Archive | December 2012

Sleighful of Holiday Cheer Enlivens Home Sales

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA When you visit any of the properties for sale in Walnut Creek this time of year, it’s likely you will notice a little extra sparkle.

The holiday touches may be variations on the icy blue-and-white color palette — or dashes of silver brightening the traditional red-and-green decorations. If you’ve been reading the home décor magazines, you know how the leading trends this winter are all about glitz and glam: designer touches meant to brighten even the darkest winter day (remember, this year’s shortest day — December 21 – that’s today!). Still, I always suspect that a little nostalgic holiday warmth can add the same kind of welcoming touch…without breaking the piggy bank!

If you are planning to join those with East Bay properties for sale this season, a few stalwart touches can go far to add a sleighful of holiday cheer.

Christmas carols may be blaring through every loudspeaker from supermarket to mall, but don’t assume they have been terminally oDoorverused. For a December showing or open house, the warm feeling that familiar music evokes still works its magic when played in a home environment. But do keep the stereo volume set to background level – no one likes having to shout to be heard (even over six geese a-laying).

Many families used to host an annual “Holiday Open House” for friends and neighbors. That custom may be largely forgotten, but those with Contra Costa  properties for sale can add some of that same good feeling to their own open houses by adding nostalgic touches — like serving hot cocoa and marshmallows to attendees.  It’s a sweet, almost rustic touch that brings good old-fashioned hospitality to a modern marketing event.

 Whether you are considering buying or selling property this winter, there really is no need to put off a decision until after the New Year. December can be a great time to get started — and I am here this holiday season to help make your property dreams come true!

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2012 Housing Picture: Break Out the Bubbly?

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It may be a little early to start putting the champagne on ice, but looking over last week’s releases of housing reports gives us a fairly good idea of how our Northern California housing picture for the year 2012 is likely to end up.
“The housing recovery that started earlier in 2012 continues to gain momentum,” according to CoreLogic’s Chief Economist. The monthly data report covered final national numbers for October (a year-over-year rise of 6.3%) as well as a probable 7.1% increase for the month just ended.
CoreLogic was also “seeing an ongoing strengthening of the residential housing market” as well as “improving buyer demand.” East Bay housing watchers might have assumed that the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy would have put a big dent in the national outlook, but apparently that effect may be less than anticipated.
If CoreLogic’s take was not quite definitive enough to trigger an early break for the bubbly, there was additional news from the financial soothsayers. Seekingalpha.com stayed with its months-long view that “there are immediate long-term opportunities for homebuyers,” while Barron’s quoted RDQ Economics’ John Ryding’s pronou1j0e4rtzr9tv8_1T-webncement on the housing market: “the recovery is running ahead of our expectations…”
Meantime, the Wall Street Journal was blogging about the ‘Five Reasons Home Prices Have Been Rising’ – including favorable affordability, lowered levels of distressed sales, and rising rent levels. They also pointed to plunging inventories that “see more buyers chasing after fewer properties.”
Of course, the complete Walnut Creek housing picture for the full year won’t be known until December is in the books. But considering how the year has treated us so far, it might not be too soon to stash a bottle or two of the good stuff in the fridge after all!