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Will the rent control measure make it to the ballot?

This year, California voters may get to decide whether cities should be able to enforce stronger rent control. The measure is largely funded by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s “Housing is a Human Right” and tenants‘ rights groups throughout the state.

The measure strives to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which protects landlords’ rights to raise rent as market rates increase and prevents cities from capping rent prices. Current rent control laws are prevented from including single-family residences, townhouses, condos, and duplexes. All units built after 1995 are also exempt.

Proponents say they have over 588,000 signatures – more than 220,000 over the 365,880 needed. Opponents, however, claim this measure, if passed, will do just the opposite of what it seeks to accomplish. They fear it will result in an “affordable housing freeze,” stymieing new construction across the state, thus, further contributing to the current housing crisis.


Rent Prices Continue to Rise in 2018

We’ve talked about it before and now we’re talking about it again. Last year, we saw rent prices increase 2.6 percent, causing more renters to begin looking at homeownership. Now, data collected by CoreLogic for its Single-Family Rent Index confirms, we’re up another 2.8 percent this year. Just like the buying market, the inventory of homes available for lease is low compared to the demand, driving up prices yet again. Though we’re not at the peak of 2016 when rent prices increased by 4.1 percent, we are still seeing a consistent increase year over year.

Nationally, rent growth was brought down a bit by high-end rentals, but both high-end and low-end rental markets continue to see increases in price. With employment rates on the rise and an increasing demand for housing, it does not look like the rental market will be slowing down soon. Considering we’re expecting close to 8 percent appreciation in home values this year, it’s safe to say rent prices will continue to rise. Of course, metro areas with more job growth and stronger local economies will see the greatest increases, but so too will other markets as people branch out to neighboring areas seeking affordability.

If you’re considering leasing out your property, now could be the time. Depending on when you purchased the property, you could be getting a far greater return. On the other hand, if you’re considering buying, think of it this way – it’s costing you about half a percent per month. For example, let’s say you were looking at buying a house for $500,000; that house you’re looking at now priced at $500,000 will be worth around $520,000 by the end of the year. That means waiting 7 months is costing you $20,000. On a conventional loan for $500,000 your monthly payments could be as low as $2500 per month – this could be less than the rent you are paying on someone else’s mortgage!

Now, buying may not be the most feasible option for some right now, but run the numbers, and evaluate what makes the most financial sense for you. Whether you’re looking to buy or turn your house into income property, now may be the time to make the investment and start getting returns from this ongoing appreciation. After all, economists are projecting appreciation will continue in an upwards trajectory until at least 2022. It might just be time to make that appreciation work for you and not against you.


3 Methods to Organize Your Home and Life

Organize Your Home

We all have some level of attachment to our things. However, many of us feel as though we’re drowning in stuff. Fortunately, there’s been a growing movement toward minimalism, and there are numerous methods that can help. Below are three decluttering philosophies to help you clear out and organize your home and life.

  1. Feng Shui — The driving principle behind this Eastern philosophy is to create harmony and balance between an individual and his or her environment. Good feng shui invites prosperity and brings an overall sense of well-being into your space. From the front door to the bathroom, small changes to color, decor and furniture arrangement are believed to promote health, wealth, happiness and good energy.
  2.  The KonMari Method — Famed Japanese organizer Marie Kondo promises that you can drastically improve your life by tidying up. In her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” she explains a two-step approach. First, you take all of your possessions and lay them out categorically (clothes first and sentimental pieces last). Then, you hold each item in your hand and decide whether or not it brings you joy. If it doesn’t, you let it go.
  3. The 90/90 Rule (Minimalism) — This home organization concept also relies on a two-part process. When implementing the 90/90 rule, assess each belonging based on two simple questions: Have I used it within the last 90 days, and will I use it in the next 90 days? If not, it’s time to say goodbye.

Ultimately, there’s no shortage of ways to organize your home and simplify your life. The important thing is to be willing to let go of the items that no longer serve you and make way for new experiences.

New Home Construction Expected in 2018

New Home Construction

Builder confidence for new home construction is at an 18-year high at 74 points total for December, according to the Housing Market Index (HMI) of the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo (NAHB). The HMI measures the traffic of home buyers in the coming months which is up eight points alone to 58. It also measures current sales conditions and sales expectations for the next six months which jumped four points to 81 and three points to 79 respectively.

The NAHB HMI rates home sales expectations on a scale of “good, fair, or poor” and it rates homebuyer traffic as very high, high, average, low, and very low. All of these saw gains for December and the months ahead in 2018.

With unemployment and interest rates low and a dwindling housing supply, we can expect to see more new construction of single family residences in the coming year. Additionally, new policies aimed at providing relief to businesses should continue this optimism well into 2018.


KREG Celebrates 2017 Successes at Holiday Brunch

The Kurt Real Estate Group Celebrates 2017 Successes

The Kurt Real Estate Group attended the 2017 Coldwell Banker Holiday Brunch, celebrating their many successes this year reaching $35 million in sales. Broker Associate and Team Leader, Kurt Galitski (far left) thanked the team and partners, “without them we wouldn’t be where we are today.” The team consists of agents: Justin Burnham (left center), Andrew Ramirez (far right), Claudine Wilson-Ferry (not pictured), Renee Schlendering (not pictured), and Team Manager, Liz Peters (right center). Thanks to the tremendous CB managers and office staff, it was a memorable afternoon.