Just Listed: 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!

Just Listed: 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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Home Sales Pick Up Speed in Alameda County!

Homes in Alameda County are selling fast, according to recent housing stats from Realtor.com. Overall, California real estate is outselling other areas of the county. Compared to the pace of sales nationwide, California homes have the shortest days on market!

Here are the California cities with the shortest days on market:

  • Oakland: 21 days on market
  • Stockton-Lodi: 26 days
  • Sacramento: 32 days
  • San Francisco: 44 days
  • Fresno: 44 days
  • San Jose: 47 days

If there’s any downside, it’s the fact that our statewide home inventory remains lower than normal. This helps keep home prices up, but it prevents us from having a balanced market, which is best for long-term growth.

Some optimists are calling this a new California housing boom, but that would be inaccurate according to economist Kenneth Rosen. Rosen is the chairman of the University of California-Berkeley Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics. He predicts that the California housing market will continue to improve in 2013, but not at the skyrocket pace sellers might hope for.

The reason? Rosen says tight-fisted mortgage lending keeps 40% of potential home buyers out of the market. A mortgage market that demands perfect credit scores is not realistic, and some of our home buying activity has been supported by cash buyers. As home prices improve, it’s reasonable to expect that fewer cash buyers will be in the California market.

Rosen also speculates that future tax increases could have an effect on 2013 home sales. California has some tax hikes on the table that are separate from anything Washington might hand down.

What this means is we can expect continued improvements in Livermore Valley home values, but prices shouldn’t become a runaway train. Much depends on what happens during the Federal budget talks in upcoming weeks. Meanwhile, real estate in Livermore valley is alive and well!

Thinking of buying or selling a Livermore Valley home? Let’s talk! I will share the latest market data for your neighborhood and help you find the best opportunities. Just contact me for the latest home sale details in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin. I’ll answer all of your questions, and provide you with expert guidance for success!

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 a Past Foreclosure Prevent Buying a Livermore Valley Home?

With home values rising and monthly rents becoming costly, there are plenty of former homeowners wishing to re-enter the Livermore Valley real estate market. For some, the mortgage hurdle is complicated by a prior foreclosure, personal bankruptcy or a short sale on their credit history.  If you’ve experienced one of these events, what does it mean for your home buying prospects?

Simply put, you’ll need to wait awhile, but the time period may be shorter than you realize. The Wall Street Journal reports that over 700,000 former homeowners are now eligible to return to the market, despite previous foreclosure or adverse record. Here’s a framework for example:

Chapter 13 bankruptcy: no matter the type of mortgage you had before, you could be eligible for a new FHA mortgage in 1 to 2 years. You will need to have clean credit, a good income, and meet a minimum down payment of 3.5%.

Prior foreclosure or short sale on an FHA-backed mortgage:  you will need to wait at least 3 years before being eligible for another FHA loan. Good credit and a consistent work history will be essential.

If you had a mortgage previously backed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, and experienced a short sale or foreclosure, you may need to wait to 7 years before you are found eligible for another such mortgage.

Loan modifications: if your lender agreed to alter the terms of  your prior mortgage, either temporarily or permanently, this could impact your credit score. How much of an impact depends on how the lender reported it – if at all – and how your loan performed after the modification.  There is no typical waiting period in this case, save for the length of time it may take for your credit score to recover.

In all cases, remember that banks are cautious today. You can expect some extra scrutiny if your prior mortgage did not show “paid as agreed” for any reason. The good news is, the stigma of a  prior foreclosure, bankruptcy or short sale is  temporary. Your best bet is to talk to a reputable mortgage lender, and see how your own situation fits in with the current underwriting guidelines. I can refer you to local lenders who are experienced and trustworthy. You may be able to buy a Livermore Valley home sooner than you think!

When you have questions about the Livermore Valley real estate market, contact me! I have the local market expertise you can count on for Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin! Whether you are buying or selling a home, or “just looking“, 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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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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Is Livermore Valley a Seller’s Market?

Despite gains in home prices during 2012, some homeowners who want to sell are avoiding the market, according to a recent survey by Redfin. In the survey, potential home sellers believed  they would get higher prices by waiting a year or two. Ironically, if prices are higher in a year or two, these sellers will also pay more for their next home!

The truth is, you can’t time the market. Nor can you predict what mortgage interest rates will be in the future, or what the economy is going to look like.  When to sell your home isn’t as important as why you are selling your home. If you need a bigger home for your family, or a shorter commute to work, or you’ve got a great job offer in another city, it makes sense to evaluate the opportunities you have today.

