SOLD – 3716 Creedmoor Ave, Modesto

SOLD

Home that is Ready to Move Into!! Approx. 1440sf with 3 Bedrooms with an optional 4th bedroom available. Vaulted and Open Floor Plan with Newer Amenities. Newer Laminate Flooring Throughout, Newer Paint, Newer Granite Counters, Newer Appliances, and More. Master Suite Has A Walk-in Closet. The backyard has Newer Fences and Fire Pit for Entertaining. Large 2 Car Garage. A Must See!

549 N Hopper Rd. Modesto, 3 bed/2 bath/2,034sqft/3.77ac Ranchette

549 N Hopper Rd, Modesto

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$850,000 – Ranchette For Horse Lovers!! Well Manicured, Groomed, and a Show-Place. 3.77 acres of MID Irrigated Pasture with Fencing, Tac room, 30×30 Workshop, and a Riding Arena. This Cute, Ranch Style home is Approx. 2034sf with 3 Bedrooms, 2 Full Baths, and a 3 Car Garage. Newer Windows, Newer Roof, Newer Paint, Newer Floors, and More. Gorgeous Family room with Wood Stove, Vaulted Ceiling with Wood Beams, and Outside access to Private Patio Deck. Inside Laundry. Updated Amenities throughout including Fixtures. Newer Stamped Concrete Driveways with Metal Front Fencing with Private Gates. A Perfect Private Setting within this Ranchette. A Must See!! 

Property Features

Bedrooms

  • Bedrooms: 3

Appliances

  • Equipment: Built-In Electric Range, Dishwasher, Disposal
  • Laundry Facilities: Cabinets, Inside Room

Other Rooms

  • Family Room, Great Room, Workshop, Living Room
  • Family Room Features: Cathedral/Vaulted

Heating and Cooling

  • Cooling Features: Ceiling Fan(s), Central
  • Fireplace Features: Brick, Wood Stove
  • Heating Features: Central
  • Number of Fireplaces: 2

Bathrooms

  • Full Bathrooms: 2
  • Bathroom 1 Features: Tile, Tub

Interior Features

  • Interior Amenities: Main Level : Bedroom(s), Living Room, Dining Room, Family Room, Master Bedroom, Full Bath(s), Kitchen
  • Flooring: Carpet, Linoleum, Tile

Kitchen and Dining

  • Dining Room Description: Dining Bar, Formal Area
  • Kitchen Features: Pantry Cabinet, Tile Counter

Exterior and Lot Features

  • Fencing: Full

Land Info

  • Lot Description: Auto Sprinkler F&R
  • Lot Size Acres: 3.77
  • Topography: Level
  • Lot Size Square Feet: 164221

Garage and Parking

  • Garage Spaces: 3
  • Garage Description: Attached, RV Access, RV Possible, Garage Door Opener, Garage Facing Front
  • Open Parking Spaces: 2

Home Features

  • View: Orchard, Panoramic, Pasture, Mountains
  • Security Features: Carbon Mon Detector, Double Strapped Water Heater, Smoke Detector

Homeowners Association

  • Association: No
  • Calculated Total Monthly Association Fees: 0
  • Pets Allowed: Yes

Amenities and Community Features

  • Horse Amenities: Barn(s), Fenced, Irrigated Pasture

School Information

  • School District: Stanislaus

Other Property Info

  • Source Listing Status: Active
  • County: Stanislaus
  • Cross Street: Yosemite/Hwy 132
  • Directions: Highway 132. East of the Fruit Yard and Albers Road. Left on Hopper. on the Left side.
  • Source Property Type: Residential
  • Area: Rural E County N of Tuolumne Riv
  • Source Neighborhood: 20204
  • Parcel Number: 009-015-038-000
  • Postal Code Plus 4: 1817
  • Zoning: RES
  • Property Subtype: Single Family Residence
  • Source System Name: C2C

Farm Info

  • Irrigation Source: Irrigation Connected, Irrigation District

Utilities

  • Electric: 220 Volts
  • Sewer: In & Connected, Septic System
  • Propane Tank Owned
  • Water Source: Well

Building and Construction

  • Year Built: 1975
  • Construction Materials: Frame, Wood
  • Direction Faces: East
  • Foundation Details: Raised
  • Living Area Source: Assessor Auto-Fill
  • Property Age: 49
  • Property Condition: Updated/Remodeled
  • Roof: Roof Description: Composition
  • Levels or Stories: 1
  • Structure Type: Ranchette/Country
  • House Style: A-Frame, Ranch

1433 Daisy Dr. Patterson, 4 bed/3 bath/3,659sqft/6,708sqft lot

1433 Daisy Dr. Patterson

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$599,900 Patterson Big House!! This Exceptional Home shows Well.. 4 bedrooms and 3 full bathrooms, with Downstairs Office/Potential 5th Bedroom with Full Bathroom Access. Game Room Upstairs that could be another Bedroom. Elegant Kitchen with Large Island, Stainless Steel Appliances, Granite Counter-tops and Big Pantry. Cozy Family Area with Fireplace and Built-ins. There’s Fancy Shutters Throughout the Home. Huge Master Bedroom with Bonus Area, and Large Double Walk-in Closets. Huge Front Living/Formal Dining Room. 4 Car Tandem Garage. There’s Artificial Grass, Large Patio, and a Basketball Court for the Family Entertainment. A Must See!! 

