1st Time Home Buyers “Coming Home” To Tahoe
Every cloud has a silver lining – we all know that to be true. And one of our favorite current silver linings is the number of local Tahoe first time home buyers finding themselves in a position to finally move back to the lake and purchase a home with the dream of raising their families with the same sense of community they had growing up. There’s nothing quite as satisfying for a REALTOR® as seeing the smiles on these young families. For example, Jaime just closed escrow with a young family able to purchase a home just around the corner from the grandparents to everyone’s joy. We are currently in escrow with a young married couple that put aside a big wedding and honeymoon to instead, save for a down payment on their first home. And, we have been recently contacted by a couple with two small children that had to leave the area 6 years ago due to their feeling that they could never afford a home in the area they love. Being lucky enough to work in technology and live wherever they want, they are “coming home.”
In fact, this seems to be the case throughout the state of California. According to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® “Lower home prices and interest rates led to an increase in home affordability in the third quarter of 2011.” The association went on to report that the percentage of California households that could afford to purchase a median-priced home of $292,120 rose to 52 percent in the third quarter, up from 51 percent in the second quarter. The median home price reported by the South Tahoe Association of REALTORS® as of October 11, 2011 was $270,000 (based upon an average of the previous 12 months and below that of the state average.)
Folks fitting into the following criteria may want to look into taking advantage of today’s amazing home values. A minimum annual income of $61,530 generally qualifies one for the purchase of a $292,120 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home. (Less for South Tahoe home buyers.) The monthly payment based upon that estimated $292,120 priced home, including taxes and insurance, would be $1,540, assuming a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 4.63 percent. C.A.R. went on to report that “Regionally, housing affordability rose in most counties in the San Francisco Bay Area but was down in Los Angeles County and Fresno County. At 77 percent, San Bernardino County was the most affordable, while San Mateo County was the least affordable, with only 25 percent of households able to purchase the county’s median-priced home.” Historically, Lake Tahoe’s home values follow the Bay area by about 6 months to a year. Don’t we wish we had a crystal ball about now?