Wire Fraud

If you’ve heard the news – you’re aware of the wire transfer fraud during real estate transactions. Scary stuff. Please take note that Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Drysdale Properties and The Caton Team have taken precautions to protect our clients. Preferably using cashiers checks in lieu of a wires to be frank. We’ve also taken precautions with email. If you prefer please email us at sabrina.caton@bhhsdrysdale.com.

Thank You,

The Caton Team

Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

DRE 01499008 | 70000218 | 01413526 | 01238225

Your Property Tax Bill is due November, 1, 2018

Property Tax Due

Just a friendly reminder that the 1st Installment of your Property Tax Bill is Due on November 1 – delinquent December 10.

For more information visit:

San Mateo County

http://www.smcare.org/default.asp

Santa Clara County

https://www.sccgov.org/sites/dtac/Pages/default.aspx

San Francisco County

http://sftreasurer.org

 

The Caton Team strives to be more than just Realtors – we are also your resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here. Contact us at your convenience.  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

The Caton Team

A Family of Realtors

With over 35 years of combined, local, Silicon Valley Real Estate experience – What can The Caton Team do for YOU?

The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat

The Caton Team Website

How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

 

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Visit us at:  Our Blog * TheCatonTeam.com * Facebook *Yelp Us * My Yelp * Instagram * HomeSnap* Pintrest * LinkedIN Sabrina * LinkedIN Susan

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

How to Sell and Buy Real Estate in Today’s Market

Are you a Move Up Buyer in Silicon Valley?   Then you know how hard it is to take that goal and realize it.  It is much harder to sell and buy today than ever before!

If you’re a Buyer in the Silicon Valley – then you are well aware of how competitive it is to get a house in this market.  A Buyer may have started off with big dreams, the want list, the wish list and then quickly condensed the list to one thing – I want a house – any house in the Bay Area.

It’s that nuts.

Why?

The Bay Area has limited space to build.  Land is the gold of Real Estate, without land you cannot build more homes.  So if you want to own a home around here – get ready for the bidding wars.

But if you’re a Buyer with a home to Sell first – then you’re really up for a challenge.  

Seller EXPECTATIONS

If you’re a Seller these days – you have some expectations.  With multiple Buyers for each home – a Buyer pretty much has to do the following to be a candidate:

  • OFFER OVER LIST PRICE – sometimes even more than the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) warrants.  This can be frightening and can setup a Buyer for some surprises*.  The Caton Team always prepares a CMA and gauges market activity to help a Buyer determine their right price.
  • WAIVE ALL CONTINGENCIES – These days a Buyer cannot ask for repairs, or request time to sell their current home .  If a Buyer wants to be a contender – they must come in Non-Contingent and ready to close.  Let me re-phrase that.  A Buyer must write THIER best offer and if that includes a contingency – the Buyer must do what is best for them.  Just know – if there is a contingency – generally that offer goes to the bottom of the stack because in this market, the Seller has plenty of offers to choose from and does NOT have to accept a Contingent Offer – no matter how cute the letter is.  (Note, in cooler markets Buyers have more leverage and will have the opportunity for Sellers to accept contingencies.  It’s just not that market today.)
  • PROOF OF FUNDS – A Buyer MUST HAVE ALL their down payment, closing costs and reserve monies ready from DAY 1!  Not only for their bank loan approval – Buyers need proof of funds just to write a contending offer!  To be frank, sometimes a great offer is beat out by an offer with “better” proof of funds – IE – money in the bank.
    • Each Seller and their Realtor will REQUIRE Proof of Funds to be submitted WITH the Offer.  Meaning your Realtor needs recent copies of all your bank statements to be provided in your Offer Package to show money for the downpayment, closing costs and reserves.  You would too if you were in the Seller seat.  Our job as Realtors is to protect OUR Clients best interests.  Meaning, while reviewing offers, not only does The Caton Team call each lender to verify loan strength – we also want to see Proof of Funds totaling at minimum the monies for said deal AND reserve funds which are healthy and liquid to ensure –  if things go awry – there are funds to close on time.  In other words, the strongest reserves has an impact on what is considered the “Best” offer.  It is not always price that equates as “Best”.  (Curious why?  – Ask us anytime – it is another blog post.)
      • An example of a Buyer surprise* is when the appraised value is lower than the offer price.  The Buyer may need to pay the difference between the appraised value and offer price because there are NO Contingencies – a Buyer must perform or quit.  Quitting on a Non-Contingent Offer means the Buyer could forge all or a portion of their good faith deposit – which is 3% of the total purchase price.  Note – each case is different and this is just an example.  Bottom line – selling Real Estate is serious business and being prepared is the first step.

