Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Market update 1-25-2019

January 25th, 2019 by Robert Hightower

Hey as we start off 2019, the traditional Real Estate selling season is upon us.  Moving forward in this year and for the foreseeable future we will have to deal with the effects of the Camp fire in the neighboring town of Paradise Ca.  The area has lost 14,000 houses, in the greater Paradise area.  To give you some perspective the city of Chico averages around 100 home sales per month of existing homes on less than a 1/2 acre.  Chico is nearly all built out and really doesn’t have the capacity to soak up many of the displaced folks.  With the natural housing pressures of Chico to now add the Camp fire on top of it we have a extreme buyer demand and should have for years to come.  I think sellers will be fine if they wait a year or two to sell if they are thinking about selling.  I do not feel like you will miss the  “boat”.

Looking at the numbers the average listing price is up 9% up over before the fire and the average closed sales price is up the same 9%.  Today we have 85 listings in Chico, SFR on less than 1/2 acre.  We are seeing over asking on most properties by about 4-5% and multiple offers on most.  If you have any questions about buying or selling in the Chico area moving forward please contact me directly 530-518-4440

 

Robert Hightower

  • Posted in News
  • Comments Off on Market update 1-25-2019

Market Snap Shot 5-8-2018

May 8th, 2018 by Robert Hightower

Today’s market snap shot has 169 homes on the Chico market at a average listing price of $422,000.  282 Homes have sold in the last 90 days for a average of $355,000.  Over all the number of homes on the market seem to be holding steady.  Market is likely to go flat over the summer.

 

Robert

Market update 2017

March 24th, 2017 by Robert Hightower

Prices continue to go up in the greater Chico area.  The average price of a home in Chico during the last 30 days was $332,702, the size of the property is 3 bedrooms and 2 baths average lot size 9849 square feet, with 1736 square feet, built in 1987.  82 total homes were sold during this past month.  Average days on the market was 46 days.

Today we have a total of 127 homes on the market.  In a normal market we have 350-400 units.  If you take out the new construction, homes that are built 2015 or older brings us down to 91 units!

If you are interested in buying or selling please give me a call 530-518-4440 lets talk!

 

 

  • Posted in News
  • Comments Off on Market update 2017

SEARCHCHICOHOMESNOW.COM

July 19th, 2016 by Robert Hightower

I have stuck up a new page at www.SearchChicoHomesNow.Com for everyone to use its free and allows access to the Chico CA home buying market. As we are wrapping up the Summer of 2016 the market in the Chico Ca area remains hot. Inventory is down and demand is constant. If you are looking to buy please get in touch with me as soon as you are ready. If the raise in prices is giving you the opportunity to sell please call right away and ask how I might be able to get you a value on your home and provide you with great service.

If you have an Real Estate questions please send them to me at RobertHightower332@gmail.com or 530-518-4440

Thank you,

Robert Hightower

  • Posted in News
  • Comments Off on SEARCHCHICOHOMESNOW.COM

Amazon

December 6th, 2013 by Robert Hightower

  • Posted in News
  • Comments Off on Amazon

5 Of the Biggest Mistakes Home Buyers Make

September 9th, 2013 by Robert Hightower

5 of the Biggest Mistakes Home Buyers Make

Buying a home opens up a lot of opportunity for mistakes, issues and problems. You could end up with a house that has a list of problems from noisy neighbors to a leaky roof. Here are 5 potential mistakes for you to avoid during your next home purchase.

Timing the market

Good luck with that, many very smart people have gone broke timing the market. The only way to know when the market has hit the bottom is when you see it going back up. Prices historically go up and down, and sometimes they go way down like they have in this post bubble market.

What you can do is buying during a low, like we have now. If you sit around and wait for the prices to continue down another 5-10% then you notice that interest rates have gone up a full point where does that leave your payment? Might be higher….Every family’s situation is different; usually the best time to buy the home you want is when you can.

Wrong location

Every location has a energy to it, and your new home and its neighborhood should match yours. Some places cater more to families, singles, young or old. Knowing that your location matches you and your situation should go a long ways to making your stay there a happy one. Buying a house is not a short term proposition, to just recoup the moving and expense of selling a home you need to plan on staying between 4-6 years normally.

