HAIFA KHOURY
650.799.2204  
RUBA KAILEH
650.766.7944  

Great Value In Belmont, Open Sunday From 1-4 PM.

April 11th, 2014 No Comments »

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This home we have at 1615 Manzanita Ave. in Belmont is a great value for those looking to build equity quickly.  This home offers 4 bedrooms, and 2.5 baths, plus a bonus room that’s accessible from the yard with 2110 sq. ft. of interior living space (not including the bonus room).  There’s a large level yard with a patio plus additional space that can easily be leveled or terraced.  The lot size is 6300 sq. ft.  Like any home, this one has a few drawbacks, in that it has no garage, and the lower level can use some slight reconfiguring, but this home certainly offers a lot of space for both living and storage space to make up for the lack of garage.  This really is a great home that just needs a bit of work to bring it up to modern day living lifestyles.  And, in real estate, everybody knows is all about location, location, LOCATION!  Manzanita Ave is a very quite street that’s quite short.  In fact, many Belmont residents don’t even know it exists!   If you are looking for home to make your own in a great location that also has views of the surrounding mountains, drop on by our open house this Sunday, April 13, from 1-4 and have a look.

What Happens Once My Offer is Accepted?

April 8th, 2014 No Comments »

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You’ve finally landed the home of your dreams, and in this competitive market, that’s a feat in itself!  But now what?  We’ve been asked at least 3 times in the past month what happens once you have an accepted offer and have found that many buyers get consumed with their home search and spending every waking moment they have either looking at homes online or going to view properties that the process of what happens once their offer is accepted is not really given much thought until they actually have an accepted offer.   So here it goes:

From the time your offer is accepted, you have 3 days to get your earnest money deposit check into escrow.  If you have contingencies,  the clock starts ticking for any contingency period you may have (generally, financing and property condition contingencies are the most common).   Contingency periods are based on Calendar days, not business days.

If you are getting a loan for your home, your accepted offer along with the preliminary title report should be sent to your lender as soon as possible in order for them to order an appraisal.   Once the appraiser has been out to the property and completed their appraisal report, it is sent back to the lender. Assuming there are no issues with the appraisal (i.e. the appraised value is not less than the purchase price on your contract), then usually the lender will sign off on the loan file and order loan documents.  Sometimes the lender’s underwriter will come back and request more information or documentation from you, the borrower.  These are also known as conditions.  Given there are no conditions and all your contingencies are removed, your title company will need to review your loan documents and prepare them for you to sign.   Once you have signed off on all your loan and escrow documents, you will bring in the balance of your down payment to the title company either by a cashiers check or wire transfer.  Once the balance of your down payment and loan funds are received by the title company, the title company will then release the file to “record” the next day.  In other words, the grant deed is taken to the county recorders office to file the new grant deed with you as the legal owner of the property.  The title company will call to inform your agent that the file is “on record”, this is the point where you are officially the legal owner of the property and your home has successfully closed escrow.

While there are a number of issues that can arise during the escrow period, a pro-active agent will read the title report and be in constant contact with your lender and the title company to troubleshoot any problems that could potentially arise in order to keep everything on track for a smooth escrow.

Belmont Home Sales For March, 2014.

April 1st, 2014 No Comments »

The numbers are in!!!  There were a total of 17 Belmont homes that closed escrow in March, 2014.  Of these 17, 2 of them were sold off market.  Below is a list and link to all the homes that sold in March.  With each closed sales, the list prices keep going up, as there are more comparable sales to support higher list prices.

2712 Sequoia Way- Listed at $1,736,000 and sold for $1,850,000

2744 Wemberly Drive – Listed at $1,600,000 and sold for $1,750,000

1144 Lassen Drive- Listed at $1,400,000 and sold for $1,521,000

2716 Comstock Circle- Listed at $1,395,000 and sold for $1,760,000

2743 Wemberly Drive- Listed at $1,395,000 and sold for $1,525,000

2617 Barlcay Way- Listed at $1,350,000 and sold for $1,170,500

8 Solana Court- Listed at $1,245,000 and sold for $1,335,000

2717 All View Way- Listed at $1,274,888 and sold for $1,491,000

2807 Monte Cresta Drive- Listed at $1,199,950 and sold for $1,328,888

1619 Notre Dame Avenue- Listed at $1,125,000 and sold for $1,200,000

2016 Lyon Avenue- Listed at $998,000 and sold for $1,325,000

2123 Lyon Avenue- Listed at $965,000 and sold for $1,115,000

1614 Notre Dame Avenue- Listed at $959,000 and sold for $1,276,000

3309 Plateau Drive- Listed for $875,000 and sold for $1,135,000

403 Cornish Way- Listed for $799,000 and sold for $950,000

1142 Continentals Way- Listed for $798,000 and sold for $871,000

300 Live Oak Way #310- Listed for $799,000 and sold for $820,000

If you or anyone you know are interested in a single family, ranch style home in a quiet pocket of Belmont, contact us!  We have an off market listing that has been completely renovated but the owners do not want to go on the open market.

