The Next Housing Crisis?

More and more of my clients are asking me “Are we at the top of the market?”  It’s a good question.  An even better question is why they think I would know any better than any schmo on the street, but we’ll set that aside for the moment. Last year I wrote an article titled...

Your Rent is Going Up

Your landlord called and says your rent is going up. Well, not really,  But the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C. think tank that conducts research on economic and housing policy, sees plenty of reasons for your landlord to call. Note I said “reasons,” plural.  There are a lot of factors that drive rent levels, but...

Will Rising Interest Rates Paralyze the Real Estate Market?

An easy answer to this seemingly simple question is “Yes.” All things being equal rising rates mean higher monthly payments, fewer folks qualifying for home purchases, and fewer folks wanting to buy because the cost of ownership is just out of reach. But those are temporary issues. The market will adjust, settle in to a...

Will 2016 Bring a Housing Bubble?

Most of us still remember the housing crash of 2008 – vividly. Housing prices, driven by ever-more-creative financing and frenzied demand skyrocketed higher and higher in a positive feedback loop that everyone knew would crash one day, but few knew where to jump off. Today’s market feels “frothy” (as Alan Greenspan would say) like the...

When to Avoid Buying a Condo

I am often asked whether buying a condo is a good investment. The short answer – I own one in New Mexico and yes, they can be a great investment. If you are buying a condo to live in it, it’s great to have all your exterior maintenance taken care of, and nice to have...

Is Santa Clara One of the Least Affordable Housing Markets in the U.S?

I noticed an article this morning titled “5 Least Affordable Housing Markets in America.” I love reading about my home town, so I clicked. Would Santa Clara and San Francisco Counties be 1 and 2, or would they be further down the list? How do they determine the least affordable housing markets? The article looks...

Home Improvement Activity Spiking

I just finished teaching a class at The College of San Mateo about financing home improvements. The experience of teaching the class confirmed what I’ve observed anecdotally – many families are considering the benefits of home improvement over “buying up” these days. Now the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University has come out...

Will Home Prices Jump in Five Years?

It’s not too hard to guess at the general direction of home prices in the near term. In the San Francisco Bay Area, for instance, with low inventory, a huge surplus of buyers with great salaries and stock options, and multiple bids on almost every property, it’s safe to say home prices are still going...

The Newest Trend in Luxury Homes – Hidden Pools

This is just a fun post.  I came across a video about hidden pools that piqued my interest.  With an average home on a small lot in San Jose going for $1 million now, we’ve hit the luxury market category.  So why not a pool? But I’ve seen many backyard pools in our area (remember...

Who Buys Homes? Homeownership by Profession

Here’s an interesting article. In today’s Marketwatch column Amy Hoak explores which professions are more likely to own homes. So, who buys homes? At first glance the list is a little surprising. While you would think that income level would be the primary driver of homeownership rates, that isn’t the case. In fact, a factor...