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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 8-30-15.

The San Carlos Week in Review is the only in depth weekly recap of the San Carlos real estate market, and it’s available every week on the White Oaks Blog.

Chuck’s Sales

Focus = Results. If you hope to succeed in this ultra-competitive real estate market, it’s imperative that you enlist the help of an experienced Realtor who is laser-focused on the local real estate market, and who thoroughly understands the micro-economic nuances of each neighborhood.   The stakes are simply too high …

San Carlos Residential Real Estate Recap for the First Half of 2015.

The San Carlos real estate market just completed one of the most remarkable 6-month periods in recent history. The question is whether or not the market can maintain this bullish strength.

Map of San Carlos Regions

The Realtor Zones. When it comes to residential real estate, the City of San Carlos is divided up into 6 different real estate “zones”: Alder Manor (Area 350), Beverly Terrace (351), El Sereno Corte (352), Howard Park (353), Clearfield Park (354), and Cordes (355). When a home is for sale …

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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 8-30-15.

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The Scoop.

Listing activity picked up somewhat last week in San Carlos, certainly when compared to the prior week. Six new homes jumped into the fray, and only two went into contract. This succeeded in bringing the inventory back out of the single-digit range, but only back up to 12 total units for sale in the entire city. Even as we head into September, this is a paltry inventory level for what normally is a robust Fall market.

Condo and townhouse buyers enjoyed a (relatively) healthy uptick in new listings, with four new units debuting on the market — this succeeded in bringing the inventory total up to 5 total units.  That’s certainly not a huge number, but it’s over double where we started last week at this time.

With the month of September starting tomorrow, there are about 2 months left in the calendar year of decent real estate activity – maybe an additional two weeks if November turns out to be a dry one again like it has in previous years.  Here’s to hoping that buyers get quite a few more listings to choose from before the end of this year.

Here’s the recap from last week:

The Numbers.

Below is a high-level view of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the 7-day period ending Sunday 8-30-2015:

San Carlos Housing Data 8-30-15 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 2 8
Average Sold Price: $1,770,000 $1,536,876
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $909 $967
Average Sold as Percentage Of List Price: 110% 112%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 12 16
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 22 22
No. of New Listings: 6 3
Total # of Active Listings: 11 7
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,772,700 $2,256,754
Average DOM of Active Listings: 10 23
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $791 $841
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.50 : 1 0.32 : 1

>>> Click Here to Read the Full Post
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The San Carlos Library.

San Mateo County Library

Old School, New Media.

Technology has made the world we live much smaller and faster, and has almost created an expectation of “instant gratification” for many things we now do — especially among the younger generations who are growing up with technology.

Want a song or an audio book? That’s only a few clicks away on iTunes. Need a last minute shopping run?  Google Express is happy to tackle that for you on the very same day — or if you can wait two whole days (an eternity), Amazon Prime will ship it to your door — for free. And any discussion about instant technological gratification would be remiss without the mention of Uber, which has completely changed how we get from one place to another.

But long before the advent of smart phones and apps for the click-and-ship generation, the pioneer of what we know today as “media-sharing” has been sitting right in our back yard: The library.

Surely the author has hit his head by walking straight into a wall while reading his iPhone. The library? That place with dusty old books and the cranky librarian? How is that germane to a discussion about technology?

The “New” Library

I recently re-discovered the San Mateo County Library system — yes, the very same system that I used growing up to check out old books — and was pleasantly surprised at how much things have changed, AND how even an institution like the library has embraced technology.

First of all, the library is not just about books anymore. There are shelves of music CD’s, DVD movies, and even audio books just waiting to be checked out. I was thrilled to find some older and more obscure music CD’s that I didn’t even know existed (Neil Young’s Live at Massey Hall – 1972…simply phenomenal.)  Their movie selection is excellent too, with recent feature movies, and even popular TV series.

But what ties it all together is that the San Mateo County Library system now has an iPhone app that allows you to search the entire county-wide system to find what you’re looking for, and then ship it for free to the nearest library. You simply find what you’re looking for, click which library to send it to, and then they’ll send you an email when it’s ready to pick up.

The app is not flashy, but it certainly very capable. I haven’t encountered a single problem with it yet, and I have used it many times. You can access the app on the iTunes store for free by clicking here: San Mateo County Library App.

