SOLD: 7393 Mines Road – Welcome to Paradise!

 

DSC_2830a7393 Mines Road

Livermore, CA 94550
$1,675,000
MLS: 40666082
5 Bedrooms
3.5 Bathrooms

Welcome to Paradise!  Nestled amongst the oaks in the foothills of Livermore on 4.5 acres, this beauty is a slice of heaven.  Entering through the foyer,  you will be hypnotized by all of the elegant details found throughout this home. The spacious living room comes complete with cathedral open beamed ceilings and walls of glass with gorgeous views that continues throughout the home and provides warmth and charm. The well thought out floor plan makes everyday living and entertaining a breeze.

Imagine creating delicious masterpieces for your guests in the kitchen that is outfitted with beautiful custom cabinetry for a luxurious feel, hardwood hickory flooring, granite counter tops, and stainless steel appliances.  A sizable center island as well as recessed lighting make this kitchen any aspiring chef’s dream. A breakfast area is just steps away and offers more stunning views and decorative cabinetry for serving your meals or storage.  You will be enthralled by the open family room that is enhanced with a brick fireplace and mantle.  To top it off, this room offers tranquil views of the Oak trees and hills!

Escape to your personal hideaway in the master bedroom suite with its own private bathroom, carpeting and spacious closet.  Four additional bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms can accommodate either residents or guests.  Experience outdoor living at its finest on your private covered patio where you will indulge in the views of the sizable backyard, and of course, the sparkling in-ground swimming pool.  Once you have experienced the views and copious amount of unbelievable features found throughout this home, you will not want to leave! From the approximately 1,000 square foot shop to the two stall barn, this home is just waiting for that sophisticated buyer. This gem is truly a must see!

SOLD: 1592 Roselli Drive – Custom Delight!

DSC_8898a1592 Roselli Drive
Livermore, CA 94550
$630,000
MLS:  40644239
3 Bedrooms
2 Bathrooms

Enjoy coming home to this beautiful haven in Liverpool! This home has been renovated with an abundance of updates including specialty flooring, crown molding, wainscoting and plantation shutters throughout. Stepping into the foyer, you are greeted by the family room boasting elements such as crown molding and upgraded lighting, sure to catch your eye. Beautiful upgraded kitchen, stainless steel appliances, new granite counter tops and a separate breakfast nook are sure to impress. For dining, show guests to the dining room where the open floor plan creates the ideal atmosphere for any special occasion.

At the day’s end, lounge in the living room open to the dining room. A brick fireplace is the center piece of the room and will produce an environment of rest and relaxation. Three bedrooms, including a sizable master suite, offer ample sleeping quarters for residents and guests alike. While the master bedroom is complete with an additional closet and contemporary wall colors, the attached master bathroom is equipped with a vanity with granite counter top and separate tile shower with sliding glass doors. The two additional bedrooms include spacious mirrored closets and windows for plenty of natural sunlight.

It will be easy to enjoy a quiet afternoon on your rear paver patio overlooking the landscaped backyard. This backyard affords a tranquil setting in which viewing nature will be pure joy and a negotiable small storage shed will provide a separate home office. Additional bonuses include: a newer roof, furnace, water heater and lighting fixtures and fans. Completely move-in ready, this could be the home you have been dreaming about!

 

Home Prices Rise as Distressed Sales Fall in Livermore, CA!

Did you know that the current average listing price of a Livermore home is $1,068,938? The real estate market continues to charge ahead, with a list-to-sales ratio of 100.2%.

This means that the vast majority of  Livermore home sellers are getting their asking price, and then some! Home buyers in Livermore Valley aren’t just off the fence, they’re ripping out the posts.

We can credit some of the market activity to continued low mortgage interest rates, an improved employment picture, and a scarcity of homes on the market. But the reduction of distressed home inventory is the biggest story in California home sales.

The California Association of Realtors® reports that equity sales continue to gain market share statewide. Traditional home sales in California for October 2012 were 63.4% of the market. This is the highest level of equity sales since June 2008!

Distressed home sales, consisting of bank-owned property and short sales, represented 36.6% of the market.

Within the distressed sales, there is a ratio worth following between bank-owned homes and short sales. Bank-owned homes accounted for 11.8% of the distressed market in October 2012. Meanwhile, short sales accounted for 24.4% of the market and continue to gain ground as foreclosures shrink.

This matters because short sales are based on current market value, whereas foreclosures are usually discounted. Short sales are not as harmful to surrounding property values, and so watching this ratio trend in their favor is encouraging.

There are a few concerns on the horizon, including the much-publicized “fiscal cliff”, and the pending expiration of the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007.  Industry trade groups are doing heavy lobbying to make sure the importance of a healthy housing market is not forgotten by lawmakers.

