Willow Glen Update 9/4/08

The market this week seems to be a smidge better than last week (yes, smidge is a technical term ;).  The count (how many houses on market) last week was 262 and this week it has dropped to 245 for area 10 (Willow Glen). What I find interesting is that it looks like more sellers are accepting contingent offers- There are 7 contingent out of 14 sales for the last week.

Translation: HALF of the pending sales are contingent on that buyer selling their house first…

My pick of the week is 901 Pine Ave. It is a house that I remember when it was on market about 5 years ago. It is quite memorable!! Right across from River Glen Park no windows yet, AMAZING skylight, open plan with in-layed hardwood floors 3 bedrooms 3.5 baths for $900,000!!!

1830 sq ft. and 7100 sq ft. corner lot. Beautiful Asian inspired gardens! Roman showers in two of the master suites and a private hottub off one of the master bedrooms as well! Open house this Sat and Sun with Coldwell Banker’s Chris Conklin.

Median sales prices have dropped

I know it is not news for many. However, here is a chart that I find comes in handy. Santa Clara had a change of -16.40% in ONE YEAR!

Source: DataQuick Information Systems, www.DQNews.com Media calls: Andrew LePage (916) 456-7157 or John Karevoll (909) 867-9534

Copyright 2008 DataQuick Information Systems. All rights reserved.

Sales Volume

Median Price

All homes

Jul-07

Jul-08

%Chng

Jul-07

Jul-08

%Chng

Alameda

1,577

1,428

-9.4%

$605,000

$440,000

-27.30%

Contra Costa

1,328

1,730

30.3%

$599,000

$350,000

-41.60%

Marin

306

277

-9.5%

$887,500

$770,000

-13.20%

Napa

85

125

47.1%

$614,500

$440,000

-28.40%

Santa Clara

1,910

1,660

-13.1%

$700,000

$585,500

-16.40%

San Francisco

564

609

8.0%

$799,000

$749,000

-6.3%

San Mateo

728

648

-11.0%

$800,000

$670,000

-16.30%

Solano

408

592

45.1%

$415,000

$275,000

-33.70%

Sonoma

517

517

0.0%

$520,000

$362,500

-30.30%

Bay Area

7,423

7,586

2.2%

$665,000

$470,000

-29.30%

Too many round walls make ‘living’ tricky!

I showed a beautiful house in Saratoga today! New house that in my opinion was built to sell not to live in. It has a lot of wonderful features, dark floors, cool lighting and chandeliers even an arched fireplace and spiral staircase.

Lots of curves

Lots of curves

While my clients enjoyed the details, we commented on how one would lay out furniture as most of the walls are artistically curved. Guess you would need to buy all new furniture or buy the staging furniture (darn, who wants new furniture???-yes, read sarcasm in my tone 😉

Three things builders and architects should to keep in mind when building a spec house:

1) Buyers want obvious places to put their furniture and ESPECIALLY their TV and family room furniture

2) Buyers like yard! They really do! Do what you can to make the yard look large and usable!

3) Master bedrooms in the back of the house- every time!

Curves are pretty, just keep it minimal and usable!

French Drain?

This one has a clean-out. Great idea as they do tend to get clogged

This one has a clean-out. Great idea as they do tend to get clogged

I have heard the term ‘french drain’ many times in my 7+ years of real estate. It seems to be a buzz word in my little world lately. And, I remember well digging them with my dad as we fixed up houses growing up! It is a great concept for a 10-20 year (relatively inexpensive) fix to a water problem under a house or eating at a foundation. The end of the drain is typically filled with gravel and sand and close to the end of the yard. I have seen people put portable fire-pits on top or simple bushes/ferns around the area. It is certainly not good for grass or patios as you may need to access the area every 10 years or so.

What do you think of French Drains? Any advise or suggestions are welcome!

Cracked Chimney

Many buyers these days are looking more closely at chimneys. Often there are hairline cracks that can be a fire breach and very dangerous. A qualified mason will need to rebuild, patch or otherwise repair. Of course some buyers opt to just not use the fireplace… Here is a new listing in the area where it sorta goes without saying… when buying a house, get inspections done and read them!

Chimney damage with the classic Willow Glen settling

Chimney damage with the classic Willow Glen settling

New rules at the library!

I went to the Donor Reception for the Willow Glen Library today. What a wonderful community event! It was fun to see our family name in lights and see some neighbors and friends as well as an AMAZING new library that our tax dollars funded!

