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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 5-24-15.

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 …

Behind the Numbers: $2,000,000 Home Sales in San Carlos.

The number of homes to sell for $2,000,000 or above in San Carlos has by almost 70% in 2014. While this may not be totally surprising given the state of the local economy, there are some interesting trends that emerge when we dig into the numbers.

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 …

Recent Articles:

First Quarter Listings in San Carlos Drop to Lowest Level in a Decade.

Dry Lake

A Listing Drought.

It seems like the only thing dropping faster than the water levels in San Carlos these days is the inventory of single-family homes for sale. I have been keeping close track of the rate of new listings in San Carlos this year to see if our chronically low level of inventory is just caused by homes selling quickly, or by a lack of new listings — or both.

The chart below is an iteration of the one that I have been posting on the site over the past few months — it shows the number of new single-family listings that hit the market in San Carlos during a particular period of time. The version below captures the data from the first quarter of each year for the past 8 years.

And although it’s not in the chart, I did indeed research the same data for 2006 and 2007, and I can safely assure you that Q1 of 2015 will go down in the record books as the lowest number of new listings in the first quarter of any year for the past decade.  That can’t be terribly encouraging to home buyers.

Q1 New Listings

Single-Family Home Listings in San Carlos in Q1

 

You may recall that we started off this year like we were shot out of a cannon.  January jumped well ahead of the pace of previous years, which gave hope that this would be the year that we would break out the listing doldrums that we have been in since 2013. But much to the chagrin of home buyers, that pipeline of listings has slowed to a trickle –  not too unlike our water supply in California.

One key reason why there are fewer listings in this ultra-competitive market is that the “transitional” seller has been all but frozen in place – these are the people who would traditionally move within the community, either upsizing to larger house, or downsizing to a smaller one. Because the market so fiercely competitive for buyers, many homeowners are choosing to stay put for fear of selling their home and having nowhere to move to.  So we lose a significant chunk of listings that we used to see when the market was a little less frenzied.

And on top of all that, it sure seems like nobody is in a hurry to leave San Carlos.
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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 4-19-15.

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The final week of Spring break is underway, with the Sequoia Union High School District taking this week off.  That should be the last major distraction to the market as we head through the Spring buying season. This year it seemed like there were at least 3 different weeks when the the local schools, private schools, and colleges took their Spring break.  It’s pretty hard to plan a vacation when everyone is on different schedules.

Regardless, that did not seem to temper the enthusiasm in the San Carlos real estate market. The five new listings that hit the market were outnumbered by the seven homes that were put into contract, thus dropping our inventory of homes for sale back down to 15, which is simply a ridiculously low number for this time of year. I am still counting on a significant bump in the number of new listings in the coming weeks, as sellers race to get their homes on the market before the summer break.  I will have two more San Carlos listings hitting the market during that period — stay tuned to the site in the coming weeks for more details.

Here are the details from last week:

By the Numbers.

Below is a high-level view of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the week ending 4-19-2015:

San Carlos Housing Data 4-19-15 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 3 5
Average Sold Price: $1,392,667 $1,666,000
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $863 $749
Average Sold as Percentage Of List Price: 116% 116%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 10 85
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 19 15
No. of New Listings: 5 9
Total # of Active Listings: 15 16
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,708,467 $1,671,804
Average DOM of Active Listings: 17 13
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $808 $788
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.79 : 1 1.1: 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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Just Listed: 202 Timothy Drive, San Carlos

202 Timothy Drive, San Carlos

Spectacular Alder Manor Home.

Lately in San Carlos, it has been very difficult to find that rare combination of a spacious 4-bedroom home, and an amazing yard to indulge your outdoor lifestyle. That’s why I’m especially pleased to bring 202 Timothy Drive in San Carlos to market this weekend, because this home is definitely a “10” in both respects.

The core of this fabulous 4-bedroom, 2.5-bath 2,543 square foot home is its perfectly functional floor plan that checks all the boxes for today’s discriminating San Carlos home buyer:  It features separate living, dining, and family rooms, an indoor laundry room, and a convenient mud room/storage area just off the garage.

But truly the centerpiece of this wonderful home is the recently remodeled chef’s kitchen. No detail was left untouched in this professionally-designed masterpiece. From the expansive quartzite counters, to the rich alder wood cabinets, to the heated tile floor, this massive kitchen becomes the focal point of everything that happens in the house — from cooking fabulous meals, to entertaining a large group of friends on a Saturday night, this kitchen is more than up to the task.

