3 hours ago
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Monday, April 13, 2015
Housing prices in the Silicon Valley are at an all time high. What is even more difficult is that most homes get multiple offers and many sell 10-25% over list price. It is very difficult to get a grip on even how much to offer on a property to be competitive. Then, if you do offer enough, but ask for any contingencies, your offer is almost always rejected. Finding a nice house under $600,000 is virtually impossible, and many people have long commutes to work no matter how much they have to spend.
We are very lucky to live someplace where there is such high employment, but it comes at a cost.
What is the answer if you want a home, some privacy, and can only spend 700K or less?
My suggestion is try Felton. This lovely community in the Santa Cruz Mountains has a lot going for it.
In 2015 the average sales price of a Felton home is $498,000 with a low of $290,000 and a high of $1,642,500. And, as you can see from the chart, the average sales to list price ration is in the 102% range, rather than the 117% found in so many other communities. It is much easier to figure out how much something will sell for in Felton than in other parts of the Silicon Valley.
Felton has easy access routes to the Silicon Valley along highway 17 or 9. It is less than 30 miles from Felton to downtown San Jose, and about 35 miles from Felton to Mountain View. This compares favorably to the commute from South San Jose to Mountain View or from Fremont to Mountain View.
Downtown Felton is cute, accessible, and has some very nice new additions, including a New Leaf Grocery Store (like Whole Foods but less expensive) and The Cremer House, which reminds me of a Brooklyn Restaurant.
The San Lorenzo Valley School District is also a big draw for Felton. With San Lorenzo Valley Elementary API at 871, San Lorenzo Valley Middle School, API 833, and San Lorenzo Valley High School API 828, and all schools located in Felton, they provide great education and the benefits of a small unified school district.
So think about it. A comparable commute, comparable schools, a cool downtown, and an average price of housing less than half of what you find in the Silicon Valley, maybe you should give Felton a look.
If you want to search for homes for sale in Felton click here.
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Wednesday, April 8, 2015
I hope you will find the following snapshot of local Real Estate inventory interesting. The table represents aggregated values based on MLS data for the specified date.
|If you know someone who is considering buying or selling a home, please give me a call. I will provide professional & courteous service along with knowledgeable guidance through the process.|
Homes in Palo Alto are expensive and there is a lot of competition for them. Lots in Palo Alto tend to be relatively small. Most are 6,000 to 8,000 square feet. Palo Alto lots (or tear down homes more commonly) are selling for 2 -5 million dollars, making the cost of a new home in Palo Alto astronomical.
If a new home is going to cost 4.5 million and up, most buyers want more than 2,000 square feet of living space. This is hard to do when the lot is only 6,000 square feet and the developer has paid $2,500,000 to purchase the lot.
The solution has been to build the house with a basement. The reason is that Palo Alto building rules state that square footage under ground does not count towards the total allowable square footage of lot coverage. Additonally Palo Alto single family homes can only be 2 stories high, and the basement does not count as a story.
Many of the Palo Alto homes built before 1935 had basements or partial basements. These basements were used for utilities, workshops, or storage, but not for living spaces. Palo Alto's high water table level and occasional floods did not make a basement an attractive living space as they were frequently dark, damp, and musty.
Today's newly constructed homes with basements are built for living spaces, with state of the art drainage systems, attention to maximizing light, and great use of space. They not only increase the square footage of a home, but also add bedrooms and recreational spaces and privacy for some.
However, this comes at a cost. The rooms are underground. They will never be as light or have the same ventilation as an above grade room. We have been in a drought for most of the years that these new homes with basements are being built. It is unclear how they will hold up if we go through a long period of heavy rain and years of saturated soil. We have no reason to believe there will be a lot of problems, but it is an unknown.
As long as Palo Alto has a 2 story limit in residential areas, basements will be the only way to get 2500+ square feet on the smaller lots.
If you are looking for a large, newer Palo Alto home, without one third to one half of it underground you will have to find one on a large lot. It will of course cost more, because land is so valuable in Palo Alto, but there are a few.
In fact, I have a newer Palo Alto listing coming in early May of a 7 bedroom, 4 bath home, all above grade, with 3,400 square feet of living space, on a 10,900 square foot lot in Midtown Palo Alto, listed for $4,650,000.
More info will be forthcoming.
Please contact me at
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As you can see from this chart in 2015 so far condos in the Villages San Jose sold for just over 100% of list price on average. There were 36 closed condo sales in The Villages Golf and Country Club in San Jose ranging in price from $290,000 to $1.050.000. The average days on market was 29 days.
In July of 2014 the home sales in The Villages San Jose were 101.4% of list price. There were 15 condo sales in The Villages San Jose ranging in price from $275,000 to $745,000. The average days on market was 29.
In August of 2104 condos and homes in The Villages Golf and Country Club San Jose sold for 99.6% of list price. There were 9 condo sales ranging in price from $304,000 to $820,000. The average days on market was 38 days so there has been a good upswing in the number of sales, the sales to list price ratio, and downward trend on days on market.
