Feb 16 2013 Willow Glen Real Estate Update

10 houses sold this week for an average of $775,896. That’s actually lower than the 12 week average of $841,910. You can’t make much of any one week’s average, but it’s worth watching. Meanwhile, 10 new houses have come up for sale in Willow Glen within the last week with an average list price of $775,800, which means inventory is unchanged with 50 homes for sale in Willow Glen.

Across the bay area, the market for condos and townhouses is especially hot. “Condos — the affordable homes chosen by many first-time buyers — have made bigger annual gains in asking price than single-family homes in all parts of the Bay Area, according to real estate website Trulia. Sales are at their highest level since late 2008, according to DataQuick, a housing information company. ” I have a beautiful town house coming to MLS next week just outside Willow Glen at 1363 Arbor Park. It is a 3 bed 1.5 bath, 1310 sqft., remodeled. Listing it a t $420,000.

One of my favorite new listings is 2079 Ardis Dr. — a super charming 2 bed 2 bath with a side yard that serves as a nice ‘back yard’ with a huge lemon tree and ample space for entertaining and play. The kitchen features a unique farm sink and the whole house is warm and inviting. Listed at $760,000, its only drawback for some is that it only has two bedrooms.

If you want to learn about any of the homes that just sold or came on market or hear about a few listings I have coming soon, call or text me at 408-887-3225 or email Holly@HollyBarr.com.

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Holly Barr, Your Favorite Realtor, joined Sereno Group!

Holly and Sereno founder Chris Trapani in front of the new Willow Glen Town Square, opening this spring.

I just joined Sereno Group (here is a picture with me and Sereno founder Chris Trapani). Sereno focuses on hiring experienced agents and is extremely polished yet not corporate. In 2011 the collective 200 agents did $1.2 billion in sales.
Sereno has strong roots in Willow Glen that date back to the early 1900’s. There was Trapani Realty back in the 1950’s at what is now the Comerica Building 1191 Lincoln Ave. By April of this year Sereno will be in the new Village Town Square building where I will be in the thick of what is happening in Willow Glen and be able to CHARM about it!

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!

San Jose Guide

My marketing guru husband Greg just put together a very cool guide to San Jose, CA that includes Campbell, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Cambrian and Willow Glen (neighborhoods within San Jose). There is information about schools, shopping and up to date home pricing -even a map of each area.

Let me know if you have an interest in recieving a Guide to San Jose. I hope to have it up on my site soon.

Real Estate Bailout

From my lender sources, the real estate buyout started on October 1, 2008. The basic translation of bailout is you renegotiate your mortgage with your lender to reflect the current market value of the home. Seems similar to a short sale where your REALTOR negotiates with the bank for a lower SALES price. The difference is with a bailout, you do not have to sell the property.

I have had a few clients contact me about how to get started with a bail out. As with the recent changes in jumbo loan amounts, changes take about 6 months for the banks to get systems in place and get the training needed to provide the service to clients. From what I have heard, Countrywide seems to be the only bank right now, Oct, 11, 2008, that can do a bailout/buyout program for their clients. It is yet unclear to me how it will affect one’s credit.

Please let me know if you have more information about how it will affect one’s credit, if there are other banks that are offering this amazing opportunity to their clients.

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.