Property Features

Bedrooms

  • Bedrooms: 4
  • Bedrooms Possible: 6

Appliances

  • Equipment: Built-In Electric Oven, Built-In Gas Range, Dishwasher, Disposal, Microwave
  • Laundry Facilities: Cabinets, Sink, Inside Room

Other Rooms

  • Master Bathroom, Master Bedroom, Office, Possible Guest, Game Room, Great Room
  • Living Room Features: Great Room

Heating and Cooling

  • Cooling Features: Ceiling Fan(s), Central, MultiUnits
  • Fireplace Features: Family Room, Gas Piped
  • Heating Features: Central, Fireplace(s), MultiUnits
  • Number of Fireplaces: 1

Bathrooms

  • Full Bathrooms: 3
  • Primary Bathroom Features: Closet, Shower Stall(s), Double Sinks, Sunken Tub, Tile, Window
  • Bathroom 1 Features: Double Sinks, Tile, Tub w/Shower Over, Window

Interior Features

  • Interior Amenities: Main Level : Dining Room, Family Room, Full Bath(s), Partial Bath(s), Garage, Kitchen, Street Entrance, Upper Level : Bedroom(s), Loft, Master Bedroom, Full Bath(s), Retreat
  • Flooring: Carpet, Tile

Kitchen and Dining

  • Dining Room Description: Breakfast Nook, Dining Bar, Dining/Family Combo, Dining/Living Combo, Formal Area
  • Kitchen Features: Granite Counter, Island, Kitchen/Family Combo

Exterior and Lot Features

  • Fencing: Back Yard
  • Road Responsibility: Public Maintained Road

Land Info

  • Lot Description: Auto Sprinkler F&R, Shape Regular
  • Lot Size Acres: 0.154
  • Lot Size Dimensions: Approx. 6708sf
  • Lot Size Square Feet: 6708

Garage and Parking

  • Driveway: Sidewalk/Curb/Gutter
  • Garage Spaces: 4
  • Garage Description: Attached
  • Open Parking Spaces: 2

Home Features

  • View: City
  • Security Features: Carbon Mon Detector, Double Strapped Water Heater, Smoke Detector

Homeowners Association

  • Association: No
  • Calculated Total Monthly Association Fees: 0

School Information

  • School District: Stanislaus

Other Property Info

  • Source Listing Status: Active
  • County: Stanislaus
  • Cross Street: Scarlet Lane
  • Directions: Sperry to Baldwin south to Calvinson, east to Scarlet Ln. south to Daisy to #1433.
  • Source Property Type: Residential
  • Area: Patterson
  • Source Neighborhood: 20308
  • Parcel Number: 021-086-032-000
  • Postal Code Plus 4: 8361
  • Zoning: RES
  • Property Subtype: Single Family Residence
  • Source System Name: C2C

Utilities

  • Electric: 220 Volts
  • Sewer: In & Connected
  • Public
  • Water Source: Public

Building and Construction

  • Year Built: 2007
  • Construction Materials: Stucco, Frame, Wood
  • Direction Faces: South
  • Foundation Details: Slab
  • Levels: Two
  • Living Area Source: Assessor Auto-Fill
  • Property Age: 17
  • Roof: Roof Description:Tile
  • Levels or Stories: 2
  • Structure Type: Detached
  • House Style: Contemporary

Down Payment on a House: How Much Do You Really Need?

Down Payment on a House

Your minimum down payment depends on the type of mortgage, the lender and your finances.

Coming up with enough cash for a down payment to buy a house can be the single biggest roadblock for prospective home buyers. But how much of a down payment do you really need? That depends on the type of loan, your lender and your priorities.

What is a down payment?

A down payment is the cash you pay upfront to make a large purchase, such as a home. You use a loan to pay the rest of the purchase price over time. Down payments are usually shown as a percentage of the price. A 10% down payment on a $350,000 home would be $35,000.

When applying for a mortgage to buy a house, the down payment is your contribution toward the purchase and represents your initial ownership stake in the home. The mortgage lender provides the rest of the money to buy the property.

Lenders require a down payment for most mortgages. However, some types of loans backed by the federal government may not require down payments. (More on that below.)

Do you need to put 20% down on a house?

You may have heard that you need to make a 20% down payment on a home, but that’s really just the threshold many lenders use for requiring mortgage insurance on a conventional loan. You don’t have to make a 20% down payment to buy a house.

In 2023, the typical down payment for first-time home buyers was 8%, according to the National Association of Realtors. The typical down payment was 19% for repeat buyers.

Minimum down payment requirements

The minimum down payment required for a house varies depending on the type of mortgage you plan to apply for to purchase a home.

Loan type

Minimum down payment required

Conventional

3%

FHA

3.5% (with a credit score of at least 580)

10% (with a credit score of 500-579)

VA

0%

USDA

0%

Jumbo

5-10%

Second homes or investment properties

Varies

VA and USDA loans: 0% down payment

Guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, VA loans usually do not require a down payment. VA loans are for current and veteran military service members and eligible surviving spouses.

USDA loans, backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program, also have no down payment requirement. USDA loans are for rural and suburban home buyers who meet the program’s income limits and other requirements.

Conventional mortgages: As low as 3% down payment

Some conventional mortgages, such as HomeReady and Home Possible, require as little as 3% down, provided you meet certain income limits. Conventional loans are not backed by the government, but they follow the down payment guidelines set by the government-sponsored enterprises — or GSEs — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

FHA loans: As low as 3.5% down payment

FHA loans, which are backed by the Federal Housing Administration, require as little as 3.5% down if you have a credit score that’s at least 580. If you have a credit score that’s between 500 and 579, FHA loans require a 10% down payment.

