It’s Bay Area Real Estate

Bay Area Real Estate is strong during the First Quarter of 2019.

EXP Realty of California Inc.Chuck Barberini Real Estate

There were numerous occasions as a young man when I would seek my Dad out for his advice or insights, typically his response was not as succinct as to say “plastics” and because we were in San Francisco, telling me to go west was not an option. Often, however, his insights included a reminder that we live in San Francisco and that the rest of the country doesn’t think or act like we do here in the Bay Area. This was, for the most part a good thing, but also the reason that so many people flocked to the City by the bay.

I am often reminded of my Dad’s comments when I read trade articles regarding Real Estate. When housing trends, prices and inventory are discussed, I must remind myself that they are speaking nationally, while we in the Bay Area definitely march to our own drumbeat. I did, however, read two real strong Bay Area Real Estate specific articles that I wanted to share. One by Louis Hansen of the Bay Area News Group writes an interesting piece that discusses March being the first month in seven years to have a downward tick in housing sales, what may have caused it and what to expect. Then Kaitlyn Bartley, also of the Bay Area News Group writes about the Bay Area’s least affordable communities. In spite of the warnings put forth in Louis’ article, the Bay Area’s price still out pace most of the nation.

Check these out and let me know what you think, is it doom and gloom time, or is it time to capitalize on this hot market. As always, I look forward to hearing from you.

Snap! Record climb of Bay Area home prices broken!

Declines in tech-heavy suburbs lead to flat median sale prices

Home sales in the Bay Area lagged in March, with high prices continuing to push may would-be buyers to the sidelines.

By LOUIS HANSEN | lhansen@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group

PUBLISHED: April 29, 2019 at 10:06 am | UPDATED: April 29, 2019 at 6:13 pm

Median home sale prices in the Bay Area dipped ever-so-slightly in March, marking the end of a record-breaking, seven-year streak as even high salaries and low-interest rates failed to entice buyers into the country’s most expensive market.

Prices for existing homes in the nine-county region fell .6 percent, while the number of home sales plummeted 14 percent from the previous March, according to a report released Monday by real estate data firm CoreLogic. Declining sales and prices in the core Silicon Valley counties of San Mateo and Santa Clara led the drop-off, even as Silicon Valley tech giants continued to add jobs.

Alameda County, meanwhile, saw a slight increase in median price while Contra Costa County saw a slight decline.

Home sales hit spring lows not seen for the month since March 2008, according to the survey. CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage said last month’s decline continues a slow-down from mid-2018, when more homes started to be put up for sale and prices no longer vaulted to double digit gains.

“It is the smallest decline possible,” LePage said. “The market has flattened out.” He added that the next few months will indicate if the drop reflects a deeper trend or simply a “pause.”

The record-breaking streak pushed Bay Area home prices from a median of $425,000 in April 2012 to a peak of $935,000 in May 2018. The highest-in-the-nation prices led to seven-figure bidding wars on fixer-uppers, and alarmed state lawmakers concerned that the desperate housing shortage was threatening the long-term economic and social health of the region.

As tech giants Apple, Google, Facebook and other software and service companies added high-salaried employees in the last seven years, a lack of new housing brought pain for would-be buyers and gain for long-time homeowners.

“We’ve hit a price point,” said Steve Levy, director of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy. “The market is saying we’ve hit a price ceiling.”

Levy pointed to growing a supply of new homes, which has helped curb increases in prices. But the region is still trying to catch up from a housing deficit created by slow home construction between 2006 and 2013. “We haven’t dug ourselves out of it,” he said.

Home sales flagged 14.3 percent Santa Clara County and 11.8 percent in San Mateo County. Median sale prices fell by 11.1 percent to $1.2 million in Santa Clara County and 2.4 percent to $1.5 million in San Mateo County from the previous March. Prices fell 1.1 percent to $603,000 in Contra Costa County and dropped 6.3 percent to $1.2 million in Marin County.

But the days of high prices have yet to cease, despite the slight decline in March.

The median sale price for existing homes in the nine-county region was $860,000 in March, down from $865,000 the year before. Still, some counties showed year-over-year gains last month, according to CoreLogic data: median sale prices for resale homes grew 1.2 percent to $870,000 in Alameda County, and 10 percent to $1.6 million in San Francisco.

The stalled market comes as the Silicon Valley economy storms forward. Interest rates for standard 30-year mortgages have dropped to 4.2 percent from a recent high of 4.9 percent in November.

