Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department volunteers will do "Vacation Checks" while you are out of town...

When you're on vacation or away from your home for an extended period of time, would it give you peace of mind if someone was checking your house occasionally to make sure it is secure? I know I sure would love that at my house!

Do you live in the Sacramento County area? 

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department and its "Volunteers in Partnership with the Sheriff" (VIPS) provide a free service to do "vacation checks" for Sacramento County area residents. They will visit the home while residents are away and perform periodic checks that the property is secure. You can find out more information about this program or sign up for this service at a local Sacramento Sheriff Service Center near you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

FHA Short Sales must now be marketed in MLS for a minimum of 15 days per new HUD guidelines...

Effective as of October 2014, some new Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines per their Mortgagee Letter 14-15 now require agents to have a FHA short sale property listed on the Multiple Listing Service (aka, the MLS) for a minimum of 15 days before any purchase contract can be reviewed by the servicer.  This 15-day requirement starts when the property began listing on MLS at the appropriate price in relation to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) "as-is" appraised value. Keep in mind FHA short sale sellers, this is NOT the date of the listing agreement, since usually listings are entered into MLS at a later time after the listing agreement is signed and dated. My guess is that this is in response to short sale properties not being marketed open and fairly to generate the highest and best offer for the short sale...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Wanted! (Possibly) your home for one of my buyer clients...

And continuing with my buyer clients "wants and needs" series of blog posts -- here are what some of my buyer clients are looking for...are you (thinking about) selling a home that would meet any of these buyers' needs?

"Buyers A" are very well-qualified pre-approved buyers. I just closed the sale of their home and they are staying with family as they look for their next home. They would like to live in the Arden or Carmichael area as close as possible to the intersection of Watt Avenue and Whitney Avenue. They are looking 3+ bedrooms, and 1.5+ bathrooms, decent closet and storage space, and a 2-car garage. They do not mind something that needs updating. A large side yard or a separate living room and family room would be a plus. Their max purchase price is $260,000.

"Buyer B" is a very well-qualified pre-approved investor buyer seeking a duplex, triplex, or fouplex. He ideally would like a property in the Citrus Heights, Arden, Carmichael, or nearby Sacramento areas. He does not mind a property that needs TLC. He may or may not do a tax deferred 1031 Exchange. His max purchase price is $400,000.

"Buyers C" are very well-qualified pre-approved first time buyers. They ideally would like a newer or remodeled home in Elk Grove or South Sacramento. They would like 3+ bedrooms, and 2+ bathrooms, and 1,400sf or more. A built-in pool is a huge plus. Their max purchase price is $275,000.

"Buyers D" are very well-qualified pre-approved buyers. They ideally would like home in West Sacramento in Ironworks or in Downtown, Midtown, or East Sacramento. They would like 2+ bedrooms, and 1.5+ bathrooms, and 1+car garage. His max purchase price is $400,000.

If you own a home that seems to meet any of this criteria and are thinking about selling (or know someone who is), please contact me -- I may have a buyer for your home! If you need to do a short sale, I can certainly facilitate that as well, and am happy to talk to you to see if we are a good fit to work together.

On another note, I am working with numerous other buyers who are looking for homes in several other Sacramento area neighborhoods -- please contact me if you would like more details, and look for future posts.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Productive time spent at the fall meetings for the California Association of Realtors last week...

