Chasing Pavements: 6 Cool Uses for Concrete in Every Part of Your Home

Step aside, shiplap: Concrete is having a moment. No longer relegated to construction zones or outdoor spaces, the cool composite material is popping up in unexpected places inside our homes—from walls to bathtubs and beyond.

Concrete companies “are doing more interesting things like trough sinks, entire shower stalls, staircases, really large fireplace surrounds, wall panels, or furniture pieces,” says designer Ana Cummings. “The possibilities are pretty endless.”

It’s also relatively cheap, extremely durable, and easy to stain with beautiful colors or texture for flair. Plus, despite what you might think, concrete isn’t just for modern spaces. Experts agree it can be a nice complement to farmhouse-chic interiors; just consider working in rustic handmade metal or wood pieces to warm things up.

“It’s all about balance,” says HomeGoods style expert Mike Harrison. “In general, 2018 décor is moving toward more fresh, natural materials, so I think it’s important to mix concrete with other natural elements like stone, copper, or granite to make it tasteful.”

A few caveats: In the hands of a novice DIYer, concrete can crack. And it’s permanent once applied to a surface, so be sure you love it before you commit! Finally, if you live in an older or historic home, use concrete judiciously, as it can clash with that aesthetic.

Ready to dig in?  We’ve collected some of the most unexpected ways to bring concrete to life in your home.

See the 6 Ways Here.

What is an Impound Account?

A: An impound account, also know as an escrow account, is a money reserve funded monthly by you to pay annual recurring ownership obligations together with payments of principal and interest (PI) through your mortgage payments.

The impound account is maintained by your lender to pay your annual property taxes and hazard insurance premium (TI).

Payment from an impound account ensures your lender’s security interest in your property will not be impaired by defaults in your payment of TI obligations.

An impound account is created when you agree to the terms of an impound account addendum attached to your lender’s trust deed. If not required at origination, you may request the lender set up an impound account when they provide this service.

An impound account provision establishes:

  • Monthly deposits to be paid in amounts based on your annual TI obligations;
  • Reserves initially deposited as prepaid installments when future monthly payments will be insufficient to cover TI obligations on their due dates; and
  • Interest to be paid to you by your lender on the impound account balance.

When you have an impound account, your lender will provide accounting, statements and analyses prepared and delivered to you at least once yearly. These will include itemizations of:

  • Surpluses when the balance is greater than necessary to satisfy TI disbursements and reserves, which are either returned to you or credited toward the next year’s impound account payments; or
  • Deficiencies and shortages, arising when the impound account balance is insufficient to pay upcoming TI obligations or the impound account has a negative balance after a TI payment.

The formulas for setting initial impound account deposits, monthly TI payments and limits on reserves for any mortgage are set by California law.
Impound accounts are also subject to some enforcement rules. A lender:

  • Is prohibited from requiring an impound account at origination on a first mortgage secured by an owner-occupied one-to-four unit residential property when the loan to value ratio is less than 90%; and
  • May demand and enforce the establishment of an
  • Impound account on a mortgage secured by a one to-four unit residential property when the owner is delinquent on two or more consecutive property tax payments.

Rules for terminating enforceable impound accounts vary based on the lender’s policies. Your lender is also required to pay 2% annual simple interest on any balance in the impound account.

For business mortgages, including carryback business mortgages, impound accounts are optional requirements for the mortgage holder, but are neither common nor compulsory.

Mortgage Rates Remain Stable

The recent stabilization in mortgage rates reflects modestly improving U.S. economic data and a more accommodative tone from the Federal Reserve to respond to the rising downside economic risk from trade tensions and soft global economic data. On the housing front, the latest weekly purchase application data suggests homebuyer demand continues to rise, which is consistent with the slowly improving real estate data from the last two months.

California Ranch Bigger Than San Francisco Hits Market for $72 Million

A working ranch larger than the city of San Francisco is asking $72 million. The property, just 40 miles from Oakland, is believed to be the largest piece of land for sale in the state of California, according to the listing agent.

At 50,500 acres, the property accommodates up to 1,500 cow and calf pairs. The right buyer is someone who “wants to relive the Old West,” said listing agent Todd Renfrew of California Outdoor Properties.

The N3 Cattle Company ranch has been in the same family for about 85 years and spans four counties, including Santa Clara County, Alameda County, San Joaquin County and Stanislaus County.

It has a diverse terrain that includes watersheds, creeks, steep canyons, woodlands, meadows, ponds and rock outcroppings, and it is sprinkled with hunting cabins, Mr. Renfrew said. At its high point, the ranch has an elevation of about 4,000 feet. The main house is a low-slung four-bedroom home, and there are four cabins used for employee housing.

The property also includes 200 miles of private roads for hiking, trail-running, mountain biking and all-terrain vehicles.

The sellers are sisters and fourth-generation ranchers Sandra Naftzger and Natalie Naftzger Davis. Their family has been cattle ranching for 135 years in Arizona, California and Oregon, Sandra Naftzger said. The original parcels for the California ranch were purchased in the 1930s and 1940s by their grandmother, and their father, Roy Edgar “Ted” Naftzger, Jr., expanded it significantly through the 1980s.

The sisters spent much of their childhood on the ranch, Sandra Naftzger said, and have been operating the property for the last 20 years. “My father was all business,” she added. “We were always taught to be respectful of the cattle operation. We’d be spending time with the managers and the buckaroos. It takes a village.”

Sandra Naftzger said she and her sister are selling because they are ready to move on.

Original Article

Monthly Market Overview North San Diego County June 2019

As was widely expected, the Federal Reserve did not change the target range for the federal funds rate – currently set at 2.25 to 2.5 percent – during their June meeting. Although the economy is still performing well due to factors such as low unemployment and solid retail sales, uncertainty remains regarding trade tensions, slowed manufacturing and meek business investments.

  • Closed Sales decreased 13.4 percent for Detached homes and 15.1 percent for Attached homes.
  • Pending Sales increased 2.5 percent for Detached homes but decreased 2.1 percent for Attached homes.
  • The Median Sales Price was up 5.3 percent to $760,000 for Detached homes and 1.3 percent to $473,000 for Attached homes.
  • Days on Market increased 10.3 percent for Detached homes and 43.5 percent for Attached homes.
  • Supply increased 3.2 percent for Detached homes and 19.0 percent for Attached homes.

In terms of relative balance between buyer and seller interests, residential real estate markets across the country are performing well within an economic expansion that will become the longest in U.S. history in July.

However, there are signs of a slowing economy. The Federal Reserve considers 2.0 percent a healthy inflation rate, but the U.S. is expected to remain below that this year. The Fed has received pressure from the White House to cut rates in order to spur further economic activity, and the possibility of a rate reduction in 2019 is definitely in play following a string of increases over the last several years.

San Diego North County Monthly Housing Market Indicators June 2019. Listings, Sales, Days on Market and more broken out by zip code.