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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 7-5-14.

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The week of the 4th of July holiday is normally a slow one for new listings, and this year’s occurrence was no exception — even despite the continued strong market in San Carlos.   Last week yielded no new listings, which obviously makes sense because you sure don’t want the first open house to be on a weekend when nobody is around.

But the holiday week did not keep buyers off the street.  7 houses went into contract, and that took the inventory of available homes down a notch to 20 — still better than the Spring, but not the levels that buyers have enjoyed for the past few weeks.  And if there isn’t another push of new listings in the coming weeks, that number will once again drop back down into the teens.

On the topic of inventory, take note in the numbers below that the average days on market (DOM) of homes on the market is now at 33 days.  This is the first time that it has broken the 1-month barrier all year.  This is a trend that has been increasing in the past few weeks, which seems to suggest that it’s taking homes a little longer to sell lately.  That’s a number that I will certainly keep a close eye on in the coming weeks.

Here are the details from last week:

By The Numbers.

Below is a high-level snapshot of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the week ending 7-5-2014:

San Carlos Housing Data 7-5-14 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 10 7
Average Sold Price: $1,594,700 $1,690,214
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $790 $934
Average Percentage Over List Price: 104% 108%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 13 20
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 24 25
No. of Active Listings: 20 27
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,468,597 $1,421,866
Average DOM of Active Listings: 33 25
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $698 $699
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.83 : 1 1.08 : 1

>>> Click Here to Read the Full Post
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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 6-28-14.

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Today marks the midway point in what has been arguably the strongest and most breathtaking year in San Carlos real estate in recent memory — possibly ever.   2014 is only halfway in the books, and the market is on a pace to shatter just about ever price record that one could think of.   The tally at the end of the year will be hard to believe.

Tomorrow we head into what are usually the slow summer months of the year on the real estate calendar — July and August.  Traditionally, the market takes a breather during these two months, and then picks up again in earnest in September.   But while I believe the market is not going to maintain the breakneck pace that it set in the Spring, I don’t believe we’re going to experience the lull in July and August that we are accustomed to seeing.  The right homes will still garner significant interest, but homes “on the fringe” may take a little bit longer to sell, which was a trend that I started to notice in the beginning of June.

Here are the details from last week:

By The Numbers.

Below is a high-level snapshot of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the week ending 6-28-2014:

San Carlos Housing Data 6-28-14 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 7 7
Average Sold Price: $1,690,214 $1,508,514
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $934 $820
Average Percentage Over List Price: 108% 117%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 20 16
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 25 26
No. of Active Listings: 27 29
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,421,866 $1,346,842
Average DOM of Active Listings: 25 22
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $699 $697
Active-Pending Ratio: 1.08 : 1 1.11 : 1

>>> Click Here to Read the Full Post
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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 6-21-14.

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One of the key metrics to keep an eye on when you are gauging the temperature of the local real estate market is the Days on Market, or DOM, of the homes that are going into contract.   The larger that number gets, the longer homes are staying on the market before they sell.  This past week in San Carlos, nine different homes went pending, and all but one sold in about 2 weeks or less — in fact,  the average for the entire group was 14 days.   The average DOM of all 29 homes on the market in San Carlos right now is only 22 days, which is a relatively low number.

This is a good indication that inventory is still turning fairly quickly in San Carlos, despite the fact that we’ve seen a sharp increase in new single-family home listings since the beginning of May.   This past week was no exception to that trend, with 10 new listings replacing the 9 that went into contract, which has kept the inventory level almost unchanged from the prior week.  And with prices showing no signs of weakening, that’s pretty strong evidence that the demand for housing in San Carlos is remaining strong as we head into summer.

Here are the details from last week:

By The Numbers.

Below is a high-level snapshot of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the week ending 6-21-2014:

San Carlos Housing Data 6-21-14 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 7 6
Average Sold Price: $1,508,514 $1,718,333
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $820 $958
Average Percentage Over List Price: 114% 117%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 16 11
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 26 25
No. of Active Listings: 29 27
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,346,842 $1,435,288
Average DOM of Active Listings: 22 23
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $697 $700
Active-Pending Ratio: 1.11 : 1 1.08 : 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 San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 6-14-14.

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This past week was just one of those “wow” weeks for closed sales in San Carlos.   Of the six homes that closed escrow, five garnered 6-figure premiums over the asking price.  And of those five, four of those were pushed roughly $300,000 or more above the list price.  Talk about a market flexing its muscle….

Inventory remained steady at 27 for yet another week, as new listings roughly kept pace with pending sales.  It will be interesting to see how the real estate market reacts,  since this will be the first full week with that the local public school systems have been completely out for summer,  and people are already starting to announce to the world every detail of their vacations on Facebook make vacation plans.  Don’t panic, but July is only two weeks away already…

Here are the details from last week:

By The Numbers.

