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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 5/2/2016.

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.

New Listing: 2504 Melendy Drive, San Carlos

2504 Melendy Drive is the latest fabulous San Carlos listing featured by Chuck Gillooley of Dwell Realtors. It features 4BR/3BA, an amazing flat back yard with lawn and deck areas, and breathtaking views of the South Bay.

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: 10-4-15.

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The Scoop.

Last week started out with a giant goose egg for new listings in San Carlos, with nothing new posting on the market until Friday. This occurs every so often, and understandably makes home buyers a little nervous since they are at least expecting something new to hit the market on Monday, which along with Friday are traditionally the two most active days for new listings.

But never fear – by the end of the weekend, there were 7 new single-family listings in San Carlos to offset the 7 homes that went pending during the week. And the wait was well worth it, because there are some simply spectacular homes to see right now — and interestingly, over half of these homes for sale right now in San Carlos have at least 4 bedrooms. That’s certainly much greater than the typical distribution of housing stock in town, and bodes well for home buyers who have been holding out for that crucial 4th bedroom. If you’re one of those home buyers that needs the extra bedroom and space, this is a good week to get out and look at some homes.

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 10-4-2015:

San Carlos Housing Data 10-4-15 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 6 4
Average Sold Price: $1,791,869 $1,742,000
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $846 $914
Average Sold as Percentage Of List Price: 107% 114%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 25 10
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 21 20
No. of New Listings: 7 2
Total # of Active Listings: 15 16
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,861,982 $1,720,859
Average DOM of Active Listings: 14 19
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $834 $827
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.71 : 1 0.8 : 1

>>> Click Here to Read the Full Post
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San Carlos/RWC Fire Stations Open for Fire Prevention Week.

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Open House.

This upcoming Sunday (October 4, 2015), two of our local fire stations will be conducting open houses to kick-off 2015 installment of Fire Prevention week. Fire personnel will be on hand to meet with the public to answer questions and to discuss the importance of proper fire safety in your home.

The open house will run from 11:30AM – 3:00PM, and will be conducted at the following two stations:

San Carlos Station 13:  525 Laurel Street, San Carlos

Redwood City Station 9: 755 Marshall Street, Redwood City.

Here is the press release with more information about the open house:

The Redwood City and San Carlos Fire Departments will be hosting open houses at some of their fire stations for fire prevention week on Sunday October 4th from 11:30 AM until 3:00 PM. Fire department personnel will be on-hand to discuss the importance of home smoke alarms and other fire safety standards. The open house events are at the following locations:

Fire Station #9, 755 Marshall Street Redwood City

Fire Station #13, 525 Laurel Street San Carlos

Location matters when it comes to your smoke alarm. That’s the message behind this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!” Along with firefighters and safety advocates nationwide, the Redwood City and San Carlos Fire Departments are joining forces with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) during Fire Prevention Week, October 4-10, to remind local residents about the importance of having working smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.

“In a fire, seconds count,” said Jim Palisi, Fire Marshal. “Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported at night between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep. Home smoke alarms can alert people to a fire before it spreads, giving everyone enough time to get out.” According to the latest NFPA research, working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire in half. Meanwhile, three out of five fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign includes the following smoke alarm messages:

·  Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.

·  Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. This way, when one sounds, they all do.

·  Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.

·  Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they don’t respond properly.

·  Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.

·  If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. Go to your outside meeting place.

·  Call the fire department from outside the home.

“Hear the Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!” Through these educational, family-oriented activities, residents can learn more about the importance of having a working smoke alarm in every bedroom.

To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities in Redwood City and San Carlos, please contact the Redwood City and San Carlos Fire Departments at (650) 780-7400. To learn more about smoke alarms and “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!” visit NFPA’s Web site at www.firepreventionweek.org and www.sparky.org/fpw.

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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 Voters to Decide the Fate of the Black Mountain Water Land.

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San Carlos Measure V

It’s hard to believe, but we are just a little over a month away from the November elections. And what would an election be in San Carlos without a bond measure to vote on? Well, this election year will be no different from those in past, except for the first time in years the bond measure being voted on is not directly related to the San Carlos School District.

