Children and their Grandparents

Saw this article the other day and thought it was worth sharing.  Talk to your grand kids if you have them!

Children want grandparent stories.  Most children enjoy hearing their grandparents tell stories.  Here are some of the tales that are certain to pique the grand kids’ interest:

Describe how their grandparents met.  Describe the day their parents were born and how you felt. Describe the day they were born and your feelings about being a grandparent.  Talk about your first job and what you learned from it.  And be sure and tell them of your proudest achievements.  They do want to hear!

Grandfather and grandchild walking in nature path

Okay, on to real estate.  Inventory in Kingsburg went up a tick and sales dropped by one half.  We currently have 24 homes for sale within the city limits and we had 8 sales in the month of July. Price per square foot (PSF) held pretty steady for the sold properties, coming in at $150.  It looks like the big spring/summer push is winding down.  It seems like once school starts, the market slows way down and tends to stay that way through the fall and winter months.  Last winter was an anomaly in that February and March were real busy months. It will be interesting to see what this winter holds.  Interest rates are still very low, inventory is still way down in the low 20’s and values have been creeping up for the past 18 months.  All good indicators of a strong real estate market.

Remember that we can help you with all your real estate needs, whether it’s buying, selling or renting properties and if you are looking for that perfect loan.

As always, thank you for reading this blog about Kingsburg real estate.  The time you take to read it is appreciated.  And please feel free to comment, as we do love to hear from you.

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Foreclosures.  Another red flag??

Every Monday, I access the data of foreclosure property in Kingsburg for several clients and have been doing so since 2011. Over the past couple years I have noticed a significant reduction in our local numbers.  The report was 4 pages during that time and now it is down to only 1. For example; July 11, 2016 indicated a total of 21 properties is various stages of the foreclosure process, from pre-foreclosure, auction to properties going back to the bank for lack of meeting minimum bids at auction. In July or 2012, there were 61 properties.  So it is very safe to say that this area of the real estate market has diminished greatly, which is a very good thing as it means people are no longer losing their homes at the rate in 2012.  However, with all that said, RealTrac data shows a record share of foreclosures – 31% – are being snapped up by “mom & pop” investors with little or no experience (gotta love HGTV).  When you see a high percentage of properties going to third-party investors, that could be a sign of over-inflating the market.  And this was a red flag prior to our market crash in 2006 and could be considered an indication of a down turning market today.  But …… I have yet to see any indication to that effect here in Kingsburg.  Stay tuned for future developments.

And speaking of the real estate market in Kingsburg, in June 16 homes sold and closed escrow, which is way up from April and May.  Inventory is still low with only 22 homes for sale within the city limits.  The Price per Square Foot (PSF) for Active listings is at $160 and for actual Sold properties it is $149.  Expectations versus reality!

We have a two more weeks of Concerts in the Park, July 21st and 28th.  The last one they do each year is awesome with the live cannons. It seems that a nice breeze comes up each evening and makes for a great way to spend a very pleasant evening.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.  If you have any questions, please feel free to send us your comments.  We welcome your response.

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 Summer Fun and Sun

The summer months are here and with them, lots of fun & sun.  Thought I would start this month’s blog with a rundown of the Kingsburg upcoming events.

This coming Monday evening, June 20th,  The Big Big Bank from Sweden’s Celebration Tour will be performing at the Memorial Park at 7 pm.  This concert is FREE and is presented by Concordia Lutheran Church.

June 23rd marks the beginning of the Summer Bank Concerts Under the Stars in Memorial Park and will run every Thursday night through July 28th.  Food venders open at 5 pm and the concerts start at 8 pm.  June 30th will be sponsored by New Era Financial & Hal Collin, our sister mortgage company right here in Kingsburg.  We will be handing out FREE “Pride in American” flag clings.  So please join us for this awesome musical tradition since 1887.  A true slice of Americana.

Sunday, July 3rd, will be our Annual Independence Day celebration with the gates opening at 6 pm and the show starting at 9 pm. Look for the Kiwanis booth and buy an ice cream or root beer float.  With your entry ticket, you will receive a FREE slice of watermelon provided by Adam Castaneda’s awesome family.  Another grand slice of Americana.

And speaking of New Era Financial, see the photo below from the Dala Horse Trot in May.  This group of young people drove all the way from Madera to run in the race. It was organized by none other than Yesi Rodriguez, a treasured loan processor from our Fresno office for over 18 years.  Way to go Yesi!

Yesi at Dala Horse Trot

On to the real estate market in Kingsburg. In May 10 homes sold and closed escrow, which is up from the 6 in April.  What is really telling is our inventory of Active listings.  We are only showing 16 homes for sale.  Wow.  I cannot remember a time when there was so few homes on the market.  Our “days on the market” is only lasting an average of 22 days, which means that it is only taking about 3 weeks from Active to Pending. The feds are still holding mortgage rates down, which is a good thing.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.  If you have any questions, please feel free to send us your comments.  We welcome your response.