The Best Price.

So why is all of this worth mentioning?  It’s certainly not the technology. You can instantly download your music from iTunes, or buy your books from Amazon. No, it’s because the library is free, which just so happens to be my favorite price. And it’s a resource right in your back yard.  So “re-discover” the new library system. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

The San Carlos library is located right next to City Hall at 610 Elm Street in downtown San Carlos.
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How Will the Stock Market Woes Impact San Carlos Real Estate?

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Roller Coaster Ride.

The last few days have provided some of the most mesmerizing stock ticker-watching of any period since the end of the recession as the global stock markets have taken a monumental shot to the proverbial jaw. Since Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has seen three consecutive trading days of triple-digit losses based on concerns about the slowing economy in China and how that may impact the U.S. economy.  This is the biggest drop in the market in at least the last 7 years.

I don’t know about you, but I have been glued to the Bloomberg Channel watching the market thrash about, trying to find some sense of stability. The swings in momentum have been simply breathtaking.

For those with significant equity positions in the market going into last Friday, it’s obvious that these are gut-wrenching developments. Losing 10-15% of one’s portfolio in roughly the same period of time as a Giants homestand must be tremendously unnerving. And yet for others, it may present an opportunity to roll the dice and buy some favorite stocks on their weakness.

But the question that I have heard repeatedly since Friday is this: How will impact the local real estate market? The answer is this — it’s too soon to tell. Here’s why….

Two Key Components.

The recent market volatility will impact today’s Peninsula home buyers in two basic ways:  Financially, and emotionally.  Let’s take a quick look at both.

  • Financial Impact: When it comes to the Peninsula real estate market, the financial impact of the plunging stock market will vary depending on what communities you are looking considering. For higher-end communities like Palo Alto, Hillsborough, and Los Altos Hills that have been prime destinations for Asian investors, I believe they will feel a more acute impact since many of their purchases are all-cash, and often from foreign buyers. In fact, many agents that specialize in these communities have sensed a pull-back from foreign investors for a number of weeks before the market hit the skids. For communities like San Carlos, Redwood City and Belmont, I believe that the impact will be less. While home buyers will certainly feel the sting of the devaluation of their portfolio, the fact remains that most of these buyers are still taking out loans that will represent at least 60% of the funding for their home purchase. So the impact will be a little less severe, simply because their purchase is not 100% dependent on the value of their portfolio. In fact, one could even argue that the stock market correction may help buyers in the long run, since the Federal Reserve may choose to delay their widely-anticipated rate hike that is slated for next month.
  • Emotional Impact. This is a far more subjective criteria, and it will vary from buyer to buyer. Much depends on one’s market particular philosophy (i.e., is this a normal correction, or the sign of a bigger trend?) and of course, how much of their purchasing power is currently tied up in the market. Much like the pricing in today’s housing market, memories of what has happened over the past week will be very short if the market recovers most of its value in short order. It’s just like the home buyer who was worried that he overpaid — until the following week another house sold for even more.

In a nutshell, until it is determined whether this was just a blip or an indication of much deeper problems with our complex, global economy, I think it’s simply too early to tell what impact it will have on the local real estate market. It’s obviously not going to be positive, but I don’t see buyers jumping off the train just yet, either.

If you are a home buyer in this market, how have the events of the past few days impacted your home buying strategy?
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The Best of Tour in San Carlos: 8-25-15

The best

1348 Cedar Street.

This week’s broker tour in San Carlos wasn’t much more bountiful than last week’s tour, when there were only two homes to see. This week’s tour only showcased four homes on their first tour, and they all vared widely in terms of current condition and potential value. This week’s pick for (my) Best of Tour addresses both criteria — not only for what the property could ultimately become, but also for how much it may sell for in its present condition.

1348 Cedar Street in San Carlos is a 2BR/1BA, 960 square foot fixer that is listed at $849,000 by Mila Gelman of Vanguard Properties. (Click on the picture below for the listing details).

1348 Cedar Street, San Carlos

1348 Cedar Street, San Carlos

 

What, you ask? Since when is a total fixer worthy of the illustrious “Best of Tour” award on the White Oaks Blog? After all, there is essentially no redeeming value in the structure itself (if you’ve been to the open house, you know exactly what I am talking about). No, the real value in this property is not the house, but the fact that the house sits on a 10,500 square foot flat lot in a prime central San Carlos location.

