I’ve got birds 🐥 in my attic…literally. It’s not just some kind of crazy metaphor. I’m having the screens under the eaves repaired and the little ones removed as I type. I’ve been talking to a friend in the insurance business this morning, and he was telling me about a bird infestation that cost the homeowner $20k in repairs. Not covered by insurance…wondering if the good folks over at Fidelity Home Warranty would cover that? Meanwhile, the cats are peeing everywhere except for the litterbox. It’s an eventful Friday morning, to be sure. In the meantime, be loved Giants are making the big sucking sound 💩 this week. Not sure what’s going on with the gents, but the wheels seem to be falling off…and it isn’t even June! In other news, the real estate market is still stupid crazy.
- The Fed raised its short term interest rates by 0.5% this week. Even though this was an expected move, the bond market reacted rather violently. As a result, interest rates have continued to move up even higher. According to Nerd Wallet, the average APR on a 30 year fixed rate went up 3 basis points this morning alone. Even more astounding, for a 30 year fixed mortgage, the rate has gone up 256 basis points in one year 🤯
- We continue to hear a lot of talk of affordability, and for good reason. According to an MSNBC article published on Monday, if home prices rise just 5% more, affordability will be at an all time low…or…OR…if interest rates go up 50 basis points. At this point, it appears as though both are likely…affordability is going to continue to be an issue.
- Since affordability in the state sucks, CalHFA is doing something unique. They’ve created a program for first time homebuyers to help out with the downpayment. First time homebuyers can get a forgivable, subordinate loan, up to 10% of the total purchase price. You do have to use a private lender who works with CalHFA, but there are quite a few amazing lenders who do so, so that shouldn’t be a deterrent. This is a fantastic first step towards for first time homebuyers who aren’t able to crowdsource a downpayment or take advantage of a power buyer program which – I think – is going to do absolutely nothing to ease the buyer congestion. I have severe concerns about the power buyer programs and how they will continue to marginalize buyers of color and continue to make housing that much more unaffordable.
- I’m digging on the subheadline (is that an actual thing?) on an article from Inman News covering the National Association of Realtors (NAR) spring conference: “…this year’s housing market will see declining sales, rising home prices and an American Dream increasingly out of reach.” 😿 Yep, we’re still talking about affordability…and now let’s through a recession into the mix. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for NAR, predicts that home sales will drop by 9% this year, but that housing prices will go up by 8%.
- I cover most of the North Bay, but specialize in American Canyon, Vallejo, and Fairfield (plus surrounding areas). In this particular region, through May 5, 6.5% fewer homes sold in 2022 than last year, and the median sales price of $619,500 is 13.7% higher than last year.
- Meanwhile, throughout the region, the state and local municipalities are trying to figure out the latest housing requirements. More often than not, counties (especially Napa) pass the buck onto the cities to build more. In Napa County, that generally means that American Canyon is responsible for building the bulk of affordable housing. Fairfield is having a workshop on Monday, May 9 via Zoom. Link to the meeting info in the article.
- I had so much fun doing my 30 days of American Canyon, I decided to start logging my travels throughout the area. This week I’m at the Berkeley Rose Garden.
- May is National Foster Care Month. There are lots of things wrong with the system that desperately need fixing. There are lots of things right about the system…namely the kids who get caught up in it and just want to be able to live worry free. I feel like that’s something we should be able to achieve. Please click here for more information on how you can help and be involved. And here are some additional resources for Napa & Solano Counties.
This is a little bit longer than I anticipated, but it’s been a while and apparently I have a lot to get off my chest. It happens. My aunt and dad have been sick for most of this year and my aunt finally passed away last Friday…and so it goes. I love music (maybe even more than reading which should tell you something!) and create Spotify Playlists for those signing up for my enewsletter. And so, in honor of my Aunt Di, I created a playlist in her honor that I am absolutely certain she’d hate…I hope that you enjoy.