 

Belmont Home Sales for February, 2014

February 28th, 2014 No Comments »

 

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The month of February produced a total of 15 Belmont home sales.  Of these sales, 3 of them were condos and one was a townhouse.  Although there seems to be more inventory coming on the market, we are still below the supply needed to meet the number of willing and able buyers out there.

2606 Prindle Rd. Listed for $1,725,000 and sold for $2,025,000

3814 Naugton Ave. Listed for $1,350,000 and sold for $1,425,000

3915 Christian Dr. – Listed at $1,125,000 and sold for $1,130,000

2415 Lincoln Ave. Listed for $1,011,000 and sold for $1,100,000 We represented the buyer on this property.

2720 Yosemite Dr. Listed for $999,000 and sold for $1,020,000

2413 Hastings Dr. Listed for $998,000 and sold for $1,175,000

2111 Pullman Ave. Listed for $998,800 and sold for $1,200,000

1224 Lane St. Listed for $979,000 and sold for $1,125,000

316 Treasure Island Dr. Listed for $899,000 and sold for $1,005,000

606 Chesterton Ave. – Listed for $878,888 and sold for $965,000.

305 Hiller St. – Listed for $798,999 and sold for $880,000

508 Dale View Ave. -Listed for $739,000 and sold for $710,000

400 Davey Glen Rd. #4612 -Listed for $599,000 and sold for $572,300

400 Davey Glen Rd. #4801 -Listed for $449,950 and sold for $462,000

300 Davey Glen Rd. #3426 -Listed for $348,000 and sold for $350,000

As of today, there are currently 10 listings on the market.  Of those 10, one of them (3900 Marsten Dr.) is an 18.1 acre piece of property that is being sold for land value.  So in reality, there are only 9 active homes on the market.  Of these homes, not one is priced under $1,000,000.  The Sterling Downs area of Belmont has seen prices jump dramatically because it is attracting buyers that cannot afford the $1,000,000+ price point. This doesn’t mean that the rest of Belmont (and the SF Bay Area in general) has not seen a big jump in appreciation.  What it does mean is if you are considering selling your home and you live in Sterling Downs, now would be a very opportune time to sell to maximize profit and have very minimal competition.

 

 

 

 

Belmont Family in Mourning After Losing Father/Husband

February 19th, 2014 No Comments »

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      READ ARTICLE HERE

One of the great things about Belmont is the sense of community and togetherness among it’s citizens.   As many of you may have heard, Lindsey Van Why of Belmont was tragically killed in a skiing accident on Friday, 2/14/14, leaving behind a wife and two young children.  You can read the news story above, but we are asking for the communities’ help in raising some funds to help the family out for necessary expenses and to set up a college fund for his young children.  As a community, we can all give a little to make a big difference for this family and help relieve some stress and let them mourn and grieve without having to worry about finances immediately.  Anyone interested or wanting to donate can do so by CLICKING HERE  or visiting http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/support-the-van-why-family/139599.

Belmont Home Sales for January, 2014

February 6th, 2014 No Comments »

The Belmont Real Estate market is still going strong, and in January, we saw a total of 12 home sales,  9 of which are single family and 3 condo/townhouses. Below is a list of what sold in January.

2433 Hastings Dr. – Listed at $1,250,000 and sold for $1,360,000.

2602 Coronet- Listed at $1,050,000 and sold for $1,058,000.

49 Edgewood Place- Listed at $1,050,000 and sold for $1,080,000.

2108 Coronet Blvd.- Listed at $1,020,000 and sold for $1,300,000.

2827 Alhambra Dr. – Listed at $999,000 and sold for $1,010,000.

1261 Alden Court- Listed at $999,000 and sold for $1,250,000.

116 Clipper Dr- Listed at $969,000 and sold for $1,050,000.

2115 Sharon Ave. – Listed at $950,000 and sold for $980,000.

2029 Arbor Ave.- Listed at $849,950 and sold for $812,500.

200 Live Oak Way #206- Listed at $785,000 and sold for $783,000.

400 Davey Glen Road #4503- Listed at $360,000 and sold for $352,000.

400 Davey Glen Road #4621- Listed at $350,000 and sold for $340,000.

There are still lots willing and able  buyers out there looking for a new home and just about every listing that comes on the market is getting snatched up.  Belmont has a lot to offer, from the quiet nature of the town, to good schools and easy accessibility to major highways for commuters.  However, Belmont does have some challenges, like the lack of sidewalks and/or parking on many streets, and the lack of a real downtown area.  If you have a home that poses it’s challenges to sell (shared driveways, lots of stairs, no garage or yard, etc.), this can be an opportune time to put your home on the market .

WISHING YOU ALL A HAPPY AND PROPEROUS CHINESE NEW YEAR!

