Wanna Run A Ghost Town?

Did the Pleasanton Cattle Drive inspire you to move to a home on the range?

Have $925,000 to spend? Why settle for a measly home, when you could have an entire town! Cerro Gordo, or “fat hill”, is situated on 300+ acres of patented mining claims south of the Sierra Nevada with nearly 22 structures including a hotel, church, bunkhouse, and superintendent’s house.

Source: Nolan Nitschke

The history of the town is something out of a wild west film. Built after the discovery of silver in 1865, the average crime rate was a murder a week! According to the town’s website, they became the largest producer of silver and lead in California and contributed to Los Angeles’ growth and economic development.

Because of its unique history and having been in the family for decades, what happens to the property is important to the sellers. They’ve protected it from looters, diggers, and natural disasters.  Interested buyers have pitched an amusement park and a marijuana town, but the sellers are more interested in someone preserving its story.

If you know California real estate, $925,000 is low for a house, let alone a whole town! Don’t let the old mining ghosts spook you, get to bidding on this piece of California history!

Click here for listing information

More information on the history of Cerro Gordo here

To find it on a map click here

Marketing and selling high-end Luxury Homes in the Tri Valley is what we do best, but on this real estate journey, it’s all about the people we meet on the way, connecting them to each other and the places they call HOME.

Homeowners back above water…

Homeowners rise above underwater mortgages

Amy Swinderman | Inman News | May 4, 2015 | link

Black Knight report says the number of homeowners in negative equity positions has shrunk by 1.6 million in the last year.

Although a majority of distressed homeowners are plagued by mortgages that far exceed the actual value of their homes, the number of homeowners with underwater mortgages is shrinking, according to Black Knight Financial Services’ latest Mortgage Monitor Report.

The mortgage industry technology and data analytics provider said that 77 percent of borrowers in foreclosure have underwater mortgages, and about a third of borrowers in active foreclosure have current loan-to-value ratios of 150 or more, meaning they owe 50 percent more than their homes are actually worth.

But the number of homeowners in negative equity positions has shrunk by 1.6 million in the last year, Black Knight said. In addition, negative equity distribution varies considerably depending upon geographical location and home values within a given market.

The top five states by percentage of borrowers underwater are Nevada (16.4 percent), Florida (15.1 percent), Maryland (14 percent), Illinois and New Jersey (13.7 percent). Florida and California account for 26.5 percent of the nation’s underwater population, and Florida alone makes up approximately 16 percent.

Of the 10 states with the highest levels of negative equity entering 2014, Missouri and Georgia have seen the greatest improvement, with underwater populations shrinking 47 and 43 percent respectively in those states. Only West Virginia and South Dakota saw increased negative equity over the past 12 months, rising from 7.6 to 8.3 percent and from 1.9 to 2 percent, respectively.

Overall, only about 8 percent of all borrowers are currently underwater on their mortgages, but we have seen a 30-percent reduction in the negative equity rate since this time last year, Black Knight said. Lower-value homes continue to struggle with negative equity and are nine times more likely to be underwater than homes in the top-20 percent value category.

Read more…

The dream is still alive and well…

Homeownership remains a key part of the American Dream

Homebuilder’s Association | May 2, 2015 | link

 

Are we closer to a foreclosure finale?

REO Surge Signals Foreclosure “Clean-up”

Jann Swanson | Mortgage News Daily | Apr 16 2015 | link

Foreclosure activity increased by 20 percent in March compared to February and was up 4 percent from a year earlier.  RealtyTrac, in its combined March and 1st Quarter 2015 report said it was the first annual increase in foreclosure filings, which include default notices, scheduled auctions, and completed foreclosures or bank repossessions, since September 2010 but that the increases indicated a cleanup of lingering problems rather than a new round of distress.

Despite the substantial month over month and small annual increase for the month the quarterly total was down.  Filings were 7 percent lower than in the 3rd quarter of 2014 and down 8 percent year over year to the lowest level in eight years.

