Investing / Real Estate Investor Real Estate Tips

To Renovate or Not to Renovate Before You Sell

To Renovate or Not to Renovate Before You Sell

When deciding to sell here in California, some homeowners feel they need to get their houses ready to make it more appealing to Home Buyers.  Before deciding on this choice, here’s a few things to keep in mind:

  • There is a shortage of homes right now.  In a “normal” market there would be a 6-month supply of homes available for sale.  Presently, there is only a 1.9-month supply.  As a result, competition is stiff and Sellers are receiving multiple offers.  Many Buyers are more willing to take on home improvements themselves to get the home they’re after.  In this market, it may be wise to let future Homeowners remodel the bathroom or the kitchen to make design decisions that are best for their specific taste and lifestyle.
  • Focus on getting a good return on your investment.  Make sure that any bigger project you are planning to tackle will give you the return on your investment you are seeking, and that those projects are worth the cost.  Consulting a real estate professional before you renovate is a good idea especially in this busy real estate market.  You may find that putting you house up for sale as-is, will still sell quickly and result in a good return.

All over the country, but especially in California, we are in a strong seller’s market.  So many of the popular California counties, including Sonoma, Marin, Monterey, Santa Clara, San Mateo and even Southern CA counties, are seeing more and more homes slowing coming onto the market – and selling fast!

So, maybe the best course of action is not a reasonable renovation project but instead putting it on the market for the many Home Buyers waiting to buy!  But, if you do need fast funding to get a renovation job done quickly in order to cash in on this market, give Sun Pacific Mortgage a call at 707-523-2099.  We are a private mortgage funding company who can often get your funding done in as little as a week.

Investing / Real Estate Investor

Listing Prices Have Become a New Starting Point

Listing Prices Have Become a New Starting Point

Gone are the days, at least for the immediate present, when the listing price was the point where the buyer started from and worked downward in the negotiating process.  Today, in the Peninsula and Northern Bay Areas, with the record-low supply of homes for sale coupled with very strong buyer demand, the list price is the beginning of a bidding war on many homes.

According to the Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report just released by the National Association of Realtors, 45% of buyers paid full price or more.

With this market you just can’t shop for a home with the old-school mentality of refusing to pay full price or more for a house.  When navigating the housing markets in areas of San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Costa and the others, think of the list price as the minimum the seller will accept in many cases.  The list price has become the floor of the negotiation, not the ceiling.  Know that if you really love a home in the Bay Area, be prepared to offer above asking, while still staying within your budget.  That’s a tall order in today’s real estate market!

As in all tricky financial situations, consult a professional and listen to their advice.  And, if you are looking to make a stronger offer with shorter closing time or virtually all-cash offer, consider Private Money loans for your mortgage!  Call Sun Pacific Mortgage at 707-523-2099 to discuss your situation and get experienced advice and support from a reputable family-owned and operated lending company, not just for Solano, Santa Clara and other Northern CA areas but for all California real estate.

Investing / Real Estate Investor

What Does Proposition 19 Mean for California Sellers?

What Does Proposition 19 Mean for California Sellers

Passing Prop 19 in November 2020 will have significant consequences for homeowners selling in one county and buying in another.  We witnessed much of this movement in the past few months as families in the bigger cities – such as San Francisco – wanting more space and bigger homes, moved to the suburbs.  As a result of Prop.19 there will be consequences going forward that may benefit sellers who moved between counties rather than within a county.

Up until February 15, 2021 a seller could only transfer their tax base within certain counties.  With this new law enactment, eligible homeowners may now transfer their tax basis anywhere within the State.

Additionally, Prop.19 increases the number of times that certain people may transfer their tax assessments.  If a person is 55 years or older, has severe disabilities, or lost a home in a natural disaster (such as a fire), the person may transfer their tax assessment up to three times (formerly only once.).

Unfortunately, many people will experience a negative impact from Prop.19 since it considerably limits the parent-child exclusion for purposes of real estate tax assessments.  Formerly, parents could transfer a primary residence to children without any new fair-market reassessment regardless of how they might use the property, thus allowing them to enjoy the same property tax basis as their parents.

