Home Buying in San Ramon>Question Details

Gss, Home Buyer in 94582

anyone knows what price Santorini homes are selling currently (not the list price but the negotiated/contract price)? Any tips will be a big help as?

Asked by Gss, 94582 Sat Sep 19, 2009

we are seriously looking to buy in this community as Santorini appears to be the best in Windemere.

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Answers

166
Hawkeye’s answer
We just finished our analysis on the tax credit extension.

Ouch, sorry gang, while the fed did renew the tax credit, they designed the renewal to deflate prices in the mid high range. They expanded eligibility and lowered the maximum housing price to $800K. That means more people are going to be looking for houses that are priced at $800K or below, forcing re-sellers above that range to drop their prices. Now the builders are stuck, because the high number of foreclosure and short sales for comprable homes can easily be priced into that range, leaving the builders to either lower prices or take losses on sales.

Turns out that even the Fed figured out that their prior policy was inflating the mid high market, delaying the correction. So, instead of cancelling the credit altogether and re-igniting the crash, they opted for a soft landing approach. By expanding eligibility and creating a price cap, they are effectively forcing the market into a gradual downward correction.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 9, 2009
Gss, we'll see when the next round of comps come out. BTW, the "media" is finally reporting what we've been discussing for 6 months:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/11/08/…

"The combination of rising unemployment at all income levels and the recasting of exotic loans used for expensive homes are likely culprits for mortgage problems infiltrating housing's top tiers, experts said. And values have slumped for homes at all price points, leaving many high-end homeowners, like their counterparts at lower prices, upside-down."

"Option ARMs, or adjustable-rate mortgages, which were used heavily in California and the Bay Area for expensive homes, will be recalculated in large numbers next year through 2012. Such loans allowed borrowers to make minimum payments that didn't even cover interest, with shortages added on to the outstanding principal. At recast, the loans can undergo dramatic payment jumps, as payments have to include both principal and interest spread over a shorter period of time."

"Foreclosures have a snowballing effect," Hanson said. "They establish terrible sales prices and then everyone's value comes down, and then you have thousands more people in a deeper negative equity position, which increases their likelihood of default and foreclosure."
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 8, 2009
Santorini Comps. Interesting that they all sold roughly $50K less than list and overall prices are down from June to August.

http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Ramon/7038-Emerson-Ln-94582/hom…

http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Ramon/7055-Emerson-Ln-94582/hom…

http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Ramon/7079-Emerson-Ln-94582/hom…
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 7, 2009
All of you, stop meaningless discussion. This is simply a like or dislike situation. Anyone like Windy, it is like a heaven which can be purchased as a steal. Anyone don't like, it is a trash not worth a penny. None of you provide any meaningful analysis to backup your claims. The reality is, it is still overpriced. However, Windy is not alone. Everywhere in bay area is overpriced. With price to income ratio above 5X, it is far higher than national average of 3X. Still, regarding price to income ratio, Wind probably is one of the lowest in entire bay area. But, people are buying and price stopped dropping. Is this the bottom, maybe not. Will we see another 30% drop. Likely not. Some studies show price may restart downward trend again sometime in next year. Then we shall see the real bottom, somewhere about 10% off current price.

No one regard that $1.2mil Santornini house is a good deal. It probably worth somewhere between $1mil to $1.1mil. But no way you can get it for $800k. If it does get to there, how much it worth no longer matter. Because most people involved in this discuss will lose job before that happen.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 27, 2009
Hawk, use your own theory to check your favorite Belmont market. You shall be stunned how much it is `overpriced' in Belmont. Look at this one: http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/charts/15551630_zpid,10yea…

It was last sold in 1997 for $415k. It is listed for near $900k. That is 6.5% YtoY appreciation. If my memory is correct, there was not a single year since 1997 with inflation above 6.5%. Let's assume average inflation is 3% each year. The fair non-bubble price of this house shall come to $600k. Let's all wait until all bubble released and finally we can get that house for $600k.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 25, 2009
So I just finished a "non bubble" market analysis of San Ramon and was suprised to see that the data implies that there is still a $300K - $400K price inflation in the mid high market. I did a double take and re-ran the numbers, as that seemed a bit high to me, even with all things considered.

Since 1960 there have been two other real estate booms. One occurred from 1976 to 1980 and the other occurred from 1984 to 1989. The market corrected back to baseline in 1993 and thereafter, home appreciation roughly matched inflation until the start of the most recent boom in 1997. So there was a relatively "flat" period from 1993 to 1997 (where homes appreciated at the rate of inflation).

