I really like to answer my client's real estate questions via blog posts.  I've found via analytics, you like to read them too.  Ask me your questions, and I'll research the real news.  Contact button is at the top of the page :)

May 31, 2018

3d Tour and Interview 2029 Olivera Rd, Apt B, Concord, CA 94520

Open House: Sunday, June 3, 10a-1p

Nestled in a cul-de-sac, walking distance from the park, you'll find a charming townhouse that's move in ready. The kitchen and bathrooms are nicely upgraded and the HOA even has a pool. Check out the interactive 3d tour or ask to see this one right away.

Active status and more info: http://www.elizabethrusso.com/property/40824422/

2BD    1.5BA    975 SqFt    $310 per month HOA

An Interview with the Sellers of 2029 Olivera Rd, Apt B, Concord, CA 94520

How come you're moving?

We have simply out grown our first home and have already found our replacement :-)

Tell us 3 features you love most about your home?

  1. It has just the right amount of natural light,
  2. There's a half bathroom downstairs for guests,
  3. Bonus storage room right next to the backdoor, attached to the outside of the townhome.

3 besties about the location of your home?

  1. Hillcrest Community Park is just cross street
  2. Close to Highway 242, State Route 4, and North Concord / Martinez BART Station
  3. Walking distance to New Hope Church

Tell us about any upgrades or updates you've done?

We've maintained the home.  It was exactly everything we could have hoped for in a first time home - Upgrades and all were perfect for us.

Schools per http://demo.mdusd.org/schoolfinder

Elementary School: Sun Terrace Elementary School
Middle School: El Dorado Middle School
High School: Mt Diablo High School

How about the HOA?

Homeowners Association: Terraza Del Sol
Phone: 925-937-1011
Fees: $310   Monthly

What does the HOA Fee Cover?

  • Pool
  • Clubhouse
  • Community
  • Laundry Facility
  • Water
  • Garbage
  • Exterior maintenance
  • Roof

Tell us about your house?

When you enter our home you walk into the living room and there are stairs on the side, leading to the bedrooms.  We have a very open downstairs living area.  There's a living room, dinning area, kitchen and half bathroom.  The back patio opens from the living room.  Upstairs we have a 2 bedrooms and 1 full bathroom.  The back door is located in the kitchen and leads to our parking spots, 1 covered and 1 uncovered. Just across the walk is the community laundry facility.  It's so close.  For as long as we've lived here, the neighborhood has always been quite and pet friendly.

Show me homes that have sold like this one, within the past 6 months?

Click here to see them now: http://www.elizabethrusso.com/contra-costa/concord/listing-agent/sold-homes-near-2029-olivera-rd-apt-b-concord-ca-94520/

Posted in Listings
May 28, 2018

What's in A Home Value?

The biggest question I always get is, "Is this in a good neighborhood?"  But have you thought about the other things might kill the mood when searching for your ideal home? Here's what tops other shoppers home buying lists. #eastbay #privacy

Top Reasons They Say No:

  • The view angle from the backyard - I'd love to look at my garden, from all directions of the room.
  • Frontage length - I don't want people driving by to just look in my window, because there's nothing else to look at.
  • Backyard exposure to neighbors - Actually, don't want anyone just looking into my windows.
  • Privacy - Need I say it a third time ;-)
  • Backyard slope - If it faces downhill, it sort of makes you feel like the queen of your home.

It's no big shock we appreciate privacy above all.  When privacy matters most, go for a home with nature views.  See my favorite NATURE VIEW homes currently for sale: http://www.elizabethrusso.com/homes-for-sale/nature-view/ 

Find your home's value here: http://www.elizabethrusso.com/cma/property-valuation/

What's in A Home Value?

What's in A Home Value?