There are several more items that make the perfect Offer Package – so if you’re curious – contact The Caton Team.

Ok, so now you have an idea of what it takes to buy a home around here.  Now what do you do if you have a home to sell first?  Bear with me on this – it is the hottest topic in Real Estate today.

HOW TO SELL THEN BUY

If you’re lucky enough to already be a Silicon Valley homeowner – congratulations!  You’re ahead of the game.  Right?  Unless you need more space and want to move up.  The Caton Team has met many clients who opted to add onto their existing homes.  Great!  Unless that is not an option.  Then we are back to square one – How does a Buyer sell then buy in this market?  

As I stated above in Seller Expectations, the “requirements” for contention can feel like a tall order.  If your down payment funds are tied up in the equity of your home – you have several options but only a few are viable in this market.  

DREAM OPTION

Rich Aunt Sally gifts you the money you need for the purchase of the home.  Thank you Aunt Sally.  But what if we don’t have rich relatives?

SELL FIRST OPTION

This is the cut and dry option.  Sell the home.  Close Escrow.  Move out and into a short term rental or with relatives.  Bank the  proceeds of the sale – aka: the downpayment and enjoy the Home Buying Experience at your own pace knowing you can A) Prove your Funds and B) Go in Non Contingent. 

Oh – Did I mention this option is also terrifying?  A Seller feels as if they are loosing their only piece of California – the “what if we don’t get the next one” can be frightening.  That’s why this option that is often chosen last.  Next up…

SELL FIRST WITH RENT-BACK OPTION

Similar to the first scenario – except instead of moving out at Close of Escrow – the Seller is granted Rent Back to live in the home for an agreed timeframe and cost, then move out – whether or not the Seller has acquired their next purchase.  The advantage to this is the Closing – the Seller has the proceeds in the bank and can write a non-contingent offer on their next home.  The down side – it is a short term solution – if the Seller doesn’t find their next home within the time frame – they will have to move out when the tenancy is over no matter what.  

OBTAIN AN OFFER TO PURCHASE

This option is often the first step – the proverbial toe in the water.  We, as your Realtors will try to find a Buyer willing to do the following:

  • Offer to Purchase the home with an Extended Close of Escrow, giving the Seller time to acquire their next property then quickly close on one then the other – a Domino closing effect.  The downside, their proceeds are not in the bank; therefore the Proof of Funds will be short AND even if the Seller writes a Non-Contingent Offer – we as Realtors know – it isn’t over until it’s over.  In other words, when comparing offers – the one with less strings attached wins.  Even Non-Contingent Offers in this scenario are not as strong as Buyers ready, willing and able to close on time.  IE:  Don’t have to close one house before they can close on the other.  Confusing right?  

That’s why inevitably, if a Client truly needs more space and cannot add on – they often are forced to sell first, rent then buy because this market is too competitive to request contingencies from the seller.  – Please don’t shoot the messenger – 

THE LONG ROAD

Now here’s my idea – but it takes a few years and you truly need to ask your CPA.  The idea is – the Seller moves out into.  (Where?  That is not part of my scenario.)  The Seller then converts their personal residence into a rental – renting it out for a minimum of 2 years.  (I cannot give tax advice, so please verify with your CPA).  After those two years, the Seller sells their home as a 1031 exchange, then buys their next home – as another investment.  The caveat – the Seller cannot move into their new home until it’s been rented for at least 2 years. Again run this by your CPA as tax laws change and I am not a CPA.  Anyway, this is the long term approach.  The good news, especially if you’re buying in the same community, even if prices rise – hopefully so will the value of your current investment.  Anyway, can you tell I have several clients in the same boat?  This blog post was really just me organizing my thoughts then I figured – why don’t I just share this – if I can help someone make a better decision for their future – then I did my job today.  

