Solano Real Estate Scene: Bullish call on Solano County
It would be easy to make a negative call on Solano County residential real estate today for three key reasons:
- Record-breaking unemployment claims and this virus-induced recession.
- Fear and low consumer confidence.
- Shelter-at-home orders limiting open houses and sellers that are not willing to have strangers in their homes.
It’s also easy to make a bullish call on buying Solano County homes for many reasons:
- Location, location, location! Most say Northern California is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. The 17-mile drive in Pebble Beach, Big Sur, San Francisco, the Mendocino and Sonoma coast, Sacramento, Yosemite and Lake Tahoe are all less than a three-hour drive from Solano County.
- Solano County has the most affordable median home price among Bay Area counties.
- Strong employment opportunities like Travis Air Force Base, biotech industry, the wine industry, numerous hospitals, the oil refinery business in our backyard, Amazon, Jelly Belly, city and county employment, the Nut Tree and the factory stores may look different in the future but aren’t going anywhere. Perhaps most importantly, more employees than ever in history have learned how to work from home, which allows people to live in Solano County and work for employers that in the past would require a one- to three-hour commute to Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda County.
- The national average for mortgage rates are now below 3.5%.
- A shortage of inventory and a need for tens of thousands of homes in Northern California.
- Unlike 2008, 99.9% of every mortgage loan funded over the past 10 years has been a fully qualified income and credit borrower making it unlikely we will see a significant uptick in foreclosures. (Sadly, delinquency on auto and mortgage loans will increase but most homeowners affected will be able to work with their creditors during this crisis unlike 2009 to 2013 where many lenders turned their back on many good people who purchased in 2005, 2006 and 2007 during the fraudulent lending practices that artificially increased home values).
- Demand in Solano County will increase because employers will allow more people to telecommute from home and pay these people less than they need to in places like San Francisco and Silicon Valley where housing is so expensive.
- Mortgage availability: A veteran can buy a home in Solano County with no down payment and others can purchase with very little cash out-of-pocket because conforming, VA, California Housing Finance Agency and FHA are much easier to get than jumbo conventional loans.
Some people who live in places like San Bruno in a 1,200-square-foot, 1.2 million 60-year-old house may sell and take their tax-free capital gain and move east to Solano County to a less crowded (social distancing) and more affordable neighborhood and buy a 2,000-square-foot, 25-year-old house for only $600,000.