Aug

15

61 Bolla Ave, Alamo – New Listing

Posted by laurenholloway under Uncategorized

This beautiful single story home sits on a huge pancake flat 1/2 acre parcel, and has been completely remodeled throughout. The main house features gleaming hardwood floors and plantation shutters throughout. The formal living room has an elegant wood-burning fireplace. The kitchen features Viking and Thermador appliances, and is open to the family room with access to the backyard.

Complete with beautifully remodeled bathroom and kitchenette, the bonus room could be in-law quarters, a guest house, a pool house, or simply a 4th bedroom. The kitchenette has a sink and mini refrigerator, and the space has gleaming hardwood floors throughout.

61 Bolla Ave, Alamo (16 of 40)

The half acre lot seems even larger because it is completely flat and usable. The front yard is thoughtfully landscaped with drought- resistant plants, and the backyard is a blank slate ready for your imagination.

OPEN HOUSE Saturday August 15th and Sunday August 16th from 1:00 – 4:00.  Offered for $1,398,000

Please visit www.61Bolla.com to see the movie, floorplan, and more photos

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It’s been another good year for our real estate market with low inventory and high demand. Alamo opened 2015 with only 23 homes on the market; Walnut Creek just 30; Danville 48. With normal seasonal fluctuations, we hit highs for the year in May (Alamo – 72, Walnut Creek – 104, and Danville – 118).

Today’s inventory numbers reflect the typical seasonal pattern as they begin to decline.  I expect the inventory numbers will continue to grow smaller toward a low at the end of the year.  Here are the current numbers across all towns:

ALAMO 57
DANVILLE 103
BLACKHAWK 39
SAN RAMON 112
DUBLIN 58
PLEASANTON 110
WALNUT CREEK 88
LAFAYETTE 47
ORINDA 40
PLEASANT HILL 45
CLAYTON 17
ANTIOCH 172

So how does 2015 compare to 2014?  In Alamo in 2014, 111 homes were sold with an average of 14 days on market and a median sales price of $1,375,000.  This year in Alamo: 105 homes were sold with an average of 13 days on market and a median sales price of $1,511,000.  Prices have ticked up: last year’s average price per sq foot was $459 and this year $497.

In Danville (including Blackhawk): 445 homes were sold in the first half of the year in 2014 compared to 486 this year.  Again, price per sq foot increased: from $413 in 2014 to $447 in 2015, although the median sales price dropped from $1,100,000 in 2014 to $1,033,000 in 2015.  Both years have an average of only 9 days on the market.

So far, another good year for our Alamo & Danville real estate market.

 

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May

31

Alamo Real Estate Update

Posted by laurenholloway under Uncategorized

Alamo is not only a wonderful place to live and raise a family, but it’s also a great investment opportunity.  Location, location, location as they say.  As I compare homes for sale in Alamo with the surrounding towns, I see great value in Alamo real estate.

We opened the year with only 23 homes on the market, but the inventory climbed steadily, reaching a high of 72 last week.  Today we have settled back to 65.

Considering that these inventory numbers represent a vast price range (from a low of $734,000 to a high of $42 million), this is very low inventory for buyers.  If a buyer is looking between a million and $1.5, there are only 11 homes on the market.  Or only 15 homes to choose from for shoppers looking between $1.5 and $2 million.

Looking at the Alamo market and comparing this year so far with last year, it is interesting to see that more homes sold last year – but this year has a higher price point and fewer days on market.

YTD this year: 57 homes sold with a median list price of $1,435,000 and median sales price of $1,410,000.  Of those 57 sales, 40 (70%) sold at list price or above.  The average days on market was 25 (and the median DOM was only 11).

Over the same time frame last year: 78 homes sold with a median list price of $1,367,500 and a median sold price of $1,364,250.  38 of these homes (39%) sold for at or over the list price, and the average days on market was 37 (or 14 for the median DOM).

