Goodbye 2017

Will we continue to see a strong Real Estate Market in 2018?

The signs are good that our local Real Estate market in Oroville will continue to be vigorous.  The “signs” being the Multiple Listing Service that I look at daily and the various reports and media blurbs that point to a pretty strong economy as well as the growth in infrastructure that I see happening around town.  It is unclear what impact the new tax laws will have on our local market, but from what I have read and heard, I don’t see a huge change in the buyer and seller motivations.  It will be interesting to see if the “disasters” of 2017  (Spillway and Dam problem and horrendous wild fires) will have any sustaining impact on our housing market.  We saw a MAJOR jump in rental demand as the workers were hired on 2 year contracts to do Dam repairs as well as the housing demand from families displaced in the fires.  The interesting thing to note from the spillway incident was the lack of demand from homeowners living in the potential dam failure areas to relocate to properties that were above the dam.  There really was not the large influx of listings in the “lowlands” that I expected.  The Oroville Real Estate market continues to surprise and fascinate me just as it has for over 15 years now.  I am honored to be a part of this towns growth and a witness to the spirit and determination of its residents.  Bring it on 2018, we are ready!


Lake Oroville Poised for a Wet Winter… We Hope.

lake oroville visitor centerShowing lake property without a lake has been an escalating problem for a few years now.

The Lake Oroville area has some amazing sights and tons of recreational activities. Unfortunately, a large portion of them have to do with accessing the lake which is kind of hard these days. With the lake levels at an historic low, the lake has been in the news more than at any other time in history. It seems that every time I pick up an article or magazine that is talking about the drought, there is a picture of Lake Oroville in its depleted state. We have become the “poster child” for California’s near crisis drought conditions.

The effect on the Lake Oroville Real Estate market is debatable. The spring/summer has been great so far with plenty of buyers still looking for that vacation or retirement home by the lake. The interest rates are still low and the home prices while going up a bit, remain stable in the area and the prospect of a wetter than average winter is making everyone I talk to positively giddy. People seem to be optimistic that the lake will fill up again SOMEDAY!  Sellers are still selling and buyers are still buying, so from my perspective, things look pretty good.

According to MSN news, the ocean waters are warming up and we are in a position to experience an “El Nino” event that could rival the winter of 1997/1998. If you lived in the area at that time, you will remember the unbelievable amounts of rain that came down that year. My mom worked for the propane company in downtown Oroville at the time and recalls the huge propane tanks floating down the street on the flood waters. The engineers at the Lake Oroville Dam were very worried at one point that the dam would not hold all the water and that it would breach the dam. Scary stuff indeed.

I personally hope for a lot of rain spread out appropriately enough to fill the lake, but not to cause widespread flooding, but mother nature will do what she wants and we will deal with it. Hopefully, next spring I will be showing homes and showing off the beauty of our area that includes a FULL lake.

Use a local lender for buying success!

There are several reasons to use a local lender when making a home purchase, and by local, I mean a lender with an office in the area you are interested in. The main reason is that a local lender will be familiar with the types of properties available in the area and can better advise the buyer of any particular requirements necessary for the area. For instance: I had a client from the bay area who wanted to purchased a manufactured home on land in the foothills above Lake Oroville. They wanted to use a lender in San Jose who had helped them with their purchase there. We made the offer and received acceptance, but because the lender had no experience with a manufactured home that was not in a park of some kind, they denied the buyer the loan. We were able to get the buyer qualified with a local lender and complete the transaction within the escrow period. Another reason to go local with your lender is strictly for convenience sake. The local lenders know the local title companies and officers and can help to avoid delays by hand walking documents to the title company or the Realtor. Your purchase transaction should be a trinity consisting of your Realtor, your lender and the title officer. If everyone knows each other and have worked together before, the individual needs of each party can better be anticipated and fewer delays and problems occur. The ultimate goal being a smooth and seamless transaction. Hope this has been helpful. Stay tuned for more great tips.

Lake Oroville Real Estate Market – Are we ready?

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!

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