Jumbo loans: As low as 5%-10% down payment (varies)

Jumbo loans are home loans that fall outside of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s conforming loan limits. Because these outsized loans can’t be guaranteed by the GSEs, lenders tend to ask for higher down payments to offset some of the risk.

With low- or no-down-payment loans, you pay for the guarantee through fees or mortgage insurance, depending on the program.

Benefits of a larger down payment

Saving enough money for a substantial down payment takes time, so a zero- or low-down-payment requirement may speed up your ability to buy a home. But making a larger down payment has advantages that include:

  • A better mortgage interest rate. Lenders may shave a few fractions of a percentage point off your interest rate if you make a larger down payment. When you borrow less of the home’s price, there’s less risk for lenders, and they tend to reward this with more favorable terms.

  • More equity in your home right away. Your home equity is your home’s value minus the amount you owe on your mortgage. In other words, it’s the extent to which your home is an asset rather than a debt. More equity means more wealth.

  • A lower monthly mortgage payment. Borrowing less of your home’s price lowers your principal, which also means you’ll pay less interest over the life of the loan.

  • Lower upfront and ongoing fees. Low- or no-down-payment government-backed mortgage programs reduce lenders’ risk by guaranteeing a portion of the loans. If a borrower defaults on one of these loans, the associated government agency will reimburse the lender. To offset some of that cost, these loans can come with significant one-time costs, like the VA funding fee, or added ongoing costs like FHA mortgage insurance.

How much should you put down on a house?

The right down payment for you depends on your goals and financial situation. While there are plenty of pluses with a larger down payment, putting down too much could leave you strapped for cash after you move in.

Conventional mortgages usually require you to pay for private mortgage insurance if you put down less than 20%. Once you start making mortgage payments, you can ask to cancel PMI after you have over 20% equity in your home.

Try out some different scenarios to help you better understand how changing the size of your down payment can affect other costs.

Other considerations to determine your down payment

Your mortgage payment is just one piece of your overall household budget. With that in mind, here are some other factors to consider when planning for the size of your down payment:

  • Keep some savings in the bank. Avoid using your entire savings for a down payment. You could end up “house poor,” spending too much of your income servicing your mortgage or depleting your emergency fund.

  • Don’t forget about closing costs. It’s also important to make sure you have enough cash on hand to cover closing costs, which are usually 2%-6% of the home’s purchase price.

  • Plan for the ongoing costs of homeownership. Leaving a cushion for home maintenance and repairs, as well as potential emergencies, is a good idea even if you’re purchasing a move-in-ready home. In all, you want to be sure your down payment leaves you with enough room to cover all the costs of buying a house — and furnishing it once you’ve moved in.

  • Shop around. Do your research and compare mortgage rates from three to five lenders. Don’t forget to look into programs offered by lenders and consider down payment assistance options, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer.

    Source: nerdwallet.com ~ By: Kate Wood ~ Image: Canva Pro

4912 Hultberg Rd. Turlock, 235.76 Ac & 7 Homes

4912 Hultberg Rd Turlock

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$9,396,080 – TID Farm Ground and Trees. Approx. 235.76 Acres of 3-Year-old Independence Almonds and Open Ground! TID Water from Two TID Canals, 2 Ag Wells (25hp and 30hp), and with Automated water from the Large Reservoir. There are two variable speed Booster pumps of 75hp & 40hp to pump the Double line system. There are 7 Homes within the Multiple Parcels. The Almonds were planted in 2021 of Approx. 110 acres, Viking Root Stock on Double line drip that irrigates in One-Set or TID flood water. The Open Ag ground (Approx. 125 acres) is TID flood water with New Flood Gates/Boxes and/or Self-Propelled Irrigation Pivot from Booster irrigation water. The Property is very efficient for irrigation and suitable for obtaining large crops. This Ag Ground is suitable for Tree Plantings with the help of the nearby-Two TID Drain/Tile/Ag Pumps. There’s an Improvement Ag Pump to Add additional irrigation water by pumping for Credit. This Property is on both sides of the road on Hultberg and Fronts along Washington Road. 

Property Features

Land Info

  • Lot Description: Building Pad, Sprinkler Irrigation
  • Lot Size Acres: 235.76
  • Lot Size Dimensions: Approx. 235.76
  • Topography: Agricultural Leveled, Trees
  • Vegetation: Orchard
  • Lot Size Square Feet: 10269706

Exterior and Lot Features

  • Road Frontage Type: County Road

Home Features

  • View: Orchard, Panoramic, Valley, Hills, Mountains

Homeowners Association

  • Association: No
  • Calculated Total Monthly Association Fees: 0

Rental Info

  • Income Includes: Crop(s)

School Information

  • School District: Stanislaus

Commercial Info

  • Business Type: Agricultural, Residential, Row Crops, Single Family, Orchard

Other Property Info

  • Source Listing Status: Active
  • County: Stanislaus
  • Cross Street: Elaine
  • Development Status: Farm Land
  • Directions: Highway 99. Go West on Bradbury (west of Lander/Hwy 165). Left on Hultberg.
  • Disclaimer: All measurements and calculations of area are approximate. Information provided by Seller/Other sources, not verified by Broker. All interested persons should independently verify accuracy of information. Provided properties may or may not be listed by the office/agent presenting the information. Copyright © 2024, MetroList Services, Inc. Any offer of compensation in the real estate content on this site is made exclusively to Broker Participants of the MetroList® MLS & Broker Participants of any
  • Distance To Electric Comments: Electricity To Site
  • Distance To Phone Service Comments: Phone To Site
  • Source Property Type: Land
  • Possible Use: Agricultural, Farm, Ranch, Livestock, Single Family, Tree Farm, Orchard
  • Area: Turlock Rural W of Hwy 99 So of
  • Source Neighborhood: 20305
  • Parcel Number: 057-018-013-000
  • Postal Code Plus 4: 8733
  • Zoning: AG
  • Zoning Description: 2nd Unit Possible, Agricultural, Orchard, Agricultural/Residential, Farm/Ranch, Residential, Single-Family, Livestock, Tree Farm
  • Property Subtype: Agriculture
  • Source System Name: C2C

