Ryan Blanco San Diego real estate agent

What’s the Best Season to Sell your Home?

Many wonder-what’s the best season to sell my home? Since we are lucky enough to live in San Diego’s great climate, we don’t have as large of swings as many other parts of the county. Regardless, there are better times of year to put your home up for sale than others.

Redfin analyzed more than 7 million home sales over the past 4 years and divided the data into seasons, according to when the homes were first listed. Then, they analyzing which season was best for listing a home, according to two of the most common goals for sellers: Selling for more than the list price and going under contract within 30 days.

As many of us know, spring was the best time to list a home, but just barely. Spring offered the highest likelihood of selling above list price and of selling within 30 days, but winter  was surprisingly a close second.

Home price and days on market by season of year-best season to sell home

Source: Refin

Among spring listings, 18.7% of homes fetched above asking, with winter listings not far behind at 17.5%. While 48.0% of homes listed in spring sold within 30 days, 46.2% of homes in winter did the same.

While winter isn’t when most people want to think about selling, it’s not a bad time to list a home. You may have fewer people looking to buy, but those who are tent to be more serious. Buyers that time of year often need to move, so they’re much less likely to make a low offer and they’ll often want to close quickly. Another benefit of listing in the winter is less competition from other sellers. While spring can see a rush of homes coming on the market, homes that list in the winter are much more likely to stand out.

Fall can be a bit of a challenge. Buyers with kids generally want to get settled in their new home before the school year starts, so they’ve already closed in spring or summer. And right after you put it up for sale, the holiday season begins. This can delay the time it takes to close, and causes many buyers to pause their search. The last quarter of the year is just not an ideal time to put a home on the market, particularly if you want full price or a quick closing.

Homes sold in different seasons of the year by city-best season to sell home

Source: Refin


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Real Estate Trends For 2017

With the election of any new president, uncertainty looms.  However, while the President-elect built his empire on real estate, he has said relatively little about what policy changes he might make regarding housing.  That’s not too unusual, since when the housing market is doing well it is not much of a topic of conversation.

Here’s are some coming real estate trends into 2017:2017 real estate trends san diego

1. Rising prices will keep homeowner’s equity rising
After a 6.3 percent increase in 2016, home prices are poised to rise another 5.2 percent through September 2017, according to Core Logic. Rising prices have doubled the amount of home equity held by Americans with the average homeowner gaining more than $11,000 in home-equity wealth last year alone. If home prices continue to increase as projected, Americans would add $1 trillion in home equity next year.

2. Rising mortgage rates 
Rates for conventional loans shot up nearly a quarter of a percentage point in the days following the election, the fastest increase since 2013. That could be just the beginning; the Fed is expected to continue raising rates on a strong economy, and even before Trump’s election, the Mortgage Bankers Association predicted rates would reach 4.8 percent (an increase of nearly two percentage points) by the end of 2017. 

That means that homeowners looking to refinance should do so earlier in the year, and buyers should consider locking in their rates during the closing process. While some worry that rising rates could dampen the housing market, job security and wage growth are larger factors on home activity than interest rates.

3. It’s getting easier to get a mortgage
According to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index, it’s easier to get a mortgage now than at any time in the past eight years. That reflects an increased availability of both jumbo loans and low down-payment loans. Banks may also be more willing to work with borrowers over the next few years as they look to make up for a decline in refinancing business when interest rates go up.

4. Rents will continue to level off.
While rents in most large metro areas will continue to increase next year, they’ll grow at just 1.7 percent next year, says Zillow’s rent forecast. The modest gains follow years of double-digit growths in many places and reflect inventory finally catching up with demand as builders create new apartment buildings to accommodate the nearly 40% of Americans renting.

san diego real estate trends for 20175. Less cash buyers
All-cash buyers fell below 30% of home sales this year for the first time since 2007, and they’re projected to decline for the next two years until they get back to their historical average of about 25 percent, says Core Logic. That’s good news for many potential homebuyers, who have struggled to compete with all-cash buyers in bidding wars.

6. Continued low inventory
While builders have increased production, they’re still only putting homes up at about 60% of the normal pace. Core Logic says that total housing inventory at the end of September increased 1.5% to 2.04 million existing homes for sale, but that’s still 7% lower than last year. Unsold inventory in September was at a 4.5% month supply, down from 4.6% the previous month. (A 6 month supply is considered a healthy market.)

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San Diego Housing Market Update-October 2016 Sales

San Diego Housing market update for home salesBelow is my monthly analysis of the San Diego housing market. It will show many different metrics to help us get an accurate “feel” for what is happening in our local real estate market!