The regional job market grew 2.4 percent from the previous March, outpacing the state growth of 1.4 percent and national growth of 1.7 percent, according to the Bay Area Council. But even as workers flock to the region, residential building permits were down 5 percent in the first two months of the year, according to the council.

Agents report healthy demand for lower-priced starter homes, and also an increase in homes for sale. But clouds have been gathering for some time.

San Jose agent Gustavo Gonzalez, president of the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors, said high prices set by sellers expecting to get top dollar contributes to the slowdown. Over-priced homes can sit on the market, and ultimately bring lower returns for homeowners, he said.

But he remains optimistic. “I don’t see the market flopping,” Gonzalez said. “There’s too much demand out there.”

Julius Chau, an electrical engineer in San Jose, recently decided to put one of his rental properties, a three-bedroom house in Evergreen, on the market. He grew tired of managing the property and saw healthy returns on a sale, he said.

The home he bought two decades ago for $300,000 sold for $1 million this month. He received about a half-dozen serious offers, and the deal was sealed within two weeks of the home going on the market.

But he probably won’t invest in another Bay Area rental. With high mortgages and costs, he said, “the cash flow isn’t great.”

Mark Wong, an agent with Alain Pinel, said properly priced homes still sell quickly. The entry-level market, around $1 million in much of the Peninsula, remains hot. In addition to Chau’s home, Wong recently sold two other homes for around $1 million within three weeks of listing.

“The high-end price is definitely softening,” said Wong, based in Saratoga. “The entry-level is really strong.”

East Bay sales remained healthy, with agents reporting solid interest in homes under $1 million in good school districts.

Nancie Allen of Masterkey Real Estate in Fremont said balance between buyers and sellers is coming back. The market remains spotty — certain neighborhoods remain strong, while others are less desirable, she said.

“It is so local,” Allen said. “We’re in shifting markets.”

The Bay Area’s least affordable communities

Where the region’s rich live

By KAITLYN BARTLEY | kbartley@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group

PUBLISHED: May 2, 2019 at 6:30 am | UPDATED: May 2, 2019 at 11:40 am

The entire Bay Area is notorious for its exorbitant cost of living, but the Peninsula blows away the competition when it comes to the region’s most expensive ZIP codes.

ZIP codes in Atherton, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Portola Valley and Stanford are the six least affordable communities in terms of housing costs in the nine-county Bay Area and Santa Cruz County.

Even in the cheapest of these ZIP codes, you’d need an annual income of more than $500,000 to buy the median priced home last year, assuming that you spend no more than 30 percent of your income on housing. In the most expensive, Atherton’s 94027, you’d need to bring in more than $1 million a year.

Here are the Bay Area’s six priciest communities for buyers in 2018:

6) Stanford’s 94305 surrounds Stanford University and includes the Stanford Golf Course and the popular hiking area near the Stanford Dish. The real estate around the West Coast’s most elite university is accessible only to a few. Here, a median mortgage payment runs $13,690 a month and requires an annual income of $547,400, assuming you spend no more than 30 percent of your income on housing, according to our analysis. That’s unaffordable to all but the top 1.9 percent of earners in the Bay Area.

5) and 4) Los Altos and Los Altos Hills share two of the most expensive ZIP codes in the Bay Area. Zips 94024 and 94022, which together encompass virtually the entire city of Los Altos and the neighboring town of Los Altos Hills, require median annual incomes of $557,800 and $665,900 to afford the median monthly mortgage payments of $13,940 and $16,650, respectively. Although Los Altos includes a bustling downtown district, its neighbor Los Altos Hills, which sits west of Foothill Expressway, consists almost exclusively of residences since the town banned commercial zones.

3) Tucked away between Woodside and Los Altos Hills, 94028 in the small town of Portola Valley comes in third on the list. Here, in the wooded hills on the eastern slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains overlooking Stanford and Palo Alto, the median monthly mortgage is $14,990, which requires an income of $599,600.

2) Seven miles to the east in Palo Alto, ZIP code 94301, which stretches from north of the city’s downtown area to south of Oregon Expressway and includes Old Palo Alto and the city’s downtown shopping district, is home to tech luminaries like Google’s Larry Page and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Here, households must earn $676,600 annually to afford the median monthly payment of $16,910. That means just 0.8 percent of Bay Area residents can afford to live there.

