Real Estate Roundup

Active Home-Building Industry Will Lead to More Demand for Warehouse Space

Strong consumer spending and the rise in housing construction activity are currently the prime factors for the incredible rebound of the U.S. industrial real estate sector, and experts say as home buying continues to increase, so will demand for warehouse space. — From NRE Online

To Buy or Not to Buy: That Is the Developer’s Question

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Las Posadas Pool

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Napa Real Estate Q&A : Winter 2016

Q: I am in escrow to sell my house and my realtor is concerned about the buyer’s appraiser valuing the house at the contract price. Is there anything that I can do to insure a fair appraisal?

A: Your realtor is justified in his or her concern. Appraisers and lenders are currently being ultra conservative in their property valuations in reaction to the sub-prime debacle and the decline in property values. Plus, prices are now appreciating in many areas and this means that comps in a particular area might be low if they are more than a few weeks old. In addition, new federal regulations that seek to shield appraisers from undue influence by lenders and borrowers have resulted in more out-of-area appraisers being called in to appraise local properties. These factors have created problems on some appraisals.

There is good news however. In response to these problems the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have issued guidelines to mortgage lenders encouraging the use of appraisers who have experience in the geographic area where the property is located. Further, they have made it clear that appraisers can consult with, and accept comparable sales data from, the realtors involved in the transaction. Based on these guidelines your agent should work in concert with the buyer’s agent to insure that the appraiser has local market knowledge and to provide the appraiser with relevant comparable sales data, and data on neighborhood appreciation rates, asking prices, days on market and frequency of multiple offer situations. So be proactive in the appraisal process rather than waiting in trepidation for the result.


Q: We are relocating to Napa from another state and wanted to know if we could utilize FHA financing to purchase a home in Napa even though we currently have a FHA loan and will be renting out that home once we make the move. Is this possible?

A: If a borrower owns a home with FHA financing that will not be sold, the borrower may not purchase another home utilizing FHA financing. The exceptions to the one FHA financed property are relocation and increase in family size, so based on your question, you would appear to be eligible for a second FHA loan. Contact Mortgage Solutions for more details regarding the exceptions.

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Home Prices Climbing in the Napa Valley – 5/30/2012

According to the National Association of Realtors®, first quarter statistics again point to better home sales figures. This time it was the prices of single family homes that rose in half of the major cities in the United States. Because of the wide differences between regional and state conditions, these figures are never in 100% lockstep, but Napa Valley homeowners should be encouraged by the report’s breadth: prices rose in more than twice as many cities as it fell.


Of course, rising prices are always good news for homeowners who want to sell their homes; but beyond that, the effect of movement in that direction is welcome throughout the economy. Consumer confidence is strongly influenced when home sales prices stabilize (just as it is rocked when prices fall).


There are a multiple reasons for the upswing in prices for home sales:


Employment Rates Improve

Although unemployment rates are still relatively high, the U.S. Bureau of Labor reported that the overall rate fell to 8.1 percent in April. Even for those who are currently employed, the knowledge that more jobs are out there is encouraging. When the specter of prolonged joblessness recedes, financial confidence rises and home sales can be expected to follow.


Low Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates are still at historical lows — and the effect on affordability is dramatic. Currently the national 30-year fixed rate is at 3.97% according BankRate.com. As I have discussed before, although lenders have raised the requirements to quality for a loan, such low interest rates make a mortgage more affordable for eligible homebuyers.


Fewer Homes Available

Despite the inventory of foreclosed properties, fewer homes were available for sale this year than during the same period in 2011. Nearly always, home sales register higher prices when the housing market tightens – and that did seem to be happening in a growing number of metropolitan areas.


Higher prices for single family homes is a strong indicator of an improving economy: one that bodes well for everyone in the housing market.  Statistics do vary by neighborhood, so if you are considering selling your Napa Valley home this summer and want up-to-date, personalized information, contact me for a market update.