RealtyTrac said a total of 122,060 properties received foreclosure filings in March and 313,487 for the quarter.  The 20 percent month-over-month increase came off of a 104-month low in filings in February.  The surge was driven by 36,152 bank repossessions or REO, a 49 increase from February and 25 percent from March 2014.   REOs for the quarter numbered 82,081, down 14 percent from the 1st quarter of 2014.  Repossessions increased 54 percent in Ohio, 39 percent in Maryland, and 34 percent in New Jersey.

Read more…

A reason to celebrate!

Pending Home Sales Highest Since June 2013

Jann Swanson | Mortgage News Daily | Apr 29 2015 | link

Momentum appears to be building toward a healthy spring market according to data released today on March pending home sales.  The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said its Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), reached 108.6 in March, a 1.1 percent increase over the previous month.  At the same time the February Index number was revised upward from 106.9 to 107.4.

March is the third consecutive month that pending sales have increased month over month and the Index is now at its highest level since June 2013 when it was 109.4.  The PHSI was up 11.1 percent from the March 2014 level of 97.7.  It has now increased year-over-year for seven consecutive months.

The PHSI is a leading indicator based on executed home purchase contracts. These contracts are generally expected to be reflected in residential sales in about two months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the encouraging pending sales numbers resulted from more buyers than usual entering this year’s competitive spring market. “Demand appears to be stronger in several parts of the country, especially in metro areas that have seen solid job gains and firmer economic growth over the past year,” he said. “While contract activity being up convincingly compared to a year ago is certainly good news, the increased number of traditional buyers who appear to be replacing investors paying in cash is even better news. It indicates this year’s activity is being driven by more long-term homeowners.”

Read more…

Looks like it’s definitely time to buy!

Like a lot of people, Mark Stevenson has had it with rent prices.

His Walnut Creek, CA apartment complex raised the rent last year, and he recently learned that his 1-bedroom unit is headed up another $351, to $1,830 a month.

“Here’s my dilemma: Renew a 12-month rental lease complete with a 24 percent mugging, or buy a condo,” Stevenson said. “I’m looking to buy now.”

That could be a good financial bet, given the findings from Zillow’s latest Home Price Expectations Survey. A panel of more than 100 experts predicted:

  • U.S. home values will rise 4.4 percent in 2015, to a median value of $187,040.
  • Median U.S. home values will exceed their pre-recession peak of $196,400 by May 2017.
  • 51 percent expect rental affordability will not improve for at least two years.

Already, renting is half as affordable as buying, something Danville, CA broker Kevin Kieffer of Keller Williams Realty hears about all the time.

“‘My landlord is getting ready to hike the rent by $200, and I’ve got to buy:’ Since 2001, I haven’t heard that more consistently than I am now,” Kieffer said.

The issue is basic economics: Demand is outstripping supply.

“Vacancy rates on rental units in the fourth quarter were down to 7 percent, the lowest in more than 20 years,” said David W. Berson, chief economist for Nationwide Insurance.

The squeeze could continue for years, said Berson, who participated in the survey.

Rents will rise as millennials strike out on their own — but not all of them will rent. “If a larger share start to move toward [buying], the rent increase will not be quite as rapid,” he said.

The situation is worse in some places than in others.

In Dallas, for example, a renter making the median household income spends 27.7 percent of it on rent. In Chicago, it’s 31.5 percent; in New York, 40.5 percent and in Los Angeles, 47.9 percent.

More than half of the survey panelists who had an opinion said the market will correct the nation’s soaring rents, requiring no government intervention.

Read more…

The weather isn’t the only thing getting sunnier this spring!

Optimism Buoys National Housing Survey Results

Jann Swanson | Mortgage News Daily | Feb 9 2015 | link

Fannie Mae said today that its monthly National Housing Survey (NHS) portrayed increasing optimism as both employment and overall economic figures improved.  More respondents reported their own financial situations were improving and attitudes toward housing also brightened.

The share of respondents who said their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago rose 4 percentage points to 29 percent, and the share expecting their personal financial situation to improve over the next year increased to 48 percent – both all-time survey highs.  At the same time the number of consumers who see this as a good time to buy a home rose 3 percentage points and those seeing it as a good time to sell rose 4 to scores of 67 and 44 respectively.  The latter number is an all-time survey high.

Read more…

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