Gay Realty Network

Real Estate News With a Gay Slant

Prices Up, Sales Down in San Francisco

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San FranciscoLast month, the number of Bay Area home sales slowed to a crawl and hit its lowest level since the recession in 2008, according to the latest report from DataQuick. A slowdown is normal for January, but even compared with January 2014, sales are down, dropping 5.5 percent to a seven-year low of 4,439 houses and condos for the whole Bay Area. Meanwhile, the median price paid is still climbing; it rose 9 percent year over year to reach $572,000, compared with $525,000 last January. In fact, last month was our 34th month straight of a year-over-year price gains. Small consolation: Price growth has slowed since January 2014, when median prices had increased a whopping 26.5 percent over January 2013. At least we’ve dropped to single-digit price hikes! Woohoo.

In San Francisco proper, at least, this January’s prices are pretty flat compared with last year’s. The median sale price is up just $1,000 from January 2014, standing at $885,500. Sonoma, Napa, and Marin saw the highest year-over-year price increases, of 11 percent, 9.5 percent, and 9 percent, respectively.

Absentee buyers (mostly investors) accounted for 21 percent of Bay Area homes in January, down from 24.5 percent in January 2014.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By Lamar Anderson – See the Full Story at Curbed

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals in San Francisco.

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com

Where Are Mortgage Rates Headed?

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The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to look at where rates are headed when deciding to buy now or wait until next year. Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s February 2015 U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of 2015.

How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly. Research released by Zillow touched on this point:

“As rates rise, new home buyers will confront higher financing costs and monthly mortgage payments. For many, this will mean tightening their budgets and sacrificing some luxuries they may take for granted today.”

The experts predict that home prices will appreciate by 4.4% over the course of 2015. If both predictions become reality, families would wind up paying considerably more for their home.

Bottom Line

Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth. Meet with a local real estate professional to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home.

Featured Gay Real Estate Agent: Eric Greene, Long Beach, California

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Eric Greene - Long BeachPeriodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals.

Gay Long Beach Real Estate Agent – Experienced Long Beach/Orange County Realtor providing outstanding service and area knowledge

See Eric’s Expanded Listing on Gay Realty Network Here

Gay Friendly Realtors and Real Estate Professionals in the Greater Los Angeles Area

As California Home Sales Fall, Prices Go Up

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San Francisco HomeCalifornia home sales were down last month, plunging to the lowest level seen in January in seven years in the San Francisco Bay area, a research firm said Wednesday. But prices are still up over the same period last year.

An estimated 25,325 new and resale houses and condos sold in California – marking a 30.6 percent decline from the number sold the previous month and a 2 percent drop from January 2014 sales, according to data released by Irvine-based CoreLogic DataQuick.

The median price paid for a home in California of $376,000 was 6.5 percent above what it was a year ago but slightly less than it was in December.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

See the Full Story at KCRA

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals in California.

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com

Leather Themed Parklet Planned in San Francisco

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San Francisco Leather ParkletThe city of San Francisco is in early talks about the creation of a small park located near the site of city’s old Eagle Tavern that would be inspired by and dedicated to the queer leather community. “Eagle Plaza,” as its being called now, would be located in the heart of the city’s South of Market neighborhood, repurposing sections of Harrison and Bernice streets.

More green space the park, Eagle Plaza would become an official LGBT cultural heritage landmark and feature gathering public gathering spaces, a jungle gym, and an area for food trucks.

“There is a lack of public space like this in this area. It is very much needed,” neighborhood bar owner Alex Montiel explained to the Bay Area Reporter. “Something like this is very much needed for anybody who lives around here. There are no parks nearby.”

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By Charles Pulliam-Moore – See the Full Story at Towleroad

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals in San Francisco.

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com

Which City is Better for Gay Men – San Francisco or New York?

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New YorkWhich rival city is really better for gay men? San Francisco or New York?
This is an age-old question that we’ve laid out the answer for below. Both cities are fabulous meccas of glitter and rainbows, but it ultimately comes down which aspects of a city carry the most weight for you. Find out which city would be best based on which category is most near and dear.

Nightlife: New York

San FranciscoWhile San Francisco may be able to brag about its diverse LGBT scene, it’s scene is less raucous and dominated by small, intimate bars. If you’re looking for a party, New York it is! With a slew of fabulous clubs like G Lounge and Atlas Social Club, plus endless events, it’s the undisputed gay party capital of the world.

