Archive for the ‘North San Diego coastal real estate’ Category
Sunday, July 22nd, 2012
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me how the housing market is doing, I would be a very happy lady. Right now there are a lot of stories and speculation out there as to the status of the housing market. There is definitely a lot of positive news, and that seems to be the majority. But nevertheless, when I report on it I still get comments from people claiming that their area is still hard hit, rife with foreclosures, etc. Can we answer the question, “how is the market?” in general terms?
The answer is “not really.” Although most areas of the country are in a better place than they were say, two years ago, the answer to the housing market status question is still area-specific. Some areas – like many parts of California and Arizona (due in part to inventory shortages) and Idaho – are experiencing positive signs, like increased sales, multiple offer situations, lower foreclosure numbers, and construction booms. Yet other areas, such as New Jersey, have thousands of empty homes that have not hit the market yet (New Jersey has one of the highest “shadow inventory” rates in the country – the number of homes owned by lenders but not yet active on the resale market).
So in some areas of the country we are seeing housing improvements on different levels, while in other areas we are not seeing such signs. Therefore, looking at housing from a national perspective really does not provide an adequate picture as to what is going on in your area. As I always say, it is more important to focus on your specific area and ignore the media reports on housing (unless they are hyper-local reports). So let’s take a look at what’s going on locally.
The California housing market improved 8.5% in sales in June from the same time last year. Prices also increased 8.1% from the same time last year, according to the California Association of Realtors (CAR). Low inventory rates in many areas, as well as low interest rates and ready buyers, combined to jack up the competition and bring more offers and more closed escrows.
Here in San Diego county, the median price for all North County homes – attached and detached – increased $13,000 from May to June, 2012. Wow! That is a big increase in one month. Among detached homes, North County experienced the highest median price recorded for single family detached homes since 2010 (a 4.68% increase in price from May to June of this year). Attached homes in North County also increased – 1.97% from May to June of this year. [Data complied by NSDCAR via HomeDex]
The number of sold homes in North County increased for the 5th month in a row, while the number of single family detached home listings decreased from May to June by 6.15%, with a fall of over 35% from June 2011. Normally the busiest selling time of the year, this Spring and Summer have definitely been different in the local housing market. The lack of inventory and the demand for such continues to strengthen the local market in terms of price and sales.
Outside of North County (the rest of San Diego county), detached home prices increased 0.87% from May to June, and attached home prices remained steady from May to June (at $210,000).
Locally, we are definitely seeing a housing market rebound. For those who have to purchase it can be trying, due to the low inventory and fierce competition, including investor buyers who often can present cash offers. What we need locally is more inventory. Although prices are down from the heyday of the market, it still can be a great time for sellers who need to sell or have equity in their homes.
When focusing on the housing market and whether it is truly “recovering,” my advice is to ignore the national media and look at housing reports in your area, or the area in which you would like to purchase. If you would like a copy of the HomeDex report, please send an email to me at Rachel@LaMarRealEstate.org, and I will be happy to send it to you. I am also happy to provide a thorough market analysis of any San Diego neighborhood.
Photos courtesy of Dreamstime
Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
If you are a buyer in California, especially in the San Diego area, you likely have noticed that many properties are going quickly once they are listed, oftentimes with multiple offers. It is a great time to buy, and and also can be a terrific time to sell if you have an experienced real estate agent on your side. Check out this interesting infographic from the California Association of Realtors:
Monday, May 14th, 2012
Things are really heating up in the real estate market in San Diego. Encountering multiple offer situations is not uncommon these days, especially with properties that are priced well and are in good condition. So, is it a seller’s market?
To answer the question we need to divide the market into attached and detached homes.
Attached homes: In the attached market many areas of San Diego are officially in the seller’s market territory. What does this mean? It means that sellers are receiving multiple offers, prices are going up, and sellers are able to often drive prices higher and pick their choice of offers. This means that buyers do not have as many opportunities to submit lowball offers, even when they would realistically pay more but want to “feel the waters.”
Of course, long gone are the days of severely inflated prices, but I will take a thorough look at comparable sold properties, and advise my clients to stay as close as they can to those numbers (assuming the properties are similar to the one on which they are placing an offer). Slight increases from the comps are definitely justified, as the market is trending upwards in many developments.
