Last week in real estate 07/15/13

Last week in real estate is the weekly notice for what happened in the San Luis Obispo  real estate market as interpreted by Dominic Tartaglia of Tartaglia Realty.

Last week in real estate we saw an influx of 12 for sale homes listed on the market in the price range of $540,000-$959,000 with an average value of $716,491. Most of those were 3 bedroom homes, half of which had 2 bathrooms and the other half had 3 bathrooms. The average square footage of homes listed last week was 2,058 SF.

We saw 8 homes go into pending contracts with an average value of $745,750 and a range of prices from $560,000-$1,095,000. The average number of rooms in the pending homes was 3.4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Average square footage was 2,001 SF.

In the SOLD home market we saw 7 homes go to new San Luis Obispo home owners at an average sale price of $623,857 and a solid 99% of the asking price. 5 of the 7 homes had 3 bedrooms, one was a 2 bedroom and another had 5 bedrooms. The average number of bathrooms was 2.25 bathrooms.

 What does it look like to me?

When I look at these numbers I see a difference in the basic fundamentals of the free market, supply vs. demand. In our case we have a shortage of supply and strong demand for homes, particularly in the $500,000-$999,000 market. This is no news to many people that have been shopping for a home within the last 6 months. We are seeing home prices rise with a negative correlation between the new listings and sold listings. Over the last 15 months we see this number is quite dramatic with a ∆ of -32% of new listings and a ∆ of +43.3% of sold listings and a trend that does not indicate a relief any time in the near future. In figure 1 you can see the graphic interpretation of these numbers.

What it all comes down to is a difficult market to buy a house in and a good market to sell your house in. Many buyers are still looking to capitalize on low interest rates and hoping to find a home that is still a good value and home owners are starting to sell their homes again but at a very slow rate which consequently is also inflating values. I think it is still a great time to buy despite the increased interest rates and rising prices. I would also say that depending on your financial position in your property it is a good time to sell as well. Many buyers are quickly being priced out of the market as prices are increasing and if I were selling my property, I would want as many potential buyers to see my property as possible. Additionally, with interest rates as low as they are there are still buyers that are capable of qualifying for loans to purchase homes and I feel comfortable saying that as a seller, the ball is more in your court than it has been in several years.

 

PLAY BALL!

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 5.06.49 PM Figure 1. Sold vs New Listing homes

Reasons to live in SLO Series

Last night I set off on a late night bike ride that I have since deemed “The Stressbuster” mostly because I was feeling a bit of pressure from the day to day business of life paired with the anxiety of a long uphill ride and the result was a big cheeser of a grin. I know that while I write this, not everybody finds exercise to be a relaxing event or that they even exercise for any reason other than to get in/ stay in shape but to me, a good hard work out is a great outlet for excess energy and frustration. At any rate I rode up the Cuesta grade and back down through the farm roads that I grew up on all the while chasing the last bit of sunshine that hit the serpentinite rocks and granit peaks of San Luis Obispo and ultimately had switch on the headlight of my bike and I went home tired but extremely happy. Then I started thinking.

I thought about how great of a ride it was and how I can always count on that particular route to be a good time and why that could be so. My conclusion, there are very few places that a person can go to find solitude and beauty in nature yet still be close to the very civilization that drives them to biking. In the period of 80 minutes I rode along hundreds of passing cars and then dove off onto dirt rodes where from there I only saw a handful of cotton tails, black tail deer, scrub jays, lizards, a ginormous raccoon and more whippoorwills than I cared to dodge on the trail. Not a single person. Talk about a moment of solitude and peace and quiet to unwind from the day.

The view from the top of Shooters trail. West Cuesta Grade

The view from the top of Shooters trail. West Cuesta Grade

I went to bed in a total exhausted euforia and woke up this morning and realized that I love living in SLO because we still have that vibe and atmosphere that provides for our residents to escape hustle and bustle. Friends in other areas talk about how their local trails are closed to bikes, how there is no access to the outdoors beyond the local dog park, etc. but in SLO we take it for granted. We take for granted local ranch families will let us cross their land to to sit atop a peak and watch the sun set or that our city is allowing non profits to build exercise courses across city owned parks for the benefit of the city. Along those lines, I realize there have to be many other reasons that we live in SLO. So I am leading the charge here with a call to action. Why do you folks love to live in SLO? 

Site Update

We would like to apologize if you have recently attempted a home search on our website and were unable to produce the results that you have come to expect from Tartaglia Realty. We had a software conflict with our web site and it was slowing down home searches. Due to the fact that we strive to bring you the best service possible we have made sure to correct that issue so that you can go back to quick and successful home searching. In the case that you are still experiencing a problem, please contact us immediately and we will resolve whatever issue it is that you may be experiencing.

