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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 2/8/2016.

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.

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 …

$2M Home Sales in San Carlos – An Update.

The number of homes to sell at or above $2,000,000 in San Carlos has been increasing every year since 2012 as the economy continues to improve. Already, the number of homes to sell for over $2M in 2015 has exceeded the total in all of 2014.

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: 9-20-15.

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The Scoop.

What a difference a single week makes. At this very same time just last week we only had 13 single-family homes for sale in all of San Carlos. This week, we officially say goodbye to Summer and welcome Fall in with a relative avalanche of inventory. It has been many weeks since our inventory popped above the 20, so this is significant. It certainly gives home buyers some additional options to see, and a renewed hope that they will be able to actually secure a home with a tad less competition than what we saw in the Spring market.

It took a flurry of listing activity last week to get the inventory back up over 20. Nine homes debuted on the market over the past 7 days, making it a rather busy open house weekend for many buyers. But aside from the crazy summer heat, I’m sure buyers didn’t mind being busy — especially after so many weekends of slim pickings.  And I believe this little rally has some legs, as there will be additional listings hitting the market over the next two weeks.

Although many buyers that are still active out there are probably weary after an entire year of battling to get their home, this next 45-60 day period will be rewarding for those that can remain on task.

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 9-20-2015:

San Carlos Housing Data 9-20-15 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 3 7
Average Sold Price: $3,226,667 $1,400,357
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $727 $825
Average Sold as Percentage Of List Price: 107% 107%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 13 13
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 18 19
No. of New Listings: 9 6
Total # of Active Listings: 21 13
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,634,226 $1,748,688
Average DOM of Active Listings: 13 13
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $825 $864
Active-Pending Ratio: 1.2 : 1 0.68 : 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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San Carlos Notches Its First $5M Home Sale.

September 18, 2015 San Carlos Real Estate No Comments
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An Exclusive Club.

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later…

With the way the economy has been driving San Carlos home prices upward in leaps and bounds over the past 4 years, it was only a matter of time — after all, it was just less than two years ago that the $4M barrier in San Carlos was broken for the first time (on the MLS) with the sale of 5 Coronado Avenue at $4,500,000. That sale was a slightly different animal, since the value of that purchase was more in the 7+ acres of land, and not so much the ~800 square foot house that resided on it.

But the San Carlos real estate world was abuzz yesterday when the largest single-family residence sale (of those listed on the MLS) closed and became the exclusive member of the $5M Club in San Carlos.

168 Queens Court.

If a home in San Carlos was going to set that mark, then it makes sense that it was one of the homes up in Hyde Park. This little enclave in the upper reaches of Devonshire Canyon is home to some of the largest and most regal homes in all of San Carlos (hence the street names King and Queens Court.) The homes in Hyde Park are grand in their scale and architecture, and many sport fabulous views of the San Francisco Bay.

 

168 Queens Court, San Carlos

168 Queens Court, San Carlos

 

168 Queens Court, which was listed by Jim Arbeed of Coldwell Banker and just closed for $5,380,000, was no exception to that standard. It’s a massive house, at 6,510 square feet with 5 bedrooms, and 4.5 bathrooms. It’s situated on nearly 3/4 of an acre at the end of Queens Court, so you know the views are sublime. And the finishes are all top-notch throughout. (Click on the picture above for all of the listing details and photos.)

If a home was to be the charter member of an exclusive club, this one is certainly worthy.

Top 5 Home Sales in San Carlos.

While I was digging through the history of San Carlos single-family home sales yesterday, I was wondering what other homes 168 Queens Court surpassed on the MLS to become the top dog.  Here is a list of the top 5 homes sales in San Carlos that were reported on the MLS (unfortunately, it doesn’t take into account any private sales that were not recorded.)

San Carlos Address Sales Price Year Sold
168 Queens Court $5,380,000 2015
5 Coronado Avenue $4,500,000 2012
108 Queens Court
$3,300,000 2002
39 Oak Creek Lane
$3,200,000 2013
39 Oak Creek Lane
$3,100,000 2006

A few things of interest popped up when I was compiling this list.  First, it’s not a typo that 39 Oak Creek Lane is included in the list twice. It made the top 5 list both times it sold.

Second, the number of home sales does not grow exponentially when we look at the next segment below –  the $3M range.  There have only been 4 of those sales reported on the MLS in the history of San Carlos, and 39 Oak Creek Lane was two of those four.  So the class of homes that have sold for $3,000,000 or higher in San Carlos remains quite exclusive with a membership of 5.

But the way house prices are climbing in San Carlos, I have a hunch that club will be getting quite a few new members in the coming years…
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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 Honeymoon Period for San Carlos Home Listings.

September 16, 2015 San Carlos Real Estate No Comments
honeymoon

A Shelf Life.

There is a conversation that I have with every one of my home sellers that revolves around what I refer to as the “Honeymoon Period” of their listing. Just like the institution of marriage that the term originates from, it’s the period of time when everything is fresh, new and exciting about the house. It’s a brand new listing that buyers are excited to see, and (hopefully) will be anxiously anticipating writing an offer on.

But unlike that period of bliss in a marriage, which hopefully lasts for months or even years, the honeymoon period for a listing in San Carlos is not nearly that long.  How long would you guess that period is?  3 weeks?  A month?  Well, the reality is that the “best sold by” label on listings in San Carlos is exactly 14 days. When I tell this to people who live out of the area where homes commonly take 30-60 days (or more) to get into contract, they simply cannot believe this figure. But after years of battling in a white-hot housing market on the mid-Peninsula where houses commonly sell very quickly with multiple offers,  home buyers have simply become accustomed to homes selling in the first two weeks on the market — and coincidentally, quite wary of homes that have not.

