Home Buying in San Ramon>Question Details

Pish, Home Buyer in California

Has the housing market in San Ramon picked up with reduction in inventory and multiple offers on all short sales? Is it going to be tough to buy a?

Asked by Pish, California Mon Nov 30, 2009

house in Gale Ranch?

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Michele Castillo De Almeida’s answer
Hi Pish,
While it is true that the housing market has become a bit more difficult for buyers due to lack of inventory and multiple offers on many homes, there are still good options on the market. I would suggest working with an experienced Realtor, one who knows Gale Ranch, knows how to write a good solid offer and one who has a lot of knowledge about the current market because it is definitely more difficult to purchase a home when there are many offers. My statements are also going to be more accurate in specific price ranges because in the higher price ranges, there isn't as much competition.
I also want to reference your comment about multiple offers on short sales. Because many banks are STILL taking months to complete a short sale, if you really want the home, be patient. I have personally represented buyers and sellers who have been involved with multiple offers on short sales (15 plus offers and higher) and the buyer who in the end purchases the home is not necessarily the one who "wins" the best offer initially. Many buyers find other houses during these months and/or lose patience. So... be patient if you want to deal with short sales.
I hope this info is helpful. If you would like to further discuss these points, please feel free to contact me. Good luck to you.
Michele Castillo De Almeida
JSCA Real Estate Group
Web Reference: http://www.JSCArealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 30, 2009
Hi, Pish,

Your question, “Is it going to be tough to buy a house in Gale Ranch?” is extremely broad. So let me ask you a question: tough compared to what?

You have been asking questions on Trulia for over 6 months. During that time the market has changed. I feel confident that you could have negotiated a better deal with a builder 6 months ago than now. The builders have had time to adjust their marketing, their construction schedules and their sales techniques to cope with the market that we are in now.

Is it tough to buy a house…no. Sign a contract, pay the price and you have bought a house.

I don’t think that is what you want to do.

Is it tough to buy a house at the price you are willing to pay? … want to pay? …can pay? Those are different questions.

It appears that you have been looking at new construction, but perhaps a resale of a newer house will better fit your needs.

Talk to a Realtor. Get professional help and guidance. Don’t wait until this buying opportunity has passed you by.

John Juarez, REALTOR
Windermere Properties of the East Bay
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 30, 2009
Pish ... there is no question that the market continues to evolve. Currently 10 to 12 active in the Gale Ranch area, 28 pending, 56 closed in the last 6 months. It will be tough to buy a home at the very, very bottom of the market cycle because it's luck that you hit that very bottom... and you probably won't know for 6 to 12 months after you close escrow.

As a point of interest more than anything else ... there are well over 40 homes in some level of foreclosure in Gale Ranch right now and probably that many more who's owners are behind in payments. This will continue and probably increase (there's a whole new bubble that will start to pop in 6 months) for a long time. You can elect to wait for that perfect bottom market and you may hit it but if you are looking for a home to enjoy then find a home you like and buy it... treat it as a LONG TERM INVESTMENT (10 to 20 yrs) and don't worry about whether it's worth more this week than last.

Steve Curtis
Broker / Owner
Windermere Bay Area Properties
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 1, 2009
Hello Pish,

You are obviously on the pulse of the market. I often direct individuals to study market snapshots and monthly neighborhood reports at http://www.VickieSellsHomes.com to let them read and understand that our market in San Ramon has definitely turned into a seller's market. Since you have done your market dynamics review, consider this...there is a successful buyer for every home sold. Do you want to be that buyer? If so work with a Realtor who has a proven track record of representing buyers on closed short sales and REO's. Your most likely housing options in the Gale Ranch area will be a distressed property...and those properties bring their own unique challenges. Let's face it! Traditional selllers don't want/can't sell at a loss. Unless the seller has been in the home 5+ years there is little likelihood of equity, and then only if they have not refinanced. Those sellers are few and far between.

Vickie Nagy, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty, CA DRE#01363932
CDPE, Certified Distressed Property Expert
PSC, PreForeclosure Specialist Certified
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 1, 2009
Look at Zillow. Has a much better estimates on prices.


There is an upping trend...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 6, 2010
See my answer here:


In short, no. The Tri Valley area will experience increasing downward pricing pressure through the spring and into the 4th Quarter of 2010.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 5, 2010
I'm not sure why there is a suggestion that agents are deliberately misleading buyers, yet I hear this suggestion more often than I would expect on this forum. It is almost as if people view the agent:buyer relationship as adversarial.

Most agents I know are exceptionally ethical. They don't always know what is going to happen in the real estate markets but they interprate what they see as best they can. Our crystal balls are unfortunately no better than anybody elses.

Regarding the banking industry withholding a lot of problem houses, you may be interested to read the following comments and observations ny a mortgage lender of my acquaintance:

"As affordable housing runs rampant again with multiple offers we may ask ourselves why inventory levels are so low in a time of record foreclosures and what is this we hear about "shadow inventory"?

Shadow inventory is a the suggestion that massive supply of unsold homes is waiting in the wings and could easily swamp the recovery before it can gather speed. Included in the category are REO’s, foreclosures in process, new high rise condos and homeowners waiting for a better market.

In California banks have taken back a total of 419,183 from January 2007 through June 2009. We also have an estimate of how many have been sold during that period: 328,645. Subtract the two and you have a total possible shadow inventory of 90,538.