You want to “kick the tires” of the area. Check it out at different times of day, and different days during the week. Does it have access to your favorite coffee shop? Grocery store schools etc? Make sure the location suits you and your needs before buying.

Can I see the past utility bills please?

Some homes just cost more to run. It can be older appliances, old HVAC unit, single pane windows etc. You don’t want to move into a home expecting that the cooling billing during the summer will be a normal $200 and find out it’s actually $800 that is a surprise you don’t need. If that happened you have two options, live with the high bill or there will be a lot of out of pocket expense to fix it? Ask for the bills.

Don’t fall in love with the staging!

Some homes are professionally staged. For many people they will get excited and think they are going to decorate the home the same way, and it will look fantastic. It will if you hire a designer or if you are a designer, but for most of the rest of us, when we walk into a professionally staged home, that is as good as it will every look! You have to look past this and think will the home suit my needs, will my furniture fit or will I have to buy new, is there enough space, or too much?

Don’t buy a fixer and not fix it

About half of the people that walk into my office here at Hightower Real Estate Group, or go to my website, Hightower-Team.Com are looking for a fixer. If you are not handy, if you have not done some of these repairs before, you could be setting yourself up for failure. If you are buying a fixer you need to know what the fixes are going to cost you. You should have a very good idea of your budget. I have done this a lot and can walk through a house and have my budget set by the time I get to the back door, but I do this a lot. Be honest with yourself, will I fix these issues or not, is there money in my budget to get these repairs done? Usually these fixes are done out of pocket. I do know of some loan programs where we can finance in the repairs, interested? Robert@Hightower-Team.Com One of the things I see most often is homeowners not fixing up their homes until it’s time for them to sell.

Every homebuyer has a number of concerns, all of which we can help with:

Setting a reasonable Time Frame
There are many variables in the home-buying process, meaning the time it takes to find and buy your new home varies. A typical home search process may take three to four months, or longer, including the mortgage approval process, comparing and evaluating properties, making an offer, getting our inspections and the closing process. The loan process typically takes 30-45 days, with the ability do close a cash deal in about 10-14 days.

Mortgage Process
Perhaps one of the most intimidating aspects of buying a home is the mortgage approval process. We’ll be here to help guide you through this, but there are many ways you can prepare early to make the process smoother. Start by making sure your budget is under control–make a list of all your monthly expenses, compare it with your income, and see if adjustments need to be made. You should also try to pay off small credit card balances. Start gathering documents you may need, such as W-2 forms, income tax returns for the past few years, pay stubs, records of child support or alimony, bank statements for the past several months, and your credit report. Also, be sure to allow for closing costs. I work with a preferred Lender, she has been able to get the deals closed for my clients before, during and after the housing bubble. There are a lot of changes in the way loans are approved these days as compared to 5 years ago. Getting an online quote is a place to start but close to worthless as far as using them to fund your loan. I want you to have a person that is local and accountable to you! Have you ever had a friend tell you they can not get a hold of their online lender? I have, its not any fun.

How Much Home can I Afford?
A guideline to consider is that most buyers purchase a home that costs about one and a half to two and half times their current annual income. For example, someone earning $100,000 a year might purchase a home for $150,000 to $200,000. Mortgage payments should be about 26-28 percent of your gross monthly income, some underwriters will take this number up to 30-31%. Existing debt is also considered in the mortgage process, and total debt payments (car payments, credit cards, student loans, etc.) should not exceed 40 percent of your gross monthly income. Paying down your debt can help you qualify for more home, you really need a quality lender that is working in the industry full-time.

Home Shopping
Before you start looking at properties, make a list of “must-have” features along with optional features you’d like to have. “Must-have” features may include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need to accommodate your family, location (consider commute to work, which schools your children will attend, etc.), lot size and special needs (handicapped access, etc.). Optional features may include the architectural styling, bay windows, landscaping, etc. Having a clear idea of what you want in a home will help your REALTOR® find the perfect property for you. Also the deal breakers: which might be too big of a lot, certain area’s in town,etc. Knowing what your deal makers and deal breakers are when you start looking gets you off on the right foot. I also recommend that you keep notes when you are viewing homes for two reasons: One if you see more than 2 homes in a day you can get the features confused; Two if you see a deal maker or breaker you can write it down and share it with your realtor and family members.

