Friday, December 5, 2014

Reminder Property Taxes are Deliquent After 12/10

Installment 1

This is a reminder that your the first installment of your property taxes are due and payable on November 1st and delinquent after December 10th.  Be sure to send this a few days before as the county is not flexible on late payments.

Installment 2

The second installment of property taxes is due and payable on February 1st.  However, you have until April 10th to make your payment.

County Websites

Here are you the county websites to access how much you owe for your convenience:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

2014 Q3 Real Estate Update

This third quarter has seen the most dramatic changes over the last two and a half years in the real estate landscape.  You will recall in my Q2 update where I declared that the market was slowing.  I am here to say that is has been confirmed; not only is the Bay Area feeling the slowdown, but the rest of the nation as well.  I’ve been saying this quarter after quarter that an average 7 days on the market, low inventory of homes and dramatic overbids are not sustainable behaviors.  The key reasons for the slowdown are high prices, buyer fatigue, reduction in investor demand and an increase in the supply of homes.

The Slowdown Breakdown

Year-to-date I would estimate that we have seen a cumulative price increase of about 60% over the last two and a half years.  Let’s say you bought a Townhome for $500,000 January of 2012, you could sell your property for $800,000 today.  Another example is if you bought a Single Family Home for $1.2M January of 2012, that same property would be worth $1.9M today.

How did we get to these exorbitant prices?  The answer is one sale at a time.  With the limited amount of homes on the market and an increase in Buyer’s, Buyer’s had to compete with double digit Buyer’s on every home.  Cash or Buyer’s with heavy down payments were overbidding in $100,000 increments past the sale price of the last home in the neighborhood.  This aggressive behavior led many Buyers to lose one home after another, to the point where they were either priced out or fatigued by the endeavor.  As prices rose, investors looked at their profit/loss spreadsheets and realized that prices were too high to make a return on investment.  Lastly, there is an increase in supply in both retail and new home constructions.  Seller’s are now rushing to put their homes on the market realizing that the good times maybe over.  This has added more inventory to the re-sale market.  I’ve also been seeing a ton of new home construction and apartments being built in order to satisfy the increase in both purchase and rental demands of the last two and a half years.  As new construction projects have a much longer lead time from land acquisition to build out, by the time many of these come online, they will find themselves in a down market.  This flood of supply will ultimately drag down home prices and rental prices further.

Global Issues and Interest Rates

We live in a global world where nations are heavily intertwined economically.  There are rumors of China’s economy slowing down and possible property bubbles.  The European Union economies are still feeling the effects of sanctions put on Russia and already had recovering economies before that point.  Even if the United States economy continues to recover, there is a possibility that other nations economies could still drag on our economy.

The Ukrainian crisis appears to have subsided for now, but it has now been replaced by airstrikes on ISIS in Syria and Iraq.  If this crisis escalates and the US is dragged into another war with boots on the ground, it could change the trajectory of our economy significantly.  In recent weeks, Hong Kong protestors have taken to the streets in defiance against China’s methodology of leader selection.  Currently this is not a direct issue, but again if it escalates, this could damage our world economy overall as we see the stock market being dragged down by the news today.  Lastly, the Ebola outbreak scare in Texas today is another concern to monitor.

What is surprising is that the slowdown is not directly correlated with interest rates as they have been fairly steady.  However, all indications are that the rates will go up slowly next year.  This is definitely a concern as this would further push Buyer’s out of the market with already high home prices the monthly payments would not be manageable.

State of the Bay Area Real Estate Market

All the factors above I have been seeing first hand in our local market.  Over the last few months, my listings saw a large amount of open house traffic, a good amount of disclosure downloads, many interested agents and then in the final hour one after another the Buyer’s dropped off.  I am still left with one or two serious Buyer’s, but the drop off in actual offers was eye opening.  Offers were less and less over list price and Buyer’s are actually able to reserve time for due diligence periods.   Not all locations are seeing slowdowns quite yet.  Areas located close to technology companies or anchored by strong schools, continue to see the same overbidding procedures and low days on the market.  The exceptions are homes that are in the upper millions and over two million ranges are starting to see longer days on the market and price drops.

2015 Outlook

My projection is that 2015 will be the year of leveling prices on its way to a more balanced market.  I expect home prices to hold and even drop from peak prices.  I do expect a gradual decline but ultimately leveling prices.  Homes will likely stay on the market for more than 30 days as Buyer’s will have more homes to choose from and less competition overall.  Seller’s will panic and flood the market with more inventory and also new home constructions may create more supply than demand.  The net result will be more downward pressure on home prices.  My advice to Seller’s who have been thinking about selling, is to hit the market and grab as close to peak prices as possible.  On the purchasing side, those of you that need to buy a home just based on life factors, it is a great to time to jump in and have less competition to manage overall.  For those of you that have re-sale value on the top of your list, I would say hold off so you can to see in which direction this market will trend and jump in when the market is at a lower point.

