Wow! Be sure to check out these 11 Trails In Northern California You Must Take If You Love The Outdoors...
Flickr/ David Dufresne
This is a 5.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Sierra City. Hikers walk on the the world famous Pacific Crest Trail, which ambitious trekkers take from Mexico to Canada each year. This day hike, however, features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
2. Symbol Bridge And Big Painted Cave, Lava Beds National Monument
Flickr/ Jeff Moser
Symbol Bridge And Big Painted Cave is a 1.9 mile out and back trail located within the Lava Beds National Monument near Tulelake. It offers scenic views of the monument and the opportunity to get up close and personal with a lava tube like the one pictured here. The trail follows a mostly collapsed lava tube. It begins at an asphalt paved trailhead near Skull Cave. The trail itself is smooth and gravel surfaced with only a few small steps to hinder a wheel chair. The trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for hiking and nature trips.
3. Chimney Rock, Point Reyes National Seashore
Flickr/ Joe Parks
This photo shows Point Reyes National Seashore from Chimney Rock at sunset. The hike is a short 2-mile round trip that offers unparalleled views of Drakes Bay and the elephant seals that make their home there.
4. Bumpass Hell, Lassen Volcanic National Monument
Flickr/ Amit Patel
Bumpass Hell Trail is a 2.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Old Station. It takes you to the volcanic and sulfuric area of the park that all Northern Californians should see at some point in their lives. This location in the park is like a mini Yellowstone right here in Northern California. It is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and nature trips and is best used from June until October.
5. Alamere Falls, Point Reyes National Seashore
Part of the beautiful Point Reyes National Seashore, Alamere Falls is accessible via a 4 mile hike in from the trail head near Bolinas. In total, it’s 8 miles round trip. It’s a great hike that offers some uniquely spectacular views of the Marin coast. Getting down to the falls and the beach below requires some moderately difficult climbing, so this route is designated advanced.
6. Black Butte Trail, Mount Shasta area
Flickr/ nrg_crisis (off and on)
Black Butte is a 5.1 mile out and back trek that offers breathtaking views of Mt Shasta. The moderate trail features sections with very loose rocks, so sturdy hiking boots are highly recommended.
7. Fern Canyon Loop Trail, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Flickr/ Kirt Edblom
This hike lives up to its name. It’s a mild one-mile loop through the canyon walls and the ferns that cover them. You will hike up the stream bed, so be prepared to get a little wet as you hike.
8. Castle Dome in Castle Crags State Park
Flickr/ Daniel Parks
This 8 mile trail near Castella will reward you with a 360 degree view at the top. You will be able to see Mount Shasta and the surrounding area from the summit.
9. Whiskeytown Falls, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
Flickr/ David Wood
This 2.8 mile out and back trail is the ideal trail for someone who doesn’t want to spend all day hiking but wants a big reward for their efforts. This trail begins at the popular Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and take you to an impressive 220 foot cascading waterfall.
10. Wrights Lake, Marble Mountain Wilderness
Flickr/ Gary Robertson
This is a very steep, 4.5-mile hike that starts at the Boulder Creek Trailhead and continues on to the Wrights Lakes. Portions of this trail pass through meadow areas and can be quite obscure. It is not uncommon to come across cattle in the area.
11. Round Lake Trail Hike, Nevada County
This is a 6.5 mile hike in the Grouse Ridge area of Northern California. Early in the hike, stop to take in the view from the abandoned lookout atop Grouse Ridge. The elevation here is 7,600 feet and you will see far across a forested canyon. From there, continue along the trail and past several lakes that make great swimming locations on a hot summer day. One of the most picturesque is Island Lake.
If you're at the age when your peers are making major life moves — getting married, having kids and buying homes – you might be feeling it's time to join them. Or you may simply just be at that stage all on your own.
The decision to rent vs. buy is one you should make carefully. Either way, plenty of young adults are starting to get the home-buying itch. While there are a lot of appealing benefits to homeownership, taking on that kind of debt is not without risk. This is one decision you should make carefully.
If you're trying to figure out your next move, consider asking yourself these eight questions. The answers should point you in the right direction.
1. What Is My Top Financial Priority?
How to determine your down payment on a home. Buying a home will slow down your ability to make progress on other financial goals. You'll need to focus on lowering expenses or increasing your income so you can afford a down payment and monthly mortgage payments.
Saving for retirement and building an emergency fund, may also have to take a back seat. That extra cash will be funneled toward your mortgage rather than paying off credit cards or student loans if you have them. Other financial goals, such as saving for retirement and building an emergency fund, may also have to take a back seat.
Assess your competing financial goals and decide which ones take priority. Buying a house might come first in your book, or perhaps you'll decide to work toward other money goals before committing to a mortgage.
2. Do I Have Savings For a Down Payment & Closing Costs?
Renting requires some savings – you'll need enough cash to cover the first month's rent and the deposit.
To buy a home, however, the minimum you'll need to have saved is usually 6% or more of the home's value. Even FHA loans require a minimum down payment of 3.5%, and closing costs add another 2-3% to the costs.
But that's the minimum; a 20% down payment is better to give you a decent amount of equity and avoid private mortgage insurance.
If you don't have sufficient savings, you'll need to focus on saving for a down payment before you're in a position to buy. And even if you do have savings, it's worth it to think through the best use of those savings and whether you'd rather allocate that cash to other goals.
3. How Do Home & Rent Prices Compare?
Housing markets also affect whether it's a better idea to rent versus buy. If you're facing sky-high rent prices that climb each year, a mortgage starts making a lot of sense. On the other hand, if you want to live in an expensive area, you could be priced out of buying a home (especially without extensive savings).