Farm Info

  • Irrigation Source: District, Drip System, Pipeline

Utilities

  • Electric: Electric Available
  • Sewer: Septic Tank, Sewer Connected
  • Phone Connected
  • Propane Tank Leased
  • Water Source: Domestic Well With Pump

Building and Construction

  • Other Buildings: Modular Home

22336 American Ave Hilmar, 20ac, 6 Beds/4.5 Baths/5,300 Sq Ft

22336 American Ave Hilmar

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$2,800,000 – Timeless & Gorgeous, It’s a Hilmar 20-acre Estate. This Resort grasps you From the Front Gate to Stone Walkways to Hard Wood Finishes. There was a Team of Top-Notch Designers and Builders on these finishes to create the desirable atmosphere. There are Concrete Counters, Copper Front Door, Newer 40-year Comp Roof, Anderson Windows, Hardwood floors, Vaulted Wood Finished Ceilings, Imperfect Stucco Finishes, Designer Cabinetry, Picture-like Window Views, and More. The Views are Special and Private within this Park-like Setting, with lots of concrete decking and Lush Landscaping. Huge Lap Pool with Cover and Personal Built-in Spa. The Main Home is 3600sf with 5 Bedrooms and 3.5 Baths. There’s a Studio Apartment of Approx. 1700sf with Full Bath, Loft, Kitchenette, and Walk-in Refrigerator within the 3 Car Garage Area. Playhouse, Grass Area. Plenty of Room to Park and Play within the Blacktop and Driveways. Approx. 18 net farmable acres with Multiple Sources of Irrigation Water Including TID Flood Water. One of these two Parcels is in the Williamson Act.

Property features

Bedrooms

  • Bedrooms: 6
  • Primary Bedroom Features: Outside Access, Sitting Area

Appliances

  • Equipment: Dishwasher, Disposal, Microwave, Double Oven
  • Laundry Facilities: Cabinets, Inside Room

Other Rooms

  • Great Room
  • Living Room Features: Cathedral/Vaulted

Heating and Cooling

  • Cooling Features: Ceiling Fan(s), Central, MultiUnits
  • Heating Features: Central, Fireplace(s), MultiUnits

Bathrooms

  • Full Bathrooms: 4
  • 1/2 Bathrooms: 1
  • Primary Bathroom Features: Closet, Shower Stall(s), Double Sinks, Sunken Tub
  • Bathroom 1 Features: Double Sinks, Tile

Interior Features

  • Interior Amenities: Main Level : Bedroom(s), Dining Room, Family Room, Master Bedroom, Full Bath(s), Kitchen, Street Entrance, Upper Level : Bedroom(s), Loft, Full Bath(s)
  • Flooring: Wood

Kitchen and Dining

  • Dining Room Description: Breakfast Nook, Formal Room, Dining/Family Combo
  • Kitchen Features: Concrete Counter, Island, Kitchen/Family Combo

Pool and Spa

  • Pool Features: Pool Type: Built-In, Pool Cover, Lap
  • Spa Features: Spa/Hot Tub Built-In
  • Spa: Yes

Exterior and Lot Features

  • Fencing: Back Yard
  • Other Structures: Guest House

Land Info

  • Lot Description: Auto Sprinkler F&R, Landscape Back, Landscape Front
  • Lot Size Acres: 19.96
  • Lot Size Square Feet: 869458

Garage and Parking

  • Garage Spaces: 3
  • Garage Description: Boat Storage, RV Possible, Detached, RV Storage, Garage Door Opener, Garage Facing Rear, Guest Parking Available

Home Features

  • View: Panoramic, Valley, Mountains
  • Other Equipment: Central Vac Plumbed
  • Security Features: Carbon Mon Detector, Double Strapped Water Heater, Security System Owned, Smoke Detector, Security Fence, Security Gate

Homeowners Association

  • Association: No
  • Calculated Total Monthly Association Fees: 0

School Information

  • School District: Merced

Other Property Info

  • Source Listing Status: Active
  • County: Merced
  • Cross Street: Tegner Rd
  • Directions: Highway 99 to Lander Avenue (Hwy 165). Left on American (West). Between Tegner and Washington on the North Side of the Road. Lots of Trees and Privacy to cover the Home.
  • Source Property Type: Residential
  • Area: Merced County S of Hwy 99
  • Source Neighborhood: 20402
  • Parcel Number: 045-180-051-000
  • Postal Code Plus 4: 9628
  • Zoning: RES
  • Property Subtype: Single Family Residence
  • Source System Name: C2C

Farm Info

  • Irrigation Source: Agricultural Well, Private District, Irrigation Connected

Utilities

  • Electric: 220 Volts
  • Sewer: Septic System
  • Propane Tank Owned
  • Public
  • Water Source: Well

Building and Construction

  • Year Built: 1996
  • Construction Materials: Concrete, Wood
  • Direction Faces: West
  • Foundation Details: Raised
  • Levels: Two
  • Living Area Source: Builder
  • Property Age: 28
  • Property Condition: Updated/Remodeled, Original
  • Roof: Roof Description: Composition
  • Levels or Stories: 2
  • Structure Type: Custom, Ranchette/Country
  • House Style: A-Frame

Insider Insights: 12 Housing Market Experts Highlight Key Strategies For Home-Buying Success In 2024

Strategies For Home-Buying Success

Aspiring homeowners experienced a lot of challenges in 2023. Elevated interest rates, eye-watering home prices, and abysmal housing stock resulted in inflated costs that stymied buyers. While experts say the housing market should see some easing in 2024, don’t expect much.

