Monthly Archives: September 2014

Join the Festival Atmosphere in Placer County, CA

John LaRosa 09/30/2014
Placer County, CA, home to a number of great festivals

Placer County, CA, has the unique environment of being close to a major city, but also close to nature. Placer County welcomes a diverse cultural background and lifestyle range, but all its residents tend to have one thing in common — they love to celebrate who they are, where they came from, what they do, and the cities they share. It’s no wonder that Placer County is home to hundreds of festivals, fairs, and gatherings every year.

Some of these are traditional and familiar, like the Placer County Fair each June, and the Festival of Lights Parade and Old Country Christmas in Auburn every December.  Others celebrate the rich and storied history of Placer County, including the annual Railroad Days in Colfax (Placer County grew up around the western railroad in the mid-1800s) and Foresthill’s Heritage Festival (home to CA’s Gold Panning Championships).

There’s a BerryFest and a Mountain Mandarin Festival, celebrating strawberries and mandarin oranges, respectively, as well as the Auburn Food and Wine Festival. There’s even a festival dedicated to wooden boats, the Lake Tahoe Wooden Boat Week and Concours d’Elegance. And that’s not even starting with the festivals celebrating cultural holidays, like Cinco de Mayo and St. Patrick’s Day; the festivals centered on art, poetry, and music; and the festivals celebrating nature and the environment.

Moving into one of the many welcoming Placer County homes available will be a fantastic experience for you and your loved ones. You’ll have so many ways to celebrate your new home with all the local festivals and fairs — why pick just one? They all happen every year, so, if you miss a few, don’t worry — they’ll come around again. 

Read More

Oenophiles Gather in Placer County, CA

John LaRosa 09/30/2014
placer county, california vineyards give the napa valley a run for its money and enrich placer county real estate

All wine lovers know that the vineyards of Northern California are not to be missed. Napa Valley, in particular, draws national and international attention for its famous wines. But Placer County, just outside Sacramento, is also acclaimed for its vineyards and wineries. Placer County homes offer a unique opportunity for wine lovers, in the community’s proximity to so many great wineries.

wine tasting, gourmet restaurants, and great shopping in downtown Grass Valley, CA

The Placer County Wine Trail is a county organization dedicated to raising awareness of the area as a premier winemaking region, and is run by the local nonprofit Placer County Vintners. The Trail includes twenty wineries across the cities of Auburn, Lincoln, Loomis, Meadow Vista, Newcastle, and Rocklin, CA. Most of these wineries are family owned and operated, and all of them focus on personal, intimate visits to go along with their handcrafted wine. Differentiating themselves from commercial and impersonal wineries, the wineries of Placer County boast small vineyards and unique wine tasting experiences.

Wine grapes were first brought to the county during the 1848 gold rush, and by 1860 it was an active industry, with many miners having invested their gold in grapes and built vineyards of their own. Prohibition devastated the county’s winemaking industry, but it has made a strong recovery beginning in the 1970s. Placer County grapes are most often compared to the grapes grown in the Rhone Valley in France, as the climates between there and Northern California are fairly similar.

If you’re a wine lover looking for a great real estate property, or a newcomer who would like to learn more about wine, this area has something to offer everyone

Read More

Small City Living in Roseville

John LaRosa 09/29/2014
Royer Park in Roseville California

Retiring away from city life can mean finding an isolated place to call home, or it can mean finding a Roseville condo for sale.

Getting older and deciding to leave the city doesn’t have to mean being ready for green pastures and backyard chickens. Many older adults find that living in a small city like Roseville is the perfect blend of urban and rural living. Buying a Roseville condo can be far more affordable than a place in the suburbs, and it avoids the traffic of the poor suckers still commuting into work every morning.

But this is a town made for active older adults. With garden clubs and condo communities meant for active retirees, Roseville offers the amenities of a city without all the negative side effects. From gourmet cheese and wine shops to golf courses, Roseville offers entertainment options unavailable further east into the Sierra Nevada foothills. And, of course, Sacramento is just a short drive away to visit old friends who stayed in the city.

footbridge over Dry Creek in Roseville, CA

History buffs and train fanatics can enjoy the city’s designation as Train Town USA and the rotary snow plow recently donated to the city. The area was near the heart of California’s Gold Rush and historic sites dot the region.

