There I was, stuffed to the gills in Lake Arrowhead on Thanksgiving night.  With a shaky hand and a sweaty brow, I finish that last bite of dessert.  Whew!  I take pride in the fact that I finish what I start…even if it hurts a bit.  As I leaned back in a combination of food pleasure and pain, I glance at a text message and see that someone has sent me a picture of them already hanging Christmas lights.  Seriously?!

It’s not even the day after Thanksgiving!  Sometimes I want to drop-kick my brother Andy.  Let’s face it...we all have some type of Andy in our life.  Or maybe YOU are the Andy in your family’s life ?.  But, ready or not, now that Thanksgiving and Black Friday are wrapped up, Christmas is clearly on its way.

Now, I love Christmas like I love bacon.  It just makes everything better.  People are nicer, evenings start earlier, fireplaces are lit, the air smells woodsy, and we connect with our families in a magical way that only happens once a year.  It is a time where the real gift is looking back at the year with remembrance and appreciation of all we have in our lives and then getting excited of what’s to come in the future.

Taking that view in real estate, we have a lot to appreciate from 2017.  This past year we had an excellent market where interest rates stayed low and housing grew by more than 5%.  While national politics certainly gave us a lot to talk about, they didn’t negatively impact one of our dearest assets…our homes.

Looking ahead, 2018 just received a major Christmas present.  Conforming loan limits, which were marginally raised in 2017 from $417,000 to $424,000, have been raised again to $453,000.  This near 7% increase that will enable homes valued above $400,000 to increase in value.  It will also allow people to refinance and combine 1st and 2nd loans into one conforming loan and lock in a low interest rate.  Lastly, it will really help our military families using VA loans by allowing them to purchase higher priced homes.

So I see bright days ahead for real estate and my neighbors here in Murrieta, Temecula, Wildomar, and Menifee.  We are lucky to have such a wonderful place to live, work, and raise our families.  My team and I truly wish you and your family the very best this season and in 2018!


Stefan aka Mr. Murrieta