Last week was a long week...I arrived in Anaheim for the fall California Association of Realtors committee and Board of Directors meetings on Monday evening, and left on Saturday afternoon. It was a busy week...I spent most of my time in windowless rooms in committee meetings, roundtable discussions, and educational forums. It was a productive week...as usual, I got to represent the Sacramento region and talk about issues affecting property owners, private property rights, and real estate transactions -- AND be part of the conversation to fix what's broken, streamline what's already working, and brainstorm the next great things. It's been an honor and a privilege to serve Sacramento in this capacity since 2010, and my appointment to this position continues through 2015.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sacramento Real Estate Statistics - September 2014

As the summer home buying season in our area winds down and we get ready for autumn, it's nice to see that the median home price is holding firm. Again last month, we saw the Sacramento County median home price increase ever so slightly to $275,000. As I have said this year, It's nice to continue to see a healthy leveling-off of home prices with modest value appreciation. In the last 12 months, Sacramento home values have increased just about 9.4%, If you look at this graph, during the same time period as last year the market dynamic looked much the same -- just bumping along with slight increases. You'll notice as winter approached, the prices decreased a little but bounced back in the spring...I anticipate a similar trend as we go through autumn and winter. These are seasonal norms -- based on many buyers suspending their home searches, going into hibernation mode during the holidays and then reinvigorating their home searches again in the spring. All good stuff...no crazy spikes, just nice, normal, and mellow. It's been nice not to have a frenzied market for one reason or another. I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts!

Many of my transactions lately have involved folks selling their home and purchasing another. With the mellow tenor to the Sacramento real estate market right now, this has proven to be an opportune time to upsize, downsize, move to a different neighborhood, etc.

While we have more inventory (homes on the market) right now than we saw in Sacramento this time last year, this level of available homes for sale is still LOW. We have about 2.8 months of inventory in Sacramento County in September. This is not a lot. A market with buyer/seller equilibrium is 5-6 months of inventory. Homes are taking an average of 40 days to sell as of September. I'm seeing more price reductions in the market...it seems that some sellers still want to test the market and they are trying to get a lot more for their home than the last comparable sale. BUT, as you can see, statistically that's just not happening in our Sacramento home market right now. With prices holding steady, sellers need to price homes realistically.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

New Listing - 3716 Lankershim Way, North Highlands, CA 95660

Adorable 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 972sf remodeled North Highlands home on .16ac lot has been lovingly maintained by owner! You will love the high ceilings, granite kitchen counters, newer appliances, freshly painted interior and exterior, remodeled bathroom with tile flooring and tub/shower, newer composition roof, central heating and air, dual pane windows, huge backyard with new fencing, shed, patio and fire pit! Section 1 & 2 pest clearance. Close to public transportation, easy freeway access, shopping, parks and schools. Don't wait! Offered at $149,900. For more photos and detail please visit 3716 Lankershim Way, North Highlands, CA 95660.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sacramento Real Estate Statistics - August 2014

As the summer home buying season in our area continues and gets ready for fall, it's nice to see that the median home price is holding firm. Again last month, we saw the Sacramento County median home price increase ever so slightly to $272,000 - an increase of 0.7%. As I have said this year, It's nice to continue to see a healthy leveling-off of home prices with modest value appreciation. If you look at this graph, during the same time period as last year the market dynamic looked much the same -- bumping along with a couple percent increase. You'll notice as winter approaches, the prices decrease a little but bounce back in the spring...I anticipate some similar activity as we go through fall and winter. These would be seasonal norms -- based on many buyers suspending their home searches, going into hybernation mode during the holidays and then reinvigorating their home searches again in the spring. All good stuff...no crazy spikes, just nice, normal, and mellow. Doesn't that feel nice? Ahhhh....

While we have more inventory (homes on the market) right now than we saw in Sacramento this time last year, this level of available homes for sale is still really LOW. We have about 2.6 months of inventory in Sacramento County in August. This is not a lot. A market with buyer/seller equilibrium is 5-6 months of inventory. Homes are taking an average of 39 days to sell as of August. I'm seeing more price reductions in the market...it seems that some sellers want to test the market and they are trying to get a lot more for their home than the last comparable sale. BUT, as you can see, statistically that's just not happening in our Sacramento home market right now. With prices holding steady, sellers need to price homes realistically.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Zillow...a fun tool for "entertainment purposes" - but has it become more accurate in predicting Sacramento home values?

