|New Listing - 1371 Jonas Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95864|
|Wonderful 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 2,476sf home is ready for a new owner. You will love the remodeled kitchen with white cabinets, granite counters and stainless appliances, spacious living room with cozy fireplace, wood flooring. Backyard is an outdoor oasis with built-in swimming pool and park-like 0.5ac lot with lots of sunny space to garden and play! Huge 3-car detached garage and circular driveway offers plenty of accessory space and parking. Located near parks and K-12 schools, short distance to Sacramento State. Offered at $475,000 subject to lender approval of short sale. For more photos please visit 1371 Jonas Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95864.|
|New Listing - 4720 Custis Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95822|
|Adorable 2 bedrooms + loft, 1 bathroom, 1,068sf Hollywood Park home on .14ac lot! You will love the classic features paired with modern amenities: wood floors, spacious living room with cozy fireplace, formal dining room, updated kitchen with tile counters, remodeled bathroom, and neat upstairs loft which is a possible 3rd bedroom or the perfect home office! Enclosed sun room area and front patio deck offer more spaces to hang out, and large sunny backyard with pergola is the perfect place to garden or play! Short distance to schools, parks, shopping, public transportation and more. Offered at $324,900. For more information and a 3D tour, please visit 4720 Custis Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95822.|
|New Listing - 6308 & 6310 Blackstar Drive, Citrus Heights, CA 95621|
|Excellent real estate investment opportunity with this well-maintained Citrus Heights duplex. Convenient and high-demand location. This property is a 2 bedroom/1 bathroom/1-car garage and a larger 2 bedroom/2 bathroom/1-car garage duplex, each side with long-term tenants. Spacious units flow nicely with lots of living space, open layouts, big bedrooms, ample storage, and private backyards. 6308 have newer flooring. Reports, income/expenses, and maintenance records available. Located near shopping, public transportation, parks, schools, and I-80. Offered at $338,000. For more photos and detail, please visit 6308-6310 Blackstar Drive, Citrus Heights, CA 95621.|
|New Listing - 5333 T Street, Sacramento, CA 95819|
|Adorable 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom, 1,260sf home on Elmhurst's highly sought T Street Parkway! You will love the classic features coupled with the modern amenities. Light and bright floorplan, wood floors, updated kitchen with stainless appliances, dual pane windows, large bedrooms, central heat and air, lots of storage space, detached garage, drought-tolerant front landscape. Huge backyard is the perfect place to entertain with covered outdoor kitchen and fun beer garden area! Close to UCDMC, East Sacramento, parks, restaurants, and more. Don't wait! Offered at $459,900. For more information and a 3D tour, visit 5333 T Street, Sacramento, CA 95819.|
|New Listing - 2008 Benita Drive, Unit 4, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670|
|This 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 924sf upper-level Rancho Cordova condo is a great investment opportunity! You will love this low-maintenance, cute, clean unit, light and bright open floorplan, updated kitchen with granite counters, updated bathroom with tile tub surround and newer vanity, laminate flooring, and window coverings. Well-manicured gated community. Conveniently located near the American River, parks, public transportation, the new Folsom Lake College campus, Hwy 50, shopping, k-12 schools, and more. Don't wait! HOA dues $267/mo. Offered at $102,500. For more photos and additional detail, visit 2008 Benita Drive #4, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670.|
|Saw the 'Great American Eclipse' in Salem, Oregon -- in the path of totality...|
|A year ago my husband asked me if I was doing anything on August 21, 2017...my schedule was free of course. He pitched the idea of visiting Salem, Oregon to see a full solar eclipse in its path of totality. Sure, 'why not' I thought. He and I saw an annular eclipse at its totality in Redding in 2012, which was neat. This would probably also be neat.|
Honestly, the annular eclipse from 2012 was cool to check out, but I was not blown away. During an annular eclipse, the moon is further away from the earth and appears smaller from earth, so while it does cover the sun it never blocks the sun completely. A little ring of sun is still visible around the moon, and you still can't look directly at it without blinding yourself. So it looked like a Cheerio through eclipse glasses. Again neat. A lot of people turned out to view it in Redding.
