Friday, October 31, 2008

Sorry I Just Couldn't Resist!

Zillow Update

America is in one of the worst housing crisis in history, yet 49% of U.S. homeowners believe their home's value has increased or stayed the same over the past year, according to Zillow's Q3 Homeowner Confidence Survey.

In reality, 74% percent of homes have lost value in the past 12 months, according to preliminary findings in Zillow's Q3 Real Estate Market Reports, which will be released Nov. 12.

(As a realtor, I just couldn't resist sharing this information. In my experience, almost every homeowner has an inflated view of the worth of their home because of the value of their home to them - which doesn't always translate to the current market. Isn't it interesting that even with all the media, people still think it doesn't apply to their home. I have to tell you folks, this is one of the number one reasons I have a job. We can't be dispassionate about our own homes, which is probably a good thing.)

Even More Statistics?

Interesting (and a little more detailed) Statistics

There are currently 286 single family homes on the market in Morgan Hill. 66 homes are pending sale (currently in contract) equaling 23% of the market. Out of those totals, there are 50 Short Sale properties with 27 pending sales equaling 54% of the Short Sale market. REOs have an inventory of 34 listings with 18 pending sales totaling 53% of the REO market.

There are currently 358 single family homes on the market in Gilroy. 158 homes are pending sales equaling 45% of the market. Out of those totals, there are 122 Short Sales with 67 pending sales equaling 55% of the Short Sale market. REOs have an inventory of 88 listings with 59 pending sales totaling 67% of the REO market.

Chicago Title has been my title company of choice for many years. They have provided me with the above statistics regarding the percentage of homes selling, including breaking it down amongst Short Sales (transactions where the loan amount is greater than the current value of a home) and REOs (bank owned property). These statistics are from this week.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Playing Hookey!

Taking a Day Off!

Yesterday, instead of going to the all company meeting or just working for that matter, I "played hookey". At least, that's what we called in my day when we didn't go to school when we were supposed to (but then that is probably dating me more than I would like). I went on a field trip with my daughter's high school fashion design classes. We went to 2 fabric stores, one in San Jose called Hancock Fabrics over by Oakridge Mall which has a good selection of patterns and fabrics and kudos to the day manager who spend extra time to get us authorization to give students the weekend sale prices. Then we went to Fabrics R Us over on Berryessa and King which is like Christmas for people who like to sew - literally bolts and bolts of beautiful fabric. It was fun being with teenagers and their enthusiams and endless energy. Great time with my daughter (yes, priceless) and nice to be away from work for the day. I highly recommend you all try it sometime.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Got Twitters?

Are you twittering yet?

I don’t know about you but I never thought I would be operating at the level of technology which has become a daily part of our lives. It wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s that I even started working on a computer. Don’t believe anyone if they tell you it’s going to save you time. It’s not! However, it will connect you to a much bigger world that seems to expand all the time. I just learned about a new website call Twitter.

I’ve heard it referred to as a “micro-blog” or as a post-it note (only it’s posted on the Twitter website as opposed to your refrigerator) that can be shared and responded to. You sign up with a name that you designate. Then you either find people you know and/or are interested in following. Twitter accounts are identified with at @ symbol in front (i.e. @your name). You can view anyone’s notes (or “tweets”) and anyone can sign up to view yours. And you will receive an email letting you know every time someone follows you.

Twittering can be a lot of fun and a good way of building community. You can connect with people totally focused on one thing. However, it can be very addicting and you might find yourself spending a lot of time with literally very little (sorry – couldn’t resist a twitter joke) to show for it.

Try it out! Be playful and have fun and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Resources for Foreclosure Help

Foreclosure Help!

There are a lot of people struggling to find solutions that will allow them to stay in their homes. There is information and help available. Listed below are some of those agencies working in Santa Clara County to provide information, solutions and relief. You can call direct and speak to someone or go online to get a sense of what the agency is about.

