Just Listed: 995 Hopkins Way – Enjoy Casual Poolside Living!

995 Hopkins Way
Pleasanton, CA 94566
$1,360,000
MLS: 40666310
4 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms

Welcome home to this stunning five bedroom, three bathroom property. You are sure to be impressed by the fully landscaped front and back yard with mature shrubs and trees. Upon entry, you will be greeted by a gracious living room which is highlighted by vaulted ceilings and a charming fireplace.The dining room has been enhanced by a stunning chandelier. French doors give direct access to the patio creating the ideal atmosphere for entertaining guests. Concoct your culinary masterpieces in the remodeled kitchen which boasts an eating area, center island, granite counter tops and a wall of windows overlooking the gorgeous backyard. A spacious family room designed for informal gatherings features a fireplace and a sliding glass door which leads out onto the patio.

Escape to the master bedroom suite which comes complete with vaulted ceilings, sitting area and a gas fireplace. Achieve serenity in the master bathroom, which comes fully equipped with a dual vanity, separate shower and a tub situated in front of a sizable window. The additional bedrooms are all spacious for residents and guests alike. Eliminate early morning traffic with two additional full bathrooms. Casual poolside living can be yours in this home with a dazzling swimming pool and lush backyard. You won’t want to leave this paradise! Located in Ventana Hills, don’t miss your opportunity to own this impressive home!

Livermore Population and Home Prices Increase

graphpegsThe more the merrier! Livermore’s population increased by 1.3% last year, according to an article in the Livermore Patch.  They report that the State Department of Finance counts our current population at  83,325. This is the second-highest growth rate in Alameda County. Dublin has the highest rate of population growth at 6.8%.

As a whole, Alameda County’s population grew by 1.2% to reach 1,548,681 residents. Our population growth is ahead of statewide trends. California’s rate of growth is 0.8%.

An increase in residents means increased demand for housing, and it’s no surprise that the cost of renting and buying a home is also going up. The average listing price of a Livermore home for sale was $701,998 as of last week.  In Dublin, the average listing price of homes for sale came in at $734,783.

Please keep in mind that this also represents some higher-end homes hitting the market, which pulls up dollar averages. We have a few more listings in the $600,000 to $1 million range. There are several excellent properties available in the $1 million-plus range, including large parcels with acreage. If you’ve ever wanted to start your own winery, now is your chance!

Overall, homes are spending less than 30 days on market, and our home inventory remains lean. Even without population growth factored in, demand is far ahead of supply, and home prices are poised to increase. It’s going to be a hot summer for real estate in Alameda County!

We can expect home sales to remain brisk in Livermore! Mortgage interest rates are excellent, and there are some beautiful homes on the market at very attractive prices. It’s a great time to buy a Livermore home, and thanks to limited home inventory, it’s an even better time to sell! My experience can help you make the most of today’s opportunities.

Thinking of buying or selling a Livermore home? I will be happy to help you, just give me a call!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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Short Sale Basics for Livermore Home Sellers!

Livermore Short SaleA recent article by Inman News says that we can expect an increase in short sale activity throughout 2013, thanks to an improved transaction process and a recovering economy. With California’s home inventory running at historic lows, short sales will receive good attention from buyers who may have otherwise looked past them.

If you are a homeowner in Alameda County who has experienced a financial hardship, and you owe more on your home than it’s currently worth, you may be a good candidate for a short sale. Please remember that not all situations qualify for a short sale, and being underwater in value alone will not gain you an approval.

You can get a basic idea about short sale guidelines by visiting Freddie Mac’s website. Depending who holds your mortgage loan, your short sale requirements may vary.

If doing a short sale interests you, follow these steps for your best chance of success!

1. Ask your mortgage lender about their short sale requirements. They will send you the paperwork to get started. Please remember that it isn’t enough to be underwater in home value; you must also have a qualifying hardship.

