Monday, July 5, 2010

Mortgage Rates Hit a 50 Year Low!!!

Yes, I know!  You have heard it so many times before that it no longer means anything, it's like the Boy Who Cried Wolf!  If you remember the story, the boy eventually did see the wolf, but no one believed him.  This is where the similarity begins.  

Mortgage rates have reached a 50 year low.  Those that follow the crowd will miss out on the opportunity of owning a home, those that see the big picture will take advantage of this historic market condition and will surely reap the rewards over the next 30 years.

Freddie Mac can be considered a reliable source for rate information online.  The rate on 7/1/10 was 4.58% for a 30 year fixed mortgage with .7 in points/fees.  TRANSLATION:  Purchasing a home in the Central Valley is more affordable now than it has ever been.  Really it is!  When you combine the fact that real estate prices are back where they were about 10 years ago with the current interest rates being at a 50 year low, the perfect market conditions are present to make a move.  It really is the perfect storm.  

Go to Freddie Mac to confirm the rate as of 7/1/10.  Check with your local Realtor to get prices that are relevant to recent history.  And for mortgage advice, contact Jane Biddle, with Guarantee Pacific Mortgage an affiliate of Wells Fargo.

Don't consider the market as being in a recession but rather consider the market as being in a transformation!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Three Most Expensive Sales in the Central Valley - May 2010

There were 649 single family homes sold in the month of May with sales prices ranging from $17,000 to $765,000.  The median sales price was in the $150,000 range.  The majority of the sales sold at or just slightly below the list price, with an average sales to list price of 98.92%.

May's Most Expensive Home Sale
15303 Orange Blossom Rd, Oakdale, CA 95361

Listed for $799,000 - Sold for $765,000


This stunning Mediterranean style home has gorgeous rolling hill views and 4 bedrooms which each have their own bathroom.  A large gourmet kitchen with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances will make anyone feel like a chef.  The master suite features a fireplace, his and her walk in closets, a jetted tub and a separate shower.  There is also a 4 car garage and a completely fenced in yard.... all of this on nearly 10 acres.

May's Second Most Expensive Home
2508 Van Derk Cir, Modesto, CA 95356

Listed for $649,000 - Sold for $510,000


This custom home is located is the desirable Dutchollow neighborhood in Modesto.  The home has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms at over 3800 sq. ft.  along with soaring ceilings, wood floors, a heated swimming pool and a garage that can fit up to 6 cars.  This sale was a bank approved short sale.

May's Third Most Expensive Home

10200 Whitetail Dr, Oakdale, CA 95361

Listed for $849,000 - Sold for $504,000


Another custom home in a fabulous Oakdale location.  Located across the street from the Oakdale Golf and Country Club.  The home features lush, beautiful landscaping with a pool and waterfall, outdoors kitchen and fire pit.  The home also features a temperature controlled wine room, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and nearly 2700 sq. ft. on 3/4 of an acre.  This sale was also a bank approved short sale.

** all information was obtained from the Metrolist Services, Inc. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Central Valley Home Prices Are Edging Up

Have you heard the latest?  Home prices in the Central Valley are edging up!  I know it's crazy, but yes it's true!  The data over the past 15 months shows price per sq. ft has increased by 5.8% in Stanislaus County.  It's modest yes, but it's a move in the right direction.  Now we won't know for a few months if the tax credit over the past year had anything to do with the increase in home prices.  Or if the low inventory is making it more suitable for a "sellers" market, causing an upswing in home values.  

The graph below contains data for Merced County.  The stats are very similar, with price per sq. ft. increasing by 8.7% over the last year.  If you look at the graph, the prices have been very stable over the last 15 months, there have been no sharp decreases. 

This is all very encouraging news for both buyers and sellers entertaining the thought of entering the real estate market.  It's the perfect storm and this type of opportunity may never present itself again.  Remember, we never know when the market has hit bottom until it starts to increase.  Take steps now and make your move in the real estate market.

