Welcome to my new Blog, created as a resource for you with a wealth of local and real estate information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings.

Because I care about our community and want to help you find your place in it, please keep in touch and reach out if you have any questions at all about our community, real estate or places of interest. I'd love to chat with you! 

April 9, 2019

9 Reasons to Sell Your Home in 2019

Real estate has been lodged in a hot seller’s market in most of the country for a few years now — but as you’ve probably heard, the market is shifting toward more of a balanced or even a buyer’s market. Home prices are plateauing in most areas, which might feel a little nerve-wracking to sellers who haven’t been able to sell yet (for one reason or another) or homeowners who are thinking about putting their property on the market in 2019.

Will this year be a good one for sellers? We might not be experiencing as many multiple offers or over-asking-price sales as we did in recent years, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad time to sell a house. In fact, there are still several reasons why 2019 is going to be a good year to put a house on the market … and will almost certainly be better than waiting until 2020 to sell.

Inventory is still low

When you hear economists or real estate professionals talk about inventory, they’re referring to housing inventory — in other words, the number of homes that are on the market. And in most parts of the country, especially for homes in a certain tier or price range, housing inventory is still pretty low for a number of obvious reasons. As millennials have reached homebuying age and gone through certain life milestones, such as getting married and having kids, more of them have become interested in buying a home, but unless they’re in the market for a luxury home (which is pretty unlikely for the majority of first-time homebuyers), there just aren’t that many entry-level or even mid-level homes to go around.

There are a number of factors contributing to this supply-and-demand imbalance. One is the simple cost of building a home: Regulations have increased in many parts of the country, making it more expensive for developers to build homes, especially single-family homes. The increased cost of materials and shortage of skilled labor has also made homebuilding a more expensive endeavor, and even the cost of land has increased in many areas. As a result, many developers have been focused on high-return projects, such as luxury homes or multifamily construction (apartment buildings or condos), and there haven’t been many brand-new single-family homes built that are in the entry-level or mid-level range. And a lot of the single-family housing stock was bought by investors during the Great Recession, who are renting those homes out and have no intention of selling while the rental market remains strong.

So if you happen to own one of those entry-level or mid-level homes and you’re thinking about selling, this could be the perfect year for you to finally do it.

There are lots of qualified buyers seeking homes

Millennials comprise a giant demographic group in the United States — by some calculations, they outnumber baby boomers. As this population group gets older and obtains more work experience, a lot of its members are becoming ready (or have been ready) to get their feet on the property ladder and buy a house. Many millennials have now been in the workforce for long enough to have advanced their careers and start earning more money; they have stable jobs and are getting married, having kids, and adopting pets, which all point toward the desire to own a home of their own.

Those buyers haven’t all been able to take advantage of the housing market for one reason or another, but the combination of more robust employment and rising wages means that quite a few of them are now able to actually consider saving up that down payment and buying a house of their own. And millennials are far from the only generation interested in buying houses. The number of buyers who are ready and able to purchase a home hasn’t really decreased, even though affordability has been a problem in some parts of the country. So there is a market for your home, especially if it’s an entry-level or mid-level property, which are especially in demand in most of the United States.

Interest rates are still low

We’ve been spoiled by a stretch of historically low interest rates over the past few years, so it’s not surprising that some sellers might think a 5% or 4% mortgage interest rate is unreasonably high, especially if you need to finance your own home purchase after you sell. But if you’re downsizing — and even if you’re not — interest rates are still undeniably reasonable, especially compared to some of the double-digit interest rates we saw in the past. There’s no way to predict the future, but most economists think that interest rates are going to continue to rise (slowly), so if you’re thinking about financing a home purchase, the time really is now to go ahead and do it.

If you’re unsure about what rising interest rates might mean for your own home purchase affordability, talk to a mortgage broker about it. But just know that there are lots of buyers who are still keen to own property, and if rates go up, there will be fewer of them; the time to sell is now if it’s been on your mind.

You probably have decent equity

Depending on how long you’ve owned your house, with the way home values have been rising in the past 18 to 24 months, you’ve probably got a good amount of equity built up in your house. Your equity will depend on more factors, of course, including the size of your original down payment and how much of your mortgage loan’s principal has been paid off since you bought the house, but if you’ve lived in your house for more than two years, you can avoid capital gains taxes and get all that equity back when the property sells.