2. Your mortgage lender may ask for copies of your recent bank statements, paycheck stubs, tax returns and a list of your household expenses. Be cooperative and send in the requested documentation asap.

3. If you have other liens against the property, from a second mortgage, or an unpaid debt or tax obligation, let your mortgage lender know.

4.  If the ownership of the home had any changes since your original purchase, as the result of a divorce or other situation, declare this up front. Lien and title issues can be time-consuming to resolve.

5. Work with an experienced real estate professional who knows the local market!

6. Stay in contact with your mortgage lender and your real estate professional. Your lender may need additional documentation from you at some point during the process. Make sure your lender has your current phone number and mailing address. Respond to all mailings and phone calls promptly.

As your experienced Livermore real estate professional, I stay on top of the latest market news and statistics, and I’m happy to share this information with you. Meanwhile, if you’d like to find out the market value of your Livermore home, ask me for your free home evaluation!

If you are selling your home in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin , or if you just have a few questions, contact me! I will be glad to provide you with reliable, professional guidance!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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California Home Sale Prices Continue to Climb!

Livermore Home PricesCalifornia home prices continued to climb during December 2012, according to the California Association of Realtors! The median price of a California home increased 5%  from November to reach $366,930 in December. This is a 27%  price increase from December 2011.

Shrinking home supply remains the big issue in California real estate. The unsold inventory index, an indicator of market supply, declined to 2.6% in December. This is a further reduction from the November index of 3.1%. A year ago, the index stood at 4.3%

Alameda County’s median home price was $529,910 as of December 2012. This is a price gain of 5.2% from November, and a gain of 17.8% from December 2011.

Livermore is experiencing these same trends. If you look at the Livermore home sale statistics on my website, you’ll see that the average home sale price for the last 30 days was $473,586, with homes spending an average of 34 days on market. Our home inventory vs. our rate of sales absorption creates less than 1 month of supply. You can’t slice it much thinner than that! Our list-to-sales ratio is 100.8%, meaning that Livermore home sellers are getting their full asking price, and then some.

What’s behind the disappearing home inventory? A perfect storm of increased buyer demand from an improved economy, a reduction of distressed properties hitting the market, a lack of new construction, and homeowners who cannot yet afford to sell. In short, there is no quick fix for the lack of inventory. Until more California homeowners recover equity, home supply will remain limited.

There is some hope for relief on the horizon, as banks prepare to release long-held foreclosures to the market, and home construction starts pick up. But until we see balance in our home supply, home buyers in Livermore and throughout California will find themselves in competition for the listings that are available.

Our home market in Livermore Valley needs more homes for sale! If you are a California homeowner, you could be looking at the best opportunity to sell your home that we’ve seen in years. As your Livermore real estate expert, I will provide you with a comparative market analysis and all the facts on recent home sales. I’ll show you a net sheet that estimates your proceeds, so that you can make a fully informed decision. There is never any pressure to sell - I give you the information, and the decison is yours to make!

Contact me today for your free, no-obligation home selling consultation in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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Livermore Makes Top 5 List of Hot Real Estate Markets for 2013!

Livermore home pricesAccording to a real estate market survey by Redfin, Livermore, CA ranks as #5 nationwide in their projection of hot housing markets for 2013!  Here’s the scoop!

The survey reviewed data from 130,000 active home listings and 10,000 home buyers. It compared listings, home sales volume, median price per square foot, and sale-to-list ratios.

Ranks for major metropolitan areas were assigned. Then, cities and neighborhoods within those markets were reviewed to find the most consistent trends on a year-over-year basis. The results:

Rank Metro Area Neighborhood Listings Sales Price
1 Los Angeles Highland Park -48% +73% +31%
2 San Diego Mira Mesa -69% +48% +21%
3 Los Angeles Faircrest Heights -63% +17% +29%
4 Los Angeles Eagle Rock -54% +44% +11%
5 Bay Area Livermore -71% +13% +20%
6 Bay Area Willow Glen -60% +9% +32%
7 Los Angeles Glassell Park -64% +31% +17%
8 Chicago Logan Square -10% +94% +20%
9 Bay Area The Mission -29% +17% +80%
10 Seattle N. Maple Leaf -44% +15% +22%

According to Redfin, the most popular residential market areas are experiencing shrinking home inventory, increasing sales, and rising prices. That’s certainly been the case here in Livermore!