Why 14 days? That’s two full weeks, which is ample time to list the property, conduct the normal Tuesday broker’s tour, and have two full open house weekends. The conventional wisdom with buyers in this market is that if a home has not sold in this period of time after that much exposure, then something is amiss.

The numbers back up this thinking, too. I took the data for all single family homes that have sold in San Carlos since the beginning of 2015 (and were listed on the MLS) and created a dividing line at 14 days from when the home was first listed until an offer was accepted on the house.  The results are very telling:

Days on Market Average Sales Price
Sales/List Price
Avg $/Sq Foot
# of Homes Sold
0-13 $1,609,578 117% $888 114 (67%)
14+ $1,571,173 105% $779 55 (33%)

Source: MLS.

In a nutshell, the homes that sold either pre-emptively or by the 14th day on the market fetched a higher price, a greater premium over the list price (17% vs 5%), and a higher price per square foot than those that took longer than two weeks.

The size of the home certainly doesn’t play much of a factor — the average size of a home in the 0-13 day group is 1,894 square feet, while the slower group was only slightly larger at 2,154 square feet, or only 12% larger.

Every Home Has Its Price.

One can look at this data in a variety of ways, and can draw an equal number of conclusions.  For example, one may wonder which factor is the cause, and which is the effect?  In other words, did a home fetch a lower price because it was on the market for too long? Or was it on the market so long because it wasn’t priced right to begin with?

My belief is the latter. There’s an old saying that goes something like “every home will sell for a certain price”, and that certainly holds true with our hyperactive local real estate market. Even homes that are borderline uninhabitable will sell in this market for the “right” price. And therein lies the answer — pricing the home “right” to begin with.

That’s not to say that buyers don’t look at homes that have been on the market for longer than 14 days with somewhat of a wary eye. The first question I always hear from buyers when they ask about one of these homes is “Is there something wrong with the house? Why hasn’t it sold already?”  It’s almost as if everyone jumps to the unwarranted conclusion that the house is sliding down the hill, or has a 6-figure foundation problem!

No — while the length of time on the market may be a factor that scares away a buyer or two, in the end the house always sells, but sometimes after chasing the market downward.

Get it Right – Price it Right.

This data proves a critical element of the listing strategy that everyone already knew intuitively, but until now not quantitatively: If you want to get top dollar for your house, you have to price it in such a way that it will sell in less than 14 days on the market, ideally with multiple offers.

This may mean pricing the house somewhat below what you think the market value may be for your home, which is a concept that understandably makes many sellers uneasy. But that’s often a necessary step to garner those extra offers that will ultimately help drive the price upward. Of course, there are homes that will be an exception to this strategy because they are unique in feature or location in such a way that will make multiple offers unlikely, so a different approach is required. This also reminds us that there’s no “one size fits all” strategy for getting the best price for your home.

When I meet with sellers, we always review a number of “go-to-market” strategies that are all slightly different in timing, listing date, open houses, etc.. But they all share a common goal of getting the home sold during the honeymoon period, and not after.

Because the numbers show just how important that dividing line truly is.
_____________________________________________________________________________

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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It’s a Dog’s Day in San Carlos.

San Carlos City of Good Living

New San Carlos Dog Park Opens Tonight.

Much to the delight of local dog owners, the City of San Carlos will officially open a dedicated pooch park tonight at 5:00 PM. After an ambitious pilot program that allowed off-leash hours at Burton Park was discontinued this year, dog owners in San Carlos were left without a dedicated park to exercise their dogs.

The City of San Carlos stepped in recently and dedicated the City Hall Park on the corner of San Carlos Avenue and Elm Street as the new canine playground.  They have spent the past few weeks getting park ready and installing a safety fence around the perimeter of the park, with double safety gates so that the dogs aren’t able to accidentally exit the park right onto San Carlos Avenue.

There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony tonight and some prizes will be given away to some lucky dogs, according to the press release on the City website. So if you’re out on an early walk with your best pal, stop by the new San Carlos City Dog Park for all of the festivities.
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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: 9-13-15.

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The Scoop.

One big difference that you’ll notice when you compare the Fall real estate market to the Spring market in San Carlos is that while the Fall market has its ebbs and flows from week to week. Some weeks are simply more active and intense than others, compared to the Spring market of this year, which was pretty much on full afterburner every single day up until June.

Last week we made note of the huge premium that the homes that closed escrow last week fetched compared to the original list price (21% over). This week’s closings, while still averaging more than 100% of the list price, were not nearly as strong as the prior week at only 7% above. In fact, 3 of the 7 homes that closed escrow last week sold below their original asking price. Is that just one of those weekly ebbs, or a sign of a change in the market? Most likely it’s the former and not the latter, but it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks.

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 9-13-2015:

San Carlos Housing Data 9-13-15 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 7 5
Average Sold Price: $1,400,357 $1,834,000
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $825 $872
Average Sold as Percentage Of List Price: 107% 121%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 13 13
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 19 22
No. of New Listings: 6 6
Total # of Active Listings: 13 10
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,748,688 $1,742,895
Average DOM of Active Listings: 13 12
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $864 $809
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.68 : 1 0.45 : 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.
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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!

 
_____________________________________________________________________________

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
_____________________________________________________________________________

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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Chuck Gillooley
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Dwell Realtors, Inc.

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