The State of California Consumer Home Mortgage Information website can be found at and offers a ‘Guide to Avoiding Foreclosures’ as well as specific information on finding agencies working with foreclosure prevention. You can also contact the following agencies directly:

Consumer Credit Counseling Service –
Call (800) 540-2227 or try their website at

Neighborhood Housing -Call (408) 279-2600 or go online at

Project Sentinel -Call (408) 720-9888 or go online at

These are a few of the local resources. If you or someone you know needs help in another California county, or elsewhere in the United States, go to the HUD website to find lists of “housing counseling agencies” by state.

Foreclosures and Notices of Default reached new highs in the second quarter in Santa Clara County and in California (per Data Quick Information Systems). There are a lot of people in need of the right information and help. Let me know if you have other suggestions for people to get the kind of help they need.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday Morning Statistic Update!

Monday Statistics

Good morning South County! Here are your weekly updates on what is happening in your neighborhoods. Feel free to contact me if you want more specific information. As of this week:

Morgan Hill has 289 active listings and 67 sale pendings

Gilroy has 357 active listings and 158 sale pendings

San Martin has 43 active listings and 8 sale pendings

Area 1 (all of the above) has 667 active listings and 232 sale pendings

We are up a little in inventory and sales compared to last week. Just for fun, I double checked what was going on last year at this time and there were a total of 735 active listings in Area 1 and only 66 sale pendings.

Stay tuned for regular updates!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Enough Doom and Gloom!

Are you ready to get where you want to go?

I was reading the Wall Street Journal yesterday and in their real estate section, there was a blurb about Hillary Swank purchasing a 3.5 million dollar townhome, part of some new construction in New York. What struck me about this multi-unit building was that all the homes were selling and there was only one available to date. Without discounting today’s harsh realities, can’t we shed a little light on the fact that there are people with money (and not just movie stars), with cash, with the ability to get loans (at good rates) and there is much more selling & buying & even lending going on than the media would have you believe. It’s a great time to find a home and get a loan at a great interest rate. Right now! Right now there is a good selection of inventory, good interest rates and not a lot of competition from other Buyers. Although I hear that is changing in some areas and situations and we are seeing more multiple offers in our markets. For those of you still fencing sitting, no one is going to ring a bell when the market hits bottom! You have to figure out for yourself what is a good deal and what it is worth to make change in your life and get where you want to go.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Amy Grant in Morgan Hill?

Amy Grant Lead Me On Tour

Last night, my family and I listened to Amy Grant as she performed her celebration of the 20th anniversary of her Lead Me On album (which she jokingly referred to as her ‘old stuff’). The concert was held at the amphitheater at the Morgan Hill Community Center for an ‘Evening Under the Stars with Amy Grant’. Kudos goes to the kids at the Sobrato Conservatory of the Arts who sponsored the event in an effort to raise money to support their art program (you can go to for more information about what they are up to). It was a great evening and although I was surprised to find myself at a rock concert in downtown Morgan Hill, it was made even more special by knowing Amy Grant is only performing 20 of these concerts and only 2 in California. The weather was perfect and in fact, so was Amy Grant. My 2 girls had some resistance to being at a concert with their mom and dad but were soon rocking out to the music along with the very receptive crowd. Thank you Sobrato Art for a very special evening!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

More Credit Information and Resources


If you are looking for more information about your current credit status, then the following agencies are good resources for updated information. You can contact the following agencies for more credit information (recognized as the top three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies):

1) Equifax – or 1-800-685-1111

2) Trans Union – or 1-877-322-8228

3) Experian Information Solutions – or 1-866-200-6020

Fair Isaac & Company invented the FICO credit risk score that lenders started using in the 1960s. This approach to lending enabled financial institutions to improve their business performance and expand consumers’ access to credit. Today Fair Isaac’s FICO score is widely recognized as the industry standard for lenders. Myfico is the consumer division of Fair Isaac.

4) Fair, Issaac & Company –

Under the FACT Act amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to one free Personal Credit Report in a 12 month period. To request this free annual report online, by phone or mail, visit (does not include FICO scores).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bank Owned Homes!

