Sonoma-County-Real-Estate Tag

Sonoma County Real Estate Market Update: What Happened in September 2022

Market Talk It’s officially fall and inventory is on the rise around the country.  View the full report here: September 2022 Sonoma County Market Update.  We are seeing the typical seasonal bump in new listings in the Wine Country. However, rising interest rates affect some would-be sellers too.  They are holding off putting their homes on the market since they would be doubling their interest rate when buying a replacement home unless they purchase cash of course. And, there are still plenty of buyers in the market place searching for homes! Mortgage interest rates are at their highest level in more than 14 years, sales inventory has ticked up a bit but is still historically low, and fear of a looming recession is still a topic of discussion in the media. What we do know is there are still buyers actively shopping for homes, and desirable properties that show well and are priced correctly have been going into contract, in some cases even with multiple offers and well over asking. One recent country property in Sebastopol priced at $2 million sold for $3,150,000! It’s very important that buyers understand there are a number of loan programs out there that can help offset the higher monthly payment at today’s rates, and rates can vary significantly from lender to lender. You want to make sure you shop around and look at all options, from 2-1 rate buy down programs to credit union rates and special institutional lending programs. Be diligent in your research before choosing a lender to work with.  And a flashback to earlier years, some sellers may even have mortgages that are assumable at yesterday's low rates.  In the past those were typically adjustable mortgages so again it is important to do careful research. Traditionally, markets like this will stabilize, but when that happens and what "stability" looks like is up in the air. Reach out to your trusted real estate professional to help you decide if it makes sense to make a move now or wait!   ...

2022 Sonoma County Summer Housing Market Update 🏡

Do you have questions about Sonoma County's housing market? As quickly as mortgage rates are rising, the once red-hot market is showing signs of cooling. Home prices are still historically high, but there is some concern (fueled by the media) that they will ease up as well. Today I want to run through some of the latest trends we've been seeing this summer and discuss what they say about the state of our market. For a more detailed overview, be sure to check out the Corcoran Q2 2022 Real Estate Report. First let's address a question I have been getting a lot lately: Is today’s housing market in the same predicament that it was over a decade ago, when the 2007-08 crash caused the Great Recession? The short answer is: no. America’s housing market is in far better health today. That’s thanks, in part, to new lending regulations that resulted from that meltdown. Those rules put today’s borrowers on far firmer footing. But what about rising interest rates? During the pandemic, rates were historically low, but that’s starting to change. For most of July, my clients received interest rates in the 5.5% range. While that seems high, it’s not too far off from where rates were before the pandemic. Why a slight slowdown in our market might actually be a good thing...

Just Sold $1,300,000 – 23% Over List Price!

  This gorgeous country property on Joy Road was popular the day it hit the market late May. With 20 showings over 6 days we asked for offers by Day 7. With 4 strong offers in hand we accepted one at $1.3 million, well over what the comp sales showed! The seller had a generous rentback to allow for a smooth transition and the sale closed with a minimum of fuss. We were able to take advantage of a very hot market for country properties, which seems to be continuing.  However, the market is constantly evolving so it is important your strategy evolves along with it!   The successful sale of your home starts with preparation and development of a marketing strategy appropriate to your home and current market conditions.    Please reach out by email or phone, we are happy to discuss your unique needs and circumstances! And don't forget to watch our unique drone listing video below!  It really showcases this special spot and helped attract potential buyers to see the property! Property Website   ...

Are we in a housing bubble in Sonoma County?

