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Chico CA Real Estate

Chico Homes

Sandi Bauman
Chico Realtor

2571 California Park Drive Suite 200 Chico, CA 95928
cell: 530-864-5407
email: [email protected]

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Congrats to First Time Home Owner Lindsey!

We LOVE this part of our job…. handing the keys over to an excited new home owner! First time buyers are such a privilege to assist!

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Lindsey, CONGRATULATIONS on your new home! What an exciting step for you! We wish you many, many years of happy memories. Tara and the whole team enjoyed assisting you!

The Sandi Bauman Team, Chico Homes

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Congrats on your new Magalia home Eric and Michelle

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Ginny and the whole team is SO EXCITED for your beautiful family!

Your escrow was sure an eventful ride. Thankfully, all parties hung on, and we have arrived at this precious moment!

Here’s to many wonderful years in your new home.

If you are a buyer ready to purchase, we would love to see your photo here next! Call us to get started. 530-864-5407.

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Congratulations on Your New Durham Home

New Durham Homeowners

Congrats to first time buyers Ben and Jemie on your new Durham home!

We are so excited for you!

Buyer Specialist Ginny had a wonderful time assisting you with your purchase.

All of us here at The Sandi Bauman Team hope your family enjoys many happy years building memories!

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6 Essential Tips for Home Buyers in Chico

The most important tips for homebuyers to know, as recommended by real estate agents

Get a Home Inspection

91.4 percent of agents say this is a very important tip.

0.54 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip.

The tip: Get a home inspection to evaluate the safety and overall condition of your new home, even if it appears flawless.

Get Preapproved for a Loan

89.0 percent of agents say this is a very important tip.

0.78 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip.

The tip: Before you start house hunting, get preapproved for a mortgage loan.

Communicate Through Your Agent

89.0 percent of agents say this is a very important tip.

0.27 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip.

The tip: When you want to ask or tell the seller something, always go through your real estate agent.

Put the Deal Into Writing

87.5 percent of agents say this is a very important tip.

0.83 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip.

The tip: Get the seller to put every component of the deal and any verbal agreement into writing.

Include Contingencies With Offer

83.0 percent of agents say this is a very important tip.

0.78 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip.

The tip: Include important contingencies, such as financing and property inspections, with your offer.

Develop a Wish List

82.4 percent of agents say this is a very important tip.

0.27 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip.

The tip: Come up with a realistic wish list. Find out what you can afford in terms of house size, neighborhood and amenities.

Know Your Local Market

75.6 percent of agents say this is a very important tip.

1.7 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip.

The tip: Know as much about the local market as you can. Use your agent’s CMA to learn about the selling price of comparable homes and the strength of the local real estate market.

Prioritize!

68.5 percent of agents say this is a very important tip.

1.11 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip.

The tip: Decide what’s most important to you before the negotiation so you know what parts of your offer you’re most comfortable giving up.

Look Into Government Programs

57.7 of agents say this is a very important tip.

1.36 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip.

The tip: Look into programs for first-time homebuyers. See if you qualify for the lower interest rates, low down payment options and down payment assistance programs some banks and governmental organizations offer first-time homebuyers.

Research Real Estate Agents

54.7 percent of agents say this is a very important tip.

7.61 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip.

The tip: Don’t just work with the first real estate agent you come across! Do your homework and find one you’re comfortable with.

Keep Other Houses in Mind

43.9 percent of agents say this is a very important tip.

5.8 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip.

The tip: When you begin negotiating on a specific property, know of other houses you’d be interested in buying. You don’t want to be so desperate to buy a certain house that you give in to whatever the seller wants.

Be Smart With Your Contingencies

40.6 percent of agents say this is a very important tip.

9 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip.

The tip: Avoid including unnecessary contingencies in your offer. Doing so will make it less attractive.

Keep Negotiations Short

39.8 percent of agents say this is a very important tip.

4.8 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip.

The tip: Avoid long, drawn-out negotiations, which can negatively affect the chances of your offer being accepted.

Shop around for Mortgages

37.9 percent of agents say this is a very important tip.

4.7 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip.

The tip: Shop around for at least several mortgage quotes before choosing one.

Ask for More Than You Want

32.1 percent of agents say this is a very important tip.

10.1 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip.

The tip: Ask for more than you want during negotiations, without asking too much. You can “give in” to the seller without actually giving up the things you want!

Scope out Neighborhoods, Neighbors

31.9 percent of agents say this is a very important tip.

7.1 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip.

The tip: Talk to neighbors to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to live in the neighborhoods of homes you are interested in. While doing so, gauge if you would like to live next to these people for the foreseeable future. Bad neighbors can affect your property’s value.

Connect With the Sellers

24.9 percent of agents say this is a very important tip.