1)The Bay Area’s most expensive ZIP code, 94027 in Atherton, has a median monthly mortgage of $26,930. Atherton is not only the most expensive ZIP code in California, but in the entire country, according to Zillow.

Click here to see the photo gallery of the most expensive zip codes of the Bay Area on your mobile device.

#ChuckBarberiniRealEstate

Helpful Links:

  1. Today’s Mortgage Rates
  2. EXP Realty – The Agent Owned – Cloud Based Company
  3. Probate Property Specialist
  4. Search for Homes
  5. Tax Deferred System
  6. Real Estate 4 Life
  7. Property Management
  8. Captain Charlie
Chuck Barberini Real Estate is Brokered by EXP Realty of California Inc.

Have you checked out the neighborhood?

EXP Realty of California Inc.Chuck Barberini Real Estate

This is the post that went out in my e-mail blast this week and it one that I really like. It is so simple, but in all my years of selling homes, it is not something that I even considered. When you consider that the purchasing of your home is the largest purchase that most people will make in their life, why not check it out first. In one of the articles that I read, the buyers asked the agent if they could rent the house that they were looking to purchase for a week, after all, the house is vacant. Because of the nature of the housing market that we have in the Bay Area, there are still multiple offers on houses, so the chances of sellers allowing buyer to rent their house for a week is highly unlikely. But there is a contingency period to do your inspections, why not check out an Air BNB in the neighborhood during that week. Check out the neighborhood at night, see what the streets are like, check out the noise level. See what your commute will be like what the walk to school will be. It’s a great thought and something that I will mention to my buyers in the future. Check out my e-mail post and let me know what you think.

Drive Before you Buy

Have you checked out the neighborhood?

You wouldn’t pick out shoes before choosing an outfit, right? Or buy car accessories without first deciding if you want a truck or a sedan?

Well, house hunting should be treated the same way.

You shouldn’t search for a dream home without vetting neighborhoods or experiencing the new area for yourself.

If the area doesn’t meet your needs, the property may not provide a dream scenario. So how do you make sure you’ve found the right neighborhood? Keep these details in mind:

Cost of Living
Are the property taxes and HOA fees trending upward? Are there mostly trendy boutiques and high-end businesses in the area, or does it have a good mix of local and national retailers?

Planned commercial development could affect the long-term affordability of the area. However, having more access to retailers and entertainment could enhance your lifestyle.

Commutes and Social Life
How close do you want to be to the friends and family you visit the most? How far are you willing to drive to get to the restaurants, theaters or stores that you frequent?

It’s understandable to prioritize your work commute, but keep in mind the other places you visit on a daily or weekly basis.

Long-Term Goals
How does the community fit into your future goals? Are there good schools, parks or sports leagues for your family?

A thriving community adds to your quality of life. And it’s a good sign for future home values.

Want to try before you buy? Where possible, consider renting a unit in the area for a few days through a short-term rental site. Experiencing the neighborhood like a resident can help you to decide if it fits your current and future needs.

Are you looking for a new home? Get in touch if you’d like to see a neighborhood report.

#ChuckBarberiniRealEstate

Helpful Links:

  1. Today’s Mortgage Rates
  2. EXP Realty – The Agent Owned – Cloud Based Company
  3. Probate Property Specialist
  4. Search for Homes
  5. Tax Deferred System
  6. Real Estate 4 Life
  7. Property Management
  8. Captain Charlie

It’s Your Bottom Line – Chuck Barberini Real Estate

EXP Realty of California Inc. – Chuck Barberini Real Estate

TV shows make finding a profitable fixer-upper seem easy. But in the real world, there are real challenges and decisions to be made.  

Whether you’re buying an investment property or a starter home for your family, there are dozens of factors to consider. How much will it cost to renovate? Are home values rising or falling in the neighborhood? How in-demand is the area? 

Want to make sure your purchase isn’t a money pit? Ask yourself these four questions:

1. Does it have good bones?
We want to avoid expensive repairs that would eat into your bottom line. It’s vital to have structural elements like the roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical and HVAC system inspected. 

2. Is the price comparable to the area? 
The property may come at a fixer-upper price, but how does it compare to others in the area? Let’s also take a look at new developments or zoning laws that could influence future home values.

3. Does it need special inspections?
Fixer-uppers need to go beyond standard inspections. Things like sewer lines, septic systems and pools age with the property, so it’s important to have each evaluated. 