This means you’ll probably be able to afford a bigger down payment on a larger home — or possibly pay for a downsized home outright, or with a much smaller loan than you currently have. Either way, your equity can be leveraged to get you into a homeownership situation that just might fit your current lifestyle better, and you want to take advantage of that before home values start to fall (which isn’t very likely to happen, at least not at a fast rate, in 2019 in most parts of the country).

Sooner is better than later

You’ve probably already heard that the housing market is cyclical, and so is the economy. Both have been on an upswing for the past several years, but as the adages go, “nothing lasts forever,” and “what goes up must come down.” That said, most experts predict that the next recession is more likely to start in 2020 than in 2019, which means you still have time to think about selling before the recession starts … but maybe not as much time as you thought (or hoped).

Selling a home in a recession is a whole different ballgame than trying to sell in a more balanced market — recessions definitely favor buyers, and there might be a supply and demand problem in the other direction, with more homes for sale than there are qualified buyers to purchase them. Even though we’re probably out of the heyday of a seller’s market in most of the country, the market is still balanced enough that you won’t be facing the realities of a buyer’s market: Price reduction after price reduction, added incentive, and lots of time on the market when you’d really rather the sale be over with.

Home prices aren’t falling steeply — or at all (yet)

When you read a news story that says the housing market is softening, it’s easy to interpret that as “home prices are falling” — but that isn’t actually true, at least not right now. What it really means is that the price growth we’ve been experiencing year-over-year is slowing down in most areas; home prices are still increasing compared to the same time last year, but they’re just not growing quite as fast as they did last year or the year before.

As a seller, you still have time to take advantage of the robust housing market before prices start to truly plateau and even fall, which could happen if there’s a recession looming. Even though you might not be in a market that entices buyers to make multiple offers and gets your home sold over asking price, you can still get a very good price for your property if you act sooner rather than later.

The strong spring market is on the horizon

One of the best times of year to sell a home is in the springtime, when families have the ability to plan a move and get the kids set up in school. If you’re thinking about putting your own home on the market, then springtime is an ideal time (or as close as possible to ideal) as you can get, and you’ve still got time to take advantage of it. Selling a house takes a lot of preparation and work, from cleaning and staging and planning open houses and taking photos to making minor or even major repairs, but if you’d like to list in the spring, there’s enough time to do it — and do it right — if you start taking action now.

Employment still looks good

One major factor that boosts the housing market is employment, which is in a very strong place and has been for some time. Strong employment means that there are more qualified buyers who are interested in purchasing homes sooner rather than later, and while it remains strong, sellers should have plenty of options (especially at the entry-level and mid-level housing segments) to find the right person with the right offer to buy their home.

A recession could, of course, flip the employment market upside-down, which is never good for sellers. Paying attention to employment is a smart move for sellers who want to make sure they’re on the right side of the market, and while it’s robust, homeowners who are seriously considering selling should take a sooner-than-later approach to their decision-making about listing their property.

The economy is still robust

Even though the stock market isn’t always entirely stable, for the most part, the economy has been growing in the United States. Once again, most experts don’t anticipate that this growth will last forever, but while it does, markets that comprise the economy as a whole — including the housing market — are in good shape. And markets that support the housing market, such as the job or employment market, are also in good shape.

There’s a lot of uncertainty about what’s going to happen in the next 12 months and whether it will be good or bad for the economy, and we’re unlikely to see immediate effects either way … but those effects will come home to roost at some point.

If you’re a homeowner who’s got some equity to leverage and you’re thinking about selling, talk to a real estate agent about whether it makes sense for you to list your house in 2019. Even though we’re not in a as robust a seller’s market as we were, it might make perfect sense for you to put your house on the market today.

March 15, 2019

The Internet Can't Replace your Agent

There's no denying we live in the information age; the Internet offers advice on every topic and real estate is no exception. With more and more home buyers starting their home search online, they are bombarded with advice and information – it can be easy to think that you can learn everything you need to know just by reading articles online.

woman using laptop

The truth is your real estate agent does much more than answer your questions and open doors with a special key. A professional real estate agent will be there every step of the way. They have the experience necessary to navigate the complicated home buying process and solve common hiccups that present themselves in virtually every real estate transactions.

Your real estate agent is a local professional. They will start by presenting themselves to the buyer’s agent as someone who will work with them to see the transaction through to a successful conclusion. They have a network of professionals who will work as a team to help you through the process. These include such professionals as: lenders, title reps, escrow officers, transaction coordinators, marketing specialists,  home inspectors, contractors and handymen, among others.