The survey also indicated that these markets enjoyed new restaurants and development, a trendy atmosphere, good schools and convenient commutes. It’s easy to understand how Livermore made the list here too, with our very walkable downtown, hip wine tasting scene, and enviable retail discounts at Paragon Outlet. Not many areas have access to factory outlet pricing on Ghirardelli Chocolate!

Rising home prices for 2013 are in the market forecast for much of California, and it’s no surprise that Bay Area home seekers are exploring Alameda County for affordable homes. Livermore has apparently been “discovered” by the real estate industry press, but whether this provides a market boost, or simply results in a few home searches remains to be seen. In the meantime I will always have my eye on the latest Livermore market trends!

Thinking of buying or selling a Livermore home? Let’s talk! I will share the latest market data for your neighborhood and help you find the best opportunities. Always feel welcome to contact me for the latest home sale activity in LivermorePleasanton or Dublin. I will provide you with expert real estate guidance for your success!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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8 Tips to Sell Your Livermore Home for Top Dollar!

By now you’ve heard that home inventory throughout Alameda County is seriously low. Barring any economic whammy, we’re going to have California home buyers who are anxious to capitalize on low rates and reasonable home prices, while we have homeowners who can’t, or won’t, sell their homes.  Throw in the shrinking supply of distressed homes, and you have a recipe for rising prices!

That isn’t to say that home sellers can run away with the market. Stingy bank appraisals can still hold back a sale, so over-pricing your home rarely turns into cash. However, there are smart ways to make sure your Livermore home listing gets buyer attention and the best possible offers! Here are a few ideas from my own experience, along with some tips from AOL real estate.

1. Price your home competitively. Nothing starts a buyer stampede like a terrific deal. Think about how you react when you find a bargain – you get excited. You know the deal isn’t going to last. You take action.  This is how multiple offers are created that can boost your home sale price well above your original list price. What’s more, multiple offers can be a way to prove a higher market value to the home appraiser.

2. Avoid marketing gimmicks. I don’t use them anyway, but beware of sales techniques that are based on more flash than substance. Buyers see through this and suspect the home is overpriced or has some other defect.

3. Throw in a bonus. Offer a home warranty, or a year of paid housecleaning service, or lawn care. If there is a personal artifact you can bear to part with, anything from a pinball machine, to a piano, to a large flat-screen TV – consider including it in return for a full-price offer.  Note: this is only attractive if the object in question is in good working order. Have a cash value determined for any service or item you decide to include.

4. Vamoose. Don’t stick around during the showing appointments. It makes buyers nervous, and they feel as if they are imposing.  This is a great time to take your mastiff for a walk and make sure your home is welcoming, rather than intimidating.

5. Take down the family shrine of photos. The buyers can picture themselves in your home more easily if they aren’t overwhelmed by photos of the current owners. This is part of your transition, and you’d have to do it as some point anyway.

6. If the walls look  bare, hang up some simple, inexpensive artwork that compliments the room interior.  Add a vase of fresh flowers in rooms that could use more color or a focal point.

7. Do some staging that says “welcome guests.”  Things like having a pitcher of iced tea and four glasses on the table. Or, a bottle of wine in an ice bucket with elegant stemware placed around it. Display a small platter of snacks, such as fruit. Depending on the season and the type of home, you can set the dining room table, or set up a picnic atmosphere on your outside deck. Your buyers might just be tempted to stick around and write an offer!

8. Work with an experienced real estate professional who knows the local market and has a proven track record of success! Like me!