Statistics indicate that this year is a better market than last year—which is saying a lot since 2014 was a hot market.  Both years have been strong!  Sellers should feel confident that it’s a good time to sell; but buyers can feel good about purchasing a home in an area that is currently under-valued compared to the rest of the Bay Area – time will tell, but I think the Alamo market is a wonderful investment opportunity.

Current inventory information follows:

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May

31

Open House Today – 2203 Granite Drive in Alamo

Posted by laurenholloway under Uncategorized

Please visit the website: www.2203GraniteDrive.com to see the movie, 3D animation of the floorplan, and more photos.  A stunning remodeled home on a large lot with four large bedrooms (all en-suite) and a four-car garage.  Open today from 1-4.

Circular driveway

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Today on my morning run as I was passing Monte Vista HS, I saw the big sign lit up with the value “EMPATHY”.

At this point, I noticed the sheriff, in the process of ticketing a car in the parking lot. With the backdrop of “EMPATHY,” this just seemed ironic. Without breaking stride, I pointed it out to her (when I said “sheriff,” you pictured a male didn’t you?), and rather breathlessly encouraged her to consider the sentiment. But although EMPATHY was bright and bold for a full 10 seconds, as she swung her head around to see what I was gesturing at, it faded into “Happy Birthday Jason!”

Perhaps she thought I was trying to tell her it was Jason’s car, but I’m afraid her pen was already in rapid fluid motion on the pad. So, with empathy for the (evidently non-) carpooler, I ran on past the Monte Vista tennis courts, reflecting on the last time I had been there.

It was last weekend, when my tennis team played an away match vs a team that uses the MVHS courts as their home courts. It was a Saturday at 1pm, and Monte Vista was bustling with activity. I’m used to playing tennis in a tranquil setting, which is nice—but this was fun too: there was a noisy game going on in the field, the parking lot was completely full with cars circling hoping for space, families with babies and dogs were joyously passing by, and the marching band was loudly and gleefully practicing next to us.

It made me think about all the reasons I love living here, and why so many people gravitate to this location. The schools are great: despite my kids being “Wolves” (from rival San Ramon Valley HS), there’s no arguing Monte Vista is simply gorgeous with the feeling of a college campus and views of the hills in every direction. SRVHS is fabulous in its own right, with views of the Las Trampas hills and wonderfully situated in darling downtown Danville. And if you think the 4th of July parade isn’t a good enough reason to move to Danville/Alamo, then you haven’t attended it: literally my favorite day of the year to be in Danville. Our weather is amazing; I love the fact that I play tennis year-round with only the occasional rained-out match. When we crave snow, we can drive a few hours and be surrounded by it (ok, not this year, but in general).

Sometimes I miss living in a place with four seasons (I grew up in Colorado, although I’ve been here since 1983). But then I run to meet friends on the tennis court, and I relish the one great season we have!

For excited buyers that want to move to our wonderful San Ramon Valley, inventory is creeping up. In fact, there were 11 new listings on tour in Alamo yesterday. From the low of 23 at the beginning of the year, Alamo now has nearly double that number. Compare that to Blackhawk which opened the year at 21 and is now only 4 stronger. Walnut Creek doubled since the first of the year: from 30 to 61. Inventory numbers from the weekend:
2/15/15
ALAMO 42
DANVILLE 69
BLACKHAWK 25
SAN RAMON 46
DUBLIN 56
PLEASANTON 49
WALNUT CREEK 61
LAFAYETTE 19
ORINDA 21
PLEASANT HILL 28
CLAYTON 14
ANTIOCH 139

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Low Inventory Frustrates Buyers

Our market began to improve dramatically in 2013 after the year opened with low inventory.  2014 and 2015 also opened with similar low numbers as the chart below depicts. Compare that with 2011 when 74 homes were on the market in January.  For years, the “low” for the year happened in the holiday season, and it would dip down to 60 or 70.  Last year and in 2013, that number represented the high rather than the low.

