Another week has gone by with more than a few dour pronouncements about “the real estate market” as a whole—so future Costa Mesa buyers and sellers were offered a pleasant break with the publication of authoritative Freddie Mac’s counter-narrative on Thursday. Freddie is the government-sponsored, publicly traded corporation founded to support the secondary mortgage market. “Freddie” is the moniker that shortens its actual name (“The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation”) into something that those of us who aren’t full-time financial analysts can identify as the entity that greases the wheels of the mortgage markets. It makes them work better. At any rate, Freddie’s Thursday release summarized progress toward a less daunting mortgage environment. Its
In addition to the mostly glum news about the likelihood of a downturn in the nation’s economy, you’ve probably also heard a blanket pronouncement for residential real estate that’s not so rosy. Based on the probability that we’re in for at least a short recession, at first glance that would seem to justify headlines like “Morgan Stanley: Home Price Declines Are Coming in 2023”—and even last week’s “When Will Housing Prices Drop?”
Not even IF, but WHEN!!! (Thanks a lot, U.S.News & World Report).
But hold on for just a moment. If you’ve been mentally rescheduling putting your Costa Mesa home for sale until a later time when the economy rebounds, there is a piece of information that’s missing—one that might change your mind. This was last
Monitoring the progress of Costa Mesa property values is serious business, but in any given week it seldom inspires eye-catching feature writing. Last week was a quiet one in that regard, so searches for “home values” yielded nothing new—which is how a commentary first published last year found its way near the top of the search engine results.
The dollar estimates in “The Actual Values of Famous Cartoon Homes Today” may be a bit dated given the effects of inflation and market changes since its original March 2022 publication date. Yet the relative findings are probably as accurate as any such entirely silly speculation could come up with. Highlights:
King of the Hill’s modest three-bedroom ranch is valued at $200,000, given its unremarkable
It’s a living arrangement that’s familiar to many in Costa Mesa who attended a boarding school or college away from their hometown—who left the comfortable family nest to experience “dorm life.” That sometimes wrenching living arrangement offers the economic advantage of dividing expenses that would be difficult for a single student to bear. In addition to the savings that result from sharing space and utilities, dormitory living (or sorority, fraternity, or other similar arrangements) can offer youngsters their first brush with how to share living facilities with others who aren’t members of their immediate family. The advantages that go with learning to respect lifestyles and customs that initially may seem puzzling (“take my shoes off every time I
It’s a situation faced by many Costa Mesa homeowners on the cusp of getting ready to sell. You’ve developed cooking skills customized for your run-of-the-mill kitchen for years, managing everything from the electric range (you prefer gas) to the slightly-too-small refrigerator. That takes thoughtful grocery ferrying between it and the old frig (it deserves retirement) that lives in the garage. There’s nothing to it, really!
But now, it’s selling time for your Costa Mesa house. Is the best course to assume the buyer will not worry about the kitchen because she/he will want to do a full-scale remodel to her/his own specifications? Or should you start writing a 50-page manual on how to actually prepare food in this kitchen’s current state (perhaps you
Last Wednesday, Fortune.com introduced Mia Taylor’s 1,850-word discussion of a question that many of today’s homebuyers may be pondering: “When is an adjustable-rate mortgage a good idea?” Just a year ago, when home loan interest rates were at historically low levels, the answer could have been dismissed more succinctly: “not now!”
Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) are commonly offered in five-, seven-, and 10-year increments. These are 30-year loans that attract borrowers with temporary “introductory” bargain rates. The title periods specify the number of years after which the rates reset to reflect a level closer to then-current rates.:
When interest rates are high, some borrowers decide that, since rates are likely to move lower before the
Among the most Googled question as the new year begins are variations on “Will the housing market crash?” It’s a sensible query, but only for anyone who believes that Google can see into the future. Some of the variations, like “Should I wait for the housing market to crash before I buy a house? assume not only that Google engineers have solved the ancient art of soothsaying but that market timing is the most important step in buying a house.
The popularity of those queries can probably be attributed to the commendable human impulse for caution. If you don’t know what the future will bring, you should at least see what the experts are thinking. If common sense teaches that even experts can’t really be relied upon when it comes to market timing,
Last Saturday, while media attention was largely fixed on preparations for a pleasantly warm-weather New Year’s eve in Times Square and predictions about the year to come, it was also the moment for backward-looking “roundups” of 2022. Joining the crowd was Realtor® Magazine, offering its look at how residential real estate fared throughout last year. For all who follow residential real estate in Costa Mesa, there were no surprises in its “5 Trends That Defined the 2022 Real Estate Market.”
The five points were valid enough, but they were preceded by a simple sentence that summarized the most conspicuous aspects of Costa Mesa’s year: “Housing was on a roller coaster [in 2022], going from a homebuying frenzy to a standstill.” Perhaps “standstill” is
December marks the start of the real estate prediction season—and last week, Forbes published an early entry. Forbes is the century-old business magazine that tracks investment and financial markets—often bringing heightened scrutiny to the housing industry since housing is a tail often said to wag the dog (the canine is the rest of the U.S. economy). For anyone who doubts the validity of that metaphor, here’s how the NAR® maps the economic impact every single home sale makes, state by state.
For those with an eye on the direction of the national and Costa Mesa housing markets, the Forbes outlook was interesting. It was mildly out of step with the grim-faced recession commentaries being offered by most of the talking heads on TV. Residential real
The national press has fallen into the habit of treating almost every piece of news dealing with U.S. real estate as an all-too-predictable blow to the economy. Last week provided a welcome break in the pattern, as area residents who’ve been following mortgage rates in Costa Mesa found little to gripe about. CNBC’s headline, “Mortgage rates fall for the third straight week…” was a good example. Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate conforming mortgages had again decreased following the Thanksgiving pause—and by emphasizing the continued trend reversal, reporters had highlighted the rosiest detail in a pack of mixed data.
The number of mortgage applications was a good example of how glasses could be reported as either half-full or half-empty. Yes,