For generations of Americans, owning their own family home has been the single most defining element of The American Dream. For obvious commercial reasons, the National Association of Realtors® must certainly be counted among the leading proponents of the validity of that ambition. The Sun rises in the east, also.

So it was startling to find last week’s NAR.com “Trends” section headed by a lead article with this headline:

Forget the Traditional ‘House’-Everybody Wants These Types of Homes Right Now

“Forget the traditional ‘House” ???? Realtors (of all people!) telling everybody to forget the traditional house? As single-family home prices continue to rise, it may be a fact that an increasing number of buyers are finding themselves all but…

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Throughout the sustained run-up in home prices, there’s been sporadic speculation that a reversal must be imminent—possibly driven by a natural urge to assume that too much good news is bound to invite a corresponding nosedive.

Throughout the run-up, the commonly accepted reason for U.S. home price increases has been the sustained supply and demand imbalance. For a number of well-documented reasons, the supply of homes for sale dropped below record levels at the same time that demand continued to mount. As competition for the available housing increased, so did the willingness of buyers to pay top dollar. Super-low mortgage rates helped make many high-priced Costa Mesa real estate buying decisions entirely reasonable.

Now, as the summer wears…

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This month has brought news of buyers backing out of pending sales contracts at a record rate—which could also have many would-be buyers asking themselves if buying in Costa Mesa right now is the right move. The questions are reasonable: “Will I be overpaying if I buy today?” “Will prices drop tomorrow?” “Will I get a better deal if I hold off?” In many cases, the best answers actually depend less on the marketplace than on the personal circumstances of the person doing the asking.

If, for instance, you are currently considering buying a home in Costa Mesa but think there’s a chance you may outgrow the home within the next few years, buying could be inadvisable. If you think there is a chance you might need to relocate or change jobs or income…

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For scads of Costa Mesa residents, 2022 will mark the first true summer vacation season in a long time. The U.S. Travel Association tells us that domestic leisure travel spending has already surpassed pre-pandemic levels (even adjusting for inflation).

For Costa Mesa vacationers, taking off for longer than a weekend will require thinking back to retrieve some of the smart traveling habits developed when yearly trips were routine—household security measures among them. For all the Costa Mesa vacationers whose homes will be left unattended, reinstituting a few precautionary measures will go far to prevent a miserable surprise from spoiling the return home. Here’s a refresher:

  • Secure seldom-used doors and windows that usually remain unlocked.

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It may have seemed as if the springtime rise in the rates Costa Mesa home loan originators were quoting was overdue for a pause, and that's what local applicants found last week. The rate dips weren't gigantic, but they pointed in the right direction. Over the weekend, Yahoo! finance's "Moneywise" column was able to headline, "Homeownership just got 5% cheaper as mortgage rates fall off a cliff."

To applicants whose recent memories include interest rates that began with a "3," that cliff may seem to be a low one—but the NARs' senior economist was correct in asserting that purchasing a home was 5% more affordable at week's end than at its beginning. At week's end, Freddie Mac's calculation for the average 30-year mortgage rate was 5.3%—down from…

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When the experts make a point of advising that you remove the family photos as part of preparing your house for sale, they don’t mean to criticize your family. Even if Aunt Agatha’s scowl seems to be in every group portrait, it’s not that. It’s also not about the art of photography in general, either.

It’s about YOU.

That may not seem to be a very client-friendly sentiment, but no offense should be taken. Costa Mesa homeowners shouldn’t take offense. The overall goal of depersonalizing your home—that is, making the house as ownerless-seeming as possible—is an important part of helping house-hunters envision your property as their own. Removing the objects that reveal your family’s personality—things like awards, family portraits, and vacation…

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