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Right now – the forecast is Interest Rates will rise.  This can diminish a Buyer’s buying power.  As the interest rates rise the amount of the loan reduces.  To remedy this – a Buyer will need to bring in more monies towards the downpayment.  Easy, if we have Aunt Sally on speed dial.

The Caton Team cannot forecast the future but we have endured all sorts of markets.  We always worry about our Buyers waiting themselves out of the market and in this still inclining market – that can happen faster than you think.  Ask us anytime – we’re in the trenches, we know what homes are selling for before the internet gets wind.  It’s wild out there but we’ve got you covered.  Susan and I have over 35 years combined, local real estate experience.  We represent our clients with integrity.  Our offer packages stand out and often times just the edge a Buyer needs in this market.  Our Seller Package is successful, our negotiating is skilled, kind and focused.  We pride ourselves in being effective, efficient and responsive.

Real Estate is multi faceted and this blog is just the tip of the iceberg.  Each family has a unique set of needs.  We value the sit down time to get to know what you need whether buying or selling a home in the Bay Area. 

What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Thank you for reading and forgiving my typos,

Sabrina

 

I wrote this…

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help.

The Caton Team strives to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials

The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat

The Caton Team Website

The Caton Team Advantage

How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Visit us at:  Our Blog * TheCatonTeam.com * Facebook *Yelp Us * My Yelp * Instagram * HomeSnap* Pintrest * LinkedIN Sabrina * LinkedIN Susan

 

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.

There Goes the Neighborhood! 7 Landscaping Decisions Sure to Make the Neighbors Mad

 

Your neighbors couldn’t care less about what you keep on the mantel above your fireplace. And they wouldn’t expect you to check with them before you pick out new paint for your bathroom.

Your yard, however, is a very different matter.

Yes, the exterior of your house is still your property. Technically—unless you live in a prohibitive homeowners association—you can do what you like. But everyone else can see it … which will mean they care.

A lot.

“What upsets neighbors the most isn’t interpersonal,” explains Cassy Aoyagi, president of FormLA Landscaping, a high-end, sustainable landscaping firm in Los Angeles. “It’s property decisions that affect the neighborhood.”

Here are some of the landscaping decisions that are sure to give your neighbors something to complain about—possibly for years to come.

1. Gravelscaping

In an attempt to save water, some people transform their front yard or garden into a rockscape. It’s a well-intentioned gesture, but if “Lots of rocks, hold the grass” doesn’t fit your natural climate, these dry landscapes can become a heated neighborhood topic—literally.

“Here in Los Angeles, gravelscaping can amplify heat throughout the city and increase run-off, making neighboring properties less comfortable,” Aoyagi says.

Since rocks don’t absorb water, a gravelscaped yard sheds extra water. That means that your rockscape could even put your neighborhood at risk of flooding in high-water years, Aoyagi notes. Do you really want to be that neighbor?

2. Taking down trees

Blame it on the Lorax. Or Shel Silverstein’s tear-jerking picture book “The Giving Tree.” If you try to chop down a mature tree on your property, your neighbors Will. Be. Aghast.

“Trees cool properties and neighborhoods. They increase property values, not just for homeowners, but for their neighbors and communities,” Aoyagi says. “People simply grow very attached to them.”

3. Playing fast and loose with water

If you live in an area that’s fighting drought, maybe you shouldn’t put in, say, a koi pond or some other elaborate water feature.

“You definitely don’t want to be seen watering the sidewalk,” Aoyagi adds.

Even if you aren’t reenacting “Waterworld,” beware of the vibes your yard is giving off. Neighbors will scrutinize that oh-so-green grass and could jump to conclusions.

“Even a lush lawn can have people rolling their eyes, if it isn’t a lawn alternative with smart irrigation,” she says.

4. Using leaf blowers

Leaf blowers are the quickest way you’ll get to know your neighbors—but not in the “Hey, let’s be friends” type of way.

No, every time you fire up a leaf blower, you’re launching a sensory assault on your neighbors. That’s no understatement: The most powerful models can create noise levels as high as an ear-piercing 112 decibels. Studies have even shown that the effects of that kind of noise can cause hypertension and heart disease.