  Sonoma County’s vibrant housing market became even hotter through the first three months of 2021 as a rush of Bay Area residents continued to flee dense urban areas for the Wine Country, sending the county’s median home price to an all-time high at the end of Q1! Watch the video above for a quick recap on what's happening in our local real estate market. Untethered from the office, many house hunters sought bigger living spaces and a more relaxed lifestyle. North Bay home prices that are viewed as a bargain compared to many other parts of the Bay Area were also a draw. And historic low interest rates spurred homebuyers to take advantage of attractive mortgage terms. The median price for a home in Sonoma County has increased 13% since March 2020, when the lockdown began. Over the first three months of 2021, the median price was $745,000, a 15% bump from the same period in 2020. During first quarter of 2021, 1,049 home sales were finalized, a nearly 30% spike compared to the previous year. These figures represent a remarkable turnaround for a local housing market that basically shut down for a couple of months last spring. *Note: These stats reflect single family homes in Sonoma County and do not include condominiums.   Are we in a housing bubble? Today, most home loans are 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with historic low interest rates. Thanks to lending reform, people don't get approved for a loan they can't pay like they did in the 2000s when the market crashed. This means that even though houses are selling for top dollar, the buyers that purchase them can afford it. The amount of cash (often from stock rich tech workers) we have in the market continues to impact multiple offer scenarios—and while we can't predict what will happen in the coming months, all we can say is that this market looks nothing like it did back when the bubble burst in 2008. There is a national shortage of housing stock that is a trailing effect of the great recession. So, we think it's safe to say that we are NOT in a housing bubble. What To Expect As We Look Ahead to Summer 2021...

HOT Sonoma County Housing Market 🔥

Sonoma County’s vibrant housing market turned red-hot through the first three months of 2021 as a rush of Bay Area residents continued to flee dense urban areas for Wine Country during the pandemic, sending the county’s median home price to an all-time high in March. The median price for a home in Sonoma County has increased 13% since March 2020, when the pandemic had begun and started to affect the county housing market. Over the first three months of 2021, the median price was $745,000, a 15% bump from the same period in 2020. In March, 421 area homes were sold, an increase of 39% from the same month last year. During first quarter of 2021, 1,049 home sales were finalized, a nearly 30% spike compared to the previous year. Click here to see the Press Democrat's article on April 14th about the market turning "red-hot": Sonoma County's Hot Market Hits Price Record in March....

Just Listed! Healdsburg Hideaway / $1,350,000

With the Healdsburg Plaza only 2 1/2 blocks away, 114 Fitch Street is an imaginatively re-conceived and polished gem, tucked away on Alley 1. Designer touches and high end finishes inspire. The setting lends the air of calm you seek when you visit (or stay) in Wine Country. Why not uncomplicate your life?   Your largest decision – do we dine indoors or out, or in town? Do we entertain by the fireplace in the family room or the outdoor living room and firepit? Architecturally designed and largely rebuilt and expanded in approximately 2014, the home has an open floor plan that seamlessly integrates with the outdoor spaces. An open concept chef's kitchen with stainless appliances and sleek surfaces has ample storage and an island that surveys the living spaces. A primary suite and bath allow you to pamper yourself indoors or in the hot tub outside your window. Intimate and interesting plantings, citrus trees, a retractable awning, well thought out decking and patios expand your living and your life for the best Healdsburg has to offer. Property Website ...

Sonoma County Housing Market Breaks Records in 2020!

After the coronavirus pandemic sent Sonoma County homebuying into a tailspin last spring, the local housing market rebounded to have a banner year, posting a record annual median home price and the most houses and condos sold in seven years! As we embark on a new year (we can’t believe it’s already February), let’s take a look at some of the important real estate highlights from 2020 and what experts are forecasting for the spring season. [caption id="attachment_21108" align="aligncenter" width="408"] *Note: The median price for single family homes in Sonoma County is $700,000, slightly higher than $675,000 mentioned in this report which includes condominiums.[/caption]   What This Means For Buyers & Sellers: Low inventory, high buyer demand and increasing home prices have resulted in a seller’s market as we enter 2021. Historic low interest rates are drawing more buyers, especially millennials, into the marketplace. Buyers are flocking to Sonoma County from the Bay Area due to changing household needs and work-from-home flexibility. Despite home prices increasing, Sonoma County is still considered an affordable option compared to the Bay Area with a median single family home price of $700,000 vs $1.06 million.     What To Expect As We Look Ahead to Spring 2021...