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The living area upstairs is equally impressive, with 4 generous-sized bedrooms including the spacious and private master suite, and two full bathrooms. The master bedroom has multiple closets to tackle your wardrobe storage needs.

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The layout of the upstairs is ideal for families with small children, since the bedrooms are all in relatively close proximity, but without sacrificing the privacy that you need a the end of a long day.

Outdoor Living at its Finest.

One of the must-have’s that seems to be at the top of every San Carlos buyer’s checklist is a flat back yard for hosting summer barbecues, or a place for the kids to play without having to run to the park every day.  You simply won’t find many yards that are this spectacular for sale in San Carlos.

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The front yard is meticulously landscaped with a lush lawn and stately, mature Japanese maple trees.  But the back yard is where all the fun happens – there is a spacious deck that leads from the back of the home to the custom, outdoor gas barbecue and the hot tub.  The rest of the back yard is comprised of a huge lawn area that will tackle any party that you can throw at it.

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Want to See More?

For a full gallery of photos of the inside and outside of the home, click here.  As I do with all of my listings, I have employed cutting edge Matterport 3D Modeling for the virtual tour.  To take a virtual “walk” through the house, click on the Matterport Virtual Tour below:

This terrific home will be listed at $1,798,000, and will be open this Saturday and Sunday from 1:30-4:00, and again the following weekend.  Be sure to put this one at the top of your list — you will not be disappointed!
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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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Measure P Ballots Arrive in San Carlos Mailboxes.

Ballot Box

It’s Time to Vote.

San Carlos homeowners this past week got one of those familiar red, white and blue over-sized envelopes stamped “Official Ballot” in their mailbox.  You’re probably more accustomed to getting these in the fall for a November election, but the one you just received is for a special mail-only ballot for the San Carlos School Parcel Tax renewal; aka Measure P.

As I first wrote about this topic on the blog back in February, the San Carlos School District is facing the imminent expiration of Measure B, the $78/year parcel tax that you’ve been paying for the past half-decade. Rather than “going back to the well” again in a few years when its counterpart Measure A ($110/year parcel tax) is due to expire, the School District is asking voters now to a) extend the life of both measures for six years, and b) increase the bundled amount by $58/year to a total amount of $246.60 annually, starting this year.

Photo Apr 14, 7 27 03 AM

San Carlos homeowners have been very generous in the past with school parcel tax measures, since there is a direct correlation between the perception of the quality of a community’s school district, and the prices of the homes in that district.  In other words, the quality of the San Carlos School District in the eyes of home buyers is a big reason why home prices are so high in San Carlos. There are obviously other reasons why our house prices are sky-high, but there’s no argument that the schools play a major part.

Every time one of these school parcel tax measures has been brought up for a vote in San Carlos, there has been vigorous discussion both for and against the passage of these tax measures. From what I have gleaned so far from the various social media channels, Measure P will be no different in this respect. There have been some pretty strong and compelling opinions voiced both for and against this measure already, and it should only get more interesting as the May 5 deadline approaches.

So how will you vote on Measure P?  If you’re a San Carlos homeowner, register your vote in our special straw poll below — let’s see how accurate it turns out to be when the ballots are counted in just a few weeks.

San Carlos School Parcel Tax Measure P: How Will You Vote?

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Do you have strong opinion either way on Measure P? Feel free to leave a 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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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 4-12-15.

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As I predicted last week, the new listings started to come out of the woodwork after the Easter weekend.  San Carlos saw 9 single-family homes make their listing debut this past week, with most of them hitting the market late in the week.  I expect that this trend will continue in the coming weeks as we head into the sweet spot of the Spring real estate market.

This week also saw the unveiling of the first nearly $5M listing that I have ever seen in San Carlos at 168 Queens Court.  It will be interesting to watch where this one sells, because it will certainly test just how rich the San Carlos real estate market really is.

Sales figures on closed homes were once again off the charts, with two homes fetching premiums of over $400,000 above the asking price.  There seems to be nothing that will dampen the enthusiasm for homes in San Carlos right now.

Here are the details from last week:

By the Numbers.