Real Estate Live Feed

Here are some real time activities that I have been involved in to give you an idea of what is going on in the market in real time.

Recent and Upcoming Listings
  •  1624 Wheatley Place in Silver Creek San Jose – This home has been on the market for 2 weeks and starting to see some interest at the 2 week mark.  Patience is key in this market as we have been accustomed to lots of early activity.  Property is what you’d expect from a million dollar home, with high ceilings, all the modern upgrades with an amazing yard.  This home is anchored by solid schools; James F. Smith Elementary (964 API) and Chaboya Middle (946 API).  Let me know if you or someone you know is interested in this property -
  •  ComingSoon Townhome on N Cascade Terrace in Sunnyvale – Upcoming Townhome listing in Sunnyvale with Chester W. Nimitz Elementary (870 API) and Cupertino Middle (900 API).  Clients likely won’t list this until the Spring time, but if you want a sneak peak, I maybe able to arrange a showing
Buyer Wants
  •  I have well approved clients looking for Single Family homes in the Cambrian, Los Gatos and Almaden areas.  If you or someone you know may have a property in these locations, please let me know!
  •  I also have well approved clients looking for Townhomes in Sunnyvale and Mountain View with great schools if possible!  Again pass potential sellers my way!
Q2 Activity Summary
  •  196 Mirada Drive in Daly City – This was my listing that sold right at the peak and took advantage of the high prices, high demand and low supply in San Francisco.  Daly City is a step away from the city, yet so much more affordable.  My listing here sold for $76,000 over list price with a 9 total offers
  •  3619 Deep Harbor Court in San Jose – Beautiful fully re-modeled home in San Jose sold to my Buyers.  Due to a slowing market we were able to get at list price without overbidding
  •  594 De Guigne Drive in Sunnyvale – This was my listing that really opened my eyes to how fast the market was turning.  All indicators pointed towards this home selling very quickly; low inventory, solid price, prime location, strong open house traffic and agent interest.  When the deadlines came we had 1 solid offer, but Buyers dropped off one by one.  In my opinion we caught the off peak price with the market shifting, which is a huge win and still only 2 weeks on the market, which is still excellent.  I was still able to push this home over it’s list price by $26,000
  •  6054 Foothill Glen Drive in San Jose – This was my listing that exceeded my expectations.  With the slowing market and the further distance in the Santa Teresa area, I was expecting longer days on market and less offers.  The comparables in the area were averaging 30 days and I was pleased to buck the average trend.  After 9 days on the market, we had 2 offers and this home will close today close to list price
  •  206 Cross Bridge Drive in Danville – This home was sold to my Buyer’s below list price.  Markets that are further from the center of tech, such as Danville and San Ramon, are seeing much slower markets.  For those of you looking for more house for your money, these areas should be explored.  Asked me about these opportunities!
  •  382 Santa Elena Terrace in Sunnyvale – This was my listing that showed similar results to 594 De Guigne in Sunnyale.  Again low inventory, strong open house traffic, lots of interest, disclosure downloads, then one-by-one the Buyer’s dropped off.  I still had 2 offers and we sold the home for over list price still but another sign of the market slowing down
  •  920 Plumtree Lane in Mountain View – Sold to my Buyer’s.  Surprisingly this well located property in the Springer community garnered only 2 bids.  The home needed some work, but there was more inventory that was done up that many passed on this property.  With the work needed in the house, this home would still be under comparable sales prices in the area.  This is an example of the opportunities in this shifting market
Thank You For Your Referrals!

I wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for your referrals.  Last month I had the honor of pushing into the top 1% of Keller Williams Agents.  People are often surprised to learn that my business is solely through your kind referrals.  I am always thankful and appreciative of all of your business and when your friends, family and colleagues need real estate help that you think of me!  I look forward to closing out what will be a record year for my business.  I will always remember that this would not be possible without your referrals!  I wish you and your family an excellent rest of 2014!



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Client Blog on 1624 Wheatley in San Jose

Very this nice blog for my listing that my client wrote on 1624 Wheatley Place in San Jose.  I have never seen a client write such a nice blog about his home!

For more information on this home here is the property website

Monday, August 25, 2014

Fellow Realtors, Add Value or Become Extinct

For my second Linkedin post, I took a look at the real estate industry and asked all Realtors to take a look at what they are offering and if they are adding value or not.

