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.
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
“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
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
But he probably won’t invest in another
Bay Area rental. With high mortgages and costs, he said, “the cash flow isn’t
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
“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
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
PUBLISHED: May 2, 2019 at 6:30 am | UPDATED: May 2,
2019 at 11:40 am
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.
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.
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.
Tucked away between Woodside and Los Altos Hills, 94028 in the smalltown
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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
Long-Term Goals How does the community
fit into your future goals? Are there good schools, parks or sports leagues for
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.