4. How Long Do I Plan to Live Here?
The longer you live in a home, the more likely it is that the financial investment of buying a property will pay off.
If you like your city, have a steady job, and are ready to live in the same space for a few years, buying is often more cost effective, but not always. You may want to crunch the numbers to see how long you'd need to live in a home to break even on your initial costs.
5. Will I Qualify for a Good Deal on a Mortgage?
get a mortgage if you have bad credit, but you'll pay a lot more over time. (Haven't checked where your credit stands? Now's the time. You'll need a decent income and good credit to qualify for the lowest rates and best terms on mortgage loans. It's sometimes possible to get a loan if you have bad credit, but you'll pay a lot more over time.
Think of it this way: most mortgages last 30 years. With that in mind, you may see that it's financially worth it to spend a few months to a year rebuilding your credit if it means qualifying for a lower interest rate for those 30 years. For example, if you boost your credit score by 50 points – from the mid-600s to over 700 – you could qualify for a mortgage rate that's 80+ basis points lower, according to MyFICO.com.
6. What Other Costs Will I Be Responsible for as a Homeowner?
When comparing costs of renting versus buying, make sure you're including home-owning costs beyond mortgage principal and interest.
There are escrow costs, homeowner's insurance, and property taxes. You can expect home maintenance costs to equal 1-3% of your home's sale price each year. Then there are homeowners' association fees and new utility costs such as trash collection and water. Meanwhile, renters are usually not responsible for any of these costs.
7. Am I Comfortable with the Risks of Owning a Home?
It's a popular argument that owning is smarter than renting because you're investing in a home. But as with any investment, owning a home has its own inherent risks.
There are no guarantees you'll get a good return on your investment. Just ask the many homeowners who defaulted on their homes after the 2008 mortgage crisis. And even in a strong housing market, there are the everyday risks of unemployment or other financial hardships.
8. How Would Renting vs. Owning Affect my Lifestyle?
Guiding forces in your decision to rent or own are your lifestyle and values. For many, the freedom of choice, privacy, and control that come with owning a home are big selling points. Other people might prefer the convenience, flexibility, and short-term commitment that comes with renting.
Know what you want and choose a housing setup that will help you achieve it. Owning a home can be an admirable accomplishment for some people. Maybe it will be for you, too. Only you know the answer.
Good luck out there! Steve
California had a lot working in its favor heading in to 2017, but the Federal Reserve’s recent decision to raise interest rates could start to change that. The Golden State recorded an increase in home sales between December and January this year, which is a major feat given that this hasn’t happened since 2012.
According to the latest existing-home sales report from the California Association of Realtors, California home sales and median price backpedaled on a monthly basis in February. However, both still showed strong gains on a yearly basis.
CAR, which puts out the report on a monthly basis, uses information collected from more than 90 local Realtor associations and MLSs statewide to create the report.
Existing, single-family home sales totaled 400,500 in February on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, down 4.7% from January and up 4.9% from February 2016.
Despite the decline, this marks the 11th consecutive month closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California remained above the 400,000 benchmark.
“While it’s encouraging to kick off the year with back-to-back yearly sales increases, moving forward, California’s housing market could lose steam in the long term as the Fed begins to adjust the federal funds rate,” said CAR President Geoff McIntosh. “In the short term, however, the specter of higher interest rates may push buyers off the fence to purchase a home before mortgage rates move even higher.”
If Californians do choose to buy, home prices are getting slightly more affordable. The median price of an existing, single-family detached California home fell below the $500,000 mark for the second straight month. Overall though, home prices remain seasonably strong. The median price was down 2.2% from $489,680 in January to hit $478,790 in February. “Despite a strong sales start for the year, the housing supply shortage in California continues to cast doubt on whether the sales momentum can be carried forward into the spring home-buying season,” said CAR Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “The number of active listings has been on a downward trend for the past 20 months and has shown no signs of improvement.”
As it stands, CAR's unsold inventory index, which measures the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate, came in at 4 months in February. This is up from 3.7 months in January. The index stood at 4.7 months in February 2016.
“As we move into the spring home-buying season, we should see a marginal increase in listings, which will be offset by a pickup in sales. The inventory level is not likely to get better in the upcoming months,” said Appleton-Young.
I suppose if we are to all keep think and pushing in the same direstion it will last! Thank you for reading my blog!
This month, we have noticed Bay Area home prices reaching record highs that we have not seen in over six years. According to CAR.org, “California home values hit a high that have not been seen since 1980.” (http://www.car.org/newsstand/newsreleases/2013releases/homepricerecords). For example, the average price of a single-family home passed $417,000 last month. This is up 32% from June 2012. Needless to say it is currently a strong seller’s market!
Now is a great time to buy or sell so be sure to call me at 925.330.3878 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your options in today's changing Real Estate market!
Due to the shortage of available housing in California, and in many other states, prices are soaring upward at record paces! Depending on the area and price range, some properties are gaining up to 10% value gains in 30 days...The past few months have shown us a Strong Sellers Market. Recently the market has settled to more of a steady flat sellers market. We are still in a sellers market but pricing is stable at the moment. This summer should produce a little bit more inventory but don't expect much...So if you find a home you can't live without, decide quickly and move on it. If you wait and ponder it to long another buyer will surely snap it up! Now is a great time to buy or sell so be sure to call or email me to discuss your options in today's changing Real Estate market. Cell 925.330.3878 Email email@example.com
Wow, things are looking good for homeowners right now. The housing market is seeing a spike in housing prices nationwide, especially in California.
Why? Answer: Classic shortage of inventory. This drives prices up because currently there are more buyers than houses to buy. This causes an increase in price. If you are thinking of selling now is the time to give me a call and find out the value of your home.
I can be reached at (925)330-3878