The article is located here:

New and Upcoming Listings in Sunnyvale and San Jose


As my customer and partner agent's, you get the inside track on my upcoming listings.
  • 6054 Foothill Glen Drive in San Jose was just listed.  Charming home with an oversized corner lot nestled at the foothill of Boulder Ridge Golf Course located in a quiet neighborhood. Hardwood floors in living and family rooms. Kitchen has newer cabinetry with corian countertops. Brand new bathrooms with tiled floors, cabinets, granite countertops, tiled shower stalls and one with mosaic designs. Gated pool for entertaining
  • 382 Santa Elena Terrace in Sunnyvale - Coming soon!  Former City Ventures development will come on the market shortly.  2 year new townhome minutes from the latest Apple campus and a close drive to Google and Linkedin.  Tri-level Townhome with highly demanded open floorplan with hardwood floors.  Kitchen, Dining and Living Room are all on one floor.  Kitchen boasts granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.  Bedroom on the second level and 2 master suites on the top floor. 2 car oversized garage with a car length of storage space.  Very afforadable price don't miss this lovely unit!
  • 594 De Guigne Drive in Sunnyvale is in Sale Pending.  There maybe another Fusion property coming online possibly next year.  Ask me about this or consider Santa Elena above as it is very close by the Fusion Community.  As seen on House Hunters! Largest floorplan in Fusion community w/popular oversized open floor plan. Berber carpets in bedrooms. Great room is covered w/hardwood floors, granite countertops & mosaic backsplash with a walk out balcony. Highly desired ground floor master suite with walk out patio. Convenient access to 101, 237, Central. Quick drive to Google, Linkedin and Apple
  • N Cascade Terrace in Sunnyvale - Coming Soon! Large townhome with a large front yard with excellent elementary and junior high schools.  Oversized living room, dining and kitchen areas.  More details and photos to come!
  • Evergreen Single Family Home - On the horizon, may possibly have a single family home in Evergreen that may come on the market.  Newer home built in 2001, close to 7,000 square foot lot, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms 2,197 square feet

If you or someone you know may have interest in these properties please let me know and gain an advantage!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Respect Your Elders Linkedin Influencer Post

Please take a look at my very first Influencer post on Linkedin.  I discuss how many of us from hierarchical cultures need to change that approach in today's fast moving corporate environments.  Thanks for reading! …

Monday, June 30, 2014

Q2 2014 Real Estate Update

The market is cooling; I repeat the market is cooling!  After two and a half years of aggressive bidding over list price, competing with all cash buyers, placing no contingency offers against multiple Buyer’s, the market in “certain locations” appears to be cooling down.  About a month ago I started noticing some slowness in areas further from the center of tech, this started in the higher end of home.  Now I am here to say that this slowness has now hit much of the Bay Area as well.  It is unclear if this is just the combination of the seasonality of increased summer inventory coupled with beautiful summer weather where home buying is less of a priority.  Or is it that Buyer’s have simply been priced out or grown weary of this bidding environment.  It is also unclear if this is a permanent leveling or if in the fall/winter months we will be back to lower inventory levels and bidding wars we have been used to.  Do keep in mind that areas with schools will likely feel the effects a bit later than other locations without this popular requirement.


The macro economy continues to demonstrate a choppy recovery.   Job and unemployment numbers seem to be up and down every other month.  The trends seem to be upward overall.  Janet Yellen our Federal Reserve Chief has been keeping interest rates fixed as she is not seeing a strong enough recovery to raise rates.  Mortgage interest rates have dropped slightly from beginning of the year and held steady, about half a percent of what they were in June last year when the rates spiked on Bernake’s statements.   The Fed continues to taper back their bond buyback program.  Eventually rates will increase naturally as this tapering continues.

Local Economy

A few months back there was a tech scare as there were some fire sales of key technology stocks.  This seems to have dissipated as the majority of stocks have recovered.  Technology workers continue to dominate hot markets such as San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View and Sunnyvale markets.  The Peninsula cities such as Belmont, San Carlos, Redwood City and San Mateo have also been popular destinations for technology workers, as it is a mid point between the jobs in San Francisco and the Southbay.

My listing this week in Redwood Shores although a ton of activity only garnered 1 offer.  A Mountain View townhome my Buyer won, yielded 3 Buyers, which is low in this tech heavy town.  Another Sunnyvale townhome near Google only had one offer and remains on the market.  I’ve seen more properties carry contingencies and Buyer’s have been backing out and transactions have been falling through.  Over zealous new home builders are finding that they have less interest especially at the higher price points and offering more incentives than I have seen the past.