As we enter the final quarter of 2016, not much has changed since the year began. Market predictions have been, in a word, predictable. A relatively comfortable pace of activity has been maintained thanks to continuing low unemployment and mortgage rates. The one basic drag on market acceleration has been inventory decline. There is little to indicate that the low inventory situation will resolve anytime soon.

Activity Snapshot:

One-year change in closed sales

One-year change in median sales price

One-year change in homes for sale




Closed Sales increased 0.5 percent for Detached homes and 2.1 percent for Attached homes. Pending Sales increased 9.6 percent for Detached homes and 8.0 percent for Attached homes. Inventory decreased 12.7 percent for Detached homes and 29.7 percent for Attached homes.

The Median Sales Price was up 11.5 percent to $580,000 for Detached homes and 8.7 percent to $380,500 for Attached homes. Days on Market decreased 14.6 percent for Detached homes and 13.9 percent for Attached homes. Supply decreased 14.3 percent for Detached homes and 36.4 percent for Attached homes.

Builder confidence is as high as it has been in more than a decade, yet the pace of economic growth has been slow enough to cause pause. A low number of first-time buyer purchases and a looming demographic shift also seem to be curbing the desire to start new single-family construction projects. As older Americans retire and downsize, single-family listings are expected to rise. The waiting is the hardest part.

According to Bankrate.com, interest rates have continued to stay under the 4% level, despite the Federal Reserve Bank finally raising rates .25% late last year. Thanks in part to “Brexit,” rates have declined further. They are currently at 3.95% for a 30-year fixed loan (they were 3.49% at this time last month). This is well below the historical average of 6% or so, which is great for home buyers. To calculate your potential mortgage payment or see what you can afford, go HERE.

The San Diego Association of Realtors analyzes housing market data for San Diego county every month. Below is their monthly report for home prices. The figures represents ALL property types.


San Diego Housing Market October 2016 sales


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Credit Reports – What You Need To Know

Credit reports and the “secret formula” for calculating one’s credit score remains a mystery for most people. When a lender “runs your credit,” that means the bank is getting your credit information from one of three independent national credit reporting bureaus–Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

what is my fico scoreCredit reporting bureaus collect information about your credit card use, rental history, loan history, including vehicle and student loans. They then analyze the results and tabulate them into credit scores, using software created by the Fair Isaac Corporation. Your lender can purchase the reports, as the FICO scores to serve as summaries of your credit history. Your FICO score is the middle of the 3 scores.

Each of these credit reporting bureaus collects and analyzes its own data which results in 3 different scores. The bureaus don’t share information between each other, so if you want a true picture of your credit, you have to check with all three bureaus.

If you have a mistake on your credit report from one bureau, the same problem may not appear on the other bureaus’ reports. You have to get the negative item removed by sending a copy of your proof, full payment, release of lien, or other evidence.

Getting one of these items removed can take as long as 30 days, which will delay your loan. That’s why it’s best to clear these things up before the lender brings them to your attention. If your lender sees something negative enough to decline the loan, they will tell you to fix it. Lets say you may have had a dispute with a contractor that resulted in a lien on your home. It doesn’t matter who was right, you’ll have to pay the debtor, obtain a release of lien or payment in full receipt, whichever applies.

This evidence should go into the loan file. Make sure to keep multiple copies of the lien release or payment in full. Why? Because that lien can always reappear on another credit report. Property liens from the IRS are particularly hard to eradicate because the proof of payment has to come from the IRS, along with the county where you owned the property, which must record the release of lien.

You may see a problem in your credit report that’s over 10 years old. An account in collections can stay on your credit report for much longer than 7 years; which is the length of time it takes for bad accounts to drop off your credit record. When the debtor finally gives up trying to collect, that’s when the 7 years begins.

FICO credit scores can be in the range of 300 to 850. To get the best mortgage rate, your score must be as high as possible. Today, most lenders will give you their best rates if your credit scores are 750 or higher.

Factors that make your FICO score and credit historyYou can raise your credit scores by managing your credit the way that generates the highest scores. About one-third of a FICO score is your payment history (paying on-time). Another third is based on how much of your available credit-line you use. You can improve both areas by paying down your debts down as quickly as you can. If you are only making the minimum payment on your accounts, you’re living beyond your means and thus lowering your credit score. Don’t max out any credit card.

You can also improve your scores if you pay debts off early and avoid late payments. Data in your credit report includes the loan terms, payment history — on time, early or late payments, unpaid monthly balance rollovers, payment amounts, minimum payment history, income-to-debt ratios, and percentage use of available credit. Always pay off those credit cards that charge the highest interest first. Try not to incur new debt.

Managing your debts well does more than earn you a great mortgage rate. It ensures lenders that you are more likely to buy wisely within your affordability range. And that will make any lender view you as a good risk.