Taking the time to educate yourself about the home-buying process is key to getting a home you love and can afford. As your REALTOR®, we are here to answer any questions you might have and guide you through this process.

Want help taking the stress out of the process? Ask me for my E book

Hightower-Team.Com

If you read or watch many cooking shows or magazines, you might have noticed a trend over the past few weeks. They all seem to be focused on springtime cooking, entertaining, and recipes – how to welcome the change of weather with flower-laden tables and recipes that showcase the fresh flavors of the season.

If you’re watching the real estate market, you’re probably seeing a springtime recipe coming together right now, too, before your eyes. Yesterday, Trulia released a survey that vividly captures and quantifies the ingredients:
•75% of consumers say it’s better to buy a home now than it will be a year from now
•But only 1 in 3 consumers (32 percent) think it’s better to sell now than a year from now.
Mix in patient sellers, fewer foreclosures, and underwater borrowers and marinate overnight.

What do you get when you take this 2013 spring real estate recipe out of the oven? Housing inventory rates at a 12-year low, and a strong seller’s market. In the Chico CA Area we were running with 550-600 sfr homes on the active list not long ago, a recent search pulled up 128 active listings in Chico Ca for our home Buyers

While sellers sometimes make emotional mistakes, the reality is that a hot market like today’s creates massive competition among buyers, and can lead to a slippery slope of decision-making that leads to later regrets. Let’s take a look at the most common real estate regrets revealed in this new Trulia report, and what they can teach today’s home buyers about making real estate decisions they feel good about in the long run.

1. Get realistic and be aggressive. Time is of the essence. The number one real estate regret revealed in the survey was a regret of renters, not owners: 42% of of them said they wished they had bought, rather than rented, their current home.

The process of successfully buying a home on a market like today’s is laden with points at which every buyer must face the pain of some hard-to-swallow truths:
•Truth: It might take longer to buy than you thought.
•Truth: You’ll very possibly lose a few homes you love before you are successful.
•Truth: Your home buying dollar might not afford you the mini-manse of your fantasies.
•Truth: You might have to offer more than the asking price and compete with other buyers in order to make your home buying visions a reality.

The buyers who face these truths head on are those who position themselves to make reality-based, aggressive home buying moves like house hunting in a slightly lower price range so they can offer more than asking without blowing their budget. The buyers who avoid the pain of being realistic about these issues are the ones who will end up still renting next year, regretting that they didn’t align their expectations with reality sooner. Of course, every market is different – this is why it’s uber-important that you work with a local agent to understand the realities of your market and how you can optimize your house hunt for them.

2. Buy a home that will work for the household you envision 5 or 10 years down the road. I’ve long recommended that buyers kick-start their house hunts with a “Vision of Home” writing exercise, in which you actually write down your vision for the life you want to live in the home you’re preparing to buy. This is all about creating a vision for every area of your life, from your work (and how you get there every day), to your family and cohabitants (who you envision living with, not just now, but down the line), your activities and your families and even how you spend your spare time (gardening, entertaining, tinkering, etc.)

This exercise helps avoid the number two most common real estate regret uncovered in the study: 34% of respondents said they wished they had chosen a larger home. It helps by course-correcting any overly limiting assumptions you might make if you based the size of home you should buy strictly around the number of family members you have now or in the near future. It helps you plan your space needs around the living and activities you’ll want to be able to do in the home, not just the sleeping areas you’ll need for individual family members. It also helps you take a longer-term view of family and space planning to anticipate issues like whether you’ll want to take in an aging parent, allow for a young adult child to come back home, or have space for a nanny or tenant.

3. Be honest with yourself about your interest and ability to fix a home up, before you buy. Here’s a lesson I’ve learned from experience: if a new homeowner doesn’t make the fixes they plan within the first year after closing, chances are they won’t make them for many years – maybe even until they are planning to sell the place again! Obviously, there are exceptions – there are the folks who have a 15-year road-map for home improvements in place before escrow even closes, and who execute it meticulously. But these are the exceptions – for most of us, human nature is to get comfortable or complacent with the way the home is, or to have life and everyday expenses get in the way of our remodeling plans and never end up doing all the fixes we plan. There are loan programs out there if you find a fixer and want to hire out the work, and get it done right away? Ask your lender about the 203k program.