On the flip side my listing in Daly City had 9 offers and my Sunnyvale listing had 7 offers.  So not all areas are feeling the slow down quite yet.  I will continue to monitor this activity and update you as to what I am seeing.

Pending and Sold Home in Q2 2014

Here are some of the transactions that I have been involved in.  These will give you more concrete examples of how various areas are performing.  This is sorted from the beginning of the quarter to the present.

Pending and Sold Homes for my Customers
  • 37000 Meadowbrook Common #202 listing in Fremont sold with 6 offers $23,000 over list price
  • 557 Giuffrida Avenue #C, San Jose – This was an example of a home that was a fixer upper and further away from center, but was an opportunity for my client who was willing to do re-modeling work.   We got this home $9,950 under list price
  • 1002 Marcelli Circle in Los Altos – Client was on the waitlist for quite some time, but was able to get in towards the end of the development.  Lovely brand new townhome in the city of Los Altos with excellent school!
  • 18 N El Dorado Street in San Mateo is just a quick stroll to downtown.  Single family home with a huge lot my Buyer won against 10 offers!
  • 428 San Eduardo Terrace in Sunnyvale – My listing in Sunnyvale sold with 7 offers.  Sunnyvale remains in high demand due to the proximity to tech companies and prices of Mountain View homes
  • 441 Saint Julien Way in Mountain View – My buyer won against 3 competitors.  I was surprised how few competitors there were but the offers were still aggressive.  Very nicely located property close to Google
  • 1832 Rosswood Drive in Cambrian – The first set of Buyer’s fell through on this property and my clients and I were able to get this home against no competition and take advantage.  Excellent schools here in Cambrian for an affordable price
  • 196 Mirada Drive in Daly City – My listing sold with 9 offers.  The high prices in San Francisco are having a halo effect onto Daly City.  There were a ton of investors and here I saw international cash buyers re-appear
  • 700 Baltic Circle #714 in RedwoodShores, CA, 94065 – My listing in Redwood Shores although quite a bit of interest, I found Buyer’s were hesitant to enter into a bidding situation. We had a strong offer in the end, but many colleagues are seeing similar behaviors on their listings
  • 4269 Linwood in Cambrian – Transaction fell through and again my Buyers swooped in under list price for the opportunity


I have been saying in many of my blogs that this overbidding behavior is unsustainable.  We may have hit that peak where the market finally agrees with my assessment.  It never made a whole lot of sense to me that homes were being overbidded in $100,000 increments over appraisal prices.  Buyer’s those of you that have been frustrated with the market, we may have a window of opportunity as we face less competition and maybe able to have some breathing room in contracts.  Seller’s if you have been considering selling you may want to do so now in case this is the peak and the market begins to level.  We will have to change our pricing strategies and expectations on offer behavior.  In short, leveling does not mean that a crash or anything of the like is on the horizon.  In fact, leveling is good in my opinion, so we can get some normal home buying and selling behavior.  The aspiring economist in me prefers a market in equilibrium rather than highly skewed in either direction.

Thank You For Your Referrals

I wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for your referrals.  I have been so blessed to have so many of you advocate for me to your friends and family.  It is the driving force for me to work even harder to service you and your friends and family.

Have a wonderful summer and enjoy this beautiful weather!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Q1 2014 Real Estate Update

2014 started out with a roar and it continues to accelerate with every sale.  In my year end summary I talked about the tale of two markets "Prime Locations" and homes "Outside of Prime Locations."  This year it no longer matters which market you are in, it is the tale of one market, the "Seller's Market."  First off, I had thought that interest rates would rise this year as they had in June of last year from the Fed's tapering activity.  Up until today, rates have in fact dropped slightly, bringing more Buyer's back into the market.  However, fresh off the press our new Fed Chair Janet Yellen spoke yesterday and pointed to possible tapering sooner than the market had expected.  This sent stocks tumbling and it is possible that this may cause another spike in rates, though it is unclear at this juncture whether that will happen or not.  Less stimulus usually means that the rate will be allowed to rise naturally.  On the home front, to date there continues to be multiple offers, obscene price overbids, cash offers and overall heavy competition for a limited set of homes.  This is likely not going to get better in the Bay Area anytime soon due to pending IPO's and a nicely performing stock market.  More Buyer's will have down payments that they didn't previously have.  An interesting trend of late are appraisals missing the mark in the last month.  This could be a sign of overvaluation by Buyers, but it is also possible that the market is moving so quickly that the 30 day lag in closings coupled with low inventory, isn't providing much data.  This is why I always tell my Buyers to carry at least a 30% down payment to buffer for these scenarios.  I do anticipate the spring and summer months to bring in more inventory, but I am not sure that this will be enough to satisfy the demand.  The wildcard here is the interest rates and we will have to wait and see how Q2 unfolds.