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The Middle-Class Squeeze

The American middle class is losing ground due to the widening gaps in wealth. But a home is often the single most important asset of lower and middle-income families, and homeownership is a tool for wealth creation. The broad class of consumers in the U.S. is undergoing a rapid transition as economic insecurity lingers and consumers redefine how to live within their means. As the attached infographic shows, 61% of American adults lived in middle-income households in 1971. Today that number is 50%.
MiddleClassSqueeze
Our real estate market here in Kingsburg would fit mostly in the middle-class bracket. Locally we really haven’t seen much of a decline in either wages or consumers struggling to live within their means. Another good reason to live in Kingsburg.
Our market dropped somewhat in the month of April. We had 24 Active listings (which is still very low inventory) and had 6 sold properties. In March we had 28 Active and 16 Sold. The average price per square foot in April ticked down to $138 compared to $151 in March. Normally, the market this time of year is pretty hot, but for some reason, all sales are down. I knew in February looking at the upcoming escrow closings that March would be a banner month.
Upcoming events:
Kingsburg Farmer’s Market: May 19th through August 25th on Thursday. 5-8pm, Memorial Park
Kingsburg Swedish Festival: Friday and Saturday, May 22nd at 5:30pm, Friday, Smorgasbord and Heritage Program
9am to 6pm, Saturday, Festival with Parade, Vendors, and Heritage Activities
Concerts Under the Stars: June 23rd & 30th; July 7th, 14th, 21st, & 28th, Memorial Park (Vendor area opens at 5pm) (Concert starts at 8pm).  Please join us on June 30th as our sister company, New Era Financial will be sponsoring that night.  We have awesome “Pride in America” cling flags as a give-a-way.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. If you have any questions, please feel free to send us your comments. We welcome your response.

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‘Subway Tiles’ or ‘Barn Doors’

Homes with ‘Subway Tiles’ or ‘Barn Doors’ sell faster and for more money according to a recent Zillow article. Zillow research shows certain keywords referring to homes’ features, amenities and design styles impact their sale price and time on the market. See below for the top 5 keywords that sell today:
1. Barn Doors
2. Shaker cabinets (white)
3. Farm house sink
4. Subway tile backsplash
5. Quartz counter tops, both kitchens and baths
For the full Zillow article …… click here Full Zillow article on fast selling features.
We don’t see many homes in our area that feature barn doors or quartz counter tops. The biggest requests we receive are granite countertops, hardwood floors, crown molding and definitely 4th bedrooms. Most of these features are pretty standard in homes built within the past 10 years and in current remodeled homes.
And speaking of new homes, North Hampton Estates is still selling about 2 to 3 homes each month. Our inventory of Active listings is 28 homes for sale and 6 of them are from this subdivision. In the month of March we had 16 homes close escrow. That’s a lot! Normally we are running at 8 to 10 per month. This means that sometime in February (typically one of the slowest months of the year) lots of offers were being made and accepted. The Price per Square Foot is staying just about at an average of $150. One of the new homes sold for $189 PSF. Wow! Days on the Market is staying at about 40 to 50 days. We are anticipating a bump in the market toward the end of April and during May. This is the best time of the year to list and sell your home.
Don’t forget the 2nd Annual Polly Klaas Print-a-Thon on April 30th from 10 am to 2 pm at the fire station. This is FREE event is brought to you by the Kingsburg Safety Committee and includes games with prizes, free ice cream, free kettle corn, face painting, bounce houses and more. So bring your kids to this awesome 4 hour event.
Thanks for taking the time to read our blog. Please feel free to comment. We love getting them!

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It’s Tax Time!

Okay, it’s that time of year again where the state and federal government are looking for their piece of the pie. Click on the link below to see if you are one of the many taxpayers making one or more of six tax deduction mistakes.
6 homeowners tax mistakes
list-tax-deductions-home-office_0b154f9967d97a3d6ea20f43439b9ee7_3x2_jpg_600x400_q85
The real estate market here in Kingsburg is still hanging in there. Our closings in February went up from 8 to 10, so that’s a good sign. The inventory of Active listings dropped a little from 41 to 34, which is also good as it just makes the market tighter. No dramatic changes just a steady market due, a lot, to the very low interest rates. With the advent of Spring right around the corner, we should see a bump in the market. Now is the best time to sell your home!
A couple noteworthy things coming up.
1. The special election on April 5th. Don’t forget to vote.
2. The 22nd Annual Car Show on April 16th
3. The 2nd Annual Polly Klaas Print-a-Thon on April 30th. More information to follow.
4. Have a blessed Easter on March 27th.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. If you have any questions, please feel free to send us your comments. We welcome your response.

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Let’s talk mortgage rates.