Bank owned property in Gilroy and Morgan Hill

The property on top is located at 1060 3rd Street in Gilroy, is bank owned and just came on the market. This 3 bedroom/2 bath home has 1424 square feet and is located on a 7035 square foot lot - current listing price is $299,900! This is a very active price range right now in Gilroy and some homes at this price are getting multiple offers.

The property on the bottom is located at 1310 Meadow Court in Morgan Hill and came on the market about a week ago. The previous owners started to do some remodeling and then stopped. This would be a good home for a contractor or someone handy who likes to work about the house and in the yard. It is currently listed for $419,900 and has 3 bedrooms/2 bath, 1160 Square Feet and a 7840 Square Foot yard. There aren't too many single family homes that are on the market in Morgan Hill which are less than the asking price on this property.

Both properties need work but that is pretty common for bank owned properties. They look a little sad but if inspections show them to be structurally sound and not in need of major repairs, then it's all cosmetic from here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What the heck are FICO scores anyway?

Your Credit Score

Fair Isaac & Company invented the FICO credit risk score that lenders started using in the 1960s. This approach to lending enabled financial institutions to improve their business performance and expand consumers’ access to credit. Today Fair Isaac’s FICO score is widely recognized as the industry standard for lenders.

What is your score specifically designed to tell you?

It predicts the likelihood that your borrower will get a 90 day late on any trade line, within the next 24 months.

What is the range of credit scores?

Generally 300 – 850 (850 being perfect credit)

What is your score comprised of?

35% Payment History
30% Balances
15% Credit History
10% Type of Credit and number of each type
10% Inquires

Payment History

Recency – The most heavily weighted factor in the entire score model. When did it happen? 0-6 Months – Your score can be hit over 100 points. 7-24 months – Slightly hit (25 to 50 points). 25+ months – Not much of an effect.

Frequency – Being frequently late is weighted into the score.

Severity – Public records, judgments, tax liens are more heavily weighted.


Balances that exist on revolving charge accounts (Visa/MasterCard) are weighted more than high balances on installment loans.
If you have charged in excess of 50% of your credit limit, your score will go down at least 100 points.
If you have charged in excess of 75% of your credit limit, your score is dropped drastically.
If you keep less than 10% of your credit limit, you actually earn more points than paying them off completely.

Credit History

Your credit history is the length of your credit.
30 years history is considered excellent credit.
Three to five trade lines is best.

Type of Credit and Number of Each Type

Counts open and closed trade lines.
Finance company installment account, i.e. Levitz Furniture, affects your credit negatively.


Depending upon your credit and length of credit, inquires affect your credit differently.
Someone with a short length of credit history will get 30 points deducted off their score, versus someone with a longer credit history will get 10 points deducted and be allowed more inquiries.
Promotional inquiries do not affect your score.

I plan on providing more information about credit agencies as well as help that is presently available for consumers. Feel free to comment and let me know exactly what kind of information you are interested in having available!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Statistics!

Good morning South County!

Here are your weekly updates on what is happening in your neighborhood. Feel free to contact me if you want more specific information. As of this week:

Morgan Hill has 288 active listings and 68 sale pendings

Gilroy has 369 active listings and 154 sale pendings

San Martin has 45 active listings and 6 sale pendings

Area 1 (all of the above) has 682 active listings and 226 sale pendings

We are up a little in inventory but sales are staying pretty consistent with last week. Just for fun, I double checked what was going on last year at this time and during the third week of October 2007, there were a total of 732 active listings in Area 1 and only 58 sale pendings.

Stay tuned for regular updates!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Gorgeous Victorian in Morgan Hill!