The library is BEAUTIFUL and is well received (well, people always seem to find something to complain about, but I am not going to get into that here).

New San Jose Library in Willow Glen

New San Jose Library in Willow Glen

The thing that struck me besides the huge media room and beautiful art work and architecture was the fact that not only can you EAT in the library, you can BUY FOOD in the library! I remember sneaking food into the library when I was in high school (granted, that was a while ago…).

Vending machines inside the library!

Vending machines inside the library!

Please be sure to support and patronize (not sure if that is the right word if it is FREE) your local libraries! Keep your community strong!

Community Events

Mounted police, K-9 unit, fire trucks, Ace Hardware, finger printing and local vendors! Saturday, Aug. 16 the first annual Safety Fair with P.A.L. soccer. Free event for vendors and participants! And there are a few playgrounds and restrooms for added convenience (wink).

Come check it out! Great safety information and fun for the kids!

Willow Glen Safety Fair

Funny things out there in Real Estate!

Last week I was out and about previewing homes in a nice area of Willow Glen and came across this funny placard on someone’s front lawn…I had to snap a picture!

I wonder if they have a specific dog that has found an interest in their yard or they feel that all dogs have. Just finding the humor in my day and thought I would share.

What funny things have you come across in your real estate travels?

5/29/08 Willow Glen Realtor Tour

The theme of this week seemed to be 3 bedroom 1.5-2 bath in homes on busy streets. I have to say that the 1200 block Malone Rd where a 3 bed 1.5 bath priced at $829,000 in original condition is on a great part of Malone. However, the name Malone rings busy for many buyers and the rest of the agents seem to think it was a bit over priced (we shall see if we were right). Down on the busier part of Malone in the 1000 block near the corner of Lovoi the 3 bed 1.5 bath priced at $750,000 close to original condition the group of realtors seem to think it was priced well (again, we shall see!).

Here are some interesting numbers about this past week in Willow Glen’s real estate scene:

· 15 sales last week in area 10

· 225 active listings in Willow Glen this week 5/29/08

· 225 active listings in Willow Glen last week 5/22/08

210 active listings is the gold standard for a sign of a healthy market for this area. The fact that we are consistently in the 230-240 range (225 again this week!) indicates Willow Glen to be a stable market.

My pick of the week is 1798 Grace Ave. I imagine it is sold with multiple offers by now. Quiet street, FOUR car garage, priced well at $1,297,975 with good layout and recent quality updating.

Pick of the week!

Pick of the week!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LISTING RIGHT NOW?

5/22/08 Willow Glen Realtor Tour

The first home we saw was the most amazing house on market right now. It is 1252 Cherry Ave. This amazing Victorian was built at the end of the Civil War in 1865. You look out the leaded glass windows and you can feel the history, almost hear the horse drawn carriage and picture the view of miles of open land. The house is perfectly restored down to its ornate matching door hinges on every door and mother of pearl light switches. The soaring ceilings are oozing charm and history with period wall paper, stunning curtains and furniture. The current owners did a wonderful addition that make the house even more amazing and useable for entertaining and family. The house is listed for $2,475,000 with 3 bedrooms 2.5 bathrooms and 3814 sq ft on a 13,041 sq ft. lot.

I noticed a dichotomy while on tour this week. On the one hand the smaller homes on tour tended to be tight and I heard several comments about how the owners needed to remove several items to open up the space. Then we went to 1951 Peregrino Way and at 6000 sq ft. the comments were the opposite. The house was staged yet, if felt ‘empty and lacked the wow factor’ were the comments I heard. ‘The staging does not fit the style and scale of the house’ was another comment I heard. The lesson there is you have to find that ‘staging’ balance to appeal to the emotions of a buyer (and the realtor working with those buyers).

From speaking with various agents and lenders, it appears that buyers are starting to be less afraid and are starting to buy. They understand that interest rates are low and prices are low! As I tell my clients, everything is on sale, now is the time to buy!

Here are some interesting numbers about this past week in Willow Glen’s real estate scene:

· 17 sales last week in area 10

· 225 active listings in Willow Glen this week 5/22/08

· 238 active listings in Willow Glen last week 5/15/08

210 active listings is the gold standard for a sign of a healthy market for this area. The fact that we are consistently in the 230-240 range (225 this week!) indicates Willow Glen to be a stable market.