Posted in Tips and Tricks
May 27, 2018

3 Interesting Real Estate Graphs for Concord, CA

This might be one of the best times to sell your current home and purchase a replacement home in #Concord CA #EastBay

Today, I'm headed out to visit a client that's considering selling their home in Concord, CA.  I thought you might also find some of the information I compiled interesting?  Especially, if you're considering selling your home to purchase a replacement home.  Check out these 3 graphs + a bonus with me:

**Psst** Don't forget to see my favorite, most interesting, homes for sale at the bottom of the page...

 

The Market Absorption Rate shows how much time it'll take a Realtor to sell an average home. This is calculated by the number of active listings, divided by the number of sold listings in a given month.  You can see, a Concord home will take about 2 months to sell (from marketing to close of escrow), based on 12 months of data.  Remember, this figure can vary based on your specific neighborhood.  Contact me (link above), and we can talk about the specifics of your home.  Now, let's scroll to the next slide...

Considering selling your home and wonder what you could get for it? Get an instant high, med, low value here: http://www.elizabethrusso.com/cma/property-valuation/

 

Concord CA Market Absorption Rate May 2017- 2018

 

The Inventory and Sales shows us how many homes are currently for sale, within the last 12 months.  As you can see from the green (current inventory) vs the blue (current sales), homes are starting to stay on the market a lot longer.  Good news for buyers, you're getting back some of you negotiation power!  Next slide...

Here are a few of my favorite neighborhoods in Concord, click to see if there are any homes for sale: 

 

Concord CA Inventory and Sales May 2017- 2018

 

Here in the Sold Price vs Listings Sold, I pulled the information for the past year, and there's not as much inventory currently on the market, as months past.  Also, we are currently moving up in value.  As you can see from these three graphs, this might be one of the best times to sell and purchase a replacement home:

Check the high, med and low value of any home here: http://www.elizabethrusso.com/cma/property-valuation/

 

Concord CA Sold Price vs Listings Sold May 2017- 2018

Bonus Graph laying it all out on the line for Concord, CA

Concord CA Market at a Glance 2018 Median Home Price, Price Per Sq Ft, Days on the Market, Sales to List Ratio, Hosing Units, Unsold Inventory Index

  • Median Home Price $606,000
  • Price per Sq Ft $391
  • Days on Market 9.0
  • Sales to List Ratio 102.2
  • Housing Units 115
  • Unsold Inventory Index 1.6

    3 Interesting Real Estate Graphs for Concord, CA

 

Posted in Local Market
May 26, 2018

Homes with Gardens Sell Best

"When's the best time to sell my home?"

If you have a garden, with blooms in the Summer or Spring, that is the best time to sell your home.  Everyone loves to think they'd love to have a garden. #SaturdayMotivation #gardeningtips

This is the biggest question I get from sellers prepping their home.  My answer is generally the same, "it depends on your home and the market."  If the market is right, and you have a wonderful garden, with blooms in the Summer or Spring, that is the best time.  Everyone loves to think they'd love to take care of a garden.

I personally think Mid Century Modern homes are the best for a garden.  The windows just bring the beauty directly into the house.  Check out current homes for sale, designed by architects like Roger Lee and Frank Lloyd Wright here: http://www.elizabethrusso.com/homes-for-sale/mid-century-modern/

Curb appeal is so important.  Let's face it, when you go out looking for home, do you think much of the ones that just have a driveway and weeds coming out all around the house?  And please, when the seller spray-paints the dead lawn...  It would be better to just put black bark down.  Maybe put a little flower in the middle?  At least this will give your buyers something more positive to talk about when trying to remember what home they liked best.

When the time comes to sell, make contact with me, ok?  I'd like to aggressively market your home to gain the most value in your sale.  Find the high, med and low worth of your home here: http://www.elizabethrusso.com/cma/property-valuation/

California Landscaping Yard Preferences 2018

Spring is in full bloom and for many people that means spending more time enjoying the outdoors and tending to their yards.

  • 91% of Americans have a yard.
  • 86% say it's important to have a living landscape and grass at their home.
  • More than 2/3 enjoy taking care of their yards.

What's popular in back yards?

