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Welcome to CalRes! We know that the real estate environment can be challenging BUT it is our approach that sets us apart. We are trusted experts and can provide advice, solutions and results no matter the needs of our valued clients. Remember that motto is “if there is a will, there is a way?” It is so true with real estate! Whether you are buying or selling we will do everything to guide you the “right way.” Our hope is that you find our posts educational, enlightening and even inspiring! We look forward to hearing from you!

  • Get Your Credit Score in Shape Before Buying a Home

    May, 04 16 Post by: Kim Lombardi | Comments Off on Get Your Credit Score in Shape Before Buying a Home

    PA - May 2016 - Digital Marketing Campaign - Social Media Image

    How strong is your credit? Cleaning up your credit is essential before you make any major financial moves. Having a bad score can hurt your chances of being able to open a credit card, apply for a loan, purchase a car, or rent an apartment.

    It is especially important to have clean credit before you try to buy a home. With a less-than-great score, you may not get preapproved for a mortgage. If you can’t get a mortgage, you may only be able to buy a home if you can make an all-cash offer.

    Or if you do get preapproval, you might get a higher mortgage rate, which can be a huge added expense. For example, if you have a 30-year fixed rate mortgage of $100,000 and you get a 3.92% interest rate, the total cost of your mortgage will be $170,213. However, if your interest rate is 5.92%, you’ll have to spend $213,990 for the same mortgage – that’s an extra $43,777 over the life of the loan! If you had secured the lower mortgage rate, you could use that additional money to fund a four-year college degree at a public university.

    So now that you know how important it is to maintain a good credit score, how do you start cleaning up your credit? Here, we’ve collected our best tips for improving your score.

    Talk to a loan professional

    You can protect your score from more damage by getting a loan professional to check your credit score for you. A professional will be able to guide you to whether your score is in the ‘good’ range for home buying. Plus, every time that you request your own credit score, the credit companies record the inquiry, which can lower your score. Having a professional ask instead ensures that you only record one inquiry. Once you know your score, you can start taking action on cleaning up your credit.

    Change your financial habits to boost your score

    What if your score has been damaged by late payments or delinquent accounts? You can start repairing the damage quickly by taking charge of your debts. For example, your payment history makes up 35% of your score according to myFICO. If you begin to pay your bills in full before they are due, and make regular payments to owed debts, your score can improve within a few months.

    Amounts owed are 30% of your FICO score. What matters in this instance is the percentage of credit that you’re currently using. For example, if you have a $5000 limit on one credit card, and you’re carrying a balance of $4500, that means 90% of your available credit is used up by that balance. You can improve your score by reducing that balance to free up some of your available credit.

     

  • U.S. Housing Confidence: Future Uncertainty Weighs, But Key Demographic Groups Remain Confident

    Mar, 03 16 Post by: Kim Lombardi | Comments Off on U.S. Housing Confidence: Future Uncertainty Weighs, But Key Demographic Groups Remain Confident

    • The headline U.S. Housing Confidence Index dipped to 66.9 in January from 67.4 a year ago.
    • Among people 18-34 years old, 65 percent said homeownership and the American Dream go hand-in-hand, more than any other generation.
    • People-of-color also were more likely than whites to consider homeownership integral to the American Dream.

    Americans’ overall confidence in the U.S. housing market slipped at the beginning of 2016 from a year ago, according to the January 2016 Zillow Housing Confidence Index, driven lower by diminished expectations of the market’s future. But despite this uncertainty, overall aspirations for homeownership are at their highest level in two years, driven in large part by faith among younger Americans and Americans-of-color in the general value of homeownership.

    And continued optimism and confidence among these key groups will likely go a long way toward ensuring the stability of the housing market for years to come.

    The semi-annual Zillow Housing Confidence Index, sponsored by Zillow and calculated by Pulsenomics LLC, is calculated for the U.S. as a whole and 20 large metro markets nationwide. It is based on a national survey of 10,000 American renters and homeowners.[1] The ZHCI is composed of three sub-indexes: one that summarizes homeowner and renter assessments of current market conditions (HMCI); another that measures their expectations regarding future home values and affordability (HEI); and a third that gauges their aspirations and attitudes regarding homeownership (HAI).

    The headline U.S. Housing Confidence Index fell in January compared with a year ago, to 66.9 from 67.4. Among the three sub-indices, the current U.S. Housing Market Conditions Index (HMCI) nationwide rose to 69.6, from 67.3 a year ago. The U.S. Housing Expectations Index (HEI) was 67.5 in January, down from 69.9 a year ago. The U.S. Homeownership Aspirations Index (HAI) rose to 63, from 62.5 a year ago.

