Nevada City Virtual Tour

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Rates are going even higher!

If you are a buyer on the sideline, news from the Federal Reserve should be motivation. Rates are going even higher!

Fixed mortgage rates reached new highs for the year after the Federal Reserve gave markets a sneak peek revealing a timeline for bond-buying tapering is in the works,according to Freddie Mac.
Fed. chairman Ben Bernanke put into action for tapering its asset purchases later this year if the economy continues to improve, potentially turning the housing upswing on its side.
Market analysts sounded the alarm Wednesday that one of the biggest risks to housing is the reduction of the central bank’s monetary stimulus, which would put additional upward pressure on interest rates and mortgage rates.
"Fixed mortgage rates continued to follow bond yields higher leading up to the August 21st release of the Federal Reserve monetary policy committee’s minutes for July.
In its July 30th and 31st meetings, the committee members were broadly comfortable with a plan to start reducing its bond purchases later this year” said Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft.
Homebuilder stocks also took a beating this week after the

FOMC minutes suggested the central bank will begin tapering its quantitative easing program sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fast Facts

Fast Facts
  • California: $433,760
  • Calif. highest median home price by region/county July 2013: Marin, $1,000,000
  • Calif. lowest median home price by region/county July 2013: Siskiyou County, $140,000

Calif. Traditional Housing Affordability Index: Second Quarter 2013: 36 percent (Source: C.A.R.)

Mortgage rates: Week ending 8/15/2013 (Source: Freddie Mac)

Banks May Ease Lending Standards Soon

Banks May Ease Lending Standards Soon

With fewer home owners refinancing their mortgages because of rising interest rates, banks may soon relax their lending standards to ramp up business, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Credit availability has risen 3 percent since May — when mortgage rates began to rise — according to an MBA survey. Refinances have fallen 59 percent from a year ago, but applications for home purchases have risen 5 percent.
In recent years, tight underwriting standards have been blamed on shutting out many people from the housing market. Many potential borrowers have been unable to meet requirements for higher credit scores and larger down payments in order to qualify for a loan.
"As volumes slow, it makes sense that originators might ease some of their overlays as they now have the additional bandwidth to focus on slightly lower-quality loans or those loans that require more intense underwriting prior to approval, such as loans for self-employed individuals or investors that own multiple homes," Craig Strent, CEO of Maryland-based Apex Home Loans, told CNBC.
"Competition for loans, particularly for home purchases, will continue to rise as refinances wane and originators look for continued loan volume to support the infrastructure they put in place during the recent refinance wave."