Ok so I figured this full solar eclipse would be neat too. I agreed to go. My husband made all the arrangements, booking our hotel stay a full year in advance.
All I can say is that this full solar eclipse was so far beyond neat. It was definitely one of the most spectacular things I have EVER seen. I was not expecting to be so amazed by it. It was more than worth the hype! Up until the complete "totality" the eclipse could only be viewed using special eclipse glasses...during the totality, it was visible without glasses and was absolutely beautiful - like a glowing, floating orb I don't think I could ever fully describe.
This video does not do the eclipse justice at all, but perhaps my reaction and the crowd's reaction may indicate just how awesome it was. My husband set up his Nikon and captured some images that are better but still don't do it any justice.
With that, bring on 2024 when there will be another one visible in the United States!
|New Listing - 3017 9th Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95817|
|Adorable 2 bedrooms+loft, 2 bathroom, 1,400sf home near Curtis Park! You will love the light and bright spacious, open layout, cute kitchen opens to the dining area and living room, inside laundry, laminate flooring, big bedrooms, master suite opens to backyard, and huge upper loft/possible 3rd bedroom! Deep lot offers lots of sunny spaces to play or garden. Newer central heat and air, newer roof, attached 2-car attached garage. Short distance to Curtis Park, Sac City College, K-12 schools, fun shops and restaurants. Don't wait! Offered at $349,000. For more photos and a 3D virtual tour, visit 3017 9th Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95817.|
|July 2017 Sacramento County Real Estate Statistics...|
|This summer has pretty much flown by and candidly, I can't believe that the kids are going back to school this week, and that the 90 degree days are a welcome relief from the scorching hot temperatures we had in July. Pleasantries aside, the Sacramento real estate market, just like the weather, seasonally changes a bit this time of year and 2017 seems to be no exception.|
Inventory has increased! Thank goodness, because the market sorely needs it. Though by increased, I mean it went from about 1 month of inventory for sale, to 1.4 months of inventory for sale. 1.4 months of inventory is still super low. It is still a seller's market for homes priced correctly...multiple offers abound. A balanced market where neither buyer nor seller have an advantage is between 4-6 months of inventory for sale.
A seasonal increase in inventory is typical. If you compare this to the market dynamics from July 2016, you will see it looks remarkably similar. I expect things will be much the same this year.
The July 2017 Sacramento County single family median home price climbed to $355,000...if typical trends for this time of year hold true, the median price should bump along for the rest of the year and not change too dramatically.
The market is still far from our peak median home price, which per Trendgraphix was $395,000 from August 2005. Adjusted for inflation to today's dollars, that median value would have to reach $492,653 (using the US Department of Labor Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator) to be equivalent to our previous peak.
I see A LOT of demand for purchasing Sacramento homes. My buyer clients face lots of competition from other buyers, and my sellers enjoy the multiple offers. For one, Sacramento rent prices have increased quite a bit, and with that many renters who can afford to buy are looking to purchase to stabilize their monthly housing expense. Additionally, there are many people looking at Sacramento as a less expensive alternative to the bay area where median home prices are more than double and triple those in Sacramento (my most recent closed sale just last week was for a family relocating to Sacramento from Oakland). And then there is the fact that during the decline, fewer homes were built in the greater Sacramento area - so we did not increase the amount of housing stock to keep up with people creating households in the area. We are seeing some new development in Sacramento though not nearly enough.
So with that, the low supply coupled with the high demand and strong underlying economic conditions should keep the Sacramento real estate market on its current trajectory for a while...