    Because the expectations index factors more heavily into the larger headline index,[2] its larger year-over-year decline helped offset smaller annual gains in the other two sub-indices and push the overall confidence index down.

    The survey data underlying the ZHCI reveal that millennials and people of color are most likely to associate homeownership with the American Dream. Among people 18-34 years old, 65 percent said homeownership and the American Dream go hand-in-hand, more than any other generation (64 percent of those aged 65 and older associated homeownership with the American Dream). People-of-color also were more likely than whites to consider homeownership integral to the American Dream. Of Hispanic respondents surveyed, 70 percent agreed that owning their own home is necessary to live the American Dream, followed by 64 percent of Asian respondents and 63 percent of black respondents. Less than 60 percent of white respondents agreed.

    The results come at a time when rising rents and stagnant incomes are making it tough for many Americans to buy homes. Millennials are renting longer than past generations as they put off major life decisions, but Zillow’s survey shows millennials value homeownership more than their parents and similarly to their grandparents. Additionally, millennials in particular have a rosier long-term outlook on the performance of the housing market: Those aged 18-34 said they expected home values to grow by 5 percent per year, on average, over the next ten years, compared to just 3.7 percent for all Americans.

    And while the transition from renter-to-homeowner is particularly difficult today in the face of tight credit, low inventory and fierce competition, both younger renters and Hispanic renters indicated homeownership was a primary goal that they were confident in achieving. More than half (54 percent) of Hispanic renters, for example, said that owning a home someday is a specific goal they are determined to reach, up from 43 percent two years ago. Among millennial renters in all 20 markets surveyed, 80 percent said they are confident or somewhat confident they’ll be able to afford to own a home someday, compared with 65 percent of renters overall.

    Continued confidence and optimism among millennials and Americans-of-color, in particular, will be critical in ensuring the stability of the housing market as demographics shift in coming years and these two groups grow both in cultural influence and economic clout. Sales of both existing homes and new homes have been tepid in recent months. If sales volumes are to really break out, it will very likely be on the strength of home purchases made by aging millennials that are set to overtake Gen X as the largest home buying group in America, and by growth in homeownership rates among non-white Americans.

    The tables below summarize the levels of the January 2016 Zillow Housing Confidence Index, for both the headline index and all three sub-indices; and for all residents, homeowners only and renters only. Click on the tables to enlarge.

    ZHCI_Jan2016_Table1ZHCI_Jan2016_Table2ZHCI_Jan2016_Table3ZHCI_Jan2016_Table4

     

    [1] The ZHCI summarizes more than 300,000 data points collected from questionnaires completed by 10,000 heads of household across the country as part of the semi-annual U.S. Housing Confidence Survey.

    [2]The HEI is assigned a 50 percent weight in calculating the headline confidence index; both the HAI and HMCI are assigned 25 percent weights.

  • COMING SOON: 1709 Blackbird Circle, Carlsbad, CA 92011

    Feb, 13 16 Post by: Kim Lombardi | Comments Off on COMING SOON: 1709 Blackbird Circle, Carlsbad, CA 92011

    Beautiful, Bright, Immaculately Maintained Home on Private Corner Lot in Aviara

    1709 Blackbird Circle Carlsbad Front

    Click here for the Virtual Tour ==>> Virtual Tour of 1709 Blackbird Circle, Carlsbad, CA 92011

    Gorgeous, inviting home on corner lot in Aviara’s Avocet neighborhood. This light, bright & immaculately maintained home is the largest model in Avocet. 2877 square feet, 4 Bedrooms, 3 Full Bathrooms. Private, relaxing backyard retreat complete with trickling water features and spa. Brilliant floorplan is such that the upstairs loft area is situated among the kid/teen suite on one end of the upstairs catwalk; other end features the Master Suite. Bamboo & Travertine flooring upgrades. Stainless steel appliances. This wonderful family home is walking distance to Aviara Oaks Schools. Once listed, please see the MLS supplement for extensive list of improvements. This neighborhood has very little turnover, get in while you can!

    Offered at $1,029,000.