Most importantly, your agent is your ally in the home buying process. They negotiate on your behalf – armed with experience and understanding of customary charges, costs and terms. They will ensure that the price you pay for the home is fair for the condition and neighborhood. They will negotiate repairs, if needed and make sure you are protected with the proper contingencies.

The Internet offers lots of great information, but the most important step you can take when buying a new home, is hiring a local professional real estate agent. Their knowledge and expertise can’t be found by reading an article or two online. 

Ready to buy or sell? Give me a call and let's make your Real Estate dreams a reality!

Jackie

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Feb. 25, 2019

Tips for Buying and Selling at the same time

Either buying or selling a home can be extremely stressful, it can be even more overwhelming if one is trying to do both at the same time. The good news is that this happens all the time and by following a few simple tips, both buying and selling can be a seamless process.



Tips for Buying and Selling at the Same Time

The good news is that you’re planning to move any way. Before you list your home for sale, why not start packing now? Take personal items and excess furnishings and pack them up and move them to storage. Not only will your home look larger and neater, you are getting a start on the move.

Next make sure your agent, or agents, understands the timeline and requirements. There are many standard contingencies which can protect you from owning two homes at once, or none at all. Not only can the purchase of your new home be contingent on successfully closing on your current one but you can also reverse the process and ensure you find a replacement before the close as well.

Finally, get the entire family involved. Be excited about the change and create a moving plan in which everyone has a task and there is a plan for the move itself. By taking a few initial steps, moving can be fun and easy. 

Looking to buy, sell or both?? Give me a call and let's come up with a plan that's right for you!

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Nov. 29, 2018

Looking for the perfect horse property?

I am delighted to offer this great horse property located in the desirable Hidden Valley community of Hollister. This horse lovers paradise is perfect for the equestrian enthusiast. With miles of riding trails, community arena and community club house, you will be pleasantly surprised by all that Hidden Valley has to offer!

 

The home has panoramic views of the mountains, and the serenity of the countryside. With 5 bedrooms and 3 full baths, it is ideal for a growing family. Open floor plan with high ceilings and inviting kitchen, perfect for entertaining! Love the outdoors? The 8.5 acre parcel includes a huge deck which faces barn and opens to a relaxing pool and spa. Watch your family ride while enjoying the tranquility of country living. Fenced dog runs, paddocks and trailer turn around and more great amenities! Community riding trails and tennis courts are a convenient ride down the street, something for everyone!

 

View the video tour >here<

Posted in Listings
Nov. 13, 2018

Chicken Kapama- a recipe from my family to yours


Growing up with a mom who loved to cook, I was always in the kitchen as a young child waiting for the savory dishes to be brought to the table. As an adult who loves to entertain and cook for my family and friends, I have shared my mom’s dishes at many gatherings at my home. One of my favorites is Chicken Kapama, or Greek Chicken. My mom is Greek and many of her delectable dishes are derived with a Mediterranean flare. This is one of my favorites and am happy to share it with all of you. It is truly comfort food and enjoyed throughout the years by family and friends! Buon  Appetit!

 

2 Packages of Boneless Skinless Thighs

1 Cube Butter

Salt

Pepper

Cinnamon

2 Cans of Tomato Sauce (15 Oz)

Juice of 3 lemons

Parmesan Cheese

Box of Spaghetti

Melt butter in pot until golden. Add thighs, salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce, lemon juice and cinnamon. (Heavy Dash)  Bring to a boil and then turn to a low simmer, cooking 40 minutes. Boil Pasta and serve chicken over pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese. I like my sauce tart, so you can use less lemon juice, based on your liking. Same with cinnamon!! Enjoy!!

 

Posted in Community
Oct. 16, 2018

Don't miss my Open House at this Lorimer St charmer!

OPEN HOUSE, October 20, Saturday 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
415 Lorimer ST, SALINAS, CA
Get Directions Click Here
Description Features Photos Maps & Local Schools Walk Score
Click for current price
4 BEDROOMS
3 BATHROOMS (2 full, 1 half)
2621 Square Feet

Filled with charm, this 4 bed/2.5 bath single family home has been lovingly cared for and boasts an open and bright layout with renovations throughout. The original, hardwood floors of the living room, hallway, kitchen and bedrooms have all been recently restored. The gourmet kitchen with granite and stainless steel appliances, is a chefs delight. Custom cabinets throughout, pantry and beautifully designed island, is perfect for entertaining! The kitchen flows seamlessly into an inviting dining room. The master suite includes a huge walk in closet, and separate office. A downstairs bonus room provides a perfect place for a craft room or additional living area. Love entertaining? The backyard has a pizza oven, gourmet kitchen, TV, and sitting area. Love your dogs? Custom dog house with wash tub, opening up to a huge back yard area, with room for a potential secondary unit. Outdoor storage shed for all of your landscaping supplies, or for additional storage.