  • 86% Grass
  • 80% Trees, bushes, and shrubs
  • 55% Gardens
  • 51% Hard pavers, cement, brick, patio
  • 47% Landscaping, rocks, or gravel
  • 43% Mulch
  • 32% Ground-cover

 

Posted in Tips and Tricks
May 25, 2018

Interest Rate Impact on Purchasing Your Home in Lafayette, CA

Have you thought about what a 1% change in the mortgage interest rate will do to your house payment or even your overall ability to purchase as much of a home? #Lafayette CA #FridayMotivation

My auntie said, when talking about investments: Never, ever bury your head in the sand like the ostrich - be aware.  Resist your flight instinct and fight by researching any and all facts.  Then act.  Don't hesitate, don't listen to propaganda and don't ask or worry about what friends think.  Do.

"What's the worth of my home?" Get the high, med and low value here: http://www.elizabethrusso.com/cma/property-valuation/

I recently got a couple of emails from clients who are willing and able to purchase a home, but they heard on the news that property values are inflated.  So, they have decided to wait, even though there are so many homes they love currently listed for sale.

...And there are a lot of homes in Lafayette for sale (see graph below): Check them out here: http://www.elizabethrusso.com/contra-costa/lafayette/

The news told them asking prices will come down.  And this is when they'll be ready to buy their home.  Meanwhile, I wonder if you've thought about how the rising interest rates will affect your ability to purchase a home?  Have you thought about what a 1% change in the interest rate will do to your mortgage payment or even your overall ability to purchase as much of a home?

Remember to contact me if you have questions?  I'm ready when you are :)  -Elizabeth Russo

"As interest rates increase for home buyers, not only does the monthly payment go up, but so does the amount of income needed to qualify to purchase a home.  Check out this example to see how interest rates affect a buyer's bottom line."

How interest rates impact your monthly loan payment and over all qualification for a home 2018

Lafayette Inventory vs Sales May 2017-2018

Interest Rate Impact on Purchasing Your Home in Lafayette, CA

Posted in Tips and Tricks
May 24, 2018

Mortgage Rates: Week ending 5/24/18

Mortgage Rates: Week ending May 24, 2018

 

Fast Facts

 

Mortgage rates continue to climb.  We're now up to 4.66% with .4 pt on a 30 year mortgage. It seems the only way to make things more affordable is to build more homes for Californians. #bayarea

If you're on the fence about getting prequalified to purchase a home, you might want to hurry before rates push you out of the running.  Read my blog about how rising mortgage interest rates could affect your ability to purchase a home.  Click here: Interest Rate Impact on Purchasing a Home

 

Primary Mortgage Market Survey®

U.S. weekly averages as of 05/24/2018
30-Yr FRM
4.66%
0.05 1-Wk
0.71 1-Yr
0.4 Fees/Points
15-Yr FRM
4.15%
0.07 1-Wk
0.96 1-Yr
0.4 Fees/Points
5/1-Yr ARM
3.87%
0.05 1-Wk
0.80 1-Yr
0.3 Fees/Points

Calif. Median Home Price: April 2018:

  • California: $584,460

  • Calif. highest median home price by region/county: San Francisco, $1,650,000

  • Calif. lowest median home price by region/county: Lassen, $155,500

California Association of Realtors - Talking Points

  • Mortgage application volume fell 2.7 percent last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted report. 
  • Volume was 4.5 percent lower than a year ago.
  • The weakness was most pronounced in applications to refinance a home loan. That volume fell 4 percent to its lowest level since August 2008. Refinance volume is off nearly 17 percent from a year ago, when interest rates were lower.
Posted in Local Market
May 19, 2018

The "B" Word: Are we headed into another housing bubble?

I completely love when a client comes up with a great question. Even more, I love when the California Association of Realtors hands me like a million graphs and opinions formulated from economists to answer their questions. HA! It's super cool having a brand like "Realtor" behind me, making me look like a boss.

Down to business. Yesterday, I was contacted by a buyer. He said, "Elizabeth, I've been watching this home for some time and just recently noticed the price dropped. What's going on? Is it the market or is it the house?"

I can tell you, there's nothing wrong with that house. It's situated in one of my favorite towns, in one of my favorite neighborhoods, Orinda Country Club. It's a large multi-level home with an elevator, views of the lake, chef's kitchen, spa like bathrooms, big bedrooms - The perfect forever home. ...oh! and it can be yours for cool, $2,190,000.