Overbidding is often something a buyer may want to do to secure getting their offer accepted, and as a listing agent I have received multiple offers sufficiently over the asking price. However, as much as I would like my sellers to get the highest price possible for their home, when I doubted that the offered price would survive an appraisal I counseled my sellers to choose not the highest offer, but the one most likely to close (cash offers first, and then loans with very qualified buyers and nice downpayments). So, it is not just about the numbers, but buyers DO have to be aware that if they truly want a certain property they need to present their highest and best offer in today’s attached home market.
Detached homes: Detached homes are still in the buyer’s market category here in San Diego in most areas, but in reality it depends on the area, inventory and price range. In most north county coastal cities, such as Carlsbad, Encinitas and Solana Beach, we have seen prices stabilizing and little change in trending. As more inventory comes onto the market as we head into summer it just may create a trend toward higher prices, but we will have to see how strong demand is at that time.
Personally, I have seen that listings are going very quickly in the detached market. Three recent listings of mine all received offers within days of listing, including multiple offers. So my advice is that it really matters in which area the property is located, and that buyers still want to write offers as strong as possible, unless they know there are no other offers and they feel they have time for negotiations. It is important you work with a skilled buyer’s agent who knows the local market and can negotiate well on your behalf.
The bottom line is that if you are a buyer looking for a detached home, it is still a great time to negotiate. Have your agent do her research on the comparables, and come in with a strong offer…but there is no need to offer an amount sufficiently above comparable solds. If your agent knows there are other offers on the property of course you need to discuss how to present your offer in the best light to give it the highest chance of acceptance.
Happy house hunting, and please let me know if you have any market questions you would like to see answered here.
Photos courtesy of Dreamstime.
Thursday, March 29th, 2012
Home prices are rising and have been doing so for the last three months. According to Standard and Poor’s newest Case-Shiller index report, prices have actually showed a decline, but that fact has been disputed by other reports. In North San Diego, I agree that prices seem to be rising and market times, not including short sales, are decreasing.
The discrepancy between the Case-Shiller report and other reports that have studied markets across the country is that the other reports focus on when contracts are signed – it uses the prices agreed upon at that time, even though it could be months until the properties close escrow. Case-Shiller uses the prices reflected at the close of escrow, so there is quite a bit of lag time, up to several months, which skews the results.
Market Trends: The general consensus is that if you focus on what is trending, rather than waiting until close of escrow down the road, you get a clearer picture of price increase. Of course, there is the possibility that some of these sales may not close escrow, or may not appraise at the agreed price, but there is still a valid argument that focusing on what people are WILLING to pay and do get into contract for is a more accurate measure of hyper-local market analyses.
North San Diego: From a personal standpoint, I agree that prices seem to be increasing in the North San Diego market. We are seeing a lot of multiple offer situations, especially in the lower price ranges (under $400,000) across the county. Also apparent is that that the days on market time seems to be decreasing. In Carlsbad alone the average market time (for all four zip codes combined) for detached homes is 76 days, but if you scroll through all the pending listings you will notice many that sold in under a week. For attached homes in all four Carlsbad zip codes the average market time is 84 days, but again, you will notice a handful of properties that went into pending status quickly.
Sales Time Trends and Short Sales: Another trend I am seeing is that short sales contracts are being presented and accepted faster, especially in the under-$400,000 price range, with both attached and detached homes. These sales go into contingent status (meaning an offer has been signed and accepted by the seller pending approval by the short sale lender(s)) much quicker these days, but the market times are longer because the parties await short sale lender approval. The wait time, which can take months, throws off the market time numbers and makes them longer, so that has to be considered when looking at the sale times.
All in all the news is positive that the market here in San Diego is improving,which is great news for homeowners and buyers alike. According to Altos Research, the statistics indicate that the tables have turned slightly in the condo market, making it a seller’s market for the first time in a long time; the detached home market is still a buyer’s market. Hopefully the road ahead will continue to bring us closer to a more “normal” market.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like any detailed market reports and statistics sent to you, and I will be happy to do so. Send your request to Rachel@LaMarRealEstate.org.
Friday, January 27th, 2012
If you are looking for a home that is bright, clean, close to the beach and has been recently upgraded to the hilt, I have the home for you! My new listing at 1477 Sapphire Drive in Carlsbad is in the wonderful gated community of Mar Brisa, just moments from the beach, dining, shopping, walking trails and in the wonderful Carlsbad school district.
