December 4th, 2013 No Comments »
If a picture is worth a thousand words, I am completely baffled at some of the pictures I see in the MLS. Most buyers start their search for a new home online, and the first thing they look at is, you guessed it, pictures. It doesn’t matter if it’s a million dollar listing or a $500,000 listing, pictures help a buyer decide if they even want to waste their precious time coming out to view a home or not. I’ve seen it all, whether it’s people in the picture, TV on, unmade beds, full garbage cans, or cats running across the room, it never ceases to amaze me. Then there’s the pictures that the agent decided to take themselves using their smartphone, where the house is lopsided and you have part of their finger blocking the photo.
A home is usually the most expensive financial investment, and when an agent is hired to handle that transaction, they are doing a major disservice to their client by posting horrible photos. I understand that some sellers can be less cooperative than others or not as motivated to prep the home for sale for one reason or another, but there are often times that minimal things can be done to help the picture, like turning the TV off, or putting a toilet seat down, or asking a person to step aside momentarily while the picture is taken. If a room simply is not presentable for a photo, it’s probably best to omit putting a photo of that room online. As professional agents, we always hire a professional photographer to come in and take pictures, but that doesn’t mean we’re in the clear! We always get there a few minutes early to make sure everything is in order.
A few things to look out for when getting your home ready for pictures are turning on lights, especially in dim areas (also make sure light bulbs are all functioning, they stick out like a sore thumb in pictures if one is burnt out). Clear the dish rack off the kitchen counter, make sure bedding is straightened out and pillows are fluffed, toilet seats are down, and garbage cans are completely removed from the picture. For drab or very neutral colored rooms, adding a bouquet of bright flowers or accent pillows for a pop of color will also liven up the pictures.
If you’re thinking of selling your home, feel free to contact us for a consultation on how we can help you prepare your home to sell for top dollar. Inventory levels are still very low (there are only 6 single family homes and 4 condos on the market as of today) and buyers are still out in full swing.
November 20th, 2013 No Comments »
This gorgeous home was custom built in 2009 and features 4 full bedrooms, 3 full baths, and an amazing chefs kitchen with a large island, that’s perfect for entertaining. Some amenities include:
- Grand living room with high ceilings,a fireplace, Brazilian Mahogany floors, and multiple glass doors leading the rear yard.
- Chef’s kitchen with stainless steel appliances, island with secondary sink, custom tile back splash, ample cabinet and counter space.
- Breakfast nook off kitchen with access to side yard.
- A spacious master suite with private balcony, huge walk-in closet, and spa-like bathroom with dual vanity.
- Ground floor bathroom and bedroom with high ceilings.
- Large formal dining room with European Travertine floors.
- Two car attached garage with workshop area and separate automatic bike door
- Rear yard with lawn area, a patio and outdoor fireplace.
No detail has been spared in this fabulous home that boasts views and a convenient location. Visit www.1511Sixth.com for more photos and details or contact us to schedule a private showing.
October 25th, 2013 No Comments »
Our unique listing offers plenty of light, privacy and space with a convenient location that’s perfect for commuters. This fabulous home offers 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, including a large master suite with vaulted ceilings and enough room for a sitting area, plus a large walk-in closet and canyon views. The formal entry leads you down a few steps into an expansive living room/dining room combo, two bedrooms and a full bath. A few more steps down there is a bright kitchen and family room with canyon views and the master suite. A bonus room sits below the house that is perfect for a home office or gym, artist studio or additional storage. If you are interested in viewing this home, feel free to drop by on Sunday between 1-4 pm or give us a call and we’d be happy to schedule a private appointment for you.
September 25th, 2013 No Comments »
Congratulations to our wonderful Belmont community and all the residents that make it what it is. Belmont was recently named one of the Hottest suburbs in the U.S., based on economic and population growth. Belmont is probably one of the most unique cities on the peninsula simply because of the topography, which makes for each home having a distinct look and features.
In addition to the quiet nature of the town, it has some of the top rated schools in the area which makes it very attractive for parents. For commuters, Belmont makes getting to Highway 101, 92 or 280 much more accessible than, say, neighboring San Carlos (and it’s still more affordable than San Carlos). Although prices of real estate are much higher than many other places across the nation, there are multiple reasons that contribute to that. For one, there really isn’t much land left to build on (the good old law of supply and demand). There are also many high paying jobs close to us, especially with Silicon Valley right in our back yards. The climate is also very moderate year round, so we don’t have to deal with constant AC in the summer and heat/shoveling snow in the winter. Belmont is so close to so many things (Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Wine Country) that it has something to offer just about any age range. If you would like to read the full article, please click on the link below.
Top Ten Cities in the US
September 24th, 2013 No Comments »
We are pleased to announce two great new homes that we just put on the market in Belmont. Inventory of available homes for sale has increased slightly but there is still a high demand from buyers, so we are still seeing many homes go with multiple offers, over the asking price.
