guided us to a smooth closing of the sale. To put it simply: Nancy is a professional, is knowledgeable, and can be trusted.

Historic Wexler Condo

Sizzlingly hot describes summer in the Desert and means a slower real estate market. But this year is different.  People are flooding to what are traditionally weekend or 2nd home locations and that includes the Desert areas near LA. Real Estate is even hotter than in LA.

Take a look at my newest listing: a 2 bedroom 2 bath condo in a complex that is architecturally significant with a garage. Single level and in a complex with a swimming pool and amenities. Super affordable at only $ 299K!!

Visit Property Website: http://www.1724sandalwood.com/

A Tale of Two Markets: Dream Homes and Looming Evictions

A divide is growing between the haves and have-nots in real estate. While the housing market sees a frenzied number of home shoppers eager to purchase and move into a larger home, the other side of the market is facing job losses and fears of losing their current home.

The unemployment rate was 8.4% in August. Many Americans are still struggling to buy a home or afford rent. Another 10 million jobs are needed to get the economy back to pre-pandemic conditions, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®.

A recent Census survey shows that 42% of renter households earning less than $35,000 per year have slight or no confidence in their ability to pay September rent.

“The level of economic suffering for families is heartbreaking if we don’t figure out how to help unemployed Americans pay rent,” Sam Gilman, co-founder of the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project, told USA Today. “Eviction leads to horrible consequences for families. It can lead to homelessness, kids not going to school, and is linked to deaths of despair.”

Up to 40 million Americans could possibly be at risk of eviction by the end of the year, Gilman estimates. Eviction and foreclosure moratoriums that stretch to the end of the year may be postponing the inevitable, housing analysts say. “We are only delaying this huge build-up in rental debt and the precursor to eviction,” Gilman told USA Today. “Once rent comes due after the holidays, the circumstances for millions of Americans likely will not have changed.”

Under the eviction moratorium that went into effect Friday, a tenant has to testify or certify under penalty of perjury that they’re doing everything they can to pay. Obstacles may include job or wage loss, or medical expenses (not necessarily COVID-19 related) that preclude them from paying their rent.

But as millions of renters fear losing their homes, the housing market also shows the opposite end of the spectrum as buyers with secure paying jobs flood the market. The housing market has emerged as one of the drivers of the economic recovery. A vibrant housing market has added 27,700 construction workers and trade specialists. Further, the NAR’s membership is at a record high, Yun says.

Buyers with high-paying jobs are rushing to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates and possibly even purchase larger homes during the pandemic.

“There’s a fortunate group of Americans with a steady paycheck that didn’t go on a big vacation, but did end up buying new furniture, appliances, or are renovating,” Ted Rossman, industry analyst at Bankrate, told USA Today. About 59% of homeowners have completed at least $500 of home upgrades during the pandemic or are planning to before the end of the year, according to a survey from Bankrate.

But some are choosing not to spruce up but instead buy a new home. Home prices are escalating during the pandemic as buyer demand surges. The median national price for an existing home in July was $304,100, the first time ever surpassing $300,000, according to NAR.

“There’s still a lot of interest in sellers getting top dollar for their homes and buyers getting more space,” Rossman told USA Today. “The work-from-home trend has legs even beyond the pandemic because many companies have found that workers can be productive from home and it saves them money on office space. That has big ripple effects for the housing market if work-from-home becomes more permanent.”