    For more information, contact Kim Lombardi @ 760.264.5623 or klombardi@calresinc.com

  • COMING SOON: 1604 Sapphire Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92011

    Feb, 13 16 Post by: Kim Lombardi | Comments Off on COMING SOON: 1604 Sapphire Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92011

    4 Bedroom Home with Mountain Views in Gated Community

    1604 Sapphire Drive Carlsbad CA 92011 Front41604 Sapphire Drive Carlsbad CA 92011 View23456789

    Inviting home in gated community boasts a bright, open floorplan. Panoramic views of the mountains. Overlooks the canyon, great for privacy, no more nosy neighbors!  Largest model in the neighborhood, rarely available, 4 BR+Loft, which is great as a rec room or office space, or can be made into a spacious 5th bedroom. Situated across from the tot lot with playground and sandbox.  Family-friendly community offers  one pool, two hot-tubs and three parks. Great schools, convenient to the 5, beach and shopping. This is affordable North County Living at its best!  Situated in between Poinsettia Parkway, Aviara Parkway, Palomar Airport Road, and El Camino Real, convenience is yours! RV/boat parking in the community, low HOAs, no Mello-Roos! Stay tuned for more photos, or reach out for more information.

    Price:  $759,900

    Bedrooms: 4

    Bathrooms: 2.5

    Square Feet: 2570

    Contact Kim Lombardi @ 760.264.5623 or klombardi@calresinc.com for more information.

  • Top Homeowner Tax Deductions That Decrease Your Tax Burden

    Feb, 12 16 Post by: Kim Lombardi | Comments Off on Top Homeowner Tax Deductions That Decrease Your Tax Burden

    Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 2.49.14 PM

    You can’t avoid paying taxes, and we all need to pay our fair share. However, paying your fair share shouldn’t place an unjust burden on you. As a homeowner, your tax burden is doubled because you pay both income and property taxes. To decrease that burden and boost your tax savings, take advantage of these homeowner tax deductions. As a result, you can use your tax savings to go on a vacation, increase your child’s college fund, build upon your retirement fund, or complete another home improvement project.

    Home Improvement Tax Deduction

    You spend so much of your time at home, and you try to make it as comfortable a place to live as possible. If your home needs some upgrades, consider improvements that will help foot the bill for themselves.

     You can get an energy-efficient tax credit of up to $500 for installing storm doors and energy-efficient insulation and air-conditioning and heating systems. Switching out your old windows for energy-efficient ones could earn you $200. This credit expires this year on December 31st. So, this year will be your last chance to take advantage of getting tax credit for making your home more energy efficient.

    Also, installing equipment that uses renewable sources of energy makes you eligible for the Renewable Energy Efficiency Property Credit. The credit covers 30 percent of the cost of equipment and installation. This credit also expires this year on December 31st.

    Mortgage Interest and Refinancing

    If your mortgage payment makes you cringe each month, you’ll be glad to know you can deduct taxes on the following:

    * Interest towards mortgage

    * Mortgage payments for additional property

    * Rental properties

    * Refinancing and home equity lines of credit (HELOC) up to $100,000 of debt.

    If you own multiple properties, the mortgage interest on additional property is deductible as well. The cool thing is that it doesn’t have to be a house. It can be a boat or RV; as long as it has cooking, sleeping, and bathroom facilities, it counts as additional property.

    Regarding using your second home as a rental, you need to vacation at least 14 days at the property or spend more than 10 percent of the number of days you rent it out.

    Furthermore, you can claim points on your mortgage the year you paid them if the following happened:

    * The loan was to purchase or build your main home

    * Payment of points is an established business practice in your area and the points were within the usual range

    Property Taxes

     Now, this is the big one. Property taxes you pay each year are tax deductible. The amount of property taxes you paid for the year shows up on your lender’s annual statement. You must deduct them as an itemized expense on your Schedule A tax form.

    First-time homebuyers, look at your settlement sheet to see additional tax payment data. You may deduct the portion of property taxes you paid during the first year of your homeownership.

    Protesting Your Assessment to Lower Your Property Taxes

    Although you must pay property taxes, you can make sure that you pay a reasonable amount based on the true value of your home and land. Many homes get overvalued because assessors err in valuing a home and homeowners don’t pay attention to these mistakes. Consequently, homeowners unwittingly pay more than they should in property taxes.

    However, if you’ve owned your home for more than a year, you can potentially lower your property tax burden by showing that your home has been overvalued, meaning that your tax assessment claims your property is worth more than it is.

    Even if the number on the tax assessment seems close, you should still consider protesting your property tax. Typical savings from a successful tax protest is over 15%!

    According to SmartAsset, the national median property tax paid is roughly $2,839.00. That’s about 1.192 percent of a home valued at $238,200.00.