And it isn’t just the aggressive, brain-rattling noise that’s bothersome.

“One blower pollutes (as much as) a freeway full of cars, and blows pollen and pollutants from the ground into the air, aggravating asthma and allergies,” Aoyagi points out.

5. Letting your landscape grow wild

Can’t tell a hydrangea from a hibiscus? (And don’t care?) Does spending a weekend pruning trees sound like your own personal hell?

If you live in a rural area with large properties, no one may notice if you give up on your yard. But if you’re in a residential development, your neighbors will seethe at record speed.

“One unkempt, overflowing trash bin can bring rats,” Aoyagi notes. “A neighbor’s rundown garden can also decrease the appraised value of a home.”

Bottom line: “Whatever you have, stay on top of it,” she says.

6. Going overboard with the holiday decorations

You know what we’re talking about: amazingly bright lights that shine into nearby homes. Music your neighbors can hear while they’re home—with the doors closed. And maybe that realistic reproduction of the creepy clown from “It” cracks you up, but isn’t such a hit with the young kids next door.

And don’t forget the nightly crawl of traffic that over-the-top displays bring.

“If your decorations attract a steady procession of admirers, make sure you have a plan to keep (them) from making your neighbors’ lawns look like someone pulled a ‘trick’ on them,” advises Jennifer Susanne Sommers, a luxury real estate specialist for Nestler Poletto Sotheby’s International Realty in Boca Raton, FL.

Plus, all that traffic can make it hard to get in and out of the neighborhood—and that certainly won’t endear you to your neighbors either, Sommers adds.

7. Planting the wrong shrubs

Forget the aesthetics for a sec. The landscaping you select can be not only an eyesore, but potentially hazardous—to neighborhood pets, at least.

Case in point: oleander, a plant that’s popular in the South and Southwest.

“It flowers beautifully, but it can be a danger to pets if they eat the leaves,” cautions David Meek, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Arizona Realty in Scottsdale, AZ.

Oleander contains a cardiac toxin, he explains, and fewer than 20 ingested leaves would be lethal to an animal the size of a horse.

Throw up a few hedges of oleander—especially in areas where HOAs urge residents not to—and you’ll have some unhappy neighbors to deal with.

Curious what your thoughts are!

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help. We are but a call or click away!

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts and the information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

 

Where Homes Are Flying Off the Market—and Where They’re Lingering Longest

Where Homes Are Flying Off the Market—and Where They’re Lingering Longest

Why do home buyers and sellers alike track days-on-market stats every bit as obsessively as money managers fixate on the Dow, baseball fans on weight-on-base averages, or “Bachelor” fans on ambush breakups? Well, it all depends on which side of the sales aisle you’re on. Sellers, of course, want their homes to move to closing as quickly as possible, maybe even spurring a sweet price war en route. Buyers, on the other hand, are eager to avoid said price wars and maybe even have a bunch of different homes to choose from.

But contrary to what you might assume from reading real estate news headlines, there are metro areas where homes aren’t being snapped up at a breakneck pace. It’s a big country, after all. So we got curious. What could we learn from how long homes spend on the market in different metros?

Buyers and sellers, take note(s)!

“That info can give home buyers an idea of how much competition they face, how limited homes are in the market, and how quickly they need to make a decision if they find a home they like,” says Chief Economist Danielle Hale of realtor.com.

And sellers can get a reality check about how long their home should spend on the market—if it’s priced right and in good condition.

“It helps them get an idea of how long they have to move somewhere else,” Hale says. “In a really hot market, you can probably sell your home without making updates. But if you make updates, your home is more competitive.”

Nationally, the median number of days on the market is falling—there are too many buyers and not enough properties for sale, particularly in booming tech hubs. It hit a low of 60 days in the high-home-buying season of both May and June 2017, according to realtor.com data. That’s down from 89 days in June 2012. (Our data go back only to May 2012.)

To figure out where these home-buying headaches are the worst (or are relatively painless), we looked at the median number of days that for-sale homes in the 300 largest metros spent on market from February 2017 through January 2018.* We limited our rankings to just one metro per state to ensure some geographic diversity.