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Jacqueline Blaser McAbee

Realtor

NINO REAL ESTATE CALIFORNIA

831-245-6919

Jackie@JackieMcAbee.com

L2L Virtual Tours
 
Posted in Listings
Oct. 1, 2018

THE IMPORTANCE OF SELECTING YOUR REALTOR BASED ON "LOCAL MARKET KNOWLEDGE"

Many families are looking to sell their homes and with selling comes the stress of selecting the right Realtor. 

 

As a Realtor for over 15 years with expertise on relocation, when I interview with a home buyer or seller, one of the main topics I stress is working with a local expert that knows the area. 

 

What we are seeing of late, is out of area agents listing homes in our newly emerging community. Out of area Realtors typically are not familiar with local schools, neighborhoods or appropriate pricing and often times we “local” agents, get calls asking for assistance from out of area agents, asking questions about these things.

 

Using an out of area realtor is not only a disservice to the home seller, but also buyers, who are looking for neighborhoods that are conducive to their family’s needs. I often meet families who purchased a home with an out of area agent, who was not familiar with the area, and many times the home buyer is not happy with their purchase, due to various factors regarding the family’s needs. Buyers often feel that they wished they had worked with a Local Expert, who knew the area and who could help guide them to the best choice for their home needs for the long term.

 

My mantra has always been, if you live in our community then give back to the community you live in. Using out of area Title Companies, Lenders, and Inspectors, often times leads to frustration from all parties, and takes away business, jobs, and puts dollars into communities that do not serve the community you live in!

 

Homebuyers and sellers should keep in mind the professional Realtor you select should embody "local market knowledge" to guide you thru the best selling or home buying experience. 

 

If you are uncertain about which local Realtor to hire, call different Brokers in town and ask to be referred to an agent. 

 

Do your homework! Although many work out of town and have connections elsewhere, it is our community that you are planning to live in or have lived in, and it’s always nice to give back to the community, even when selling your home!

Jackie signature

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Sept. 14, 2018

5 Reasons to buy in San Benito County

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION

I am happy to have called San Benito County, and more specifically Hollister, CA home for over 20 years. Located about 45 minutes from San Jose we are removed from the hustle and bustle of city life but close enough to easily make the trip for special events, concerts, plays, shopping and other "big city living". In addition to its easy access to San Jose and San Francisco an hour further north, Hollister is conveniently situated to the Monterey Peninsula and the I-5 corridor making day and weekend trips a breeze.


COUNTRY LIVING

Although we are experiencing somewhat a of a building boom in Hollister, we are fortunate to still be surrounded by rolling hills, gorgeous trees and an abundant wild life. I often get to experience a variety of livestock and other wild critters on my "commute" to the office. Its one of my favorite parts of the day! Looking for horse property? San Benito County is the place for you!


CULTURE

With a population of around 60,000 in the WHOLE county, we're still pretty small in the grand scheme of things, but what we lack in size we make up for in culture! Hollister has an active theatre company that puts on plays throughout the year, there is a wonderful chorale group and summer brings outdoor concerts. We have an active artists guild with art tours, open studios and shows, community art classes and so much more. Hop on over to San Juan Bautista for its many street festivals, tours and antique shops. In addition San Juan is home to the renowned El Teatro Campesino celebrating 50 years of Latin theatrical production. Our Chamber of Commerce and other organizations work to provide lots of fun things to do from antique car shows to wine and food tasting events to our Annual Olive Festival too. There is always something fun and enlightening to do on the calendar.

WINE!

While vineyards are not new to San Benito County and our surrounding areas, we seem to be experiencing a growth spurt in the wine industry. Our wines are gaining notice in the world of wine and local vintners are producing mouthwatering offerings. Many of the local wineries are open to the public for tours, tastings, parties, concerts and more. 

COMMUNITY

Yes, Hollister is definitely growing but there is still a "home town" feel about this town. People still say Hello in the shops and wave to you from passing cars. We have several events that allow us to mix and mingle with our neighbors, from the downtown Farmer's Market to our good old fashioned County Fair and several clubs and organizations. There are many old timers but there are recent transplants too and many are willing to flash you a smile and welcome you to town.

 

*photo: Nan Madruga

Posted in Community
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates