Home Sales Snapshot for Livermore Valley!

Livermore Valley real estate market reports for the first quarter of 2011 show a brightening picture. Let me show you what I mean with a quick summary of the home sales data I’ve shared in my prior blogs

In nearly all price ranges for Livermore, Dublin, and Pleasanton, there are more contracts pending and closed sales for the first quarter of 2011, than there were for the last quarter of 2010.

The exception to the trend is the Dublin price range of $750,000 to $999,000, which shows a slightly softer first quarter for 2011 with an average of 67 days on market.

Each local market has a sweet spot, and for each local market, it’s different. Based on sales data for January through March of 2011, here is where the action is:

  • Livermore price ranges of $750,000 to $999,000 average 29 days on market. 
  • Dublin price ranges of  of $500,000 to $749,999 average of 20 days on market.
  •           Pleasanton price ranges of $300,000 to $499,999 average 27 days on market.

While we’re seeing improvements over the last quarter, note that home prices for the first quarter of 2011 are softer than they were a year ago. This is because of the temporary tax credit for first-time buyers that stimulated the real estate market in early 2010. For this reason, comparing the first quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011 isn’t exactly apples to apples.

That said, let’s look at the 2011 first quarter activity for Livermore Valley homes priced $299,999 and under:

  • Livermore – 59 days on market
  • Dublin – 48 days on market
  • Pleasanton – 52 days on market

Despite the affordability of the $299,999 and under price range, these properties are taking longer to sell than many higher-priced homes. A few things could contribute to this trend. Namely, the absence of the first-time homebuyer tax credit; the tightening of mortgage underwriting; and the number of properties for sale in this price range.

What should you expect when selling a home in Livermore Valley? First of all – you should expect it to sell! As your Livermore Valley real estate professional, I have the experience and market insights to create the sales strategy you need. To find out what you can expect in today’s market, contact me today for your free Home Evaluation.

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
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Get Organized in Livermore Valley!

Per the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales recently jumped, continuing the upward trend of the real estate market.  This is exciting news for Livermore Valley home owners who are considering selling their home.

A question I often hear from a home seller is, “What can I do to make my home appeal to buyers?”  In many cases they’re already considering minor remodeling projects.  The obvious spruce-ups come to mind; fresh paint, new carpeting, and updating the appliances.  But you could be surprised by the areas that buyers examine.

Having worked with many Livermore Valley buyers, I can tell you the areas they investigate when considering a home include the closets, the cabinets, and the kitchen pantry. They consider everything from the storage area in the garage, to the usable space in the attic.  These areas hold enormous curiosity to prospective buyers.                               

Yes, they’ll open the closet doors and look inside.  They can’t stop themselves.

What they’re wondering is, “Is there room for all of our stuff?”

When buyers are interested in your home, they will visualize placing their furniture in it, and imagine putting their belongings in the closets.  This is a reaction you want to encourage!

Therefore, one of the first things you can do to prepare for a buyer, is organize critical storage areas before you tackle bigger projects.  Otherwise, it’s far too tempting to keep shoving the overflow into already-full closets.

Here are a few tips to make organizing easy:

  • De-clutter your home one drawer, one shelf, one closet, and one room at a time.
  • Donate seldom-worn clothing to local charities.  Toys and furnishings in good condition may also be donated.
  • Be decisive. If it’s not moving with you later, discard it now.
  • Use storage containers rather than cardboard boxes. Air-tight storage containers have the advantages of being dust-proof, pest-resistant, and moisture-proof.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by the task of organizing, take heart!  There are professional organizers who can come to the rescue.  In fact, January is “GO Month” (Get Organized Month) with the National Association of Professional Organizers.  These certified organizers can help your family tackle the most chaotic clutter.  Livermore Valley has several members of NAPO listed in local business directories.

A neat, organized home appeals to buyers at all price levels.  Whether you invest in a modular closet system or simply remove the excess clutter from your garage, you will create open space that draws a buyer in.