Here's the graph again for reference:

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k104/mathoda/homevalues1.gif

So I wanted to compare the new builds in Windemere to their equals during that non-boom period. What I found was that from 1988 through 1998 (the period between bubbles), 3000 + square foot homes comparable to Windemere were selling in the mid to high $300K range:

5 bed 4.5 bath, 3200 sq. ft. sold for $350K in Nov 1988
http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Ramon/16-Cobblestone-Ct-94583/h…

4 Bed, 3 Bath, 3300 sq. ft. sold for $370K in March 1996
http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Ramon/56-Sioux-Ln-94583/home/978024

3 Bed, 3 Bath, 3200 sq. ft. sold for $375K in March 1989
http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Ramon/28-Dogie-Ct-94583/home/1413516

4 Bed, 4 Bath, 3300 sq. ft. sold for $342K in May 1994
http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Ramon/2460-Palmira-Pl-94583/hom…

4 Bed, 3.5 Bath, 3200 sq. ft. sold for $375K in Oct 1998
http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Ramon/2431-Ascension-Dr-94583/h…

4 Bed, 3 Bath, 3400 sq. ft. sold for $334K in Dec 1993
http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Ramon/2431-Ascension-Dr-94583/h…

With inflation, these homes should now be selling around $600K, but instead are listing from $900K to $1M (as are the new homes in Santorini). If wage growth outpaced inflation that might justify the price run up, but I don't believe that is a factor (still finalizing that data, as its a bit complicated because of the large number of commuter to SV).

Assuming wages did not quintiple (i.e. 5X) from 1998 to now, it really does seem that the government's injection of "stimulus" into the market is artificially propping up prices (low interest rates, foreclosure moratoriums, tax credits, loan modifications, etc.). I'd hate to think that housing has taken on the economic dynamics of "beenie babies" or "cabbage patch dolls", but there seems to be a fundamental disconnect between 300 years of economic and financial theories and principles in this current market. This kind of deficit spending to prop up an entire market is not sustainable and I have to believe that at some point, they must remove all this artificial market mojo and let the correction happen.

I wonder what that $1200 beenie baby is selling for today...
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 25, 2009
Peter,

The current home prices in San Ramon are highly inflated due to the bubble, which is what this debate is about. If you look at comparable sales pre-boom and adjust prices for inflation, these homes should be selling in the $600k range, not $900K - $1M. There is no fundamental market justification for these prices other than the bubble, which is being sustained by current governement housing and fiscal policy. If you want to overpay by 100's of thousands of dollars, go for it. In the mean time, some of us are choosing not to buy at overinflated prices and instead will stay on the sidelines and monitor (and report on) the market.

And I wish more people would indulge in learned hobbies such as market analytics. I'm amazed at some of my sports fanatic friends, who devote countless hours to following overpaid, sycophantic athletes, memorizing stats and histories, etc. Talk about getting a life...
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 25, 2009
It's not very high. They're selling a model home with all the landscaping, interior decorations, it's back to open space, has solar, and across from the park. That's at least a 150k premium over the Santorini home you keep referring to that sold for 950k. The 950k home had no upgrades, small lot, and no backyard landscaping. Therefore, this sale only proves that we're still at prices last year. Do the math buddy...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 16, 2010
Gss,

Your net price to own figure is way off. In 2005, the non conforming super jumbos had rates in the 8-10% range, not 5%. And you need to account for points and closing costs, which were almost always rolled into the final mortgage amount. A $1M option ARM loan in 2005 could easily have a final value of $1.1M with closing costs, points, brokers fees, etc. Then add in the true monthly cost of ownership, which is far more than Principle and Interest (e.g. PMI, HOA, MelloRoos, etc.).

And anyone who could afford a $1M mortgage is probably a dual income or single high earner in a top tax bracket. That means that only Non-AMT triggering deductions are allowed, otherwise you will trigger the AMT and pay much higher taxes.

The final point to consider is that the person who financed $1.1M for that Windemere home in 2005 is currently paying off a $1.1M loan for a home that is now worth only $700K. You cannot compare 2005 purchase prices to 2009 rentals = apples to oranges. These folks won't rent, they'll just walk away.

Right now, our research indicates a 30% spread between fully burdened home ownership costs in comparison to equivalent monthly rents. Until that spread drops to below 10%, prices will continue to fall.

And yes, it is important to consider the broader community. The Tri Valley area is a "step wise" northward demographic. No offense to the readers, but that basically means that, on an increasing scale of appeal, the bottom is Livermore, then Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon, Danville, Blackhawk, and ultimately Alamo (same pattern runs Southward from Walnut Creek). What happened in Dublin is very much a pre-cursor to what will happen in San Ramon and if it's already in Danville, that should tell you even more.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 16, 2009
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34126239/ns/business-real_estate

I guess no one is willing to take me up on the challenge and be willing to track their home price because they know it will not rise. Artificial support for the market will only continue for so long. If your kid is flunking in school and you start doing his homework to get him up to a C, once you stop doing his homework, he'll go back to getting F's. That's what we're going to see with housing based on the FACT that a quarter of homeowners are underwater.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 24, 2009
Thanks HawKeye for posting indepth Analysis . Housing and Stock market recovery is artificial fueled by cheap money pumped by Fed which can't last long without leading to even bigger trouble. My Lease was expiring and I was thinking of buying Home but based on your analysis and my own research , I thought of leasing a Good house , you can rent it for 2/3 of amount of Mortgage without risking your downpayment.

