Pssst, I Know A Great Place, Coming Soon!

766 Avenida 003

It’s fun to know, before others, about something which is coming soon. This is just, such a surprise: it’s a drop-dead-gorgeous executive home tucked away in the foothills of San Juan Bautista.

Golf, nearby. Tennis, down the lane. Scenic trails & wildlife….. And the commute…so easy!

Watch for the VIDEO Tour of it.  I’ll be launching it about 2 weeks.

You don’t want to miss this jewel!

 

 

Kitchen Trends Add Value

The best return on your home improvement dollars is in the kitchen.  This article offers 10 suggestions for kitchen updates in 2017.

While the mailbox, garage and front door have the highest return for their costs, the kitchen is the #1 investment room inside the house. While you may not get 1:1 return you will get more of your money back in the form of a higher sales price than a home with a dated kitchen – you will get more bang for your buck than say, money spent on a bedroom.

Besides, don’t we spend a great deal of time in the kitchen? Especially when family and friends are over. Holidays, special events etc., often evolve around the kitchen.

Today’s Price vs. Bubble-Peak Price

In CA the average home ownership has been between 7 to 10 years.  So, now many home owners who, want to sell their homes, are having unnecessary hesitations. Their comments go something like this: “THAT’s all we can get for our house?! But we paid $X for it 10 years ago.  We’ll lose money if we sell at today’s price“.  So I ask: “Did you pay cash for your home?” When the home owners say: “no, we financed it” we have the following conversation.

Since you did not pay cash for your home, what you DID pay was principle, interest, taxes and insurance.  THAT’s what you have paid for your home, not the ‘Sales Price’ back then“.

Here is an example:  If they agreed to a sales price of $700,000 in 2006 and got a 90% home loan at 4.0% then what they have actually paid for their home looks like this: $198,293 principle (including the down payment) + $199,650* interest + $87,528* property taxes +$9,600 for insurance.  What they really paid was the total of $420,405 (*after income tax advantages).

So, if today’s market value is, say, $600,000 they didn’t really lose $100,000, they will actually get all of what they DID pay and another $179,595 ($600,000 – $420,405). That $179,595 is a 42.7% return on their investment!  Wow! What a different way to look at it.

Of course there were other expenses such as private mortgage insurance for a couple of  years, repairs and upgrades.  Still what they have actually paid for the home is considerably less than their original Sales Price.

Make sense?  If not, text, email or call me.  I’ll be happy to demonstrate your actual gain.

 

 

Solar Panels vs. Resale of The Home

Here are 5 questions you want to explore BEFORE you decide to have solar panels put on your roof:

1.  How much will you save in your monthly electric bill over, say 5 years by installing solar?  Consider this total vs. the typical 20 yr loan offered for purchase of a system.

2.  Will the remaining balance on your solar purchase/lease be transferable when you go to sell your home?

3.  IF it is, will it be a ‘seller’s market’ (more buyers than homes for sale)? Or, will it be a ‘buyer’s market’ (plenty of homes to choose from vs. the fewer number of buyers)?

4.  Considering the speed of technological advancements, when you go to sell your home in the future, will your solar system be antiquated?

5.  Who is responsible for the integrity of the roof where the solar panels are installed?  For how long?

This year I have had to inform more than one home owner that their solar system loan/lease balance will have to be paid for by them.  Buyers seem to consider the value of a solar system equal to about 2 years worth of electric bill savings.  In my last 2 listings with solar panels, the sellers had to pay their remaining solar loan balance of $18,000 and $22,000 respectfully.

Do you know of a happier solar-seller situation?  Please share it.

 

Morgan Hill, CA Home Values

Morgan Hill Ave. SPAs you can see here, the average sales price of single family residences in Morgan Hill CA continued to rise over the last 12 months.

This month’s average sales price (approximately $960,000) is roughly 26% higher than 11/14’s average price of $760,000.

You will also notice that the average price spiked in 9/15 at roughly $1,010,000.

Now is a great time to buy a home in Morgan Hill: the ratio of prospective buyers-to-available homes is a little more balanced; the interest rates are still South of 4.0%; and, the short commute into San Jose is very manageable.

It is also a great time to sell your home: it worth more now than in the last 10 years.

For both prospective buyers and hopeful sellers, a sale NOW will get you settled in before Christmas and for the start of the mid school year.

 

Gilroy, CA Home Prices

Gilroy, CA single family home prices have followed a fairly typical pattern over the last 12 months although the Gilroy Sales Price 2average sale price for 10/15 is virtually the same as 12 months ago.

I reviewed 548 Gilroy sales of single family residences from 11/14 to 10/15.  We saw a fairly flat market from Nov. last year to Feb. this year.  Then, in March the prices began to rise and spiked in July.  Since July the average sales prices drifted back to the same level as this time last year.

It is important to note that in 2014 Gilroy home values increased roughly 21% from Jan. through Dec.  And, Jan. this year saw average prices roughly 11% higher than 12 months earlier.

So, what does all of this mean?  Well, if you are a buyer and like to play the odds, your best buys will typically be between now and next Feb. or Mar.  If you are a home owner who is thinking of selling you may want to be ready to go on the market in March or April.