In the past, if a child chooses to keep the home and to use as a primary residence, a $1 million of reassessed value will be excluded from the new property tax basis.  If, however, the child decides to keep it as a rental property or anything other than the primary residence, there is no $1 million exclusion, and the child will face a significant increase in property taxes.

It would seem that this Proposition will have as much of an impact on California real estate as Prop.13.

Investing / Real Estate Investor

Where Are the “Spillover Markets” in California?

Where Are the Spillover Markets in California

It is clear going into 2021 that the last year reshaped house-hunting patterns while driving a whole lot of buying activity.  The notable take-away when examining the areas of greater activity is that much of the action is taking place in locations close to larger metro regions, but with lower prices.  These have been dubbed, “Spillover Markets”, and have changed the looks of the status-quo.

According to realtor.com, several cities in California have made the “hot list” of smaller markets recording remarkable growth this past year:

METRO           MEDIAN DAYS ON MARKET      MEDIAN LISTING PRICE

Stockton                                 37                                                              $480,000

Vallejo                                     27                                                              $525,000

Sacramento                            36                                                              $599,000

Yuba City                                 53                                                              $445,000

Modesto                                  43                                                              $459,000

Fresno                                      38                                                              $365,000

 

This trend has created a dearth of homes for sale because of the buyers flooding in from the Bay Area armed with extra cash.  One expert estimated that at least 60% of the buyers are out-of-towners.  Not surprising when you look at the median listing prices above and compare them with San Francisco’s of around $1million.

If you need to move fast on your purchase in one of these “spillover markets” or anywhere else in California, give Sun Pacific Mortgage a call at 707-523-2099 to see how we can get you out of your metro home and into a quieter more peaceful home in the suburbs.  Our private money loan programs can be quite beneficial to making this happen.

Investing / Real Estate Investor Real Estate Tips

Tax Benefits of Home Ownership

 

tax benefits of homeownership

What are the tax benefits of owning a home?  Plenty of California homeowners are asking themselves this question right about now as they prepare to file their taxes.  Let’s look at some of them:

  • Mortgage interest:  This deduction is itemized, so for this to work in your favor, all your itemized deductions need to be greater than the new standard deduction, which the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act nearly doubled ($12,400 for individuals and $24, 800 for married).  There are additional deductions for those aged 65 and older and head of household.  If your mortgage went into effect before Dec.15, 2017 you can deduct interest on loans up to $1milliion.  If acquired after this date, you can only deduct the interest on the first $750,000.
  • Property Tax:  This deduction is capped at $10,000 for those filing jointly, no matter how high the taxes are.  Remember that for some your property taxes may be included in your monthly mortgage payment.
  • Private mortgage insurance:  At the moment, this tax is deductible, but Congress needs to approve an extension for 2021.
  • Energy efficient upgrades:  Credits for solar electric and solar water-heating equipment are available through Dec.31, 2021.  The SECURE Act also retroactively reinstated a $500 deduction for certain qualified energy-efficient upgrades such as exterior windows, doors, and insulation.  This is a credit, so no worrying about itemizing.  However, the percentage of the credit depends on the expenditure.
  • A home office:  Unfortunately, if you are a W-2 employee, you’re not eligible for the home office deduction under the CARES Act even if you spent most of 2020 in your home office.
  • Home improvements to age in place:  These improvements need to exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.  You will need a letter from our doctor to prove these changes were medically necessary.
  • Interest on a home equity line of credit:  You can deduct only up to the $750,000 cap, and this is for the amount you pay in interest on your equity line and mortgage combined.

The real benefit of homeownership here in California is in the wealth accrual v, but these tax benefits add up to savings that contribute to your overall wealth total.

If you are looking for some tax benefits and wealth accrual in your future, but do not qualify for a conventional loan, call Sun Pacific Mortgage at 523-2099 to discuss the possibility of private funding.  We have a 33-year history of helping thousands of folks just like you achieve their dream of homeownership.

Note: For exact deductions for 2021 you want to consult with your licensed CPA or tax representative.

Investing / Real Estate Investor

Where Are All the Houses for Sale?