Below is a high-level snapshot of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the week ending 6-14-2014:

San Carlos Housing Data 6-14-14 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 6 6
Average Sold Price: $1,718,333 $1,518,000
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $958 $727
Average Percentage Over List Price: 117% 109%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 11 7
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 25 27
No. of Active Listings: 27 26
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,435,288 $1,484,035
Average DOM of Active Listings: 23 21
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $700 $701
Active-Pending Ratio: 1.08 : 1 0.96 : 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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Is the San Carlos Real Estate Market Slowing Down?

Slow Road

Despite What it May Seem…

Without a doubt, 2014 will be a year that goes down in the record books for San Carlos real estate.   It seemed like every other day there was a home sale that set some sort of pricing milestone, or there was a story about the incomprehensible number of offers a listing fetched… or both.   The market kicked into a gear that has never been seen in this town.

But after four of months of breakneck price appreciation and ridiculously low inventory, the vibe of the market took a noticeable change in the month of May and has carried over into June.   If you asked agents, buyers and sellers what there opinion of the market is right now, you’d probably hear that it seems that maybe homes are taking a little longer to sell?   And perhaps with fewer offers?   And there are more homes to choose from now than there has been at any time in the entire year?    If these perceptions were true, it would seem to point to a downward trend in the San Carlos real estate market.

So is the real estate market slowing down in San Carlos?   The answer is no.  At least not yet.

Blame it on the Inventory.

Your gut may tell you that the market is slowing down, but the numbers tell an entirely different story.   So, what’s the culprit?  The answer lies in the inventory — especially in the month of May.   Take a look at the graph below: >>> Click Here to Read the Full Post
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A Guide to Navigating the Permitting Process in San Carlos.

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In response to last week’s Open Forum post where readers were encouraged to share their recent experiences (positive or negative) with getting remodeling projects approved through the Planning and Building Divisions, the City of San Carlos has been kind enough to provide the following guide to help homeowners better understand the permitting process, what timelines to expect for responses and approvals, and also to provide key contact information in case you have questions or problems getting your project through the system.

The outline below is provided by the City of San Carlos:

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Tips on How to Navigate the San Carlos Residential Permitting Process:

The Planning and Building Divisions at the City of San Carlos would like to help those who are reading this blog. We value your time and know that a remodel project can be challenging – even without the permit process added in. Our goal is to try to make the planning and building permit process quick and efficient. We want to help you achieve your desired project – and we have made many recent improvements to provide you with quality customer service.

Our new Development Services Center was designed with our customers in mind. The center includes staff from both our Planning and Building Divisions to better coordinate your permits. We are available to assist anyone Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and noon. If these hours are not convenient, we can set an appointment for you. Please contact us at (650) 802-4263 or stop by during our Development Services Open House scheduled for Wednesday, June 11 from 8:30 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. to meet us in person and learn more about the services we offer. We look forward to meeting you!

Below are some permit processing tips from our Planning and Building Divisions and who to contact if you have questions.

Residential Planning Permit Review:

· Our staff is available to assist early in your planning stages – even before you submit plans.

· If you are planning a single-family residential addition or a new home, it is likely that a Planning Permit will be required. You will need to get the Planning Permit before you get a Building Permit.

· All residential Planning Permit work is managed here at City Hall and City staff is available to meet with you, your contractor, or architect any time during the process.

· You will be assigned a City planner who will be your point-person throughout the Planning Permit process. The planner will work with you or your representative to understand your project goals and can then identify the level of review that will be required for your project, inform you of relevant zoning requirements and outline a path and timeline for Planning Permit approval.

· Depending on your project’s complexity and the applicable Planning Permit process, average processing times can range from 45 to 90 days to obtain a Planning Permit.

· After your Planning Permit is approved, staff will let you know what follow up items need to be completed before receiving a Building Permit.

If you have any questions about the Planning Permit review process, please call Lisa Porras, Principle Planner at (650) 802-4264, or send her an e-mail, at lporras@cityofsancarlos.org.

Residential Building Permit Review:

· Single-family home projects that received a Planning Permit are typically reviewed by our plan check consultants outside City Hall – we manage their work and communicate with them if there are any issues.

· Average turn-around time for initial Building Permit plan review comments is 10 working days (for projects that already received a Planning Permit).

· Average review time for Building Permit plan review re-check comments is 5 working days.