2015

2014

2013

Today

 January 1

 January 1

 January 1

ALAMO

35

23

29

25

DANVILLE

69

48

43

44

BLACKHAWK

25

21

17

27

SAN RAMON

42

33

29

23

DUBLIN

50

36

50

26

PLEASANTON

40

33

31

29

WALNUT CREEK

46

30

24

15

LAFAYETTE

19

12

15

15

ORINDA

19

11

25

11

PLEASANT HILL

25

20

43

43

Inventory has been creeping up since the first of the year across all the towns, but still buyers are crying for more choices.  Sellers who are bringing their property to the market now are receiving the full attention of motivated buyers.  Homes that are priced and presented well are selling quickly, many with multiple offers.

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There is no question that 2014 was a great year for Real Estate and we saw a nice recovery in our prices.  One property expressed this to me personally: my listing at 715 Anderson Ranch Ct in Alamo sold in August (www.715AndersonRanch.com).  In August of 2007, this was my listing and it sold for $2,050,000.  A few years later, the house came on the market and this time I had the buyer—my client paid $1,623,000 in May of 2010.  Interesting example of prices bouncing back up: it sold for $2,027,000 in August of 2014.

Looking at the past 12 years in Alamo, the median price in 2014 did not exceed the median sales price in 2006 which remains the high at $1,550,000.  Still, prices are strong and homes sold fast with median days on market at 19 for the year (compare that to 72 in 2009, the highest DOM by nearly double any other year).  In 2008 and 2009, volume was down — between those two years 263 homes sold, compared to 247 in 2014.  Prices hit a low in 2010 (the year I wish I had bought a dozen properties — where was my crystal ball when I needed it?), and have climbed steadily ever since.  Will they continue to do so in 2015?  What does your crystal ball say — mine is in the shop.  But if I had to guess, I think we will have another strong year with prices, if not increasing, at least remaining steady.

  ALAMO – STATISTICS FROM MLS

# of Homes

Median

Median

 

Sold

DOM

Sold Price

2014

247

19

$1,460,000

2013

221

14

$1,300,000

2012

254

21

$1,182,000

2011

166

37

$1,078,000

2010

199

30

$1,100,000

2009

136

72

$1,150,000

2008

127

37

$1,300,000

2007

174

23

$1,442,000

2006

163

12

$1,550,000

2005

238

9

$1,440,000

2004

306

12

$1,250,000

2003

267

20

$1,165,000

 

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Feb

2

23 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek

Posted by laurenholloway under Alamo, For Buyers, Listings

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! I am hosting an open house at www.23Eckley.com, open from 1-4 which overlaps with the big game only somewhat.

This home is amazing: brand new construction with quality details throughout.  Please visit the website to see the movie and some great new technology which depicts the home as a doll house and allows you to navigate the home interactively on-line. Fascinating!

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It was a long quiet year for my blog, but not for lack of trying and (even) writing.  I had some crazy technical difficulties that prevented me from logging into my blog.  Several times during the course of our fascinating 2014, I wrote an article about the market only to find I could not get logged in.  And, since 2014 was a very busy day for real estate, I would get busy and move on.

But I finally had the time to sit on hold for 45 minutes with technical support and get to the bottom of the problem.  Success!

In the spirit of “better late than never,” here are the articles from 2014 that never made it here during my technical issues — and please stay tuned for news of 2015 next:

(From 9/9/14)  –  2014 Real Estate Roller coaster

As the third quarter comes to a close, and we look forward with apprehension and hope to Q4, it’s interesting to look back on the ups and downs of the year so far.

The year started much as 2013 did, with low inventory and excited buyers.  In March and April, the buyers went from excited to frantic, even manic.  As agents we became smug: “we’re looking at offers on Tuesday,” we would announce with confidence, knowing that there would be plenty to choose from.

And then something changed.  May or June or July—depending on who you ask—but we all agree that it slowed.  Certainly there are those properties that are special and priced right, and they are still going out the door with multiples and over-asking.  But in general, we have properties sitting a bit on the market, or feeling grateful to get a single offer.

I’m seeing this across all price points.   I recently showed one-bedroom condos in San Ramon to an investor client, and of the nine properties, all but one had been on the market for more than 30 days.

In Alamo today, there are 50 homes listed and all but 15 have been on the market for more than 30 days.