On November 3, San Carlos voters will be asked to approve a bond measure which will provide the City of San Carlos with the necessary funds to purchase the old Black Mountain Water land. Located along Alameda de las Pulgas between Madera Avenue and Melendy Drive, the Black Mountain land is a nearly 25-acre plot that is currently owned by developers. The City of San Carlos wishes to purchase this land and preserve it as open space since it offers the potential for tranquil walking paths, trails, and recreation as a city-owned park.

San Carlos Black Mountain Parcel Boundary (approx)

San Carlos Black Mountain Parcel Boundary (approx)

The bond measure, which requires a 66.7% voter approval to pass, will raise nearly $45M not only to purchase the 25 acres, but also to develop it as a usable park for the public. Like other bond measures in San Carlos, this bond will be funded as an additional property tax — this time at a rate of $20 per $100,000 of assessed value of each residence in San Carlos. So recent home buyers in San Carlos can expect to pay between $200 – $300 per year in additional property tax, while long-time residents who are protected by Prop 13 will likely pay less.

The City of San Carlos has dedicated an entire section of their website to promote the purchase of the Black Mountain Site, which includes an FAQ document as well as a professionally done slide deck.

For and Against the Measure.

Yes on Measure VThere is an organized and very visible group of citizens who are lobbying aggressively for the passage of the bond measure. They have created a website called SaveBlackMountain.org in which they explain the benefits of purchasing the site, including:

  • Permanently protect some of the last remaining undeveloped land and open space in San Carlos as park, not 100 homes.
  • Provide tranquil walking paths, trails and recreation for all ages to enjoy.
  • Protect a local water source.
  • Protect San Carlos taxpayers – all funds will stay in San Carlos and can only be spent to create a park on Black Mountain; none of the money can be used for City administrator salaries.
  • Ensure local control of Black Mountain forever – an important legacy for future generations.
  • Establish an open, public process involving San Carlos volunteers to finalize plans for the new Black Mountain Park. There will also be independent citizens’ oversight of spending to ensure funds are spent as promised.

There is also strong opposition to the bond measure from an equally organized and vocal group which has outlined on their website VoteNoOnBlackMountainBond.org why they believe the bond measure should not be approved, including:

  • No signed agreement on the purchase price.
  • No certainty that all acres will be purchased.
  • No plan on use(s).
  • No budget to clear, clean, protect and insure the property.
  • No cost analysis for the proposed uses.
  • No “in perpetuity” guarantee.
  • Other issues pertaining to size and terrain that would prevent it from becoming a viable park.

How Will YOU Vote?

The lines are now drawn in the sand, and there’s only a month before the election is here. There will be a strong push from both sides to garner your vote. So which side of this issue are you on? Register your vote in the poll below.

How Will You Vote on San Carlos Measure V: Black Mountain Bond Measure?

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And of course, feel free to air your opinion in the comment section!
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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: 9-27-15.

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The Scoop.

For the second week in a row, the inventory of homes for sale in San Carlos stayed at a moderately higher level than what we’ve seen for most of 2015. We started last week with 21 homes for sale, and after a fairly active week of buying that saw seven of those homes go into contract, the inventory is still sitting at 16. What’s interesting to note with the current inventory list is the average days on the market (DOM). In market where we are accustomed to seeing homes being locked up in contract in less than two weeks, it’s a bit surprising to see the average DOM of the existing inventory at 19. That’s a number that we certainly didn’t see earlier this year.

There are more than a few homes that are sitting on the market, and it seems to be especially acute for the upper price range. Homes that are currently listed at $1.5M and above in San Carlos have been on the market for an average of 25 days. The homes that are listed below $1.5M are averaging 13 days on the market. Even the seven homes that were put into contract this week were out there for 12 days on average before they were scooped up. These are all slightly longer numbers than normal, and it’s something we’ll be keeping a close eye on as we say goodbye to September this week.

For the first time in countless months, we are also building a little bit of inventory for condo and townhouse buyers. As of this morning, there are 10 units for sale in the City. This may not sound like much, but for most of the year we’ve been averaging half to one-third of this amount for any given 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 9-27-2015:

San Carlos Housing Data 9-27-15 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 4 3
Average Sold Price: $1,742,000 $3,226,667
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $914 $727
Average Sold as Percentage Of List Price: 114% 107%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 10 13
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 20 18
No. of New Listings: 2 9
Total # of Active Listings: 16 21
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,720,859 $1,634,226
Average DOM of Active Listings: 19 13
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $827 $825
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.8 : 1 1.2 : 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 City-Wide Garage Sale 2015.