Prices in the Villages San Jose have not yet reached their peak from 2006 but things are picking up. In the same period of 2013 there were 45 Villages of San Jose sales as compared to 53 sales in the same 3 months in 2014. In 2013 the average sale price at The Villages San Jose was $440,000 with an average list price of $444,9000. In June through Aug 2014 the average sale price at The Villages San Jose was $467,000 with an average list price of $460,000.
The trend for sales in the Villages San Jose is definitely up. This seems to be particularly true for the homes that do not have any stairs to enter, either up or down. These homes are generally selling in a week or less. However, the first three months of this year have seen many of the lower priced sales in Cribari which is probably a reflextion of the difficultiy in finding affordable housing in other parts of the Silicon Valley.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next year as there are more people reaching the age of 55 and who are looking to live in a home with less maintenance than most of the homes in the Silicon Valley.
Right now there are 4 condos on the market ranging in price from $505,000 to $649,000 with an average days on market of 7. There are also 3 single family homes on the market ranging in price from $770,000 to $1,295,000. If you would like to see the current inventory of condos for sale in The Villages of San Jose click here. If you would like to see the current inventory of single family homes for sale in The Villages of San Jose click here.
If you have any questions about buying or selling a home in The Villages Golf and Country Club please feel free to contact me.
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Anyone trying to buy a home in Menlo Park right now knows that it is tough out there. There are many more buyers than sellers and many Menlo Park homes sell with multiple offers way over list price. Some homes go as much as 30% over asking, but some do not. How does a buyer make the decision about how much to offer to have the winning bid in a Menlo Park multiple offer situation and not overpay?
The answer is not simple, and sometimes it is
not a question of price, but terms, like contingencies, length of escrow, length of rent back, etc.
But for right now, let's just discuss price. Here are some things to keep in mind when you make an offer on a Menlo Park home in a multiple offer situation,
1. In my opinion the most important thing is, how much is this home worth to you? In other words, what price would you offer so that if it sold for $1000 more you would not be sorry because you do not want to pay that much. It may be that you would pay more than your offer if you could, but you can't so you are just doing your best. But if that is not the case you need to decide how much the house is worth to you so that if you do not get it you will not have regrets.
2. How is the asking price of this home compared to market value? If the house is listed low it will get multiple offers and sell for much more. If it is listed at or above market value it will not. This is not rocket science. Figuring out market value can be a little tricky since there are many variables, and the market is a moving target, but a good Menlo Park real estate agent should be able to help you analyze comps. Once you know the market value you will have to offer more in an appreciating market like we are in now. Sorry, but that is the truth.
3. What is the style of the listing agent? Does he or she like to list homes very low to get as many multiple offers as possible on their Menlo Park listings? Does the agent over value a home to try to get more money for their client, or just try to win out on a competitive listing? Does the agent like to work with multiple counter offers, or accept the the first best offer? Your agent should be able to give you insight into what other Menlo Park real estate agents like to do.
In the end, the final offer price and terms will be your decision, but if you have a great Menlo Park real estate agent he or she can help guide you through the murky waters of Menlo Park multiple offers.
If you have any questions about buying or selling a home in Menlo Park please feel free to contact me.
The real estate market for Sunnyvale town homes and condos for sale is pretty crazy right now. There are hundreds of new town homes springing up for sale in the eastern part of Sunnyvale but even so, the resale market is still on fire for sellers in Sunnyvale. Normally, if there is a lot of new construction the resale homes with suffer. This is not the case in Sunnyvale. The demand for homes has so far out paced the town homes available for sale in Sunnyvale that prices continue to appreciate and buyers need to offer more than list price to have the winning offer.
The closed sales of Sunnyvale town homes and condos was only 4.5% over list price, but that was a reflection of Sunnyvale town home and condo sales in December. By February the average sale price was 5% over the list price of Sunnyvale town homes and condos for sale. In March through May the average sale price was almost 8.5% higher than the list price of Sunnyvale town homes and condos for sale. So far in June the sales price is 11% more than the list price, reflecting the sales in May.
So if you are faced with making an offer for a condo or town home in Sunnvale how much should you offer? Unfortunatley there is no simple answer. Logically we can not expect 10% apprecition every time there is a sale. However, the number of people looking is not decreasing significantly. What is decreasing a little is the number of investors. As the prices have skyrocked, the return on investment for a rental property is decreasing. The amount you can get for rent has not increased at the same rate as Sunnyvale town home and condo prices have. In fact, so many investors have purchased rental properties there is actually a glut on the market nation wide, and a balance in the bay area.
The market is starting to turn back to buyers with loans intending to live in the property are the majority of people making offers, not investors with all cash.
So to the answer the question, how much should you offer on a Sunnyvale town home or condo for sale is not simple, but it is not an impossible question to answer. Look at the true market price, not the list price, which can be anywhere from 15% below market value, true market, of 10% higher than market. Take the true market value and go up a percent or two if you want it, and maybe 5% if you REALLY want it and can cover the difference between market value and your offer in cash since the bank will only lend based on market value. You may not win every time, but eventually you will get your Sunnyvale home.
If you have any questions about buying or selling a Sunnyvale town home or condo please feel free to contact me.