Tag Archive | homes for sale

Wake-up Call For That ‘Buy Low’ Opportunity?

If you are new to what appears here, please forgive me if I seem to be nagging a bit. Sorry if this sounds like your mother’s sterner voice coming at you (that one from years ago – the one she used when you were especially absent-minded, often accompanied by a scowl). If you’re not guilty, please know this is not directed at you.

For everyone else who’s been checking in to find out about the Northern California home prices or about Walnut Creek real estate in general, you know I’ve been beating the drum about the unusual combination of great real estate buys and low mortgage rates. Ever since the housing crisis created a large overhang of distressed properties, there was a general reluctance to take advantage of the situation – even though in real estate, as in other investments, the adage buy low, sell high is as true today as ever before. I haven’t been shy about pointing out that it couldn’t last forever.

Given the public perception that residential real estate (including NorCal home prices) were more or less stuck at a low point, there may not have seemed to be much reason to get going.  But opportunities don’last forever, and markets always change

.Image

Last week the inevitable apparent sea change seemed to hit the front pages in a big way. One really significant front page in particular: The Wall Street Journal’s. Their news flash was subsequently picked up and amplified on national, then local TV news shows. In other words, the pot truly began to boil.

The front page, above-the-fold headline was unusually unambiguous: “Home Prices Climb As Supplies Dwindle.” The article elaborated that during the last quarter, home prices rose by the largest percentage in at least seven years. The climb was 2½ % over June — and a full 6% above the previous quarter!

Demand, the WSJ reported, is up, while supplies are down “sharply.” Main reason: The distressed sales numbers (foreclosures, short sales, etc.) show “better and better prices.” Another reason: investors have been ‘scooping up’ homes.

Now, of course this mega-blip on the home price radar screen is almost certain to be followed by more ups and downs. Anything is possible; trends don’t move up in a straight line; etc. etc. etc. But if you are one of many who have been waiting for Contra Costra or Alameda County home prices to drop further, the Journal finding may come as a louder than expected wake-up call. It might also give Walnut Creek, Lafayette, San Ramon, Danville and Alamo home sellers reason to begin getting a bit more stubborn about their own bottom lines.

If you are beginning to think that the time is ripe for your own family’s move to homeownership, or are a Vallejo, Benecia, Concord, Pleasant Hill or Lafayette homeowner who has been patiently waiting for the right time to make a move, I would welcome your call to discuss the current market. If we are to believe The Journal, it looks like some major moves are already underway!

Swimming Pools: Cool Feature To Most

At last! To the joy of every child (and most adults) you know, your Lafayette home has a swimming Imagepool! Whether you just bought the property or have recently installed a pool yourself, this is a feature that’s not only a pleasure to look at, but also a true centerpiece — a magnet for socializing and relaxing throughout the hot summer months.

Also true: that pool carries a few drawbacks, as well. You should consider both when it comes to writing an offer or selling a home with a pool

Pro 1: Boost Your Property’s Value

In today’s super-competitive housing market, it’s good to stand out from the crowd. Whether you add your property to the Lafayette home listings next week or plan to do so in the future, a pool will boost its overall value. My summer buyers’ ears always perk up when I mention the next home listing we will visit has a pool.

Pro 2: You (and Future Buyers) Will Enjoy Your Pool

We’ve all had the blissful summer afternoon experience – floating around, colorful beverage of choice in hand.  The truth is, you will enjoy your pool: friends will come over, you’ll host great BBQs, you’ll look forward to unwinding after difficult workdays. It’s hard to put a price on any of that.  Buyers influenced by the summer heat will have the same vision of entertaining and relaxing with friends and family. And the extra attention drawn by Lafayette home listings that mention a pool is unquestionable.

Con: Not all buyers want a pool. While some may avoid them because of small children, dogs, and generalized safety concerns, others may shy away from extra maintenance issues, both real and imagined. Monthly pool service, higher water bills, higher electricity and gas bills, potential for repair of pool mechanical equipment, pool re-surfacing (which can hit the $10k neighborhood!), pool leaks, replacing diving boards, pool covers…if they have had a pool before, or are merely responding to second-hand tales, the unknowns can seem daunting.  The brave do-it-yourselfers who choose to monitor a pool on their own will be taking on the task of checking chlorine levels, watching algae, measuring chemicals and above all else keeping that pool blue!

Nevertheless, the truth is that pros and cons accompany all Lafayette home listings. Every household is unique –the balance between challenges and rewards is what makes it so. If you’re having that “colorful-beverage-in-hand” vision and relish the idea of making it a reality, I’m always happy to show you the home listings that best fit your specifications.  You can even ask me what to do if the water turns green!

Swimming Pools: Cool Feature To Most

At last! To the joy of every child (and most adults) you know, your Lafayette home has a swimming Imagepool! Whether you just bought the property or have recently installed a pool yourself, this is a feature that’s not only a pleasure to look at, but also a true centerpiece — a magnet for socializing and relaxing throughout the hot summer months. 

 

Also true: that pool carries a few drawbacks, as well. You should consider both when it comes to writing an offer or selling a home with a pool

 

Pro 1: Boost Your Property’s Value

In today’s super-competitive housing market, it’s good to stand out from the crowd. Whether you add your property to the Lafayette home listings next week or plan to do so in the future, a pool will boost its overall value. My summer buyers’ ears always perk up when I mention the next home listing we will visit has a pool. 

 

Pro 2: You (and Future Buyers) Will Enjoy Your Pool

We’ve all had the blissful summer afternoon experience – floating around, colorful beverage of choice in hand.  The truth is, you will enjoy your pool: friends will come over, you’ll host great BBQs, you’ll look forward to unwinding after difficult workdays. It’s hard to put a price on any of that.  Buyers influenced by the summer heat will have the same vision of entertaining and relaxing with friends and family. And the extra attention drawn by Lafayette home listings that mention a pool is unquestionable. 

 

Con: Not all buyers want a pool. While some may avoid them because of small children, dogs, and generalized safety concerns, others may shy away from extra maintenance issues, both real and imagined. Monthly pool service, higher water bills, higher electricity and gas bills, potential for repair of pool mechanical equipment, pool re-surfacing (which can hit the $10k neighborhood!), pool leaks, replacing diving boards, pool covers…if they have had a pool before, or are merely responding to second-hand tales, the unknowns can seem daunting.  The brave do-it-yourselfers who choose to monitor a pool on their own will be taking on the task of checking chlorine levels, watching algae, measuring chemicals and above all else keeping that pool blue! 

 

Nevertheless, the truth is that pros and cons accompany all Lafayette home listings. Every household is unique –the balance between challenges and rewards is what makes it so. If you’re having that “colorful-beverage-in-hand” vision and relish the idea of making it a reality, I’m always happy to show you the home listings that best fit your specifications.  You can even ask me what to do if the water turns green!