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Troubled market

Original post made on Jun 29, 2008

Jim Lavey has seen it all. A Realtor for the last 35 years in Pleasanton where he has lived since 1959, he has represented hundreds of buyers and sellers in good times and bad. Lavey, who is affiliated with Allied Brokers Real Estate, said that while these are not the worst of times--such as we saw during the dot-com bust or in the early 1980s when mortgage interest rates hit 20 percent and higher--these are not good times in real estate either, especially for sellers.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, June 27, 2008, 12:00 AM

Comments (6)

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Posted by House Hunter
a resident of another community
on Jun 29, 2008 at 10:34 am

Well it's a "nice" article, but pretty short on facts and figures... expecially any year over year data. But then again, asking realtors for their opinion of whether it's time to buy is like asking a barber if you need a haircut. I noticed the total absence of mention of San Ramon... which is what my wife and I hear when we talk to sellers about where they are moving too. We find the pricing in Pleasanton not really reflecting what will sell and the same homes we saw in October are still on the market today in June. This is why we're looking in San Ramon as well - pricing in Pleasanton is still defying logic (and sales).


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Posted by Born and Raised
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Jun 29, 2008 at 7:06 pm

House Hunter (or should I say bargain hunter):

Please don't let the door hit you on the bum on the way out. There is a reason that San Ramon has a wind festival every year. Because it's WINDY - all the time. Enjoy your wind.


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Posted by Agreed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2008 at 6:44 am

Born and Raised;

Good point. Nor does San Ramon have the schools Pleasanton does. Or the parks or a "real" downtown.

If price is the driving factor, San Ramon can have the "House Hunter."


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Posted by Doo Doo Brown
a resident of Valley Trails
on Jul 1, 2008 at 1:47 pm

San Ramon..... was that person just trying to compare San Ramon vs. Pleasanton? Why not compare the difference between Palo Alto and East Palo Alto?? If price is your main concern, then why not try the city of Tracy right over the altamont? Houses are half the price and are a bit newer...the only drawback is living in a town very similar to Hayward....
But if your looking to find a beautiful neighborhood, and great people...then please visit Pleasanton. Remember to drive slow and enjoy the view. Tree lined streets and a family atmosphere is what you'll find here. A child-friendly park is always in walking distance, and the general population doesn't seem as angry as the rest of the bay area. Before I moved here, I thought the smiles were because everyone in pleasanton had money (which I found to be false)... Now I know that its because there is a sense of community, common courtesy, and an overwhelming sense of 'right vs. wrong' in Pleasanton. People simply live life the way your supposed to live it...


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Posted by Objective view
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 30, 2008 at 6:05 pm

As a resident of Pleasanton, I do want to believe that housing values are stable. However, when surrounding communities decline in value, it also weighs on pricing in quality communities. There are over 50 notice of defaults in Pleasanton. Many of these are as a result of purchases from the 2004-2006 timeframe. If you search Lavey in the archives, you will find an article about the real estate market in 2004. Examples of $100,000 price increases occurring literally overnight. Those are the jumps in value that are not sustainable in a market. In today's market, when you see a similar home, selling for $100,000 less 2 doors away, a seller can't expect a bank to appraise and lend to a new buyer without that buyer covering the $100,000 with his own cash. In fact, reputable lenders are requiring 20-25% down on homes in the current market, and show cash available after close of 6 months of payment. That is a lot of cash. Homes do fall out of escrow do to appraisal contingencies, even in Pleasanton. The facts are that in the past, 2004-2006, you could buy a home that jumped in value by $100K overnight, by obtaining a loan from a lender for 100% of the value, showing no income documentation. That type of purchasing, buy unqualified buyers, edging out qualified buyers on overpriced property, is what gives us the false sense of value. It is very difficult to let go of a high value on a home in your mind. The bottom line, if you need to sell your home in this market, lower the price. If you are interviewing realtors to sell your home, ask when the last time they sold a home was? If they haven't sold a home this year, 2008, what make you think they can sell yours? For the majority of real estate agents, the last home they sold was in a market where you put up a sign, and sorted thru offer letters, each higher than the last. Those days are long gone, those lenders are broke, and those homeowners are struggling to pay their mortgages in every community. Look at realtytrac.com if you need further evidence. If you go to zillow.com, enter in a home address, look at the 10 year value chart. The appreciation you see as a mountain after a slow steady climb, from 2004-2006 does not exist any longer. Take a look at the 2003 to 2004 estimate, that most closely reflects the value of your home today. If you have to sell, don't make the mistake of hiring a real estate agent with limited experience, or one from out of the area. You will end up riding the market down, like those who have been on the market for the last 90-120 days. Houses don't sell for too cheap, if you price too low, you will get multiple offers, even in this market. If you get multiple offers on your home, and they are all 10-15 percent below your current asking price, guess what, that is closer to the real value of your home than your asking price. Don't rely on a friend with "some real estate background" for real estate advice. If you don't believe your agent, ask to speak with his/her broker. The broker has years of experience. Hire a real estate agent with 10-20 years of experience as a full time real estate agent. That will guarantee they know how to sell a home in any market.


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Posted by Lily
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Jul 31, 2008 at 12:53 pm

San Ramon? Really? You want to move to San Ramon? Agreed, there are lots of more reasonable newer styled homes in SR. And i will agree that the schools are recently built. But seriously... ask a homeowner in the Shapell/ Lennar developments how they feel. All the upgrades that they paid for two years ago are being given away for free today. Ask an appraiser how the value homes out there.. there's not many "adds" they can list anymore.
After you research all that then tell me you want to move out of pleasanton.



want some great in sight from a local realtor??? here's a blog to read Web Link


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