If you plan to dive into the housing market in 2024, you’ll need to plan strategically to outpace the competition and attain a home that meets your preferences and goals.

Forbes Advisor spoke with 12 top industry experts to weigh in on what hopeful buyers should do as they pursue homeownership in 2024.

1. Watch Interest Rate Trends To Get the Best Mortgage Rate in 2024

Mortgage rates are steadily declining after flirting with 8% in late October. Most housing market experts agree that rates will trend down further in 2024 but remain elevated.

Nonetheless, rates can jump around quickly, and even a fraction of a percentage point change can impact the cost of a monthly mortgage payment.

Given this, Michael Merritt, senior vice president of mortgage servicing at BOK Financial, advises buyers to monitor the news and the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decisions to stay on top of trends.

Merritt explains that keeping an eye on the Fed’s monetary policy moves can give borrowers a heads-up for where mortgage rates will go in 2024, as the central bank’s policy rate actions tend to impact mortgage rate movements indirectly.

“It’s hard to forecast rates in a volatile market, but most indicators predict lower rates by the end of 2024,” Merritt says.

Pro Tip
Bonus Advice: “The first step in getting the best mortgage is understanding what you want to achieve. The best mortgage product might be different for a purchase than a refinance or for a home you plan to own five years versus 10 years.” — Michael Merritt, senior vice president of mortgage servicing at BOK Financial

2. Attend Local Real Estate Investor Meetings

The housing market remains competitive mostly due to historically low inventory. However, house hunters can stay ahead by using less conventional methods to track down available homes—especially those that buyers won’t find in traditional listings.

Rick Sharga, founder and CEO of CJ Patrick Company, a market intelligence and business advisory firm, suggests attending real estate investor meetings in areas where you’re interested in buying.

“Almost every city or county across the country has investor groups made up of people who are more or less your neighbors,” Sharga says. “A lot of these investors fix and flip properties and might be willing to give a buyer a little bit of a break if they can save the investor the time and money involved in marketing the property.”

Pro Tip
Bonus Advice: “Focus on homeowners who need to sell, not on homeowners who might want to sell. About 70% of homeowners with a mortgage have an interest rate of 4% or lower and just aren’t going to put their home up for sale unless they have to.” — Rick Sharga, founder and CEO of CJ Patrick Company

3. Investigate Expired or Withdrawn House Listings

Blake Blahut, a broker associate and real estate agent at Realty ONE Group Inspiration in Florida, offers a unique tactic to uncover unidentified for-sale homes—asking real estate agents to scour local neighborhoods for expired or withdrawn listings.

“They can also do mailers or door-knocking in those same areas in the hope of finding someone that is looking to sell,” Blahut says. “In a market with unique challenges, it’ll sometimes require a unique method to overcome them.”

Pro Tip
Bonus Advice: “Be patient and start your search early. … [B]eginning your search at least 75 to 90 days before your lease ends or you need to move would take a lot of unnecessary pressure off [you].” — Blake Blahut, broker associate and real estate agent at Realty ONE Group Inspiration

4. Consider an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)

Hybrid ARMs are mortgages that start with a low fixed interest rate and change to a variable rate at the end of the fixed term. For example, a 5/1 ARM has a low fixed rate for five years, and then the rate resets once a year until the end of the loan term. Each rate adjustment could move higher or lower.

While ARMs gained a bad reputation due to their role in the 2008 housing crisis, they’re considered less risky now due to higher lending standards. Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American Financial Corporation, suggests an ARM can be a good fit for some people.

“While we are all familiar with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, remember that we rarely live in one home for 30 years,” Fleming says. “Why pay for the privilege of fixing the rate for 30 years when you’re likely not going to use it? And you get an affordability boost now when you need it.”

Pro Tip
Bonus Advice: “They say to date the rate and marry the house because you can refinance later. But beware, that [assumes] the rate will be lower in the future and there are costs associated with refinancing—it’s not free.” — Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American Financial Corporation

5. Don’t Wait Until Spring to House Hunt

Spring can be a busy time for the housing market, as listings often climb when the weather warms up.

Louis Gordon, a broker at Century 21 Revolution in Massachusetts, says to get out there early in the year before the temperature—and home prices—start rising.

“The best deals are usually found in winter when inventory is limited and sellers are more desperate to get a deal done,” Gordon says. While on the hunt, Gordon advises you to keep your eyes open for homes already a few weeks on the market and need a little TLC.

“Those sellers are more willing to negotiate on price and terms, like offering a rate buydown,” he says.

Pro Tip
Bonus Advice: “[D]on’t wait until the rates come down. If the rates go back into the 6’s or 5’s, the prices will shoot up like they did in 2021 and early 2022.” — Louis Gordon, a broker at Century 21 Revolution

6. Review Your ‘Must-Haves’ Before Home Shopping

As you embark on your house-hunting journey, Bob Driscoll, senior vice president and director of residential lending at Rockland Trust Bank, advises buyers first to take stock of the home features most essential to them.

“Not every house will become a home to everyone—something that one person may consider a need, like a yard for a pet, could be a want for someone else.”