I know few folks who bought million dollor homes based on double income now they are single income and barely able to pay the Mortgage so no one is immune to this down economy be it home owner in San Ramon or Tracy. I don't see any fundamentals to sustain these high prices when Jobs/People are moving out .
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 14, 2009
Hawkeye,

Keep up the good work. Your analysis and insight are great, and balance the unbridled optimism of NAR and RE agents.

For the one's who would like to believe that housing will go up forever, and that we have touched bottom -more power to you - and you may well be right.

As long as businesses can keep paying higher wages, and can remain globally competitive, prices will rise. At some point, higher prices lead to a competitive disadvantage - my feeling is that we are already at that point in the bay area. Look at the eagerness with which high tech companies are encouraging employees to move to North Carolina or India.

This is a forum, and sapient beings on this forum have a right to provide their perspective.

Keep up the great work Hawkeye.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 14, 2009
I also applaud Hawkeye for his analytical input to the forum. His analysis and arguments are based on facts. Most folks bashing him are either ignorants or are in denial. On a separate note, we recently finalized a deal and are in the escrow process, so we hope that the prices do not drop by more than 10% in future (we are in the $600k segment).
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 12, 2009
Hi guys, stop bullying Hawk. Maybe most people do not agree with him, but he is a honest person. Correct or not, we shall appreciate his input. Many of his point are valid although some are a bit biased.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 12, 2009
Antu and Susan,

If you don't find my posts helpful, then ignore them. If others do find them helpful, why would you begrudge them that benefit? My analytics are fact based and easily corroborated by independent research. You both sound bitter and/or angry, wanting to shoot the messenger because you don't like the message.

And no, I don't work for Redfin or Trulia. As I've said before, I'm an analyst who is happy to provide my research free of charge. I know a lot of people who got burned by the bubble and if they'd had someone warning them, perhaps they would have made a different decision. Yes, there are much better things I could do with my time; but, for me this is the equivalent of "volunteer" work (using my profession to help people for free). Maybe you should do the same and volunteer at the local soup kitchen or charity? Sometimes helping other people is a great way to ease your anger and bitterness, as you focus on others instead of yourself. Just a thought.

----------------

Vish,

Thanks for your post. The three areas that I track are very specific, namely the mid high range in San Ramon, the mid high range on the SF Mid Peninsula, and the mid high range in Pacifica. I have several colleagues that track the low mid range in the SF Bay area and would be happy to ask them about conditions in that segment and report back to you. Which areas are you looking?

-H
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 12, 2009
I bought and moved in Windemere about one-year ago, with expectation at the time that the price would move further downward for another 10% or so in 1-2 years. The decision to buy at the time was not pure financial, rather the need (we loved the community for my 2-year doughter and her grandma who has been taking care of her). Up to now, I still believe, and agree with some nice analyses posted here, that the price in WIndemere would drop another 10% or so before truely stablizing. But I also feel good about our purchase, as we provided a nice home for my daughter to grow in, which is priceless. I used to visit this forum often and learned a lot info here, thanks and best wishes for everyone!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 12, 2009
Josh,

Just want to say thank you for sharing your story and sorry for your circumstances. Hang in there, if you are in for the long haul, prices will recover. The Bay Area is very much a cyclic economy and when unemployment eventually drops back below 5%, as it will, the demand for housing will go right back up. It's just going to take a while.

My message is targeted to buyers who are thinking of jumping into the market in the next 6 - 18 months. For current owners who are in for the long term, like yourself, I would just ignore the short term trends and focus on the things you love about your home and community.

-H
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 11, 2009
OK I just spent the last 30 mins reading all 91 posts and felt compelled to offer my $.02. I have to agree with Hawkeye. The facts are there to support his beleif. The $900k-$1.2m market is going to continue to stay soft for the forseeable future. I too am interested in buying at windemere but it doesnt seem like the new homes are worth the prices they are commanding these days. But I think that a big part of that is there are a certain % of people that are willing to pay a premium to buy a never lived in home where they can have a say in the upgrades, finishes, etc.

I check the chronicle RE section every Sunday and look at the homes sold listings. If this data is reliable, I am consistently seeing homes that sold in Windemere in 2003, 2004, 2005 sell for $300-$400k below their sales prices from those years. And i have to assume these homes have already paid for the landscaping and maybe some other improvements that you dont get from the builder. So that said, these sellers or more likely the banks are losing alot of $$ on a previously owned home.