Victorian Home in Morgan Hill

395 West Main Avenue –

You can own a piece of Morgan Hill history and charm with this beautifully restored Victorian home, now on the market for $935,000. This 4 Bedroom, 2 Bath home has 2500 square feet and is located on a large 21,000 square foot landscaped lot on the corner of West Main and Peak Avenue right next to P.A. Walsh Elementary School. The home shows beautifully with spacious rooms, gleaming wood floors, antique light fixtures and built-ins, stained glass windows, impressive wood burning fireplace and a great wraparound porch. No doubt about it, it’s well done and fun but maybe not meant for everyone. However, if you have a place in your heart for Victorian homes, check this one out.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Biscotti Recipe!

This coming Tuesday, the Morgan Hill office of Intero is having our yearly celebration of "Italian Day". Due to a large number of our group with an Italian heritage, we spend one day celebrating by eating great food and drinking great local (and Italian) wine. This has been a tradition for many years and as long as I have been a part of our gang. I must have some Italian in me somewhere, somehow, because I am famous for my biscotti. I usually make them around the holidays and always on Italian Day (this year being no exception). And they have their following! Since they are very time consuming and I spent about 6 hours baking today, I am sharing my recipe with you. It's not really difficult, it just takes time and love.



6 eggs
2 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 lb butter (melted and cooled)
1 1/2 tsp anise seed (I usually use 1 Tablespoon)
6 oz nuts (pecans, walnuts or almonds)
6 oz raisins (I like golden raisins)
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 lbs flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

Separate six eggs and beat yolks with 1 1/4 cups sugar. Beat whites stiff and fold in 1 1/4 cups sugar gradually. Fold into egg yolk mixture and add 1/2 lb butter. Blend anise, nuts, raisins and stir in vanilla. Mix dry ingredients and fold into egg mixture gradually. (At this point I usually fold enough flour into mixture to keep it together and then I dump it all on the counter and knead it. It is too unwieldy in a bowl at this point and you really don't want to over work the dough either.) Roll dough into cylinders (1 1/2" by 8 to 10" long - I usually end up with four and bake two at a time.) Put on buttered baking sheets at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or just beginning to be lightly browned. Remove and cut 3/4" wide at 45 degree angle. Bake 5 to 10 minutes (I bake them on each side for 5 minutes but be careful not to overcook them).


Friday, October 17, 2008

California Association of Realtor's Forecast

People are constantly asking - what is going to happen next, where is the market going and how should they make those important and necessary decisions about their lives. The California Association of Realtors have their predictions which I have included for your edification along with a detailed forecast by their Chief Economist, Leslie Appleton-Young.


Home prices throughout most areas of California will post declines next year, while sales of existing homes will continue to rise in 2009, according to C.A.R.'s "2009 California Housing Market Forecast," released today during CALIFORNIA REALTOR® EXPO 2008 (, running through Thursday, Oct. 16 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach."The current uncertainty about the financial system and economy is likely to persist over the next several weeks, and could extend into next year," said C.A.R. President William E. Brown. "Our forecast assumes that the financial system will begin to show signs of stabilization late in 2008 and into early 2009."The median home price in California will decline 6 percent to $358,000 in 2009 compared with a projected median of $381,000 this year, according to the forecast. Sales for 2009 are projected to increase 12.5 percent to 445,000 units, compared with 395,600 units (projected) in 2008."Sales in 2008 will be ahead of last year by 12 percent, with a further increase of 12.5 percent expected in 2009," said C.A.R. Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "However, the next couple of quarters in late 2008 and early 2009 will be marked by seasonal decreases in activity, with a pickup expected by the second quarter of next year."The 2009 California Housing Market Forecast is now available on at

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lowering your Tax Basis or Proposition 8

Proposition 8

I was surprised by the Mercury News publishing an article about Proposition 8 right around the deadline to have your taxes re-evaluated for the current tax year. Almost as if they were saying, “look at what you can’t have!”

Based on Proposition 8, you can submit a request form to have your taxes re-evaluated based on declining values. Important - the Assessor will only consider the market value of your property as of the lien date (which is January 1st). It is also important to know that the deadline to make this request is September 15th. After that date, all requests will be applied to the next tax year.