Below is a high-level view of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the week ending 4-12-2015:

San Carlos Housing Data 4-12-15 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 5 4
Average Sold Price: $1,666,000 $1,581,000
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $749 $790
Average Sold as Percentage Of List Price: 116% 113%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 85 9
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 15 14
No. of New Listings: 9 4
Total # of Active Listings: 16 13
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,671,804 $1,489,385
Average DOM of Active Listings: 13 13
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $788 $772
Active-Pending Ratio: 1.1 : 1 0.93: 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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Reminder: Property Taxes Due Today.

april10calendar

If you’re a homeowner in San Carlos and haven’t already done so, be sure to pay your second installment of your 2014-2015 property tax bill today. The second installment was due on February 10, and becomes late after April 10.  If you miss today’s deadline, it will cost you a hefty 10% penalty, which is an expensive lesson in procrastination.

For information on payment methods or to get the mailing address, visit the San Mateo County Tax Collector’s website.   Happy Friday!
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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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Understanding the Permit History of Your San Carlos Home.

permit

An Important History.

Gaining a clear understanding of the permit history of a home is pretty important if you’re seriously considering purchasing it. This is especially true if it appears that there have been modifications done to the home that obviously require permits, such as the addition of square footage, a new roof, or a wholesale kitchen remodel. But unfortunately, it’s quite common to find homes where work was done that should have required that permits be pulled, but they weren’t.  For example, did you know that you need a permit to replace your hot water heater? Most people don’t think about that at 2AM, which is when all hot water heaters are obviously programmed to fail.

Remember, once you purchase a home you inherit all the risks of illegal or un-permitted work that was done to the house, and quite possibly any liability of any problems that may arise from that work. So it’s vitally important to understand the work history on your home. This is a topic that I have discussed on the blog a number of times over the past 5 years, but it’s worth revisiting because the process for getting this information in San Carlos has changed recently.

Online Information.

Luckily, most municipalities have taken the effort to put their permit database online so that you can quickly and easily search for permits by the property address. San Carlos has done just that, and you can go right to the Permit Search page on the City of San Carlos Building Division website by clicking here.  (While we’re on the topic, if you’re interested in a Redwood City address, that can be found by clicking here.  Belmont’s is here).

While the San Carlos site is extremely informative and easy to navigate, it’s important to know that the online permit history is only from February 1999 to present. If you need permit information older than that, the process is a little bit more involved.

Pre-1999.

If you need permit history prior to February 1999, this can be obtained by filling in this form and emailing or calling the City Clerk’s Office (new process).  The request then gets routed to the San Carlos Building Division for completion. The City’s earlier permit history (non-online) dates back to approximately the mid-1960’s.

For permit history prior to the mid-1960’s, you will need to contact the San Mateo County Assessor’s Office at 650-363-4500, and see if they have any permit history on your home.

So this means if you’re looking at a particularly older home in the area, you may need to work three different channels to get the complete permit history of the home.

The Bottom Line on Permits.

This brings us back to a much broader perspective on permits. As I have written on this site before, when you have work on your house that requires permits, it’s in your best interest as a homeowner to go through the process and get them done.  Yes, it’s slightly more expensive and time consuming to do the job right, but you’ll thank yourself down the road when it’s time to sell your house.  Having the proper documentation for all of the work you’ve done to your house simply instills much more confidence in the buyer’s mind about the quality and legality of the work that you did.

And that usually translates into more $$ for your home, which makes the extra effort worthwhile.
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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: 4-5-15.

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The listing activity was fairly light last week in San Carlos, as was generally expected, since most homeowners don’t want to have their first open house on Easter Sunday when many home buyers are committed to family activities. Consequently, I expect to see the  number of new listings pick up quite a bit in the coming weeks, as we are now heading into a stretch of 6 straight weekends without any holiday interruptions until Memorial Day weekend (Mother’s Day being the sole exception during that period).

This is prime-time for the Spring real estate market in San Carlos, and I know that are sellers who were probably ready to put their home on the market last week, but opted to wait until after Easter Sunday, and the various school system’s Spring breaks. If you’re committed to finding a home in San Carlos before summer, this is the period of time that you’ll want to pay full attention to what’s happening.

Here are the details from last week:

By the Numbers.

Below is a high-level view of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the week ending 4-5-2015:

San Carlos Housing Data 4-5-15 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 4 6
Average Sold Price: $1,581,000 $1,892,500
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $790 $755
Average Sold as Percentage Of List Price: 113% 109%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 9 9
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 14 16
No. of New Listings: 4 8
Total # of Active Listings: 13 13
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,489,385 $1,412,308
Average DOM of Active Listings: 13 15
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $772 $797
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.93 : 1 0.81: 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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Chuck Gillooley
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