    If you’re able to reduce your assessed value by 15 percent to $202,470.00 and consequently save 15 percent on your tax bill, your new tax bill will be about 2,413.00. That’s a savings of $426.00!

    To get started protesting your property tax, read your assessment letter. Your assessment letter will list data about your property and the assessed value of your house and land. Make sure your assessment letter has the correct information about your property.

    Understanding that assessors can make mistakes assessing your home value will help you with your appeal. There are three key mistakes assessor make when assessing property. These mistakes include:

    1. Outdated Historic Sales Data: Sometimes assessors will use sales data from previous years. Because the real estate market is fluid, this data changes quickly, as a result; this data can over value your home.
    2. Mass Appraisal Methods: Also, when assessors use mass appraisal methods, they do not take into account all the market adjustments that occurred over time. Consequently, there sales data can’t always produce useful comparable properties to set future sales.
    3. Living Area: Assessors notoriously make mistakes about the living area of your house. This is especially true if you live in a 1.5 or 2 story home. Check any previous appraisals to ensure correct measurements and description of our home. Does the assessment letter show the right number of bathrooms and bedrooms? Does it report the correct size of your lot? .5 acres differs greatly than 5.0 acres.

    After reading your assessment letter, consult a Realtor. We can find three to five approximate values of comparable properties similar to yours, and these comps can then be used to support your claim that your home is overvalued. This is especially useful if the assessor used poor historical sales data.

    You’ll have 30 days to file an appeal of your assessment, so you’ll want to get the comps as soon as your assessment arrives. You can speak with an assessor on the phone or request a formal review.

    You’ll then need to fill out a form and follow specific instructions regarding your supporting evidence. Typically, it’s not necessary for you to appear at the review. The review can take one to three months to complete, and you’ll receive a decision in writing.

    The majority of assessment appeals are successful. However, if at first you don’t succeed, appeal. You’ll need to pay a small filing fee for an independent appeals board to hear your second appeal. This process could take up to a year to complete, so you’ll need to decide whether it’s truly worth it.

    As a homeowner, you have plenty of options available to decrease your tax burden. The benefit is that you can use your tax savings for major life events such as weddings, vacations, and home improvements.

    To find out more about your tax saving options as a homeowner, check out tax information for homeowners. You can also contact me directly and I’ll gladly lead you in the right direction towards saving you money on your taxes.

  • AVERAGE US RATE ON 30-YEAR MORTGAGE FALLS TO 3.79 PERCENT

    Jan, 28 16 Post by: Kim Lombardi | Comments Off on AVERAGE US RATE ON 30-YEAR MORTGAGE FALLS TO 3.79 PERCENT
    Jan. 28, 2016 11:40 AM ET
    AP, Associated Press

    (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week for a fourth straight week amid persisting turmoil in stock markets and global economic worries.

    Gerry Broome

    FILE – In this Tuesday, June 9, 2015, file photo, a sold sign is displayed in the yard of a newly constructed home in the Briar Chapel community in Chapel Hill, N.C. On Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, Freddie Mac reports on the week’s average U.S. mortgage rates. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)
    APImages.com More photos »

    Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 3.79 percent from 3.81 percent a week earlier. That means it stays below the symbolically significant 4 percent level. The rate has increased from its 3.66 percent average a year ago but remains well below its historic average of 6 percent.

    The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages declined to 3.07 percent from 3.10 percent.

    The Federal Reserve sounded a note of concern Wednesday about how global pressures could affect a slowing U.S. economy. Fed policymakers kept a key interest rate unchanged following their meeting this week.

    The continuing volatility in global stock markets has pushed up prices of U.S. government bonds as investors seek safety. That has depressed the yields on the bonds, which mortgage rates track.

    The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond stood at 2 percent Wednesday, after dropping to 1.98 percent a week earlier — its lowest level since October. The yield was stable at 2 percent Thursday morning.

    The benchmark yield has fallen sharply since the start of the year amid the market turbulence. At the end of 2015, it was 2.30 percent.

    The sustained decline in mortgage rates in recent weeks has spurred prospective homebuyers. Applications for mortgages increased 8.8 percent in the week ended Jan. 22 from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

    The number of people signing contracts to purchase homes managed to inch up last month, thanks to unseasonably warm weather in the Northeast, data issued Thursday by the National Association of Realtors showed. The tiny bump suggests that home sales may plateau this year after a solid increase in 2015.

    To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country at the beginning of each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

    The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was unchanged from last week at 0.6 point. The fee for a 15-year loan remained at 0.5 point.

