Walnut Creek, CA Real Estate News

By Doug Anderson, Bay Area Real Estate Views
(Tucker Associates Real Estate Services)
Mortgage and Market Update for December 9th Economic News: Stock Markets ended the week strong with reports of progress being made in the European Union efforts to come to agreement on how to handle the ongoing crisis. Our economic reports were mixed with a bias on the positive side. Factory Orders for October fell in both the durable and non-durable goods segments. This news was mostly shrugged off as data from last week showed a rebound in demand. The ISM-Non Manufacturing Index missed estimates but a reading above 50 still shows growth. Weekly Jobless Claims handily beat expectations at 381,000 and the four week moving average improved as well. Consumer Sentiment rose to the highest level since June.Mortgage Markets: Treasuries and Mortgage Backed Securities. The 10 Year Note is clo...
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By Monique Fountaine, Broker & Notary
(Century 21 M&M and Associates)
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By Doug Anderson, Bay Area Real Estate Views
(Tucker Associates Real Estate Services)
The following numbers represent the Real Estate Market Review for Walnut Creek, CA  94596, 94597 & 94598 for the month of November 2011. As with neighboring cities Walnut Creek is experiencing a tight market. Not out of the ordinary for the time of year but it is nice to see the median price up and the inventory down over last month. Marketing times remain stable. Walnut Creek has 83 homes currently "pending sale" with a high price of $2,750,000 and a low price of $300,000.  There are 122 condo/townhomes "pending sale" with a high price of $700,000 and a low price of $74,000.
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By Mike Hill & Rita Norman
(Norman- Hill Properties /Crown Key Realty)
As the blustery weather picks up, Mike and I find ourselves wanting more comfort foods like soups, stews and chowder. One of the great things about living in Walnut Creek is that within less than a few hours drive we can get to so many great places. We like taking spontaneous road trips, and one of those recently took us to Sam's Chowder House in Half Moon Bay CA.  The view is exhilarating, the air is fresh, the atmosphere is inviting and the food, especialy the Lobster Roll, is amazing. Go see for yourself. Find a seat outside by the fire pit and try their Lobster Roll... tell us what you think... we'd love to hear from you.    
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By Mike Hill & Rita Norman
(Norman- Hill Properties /Crown Key Realty)
I'm sure many of you have heard of Storm Chasers.... Mike and I are Dawn Chasers. As often as possible, we begin our day wherever we are, looking for a great vantage point to watch the sun rise. Coffee in hand, we Chase the Dawn... each one different, each one amazing. We have been doing this for quite a while now and we have an amazing collections of sunrise photos. This one was taken as we left Walnut Creek CA, driving along Ygnacio Valley Road towards Clayton. Mike was driving and all I had with me was my android phone. Not bad for a camera phone in a moving vehicle.
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By Wendy Cutrufelli, Contra Costa Realtor
(Alain Pinel Realtors)
This is a short-story about how Home Stager, Kathy Burke, changes a potential disaster to an opportunity. It has happened to all of us at one time or another.  The listing is signed, Kathy completed the staging consultation and once the seller's typical To Do list is completed (declutter, depersonalize, clean, touch-up paint, some minor purchases) the house will go on the market and be fabulous.  That is until the Pest Inspection returns with over $15,000 of unexpected repairs.  And worse, the repairs require removing the marble tile in both bathrooms and the cost to reinstall marble tile versus generic tile is a significant additional expense to the $15k bid.  Not going to happen. Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes and now the bathrooms will only be generic.  What to do?  Call Kathy Bur...
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By Mike Young, FHA 203k Consultant 916-758-1809
(203kOnLine.com, covering the USA)
The FHA 203k loan program is alive and well in Walnut Creek, Orinda, and Lafayette. Wow. who would have thought. When I got into this product in 1994 the FHA loan limits were so low that the projects were always in low rent districts.  Today we have many 203k projects where the borrower is buying a property that requires repairs in order to get a mortgage loan, where the values of the homes start at $500,000 and then they add the money for the repairs for another $150,000 and end up with a home that has equity.  That has always been a priority for me when purchasing an investment property to make money on the "buy", when you purchase. Now we are seeing that is happening more and more with homes these buyers are going to live in. That is major news in this economy.
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By Mike Hill & Rita Norman
(Norman- Hill Properties /Crown Key Realty)
Foggy Fall Morning in the neighborhood...Walnut Creek CA Even though we woke to find our neighborhood surrounded by a thick fog, the scenes down the road were still beautiful and mysterious. The Weather forecaster on the local news channel told us that winds of up to 40 miles per hour were going to kick in as the morning progressed. I saw evidence of that wind as the morning breeze twirled the fog into vertical columns creating a magical morning. Why is it that some of the most impressive photo-ops happen while we are driving and are then gone in the blink of an eye?  