|New Listing - 3622 Sardinia Island Way, Sacramento / Natomas, CA 95834|
|Elegant and better-than-new 3 bedroom + den, 3 bathroom, 1,941sf home at Courtyard Westshore Natomas! You will love the light and bright spacious layout, high ceilings, high end custom window coverings, lots of storage, downstairs den/possible 4th bedroom, downstairs full bathroom, kitchen with maple cabinets and granite counters, upstairs loft area with built-in desk area, huge master suite with separate tub and shower, 2-car attached garage, low maintenance backyard. Close to parks, schools, and more! Homeowners Association dues at $92/mo covers common area and front yard maintenance. Offered at $359,000. Don't wait! For more information, photos and a virtual tour visit 3622 Sardinia Island Way, Sacramento, CA 95834.|
|Proactively avoiding appraisal conditions issues where I can...|
|I have written in the past about repairs required by appraisers as a condition of funding a loan on a property, and thought I would post this with a slightly different spin: pro-active repairs before the appraiser has the chance to require them!|
I keep my eyes open for red flags on properties that I am listing or where I am representing buyers...in this case, on a property one of my buyers is in contract to purchase, I noticed an electrical outlet without a cover plate, and a hole in the wall where some speaker wiring was popping out. These were both in the little alcove where a television would likely be.
So today, prior to the appraisal which should happen next week, I spent $1.28 and went by the property and installed two cover plates.
My buyer is using a FHA loan which comes with a heightened standard for condition of the property, and an appraiser would definitely call this condition out to be repaired. When an appraiser calls out repair items, that also means they have to revisit the property once the repairs have been completed to visually verify the repairs are done. The fee for the 2nd visit is $150. So for $1.28 and an extra trip to the house, I likely saved my client the $150 re-inspection fee.
It's wise if you are a buyer or seller to address these issues up front so they are non-issues later.
|New Listing - 5331 11th Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95820|
|Adorable 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 863sf home near Tahoe Park! You will love the modern amenities paired with the original charm - remodeled kitchen with white cabinets, granite counters, stainless appliances and tile flooring, remodeled bathroom with granite counter, tub/shower combo, and tile flooring. Dual pane windows throughout, newer composition roof, newer central heat and air, and more! Low maintenance yard. Short distance to parks, schools, and public transportation. Don't wait! Offered at $309,950. For more information, photos, and a 3D virtual tour, visit 5331 11th Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95820.|
|Bank of America Short Sale Forms Advisor|
|While short sales in Sacramento are not nearly as common today as they were a few years ago, there are still some of them out there. And thankfully after nearly a decade, Bank of America has made it easy to determine just which forms are necessary to submit to request a short sale.|
In order to obtain a complete checklist of documents necessary for a Bank of America short sale
, you will need to know a couple of things:
- What entity owns or insures the loan? It could be Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA, USDA, or none of the above;
- Is there anyone in the household that pays household expenses who is not a borrower on the loan? That should be easy enough -- a non-borrowing spouse, domestic partner, boyfriend/girlfriend, parent, child, roommate, etc.
Bank of America
will require income, expenses, asset and hardship documentation from the borrower(s). This usually involves providing recent bank statements, paystubs, tax returns, etc. and possibly consenting to a credit check. Additionally, they now require similar documentation from any non-borrower who contributes to the household expenses.
|New Listing - 3026 Swallows Nest Drive, Sacramento, CA 95833|
|Beautifully updated 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1,257sf unit in the highly sought Swallows Nest community! You will love the spacious layout, updated kitchen with granite counters, new laminate flooring, new carpet, dual master bedrooms with updated bathrooms, new central heat and air (2017), attached 2-car garage, private deck, secluded serene setting. Homeowners Association offers a manicured 9-hole NCGA golf course, tennis courts, swimming pools, guarded front gate, and more. Located minutes from the Sacramento River, close proximity to Downtown Sacramento. Don't wait! Offered at $245,000. HOA dues $416/month. For more photos and a 3D virtual tour visit 3026 Swallows Nest Drive, Sacramento, CA 95833.|
|Be sure to keep your central heating and air conditioning system healthy...|
|While the temperature on average Sacramento summer days tends to be between the upper-80's and low-90's, a couple times each summer we usually see the weather extend above 100 degrees for a several days or a week straight. Those days I usually crank up the air conditioning, binge watch something on Netflix, head to the movies, or do other indoor activities. Or if you are Nugget, my sweet mini aussie, you might lay directly on the HVAC floor vent to cool down. The LAST thing anyone wants during that hot week is to turn on the air conditioner and find that it is not working.|
HVAC maintenance is really important. I highly recommend having your unit(s) professionally serviced at least one per year...and in the meantime there are a couple of DIY things you can do as well.
