Hythe Realty’s founders answer top real estate questions
By Kamala Kirk
Hythe Realty/Submitted photo
Over the past few years, the California housing market has seen a lot of changes. Since the pandemic, the pricing of real estate soared with home prices up almost 20% across the state due to an increase in demand. But recently things have started to shift and are showing signs of a more balanced housing market, which has led many prospective homebuyers and sellers to question what the future holds.
Seasoned broker Vera Nelson and Realtor Barbara Richardson King are award-winning all-stars and Pasadena natives that joined forces in 2020 to start Hythe Realty. Along with their team of highly motivated professionals and trustworthy real estate agents, Nelson has helped guide clients during the entire process with her expertise, vast market knowledge, high level of ethics and integrity, and ability to come up with solutions for every client and situation. The Hythe brand represents luxury, relocation, move-up and move-down clients, and first-timers. They also specialize in VA home loans and work with military members, veterans and their families.
Nelson began her career in real estate in 1999 and was a top producer for Century 21 Master-San Marino before becoming a broker associate, mentor ambassador, and top producer for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage/CB Realty until 2020.
“We’re experts in our field that facilitate information as quickly as possible so that our clients can make the right decisions,” Nelson says. “We’re very excited about what we’ve built as a women-owned company, and we’re very loyal to each other, our brand and our clients.”
King was previously voted Realtor of the Year for two years in a row and serves on several local nonprofit boards of directors focused on improving our neighborhoods and the community. Along with Nelson and the Hythe Realty team, she is dedicated to serving the community by giving back to organizations like the Pasadena Educational Foundation and the Pasadena Friendship Community Development Corporation.
“We love what we do and look forward to new upcoming opportunities in real estate,” King says. “As the market adjusts to the changing economic climate, there are still great opportunities both for buyers and sellers.”
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer wondering if now is the right time to jump into the market or you’re contemplating the idea of selling your home, Nelson and King have taken the time to answer some of the top questions about real estate.
How has the real estate market changed?
The market we’re coming out of was very unique, and we knew that it couldn’t be sustained. We’re returning to a more normal market. Fortunately, sellers in California are still able to benefit from a huge rate of appreciation. The more motivated sellers are considering price adjustments for a faster sale. We’re seeing things switch from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. Previously, there was more competition with homes receiving multiple offers and properties being bought as is. Properties that people thought would sell quickly are not going as fast. Buyers are being more thoughtful, and there’s more of an opportunity for them to get more credits during negotiations. Now buyers are more empowered and are able to have greater confidence in the property they’re purchasing.
Is now a good time to buy or sell a home?
Rental rates have skyrocketed in the area, and being a homeowner offers enormous tax deductions and benefits not available to renters. In California, homeowners have the unique opportunity to add Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU). This is where you can divide a single-family residence into multiple living spaces. You can live in one while renting out the others or provide housing for extended family to help pay the mortgage.
We’re seeing a more level playing field between buyers and sellers. If someone wants or needs to buy a home, they should do it. If someone wants or needs to sell, it’s definitely the right time to capture that equity gained over the last five to 10 years.
What sets the California real estate market apart from the rest?
The No. 1 draw is location. Who wouldn’t want to live in Southern California if they could have the weather and beautiful terrain that we do? We are an experience-driven community with close proximity and easy access to beaches, mountains, lakes and deserts. The Pasadena area also is home to some of the best academic and entertainment institutions in the country. We have the ability to take the quality of our lives to a different level here. Real estate prices may be higher, but the home values tend to maintain and don’t adjust like other areas across the country. The Southern California market as a whole is extremely blessed.
Why is it important to work with a good real estate agent, and what advantages does Hythe Realty offer clients?
It’s very important that people choose an experienced professional to represent them. You need someone that you resonate with who has the ability to negotiate for you with your best interests in mind. This is a relationship business. At Hythe, we have relationships with our clients, other agents, lenders and service providers so in the end our clients have a powerhouse of professionals behind them. When we’re doing a transaction, our Buyer’s Advantage package puts our clients at the top of any competitive list.
With interest rates right now, there is more of a challenge with underwriters. At Hythe Realty, we’re here to educate our clients and work through all of the challenges together. We’re real estate all-stars and have been through these housing market cycles before, so we’re not afraid. We know how to navigate in order to achieve the desired end results and make our clients’ dreams come true. It’s our goal that all parties are protected, represented and walk away happy. Just enjoy the journey and trust the professionals that are taking you through the process — it’s what we do and love.
Do you have any tips for buyers and sellers?
Today, smart homes, energy-efficient upgrades, water-wise landscaping and sustainable upgrades will be getting lots of attention. These are easy fixes that homeowners can manage and will offer great returns. Also, with our inside designer and home stager we are prepared to help with home preparation to set your home at the top of any competition. Get rid of the clutter, handle the things that need to be taken care of, and do your best to make your house the way it was back when you bought it. Yes, we also offer sellers who want a quick sale “sell as-is,” and the Hythe team will buy your home and close very quickly so you can make your move today.
Buyers should make sure their credit and finances are in order and have their pre-approval letters from several lenders ready to go. Find an agent that you have a good relationship with who understands what your main criteria are. Remember that it’s a journey and nothing happens overnight. It’s about being excited — the right home will eventually be yours.
Founder | Broker
CAL DRE No. 01333471
Barbara Richardson King
Founding Partner | Global Estate Director
CAL DRE No. 00903286