January 31st, 2014 No Comments »

Chinese New Year

 

Another New Belmont Listing Located at 1111 North Road, Belmont

January 28th, 2014 No Comments »

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This past Sunday,  our new listing at 1111 North Road  was held open for a public open house.  As soon as this property hit the market, our phones, emails, texts, and yes, even our Facebook inbox were getting flooded with inquiries.  This home offers 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, with potential for a fifth bedroom and/or in-law or guest quarters with an asking price of $1,068,000.  Agents were asking to look at the disclosures and inspection reports before they’re clients had even viewed the property!! There are so many buyers out there right now and simply not enough homes to fulfill the demand.  Approximately 150 people came through the open house on Sunday and about 50 agents through the brokers tour today.

Belmont has it’s fair share of homes and streets that are not as sought after as, say, a home in an area with standard sidewalks, a level yard, and plenty of parking.  Although there are a few pockets of Belmont that do have these qualities, many streets are either a bit narrower, offer less parking, no sidewalks or no back yard because of the topography of Belmont.   The topography in Belmont makes for some very unique homes and is attractive to many buyers because each home has it’s own style can character.  With that being said, the uniqueness of some homes make it a bit more challenging to sell, like homes with lots of stairs, or no level yard, or homes that require going up or down a few flights of stairs to access the yard.  The majority of buyers are young couples with children or plans to start a family, and usually are looking for outdoor space for children to play or for entertaining.  Since there is very limited inventory at the moment and virtually every home that hits the market feels like  Walmart on black Friday during the open house, now may be the opportune time to sell a home that has it’s challenges for top dollar.

Belmont Property Values See Almost 30% Appreciation Over Two Years

January 17th, 2014 No Comments »

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Property values have consistently been on the rise over the past  two years, and there was no slow-down through the month of December, which is typically the slowest month for real estate sales.   Historically low interest rates, pent up buyer demand, drum-tight inventory and a renewed confidence in the economy have created a seller’s market that we have not seen in about 5 years.  As prices increased, the days on market (DOM) has drastically declined. Homeowners that purchased in 2011 have already seen a significant gain in value over two years.  Those that purchased between 2009 and 2010 purchased in a buyer’s market, which was also the “bottom of the market” that many prospective buyers waited for.  Unfortunately, many buyers that were looking between 2009 and 2012  have missed the boat waiting for the market to decline further, but it did the opposite.   There’s still opportunity for those buyers, but I digress, and will save that for a later post.

THE NUMBERS

Average price per square foot- 47% Change over a 2 year period.

Dec. 2011- $451                        Dec. 2012- $516                             Dec. 2013- $661

Average sales price- 27.8% Change over a 2 year period.

Dec. 2011- $901,721              Dec. 2012- $953,400                   Dec. 2013-$1,152,578

Median Sales price-23.4% Change over a 2 year period

Dec. 2011- $880,250              Dec. 2012-$936,500                    Dec. 2013- $1,086,500

Number of Sales

Dec. 2011- 14                              Dec. 2012- 20                                  Dec. 2013- 18

Average Days on Market

Dec. 2011- 124                          Dec. 2012- 33                                   Dec. 2013- 23

Median Days on Market

Dec. 2011- 35                            Dec. 2012- 12                                   Dec. 2013-14

A healthy market will generally have about a 5-6 month supply of inventory.  Our current market only has about 6 days of inventory.  I’m confident that if listing agents accepted preemptive offers on listings rather than setting an offer date 7-10 days after a home has hit the market, the days on market and supply of inventory would decrease.

 

 

WHAT WE CAN EXPECT FOR 2014

I think in 2014, barring any catastrophic events or dramatic interest rate increases, we will see more of the same market conditions.  There will be more inventory coming on the market, however they will be snatched up by eager buyers, therefore not giving us a healthy constant supply of inventory.  Last week San Mateo County had a total of 269 Single Family Homes.  This week there are a total of 336.  Of those 336, 184 listings are above $1,000,000.  Many buyers are willing to overpay to take advantage of the low interest before they rise:  higher interest rates means less purchasing power, which will result in a home much smaller than many buyers want/need, particularly in Belmont, where many buyers are looking for the elusive 3+ bedroom/2 bath home with a level yard in the $1.1-$1.3 range.   In addition to that, many homeowners have refinanced their mortgages and are comfortable where they are.  Other sellers would like to sell, but fear that they would not have anywhere to move once their home is sold.  The decrease in short sales and REO’s have also boosted property values, banks have loosed up a bit on lending, and the job market is improving.  2014 Will be a good year for economic growth and recovery.  In reality nobody wants to overbid, but the low interest rates will help you build equity faster.  Buyers looking to buy need to be working closely with a trusted agent that is in touch with the market and area you are looking to purchase in, as well as have a good working relationship with other agents.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words.

December 4th, 2013 No Comments »

 

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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.