Ellwood Real Estate Newsletter

Reinvigorated market continues: The increased buyer activity in showings, pending, and closed sales has continued since the beginning of the year. Homes and condos are selling quickly, often with multiple offers at over the asking price. Prices continue to stabilize overall, and have been driven higher than 2011 levels in some cases. Property condition, location, and seller motivation are driving prices right now. It is a tale of two markets, however, as “short sale” properties continue to be dumped at bargain prices as they are quickly scooped up by cash investors or pre-approved buyers not afraid to wait out the lengthy approval of the “short-sale lender.” The short sale lender is the bank with the existing loan, which exceeds the value of the property, and their approval is needed to accept a pay-off for less than the loan amount.

The other glaring factor is inventory. There are fewer homes on the market than at anytime in the past 5 years. Just look at the list of available properties for sale in the next column. Currenly only one house is available for sale, my new listing at 239 Saratoga Ct., the rest are all “pending” sales, in escrow. This is astounding!

So whats going on? There are a number of contributing factors: The ‘move-up’ buyer, someone who is selling their home to get a larger or better home, is not in the market due to a lack of equity in their current home. Likewise the ‘downsizing buyer’ is out of the market for similar reasons. Property listings from ‘short sale’ sellers are drying up as many have sold over the past 4 years. Others are still attempting loan modifications with their banks, and this is postponing or even eliminating their need to sell their property. The bank-owned listings are declining as well, as a big chunk of these homes have been liquidated over the past 4 years. Many owners are just waiting for prices to recover a little more before making a move. These factors and more are all contributing to a low inventory of homes currently on the market. I don’t see any reasons for a sudden change in this condition, rather it will be gradual, with possibly isolated months of increased listing activity, but not dramatic. Moral of the story: If you are buying, be prepared to act quickly. If you are selling, work to improve the condition of your house as much as possible, and pack your bags!!

Please call me to help guide you through your Real Estate related endeavors.

Moving Or Improving?

People often move for job or educational opportunities, to follow family, or any number of other motivations. But what if you’re simply too “cramped” in your home? You face a dilemma: move, or just improve?

First consider how long you might stay where you are. It doesn’t make much sense to pour money into improvements if you’re planning to sell any time soon. Potential buyers may not agree with your choice of improvements, and with all the turmoil and inconvenience involved in most remodeling projects, your biggest benefit comes from remaining and enjoying the fruits of your labor!

Investigate how your planned improvements will impact the value of your home against others in your neighborhood. Your home could actually take longer to sell in the future if it’s in the “upper end” of choices. Buyers historically opt for the least expensive home in the most expensive neighborhood they can afford.

Ever wonder what it would cost to remodel a kitchen, bathroom, or add a redwood deck? How much would you be able to recoup at the time of sale? Realtor magazine, in conjunction with Remodeling Magazine, has issued their annual cost vs. value report that compares construction costs with resale values in 58 U.S. markets. Visit the National Association of Realtors website at realtor.org, type in ‘cost vs value’ in the search box at the upper-right of the home page and you will be directed to the reports, very insightful!

Regardless of market conditions, your home is where you should be happy. “Improve or move” is an emotional as well as a financial decision that requires deep and honest evaluation. Call me if you would like a ‘sounding board’ for your ideas, I’m glad to help.

Current Offerings: Houses and Condos

BR/Baths Status Price
239 Saratoga Ct. 3/2 new listing $689,000
Scripps Crescent short sale 5/3 Pending $619,000
Scripps Crescent 5/2.5 Expired $734,500
7337 Hillsboro short sale 3/2 Pending $549,000
7376 Chapman Duplex Pending $849,000
7390 Davenport short sale Duplex Pending $717,800
Cannon Green 3/2.5 Pending $399,000
Cannon Green (2)Short sales 3/2.5 Pending $349,000, $369,000
Mills Way short sale 2/2 Pending $328,000
Entrance Rd. 1/1.5 cancelled $249,000
Pacific Oaks short sale 2/1 Pending $279,000
Grove condo short sale 1/1 Pending $185,000
Grove condo 2/2 Active $439,000
Grove condo short sale 2/2 Pending $279,000
Grove condo short sale 2/2 Active $308,000
Grove condo bank owned 1/1 Pending $220,000
Marymount Way price restricted 2/1.5 Pending $292,000
Marymount Way 2/1.5 Active $450,000
Marymount Way bank owned 1/1.5 Active $313,000

Recent Sales

Bd/Ba Sale Date Sale Price
7330 Greensboro 4/2 5/12 $675,000
7355 Greensboro corner house 4/2 4/12 $700,000
7234 Georgetown 3/2 5/12 $662,000
373 Daytona 4/2 5/12 $654,000
232 Big Sur short sale 3/2 3/2 $520,000
467 Mills Way 4/2 3/12 $580,000
371 Cannon Green #A ** 3/2 5/12 #365,000
391 Cannon Green #E * 3/2.5 3/12 $403,000
449 Cannon Green #B 3/2.5 4/12 $345,000
487 Cannon Green #G * 3/2. 5/12 $400,000
315 Pacific Oaks 2/1 4/12 $292,900
7133 Monique Ct. 3/2 5/12 $565,000
7115 Georgetown * 2/2.5 3/12 $430,000
541 Mills Way 2/2 3/30 $320,000
Grove condo 2/2 5/12 $279,000
Grove condo ** 3/2 5/12 $354,900

 *Short sale, **bank sale

Ellwood Real Estate Newsletter, June 2012 PDF