Happy New Year!

Winter Sierras

Happy New Year from the Sierra Foothills!!!

I hope that 2014 finds you all in good health and hopeful demeanor!  Things are looking decent still on the real estate front; perhaps it’s not quite the picture of health, but it’s definitely of hopeful demeanor.  Mortgage interest rates are still creeping up, as are property values, and to hopefully curtail the increase in monthly payments that will develop as a result, the Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) are slowly increasing in popularity again, albeit with more limitations and regulations than their predecessors (which tended to allow payments of less than interest-only in some cases for a period of time before exploding into payments most folks couldn’t afford).  The coming year is going to see looser lending standards than those caused by the housing bubble in the past several years, so this type of loan is going to keep increasing in popularity as folks suffer from sticker shock when they realize their monthly payments could be hundreds of dollars more than they’d have been if they had bought this house a few months ago.

As far as the Sierra Foothills are concerned, there are currently about 360 homes for sale in Calaveras County and about the same number of parcels of vacant land available for purchase, ranging in price from $7,000 to almost $3 million, so there is bound to be something available for every buyer who is interested in owning a piece of the Motherlode.  And the market suggests that more and more properties will be coming on the market this year, so that pool is likely to widen as the year progresses.

I know we’d all like to see a little more rain (and snow!) on the horizon, too.  It seems like the streams and creeks should be flowing at full speed and the lakes and ponds should be nearing capacity by now… But they’re not.  There should be snow on the mountain for the skiers, snow boarders, snowshoe-ers, and snowmobile-ers to enjoy.  Instead, Bear Valley Ski Resort is reporting a whole 10″ of snow so far this year.  It’s so thin in spots that you can see the dirt!  And Lake Melones is the lowest I’ve ever seen it.  That’s not going to help the fishing and boating industries up here come Spring if we don’t get some of the wet stuff soon.  Let’s just all remain hopeful!