My 1st Quarter 2019 Market Update

Well, in a nutshell – It sprints, it rises up, it stumbles down, it takes a break, sometimes it’s out of breath, reacting to the day’s events and news, so it’s emotional and fragile. It’s fascinating to watch it respond to way to much ‘news’ and not enough true knowledge.

Market High Points

Interest rates climbed most of 2018, from 4% up to 5.5%, then back down to around 4.75%. (To quote mortgage lenders, “a one per cent rise in the home interest rate knocks over 1 million buyers out of the U.S. market”).  Good news, could be Great news, if it continues to slide back!!!!

 Our Oakdale inventory of homes for sale, has averaged about 102 resale homes on the market at any one point in time, in the 95361 zip code. There are 3 active subdivisions, with about 10 homes on the market. It’s been this way for several years. Stable

 Maximum loan limits for FHA are up to $350,000, VA and Conventional loans climbed to $485,000!  USDA loans were extended for the Oakdale area. USDA is an income based loan, with 100% financing NO MONEY down.  Great news, Again!!!!  Very popular with entry level buyers up to about $275,000 Max!

New housing starts in 95361, lag way behind our housing needs.  Take a drive around town, do you see any new roads being cut in the dirt? We only have a few pocket subdivisions, Westport (off Crane & West J), the gated River Point (River Ave.), and Tesoro by the golf course. The majority of new homes built in Oakdale, have been on left over subdivision lots from the great recession. Bridle Ridge and The Vineyards are nearly completed. Good news and not so good news. We need more housing!!

 Investors who bought homes (several hundred plus of them) during the recession, 2008 to 2012, are beginning to sell. They are pocketing their profits, or 1031 tax exchanging into something else, and more likely, somewhere else. Good news for buyers, but no so good news for tenants…reduces rental inventory, but helps the availability of homes to buy.

Rental inventory is scarce, and the rents are up, up and away. Recent articles suggest it has peaked, but I am not hearing it that way from tenants or want to be tenants, in Oakdale. Not good news for the renters, Great news for the landlords.

YES, People are moving out of Oakdale, but an equal number are moving in and there is a waiting list!!! Very good news, we are still the Diamond of Stanislaus County, thank you Oakdale Joint Union School District, Oak Valley District Hospital, and the City of Oakdale.

Keep the castle in great shape, it is one of your largest investments, and like 2018, have a very prosperous 2019 ! 

How To Attack Your Credit Score and WIN!

Credit Score Management Is A Lot Like Managing Your Grades In School

– It’s Simple, It Takes Some Focus, Here’s How & Why

A credit score is simply a number based on information in your credit history. It is meant to show the likelihood that a borrower will default on a loan. Most common in the United States is the FICO credit score. FICO is the acronym for the company that developed the credit score model, Fair Isaac Corporation. The exact formula for calculating a credit score is secret. However, here are the factors considered and the approximate weighting of each:

>Payment History (35%) Late payments will reduce your score.

>How much you owe overall and in relation to your credit limits (30%)  Being nearly “maxed out” will lower your score. A good rule of thumb is to keep your Credit Card balance less than 30% of your credit card limit.

>Length of credit history (15%)  Longer is better.

>Recent credit checks (10%)  When a lender checks your credit history, your credit score may drop slightly. Shopping for a better interest rate from several firms in a short period is not supposed to lower your credit score.

> Other Factors (10%) For example, a mix of credit (credit cards, mortgage & auto loans, personal lines of credit) can increase your credit score slightly.

To maximize your credit score, focus on the first two items. Make sure you pay your bills on time and consider not canceling a bank or high credit limit credit card even if you do not plan to use it.

Fair Isaac does not calculate anyone’s credit score. They simply sell their algorithm to credit bureaus, those firms that collect credit information. There are three primary credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The information obtained by these three bureaus is not identical, therefore the FICO credit score provided by each will differ slightly.

FICO scores range from 300 to 850, but are not evenly distributed throughout the range. Early in 2009, as the nation’s recession took hold and prior to the run of foreclosures, the median credit score was about 725. This means that about half of all people had a credit score greater than 725, while half had a credit score below 725. A higher score is better. Each credit-granting institution must decide if an applicant’s credit score is acceptable.

All three credit bureaus sell personal credit information to credit card companies and others. Credit card companies often send letters of “pre-approved” credit, based on credit information they have obtained about you. These solicitations can be dramatically reduced by indicating you do not want your credit information sold to credit card companies. You can do this by calling 1-888-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688). To find out more in depth information about credit scores go to

Why does it matter?
Banks, and others who grant credit, usually consider more than just your credit score. For example, they may also consider your current income and the stability of your employment. A low score may prevent you from getting credit, or if you are given a loan, it will most likely be at a higher interest rate. A higher interest rate on a home mortgage, auto loan or credit card can make a big difference in your monthly payment.