Here is a snapshot of rates for new home purchases:
  • Jumbo Rate Snapshot 3/19/2014
    • 7/1 ARM 3.375%
    • 30 year fixed 4.25%
Courtesy of Christopher Yu Wells Fargo

Just Listed 2 Bedroom Condominium in Fremont

Top floor condominium with vaulted ceilings throughout; open floor plan with kitchen, dining and living rooms combined and spacious bedrooms.  Bright property with over sized balcony overlooking greenbelt, updated and move-in ready! Open House this weekend from 1:30PM to 4:30PM.  Let me know if you have you or anyone you know maybe interested in this listing! Listing details located at  37000 Meadowbrook Common, Unit 202, Fremont.

Samples of Market Activity

I like to give my clients a few samples of what I have been running into in the marketplace so you have a pulse on the market.
  • Single Family Home in Newark 40+ offers
  • Single Family Home in Milpitas 17+ offers
  • Single Family Home in Downtown Mountain View sold $230,000 over list, multiple offers
  • Townhome in South San Jose 4 offers, all cash offer won
  • Fremont home misses appraisal by $100,000, but was up against a cash offer
  • Single Family Home in Dublin 10+ offers
  • Single Family Home in San Mateo 8+ Offers sold over $100,000 over asking
Pending and Sold Homes in Q1

Here are some of the transactions that I have been involved in.  These will give you more concrete examples of how various areas are performing.
  • 35208 Noel Place in Fremont - Multiple offers one of the top offers was cash.  My Buyer went strong and won this home even with a loan behind it.  Cash offers often low ball because of their cash positions, a loan offer positioned right can beat out a cash offer.  This requires a Buyer with a strong financial position.
  • New home community in Los Altos under contract! - There was a long wait-list of Buyers, but my clients just made it!  The long line of Buyers is an indication of the demand for homes.
  • 2362 Tulip in San Jose - At times the best opportunities are homes that have potential and require effort to fix up or expand.  This unit has a decent lot, but on paper was only a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom home.  My Buyers are looking to expand this home as there is space inside and out to do so.  At times you have to see the potential of a home to find possible opportunities in this market.  Still had to offer over list price against multiple offers.
  • New Home Development in San Jose - This community started in the recession and as the market rose, they just wanted to finish it up as it had been over 5 years.  So we had opportunities to negotiate a bit here when usually we wouldn't have.  Often opportunities arise when you least expect them.
  • 2423 Fernwood Avenue in San Jose - Home closed this year.  This is another example of a home with the right location and area, but a 3 bedroom 1 bathroom on paper.  There is potential for expansion later which is an opportunity and we had less competition because of this configuration.
  • 11 Buttercup in San Carlos - Another multiple offer home that closed this year.  It is very important to package an offer right.  It made a huge difference in coming out on top on this home.
  • New Home Development in Santa Clara - Closed this year.  A relationship with the Builder was a critical component in this home sale.
  • New Home Development on the Peninsula - At times you have to go into a lottery.  Lotteries are fair and they don't care if you have a large down payment or not.  In our case the 5th time was the charm.
  • New Home Development in San Francisco - San Francisco continues to be red hot as tech recruiting is at an all time high, talent from across the nation continues to flood the Bay Area and they all want to live in the City.  Rents are off the charts as well as home prices.  This market continues to be resilient and unique.  A 2 bedroom 1 bathroom at 753 square feet is renting for $3,400!
  • New Home Development in San Jose (Townhome, Single Family) - Two customers have bought in this early release community.  Ask me about the details!
Note: As a courtesy to your Realtor, please go in with me on your first visit to a new home community, it is a referral system thanks!

Next Steps

Likely 2014 won't be the year that the market settles down unless the rates do something drastic.  If we are lucky we may hit a market in equilibrium, but likely that won't be the case.  Hence, if you are a Buyer and you want or need to buy in this market you must come strong.  Ask me to define a strategy on how to position yourself in the strongest way possible.  For Seller's out there, if you have been thinking about selling, prices have risen on average 25% year over year over the last 2 years.  It is a great time to sell if you have been thinking about it.  You will never catch the peak, the opportunity is available at the present.

I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for your referrals.  I truly appreciate each and every one of you keeping me top of mind for your real estate needs.