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By Mike Hill & Rita Norman
(Norman- Hill Properties /Crown Key Realty)
  Rita and I took these photos just a few weekends ago as we drove through our neighborhood here in Walnut Creek, CA. The colors are so amazing right now, we wanted to share them with you. With Thanksgiving behind us and the Holiday Season just ahead, we are reminded how quickly things change around us. If it's been a while since you've driven through Walnut Creek and you are in the area, checkout the Downtown area. You won't believe how things have changed. We live here and we are amazed.Enjoy!
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By Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes
(Home Point Real Estate)
Bancroft Gardens in Walnut Creek I caught this article in the Wall Street Journal On-Line and am providing a link here because it is a locally oriented article in a National Paper. I have never been to Bancroft Gardens; but my two older sons both attended Bancroft Elementary School in Walnut Creek. I see the signs for the Gardens but have never been. Maybe I ought to.
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By Doug Anderson, Bay Area Real Estate Views
(Tucker Associates Real Estate Services)
Mortgage and Market Update for November 23rd Economic News: Another week dominated by the debt crisis in the European Union has let the air out of the US Equity Markets. The Congressional “Supercommittee” (And I use that term loosely) "punting" on any kind of debt reduction did not help matters either. In spite of worldwide governments coming up short on leadership the US Economic reports for the week were not bad. Existing Home Sales beat expectations and while pricing is under pressure inventory is down. Gross Domestic Product was revised lower on an annual basis to 2% from 2.5%. Durable Goods Orders beat estimates and Consumer Sentiment remained little changed from last month. Personal Income was up 3.9% year over year and spending was reported higher by 4.7% over the same period. La...
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By Doug Anderson, Bay Area Real Estate Views
(Tucker Associates Real Estate Services)
The following numbers represent the current Foreclosure Sales inventory data as well as the current "Active" and "Sale Pending" data for Bank Owned (REO) properties in Walnut Creek, CA 94596,94597,94598 for the month of October 2011. There are 19 homes currently active/pending with a high price of $789,900 and a low price of $329,900. 38 attached homes are active/pending with high price of $445,000 and a low price of $96,000. Keep in mind that the Sold Price Data versus the List Price Data does not reflect any price reductions which may have occurred. Please call for more detailed information about the current Foreclosure/REO market in Walnut Creek. PREVIEW CURRENT BANK OWNED HOMES FOR SALE IN WALNUT CREEK
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By Glenn Stewart..., Can a house talk? Yes it can
(The House Whisperer)
  During a recent Walnut Creek home inspection, it was discovered that a homeowner had plugged in 5 extension cords and a washing machine into a power strip located in a Walnut Creek garage. Every year, thousands of fires result from surge protectors, power strips and electrical cords. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that about 3,300 residential fires originate in extension cords/power strips each year, killing 50 people and injuring about 270 others. What’s the big deal? The most frequent causes of such fires are short circuits, overloading, damage, and/or misuse of extension cords. Surge protectors, power strips, or extension cords are not a substitute for permanent wiring per electrical installation requirements. Also, unprotected electrical cables below ...
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By Monique Fountaine, Broker & Notary
(Century 21 M&M and Associates)
FHA LOAN LIMITS RESTORED to $729,750; FANNIE MAE/FREDDIE MAC REMAINS AT $625,500 Dear Monique, YOU DID IT!Last night Congress restored the loan limits for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for two years.As you know, in late September the FHA, Fannie Mae; and Freddie Mac loan limits were reduced in 42 states pricing potential home buyers out of the American Dream of home ownership and holding back the housing recovery. NAR immediately went to work with the goal to get the loan limits restored in Congress. For weeks that goal seemed unlikely. You, and countless other REALTORS® like you along with YOUR leadership and YOUR management team worked to educate Congress that well-qualified buyers didn't need yet another hurdle to access affordable mortgage financing. 
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By Wendy Cutrufelli, Contra Costa Realtor
(Alain Pinel Realtors)
For several years I spent Thanksgiving day with a group of people who prepared and served a free Thanksgiving Dinner.  It was always a wonderful day spent with interesting people but shocking to learn the extent of hunger in our community.  From Senior citizens who had to choose between medication and nutritious food to young families whose primary wage-earner was unemployed, it was a significant eye-opener to a young woman (me, at the time) who never faced a hungry day. As Thanksgiving approaches, I would ask you to remember the "Giving" in Thanksgiving and donate to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano counties.  Every $1 dollar you donate provides two meals for children, adults or seniors.  Really think about that for a minute....a $20 donation would provide 40 meals and over 1/3...
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By Doug Anderson, Bay Area Real Estate Views
(Tucker Associates Real Estate Services)
The following numbers represent the current concentration of Short Sales in Pending Sale Status versus Traditional Sales in Pending Sale Status for Walnut Creek, CA as of November 15th 2011. As you can see the ratios for both single family as well as attached homes are over 50%. Those same ratios for the segment of homes for sale are much lower. This represents the additional time required to get short sales all the way through close of escrow. Every short sale is different and some take much longer than others. Please keep in mind that this only reflects the market on the specific day quoted.  Walnut Creek Short Sales can take time and may be represented over several months in this data while traditional sales close escrow in the 30-60 day range.  Additional Short Sale Information for ...
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