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Thinking of Putting Your San Carlos Home on the Market This Fall?

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Then You Should be Getting it Ready.. NOW.

There are two distinct real estate market during the course of the year in San Carlos.  The Spring market, which everyone is accustomed to, runs from roughly March through June, and is easily the biggest market period of the year for home sales.   For many years, people have just become conditioned to buying and selling real estate during the Spring months.

But there is another very robust, albeit smaller, secondary real estate market that takes place in San Carlos too.   After the summer lull in the market that usually accompanies July and August, the Fall market kicks into full gear and runs right up to the Thanksgiving holiday before it essentially shuts down for the remainder of the year.   The start of the Fall market generally coincides with when the kids go back to school — which used to be after Labor Day weekend.     But now most kids (except for those in the UC System) are back at it by the third week of August.    That means the fall market now starts in the weeks leading up to Labor Day weekend.

And in case you haven’t looked at your calendar recently, that’s only a few weeks away.

Preparation vs Market Timing.

One of the questions that often comes up when someone is thinking about selling is how much they should do to prepare the home for sale.   Should they just do a quick cleanup and refresh, or spend some time and $$ remodeling the bathrooms and kitchen to perhaps garner a higher price?    Taking aside the return-on-investment strategy for the time being, one has to look at what the timing of these improvements mean to your go-to-market strategy.   In other words, if you want to get your home on the market this fall, will you be able to get these improvements done in time?

Generally speaking, the earlier you put your home on the market in the fall, the better you’re going to do.  Buyers who are actively looking in this period have very likely been looking all year, and are anxious to get their home purchase locked up before the holiday season sets in.   Sellers who understand this pent-up anxiety are wise to get their homes on the market in late-August or early September.   Conversely, the closer you get to the holidays to listing your home, the more buyers will be dropping out of the market to focus on the holidays, so you might not get the audience you were hoping for.

So, home sellers have to weigh the schedule impact of their desired improvements — will it push them too far toward the end of the year and miss the fall market?  Will it mean selling the home in 2014 instead of 2013?   Does getting an extra few thousand dollars in return on improvements make it worth a delay of several months?  Only the sellers can answer those questions.

But for those who DO plan to sell their home this fall, they really should be getting it ready to go right now.

Need Help?

Do you need help understanding how to get your house ready for sale?  Trying to understand what you should (or shouldn’t) invest in your home to sell it?   I’m more than happy to help you wade through it.   Just drop me a line.
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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 8-3-13.

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San Carlos Real Estate Summary.

It still amazes me how much over the asking price buyers are willing to go for the right home.  This week captures what has been essentially happening most of the year — buyers are obliterating the asking prices of homes in competitive bids.   This week, 1039 Hewitt Drive blew the lid off its list price by over $305,000 after getting over a dozen offers.  And not to be overlooked, the buyers of 1719 White Oak Way paid a healthy $225,000 premium to make sure they go this house.  Overall, the homes that closed escrow this week fetched an average of 115% of the asking price.   That’s pretty amazing.

This just serves as a stark reminder to home buyers to bring their A-game to the table if they’re going to make San Carlos their next address, because the market is still incredibly strong.

Here are the numbers 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 8-3-2013:

San Carlos Housing Data 8-3-13 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week:
5 10
Average Sold Price
$1,260,000 $1,445,800
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold)
$750 $700
Sold Price vs Orig List (%) 115% 118%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 11 13
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 27 25
Inventory of Active Listings:
27 31
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,560,585 $1,417,251
Average DOM of Active Listings: 36 27
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $617 $617
Active-Pending Ratio:
1.0 : 1 1.2 : 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: 7-27-13.

San Carlos Real Estate Summary.

Some very big numbers popped up in this week’s review.   The first is the number of active listings in San Carlos: 31.  This is the first time in many months that the number of homes has climbed above the 30 mark.   It may not stay there for very long, but it’s a welcome break for weary home buyers who have been battling over precious few listings.   This surge in new listings pushed the active/pending ratio above 1.0 for the first time in many months as well.