Ready? Get set? Let’s first go look at those boiling-hot metros where homes spend the least time on market.

1. San Jose, CA

Median days on market: 28.6

Median list price: $1,100,300

When it comes to high-tech jobs with correspondingly high paychecks—and a soaring real estate market—nothing can compete with San Jose. The sprawling city is the heart of Silicon Valley.

As a result of those movin’-like-flapjack homes and the resulting availability shortage, median list prices in the metro rose nearly 26.4% year over year as of February, according to realtor.com data.

Local real estate broker associate Zaid Hanna, of Intero Real Estate Services, routinely receives five to 70—yes, 70—offers per property if it’s not priced outrageously. He received nearly two dozen offers for one three-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom abode that was listed at $829,000. It wound up selling for $960,000. That’s $131,000 over asking price, and had a down payment of $600,000. And this was a property that hadn’t been updated in 35 years!

It’s not uncommon for homes to go for $100,000 to $400,000 over the asking price, Hanna says. Ouch.

“There no shortage of buyers—many of them well-heeled—in Santa Clara County, where so many tech giants are located and jobs, generally, have lately been on the rebound,” says area real estate broker associate Dawn Thomas, of Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty.  “Buyers are ‘burning’ through inventory with [still] low-interest rates.”

2. Seattle, WA

Median days on market: 34.1

Median list price: $499,950

Homes are flying off their blocks in the birthplace of Amazon and Microsoft almost as quickly as in Silicon Valley.

“Anything on the market that is halfway decent is selling immediately with multiple offers,” says Annie Radecki, senior manager at John Burns Real Estate Consulting Seattle. “New-home builders used to sell first come, first served. But more than half of them have converted to selling to the highest and best offer.”

That’s because the economy is strong with plenty of well-paid employees needing places to live. But the home shortage—as well as skyrocketing prices—is leading more buyers to venture farther out from the city limits.

Take Tacoma, about 35 miles from Seattle, where the median list price is a much more reasonable $270,000, according to realtor.com data. But prices are rising there as well. Prices jumped about 13.9% from December 2016 to December 2017, according to the most recent realtor.com data.

They were up 16.9% year over year in Seattle over the same period, according to realtor.com data.

“It’s so hot that one would have to drive an hour and a half at rush hour from downtown Seattle to get a better inventory situation,” Radecki adds. That means to find an area with a better stock of homes on the market buyers have to commute 30 to 40 miles to the north, south, or east.

3. Salt Lake City, UT

Median days on market: 38.2

Median list price: $372,450

People are flocking to Utah, particularly Salt Lake City, like luna moths to flame.

That’s probably because the economy is booming with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S., ringing in at just 2.7% in December 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s leading to plenty of transplants. The city is expected to gain an additional 600,000 residents over the next 50 years, according to a University of Utah research brief.

Pair that with a relatively low cost of living, compared with some of the other cities on our list, a great public transportation system, and nearby ski slopes, and you have yourself a great big shortage of homes for sale.

“Anything under $350,000 is selling pretty easily,” says Brook Bernier, a Realtor® with Hot Property Utah. She listed one home just outside the city limits for about $285,000. Within a few days, she had three offers at $300,000. “We have zero days on market with some places—no sign even goes out because it’s already gone.”

4. Denver, CO

Median days on market: 39.2

Median list price: $543,572

Buyers can’t seem to get enough of Denver. In recent years, the capital of Colorado has been drawing swaths of millennials to its outdoorsy lifestyle and vibrant nightlife. (Legal recreational marijuana probably doesn’t hurt either.)

But in addition to all the perks, the city is also home to a robust technology scene—albeit one with a cost of living well below that of Silicon Valley. And now many newcomers who have been renting are ready to purchase homes. Unfortunately, like the other metros on the list, there are few homes to buy.

Entry-level listings, from around $300,000 to $450,000, get snapped up in minutes, say local real estate professionals. However, that demand flows up to homes priced at over $1 million. The city basically has the lowest amount of inventory its seen, with just around 3,300 homes on the market.

“We make jokes that buyers are walking into homes on fire saying, ‘I’ll take it,’” says Jeff Plous with ONE Realty. “I try to tell clients to wait and be patient, keep calm. But prices seem to keep going up.”

