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Calif. median home price – January 07: $559,640 (Source: C.A.R.)(note: compared to $567,690 last month)
Calif. highest median home price by C.A.R. region January 07:Santa Barbara So. Coast $1,150,000 (Source: C.A.R.)(note: compared to $1,250,000 last month)
Calif. lowest median home price by C.A.R. region January 07:High Desert $317,380 (Source: C.A.R.)(note: compared to $324,560 last month)
Calif. First-time Buyer Affordability Index – Third Quarter 06:24 percent (Source: C.A.R.)
Mortgage rates – week ending 2/22:
- 30-yr. fixed: 6.22%; Fees/points: 0.5%(note: compared to 6.25% and 0.4% points last report )
- 15-yr. fixed: 5.97%; Fees/points: 0.5%(note: compared to 5.98% and 0.4% points last report )
- 1-yr. adjustable: 5.49%; Fees/points: 0.7%(note: compared to 5.49% and 0.5% points last report )
- California Association of Realtors & Freddie Mac*Note: Surprisingly, interest rates have not changed all that much. Be sure and take the time to review tomorrow’s February San Francisco numbers which will be posted in our blog and compare them to these numbers for all of California!
Yahoo Travel says, “The name may be different but game remains the same. Formerly Pac Bell Park and SBC Park, AT&T Park is the first privately financed ballpark in Major League Baseball since Dodger Stadium (1962), the Giants’ new home features an inspiring nine-foot statue of America’s greatest living ballplayer, Willie Mays, at the public entrance; home runs that splash into McCovey Cove (named after another Hall of Fame Willie); an 80-foot Coca-Cola bottle with playground slides and miniature SBC Park behind left field that has become a magnet for kids of all of ages; and mass public transit that rivals any sports complex in the world.”
Third and Townsend streetsSan Francisco, CA 94107
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Neighborhood: South Beach
If you are interested in getting a FREE pair of Giants tickets to the 2007 season, shoot us an e-mail to Info@SFResidence.com with Giants Tickets in the subject line and you will be eligible for our drawing. HURRY! The season starts in April. Then every month you will receive our e-mail newsletter from SFResidence with another chance to win! No purchase necessary. (We are season ticket holders, not associated with the Giants or Major League Baseball.)
- Janis Stone
Part 1 – Golden Gate Bridge, Part 2 – Alcatraz, Part 3 – Japanese Tea Garden, Part 4 – Cable Cars, Part 5 – Fisherman’s Warf. Part 6 – Exploratorium, Part 7 – Mission Dolores, Part 8 – San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Part 9 – Lombard Street
(Note: Last week’s report was published with the wrong dates. It has been corrected.) Read what Rick Turley, President of Coldwell Banker, San Francisco/Peninsula said in his latest weekly report:
The fact that there are limited choices out there may have played into the rise of ratified offers, over 240 for the week. Inventory shortages seem to be the primary factor in agents’ strategy, whether working with Buyers or Sellers. Springtime is known for Open Houses industry-wide, but our ability to meet new Buyers is hampered by the amount of homes available to be held open.
There are remarkable reports of “micro-climate market” activity in several areas and it will be interesting to watch how they evolve as spring nears. The Greenbrae office noted inventory continues to be a controlling factor, but that some neighborhoods are red-hot while others are tepid at best. A somewhat original condition Eichler home in San Rafael seemed poised for many offers, one of the lowest list prices available in the area – however just a few offers came in, and not as far over the asking as what one might have expected.
In other areas, multiple offers are once again the rule. The Burlingame office reports 18 offers on a property in San Mateo and 8 offers on a San Carlos home. The Palo Alto office is seeing 82% of its listings in multiple offer situations. In San Francisco’s Sunset district, a fixer-upper had 9 offers and went for well over the asking price. Lest Sellers get too carried away – it’s worth noting that a 3/2 in San Francisco priced at $1,275,000 received 11 offers, and a very similar listing just blocks away at nearly the same list price received one.
Some offices report a fair amount of stale inventory – Buyers are not “panic buying” – not buying just to buy. Buyers and their Agents alike are looking for value. It’s important to note that some sales are coming together on homes pulled off the market a few months ago. This is a product of networking at our sales meetings – very critical, and a great value we bring to our Buyers and our Sellers.
- Rick Turley
* For an e-mail alert when this report is updated, send a note to info@SFResidence.com with “weekly market report” in the subject line.
Foster Weeks publishes a weekly mortgage update which is updated every Monday morning.
…Home loan rates bumped around a bit midweek, but ended up almost exactly where they started, with rates remaining stable overall.
…News from other US financial markets showed stocks might be ripe for a move lower. In fact, the S&P 500 has gone almost 1000 trading days without suffering a 10% decline, the second longest stretch in history. So something to watch – if Stocks do reverse, Bond prices and home loan rates may benefit, as money flows out of Stocks and into Bonds…
YOU MIGHT HAVE A “TAX LEAK”
Income tax, sales tax, estate tax, excise tax, alternative minimum tax…and just when you thought you’d paid them all…along comes your property tax bill as a homeowner. But did you know that the National Taxpayers Union estimates that as many as 60% of homes are assessed for too high of a value, resulting in an incorrectly larger property tax bill? Chances are good you might be in that group of people paying too much, so taking the time to review your property tax bill could save you a nice chunk of change.
The good news is that it’s easy.