Though you understandably want to keep costs down, Driscoll says buying a home because it’s affordable is not the best approach.

“For example, if hosting large gatherings is a priority for a certain home buyer, they shouldn’t let the frustrating market pressure them into settling for a home without the space needed to accommodate those activities,” Driscoll says.

Ultimately, homeownership is a major purchase that is as much a financial investment as it is about investing in a home that aligns with your priorities and values.

Pro Tip
Bonus Advice: “Instead of focusing on external factors beyond their control in 2024, prospective buyers should be focusing on their personal timelines, goals, and desires.” — Bob Driscoll, senior vice president and director of residential lending at Rockland Trust Bank

7. Research New Construction Options

With resale housing stock hovering at historic lows—and expected to remain there for the foreseeable future—Nick Bailey, president and CEO of RE/MAX, says buyers should consider researching new construction homes.

“Given such low supply and demand softening, builders have returned to offering competitive mortgage rates through their partner lenders and offering builder incentives and complimentary upgrades to entice buyers,” Bailey says.

Moreover, between October 2022 and 2023, the national median price of new homes dropped over 17%, maintaining a narrow enough gap between new home prices and existing home prices that could prove attractive to some buyers.

Bailey points out that buyers should also consider building a new custom home, which you can finance with a construction loan.

“With the crazy lack of inventory still causing headaches in the market, building a home becomes an attractive option, and with spec homes and semi-custom-building options, it’s easier than most consumers think,” Bailey says.

Pro Tip
Bonus Advice: “I wouldn’t write off older or outdated homes and would encourage buyers to picture what something could look like. For (sometimes) simple repairs and few upgrades, you could turn a house with potential into the house of your dreams.” — Nick Bailey, president and CEO of Re/Max

8. Shop for Homes Outside City Centers

If your dream is to live in a place that offers plenty of culture, sports, entertainment, and dining options, but the housing prices and cost of living exceed your budget, Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com, advises you to look outside city centers.

“Buyers will generally find that they get more value for their dollar further away from city centers, so shoppers with flexibility should consider expanding the geography of their home search,” Hale says.

For example, if you want to put down roots in the Los Angeles metro area where the median home price was $1,159,000 in October 2023, according to Realtor.com data, consider expanding your search to Riverside, where the median home price during the same period was $580,000.

Pro Tip
Bonus Advice: “No matter how buyers decide to compete, it’s important to make sure that they understand the terms and implications of waiving contingencies, which may be more likely to help them win the bid but may put them on the hook for more financial risk.” — Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com

9. Pre-qualify Yourself

Before becoming attached to a home that requires a loan you can’t afford, Keith Gumbinger, vice president at mortgage website HSH.com, encourages prospective buyers to determine their income and debt loads ahead of time to get a sense of how much financing they qualify for.

“Borrowers should pre-qualify themselves at a few different interest rates to see whether or not a rate that is likely to appear in the next year is sufficient to allow them to participate in their housing market,” Gumbinger says.

Plugging various rates into a mortgage prequalification calculator can help borrowers determine their maximum loan amount.

Pro Tip
Bonus Advice: “[B]e both opportunistic and flexible. A great house that checks 80% of the boxes and is available at a price you can afford with a mortgage rate that works well enough is likely to be better than waiting for a 100% match.” — Keith Gumbinger, vice president at mortgage website HSH.com

10. Look Into House Hacking

High mortgage rates and house prices may keep homeownership out of reach for some would-be buyers in 2024.

If that’s the case for you, Sherry Chen, a real estate agent with Kappel Realty Group at Compass in California, says house hacking could be the answer.

For instance, Chen says you could buy a four-bedroom house and rent out the other three rooms. She also suggests buying a home with an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, to generate rental income.

“These strategies can oftentimes cut your mortgage in half or even allow you to live for free,” Chen says.

Pro Tip
Bonus Advice: “Get a fully underwritten preapproval.” — Sherry Chen, real estate agent with Kappel Realty Group at Compass

11. Be Prepared To Bid Over Asking Price

Though bidding wars are less common than they were a few years ago, demand will likely continue to outpace supply, and borrowers will still face plenty of competition in the coming year.

Consequently, Glenn Brunker, president of Ally Home, says to expect to make offers a little over the asking price to improve your chances of landing a home in 2024.

“You may be competing with buyers that have more cash to put towards a house, but if you have a plan in place and know your budget, you’ll be better equipped to make a decision that you’re comfortable with, ” Brunker says.

Pro Tip
Bonus Advice: “Buyers must do their homework in advance by researching lenders and securing a preapproval so you have a competitive advantage when making offers.” — Glenn Brunker, president of Ally Home

12. Build Your Home Buying Team Early

Shopping for a home can be an overwhelming experience, especially for first-time home buyers. To minimize the stress, Cerita Battles, managing director, and head of community and affordable lending at JPMorgan Chase, recommends assembling your team sooner rather than later.

“You don’t have to go through the home-buying process alone—in fact, it’s best to get help very early in the process,” Battles says. She advises buyers to prioritize working with a lending advisor team “because they can help you navigate the home-buying process, with everything from considering homeownership to walking through your new front door to getting connected with a reputable real estate agent.”

Battles also says a trusted lender can guide you through the current rate environment, and educate you on loan products, terms, and fees.

Pro Tip
Bonus Advice: “It’s important to keep in mind that this will be your first home! Even if it lacks some bells and whistles, you can still add more features in the future or use the property as a stepping stone for your dream home.” — Cerita Battles, managing director, head of community and affordable lending at JPMorgan Chase

How To Prepare for Your 2024 Home-Buying Journey

Perhaps the first bit of advice that most housing experts offer hopeful buyers is to confirm you can afford this big step.