5. Nashville, TN

Median days on market: 40.6

Median list price: $359,950

The Country Music Capital is booming these days—a Southern hub for millennial techies, foodies, makers of craft beer and spirits, and indie fashion labels. That has translated into the area receiving an influx of about 100 new residents per day, many of whom are looking to buy real estate. That’s led to the inventory shortage and rising prices.

These days, downtown condos are selling quickly for well over $600,000, says local real estate professional Lisa Peebles Chagnon of Benchmark Realty.

She had one Midtown listing that sold so quickly, she didn’t even have to enter it into the multiple listing service, the database of real estate listings.

“We put it in the MLS after the fact for comp purposes only,” she says. “That happens a lot these days.”

———

Rounding out the metros with the fewest median days on the market are Portland, OR (44.3); Boise, ID (46); Sioux Falls, SD (46.8); Omaha, NE (47.2); and Minneapolis (47.3).

Need to slow down a bit? Let’s take a look at the other end of the market, where homes are taking the longest to sell.

 

Take your time: Where homes sit on the market the longest…

1. Claremont, NH

Median days on market: 138.8

Median list price: $245,300

The small town of Claremont has an idyllic downtown punctuated with historic buildings dating from the 1830s to the 20th century. These range from wood-frame Greek Revival buildings to the ornate Queen Anne/Colonial Revival Hotel Claremont and the Italian Renaissance Revival Opera House.

However, the real estate market isn’t quite as strong as its architecture. The population has decreased (3% from 2010 to July 2016), and the property taxes are far higher than in nearby areas. However, there is no sales or income tax in the state.

In Claremont, the property tax rate is nearly a whopping $43 per $1,000 of home value, which is considered a factor in the low demand, according to Housing Solutions Real Estate, which sells property.

Just 35 minutes away, in Hanover, NH, home to the University of New Hampshire, Dartmouth College, and a highly coveted public school district, taxes are more like $20 per $1,000. But the median home prices are also much higher, at about $520,000.

“So it’s a wash, pretty much,” says local real estate agent Ann Jacques, of Century 21 Highview Realty, of the lower prices but higher home prices in Claremont. She’s seeing a lot of locals returning to the region, along with retirees and out-of-staters seeking a cheaper cost of living. “It’s been super busy lately.”

2. Brownsville, TX

Median days on market: 129.4

Median list price: $200,000

Brownsville has experienced its share of difficulties over the past year, including budget cuts and hiring freezes at the local colleges. Unemployment is about one and a half times the national average, at 6% as of December 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The upside is that after close to a decade of high-impact fees on new real estate development, the city lowered the rate to a more affordable level, spurring a flurry of new construction. That left many of the older homes, including many of those McMansions from the early 2000s, stagnating on the market.

“Anything over $150,000 is just sitting unless it’s just a really good deal,” says Craig Grove, broker/owner Grove Realty Team. “I’ve seen more people build over the past year than the whole time I’ve been here.”

3. Salisbury, MD

Median days on market: 124.9

Median list price: $299,500

Set on Maryland’s idyllic Eastern Shore, about a half-hour away from popular beach town Ocean City, Salisbury is the largest city in this rural region.

The historic town is filled with a mix of bungalow, Victorian, Colonial, and Cape Cod homes. Those properties are selling at a slower rate than what is common in the rest of the country. But homes are still fetching top dollar, says local real estate pro Dale King of Esham Real Estate.

Homes are selling for about 97% of the list price. And Salisbury is also experiencing a lack of inventory.

“The good stuff gets snapped up,” says King. “Older stuff languishes.”

There are a lot of older homes in the area that are in need of renovation, and many local buyers just don’t want to put in the elbow grease, says King.

Plus, a couple of economic factors may be driving down demand in Salisbury. Although the city’s population has increased 8.5% from 2010 to 2016, according to Census data, the city’s median income, $37,780, is lower than the national median of $59,039 in 2016.

There is also a large renter population. Only 29.9% of housing units in Salisbury were owner-occupied from 2012 to 2016, according to Census data.

4. Rocky Mount, NC

Median days on market: 123

Median list price: $135,050

There are several reasons why homes in Rocky Mount sit longer on the market than in other cities in booming North Carolina, the fifth fastest-growing state in the country, according to Census data.