Now is the time to make your home selling plans!  As your Livermore Valley real estate professional, I will provide you with a comparative market analysis and all the recent home sales data. I will also provide you with an expert marketing strategy to sell your home quickly and for the best possible price!

Contact me today for your FREE home selling consultation in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
Visit My Website

Low Inventory of Homes for Sale Challenges California Market

Livermore Valley home sellers, take note: we have more buyers than homes! The 2012 Annual Market Survey, conducted by the California Association of Realtors®, shows that low home inventory is an issue throughout the state.  The situation continues to feed bidding wars among California home buyers, with 57% of home sales attracting multiple offers during 2012.

If you’re a home seller in Livermore Valley, this is a happy problem!  However, real estate professionals statewide are concerned that  a prolonged lack of supply could affect the pace of the housing recovery. It’s no secret that many sellers are holding out for higher prices. But if buyers give up before sellers see the price levels they want, nobody wins.

Understandably, there’s close attention being paid to home buyers! Here’s what the 2012 Market Survey says about California buyers:

  • 30% of home buyers paid cash.
  • 17% of home buyers were investors.
  • 40% of first-time home buyers are choosing bank-owned properties or short sales.
  • 35.8% of home buyers are first-time buyers, up from 34.2% a year ago.
  • 5.8% of buyers were from other countries, with China and Canada leading the group.

On the average, the days on market for a California home are half of what they were a year ago. 2012 traditional home sales have a median of 32 days on the market. Distressed properties are also moving faster, with short sales averaging 90 days on market during 2012, as opposed to 141 days a year ago.

To compare that to our local area, the days on market for homes in Alameda County are running about half of what they were a year ago; two months on the market instead of four.  There is great variety in the days on market throughout our county. What you find in Oakland is not necessarily true for Livermore, and so on.  While the survey is helpful, your best guidance will always come from local data – supplied by your local, experienced real estate professional! (Me!)

If you’re thinking of selling your Livermore Valley home in the upcoming months, it’s time to start making plans.  Let me show you the latest market data for your neighborhood! Please contact me for a comparative market analysis in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin. I’ll answer all of your questions, and provide you with expert marketing strategies to help you succeed!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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Economic Growth Will Help Livermore Home Values

A combination of new development, business growth and school expansions are underway in Livermore! Our local economy stands to benefit by the increase in jobs and disposable incomes. Our quality of life now includes more choices for shopping, dining and recreation, which in turn will attract new residents. We can reasonably expect that home demand in Livermore Valley will continue to rise!

The new Paragon Outlets in Livermore will bring an estimated $2 million in annual sales tax revenue to the city and about 2,800 new jobs to the area. Alameda County residents are likely to be more excited about the 130 new upscale stores, all promising big-name bargains.  A scene of gleeful pandemonium met Thursday’s grand opening, with traffic backing up for miles on I-580, and parking lots spilling over with cars.  Well, with up to 65% off normal retail prices, who can resist?

There’s good news in Livermore for health and fitness enthusiasts, too! 24-Hour Fitness will soon be opening a new “Super Sport Club” in Livermore. The new fitness center will span between 45,000 and 69,000 square feet – you’ll get exercise just walking through it. Amenities will include basketball courts, sauna and steam rooms, indoor pools, and the latest in cardio and strength-training equipment. Look for the opening around December 22 – just in time for those New Year resolutions.

Opening  in the future to less fanfare, but no less in importance, will be Charter School’s new athletic facility. The Livermore school invested $5 million in the purchase of 12.4 acres, located in the Tri-Valley Technology Park. The school intends to share the facility with the Livermore community.

All told, the trends in real estate development bode well for Livermore Valley home values! Buyer demand is already healthy in our area, and economic growth will continue to sustain it.

As your experienced real estate professional, I keep up with the trends that affect our markets. If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, now is the time to contact me!  I have the latest sales trends and new home listings for Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin.  Let my experience in Livermore Valley real estate be your advantage!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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Buyers Want Homes in Livermore Valley!