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In today’s market it is harder than ever to find a home to buy.  Even before the health crisis there was a shortage of homes on the market, but when the stay-at-home order was imposed, many prospective sellers decided to wait which resulted in making a bad situation even worse.  Experts agree that this is the biggest challenge facing an otherwise hot market.  Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com explains it this way:

“With buyers active in the market and seller participation lagging, homes are selling quickly and the total number available for sale at any point in time continues to drop lower.  In January as a whole, the number of for sale homes dropped below 600,000 [total US].”

While this may be the “state of the union”, it is only amplified in California.  In fact, many homes are simply selling faster than they’re being counted as current inventory.  It is somewhat reminiscent of last spring when toilet paper was flying off the shelves faster than it could be restocked.

Hale goes on to say:

“Time on the market was 10 days faster than last year meaning that buyers still have to make decisions quickly in order to be successful.”

While some California home sellers will feel comfortable listing their homes in the first half of 2021, others may want to wait until the vaccine is more widely distributed.  With this mindset, if you want your home to shine, you may want to get it on the market earlier rather than later in the year.

Sellers want to sell as quickly as possible, for the best price, and with little to no hassle.  If this describes your hoped-for selling experience, today’s market is the right time.  When demand is high, and inventory is low, you have the optimal climate for a successful sale.

If you are needing a fast bridge loan to make your real estate dream a reality anywhere in California, consider calling Sun Pacific Mortgage at 707-523-2099.  We offer a program that solves the problem and can be solved in record time, sometimes in less than 5 days!  This could make the difference between competing in today’s market or sitting on the sidelines.

Investing / Real Estate Investor

Keeping All Your Home Buyers Happy

happy family small

While there is no better feeling as a California Realtor than helping a Home buyer find their perfect home, there is also no worse felling than to discover that they are not qualified for the mortgage needed to purchase their dream – after finding it.   That’s where a California Hard Money lender like Sun Pacific Mortgage can rescue your deal from a disastrous ending.

Having been in the private lending business for 33+ years, we have had the privilege of saving many a doomed transaction, sometimes right at the last moment!  If you have ever had one of your contracts run into a snag just before closing, you know how desperate this situation becomes.  Unfortunately, it is not that uncommon. Especially in ever popular Northern California counties such as Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Sonoma County and Marin.

Another heart stopper as an agent today, is the deal that needs a super-fast close to make the offer more appealing in a multi-offer situation, and the lender is inundated with more business than they can handle.  Sun Pacific Mortgage has been known to save a sinking real estate transaction by getting the job done in as little as 2 days!

As a family-owned and operated business with hundreds of available private investors partnering with us, we can take care of business without all the time-consuming steps necessary for conventional lenders.  This has proven to be especially helpful since the new pandemic regulations that went into effect last March.

If you are not familiar with what a hard money lender can do for your business, give us a call at 707-523-2099 or consult our website at www.sunpacmortgage.com.  I think you will find that a short-term solution to securing a mortgage with a little higher interest rate is a better option than abandoning the deal all together.  Your Home Buyer will thank you for turning them on to this life raft in the ever-limiting world of lending.

Investing / Real Estate Investor

Why Cash-Out Refinances?

Why Cash Out Refinances

A recent report in Quarterly Refinance Statistics, which covered refinances through 2020, stated that the dollar amount of cash-out refinances was greater in 2020 than in recent years.

In another article published by Freddie Mac a report stated the following:

“Americans treated their homes like ATMs last year, withdrawing $157.7billion amid a cash-out refinancing spree not seen since before the 2008 financial crisis.”

This information should not raise horrible memories of the housing crash we experienced in 2008, though.  In this article the facts behind the 2020 refinancing phenomenon are vastly different from those of 2008 as listed below:

  1.  Americans are sitting on much more home equity today.  In 2006 the tappable equity (amount of equity available for homeowners to use and still have 20% equity left in their home) topped out at $4.6 trillion.  Today that number is $7.3 trillion.  This is the largest number of tappable equity ever recorded and includes an 18% increase since the end of 2019.
  2. Homeowners cashed-out a much smaller amount this time.  In 2006, Americans cashed out a total of $321 billion, equaling 7% of the total tappable equity in the country.  In 2020 the $153 billion that was cashed out represented only 2% of all tappable equity.
  3. Fewer homeowners tapped their equity in 2020 than in 2006.  Freddie Mac reports that 89% of refinances in 2006 were cash-out.  In 2020 that number was only 33%, leaving tappable equity in a better position.

