El Dorado County Area & Real Estate
El Dorado County stretches from the east end of Sacramento County to the southern end of Lake Tahoe. El Dorado Hills lies on the western county, and as you drive east on Highway 50 you pass Cameron Park, Shingle Springs and Placerville. You rapidly gain altitude, passing Pollock Pines and Kyburz before you go over the pass and descend in to the Lake Tahoe Basin, finally arriving in South Lake Tahoe.
The county is one of the most beautiful in California, including Emerald Bay on Lake Tahoe; the American River Valley, a whitewater rafter’s dream and the gently rolling hills in the southwestern corner.
The area is an outdoor sportsman’s paradise. Boating, rafting, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, golfing, camping, gold panning and hiking are just a few of the activities available to the visitor and resident alike. Ski slopes abound in the eastern end of the county before Highway 50 descends into the Lake Tahoe basin.
For those of us who enjoy less strenuous activities there are many possibilities. Visit the numerous excellent restaurants or spend a day wine tasting in any of the 50 wineries in the county, California’s eighth largest wine producing region. The Apple Hill area is a popular destination and in October the Apple Hill Festival brings visitors from all over the state.
The area is an excellent option for those who want to escape the urban sprawl, smog and noise common in other parts of the state. Yet Sacramento is only a short down-hill drive from the communities in the western end of the county.
Red Hawk Casino blends a full complement of gaming excitement with the natural beauty of Northern California. It features six restaurants and four bars mixed with the gaming excitement.
Numerous historical sites are located throughout the county. Sutter’s Mill, where gold was first discovered, starting the gold rush of 1849 is located in Coloma, a mere fifteen minute trip north of Highway 50 from Cameron Park. Placerville, a former stop on the stage route over the pass, was once known as “Hang Town,” where frontier justice was doled out when highway men were tried and sentenced to meet their maker.
In more refined modern times county residents pursue less colorful activities conducting business and raising their families. Housing is more affordable in the area than in many parts of California and buyers love the fact that they can buy a home on five or more acres with endless river or mountain views. Horse properties abound and livestock herds come into view as you drive along the local roads and highways.
The real estate market offers an abundant selection to meet any need. Buyers can choose properties that range from remote, rustic foothill locations with acres of privacy, lower cost neighborhoods to fit a frugal budget or the highly sophisticated gated communities filled with mansions. Just pick your ideal lifestyle and settle in to clean air and rushing rivers. Manufactured home parks, manufactured homes on acreage, modest developments, homes on private parcels or gated communities with all of the amenities; all are available in El Dorado County. As it was once know, it still is the Mother Lode! An ideal place to raise a family.
“REAL ESTATE: IT’S TIME TO BUY AGAIN”—FORTUNE MAGAZINE
“Forget stocks. Don’t bet on gold. After four years of plunging home prices, the most attractive asset class in America is housing.” –A quote of the first paragraph of the recent Fortune article.
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$150 FIRE PROTECTION FEE
In July of 2011, Governor Brown signed ABX1 29 into law. This legislation requires those who own homes in the SRA (State Responsibility Areas—those who receive fire protection directly from the state of California) to pay a $150 fee each year. Homes within the SRA tend to be those in rural settings. Cities have their own fire departments and districts, paid for by local taxes.
The fee is to help offset the cost of fire prevention in areas where the state has responsibility for fire protection. The fee will fund a variety of fire prevention services within the SRA to include brush clearance and activities to improve forest health so that the forest can withstand wildfire. Other activities planned include firebreak construction, inspections and fire prevention education, to name a few.
Those involved the purchase of a home in California should be aware of this new legislation and factor the cost into their home purchase calculations.
In order to determine if a specific property is located in the SRA, one can go to http://www.FirePreventionFee.org/SRAViewer.php. This information should also be included in the Natural Hazard Disclosure booklet that buyers should receive during their purchase escrow.
Buyer’s agents and escrow officers will be familiar with this fee and may be able to confirm if it will apply to a specific property.
When we reviewed the SRA map, we have been able to determine that there are portions of El Dorado Hills that are in the SRA and portions that are not. Most of El dorado County seems to be included but there are excluded pockets. I will be necessary to view the map to determine if a specific property is in or out of the SRA.
From what we have been able to determine, Folsom and most other residential areas of Sacramento county, do not fall in the SRA. It would, however, be prudent to verify that information.
The economy grew at a faster-than-expected pace in the third quarter, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Real GDP increased 2.6 percent, after rising 1.7 percent in the second quarter. Brightening economic data, including improvements to new-and-existing home sales and consumer spending, have boosted expectations for the fourth quarter and 2011, with many economists raising their growth estimates from previous forecasts. Eight banks and research firms surveyed by The Wall Street Journal have upped their fourth-quarter growth estimates to an average of 3.5 percent from 2.6 percent in early December. More here.
Among the various factors cited as key to housing’s health in the new year, employment remains the most obvious and vital component to a market recovery in 2011. Improvements in job growth and security will provide a healing housing market with more financially confident consumers eager to capitalize on high affordability conditions. Nick Timiraos of The Wall Street Journal writes that without more tax credits to boost sales, the housing market is dependent on job growth. If employment improves, so will demand for housing, Timiraos says. Calculated Risk, a website covering financial-and-economic news, expects modest economic and job growth in 2011, in addition to increases in residential investment and construction employment. Housing analyst and former chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, John Tuccillo, says uncertainty is holding the housing market back and feels the most immediate source of new jobs will come at the state and local level, rather than from the federal government.
With unemployment high in California, we will be challenged. El Dorado Hills & Folsom Real Estate are likely to lag behind the rest of the country until employment improves.
30% OF MORTGAGES ARE UNDER WATER
Money.com reports that 30% of all homeowners with mortgages around the country are under water—they owe more to their lien holder, or holders than their home is worth. That is not a good place to be. Home prices dropped 2.6% in the last quarter of 2010, increasing the number of members in this non exclusive club on a daily basis.
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Additionally, with 9.8% unemployment nationally, homeowners are finding it difficult to make their payments even if they are not in that club. Over 40% of subprime mortgages are in some stage of foreclosure.
Unfortunately, many distressed homeowners do not know what to do. Lenders and loan servicers are telling government regulators that half of these distressed homeowners are not even trying to communicate with their lenders. We find this claim questionable. Try and contact one of these institutions and see how easy it is. It is not unusual to be on hold for 30 minutes or more while you wait for some customer service person to answer, someone frequently on the far side of the planet!
If you have a family member, friend or coworker who is in this position, tell them to get some help. There are no cost services available. We are one such service. Although we can’t help everyone, we can provide information and support. Have them give us a call TODAY! (916) 337-0658