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Oil Prices Dropping, Good News or Bad News For Home Buyers

Photo courtesy of http://worldsamazinginformation.blogspot.com/2011/06/worlds-top-10-biggest-oil-producer.html

Photo courtesy of http://worldsamazinginformation.blogspot.com/2011/06/worlds-top-10-biggest-oil-producer.html

 

The drastic drop in oil prices could put downward pressure on mortgage rates.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that the price of regular gasoline was $2.20 per gallon, its lowest point since a peak of $4 per gallon in May 2011. EIA estimates that the savings could amount to $550 per household in 2015.

It might not all be good news:Lower Oil Prices Could Stall Home Appreciation

“Lower oil prices mean a lower inflation rate, which pushes down mortgage rates,” economists note at the National Association of REALTORS®‘ Economists’ Outlook blog. Indeed, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.73 percent last week — the lowest average in 20 months — according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage market survey. Taking into account the median home price of $205,300, a 0.75 percentage point drop in mortgage rates could yield a savings of about $1,000 annually, according to NAR researchers.

“What this means for REALTORS®: The decline in oil prices is generally positive to households by way of the gas savings and lower mortgage payments,” economists note. “That savings will boost consumer spending in other areas. But there may be some layoffs in oil-producing states.”

The lower oil prices may prompt revenues to flatten out in some oil-boom areas, notably North Dakota and Texas.

Still, the overall impact to national employment likely will be minimal, since most of the employment growth is coming from many economic sectors. Those employed in oil and gas extraction represent just 0.14 percent of the U.S.’s 138 million workers, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most state economies are diversified enough, too. Even in Texas, which is the biggest state for oil production and accounts for about half of U.S. oil and gas extraction workers, the oil industry covers less than 1 percent of its workers.

That said, some smaller counties may feel the impact more, since they do have higher employment in the oil sector. Those counties include Washington County, Okla.; Upton County, Texas; Woods County, Okla.; Crockett County, Texas; Hutchinson County, Texas; Yoakum County, Texas; and Gilmer County, W. Va.

Source: “Recent Oil Trends and What They Mean for the Housing Recovery,” National Association of REALTORS® Economists’ Outlook Blog (Jan. 12, 2015)

 

 

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Five Things to Watch in Housing In 2015

With lingering concerns about the recovery of the housing market, there are several key factors to watch in 2015, including affordability. It remains to be seen whether sales will pick up in 2015 if there’s more available for sale, and if those sellers realize prices aren’t rising the way they were one or two years ago. Slight loosening in access to credit may make the process of obtaining a mortgage less burdensome, but without an increase in incomes, there may not be sufficient buyers. Interest rates, inventory, and new construction are also important to monitor.
Read the full story
Source: Wall St. Journal

 

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Housing Inventory May Be Low in 2015

Photo courtesy of http://funpho.com/funny-house/

Despite recent increases, new-home inventories remain near all-time lows and are unlikely to return to their highs any time soon, according to a new analysis by John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

The rise in single-family inventory levels over the last few months bring them back only to 2012 levels. What’s more, the supply of condos continues to be at record lows, with fewer new high-rise developments and condo conversions occurring now than in the mid-2000s, John Burns Consulting says.

From 1984 to 2014, there was an average of 9,900 units on the market. The current inventory is 72 percent below the average of the last 30 years and 79 percent below the average since 1971, Pete Reeb, senior vice president at John Burns Consulting, notes in a recent article for the firm.

Why are new-home inventory levels so low, and why will supply not likely reach the previous highs? John Burns offers the following reasons:

  • Decrease in available lots. Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego, for example, have less land for large-scale new-home developments than five years ago. Fewer master-planned communities will lead to less supply.
  • Fewer overall projects. With fewer projects, there are fewer units coming on to the market. Actively selling community counts are far lower today than 10 or 20 years ago, Reeb notes.
  • Lower unit counts. The average total number of units in a project has significantly decreased in the last three decades. For example, in San Diego County, project sizes have dropped from a median size of around 125 units per project in the 1980s to 59 units today. “With fewer units per project, there are less total units to bring to market,” Reeb says.
  • Tight construction financing. Lenders now often require builders to have 50 percent to 100 percent of units under contract before releasing funds for the next phase. That has greatly reduced the potential for overbuilding, Reeb says.

Source: “How Much Is Too Much,” John Burns Real Estate Consulting/Building Market Intelligence (Jan. 5, 2015)

Live in Nevada County?
Call or email for a Free Market Analysis of Your Home

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
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New Year 2015 fireworks from around the world

After a turbulent year marred by terror woes, Ebola outbreaks and a horrific series of airline disasters, many could be forgiven for saying good riddance to 2014 and gratefully ringing in a new year.

