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Articles written by Bob Hillery


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  • Review of all things Real Estate: Empower change by taking action

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Feb 22, 2024

    When speaking with out-of-town real estate clients there are often questions about what is there to do in Fallbrook, how can they get involved? Fallbrook has over 150 nonprofit organizations, but if none of those represent their interests then a suggestion is that they might create their own movement and the below article suggests ways to make that happen. Enjoy and thank you Janet. Empower change by taking action in your community for the causes you believe in By Janet...

  • Review of all things Real Estate

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Feb 16, 2024

    Here’s a blinding flash of the obvious, Fallbrook and much of North County is rural country, and rural areas have different concerns than do coastal and other developed “lot and block” neighborhoods. In established neighborhoods, there isn’t much concern about encroachment since the structures and lot lines will have been approved by reviewing authority when the real estate development map was created and approved. Our local escrow company will have escrow...

  • Review of all things Real Estate: What factors influence mortgage interest rates?

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Feb 9, 2024

    When searching for a loan, most borrowers will seek the one that offers the lowest mortgage interest rate. A low interest rate means less expensive monthly payments, so the borrower will be saving money over the life of the loan. Below are the common factors that influence mortgage interest rates. One of the largest contributors to a mortgage rate is the borrower’s credit score report. A credit score is a summary of your borrowing history, including any late payments,...

  • Review of all things Real Estate

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Feb 1, 2024

    Let’s say that your home is in the perfect location, you've already updated the interiors and painted your doors and walls in popular, sought-after colors all to raise your property's value. What else can you do to squeeze out an even bigger payday once you decide to sell? It's time to turn your attention to landscaping. But landscaping can be very expensive. Several years ago when I investigated doing a backyard makeover, I interviewed a landscape engineer who came highly...

  • Review of all things Real Estate: Four things that will decrease the value of your home

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Jan 25, 2024

    Our market activity indicator currently is 45 which means we are in a neutral to slight seller’s market. I came across some tips that talked about what people do (or don’t do) to their properties that actually decrease the value of their homes which, in a neutral market, is not the prudent thing to do. Let’s take it from the first impression. The value of a curb appeal cannot be overemphasized since there is only one chance to make a first impression, and a lot of that f...

  • Review of all things Real Estate: What real estate market are we in right now?

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Jan 18, 2024

    For starters, the market activity indicator remains at 46. To refresh, 30 is the threshold from buyer’s market to neutral market and 48 is the threshold from neutral market to seller’s market so we’re in a neutral to slight seller’s market. And what are we seeing at ground level? All of the listings in our office are getting showings; lots of showings and properties are going into escrow, and mostly they are closing, if the buyers are properly vetted. We are also...

  • Review of all things Real Estate: Happy 2024, news you might find interesting.

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Jan 11, 2024

    Good January day readers, I hope this week’s article finds everyone happy and healthy with the anticipation of a pleasant and prosperous 2024. Today’s article will hit some wavetops because there hasn’t been significant real estate activity to discuss lately. First and foremost, in response to inquiries, yes, we did get married over the holidays. The former Miss Dianna Branch and I exchanged vows at a smallish backyard ceremony on Friday 22 December. It was super cool as...

  • Review of all things Real Estate

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Jan 4, 2024

    Belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. My last article closed with a note that I would be absent from writing my weekly article until after the holiday season. I did, however, keep up with my reading and kept my finger on the pulse of real estate so when I returned I would have current information to share. To catch everyone up, the Market Activity Report remained steady since my last article in mid-December, hovering between 43-44. As previously discussed, that puts our...

  • Review of all things Real Estate: Is the housing market going to crash?

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Dec 13, 2023

    I get these questions a lot. When will housing prices fall? Will there be a housing market crash? When is the best time to purchase a house? Everything I read and listen to indicates that “no,” there isn’t going to be a housing market crash. Prices may flatten if mortgage interest rates rise and continue to lock buyers out of the market but even that is a changing dynamic as rates have dropped from +8% to currently in the low 7%, and even into the high 6% with certain go...

  • Review of all things Real Estate: What they did (or didn't do) and what happened?

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Dec 7, 2023

    In this weekly article, I have lamented what appeared to be seemingly capricious action by the Federal Reserve Board regarding monetary policy (versus fiscal policy, aka government controlling its spending) to try to curb inflation and get it down to 2%. I have expressed concern that it will take 12 months for changes to manifest and, since we have endured 12 Prime Rate increases in the last 13 months, it occurs that there hasn’t been sufficient interval time to analyze the...

  • Review of all things Real Estate:Conflicting opinions

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Nov 29, 2023

    This week’s article is a conglomeration of comments and thoughts from several prominent real estate economists. It’s interesting that highly educated people don’t always agree, and in some cases, they appear to have conflicting opinions of the same data. The comments from Lawrence Yun actually appear to conflict his own statements when he cites that “buyers recoiled in shock at the highest mortgage interest rates in a generation,” but then he reiterates that we are...

  • Review of all things Real Estate:

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Nov 24, 2023

    “My PCA and I are going to be evicted soon. I let vultures buy my home with very little profit left for myself. It was my Mom’s home and she owed more than I originally thought.” I read this in an online community forum the other day and the thought came to my mind that the “vultures” were either i-Buyers or flippers. To refamiliarize readers, i-Buyer are investors who make a lot of money when the stock market was riding sky high, and they want to reinvest. They...

  • Review of all things Real Estate

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Nov 15, 2023

    We don’t like to think about it, but anyone can find themselves in a situation where they require a caregiver. We often associate these situations with the elderly, but you may find yourself choosing to move closer to a parent, niece, sibling, or grandchild to help provide a stronger support system. Whether you’re considering becoming the primary caregiver or one of a larger support network, the decision to relocate is a big one that requires forethought and planning. In...