What we have now is probably, in fairness, a “normal” market.  Sellers and listing agents were spoiled and now we are whining about the “sluggish” market, but the reality is that buyers are still out there, they are still active, and interest rates are still fabulous.

Buyers who are feeling discouraged (and who can blame them; they have spent the better part of the year competing with cash buyers and writing offers hundreds of thousands over-asking) should consider revisiting the marketplace.  I’ve actually closed three contingent sales this summer, 2 of my listings and one buyer.  Writing a contingent offer is the polar opposite from writing a cash offer—it says volumes about our market today.

So the good news about today’s market is there is something for everyone: buyers can shop with a little more breathing room, and sellers can still expect a nice price (up about 20% since 2010).  Us realtors can wipe the smug “offers on Tuesday” expressions off our faces and feel grateful for the offers we receive on our listings and for those that are accepted for our buyers.

And from June 22nd:

I started this blog in 2007 and was a steady writer for many years—with new entries every week and often twice weekly.  But I’ve been unreliable, despite my new year’s resolution, this year and last.

I just met someone at my open house (www.715AndersonRanch.com) who said “oh, I used to read your blog all the time,” and I felt guilty all over again.

So here I sit, still at my open house, but with a break in traffic, determined to make good on my new year’s resolution.

I’ve actually written whole entries that never got posted, and started many that never got completed—and dozens of great information has been formulated in paragraphs in my mind, if only I had a Dictaphone handy while I’m racing to Home Depot to pick out that perfect chandelier for a client, or previewing homes, or changing my dog’s diaper (that’s another story).

I’ve continued to track the inventory, even if it never gets posted, so here are some stats:

Today in Alamo there are 58 active homes—the high for the year so far is 62, that was in early May.  Inventory as of June 22:

  • Alamo – 62
  • Danville – 107
  • Blackhawk – 34
  • San Ramon – 118
  • Dublin –  99
  • Pleasanton –   100
  • Lafayette –   53
  • Orinda –  73
  • Pleasant Hill –  53
  • Walnut Creek –  119
  • Rossmoor –  49
  • Antioch –  180

Inventory from February:

Feb 17

  • Alamo  39
  • Danville  63
  • Blackhawk  20
  • San Ramon  47
  • Dublin  82
  • Pleasanton  56
  • Walnut Creek  58
  • Pleasant Hill  37
  • Lafayette  29
  • Orinda   37
  • Rossmoor   42
  • Clayton  26
  • Antioch  139
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Jan

16

Happy New Year 2014

Posted by laurenholloway under Uncategorized

Just as the year opened in 2013, with low inventory, here we are again:

Here’s how the year opened in 2013

  • Alamo – 25
  • Danville – 44
  • Blackhawk – 27
  • San Ramon – 23
  • Dublin –  26
  • Pleasanton –   29
  • Lafayette –   15
  • Orinda –  15
  • Pleasant Hill –  11
  • Walnut Creek –  43
  • Rossmoor –  21
  • Antioch –  56

Today’s inventory, one year later:

  • Alamo –  29
  • Danville – 43
  • Blackhawk – 17
  • San Ramon – 29
  • Dublin –  50
  • Pleasanton – 31
  • Lafayette –   24
  • Orinda –  15
  • Pleasant Hill – 25
  • Walnut Creek –  43
  • Rossmoor –  31
  • Antioch –  116

Fascinating. Consider than last year at this time, buyers were frantically looking for new listings and inventory was lower across the board than it had been for years. 2013 was a fabulous year for the real estate market, with property values rebounding to (in some cases) top of the market prices. Buyers were (in many cases) in bidding wars and we saw homes sell for $100,000’s over the asking price.

Again this year, we have low inventory, plentiful buyers, and interest rates that are still very attractive.  It’s frustrating for buyers with inventory so low: the choices are few right now. But don’t be discouraged—inventory is going to grow quickly in the coming weeks.

Here is an example: www.261LivornaHeights.com — my new listing in Alamo, open Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 – 4:00.  Come by and say “hi”!

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