Proposition 8 passed in November 1978 and amended Proposition 13 to reflect declines in value. Prop 8 reductions in value are temporary reductions which recognize the fact that the current market value of a property has fallen below its current (Prop 13) assessed value.

If want to know more about Proposition 8, you can go online to which will take you to the website for the Office of the Assessor in Santa Clara County. Type Proposition 8 in the search engine and it will take you to the information you will need.

I’m recommending to my clients who are interested in lowering their taxes to wait until next January when we can look at the market value at that time and how those values compare to their current tax basis.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ed Tewes, Morgan Hill City Manager speaks at Realtor's Meeting

Morgan Hill City Manager, Ed Tewes, Speaks at South County Realtor’s Meeting

Today at our weekly County Realtor’s meeting, Ed Tewes, the City Manager for Morgan Hill spoke on several issues:

1) Downtown – City’s goal is to improve downtown by creating more residential opportunities and creating better retail spaces. There will be a vote on whether to allow 500 units to proceed (downtown) without having to compete with other building projects (right now with the controlled growth in Morgan Hill, only a limited number of building projects are allowed). There are currently two new restaurants in downtown Morgan Hill and one new retail place. Downtown is being promoted as a place to meet your neighbors.
2) While today’s population is about 39,000, the projected goal for 2020 is 48,000.
3) There are three fully funded projects to build the city infrastructure including:
a) Tenant Avenue will be widened at the 101 interchange with 4 lanes over the freeway (clover leaf). This is scheduled to start in 6 months and be completed within the year.
b) Butterfield Blvd will be extended south to Watsonville Road near Monterey and subject to a Citywide Traffic Analysis as to whether 4 or 6 lanes are needed. The Analysis should be completed by January 2009.
c) Santa Teresa is also subject to the Analysis as to whether there should be 2 or 4 lanes in the development from Spring to Main Avenue. There will be neighborhood and community meetings to discuss these projects.
4) There is currently 8 ½% unemployment in Morgan Hill
5) Measure G will be voted on in the upcoming election as the whether to add a 2% utility tax to increase police staffing.
6) There will be discussion about the annual competition for building projects which previously allowed 250 units and is now at 225 units and must be spread over various categories. The Housing Element Task Force will discuss the breakdown and the needs of the community. They will be meeting this Thursday at 6:45 PM in the El Toro Room at the Community Center. They will examine whether to reduce the cost to housing fees and relax the requirements of Below Market Housing opportunities. This is open to the public.

For more information about the City of Morgan Hill, you can go to and explore their website. Ed visits our Realtor Meetings a couple of times a year to give up updates.

REO Property

560 West Dunne Avenue

This is a very good price for a home that has charm appeal. Priced at $365,000, this bank owned home has 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and 1176 square feet. It is located on a decent sized lot with 7840 square feet, near a busy street but with a long driveway. Good sized kitchen, spacious living/dining room, remodeled bathroom, large laundry room – this property has potential. Located on the west side of Morgan Hill near lots of good places to walk including downtown.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Adventures of Realtor Mom

Mountain Lions in Morgan Hill?!!!

