5 Reasons to Sell Now

Selling a property in this tough market can seem like a challenge. There are many reasons that a person need to sell their home. Some are personal, such as needing a larger home for an expanding family or the house is just too big for the empty nesters.  There are also financial reasons, such as job changes, cash flow problems, or relocation needs.  Here are five factors that actually make this a good time to post a For-Sale sign.

1. Sell low and buy low. Because all property values are down, the sellers’ loss on a property is really only a paper loss because the next property they buy also will be a bargain. If they buy smartly, when prices come back up in a few years, they’ll be in better shape.

2. Market has stabilized in many areas.  We are seeing that for the single family homes, many of the markets in the South Bay Area had bottom out during 2009.  We expect that market will continue to improve as the inventory remains low and the demand for housing is strong. 

3. Down-payment help is widely available. While nothing-down loans have disappeared, it is easy to find down-payment assistance for lower-income and first-time home buyers. Programs vary all over the country, but one good way to find them is to search online for “down-payment assistance programs” and the name of your region.

4. Your uncle has money to share. Besides the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit and the $6,500 move-up credit, there are an array of energy tax credits that can make home improvements pay off in cash.

5. Good help is available. Really talented real estate agents, contractors, and designers are available and eager for business.

If you are thinking about selling to upgrade to a better home or area, the first thing to do is to sit down with a financial planner to figure out what is your budget and then talk to a realtor to define about your housing needs and learn about your options.  If the home in the desired location is too expensive, looking for a condo or townhome in the same area could be an alternative.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions regarding your situation or the value of your home.  We are always here to help.

Cupertino Home Sales is on a Rebound!

The news should not come as a surprise to anyone who has been watching the market in the past several months – Cupertino Home Sales show a healthy recovery from last year.  In fact, according the statistic from MLS, the median sold price for homes in Cupertino area increased by 27%, up from $870,000 to $1,106,004.  And the number of sold properties in November increased from 11 in November 2008 to 38 in November of 2009, a whapping 245% increase in sales.

There are many more signs showing the market strength:

  • The number of pending sales (home under contract) increase from 20 homes in 2008 to 41 homes this November.  A 105% increase in sales activities!
  • The number of new listings decline from 47 homes in 2008 to 32 homes this year.  The new listings represent the supply of inventory to the market.
  • The months supply of inventory decrease from 6.8 month last year to 1.5 month this year.  The months supply of inventory measure how many month it takes to sell all the current inventory of homes.  The smaller the supply means more likely that the price will move up because the market is changing into a seller’s market.

Currently, there are 53 active listings on the market –  10 of which are asking 1.5 million or above, 25 homes are listed between 1 million to 1.5 million, and 18 homes are listed below 1 million.  For the  pending sales, there are 5 homes that are listed above 1.5 Million, 19 homes are listed between 1 million to 1.5 million and 24 homes are below 1 million.  The lowest pending sale home is Betlin Avenue, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, asking for $675,000.  The highest pending sale is the 5,300 sq ft, 5 bedrooms, 3 and half bath home on Stauffer Lane.  Asking price?  $3,500,000!

It appears that homes sales below a 1 million is the most active segment of the market and it follows by 1 million to 1.5 million.  The home sales above 1.5 million still face a bit of challenge. 

In short, sales are up.  Inventory is down. Median home sales price is increasing.  All these points to a healthy recovery of the Cupertino home market.  Despites the economic downturn and high unemployment figures in Silicon Valley, the real estate market in Cupertino is un-affected. 

I have been selling homes in Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Altos, Mountain View and Palo Alto since 1990.  If you wish to discuss your real estate needs or ask a question, please give me a call.

Has the South Bay housing market bottomed out?

Has the housing market in the South Bay bottomed out?  From the activities in the market and from my personal experience, it certainly “feels’ that way.  Since March of this year we had several buyers contacting us about buying foreclosure properties.  Plus the existing investors that we had been working with from last year, it seems that all-of-sudden buyers are coming out of woodworks looking to buy.  We took them out to see single family homes in Evergreen, Blossom Valley, and Cambrian Areas.  Yes, there are a lot of homes for sales.  Yes, the price is very, very low.  But the homes in nice neighborhood and in decent conditions are selling, often with multiple offers.  For the homes that my clients are interested in, there were often competitions and we had to raise our offer price to get the house.  For those of you who don’t closely watch foreclosure market, this could be a surprise. 

Let me show you one area that we recently looked at as an example.  Currently, in the Blossom Valley area (zip code 95123), there are 64 homes for sales and 91 pending sales.  The average home price for sales is $476,664 and the average price for pending sale properties is $440,574.  For the properties sold since 1/1/2009, there are 76 solids.  What is very interesting is that the average listing price is $442,641 and the average sold price is $444,325.  This is because there are number of homes that have multiple offers and sold above the asking price.  The active-to-pending ratio is 64 versus 91.  This is interesting because without knowing anything else, you could almost certain this is a normal, healthy real estate market.  The only thing that will tip you off is if you knew the same homes were selling at price range between $650,000 to $700,000 just two years ago. 

One can argue that the market is still depressed in certain areas, such as downtown San Jose and East San Jose (Zip code 95121, 95122, 95116 and 95111).  In these areas the market is clogged with bank owned or short-sales properties.  However, even that may change quickly.  Federal and State government has come up with new rules to prevent lenders from putting properties in foreclosures.  There are many new (for Northern California at least) Federal Housing Administration loan program to encourage buyers to buy.  Fannie Mae has come up a new program called REFI PLUS to help up-side-down home owners to refinance their homes so they don’t have to sell if they don’t want to.  All these efforts will decrease the inventory and help stabilize the housing price.  I do not have a crystal ball but if there is anything that I learned after being in the business for over 20 years, it is never believe everything you read in the paper.  The South Bay market has bottomed out.  ARE THERE ANY GOOD DEALS OUT THERE STILL?  That will be one of the topics of my future blogs.