Our first listing is located at 4120 Marsten Rd. This home offers 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a large living/dining room combo, and a spacious kitchen that opens up to a bright family room. What really makes this home unique is the contemporary architecture that offers multiple skylights which give the home lots of natural light, plus the soaring ceilings which keep it open and airy. This home is situated on a quiet street, making it very private, and offers serene canyon views. More photos and information are available at www.4120Marsten.com.
Our second listing is located at 2321 Hastings Dr. and offers 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a living room with views of the surrounding hills and bay, plus a family room. This home has been meticulously maintained and also offers a large master suite, a two car attached garage and 2150 sq. ft. of living space. What makes this home unique is that it has a large side yard in addition to the deck off the living room, which is rare on Hastings Dr. Some homes have yard space, but how much yard space a home on Hastings Dr. has will all depend on where it sits on the hill. There are currently three homes on Hastings Dr. that are pending, and they all received multiple offers. It is highly likely that this home will also receive multiple offers. If you would like to view this home or see additional pictures, you can visit www.2321Hastings.com.
August 21st, 2013 No Comments »
Although the market is still very active, we have seen a slight increase in inventory, but there still are not enough available homes for sale to meet the amount of active buyers in the market place. Here’s what’s sold since August 1, 2013:
35 Ralston Ranch Road Listed for $1,997,000 and sold for $1,852,000, or $145,000 under the asking price.
3830 West Naughton Ave. - Listed for $1,299,000 and sold for $1,510,000, or $211,000 over the asking price.
2521 Hastings Dr. – Listed for $1,200,000 and sold for $1,388,000, or $1,88,000 over the asking price.
2421 Lincoln Ave. - Listed for $1,188,000 and sold for $1,353,000, or $165,000 over the asking price.
3404 Beresford Ave.- Listed for $1,068,000 and sold for $1,231,500, or $163,500 over the asking price.
2515 Carmelita Ave. – Listed for $1,060,000 and sold for $1,030,000, or $30,000 under the asking price.
2308 Wooster Ave- Listed for $1,058,125 and sold for $1,212,000, or $153,875 over the asking price.
2100 Lyon Ave. – Listed for $1,065,000 and sold for $1,160,000, or $95,000 over the asking price.
805 Covington Rd. – Listed for $988,888 and sold for $1,100,000, or $111,112 over the asking price.
2326 Casa Bona Ave. – Listed for $950,000 and sold for $1,070,888, or $120,888 over the asking price.
610 Alameda da las Pulgas- Listed for $938,000 and sold for $1,010,000, or $72,000 over the asking price.
2206 Coronet Blvd. – Listed for $899,800 and sold for $1,136,000, or $236,200 over the asking price.
3037 San Juan Blvd. – Listed for $899,000 and sold for $1,065,000, or $166,000 over the asking price.
840 Alameda de las Pulgas- Listed for $899,000 and sold for $1,002,000, or $106,000 over the asking price.
9 Arroyo View Circle- Listed for $875,000 and sold for 900,000, or $25,000 over the asking price.
1006 Villa Ave. – Listed for $818,888 and sold for $900,000, or $82,000 over the asking price.
Currently, there are only 10 single family homes on the market in Belmont, and 28 pending home sales. Out of 16 home sales, only 2 sold under the asking price. We have a very healthy sellers market right now which is also decreasing the number of short sales that we had seen in the past: many people that may have opted for a short sale two years ago can now sell without having to go through the exhaustive process of a short sale because the value of their home is now worth more than they owe, therefor avoiding a short sale. While there are a few short sale listing along the peninsula, there are currently none actively on the market in Belmont.
August 7th, 2013 No Comments »
We are pleased to introduce our new listing located at 536 Middle Rd. in Belmont. This breathtaking Mediterranean style home features an expansive formal entry, a sprawling living room with views and a long balcony off the living room that’s perfect for enjoying the city lights in the evening. Additional amenities include three sizable bedrooms, including a master suite with a tastefully updated bath. The bright kitchen overlooks the lush yard, and also boasts a spacious breakfast nook. There is a large family room with a fireplace that also provides access to the yard. Once you step into the yard you are greeted with a large flagstone patio that’s perfect for entertaining. The sparkling pool boasts a waterfall spa and custom tile work. There is also a lawn area and lush tropical landscaping. This home has many amenities that are best viewed in person. For more information and additional photos please visit www.536Middle.com.
But don’t stop at the website, call us to schedule a private showing of the home!
July 3rd, 2013 No Comments »
Many of you are probably planning for a nice long weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July. It is a great time to catch up with friends and family over good food and drinks, catch some sun, and get in some R&R. For many, the fourth of July includes BBQ’s, drinks and enjoying the firework shows. While we wish you all a fun holiday, we’d also like to wish you a safe one and remind you that the City of Belmont does not allow fireworks of any kind, large or small.