Across the globe, revelers looking for a respite from the gloom will converge on the beaches of Brazil, the shores of Sydney harbor and the potentially snowy streets of Las Vegas (yes, really) to welcome 2015.

So here is an highlights video of the best fireworks displays – from cities all over the world – welcoming in the new year, 2015.

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Happy New Year 2015

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year. May you find peace and happiness in 2015

Enjoy some of Abba’s greatest hits!

John J. O’Dell

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Nevada County Fairgrounds Christmas Fair Results

Gingerbread house (Best of Show) - 2014

Gingerbread house (Best of Show) – 2014

Gingerbread House Competition Results and Canned Food Drive Results

A successful canned food drive, more than 120 vendors, and 45 gingerbread houses built made the 30th Annual Country Christmas Faire at the Nevada County Fairgrounds a success.

The 12th Annual Gingerbread House Competition was once again a crowd favorite, with 45 entries received. Of those entries, the Best of Show award went to the Files Family of Chicago Park, and the People’s Choice Award went to Kathy Kinney of Penn Valley. The Best of Show is chosen by the judges, and the People’s Choice is selected through ballots cast by individuals who attend the Christmas Faire.

First place winners in the traditional categories include Caylee Sinnock and Preston Lancaster (age 5 & under); Hunter Casteel and Finn Becker (age 6-8); Owen Strolle, McBride Family, Nate Becker, Kimberly Pfadt, and Evelyn Grandfield (age 9-12); Alyssa Porter, Jillian Beaver, J&C Anderson, and Willow West (Kits: Age 8 and under); Molly Becker (age 13-17); Sherry Andreini (age 18 -64); Joan Morton (age 65 & over); Nancy Pease (special needs); Scotten Out of School 3rd Grade, Scotten Out of School 2nd Grade, Scotten Out of School K/1st Grade, and Scotten Out of School 4th Grade Girls (group – children); Ali McDaniel and Pfadt Family (family); and the Files Family (Adult/Group – ages 18 and over).

 

Gingerbread House (People's Choice - Kathy Kinney) - 2014

Gingerbread House (People’s Choice – Kathy Kinney) – 2014

The first place winner in the non-traditional categories is Joanne Perilman & Crew (adult/group – ages 18 and over).

At Sunday’s canned food drive, Grass Valley Elks Lodge #538, with help from Boy Scout Troop 21, collected more than 200 pounds of food. These donations will help complete Christmas food baskets for 28 local families during the holiday season.

The names of all the Gingerbread House Competition winners can be found on the Fairgrounds’ website at www.NevadaCountyFair.com. The 2015 Country Christmas Faire is planned for Thanksgiving weekend, November 27, 28, and 29.

Live in Nevada County?
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John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
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New App Attempts to Match Roommates

 a roommate notes 18 Dear roommate, sometimes youre a pain (27 photos)

Photo courtesy of http://theberry.com/2010/09/24/dear-roommate-sometimes-youre-a-pain-27-photos/

A new mobile app is trying to link housemates together, stealing some cues from how dating websites make connections. MatchPad attempts to pair renters based on their projected compatibility.

Read more: 5 Million Households Lost to Roomie Trend

The site matches based on budget for rent, location preferences, and lifestyle choices. It asks users to rate themselves in areas such as how extroverted, detail-oriented, and controlling they are, in addition to their overall cleanliness. It then ranks potential roommates for the person using a compatibility scale of “great” to “OK.”  Users can connect via private messages with potential roommates to investigate further for compatibility.

So far, more than 3,000 users have created accounts on the website since it launched in September, beginning with the New York City market. The app will be available on Android and iOS platforms in January.

MatchPad has a special section designated for real estate professionals, offering qualified leads based on location and budget.

But can a roommate-compatibility app work? Some companies—such as the dating site OKCupid—have tested this idea in the past, but the idea failed to gain traction.

“That is partly because when selecting someone to live with, even more than when picking someone to date, users tend to be choosy,” a New York Times article notes. “After all, a bad first date lasts a couple of hours; a bad roommate pairing could last a year.”

Source: “Helping Felix Avoid Oscar,” The New York Times (Nov. 20, 2014)

Live in Nevada County? Call or email today
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John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
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Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley Elks Team up for a Canned Food Drive

Donate a can of food on Sunday, November 30, and receive $1 off admission

The Nevada County Fairgrounds and Grass Valley Elks are teaming up for a canned food drive to help feed those in need in Nevada County.

Bring a can of food (or two or three) to the Country Christmas Faire on Sunday, November 30, and the Fairgrounds will give you a coupon for $1 off general admission to the Christmas Faire on that day (one coupon per person). Volunteers from Grass Valley Elks will collect the cans at the food collection bins at the Fairgrounds from 10 am – 4 pm at Gates 1, 3 and 5, which is also where you’ll receive your coupon.  All food donated will help feed those in need in Nevada County.