So who comes out on top? With 6 of the two categories (and 2 ties), New York reigns supreme as the most fabulous city for gay men! So break out those dancing shoes and go party!

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

See the Full Story at Queerty

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals.

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com

Where Are Americans Moving?

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Moving-America

Why Have Interest Rates Dropped?

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The headlines agree mortgage interest rates have dropped substantially below initial projections. Many who are considering purchasing a home, or moving up to their dream home, might think that they should wait to buy, because rates may continue to fall.

A recent article on the Economists’ Outlook blog by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) provides insight into one major factor in the decline in interest rates, the crude oil price.

“As of January 5, 2015, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the price of regular gasoline was $2.20/gallon, the lowest since gas prices peaked to about $ 4/gallon in May 2011.”

You may have noticed that filling your gas tank has become substantially less expensive in recent months. A welcome change from the close to $5 a gallon that many Americans were paying this time last year. The average US household is projected to save around $550 in 2015.

So what does that have to do with Interest Rates?

NAR explains the correlation like this:

“Lower oil prices mean lower inflation rate, which pushes down mortgage rates.”

Based on Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage survey as of January 22, 2015, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.63% and the 15-year fixed rate averaged 2.93%.

“The decline in oil prices is generally positive to households by way of the gas savings and lower mortgage payments. That savings will boost consumer spending in other areas. But there may be some layoffs in oil-producing states.”

How long will rates stay low?

No one really knows how long oil prices will continue to support low mortgage rates. In a New York Times article, the author points to the fact that “adding hundreds of billions of dollars to consumer spending” could start to have a “counter effect” on rates as the economy continues to strengthen.

“If firms start hiring again, and wages increase — that’s when the level of all interest rates in the U.S. would increase.” 

Don’t wait too long

The low interest rates we are currently experiencing are not going to stay around forever. The current projections from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, NAR and the Mortgage Bankers Association all agree that interest rates will increase to between 4.3-5.4% by the end of 2015.

BOTTOM LINE

NAR reports: “At the median home price of $205,300, a 0.75 percentage point drop in mortgage rates will yield savings of about $1,000 annually.”

If you are in a position to buy a home make sure that you meet with a local real estate professional with their finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the market. Don’t let a delay in purchasing impact your family’s financial future.

courtesy of: keepingcurrentmatters.com

“Looking” Treats All of San Francisco as a Gayborhood

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LookingThis week’s red carpet premier for the second season of “Looking” used the kind of backdrop that might have seemed fitting for a show about gay men digging through lust, love and angst in San Francisco. The stars stood underneath the Castro Theatre’s neon sign with a drag queen on the sidewalk nearby and several gay dance clubs across the street.

But on the show, the Castro doesn’t see as much screentime as you might expect for a district considered San Francisco’s “gayborhood” for a half-century. (You can see the proof in this nifty map that Curbed SF compiled.) Instead, characters jump from SoMa restaurants to Mission clubs to Oakland basement apartments to raves in Muir Woods in scenes filmed on site instead of on a soundstage.

“That’s the truth of any big city like San Francisco. In New York, not all the gays live in Chelsea,” said lead actor Jonathan Groff, who is gay and said his favorite San Francisco bar was Zeitgeist in the Mission District, not the Castro.

At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas.

Authored By Cory Weinberg – See the Full Story at BizJournals.com

Click here for gay realtors, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals in San Francisco.

If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at info@gayrealtynetwork.com

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

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If you are thinking about purchasing a home right now, you are surely getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in real estate. Let’s look at whether or not now is actually a good time for you to buy a home.

There are three questions you should ask before purchasing in today’s market:

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with finances. A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of the space

What non-financial benefits will you and your family derive from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

When looking at future housing values, Home Price Expectation Survey provides a fair assessment. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

Here is what the experts projected in the latest survey:

  • Home values will appreciate by 4% in 2015.
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 23.5% by 2019.
  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of over 15.1% by 2019.

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by an increase in mortgage rates.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of RealtorsFannie Mae and Freddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by approximately one full percentage over the next twelve months.

Bottom Line

Only you and your family can know for certain the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

courtesy of: keepingcurrentmatters.com