Timely Real Estate News……………………… 8 July 2020
Missed communicating with you
Sorry you have not heard from me in the past month or so. I have been ill and then with the loss of my Mom, have not been working much.
Celebrating a wonderful life…
It is with great sadness that I share the news with you that my beloved mother, Ruth “Kelly” Schiffer, peacefully passed away June 15 due to old age (she had just turned 98!) at her home in West Los Angeles. She lived a marvelous, energetic life that focused on her family and over her lifetime, on her many contributions to the arts in Los Angeles. Mom was an elegant, lovely woman and she was my best friend, companion, biggest fan, and guiding star. One cute bit of information about her, she would never leave ANY room without lipstick and was a See’s Candy lover to the end!
Born in New York City, Mom grew up with a keen, sophisticated eye for fashion, design and valued giving back to her community. When she was just 20 and with World War II raging across the globe, after meeting on blind date, and just three short months later she and my Dad, Clifford Schiffer eloped on Valentine’s Day, 1942, informing her parents she was married on their cross- country trip to California. Mom and Dad were happily married for 61 years.
Raising two daughters, Mom and Dad encouraged and imbued each to enrich themselves in the arts and get an education as well as a strong sense of self, esthetic and design. We were taught to be the best we can be.
Mom devoted much of her life to learning and teaching about art and culture, which included her serving 45 years as a docent at LACMA…she was president of the Far Eastern Arts Council, an active member of the Decorative Arts Council and for many years, the only docent for LACMA’s famed glass collection (students from schools all over the city where brought to the museum to hear her lectures about glass including its history and the different ways in which it is made) . In addition, she was very passionate about music (especially show tunes) and theater, serving as President of the Center Theater Group Affiliates which is the fund raising arm for Children’s Programs for the Music Center as well as a member of The Blue Ribbon, which is the primary fund raising arm for the Music Center itself
Mom leaves Carole and her daughter Melanie & son-in law Lawrence Fisher, and Kim, husband Dr. Bob Sims and daughter Morgan and son Connor, and their respective partners. She was an incredible person and Mom, and we all will miss her lust for life, style, guidance, council and elegance, her family and grand kids, and the arts. What a long, purposeful life she lived…we should all be so lucky..
You have left me with millions of wonderful memories.
Thank you Mom, I will miss and honor you for the rest of my life.
What has Covid-19 done for our real estate market?
There has been a lot taking place in the real estate market these days…. not all bad, some good comes along that gives us hope. The reality is that mortgage rates are at historic lows and could go lower, and that is encouraging sales…buyers remain hungry.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.07% last week, the lowest ever recorded by Freddie Mac since it began tracking such data in 1971. “Mortgage rates continue to slowly drift downward, with a distinct possibility that the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage could dip below 3% later this year,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.
“On the economic front, incoming data suggest the rebound in economic activity has paused in the last couple of weeks, with modest declines in consumer spending and a pullback in purchase activity.” Freddie Mac reports average commitment rates, along with average fees and points, to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining a mortgage. But some of the good news, too, is that 4.2 million jobs were added, and while we are seeing a spike in Covid cases, economists expect the market and job market to improve. But — there is always a “but” — the recent crackdown in LA County has dramatically hurt the restaurant and small businesses. Our lives are exactly getting back to normal. Safe distancing, masks are the ‘order of the day!. Stay safe!!!
Forbearance requests during Covid-19 declining….
The number of borrowers in government and private sector coronavirus-related mortgage bailouts just fell by the largest weekly volume since these plans were put in place. There are, however, warning signs that the programs could swell again.
As of June 30, 4.58 million homeowners were in forbearance plans, according to Black Knight, a mortgage data and technology firm. This represents 8.6% of all active mortgages, down from 8.8% the previous week. Added up, all the loans in forbearance represent just under $1 trillion in unpaid principal ($995 billion).
Many of these loan forbearance requests were made in late March and early April and will expire in mid- to late-June….and that is when we will get a better read on what is happening with forbearance claims.
Protecting our homes from fire – important please read
Standard Mesh Vents, even 1/8” mesh vents create openings for flying embers. They do little to nothing to protect your home from flames, heat and burning embers. During a wildfire, winds can carry flying embers up to 4 miles from the head of the fire. This can result in the ignition of combustible materials inside your attic and subfloor when get blown through your mesh vents. Once a home catches fire inside the attic or foundation, there is little to nothing that can be done to save it. This is why flame and ember resistant vents are now part of the building code
What you do to help protect your home?