Today’s cash-out refinance situation in no way resembles the situation of 2006 which preceded the housing crash.  Recently, the reasons for cash-out refinancing seen by our family company here at Sun Pacific Mortgage, have ranged from investing in rental properties, consolidating debt to improve one’s credit score, getting financing for business capital, and home improvements to name a few.

If you have substantial equity in your home, owner-occupied or investment property, give us a call at 707-523-2099 to discuss the wide range of programs available for short-term private financing.  Make your money work for you with a short term private money loan from us.

Investing / Real Estate Investor

Sonoma County Real Estate Snapshot In March

Q4 2019 Sonoma and Napa Counties Real Estate Reports

Living in Sonoma County has proven to be more difficult over the last year due to the restrictions imposed, however, that has not stopped or slowed down the continued good health in the real estate market here!

The following data regarding single-family residences obtained from the county’s MLS will shine a light on just how “healthy” the market has managed to remain through all the other obstacles it faced:

  • Average sold price/square foot: $504 (+18% Year To Year)
  • Median price: $740,000
  • Average price:  $945,000

Individually, towns within Sonoma County have had some record-breaking numbers to mention:

  • Town of Sonoma:  $773psf (+55% YTY)
  • Sonoma coast: $836psf (+38% YTY)
  • Russian River area: $458psf (+31% YTY)
  • Petaluma West Side: $595psf (+29% YTY)
  • Northwest Santa Rosa: $441psf (+23% YTY)
  • Southwest Santa Rosa: $451psf (+23% YTY)
  • Cloverdale: $372psf (+22% YTY)
  • Southeast Santa Rosa: $423psf (+11%YTY)
  • Petaluma Eastside:  $442psf (+11%YTY)
  • Cotati/Rohnert Park: $390psf (+8%YTY)
  • Healdsburg: $757psf (+7%YTY)
  • Northeast Santa Rosa: $447psf (+6%YTY)
  • Sebastopol: $520psf (+4%YTY)
  • Oakmont: $377psf (-1%YTY)
  • Windsor: $331psf (-14%YTY)

It was certainly hard to predict last year at this time that the housing market would look like this today!  What will tomorrow bring to the market?  Stay tuned!

If you are looking to cash in on this hot market, but cannot qualify for a conventional loan, give Sun Pacific Mortgage a call at 707-523-2099 and find a program that may get you into your new home through private funding.  We offer financing for owner-occupied residences as well as non-owner occupied for over 3 decades now.

Investing / Real Estate Investor

The California Housing Market: Trends and Forecast 2021

The California Housing Market Trends and Forecast 2021

There is little doubt that the California housing market forecast is projected to be positive.  CAR conducted a survey and found the following opinions generally held by most of the experts:

  • Buyers, sellers, and agents agreed that home prices will likely remain on their upward trend in the short term.
  • 60% of agents believe that prices will rise in the coming weeks.
  • 46% think that sales and listings will grow in the coming weeks.
  • An average of 675 new listings per day was reported in the week of January 24-30, a growth of 4.1%
  • Agents don’t see huge changes ahead in the coming months.
  • Zillow predicts that home prices will rise by 10.6% in the next 12 months.
  • For repeat buyers there is an increasing desire for a larger second home.
  • 35% of buyers are opting for a property with more rooms.
  • 37% of buyers are opting to live in a suburb rather than a city.
  • 26% of buyers are opting to live in rural areas rather than cities or suburbs.

As of January 31, the California real estate statistics read as follows:

  • Median price rose 27% YTY, the largest gain in nearly 7 years
  • Median time on the market:  12 days
  • Active listings dropped sharply from last year down 53.4%
  • January saw the highest sales level since 2009 at 484,730 units (up 22.5%)
  • All major regions’ median prices continued to increase from last year by double digits.

Every indicator points to a robust real estate market for California into the rest of 2021.  So if you’ve considered moving up, moving down, moving out of town, now is the time to sell!  Marketing is hot and there are Buyers out there who want to buy your home.

Best, Forest – The Guy in the White Hat

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