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Welcome

Hello and welcome.

If you landed on my web site, you’re likely thinking about buying or selling real estate in El Dorado County.  That’s where I can help.   

If you’re a buyer, making the right decision is important but even more important is the agent you choose to represent you. You see, any agent can show you properties write a purchase contract and open escrow. That’s the easy part. If every detail goes as it should, before you know it, you will be moving into your new home. But here is a little secret most real estate agents don’t want to you to know… It never goes the way it should. There are too many variables.  

Buying a home has never been more difficult. The collapse of the real estate and financial markets back in 2007 and 2008 changed everything. Being pre-approved is no longer adequate.  

Then there are a number of potential property issues. You don’t want to risk a non-refundable earnest money deposit only to discover you’re in escrow on the “Money Pit.” Appraisals have been another “deal killer.” Agree to buy a place for $300,000 and the appraisal comes in at $275,000. Now what? How do you protect yourself and end up with the house you want at the right price?  

If you’re an airline passenger on a cross country flight and you run into severe turbulence, you want the most experienced pilot at the controls. Sure, any student pilot can handle an aircraft if everything is going perfect but in those tough situations you want the best trained most experienced pilot.  

The same applies to sellers. It doesn’t require much real estate knowledge to put a sign in the front yard, take a few pictures and wait for an offer to come in. Those days are gone. You need an agent who will get you the highest price possible, in the shortest amount of time and with no after sale liability.

Here is something else most agents won’t tell you. For the same amount of commission, you can hire the most experienced agent or end up with a rookie or worse and hire the busiest agent and get turned over to one of the team members.

If your situation requires an experienced full-time agent, providing personal attention in achieving your goals of buying, selling or financing real estate, give me a call or send me an e-mail. 

Thanks for visiting. Perhaps our paths will cross again.

Ken Calhoon

Broker, GRI, CRB

 

For Buyers For Sellers
for-sellers2.jpg   for-buyers.jpg  

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Search Homes

Searching for the right home in your price range and location has never been easier.

Sure there are lots of places you can search out homes for sale but this one is going to provide you the most complete and up to date information. Here’s why. My search engine that I use is directly linked with the local Multiple Listing Service, MLS. You will have nearly as much information as real estate agents have when they are searching for their clients.

But you won’t get all the information and that’s where I can help.

Let’s say you find a home you are curious about but have some questions like: How long the home has been on the market? Has there been any offers? Will the seller take a FHA offer?

Simply email me the MLS® # or address and I will quickly provide you that information.

Now here’s a tip for those who don’t have the time searching the MLS® each day.

Simply email me a list of the features you are looking for along with price range and desired locations and I will program the MLS® so that it automatically searches for every listed property 24/7. And when it finds a match it will automatically email you the all the information.

 Here’s another tip.

 Many really great homes are sold before they get listed for sale. I belong to a network of top brokers who share information on upcoming listings before they go on the open market. You tell me what you are looking for, I share that with my network and when one of these top agents have a property meeting your specifications, you get it.

 Okay, now you have some good options about searching for your new home.

 

  

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This weeks column

Looking back at the way things were

 

It has been 5 years since the end of the Great Recession which officially began in December of 2007 and according to the economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research, ended in June of 2009. Most of us in real estate sales or mortgage financing knew long before the recession began that we were in for a market correction. Housing economists back in 2006 were predicting a 3 to 5 percent decline in property values and a 10 to 15 percent drop in sales activity. We were assured by industry experts that the real estate market would experience a “soft landing” as some of the hot air would be “released” from our modest housing bubble. Some of us were actually looking forward to a more “balanced” market. The “slight correction” would give us an opportunity to catch our breath before picking up further momentum after a brief respite.

 

The beginning of the recession looked pretty much like the experts had predicted. The median selling price for an El Dorado County home during 2007 had been averaging above $450,000. That was down from our peak $500,000 price range in 2006 but nothing to get overly concerned about. After all, California real estate values always bounced back pretty quickly after a recession. The number of monthly sales was more of a concern. The month the recession officially began, year-over-year sales fell 35 percent and the number of listings doubled.

 

Still, there was no reason to panic. The Feds acted like everything was under control. At their December, 2006 meeting, just 12 months prior to the country falling off the economic cliff, Federal officials were more concerned about inflation and that the economy would grow too fast than the possibility of a housing melt down.

 

“We think the fundamentals of the expansion going forward still look good,” Timothy Geithner, then president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, told his colleagues when they gathered in Washington in December of 2006.

 

And from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, “I think we are unlikely to see growth being derailed by the housing market.”

 

And from Janet Yellen, who is now the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, “Of course, housing is a relatively small sector of the economy, and its decline should be self-correcting.”

 

Having weathered six previous recessions during my real estate career and a recognized prognosticator of all things real estate, I offered my own insightful advice to my clients and readers.

 

“Don’t panic. This economic hiccup will be of short duration. If you don’t need to sell, wait a few months for things to get better. Prices will re-bound. It’s a good time to buy.”  

 

In hindsight, we should have been a lot more concerned. Sellers should have been more price aggressive and dumped their homes when they could. A year after the Great Recession began they were under water and unable to sell or refinance. Buyers should have rented and sat on the sidelines watching property values slide every month while REO and short sale were added to the American lexicon.

 

The same government’s geniuses who told us we were in a recession declared it was over in June of 2009. By then taxpayers had picked up a trillion dollar tab to save Wall Street and somehow we ended up owning much of the domestic auto industry, the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and 80 percent of insurance giant AIG. In return, American workers lost 8.4 million jobs, 8 trillion dollars homeowners’ equity vanished and 11 million homes to foreclosure or forced short-sales.

Recovery periods after a recession ends are generally robust. Whatever issues caused the economy to stall are resolved and employers start hiring, more confident shoppers return to the malls and families that have been holding off buying a home call their agent. The increase demand for housing results in a sudden bonce up in value. That didn’t happen this time. In fact, property values fell further. For real estate, the recovery was worse and longer in duration than the recession.

 

During the 18 month long recession, the median selling price of a county home fell 17 percent. That was bad enough but after the recession was supposedly over, the median selling price dropped another 31 percent. It has taken 5 years after the recession ended, for the median selling price to get back to what it was when the recession ended.

 

Eight years ago last month, 250 county home buyers paid an average of $548,000 for a county home. Last month 250 buyers paid an average of $406,000. That’s down 25 percent from our peak in 2006 but 43 percent above our lowest average price point in 2012. Land prices haven’t done as well. Back in 2006 the average residential lot sold for $257,000. Last month’s average price was $123,500, a drop of 51 percent.

 

According to the number crunchers with the California Association of Realtors®, California home values have experienced a 5 percent yearly increase over the last 33 years. Obviously that hasn’t been very consistent. However, if that percentage holds true, by 2020 county home prices should be where they were at their peak in 2006. Today’s prices are at 2003 levels. It has taken 11 years to end up where we started. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.