And when i just look at the sq footage and # of bedrooms (but no other factors such as lot size, prox to open space etc) and compare the previously owned home recent sale price with what the builders are asking today for a new home, it doesnt make sense to me. But again there are those that will pay more for new vs "used".

So I think that if you are only looking at new you will see that Windemere is in short supply now and the homes have been selling at a pretty good clip since for the past several months, so why not raise the prices? And if you are using that data to gauge whether or not you are making a good decision to buy new now, it seems logical. But if you are like me and dont mind living in a home thats still only a few years old and maybe the previous owner has already installed a pool or other niceties, then you are looking at a different set of data which is the data that Hawkeye continues to point out.

Im underwater in my house now and it stinks! Its basically left me trapped for the time being. I cant re-fi for the reasons hawkeye has already explained, and if I want to sell then I either have to write a check to the bank, or walk away and have my credit trashed. Even if you plan to stay in your home for a long time and ride out whatever downturn there may be, what happens when the unexpected happens? If you are underwater your options become very limited and all of them are unappealing.

So to reiterate, dont label me as a windemere hater - far from it, I think its great. but put me down in the hawkeye camp that believes pricing in windemere is going to experience a setback in the coming 1-3 years.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 10, 2009
Rousen,

Yes, the Belmont market is very over priced (as is the entire mid Peninsula, mid high segment). Prices are actively correcting there, so I definitely would not buy into that market anytime in the near future. The prices drops are quite significant, considering the housing supply on the Peninsula is very low and the incomes are very high. But this thread is specific to the San Ramon (Windemere) market (there is another thread discussing the mid Peninsula).

By the way, I don't own a home in Belmont (or anywhere else).

So back to Windemere and price inflation. Here's an announcement of a class action lawsuit against Pulte Homes, who is accused of artificially inflating the prices in their new home builds in CA, only to have the homes lose significant value later:

"A California homeowner filed a class-action suit against Pulte Homes on Friday alleging that the nation's largest home builder fraudulently propped up home prices and sales in a "house of cards" scheme that eventually caused values in its developments to plunge."

"The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California, alleges that Pulte's "one-stop shopping" business model, in which it controlled sales, financing, settlement services and appraisals, allowed it to sell homes at inflated prices and give buyers mortgages they could not afford."

"Berman's (law) firm also has a class-action suit pending against KB Homes and Countrywide Financial, its preferred lender, alleging that they conspired to drive up prices."

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/10/27/…

If these allegations are true and there is a pattern among homebuilders to artificially inflate prices, that might explain why the Windemere new homes are still very overpriced compared to income growth and inflation. It would also be consistent with the fact that the resale homes in Windemere have lost 30 - 40% of their values.

Maybe $1.2M for a Santornini is not such a good deal after all?

So I've been the one providing most of the data. Now it's your turn. Each of you who bought in Windemere, tell us how much you paid for your home. What is the current market value?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 27, 2009
Okay, so I've finished the income growth analysis.

In 1995, you needed a family income of $78K per year to buy a $350K home in San Ramon. Note that I've used a relatively high price to income ratio (4.5x), in order to apply a location premium to San Ramon (good weather, low housing suppply, great schools, etc.). In a "bad" area, the ratio would be much lower. So that ratio is effectively a "location premium", meaning folks are willing to spend a much larger percentage of their income to buy in that area. So, the 4.5X multiple already has San Ramon’s “location premium” included within it.

So what about today? The current median family income in San Ramon is around $130K, indicating that over the past 14 years, family incomes in San Ramon have grown at roughly 4%; that is consistent with expectations, since wage growth generally matches (or slightly exceeds) the rate of inflation.

So clearly, in San Ramon, wage growth has not significantly outpaced inflation and the buying power is roughly the same as it was in 1995. Using the 4.5X multiple (which includes the location premium), a $130K family income in San Ramon will buy you a $585K home.

Wow, that’s really close to the $600K prediction I arrived at in the post below, by just using the inflation adjusted home values.

So now we have two independent points of analysis (wage growth and inflation adjusted home values) corroborating the conclusion that a San Ramon home that sold for $350K in 1995 should be selling for around $600K in 2009, if there were no abnormal market forces interfering with pricing. I also determined that to justify the current prices, based on wage increase alone, the wages of the majority of families would have had to increase 8% every year for 14 years (twice the rate of inflation).

