Michael E. Anderson
Michael E. Anderson
Broker Assoc. ABR, RSPS DRE# 01417114
(805) 698 - 3770
Anderson Home Pros Real Estate
Rita G. Anderson, Broker
CRS, GRI, SRES, e-PRO, CA 93455
(805) 698-3770

California Home Sales Cool in August as Price Gains Temper

Following a hotter than usual summer of homes sales, Californias housing market cooled in August, but still posted higher year over year for the seventh straight month, C.A.R. reported this week.

Home sales remained above the 400,000 mark in August for the fifth consecutive month and rose to the highest level since October 2012. Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 431,800 units in August, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR associations and MLSs statewide.

The August figure was down 3.8 percent from the revised 448,900 level in July but up 9.3 percent compared with home sales in August 2014 of a revised 395,080. The year-to-year change was higher than the 6-month average increase of 8.6 percent observed from February 2015 to July 2015.

The median price of an existing, single-family detached California home edged up 1 percent in August to $493,420 from a revised $488,470 in July. Augusts median price was 2.5 percent higher than the revised $481,240 recorded in August 2014.
From the California Association of Realtors

So You want to sell your home…but how?

In the last few years, selling your home on the Central Coast has been a great challenge. The market tumbled and most homes lost a significant portion of their equity. Although the market slowed, over the last year I have continued to sell homes and I am happy to tell you that buyers are once again out looking in greater numbers. Prices are coming up to real value and the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is much brighter. However, there are things you as home sellers must do to make YOUR home stand out above the rest.

  1. Price. No matter what you owe on the home or what you paid for it, setting the price above market value or what you feel your home is worth will drive customers away. You need to do your homework and educate yourself on the current market. Watch the paper, look online, talk to a Real Estate professional who knows your area and who can provide reasonable comparables. Pricing your home correctly will maximize your exposure and get clients to your door.
  2. Cleaning. Clean, Clean, Clean! I cannot stress enough how much faster a home sells when it is clean and without offensive odors (dog, cat, food, smoking, etc.) There are two places that are always looked at first, the kitchen and the bathrooms. If you have old faucets I would tell you to change them. If you have old toilet seats, change them. People want to see clean and shiny bathrooms and kitchens. If you have dirty carpets clean them. The next area people look at is the windows. Clean them inside and out. Take some time and make sure that the home is light and bright. Dark, dusty, cluttered homes dont sell well.
  3. Staging a home. This is not the same thing as cleaning a home. One of the first continuing education courses I took was Home Staging. When you live in a home a long time, it is difficult to see beyond your good taste. A fresh set of eyes can produce another view and perspective. I have enough years doing this to assist you in organizing and staging your home. Removing years of clutter and personal items is usually the first things on my list. Remove personal photos and souvenirs. Pare the room down to the barest essentials.
  4. Paint. Colors are important. The new interior colors are soft beige’s with white trim. Avoid very bright colors. You may love them but they make it hard to sell a home. Take a look at your front door. Is it clean and inviting, not dirty with a tarnished lock set, peeling paint or varnish? Exterior colors remain neutral. According to statistics, blue houses take the longest to sell.
  5. Updating. In this marketplace home flipping is becoming commonplace. Many of those home flippers are doing the work I have already suggested. Clean or new carpet, fresh paint everywhere, cleaning up the bathrooms (including new vanities and new counter tops) and even painting the outside of the home. Appliances need to be in working order and are often replaced. These professional flippers are making YOUR money had you done the work yourself.
  6. If it is broken, fix it. I know this sounds trivial but broken items around the house suggests differed maintenance. Once your home is in escrow there will be a home inspection whose sole purpose is to find those broken items…and you know your buyers will ask for those items to be fixed. If you are not sure you have broken or damaged items around the house hire the home inspector before you list the home. I also suggest having the termite inspection done so you know if there is damage lurking. Often sellers are unaware how much termites have infested the home. When you list you need to know if tenting the home for termites will be required. This cost is often close to $2000.
  7. Landscaping. I do not need to tell you that overgrown yards, lawns with dead spots, torn up driveways do not make for curb appeal. With just a little work you can make the yard stand out. Add color and bark to the flower beds and watch the smiles as they come to the front door.