First, be sure to change your HVAC filter at least every other month -- maybe more often if you notice the filter looks dirty. As more particles are caught in the filter, the more clogged it becomes. If it becomes difficult for the unit to suck air through the filter, you unnecessarily burden your system. Not only will that cost you more in monthly utility bills, but it makes the system work harder and will possibly be more prone to failure. Filters are relatively inexpensive, and I tend to keep a few on hand and replace them as often as I need to.
Second, if you have an outdoor unit as I do - it is important to keep the top and sides free from debris. I have lots of leaves in my backyard and they tend to fall into that top exposed fan area. I use a shop vac to clean them out. Also, try not to stack things on top of them...it's best to allow unrestricted air flow.
Third, whether your interior vents are in the floor or ceiling, occasionally take the vent covers off and clean them out. The vents in my house are on the floor, and they get dusty, dog hair and other small debris gets caught in them, etc. Again we take the shop vac and clean them out and wipe off the vent covers.
Doing these little maintenance items can help make sure that the air flows nicely...
|Mortgage interest rates - still really low...|
|A buyer client asked me the other day if I thought the 4.0% mortgage interest rate she was quoted was a good rate. YES. Not only is that a good rate for today, that is an amazing rate given where interest rates have been in the past. For those of you who do not remember when rates were higher than 5.0%, let me refresh your memory.|
When I bought my first home in 1998, my interest rate was 7.125%. And for that time, THAT was an amazing interest rate. I remember my mom expressing how jealous she was because the interest rate my parents had on their home was substantially higher.
I recently stumbled across this old newspaper ad from 1985 touting 11.5% as an amazing interest rate! That's correct -- today's interest rates are about 1/3 of that from 1985. And let's not forget that for the mid-1980's 11.5% really was a good rate since they peaked in the high teens earlier in the decade.
What do low interest rates mean for housing affordability? Let's break it down based on monthly payment. Here is monthly loan principal and interest for a 30-year amortization based on a few different rates:
$300,000 loan at 4.0% - $1,432.25
$300,000 loan at 4.5% - $1,520.06
$300,000 loan at 5.0% - $1,610.46
$300,000 loan at 6.0% - $1,798.65
$300,000 loan at 7.0% - $1,995.91
$300,000 loan at 8.0% - $2,201.29
Interest rates matter...and right now they are awesome.
Search for your next home here.
|3-D Virtual Tours -- an awesome way to draw attention to Sacramento listings from out of area buyers!|
|Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Sacramento is one of the hottest real estate markets in the country right now. Multiple offers. Homes selling in just a few days. Homes selling for more than their listing prices. Why is this happening? The heat of our local Sacramento real estate market is due to many factors, and among them is buyer demand from bay area residents looking to purchase more affordable homes here in Sacramento. |
Home prices in Sacramento are, in many cases, less than half of the median home prices in the bay area. For example, according to the California Association of Realtors, the median home price in San Francisco County in May 2017 is $1,501,680. Santa Clara County's median home price is $1,200,000. Alameda County's median home price is $862,000.
Sacramento County's median home price for May 2017 is....wait for it....$342,100. I don't think you need to be an expert at math to realize this is a screaming deal by comparison. So it is not surprising that people who can work from home, or who are willing to commute, or find comparable employment here in Sacramento would prefer to pay our far lower home prices.
So why do I mention all this? Since many buyers are conducting their home searches remotely from a hundred miles away, 3-D virtual tours have become a KEY piece of my marketing strategy for my listings. I have gotten LOTS of attention from out-of-town buyers who can virtually walk through my listings...so if you are thinking about selling your Sacramento home, and your Realtor is not doing professional photography and 3-D tours, you are probably working with the wrong agent. You will miss a large chunk of the buyers in the Sacramento market by not giving them adequate tools to virtually explore your home listing.
|On average, a Sacramento home sells for 100% of its listing price...but be sure to focus on the micro market that applies to you!|
|I like to meet with new clients at my office first before we ever go look at property to review the process, and among the topics we discuss are the market dynamics for whatever area and price range of interest. Often, my clients have preconceptions about the market that developed as a result of media coverage, advice from a family member, or a friend's past real estate experience. |
So I may hear things like "my dad told me to make lowball offers on every home because sellers over-price homes assuming they will negotiate the price" or "my friend got a house for 10% less than the asking price" or "I saw on the news that every home is in a bidding war." Well...everyone has an opinion or a past experience. I let current data speak for itself.