Your credit score affects more than just interest rates. How much you pay for auto and homeowners’ insurance will likely be influenced by your credit score. The lower your score, the more you may pay for insurance, and vice versa. Why? Insurance companies have found that those with lower scores tend to have more claims, and they base their rates accordingly.

Let Market Alert Do The Hunting For You

So what is Market Alert? It’s Scott’s Sign up for free emails with homes that match YOUR search criteria. There is NO need to keep doing a search every day for new homes for sale.  Let WeSellOakdale do the work for you.   Stay informed immediately, via email, of any new homes that come on the market, any price changes and what has sold. You can set up as many Searches as you like.  By city, zip, # of bedrooms, baths, pool, square footage – you choose whatever parameters YOU want or need with NO Spam. I DO NOT sell your data to anyone and you can cancel your searches at any time.

My favorite search feature is the “Map It” tab – it’s a great way to really narrow your search by subdivision, even by street.  Go LIVE your life and let Market Alert do the research for you.

In addition, I preview these listings and talk with the other realtors constantly. I’ll know all about its condition, the floor plan, if the seller may be VERY motivated – all the info that could affect your bargaining position. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give me a call. 209-765-7929

What’s It Like To List Your Home With Scott?

Let Scott work for you.

Scott often shares one of his favorite analogies:
“If you ever watch an eagle fishing over a lake or river,” he says, “you’ll notice they may make 30 or 40 passes until they catch a fish. That’s the formula for success!   Sharp vision and sheer determination.”

That’s the work ethic I put into place with every client I work for.  My job is to help you prepare to get the very best price for your home.  Then sort through our competition and the buyers and bring you the right buyer while you live your life.

Scott’s Easy Exit Listing Agreement

You can cancel your listing anytime. You can relax, knowing you won’t be locked into any lengthy or binding contract. Enjoy a caliber of service confident enough to make this offer to you.

What’s your biggest fear when you list your home with a real estate agent? It’s simple. You worry about being locked into a lengthy listing agreement with a less than a competent real estate agent, costing your home valuable time and exposure on the market. Well, Worry no more. Scott Abell takes the risk and fears out of listing your home with a real estate agent. How?

                                                                  Through his EASY EXIT Listing Agreement.

When you list your home through Scott’s EASY EXIT Listing Agreement, you can cancel your listing agreement with him at any time. No hassles. It’s easy.

Scott Abell has strong opinions about real estate service. He believes that if you are unhappy with the service you receive, you should have the power to fire your agent.

It takes a strong belief in the quality of one’s service to make this kind of stand, but Scott Abell never settles for less than the highest professional standards for himself and his staff. He is confident you will be happy with his service and results.

That’s a simple truth. Scott Abell always stands behind his service. Call him today to find out more about how his unique service can make all the difference in the sale of your home.

Open House March 16 1pm to 4pm 551 Winterbrook, Oakdale $340,000

Open House   Sat March 16 1pm to 4 pm 

Open Spacious Cathedral Ceilings and all NEW paint (today’s latest color scheme),appliances, sinks, light fixtures and flooring! Totally updated and upgraded. Formal Entry with large Great Room, formal or informal Dining with Kitchen overlooking all the action. Living areas and spacious Master Suite feature lots of windows to make the most of the backyard eastern sunlight. 3 car garage with RV access. Great patio area for play or entertaining. 4 bedrooms, 2 full baths. Click here to see the photos

Open House 1025 Durant, Modesto $344,900 Sunday March 10 1pm to 4pm

Beautifully updated & upgraded – 3BD 2BA Great Backyard Gated RV Parking College Avenue Area.  Click here to see the photos and more info. 

SOLD !!!! 617 Smithwood, Oakdale $288,000 1322SF

SOLD !!!!!!! 617 Smithwood, Oakdale $288,000 1322SF
Terrific open floor plan, no wasted space in this home – inside or out! 3 Bedroom 2 Bath. Thank you Christine Serpa-Neugebauer – great to work with you, Congrats to your Buyers! Thanks to Alisha WordBill Brink and all the gang at Chicago Title.

Thank You ! Lot 2 Lancaster – SOLD !!!!!!!!!! $265,000

Would just like to shout out a BIG THANK YOU to Jim & Stacey Carroll and Jeff& Lisa McPhee the buyers and sellers of 12919 Lot2 Lancaster. A gorgeous 2.74 acre custom home site that sold for $265,000! It’s been a pleasure to work with all of you. Now the real fun – design & build begins, I am excited for you and will enjoy watching you create your dream! As always – there’s a big group of people, working behind the scenes to make a real estate purchase a reality. A big THANKS goes out to Jackie Ventimiglia, First American for all of your efforts and follow up! Of course, Jeff McPhee – thanks for the listing, and A LOT of work with the county to make this 3 Lot subdivide a reality!

Boxing Trivia

Who is the only former heavyweight boxing champ to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery?

Joe Louis