Central Coast Real Estate Values

Real Estate values on the Central Coast.

house-key-300x198Over the last few years while the bubble was bursting and everyones home value plummeted, the issue of how to place monetary value on a home came front and center. Appraisers whose job it was to estimate those pre-bubble values were assailed daily for making a valiant attempt to keep up with market conditions. Prices were changing every day and almost daily they would have to adjust their mathematical formulae. It was a daunting task to say the least.
Fast forward to todays Central Coast Real Estate Values and marketplace: The Feds, in their infinite (sic) wisdom, decided to set arbitrary conditions and limitations on how this industry was going to operate. Like most knee-jerk reactions by our members in Congress this was done with good intent but did not have the desired result. This law, The Dodd-Frank Interim Rule on Real Estate Appraisal Requirements hamstrung appraisers and stopped most, if not all home appreciation in its tracks. Since that time homeowners and Real Estate professionals have struggled, applying more realistic values based on supply and demand principles. They soon found other methods, such as using the CPI (Consumer Price Index), for instance, does not work for all homes in all neighborhoods. Continue…

Is Now The Time To Buy Or Sell A Home?

As you would expect, I get that question quite often. Here’s my best answer: First understand that all Real Estate is local, not regional or national like so many pundits wish you to believe. The only logical way to discuss this topic is by using the numbers or data available locally and your own personal situation. Although supply and demand have historically driven the marketplace, we face other challenges to discern value and make reasonable decisions.  The need to move to a new job or a new baby requiring more space sometimes changes those decisions.  You may have decided never to move from your little shack in the mountains, but a job offer at four times the salary by the beach can be a big mind-changer.  Once you have made the decision to buy or sell, use information available locally to allow you to make good choices in setting price and other parameters.

Our “local” area is defined by the individual cities that comprise the Central Coast. Whether it be Santa Maria/Orcutt, Nipomo, Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, Pismo Beach/Shell Beach or Avila Beach, the actual numbers for each city are are surprisingly close.

Let’s start with the Santa Maria and Orcutt areas. Median home values are some of the lowest, which also creates a very high demand. In the past, the volume of homes for sale  in any given month has been around 350 homes. Currently there are 102 for sale(71% drop), with an average days on the market of 62. Median price has crept up from $204,000 to over $244,000 in the last 6 months.

Now as we look towards Nipomo, we see similar data albeit at increased value range. Previous average available was 146 homes, which has declined to 56 on the market (62%  drop). Days on market has followed this trend as well with a previous average of 135 days down to 75. Median price went from $316,000 to $369,000 in the last 6 months.

Arroyo Grande also has seen increases, although they have been a little slower due to costs associated with living in this wonderful area. Available homes went from an average of 190 to 90 (53% drop) homes for sale. Median sales price has increased from $398,000 to $519,000 in 12 months but some of that increase may be the quality of homes listed on the market.

Let’s look at one more area, Pismo Beach. This is very interesting indeed… Average amount of homes available was 90 has now dropped to 65 (28% drop). Median price has crept up from $417,000 to $599,000.

As you can tell by the numbers & data the market is indeed changing…and in a good way for most home sellers. On the buyers side, the interest rates are still at a historical low, lending is available with reasonable FICO scores, actual home prices are still very favorable and even appraisers are starting to allow value increases based on supply and demand principles.

Is this a good time to buy or sell Real Estate, I think the numbers speak for themselves. As a Real Estate broker on the Central Coast I advise all my clients to take a hard look at their finances and if the time is right for them, absolutely move into the market.

Sunny Day For A Walk

Pismo BeachLate winter and early spring strolls on the Coast bring joys to people of every age. The hills have greened up nicely, our weather is almost always nice ( wait a day or two and those clouds will go away), and things like beach-combing, wine-tasting, shopping, and visiting the missions can delight the senses. Kids like any kind of surfing, body, wind or board, while oldsters might just want to walk the beach at Pismo. The Bob Jones Trail is a nice, flat, and easy trek and starts conveniently near the Avila Barn. Buy produce and candy there and ask for directions while letting the kids pet the goats.

For those with a yearning to make themselves a part of one of the coastal communities, now is a great time to see what is on offer. Call Mike Anderson, AndersonHomePros.Com 805 698-3770 for extra great help and service