As spring approaches, we in the Lake Oroville Real Estate profession are gearing up for what we hope will be a busy season. The experts are all over the news these days saying that “This is the year to buy Real Estate“: They say prices are at the lowest predicted levels and I have seen the distress sales such as foreclosures and short sales begin to diminish. Interest rates are still good and the lenders even appear to be gaining some confidence with new products for buyers being introduced in significant numbers.
The resale market still seems to be the way to go for most buyers though as construction costs and lot development costs are keeping the per square foot pricing for new construction in the $150 per sf. or higher range, while existing homes in the greater Lake Oroville area are selling for an average of under $100 per sf. . This would logically seem to be bad news for the land sellers, but in reality, we are seeing a high level of interest in land as well. I would attribute this in part to the growing DIY (do it yourself) climate that is taking hold in this country. People are doing everything they can these days to save money from growing their own food, sewing their own clothing to changing their own oil and doing home pedicures.
Buyers are telling me that they want to own land that they can be self sufficient on and not have to rely on the outside world for their needs. Frankly, the first couple of times I heard this I envisioned people holed up with women and children and automatic weapons shouting “No thieving revenuers are gonna take us alive!”, but basically they are just normal people that are concerned with current conditions and thinking about an exit strategy from whatever urban blight they exist in now. I certainly can’t blame them there! We are blessed to live in an area that has relatively few people and plenty of good land that is perfect for grazing and growing, not to mention great weather and a 3 hour drive to just about any climate from snow to ocean. Also, many of the inquiries received are from individuals who have been looking for a great retirement option and they know that any real estate that affords a view of either Lake Oroville or one of the forks of the Feather River is a limited commodity and should be purchased while the prices are low. So whether it’s a home or bare land, it would seem that real estate is beginning to look like a good investment again and that is music to my ears!