See homes for sale in Orinda Country Club neighborhood

So, it's the market. What's happening?  Buyers are watching and waiting, and sellers are wondering why their home isn't selling. I mean, I hate stand-offs. Someone shoot already? Offer a lower price or lower your assumed value.  We've had nearly 6 years of uninterrupted growth and now in the last couple months there's a crazy slowdown.


California 5 Years of Growth Graph
Jobs are at an all time high. We've added about 2.1 million new jobs, but we've only permitted around 450,000 new housing units. Before the recession, we had 30 years of underbuilding leading all of the way up to the recession. We really need to build more homes. The Mercury News has a great article about how towns are refusing to build affordable housing in their back yard.

**Psst** Don't forget to see my favorite, most interesting, homes for sale at the bottom of the page...

Far as I'm aware, people like their town culture. If you go around adding mass condo complexes in the middle of detached home towns, you're not only inviting an overwhelming amount of new people, from different backgrounds, you're changing the culture of that town. The people that made that town so super awesome, the reason people came to begin with, are going to move out and make some other town super awesome. Freaking annoying and completely disrespectful to argue with a native about the culture of their town and/or insist that culture is dumb or non-existent.

I can straight preach sermons and write dissertations on that subject!  eh-em!  *I'm crawling down off of that very large soap box now*  I'm aware Housing and Community Development needs to build hundreds of thousands of units just to keep housing a little affordable.  No one is more aware than I am.  It's not only impacting my job, it's impacting everyone, because loads of natives can no longer afford to live here, or they're feeling totally overrun and they're starting to chase their established culture - straight out of California.

California Median Home Payment Relative to Income

And goodness gracious, lets not forget the what a rise in interest rates will look like for those whom already can't afford to purchase in their own backyard.  Here's a blog I wrote about the very subject: "Interest Rate Impact on Purchasing Your Home in Lafayette, CA: http://www.elizabethrusso.com/blog/interest-rate-impact-purchasing-your-home-lafayette-ca/

Impact of Higher Rages Monthly Mortgage Payment on Median Priced Home at Various Interest Rates

Wondering, "How much is my Orinda CA home worth?" Run your valuation here: http://www.elizabethrusso.com/cma/property-valuation/

Orinda CA Market at a Glance - May 2017-2018

  • Median Home Price $1,680,750
  • Price per Sq Ft $653 
  • Days on Market 11.0
  • Sales to List Ratio 100.1
  • Housing Units 26
  • Unsold Inventory Index 2.8

"The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® does not believe we are at the tipping point for home prices yet, but there is no denying that the growth in home prices is not being driven purely by an improvement in household incomes or interest rates alone. And, while we do not believe that a reduction in home prices is imminent, residents in the Bay Area and Orange County will be well served by keeping close tabs on broader economic conditions. Not every market in California is currently overvalued, but if prices do fall, they will hit those areas the hardest."

Further Reading

The “B Word” Is California in the midst of another bubble? by Chief Economist: Leslie Appleton-Young: https://www.car.org/-/media/CAR/Documents/Industry-360/PDF/Market-Data/Surveys/The-B-Word.pdf?la=en&hash=A93068000522D1E6A96493812090AC46677F8228

The "B" Word: Are we headed into another housing bubble?

Posted in Local Market
May 18, 2018

Orinda CA Housing Supply: Over the past 6 months.

Orinda CA Housing Supply: Over the past 6 months.

I believe there's nothing I can study more than analytics.  For me, it's a major key to all marketing and sales.  This week I found myself doing some research for a client looking to purchase a home in Orinda.  I thought you might find this over all Orinda market snapshot interesting?  Check out the Infographic below.

Start searching in your favorite Orinda neighborhoods today, click here: http://www.elizabethrusso.com/contra-costa/orinda/

Average Orinda CA snapshot over the past couple of years (2016-2018):

  • Active Listings: 44
  • Time Trend: 35-44 days on the market
  • Year to Year Growth: 7.3%

I also included a graph of the Orinda inventory for the last 6 months (Nov 2017 to May 2018).  Looks like we're moving into a buyer's market.