One day a couple of years ago, I took the afternoon off to have some quality time with my two young daughters. We took our bikes over to Coyote Creek Parkway (which if you’ve never been you need to go – it’s a real find and I’ll tell more). I have one daughter who is always off & away and another daughter who is very thoughtful & careful about everything. So I told my older more active daughter to stay close in case she saw a mountain lion. On our way back from our ride, my older daughter (who didn’t stay as close as I would have liked) comes ripping around a curve, dropping her bike screaming, “Mom, Mom, a mountain lion”. Sure I thought, convinced that I had suggested it and she was seeing things so I peaked around the curve and sure enough, there it was (still a good ways away) but definitely checking us out. At which point, my daughter Jennifer started running towards me, looked over her shoulder and saw the mountain lion begin to come her way. “Mom, Mom, it’s coming after me!” Where upon my younger daughter who was staying close to me, starts screaming in a way I didn’t know she was even capable of. Time stopped for me while my thought process went a mile a minute. What could I do to protect my girls, what if something happened to me and they were left alone? They should stay close and get out while they could. I began to say, “If anything happens to me…” where upon both daughters started screaming even louder “What’s going to happen to you”. At this point I actually had a mommy Zen moment – I was going to have to throw myself on the mountain lion to keep them safe. In other words, I was dead! I tried to make myself look tall and scary and held my girls behind me but in the end I think it was the screaming that turned off that big cat. It must have thought my slender Jennifer was a deer but when the screaming escalated, it knew we weren’t worth the trouble and took off. However, it took off in the direction of our going home and there was no way my daughters were budging let alone going in the direction of the mountain lion. Luckily, I had cell coverage and called CHP to come rescue us (which they did along with a park ranger) in a remarkably short period of time (thanks guys). We rode back to the visitor center, drove home with a stop for 2 pints of ice cream and once home I put them in front of the TV with a spoon and a pint each. And to think I took the afternoon off to have quality time with my girls.

However, if you want a great place to ride a bike or take a long walk, then the Coyote Creek Trail is a great place and our adventure aside, I believe it’s very rare to see mountain lions. This is one of the places I went to train for my Avon Walk and I did many long walks to San Jose and back. Another place I loved to hike is the Harvey Bear Ranch out in San Martin. This is a great complement to the Coyote Creek Trail which is very flat and paved. I’ll tell you more another time when I give the details about the Bull at Harvey Bear who blocked our way. More later!

Go to for more information about the great parks that surround us here in South County.

Monday, October 13, 2008

What is Really Going on Anyway?!!!

Monday Statistics

I have issues with statistics. While they are necessary, they can also be misleading. Years ago I became dissatisfied with depending upon others for information. Every Monday morning, I track what is going on in my areas. Looking at this information week after week gives me a better perspective and helps me to better understand other statistics that come my way. The following is based on single family homes:

Morgan Hill has 284 active listings with 68 sale pendings

Gilroy has 367 active listings with 151 sale pendings

San Martin has 41 active listings with 6 sale pendings

Area 1 (all of the above) has 673 active listings with 223 sale pendings

For the month of September, there were 30 closed sales in Morgan Hill, 57 closed sales in Gilroy, 2 closed sales in San Martin and 89 closed sales in Area 1. At the end of September, the average priced home in Morgan Hill was $757,613 and the average priced home in Gilroy was $430,219. The median priced home in Morgan Hill was $644,400 and the median priced home in Gilroy was only $384,900.

Stay tuned for regular updates!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Harriet's Picks

Good Finds in Morgan Hill

We had dinner at Creasian this past weekend and I was remembering when we would go to San Jose for sushi. Creasian Cuisine is located at 207 West Main Avenue not far from downtown Morgan Hill and serves excellent sushi with grace. Another favorite of ours is Vietasia at 1295 East Dunne Avenue where you can eat delicious Vietnamese salads, soups and entrees at very reasonable prices. Plus you can walk over to I Love Gelato after dinner for a sweet treat (grapefruit sorbet maybe?). Another pleasant surprise is El Rincon on East Second Street in downtown Morgan Hill. It is so small that the night we were there, the host, waiter and chef were all the same person! The chef trained at a restaurant at Santana Row and the quality is excellent. Sometimes you just need something fast however and we are not fast food folks. For quick and excellent, try Super Taqueria at 15840 South Monterey Road. We have joked about getting a job there just to figure out how they make their beans and wonderful salsas. Did you know that Morgan Hill has a wonderful Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning at Depot Street at the train station? Make sure you check out the wonderful produce, great baked goods and great energy! I’ve yet to check out D’Vine Jazz & Wine over at 775 Cochrane Road where you can listen to music while you sip good wine. However, I’ll keep you posted on my picks in South County.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Why Work with a Realtor?

How to choose the person who is going to represent you on one of the biggest financial transactions of your life?