Here are some of the amenities this home offers:
•4 bedroom plus optional bedroom downstairs (or den/office), 2336 square feet, great floorplan
• Granite kitchen counters
• New Travertine flooring downstairs with decorative inlays
• New custom stone floor-to-ceiling fireplace in family room
• New hardwood flooring in master bedroom – which has ocean peek-a-boo views and plenty of closet space
• New carpeting upstairs
• Surround sound system downstairs with recessed speakers, and the family room is wired for Apple TV
• 3 car garage with built-in storage
• Private, nicely landscaped backyard with fire pit
• Newer kitchen appliances, and refrigerator, washer and dryer convey with sale
• Gated community with community pool, two spas, tot lot and exercise lot
If you would like to schedule a showing for this home, please call me at 760-310-9466. For more information and to view more photos and see the virtual tour, please click here.
Friday, January 20th, 2012
The numbers are in! Below are the home sale statistics for San Diego in 2011. If you would like a .pdf copy of the entire chart, please email me at Rachel@LaMarRealEstate.org and I will be happy to send them to you. Thank you to title rep extraordinaire, Roxanne Kelemen with Advantage Title for this data.
Monday, January 2nd, 2012
Once in a while a property comes along that is very special…that time has come. Welcome to 4029 Sunnyhill Drive in Carlsbad – a wonderful home on a large half-acre, unobstructed ocean view lot, just moments to the beach, shopping and dining.
- Ocean views! Expanded view potential with second story addition
- Updated kitchen with granite counters, stainless appliances
- Detached guest house and office, plus 3 greenhouses
- Outdoor kitchen with tandoori and pizza ovens, BBQ, kegerator
- Gated property
- Ranch style, single story home
- Large, private lot 23000 square foot lot
- 2565 square feet of living space (guest house and office not included in square footage)
- Resort-like pool and spa, recently resurfaced
- Basketball court, tennis backboard, large grassy area
- Mature landscaping with multiple fruit trees
- Moments to beach, shopping, dining, Carlsbad Village, schools
- No HOA or mello roos
- Carlsbad schools
- MLS number 120000115
To view this property or get more information please contact Rachel LaMar, Broker, at 760-310-9466 or Rachel@LaMarRealEstate.org. Visit property website for photos, information. CA DRE license 01399682. Property MLS number 120000115.
Saturday, October 15th, 2011
This coastal South Carlsbad view home has been exceptionally maintained. Nestled in the gated hilltop community of Mar Brisa, this home offers the largest and most popular floorplan and sits on one of the biggest lots. Open Sunday, October 16, from 1:00 to 4:00 – plus win gift cards and take home free goodies just for stopping by!
• 4 bedrooms + loft/2.5 bathrooms, 2570 square feet, and ocean breezes
• Beautiful views of mountains, rolling green hills, canyon and
golf course, and peek ocean views from upstairs loft
• Largest floorplan in gated coastal community of Mar Brisa
• Northeastern exposure, with lots of sunlight throughout the day
• Travertine flooring with custom inlays downstairs and on staircase
• Chef’s dream kitchen with center island, breakfast area
• Cathedral ceilings
• Formal dining room
• Cozy family room with fireplace
• Master suite with endless views
• Sunken tub and walk-in closet in master bathroom
• Custom paint throughout
• Big, private backyard (8000+ square feet) with large patio area for
entertaining or dining al fresco.
• Lots of storage throughout
• 3 car garage with epoxy flooring
• Ceiling fans
• Upstairs laundry room with sink
• Great loft area for den/office/playroom/gym, or convert to
• Short stroll to community pool/spa and tot lots
• Carlsbad schools!
• Low HOA fees, no mello roos taxes
• MLS #110049083
This home is truly exceptional…stop by and see it! I am hosting a gift card drawing just for visiting…plus, pick up some free environmentally friendly shopping bags and Halloween candy! For more photos and information please visit http://1452SapphireDrive.2seeit.com. If you have questions or would like to schedule a private showing please call me at 760-310-9466 or email me at Rachel@LaMarRealEstate.org.
Sunday, August 28th, 2011
LaMar Real Estate is proud to offer for sale this beautiful home located at 1452 Sapphire Drive. Situated in coastal Carlsbad in the gated ocean view hilltop community of Mar Brisa, this home has been impeccably cared for by the original owner. With 4 bedrooms, a loft, 2 and a half bathrooms and 2570 square feet, this popular “Venice” model offers the largest floorplan in the community. The seller will entertain offers between $699,000 and $719,000.
When you walk into the front door you are surrounded by natural light, cathedral ceilings custom paint throughout, and stunning travertine floors with custom inlays downstairs and on the stairs. The large living room and formal dining room look out to the beautiful backyard and views beyond. The family room has a stone fireplace and plenty of room, and the bright, spacious kitchen is fabulous for the chef and entertaining.