· Interior remodels, kitchen and bath remodels, and other projects that do not require a Planning Permit are typically reviewed in-house by one of three plan checkers. Here are some benchmark internal Building Permit plan check timelines:

Single-Story Addition: 2 to 4 Weeks
Kitchen & Bath Remodel: 1 to 2 Days
Deck: 1 to 2 Weeks
Interior Remodel: 1 to 3 Weeks
Solar Installation: 1 to 3 Days
Retaining Wall: 2 to 4 Weeks

If you have any questions about the Building Permit plan review or inspection process, please call Chris Valley, Building Official at (650) 802-4262, or by sending an e-mail, at cvalley@cityofsancarlos.org.

Please feel free to contact me, at (650) 802-4209, or via e-mail, at asavay@cityofsancarlos.org if you have any questions about this information. We look forward to helping you with your project.

Al Savay, AICP
Community Development Director
City of San Carlos, California
PH: (650) 802-4209
asavay@cityofsancarlos.org
600 Elm Street
San Carlos, CA 94070
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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: 6-7-14.

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For the second straight week in San Carlos, there were more new listings to hit the market than there were homes going into contract.  That net positive helped push the inventory of homes for sale up to 27 briefly, before settling in at 26 at the time of this post.  That’s quite possibly the highest number of homes for sale that we’ve seen the entire year.  And San Carlos isn’t alone in this respect — Belmont’s inventory has bloated up to 27 seemingly overnight.

Whether that’s just the normal seasonal push, or a sign that the market is slowing down is still tough to call. Most homes that are going into contract are still seeing significant interest and multiple offers, just perhaps not as many offers as might have been the case a few months when the inventory levels were less than half this amount.   Regardless of the reason, the numbers are finally swinging back toward the buyer’s direction, and those buyers that stay on task during the summer months may finally land that elusive home on the Peninsula.

Here are the details from last week:

By The Numbers.

Below is a high-level snapshot of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the week ending 6-7-2014:

San Carlos Housing Data 6-7-14 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 6 2
Average Sold Price: $1,518,000 $1,177,500
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $727 $1,011
Average Percentage Over List Price: 109% 98%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 7 9
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 27 28
No. of Active Listings: 26 22
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,484,035 $1,496,814
Average DOM of Active Listings: 21 16
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $701 $702
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.96 : 1 0.79 : 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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Open Forum: Remodeling Headaches in San Carlos?

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Remodeling Boom.

One of the byproducts of a booming stock market and a strong local economy is that San Carlos homeowners now have the confidence and the financial resources to start investing in their properties again.   And they are doing it in droves.   Whether it’s a new kitchen project that was delayed by the recession, or a completely new dream home being crafted from the ground up, we are in the midst of a remodeling boom that we have not seen in nearly a decade.  You almost can’t find a street in San Carlos where there isn’t some evidence of a remodeling project that’s underway — and just as many, or more,  are in the pipeline.

This is obviously great news for architects and contractors, who usually take it on the chin quite hard during down economic cycles, since home improvement projects are the first things that get shelved when money gets tight.   And it’s good for the overall real estate market that the housing stock is being updated and improved in San Carlos.  Many of the homes that you see in San Carlos were originally built in the 1940′s and 50′s, and many are sorely in need of updating.

In those respects, the remodeling boom is all good.

Permit Overload?

Tackling any significant home improvement project is a time-consuming venture — especially when you play by the rules and get the required permits and approvals.  I’ve been through the process already on a major remodel, so I know firsthand how much review needs to be done by the planning and building departments in the city before you get the stamp of approval to proceed.   And the building code and review process has likely gotten even more stringent in the past 14 years since we finished our project.   Like it or not, it’s a necessary step in the process that helps ensure that everything is done properly.

When it’s already a complicated and time consuming process to begin with, and then the workload suddenly increases almost exponentially,  it’s not a stretch to see a logjam coming in the approval process — especially with a City staff that has been decimated over the past decade by endless rounds of reorganizations and budget cuts.    To accommodate the crushing workload, the City has been forced to outsource much of the permit review and approval that it used to handle internally.

Taking into account that it’s not expected to be an easy or quick process, I’ve still heard an inordinate amount of complaints from exasperated homeowners over the past few weeks about getting their projects through City Hall.   Whether it’s simply turnaround time to get everything approved, or the seemingly unreasonable corrections and demands that are being placed on their projects (or both),  there seems to be a certain level of discontent right now in the City of Good Living.

Is this perception founded, or unfounded?

Open Forum:  Share Your Experience.

This post is not intended to throw any one person or department under the proverbial bus.   It’s simply a forum to share your experience on your remodel project — both positive and negative — so that others who are in the pipeline behind you can benefit from your experience and advice.

So, short of having an open microphone to voice your opinion, use the comment section below to share your experience with others.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to comment!
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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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