If you have been reading my blog for a while, then you probably already know that I usually get a chill down my spine when one of my clients mentions "the Z word." What's the Z word? Zillow. What is Zillow? Zillow.com is a website that, among other things, provides information about neighborhoods and properties.

Zillow is a neat website. I have an agent profile on Zillow. I have clients who have found me using Zillow. However, my general thought about Zillow is that while it's a fun consumer tool that provides property information to people looking to buy or sell (or even rent property now), the vast majority of the time, the "Zestimate" (aka, the value that the website dreams up for a certain property), is usually not close to the market value of a Sacramento area property, and the homes listed for sale on the website are not current.

I posted a few times last year about how the sales prices of my transactions compare to Zillow data. I've closed 8 transactions in the last couple months so let's take a look to see how close Zillow is to the actual selling prices of these properties. This information is CURRENT as of today, September 5th, 2014.

15 Waterfront Court, Sacramento, CA 95831; this was a nice remodeled home I sold (represented the buyer) in the Pocket/Greenhaven area. The original listing price was $270,000, and after multiple offers this sold on 6/4/14 for $281,000. Zillow's Zestimate: $263,576 -- approximately 6.61% below it's selling price. 
 
2509 Butano Drive, Sacramento, CA 95821; this was a fixer home I sold (represented the buyer) in the Arden area. The original listing price was $239,000, and this sold on 6/18/14 for $225,000. Zillow's Zestimate: $242,722 -- approximately 7.87% above it's selling price.

7244-7246 Canelo Hills Drive, Citrus Heights, CA 95610; this was a duplex I sold (represented the buyer) near in Citrus Heights. The original listing price was $255,000, and this sold on 6/20/14 for $215,000. Zillow's Zestimate: $220,478 -- approximately 2.56% above it's selling price.

6134 Van Alstine Avenue, Carmichael, CA 95608; this was a home I sold (represented the buyer) near in the American River in Carmichael. The original listing price was $1,595,000, and this sold on 7/17/14 for $1,495,000 (and it appraised significantly higher than the purchase price). Zillow's Zestimate: $1,336,127 -- approximately 11.89% below it's selling price.

1419 Hopkins Street, Sacramento, CA 95822; this was a home I listed and sold (represented the seller) near South Land Park in Sacramento. The original listing price was $129,900, and this sold on 7/20/14 for $129,900. Zillow's Zestimate: $125,415 -- approximately 3.58% below it's selling price.

3201 T Street, Sacramento, CA 95816; this was a home I listed and sold (represented the seller) near the UC Davis Med Center in East Sacramento. The original listing price was $299,900, and this had multiple offers and sold on 7/24/14 for $308,000. Zillow's Zestimate: $264,769 -- approximately 16.33% below it's selling price. WOW.

5364-5366 Elsinore Way, Fair Oaks, CA 95628; this was a home I sold (represented the buyer) in Fair Oaks. The original listing price was $259,900, and this sold on 8/26/14 for $259,900. Zillow's Zestimate: $304,522 -- approximately 17.17% above it's selling price. WOW.

4336 52nd Street, Sacramento, CA 95820; this was a home I listed and sold (represented the seller) in Colonial Heights. The original listing price was $189,900, and this sold on 8/28/14 for $183,000. Zillow's Zestimate: $175,871 -- approximately 4.1% below it's selling price.

I have said it before and I will say it again...I think a couple conclusions can be drawn from the information above. First, Zestimates are generally not accurate. They don't take into consideration property features that can not be quantified. Is it on a main street, is it near a park, was the kitchen remodeled, does it have unique architectural features...? Second, our dynamic Sacramento area real estate market has changed significantly in the last couple of year, and Zillow has a long way to go to catch up to pricing these trends and factoring them into their mathematical equations that determine these values. But it is still a fun website for entertainment purposes. 

If I can assist you determine an accurate price range for your Sacramento home, I welcome your call or email.