The large master suite has more views – out to the canyon, The Carlsbad Crossings golf resort, mountain ranges and rolling hills. With a sunken tub and big walk-in closet, the master bathroom fills all of your needs.
The upstairs loft – an optional 5th bedroom – provides a great space for a den, playroom, office or gym, and includes a peek view of the ocean. The upstairs laundry room provides convenience and a built in sink. Other features include an expoxy floor three car garage, ceiling fans, upgraded neutral carpeting upstairs, and custom drapery.
Aside from the many exquisite interior features of this home, the beautiful backyard is definitely something to brag about. Situated on a lot of over 8000 square feet, this is one of the larger lots in the neighborhood. The sellers created a large patio area for dining al fresco, and a path that circles the center lawn area (great for strolling or for small bikers). Mature landscape and flowers provide plenty of privacy. The views extend to the rolling hills and mountains, and out to the San Bernardino mountain ranges, plus golf course and canyon views. It truly is a personal oasis.
The Mar Brisa community features a resort like community pool and two spas, barbeques and tot lot, plus an exercise lot. HOA fees are very low and there are no mello roos taxes. Carlsbad schools too! 1452 Sapphire Drive is move-in ready and waiting for a buyer. To see more pictures and get more information on this home please visit http://www.1452SapphireDrive.2seeit.com. Please contact Rachel LaMar if you have any questions, or to schedule a showing, at 760-310-9466.
Friday, July 22nd, 2011
Have you been considering buying a home, maybe for the first time, maybe to move up or down? Have you been waiting for the market to hit bottom, for prices to fall, for loan rates to get lower? Guess what? It is that time. Yes, I am a Realtor, and my telling you this may sound self-serving, but let me tell you why that is not the case:
1. Rates are still low. They will get higher – that is something I would be money on. There are a few reasons why. One is that they have been historically low for a long time and it is inevitable. Another reason is that there could be some big changes coming up in the loan industry (see below), which will make them rise.
2. Qualifying for a loan is not going to get any easier. Lenders are still reeling from the housing crash and make it difficult to qualify new borrowers (believe me, I have seen it happen to my own clients). If the new rules pass in September, come October 1 loan limits will decrease, meaning buyers will have to put MORE money down in order to qualify for a loan, and limits will be lower so that means less of a loan (buyers will have to buy smaller homes, or maybe even consider different areas/neighborhoods).
3. Down payment requirements could rise. If the loan limit rates decline the downpayment amounts will increase. Borrowers will have to pay more money up front to get a loan. This will make buying a home a pipe dream for many Americans.
4. There are still some great loan products out there. FHA loans require much lower downpayments and better interest rates. If the new limit restrictions pass they will have an effect on these loans.
5. Selling a home could get much more difficult. If the loan rates change it may effect sellers the most, especially in higher priced areas like San Diego county. Buyers who could qualify for a loan to buy a home may no longer be able to afford that much house, so sellers may have a hard time finding qualified buyers. Many homeowners may not be able to sell their homes, which could lead to more foreclosures. Property values will go down, but who will buy these properties? One theory is that the lenders will simply rent them out rather than try to sell.
6. It is a great time to negotiate! With the market slower than usual for the time of year, and the many well-priced homes out there that are available (especially short sale and lender owned properties), buyers are in the driver’s seat as far as negotiations are concerned. There are some stubborn sellers out there, but if you encounter that situation you can always find another property that is ripe for negotiation.
7. Learn from who is buying now. If you look closely, especially in the attached home market, you will see many investor buyers. As I have said before, this is a sign. It is a sign that now is the time to buy. I am personally working with multiple investor clients right now, and they are getting great deals on short sale and lender owned properties.
I get asked all the time what the market is like, how we are faring here in North San Diego. The market is doing much better than in some other areas of the country, but we are still struggling a bit. Prices have come down, and will likely continue to do so. If the new loan limit reductions pass it will create qualification problems for many buyers and for sellers as well. Right now you can still lock in a very low rate (today’s conforming rate on a 30 year fixed mortgage is 4.5% with no points). There is a decent amount of inventory out there.
So, here is my pledge to you: I will do my best to help you find the right property, at the right price – if you don’t there is no pressure at all. Use me as a tool to help you, because that is what I am here for. I will provide all the information you need about any home we find. You don’t need to sign any agreement, I won’t make any demands on you. I offer you honesty and professionalism, and all you have to do is call me. I will be around all weekend. 760-310-9466