    The average rate on five-year adjustable-rate mortgages slipped to 2.90 percent from 2.91 percent; the fee stayed at 0.5 point.

    Click the link below for the full story from the Associated Press

    http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2016/Average-long-term-US-mortgage-rates-fell-this-week-for-a-fourth-straight-week-amid-persisting-turmoil-in-stock-markets-and-global-economic-worries/id-ce15c96c93314fa6810a7ace355e2df4

  • Tips to Sell Your Home from an Insider, What Realtor ‘Red Flags’ to look for

    Jan, 21 16 Post by: Kim Lombardi | Comments Off on Tips to Sell Your Home from an Insider, What Realtor ‘Red Flags’ to look for

    TODAY is back with their Consumer Confidential series with some great advice on how to buy or sell your home from Realtor Mike Aubrey, including what realtor “red flags” to look for, and what those “flowery phrases” in home listings really mean.

    Buying and Selling Your Home

    1. Choosing an Agent- “Realtor Red Flags”

    Don’t just hire the agent recommending the highest price

    –          Don’t hire the Agent telling you exactly what you want to hear instead of what you have to hear or an Agent that’s giving you the highest price.  Say you interview 3 agents and one gives you a higher price, it’s likely to good to be true.

    –           Don’t hire an agent who says: If I can’t sell it, I’ll buy it… read the fine print.  They’re probably selling at such a low price you’ll be in really bad shape.

    –          Don’t hire an agent ready to give away their commission.  What makes you think they won’t give away the price of your house?

    1. “Go Offline” to find a home in your area

    The home you want may not be listed online yet

    –          Real-estate portals such as Zillow and Trulia are wonderful but we are in a low inventory condition. Everyone knows that real estate is local but the Agent is as well.  If you have an agent who lives and works in an area where you are trying to buy a house, chances are good that they’ll know about a house being on the market before it’s made available on the market.  If you want to buy in a certain area, online portals will never take the place of an agent.

    Real-estate is personal!

    1. Realtor Lingo “Real Estate Real Talk”

    Agents often “Couch” the way they say things 

    –          “Professionally Cleaned”

    Translation: Real Estate Agents are Sales people and that’s a really nice way of telling you it’s an armpit and it’s not going to sell in this state.

    –          “The Seller is Motivated”

    Translation: This is a big message.  If you want a good deal this is one you want to do.

    –          “Top Producer” (Agent)

    Translation: That’s might be someone trying to brand themselves.  What they’re really saying is “I don’t have enough to say about myself so I’m just going to say I’m a top producer.”

    Click the link below to find out more about Mike Aubrey

    http://mikeaubrey.com/about-mike/

    Click the link below to view the video from Today.com

    http://www.today.com/video/tips-to-sell-your-home-from-an-insider-what-realtor-red-flags-to-look-for-605884483654

  • What will aging boomers and millennials mean for economic growth?

    Jan, 12 16 Post by: Kim Lombardi | Comments Off on What will aging boomers and millennials mean for economic growth?

    The median age of the 75 million American baby boomers was 60 in 2015. The median age of millennials, who also number an estimated 75 million, was about 25. Given their sheer numbers, their effect on the economy inevitably will be huge.

    What worries some Wall Street pros is that both generations will increasingly be squeezed financially, leaving them unable or unwilling to spend — further weighing on economic growth.

    One force that has been pushing stock prices up and bond yields down is that many boomers have been playing savings catch-up, said Rob Arnott, head of money manager Research Affiliates in Newport Beach. “They’re in a panic about not having saved enough money for retirement,” he said.

    Now, if predictions of poor returns on U.S. stocks and bonds in the next few years come true, boomers who have been spending freely may be forced to cut back for fear of outliving their nest egg.

    Meanwhile, millennials face their own squeeze. Millions are burdened by student loans and high rents that eat up a huge share of income. And even if their pay rises at a faster pace, many millennials may be reluctant to spend — or take a chance on a new job — because of the financial woes they saw parents or friends endure after the 2008 crash, said Alec Levenson, a labor economist at USC’s Marshall School.

    Risk aversion among the young “may be one of the biggest overhangs from the Great Recession,” he said.

    But many economists and money managers caution against seeing demographic trends as inherently negative for growth. As companies including Airbnb and Uber have shown, it’s impossible to know in advance how many business ideas will spring up to disrupt or even replace existing industries — creating new opportunities in the process.

    Dan Wiener, editor of the Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors newsletter, said the biggest economic and financial surprise five years from now almost certainly will be “how poorly people’s predictions fared.”

