Tina Griffith, Realtor

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Welcome New Year of 2015 !!


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Report: Falling Negative Equity Rate Nearing Single Digits

CoreLogic Negative Equity RateThe third quarter of 2014 saw more than a quarter of a million American homes return to positive equity, leaving about one in 10 still underwater, CoreLogic said in its Q3 2014 Equity Report released Thursday.

According to the company's latest estimates, an additional 273,000 U.S. homes recovered to a positive equity position in Q3, bringing the total number of mortgaged homes with equity to approximately 44.6 million—about 90 percent of all mortgaged properties in the nation.

As home values rise and borrowers continue to gain equity, CoreLogic's analysis indicates that nearly 5.1 million properties are still upside-down on their mortgage. That figure represents about 10.3 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage compared to about 13.3 percent the year prior.

"Negative equity continued to decrease in the third quarter as did the level of homes mired in the foreclosure process. This should hopefully translate into less friction in the housing market as we move forward," said CoreLogic president and CEO Anand Nallathambi. "Better fundamentals supporting homeownership in the face of higher rents should attract more first-time homebuyers to the market this year and next."

With home prices expected to appreciate about 5 percent in the next year, CoreLogic economist Sam Khater predicts the national negative equity rate should fall another 2 percentage points to roughly 8 percent—"still above average, but approaching the pre-crisis level."

The bulk of home equity recovered in the last few years has been at the high end of the housing market, CoreLogic said. The company's report shows 94 percent of homes valued at more than $200,000 are in positive equity, while 85 percent of homes below that threshold are in the same position.

Declines in negative equity in the third quarter were concentrated in a handful of states, with Nevada, Georgia, Michigan, and Florida seeing some of the biggest improvements. However, those states are still experiencing higher than average levels of underwater mortgages. The problem is worst in Nevada and Florida, which both topped the list of states with the highest negative equity rates (at 25.4 percent and 23.8 percent, respectively).

Furthermore, out of the nearly 45 million mortgage properties that are above water, CoreLogic estimates that 9.4 million (19 percent) have less than 20 percent equity, while 1.3 million (close to 3 percent) have less than 5 percent equity.

These under-equitied and near-negative equitied properties still present a challenge to the housing market, as those borrowers are likely to have a difficult time refinancing or selling their home. They're also at risk of slipping back underwater should home prices see a surprise reversal.

Forecast -------- October 7, 2014

C.A.R. releases its 2015 California Housing Market Forecast

California home sales to increase slightly, while prices post slowest gain in four years

LOS ANGELES (Oct. 7) – With more available homes on the market for sale, California’s housing market will see fewer investors and a return to traditional home buyers as home sales rise modestly and prices flatten out in 2015, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) “2015 California Housing Market Forecast,” released today. 

The C.A.R. forecast sees an increase in existing home sales of 5.8 percent next year to reach 402,500 units, up from the projected 2014 sales figure of 380,500 homes sold.  Sales in 2014 will be down 8.2 percent from the 414,300 existing, single-family homes sold in 2013.

“Stringent underwriting guidelines and double-digit home price increases over the past two years have significantly impacted housing affordability in California, forcing some buyers to delay their home purchase,” said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown.  “However, next year, home price gains will slow, allowing would-be buyers who have been saving for a down payment to be in a better financial position to make a home purchase.”

“Moreover, prospective buyers should know that it's a misperception that a 20 percent down payment is always required to buy a home.  There are numerous programs available that allow consumers to buy a home with less down payment, including FHA loans, which lets buyers put down as little as 3.5 percent,” continued Brown.

C.A.R.’s forecast projects growth in the U.S. Gross Domestic Product of 3 percent in 2015, after a projected gain of 2.2 percent in 2014.  With nonfarm job growth of 2.2 percent in California, the state’s unemployment rate should decrease to 5.8 percent in 2015 from 6.2 percent in 2014 and 7.4 percent in 2013.

The average for 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates will rise only slightly to 4.5 percent but will still remain at historically low levels.

The California median home price is forecast to increase 5.2 percent to $478,700 in 2015, following a projected 11.8 percent increase in 2014 to $455,000.  This is the slowest rate of price appreciation in four years.

“With the U.S. economy expected to grow more robustly than it has in the past five years and housing inventory continuing to improve, California housing sales and prices will see a modest upward trend in 2015,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “While the Fed will likely end its quantitative easing program by the end of this year, it has had minimal impact on interest rates, which should only inch up slightly and remain low throughout 2015.  This should help moderate the decline in housing affordability we saw occur over the past two years.” 

“Additionally, the state will continue to see a bifurcated market, with the San Francisco Bay Area outperforming other regions, thanks to a more vigorous job market and tighter housing supply.” 

Appleton-Young will present an expanded forecast Thursday afternoon during CALIFORNIA REALTOR® EXPO 2014, running Oct. 7-9 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif.  The trade show attracts nearly 8,000 attendees and is the largest state real estate trade show in the nation.


  2011 2012 2013 2014p 2015f
SFH Resales (000s) 422.6 439.8 414.3 380.5 402.5
% Change 1.4% 4.1% -5.8% -8.2% 5.8%
Median Price ($000s) $286.0 $319.3 $407.2 $455.0 $478.7
% Change -6.2% 11.6% 27.5% 11.8% 5.2%
Housing Affordability Index 53% 51% 36% 30% 27%
30-Yr FRM 4.5% 3.7% 4.0% 4.3% 4.5%

p = projected
f = forecast

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