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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 5/23/2016.

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.

New Listing: 29 Hillcrest Road, San Carlos.

29 Hillcrest Road is my latest listing in San Carlos. This fabulous home has stunning views of the San Francisco Bay, and boasts a extremely functional layout.

The Streets of San Carlos.

What’s in a Name? You’ve undoubtedly noticed as you’re walking the streets of San Carlos — perhaps dropping your kids of at White Oaks School, taking the dog for an evening stroll, or just heading downtown for dinner — that the name of the street that you’re on is frequently …

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 Streets of San Carlos.

September 11, 2015 Living in San Carlos 3 Comments
Streets

What’s in a Name?

You’ve undoubtedly noticed as you’re walking the streets of San Carlos — perhaps dropping your kids of at White Oaks School, taking the dog for an evening stroll, or just heading downtown for dinner — that the name of the street that you’re on is frequently etched into the sidewalk, usually at a corner like this:

And if you happen to be paying extra close attention as you walk along this very same street, you’ll notice that the name inexplicably changes…to this:

Photo Sep 04, 10 21 28 AM (1)

Hmmm…Did you suddenly transport to a street several blocks away?  Were the sidewalk contractors hitting the martinis over lunch? Or did you find a mysterious intersection of two streets that are actually parallel?

Of course not.  There’s actually a good reason for this discrepancy, and it explains why you see this very same phenomenon on a number of streets in the flats of San Carlos.

Cedar Wasn’t Always Cedar.

The explanation lies in the fact that a number of the streets in the White Oaks, Oak Park, and Howard Park neighborhoods of San Carlos don’t carry their original namesake. When San Carlos was first incorporated, many of the streets carried quite different names – some of which have been slightly altered, some changed entirely, and others simply moved to another street.

Sounds confusing?  Take a look at a the old map from 1925 that I pulled from the title report of one of my recent listings:

 

Cedar Map

This map almost looks like it’s describing a different city, but it’s actually San Carlos — just an older version. Starting with the minor changes, Howard Avenue used to be called Howard Boulevard.  And Greenwood used to be a Drive, not an Avenue.  But what’s more interesting are the major changes that took place to the street names.

Cedar Street used to be called Woodland Avenue!  And what we know now as Chestnut Street apparently used to be called Orchard Avenue. And to confuse matters entirely, a street once named Kendall Avenue is the new home for Woodland Avenue… er, which was the former name of Cedar Street.  Got all that?

Wait… it gets better.

Cedar Map-2

…continuing along our little journey down Howard Boulevard (er, Avenue) — if we compare this map to the current map, what we know today as Rosewood Avenue was once called Madison Avenue (yes, San Carlos had its own Madison Avenue.)  So this means that today’s Elm Street was once called Rosewood Avenue, which was once Madison Avenue…

Sheesh, already.

So does that mean that Walnut Street used to be called Johnson Avenue?  Apparently so. And the biggest surprise (If I’m reading this correctly) is that Laurel Street used to be called Horton Avenue, and back in 1925 it wasn’t even a continuous street.

That in itself sounds like a potential San Carlos Treasure Hunters clue.

So the reason that there are several different names etched into the same street is that there are simply old parts of the sidewalk that have not been replaced from way they were originally installed. That answers the question of what happened with the street names.  But why were the names changed in the first place??

That may indeed be the 8th Wonder of San Carlos.

Have a fabulous weekend!

 
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Welcome to to the White Oaks Blog — the most widely read blog dedicated to the San Carlos real estate market! Have blog updates sent to you automatically by subscribing 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: 9-6-15.

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The Scoop.

The big number to report in this week’s update is the percentage over the asking price for the homes that closed escrow last week.  The five homes that sold last week fetched an average premium of 21% over their respective asking prices, which is significantly higher than what we normally see on a weekly basis. Looking at the list of sold homes below, it’s a combination of a few listings that were simply priced too low, but there were also a couple that fetched surprisingly high prices. Either way, it was a banner week for home prices in San Carlos.

New listing activity was decent, especially considering that it was the week preceding Labor Day. Many sellers opt to wait until after the 3-day weekend to put their home on the market, so it will be interesting to see what pops up later this week.

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 9-6-2015:

San Carlos Housing Data 9-6-15 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 5 2
Average Sold Price: $1,834,000 $1,770,000
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $872 $909
Average Sold as Percentage Of List Price: 121% 110%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 13 12
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 22 22
No. of New Listings: 6 6
Total # of Active Listings: 10 11
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,742,895 $1,772,700
Average DOM of Active Listings: 12 10
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $809 $791
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.45 : 1 0.50 : 1

>>> Click Here to Read the Full Post
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Welcome to to the White Oaks Blog — the most widely read blog dedicated to the San Carlos real estate market! Have blog updates sent to you automatically by subscribing 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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Leave a Book, Take a Book.

September 4, 2015 Living in San Carlos 2 Comments
Photo Sep 04, 10 35 26 AM (1)

Free Neighborhood Libraries.

Last week in the Friday slot on the blog, we took a little step back in time and talked about the San Mateo County Library System, all of the cool things that are available to check out there, and how they too are getting on board with technology to make it easier for residents to take advantage of everything they have to offer.

This week, we are going to stay in the library vein, but we are really going back to the very basics of book sharing.

I noticed on my evening walks that there are a number of very awesome “mini libraries” that are sprouting up in the front yards of some San Carlos homes. These are beautiful not only because of their brightly painted drop boxes, but also because of the sheer simplicity of the concept: You simply grab a book to read, or leave one behind that you think someone else would enjoy reading. And it’s all on the honor system.   How simple is that?!!

Here is one such neighborhood library that is located at corner of Eaton Avenue and Robin Way:

Photo Sep 04, 10 35 19 AM

…. and here is another one in front of the residence at 868 Cordilleras Avenue:

Photo Sep 04, 10 04 22 AM

This is a such a fantastic idea! Not only can you grab a great book for free, but you might also meet a neighbor or two that you didn’t know before.

If you’re interested in doing something similar, you can get some great tips and ideas from the Little Free Library website, or just ask your neighbors who are gracious enough to dedicate part of their front yards to share a little kindness and a good story.

Are there any other homes in San Carlos that are participating that I might have missed?  Feel free to leave those addresses in the comments below.  Happy reading, and have a safe Labor Day weekend!

Photo Sep 04, 10 04 30 AM (1)
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Welcome to to the White Oaks Blog — the most widely read blog dedicated to the San Carlos real estate market! Have blog updates sent to you automatically by subscribing 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: 8-30-15.

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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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Welcome to to the White Oaks Blog — the most widely read blog dedicated to the San Carlos real estate market! Have blog updates sent to you automatically by subscribing 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 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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Welcome to to the White Oaks Blog — the most widely read blog dedicated to the San Carlos real estate market! Have blog updates sent to you automatically by subscribing 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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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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Welcome to to the White Oaks Blog — the most widely read blog dedicated to the San Carlos real estate market! Have blog updates sent to you automatically by subscribing 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: 8-25-15

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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Welcome to to the White Oaks Blog — the most widely read blog dedicated to the San Carlos real estate market! Have blog updates sent to you automatically by subscribing 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
_____________________________________________________________________________

Welcome to to the White Oaks Blog — the most widely read blog dedicated to the San Carlos real estate market! Have blog updates sent to you automatically by subscribing for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
Don’t miss a single update!
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