September 25, 2015 Living in San Carlos No Comments
Garage Sale Image

Sign-Up Deadline: September 26.

Are you weary of staring at a garage full of junk left over from the summer? Are you ready to clear out the yard and get ready for Fall? If so, there’s no better time than right now to get it done, because it’s time once again for the annual San Carlos City-Wide Garage Sale!

This year’s event, which is coordinated every year by San Carlos Together, will be held on Saturday October 3rd from 9AM – 4PM throughout the City of San Carlos, and is the perfect opportunity to get rid of all of your junk valuable items, since there will be hundreds of garage sale shoppers cruising the streets of San Carlos that day.

To ensure that you get an optimal turnout at your home on Saturday, it’s important that you get your sale posted on the master list of participating homes that is distributed to all bargain hunters. That means that you must register your sale on the City Wide garage sale page of the San Carlos Together website before the registration deadline — which just happens to be tomorrow – September 26.

So clean up your act, San Carlos… And hopefully make a few bucks in the process!
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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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Larger Homes, or Just Higher Prices?

September 23, 2015 San Carlos Real Estate No Comments
Calculator and house plan blueprints close up , shallow DOF photo

What You’re Paying For…

There is no doubt that home prices are on a rocket ride upward in San Carlos, and in other communities along the Peninsula. Believe it or not, the price for a single-family residence in San Carlos will now set you back an average of $1,600,000 — the highest average ever, according to the MLS. Only 5 years ago, that very same “average” home sold for just under $1M, or about 38% less…which, admittedly, seemed like a lot back then too.

When you try to wrap your head around a meteoric growth rate like this, you have to wonder about the characteristics of the houses that are being sold in San Carlos. Are homes suddenly that much larger than they were 5 years ago? Or are people simply spending over 60% more for the same size houses? I think you already know the answer to these questions before you even look below, but according to the data it’s some of both — but much more the latter.

Price Per Square Foot, and Average Home Size.

One of the metrics that I often use when analyzing home prices is the price per square foot ratio.  This is simply the final sales price of a home divided by its square footage. This is somewhat useful because it creates a normalized measurement that you can use to compare prices of different sized homes. Take a look a the chart below, which shows the average price per square foot of all home sold in San Carlos since 2008:

 

SC PPSF - SFRSource:  Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

 

What this chart obviously tells you is that the average price per square foot of a single-family residence sold in San Carlos has climbed nearly 60% in the 6 years since the Great Recession. Back in 2009, we only talked about the $600/square foot milestone when discussing brand new construction, or a nice recently remodeled home. Today, those same homes are fetching closer to $1,000/square foot.

But what that chart does not tell you is the trend of the size of homes being sold in San Carlos. With the remodeling boom in full swing, one may assume that homes being sold today are quite a bit larger than 6 years ago…but is that really the case?

Here is a chart of those very same homes above that sold in San Carlos since 2008, but this time the data is sorted by average square footage.  It tells a slightly different tale:

 

SC Home SizeSource: Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

The average size of a home that has sold in San Carlos since 2009 has only grown by 200 square feet, or about the size of a modest one-car garage! Although the relative direction of the arrows may be a bit deceiving at first glance, what these two charts clearly show is that while the price of a San Carlos home has jumped nearly 60% since 2009, the size of those very homes has only grown 11% on average.

If you take nothing else away from this post, that’s it in a nutshell.

Spending More for the Same.

This data makes sense, since price per square foot is not a linear relationship across all home sizes.  Smaller homes tend to have higher $/sq foot numbers because the value of the lot sometimes is greater than the value of the house, and the fact that there’s simply a floor to home values of any size in San Carlos.  So it’s quite common to see numbers close to $1,000/sq foot for smaller homes – almost regardless of condition.

Conversely, large homes tend to have lower $/sq foot results because these homes have lots of lower value square footage (huge family rooms, living rooms). And we’re simply not at the point where every 3,000 square foot home is going to fetch $3,000,000.  At least not yet…

What this data does tell us is home buyers are paying a much higher price for only a slightly larger house than they would have only a half decade ago. And that may not be comforting news to many…
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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: 9-20-15.

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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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