In fact, the opportunities in Livermore Valley real estate could be better than you thought. Sellers are getting over 98% of their asking prices, and in some cases, multiple offers. For example, here’s a quick look at how August 2012 shaped up.

Single-family homes for sale in Livermore averaged 31 days on market, with an average sales price of $520,741.  Sellers obtained  98.81% of their asking prices.

In Dublin, single-family homes averaged 24 days on market, with an average sales price of $639,275. Sellers obtained 99.25% of their asking prices.

In Pleasanton, single-family homes averaged 40 days on market, with an average sales price of $881,522. Sellers obtained 98.87% of their asking prices.

Overall, Livermore Valley home sellers do not have the market competition today that they faced during 2011 and 2010. Even so, price recovery is still a very gradual process. Inventory levels are low, but factors such as home condition, location, amenities and price always carry importance.

Is Livermore Valley a seller’s market? It depends on the home, the seller, and your real estate professional! Experience counts when you have a Livermore Valley  home to sell. I have the local expertise to help you succeed! Whether you just have a few questions, or you’d like a comparative market analysis, I’m ready to help you!

For the latest home sales activity for your neighborhood, contact me!  I will provide the latest market data and 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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Avoid High California Rent – Buy a Livermore Valley Home!

The latest report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition included grim news for California renters. Based on the average hourly wages of a California worker, the median monthly California rents are unaffordable for the majority of tenants. California ranks just below Hawaii when it comes to expensive rentals, with New Jersey, Maryland and New York rounding out the top five states.

The problem is more serious for minimum-wage earners and those living on a fixed income. Per the Coalition’s report, minimum wage workers cannot afford average rents anywhere in the country. What’s more, even those who are earning twice the minimum wage cannot afford average rents in 86% of the country. This leaves a good number hard-working people out in the cold.

Rent increases have been boosted by improvements in the economy and the job market. Rental demand is on the increase and vacancy rates are at their lowest points in recent history. Meanwhile, the construction of new apartments has been dampened by tight commercial lending. Simply put, supply hasn’t been able to keep up with demand, and it probably won’t catch up for years. It’s a great time to be a landlord – but not a renter!

With so many affordable Livermore Valley homes on the market, home ownership deserves another look. A fixed-rate mortgage gives you better control of your monthly housing expenses, long-term, than an annual lease. Why pay escalating rents for years to come, when you can have more room, more control, and better living for the money in a Livermore Valley home? Interest rates are low, there’s a great selection of homes, and the down payment on an FHA mortgage can be as low as 3.5%.

As your professional Livermore Valley real estate agent, I understand the factors behind our market statistics. I also understand the concerns of today’s buyers! The mortgage, the appraisal, the property inspection – there are a number of details that need to be handled. Whether you are a first-time buyer, or looking for an investment property, I can help! My market expertise can help you find a great opportunity in Livermore Valley real estate!

If you are buying or selling a Livermore Valley home, I have the experience that makes a difference. If you have questions about real estate in Livermore, Dublin or Pleasanton, give me a call today

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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Home Loan Tips for Livermore Valley!

Will you start the new year with a new Livermore Valley home? If you’re thinking of becoming a homeowner during 2012, there’s good news: the Federal Housing Administration could help you. FHA-backed mortgages in California are alive and well, thanks to a reinstatement of higher loan limits effective last month.

There’s a common misconception that FHA loans are only available for first-time homebuyers, or that income limits apply. Not true! However, there’s a limit on the mortgage amount itself. Now through 2013, that limit is as high as $729,750 for some areas of Alameda County, for a single-family residence.

Why go with a FHA-backed mortgage? For openers, your down payment requirements are lower. Your down payment could be as low as 3.5%! FHA also allows you to have down payment assistance from your family or employer.

With FHA loans, you will have a monthly mortgage insurance premium added to your payment. The mortgage insurance protects the lender in case you default on the loan. Basically, the government isn’t loaning you the money directly; but they are promising to repay the lender if you don’t. They collect a monthly insurance premium from you to fund an insurance pool for that purpose. In turn, this gives the lender additional security on the debt, which helps keep credit available for home buying.

FHA loans are also more forgiving concerning credit scores. You should always keep your credit history in the best possible shape, but with FHA, a past blemish won’t sink your chances of a mortgage.

To find out more about FHA-backed mortgages, you can visit the FHA questions and answers page on HUD.gov. You should also talk to local mortgage lenders. They will know the guidelines that apply to you and the local area.  Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is an important step in becoming a Livermore Valley homeowner!

As your Livermore Valley real estate professional, I study our local markets and keep on top of the real estate news. When you’re buying or selling a home in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin, I’ll be ready to help you! Always feel welcome to contact me with your real estate questions.

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
Visit My Website