I Found the Home of my Dreams…!

You really can buy your dream home!
You really can buy your dream home!

You have finally found the home of your dreams, but how much should you offer? Without a doubt this is the question I am asked most frequently when working with buyers, especially first-time home buyers. It isn’t always an easy question to answer but there are a few tips to help you make that decision:

1. Ask your agent how much comparable properties in the neighborhood have sold for.  The best indicator of value is the selling price of homes that are similar to the one you are hoping to purchase. Your Realtor can run a search and show you exactly which homes have sold, when, for how much, and generally show you pictures so you can compare condition, location and amenities.
2.  Ask yourself how badly you want this home. For some people, it is just a house, for others it is THE house. If this home is the only one that you believe will meet your needs in the next 5-10 years, you will probably want to make an offer higher than if it is just one of several that will work.
3.  Are you going to ask for the seller to contribute toward your closing costs? If you are, you should factor that into your offer. The more you ask for in the form of seller credits or seller-paid inspections, the more appealing that offer should be. Anytime a buyer is asking for concessions, the offer becomes less and less appealing to the seller. You can compensate for that in your offer price. Ask your Realtor what costs are typically paid by the seller and which are paid by the buyer. This can help you structure your offer to be more enticing to the seller.
4.  Can you afford it? Just because a lender tells you that you can borrow a certain amount doesn’t  mean that you are comfortable at that payment. Look at your budget and decide how much you can manage each month and still put a little into savings for the future. If you have to offer more than that amount, it might be wise to keep looking. Buying a home is probably the largest financial investment most of us will ever make. It is important to do your homework and seek the advice of a licensed real estate professional. Working together with your lender and your Realtor, buying the home of your dreams can be a reality. Happy house hunting!

Market Update for Yuba County and Sutter County March 2015

imagesCAE8D291One of the ways economists judge the health of the housing market is by keeping track of how many homes are available for sale.  Today on the radio I heard that our inventory is down.  I could have told them that.  So just what is available for sale?  Here are your numbers this week.  These numbers represent the number of single family homes for sale, with one or even two homes on one lot.  They aren’t investment properties necessarily, so they don’t include duplexes, apartment buildings, etc.

Yuba County 

Number of homes for sale:       127

Range of prices:     $44,900-$1,650,000

Sutter County

Number of homes for sale:     159

Range of prices:     $69,000-$1,375,000

That’s a pretty broad range, so it appears there are plenty of choices, but in reality there is only a 2.3 month inventory in Yuba County and 2.8 month inventory in Sutter County.  A typical market has a 5-6 month supply of homes available on the market at any given time.  That explains why you keep looking for a house, and maybe you just aren’t finding what you want.  But don’t give up hope, being persistent will help you find just the right home to meet your needs.

What exactly will those prices buy you?  For $44,900 in Yuba County you can get a 2 bedroom 1 bath fixer.  Spend $69,000 and you  can get 2 houses on one lot in Live Oak, just be prepared to make some repairs to both of them.  You can get a custom  4 bedroom 5 bathroom home on 2.76 acres in Yuba City for $1,375,000.  And for the person dreaming of a private oasis in the foothills, for $1,650,000 you can have 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a 7 car garage, and a guest house, all situated on 10 acres.  I don’t know about you, but I think something in between those two extremes would suit me just fine.