    Click the link below for the full story

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-investing-quarterly-sidebar-20160110-story.html

  • 3 Things You Never Knew About Flood Insurance

    Dec, 22 15 Post by: Kim Lombardi | Comments Off on 3 Things You Never Knew About Flood Insurance

    house floods

    How much do you know about your flood risk? It’s not as cut-and-dry as one might think – and it doesn’t take a Category 4 hurricane to see the effects of heavy rainfall. Many of us tend to think that living outside of a coastal area will keep us safe from flooding caused by hurricanes and tropical storms, but don’t let out of sight mean out of mind.

    In fact, every single state in the United States has experienced floods in the past year. Anywhere it can rain, it can flood — so protecting what matters with a flood insurance policy may be the most important decision you make this year. Whether you live on the coast or hundreds of miles inland, floods are still a significant risk to your property.

    If you’re looking to potentially save thousands of dollars, we suggest that you read and share some of these tidbits on flooding and flood insurance that will help you and your family in the long term.

    1. Flooding is the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster.

    In 2014, the average flood insurance policy cost about $700 a year, while the average National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood claim was nearly $30,000. In addition, over 20 percent of all NFIP flood insurance claims come from areas outside of mapped high-risk flood zones.

    2. Most homeowners insurance doesn’t cover damage due to flooding.

    Review your insurance policies to know what is and — more importantly — what is not. Contact your insurance agent to review your coverage and to purchase a flood insurance policyy. If you don’t have an insurance agent that offers flood insurance, use the Agent Locator Tool through FloodSmart.gov, the website for the national marketing and education campaign of the NFIP.

    3. Flood insurance policies typically take 30 days to go into effect.

    Buy flood insurance now, before it’s too late. Having a plan in place doesn’t make you overly cautious; it makes you prepared to protect what matters. Don’t take risks. Be FloodSmart. Learn more at FloodSmart.gov.

    Note: This is a guest post; the views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Redfin.

    by | | 0 Comments

    See the link below for more information:

    https://www.redfin.com/blog/2015/12/3-things-you-never-knew-about-flood-insurance.html#.VnmrhctIiUk

  • Homes with good schools unaffordable on average wages, new study finds

    Nov, 24 15 Post by: Kim Lombardi | Comments Off on Homes with good schools unaffordable on average wages, new study finds

     

    Chicago rare metro with zip codes both hard and easy to afford

    Bloomberg

    In some places, like Atherton, Calif., it’s basically impossible to buy a home in a district with a good school on an average wage.

    Nearly two-thirds of U.S. zip codes with good schools are unaffordable to homebuyers making an average wage, according to a study released Thursday.

    The real estate data firm RealtyTrac compared data on school test scores and affordability of homes in the same zip codes. It identified 1,823 zip codes that had at least one good school, defined as having 2014 test scores at least one-third higher than their state average. In 1,192 of them, RealtyTrac found average wage earners would have to spend more than one-third of their income to buy a median-priced home there.

    Zip codes with at least one good school had median home prices nearly double the price in areas with none, RealtyTrac said.

    The list of most unaffordable metro areas with a good school was not surprising: New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The most affordable good-school list included Detroit, Phoenix, Miami and Charlotte. Chicago appeared on both lists, with 58 zip codes in the most unaffordable category and 172 zip codes for most affordable.

    Home prices rose the same amount — 7% — from 2014 to 2015 in both categories, RealtyTrac said. But the similarities end there.

    Buying a home in the least-affordable good-school zips is daunting. In Atherton, Calif., a median-priced home served by Encinal Elementary would cost $6 million, 412% of an average salary. Buyers would have to pony up 202% of an average salary, or $1.18 million, for a home in the Brooklyn zip code where P.S. 29 is located.

    But in some of the most affordable good-school zip codes, average wage earners would pay strikingly low amounts. The zip code including Whittier Elementary in Harvey, Ill., would cost homebuyers just 2% of wages for a $21,000 median-priced home. A median-priced home near Brandeis Elementary, in Louisville, Ky., would cost 3%.

    Realtors told RealtyTrac that the hunt for a home with good schools is tougher than ever now, with such tight inventory across the country.

    Lydia Creasy, a Denver-based broker with RE/MAX Alliance said buyers in desirable markets have to be especially pro-active and ready to move quickly when new homes hit the market. “In some cases buyers in these neighborhoods have either had to settle for a less-updated or smaller home or increase their price range.”

    By: AndreaRiquier

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/homes-with-good-schools-unaffordable-on-average-wages-new-study-finds-2015-11-19