“[M]ake sure your financial house is in order and that you’ve factored in all of the costs associated with homeownership beyond a mortgage, like insurance, maintenance, and HOA fees,” Merritt says.

Using a home affordability calculator prior to beginning your search can help you determine a home price range based on your income, debts, mortgage rate, desired loan term, and down payment capability.

Taking these preparatory steps will also improve your borrowing strength, reduce stress, and keep you a few steps ahead of the competition in this fast-moving market:

    1. Create a realistic housing budget that considers all monthly costs
    2. Boost your credit score to help secure a lower mortgage rate and better loan terms
    3. Lower your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio to increase borrowing power
    4. Set aside savings for a down payment
    5. Research and compare loan products
    6. Look into down payment assistance programs in the state where you plan to buy
    7. Gather financial and personal documents lenders require for your mortgage application
    8. Explore different neighborhoods in person to optimize your time when you’re ready to check out homes
    9. Get to know the local real estate agents

Experts Reveal How To Get the Best Mortgage Rate in 2024

Qualifying for the most competitive mortgage rate requires a multi-pronged approach.

Besides keeping on top of mortgage rate trends, here are some other essential actions experts advise you to take to increase your chances of locking in a solid mortgage rate:

    • Save for a larger down payment. “Remember: the higher your down payment, the more likely that you’ll be approved for the loan, the less likely you’ll need to get a loan with mortgage insurance, and the lower your monthly payment will be,” Sharga says.
    • Boost your credit score. “There are dozens of factors that influence a borrower’s mortgage interest rate, and credit score is one of the most important,” Chen says.
    • Shop multiple lenders. “Today’s market is very challenging for mortgage companies who are all hungry for business,” Sharga explains. “[T]hat’s a perfect environment for a consumer to do comparison shopping in.”
    • Strategize and consider points. Blahut advises buyers to budget for mortgage points or to “strategize with their trusted real estate professional” and figure out how to get the seller to contribute closing concessions.
    • Determine the best loan product for your situation. “Discussion about rates typically focuses on the 30-year fixed rate,” Bailey says. However, the average homeowner lives in their home for eight years, so Bailey suggests buyers weigh all their lending options, including ARMs.

Source: Forbes.com ~ By Robin Rothstein ~ Image: Canva Pro

SOLD – 2225 Sunny Creek Wy. Newman

SOLD

Newman Family Home! This Turn-key home of 1810sf with 3 Bedrooms with an Optional 4th Bedroom Capability. Also, another Bonus Room for a Play Room. Great Room Setup for the Living Space with High Vaulted Ceilings and a Big Fireplace. New Flooring, New Paint, New Shower Stall in the Master Bedroom, and More. Corner Lot with Boat Possible Access on this 7952sf Lot. 2 Car Garage. A Must See! 

1010 Murphy Dr, Turlock, 3 bed/2 bath/1,120sf/6,264sf

1010 Murphy Dr Turlock

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$469,900 – East Turlock Home! A Remarkable home with a Remarkable Outdoor Living Space. An Open Floor Plan with Approx 1120sf with 3 Bedrooms and 2 Full Baths. Newer Roof, Stucco, Fences, Windows, Kitchen, Garage Door, Garage Door Opener, Floors, Doors, Hardware, Cabinets, Appliances, HVAC, Bathrooms, Pergola, Trellis, Concrete, and More. Located off Canal Drive and within Walking Distance of Julien Elementary, Turlock High, and Village Fresh. A Must See! 

Property Features

Bedrooms

  • Bedrooms: 3

Appliances

  • Equipment: Built-In Gas Oven, Dishwasher, Disposal, Wine Refrigerator
  • Laundry Facilities: In Garage

Heating and Cooling

  • Cooling Features: Ceiling Fan(s), Central
  • Heating Features: Central

Bathrooms

  • Full Bathrooms: 2
  • Primary Bathroom Features: Shower Stall(s), Tile
  • Bathroom 1 Features: Tile, Tub w/Shower Over

Interior Features

  • Interior Amenities: Main Level : Bedroom(s), Family Room, Master Bedroom, Full Bath(s), Garage, Kitchen, Street Entrance
  • Flooring: Laminate, Tile

Kitchen and Dining

  • Dining Room Description: Dining Bar
  • Kitchen Features: Quartz Counter, Kitchen/Family Combo

Other Rooms

  • Family Room Features: Cathedral/Vaulted
  • Living Room Features: Cathedral/Vaulted

Exterior and Lot Features

  • Fencing: Back Yard, Front Yard
  • Road Responsibility: Public Maintained Road

Land Info

  • Lot Description: Auto Sprinkler F&R, Shape Regular
  • Lot Size Acres: 0.1438
  • Lot Size Dimensions: Approx. 6264sf
  • Lot Size Square Feet: 6264

Garage and Parking

  • Driveway: Sidewalk/Curb/Gutter
  • Garage Spaces: 2
  • Garage Description: Attached, Garage Door Opener, Garage Facing Front

Homeowners Association

  • Association: No
  • Calculated Total Monthly Association Fees: 0

School Information

  • School District: Stanislaus

Other Property Info

  • BBQ Built-In
  • Source Listing Status: Active
  • County: Stanislaus
  • Cross Street: El Capitan Drive and Canal
  • Directions: Take Fulkerth off Highway 99 East. Right on Quincy. Left on Mira Flores which turns into Murphy. Murphy comes off Canal Drive.
  • Source Property Type: Residential
  • Area: Turlock NE, No of Canal, E of Ge
  • Source Neighborhood: 20302
  • Parcel Number: 051-032-042-000
  • Postal Code Plus 4: 3652
  • Zoning: RES
  • Property Subtype: Single Family Residence
  • Source System Name: C2C