Meanwhile, our home market in Livermore Valley needs one more thing to sustain growth – namely, more homes for sale! Now is the time to make your home selling plans for 2013!  As your Livermore Valley real estate professional, I will provide you with a comparative market analysis and all the facts on recent home sales. 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 home selling consultation in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
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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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Avoid Short Sale Snafus When Buying a Livermore Home!

The Los Angeles Times recently produced a dour article about short sales, suggesting that these home purchases can fall apart without much ado. However, purchasing a home through a short sale in Livermore Valley can be accomplished without pain if you follow a few rules of thumb.

1. Short sales are not intended to be a better deal for the home buyer. They are simply called “short” because the home sale, at current market values, will not be enough to cover the seller’s outstanding mortgages.  Therefore the mortgage lender must approve the sale and agree to the loss.

Short sales, when priced wisely, should be in line with comparable homes on the market.  It doesn’t make sense to price a home below market if the bank is likely to reject it – no matter how many buyers take the bait.

2. As a home buyer, be sure that your mortgage pre-approval gives you enough time to consider a short sale. Stay in contact with your mortgage lender and obtain extensions, or re-qualify, as necessary. Keep your information updated and do not make major changes to your job or credit profile.

3. Because short sales involve highly motivated sellers, it’s tempting to lowball your offer – but if the bank refuses it, you’ve wasted your time and possibly alienated the seller. Make a respectable offer in line with the market.

4. As the Los Angeles Times article suggests, you may need to consider ordering the home inspection up front and paying for it out of pocket, if the closing timetable is too aggressive.  But in most cases you can negotiate a reasonable extension of the closing date. After all, it’s in the bank’s best interest to have the deal go through.

5. Livermore Valley home inventory includes a number of short sales, and it may not be possible to avoid them without significantly limiting your choices. Rather than fear a short sale purchase, work with an experienced real estate professional – like me – who understands these situations and can guide you through them.

The truth is, distressed property sales will be part of our Livermore Valley real estate market for years to come. New short sale policies are taking effect with lenders as of November 1, 2012, and we may see more short sales hitting the market as a result.  Some homeowners are leveraged too heavily with mortgages to have any other means of moving on, even as home values recover.

Let me help you with the home buying process in Livermore Valley! For the latest price trends, and for help with your real estate questions, contact me!  I have the local expertise you can trust for Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin. Whether you are buying a home for the first time or for the tenth, I can provide the latest market data and the professional guidance you need.

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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Future Directions for Livermore Real Estate

Predictions for next year’s housing market are already here, with industry analysts expecting higher home prices in the first quarter of 2013. Will California and Livermore Valley lead the way? Here’s what the California Association of Realtors® 2013 Housing Market Forecast says!

First, let’s look at how 2012 is expected to wrap up. According to the Housing Market Forecast, California will close out 2012 with home sales activity 5.1% higher than 2011. Statewide home prices will average $317,000, posting a 10.9% gain over 2011 price levels. Livermore Valley home prices are already well above this average, as noted in my prior blog.

For 2013, California home sale volume is expected to be modest, due to shrinking home inventories. Sales activity is expected to pick up by only 1.3%.  Meanwhile, home prices are predicted to increase by another 5.7%, bringing the statewide median home price to $335,000.

These estimates are conservative, and the wind could shift in a number of ways. For example, housing and monetary policies will influence market activity. The condition of our national and local economies, as well as our employment outlook, will have an impact on sales. We also have homeowners who are waiting out the market in the hopes of higher home prices next year.

With those thoughts in mind, Livermore Valley is likely to do better than the statewide projections for California. So far for 2012, our home prices are already up by 11.4% from a year ago, well above the state average of 5.1%!

Will we see double-digit price gains in 2013? It’s certainly possible, depending on the demand in key price ranges. Our proximity to the Bay Area keeps home demand strong, and the decrease in distressed property sales will keep inventory limited.  Price gains are likely to be strongest in the mid-range of our market, with homes in excellent condition enjoying the best offers.

Our community events, charming downtown districts and miles of wine country offer the best in California living without the big price tag!  If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in Livermore, Dublin or Pleasanton, please contact me today! Whether you are looking for the latest market statistics or just need help with a few questions, turn to me as your professional Livermore Valley real estate agent.

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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Livermore Valley Sees Fewer Distressed Home Sales

The shadow inventory is giving way to a brightening real estate picture, according to recent reports by the California Association of Realtors. Statewide, the percentage of short sales and foreclosures dropped again, with August short sales holding 23% of home sales, and August foreclosures holding just over 14% of the market.

The total market share of distressed properties in California was 37.8% in August 2012; this is a good improvement over a year ago when distressed properties held 48.3% of the market.

Meanwhile, Alameda County’s distressed sales accounted for 23% of the market during August 2012. This is a drop from 26% during July 2012. A year ago, distressed sales were hovering around 38% of the market. The reduction in distressed sales points to continued housing recovery for Alameda County and Livermore Valley.