***If you're picky, because you're looking for your forever home, there's just a tun of inventory to choose from.***

I want to be your only real estate agent.  Please reach out when you're ready?  My contact button is at the top of the page.  -Elizabeth Russo, your total home resource

 

Orinda CA Housing Supply March 2018

Orinda Inventory Nov 2017 to May 2018

Posted in Local Market
May 17, 2018

Mortgage Rates: Week ending 5/17/18

Mortgage Rates: Week ending May 17, 2018

Fast Facts

Wha!  Mortgage rates are the highest they've been in 7 years.  It had sort of stayed steady in the last couple of weeks, and now they're all of the way up to 2011 levels.

If you're on the fence about getting prequalified to purchase a home, you might want to hurry before rates push you out of the running.  Read my blog about how rising mortgage interest rates could affect your ability to purchase a home.  Click here: http://www.elizabethrusso.com/blog/interest-rate-impact-purchasing-your-home-lafayette-ca/

Mortgage Rates: Week ending 5/17/18:

30-Yr FRM
4.61%
0.06 1-Wk
0.59 1-Yr
0.4 Fees/Points
15-Yr FRM
4.08%
0.07 1-Wk
0.81 1-Yr
0.4 Fees/Points
5/1-Yr ARM
3.82%
0.05 1-Wk
0.69 1-Yr
0.3 Fees/Points

Calif. Median Home Price: March 2018:

  • California: $564,831
  • Calif. highest median home price by region/county: San Francisco, $1,680,000
  • Calif. lowest median home price by region/county: Lassen, $135,000

Have a little time on your hands?  Check out some of my most favorite homes for sale, with a water view: http://www.elizabethrusso.com/homes-for-sale/water-view/

Talking Points

  • Mortgage application volume fell 2.7 percent last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted report. 
  • Volume was 4.5 percent lower than a year ago.
  • The weakness was most pronounced in applications to refinance a home loan. That volume fell 4 percent to its lowest level since August 2008. Refinance volume is off nearly 17 percent from a year ago, when interest rates were lower.
Posted in Local Market
May 17, 2018

2020 Proposed Solar Mandate: My commentary...

2020 Proposed Solar Mandate: My commentary...

Did you hear about how the new proposed solar mandate could cost you an extra $10,500 to the purchase of your new home?  Yep, as it stands, California might be the first and only crazy state in the nation to make ALL new single-family homes and multifamily buildings up to 3 stories tall, adhere to this law by January 1, 2020. 

My favorite used home is the Mid-Century Modern home.  Check out the ones currently for sale here: http://www.elizabethrusso.com/homes-for-sale/Mid-Century-Modern/

They say this is their fight against global warming.  I wont make a federal debate on global warming, and I'm more of a nuclear energy supporter.  IDK, maybe I played too much Sim City in high school?  I learned from that game, it's fun to play God.  Like I said, not a debate I'm willing to step into with out being anonymous.  I dare you to find that non existent blog, ha!  Seriously though, I'm totally into Fusion, I hope they get that figured out some day soon.

This proposal will bring a huge boost to the solar job industry.  They said their job count has gone down in 2017, after years of crazy fast growth.  They believe this proposal will bring California closer to their "zero net-energy" building goal.  Have you seen "Last Man on Earth?"  I believe it was Season 3 where they lived in the illuminated building...  That show totally cracks me up.   Great binging show.

I wonder if the proposal thinks of the cost?  There's already new efficiency standards for windows and insulation that the commission will consider.  This solar mandate could add, they say, $10,538 to the cost of building a house.  This is by the agency's own estimate.  Shit now, aren't we in a real estate affordability conundrum?

Find the value of your home, without solar panels here: http://www.elizabethrusso.com/cma/property-valuation/

Now this is just how I read the article, call it my cliff notes.  Check out the article and let me know your thoughts?  https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Solar-panels-on-homes-soon-could-be-required-in-12894398.php

Posted in Local Market