Pleasanton, CA Real Estate News

By Doug Buenz, Doug Buenz Realtor | 680 Doug Buenz Group
(COMPASS)
More bad news this week on the real estate and mortgage markets.  It looks like sales of homes in California were down 28% in August as compared with August 2006.  Not to be outdone, new home sales data shows that sales dropped 8.3% in August from the already depressed July levels, the lowest level of sales in 7 years... well, you get the picture.  The news is equally bad in the mortgage markets, where interest rate adjustments on adjustable rate mortgages are creating turmoil.  So what do we do about it?  We tried lowering rates, but that didn't have the impact we had hoped for.  There are all kinds of solutions being floated, like raising the FHA & FNMA loan limits in California to a more realistic level.  There is even talk of a federal bail-out of troubled loans.  All of these sound...
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By Doug Buenz, Doug Buenz Realtor | 680 Doug Buenz Group
(COMPASS)
As a local top producing Pleasanton CA Realtor, I have built my reputation by providing outstanding service.  From my extensive use of technology and the internet to my cutting-edge marketing programs, I am a forward-thinking real estate agent who excels at assisting Pleasanton California area buyers and sellers in acomplishing their goals.  Call me today for all of your real estate needs, or visit my web site at www.PleasantonAreaHomes.com 
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By Doug Buenz, Doug Buenz Realtor | 680 Doug Buenz Group
(COMPASS)
So hot off the heals of the Fed's lowering of the Discount Rate by 50 basis points (.5%), there was great optimism that this would give a shot in the arm to the struggling housing market. Much of the population, including many realtors, assume that the Fed has lowered Mortgage Rates, and that it is the Fed that controls the interest rates on mortgage loans. Just to dispel any misconceptions about this, take a look at the graph below. It shows the Federal discount rate, which the Fed just lowered last week, and both conventional (i.e., under $417,000) and jumbo fixed rates. And guess what... after the Fed lowered their rates, the rate on 30 year fixed mortgage loans did change: They went up. (click on graph to enlarge)So why is this? First the easy part. Long term interest rates are set ...
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By Doug Buenz, Doug Buenz Realtor | 680 Doug Buenz Group
(COMPASS)
It looks like some major home builders are starting to run "Sales" to generate interest in their subdivisions. This is not a new tactic, but it certainly is an indication that things are not well in the new home market. First there was Hovnanian Enterprises, who last weekend announced (with much publicity and fanfare, I might add) a 3 day sale at their subdivisions in 19 states across the country, including California. The sale effectively reduced prices by as much as $100,000. There is no truth to the rumor that if you use your Macy's card for the purchase, you get an additional 10% off.Not to be outdone, KB Homes just announced a 24 hour sale. They are offering a flat $20,000 this weekend only for home buyers to spend as they choose.... a purchase price reduction, upgrades, closing co...
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By Doug Buenz, Doug Buenz Realtor | 680 Doug Buenz Group
(COMPASS)
www.PleasantonAreaHomes.com is the most powerful site available for searching Pleasanton homes, properties, and real estate.  Here you can search Pleasanton CA MLS listings, search by neighborhood, search by map, and get information on Pleasanton California market trends, school information, community information, and luxury homes.  Check the blog page for the latest market insights, statistics, and commentary on the Pleasanton CA real estate market. 
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By Doug Buenz, Doug Buenz Realtor | 680 Doug Buenz Group
(COMPASS)
The Pleasanton CA real estate market continued to limp along in the first half of September, with inventory dipping slightly, but sales off fairly sharply from August levels. Overall, available inventory of single family homes stood at 217 at the middle of September, down slightly from 220 at the end of August. Pending sales activity for the month of September to date is off from August levels, with 16 pending sales so far in September, as compared with 44 pending sales in the month of August. The high point for pending sales this year was in June, when there were 67 pending sales registered. So what is in store for us as we enter the fall? The Fed just lowered the Federal Funds rate and the Discount rate 1/2% each, perhaps providing a shot in the arm to the slumping mortgage credit mar...
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By Doug Buenz, Doug Buenz Realtor | 680 Doug Buenz Group
(COMPASS)
The East Bay Regional Park Distirict has announced a plan to add almost 1500 acres to the Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park. With a generous donation from Curtis Priem of Fremont, who is contributing $1.75 million to the total purchase price of $6.63 million, the Pleasanton Ridge Park will add a vital piece of land bordering Sunol and Niles Canyon Road, as well as an additional staging area further South on Foothill Rd. It will also bring the district one step closer to their long term plan of linking the Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park with the Mission Peak Open Space. Park officials say the Tyler Ranch property land along Sunol Ridge is a recreational gem.Rising from Niles Canyon near sea level to 2,000 or more feet, the ridge has wide dirt trails for hiking, bicycling and horse riding, a...