I have been amazed throughout my career as a realtor, at the different ways people find us. I guess what amazes me is the casualness in which a lot of people pick their realtors such a calling a sign, calling a company and speaking with whoever happens to be answering the phone at that moment or responding to an ad written by that one and same person. So the question I ask, is why work with a realtor at all?

A good realtor can help you navigate through the pitfalls of real estate and protect you from a lot of common (or uncommon) problems as well as advocate on your behalf in many ways. Your realtor can help you determine your buying power and refer you to a qualified lender (they know many lenders). They also have many resources that can assist you in your home search. They can provide objective information about the market, negotiate on your behalf, provide due diligence during the evaluation of the property, manage the transaction and guide you through the closing process. And they are still there as a resource after closing!

Choose wisely! Ask them about their experience and their background. Ask them to tell you about their market area and expertise. Ask them about their buyer and seller strategies. Ask them their level of technology.

The entry point for my profession is not very high. It is very easy to get a real estate license. But there are a lot of us out there who are working full time, constantly updating our knowledge about the market and our profession, dedicated to doing the best for our clients. Find us! Get a referral (or two). Ask for references. Do your homework.

Do you know the difference between a realtor and a real estate agent (i.e. sales associate)?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Lowest Priced Home in Morgan Hill!

17644 Crest Avenue is located near West Main Avenue and P.A.Walsh Elementary School. This 2 bedroom/1 bath Home has 916 Square Feet and a 2613 Square Lot. This is a bank owned property and is currently listed at $259,900! This is the lowest priced single family home is Morgan Hill!

More Real Estate Facts!

Statistics can be misleading. Years ago I decided I wanted a better perspective on what the numbers mean. Every Monday I update my statistics on the local market. I’ll share my Monday update as well as other statistical information that comes my way.

Today’s info comes from news headlines:

August pending home sales jump 7.4 percent: NARWednesday October 8, 10:05 am ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pending sales of existing U.S. homes unexpectedly jumped in August to the highest level in over a year, data from a real estate trade group showed on Wednesday.
The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in June, rose 7.4 percent in August to 93.4 from an upwardly revised index of 87.0 in July.
The August reading was 8.8 percent higher than a year earlier, and the highest level since 101.4 in June 2007.
Economists polled by Reuters ahead of the report were expecting pending home sales to drop by 1.8 percent.
The association's senior economist Lawrence Yun said home buyers responded to improved affordability, with home prices low and mortgage rates down after the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Making Personal Sense of the Market!

I made a personal decision last year. With all the bad news coming at us on a daily basis, I wasn’t going to see the glass half empty all the time. Even though the market was depressing and getting worse daily, I didn’t want to only focus on the negative and how it affected me. I knew there were places that I could give my time and attention and affect something positive.

I made one of the best decisions ever. I signed up for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and committed to the training and fund raising involved. I was captain for a great group of local women and together we raised over $25,000. At 55 years old, I was in the best shape ever and oh yes, for a short period in time I really could eat whatever I wanted and not gain weight (stress short period of time)!

Plus on a daily basis, I would walk in the mornings and come into the office feeling positive and strong. I had the camaraderie of good people throughout the year, great exercise and the walk itself was a high. For two days we were surrounded by great community and the determination to achieve something big – no more breast cancer!

Once again I am reminded how much I get back when I focus on something bigger than myself. You can go to (under San Francisco 2008) if you would like more information about my walk.

A Good, no a Great Deal!

Everyone wants a good deal! Buyers come to me and they want a good deal in real estate whether they know what a good deal is or not. They want it and are not concerned with the cost of a good deal down the line. Hello, haven’t we learned anything? We are still in the middle of dealing with consequences from not thinking our actions through.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against a good deal for my clients and I will go to bat for them. The difference is I aim for all of us to retain our humanity and values while we are doing real estate. I know it is possible.

A good deal should be a home you really love and want to live in at a good price. The blood doesn’t have to be dripping off the Sellers even if the Seller is an institution. Remember, this could become your neighborhood where you are driving the value down.