27.5 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip.

The tip: Establish a connection with the sellers. You may be able to get a better deal if the sellers see you as a person, not just an opportunity.

Ready to shop for a new home in Chico, Paradise, Magalia, Forest Ranch,  Durham, Oroville, Orland or Willows?

Call The Sandi Bauman Team!  530-864-5407
Last year we helped more than 80 BUYERS close escrow on a new home.  We would love to help you next!

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Happy Clients, Happy Team.

This letter was waiting for me this morning.  It came from a buyer who just closed escrow on her new home.

I am once again reminded how fortunate I am to work with such an amazing, strong group of women.  Our buyer specialists and staff are tireless, strong advocates for our clients.  It is a privilege to be a part of their Team!  Thanks for the exceptional work, ladies.

“Hi Sandi,

It is no surprise that you are the top selling agent for the past year! You have a great team! Tammy and Nicole were so incredibly helpful in seeing me through this sometimes crazy and frequently harrowing loan and purchase. Honestly, I thought it was never going to end with some of the mishaps with the loan company! Tammy was a real pro in every way! She meticulously documented everything! She is very smart that way! Nicole stayed on top of things and the two work so well as a team! Liz diligently sent me clean digital copies of all the documents I needed, which was quite a large number and all the ladies in the office were fabulous, friendly and reassuring!!!

You have a lot to be proud of!!! I have been searching for a year and a half in areas all over Northern California and I spoke with many agents. Tammy and Nicole are by far the most hard-working and consistently POSITIVE!!! What a great asset speaking from the aspect of the bewildered buyer. It took Tammy a very short time to zero in and find what I wanted! I was in a very difficult market with the amount I had to spend (under $100,000)! Yet, I feel that Tammy worked hard and treated me with the same understanding and respect that she would treat the wealthiest of home buyers! Her constant cheerful outlook was so reassuring to me throughout this entire process!!! And as for Nicole, well…. “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”! She was great!

Please share this information with all those who had a part in the purchase of my home! I don’t want to leave anybody out. You guys are certainly the real deal when it comes to being a team! I never saw anything but an extremely competent, highly professional, well oiled machine as far as the teamwork is concerned. All of that was delicately balanced with a warm interest in me as a customer!!!

Thanks for a truly wonderful experience! I will be sharing with others my experience with the Sandi Bauman Team for a very long time to come!

Best Wishes to the Whole Team!!!

Sincerely,

Carolyn Murray”

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Chico Home Buyers Get Off The Fence and Into the Real Estate Market

by Mike Wiegert

On a national level, existing home sales increased in May as buyers are reacting to lower home prices according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).  May figures indicate 4.99 million existing home units sold, up two percent from April’s sales of 4.89 million sold units.  This number is still a far cry from May 2007 sales at 5.93 million units. The reason for the latest increase in national  home sales was summed up by NAR President Richard F. Gaylor,  “Home buyers are starting to get off the fence and into the market, drawn by drops in home prices in many areas and armed with greater access to affordable mortgages,” he said. “Today’s buyer plans to stay in a home for 10 years, which is a good strategy for building long-term wealth.”

NAR Chief economist, Lawrence Yun, indicated last week that there is a significant inventory of homes.  “The large supply of homes on the market clearly favors buyers, and it should take several months to draw the inventory down,” he said. “Stabilization in home prices can only occur with buyers returning to the market, so we are encouraged by rising home sales, particularly in distressed markets. Foreclosures and short sales appear to be a larger part of the market, particularly in California, and are creating a drag on current home prices.”

So what do the statistics mean to homebuyers in the Butte County area? At 472 active residential listings in the Chico area market, our local inventory is significantly lower than the national average per capita.

With an urban area population of 106,000 residents, the number of available homes compared to the number of residents is substantially less than most cities across the nation. In a nutshell, although the Chico real estate market is a “buyer’s market“,  a less than generous selection of listings in our area diminishes the possibility of buyers coercing sellers into accepting cut-rate offers.

Local homeowners have indisputably seen their home prices drop over the past year.  With a median sales price of $308,750 in June 2007 compared to $272,000 in June of 2008, year over year statistics appear to indicate almost a 12 percent decrease in median home prices sold for our area. And with the subsequent losses of equities following these price drops, many sellers are not in the position to accept bargain prices on  homes that  they owe more on than these proposed offers. I can’t really count the numbers of sellers who have expressed an unwillingness to go out of pocket to sell their homes.  Instead, they are bunkering down and waiting for the market and prices to stabilize.  Is this a good or bad strategy?  You’ve heard it before, “real estate is a long term investment.” For many, it might be prudent to wait out bad times. For others that need to sell to relocate, hopefully many redeeming real estate opportunities exist in their new location.