An Upturn in the Housing Market May Be Reversing –

But what about Sonoma County and Northern California? If you read this article in the business section of today's New York Times, An Upturn in the Housing Market May Be Reversing - you'd find very justifiable skepticism about the increase in real estate sales volume nationally that we've experienced this summer and fall. As some friends and I discussed at dinner in Healdsburg Monday night, no one is convinced that the economy is on firmly recovering footing, Wall Street enthusiasm aside. So are we up for a "W" recovery--meaning another downturn in housing prices? From the article, which discussed the latest Case Shiller Housing Index Report: The two housing price reports lag, by a month, the figures on the volume of home resales, which were issued Monday for October. Home resales jumped 10.1 percent to the highest level in two years, better than analysts had expected. Much of the increase was attributed to the $8,000 first-time buyer’s tax credit, which had been set to expire Nov. 30 but has been renewed through spring. Buyers who have already owned a home are now eligible for a $6,500 credit. While brisk sales volume should, in theory, push up prices, Maureen Maitland, the vice president for index services at S.& P., said the oversupply of inventory was acting as a brake. “You can look down the street and have 10 houses to choose from,” she said. About 3.57 million used homes are for sale, a number that has been declining but is still higher than the historic average. It represents seven months of inventory at the current sales rate. Ms. Maitland speculated that the housing market might follow a “W” pattern, as the price lows plumbed last spring are tested again this winter. It's all well and good to look at national statistics, but (and this is a cliche so forgive me)--looking at the national housing market to try to determine what is happening with home values in your neighborhood is like trying to know what the weather will be like by knowing what the average temperature in the US is at any given time. Just look at the paragraph above--7 months available inventory nationwide. In Sonoma County we have less than three months of inventory available county wide, and less than two months at the lower price ranges. Even at the upper price ranges we have about 10 months of inventory...

"It ain't over till it's over." or what Yogi Berra can teach first time buyers about Real Estate

yogiisms.jpgSo if you know me well, you know that I am a die-hard THIRD generation New York Yankees fan. (DISCLAIMER: Despite this fact, I have several clients, good friends and colleagues who are Boston Red Sox fans, but that is another story.)

How does Yogi Berra relate to the current real estate market in Sonoma County, Ca?
Well as current clients of mine will tell you-they thought they’d found a perfect house. We’ll call it “Park Place”. Great commute location, walking distance to shops and restaurants, and best of all a vastly over-sized, 13,000 square foot park-like back yard (complete with its own redwood tree and veggie garden).  Unfortunately for them, 18 other buyers also thought it was a great property and the winning offer was not ours, even thought we went well over asking, my clients were extremely qualified first time buyers. In this case it wasn’t enough. But they gave it their best shot at a price that made sense to them and lived with the results.
After a four week break to take care of family obligations, my clients were ready to write an offer on another pretty interesting property.   Meanwhile, I had told the listing agent for the first property to keep us posted if something happened to the original offer.
Also we  kept an eye on things.  We don’t want to rely on an overburdened REO listing agent. To make this easy for everyone, I set up a private web site for my clients updated in real time with changes to the MLS (Real Estate Multiple Listings Service). You may not realize it but most public facing websites are not reliably up to date, so a property could be back in escrow and not available again before you know it.
In this client website, we can keep homes in “Newly Matched”, “Saved”, and “Rejected” Tabs.  That way we are in sync and can both keep tabs on things so to speak. With my out of town clients, the “Comments” feature helps my get to know their preferences pretty quickly.
Back to the Yogi Berra situation: the same day we were writing on place number 2, I received a phone call from the listing agent on “Park Place” –the house of the 19 offers. Apparently the first buyer could not perform due to problems with their FHA financing.   The 3`cash buyers had gone elsewhere.  My clients were selected next by the bank who owned “Park Place” (bank as property owner-is an “REO” for real-estate owned).
Long story short, my clients are now in escrow to purchase “Park Place”.  Of course, it ain’t really over till escrow closes.  It is always wise for buyers of any property not to fall in love until they are moved in.  But this one, given up for good a month ago, looks pretty good now.
So thanks Yogi, for the real estate wisdom.   And I thought you were just a great catcher, hitter and 10 time World Series Champion!