You can install WILDFIRE RATED VENTS. There are 4 types of vents, Foundation Vents, Gable Vents, Fire Plug, and Dormer Vents. I just had them installed on my house and feel so much safer and am thrilled with the job. They installed a custom Gable vent, 8 Dormer Vents, and 2 Custom Foundation Vents (they matched the paint color for the house also). A few of us organized a group to have it done on the same day and received a group discount.
Please contact me for more information and the name of the company I used. I highly recommend them.
Summer gardens can and should brighten your day
We are all getting frayed at the edges with the Covid-19 plaguing us daily, but perhaps there is some “peace and quiet” right in your own backyard.
Here are some handy tips to ensure that you can fully enjoy your gardens this summer: #1 Rejuvenate your pots…allow for ample drainage…recycle old soil and re-arrange compacted roots so they can ‘breathe”. #2 Start a compost pile…. keeps kitchen and garden waste out of landfills, transforming into soil-building amendment. #3 Help the bees…. plant some African-blue basil in a pot or in the ground. #4 Plant some flowers…favorites. #5 Deadhead...take clippers in hand and cut back spent blooms from your roses and other plants to encourage a new set of flowers. #6 Weed…knock those weeds down before they take over your garden this summer (it is great therapy). #7 Visit your plants daily…really try to enjoy your garden every day…stroll through it with your morning cup of coffee. Love your plants, and they will love you!
Pandemic making buyers more eager
The pandemic is not scaring off home buyers. More than half—or 53% of about 1,000 home buyers recently surveyed—say they are more likely to buy a home in the next year due to the coronavirus outbreak. First-time home buyers and millennials may be the most eager to buy within the next 12 months, the survey from LendingTree shows.
The top two motivators for buying soon are to take advantage of record low mortgage rates (67%) and being able to save for a larger down payment due to reduced spending (32%). Also, the perception of reduced home prices (30%) and being confined in a smaller space during stay-at-home orders have made homeownership more appealing, the survey found.
The pandemic is not only prompting more people to pursue homeownership, it is also influencing their home shopping. For example, the majority of respondents say the coronavirus pandemic has affected how much money they plan to spend on a new home. Forty-four % plan to buy a less expensive home while 21% want a pricier home. Broken out, 28% of first-time buyers say they will purchase a pricier home compared to just 17% of repeat buyers.
Coronavirus may spark more moves….
The economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak is having a continuing effect on mobility, encouraging some to find less expensive housing while persuading others to stay put a little longer.
In its latest survey, some 46% of Americans say the coronavirus outbreak has influenced their moving plans in some way, according to a new survey from ApartmentList. Over a recent series of surveys by the site, reflecting 10,000 responses over the past three months, the population segments most likely to move are renters (25%), those who live in dense urban areas (29%), and those who have been laid off (32%).
“Many low-income Americans will be moving out of necessity, and for them, affordable housing options will be difficult to find,” the newest survey notes. The U.S. mobility rate has been falling for the past 35 years, but the coronavirus may change that, economists say.
More employers may embrace remote working for the long haul, which could untether more Americans and let them move anywhere they wish. Also, following months of sheltering in place, urban dwellers may desire more space to spread out. Further, millions of Americans have lost their jobs and may need to move to a more affordable living situation. Bottom line: We are not through this Covid pandemic….it is becoming clear that we are continuing to see changes in our market and most importantly, in our daily lives.
New FICO Index may help expand mortgage lending
For many, this could be extremely helpful in buying your future home. Fair Isaac Corp., the creator of the widely used FICO credit score, released a new credit index last week that could help more borrowers qualify for a mortgage. The FICO Resilience Index, created to supplement the FICO score, is aimed at helping lenders assess a borrower’s ability to withstand an economic downturn, even if they have a low credit score.
The index culls personal financial information from before and after the Great Recession to measure a person’s chances of paying bills on time during economic volatility. Measuring on a scale of 1 to 99, lower scores indicate greater financial resilience in an economic downturn while higher scores indicate more sensitivity to economic shifts.
“Our hope is that it will allow lenders to continue to be able to make prudent loans,” says Joanne Gaskin, vice president of scores and analytics at FICO. “Lenders are going to feel more comfortable continuing to approve borrowers rather than denying them.”
Back at Work!
After basically not working because I was sick and then Mom I am back at work and very happy doing so. I have a number of new clients, both Buyers and Sellers. I will share our adventures with you as we go along. Please let me know how I can assist you with all your real estate needs.
Looking forward to hearing from and seeing you
310 471-2007 – home office land line
310 413-3680 – cell
310 442-1384 – office land line