Prices are clearly being supported not by market fundamentals, but by artificial and unsustainable policies, such as low interest rates, foreclosure moratoriums, loan modifications, and tax credits. These policies cannot continue indefinitely and when the cease, the market will continue its correction back down, toward values that are in line with historical inflation and wage growth (and then they will grow at those rates, as they did before the bubble).
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 26, 2009
HawkEye,
I am also one of those who is waiting on sidelines based on similar reasoning . I think one factor which we are discounting is the lots of High Tech workers who migrated to Silicon Valley during early 2000s and have kids in the elementary/middle/High school going ages now . For them schools with high API is the prime factor and they can pay unreasonable premium for home and cut down heavily on other expenses like vacation etc to pay such high mortgage.

Other factor is once you look at San Ramon Homes than you don't feel like buying much older Peninsula homes with much older construction and higher prices..

I agree the current prices doesn't make sense based on fundamentals but there are other factos in play which are preventing them from Sliding. Let us see how the ARM resets affects the market , I think 8K credit is a big impact for 900K homes as most of the buyers must be earning greater than 150K .
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 25, 2009
if I like sports, I'd talk a lot about sports ;
if I like food, I'd talk a lot about food ;
...
and when I was looking to buy a home in windemere, I talked a lot about homes in windemere(including view/post on this msg board). but that was like for 6 months, after I bought & move to windemere, I moved on & focus on other interesting/important things in life ...

To my surprise(found out with a random home-coming visit to this msg board), both Michael/Hawkeye are still here & still very active with their bashing about Windemere. Don't know what else you have in your life. Don't know what drive you doing that, but if you :

a), try to influence/fool other potential windemere home buyers, then I believe the only potential home buyers got fooled are yourself, anyone else are doing their own DD(with many are already happy home owners there, me included since 3 months ago) ;
b), not really enjoy their 1600sf home(like a 40x40x7.5sf box) on the peninsula, as they claim so, then continue to stay on the msg board here as permannet resident; or stop fooling yourself, make a choice, be resident(or better, home owner) in windemere, or elsewhere ...

the choice is yours ...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 22, 2009
>>> San Ramon schools are too new to say ...

------

Dead wrong. Most schools in San Ramon School District are established decades ago. If you can afford a house in Palo Alto, you have to buy there. That is no brainer. To most people, Palo Alto is their destination. There will be no more trade up from there. However, that is simply not reasonable to vast majority of people.

I hate to see people out there claiming San Ramon is absolutely better or worse than anywhere else. Everything is a trade off.

>>> API scores only tell so much.

-----

Agree. There is no great public school, but only great community with great parents. School can only teach you that much. Most academy improvement are driven by parents.

>>> And because of that, and the distance to most high tech jobs, the homes will not retain their values as well

------

That claim is true at the peak of property bubble. I do not know if that is correct right now or not. San Ramon property price has already drop back to 2003 price, most south bay and peninsula area only fall back to 2005 price. If unemployment rate continue trending up and property price continue crashing, further to job center, less value it can retain. If economy has indeed bottom out and no more mass layoff, both area will be same. They will track income growth. For many nice neighborhoods in south bay and peninsula, property price are already at upper limit of affordability for most working families.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 21, 2009
If you really look at the facts, Windemere is a nice place to live, but it is far from all the action. Our current landlord actually moved back to the Peninsula, to Palo Alto, because she didn't like the high school here. The really good schools, programs, smart kids, and network opportunities are in the Peninsula. The homes are old, but the proximity definitely has it's advantages.

-------------------
Let's me guess, your landlord must be a white person. She just don't like their kids surrounded by a bunch of Asian kids. The bridge resident attend same High School as Windermere. Asian students are more than 50% in those schools.

Just saw the news that another girl committed suicide. That was the fourth student from Gunn High in 6 months. They all killed themself at the same spot. Good schools, programs, smart kids and network opportunities? It lets me wonder what kind of programs do they participate, and what kind of network are they doing? BTW, how many students commit suicide in San Ramon in last 10 years?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 21, 2009
what kind of people would like and can live in windemere, gale rach and bridge San Ramon?
1, work professionals who work in San Ramon, Pleasanton area......like the doctors in Kaiser, Pleasanton.
2, work professionals who commute to south bay, peninsula but wife or grand parents stay home to help.
3, work professionals who work in east bay or San francisco.
4, Retired people who don't work anymore.
5, Business man who own business locally.

why people didn't like the high school? because it is so new and none of kids come from the new elementary schools or middle schools yet.

If you are the only one who supports the family and has to commute to peninsula or south bay and you don't like to carpool or your company has no shuttle, then you should not live in this area. It's too much pain for commute.

Susan
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 21, 2009
Stephen, your commute is better if you are going to Santa Clara, because a big chunk of the drive is a straight shot on 680 and frankly, most of the job losses have been in the South Bay, so traffic on that route is way down.