  • Review of all things Real Estate: Proposition 19 and how it can save you (and your family) a lot of taxes

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Nov 8, 2023

    As our real estate market is in a quiet phase due to the time of year, I have been looking around for interesting subject matter to report in my weekly article, and I came upon Proposition 19. Even though the real estate market isn’t a fast-moving train right now, a friend of mine is utilizing Prop 19 after the passing of her mother, so regardless of market activity, it is a salient subject. I’ll hit the wavetops to create interest, but I am by no means an expert. My...

  • What he said, what it means; and other real estate related items

    Bob Hillery, Special to Village News|Updated Nov 1, 2023

    Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated that inflation is still “too high” and that the path to bringing it down will be “bumpy,” in his Thursday, Oct. 19, speech at the Economic Club of New York. He added that the Fed remains “resolute” in its commitment to returning inflation to 2%. He said that while inflation appears to be heading in the correct direction, he feels there might be a need for rate increases before the end of the year. What is the...

  • Review of all things Real Estate: Inflation, mortgage interest rates, and home prices; oh my! Part 2

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Oct 25, 2023

    Okay, in my last article, inflation was discussed which included what inflation is, what causes it and what are the impacts/implications of inflation; good and bad. This article will follow the inflation trail into the woods and address mortgage interest rates and home prices. Mortgage interest rates are closely related to the 10 year Treasury Bill (T-bill), or put another way, bad news for stocks is often good news for mortgage interest rates. This is because when investors...

  • Review of all things Real Estate: Inflation, mortgage interest rates and home prices, oh my!

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Oct 12, 2023

    This will be a 2-3 part article dealing with the interrelationship of the subjects in the title line. All of these factors contribute to the high price of housing and yet puzzling, despite mortgage interest rates having reached 22 year highs, buyer demand for home purchases is still remarkably strong. Let’s address the subject of inflation first; what it is and what causes it. Inflation is the general rise in the prices of goods and services over time, which erodes the...

  • Review of all things Real Estate: Why employ local real estate professionals?

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Oct 5, 2023

    Here’s a blinding flash of the obvious: Fallbrook and much of North County is rural country, and rural areas have different concerns than do coastal and other developed “lot and block” neighborhoods. In established neighborhoods, there isn’t much concern about encroachment since the structures and lot lines will have been approved by the reviewing authority when the real estate development map was created and approved. Our local escrow company will have escrow...

  • Review of all things Real Estate: The importance of a professional home inspection in a real estate transaction

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Sep 6, 2023

    Did you know that sellers are required by California law to provide buyers with the history of repairs and known discrepancies when selling a property? Did you also know that lack of or incomplete disclosures are the most common reason for real estate lawsuits? A home inspection will protect the buyer and the seller against incomplete disclosures because the discrepancies will be known by the end of the inspection. Some clients object to paying for a home inspection because...

  • Review of all things real estate: Our local market

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Aug 31, 2023

    In preparation to write this weekly article I read a lot of different information pieces from different sources, some of which I agree with and others with which I might take umbrage. Today’s article falls into this category which I will discuss with the view of what’s happening in real estate in our local market. It has been said that all politics are local, well for our collective interests, all real estate is local. In an interview with Inman News, Redfin CEO Glenn...

  • Review of all things Real Estate: How to lower fire insurance costs

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Aug 23, 2023

    In my very first article I informed the readership that this weekly column would be about information and education regarding selling anything. In view of skyrocketing fire insurance rates, the below article, courtesy of SNAP Natural Hazard Disclosure Company, provides information about a new product that may contribute to lower fire insurance costs. What is the Wildfire Disclosure Report? The Wildfire Disclosure Report (WFDR) was developed by FortressFire® to assess...

  • Review of all things Real Estate: Monetary policy versus fiscal policy, which is more powerful?

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Aug 18, 2023

    We hear a lot about the Federal Reserve raising the Federal Funds rates, but what are they doing to try to combat inflation? To answer this effectively, a couple of definitions would be helpful so that we are all understanding the same terms. Per Wikipedia and Investopedia on the internet, “monetary policy is used by the Central Bank to control the overall money supply to promote economic growth and employment strategies… and it does so by altering the reserve requirement,...

  • Review of all things real estate: What's up with prices?

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Aug 9, 2023

    It’s not just real estate, it’s prices across all fronts. Have you checked out the price of gasoline lately? In town, there is nothing offered under $5/gallon, and two days ago gasoline at Costco was $4.79/gallon. How about vegetables and produce? Propane, water and electricity? Due to slower than usual real estate business, we haven’t gone through a lot of printer paper this year. But really, a case of printer/copier paper went from $22 to $36 since the beginning of...

  • Review of all things Real Estate: Understanding uninsured deeds

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Aug 2, 2023

    I am often asked about why title insurance is an important item in a transaction; it can be confusing to consumers who are not involved with frequent real estate transactions. The following comprehensive title insurance information is provided courtesy of First American Title Insurance Company, it is a useful read which will likely elicit several “aha” moments; enjoy! What is an uninsured deed? An uninsured deed is a deed that has not been examined by the title company....

  • Review of all things Real Estate: Lots of rain created lots of fuel for fire

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Jul 19, 2023

    We sorely needed the rain; it filled up shrinking reservoirs, added “green” to our views and helped inundate the earth with moisture. The bad news is now we have lots of organic fuel in our countryside. During the December 2017 fire that swept through Bonsall, one of our Real Estate Marketing Meeting attendees lost a barn and had her house scorched, but it was largely saved by the firefighters. They told her later that the firefighters can “pass” on a property if the...

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