Let me tell you first, that our Sacramento real estate market is a tricky beast. It is full of micro-markets, and no two areas have the same market dynamics. It is very important to look at the market as a whole, and then focus in on the micro market that applies.
So as an example, this first table is a look at the entire Sacramento real estate market as a whole with regard to average days on market, and the average listing price to selling price ratio. On average, in Sacramento in May 2017, a single family home in Sacramento County sold in 20 days on the market for 100% of its listing price.
Clearly, these are averages - so for every home that sold in 5 days for 5% over its listing price, there is another home balancing out the average that sold in 35 days for 5% less. You get the idea.
But then compare that data to that for Folsom homes under $500,000 in this second chart. In May 2017, a single family home in Folsom sold in 12 days for 101% of its listing price. Those may not seem like big differences, but those are significant! That means that buyers have to be prepared to act faster when a property hits the market, and more often than not be prepared to offer an amount over the listing price.
Even the Folsom table is still probably too broad, and if there is a specific neighborhood or tract that interests you, be sure to specifically examine those sales and trends. It is important for both buyers and sellers to arm themselves with data. And not just any data -- but the correct and most current data.
|Quoted in an article in Sactown Magazine about listing strategies in the current Sacramento real estate market...|
|In this month's Sactown Magazine I was quoted extensively about the Sacramento real estate market. In many areas and price ranges, the market conditions favor sellers. As such, it is imperative when listing a property to employ strategies that will maximize exposure to buyers, maximize disclosure to potential buyers, and maximize net proceeds...and minimize surprises. |
Surprises are expensive, and they may cost a seller big-time when conditions are discovered mid-transaction. I wrote a blog post about disclosure versus discovery a couple years ago. You might think -- "oh but this is a seller's market so why would I need to do anything like that?"
The very best advice I can give a home seller to maximize selling price and net proceeds is to obtain pre-listing inspections for the property, and disclose the reports to potential buyers in advance, BEFORE responding to any offers. With our current Sacramento real estate market favoring sellers, it is most advantageous for sellers to disclose as much as possible in advance -- when the home goes on the market -- so that buyers may make informed purchasing decisions while they are still in competition with other buyers. Often times, with the heat of the market, while competing with other buyers, many buyers will offer to buy the property as-is with full knowledge of the findings of the reports.
That is the key...while buyers are still competing with other buyers...because often once the seller accepts an offer and the house is marked pending, most buyers move on and get excited about other property. Alternatively, if sellers do not disclose inspection reports up front, and then buyers complete their own inspections a few weeks into the transaction and discover issues not previously disclosed, this provides the opportunity for a secondary negotiation which often leads to price concessions or seller-paid repairs.
Sellers -- to maximize your net proceeds: disclose, disclose, disclose. I provide my sellers with a few key pre-listing inspection reports as a part of my listing services at no added expense (in addition to many other things). I can not tell you how many times these reports have earned or saved my clients tens of thousands of dollars.
