Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Maximizing Value Helps When You Go To Sell!

On Thursday, Bloomberg’s online news service confirmed what we had been hearing in more general terms: “Sales of previously owned U.S. homes climbed more than forecast in May…and prices jumped, indicating more progress for residential real estate.” Agents here in Berkeley would also not have been surprised at the national surge in selling prices “by the most since October 2005”. If you were already inclined to sell your own Bay Area home, it looks more and more as if this summer will be a propitious time to jump on the opportunity. 

As Realtors gear up to maximize the market’s improvement, homeowners are also weighing some of the more popular alternatives for boosting valuations when it comes to selling — 
  • Prospective homebuyers are increasingly energy savvy, so when new appliances need to be updated prior to sale, the more energy-efficient they are, the more worth highlighting they will be. Us "Green-Minded" real estate agents know how to emphasize a property’s ‘green’ attributes.  
  • If you have an attic or a basement that is currently serving little purpose, conversion can pay off. Basements are often the more affordable option since they call for little structural remodeling. Conversions can be into a games room, office, or utility area. Attics are often best converted to bedrooms or office space (or at least staged to suggest the possibility
  • Landscaping including features like decks can be a huge selling point. If you are prepared to engage in a little DIY, adding a deck can be among the most cost-effective of improvements. According to HGTV, the cost of a professionally built deck starts at about $15 per square foot, with more elaborate installations featuring costly hardwoods or composite materials running closer to $35.  

Even if you do not intend to sell, a little extra money invested in your home may be a dollar-wise idea. Thoughtful investments can enrich your own living experience AND attract higher prices when the time comes to move on. If you’re looking for a real estate agent call me today to go over other improvement ideas.

By Gina Odom, Realtor : 415.307.1423

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Just listed - 898 Spruce St, Berkeley

Like out of the pages of Architectural Digest, this six bedroom, three and a half bath home is immaculate and pleasing to the eye. Panoramic Views from the Bay Bridge to Mt. Tam from numerous rooms in the house. High ceilings, grand windows, multiple fireplaces, gleaming hardwood floors, luscious front and back gardens are just a few amenities of this home.  Once you have stepped inside you do not want to leave. Each room creates a unique experience to your senses.

(Click Play to see Video)

The galley style kitchen offers you views of the Golden Gate Bridge as well as the impeccable front garden.  Granite counters, ample cupboard space, tailored made oven hood, Viking Stove and Refrigerator are just a few of the details to appreciate while enjoying your tea nd reading the paper.

A 900 sq.ft. deck allows for a great space to entertain your guests while watching the sun set over the bay.  A variety of fruit trees, flowers offer a gardening paradise.  Enjoy a variety of "walking paths," to get into town or visit treasures of Berkeley like Indian Rock.

Offered at $1,495,000.

More information and pictures:
Written by Gina Odom, Realtor

Monday, June 03, 2013

Bay Area Real Estate Watchers Buoyed by Market Report

When it comes to Berkeley's residential real estate outlook, some truisms say it all: “Strike while the iron is hot!” “The early bird gets the worm!” “Time and tide waits for no man…” Sometimes those hoary old clich├ęs have survived because their wisdom doesn’t ever change — and right now, some hard facts and figures may make these more relevant than usual.

Real estate watchers, buoyed by last Tuesday’s stock market jump (a reaction to the bullish real estate statistics), were also digesting The National Association of Realtors®’ latest report: it carried more cheerful news about the expanding market for existing-home sales. Final numbers for April showed sales moving at the highest pace since November of 2009, which was a single month that spiked due to the homebuyer tax credit. It also marked the 22nd consecutive month of year-over-year monthly price rises.

What is the “even better” news for potential Oakland and Berkeley real estate sellers? It’s about the relationship between available inventory and the pace of sales. The listed inventory across the nation is actually 13% lower than a year ago — which translates into a median time on market of just 46 days. A year ago, that figure was 62 days. In other words, across the nation, sales of existing homes are moving a full 45% faster! Berkeley's average days on market since January for a 3 bedroom home is approximately 19 days and for Oakland it is approximately 24 days. Time and time again our area has always bounced back quickly compared to the rest of the country.

NAR President Gary Thomas had some words for real estate buyers that potential sellers will be pleased to hear. “With homes selling in half the time it took to sell a year ago, buyers must be both decisive and prudent.” East Bay home sellers should love that word ‘decisive.’ It hints at the underlying condition of a market that has become competitive for buyers — buyers additionally empowered by April’s fall in conventional mortgage rates. For both real estate buyers and sellers, now looks like time to “strike while the [market]’s hot”!

In case you have been one of those trend watcher, I’m standing by. Why not give me a call to discuss how you can take advantage of today’s outlook?  written by Gina Odom, Realtor