Wow, what a week in the mortgage industry last week. Even with the volatility of the stock market the past several weeks, mortgage rates for 30-year fixed mortgages fell this past week, with the current rate at 3.43 percent. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate hovered around 3.47 percent for most of the week before falling to the current rate.
See the Zillow chart below to follow the dip from Wednesday the 3rd to Tuesday the 9th.
mortgage trends 2016
“Mortgage rates fell last week to their lowest levels since May 2013 due to continuing financial market turmoil, concern about oil prices and shifting central bank policies overseas,” said Erin Lantz, vice president of mortgages at Zillow. “Financial market developments should continue to dominate headlines this week, as well as expected congressional testimony by Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Rates could move lower if her comments are more dovish than expected.”
Our real estate market here in Kingsburg held pretty steady through January. We had 41 Active listings in December and went one up in January to 42. Interesting fact …. that of the 42 new Active listings, 11 of them are new homes or homes currently under construction. We had 8 sold properties compared to 12 in December. December was a banner month this past year. Lots of sales and new listings and then things slowed down a bit in January. The average price per square foot ticked up to $148. From what we are reading of the market and trends, it looks like this spring will be awesome due to low inventory and very, very low interest rates.
As a side note, if you have a current interest rate of 5.5 or more, now is the time to refinance. Please call our sister company, New Era Financial, at 559-897-0968, for a Free loan consultation.
Coming up on Saturday, February 27th is the Kiwanis 7th Annual Pancake Supper from 5:30 to 7:30 held at the Orchard Bible Fellowship church at 2400 19th, Kingsburg. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children 12 & under. There will be tons of great silent auction items with proceeds going to the youth, community projects and school scholarships.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. If you have any questions, please feel free to send us your comments. We welcome your response.

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Recap, Forecast and #5

Following is a comparison of the number of sales of properties located within the Kingsburg city limits over the past several years plus the average price per square foot:
2013: 123 units sold at $125 average per square foot
2014: 116 units sold at $133 average per square foot
2015: 98 units sold at $143 average per square foot
So, as you can see, inventory has dropped and the values have gone up. Both of these indicate data points indicate that the market is still in a correcting mode from the crash of 2006.
The forecast for 2016 and beyond looks promising. The real estate industry is predicted to stay on a steady, solid course for the next several years, according to the Urban Land Institute Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate. We have seen an increase each year of about 12% from the year before. So it looks like your property values here in Kingsburg will continue to rise.
And saving the best for last …… Kingsburg is No. 5 on the list of the “10 Best Places for Young Families in Northern California.” The southeastern Fresno County city had the lowest median home value of the top 10 cities at $219,700, the study said. And the city’s median income grew 57 percent between 1999 and 2014, the highest jump of any city on the list. Click on this link to read the full article in the Fresno Bee dated January 8th.
Fresno Bee article: Kingsburg #5 North California Cities
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. If you have any questions, please feel free to send us your comments. We welcome them all.

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Christmas wishes with a little real estate news

Remember what I posted in November?  About how crazy busy the market was?  Well it’s gotten even crazier.  Normally this time I year, I am putting together our marketing strategy for the coming year, setting goals, mailing calendars and general work house-keeping stuff.  Well, not this year.  Our closing doubled last month and we are even busier this month.  Not that I am complaining!  Just trying to keep the old head up above water.

The Kingsburg real estate numbers got better in November including the Price per square foot and Days on the market as you can see by the CMA on the right hand side of this blog.  Maybe, along with the El Nino that we’re expecting, we can anticipate a great real estate year.  We’ll see.

Christmas greetings

Wishing you the  Merriest of Christmas and the Happiest of New Year from all our staff.

And in conclusion, who can resist one of those empty wrapping paper tubes?  Not me!

empty wrapping tube

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Healthy Pace of Price Appreciation

Median prices for existing homes nationally continued to climb in the third quarter of 2015, as reported by the National Association of Realtors®.

The report suggests an “encouraging lift-off” in existing-home sales, despite the low supply of available dwellings. Slower overall price appreciation is contributing to the rosier outlook.

watering-houses

Our Kingsburg outlook is not quite as rosy for October, but I can tell you that November has gone crazy.  We are busier now than all year. I think it has something to do with taking a vacation.  But getting back to the October market, we only had 5 homes that closed escrow.  The inventory dropped too, down to 28 Active listings.  However, the number of Pending homes that are in escrow and closing soon is up to18 so the November numbers should all be up.

The one day Fall Cleanup event is this weekend! Gather the things on your property that you no longer want and take them to Mid Valley Disposal for a FREE drop off.

  • Saturday, November 14
  • 7:00am-2:30pm

Residents must provide proof of residency (ID or utility bill).

Santa Lucia Festival is coming up December 5th from 10 am  to 7 pm downtown on Draper Street.  There will be Lucia processions at the city’s breakfast restaurants in the early morning.  The craft show and sale begins at 10 am, the gingerbread house competition at 11 a m and the Rotary Club of Kingsburg Festival of Lights Parada begins at 5:30.  I heard that Santa will be in residence at his little house on Draper Street throughout the day.

All our best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving and we sincerely hope that your able to spend time with your family and friends.  They are the most important thing around.

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