The third number that jumped out this week was the sold price/list price ratio of 118% , which was the highest recorded in the Week in Review so far this year.  This was driven primarily by the eye-popping 39% over the asking price that was paid for 275 Club Drive, and shows that there still is plenty of strength in this market.

Here are the numbers 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 7-27-2013:

San Carlos Housing Data 7-27-13 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week:
10 9
Average Sold Price
$1,445,800 $1,281,778
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold)
$700 $669
Sold Price vs Orig List (%) 118% 107%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 13 20
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 25 31
Inventory of Active Listings:
31 24
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,417,251 $1,439,283
Average DOM of Active Listings: 27 30
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $617 $617
Active-Pending Ratio:
1.2 : 1 0.77 : 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.
Get the best coverage on the San Carlos real estate market delivered right to you!
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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 7-20-13.

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San Carlos Real Estate Summary.

The good news for home buyers this past week was that the inventory of homes for sale in San Carlos quietly crept past the 20 mark, as we now have 24 single-family homes for sale in the entire city.  Just achieving the 20 mark has been an unreachable plateau for most of 2013, but how long it stays above that mark is anyone’s guess.  Perhaps the combination of higher interest rates and the summer market have combined to put a bit of a damper on the market?   We’ll see in the coming weeks if this trend continues, or if we’re back to business as usual in San Carlos.

Here are the numbers 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 7-20-2013:

San Carlos Housing Data 7-20-13 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week:
9 9
Average Sold Price
$1,281,778 $1,216,667
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold)
$669 $729
Sold Price vs Orig List (%) 107% 110%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 20 10
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 31 34
Inventory of Active Listings:
24 18
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,449,283 $1,433,161
Average DOM of Active Listings: 30 35
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $617 $605
Active-Pending Ratio:
0.77 : 1 0.53 : 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 2013 Real Estate: Mid-Year Check-In.

Special Report

Much of the Same.

If you read the First Quarter 2013 Report for San Carlos on this site, then you’ll recall that we graphically demonstrated how single family home prices were on a steep rise — while the number of homes for sale and the time it took for homes to sell were definitely going the other direction.   Well if you read nothing else in this post, that’s exactly the theme that has carried forward for the first half of 2013 in San Carlos.  Red-hot demand coupled with limited inventory has pushed home prices in San Carlos into uncharted waters.

But there are a few things about this local market that may surprise you…

Prices Going Up.

The fact that home prices are on the rise in San Carlos shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone by now.  If you follow the Week in Review posts on this site on a regular basis, then you’ve probably become numb to the eye-popping prices that homes have been fetching in San Carlos this year.   3-bedroom homes for $1.4M…. homes fetching $300,000 over the asking price….it’s almost shocking if a home doesn’t get multiple offers or doesn’t blow away it’s list price anymore.

So how far have prices risen?   Let’s take a look at the following charts:

San Carlos: 1H-2013 Average Sales Price

San Carlos: 1H-2013 Average Sales Price

Through the first half of 2013, the average home price in San Carlos jumped 15% over the same metric for all of 2012, and a whopping 32% when compared to 2011.   A 32% gain in less than two years!   That’s simply mind-boggling.   The story is very similar when you look at the median sales prices below: >>> 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: 7-13-13.

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San Carlos Real Estate Summary.

The San Carlos real estate market just keeps trucking through these normally quiet summer months.   With the 4th of July week behind us, buyers were back in big numbers as they picked off 6 of the active listings.  This kept the inventory level below 20 homes for sale, where it has been for most of this year.  Interest rates continue to be the primary topic with buyers, sellers, and agents — but for now it doesn’t seem to have a tremendous damper on the market.  Open houses in Belmont and San Carlos seemed to be very well attended yesterday, which is a testament as to how many buyers are still out looking for that perfect home.