Ready for more good news? Lender Processing Services reports that mortgage delinquencies nationwide have been reduced by 30%, since the peak of the housing crisis in 2010. Overall, we have fewer mortgages going bad, while at the same time, the shadow inventory is being successfully absorbed by an inventory-hungry market.

In fact, Livermore Valley home prices are still climbing! August 2012 home sales held a median price of $539,820 in Alameda County. It’s an increase of 11.4% from a year ago, when the median home price was $468,900. We’ve come a long way in a year!

As your professional Livermore Valley real estate agent, I keep my eye on the market trends that affect today’s buyers and sellers. Livermore Valley real estate is continually changing, which is why local experience matters!

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 give you the professional guidance you can trust.

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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Mortgage News for Livermore Valley

California mortgage interest rates are going to sneak up a notch in the near future, but not for the reasons you might expect. As of October 1, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are raising the basis point fees they charge to lenders. In turn, lenders are likely to pass the increased costs on to mortgage borrowers in the form of slightly higher rates.

Freddie and Fannie are making these changes in order for their mortgages to be priced in line with private funding. In other words, they are trying to encourage private capital to return to the mortgage market.  Returning the mortgage markets to balance is in the best interests of taxpayers, who have helped Freddie and Fannie out of some tight spots in the past.

Who relies on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae for mortgages these days? Almost everybody. In fact, Reuters reports that 85% of mortgages originated during 2011 were backed by these agencies.  So far in 2012, 89% of new mortgages are backed by them. Even small changes by these mortgage giants can have wide-reaching effects.

Fortunately, the dollar impact to Livermore Valley home buyers will be modest. According to Bloomberg, borrowers can expect to pay about $4,000 more over the life of the loan, using a $200,000 mortgage as an example. Break that down per payment, and it’s an extra $11 per month.  Larger loans could see this ratio played out into another $40 a month or so. Not a show-stopper, but remember that these increases are the result of modest policy changes. There are many other reasons why interest rates can rise, and we shouldn’t take today’s rate environment for granted.

The bottom line is, low interest rates and affordable home prices won’t be around forever! Market changes can happen quickly, and buyers who wait on the sidelines too long will miss out on the great opportunities in Livermore Valley real estate. Why not take a look at the wonderful homes available on the market today?

My experience in Livermore Valley real estate will help you whenever you are buying or selling a home! Whether you need the latest market data for Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin  or you just have a few questions, contact me! I will provide you with reliable, professional guidance throughout all of our market conditions.

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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New Short Sale Rules Will Help Livermore Valley’s Real Estate Market

If you are a Livermore Valley homeowner struggling with negative equity and a personal hardship, there’s good news: short sales are about to get easier. Effective November 1, 2012, short sale rules are changing for mortgages backed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. These government-sponsored entities are involved in over half of all active residential mortgages in the United States.

The new rules create a cohesive short sale process between Freddie and Fannie and their respective mortgage servicers. The upshot is a reduction in red tape and a wider door of opportunity for struggling homeowners.

For example, homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments could be eligible for a short sale, as long as they have a personal hardship along one of these areas:

  • Divorce
  • Business failure
  • Excessive obligations
  • Death of borrower or co-borrower
  • Job loss
  • New job/relocation more than 50 miles away

In cases where the homeowner is already behind on the mortgage and experiencing a hardship, the short sale will be treated with priority. Also, the paperwork process will be reduced for these homeowners.

It gets even better from there. Mortgage servicers will be given the authority to approve all qualifying short sales directly. No more delays while waiting for Freddie or Fannie approval.

There is also incentive for second mortgages to cooperate with the short sale. Usually, second lien holders refuse to sign off on a short sale because there’s nothing in it for them. The new short sale rules provide up to $6,000 in compensation to a second lien holder. While this may not seem like much, the take-it-or-leave-it deal gives all second liens the same treatment; no more bickering back and forth, and no wasted time.

The only unpopular rule could be the contribution requirement. Homeowners who have sufficient financial assets will be required to chip in on the short sale. In return, they will be off the hook for the difference between the sale proceeds and the mortgage balance.  This is a reasonable compromise that replaces the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 which expires at the end of this year.

The new short sale rules help Livermore Valley real estate on several fronts. First of all, short sales involve the fair market value of the home, whereas foreclosures are discounted. Short sales also keep the homeowner engaged in the process, preventing home abandonment and neighborhood blight. Last but not least, our home inventory should improve as more short sales come to market. Because they are listed at fair market value and our absorption rate is strong, the new listings would be welcome.

My experience in Livermore Valley real estate will help you whenever you are buying or selling a home! Whether you need the latest market data for Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin  or you just have a few questions, contact me! I will provide you with reliable, professional guidance throughout all of our market conditions.

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
Visit My Website