There are many ways you can prepare your home for sale.  The very first place to start is by contacting me for your comprehensive market analysis.  Let me organize a sales strategy for you!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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Real Estate Predictions for Livermore Valley!

The New Year is upon us, bringing a flurry of financial predictions from experts around the country.  An optimistic view by Douglas Yearley, CEO of luxury home builder Toll Brothers, notes that he expects real estate market improvements in 2011.

Yet there are plenty of real estate “bears” who disagree with these assessments, and the contentions are numerous.  So who’s right?  More importantly, what can we expect in 2011 for Livermore Valley real estate?

In a prior blog I shared my own reasons for optimism about Livermore Valley real estate.   I’m sticking to my guns, and I’ll give you a few more reasons why I remain optimistic:

– The Case-Shiller housing index released this month, reports San Francisco, CA, as one of only four metropolitan areas that posted home price gains from 2009 to 2010.

– Livermore Valley is approximately 43 miles east of San Francisco, positioning us to benefit from regional improvements in real estate values.

– Livermore, CA, is a 2009 “Great American Main Street” award winner.  This award recognizes the achievements in the revitalization of Livermore’s downtown district.

– Livermore’s vibrant community is aptly expressed in the slogan “Live, Shop, Play, and Dine.”  Livermore has 119 shops, 51 restaurants, and 20 venues for entertainment and the arts.

– The wine country of Livermore Valley continues to grow with over 40 wineries in operation.

What can we expect in 2011 for Livermore Valley real estate?  More importantly, what can you expect when buying or selling a home in Livermore Valley?  As pointed out, we’re looking forward to a great year in Livermore Valley real estate!  There are many things that are pulling buyers to Livermore Valley and I’m expecting a busy year as I work with buyers and sellers in the Livermore Valley area.

If you’ve been considering a move to Livermore Valley, but have questions please contact me to discuss your real estate needs.   I’ll help you make the most of the New Year with a new home in Livermore Valley!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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New Year, New Real Estate Market in Livermore Valley!

As we look forward to 2011, many prospective buyers and sellers have the same question on their mind.  Namely, will 2011 be a better year for Livermore Valley Real Estate?  Is now the time to think about buying or selling a home in Livermore Valley?

It’s interesting to note, that while many people accept that one cannot “time” the stock market, there is a great interest in trying to “time” the real estate market.  Simultaneously, the “how” and “why” of the real estate downturn is the stuff of Congressional debate.  Opinions are varied and theories abound.  So what’s the answer?

Certainly, if there is no single cause of the real estate slump, there will be no single sign of its recovery.   Each areas housing market is unique, and the improvement of the real estate market will be felt at the local level first.  Yet the media attention on the real estate market is broad-based and often focuses on the worst areas in the country.

If we examine the fundamentals that support a healthy real estate market, we can find several reasons to be optimistic about buying or selling a home in Livermore Valley.   It begins with the oldest rule of thumb in the real estate business: Location, location, location.  So, what about Livermore Valley will draw people in?  Here are just a few hightlights:

  • The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District has had several schools achieve recognition through the California Distinguished School Award. The award is given by the California State Board of Education to public schools within the state that best represent exemplary educational programs.
  • Livermore, CA has a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and cool winters, with comfortable temperatures through much of the year.
  • Scenic Livermore Valley is one of California’s oldest wine regions, with over 40 wineries.
  • Livermore CA is home to two national laboratories and several major employers.
  • Livermore Valley’s quality of life attracts high-income demographics.  The 2005 census reported Livermore, CA as the third wealthiest midsize-city in the nation.
  • The arts of Livermore, CA enjoy strong support, including the Livermore-Amador Symphony, the Valley Concert Chorale, the Livermore Valley Opera and the Valley Dance Theatre.

With these strengths in mind, Livermore Valley is well positioned for continued growth as the broader economy revives and financing terms remain favorable.

Is now the time to think about selling your Livermore Valley home or to begin searching for a home in Livermore Valley?  Why not contact me and find out?  I would be happy to discuss your real estate needs and guide you through the opportunities that Livermore Valley can offer.

Wishing you all the best in 2011!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
Visit My Website