4. What does your contractor think?
Bringing a contractor on board early is essential when creating your renovation budget. We need to estimate the cost of any aesthetic changes or upgrades to avoid over improving the home.

Remember, it’s not just the sticker price you want to consider when buying a fixer-upper, but the cost of the entire project. 

Do you need help finding the fixer-upper of your dreams? 
Together, we can evaluate the purchase price, factor in repair costs and determine the future resale value of the home. 

If you’ve already got your eye on a fixer-upper, or want help finding a contractor in our area, get in touch today.

Check out my Listing of the Week –

283 So Wildwood –
Hercules, CA 94547

#ChuckBarberiniRealEstate

Helpful Links:

  1. Today’s Mortgage Rates
  2. EXP Realty – The Agent Owned – Cloud Based Company
  3. Probate Property Specialist
  4. Search for Homes
  5. Tax Deferred System
  6. Real Estate 4 Life
  7. Property Management
  8. Captain Charlie

Party House – Chuck Barberini

EXP Realty of California Inc. – Chuck Barberini Real Estate

I was going through Realtor.com this week when I saw an article that caught my eye by Becky Bracken. It showed this week’s most popular listings, which were all impressive. Besides the fact that that I am constantly blown away but the prices of homes outside of California, the Godfather’s home is for sale. Being young and impressionable in the 70’s I was a huge fan of The Godfather and their compound on Long Island. Just think of the parties that you could have in this place. This is so cool, check out the info. on the compound and the Tahoe place, there is a link to the whole article below.

An Offer You Can’t Refuse: NYC ‘Godfather’ Home Is Week’s Most Popular Listing

By Becky Bracken | Apr 5, 2019

Decades have passed since we first met the Corleone family in “The Godfather,” and the mystique just keeps pulling us back in. So, we weren’t shocked to find that a Staten Island, NY, home used in the film ranks as this week’s most popular home on realtor.com®.

The property on the market served as Michael Corleone’s residence—one of three that made up the fictional Corleone family compound in the 1972 classic. The main Corleone residence, where the film’s legendary wedding scene took place, is right next door.

Much of the property is unchanged from the 1970s, so it’s likely to feel familiar to fans. Quite apart from its sparkling Hollywood cred, it is a lovely family home sitting on a large lot at the dead end of a tree-lined street. The fact that Marlon Brando probably passed the time there is just one of its many selling points.

Lake Tahoe Location Seen in ‘The Godfather Part II’ on the Market for $3.75M

The Lake Tahoe, CA, estate famously featured in “The Godfather Part II” as Fredo’s final resting place has since been transformed into 22 individual homes, now called Fleur Du Lac Estates. One of the homes is currently on the market for $3.75 million.

The original 15-acre estate known as Fleur Du Lac was built in 1938 by businessman Henry Kaiser to celebrate the completion of the Hoover Dam. The company Kaiser owned was one of the principal contractors for the dam.

In all, 300 workers labored day and night for 30 days to erect this lakeside property’s 17 homes, cottages, yacht club, boathouse, and more, according to the community’s history.

Until Kaiser sold the estate in the 1960s, it was used as a hideaway for business tycoons. It was also the perfect spot for Kaiser to race his beloved hydroplanes, which were stored in the property’s boathouse.

But to movie buffs, the home is better known as the backdrop for Michael Corleone‘s son’s first communion party, the scene of Michael brooding in his lakefront office, and the fateful final scene of Michael’s brother Fredo—all filmed in the 1970s.

An Offer You Can’t Refuse: NYC ‘Godfather’ Home Is Week’s Most Popular Listing

#ChuckBarberiniRealEstate

Helpful Links:

  1. Today’s Mortgage Rates
  2. EXP Realty – The Agent Owned – Cloud Based Company
  3. Probate Property Specialist
  4. Search for Homes
  5. Tax Deferred System
  6. Real Estate 4 Life
  7. Property Management
  8. Captain Charlie

3 Ways to Know it’s The Right Property For You…

EXP Realty of California Inc. – Chuck Barberini Real Estate

Want to take the pain out of homebuying? Keep your lifestyle priorities top of mind.

If you’re planning to buy a new home, there’s great news: More houses have hit the market in recent months. This means you’ve got more options to choose from.

Choice is always good, but it can also be overwhelming.

The key? Careful, disciplined prioritization. 

Let’s go beyond square footage or the number of bedrooms and consider how the property fits your life. By focusing on what matters the most to you, we can refine your search to the closest matches. 