Thanks for sticking with us,

Tartaglia Realty

Setting City Budget Goals

Last Tuesday, I had the privilege of representing the SLO Downtown Association as the board chair to petition our City Council for allocation of resources to help our cause at a public outreach forum. Our organization was among many different organizations in the community that were there to give input as to how they wanted to see the budget reflected to support causes that are important to our community, there were 8 different organizations by my count. The goal was clearly to hear the public and to get a pulse on what the community felt was important to continue the growth and/or sustainability of our community. From the Downtown Association standpoint this was a great opportunity to thank our City Council and Staff for having been such a great help with all of our causes in the past decades and to come to them with more ideas to improve our community. Issues that I addressed were transient disruptions in our retail core of the Downtown and differentiating that between homelessness. While our organization supports homeless services and has taken a very strong position to continue to help our homeless population in whatever capacity we can, we stand against allowing transient delinquents to commit crimes and harassing our patrons to one of the City’s strongest revenue generating districts. Well, there is a lot more about what we feel and support but that isn’t the premise of this post. If I got into that I’d be writing all week and you would probably lose interest quite soon. No the point of this is to provide a graphic to show where our community stands on community issues.

I was one of the first speakers to address the Council and Staff and as such, I was able to record notes on each topic brought forth. By my records I have the following graphic which breaks down the topics addressed in one axis and how many times it was mentioned by different speakers. Keep in mind that some people only addressed one cause and others addressed multiple. The same goes for the non-profit representation where some people represented multiple organizations. So what did I take away from the meeting? Good question. I took away that we have a very passionate and involved community. Not only did we have an entire auditorium filled with concerned citizens but they stayed well into the night on a Tuesday night in order to express themselves and to hear what others were concerned about. It’s no wonder why, when you step back and look at this situation, we have the reputation of the “Happiest Town in America”. It’s because people here care about our town and they expend large amounts of time and resources in the spirit of improving our community. I am proud to be a part of this community and to say that selling homes here is a privilege that not all REALTOR®s are afforded. It’s a privilege to work with citizens that take pride in their homes, neighborhoods and greater community as a whole. I thank you all!

Here is the graph, please take from it what you want but understand that it is based on my recollection of the facts and not a statement to be all inclusive or complete. It is based merely on observations at a meeting and jottings on a legal pad and transcribed into Numbers on my iMac.

Screen Shot 2013-01-15 at 10.48.44 AM

Many topics were addressed by concerned citizens of San Luis Obispo pertaining to budget.

SLO Housing Market

What is going on in the SLO housing market?

There is a lot going on in the market here. When I look at the charts and data I can’t help but think that it’s a good time to buy or sell. I would call the market at an equilibrium/upswing and base it on a few simple things, which I will explain in a second. When the market is in a space like this it serves both buyers and sellers because as a buyer you are still getting good prices compared to where they were back at the peak of the market and as a seller inventory is moving pretty quickly and competition is strong. In a sense, both parties have some difficulties to deal with and some advantages that offset one another. So let’s break those down and explain my call on the market.

Buyers:

What I see as an advantage for buyers right now is most evidently, purchasing power. When we look at the median home price in San Luis Obispo city today, median home prices for all residential sales are up 11.7% from a year ago. However, they are down 2% from 15 months ago. To me this signals that prices are recovering at a pretty good pace and that would be a sign that it’s a good time to get in the market before things heat up. Interestingly enough, if we look at the difference in the SLO County Median home prices we are down 33% county wide from January of 2006 which suggests that home prices are discounted significantly and that buyers can stretch their dollars a lot further today than they could before. Now, couple the power that the buyer’s wallet has with the availability of money at cheap rates and you have a good position for any buyer to step up and get a good deal, provided they were able to survive the recession and maintain their credit score and save for a downpayment. The flip side to all of this is that inventory is at a low and properties are moving on and off the market quickly so buyers need to be ready to move.

Sellers:

What I see as an advantage to buyers right now is that there is an increased level of demand for homes. As buyers are realizing that they have strong buying power they are buying up homes and inventory is clearing out quickly which creates a great environment for sellers to list their homes. The average months inventory index for San Luis Obispo is a measurement that shows the number of unsold homes expressed in time as months that it would take for the house to sell at current rates. A falling index, which we have, is an indicator of a strengthening market and depending on a high number or low number shows whether the market favors buyers or sellers. A low number, like what SLO has at 2.8, suggests that the market favors sellers right now. I agree that it is a sellers market in terms of the index and competitive inventory numbers but we need to keep in mind that a lot of properties are selling for discounted prices from the peak of the market back in ’06 so some sellers may not be in a position to sell and feel like they are coming out ahead. The silver lining in this is that prices are coming back up, the November ’11 to November ’12 YTY average sold price is up 13.2%.

By no means is this analysis all encompassing of the market but I definitely think it represents the market right now in a very straightforward explanation with just a couple simple graphs and looking at what is happening in our office. If you have any questions about a particular portion of the market please call me and I will gladly help you look into that sector. You can also click on over to our home search function of the site and start looking at property on the market to see what I’m talking about.

 

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 10.31.44 AM Screen Shot 2013-01-04 at 10.45.50 AM

Wooing the Seller

I like to think of myself as a real estate enabler.

