Real Estate Digest
A California Real Estate Newsletter
Edition 7, May, 2015





  • US Home prices are surging 13 times faster than wages. Santa Cruz had one of the highest ratios nationwide of price appreciated to wage growth at 94%.

  • In 2014 in California, the sale of vacation homes fell 1% from 6% to 5%.

  • Nationwide, investor purchases fell about 7% last year, and purchases by owner-occupants declined 13% to 3.2 million.

  • Zillow reports that there were 193 housing permits issued for every 1000 new residents in the Bay Area, a nationwide low. (In Chicago, there were 906 permits issued per 1000 new residents).

  • Bay Area residents can expect to pay 44% of their income on rent or 39% of their income on their monthly mortgage payment.

  • The Bay Area is TOP in the country for Home Value Index, $715,800 in Zillow's February calculations of the median of estimate of what homes are worth.

  • San Francisco is still the most expensive city in the United States for rental units ($3400/mo median rental). Oakland is Number 4 in the country ($2000/mo median rent).

  • Home prices nationwide are rising roughly twice as fast as wages.

  • Home prices in California are up more than 45% since the experienced a low 2011.

  • A significant numbers of underwater mortgages remain, holding down supply.

  • California, along with several other states and cities, is near the top of Fitch Rating's Sustainable Home Price Model's Most Over-Valued City List.




A whole new field for financing is growing from California to Florida. HELOC, as a money source, is booming again. Its use has risen 36% in the last 12 months, according to the Consumer Bankers Association. Now there is an alternative. Rather than loading more debt onto your home with a credit line, how about sharing part of your future appreciation with private investors? You get a lump sum of cash up front and make no payments for years. You settle up with them when you sell or otherwise terminate the agreement. For example, your house is valued at $500k. You agree to share 45% of future appreciation on the property once qualified, in terms of your financial ability to handle property taxes and upkeep. The investor gives you $51,750k today. When you end the agreement, you'd have to give the investor its portion of the appreciation in the house plus its initial investment. So, if your house appreciated in 10 years by $120k and you needed to sell, you'd owe the investor $51,750, the original loan amount, plus its appreciation, $54k. Their cut after 10 years would be $105,750.  One company says it has or is in the process of making appreciation-sharing agreements on homes with an aggregate value of $200 million this year, and expects to hit $1 billion by the end of this year. 







Thinking about leasing solar panels? You might want to take time to think about the consequences of having that lease when you decide to sell your home. It's complicated. When you decide to sell your home with leased solar panels, the lease you signed must either be transferred to the new owner, with the mandate that they qualify on credit, or you must buy it out prior to the sale of the home. So, if the buyer's credit is a bit low, if he doesn't like the lease terms, if he is making a cash purchase and doesn't want a lease, or if he just doesn't care about solar panels, you are looking at paying $15k - $20k or more to buy out the lease. Some deals fall apart when the buyer and seller do not agree. So, be aware of the potential complexities that can occur when you lease, rather than buy, solar panels. 








Just released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: A guide to help consumers through the process of shopping for a mortgage and buying a home. It's quite thorough and a must for the inexperienced buyer. 

Here is a link to the information:



The Impact of Home Staging

Click here to see the impact that Home Staging can have on your listing.



  • Housing prices are outstripping income growth; this must at some point change. People have to be able to afford to buy a home.
  • Homeowners are not selling as where will they move? There is such low inventory. So their home is not there for the first time homebuyer and they are not a buyer. 
  • Some homeowners are in mortgages that have minimal to no equity, or even negative equity. They are not selling. This leaves the first time homebuyer renting. 
  • Builders are not building. They are still cautious. Building of new single-family homes is over 30% below normal building rates. 
  • Lenders still are not lending. Though underwriting guidelines have relaxed some, it is significantly more restrictive than it was before 2008. Everyone is looking for that sweet spot. We have not yet found it. 
  • Are we in another bubble? If so, it's different. The last bubble was fostered by a finance-related push. Today's rising prices are fueled by actual market forces, backed by real money.


Quick Links


In This Issue

Christine's Corner


What is conscious 
real estate? 
Why does it matter? 

Does it make a difference?

Conscious real estate is conducting our real estate business from an awakened state of mind. It is being aware and sensitive to the needs of everyone in the transaction and working to create prosperity for all.  How is this accomplished? We do it through how we think, speak, and act toward each person involved in the transaction. We make a commitment to be understanding, compassionate, and empathetic in all ways toward everyone. We make a commitment to always step into every situation where we can help. We make a commitment to seek to stamp out unhappiness in all its forms and in every mind. We make a commitment to send good will to every person involved in the transaction. We make a commitment that all will prosper in the sale of the property. In this type of energy field, amazing things happen, and deals close with ease. Challenges always become opportunities for growth, and most of the time we are successful in overcoming them.  Synchronistic events occur regularly. We rely on our well trained minds as well as our gut feelings; they both are useful navigation tools in knowing how to get through a transaction to a close of escrow. 


The bottom line is that conscious real estate works, it feels good, it creates positive results and prosperity for all.  If this is how you want to conduct business, contact us. You and your business are most appreciated, thank you. 


Schneider Estates
Christine Schneider, Broker
BRE# 01749537

Issue 7
May, 2015
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