Monday, June 14, 2010

May 2010 Real Estate Market Reports for the Central Valley

So what's going on with the Central Valley Real Estate Market since the tax credit expired on April 30, 2010?  Well, inventory has increased 10.5% in Stanislaus County over the last month while the number of homes sold has decreased by a mere 1.2%.  The market trend was very different 1 year ago with inventory 19% higher than it is in May 2010.  Home buyers still appear to be purchasing homes due to historically low interest rates and affordable home prices.   

Now Merced County is a slightly different story.  Inventory has been decreasing nearly every month for the past year, down 32.5% from May 2009.  The number of homes sold from April 2010 to May 2010 increased slightly by 1.5%.  It appears that there is still activity even in the Merced area where it is slightly more distressed than the Stanislaus area.

For more market data, visit our website at

If you would like market trend data about a specific area, you may contact us by visiting our website at

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Buying a Central Valley Home? You don't really need a REALTOR

So you think you don't need a REALTOR? Really? Have you ever thought, why do I need a third party in a real estate transaction?  The only parties needed are a willing seller and a ready and able buyer...the rest of the parties only make the process complicated, right?

The answer to your question is YES if you live under a rock where rules and regulations don't ever interfere with your perfect life.  The fact is that there are "specialists" and "professionals" in every field.  They are there to make the process easier, diminish the stress and carry out the tedious roles that will make you pull your hair out.  Of course you don't really need them, the same way you don't need a mechanic to work on your car, an office administrator to file your paperwork or even an accountant to file your taxes.

If you are a "do it yourself" type of person or a control freak that is incapable of delegating tasks and enjoys dealing with mundane or aggravating issues, please don't ever call a REALTOR.  We encourage you to do it yourself.  You will be wasting every one's time and be frustrated because things don't go your way.  Please don't expect a cut on the other agent's commission either.  By doing it yourself, you guarantee that the other guy will put more money in his pocket and no regard for what is best for you.

On the other hand, if you can appreciate the knowledge and experience of those immersed in the business every single day.  If you can see the value in working with those that have learned the ins and outs of real estate transactions and the local real estate market.  And if you believe that they will be able to guide you and make useful recommendations throughout the process, then you will definitely need a REALTOR! 

The reason we are writing about this subject is because we talk to two types of clients on a daily basis:  those that will never value our expertise and will constantly question our worth and those that will trust our experience and knowledge and will be happy to compensate us for our time.

Obviously, we only work with those clients that value our time and knowledge. We focus on the details and get rid of the garbage helping you achieve your Central Valley home buying needs.

Real estate transactions in this market or any market for that matter, are rarely easy.  There always seems to be some sort of issue or obstacle that has be overcome, such as inspections, title processes, negotiations with all parties involved, lenders, deadlines and contingencies.  Even cash transactions can have problems.  

We are here as your Realtors, to address and solve any problems that arise during the transaction.  We work for our clients and always have their best interest at heart.  Our pro-active approach will help you achieve the goal of buying or selling your home.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Weekend Real Estate Snippets in Capitola

We ventured over to the Coast on Sunday, Capitola to be specific.  Now even though this is out of the area we service, we are still interested in the local markets we visit.  We spoke with a local realtor to get a sense of what was going on in the Capitola/Santa Cruz market.  We discovered that foreclosures are beginning to slowly come on the market in that area and short sales have been prevalent for more than a year. 

We were able to view several homes as well, seeing many open house signs.  Some were very nice, while others had lots of potential to be fantastic, if they were completely gutted!  Location, location, location....that is the key.  That's what makes most homes in this area so desirable.

We found it refreshing to know that there are similarities in the market even though they are entirely different areas and the local Capitola agent faces the same challenges we face with our buyers and sellers. 

We had a great day, made a new contact and gathered some knowledge about another market, all of which we can share with our clients.