The Country Christmas Faire is happening Thanksgiving weekend, November 28, 29 and 30 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Hours are 10 am – 5 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 10 am – 4 pm on Sunday. Cost is $4, and free to children under 12.  Parking is free.

Visit www.NevadaCountyFair.com for information or call (530) 273-6217.

Live in Nevada County? Call or email today
for a your free home market analysis

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
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Nevada County Fairgrounds’ CEO to be Inducted into Western Fairs Association’s Hall of Fame

Sandy Woods

Sandy Woods

Western Fairs Association (WFA) announced this week that they will induct Sandy Woods, Chief Executive Officer of the Nevada County Fairgrounds, into the Western Fairs Association’s Hall of Fame at its upcoming convention in Reno.

The WFA Hall of Fame honors individuals who have made substantial contributions to the Fair industry through leadership, education, legislation and outstanding service.

Woods is being recognized for her contributions to the Fair industry, including her work at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. She has worked at the Nevada County Fairgrounds since 1995, where she started as Deputy Manager, and has served as the CEO since 2009. Additionally, Woods has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Western Fairs Association since 2005, and served as the WFA Board President in 2012. She is currently Chair of the California Fairs Alliance, which provides advocacy and resource development for the network of California fairs.

“Sandy’s service as an Officer, and as the President of the Western Fairs, set a new bar for leadership,” noted WFA Executive Director Stephen Chamber. “Her continuing role as the Chair of the California Fairs Alliance has helped California’s 78 fairs move through the difficult challenges driven by the Great Recession. Celebrating her service will be the highlight of our January Convention.”

Prior to her work at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, Woods worked as the Controller/CFO for MasterCard for the western United States. She also has an extensive background and career in international agriculture.  Upon moving to Nevada County, she became the general manager of the Nevada City Winery and remains a director at the Winery. She is also a past director of the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation, as well as a member of the Foothill Lions Club.

“The Hall of Fame Board of Governors did an outstanding job,” said WFA President Pat Kress. “Sandy defines commitment and service to the fair community. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of the California fair network. She is a great addition to the WFA Hall of Fame.”

The Western Fairs Association is a non-profit trade association serving the Fair industry throughout the Western United States and Canada. WFA serves fair-related businesses, fair management, fair board directors, festivals, and industry associations.

Woods’ induction will take place in January at WFA’s industry awards celebration in Reno.

Live in Nevada County? 
Call or email for a Free Market Analysis of Your Home 

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI

O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
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Country Christmas Fair at Nevada County Fairgrounds

 

Red Barn Craft Company Booth (corner of Main St)

Red Barn Craft Company Booth (corner of Main St)

Mark your calendar for the 30th annual Country Christmas Faire at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley on November 28, 29 and 30. Rated as one of the top handcrafted shows in Northern California, the Country Christmas Faire features unique gifts and crafts from top artisans from across the state, as well as from Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, and New York.

Exhibit buildings will be filled during the Thanksgiving weekend, giving shoppers a chance to start their holiday shopping with quality hand-made holiday items, ornaments, jewelry, wooden crafts, soaps and lotions, hand-woven baskets, stained glass, candles, beadwork, and dozens of other unique gifts.

Visitors to the Faire will enjoy strolling live entertainment, festival foods, the magical Gingerbread House exhibit, errand elves, and a community bon-fire. Wagon rides around the Fairgrounds will be offered; and Victorian singers, the bell ringing RiverBells, and the Sierra Symphony quartet will perform throughout the event.

Santa will be available each day until an hour before the event closes, so bring your camera to capture that special photo with Santa. Free babysitting will be offered by Girl Scouts of the Northern Mines Service Unit, so parents can drop off their children while they enjoy holiday shopping.  Errand Elves from Clear Creek School will be available to assist shoppers throughout the event.

On Sunday of the Faire, the Nevada County Fairgrounds will partner with Grass Valley Elks for a canned Food Drive. Bring a can of food on Sunday, November 30, from 10 am to 4 pm, and receive $1 off Sunday’s admission price (one coupon per person). All food donated will help feed those in need in Nevada County.

The Country Christmas Faire begins Friday, November 28, and runs through Sunday,

November 30. Admission is $4 for adults, and children 12 and under are free. Parking is free. The hours are 10 am – 5 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 10 am – 4 pm on Sunday.

The Nevada County Fairgrounds is located at 11228 McCourtney Road in Grass Valley, 50 miles northeast of Sacramento, off Highway 49. For more information, visit the Fairgrounds’ web site at NevadaCountyFair.com or call (530) 273-6217.

Live in Nevada County? 
Call or email for a Free Market Analysis of Your Home 

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
Email John

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