Nevada City Film Festival Sept 5-8

Nevada City Film Festival Sept 5-8

August 23, 2013
What: 13th Annual Nevada City Film Festival
When: Thursday – Sunday, September 5-8, 2013
Where: Downtown Historic Nevada City
Tickets: $9/$7 Individual film tickets, $15/$13 Comedy, $99/$89 for Festival Passes, available online at or In Person: August 19 – September 5 at BriarPatch Co-op, 290 Sierra College, Grass Valley, CA or NCFF Offices, 240 Commercial Street, Suite B, Nevada City, CA. September 5-7 at NCFF Headquarters at Miners Foundry, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA 95959.
From September 5th through 8th, enjoy cream-of-the-festival-crop shorts, hand-picked feature films, special guests and live comedy at the 13th Annual Nevada City Film Festival (NCFF), in historic downtown Nevada City.
Each year, NCFF scours programming from major film festivals, collaborates with film schools around the world, stalks film bloggers and critics, and watches the hundreds of films submitted, to narrow it all down to the very best in independent film. From feature-length documentaries that have been winning awards left and right to stop-motion animations that will have their world premiere at the festival, NCFF will bring in the buzzed-about festival winners, as well as some of independent cinema’s best-kept secrets.
“Many of cinema’s greatest directors, from Charlie Chaplin to Jane Campion to Wes Anderson, have launched their careers by making short films. But making a compelling, fully realized movie with a running time of only a few minutes can be challenging for any filmmaker. That’s why the Nevada City Film Festival is proud of its growing reputation for consistently presenting some of the best short films programs in the festival circuit,” says Jeffrey Clark, NCFF Executive Director.
This year, NCFF’s shorts programs include everything from beautifully surreal stop-motion animation to uncompromising political documentaries. “Oh Willy…” (17 minutes, directed by Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels, Animation Shorts), a drama acted out by needle-felted naturists, has won twenty awards to date. It is visually striking, immersing the viewer in a dreamlike universe of fuzzy bodies and soft light. If you’re more interested in the problems of our world than immersing yourself in another, “This Is Normal” (22 minutes, directed by Derek Watson, Documentary Shorts) is about water contamination in developing countries, and addresses the global water crisis (as well as possible solutions). Irish Folk Furniture (9 minutes, directed by Tony Donoghue, Animation Shorts) is somewhere in the middle, an animated documentary that brings a little stop-motion magic to the world of furniture restoration.
In addition to the short film programs, NCFF will open the festival with “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” on Thursday, September 5th. (Fans of the film and its legendary Ennio Morricone score will be thrilled to hear the soundtrack on the Miner’s Foundry’s excellent Red Hot Chili Peppers approved sound system). Other feature films include “William and the Windmill” (dir. Ben Nabors), an inspiring feature-length documentary about a man in Malawi who makes a windmill out of scrap metal to save his family and village, and “Filmage: The Story of the Descendents/ALL” (dir. Deedle Lacour and Matt Riggle), which chronicles the rise of everyone’s favorite nerdy punk rockers.
But there’s more to NCFF than just its film selection: this is a festival with heart, firmly rooted in the Nevada County community and fueled by a genuine passion for all things cinematic. Festival Director Jesse Locks emphasizes the importance of our visiting filmmakers, comedians and musicians:
“You can always see a movie, but to meet the people behind the film and hear their stories is what makes a festival truly magical. In the era of blockbusters and sellouts, NCFF creates a unique experience for both filmmakers and festival-goers. Unlike so many festivals I’ve attended, there are no barriers between the audience and the artists at NCFF; interaction with the filmmakers goes beyond formal Q&A’s. Attendees can visit with filmmakers at after parties, run into them at a coffee shop, sit with them at screenings. The filmmakers love our supportive, culturally savvy audiences as much as our audiences love their films.”
In previous years, NCFF has hosted notable filmmakers such as Mike Mills (The Beginners), Jonathan Krisel (Portlandia), James M. Johnston (Pioneer, Ain’t Them Bodies) and Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. One of those visiting filmmakers you might bump elbows with at an afterparty or strolling down Broad Street is Galen Pehrson, Nevada City native and brother of Tahiti Pehrson, one of NCFF’s featured artists in 2012. Galen has made animated videos for Death Grips and Talib Kweli, and his work was featured at LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art in a show curated by James Franco. He will be screening some of his work at the Director’s Spotlight on Saturday evening at the Haven.
Greg Finton, co-director of the documentary “The World According to Dick Cheney” will also be one of NCFF’s many visiting filmmakers. The film premiered this winter at Sundance and has gone on to critical acclaim. It’s a revealing profile of Dick Cheney, one of the world’s most controversial and powerful political figures. Award-winning documentary filmmakers R.J. Cutler and Finton gives us a surprisingly personal look into the life of the former Vice President from his early days in Washington to his time in the White House with President George W. Bush. Prior to the film, Finton will also screen the short film “A Mother’s Promise” about President Barack Obama which was shown at the 2008 Democratic Convention. And if that wasn’t enough, Finton will show “Making Dazed” to celebrate the 20th anniversary of “Dazed and Confused” starring Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Parker Posey and Adam Goldberg.

Grass Valley Homes and Land Nevada City

Gorgeous Home, Filled With Lots Of Color And Light Throughout. Spectacular View Off The Back Deck Will Take Your Breath Away! Lots Of Room To Roam, Home Sits On 5.63 Beautiful Acres. Even Includes Lots Of Storage Under House. This Is Wonderful Place To Call Home!

Vintage Grass Valley Home On Two Parcels. Property Must Be Sold With Adjoining .44 Acre Lot. 4/2 With Original Stone Fireplace From Years Past. Laundry Room With Lots Of Storage. Nice Deck Overlooking The Property. Nice Shop Area And More Storage Under The House. One Car Carport At The Rear Of The Home. Old Barn On The Property Could Use Some Work But Has Great Potential. Large Pines Throughout The Property. Owner Claims There Is An Old Gold Mine On The Vacant Lot. Great Setting Close To Schools And Downtown Grass Valley. Possible owner financing for qualified buyers. Contact listing agent for details on property condition before writing offer. No FHA or VA offers.

Build your dream home or vacation retreat on this pristine, private and very secluded property. South facing topography is great for growing fruits and vegetables. The parcel is almost (7) seven acres with easy access, great distant views, nice rock outcroppings, a meadow area and a seasonal stream that has run continuously for the last 7 years. Power & phone is at the property and a perc & mantle test that was completed on 1/15/07.

Sontag Hill is a very desirable location of the Peardale/Chicago area of Grass Valley. Only 10-12 minutes to Grass Valley or Nevada City. Come and build your secluded dream home to enjoy the beautiful local views and all that Nevada County can offer. Irrigation for your flower and/or vegetable garden is readily available.

