Neighborhood Snapshot – Pleasanton Valley & Birdland

Tree lined streets, lush expansive parks, well manicured yards, charming homes. Pleasanton Valley has long been a “can’t miss” neighborhood in Pleasanton. It’s central location, access to schools, proximity to downtown Pleasanton, and its inherent appeal make it in demand, even during slow markets. Indeed in 2008, there have been almost 3 sales a month…

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You Don't Have to Buy at the Bottom to Make Money

Timing financial markets, including the real estate market, is always tricky business. There are dozens of variables that have direct influence over the real estate market, including interest rates, buyer demand, population growth, economic factors, inventory levels, new home construction, changes in personal income, and job growth to name a few. It is the interplay…

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A Little Humor as We Approach Holloween

I have always been a huge fan of political cartoons. It fascinates me how clever these cartoonists are, and how they can say so much in pictures. I like to occasionally share some of them that strike a chord. This one says it all about the foreclosure mess…

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Pleasanton Market Update – Sales Up, Inventory Edges Down

Despite the doom and gloom from Wall Street and the national real estate and mortgage markets that has permeated our collective psyche, the Pleasanton real estate market continues to be steady in the face of adversity. September saw pending sales increase to the second highest level of the year, with 55 pending sales, up from…

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Deconstructing the Mortgage Melt Down

Now that our government has pledged almost a Trillion dollars to attempt to solve the continuing financial crisis, I thought it would be interesting to figure out what went wrong. Fortunately in the digital age we have access to an overwhelming amount of information that can be used to explain what the hell happened. Check…

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Mortgage Market – Jumbo Loans Still Playing Hard to Get

At the risk of stating the obvious, the current financial situation for banks and mortgage lenders is dicey is at best. Credit markets are tightening. Banks are so reluctant to lend money that many of them are not even lending money to other banks. The mortgage market is kind of like climbing Mt. Everest… the…

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Pleasanton August Market Update – Slow but Steady

The Pleasanton real estate market in August was slow but steady, which has been the trend for the past few months. Inventory dropped slightly, perhaps signaling the start of a seasonal trend downward after Labor Day. At the end of August, there were 264 homes on the market, down from 269 at the end of…

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Open Houses Can Be Fools Gold

I remember meeting with a seller who’s listing with another agent had expired. I asked the seller how the traffic had been. “Great!” the seller exclaimed. “We have had an open house every weekend, and we are getting tons of traffic!”. “How about showings by Realtors?” I asked. The seller looked puzzled. “Well… er… not…

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July Pleasanton Market Update – Cruising Along

The real estate market in Pleasanton CA in July looked a lot like the market in June. The activity level is remarkably steady, though not brisk. Inventory is up slightly, especially in the under $1 million price bracket. But for now the market seems to have settled into a slow but steady pattern. The good…

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A Sign that says it all

I love this sign, courtesy of the Knoxville News Blog. With so many “bottom feeders” out there posing as buyers, it is refreshing to see someone tell it like it is. I know everyone wants a deal, and I am generally good with that. But it gets annoying getting calls from people asking if the…

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File Under “It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time”

So now that everyone has spent the last decade in a frenzy to put in granite counter tops, the New York Times is reporting that there is apparently an elevated risk of radon contamination from some of the granite being used in homes. Great. So my half dozen trips to the granite dealer to pick…

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Realtors and Capitalism

The big news this week has been the announcement the the Federal government will stand behind Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and essentially step in to bail them out if necessary. This is good news for the jittery housing market and certainly the battered mortgage industry. But coming after the Fed-brokered sale (don’t call it…

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