Around 20,000 REO’s have been selling each month and a typical escrow is 30 days, so subtract 20,000 that are currently pending and are likely to close. We are now down to a shadow inventory of just 50,538.

But there is something else implied when people talk about shadow inventor which is the notion that banks are holding properties back, in the shadows, in an attempt to hide something. To see if that might be true, I think it is only fair to remove those properties that likely will be listed as soon as they are available. This process usually takes somewhere around 120 days. During the last 120 days banks took back 56,086 properties, though certainly some of these will be clean and vacant. Let’s be conservative and only deduct half from the shadow inventory, we now have a total possible shadow inventory of 22,495 REO’s. At the current rate of REO resale’s that means that even if banks are purposefully withholding properties, the truth is that it can’t be very many, may be a month’s worth at most."

Interesting reading, yes?

Bernard Gibbons

Bernard Gibbons, Realtor, e-PRO Certified Internet Specialist, DRE License # 01331583
J. Rockcliff Realtors, 15 Railroad Avenue, Danville, CA 94526
Phone (925) 997-1585

See all homes for sale in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties
at http://www.BernardGibbons.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 20, 2010
Yhua ... here are some facts about the properties on the market in the Central Contra Costa region, including San Ramon. In the 14 communities from San Ramon to Martinez and Orinda to Clayton there are only 775 detached homes on the market. To have a buyers market in that same area over the last 30 years we have needed 1600 to 1800 homes on the market. The median price of homes for sale is $800,000 almost exactly. But the market above $800k accounts for only 20% of the sales ... so 80% of the buyers are going after 385 homes.

Will that change as more home loans reset (and the next wave starts in the spring of 2010 not 2011), but those resets will in the short term be moderated by the lower interest rates they will get even without doing a modification. If interest rates start to increase sharply there will be a significant increase in those foreclosure numbers.

The key here is that the increase will probably happen relatively slowly because of the lower rates and there is sufficient pent up buyer demand in the lower price ranges that most of that increase will be absorbed.

You can expect in the course of a normal year that inventories will increase from January through August and gradually decrease from September through the rest of the year. I would be surprised if that was not the case this year as well.

Steve Curtis
Broker / Owner
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 20, 2010
That's because the banking industry is withholding a lot of problemed houses. Did you know that all the commerical or residence mortgages taken out on 5 years terms in 2006 will be due for renewal in 2011, this will cause more company bankruptices, more job loss, more REOs, and lower housing prices.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 20, 2010

Have you bought one recently on REO or short-sell? Try it and you will be surprised by the amount of competition. Check Zillow.com on prices and activities.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 19, 2010
Many real estate agents are misleading buyers. Check the website(used by banks and agents) below to see how many houses are in preforclosure, auctions, forclosure stages.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 19, 2010
The market in San Ramon has picked up and is getting more competitive. There are things you can do to make your offer more attractive and working with an experienced agent is going to be your key. Short sales continue to be priced aggressively, and it is critical that you work with an agent who is experienced in short sales and knows how to close the deal. Remember, just because your offer is accepted doesn't mean it will close. Here’s a recent blog article about the process http://www.jscarealty.com/2009/05/short-sales-understanding-…

Erica Jones Starkey
Broker, Co-Founder
DRE# 01503540
JSCA Real Estate Group
Providing Superior Solutions for Your Individual Real Estate Needs
office: 925.989.1613
fax: 925.905.2417
Web Reference: http://www.jscarealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
Tough is a relative term. Most of the people getting pushed out of the market are buyers with low down payments using FHA loans. Buyers with large down payments are getting into homes without too much trouble. FHA loans are distorting perceptions in this market. With these loans floating around, the average buyer writes as many as 8 offers (unscientific number here) before getting one accepted. If FHA loans were not around that number would probably drop by half.

There is still quite a bit of time before prices start to move up appreciably. The FHA supeconforming loan may go away sometime. The government today said they were going to toughen up lending standards to reduce their risk exposure. CAR predicts it will be 2015 before the market retunrs to normal.

Tough? I dont think so. It's just going to take time.
Web Reference: http://bob2sell.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 2, 2009
The Gale Ranch market is certainly hot. Not much inventory, and lots of demand. Will it be tough? Yes, especially for distressed sales that are priced aggressively. Can you compete? Most likely. There are things you can do contractually to give yourself a better chance of competing.

Here is some information on the Gale Ranch market that you might find interesting



Here is a video that talks about how to sweeten offers


I hope that helps Pish! Let me know if you would like to discuss

Doug Buenz
Alain Pinel Realtors
(925) 463-2000
Web Reference: http://www.680homes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 1, 2009
Hello Pish:

As I write this, there are only 10 single family detached homes for sale in Gale Ranch with prices ranging from $525,000 to $1,699,000, so while there is not a great deal of choice, there are possibilities at all levels. Also note that 8 of these are "Regular" sales which should make things easier for you.

Better news is that homes are still coming on to the market there. Yes, they are mostly being sold quickly and often with multiple offers but so long as you are represented by an agent who understands what has to be done in order to give you a strong chance of having your offer accepted, you should be fine.

Please contact me if I can be of further help.

Bernard Gibbons

Bernard Gibbons, Realtor, e-PRO Certified Internet Specialist, DRE License # 01331583
J. Rockcliff Realtors, 15 Railroad Avenue, Danville, CA 94526
Phone (925) 997-1585

See all homes for sale in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties
at http://www.BernardGibbons.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 1, 2009
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