The city was slow to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Floyd in 1999, utility costs are high, and many locals prefer to live in the surrounding counties, where there is no city tax.

And the few homes that do come onto the market (about 470 active listings in Nash and Edgecombe Counties compared with around 1,200 a half-decade ago) aren’t necessarily desirable to the small pool of buyers who are looking.

The ones that move are those that have been renovated and modernized.

“If we see a good, renovated home it’s usually gone within a day or two,” says Ana Joyner, a real estate professional with Joyner-Silk Team Market Leader Realty. “We don’t have a lot of new construction, and many older houses here have not been updated—they’re the ones you’re seeing longer on the market.”

5. Pittsfield, MA

Median days on market: 121.6

Median list price: $371,775

Lying between the lush Berkshire Hills and the jutting Taconic Range, Pittsfield and greater Berkshire County are defined by the stunning New England wilderness. But like many former industrial hubs of the Northeast, the city has been losing well-paying jobs since the 1970s.

This includes the General Electric plant closures that took place primarily between the 1980s and early 1990s. Since 2000 alone, more than 40% of the area’s manufacturing jobs have disappeared, a Berkshire Regional Planning Commission told MassLive.com.

Populations have been declining throughout Western Massachusetts. Berkshire County has lost more than 3.3% of its population since 2010, according to the Census, squelching demand for the aging property supply.

The area isn’t attracting many out-of-towners from bigger cities, like New York, seeking country homes. It’s more a local’s market with homes selling under the $200,000 mark, says local real estate broker Susan Baum, of Berkshire Homes and Condos, based in Lenox, MA.

“We’re an older housing market. We don’t have [a lot of] new housing construction,” she says.

Taking the No. 6 slot for cities with the highest median days on the market is Bangor, ME (118.8), followed by Torrington, CT (118.4); Hilton Head Island, SC (114); Naples, FL (112.6); and Lebanon, PA, (112.4).

  • We looked at the monthly, median days on the market for each of the largest 300 metros. Then we created an average of the past 12 months ending Jan. 31, 2018.

 

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help. We are but a call or click away!

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/hot-markets-where-homes-are-flying-off-shelves-and-where-theyre-not/?identityID=9851214&MID=2018_0316_WeeklyNL_control&RID=353497822&cid=eml-2018-0309-WeeklyNL-blog_1_homesflyingoffshelves-blogs_trends

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts and the information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Working with The Caton Team…

Or what I like to call it – The Caton Team Advantage…

 

I’m on hold at the moment.  Waiting to hear how many offers are coming in on my clients dream home.  Wondering if we offered enough.  Oh the joys of Real Estate in the Silicon Valley.

This isn’t the first time I’ve waited on hold, nor the last.  Though this is the first time I’ve waited long enough to start a blog post – so that tells you something.  Tenacity.  I’m not hanging up until I know.

You see, once I find out where we stand, I can call my clients and update our strategy.  Because it isn’t over until it’s over – and if we’re not the best offer – well gosh darn it – we will be.  Or try to be.

– I know Yoda – there is no try.  But I tell you – it doesn’t hurt to try.

When The Caton Team has the trust and confidence of our clients – we can do anything…

… As soon as the lovely agent concierge gives me the latest news.

I am so proud to say – that in 2017 – sellers left money on the table to work with The Caton Team buying clients.  That says something.  Furthermore, there were no side deals, no commission re-negotiations, nothing but a good clean offer and our Caton Team offer package.    Because The Caton Team knows what it takes – good old fashioned hard work.  Because when I say – sellers left money on the table – I mean – our buyers didn’t offer the most money for property in Silicon Valley – BUT – we had the best offer package and the hustle to ensure – we will close escrow.  That’s the name of the game.  You can offer all the money in the world and it doesn’t mean a thing if it doesn’t close escrow.

As my mother always told me.  Talk is cheap.  It’s all about the action.  Her words ring true today.

I’m still on hold…

I’ve been a Realtor for a lucky 15 years now, Susan for 20.  However in the past decade give or take, Real Estate has changed dramatically.  In fact, the past 5 years have been a revolution if you’ve been in the thick of it.  I was able to see how the internet – wait – mobile devices – single handedly changed everything.  It’s amazing.

