Willow Glen Update; April 10, 2010

Here’s my picks of the weeks from this week’s broker tour. As always, if you have any questions or want to see one of these houses just pop me a note or call me at 408-887-3225.

2003 Ellen Ave

This 3/2 is going for $749,000. It’s got original kitchen and baths, but it’s got a good layout with some real nice yard features for somebody who’s into landscaping and plants like I am: a pond in the front and a great greenhouse out back. As with any unusual feature, there was lots of discussion about the pros and cons of the greenhouse. Being my own family’s Chief Horticultural Officer, I loved it. Here’s a quick video so you can judge for yourself!

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Willow Glen Update; Feb 25, 2010

Today I went on the weekly realtor tour of houses coming on market in Willow Glen, there are some really nice houses coming on market. Here’s some stats and summaries of a few of my favorites.

Fast Facts

20 homes were sold in Willow Glen last week, 5 of them were “short sales.” Accounting for those sales and the 8 new listings we toured today, there are now 145 active listings in Willow Glen, lower than average.

Hot New Listings

Deal of the Week: 1148 Willow Glen Way

I think this is the deal of the week, a gorgeous little 2/1 on Willow Glen Way listed for $729,000. It’s a total doll house with beautiful renovations and an addition to the bathroom, which I shot a quick video of. It’s totally prime location and isn’t going to last, so if you know somebody looking for high-end Willow Glen charm that doesn’t need/want a huge house, they need to move fast!

Another one that’ll go fast: 1152 Fairview

This really nice 4/3 is on a prime tree-lined Willow Glen street a short stroll away from the Avenue, and I think it’s a great deal listed at $1,229,000. I’m a little partial to it because it’s a Tudor built in 1928, just like my own home, but this house really does have it all — it’s one level which many people with families look for, it’s got a great layout, and it’s been very nicely remodeled. I especially liked the kitchen. I’m no chef, but even I could picture myself cooking something more than the bacon and eggs I limit myself to at home. : )

Big Time Willow Glen Charm

The last new listing I want to highlight is 1155 El Abra Way, a good-sized 5/3 listed for $1,278,000. It features a very nicely remodelled kitchen, and a finished basement…with a fireplace! Upstairs there’s a balcony off a common area that was basking with sunlight and begging for you to enjoy your morning coffee and paper out there. I really liked the billowy curtains, shown here in the video I shot, they give you a good idea of the high-end details and decor that make this house pretty special.

These are just three of the 8 houses that just came on market, if you want to learn more about them or find out what else just came on, pop me a note!

Holly Barr’s Willow Glen Update; Oct. 1, 2009

Holly talks about the Willow Glen real estate scene, including a breakdown of current listings, recent sales and deals in progress.
She also describes a potential short sale on Glen Eyrie (3,500 square feet on an 11,000 square foot lot!), a good deal on Custer Drive, and two great listings that she herself has coming on shortly: one on Ellen Avenue and one on Byerley Avenue.

Willow Glen Home Sale Stats 5/10/09

Well, I gotta say on my blog as I say to all my clients… the market is CHANGING! I have buyers that refuse to believe me and still want to wait until prices go down further. I am seeing multiple offers 35 offers in some cases!!

There were 23 sales in the last week for Willow Glen. The week before was only 13! Price ranged from $1.6M on Dry Creek to $199,500 on Hull Ave. I just spoke to a builder who sold a house (before being on market) for close to $4million!!

Gotta love real estate… I do!

Classic Craftsman!

For those who love a Craftsman style home, there is a BEAUTIFUL one for sale (again) at 1226 Minnesota Ave. in the Willow Glen area of San Jose. This house has 2700 sq ft., artist studio and a HUGE full height basement. It was for sale almost exactly 2 years ago for the same price at $1,425,000. The details of this home are true and original craftsman. From the dental crown molding untouched by the usual white paint (which is a crime!- please no paint!)…

to the built in cabinets in the dining room and my personal favorite a library with a sliding ladder (HOW COOL IS THAT!!)…

The stats for Willow Glen this week are 13 sales in the last 7 days and the count has gone up to 259 houses on market (up 3 from 256 last week).

What is your favorite listing right now?

Finding a good lender – in this economy.

Okay, financially speaking, the world is a bit scary right now. Banks are closing and being absorbed. I am reading about people pulling money out of their banks (and putting it under their mattresses essentially). Our whole economic system is morphing into something new.

That being said, people (lots of people) are still buying houses. There are amazing bargains to be found. But, how do you find a good lender? One that is less likely to be absorbed or leave you high and dry…

Here are my top 5 suggestions for finding a good lender:

1) Ask about the lenders volume. A good lender is dealing in $100Million a month or more range.

2) Ask about the length of time the lender has been in business.

3) Who do they partner with or who owns the lending company? Do those partners appear strong, do you know the names of those companies?

4) What kind of education does the individual lender have?

5) Has the lending institution ever done sub prime lending?

And, of course, your realtor should be able to guide you to a great lender!

Take a new way home and get a treat!

As a realtor, I like to think I am up on the neighborhoods that I serve. Part of that is driving around a bit and checking out streets I may have not seen in awhile. Today, my meandering home took me down one of my favorite streets, Franquette. I like this street because of the huge lot sizes (I am just jealous) and how it always seems to have a house under construction. That street is really going through a metamorphosis. Anyway, today I drove by a stand out in front of someone’s home on that street that was selling tomatoes. About 7 large romas for $1.00. I have no need for tomatoes right now, but I HAD to get some! Can’t beat local and fresh for a buck!! Tacos, salads and pasta sauce for a week!

GMAC closes its doors!

Sept. 3, 2008 was a BBQ for GMAC to celebrate its affiliates (realtors, title companies, pest inspectors etc.) It was a tri-tip, chicken and root beer float party with over 200 people attending between 3-6p. THAT DAY, GMAC announced it was closing it’s doors! Crazy!

I am told that they will be reopening with a new name very soon we shall see.

Pools when selling… should they stay or should they go?

Sorry about the title, I have been doing a bit of Wii Rockband singing lately. Anyway, one of the bigger questions in real estate is about pools. Do they add or subtract value? In my experience, for single family mid range homes in a family type/professional neighborhood a pool causes any of the following thought processes to occur with buyers:

1) Typically, younger families do NOT want a pool and will either discount their offer to so they can fill it in OR often not even look at your property. Please note as with everything, there are exceptions (I have a buyer right now with young children who want a pool!). The risk of child drowning is too great for many parents (and grandparents). Pool report.

2) It depends on the location of the pool- If the pool takes up the whole yard or if you walk out the back door and have some grass and some place to entertain/play and then see a pool off in the distance (that can be gated). Young families are a bit more likely to buy if the pool is positioned away from the house and even better if it is gated (note: covers and netting are not as valued by buyers and can translate into the offer price).

3) How are the fences around the yard? Many buyers are concerned about the liability of neighbor kids coming into their yard and getting hurt at their pool because of a faulty fence, they could be liable. Fences are often thousands of dollars to replace and can also play into the offer price.

I have had two clients buy homes with pools and fill them in over the last 2 years. The cost was between $7,000 and $10,000 with permits to remove the pool. Any landscaping is an additional cost. If you have a home with a pool, I recommend getting a quote for filling it in (your realtor can do this for you). This way you have that information handy if you get an offer and the buyer wants to negotiate about the pool.

A smaller pool has less concerns as it is less expensive to fill in, easier to maintain and gate.