Here are the numbers 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 7-13-2013:

San Carlos Housing Data 7-13-13 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week:
9 4
Average Sold Price
$1,216,667 $1,305,000
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold)
$729 $772
Sold Price vs Orig List (%) 110% 109%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 10 7
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 34 38
Inventory of Active Listings:
18 16
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,433,161 $1,449,087
Average DOM of Active Listings: 35 36
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $605 $599
Active-Pending Ratio:
0.53 : 1 0.42 : 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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Rising Home Prices Catch the Attention of the Tax Assessor.

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Upside.

The rapid rise in home prices in San Carlos has been a blessing for homeowners, especially those who have decided to sell their home this year.  As has been well documented on this site, sellers are having an absolute banner year in 2013 as they’ve taken advantage of sparse inventory and insatiable demand for homes in San Carlos.   But even for those who are staying put and not selling, the recent surge in home values has been a blessing as well.

For some homeowners, the rise in home value means that they now have enough equity in their home to refinance their mortgage to take advantage of these unprecedented low interest rates.  This is especially important for those homeowners who had less than 20% equity in their property, and were paying costly private mortgage insurance (PMI) as part of their loan payment.   The sudden surge in equity unshackles them from costly monthly PMI payments — this alone puts several hundred dollars back in their pocket every month.

Higher home values even helps those who plan to remodel their home in the near future, since many of those projects will be funded by home equity lines of credit.  And the higher the equity, the more money homeowners can borrow.

But like with everything else in life, nothing comes for free.    And this case is no different.

Letters in the Mail.

If you think that home buyers and seller are the only ones paying attention to the escalating home prices, think again.  As quite a few San Carlos homeowners have found out the past couple of weeks, the San Mateo County Tax Assessor is also paying very close attention to escalating home prices in San Carlos and elsewhere in San Mateo County, and they want in on the action.  A number of residents informed me that they have received notice from the Assessor has significantly increased the assessed value of their home, and of course, their property taxes will be increased accordingly.    One resident informed me that their assessed value was increased by 24% in just one year.

This action shouldn’t be a total surprise to anyone.  It was only a few years ago that the Assessor’s office proactively lowered the assessed value of over 40,000 in homes in San Mateo County after the credit crash and recession that began 2008.   They made it very clear then that they would reserve the right to reset values back up to pre-recession levels when the market deemed it was time.  It looks like now is indeed that time for some homeowners.

What You Can Do.

Just as it was after the crash, if you feel that the assessed value of your home is too high, you can contest the figure that the County has assigned to your home by simply going to their website and completing a Decline in Value Request Form.   If you’re going to claim that your home is worth less than the County has assigned, you’d better do your homework and have valid comparable sales in hand.  Remember, they have access to the same data that you do, so it’s really all about how well prepared you are with your comps.

Your Realtor should be able to provide you with those comparable sales, or you can just shoot me an email and I’d be happy to do it for you, as I have already done for numerous homeowners.
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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: 7-6-13.

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San Carlos Real Estate Summary.

As expected, it was a quiet week in the world of San Carlos real estate, at least when you compare it to the frenzy we’ve witnessed in the recent weeks.  The shortened week meant fewer listings and closed sales, but it did not keep those buyers who stayed in town from rolling up their sleeves and competing for some of the recent listings.  Six different homes went pending during the week, with several of them garnering multiple offers — and once again, they also fetched some eye-popping prices (which you’ll see on this site as soon as they close.)

Now that one of the bigger summer vacation weeks is over, look for things to return to their normally hectic pace.   Inventory has once again dropped to the mid-teens, so there’s not much for buyers to choose from until more listings become available.  This imbalance should keep the market on its toes throughout the entire summer.

Here are the numbers 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 7-6-2013:

San Carlos Housing Data 7-6-13 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week:
4 5
Average Sold Price
$1,305,000 $1,216,600
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold)
$772 $701
Sold Price vs Orig List (%) 109% 115%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 7 16
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 38 36
Inventory of Active Listings:
16 20
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,449,087 $1,442,892
Average DOM of Active Listings: 36 27
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $599 $618
Active-Pending Ratio:
0.42 : 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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