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By Doug Buenz, Doug Buenz Realtor | 680 Doug Buenz Group
(COMPASS)
It's usually good to be first, but for Stocton, the news is not good. Stockton was just named the foreclosure capital of the U.S., with the highest foreclosure rate of any U.S. city. There have been 8000 foreclosures year to date. There are currently 2800 homes on the market in Stockton, a city with a population of 285,000. To put this in perspective, Pleasanton has a population of 68,000, and currently has 220 homes on the market.Or put another way, if we had the same relative level of inventory and rate of foreclosures as Stockton does, we would have 700 homes on the market right now (as opposed to 220) and over 1900 foreclosures, or almost 250 foreclosures a month. Obviously we are no where near that.Go to www.The680Blog.com to read more.
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By Doug Buenz, Doug Buenz Realtor | 680 Doug Buenz Group
(COMPASS)
I get asked a lot about the local Pleasanton, Dublin & Tri-Valley real estate market, and how long this slump is going to last.  In my opinion, I see the current slump lasting a while longer.  In 1989, when I started selling real estate, the market peaked after strong appreciation in the late 1980's.  Once the market corrected (which took a couple of years), we entered a stagnant period where prices remained relatively flat, before we finally started to see appreciation around 1996.  My best guess (and, after all, it is only a guess) is that we are in for a similar pattern now.  We are essentially 2 years into this slump, and there is no sign that it will ease up anytime soon.In my view, it comes down to two main factors... affordability and liquidity.  What stalled the market in 2005 w...
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By Doug Buenz, Doug Buenz Realtor | 680 Doug Buenz Group
(COMPASS)
The August numbers are in for the Pleasanton real estate market, and the market has definitely slowed.  The available inventory of single family homes ended the month at 220, up from 206 at the end of July.  Fortunately, this is still relatively low given the circumstances, and the fact that inventory has remained stable has helped mitigate the weakness in the market.  There were 44 pending sales in the month of August, which is down from 54 at the end of July and 67 at the end of June.  With inventory trending up and sales slowing, the market has certainly slowed. In the low end range in Pleasanton (under $1 million), inventory trended up, finishing at 108 single family homes on the market, up from 102 at the end of July, and 51 at the end of February.  Pending sales slowed as well, wi...
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By Doug Buenz, Doug Buenz Realtor | 680 Doug Buenz Group
(COMPASS)
Okay, with all of this bad news on the Pleasanton, Tri-Valley, and California real estate market, you would think that most sellers got the memo that things have changed. Apparently, there are still some sellers who think it is still 2005, and that none of these things effect them. Because I am "the giver", I want to do my part to help some of these sellers realize that things have changed. So here are some examples about how things have changed since that 2005 market:Then: Hoping for multiple offers on your homeNow: Hoping for multiple showings (i.e., more than one) a monthThen: Buyers writing cute, heart wrenching letters about how badly they want the houseNow: Sellers writing desperate, heart wrenching letters to potential buyers hoping they buy the houseThen: Listing agents putting ...
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By Adam Fettes, real estate group
(Intero Real Estate Services)
Click the link to enter: http://www.adamfettes.com/sweepstakes You could be this month's $1,000 winner!Just fill out the form below to be registered for our monthly $1,000 sweepstakes. Thanks for registering and I'll be in touch with you soon. Good luck!  FIXERS OR CONTRACTOR'S SPECIALS!Fixer-uppersThe oft heard phrase "Buyer Beware" is never more appropriate than when considering the purchase of a fixer-upper.You really need to know exactly what you're getting into before buying. It's commonly believed that fixer-upper properties represent easy money that is ripe for the taking - that you can buy it, do a little work on it in your spare time, and then resell quickly for a large profit.  Usually, this simply isn't the case. Although, with proper planning and foresight, good profits can ...
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By Brian LeBars
(Vintage Mortgage Group)
Would you pay an additional $614 per year in a flat parcel tax to benefit the Pleasanton schools?   The "Excellence Committee," formed by the PUSD, recently proposed this at a Pleasanton Economic Development, Chamber of Commerce meeting. Although the Pleasanton schools are already top notch, this additional funding would help fill in gaps which the State and fundraisers do not cover.   The funding would go to various areas, and would aid in class size reduction, providing additional counselors, and in creating a visual and performing arts department. To visualize: our student to counselor ratio is 658:1, the additional funding would take those levels down to 350:1.  How much would you pay to improve our Pleasanton schools? Would a better school system drive our Pleasanton Real Estate Ma...
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By Brian LeBars
(Vintage Mortgage Group)
Downtown Pleasanton- Purple People Eater No the purple ribbon Downtown Pleasanton doesn't represent a giant purple tornado or some giant people eater path to find his way home.It's our National American Cancer Society's week of recognition. The purple ribbon is to bring attention to not only what we can do on an individual level, but also what we can do as a city.Join the cause and join us on our community gathering May 14th from 6-7pm on Main Street at the Pizza Hut.Look forward to seeing you there!