First, contact your local tax assessor’s office and ask for someone in the reassessment area. Find out when appeals are heard, and how the process for submitting a property tax appeal works. Additionally, ask for a copy of your property card. Review the card and confirm that the basic information about your property is correct. For example, is the square footage and number of rooms for your home accurate? If the number is incorrect, the county may change the assessment without a formal appeal. If everything on the property card is correct but the assessed value still seems too high, your next step is to gather the following documentation to support an appeal. And don’t be surprised if the assessed value is lower than what you think the market value for your home is – many counties use a formula which uses a percentage of market value to determine assessed value. Ask what the formula is, because an assessment which is less than market value still might be too high.
If you have a current appraisal that supports the value being lower using recent market-value information, many counties will accept a copy of the appraisal with the appeal. If the appraisal is outdated, you can order a new one – just call me for a referral to a great appraiser. You can also visit the local assessor’s office or search online, and look through the public records for other homes that have similar features to yours, but have lower assessments. Additionally, contact me to get in touch with a great Realtor who knows your area. They will be able to give you current market information for your neighborhood, and help you see how your market value and assessed value stacks up against your neighbors.
Submitting an appeal is generally a fairly simple process, but make sure to take the time to fill out all forms in advance and be prepared with your documentation if there is an in-person hearing that needs to take place.
More good news – according to the National Taxpayers Union, about 33% of property tax appeals succeed! Taking the time to review the accuracy of a tax bill could easily save you hundreds of dollars per year, adding up to thousands of dollars during the time you own your home. Please feel free to contact me for more information on this money-saving tip.
- Foster Weeks
In last week’s San Francisco Chronicle, there was a great story about how the City of Petaluma, California and a local contractor came to an agreement on a way to preserve an historical building, in this case an old school building, by turning it into condominiums.
The project required a lot of expensive retrofitting so the City allowed the contractor to build 3 Craftsman-style homes on the large property behind the school to offset the extra expense. We think it is an excellent example of the city and local business working together to solve common problems. Read this inspirational story here.
- Mick Orton
A reader asks: Can one write-off homeowner’s dues?
Our reply: Since tax laws are changing constantly, we checking with our accountant to be sure we got the right answer. Here’s what his office said:
Homeowners dues are not deductible if they are your primary residence, but are if the property is being used as a rental or income property as part of the cost of doing business. Although most of the dues go to insurance, this is not deductible for your primary residence.
- Janis Stone
The San Francisco board of Realtors has put together a great website resource for homeowners. To quote:
The Association’s new web site for homeowners, www.sfbaywindow.com contains more than 130 articles on subjects important to owners. From “Adding a Room” to “Zoning Districts,” it’s all there, making the site the most robust resource guide for San Francisco homeowners on the web.
We will also have this link on our website. Take a look. We think you’ll be glad you did!
- Mick Orton
Diane Kennedy is the author of the Rich Dad book, “Loopholes of the Rich: How the Rich Legally Make More Money and Pay Less Tax”, has a website dedicated to the ever changing tax laws and how to take advantage of them. She is bullish on real estate as an investment. Here are excerpts from her latest e-mail newsletter:
Part of the fun of being “ahead of the curve” is that when the mass-market is looking left, you’re looking right.
Real estate is no different. The papers are absolutely chock full of doom-and-gloom, it’s a bad investment, the market is still crashing, etc. Which is fine with me. That means more deals are out there.
How many of you remember a time, just about 20 years ago now, that the real estate market was flying? What stopped in then was spiraling interest rates. I remember reading stories about interest rates at 22, 23, even 24% and people abandoning their homes because they couldn’t keep up with the payments. The market crashed, hard, in the late 80′s. Some said it would never recover. But it did. Fast-forward to today, and repeat the cycle. Only this time, while appreciation has slowed or stopped in a few areas, we’re not facing double-digit interest rates, either.
Personally, if you think you missed the boat on real estate, I would disagree. In fact, I’d be more inclined to say there is a new boat heading your way. Now is a great time to prepare. Educate yourself and build up your cash reserves. Real estate often costs a bit more than you think to get into, even if you are investing with other people’s money.
In the week’s What’s Hot, I want to share with you some of the fundamentals of real estate investing. These are terms and ideas you need to become very familiar with, if you want to be ready to board the next real estate ship.
- The Cash-on-Cash Return: what it is and why it matters
- Depreciation is your friend: maximize your deduction!
- My property is worth too much! What can I do?
- Diane Kennedy
* To subscribe to her e-mail newsletter updates go to TaxLoopholes.com.
Our office at TRI Coldwell Banker at 1699 Van Ness in San Francisco is one of the premier offices in the City and has the market share numbers to prove it. We have some of the top agents selling real estate in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a result, our office posts some impressive numbers.
All signs point to a great spring market… provided we get the inventory. Last week the number of ratified deals in our office was over twice the number of new listings. Only one property was reduced so prices seem to be holding steady. Low inventory and high demand usually pushed prices higher, so if you are thinking of buying or selling, now would be a good time to think about jumping in. Here are the numbers for last week:
- 4 new listings (average price $2,012,500)
- 10 ratified sales (pending) (average ratified price $1,930,500)
- 10 closed sales (sold) (average closed price $1,359,363)
- 1 reduced ($1,295,000)
- Mick Orton
You’re invited to a FREE breakfast meeting of the Real Estate Auxiliary Workgoup sponsored by EARN (Earned Assets Resource Network), a non-profit organization. The meeting is tomorrow, February 22, 2007 from 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM at the Bay Club’s Lombard Room at 150 Greenwich St. Parking on the street or at the Levi’s Plaza Garage. Please RSVP to Jenn Davis at email@example.com!
Break the cycle of poverty by becoming a homeowner!
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