That means I enable people to achieve their home ownership dreams with my personal and professional knowledge and experience. Some days, it means showing homes and other days it means drawing up contracts but my day always starts with reading a few real estate articles. Today I read an article by Tara-Nicholle Nelson from Trulia titled, Six Elements of a compelling seller love letter, and it was funny because I didn’t realize what I was about to discover. You see, I like to have my buyers write a letter to sellers explaining who they are and why they want to buy the house they are putting an offer on and that is what I expected this article to be about. Instead, the article was about SELLERs writing a letter to BUYERs! You can read that article here…

What is ironic about this is that I have never thought of a seller presenting my buyers an article telling about their home and the wonderful stories and memories that home has but it made me wonder if my clients would buy a house that had a letter attached to the listing detail over a home that did not. I can say that when my buyers have put letters on their offer they have faired quite well in the purchase process because it allows the seller to see who they are talking with and what my clients see in their house. Let’s face it, we all want to be complimented to an extent but when we are talking about sellers and their home, nothing makes them happier than a buyer paying them compliments… well maybe a buyer paying them a lot of money but let’s not go there today.

When a buyer gives a brief description of who they are, where they are coming from with this offer and their plans for the home and why they love it, it leaves a lasting impression on the seller. If the seller has multiple offers that are pretty close or comparable they (based on my experiences) tend to go with the buyer that has a story. I can only think of handfull of times when a buyer’s letter did not get them the house and each time it was because our offer got completely blown out of the water by somebody willing to give WELL above asking price. (buyers, I generally do not advise offering well over asking price) Here are a few things to think about if you are planning on writing a letter to a seller.

  1. Greeting with compliments on their home
  2. Explain who you are (name, let them know you have a family [room mate, dog etc], hobbies, career
  3. Tell them what your plans for the home are
  4. Inform them that you are qualified, ready and excited to love their home the same way that they have.
  5. Thank them for considering your offer and hopefully accepting the contract.

If you didin’t notice, the acronym is GET IT. The letter is meant to Greet, Explain, Tell, Inform and Thank them so that they learn about you, your intentions, your preparedness to be the next homeowner at 123 Their St. and thank them for considering your offer more carefully.  A simple, direct, one page letter is plenty to get your foot in the door with any warm blooded seller. If you’re dealing with banks, that’s a different story and you have a lot more hurdles to get through. The letter might get to the negotiator but often times will not.

Alright guys, don’t forget… GET IT!

Welcome to the next generation in real estate

The Tartaglia Team is proud to announce that we are hard at work behind the scenes here at TartagliaLabs developing a new, interactive and innovative approach to real estate. We aim to market properties for sale as effectively as possible through innovative new business practices including ramped up marketing material, state of the art document sharing and complete integration with what we believe will be known as ‘internet 3.0’. These new practices combined with our team’s knowledge of San Luis Obispo County and our involvement with our local community will undoubtedly bring the best market exposure to your home when you are looking to sell it and find a new place.

Speaking of finding a new place, we can help with that too. That’s right! Not only does Dominic carry the Accredited Buyers Representative designation but our office has carefully combed through many data service companies to make sure that we have the easiest and most up to date and comprehensive network of listings available to you from the comfort of your couch. You can shop for a home any time, any where and from any device that you like. If you want to look at properties from your latest Mac product, knock yourself out. If you are using Android, guess what… our site looks good on Android devices. What about those of us out there that aren’t current on the technology available to buyers? The Tartaglia Team has your back and we will do all of the heavy lifting for you and make sure that you know of all of the deals that best suit your needs.

This website will be a coming development and we are working like a bunch of crazed REALTOR®s and web designers to put together a website that you will actually want to visit, maybe not as much as Facebook or Twitter but we’re just glad you stopped by to check us out on our real estate Blog. Oh yea, this blog is here for your enjoyment and we want to make sure that it answers the questions that you have about both real estate and living here on the Central Coast. If there is something you are dying to know about in regards to real estate shoot us a message in our Contact Us page and if there is a really cool event coming up that you want to share let us know so that we can put it up here on our Blog for our other fans to see!

The Tartaglia Team

a. “The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the IDX program of the Central Coast Regional Multiple Listing Service and its affiliated associations.  Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Tartaglia Realty are marked with the IDX icon and detailed information about them include the name of the listing broker and listing agent”.
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Listings displayed are the property of the member Associations of the Central Coast Regional MLS, and are protected under one or more of the following copyright registrations: Atascadero Association of Realtors®, Inc. Copyright 2014; Lompoc Valley Association of REALTORS®, Inc. Copyright 2014, Paso Robles Association of REALTORSâ, Inc. Copyright 2014; Pismo Coast Association of REALTORSâ Inc. Copyright 2014; San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS®, Inc. Copyright 2014; Santa Maria Association of REALTORSâ, Inc. Copyright 2014; Santa Ynez Valley Association of REALTORS®, Inc. Copyright 2014; Scenic Coast Association of REALTORSâ, Inc. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
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