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FHA Announces Changes to Lending Guidelines Effective July 14, 2008!!

by Ken Phillips

For the first time in history, FHA will begin using borrowers credit scores to determine risk based pricing and mortgage insurance premiums.


Up until now credit scores were not really a factor used in FHA risked based pricing.
With FHA relaxing some of their strict requirements recently it was easier to qualify buyers with credit scores low enough to prevent them from qualifying for “conventional” financing. As a matter of fact, with 100% financing a thing of the past basically, FHA financing has become very popular among lenders looking for high loan-to-value loans as FHA financing, which can cover up to 97.75% of the purchase price if a buyer is paying their own closing costs on a purchase, still carries low interest rates compared to high loan-to value conventional financing. FHA is a great loan for first time Chico home buyers with little money to put down and/or with low credit scores that prevent them from qualifying for a conventional loan. On July 14, 2008 FHA will begin implementing these changes and it will affect qualifying for many of borrowers.

Here’s a look at the ten major changes to the FHA guidelines:

1. Borrowers with either no score or at least a 500 score may get an LTV >90%.
2. Borrowers with a score less than 500 get a maximum LTV of 90%.
3. Borrowers without scores will require manual underwriting. What this means is no automated underwriting is available i.e. DU, LP, or DO and will require more time to give the realtors/agents a TRUE pre-approval letter.
4. Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premiums will range from 1.25% to 2.25%, depending on score. These upfront MI premiums will still be allowed to financed into the loan.
5. The Monthly Mortgage Insurance will range from .50% to .55% depending on the borrower’s credit score.
6. The premium is based on the borrower with the lowest score.
7. If one of the borrowers has no score, then the Non-Traditional credit grade is used. Non traditional credit is having trade or credit lines added to the borrowers credit report and obtaining a credit rating. These non-traditional trade/credit lines can be utility bills such as water, cable, electric, gas, phone, etc., cellular phone service, and rental history to name a few.
8. Credit rescoring is allowed to improve a borrower’s credit score. There are fees associated with credit rescoring and each bureau charges fees for each tradeline disputed.
9. All FHA Secure refinances >95% LTV with delinquencies have a 2.25% UFMIP and .55% MMI.
10. Along with purchases, these changes will apply to cash-out, rate & term, and non-delinquent FHA Secure refinances.

Feel free to call Ken 865-769-6420 if you have any questions regarding FHA financing or any of Countrywide’s many loan programs .

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First Time Home Buyer Disaster- Don’t Let This Happen to You!

Don’t mess with your credit or change employment until your Chico escrow closes!

While perusing a fellow blogger Janis Gagliardi’s recent post it occured to me that the message bears repeating for potential Chico CA buyers.

Here is the full story, courtesy of PortOrangeJuice.

I myself have had two different buyers in the past year or so that were stopped cold in their path to purchasing a new home. In a nutshell, the escrows had progressed to within a day or two before the closing. In both cases, the lenders re-checked the buyers credit and employment status just minutes prior to funding the loan.

1. The first couple had just charged new appliances to their credit card the day before. In doing so, they knocked their qualifying ratios out of whack just enough to destroy their loan package.

2. My second buyer either quit her job or was fired on Wednesday.When the lender checked with her employer on Monday, all bets were off! No job, no loan.

Apply Janis’ tips to ensure you close escrow on your Chico dream home!

DO NOT increase your credit card balances and or loan balances

  • DO NOT apply for additional or new credit, or put balances on a paid credit card
  • DO NOT ignore late payments and/or collection notices that during the course of your loan
  • DO NOT purchase anything that is “the same as cash” – it will show on your credit report as a debt
  • DO NOT buy furniture, cars, or appliances until after closing. What good is furniture if you don’t have a new home to put them in!
  • DO NOT lend money to family members, friends, etc. if you need it for closing.
  • DO NOT store your money at home. Place it in a bank account so that it can be documented as savings throughout the loan process.
  • DO NOT have overdrafts on your checking account.

Subscribe to: Chico CA Real Estate Blog and MLS Listings Search!

Looking to buy or sell Chico CA Real Estate? Need a Top Producing Chico CA Realtor? Call Sandi Bauman 530-864-5407 or email [email protected] Specializing in REO, residential, relocation, investment & ag property.

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What Am I Thankful For…

by guest writer Mike Wiegert, broker, Chico Homes


At this time of holiday cheer and good will towards men, I really feel the need to express my gratitude and thanks for the many blessings in my life.

First there is the love of a healthy family and friends. Next, I’m grateful for my own personal health and well being. I’m thankful that none of my sons are involved in an unnecessary war in a desperate land thousand of miles from home. I’m grateful that I live in a community like Chico, CA where a day never goes by without a hearty greeting from someone I’ve haven’t seen for a while. And I can’t forget to mention how thankful I am to be a Realtor in these times of prosperity and exceptional market conditions.