Windemere to Foster city is another story, because you have to make the 580 to 880 exchange and then a mile or so later, the 880 to 92 exchange. It's not the freeways that are bad (the bridge is generally okay), it's those one lane exchanges that make it miserable. On a good day it's about 55 minutes, on a bad day it can be 2 hours. On average, it's about an hour and 20 minutes. The 92 to 880 East bound flyover will make it a little better, but it won't be done until 2011.

Maybe you are desensitized to the commute. I guess like anything, once you get used to the loss, you don't feel it (or you just deny it).

I'm not sure I want to be desensitized to a long commute. On a good day, my current commute is 9 minutes. On a bad (yesterday), it was about 20 minutes.

I don't know, maybe you are wondering what's the difference, everyone has a long commute? Suck it up.

All I can tell you is that from my experience (tonight), the difference between a 20 minute commute and 1.5 hour commute meant that I had time to make play doh pizza's with my toddler. I taught her how to say "pepperoni", which she then repeated over and over, laughing hysterically, which caused me to totally lose it and also laugh hysterically, which caused my wife to look at both of us as though we were crazy, until ultimately, she too was laughing hysterically. We were all laughing our butts off saying "pepperoni" until the baby started crying. Then it was "you change her"..."no, it's your turn"...but we'll reserve that for a different thread. : - )

I like that outcome much better than a 7PM conversation that goes something like "where's Daddy?..."He's coming soon honey"..."But I want to make pizzzzzzzza"..."Sorry honey, come on let's brush your teeth and get ready for bed, maybe Daddy can make Pizza with you this weekend, it's bed time". "okay..."

I don't think my toddler cares how many square feet we have, I think she just wants to make a play doh pizza with her papa and secure a life long memory of the first time she said "pepperoni".
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 20, 2009
As I predicted long ago, now that all the government stimulus programs have expired, the housing market is starting to return to its original correction pattern, which was stalled by all those programs. Today the National Association of Realtors reported that the number of homes going pending in May has fallen to the lowest level on record (see article and link, below).

So what is the story with pending homes in San Ramon? Here they are: http://tinyurl.com/25pbjnn

With 149 pending homes, it looks like a hot market, but here's the same search excluding shorts sales: http://tinyurl.com/2cse8mm

Wow, 82 homes; nearly 55% of pending sales in San Ramon are short sales. Short sales have a closure rate of less than 50%, meaning that more than half of these pending sales are likely to fall through; the homes will come back on the market with lower prices or end up as the next batch of foreclosures, driving prices down even further. Note the concentration of these pending short sales in Windemere.

So what about the trend reported by NAR? Take a look at how many of the 149 pending homes went into contract before May, as compared to the last 30 days. The vast majority of the pending inventory went into contract before the government stimulus programs expired. The government programs "pulled forward" latent demand, tapping out the supply of buyers after the credits expired. In short, the recent pending rates confirm NAR's announcement; " the housing recovery can't survive without government incentives" and will return to its original correction pattern.

So how far had the market corrected before the government interfered? Here's the graph of median prices for the San Francisco Metropolitan area: http://tinyurl.com/24lfsfn

Note that the government stimulus programs stalled the natural housing correction before prices had a chance to returned to inflation adjusted, historical averages. You can see that by the false bottom in 2009 and the stimulus driven mini bubble that has been ongoing since then. Now that the stimulus is gone, the market is going back to its original correction trend, back to baseline.

Running the analysis on the mid high range in outlying suburbs (i.e. San Ramon) shows a "correction potential" of 18 - 25% for that segment (i.e. Windemere), which is 12 - 15% below the false bottom in 2009; if you bought in 2009 as an investor, there's a good chance you'll be significantly underwater in the next 12 months.

Here's the NAR article:

http://tinyurl.com/2g9mx7k

May pending home sales tumble to record low

Pending homes sales tumble in May to lowest level on record after tax credits expire

Thursday July 1, 2010, 10:01 am

NEW YORK (AP) -- The number of buyers who signed contracts to purchase homes dropped in May to the lowest level on record, a sign the housing recovery can't survive without government incentives.

The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted index of sales agreements for previously occupied homes tumbled 30 percent in May. The index fell to 77.6 in May from 110.9 in April. May's reading was the lowest dating back to 2001.

Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected the index would fall to 98.4. The index also was down 15.9 percent from the same month a year earlier.

The index provides an early measurement of sales activity because there is usually a one- to two-month lag between a sales contract and a completed deal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
Q1/Q2 2009 was low at Windemere. 2011 could be rocky but 2009 Q1 was a good time. Good luck, all.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 1, 2010
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 1, 2010
Brookfield Windemere,

It looks like you're wrong again. The facts speak for themselves. A Santorini plan 2, with $150k in upgrades, view, no backyard neighbors, nice size lot, excellent condition just sold for $1.05. You're losing big bucks now on your home.

