New Year News From The Call Team!

January 25th, 2017 By H&H Real Estate Media in Blog.


Cal BRE Lic. #01730388/00983770, This is not intended as a solicitation if your home is already listed with another broker.
Dear Friends,  
Happy New Year to all.  What a crazy last couple of months it has been.  Most of us have been on news overload and look forward to a little less drama on that front.  Keep our fingers crossed.  We are very excited about the opportunities the New Year brings as it relates to real estate.  Aren’t we all involved in this interesting sector, if not as owners, then prospective buyers or long term renters?  Hopefully there is a little something of interest here for everyone.

Don’t you just love trends . . . if you live long enough you realize what’s here today is not only gone tomorrow, but back again soon.  Well, the good news for many – warm tones are returning.  Those cool grays that made many feel their own color palette had become passe, are transitioning to warmer versions in the taupe family.  Too, while always acceptable, the recent trend to all white walls is fading in favor of soft color.  As to accents, shades of red are returning, strong greens (think forest or kale), are making a come-back from many years past, and strong yellows and lime add refreshing accents as well.  Generally speaking, when it comes to interior paint and fabric colors, the warm tones do have more staying power, and just about anyone’s favorite color has a warm version, even white.  Thinking about sprucing up with paint?  It’s sure an affordable way to make a big difference.  Need a referral or simply want a second opinion – there’s lots of experience here and we’re always happy to assist.
Thinking about more extensive updating this year?  Remember it’s best to focus on the kitchen and baths if resale value is important to you.  All buyers continue to be most impressed with updates in these two areas  Open floor plans continue to be the trend and are particularly popular with the younger set.  Note, however, if selling is a viable thought for 2017, whatever the style or condition, it’s not too early to get a start with a long term plan.  The more prepared you are, the better the home will show and the more money you will net.  How to spend the least to get the most is key.  Let’s chat before you spend.

What’s in store in 2017? 
The usual reliable forecast sources are scratching their heads at this point having been surprised by the outcome of the election.  The Trump economic impact will unveil itself quickly in the next couple months and the 2017 forecast will clarify based on those results projected forward..  It will be interesting to watch.  In the meantime we do know there is optimism in the air.  We expect continuing low inventory and increased buyer demand from older Millennials who have had a few years to save.  Then, after 7 to 9 years since the early days of the recession, we have the re-entering “boomerang” buyers, those who needed or chose to give up home-ownership for a time. Both these groups are not only spurred on by the desire to be homeowners, but too, by the much inflated rents they now pay.  As to interest rates – while not at the very lowest, they are still historically low and a slight tick up shouldn’t dissuade the serious buyer.

A Few 2017 New Laws in a Nutshell
(You may know about most)
1.   Minimum wage increase: This year’s min. wage increased to $10.50, then is scheduled to go to $11 in 2018 and an additional $1 each year to 2022 for a total of $15/hour. If one has less than 25 employees, one year to the schedule may be added. 
2.  Equal work – equal pay: California now has the strictest laws on the subject with new enhancements  . . . equal or similar work to receive the same pay, regardless of gender or race.
3.   Total hands free driving:  No phone use while driving for any reason (other than calling about an emergency) – no map watching, traffic checking, music switching, text looking.  It’s all illegal!  New habits may be in order with phone inside a purse or case, or better yet in the back seat.  This is a hard one.
Real Estate Related
4.  FHA owner-occupancy ratio change: FHA’s minimum owner-occupancy ratio (number of owners in relationship to the number of tenants in any one development) has been reduced from the current 50 percent to 35 percent.  Additionally the HOA application to be on the FHA approved list has been mandated to be simplified.  This is great news for both the HOA’s and buyers/borrowers.
5.  Bed bug disclosure: Landlord/Tenant Bedbugs Disclosure introduces new disclosure requirement for new tenants commencing July 1, 2017 and for existing tenants commencing January 1, 2018. Landlord is prohibited from showing or renting vacant units if the landlord “knows” it has a current bed bug infestation. However, there is no duty on a landlord to inspect a dwelling unit or the common areas of the premises for bed bugs if the landlord has no notice of a suspected or actual bed bug infestation. It does requires landlords to provide copies of pest control reports to tenants whose units have been inspected and other tenants if infestation in common area is confirmed.
6.  Real Estate salesman” has now been renamed “real estate person” in real estate law.

Resolutions – Did you know about one third of the American population resolve to better themselves.  Seventy-Five percent stick to their goal for at least a week.  However only 46 percent stay on target for six months.  How are you doing?
Again, our very best wishes for the coming year.  May 2017 be a good one for us all.  If making a move is in your foreseeable future, we’d love to chat at your convenience with an eye to achieving your goals in the best and most convenient way possible.  For all of you who so kindly have chosen The Call Team to represent you or valued friends in the past, we wholeheartedly thank you. 
Happy New Year and Best regards, 
Warmest regards,