Lastly, you may find that next year, being a National Election year where a sitting majority will want to maintain their plurality, will be anyone’s guess as to what home prices are going to do in Gilroy.  Actually, I have a prediction based on the 9 other national election years I have seen while in the housing business.  Text, email or call me for that information.

Thanks to MLSListings for the data.

 

OPEN HOUSE in San Juan Bautista

butlerOn Saturday, 9/12 from 1-4, we’ll be holding an Open House in San Juan Bautista. Watch this VIDEO Tour and then come see it for yourself.  Tucked back in the foothills but close to everything: 775 Via Vaquero Norte – Wow!

So many features: 2,850 sq.ft. on 1/2 acre, 3 car garage, 12 ft. ceilings, solar heated, custom salt water pool with a waterfall, A/C, granite, 18″ tile, see thru fireplace in the living room & family room, separate ‘granny’ quarters with its own front entry, all on one level, vineyard, storage shed, remarkable privacy and views and, less than a mile to Hwy 101 for an easy commute. Play tennis or basketball in the private courts or golf at the award winning “San Juan Oaks Golf and Country Club” just down the road.

Your GPS will take you to the wrong gate.  Turn LEFT off Rocks Road and follow the signs. Give me a call for the gate code for easy access.

You will be glad you came!

 

Home Prices in Our Bay Areas

Here is a quick glance, one page summary of year-over-year values for of our Bay Areas.

The median prices increased slightly in Santa Clara County (up 9%) and Monterey County (up 6%) but dropped 1% in San Benito County.

At the bottom of the summary page we see some indicators which suggest San Benito County values may rise in 2015: Inventory of homes for sale increased 14% 9/13 to 9/14 which is one of the causes of the median price to drop. However, the Days on Market (DOM) dropped a whopping 46%!  Since homes sold significantly faster year-over-year we may see San Benito County single family prices rise next year.

With one eye on these opaque indicators and one on “the holidays” disengagement many get caught up in – a shrewd buyer should buy a home before the year is out. And, with interest rates around 4% for a home loan, you could be one of the few others admire in the future: “You bought at the end 2014?  You really ‘lucked’ out”.

Why not text, email or call me?  With your answers to 4 simple questions I will be able to compute for you how much of a home you can qualify for and provide you with a list of those homes in your price range.

“Happy (Holiday) shopping”.

 

 

Agents: AFTER Service, THEN Paid

Here’s a fantasy thought: “What if our teachers, doctors, or politicians only got paid AFTER they finished their service, to their client’s satisfaction?” And, the professional gets paid nothing until those they serve are satisfied with an acceptable conclusion. Can you imagine?

Abraham Lincoln said:  “A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock in trade“.  Their income is based on two ‘tools’ used to serve their clients: their time and advice (knowledge). 

It seems many people don’t stop to consider how their real estate professional gets reimbursed for their time and knowledge.  Perhaps, because the client is on an hourly wage or salary, they assume agents must have a similar revenue basis?

Your real estate agent typically receives no reimbursement for their expenses (gas, time, advertising, time, promotion, time, etc.) until several days AFTER their client’s escrow closes.  If the sale does not close through him/her, the agent gets nothing for their ‘time and knowledge’.

Just imagine: At your job you don’t get paid  until you completed all of the tasks.  If there is no successful conclusion to your work, you get paid nothing. You might understand agent’s frustration when that happens to them.

Oh, and BUYERS, you typically pay nothing for your agent’s services – the seller does, through their contract with the listing agent. Make sure you have an experienced agent with a proven track record to represent you. They will “cost” you the same as a rookie agent will – zero.

Morgan Hill, Ca Home Price Recovery

City of Morgan HillDon’t you hate the question: “So, you want the good news or the bad news?”

Well, here is the good news and, ‘not-really-that-bad’ news regarding single family residence (SFR) values in Morgan Hill, CA:

Good:  The average number of days homes were on the market dropped from 66 days during 1Q07 down to 43 days for 1Q14.  There was also a drop from 1Q13’s 52 days to this year’s 43 days. They’re selling faster.

Not really that bad: The average closed sales price for Morgan Hill, CA’s SFR dropped from $931,413 during 1Q07 to $629,030 in 1Q13.  That $302,383 drop in average sales price reflects the market’s peak in ’07 down to the recovering level in ’13.

However, the good news is that Morgan Hill, CA homes’ values rose by $137,641 or, 17.7% in the last year.  That is the 3rd straight year where we’ve seen sustained appreciation.

The interesting comparison is the average sales price/list price ratio. There has been little change: in 1Q07 it was 97.6%, first quarter, ’13 averaged 98.6% and this year’s first 3 months saw an average of 96.6% . So, I’m not sure if that is good or ‘not really that bad’ news. Homes are virtually selling at their asking price, due to the low inventory of homes for sale.

We have seen similar values in Gilroy and Hollister, CA.  I’ll post those comparisons soon.

So, what do you think values in the South County are going to do?

(data source: MLSListings)