It goes without saying that quite a few builders and well-heeled buyers who have been waiting for a huge lot like this to build their dream home are drooling over this one. Because of that, look for this one to sell for a silly amount above the asking price of $849,000. (It should certainly set the mark for the highest percentage over the list price of any home kept stats on in San Carlos this year.)

If you’re looking for a clean slate to build your dream home in San Carlos, you won’t find a much better one than this. It will be open from 1:00-4:00 on Sunday, or you can contact me for a private showing. It’s a probate sale, so make sure you’re working with someone who has experience in those types of home sales because there are indeed important differences.

Honorable Mentions

There was three other single-family homes on tour in San Carlos this week. Click on the addresses below for all of the listing details:

  • 2845 Brittan Avenue: A large 4BR/2.5BA homes located in the hills of San Carlos. At over 2,600 square feet, it’s a lot of house for the money. Listed at $1,549,000 by Lindsey Ehrlicher of Vanguard Properties.
  • 2032 Birch Avenue: This is the other fixer that was on tour this week. It also has fantastic upside potential, because it’s in a very desirable Howard Park neighborhood. You just don’t see many homes on those blocks of Birch, Eucalyptus or Arroyo hitting the market very often. Listed at $1,078,000 by Mary Molinari of Coldwell Banker.
  • 1118 Royal Lane: If you’re familiar with the homes on Royal Lane, then you’ll really like this one. It’s super clean on the inside, and sports one of the best locations on the loop, since it’s in the middle away from the main roads. Listed at $1,298,000 by Laura Bertolacci of Dwell Realtors.

That’s the recap from this week’s tour in San Carlos. Let me know if you’re interested in seeing any of these great homes!
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Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 8-23-15.

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The Scoop.

Buyers were certainly out in force last week in San Carlos as they snapped up eight of the single-family homes that were on the market. The problem is that the sellers were clearly not on the same page, with only 3 new listings to hit the market during the same stretch. The net result is that the inventory of single-family homes for sale in San Carlos as we head into the new week sits at 7.

What’s even more discouraging for buyers hoping to find something in San Carlos is that of those seven homes, four of them are in the upper price range for San Carlos — $2.3M and above, and those 4 have been on the market for an average of 38 days. Of the remaining three, only one is in that sweet spot between $1.5M and $2M.  That’s not much to choose from as we start the new week.

Condo and townhouse buyers aren’t faring much better, either. Starting the week, there are only 2 units for sale in all of San Carlos.

Here’s the recap from last week:

The Numbers.

Below is a high-level view of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the 7-day period ending Sunday 8-23-2015:

San Carlos Housing Data 8-23-15 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 8 3
Average Sold Price: $1,536,876 $1,178,333
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $967 $823
Average Sold as Percentage Of List Price: 112% 109%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 16 12
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 22 22
No. of New Listings: 3 3
Total # of Active Listings: 7 12
Average Price of Active Listings: $2,256,754 $2,131,583
Average DOM of Active Listings: 23 17
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $841 $767
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.32 : 1 0.55 : 1

>>> Click Here to Read the Full Post
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Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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The Best of Tour in San Carlos: 8-18-15

The best

2600 Howard Avenue.

Considering that there were only two homes that were “officially” on tour this week in San Carlos, it was hardly a competition to pick the winner for Best of Tour for this post. But frankly, even if there were 10 houses on tour in San Carlos competing with this home, there’s a very good chance the results would have remained the same anyway, because this week’s winner truly has all of the right stuff.

2600 Howard Avenue in San Carlos is a beautifully remodeled 4BR/3BA, 2,606 square foot home that is co-listed at $1,898,000 by my partners Bob Bredel and Tatum Clarke of Dwell Realtors. (Click on the picture below for the listing details).

2600 Howard Avenue is a great house in many ways. First of all, it was recently rebuilt in 2010, so everything feels fresh and modern, especially the rich dark wood floors and the fabulous gourmet kitchen:

2600 Howard Avenue Kitchen

You also get that elusive 4th bedroom that so many home buyers are looking for right now, and most important (IMHO), is that the layout is supremely well designed. Everything is in the right place. With three bedrooms upstairs, and one bedroom down, it’s the perfect setup to keep all of the family together on one level, and have an extra room on the main level for a guest, or a home office.