By the looks of commercials, just a push of a button will summon someone to open the door and show a home.  That’s perfect – that’s grand!  I wish I could offer such amazing services, thing is – I’m probably across town showing homes and meeting inspectors for the pre-sale checklist – that I can’t drop everything to – well – literally just open a door.  So I wonder…

Do people still need Realtors?  Or is there an App for that?

In my humble opinion, the answer is YES, professional Realtors are still needed, relevant and imperative – especially in the Silicon Valley Real Estate Market.  As long as we are human, making one of the largest financial decisions in our lives, and for as many algorithms and apps with data we have – there are some things you cannot replicate.  Experience,  knowledge and the ability to navigate a contract in a market that moves so damn fast.

Not every Realtor is the same mind you.  I’m speaking on behalf of myself, Susan and a bountiful handful of awesome Realtors who get it.  We offer so much more than just opening a door.  There’s an app for that – what The Caton Team brings to the table is knowledge, experience, negotiations skills that turn our buyers into homeowners.

The Silicon Valley Real Estate Market is on par with New York now as one of the hottest Real Estate Markets in America and it also happens to be in our back yard.

Though this post was dedicated to our Buying clients in this hot market – Selling a home is just as challenging.  It’s not just putting a sign in the yard or a link on the net.  Alas – that’s a blog for another day.  Because….

…I’m off hold – so it’s back to work!

– Thanks for reading,

Sabrina

 

The Caton Team has 35 years of combined, local Silicon Valley Real Estate experience.  Both of us born and raised in San Carlos – The City of Good Living.  We know what it takes to become a homeowner in the Bay Area, we know what it takes to prepare your home for a successful sale in Silicon Valley.  If you’re interested in working with The Caton Team – please reach out at your convenience.   Desk (forwards to cell):   650-568-5522 | Email:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

 

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the upmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.

5 Overlooked Dirt Spots Buyers Will Notice

IT’S SELLING SEASON!!!  If you’re thinking of selling your home give us a call – in the meantime …

5 Overlooked Dirt Spots Buyers Will Notice

Make sure your home sellers pay attention to several areas in a home that often go uncleaned but could stand out to potential buyers. Jan M. Dougherty, author of The Lost Art of House Cleaning: A Clean House Is a Happy Home, shared with HouseLogic several spots that homeowners are likely missing, including:

1. Light fixtures

Light fixtures can be a magnet for dust and dead bugs. Spritz and wipe them with a cleaning solution to get them shining again.

2. The body of the toilet

Dougherty recommends washing the porcelain thrones all over. Start with the top of the tank and spray all around—the lid, under the lid, the seat, the surrounding floor, and the walls behind the toilet, Dougherty recommends.

3. Drawer organizers

Use a handy vac or spray a rag with vinegar and wipe away any dirt or crumbs that have accumulated in drawers throughout the home.

4. Ice maker

Clean and sanitize the entire system periodically. Old ice can absorb food odors, Dougherty says. Pull out the ice bin, dump the ice, and wash the bin and ice maker with vinegar, Dougherty recommends. Be sure to wipe the ice maker with a dry rag to get rid of any remaining moisture before putting it back in place.

5. Appliance handles

“One night a week, I take the knobs off the stove, remove the dish and the grease screen from the [over-the-range] microwave, and take the bowl with utensils that sits next to my stove and put them all in the dishwasher,” Dougherty says. “Do this before bed and by the morning you’ve cleaned half your kitchen, yet touched nothing.”

Read about the other forgotten cleaning spots and how to clean them at HouseLogic.

Source: “‘Yikes!’ 7 Filthy Spots Everyone Sees But You,” HouseLogic (November 2017)

 

The Caton Team strives to be more than just Realtors – we are also your resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here. Contact us at your convenience.  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

 

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2017/12/01/5-overlooked-dirt-spots-buyers-will-notice?tp=i-H43-Bb-1Dd-1Nky7-1p-EHi7-1c-1NlB1-2C9oHy&om_rid=20438431&Om_ntype=RMOdaily&om_mid=4689

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008