This is the question of the day. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing at this point if we are at rock bottom. Depending on which analysts you listen to, you will get conflicting information. What we are seeing is that there are multiple buyers on most homes under $500k and homes selling above list price. This is starting to push prices up slightly because there is not enought inventory on the market. As we approach the winter months, we normally see less homes to choose from. In addition, there is talk that interest rates will be creeping up again. With this said, my opinion is that THIS IS THE TIME to buy a home. I believe there is still a window of opportunity to get great deals, find REOS (bank owned properties) and take advantage of the abundance of short sales (some banks seem to be improving their processes so that they are moving a little faster now) at still great interest rates. I would definitely suggest working with a full-time, experienced Realtor because this market can be a bit brutal with multiple offers and you will need a Realtor who will be on top of all new listings and be able to help advise you on how to write offers that have a better chance of being accepted when you are in one of those situations where there are 10+ offers on a home. Please feel free to contact me either via email of cell to discuss the market conditions in more detail. Good luck to you.
Michele Castillo De Almeida
JSCA Real Estate Group
Also: In December and January it is rainy and cold and people are focused on the holidays, not real estate.
With far less competition, and assuming rates remain low in the next few months (which I think they will), I think waiting until some rainy afternoon December -March to buy might get you the best deal.
In terms of the number of sales we slipped into a sellers market in the Central County several months ago ... the difference between this sellers market and the last one is the HUGE focus on the lower price range.
Regarding if we have "hit the bottom of the market yet?"... here is an interesting story from a lender that I do business with...
"We have a borrower who just backed out of their purchase transaction b/c they are not netting as much as they'd like on the sale of their current residence. They opted to "wait for the market to come back" before selling and then buying another house (they need a larger home for their family). Their current house is worth about $400,000.
If someone is waiting to sell a $1.5 million house so they can move to Des Moines or retire in a Condo, then waiting might make sense.
BUT, waiting to sell in a stronger market to buy in the same stronger market makes no sense. They will not only end up with the same loan amount, but they will also very likely end up with a much higher interest rate.
A $400,000 loan at 3.99% yields a payment of $1,907 (P&I only). A $400,000 loan at 8.0% yields a payment of $2,935.
Our clients mentioned above could very well just end up with a $1,000 per month higher payment. "
Banks have alot of inventory which they will release slowly, which may prevent another decline in the market. In the meantime, they are keeping the foreclosed homes on the books and may be renting them out. Keep a look out for rental activity for such properties as well.
We will all know when the market has hit bottom ... and that will probably be about 8 to 12 months after it has definitively started its rebound. So if you find the right house for you and you can afford it then buy it, enjoy it and control when you sell it and you will be fine.
Jay Bedsworth, CRS
People and Properties, Sothebys Intl. Realty
Would love to help you find a home!
925 980 3248
I think you need to start previewing homes in Pleasant Hill. Since the banks have held back inventory, Pleasant Hill has not had a chance to hit its lows. In the mean time the first time home buyer incentive, and the possibility of rates rising has created a panic amongst first time homebuyers. A lack of Supply, and a sense of urgency to qualify for the tax credit, has created some Demand. The homes that have been listed in Pleasant Hill over the summer have been few and far between. That being said, Foreclosures and Short Sale listings are on the way. If you want a home in Pleasant Hill $500,000 or less it will be time to buy. If you are looking to buy above $500,000 you may need to wait a few more months. What you will find is a bottom that hits at two different times, depending on the price range of homes you are looking for. We think the government manipulated bottom hit Pleasant Hill in February. It is a good time to buy now because I think rates are going to edge back to 6.0% and even if the prices drop another 10%, it would be the same as buying a home today at 5%. Right now you should preview the current inventory, to get a sense of what your money can buy. We will call this an education period. When a good listing presents itself, you will feel good about it, and make a wise purchase. Best Wishes!!!
Coldwell Banker Coon & McCreary Realtors
1954 Contra Costa Blvd
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
If this is going to be your primary residence, then I suggest you start to look at homes now. It will give you the necessary information about what you like and don't like in a home. I find that the majority of my buyers find 'the one' and then negotiate the best deal possible at that time. We have no way of knowing what the market will be like when you will find that special home, but we do know now that rates are low and that sellers are very motivated to sell, whether they are banks or home owners. Anyone of us can set you up on a MLS search while you monitor the market to see if there are homes to look at that appear to have what you're looking for.
Suzanne Looker, 'Your Pet Friendly Realtor'
I have a new listing coming on the market in Gregory Gardens. 4 bedroom/2 bath/1917 sq ft on Hazel Drive. If you have interest, I can give you a pre-market showing. Property not yet priced.