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Given the latest unsettling reports about everything from supply chain disruptions to the price of gasoline and groceries, almost anyone might hesitate before moving ahead with plans to buy a house in Costa Mesa or anywhere else. Mightn’t it be more prudent to wait until more stable conditions return?

One counter to that cautious stratagem is the example of recent history. A few years ago, would-be buyers who decided to hold off until the return of a more stable environment missed out on what, in retrospect, turns out to have been an opportune time to buy a house.

The fact is that residential real estate prices have risen steadily despite the unsettled public sphere. Buying a house in Costa Mesa has continued to reward buyers who ignored

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Throughout the U.S., the average value of a single-family residence has grown by double digits for more than two years. Area homeowners have been rightly pleased to see how rapidly their own home’s market values have continued to appreciate. With increases at those levels, it’s only to be expected that sellers are delighted—but buyers, less so.

One of the inevitable fallouts is that buyers seeking home loans this fall need mortgages that are greater than ‘conforming’ loan limits. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guarantee to purchase loans from lenders when they qualify under the conforming loan guidelines. The quasi-federal behemoths enable loan originators to lower interest rates they offer Costa Mesa home buyers when they promise to purchase them,

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Last week, U.S. News & World Report brought up an issue that today’s Costa Mesa home buyers should be aware of: the possibility of an appraisal gap. It can be a sticking point, even when everything else about a given Costa Mesa home’s sale seems to be falling into place.

The article opens with an understatement about today’s buyers: “many people are financing their home purchases.” That’s a considerable understatement. The percentages vary depending on who’s doing the measuring, but the U.S. Census Bureau tells us that just shy of 66% of all homeowners are currently making monthly payments on active mortgage accounts. Even that hefty percentage somewhat minimizes the ubiquity of home loans in today’s market: Census says that 87% of recent buyers

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October may have just debuted, but for Costa Mesa mortgage interest rate watchers, Halloween-style chills were already in evidence last week. For Costa Mesa home buyers and sellers, the home loan outlook has been uniformly rosy for an unexpectedly long time. It's been a long, pleasant cruise. That was why, for many, the midweek news must have come as a shock. For those who have been long lulled into an uninterrupted expectation that area rates will remain mired in Low-LowLand territory, last Wednesday's headlines must have been jolting:

  • Current Mortgage Rates Jump –
  • Today's rising mortgage rates call buyers to action – Fox Business
  • Today's mortgage rates increase – c/
  • Mortgage Rates Start to Climb – Forbes
  • Mortgage
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Costa Mesa homeowners, real estate investors, and soon-to-be homeowners who keep an eye on the ups and downs of residential real estate do so at least partly to anticipate the future of our own residential market. This even though they are also aware that markets have a tendency to be stubbornly unpredictable. One example is currently demonstrated by a segment of the New York City real estate scene: the parking space segment.

Most Out-of-Towners would have thought that the problems that Gotham has been coping with would have rendered most of Manhattan real estate a disaster zone. After all, with neighborhood small business owners crying “foul!” because of COVID restrictions, labor shortages brought about by competition from extended government

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For much of the spring and summer, the real estate spotlight has been focused on the vexing situation landlords have experienced. The government-ordered rental relief measures designed to protect tenants made landlords scramble. So last week, single- and multi-family Costa Mesa landlords who happened across the Wall Street Journal headline, “It’s a Very Good Time to Own an Apartment Building,” would certainly have read further.

The author was Will Parker, a seasoned industry observer. It turned out that his opinion was backed up by last month’s nationwide statistics. If anything, they made the headline an understatement. The numbers showed national asking rents rising by 10.3% over a year earlier, making August a month that saw the first

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The often-quoted first principle of the physicians’ Hippocratic Oath, “first, do no harm,” constitutes a ‘safety first’ message meant to curb over-enthusiastic docs from prescribing a cure that’s worse than the disease.

For local homeowners who are preparing their Costa Mesa homes for sale, if there were a Homeowners’ Oath, the same proscription could apply. That was the essence of Ana Durrani’s essay on last week’s’s ‘Home Improvement’ page: “Avoid These 6 Common Mistakes That Make a Room Feel Smaller.”
Durrani’s rules are worth quoting:

  1. Color. Painting walls a dark color. Too often, the impulse to create a ‘cozy’ space can be more claustrophobic than cozy.
  2. Furniture. Bulky pieces may look stylish but, in truth, can seem to
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It’s probably fair to say that when a typical Costa Mesa resident hears some of the more strikingly novel details about what urban life will be like in the future, he or she is likely to take them with a grain or two of salt. One example that recently hit the CNN airwaves was a project for “Telosa”—a new kind of city in America.

The final vision is for a 5,000,000-resident city that would not only be completely eco-friendly and self-energized but one designed with a self-sustaining, drought-resistant water system (even if it winds up being built in the desert). Although its planners hope for the first phase to welcome 50,000 residents by 2030, the tentativeness of the missing geographical detail points out the speculative status of Telosa: its

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House-flipping has become a staple in the realm of reality TV entertainment—and why not? One of the deep pleasures of that actual Costa Mesa house-flippers experience is the feeling of accomplishment that goes with turning a fixer into an eager buyer’s dream house. Another is the financial accomplishment that accompanies the quick sale of a fixed-and-flipped property. Cable-tv shows like ‘Fixer Upper,’ ‘Flip or Flop,’ ‘Double Down’ (the “property brothers’” show), and ‘Flip this House’ invite legions of couch potatoes to share the fun without the risk (or the sometimes back-breaking work) that goes with the real thing.

Last week’s Wall Street Journal sounded a real-world note about how the current fixer-upper industry is viewed from the financiers’

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For readers tuned in to developments affecting Costa Mesa real estate, the month began with an Associated Press dispatch announcing federal plans to increase the stock of 2,000,000 “affordable” U.S. homes. The ambitious goal was set “in response to the volcanic rise in housing prices” over the past year. Details described federal initiatives to both build and restore the end product: homes more attainable by consumers currently priced out of the market.

According to the AP, the plan’s details were posted on the White House Council of Economic Advisers’ blog last Wednesday. Citing Freddie Mac’s research that estimates a current U.S. shortfall of 3.8 million homes, the plan outlines a variety of measures aimed at answering the affordability problems

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