Keep trying to BS people here, but it's not working...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 1, 2010
>>>looks like prices today are almost $200K higher

Check the facts. This is model home. It is likely it is priced higher than others.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 16, 2010
That is very high for a Lennar home then. That tells me Santorini homes are $1.15M-$1.25M now. Driving around the two developments you can tell a huge difference. Even though Lennar homes have better standard upgrades, I never liked the floor plans and never considered buying them. Sometime ago there was one that fell out of escrow that could be had for $920K, looks like prices today are almost $200K higher.

For $1.1M I would like to be a little further away from my neighbors but this is a reality now at Windemere. More people now know about this development and want in.

Its like all universities around here are all good, but Stanford and Berkeley are the best and we all want the best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 16, 2010
Description of 6550 Bennington Way, San Ramon:
Model home with Solar Plus system. Close of escrow must be on or before 2/25/10. Beautiful Lennar home in the Stafford community. 4241 sq ft, 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 3 bay garage. Kitchen features Granite slab countertops and GE Monogram stainless steel appliances. Front and backyard landscaping.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 16, 2010
Winderemere-Brookfield - I think you have hearing problems. This is not a Santorini home. It's a Lennar Stafford place model home. Get your facts straight:

http://:www.movoto.com/real-estate/homes-for-sale/CA/San-Ramon/6550… target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:20i_FH0…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 16, 2010
With mid high range market starting to melt down, there's no reason to over pay for the Windemere homes. Here's a perfect example in Dublin Ranch. This 6 bedroom, 4.5 bath mansion is nearly 5000 square feet and is backs to the golf course. It went pending today @ only $900K.

http://www.redfin.com/CA/Dublin/Undisclosed-address-94568/ho…

Why would anyone bother paying $200K more for a Santorini when deals like this are coming onto the market?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 15, 2010
Most recent Santorini sales: 6550 Bennington Way, for $1.1M on 2/25/10:

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/6550-Bennington-Way-San-Ra…

Enjoying a $200K appreciate on this one lol. How dumb are the timid, indecisive ones : )
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 15, 2010
See my post here:

http://www.trulia.com/voices/Market_Conditions/Where_is_the_…

There are literally over ONE THOUSAND homes in Windemere that were bought at the peak of the market using exotic loan products (e.g. Option ARMs) and that are set to recast this year. Soon, these owners will be faced with recast loans that will be up to twice the value of the home. Whoops, to bad for the investors!

Many investors claim to have made profits in the mid high range via the false bottom in 2009. However, if you look at all the sales at the bottom of the mid high range in the Windemere market and then run a comparative analysis on subsequent sales, the buy to sale spread (aka gross profit) is never more than around a $100K or so from 2009 to now.

Wow. When you factor in closing costs, sales taxes, capital gains, etc., the most these hapless market players could have possibly made by their flip is ~ $20K (aka net profit). In the same period, even a conservative stock market investment recommendation from a qualified financial advisor would have yielded far, far greater returns. And those returns would be at lower transaction costs and with much better liquidity .

Don't believe me? Just look at the charts for solid stocks like MasterCard (MA), Visa (V), Ebay (EBAY), Google (GOOG), Goldman Sachs (GS), Microsoft (MSFT), Berkshire Hathaway B (BRK-B), etc. Check it for yourself by punching in the stock symbols shown above and noting the price trends from 2009 to now:

http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=ebay

Personally I don't know why any wise investor would enter the housing market in 2009 when the smart money was getting into the bottom of the stock market for solid, blue chip style companies that have since skyrocketed. And home flipping is quirky and complicated, whereas stocks are liquid; you press enter and bam...the sell executes and the cash is in your account. Compare that to house flipping, which in my opinion is the comparative equivalent of hog farming, as compared to raising thoroughbreds.

As I've always said, PT Barnum made a fortune knowing that "a sucker is born every minute". Don't be a sucker!

-H
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 13, 2010
>>>I think its going to be $3M in 5 years. For sure : ) I am glad I dont have to work for a living....

One thing if for sure. You don't have to work for a living.... Because you are in Jail by then.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 13, 2010
And the pigs shall fly....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 13, 2010
I think its going to be $3M in 5 years. For sure : ) I am glad I dont have to work for a living....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 12, 2010
yeah, it has. the 950k home for santorini plan 2 now looks expensive. you can get the same size home, with a way bigger lot, more upgrades, and backyard landscaping for a cheaper price at 949k:

http://www.rockcliff.com/Search/PropDetail.aspx?listingID=12…

and your dream of santorini going to 2 million dollars, not going to happen. the resale of a plan 2 home has been on the market for months and they've had to reduce the price by 50k. this versus paying for a new home is not even close. it's like buying a new car. as soon as it comes off the lot, it depreciates:

http://www.rockcliff.com/Search/PropDetail.aspx?listingID=12…

your just trying to talk up the market so your house santorini home won't go under water by another 100k.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 12, 2010
Whatever happend to the holiday slow down? Wow how 4 months have changed...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 12, 2010
2356 Avalon Way just sold above $900K, check with agent. There were multiple offers for this property- very strong demand. All these other potential buyers did not get the property, will bid on others, and will easily consume any inventory. Call any agent working there and they will tell the facts. It is not the case with other locations. Some Windemere properties have already appreciated over $100K since Q2 of 2009, check Zillow and other sites again. Very lucky ones grabbed units around 4000 SQ feet for low $800K's in Q2 2009. Again, check the facts.