On the main level, you get that open floor plan that is so appealing to today’s buyers. This makes the home equally functional for either entertaining, or just for casual living for the family.

2600 Howard Avenue FR

 

This home is located smack in the middle of anywhere you want or need to be in San Carlos — it’s not far from about schools, downtown, or either of major commute routes (101 and 280).

If you’re looking for a newer 4BR home in San Carlos, put this one at the top of your list. It will be open from 2:00-4:00 on both Saturday and Sunday, or you can contact me for a private showing.

Honorable Mention

As I mentioned earlier, there was only one other single-family home on tour in San Carlos this week. Click on the address below for all of the listing details:

  • 496 Wellington Drive: A fabulous value for a 3BR home on the west-side of Alameda in San Carlos. Listed at $998,000 by Mike Danao of Better Homes Realty.

That’s the recap from this week’s tour in San Carlos. Let me know if you’re interested in seeing any of these great homes!
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Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 8-16-15.

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The Scoop.

This past week marked the first of the back-to-school weeks, and the end of summer break for many in San Carlos. It’s shocking to believe that summer break is already over! But it also marks the beginning of what we hope will be a very robust Fall real estate market here in San Carlos. This is traditionally the last 3-month period of the year (August 15 – November 15) that sellers will put their homes on the market before shutting everything down for the holidays.

The activity last week was underwhelming by any standard. Only 3 new single-family listings hit the market, and 4 homes that were put into contract. We are starting the week with an inventory of 12 homes for sale in the entire city, and only one condo. Here’s to hoping we see more this week.

Here’s the scoop from last week:

The Numbers.

Below is a high-level view of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the 7-day period ending Sunday 8-16-2015:

San Carlos Housing Data 8-16-15 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 3 3
Average Sold Price: $1,178,333 $2,001,000
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $823 $888
Average Sold as Percentage Of List Price: 109% 113%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 14 28
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 22 21
No. of New Listings: 3 7
Total # of Active Listings: 12 13
Average Price of Active Listings: $2,131,583 $2,074,308
Average DOM of Active Listings: 17 11
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $767 $751
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.55 : 1 0.62 : 1

>>> Click Here to Read the Full Post
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Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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San Carlos Places Black Mountain Bond Measure on the November Ballot.

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The Future of the Black Mountain Property.

In their meeting on July 27, 2015, the San Carlos City Council voted unanimously to place the fate of the former Black Mountain Water land in the hands of the San Carlos residents. On November 3rd, San Carlos taxpayers will asked to approve a $45M bond measure to allow the City of San Carlos to purchase, enhance, and secure the property as open space to be enjoyed as a park.

The land itself is a combination of several parcels that add up to approximately 25 acres in the hills of San Carlos, which makes it the single-largest remaining open space in the city. For those of you not familiar with the location of the Black Mountain parcel, here’s an aerial shot of its relative location in San Carlos. Many will be surprised to realize that they probably drive by this site numerous times every during their normal travels about San Carlos:

 

San Carlos Black Mountain Parcel Boundary (approx)

San Carlos Black Mountain Parcel Boundary (approx)

 

In terms of housing development, the land could be zoned for as many as 100 single family residences. The San Carlos City Council has clearly shown its preference for the future of this land by pushing forward with the bond measure to preserve this land as open space.

 
Here is a quick informational video that discusses this relatively little-known gem in San Carlos:

 

The bond measure would tack on $20 per $100,000 of assessed value of every property in San Carlos. The assessed value is what your current property taxes are calculated from, and is not the same as the market value.  But on average, the bond measure will cost the average San Carlos household somewhere between $200-$400/year.

The City of San Carlos has created an FAQ page that answers most of the basic questions about the land and the proposed purchase. You can see the FAQ’s by clicking here.  There’s also a complete page on the City of San Carlos website that discusses the land, the history, and the bond initiative in more detail.

I will update the blog with more details about the actual bond measure as we inch closer to the election. In the interim, what are your thoughts about the initiative? Feel free to comment below.
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Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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Chuck Gillooley
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Dwell Realtors, Inc.

(650) 207-2024
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