Beautiful All Usable Land W/ Paved Road Frontage, Nid Irrigation Water Avail. Awesome Long Range Views Of The Surrounding Mountains. Property Has Been Drastically Reduced And Owners Are Anxious To Sell. Sellers Will Credit Up To $5.000 Toward Either A Well Or Perc And Mantle At Close Of Escrow. One Or More Agents May Have Active Real Estate Licenses. Perfect Ranchette Property For Animal Or Organic Gardening. Hurry On This One. Exccellent Commuter Location Only A Short Distance Iin On Melody Road Off Hwy 20. Quiet And Peaceful! Irrigation: Available Topo-Site Desc.: Meadow Mountain View Valley View

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

California Home Sales Higher in July

California Home Sales Higher in July
California’s housing market bounced back after a slight dip in June to reach the highest level since May 2012, as home prices continued to post strong annual gains and home sales recorded the first annual increase in six months, C.A.R. recently reported.

Sales of existing, single-family detached homes were up 7 percent in July compared with June and up 1.5 percent compared with a year ago. The year-to-year sales increase was the first since December 2012, following six consecutive months of declines.

The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home inched up 1.2 percent from June’s median price of $428,620 to $433,760 in July. July’s price was 29.8 percent higher than the revised $334,220 recorded in July 2012, marking 17 straight months of annual price increases and the 13th consecutive month of double-digit annual gains.

The available supply of existing, single-family detached homes for sale held steady in July at 2.9 months, unchanged from June’s Unsold Inventory Index. The index was 3.5 months in July 2012. The index indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate. A six- to seven-month supply is considered typical in a normal market.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Housing Market Hits Growth Spurt

Housing Market Hits Growth Spurt

The number of prospective home buyers signing contracts soared last month with home sales reaching its highest level in more than six years -- signaling rising home prices and a road to recovery for the U.S. housing market.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator for contract signing from the National Association of Realtors, rose 6.7% in May from April, and is now up 12.1% from last year. Pent-up demand, a shortage of inventory and recent increases in mortgage interest rates are fueling the rise in home sales.

"Even with limited choices, it appears some of the rise in contract signings could be from buyers wanting to take advantage of current affordability conditions before mortgage interest rates move higher," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. "This implies a continuation of double-digit price increases from a year earlier, with a strong push from pent-up demand."

Yun expects the national median existing-home price to rise more than 10% to nearly $195,000 - the strongest gain since 2005.

Higher interests are pushing prospective buyers to take the leap to purchase a single-family home.

The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage leapt to 4.46% from 3.93% this week in response to the Federal Reserve's comment to taper off its bond-buying stimulus campaign. A 30-year fixed mortgage rate from national mortgage lender Freddie Mac spiked from 3.54% in the first week of April to 4.46% at the end of June - an increase of over one full percentage point.

"The current increase in sales might be a little bit of a spike because it makes a different to go from 3.9% to 4.5% in one week," said Svenja Gudell, senior economist at Seattle-based

The housing market is still prone to sharp sudden rates of growth, said Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia.

Home values are appreciating in areas previously hit hard by the housing market downturn in places, such as California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida. Pending sales are highest in the West where homes sales increased the most. The annual appreciation of home values soured in the Southwest - increasing in Phoenix, Ariz. by 21% and in Las Vegas, Nev. by 28%, Gudell said.

The index remained unchanged in the Northeast in May month-to-month, but was 14.3% above a year ago. In the Midwest, sales jumped 10.2% monthly - a 22.2% increase from May 2012. Pending home sales rose 2.8% in the South - a 12.3% gain from last year. The index in the West rose 16% monthly, but is just 1.1% higher than a year ago because of limited inventory.

"We're at the normal rate and what you see here is the overcorrection," said Walt Molony, a spokesperson for the D.C. based realtors association on the increasing values of homes in the West.

The strongest home values increased in areas such San Francisco and other cites in California where inventory remains tight, Gudell said.

"Part of it is there is renewed confidence in the housing market, said Ryan Severino, senior economist at Reis, Inc. "You're starting see recovery prices and it come from the parts of the country where we saw the most pain."

In a separate report earlier this week, existing home prices in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas were 12.1% higher in April than a year earlier, according to the Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller national index.

"Home prices are correcting themselves in the market and we're seeing that in Florida, Nevada, Arizona and California." Severino said. "Also, markets in Houston, San Francisco and the Seattle-area are growing and it's not in a uniform distribution - it's a metro to metro phenomenon."

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