You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit reports once/year. You can contact all 3 credit bureaus or visit AnnualCreditReport.com.


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Myths of Owning Rental Property

There are many commonly misunderstood myths people have about owning rental properties. While owning a rental property isn’t as easy as “sitting back and collecting the rent,” it can be a very good investment when done correctly. Here are some common myths about owning rental properties.

Myth #1: I can’t afford it!

Truth: Many banks will lend to you with as low as 20% down on a rental property. You can get these funds from available cash, retirement accounts or a home equity line of credit on your primary (or other) property. On a $250,000 condo, that’s as low as $50,000 for a down payment.

myths of owning rental property in san diegoMyth #2: It’s hard to manage properties!

Truth: Property management is actually simple to learn and do! Have you ever rented an apartment? That is all you need to do. Most Realtors will gladly provide all the forms you need, tips on running your rentals, and vendors who can handle emergency calls and repairs.

Myth #3: I can buy something for less in Florida (Texas, Arizona, Nevada, etc.)!

Truth: You can, but with lower rental rates, they will not generate the same long term returns that something in the Southern California area will. Also, we have almost no vacancy here in CA – whereas other states sometimes have 30% vacancy.

Myth #4: It’s hard to find a tenant!

Truth: With a sample ad on Craigslist – you’ll get a ton of responses. We have a housing shortage – there are more tenants than properties.

Myth #5: All HOAs are bad!

Truth: Let’s face it, HOAs have a bad rap, and for good reason. But on the flip side, HOAs minimize your risk as a landlord and provide some management for you. They also provide landscaping, insurance, repairs, and amenities that are desirable to tenants. This means can mean less work and less headaches for the property owner!

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Home Sellers-Tips For Showing Your Home

When it comes time to sell your home, you only have one chance to make a great first impression! Almost any property can look great online, but a personal visit from potential buyers can make or break the sale. Here are some tips to make sure your home showings go right the first time.

1. Remove clutter and clear off counter-tops. Remove any stacks of newspapers and magazines and stow away most of your small decorative items. Take any excess furniture to the garage or storage, and remove out-of-season clothing items that are taking up tones of closet space. Don’t forget to organize the garage, too.
2. Wash your windows and screens. This will help get more light into the inside of the home.

3. Keep everything extra clean. A clean house will makes a great first impression and send atips for better home showings for sellers message to buyers that the home has been well-cared for. Wash off fingerprints from light switch plates, mop and wax the floors, and clean the stove and refrigerator. Polish your doorknobs and address numbers. It might be worth hiring a cleaning service as well.

4. Get rid of smells. Clean carpeting and drapes to help eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Open the windows to air out the house. Potpourri or scented candles might also help.

5. Brighten your rooms. Make sure all light bulbs are functional in light fixtures to brighten up rooms. Clean the walls, or even touch up areas with a coat of neutral color paint.

6. Don’t disregard minor repairs. Small problems such as sticky or squeaky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well-maintained and make them think twice about putting in an offer.

7. Tidy your yard. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, add new mulch, trim the bushes, edge the walkways, and clean out the gutters. For added curb appeal, a pot of bright flowers near the entryway can be a nice touch.

8. Patch holes. Repair any holes or cracks in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable.

9. Add a touch of color in the living room.  A colored afghan or throw on the couch can help jazz up the room. Buy new fresh accent pillows for the sofa.

tips for better home showings san diego10. Buy a flowering plant and put it near a window with high traffic.

11. Make centerpieces for your tables. Use brightly colored fruit or flowers.

12. Set the scene. Set the table with nice dishes and candles, and create other vignettes throughout the home to help buyers picture already living there. For example, in the living room, you might display a chess game in progress.

13. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let in more light. Also show off the view if you have one.

14. Accentuate the fireplace.  Put fresh logs in the fireplace or put a basket of flowers there if it’s not in use.

15. Make the bathrooms feel luxurious.  Buyers don’t want to see those old towels and toothbrushes. When they enter your bathroom, they should feel pampered. Add a new shower curtain, new towels, and fancy guest soaps. Make sure your personal toiletry items are not in sight.

16. Send your pets to a neighbor or take them outside. If that’s not possible, crate them or confine them to one room (ideally a bedroom), and let the real estate agent know where they’ll be to eliminate surprises.

17. Lock up valuables, jewelry, and money. This is common sense, but while a real estate salesperson will be on site during the showing or open house, it’s impossible to watch everyone all the time.

18. Leave the home. No offense, but it’s always best if the sellers are not at home. It’s awkward for prospective buyers to look in your closets and express their opinions of your home with you there. They will also tend to spend much more time in the home when there is nobody there.


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