Foster City and Redwood City offer firework shows that are put on by the cities if you’d like to stay local. Another option would be to find a nice area with views where you can enjoy the show from afar (the top of Crestview Dr.in San Carlos is a great spot, unless you have a friend with a view home!). As harmless as you may think fireworks or even simple sparklers are, nobody ever lights them thinking that it will lead to a fire or some sort of tragedy, but without fail, it happens every year. So let’s keep the Belmont Firefighters out of harm’s way this year and enjoy the large (not to mention costly) firework shows that are organized by the great cities that surround Belmont.
We hope you all have a fun, safe holiday weekend.
June 27th, 2013 No Comments »
Well, the Belmont market (as well as most parts of the Bay Area) continues to be on fire. Over the past two weeks, there have been 11 homes that have successfully closed escrow. Ironically, there are only 11 active residences on the market in Belmont today, and I’m guessing at least half of those homes will be pending by early next week.
Here is a list of Recent Belmont Sales
2996 Hallmark Dr. – Listed for $1,398,000 and sold for $1,400,000
2609 Carlmont Dr. – Listed for $1,249,000 and sold for $1,350,000
**We represented the buyer on this property.**
796 Miramar Terrace- Listed for $1,100,000 and sold for $1,330,000
3336 Lower Lock Ave.- Listed for $1,099,000 and sold for $1,070,000
204 Lyndhurst Ave. – Listed for $1,088,000 and sold for $1,335,000
2212 Bettina Ave. – Listed for $970,000 and sold for $1,131,000
1825 Hillman Ave. – Listed for $929,000 and sold for $950,000
3 Antique Forest Ln.- Listed for $929,000 and sold for $1,085,000
1250 North Rd. – Listed for $898,000 and sold for $898,000
1148 Villa Ave.- Listed for $849,000 and sold for $1,010,000
**This home was listed in our office**
217 Hiller St. – Listed for $748,000 and sold for $760,000
Of all eleven Belmont sales, only one home sold below the asking price, and one sold at exactly the asking price. All the rest sold well above the list price. There continues to be a shortage of inventory, and although interest rates inched up a bit, they are still low and have not deterred any buyers. We are also seeing A LOT of all cash buyers, which is making the offer process that much more competitive for buyers obtaining a loan. This is creating the return of multiple offers, over-bidding, and the slippery slope of no contingencies (I’ll save that rant for another post).
The market continues to be a strong sellers market. While some of our client’s have expressed a fear that this may be another “bubble” like we experienced before the market crashed back in 2007, there is one key difference to keep in mind. The market crashed because, basically, if you could fog a mirror, you could get a loan. Therefore, the prices at which real estate was selling were all false values, since a large number of people that took out loans never qualified for them in the first place. Today, we are seeing many similarities in terms of demand, overbidding, etc. But the key difference is that those that are buying homes and obtaining financing are actually qualified to purchase the homes at the prices in which they are selling at.
June 14th, 2013 No Comments »
The Belmont market is still hot. Most Belmont homes are still selling with multiple offers and well above the asking price. Over the past week, there have been 4 homes that successfully closed escrow, and 4 homes that are currently pending. As of today, there are only 8 available active single family homes, and 3 towhhouses/condos. That’s a total of 11 residences in all of Belmont. In a normal market, that number is usually anywhere between 35-45 homes.
Here’s what sold in the past week:
1270 Talbryn Dr. The asking price was $1,498,888 and the home sold for $1,758,000. That’s $259,112 over the asking price.
12 Bridge Ct. The asking price was $1,049,999 and the home sold for $1,117,00. That’s $67,001 over the asking price.
2217 Thurm Ave. The asking price was $938,000 and the home sold for $1,110,000. That’s $172,000 over the asking price.
1721 Notre Dame Ave. The asking price was $998,000 and the home sold for $1,069,000. That’s $71,000 over the asking price.
Inventory remains extremely low, yet there is a high demand for housing. Although price is often the the number one priority for sellers in a multiple offer situation, the terms of your offer weigh heavily on the decision of the seller as well. There are plenty of ways in setting yourself apart in a multiple offer situation, but having a diligent agent that understands the market and does their homework in advance to arm you with the tools to make a better offer is crucial as well. If you’re a seller, it’s a great time to sell for top dollar, as prices have been steadily climbing. If you’re a buyer, I”m sure there’s a lot of frustration when it comes to not just finding a house that suits your needs, but being the winning bidder. If you’re in the market for a home, be sure to understand all the options you have when it comes to structuring your offer so that the terms and price are strong while still protecting yourself and your investment. Your agent should be selling your offer to the sellers, not just present it.