Windemere is great investment and any upcoming units will go quick. Great appreciation for the next 5-15 years. Go and check there were only around 50 properties with 3,500+ sold within last 12 months. That is not a lot, only 50 families. Saratoga, Cupertino, Palo Alto folks are coming... big time.

Love to see some unloading now so we can buy 2 or 3 more, in the process of consolidating southbay properties and buy in Windemere. Get in line...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 23, 2009
Well, there are currently (as of 12-23) one hundred and thirty SR/Windemere properties in the higher end foreclosure pipeline and that's during the holiday season, when nearly everyone who can, is avoiding foreclosure to get through the New Year. We'll see what January has to offer as supply increases and prices decline, building greater downward pressure into the Spring. I'm sure we'll see the new comer "buy now" types slink off into the ether, never to be heard from again...

http://tinyurl.com/yc6pogu
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 23, 2009
>>356 Avalon just sold for $900+

This is roughly 2008 Q3 price, right before Lehman shock.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 23, 2009
2356 Avalon just sold for $900+ but agent would not say how much. So we have two comps on the same street within last 3 months, one sold for $944K and now this one. Banks are starting to make 20% loans again at Windemere and that will help borrowers qualify.

I am keeping an eye for similar sized Windemere homes for a few of my friends, anything under $1M with decent location. I see 2010 price to hold steady or increase because of increasing demand. I am surprised that a lot of South Bay folks still do not know Windemere and the fine schools we have here.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 23, 2009
No rush to buy WB. The low inventory is because it's the holidays. Many people are underwater and are just ignoring it until after the New Year. As spring approaches, the inventory will climb very quickly and prices will come down accordingly. This will be especially true as short sales and foreclosures climb, increasing inventory and driving down the comps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 23, 2009
Same with Cisco with you have visited them...

Work hard, search hard, and, if you are lucky, you get a property at Windemere. But if one is lazy and just spends time looking around and posting crap and big hypothetical theories on internet, he/she will never buy a dream house.

We have over a dozen friends currently at Windemere and every house party brings additional demand for the homes here because folks from Cupertino, Saratoga, Palo Alto could not believe the bargains out there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 23, 2009
"I was at Google main cafeteria last week and 1/3 of the folks there are Indians, more than Asians :) One of my previous managers is Indian and he was one of the smartest people I ever know."

Exactly. There are large concentrations of highly educated, highly paid, first generation Indian (and asian) folks in the Silicon Valley (Google, etc.). As they become successful, they bring their families (and there families families, etc.). Good for them, that is what the American Dream is all about.

The fact is, culturally it's common for them to pool resources and congregate in close knit communities that are often exclusive of folks not in their "in group". These are the facts and there's nothing racist about studying or discussing them. In fact, doing so is respected science called Sociology.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociology

And it's very relevant to this forum, as folks who are not in the "in group" may be find themselves spending a million dollars to buy a big house in a neighborhood that is culturally exclusive. The reality is that many of the Indian families are moving from the South Bay into Windemere. Ask your realtor who their clients are and they will tell you. We visited one REO in Windemere two weeks ago and spent about 30 minutes looking at the house. During that time, about 30 other people came through and every single person viewing the house was Indian. Curious, I asked the agent about it and he confirmed the trend.

Poor Antu, must be a Dalit.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 23, 2009
Antu,

2385 Avalon Way is closed already with people moved in, at $944K. Currently negotiated, smilar properties should go for $900K+. However, there will be properties negotiated back in Q2 of 2009, short sale, like mine, posted as public records :)

And to your comments:

I am Asian and I understand the need to have the best learning environment for my children.

Most of my circle of friends are Asians from Cupertino, Saratoga, and Palo Alto and they are coming to the Windemere market. I do not know how Asians fit into the Indian social castes. I was at Google main cafeteria last week and 1/3 of the folks there are Indians, more than Asians :) One of my previous managers is Indian and he was one of the smartest people I ever know.

If one is wise, he/she should buy right now at Windemere. We own 5 properties in Silicon Valley and we are shifting our assets to SR.

Good luck and remember to track that 2356 Avalon property currently available.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 22, 2009
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