For more active seniors, the Sierra foothills offer a variety of recreational opportunities and a chance to enjoy the native fauna of California. Best of all, finding a Roseville home almost always means finding a new bunch of friends, as small city living means a return to neighborhoods and neighbors who know one another.

Read More

Enjoy California without Being Crowded In

John LaRosa 09/29/2014
Nevada County CA Real Estate offers rural living in the Sierra Nevada Foothills without sacrificing convenience

Rural living is not necessarily what people think of when they think of California, but Nevada County real estate often offers exactly that – a home in the country.

Unlike the population centers in Los Angeles, San Diego, or San Francisco, Nevada County, California, does not require people to live on top of one another, with high-rise apartments and tiny little parks instead of wide open spaces. In fact, in Nevada County there are fewer than 100 residents per square mile, so the neighbors are often the sage brush, cacti, and beautiful view.

But living away from the smog and crowded streets does not have to mean living without culture, entertainment, and the good things that come with city-life. Sacramento and San Francisco are easy drives when the siren call of the masses is too much to avoid.

Nevada County Real Estate

This Lake Wildwood home in Nevada County CA offers seclusion and access to the natural beauty of rural California living

But when the visit to the hustle and bustle comes to an end, and it’s time to relax for the night, the weekend, or forever, Nevada County offers a pleasant alternative to the crowds on the coast. With the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the backyard, Nevada County offers secluded estates for those who want to enjoy California’s perfect weather without the city to accompany it.

In eastern California, the crowds do not mar the state’s scenic beauty, and California history is virtually around the corner. Whether it’s just a couple acres to raise some backyard chickens, or a full estate to hide from the world, Nevada County probably has it.

Read More

CoreLogic’s July Housing Price Index Report Shows Continued Slowing in Price Increases

John LaRosa 09/27/2014

See why slowing housing price increases are good news for California Real Estate

CoreLogic’s current HPI report for July 2014, released earlier this month, represents the 29th consecutive month that the Housing Price Index has shown positive year-over-year changes. The year-over-year increases have only recently dropped in to the single digits. Previously the year-over-year increases were consistently in the double-digits. Price increases like that cannot go on unabated before another bubble is reached. CoreLogic’s May 2014 HPI report showed a YoY increase of 8.8% and in June it fell to a 7.5% increase. The latest report for July stayed steady at 7.4%.

The Market is Responding to Consumer Buying Power

This is a good sign as far as I’m concerned. Double-digit price increases are nice but they can’t go on forever. What seems reasonable is a leveling off at an eventual 3 to 5% in annual increases. A number low enough that it doesn’t attract investors looking to make a quick buck but sturdy enough to reward the homebuyer that is willing to put some time and effort in to their investment. When homes are invested in, in this manner, it helps make our streets, communities, cities, and world a better place by rewarding someone for taking care of their piece of the world. This is the type of housing market that we should be striving for, otherwise we are just on our way to another bubble.

Indeed CoreLogic’s July HPI report predicts the YoY change from July 2014 to July 2015 will be 5.7%. With increases slowing like this it will hopefully give consumers a chance to catch up to the recent jumps in prices, which is exactly what the market should be responding to; consumers, not speculation. Let’s hope that is the case.

the effect of federal reserve 30 year fixed mortgage rates on monthly housing payments

The 30-year fixed interest rate has been hovering around 4.3% for over a year and is only one percentage point higher than its all-time low of 3.3%. It does seem likely that eventual increases in the APR will become more of a detriment to buying power than any other factors. A quick look at the Buyer’s Purchasing Power chart and you’ll see how drastic the impact can be. A 1% increase in the mortgage rate drops the purchasing power of the same monthly payment by 10%. In the example below a $400k home would cost nearly $250 more per month if the lending rate increased by only 1%.

As of this publication the Federal Reserve interest rate for 30-year Fixed Mortgages is at 4.2%. A great rate that is less than 1% above the record low.

California Real Estate Remains Strong

The CoreLogic report shows that California real estate is still poised for growth. With a year-over-year increase of 10.5%, housing prices are not about to grind to a halt in the state. Even with the increases homes for sale in California have been experiencing over the last 2 years the market still remains 14.5% below the peak it reached in 2006.

If you are in a position to buy, you shouldn’t wait any longer. You may have missed the huge increases after the market rebounded but the predictions show that buying a home in California is still a good bet and if the economy continues to improve it is likely that interest increases will not be far off.

Stay tuned for more info.

Read More