|New Listing - 2042 58th Street, Sacramento, CA 95817|
|Adorable 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1,098sf remodeled home near Tahoe Park and Elmhurst! You will love the spacious open layout, remodeled kitchen with granite counters and stainless appliances, wood floors, big bedrooms, large master suite with large walk-in closet. Dual pane windows, shutters, central heat and air, composition roof. Large landscaped backyard, detached garage/bonus room. Close to shopping, schools, parks, freeways, SMUD, Sac State, UC Davis Medical Center, and more! Don't wait! Offered at $599,000. Tenant occupied -- DO NOT DISTURB TENANT. For more information visit 2042 58th Street, Sacramento, CA 95817.|
|New Listing - 3536 Riojo Way, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670|
|Elegant Stone Creek 3 bedroom + den, 2 bathroom, 1,612sf home on large corner lot in Rancho Cordova! You will love the spacious open layout, vaulted ceilings, separate living and family rooms, laminate flooring, remodeled kitchen with granite counters, full backsplash, remote-controlled undercabinet lighting, and stainless appliances. Large master suite, dual sinks, multiple closets, doors lead to backyard. Ceiling fans and recessed lighting throughout. Den/possible 4th bedroom off front entry area. Exterior recently re-stucco'd, covered patio, and newer fencing. Short distance to parks, schools, bike trails, recreation, shopping, and more! Offered at $369,900. Don't wait! For more photos and virtual 3D tour, visit 3536 Riojo Way, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670.|
|Do not skip your "final walk through" before closing escrow on your new home...|
|I have written in the past about the importance of the final walk-through to verify the condition of a property right before closing, and this last weekend was a good reminder why it is so critical for buyers to take one last look at the house after the seller moves out and before closing. |
Paragraph 15 of the California Residential Purchase Agreement addresses the final verification of property condition...this is not a contingency of the sale (meaning, the buyer can't cancel the contract), however it gives the buyer the right to verify the condition of the property within 5 calendar days of closing. So if the seller has agreed to make repairs, the buyer can use this as an opportunity to visually verify the repairs are done. Or that the appliances that are included in the sale are indeed still in the property. Or that the seller has been maintaining the property in substantially the same condition as when the buyer's offer was initially agreed upon.
I could post lots of photos from my final walk-through with my buyers this last weekend, but this one is probably the most telling. The carpet is a creamy white color, and this particular room was filled with rugs and dining room furniture before the seller moved out. Now that the property is vacant, we can see that the carpet is horribly stained. This condition was not disclosed.
Aside from that, the home was pretty filthy, there were some holes in walls that were not there before, there was a large previously concealed stain on the vinyl flooring in the master bathroom, all three of the flat screen television brackets were removed and holes not patched, texture not touched up, etc. Again, thankfully we discovered these conditions BEFORE closing the transaction. While the final walk-through is not a contingency of the sale, the seller should turn over the property to the buyer in satisfactory condition.
How was this situation remedied? The seller did not want to delay closing, and did not want to do any additional work or repairs. We negotiated a $1,000 credit to the buyers to offset the costs of these newly discovered issues.
Had we not done a final walk-through and discovered this before closing, it would have been very difficult to negotiate any sort of compensation for the buyer for the condition of the house after closing, short to taking the seller to small claims court.
|New Listing - 7733 Dannon Court, Citrus Heights, CA 95610|
|Adorable 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1,630sf home in Citrus Heights on a cul-de-sac lot! You will love the spacious open layout, separate living and family rooms, high vaulted ceilings, remodeled kitchen with maple cabinets, granite counters, and stainless appliances. Custom painted interior, large master suite with walk-in closet, remodeled master bathroom with granite counter, dual sinks, tile floor, and new stall shower. Cute front and rear yards with lots of space to play or entertain, two decks for relaxing! Located close to shopping, schools, parks and more. Don't wait! Offered at $345,000. For more photos and a 3D virtual tour visit 7733 Dannon Court, Citrus Heights, CA 95610.|
|New Listing - 8212 Lee Drive, Citrus Heights, CA 95610|
|This well-loved property is the perfect blank canvas for your personal touches! The main home is 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,719sf, and there is a separate manufactured home on a permanent foundation that is 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and 1,056sf all on nearly a one acre lot in a rural setting in Citrus Heights. Main home has wood flooring, big bedrooms, dual pane windows, composition roof, and central heat and air. The manufactured home was recently renovated in 2014 with new kitchen flooring and a newer composition roof. Large detached garage has a huge room/workshop and skylight. Dead-end street and a truly serene setting. Don't wait! Offered at $335,000. For more photos and detail please visit 8212 Lee Drive, Citrus Heights, CA 95610. |