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Happily Ever After: Finding the right home at the right price

Once the idea to buy a home takes root and you have a budget (usually from a lender(which is a bad idea-more on this later)) most home shoppers generally begin the process of comparison shopping. Much as we would approach buying a car or a television, we start learning about what is available, the features and amenities we want and how much we can get for our money. Essentially, finding the very best house we can find for the money we have to work with. Of course, this is a great skill and an important part of the home search process. It’s also kind of fun so plenty of us start here before even getting the budget. However, shopping for a home is vastly different than comparison shopping for a consumer product. In fact, there is the potential for a really bad outcome if you treat a home purchase like that of a consumer product. Sadly, this is what most people do: they buy the nicest home they can find in the area they like with the budget they have been told they can afford. I know, you’re wondering what’s the problem with that? OK, here goes… let’s see if I can demonstrate how something seemingly sensible is in fact, way off target. My issue with comparison shopping and finding the best home you can buy with the money you’ve been told you can afford is twofold… First, most people don’t take the time to figure out what ‘best’ means for them, their family’s and their lives. So by default, ‘best’ becomes the prettiest home in the area they like the best… and not much more over-thought than that. This is an inadequate assessment criteria for the largest purchase you will make in your lives… until your next home. That’s […]

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You Can’t Buy the Life You Dream Of

I remember years ago watching a documentary on the last months of a terminally ill Warren Zevon. I knew his music and liked it well enough, but wouldn’t have considered myself a fan. Having recently lost my own mother to a slow, painful death by cancer (and equally toxic cures) it was essentially an early ‘reality TV’ show letting you see the life of a man facing his own mortality. Aside from a powerful reminder that we are all fortunate to have been given this one and only life, he shared a quote that struck him, and me as well … “We love to buy books because we believe we are buying the time to read them.” This comment struck me in several ways. Let’s Look at What’s Important First, as a terminally ill man, his most valued resource must have been time – the months and days he had remaining. In fact, that should be true for all of us. How is it we so easily take our time for granted? That is what life is… the time we get to be here and to experience this amazing world, these amazing people and do these amazing things. What is more valuable than that? Sure, we sell some time for money, but really only to make our time and experiences better in ways that we each get to define. The second thing that struck me about this observation, was how accurate it was in my own experience. I have probably read a fraction of the books I’ve purchased over the years. I like to read, but finding (or more accurately making) the time in an otherwise pretty full life isn’t easy. In fact, I believe this insight can be extrapolated to a good many things we purchase, in search of […]

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May 2016 Elk Grove Housing is Roughly 83% of 2005 Prices

An April 2016 article by Hudson Sangree on the Sacramento Bee website  shows Sacramento Area median home prices are back to 2004 levels. According to housing research firm Corelogic Analyst Andrew LePage “We’re roughly back to where we were before the sharpest part of the run-up”. I’m not sure 2004 is particularly noteworthy as it falls as some point during the runup, but neither the beginning nor the end of a tumultuous market swing. But how far has the recovery come?  I thought I would compile a sample list of homes built and sold in 2005  (and a couple in early 2006) at the market peak and sold again in April/May of 2016 to see a sampling of how ‘same house’ sales figures would compare. Meaning, I found specific houses that sold both in 2005 and again in 2016 and compared their selling prices.  I’m not going to argue the statistical veracity of the change in value of 19 homes in Elk Grove, but it is interesting…and might have more relevance than median prices The average recovery rate was 83% with a low of 72% and a high of 99%.  This doesn’t factor in any improvements that may have been done to these properties (such as building a new pool or substantial landscaping). I suppose it’s good news that we are approaching 2005 prices.  This means that families who toughed it out for the past decade are close to having no equity.  A significant improvement over the financially ruinous position of owning an ‘underwater’ home.              

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By Bill Joyce, Broker (916) 500-2492 Bill Joyce on Google+




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