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By Brian LeBars
(Vintage Mortgage Group)
API Scores Drive Pleasanton Real Estate Market-If you're anything like me, you may be asking yourself: What are API scores, and why are they important?API scores measure the academic performance and progress of schools. API scores fall between 200 and 1,000, with 800 generally regarded as exemplary. The latest API scores for the Pleasanton Unified School District can be viewed at http://www.pleasanton.k12.ca.us/. While the primary purpose of API scores is to monitor schools and ensure our children receive the best education possible, they also serve another purpose. The API scores earned by local schools are also an integral part of the local real estate market. All Pleasanton schools consistently earn API scores over the 800 mark, making them exemplary. Undoubtedly, families looking to...
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By Adam Fettes, real estate group
(Intero Real Estate Services)
Inspect the outside ground. Remove any building materials, scrap wood, discarded household items, etc. from the property. Store garbage cans in the garage. Check the home from the roof line down. Is the roof free and clear from obstructions and moss? Are the gutters clear and neatly hung? Are the windows clean and free from obstructions (such as overgrown bushes or trees)? Are bushes, trees and shrubs neatly pruned?Inspect the condition of the paint or siding? Is it time to power wash the siding? Is touch up paint needed? Is the front door in good shape?Do flower beds need an upgrade? Are plants neatly pruned? Is the bed free and clear of weeds? Is the bed properly mulched? Are flowers in bloom?Keep the lawn neatly groomed. Is the lawn free from weeds? Is the lawn free from grass clippi...
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By Adam Fettes, real estate group
(Intero Real Estate Services)
Moving ChecklistTwo months prior to Moving DayIf you will use a mover, get a few estimates from moving companies. If you will move yourself, get costs from at least two truck rental companies. Create a floor plan of your new home for furniture and appliance placement. Make an inventory of your household goods and begin to remove clutter (start with the basement, attic, garage, and other storage areas).Start a file for all your moving paperwork (estimates, receipts, etc.).Arrange to transfer school records.Choose a mover (or truck rental company). Get your new home ready - Contact painters, carpenters, plumbers, roofers etc., so your home is ready when you arrive. Remember to change the locks on all the doors in your new home.Visit Smoothmoves.com for tips on moving with children.Six wee...
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By Harper Team
(J Rockcliff Realtors)
“The Most Desperate Town in the West” in the mid 1800’s is now a thriving community in the TriValley Region of the East Bay area in California. Pleasanton sits at the crossroads of Interstates 580 and 680. Pleasanton is home to the Alameda County Fairgrounds. First Alameda County Fair – 1859 First school built n 1864. First church built in 1894. Main Street was paved in 1920 as is now host to festivals, concerts, street fairs and farmers markets during the summer. First traffic signal – 1976. Number of signals today – 100+ Real estate activity in Pleasanton seems to be a little more robust generally than in neighboring communities. Demographics Elevation: 336 feet above sea levelArea: 23.97 square milesRainfall: 17 inches annual averagePopulation: 67,876 (2006)Median Income: $125,600 (2...
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By Doug Buenz, Doug Buenz Realtor | 680 Doug Buenz Group
(COMPASS)
What if the real estate experts declared a real estate bubble, but no one participated?  While the national news is full of articles about home price declines and increases in foreclosure rates, the Bay Area, especially the East Bay area in Pleasanton and surrounding areas, is quietly showing surprising strength in the early Spring.  Low inventory and steady if not spectacular demand is keeping the market stable.  There are even (you didn't hear this from me) multiple offers happening, although not the 12 offers/$50,000 over asking/no contingencies/You get to keep our kids type of multiple offers we saw in 2003 & 2004.  So where does that leave us?  As real estate brokers, we can only really concentrate on the here and now.  Clients don't pay us to arrive at the value of their home in 6...
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By Rhonda Fee - REALTOR®, Professional, Knowledgeable, Trustworthy
(Luxury Property Agent, Home Sales, Relocation)
Last week, 2/19/07, as I was at the gym working out, I caught a bit of ‘Classic Neighborhoods' on a show called Eye on the Bay.  There was a segment dedicated to Pleasanton, CA!Rita Gonzalez, a Pleasanton resident was being interviewed by the host of the show. Spotlight areas of downtown Pleasanton were shown including Fleet Feet, Ladida a Beauty Lounge, Meadow Lark Dairy & Vic's All Star Kitchen.  Ms. Gonzalez went on to talk about how she supports the downtown merchants and loves the area. As a 19-year resident of Pleasanton myself and a Realtor®, I was thrilled to see our great town highlighted on the show. The schools are phenomenal and many are award winning. Would I recommend Pleasanton as a fantastic place to raise a family? You bet!! It's a great place to live. Rhonda FeeRealtor...
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