WHAT? WHOA! STOP! HALT! SCREECH!

What did that idiot just say? Is that the same market that we’ve heard about with desperate sales situations and real estate salespeople jumping off bridges or scurrying to find other skilled occupations. (Would you like fries with that?) Yes, that’s the market I’m talking about.

It’s all a matter of perspective.

We’ve all read horror stories sensationalized by our newspapers nationwide about the failing real estate market. We heard about how the bottom is falling out, and how families have lost tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars in equity in their homes. We know about foreclosures and short sales being on the rise.

Did you see, however, an article that stated that by Thanksgiving week, members of the Chico Multiple Listing Service had sold and closed $825,000,000 in real estate since January ONE?

That’s EIGHT HUNDRED AND A QUARTER MILLION, PEOPLE!

Gosh, that really sounds terrible to me. Did you also read that the highest sales volume in Chico MLS history was the record year of 2005 at a whopping $1,250,000,000? At the current rate, Chico CA Realtors are projected to sell $927,000,000 in Chico CA real estate or about 74 percent of the volume of sales of that highest, greatest real estate sales year of all time! Year 2007 is shaping up to be the third largest volume of sales in Chico Multiple Listing Service history.

I’m thankful that mortgage rates are staying at historical lows, often in the high fives to low sixes. At risk of sounding like your Grandpa, I remember selling (or trying to sell) real estate in Chico, CA in the eighties when interest rates were in the 18 to 20
percent range. The point is that interest rates are incredibly low, and it’s a fantastic time to buy. If you read my article last week about short sales, it was a shout out to all the buyers out there. We’re talkin’ OPPORTUNITIES, PEOPLE!

I’ll leave you with this thought: you can read all the sensational negative news available, but remember that our local market is strong, and it’s a great time to be involved.

Have you every heard anyone say, “I wish I hadn’t bought so much Chico CA real estate in my lifetime.” I didn’t think so. How about, “I wish I had bought MORE real estate!”

I rest my case.

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Looking to buy or sell Chico CA Real Estate? Need a Top Producing Chico CA Realtor? Call Sandi Bauman 530-864-5407 or email [email protected] Specializing in REO, residential, relocation, investment & ag property.

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Short escrow? Get your ducks in a row BEFORE you make an offer.

There is no disputing the fact that Chico, CA is currently in what is commonly known as a “Buyer’s Market.”

That is FABULOUS news for all the buyers out there who have patiently been waiting for this day. The inventory is high, the prices have dropped, and the interest rates are still phenomenal!

Now is the time to get a great deal! fall leaf floating on Cal Park Lake, Chico CA

A “Buyer’s Market” is a wonderful thing. A Chico, CA home that might have cost $400,000 in 2005 may only set you back $350,000 today. On average, prices seem to have corrected between 10 and 15 percent for residential properties.

I have noticed a growing trend with buyers. In an effort to get the absolute lowest price on a property, they attempt to entice the sellers with a very short escrow period. For some sellers, a quick sale in this market is a dream come true! They need out from under that house payment, and will gladly accept less than asking price just to be DONE.

However, when representing a seller, I have had to caution against signing the first contract we see, simply because the buyer promises to make it the pain go away with a 10 day escrow. The offer to close in 10 days is an empty one if the buyer has not done his homework.

The following items must be taken into consideration to close an escrow quickly:

  • Is the buyer preapproved?
  • Is the lender local and knowledgeable about our issues and resources?
  • Is the lender willing to commit to closing on time?
  • What kind of loan product is the buyer applying for? A VA loan, for instance, is highly unlikely to close in less than 30 days.
  • What inspections does the buyer request? Well potability tests may require 14 days or more to obtain results.
  • Can we get the appraisal completed immediately?
  • Will repairs be required by the lender to fund the loan? If so, is there a contractor available to bid, complete, and final the work within a days notice?

An escrow that closes quickly can be a wonderful solution for both the buyer and the seller, but it doesn’t happen without forethought, preparation, and a willingness for all parties to be focused on immediate results.

If you are a buyer, hoping to get the best deal of the year by offering to close quickly, get your ducks in a row BEFORE you make an offer. No seller in their right mind will accept your offer if you aren’t prepared to close the deal.

Like what you’re reading?

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Shopping for Chico foreclosure property? Give me a call- I’m currently working with several REO departments on bank-owned Chico property. Sandi Bauman 530-864-5407

Looking to buy or sell Chico CA Real Estate? Need a Top Producing Chico CA Realtor? Call Sandi Bauman 530-864-5407 or email [email protected] Specializing in REO, residential, relocation, investment & ag property.

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Sandi Bauman (Chico Homes): Real Estate Agent in Chico, Butte County, California
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