The limited supply of homes for sale in Livermore Valley continues to affect prices, according to the latest market data. Strong buyer demand in Livermore has given home sellers an edge, resulting in an average list-to-sales ratio of 100%! Here’s how the real estate market is shaping up for Alameda County, Livermore, and the rest of California.

According to the California Association of Realtors, median home sale prices for Alameda County increased by 7.5% in a year-over-year comparison. The median sales price in Alameda County for September 2012 was $491,670; we saw a median sales price of $457,210 in September 2011.

The days on market for homes in Alameda County continue to shorten, with an average of 59.2 for September 2012. A year ago, Alameda County days on market averaged 67.9.

Livermore home prices are in range of the county median. The average home sale price for Livermore during the last 30 days is $479,678.  Sales activity is brisk, with the average Livermore home spending only 30 days on the market.

Median home prices throughout the State of California are up by 19.5%, compared to September 2011. September 2012 home prices averaged $345,000 statewide; a year ago they averaged $288,700.  Throughout California, days on market are shrinking, with homes spending an average of 39.3 days on market in September 2012, compared to 54.2 a year ago.

Is now a good time to buy a home in Livermore Valley? If the days on market are any indication, a lot of home buyers think so! There is a collective expectation that home prices will continue to rise during 2013, and buyers are anxious to take advantage of the lower home prices they’re seeing today.

The biggest challenge to our market is the scarcity of inventory at the lower price levels. This is pressuring some buyers to go where the inventory is, be it in higher price ranges, or in locations outside of their original target. You can still find a great home for the money in Livermore Valley, but you may need to cast your net a little wider – and work with a real estate professional who can help you!

Local experience counts in  Livermore Valley real estate! For the latest home sales activity for your neighborhood, contact me! I have the local expertise you can trust for Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin! Whether you are buying or selling a home, I can provide the latest market data and reliable professional guidance.

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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Will the Homeowner Bill of Rights Impact Livermore Valley Real Estate?

Beginning in 2013, the Homeowner Bill of Rights puts California at the front lines of foreclosure prevention. The passage of the law has been hailed as a victory for California homeowners, while mortgage lenders have concerns about potential impact to the housing market. Will it mean a real estate slowdown for Livermore Valley?

First, here are the highlights of the law:

Mortgage servicers cannot pursue foreclosure while a loan modification or short sale is being evaluated.

Mortgage servicers cannot begin foreclosure until they have provided documentation to the homeowner that proves their right to take foreclosure action.

Paper trails must be clear when mortgage loans change hands, and the “robo-signing” of foreclosure documents is prohibited.

Mortgage servicers must provide a single point of contact for distressed homeowners.

Undoubtedly, the law provides good protections for California homeowners. Lenders argue that lengthening and complicating a foreclosure process does not benefit the housing market. In states such as New York and Florida where foreclosure can take years to accomplish, depressed home values have been slow to recover. Mortgage bankers suggest that California’s expedient foreclosure process is what enabled us to begin recovery, while the rest of the nation struggled with ever-declining home values.

Looking at current trends, it’s unlikely that the new law by itself will affect the Livermore Valley real estate market. Foreclosures are down by over 23% in Alameda County as of June 2012. It’s the number of foreclosures, and not the specific process of law, that truly impacts the market. So long as the broader economy remains stable and our local employment outlooks are good, mortgage defaults should continue to decrease – and home values should continue to improve.

We should also remember that the Federal foreclosure settlement reached with the five largest mortgage servicers has already changed foreclosure practices. This too, had caused concern about mortgage availability, but it has not stopped the market.

As your professional Livermore Valley real estate agent, I understand the concerns of today’s buyers and sellers. The real estate market is continually changing, which is why local experience counts! If you are buying or selling a home in Livermore, Dublin or Pleasanton, contact me today! I will be happy to provide you with the latest market statistics and help you with your real estate goals.

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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