Twenty-seven percent of survey respondents said they wish they would have done a more thorough set of remodel projects, renovations, updates or upgrades to the property when they bought it. But the way to avoid this regret is two-fold. First, you can make sure that you have a budget and a firm plan of action for the home upgrades you want before you close the deal, versus a vague sense that you need to “do something” with the kitchen. This might involve getting actual contractor bids during escrow and even having some or all of your desired work done after closing and before you actually move in, to maximize both your chances of actually following through on your home improvement plans and the enjoyment you get out of the upgrades. Again the 203k program can be helpful, and I have a lender that is very good at it.

The other way to avoid this regret is to simply be honest with yourself. If you’re not the type to follow through on a fixer-upper plan of action, take this into account when you choose your home so as not to end up in a place you’ll regret not fixing. Find a place, instead, in a condition you can live with, even if you don’t do much (or any) work to it, after you buy.

4. Ask every question – then ask a few more. And read everything you are given. Twenty-two percent of homeowners surveyed said they wish they had more information about their home before they decided to buy it. The fact is, much of the information homeowners regret not having is actually at every home buyer’s disposal – though it might take some work to get it.

For example, some homeowners wish they’d known more about their neighbors and neighborhood, which can be collected during the house hunt by knocking on doors, meeting the neighbors, Google-searching and investigating the neighborhood online and even visiting the home and surrounding area at different times of day and days of the week/weekend. I have given this advise for years and have had a total of 1 client go and knock on the neighbors door. If you are going to live in this home for a number of years it just makes sense to do your homework!

Others might wish they’d known more about the property itself, or the Homeowner’s Association. I’ve found that buyers miss out on valuable property information when they don’t attend their home inspections in person, or when they fail to fully read, understand, ask questions about or follow up on their home, pest, roof and specialty inspection reports. For instance, your home inspector might be willing or able to show you how to operate certain systems or use your emergency gas and water shut offs if you are onsite during the inspection – things you might wish you knew later on. Also, they can often verbalize valuable insight and nuance to the property issues they find, if you’re onsite during the inspection – you miss this information if you don’t attend. And if you fail to actually obtain any follow-up inspections the general home inspector recommends (e.g. plumbing or electrical inspections) you can be in for an un-fun surprise over the long run.

So read your reports and your HOA disclosures, even though they are long, tedious and some might say, border on boring. And be aggressive about asking your agent and your inspectors to help you understand how you can gather the information that’s important to you. There is more available than you might guess. Remember you are the “employer” of the inspectors, agent and loan officer it is their job to help!

5. Focus your spring workouts on whipping your money matters into shape. The final two real estate regrets articulated by survey respondents were related: 18% wish they had put down a larger down payment on their home, and 16% wish they had been more financially secure before they bought a home. So much of what we talk about in terms of financial preparations for home buying is about doing the bare minimum to qualify for the sort of home we want, in terms of saving up the minimum down payment that will allow us to afford to buy at our desired purchase price, getting our credit together and making sure we have all our documents lined up and spruced up for a lender’s underwriter. But none of these things actually solve for the regrets these former buyers express. The only path to avoid these later issues is to view home buying as an opportunity to take a concerted deep dive into your finances and make an ongoing, lifelong commitment to financial integrity.

This means:
•really exploring your values and priorities in life, and aligning your finances with them in every way
•keeping a current financial or monthly spending plan that includes not just your mortgage but also carves out sufficient resources for saving, investing and other things that are important to your future, and
•staying accountable to these values and your plans, even through the process of becoming a homeowner.

There are dozens of books, resources and financial professionals who can help you ensure that you execute home ownership in a way that is ultimately beneficial to your financial well-being and not harmful to it. This includes timing your house hunt to align with when you’ve achieved certain financial benchmarks (e.g., paid off your student loans, saved up X dollars) or have cultivated particular financial habits (e.g., consistently save 10% of your take-home income, have paid every bill on time for three years or more).

If I can help please get in touch asap

Hightower Real Estate Group

Robert Hightower

Article was found on Trulia

Hello world!

November 17th, 2012 by Robert Hightower

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!