Utilities

  • Electric: 220 Volts
  • Sewer: In & Connected
  • Public
  • Water Source: Public

Building and Construction

  • Year Built: 1976
  • Construction Materials: Wood
  • Foundation Details: Slab
  • Living Area Source: Assessor Auto-Fill
  • Property Age: 48
  • Roof: Roof Description:Composition
  • Levels or Stories: 1
  • Structure Type: Detached, Semi-Custom
  • House Style: Ranch, Contemporary

Home Features

  • Security Features: Carbon Mon Detector, Double Strapped Water Heater

8711 Shoemake Ave. Modesto, 4/bed/4 bath/4,152s/2.24ac

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$1,300,000 – West Modesto Ranchette, Wood Colony!! Custom Home that’s located in the Middle of an Almond Orchard. Over 4100sf with Approx. 2.24 Acres with a Large Home, Barn, Pool, and Seclusion. An Amazing Family Home with Wood Detail throughout; from Wood Beams to Hardwood Floors. 4 Bedrooms with the Possibly of 5 Bedrooms. There’s a large Family and Living Space with Special Country Views from the Windows. In Addition, the Marvelous View from the Upstairs Balcony, Catches the Valley and the Coastal Mountain Range. The Extra Loft and Retreat areas Add Value for Comfort. Big Kitchen with lots of Cabinetry and an Enormous Gourmet Island. The Master Bedroom is Downstairs. Newer Presidential Composition Roof. Multiple HVAC units. 3 Car Garage. There’s a Red Barn of 1245sf for Toys, Animals, and/or Future Additional Living Spaces. There’s almost an Acre of Almond Trees, along the Road, connected with the Surrounding Orchard for Water and Care. The New Owner Could Continue or create their Farm for Animals or Equipment. Shiloh Schools. Minutes Off Highway 132 and I-5 which is the Gateway into East Bay. A Must See! 

Property Features

Bedrooms

  • Bedrooms: 4
  • Bedrooms Possible: 5
  • Primary Bedroom Features: Walk-In Closet

Appliances

  • Equipment: Built-In Electric Oven, Dishwasher, Disposal
  • Laundry Facilities: Cabinets, Sink, Inside Area

Other Rooms

  • Loft, Master Bathroom, Family Room, Great Room, Laundry, Living Room
  • Living Room Features: Cathedral/Vaulted

Heating and Cooling

  • Cooling Features: Ceiling Fan(s), Central
  • Fireplace Features: Brick, Family Room
  • Heating Features: Central
  • Number of Fireplaces: 1

Bathrooms

  • Full Bathrooms: 4
  • Primary Bathroom Features: Shower Stall(s), Double Sinks, Tile
  • Bathroom 1 Features: Double Sinks, Tile, Tub

Interior Features

  • Interior Amenities: Main Level: Bedroom(s), Living Room, Family Room, Master Bedroom, Full Bath(s), Garage, Kitchen, Street Entrance, Upper Level: Bedroom(s), Loft, Full Bath(s)
  • Flooring: Carpet, Tile
  • Window Features: Dual Pane Full

Kitchen and Dining

  • Dining Room Description: Formal Area
  • Kitchen Features: Island w/Sink, Tile Counter

Pool and Spa

  • Pool Features: Pool Type: Built-In, Fenced
  • Spa Features: Spa/Hot Tub Built-In
  • Spa: Yes

Exterior and Lot Features

  • Fencing: Back Yard
  • Other Structures: Barn(s), Workshop, Outbuilding

Land Info

  • Lot Description: Shape Regular
  • Lot Size Acres: 2.24
  • Lot Size Dimensions: Approx. 2.24 acres
  • Topography: Level
  • Lot Size Square Feet: 97574

Garage and Parking

  • Garage Spaces: 3
  • Garage Description: Attached

Home Features

  • View: Orchard, Hills
  • Security Features: Carbon Mon Detector, Double Strapped Water Heater

Homeowners Association

  • Association: No
  • Calculated Total Monthly Association Fees: 0

Amenities and Community Features

  • Horse Amenities: Barn(s)

School Information

  • School District: Stanislaus

Other Property Info

  • Source Listing Status: Active
  • County: Stanislaus
  • Cross Street: N Gates
  • Directions: Highway 132 to Gates-North. Right on Shoemake. The First Residential place on the Left is a long driveway to the house.
  • Source Property Type: Residential
  • Home Warranty: No
  • Area: Rural Modesto West of Hwy 99
  • Source Neighborhood: 20109
  • Parcel Number: 012-025-066-000
  • Postal Code Plus 4: 8401
  • Zoning: RES
  • Property Subtype: Single Family Residence
  • Source System Name: C2C

Farm Info

  • Irrigation Source: Irrigation Available

Utilities

  • Electric: 220 Volts
  • Sewer: Septic System
  • Electric
  • Water Source: Well

Building and Construction

  • Year Built: 1981
  • Construction Materials: Wood, Wood Siding
  • Direction Faces: West
  • Foundation Details: Raised, Slab
  • Living Area Source: Assessor Auto-Fill
  • Property Age: 43
  • Property Condition: Updated/Remodeled, Original
  • Roof: Roof Description: Composition
  • Levels or Stories: 2
  • Structure Type: Custom, Ranchette/Country
  • House Style: Ranch