Here are the three questions every potential homebuyer should ask themselves: 

Where do you want to live?
Think beyond your commute. Do you want to be in a specific school district? How much street noise can you cope with? 

Are you looking for an established neighborhood or one that’s up and coming? That could affect future home values

What does the future hold?
Think about the next 10 years. Are you planning to have kids? Will your aging parents move in? 

If you plan to stay for the long haul, you might want a property to accommodate your family today, and in the future. If you know your career will have you on the move, will you want to sell the property or rent it out?

How much work are you willing to do?
When considering condition, be honest with yourself. How much work are you truly willing to take on? 

If the home needs cosmetic updates, will you want them completed before you move in? If you fall for a fixer-upper, do you have a budget for renovations?

Communication is a critical element of your home search. The more information you share, the better we’re able to match you with a home that fits your life.

Got your priorities in order? Let’s find your dream home. Reach out today.

#ChuckBarberiniRealEstate

Helpful Links:

  1. Today’s Mortgage Rates
  2. EXP Realty – The Agent Owned – Cloud Based Company
  3. Probate Property Specialist
  4. Search for Homes
  5. Tax Deferred System
  6. Real Estate 4 Life
  7. Property Management
  8. Captain Charlie

Can you own your dream house with student debt?

EXP Real Estate – Chuck Barberini Real Estate

Can you own your dream house with student debt?

Did you know you can buy your dream home while paying off student loan debt?

It’s true and even quite common. While student loans are factored into your debt-to-income ratio, they shouldn’t prevent you from becoming a homeowner.

And fortunately, there are many programs and options available to prospective buyers, some you may not be familiar with. Here are four ways people with student loans achieve their homeownership goals:

  1. Co-buying With Friends or Family
    Purchasing a home with a roommate, significant other or sibling allows you to combine multiple incomes to qualify for a better mortgage rate. This can help lower your monthly payment and make home maintenance more affordable.
  2. Receiving Financial Gifts From Family 
    You can also accept gift money from your parents, grandparents or other family members to put toward your home purchase. Some loan programs have a cap on how much gift money can be used, so make sure you know the limits first.
  3. Choosing Low (or No) Down Payment Loans 
    There are many low down payment options, including FHA, HomeReady and Home Possible loans. For loans with no down payment, VA loans may be available to veterans and military members as well as USDA loans for those purchasing in rural areas.
  4. Using Assistance Programs 
    Down payment assistance programs can cover some or all of your down payment costs if you qualify. These programs vary by location, so talk with a lender to learn about potential options.

Working on your credit can also help you buy a home. Pay your credit card bills on time every month, aim to pay down your debts and never let an account go into collections. It also helps to get preapproved for a mortgage so you know how much you qualify for.

If you’re ready to make home ownership a reality or would like a referral to a trusted lender, get in touch today.

Thank you for reading my newsletter. I look forward to connecting with you soon.

Helpful Links:

Should you purchase your dream house first? – Chuck Barberini Real Estate

EXP Realty of California Inc. – Chuck Barberini Real Estate

Should you purchase your dream house first?

Gone are the days when a three-bedroom, two-bath starter home was the norm for first-time home buyers. Today, many buyers are skipping that stage altogether and going straight for their dream homes. They’re buying bigger, more expensive properties with upgraded features, and they plan to live there for the long haul.

Not sure which type of property you should look for? Here are a few things to consider:

Why are you buying?
Are you mainly looking for a way to lower your monthly living expenses, or do you want a place to raise your kids and put down roots? Do you want this to be your only purchase, or are you willing to go through the process again in a few years?

What’s your budget?
Can you buy your dream home with what you can currently afford, or would that stretch your budget too far? It’s crucial to consider how much you’ll need to save for a down payment and how large of a loan you can qualify for. Your credit score and the expected interest rate will also play a factor.

How long do you plan to stay? 
Do you plan to be in the area for a long time or is there a chance you’ll need to move for your career, family or another reason down the line?

Is the market favorable?
What is the current housing inventory, and will you be competing with other buyers? Favorable market conditions mean you’ll get more house for your money, making it an ideal time to purchase a forever home.

Get in touch today if you’re ready to buy a new home. If you’re unsure about a starter home or forever home for your family, we can discuss what options are available to meet your needs and long-term goals.

Thank you for reading my newsletter. I look forward to connecting with you soon.

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